Book Review: The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack II

Reading is not something I am able to do when I’m writing, or when I have personal family matters if front of me, like babysitting three kids (unless I’m reading to them).

I haven’t been able to sit down and read a good book since September.

One book I recently finished up was supposed to be  read and reviewed before Halloween and it just didn’t happen. Not because I wasn’t enjoying the book, but, well, life.

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Review:

C.S. Boyack has a brilliant mind. I love his writing on his blog and in his books. The Experimental Notebook II is exactly what it claims to be, an experimental notebook. It is fascinating to see how his mind works and how the words come together in this little book of short stories. There are fifteen. Some are barely a page and others are several pages. I liked the longer ones best. I thought several of the stories needed to be expounded upon. But these are experiments that we just might get lucky enough to see developed into full books, or see some of the elements introduced into new works.

There is something in here for everybody, most pieces have a paranormal element, from the behaviors of a flock of magpies, to a couple mysteries that are solved in a most unique manner, to a sci-fi adventure to alien worlds. Although there are a couple of Halloweenish-type scary stories, this is a book that can be enjoyed any time.

It was exactly the sort of book I needed to grab a short read here and there through the Holidays.

I’ve read C.S. Boyack’s books and am a huge fan. He also has a spokesperson for his blog/books, Lisa Burton, who is a delight. I urge you to give him a follow at “Entertaining Stories”. I promise you will be entertained. He’s also a huge supporter of other authors…and an all around friendly guy.

4-Stars

Purchase Link

Blog

The author:

image9I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

End of Summer and Getting Ready for the New Year

In August I wrote a little post about how Pokemon Go was helping me with grief therapy after a series of tragic events involving family, friends, and community. The story was picked up on Twitter and the editor of Fanreads, Keith McArthur sent me a request to use the story in an anthology of The Greatest Pokemon Go Stories Ever Told. Fanreads puts together books on sports, music and gaming. The cover was created by “Inspired Cover Designs.” See, that’s my name on the cover. 🙂

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You can go to their page and download a few of the stories for free by subscribing to their site, or you can purchase a copy from Amazon, Kobo, or Apple.

I completed my pokedex, finding all 142 available U.S. pokemon, thanks to a lovely park here that spawns all the rare pokemon and has always been a magical, mystical place, Kissimmee Lakefront Park. It’s a gorgeous park on Lake Toho where I once owned a waterfront home. I would walk to the park daily and attend the Renaissance Fair events. The Medieval Times characters practiced their fighting moves for their shows there.  Sometimes the Disney and Universal characters practiced skits there, also.

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They’ve spent thirty million dollars on renovating the park since I lived there and it is a stunning, grassy waterfront park with cobbled walking paths, a fishing pier, picnic pavilions, a splash pad & two shaded playgrounds. A very nice place for me to take a break from my writing and step aside from my grandmotherly duties and just relax a while, watch the wildlife, and soak up sunshine in the daytime and enjoy cool breezes in the evening.

There is a blog tour for Naked Alliances scheduled to begin on October 24th. It’s a big crunch to get all of the documents prepared by the deadline, but we’re well on our way. I’m still feeling like this work should have been done months ago, not AFTER the release of the book. I’ve never worked with a publicist before, but some of her advice conflicts with what I have learned about successful marketing and promotions. We’ll see how this all turns out.

Sales started out very well and I have sold more books in the first month than I did in the first year of Red Clay and Roses.

Things have slowed down a bit, but my blog audience and author platform only reach so far. There are radio interviews scheduled for October and book tours coming up. I’ll post those as they are scheduled.

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I’ll be attending Sleuthfest again next year and invite all crime/mystery writers and readers to join me. I had a blast there this year and gained a tremendous amount of confidence in reading the first chapter of my manuscript aloud. I won’t have a finished manuscript to work with next year, but I do have a new book on the market. Hopefully, Naked Alliances will be available at Murder on the Beach Bookstore, owned and operated by co-chair Joanne Sinchuk.

We also have a trip to Vegas lined up for next year. This is research for the next book in the Naked Eye Series. More about that later.

If you’re not going to make the Sleuthfest event, but would like a copy of the book, you can get a downloadable or paperback copy from Amazon. As the weather turns, it will make a nice addition to your morning weekend coffee.

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News from the Sunshine State: Home of Richard Noggin and Brandi

There is no way to explain how busy I’ve been in the past two months. I looked at the blank page and didn’t know where to begin this post, so I’ll probably ramble.

As you know by now, Naked Alliances has hit the market. The eversion can be pre-ordered and will be delivered Friday the 23rd. I’m both excited and scared. I’ve sold more copies of the paperback in the first month than I did with Red Clay and Roses in three years. I hope that’s a good sign.

I’ve been signing copies for the rocket scientist’s friends at work. They are making me feel somewhat like a celebrity. There is a woman who works there and has a friend who writes a column for a newspaper that showcases local talent. She’s going to check on getting me a slot.

