Category Archives: Reading

Back in The Saddle

Well, technically, the saddle is a chair.


At my desk inside the master bedroom. That’s where I keep my laptop.

The Fall Semester has ended and the Holidays have passed, (Thank God! They were exhausting, weren’t they?)

While I am awaiting the start of Spring classes at my local Community College, I’ve been trying to make use of the downtime with WRITING!

And just in case you’re interested, I am working on the third and final book in my thrilling Sci-Fi trilogy!

The book is called REACTION and I’m planning on releasing late this year.

Still tinkering with the cover

INERTIA  and …

*free with Kindle Unlimited!
*free with Kindle Unlimited!


*also FREE with Kinlde Unlimited
*also FREE with Kindle Unlimited

were the first two, and as exciting as those plots were, this last one is going to blow them both out of the water. AtomicBomb

I’m just over 20k words so far, but the book is already plotted out in my head! The final, BIG ending is going to be SO much FUN to write. I can’t wait for you all to read it.



It’s That Time Of Year Again

Time for the SYNC Audiobook Summer Program! 


In case you’ve new to the blog, I’ll explain:

SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. Running May 5th – August 17th 2016, SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week (30 titles) – pairs of high interest titles, based on weekly themes.  In 2014, 26 titles were given away over 13 weeks. In 2015, 28 titles were given away over 14 weeks.

Last Friday was the kick-off date for this summer’s audiobook giveaway. You can get both of the following titles free, now through  05/12:

The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial by Peter Goodchild

The Scopes Trial, over the right to teach evolution in public schools, reaffirmed the importance of intellectual freedom as codified in the Bill of Rights. The trial, in a small-town Tennessee courtroom in 1925, set the stage for ongoing debates over the separation of Church and State in a democratic society—debates that continue to this day. Peter Goodchild used transcripts from the trial to create this intense docudrama.


The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.


That title is paired with:

Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple never believed in the evangelical Church of America, unlike her recently devout parents. But when Vivian returns home the night after the supposed “Rapture,” all that’s left of her parents are two holes in the roof. Suddenly, she doesn’t know who or what to believe. With her best friend Harp and a mysterious ally, Peter, Vivian embarks on a desperate cross-country road trip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivian Apple isn’t looking for a savior. She’s looking for the truth.

Remember, you’ll need an Overdrive Media App to play these free titles!

Don’t have it? Don’t worry! That’s free too!


Click the link to get Overdrive on your phone, tablet, kindle, or PC. The app offers free cloud storage and doesn’t take up much space on your device.

JNawx6QAND, Overdrive can be used for more than just listening to free audiobooks. It’s also the leading Library app in the nation. If you’ve got a library card, all you have to do is find your library inside the app and click it. Then punch in your card number and BAM! You’ve got access to your local library’s ebook and audiobook collections.


Week 2 titles…..



Five Marketing Mistakes I Made Self-Publishing My First Book


Five Marketing Mistakes I Made Self-Publishing My First Book

By Lennard Van Ree

Like so many writers I often find myself at odds with the art of marketing. Since publishing my first book two months ago I made at least five marketing mistakes. If you’re thinking of (self) publishing a book, these might be of interest to you:

1. Waiting.

It took me 30 years to summon the courage to start a blog. I was already somewhat good at writing at 20. That’s 10 years of list building that didn’t happen.

When my blog gave me the idea for my book, I essentially gave up on blogging to ‘make time’ for writing my novel. Isn’t that what writers do in movies after all? They retreat to an exotic location to work on their masterpiece, don’t they?

Anyone with experience in publishing will tell you writing is the easy part. Writers seclude themselves. Authors connect with people. And connecting with people takes confidence I lacked the first 30 years of my life.

Lesson learned: Confidence is a decision.

2. Being hasty.

After revising my book eight times I hit Publish on Amazon. I managed to sell some copies to a few bloggers that still remembered me. I was confident they would enjoy my 576 page diary novel. Some apparently did, but the general opinion was that it needed an editor. Badly. And that it needed to be shorter. Also badly.

It takes distance to read your own material objectively. Mine turned out to be an oasis of typos, clumsy grammar and endless pages of ‘plotlessness’.

