Paginations

I’m running a 5K Sunday for Komen’s Race for the Cure – Can you support?

UPDATE: A HUGE thanks to those who donated online:

Jobeleca
Mr. Michael Fisher
Ms. Deslyn Jules
Karen M Cornejo
Laura Lauterwasser
Mr. Mike Crate

With my wife’s and my donations/registration, we raised OVER $200 towards breast cancer research! And I got some killer during-run tweets, thanks everyone for those. I’m thrilled with the support!

Oh, and I finished alive — barely — in just under 35 minutes. Not my fastest, but considering I was up at 5:30 in the morning to drive to the race site…yeah, commendable in my mind.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter may see from time to time live tweets from a morning run (or if I’m really tired, a morning walk). I’ve been doing this off and on for a couple of years to not only get my fat butt in shape, but also because I used to run track way back in high school (and was fairly decent at it) and I want (need?) to run a 5K to prove to myself I can still do it. Lo and behold, the opportunity presented itself, and couldn’t be for a better cause.

A very good childhood friend of my wife’s was diagnosed with breast cancer, and seven years later she’s the picture of health. Ever since then, friends and family have gotten together for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure as a group walk. My wife RAN the 5K last year (trust me, I was out of the country…I swear), and this year we’re BOTH in. So Sunday the 30th will be my first official 5K run, and I’d love your support – in any or all of three ways:

DONATE: My wife Tracy set up a page on the Komen site for friends to be able to make donations in support of the foundation in conjunction with the Race this weekend. The link is here: http://www.komencsnj.org/goto/umstead . We’re trying to exceed $200 in donations, which would be truly fantastic. Any amount is greatly appreciated, even a buck…

TWEET ME: Yes, Tweet me…during the run. I use an iPhone app called RunMeter, which not only posts automatically to Twitter with my pace, speed, distance, etc., but will also READ TWEETS ALOUD to me as I run. Several friends have gotten very creative with what they send during my runs (and you know who you are, zombie-lovers), and it’s really motivating to hear a voice in my headphones urging me along (any @ reply to me while the app is on is read out loud). The run starts at 8AM Eastern Time sharp on Sunday the 30th, and (with any luck) I’ll be done by 8:35. Or 9. Or maybe 9:30…

PASS THE WORD: If you can’t donate, or won’t be around Sunday morning at 8AM ET to Tweet, no problem. But would you mind passing the word along? An RT, or Facebook Author Page/Google+/blog share? I’d really appreciate the help.

My wife and I appreciate any support you can give – wish us luck!

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Gabriel’s Redemption on sale to close out the month/quarter/summer/whatever…

Just a quickie post to blather on about a price reduction for Gabriel’s Redemption, book 1 of my top-rated military science fiction trilogy. Normally $3.99, it’s on sale through the end of September for $2.99, a 25% off sale (don’t spend that saved buck all in one place). It’s available for the four major e-reader platforms (sorry, Sony/Diesel/Blackberry/stone tablet) plus Kindle UK:

Kindle US • Kindle UK • B&N Nook • iBooks • Kobo

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Blurbage:

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North American Federation Navy Commander Evan Gabriel was dishonorably discharged after a disastrous mission on a far off world called Eden. He’s spent the last five years hiding from his past, from those responsible for the failed mission, from those responsible for running him out of the Navy, and from those originally responsible for making him into who he was – a highly-trained, physically and mentally augmented Special Forces soldier.

Two mysterious visitors appear unannounced at the door of a Gabriel’s seedy hotel room in the slums of Jamaica. His past has finally caught up with him.

From the decaying Caribbean to politically-charged South America, from the back alleys of Mars to a tiny colony on a planet six hundred light years from Earth, Gabriel’s Redemption is a near-future military science fiction story of a personal journey seen from the perspective of a soldier who has lost everything — one who desperately needs to redeem himself not only in his government’s eyes, but also his own.

Interstellar action and political intrigue mix with one-on-one battles on the surface of a frozen planet in Book One of the science fiction-adventure trilogy.

“A cast of interesting and believable characters and a plot that kept me turning the pages…I enjoyed the author’s take on technology and the political landscape of the future. Definitely recommended!” – Michael R. Hicks, bestselling author of the In Her Name science fiction-adventure series and the bestselling thriller Season of the Harvest.

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And hey, if you felt inclined to spread the good word, use the “Spread the Good Word” links below the post. Gracias!

