Sunday, February 22, 2015

Writing, Editing, Promoting Ideas and Such

Hi all, and as always, thanks for stopping by and saying hello. Hope you all had a great weekend! I thought I’d share a few things I’m doing in the world of writing, editing, and promoting. Sorry, no wormholes today.

Breakthrough Trilogy Remix: As I wrap up Salem’s Daughters and begin writing a new MG series, I’m concerned the breakthrough trilogy will ride off into the sunset and fade away forever. I'm not ready for that to happen, so I’m going to try something new. 

I’ve noticed a number of trilogies packaged together as a Trilogy Digital Box Set these days and the authors are running various promotions. They’re using daily emails from BookBub, BookSends, eReader, The Fussy Librarian and such and social networking while discounting the cost to a range of $0.99 - $2.99. I’ve seen many of these sets break into the Best Sellers in Kindle Store. And most are self-published or with a very small publisher. 

So I’m Taking The Plunge: As I combined the three MSs into one over the weekend, I soon realized how much formatting I need to correct. Time for a Breakthrough Trilogy makeover. I’m getting real good at this and will have everything ship shape this week. I’ll have to take a new picture of the three books together. The common image is three physical books in a cardboard case (even though they are ebooks), such as Susan Kaye Quinn’s The Mindjack Trilogy

As of Sunday afternoon I checked the Top Paid 100 and The Billionaire's Obsession: The Complete Collection Boxed Set was at #73. This is one of those smutty slutty romance series that can make a sailor blush. No, I haven’t read them. The David Chronicles: Boxed Set (Historical Fiction) is at #4,000 as of this writing, but was #75 last week. This is also a self-published series. And there are many more similar success stories like this and I aim to be one of them. 

Salem’s Daughters: I’ll be getting my final edits back early this week and can’t wait to go through and do the accept/reject thing. I’ll do the query thing but am not afraid to go it alone. Along with Breakthrough, Opening, Escalation and the Breakthrough Trilogy Collection, Salem’s Daughters will be my fifth book. 

New Publishing Company: I’m a busy man these days. I also started a new publishing company. Name to be announced in a week or so. Nothing fancy. I just feel it’s time to have a publishing name for my nooks as it looks a little more professional. 

Daily Emails: Speaking of BookSends, eReader, The Fussy Librarian and other daily emails (BookBub turned me down) I'll be promoting Breakthrough and Escalation this week. I'll let you know how this worked and if it was worth the small cost.

Finally: Sign-ups for the 2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge are already under way. As of this post there are exactly 200 participants! If you have done it before, you know how much fun it is (good for you!) and if you have not, this is your chance to give it a try!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Great and Powerful A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest, India reaches Mars, Other Countries in Space, Nuclear Capabilities, and Mpre

The Great and Powerful A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest! Do you or will you have a theme for the event? Sign up on the Linky list below, and on March 23rd (Monday) reveal your theme, tell us why it is exciting, and give us a hint of what to expect from it! Then, once your post is up the week leading up to A to Z, use the Linky to visit other blogs announcing their themes. Enjoy! 

This is a great opportunity for all of you to get a jump start on your A to Z experience. You can link up with fellow bloggers, scout out and bookmark themes that you look forward to, and set out delicious themed bait on your blog to lure in wandering participants! This way, by the time the frenzied posting begins on April 1st, you will already have an audience eagerly awaiting your posts. 

Sign up below, ready your theme, and post March 23rd on your calendar! 

India Reaches Mars
Did You Know: India's $74 million Mars mission cost less than 'Gravity' movie. That’s right. When the Mangalyaan spacecraft slipped into orbit around Mars on Wednesday after a 10-month voyage, India became the first country to successfully reach the Red Planet on its first attempt. The U.S. Maven satellite, for example, arrived in orbit on Sunday in a mission that cost taxpayers $671 million. The European Space Agency's 2003 mission to Mars had an initial budget of nearly $200 million.

ISRO is able to save money by using short development cycles, and taking advantage of India's cheap labor market. Highly-skilled aerospace engineers in the country might receive a salary of $1,000 per month, a fraction of what the same workers would be paid in Europe or the U.S. Reference 

Fun Facts: Ten countries have the ability to launch space satellites or vehicles using their own rockets. The Soviet Union was the first with Sputnik in 1957 followed by the United States, France, Japan, China, United Kingdom, the European Space Agency, India, Israel, Ukraine, Russia, Iran, India, and North Korea. And there are many more countries with space endeavors on the drawing board.

Not So Fun Fact: Of these countries (excluding European Space Agency), all except for Japan have developed nuclear weapons. And if Japan felt threatened by China or Japan, they would develop the ability real fast. They probably already have, just not advertising it. 

