Sunday, November 22, 2015

New Release: "Little Green Men #1: Better Homes and Aliens"

Those who read Flying Saucers and the followup Call Center of Doom may have been left with unanswered questions. What happened to Jeffrey Foster after he saved the world and left Earth? What happened to Rygel Poxio after he rebelled against the Xenon Empire and fled his homeworld? And how did the Xenon Empire handle the news that Earth had rebelled their initial invasion?

All answers will be revealed. Gradually.

Today begins the launch of what will ultimately be the Flying Saucers Trilogy. There will be two three-part series released, the first of which is Little Green Men. Part one is live today, subtitled "Better Homes and Aliens." Here's the description:
Saving the world was just the beginning... 
Jeffrey Foster thought saving the world from an alien invasion would be the high point of his life. Now he just wants to find a nice place in the Galaxy to settle down. But he's unaware that the Xenon Empire plans to send its deadliest warlord back to destroy the Earth. Will Jeffrey turn his back on his home world? Or will he interrupt his favorite HoloVision show to save the day? And can he find some alien food that won't make him gag? 
You can download it on Amazon today. It will also be available at major retailers like Apple and Nook in a few days. Stay tuned.

You can also read an excerpt from the novella previously released here.

Update: Now available on iTunes | Nook | Kobo | Inktera | Scribd

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"Call Center of Doom" is Now Free...Except on Amazon

The good news is that my comedy/scifi novella Call Center of Doom is now available for free on six major ebook retailers. The bad news is it's still 99-cents on Amazon.

You may be wondering why. The answer is Amazon. Unlike all the other ebook retailers, Amazon doesn't allow you to permanently set a book's price to free. There are only two ways to get a free book on Amazon. One is to make the book exclusive to Amazon for ninety days and offer it for free for five days out of the ninety. The other way is to make the book free on other retailers and try to get Amazon to match it. I tried the latter with my short story "Man Overboard." After three months of nagging everyone I could to contact Amazon and get them to price match, I finally got the price dropped to free. And then six months later, Amazon put it back to 99-cents. So I'm done trying to get Amazon to price match.

Description
Rygel Poxio is an alien who works in the deadliest call center in the universe. His job is to call Earthlings to ask (hypothetically) if they would surrender to his Empire in exchange for a free car or iPod. And then they get added to a list of future slaves for a coming invasion. When he has a crisis of conscience, Rygel must find a way to save the world. Set in the same universe as my novel, Flying Saucers.

If you want Call Center of Doom on Amazon, it will be 99-cents. Everywhere else, it's free.

Go to the following:
Barnes and Noble/Nook | iTunes | Kobo | Scribd | Inktera | Oyster

To hear about my new releases first and get a free book of fifty 100-word short stories, sign up here. Your email will never be shared, and you'll only receive messages about new releases.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I Wish There Was an "Uber For Writers"

Apple iPad Event03.jpg

I needed some extra cash, so I recently tried to get part-time work by joining Uber, the infamous app that allows anyone to become a taxi driver. You sign up, and other people who need a ride just send out where they are and where they need to go, and if you're available, you show up and give them a ride. "Someone wants a ride from Chandler AZ to Scottsdale AZ in 30 minutes!" I couldn't join because my car is over ten years old (those sticklers). Meanwhile, my wife (who's a massage therapist) joined Soothe, which is like Uber for massage therapists. Anyone who wants a massage sends out the order, and she can show up to fill it. "Someone wants a 90-minute Swedish massage in Scottsdale, AZ at 12:30 PM!" The freedom and convenience of being able to get work when you want it, where you want, is something I envy. On-demand work has a lot of benefits.

It made me wish there was an Uber for writers. I wish there was an app where people wanted short stories, and would send out requests. I'd be sitting at home and get a message on the app. "Someone wants a 5,000-word science fiction short story in Tempe, AZ by 2 AM!" I'd pound it out on my PC, and upload the story. But I don't think people want writing that badly. Or do they? Someone get to work on that.

Image Source: "Apple iPad Event03" by matt buchanan - originally posted to Flickr as Apple iPad Event. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cover Reveal: "Justice for All (The Outcast Book #1)"

I'm proud to be part of the cover reveal for P.T. Dilloway's new novel, Justice For All. Here it is!

Justice for All (The Outcast Book #1)
by P.T. Dilloway

Description: Robin Howe was a normal teenager until her police captain father is killed by henchmen of the evil Madame Crimson. When the justice system won't take any action to avenge her father, Robin takes it upon herself. Except her first attempt leaves her nearly dead and with Madame Crimson's people on her tail.

To protect Robin, her father’s former partner gives her a new identity that sends her to St. Martha’s Academy for Young Ladies in rural New Hampshire. There she tries to keep a low profile, which isn’t easy when Madame Crimson’s spoiled daughter Tonya takes a special interest in making Robin’s life there a living hell. Yet when a rival gangster tries to kidnap Tonya, Robin has to embrace her heroic destiny.

Buy the ebook for $3.99 here at Amazon or the paperback for $12.99 from Createspace.

