Monday, 26 December 2016

SurvivorZ

As you will no doubt notice from the new menu option at the top of my blog, I'm working on adding some new content for your entertainment. SurvivorZ is an episodic zombie horror adventure series, with new installments added on a periodic basis to Wattpad. Each section will be a character-driven mini-adventure that also serves to propel the overall story of an unlikely band of survivors fighting to weather the chaos of a world bent on their destruction.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Bring Street Savior Home For The Holidays

Looking for something different for that special someone who likes to read? Give the gift of comedy, suspense, action, and adventure this holiday season. Reading The Dead: Street Savior, the third book of the acclaimed paranormal detective series, is now available for purchase on Amazon, Kobobooks, and Smashwords.


Sunday, 20 November 2016

Goodbye Goodreads!

As part of my constantly evolving trend to shed myself of unnecessary social media platforms, I have officially deleted my account on Goodreads. Next on the chopping block before wiping out this blog... Facebook.

It may seem a strange move to turn myself into an online hermit, but my only reason for bothering with social networking three years ago was because it was generally considered necessary for authors to have an online presence for their "platform." Three years, three novels, and three novellas into this "marathon" and it's more than abundantly clear that I've already lost the race. My platform is about as stable as house of cards... an empty one, at that. Since maintaining a social networking presence has proven to be nothing more than a needless distraction, based on my dismal sales figures, it's time to trim the fat and get back to the only part of being a published author that actually brings me joy - the writing itself.

No more marketing. No more book trailers. No more lurking in discussion groups, afraid to say anything about my books for fear of being banned. No more wasted time on anything other than producing the best tales I can. If nobody is around to read them, well... all of my efforts for the past three years haven't done much to improve that sad condition. At least now I won't be so stressed out about it.

I was planning on saving this for my 2017 resolution, but the poor sales of Street Savior are proving that I might as well jump straight into divorcing myself from my online presence. I'll continue to write and publish as I have been, and if you happen to stumble across my books by accident, I hope you give them a try. Unlike my pointless blog and Facebook posts and whatnot, I really have poured my heart and soul into my stories.

I'm a writer, not a marketer. I don't have a million bucks for you to put a link to my book on your shitty website. I don't have the time or interest to waste on political debates or viewing pictures of your cat or whatever. Like you, I work during the day. Devoting the few hours of free time afforded to me entirely on my beloved craft simply makes the most sense to me.

I know what you're thinking. "But how can I possibly be a writer without readers or reviewers to enjoy my books?"

To that, all I can say is: just fucking watch me.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Magpie & Jynx Series Is Now Free on Smashwords!

My loss is now your gain (sort of). In light of non-existent sales for my Twin Cities Series novellas, Magpie & Jynx and Magpie & Jynx: The Lost and the Fallen, I've decided to reduce the price of both books to $0.99 on Amazon and make them PERMANENTLY FREE on Smashwords. The only caveat to this is that the four-book storyline I originally envisioned for the series is now officially dead. My interest in continuing the saga of Magpie and Jynx is gone. Expending months of effort for nothing tends to do that...

So feel free to grab both books now, rather than paying the original price of $1.99. Just don't expect to enjoy it beyond these two novellas.

In the meantime, book three of Reading The Dead is now available for purchase on Amazon, Kobobooks, and Smashwords. Expect the series to keep going strong until the final dramatic conclusion of book five, and perhaps even extend into a spin-off series after that, regardless of how low my book sales might plummet. For more information on this and the other books in my collection, click on the Books link provided in the tab bar at the top of this page.




Monday, 31 October 2016

Reading The Dead: Street Savior Is Now Out!

The third volume of the best paranormal comedy adventure series since Buffy The Vampire Slayer is now out! Reading The Dead: Street Savior continues the adventures of LAPD homicide detective, Sarah Milton, and her precocious teenage poltergeist companion, Anna Nigma, as they battle crime, supernatural threats, and a shadowy cabal conspiring against them.

