Thursday, December 25, 2014

99¢ After Christmas Sale

Get a new eReader for Christmas? 
Looking for a way to unwind after the holiday rush? 
Want to curl up with a few new books during the cold winter months?

For a limited time, load your Kindle with a great selection of 99¢ ebooks.

December 26th thru January 1st.

Stock up on an assortment of riveting reads in your favorite genres! 
For a list of titles included in the sale, visit:

Get Saving Toby for only 99¢!
Saving Toby on Amazon (Kindle only)
Saving Toby on Smashwords (mobi, epub and pdf available)
On Smashwords, enter coupon code LC94A upon checkout.

Promotional sale sponsored by #indiebooksbeseen.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Why I Love Being Indie

Welcome to an #indiebooksbeseen Blog Hop

An independent author has the freedom to express one’s creativity without being told how or when to do it. As an Indie author I am the captain of my ship. With my characters aboard, I set out for adventure. They learn about life, love and sacrifice within the boundaries of my chapters, but I learn, too, gathering snippets of information from each port-of-call of my own voyage. As a newbie captain, I’ve gained priceless insight about the many tributaries of writing under one’s own initiative: editing, blogging, marketing, social media, and the delicate art of selling one’s work without being too pushy.

Despite the solitude of our work, an Indie author isn’t truly alone. If you listen, you’ll hear the calls from across the cresting waves. Others are out there. Many, many others, and together, we are both united and ignited by an allegiance to our craft. Countless times I’ve been offered insightful guidance and knowledge from my independent comrades. Their help has steered me through some rough waters.

I am only at the beginning of my expedition, but many of those that travel by my side are quite accomplished. I invite you, the readers, to follow me, and other independent authors along on our journeys. Exciting voyages are underway, and you just might find yourself a new favorite writer among the fleet.

To read more about what it's like to be an Indie Author and enter to win some cool prizes, hop on over to Christina Rozelle's "A Spark in the Dark:"

Monday, November 17, 2014

Secret Santa Giveaway!

As part of the new independent author movement, #IndieBooksBeSeen, over 75 self-published authors like myself have come together to offer an assortment of wonderful stories and titles for a special holiday giveaway. 

No purchase to enter, only tweets and follows. 

Get in on it Today!


*Drawing open until December 15. Ended

Congratulations to Holly Letson who won a paperback copy of Saving Toby!

Current contributing authors and titles supporting this #IndieBooksBeSeen Secret Santa giveaway are, as follows:

DB Nielsen – SEED: Keepers of Genesis I

Mark Shaw – The Keeper of the Wind

J.C. Brennan – A Fine Line

Kylie Kaemke – Heavy Hearts

Robert A Palmer – Relyk

C.L. Schneider – The Crown of Stones

K.S. Marsden – The Shadow Rises

L.A. Starkey – Deceived

K.K. Allen – The Summer Solstice: Enchanted

LISA – The Elemental

Kevin Moore – The Golden Merra volume 1

Wanda Smith – Summer Winds

Jacci Turner – Bending Willow

Renee N. Meland – The Extraction List

Heather Day Gilbert – Miranda Warning

Jonathan M.Dixit – BabyWorld

Christina L.Rozelle – The Treemakers

Taylor Ann Bunker – Witch In The Woods

Donald Wilson II – Cross Roads

Rose Montague – Jade

Colleen Gareau – Sam(uel) and My Mother’s Summer Vacations

Mika Jolie – The Scale (Martha’s Way Series)

C.K. Dawn – Cloak of Shadows

Wesley Morrison – Let No False Angels

D.M. Cain – A Chronicle of Chaos

Suzanne McKenna Link – Saving Toby

Ash Krafton – Bleeding Hearts

Peggy M. McAloon – Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals

Ksenia Anske – Irkadura

Dylan J. Morgan – The Dead Lands

Kristen Mott – Odie the Stray Kitten

A.S. Washington & De’Quan Foster’s – The Twelve

Adam Dreece – The Yellow Hoods: Along Came a Wolf (Book 1)