My publicist assures me that my anxieties are unwarranted. She’ll be contacting me later this week with more details on what she does and what I will need to do.

I have a list of names of people who beta read for me and will send out emails soon asking for your preferred delivery method…eversion or paperback, or both. I can’t thank you enough for all you have done. If you manage to write a review of the final version, I will dance at your next wedding.

For some reason, my list only shows ten and I was certain I had twelve beta readers, so if you don’t hear from me by the end of this week, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line and ask me what’s up. I may never know who I’m missing. Sorry about that. Sometimes my brain is scrambled and I think I noted things that I didn’t.

I’ve traveled the state of Florida visiting Native Americans and their homes and communities. I am floored by the information I am gathering with my research and excited to be able to share some of this in my next book. Richard is having a hard time getting Brandi to take her new job seriously.

I’ll be doing the rest of my traveling around in my new Chrysler Pacifica Limited. It’s a minivan transformed and tripped out with all the latest bells and whistles. I call it the grandmother vehicle because it seats six adults comfortably, but there are two back seats which will hold car seats for the two youngest grandchildren in town, and mama, daddy and the oldest grandchild can sit comfortably in the third row, while the RS and I sit up front. It also has room for cargo. The kids can even watch Netflix or play games on dual screens while mama and I work on our laptops. Most importantly, though, my whole six person Pokemon Go patrol team fits in there comfortably with USB ports all around for phones and chargers.

Hey…Don’t judge me. Unlike most old folk in Florida, I don’t play golf, have no country club dues, greens fees, or caddies to pay. I’m not sporting the newest golfing attire and accessories…it’s just my thing to do. I’m socializing and getting out to the gorgeous parks in the sunshine state.

Brandi has been invited to the Lisa Burton Radio Show. She’s looking forward to meeting Lisa soon and talking to you about her role in Naked Alliances. She’ll likely have some things to say about me too. After all, I’m the one who paired her with Richard.

If you liked the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt, you will love Naked Alliances. The setting doesn’t have that small town feel because Orlando is a big city, but Chablis and Brandi were hatched out of the same egg.

<insert cool pic>  (This is where a cool pic of my book on a coffee  table goes but WP wouldn’t let me upload…it errored me out a dozen times, so I’m posting anyway.)

You can pick up a copy to go with your morning coffee at the links provided below. Your purchase will help boost my rankings on release day…or so I’m told. There is a ranking now which was in the 100,000s yesterday morning. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but it started out at nearly 500,000, so it’s certainly better. I can’t see how many copies have been purchased through the pre-order. I don’t think I’ll get that data until Friday.

Paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Alliances-Richard-Noggin-Novel/dp/0989568601/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474477303&sr=8-1&keywords=Naked+Alliances

Eversion:

https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Alliances-Richard-Noggin-Novel-ebook/dp/B01LFW4XAE/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1474477303&sr=8-1

Lisa Burton Drops by to Tell Us About C.S. Boyack’s Short Stories and How Writing Them Differs From Novels

Today I have a dear friend, Craig, who goes by C.S. Boyack as his author name. Craig has a spokemodel for his books, Lisa Burton, and I have invited her here to tell us a bit about the difference between short stories and novels. I personally find reading the two types of work very different. C.S. Boyack has a new book of short stories out and his creative energy is flowing through its pages.

Thanks for inviting me, Sue. I enjoy getting out of the writing cabin every once in a while. You wanted to know about the difference between short stories and novels. Craig had to think about this one for a while, but here’s what he told me.

With a novel, you have more time to build worlds, add in small bits of backstory, and go on a hero’s journey. Short stories don’t have that luxury. You have to know what the point is, and get to it in a hurry. A novel might have a chapter of denouement, but short stories usually end before then.

Craig said most short stories involve an epiphany. There is character growth, but it’s usually more shocking and direct than in a novel. Maybe the character learns she’s been wrong about everything. Back her up and walk her into that moment of understanding. It’s that lightbulb moment that makes for a good short story. The cavalry isn’t coming, I’ve created a monster, aliens are real, that kind of thing.

There is a lot of room within those parameters. In Craig’s new book, characters grow, some die, some make lifestyle changes. Twist endings are popular in short stories, and Craig uses them too sometimes.

In novels, they talk about rising tension. This works in short stories, but it has to be faster. Sometimes the tension is already there, and the author dials the heat up from that point.

Craig started out as a novelist, and he always has one of those going on. He has lots of ideas, but they won’t all carry a novel for eighty-thousand words. He used to toss index cards over his shoulder as he discarded ideas looking for the right one. Guess who had to clean them all up.

Today, he saves those ideas. Maybe they won’t carry a novel, but many of them make for a nice short story. Craig writes his short fiction when he’s pressed for time, or when the novel burns him out. He’s doubled his productivity that way, and I have a hunch the method is here to stay.

