Monday, July 16, 2012

Rudy Toot-Toot is Available!

At long last, Rudy Toot-Toot is available for sale on!

Have you read it?  Please enter a review!  Haven't read it?  Please check it out!

Ready for a blast of laughing gas? Rudy Toot-Toot has a special power, almost like a super-hero: he can fart. It comes natural when you’re born on a bean farm. The problem is that Rudy can’t control the timing or the force behind his special gift. 

His farts get him into a lot of trouble at home and school, and after one monstrous blast scares all the Beanheads away from the Toot-Toot Family Bean Market, it’s up to Rudy to find a way to use his talent to lure the customers back before the bank takes away their home. 

This hilarious tale about self-control (and the lack thereof) will have readers young and old laughing out loud. They might even learn a thing or two along the way…

Sure the book is about a boy who farts, but before you balk at the subject matter, it's important to understand two things:

1. Farts are funny.

2. The story is really about self-control, and finding the right time and right place.   And it is a really good story.  Trust me. 

Rudy Toot-Toot is a great summer reading choice for kids in kindergarten through 5th grade.  The first page gets their attention and the story holds it, expect giggles and the sound of ruffling paper. hard as it is to get kids to read, this is a book they will want to finish!  You may need to read aloud to younger children, but this is a book adults can appreciate, too.

Paperback copies are only $9.99, and for the month of July Rudy Toot-Toot is available on Kindle for only $0.99 (and The Man in the Cinder Clouds is still just $0.99 on Kindle for my Christmas in July sale)!

Click here for the paperback copy.

Click here for the Kindle copy.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Christmas in July, Happy Anniversary Cinder Clouds!

Last year on July 12, I celebrated Christmas in July with the publication of my book, "The Man in The Cinder Clouds."  Over the past year, many people have read and reviewed my story, and while it has yet to see explosive sales and become an international phenomenon (NOTE: Don't worry, I'm patient.  It will come...), the feedback and reviews I've received from readers young and old has been wonderful.

This year for Christmas in July I'm offering The Man in the Cinder Clouds for $0.99 on Kindle.  So if you know anyone looking for a summer read, please recommend it!  Even if you're swamped with a reading list thousands of pages long, this is a great one to add to the pile and save for a cold December day...Heck, it's even a cool read for a hot summer day.

So please go to Amazon and grab a copy.  If you already have one, please tell a friend.  It's a fun, quick kids and adults can enjoy together.  Don't just take my word for it, here's what some of the reviews have said:

--"THE MAN IN THE CINDER CLOUDS is one of those middle grade books that the grown-ups get sucked into along with their kids. You think you bought if for your young reader but after you browse chapter one you just sort of... can't stop."

--"I don't typically read this type of book, but I'm glad that I did. It showed up on my suggestions and I took a chance :) I really liked it, as I read it in one sitting....and I don't do that very often."

--"I'm not fond of Christmas...This book showed me that I do love a good Christmas story."

--"I've read all the Christmas stories and it's so hard to find anything that feels fresh. This book does! It has an exciting, unique premise and is just so darn fun. I suggest families buy it and read it aloud together."

--"I just finished reading this book, started about 3 hours ago, I was hooked with the first chapter and couldn't put it down."

--"For this forty-something father, it brought back the magic I remember as a child when I watched the Christmas specials on TV, except this story seemed more "real". I definitely think it could be a new classic, allowing modern kids to feel the same sense of wonder we all felt when we were young."

--"The Man in the Cinder a story within a story within a story...The three stories twist and turn together, bringing modern and ancient adventures together with a splash of magic and the wonder of Christmas in this completely fresh take on the story of Santa Claus."

--"The characters are well developed and the settings of the book make you feel like you are actually in the book...part of the story, amongst the characters."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Big, Fat, Hairy Deal

They say nothing good happens after midnight.  This is mostly true, but sometimes, when the party is still going strong, someone breaks out a bunch of wigs and bald guys like me can't resist the temptation to feel hair on my head and shoulders again.

Hair extensions are a gateway wig...
That's more like it!
Channeling my inner 80s Hair-Metal Band, Poison Def Bon Motley Leppard Crue.
This is my kids' favorite: the stupid hippie.
I was not the only lunatic there...
You gotta own it...
...and wear it with pride!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Indie-Pendence Day Q&A

Q: What is an Indie?
A:  It’s when your belly button doesn’t stick out.  Ha!  Just kidding.  Indie is short for Independent Author.  Or Indiana Jones, but I think you spell that with a –y, i.e. Indy.

Q: Why celebrate Independent Authors?
A: Because supporting an Indie Author is supporting small business.  These are talented entrepreneurs, creating high-quality books and selling them at competitive prices.  It’s what readers should be looking for, to be honest.  Indie authors are enterprising people starting up their own businesses...It's the American way!  Celebrating their efforts around the 4th of July makes perfect sense.

Q: But don’t all self-published books suck?
A: No, they don’t all suck.  Far from it.  While self-publishing is a process of making an e-book available, or working with a POD (print on-demand) publisher, and Indie Authors do self-publish in this sense, I see a difference between the stigmatic "self-published books" and being an Indie Author.

Indie Authors don’t work alone; self-publishers do it all themselves (hence the name). Self-publishers self-edit, often rushing to publication with a first draft of a first novel.  While there are many horrible self-published books out there, there are even more great novels by talented new Indie authors (including those who publish through small presses). Indies solicit expertise from peers and/or professionals to hone their writing, from grammar and line edits to character, plot, and pacing; they care deeply about the quality of their writing.  It’s the dedication to the craft that is enabling Indie Authors to create a new perception of quality in the market.    

Q: Aren’t you an Indie Author?
A: Yes, but this isn’t about me.  This is about the entire community of Indie writers and the readers who support them.  While I would love for more people to read my books, I want to recommend two Indie authors whose books I read an enjoyed:

Travis Erwin’s semi-memoir The Feedstore Chronicles is a fictionalized account of his coming-of-age, set around his high school job in the Texas panhandle.  It’s laugh-out-loud funny, and funny doesn’t come easy.  Sure, some of the humor is crude.  Okay, pretty much all of the humor is crude.  There are a couple scenes that make fart jokes seem like church talk, one involving a bulldog.  But it is funny, and it’s the voice with which Travis describes the awkward situations that makes the narrative so compelling.  His writing is natural, witty, and full of heart.

Anita Laydon Miller has independently published two books, Earthling Hero and A Scary Good Book and is currently working on a new YA novel with agent representation.  Her stories are perfect for middle-grade readers, with characters they can relate to.  She has a good sense for writing action and suspense, in A Scary Good Book, especially…It’s as good as any Hardy Boys or Three Investigators book I read as a kid.  Anita is finishing courses in pursuit of her MFA degree, I expect her future works to keep getting better and better.