Tag Archives: free books


October is my favorite month of the year. I’ve made no secret about it. The temperatures suit me just fine, I like the Autumn colors, and seeing pumpkins everywhere. It’s the month of my birth, so maybe that’s part of the attraction. I think you can see how some of that influences my writing choices.

I’m about to go back on the road with a new book. I always try to have something for the Halloween season. It’s been a good month for me, year in and year out.

Somewhere along the way, I’ll give Entertaining Stories a facelift. Some kind of creepy background and an updated banner to help with my new story. By the time this goes live, I may have already done it. No firm commitment, but it’s happening.

All of my regulars have read at least some of my work, but there are new people surfing through all the time. Today’s post is to give you some samples, but sticking to the October theme.

Let’s start off with FREE. I appeared in an anthology along with some other great authors called Macabre Sanctuary. These are all dedicated to Halloween themed scary stories. You can’t really argue with free, and there are some great tales inside these covers.

There is another anthology with a science fiction bent called Quantum Wanderlust. As you might guess, this one is about time travel. It’s also FREE. Most of the speculative genres have found a home during Halloween, and I’ve had any number of robots and even a couple of Dr. Whos trick-or-treating at my house. In my story, the hero winds up exploring King Tut’s tomb, so you might see the tie.

Now we come to the 99¢ price point. I have several collections of my own at this price. Two of them are called The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. (One and two.) If you might be interested in the nefarious things magpies do, or ever wondered about the Soup Ladle of Destiny, this might be the collection for you. There’s even a nuclear murder in one book.

What I like about collections and anthologies is the ability to read an entire story while waiting at the DMV, or during lunch. The anthologies are a great way to find new authors you might enjoy.

Now we come to the novels. I price my novels at $2.99. I have several that fit the Halloween theme. Maybe you want to chase a demon through the jungles of Panama, or help Patty Hall solve the mystery of the Will O’ the Wisp before it kills her. You might prefer a more urban setting with a secret society out to stop a possessed businessman before he brain washes the nation’s children. If so, then The Playground is for you.

There are other titles, and if your imagination stretches to fantasy as a possible Halloween genre, I have some things you might consider. This post is already link heavy, so I won’t include individual titles.

I also have a series of short novels that fits the theme perfectly. These are short enough that you can read the whole story in an afternoon. I like the length, because sometimes we don’t have three days to read a longer piece. I’ve also worked pretty hard to keep you from having to read them in order. It’s possible to pick up any of them and not feel lost. I admit, I’m one of those who has to read in order, but you really won’t lose much if you don’t.

This is The Hat series. It’s about a hard working, twenty-something girl named Lizzie St. Laurent. She comes into possession of her grandfather’s old hat, but it’s not what you might expect. The hat is actually a being from another dimension who’s been trapped here by witchcraft. Together, they form a symbiotic relationship and take up monster hunting. It’s full of snark, dark humor, and a few scary moments along the way.

Book one, creatively titled The Hat, is the origin story. Lizzie and the hat take up a new case in Viral Blues, and it involves a team-up similar to some of the recent super-hero movies you all bought millions of tickets for.

I’m about to take my show on the road to promote The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. I’ve priced it at 99¢ to get it a good launch. It’s respectful of your time and your wallet for a while. You might even have a sinister laugh along the way.

Halloween 2020 is likely to be a shadow of its former self. Festivals, parties, and even trick-or-treating will be drastically stepped down. You can still curl up with a good book and have a good time. I hope you’ll consider some of my work when you do.


Filed under Writing

A tiny little update

All this week, my novel Panama is free for the taking. You know this already, but here is the link anyway. Panama

I watched as it slowly crawled up the ranks of free fantasy fiction. Right now it's holding at spot number 12. I know all of this stuff is fleeting, but it's kind of fun in the moment. I owe it all to you guys too.

What do I have to do to get into the top ten? How impossible would it be to hit number one?

Oh yeah, a little proof:


Filed under Writing

Something Really Cool!

My dear friend Sue Coletta put together a Rafflecopter event that you can take part in. She organized 30 of her favorite authors in one huge giveaway.

These are mostly crime authors, and if you know Sue that makes sense. She saw fit to include a couple of paranormal tales, one of which is my own Will O’ the Wisp.

Logic dictates: 30 of her favorite authors, I am one of those authors = I have a fan. (No takebacks)

There are some pretty heavy hitters on this promotion, and I’m honored to stand among them.

