Monday, August 26, 2013

Bigfoot is Stalking me ... or at least I think he is

I firmly believe that certain phenomenon will attach to individuals. I believe these select individuals are meant to see these unexplained and dismissed things. To tell about them, even though often times they are labeled as insane. Some are destined to see and will always see UFO’s, some see ghosts.  While I won’t deny seeing a UFO or ghosts, my attached phenomenon is Bigfoot or Sasquatch.
            It started when I was twelve. Just before I got kicked out of the girl scouts, while on a camping trip, I saw him. He was walking outside the cabin. I told everyone and ended up getting in trouble because I scared the other girls. I guess that was my ‘Girl Scout’ demise.
            Bigfoot is my obsession. Maybe that’s why in my book, Path to Utopia, Bigfoot is actually an alien race.
            I guess I stirred the kismet pot. The other night, while with friends, I recanted my tale on how I hit Bigfoot with my car two years ago. How I was driving down a dark road, he leapt from the hillside with glowing red eyes and a ‘huh’ shocked expression on his face. I nipped this huge creature with my car and he got up and ran away.
            My friends laughed at my tale, but I was serious. Oh, by the way, should you ever hit Bigfoot with your car do not tell the insurance company it was Sasquatch. Apparently, the animal/deductible forgiveness does not include our hairy friend.
            Tonight, I Dj’d at Dukes for my son. Driving home, it was eerily barren. Mid thinking of ‘Wow, this could be the apocalypse’, not one block from my house, just as I arrive at St. Joan’s, I saw him.
            The lurking hairy figure, caught my headlights, dropped a garbage can and ran across the road toward the small wooded area. I screamed, hit the brakes, he looked right at me, then jumped over the guardrail. Now it could have been a very big and hairy homeless man, who knows, but I pulled into my driveway. Heart racing, and yes, I was sort of scared, I picked up the phone. My daughter was in the house. Then I remembered her phone is broke and can only text. So I sent her a text, telling her to come out.

            While waiting for her, I looked in my rear-view mirror. I could see him. Just hiding in the trees.
            Many things went through my mind: Oh my God, please let that be Bigfoot and not some crazed hairy killer. And of course, My God, has he been looking for me since I hit him with my car two years ago.
            Still scared, I did the next best thing.
            “911, what’s your emergency?”
            I gave my name, address and followed it with. “I need to report Bigfoot.”
            “I’m sorry, repeat that.”
            “Bigfoot, Sasquatch. He was in the neighbor’s garbage and he’s right here. Right now. Help.”
            “Ma’am, you realize it is a federal offense to prank call emergency services.”
            “Why would I give my name and address if I were joking?”
            Huff. He huffed at me. “Are you sure it’s not a large animal?”
            “It’s large all right, but it’s not an animal. It could be a big homeless person in a fur coat. But can you send someone.”
            During this call for help, Veronica arrived at my car and got inside.
            After the call, she said she swore she saw something.
            That was it. I needed to be brave. Average response time is only a couple minutes for the police, so I grabbed my phone. I ignored the “Mom, please, don’t. Wait. Take the air soft gun it’s loaded.” And I headed across the road.
            I heard the rustle, the breathing and I just started snapping pictures. You’ll see below that I got something there. What it is, you can determine. I swear it’s Bigfoot. The police don’t concur. They said there was something in the pictures but they are looking for a seven foot man with long hair. That’s what they called in over the radio. They found an empty bucket of KFC and think it was just some big homeless guy looking for food.
            Big hairy homeless guy in the middle of Library Pa (population 640), looking for food at 1230 in the morning?
            Ok, yeah, right sure.
            This was a sign, my given, my chance. I start my search again tomorrow. Obviously, he wasn’t looking for the person who hit him two years ago, maybe he was. But he had ample time to attack, he didn’t. So he’s not dangerous.
            My stake out begins. I’m gonna back in the driveway, put some KFC on the hood of my car, slide down and just wait.

            I’ll keep you posted and hopefully, get better pictures.

