Monday, 27 May 2013

Kindle for PC

As of May 28th my novel Red Island is going to be available exclusively on Amazon/Kindle.  It's all due to sales and being able to give FREE days.  (Which are going to be June 12 & 13th and then again in August)

I know what you're thinking, But I don't have a Kindle ereader.  Do you have a computer?  How about a smartphone?  You can download for FREE an application that will let you purchase, download, and read books that are available on Kindle right to your PC or phone.  You do that, promise me that you'll get my book on a free day (or purchase it for 2.99CND/US yippee), and I will send you a couple links to some web sites that advertise new freebie books every day.

Click on the link below that best suites your needs and then let me know you want the web sites for those free books.  You can also look around on the Amazon web site for great books by amazing authors.  If you are want the paperback - let me know.  It will be available through Amazon by June 13th.

Kindle for PC                  Kindle for iPhone                 Kindle for Mac

Friday, 24 May 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure...Episode Two

And you the public chose, drum roll, My monkey is missing.  I didn’t expect that one at all.  Okay, the moment I wrote it I knew you would all be evil and pick it forcing me to figure out why someone’s monkey was missing.  And here we go.


“Mr. Xavier, I need your help.  My monkey is missing.”

He dropped into the leather chair behind the desk.  I heard papers crinkle.  “What?”

I clear my throat and take a couple steps closer putting myself into the center of the room.  “This is very important, sir.”  I enunciate to get my point across with each word.  “I have a prize winning monkey and it is now gone.”

“A real monkey?”

“Of course a real monkey.  I have pictures.”  I take out my phone and start tapping the scene trying to get to the photo album.

He smiled at me exposing more gum than teeth.  “You seriously came to this guy for a lost monkey?  Geez, no wonda.”

What did he mean by, you seriously came to this guy for a monkey?  My eyes fell again onto the bookcase along the wall.  There were collectors footballs and baseballs and more personal stuff.  There was a football trophy with MVP carved into the plate at the bottom.  Another had a little statue of a boxer on the top.  An athlete won these trophies.  The Harlow Xavier in front of me was no athlete.  Water-boy maybe.

I hear a noise behind me.  I spin around quickly, fear shooting through my body.

A tall man stands behind me.  He has broad shoulders and a square jaw.  His lake blue eyes look past me to the round man behind the desk.  This new man’s lips form into an almost sinister smile.

“Quinn, I see you’ve been decorating,” he says with his head cocked to the side so he can see around me.

“Quinn?  Who’s Quinn?”  I look from one to the other.

Harlow pushes himself up from the chair.  “Mr. Thromby sent me.”

“Who’s Mr. Thromby?”

The new man, who takes up most of the doorway, smiles a little wider.  “Then I guess we have a problem.”

“Wait,” I look at the new man, “who are you?”

“Harlow Xavier.”

“Then who’s he?”  I point to the man behind the desk who up until a second ago I thought was the private detective.

“That’s Quinnie.  He works for Mr. Thromby.”

“Who’s Mr. Thromby?”

Who does the real Harlow Xavier say Mr. Thromby is?

1.      A bookie

2.      The worlds only professional Smurf hunter

3.      The inspiration for Sue Sylvester from Glee

4.      The grape jelly king of Chicago

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure...Episode One

It's Choose Your Own Adventure time!!!  For a little fun I'm writing a detective story where you, the hopefull reader, gets to vote on where that story should go.  So here is episode one.  I hope you enjoy.  Please leave a comment to let me know which direction you want to go.

Episode One

Harlow Xavier wasn’t what I expected.

His office wasn’t what I expected.  Under his name on the frosted glass of his office door were the words PRIVATE DETECTIVE.  There was a filing cabinet beside the door with a lamp that looked like a Hawaiian hula girl on top.  The light came from under her grass skirt, naked body was above that with arms reaching up.  It leaned precariously due to a stack of papers underneath it.  A bookshelf to the side had a variety of law books, novels, papers, and sports paraphernalia on the shelves.  On the opposite wall was a large flat screen TV showing a football game.  For a moment I thought I was in a man cave instead of an office.  Right in front of the door was a desk.  Papers cascaded over the edges.  A Canadian Club bottle acted as a paper weight on one pile, a pistol in pieces held down another.

