Book Review: The Killing of Mummy’s Boy by Joan Ellis

Sandra is sitting on the train heading home…alone.  An attractive, dangerous-looking man seats opposite her.  She realizes that she lost her train pass and unwittingly gives her address to the representative on the phone in earshot of the man across from her.  After a bit of small talk not totally forced upon Sandra, she finds that she’s sitting across from Ben — a murderer newly released from prison!

Sandra’s reign of terror begins a few days afterwards when a new train pass and some roses show up on her front doorstep.  Then, her bathroom has foamy urine in it…and she didn’t use the facilities!  She begins drinking earlier and earlier in the day in hopes of a mental escape from the murderer who she is sure is trying to toy with her prior to getting down to the business of offing her…

This British mystery thriller is wonderful!  It has so many twists and turns and it is superbly written.  You will not regret this read at all.

The Killing of Mummy’s Boy will shock you, alarm you yet ultimately intrigue you.  You will not be able to put it down until you get to The End.

5 Blogairy Notebooks


The Kristy Brown Middlegrade Fantasy Giveaway!

Five Winners will each receive the first two books in the 
Kiera’s Quest Series!
Kiera is a Great Role Model for Tweens!
Book One
Kiera’s Quest: Awakenings
by Kristy Brown
Series: Kiera’s Quest – Book 1
Publication Date: October 17, 2011
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Genre: Fantasy – Middle Grade/YA
Print Length: 80 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads | Shelfari
Meet Kiera, a pretty,
intelligent, and talented girl, brought up by her uncle, and abandoned
by her parents. Life is as normal as she believes it to be, apart from
the deep ache inside her,
telling her she’s different. For years,
Kiera had dreams where she ventures into a different reality. She’s not
alone; a presence is always there, keeping her safe, yet she feels
and hunted.
Zakk, Prince of Zantar, is under the
Witch Queen’s spell as she tries to take over his world. He crosses
paths with Kiera, and their fates are entwined.

As their journey
unravels, she learns that she is not the only one affected by this
prince. Who is on her side? Will she find out why she has been chosen?
How can someone so young, defeat such evil? Will she find the strength
to save the ones closest to her? Will this be Kiera’s only Quest?

Great for MG-TEEN readers.( 9+)

Book Two
Kiera’s Quest: Sacrifices
by Kristy Brown
Series: Kiera’s Quest – Book 2
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Genre: Tween/YA Fantasy
Print Length: 89 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


After almost beating the villainous Witch Queen, Kiera’s triumph is tainted with sadness for the loss of Joe and Daz.
When the handsome Prince Zakk asks Kiera to re-enter his world in order to save her friend, she does not hesitate.
their perilous journey Kiera realizes that she is there to save many
lives. As she comes face to face with her evil nemesis once again, Kiera
comes closer to finding out the truth to why she has been chosen.
Will she succeed? Will this be the end to Kiera’s quest?

The Rest of the Series
Book Three

Kiera’s Quest: Perceptions
by Kristy Brown

My rating: 5 stars

Series: Kiera’s Quest – Book 3
Publication Date: May 22, 2013
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Genre: Tween/YA Fantasy
Print Length: 153 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


The Witch Queen has reached a new level of evil.
Kiera is helplessly
stuck in Zakk’s realm. With the vortex destroyed, she is desperate to
find a way home. Her Uncle Tom, her friends and now the boy she loves,
are in danger. Will Kiera find the strength and the self-belief she
needs to save them?

On her lonely journey she meets new allies
from peculiar races. The Prophecy is all falling into place. Will Kiera
be able to forgive the people she trusted? Will she be able to save the
world from her twisted nemesis, the Witch Queen? Will she finally
believe that she is indeed the ‘chosen one’?

Book Four 

Kiera’s Quest: Choices #4
by Kristy Brown

My rating: 5 stars

Series: Kiera’s Quest – Book 4
Publication Date: April 16, 2014
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Genre: Tween/YA Fantasy
Print Length: 176 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Feeling desperately
confused and betrayed by the people she trusted the most, Kiera chooses
to jump through the disappearing vortex. Did she make it over to Zakk’s
kingdom or was she pushed back to Earth? Would she even survive this
The next four years are long and heartbreaking for both
worlds. Some of Kiera’s allies will not know if she is dead or alive. As
the darkness spreads throughout the lands will Zakk’s army be able to
stop it reaching Earth? Will Tom’s small band of rebels stand a fighting
At the time of the final battle will the chosen one have the power to stop the oncoming evil or will it be too late?

