Wednesday, August 10, 2022

My Book Launch: Half Moon Lake by Steve Brock

 



HALF MOON LAKE

Steve Brock
Independent
187 pp.
Suspense 

Crease Williams lived a charmed life with a bright future. Only in his junior year at Texas Christian University, his skills as a wide receiver had already captured the attention of NFL scouts.

Then a tragedy cost him his family and his desire to play football. Personally devastated, he left his old life behind and got as far from Ft. Worth, TX, and football as he could get.

Keeping mostly to himself, he became a float-plane pilot in the far north of Minnesota. Flying fisherman and hunters into remote locations was how he spent his time. When a group he had flown to Roudy’s Cabin goes missing, he faces accusations and more turmoil than he could have ever imagined. To make matters worse, his quiet existence is upturned by an element from his past bent on vengeance.

Half Moon Lake is Steve Brock’s first novel. A suspenseful mystery written with likable characters and a lighthearted flavor.

Release Date: March 30, 2022

Publisher:  Steve Brock

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-0578391977; 187 pages; $9.99; Kindle Unlimited FREE

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3knaPfd

Book Excerpt:

The Bobcat Bar and Grill was rockin’. In the center of a raised stage that faced a collection of round wooden tables and ladder-back chairs, a middle-aged R and B diva gyrated her hips to the music. With a double-fisted death grip on a stand-up microphone, she belted out lyrics: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T…Find out what it means to me…” The stage lights created spheres of pink and blue fog in the smoke-filled atmosphere. A saxophone player swung his horn back and forth in rhythm with the music, while the keyboard player stood and pounded the keys of a baby grand piano like they insulted his sister. The diva ended the song with a flourish and the already dancing crowd erupted with applause.

          The singer announced a quick break while the more intoxicated in the crowd continued to clap in appreciation. When the noise subsided, a uniformed deputy sitting at the bar looked at the keyboard player and said, “I hate to be a killjoy, but don’t you think we ought to get our prisoner to the station, Sheriff?” He nodded his head toward a scruffy-looking character in handcuffs next to him.

          Still smiling from the moments on stage, Sheriff Maurice Broussard replied, “Yeah, you’re right, Joe. Let’s pack him up and go.”

          As he spoke, he felt a hand on his shoulder. The sax player said, “Come back and sit in with us again, Mo.”

          “Count on it. I’ll be back,” the sheriff said with a big smile. The 10-15 call was the reason they came to the Bobcat, but Sheriff Mo couldn’t resist the chance to relive his jazz band days back on Bourbon Street in a previous life.

          He was a native of New Orleans, but like so many others, Katrina had forced him to flee north on a temporary relocation. At least, that was the original plan. Once here, he found some stability that he lacked before. The weather took some getting used to, but it was otherwise a nice place to live, so he decided to stay. Being county sheriff wasn’t something he’d ever considered before he came here, but he found it agreed with him.

          He and his deputy each grasped an arm of the scruffy-looking man and led him out the door and to the car. Obviously inebriated, the prisoner asked, “What am I being arrested for?"

          Joe shook his head and said, “I’ve told you twice already."

          “For being a drunken asshole,” Mo said. “You can be an asshole, and you can get drunk, but you can’t do both, not around here.”

________________________

 


I’ve been an author in search of a novel for just about forty years now. Writing was the first thing I ever wanted to do seriously. Over the years I’ve done quite a variety of things. My first real job, the kind where you have a schedule and get paid hourly, was as a cook at the local Sonic Drive-In. I’ve been a machinist, a forklift driver, a production worker, a computer programmer, an IT guy, an installation manager, a software trainer, and an education department manager. Those are just the employment highlights. Through it all, I was a husband and father, and I attended college at night to get my bachelor’s degree in technology management.

Before all that started, I wanted to be a writer. It just didn’t work out that way. Maybe that’s ok, I’ve had a good life and I have a wonderful family that I am proud to have. I don’t regret any of what I’ve done to support my family over the years. The desire to write has persisted, however, and I took a look at my odometer one day and it read 61 years old. None of us know how high our personal odometer will go, but I knew if I was ever going to be a writer, now was the time.

