Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thoughts and Ponderings For The Coming Year...

First off, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year's Eve.  We've gotten through another year, and I hope that whatever you do to celebrate tonight, please be safe.


This past year has been another interesting one, especially with the release of the second novel in my Para-Earth Series.  "The Ship" has gotten a number of 5 star reviews and has been hailed as better its predecessor "The Bridge".  Although both are connected, each novel stands on its own and can be sampled for free at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.  For those wondering, I've made the first 30 pages of each novel available for sampling (that's right, I don't skimp).

I also created a new blog titled "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition" (link: http://thevampyreblogs.blogspot.com/), which serves as a preview of my next venture into the Para-Earth Series.  On this blog you can meet my first vampyre character, who shares many strengths and weakness of the creatures of legend, but is decidedly NOT undead.  I've been posting short story entries on that blog to help introduce him and several other characters who will appear in the novel itself.  However, none of the entries on the blog will be appearing in the novel.  

Looking forward to the coming year, one of my goals is to release book #3 "The Door" which will reunite the characters from my first 2 books as well as placing them all in new dangers from old foes they thought vanquished.  Underlying mysteries and loose threads from the first two novels will also be addressed as one character's entire life will be explained and changed forever.  I'm hoping to release "The Door" towards the end of May.

Also planned for release in October/December of 2015, will be "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home", the first in that part of my Para-Earth Series.  *Note: I will continue to also release short stories which will act as supplemental material, on the blog site itself.*



I am also currently trying to decide whether or not to try placing "The Bridge" and/or "The Ship" into the Kindle Unlimited program.  Neither has been doing very well in sales for the past few months in spite of all my advertising.  A part of me is getting the impression that people are unwilling to take a risk on a little-known author.  Whereas in the Kindle Unlimited program, people can 'borrow' as many e-books as they like for a set yearly fee.  The author's get a percentage every time their book is 'borrowed' earning more money and gaining new readers.  

But the downside would be I'd have to remove the books I place into the program from Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and other non-kindle places.  So I really could use some feedback from all of you as to whether or not I should take such a drastic step.  Therefore I ask you all to leave your thoughts and feelings in the comment section below.  You are my audience and are very important to me.  I don't want any of you getting short-changed because of any decision I make.

I'd also like to hear from any authors who are already in the program and wish to share their experiences.  

Anyway, this is all I have to say for now as we all get ready to close out 2014.  I look forward to hearing from you all in 2015 as I continue to share my knowledge and experiences on this winding road of book publishing.

Take care, stay safe and keep writing everyone.





Saturday, December 27, 2014

Novella Versus Novelette, Is There A Difference?



What's in a name?  A novella or novelette is just a short story that is rather long and falls short of a full-length novel right?  Well according to my research, this is only partly correct.  

Length or word count, is the key to what defines a short story, a novelette, a novella and of course a novel.  I admit I was rather surprised to see that there was a difference between a novella and a novelette.  I always presumed they were just interchangeable terms for the same kind of extremely long short story. 

Why was I even interested in finding out about all this in the first place you may be asking yourself.  Well I'll tell you.  If you hadn't heard already, I decided to do a short story that involved my vampyre character Nathaniel Steward (who will be getting his first full-length novel around October 2015) and several of my characters from my first novel "The Bridge".  I did this because I was hearing from more and more readers about how they'd missed Veronica, her boss Roy and a few others who did not appear in my 2nd novel "The Ship".  

Now I had already been thinking about doing a short story for Nathan, to help fill my ongoing short tales involving him over at my other blog "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition."   The entire purpose of that blog is to build an audience for Nathan in advance so I could hopefully have a large group of people eagerly awaiting the release of his first novel.  After all, unless you have a name like Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, or J. K. Rowling, you really have to work to get your name and novels known to more people.

So then it occurred to me that since Veronica and company live in Connecticut, it gets awfully snowy up there which would be a great setting for a Christmas tale.  However, I realized I had to be careful not to let any short story interfere with the current storyline running between "The Bridge", "The Ship" (my second novel), and my upcoming novel "The Door" which I hope to release in May 2015.  So how could I do a crossover with these characters?

