Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart - the brilliant professor from Bethel University - or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.



Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books for Readers Who Want Action, Thrills, and Suspense!

If you want to read a book with action, thrills, and suspense, look no further. Just click on one of the images to the right of this post, and you will find two books filled with action thrills, and suspense just waiting for you to read. But you'll have to actually click on the images, follow the directions, and then, in a week or so, one or the other or both will be delivered to your doorstep. Or at least your mailbox. That is a guarantee.

But don't be clueless. I mean, there are people out there, even relatives of mine, that have said they don't know how to order them. Sheesh. If following the directions on the publisher's website is beyond your comprehensive capacity, then go to Amazon.com. The Melange website (publisher for Killer of Killers) even has a link to Amazon if that's what you'll need to do.

My stats page says that literally hundreds of people from all over the world are viewing pages on this blog. That is exciting to me, and it will keep me blogging. But let's start buying books, people! It doesn't matter what country you live in, or what part of the world you're from, as long as you speak and read English, you will enjoy the action-filled, thrilling, and suspenseful stories that both Killer of Killers and The Vase have to offer.

After all, Killer of Killers takes place not only in America, (New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Bemidji,  and St. Paul,) it also takes place in Tokyo, Japan. As for The Vase, it takes place both in Nazareth, Israel, and even Hollywood. But the stories, and the characters, the plots, the subplots, the suspense, everything, is what will make both books worthwhile to read.

But you've got to buy them first. Doesn't matter to me if you buy the print or digital copies.Sheesh, the eBooks will only cost 2.99 (The Vase) or 5.99 (Killer of Killers) so it won't break the bank. And if you prefer print, like I do, then an extra ten bucks won't dent anyone's bank account, either. You won't be disappointed. I'm confident for that. You decide. Let me know what you think.

Monday, December 30, 2013

47 Ronin--Just Okay

I saw the movie 47 Ronin last night with my family, and I just wasn't that impressed with it as far as what I expected. What did I expect? I expected an exciting, action-packed thrilling ride with a mixture of fantasy, romance, and adventure, and all based on the true story of the 47 Ronin set during the times of Feudal Japan.

What did I get? Well, there was some fantasy, so check, there was some romance, so check, there was some adventure, and check, but even though there was some action, it wasn't action packed, so no check. And as for exciting? No check. It wasn't exciting. Not really.

And as for the other items that did find a check, you'll note I only said there was SOME, but in none of the cases were there a lot. Not even close.

Well, the fantasy was there, and just enough to be acceptable, because I didn't want too much fantasy in what was supposed to have been based on a true story. But the adventure fell short. Being set in feudal Japan, with witches, demons, samurai warriors, and a Shogun, how could it not have had adventure? Still, this movie fell short on adventure, and that's not all. For a movie like that, I would have wanted more action, too, more romance, and absolutely more excitement.

Because it was void of excitement. Maybe Keanu Reeves is getting too old for a part like that. Maybe he was just young enough, but imo, he didn't LOOK young enough. He looked too old. No, he wasn't wrinkled, or gray haired, but he was far from the young, vital, and energetic character we all saw in the Matrix movies. Had he looked like that, it would have been much better, but he didn't, and it wasn't. I know time catches up with all of us, but considering it's catching up with him, just as it is with other stars of his generation, maybe it would have been wise to seek out an actor still in his thirties. Especially since the romantic subplot had him paired with a very young and beautiful Japanese girl, and the story made it clear that they were supposed to be the same age, because they met as kids, and they were about the same age as kids. But as adults, Keanu was waaayy older than the young Japanese actress who played the part of the Japanese girl who had grown up.


Keanu in 47 Ronin-too old
But that infers that the lack of excitement was Keanu's fault. And that really is not entirely true. I think the lack of excitement had a lot to do with the directing. It could have been much better. A great director would have made all the difference, if you want to talk bottom line. Because a great director can get great acting out of his actors. So what about the acting? Well, the Japanese actors speaking English left a lot to be desired. That's my take on the overall performances of the actors. Not that Japanese actors speaking English can't get it done. They can, and I've seen it, but this time? No.