I’m bringing my lifetime of experience to my novel writing. Many of my characters are loosely based upon people I’ve known in real life. Some of my plot elements are also influenced by real-life experiences as well. As of this writing, my first novel, Half Moon Lake, will be published on Amazon in a few weeks. I have begun work on my second book as well. I hope you will take time to register your email address so I may keep you apprised of announcements and special offers. I’d be thrilled to count you as one of my first dedicated readers.

Steve Brock’s latest novel is Half Moon Lake.

You can visit his website at www.BrockNovels.com or connect with him at Twitter.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Book Launch Q&A: Palmer Pickering Author of Moon Deeds #booklaunch

 



Palmer Pickering has been writing fiction since she was eight. She received her BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University, with concentrations in Religion and Race Relations.

She currently works in Silicon Valley in the gaming industry and high tech. In addition, Palmer holds a certificate in Chinese Acupressure, is a certified solar panel installer, and studied Tibetan Buddhism with the 14th Dalai Lama.

She lives and writes in the magical redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, California.

Her latest book is the scifi fantasy for adults, Moon Deeds: Star Children Saga Book One.

You can visit her website at www.MythologyPress.com or connect with her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

INTERVIEW 

After your book was released, what was the first thing you did when getting ready for your book launch?

 

I let all my beta readers know, and they told their friends. They were very enthusiastic about the release of my book, and they helped spread the word.


After that, what was your next step?


I bought a bunch of ads, including social media ads, Amazon ads, and radio ads. I contacted a bunch of reviewers, I posted the book on Netgalley, and I called independent bookstores.


Did you do anything different to spice up your website in lieu of your upcoming book release? 


Yes, I hired a different website designer to make it more modern and to work well across PCs and mobile.


Did you ever consider using a PR agency to help you promote your book or did you prefer the DIY route?


I actually work with multiple PR professionals to help spread the word about my books, mostly for blog tours and getting readers and reviewers interested, but I’m not using a full-service PR firm. I am a member of Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), and they manage a bunch of really good promotional activities for you, such as
Netgalley, book fairs, librarian outreach, press outreach, radio ads, etc.


Were finding reviews a top priority for you and, if yes, how did you approach that? 


Yes, reviews are key. I bought some reviews from review services such as
Readers Favorite, I entered several contests that also post reviews, and I contacted a lot of Goodreads reviewers directly. Now I am reaching out to people on Twitter, doing author swaps, and participating in several blog tours.


What are your views on social media for marketing your book? 


It’s a lot of effort for not a lot of sales. I hope that the name recognition of putting the book info out on a lot of social media channels will have a positive effect over time, but there is so much content out on the internet, it’s difficult to break through the noise.


What social media has worked best for you? 


I measure my sales results and Goodreads adds realtime, and here are the things that resulted in the biggest bumps: 1. Newsletters such as BookGorilla. 2. Goodreads giveaway. 3. Reviews posted by a few bloggers with loyal followers. 4. Amazon ads.


Did you write a press release and do you think it worked for you?


I did write a press release. I used it as part of my PR packet when I contactednbookstores and when I did a press release email blast via IBPA. Otherwise, it did notnserve much use. I only got two hits from the press release blast from not very interestingnpublications, and I got very few bookstores to carry my book, but I attribute that toncalling them on the phone and speaking with the buyer directly.



Did you create a book trailer?


 I did create a book trailer. Here is the 0:60 version. I posted it on TikTok (via a boost/paid placement ad) and Facebook (via a boost/paid ad) and got tens of thousands of views, thousands of likes, hundreds of reposts, and dozens of comments, but almost no book sales as a result.
https://youtu.be/Xt13Js_M-P4

 

What was the best money you ever spent on your book launch?


Joining IPBA


Any tips for those authors wanting to set up a successful book launch?  


Set aside time to do outreach however you can to generate interest in your book.