 

P.S. Couple of freebies for you… Gabriel: Zero Point (prequel novella) is free for iBooks and Kobo, and Incursion (scifi short) is free for Kindle, iBooks, and Kobo.

 

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Author Interview with Jason Andrew Bond, new thriller/horror release MORTAL REMAINS

I don’t often do these interviews, so when I do I make sure the author’s a good guy/gal and the subject matter are up my alley*. I can easily attest to both in the case of Jason Andrew Bond.

* Can’t you just imagine that in a white-lettered meme on a Most Interesting Man In The World photo, passed around Facebook incessantly? Yeah, me too…which is probably why I gave up on Facebook.

I’m proud to call Jason a friend, one that I probably wouldn’t have ever “met” had I not enjoyed his science fiction debut Hammerhead so much. He’s been hard at work on a new novel, this one outside of the scifi genre, and as of last week, MORTAL REMAINS is now available. He’s been a heckuva busy guy the past few weeks getting the launch ready, as evidenced by this typical tweet from him:

I’m glad he was able to take some time to share about the novel and future works. Sit back, take a sip of coffee (or tea, or something stronger, whatever’s up your alley), and enjoy.

UPDATE: Jason has VERY GENEROUSLY (implied by all caps, see?) donated a SIGNED COPY of Mortal Remains to one lucky, totally random commenter. All you need to do is read the interview and make a quick comment, but in that comment you must do one thing to qualify: name the main character in Mortal Remains. Easy, peasy.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Giveaway closed, congrats to Terri Rykard, the random winner of the signed copy!

Click for full size

SU: Pretend this is Twitter. Sell me (and the readers) on Mortal Remains in 140 characters or less.
JAB:When given the choice to live or die, Erica Morgan would rather fight back and die trying, but what’s at stake is far more than only her life.

SU: What genre (or genres) would Mortal Remains fall under? Any genre crossover that may appeal to more than just the core fans?
JAB: This would fit into the thriller/horror with a touch of adventure. So far folks who enjoyed Hammerhead (even those who are military and sci-fi fans) are giving it very good reports. The connection point is good people who are willing and able to fight who get caught up in horrible situations.

SU: I really enjoyed Hammerhead, a very unique story with excellent science fiction settings and technologies. What made you jump into a different genre like thriller/horror?
JAB: First-thank you for that. I sincerely appreciate it. In answer to your question, all advice would tell me to write the sequel to Hammerhead as closely to the first as possible, but I sincerely don’t choose what comes next. While laying the groundwork for Hammerhead Resurrection the entire plot of Mortal Remains poured itself into my head one night. I had to jump out of bed and take notes for two hours to record it all. It took me a year and a half of writing and editing to complete it.

SU: The protagonist of Hammerhead was a male starship breaker, set in the future. Erica Morgan is quite different from that. Was it difficult to shift into a different mindset to write her?
JAB: Writing this book made me think of William Faulkner’s comment on writing. I paraphrase very loosely as it’s been some time since I read it… He said that all he does is imagine interesting people in tough situations an then chase them with a pencil and paper as fast as he can. It feels like Erica Morgan came to me, sat down, and told me how to write her. Writing about a woman in an abusive relationship made me very uncomfortable at first. I didn’t want to sensationalize it at all because these things happen to women EVERY DAY and to go overboard would, in my mind, disrespect that reality. However, as I worked it just seemed that I was recording the story that she wanted to be told. I know that might come across as a bit crazed sounding, but it’s the truth.

SU: Are there any plans for a follow up to Mortal Remains? And a more personal question from me, any plans for a Hammerhead sequel, or another story set in that universe?
JAB: There’s a quote at the very end of Mortal Remains that says it all. I’ll let you all see it for yourself. :) As far as Hammerhead… Absolutely! I can’t wait to get back to Stacy and Leif and Jeffrey. I have the first scene and the general plot outline for Hammerhead Resurrection and am going to start full-time work on it now that Mortal Remains is done. The basic concept is that it is ten years later and the alien invaders return. There will be a lot of action, but I’m still going to focus the main development of the plot around a small group of key characters.

SU: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
JAB: What do you mean? African or European swallow?!?!
SU: Huh? I… I don’t know that. Aaaaaghhh!

Again, big thanks to Jason for his time in stopping by. MORTAL REMAINS is available for KINDLE (link); paperback coming soon. Still waiting to hear on other platforms – I’ll update this page when they become available. Unless he’s gone and signed up for KDP Select, in which case I TOTALLY disown him as a friend and rescind everything I said above.

