Announcing My Big Ghost Thief Black Friday Sale

Posted by TechyDad on November 23, 2016 under Books, Stories, Writing

I’ll admit it. I’m not a big Black Friday fan. I don’t like getting up early and fighting crowds even if the deals seem good. Years ago, when stores first started “Cyber Monday”, that was more my speed. Recently, it seems that Cyber Monday has simply been rolled into an online version of Black Friday. Honestly, this makes more sense and I’ll happily visit my favorite sites to get a good deal.

This got me to thinking. I have something that I’m selling now. Why don’t I have my own Black Friday sale? Of course, I want to give people as much chance as possible to buy my book at the sale price so my “Black Friday” sale will go for eight days instead of lasting for just one.

From Friday, November 25th to Friday, December 2nd, the Kindle version of Defenders of Shadow and Light: Ghost Thief will cost only $1.99. This is a 60% savings off the normal price of $4.99. If you’ve been unsure whether you want to read this book, now’s your chance to get it for under two dollars.

Of course, I can’t sign Kindle copies, but if you want a signed paperback copy of Ghost Thief, you can enter either my Great Ghost Thief Giveaway or GayNYCDad’s giveaway to try to win a copy.

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The Great Ghost Thief Giveaway

Posted by TechyDad on November 14, 2016 under Books, Giveaway, Stories, Writing

defenders-of-shadow-light_fc_thumbnailYou might have heard that I’ve published a book – Defenders of Shadow and Light: Ghost Thief. It’s a tale about a thief named Murray Gastev. Murray’s just going about his day to day life “liberating” items in exchange for cash – as thieves often do – when he winds up getting fantastic abilities.

Murray finds that he can pass through walls and float about. There’s only one problem, though. He can’t really control his abilities. Alright two problems. He also can’t breathe while “ghosting.” Oh, and there’s the little issue of a “Dark One” who hunts and kills people with powers.
The story is the tale of how Murray meets up with other people who can help him use his powers and the great threat he encounters along the way.
Of course, this book is just the beginning. This is the start of a likely trilogy and I’ve already written one of many short stories based in the same universe. (The character in my short story is likely to appear in Book 2, so the short story can be her introduction.)

With as much enjoyment that I got from writing this book, it would be a shame if it sat on the virtual shelves of Amazon.com and nobody read it. So I’m trying to get the word out with a giveaway. I want to make this fun, so imagine that you inhabited the world of Ghost Thief and were granted special abilities. Given that people in this world don’t tend to put on colorful costumes and act like superheroes, what ability would you like to acquire and how would you use it? Perhaps you’d get super-speed so you could run into work – avoiding traffic and cutting your commute time down. Or maybe you’d like super-strength so you could vacuum behind the sofa with ease. Perhaps you’re a parent who would choose the ability to heal a person’s injuries and illnesses with a touch so that you could make your child feel better when they are ill.

Giveaway

One of my readers will win a signed copy of Defenders of Shadow and Light: Ghost Thief. To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below.

The contest starts today, November 14th and ends at midnight on December 19th. You must leave a valid e-mail address to enter so that I can contact you for your mailing address once the giveaway is over. Your e-mail address won’t be used for anything else – unless you sign up for my newsletter in which case it will be used to send you periodic updates. It will not be shared with anyone else. I will select the winner using Rafflecopter and contact you via e-mail. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to Continental U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Post-Election Day Questions

Posted by TechyDad on November 9, 2016 under Politics

Today I’m in shock. Despite all odds and polls, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America. I began watching the election results expecting Hillary Clinton blowout and instead Donald Trump is our new President.
So where do we go from here? Well, right now, I have a ton of questions and no answers. It actually all depends on what Donald Trump says and how he acts over the next few days and weeks.

During campaigns, candidates can promise many different things. It’s easy to say we’re going to build a wall, but it’s much harder to actually build it. It’s easy to say we’re going to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, but it’s harder to actually do it. It’s easy to say you’re going to send your political opponent to jail, but actually doing it is another matter entirely.

The big questions swirling in my mind (in no particular order):

Will Trump and the Republican Congress with to repeal marriage equality?

What does this mean for healthcare? I’m guessing they’ll finally repeal Obamacare, but what will it get replaced with? What will be covered? What won’t be covered anymore?

During his victory speech, Trump said that he wants to work with all Americans. Is this the case or will he enact policies/push for laws that favor Christians over other religious groups (Muslims, Jews, Atheists, etc), whites over minorities, and men over women?

How will President Trump handle world affairs? Will Trump act in a manner that will make our traditional allies pull away from us?