Keep it up for at least three months. Try different things and see what works for you.

Develop relationships in the indie book world and with other authors. 


Keep it up. Don’t think that lack of huge sales means your work is no good. You are literally competing with millions of books. In my experience, I worked hard for every reader and reviewer.

It’s a slog, but I am slowly developing a loyal reader base. Don’t give up! 


And keep writing. As a successful indie author friend told me, “Your best advertisement is your next book.”


BOOK DETAILS





Title: MOON DEEDS: STAR CHILDREN SAGA BOOK ONE
Author: Palmer Pickering
Publisher: Mythology Press
Genre: Adult Fantasy/Science-Fiction

Book Blurb:

“The path to power is cloaked in shadows, so if you avoid all the shadows, you’ll never learn anything.”

It’s 2090: the last outpost of freedom is the moon, the best defense against technology is magic, and the only hope for humankind rests in the hands of the Star Children.

Twins Cassidy and Torr must save Earth from a ruthless enemy at a time when the only force more powerful than alien technology is magic. Moon Deeds launches the siblings’ journey across the galaxy, where they must learn their power as the Star Children, claim their shamanic heritage, and battle dark forces that threaten humankind.

The Star Children Saga follows Cassidy and Torr as they slowly awaken to their destiny as the twin Star Children, born every millennium to reconnect with the source of all life. They come to discover the sheer enormity of their task: to find our ancestors on a lost planet across the galaxy and save humanity from a spiraling descent into darkness. The powers they must wield to accomplish this task are truly frightening and put at risk everything they love.

Come along with twenty-year-old twins Cassidy and Torr, who inherited deeds to land parcels on the moon. They want to use their moon deeds to get off Earth and escape a brutal dictatorship. But first they must unlock their shaman powers.

A rollicking yet poignant adventure in the not too distant future, when we have colonized the moon and nearly lost Earth to a dictatorship. Only the shamans remain free, plus the lucky ones who escaped to the moon.

Join the adventure! An addictive space opera, science-fantasy series.

“This is a marvelous book. The characters are compelling, complex, and emotional. The future described is neither all evil nor all good, and it’s described so realistically that I can still feel the moon dust in my nose and expect to see large packing containers around every corner. The text is delightfully written with none of the bad grammar that makes picky people like me wince even in an otherwise great story. Alas, this is just the first book of the series, and it appears I’ll have to wait a whole year for the next one. I really need to know *now* what happens next!” – Garden Reader

“I was totally captivated by this story. It is set just far enough into our future that I could see it all unfold. This tale has it all, mystery, magic, aliens, war, family, friendship and love. The authors ability to paint landscapes with words is amazing! I can not wait for book two to come out. I must know the fate of the Star Children!” – VR

“Anything dealing with the moon is almost immediately mystical and magical. Throw in a heart racing adventure and characters that will leave a mark on your heart and you have a masterpiece!” – Taylor Johnson (Educator, Netgalley)

“I found this novel to be as much a psychological thriller as it is a science fiction adventure, and the draw-in happens almost instantly. This is unquestionably one of the best books I’ve read this year and Pickering has roped in an entire family as new fans. I’d give Moon Deeds a whole bucket of stars if I could.” – Asher Syed (Readers’ Favorite)

“There is so much to love about this book, from its complex and intricately woven plot filled with tension, strife, and discovery, to the personal attachment you begin to build with the characters due to finely executed character building, engaging personalities, and difficulties in both moral dilemmas and situations. The pace is perfect to build tension, and I loved the length of this book.” – K.J. Simmill (Readers’ Favorite)

Book Information

Release Date: May 25, 2019

Publisher: Mythology Press

Soft Cover: ISBN: ‎ 978-1732568808; 598 pages; $21.99; E-Book, $.99; Audiobook, FREE.