The oddest thing in the room was the man standing behind the desk.  His shirt had sweat stains underneath the arms.  The front was unbuttoned enough to show his hairy chest.  His face was round, covered in whiskers and a pair of sunglasses held back his come-over.  The kindest way to describe him was that he was as round as he was tall.

“Are you Harlow Xavier?” I ask and pointed at the name on the still open door.  I was surprised at how much my voice shook.

He looked at me with glazed over eyes.  There was the smell of cigarette smoke and a stainless in the air.  He smacked his lips twice.  “Ah, yeah, that’s me.  What do you want?”

I took in a deep breath and let it out.  I actually felt part of my body relax a little.  “Mr. Xavier, I need your help…

...What do “I” want?

1.      Help finding my sister’s killer
2.      I am being followed and want him to find out who it is
3.      Someone stole my signed Michael Jackson cassette tape
4.      My monkey is missing.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

CYOA - Your turn to send me on an adventure

You ever have an idea that sort of goes off on its own?  What about an idea that you invite others in
to send you on a path?  Imagine if Marco Polo was heading across country to make a link to China for the spice trade and every once in a while somebody got to say, "go that way now."

Another writer, Natasha House, started doing a Choose Your Own Adventure on her blog and Facebook page.  I used to love reading those books when I was a kid.  Mostly because each part was short.  My daughter actually brought one home from the library recently.  So with Natasha's blessing I decided to do my very own CYOA story.

My origional thought was to do an old school - noir - Sherlock Holmesy kind of story.  I put it out there on my Facebook page asking people for NAMES, PLACES, OBJECTS, and even made up WORDS.  This is who sent me ideas and what I have to work with.

Sebastian Romu - Harlow Thromby and a red herring

Jessica Pichula - Something to do with magic.  and a character named Fredderick who's favorite food is frogs legs.

Jay Lavallee - Darryl Denhardt, Dartmouth NS, DVD of Rocky III, a Michael Jackson cassette tape, the word Hella-cool, Canadian Forces Afghanistan veteran with PTSD and depression

Natasha House - Adam, Xavier, Jewel, Quinn, an abandoned church, 1800's house, broken hammer, grape jelly

Maria Lankinen-Hayward - a deserving person who is alone in the middle of nowhere with a mountain lion

Linda Siddall - Stewart Wendell, a short, round as he is tall, trouble maker.

See what happens when you ask for things.  Not sure what I'm going to do with everything, but I'm going to try my hardest to work everything in there.  Sure, no problem.

So the next step is me writing the first part to the story and then it will be up to the fans, friends, and (what the hell) my enemies out there to make the choice on where the story should go.  I see nothing going wrong with this plan.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Interview with Canadian Indie Author MANDY WHITE

The last couple of books I read were by fellow Canadian Indie Author, Mandy White.  Her horror/thriller novels have Canadian characters in Canadian places, well Vancouver Island.  They are not for the faint at heart.  One has a face being torn appart by spikes on a pair of boots and another has body parts being cut off and fed to the same victim.  They make you think though, and there is a lesson within them if you are willing to get there to the end.

I had the chance to ask Mandy some questions and get to know the author behind the books.

Tim Horton’s or Robin’s?  And don’t tell me you’re a Starbucks lady.

- Tim Horton’s without a doubt. I love to roll up the rim to win.

When I interview someone I really hate asking the typical writer questions, but I have to.  Away from your books tell me a little about yourself…do you have a day job, hobbies, play sports etc.

