Monday, October 24, 2016

Don't Buy My Book!

Yes, I’m posting five times this month! It’s been a busy month with lots of book releases. Today I welcome the wit and wisdom of Roland Yeomans.

Welcome to the latest stop in my DON’T BUY MY BOOK! Blog Tour.

   Don’t Buy My Book? Am I kidding? All Indie Authors want their books bought, right?
   Yet, I bet you’ve often felt as I have: like the first slice of bread in the loaf; everyone touches you, but no one wants you.

  Rejected, Abandoned, Unwanted.
   It is a congested marketplace out there and only getting more crowded each month. In a crowded market, Brand stands out where individual titles may not.
   We need to build our books around a Brand:
   (Our style of spinning a story, the unique twist we give to each book that tells readers: “Oh, this is a Yeomans kind of Story: the zinging dialogue, the unpredictability of the plot, the epic scale to the action.)
   Know what 3 words are on the office wall facing the writers of the TV show, The Flash?

So Don’t Buy My Book; Buy My Brand.
   What is my Brand?

A dichotomy of images –
   an Old West Texas Ranger fighting Sidhe in England and Dragons over the Eiffel Tower:

Inserting Fantastical Elements in historical tales –
   Warring Vampire Kingdoms interrupting the maiden voyage of the first Air/Steamship.

Startling Versions of Legendary People –
   11 year old Nicola Tesla; an insane Abraham Lincoln, white supremacist; a vampire, two-faced Benjamin Franklin; a mysterious Greek physician who turns out to be an immortal Saint Luke; and a mischievous young Mark Twain making passes at every pretty lady he meets – even unknowingly to a famous lesbian!

Reader Discussion Sections in the back of the Books –
   There are book clubs still out there and Goodreads as well. Why not encourage discussion of our books to spark further sales?

Distinct Twist to A Genre –
   It takes at least 3 books to gain traction to your Brand. I stumbled into Steampunk with my 1895 Egyptian Historical Fantasies (DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE & THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT).
   I purposely twisted the Steampunk genre with THE NOT-SO-INNOCENTS ABROAD and now with

Chapter 20: RED WEDDING
   “I hate violence as only a man who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”- Samuel McCord
   The darkness beckoned. I stiffened. Children laughing. There were children down below. I went cold, my face turning to flint.
   Baptiste smiled like a mortician reading of a coming plague. “All know how the safety of children is paramount to The McCord.”
   Lucanus growled, “Sometimes when you stack the deck, werewolf, the cards do not play as you expect.”
   Baptiste laughed, “See? I go down the stairs before you to light the way.”
   He stepped down into the opening. I heard the striking of flint against stone. Then, the flickering light of a torch descended before us. I dropped the Whisper of the Winds I usually wore to conceal my Orenda and followed him.
   Meilori, my wife, whispered behind me, “Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.”
   Ralph Waldo Emerson sighed further back, “To know and not to do is not to know at all.”
   Sammy grumbled up closer to me, “Thank you so much for sharing that round-robin with us, poet.”
   Nicola said, “Don’t worry, Mr. Clemens. We shall do the best we can with this situation. And if we are doing the best we can, worrying will not make it any better, will it?”
   Emerson said, “Why those could have been my words, lad.”
   Horace Greely snorted, “Do not worry, sir. In the fortnight, you will quote them as if they were. And cad that I am, I will print them.”
   High Fae Queen Oyggia said, “Mortals plan, the Universe laughs, and the survivors weep.”
   Benjamin Franklin sniped as we descended into near darkness. “Madame, remind me again who is wearing the Collar of Restraint from Elohim?”
   Nicola bent to pet his cat, Macak. “Do not growl so. You will not have to defend me. The good captain has things in hand.”
   General Sherman growled, “Oh, if my Colt had not been taken by that infernal Ningyo bodyguard, Ice.” Lincoln said, “A fact of which I am glad. Death by ricochet would just add insult to a mortal wound.”
   And with that bit of whimsy, all of us found ourselves in a huge chamber whose walls fluttered with scarlet silk hangings. Torches were but few that lined the walls. I could but barely make out robed shapes milling about. I flicked my eyes up. Small balconies with dark-faced archers, arrows notched and ready. I scowled. It was what generals called a “Kill Box.” Sherman’s beady eyes seemed just as pleased as I felt … which meant not at all.
   Baptiste called out to me from the far corner. “They who walk the night are not all men. Ka nama kaa lajerama!”
   Sammy snorted, “And a Gesundheit to you, too.”

What are you waiting for? Buy My Book! I know what the name of my tour is. But I changed my mind. I am a man, after all!