Lesson learned: Confidence is not always rooted in reality

3. Connecting with people in the wrong place

The first review my book received was a one-star review.

It was an unpleasant start of my career as an author, but upon closer inspection of my book I came to realize my first reviewer had a point in saying my book needed an editor.

So I decided to write a funny acceptance speech in the comment section of her review. I ended up doing the same with four other reviews, which ranged from two stars to five.

I had read on this forum how the comment section is a good way to discuss the book’s progress for the world to see, so that’s what I did. I initiated a dialogue about my book’s progress. It got zero response.

It would be awkward if an actor came up to you insisting a dialogue about your opinion of his latest film. The same goes for authors. Writers write in the comment section. Authors let the comment section be.

Lesson learned: You’re in a dialogue with your audience. Know when to listen.

4. Connecting with the wrong people in the right place

Forums, comment sections, the blogosphere and social media have all been very helpful to me. I managed to strike up a small following of people interested in the subject matter of my book.

Until I realized that Subject matter ≠ Target audience.

At least not necessarily in the case of a fiction novel.

My book is a fictional tale set in a real world country. I spent time letting people know how much of an expert I am on my subject, neglecting the tale. Only when I started adding content about subjects that interest me as a person did I start to make some small but valuable connections. Marketing a book means marketing myself and the story I want to tell, not the background it takes place in.

Lesson learned: Confidence needs aim.

5. Assuming the quality of my book would be a factor

Knowing how many famous writers faced many rejections in their lifetime, I figured it might just be a matter of time before my book would land under the eyes of the right publisher.

While the quality of my book will no doubt be a factor in its eventual success, quality is like fuel lacking a flame. It takes an audience for publishers to take note.

Regardless of my unnecessary responses to my reviews, all of those reviews have been incredibly helpful to me. They helped me create an infinitely better book.

Those writers we see in movies tend to craft their classics in isolation. My reality is that my book didn’t start to shine until my audience became involved.

Lesson learned: I takes your audience to build your book.

Bonus mistake:


Despite what you might think after reading about my mistakes, marketing is a lot of fun for me, in part because of the mistakes. I find the only thing holding me back sometimes is doubt.

There are millions of books on Amazon.

It’s easy feeling small when you are.

Lesson learned: Confidence is the best decision

Hopefully my mistakes will be as helpful to you as they have been to me. I for one am glad I made them.

Maybe you have experience with marketing hick-ups as well; share in the comments section. Or maybe you think writing a post about my mistakes is a mistake.

About the Author:
Lennard van Ree Originally a therapist, Lennard van Ree ventured into music composition and script writing and even wore a suit and tie as an HR manager for a while before becoming a full-time writer.

You can find out more about him on Twitter

What I’m Working On …

Well, duh, I’m still working on the sequel to INERTIA! It’s called … wait for it … it’s going to be epic … FORCE! (Think … Newtons Law of Motion)


Join G in this second part of his journey as he learns more about the strange legacy his father left him and the seeming limitless power of the mysterious stones. In this next installment, G travels to new and unknown worlds, chasing the man that killed his father and finding the most exciting and unexpectedly dangerous adventures yet.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, I take forever to write a book. But I promise, the end result will be worth all my efforts, and your taking your time to read!

Not so sure? Well, I’m pasting a snippet of my magnum opus in progress below just to prove I’m right.

Daemon is here.

The adrenaline of this revelation clears my head and I survey my surroundings with renewed focus. Watching flames lick up the side of the apartment structure and inexplicably halt at the top corner of the roof near the back of the building.

I fight my way through the heat of the alley to find a better spot to check out this anomaly. Maneuvering around a stinking dumpster, I cover my face with my sleeve and look up. Directly overhead, the uncharacteristic blunt edge of a grouping of flames catches my eye. As if they’re pressing against an invisible wall.

Just above the stunted end of the flames stands a dark figure with outstretched arms. He’s about seven stories up, shrouded in smoke and ash, but I can tell who it is. His tattooed head and shaggy beard are unmistakable. His name is a curse on my lips.

The figure sails from the edge of the rooftop into the air and floats down with the ashes. Unhurried and light among the bedlam he’s fashioned.

