Thursday, September 12, 2019

Just For Laughs - 2-Star Review


No explanations necessary. This one is just too funny. Maybe she thinks one-star is awesome so two-stars must be hella good! After all, Clooney and Pitt, amiright!?

“The first book in a new steampunk fantasy mystery series, though not one of my favorite titles of the year I enjoyed it as a story, and would consider reading another in the series.”
shelly m

Thanks Shelly!


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

9/11 Thoughts For Me - Not a Fun Post


This is the first 9/11 anniversary where I may not actually be able to do it.

I didn’t have any direct connection to New York or the events that transpired. I walked into my office without a clue. I was so clueless, that when I IM’d a buddy, asking what he was up to, and he mentioned watching the plane crash into the World Trade Center, I made a joke.

“Well, they are very big.”

Without context, I assume a small, private plane had clipped the tower somehow.

Yesterday, my oldest son let me know they were studying 9/11 in class. It’s weird to me because I lived through it. It’s weird for me to say that I lived through anything that significant.

My then girlfriend and I had a date scheduled that night. Dinner reservations and theater tickets. We were going to fly out the next day for an alumni game at our alma mater: Eastern New Mexico University.

Obviously, that didn’t happen.

When my son asked where I was, I tried to remember if I was supposed to fly into Albuquerque or Lubbock. I assume it was Lubbock, because that’s only a little over 90 minutes to Portales. Albuquerque is a nearly four hour drive.

I can’t remember anymore. The tickets were cancelled and refunded when all flights were grounded for the three days.

A week or so later, I was with my sister at a local football game. I can’t tell you if it was a college or high school game. My nephew, who was four or five at the time, had asked, “Who wants to go to a football game?” I heard “hot dogs and beer” so I was in. At one point in the game, a small passenger plane noisily flew over the stadium, and everyone stopped. We stopped and stared up at the plane.

Planes were no longer magical, technological wonders that had become mundane. They were no longer safe.

Usually, I ask a question and try to prompt some response or discussion below. That’s a marketing thing. I won’t ask anything this time, but you are welcome to post your thoughts below. Sometimes talking helps.

Friday, September 6, 2019

September SciFi and Fantasy Giveaway (Newsletter Signup)

Enter early, share often!

Summer is coming to an end! With the cooler weather on its way, what a better time to fill up your Kindle with new books? Ready to curl up with some fantastic SciFi and Fantasy books after a long day? We’ll help you get started!

These amazing authors are giving you a chance to win four fantastic books and a $20 Amazon Giftcard just for signing up for our Monthly Newsletters!


Participating Authors:

R.A. McCandless
Mack Little
Jenn Nixon
            S.A. Larsen

Get extra points for following us online and even more if you refer a reader friend to the giveaway!

By entering this giveaway you are signing up for the ALL FOUR AUTHORS NEWSLETTERS! We’ll never spam you, just update you on new releases, giveaways, contests, exclusive excerpts and more! Giveaway prize is US or UK Giftcard only.

If you’ve already signed up for the newsletter, please,
please, please, forward this on to someone who might be interested!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

A Nice Surprise Review—5 Stars

Looks like I won't have to kill anyone . . . today.

I was digging up a weird 2-star review that I received for THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE a few weeks back , and I stumbled on the following recent 5-star review, which really made my day. So I had to share it:

The last couple of years have brought a slew of wonderful steampunk adventures with resourceful, kick-ass heroines, and this one by McCandless is a worthy addition. Aubrey Hartmann is a veteran of recent war, having lost the lower part of one leg, and now works as a constable. Her prosthetic is a clockwork device that needs to be rewound regularly and isn’t a perfect fit but does keep her mobile, if in pain. As a result, she’s become addicted to laudanum (opium). Her current assignment involves investigating the murder of a druwyd (druid, local witch-doctor holy man) in a little town near the Fae-ruled Dark Wood. Here is where the world-building of The Clockwork Detective sharply deviates from the usual Victorian gears-and-whistles steampunk. Magic is not only real, it’s part of everyday life, and the human wars are overshadowed by the possibility of a terrible conflict with the Fae.

Aubrey’s research leads her into the Dark Wood to question the denizens there, those being centaurs, who are not only fierce fighters but wonderfully oblique and weird. The blending of Victorian mechanistic steampunk, mythology, and magic is seamless and believable. The story moves from murder mystery to international thriller to magical encounters of the terrifying kind. Aubrey herself is a wonderful combination of vulnerable addiction, resourcefulness, keen intelligence, and general all-around bloody-mindedness. I look forward to reading her further adventures!

The usual disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book, but no one bribed me to praise it. Although chocolates and fine imported tea are always welcome.

