Monday, July 30, 2012

In Carlsbad, Cavernous

My next story is well underway.  Below is a quote from page 2, after Magda's body is discovered and her sister, Emma, knows that Magda is dead.  What's with Zookie?  And why doesn't Emma comfort him?
Stay tuned....Cinnamon and Burro are solving mysteries again...

Yellow police tape fluttered in hot wind. Emma seemed to flutter at the same rate, leaning first into Burro and then me. Two police cruisers, blue lights intense against the heated May sky, were parked parallel to each other, facing the crowd.  Emma slumped fully against Burro, and we used her condition to carve a path through the crowd to a low wall near the entrance.             
“Magda,” she whispered.  “My only family.”
            A skinny man, about 5’2”, all in black, dropped to the ground and grabbed Emma by the knees.  His long black hair fell in front of his face, and he began a desperate monologue.
“You sister was a wonderful woman.  Nobody alive was as good as her, as kind, as generous, as giving.  She taught me in 9th grade, you know that?  She treated me like a son, her own child, a boy she cared for and cared about.  Nobody could hurt an angel like her.  Nobody, not even that weird Rein.  She loved him, too, she did.”
Emma readjusted her body, throwing the fellow off her knees.  He fell on the pavement, looking up at her now, his hair off his face. I saw a scar running from his left lip to her ear.  His eyes were cat-green, and a sour smell fumed off his clothes.
 “Don’t be so dramatic, Zookie.”  Emma put her hand up to hold the man away.  “You know Magda didn’t like that sort of display.  Think of her, for goodness sake.  She was an angel – everyone thought so.  But maybe someone robbed her or…she caught somebody robbing the lunch room and they whacked her in the head. We don’t know the whole story yet, is all.”
“That doesn’t make any sense, Emma,” Zookie stood up.  “There’s no reason for our Magda to be down at the bottom of the caverns at night.  She was dragged down there by a cold-blooded killer, I say.”           
Zookie’s green eyes were showing red around the edges, and I realized he was drunk or stoned, or both.  Emma followed my look, and explained Zookie.
“He was one of Magda’s students, “ Emma flipped a hand in his direction, “when she taught high school here in Carlsbad.  Magda helped her students out when they…they had problems.”
Zookie took offense at this.  “She saved my life, is what she did. She said so herself, over and over again.  I’d be dead without her.”
“Zookie,” Emma stood up now, looking the black clad man in the face. “You can’t save someone’s life over and over again.  The truth is you manipulated…”

The Restaurant Inside Carlsbad Caverns

This is the location of the murder of Magda in the story In Carlsbad, Cavernous.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In Roswell, Re-Abducted, New Release

At last, the 4th in the Cinnamon/Burro series is ready for publication.  There will be ten short stories altogether that send Cinnamon and Burro all across New Mexico solving mysteries and searching for clues to Momma.  In story ten, they find out what happened to Momma.

Here's the set-up.  In an alley behind the UFO Museum in Roswell, Danny kills his best friend, Juan.  Or so it appears.  Cinnamon and Burro don't know what to think, and they tour the quaint town, encountering UFO aliens and aliens of other kinds.

My editor calls this, "Your best story yet," so I hope readers will feel the same.

Click the cover on the right and buy it for 99's out of this world...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kindle Free-for-All: My Turn

New to Indie publishing, I need to get my name out there, and, in the end, the Kindle Direct Publishing and the KDP Select giveaway presented the best option.  I tried it, with some success, and I'm glad I did.  I write short stories, so "book" is used loosely here.

FIRST:  Since I was a shy, modest, unassuming type (or so I liked to think) -- the first step involved letting go of this person as quickly as possible. So, when people say to me, "I'd never share on Twitter," I profess to be an exhibitionist, unconcerned about privacy.  "Privacy is passe," I declare.  Do I believe this -- no.  But I can say that if I want to publicize my writing and, thus, me, I must have an online presence.  So I throw away my metaphorical robes and let it all hang out -- metaphorically, of course. 

SECOND:  What do I know about online promotion?  Virtually nothing.  I begin to explore the efforts of others.  I read blog posts.  I follow Twitter links, peruse Facebook pages.  I find out the answer to two burning questions:  What is Stumbled Upon?  Is Google+ as creepy as it feels? Here are a few things I learn.

  • How to sign up for a Twitter account
    • How to Tweet and get followers
    • How to Retweet
    • How to schedule tweets (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck,
    • How to say TY (Thank you) and be happy about it
  • How to schedule a free book and promote it.
    • Thousands can't be wrong.  It's easy to follow the step by step directions on kdp.
    • Keep track of websites that list your books and list the free offering early
    • Keep track of websites that list your books and list it the same day (varies by website)
    • How to boldly ask to be chosen and get chosen as a featured free book
  • How to join
    • How to start a reading list on
    • How to get MY books on
    • How to get friends on
    • Finally, how to promote my free book (invite friends to an event)
  • How to meet great people and get tired of the tiresome on LinkedIn (such as the gentleman who suggested he can name call because he's right -- new idea).
    • How to ask for help and get it on LinkedIn
    • How to soak up writing tips on LinkedIn
  • How to tweet 'til you drop, follow your downloads in real time, find out your free book ranking on, and how to accept that I didn't become a paid best seller the first time around.  I did make #5 in the Top 100 Free Best Sellers for mysteries. One day, I told myself, that will be in the top paid best sellers, one day.  Such is the stuff of a writers' dreams.
Third:   Before my free book giveaway, I was selling five short stories a month.  I am now selling one a day.  That may not last, but it's nice for now.  But, more than that, I am more confident about promoting my work. I am improving my blog, and now my book covers link to the buy page, a small victory for a struggling newbie. The most important thing the kdp select free promotion taught me: I know I can learn what I need to learn.  I have hope, and hope keeps me writing.

Tomorrow, I'll be releasing my next short story, In Roswell, Re-Abducted.  I'll tell you about it then.  (Promotion, you know, promotion...)