The answer was simple.  Since Nathan is already over a hundred and fifty years old, he has a lot of room for past history.  Whereas Veronica, and her boss Roy Petersen, are 45 and 60 respectively, in the novels.  So of course they also had room for untold encounters with various people.  So there was plenty of room for these three to have met some time int he past... and thus my story was born.

So I set my story to take place in 1999, which allowed me to bring back another beloved character Jason Cloudfoot, as well as his niece Julie De Luca-Cloudfoot who continues to play a major roll in the novels.  Only in this tale, we would get to meet Julie as a little girl who is just starting to demonstrate some of the shamanic powers that define her today.


Now I  had my cast, a setting, a time frame and an idea.  What happened next is what always happens to me when I write.  My short story kept growing and growing.  I kept getting more twists and turns to throw in and the ideas kept flowing.  Before long my word count grew and grew.  When I finally finished my 'short story' was weighing in at 13,700 words, which came out to be twenty-five single spaced pages. 

I really had to sit back and wonder at that.  Had I actually created a novella instead of a short story?  So I did my research and learned the average length of a short story was considered to be around 7,000 words.  

Obviously I had almost double that number so I checked further.  This was when I learned that a novelette was not the same as a novella.  The word count for a novelette ranged between 7000 and 20,000 words (which is where my tale fell into).  Looking ahead I discovered that a novella averaged in 20,000-50,000 words.  Anything beyond that was of course considered a full-length novel.



So why does any of this matter?  So what if I wrote a novelette instead of a short story?  Simple, the difference comes in when you try to publish the piece and market it to your readers.  Tell people you're offering a short story and they say, "Oh how nice... and you want how much for it?  It's just a short story.  I want to get my money's worth..."

But once you tell them its small novel of sorts, then they might become more willing to spend a bit more to read your tale.  I've seen people offering short stories that are less than a 1,000 words long for $2.99 or $3.99, and wonder why they're not getting many takers.

You have to offer the audience substance and value for their money.  So labeling your work properly is very important.  

Well, that's all I have for you today.  If anyone would like to see what a 'novelette' looks like here are the links to all the installments of my winter holiday tale below.  I broke it up into six parts so more people could enjoy the story without needing an e-reader:  

"Home For Christmas: A Para-Earth Holiday Tale"



Until next time my friends, enjoy the holidays and keep writing...

Thursday, December 25, 2014

****MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE****



Both my books "The Bridge" and "The Ship" are 1/2 off from now until January 2nd, 2015.  So take advantage and grab some 5-star tales for you new Kindle, Nook, I-Pad, I-Book etc. 

Each novel is only a $1.49 instead of the usual $2.99.  So you can get both books for the price of one.  Enjoy and spread the word to everyone you know.  Book 3 will be coming out in mid-2015, followed by my first vampyre novel in late October.



Apple and other readers (including PDF for just a regular laptop/desktop computer): https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383

Monday, December 22, 2014

I Have A Special Holiday Gift For You All Over On My Other Blog...


I had planned on releasing a special short story on Christmas Day for all my readers.  The original idea had been to make it available for FREE on Smashwords, so everyone could have something to download on their new Nooks, Kindles, I-Pads, etc.  Unfortunately, due to a heavy last minute "cram-everything-into-the-last-few-weeks-of-the-semester" by my professors at the university, I never got to do a cover and several other things that needed to be done to the story before it could go up on Smashwords.

So instead, I've been releasing the story in chapters on my other blog "The Vampyre Blogs - Special Edition".  

What makes this story so special is that it involves not only my vampyre character Nathaniel, but several other familiar faces from my first published novel "The Bridge".  I also set the story sixteen years in the past so as not to conflict with the events that took place in "The Bridge".

I'll continue to release more chapters each day up until Christmas where the story will reach its climax.   Depending on the response I get, I hope to do the same thing next year with a brand new story.

At the same time, I'll be releasing the current story in its entirety for Kindle, Nook, and other e-books with but with an original artwork cover, proper editing, and possibly some illustrations (fingers crossed).