Amazon

Kobobooks

Smashwords

Sunday, 30 October 2016

READING THE DEAD: STREET SAVIOR

The third volume of the Reading The Dead - The Sarah Milton Chronicles series.

Homicide Detective Sarah Milton is having the most insane week of her life. An evil supernatural entity stalking the Skid Row homeless has possessed her boyfriend. She's about to find herself caught up in a bloody gang war, thanks to the machinations of an escaped convict with dissociative identity disorder and the vigilante killer on her trail. Deadly agents of a shadowy cabal are conspiring against her. A parade of ghosts are invading her privacy and driving her crazy. Adjusting to her new job, a boss who hates her, and the strange visions that have begun to hijack her senses are pushing her to the breaking point.

All she wants is to settle down with a good book, a bottle of Aspirin, and some peace and quiet. Unfortunately, her worries have only just begun.

Free preview on Instafreebie:
https://instafreebie.com/free/utlX6


Amazon Kindle:

Smashwords:


Monday, 3 October 2016

Final Street Savior Preview

With Reading The Dead: Street Savior flying to digital bookshelves on Amazon, Kobobooks, and Smashwords on the first of November, it's time for one final sneak peek into the fun coming your way. This time, I thought I'd give you a little taste of the supernatural threat awaiting Detective Sarah Milton and her teenage ghost companion, Anna Nigma, in their latest adventure. Will everyone they care about escape unscathed from the nightmarish, soul-sucking attacker known as a jiangshi? Find out, when the third book of this exciting paranormal detective series hits the stands in a few weeks...


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

It's Time To Interact

It's probably no mystery that I've been fairly lax with blog updates as of late. I'd like to say that the reason for it is because I've been busy planning a marketing strategy for the release of Reading The Dead: Street Savior, but anyone who knows me would see right through that lie in a heartbeat. I'm a writer, not a marketer. If blind luck is what it takes for people to discover my books, so be it...

No, what has been occupying much of my time over the past several weeks has been a burst of creativity in an old passion of mine - interactive fiction. I grew up with a love of Infocom text adventures, and spent many hours writing my own. I was so enamored with text-based games that my final project for my BSc in Computer Science was even an advanced text parser for an adventure game. It understood near perfect english, allowing for any variation of instructions, including full sentences, simple commands, conjunctions, even "please" and "thank you." (If you're wondering, I got an "A" on the project.)

Lately, I've been returning to my roots. Interactive fiction has seen a resurgence recently, both online and on Android phones. As such, I've been occupying my time crafting a couple of CYOP ("Choose Your Own Path") stories on Inklewriter. The system is more advanced than your typical CYOP books, in that it allows for greater custom text variation and looping, providing the infrastructure to turn a text-based story into a more interactive gaming experience.

I'm far enough along with my second tale, Pod 19, to break my silence and let you in on the details of the adventure. Unlike my first adventure, a science fiction romance tale entitled Meeting The End, Pod 19 offers a greater gaming experience, with several scenes throughout the tale that require you to work in a logical progression to advance the storyline. It gives you the option to play as a member of either sex and engage in a heterosexual relationship with a key character in the story. (Sorry, but due to your character's motivation to bear children, I've purposefully opted to exclude homosexual relationships in this tale. If you're interested in that sort of thing, Meeting The End will be more to your liking.)

Stay tuned for more on Pod 19, Meeting The End, my adventures with writing in Inklewriter, and interactive fiction in general.



Friday, 16 September 2016

New(er) Street Savior Preview

A scene from the upcoming third novel of the Reading The Dead series, in which LAPD Detective is researching the supernatural foe tormenting her and her teenage ghost sidekick, Anna Nigma.  

Reading The Dead: Street Savior is coming out on November 1. If you're interested in receiving an advanced review copy, please send me an email at the link provided under my bio.




Thursday, 18 August 2016

New Street Savior Preview

Book three of the paranormal detective comedy/thriller series, Reading The Dead, is coming out on the first of November. If you're interested in receiving an advanced digital review copy, email me with the link provided on my blog. I always pick the best reviews for the back cover of the paperback, and I'd love it if it was yours! 



Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Possible Street Savior Blurb

Reading The Dead: Street Savior has gone out to my wonderful beta readers. In the meantime, I'm staying busy by working on the one thing that I hate almost as much as marketing: the dreaded book blurb. Here's what I've come up with so far. Critiques are always welcome...


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Street Savior Draft Complete


I'm pleased to say that Reading The Dead: Street Savior is on its final draft pass. The bulk of the revisions have been completed, and it will soon be in the hands of beta readers. Thanks to all who've volunteered for a first crack at the novel. I think you'll find it takes Sarah and Anna's adventures to a whole new level.

What's next for me? I'm still weighing options. I have a good percentage of book four sorted out in my head already, but as much as I'd like to jump straight into writing it, I think I might work on a couple of other projects at the same time. I also want to do something more with this blog, and thought it might be fun to work on a monthly (or maybe biweekly, if time permits) serial adventure and post it here. I'm not sure yet, but I promise it'll be something you'll enjoy.

Visit me on Facebook for more updated information on this and other projects in development.


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

What's So Good About Goodreads?

After stumbling across an article detailing legitimate ways to market your books on Goodreads‬, I thought I'd give the suggestions a try. I don't know how old the article was, but it needs updating to reflect the website's current limitations.

1. It suggests: Add your book to a list
Result: Goodreads won't let you add your own books to a list.

2. It suggests: Giveaways
Result: Goodreads won't let you offer ebook giveaways.

3. It suggests: Advertise
Result: If I had $50-$500 from my book sales to afford this, I wouldn't need to market on Goodreads. Furthermore, I'm sure I could probably find better sites with higher exposure for my advertising dollars.

4. It suggests: Lead a Q&A discussion group
Result: This leaves you stuck trying to market a Goodreads group instead of your book, or spending a lot of lonely time posting things nobody will ever read.

5. It suggests: Recommend books to friends
Result: Goodreads won't let you recommend your own books.

6. It suggests: Asks fans for reviews
Result: Get banned for spamming (which so far looks to be the only good thing to come from all of this).

7. It suggests: Connect Goodreads to MyBookTable
Result: Sure. Because what authors need is ANOTHER social networking site to maintain...

In summary, Goodreads doesn't seem to have anything in place to connect readers with authors. I know what you're all thinking, "But it's supposed to be a social environment where you're meant to interact with readers, not try to sell them on your books." That mentality works, up until the point you remember that most writers don't have oodles of time to spend chatting about the weather on social media, between their day jobs and their writing/editing/marketing, etc. With Goodreads' current policy of frowning on authors even mentioning their books in posts, interacting in the forums is akin to tiptoeing through a minefield. Little wonder that every second post on the site is about Harry Potter, Twilight, or some other popular book. Chances are good that readers have already heard of them somewhere other than Goodreads.

For most authors, it boils down to a question of where to invest your time. Goodreads, along with Amazon forums and Twitter, has a long way to go to prove that it's worthwhile for any titles that aren't already part of the mainstream mindset.



Monday, 9 May 2016

A Word Of Thanks / Beta Reader Notice

Just sending along a word of thanks to the individuals who purchased a copy of Reading The Dead: The Sarah Milton Chronicles and/or Reading The Dead: Fidelis in Aeternum during our recent Paranormal Day Celebration sale. I hope you enjoy the books!

I am currently mid-way through the first edit of Reading The Dead: Street Savior. Things are looking very good for a July release of the book to beta readers. I already have a short list of beta readers set up for the book. If you wish to be included on this list, please send me an email at jc8802@nb.sympatico.ca with the subject "Street Savior Beta Reader" and I'll be happy to include you among those receiving an advanced copy of the next book in the series.





