It’s That Time Again

Time is a funny thing.

We use it to measure everything from how long to cook an egg to how long we’ve been on the planet.

Time is used to determine winners and losers, and to mark history.

In fact, without time, there would be no history.

The rate at which time passes is inversely proportional to the desire of what one is waiting for.

There have been more songs written about time than there are seconds in the average song.

 

According to Albert Einstein, time sums up his most famous theory…

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”

We blame time for all kinds of problems because there never seems to be enough of it…unless we have too much of it on our hands.

Time is money, it waits for no man, and it heals all wounds…

Time is a funny thing.

So, where am I going with this?

All in good time…

First, I’d like to point out a couple of dates;

June 12, 2016 – that was the day I announced the completion of the first draft of Blood in the Water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 1, 2017 – the announcement of the completion of the first draft of 24 Minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those two announcements came nearly fourteen months apart – a long time considering I had released at least one book each year between 2009 and 2016 – with a few years seeing two or three releases.

Ironically, 24 Minutes – a book about the passing of time, and also my shortest book – took the longest time to write.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

(I know – it’s about time!)

 

On July 5th, 2018 – less than eleven months after the completion of 24 Minutes’ first draft – I completed the first draft of my next book. That’s more than three months faster than 24 Minutes.

I’m pretty happy about that.

Ironically, this book also deals with time.

The working title – which will definitely change as soon as I think of a better one – is Time After Time.

I call it Time for short.

For a long time (no pun intended), when people asked me which genre my work would fall under, I had trouble answering. My standard answer is usually something like ‘my books are fast-paced, humorous, crime stories’, but that doesn’t cover it really. Unfinished Business had a hint of the paranormal, Full Circle was a bit on the metaphysical side, and 24 Minutes was a psychological thriller.

Even though they all had characteristics of my self-described genre, they weren’t your off-the-shelf crime stories.

So it is with Time as well.

Time combines my standard genre with some historic fiction and a bit of sci-fi thrown in to really make it different.

No spoilers here – but the story begins in a Nazi bunker during World War II and ends in Flagler Beach, Florida in 2018.

If you’re keeping score, that’s about a 75 year time span.

Ike and the usual cast of characters, Brewski, Ralph and Bill Eldredge, all return to save mankind from a plot devised by Adolph Hitler himself, taking on the CIA and the KGB in the process.

Obviously, neither of those agencies know who they’re messing with!

So, without wasting any more of your time…

Time After Time will now go to my crack team of beta readers…while they are ripping it to shreds I will also go through it again and plug any gaping holes in the story.

Then it’s off to the editor before it is released.

Right now I am anticipating an October release, but you never know…

…after all, when you need it the most, time flies.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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It’s Been a Long Time Coming!!

Once again I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you…

Like the last time I’ll give you the bad news first;

There will be no FREE book this week.

After a month of giveaways, and well over 500 FREE books downloaded – I’m pulling the plug on it (at least for the foreseeable future).

That’s the bad news.

 

 

Now for the good news;

If you remember when I started giving books away back on Valentine’s Day, I said I was going to do it until my next novel, 24 Minutes, was released.

Well, strike up the band and let loose the doves!

 

It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of my tenth novel – 24 Minutes!!

It has been about 15 months since the release of my last book, Blood in the Water and I had every intention of releasing 24 Minutes in 2017…but that didn’t exactly go according to plan (as discussed here).

I guess this is a good time to polish off the old standard better late then never!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who were instrumental in the writing of 24 Minutes, beginning with Sr. Commander Mark Carmen of the Flagler Beach Sheriff’s Office for teaching the “active shooter” class which provided the inspiration. My good friend Bill Eldredge for always being there to help with computer related issues and also for offering some great feedback about the story.

And my crew of outstanding beta readers;

Tracey Yankee

Susan Toy

Dennis Ference

Becky Heishman

Susan Nicholls

Darlene Pardiny

Mary Kronenberg

Carolann Padgett MS, PhD

Joe Baker

and

Ted Baker

These folks probably don’t realize how critical their input is, but without them none of my books would be the same.

Speaking of being the same – it’s worth mentioning again that 24 Minutes is very unlike all of my other books. As discussed before, it deals with an active shooter situation.

