Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.

pot-gold-rainbow-600x450I like stories which are a wild ride to the dark side – bloody, darkly humorous, irreverent and populated by anti-heroes who were once or never were human. One of my recent finds was John L. Monk’s novel Kickabout suicide Dan Jenkins whose after-life job is to return from the dead and hijack criminals’ bodies, and make sure they reap their just rewards. He gets to be alive again – albeit in another’s body – and if in the course of administering justice he clears out their bank accounts, spends their money and lives in luxury, so much the better.  Each successful performance earns him the right to return and do it all over again to another who needs retribution. I enjoyed the novel so much, I tracked down John on his Facebook page and website, and made his acquaintance.

What has this to do with St. Patrick’s Day? Nothing. But . . . .

I discovered John has an offbeat sense of humor I can appreciate. With his permission, and in honor of Saint Pat, here is John’s illuminating blog post which divulges the real reason for St. Patrick’s Day.

THE WAR BETWEEN IRELAND AND THE UNITED STATES.

Many years ago, before I made my millions as an independent author, I wrote freelance history for one of the largest history clearinghouses in Spokane Rhode Island. The details aren’t important, but what I’m about to say is.  Shortly before my breakthrough novel, “Kick”, while pouring through dusty old tomes and ledgers, I came across a little known episode in American history which has since been hushed up: in 1897, Ireland declared war on the United States.

The president at the time was William McKinley. Now, as everyone knows, McKinley was one of the least warmongering of the U.S. presidents, and had a kindly disposition in all things except one: everyone knew to never, ever ever, interrupt him during breakfast. The staff in the White House had even placed a sign outside the presidential dining room, reading, “Do Not Interrupt Breakfast.”

One day (a terrible day which will live in infamy), President McKinley was eating breakfast and “minding his own business” as the press reported it, when, out of nowhere, a tiny little man in a green outfit popped up — as if by magic — and stole his Lucky Charms.

The documents reveal an angry, vengeful president who immediately sent warships to blockade the small island.  Back then, Ireland was mostly cut off from the Western World. What little trade they had with anyone was centered around shamrock production — until McKinley, in his rage, had the farms destroyed in a series of devastating night raids.

The furious Irish people invaded the U.S. through a magical rainbow that spanned from Belfast to Fort Knox.  Millions of angry, red-headed Irishmen poured through, slashing and butchering their way towards Washington. McKinley was terrified.  He sent his best troops down — only to have them captured and left tied and gagged on the side of the road wearing hilarious green hats (years later, these “green berets” would learn brawling tactics from the Irish and become a mighty fighting force, but that’s another story).

When the mob got to Washington, the angriest Irishman with the reddest hair banged on the White House door, and yelled, “Come out of there you son of a bitch! You’re gonna pay for what you did to my sister’s shamrock farm!”

What happened after has been mostly lost to history.  Rumor has it McKinley was made to hand over a generous weight in gold from Fort Knox. Whatever the truth of that, there can be no doubt he was forced to declare March 17th a holiday, so that we Americans will never forget the destruction of all those shamrock farms.”

So there you have it, the truth about St. Patrick’s Day, compliments of John L. Monk. I don’t know about you, but it made me think . ;)

Click to check out Kick and John’s website.

 

 

 

 

 

Giving it Away

Free books2When at the veterinarian’s last week, I noticed one of the receptionists/aides had a Kindle, and asked her if she liked it. She said she loved her Kindle. I said something like “my books are on Amazon.” Once we’d established I meant books I had published, not books I’d read, she brought them up on her screen and said they were a genre she enjoyed. I pointed out that Along Came a Demon is free. She downloaded it. Then, she asked why I gave away a book.

In the author communities I belong to, one topic comes up again and again, and again. Are there advantages to offering your book at no cost? As soon as the question is asked, usually before the discussion begins, a few jump in – with wailing and gnashing of teeth – with the same comments:

One: Don’t give away your art! Don’t devalue your book! You’ve worked on it for months/years, poured your heart into it! How can you give it away for nothing?

Two: Think of all the sales you’re losing!

Three: You know you’re going to get a LOT of negative reviews!

My replies to those comments are:

One: Think of it as a marketing plan. “Free” gives your book  visibility among the hundreds of thousands of e-books available online. No cost to the reader makes it more attractive and readers may be willing to take a chance on it. This may not benefit you if you have published only one book, but if you have several, particularly a series, you may gain readers. As I said to the receptionist, if readers don’t like it, all they’ve lost is a little time. If they do like it, perhaps they’ll buy the next book in the series.

