Complete 2018 releases!

I recently made a post about the five books I released in 2018 however, I did much more than that this year. I released five books, had nine stories appear across six anthologies, two magazine appearances, and had one of my poems turned into a video. Here’s everything from January to December.

The Paradox Complex was released in January 2018. This was my first release of 2018, eighth poetry book, and currently my most reviewed book on Amazon. This book is about how we as humans have contradictory qualities but deep down we are still good.

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“Sad Crying Clown” from The Paradox Complex was turned into a video in February 2018. Matthew Hunter of MMH Productions asked me about turning this poem into a video for his YouTube page.

Tales of the Empowered was released in February 2018 from Shades of Vengeance. I backed a Kickstarter where I got to create a character for a short story collection. This is part of a larger shared universe including this short story collection, comic books, and a core rulebook.

cover

The Escape of Ernest Frost was released in April 2018. This is my first novel. A thriller about a man who gets kidnapped by a group of clowns and not only has to escape, he must find out why he was taken.

cover pic

Poets are Heroes Issue III magazine was released by Realistic Poetry. This is my first ever magazine appearance! I give a quote on the importance of poetry.

PAH3

The Valiant Heroes United Edition III was released in May 2018 from Realistic Poetry. This is the first time one of my poems was featured in a magazine. My poem “Flawed Masterpiece” (originally in The Paradox Complex) is the poem in this magazine.

TVI3

Dream Awake was released in July 2018. This is my third release of a promised five book rollout, my second novella, and my first foray into horror. It’s about a person who keeps having nightmares that end with a person showing up and killing the main character. The killer from the dreams eventually shows up in the real world with intentions of killing the main character in the real world as well.
The cover was designed by Sondra Hicks at Lelene Designs.

cover pic

Mystery Monster 13 was released in July 2018 by JEA Press. This is the first anthology to be published to feature a short story of mine. The collection is 13 short stories with monsters that you’ve never heard of before. My story “The Wall of Royalty” features unnamed creatures attacking the village.

MM13 cover

Shades of BWWM was released August 1st 2018 by Love Journey Books. This is a romance collection featuring three short stories of mine, “The Next Step”, “Moving In”, and “Unexpected”

Shades of BWWM

Summer Solstice: A Supernatural Anthology was released in August 2018 by A Writer For Life LLC. This is a collection of supernatural short stories. My story in this collection is titled “Lucifer’s Lost Love”

SS Cover

Aspects of Love 1.5 was released in October 2018. This is a rerelease of my book of love poems I released in 2012. This was done because I use a pen name and there will be a volume 2 down the road. This reissued version includes 14 poems new to this release and two brand new poems written specifically for this book.

AoL1.5

Sideshow was released in October 2018 by Samie Sands. She compiles several anthologies per year and my story “Make My Escape” is included in this anthology. It’s about a man kidnapped by carnies and forced to play their wicked games.

Sideshow cover

Sweet Candy Delights was released in October 2018 by Stained Glass Publishing. This is a family friendly Halloween collection (doing something family friendly was a first for me). I have two stories in this collection, “Lost Candy” and “The Expedition”

SCDcover

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018 was released in October 2018 by Plaisted Publishing House. This is a collection of Ghost Stories and this collection features my short story “Wingreen Possession”. This book is available for free on Amazon!

GW18 cover

AND FINALLY

The Next Step was released on November 29 2018. This is my fifth and final book of the promised five book rollout. It is my third novella and my first romance book. It’s about a guy who breaks up with his girlfriend after coming to the conclusion he is in love with his best friend. Little does he know, she is also in love with him. Can they take the next step from friendship to relationship.

TNS cover

This is everything I’ve released and been a part of in 2018! Shoutouts to:

  • Matthew Mark Hunter
  • Shades of Vengeance
  • Ed Jowett
  • Realistic Poetry International
  • JEA Press
  • Roma Grey
  • Sondra Hicks
  • Lelene Designs
  • Love Journey Books
  • A Writer for Life LLC
  • Emily Piland
  • Chandra Trulove Fry
  • Angela Kay
  • Samie Sands
  • Claire Plaisted

All of you helped me make my promise of releasing as much material as I can in 2018 and I owe each of you my thanks!

To those who don’t know, I usually do one book a year and a few times I’ve done one book release and arranged an anthology. This time I’ve released more. Also, I know a lot of people enjoyed the multiple releases this year. I’m repeating myself in 2019!

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The Next Step now on Amazon

I’ve posted quite a few of these “(insert book title) is now on Amazon” but this one is likely going to be the last one of the year.

