Monday, July 30, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten

Yup, THIS is where you learn about skin cancer
I'm going away for the next 2 weeks. My father has a dermatology conference on a Baltic cruise ship for some reason and I'm going with him. Which is good, because I really need to get out of the city and the heat.

I was going to do a podcast bringing everyone up-to-date, but I realized that it would just be complaining about a hot, awful summer. Don't get me wrong - sales have been great, and books 5 and 6 are coming along - but my family's gone from emergency to emergency and my iPod weather app always says "feels like 99 degrees" even when it's 80. So I just need to get out of here. No I will not be visiting any sites I mentioned in book 3 - I will be in Russia, but not that deep in Russia - but I would like to see some of mainland Europe, which I have never seen.

Book 5's revision will be out in August. It was delayed by everyone else having a crazy summer, too, and I did get back new edits but didn't have time to implement them because there's a waiting process when you go back and forth with Kindle and Createspace. Looking through the book, my friend only found about 20 typos, which I don't think is as bad as some people made it out to be, but could use improvement.

Book 6 is coming along, but I'm not setting a date on it yet. I''m not doing any work on it on the minute other than looking through common domain images for possible art and color themes. The manuscript itself is at the editor. It will be called Georgiana and the Wolf. There really is no way to work Darcy into the title, which is why I abandoned that publishing convention for The Knights of Derbyshire. The plan is, because book 6 is just so much different from the other books in the series, to just rush on ahead to book 7 which brings us back to more familiar territory (and resolves a major plotline of book 5) and then take a breather before book 8.

For those of you who have read book 7, which used to be known as If I Loved You Less, I am open to title suggestions, because that is an OK fanfic title (it's an Austen quote) but a bad book title.

I'm not putting book 5 on sale while I'm in Europe, but honestly if $4.99 is breaking the bank for you, just read the book online. There will be sales when I get back around my birthday (Aug 28) and a whole length of time before the release of book 6, which won't be out any earlier than November from the looks of it.

My books wil be sold at the Decatur Book Festival over Labor Day Weekend. I won't be there (family event) but there'll be signed copies of books 1 and the anthology to buy. Sooner or later I'm going to have to stop avoiding cons, but money's a little tight and it's a BIG family event. Also traveling on Shabbat is impossible and I'm kosher so that always makes these things a little more expensive and way more complicated.

I just want to say before I leave that I really appreciate every one of my fans. Hell, I appreciate you even if you bought the book, didn't like it,and posted a nasty review on Amazon. You do what you gotta do. But I definitely wouldn't have the courage (or patience) to self-publish the continuing series without all the support I've received, and I'm grateful for it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Honestly, when am I not running a contest?

Free stuff. That's what this blog is all about.

Contest: Think you've got a good public domain image for Book 6? Submit it via email, comment on this page, or on the Facebook Group Page. Last book, Cherri won this contest with her submission, which ended up being the cover image for Book 5, The Knights of Derbyshire. The winner gets their name in the acknowledgments and a free hard copy of the paperback, which is on schedule to be released late Fall.

Also, it is perpetually too hot outside. That is all.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

In My Spare Time

Since I realize it might be a good idea to actually say something interesting on my blog, I'll take a moment to talk about the iPhone game I'm currently obsessed with, Cause of Death. It's a murder-solving game involving a male and female detective who don't like each other at first because they're prejudiced against people who act differently and they have a lot of pride. So it's basically exactly like playing Pride and Prejudice, if Pride and Prejudice was about catching serial killers in America and also not like Pride and Prejudice at all.

But I'm sure learning a lot about San Francisco!