>>>Below are pictures I took with my cell phone. The flash was on and there was a lot of reflection.  But look close. The first is a face in the trees, second a hard to see shoulder. You may have to click on to see. I also enlarged for ease <<<<<<

Friday, August 23, 2013

Freebie Weekend - Forty-Nine Shades of Pink (Take a peak)

Something different than my typical end of the world death and destruction. This weekend's free book is, Forty-Nine Shades of Pink.

Felix Cramer is a dashing, eccentric and effeminately gay poet who adores his life. That is, until he wakes up in the parking lot of a national chain coffee shop and discovers not only does he have a new identity, his old life has been erased.

Felix hasn’t a clue why it has happened.

Bound and determined to prove who he is, he embarks on a path of danger, mystery and scandalous behavior and will stop at nothing to reclaim his life. That is, of course, if his old life actually did exist.

Forty-Nine Shades of Pink is a comedic story of one man’s struggles. While it contains adult themes, it does not contain any graphic sex. (Sorry about that)

If you enjoy the chapter below, the book is FREE this weekend.

Download at AMAZON


Shade One – Shades of a Dark Pink

Sweet Jesus, what happened?
One moment I was in front of the coffee shop, giggling like a school girl playing with my whipped topping; the next I was on the ground beside my car.
People stood in a circle above me. They stared down at me, not with compassion but with perplexity. I suppose I would do the same. Probably thinking, “Who is this big man in a pleasant yellow shirt lying there?”
            Had I fainted? It was rather hot, but heat never made me faint. Plus, fainting isn’t a very manly thing to do to in public. I reserved that for when I was with friends; even then, it was triggered by a nervous reaction or bad smell.
            But I didn’t recall any of those occurring.
            “Mister, are you okay?” a voice asked.
            Before I answered, before I said anything, I glanced downward to make sure I hadn’t wet myself or done anything else disgusting. That would be embarrassing. Had I done so, I’d close my eyes, be nonresponsive and wait for the paramedics. At least those who hovered would dismiss my bodily misgivings as part of a seizure.
            I inconspicuously peeked down … dry. I clenched my butt checks … nothing there.
            I was good. Possibly a bad pose on the concrete was all I had to contend with.
            “Look, he has sunburn on one side of his face,” someone said. “Wow. How long has he been here?”
            Gasp. No one had seen me fall? How long was I there? Not only was I on the ground but I was lopsided in color. How pathetic.
            Apparently, they were waiting for help, because not a single person offered me assistance.
            Don’t move the man in the yellow shirt, they probably shouted.
            “I’m fine.” I muttered. “I think.”
            “Stay put, don’t try to move,” I was instructed.
            Who said what, I didn’t know; I had more people gathered around me in my fallen state than I had at my last poetry recital. Perhaps with such an engaged audience, it was time to spew forth titles of my poetry books.
            “Fallen leaves. Paperback. 7.99. Amazon.”
            “Someone get him water! He’s speaking nonsense.”
            Great. I sighed and just rested back.
            Really, what did happen? Things were fuzzy on how I had even got to the car.
            I quite clearly remember sitting outside the coffee shop. I brought my own folding chair because their metal ones were not only uncomfortable but wrinkled my pants.
The whipped topping was delightful, I remember that. They made it special for me, adding a dash of mint for the cool tingling feel against my tongue. Perfect on top of my frozen latte. It dazzled my mouth, and I moaned out an ‘mmm’ as I engaged in conversation with my best friend, Cee.
Cee, of course, isn’t her real name. It’s Simone. When I first met her a decade before, I told her that there was absolutely no way I was calling her Simone. It just brought visions of a sloppy tribal woman eating half-raw chicken with her fingers. Grease dribbling everywhere.
Cee was a blessing at the time when I met her, simplistic and fun. The type of woman who always seemed to be in dire need of a makeover, even if she just had one. Mainly because she really didn’t care and let the new look quickly slip back into the plain Jane realm.
Perhaps that was why she didn’t get my pleasure over the whipped topping.
“It can’t be that good,” she said.
“Simply amazing,” I replied. “Would be wonderful on a penis.”
She choked and coughed out my name, “Felix.”
“No, I’m serious. Not a big penis, that would be too much. A small one, it would be like one of those tiny desserts that hit the spot.”
She didn’t reply, she only laughed.
“That’s right,” I told her, “you’re a Catholic girl, you don’t do those things. I used to be a Catholic girl, but they wouldn’t let me wear the skirt so I went to public school.
            That was when I saw him. He brushed into my chair, said excuse me, and kept walking. I don’t know what he looked like but the rear view of his body was divine. His clothes were expensive. I could tell those things; I had designer radar.
“Cee, look at him. He’s a dream,”
She shrugged, not very impressed. “You only see him from behind.”
            “And your point.”
            “Felix, eat your whipped cream.”