Hi I’m Kristy and I live in
the U.K. I have always written short stories and poetry. I went to
university to study acting which I loved, but my real passion has always
been writing. So now I write the kind of stories I would have wanted to
read when I was a teen. “Kiera’s Quest-Awakenings” is my first ebook.
There will be four in the series. I have written the chapters like
scenes in a film, with the action cutting to different characters. It’s
fast paced! Book two-“Sacrifices” came out August 2012(Muse It Up
Publishing) Book three, “Perceptions,” was released in May. Book four,
the last, was out Feb 2014. I am now writing A YA book. My dream is to
have them in print someday! I love reading YA angels,vamps etc. I love
my kids and hopefully one day they will enjoy my crazy tales!
Connect with Kristy Brown
Only we can teach kids that:
Enter to Win the first two books in the Kiera’s Quest Series for a young reader in your life
Five Winners will EACH receive Kiera’s Quest: Awakenings AND Kiera’s Quest: Sacrifices
International where allowed
Ends December 13, 2015

The Dirt Giveaway: From Author C.C. Hogan!

Welcome to the Fantasy World of DIRT
Where one boy turns in his shovel for love, war, adventure & Dragons
by C.C. Hogan
My rating: 5 stars
Series: Dirt – Book 1
Publication Date: October 26, 2015
Publisher: C.C. Hogan
Genre: Fantasy | Epic
Print Length: 370

Book 1, Series 1 – A fantastic tale of love, war, friendship and dragons!
Johnson Farthing thought that life as poor cart pusher in the coastal
town of Wead-Wodder was going to be his lot in life, then he was about
to get a rude surprise, and not necessarily a good one.

Once it
becomes clear that his beautiful younger sister has been kidnapped along
with the daughter of the Prelate, his life is completely turned on its
head. Farthing has to rush across a vast ocean and a huge continent
carried by an incredible Sea Dragon and accompanied by a strange
magician if he has even a chance to save his sister Rustina.

And very strangely, neither the rich Prelate nor his chief of police seem keen to even lift a finger.
the first book in a huge, continent spanning saga where dragons are an
intelligent, cultured people, magicians cannot destroy mountains with a
magic wand and the heroes have no wish to become tyrannical kings and

But through all the dramatic events, the battles of life
and death, Dirt is a place of humour, love and ultimately, the quest to
find a home.

“I told Truk you would be slacking off the minute
he turned his back,” shouted the old fool, Barkles, who sold greasy
vegetable pasties from a dusty stall on the corner. “Young people can’t
be trusted, I told him. I was right too.”
“Shut your face, Barkles,”
Johnson shouted back as he grabbed his coat from his hand cart and put
it around his shoulders to ward off a faint chill in the sea breeze. “I
have been down that hole every day non-stop for nine days, and you know
it too, since you have been feeding me your disgusting pies for most of
“Pastries, slacker. Not Pies; Pastries.”
“I thought pastries were just posh pies?”
“Can be.”
“Well, yours ain’t posh. So they are definitely just pies.”
“Ain’t seen you complaining!”


Dirt (Dirt, Series 1, Book 1)


The Saga Continues with Book 2
Bloody Dirt

Book 2, Series 1 in the incredible fantasy saga
It would
have been so easy to forget everything that had happened, find a quiet,
out of the way place to go and live and enjoy life just as it was, but
for Pree and Farthing that is simply not an option.

As they return
to The Prelates, idealism flowing through their veins, they find
themselves embroiled in a war that will span a continent.

In the
sequel to Dirt, the truth behind the ambitions of Tekkinmod and the
people in the far west are revealed and Johnson Farthing will rely on
the knowledge and friendship of incredible people, humans and dragons,
as he and Pree build an army.

Through the blood and terror of war,
this is still a tale of the heart; a story of passion, love, and the
strength found in bonds of friendship.

