Kobo Makes THE LOST EXPEDITION a "Best of the Month" Pick

Kobo Best of the Month PickKobo has made my just-released book, The Lost Expedition, the final book in the multi-award-winning trilogy, The Dream Rider Saga, a "Best of the Month" pick under Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Thank you, Kobo! Much appreciated.

You can check out all the best of the month picks on the Kobo site here.

Release Day for THE LOST EXPEDITION!

January 15 is release day for The Lost Expedition, the final book in The Dream Rider Saga, my multi-award-winning trilogy!

Print editions, both trade paperback and hardcover, actually came out last week, but only on Amazon.

Today, the ebook edition is available on all major retailers, including Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Google Play.

As well, the print editions are now available through Ingram around the world. So if you prefer reading a physical book but don't use Amazon, just ask your local bookstore or library to order The Lost Expedition from Ingram.

Here's a description of the book, plus some critical praise of the books in the series:
 
 
The Lost Expedition
 
Will is the Dream Rider, the superhero who walks in our dreams but never in the streets of his own city. Case is his girlfriend, a survivor of those streets who hears voices warning her of danger. Fader, her brother, is very good at disappearing.

In The Hollow Boys, they defeated a body swapper and a witch to save the world. In The Crystal Key, they battled warring cults to protect an ancient artifact tied to Will's affliction.

The Chakana. The Crystal Key. But the key to what? To finding answers, they hope, to the questions that rule their lives.

What caused their strange powers? And Will's crippling agoraphobia? Can he be cured? Why did their parents travel to the jungles of Peru eight years ago? Are they still alive?

Behind every question is the Chakana. What is the mysterious relic? Why will people kill to possess it? What hold does it have on Will?

As creatures from Inca myths haunt the three friends, another attack on the Chakana threatens Will's life. To save him and solve the mystery of the lost expedition, only one choice remains.

Return to Peru. With the Chakana.

There, they find friends and foes, both old and new. And behind it all, an unseen enemy moving them like pieces on a chessboard.

To win this deadly game, Will, Case, and Fader must master new powers to defeat the most dangerous adversary they've ever faced—a god.

At stake this time? Every life, every world, every universe. Everything.

Indiana Jones meets Teen Titans in The Dream Rider Saga, a fast-paced urban fantasy trilogy from “one of Canada’s most original writers of speculative fiction” (Library Journal).
 
 
Praise for The Lost Expedition (The Dream Rider Saga, #3)

BookLife just made The Lost Expedition an Editor's Pick. This means that every book in The Dream Rider Saga has received an Editor's Pick review, a sweep for the trilogy. The review highlights:

"Smith powers to an explosive conclusion in the finale of his Dream Rider series, a lavishly concocted ride brimming with magic, mystery, and mayhem [and] bursting with dark magic, beastly protectors, and a slew of extraordinary fantasy characters—including a sinister presence whose roots can be traced back to Incan rule.

Smith skillfully probes deeper messages behind all the fun, as the main players face the consequences of humankind’s disregard for the Earth—and each other.

Takeaway: Explosive conclusion to this spectacular fantasy joyride."

BookLife (Editor's Pick)"

 
Praise for The Hollow Boys (The Dream Rider Saga, #1)
 
2023 Aurora Award Winner for Best Young Adult Novel
2023 IAP Award Winner for Best Young Adult Novel

“This arresting series kickoff grips from the start as it introduces its inventive milieu, its flawed but fantastically powered hero, its playful worldbuilding, and a host of tantalizing mysteries. … [A] vigorously imaginative scenario. ... Takeaway: Thrilling YA fantasy” —BookLife (Editor’s Pick)

“An assured, confident novel... A must-read story for YA fantasy fans.” —Blueink Review (Starred review)

“Inventive, engaging, and boundless fun.” —The Ottawa Review of Books

“A fun supernatural tale with well-developed characters and a touch of romance.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
 
Praise for The Crystal Key (The Dream Rider Saga, #2)

“The richly inventive Dream Rider adventure continues in this second appealing entry…of Smith’s epic YA series. … An exciting plot…always enlivened by the Smith hallmarks of crack dialogue, fun sleuthing and puzzle-solving, a strong through-line of emotion, a swift pace…and a principled refusal to settle for the familiar. … This thrilling superpowered urban fantasy series continues to grip.” —BookLife (Editor’s Pick)

