Tag Archives: cover reveal

Weekend efforts

The writing cabin was quiet all weekend. Lisa is off somewhere with Sean Harrington making promotional art for Grinders. You would think this is the perfect opportunity to get some writing done, but it didn’t play out that way.

I still have the cover reveal happening for Grinders. There are multiple posts across the blogosphere currently, and if you find one, I’d appreciate a tweet or FB post in support. I love comments, and am circling back through to keep up with those.

I paid the invoice for book formatting, and already received the finished product back. Grinders is easier to format than one of The Hat books, because it does not include the silly little graphics of that series.

Doubt

Doubt, the oversized raven who was a gift from my Muse, stared glared at me from across the office. He opened his wings then glided to my desk. “Glorp. Glorp.

Despite their similarities, Ravens are not crows, and make the damndest collection of noises. He pecked at the back of my iPad. “Glorp.”

“Not this time, pal. I think Grinders is a good story. All my advance readers are excited for it, and you aren’t going to bring me down about it.”

“Chugga, glorp.”

“Okay, so it won’t publish for Chinese New Year. That only matters to me. Readers won’t care one way or the other. They just want a good story. Once Lisa gets home with the posters, I’ll make it available.”

“Chu, chu, chugga.”

“No. You’re not getting into my head this time. It’s always a concern with a new book, but my stuff has been well received in the past. I have the cover. I have the formatted copy, and once Lisa gets home, I’ll start writing blog posts and contacting people about my tour.”

He paced back and forth across the desktop. “Glup-glorp. Glup-glorp.”

“Do your damndest, but I haven’t got time for you right now.”

He continued to pace and scold, but I opened the HMS Lanternfish file and added about 1500 words to that story. It still isn’t enough to send out to my critique group, but about half of them still have the submission for the next story about Lizzie & The Hat. I don’t want to wear out my welcome in the group.

Lanternfish sailed away from Bungo Bungo, and the root monsters had a unique spin on story time. They might have taken things a bit too far this round, and I had to figure out some punishment details for them.

Everyone seems to be on good terms once more, but it’s a long way to Giapon. James can’t use his magical sextant now, because they have La Girona in their wake. La Girona is a ship they captured, and might be quite valuable to the war effort, if they ever get there.

Sailing to Giapon, and on to the war, has to be done the old fashioned way. This poses some issues for me. In fiction, you have to take the boring stuff out. I may move the story ahead to Giapon, or I might have another sea based encounter for them. Right now, I’m leaning toward moving the story forward. I have a whole week to dwell on it now. Besides, after Giapon I need to do even more sailing, so a monster there might be more appropriate.

“Glup, glup, glup.”

“No. I’m not going to write a raven into my story. Go back to your perch. I have to check on comments along my cover reveal trail.”

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Strange Weekend

I had writing goals, plus some other authorly chores I needed to attend to this weekend.

The plus side was having almost enough words to send out a critique section of the next Lanternfish. Almost… So I added 1800 words on Friday and figured I was good to go.

When it came time to clip the section out of the MS, it only came to 3500 words??? I have no idea. I must have sent out a larger section the last time than I intended. Those were the last new words I’ve produced all weekend.

Most of my time was dedicated to reading Grinders from front to back. I accomplished that, and spotted a few places that needed adjustments. I also did my word searches and fixed all the simple errors.

After that, I sent an inquiry off to my formatter. I might be able to send it off before the holiday ends tomorrow.

I also prepared a cover reveal post and sent it off to those who offered in my comments from last week. I honestly don’t know how much good a cover reveal does, but it lets me do something for Chinese New Year.

Sean is working diligently on Lisa Burton Posters for a blog tour. With that and formatting, I might be ready to go in a month. Who knows, the cover reveal might build some interest.

I visited blogs a moment ago. I commented on very few, but tried to like the posts I read. I also used the Twitter button for a bit of support.

I may return to Lanternfish tomorrow, but don’t want to hit it too hard. Sometimes I need a day for being lazy. All in all, I accomplished a lot. It just wasn’t new words. If I get enough to to send a critique sample out it will be a bonus, but I’m not targeting that.

