Posts Tagged With: books

Todd’s Treasure Box Items -Fur Pelt

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Get Ready! When The Devil’s Den is released the hunt will start!

This is one of the items in Todd’s Treasure Box. It’s a fur pelt like Brody and Joseph had in The Devil’s Trap. Trapping was a huge part of life in the 1800’s.

Brody and Todd hid the treasure box in 1881 and it was never found. It’s there and if you are the first to find it, you can keep Todd’s Treasures! You can use clues in this series of books to get you there. The Devil’s Den will be released Sept. 2017! Get your treasure hunting brain ready.

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This Is Going To Hurt!

Every book is someone’s baby.

But these babies are bad babies. Mistakes. Poor fonts. Spacing problems…

An author goes through many edits to get a book published. Even though these need to be thrown out, it’s still hard.

COPIES

 

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Get Your Novel Critiqued! First Chapter For Free!

I have subscribed to Robert Bacon’s Newsletter for many years.

It was through his newsletter that I learned his company, The Perfect Write, offered a free first chapter critique.

 Robert took the first five-thousand words of one of my novels The Devil’s Backbone – and pointed out things that would make it read smoother. He offered pointers on my dialog, and gave his opinion on the storyline. All for Free.

Who wouldn’t like to get another opinion on their work?

I did go on to use Robert’s editing service, but it wasn’t because of pressure from his company. The free critique was simply that, no strings attached.

I would recommend The Perfect Write to anyone who is in the process of writing a novel. They also offer other writer’s services that I will be considering in the future. Plus, the newsletter is free and always packed full of valuable information.

 

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Location, Location, Location

In the housing market and business world, location means everything.

 

What about the writing world? The location and all the parts that make it up can mean everything to a novel too.

 

A writer can describe a location, a world, or a character easily enough. A good novelist can make up a unique scene or place in their head and transfer it to paper, but what about the little parts?

 

Sometimes, to get a scene, location, or character completely correct we need to do some research. What is the best kind of research a writer can do? The ‘hands-on’ type.

The best way to describe any part of a story is to live it first.

 

Bad news: Research can be hard.   Good news: Writers can make it easy by researching all the time.

 

While on a family vacation a few years ago, I did a little research for some of my novels in progress. A single trip to the Arbuckle Wilderness Park in Oklahoma gave me tons of material.

 

Hands off research shows this is…a small stick floating in a green pond.

 

Actually being at the location allows… the writer to feel the moisture in the air, smell the stench of stagnant water, hear the rustling of the grass, and see that the small stick developed into a large alligator.

 

Hands off research shows this is…a tiger taking a bath.

 

Actually being at the location allows…the writer to realize how large these animals are, feel the danger in the air, smell the musk of a tiger’s spray, see that the cats enjoy the water, and that frogs actually climb out of the liquid and onto the cat’s side. Being there also allowed me to hear the deep chuffing sounds the adult tigers made.

 

Hands off research shows this is…a VERY cute baby sucking a bottle.

 

Actually being at the location allows…the writer to watch how the cat pounces, runs, and falls. Yes, they are clumsy at this age. I could see that even a baby tiger has the hunting instinct. More than once, this sweet baby circled, approached my children from behind, and then play attacked, complete with trying to bite the back of the neck. Being there, allowed me to hear the gurgling in his belly as he sucked the bottle.

 

Location, location, location, can mean everything to a well-written story. What is one of the most important elements you cannot get from any of these pictures?

 

It was one hundred and eleven degrees that day! Moist, thick heat that refused to provide enough oxygen.

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When Good = Bad… It’s Ugly?

When is being bad a good thing?

Call me old-fashioned, but I want the good guy to be…good.  It seems more and more of today’s novels, games, and movies blur the line between ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

The hero in a story should have faults and could even have a sketchy past.  This could help people relate and root for him/her, but why do we have hero figures that don’t strive to better themselves? This is very prevalent in today’s video games and seems to be growing in Hollywood and some books.

Everyone has an idea of a perfect good guy. What’s yours?

