Merry Christmas and a Couple Annoucements

smiple-merry-christmasI would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Holy New Year. May you and your loved ones be richly blessed in the coming New Year.

Now for the Announcements

The last couple of weeks have been very busy for me. Besides getting ready for Christmas, I co-published a new ebook with my friend Theresa Linden. The book (entitled A Battle for the Faith) contains two short stories, one written by each of us. Here is the synopsis:

A_Battle_for_the_Faith

 Two short stories: A Matter of Silence and A Matter of Action. The Emperor Kadzrick has decided that the Tribe of the Fathers much change their faith to suit him. The Tribe of the Fathers have held true to their Faith for centuries and will not change now. They are a peaceful tribe, but they will be forced to take up arms to defend what they hold dear: their faith.

The book is currently available on Amazon, Smashwords, and elsewhere for 99 cents.

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Merry Christmas!!

As a Christmas present, I have decided to have a little Christmas sale of my own and offer all my books (except the free ones) for 99cents. this sale will end on January 2nd. So, if you got a new e-reader you can get quality reading material for a low holiday price. You can visit my profile on Amazon and Smashwords. As always, if you enjoy the books that you purchase, please review. Enjoy.

Indie Catholic Authors to Hold an After Christmas Sale

christmas-2015-saleIn June, the members of the Indie Catholic Authors group held an ebook sale. We’re going to do that again this year after Christmas. From December 26-28, 16 Catholics will be available for 99 cents or free.

Here is the information from the official Indie Catholic Authors blog.

Giving your loved one a Kindle, Nook, or iPad for Christmas? Help them fill it with great Catholic books!

Join Indie Catholic Authors December 26-28 for our It’s Still Christmas Sale. 16 Catholic ebooks will be $.99 or free. That’s besides our permanently free ebooks!

Participating authors

  • John C. Connell
  • Jeanie Ewing
  • Ellen Gable
  • Melanie Jean Juneau
  • Theresa Linden
  • Gil Michelini
  • Erin McCole Cupp
  • Connie Rossini
  • Marianne Sciucco
  • Tim Speer
  • Thomas Tan
  • Jacqueline Vick
  • J.I. Willett
  • Gloria Winn
  • John Paul Wohlschied

On Saturday, December 26, here on our blog, we’ll have links to all the retailers where you can buy the books at sale prices. Plus, look for detailed descriptions of each title. You can get a whole library for about $10!

Please note: individual authors are responsible for making sure their books are discounted.

See you on the 26th!

How to Make Your Main Character a Role Model

lone-ranger-tonto

“Look, Kemo Sabe. Bad men.” “Yes, Tonto. Let’s mess them up.”

One of the most important things that an author can do is create a main character that is a role model to his readers. To accomplish this, it is a good idea to create a list of what the character can and cannot do, so you can keep him on the straight and narrow. Let me give you an example of what I mean.

One of my favorite characters from Old Time Radio is the Lone Ranger. (The original radio program and TV show are the only ones worth seeing/listening to.) Fran Striker, co-creator and writer of the Lone Ranger, created the following creed for the Ranger:

I believe…

  • That to have a friend, a man must be one.
  • That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
  • That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
  • In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for what is right.
  • That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
  • That ‘this government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ shall live always.
  • That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
  • That sooner or later…somewhere…somehow…we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
  • That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
  • In my Creator, my country, my fellow man

Striker and George W. Trendle, the other co-creator, also wrote these guidelines for the Lone Ranger.

  • The Lone Ranger is never seen without his mask or a disguise.
  • With emphasis on logic, The Lone Ranger is never captured or held for any length of time by lawmen, avoiding his being unmasked.
  • The Lone Ranger always uses perfect grammar and precise speech completely devoid of slang and colloquial phrases, at all times.
  • When he has to use guns, The Lone Ranger never shoots to kill, but rather only to disarm his opponent as painlessly as possible.
  • Logically, too, The Lone Ranger never wins against hopeless odds; i.e., he is never seen escaping from a barrage of bullets merely by riding into the horizon.
  • Even though The Lone Ranger offers his aid to individuals or small groups, the ultimate objective of his story never fails to imply that their benefit is only a by-product of a greater achievement—the development of the west or our country. His adversaries are usually groups whose power is such that large areas are at stake.
  • Adversaries are never other than American to avoid criticism from minority groups. There were exceptions to this rule. He sometimes battled foreign agents, though their nation of origin was generally not named.
  • Names of unsympathetic characters are carefully chosen, never consisting of two names if it can be avoided, to avoid even further vicarious association—more often than not, a single nickname is selected.
  • The Lone Ranger never drinks or smokes and saloon scenes are usually interpreted as cafes, with waiters and food instead of bartenders and liquor.
  • Criminals are never shown in enviable positions of wealth or power, and they never appear as successful or glamorous.

When the Lone Ranger held true to these guidelines, the Ranger was a strong role model (not like the remakes).

Not everyone writes westerns, but I think that this idea is still useful. A great role model can leave a lasting impact on the reader. There are too many negative characters and stereotypes in fiction. I think it’s time we changed that.

What do you think? Post an answer in the comment selection below.

Theresa Linden Releases Testing Liberty

Testing-LibertyIn January of this year, I published a two-part review of Theresa Linden’s first novel Chasing Liberty. (If you want to reread the review, you find it here and here.) Yesterday, Theresa released the second volume of the trilogy: Testing Liberty. Chasing Liberty ended with Liberty and others being captured by the government and sent to re-education facilities. From there, you are taken on a whirlwind ride of action and suspense.

