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In April 2014, I mentioned the creative aspects behind the cover art for our novella, Genesis: Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Slice of Life .   ...

Video courtesy of @jcallenbooks

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Book That Didn't Want To Be Revised

I'd like to start by saying a big howdy to all the new followers.  In addition, I have a couple of items of business items before I tell what the title means.  

According to the folks that I've talked to thus far, our interview on Monday seems to have been well received.  If you were unable to listen to it live then you can hear the re-broadcast. Please be sure to give it a little bit and it will come up.  It starts with an ad before going into the show. As you listen you'll get to hear both David and I talking with Angelica Harris and her new co-hostess, Siggy Buckley on the Monday Lunch Hour Program.  In other recent news, our book is among feature authors on Norma Budden's site. So please be sure to check it out. 

Now on to the story: 

Let me preface this by saying that I truly believe that Editors and Book Layout Artist truly do earn their pay.  Unfortunately, not everyone can afford their services.  As anyone who has followed this blog since the beginning knows, we had River Road Press do the original edits and layouts.  This was great until...

We got the proof back from Create Space.  Originally, my co-author looked through the pages and didn't see any bleed through, so we approve the book for printing. Then one day, he decides to read the words.  He kept noticing that things weren't how he asked me to put them. I could believe that I messed up once maybe twice but as he kept going through the book, we realized the problem.  Some how I posted the wrong version.  It didn't have all the latest revisions.  I went back through the book with a finer tooth comb and finally got it in shape.  I should note that a couple of readers/fellow authors did help with some suggestions that we incorporated into the revisions as well.  The revisions went swimmingly onto Amazon and Barnes & Noble e-books. Then I tackled Smashwords.  This basically meant undoing all the previous work and re-formatting the book to their standards. 

That is when I ran into my first set of struggles. I asked for help and got several great suggestions but my computer did not wish to co-operate.  I remembered that I had an invitation for help from a fellow author.  He was kind enough to take it and make it behave. I made sure to give him a shout out on our Smashwords e-book

With that accomplished and book two's rough draft typed, I set out to update the print book on Create Space.  Let me tell you that if you have any aspirations of placing your book on Create Space let me save you some time and trouble.  Go with the Create Space Basic Template for the format that best fits your book type.  They have explanations on their site.  Generally though they recommend 6 x 9 for fiction books.  This is what we originally how I put our book into Create Space.  Needless to say, with all the revisions, I couldn't use that original version.  But I digress...now back to the story.

I thought that I had the book spaced out for 6 x 9 but I quickly found out after placing the book through Create Space Interior Review checker that I was not anywhere close.  So I tried the 6 x 9 Formatted template.  You have to copy and paste according to what is in the template parameters.  After trying different variations on a theme. I kept failing to make it look right.

After days of asking for help with my situation and getting basically no where, it finally dawned on me to try the one thing that I remembered from the Smashwords guide book. When all else fails, take the word document...hit Ctrl A (this automatically highlights all of the document) then Ctrl C (this automatically copies the whole document) and paste (Ctrl P) into Word Pad.  This gets rid of formatting problems. Then do the same process from Word Pad into the Basic Template that you choose. This got good results.  I went through and re-adjusted the Chapters into their own sections. Next I updated the page numbers on the Table of Contents.  Once that was done I then save it as a PDF file. 

I re-submitted it to Create Space...the previous errors were gone but I was given a new one.  My gutters weren't the right spacing.  I learned that  if you have over 600 pages (yes our book is over 600 pages for the soft cover) that you need to make sure the gutters are at least 1 inch (inside margin).  I'm not sure why the number of pages matter but it does.  The increase in the gutter makes sense though...you are reading a book that bends. You also have to make sure that you have at least .25" for the outside, top and bottom margins.

So I worked on adjusting the margins by going to the Page Layout section.  Now I won't get technical here because I'm sure each version of MS word is different but I figured it out. After I re-submitted it, I got past that error.  Now I could finally look through and see how our book will look.  

Darn it, the cover page, Part pages and Chapter headings are all skewed.  "Of course they are...silly," I thought, "you just adjusted the gutter things got squashed together."  So I back out and fix those little problems.  "Don't forget to adjust the table of contents to account for the adjusting pages too.  Wait...is this page count divisible by four.  No, now I need to add a couple pages."  "No problem," I thought as I added About the Authors to the back then resent it through.  