Author bio: Patrick "P.T." Dilloway has been a writer for most of his life. He completed his first story in third grade and received an 'A' for the assignment. Around that time, he was also placed in a local writing contest for a television station, receiving an action figure in lieu of a trophy, thus securing his love with the written word. Since then, he's continued to spend most of his free time writing and editing. In the last twenty years, he's completed nearly forty novels of various genres. When not writing, P.T. enjoys reading and photographing Michigan's many lighthouses. In order to pay the bills, he earned an accounting degree from Saginaw Valley State University in 2000 and for twelve years worked as a payroll accountant in Detroit.

To hear about my new releases first and get a free book of fifty 100-word short stories, sign up here. Your email will never be shared, and you'll only receive messages about new releases.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Pre-Order "Time Junkie" For Only 99-Cents

My next novel is coming out on October 16, 2015, entitled Time Junkie. Here's the description.
"My name is Timothy McGill, and I'm a time travel addict." In a near future, a teenage boy stumbles across krono, a new drug which sends you back in time while you trip out. From the moment he first tries it, Timothy begins a downward spiral into crime and corruption, all while living through the moments that led to his addiction.
While it deals with a teenager, I'm not sure yet if it would qualify as a young adult novel. There's no profanity or sexual situations, but it gets pretty intense with scenes of addiction, domestic abuse, and criminal activities. Then again, The Hunger Games is young adult and has scenes of children being slaughtered in gruesome ways, so maybe the genre is broad enough for it. I dunno.

To get personal for a moment, I have to say this was a real departure for me. I usually write comedy and thrillers, but this is more dramatic and character-driven than I usually do. It forced me to stretch as an author. I found it a really challenging novel to write, and I hope I succeeded.

On October 16, Time Junkie will be $2.99, but you can pre-order it now for only 99-cents. You can also read the first six chapters free on Wattpad.

To hear about my new releases first and get a free book of fifty 100-word short stories, sign up here. Your email will never be shared, and you'll only receive messages about new releases.

Friday, September 11, 2015

I'm About to Read Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One"

I finally got a copy of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. I've been wanting to read this ever since I read the first two chapters of it on io9. It's been on my to-read list for ages, but I never got around to buying a copy. Then I got an award at work for my stats (yeah, that's call center stuff) and they let me go to the prize room (aka. modified broom closet). I was looking around at boxes of candy bars and stress balls, thinking I'd get something for my kids when I saw a bin of actual books. And right there was a copy of Ready Player One.

If you haven't heard of it, it's been described as Willy Wonka meets The Matrix. It's about a future where everyone lives in this virtual world, and the creator of the virtual world offers his entire fortune to anyone who can solve a scavenger hunt in the game. And one kid finds the key to solving it. But the real fun of the novel is that the scavenger hunt is tied in with eighties references, so you have a kid in the year 2144 2044* watching episodes of Family Ties and playing Robotron for clues. Yeah, nostalgia is a thing.

I'm so excited to read this novel that I almost don't want to read it, because then there will be a point when I've already read it.

* Got the date wrong

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cover Reveal: "Hot Pink in the City" by Medeia Sharif

I'm proud to be part of the cover reveal for Medeia Sharif's new novel, Hot Pink in the City. Here it is!

Cover Reveal

HOT PINK IN THE CITY, Prizm Books
Author: Medeia Sharif
Release date: August 19, 2015

Asma Bashir wants two things: a summer fling and her favorite '80s songs. During a trip to New York City to stay with relatives, she messes up in her pursuit of both. She loses track of the hunk she met on her airplane ride, and she does the most terrible thing she could possibly do to her strict uncle…ruin his most prized possession, a rare cassette tape. A wild goose chase around Manhattan and Brooklyn to find a replacement tape yields many adventures—blackmail, theft, a chance to be a TV star, and so much more. Amid all this turmoil, Asma just might be able to find her crush in the busiest, most exciting city in the world.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

To hear about my new releases first and get a free book of fifty 100-word short stories, sign up here. Your email will never be shared, and you'll only receive messages about new releases.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

My "Dragon Tattoo" Parody Just Got Two Horrible Reviews

From the Department of Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is...

In my job, we have to get surveys from customers, and I've learned there are three kinds of people. One, people who had a great experience, which motivates them to leave a survey as a reward. Two, people who had a bad experience, which motivates them to leave a survey as punishment. Three, people who had a mediocre experience, so they don't feel like leaving a survey at all. I feel the same applies to book reviews.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Scribd and Kindle Unlimited Just Changed Their Subscription Models

Urval av de bocker som har vunnit Nordiska radets litteraturpris under de 50 ar som priset funnits (2)
A few years ago, I championed subscription models for books as the wave of the future. Shortly afterwards, they became real. Kindle Unlimited, Oyster, and Scribd all started services offering unlimited reading of a pool of books for a low monthly price. Now that the services have been going for a while, there seem to be problems. Both KU and Scribd announced pretty sweeping changes, and I'm not sure how I feel about them.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

"The Hemingway App" Makes Writing Easier to Read

We all want to be better writers, am I right? But it's not easy. It's so hard to write anything at all that sometimes, once I've written something, I can't see ways to improve it. But there are ways to become better writers, one of which is to make our work easier to read.

That's where the Hemingway App comes in. It's a website I heard about designed to make your writing more clear. You can put in something you're writing, and it will judge it based on readability, adverbs, complex phrases, and passive voice. When the app finds any of it, it highlights them in colors for you to fix.

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