Monday, December 4, 2017

Get THE WISH THIEF for a steal!

I'm offering you my personal favorite for a steal. Just $2.99 (Reg. $4.99) for the holidays. Click here to go to Amazon page.

The Wish Thief: A Modern Fantasy With Holiday Spirit
More than once I've been asked of all of the books I've created, which one do I like the best. Hands down it's The Wish Thief because of the main character, Glory Alley, is the loyal best friend I would have liked to have had as a girl. She's adventurous, prone to fits of laughter, a bit of a science geek, too proud to back away from a fight, a mix of Tom Boy and Girly Girl, self-conscience about her weight, but not into fashion because her entire wardrobe is hand-me-downs. Plus, she wouldn't look down on my family for being poor because so is Glory's. Used to struggling to survive at both home and school, little does she know her biggest challenge is around the bend, down in the forbidden caverns of Queen's Mesa. Did I mention that Glory is a cave explorer and wannabe geologist? Very cool attributes in a best friend! 

The story opens a few years after her mother's death. Glory's father drowns his grief in alcohol, while the house falls down around them. To escape her troubles at home, Glory frequently treks across the countryside to the mysterious caves of Queen's Mesa. When Glory finds a priceless treasure beyond compare, she thinks all of her dreams are about to come true, but as bad luck would have it, otherworldly creatures with mystical powers arrive to foil her plans. However, dauntless Glory faces them with her own brand of magic--the power of never giving up. And, the battle is on! 

The story takes place on a world much like our own, during the Season of Giving, making it a fun book to cozy into around the holidays. There are religious undertones to the tale, so subtle you may not even notice, but if you enjoy digging for that sort of thing, you won't be disappointed. The price is right, so take a chance on Glory today! 

Click here to find it on Amazon

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Win an Avant Nation Coffee Mug



I'm celebrating the release of Escape the Machine, book number two of the Avant Nation series, by giving away a nifty coffee mug.

The front is of the main character, Clara Spinner. The image symbolizes how she is caught in the daily grind of the cosmic machine, like so many cogwheels, spinning around and around: 

The back of the mug reads:

Avant Nation
Caution: Cogs at Work 

The mug is a fun little giveaway, a way of paying homage to my writing fuel of choice, coffee! 

To enter all you have to do is sign-up to follow my blog here or already be a follower. Regretfully, only those of you living in the United States are eligible (because shipping costs are crazy).

Click HERE to check out Escape the Machine (Avant Nation, Book #2). Thank you for your interest in my work and good luck!


Monday, July 3, 2017

Independence Day and Washington Have Gone to the Dogs

Oh, happy fault. Pedigree made a short documentary about General George Washington and his enemy's lost dog. It's a clever ploy to plug their products, but who cares? The video accurately captures a little piece of history during the War of Independence and I love it!

From the evidence gathered, George Washington was a dog lover, partial to Staghounds, a hunting breed similar to what we call Greyhounds today. Sweet Lips, Vulcan and Scentwell were some of their names. He also had several Black and Tan Coonhounds, including rascals Drunkard, Taster, Tippler and Tipsy. Could it be that their owner was a bit of a Boozehound himself? After all, Washington did own the largest distillery in America and enjoyed a fine imported Madeira every now-and-then. However, he was no drunkard. The man was a model of moderation and self-control.

There's a rumor among dog breeders that Washington bred the Black and Tan Coonhounds with his Staghounds, which resulted in America's first Foxhounds. After studying the comparison, what do you think? 

Hmm . . . maybe.

Now back to the commercial. The scene takes place in Pennsylvania, October 1777, during the Battle of Germantown. Cornwallis had previously marched into Philadelphia and claimed it for the British, so spirits were low. Of course, as the video captures so well, Washington never lost his sense of integrity.  

If you want to know more about the incident, there's a really cute children's book called George Washington and the General's Dog by Frank Murphy that summarizes it quite nicely. If you prefer an adult version, check out General Howe's Dog, by Caroline Tiger.

