I had to put down the sci-fi thriller I was working on. I just wasn't feeling it right now. What I was feeling was the urge to start on the Progeny sequel. So that's what I've done. Many of you have been asking about the sequel, and, well, here it comes!
What is the story?
That's top secret. No, not really, but without giving too much away for those who haven't read Progeny yet, the sequel will take place between the last chapter and the epilogue. It will focus on those left behind, leading up to the phone call that Progeny ended with. Book III will then pick up from that phone call.
There were more than a few reviews on Amazon wishing there had been more character development for the peripheral characters. Well, this is where we will get all that.
There were also some VERY angry reviews (that are kind of scary, actually - the vehemence and rage that some people have in their hearts over a story they probably didn't even pay for quite disturbing from a societal perspective) suggesting that I hate women. I'm still trying to understand those comments (not really). Some of them made absolutely no sense whatsoever. The women in the story, for those of you who haven't read it, find themselves as victims of unique circumstance. The story is as much about freeing them from those circumstances as it is our heroes trying to get home (I would destroy the credibility of such reviews here, but I cannot do so without giving away what happens in Book I for those who haven't read it yet). In any case, the sequel will feature some tough, complex female roles.
In Book I, I wasn't able to flush out some of my favorite characters simply because I did not have the space to do so. With all the information that was needed to establish the reality base for the story, I had to keep out certain things that I otherwise would have loved to include. And I know that this is the very reason some people didn't like Progeny - because there was too much information for them - but the book was not written for them. As I'm going through Progeny again, making notes for the sequel, I'm finding myself amazed all over again at the bizarre and unexplained information that I spent months and months researching for the story. The people who love the book are those who, like me, find themselves fascinated by the information, checking out the bibliography and Googling the facts presented. Obviously, those who couldn't care less about how in the world the pyramid complex was built (and when) would find all this information boring. But, like I said, Progeny is for those who find the topics intriguing. Like I do. Which is why I wrote it.
With that said, however, Book II will not contain as much information since our resident archaeologist will not be there to inform us of all that is strange when it comes to the mysteries in our world's past. This will be an action-packed, suspense thriller with giants, demons, and deep characters. There will be a mystery that is uncovered that will help propel the story into Book III, and there will even be a love story in there somewhere, but Book II will be built upon the foundation of facts that was presented in Book I.
I'm excited to revisit the island, to flush out some of the other characters, and to include some of the scenes and characters that didn't make the edit into Book I (and even some scenes from Noahic - the precursor to Progeny). The cover is being worked on right now, and I'm really excited about that, too. As to how long it will take me to write...I have no idea. The story should be more of a joy to work on and less of a project, but I have these three things here with me, crying, pooping, climbing into my lap, begging me to play with them...what are they? Oh, yes. Children (they don't all poop and cry - just the new one). And that other thing I have...called a job - which sucks (but I'm thankful I'm employed). And then there's the wife. Who says she supports my writing but can have a funny way of showing it sometimes:-) All things considered, hopefully it's sooner rather than later...so stay tuned. I'll post the cover art as soon as I have it.
Happy New Year, everyone!!! Hope you had a great holiday.
This novella was not planned. I had no idea I was going to write it. I mean, I had already started another book, for goodness sake.
But...I was in Cape May, sitting on the beach when these darn seagulls kept flying over to us, trying to steal food...or something. We didn't always have food with us. It was pretty annoying. I had to nap armed with a rolled up shirt in-hand so that whenever I felt the hovering presence about to land on my head, or a shadow fell across my face, I could snap it at the scavenger bird and send it away. I think I may have gotten one a couple times. One of my family members actually got nicked on the nose by one of their beaks, drawing blood! I've never seen seagulls act so aggressively annoying before.
So...as I watched all my fellow beachers fighting with these pesky birds, a story started to unfold in my mind. I had a notepad with me for my book already in progress, but I found myself instead writing out scenes inspired by what was happening around me. I thought that maybe it might turn into a short story, ten pages perhaps, but a month later, I had a whole novella.