In 2017, I made a bold announcement. I said I would release FIVE BOOKS in 2018. I announced a poetry book, a thriller novel, a horror novella, a reissued book of love poems, and a contemporary novel. In case you’re wondering The Next Step is NOT a contemporary novel.

Between releasing The Escape of Ernest Frost and finishing Dream Awake I signed up for an anthology. I had to write a romance story taking place in the fall. I had written a short story that had been rejected and all I needed to do was change the setting from spring to fall and expand on the story. After signing up, it was later decided instead of an anthology to do a serial novella collection. I agreed to do this and decided to make this my fifth book of the year instead of my contemporary novel. I was also given a release date for my novella, November 29.

After finishing Dream Awake I submitted a short story for the anthology Shades of BWWM. My short story was accepted and I was asked to contribute more stories to the collection. I ended up writing three short stories for the anthology; “The Next Step”, “Moving In”, and “Unexpected”.

Between contributing to anthologies and making comic con appearances, a few of the authors that are a part of the Falling For You collection revealed their covers and synopsis for their novellas. This made me a little nervous as I was working on a fantasy piece and it looked like everyone else was doing more contemporary stuff. While I’m a fan of standing out, sticking out like a sore thumb is not something I want to do. I knew I needed to change my story, and quick.

August 1st, Shades of BWWM is released and those who have read my stories that know me, told me they really enjoyed my story “The Next Step” and it was easily my standout of my three stories. That was when I decided to turn my short story “The Next Step” into my Falling For You novella.

November rolls around and my cover isn’t done and I’m still putting the book together. However, I did manage to get everything done and ready for its November 29 release.

Here is the cover to my novella The Next Step

TNS cover

Unlike my other releases, this one is currently a digital only release. The reason being, I’m participating in the next serial novella collection Love you Snow Much, and my novella for this will be the sequel to The Next Step once both e-books are available, I will do a print release containing both books.

2018 has been a year of several firsts for me and this book is no exception. This is my first romance title and my first book that will be part of a series (number two coming Feb 2019, number 3 in the works).

I have a lot of people to thank on this one.
First, I want to thank Love Journey of Love Journey Books. She accepted my short story for a genre I haven’t had a lot of experience in writing (exception being fiction). She agreed to put my story in her anthology and asked me to contribute more. This helped me and it encouraged my readers to read the unexpected from me.

The wonderful people at Fiery Vision. The one I communicated with the most was Sam Clingenpeel. They believed in me enough to give me this opportunity and let me do my thing. Everyone checked in a few times but for the most part, I was given free range.

Finally, my readers. For the majority of my writing journey, most know me for writing poetry. This year I took everyone on a ride that I didn’t even know what to expect. When I said my final release of the year would be romance, many were surprised but I know many of you already bought the book. Thank you

Since I mentioned it several times throughout, Shades of BWWM is now on Amazon. You can buy the anthology here.

My first romance novella, The Next Step is now available on the Amazon Kindle store. Purchase your copy here.

2018 releases

Last year I made a bold promise. I said I would release FIVE BOOKS in 2018. At the time of writing this post, I’m impatiently waiting for my fifth book of the year, The Next Step to go live on Amazon Kindle. Here’s the 2018 releases and soon I’ll post a more detailed post about my 2018 releases.

January 2018 The Paradox Complex is released. I wanted my first release of the year to be poetry because that is what I’ve been known for. This year was a journey into the unknown. This book contains my lightest poems to date and currently has a perfect review score on Amazon.

April 2018 The Escape of Ernest Frost is released. This is my first novel and the journey into the unknown. Prior to this year, I’ve written a handful of short stories and released a novella last year. I go from a poetry book to my largest book to date (250 pages).

July 2018 Dream Awake is released. This is my second novella and my first foray into horror. This is also the only release of the year to feature another contributor to my work (Sondra Hicks designed the cover!)

And now here is the fulfillment of my promise.

November 2018 The Next Step is released. This is my third novella, my first romance book, and my first book to be part of a series (sequel coming 2019!)

There you have it! The five book rollout complete! Either tomorrow or next week I’ll post a more detailed post about my 2018 releases (Including anthologies, magazines, and an adaptation). I was recently told an anthology I’m appearing in is being pushed back to 2019 making The Next Step my final 2018 release. Thank you for being part of this crazy year and hold on tight because 2019 will be crazier!