“I don’t know what you
are up to, magician, but I take exception to my island being used as the
base for one of your wild political missions.” Bren-Diath sat in one of
the small sunken seating areas of the Catre Sarad, halfway up Taken
Mountain in front of the Neuath.
“It is not strictly speaking your
island, Bren-Diath; actually not your island at all! The mountain is
claimed by just about everyone and dragons don’t even go down to the
“It is too small and quaint; I wouldn’t fit.”
“That is not the reason, old man!”
“Last I checked you were older than me, and I am not a man, Eafa of Tepid Lakes.”
you look your age.” Weasel frowned. This conversation had been repeated
in one way or another for a week, though on the upside, at least the
huge ice dragon had stopped referring to Weasel in any dietary context,
not that dragons actually ate humans. Bren-Diath stretched and looked
around the vast Cartre Sarad, the Place of Speech that was cut into the
side of the mountain. It was busier than it had been for centuries,
mostly because of an influx of Sea Dragons from Bind in the last couple
of months looking for new places to live.

On to Book 3



The Fight for Dirt 

Book 3, Series 1 – A Tale of dragons, freedom and the search for a home
The war is spreading.
Tekkinmod and Henry tear each other apart in the Northern States, Pree
realises that it is vital to cut off Tekkinmod’s money and steel supply
by taking the war to Wessen in the North of Bind.

as the outcome of the war looks less and less certain, something
terrible is happening to the dragons and Weasel and Mistry must dig into
ancient histories to find a solution.

The dramatic
conclusion to the first series of Dirt tests the friends as they have to
suffer the true heart-breaking cost of war and fight to the bitter end
to create a new future for the tired world of Dirt.

“You have seen more decline recently?”
have lost two to illness that we do not understand. It was three years
ago and quite sudden. They lost much of their colouring and grew weak
and then the breath left them. We have not seen such a thing before nor
since, for which I am thankful.”
“How old were they, if I may ask?”
was but forty and the other in their third century. They had no other
illness nor were they bitten or affected by accident.”
“You say they lost their colour?”
“Why is unknown to us, but they became grey in patches and their skin was dry and lifeless. Eafa, they looked much like ghosts.”

 The fantastic sequel to series one of the high fantasy Dirt



The fantastic sequel to series one of the high fantasy Dirt
Ham is a beautiful little village in the far south of Bind, a peaceful,
simple community perfect for dragon riders who miss the dragons and
want to live a life far from the wars they fought.

It is not to
last, and as new threats emerge, fighting is not now an option; the only
solution is to escape to the beautiful island of Hope.

Johnson Farthing, the former general and now farmer, has no choice but to travel north once more to find a boat.
Includes the short story Mistry’s Tale, the prelude to Dirt, Series 2.
Farthing put his hand up for them to stop.
is it?” Silvi whispered. She had started riding next to him in the last
hour as she slowly recovered from her embarrassment and fear.
“Over there,” he said, pointing. “Those are deer.”
“They are very small!”
Deer,” Seb said quietly, riding up on the other side of the girl. “Go
on, Silvi. I have seen you get a small boar with your bow. You can get
one of those. They make great eating.”
“You think?” She looked nervously at the two men, both of whom for different reasons she felt she must impress.
“I think you should try,” Farthing said. “Get down so you are stable, I will hold your horse.”
“What if I miss?”
“Then it is beans again.”
concentrated, trying to ignore her audience of two men and six horses
as she notched the hunting arrow and pulled the string back. She took a
slow breath as she brushed her cheek with the string. “Come on Silvi,”
she said to herself. “He is watching, you can do this, you know you
can.” Feeling her mouth going dry she aimed at the lower chest of the
deer standing closest to her and let fly.


Who IS the man behind A World Called Dirt?
C.C. Hogan, See-See to his friends, was born in North London.
was bad planning, mostly, as he had wanted to be born in Bermuda,
preferably near the beach and one of those bars that sell cocktails
underneath palm trees.
As a kid he played with music, mostly guitar with a bit of very bad blues harp thrown in. 
Some where along the line he learned to write and with the advent of spell checkers was able to do something useful with it.
also like photography, though never with him in it. Selfies are very
unlikely, though he is occasionally known for taking photos of coffee
He likes wine, loves women and lets his heart get broken on a
regular basis. He still agonises over some rather beautiful friends
from his youth, but in a nice way.
Genre wise he has no fixed
opinion and is as likely to write about London in the 1970s as a fantasy
set, well, wherever a fantasy is set.