Wednesday, 4 May 2016

National Paranormal Day Sale

In celebration of National Paranormal Day, books one and two of Reading The Dead: The Sarah Milton Chronicles are going on sale on Amazon until May 8 for the insanely low price of only $1.99 apiece! Once the price change kicks in, be sure to grab these titles before this mad spirit fades away! 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Reading The Dead: Annathema Cover

With the draft for Reading The Dead: Street Savior finished, I'm taking time away from editing and rewriting to tackle some promotional material. First on my list is a preliminary draft cover for book four, Reading The Dead: Annathema. That's not a spelling mistake. It's "anathema" with an extra N, because book four is the one that's going to blow the lid off all those niggling mysteries surrounding Anna Nigma, including the truth about her real identity, her powers, and her fate. Some monumental events are in store for her and Sarah in Street Savior, and book four will be ramping up the action to the next level, in preparation for the final confrontation in book five.


 

...and before you ask about the white-haired ghost on the cover, all that I'll say on the matter is that she's someone very important to Anna, and you'll find out why in Street Savior. So, yeah - don't miss out!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Street Savior Preview

With 175,000 words surpassed on Reading The Dead: Street Savior, I'm pleased to present this (slightly edited) sneak peek at one of the many things in store for readers. As you'll see, Sarah Milton's life is about to undergo some serious changes starting with this third book of the series. Enjoy!



Saturday, 26 March 2016

Street Savior Update - Climax Completed!

I don't smoke, but I feel as though I should probably start. After months of writing, I've just capped off the grand finale of Reading The Dead: Street Savior. Fans of the series are going to be absolutely thrilled with this 118-page EPIC climax. It features an exciting police gun battle, supernatural shenanigans, and a final display of paranormal pyrotechnics that will amaze you. 

The road to reach this spot has been long and arduous, but looking back on it now, I'm fired up to not only finish this incredible tale, but to see what happens to Anna Nigma and the gang in book four.


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Magpie & Jynx Adventures - New Lower Price!


The adventures of Magpie & Jynx await you! New reduced price of $1.99 US on Amazon and Smashwords.

MAGPIE & JYNX 
Half-shifter Maggie "Magpie" Bartlett and Jynx, her siren friend, expected trouble during their infiltration into a human/fae trafficking ring run by the yakuza, but they never imagined things would go so awry! Escaping the syndicate's compound in The Realms, a parallel dimension populated by the stuff of nightmares, becomes a life and death struggle against impossible odds. Their plans for a simple rescue mission turns into a fight for survival as they find themselves in the middle of a bloody war between vampires, werewolves, the yakuza, and a Japanese demon of boundless rage. Forced to put their trust in the unlikeliest of allies, the pair embark on a final scheme to escape the horrors closing in around them, culminating in an all-or-nothing dash for freedom.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K4FCU6S/ 
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434965
MAGPIE & JYNX: THE LOST AND THE FALLEN
While helping a wounded half-troll assassin escape the service of Raven, the vampire lord ruling the city, Magpie and Jynx find themselves embroiled in a plot devised by his second-in-command, the devious vampire, Tabitha. Hunted and harassed by a mercenary army of trolls and Tabitha's faithful shifter, the group discover that not even Marlon's magic shop can provide a safe refuge from their enemies. With an army of trolls laying siege outside their door and time running out for their poisoned charge, it seems that not even an unexpected ally, previously concealed by the magic blanketing the city's core, will be enough to help them survive the long, deadly night.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0135LYRRW/
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/565380

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Street Savior Excerpt

Unfortunately, due to health issues, I haven't been able to meet my original goal of finishing Reading The Dead: Street Savior. There are still several chapters remaining until the book is completed. Since they include the all-important climaxes, I'm taking my time to get them exactly right.

With a word count surpassing 170,000, I'm on target for my original estimate of 180,000 words. The final tally may be a little more, actually.

I'm pleased to offer this exclusive sneak peek of a fun scene from the upcoming book. Before that, however, I would like to remind you that the first 100 pages of the book are still available online at



Without further ado, I hope you enjoy this Anna Nigma moment from Reading The Dead: Street Savior.