- I live on Vancouver Island next to a lake, surrounded by wilderness. I spend a lot of time outdoors. I’ll take bears and cougars over the wildlife you meet in the city any day. I write full time and work with my husband helping out with the driving at his delivery job a couple of nights a week.

You write in the horror genre.  What pulls you to that genre?  A famous horror author often gets asked if something is wrong with him…what’s wrong with you?

- What’s wrong with me? Hmm…where to start… I’ve always had a fascination with the macabre and have been an avid horror fan every since I can remember so I guess I enjoy writing the sort of story I enjoy reading. I have lived a pretty colorful life and also have my share of neuroses; things I try to use as story fodder whenever possible.

Tell us about your latest novel THE FEEDER.

- The Feeder is about a sort of Dexter-style vigilante who goes a little berzerk after the murder of a beloved twin sister. It is gruesome, bloody and shocking – definitely not for the squeamish. The story structure is a bit unconventional in that it reaches somewhat of a climax in the middle rather than at the end. Details about the main character’s identity are kept intentionally vague for reasons that are revealed at that point. I expect that this story might not work with all readers, but I’m used to that. I tend to lean toward the love-it-or-hate-it type stories.

What do you do to market your books?

- I don’t do a whole lot in the way of marketing. I find that the more books I publish, the more I sell. I make announcements from time to time via social media but I don’t overdo it. I use Facebook to network with other writers, not to sell them my work but to learn and their input has been invaluable in helping me develop as a writer.

When I wrote my book I had people looking at me twice after reading about the violence my killer inflicts.  I’ve read some of the comments in reviews on your books and you’ve had people talk about the violence and the language being too much.  I know why I do it and what I would say to the critics, but why do you take it so far?

- I do it because I can. I cater to readers like myself – the type of readers who have read it all, seen it all and are daring someone to shock them. I want to go places that haven’t been gone yet and am always looking for a way to go a little more over the top than the previous time.

For me, being a Canadian Indie author in what seems like an American world is not an easy one to get noticed.  Have you had challenges with this?  If so, how have you been able to get around them?

- I’ve done my best to blend in with American writers and try to write in a style that appeals to American readers. I fully embrace US-style spelling in all of my work because it appeals to that extremely wide audience. The funny thing is, my first novel, Avenging Annabelle gained a lot of popularity in the UK last year in spite of my attempts to Americanize a story that is extremely Canadian in nature.

What are your goals as far as writing go?  Where do you want your writing to take you?

- I want to write until the day I die. It’s the only thing I’ve ever truly wanted to do. I’m not terribly concerned about making a bazillion dollars or getting on the NYT bestseller list. (although that would be nice) If people enjoy my stories and I can earn a living at it, I will be very content.

Are there any authors that you look up to or would like to meet?

- Of course, Stephen King would top that list. I grew up reading his books. It was probably his work more than any other that inspired my imagination to start going where it has.

Mandy White's novels, anthologies, and non-fiction

Now for some fun rapid fire questions.  Just say the first answer that comes to mind.

Favorite movies?

- Pet Sematary (Stephen King) or Orgazmo (Trey Parker/Matt Stone)

Favorite book as a kid?

- A Wrinkle in Time

Favorite book now?

- How to do Everything by Red Green

What do you like to do when no one is looking?

- Sing, making up dirty lyrics to popular songs.

Favorite movie made from a book?

- Pet Sematary

Favorite Canadian TV show?

- Red Green (Of course!) Corner Gas deserves mention, though.

If you could sit at a poker table with any 3 people past or present who would they be?

- George Carlin, Frank Zappa and Trey Parker. Just a hunch, but I bet it would be strip poker!



Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Reviews of Novels by Canadian Author Mandy White

I didn’t know what to read.  I thought why not get a little patriotic and read a Canadian author.  I picked Mandy White a Canadian Indie author who lives on Vancouver Island.  Normally she writes in the horror genre, but these two novels I read leaned more toward the thriller side of things.

