31 December 2009

Contest Winners!

I'd like to thank everyone who participated in my latest contest, giving away copies of my upcoming novel Friends in Deed. I'm deeply humbled by everyone's desire to win a copy, as we had right around 200 entries total.

But you're not here to listen to me wax philosophical...you're here to see if you've won...so let's get started:

First, a big congratulations to Jae / @o0omunkieo0o, who had the most entries by far out of all those in the contest (driven mostly by referral entries...watch for her in the 2012 Presidential Election, seriously!).

Second place in the most entries category goes to Meta / @saddy82. Interestingly enough, she won this simply by posting consistently across most of the entry locations on each day of the contest.

Again, congratulations ladies for your hard work that really paid off!!!

Now, the random picks from each of my four entry locations:

From my main blog: Tami Winbush (@twinbush) and Chels (@alltimeChels)

From my MySpace page: Pam Biddlecone and Beth Fisher (@BethGFisher)

From my Facebook page: Angie Lofthouse (@angielofthouse) and RJ Dennis (@rjdennis)

And finally, from all the Twitter entries: @lilmunkie and @Boodlezoid

Congratulations to all, and your copy of Friends in Deed should be on its way!

Thanks again to everyone who entered the contest, and if you weren't one of the lucky winners, be sure to get a copy of your very own when the book goes on sale January 2.

26 December 2009

Merry Christmas! Didn't Get Enough Gifts? I've Got You Covered

Merry Christmas to all! Hope you're having a tremendous holiday season and are staying in out of the cold, ice and snow (for those in such weather...if you're in the tropics, make sure to put on the sunscreen).

I'm still in the gift-giving spirit, however, and as anyone who's known me for very long will attest, I get psychotic about giving away stuff. It just so happens that I have a new book, Friends in Deed, coming out January 2...but I really want to give away stuff before the new year. So, anyone knows what that means?

Yup! You're going to have the chance to WIN IT BEFORE YOU CAN BUY IT!

So, here's the details:

I have ten e-book copies of my book available to give away (sorry folks, the print copy appears to still be about a month away). I'm going to hold separate points for everyone to get their entries in at my various haunts:

My Blog page
My Facebook page
My MySpace page
My Twitter feed

The general way you get entries is two-fold. Everyone who posts (or in the case of Twitter, @-replies me) can just tell me they want a copy and get one entry at each of the above spots. But if you know people (and most of us do), tell them about the contest, get them to enter and make sure they let me know that you referred them. That way, they get an entry and you get an additional entry for the referral. It's a WIN-WIN for everyone!

But it doesn't stop there (remember I'm a psycho when it comes to giving things away)...

There are going to be several days between now and when I give these books away on 12/31. So, you can enter once each day by telling me you want a copy (and thus get yourself multiple entries), and get as many referral entries as you possibly can.

In the end, I'm going to pick two winners from each entry location, at random, based on the entries received. From past experience, some of these locations don't get near-enough entries and I end up giving free stuff to everyone who posted. Go figure! Get your entries in at all those spots and increase your odds.

But wait, I'm an engineer (or at least claim to be). Two winners at four spots only comes up to eight winners, not ten...what's up with that math? Well, that's where the two final winners come in. I'm going to let sheer numbers decide this one. The two contestants with the most entries across all of the entry locations are going to win their own copy, hands-down. So, if you don't ever seem to have luck, hard work is going to be rewarded!

So, if that doesn't seem as complicated as it sounds, get on out there and win some copies of Friends in Deed!!!

And if you don't win, don't fret. Copies will be available for purchase shortly...stay tuned for information.

24 December 2009

A Grand Old Holiday Tale!

This is an Aston West piece I created a year or two back...figured I'd dredge it back up for some good, old-fashioned Christmas cheer. Enjoy!


I turned toward the entrance, sighed, then finished off my glass. I’d been waiting forever for my buyer to show up, and had nothing but an empty bar to show for it. So much for making a quick sale. If it took much longer, I’d have to consider myself duped and take off for another spot down the shipping lane, a few credits lighter from topping off my tanks.

At least the bartender had an ample supply of Vladirian liquor. A near-empty bottle rested on the counter next to my other hand. I poured the glass full again.

The entry hatch slid open and caught my attention. I turned with a smile, only to turn into a sourpuss a moment later. This wasn’t the buyer I was waiting for, but some old, bearded fat man in a red jumpsuit. Small, round silver balls were tied to a black belt around his giant waist. They jingled with each step he took in my direction. I turned toward the front and slammed the glass back. The sweet yellow nectar flowed down my throat.

He pulled himself up on the stool next to me. I looked over with a scowl, wondering why he couldn’t have taken one of the many other seats. I was big on my personal space.
He pulled his red cap off and wiped gray strands across his skull. “Hello, Aston.”

I didn’t have a good feeling. “Do I know you?”

“I know everyone.” He held out a black glove. “Kris Kringle. You can call me Santa.”

I raised an eyebrow. I would have remembered this character. “And why do you need to know everyone?”

He pulled his hand back, finally realizing how futile the move was, then rested his elbows on the counter. “I give presents to good little boys and girls all over the universe. I have to know them all.”