“Smith continues to demonstrate an ability to expertly weave multiple complex fantasy elements into a cohesive whole. … This fast-paced story delivers in a big way—and Smith has all his ducks lined up for an explosive conclusion that readers won’t want to miss.” —Blueink Review (Starred review)

“Smith’s take on superheroes and serials is both modern and original … High adventure leavened with romance and mystery. … The Crystal Key has everything that made The Hollow Boys work and turns it up a few notches. I can’t wait for the conclusion in The Lost Expedition.” —Ottawa Review of Books

“A fun and engrossing superhero sequel.” —Kirkus Reviews

~~~

Get your copy soon, as the ebook price will be going up shortly, from $2.99 to $4.99:

Buy The Lost Expedition

 

Last Chance to Pre-order THE LOST EXPEDITION

Today is the last day you can pre-order the ebook edition of The Lost Expedition, the final chapter in the multi-award-winning Dream Rider Saga trilogy. The ebook releases tomorrow on all major retailers, including Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Google Play. This is also your last chance to lock in the release price of only $2.99 USD as the ebook price will be going up shortly after release.

Here's a recent review:

“Smith powers to an explosive conclusion in the finale of his Dream Rider series, a lavishly concocted ride brimming with magic, mystery, and mayhem… [and] bursting with dark magic, beastly protectors, and a slew of extraordinary fantasy characters … Takeaway: Explosive conclusion to this spectacular fantasy joyride.” — BookLife (Editor's Pick)

Hope you'll check it out. You can find all the books in the series on your favourite retailer here.

THE LOST EXPEDITION is an Editor's Pick

BookLife has made The Lost Expedition: The Dream Rider Saga, Book 3 an Editor's Pick in a recent review. This means that every book in The Dream Rider Saga has received an Editor's Pick review, a sweep for the trilogy.

Here's the review:

"Editor's Pick: Smith powers to an explosive conclusion in the finale of his Dream Rider series, a lavishly concocted ride brimming with magic, mystery, and mayhem. Seventeen-year-old Will Dreycott is still struggling with feeling imprisoned in his Dream Rider Tower high above the streets of Toronto, and his girlfriend Case, though more connected to Will than ever, feels out of place in his wealthy world. While the two struggle to make sense of their superhuman powers—Will can astral project while he’s asleep, and Case’s inner Voice serves as a harbinger—they feel a desperate urge to uncover the truth behind their missing parents and decipher the secrets of the Chakana, a hard-won, strange relic somehow connected to their powers—and to Will’s life.

From there, their saga grows exponentially more dangerous—and hefty, as this concluding chapter is long, a novel for lovers of inventive fantasy-adventures to wallow in. With Case’s brother, Fader, who possesses superpowers in his own right, and Adi, the CEO for Will’s empire, the heroes must contend with Will’s growing powers but weakening health, in the midst of epic battles with rune-casting witches, supernatural beings that inhabit others’ bodies, and much more—Smith continually conjures surprises. At the heart of it all are Will and Case’s nagging suspicions that they’re “being moved like pieces on a board.”

The payoff for the group is worth it in the end, as they finally get the answers they’ve been searching for—about Case and Fader’s mother, the Chakana’s riddles, and surprising truths from Will’s own background. The road to those answers is decidedly rocky, bursting with dark magic, beastly protectors, and a slew of extraordinary fantasy characters—including a sinister presence whose roots can be traced back to Incan rule. Smith skillfully probes deeper messages behind all the fun, as the main players face the consequences of humankind’s disregard for the Earth—and each other. The series is best enjoyed when read in order.

Takeaway: Explosive conclusion to this spectacular fantasy joyride." BookLife (Editor's Pick)

The Lost Expedition is available now in print (both paperback and hardcover) and will be released in ebook format on all major retailers on January 15. You can preorder the ebook edition until then.

Three Things I Learned from Writing The Lost Expedition

Fellow writer, Matty Dalrymple, interviews me on three things I learned from writing my most recent novel, The Lost Expedition: The Dream Rider Saga, Book 3.

The Lost Expedition, by the way, is available for pre-order here and will be released on January 15.

Looking Back on 2023

2023 Aurora Award trophy and bookAt the end of another year, I'm going to be uncharacteristically non-Canadian for a moment and brag about a few things that happened in what was a very successful and enjoyable writing year.

  • March: The Crystal Key: The Dream Rider Saga, Book 2 is released. A repeated theme in reviews: "Even better than the first book!"
  • April: Like The Hollow Boys before it, The Crystal Key receives an "Editor's Pick" from BookLife and a "Starred" review from BlueInk.