See all of C.C. Hogan’s Books HERE

Want to Stalk C.C. Hogan? Website | Twitter | Facebook | The Stink | A World Called Dirt | Goodreads | Amazon

Here is YOUR chance to pick up Book 1 – DIRT Free at ALL of these sites!
Just click on the sites below!

C.C. Hogan (See-See to his friends)
Is giving away ONE SIGNED copy of DIRT 
A PERSONAL letter from Fren Eriol the Dragon
Open to  US, Canada, UK, AUS, New Zealand, EU
with a Thank you note from Fren Eriol
Get Ready to Immerse Yourselves in the World of Dirt!
Ends December 7, 2015

Thankful for Writing and #Writer Wednesday

On this #WriterWednesday, I wanted to share something writerly.  So, I thought about it and nearly smacked myself on the head.  I’ve recently had an epiphany about my WIP and I would prefer not to sweep it under the rug (as I often do).  So, here it is.

This January, I started writing vigorously on a “new” project.  I put it in quotation marks because it is actually an older project that I re-invigorated and revived from 3 years ago.  It’s a generational time slip story that spans 300 years.

To do this story justice, I researched books, journals, old newspapers, etc.  I began reading book after book.  Yet, the subject matter was heavy; this WIP deals with emotional baggage carried from generation to generation as well as the general societal concerns American society has/had with people of color.

As I was doing the research, so many of the themes from the old books I was reading were in play in current events.  Watching CNN’s coverage of the University of Missouri racism scandal that resulted in two top University officials resignations made me cringe.

It was only days after these unsettling events that I realized I could not work on this WIP right now.  I have put it aside in hopes that there will come a day when I will be able to better handle the angst that arises within me as I work on this novel.


For each writer/author, there is a different set of checks and balances that allow them to create the works that the reader will eventually enjoy.  While attempting to write this novel (I have written almost 30K words), I learned that there are moments in time that I am incapable of properly handling a subject matter.  I hope that my WIPs are akin to the caterpillar; they will evolve and become things of creative beauty.

I have returned my focus to a writing project I do enjoy — the sequel to Fury From Hell.

In this second book, NYPD Detective Jennifer Holden returns along with her cronies in this novel ready to finish what they started — finding Kyma Barnes’ killer and ensuring that Fury Abatu doesn’t re-possess the good detective!  In this story, Jen has to find her way forward emotionally.  This former atheist has no idea what believing in something greater than herself looks like — even if that thing is love.  However, she doesn’t have much time to dwell on her personal demons.  Almost immediately, there are some mysterious deaths that don’t pass muster; the killer, or killers, do not seem to have a discernible motivation except to brutally kill their victims.  Or, if Jen is right, Fury Abatu is back…

I am loving the writing process and how I work through challenges of what to work on next and the feelings I experience during these mental gyrations.  Being a writer is truly a novel experience!

In the meantime, enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.  Eat lots of good food.  Enjoy time spent with family, good friends and loved ones.  Each day with them is precious.

Thanksgiving 2015

Roman Mask by Thomas M.D. Brooke Book Review + Giveaway!

Cassius was living a lie – Until Fate made him a Warrior
Enter to WIN 1 of 3 Print Copies
Roman Mask
by Thomas M.D. Brooke
My rating: 5 stars
Publication Date: June 29, 2015
Publisher: Thomas M D Brooke
ISBN-13: 9781783017966
Genre: Historical Fiction |War
Print Length: 390 pages
Available from:| iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads | Shelfari
Rome AD 9
Augustus Caesar rules Imperial Rome at the
height of its power, as the Roman Empire stretches across the known
world. Cassius, son of one of her most powerful families, is the
personification of Rome’s imperial strength: wealthy, popular, a war
hero with a decorated military career – none of Rome’s fashionable
parties are complete without him – except, he hides a secret.

his nerve is broken in Germany, the thought of genuine armed combat is
enough to send him into a cold sweat of fear and shame. But this doesn’t
dissuade him from living off a false reputation so he can continue a
life of casual affairs, wine, and parties, as he is seduced by the many
vices of Rome.

