Month: July 2011

Excerpt from OF GOOD AND EVIL

I feel the most effective promotion is the life within OF GOOD AND EVIL itself. To that end, following is an excerpt from Chapter 8 of the novel, an excerpt not before shown elsewhere:

Even before Ron made his way home from Virginia, Metcalfe’s demise hit the news; briefly. Officially, his death was reported as a suicide, Sagansky’s as a homicide. A homicide-suicide scenario: Metcalfe killing Sagansky, then himself, the shootings reported triggered by severe depression over career developments. Beyond that, the official account provided scant details.

After a brief thanks to Valenti, Vandiver disappeared faster than a shooting star, taking the quickest flight home to Virginia, there to be reunited with his family.

Upon Ron’s return, he found Amber in their bedroom. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, engaged, rather unsuccessfully, in the persistent plucking of the strings of an old guitar.

“I’d say you’re in dire need of lessons,” Ron said, eyebrows raised as he quietly entered the room.

Amber jerked, looking up, her taut face immediately suffused with joy, igniting that special dimension where love rules supreme. “Darling!” She quickly set aside the guitar, leapt to her feet, and rushed over to Ron, tightly embracing him in a long hug. “You’re home!” she cried excitedly. “And safe. Thank God.”

“What’s all the fuss?” Ron grinned, rejoicing again in her fresh, unspoilt beauty and musky-sweet scent. “All I did was kill a couple of jerks who needed killing.”

“Well, I’m certainly not crying over Metcalfe,” she stated emphatically. “Neither is Keith. He phoned terribly excited. So excited I could barely make sense out of what he was saying. He’s on his way home.”

“Don’t you just love happy endings?”

“I heard about Metcalfe on TV.” She looked at him questioningly. “Suicide?”

“The perfect cover-up.”

Amber sighed deeply. “Is it over now?”

“Yes. With the election coming up, they won’t reconstruct Metcalfe’s operation.”

“Thank heavens!” She felt her muscles tighten. “I never thought it possible to be thankful for someone’s death. I’m still tense just thinking about that evil man.”

“We can’t have that,” Ron said gently. “Here, let me help you relax.” He began messaging the back of her neck and shoulders.

“Oh, God, that really feels good! Ummmmm.”

As Ron was messaging her, he looked over at the bed. What’s with the guitar?”

“Oh, my magic guitar,” she moaned. “To keep you safe. I’ve been playing it ever since you left. … Ummmmm, a little lower. … Not very well I’m afraid. Awful, in fact.”


“Yes … ummm. Father gave it to me when I was twelve. Told me that some day it would become magic. Encouraged me to play it, on my own. I tried for a year or so, but never got beyond that awful sound you heard. The magic never happened. So I stopped trying. I haven’t played it in … ummm … what, thirteen, fourteen years? Not until you left for virginia. But as badly as I played, it must be magic. It brought you home safe and sound.”

“Christ, it’s a wonder you didn’t drive away the staff.” Ron ceased his massaging.

“Hey, don’t stop! Your fingers have all the magic.”

“I think you’re becomming too damned spoiled,” he grinned.

She giggled. “You’re suppose to spoil me.”

“How come I’ve never seen that guitar?”

“When I’m not attempting to play it … ummmm, God, over to the right a little more … I keep it locked in that old cabinet in the library. Along with a … ummm … few other things father gave me when I was younger. Ohhh, ummm, wow! What a treat!”

Ron chuckled. “Well, don’t expect this royal treatment every time you play the guitar. The next time I hear it, I’ll need the rub down — on my ears. Playing the guitar, my love, is not your forte.”

“Dominick called. I think he has your first contract.”

Online Exhaustion

Rats! Another day of online exhaustion. If you’re an author, and are marketing online, you undoubtedly know what I’m talking about. Now, at the end of the day and into the night, I feel fatigued and my eyes are a bit blurry. But at least I had a lovely dinner and a visit from my favorite dog.

The morning started off enthusiastically enough. For the sake of my book, I began my daily online marketing (not too blatant, of course; you must keep your promotional urges for your work under control in this sea of survival), hitting Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Twitter, Librarything, Amazon, a few Groups on some of these, and other assorted sites, always wondering if I was doing myself and my novel any good. But in this world of author online marketing, you don’t dare not do it. Ah, if it wasn’t so. A necessary evil, but massively time-consuming; and exhausting!

But at times it can be uplifting. More so with the inspiring cyber friends I have found, sharing with me, helping me, encouraging me on, and I doing likewise with them, breaking up the tedium with spurts of appreciative fellowship. And the necessary reviews of my book, and my energetic reviews of others’ books, have come from my online work.

I look forward to reviewing the books of my cyber friends. For example, RASCISS, by Shane Porteous; and THE INDEPENDENT ME, by Jude Arnold. Good books! And there are others.

However, this pace, being online day and night, does take its toll. I’d rather be without the pace, but I can’t do this. I love my readers.


Hopefully, eventually, these postings will coalesce into a meaningful theme. But where to begin? Let’s begin with what this theme will not include: obvious self-promotion!

Self-promotion is a writer’s bane, a necessary evil most writers hate, but feeling it essential to sell their books so they can survive to do the next one, often at the cost of reducing them to the level of a carnival barker or leaving them feeling as part of some high wire circus act with no net below.

Not a good feeling. But worse, far worse, is being forced by their colleagues to pretend that they are above self-promotion while continually sneaking it in, in any which way they can. Ridiculous! Pretending to be something they are not. And for what?

Fortunately, I’m at the point where I can leave the sneaking in to others — primarily my readers and reviewers, and many times they are more direct than sneaky. Thus far, all the reviews of my current thriller,”Of Good And Evil,” have given the book 5 or 4 star ratings, with much unsolicited praise from readers; promotion enough. Let me end this promotion bit by sneaking in one reviewer’s (Starr Reina — see the reviews on the “Buy the Latest Book” page) review conclusion:

“An absolute must read!”

“Of Good And Evil is my fourth published novel, my most polished novel, reflecting the creative evolution of my writing efforts to be the best I can become. It was written out of passion! If you’re a writer, you need passion. Passion will sustain you. Without it, a writer will not develop discipline and dedication, that which he or she needs to survive; a shield against rejection. Passion is all-consuming, and you never know where it will lead, sort of like not knowing where the search for a theme in my blog postings will lead. But wherever it leads, let’s get there together!

When I first started writing, I had no label; as I wrote, it turned out that my books were suspense-thrillers with a paranormal touch. However, I did not choose to write in this genre; in a way, it chose me. As I wrote, I read other books, some having a great beginning, but the letdown of a mediocre middle and a horrible ending. I was determined that my books would hold your attention to the end, always with a great ending.

At the risk of being reduced to a carnival barker, or being thrust into the discomfort of some kind of high wire circus act with no net below, the one aspect of book marketing I enjoy is book signings. I love book signings because they allow me to meet my readers face-to-face and answer their questions about the book I’m signing. This gives them the chance to get to know me and to see that I’m alive and well. I feel a writer belongs to his readers; they depend upon you to keep writing and you depend upon then for support. I should take care of them the best I can — book signings help me do this.

I love my readers!