Keanu in The Matrix. Just right, minus the shades
The story line? Or screenplay? Could have been better. There were some good scenes, and the story over all, I understand, had to follow, more or less, the true story, but I came out of that theater feeling unsatisfied, and for all of the above reasons. If only one of them had been addressed, perhaps I would have felt differently. I know I would have.

But the movie wasn't a failure. It was okay. Just okay. But really, okay is just not good enough. I don't think so. And I don't believe anyone else thinks so either. It could have been great. Unfortunately, it wasn't.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Great Week to Buy Books!

And starting with both Killer of Killers and The Vase, if you ever wanted to buy a book, now's the time. Why? Why not? I've been promoting both books for the last week or two, now, and today's the day I visit a couple bookstores. Whomever the manager is, they'll get a free print copy in the hopes that they'll buy more for the bookshelves. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Over-Still Buy a Book!

So Christmas is over, but still, who said you can't buy a book? Killer of Killers and The Vase are ready and waiting to be purchased. Just click on the images to the right of this post, and follow the directions to buy either a print copy or an eBook copy, even Amazon Kindle. That is if you enjoy action thrillers, (KOK) or suspense novels, (The Vase) which takes place in Israel and even features an America Ghost Hunter from a Hollywood reality TV show!

And if you do, drop me a line for some feedback. The sequel to Killer of Killers is now being revised, and I expect to publish it sometime in 2014.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Last Day to get your Free Copy!

I hope you didn't lag. Because time is up. You had all day today to order your free copy of The Vase. I hope you did. Because Penumbra says the free copies won't be available after today. But what the heck, the eBook only costs like $2.99, so that won't break anyone's bank. It would have made a great holiday present. I Hope someone will be reading The Vase over the remainder of the holidays.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Free Promo Copies of THE VASE

Available until tomorrow only, (December 24th),THE VASE will be available for free! Use the following coupon code at the Penumbra Publishing website. And then after you read it, feel free to drop me a line. Let me know what you thought of THE VASE!

Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: EY69H
Expires: December 24, 2013

Sequels and New Projects

Okay. Killer of Killers is done. Even the second edition of it. The Vase is done. KOK's sequel is being revised. And then a new project, John Dunn needs to be revised. And then the third in the KOK series will be written. And then? Well, there will be no sequels to The Vase, or to John Dunn. So does that mean another sequel to KOK, or perhaps another new project. I do have an idea for a YA/MG book that I might have mentioned once before. But that's down the road. After John Dunn and the sequels to KOK are out of the way. Because time is best used to finish projects that are already started, not starting new projects before the ones in progress are still unfinished.

I have always been the kind of person who finishes what he's started. And even though Killer Eyes and John Dunn are finished, they are not revised, and a book is not finished until after the revisions are finished. Boy have I learned that by now. A dozen times over, in fact.

But it's always nice to have a new project on the horizon. Something to look forward to and it keeps you going. Once Killer Eyes and John Dunn are published, I will write my third KOK book, and then start my new project. I'll talk more about it later. Until then...keep writing!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Present-Killer of Killers or The Vase?

So, it's the season of giving, and as I was saying, I'll be giving free copies of Killer of Killers and The Vase to bookstores in the hopes that they will stock their shelves with them. But what about the people reading this blog? Well, it might be a good idea to make some kind of contest or something, and then give a free copy to the winner, like some author's blogs do.

In the meantime, if anyone out there is considering one or both of the books as a Christmas present, which one would be the better present?

That depends on who would be reading them. If it's a man, over age 18, and he likes Jason Statham movies, or Vin Diesel movies, or martial arts movies starring anyone, then Killer of Killers is the right book for him. But women have loved Killer of Killers, too, by the way. It's not just about killing. It's a romance, a very good romance, but there is a lot of fighting, a lot of killing, and action scenes galore.

The Vase, on the other hand, is a completely different kind of book. I wouldn't call it an action thriller, like Killer of Killers is. It's more of a suspense. There's action, there's romance, and there's suspense of a different kind. A buildup to the climax, which results in a surprise appearance of a special person in history. The person for whom Christmas is celebrated. That's right. Jesus Christ himself makes an appearance in The Vase. I don't think that's a spoiler. I won't go into it any more than that. But it does qualify The Vase as a book that would be suitable as a Christmas present.

Once you read it, you will see what I mean. But you'll have to buy it first. Click on the images to right, and buy your copies today!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Will Giving Prompt Purchases?