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt13Js_M-P4

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uKWq2o

Barnes & Noble:  https://bit.ly/3rQteFx





Thursday, July 7, 2022

Book Launch Q&A: M.N. Grenside Author of Fall Out #booklaunch

 



Mark Grensideborn and raised in London, began his working career straight out of school at Lloyds of London, specializing in Kidnap, Ransom and Extortion Insurance. At 25 it was time for a career change and to dump the suit and tie, so he started his media career working for Jim Henson and The Muppets©. From that moment on he has been involved in Entertainment and nearly every aspect of it.

He went on to create and produce several television series and mini-series. At the same time, he started a music management company launching million seller artist Neneh Cherry.

In 2004 he arranged the US $250 million buy-out of the Hallmark Channel International which was then successfully sold to NBC. He returned to producing a number of movies and mini-series.

He has recently morphed into a serial entrepreneur and is now a co-founder of seed to shelf CBD producer Dragonfly Biosciences (www.dragonflybiosciences.com) and a founder in two separate digital companies.

In addition to his love of cooking, an unhealthy amount of time and money is lavished on a collection of classic cars that he has raced all over the world. He enjoys risk and has parachuted in New Zealand, scuba-dived in the Pacific, hang-glided in the Himalayas and even tobogganed down the Cresta Run. In nearly every case chasing after his wife who is utterly fearless!

He is now writing the follow up to Fall Out, entitled The Bastion. In addition, he writes a humorous blog with subscribers in more than 40 countries. www.andanotherthing.com

He has two grown sons, two daughters’-in-law, three grandchildren and lives in Malta with his wife and two French bulldogs.

Mark’s latest book is the thriller, Fall Out.

You can visit his website at www.MNGrenside.com and his blog at www.AndAnotherThing.com or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

 
INTERVIEW 

After your book was released, what was the first thing you did when getting ready for your book launch?

I danced a JIG! Sadly, due to Covid all my launch events to include my book tour and party were cancelled! On the actual launch day, my wife and I opened a bottle of champagne on our balcony full of balloons. However, I did several TV and Radio interviews where I live as well as a number of podcasts internationally. 

After that, what was your next step?

Getting my head around social media to create promotions and increase followers which was a huge learning curve.  After much toing and froing, I became active on Twitter (@mngrenside), Facebook (@mgrenside), Instagram (@mngrenside), LinkedIn (@markgrenside) and more recently on TikTok

 In addition, I have my own humorous blog (www.andanotherthing.com) which is in 40 countries.

Did you do anything different to spice up your website in lieu of your upcoming book release? 

Goodness yes! I spent a considerable amount of time and money creating my author website. I updated the pages, changed the user journey and tried to make it more engaging. Check it out on www.mngrenside.com as well as my own humorous blog (www.andanotherthing.com) which is in 40 countries.

Did you ever consider using a PR agency to help you promote your book or did you prefer the DIY route?

I did both.  The more promotion the better so I tried to cover every angle.  Constantly trying to think outside the box.

Were finding reviews a top priority for you and, if yes, how did you approach that? 

It was absolutely a top priority.  Especially with Amazon due to the marketing algorithms.  The more reviews you receive the more Amazon promotes you which in turn drives sales.  I was very fortunate that early on Fall Out received some terrific reviews from both Oscar Nominated and Multi Emmy winning Producers underscoring the accuracy of depicting the real world of Hollywood.  Next, I set into action networking with friends, colleagues, and family members to buy the book and leave a review on both Amazon and Goodreads.

What are your views on social media for marketing your book? 

In simple terms it is crucial. In this day and age, the fastest way to reach readers is through social media.  When my book launched my wife and I made a list of social influencers together with famous people that we either knew personally or could get to through other contacts.  One well known personality and influencer posted a photo and rave review of the book to his 7.5 million followers on Twitter.  This was a Godsend both in new book sales and new Twitter followers.  Never underestimate how much publicity you can create on your own.

What social media has worked best for you? 

It varies as I believe each one targets different groups.  Twitter is definitely a driver but creating posts and videos on Instagram can show more of your personality.

Did you write a press release and do you think it worked for you?

