Category Archives: writing

New Book Review of Times of Trial

Christian blogger LaTawnia Kintz has reviewed Times of Trial for me, and gave it four stars on Amazon. She reviewed Times of Trouble last year for me too. I could use more reviews for either novel, so if anyone is willing to review the novels, please contact me and I’ll send you a Smashwords coupon to download it for free. Download the ebook directly from my website or buy the paperback/ebook from other online retailers.

LaTawnia Kintz Book Review Blog

‘Times of Trial can be read as a stand-alone or with Times of Trouble. Like Times of Trouble, Times of Trial is about the end-times and persecution of Christians in the United States.

christian fictionThe president of the United States is a hater of Christians and Jews and will stop at nothing to make sure he remains the president. He and his equally power hungry goons implement Agenda 21. (Now if you don’t know anything about Agenda 21 – which is very real check it out here. There are also lots of other listings about it.)

Cliff has again written a very insightful novel involving end-time prophecy and current events. This is a very easy book to read but don’t let the ease of it detract you from the reality of what could actually take place.

All right, now I have a couple of critiques… though Cliff has done better in filling in the plot with detail, his dialog is still a bit choppy and stilted. I only say this, because I know how difficult it is to write dialog. So Cliff, this is just to encourage you to write your dialog more fluidly. That is probably the only thing I can think of that may be a distraction for the reader.

I appreciate Cliff’s dedication to get his work out for the public to read. Since he is a self-publisher, it can be a bit harder to get the word out. So I am more than thrilled to review for him.

Thank you Cliff for providing me with a free ebook copy for me to review.”

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Works in Progress….

As I’m currently working on the prequel to Times of Trouble, which is taking me a whole lot longer to write than anticipated because of having to replace a computer part, causing me to re-install Windows 7, with everything else on my computer, then not having an updated version of Word, since it was at my brothers’ house (who is my IT guy), and finding out that I’m doing more research than I had originally anticipated, I had an idea pop into my head as I was watching the “Gospel Music Showcase” on Daystar (I enjoy Southern Gospel) the other day.  It’s an idea that I have no idea if it’s been done before, so I’ll share it with you, my readers.

Here’s what I wrote down in a notebook I have for such occasions:

The novel starts off with a narrator on a TV show  focusing on the life of a once famous musician, I guess like what they do on, I think it’s on VH-1, sort of a “Where Are They Now” kind of thing and how they got to where they were at. Then, the story will go back to the time when this musician was only known to his friends, family, and fellow church members, because he sings in church. He’s discovered, is asked to show up on a national singing competition, sort of like “Star Search” or “The Voice,” and he wins the competition. As he begins recording music with a record label when he gets the contract, the singer begins experiencing various temptations. He also ends up with an agent that will eventually convince him to leave Christian music behind because no one important listens to it and he’ll make more money in secular music (shades of Amy Grant, Whitney Houston, or Katy Perry). So our singer begins recording secular music (not sure which kind of rock yet). At a party, he’s introduced to a girl, who the singer eventually marries, but she is most definitely not a Christian. She introduces him to drugs and alcohol, while his agent gets the singer into all the right parties, eventually giving him enough visibility to win awards, like a Grammy.

He gains the attention of President-elect David Collins, who invites him to sing the national anthem at the inauguration, followed by an invite to the NFL to sing at the next Super Bowl, and an invite by NASCAR to sing the anthem at the Daytona 500. Our singer’s on top of the music charts, along with being the most popular singer on Earth, when tragedy strikes. His whole family dies in a plane crash on the way to wherever he was touring. Unfortunately for him, he had an argument with his wife over his gambling and all sorts of other things he shouldn’t be doing, and he went on tour without apologizing or patching things up. The singer feels guilty, but instead of praying and trying to get right with God, he responds by drinking more and more. His grief and general drunkenness gets to be so bad, he gets dropped by his record label and agent, his expensive cars get repossessed, and house gets foreclosed on. In an attempt to help him, his home church tries to reach out to him, but he angrily rejects their help, because he’d rather rely on his worldly friends, but they reject him. At his lowest point, when he’s living in a broken down car, he prays for the first time in years by asking God to forgive him for going down this path. He feels a peace come over him, when he hears a trumpet sound, and is taken up along with thousands of other Christians.

The novel  ends with the TV show saying they hope the singer is happy wherever he is.

So, what do ya’ll think? Would you read something like this? Or back to the drawing board?