I really don't know any other authors, not personally anyway, so I can't delve into their personal success stories when it comes to prompting purchases. My plan to give away free copies of Killer of Killers to bookstore owners or managers seems to be a good idea, but what if they just sit on the book, and then never buy copies to sell in their bookstores?

I guess that's a risk I'll be taking. All I can do is ask, or inquire if they would be open to buying bookstore copies to put on their shelves, but if they don't know anything about the book why should they do that? After all, they never heard of me or the book. But if they were to read a copy, and then realize that they liked it, perhaps that's when they would be inclined to buy copies to sell in their stores.

I mean it sounds logical. More so than if I didn't offer a book for them to read. I suppose it could backfire. I could give away all ten of my copies, and then all ten stores never do anything after that. There's no guarantee they'll even read it, but such is life. There are very few guarantees about anything. If any at all.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bay Area Bookstores Only - For Now, Anyway

When it comes to finding Killer of Killers in a bookstore, you'd better live in the San Francisco Bay Area. That happens to be the area where I live. And since I'm going to have to physically visit the bookstores where I place my book, Killer of Killers, then, logically, they will have to be bookstores where I can physically visit, right? So outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, I don't suppose you'll be able to find Killer of Killers in a bookstore.

But that doesn't mean you can't buy your very own copy outside of the Bay Area. After all, Amazon.com is always there, and it's there for anyone who lives anywhere in the world. So if you are reading this, and you don't live in the Bay Area, or no matter where you live for that matter, even in another country on the other side of the world, all you have to do is visit Amazon.com, just like you might for anything else you'd be buying from them. Or just click on the image to the right of this post, and you can buy your copy from the Melange website, too. No matter where you live. That's the great thing about the internet. It's there and it's accessible to anyone anywhere.

Still, there are those people who do things the old-fashioned way. Like actually going to stores, shopping, and browsing. And then just happening to find something that they might want to buy. Those  buyers are a high percentage of the buyers of books. And it would behoove me to get Killer of Killers and The Vase into bookstores at as many locations as possible. My work is definitely cut out for me.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bookstores, Libraries, and Drugstores?

As I've blogged, I will be in promotion mode for the next couple weeks, and it's a good thing that I have a two week vacation coming up. School is out for the holidays starting next week, and that means I will take copies of Killer of Killers and The Vase to bookstores, libraries, and drugstores.

My plan is to give a free copy to whomever it is in charge of ordering books. Believing that person will like my books, I'm then hoping that same person will then order books from Melange or Penumbra to sell at his/her store.

The drugstores probably won't work, because I've already talked to someone at Walgreen's for instance, and whomever it was I talked to informed me that the decisions of what books to stock in Walgreen's book section is made by someone somewhere else, which wasn't anyone at that particular store.

As for libraries, I don't doubt they would take a book or two to stock on their shelves, but that really wouldn't help me as far as sales is concerned, would it? I don't think so. That's the whole point of libraries. Libraries offer the opportunity to read books without having to buy them. And if I give a copy or two to the local library, then that will preclude the need to buy one. Maybe I could loan a copy to whomever it is in charge of buying books for their shelves. I'll have to check on that.

But bookstores, like the local Barnes and Nobles should be my best bet. I can meet with the B&N mannager, like I have done before, and give them a free copy in the hopes that they will then stock his/her shelves with books ordered from my publishers. (That time, however, that particular B&N closed down a month later, but there's another one a little father away.)

And there are smaller bookstores still around, and I'll do the same thing for them. Because the cover to Killer of Killers is so awesome, I'm hoping it will draw interest once it's on a bookstore's shelves, and then prompt sales. That's how it works sometimes. And I think it will work for KOK, too. As for The Vase, well I like the cover, but it might take a little more investigation for that one on the part of the buyer. Unlike KOK, I don't think the cover will prompt sales. But anyone interested in the Middle East, the Palestinian situation, the world of Ghost Hunters, and a great plot, story line and interesting characters, will like that book. Even Christians, Muslims, and Jews will like it.

Why? Well, because the main characters are Palestinian Muslims and Israeli Jews. Well, one of the Israelis is really an agnostic, but things change. For the better? Or for the worse? Well, you'll have to read The Vase to find out. Let me know what you think when you do.