One of the novels I’m working on now has a protagonist with a questionable past. Along the way, we learn things about him that shed a more favorable light. He continually tries to do the right thing, but it doesn’t always work out. He makes poor choices, but in his heart he is good.

If you’re a writer, what faults does your protagonist have?

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Rex Cole Jr. Blast From the Past

The Crystal Clue by Gordon Chapman

We recently came across this well used book. As you can see its an oldie.

I did some searching on the net, but was only able to find limited info on this two book series.

Rex Cole, Junior was created by Gordon Chapman and appeared in the two-book “Rex Cole, Jr. Detective Stories” series, beginning with Rex Cole, Jr. and the Crystal Clue (1931) and concluding that same year with Rex Cole, Jr. and the Grinning Ghost. Rex is described by one source as a “juvenile occult detective.” Rex himself is a strapping young man, with “steel grey eyes,” a “straight, aquiline nose,” a strong mouth and chin, and curly chestnut hair. He’s avid to solve crimes, and thrusts himself into investigations which under normal circumstances would be the province of adults alone. Rex became famous after his first case, “marked…as a youth of great ability and initiative,” and even Scotland Yard was impressed by him, enough so that they sent a special investigator to obtain his help when a valuable Indian ruby is threatened with theft. Rex is the son of Mayor Rex Cole of Hilton, Illinois; Rex’s best friend is “Butterball” Thomas, his “greatest intimate” and a stereotype of fat boys everywhere, down to his clumsiness. Interestingly, Rex and Butterball are out of high school but are not college-bound, perhaps reflecting the assumptions of the early 1930s about what kids would do after high school.

1931 is the only date listed in the book. There are no numerals or letters to indicate which printing this copy is, so I am loosely assuming that this could be a first edition. I love thinking about and searching for things that were going on when old books were written.

What was going on in 1931 when this book was published?

Jan 6th Thomas Edison submits his last patent application.
Feb 15th 1st Dracula movie released
Mar 3rd “Star Spangled Banner” officially becomes US national anthem
Apr 6th – 1st broadcast of “Little Orphan Annie” on NBC-radio
May 1st Empire State Building opens in NYC
Jul 1st – Ice vending machines introduced in LA 25 lbs, 15 cents
Oct 17th Al Capone convicted of tax evasion, sentenced to 11 years in prison

Here’s another interesting thing. There is a note inside from someone who owned this book at some point. This book was given as a Christmas present in 1942 from Frank Collins to somebody named Edward.

What was Christmas like in 1942?

Dec 1st Gasoline rationed in US
Dec 4th – US bombers struck Italian mainland for 1st time in WW II
Dec 22nd World War II: Adolf Hitler signs the order to develop the V-2 rocket as a weapon.

It’s true, this book has seen better days, but it’s also seen much worse.

If you have any memories of the two books in this series, or the era in which it was published, please share.

 

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Were-What

It’s been a busy few weeks. Work, business, writing, doctor appointments, and life kept me running in different directions. I did manage to slow down long enough to meet with an author in a new anthology. Alferd Hyde.

A new anthology from Static Movement!

I was lucky enough to meet one of the talented authors included in, Were What.

Alferd Hyde stopped by my wife’s bookstore and talked to us for awhile. Al seems to be a nice guy, but a little mysterious. He was kind enough to answer a few questions and sign some copies of the anthology.

Al, you seem to be very laid back and quiet.

I don’t talk very much.

So, what kind of things run through your mind while you’re busy being silent.

I’m usually thinking of stories to write, or at least ones someone needs to write.

I read your story in Were What. It was very good. How did you come up with the idea?

Well, I was busy being silent, just like you said. The idea came to me. It had a twist, and I like that, so I had to write it.

A Fine Night does have a neat twist. I was halfway through the story and thought I had it figured out, but I didn’t. Do you have any other stories or books coming out?

I have a few more anthologies coming out. I will be sure to let you know when they are released.

I’m looking forward to it. Thanks for stopping by.

