Books By C. LItka

Books By C. LItka

Friday, March 27, 2020

Sketch Map for The Prisoner of Cimlye

The view from Seaview House

I avoid putting maps in my ebook editions for several reasons. The first is that I don't know how they will display on both tablets and ebook readers.  And second, and perhaps more importantly, unlike a book where you can just flip back to the front of it to glace at the map, when needed, it seems a lot more work to do that on an ebook reader or tablet. I'm certain it is possible, and perhaps easy for readers adept at ebook readers, but well, I just prefer posting my maps here on blog, which can then be downloaded and printed out, if you, dear reader, wants them at hand.

Below is the rather simple map necessary for The Prisoner of Cimlye. It is just a detail from the larger maps of the Tropic Sea found in Sailing to Redoubt and here on my blog:

Sketch Chart for The Prisoner of Cimlye

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Prisoner of Cimlye - Coming Soon!

The Prisoner of Cimlye

C. Litka

The best laid plans “gang aft agley” as Robert Burns noted.

As did the hopes of Sella, Lessie, the Meys, and Taef Lang.

The Prisoner of Cimlye, a novel of some 54,000 words, is the sequel to Sailing to Redoubt. It takes up the story of Sella, Lessie, and Taef six months after the end of that first Tropic Sea novel, and ties up many of the loose ends left dangling at the close of that story.

For instance, was Lieutenant Taef Lang able to convince his commanding officer that duty required him to spend several months sailing the Tropic Sea in a 12 meter yacht with two beautiful girls – the delightful Sella and her twin sister, the less than delightful Lessie? And what did that powerful premonition Taef felt when the dour Lessie shyly waved goodbye to him foreshadow? And, of course, how did the governments of the three continents of the world react to the message that they carried back from Redoubt Island? Indeed, were Sella and Lessie able to convince their angry Grandfather to forgive them for so often making a fool of him, and welcome the new age that that message promised?

The answers to these and many other questions and mysteries can be found in the pages of The Prisoner of Cimlye, A Romance of the Tropic Sea.

C. Litka writes old fashioned novels with modern sensibilities, humor, and romance. He spins tales of adventure, mystery, and travel set in richly imagined worlds, featuring casts of colorful, fully realized characters. If you seek to escape your everyday life for a few hours, you will not find better company, nor more wonderful worlds to travel and explore, than in the novels of C. Litka.

Look for the release of The Prisoner of Cimlye in mid to late April 2020, exact date to be determined. The ebook version will be free*, as always!

*Except, perhaps on Amazon. $.99 if they choose not to price match their competitors 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Free Books for these Pandemic Days

I write lighthearted adventure stories. My stories feature characters that are deeper than cardboard cutouts, friendships, romance, and shared adventures set in rich, exotic worlds. And most of them are long stories, making them perfect stories for these science-fiction, pandemic times that finds many of us confined to our homes. And my ebooks are always free, world wide, at the ebook stores of Smashwords (which offers a mobi version that can be sideloaded and read on kindles), Apple, B & N, Kobo, and the Google Play Store. I must put a price on them for Amazon, but Amazon has been (mostly) good in price matching my free price in its US store. In its non-US stores they may offer one of my ebooks for free, but as I said, the mobi versions for kindles are free from Smashwords.

I expect to get paid for any work I do. (Though I avoid work for many years.) But daydreaming up my stories and setting them down in words is fun. And since writing is its own reward for me, I am more than happy just to share my fun with any reader with a taste in books similar to mine. That is why my ebooks are free, every day, in good times and bad.

My 2020 novel, The Prisoner of Cimlye is an epilogue to Sailing to Redoubt. In this short novel we return to Taef Lang the Raah twins, Sella and Liessie, six months after the end of Sailing to Redoubt. We learn what happened to Taef and the girls upon their return, and follow them as they find their way into their post Redoubt Island lives. The ebook is on track for a release in the early part of May 2020, if all continues to go well. I will post the exact date once the book nears the end of its proofreading process. Stay tuned.

And to everyone - take care!

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Friday, March 13, 2020

The Prisoner of Cimlye Cover

This is the cover for my 2020 novel, The Prisoner of Cimlye. The story is an epilogue, rather than a full sequel, to my last novel, Sailing To Redoubt. Though I left a lot of threads dangling at the end of that story, I had hoped tie them up one day with a sequel since I had a great deal of fun with those characters. But the more I thought about a sequel, the more I came to realized that I could not write a realistic story that would  rival their adventures in Sailing to Redoubt. However, there remained a small story that I could, and needed to tell. This is that story. It is a shortish novel at around 51,000 words in its second draft. I expect to release it in May 2020. Stay turned for further updates.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Prisoner of Cimlye

I am happy, and much relieved, to be able to announce that I have in hand the first draft of my next story, The Prisoner of Cimlye.

I set out on 1 February to get the first draft written by 29 February, and I made my deadline with more than an hour to spare. As I have noted in this blog, it has been a struggle for me to come up with a story that I liked enough to finish, so I am happy to have actually finished one.

I was able to achieve this remarkable feat of writing a story in a short month, not by some superhuman effort, but by the fact that I had set out to write a novella length story – of some 30,000 to 40,000 words in length. The current word count of the first draft is a little under 42,000 words, which actually puts it into the novel category. Be that as it may, it is a short novel, less than half the usual length of my stand alone stories, though I expect the word count will grow to around 45,000 words before it is all finished. Instead of cut, cut, cut like you’re supposed to do, I flesh out the scenes with the stage dressing that I don’t bother with the first pass through.