However his scandalous life is soon upset by a
summons from the Emperor’s wife. It ends his happy decadent life and
returns him to Germany to assist the Roman legions in their greatest
ever trial, and the events that will resound down in history, in the
dark forests of the Teutoburg…
 Roman Mask by Thomas M D Brooke

Roman MaskVisit Rome at the height of its power through the eyes of a would-be hero who hid his shame at the accolades he thought he didn’t deserve. Cassius was living a lie and he knew it, silencing his torment with wild living and alcohol. As the son of a powerful Roman family, he has prestige. As a hero, he had the adulation of the masses. He had fought in Germany, distinguished, but broken, he ran and now was his chance to truly earn the title “warrior hero” when the Emperor’s wife summons him to her side with a command. With no way out, Cassius was to go back into the bloodiest battles Rome of AD 9 would ever see. What he didn’t expect was to have a young and brash young soldier at his side, by far the best swordsman to be seen. This is Cassius’ story, as he grows from a spoiled socialite to a true warrior and commander when the odds are not in his favor and Rome’s mighty legions are brought to their knees on the battlefield against the German warriors defending their homelands.

Feel the desperation of a force reeling from their greatest defeat ever. Endure the lack of true leadership by men ill-prepared to wage real war and be amazed at their willingness to fall on their own swords to save face. As Cassius takes on more and more of the strategic planning, he finds he has the intelligence to map out the paths of least resistance and the charisma to command men to follow him, even when it is surely to their own deaths. There is a traitor among them and Rome is being repeatedly stabbed in the heart, the blood of their warriors coating the battlefields as the monstrous Germans hack them to pieces, enjoying the torturous screams of their enemies. Where will Cassius lead his followers? Will he ask more of them than he is willing to give? What happened to the coward who ran scared as in his place stands a great warrior, a leader of men, willing to die for those around him if it would give them even a slight chance to live.

I read Roman Mask in one sitting; it was that powerful, that mesmerizing and that well-written. Thomas M.D. Brooke is a master storyteller as he brings the glory and the shame of war to life in a time long ago when Rome thought it was its right to rule the known world. Vicious battles, brave soldiers, bloody battlefields and the brutality of hand to hand combat when one misstep means certain death. Mr. Brooke does not argue the rights of one country over another; he presents a tale of war, of one man’s battle within himself and his chance for personal redemption and honor.

There is tentative romance, heroes falling to the blade as the villain survives. This is war at its worst and best. Heroes will rise, as will the strong and the very lucky, deceit will be uncovered and inhumane torture will turn your stomach, but war is to the death, to the victors go the spoils. Through it all, one man distinguishes himself for the sake of his countrymen, but will he be rewarded if he survives or will knowing he has done the best he could under the worst of circumstances be the only acknowledgement he needs? Powerful reading that should be on everyone’s shelf.

Thomas Brooke lives in London where he works in the exciting, and
sometimes crazy, fashion world.  He is also a committed writer and he
spends as much time as he can in his beloved Northumbrian hills, where
up until recently could be seen walking with his black Labrador Fergus,
who sadly passed in January 2015.  Fergus was a constant companion to
the writing of the novel and prevented many writers’ tantrums.

Roman Mask is Thomas Brooke’s second novel, although this will be the first available for sale.

Connect with Thomas Brooke

Thomas M.D. Brooke is offering 3 Print copies of ROMAN MASK
a Brilliant Gift for yourself or anyone who loves great historical fiction!
Open to US – AUS – UK – EU – CA – New Zealand
Ends December 7, 2015

The Funny 5: Thanksgiving Writing Prompts

I am so caught up with my Bobby Flay recipe for Roasted Turkey with Maple Mustard Glaze that I can barely think straight!  I’ve picked up a 16.04 pound turkey (even though, Bobby said he wanted a 17-pound turkey…).  I’ve got the horseradish, dijon mustard, chicken stock (homemade?? Hmmmm….)

You get the idea.  So, since I’m in a gobble-gobble mood I figured that it should seep into my writing life.  Blogger Kim, of the Write Shop, originally blogged these great prompts.  You can find more of these prompts on her website every Wednesday!

