Monthly Archives: March 2012

Third Week Retrospective

Week three of the Spring 2012 Magic Appreciation Tour has come to a close. Book and author registrations have slowed down for the moment, so I don’t have any new books to share with you this week. However, several of our authors got caught up on their post exchanges.

Also, please note the announcement at the end of this post. The current (Spring 2012) tour is going to end on March 31 and go back to the original one-month-per-quarter schedule.

The Post Exchange

This was a big week for interviews, and we have one new book review. Please feel welcome to visit the blogs and leave your comments. We appreciate your feedback and support!

  • Interview with Fantasy Author Cat Gerlach
    Vanna Smythe interviews Katharina Gerlach on her blog. Cat shares how her dream of becoming a forester turned into a dream of becoming an author.
  • The Magic Appreciation Tour: Guest William English
    Danika Dinsmore interviews William English on her “Accidental Novelist” blog. Will talks about how he got his start writing fantasy and short stories.
  • Book Review: Brigitta of the White Forest
    Roger Eschbacher reviews Danika Dinsmore’s MG fantasy book Brigitta of the White Forest on his blog “The Novel Project.” Roger characterizes the book as a “fun and engaging read with an interesting story.” Please check out his review to learn more!
  • Author Spotlight: Vanna Smythe
    Katharina Gerlach interviews Vanna Smythe on the “Independent Bookworm” blog. Vanna shares some of her experiences with releasing her new book Protector and her perspective on the true value of social media.
  • Sue Santore INTERVIEW: Author of A Singular Gift and A Singular Chance
    Harrison Davies interviews Sue Santore on his “The Aduramis Chronicles” blog. Sue shares how she has been able to turn her retirement into a new career as a writer.

Magic Appreciation Tour authors are welcome to submit more offers to the Post Exchange. It’s a great way to get more traffic to your blog and to get to know some of your fellow fantasy writers!

Click to Exchange a Post

The Spring 2012 Tour Ends March 31

When I first came up with the idea for the Magic Appreciation Tour, it was going to run for one month per quarter. But then I realized that the book listings should be available to potential readers on an ongoing basis. I thought, “So why not have the tour be ongoing as well?”

The answer to that question is “tour fatigue.” While leaving the book listings up indefinitely is still a good idea, I think our authors would benefit from having a break between tours. Also, having that break gives me more time to work on automating some of the site features. Automation would make it easier for me to run the tours, and it would give our authors instant access to things like the Post Exchange. (No more waiting for a “You’ve been paired!” email from yours truly.)

Registration will continue to be ongoing, so magical fantasy authors can still list their books on the site and be ready to participate in the next author tour.

So, unless the Tour authors rise up in protest, I’m going to go back to my original plan of holding the author tour part of the Magic Appreciation Tour and Book Sale only one month per quarter. That means the current tour ends on March 31 (next Saturday.) The next tour (Summer 2012) will run during the month of June.

If you want to do any final-week post exchanges, please submit them now!

As always, if you have suggestions on how I can improve the Magic Appreciation Tour and Book Sale site or program, your feedback is welcome. You can leave a comment here, or if you want to keep your thoughts just between you and me, you can use the contact page on the MA Tour site.


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Second Week Retrospective

We have completed week two of the Spring 2012 Magic Appreciation Tour, and once again, I’m amazed at what a great group of authors we have. People are tweeting, posting, and sharing each others works all over the Internet. Here’s the scoop on some of what has been happening.

New Books on Tour

We added a few new magical fantasy books to the tour this week. Please check them out and welcome our new authors (their names link to their blogs):

  • Protector by Vanna Smythe
    Will Kiyarran fulfill his duty as a Protector, or allow his love for Issiyanna to guide his future path? Magic, loyalty, childhood friendship, greed, and love all clash as Kiyarran is forced to make his decision.
  • The Dawn Herald by LB Mara
    The Dawn Herald is a tale of fantastical creatures, broadswords and battles, princesses and angels, ancient evil and extraordinary bravery.
  • Destiny of the Wulf by Harrison Davies
    The fate of this world hangs in the balance, and it is left to Coinin and Marrok to reunite the Swords of Cerathil that would save the planet from destruction.