 

Starting a reading list

Starting next month I plan to do a reading list. I will give my personal recommendations on 2-5 books by fellow independent authors every two-three weeks. I’ll mention how I came across the book, what the book is about, and links to buy the books. I’m only going to do two or three for the first few because I’m currently working on two major projects and my reading has been minimal.

If you are an independent author and I already own a book of yours, you will eventually be mentioned on here. To any of my readers, I hope you check out some of the books I mention on here because I already know the first one will spotlight some incredible talent

Year end giveaway

I have done random giveaways in the past. Usually they coincide with a book release. However, I’ve limited my giveaways this year for many reasons (I wanted to do a big one when I hit 1,000 likes on Facebook, I needed my inventory for cons/festivals, etc.) I want to do a BIG ONE for the end of the year.

At the moment I can confirm the giveaway will include the four print books I’ve released this year

  • The Paradox Complex
  • The Escape of Ernest Frost
  • Dream Awake
  • Aspects of Love 1.5

At this moment I’ve contacted the editors of the anthologies I’ve appeared in and if anyone says it’s ok, I’ll include those anthologies as well. This anthology will not include The Next Step because it is a digital only release and my planned giveaway will be for my print releases.

The giveaway will be on my Facebook page, the only thing you need to do is like my Facebook page. The more people who like my page we’ll have multiple winners instead of just one winner. Currently the plan is ONE LUCKY WINNER will receive the four print books I’ve released this year (and possibly some of the anthologies I’ve appeared in)

Here is my Facebook page, give it a like if you haven’t and share the page (more likes=more chances to win!)

www.facebook.com/writer434

Thank you and let’s have a big giveaway next month!

End of a chapter

Don’t let the title mislead you, I’m still writing. However, this is a very fitting title for this post.

November 29, I will be releasing the fifth book of a promised five book rollout. My third novella, first romance book titled The Next Step. As I have mentioned this will be my final release (not counting anthology appearances) for 2018. I also announced it will be a digital only release. Here is why it will be a digital only release:

My first release of 2019 will be The Next Step: First Valentine’s this will be my first sequel and the print release will be both novellas as one book. For those who want a print release of The Next Step will have to wait for The Next Step: First Valentine’s to be released. You’ll get both books in one print release.

THAT IS NOT MY ANNOUNCEMENT

Even though that is an announcement, it’s not the one I was discussing on social media earlier this week. This is the announcement; for the seeable future The Next Step: First Valentine’s will be my final self-published release! That’s right, my second 2019 release will be released by a publisher. Once I can make the announcement I’ll reveal who but 2019 will indeed see the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. While details will be vague for the time being, I can say expect multiple releases and I’ll still be doing anthology and magazine appearances (I already know of 3 confirmed anthology appearances and 1 magazine appearance).

Unlike previous years, I can’t reveal every planned 2019 book. I can say after The Next Step: First Valentine’s I am planning a sci-fi book. It is also my first all ages book. I also have some poetry in the works as well.

This is uncharted waters for me and I hope all of you enjoy and support my books as much as you have supported me thus far. I made a bold choice last year announcing five books in one year and the support from all of you helped motivate me to make sure I kept my promise. This support is why I can say future books will not be self-published.

Thank you and as soon as I can give details, I will be doing so!

My FIRST book festival!

After six years of trying to be a part of a book festival, I finally got to be a part of one last month when I attended the West Virginia Book Festival.

After trying to be a part of the one closest to me for a few years (rejections every year, one rejection email arriving on Christmas Eve) I came to the conclusion they will never accept me and I decided to try other book festivals. (No, I’m not name dropping here, if you know where I live you can look it up and find out for yourself.)

I came across the West Virginia Book Festival through a website (I don’t remember which site though) and they were taking applications for vendors and panelists. I filled out both applications and hoped for the best. The deadline was mid March and I made sure I had both applications sent.

I want to say it was April or May when I received an email informing me my application to be a vendor was accepted. Given my times trying to be a part of festivals in the past were not successful, I broke into tears. I fell to my knees and looked up and thanked God for finally being able to be a part of a book festival.

Between May and October, I had received info packets and emails reminding me when the weekend was approaching. I was also given brochures and posters to hand out. I also kept up when announcements were made. Finding out I would be at a book festival with Debbie Macomber and Dennis Lehane would be two of the authors with panels, I was excited. To those who read this because you support me and you’re not an avid reader. These two names are two well known and well respected names in the literary world.