Lori Crane – Oaktibbee Creek

Lori Lesko – Copyright A Novel

Johanna Harness – Spillworthy

J.S. Snow – Redemption

Mikey Campling – Trespass The Darkeningstone

M.J. Fahy – The Magpie King

Neil Winnington – Religious Pursuits

C.J. Morrow – The Finder

Danielle Prophet – The Opposite Of Gravity

Robin Martin-Duttmann – Zoo to the Moon

Rochelle Campbell – Fury From Hell

Christina McMullen – Going Green

Paul David Chambers – Manners Cost Everything

Clara Grace Walker – Gratification, Gossip and Redemption

W.M. Calloway – The Xenton Chronicles

Christie Heron – Unrequited

Josephine O’Brien – Shared Skies

Mark Victor Young – Once Were Friends

Patrena Miller – She’s Not Worthy and The Road

M.E. Walker – The Finding

HJ Lawson – War Kids

Elizabeth Guizzetti – Other Systems

Jo Bissell – Beyond the Reach of Judgement

Suzette Brown – Alzheimer’s Through My Mothers Eyes

Kirby Howell – Autumn In The City Of Angels

Michelle A.Picarella – Livian

Jessica Keller – Saving Yesterday

Elena Sandovici – Dogs With Bagels

K. M. Herkes – Controlled Descent

A.T. Russell – Sacred Puppies

David P Perlmutter – Wrong Place Wrong Time

Jennifer Gibson – Sway, Compass and Destiny

Kory M. Shrum – Dying for a Living and Dying by the Hour

Adrienne Thompson – Your Love is King

Pete Buckley – The Colonel of Krasnoyarsk

Chess Desalls – Travel Glasses

Ed Ireland – The Last Ranger of Sarn & Blood Moon Sacrifice

For more information, visit:

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dissecting a bad boy

It seems that many books in the New Adult genre have become wildly popular because of readers' obsession with misbehaved, but hard-to-resist bad boy characters. We simply cannot get enough of guys like Beautiful Disaster’s Travis Maddox, Easy’s Lucus Maxfield, Pushing the Limit’s Noah Hutchins, and my own sweet, misguided bad boy, Toby Faye of Saving Toby. Here’s my take on what is so compelling about this kind of guy.

Maybe he lived in a rundown house on your street, or around the block. Maybe he was that boy in the back of the classroom who seemed to be the bane of every teacher’s existence. Your brother’s friend whom your parents said was a bad influence. However you knew him, we all knew at least one: the bad boy.

He was a guy who had zest for pushing the envelope. The guy who took pride in getting people to react to his outrageous remarks, his cutting humor and dastardly deeds. Wherever he went, his notoriety preceded him. The rumors, the stories — he was a magnet for the disapproving looks and gossip.

You didn’t know much about him. Maybe you suspected his home life was bad, and that he’d been through situations most couldn’t fathom — he’d been exposed to a great deal more in life than you’d been, up to this point. Someone with that kind of knowledge was intimidating. So daunting that you would hold your breath if he walked too close to you in the hall, or heaven forbid, looked your way.

As much as his view of life intimidated you, you sort of admired him, too. You revered his ability to disobey so blatantly, to fight the system. If you weren’t so afraid of stepping out of line, maybe you’d skip class too, get high on an weekday afternoon, tell your stuffy science teacher where to shove his homework assignment.

The bad boy wasn’t afraid to step out of line; it was the norm for him. As teenagers, we went to great lengths to appear poised, confident and in the know, but most of us stumbled in our efforts daily. Fearlessness is an admirable quality, but for most, it is fleeting and obscure during high school. The bad boy, though, was afraid of nothing — at least not to us, the casual observer.

When everyone else was taking notes and trying not to sleep in class during 3rd period, you’d find him outside the school, smoking a cigarette, or maybe a joint. His disinterest in age-appropriate activities and academia was indisputable. When he made it to class, his interests appeared to lie in low cut shirts and the backsides of your shapely female classmates. With a lusty smile, you could tell he had other things on his mind than geometry.

He was a guy who seemed to understand the innate physical needs of a female body way more than you did yourself at that time, and that made him exciting in a way you couldn’t overlook.

Time to fess up. You thought about him. The constant disheveled state of his hair as he moved about unruffled, seemingly confident as he threw caution to the wind. This caught your attention. Then, you couldn’t help but notice how full his lips were, or how muscled he was when you’d seen him in gym without his shirt on.

What would you have done if you caught his attention, and he deemed you worthy of his pursuit? What if he went after you like he approached most objects in his life, afraid of nothing — would you been able to avoid falling under his spell?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's the small things…

As an indie author, I have learned to celebrate even the smallest successes — a nice review, a book sale, or a kind word about my writing. In this vein, I am excited to announce that Saving Toby met the fairly stringent criteria of the vetting process for Indies Unlimited and is now listed on the website.