Yes a Press release was written for the book and it proved to be extremely valuable. It was put out on a worldwide press wire and was picked up by loads of publications internationally that I would never have been in otherwise. That proved to be the best value for money during the launch.

Did you revamp your author’s page at Amazon in any way to prepare for the launch (https://authorcentral.amazon.com/)?

Yes. I went onto Amazon, Goodreads, etc. to add my photo together with my biography.

Did you create a book trailer?

My publisher created a small book trailer.

https://mngrenside.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/mngrenside-teaser.mp4?_=1

What was the best money you ever spent on your book launch?

Probably a really great bottle of wine! Actually, I would say it was paying for the Press Wire.

Any tips for those authors wanting to set up a successful book launch?  

Don’t leave anything to the publisher you can do yourself.


BOOK DETAILS



Title: FALL OUT
Author: M.N. Grenside
Publisher: BloodHound Books
Pages: 455
Genre: Thriller

Book Blurb:

“A page-turning, jaw-dropping thriller of action and surprise. A riveting debut.” – Damien Lewis, international bestselling author

An LA screenwriter is killed shortly after completing his latest script, FALL OUT – a thriller destined to be a blockbuster but written with a secret double purpose.  Echoing events from the past, the screenplay is sent to a very specific group of people and will change their lives forever.  All are connected to a movie that had abruptly stopped shooting in the jungles of the Philippines years before.  FALL OUT exposes the truth about a conspiracy and murder that led to a half-a-billion-dollar fortune for a select few.

Follow the story of Producer Marcus Riley, who sets out on an increasingly dangerous quest to get FALL OUT made.  From a powerful agent’s office in Hollywood, hidden treasures in Belgravia and a remote chalet in the Swiss Alps to murder at the Cannes Film Festival, Marcus teams up with designer Melinda (Mako) de Turris as they and the other recipients of the screenplay are pursued by an assassin from the past.

With clues cleverly concealed in the screenplay, Marcus and Mako unravel a lethal puzzle that for some will bring death, others the truth and ends in a cave with a shocking secret…

“If you want a fast-paced stand out different thriller, I can’t recommend Fall Out enough. I loved it.” —Emma Forbes, broadcaster

“Amazing . . . I agree with all the other reviews that have stated if you like Dan Brown or James Patterson, then this book is for you.” —Joyful Antidotes

“And, action! Plenty of it and super nasty bad guys and stories so outrageously crazy they can only be true . . . Fall Out is inventive and, at times intentionally filmic . . . The fun doesn’t stop for 440 pages.” —Booksplainer

Book Information

Release Date: August 27, 2021

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1912666751; 400 pages; $13.46; Kindle: ASIN: B09C1PJNZ4; 480 pages; $4.99; FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED, FREE AUDIOBOOK WITH AUDIBLE TRIAL

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3M133DQ

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3Fz1DhI  

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fall-out-11


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

My Book Launch: Ignatius and The Swords of Nostaw by D.A. Mucci

 



IGNATIUS AND THE SWORDS OF NOSTAW
D.A. Mucci
St. Barts Publishing
294
YA / Fantasy 

…languages, witty retorts, and running from a fight.

Now he is faced with his first days in high school…

…Is there anything worse than high school?

When a clever, peace-making verbal volley failed, and the guy pulled a switch blade, Iggy took off. A locket he wore warmed up. Suddenly, he wasn’t in Susquehanna, PA anymore. Before he could gather his wits…

…someone had tackled him.

Pinned on the ground, his assailant bade him, be quiet. Something was going on just up ahead. A horrifying-looking knight in black armor, and a strange looking creature were locked in battle.

The knight won.

The large dog-bird beast, lay dying. Iggy sensed evil had won. When the man let him up, they eased forward to see if the dog-bird beast was dead.

No. And with its dying words…

…the warrior gave Iggy his swords.

And thus, Ignatius adventure began.

