The Company You Keep

It’s said, not without some truth, that you can judge someone by the company they keep.  If that applies to authors as well, I invite you to contemplate what the screen capture from the Kobo ebook retailer website, taken today, says about yours truly and the company his novel No Honor in Death keeps!

Kobo CA 6 Aug 17

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5-6 August 2017 Science Fiction and Fantasy Promotion

I’m pleased to participate once again in this fantastic promotion organized by Australian author Patty Jansen for fans of science fiction and fantasy.  My own “Death Comes But Once” is one of the featured books, but do check out the other 99 great novels on offer, each for 99c.  Click on the image below to find good reading at a great price!

August Promo

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Lazy July Sunday

It’s been an extraordinarily wet, rainy and chilly July in our part of the Great White North, but the last few days have brought us weather closer to normal, and today is shaping up as one of those summer Sundays I look forward to all winter.  Of course, the drier weather has a downside when your street is being ripped up for water main replacement — dust.  Every car that passes raises a big cloud, and those who drive like moronic maniacs raise clouds visible for kilometers, redepositing the dust all over our houses, cars, properties, etc.  It reminds me of nothing so much as the dusty dirt roads that crisscross the military reservations I’ve come to know during my younger years.  For those who, like me, remember spending their summers eating dust in the Gagetown training area every time a deuce, APC or tank rolled by, you’ll know what I mean.  That’s what our quiet residential street feels like these days.

There are moments where I wish I could put a spike belt across the street and teach the ignoramuses a lesson in giving their neighbours some consideration by driving more slowly rather than racing to the next intersection.  But their turn will come next year.  Right now, the city is doing the first 300 meters of the street, the part on which we live, however I already see the subtle signs that the city is preparing to do another section next year — the same signs I saw last year on our segment.

I wish the work would be over soon, but we’re looking at another 4-6 weeks, if not longer, before the street is repaved and things back to normal.  And tomorrow morning, like every weekday, we’ll be woken at precisely 07:00hrs by the beeping of heavy machinery backing up.  I can’t fault the guys who are working this project.  They routinely put in 10-12 hours a day and it’s not uncommon to hear heavy machinery still hard at it after supper.

What won’t take another 4-6 weeks is the work to publish Black Sword, the latest Zack Decker adventure.  It’s in the midst of the second round of editing right now, and should come out of that within a day or two, leaving only proofing and final cover design.  I’d say, barring any unforeseen circumstances, we’re looking at publication before mid-August for sure.

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Tomorrow’s the Day

My second audiobook, The Path of Duty (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 2) will be released tomorrow, joining the audiobook of Dunmoore’s inaugural adventure on the shelves of Amazon, Audible, iTunes and more.  And that means the audiobook of Like Stars in Heaven (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 3) will soon be available for pre-order, as I expect an August 20th release for it.

In the meantime, my editor has indicated I might get her comments on Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) by early next week.  Figure on a mid-August release for it.   All in all, 2017 is turning out to be a good year for this author.  And yes, I’m also working on the plot for the fifth Siobhan Dunmoore adventure, tentatively titled Without Mercy, though it might not be published before 2018.

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Scammers Break The Kindle Store

For those of you who wondered why I pulled all of my books out of Kindle Unlimited earlier this year, and didn’t put the latest Siobhan Dunmoore in Kindle Unlimited when it came out on April 30, author David Gaughran gives the best summation of Amazon’s broken system that I’ve seen.

David Gaughran

On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.

The Kindle Store is officially broken.

This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling. Last Sunday, a clickfarmed title also hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action.

Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever. There are many such examples.

I wrote at the start of June about how scammers were taking over Amazon’s free charts. That post led to a phone conversation with KDP’s Executive Customer Relations.

Repeated assurances were given that the entire leadership team at Amazon was taking the scammer problem very seriously indeed. But it was also stressed that the…

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There’s No Escape

Since leaving the dank underbelly of the demented bureaucracy, my home office has been an oasis of calm.  Not since last week.  The city is replacing the water main on our street and today, the work is happening right outside my home.  It makes writing a challenge, but fortunately, I’m done with Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5).  The manuscript now sits in my editor’s inbox, so you Decker fans can expect an August release.  Here’s what it looks like from my office window today.  I bet it’s a lot calmer outside my old, downtown office, but such is life.

Road work

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More Musical Inspiration

As I mentioned before, music is an important part of my inspiration to write, my muse if you like, and a great motivator when I’m procrastinating. I try to give each of my books a theme song, sometimes more than one, when I stumble across pieces appropriate for various parts of the story. It’s hard to predict what will trigger the muse, or what will crop up that meshes well with my writing. Case in point, the theme song for Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) has turned out to be a 1982 hit by the band Golden Earring, called Twilight Zone. Once you read the book (it will be out later this summer), you’ll see why I chose it. As far as musical pairings go, this one is the best so far.

I’m currently more than halfway through the revision of Black Sword.  With the greater part of this year’s home reno project done, I’ll be able to give it a sprint, so I figure my editor might see it in a week or so.

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More Sounds of Summer

The audiobook version of The Path of Duty (Siobhan Dunmoore #2) is now available for pre-order and will be released on July 20th.  You can find it at the links below:

Audible

Amazon

It will eventually show up on iTunes, OverDrive, Hoopla and Recorded Books

SD2 Audio

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Happy 150th Birthday, Canada

Canada-Flag

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July 1, 2017 · 9:23 am

Back to the Future

More procrastination with graphic art has resulted in a 1930s pulp fiction style cover for the first Decker’s War adventure.  Here it is, side by side with the actual book cover.

And the upcoming fifth adventure

Decker Pulp 3 Decker 5 ebook

You can check out the website I used to produce the retro cover here: http://thrilling-tales.webomator.com/derange-o-lab/pulp-o-mizer/pulp-o-mizer.html

By the way – the first draft of Black Sword is done… It’s headed for my editor later in July.

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