Thursday, May 25, 2017

Summer Writing


At last, it looks as if summer is here.

My writing normally slows down a bit when warm weather arrives. For me, summer means lots of vacation days, short trips, golf, long walks, and hikes, gardening, a little fishing, and more time with my cameras taking wildlife and landscape photos. I also spend time watching Little League baseball and my favorite big league team the Rockies who are off to a great start.

One of our favorite places to relax and only a few minutes away


I will continue working on my new nonfiction book and hope to finish the 4th  kid's chapter book from my Mike and Moose & Me series. Here is the link to the first of the series.


I am doing a few small promotions for my newest book – here is my latest post on it.

Just in time for summer. Beginning Gardening and Other Entertaining Lies. Everything from how to read labels on a bag of fertilizer to building backyard raised beds. Great for beginners along with terrific reminders and how to’s, for long time gardeners also.  Complete with humor and four short stories, each starting with a body in the garden.
NOW FREE WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED OR A MERE .99 CENTS TO PURCHASE THE Ebook.


Other than that I will do lots of soaking in the sun and relaxing in the warmth of summer. How about You?
Last evening - sunset over Guernsey State Park 



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Using Kindle Unlimited and New Book Covers

Thursday at our house - Today, Saturday, I worked in short sleeves in the garden
-WYOMING-

Now You Can download all of my Books for Free with Kindle Unlimited - Like many writers that self-publish I am constantly looking for more revenue. With that in mind, I decided to move all of my books to Kindle Unlimited. I have always had a few there, but decided I would give it a try with all nine of my books and my one published short story. Not sure what will happen but if nothing else, it will give me something to check every day.

So what is Kindle Unlimited? - For those of you not familiar with Kindle Unlimited, it is a subscription with Amazon that allows members who pay $9.99 a month to download an unlimited number of books each month. Readers can have up to ten books at any one time but must return books to go past ten in a month. Not a bad deal, some readers return books as soon as they finish or if they decide it is not what they want and order another. Some readers report downloading dozens each month. It also looks like a good place to sell old-fashioned genres such as Westerns and Historical Fiction.
Take a look and read the free sample.
Take a look at The Ghost Dance Here

Author Pay – Authors are paid by how many pages are read from each downloaded book, works out to a bit over a half cent per page, which for a 300-page book would work out to $1.50, or a little more depending on the month as the payment does vary. Considering that the same book, sold as an eBook for $2.99 would pay the author about $2.00 it is not much different.
   I have not tried it yet myself but believe when late fall comes around again I will give it a try. My old bones do not like the cold weather of winter, and a good book is always a nice companion.

My Garden Book is now .99 cents as an eBook – I also reduced the price of my latest book, Beginning Gardening & Other Entertaining Lies to under a buck. (As I write this late Saturday afternoon the price change has not appeared yet but should change soon)
   This one is a bit shorter, 130 pages in soft cover and 80+ as an eBook, not sure why the big difference, as it takes a pretty small font to knock off 50 pages. This one also contains four short stories that all start with a dead body in the garden. Fun stuff. The actual gardening advice is solid and time tested, a terrific way for gardeners to get going. Take a look at the sample here.


New Covers - My kid's book series – I am starting to put new, and better, covers on my three book, so far, kid’s series. Here is the new cover and the link to the first.





Monday, May 15, 2017

My New Book is Out

My new book is out and much different than all of my others. 

This one tackles my love of gardening along with short murder mysteries.



Here is the book blurb 

A book for everyone who gardens or wants to garden. Gardening tips from a Master Gardener who has tried it all, over more than half a century of digging in the soil. With, just for fun, four Garden Murder Mysteries from a Master Story Teller.

All the information needed to start your own gardens, flower beds to do a complete landscape makeover. Tips on everything from fertilizer and seeds to bushes and trees. Raised beds, locating your garden and more. Want to start a garden and not sure what to do? Read it here. Check to see if you are doing it right, it’s all in the book. Tired from all that hard work in the garden?

Relax with four cozy, murder in the garden tales

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Oh - What a Couple of Weeks

To say the last two weeks have been a bummer would be the ultimate understatement. 
  1. Tooth Extraction
  2. Root Canal
  3. Flu
  4. Arthritis Flair up
There you have it, and a fun ride it has not been - but, the good news is I am on the mend. Seems as I get older bad things seems to come in groups, I only hope this group of ailments has ended for a few years - not fun. Finally up and around - some - the past few days, even managed a half hour speaking engagement yesterday. 
A few weeks ago standing behind the - one of a kind - CCC Cap House in
Guernsey State Park

All of the above means that I have not got around to much writing or editing. I did get a second proof copy for my newest book. I wasn't happy with some of my headings and spacing in the first. After a bit, okay quite a bit, of editing,  Happy Days, at first look, this one seems to be fine and should be available soon, but I will need to take a more careful look first - Just to be sure.
My light-hearted look at gardening - available in a few days.