   Roland Yeomans was born in Detroit, Michigan. But his last memories of that city are hub-caps and kneecaps since, at the age of seven, he followed the free food when his parents moved to Lafayette, Louisiana. The hitch-hiking after their speeding car from state to state was a real adventure. Once in Louisiana, Roland learned strange new ways of pronouncing David and Richard when they were last names. And it was not a pleasant sight when he pronounced Comeaux for the first time.
   He has a Bachelor’s degree in English Education and a Master’s degree in Psychology. He has been a teacher, counselor, book store owner, and even a pirate since he once worked at a tax preparation firm.
   So far he has written thirty-four books. You can find Roland at his web page or at his private table in Meilori’s. The web page is safer to visit. But if you insist on visiting Meilori’s, bring a friend who runs slower than you.

   Find The Not-So-Innocents at Large at Amazon in ebook and print. You can view all of Roland’s books on his Amazon Author Page.

Friday, October 21, 2016

If I Were a Mobster...

I’m participating in Chrys Fey’s If I Were a Mobster Blogfest. This is in celebration of her latest release, 30 Seconds Before: Prequel to 30 Seconds.

She offered a mobster profile to fill out and I decided to go back to my German roots, plus the time I lived in New Mexico.

My Mobster Name: Delmi Wittmeyer (That is my real maiden name. The Wittmeyers were kicked out of Germany in the 19th century. I’ve never heard why, but I can pretend we were involved in illegal dealings.)

Crime Zone: Alamogordo, NM (That city has a large population of Germans. Plus I lived in Albuquerque four years before moving to NC.)

My Look/Disguise: I have long dark hair, I’m pale and thin, and possess a beauty to die for. Disguise? No way! I’m flaunting my stuff.

Weapon of Choice: A German Pistole 8 handgun

Mobster Vehicle: Porsche 911 GTZ RS - black

What I’m Known For: Drug and booze trafficking - between the Indians, the Hispanics, and the Caucasian population, I have it made! No one delivers the goods like I do.

My Catch Phrase: “Bitteschon!” (Means “You’re welcome” in German. I say it often and always after killing someone. Those pathetic worm of a human beings should thank me!)


Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.
On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.
Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim? 


To celebrate, 30 Seconds, the follow up story, is on sale for 99 cents!

Sale Oct. 21st – Nov. 4th


Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series (Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes), as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

Monday, October 17, 2016

Manchineel, Book Tours, and Cling to God

(photo by © Hans Hillewaert, via Wikimedia Commons)

The manchineel (Hippomane mancinella) is native to Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and Central America. The name comes from the Spanish word manzanilla which means, little apple, because the fruit and leaves resemble the apple tree and is has such a lovely, sweet, fruity smell.

But don’t be fooled.

The little death apple, or Columbus death apple -- because he recorded the first encounter with it when some of his men died after eating it -- is one of the most poisonous and deadly plants in the world. Every part of the tree is toxic. Rain water dripping off the leaves can cause blistering of the skin. The milky sap can cause permanent blindness if it makes contact with the eyes. Even smoke from burning the tree can cause blindness and respiratory problems.

The fierce Carib Indians were known to poison the water supply of their enemies with the leaves and for tying captives to a tree, ensuring a slow, painful death. They also used the milky sap to poison arrows and it was from one such arrow that the Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon, was killed in Florida during a battle with the Calusa Indians.

Let it here be known, the manchineel spears Sam and her best friend Nick use in The Bowl and The Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands, are purely imaginary though no less effective in driving off the invading Squalsh.

Diane wanted me to talk a little bit about promoting. Like most authors, this is the hardest part of the job, one that I can’t say I’m very good at. But here’s what I did. I asked for help. And my post here isn’t so much about promoting as it is about how I organized a tour.

First thing I did was go to Google forms and make up a form I posted to my blog and that people could fill out. They were in charge of deciding what they wanted to do. But that didn’t stop me from emailing other people to see if they’d help out. Everyone I asked said yes. This is a fabulous community!

Questions I asked on the form related to The Bowl and the Stone and included:
Would you like to read and review the book?
Would you like to send out tweets? (I provided some pre-written ones with links)
May I guest post on your blog? (I gave the month of October as the month I wanted to be on their blogs. I realize now I could have had a section for them to write in a date convenient for them, but I didn’t. So, I had to *manually* coordinate dates with those who responded.)
Then I listed a bunch of subjects I could write about that would relate back to the story. These included, but were not limited to, the following:
An interview with a character or question to me
St. John in 1962 (a magical time)
A brief history of slavery in the Virgin Islands
The St. John Slave revolt of 1733
Annaberg (a sugar plantation)
The dungeon at Annaberg
Jumbies (mischievous spirits)
Plants and animals mentioned in the story
The Mysterious Moving Grave (the real story)
Earliest known ghost stories

Even if several people picked the same subjects (jumbies was the most popular) I was be able to make each post different enough that visitors, if they saw a post on jumbies elsewhere, would learn something new.

