Tag Archives: blog tour

My flex day

I started off kind of slow today. Got a chance to sleep in and I took it. This means I was probably less productive than I could have been, but I’m ahead of the game right now.

Let’s face it, I could publish another Hat story tomorrow. It’s a cool position to be in, and I’d like to sustain it for a while. Less pressure is nice for a change.

I still managed to break the 80K word mark on my WIP. That makes it a novel in my mind. I’m going to ignore the old rules about making science fiction a bit longer. These are going to be geared more to a modern audience, and since it’s a trilogy, there will be more of the galaxy to cover.

Percy the Space Chimp has one more big event in this book, then it’s finished. I left them hanging out at their favorite backwater planet and can pick the story back up this weekend.

Jackson the cat decided to help me today. He seems to want to sleep either in my lap or on my keyboard. I think he’s uber-cute, but I could use a break once in a while.

Jackson will be going away soon. Our daughter finally found an apartment she can afford. It’s in a different city than her job, so she’s got a long commute ahead of her from now on. I weep for the plight of our young people. America doesn’t pay enough for them to make ends meet today, and rentals are so expensive now. Still, she gets to keep the job that she loves, and that makes me happy. I’ll miss having her around.

The blog tour for Good Liniment has finally ended. (I hear a small cheer across the universe.) It’s not enough to write a good story today. You have to do something to spread the word, and the word has been spread. We had some fun topics and every post was unique. Sold a few books, too, so that’s a bonus.

I’ve seen some reviews for both Good Liniment and Wreck of the Lanternfish lately. Remember, those are both still linked in my sidebar. Any author appreciates reviews, so if you read one of them I would be grateful for a few minutes of your time to share your thoughts.

Lanternfish needs to be read in order since it’s a trilogy. Good Liniment is a stand alone title in The Hat Series, and all of them can be read out of order.

In other news, I spent a couple hours reading a book I’m really enjoying, but it requires a lot of focus. It’s a good tale, so I’m sticking with it. It’s just hard to read in some sections.

I also managed to take a short nap this afternoon. This is something I’ve grown more insistent on whenever I’m off. They rarely surpass 30 minutes, but make me feel so good. Judge me if you want, but I kind of like them.

Back to work tomorrow.

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Odd Word Metrics

I spent my morning trying to write promotional materials for the eventual release of Good Liniment.

It’s not the same as new fiction, but I got five posts roughed out. It probably doesn’t reach 2500 new words, but it’s fairly close. To finish them, I would need a blurb and some links. Those details will come later.

I ordered three new Lisa Burton posters for this release, and they came out wonderful. Sean Harrington really outdid himself on them, and they reflect items from the story. That made posts where she visits someone fairly easy to write.

I should have about that many more before I’m ready, then I need to figure out where I want to take this tour. I’ve done so many of these over the years they can be kind of tiring. I’m excited about the story, but not about promo. Probably a flaw in my personality.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the comments and responding, it just doesn’t work as well during the work week. I’m even considering some vacation time so I can be present in the moment, but work is too crazy right now.

I might even get a couple more written tonight, but I’m not committed to the idea.

This is the spot where I would usually insert a musical teaser for one of The Hat books. I try to hold back the posters for my hosts, but can’t resist sharing one today. They came out so good this time.

Lisa is taking Noodles for a walk in this picture. If you’d like to learn more about Noodles, you’ll have to come along when the tour starts, or even read the book. It’s coming soon, I promise.

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Still here, and pecking away

I’ve really let this place down over the last few months. I’m sorry for that, but there are reasons why. I’ll glance off some of those when my 2021 Assessment posts later this month.

I’ve created a lot of new material, but as part of various blog tours, it’s been hosted elsewhere. I figured I owed you guys something, so here it is.

I’ve been dabbling with a side project for months, but not taking it too seriously. It’s a space opera that could lead to a trilogy. I have about a third of a novel so far, but today I decided to start another one.

This plays into my two at a time history, and since I’m at a wall on one project, this gives me a way to stay somewhat productive. I never really do this, but here is the first effort from today’s work.