Take a peek at Mortal Remains and Hammerhead, folks – Mr. Bond is a talented writer.

Comment below for a chance to win an autographed copy (after the paperback hits on October 4th). Don’t forget the qualifying requirement. Giveaway closes Saturday September 29th, good luck!

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A little fun for the weekend…

Can’t get this song or video out of my head. And I’m eternally thankful to the artist, Psy, as now I can dance in public without fear. Because I have ALWAYS danced Gangnam Style…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0]

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New SciFi work cover + title reveal! Okay, more title/less cover, I admit…

A couple of weeks ago I started work on a new military science fiction idea that had been stewing a bit in my mind – one that kept overshadowing the story I was working on so much, I decided to put the current story on hold and jump into the new one. One week and 10,000 words later, I was convinced that I was on the right track. So, like any patient person would do, I jumped the gun and commissioned cover art. Some may call it cart-before-the-horse, but I call it motivation. Now that someone else is working on artwork for the story I’m writing, I have to finish it. In other words:

THIS SH*T JUST GOT REAL, Y’ALL.

I gave a few chapters of the current work to the über-talented (hope that little umlaut worked) Josh Powers, who did the original artwork for my Gabriel trilogy, and he’s already throwing some great ideas back at me. So without further ado, the work-in-progress cover for LIBERATION, Book One of the Horde Wars:

Okay, okay – I pulled a fast one. This is just a tentative shell I’m starting with – Josh’s art will come later down the road, and may change a bit as the story progresses. And who knows, I may even change the title. I’m not yet 100% sold on “Horde” as the bad guys, nor 100% sold on “Liberation” as the final title. And of course, as always, I’ll continue to play with the fonts. But right now, it’s the flavor-du-jour, and I’m rolling with it.

The setting has been established, the characters mostly fleshed out, the conflict brewing, and the plot line worked out (for the most part…these things tend to write themselves in different directions as we go along). And now with a cover on the way, it’s time for me to get back to work.

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New Kindles announced…my thoughts on them and authordom going forward

If you’ve been living under an Internet-proof, lead-lined rock the last 24 hours, you may have missed the big story of the day, perhaps season. Amazon announced a whopping SIX new Kindles, including FOUR named Kindle Fire. Yep, a veritable conflagration of tablets they rolled out, and I can think of only two words to describe the announcement:

BRAVO and BOFFO

Admittedly, I’ve never actually used that second word, but it somewhat rhymes, plays on a little alliteration (and allowed me to say “little alliteration”), and I think it sums it up quite nicely.

Yes, four Fires can be confusing (the original and now updated at $159, the new and improved Fire HD at $199, the HD 8.9″ at $299, and the HD 8.9″ 4G at $499…and call me jealous of the last one’s $50 per YEAR 4G/LTE data plan), but what it all boils down to for me, a self-published author, is this

This will be one hell of a Christmas.

As if Amazon’s market share of ebooks wasn’t already great enough (I run around 65-70% Kindle sales versus others, though many authors I know exceed 90% regularly), they’ve shaken up the e-reader world once again with six very nice pieces of technology that will (a) cause some Kindle users to upgrade, get all happy at their new device, and buy some new books to put on it; but maybe more importantly (b) cause some market shift* from Nook/Kobo/Sony/squint-at-Blackberry-screen/stone-tablet-with-chisel users.

*Of course this is where Kindle’s proprietary mobi files cause some issues, but rest assured all of my books are DRM free, so with a little tinkering in Calibre they can easily be moved over to a new Kindle. Just sayin’…

My personal feeling is that the two biggest Kindles to come out of yesterday’s announcement are the $69 base model and the updated and price-reduced $159 Fire. Yes, the Fire HDs stole the show, and the Paperwhite (really Amazon, a name that close to paperweight??) looks like an even better version of the excellent Nook Glow. But in our still struggling economy, with plenty of eager readers still yet to move to an e-reader, I get the feeling that a whole heap o’ low end Kindles will be boxed, wrapped, and stuck under the tree in a few months.

Personally, it doesn’t matter to me which model, or even which brand, readers choose. But with this announcement, Amazon has once again vaulted to the forefront of both e-reader technology and readers’ minds. I would anticipate Kindle sales percentages for all authors will rise.

Disclaimer: Once the iPad mini is announced in October, ALL BETS ARE OFF.

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