Saturday, November 29, 2014
I have a short story, Downswing, aimed at golfers. Got it priced at 99 cents. Had a few sales, then it languished for a long time. Yesterday, had ONE sale. And Downswing's ranking soared from the basement of 1,672,213 into the stratosphere of 111,558. At that moment, ONE sale put its ranking at #66 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > 15 minutes (1-11 pages) > Literature & Fiction
What would one more sale do?
Willing to help me find out? Be that one more sale?
Downswing is more than a story just about golf. Buy it. Let's see what happens. I'll report back.
PS: It's easy to google and find a free app so you can read Kindle ebooks on any device you are using.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Reviews for the two books in my Phillip McGuire series, published by Curiosity Quills, have been wonderfully positive.
McGuire is a burnt-out, foreign correspondent who was kidnapped by the Hezbollah in Beirut before they destroyed the Marine base, killing 299. Phil, under torture that mutilated his hand, gives up all the details of the compound he visited. Released after the explosion, he is taken to Wiesbaden for surgery. After that, he renounces journalism to return to his university town, Lawrence, where he buys a bar and runs it. Adventures come his way. His past comes back his way, too.
First in the series is Tortured Truths, which introduces Phil.
The plot thickens and excitement ascends to a shrieking climax with every word in this thriller. Gruesome and colorful text flows into a string of scenes that coalesce inside the reader's mind with each turn of the page. Character's are vividly displayed through dialogue and narrative giving the reader a sense of being in the thick of the action.
Tortured Truths keeps you turning the pages, but the very interesting thoughts have you highlighting and underlining passages to come back to. This is a great stand-alone mystery story, but it also an intriguing thought-provoker when the main character reflects on the whys and wherefores.
Randy Attwood has crafted an intoxicating tale of circumstance and choice....Atmospheric and philosophical, Tortured Truths is a skillfully written journey into a wounded mind searching for peace.
Philip is a good character to follow around. His mind is interesting and since he’s been a journalist for years he’s knowledgeable. The torture itself is not on page. The story begins right after and how he deals with his mutilated hand, the surgeries and rehab. Then his quest to open a bar and the renovations are all interesting. Then s*** gets real with killings in his new/old town. When someone he knows is killed he can’t help but dig into the reason why. Along the way he finds a lovely brash lady, meets old and new friends, builds a business and, most importantly, faces his past. The story is not a fast-paced thriller, but is a slow build, one brick at a time, providing a solid story with a solid character. I would definitely read more about Philip and all of his friends.
Second in the series is Heart Chants.
In Heart Chants, Randy Attwood reintroduces us to Phil McGuire shortly after the events of the first novel in this series - Tortured Truths. Phil is laid up at home after trouble, in the guise of a woman, finds him again.
Two young Navajo students from the local university have disappeared and the local authorities think they've wandered off on their own. With no one believing claims of foul play, Phil lets another Navajo girl stay at his place to keep her safe. Both of the other missing girls were the daughters of tribal singers, a coincidence too significant to ignore. Before long, the efforts of the trickster draw him into the world of Navajo mysticism and traditions as old as the world.
Heart Chants draws upon the Navajo creation tale, bringing the reader into a rich and detailed canon depicted with masterful and immersive storytelling. While no expert, I found the depictions of rites and cultural lore to be deep and engaging. This was an excellent read, and it kept the pages (electronic as they may be) turning. By the time the action reached its peak, I was reading too fast, and had to back up and reread several pages―I wanted to know what was going to happen.
Heart Chants is an enticing novel rich in Native American lore and steeped in mystery. ..From beginning to end Heart Chants is an exciting novel that is in my opinion arguably one of the best releases of the New Year.
...a riveting mystery with a nice dose of romance. His research into the Navajo culture is impeccable while remaining respectful and sensitive. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Native American culture and appreciation of a good story. Well written and researched, Attwood has done a gutsy thing. He has gone up against the legacy of Tony Hillerman in the second novel of his Philip McGuire crime series. Even better he wins the bet, not because his crime novel is better than any of Hillerman’s, although it might be and probably is, but because he has the good sense to play off Hillerman in a novel that delves more deeply into Navajo cosmology than any Hillerman novel I’m familiar with ever went.
Attwood pulls the various story lines and conceptual elements together in a most satisfying and compelling conclusion. If you like hard-boiled mysteries or Hillerman or novels with multi-ethnic subplots, this is a book for you.
If you live in New Mexico, you've been exposed to Hillerman's novels about Navajo life. Except that they don't really tell you much about Navajo life and beliefs. I found Heart Chants much more satisfying in this regard than the Hillerman novels I've read. And there's an interesting plot, as well!
Very intriguing story with a fascinating story line, and interesting subject matter as well, with the Navajo culture and mysticism factoring in to the plot. Heart wrenching history of the Navajo people revealed in the story. Suspenseful, fast paced, unique.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Rabbletown: Life in These United Christian States of Holy America long before 1984. I had watched the Religious Right enter politics and worried that one day they might gain real political control. I wondered what that would be like. The novel got started and stalled. I returned to work on it over the years and one day realized I needed to let Bobby, the Bible quoting son of a brick layer, perform his miracles. The book has been doing well since the midterm elections. I think because others, too, are starting to see the real danger in front of us as more radical, right-wing religious Christian zealots get elected. I worry that I set this dystopia too far in the future. It feels like it's just around the corner.
Here is a teacher in the Church of the Evangels giving a history lesson:
"Great strides had been made by Christians in winning elections to the U.S. Congress and state legislatures after the devil Muslims attacked our country in 2001. Our country came to its senses, and recognized that the Islamo-fascist-communist-socialists wanted nothing more than the eradication of Christianity. Good Christians woke up and gained vast, political majorities. There were a few hold-out areas that still elected liberals who claimed to be Christian, but of course you couldn't be both..."
Tim Miller, chair, Religious Students at The University of Kansas, said about Rabbletown: "...one of those satires that is a bit to close to reality to be entirely comfortable."
Another reviewer: "Not since 1984 have we had such a chilling warning of what the future could be."
And a top 500 Amazon reviewer called Rabbletown the best book she has EVER read. Here is a trailer with her audio.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
The 41st Sermon will be discounted 61 percent from $4.99 to $1.99 until November 12 on Amazon as a Kindle download. It's an erotic, emotional, and -- get this -- theological ride!
Father Talley, a married Episcopal priest, is in mid-life and mid-faith crisis when he goes on his annual self retreat to fish, drink, and write the outlines of his sermons for the upcoming year. Only this time he gets caught up in the phony kidnap plot of a lovely blonde parishioner.
One reviewer had this to say about The 41st Sermon:
Wow. Rarely do I find a book that twists as much as this one. The plot and presentation was excellent, the characters were well developed, and the content a bit taboo. I would recommend this book to any open-minded individual.
If you are a fan of Walker Percy, the great southern writer who burst upon the scene with "The Moviegoer," in 1961, you'll be interested in the Percy connection to The 41st Sermon. Details here.