Cover Reveal: Trilogy Book 2 – The African Connection

Well, last week I released the cover of book 1 of my new trilogy set to be released soon.  I couldn’t hold back on the cover for book 2, so here they are together.  I’m getting real excited about releasing these stories. A timeline will be revealed shortly. Hope you like what you see!

Forgotten Child Trilogy Book1 FrontCoverFinal

TrilogyBook2theAfricanConnectionFRONTCOVER

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I Need a Shoehorn for Life

For the past eleven years, my professional dress consisted of sandals, dress shorts, and a button-down, collared shirt with those little slits at the bottom that made it look like it didn’t need to be tucked in. Comfort was the life.

Well, no more. Now, everyday, I’m spiffed up like a Manhattan businessman, minus the jacket.  It was a tragic day when I realized my toes would no longer be free to enjoy the morning air, destined to a daily dark dungeon surrounded by a woven cloth, inside a hard outer shell. If that sounds like my feet are hostage, they are. Literally.

Well, if I had to dress-up, I decided to do it right and bought myself a few nice pairs of shoes. Knowing that mature adults take care of their shoes and do not just force their foot into the heel with a finger used as a wedge. No. I bought a shoehorn. The first one of my life.

I have come to a realization: SHOEHORNS ARE MAGICAL!

Within the course of three blissful seconds, my gargantuan, monstrous morphs into a petite size six for a smooth and effortless slide into my shoe. It’s stupendous. Shoehorn, what spell have you cast upon this land that makes giant plodding steps a mere light jaunt in the park?

Seriously. I had no idea they worked so well. In fact, every engineer in the world should stop what they are doing right now and begin work immediately on a shoehorn for life.

Imagine a device that could movinghorn furniture through a narrow door.

Imagine a device that could shoppinghorn groceries into a bag.

Imagine a device that could learninghorn a college education into your brain with one slick slide.

Imagine a device that could lifehorn your daily routine into a sane and manageable packet.

Why are shoehorns only made for feet?

 

 

 

COVER REVEAL – A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far

After much agonizing and debating, it’s all settled, and I’m thrilled to share with you the cover of book 1 of The Forgotten Child Trilogy. Here it is!

Forgotten Child Trilogy Book1 FrontCoverFinal

There’s much I could say about this book cover. I’ll explain it all in more detail at another time, but I wanted to get it out there. I hope you like it as much as I do. I’m going to be revealing book covers 2 and 3 soon as well, and I even like them better!

But for now, I can’t wait to get this book into the hands of readers. A timeline will be available soon. Release date not far away.

The Forgotten Child Trilogy – Coming Soon!

I can scarcely remember when I started writing this trilogy. I believe it was in December of 2015 that I began dabbling with the idea. I had a strange visual of a tiny person in a white robe, eating a pomegranate while hovering over top of the bed of an old man sleeping. That image was the genesis of this trilogy. I had no idea what it meant or who these people were, but I had so much fun discovering it!

It turns out that the old man sleeping was none other than Manhattan businessman Francis Frick. He’s quite a character as you will see. He’s not the most pleasant person to be around as his daughter Ruthy Frick knows all too well.

And what about that strange flying being eating pomegranates over his bed? Well, her name is Bee. She’s also quite the character, opposite of Mr. Frick in just about every way imaginable. But it seems like their destinies are linked. An otherworldly being, and her faithful companion Ash, will have to deal with Mr Francis Frick if they are to achieve their goal – save a child in history who never mattered – that is, The Forgotten Child.

This is an adventure through time spanning four continents and one-hundred years. From Scotland to Cambodia, from the South Pacific to Africa, from Romania to Manhattan, get ready for a new adventure into the heart of the 20th century. Bee will be your guide, and she’s a lovely little person with which to spend the afternoon.

Official blurb to follow. Book 1 Cover Reveal Tomorrow.

The Forgotten Child Trilogy

BOOK 1: A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far  (RELEASING SOON)

BOOK 2: The African Connection (mid 2018)

BOOK 3: The Forgotten Child  (early 2019)

side by side coming soon

Enter the Fall Giveaway!

Hi Friends,

I’ve teamed up with the Kindle Book Review to giveaway a $400 Amazon gift card. Yes, you could do some serious reading with that baby!

So please do stop by enter and help promote my book “A Love Story for a Nation.” By the way, it’s a great story. A timely one. Some have called it a modern day tall-tale and I kind of like that description. Please check it out.

Enter the giveaway HERE!

Read an excerpt of my book HERE! (It’s got a great star rating and some killer reviews!)

Thanks for your support!

fall giveaway2

Are you feeling lucky, Photoshop?

I know. I know. I’m an author. Leave the design work for the professionals. And don’t EVER attempt to design your own book cover. Foolish, it is.

I agree with all of the above, and yet …

I can’t help but tinker.