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and if you’re off tomorrow that you get to do something fun.

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Viral Blues, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey, everyone. Welcome to a special Friday the 13th, late night edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and while we’re awaiting the full moon to rise in conjunction with this day, I have something special for you.

Craig thought this wonderful event would be a perfect time to release his latest paranormal story, Viral Blues. He told me to note that it’s also his 13th publication. You have to admit, it seems kind of Karmic somehow.

If you’re familiar with these shows, you know I always have a guest, but I’m the guest today. I’ll explain how that all happened.

Craig wanted to write a sequel to The Hat. One evening, he was commuting home from work when he was joined by his Muse. Lorelei told him he has a lot of characters who could all be living in the same world. He called me at the writing cabin, and set me to work immediately.

I went down to the Character Union Hall, and all these people were just hanging around, looking for new stories to appear in. I interviewed them, one by one, and chose some to appear in the new story with Lizzie and The Hat.

The next weekend, Craig came out to the writing cabin to look over the list, then get started. He said it needed something extra. I was afraid of letting him down, but he was only teasing me. He said what the story needed was a robot girl to round out the cast.

I have to admit, I cried a little. I like being helpful, but I’ve been asking for another story for years. Then to find out I get to be in a story with some of his most popular characters. It was kind of overwhelming.

Superhero team-ups are all the rage right now. Why not in book form too? This is the group of heroic characters in the story:

  • Me (obviously)
  • Lizzie St. Laurent
  • The Hat
  • Dr. Gina Greybill
  • Mohan Gupta
  • Clovis
  • Jason Fogg
  • Clovis’s girlfriend, Justine

This story also has a bunch of Easter Eggs inside for those who have read Craig’s previous work. I won’t go into those, so as not to spoil it for you.

The deal is that Dr. Greybill and, and her helper Gupta, called this group together under her Host Program. There is someone or something tampering with the nation’s vaccine supply. That’s where the story starts.

If you’ve been following along with the teasers, my posters and the music will start to make sense now. The posters all have something to do with the book.

The Hat is Craig’s most popular book, and they are going to be getting even more stories in the future. Just this one time, we all thought it was fun to get together for one huge adventure.

I want to point out that just because this is a sequel, well, for a bunch of us, really, there is no prerequisite reading here. If this is where you start, it will all be perfectly readable.

The story is set up to be a Hat story all the way, so the format is like that book. There are some fun graphics inside, and a lot of dark humor, too.

Also, be sure to check out the secret last chapter at the very end of the book. It’s beyond the author material, kind of like those scenes after the credits in movies.

I had a lot of fun, and I’ll bet you will, too. Check out this awesome cover, and I’ll include a purchase link. This thing just went live about 30 minutes ago.

http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07XVTSYYV

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Crazy day, good stuff

Old What’s Her Face is still working nights. This meant another day of keeping everyone quiet so she could sleep a bit.

We had breakfast together again, then she unwound for an hour before heading for bed.

Quiet time is great for authors. I worked through the previous segment of Serang, then started writing again. Today’s effort came to about 3600 words. Something else wonderful happened too. At 75,000 words, it came to the end. Serang is now a first draft.

I fiddled with the new part for a few hours, then sent it to my critique partners. Next weekend I’ll look at all the critique suggestions, then may start my editing passes. It’s best to put it aside and look with fresh eyes, but the first chapters are months old to my eyes. I can do all my word searches on weeknights.

Honestly, I nearly made it. I wanted it out before school ends, but it wasn’t meant to be. This might turn into a November release now.

I’m torn about sharing this, because it’s going to be so long before anyone can actually read it. A peek at the cover might whet someone’s reader brain, so here it is:

This one is a companion piece to Voyage of the Lanternfish, but is quite a bit more serious. Serang is a serious character and deserves to be treated accordingly.

The weird part is our weather. We had a drizzle of rain when I got up, followed by sunshine, then thunder and lightning, then more sun, then a torrential downpour, wind, sun, another downpour, a hailstorm, sun, another hailstorm, and it’s sunny right now. Who knows what the rest of the day will bring. Maybe something cool like a haboob. Mostly I just like saying haboob, it’s probably too wet out there for one.