Once it got here, I made sure to be at the civic center as soon as I could. I went in and they were still setting up tables. I was told I could put my stuff at the spot my table would be at. I go over to the spot and put my stuff down. I put my stuff down and go to find Terry (the one in charge) and ask when a good time would be to come back since tables were still being put up. One of the people setting up tables told me to lead him to where I’m located and he’d put a table up so I could set up. I asked if this was any inconvenience and I was told no. I led them to my location and they put a table up. I set everything up and went to my hotel to check in.

Friday was day one of the book festival. It was rainy and given it was Friday morning/afternoon, not a lot of people showed up. Day one I sold about eight books. As far as selling went, Friday was not a good day. I closed up early and walked the floor. I got to meet several great authors and I got some cool books as well. After I left, I went to buy food, went to my hotel, and called it an early night because I had to be there at 8am Saturday.

Saturday came around and this was the big day of the two. Saturday the Festival had a used book sale and people were lined up outside of the Charleston Civic Center in the rain. At first, everyone was there for the used book sale and the vendors were getting very few people at tables. The week before, I had a less than successful weekend at Hampton Comicon and day one of this book festival did not go well. Two hours in and no one had even picked up my freebies at my table. I was ready to pack up and go leave.

After contemplating leaving and calling it a day, I had a visitor at my table. This was someone who has read and reviewed my books over the last few years and now I get to meet this person face to face. This is easily the coolest moment I had the entire weekend, especially given how close I was to walking out. This easily helped turn things around at my table. This also helped improve my mood.

By the end of the day, I had sold enough books to call my time at the book festival a success (yeah, it was that busy with the used book sale going on). I nearly sold out of Dream Awake and Aspects of Love 1.5, I did preorders for the anthology Sideshow and just like Fairfax Comic Con, my best selling book for the weekend was META- (Complete) I also got to meet a lot of cool people, joined a writing club, and I’ll save the best in my thank you section.

Thanks/Shoutouts to:
E. Randolph Underwood he was the first author I got to meet. He showed up around the same time I did. We talked a bit before getting to set up tables. He told me about his books and I told him about mine. We also checked on each other when we had moments to walk the floor. He’s a really nice person with five books available. Below is the link to his latest book
The Property paperback
The Property e-book

J. Scott Legg Scott was at the table next to me. Given there were slow periods throughout the festival, we talked at various points during the festival. His book is about New River Gorge in West Virginia. Here’s the link to buy his book.
New River Gorge by J. Scott Legg

Jason Pell he had a table near me. He was showing off his amazing artwork so I had to check out his table. He had some books on sale and I’m including the link for his book Pinpricks
Pinpricks on Amazon
Pinpricks on Facebook

E. Lee Chafin she stopped by my table on Friday and checked out my books. After seeing I write poetry books she asked me if I’d be willing to do a trade, one of my books for her book. I agreed and gave her a copy of META- (Complete) and she gave me a copy of her book Untitled Words from my Soul I took the book to my hotel room and read it that night. It’s amazing and I left a positive review on Amazon. She came back to my table on Saturday and bought one of my other books!
Untitled Words from my Soul paperback

Ben Archer he had a table near me and a cool setup so I had to stop by his table. He told me about his book and I told him about the books I had at my table. We both signed a bookmark for one another, follows on social media, and I bought the e-book once I got home. His book is really good and worth checking out!
Red Sky Rising on Amazon
Red Sky Twitter

Craig Halloran his table was unavoidable. He had so many books on his table with amazing covers, I had to stop by. I checked out his table on Friday before the festival began. We talked a little about writing and he asked about my stuff. I bought two books from him and he signed them. I also feel I’ll be thanking him once I release my all ages book
Darkslayer Report FB

Terry Wooten she’s the one in charge, the one who accepted my application. I owe her the biggest thanks of them all. Before I left I told her thanks and this being my first ever book festival. She told me their loss as far as rejecting me goes and told me to make sure I apply next year! Given the success I had this year, I’ll absolutely be signing up next year

To anyone I forgot, I am sorry. This is one of my longer posts and I know I left some out. Not intentional and I’ll try to remember you in future posts.

WVBF

Sideshow now available!

This will be the last anthology post for a while. I wrote a story for a carnival themed horror collection titled Sideshow.

I found out about this anthology after joining a few Facebook groups and Samie Sands (compiler of the anthology) was looking for carnival themed horror stories for a new anthology. For those that don’t know, earlier this year I released my first novel The Escape of Ernest Frost about a guy who gets kidnapped by a group of clowns. Given I had written a novel with a similar premise, I took to my notes and outlines for the book to begin my short story.