Marcie Yang stared at the closed booklet in front of her, rather than at the anxious faces of her classmates. The exam room reeked of perspiration and desperation. She could sense the other students fidgeting uncomfortably at their desks and resisted the urge to do the same. Her mind was a closed box from which everything she learned strained to escape. It took all of her will to settle her rattled nerves and remember her studies.

"You have two and a half hours to complete this exam," Professor Rodney Cooper announced from the front of the room. He was a surly little man with a cheap toupee and an even cheaper suit. "Be sure to sign your papers and read all questions very carefully. Some are multiple choice, but others require you to show your work fully. Marks will be docked for any questions not fully answered."

Marcie closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She regretted not being religious. Some divine inspiration might have helped right about now.

Cooper studied the clock overhead, comparing it to his wristwatch. "Okay..." he started, pausing for the second hand to finish its rotation, "And you may begin!"

The breathless silence filling the chamber gave way to a flurry of shuffling papers. Marcie joined the din, flipping open her cover to view an assortment of multiple-choice questions. She grabbed her pencil and went to work answering them.

After breezing past the first four questions, her confidence rose. By the time she reached her first challenge, her trepidations were gone and the knowledge tucked away in her memory flowed freely. She concentrated on the work, and set aside everything else around her.

The question was a head scratcher. She read it thoroughly and carefully analyzed the problem. Her writing hand remained idle at the side of the booklet.

As she considered her choice of answers, a chill tickled her flesh. Her arms prickled and the fine hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. An icy cold seeped along her arm and settled into her writing hand. In the time it took to realize something strange was happening, everything from her elbow down suddenly went numb.

"Wha—?" she cried breathlessly.

Scared, Marcie tried lifting her dead hand. It budged less than an inch off the desk, before dropping lifelessly. At the same time, her deadened fingers tightened their grip on the pencil.

She reached for her cold wrist, terrified that something was wrong with her. Before touching it, however, her writing hand began to move on its own. It hopped onto the margin of her test book and began waving and jerking out of control.

Marcie jumped in her seat, covering her mouth to keep from screaming. She peered around in terror, looking for help and assurances that she wasn't the only one seeing this. Her classmates kept their faces buried in their papers.

The only person to notice her was Professor Cooper. He frowned at his gawking student and gave her a quick nod, warning her to keep her eyes on her own work.

She breathed hard and watched her hand slide over the paper with a mind of its own. The notion that she might have fallen asleep and started dreaming while studying occurred to her. She bit her lip hard enough to feel it. Whatever this was, it was no dream!

Her hand stopped. Warmth returned to her fingers. Marcie lifted her pencil, staring at it curiously. Her eyes dropped to the message that her possessed limb scrawled in the margins of her test page.

NEED U

Her relieved sigh quickly turned into a low growl. "Anna!" she grumbled, flipping her pencil over and rubbing out the words with her eraser. "Damn it! Cut it out! I'm busy here!"

"Miss Yang!" a voice boomed at the head of the class. "Is there a problem?"

Marcie popped her head up. Cooper's stern face stared back at her.

"No! No problem!" she piped. "Just talking to myself!"

"Well, stop!" he snapped. "You're disturbing the other students."

Marcie gazed around. Her antics had earned the attention of every sour face in the room. She shrunk in her seat and dropped her gaze to Anna's message, now partially erased. Holding back a curse from her lips, she rubbed the remainder off the sheet.

The heat of everyone's stares dissipated as they resumed their tests.

No sooner had she finished and turned her pencil lead-side down when the familiar chill threatened to seep through her nerves a second time. Her wrist jerked on the page, moving to write another message.

"Agh!" Marcie cried.

This time, she pulled her hand away from her hijacker's invisible grasp before Anna could deface her test any further. Her pencil flipped out of her fingers and flew into the air, bouncing off the desk of the boy in front of her and rolling onto the floor.

Marcie covered her face with her hands and whispered, "Okay! I'll meet up with you later at the shop! Just, please, go away!"