And now, that novella is published and available for .99 cents on your Kindle (Nook soon) and under $5 in paperback. It's supposed to be a fun read, nothing deep or fancy, just a quick escape to the beach... So, if you're interested, there you have it.
Also, PROGENY will be on sale for .99 in the Kindle Store and for Nook from Dec 25 through Dec 27! Merry Christmas!!!
So I understand that it has been a LONG time since I've blogged about anything. It's hard enough for me to sit down and spew forth something that someone else might care about, but the last few months have been insane! But I won't drag you into my personal life - it's off limits anyway:-) But I will redouble my efforts at trying to remain somewhat relevant in this blog-eat-blog world of spotlight reflection, if only to let you know I'm still alive and that I have books I want you to buy. I mean read. Because I want you to read my books so bad, I have once again taken up the .99 cent approach. Unable to bribe my way into a promo spot for the next two months on the site that has brought me pretty much all of my success, I decided to get the jets going in the tide pool. I don't expect the crashing waves of a surging front to bring thousands of new readers to my shores, but if I can just get some nice rolling waves in the kiddie pool, then that would be okay for the next couple months. SO... For the first time, ALL four of my novels are now available for both Nook and Kindle (and paperback, of course). And for as long as I feel like it, they will be .99 each. I'm not going to try and talk you into getting them. In fact, I'd much rather you pay $5 for them. It's the difference between me getting about .33 and $3.33 each sale. A lot of people will have to buy my books at .99 for me to be able to hit all those other bills that just seem to slip out of my salary's reach every month, but hey... it's not really about that is it? I don't write to eat - though that would be amazing, and I'm tantalizingly close to attempting a sellout just to do so, but for now... I write because I have to. I publish because I want to share my stories with people like me, that like what I like, that might relate to some of the craziness in my head. Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who are not like me (which is fine, diversity is holy) that decide to read my stories. The evidence of these misadventures can be found in all the one and two-star Amazon reviews. But don't read them. Please. Unless you're so unlike me and my readers that reading them will prevent you from spending .99 and writing a scathing review on how terrible a person I am. For the .33 I will get from your purchase, I'll gladly trade it for your silence! Where is this all going? I have no idea. I haven't done this since our free sampler was released! Which, by the way, is FREE. Check it out on the main page. People I am unworthy to be paired with deserve your readership (and hopefully you give my A Man Overboard a shot, too)!
I guess I'll let you go now after that long and grammatically negligent paragraph. First, however, I'll give you a little taste of what's to come.
A fan of mystery thrillers? Not sure which book to try next (I know, I know...your to read list is probably long enough to reach the moon already, but there's always room for more;)? So why not try a free sample of eight great stories? You can download Mysteries Thrills and Spills straight from here. Have a Kindle or a Kindle app? How about a Nook? Kobo? Something? Well, just click on the links below to download the file and jump into the first chapters of multiple intrigues.If you want to know how all these people are, visit the main page of my site and you can click on any of their names to be taken to their sites as well as the Amazon pages for their books.
The ebook is complete with book descriptions, blurbs, links to buy, authors' sites, etc.
Go ahead, take a look and help spread the word!
Download MOBI file for Kindle or
Download EPUB file for most anything else
Here's your chance to gift your Valentine (yeah, I know, I'm exploiting the holiday...but what else is it for?) three free novels! That's right! My mystery/thriller A MAN OVERBOARD, along with Doug Dorow's THE NINTH DISTRICT and John R Kess' ELLY'S GHOST will be listed as free in the Kindle store Feb 14th through the 16th. It would make a perfect gift for that special someone who enjoys mystery, action, and adventure. And of course, you can always get it for yourself:)
Check them out and read the reviews and stuff to see if they might float your boat (or that of your lover!), and then be sure to grab them on one of the free days. Click on the images below to be redirected to the Amazon pages. They will be free in all Kindle stores, so if you're in the UK or something, check your respective sites!