 

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Books and Word of Mouth

You find a book, let’s say you randomly pick it up at the library while browsing the shelves for something new to read, or you do it at the bookstore, and its from a author that you never heard of, and more than likely, most people hadn’t heard of either, but the book’s description makes it sound like something you’d want to read. So you read it. You find that you enjoyed it so much, you tell your friends, family, co-workers, and others about it. Eventually, you read every book this author puts out. You might like some of the novels, you might dislike others, but this once unknown author to you now has a loyal reader all because you decided to try something new.

Or, like many others these days, you see a book mentioned on Facebook, Twitter, or on some message board somewhere online(unless its mentioned on TV and then its an instant bestseller, especially if Oprah mentions it), you ignore what seems like spam a few times, but one day you’re convinced to try it out. You read it, like it, and then tweet about it, like the book’s page on Amazon, like it enough to review it, and even share your new find on one of your many social networks. You do the whole digital word of mouth thing without going anywhere and your small amount of influence convinces others to take notice of those books, who influence others, and so on. Plus, you like the author so much, that you sign-up for the author’s newsletter or blog, follow them on Twitter, and join their Facebook page, where you buy every single novel hereafter.

For a lot of authors, Word of Mouth is the only way they find readers.

Here are a couple of ways to spread the word about a novel you enjoyed and helping the author out at the same time (which you’ve probably seen in one form or another on various authors’ blogs):

1. Mention the book online, like on Myspace (if you’re still there), Twitter,  Facebook, message boards, or wherever you frequent that allows you to mention books, and include a link to the store or author’s site.

2.  If you have Pinterest, create a board, like a “Favorite Books,” or “Book You Read Recently,” and link it to either the author’s site of store where you bought it from. The author might even be on Pinterest, so you could also follow their boards and “like” the book board they created for that particular book.

3. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, church members, etc through e-mail, phone, text, or talk to in person about the book. Include what you liked and why you think they might enjoy it. If you want, give them a copy of the paperback to read if you have a paperback copy, or even lend them the ebook version, depending on your e-Reader.

5. Leave a review on Amazon, B&N, or wherever you bought it from, you can even leave a review on all the sites if you want. If you’re on Goodreads, Shelfari, Librarything, etc, you can leave a review there.

So reader, how have you been influenced to buy a book? Through Word of Mouth or by way of something else?

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Novel sales stats for 2012

First off, Happy New Year 2013 to everyone and a big thank you to all those out there who bought/downloaded a copy of one of my novels. I thought I’d blog again this year about how many sales/free downloads my novels had this year. My marketing/promoting consisted mostly of using Twitter, Facebook groups/pages, joining up with a couple Christian author groups to Tweet, and going to message boards. I did some giveaways for ebooks, like on Librarything, and sent some personal acquaintances/relatives paperback copies of Times of Trouble (which actually did help some with visibility), along with a little more than a handful of review copies to a couple of book bloggers, two of which actually gave me a review. I also tried blog interviews early in the year, along with the occasional paid post about my books, but overall, I’d say 99% of my sales would probably be from word-of-mouth. My sales on Barnes and Noble increased by a lot this year, up to 40-50 ebooks sold a month compared to 2 or 3 a month in 2011.  My number one seller is the United States, followed by the UK, Canada, Australia, and then everyone else, mostly Western/Northern Europe, but I did manage to get an Amazon Kindle sale from Japan, which was a borrow for Beyond the New Frontier, and 2 sales on Diesel from South Africa. This is without the updated numbers from Smashwords concerning Apple, Sony, or Diesel from December.

Here’s the numbers for each book in order of publication:

Out of Time
Kindle(ASIN B006GDO3BC): 1107
Barnes & Noble Nook: 37
Kobo, which includes WH Smith, Angus & Robertson, and Chapters Indigo: 42
Apple: 51
Sony: 4
Smashwords: 2 paid, 64 free
Paperback (ISBN:1453896961) : 8

Don’t Mess With Earth
Kindle(ASIN B005OOKZJI): 52
Nook: 39
Kobo: 2
Apple: 5
Diesel: 1
Smashwords: 2 paid, 47 free
Paperback(ISBN 978-1602643413): 2

The Usurper
Kindle(ASIN B007K9WDA4): 92 paid, 518 Select downloads (January – March)
Nook: 47
Kobo: 4
Apple: 14
Smashwords: 1 paid, 18 free
Paperback (ISBN 1453702725): 12

Shattered Earth
Kindle(ASIN B006M2U3O8) – 8 sales, unpublished it, but will bring it back this year
Nook: 48
Kobo: 20
Apple: 52
Smashwords: 1 sale, 61 free
Paperback (probably only available on Amazon, since I retired it on Createspace): 3