BUY YOUR COPIES TODAY!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Promotion, Promotion, Promotion

I put out my call to buyers yesterday, because I am fully charged with seeing how the second edition of Killer of Killers fares. Over the first year, sales for the first edition were modest, and I'm okay with that. And that's because I was not satisfied with the final version of that first edition. It's why I was asking Melange to reload it again and again after fixing this and fixing that. And as I've already pointed out, after my second novel was published, I realized just why I wasn't satisfied with the first edition of Killer of Killers. It wasn't consistent with the 3rd person limited POV.

I learned so much from Penumbra Publishing when they published The Vase that I just had to apply those lessons to Killer of Killers, and Melange was cool enough to allow it. And why wouldn't they? After all, it's a Melange publication, so logically, they would want one of their books to be at a standard of writing that would make them look good. So it happened, and now it's done!

That means it's time to buy people! Killer of Killers is ready to be read! Now more than ever. All of that work that I had been blogging about over the past five months, (yes, since July!) in the revisions to Killer of Killers, the editing, if you will, the fixing, for lack of better word, is done, and I am thrilled for that. Just  holding the book is a thrill. Reading parts here and there is also a lot of fun.

But for a reader, someone who enjoys a great story, a great character, a great plot, and great villains, this book is for you. Oh, there's great action, too, by the way, and even great romance. Killer of Killers has it all. So no, it's not just about killing. But like the title suggests, the people who kill get their due. It's one of my favorite quotes in the book. "Justice is rendering each killer that which is his due." That's what Trent Smith says to Abraham Soriah when Soriah asks him for his definition of justice. It's a great quote. A spot on quote! It's in Killer of Killers! Buy your copy today!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Now is TIme to BUY Killer of Killers! The Vase, too, btw

Over the past few months, instead of promoting sales for Killer of Killers, I had actually discouraged potential buyers, saying to wait until after the release of the second edition before anyone should go ahead and purchase their copy of the book. Well, sales indicate that people must have been listening to me, and I'm glad for that, as only a couple copies were sold over the past quarter. Even though the story remains the same, the writing is up there now, meaning it will pass the closest scrutiny for literary standards of POV, prose, punctuation, and verb use.

Not that it was a disaster before, but it didn't meet the standards I had reached after the editing to The Vase at Penumbra Publishing. Fortunately Melange Books was on board with bringing those standards up to my newfound expectations, and after three months of constant upgrading, meaning revisions to the above specifics of focused improvement, Killer of Killers, the second edition is ready for all comers!

So that means no more waiting! Anyone and everyone who might have been inclined to buy a copy, well, now's the time to act on that inclination! I'm busy with the sequel right now, even though it's already done, just working on revisions now, but Killer of Killers is ready to be bought, to be read, to be thoroughly enjoyed, and I dare say, ready for any and all reviews. I am confident it will hold up to any potential criticisms, and pass all expectations of literary standards and creative storytelling. (The storytelling, actually was always there.)

So don't wait on it. Let me know what you think. I'm game. I'm ready. Even for suggestions or for what people might want to see in the sequel. Slip me a note. Let me know. Maybe I'll put it in there. I always add stuff during the revisions stages anyway. I did it for both Killer of Killers and The Vase. I could do it for Killer Eyes, too Or The Killers Guild. Not sure about the title yet. That's another thing that might change. But we'll see.

In the meantime, click on images to the right. Don't be a faker. Buy one or both books today. Not tomorrow, because tomorrow's already here!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Now What? Keep Writing--But...

Yes, when you've finished a book, like I've finally finished Killer of Killers and The Vase, you keep on writing. You go on to your next project. And for me, that would be the sequel to Killer of Killers, which I've been calling Killer Eyes. But I might change that to The Killers Guild, since I introduce a Killers Guild in that book. I was going to reserve the title The Killers Guild for the third installment of this limited series, but I'm not so sure about that any more.

Regardless, there is something else that is just as important as a commitment to writing. And that is promoting your work. I've promoted both Killer of Killers and The Vase since publication, but there is so much more I can do. I've decided that it will be necessary to get free books to people who would be most likely to enjoy the books, but people who are also in a position to see those books made available to others who would be likely to buy them.

