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Inside Cut, Chapter One

Inside Cut, Chapter One

Below is a free preview of my upcoming novel Inside Cut. This is chapter one. Inside Cut will be the seventh crime novel in my C.T. Ferguson private investigator series. Here’s the cover proof. Chapter One The arrival of spring means many things to many people. For several of my college friends and me, it meant the start of a new lacrosse season. We enjoyed a good run at Loyola, even winning it all my last year of eligibility. As…

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Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok (let’s just call it Thor 3 for short) is raucous, good fun. It features good action scenes, some great images, plenty of laughs, and a story that moves the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) forward. There are some moments where it’s a little too cheeky for its own good, but you can look past them and enjoy the ride. The movie: Fresh from stopping the demon Surtur (voiced by the great Clancy Brown–yes, the guy who is both The Kurrgan and…

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Book Launch Lessons and Plan

Book Launch Lessons and Plan

I can say I had a six-figure book launch. Yes, the launch of The Reluctant Detective hit six figures . . . if you give me the decimal point and four places after. It’s only been out for two weeks, so I’m not panicking. I didn’t expect to becomes James Patterson overnight. That will take until at least 2019! Further, I didn’t setup any marketing or promotion for the book prior to launch. Why not? It’s the first book in a…

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Writing a Novella

Writing a Novella

Not every idea germinating in a writer’s mind is a novel. Some are short stories. One that gets trapped between those two is a novella. Novellas don’t get a lot of love. Everyone wants to write novels. Readers want to read novels. Some writers will put out a collection of short stories (which I’ve done). Not many will write novellas. I think there’s some unexplored space here. I think part of the reason we don’t get a lot of novellas…

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Review: Little White Lies

Review: Little White Lies

Robert B. Parker’s Little White Lies, by Ace Atkins. Little White Lies is Ace Atkins’ sixth Spenser book since the Robert B. Parker estate chose him to continue the series following Parker’s death. The books have ranged from just OK (Kickback) to quite good (Wonderland). Little White Lies lands solidly toward the very good end of the scale. The venerable Spenser gets a referral from his longtime lover Susan Silverman. Connie Kelly wants him to find M. Brooks Welles, an…

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Working with an Editor

Working with an Editor

I’ve written a couple reviews recently, and I’ll have more coming in the near-ish future. What I haven’t done recently is write about writing. Today, I want to share some experiences I’ve had working with an editor. This will be an irregular ongoing series, one I’ll add to when I have new or interesting experiences to share. First, I think every independent author should hire a professional editor. No, they don’t work for free, but we also shouldn’t expect them…

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Book Review: Smart Baseball by Keith Law

Book Review: Smart Baseball by Keith Law

Smart Baseball, by ESPN senior writer Keith Law, is a comprehensive and entertaining look at the world of baseball statistics, both the better new ones and some older ones that have lost relevance. Yes, I’m something of a baseball nerd. Over the years, football has become my favorite sport to sit and watch on TV, but baseball is still my favorite sport to follow. A large reason for that is the game’s statistical history and depth. I collected baseball cards…

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Pro Bono is Now on Amazon!

Pro Bono is Now on Amazon!

A couple weeks ago, I started circulating a set of three short stories to introduce prospective readers to C.T. Ferguson, my private investigator protagonist. Two days ago, I put it up on Amazon. It’s in Kindle Unlimited, so it’s free if you have that. Here’s the cover (it looks better in higher resolution, I promise): The Amazon US link is right here. I had been giving away Pro Bono to anyone who signed up for my mailing list. Now, with the…

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Free Short Stories!

Free Short Stories!

Years ago, Guns n’ Roses said, “I put the pen to the paper ’cause it’s all a part of me.” We’ve moved on from pen and paper in the intervening years, but I did the 21st-Century equivalent and put electronic words onto a screen. I kept up the modernity and assembled those words into a short story set. It contains three short stories, designed to introduce you to the world of unconventional private investigator C.T. Ferguson. Here’s a look at the…

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Challenging Yourself: Writing Groups

Challenging Yourself: Writing Groups

Like many writers, I’m in a writing group (sometimes called a critique group). I checked out a couple of writing groups before joining my current one. The first group I tried to join didn’t want to take on another genre writer. This is what I’ve wondered for a while, as a general query: is it bad for a writing group to favor genre authors, as opposed to those who just write mainstream (or literary) fiction? Obviously, some groups will devote themselves…

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