***

The single-room farmhouse stood deep in the forest. Leaves covered the sagging roof, and clumps of moss anchored to the sides. The door dangled from a single hinge and allowed leaves to blow inside. Rays of sunlight shone through the roof and dust motes swirled in the beams. The windows had long disappeared leaving the room open to weather from multiple directions.

The old bed was nothing more than a frame and rusty springs after all these years. A rack of simple farming tools hung on the south wall, and a cracked old trunk stood at the foot of the bed, it’s brass fittings long ago turning green.

Light swirled unnaturally between the chest and tool rack. It moved in and out of form, but eventually resembled a human, casting its own light into the dark corners of the cabin. Moving about the room it grew in size, then staggered like someone wounded. With great effort, it managed to open the chest.

After pulling on cracked leather boots, denim jeans, and a plaid shirt it rested, looking for all the world, like someone had placed the clothing on the floor in a pattern.

The following day, the spirit pulled on leather gauntlets and a long canvas duster, then chose a sickle from the tool rack. As it grew in strength, it went outside to cut dried grass which it stuffed down its pants or into its shirt. Insects took up residence in the stuffing, but it kept working. As the sun set, it walked back inside, only its head missing from the apparition. The area of its head glowed red in the cabin’s darkness like some kind of angry god.

The spirit removed an old burlap sack from the trunk, then pulled it over his head. He twisted the bag until a face fit over the front. Triangular eyes glowed like the fires of hell from behind the mask. The loosely stitched up mouth also glowed, and served to strengthen the terrifying visage. He pulled a thick, hemp drawstring closed around his neck. Next he selected an old canvas hat from the chest. It had been carefully waxed to retain its shape in all kinds of weather. It had a broad, bent brim and tall, pointy crown, like those traditionally worn by witches.

A canvas trug was the last item inside. He spread that across the bed springs, then piled all the tools on the square of material. There were handles on opposing corners, which he grabbed to create a carrying case for the sickle, a scythe, sheep shears, grafting knives, saws, axes, and hatchets.

He kicked the remaining door off on his way outside. Pushed the crown of his hat back toward his shoulders, then stared at the nightime sky. “Now where is that Goddamned hat living these days?”

***

Would you read something that started this way? I’m calling it “The Midnight Rambler,” after a favorite song of mine. With that last bit of dialog, and the book title, you can tell where it’s going to fit in my catalog.

Interaction along the tour has been great, but there’s something to be said for meeting all of you here. Leave me a comment. Do you have an ear-worm now?

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Mountain Laurel Christmas

Let’s all welcome Jan Sikes to Entertaining Stories. She’s one of my longest term author friends, and a partner at Story Empire. She’s here to tell us about her new Christmas novella. Let’s make sure to use those sharing buttons for her today.

Failure and disappointment are two horrible feelings for anyone to handle. My character in Mountain Laurel Music struggles to deal with those feelings, most of the time attempting to drown them in alcohol. But when the effects of the alcohol wear off, he is left with the same hollow disappointment in himself.

My character had made a promise.

Excerpt:

I’ll never forget Papa placing his hand on my shoulder a few days before he died, making me promise on everything holy and sacred, to take care of Mama, April and Timmy if anything ever happened to him. Perhaps he knew.

It sticks in the back of my throat now like a bitter quinine pill.

I failed him.

I failed Mama.

And now I’ve failed myself.

I think sometimes the greatest disappointments we can experience in life are in ourselves. I have certainly been there, and even now, after many years, if I allow myself to think about it, I can conjure up the same horrible, disgusting feeling.

What about you? Have you found ways to deal with disappointment or failure? Please share.

Mountain Laurel Christmas Blurb:

Orphaned, his family torn apart by tragedy, Cole Knight has come a long way from a ramshackle miner’s cabin on the side of the Cumberland Mountain.

Daring to follow an impossible dream, he’s made it big in the music business. Now, he’s a country music sensation with a huge house, fancy cars, plenty of willing women, money, and adoring fans. He should be on top of the world. Instead, he’s drowning in a swirling pool of self-contempt and relentless guilt.

It’s easier to lose himself in a bottle than face the hard truth…he hasn’t delivered on a promise he made to his father.

