Saturday, December 15, 2018

It's the last stop for the Iron Horse!

Has it really been almost 8 years since I first published The Tinkerer's Daughter? January, 2011 doesn't seem so long ago until I start thinking about all that has occurred since... Now, 8 years later, and after a long wait between sequels (I'm sorry!) the Iron Horse is finally about to make its last stop.

Starfall is Book 5 of the series -and the conclusion of the entire epic storyline. It is available now! at an intro price of only $.99 US for the ebook.

Here are the details:


It's the end of the line for the Iron Horse!

The unthinkable has happened. The Iron Horse is destroyed, the crew disbanded, and war is once again on the horizon. Refugees pour into Astatia and Danaise. Resources are running low. The armies of the Legion are gathering for battle.

Kale and Shayla remain in Dragonwall, Kale sworn to wed Queen Aileen and take Dane’s place, while Shayla has survived an attempted murder only to find her life permanently changed. The future hangs in the balance, and everything just may rest on the shoulders of one small halfling named Micah. Is this the end for the crew, once and for all?

Thankfully, Socrates has a plan. All that remains is to discover the Clockwork Legion’s weakness and exploit it. But will Socrates find the right strategy in time? Will he be able to convince the other civilizations to join and defeat this new enemy? Will Breeze and Tinker answer the call one last time, or is it already too late? Only one thing is certain: after this adventure, nothing will be the same.


As noted, this is the final book in the series and the sales price is for my blog and newsletter subscribers. The price will go up in a few days! Once again, my apologies for the long wait. I've been working on my mystery novels and wrapping up the Hank Mossberg series over the last year-and-a-half, and I'm afraid I've neglected some of my most loyal readers. I hope this epic, thrill-a-minute novel will make up for the wait.

I'll discuss my plans for the future in some other post, but for now I'm looking forward to your reaction to the end of this series. There's a lot going on here, so it may take a little time to digest it all. I had many stories to wrap up :) 

That's it for now. Thank you all for your patience. Have a great Christmas and holiday season, and here's to a great new year!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

When there are no words...

As a writer, I enjoy the luxury of taking time to form the jumble of thoughts that spill from my mind onto the page into something coherent -maybe even elegant, if I'm lucky. At first, I splatter words like paint-balls. I come back to massage and rearrange them in ways that will hopefully become something artistic, or at least comprehensible. Revise, revise, and revise again. I form these thoughts into sentences and paragraphs in solitude, trying to bring them as close as possible to perfection before I hit the "Publish" button. I do this mostly on my own schedule. I have all the time in the world to find the right words. Usually.

Last month, I took a call from a relative I hadn't spoken to in a few years. He lives in the same small Montana town where I grew up. After a brief "Hello," he asked: "Are you somewhere safe? Can you sit down? I'm afraid this is one of those calls you never want to get..."

My mind whirled with horrifying possibilities, each worse than the last. None perhaps as bad as reality. In the moments that followed, I learned of the death of my thirteen-year-old nephew. Worse still, it was apparently a suicide. The worst possible thing in the worst possible way. Whatever I had been working on, I lost track of it. I couldn't think straight for days. My wife made quick arrangements, and we drove to Montana. My sister came along. Due to the length of the trip, we checked into a hotel at the halfway point, and did the same on the return drive. Due to the nature of the situation, we could only stay for two days. We spent four days on the road in order to spend two days with family.

We spent time our time there not solving anything, or offering any sage wisdom, but just being there.  I wanted there to be words that could make sense of it, that could somehow make my family feel better or bring some sort of insight, but there are no such words. Any pretense of wisdom or advice in a situation like that is hollow, and I already felt hollow enough without adding any poorly chosen thoughts. Instead, I tried to be useful. We helped the family pack and move to a new home. They couldn't bear the thought of being in that house any longer. The community came together to make this possible. One local business paid for a temporary motel stay. A local homeowner invited the family into her empty house, which had been up for sale, and gave them a good deal on rent. An anonymous donor paid for all of the funeral expenses. Dozens of people showed up with trucks and trailers and trunks full of boxes. We packed and kept an eye on the younger kids while the adults took care of funeral arrangements and dealt with all the other unpleasantness. Occasionally, someone would think too hard about why we were all there and  then break down in tears. Personally, I just couldn't dwell on the situation. I couldn't think about it. I had to stop searching for a reason why, or a way to make sense of it. Stop looking for words. Just get through it, do what needs to be done...