Here are Kim’s five great Thanksgiving-themed writing prompts over at the WriteShop blog. Your kids will love creating tweets from the Thanksgiving turkey, writing about a favorite traditions, imagining a story about a magical leaf pile, and more. Check out these prompts here!

If you really are inspired why don’t you post your gobble-y tweet below in the comment section?  That would be great fun!

Ta-ta for now,


8 Great Author Websites

I salivate at the beauty and sophistication of some of these author websites.  You might, too.

Authors have some amazing magical talents.  Don’t you think?


Image from Shea MacLeod’s Blog

The author websites are presented to you in no particular order.  Drum roll, please…

Haruki  Murakami: Contemporary Japanese writer –

Elizabeth Spann Craig: Cozy Mystery author –

Bernard Cornwell: English Author of Historical novels –

Marcel Theroux: British novelist and broadcaster –

Amy Krouse Rosenthal: American author –

Kevin Henkes: American children’s author and illustrator –

Kenneth C. Davis: American Popular Historian and author –

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Rick Riordan) –

Ta-ta for now,


Alan Black’s Metal Boxes Series Mega Giveaway

Coming of age can be
hard for anyone. 

For Blackmon Perry Stone it is life threatening
Metal Boxes
by Alan Black
Publication Date: September 20, 2013
Publisher: Alan Black
ISBN-13: 9781482774320
Genre: Science Fiction | Adventure | Space Opera
Print Length: 359 pages
Add to Goodreads | Shelfari
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Coming of age can be
hard for anyone. But for Blackmon Perry Stone it is life threatening. At
15, he barely manages to graduate from the empire’s cadet training by a
talent for unusual problem solving. He has trouble settling into navy
life, but life becomes harder when he uncovers a ring of thieves aboard
the huge ship. Life becomes difficult when they killed him. Stone is
ejected into hyperspace in an escape pod without hyperspace engines.
Fully expecting to die, he reconfigures the sub-light engine to escape
the inescapable. To his surprise it works, but only well enough to do
little more than crash on an uncharted planet. It will surprise him if
he can make the engine work again, but not as much as it will surprise
everyone else if he can come back from the dead.

Click on Cover for Dii’s 5 Star Review

Stone is back, still a bit of an awkward teen, 
still capable of accidentally becoming a hero and savior
Metal Boxes
Trapped Outside
by Alan Black
Series: Metal Boxes – Book 2
Publication Date: August 24, 2015
Publisher: Alan Black
Genre: YA Science Fiction – Space Opera
Print Length: 313 pages
Add to Goodreads | Shelfari
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The sequel to #1 best selling science fiction novel Metal Boxes.
Blackmon Perry Stone hasn’t gotten over his fear of being outside and he
still hasn’t settled into life in the Empire’s Navy. After months of
legal wrangling over his last assignment, he has been given a new
assignment. He was looking forward to getting an new posting on a
spaceship or a station. The problem is that his new job is on a planet.
Worse, once there, the base is overrun by the enemy aliens and now Stone
is trapped outside on a hostile planet, injured, and hunted by aliens
bent of killing him.

Metal Boxes - Trapped Outside

Click on Cover for Dii’s 5 Star Review 
What IS a Metal Box?
Here is the official definition gleaned from the words of Alan Black, himself
Metal Boxes: space stations, space ships, and intersystem freighters

WHY are they so important to these stories?
Blackmon Perry Stone never stepped into open air until after his twelfth birthday. His agoraphobia is rampant and ceilings are a must. When he joins the space navy he expected to spend his time inside navy ships. When he finds out he has to spend time outside of the metal boxes he is used to, he has more problems than just the people trying to kill him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Alan Black is a multi-genre author who writes for young adults on up.

He’s never met a good story he didn’t want to tell.
I have been writing novels since 1997 when I started ‘Eye on The
Prize’. My writing tastes are as eclectic as my reading preferences. I
admit that I love writing much more than editing and the whole
publishing process. Marketing of my novels leaves me as baffled as the
whole string theory thing.

I was born in central Kansas, but grew up in Gladstone, Missouri,
graduating from Oak Park Senior High School and eventually earning a
degree from Longview Community College. I spent most of my adult life in
the Kansas City area (with the exception of a few years in the U.S. Air
Force), but my wife and I now live in sunny Arizona. The dry desert air
stimulates my creativity more than the juicy air in Missouri
(pronounced here as ‘misery’).