It’s almost Christmas, and the sting of failure drives him back to that tiny cabin in the mountains. But has he waited too late to put the shattered pieces back together—to find himself and restore a lost family?

PURCHASE LINK:

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

WEBSITE

BLOG

BOOKBUB

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

PINTEREST

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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Some statistics for you

Hi, everyone. I’ve neglected this site again, but there were tour posts all over the place. Thanks to the group of you that followed along. This post is for my fellow writers out there, and you might find it interesting.

The tour ended prematurely, but one of my potential hosts is quite ill. I have her in my thoughts, and you didn’t miss a lot. If you feel like you missed something, check out Lunar Boogie in the sidebar. It was the book of the day.

To recap, I toured each book in The Hat Series for one week during October. Books one & three had free days, and to support those, I hired Fussy Librarian for some extra push. Let’s look at a visual.

I doubt you can read that, but it’s the image that helps anyway. The blue graph above shows my free promotion days. You can see the pattern is almost identical. Day one hit nearly a thousand free copies, after that it trailed off.

If I turn off the freebies, the graph shows book sales, but at best there were ten one day. That’s why they don’t show up with the freebies turned on.

The lower graphic is pages read via Kindle Unlimited. To me it’s more important. Most of my book earnings have been via this platform for a couple of years now. The patterns are similar, and not different enough to determine why. The better days were around 500 pages per day, with one that broke 1000. I’m not getting rich here, but I’m calling the promo a success. Nearly all of those pages were in the The Hat Series. In fact you can see a small bit of action on the far left before the promotion started. That’s what my graph normally looks like.

So far, I’ve gained two star-reviews where they rated the book worthy of five stars, and one actual review. I love both of those formats, so thank you whoever you are.

This also happened.

Yup, that’s Mrs. Molony in the #1 spot. It held onto the top ten throughout the free period.

There’s one post left that relates to the promotion. It’s my annual visit at Colleen Chesebro’s place on Halloween. It’s about the series, but it’s also about what comes next for Lizzie and the hat. I’ll be checking in on Sunday, so make sure to visit me.

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The best month of the year

It’s October, and I love it. Things are cooling off after the outrageous summer we had. Leaves are starting to turn, and everything feels right again.

I was an October baby, so maybe that’s part of it. Old What’s Her Face made me some pumpkin cinnamon rolls for breakfasts. They’re nothing fancy, just the Pop & Fresh kind, but it was sweet of her.

I’ve been working my way through a variety pack of pumpkin beers from Elysian brewing. The Dark ‘O the Moon Pumpkin Stout is really good.

Pumpkin isn’t the only Fall flavor in my world. Mom sent up some of her homemade chokecherry jelly. I would have preferred syrup, but I had it on a pancake this morning anyway. It’s a taste of Fall from my childhood.

We’ve been fiddling with Halloween themed shows to watch. RL Stein has a more adult themed series of films on Netflix. Old What’s Her Face loved the first one, but I had a tough time getting into it. It’s a long month, so there could be something good coming up.

She used her birthday money and bought a Traeger Grill. She loves her gadgets and had to have the one that connects to her phone via wifi. She likes the idea of adjusting the temps while out doing other things. This meant she had to name it. She called it “The Chamber of Barbecue Secrets.” I figured you guys would get a chuckle out of that, I did.

Things are going to get busy at Entertaining Stories, too. I’m taking the entire Hat Series out on tour. This involves having written a bunch of unique posts, so they’re all worth reading. I’ll reblog everything here in an attempt to drive traffic to my hosts. There are going to be some free days, so if you’ve wanted to get into this series, this is a good month to dive in. One volume per week, and it all kicks off at Teri’s Bad Moon Rising event. Promoting a paranormal series in October feels like the right thing to do.

It’s important to support your hosts. If any of you feel so inclined, share the posts from their sites. This could boost their traffic and net them some new followers.

I’ll be watching the comments all month, so let me hear from you along the route.

I sent the second to last chapter of Good Liniment out to my critique group, and Lanternfish is in the hands of my formatter. This means starting all over again when I publish Lanternfish, and getting ready for Good Liniment in the late winter sometime.

