Thirty Days, Thirty Authors

Thirty days. Thirty authors. You can win…big.

This month, I’m taking part in a month-long holiday book-a-palooza with eNovel Authors at Work, The Choosy Bookworm, and Book Partners in Crime Promotions. You can enter a variety of drawings to win books, gift cards, and even $250 in PayPal cash.

I’ll be giving away a few copies of Drawing Breath and Don’t Tell Anyone. Because I love giving away books. And I might have special deals going on a few titles, including A Sudden Gust of Gravity, which I expect will be live on Amazon around the time my turn comes up during Thanksgiving weekend, which I’ll be sharing with the lovely Bronwyn Elsmore and RP Dahlke. (See fancy banner graphic below.)

But until then:

  1. You can enter the drawing to win one of two $250 PayPal gift cards.
  2. You can enter ten different drawings to win books and other cool swag from our lineup of authors. Start here and scroll below the main drawing; new Rafflecopters will go up every three days for each new group of authors.

Thank you for your time, happy November, and have fun!

Tell a Story and Win One

51Kh+3rEqfL._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_I hated to do it, but the old, black recliner was falling apart. Not that comfy, a few-rips-and-tears-but-I’m-still-keeping-it-so-get-your-hands-off kind of falling apart. No. The years, along with abuse and the ravages of being the winter headquarters for a colony of mice, had eaten away its innards. The leather had hardened in spots; the wooden handles wobbled when gripped, and I was afraid to let anyone sit in it.

Out it went, into a borrowed van and driven to the dump.

The memories, however, stayed. My father read to us in that chair, when it lived in its first home, when my brothers and I were small enough to crowd in together and listen to Make Way for Ducklings, Where the Wild Things Are, Ferdinand the Bull, or Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel.

I don’t know what it is about the human experience that makes us like hearing someone tell stories. This could have gone back to the night Og gathered the cave children around the fire and entertained them with the one about the mastodon that almost got away. The generations of kids who grew up with radio became accustomed to hearing their favorite stories, a different sort of skill than watching a movie or a TV program.

When audio books were first available on cassette tapes (remember those, kids?) I couldn’t get enough of them. Not only were they good companions on long commutes, but they helped improve my listening skills so I could give better feedback to my writing group when we read our work aloud. It was also fun hearing my favorite books acted out a bit by a talented narrator.

These are some of the reasons that I wanted to release Drawing Breath as an audio book. And now that I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for those days—and, okay, a bit guilty about tossing the chair—I’d like to give away a couple of copies from audible.com. Also because voice actor Randi Larson did a fantastic job of bringing my characters to life, so I want to share her talent with everyone. [If you click on the link above, you can hear a sample of her pretty voice.]

Just post a comment below about a memory…of being read to, of reading to a child, your favorite books as a kid, your favorite audio book, when and why you listen. On Friday afternoon, I’ll choose the winners.

Thank you for reading!

And Now a Brief Word from Our Sponsor…

guinea-pig-computer-flickr-castawayinwales-369Okay, I know we’re all busy and people have probably been in your face to buy their things since…um…the invention of things. So I’ll keep this self-promotion short with a few holiday-type reminders.

If you live in the Ulster County area, you can buy print copies of my books at Barner Books in New Paltz, Inquiring Minds in New Paltz and Saugerties, and The Golden Notebook in Woodstock. I’m pretty sure that all of them have copies of The Joke’s on Me and Drawing Breath, and some have copies of Don’t Tell Anyone (which became an Amazon best-seller for a couple of hours a while back.) If the stores run out or you live too far away, I have it on good authority (Leland Dirks) that independent bookstores can order books. Also, I have a few books kicking around the house, so if you’d like a signed copy, I’ll be happy to oblige. Drop me a note here.

I’ll be at The Golden Notebook in Woodstock on Sunday at 1:00, talking about Sliding Past Vertical. Please ask the Snow Goddesses to cooperate, thanks, because GN has a TON of great events scheduled all weekend and I’d hate for Nan to have to reschedule them.

A couple of notes about Drawing Breath: if you like audio books or know someone who’d like one as a gift, it’s now available from Audible.com. Randi Larson did a great job on the narration. Also, the e-book will be on sale for $0.99 from December 26 to January 1 as part of a group sale with Awesome Indies.

That’s it. I hope that amid the craziness, you’re taking some time to live in the moment and enjoy what’s around you. You may now return to watching videos of cats destroying Christmas trees. Or this one.

