Tag Archives: Ike

Please Judge This Book by its Cover

In my last post I announced the completion of the first draft of my next novel.

Since then it’s been read by my crack team of beta readers, and thoroughly picked apart. I’ve also gone through it several times to clean it up and plug the holes in the story.

I’m really excited about releasing this one, not only because this story appealed to me from the moment I conceived it, but because all of my beta readers have said it’s my best work.

In another week or so it will go off to the editor…a month or so later it will be released.

I’ve also renamed the book. Up until about a week ago I had been calling it Time After Time – a title that fit the story really well, but didn’t appeal to me at all.

After a lot of thought I have settled on the title Doomed to Repeat.

Both titles fit the story, but I prefer the new one. Only one of my betas disagrees with the change, so I’m happy with it.

While all this is going on I also initiated the cover design process – which is the reason for this post.

Here’s the thing…

We all know how important the cover of a book is. I once read that a potential book buyer will look at the cover of a book for ten seconds or less. If it appeals to them they’ll flip it over and give the back cover another ten seconds to convince them to buy it.

That’s it.

Twenty seconds (give or take) is how much time an author has to sell a book that probably took a year to write. Seems a bit unfair, but it is what it is. Of course, buying books on the internet is different, especially on Amazon where you can actually peek inside the book, but if the cover doesn’t grab you, you probably won’t waste your time peeking. In a perfect world we wouldn’t judge the book by its cover, but the world is far from perfect, so…

I need your help.

I’m going to show you the first conceptual cover design of the new book and I’m going to ask for your honest (brutal if necessary) opinion.

You see…I’ve gotten some feedback from my betas on it already and a couple of them expressed the same concern. I’m not going to tell you what their concern is, I want to know what you think.

So take a look at the cover…

 

 

Now read this blurb…

 

In a top secret bunker during World War II Hitler’s best scientists worked feverishly to complete a project code named Die Glocke (The Bell). Hitler was convinced that The Bell would change, not only the outcome of the war, but history itself.

But what exactly is The Bell?

Flagler Beach, Florida, 2019; Three men emerge from the surf. Two suffer from amnesia – the other is dead. The survivors decide it would be in their best interest to put some distance between them and the corpse. They meet Ex-Navy SEAL Ike, who befriends them and tries to help them with their memory loss.

When the body is discovered, a routine murder investigation turns into an international incident.

Ike has to figure out what the CIA, the KGB and a corrupt U.S. Senator want with his new friends.

It’s a race against time, and time is not on his side.

…now tell me what you think – please.

Be honest – brutally if you like. Don’t hold back – I’m really looking for honest input.

 

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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Good News, Bad News – Which Do You Want First?

If somebody says to you “I’ve got good news and bad news” it’s perfectly understandable to brace yourself for the bad news, regardless of their claim that it will be accompanied by good news. I mean, let’s face it, if the bad news wasn’t really all that bad, they wouldn’t need to give you good news to wash it down…

Right?

Well, I hate to do this to you, but…

I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news.

Now – before you brace yourself too much, let me say this in my defense, my bad news is offset by several pieces of good news.

Its A Trap GIF by Star Wars - Find & Share on GIPHY

I know…it still sounds like a trap, but I’m hoping it won’t be as bad as all that.

So let’s rip the band off right away and get to the bad news…

As you may know, I’ve been working on my tenth novel, 24 Minutes, for a while now.

The goal was to have it released in the beginning of December.

Here it comes – brace yourself.

The release of 24 Minutes will be delayed, possibly by several weeks.

Believe me, I wish I didn’t have to make this announcement, but in the past six months my writing time often had to be put on the back burner (beginning with two months without the use of my right arm back in April).

Oh, and I almost forgot…another piece of bad news for some of you, 24 Minutes has no Ike.

I know – blasphemy!

Lemme ‘splain…

24 Minutes is a complete departure from my previous works. There’s no tongue-in-cheek caper threatening to rob Flagler Beach’s tourists of their peaceful piece of Nirvana, which means there’s no need for Ike to save the day.

In fact, in 24 Minutes there is no hero to save the day, per se. It’s a story dealing with a very intense situation we hear about all too often these days – but that’s all I’m going to say about that.

So, now for all that good news I promised;

First, according to my awesome group of beta readers, 24 Minutes is my best work yet.

One reader said – “It was a little bit breathtaking for me. It’s a chunk of blatant reality playing out. It’s powerful. The reader can feel the passion that went into writing it.”

Needless to say, that was extremely flattering, and also a bit of a relief, because the entire time I’ve been working on it I’ve wondered if I was making a mistake by veering away from my bread and butter, Ike. That being said, hopefully it will be worth the wait for you.

That’s all well and good, but No Ike?

I know – it just doesn’t seem fair, which brings me to more “good news”…

I already have the “what if” idea for my next Ike story, so I’ll be getting to work on that as soon as 24 Minutes is released. My goal will be to have that released during the summer of 2018.

