Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ebook Marketing Coming Soon

Some incredible news to share with you today, dear readers.

I've been working on an article about marketing eBooks, asking for ideas from fellow authors on what works/what doesn't, and trying some new things myself.  This isn't going to be just the standard bland article on social media marketing - you can find that anywhere.  What I've been working on is searching for real-world "how-to's" that truly work so that I can hopefully help the other indie writers out there with some actual, practical things that have real results.  That's all coming this September.

But the purpose of my note to you today is that I tried something totally new myself within this past week - and have had some pretty amazing results.  I don't know about you, but I'm pretty happy when I can sell a handful of books every month.  Well today - and I'm still in shock, mind you - I've had a whopping fifty-three sales today.

Yes, that's a big 5-3 total book sales as of this writing - and all in ONE DAY.  This blows my previous best day out of the water.

Now I've got to find a way to keep up with the momentum.  And don't worry, I will include this lovely tidbit in the article to be posted in just over a month's time.  It's my goal to help you also be able to sell that many and more in one day.

Remember also - all my books are ninety-nine cents now through Labor Day on all eBook outlets such as:

Amazon - Running into the Darkness
Barnes & Noble - Running into the Darkness
Smashwords - Running into the Darkness

Amazon - Piercing the Darkness
Barnes & Noble - Piercing the Darkness
Smashwords - Piercing the Darkness

So stay tuned for the article in September!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Running into the Darkness eBook Giveaway

Hello dear readers - its time for a summer giveaway!  Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for 25 eBook copies of the first novel of the Deepest Darkness series, Running into the Darkness.

There are several ways you can enter.  The contest is open through midnight on Labor Day (that's September 2nd).  Even though there's plenty of time, don't delay too long. 

If you've already read the book, don't worry!  You can always gift your free copy to family or friends - IF you win, that is.  With 25 copies, though, your chances are good.

“I never intended to kill the President. As a doctor, I swore an oath to protect life – not take it. But that was before...”

Second year resident, Dr. Samantha Bartlett, is swept from the frigid New York winter to once again confront the sting of death back home – and face those she left behind. But she’s not alone. A strange man she dubs Shades haunts her every step as she seeks answers to the inferno which claimed her grandmother, an eerie reminder of her parents’ deaths. The secrets Samantha uncovers forever change her image of those she only thought she knew.

Confronted by Shades, Samantha joins a secret underworld known only as the Elite, where a web of power and control is woven deep within governments worldwide. Their sights are set on the power structure of the United States, and Samantha becomes the unlikely key to infiltrating the White House at its most intimate levels.

The quest for blood threatens to destroy Samantha. From the darkness there is no escape.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 18, 2013

To Murder a Saint w/ Nicole Loughan

I enjoy a good short story or novella length book, don't you?  They're short, sweet and to-the-point, a great way to catch a read when you don't have all day to lounge around the house.  That's what we have in Nicole Loughan's To Murder a Saint - that is, except for the sweet part.  After all, it is death and destruction.

Book Summary
“The ground is too wet… If you bury the dead here, they can come back.”

Her father always warned her that the bayou was a mysterious and dangerous place. She never suspected that the greatest danger of her life was lurking in New York City.