The fact that the phrase active shooter has become such an accepted part of our lexicon is very sad, and I have given a great deal of thought in the past year about how I felt writing a story about it.

Part of me felt guilty – as if I were capitalizing on such tragedies…part of me felt as though the situation was not proper subject matter for a fiction story, and the rest of me felt the story needed to be written.

Obviously, I got over my trepidation.

Naturally, I hope you enjoy it, but my bigger hope is that 24 Minutes will have a positive effect on the current epidemic of gun violence in this country.

The book is not political, it doesn’t take a side and it offers no solution…it’s just a story, but maybe it will get people talking, which is the first step in finding a solution.

Anyway – enough of that – it’s time for some more good news!

When I release a new book, the kindle price is always $2.99, but what I also do is drop the price of one of my other books to $0.99.

So in keeping with that tradition, the price of Pump It Up has been dropped.

All in all I would have to say I’m pretty excited…and I hope you enjoy 24 Minutes!

 

As Always – thank you for reading

 

 

 

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Another FREE BOOK?

That’s right! Here we go again…time for another FREE Book!

If you’re late to the party, find out what’s going on here.

Since I started this give away on Valentine’s Day, I’ve given away 449 FREE books! I think breaking 500 is a reasonable goal – so let’s get after it…

This week’s freebie –

Full Circle

Full Circle is actually a story I conceived and began writing in 1988 – you can learn more about that here. I don’t remember exactly what sparked the idea for the story way back then, but I liked it enough to hold on to it for nearly three decades. Here’s a little more info about it.

Full Circle will be FREE form Thursday March 8, 2018 thru Monday March 12, 2018.

I hope you enjoy Full Circle, and I hope you’re as excited about the impending release of 24 Minutes as I am!

And here’s a shark…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Happy Friday – Have Some More Free Books!!

This may seem like déjà vu, but I’m back again to tell you about yet ANOTHER FREE BOOK

Beginning today, March 2, 2018 and going until Tuesday the 6th you can download Pump It Up for FREE.

Pump It Up for FREE!!

Again – this is part of the Valentine’s gift from Ike (discussed here) where I will be giving away FREE BOOKS until my new novel 24 Minutes is released.

Speaking of 24 Minutes…here’s an update;

The editing process is done and the book is now in the hands of the formatter.

If things go well it should be available by the end of next week sometime around March 10th).

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!!!

Since we are so close to the release of 24 Minutes – and thus the end of the free book give away…I’m going to up the ante…

Beginning tomorrow, March 3, 2018, Water Hazard will be FREE for 5 days!

Don’t drink the water – unless it’s FREE!!

So you can snag all of your weekend reading (whether you’re snow bound or going to the beach) for FREE!

So – to recap…

Valentine

Ike

Pump It Up – FREE

Water Hazard – FREE

24 Minutes – ALMOST

Happy Friday!

Oh – and here’s a shark…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always – thank you for reading

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One Bad Review Don’t Spoil the Whole Bunch

Any independent author will tell you how important reviews are.

Word of mouth is great – we love it when you tell your friends and family that you enjoyed our books, but an on-line review is forever.

One written review is worth a hundred verbal recommendations, because many people will forget the part of the conversation you had at the party about the last book you read – but once you put that praise in writing on a site like Amazon it’ll be there long after the party is forgotten.

So it’s no surprise that independent authors often (shamelessly) beg people for reviews.

I, personally, have written a few blog posts asking people to write reviews, (here’s one) even offering to name reviewers in my books…often to no avail.

Of course, there is a downside to getting reviews…

The Bad Review  

Whether you’ve written one poem or 20 novels…there will be somebody out there who finds fault with it.

The first critical assessment of your work is tough to swallow, but before long you learn to roll with it. If you don’t learn to, you’ll waste a lot of time stressing about it. Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with it often, but, you will have to deal with it at some point, as sure as the world is round (it is round, you know).

As much as I want everybody to enjoy my work, I’m realistic enough to understand that it just ain’t gonna happen. So, whenever one of my books gets panned by a self-anointed expert, I take it in stride. If the reviewer was kind enough to give specific reasons for not liking the book (poor character development, lack of structure, etc.) I make it a point to work on those areas in my next book. If it’s simply a general bashing (This guy sucks and I hated this book) I laugh and walk away…

…most of the time.