AvengingAnnabelle is a story of a father taking the law into his own hands to make sure the killer of his daughter pays the price.  It starts with a dream the main character has of killing someone while his daughter watches.  It then goes into backstory.  If you’ve read my reviews you know how I feel about backstory and how it can bog down a novel.  In AA it is used correctly and you want to read it.  It’s not long descriptions of stuff you as the reader don’t need to know.  True, I learned more about the logging industry on Vancouver Island than I ever thought I would want to know, but it was interesting.

I want to stick my tongue out at someone who gave this book a bad review.  They complained about the use of profanity.  Have you ever hung out with any Canadian’s?  We’re a polite people but we’re fucking potty mouths damn it.

Almost at the end of the book I actually went, what?  How the?  Oh.  Huh?  The ending was surprising and pretty satisfying.  There was even a moral message that is basically if you go out for revenge you best did two graves.  No, that’s not a spoiler.

4 out of 5 stars.

Next I read The Feeder, also by Mandy White.  The main characters sister gets into trouble so Sammie goes to find her and ends up taking over her life to avenge her death.  Some people get brutally mutilated and there is a fair bit of graphic violence, but I’ve read worse.  I had a little issue when it started to turn a little Sin City or Kill Bill (didn’t know at the time that there was a reference to this later on in the novel) with an avenging killer wearing spiked heal boots and skimpy clothing.

Halfway through the book takes a turn and I actually skimmed through some paragraphs to get to the second climax.  I enjoyed reading this book but I don’t think I would read it again.  I will read the next book with this character that Mandy is planning to see what is going to happen.

Oh, and the only real problem I had was that this main character seemed to have an arsenal of weapons back home in Canada.  We don’t all have gun cases full of rifles and handguns.  We’re not American’s.  Okay, we might have a couple.

This book also has a moral lesson.  It was that everyone’s views are different.  What one may see as right someone else may see as evil.

My rating, hmmm, this is tricky.  I respect the author and sometimes go to her for advice so I really want to give this book a great review, but I didn’t like it that much.  I loved half of it.  For my blog I’m going to give it 3.5 stars our of 5.

Keep checking out my blog for my upcoming interview with Canadian author Mandy White.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Journey to a Story...Part 8...An Enexpected Trip

So my novel RED ISLAND is being edited by a couple of really great people and then it is a matter of re-releasing it for ebook and getting print copies out there.  At the same time I'm putting together the last 4 chapters of the second Reid novel, RED SERGE.  As soon as it is done it's off to several test readers and editors to get it on it's way.  For RI I'm still hoping to put it out again on ebook at the end of May (shooting for Mum's birthday) with the paperback following soon after.  RS I am hoping for July 1st (Canada Day) but it all depends on the schedules of everyone involved.  Right now my "technical advisor" (an actual Sgt. in the RCMP) is checking it over to make sure the police work is right and a test reader is checking out what is done.

I need to come up with some interesting ways to promote both of those books.  A friend (Stacey Miller Voss author of Thunder and Blood) told me to do something no one else is doing.  Sure, no problem.

Stephanie Andrassy (author of Noble Lies and The White Peacock) did something that I thought free on Kobo) and people liked it so much that she decided it was the prologue to the novel she is releasing later in May.
might work well for THE CISTERN which as you may know about through this blog has been going on a great journey.  She wrote a short story called, The White Peacock (

(psst did I happen to mention that both Stacey and Stephanie are Canadian woot woot for my home team)

Right away I started thinking up a prologue short story to THE CISTERN.  In Part 7 I tried to decide prologue or chapter one.  I picked the latter and introduced the reader to Maeve who is locked in a room made of cinderblocks. did she get there.  I wasn't really planning on giving a detailed description of how she made it into this cistern.  At most I was going to give a few clues throughout a lot of chapters so that the reader got the story but didn't get bogged down with backstory.  (if you read my reviews you know that I have issues with boring backstory)  But a FREE short story about how Maeve got into the cistern would probably be an excillent way of promoting the future novel.

So much to write.