I saw what I had changed from my notes to my novel and realized how much I changed because I felt my original ideas were better fit for a short story. I took a look at my original ideas (Ernest was taken for a reason, Jerry was taken by random chance). Also, I had a different idea in mind for the ending. After looking at my original ideas, I started writing a short story with Jerry as my protagonist instead of Ernest and wrote my short story “Make my Escape”

I was writing this around the same time I was writing Dream Awake but I had to have the novella out first (Comic con was coming up and I needed books on my table). After I finished Dream Awake I went back to work on “Make my Escape” and sent it to Samie once I was done writing it. She sent a response letting me know she would be emailing acceptance/rejection letters soon.

I’ve had success recently with my short stories, this year I’ve had three rejections (2 of those have since been accepted elsewhere) and the rest were accepted. However, there’s always that feeling that a rejection will happen. This was not the case, I soon got an email from Samie telling me my short story was accepted and she was open to multiple stories if I had another story written. I was happy to know “Make my Escape” was accepted but, I had to turn down the offer of writing another story. At the time I had begun working on my romance novella, and I had four short stories with deadlines approaching. I hate turning down opportunities but I was already stretched thin.

Mid-October, Samie emailed all of us the digital book, now titled Sideshow, I always my own stuff out first then I read the other stories. I have to say, given the other stories in this book I am honored to be in a book with such amazing talent. The email also informed us paperback copies were coming and if we wanted to sell copies we could. I took her up on this and set up a preorder at the book festival I attended. Shortly after getting the email, the paperback copies were available on Amazon. To those interested in Sideshow the e-book is only 99 cents and the paperback is 5.50.

Sideshow cover

Sideshow paperback
Sideshow e-book

I enjoyed each story in Sideshow but I have to admit Samie had the best stories in this collection. If you are on social media, give her a like and a follow

Samie Sands Author Facebook
Samie Sands Author Twitter

 

Sweet Candy Delights now available!

I’m going to be honest with you, I should’ve given this book its own post earlier than I currently am. Reason being, this is a Halloween book and I’m doing a blog post in November. If you have read my previous posts I think you’ll understand. If you haven’t read my previous posts, in the past month I released a book, made three anthology appearances, I did two events, and I’m working on my next release that is coming out later this month.

I think I was told about this anthology some time in September. The theme was for every author to write two family friendly Halloween stories. Given Halloween is my favorite holiday and writing material for younger audiences is something I have noticed I need to do, I knew I had to write something for this collection.

The first of the two stories I wrote was “Lost Candy” I had to rewrite this story more than once. I had never written with a younger audience in mind and I kept turning this story into a horror story, something NOT family friendly. I eventually wrote the story to make it something fun but I kept some of the suspense (I had to!)

“Lost Candy” is about Petey and his friends trick or treating. Before going home, Petey realizes he left his trick or treat elsewhere. As he retraces his footsteps, the houselights are slowly going dark and he now notices someone is following him. Will Petey be able to get to his candy before his follower gets to him?

My second of the two stories I wrote is “The Expedition”. I spent so much time writing “Lost Candy”, I forgot my requirement was two stories and I still had another story to write. Given my first story still had suspense in it, I knew some of the readers this book would be targeted for might skip it, so I wrote something more “family fun” I came up with an idea involving two kids sacrificing their trick or treating for a greater cause. In this case, the cause was making sure their community got a rare candy.

“The Expedition” is about best friends Danny and Frank discovering Ginger Grainger, the woman who gives out the rare choco-goo, is in the hospital and will be unable to give out the rare candy this Halloween. The boys decide they will give out the candy this year since Ginger is not able to. However, the boys soon find out it is easier said than done to give out a candy that is no longer available to the public. Follow these two best friends as they go on an expedition to make sure they are able to give the rare candy to their community on Halloween.

I want to thank Angela Kay (compiler of the anthology) and Chandra Trulove Fry (she’s been making sure I get my work in various anthologies over the next few years) for letting me appear in this book! It was a challenge to write something that was aimed at a different audience.

SCDcover

Above is the cover of Sweet Candy Delights and below are the links to buy the book

Sweet Candy Delights Paperback
Sweet Candy Delights e-book

Stained Glass Publishing Facebook
Stained Glass Publishing is the publisher of the anthology. I ask you give the Facebook page a like.

I know I’m telling you about a Halloween themed anthology in November but as I said, this past month was rather packed. I’m just proud of myself for remembering to put up a post about the anthology!

Sweet Candy Delights is now available on Amazon!