Thursday, December 13, 2018

My Holiday Gift is this Recommendation

I don't have anything new coming out right now, but if you're looking for a gift for the cozy mystery lover on your list (or even for yourself - why not?) then have I got the new release for you.

From USA Today & Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author Sandi Scott:


Nothing can slow down Ashley & Patty, who are only a day away from their dream. 
What about a dead body?
Charlotte Murder
Ashley Adams and her best friend Patty LaFontaine are a day away from realizing their dream of owning a food truck and nothing can dampen their enthusiasm—not even finding a body. 
After finding the perfect truck to expand their catering business, Ashley and Patty are dismayed to find the dead body of the owner of the sales lot when they arrive bright and early to take possession of their purchase. 
When the Sheriff’s department confirms that the death is suspicious, Ashley starts poking around to satisfy her curiosity.  In the meantime, her boyfriend Ryan is behaving very strangely, and Ashley is worried that he is getting tired of being with her already. 
Ashley and Patty plan menus, paint their new truck and work together to find a killer in this delightful Seagrass Sweets cozy mystery series.

You can find all of the info on this great new release as well as review Sandi's back catalog at her website, SandiScottBooks.com. And here's the link to the book's Amazon page.

Monday, December 3, 2018

My Next Big Project

I recently organized and designed a promo selling ebook collections for 99¢/99p over the long Black Friday weekend. The promo wasn't a big success, but short story collections are a hard sell. Still it gave me an idea.

My new project is to run monthly promos featuring any kind of eBook format: novel, novella, collection, anthology, even box-set; but to limit each promo to two complimentary genres. For example; the first two promos I have planned feature romance and crime stories for the first mash-up, and fantasy and horror novels for the second.

The idea is to feature a spectrum of novels under the two genres in a given promo, so while (in the first promo by example) the novels can be both horror and romance (ie the movie Ghost or The Bride of Frankenstein - you get the picture) they can also be strictly romance or strictly horror. The top of the landing page will feature one genre, the bottom will feature the next, and cross-over books will take up the middle of the page.

Since the foundation of this site is cross-promos and cross-genres, I call the site Double-Cross Lit. If you'd like to see the site, you can find it here. It's still a work in process, but eventually I will be purchasing the URL.

Beetifulbookcovers.com designed a very nice banner for the site and newsletters.

Beetifulbookcovers.com 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

One Sale to Rule Them All!



You know how sometimes, all you really want is a snack, but everybody else is serving turkey with all the trimmings? Well, reading is like that too. Sometimes, you just want a short story, not a full blown novel. So myself and several of my author friends have gathered together to compile all of our short story collections into one massive 99¢/99p sale. It's literally a collection of collections, or as our tagline says, "cheap quickies."

So if you're looking for a Black Friday deal, or if you're planning on waiting til Cyber Monday to get stuff at a discount online, or if you like supporting small businesses (technically indie-authors are sole-proprietors) maybe you can visit the page on Small Business Saturday. The sale runs November 22 through the 26th at promo.thrillsandmystery.com

We have something for fantasy and sci-fi fans, romance lovers, crime and mystery buffs, and we even have some general non-genre fiction available. Check it out.

As for me, I have two entries in this sale, my collection of short stories all with a focus on crime, 8 Tales of Noir, and the third book in my Lupa Schwartz mysteries series, Fair Play, which is an omnibus of three shorts from the universe of my titular fictional detective.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

My Favorite Baby

Every parent has a favorite child. I am a father of three, and I have a favorite. Is it my eldest, my only son? Is it my middle child, the first baby daughter I ever held in my arms? Is it my baby girl? Okay, I'll tell you. It's █████████

There, I said it.

And just like every parent has a favorite child, so too every author has a favorite story. In my case, that story is Confessions of the Cuckold. CotC is clever, brilliantly plotted, has fascinating characters, tells a universal story of revenge and deception, and the ending is simultaneously satisfying and ambiguous; an almost impossible feat to accomplish. Plus, bonus, the title keeps tricking people who are searching for erotica into accidentally purchasing it, and then keeping it once they begin reading and learn it's actually not the story of a man who enjoys watching his wife engage in naughty times with strange men, the "modern" definition of cuckold. No, I was using it in the traditional evolutionary biology meaning, a man who has an unfaithful wife.