When I use Photoshop, it’s 10% know-how, 30% You Tube videos, and 60% dumb luck! I have, at times, designed things which I consider acceptable. I’ve even had some people occasionally mention how my skills are getting better. But the reality is, Photoshop is a supped up 50s convertible and I approach it with a screwdriver made for eye glasses. It’s a bad miss match.

However, I’ve been getting lucky lately a little more often than I have in the past. I had toyed around with the design of my new book and I got to the place where I felt it was nearly acceptable. I received some feedback from folks, mostly positive, and kept messing with the minutia until I thought I was finished. I was even going to seek some professional help to clean it up and then design the book’s sequel. I had tried once to use the same template to create book 2 but it was disastrous, so I abandoned the idea.

Until about a week ago. For some reason, on a particularly creative and cocky day, I decided to work on book 2 again. And voila! Within a matter of 10 minutes, I got lucky. Perfect photo, edited into the background, I was amazed at how good it looked. It was in fact way better than the cover I thought was acceptable for book 1. This burst of creativity led me to try to create a cover for book 3, even though I haven’t written it yet. After another short period of creation, I had book 3, it looked fantastic, way better, in fact than that book 1. I was lucky again. Twice in one week.

That made me go back to the book 1 cover again and I started a redesign, one that I never would have thought of six months ago as I was designing it. One idea led to the next and I finagled enough luck out of my keyboard to substantially improve the cover for book 1.

So is it luck? Or am I getting better?

I’m convinced that’s it both. I’m not a good enough designer that I can set out with a goal in mind and make it happen. Oh no, those are the real artists. But I am at the point where I can take what I have, work with a bunch of scenarios until I will hopefully come across one combination which I will be satisfied with.

That’s where I am with Photoshop. I can easily spend three enjoyable hours cutting, erasing, editing, recoloring, combining, and importing all kinds of items in the search of the elusive good design. It’s a welcome respite from writing, a different type of creativity which is fun and challenging.

So whatever it is that you enjoy doing, even though you feel like an amateur, keep at it. You might find that you end up getting lucky more often than not. And soon you’ll realize that your luckiness is not the result of random accidents.

NOTE: I’ll be releasing these covers in the near future. Hope you like them.

Adding an Element of the Supernatural to My Writing

My writing, especially my novels, for the most part have been grounded in real life. It’s my nature to keep things focused on the tangible. I love stories of humanity, embedded in history and real-life drama. It’s what I seek in my movie-watching as well. I’ll take “The Bridge of Spies” over any Marvel movie any day of any week of any year. (Please, I hope I don’t get started on super hero movies. Please, no.) The only place I have dabbled in the strange and unrealistic is with my one-act short plays. I’ve written a bunch of crazy stuff, even about inanimate objects, but they are still all meant to tell human stories even if there are no humans in the story.

My novels, on the other hand have always been protected from the craziness. My debut novel, Beauty Rising, focused on a tragic story about thirty-something who finally grows up when he takes his father’s ashes to Vietnam. My second novel, The Recluse Storyteller, is about a secluded, lonely woman who tells wild stories to herself. The Reach of the Banyan Tree is my historical Vietnam novel about three generations of American men who were affected by Vietnam during three different time periods. A Love Story for a Nation is about an ex-writer, who after experiencing a terrible tragedy, decides to protest a brutal government regime by standing quietly in the city square. And finally, Which Half David is about a mission worker in Southeast Asia who becomes tempted by an old flame.

Human stories, real life, tragedy, drama, heart-gripping dialogue, and humor. No crazy fantasy or supernatural elements.

Until now.  And it’s a trilogy.

My soon-to-be-named trilogy is two-thirds written. Book one is having its final edit as I write. It’s coming soon. I have a book cover – still not revealed. Book two is finished. I’m working through it’s second draft and book three is partially outlined. And I’ve done it. I’ve expanded my repertoire.

I decided to write this on a whim, when I had a strange thought in my head, a small girl in a white dress, eating a pomegranate, hovering over an old man sleeping. That was the genesis of my trilogy. Why I had that particular image in my head, I have no idea. But it was there, and I used it.

I first had to start justifying the scene. This small person was hovering. People don’t hover, and they don’t do so eating pomegranates. That would be terribly messy. So I had to decide what makes her hover, who is she, what is she, where did she come from, why is she hovering over this old man’s bed?

That is where the exciting discovery part of writing took over. I just started writing and before I knew it, the old man was being whisked through time to various important points of 20th century history. As I wrote, I began including another character to help balance out the little flying one. Then I had to create their backstory and justify how they can do all of the things they do. I did all of that, but I don’t tell the reader everything. It’s part of the mystery for them to discover for themselves.

I’ve had so much fun writing these books, and while they are a departure from my normal stuff, they are, in some ways, not that different. I’m still telling human stories, embedded in history, but this time, we have some new and fun companions along for the ride.

I can’t wait to share them all with you.

Soon. Very soon!