In the meantime, let the holiday reading begin.  I'm providing links to Parts I and II just below.  Tomorrow I'll post the link for part III and so on until Christmas day.  I hope you all take advantage and enjoy the story.  Please leave feedback here or over at "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition".so I know what you all thought of the story and your opinions on my releasing it installments.


"Home For Christmas: A Para-Earth Holiday Tale"



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holiday Greetings Continued...

For those who didn't know, today will be the shortest day of the year, as well as the longest night.  It is better known as the Winter Solstice. 


It has also been referred to as Yuletide in some places.


A lot of the more well known customs such as the Yule Log, Wassailing, Mistletoe and the Yule (or Christmas) Tree are directly associated with this time of the year.  The basic idea being to help preserve life by keeping green things alive inside your house so the sun will return after the longest and darkest night.


*I know this is a very simplified explanation, but I only have so much room in this blog.  I hope to go into deeper details next year.*


So to all my Pagan and Wiccan friends I wish you both a...

 HAPPY SOLSTICE

and a 

BLESSED YULE

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Daily Holiday Greetings ...

For the next few days my blog will be dedicated to wishing people, from many different faiths, holiday wishes.  I'll do my best to cover as many as possible, but if I overlook anyone, please let me know.


And now I'd like to kick things off by wishing all my readers who celebrate the miracle of oil and lights...


A Happy and Blessed Hannukkah to you all.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

****Still Looking For Gifts For That Horror fan, or Paranormal Lover In Your Life?****

How about one or even two trade paperbacks signed and personalized by the author?




That's right, you can get signed and personalized copies of books one and two in my 5-Star "Para-Earth" series for just $10.00 each, plus $5.00 shipping and handling anywhere in the United States. (For overseas shipping will be more of course, and will depend on the destination).

*I accept Paypal, checks, or money orders*

Just tell me which title(s) you want and if they're to be signed and personalized. (Some people prefer just signed, which is why I ask).

You can contact me by leaving a message below or by e-mailing me at:
allan.krummenacker@gmail.com

Please note: Normal mailing time is 5-9 days, so order soon to get it in time for Christmas. If there's a rush, let me know and the shipping price will be adjusted accordingly.  Also, with the holiday approaching the sooner you order the better, so I can get it to you in time.  Or if you like, I can mail the book(s) fully gift-wrapped to the recipient if you wish.


You can take a sneak peak inside both "The Bridge" and "The Ship" at:


Just click on each title and you can read the first 20 pages for free.

Hoping you're all enjoying the holiday season, take care and keep writing.




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Rainy Day Musings About My Books and School...

"Okay, so where do I go next?"


That's the question I've been asking myself a lot during the week-long break I had from my studies at CSUMB.  I managed to finally put the 2nd draft of "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" (the new official title of my 1st vampyre novel) and am currently reading it aloud to my wife Helen.  I'm already seeing areas that definitely need more work and rewriting, but her reactions to most of the scenes have been very positive.  Plus she's also providing me with some feedback on one of the characters who she actually created.  There will be a third and possibly a fourth draft before I unleash anything on my beta-readers.  Luckily I've got time since the book isn't going to be released until next fall at the earliest.

In the meantime I really want to get back to "The Door" which is the third book of mine that will feature Alex, Veronica, Cassie and Julie.  This book will wrap up most of the unanswered questions from "The Bridge" and "The Ship".  We'll see the final showdown with the mysterious white-haired man who tried to defend the creature inside the bridge and then followed Cassie and Julie all the way to Santa Cruz.  I will also reveal the ghostly Brandon's secret and why he has watched over Cassie all her life.  The mysterious return of Rachel's baby will also be explained, considering she was dying when we last saw her.  But I will also be sowing seeds for future books as well, so expect some new characters and mysteries to be unveiled.

However, for now I must think mainly about my studies at school.  I've been taking four classes this semester and three of them do NOT have finals, thank God.  However, my Statistics class has a cumulative final which more than makes up for the others not having final exams.  I must get a 65 or better on the final to pass the class even though I've already got a "A" grade in it for all my other work.  I hate classes that have that rule.  It puts so much more pressure on a person.  

Anyway the exam is scheduled for December 15th, so less than two weeks away.  So I'll be doing a lot of reviewing and studying, as well as wrapping up the other classes which also have assignments due before the next two weeks are done.  So as you can see I've got quite a lot on my plate already.  

