Here you can follow the blow-by-blow account of my attempt to transform myself into a (regularly) published author.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Chapter 20 - Dead Mule Swamp Druggist

Dead Mule Swamp Druggist

It's been way too long since I've been posting here. However, I'm still writing. Trying to keep a lot of balls in the air. That said, I just finished Chapter 20 of the next Anastasia Raven book, called Dead Mule Swamp Druggist. It is the longest and most complex book of the series.

Here's an excerpt from Chapter 20

   The woods, and the clearing surrounding Ham's trailer, didn't seem menacing at all in the daylight, just depressing. The trailer was old and wasn't quite level. The factory paint job was faded and scratched. Of course, no one had cleared any of the junk from the yard. The front door wasn't latched and it repeatedly opened a few inches and then closed again, as a light wind moved through the clearing. Every time the door hit the jamb I heard a soft thud. I was amazed that someone could live in such a dump. Yet, I'd never heard that Ham was a complainer. Maybe he just liked his privacy and didn't care about other amenities. I recalled that Adele had said he tried to keep the location of the place a secret. Now, I wondered what secrets he might have had that were worth hiding. Did he have secrets so big they got him killed?
   The small deck on the front was the newest thing on the property. It was solidly built of treated lumber and seemed completely out of character with everything else. I mounted the steps and opened the door. The first thing I noticed was the smell. Mold and decay. Decaying flesh. The second shock, as I stepped from the deck to the inside, was that the flooring was soft. Probably water damaged from rain coming in the open door. I wondered if I'd break through. It was a good thing the floor was only about three feet above the ground, but who knew what was underneath the trailer?
   With a quick look around the cramped interior, I located the origin of the foul smell. A dead raccoon was liquefying in the back bedroom. There was no apparent reason it had died there. As much as I didn't want to get anywhere near it, I was determined to search the trailer, so I returned to the yard and found a shovel with a badly weathered handle. I held my breath as I entered the bedroom, scooped up the body and headed for the woods. Giving a ninja yell to boost my strength and buck up my courage, I flung the remains as far into the brush as I was able. "That should help," I told myself. Out loud. Then I pulled a sliver from the palm of my hand.

You can find the first four Anastasia Raven Stories at Smashwords or Amazon

Friday, December 5, 2014

"Toby and Harry" in Thirteen Stories by Us

Thirteen Stories by Us cover
A group of authors, most of whom became acquainted through the Accentuate Writers' Forum, banded together to create an anthology of suspense/horror stories for Halloween. All stories were donated, with all the proceeds going to help two author friends who are having some really difficult financial times.

The idea was conceived by Melissa Dawn Ingham, and the volume edited by Catherine A. MacKenzie. It's entitled Thirteen Stories By Us. Not surprisingly, it contains thirteen stories! Twelve are meant to send a shiver or two down your spine, and the other is a quirky love story.

My story, "Toby and Harry," is included. I'm really happy to see it in this grouping. I intended it to be a subtle horror story, but perhaps it was too subtle to stand on its own. Some people have mistaken the genre and ended up really confused about what I was trying to say. All I was trying to do was be a little scary! So this is a perfect fit.

For a longer review of the stories in the volume, see Review of Thirteen Stories by Us.

The book is available in paperback or e-book, at Smashwords or Amazon.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Paperback Versions of Anastasia Raven Mysteries

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All four Anastasia Raven mysteries are now available in three volumes as paperbacks! I gave in to the Amazon giant and did this through CreateSpace which was quite easy to use, actually.

Although I've had good sales with the e-books it all seems more real with physical copies in my hands!

For a limited time you can get all three for only $30, plus $4 media mail shipping to US addresses. This is a savings of $3 off the cover price, and if you are in Michigan, I'm even paying your tax for you (an additional $1.80 savings). These will be signed copies. This offer will be good until November 1, 2014.

Email me, or tell me in a comment that you are interested.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Would You Dare?

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In 1986, I wrote a book of short biographies of twelve outstanding Christians, targeted for young people. Most recently, I'd been printing these on my computer and fastening them with a comb binding.

Thanks to Print On Demand, I'm working on formatting these into a paperback, which will look much better, and still be very reasonably priced. It's taking quite a bit of work to get the format correct, but I should have these books ready in time for Authorpalooza in Big Rapids on November 8.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blog Talk Radio with Dellani Oakes

I was featured on Red River Radio, Dellani Oakes Tea Time, on April 14, 2014. Other guests were Debra Ann Fisk and JoMarie DeGioia, who both write romance and romantic suspense. Co-host was Karen Vaughn.

There are a number of interesting questions about the writing process posed to each of us, and we also each read an excerpt from one of our books.

If you want to hear part of News from Dead Mule Swamp, read by me, just listen in, and it begins at minute 43.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Read an E-book Week at Smashwords

For one week, hundreds of books at Smashwords and other retailers are discounted or free. They offer all the popular formats, plus pdf, rtf, and in-browser options.

The idea was launched in 2004 by "Rita Toews, 61, a soft-spoken mother of two and grandmother of one, who sits at the center of the ebook universe for this week.

"Operating from a spare bedroom in her home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with her cat Lola by her side ("Every author needs a cat," she says), Ms. Toews is the creator and chief ringmaster of Read an Ebook Week, an annual international celebration of ebooks that kicks off its seventh season this Sunday March 7.

"Read an Ebook Week brings together ebook retailers, publishers, authors, device-makers and untold thousands of readers who join in this international literary event of ebook discovery, and yes, gluttony.

"Since the event takes place in cyberspace the only measure I have of its success is the traffic on the Read an E-Book Week website, which grows each year. Occasionally a participant will contact me and say - "I had over 2,500 visits on my website during Read an Ebook Week." That's nice to hear.

"For this one week only, publishers and authors offer thousands of original ebooks for free and at deep discounts to encourage book lovers around the globe to give ebooks a try."

Visit the official Facebook page

Two of my books are discounted for this week. See Joan H. Young Author page

[some text taken from interview with Rita Toews by Mark Coker at the Huffington Post]

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp- Available!

Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp

Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp is book four of the Anastasia Raven mysteries. Here's the blurb:

Anastasia Raven opens a box containing a bloody hatchet, apparently sent as some sort of warning to her friend Cora and Cora’s ex-husband. When a hacked-up body is discovered in the Petite Sauble River at the small village of Jalmari, everyone is stunned at the victim’s identity. Continued puzzling discoveries just don’t add up. Ana discovers herself agreeing to participate in a zany conspiracy with a tall and handsome man.

The ebook is available for purchase now, only $2.99- less than a good cup of coffee!
Barnes and Noble