Still not enough good news? Well, try this on for size…

Ike, being the iconic hero he is, has found his way into a book I didn’t write!

That’s right – Ike will be gracing the pages of the soon-to-be-released action novel Blood Dawn, by California author Chris DiBella.

Blood Dawn is DiBella’s third novel and is scheduled for release on December 14th.

Check out this synopsis:

Four Russian submariners wash up on a Florida Beach in 1989, seemingly the survivors of a sunken vessel. The reason for their being in such close proximity to the American shoreline soon becomes evident, as an elderly couple overhears a conversation that leads them to believe there’s much more to the story than just a malfunction at sea. For over thirty years, the fabricated account of the soldiers’ tale remains a mystery. Sean Mercer and his partner, Pat Vigil, are in Colorado conducting research at Rocky Flats when they inadvertently stumble upon a massive tunnel system lying beneath an old nuclear facility. The discovery leads to questions about an unsolved mystery from decades earlier, but finding the answers they seek could lead them down a path from which they might not return. Upon ascertaining information about a Russian plot to smuggle a nuclear bomb into the United States, Mercer realizes there may be a link to the current conspiracy and the discovery about the past. The race is on to find the nuclear weapon and bring the madman responsible for the threat to justice, but will time run out before he and his partner can thwart the attempt to detonate a nuclear weapon on U.S. soil? Blood Dawn is the third installment in the NESA Files series featuring Sean Mercer and the rest of the NESA team.

Fair is fair, Mercer and Vigil were featured in my short story Jungle Boogie, part of the anthology Path of a Bullet. As for the specifics of how Ike fits in to Blood Dawn, well – you’ll have to read it to find out, but, if you like Ike, I think it will be worth your time.

For more information on Chris, and Blood Dawn – go to www.chrisdibella.com.

Finally, I won’t say this fits into the category of good news, but it’s certainly kind of cool…in Blood Dawn there is a character named Tim Baker. (Undoubtedly a suave, sophisticated, James Bond type whose feathers are never ruffled, even while he’s saving the world.)And, from what I’ve been told, he’s not just a throw-away character, he has a fairly significant part in the story.

So there you have it. I really don’t like sharing bad news of any kind, but hopefully this batch came with enough good news to offset it.

Stay tuned for further updates on the release of 24 Minutes

 

As always, thank you for reading

 

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Blood in the Water #FREE This Weekend

The 89th Academy Awards Ceremony – that’s the Oscars to you and me – will take place this Sunday and in celebration of this momentous occasion I am making my latest novel Blood in the Water available for FREE download all weekend!

bitw-cover-front

What is the connection between Blood in the Water and the Oscars you ask?

Well, in addition to being the basis for a future Best Picture Winner, it has loads of connections!!!

First, the main character in the story is named Bob Oscarson, but he goes by the nickname Oscar.

oscar

Not enough for you?

How about this…in the story there are sharks – and as we all know Jaws (a movie about a shark) won 3 Oscars…Best Sound, Best Film Editing and Best Music. It was also nominated for Best Picture, but lost to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. (Damn you Jack Nicholson).

jaws-collage

 

The Oscars will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy has interviewed Oprah Winfrey on his show, and Oprah once hosted a famous book club – so there’s that. (We won’t get into how she never promoted one of my books…)

book-club

Blood in the Water is a novel, and many Oscar winning movies have been based on novels.

Blood in the Water is FREE this weekend (I may have already mentioned that) and you can watch the Oscars for free as well!

free

 

As you can see – the connections are numerous (if not tenuous) – so don’t hesitate…get your FREE copy of this future Oscar winning story today! (or tomorrow, or Sunday – but not Monday, that will be too late!)

reading

As always – thank you for reading (and I’d like to thank the academy…)

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Blood in the Water Splashes Down

bitw-cover-front

I don’t know about other writers but my mind sees stories everywhere.

If I see a shady looking guy in the produce aisle at the grocery store, I’ve concocted a story about global vegetable sabotage before I get to the pet food section.

My biggest – and only – complaint about this particular quirk is that I don’t have enough time to turn all of my story ideas into books. As a result, when it’s time to start a new project, the decision of which idea to work on next usually comes down to a choice between the most recent and the one that excites me the most.

After Full Circle was released in 2015 I needed a new project and, as usual I had several ideas to pick from.

Decisions, decisions…

This time it was fairly easy. I had a story idea that was not only recent, but one I was pretty anxious to write—and, believe it or not, the seed for it was planted in my mind way back when I was 17 years old.

At the time I had a pretty good job for a high school kid, and of course I had no bills, so, I was constantly looking for ways to spend my loot. A friend of mine had just started SCUBA diving, and was talking non-stop about what a blast it was…so…naturally I dove in (no pun intended).

A few years later I found myself married with a child on the way so there was no time (or money) for SCUBA diving, and all the expensive gear I had acquired was sold at a huge (disgustingly huge) loss.