Here is the summary from the Amazon page:

Hidden no more. Imprisoned by the all-controlling government. Slated for Re-Education. Liberty must escape from a high-security facility to rescue the colonists who lost their freedom. Their capture is her fault. Set in the not-so-distant future, where the government controls society through indoctrination, population control, and the eradication of the family, Liberty bides her time in Aldonia’s Re-Education facility. If she fails to escape and rescue the others, the children, teens and adults of the Maxwell Colony will be integrated into society, facing sterilization and indoctrination. She is not alone in the desire to rescue the colonists. An underground, anti-government group has been rescuing people from Aldonia for years, but never have they attempted to rescue so many at one time. To do so would risk exposing, even ending, their operation. Dedrick, one of the top rescuers, grieves for his family members who are now residents of government’s facilities. He wants Liberty free, but he is opposed to working with her. Racing through the wild, the underground and sordid inner-city slums, Testing Liberty follows Liberty from one trial to another, to her final sacrifice.

From the destruction of the family to the planned reduction of the population in the name of protecting the environment, Theresa has produced a modern take on A Brave New World based on the insanity she saw going on around her. This series is a warning of a future probable.

It is a great book written by a great author. And I’m not just saying that because I created a character for the book. I took the time to read this book and greatly enjoyed it. Several major character went through major developments, proving that Theresa’s characters are not flat and one dimensional. They could be real. Theresa has created a series of dystopian novels that are accessible to everyone. I can’t wait to read the third and final book in the trilogy.

Theresa has written both books while being a busy homeschool mother. That takes dedication and it shows in her books.

Get out there and help support a talented, Catholic indie author. You can pick up your copy today (paperback or ebook) by clicking here.

Jack Webb in Pat Novak, for Hire

PatNovakForHireOne of my biggest inspirations for my detectives stories is one of Jack Webb’s early radio programs: Pat Novak, for Hire. Before his hit radio show (and later TV show) Dragnet, Webb was involved with several private detective radio programs that did not last very long. The first was Pat Novak, for Hire.

Webb plays Pat Novak, who is not a detective by trade. He mainly rents boats, but somehow he always ends up up in the middle of a problem. Besides Webb, there were two other man characters. The first was Inspector Hellman (played by Raymond Burr) who threatens to hauls Novak in whenever he finds him at the scene of the crime, whether he did it or not. The second was Jocko Madigan (played by Tudor Owen), a drunken ex-doctor who runs errands for Novak.

The show ran for 4 episodes in 1947 with Ben Morris playing the lead. Jack Webb took over for 19 episodes in 1949. Like I said, the show only ran for a short time, but it was fun.

You can listen to Pat Novak, for Hire here.

What Old Time Radio shows do you enjoy? List them in the comments below.

We Need Your Help to Make Our Ebook Sale a Success

IndieCatholicAuthorSale

Hi, everyone.

This coming week the members of the Indie Catholic Authors Google+ group are having a sale. From June 24th to 26th, 16 great Catholic books (including Church Triumphant) will be available for 99 cents or less. Visit the Indie Catholic Authors blog post for more information: https://indiecatholicauthors.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/major-catholic-ebook-sale-next-week/.

P.S. We desperately need your help. Please sign up for our Thunderclap campaign so we can reach more people. If you sign up, Thunderclap will post a one-time message on you Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr account on June 24th about the sale. If we don’t get the required 100 supporters by the 24th, no messages will be sent out. Please hurry, we only have 3 days left. Thanks in advance

New eBook Released, New Project, and Other Coming Attractions

New Book Released

I’m happy to announce the release of a new ebook, entitled Church Triumphant: 25 Men and Women who Gave Their Lives to Christ. This new ebook is available for preorder from Amazon, Barnes and Noble , Kobo, and iTunes. Church Triumphant will be officially released on April 5th. Easter Sunday.

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Current projects

I currently working on a new Benny Cahill mystery for an Amazon bundle being put together by a number of fellow writers. I don’t want to give away too much information, but it titled All that Glitters is Not Gold and it involves Cahill in a museum. Keep your eyes out for information about the bundle. Until then, enjoy this new cover.

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On top everything else, I am working on a mystery novel collaboration project with two fellow writers. All I can say is that it is a noir story set in modern-day. We’re still in the early stage of the project.

Coming Attractions

Up until now, this blog has mainly been a place for me to tell you about my new books and projects. Starting next week, I will start writing posts about my favorite Old Time Radio and TV programs. If you like my stories, you’ll enjoy these great shows from the Golden Age of radio.

ALERT – Fire in the Night has been removed from Smashwords

I just got a notification that Smashwords does not publish previews, they only publish complete stories. Since that was the case, I have unpublished Fire in the Night, thus it will not be available on iTunes, Barnes and Nobles, and more. Don’t worry though, I created a epub and pdf version of Fire in the Night. So come and get Fire in the Night PDF or epub here. Sorry for any inconvenience. The previous post has been corrected.

New Book Released – Fire in the Night!!!

Fire in the Night, a preview of Rumors of War

Fire in the Night, a preview of Rumors of War

I am proud to announce the release of another ebook. This ebook, entitled Fire in the Night, is a preview of an upcoming novel to be released Fall 2015. My upcoming novel, Rumors of War, will by my first finished novel, so I hope you look forward to it.

Here is the summary from Fire in the Night:

In the early 1860s, European headlines are filled with stories of attacks on the merchant vessels of many countries. Europe is filled with suspicion and paranoia. Is it pirates or a hostile power? Wealthy American playboy Tom Cavanaugh smells trouble and those who look for trouble, always get more than they bargain for.

Currently, Fire in the Night is only available as pdf or epub.  Thanks.