I still hope to put out a Christmas short story involving Nathaniel (my vampyre), Jason Cloudfoot (yes this story is being set in the past so he's still alive), Police Chief Roy Peterson, his new second-in-command Veronica Ross, and a very young Julie.  Expect ghosts (perfect for a Christmas story), mystery, and some touching moments.  

Until then, I'll be posting when I can and probably running holiday sale or two.  So stay tuned.  In the meantime, enjoy the season and keep writing everyone.

Monday, December 1, 2014

****THERE ARE ONLY HOURS LEFT... MY $.99 CENT CYBER SPECIAL ENDS AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT****


The Bridge Book Cover 2.75e6965-theship-covercreatespacedb










You read correctly. You have only hours left to get one or both of my 5-STAR paranormal/mystery e-books "The Bridge" and "The Ship" for $.99 Cents each. That's 2/3's off the regular price folks. Tomorrow, both books will be going back to their regular price of $2.99.
So take advantage of me... I mean... this sale to give yourself or someone you know who'll be getting a Kindle, Nook, Smartphone, Ipad, laptop or a new desktop, something they can enjoy right away. Ghosts (which is appropriate at Christmas), psychics, mystery, love, and heart-pounding excitement await await you all in these two novels.
And if you've already gotten copies for yourself, thanks so much for your support. I only ask you please help spread the word to family, friends and everyone you know so they can take advantage of this sale.
We've got all the e-book formats, just click on the links below to get the one that will fit you or that special someone who's going to be receiving that e-reader so they have something exciting to read as soon as they open their gift.
*NOTE: You can read samples both books for free as well as buy copies at the following links:
KINDLE: amazon.com/author/allankrummenacker
AMAZON.UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/…/e/B00B1W8TEU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
BARNES AND NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/allan-krummenacker
NOOK, SONY E-READER, APPLE, PDF OR E-PUB FORMATS: 
https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383

KOBO: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/search?Query=Allan+Krummenacker

Friday, November 28, 2014

My $0.99 Cent Cyber-Weekend Special Is Going On Right Now!


****GOING ON NOW AND LASTING UNTIL MIDNIGHT MONDAY****
All e-copies of my 5-star paranormal/mystery books will be available for just $0.99 cents

Whether you have a Kindle, a Nook, a smartphone, or even just a laptop or desktop, there will be a format available for you.

"The Bridge" Book 1 in the Para-Earth Series

8f201-thebridgebookcoverpressreleasekit
Alex Hill buried his psychic talents for eighteen year. But with with scream of tires and twisting metal, all this changes.
When his girlfriend, Police Sergeant Veronica Ross , is nearly run down by two teens he becomes concerned. But upon learning that both the driver and passenger of the vehicle in question, had been dead for almost twelve hours before the incident, he knows what he must do...

"THE SHIP" Book 2 in the Para-Earth Series

e6965-theship-covercreatespacedb
Cassandra Elliott is a billionaire heiress, who has just come out of the closet. She's also a powerful psychic who has seen incredible and terrifying things.
In fact just two weeks ago she and her girlfriend Julie Cloudfoot survived a terrifying experience. Fighting alongside their friends Alex Hill and Police Sergeant Veronica Ross, they faced creature from a parallel reality, where evolution had taken a decidedly different turn.
As a result of that encounter Cassie and Julie have come to Santa Cruz, California to bury Julie's uncle who fell to the creature. They've also come to see if their new romantic relationship will work out. Unknown to either of them an old adversary has followed them.
A white-haired man in a flowing black cape is lurking inside an old wrecked ship. He has plans for Cassandra and will need her soon, but until then he must keep her safe. However, a new threat appears, a legendary ghost ship arises from the sea and marks the girl as its next target.
Soon the two women find themselves fighting not only for their lives, to be keep from being separated forever...

***You can find and sample both books for free at the following links***

AMAZON.UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Allan-Krummenacker/e/B00B1W8TEU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
BARNES AND NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/allan-krummenacker
NOOK, SONY E-READER, APPLE, PDF OR E-PUB FORMATS: 
https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383
KOBO:http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/search?query=Allan+Krummenacker&fcsearchfield=Author&fclanguages=all

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Insights In Writing From a 1st Person Perspective...


