A Nostalgic Epiphany – Missing Books

Posted: March 20, 2014 in Books

Nostalgia 101

I miss buying books.

 

Buying Books

Oh, I still buy books. These days, I prefer reading e-books, so about 99% are digital. In fact, I have a very difficult time finishing a printed book. It gets left beside my bed or someplace else where I don’t think about it. The best books are those I have with me all the time on my e-reader of choice: my iPhone.

However, I went into a Barnes & Noble last week and stopped right inside where the tables of new releases are set up. Stacks of new mysteries, suspense, and thrillers beckoned. A table of young adult reads screamed Buy me! And I experienced a sudden nostalgia for my youth when I would enter a bookstore every couple of months searching for any new releases by my favorite authors. I devoured books, and the wait for the next story was interminable, building a deep longing until I found a new Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Robert A. Heinlein, or Edgar Rice Burroughs. Or in my middle-grade days, a new Tom Swift Jr. or Mr. Bass book.

What I miss is that anticipation. The wait. The hunt. The success!

And the anticipation didn’t end with the buy. It built all the way home, until I could finally find a quiet place, open my newest possession, and fall into a new and utterly fascinating world. Television couldn’t compete with the images these authors painted with words.

It’s just not the same with online buying, whether print or digital. Getting a new book in 60 seconds is great, but it comes with a price—a loss.

I stood in front of that table at Barnes & Noble, thumbing the gleaming covers, taking in the stimulating smell of ink, paper, and imagination, and felt the loss that it isn’t like it used to be.

Chiquitita

Love to hear your thoughts on the changing world of buying books and reading.

Photo Credits: Cindi via CompfightHistorias Visuales via Compfight

Free on Kindle – Perilous Cove

Posted: February 7, 2014 in Marketing

Perilous Cove Free on Kindle, Feb 8, 9, 10!

Perilous Cove will be available as a free download for Kindle reading devices and apps Saturday through Monday on Amazon. Please tell your friends! The goal is to have as many downloads as possible so the book’s ranking increases in the Amazon search pages.

Perilous Cove Novel ebook cover

3rd book of Perilous Safety Series now available!

Find it at Smashwords (for all reader hardware), and Amazon so far. More retailers coming soon.

I’m finishing up the print layout, and that edition will be shipping in February.

All she wants is some place safe.

All she wants is some place safe.

Cover for Desperation Falls

Posted: January 22, 2014 in Desperation Falls
Here is the final cover for Desperation Falls, Book 3 of the Perilous Safety Series.

The ebook will release on January 31st for Kindle. A print version will be available in February.

I wish I’d had this cover done when I was writing the book. Very inspiring! Great job by graphic artist, Rob Henslin.

Desperation Falls

Desperation Falls

Accurate Reviews

One reader said they couldn’t get into my book, Perilous Cove, because there was too much killing and violence. The person gave it a 1-star rating. So, they didn’t read the book, but felt qualified to review it.

Photo Credit - Rich Bullock

I’ve done a lot of writing since Perilous Cove, so my memory might be faulty but, if I remember right, no one is actually killed in the book (although a couple of people should be if there was justice in the world).

I can understand a person not liking a story because of too much violence, and Perilous Cove does start with a bang. However, I do wonder why the person bought it or got it as a free download in the first place. After all, it is a suspense novel!

Good thing they didn’t read and review Storm Song.

And I have to wonder, if Perilous Cove had “too much killing and violence,” what would the appropriate amount be? Half as much? Thirty percent?

Hmmm. Questions to ponder as I work on Desperation Falls, Book 3 of the Perilous Safety Series.

Progressing on Desperation Falls

Posted: September 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Falls

 

After a few months break editing a terrific inspirational memoir, I’m back at work on Desperation Falls, Book 3 of the Perilous Safety Series. Teal Kinshaw is stealing food from Lena’s cabin at Storm Lake, California, and Lena has just been introduced to Alex Storm:

Then she stopped breathing altogether as a man stepped forward from where he’d been hidden from view on the other side of the refrigerator. He had close-cut brown hair, hard eyes that took her in with a head-to-foot sweep, and a face that looked like someone had taken the flat of a shovel to it—more than once. This was a man who’d lived a hard life. Or still did. 

Still, there was something compelling about his dark eyes, the way they scanned her features from hair to chin, then lingered on her mouth. If there had been a sketch artist handy, Lena had no doubt Alex Stone could have given a perfect description of her. She reminded herself to breathe.

Lena knew before she accepted his outstretched hand it was a bad idea. She should have backed two steps out of the kitchen and fled to her Jeep. However, doing that and maintaining any semblance of decorum seemed remote, and she didn’t want to hurt Mrs. H’s feelings. Still, it might have been the safer choice.

Stone’s hand wrapped around hers, surprising her. It felt like a bricklayer’s might, toughened by years of working with … well, stone. Hands told a lot about a person. They could be soft, hard, sweaty, sullied by white-collar crime, trembling, or rough. 

Stone’s were strong enough to kill.

    Ahh, it’s good to be back at Storm Lake. I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

Worst Opening Lines

Posted: August 15, 2013 in Craft

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2013 – Winners!

The winners of the Bulwer-Lytton worst opening line contest for 2013 were announced awhile back. Bulwer-Lytton wrote the famous first line: “It was a dark and stormy night…” which went straight downhill from there.

Now the contest draws some of the most creative writers who work to construct the very worst of book beginnings. The overall winner this year is Chris Wieloch, from Brookfield, Wisconsin, and he deserves all the credit he can get for:

She strutted into my office wearing a dress that clung to her like Saran Wrap to a sloppily butchered pork knuckle, bone and sinew jutting and lurching asymmetrically beneath its folds, the tightness exaggerating the granularity of the suet and causing what little palatable meat there was to sweat, its transparency the thief of imagination.

If you dare, read the top entries and winners for all the categories by following this link.

They even reward the best Purple Prose:

He had a way with women that was at first endearing, then gradually engendered caution and finally outright rejection, like potato salad at a summer picnic. 

Penned by Paul Sutcliffe, Pittsburgh, PA

I marvel at the skill—nay the wily wretchedness—of these individuals. Congratulations to all!

New Smashwords Survey

Posted: May 9, 2013 in Publishing
Tags: ,

There is no better source for information in the indie publishing word than Smashwords’ Mark Coker. In his latest blog post, Mark provides data and analysis on trends in self-publishing. He covers everything from title length to price points to download stats.

Check out the Smashwords Annual Survey here.

And, as part of my ongoing marketing efforts, I’ll be offering the ebook version of my book, Perilous Cove, as a free download on Kindle, only at Amazon, on Sunday and Monday, May 12 & 13. My goal is to have as many downloads as possible, so tell all your friends! The more downloads, the more it helps my sales ranking, so please download it even if you’ve read it.

Top 10 Marketing No-No’s

Posted: April 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

If you’ve finished your great novel and are trying to figure out how to market it, here are some things to avoid! This link gives you all the contact information for other good posts.

Enjoy!

Perilous Cove is Now in Print, too!

Posted: December 8, 2012 in Publishing

Print versions of Perilous Cove are now available.

Great news, and just in time for Christmas. I’ll receive my first print copies on Monday, Dec. 10th, but you can order them now through Amazon.com or directly through the publisher at Createspace.com.

If you’re wondering what the difference is: Createspace is the print publisher, and is an Amazon company, but they pay slightly higher royalties when copies are purchased directly through them rather than through Amazon. Who knows why? Either way, I hope you’ll enjoy reading Perilous Cove.