Cover Reveal: Heather M. Gardner and One Good Catch. Set for release March 13, 2015. Good luck Heather! 

Title: One Good Catch
Author: Heather M. Gardner
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Release Date: March 13, 2015

Okay, the Linky List awaits you. And have fun with your theme and pre-writing your posts.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dream On, More Really Cool Rockets, and KickStarter

Dream On: Over the weekend wifey and I went to see one of our favorite Christian music performers Jake Hamilton and his band The Sound play at a local church. Hard to define his genre but it’s a combination southern gospel, rock, blues and sometimes hard hitting and edgy. 

We met his family at the table where they sell CDs and such. Jake has written and illustrated this book titles Dream On for his amazing daughter. 

Add caption
Every little girl has a dream. Maybe it’s to be a princess, a pilot, an astronaut, or a ballerina. But some dreams require a little more effort and a little more time. But no dream is too big and no dream is impossible. The story of Gigi, a little girl with cerebral palsy won't let her physical disabilities limit her dreams. She knows that anything is possible. Join Gigi and be reminded of your dreams, no matter how young or how old you are. 

The book is such a delight I wanted to take a moment and share it. If you know someone with a child with special needs this is an amazing book they could share with that child. 

Jake Hamilton
Jake Hamilton’s credits include work with the Jesus Culture Movement music and sound tracks for the Darren Wilson’s DVDs Father of Lights, Finger of God, and Holy Spirit. 

After a little research I saw Darren used KickStarter to help fund his work. For those of you wondering about KickStarter and other such organizations, check out this clip of Darren Wilson doing a shout out for this funding platform for creative projects: KickStarter 

Now That's A Rocket!!!
Did You Know: Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) was scheduled to attempt to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating barge in the Atlantic for the second time Sunday, but the launch has been scrubbed because of issues with a first stage transmitter and a range radar. The launch has been postponed until Monday evening. Reference 

A successful landing would mean SpaceX would be able to reuse the rocket in future missions, which could save millions of dollars over time. No more space junk. No more reentry back to Earth and crashing into the Pacific Ocean. This is huge, especially in the private industry where financial accountability to shareholders and investors is high priority. So stay tuned. Deep Space, here we come! Private industry such as SpaceX will more than likely lead the way. 

Fun Fact: SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and space crafts. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. You have to have vision, folks. And the founder of Space X, Elon Musk, has no shortage of that.

Don’t believe me? He also started up PayPal and Tesla Motors. Deep space, here we come! 

Finally: If you haven’t checked out last week’s post on Space Telescopes at the A to Z Website, go ahead and click on Einstein’s face at the top of me left side bar. Go ahead. He likes it. 

Finally Part Deux: Finally: Check out my 2015 Celestial Calendar Tab above, or CLICK HERE. Its a treasure trove of really cool celestial events, most of which can be seen right from your backyard with the naked eye, binoculars, or an average store bought telescope.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Way Cool Space Telescopes, Weekend Follies, Stephen Hawking (sort of) and Leslie Nielsen

Hubble Space Telescope
Hi everyone, I’m still getting a few Blog Blitz comments trickling in. Thanks again. This totally made my week. Today I’m posting over at the A to Z Blog on Space Telescopes CLICK HERE

Most people know about the Hubble Space Telescope. But did you know there have been dozens and dozens of space telescopes launched since the Uhuru (Swahili for freedom) in 1970. Do yourself a favor and go over there and check it out. You’ll be glad you did. 

Then come right back for the Weekend Follies, this time spooking Dr. Stephen Hawking in the teen-movie Superhero Movie. Or watch the video first, then CLICK HERE for an awesome post on space telescopes. The language is a bit crude (what do you expect from a teen movie) but hey, it stars Leslie Nielsen and that’s good enough for me. 

NASA Image
As we head into a new year, 2015 promises to be an exciting one for astronomy buffs. Many rare and notable celestial events will occur our night sky that can be seen from your back yard with the naked eye, a decent set of binoculars or an average telescope including: 

* Missions to Visit Three Dwarf Planets Ceres, Pluto, and Charon 
* Planetary Events and Conjunctions 
* Solar and Lunar Eclipses 
* Meteor Showers 
* Comets and Asteroids 
* New Government and Commercial Spacecraft Launches and Current Missions 

There will be surprises when we visit the three dwarf planets as we can only speculate as to what discoveries we begin to unfold about our universe. So hold on tight as this year will be full of awe and wonder as we explore our solar system under an incredible cast of heavenly wonders. Test


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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IWSG, Hurricane Crimes, Kepler Space Telescope, Rob Lowe, and More!!!

