Posts Tagged ‘The Carrington Event’

Happy Holidays!

Posted: December 22, 2015 in Books, Writing

I just wanted to say Happy Holidays to everyone! Having a terrific year with the sales of The Carrington Event doing better than expected. But as an added treat, I’m making the electronic version just $0.99 this week!

The next book in the series is coming along nicely. In fact, I’m doing backflips after I complete every chapter because there’s some great twists and turns in there that are surprising even me. And I’m writing the darn thing…

I’ll also be posting some of my American Ninja Warrior training videos soon. I’ve turned up the training to help get my submission video tuned just right and will do everything I can to make the list early next year. Last year’s call from the Network putting me on the short list was hopeful, but you can’t use hope to buy groceries. I want the chance to compete. So stay tuned for updates over the next few months concerning the selection process.


That’s the tagline from Amazon’s audiobook facilitator. I just started my first project and I’m so excited to get this done. I have many requests for audiobooks and now I’ll be able to respond.

There are many sites that list helpful hints for doing this right. I don’t have them close to me, but thought I’d share the main site.

I will update my site with it’s progress. I’ll also be preparing for the launch.

Oh! And time’s almost up! My Kindle Countdown deal is running down. The Carrington Event is on sale for $0.99 for another day and a few hours. Pick it up for less than a dollar. It’ll rise to $1.99 after that and then back to $2.99 by next Tuesday.

Great news. With eBooks and print-on-demand paper books, I’ll never sell out. So to honor this I’m running a summer special – $0.99 eBook download!

Download The Carrington Event now…


What drives me to write the next book in this series? Well, mostly because I LOVE to write. But secondly because I get emails, reviews and friends asking, no, pestering me when the next one will come out.

So bring it on! It’s less than a dollar for cryin’ out loud. Download it and crack it open this summer. Then gimme hell when you want more. Why? Because I know something. I know that the next book is a page-turner too. I’m deep in the world of the next book and it’s fun…

Love ya.
Mean it.


In The Carrington Event, I talk about an impending coronal mass ejection (a solar storm) that would have devastating effects on our modern world. When I was researching this quiet calamity I wondered what we’re doing to stop or prepare for it. Sadly, I didn’t find much.

But today I found a great article that NASA is working to help predict and alert for this type of danger.
Check it out: NASA to predict solar storms
One of my characters in the book was working on the same sort of idea. How cool is that? I really had no idea NASA had been doing this sort of thing. But it just made sense that someone would. And thank goodness because we’re so dependent on electronics these days – electronic records, communications, even the Internet Of Things…It should be a concern. A major concern.

The Carrington Event itself was a real event that happened in 1859 and if it happened today it would damage our way of life. Quickly. According to NASA the average time it takes is 98 hours from bursting on the sun to reaching our Earth. If we could predict them, we can add more time to that relatively quick turnaround.

It’s good to see so much research going into this. It’s a catastrophe we could and should protect ourselves from.

One last time. Had to do one more free promotion. Free giveaway today – The Carrington Event

ThrillerFest is less than a month away. I talk with authors. I meet famous authors. I listen to successful authors talk about their craft. I meet new Agents. I network. I have the time of my life. If you want to publish big, go to New York.

The first question my agent friends will ask is how many downloads I’ve had. So I want this number to be as big as I can make it.

And…A few months ago I was called by American Ninja Warrior. I submitted a great video and can do most of the obstacles. And the first question they asked? How many books have I sold or had downloaded? Well, apparently not enough because they didn’t select me to participate this year. So I’m building up for next year.

So do a guy a solid. Download this one for free. If you like fast-paced thrillers, you’ll like this book. It was incredibly fun to write and my reviewers say it’s incredibly fun to read. A real page turner.

AMAZON FREE eBOOK The Carrington Event


This would be a great headline if I wrote Jurassic Park. And what interesting timing with a new movie coming out, but scientists really did find 75 million year old dinosaur blood.

Check it out: Scientists find dinosaur blood

75 million years old or not, just finding organic matter from any dinosaur era is spectacular. It’s great that they mention the 2005 discovery by scientist Mary Schweitzer of organic matter in a T-Rex bone. I used her research to start my whole series! In 2005 Mary used a chemical process to remove the fossilized portion of a T-Rex bone. Neatly cradled inside was soft tissue. This was an amazing find. But alas, no Jurassic Park here either. DNA doesn’t survive well after 1 million years, let alone 75 or 100. But it sure is fascinating.

In my first book, Genetic Impulse, Dr. Susan Chang uses the same technique Dr. Schweitzer did, but against pre-human bones. She was able to extract DNA from earlier hominids. We’ve since decoded two earlier human-like species, Neanderthal and Denosovans, but they’re our most recent. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could go back farther and find out something about ourselves we didn’t know? What if this lead to a discovery about what we’re to become?