  1. San Francisco is like, loaded with serial killers. People are pretty numb to it at this point, because anywhere else in the world, eight serial killers a year chopping women’s faces off or drowning them in bathtubs filled with ice before chopping their faces off would be sort of alarm. Maybe that’s because…
  2. The cops need about six hours to catch them, once they actually bring the important the important partners who are also romantic interests on the case, which should be about 4-6 girls in. This is probably because…
  3. The lab can do anything instantaneously, be it compare DNA samples to a national database or hack things which are not even electronics and connected to a computer in the first place. They’re so good at it and valuable to the team that they can do whatever they want in their spare time, including clearing out the evidence in freezer storage to make room for this comic books, which is totally a smart thing to do. But the detectives do actually need to do some street work, interviewing suspects. Who, by the way …
  4. Everyone runs. Everybody. Maybe it’s because they hunted prostitutes for sport and left their DNA everywhere, maybe it’s because they have a dime bag of weed in the fridge, maybe they just filed their tax returns a few days late, but either way, running from the murder police after they ask you three questions is definitely the thing to do. It’s important not only to duck out the backdoor, but to hurl knives, an assortment of kitchen items, and anything else that could possibly fatally harm police officers in their way, because G-d knows that doesn’t make it worse. Fortunately, the DA considers, “I ran from the cops after boobytrapping my kitchen mid-flight and firing six shots at them at close range before hijacking a car not because I was guilty, but because I got spooked” to be a valid excuse. Maybe it’s helpful that…
  5. Whatever doesn’t kill you slows you down for a few minutes so your partner can go one-on-one with the bad guy. Getting your skull bashed into concrete, taking two armor-piercing bullets to the shoulder, falling off a roof – these are temporary concerns, so much that your detective will stand by the ambulance background after the chase and say, “Yeah, I’m just. Just a scratch.” He may be hemorrhaging blood internally, but all in a day’s work catching the guy who just turns out to be a low-level coke dealer. Or the mob. And speaking of the mob…
  6. Mexican drug cartels hang out with serial killers. Just because, I guess. Or maybe there’s just so many that it’s bound to happen by accident. They hire a guy to patch them up in a dark warehouse after a shooting and he turns out to be a serial killer. A serial killer who trains serial killers says, “Can I crash on your couch for I don’t know, 6 months?” and of course the answer is, “Sure, person who would draw unnecessary attention to us.” Fortunate for the police, drug cartels are really easy to deal with  because…
  7. Excessive use of force is not really a “thing” in San Francisco. This is quite helpful to the cops. Is a cartel bully standing in the way of you interviewing a possible serial killer? Shoot him in the head at point black range, then let your partner gun down his guards like it’s Prohibition and you’re Al Capone. Other options (especially if anyone tries to run, possibly from the gun-happy policemen) include: hijacking civilian cars and then crashing them, shooting innocent people in the back, hurling people off rooftops,  tossing bombs out the window without looking to see if anyone’s standing outside first, electrocuting suspects, and getting into a fatal gun fight with a security guard because you’re undercover. Because hey, you got the bad guy, and now he’s not going to kill any more women by suffocating them with plaster. It may have taken an additional four or five unnecessary deaths to do it, but job well done. Maybe the city lets this slide because they save so much money on criminals never going to trial because they never survive the final chase. Unless they do, then …
  8. Court room scenes descend into hostage situations. Bailiffs are clearly trained to not use their guns, or properly restrain dangerous suspects, or look for guns or knives on the dangerous suspects known for smuggling guns and knives into places. Several body counts later, he gets off on a technicality. It just makes you mad enough to …
  9. Always drop your gun. This is an important thing to do at the beginning of any fight scene. Whoever’s making police-issue weapons in California, they need to fire the guy in charge of lubing the handles, because I was never in a chase/fight scene where my gun didn’t instantaneously flee from my hand like I was covered in gun anthrax and the pharmacy was out of Cipro. Also, it’s never a good idea to go for it. Swinging a toaster around instead is a much better option. And I was done clubbing the suspect with a broken ballet, a picture frame, and then hurling him off a building, it was important to remember that…
  10. No matter how pressing the issue, there is always time to not talk about your relationship with your partner. These meaningful lines of dialogue where one person tries to say something and the other person shoots them down or is interrupted by the temporary boyfriend/girlfriend before true and obvious feelings can be expressed are things to do during processing, in an ambulance, and while the captain is waiting to tell you where you can find the triple-murder suspect who’s holding people hostage. Love (however delayed, or not reciprocated) comes first, hordes of serial killers second!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Be in Book 5! Last chance!

Lots of news!
1. This is your last chance to get your name in the acknowledgments of the second edition of The Knights of Derbyshire! All you have to do is email me with more than four typos you found in the first edition and you will get your name inserted and a free eBook (any device) of the second edition. And please, please do this in the next five days. Contest closes on the 6th. Because I have to get the second edition out.

2. Sales! There will be sales this summer on the eBook as I experiment with pricing on Amazon. Maybe $2.99, maybe .99c, but keep your eyes peeled on the Facebook group page. And there will be a big period of sale before the release of book 6 in the Fall.

3. Book 6 will be titled Georgiana and the Wolf, which is its old FFnet title. It's currently at the editor's. Then it goes to the copyeditor's, then to layout, so some months are involved here, but I will try to get it out this Fall. It is the only book where I am doing a sort-of major revision to one of the plotlines in the books versus versions you will find online.

4. A couple questions people may have about book 5:
- Yes, it is self-published, which is why I can alter the contents of the book or change the price. I cannot do this with the first four books.
- I cannot bring the price of the paperback way down because it costs money to print and I cannot sell it at a loss.
- The eBook is distributed on non-Amazon sites by Smashwords, which takes several weeks to update, which is why I cannot fluctuate the price on other sites as I can on Amazon and Smashwords
- In case you were wondering, yes book 5 does weigh more than the other books because the paper quality required for digital printing is much higher and therefore heavier. I spoke to the rep at Createspace and she they cannot make the book lighter. It's not a brick or anything, but someone like me who mails people copies on occasion, those ounces make a difference.
- Yes, Mugin does appear in a later books, in which form I will not yet reveal.

5. Jesus, it is really hot outside. That is all.