The original letter Washington wrote to Howe has been preserved for history. To see it, click here.

I wasn't planning on doing a blog entry today, especially not about dog food, but after I watched the commercial I couldn't stop myself. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Happy 4th of July! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Avant Nation Publishing News

Here's a list of what's been going on over here in "cog" land:

Title Changes

  • When novel one was released back in 2015 it was simply called Avant Nation. I recently went back to give it a subtitle, Resist the Machine. Available here.
  • Avant Nation is now the name of the entire series. 
    Sequel Release Info
    • The title of the second book is Escape the Machine.
    • Gingerman Editorial has given it a thorough content edit and now it's currently with Mitey Editing for a line-by-line check. At this point, I can't give a precise publication date. My best guess is September 2017, thereabout. Fingers crossed.

    Book Cover Switch-A-Roo

    • I had planned to commission the same cover artist to do all of the books in the series, but he has dropped out of the business. Talk about bummed. I absolutely adored the image of Clara clinging for dear life on a giant cogwheel, but whaddaya gonna do?
    • I decided to use the opportunity to rethink the vibe I wanted it to give off.  Since Avantica is a place where the government uses advanced technology to exercise total control over its citizens, I wanted book cover 2.0 to wed Technology with Big Brother Is Always Watching for a creepy Utopia Gone Wrong effect. Do you think the new cover is effective that way? Feel free to comment. 

      Available on Amazon
    • A big thank you to my new cover artist, Keith Draws. When I approached him, I had a totally different idea in mind that I later scrapped. He was infinitely patient with my indecisiveness. Check out his webpage here.

    Evolution of Avant Nation's Lingo

    I made a few small editorial changes to the world building in book one. For starters, I gave names to technology that hasn't quite come to fruition yet in the real world. 
    • If you have read book one, you already know that flat screens are a thing of the past in the advanced nation of Avantica. Three dimensional viewing is everywhere. Images from video games and television are projected into the air. The Avants call these images video clouds. Vloud is the slang term (video + cloud). 
    • The clock makers wear telescopic goggles now instead of sunglasses. I didn't give them a special name, but I wanted to let you know.
    • In keeping with my own vision of the future, the majority of vehicles in Avantica are now driverless. The citizens summon them like taxis and simply tell the on board computer where they want to go. No human driver required. I decided to keep calling them cars and trucks. The reason being is that Avants assume a vehicle is driverless unless someone says otherwise.
    • The young Avants in the artificial wombs at the population factories are no longer called children. They're potentials. 
    Since every powerful culture develops its own vernacular, I think it makes sense the Avants would as well.  

    Now you're up-to-date and hopefully eager for book two. 

    In upcoming posts, I'll reveal the the precise publication date for Escape the Machine (Avant Nation, Book #2), how to get it at a discount, and maybe talk about some of the cool elements commonly found in dystopian cover art.  

    Thursday, May 4, 2017

    Discuss Comet Dust Online with the Catholic Book Club

    Goodreads . . . The Catholic Book Club
    Comet Dust, a supernatural apocalyptic thriller based on the astonishing revelations of the saints, is the the Catholic Book Club's Book of the Month. I'm excited to be chosen and a little scared to find out what readers really think. Heh.

    If you'd like to read or join the online discussion over at Goodreads, here's the link: 

    Goodreads Catholic Book Club

    For those of you who may not be familiar with Goodreads, it's a free website for book lovers. Think of it as a large library that you can wander through and see everyone's bookshelves, their reviews, and their ratings. You can post your own reviews, catalog what you have read, what you are currently reading, and plan to read in the future. You can join a book club, create one of your own, and sign up to win free books.

    Get THE WISH THIEF for a steal!

    I'm offering you my personal favorite for a steal. Just  $2.99 (Reg. $4.99) for the holidays. Click here to go to Amazon page. ...