For just about all writers, the choice of voice or perspective to use is always a challenge.  Although many write in the third person voice, there are two options.  Do you do 'limited' where we only know what's going through one characters mind, or do you use the 'omniscient' version where the readers get to know what's going through everyone's mind at the same time, even if the characters are not sharing all their thoughts with each other.

I did the 'limited' third person point of view in my first two novels.  However I kept changing who's head we were inside with each chapter, giving a nice build up and differing points of view.  So in the new novel I'm working on  "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" I wanted to try 1st person perspective, but still do multiple points of view.  So, with my wife's advice, I chose the same method Bram Stoker used to write "Dracula".  He did 1st person from many different points of view by using letters, journal entries, diaries, etc. and it worked.

In my case, I went for blog and e-journal entries to tell my story, as well as some newspaper clippings to help supply background information for the reader.  Now, I know I've said all this before, but I wanted to repeat it for the benefit of anyone who had missed those earlier entries.  What I did not count on was dealing with Present Tense vs. Past Tense in the First Person.


I realized I might have a problem after I started the 2nd draft of the novel and started noticing that some entries were in the past tense, while others were in the present.  Sometimes I kept going back and forth within the same chapter.  So then I had to decide between which one to use.  After careful consideration, I decided past tense made the most sense, since when one is doing a blog entry about an event they are reflecting back on what happened.  It is not happening there and then as they write.

This of course gave me a much larger task of rewriting the 2nd draft. 


However, I have prevailed and am just about done with the 2nd draft.  But now I am growing concerned about another issue.  "Telling" vs. "Showing".  Am I just having my characters 'tell' a story or am I managing to bring my readers into my characters memories so they can 'see' it as it happened?   I'll be going over the entire novel again and after some corrections, send it out to some beta-readers to get their opinions on the piece.  

I never imagined how intricate this particular novel was going to become.  It's been a lot of work, but I'm rather enjoying the challenge.  If I do pull it off correctly, I think my readers will be very pleased and clamoring for more of Nathaniel and company.  But only time will tell.  

Anyway, that's all I have for now.  If anyone has had more experience with these issues I'd love to hear about them.  Please leave comments down below so not only me, but others can learn from your experiences.

Until next time, keep writing.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas"?

My thoughts on …


Merry-Christmas-vs-Happy-Holidays-600x200

Did you know that the phrase “Happy Holidays” was started by Christians?  Yes, that’s right folks, it was.  In fact it dates back to the 1600’s in England.  People were acknowledging the fact that there were more than one holiday.  Like the fact that after Christmas, there was the celebration of the New Year.  Plus there was the season of Advent, another very Christian custom, that this year begins on November 30th and ends December 24th.  So right there we have more than one Christian holiday in December.  And do you know what?  Nobody has ever wished me a “Happy Advent”.  How annoying is that?

Advent

Furthermore, let us remember that Christ was born a Jew.  How many of us really believe he never celebrated Chanukah with his family?  The tradition of Chanukah started over a hundred and fifty years before he was born, so I'm pretty sure he celebrated it more than once.

menorah

I’d also like to point out that it was Jesus who taught us to love our neighbors, be tolerant, kind and to not judge others or take offense should someone do something we feel is mean.

So in the spirit of his teachings, I find the phrase “Happy Holidays” just as sweet and respectful of my Catholic upbringing as the words “Merry Christmas”.  To me, someone is simply trying to be respectful of whatever religion I happen to follow, without giving me the third degree about my faith and beliefs.
With this in mind I wish to conclude this entry by saying...

 “Happy Thanksgiving”

happy-thanksgiving

“Happy Advent”,

advent-candle-with-words

“Happy Chanukah”

chanukah-600x420

 “Have a wonderful Eid al-Adha” (for my Muslim friends)

Eid-ul-adha_greetings

 “Happy Yule”

Yule

"Happy Kwanzaa"

kwanzaa-usa

"Merry Christmas"

Christmas-Greeting-Card-Nativity-Scene-by-Dona-Gelsinger

“Happy New Year”

 New Year

,,Or to put it simply “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” whatever they are, including any I might have missed in this list.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Update On The Status Of My Upcoming Novels...