If you know any other authors of magical fantasy who should be touring with us, please send them to the MA Tour site to register. We’ll be taking registrations through the end of March.

Blog Post Exchanges

Our authors have also been busy over the past week putting up new posts.

  • Inspiration Despite the Odds by Mark Tierno
    Mysti Parker hosted a guest post by Mark Tierno on her blog “Unwritten.” Mark reveals the secrets to launching his 5.2 million word epic Maldene and keeping it going.
  • Book Giveaway: Dragonfriend by Roger Eschbacher
    I’m hosting a book giveaway of Roger’s young adult fantasy book Dragonfriend on my blog “The Vaetra Files.” Roger is giving away two copies and the giveaway ends March 24, so come on over and leave a comment. You could be one of the lucky winners!
  • 7 Questions: Author Mark Tierno
    Roger Parker hosted a fascinating interview of Mark Tierno on his blog “The Novel Project.” Roger asks seven questions about Mark’s writing process and his epic fantasy Maldene.
  • Dragonfriend – Book Review by Agatha Raine
    Agatha Raine posted a review of Roger Eschbacher’s book Dragonfriend on her blog, summing it up as an “enjoyable read.”
  • Epic Fantasy and Modern Mythmaking by Jeff Shanley
    Mark Anthony Tierno hosted a guest post by Jeff Shanley on his blog “Maldene.” In his post, Jeff writes about the inspiration behind the extensive research and world building efforts that went into his Mavonduri trilogy.
  • Behind the Curtain of the Magic Appreciation Tour
    In case you missed it, you might enjoy a guest post I did about the MA Tour over on Sarah Pearson’s blog “Empty White Pages.” Sarah has been a supporter of the Tour since the beginning even though she doesn’t write magical fantasy, and I appreciate her willingness to help me get the word out.
  • How The Dawn Herald Came to Be by LB Mara
    Okay, this wasn’t an official Post Exchange, but it does involve two MA Tour authors. Vanna Smythe hosted a guest post on her blog by LB Mara, who tells an amazing story of dreaming the entire plot for her book The Dawn Herald.

Don’t forget that the book giveaway for Urchin King by Katharina Gerlach is still running through March 21. Head on over to Roger Eschbacher’s blog and enter to win a copy for yourself!

Tour authors are welcome to enter all of the book giveaways as well, so please help us encourage entries in the giveaways by adding yours.

To date, I’ve made 20 Post Exchange pairings! Not all of them have been published yet, but we can always use more Post Exchange offers. I still have an offer that has not yet been paired, so come and get it!

Click here to Submit a Post Exchange Offer

Thanks to everyone who has been tweeting and re-tweeting on the #matour hash tag. You folks are helping to keep the tour traffic flowing!

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The Man Behind the Curtain

Sometimes I feel like the Wizard of Oz, with all the pulling of levers and pushing of buttons to make the Magic Appreciation Tour rumble forth across the Internet with a message of fantasy storytelling. Except in my case, it is the pounding of a keyboard, the formulation of HTML, and the manipulation of cells in a spreadsheet.

If you’d like to know a little more about how the MA Tour got started, where it is now, and where it is going in the future, click your ruby slippers together and dream on over to the Empty White Pages blog. Sarah Pearson has been kind enough to let me share the true humble beginnings of the MA Tour and the machinations of the man behind the curtain.

   Behind the Curtain of the Magic Appreciation Tour


There’s no place like the Magic Appreciation Tour.

There’s no place like the Magic Appreciation Tour.

There’s no place like the Magic Appreciation Tour.


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First Week Retrospective

The first week of the Spring 2012 Magic Appreciation Tour has drawn to a close, and our authors are busy publishing their first blog post exchanges.

Here at MA Tour headquarters, I sent out 13 notifications to authors who submitted a Post Exchange offer. Some of you are getting used to seeing the subject line, “Post Exchange Notice: You’ve been paired!” in your email in-box.

