What to Do What to Do

I hope everyone reading this is healthy and safe during your respective COVID-19 stay-at-home situations. It seems like every network morning show has been chronicling efforts to avoid boredom during this global pandemic. Many people have been locked down with their families, often with small children, and have been finding ways to while away the hours. From binge watching, video games, and Zoom chats to making masks and finding ways to support local businesses – folks have gotten very creative.

The past few years I have made a concerted effort to read more books. I am guilty of acquiring books and not reading them on multiple counts. Sometimes it is the mere shopping and purchasing that excites me. I love books and I loved being surrounded by them. So, a couple of years ago I challenged myself to read more. And as successful as I was in that endeavor, nothing has contributed to my reading fix as this shelter-in-place reality.

I reset the count every January and I started the year off strong with five books completed up until March 5. Since stay-at-home, I have read 19 more for a total of 24 for the year so far. I have never read so much in my life. And my selections have been all over the place. From science fiction, Stephen King, and thrillers to Beat, classics and controversial – I have been all over the place with my selections. Of the 24 I have read, I think I have only disliked four.

I have recently written on my personal blog that I am a fan of Stephen King and I was mortified at how little of his work I have actually read. I list him as one of my greatest influences, yet, to-date, I have only read 18 of his books. As much as I have taken the opportunity to burn through my TBR pile, I have decided to read the last three novels in Dean Koontz’s Jane Hawk series, and then binge read King. I have a stack of King’s books, novels and short story collections, at the ready. I won’t have to buy any new ones of his for quite awhile. I only hope I can maintain my current pace.

It is commonly accepted that to be a good writer, one must read and read a lot. I subscribe to this theory. You would think that during this situation I would be writing a lot as well. I am not an anxious person by nature, nor do I suffer from anxiety. However, there is a paralyzing cloud hovering over my creativity. I have written about 9,000 words in my current project, not nearly as much as I probably should have in two-and-a-half months. For those of you who have read my books, and enjoyed them, rest assured more is coming. Once the idea spigot was turned on, it has yet to shut off. I just need to get past the malaise I find myself in.

So, if you are bored and looking for something to do and you have yet to crawl into your preferred reading nook with a good book, might I suggest you do so. And if I may be so bold, I encourage you to curl up with one of mine. Obviously, Amazon is always open, but if you can find a way to support your local indie bookseller, I hope that you would.

What to Do What to Do

The Dark Passage Series Pricing Update

The Dark Passage Series

Every so often, Amazon adjusts the prices for my books. All three trade paperbacks in The Dark Passage Series – The Dark Truth, The Dark Descent, The Dark Terror – retail for $14.99 each. Also, on Amazon, you can purchase the Kindle editions for $2.99 each. Right now, you can get The Dark Truth for $4.47, The Dark Descent for $14.99, and The Dark Terror for just $3.72. The Dark Truth is also available for free with Kindle Unlimited.

The first two books are also available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes. If you sign up for a free Audible trial, you get your first book free.

As always, you can order from Barnes & Noble and any number of independent retailers’ online stores. Right now, the first and third books are $1.50 off at Barnes & Noble’s website. For San Francisco Bay Area residents, the books are available at select Barnes & Noble stores.

Unfortunately, these prices are always subject to change without notice. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy of any of my books, now is a great time. Get the whole set or get the one you haven’t read yet.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

The Dark Passage Series Pricing Update

My First Book Festival and a Special Halloween Treat

I decided to take a plunge recently and buy a table at the Great Valley Bookfest. I have been tempted to attend or have a table at other book festivals and just haven’t seen my way clear to do either. As an author, you just can’t beat the price for a table in Authors Alley.

My table at the Great Valley Bookfest.

My table was next to one occupied by a couple of prolific fantasy authors, John Harrison and C.E.R. Ellwood. We hit it off and had a great time chatting about writing and book marketing. I also sat with and enjoyed talking with J.L. Rallios, author of The Gopher & the Erstwhile Wizard.

I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised at how well organized and staffed the event was. There were plenty of of helpful volunteers on hand as well. I met some great new readers and had fun chatting with everyone who stopped by my table.

My set up at Books on B.

This past weekend, I had a return engagement at Books on B in Hayward, California. I teamed up with fellow author Jay Hartlove for a special Halloween signing. As always, Renee Rettig, the proprietor of the store, is always the hostess with the mostest.

Jay and I, in costume, enjoyed chatting with shoppers and new readers. Books on B is a fantastic indie bookstore, one I highly recommend if you are ever in Hayward.

My First Book Festival and a Special Halloween Treat

Great Valley Bookfest

Hey everyone, I’ll be at the Great Valley Bookfest in Manteca, California, on Saturday, October 12, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. I’ll have a table on Authors Alley. Come by and see me. You can buy copies of my books – The Dark Truth, The Dark Descent, and The Dark Terror – and I’ll have bookmarks and postcards to hand out as well.

The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley aka Bass Pro Center
Hwy 120 at the Union Road exit
280 Lifestyle Rd.
Manteca

I hope to see you there!

Great Valley Bookfest

Halloween Team-Up

I am teaming up with author Jay Hartlove for a Halloween event at Books on B in Hayward, Calif., on October 26.

I am happy to announce that I am teaming up with author Jay Hartlove and the fine folks at Books on B in Hayward, California, for a special Halloween book signing/reading event!

The fangtastic festivities are set for Saturday, October 26, from 3 – 5:00 p.m. and Jay and I will serve as the lead-up to ZombieCon Hayward, which staggers along starting at 5:00 p.m.

As you know, I write horror fiction and The Dark Passage Series – The Dark Truth, The Dark Descent and The Dark Terror – will be available. Jay writes urban fantasy and his novel, Goddess Chosen, the first in the Goddess Rising series, will be available.

Jay and I will regale our undead audience with select readings from our works and we will mesmerize with discussion about our tales. Costumery is highly encouraged.

This will be my third event at Books on B and I can’t thank the enchanting proprietor, Renee Rettig, enough for her willingness to host an evening of incantations and conjuring.

Halloween Team-Up

A Different Avenue

Almost everyone with whom I have had the privilege of discussing my fiction writing tends to ask me similar questions about my influences. Why did I write a vampire series? Why do I love Gothic horror? Who are my favorite writers? What are my favorite books?

I recently volunteered to write a review of my favorite horror novel for a fantastic UK-based website called Kendall Reviews. I thought it would be a great way to contribute to a groovy site and get my name out to a new audience.

I could tell you more about the site and its founder, but it’s easier to just link you there and have you check it out for yourself. If you like horror and you are looking for new material or you are looking to re-discover old frights, this is a great site to do all that and more.

I chose Dracula by Bram Stoker for my review project. I took the time to re-read the book and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Dracula has influenced me in so many ways over the years. The character and the novel helped form much of my entertainment tastes from an early age and served as a gateway book to many more delectable horrors over the years.

Head over to Kendall Reviews and check out my take on my favorite horror novel.

A Different Avenue