 In case you hadn't heard, I started attending the California State University at Monterey Bay in August and the workload had been fairly manageable, until recently.  Things are heating up and I have less and less time to work on my novels, including "The Vampyre Blogs".  I had planned on getting the latest draft finished, edited, beta-read, etc. so I could have it out in time for Christmas.  

Unfortunately, that is not going to happen.  I've said before I will not release a book until it's had all those things done to it.  Currently, I'm still trying to finish the 2nd draft and I'm still not entirely happy with the piece.  Plus I haven't even started on a cover for the book.  I have one that I made with the computer.



However, I'm not totally sold on this version really.  I'd prefer to try and do a soft pastel piece and then super-impose this image on top of the scene I create with the pastel.

Furthermore, with the holidays getting closer and closer, there's not way I could expect any of my beta-readers to go over the book and give me their feedback on the eve of major cooking and shopping.

So I'm putting things off until next year.  Mind you, I'm still going to be posting more mini-stories of my vampyre Nathaniel and his friends over at The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition.  If you haven't checked them out yet here's the link:


At this point I want to let you all know you won't be without anything new from me this holiday season.  I'll be putting together a short story that I'll release through Smashwords just in time for Christmas.  Smashwords carries e-books for Nook, Kindle, Sony, Apple, or even PDF for those who don't have an e-reader so you can enjoy it on your regular computer, laptop, or even your phone.  This will be a holiday tale that will involve a crossover of sorts.  My vampyre Nathaniel will be interacting with several characters from "The Bridge".  Who will appear, I won't say at this time.  Just be assured you'll be seeing some familiar faces within the pages of that story.

Finally, I want to also let you all know that you won't have to wait until October or December of next year for my next novel.  As soon as I get a break from university, I'll be getting back to work on "The Door", which will star Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassandra.  The story will take up where both "The Bridge" and "The Ship" ended and will answer a number of questions that have been hanging over both novels, including the secret of Brandon and his white-haired nemesis.

Where will I go with my Para-Earth Series after that?  Well here's a list for the next 2-3 years and what they will involve:

Mid-2015 "The Door"

Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassandra face a new threat which is connected directly to Cassandra's family dating back over three hundred and fifty years.


October/December 2015 "The Vampyre Blogs - Homecoming"

  In 1862 Nathaniel Steward was only sixteen years old.  He left home to fight in the Union Army, knowing the experience might change him.  He had no idea how much it would.  Now, 150 years later, he's finally coming back to what he thinks is an empty manor.  What he doesn't know is someone has been waiting, and some 'thing' is following him, a being that does no belong in this world.

  

Mid-2016 "In The Shadow Of The Door - Book 1"

Cassandra's ghostly protector Brandon has always been an enigma to many.  Now, we get to hear his story which will lead directly up to the events that took place in my third book, "The Door".


December 2016, "The Vampyre Blogs - Family Ties"

Nathaniel is back and he's not alone.  A mystery involving a member of his family has arisen, but so has an old enemy.  New dangers arise that threaten not only those he loves, but his entire hometown.  Like any soldier he will fight to protect his place of birth, but it may cost him his very existence.


Mid-2017 - "In The Shadow Of The Door - Book 2"

Brandon's story continues as he and his uncle continue to struggle with the family curse that everyone believed was over.  The threat has been thwarted but not ended and time is running out.  Soon the door will be reopened and nothing will be able to stop what will come out of it if they don't seal it for good first.


December 2017, "Harlequin House"

When Alex was only twelve he entered inside the most haunted place on the planet with a team of paranormal investigators.  Most of the team died before his very eyes and he barely got out with his sanity intact.  Now, twenty years later, he's going back.  Will he be as fortunate this time? 


So there you have it folks.  That's my plans for the next couple of years.  Most of this will depend on how much time I have to write in between my studies of course, but I'm going to do my best to keep to this schedule.  I hope you like what you've seen here and look forward to the books as they come out.  