Dust Storm (western short story) – plagued by Smashwords’ meatgrinder, so it wasn’t published to Apple or Sony until later in the year. Sold on Kobo once I uploaded there myself.
Kindle(ASIN B006KH7H4E): 9
Nook: 7
Kobo: 1
Apple: 1
Sony: 1
Smashwords: 2 paid, 12 free

Voyager and the Aliens (sci-fi short story)
Kindle(ASIN B005NK19MU): 14
Nook: 2
Kobo: 5
Apple: 9
Diesel: 1
Smashwords: 1 paid, 27 free

New Frontier
Kindle(ASIN B006ONBPVU): 99
Nook: 58
Kobo: 2
Apple: 7
Sony: 1
Smashwords: 5 paid, 62 free
Baker & Taylor Blio: 1
Paperback (ISBN 1468119540): 18

Times of Trouble
Kindle(ASIN B0075CNFFI): 309
Nook: 343
Kobo: 1
Apple: 0
Sony: 0
Smashwords: 128 free
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1469964791) 43

Times of Trial
Kindle(ASIN B00824G5UA): 99
Nook: 120
Kobo: 3
Apple: 0
Sony (for some reason, not available on Sony): 0
Smashwords: 31 free
Paperback(ISBN-10 147745327X): 5

Final Frontier – published in October
Kindle(ASIN B009ORP5U0): 26
Nook: 22
Kobo: 0
Apple: 0
Sony: 0
Smashwords: 0
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1481192191): 0

Beyond the New Frontier – combo of New & Final Frontier, available on Amazon to borrow for free or buy for $3.99
Kindle paid(ASIN B009NVH76M): 28, KDP Select: 724, Borrows: 2
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1480185590): 1

The total equals 1694 free and 2858 paid sales. My goal for 2013 is to double the paid sales without having to rely on free giveaways as much. I’m also working on a prequel to Times of Trouble, most likely called “Times of Turmoil.” I also re-designed a whole new author website on weebly. I was using webs.com, but it was way too clunky, but Weebly seems to be pretty user-friendly. Please check it out http://cliffball-indieauthor.weebly.com when you have time (waiting for domain name transfer, so it night re-direct back to webs.com). Now, I just have to figure out how to transfer my domain name over to it.

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What if…. Limited Government

Lately, the writer in me has been thinking of a story where the U.S. breaks into two, peacefully(maybe). The conservative-libertarian states would create the limited government they want, while the liberals/progressives/socialists would have as much big government as they could stand (California comes to mind). Since three of my novels are heavily political, I thought I’d write a post on my thoughts (to a point, I could go on a rant if I’m not careful). I’ve been thinking about this on and off since the early 1990′s, when I was in high school, when RINO George HW Bush was President. Sure I’m unhappy with Obama being re-elected, but I could see that coming, what with the Republican Establishment forcing Romney down our throats. Being in Texas, I couldn’t vote in the Primaries until May, so my vote for Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, or Governor Perry would have been pointless. Thanks RINOS! Anyway, I’m sure you’ve heard about the petitions on the White House’s website where people from at least 20 states (since yesterday) have asked that their states be peacefully released from the Union. As of 11/13/2012 at 8:50 am Central time, the Texas petition has received 65,630 signatures, out of the 25k that was needed.  I know people think states can’t secede thanks to the War Between the States, but if Puerto Rico can vote itself into the U.S., then why can’t states vote themselves out? Food for thought.

Here are my thoughts on what my theoretical conservative(or would that be libertarian?) country would govern like:

1. No central government, which means no fixed central capital. If there are enough states that join, for a chosen period of time, say 4 years, a state capital would be chosen to be the nation’s capital. The Chief Exec would be the Governor of that State. The Legislative Branch wouldn’t meet in person. Since we have video chatting, they can stay home and telecommute. This would limit the ability for lobbyists and others to corrupt our representatives. Judicial Branch would also be elected, that means no more sitting on the Supreme Court for a lifetime.

2. All laws and constitutional amendments are to be voted on by the people. The politicians would be required to live under the same laws because of this. Politicians would be limited to a term of twelve years, and their salaries would be less than the average citizen makes, since most politicians already have a lot of money. Voting would be a requirement, even if you don’t want to vote for anyone, you would still have to show up at your polling place.