The most obvious people are people in book stores. Meaning the people who own, run, or work in bookstores. I'll have to have a small collection of my books and take them to these people. Tell them about the books, let them have a free copy, and hope that they will take the time to read them. Once they do, I'm confident they will enjoy the stories and then order some copies to sell in their bookstore.

So, yeah. That's my next step. Just as soon as I get my copies from Melange. I'll keep you posted on that progress.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Second Edition Killer of Killers Released Today!

Today it's official. Killer of Killers, the Second Edition is now available for purchase, both in print and eBook. Even Amazon Kindle. I'm so excited for this. Even though my second novel, The Vase is still a new book, having been published just this past August, I never made any secret that Killer of Killers is my favorite novel. Not just my favorite of the four novels I've written. I like it way better than anything out there today. But then again, I like The Vase better than today's popular novels, too.

I'm not saying my books are better books than the great classics now. I'm not saying they're up there with Melville's Moby Dick, or Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities, and the like. No, I'm talking about the popular novels of current times. You know, the ones that have become movies the last few years. Big movies, too. Not only do I not like them, they are actually repulsive to me.

Novels are works of art. And art is subjective. Isn't that what every literary agent tells you when you solicit their representation? It's subjective. And I like the books I've written way better than those written by J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer, or E.L. James. I'll take Killer of Killers and The Vase over Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight, or Fifty Shades of Grey any day. And yes, I've picked them up at book stores and read the beginnings of them. Didn't catch my interest at all.

But Killer of Killers and The Vase? Those are books for me. Great stories, great characters, and yes, even great themes. There are lessons to be learned in both of those novels. Once you've read them, I think you'll agree. Try them out. Get a copy of one or both, and after you've read them, let me know. I'll be here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Excerpt from Killer of Killers

In a continuation of excerpts from my debut novel, Killer of Killers, the Second Edition, I decided to post the very beginning of the book, the first part of the Prologue. I am aware that some people don't even read the prologues to books. That is strange to me. They have their reasons, one of which, I've read is that they don't want to start a book twice, and to me, that's ridiculous. The prologue IS the start of the book, and Chapter One is the continuation of that. Meaning Chapter One is not the real start of a book. Obviously the prologue is, like in a movie where it starts with what could be a prologue if it were a book, and then the story continues after that, not starts after that.

So anyway, here's how Killer of Killers starts:


Prologue 

JFK Airport 

It was a long time coming, but he made the decision, and Dr. Samuel 
Bernstein rushed through the terminal a different man. He wanted no more the 
role of absentee father and no more the bane of negligent husband. No more 
research facility half a continent away. Never again would he sweat ice in 
humid vaults of bubbling vats and sterile test tubes. And no more nightmares— 
the waking screams in halls of horror, the dire consequence of scientific 
arrogance, soul-chilling visions of a holocaust revisited. 

Never again. For Samuel, the sprawling biological laboratory in the 
Minnesota wilderness would forever be a memory. A bad one. He carried a 
black leather bag in one hand and pressed a cell phone against his ear with the 
other. Finally, an answer. “Samuel?” It was Martha, his wife. 

End of excerpt. And yeah, the story continues with Dr. Bernstein driving home with his wife, but what they find at home is not what they counted on, and enough about that. (Although the excerpt in the Melange Website does go a little further.) Still, it's a good start, and it's in Chapter One where the reader is introduced to the main character. Trent Smith. The world's greatest martial artist. Which, to me, is a character worth reading about. I think you'll agree, once you've read the book, that is.

Side note: The changes I made from the first edition to the second edition, here in the Prologue, are all about maintaining a consistent 3rd Person Limited POV. Which is quite significant to anyone who understands the specifics of that. And anyone who has read the two versions should see the difference immediately. And anyone who is reading this for the first time, well, even better, since it's the best and final version of the book, after all. And I'm very happy with it. Yes, very happy indeed. So my thanks to Nancy at Melange Books for her hard work in making it happen.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Killer of Killers and The Vase - Time for Reviews

Now that my first two novels are good to go, at the level I want them to be, and perfectly written to every detail, it's time I got some reviews. Too bad that one review disappeared. Boy was it a beauty. It was a year and some months ago, a fellow Melange author wrote the most wonderful review for Killer of Killers. I mean it was a review to die for! What happened? Well, I didn't know that the reviewer was a fellow Melange author. Had I known that, I would have been very happy to read and review his book. But, I didn't know. I should have checked. I should have found out who he was. But since I didn't, I can only guess that he was not happy with me for not even thanking him for the wonderful review he gave Killer of Killers. Oh well. Lesson learned. And the next time I do get a good review, I'll be sure not to repeat that mistake. I will thank whomever it is that gives me a good review.