That's all for now.  Thanks for reading and take care of yourselves.  And as always, keep writing.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Halloween Treat From Me To You... A Peak Into My Upcoming Novel "The Vampyre Blogs"





*HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!  I decided to give you all a treat by sharing a snippet from my upcoming novel "The Vampyre Blogs", which will be coming out this Christmas. 

 I was careful to choose this particular entry since it involves all three of my main characters dealing with a the scene is one most of us can relate to.  Here we have Marisa a seventeen year old young lady being comforted my vampyre Nathaniel and his goddaughter Lisa.  Marisa (who has no idea what Nathaniel really is) has an intense dislike for vampires even though they don't really exist according to her.  She hates movies, books and television shows about them because in her mind they have come to embody cancer (which her father is struggling against) in a human form.  

The scene takes place inside an old four story building Nathaniel owns.  He keeps a dance club downstairs, while on the top floor he has an art studio where he likes to paint at night.  Marisa has just had a run in with another girl and is been being comforted by Nathaniel and her best friend Lisa (who is also Nathaniel's goddaughter).  As you might expect, Lisa knows all about him, including how to keep his secret.  

The three are up in the studio where Nathaniel has been showing the two of them some of his paintings, which include several images of a young woman of Romani descent.  He's just finished explaining she was his wife and that she died in his arms after being abducted, a few years ago.  

This book IS part of my Para-Earth Series, but does not involve any of my earlier characters.  However, this doesn't mean they won't meet down the road...mwahahah.  Also, this is my first attempt to introduce a character from this world who went into one of the Para-Earths and came back... alive, but changed.

So without further ado, here are Marisa, Lisa and Nathaniel.  Happy Halloween my friends.*


MARISA’S MUSINGS - October 7th, 2012

It’s been such a strange day, especially this evening.  I still don’t know what think at the moment. 
Waking up and finding Dad was still at home sitting in front of the TV just like in my dreams, gave me a start.  Especially when I saw he looked a little greyish, but then Mom opened the curtains and I saw he was just tired.  I literally blew a sigh of relief, but it still set me on edge for the rest of the day.
Unfortunately, most of my classes were on the quiet and boring side today, which meant I kept worrying about my dad.
Thank God Lisa was in all of them with me.  I don’t know what I would’ve done without her around trying to distract me.  But I still couldn’t get that damn dream out of my head.  It had felt so real.  Then, just as we arrived at The Crypt, I started wondering if it had actually been some kind of warning. The idea it might be really put me on edge. 
Unfortunately, that’s when Dianne showed up and started in with me, as usual.  Normally I can ignore her comments, but tonight, I just couldn’t.  God I feel so bad about what happened.  Poor Lisa got caught up in things and could’ve wound up getting hurt if Nathaniel hadn’t stepped in when he did.
I still feel bad about blowing up at him the way I did at the time.  But that’s not the only thing that’s bothering me about him.  After tonight, I can’t look at him the same way I used to.
Finding out he was once married and that his wife pass away in his arms, really hit me hard.  I guess that’s why I kissed him the way I did.  I just wanted to wipe away the pain I knew he was experiencing at that moment, along with my own.  I didn’t tongue him or anything, but for a second I nearly did.  Something about him that made me feel so alive that I didn’t want it to stop.  But I remembered Lisa was with us and I know she has a crush on him.  So I backed off.  But a part of me wanted to go right back to kissing him.   I don’t think I’ve ever wanted someone so bad in all my life. 
And truth be told, I still want him.  But I’m also a little leery of him, because of because of what happened next. 
I excused myself and started to fix my make-up.  After all that crying I’d done earlier, I knew I must look like hell. 
Nathaniel was kind enough to walk away and give me my space, while Lisa checked on me quick before she went over to join him at the window.  As I heard the two of them talking quietly, I stole a glance over my shoulder.  Lisa was hanging onto him in a playful way, and I started to get jealous for a moment. 
Quickly, I shook my head and pulled out my compact so I could use the mirror as I fixed my make-up.  Surprisingly, I didn’t look too bad and was able to make myself presentable rather quickly. 
Then I decided to use the mirror to take another at Lisa and Nathaniel to see what they were up to.  And that’s when it happened.  I could see Lisa still acting if she were draped all over Nathaniel, only he wasn’t there. 
I blinked and stared at the mirror again, but the image had not changed.  From the way Lisa was positioned, I knew she had to be hanging onto someone, because there was no way she could keep her balance in that pose.  But there was no one there. 
Carefully I took another look over my shoulder and saw the two of them just as I had before.  Then I looked back at my mirror and saw only Lisa holding on to empty air.  I let out a little gasp and dropped everything, including the compact which shattered on impact. 
Immediately, Lisa came rushing over to see what was wrong and quickly helped me gather everything.  Nathaniel on the other had stayed by the window.  He seemed to be in deep thought. 
Naturally, I didn’t tell either of them what I saw, or rather what I didn’t see.  Instead, after Lisa helped me get all my make-up back in the purse, I told them I felt like going back down to the dance floor.   I’d remembered there were huge mirrors on the walls down there and wanted to see what would happen when we got down there. 
To my amazement and relief, I saw all three of our reflections in every one of them.  At that point I was fully ready to believe my eyes had simply played a trick on me. 
But now my mind has gone back to the day in my Aunt Betsy’s office when I first met Nathaniel.  She had brought in those beautiful fresh cut flowers.  But after he went near them to get his coat and hat,  we’d found them black and withered.
Is he what I think he is?  I’ve seen enough movies to know all the signs.   Yet, I saw his reflection in the mirrors of the club.  Plus he has a bunch of mirrors in his home which I’ve seen him use.
No, I think I’ve just been stressing out too much lately.  There’s no such thing as vampires.  Right? 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Reviews... Are You Afraid To Leave One?