3. Churches and charities would take care of those less fortunate, no more spending billions on people who never lift themselves out of their situations, causing generations of people to be on the government dole. These churches and charities would teach people how to do things for themselves, how to make a living, etc. Families will be encouraged to take care of their elders.

4. The education system would be run locally. Each state and each local community has different needs, so it wouldn’t be possible to have nationwide standards. I wouldn’t expect a farm state like Kansas to need the same education that an oil/cattle state like Texas would have. All that would be required is that the Bible be part of the education and that Creationism also be taught in addition to the “established” sciences. University education will have less of an emphasis, that way having a low-level college degree will be a bigger deal, instead of making everyone have one just to have a job, which dilutes the importance. The free market system will dictate the needs of the education system.

5. We will have no official denomination, so this will not be a Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish, or even a Catholic nation. However, due to the inherent conflict with our nation being mostly Judeo-Christian, Islam will not be welcomed, as it is in direct conflict with our beliefs. Other faiths are welcome as long as they don’t try to change the culture of our nation. We will also not sell alcohol on Sundays.

6. Immigration – Considering how unlimited immigration ruined the United States, we will limit who can come here. We will welcome all conservatives from other states who are stuck in liberal/progressive/socialist hell, and if liberals in our new country want to leave, we will propose a trade agreement with the USA: Your conservatives for our liberals, kind of like a trade in sports. As for other immigrants, only those that contribute to our overall technological progression as a society can live here; i.e. scientists, inventors, people with knowledge. Other than that, all illegals who try to cross our borders(including liberals) will be immediately returned to where they came from. No amnesty. Asylum will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Anyone who needs medical care will be welcomed for the time it takes them to get the required care.

7. Defense/Military – All citizens will be required to buy a gun, learn how to use it, and open-carry will be encouraged. Graduates from high school will be required to serve at least 2 years in the military or in service of some sort that will teach you to be invested in your nation, so that way you will care what happens. We will not have entangling alliances with other nations; no military bases or embassies so we won’t be tempted to get involved in other peoples’ affairs, nor will we recognize the United Nations. If we’re attacked, we will respond in kind, maybe with a stronger response. When we go to war, it will be all-out war, none of this hobby war stuff the U.S. engaged in. One caveat to alliances: we will have an alliance with Israel, because it is the Christian thing to do, God blesses those that do, and they are one of the few nations that wouldn’t need us to hold their hand or fight for them in a conflict. Each state will have a ready-to-go militia, but the nation as a whole will not have a standing military. All militia will train for three days a month. Some of our states have nuclear weapons facilities, so those will also be at the ready to show others that we will not be trifled with.

8. Medical – The government will stay out of the way to let the Free Enterprise system handle this. Tort Reform will be done to prevent lawyers from suing every Doctor or Hospital, which would cause skyrocketing medical costs if there is no Tort Reform. Insurance can be bought across state lines so that costs can stay down. Technological progress will be encouraged and we will strive to have the best medical care in the world. We will be a Pro-Life nation; you can be abstinent, use protection, or carry the child to term and give it up for adoption (there are many families who would adopt). If you are unable due to your life being threatened, we will do all we can to help you both survive, but there are times when an infant can’t be saved. We will mourn the dead unborn as we do any person who has been alive for any period of time.

9. Resources – Since the new government will not gobble up all the unused land for themselves, companies will be encouraged to search for new sources of energy: oil, coal, natural gas. These companies will be asked to search for energy as cleanly as possible, since it would be in their best interest for us to stay healthy and our environment not damaged, since they have to live here too. No more subsidizing ethanol production, since that drives up the cost of food and other products made from corn. Large windmills will be taken down, since that kills off birds, instead of actually contributing to our energy production. If it makes economic sense, car companies will be encouraged (but not given oodles of “stimulus” money) to see if electric powered or hydrogen powered cars are actually feasible. We will encourage the mining of gold and silver, and base our monetary system on one of these minerals. Eminent domain will not be used by the government, state or local. If a person’s property has some resources beneath it, the company will pay for the use and royalties will be paid. Conservation will be encouraged and the free market system will dictate what works and what doesn’t.

10. Spending/Taxes – Instead of an income tax, we will have a flat sales tax, 10% will be the rate. Since we won’t have permanent military bases overseas or embassies, we won’t need to spend that money. We will not send monetary aid to other nations. There will be no Departments of Education, Energy, Homeland Security, HHS, or Labor, no IRS, no Federal Reserve, along with other pointless agencies that only spend money. We will go back to having only a Department of State, Treasury, Interior, Commerce, and Defense (or War). The States will build their own roads and maintain the interstate highways. Government will require that contractors bid as low as they can stand, no more paying $20k for something like a hammer. The government will live on a budget, like everyone else.