But hey, it was my first ever review! I didn't know I was supposed to thank the guy! I sure wish I did. Because I sure feel bad that I didn't. And since then? No more reviews. No one bothers. But how can I blame anyone? I don't give any reviews, so I'm just as guilty. Because I don't read anyone's books. I really believe that most if not all authors are just like me. They don't read anyone else's books, just sit on their own books, and hope someone reads their books. Perhaps that guy was an exception. The one exception. The lone author who bothered to read someone else's book, and I was lucky enough that it was mine he chose to read. And he gave it the greatest review I could have hoped for.

There is one thing I won't do. PAY for a review. That is just pure bullshit. It's paying someone to give you a good review. You know they will. Because if an author pays someone to give his/her book a review, and then it's a bad review, well... no more business from that author! These kind of reviewers are nothing more than literary prostitutes, no? They want to get paid for it. Yeah, I've checked online for book reviewers, and that's what I found out. They want money for doing it. Just like a whore. So that means one thing. It's not a real review. Not even close to being real.

Nope. But that guy a year ago, I didn't even know who he was. Didn't know him from Adam. I just thought that he was someone who happened to pick up the book and then read it. And then wrote a review because, 1-he liked it, and 2-he liked it so much he wanted to write a good review!

Here's to hoping someone else will read Killer of Killers and like it just as much. And The Vase, too, by the way. That one's bound to lift some spirits. Enough to get a good review? I hope so. We'll see. But when will we see? Who knows? In the meantime, I have to get these books in some bookstores. Get them seen. By book READERS, not just book writers. People who actually want to READ books. And then I'll have a better chance to get reviews. And the beat goes on.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Can't Believe it's my Birthday!

Yes, today is actually my birthday, and I don't believe I've ever made that distinction here on the blog. Not that I'll be deluged with any Birthday wishes, but I thought I'd mention it this time, since I've been blogging for about three years now, going on four years actually. In May it will be four years exactly since my first blog post.

And since then, I've had two of my books published. Killer of Killers and The Vase. I'm in the revision stage for Killer Eyes now, and that will probably take me half a year.

Christmas is coming soon, and with a wife and two sons, aged 17 and 11, that will be a major time for me to consider taking off from writing. I always want each Christmas to be the best for my sons. And then back to writing. It's a blast, for me, anyway. I'll be at it more than ever now.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Update--Print copies are Ready!

A quick update to let you know that as of now, Killer of Killers, the Second Edition is now ready and available in PRINT. I just checked the Lulu printing site, and it HAS BEEN RELOADED, which means the printed books are now ready to be purchased. Just click on the Killer of Killer cover image to the right. Hold off on the digital copies though. Those will be ready some time next week.

Corrections Made!

That was fast. By last night, Nancy at Melange had made the corrections on the two errors I mentioned yesterday and sent me both corrected files, one for eBooks and one for print books of Killer of Killers. The release date for the second edition of Killer of Killers is next week, and I am thrilled. I think I'm even going to get another free author's copy, too. That is exciting to me, because I like to read a couple chapters every night at bedtime. I do that for The Vase, too. I've already posted about how I like to read my own books, unlike one author a while back, who said he doesn't want to do that. But whatever.  For me, it's one of the great things in life. That is to be able to enjoy the fruits of your creative efforts. Art is art, and it's to be enjoyed, especially if it's your own art. That's the way I see it. So I'll post when the release of Killer of Killers, the second edition is available. I know I said the print was available a couple days ago, but that's the one with the missing word "ill" from the idiom "ill at ease." But like I said, the flawless version will be ready by next week. Hooray!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hold The Press! One Missing Comma and One Typo!