  • May: My short story "Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" is a finalist in the juried Alberta Magazine Awards for fiction.
  • July: My SF / private eye mashup tale "Oregon Shooters" appears in On Spec, my 5th time in that excellent Canadian speculative fiction magazine.
  • August: The Hollow Boys: The Dream Rider Saga, Book 1 wins Canada's 2023 Aurora Award for Best Young Adult novel.
  • September: My short story "If I Should Fall Behind" appears in The Magazine of Fantasy Science Fiction, my dream market and one of the most prestigious in speculative fiction.
  • October: My fourth novel, The Lost Expedition, the final book in the Dream Rider trilogy is finished, edited, and sent to my ARC team.
  • November: The Hollow Boys wins the 2023 juried IAP Award for Best Young Adult novel

So, yeah, it's been a great year for me as a writer. Many of you have been with me on this ride for many years. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and for being a fan.

You can find all of my books at your favourite retailer or buy directly from me.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and rewarding 2024!

THE LOST EXPEDITION Releases in January!

Question mark symbolThe wait is over!

Print editions, both trade paperback and hardcover, of The Lost Expedition: The Dream Rider Saga, Book 3, the conclusion of the multi-award-winning trilogy, will be released, initially on Amazon only, on January 8, 2024.

A week later, on January 15, the ebook editions will drop on all major retailer platforms, including Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Google Play.

Also on January 15, the print editions will be available through Ingram around the world. So if you prefer reading a physical book but don't use Amazon, just ask your local bookstore or library to order The Lost Expedition from Ingram. Better yet, tell them to order the entire series: The Hollow Boys and The Crystal Key, too.

A final reminder to pre-order The Lost Expedition before its release on January 15, as the price will be going up shortly after that date.

Horror, SF, Fantasy Author Jonathan Pongratz Interviews Me

Horror, SF, Fantasy author Jonathan Pongratz interviewed me back in October about my books and stories, my writing process, and a bunch of other topics in a wide-ranging interview that he has now posted on his website here. Check it out!

The Hollow Boys Wins the Juried IAP Award for Best YA Novel

The Hollow BoysMy YA urban fantasy novel, The Hollow Boys (The Dream Rider Saga, Book 1), has won the juried Indie Author Project (IAP) award for Best YA Novel in the Ontario region. The award comes with a $1,000 prize. 

The Indie Author Project is a publishing community that works with librarians across North America and top curation partners, including Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, to highlight "the best indie-published ebooks each region has to offer in adult and young adult fiction." The juried competition runs in 15 US states and two Canadian provinces and considers hundreds of titles from indie authors each year.

The IAP award has been running since 2018, is free to enter, and is aimed at bringing indie titles of note to the attention of librarians, especially those in charge of acquiring titles. Winning titles appear in a full page spread in Library Journal, one of the IAP's partners. 

The format will change in 2024, moving from a regional competition to a genre-based award. Indies will be able to submit in a specific genre (romance, mystery & thriller, SF & fantasy, historical fiction, general fiction, memoir, and young adult), plus the cash prize is increasing from $1,000 per regional winner to $2,500 per genre winner and $500 for each genre finalist.

So, The Hollow Boys has now won the both the 2023 Aurora Award and the 2023 IAP award for Best Young Adult novel. Just sayin'...

You can purchase The Hollow Boys and the rest of The Dream Rider Saga from your favourite retailer here.

Pre-order The Lost Expedition

Question mark symbolSince The Hollow Boys just won the Aurora Award and The Crystal Key has been out for a few months, this seems like perfect time to remind you that the third and final book in The Dream Rider Saga trilogy: The Lost Expedition, is available for pre-order ahead of its release on all retailers on January 15, 2024.

You can see that gorgeous cover in all its full-sized glory by clicking on the image to the right. Jeff Brown is the cover artist for all of The Dream Rider titles, and I've loved each one he's done. But if I had to pick a favorite, it would be The Lost Expedition.

I provided a code earlier to get the first two books in the trilogy at a discount in my online store. That code will expire soon, so don't delay.

If you want to get a deal on The Lost Expedition, then you're best to pre-order it below from your favorite retailer. Its price will go up shortly after it comes out.

Pre-order The Lost Expedition

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