Book Tour Winners!

VBT_SlidingPastVertical_BannerRandy (Random Number Generator) and I have just chosen the winners from each stop on my recent virtual blog tour for Sliding Past Vertical. One commenter from each participating blog wins a copy of Drawing Breath; the overall winner from all the commenters wins a $30 Amazon gift card, just in time for holiday shopping.

Here are the e-book winners:

Rich Meyer
Andra Lyn
Nurmawati Djuhawan
Eva Millien
Rita Wray
Chelsea B.

And…drumroll, please…the winner of the $30 Amazon gift card is…

Mary Preston

Congratulations to our winners! Thank you to everyone for stopping by during the tour and thank you to Goddess Fish Promotions for throwing the party. They make the best margaritas… 😀

YOU be the judge…

efestival2013I’m so excited! Good things aren’t normally supposed to happen on a Monday, but last Monday I found out that Drawing Breath had been nominated for an award back in May and has been selected as a finalist in literary fiction! I wouldn’t have been aware of it at all if not for a random Google search on the book’s title. I love Google.

In case you were wondering, the Festival of Words is a virtual book fair. It celebrates digital books published by indies and small presses. The eFestival itself takes place during 23 to 25 August, during which the winners of their awards will be announced.

Now the fun starts. Winners are chosen based on the amount of votes we get from fabulous readers like you, and if you have a few minutes, I’d love your votes!

The process only looks a lot more complicated than it is, so let me explain.

1. Go to this link to register for the forum.

http://www.efestivalofwords.com/ucp.php?mode=register

You need to register in the eFestival of Words forum in order to vote. Registration is free. After you enter your info and hit “submit,” your registration is complete. Ads will show up, but feel free to ignore all of them. The ads are just part of the forum.

2. After you are registered, go to the Awards Hall, at this link:

http://www.efestivalofwords.com/awards-hall-f29.html

Each category (Drawing Breath is under literary fiction) has a separate thread. Scroll down and click the category you want to vote in, and then enter your vote.

You might also want to check out the other categories. For instance, M. Edward McNally has been nominated in Action/Adventure for The Sable City (Book One of The Norothian Cycle), one of my favorite indie books, as well as under some other categories, including best fantasy, best plot twist, and best villain.

See, it’s quick and easy. Thank you so much!

The Baby Boomer Generation Gap

The-Jokes-On-Me_Cover_web

(Special Note: The Joke’s on Me, ebook edition, will be on sale for $3 off its regular price from Friday, June 28 through Saturday, June 29)

The burgeoning genre of Baby Boomer Lit fascinates me. I love the stories authors are telling about the challenges confronting this generation as we face our mortality but still want to squeeze more out of life.

Often forgotten, however, is that technically, baby boomers represent (mostly Americans) born between 1946 and 1964. That’s a span of eighteen years, for those of you good with math or who happen to have a calculator handy. So theoretically, two generations could be contained within this one moniker: two generations with very different goals and ideals. Continue reading

About the Coffee Thing and Other Things

Strange golden smoke taking away from coffee seedsWriting and coffee. Has a nice, cuddly ring to it, yes? I picture a rainy day, a steaming mug, a scribe leaning back and conjuring up the perfect metaphor, a fresh pot dripping away in the kitchen. Facebook likes coffee, too. Guaranteed, I could post pointed arguments in defense of the serial comma, diatribes about social issues, and reams of inspirational quotes, but what gets the most traffic? “Two days without coffee and I’m still alive!” Continue reading

Drawing Breath to Help Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Click on the photo to learn more about cystic fibrosis.

Many of you know that I wrote Drawing Breath as a small way to honor a friend who lived into his thirties with cystic fibrosis. Although each person who is diagnosed with the disease experiences a unique level of severity, there is still no cure, and management of the symptoms can require a great deal of time and expense. Often this hits families hardest; since the disease is genetic, multiple children can be affected, like the ones my character, Daniel, meets in the hospital.

Since May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month as well as the anniversary of the release of the book, I wanted to do something special, and I hope you’ll be willing to help me. All proceeds from sales of Drawing Breath over the month will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This amounts to $4.00 per print book (please purchase print copies through CreateSpace directly, because they take less of a cut) and $1.00 per e-book.

You can buy the book here:

Amazon
CreateSpace (print)
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo

The foundation is working to increase awareness, help support families, find better treatments and, one day, hopefully, a cure. Thank you, in advance, for your help and support.