The book is called The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II. It’s the second collection he’s put out. This one contains some paranormal, some science fiction, and one that might pass for fantasy. Any of them can be read during a lunch break, and some can even fit into a coffee break.

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The book is priced at 99¢ and is available on Amazon right now.

Personally, I’m glad to see a little more science fiction in this collection. As a robot, those are my roots, and where I’m most comfortable. Remember, I help Craig with dialog and positioning. I enjoyed dressing up as an Amazon Queen, or as a colonial era witch, but getting back to science fiction felt great.

That brings me to your poster. This is reflective of a story in the collection called Last Flight of the Rocket Men. It’s me getting ready to take the rocket-pack up for a flight. It made Craig nervous, but I took several orbits that day and had a blast.

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Your readers are welcome to use the poster as backgrounds on PCs, laptops, phones, or whatever.

Don’t forget about Lisa Burton Radio when Naked Alliances publishes. I’d love to get Richard or Brandi on the show.

Now, what kind of cool shopping do you have in Florida? I need a swimsuit, and you never know what else I might find.

Oh wow! And purple is my favorite color…I have it in my hair. Swimsuits are always available, Lisa, and definitely flip-flops. I know your shoes are often exotic, but everybody needs a pair of flip-flops to slip into when you just don’t feel like dressing up. They are  a staple around here and there are many stylish ones for sale that are cushiony soft and highly decorated.

So glad you could drop by and introduce my readers to Craig’s newest book. I loved Wild Concept and am in the middle of The Second Experimental Notebook. The story Magpies really caught my attention and made me think about what might go through my own head during such a moment in time.

I can’t wait to introduce you to my P.I.’s sidekick, Brandi. I think you’ll make good friends. She’s kind of new to women’s fashion. Perhaps you can give her some pointers.

You can hook up with C.S. Boyack Here:

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Follow my blog: http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com

 

Check out my novels here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ILXBXUY

 

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/Virgilante

 

On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack

Introducing the Third Book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy – Our Justice

I saw this book on Amazon and thought there is a book written by a a guy who has the same name as my author friend John W. Howel and I love that cover….well, duh! It is a book written by my author friend John W. Howell. I was so ashamed I have not been paying attention to the blogosphere lately or keeping up with my reading. John is one of the sweetest men I know, but he can write a mean book. By mean, I am referring to pure awesomesauce! I fell in love with his character, John J. Cannon, in book one of this Trilogy and am delighted to introduce you to book three.

Our Justice

Click to go to Amazon

Blurb

 

The terrorist leader and financier Matt Jacobs has figured out a way to eliminate the President. He is relying on John Cannon’s stature as a hero to help him carry it off. John finds himself walking the fine line of pretending to help Matt while trying to figure out a countermeasure to the plan.

The action begins with John fearing for his life. Clearly, whoever is trying to get him has a mission to accomplish and the elimination of John is at the top of the to-do list. The quest to survive takes John and his love, Stephanie from the beaches of Port Aransas to West Virginia and finally to Matt Jacob’s corporate headquarters at the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. There John finally understands what he needs to do to protect both he and Stephanie from further mayhem.

The third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy brings together two strong wills for a showdown. The question to be answered is who will feel the satisfaction that the achievement of justice delivers? John, Matt or neither?

Our Justice is available on Amazon and KDP now in e-book format for preorder at $2.99 with shipments starting on September 23rd. The paper edition will be available on Amazon September 23rd at $14.99. Here is the link for pre-order of the e-book https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LDFM9WM?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

Excerpt.

I see out of the corner of my eye that Ned is on the phone. Hopefully, he’s calling in reinforcements since it looks like the SUV is gaining on us. Just as the rear window of the Focus blows inward, he finishes the call. Hundreds of pieces of glass hit Ned and me. Luckily, it’s shatterproof stuff, so we’re mostly okay cut wise. Ned crouches down and fires three quick shots with his 9MM. In the mirror, the SUV swerves to the left and almost explodes after it rams a parked car. “Stop,” Ned yells.

I slam on the brakes, which nearly tosses Ned through the windshield. “For shit’s sake, I don’t have a seatbelt on, junior, so take it easy. Just stop and turn around.”

John Howell

Author BIO

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes fictional short stories and novels as well as a daily blog. His first novel, My GRL is available on Amazon and wherever e-books are sold. His second, His Revenge is available on Amazon and KDP Select.

John lives on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of South Texas with his wife and spoiled rescue pets.

Other places.

Blog Fiction Favorites – http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/

Google +https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Martin Sisters Publishing –Http://www.martinsisterspublishing.com

 

 

Book Review: A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair

I read this book a while back and thought I had posted the review already, but must have written it in my head, as I couldn’t find it anywhere. It sucks getting old. (That’s what I like to blame all my blunders on.)