That is all I can think of for now. I know there are plenty of people who disagree, and will probably voice their displeasure. But remember, this is all theoretical and I’m writing out a possible storyline. Do I seriously think this will happen? No. But, having differing opinions is what used to make the United States such a good place to live, but now it seems like everyone is just angry with each other. In the immortal words of Rodney King…. can’t we all just get along?

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#SampleSunday – Final Frontier, alternate history

For Sample Sunday, here is a part of Chapter 7 of Final Frontier.

A couple of hours went by before anything started happening. As McMurphy and Elders were hiding behind some boxes on the floor where Lee Harvey Oswald was supposed to have shot Kennedy from, both men heard a door open, with two men walking through. The man who came in first was definitely Oswald, and the second man behind him was shoving a pistol in Oswald’s back, and was carrying something large that was shaped like a rifle of some sort.

Oswald was saying, “Why me?”

“As I keep saying, we need someone who we can blame the assassination easily on. You’ve got a record of siding with the Soviets, so why not you? The federal government will blindly swallow this story hook, line, and sinker, while the Mob will get off scot-free,”

“Ruby, you know you won’t get away with this, don’t you?” Oswald nervously responded.

“Oh, stop with the bravado. We’ve got the Dallas PD in our back pocket and even some of the Secret Service, at least the ones who work for old Lyndon. This should be a piece ‘o cake. All I need from you are some fingerprints, you’ll go to a movie theater, and that’s where the police officers in our employ will pick you up. You take the fall, the Mob gets an enemy out of the way, and everyone’s happy,”

“That’s a bunch of bull. What makes you think I won’t rat you out?”

“You do and you’ll meet your maker with a couple of .38 slugs. Got it?” Ruby waved the handgun in Oswald’s face, who was clearly frightened.

“Yeah, sure. How long do we gotta wait?”

Ruby looked at his watch, and said, “Not very long. Old Lyndon had the motorcade diverted here, so it should be passing through Dealey Plaza momentarily. Once I begin shooting, you slip out of here, and go to that movie theater. No need to make it more complicated than that. Alright?” Oswald indicated he understood.

McMurphy whispered to Elders, “That’s Jack Ruby,”

“Who?”

“Oh, that’s right, you don’t know about what happened in the original timeline. Mr. Ruby there attacked Oswald at the police station after the assassination with that handgun he’s carrying. Oswald died and so did Ruby after the police took care of him. Ruby is a member of the Mob that the Kennedy’s were at odds with. Nobody really knew the whole story behind the assassination. Rumors indicated that Vice President Johnson had the Mob take Kennedy out, which is why the motorcade was diverted here and why Johnson managed to convince Kennedy to make a campaign stop in Dallas to begin with. It was supposed to be neatly wrapped up so Johnson could gain power without having to run for election. Everyone would feel sorry about Kennedy not getting a second term, so Johnson would ride the wave of sympathy to get his first full term without really trying,”

“That must’ve required a massive amount of planning. It’s a wonder that it was pulled off without anyone blowing the whistle,”

“Potential whistleblowers were taken care of, either through being paid off or through death. That was old school south Texas politics for Johnson. Now that won’t happen since we’re here. Now we wait.”

The crowd gathered around the route that President Kennedy’s motorcade was taking. Ruby set-up the sniper rifle and then told Oswald to leave, but before anything happened, McMurphy and Elders stepped out of the shadows, and McMurphy said, “Hold it right there, neither of you move,”

“What? Who are you? You’re not supposed to be here!” exclaimed a surprised Ruby.

“I give up,” Oswald responded with both hands in the air.

“Step away from the rifle, Mr. Ruby. We don’t want anyone to get hurt,”

Ruby responded by turning around, facing the window, and then ran towards it. He crashed through it, fell, and died instantly when he hit the ground. The men could hear members of the crowd reacting to seeing a man falling out of the building. Then the three heard the roar of the engines from the cars in the motorcade, which indicated they were getting the President out of there as fast as they could. McMurphy let loose a string of cuss words before saying, “Great, just great. Now we’ll have cops and Secret Service swarming this place.”

Where to buy:

Amazon US, Amazon UK, B&N Nook, Nook UK, Kobo, Apple

Or… Beyond the New Frontier, which is currently exclusive to Amazon is either free to borrow now for Prime Members or buy for $4.99. Also available in paperback currently on Amazon.