Some of you will be inclined to go right to the entry, and so here is the link: Rafflecopter

Others will want to see what’s up for grabs. I’m going to let Sue tell you about it herself. Take it away, Sue.


In keeping with the holiday spirit I have the best surprise ever. I’ve rounded up my favorite authors and begged asked if they’d like to participate in a special holiday giveaway. And they said yes! From now till New Year’s Day you can enter to win…are you ready?… 30 free ebooks. Yay!

Each and every one of these authors are amazingly talented. My TBR list is so tall I can barely see over the top. Between me and the hubby they’re all on our list.

Inside the covers of these virtual pages we’ll laugh, cry, tremble in fear, go to exotic locales or dredge through the dark streets of places more familiar. We’ll flip pages late into the night and wake with a renewed passion to run downstairs and finish where we left off. We’ll fight for our heroes, rejoice when/if the antagonists burn in hell. There are so many magical moments that await us, I can hardly wait to dig in.

In no particular order I have included the descriptions of each book. Take your time to browse through, but don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Three lucky winners will win all 30 titles. Go to Sue’s site to read more about this amazing promotion.



Filed under Writing

Assessing my big giveaway

Most of you know that Monday through Wednesday I held a big book giveaway. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of work at the same time. Each day required a blog post and a tweet or two. I wanted to stay on top of any comments I received as well.

I rate this event as a huge success. Many of you jumped in and shared the news on your own blogs and social media. The Rave Reviews Book Club also pitched in and many of the members retweeted and reblogged my data. They held another recruiting day at the same time, and I skipped out. I wanted my promotion to stay on top of my posts. As a small way of saying thanks, all writers should check this group out.

So what happened? I gave one title away per day. I ran a giveaway once before that lasted three days, and after day one it tapered off dramatically. I convinced myself to only run one day events from now on. I decided to make it last three days anyway, by running three titles.

The first book was Wild Concept. This is the same book that had the three day giveaway last spring. I managed to give out 41 copies. That’s pretty mediocre in my mind. Last time I moved over a hundred copies. Still, it managed to hit the top 100 in free science fiction. The highest number I saw was #86.

I have to explain that free days start and end at midnight Pacific Standard Time. I work for a living and get up at 4:00 AM, so I could not wait until 1:00 AM in my time zone to see how high any of them placed. This makes me kind of sad, and I think Amazon should send me an email or something.

The last book was Arson. This one fared pretty well, and hit the free science fiction chart at #52. It may have gone higher, but I’ll never know. I managed to pass out 95 copies.

I saved the best for last. Tuesday was the giveaway for Panama. The other stories are both science fiction, but Panama is a paranormal tale in an historical setting. for whatever reason, lightning struck on Tuesday. I managed to give away 364 copies of this book. There isn’t really a category for historical / paranormal stories, but I wish there was. Panama sat at number 5 on the free fantasy books right before I went to bed. With three hours to go, it may have climbed even higher. This excites me greatly. At the time I went to bed it was number 764 out of all books on Amazon combined.

Best thing about the event: For one shining moment, I was in the top five on one of the lists.

Four wonderful people purchased copies of Panama the day after the promotion. If anyone saw a higher number on the charts than what I saw, I’d love to hear about it. It was kind of fun seeing Panama with its five reviews between two books with hundreds of reviews. Does this entitle me to call myself a best selling author? Best giving author is more accurate.

The popular advice is that a giveaway will spur sales of other titles. The Cock of the South flatlined this week. Apparently, no one bought into my udder analogy. Still, it may take time for readers to finish the free reading. They could buy The Cock of the South months from now.

These are the numbers. It’s hard to draw any conclusions at this time, but it’s fun to think about. All I really know is that 494 pieces of my fiction are in the hands of people all over the world. Some people may have grabbed more than one title.

Will anyone even read the stories? I have no idea. Free things don’t have much value to people. I’m certain some will read them, and equally certain some will not. Did I just over saturate my market? Probably. As an unknown writer, getting readers is a big deal. If they like the product, they could become buyers one day.

Will I gain reviews? Did I just bait snarky reviews? I’ll just have to be patient. I could use some more positive reviews.

You can make numbers say anything you want. Maybe Tuesday is simply a better day to hold a giveaway. Maybe paranormal is more popular than science fiction. Maybe cowboys trump aliens and robots. Maybe shoppers are savvy to giveaways and know indie authors will hold one eventually.

What has your experience been with free promotions? I’d love to hear from you.