If it was like that for me, I can't even imagine how it felt to his parents.

A few days later, I came back home to a mess. I'm still working on the addition on my house. I've had to pause construction several times, for various reasons. As usual, the more plans I make, the more things don't go according to plan. Work that I had expected to be done months ago (the roof!) is just getting done now. Other things (the engineering and permit for removing a wall -all scheduled for next year) are already done. In the midst of it, there came a few days of early rain at the beginning of October. The project will be okay, but water running through an open roof and walls is never good.

So now it's autumn. The weather is cool and pleasant. Fallen leaves line the streets. I'm slowly coming to grips with the tragedy, and beginning to get my head straight. I have two books that need some work before I can publish, and a third that should have been finished by now, but I haven't really even started. I can't work on those though, because I must get this project buttoned up before the rain really starts. I have the siding on and painted, and I'm working on the roofing. Until that's done, my writing is in limbo.

So please be patient with me, and say a prayer for my family. They need it. In the meanwhile, I hope you're all having a great autumn and remembering to savor every precious moment you have with people the you love. Tell them now while you have time to find the words.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Hank Mossberg Promo This Week!

I'm running a promotion on the entire Hank Mossberg series this week. Prices of the first five books will be dropped to either Free or just $0.99. The last book in the series will remain at full price. Sorry folks, but a guy's got to make a living!

Anyway, whether you love a good mystery or you dig interesting and original fantasy, Hank's got you covered. He's one P.I. ogre who will not let you down. The whole series can be found at this link:
 The sale starts Sept. 13, 2018 and runs through the weekend! Enjoy~

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Summer 2018: Update and some freebies!

Yes, I know it's not technically summer yet. But I'm already exhausted. And there's a long way to go.

After an extensive campaign, I have finally acquired my building permit for my small addition! I started back in March, and after a series of modifications, finally got approval a couple weeks ago. I've already begun construction. Well, demolition, which this week consists of cutting, hammering, breaking and moving large chunks of concrete. Last week, it was the tear-down of a two-story redwood deck that I built almost fifteen years ago. Can I just say that I wish I was a millionaire right now, so I could pay professionals to do some of this miserable work? I know, don't we all?

Oh, well. The labor is good for me. I've been too lazy the last couple years. Plus, it's a teaching opportunity for my kids, which is really the best reason for doing anything. In fact, I had my teenage son and daughter both helping me demolish some concrete this afternoon. This brief tutelage ended about twenty minutes after it began, when my son hit the garden hose outlet with a 10 .lbs sledge hammer and sheered it clean off. Water came out in a wild gush that he tried in vain to hold back with his hands as I ran to shut off the water at the street. I sorted frantically through my plumbing supplies to find what I needed to enact a repair. Thankfully, the break was clean, and in such a place that I could reuse existing materials without a trip to the hardware store. The repair only required some soldering work. (Thank God for small miracles, right?) Strangely, after all the excitement, my kids lost interest and returned to their seemingly never-ending stream of Netflix anime. I don't blame them. I'd rather be doing that, too.

So, in the midst of the chaos that is my life this summer, I have been working on revisions to Valkyrie Smith Book Three, and I have a few plans for my next Iron Horse novel revision. I have also been planning some promos. Here's the part you've been waiting for:

First, I'm giving away my short stories this week. Starting tomorrow and running through the weekend, you can pick up a Kindle version of my fantasy shorts for free. That's it, the whole collection: FREE. Just look me up on Amazon, or check the links on my fantasy books tab. Also, next week, beginning on Sunday, June 10th, look for The Clockwork God -free- and the rest of the series will be running at promo prices.