It’s great food for a novel. I have not yet released Genetic Impulse, but will certainly do in the near future. You can read the first chapter here…Genetic Impulse

BTW – Free eBook download today! The Carrington Event

After we go through a round of edits, I schedule some time on the phone with my editor so we can actually talk. I really enjoy talking things through. Ideas flow faster and freer than 20 emails or 100 IM’s.


So when we finished The Carrington Event, we had a little time to chat about the book industry in general. I talked about the marketing and promotions I was working on, as well as all the social media footprint exercises you must go through whether you’re a traditionally published author or Indie.

I was proud of all the ideas and devices I gathered to help sell my book.

And then she gave me one last edit.

It was an edit of my actions.

The last thing she said to me was…”Marketing is great. But don’t get so caught up in everything that you forget the main thing. You’re an author. Start writing your next book…”

Geez. I expected to hear that from the publisher. But she’s right. I need to get the momentum for writing back. You know what actually hurts after you write a good book and people buy it, read it and like it? They look for your next one. And what if it’s just a bare spot on the bookshelf? They go through the void of having to wait.

Then I reflected on my own purchasing habits. When I first picked up a Steve Berry or David Baldacci novel, I was floored. Loved it. Went back to the bookstore and bought everything they published. And now that I’ve read them all, I wait patiently for their next one. Biding my time until I hear about pre-orders and release dates. If I wasn’t so busy writing myself, I’d probably be in agony. Although I certainly would love to hook readers the way those giants do, the last thing I want is to make people wait. Especially now that my book is a series…

So if you’re a writer, get out there and start writing. Don’t give your audience a single slice of pizza. Make the whole pie available. They’ll like you more for it.

I know I posted about design cover artwork before, but after following 99designs and their interesting design contest concept, I had to jump in. After you do your design brief and open the contest, many designers put forth their concepts based on your request. I didn’t realize that you could (and probably should) run the contest as ‘blind’. That means that designers don’t see other designers work and potentially steal their ideas.

The best thing you can do to foster good competition and participation is to give the artists feedback. In my case, most of the artists came back with another entry based on my suggestion. At the time of this post, and the first of two rounds is practically over, I had 56 different entries! This has been a really great response and I think part of it is because I gave the best feedback I could and thanked the artists for their time and effort.

So without much ado, I have a favor to ask. Would you please click on the link below and rate the covers I posted?
Feel free to write your own comment if you think adding, removing or tweaking a specific design element would be helpful.
From these choices, I will slim the list down to a select few and choose a winner. At that point I will even be able to ask for more changes and get this just like I want.

To help with perspective, I’m including the rough draft of my back cover copy. Below that is the link to get to the polls.

James Randall Parker is a synthetic biologist who has heard enough at a conference in Rome. He’s now sure that no one else has implemented artificial DNA into humans like he has. But out of the lab and out of the U.S. for the first time, he’s not prepared for the gauntlet of dynamic personalities and powerful forces that want to steal his work. 

His world is quickly turned upside down when he’s seduced by a beautiful spy and embroiled in a deadly game of scientific espionage that he learns is driven by a secret underground society known as the Nexus. 

Now Jim Parker must team up with the wife he just cheated on, a busy executive with a secret of her own, as they evade the far reaching influence of the Nexus, stomping around some of Italy’s most ancient and storied cities. But when the Nexus assassin tasked with finding and killing him discovers a buried incident that ties him to her own broken life, does she become an ally or motivated enemy?

The Carrington Event will take you through life and death, adventure and discovery. All while being strangled by a hidden solar catastrophe that will disrupt the world order within the next 48 hours…

Vote on your favorite cover design!

In my search for the right kind of cover art for my book, The Carrington Event, I’ve perused some websites that I like and some that I don’t. Well, many that I don’t. It’s tough to find someone to help deliver your vision or something that falls within your particular taste.
Here’s one I actually like. Found out later that they’ve also done work for my friend Joanna Penn. So they can’t be all that bad 🙂

If you’re in for a bit of adventure, try hosting a design contest. 99designs has an amazing collection of authors vying to win your business. The hardest part with this approach is wording the ‘design brief’. The artists use this to work on your cover. But it’s probably a good idea anyway, because it’ll help you put down in words what you want. You’ll have to take the time to describe it the way you see it. So get crackin’ and let me know if you have any other good places or ideas to generate cover art that sucks readers in like a vacuum.

Ever have one of those days when you just need a writing prompt? Perhaps for a specific scene or entire book?
I stumbled upon this great collection of pre-made book covers – looking for a place to do the cover art for my next manuscript The Carrington Event. Looking at the fantastic art, it made me think of all sorts of new ideas, not just for new books, but even for individual scenes.
Now I’m certainly not saying you should steal any of these ideas, just use them to get a kick start for that next page. It’s amazing what a creative piece of art can do for your brain.
And who knows, you must just find a great company to do the cover art for your next book.
Check it out:
The Cover Collection