Besides having my book added to the site, part of the perks is getting to do an author interview. Here are some of the questions with my answers.

Q: How did you come up with the title for your book? Does it have any special meaning?
This is a working title that fit the story. Toby Faye is a troubled guy whose story goes from bad to worse. As Toby begins a dark, downward spiral, I wanted readers to wonder, and worry, how and if he’d be able to pick up the pieces.

Q: Who was your favorite character and why?
Toby – this is his story; his journey, and I enjoyed writing his POV. From his humor to this angst, his cocky arrogance to his emotional fallout, he was such a great character to write.

Q: What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author?
I wrote the story to be an emotional read of both highs and lows. When a reader exclaims that the story put them on an emotional rollercoaster, and that they cried and laughed while reading the story, I feel they got me.

You can read more of the interview on Indies Unlimited:


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Toby Faye Character Bible

Readers: Thank you for being so patient while I work to complete 'Keeping Claudia,' the sequel to Saving Toby. In the meantime, I thought I would offer you a little insight to my creative process. When writing a novel, an author must know her characters well enough to consider how they will react and behave in almost any situation. For this, we create a character bible. A character bible is a bio of sorts that includes a charcter's basic backstory, attitudes, desires and such. This one was created for 21-year old Toby Faye. Some of you will recognize a part of it that I adjusted to fit into the actual storyline. 


The room has a decent-sized crowd, but I'm not nervous nor intimidated by this. It's an informal gig, and most of them don’t even know who I am, but that’s okay. I gonna play anyway. I begin to talk to them like we're all friends. They quiet down, and I begin to strum.

I like the feeling of my guitar in my hands, and I am proud that I taught myself to play. I don’t sing much 'cause I haven’t trained my voice. Maybe eventually I will work on improving it. Girls like that I can play, but singers get way more attention. Not that I need to sing for attention; that's never been an issue. There's just something indescribably freeing about being able to express myself through music. Playing gave me an outlet during some difficult times in my life. Impressing girls is a bonus.

Don’t know rejection, well, not since middle school days. Changed a lot physically since then. Grew about a foot, then finally filled out in 10th grade and started lifting weights. I’m in fighting shape and can pretty much eat whatever I want. My body is a lean, mean fighting machine. That helped my confidence in high school and after my first few successes with the opposite sex — Lara Whitney for one, I was fearless. I asked out girls wherever I went. Cause if one said no, there was another nearby who’d say yes. My friends Dev and Ray are impressed with my confidence around girls. They always want me to hook them up. I can tell Dev resents how easy it is for me to get girls. I think it’s because, out of the three of us, I’m the easiest going. I can hang with anyone. Kind of a people person — can pretty much talk to anyone. Like to make people laugh. People say I’m a bit of a jokester. Like to hang out, have a few beers and stuff. Regular things like that. Girls say I have nice eyes and arms, and once they get their hands on me, they like all my other parts, too.

I like having a girlfriend, being involved, knowing someone is waiting to be with me. I’m a tall guy, so I’ve had ‘em all shapes and sizes. Though I’m not too particular, she’s got to be sweet and have a good sense of humor. The attraction has to hit me right away. If she’s cute and has a long neck, I’m a goner. I don’t know what it is about that part of the body, but a beautiful neck is a complete turn-on. Muy caliente.

I’d gotten pretty tight with more than a few girls over the years, but I’ve yet to be in a long-running relationship. Most times, it dissolves after a few months, when girls start hitting me up for “L” word. That’s about the time I get ready to bounce. 

Love is a defective emotion. I don't trust it, and I am careful to avoid it. Once upon a time, I suppose I believed in it, but that chromosome or gene or whatever it is that makes you trust someone so completely you’d lay your life before his or her feet, was trampled on so much during my childhood; it malfunctioned and I am no longer able to connect to someone like that. When girlfriends who expect to connect with me on that level realize this, they move on. As they should. I won’t say words I don’t mean.

I’m still trying to figure out where I’m heading in the job area of my life. Got no clear road on that horizon. That kind of sucks. No, it just plain sucks. I’m jealous of people my age who have some kind of career thing lined up — or even a plan, because I don’t have any plan. Not a goddamn clue. I keep trying new jobs — everything from construction to waiting tables. Had some pretty sweet offers come my way, but nothing has inspired me. Guess I expect it — whatever it is — to hit me between the eyes and say, Hey asshole, get the hell up and grab this one!