Here's the description:
“He destroyed everything of mine.” Eric said as tears filled his sunken eyes. “He destroyed my life. He broke my future, so I broke his windshield. I shouldn’t have to pay for that.”
The last person Eric Dadjov would have expected to confide in was the bounty hunter sent to take him to court, but his wife has betrayed him leaving his life in shambles. A careless moment purging his anger has led to formal charges, so when he learns that he might have more in common with the forlorn bounty hunter than he thinks, a frustrated Eric just begins venting.
Gradually, the details of Dadjov’s story begin to suggest that he has a sinister plan for revenge brewing. Is the bounty hunter complicit, a dupe, or is he the next victim of the cuckold?
The story exists as part of the Lupa Schwartz universe in kind of the same way The Punisher exists as part of the MCU. It is included as one of the collection of three novellas, Fair Play, which I published as book three in the Lupa Schwartz canon. However, it can also be purchased as a stand-alone novella in eBook format. Currently, the stand-alone eBook is also included in the "Thriller and Mystery Short Reads Sale" Bundle through StoryOrigins here.

Each story in the bundle is a thriller or mystery short read under 120 pages with an Amazon rating of 3.5 stars or higher, and is guaranteed available for 99p/99c through mid November.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Author Interview - Sebastiano Lanza - Author of That Which Must Happen

Sebastiano Lanza, born and bred in Sicily, Italy, is the author of That Which Must Happen.
He's passionate about non-linear storytelling, labyrinthine plots, and mise en abyme, which feature heavily in his works.
He adores impossible challenges, if nothing else for their paradoxical nature. Nothing is impossible. Or so he says.
He also loves good food.

That Which Must Happen 
   Benjamin is a child able to foresee and forestall events unfolding in his life and that of others. Yet he dreads to reshape them, for these events intertwine each and every existence in a delicate balance. However, when he senses his sole caretaker’s imminent death, he feels he must intervene.
   In a fevered state, Benjamin was abandoned in the midst of a winter night, and is now sheltered by Ms Penter, a woman grieving over the loss of her own child. As he’s nurtured back to health, and his presence helps the woman to partially let go of her grief, Benjamin is devastated each and every time he glimpses her imminent demise.
   Despite his attempts to alter the events leading to her death, Benjamin knows he won’t be able to save Ms Penter without damaging the delicate balance which entwines each and every life. The same balance he was born to preserve.
   That Which Must Happen tackles the theme of fate.
   Not to be understood as a series of immutable events leading to a predetermined destination, rather, as a series of interconnected events which can be influenced by our choices.

Who are your influences?
If I were to name all of them, we would stay here for quite a while. So I'll limit myself to three.
First, I'd say Pirandello influenced me a great deal. I was always fascinated by his writing, since high school. Maybe at the time I didn't truly grasp what was he trying to convey, but I knew there was something more underneath. Eventually it came to me, and I said to myself, "This is brilliant!"
His works are truly worth some in-depth studying. His latern theory, the psychological relativism, the fragmentation of self, these are all concepts worth sinking one's teeth into.
I'd like to say Umberto Eco was one of those intellectuals I admire a great deal. Let's just say I love intertextuality.
And finally Nolan. He's a brilliant storyteller. His reflections on time and subjectivity make his films so thought-provoking and enjoyable.

When did you begin writing?
Just about a few years ago. It's funny to think that around 6 years ago I said to a friend of mine, "I would never be able to write a book. I just don't have it in me." Fast forward to a few years later, I said to myself, as I was thinking to start writing That Which Must Happen, "I'm not even going to get past page 1." Yet here I am. Things change so quickly, do they not?