The first Iris are starting to open - always look great

On the good news side, my yard and garden look quite nice for this time of year, and with no frost, in the two-week forecast, it looks like I will be able to continue planting in our gardens the next few days.

I am continuing the research and rough draft, on what I have found to be both a challenging and energizing new nonfiction book. This one I cannot wait to publish but it will be winter at best before it is ready for the big edit. 
On the grounds of Fort Laramie
 Setting for the new nonfiction book I am working on

Meanwhile, keep on writing and keep on reading.

The famous Iron Bridge at Fort Laramie - What stories it could tell


Monday, May 1, 2017

Well - Looks Like I Survived April

Looks to me like I almost took the month of April off. I made a measly nine blog posts, and although I no longer keep a word count, I suspect it was not high. I do have the proof of my ninth book and will have it up and for sale in a few days. This one – Beginning Gardening and Other Entertaining Lies, has gardening tips, four short stories, all related to gardening and some humor. It is pretty light hearted and only comes in a bit over 100 pages, but it was fun.  Those who have followed me for a while know that I am almost as passionate about gardening as I am about writing and photography.


So what’s next? I am back to work on my nonfiction book, yep the one I have talked about on here before. I am also toying with the idea of a new murder mystery, or I might go back to the one I got stuck on and never completed. Funny, I really liked that story, great location, and a couple of characters I felt were fun, had a murderer, had a body, and just could not come up with a motive – oh well, some day.

Nice to see spring trying to arrive here in Wyoming. Spring seems to make me feel younger and ready to get out and do something. Or maybe its because I am feeling better after a root canal and extraction of a cracked wisdom tooth. Ahh - the Golden Years.



Keep on reading and keep on writing. Good advice for me seems everytime we are out hiking these ol' boys are watching - maybe attempting to tell us something. Yep, better get to work before they catch up with me. 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Edit or Self-Edit and Book Covers Too

I have been spending more hours than I want to count this week updating two of my book covers. I like the new ones, probably because I may have a better understanding now than I did when I built my first ones two years ago.  I am not going to re-do all of them, right now, but likely will do one or two more soon.

I am also back working on my nonfiction book. I took five months off to finish up some other projects and am now enjoying the research and writing of nonfiction once again.


At one time in my life, I spent a lot of time, often too much, editing other writers works. I don’t do much of that any longer as I mostly worked with historical nonfiction although I did take on a few fiction projects. Now I mostly edit my own. What am I getting to here? All the advertisements I get in the form of tweets or email offering, book doctor or editing services. Often the promo starts with a line telling all who read that there are so many, maybe millions, of books and eBooks for sale that are chalk full of errors. And, it’s possible there are, but I would rather read a book with a handful of errors than one that is perfect but without a good story.


 I have downloaded, read and enjoyed, self-edited books by several authors. All were people I follow online or on Twitter, and most were pretty good reads. I did not notice a multitude of errors in any of them and the things I noticed can sometimes be found in mainstream novels. As I said above, if the story is a good one, I will read it.


My point is not that books do not need a good edit, but that some self-edited books come out pretty clean. If you are writing a book and hope to sell a thousand copies, which is what you will need to sell to pay for a middle of the road priced editor. I mentioned book covers above, and good ones will help sell books if the book can be found among the 8,000,000 or so on Amazon. Once again writers like myself, who sell books, steadily but not spectacularly, need to be weary of not spending too much for the creation of a cover. I am not crazy about many of the new covers that seem to be black no matter what the subject, they all look the same to my old eyes.


Today’s photos are from my backyard.

Meanwhile, keep on reading and keep on writing.
Oh - one of the redone covers, this for my first kid's chapter book


Monday, April 10, 2017

A New Book and A New Spring

I am happy to say today that I, at last, got out my second book in the Blade Holmes western mysteries. This one entitled, The Ghost Dance, follows Marshall Holmes from Fort Robinson, Nebraska to Nevada and back to the Sioux Reservations of Southern, South Dakota.  The book centers on the famous circle dance of the white shirted dancers, the Ghost Dance. This one has lots of authentic western history and is a very nice follow up to, Commitment, the first Blade Holmes historic novel.

In other writing news, I am nearly finished with my final touches of my gardening book, then it will get final edits and off to my first readers. If everything goes well, I hope this one is only a few weeks away.
A bee last summer on one of my backyard sunflowers

So what am I reading? Thomas McGuane – Keep the Change, so far I am enjoying it, even if it does fit best into the dreaded category of Literary Fiction. I am also reading and enjoying, Postcards, by famed Wyoming writer, Annie Proulx.
Not only me that enjoys basking in the sun

My book sales are picking up right now, always a good thing and the weather is looking more and more like spring. Can’t wait to start digging in that terrific garden soil again.
We have spent some wonderful days hiking in the new Spring weather

Keep on reading and keep on writing.