No problem. Thanks for having me.

 Leave Al a comment below and have a look at Were What.

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Dicho’s Books

Find out what independent bookstore owners think. Hear them answer important questions about the book world and how they feel about publishers, authors, fair trade tax, big box stores, and the internet.

Click the button below and listen to an interview with Dichos Books in Plano Texas.

An interesting trend I am starting to see? It seems that independent bookstores avoid some of the best selling authors.

Why? They are not willing to play the price game that the big box stores play. I believe it makes good sense.

Who loses? So far, it looks like the best selling authors lose. Their books are not landing in independent bookstores because the small guys can’t compete with the giants.

Dichos offers: FREE Shipping
Any Book
Anywhere!

Enter Coupon code BOOKS
when checking out.

We’re definitely not your typical bookstore. We have a warm inviting atmosphere and the music within the store takes our customers back to a simpler time. You’ll hear the liks of Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday & Dinah Washington. We sell lighting, birdfeeders, accent pieces for the home and garden. Tin Toys, Antique Rocking Horses and Pull toys. Our pieces are unique in a sense that you won’t find them in any of the big box retailers. We greet everyone that walks in the door and we’re there to introduce or customers to authors they normally would not pick up. We’re the little bookstore with big deams! and we offer Free Shipping! Any Book! Anytime! Anywhere in the World!! all our books usually ship within 24 hours.

Dichos Books sends a newsletter out to an impressive list of over four-thousand email subscribers!

If you are a bookstore owner or a book lover who wants to contact Dichos, you can click their logo above or call them at 972-202-8581

 Do you own a bookstore? Are you an author? Do you love books?

If so, leave a comment about the business, the craft, or your addiction to reading, and you will be entered for a chance to win a FREE BOOK!

R.T. won the book for the last post. See how easy it is?

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Silver Ink Books

Find out what independent bookstore owners think. Hear them answer important questions about the book world and how they feel about publishers, authors, fair trade tax, big box stores, and the internet.

Click the button below and listen to an interview with Silver Ink Books in De Queen, Arkansas.

Leave comments here for Silver Ink Books, or go to their website.

Attention authors, agents, and bookstore owners: If you have anything you would like to get an independent bookstore owner’s point of view on, post your question here and I will add it to my list for the next store interview.

Book giveaway time!
I will use a phone app that picks random numbers to find the winner. It’s simple, leaving a comment enters you in the contest. (USA only)

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Free ebooks, the Race to Zero?

The act of giving is such a wonderful thing, but could it have some devastating effects?

Most people want to get everything they can get for the least amount of money. It is a natural thing, and you can’t change that. But what happens when you give something away, and you offer it to everyone?

Let’s say a new fast food place opens up in town. You haven’t heard of it before, but they have free coffee. So you go and get your free coffee. That’s all you get, because, hey, it’s free! It’s not a bad cup, but not the best either. You go there every morning and get yours. Months go by, and the coffee gets a little better, but it still isn’t the best. Then one day you show up and they tell you the coffee will cost you two bucks.
You say, “Why? It’s always been free.”
They don’t want to tell you they lured you in with the word ‘free’ hoping to get you hooked on their coffee.
You realize what’s going on and say, “Your coffee isn’t any better than that new place down the street. They are offering theirs for free now.”
You jump ship and start going somewhere else for your free cup of Joe.

Are some authors doing this very thing? It seems they are hoping to lure readers to them by offering free ebooks, in the hopes that they can charge for their other works at a later date. If we all adopt this pattern, then there will always be someone offering free ebooks. If your work doesn’t really stand out, then most people will be willing to drive down the street and say, “I just heard another author is offering a similar ebook for free.”

Your knowledge and your skill as a writer are the most important things you have. It is your product for sale. If you give your skill away, then you have effectively reduced the value of your product to zero.

Most people want to spend the least they can. If you have shown them that your product is worth nothing, then they will not want to spend anything on it. This is especially true if there is a similar product on the market for free.

I would love to hear your opinions.

Categories: Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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