My Top Five Reads of 2012

Last week Kat Yares tagged me as an author she liked to read in her Next Big Thing post. I'm going to take that concept one step further and list the five books I enjoyed the most this year.

# 5




And last but not least I give you the best book I've read this year.


The dead rise, and only the dead can rock them back to sleep...but sometimes it falls to the living to do what the dead cannot.

Those are my picks for 2012. What are yours?

The Next Big Thing

The Tuesday before last Jolie Du Pre, author of Conan - The M Series: Book Two tagged me in her post The Next Big Thing. A meme that's been working its way through author blogs across the web where each author answers the same ten questions about a work in progress. Last we I tagged Ginger Hamilton Caudill, and Leigh M Lane. This week they're both talking about their next big thing. I've provided the links below so anyone who wants can stop by to check out their answers.

Ginger Hamilton Caudill Has a very interesting blog guaranteed to make anyone feel right at home.

Leigh M Lane Author of World Mart, and the critically acclaimed Finding Poe which was one of the best books I've read this year.

This weeks winners are.

Monday:  Jessica Crawford
Tuesday: Linda L Kwolek
Wednesday: Crystal Craig
Thursday:  Gaele
Friday: Kate Policani

They have been notified via Twitter.

2012 Holiday Bloog hop

Welcome to my little corner of the 2012 Holiday Blog hop.

In case you missed what was going on a bunch of us writer types, sixty four to be exact, got together and pooled our resources to create a five day event that will culminate in a random drawing to select 5 lucky winners.

And what will these lucky people win?

Two grand prize winners will each receive a 7” Kindle Fire with HD, 16GB, Wi-Fi, and Dolby Audio. Each valued at $199.00

Third place will receive a $25.00 gift card.

Fourth place will receive a library of 18 autographed print books delivered directly to their door. Shadows of the Past included.

Fifth place will receive a library of 36 digital books. Shadows of the Past included.

Go to Holiday blog Hop to learn how to enter for your chance to win.

In addition to the above prizes I am hosting my own little giveaway, I can’t give away a kindle or money or anything like that, but each day of the hop I will be giving away a digital copy, in the format of their choice, of my novel Shadows of the Past, and my soon to be released novella, Enter Night, to be delivered upon publication. These will be given away via a smashwords coupon.

There are five chances to win. I will hold a drawing each day using that days tweets and a random number generator to select the winner.

To enter simply tweet about my blog using the following link

And the following hashtag
#SOTPbloghop1 for Monday with the drawing to take place on Tuesday at 5PM EST,
#SOTPbloghop2 for Tuesday with the drawing to take place Wednesday at 5pmEST.
#SOTPbloghop3 for Wednesday with the drawing to take place Thursday at 9amEST.
#SOTPbloghop4 for Thursday with the drawing to take place Friday at 5pmEST.
#SOTPbloghop5 for Friday with the drawing to take place Saturday at 5pmEST.

All tweets must include the above link to be elegible as well as the hashtag for that day. I use the hashtag to track the tweets. Enter as often as you like.

Good Luck and don’t forget to stop by each of the other participants blogs to see what they have to offer. I’ve provided the links below for your convenience. 

Cheryl Bradshaw, Christine Demaio-Rice, M Edward McNally, Emily Ann Ward,
Marsha A Moore, Diane Capri, Jillian Dodd, Victoria Adams, Olivia Hardin, Angela Muse,
Melissa A Smith, R.G Porter, Ty Hutchinson, Laura Yirak, C.M. Barrett, Elle Chardou,
Darren Pillsbury, Laura Eno, Alan Nayes, Michael Roberston, Catrina Barton,
D.B McNicol, Jolea M. Harrison, Katrina P. Williams, Julia Crane & Talia Jager,
Cheryl Shireman, Mary Pat Hyland, Karin Cox, Jason G. Anderson, S.L. Wallace,
Michelle Figley, Heather M Adkins, Athanasios, R.M. Strong, Susan Jean Ricci,
M.J. Holmes, Fabio Bueno, Lizzy Ford, Will Graham, Dana Taylor, Alyssa Reyans,
Marie J.S. Phillips, Karla Darcy, C.M. Keller, Carol D Luce, Robin Nadler, Jean M Bauhaus,
Tara West, Sharyn B Lunn, L. Leander, Lorne Oliver, Marilyn Holdsworth, Alonna Shaw,
Adrienne Thompson, Terry C Simpson, Juli D. Revezzo, Kate Policani, Randy Attwood,
Red Tash, Ian Walkley, Kip De Moll

Looking back while gazing into the future.

