Price Promo

Price Promo

Sudden Mission CoverSudden Mission goes on sale for $0.99 today (or tonight or tomorrow, depending on when the price kicks in) on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks! This price promo is good through Wednesday morning, July 27. Again, that depends on time zones and how quickly the price change takes on the various vendors.

If you’ve held off getting started in the Spirit Missions series, now is the time to jump in. Or, if you already got one or both books, now is a good time to gift Sudden Mission to friends, relatives, or complete strangers who might like to read it.

As mentioned in earlier posts, if you read it, leave a review or rating where you got it. Reviews or ratings are very important these days and help get a book in front of more people.

Enjoy! Keep checking back for a possible promotion for Nasty Leftovers.

Keep writing.

Faith

Faith

“Faith, I can move the mountain” — Hillsong

One reviewer of Sudden Mission commented on how young the protagonists were and how ready they were to take on the tasks and challenges. The reviewer was skeptical.

I don’t usually respond to a reviewer, other than to thank them. And, really, I’m not responding to or criticizing the reviewer here. The comments just got me thinking, and George Michael’s hit song lyrics started playing in my head. I didn’t quote those for my own reasons, but I’ve often told reading audiences that Sudden Mission is about faith.

Yes, there is spiritual warfare, action and adventure, a dash of science fiction and fantasy, an angel, aliens, zombies, and other things in Sudden Mission. And, yes, the characters are young. But fourteen isn’t too young to have strong faith, or to face difficult trials.

I struggled with character age when I started planning the book. Older teens would have required more difficult, grittier challenges. Younger protagonists, in this setting, would have been just too weird. I remember being fourteen. It just seemed a good fit. A fourteen-year-old, with strong faith, strong family and community, and good friends, just seemed right. Some of that is foreign to me, so I had to do some exploration.

Keep in mind, this isn’t a Christian conversion story. Granted, the characters grew and changed, but they were already believers and faithful. Faith gets tested in several places and the characters come close to failing. Paul, the main character, is constantly challenged.

“I can’t. I have a mission.” Paul felt frustration and discomfort. He was sleepy and wanted nothing more than to just curl up and sleep.

“Are you certain?” The coyote sat on his haunches and his tongue lolled out of his open mouth. “What? Did you dream of an angel coming to you with a message? You don’t really believe you are on a mission from God, do you?”

Bound to a compelling mission and his family held hostage, Paul struggles. His friends, Amy and Joe, act to support him. Paul, in return, supports them when their spirits flag.

“I wish one of us could drive,” Amy said. She wrapped her arms around her legs and rested her chin on her knees. “How about bicycles?”

“Yeah, lets see,” Paul said opening the map. “We have more than eighteen hundred miles left to go. I don’t think I’m up for trying to do that on a bicycle.”

“We still have eighteen hundred miles?” Joe said.

“Yep,” Paul said. “Still, we’ve gone more than five hundred miles just on our good looks.”

Amy laughed. Joe looked disgusted.

At that age, faith is a tough thing to keep. So the three amigos boost each other and help move the story along, even through tragedy.

I might have made one character a foil instead of a friend, and I thought about that in the beginning. But at the age chosen, a foil could have ended the mission too early and too easily. The story had enough conflict and struggle as it was.

The struggle and character development stayed in Paul’s point of view (PoV). Some reviewers commented on Amy and Joe’s limited development as a result. I did experiment in early drafts with bouncing around PoVs and it was a mess. I stuck with Paul. I tried to stay honest about that, though. Paul, in Sudden Mission, is fourteen. A fourteen-year-old boy isn’t necessarily insightful about others or himself, and the internal monologue is more simple and direct.

This is important, as Paul matures and we see things again through his eyes in Nasty Leftovers. Then, in the third novel, we’ll see things from Amy’s point of view and she has a more robust internal monologue. Honest. I read some romance to see how it was done. I think I have it, now.

So, okay. Ya gotta have faith.

Keep writing.

(Note: This is outside of my usual, arbitrary Tuesday posting day. I may have another short post next week, or wait until the next Tuesday. Life is pretty full right now.)