And that was how I titled the subject I used on my Email to Melange last night. I guess it was inevitable. The typo, I mean. It seems like you can never be rid of them. But the word "ill" was missing from the term "ill at ease" which, of course gives it the opposite meaning, and it just had to be fixed. And there was a missing comma, too. Commas are often optional, and having one or not having one might not be a big deal, and this one might have just stayed gone, but because of the typo, I figured I may as well insert the missing comma, too.

But Nancy was relieved that the corrections needed were "few" as she said. Only two. And that is few. So she said she'll fix those things, and the second edition of Killer of Killers will be released by December 12th. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Considered Graphics for Second Edition

When I was completing the second edition of Killer of Killers for the release coming soon, I considered using some graphics for each chapter title page. I got the idea from Penumbra Publishing, which uses some kind of related graphic above the chapter titles of each chapter. For instance, in my book, The Vase, above each chapter title, they used a black and white picture of a vase, which I thought added some class to the book.

So for the second edition of KOK, I thought about using a common martial arts image, of a fist and hand. I found the image I was looking for, which was this:


 ...but the black background looked too bold, and too square, and it just stood out way too much, so I doctored it up some on my computer and turned it into this:
As you can see, I eliminated that square black background by changing it to white, which just blends in with the white pages and gives the impression that the image is independent of any background at all. It's way less imposing, I think.
 
But ultimately I changed my mind. I considered that it might only result in formatting problems, which would turn into an unnecessary headache for Nancy, my Melange publisher to deal with, so it didn't make the final cut. Not to worry, though. I did change the font on the Title Page for the title, and for the title on the blurb, and for every chapter title in the book. And that did add a lot to the overall look of the book.
 
But it's really all about the writing. Graphics won't turn bad writing good, and I am very satisfied with the writing at this point. More than satisfied, really, I'm ecstatic. And with nearly the entire book rewritten to be consistent with 3rd person limited POV, and other prose improvements, it needs no further enhancements.

By the way, right now, the PRINT copy is reloaded. So anyone who wants the PRINT version to hold in their hand, to physically turn paper pages, then it's ready to buy. Just click on the image to the right and the Lulu link is where you go for your print copy. For digital copies, though, better wait another couple of days. I'll let you know.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monsters in Killer of Killers?

It occurred to me after yesterday's post that someone who never read Killer of Killers might think there are monsters or demons in the story. Rest assured, there are no monsters or demons in the story. Not physical ones anyway. That excerpt was from a dream Trent Smith was having, and it was quite a dream, as the part that I posted is only a very small part of that dream. So no, KOK is not a fantasy, nor is it SciFi. It's a modern day thriller, a martial arts action thriller to be exact, and it retains a firm grip on the reality of the modern era. Meaning it's a realistic and contemporary story with topical themes and intrinsic philosophies.

Just thought I'd clarify. I'm hoping to stir up interest. And perhaps I'll post another excerpt tomorrow. Check back to see, if you're interested. Until then.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Excerpt from Killer of Killers

Well, I think I'll start posting some excerpts from Killer of Killers to start showing off some of this beautiful prose I've perfected over the months. People who are familiar with the writings of Robert E. Howard might discern an influence from him in this excerpt. Not overt, really, but it's there.

So here's the excerpt:
Puzzled, Trent moved away from them and in the direction of the emanate evil, but when he reached the leafy corner, he froze. He didn’t know if he should advance, or if he should retreat. He decided to advance. After a single step, a monstrous humanoid shape, rotted and moldy, suddenly pounced with the ferocity of an African lion. It attacked violently, clawing wildly with talons ripping flesh from bone. Trent could only throw his arms up to protect himself, but it was useless. The creature’s size was overpowering, and its stench overwhelming. Trent felt himself succumbing to the slashing savagery.
In moments, it would be over, but Trent was a fighter, and he refused to submit. He reached deep into his heart, into his soul, and retaliated with every fiber of his being, pummeling the monster with his fists, again, and again, and again. By sheer force of will, Trent gained the upper hand and didn’t stop bashing and smashing until all that was left of the ghastly ghoul was little more than a gooey gob on the grassy ground.

End of excerpt. Maybe I'll make this a regular thing. That passage was written in the very first draft, by the way, and had undergone very little revision in the months and years that followed. I've always been partial to it, and I'm glad it survived all the editing since then.