I rummaged through the basement at the writing cabin until I found my soapbox. I texted Lisa* as I climbed upstairs, “Almost ready?”
“I’m all set. Iris** is on the easel so she can flip my cards. I’ll be down in a moment.”
I placed the soapbox in the main lobby, just right of the easel.
Iris walked toward me along the top rail of her easel. “Do you think this is going work?”
“Giveaways always work in varying degrees. Lisa’s first one went absolutely crazy. Maybe it’ll jar some sales for your book, The Cock of the South.” I walked behind Lisa’s desk and tested the spotlight. Everything was ready, so I dimmed the overhead lights.
Lisa entered, wrapped in a bathrobe. She sat in one of the other chairs and put on her white stilettos. She dropped off her robe and stepped onto the soapbox. She wore a white body suit with fishnet leggings and had a white jacket with tails on top. She pulled on a short white top hat and picked up her pointer. “Is everything ready?”
I turned on the spotlight and said, “Go.”
Lisa faced the light, and turned her volume up. “Ladies and gentlemen! Announcing the great C. S. Boyack book giveaway of 2014.” She slapped her pointer to the first card on the easel. “We’ve decided to give away the first three C. S. Boyack novels. Each story will have its own special day. The giveaway will last for three days.”
Iris tossed the first card to the side. The next one said Wild Concept.
Lisa continued her presentation. “Wild Concepts is a neat little bit of science fiction. It’s about an adorable robot girl with great fashion sense.” She leaned forward and said, “It’s me, you guys. This is my story.”
“Lisa! Just stick to the script,” I said.
She pursed her lips and continued. “Lisa Burton is assigned to investigate a murder, knowing all the while that she is destined to be scrapped at the end of her experiment. It explores ideas of prejudice, and what it means to be human. This outstanding story is available free one day only, on Monday, December first.”
Iris tossed the card aside, revealing a new one that said, Panama.
Lisa continued, “Panama is set during the construction of The Panama Canal. President Roosevelt asks two former military men to investigate mysterious occurrences that are spiriting the construction crews away.
“Ethan was a Rough Rider. Coop was a Buffalo Soldier. One can speak to ghosts, and the other dabbles in whatever kind of magic he can find. They face civil war dealing with Panamanian independence, an invading army of Spanish Carlist supporters, and another from Hell itself.
“The free day for Panama is scheduled on Tuesday, December Second. Don’t miss out on this bit of paranormal adventure.”
Iris flipped the next card to one that read, Arson.
“Arson is the story of Perry Wolfe, an elite space firefighter. He loses everything in a freak accident. While trying to build a new life, he pieces together clues to a murder and a string of arsons.
“Perry attends a school on a distant planet to become one of ATF’s Federal arson investigators. Solving the crimes is important, but what he really needs might also be on a small planet called Quantico II.
“Arson is science fiction. It has some mature themes, and the true villain is big insurance. Get your copy of Arson, free on Wednesday, December Third.”
Iris flipped to the last card. It had the dates listed in order:
Wild Concept, December First.
Panama, December Second.
Arson, December Third.
“This will be your last chance to get these fabulous stories for free in 2014. There is also a brand new tale called, The Cock of the South. This story is brand new and isn’t part of this promotion.
“Maybe you would like to test read one of these tales before committing to The Cock of the South. This story is Craig’s first fantasy. It is set in Greco Roman times, and involves a group of downtrodden people and special creatures in a desperate bid to avoid extinction.
“Get them while they’re hot. Get them while they’re free. They make great Christmas presents.” Lisa leaned forward, “But don’t give Arson or The Cock of the South to your little ones–
“Where did that come from?” I asked. “That wasn’t in the script.”
Lisa put her hands on her hips. “Well it isn’t fair to tell everyone they’re great Christmas presents and have little kids wind up with adult themes, or too much violence.”
“Fine. I think we have everything we need here.” I turned the spotlight off and helped Iris to the ground. “We haven’t held an event in months. Maybe this will spark some sales, or even help push The Cock of the South.”
“It could help,” Lisa said. “They all seem to chug along, but it would be nice if one of them started to really take off.”
Mark your calendars. If there’s one of these you’ve been waiting to read, it’s going to be free in a couple of weeks. Tell your friends. Feel free to reblog too, if you like.
* Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot who helps me around the writing cabin these days. Of course, she already told you that.
** Iris is a fairy who appears in The Cock of the South. She is staying with me until her wing heals.