Two: Nonsense! Most of the readers who download a free book do so because it is free and being free made it discoverable. A small percentage may have heard of your book and looked for it, but I bet a hefty percentage downloaded it because it cost them nothing.

Three: The naysayers are worried about one-star reviews from readers who download any free book they come across or is listed in advertising emails they are subscribed to, without reading the product description or sample, or even taking into consideration if they like or dislike the genre. Then they leave one-star reviews when they discover the book is not for them. Shying away from offering a book at no cost for fear of negative reviews is . . . well . . . silly. Priced or free, you’re going to get negative reviews, guaranteed, because one man’s meat is another man’s poison .

I am not devaluing my work by offering it free, I am hoping to attract readers who are willing to take a chance on my book, who otherwise would not have noticed it. I enjoy seeing good sales of the rest of my  books, the complimentary reviews (negative reviews get an ouch!, and a shrug.) I enjoy getting lovely emails, messages on my Facebook page, and sign ups for my new release mailing list. All these mean someone out there likes my work.

So far I’ve given away over 125,000 copies, and no one is going to persuade me it’s not a good idea.

The Midnight Choir (A Whisperings Short)

Do you feel the magic?

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Tiff Takes on Halloween

A Halloween treat for Whisperings fans.

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Your opportunity for creepy Halloween reads and help the animals!

Super books from Curiosity Kills

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Giveaway #2 – Halloween goodies.

Who wants free stuff?

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Now Available – Downside Rain, an urban fantasy novel.

Prelim 8

Downside Rain is now available as an e-book from online retailers Apple iTunes, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble Nook.

Another place lies palm to palm with the world we know. Downside, Earth’s backdoor, where magic, madness and monstrosities abide; where rain falls from a cloudless red sky and neon pulses day and night.

A fallen angel in a derelict tower weeps crystal tears.

A powerful man hides a dark secret.

Wraiths skim through the streets, hunting monsters.

Rain and her partner Castle are wraiths. They will take almost any assignment, providing it’s legal and pays well. They specialize in ridding Gettaholt City of monsters, be they mischievous but relatively benign sprites, or ghouls which don’t limit their feasting to the already dead. The partners are also ears and eyes for Alain Sauvageau; unnoticed, the pair glean useful information for the crime lord. Rain would be happier working for Alain if he didn’t try to get into her pants, but she refuses to be the reigning lothario’s latest in a long line of affairs and jilted lovers.

Rain goes Upside on a mission for Alain and while there discovers River, a wraith who knows nothing of Downside. She is duty bound to introduce him to Downside society, an obligation she resents. When she’s marked for death, she must survive attacks by demons and Gettaholt citizens compelled by powerful magic. Who is trying to kill her, and why? Is River friend or foe? Can a wraith die twice?

GIVEAWAY #1

Who wants free stuff?

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Coming September 2013

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image11771300RAIN

“Don’t imagine they’re fantasy come to life. Upside tales made them pretty and ennobled some. Fairies control the black market for jewelry and amulets carved from human bones. Elves are pimps, thieves, assassins. Werekin are animals trapped in human skin. And a damsel in distress had better know how to slay the dragon ’cause no knight in shining armor’s going to do it for her.”

 

CastleCASTLE

With his height and bulk, Castle can be mistaken for a young thug.

“I’ll be here.”

“Will you?”

“Always.”

 

 

RiverRIVER

 

 

“When we touch, you make me whole.”

 

 

 

 

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-beautiful-man-having-martini-image15609092ALAIN

“There is a difference between lust and desire. I desire you more than any woman I’ve known.”

 

“He’s ruthless in his business dealings and those who cross him have a habit of disappearing.”

 

 

Another place lies palm to palm with the world we know. Downside, Earth’s backdoor, where magic, madness and monstrosities abide; where rain falls from a cloudless red sky and neon pulses day and night.

A fallen angel in a derelict tower weeps crystal tears.

A powerful man hides a dark secret.

Wraiths skim through the streets.

Rain and Castle dispose of monsters, be they mischievous but relatively benign
sprites, or ghouls which don’t limit their feasting to the already dead. When the
hunters become the hunted, they must survive attacks by demons and Gettaholt
citizens compelled by powerful magic. Who is trying to kill them, and why? Can
a wraith die twice?

FlattenedFinal

DOWNSIDE RAIN

An urban fantasy novel.

Coming soon to Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook AND Sony iTunes .

To Be Or Not To Be

Will there be another Whisperings novel?

Click to continue reading “To Be Or Not To Be”