            And I did. I finished it all before taking a sip of my drink. But from that moment on, I remember nothing. Nothing until I opened my eyes on the dirty ground.

To read more ... Download your free copy - AMAZON

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Great Marketing Challenge

As with most Indy authors, sales are important. When I first started to publish through Kindle, I checked my sales stats hourly, then daily. Now I barely check them, unless I have a new release or an ad campaign running.

It makes me neurotic. It makes me crazy. Why isn’t it selling. I spend hours re-evaluating my story, cover, price … you name it.

I depend on sales. I am very blessed and fortunate to be able to make a living off of writing. While it is an extreme budgeted living, I am still blessed. I tried working a part time job, a few hours a day. Although it didn’t cut into my writing time (I allow nothing to do that), it did however cut into my exposure time. The time I spent getting out there, spreading the word, reading and reviewing. And in turn, that showed in my sales. It proved to me that being a fulltime writer, doesn’t just entail a full time writing schedule, but a full time marketing schedule as well.

To make money you have to spend money and I firmly believe that. However, most of my ‘go to’ ad sites have strict guidelines, and the book has to have X amount of reviews. Here we are in a catch 22, it takes a while to get those reviews. By the time I get them, the book is selling.

It’s frustrating, after a few months of part time work and a new found appreciation for my hours again, I am going to experiment with marketing. I’ll post results of my efforts frequently, in hopes that my efforts can help other authors.

What I have planned will take effort and time, not to mention a little money. Not much money, because I am going to assume that all authors who try this are on an extreme budget as well.

Once a week post a sneak peek at one of my novels and run a three day special on that novel. So Fridays are free peek days. I get a few hundreds hits every time I post a sneak peek, yet I have not tapped into that for sales. That’s my bad.

Odd Gift Giveaways.
I accredit my daughter for this one. At the end of each month, I will do the giveaway blog. Anyone who leaves a comment will be entered in a drawing. They will receive a nifty gift (And not one of my books, they can have a book if they want in addition) But the gift will be good for anyone. Authors give away book, this author will give away a toaster or something like that.

Book Ads and Press Releases
This will take a while to see the results. I have my  ‘go to’ ad places, but they cost upwards of  $175. So what if for me and others, I located low cost ads. Look for the ten dollar bargain bin. Who knows. If one $200 ad can yield $400 in sales, then maybe I can make that strategy work with lesser ads. But I am still researching for those places.

Yeah, yeah, I know. But I don’t use this much. So, I’m gonna do a hashtag experiment. Instead of the annoying ‘buy my book’,  every hour or so, I’ll see what’s trending and post something witty or insightful about it, then comment on three people’s hashtag about it.  My hopeful results, more followers, more retweets, and more chance of that weekly sneak peak not being ignored.

So that’s my strategy. Will I stick to it? Who knows.  It’ll take some work, but it’s work I can do on the go and while cooking dinner.

Keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sneak Peak - Nodding

The Infection is to be released on August 9, 2013
In a small pocket of the world it has been in existence since the 1960’s.  A disease so feral, it strikes eighty percent of all children under the age of fifteen. For decades it has pushed the boundaries into three countries. Those infected become mere shells, often in a ‘zombie’ like state followed by violent tantrums. There is no hope, no treatment and there is no cure.