Filed under Writing

Day one of my big giveaway

Today is the first day of my three day book giveaway. This is the day to get Wild Concept free for 24 hours only.

Lisa Burton is a concept robot. Atlantic Robotics borrowed a page from Detroit and decided to make a showpiece robot. Lisa was designed to be as human as possible. She still has tons of whiz bang technology included though. This book explores prejudices from the point of view of the outsider. It still winds up being a science fiction adventure.

Here’s what people are saying:

 “Boyack has a character that has no backstory. There is no history to Lisa Burton, but Boyack takes this thing and breathes a fascinating life into it.”

Enjoy and see how Lisa develops, roar with laughter, cry, shake your head, whenever it suits you. Lisa Burton is my favourite (book) character of the year 2014.”

Boyack used great imagination with Lisa’s development and her personality leaped out of the book to me.”

 “This was a fun read and exciting adventure. It also offers some room for deep reflection on prejudice and what it means to be different. If you are looking for an entertaining read that will make you think about mankind’s journey beyond the natural, make you smile and make you cry, this is a neat little story to pick up.”

Give Wild Concept a chance today. It’s free for one day only, then it’s back to full price.



Filed under Writing

My free promotion theories

This is a reminder that my big promotion starts tomorrow. I’m biting my nails hoping I set it up correctly. There were no hours and minutes available. It will either last one whole day, or one whole second. My plan is for a whole day. (Fingers crossed.)

It is designed like this: I will give away a different book per day for three days. If you’ve been wanting to read one of these stories, now is the time to grab it. The adventurous among you are welcome to grab all of them.

Getting my name out there has always been a challenge. I’m a hardcore introvert, and talking about myself and peddling my product is difficult for me. I’m more at ease talking about your product.

A guy has to do something, and this is what I came up with:

Wild Concept is a bit of science fiction that stays close to home. It’s about an experimental robot who has been given emotions and feelings for the first time. Those of you who regularly read my blog know Lisa. This is Lisa’s story. It will be free tomorrow, December first.

Panama is set in the early 1900s during construction of the Panama Canal. Ethan and Coop are retired military men. Ethan was a Rough Rider and Coop was a Buffalo Soldier. One talks with ghosts and the other dabbles in magic. The president asks them to look into some mysterious disappearances at the construction zone. They are ill prepared for what they find. Panama wants independence, Colombia wants to keep them, there is a Spanish Carlist rebel planning a major invasion, plus the Spaniard is backed up by an army from hell itself. This one has been pulling in quite a few five star reviews. Panama is free on December second.

Arson is the story of Perry Wolfe. He is part of an elite group who fight fires in space. He loses his job to a freak accident and must rebuild his life. He goes to the ATF school to train as a federal arson investigator. While there he uncovers some clues to his sister’s murder and a corporate takeover using arson as leverage. This one is deeper science fiction, and has some sexual situations in it. Arson will be free on December third.

But Craig, don’t you have four books out? Yes I do. The Cock of the South is my first fantasy release. It involves fantasy races in a desperate bid to survive in a human dominated world.

Here’s how I envision this. They say no one will buy the cow if you give the milk away for free. I’ve always seen the world differently. Check this out:

Look! Four Spigots.

Look! Four Spigots.

There are four nozzles on this thing, I have four books published. You can have the milk from three of the spigots, but have to pay for the fourth. That fourth spigot has some amazing milk too. Mmmm. Here, have a free glass and if you like it maybe you’ll want to try the special brand in tap number four.

I don’t know if there is any real value in seeing my name get popular for a few days. Amazon stats change fast, but if there is maybe my stock will rise.

Your free download helps me. Some of you have gone on record saying you’d rather buy the books, that an author deserves compensation. God bless you for that. Don’t feel bad about grabbing a free copy. It helps with my numbers just the same. This time of year brings its own financial crunch. Free reading has to be a bonus to everyone.

If you still want to buy them you can. The Cock of the South is still for sale, and each giveaway only lasts one day. Those of you using the lending library, or Kindle Unlimited can always read them for free. That way I get compensation and you spend nothing.

These titles are all ebook only. You will need a Kindle app. There is a link at the top of my sidebar where you can get one for every device imaginable, and the apps are free. Every self published author out there will thank you for trying a reading app.

These are the last free books from C. S. Boyack in 2014. Don’t miss out, get a free book starting tomorrow.


Filed under Writing

Get ’em while they’re FREE

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.


Filed under Muse, Writing