"Miss Yang!" Cooper barked. "I'm not going to warn you again! One more outburst and you'll be asked to leave!"

"Sorry! Sorry! I'm sorry!"

The student ahead of her wordlessly handed her back her pencil. She nodded her thanks, her face bright red. Marcie peered around. The entire room stared back at her. She threw herself back into her work, but focusing on the questions in her excited state was akin to deciphering a foreign language.

She held onto her pencil at both ends and took measured breaths to settle herself. When at last the lecture hall had gone back to ignoring her again, she placed the pencil end-down on the side of the page and waited.

She sat still for close to a minute, watching her writing hand for any further attack from her paranormal companion. Anna must have been satisfied with her response and decided to leave her alone. Breathing a relieved sigh, she reread the question. There was still time to salvage her grade, provided she could settle her nerves and concentrate.

After a moment's consideration, Marcie moved her pencil to place a checkmark next to option A. However, before she wrote her answer, the cold invaded her hand again, pulling it towards her and scratching a mark next to B.

She scowled. Her invisible tormenter hadn't let up yet!

Marcie flipped her pencil over, preparing to erase the answer. As the rubber tip touched the page, however, she noticed something in the question's wording that gave her pause.

"Oh! That's right!" she whispered.

Marcie looked up, smiling. She caught the professor frowning at her and her happy expression faded away.

She closed her mouth, dropped her head, and moved on to the next exam question. Her poltergeist pal troubled her no further. Though she refused to look up from her paper, for the next two hours, she heard the soft titters of her classmates inundating the exam room.

Cooper's hairpiece had mysteriously extricated itself from his head without him realizing it and now adorned the potted ficus standing in the corner. His alarmed shriek upon spotting it there, fifteen minutes before the exam completed, would earn him the moniker of Fernhead by his students from that day onward.



Tuesday, 26 January 2016

FREE Fiction For February



Two great stories. One unbeatable price!

Jodie's Machine (scifi/romance)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AZSTLKG
Jodie Halford's invention, a device that opens a window into alternate realities, awakens her and her childhood friend to the possibility that they were destined to be together. However, the many parallel lives that Jodie's machine shows aren't always pleasant, and the cost of peeking into the secrets of the universe may come at a steep price.

Hole (scifi/horror)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CGAF110
Since their mysterious disappearance, physicist and TV ghost hunter Ellen Price Marley has been hunting for evidence that a dimensional rift swallowed up her family. In a haunted mansion deep in the Canadian wilderness, she may have finally found her proof. Her scientific mission turns into a battle for survival as the rift to a dark dimension inhabited by lost souls threatens to also become her prison.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Jodie's Machine (J.B. Cameron short story collection)

Brian Davinport always knew his childhood friend, Jodie Halford possessed a spark of brilliance within her, but he never imagined that she could invent a device that would allow them a glimpse into parallel worlds. When her invention shows the couple deeply in love in alternate realities, it seems that the universe's plan for them is clear. However, Jodie's machine also shows other things; lives twisted and ruined by a simple variation of fate. Such visions aren't easily dismissed, and such knowledge can often lead to disastrous consequences.

A tragic romance tale for lovers in every dimension.


Amazon Kindle:
 
 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Street Savior Update

Thanks to the Christmas holidays, I managed to pull off a fair bit of writing to push the latest book along to its conclusion. More importantly, I found the time to rethink my original ending, coming up with a much more satisfying and well-rounded one that I think readers will enjoy.

I've almost wrapped up all the action in the climactic gang fight at the end of Reading The Dead: Street Savior. Up next... things go from bad to worse as the paranormal elements in the series unleash fury upon Sarah Milton and her friends. I've set myself a writing deadline of the end of February to finish off my draft. I still have nine major scenes to write, plus the denouement that will cap the story with a surprise visitor to town, setting the stage for book four. Then edits, edits, edits!

It's a good thing I love writing this story so much. Otherwise, I'd be worried that I'm turning into a complete masochist.