I think I’ll probably spend tomorrow getting acquainted with The Viral Blues once more. I put this aside in a misguided attempt to get Serang published before summer. Don’t know if I’ll do more writing on it, but it could happen.

Either that or I’ll scope out some old movies. John Wayne will probably be winning World War Two somewhere for Memorial Day. Hope everyone has a lovely holiday tomorrow.

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Cusp of Night #CoverReveal

Mae Clair has a new book coming soon. To tease us along a bit, she’s sharing a blurb and cover. Check out this cool artwork.

***

Cusp of Night
by Mae Clair
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Mystery> Thriller & Suspense > Paranormal

book cover for Cusp of Night, a mystery/suspense novel by Mae Clair

BLURB:
Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house—a woman whose ghost may still linger.

Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .

ADD TO YOUR GOODREADS LIST

Connect with Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Newsletter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon
Other Social Links

Promotional banner for author Mae Clair with bio and author photo, spooky house as header in wash of red

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I’m included in another Anthology

I was invited months ago to submit a story to an anthology. I spent a portion of the summer working on it, and we’re nearly ready to publish. Today is the cover reveal for Quantum Wanderlust. All the stories are about time travel in one way or another. Let me know what you think of the cover, and I’ll keep you posted when it actually publishes.

***

AIW Press is proud to reveal the cover for Quantum Wanderlust.

Spring Forward, Fall Back

That reminds you of changing the clocks, right? When we talk about the passage of time, it’s usually in short bursts—seconds, minutes, hours—. Or slightly longer chunks—weeks, months, years.

What if it was limitless? What if you could go forward or back, in any size segment you wanted? Decades, centuries, eons? Would you go back and change your life? Go forward and see your future?

We are excited to share thirteen short stories crafted by very talented authors that will take you forward and back through time.

If you could travel through time, what would you do?

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The time has come

I finished my edits. I wanted to make a fun post about Doubt the raven, since he always helps me with editing. My regular work schedule just doesn’t allow me any time for this. I had to make a choice, and either forge ahead, or put everything on hold for three weeks. You guys probably know me well enough to predict what I chose.

So here we are with a 37,000 word manuscript all ready for beta readers. My goal is to get five or six of you to read it and give me feedback. It’s a short book, so it really shouldn’t take very long.

Regulars will know that I’m constantly experimenting. It’s how I develop and grow as an author, and this book also had a personal goal. I wanted a collection of short stories that told an overarching story this time. There is a semi-main character, but he’s not in every story.

The Enhanced League is an alternate baseball league where anything goes. You’ll read about performance enhancing drugs, alongside a group of misfits who couldn’t get attention in the Major Leagues. The rules are a bit different, but not so much as to be unrecognizable.

This is also the one where I experimented with what I’m calling Anthems. These are second person presentations about the game of baseball that are intended to enhance the experience for the reader. I intend to call them out in the table of contents, but they aren’t called out in the MS yet. (Can’t make the TOC until I finish the beta adjustments.)

So there it is. I hope there are enough human elements to keep the book interesting for those who aren’t sports fans, or specifically baseball fans.

If you’d like to be a beta reader, I’m looking for about five of you. I can send a Word, Pages, EPub, PDF, or RTF format. All you have to do is drop me an email and let me know you’re interested.

I’d like to have the reports back by May 23rd. This is a week less than I usually allow, but the book is half as long.

If you’re still game, here is my email address, just modify it into a real email address. Coldhand (dot) Boyack (at) gmail (dot) com.

*  Quick edit here. I have enough volunteers for this book now. If you still want to volunteer, I will have The Yak Guy Project at this point fairly soon. I’ll put out a call for beta readers just like I did for The Enhanced League.

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Strange times this week

There were some fun things on the blog this week. Lisa Burton Radio is a hit, even if the rest of the blog world feels slow right now.  Has anyone else noticed things slowing down online?

John W. Howell’s character, John Cannon did a booming business. I even received several more inquiries for fictional characters to get on Lisa’s radio show. I mailed out a cluster of questionnaires last night. First come first served, so I expect to be working on one or two over the weekend.