It went and it looks great.  Next step the cover.  Fixed it up to reflect the changes we wanted...good.  Onto the channels, the prices...yes, you guess it they went up.  Discussion time with the co-author.  We had to raise the price so we would be getting a little profit (nasty word to some).  After all, we still have money to recoup from paying River Road Press for all their hard work.  It isn't their fault that I posted the wrong version in the first place.  I'm blaming that one on changing back and forth between computers. :)

Our journey has been a rocky one.  We started the journey over two years ago with writing the book.  A year ago we were doing final edits.  It will be a year in January, when we posted our book on Amazon Kindle.  We've come a long way in a relatively short time. I'm so glad that so many of you have joined us along the way.  We are learning all the hard lessons and sharing them so others don't have to go through the same mess.  As my friend often says, "Life is too short, learn from other people's mistakes. You don't have time to make them all yourself."

Here's hoping that y'all are having a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy
co-owners of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Being Honored

We have two special announcements.  We received our first blog award.  It was a surprise and an honor to get a Liebster Blog Award from Cyn Bagley, who explained a little bit about the award on her post.

This award like all other blog awards has qualifications and requirements that must be followed:

The award is for blogs with less than 200 followers. (Okay so maybe they are people I feel comfortable with even if I don't know how many followers they have.)

The award is to bring to light new or unknown writers. 

Thanks Cyn for helping to bring us to light.  I'm hoping to do the same with a couple of people that I've tagged with this award.

And the award is meant to forge new connections.

New connections are always a great thing. :)

The second part of the requirements:

1. Thank the blogger who gave you the award. 

Thank you Cyn Bagley. Anyone reading this post, please check out her blog.  She is a great person and a witty blogger. 

2. Give the award to 5 of your favorite bloggers, and let them know by posting a comment on their blog. 

Check the end of this blog for those that have been tagged.

3. Post the award on your blog (see above). We won a blog award on our blog, Help Us Help Others.  

Now as for posting the blog award, I know that on Google Chrome you can go to the image.  Right click on the image.  Go to 'Save Image As' this will take you to save the image on your computer. Then you can paste the image where-ever you'd like it to be on your blog. 

4. Bask in the love of the most supportive group on the Internet – other writers. 

I've personally found this to be true...if it weren't for so many authors paying it forward, I'm not sure I'd be here today typing to you. 

5. Spread the karma.

Take the time to read an Indie book or give a review to an up and coming fellow author. :)

List of Bloggers being tagged with the Award:

1. James Wallace Birch blogs on DTTLA (Don't Throw That Letter Away).  If you join me in reading his book, Discontents, then you'll understand the reference for this. James is a recently published author who also knows his way around a computer.

2. Coral Russell blogs on Alchemy of Scrawl where she often gives great advice.  You can also find her at Goodreads on Full Moon Madness where book reviews are showcased.

3. Mistress Suzie blogs on Musings of Mistress of the Dark Path. She is working on her first book which she plans on publishing. Her blog is full of fun and talented writers. 

4. Tim Greaton blogs on Tim Greaton Forum where he interviews many authors.  Tim challenges the author with interesting questions. He is also a great friend to many. 

5. Siggy Buckley blogs on Next Time Lucky: Lessons of a Matchmaker where she talks about Internet Dating in relation to her book.  Siggy was among our first blog followers and has been a constant companion on our journey.  

Siggy will be co-hosting Monday Lunch Hour beginning 12 December 2011 where David and I will be the interviewees. You guessed it that was our other special announcement.

There are quite a few other blogs that could be mentioned here but then this blog would be so long you'd fall asleep first. :)

Have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy
co-owner Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Help Us Help Others

Please help us help out some fellow authors by reading this great offer and a little bit about the books themselves. 

Support Four Debut Authors and Snag $125!
Four books + Two Days   =  Great Prizes

With this contest, there is something for everyone and it’s SO simple to be in on the winning!

On November 28 and/or 29, purchase 1 or all 4 of the debut author’s books listed here. Then forward proof of purchase (the receipt Amazon sends you will do just fine) to: motionsrider@yahoo.ca and get up to 4 entries into a draw for a $100 Amazon gift card!

It’s that easy, no reviews, no hoops to jump through. Just a great .99 book or two. Or three or four. AND, if the person who wins the $100 Amazon Gift Card has purchased all 4 books, an additional $25 Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to the winner!