Generally, it’s not a good idea to respond to negative criticism of your work. It usually has no result other than increasing your stress level and giving the critic the satisfaction of knowing they got to you.

But sometimes I just can’t resist.

Allow me to share an example…

My novel Backseat to Justice recently got its first ‘one-star review’. Prior to that it had 14 five-star reviews, 11 four-star, and 3 three-star (see for yourself here).

Not bad, if I do say so myself.

So, given the fact that only 1 out of 29 reviews was a total bashing, I thought a response was in order.

The reviewer, code named Dog Mom, had essentially only one complaint. She downloaded a free copy of the book on her kindle, and for some reason—known only to the internet gods—the book’s formatting was completely missing from the download. It came through on her device as, in her words, “one long paragraph.” She suggested I take a writing class to learn the proper way to write a story.

Now, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t benefit from a writing class…but I do have to ask myself one question;

Of all the other 28 reviews, why had nobody else had this problem?

I have the book on my kindle – I immediately checked the formatting…no problems at all.

So, I am forced to conclude that her download must have gotten tangled in the interweb, thus resulting in the poor layout.

Regardless, I still felt she deserved a reply for taking the time to point out my blatant inadequacies.

 

After reading her comments, I decided to check out her other reviews. Lo and behold, about 4 out of every 5 reviews she has written have been one-star tear-downs. This made me chuckle…she’s a serial trasher! (check it out…it’s kind of funny)

I decided to have some fun with Dog Mom so I responded thusly;

I wonder if it’s possible that there was an issue with your download since you are the only person who has ever mentioned this problem. That being said – I will begin looking into some writing classes. Can you recommend the one you took before you wrote all of your novels?

Sometimes I can be a real jerk!

 

As always  thank you for reading (and reviewing!)

 

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Which Book is Free This Week? It’s (none of your) Unfinished Business!

If you’ve been paying attention you know that I have been giving away free books for the past two weeks (get caught up here and here) in anticipation of the release of my next novel 24 Minutes.

So far, I’ve made two books available for free download – Blood in the Water and Backseat to Justice.

Both of these books are from my Steve Salem collection.

Steve Salem is a former Boston cop now working as a Private Investigator in Flagler Beach, Florida. For some strange reason Steve and his partner Val Casey seem to stumble across some very unusual cases, and they usually end up recruiting the services of Ike.

Ike – for the uninitiated in the audience – is the main character in almost all of my books. He is an ex-Navy SEAL now living in Flagler Beach and in the employ of local bookie Ralph Donabedian.

Ike has been described as Robin Hood on a Harley (not my description, but one that I thoroughly approve of!).

As I said – Ike is the main character in most of my novels – as well as the subject of a collection of short stories. However…this week’s giveaway will feature the only book I’ve written which doesn’t include Ike at all.

That book is…

 

Unfinished Business.

 

Unfinished Business is the story of Meg Seabury, a mortician who is inexplicably tasked with carrying out the final thoughts of the bodies she embalms.

It’s a cross between my usual stories and The Twilight Zone.

I hope you enjoy it!

 

As always – thank you for reading

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The Giving Continues – Backseat to Justice is FREE!

Last week I announced a plan to give away a FREE book each week until my next novel, 24 Minutes, is released.

The first offering was Blood in the Water – and I was pleased (not overjoyed, but pleased) that I gave away almost 200 copies.

Blood in the Water chronicles an investigation by Flagler Beach P.I. Steve Salem and his partner Val Casey. It’s the second of my books to feature them.

The first – Backseat to Justice – was released in 2011 (or maybe 12 – I lose track) and it will be this week’s give away.

 

You could say that I should have reversed the order and given Backseat away first – and you’d be right, but that ship has sailed.

Maybe I wasn’t thinking that far ahead…or maybe I was pulling a George Lucas!

Whatever the case may be – you may now download Backseat to Justice for FREE until February 24th!!

If you took advantage of last week’s give away and downloaded Blood in the Water, but haven’t read it yet – you can hold off on it until you’ve read the prequel.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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