Mae Clair knows mystery and paranormal and this book was a great blend of the two!

Really glad this book is the first in a series, as I had a hard time letting go at the end. Eva Parrish returns to her hometown to settle her Aunt Rosie’s estate. A tragedy occurred there when she was a pre-teen and her father and best friend perished, but there is so much more to this story. This town holds secrets galore. What is Mothman? Is he evil, or is he good?  Is he even real? This is not a one murder story, and unraveling the connections was loads of fun.

I came from a small town where everybody knew everybody’s business and this book captures the essence of small town life with excellence. Eva reunites with a crush and that relationship develops throughout the course of the story. Their whole experience is tainted by the supernatural and I loved the way the author blended mystery and paranormal.

As a former psych nurse, I have to comment on the way mental illness was managed in this book. Ryan and Caden’s mom is afflicted…or is she? So many times what we regard as an unnatural feature in the way that the mind and spirit works is actually more natural than we realize. Given the mom’s grief reaction, the book was most believable and the author certainly did her research, or has had experience with those who have been affected by such trauma. I was most impressed with how this was handled.

Looking forward to reading more from Mae Clair. 5 Stars*****

You can click the pic to buy the book 🙂

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Naked Alliances up for Eversion Pre-Order and Paperback is Published

As you may have noticed, I’ve been off social media for a while. There were too many things on my mind and loads of work to get done. I’m packing to go to Michigan to see my new grandbaby…my first born’s first born. Really excited about that.

We also have a book. Naked Alliances is now available in paperback only and the eversion is up for pre-order. Yay!!!

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Had to go this route this time. The publicist package we won at Sleuthfest came with a publicist who insists we have a book before she begins her marketing campaign. (I personally believe in a lot of pre-marketing, but she needed ARCs for reviewers and this is the only way to get them with CreateSpace.)

Mayglenn McCombs, the publicist, will be doing a blog tour, but I’d also like to set one up on my own. Anyone willing to help, let me know in comments. I’ll be writing up some posts while I’m in Michigan to use when I return on the 14th. From the 14th-23rd, I know I’ll be slamming the marketing campaign.

For those who haven’t seen the full cover, here it is:

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I love what the artist did with the back cover. The small print for the blurb is a little tough to read online, but it’s my book blurb along with a few endorsements we have for the book. Thanks to all who read and were willing to help out: Tim Baker, Ionia Froment, Mark Paxon, and C.S. Boyack…you totally rock!

Endorsements:

“Richard Noggin and his trusty sidekick, expose the bare truth about a ten-year-old murder and get to the bottom of an ugly human trafficking scheme. With tight prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, Naked Alliances doesn’t let up until you’ve seen it all!” ~ Tim Baker, author of Eyewitness Blues.

“Interesting settings, believable characters, and a wonderful plot earn this one five stars from me.” ~ C.S. Boyack, author of Will O’ the Wisp.

 “Naked Alliances offers a rollicking good time, a dose of evil, a murder to solve, and characters you want to get to know better.  All in a well-written package that begs for more stories to come.” ~ Mark Paxson, author of One Night in Bridgeport

“Gritty, heart pounding and wickedly amusing!” ~ Ionia Froment, Top Amazon Reviewer

About Naked Alliances:

A riveting romp through Central Florida, Naked Alliances air-drops you into the seedier side of Orlando that the amusement park industry tries to keep under wraps.

 

When a young immigrant woman and an exotic dancer are fleeing men with guns and have no place to hide, Richard Noggin, P.I., can’t turn his back on them, even if helping them makes him a target.

 

Richard plans to impress an aspiring politician by taking on a big white-collar case with the potential of getting him off the streets and into air-conditioned offices. Instead, he’s handed a cold case and quickly finds himself sucked into a shadowy world of sex, secrets and…murder.

 

Marked for a bullet and stretched thin by his investigations, he reluctantly teams up with the unlikely, brassy custodian of the young woman on the run. With bodies piling up, they go undercover in a nudist resort, determined to catch the killer and bring down the mastermind of the Alliance before someone else dies.

 

From the dark corners of Orlando’s Little Saigon, to the sunny exposure of Leisure Lagoon, the Naked Eye juggles to keep his balls in the air.

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I have a few books I’m going to try to get read while in Michigan, as well. Hopefully, I’ll be able to come back with some reviews. Again, let me know if you’d be willing to be a host for the blog tour. I have a standard post, and am putting together a few more so they won’t bore people with the same info, as many of you share.

Sharing is greatly appreciated 🙂

If you have a full review to post on Amazon, you can do that now on the paperback page which will be merged with the eversion page after the 23rd. Please make sure to note that you recieved an advanced reader copy from the author.

A handy link to the pre-order page is right Here.

And a handy link to the paperback page is right Here.