At some point this past summer, before the football season started, I was typing out the last couple chapters of my recently released mystery thriller, A MAN OVERBOARD. The story's climax takes place (or rather took place now) on October 17th. So this scene that I was writing is on the evening of the 17th. My character walks down into his den and flips on SportsCenter. In writing this scene, I quickly checked the Monday Night Football schedule to see what the last football game would've been. Denver and San Diego. Hmm... Now, this was in the summer while all the talk about Peyton Manning was still one of the top stories every week. How was he going to perform? Would he be ready? Would he be a bust? I went out on a limb and made a prediction, though a prediction guarded and protected by creative license...so there was no real danger in getting it wrong. But in my little scene, my character, upon turning on the TV, becomes immediately inundated with more talk of "Peyton Manning's fourth quarter comeback against the Chargers."
On the 17th, which was two days ago now, I realized that it was the date of my book's climax and I began composing a tweet about it. I was halfway through the tweet when the realization struck me. I'd gotten it right. And not only right but dead right. In the months leading up to the game, I secretly imagined how great it would be to actually have my scenario come true, but figured that the chances were pretty slim. But I was looking forward to watching the game just to see. It'd be fun to watch if the game looked like it could swing that way. Well, I watched the first half of the game completely ignorant to what I was watching - that this was the game I'd been thinking about for the last three months. The Broncos were down 24-0 at halftime, and I popped in a movie. When the movie was over, I put the game back on just to see how it turned out. The game was still on and the Broncos were down 21-24. But there was enough time left, and I knew they were going to win. You don't shut a team out in the second half and score three touchdowns just to come up short. And so I watched the Broncos beat the Chargers in what was "one of the biggest regular-season comebacks in NFL history." Unfortunately, I wasn't enjoying it as much as I should have, because I was still completely clueless that this was the game - that game.
So I'm in the middle of my tweet, and it hits me. "Wait a sec!" I get up, run to my shelf, grab my proof copy of A MAN OVERBOARD and flip to the back of the book. And read my prediction with a smile on my face. "Nailed it!"
It's not very often you get to predict something like that. I guess it was kind of gutsy using a real NFL game rather than just making up some random fictitious match. But, then again, how many people would really have noticed either way? And now that the game is over and the book is out, most people will just read the scene in full appreciation of the SportsCenter commentary but completely unaware that it was written before Peyton Manning took his first snap in the regular season donning the orange and blue.
Hopefully, this NFL prediction is the only thing that comes true in the novel. Though the more I watch the news (which I can't really stomach anymore), I'm less and less optimistic that something akin to my fiction could show up on my TV screen one day soon. I mean, I just woke up to read the headline: "U.S. Congress introduces bill ordering FEMA to conduct 'mass fatality planning'" And I've already known about "Department of Homeland Security buying up enough ammo to wage seven-year war." You can click on the link, but as you'll see, the MarketWatch announcement is no longer there. But that would be 450 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow points acquired by an American domestic task force. That's almost two bullets for every man, woman and child in the US. Along with the ammunition (that isn't used for target practice or on the battlefield - the use of hollow points is a breach of the Geneva Convention), DHS has also acquired tens of millions of dollars worth of bullet-proof roadway checkpoint booths featuring level-3 bulletproof glass, and assault vehicles (I've also read that they're cabling off the shoulders of many roads, making it impossible to pull a U-turn...but that's just something that I read). Also, the U.S. government has purchased $400,000 worth of potassium iodide pills...the kind of pills you take to avoid damage to your thyroid in the wake of radioactive fallout. Put these recent developments in line with all the Continuity of Government legislation that's been passed over the last twelve years (some of it Bush wouldn't even let Congress see) and you begin to wonder... What is our government getting ready for? Zombie apocalypse? 12.21.12? Civil war? Martial Law? WWIII? But I digress... this post is about much more important things, like being able to predict comebacks on Monday Night Football!