Are any of you excited for Fall, October in general, or Halloween? Let me hear from you.

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The Party’s Over

Lunar Boogie has been published. The blog tour has ended, and it’s time to forge ahead. We had a lot of fun on the tour, and I got some wonderful comments.

Some people have read it already, and the early reviews are awesome. Maybe consider clicking on that cover in the sidebar and checking it out.

This week was crazy. Not only did I have a book tour going on, I also had to make a quick road trip to Sandpoint for my real job. Responding to comments on a cell phone with dicey wifi is a treat.

Sandpoint is a beautiful town up close to Canada. It sits on the shores of Lake Pend Orielle. It’s frequented by bald eagles, so I kept my eyes open.

I saw a lot of ospreys on the way into town. As cool as they are, they aren’t the same. I heard an eagle scream from my hotel, but couldn’t spot the bugger through the trees.

I drove the rental car for our group, and when we drove home from supper, I spotted one. It was twilight, and I was watching the geese in a grain field. The closest bird to me raised his head and wasn’t a goose at all.

This seemed like my luck lately. I spotted the dumbest, outcast eagle of all time. He was out past bedtime and appeared to be grubbing for worms in the mud not twenty feet from the car. Not very majestic, but I’m counting him.

I know eagles don’t spend all their time posting selfies. I’ve seen swarms of them crawling around a beached whale carcass like maggots. They aren’t anything more that what they need to be. People like me put the image on them.

When we left town, I had a glorious sighting of another one. This one swirled around on thermals above the lake, then landed on a pole just as I drove past.

Bald eagles are a rare sight around here. I watched the Boise River all winter, but never saw one this year. I always felt like they foretold luck for me. By sighting two, I’m kind of artificially excited.

Never got to see the famous lake monster. Maybe next time. I should have placed out some cookies or something.

I’m considering doing a series blog tour this fall for The Hat Series. I have enough books now to make it a thing. I can take advantage of some free days as part of the promo. I’m curious what you folks think of this approach.

Lanternfish beckons now. I have three days to myself, and need to hack out some new material so I can get this one out in 2021. If you include Serang, I could tour this series around in a similar fashion.

Procrastination is part of the game. This week was brutal, I’m telling you. I’ll write at some point, but I kind of want to vegetate for a day.

Let me hear from you. Do you have a connection with a specific animal? Do you know any fresh new promotional tricks? Have you ever seen a lake monster?

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Remember me?

Okay, it’s not quite that dismal. I just haven’t written anything specifically for this blog in a while. All of the book tour posts are original and there are more of them to come.

Honestly, my life hasn’t been that interesting lately. Things are stressful both personally and professionally. Those are difficult to post about, so thank God for original content in the tour posts.

I’m off tomorrow, but have a medical appointment that will screw up any writing plans. As such, I did a bit of writing today.

Lanternfish is plugging along. Even though it’s slowed down on the creation front, it’s good stuff when I can get to it. I decided to write today, just to remind myself I still can. It came to about a chapter in total, but that’s split between two chapters. Hope you understand what I mean.

I’m back to James and his family, who are with the Prelonian Army waging war. I designed a big battle involving mostly root monsters as the main characters. I elected to watch it play out with James and a newer character, Field Marshal Garret at an observation station.

Anyone who’s read any portion of Lanternfish knows how the root monsters operate by now. I felt it would be more interesting to watch from a distance for this event, rather than get on the ground with the monsters.

That’s about it, honestly. Work is going to be crazy this week, but I have tour posts to keep everyone engaged. I’ll check on those whenever I have the chance.

Comments and early reviews for Lunar Boogie are wonderful. I’d like to see more action on the sales front, but that’s the case with every book.

Hope all of you are safe, happy, and doing something fun today. Drop me a line in the comments.

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Wrapping up my long weekend

I already posted about all the family things and the Kentucky Derby. I didn’t get a mountain of stuff accomplished, but there is some.