“A beautiful read.” — Robin Roberts, as seen on Good Morning America

★★★★★“D.A. Mucci does such a great job of creating a universe that is entirely fantastical yet believable and relatable. Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw has an almost Harry Potter-ness to it in that we are guided into this world through the eyes of a character who is learning of it the same as the reader and who is a character very similar to its target audience. But, it is also entirely different in a good way. I have honestly not taken to a fantasy novel as much as this one in quite a long time. The author is an excellent storyteller and writer.” — Kate Leboff

★★★★★ Right from the start this story is breathtaking in how much detailed surrounding the kingdom of Skye… a once luscious and beautiful place that had been filled with animals and people. Now it’s a kingdom with no beating heart. In desperate for a hero, a teen named Iggy finds himself becoming the hero these people need. Mastering a set of growing magic skills in a challenge but its mastering the skills in handling the towering secrets that are claiming Skye is something else altogether. A wondrous journey in a finely painted world. Highly recommended.”—Lori Goodreads review

★★★★★“The author managed to create quite intriguing magical world full of fantastic beasts, some of which are not what you typically expect from beasts – they are mighty warriors, living in seclusion, whose abilities in battles are legendary. The world building is really nice and takes your imagination to amazing places. Combine this with an awkward, introvert and insecure boy who gets swallowed into the greatest adventure of his life, one which is too big for him to understand at a time, but he grows and shows his worth and true power. Definitely recommend this book.”—Lia Goodreads review

Book Information

Release Date: October 10, 2021

Publisher:  St. Barts Publishing

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1737277804; 294 pages; $9.99; E-Book, FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ooqGwz

Book Excerpt:

The towering stone Castle Maol, the unrivaled seat of power in the Kingdom of Skye, sat inland almost bereft of life. 

Once known for its inspirational beauty, Skye’s forests and meadows were more barren than green now, enveloped by stillness instead of bustling wildlife. Lakes and waterways once teeming with marine life lay stagnant. Most of those who lived here survived under gray clouds of despair.

Several of the eldest knew of the prophecy that would return the land to its prior golden age and quietly hoped it was true.

Only a handful knew the secret that would allow the prophecy to come true. They refused to speak of it. 

________________________

 

Months of self-induced isolation to protect loved ones from exposure to Covid-19 led Emergency Medicine Physician David Mucci to create a fantasy world as an outlet to manage pandemic stress and support his own mental health.  The resulting novel, Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw (St. Bart’s Publishing, October 2021), tells the tale of an impossible mission led by an unlikely hero – a relatable feeling for many figuring out how to survive unprecedented circumstances in 2020.

Accustomed to acting quickly to save a life or manage an urgent health situation by applying the knowledge and experience gained over his nearly 40 years in emergency medicine, Dr. Mucci deeply felt the impact of the pandemic in the ER.

“Amongst widespread unknowns, without comparable experiences to help manage patient outcomes while trying to keep up on ever-changing medical news to treat suffering patients, the pandemic was a higher level of stress to endure.  Coupled with the deep fear of bringing a deadly virus into my home after ER shifts, I needed to dig deeper than TV binges or reading books to cope and to remember the potential each person has to be a hero in everyday life,” said Mucci.

The product of his creative outlet is the coming-of-age story of 15-year-old Ignatius, “Iggy”, who is thrown into a world of unknowns, transported to a medieval world filled with magic.  Based on research of myths and legends, Mucci created The Kingdom of Skye, the setting for Iggy to develop special powers and accomplish quests to fight evildoers and find his way home.

According to Mucci, Iggy must learn to trust a diverse set of characters but also learn to believe in himself and grow; much like as a medical provider, Mucci had to trust himself, trust his colleagues and learn how to adapt during the pandemic.

The first in a planned 5-part series, Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw is YA fantasy suitable for both teens and adults as it gently reminds readers that they are responsible for their own destiny, and that sometimes the most unexpected people can be the best teachers.

At 67 years old writing a YA Lit fantasy series, Mucci is also proving that there is no limit for being creative.  “The only limitation is the one that you place on yourself and on your imagination,” says Mucci.

Visit his website at https://damucci.com or connect with him on Facebook.