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Character Timeline for my End Times novels

Since I’m about to start working on a prequel to Times of Trouble and Times of Trial, I decided I should probably work on a timeline for the characters, since I also had to figure out how to keep the timeline straight in Times of Trial after writing Times of Trouble. This is a rough draft, but I’m sure some people are curious about the dates in the novels of when the characters were born, got married, went to college, etc. Since this is a 100+ year period, I might have to break up the next novel into parts, but I’ll just have to see how it goes.

1915 – George Leonard Evans born in New York City, grandfather of Michael Evans
1920 – Charles Atwood born in Fairfax, Virginia, great grandfather of Brian
1940’s -George Evans collaborates with the NAZI’s, begins to gain power; Charles Atwood fights in Europe during WW 2
1948 – Tom Atwood born in Virginia, grandfather of Brian; Evans protests the re-creation of Israel, tries to talk England out of giving them any land whatsoever
1952 – Amy Atwood born in Virginia, Tom Atwood’s sister
1950 – George Evans marries Vera Thompson
1952 – Jason Michael Evans born in California
1971 – Jason and Amy meet in college at the University of Southern California. Amy is a born again Christian, Jason was raised as an atheist, but after some time with Amy, Jason also becomes a Christian
1973 – Jason and Amy get married
1974 – Aaron Atwood born in Virginia, father of Brian, family moves to Delaney, Nebraska after Tom serves in Vietnam
1975 – Michael James Evans born
1976 – George, not liking the fact that his son and heir is a Christian, has Jason and Amy killed off, adopts Michael, vows to make the Atwood family miserable because they converted his son
1990 – Charles Atwood dies
1993 – Michael graduates high school, sent to Harvard
1993 – David Collins born in Florida to a powerful political family with connections to George Evans
1997 – Michael graduates Harvard. George is 82, transfers everything over to Michael, dies a few months later
2000 – Brian Atwood’s parents marry
2001 – 9/11 Terrorist attacks, Lynda Delaney’s parents marry, Aaron Atwood joins the Army, goes to Afghanistan, Lynda’s dad goes to Iraq
2002 – JahAngir Karimi born in London
2003 – Heather Delaney born nine months after her father returns on leave
2004 – Aaron returns from Afghanistan
2005 – Frank Atwood, brother of Brian, born in Delaney; Paul Delaney born nine months after father returns on leave
2008 – Brian born
2009 – Lynda Delaney born nine months after father is on leave
2011 – Melissa Atwood born; Mike Delaney born nine months after father on leave
2012 – Lynda’s father dies in Iraq before U.S. withdrawal; Michael discovers Karimi in orphanage, raises him to be the future Islamic savior
2015 – Collins is sent to Harvard, paid for by Evans
2019 – Collins graduates Harvard
2020 – Collins becomes Mayor of Miami, Florida using Evans’ political connections
2028 – Tom Atwood dies
2024 – Collins runs for and wins a Florida State Senate seat
2026 – Brian serves in the U.S. Air Force for four years 2026 – 2030
2027 – Lynda attends Pensacola Christian College 2027 – 2031
2032 – Brian and Lynda marry; Collins elected as a U.S. Senator for Florida
2035 – Brian’s parents die in a mysterious car wreck
2038 – Collins elected President of the United States
2042 – Collins declares his dictatorship, Karimi takes over Iran, Lynda dies of breast cancer
2043 – Collins assassinated, United States falls apart, Christians are raptured, Evans takes over, Karimi is revealed as the anti-Christ, Yellowstone Caldera blows up
204? – Tribulation period

I don’t know if this clears anything up, but I hope it helps, and if anyone has any helpful suggestions, please leave a comment.

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Potential novels, sequels, & other scribblings

When I started writing and publishing my works, I never thought I would publish more than maybe two novels. Well, now I’m up to eight novels, and setting to write my ninth. My goal this year was to write and publish at least two novels, and I did that, with three. I also thought I’d never write sequels or a series of novels in the same universe, but I have. I’m sure some wonder if I’m going to have any sequels to some of my older novels, and I’ve been asked, but right now, I don’t know. Here’s an update on my current novels and future works.

Out of Time It took me a long time to get this novel right, but I finally did. Anyway, I thought about writing a sequel, but at the moment, I have no idea where I’d want my time travelers to go. I did start to write something about Janet Erickson, the captain of the Einstein, but I got stuck after a page or two of writing. I have an idea of what I might want, but I’m not sure if it’s a novel length story, a novella, or a short story. If I get around to writing it out, I’ll see.

