Going Back to Kindle Exclusive

I gave "Smashwords" the old college try, as they say, and ultimately I am completely unsatisfied with the results.  For those who aren't "in the know" on such things, Smashwords is a place for Indie authors like me to make their books available in multiple formats - everything from PDFs to Nooks and everything in between.  Though there have been a few sales through that venue, it really hasn't been anything to write home about.  Indeed, it's not even generated enough to take the family out to dinner. :)

So, that said, I'm going to go back to Kindle Select, which means my eBooks will ONLY be available through Amazon for the Kindle, and will be removed from Smashwords, B&N, etc.  I know some people out there would truly prefer to read on their Nook or some other format, and I'm very sorry about that, but it ends up costing a lot in both money and time to make the books available in those other formats, and it just hasn't proven to be worth it overall.  Ultimately, I have to make the right business decision at this time.

This will allow me to do a couple of different things, including free promotions of books from time to time.  It also means all eBooks will be priced between $2.99-$9.99 per Kindle Select policy.  So, if you don't have a copy of Otherwise Alone, get one now while it's still $0.99!  It won't be much longer.

This also means all my books will again be available in the Amazon Lending Library if you are a Amazon Prime user, so you can read for free!  If you are using another device for your ebooks, do remember that Amazon has Kindle readers for just about everyone - PCs, Macs, Smartphones, iPads, etc.  Just follow the link below!

I'm also looking into something new Amazon has called "Kindle Matchbook," but I don't know much about it yet.  More to come!

Shay Savage


Otherwise Unharmed Update & Teaser!

Hey all!  I've gotten a lot of questions about the progress of Otherwise Unharmed, so I thought I'd give everyone a quick update.  I seem to have gotten into the groove, and writing has been coming along wonderfully the past week or so.  I'm hoping the whole thing will be done in the next few weeks for a December release, but you never can tell - it keeps getting longer!

So how about a little taste?

Here's the summary and a little teaser!

Otherwise Unharmed:

After Evan Arden was imprisoned by the enemy for a year and a half, he returned from the desert as a military hero.  He’d suffered some minor injuries during his captivity, was discharged from the Marines with just a touch of shellshock, but was considered otherwise unharmed.  Now he wonders how he ended up where he is now – incarcerated in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center for using his sharpshooting expertise to take out the neighborhood park with a high-powered sniper rifle and multiple rounds of ammunition.

Lia Antonio, the woman he rescued from the desert heat the previous year, is the only person who can bring him out of his sleep-deprived psychosis and mounting PTSD.  When she does, Evan knows he can’t just let her go again.  He’s never considered leaving the business before – who retires from the mafia? – but he’s determined to get both Lia and himself out of harm’s way.

Evan faces forces from multiple directions as a deal to get him out of jail turns more deadly and dangerous than he ever could have imagined.  With a three-way mob war on the horizon and the feds holding evidence over his head, Evan has no choice but to throw himself into the middle of another war-zone.

In his efforts to make things right in his own mind, Evan crosses the wrong man and finds himself on the business end of the cross-hairs.  With his observation skills and intelligence, he tries to keep a step ahead of his former co-workers, but this time, it isn’t just his own life on the line – he’s got to protect Lia from the man who once called him son.

“Do you have nightmares or recurring thoughts about what happened to you?”

I swallowed hard.


“How often?”

“Every time I close my eyes.”

I didn’t miss Rinaldo’s narrowed eyes as I admitted this to the attorney.  Yes, I had been too broken to come to him after I had killed Terry and Bridgett, but it was obvious the nightmares had been getting worse for a while.  I hadn’t told him about those.  Even when I confessed that Bridgett had slept in my bed with me, I never told him the reason why.

“Do you ever feel numb?”

“Most of the time.”

“Have you ever thought about hurting yourself or someone else?”

I actually laughed, which caused Rinaldo to smile slightly as well.

“Evan’s right,” he told the attorney.  “That’s a seriously stupid question.”

Hang on for a while longer!  More Evan to come!


Legion Training

When  and  first started talking about Legion Training on Twitter, I have to admit I was just amused at first.  Yet here I am, 13 weeks later, writing about it.

Those who follow this blog regularly know I'm not much for recommendations or endorsements.  I don't have time for a lot of that kind of stuff, but when I do, I mean  it.  So the fact that I'm writing a really long post about something that is totally unrelated to writing, soccer, or Star Wars, I must be serious.

I love the Spartacus series.  It's full of naked or mostly naked, hot, sculpted men and women, betrayal, blood and violence. What's not to love?  but the idea of "regular people" doing the same exercise program as the Spartacus Gladiators?  Please.  But Liam and Ty kept tweeting about it, and it kept grabbing my attention.  I went to the Legion Training website, read up a bit on it, watched the videos, went "holy shit" at Ty's physique, and then closed the browser.

I kept thinking about it, though.  I'd been out of shape since I quit playing soccer many years ago, and hadn't done a lick of exercise since then.  I was bordering on obese and hated the way I looked and felt.  However, there was just too much going on in my life to take up something like a regular exercise routine.  I worked 50-60 hours a week at the day job, wrote books in my spare time, and then there's the family - kids to raise, pets to care for, and a husband who would like to spend a couple minutes with me if I could spare the time.