A MAN OVERBOARD is up in the Kindle Store! Paperback will be available shortly. This is a much different book than my others. It's simple and quick in comparison! I'm also waiting to see what the reaction will be to the alternative epilogue linked to my site. This novel was fun to write. I started out intent on making it a short story, but it kind of took a life of its own. It's a short novel at under 70,000 words, but the paperback is still 328 pages due to its smaller trim size and its easy-to-read spacing. And so now I sit back and nervously await those first few reviews... Or I lose myself in my current WIP (a supernatural suspense novel).
That's right! My new mystery thriller A MAN OVERBOARD is nearing the finish line and will hopefully be published in September. I'm excited about the novel for a couple of reasons. First, it's a new genre for me. It's also a lot shorter than anything I've done so far. Thirdly, it's written for mass market, so I'm hoping to gain more readers through it. I'm waiting on the edit while I add a piece of back story that will better explain one of the recurring themes. I'm also working on an alternate ending. Yup. An alternate ending. I plan on having a link to my website at the end of the book, where people can go and read the alternate ending for free on my site. We'll see how that goes:) No, it's not just a ploy to drive people to my site (though I hope it does:). I simply couldn't decide which ending to go with!
So what is A MAN OVERBOARD anyway? Well, for a little preview (I don't want to give too much away, I love a blind journey and don't want to spoil it for the others that do as well), a man and his wife go on a cruise. In the middle of the night, masked men awaken our POV and toss him into the ocean. Miraculously, he survives the fall and is rescued. But that's about as good as the news in going to get. Because he soon finds out that his wife is missing. And, upon returning home, his mother-in-law and son are gone without a trace as well. And then, of course, someone tries to burn down his house...
Sound interesting? As always, I'll be waiting with fingers crossed for the first reviews to roll in. But in the mean time, I should go finish the back story:)
You know those old guys that started this country back in the day? Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, etc...? Yeah, I didn't think so. Because if you did, you'd see straight through all this propaganda that has taken the news channels by storm lately. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the 2nd Amendment. "Ah!" you say, "I've heard of that! That's the piece of the Constitution that allows us to hunt ducks! The President just said that a couple weeks ago, that we Americans take our hunting very seriously!" Sigh. Well, since you haven't read the founders and since no one on TV would be caught dead quoting them, how bout we take a quick look at what the 2nd Amendment was really put in place for and why the founders considered it the patriotic duty of every civilian to be armed. It wasn't, as the mainstream media is so cleverly brainwashing you to believe, to hunt. Or even to protect yourself (though that was obviously part of it).
THE 2ND AMENDMENT DEBATE is obviously all over the corporate news channels, all of them debating or yelling about bans and more laws, etc. But as I listen to the debates on FOX and CNN I'm absolutely astounded that no one is addressing the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. Either they're ignorant of it or they don't want to engage the country in the real debate. I'm not saying we need more guns or less guns, I'm just saying, if you're going to debate the subject, have the right debate! The Amendment isn't only there so that citizens can protect themselves from crime. And so all this talk about how we have police now and don't need to arm ourselves is irrelevant. That's not why we have the right to bear arms. And the talk about not needing to have assault rifles to defend ourselves is also irrelevant in the face of the Amendment's true purpose.