Don’t Mess With Earth – I actually sent a short story version of this in the mid-1990′s to the Writer’s of the Future contest, but got nowhere with it. I wrote a full length novel, but this is one of my stories that people either like or dislike, and I re-wrote it into a version of Shattered Earth, changing the beginning, and making the novel longer by over 25k words. I have been asked by 1 or 2 readers if I’m going to tell the story of the Ragnor after Earth destroys them for the most part, but I really don’t know. I wrote a page a year or so ago, but haven’t returned to it. We’ll see.

The Usurper – No sequel. I wrote this mostly to push buttons, and if you’ve seen some of the reviews I’ve received on Amazon, you’ll know that I did just that.

New Frontier & Final Frontier – Final Frontier is the sequel to New Frontier, so I’m not sure about another sequel. I might one day go back to Final Frontier to include a chapter or two near the end, because I glossed over what happened to the Soviet Starship Gagarin in one of the alternate timelines, but if I say more than that, it would be spoiling the story for those that haven’t read it.

My End Times Series of novels – The next novel I’m going to write is about the story of Michael Evans, starting with his grandfather, who I’ll have palling around with Hitler in WW2. The Evans’ will try to manipulate events from behind the scenes, get England to balk at giving Israel as much land as they were going to give them after the war, finance the enemies of Israel, start to interfere in American society, and have appearances by the grandparents of the main characters from Times of Trouble. How Evans finds David Collins and the Iranian, and how they manipulate events before the Tribulation. I think I’ll begin writing it in November, taking time to do a lot of research while I’m doing it, and possibly getting it finished in early 2013. I was also thinking of at least one young adult novel in the series, even though Times of Trial is kind of leaning towards that, since Greg and Laura are two of the main characters, and they’re teens, but I’ll just have to see how that works out.

As for short stories, I’ve come up with a few of those, but a lot of them are so different in genre, I don’t know if I should put those in a short story collection, but I will think about it. Next year, I want to publish at least three more novels, if possible.

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#SampleSunday – Times of Trial: an End Times novel

Here is a sample from the first part of Chapter 4 of “Times of Trial.” Available at: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes, Kobo
Chapter 4

A day earlier….
TimesofTrial_frontcover1“I’m starting to fear for our safety, Eric. Some of our neighbors keep calling CPS and the cops on us for homeschooling the kids, our house gets egged, and someone keeps smearing dog or cat poop on our doors. Along with the graffiti on my car and neighbors who slam their doors every time they see us outside, this is the last straw for me. We should take up that offer to move to Wyoming,”
“I think you’re right, Karen. I was hoping that things might get better. It’ll probably take us a week or more to get there if we go by the back roads. Selling the house and moving all of our stuff would take too long, so maybe we should take only essentials, like food and our camping gear,”
“You want us to camp on our way there?”
“Renting hotel rooms would cause too many questions. If we eat at a fast food joint, or buy anything, I’ll pay in cash. We don’t want the TSA to find out where we’re going,”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right, dear. What should we tell the kids?” asked Karen, as she ran her fingers through her hair.
“Tell them exactly what we’re going to do. They’ll understand. Let’s go talk to them about it.”
Their four children were summoned to come to the kitchen table to discuss with their parents what the family was going to be doing. After listening to what his parents wanted to discuss, Nathan, who was the oldest, asked, “What about our friends? Shouldn’t the Tyler’s come with us?”
“They can’t. They have a responsibility to the older members of the congregation to watch out for them, but when I go inform the Pastor about what we’re doing, I’ll ask again. I’m pretty sure it’ll only be us though. Besides, you can make new friends in Wyoming,” answered Eric.
“I guess.” Nathan shrugged his shoulders.
“Here, we have a map of the roads we’re going to travel on,” Eric laid out a map of Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming, “we’ll be going through the Indian Reservations here in Arizona because the TSA doesn’t have jurisdiction there. If we can find out the places to drive through in Utah without being harassed by the TSA, we should make it. We’ll be camping out the whole way, so bring warm clothes and all of your blankets. Everyone understand?”
“Yes, Dad,” the four answered.
“We’re also leaving all electronics here. We don’t want to be tracked. So no cell phones, tablets, iPads, or portable games. Where we’re going will be pretty much off of the grid.” the kids began whining about how that wasn’t fair. “Enough. That decision is final. Ok, get to work packing the essentials; we’ll be leaving in the morning.”
The family spent the next four hours packing their warm clothes, blankets, camping gear, and getting it into their Suburban. The next morning, Karen asked her husband shortly before they left the house, “Do you think we should lock the doors to the house?”
He thought about it for a few minutes before answering, “Probably not. I don’t think we’re coming back, so we don’t need any of that stuff. If anyone is that desperate for a newer TV, mattresses, washer and dryer, and all of that other stuff, then they’re welcome to it. Come on, let’s go.”
Before leaving the driveway for the church, Eric said, “Let’s pray. Dear Heavenly Father, please guide us on this journey. Help us to avoid being seen by government forces. Please help those who aren’t able to make this journey, and please protect them. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Once Eric got back into the Suburban after talking to Pastor Tyler, he asked, “So, where to next?”
Karen looked at the map and said, “Ok. Our route will have us driving up State Highway 77 through Globe, Show Low, and then to Holbrook. Once in Holbrook, we’ll have to travel on or next to I-40 for a few miles, then we’ll turn off again onto 77, which looks like a farm-to-market road on the map. I have us going through Chinle, which is just outside of Canyon De Chelly, and we’ll camp out for the night. Since we have four wheel drive, we can get off the main road to do that,”
“Sounds like a plan. Before I drive away, does anyone need to use the restroom?” Nobody said they did. “Good, because we’ll be in this car for at least two hours before we reach Globe.” Eric put the Suburban into gear and began driving north.