I mailed out a plethora of covers and small blurbs. Next time I’ll organize the Book of Heroes a little better to keep track of what everyone volunteered for. I don’t think I missed anyone, but one email is undeliverable due to …magic, I don’t know. A cluster of email is not the best way to keep track of groups.

I received a 15 year placard at work this week. It’s nice, but the bubble wrap it came in is more fun. Work was a zoo. I had meetings and stresses galore, but it’s over for three days. Today started out frosty and grey. The sun came out about noon, and so did the squirrels. (I’m not referring to arboreal rodents.)

For relaxation this weekend I’m going to try getting The Playground published. (This isn’t relaxing. I’m joking.) There may be some Irish whiskey left over to help me. My goal is to pepper the internet with cover art and blurbs, then follow it up with some creative blog posts that include a purchase link. To do that, I need a purchase link.

That reminds me, I’d better make sure the Mac is all up to date before I go to bed. It seems like there is always an update for it. Amazon publishing doesn’t work on my iPad, or I’d use it. If I get the updates done tonight, tomorrow should go easier. Fingers crossed. I expect problems with the new table of contents rules. My novels all use numbered chapters, so I don’t see the appeal. I made a nice functional one for Experimental Notebook, so I have done it once. (If I could only remember how.)

If I have any kind of success, and the weather continues, I have two fruit trees I’d like to get pruned. After that, it’s all about promoting, updating things with the new book, and blogging. I’ve already got requests for a couple of Lisa visits to promote the new book, and I need to write and deliver those too.

I’m not earmarking any time for my work in progress, but Monday is a slim possibility.

It’s a plan. It isn’t a giant plan, but the steps are important ones.

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Working on a task list

I roughly planned on adding some words to the Yak Guy Project today. I'm having a lot of fun with this one, but it's the middle slog right now. I know what the next big piece is, but I have to move characters into place. Plant little tidbits that will be important later, and take the time to do it right.

Lorelei, the Muse, has been haunting me blessing me with her presence again. She gave me three new story ideas. I added them to a list of possible short stories. Sometimes this keeps them silent for a month or two. The simple act of writing down the idea keeps me from dwelling on it.

I've adopted a new method of always having a short piece going on. I need to start another one, but I like to use less productive hours on them.

Last night, I received the last of my beta reports. This completely changed my plans for the next few days off. I worked through The Playground, and made some important adjustments. It didn't take much, but by clarifying small issues, it makes the larger issues more clear. I toned down my first chapter a bit. It was off-putting because the victims in this story are children. There is a fine line between making it stick in a reader's mind, and going too far. It's also impossible to get it right for every reader. I'll probably revisit this chapter a few more times.

The betas enjoyed the story and all said some incredibly nice things about it. One even said she thought it was my best work so far. They liked the cover too, and now I'm all fired up again. I tend to have a love/hate relationship with my manuscripts, but it's great to love it again right before publication.

I went through the posts I prepared to announce the book to the world. I did some minimal tweaking, and those are ready to go. I need at least one excerpt and will remedy that after this goes live.

Now I need to get back to everyone who volunteered for the street team and assess what role they'd like to play. As volunteers, they get first dibs at the stuff I prepared, any Lisa Burton visits, and Lisa's promotional posters. I need to write one letter, then copy and paste it to everyone. I refuse to share email addresses, so this means one letter to each volunteer. Copy and paste is a useful tool under those circumstances.

I wrote a blurb to accompany the cover reveal. This will probably be the first thing for the street teamers. Once I organize that, I can move toward actually publishing the book.

My use of the preorder function on Experimental Notebook worked well. I'll probably do that again for The Playground. If I push myself, I might have it published this weekend.

Lisa Burton Radio is pretty popular. I sent out a bunch of questionnaires this week, but I haven't seen them back. I already have some posts in the pipeline, so it isn't time to get nervous yet. Getting the inquiries is kind of exciting.

The Idea Mill Posts aren't getting the love they used to. Maybe people are getting used to my shtick with these. They have regular fans, but maybe I should start running less of them out. Food for thought.