"The government is likely to be well-administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism." - Ben Franklin
"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence...to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place of honor with all that is good. A free people out to be armed." - George Washington
"The best that we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." - Alexander Hamilton
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive." - Noah Webster
There are tons of these quotes you can find from the founders that give you a clear picture of why the 2nd Amendment was actually written (some of the quotes are debated on line, but there are undeniably enough established quotes to convey the clear intent of the amendment even if some are found to be fraudulent). The purpose of bearing arms is to ensure the longevity of the Constitution. To ensure that the government will always be run by the people for the people. It's to make sure the government fears the people rather than the other way around. It's the safeguard against tyranny and oppression. It's to make sure that no Hitler comes to power here. That is the purpose of the 2nd Amendment, not just so we can protect ourselves from crime. Like I said, if we've gotten to a point in this nation where we're ready to open the door to those possibilities, banning what the founders considered to be the only thing keeping the government they were creating from ever turning against the people...then let's have that debate. I saw Stephen Baldwin praising the Patriot Act while saying the founders would have done something different had they could've seen the way technology would advance (implying that people shouldn't have machine guns, etc). But, like everyone else talking on TV, he misses the point. Based on the founder's writings, the people are to be armed so as to repel a Congressional army. O'Rielly wants all high-powered weapons registered with the FBI and agents following the person around. But that would completely defeat the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. All these windbags blowing smoke in the wake of these sad tragedies are disgusting and are only mocking the memories of the victims. If you're going to debate, have a real debate, not a manufactured one in which you rewrite all the definitions in order to steer people to a forgone-conclusion of your own making. If you're going to debate the 2nd Amendment, be honest about why it was written and then go from there. Thomas Jefferson said, "Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not." If the nation no longer feels this way, THEN the debate can shift to self-protection, victim-disarmament, guns in the hands of drugged-up wackos and gang members, whether or not a sinking culture should be armed, whether we trust the government and any future one well enough to completely subject ourselves to it. There should also be a debate as to how relevant the purpose for the Amendment even is anymore. Obviously citizens are now completely outmatched by law enforcement and intelligence agencies and the military. If the nation did plunge into tyranny, armed as we are now, could we even adhere to the Constitution's instruction of overthrow? If not, then what's the point of still being armed for this purpose?
If there is a "gun control" debate, it should be this: has government evolved to the point where its people can hand over its guns? Can we trust that our government (especially in the wake of Patriot acts, extraordinary rendition, the threat of martial law, etc...) will never turn into anything other than a government for the people by the people? That should be 2nd Amendment debate, because that's what it is about. Keeping the government honest. Every dictatorship in the past can be seen first registering guns then confiscating guns and then taking over their defenseless subjects. Would that ever happen here? Who knows. But the founders included the 2nd Amendment so that door would never be opened. Do we want to open it? And, another question that must be asked, is why our government wants to take the guns away. When the founders put in place a prevention against tyranny, why are those we elected to uphold the Constitution wanting to remove that fail safe? To protect the victims of senseless crime? Then why aren't they even bringing the true meaning of the Amendment to light? Why are they trying to trick the masses into giving up hunting rights in order to protect innocent lives rather than having a real debate about giving up the right to protect themselves against a tyrannical government in order to protect innocent lives?
I just want a real debate!
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “The Negative Effects of a Low Average.” It basically showed how a low rating on a book could really hurt its Select promo days, as I believed it did mine. The first time I ran a Select promo was with my novel The Solomon Key. I had it listed on a couple sites and tweeted about it. At this point, it didn’t have any reviews. I sold 1,800 free copies over the two-day sale. With my Select days about to expire, I figured I’d finish them out over a three-day weekend. By now, I had one review on Amazon. 5 stars. Well, don’t you know that the day before the promo, a 1 star review pops up, giving it a 3 star avg. 2 Reviews, 3 stars… not the best. However, I then went over to the Kindle store in the UK and found that it had two ratings. Both 1 star. Grrrr… Well, over those three days, I sold about 400 copies of The Solomon Key, the negative reviews killing my promotion.
Now, my other novel, Progeny, is a different story. This novel has 15 reviews with a 5 star avg. I scheduled Select days to run the 14th-16th and then decided to run a one day primer this past Sunday – Easter. I didn’t schedule it with any sites, didn’t send out any emails, nothing. All I did was tweet. A lot. And with only 1500 followers, there was no guarantee I would have much success. Especially coming off the three-day Solomon Key debacle.
But the power of high averages and good reviews seemed to make all the difference in the world. Whereas my 3-star Solomon Key sold 400 copies over three days, Progeny sold over 1,500 in one. So yeah, it seems that reviewers really do make a difference in the author’s success. Which is why we Indies need the people that like us to review our novels on Amazon in order to counterbalance those that hate us! I’ll let you know how my “primer” impacts my upcoming three-day promo! In the mean time, check out the trailer for Progeny on the front page!