I decided to put Lunar Boogie through Amazon’s machine. I like the way I can save a draft, review things, but not actually publish it. Stories in the hat series always have some last minute formatting issues. This is due to all the little graphics that go along with the stories. I even tried to use emojis at one point, but they didn’t translate.

I sent a message off to my formatter, and we’ll see what she can do about it. A few of the standard graphics moved around, too. That’s normal, and it’s nice to have a week or two to address everything.

I like to keep doing corny things in this series, because it’s part of the charm. Readers expect it, and it’s nice to change it up from time to time. I have plans to photograph a text thread eventually, then include it in a future book. Adding a photo should be just like adding a drawing.

I turned my attention to blog tour posts. Whenever I take a book on tour, I like to make every post unique. That way, I never feel bad about reblogging them all. They are more than a cover and blurb type post, and eventually I might snag a reader along the way. I have six written so far, but need a few more.

This morning, I turned my attention back to Lanternfish. It was moderately successful and involved Diego Palumbo doing some advance scouting and spying for Serang’s army. I created an unplanned situation that I like, but now I have to figure out what to do with it.

Diego tried to sell information to the Crier’s Guild about the new Royal Governor of Prelonia. He didn’t know whether the story was true or not, but hoped their reaction would either confirm or deny the rumor for him. He wound up being offered a position as a town crier in Hollish territory.

Diego accepted just to get the free gold. Of course he was always going to return to Serang. However, he now has the trappings of a town crier. Since Diego and Camila are cons, he could use these to spread false news that could wind up benefiting the Prelonian war effort.

Honestly, this happened on the fly, and I need some time to think about it. It could add a fun aspect to the story. Oh, and I actually used the word “miasma” in a sentence. It’s a good old-fashioned word that seems to fit the era of a Lanternfish tale. I like it.

All told, it only amounted to about half a chapter. No word count to post, because it wasn’t that big. I think it was a good section, and now I have to put the results of his spying into action. That’s a project for a different weekend.

Back to the paycheck job tomorrow.

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Rambles from the real world

I get a three day weekend once more. This is the end of my fun shift, then I get a short weekend in the middle before it starts all over again. This weekend wasn’t earmarked for writing, but it could still happen. Monday is probably my best chance.

Our daughter came overnight, and I wanted to spend any available time with her. She didn’t get to come on her birthday, so Old What’s Her Face wanted to take her out. Even this wound up being a compromise. She had to go home this afternoon to work Sunday.

When you write a series about a twenty-something female, it’s nice to compare notes with my daughter. She helps with some of Lizzie’s outfits, and knows some things I wouldn’t even think of. I’m good with monsters, freaky things, and even old-school music. When it comes to wrap dresses, nail art, and some of those things I appreciate the help.

We settled for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. We’re both so full, it will serve as dinner and lunch. Still ordered dessert to go, so that will suffice this evening. I had mine early, maybe I won’t have heartburn all night by doing that.

Saw a cool whale-tale Porsche in the mall parking lot. This one had custom paint. It was pink, but so dark it was nearly purple. Doesn’t mean anything, really, I just thought it was cool. It was obviously well loved.

Came home and caught the Derby. There might have been some future book research involved, but not to the extent that I failed to enjoy the event. He never stood a chance, but I liked the name of one horse, Soup & Sandwich. He actually started strong, but finished dead last. He was also a pretty blue roan. Also, lots of pretty girls in hats. That could play into a future story after I give it some thought.

As far as accomplishing anything, after our daughter left, I wrote one blog tour post. This one involves Lisa visiting someone and handing out a poster. I don’t have the poster yet, but feel like I am a step ahead. I don’t even have a blurb yet, so I’ll have to tag that onto any posts I get written after the fact.

We had an awesome thunderstorm this afternoon. Lots of lightning and a downpour the likes of something we haven’t seen in a year. The dogs were hilarious, running out in the rain to bark, then racing inside because it was raining so hard.

Sundays usually aren’t good writing days. I call my parents, mess with bulldogs and other important things. There should be time to pre-write more blog tour posts. That will be my goal.

When it comes to Monday, I’m off, will have the house to myself, might score some quality writing time then.

Hope all of you are having great weekends. I am.

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