How do you come up with your stories, characters, character names, POV, etc?
I do give a great deal of thought to POV. It fascinates me. It's quite interesting how a writer can manipulate a linear story in just about any way he wishes just by changing or slightly altering the point of view. There are endless possibilities, each more interesting than the last. And, if life won't get in the way, I do intend to explore a few of these possibilities in future novels.
As for character names, it depends on how important the character in question is. I won't give much thought in naming a secondary character whose role is very limited. Obviously, that changes with main characters and supporting characters. You'll probably find out that the name Benjamin is quite important to understand Benjamin's role in That Which Must Happen. That and a few more hints I give out throughout the novel.
As for how I do come up with my characters, well, they're a deconstruction and reconstruction of different archetypes of different people I've met in my life and characters from other books or films. A sort of miniaturized fragmentation of self to give rise to a new self.
How do I come up with my stories? I absolutely have no idea. I like to imagine that these stories are just floating in the air, they are everyone's property, and at some point they just collide with me. In short, a story has to come to me naturally, if I force it to, chances are it won't be quite as good. Luckily enough they do come quite often.


Do you work from an outline?
Absolutely yes. Structure is crucial. These stories I write tend to get quite labyrinthine at some point or another. The outline does keep them at bay and, most of all, keeps me sane. It's also important because it allows me to check if my story actually makes sense, it ensures there's no plot holes.

Tell me about your favorite scene in your novel
This may be considered a mild spoiler, so it would be advisable to skip forward. Anyway, for a series of circumstances which I'm not about to describe, at some point during the novel Benjamin finds himself in the memories of a woman who is about to die. These are her very last moments of consciousness. There's this particular memory which happens to be amidst her most cherished. A sunny day during her youth, a normal, slow-paced day of work. Yet all around you can perceive this horrible feeling that something is not quite right.
I did not notice it until the first round of editing. It struck me as quite intense. Despite all that has happened in the novel by that point, it's a celebration of life.

Can you tell us a little about your writing philosophy?
Subtlety first and foremost. The overused cliché "Show, don't tell". Which holds true in any instances you could apply it. "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." Anyway, actively sought information is far more valuable than passively collected information.
The beautiful in the horrid. When I started writing That Which Must Happen one of the goals I had set was to describe all of these terrible events in a fluid and beautiful prose. It's a stark contrast. And I believe I may have partially achieved it; it's not up to me to say.

Have you ever tried writing in any other genres?
This is something I would like to do, and I will probably do so in the future. Maybe some foray in the horror genre (the smart one). Also, I have set in my mind I absolutely have to write an epistolary novel. I actually have a partial outline for it.

Do you have any interesting writing-related anecdotes to share?
Actually no. Now that I think on it, my writing experience has been rather dull up to this point. There were no aliens invading earth, nor I have been bitten by a radioactive spider. What a let down.


You can follow Sebastiano on Goodreads, Facebook, and on Twitter where he is @SebLanza. His book is available on Amazon right now.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

September Sale

We read until the night
Became a brand new day
Two book lovers playing scenes
From some suspenseful play
September book sales
Still can make me feel that way

Okay so that was a little hokey. But it's very hard coming up with fresh ways to let you know about all these great book promos. This month I'm taking part in a small promo over at Regina Welling's website. I included the permafree first book in my Lupa Schwartz series just to try to get some new eyes on it, but there are a number of other great offerings for 99¢ or even free!  Click the link and head on over this weekend to take advantage while you can.


Monday, August 27, 2018

Calling all Patrons of the Arts

My author friend Mark Gardner is married to an up-and-coming children's book author named Erika. She has written a trio of rhyming stories and an illustrator friend of theirs has been working hard on bringing her characters to life. You can get in on the ground floor by contributing to their Kickstarter, even just a few bucks would be a big help. And as a sponsor, you would get one of the few digital copies of the stories. It will only be available to the public in soft cover.

So for those of you who believe in the patron model of artistic support, why not click over and take a look at the page. Maybe you'll be inspired to help make this project a reality.