I told myself I’d get back to it again someday.

Well, I did…about three years ago.

If you’re doing the math – that’s about a thirty year span.

At the risk of sounding cliché – it was like riding a bike. Once the rust was gone I felt like I had never stopped. And as a bonus…diving in northeast Florida beats the hell out of diving in Rhode Island!!

But I digress…

scuba-1

As I mentioned earlier, my mind is always looking for story ideas, so it was only a matter of time before I came up with an idea centered on diving. You would think that since Ike, my main character, is an ex-Navy SEAL it would be common for there to be diving in all of my books—and it is, but the diving has never been an integral part of the story – until now.

Right around the time Full Circle was released I was diving and spotted something shiny on the ocean floor. It turned out to be nothing, just light reflecting off a shell, but for a couple of minutes my mind took off, as would anybody’s, to the “T” word (treasure) and I immediately started fantasizing about the possibilities.

Then my author-mind kicked in, and I started considering some other, not so desirable, possibilities.

treasure

It’s that what if moment…

What if a guy was diving and found something really valuable, but it was something that somebody else didn’t want to be found?

This is what I came up with…

bitw-cover-front

Blood in the Water – my ninth novel – tells the story of Bob “Oscar” Oscarson, who finds a 300-year-old Spanish coin while SCUBA diving. Naturally he thinks his find is only the beginning. Unfortunately, he’s right—it’s the beginning of trouble the likes of which he never imagined.

In the book, we also see the return of Flagler Beach P.I. Steve Salem and his partner Val Casey (Backseat to Justice), who are investigating the disappearance of a retired architect from Rhode Island. Somehow their investigation connects them to Oscar and his mystery coin, and before long…there’s blood in the water.

Available in paperback  and  kindle.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I went to a training seminar about active shooters in the work-place and I’ve got an idea for a new book…

As always – thank you for reading

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Another Completed Manuscript – Another Free Novel

Blood in the Water/Water Hazard

 

 

It’s that time of year again…

The time when I write a blog post telling you how I’ve finished the first draft of my latest novel.

By now you probably know the routine, but let’s recap;

The draft is done, but it’s really just the beginning.

start finish

I’ve left it alone for a couple of weeks and sent it to my beta readers. This weekend I will read through it from start to finish and begin cleaning it up. When the comments from my betas start coming in I will go through it from start to finish for each one of them (there are 11). Some of their comments/suggestions I will use and some I won’t, but the value of their effort is immeasurable.

If you did the math you have concluded that, in the next two or three weeks, I will have gone through the manuscript about 12 times.

Once that process is done it will be sent off to the editor. While all that is going on I’ll be working with my cover girl (I love calling her that, but I don’t know if she knows I do!) Keri Knutson who will undoubtedly come up with yet another awesome cover. The editing process will take a month or so and then it will be ready for release.

At the time of this writing I am shooting for a September release.

Now let’s talk about this book – the next Great American Novel…

It’s called Blood in the Water and it marks the return of Flagler Beach P.I. Steve Salem and his partner Val Casey, who haven’t been seen since 2011’s Backseat to Justice.

BTJ cover

Also back in the thick of things is Ike – who had a brief cameo appearance in Full Circle, but hasn’t seen real action since Eyewitness Blues.

Blood in the Water opens with Steve and Val investigating the disappearance of Patrick Donahue, a sixty-eight-year-old retired Architect. Unfortunately, before their investigation gets very far, Donahue’s body washes up on the shore of Flagler Beach. Their missing person search is instantly transformed into a murder investigation.

Meanwhile, SCUBA divers Bob “Oscar” Oscarson and Nik Mostert, find a 300-year-old piece of Spanish gold with an unusual connection to a pair of college girls who disappeared thirty years earlier.

divers

The disappearance of Patrick Donahue, the missing college girls and the origin of the mysterious coin all come together in a fast-paced action story with bad guys, sharks and, of course, Ike.

Speaking of Ike…

In celebration of another completed manuscript I’ve decided to give away one of Ike’s earlier adventures – so Water Hazard will be FREE on Kindle until Wednesday, June 15th. It’s yours for the taking at this link – Water Hazard.

WH cover

So, to sum up;

Blood in the Water manuscript – done.

Water Hazard action novel featuring Ike – FREE

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Happy New Year – FREE Books Here

My last blog post of the year will be very short…and (hopefully) very sweet.

As my way of thanking you for your support, encouragement and friendship over the past year (and beyond as it applies!) I am offering not one…but TWO free kindle downloads until Midnight Sunday!

Did I mention they are both FREE??

free

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download my first novel Living the Dream

Living the Dream

And the sequel No Good Deed

No Good Deed

Both for FREE!!

Download them, enjoy them, tell your friends to download them, share this post with the world…the more the merrier!!

That’s it…you may now resume normal behavior (whatever that may be).

Have a happy and safe new year!!

2015

As always – thank you for reading

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