'And what else?' you say... Well, I've been experimenting with recording my own audiobooks for the Hank Mossberg series. I played a sample for my wife and she loved it. Problem is, I don't have the slightest ability to do an Irish accent, so how can I play Butch? Should I just play it straight, with no accent? Or should I humiliate myself by trying something beyond my ability? Hmm.... Maybe I'll have some more time to work on that skill later this year. Speaking of, that's when Valkyrie III and Iron Horse V should be available. But I don't need to tell you how to stay updated, do I?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A new cover for Breeze

Well, it has been a few years (or more) since I made any changes to my Tinkerer's Daughter covers. I've been pretty happy with them for the most part, and I think I can credit the ongoing success of this series in part to the covers' abilities to draw readers in. The first step to selling a book is, after all, enticing someone to pick it up.

I think it helps to revisit old covers, descriptions, and maybe even the stories themselves from time to time just to make sure improvements aren't warranted. There's always room for improvement and depending on the situation, it may or may not be worth the time and trouble. In this case, the cover to T1 was decent. At the time I published it, I think the art was comparable in quality and appeal to most of the market. The market has grown since then -it has become more sophisticated, more mature, and the art has as well. I've been thinking for a while now that this cover needed a little sprucing-up, and it just so happened that I had some time on my hands this week.

Here's the original (or at least, most recent) cover:

And here's what the new updated version looks like:

Pretty fancy, huh? Like I said, it's not a major change, but you can see how zooming in on the main figure makes a stronger cover, at least in the fantasy genre. This new font is unique like the old one, but perhaps more visually appealing, and the color treatment and beveling makes it seem more integrated with the artwork. Overall, I think the effect looks more professional and polished than the original, even if the artwork itself is virtually unchanged. What do you think?

Monday, February 19, 2018

New Promo this week

Should be Dead is running at a promo price of just $0.99 this week. Grab a copy at Amazon before the price goes back up!

Nothing more to add at the moment. I'll post a writing update here soon. In the meantime, have a great week!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Valkyrie 2 now live!

The Devil's Road is finally live on Amazon. The introductory price is just $0.99US on Kindle, but that price WILL go up, so grab it now. Here's the link for Kindle. You can also buy it in paperback for just $9.99US. It is currently available on Prime at that price! It is also available in the Kindle Library for KU subscribers.

I don't have the international links at the moment, but if you go to your country's Amazon site and search "Valkyrie Smith" or "The Devil's Road" it should come right up. The prices will vary due to currency exchange rates, but they should be roughly equivalent to the US price. (The system takes care of that automatically, so the price may vary from week to week for not just this, but all of my titles.)

That's it for now. Have a great week and enjoy the new Valkyrie story!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Valkyrie 2 Revealed!

...And it's about time! All I can say is I'm sorry. 2017 was a rough year, and things that would normally take weeks ended up taking months. Books I expected to finish last summer are only just now coming to fruition. Valkyrie is one of my most popular characters, and I should have finished this book long ago. She deserves better and so do her fans. I promise I'll get number three out much faster next time around. In the meanwhile, It is my hope that book two will not only live up to everyone's expectations, but maybe even raise the bar a notch.

I know I haven't been posting here very often lately, but I'm so close to hitting the "upload" button on Valkyrie II that I just had to give you some details. Without further ado, here's a first look at the cover and the description:

The Devil's Road


"Valkyrie’s search for the serial killer who murdered her family leads to an isolated Montana town with a shady past. It seems to be a quiet, peaceful place now -the sort of place where folks don’t lock their doors at night- but something evil still lurks just beneath the surface.

Valkyrie is close. She can feel it. The Collector is here, and this time she’s determined to catch him. But will the local police chief distract her with his investigation into the town’s rash of abductions? Is it possible that these murders could also be the work of the Collector , or is it just another diversion from her real goal? Valkyrie’s resolve is being tested, and this time what she learns about the killer will change everything."

 So after a long, long wait, I'm happy to say this book will finally go live this month (Feb. 2018). I'm waiting to approve the paperback and final edits, which means The Devil's Road may very well be available next weekend (2-10-18), or the following week at the latest. 

In related news, my young adult action/adventure novel Shadow Born will be free on Kindle at Amazon this weekend, and book two in the series Shadow Rising, will be reduced to $0.99. Also coming soon is the fifth and final book in my Iron Horse steampunk series. I'll save the details on that for a later post. 

Thank you everyone for your patience. Let's have a great 2018!