The Amazon giveaway is tanking. It isn't drawing nearly the interest I expected. I'm okay with giving copies of Will O the Wisp to those who entered, but it doesn't look like Amazon works that way. While I think it's more fair to give the books away, Amazon will hold them if there isn't enough interest. I may have to hold another giveaway, but can use the books I've already paid for. The second attempt doesn't cost me anything extra, it just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. If I'm giving away three books and only have three entrants, they should each get a book. Sadly, it isn't up to me though.

Here's a tip. Set the odds of winning really low if you try this – signed, your Guinea Pig.

The giveaway is still running for a few more days. Here is the link Win This Here Book! Get in on the contest. Tell your friends, heck tell your enemies too.

The rest of my day will be spent choosing an excerpt of The Playground to share somewhere. I'll write one universal letter to send to the street team, and may even get those sent out today. Then there are my reading commitments. I need to get on with those too.

I need to put some thought into a revamp of my “about me” page. I have enough books out that maybe talking about each of them is too much today. I can use more general terms and one link to my author page. I also have to rebuild my sidebar, but that's all planned out. The two most recent books get individual slots, and the rest go in the slideshow. No sense in doing that until The Playground is on pre-order and the cover reveal is over.

Tonight I may start another short story. This Fall, or late Summer, I'll winnow through them and delegate some to Macabre Macaroni posts, and the rest to a second Experimental Notebook.

This post is long enough, and break time is about over. I'm pretty excited to get The Playground out there, and hope you're excited to read it.

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Street Teamers, it’s about that time

I promised to post about my next book today, and how you can become part of the street team. I know approximately what I want, but actually writing it out clarifies things a bit for me.

The Playground is a short novel at just under 70,000 words. It involves a greedy businessman who markets a new social media for children, the Playground Network. Kids access the media via a line of specific toys.

The network is marketed one way, but has dark intentions behind it. To accelerate his master plan, the businessman turns to the occult.

This book explores the idea that maybe our kids spend too much time online these days. They speak with people who aren't who they seem, and believe authorities with no basis in fact. They don't spend enough time with their parents, or real live friends.

It's told from the point of view of three separate characters. This was my personal challenge in this story. I want to weave together three different story lines to tell one larger story.

These characters are:

  • Chloe, who acquires the fashion doll of her dreams. Chloe represents the victims here. Think of her like the girl in the well.
  • Gina, a cancer survivor. She is a doctor and is basically a broken person at the beginning of the story. She has her own brush with the occult, and may be the only one who can end this nonsense.
  • Clovis, a brutal thug hired by the businessman to retrieve some computer codes that will take his Playground Network to a terrifying level.

The story goes to some crazy places, like conjuring the spirit of a dead medium, a voodoo practitioner, dealing with parasites, and living with an obnoxious dog. I think it's fun.

 

I've looked at it until my eyes are crossed. I'm sure it needs a few tweaks, and that's when it's ready for beta readers.

 

I'm asking for a few beta reader volunteers who can read this book within 30 days or so. The betas can be as ruthless and brutal as they want. I'm looking for story assistance here, but always appreciate the grammar and spelling and such if you spot something.

 

The folks who usually volunteer all have my email address, but I welcome new folks too. Here is my email address if you want a copy Coldhand (dot) Boyack (at) gmail (dot) com.

 

I'll probably add some detail to my cover email when the copies are sent. I'll also send a copy of the book cover.

 

While the beta readers have the hardest job, a street team involves so much more. If you'd like to participate in a cover reveal, let me know. If you'd like to host a blog tour date, I'll be writing those posts too. Lisa the robot girl has her biplane fueled up and a great new poster to hand out to those who host her. I'll be writing a couple of posts with Lisa in mind. If you have an interview idea, I'm open to that too.

 

Volunteers are welcome to do as much or as little as they want. I'm always grateful for any help I get. I promise to keep a spreadsheet this time so everyone gets the right items.

 

So there is my call to action. No rallying cry, or cheese involved. I hope to hear from you. (Lies in the fetal position and crosses fingers.)

 

My next project is to write a blurb, and about a dozen guest posts. I did manage a few new words on The Yak Guy project this morning.

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