The Prisoner of Cimlye is an epilogue to Sailing To Redoubt. It is not ambitious enough to be called a sequel. It is just a story that ties up most of those loose ends that I left dangling at the end of Sailing to Redoubt.

I tell stories about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary adventures. I draw the story to a close when those extraordinary adventures reach their conclusion, and the characters move on to a more ordinary life. While I leave the possibility open for another set of adventures, they are optional. I would’ve liked to write a full sequel to Sailing To Redoubt someday, since I loved the characters. However, I came to feel that it would be impossible to write a story that would even equal what they discovered in Sailing To Redoubt. And since I like to keep my stories grounded in reality, I couldn’t bring myself to have Taef Lang find a lost civilization every time he turned around, like his hero Zar Lada. Plus, when I looked to the sisters Raah and Lang’s future, I didn’t see more sweeping adventures. Which is not to say their lives would be uneventful, but I would not be able to make them into an adventure story.

Still, I had all those loose ends that I had hoped to tie up some day. So I decided just to write a story that did just that. No pirates, storms, or impossible villains, just a story that takes up their lives six months after the end of Sailing to Redoubt. In it I recount what had happened to them since the end of that story, and what needs to be done to start their new lives. It is a quiet story, far closer to the literary end of the scale than to the adventure book end. I rather doubt that this is the sequel most readers would have chosen, but it is the one you’ll get, if all continues to go well. And if it does, expect to see it out sometime in May, 2020. Stay tuned for more updates.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Pirates of Amazon

As I noted in the previous post, a week or so ago at this posting, I discovered that someone had decided to try to make money with two of my books on Amazon (good luck with that!) in a very strange and silly way. Here is that story in full. I hope.

I would have never known about this person’s piracy except that for some reason that I can’t explain, they kept my name and title on the two books, A Summer in Amber and The Lost Star’s Sea. Because they did, on 22 Feb. they appeared alongside my legitimate books on my Author Page on Amazon. Going to the pirated books product pages, I found that they had been uploaded to Amazon on 19 Feb.

The pirates, however, had put on new, and bad, covers on the books, which annoyed me greatly. Using the “look inside” feature on the product page, one could see that this new cover was simply added on over the original cover, so that there were now two covers, and everything else about my book was the same, including the copyright info that identified the book as the Obooko (a free book site) version of the book. They even used my Amazon blurb for their own listing. I contacted Amazon, who, the next day, directed me to a special page for copyright violations.I filed my complaint.

I waited patiently for action or a response. At some point during the week, the pirated A Summer in Amber version disappeared from Amazon, whether by the actions of Amazon or by the pirates, I can't say. Perhaps the first person I had contacted at Amazon had acted without informing me of it, though that sounds unlikely. During this week, The Lost Star’s Sea price varied – it had no sales – and then went to free.

The affair came to a head on Friday, 28 Feb. Friday morning, The Lost Star’s Sea now had another new cover, a new title The Lost Star, and a new “author.” However, if you used the “look inside” feature, this new cover was just added on to the two covers it had before, making it a third cover, and nothing else on the inside was changed. Nothing, except the blurb, which was now just a random section of the story cut and pasted onto the blurb section of the listing. The Lost Star was still on the inside, The Lost Star’s Sea by C. Litka. One really has to wonder just what they were thinking.

Later Friday morning Amazon contacted me again for more information, which I provided. But when I looked again at the now The Lost Star, I found that the pirates had finally eliminated all but the new cover, and all the identifying information, adding only some nonsense page about legal limitations or some such thing – the same page they had added to a second, nonfiction business book that they had apparently pirated as well. I updated this information to Amazon.

I received two emails from Amazon on Friday afternoon. The first said that I would need to supply them with examples of the offending text, and that they would supply my email address to the pirates in order for them to respond, which annoyed me greatly, since what was going on was obvious – at least up to the final alteration which eliminated the clearly identifying information. However a second email had been sent, luckily before I read both, which said that the offending version had been pulled from the store, which was, indeed, the case. They did not, however, remove the other book these pirates had listed. Crime seems to go unpunished on Amazon. 

I should add that Goodreads, which is owned by Amazon picked up both of these pirate versions and listed with my legitimate books. I am trying to get them removed. We’ll see.

My take away from this affair is that anything goes on Amazon. The fact that the pirates could put up such a half-ass product with two covers, an ill formatted book – it showed hard page breaks from the likely PDF version of the book they used – of a book and blurb that was word for word what was already on sale on Amazon is pretty telling. If these pirates had simply uploaded their final version first – the one with a different title and author – I would never have known that they had done so. The fact is that if one posts a digital version of anything on the web, it will be pirated, and you might as well not lose any sleep over it. However, Amazon is not the web, it is a store owned by one of the richest people on the planet, and he’s seems to be simply unwilling to spend the money to keep his store clean. 

There could be dozens of pirates trying to make money off of my work, and, as I said, good luck with that. But what really annoyed me about this affair is that these pirates were putting out an inferior version of my product that had my name on it. I might loose sleep over that.

Hopefully the affair is at an end.