I am pretty sure my desire to write started in the second grade. I
was given an assignment to write a short story about Greek mythology. My
teacher took the time to call my parents. Although neither Dad or Mom
remember the incident, it had an impact on me eventually leading me to
finally write (and most importantly finish) my first manuscript. It took
two years to complete ‘Eye on The Prize’. I have gotten faster since
then, completing the last manuscript in three weeks.

One thing Alan LOVES to do is Connect with Readers Online and at Book Signings! Check his website for upcoming events ~ Chat him up at any of his links!
 Website | Facebook | Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads



“What we think in our hearts is the very essence of who we are and what we will become.”

Rev. Steve Longely

Grand Prize – Kindle Fire 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, Black

First Prize – $25.00 Amazon Gift Card

Second Prize (US Only) – An autographed copy of ANY of my books

Third Prize (US Only) –  Autographed copy of Metal Boxes & Metal Boxes Trapped Outside

Fourth Prize (two winners)(Intl) – E-version of any of my books.

MORE books by Alan Black  
Chasing Harpo, Eye on the Prize, Other Times & Other Worlds Anthology
Metal Boxes, Metal Boxes – Trapped Outside (Metal Boxes Series)
Empty Space, Titanium Texicans, Chewing Rocks, Steel Walls and Dirt Drops,
The Friendship Stones, The Granite Heart, The Heaviest Rock and The Inconvenient Pebble, Jasper’s Courage (An Ozark Mountain Series)
A Cold Winter
How to Start, Write, and Finish Your First Novel

Fury From Hell: 14 Months Later

Fury From Hell was published the day before Labor Day last year (2014).  I was up ALL night getting the upload just right and ensuring that the cover uploaded correctly.

My editor was on speed-dial and my nerves were blunted stumps by 5:00 am.  However, I was elated!  My first book was going to be born!


As many new self-published authors, I just knew that my book would ‘find its audience’.  That the machine that Amazon is would churn and bring the right readers to Fury From Hell.

That didn’t happen.

I tried building a strong presence on social media (my favorite platform is Twitter – @NoteBkBlogairy).  Over time, I realized that this is important but the focus needed to be not on being a great Twittizen but being a great advocate for my books and writing.  I had to stay true to being a writer and spend quality time developing, refining and acquiring new tools in my writer’s tool kit.

What this all means is I became sidetracked; marketing and building a social media platform was my dedicated focus.  Well, not anymore.  The focus will shift back to my first love — writing.  That thing that I have wanted to do since I was 12 years old.  For goodness sake, I shared the writing and authorship bug with my son and co-authored a book with him (The Magic Seeds)!

Setting a monthly writing goal, a weekly writing goal and a daily writing goal is paramount.  Output is the only measure by which a writer can look to in order to see how dedicated we have been to our craft.  The only other indicator is your research.  In order to be written appropriately, many books need a fairly decent amount of background information to be obtained prior to writing, or to continue writing.  If you have read 15 books in relation to your work-in-progress then you count that towards your ‘writing goal’ for that time period.  Why?  Because without reading those books/periodicals/newspapers/etc. you cannot complete your WIP.  One hand washes the other; one aspect feeds the other.

Writing can consume your every waking hour.  Or, you can obsess over how little writing you have done and let that occupy your mind.  Or, you can say your marketing your work and therefore assisting the overall cause and ease your inner critic!

Fourteen months after publication of my book I can say unequivocally that a writer — self-published, or not — must continue to write and develop new story lines.  The writer must renew their creative faculty through engaging in their favorite hobbies/activities.  A vacation to a new exotic locale, if the budget is there, is also a great generator of new thoughts and ideas.

Once your creative tank is brimming it’s time to pick up your pen, stylus, or grab your keyboard.

As for marketing?  Leave that to the PR professional, or budget your time!  Slate 1 – 2 hours a week ONLY to marketing.  After you reach that limit (or, whatever limit you set), then get back to the matter at hand — writing!

The final word: Don’t get me wrong marketing is very important.  Simply know its place in your writing life.

P.S. – If you want to read some reviews of Fury From Hell here are some links to the reviews.

Ta-ta for now,