We can always use more exchanges though. I have two authors who need partners for more exchanges, so don’t be shy about signing up. Just visit the Post Exchange page and submit your offer.

This Week’s Posts

Some of the exchanges have already been completed. Check out what your our authors have been up to:

  • Review: Vaetra Unveiled by Christopher Kellen
    Okay, so this one technically preceded the start of the tour, but since we are both met on the tour, I decided to include it. Besides, its about my book!
  • Interview with Fantasy Author Christopher Kellen by Daniel R. Marvello
    I asked fellow author Christopher Kellen five interview questions and got excellent, in-depth responses from Chris. Come check it out and see how I discovered how much we have in common.
  • Win a Copy of Urchin King by Roger Eschbacher
    Roger is giving away a copy of Urchin King by Katharina Gerlach on his blog. This contest ends on March 21, so get over there and leave your comment!
  • Author Spotlight: Roger Eschbacher by Katharina Gerlach
    Katharina interviews Roger on the Independent Bookworm blog. Learn how NaNoWriMo helped Roger start his novel Dragonfriend.
  • Interview with Mysti Parker by Will Hahn
    Will interviews Mysti–also on the Independent Bookworm blog.  Enjoy Will’s amusing interview style as he finds out which heart-throb actor was an inspiration for Mysti’s book A Ranger’s Tale.

I’m sure more posts are coming, since we still have 9 pairings out there in the wind.

Ditching the MailChimp Email List

Authors who signed up for the tour in the past were automatically added to an author news email list that I was managing with MailChimp. Well, I decided I’m not going to continue that list. Even though registering for the tour gave me permission to add authors to that list, I’m just not comfortable with what is effectively an opt-out strategy. Besides, setting up emails in MailChimp is a pain in the sword arm.

Instead, this blog is now the official source of news about the Magic Appreciation Tour. If you want email notifications, you can get them by subscribing (yay, opt IN) using the “Follow via Email” form in the top right corner of every page. That form lets you subscribe using the built-in WordPress subscription service, which has robust options and gives you complete control over your subscription.

The shine on the dagger is that everyone, not just participating authors, can find out what’s going on with the MA Tour through this blog.


Filed under Spring 2012 Tour

The Gates Open, and They’re Off!

Today was the first day of Magic Appreciation Tour (MA Tour)! We started with 18 authors and 28 books, which is an excellent beginning. But it isn’t too late! If you are an author of a magical fantasy book, you can still register for the tour through the end of March. That will still give you two months (through May 31) to show off your books and engage with your fellow fantasy authors. Just click the Magic Appreciation Tour badge in the sidebar, check out the site, and register when you are ready.

How to Tour

Touring with our authors is easy. The site gives you the tools you need to connect with other authors and exchange blog posts.

  • Exchange Posts: Use the Post Exchange to offer a blog post on your blog in exchange for a request for a post on another author’s blog. We match you up with two other authors: one who is requesting the kind of post you offered, and one who is offering the kind of post you requested. We try not to do direct, two-way exchanges so we can avoid a tit-for-tat bias.
  • Comment on Blogs: The Authors page on the MA Tour site gives you ready access to every author who has a blog. Show your support by visiting the blogs of your fellow authors and commenting on their posts.
  • Share: Tweet, plus-one, and otherwise share links to the blog posts and books of your fellow authors. Did you read their book and like it? For goodness sake, tell the world!

How to Find Your Next Fantasy Read

The Book Sale page was designed to help you quickly find a book you might enjoy reading. Once you find something you like, we give you the opportunity to explore the title further.

The MA Tour site lists every book that has been registered by our participating authors. You can browse the listings and check out the compact but generous cover thumbnails and blurbs. Find something you like? Handy links on the right let you buy the book right away or learn more about the author. If the author has a book web site, you can click a link to visit it as well. Finally, if any MA Tour participants have reviewed the book, you can visit their blog to see what they had to say.

Open to Suggestions

This is the first tour, so there’s lots of room for improvement. If you have ideas for how the site or the touring aspects can be improved for our readers or our authors, please use the site’s contact page to share your thoughts.

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Filed under Spring 2012 Tour