Blog Blitz: First I’d like to thank DL Hammons and everyone participating in the Blog Blitz. I even picked up helpers for to help me co-host the 2015 A to Z Challenge. If you have yet to join Blog Blitz and want to be a part, check it out HERE

IWSG: Okay, for this month’s ISWG, I’m going to try and do my cover art FOR Salem’s Daughters by myself using and various images in Photoshop. I’ve come up with three ideas and will post them soon for your review and critique. I’ll choose one using my gut feeling and the feedback I receive. I had my very talented nephew do the cover art for my three Chase Manhattan books. But I want to give it a try myself this time around. I’m a bit nervous, but think I can pull it off. 

Book Review Chrys Fey: Last week Chrys Fey had an event on Goodreads promoting her book Hurricane Crimes. I’m reading a lot of novellas these days and this one seemed like just the ticket as we spent a day at the beach reading. At fifty pages Hurricane Crimes was a great fast read that I’m glad I downloaded. At $0.99 you can’t beat that with a stick. Check out my review on Amazon HERE

Artist's Rendition of Kepler
Kepler Space Telescope: Kepler is named after Renaissance astronomer Johannes Kepler. NASA launched this space observatory March 2009 to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. The Kepler Mission is specifically designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover dozens of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone and determine how many of the billions of stars in our galaxy have such planets. 

The challenge now is to find terrestrial planets (i.e., those one half to twice the size of the Earth), especially those in the habitable zone of their stars where liquid water and possibly life might exist. Results from this mission will allow us to place our solar system within the continuum of planetary systems in the Galaxy. Just last month, Kepler discovered its 1,000th alien planet, further cementing the prolific exoplanet-hunting mission's status as a space-science legend. Reference 

Okay, I saw this on Facebook and couldn’t refuse ….. 

Blogging A to Z Challenge: Still wondering if you should sign up for the 2015 April A to Z Challenge? Check out this link for more info. There is almost two months remaining, plenty of time to pre-post your blogs. Pick a theme and keep each post to 100 words or less and you’ll do just fine. 

But Wait, That’s Not All: Thursday I’ll have a post at the Blogging A to Z site Thursday. Just click on Einstein’s head at the top of my left side bar, put on a tin foil hat, and prepare to be transported through a wormhole directly to the post. There will be more on Space Telescopes that is so bind boggling fascinating interesting that you may never want to watch TV again. Except for the Big Bang Theory. 

Also on Thursday the Weekend Follies is up and running. Always good for a few good laughs as we wind down the week. 

Question: Do you find all that we are discovering and unraveling about our universe fascinating? Then check out my 2015 Celestial Calendar at the tab above or CLICK HERE.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Super Bowl, Deep Space, Kepler, Help Wanted and More

Tom Terrific
Super Bowl: Congrats! To the New England patriots for their fourth ring. Loved the look on Tom Brady’s face when Jermaine Kearse mad that incredible juggling catch at the end of the fourth quarter. Brady must have seen ghosts of Mario Manningham and David Tyree trying to rob him of another Super Bowl ring. 

As usual, the commercials were great. Well, most of them. The Nationwide Insurance commercial was a real downer and I’m surprised an exec there signed off on it. 

Did You Know: Deep within the bowels of our Milky Way Galaxy, there is another solar system that is like a miniature replica of our own. Except this planetary system is just a tad older — by about 7 billion years. This is an incredible study thanks to the Kepler Spacecraft. More on Kepler in Wednesday’s post that you’ll definitely want to come back for. 
Kepler Space Telescope

Of course, when discoveries like this are made, the search for intelligent life beyond Earth heats up again. That assumes that there is intelligent life here. Reference 

Fun Fact: Space X Mega Rocket: Now this is a rocket! Space X is competing with NASA on a new generation of rockets that will take mankind into deep space, then return them back to Earth to use again. Checkout this quick video.


Help Wanted: Want to be more than a participant of this amazing yearly blogging challenge? You can by joining the A to Z Team and helping us. 

No heavy lifting required. Each co-host has the responsibility to visit a certain block of participants every day of the event. This way, everyone is visited. This is important as those who sign up later and are at the end of the sign up list are not forgotten. 

So we’re looking for people who will help us visit these participants. For example, I’m looking for helpers to visit a minimum of five blogs each day of the event. That's all. Just five. You can keep the same five or have five new ones each day. 

This will be a great way for you to meet new people, expand your social networking, and gain additional exposure.  So if you're up to this, leave a comment or email me at

Finally: Check out my 2015 Celestial Calendar Tab above. Its a treasure trove of really cool celestial events, most of which can be seen right from your backyard with the naked eye, binoculars, or an average store bought telescope.

Question: Have you signed up for A to Z? Want to help the A to Z Team? Glad the Patriots and Tom Terrific