“Oblique and weird” is my favorite part of the entire review. That’s exactly what I was striving for with my fae-based centaurs. Totally made my day.  Thank you Deborah M!

What’s the weirdest compliment you’ve enjoyed?
Tell me in the comments below!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Death and Life of iPods

So friggin' sweet!

Based on trial and error, I’ve discovered that it’s an error to try washing your iPod.  As the helpful lady at Verizon once told me: electronics and water don’t mix.

There are no problems, only opportunities . . . at least, that’s what my wife told me as I mourned the loss of another electronic device to our evil, evil wash machine. What has that washer ever done for us, except get our clothes clean and smelling like a meadow of flowers in the spring!?

Too young. That iPod Nano 6th Generation was barely out of its teens!

Eventually, I had to stop crying. Mostly because my wife threatened that I’d get no more root beer floats if I “kept up this nonsense.”

The story becomes both more and less convoluted as we move forward.  A little of a year ago, in an attempt to rid myself of troublesome wires for my running headphones, I invited in a Kickstarter for what was claimed to be “The World’s First True Wireless Headphones” by EOZ Audio. The bragging went on from there, and being that sucker who was born many, many yesterdays ago, I shelled out for them.

Then, the problems-and-solutions started.
You bought what? For how much!?

The iPod Nano 6 lacks Bluetooth BUT There are no end of Bluetooth adapters designed specifically for this iPod BUT the fact that they’ll suck your battery dry faster than a legion of vampires in a blood bank is cleverly not stated in the literature BUT I solved this problem by purchasing a small, external battery BUT I now had a package roughly ten times the weight (I said roughly), required a cord, and added another thing that I had to haul around in my pocket while running.

Also, the EOZ Audio headphones didn’t work right. They kept dropping the signal, wouldn’t connect, became spotty, etc.

I assumed the Bluetooth adapter was the problem, so I figured I’d solve ALL those problems by upgrading to the iPod Nano 7. I found one CHEAP on eBay where the headphone jack didn’t work, but Bluetooth was fine.

Perfection!

Gently used.
Except, it wasn’t. The EOZ Audio headphones didn’t work right. They kept dropping the signal, wouldn’t connect, became spotty, etc. EOZ Audio sent me a new set of headphones, which also didn’t work right. Then, they stopped talking to me.

I reverted back to my trusty, loyal, iPod 6 and my old wired headphones. Surely, simplicity is best when it’s easiest—and doesn’t cost me more money. Which is how it ended up in my pants pocket, where it met an untimely demise during the best years of its life.

Also, thanks for staying with me this far.

With only the iPod Nano 7, and no headphones that would work, I did what I should have done in the first place: RESEARCH. A quick summary from a number of review sites and I’d found the truly wireless headphones that would work specifically for me as a runner: Anker Soundcore Liberty.

I LOVE THEM! They sit snugly in my ears, the sound is great, they have decent battery life and don’t suck the power from my iPod 7, and most of all, they don’t drop the signal, refuse to connect, or provide spotty playback.

I’ve only used them for a week, so I’m holding off on a ticker-tape parade . . . but I am saving up my ticker-tape!

What do you listen to and with?
Tell me in the comments below!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

September Giveaway (Newsletter Builder)

September is coming . . . and really should hurry up!

We’re doing another newsletter builder, giveaway in September.

This will include another $20 gift card and a four-volume eBook prize pack.

Of course, you can always just sign up for the newsletter, where giveaways happen every month, and you get the latest news on my various projects, appearances, and whatnots.

But if you want to wait for this particular newsletter sign up, it will start Sunday, September 1st and run through the end of the month.  There are some great writers being offered, including a little known steampunk novel.

If you’ve already signed up, or after you’ve signed up, please share with everyone you think might be interested!

2019 The Numbers - Revised


If this is wrong, I don't wanna be right!
This time it wasn’t me who was wrong.

Really, it wasn’t anyone.  It was just an oversight in the reporting.

A few days ago, I provided you an update on the sales for THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE. The numbers were good.  Very, very good.

Turns out, the numbers were even better than that. I’m still not in Stephen King/JK Rowling territory. I’m not even in S. Andrew Swann territory, but over the past six years I’ve seen some real improvement in the number of sales from quarter-to-quarter.

So, it’s sweeter than sweet to report the revised sales numbers for the first three months of release:

Quarter
Books Sold
Running Total
2 Quarter 2019
115
115

Eleven books isn’t that much more, but it will pay for some new D&D dice I’ve been eyeing recently! It is also as close to double the sales I saw in the first year for TEARS OF HEAVEN. I will always love my first book, just like any parent loves their children, but it's nice to see my steampunk novel doing so well.

If you’re still reading this, thank you. You’re very much the reason that all my books do any business whatsoever.