Still the tweets continued: Join the Legion Army - just 19 minutes a day.  That fit into lunch hour or before work.  It would even fit neatly into right after work and before dinner.  19 minutes.  What could you really do in 19 minutes?  There was talk of a diet plan, and I'm a vegetarian.  Most of the diet plans these days are 99% meat, right?

I watched a couple more videos to get an idea of what it was like.  I talked to Mr. Savage about it, and he rolled his eyes. I talked to my doctor about it, and she laughed.  She also told me to go for it (likely because she knew I had been acting like a slug), to be careful not to hurt myself, and we'd see the results, if any, at my next physical.

So, I did it.  I signed up.  I said "Yes, Tyrone - I wanna be a gladiatrix!"  *giggle*

I'm going with the cliche here, but since then, Legion Training has changed my life.

First, let's make sure we're all on the same page here.  I was a 42 year old woman who had never lifted weights before in her life.  I was aware gyms existed, but other than the elliptical machine at the local YMCA, I hadn't actually DONE anything at one.  I was totally starting from scratch.  So, how well did it work?  Let's start with the basics.

Since May, 2013 I have:
  • Lost over 25 lbs
  • Lost 15% body fat
  • Lost 6 inches around my waist and 2 inches around my hips
  • My cholesterol dropped over 50 points since the last time I had it taken (it had been years, so I can't say for sure how much the nutrition plan contributed, but I think it did) 
  • I'm stronger than I have ever been in my life
Let's talk about that last one, because the others are easily quantified.  What did getting stronger do for me?  
  • I can carry things I couldn't carry before!  Maybe this is obvious, but I keep realizing every day that there's one more thing I can pick up and move without needing assistance.  I used to struggle with the 40lb bag of dog food and water softener salt, but not anymore.  I barely notice.  Daily activities are easier and faster for me now.
  • I can walk up stairs and steep hills without getting winded.  We haven't had winter since I started yet, but I'm actually looking forward to taking the kid sledding this year.  I used to dread the walk back up the hill.
  • My dancing has improved.  WTF you say?  Seriously - doing that many squats has definitely improved my dancing.  Can you go down low? :)
The vegetarian aspect of it was a little challenging, but Ty was fabulous in supporting me and helping me figure out vegetarian options for the nutrition plan.  He also helped me out when I hurt myself (not during workouts) and had to tone it down a bit for a couple weeks until I healed.  He's fabulously attentive and supportive, even from half a world away.  He wasn't just a picture on the website - I truly felt like I was working with him.

Not gonna lie - it took some getting used to the whole thing, especially the nutrition which is 90% of the program.  It is a TON of food.  Don't worry about going hungry at all.  Actually, I had a horrible time in the beginning trying to eat these insanely huge portions every 2-3 hours.  You need it though.  Now that my body is used to it, I don't have to look at the clock to see if I should eat again - I'm ready for more food right on schedule!  That's just how much my metabolism has changed.

More than anything else, I feel good.  The nutrition is strict and you have to stay on it without cheating for optimum success, but now that I am used to it, I can say that I honestly prefer to eat this way.  I eat good, fresh, natural food from the grocery - not pre-fab meals and a lot of supplements.  It's not costing me a fortune to eat.  I don't have the stomach issues I used to have, the number of migraines I have has dropped, and I've confirmed what I'm eating is doing great things for my body with blood tests.

I know what some of you are thinking - it wasn't the Legion Training program - you have a personal trainer as well!  You're right, I do now, but @savage_trainer didn't come along until I was about 2 weeks shy of completing the first round of Legion Training, and I didn't start working with him regularly until I was done with the first 11 week program.  If I hadn't already been doing Legion Training, I probably never would have met with @savage_trainer past the first "welcome to the gym" freebie session.  Today I still stick with the Legion Training nutrition, do the same cardio, and supplement the workouts I do with my trainer with Legion workouts.  [I actually think my trainer is considering joining the ranks of the Legion Army!]

Considering where I started, I still have a long way to get to my personal goals.  I'm definitely not posting any before and after pictures for public consumption at this point.  Maybe after the next round, but probably not until after the next TWO rounds.  Maybe.  :)

Some other benefits I wasn't expecting:
  • I've seen beautiful sunrises over the lake near my house on my morning LISS cardio walks.
  • My dog is getting a lot more walks, because I have more energy and I know it gets me a little extra cardio during the day.
  • I can fit into costumes I haven't worn in years.  Yeah, the cosplayer in me is seriously thinking of doing a gladiatrix costume at Dragon Con next year!
  • My bras stay on!  This wasn't at all expected, but my entire life has been spent yanking my bra straps up as they fall off my shoulders.  As I worked out my shoulders and they got rounder, the straps now stay up!  I had NO IDEA this was the problem.  I can wear tank tops now!
  • Last and possibly best, I met @savage_trainer, who has become not just my personal trainer and cover model for my books, but a good friend.  (You gals got a lot out of this one, too! ;) )
So to conclude all of this, I can't express enough how much Legion Training has benefited me.  I'm sure I've forgotten a dozen more ways my life has improved, but I can only list so many.  I will say this, though - whether you are fit person who wants to get a little more tone, a bodybuilder who wants to buff up more, or a housewife who has never done this before, Legion Training will work for you.  You CAN do it.  It's going to take some dedication - you can't half-ass it and expect it to work - but if you follow the plan you WILL see the results!

To Tyrone Bell and Liam McIntyre - GRATITUDE!

Shay Savage - Legion for Life