Recently, I tried to get some new reviews for my two novels on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.  I even offered free Read-2-Review copies of the books to anyone who wanted to do a review.  The results... not a single bite.

I couldn't believe it.  Giving away "FREE" copies of a book in exchange for an honest review is usually one of the very best methods known to get some reviews for a book.  But I wasn't getting any takers.  In fact I actually heard back from a few people who had read the books and loved them.  Yet when I asked if they would be kind enough to leave a review this is what I kept hearing from a number of them..

"I love to read, but I don't know what to say in if someone asks me to review their book..."


Does this sound familiar to anyone else out there?  If it does, don't be embarrassed.  A lot of people feel that way.  Some don't know what to put down because they see all these other reviews that are like several paragraphs long and go into great detail about the structure of the story, the plot, etc.  Or perhaps you just don't have a lot of time to sit down and think, much less write up a big ole review.

These are all valid excuses.  But not every review has to be several paragraphs long.  Even the simplest review can be just two or three sentences.  And of course you'll be asked to give a star rating usually on a 1-5 scale, with 1 being (why did I bother) and 5 being (dear God I want to read more like this).  


While you may feel like you cannot convey all you want to say in just a couple of sentences, but that rating and a few words can make a world of difference as to whether that book becomes a hit or not.  Every review added to a book can make it a sensation that spreads across the nation and even the oceans.  Most book buyers want to know what the book is about, which is the writer's responsibility to convey in their synopsis.  But buyers also want to know what other people thought of the book, especially since we're all so spoiled for choice these days thanks to Indie Authors, Kindle, Nook and other e-reader devices.  

20-30 reviews, even if half or more of them are just a couple of sentences long can help push that book you just finished and fell in love with, to great heights.  The more reviews the better for the author and the book.  Amazon and other places base a book's popularity through a logarithmic system that is based on the number of reviews a book is given.  If the book has a lot of reviews and ratings they'll suggest the book to other buyers with similar interests creating more sales. 

But if a book only has a handful of reviews, they won't do much with it.  It's not the length of the review but how many and how favorable they are.  So if you really want to see an author or a book get the recognition you think it deserves, please go ahead and leave a rating and just a couple of sentences.  The power to make or break an author and their works is in your hands.



So please, support your favorite authors and books by leaving reviews as well as spreading the word about them throughout your networks.  You could be helping someone become the next Stephen King or JK Rowling.  Remember, without readers we authors are nothing.

Thanks so much for tuning in and please keep writing.