Before their bags are unpacked one of two Creole girls in fresh from Louisiana is found savagely murdered in New York. All the clues point to a wild animal, a perplexing development for a third floor apartment. Lacking a suspect the police accompany the murdered girl’s French speaking roommate back to her reclusive Southern Louisiana town in search of a lead. They are met with a warning that the killer is not finished yet and learn that this is not the first mysterious death in the family.
My Review
I really enjoyed this novella, a mix of horror, mystery, and suspense all bottled into one.  But, as usual for me, the culprit was obvious early on.  Don't let that stop you from reading though - I'm just plain weird!
Fanchon and Josephine are two beautiful young Louisiana bayou girls trying to break free into the more cultured lifestyle of New York City's fashion and music havens.  Fanchon is a musician trying to make it in the big city, which immediately drew me to her.  Music always speaks to me. :-)  When Fanchon comes home from a miserable blind date her world is turned upside down by the grotesque murder of her sister-like roommate.
Besides being suspect number one, Fanchon has to cope with the loss of her dear friend, face the family back home, and grapple with whether NYC and her dreams are in the future, a jail cell, or having to tuck tail and stay in Louisiana, where Josephine's go-nowhere brother has eyes for her.
Then there's Detective Banyon's ridiculous assumption that maybe it wasn't a man who killed Josephine.  Maybe it was something else, something more gruesome, something that Fanchon never saw coming.
Now her life is in danger, just like Madame Du' Ponde warned.
Only a couple of issues really stood out to me.  There were some editing issues but not anything that made me stop reading to go back - mainly my little pet peeve of using the wrong there, their, or they're gave me a touch of heartburn.
The only other thing is just a personal issue.  If you don't want a spoiler then skip the remainder of this paragraph.  All done?  Okay, here comes the spoiler - can't say I didn't give you enough warning!  The perp ends up being retired military.  I get it that there are some rogue members of our military, but they are usually so few and far between, but those are typically the only ones the media likes to talk about.  Seems right now there's so many books out there that portray military personnel as unhinged and just plain psycho.  I've known many honorable servicemen and servicewomen in my lifetime.  Their sacrifices in countless ways we will never be able to repay.  But again, this is fiction and other than the military component, I really liked how the different sides of this psycho were portrayed.  Quite creepy and otherwise very good.
So not counting the personal issue I had, this was a very good read and I recommend it.  I just may re-read it again as well.  I really liked Fanchon, the whole realistic and respectful portrayal of the Cajun atmosphere, and the horrible predicament in which Fanchon is trapped.  Enjoy!
Soon you can also catch the release of her second novella in this series, All Saints' Day Secret coming in August.  I'm looking forward to reading it too.
Author Bio
Nicole is an award winning journalist. She was awarded first place in feature writing by the Michigan Press Association for her story “Family Keeps the Faith.” She also writes two regular features for Calkin’s Media, “My Bucks County” and “Fresh Offerings.” She has a regular gig as Happenings Media syndicated Columnist, “The Starter Mom.
Follow Nicole:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sizzling Summer eBook Sale

Yo-yo-yo, check it out!

Yeah, sorry about that.  My son is a huge Robin Hood Men in Tights fan and has been on a movie kick between classes this summer.

Speaking of summer, I'd love for you to check out the eBook sale on my books today through Labor Day.  Yes, that's right!  Through Labor Day I'm offering a ninety-nine cent special on Running into the Darkness and Piercing the Darkness.  If you or someone you know are looking for something to read by the pool this summer, pick up a copy for your Kindle, Nook, I-Pad, or any eReader you utilize.  It's available right now on Smashwords and Amazon and should be updated within the next few days on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel, Apple, and Sony.

Take advantage of this hot deal while the summer is sizzling.  Happy reading!

Running into the Darkness

Piercing the Darkness

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Interview Extravaganza

Kellie Larsen Murphy, fellow author of A Guilty Mind, visitor here and blog contributor, graciously invited me over to her blog today for an interview as a follow-up to my virtual tour.  I love her blog subtitle, the dog ate my novel...  Tee-hee!

Anyway, if tonight you find yourself in need of entertainment that won't rot your brain too badly, run on over to Kellie's blog and check out the great questions she asked.  Then stick around and read some of her recent posts concerning marketing.  What a great resource for authors!

Oh, and here's the promised link.  Happy reading!

A Ghostly Giveaway

It's so nice to be able to focus again on other authors and their work.  The pressure is off and it's time for me to enjoy reading another's novel.  Ah!!!  So today I have the opportunity to bring to you a paranormal mystery for YOUR reading pleasure.  Join me in welcoming John A. Karr's Ghostly Summons.  Oh, and don't forget to sign up for the giveaway.  Here we go!

Book Summary:
Lars Kelsen doesn’t believe in psychic phenomenon. To him, visions of murder victims are a form of mental illness. Once they begin, options are limited; he can try to ignore them or deal with them by exposing a killer. Only the latter provides any semblance of peace. Temporarily, anyway. Five years into his new life as a programmer, Kelsen—ex-crime beat reporter with a penance he can never fully satisfy—sees a victim.

In person. Upright. Staring.

Typical of such past "Visits" as he calls them, he doesn’t welcome this one. The nude form of a beautiful millionairess in his cubicle means murder has come to the vacation haven known as North Carolina’s Outer Banks. It means he’ll have to go places he'd rather avoid. See things he'll wish he hadn’t. Do things that don't come naturally, like in-your-face confrontation and bending the law. Actually, breaking the law ... but with good intent. It also means dealing with one very attractive county coroner, who pushes his buttons in a not entirely unwelcome way.

So begins Kelsen's return to investigative reporting—complete with attempts on his life, fights, deception, and all the technological tricks, such as GPS and computer hacking, at his disposal. And maybe even finding a new love interest.