Little is known about the sickness known as Nodding Disease. Information regarding it is often buried deep. But what would happen if the resilient disease mutates and breaks into heavily populated areas? With a infection rate of eighty percent, our future could all but be eliminated along with our young.

Nodding takes an emotional and fictional look at this very real disease.

In Nodding, the disease has mutated. Following an outbreak in the UK,  a global pandemic ensues. The young victims are so violent, they are a danger to all those around them. The bacteria is resistant to any treatment and deadly to any adult exposed. Governments must make decision as time runs out for humanity, and worse, parents must face their most heart wrenching decisions.


Chapter One


Heathrow Airport – London: Patient Zero

Ren Turner was little enough to dart in and out of people standing at the gate to retrieve his ball. At six years old he was old enough to annoy people and his mother knew it. Shelly Turner was already at her wits’ end. She just wanted to get back to her home in Virginia. That, she knew, was a long way off.
Her husband had left with the other children, the older ones, three days earlier. Shelly stayed behind with Ren, who had a fever, sniffles, and a diagnosis of the common flu, which kept them in London longer. Ren felt better; he exhibited that as he raced around chasing his ball.
They called their flight number and the passengers boarded. Shelly called his name with a scold, “Ren, now.” He hurried to his mother’s side.
The man in front of her just smiled when Ren bumped into his legs.
“I am so sorry,” Shelly told him. “He is just wired.”
“That’s fine, I have two boy of my own,” he said. “All grown now. Although back in the day, a little dose of cold medicine did the trick on flights.”
Shelly winced. “I think that’s the problem. I gave him some. It did the opposite.”
The man smiled. “Ah, hyper first. He’ll crash on the plane.” He winked. “Bet me.”
“Let’s hope.” Shelly chuckled. “It’s a long flight.”

They boarded. Ren argued with his mother that he wanted to sit in the aisle seat. Shelly agreed reluctantly then realized it probably was the best thing. At least he would only bother the person by the window. Sitting three across would make for a long flight, but it was the first flight back to the States that they could get.
Ren remained restless until they allowed electronics to be used, and then he was consumed with his game.
Shelly made small talk with the woman next to her, telling her story of how the family had to return home at different times. It was the first time, Shelly informed the woman, that the entire family was able to go on a story with her husband. He was a journalist with a huge news organization. They hadn’t been home in months, but the children did get to see three continents and eight countries.
The conversation passed some time. It was when the woman next to her to said, “I think that cold medicine is finally kicking in,” that Shelly glanced at Ren.
His eyes fluttered and his head nodded.
She smiled. “You’re tired now, baby. Here …” She reached around him. “Let me put back your seat.”
Just as she reached to do so, Ren’s eyes popped open wide.
“Ren?” she questioned.
He hissed. Long and loudly. Ren hissed again, shot a glare to Shelly, and before she could register what was occurring, he jumped from his seat.
Fast, like a scurrying cat, he raced over the tops of the seats and the heads of the passengers and flung his body at the flight attendant who stood at the front of the aisle.
The weight of his small body with the raging momentum knocked the flight attendant off balance, and they both fell to the floor.
With an angry growl and rapid blurred movements, Ren’s hands whipped about. His hands clawed into the flight attendant repeatedly, shredding her skin, ripping her apart as if he were digging for a buried treasure all while his mouth bit, pulled, then spat her flesh.
She screamed in horror, blooding pouring from every wound.
Shelly had lunged forward when Ren first took off, but her attempts to grab him were futile, and lifting him from the flight attendant was impossible.
She cried out his name hysterically, pleading him to stop, calling for help.
It took four male passengers and an air marshal to seize Ren. However, the five of them couldn’t control him and they eventually had to restrain him.
Even restrained, Ren struggled and thrashed like a rabid animal and did so the entire return trip back to London.
He was out of control, didn’t respond to Shelly at all, nor to any attempts to calm him.

What had happened to her son? Shelly was at a loss and buried in a world of confusion and pain. There was nothing she could do but watch her child and sob from the bottom of her heart.