As I near the one year anniversary for the publication of my novel Shadows of the Past, I cringe at some of the mistakes I've made in my efforts to get the word out about my literary masterpiece. Though I'm over Fifty, with years of business experience both in construction and retail,  marketing this book has shown me just how much of a babe in the woods I really am.

In the beginning I spammed Facebook and Twitter. Did giveaways through Amazon, Goodreads, and Library Thing.  While agonizing over non existent sales figures. I've lost so much time worrying about getting my first book some recognition that I missed a couple of my own deadlines. By now I should have Reprisal done. But it's not.

If there's anything I've learned about all this, it's that writing and publishing is a marathon, not a race, and that the best thing one can do for their current book, is write the next one.

All sage advice that at the time I chose to ignore. But you know what they say. Live and learn. It's much easier to tell someone what they should be doing, and how they should be doing it, than it is to follow that advice yourself.

Something else I've adjusted to this year is my attitude towards self publishing. As time progresses and the face of publishing undergoes some very drastic changes, I've come to realize that self publishing has lost the stigma that was once attached to it.  I came into writing at a time when self publishing fiction was frowned upon. Reserved only for those lowly writers who didn't care if they could write or not.

Now self publishing has become the norm. Dorchester, once a giant in the field of Horror, Sci-Fi, and Romance publishing, has closed its doors. I was actually going to send the manuscript for Shadows of the Past to them, but after seeing what they've done to their authors, I'm glad I didn't.

Some of the big 6 publishers are getting into the self publishing business themselves. But here is where one must move with extreme caution. For as self publishing, or Indie Publishing as those involved like to call it, which is a name I'm slowly warming up to. As Indie Publishing grows ever larger more and more companies are being created with the solitary goal of separating the writer from their money.

From editing services, which every writer should budget for, to layout, cover design, and marketing. Every day it seems there is a new company opening its doors, touting how for just one low price, they can help you too become a best selling writer.

The only way I know of to become a best selling writer is to write a compelling story. No amount of marketing will ever replace that simple fact. It all boils down to the story. And that is one thing I lost sight of while I was marketing my first book. Knowledge hard won that I will keep firmly before me as I enter my second year.

And don't forget, beginning Monday December 10 through Friday December 14, I will be participating in the Holiday blog hop with sixty five other authors. I hear there will be two brand spanking new Kindle Fires up for grabs. So check back with me Monday and I'll have full details on how to get signed up for your chance to win those and many other prizes.

The Next Big Thing.

A week ago, Jolie Du Pre author of Conan - The M Series: Book Two tagged me in her post The Next Big Thing. Today it's my turn. My goal is to answer ten questions about my current Work in Progress or my Next Big Thing! Also, I'm seeking 3 to 5 other authors who would like to discuss their works in progress, at their blogs, on Tuesday (December 11.)  If you're interested, let me know in the comments.

What is the title of your book?
Enter Night

How did you come by the idea?
It was more of a challenge, to write a movie script that had to be shot in one location with almost no special effects or CGI required so I aimed for an atmospheric tale of a dark place where each victim faced their worst nightmare.

What genre does your book fall under?
Supernatural Horror

Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?
Even though the story began life as a movie script, I never envisioned who would play what part. Of course that’s the way I write. I try to keep physical characteristics to an absolute minimum so the reader can insert themselves into the story.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
There are places even the ghosts of the dead fear.

Will your book be self-published or traditional?
Self Published

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Three months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
No books that I’m aware of but two movies come immediately to mind. The House on Haunted Hill  and The Legend of Hell House. The first one I watched as a kid and I remember how the sudden appearance of the aged housekeeper scared the crap out of me. 

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The desire to scare the reader without using buckets of blood or blow by blow dismemberment's. 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 
The ending, believe me, it’s worth the trip. Even if you go straight to the end, you’ll want to return to the beginning to see how it all came about. 

And that’s my Next Big Thing. Here are the writers I’m tagging:

Ginger Hamilton Caudill Has a very interesting blog guaranteed to make anyone feel right at home.

Leigh M Lane Author of World Mart, and the critically acclaimed Finding Poe which was one of the best books I've read this year.