My Review:
There were several things I really enjoyed about this book.  First, it was great to actually get to "visit" the Outer Banks again!  In my previous career, I had the joy of driving down the island chain to Cape Hatteras and ate dinner at a lovely little seaside restaurant near Frisco.  Ghostly Summons brought all of that back, crossing the bridges, watching the waves roll in, smelling the briny air, etc.  The descriptions Mr. Karr brought to light made me feel like I was back again.

Second, being a huge history buff, I enjoyed the breaks into the history behind the Lost Colony and the live theatrical staging of the settlers and Indians.  It played well into the storyline by the end.

Lars, our protagonist, was also alot of fun, with his self-deprecating humor and sharp wit.  He was also very approachable in his brokenness.  The past was not kind to him after his five-year-old son was kidnapped, assaulted, and murdered.  The resulting pain swallowed Lars until his marriage crumbled.  But the worst part was when he started seeing the images of murder victims, come to him for aid in telling their story and finding their killer.  The images don't talk, don't move, just float into his world at the worst possible moments, depriving him of a normal life until their murder is solved.

They also sent him over the edge.

For five years he has been free of the images after leaving his reporting gig, convincing himself his broken mind only conjured the images after reading and seeing too many police reports.  Well, and the fact that his psychiatrist agrees his "visitors" aren't real.  But now they're back, and bringing to light his brokenness once again.

My favorite scene - Lars is forced to jump from a bridge eighty feet to the water below.  A traffic tie-up stuck Lars near the apex of the bridge while a motorcycle assassin attempts to gun him down.  Realizing either he's a goner or others stuck on the bridge with him will be hurt, Lars takes the daring leap.  It was awesome!

My favorite character - well sorry, I just loved old Hooper, Lars' black Lab who loves everything and everyone, especially racing his master off the thirty-foot dock into the waters at the back of the house.  He's such a sweetie and a tad ornery when he stows away in Lars' Jeep.

Typically I like a book with pacing like roiling wave after wave crashing onto the shore nearly non-stop.  Ghostly Summons, however, is more like a meandering brook.  The pacing isn't fast by any means, and more times than not gets bogged down by waaaay too much description.  The novel could have had several hundred pages cut out and pacing increased with alot of tightening of unnecessary descriptors.  The opening prologue started off great with the whole fly-boy moment that exposed the victim's body, but after the scene break, we're introduced to Lars in more of an omniscient viewpoint, with page after page of description about what he looks like, his brothers, and what they look like.  I felt the prologue would have best been served with the bombing run and then move to the first chapter and work in a smidgen of Lars' personal appearance with applicable moments within the storyline itself.

There were a few editing issues from time to time, but only one that really zinged me and made me stop reading to go back to see what I'd missed.  Early in the book there is a mother who comes into the coffee stop with a little boy in tow.  It makes Lars think of times from the past with his own son.  At first the little boy's name is Joshua and then two turns later he becomes Jacob.  Little thing, I know, but it was the only thing that really made me put on the brakes and go...whaaaat?  Think minion here. :-)

The only other issue I had was the fact that Lars obtained the names of two possible perps from one of the maids, and then Lars goes after one and COMPLETELY ignores/forgets about the second one, even when he has a chance meeting with said secondary.  He didn't even acknowledge any jog to his memory that the name was familiar and then set up what I suspected.  This lack of questioning/forgetting about the other possible perp bugged me for most of the book, and I therefore was not surprised by how it all played out.  The ultimate bad guy was rather cliche (you'll get it when you read it) and no surprise either but I really enjoyed seeing how this person received their comeuppance.  Good final action sequence and appropriately satisfying!

Even with the stated issues, I found Ghostly Summons to be a good, one-time read I would recommend.

Kindle buy link ($3.99):

Nook buy link ($3.99):

Kobo buy link ($3.99):

John A. Karr's Bio:

John A. Karr believes fiction writing each day helps keep the demons at bay. Ghostly Summons is his first full-length novel for Dark Continents Publishing. DCP has also published his Weird West novella, Ujahwek. He is the author of a handful of other novels: Death Clause, Hippocrates Shattered (scheduled for reprint by World Castle Publications as Shattered), Rhone, and Van Gogh, Encore. His short stories have appeared on webzines Allegory, The Absent Willow Review, and Danse Macabre. More works are in progress and in the marketing queue.

Karr is an ardent believer in the quote by Carl Van Doren (1885-1950), U.S. man of letters: Yes, it's hard to write, but it's harder not to.  Visit his website at

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