 

Short and Sweet

Short and Sweet

There is a new review of Nasty Leftovers online. Laura, a high school student, posted up a review today. She also reviewed Sudden Mission last week. She is in the age range of the books’ target markets, so these are important reviews. See what she has to say. I am so glad she liked both books.

I’m busy getting some other events and activities going. Check the Events page to see the new entries. I will also try to set up something in the Seattle area soon. An event coming in a couple of weeks is a visit to a middle school in Southern Idaho. It’s a career day and I’ll talk about writing and publishing. What is special is that two of my grand-nephews attend this school.

Another event is part of “teen week” at Barnes & Noble in Spokane Valley. This is a promotional event that takes place just as schools close for the summer. The bookstore sets up events for teens to get them involved in reading for the summer. Since it is Barnes & Noble, I’ll be on a panel or two with some local and some “a-list” young adult writers. This should be interesting.

I also need to knuckle down and get some writing done. Life, travel, grandchildren all conspire to keep me away from the keyboard. I’m working on it, though.

Keep writing.

 

Arrivals

Arrivals

IMG_5509My Nasty Leftovers books arrived. This is such a strange moment. It is filled with excitement and wonder. It is also tempered with some concern about whether these will sell or not. Did I just buy a bunch of books that will sit in a corner?

I now have a sufficient number for the events planned over the next couple of months. Check the Events page for details on what’s coming and what’s planned. I ordered more Sudden Mission copies, as well.

The book event at the Barnes & Noble in Twin Falls will have books already in stock, so that shouldn’t be a problem for those who want to purchase copies there. Of course, I’ll sign books you already have if you wish. If B&N won’t let you bring them in (some places are picky) we can sign them later at the hotel or something.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 8.58.47 AMI will have both Sudden Mission and Nasty Leftovers available at the First Friday event, April 1, at Indaba Coffee on Broadway in Spokane. This is planned for 5 to 8 pm, but I won’t be reading all that time. I’m working on adding some musical entertainment and this should be a fun event.

Nasty Leftovers also has a new review. Fear Street Zombie posted her review up the other day. I really appreciate this, since she lives in an area hit by massive flooding and rain. She was out of the loop for about a week. So, I really appreciate her efforts.

If you can attend any of the events listed on the Events page, I appreciate it. I look forward to meeting and talking to readers and friends. Bring questions! This is actually one of the best parts of being an author.

Keep writing.

 

Post Publication Letdown

Post Publication Letdown

Okay. I’m supposed to be writing.

IMG_5506But it snowed this morning. I have event dates to set for readings and other things and deadlines loom. I posted the book trailer for Nasty Leftovers on YouTube. Family health issues cropped up this week, too. I ordered author copies of both Nasty Leftovers and Sudden Mission, and some promo material. And it is post publication.

And I’m supposed to be writing.

I did get out for a few rides this last week and attended a spaghetti feed fundraiser for diabetes at a biker bar (Spokane has a few – this IS Harley Heaven, after all). I got to meet a few folks, talk about riding and motorcycles, and eat some spaghetti. Nothing like hanging out in a sunny, warm outside venue with folks clad in patched-up black leather, all for a good cause.IMG_5507

But I’m supposed to be writing.

Nasty Leftovers released last week and got a wonderful first review. Then both Sudden Mission and Nasty Leftovers got Radiqx Press awards. My granddaughters think Papa is pretty special, but they are still a bit young to read the books and understand what this all means. So, I play Minecraft with them and we have fun. Well … until they gang up on Papa.

I’m supposed to be writing.

I structured the third installment, Alien Alliance (working title)in Scrivener, with additional character sketches and a first chapter or two. I need to spend a little time in NeO, getting the outline fleshed out. But I haven’t opened it in a week. Sometimes, I think we need a NaNoWriMo in the spring so we can focus and get it done.

Yeah. I’m supposed to be writing.

You may notice that I included a lot of links in this post. That’s just to share some of the cool stuff going on and show off some of the important tools I use. Some are distractions, some are part of the legwork involved in being a published author, and some are just fun.

So. I’m supposed to be writing.

Yes. I’ll get it done. No worries.

Keep writing.