I like going to work more than I ever liked school. With work, you put your time in and go home. Work stays at work. And if I don’t like the boss, sayonara, man. Of course the best part is the paycheck and the next best, a work uniform. Though it’s a little itchy and not the most comfortable thing I’ve worn, at least it’s something I don’t have to think about. It’s awesome to roll out of bed and into the ‘required uniform.’ Means I don’t have to really wake up and make a decision until I get to work. I shower, have a cup a coffee, rake my fingers through my hair, and I’m good to go. I shave every few days, letting the scruff grow a bit before I scale it down to a Leo DiCaprio or David Beckham -like goatee. 

I’m really into baseball. When I was a kid, I dreamed of playing professional ball for the New York Yankees, but I quit playing in middle school. Julia said I was good and never under stood why I decided to stop. I never told anyone that it was because of the mitt my father had given to me back when I was eleven. It wasn’t my birthday or anything, but he came home and handed to me. I was super excited and he even went outside and had a catch with me. You wouldn’t know it, but that wasn’t something my dad did, so it was like a dream for me. Very regular, like other families. The folks had me registered in Little League and just before practice one day, I couldn’t find the mitt. I was freaking out, looking under my bed, tossing my room when Dad came in. I remember telling him, with my voice shaking, that my mitt was missing. Dad just spun around and marched to my brother’s room. He started to yell and then there was a scuffle — I’m sure there was some manhandling going on — and moments later, he came back and tossed the mitt to me. “Go play,” he said.

I passed Al’s room on the way out and tried my best to appear casual when I looked in at him. The only way I might explain the look in his eyes is to tell you to imagine an angry and violent terrorist blaming you for all that’s wrong in his world. Somehow you have what they want – what is most important to them. And even though you’ve done nothing to provoke the hatred, still it’s there and there is nothing you can do to change it.

I felt bad about the way my father treated Al, but it wasn’t my fault. I slunk out and went to play ball. When I came home later, I found the shoebox I kept my baseball cards in, on my bed. I hadn’t left it out, so I was immediately suspicious. I rushed to open the box fearing the worst — and it was. Four cards, my most valued ones — Clemens, Posada, Jeter and O’Neill — ripped in two. I had a near complete Yankee team and now the hardest ones to get were destroyed. I lost it. I ran to Al’s room with the box. He wasn’t there and I threw the box as hard as I could across his room. Then I stomped on it until the box and cards were a mangled mess on his floor. But still I was furious. I ran from the house, down the block, to the wooded area south of the soccer fields. Lots of stews hung out there. I don’t know how it started, but I got into a fistfight. My nose got bloodied and I was aching afterwards, but I felt better, calmer.

Back then, a good fister cleared out the muck like nothing else could. That stuff is behind me now, especially since Al went away. Not saying I don't get into a scrape every once in a while, just that I have to be really provoked to go there. 

Though sometimes I dream of the smell of the dirt field, the sound and burn of the ball smacking against my leather mitt, nowadays, I just watch baseball on TV. Watching it is far less exciting than playing, but some dreams you have to let go of.

Hey, who’s that? A real cutie just walked in. She’s not paying me any attention. I purposely stop playing. She glances up and I can tell she thinks she’s interrupted me by the way she smiles. Her face gets red. Shit, she’s real cute. And I think I know her. Oh, yeah, I know her. Damn, she looks good — hot. Now I’m completely distracted. I start playing, but I’m blowing cords left and right. Can’t concentrate.

“You messed me up,” I tell her and she blushes again.

“I’m sorry,” she apologizes.

“If I have to look at you, I won’t be able to concentrate. You’d better come over and sit next to me,” I say, but she shakes her head no. I get up and go over to her. There really is no room for me, but I insert myself in the space between her and another girl. She begins to laugh. It’s a great laugh. One I remember. One I want to hear more of.

I put my arm around the back of her chair and accidentally-on-purpose caress her back with my fingertips. She leans forward, away from my touch. I remove my arm. I can see by the look in her beautiful eyes, she’s not going to make it easy for me, but I don’t mind. I’ll have to step back a little for this one, but I like a girl with a bit of spirit. More sure of myself, I start to play again. Now I sound brilliant. And even though she’s not aware how much she’s going to like me, I can tell by the way she watches me play, it won’t be long till I win her over.