What does this mean for clean energy and climate change research? Will get harder to combat climate change? Will climate change scientists actually find themselves prosecuted for their statements?

What does this mean for libel laws? Trump said he wants to open them up to go after people who printed not-so-nice things about him. Will he actually try to do this? Even if not, will he work to “get revenge” in other ways? (Shades of Nixon’s enemies list.)

Will future Presidential candidates feel the need to release their tax returns? After all, Trump didn’t and was elected President.

How much will this embolden the racist/sexist/anti-Semitic portion of Trump supporters? I’m not saying that everyone who voted Trump was like this. That’s be ridiculous. However, these people were very vocal and he often retweeted their posts. His election will make them think they have more political power. Will they really?

On a related topic, will this turn into Tea Party 2.0 – where Republicans who aren’t extreme right enough get kicked out of office? Will this result in more policies that are bad for anyone who isn’t a white, Christian male?
There are many more questions I have, but they are all kind of swirling together. My take on the future? I’m trying to be hopeful that President Trump isn’t a disaster. As much as it might be tempting to hope this so I can say “I told you so”, it would mean dark days for the next four years. Instead, I hope Trump surprises me and is a decent President. I’ll admit that it’s a struggle to be optimistic, but I’m making an effort to hold on to optimism because dispair doesn’t solve anything.

Note: The White House image above is a public domain image available from Wikipedia Commons.

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The Tough Task of Book Publicity – How Do You Sell Your Work?

Posted by TechyDad on November 7, 2016 under Books, Writing

Now that we’re back from our trip to Disney World (more on that in another blog post) and life is getting back to normal, it’s time to get serious about a little thing called book publicity.

Writing a book isn’t easy. It’s a lot of time and effort to plan it, write it, and edit it so that it’s ready for print. Many people might think that the hard work ends once the book is published. This could be true. I could easily just say “It’s published and done” and then move on to the next project. Unfortunately, if I do that, then few will know about my book and fewer will buy it. It’s not like I’m expecting my book to appear on the New York Times bestseller list. As nice as that would be, it’s not realistic at this point.

For people taking the standard book publishing route, there are various ways of promoting your work. You can go on a book signing tour across book stores throughout the country. You can appear on television programs to peddle your novel. You can even have your publishing house’s publicist pushing your book using all of their marketing experience.

On the other hand, when you’re self published, like I am, you don’t have a big publishing company’s resources to back you up. Instead, you need to put effort into getting the word out yourself. One big method of publicity I’m going to rely on is social media. That essentially means that I’ll be relying on people on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks to help get the word out. There are also other methods such as giving away signed copies (hint, hint… check back here soon). I’ve also sent review copies to some bloggers so they can post their own reviews and giveaways. (If you’d like a review copy, just let me know.) Finally, I’m in the process of contacting local newspapers.

Hopefully, all of this will help spread the word. Of course, I’m open to suggestions. If you’ve published a book before, how have you publicized it? If you’ve never published a book before, what would you recommend to let everyone know about it?

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I Messed Up and Forgot My Father’s 70th Birthday

Posted by TechyDad on October 20, 2016 under Birthday, Family

nicubunu-Chocolate-birthday-cake-300pxWell, I messed up big-time. Recently, life has been very hectic. I’ve been juggling a lot of things at once. Between work, Jewish holidays, my novel getting published, and other plans (that I can’t blog about at the moment), I was bound to drop something. Unfortunately, that something was my dad’s birthday.

In the days leading up to the birthday, I knew it was approaching. I made a mental note to call him. Unfortunately, said mental note got buried under a stack of mental paperwork. I didn’t remember it, until the day afterwards. I tried calling him, but it was too late. By then, my father, understandably upset, had e-mailed me to let me know that I was the only one not to call him.

As much as I wish that I could go back in time and correct this, I can’t. I can only apologize, take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again and move forward. So I want to publicly apologize to my dad. I messed up. I didn’t call you when I should have. I feel horrible about this and am so very sorry.

How do I make sure this doesn’t happen in the future? Well, I keep all important events in Google Calendar so that my phone will remind me of them. My phone is a lot less prone to “mental paperwork overload” than I am. Unfortunately, my dad’s birthday was listed in a secondary Google Calendar, not my primary one. So while it would show up in my calendar listing, it apparently wasn’t set to notify me of events. I’ve added his birthday into my primary Google Calendar so that next year my phone will help me remember. (I also took the opportunity to double-check that all of my relative’s birthdays are set up properly in Google Calendar and have notifications enabled.)

Again, I messed up and am very sorry. Happy birthday, dad!

NOTE: The image above is “Chocolate Birthday Cake” by nicubunu and is available from OpenClipArt.org.

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