After I’d collected all my data, which Google forms organized for me neatly, I realized the form, when printed out (I like me a hard copy) was too small to read and I couldn’t figure out how to enlarge the print. So, I took the data and it plugged into Excel. I organized my Excel sheet in this manner.

With hard copy in hand I was able to pencil in when I sent the info (which included the blog post, book blurb, author bio, and pictures of the book cover and moi.) And, I could do the same when I got a confirmation that the email was received at the other end. I started gathering data in July which gave me August and September to write and send posts for October. A person could certainly start earlier.

I don’t know how other people have done it, but this was my method and if it helps someone else along the journey, I’m happy to pass it on.

About the Author
Bish Denham, whose mother’s side of the family has been in the Caribbean for over one hundred years, was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands. She still has lots of family living there whom she visits regularly.
She says, “Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named the islands, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. The ruins of hundreds of sugar plantations, built with the sweat and blood of slave labor, litter the islands. Then there were the pirates who plied the waters. It is within this atmosphere of wonder and mystery, that I grew up. Life for me was magical, and through my writing I hope to pass on some of that magic.”
The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands, is her third book and second novel. You can find Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Tales and A Lizard’s Tail, at
To learn more about Bish, you can visit her blog, Random Thoughts. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Thanks, Bish!

And Tuesday, October 18 is the release date for this wonderful book:

Cling to God

A Daily Devotional

Cling to God in the chaos of life...

Cling to God is a book of devotionals for every day of the year. The aim is to encourage Christians in their faith, to help them think about their beliefs and learn more about God. The devotions are short and inspirational so that people with busy lifestyles will still able to spend time with the Lord each day. It’s designed for a wide Christian audience–those new in their faith as well as those matured beyond milk and honey.

Freedom Fox Press - Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
$17.95 Print ISBN 9781939844279, $3.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844286

Lynda R. Young, a Christian first, writes devotionals, articles, and speculative short stories. In her spare time she is also an editor, game developer, artist, and dabbles in photography and all things creative. She lives in Australia with her sweetheart of a husband.

Find Cling to God: Amazon / Kindle / Barnes & Noble / Nook / ITunes / Kobo / Goodreads

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Insecure Writer's Support Group - It's a Crap Shoot

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

And we have changed the qualifications for the Anthology Contest. Entries can be between 3000-6000 words.

September’s question of the month - When do you know your story is ready? 

When I’ve gone over it a hundred times and I’m just making little cosmetic changes, then I know it’s done.

When I began as a publisher, I knew one of the challenges would be selecting just the right stories to produce as books. It’s a crap shoot sometimes. Some of our titles have not done as well as expected.

I quickly discovered, that’s only half of the equation. It’s a crap shoot picking just the right authors to bring on board, too. Not all of them are willing to promote their books as whole-heartedly as needed. (Or find someone to help.) And it’s not just promoting, but ease of working with, their connections, etc.

When the two line up, it’s gold. We’ve had a couple best-sellers. And I’m banking on more. (Obviously, as we now have SIX releases between now and the end of the year.) Coming up soon is Cling to God: A Devotional by Lynda R. Young on October 17 and M√Ętowak: Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler on November 1. Three other books will follow.

But this week, our big release is...

Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain

Lightning flashes. Another child disappears...

Zorka Circus’s big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, children vanish.

Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. He must find the culprit before anyone else disappears and his home is destroyed by the murders.

Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravedigging ghouls. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict code, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.

When more bodies turn up, the killer's trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable…

“...captivating shocker... Cain immerses the reader in the working life of a struggling circus and in the daily chores of a fascinating, albeit fictional, Slavic folkway.” - Publishers Weekly

$18.95 USA, 6x9 trade paperback, 284 pages, Freedom Fox Press
Fantasy/Paranormal (FIC009050) and Horror (FIC015000)
Print ISBN 9781939844255, eBook ISBN 9781939844262
$4.99 eBook available in all formats

Purchase the print version at Barne & Noble / Amazon /BAM / Powell’s / Dancing Lemur Press LLC
Purchase the eBook version at Nook / Kindle /iTunes / Kobo / Dancing Lemur Press LLC - Mobi & ePub

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group 2016 Anthology Contest is open until November 1st. Don’t miss your chance to be in a royalty-paying anthology.

When do you know you’re done? Did you realize publishing as a business was such a crap shoot?