I shouldn’t be surprised by his ability to do impossible things. I’ve seen it before, but damn, what a party trick. He’s practically flying.

But I won’t gape. I won’t give him the satisfaction.

When he hits he hits the ground I’ll be in perfect attack position.

A screeching sound shoots up from the alley behind me. When it gets too loud to ignore, I risk a quick glance back and find a long metal dumpster screeching towards me. Swinging to one side, I intend to miss it completely, but the damned thing turns to widen its’ path like its’ possessed and out to get me.

What the hell?

I jump back and over, veering behind an old wooden electric pole. The metal dumpster hits the post and bounces back.

Looking back to Daemon, I find him ten yards down the alleyway. His feet are planted far apart. His black trench coat swings in the hot wind coming off the blaze. The sound of sirens and cries cannot drown out his evil cackle.

He raises one arm, his hand half open as if clutching an invisible object. I notice a shadow over my head as his raised hand forms a fist.

And then I hear it: the loud crackle of protesting metal. Like a car accident. The shadow that fell upon me shifts and I look up to find the dumpster hovering over my head.

I’m hearing it break, watching it crumple like a toy car under an elephant. The mass shoots to one side, ramming into the side of the burning building, sending bits of brick into the alleyway and then shoots back, straight at me.

I jump away, but the wooden electric pole is cracked in two. Live wires spark and trickle to the ground amid the rubble as what’s left of the dumpster smashes down, nearly on top of me. I roll away, tucking my knees to my chest to keep them from being crushed.

This is crazy.

He can levitate and throw massive metal objects?

Scrambling back to my feet, I find Daemon turned away and tilting into a full run.

Teaser Tuesday: I’m Not a Serial Killer By Dan Wells

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat—and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.


“Old skin was my favorite–dry and wrinkled with a texture like antique paper.”

I’m currently reading I’m Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells. The above quote is a sentence from the fourth paragraph of page one. 17305148.gif

So . . . yeah. I read that and had to keep reading. Plus, I’ve read the Partial Sequence, also by Dan Wells, and loved all of those books so much I posted rave reviews for each one here on my blog.

So far, all I can say is that, this kid (John) is sick in the head. I’m undecided as to whether or not he really is a killer. I’m kind of thinking that the kid is fixated on death; the idea of seeing someone or something dead is not the same as  making that someone dead and i’m hoping the John realizes the difference before he makes a choice he can’t take back.

There’s not much more I can say about the book, except that . . .  I have high expectations!


Teaser Tuesday

What I’m Reading

Graduate students Zoë and Holli only mean to blow off some steam on their road trip to Las Vegas. But something goes terribly wrong on their way home, and the last time Zoë sees her, Holli is in the clutches of a sadistic killer. Zoë flees with her life, changed forever.

A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a police investigation where the crime eerily resembles her abduction. Along with a zealous detective, she retraces the steps of that fateful night in the desert, hoping that her memory will return and help them find justice for Holli. Her abductor—labeled the “Tally Man” by a fascinated media—lies in wait for Zoë. For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.

With an unforgettable heroine, a chillingly disturbed psychopath, and a story that moves at breakneck speed, The One That Got Away is thriller writer Simon Wood at his finest.

The One That Got Away by Simon Wood is really good so far!

The author jumps right into the terrible stuff that’s happeningto the main character, Zoe, and her friend Holli. Then he jumps ahead fifteen months and shows us how Zoe’s life in changed, but then he jumps right back into the sick mind of the serial killer and gives us readers all the information that the cops want to know!


It’s a nail bitter for sure. 

Here’s a quote from the page I’m reading, at 27%:

She’d always known that the man who abducted her and Holli was out ther somewhere, but she’d never known where. He existed in this formless shape that was some place. But last night had changed everything. He was in the bay area. She was within his grasp again.

Compelling, right?? 

I don’t know how this is going to end as I’ve never read Simon Woods work before, but  I’m liking it so far!

And I’ll review it when I’m done!


Buy it here


INERTIA 3dOnly today, March 5th, and exclusively through Amazon, you can get your very own free digital copy of my latest ultra exciting Science Fiction novel, INERTIA!

What are you waiting for? Go get it!