A shiver ran up my spine. “That’s a lot of presents.”

“Tell me about it.” The bartender came over, but Kris waved him off. I idly wondered what he was doing here if he wasn’t going to drink.

“I don’t remember ever getting presents growing up.”

His cheeks turned bright red as he laughed deep from his belly. “Well, if memory serves, you weren’t exactly a good little boy.”

I let the insult slide. Life hadn’t dealt me a very kind hand with the death of my parents when I was young. I didn’t really expect this old man to understand.

“Unfortunately, even good little boys and girls have trouble believing in me. I have to pass them by, same as the bad ones.”

“Pass them by? Not give them presents?”

“Exactly. You can’t get presents from someone you don’t believe in.”

“And so these presents, how do you deliver them?”

“I enter their homes while they’re sleeping and leave the presents in secret.”

My forehead scrunched even tighter. “While they’re sleeping?”

“I’d never be able to deliver all of these presents if they were hanging onto me, begging me to stay longer.”

I emptied the bottle and raised my glass. “So, why do you give presents to them?”

“Because I love them. They’re all so innocent, untainted by the evils of the world.”

I shot a glance at the bartender, who had an equally concerned look before he shook his head and walked through a swinging door, out of sight. I turned back to Kringle, and eased myself a little farther away on the stool.

“So, let me get this straight. You love little boys and girls, sneak around their homes while they’re sleeping, and leave them presents?”

His mouth turned up and his eyes sparkled. “Exactly!”

“You sound like a sick freak to me.” I downed the rest of my drink in one gulp and turned to leave.

He gripped my arm, with surprising strength for such an old man. “What are you talking about? I bring joy to good little boys and girls all over the universe.”

I tried to pull myself free, but he wasn’t releasing his grip. “You need to let go.”

“Don’t you understand? I’m trying to spread goodwill and happiness, to let children keep a small piece of their innocence. I’ve come here to ask for your help, Aston.”

I reached inside my jacket and yanked out my Mark II blaster. Before he could react, I fired a single shot into his chest. He fell from the stool and crashed to the floor. I shoved the weapon back in its holster. “Sorry, Santa, you’re going to need more help than I can give.”

The bartender rushed back into the room. He took one look at the big man, and then glanced up at me.

“You might want to call the local authorities. I think they’d be mighty interested in talking to this one.” I continued toward the exit. He’d wake up later, a little sore, but none the worse for wear. I didn’t figure children really needed the goodwill and happiness this dirty old man was pushing.

16 December 2009

Weekly Goals - December 15, 2009

Unfortunately, no excuses this week...just didn't get my stuff together. Christmas break is supposed to be coming soon, so we'll see how it goes.

Results for this week:

1. Less than 800 words

And now the goals for this coming week:

1. 1500 words on Death Brings the Victory

Submission status for the week:

Short stories:
"Some Assembly Required" (need to re-submit)
"Collateral" (need to re-submit)
"Conventional Wisdom" (need to re-submit)
"Deadly Decisions" (need to re-submit)

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09 December 2009

Weekly Goals - December 8, 2009

Well, as some of you may have noticed, I received my cover art this past week. I also received my final proofs to review...which is where most of my writing time has been spent. Although I was able to get some hand-written text generated, haven't had the time to work it into the computer. So, this past week has been considered a wash. Should have the proofs completed in the next day or so, though, so time to get cranking...

In case you weren't aware, my story "Entrapment" is now available in its entirety for free over at Smashwords. It's a little trial run I'm performing, to see how their operation works. It's a great story, introducing a new character whom I've already written three other stories around. So, feel free to take a read, and let me know how your experience is with Smashwords, so I'll get some data for my experiment.

Results for this week:

1. Not even started

And now the goals for this coming week:

1. 2500 words on Death Brings the Victory

Submission status for the week:

Short stories:
"Some Assembly Required" (need to re-submit)
"Collateral" (need to re-submit)
"Entrapment" (now available for free at Smashwords)
"Conventional Wisdom" (need to re-submit)
"Deadly Decisions" (need to re-submit)

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08 December 2009

Just Wanted to Mention

In case anyone skipped their cappuccino or latte this morning, looks like Fictionwise has discounted Heroes Die Young by 60% (not sure how long this will last)...enjoy!

05 December 2009

Cover Art

For those who haven't already seen it, I recently received cover art for my new novel Friends in Deed (coming January 2010). Enjoy!

01 December 2009

Weekly Goals - December 1, 2009

Thankfully (pardon the pun) the holiday didn't put too much of a damper on the writing...it helps to reduce the expectations. So, now we're in a new month...and time to see if we can build on the momentum and push through Christmas into the new year.

Results for this week:

1. Completed just over 2000 words

And now the goals for this coming week:

1. 2500 words on Death Brings the Victory

Submission status for the week:

Short stories:
"Some Assembly Required" (need to re-submit)
"Collateral" (need to re-submit)
"Entrapment" (now available for free at Smashwords)
"Conventional Wisdom" (need to re-submit)
"Deadly Decisions" (need to re-submit)

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