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Sales for the year so far

Now that it’s June, here are my sales numbers for the year so far, from regular sales to when one of my novels was in KDP Select to free giveaways. These are all from mostly just promoting online on Twitter, Facebook, and a bunch of message boards. The novels are listed in order of publication, from 2008 to 2012.

Amazon US Kindle
Out of Time – 34
Don’t Mess With Earth – 13
The Usurper  – (regular sales) – 67
KDP Select numbers for The Usurper – 329
Shattered Earth (which I unpublished on Amazon) – 8
Voyager & The Aliens – 3
Dust Storm – 4
New Frontier – 50
Times of Trouble – 89
Times of Trial – 9

Amazon UK Kindle
Out of Time - 8
Don’t Mess With Earth – 4
The Usurper – 8
KDP Select for The Usurper – 176
Voyager & The Aliens – 1
Dust Storm – 0
Times of Trouble – 4
Times of Trial – 1

Amazon Germany
Out of Time – 1
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 4
New Frontier – 1

Amazon France
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 2

Amazon Italy
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 2

Amazon Spain
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 6

Barnes & Noble Nook, which is partially through PubIt, B&N’s publishing platform and through Smashwords
Out of Time – 17
Don’t Mess With Earth – 17
The Usurper – 15
Shattered Earth – 19
Voyager & The Aliens – 1
Dust Storm – 3
New Frontier – 12
Times of Trouble – 109
Times of Trial – 7

Apple iTunes
Out of Time – 29
Don’t Mess With Earth – 4
The Usurper – 5
Shattered Earth -25
Voyager & The Aliens – 4
New Frontier – 3
Times of Trouble (only available since May)
Times of Trial (not yet available)

Kobo
Out of Time – 10
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1
The Usurper (Kobo has yet to list it)
Shattered Earth - 8
Voyager & The Aliens – 0
New Frontier – 0
Times of Trouble (only available since May)
Times of Trial (not yet available)

Sony Reader
Out of Time – 1
Everything else – 0

Smashwords paid/giveaways
Out of Time – 1/39
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1/26
The Usurper – 0/9
Shattered Earth – 0/37
Voyager & The Aliens -0/14
Dust Storm (I unpublished it because I couldn’t get the formatting right) – 2/12
New Frontier – 5/41
Times of Trouble – 0/87
Times of Trial – 0/1

Createspace Paperbacks, all of which were sales from mostly Amazon
Out of Time – 2
The Usurper – 7
Shattered Earth – 3
New Frontier – 12
Times of Trouble – 30
Times of Trial – 0

Total between January & end of May: 1423

Overall total since 2008: 26381

I’m posting this because some writers get discouraged, but you just have to keep at it. While I don’t have the money or much in the way of resources to push my novels to greater visibility, I think I’m doing pretty well. I took The Usurper out of KDP Select because my sales were actually worse overall, and I had a grand total of 3 borrows, so I didn’t think that program was worth it. Stay tuned for the sequel to New Frontier, plus a short story anthology based on minor characters in the two End Times novels, and a novel about Michael Evans, the man-behind-the-scenes in both End Times novels.

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