On top of that, 2 random commenter’s picked from 2 of our participating blogs will receive $5 gift Amazon gift cards . So, be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the promo, the books, or the authors. Winners will be chosen randomly, one entry per person, per book.
All winners will be announced on December 7th on Wringing Out Words 

“Between” by Cyndi Tefft

It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile, and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.

“Until Dawn: Last Light” byJennifer Simas

When darkness falls, whose side will you be on?

For the past six years, Zoë has been anything but “normal.” Struggling to accept her immortality and thrown into a war that’s been waging in the shadows for over a thousand years, Zoë must now become who she was meant to be, joining the other Chosen to save what’s left of humanity. When the endless night falls over the Earth, will she be able to save the one man who reminds her of what it is to be human, or will it be too late?

Until Dawn: Last Light is a story of death and despair, love and longing, hope and hopelessness, and the ability to survive and keep going even when it seems impossible – when you want nothing more than to give up.

“The Kayson Cycle” by Jonathan D. Allen

A stranger enters a dying town and makes a desperate plea…

The Kayson Cycle introduces the Kayson Brothers, a pair of faith healers who once wowed crowds in a traveling show but went their separate ways after a night in which a healing took a dark turn. Jeffrey Kayson disappeared into the wilderness and William Kayson, wracked by guilt, moved to the failing mining town of Calico Hills to build a nice, quiet life – one that has lasted for over ten years.

His quiet, predictable life crumbles when a mysterious stranger walks into his tavern bearing a proposal to find his long-lost brother and do the one thing that William has sworn to never do again - have his brother heal a woman. William soon learns that he can’t escape his family – or his destiny.

Includes an exclusive sample chapter of The Corridors of the Dead. Please note that this is a Kindle Single, and around 6,000 words in length.

“Sundered” by Shannon Mayer

A miracle drug, Nevermore, spreads like wildfire throughout the world allowing people to eat what they want, and still lose weight. It is everything the human population has ever dreamed of and Mara is no different. Only a simple twist of fate stops her from taking Nevermore.

As the weeks roll by, it becomes apparent that Nevermore is not the miracle it claimed. A true to life nightmare, the drug steals the very essence that makes up humanity and unleashes a new and deadly species on the world that is bent on filling its belly. Locked down within their small farm home, Mara and her husband Sebastian struggle against increasingly bad odds, fighting off marauders and monsters alike.

But Sebastian carries a dark secret, one that more than threatens to tear them apart, it threatens to destroy them both and the love they have for each other.

Now Mara must make the ultimate choice. Will she live for love, or will she live to survive?

Please be sure to leave a comment on our blog so you have a chance at winning a $5 Amazon gift card.  If you have problems leaving a comment on here then please contact motionsrider@yahoo.ca and tell her that you were visiting Call Sign Wrecking Crew On The Run.

Hope you have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy
co-owner Call Sign Wrecking Crew LLC

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Author Interview with Tim Greaton, “Maine’s Other Author” TM

Throughout my publishing journey, I’ve met a lot of interesting people.  Of them, Tim Greaton is one of the most fascinating.  Even though we only met this past year, I feel as though I’ve known him for ages and ages.  I’m proud to call him my friend.  Tim was kind enough to interview me (and by extension David) on one of his blogs, Tim Greaton Forum.

This time, I offered to turn the tables on him.  A brave undertaking on my part, I assure you, but here goes.

Lynn Hallbrooks: Thanks Tim for visiting with all of us today. 

Tim Greaton: Lynn, the pleasure is all mine. What you forgot to mention—during your very kind introduction—is why you have met so many people and have made so many friends during your book marketing efforts. I’d like to spill the beans and tell everyone here it’s because you, yourself, are a genuinely good-hearted and helpful person. You deserve every friend you’ve met, and I for one am thankful to have stumbled across your path.

And, yes, if it sounds like I’m angling for gentle questions, you’re right.

Lynn Hallbrooks: It’s not going to work, you know.

Tim Greaton: I know but I had to try. Probably should have brought some Maine apples, huh?

Lynn Hallbrooks: Maybe if you brought some chocolate with coconut?  I’m still glad to have you here.  Where are my manners?  Please sit.  I’m sure it is a bit warmer here in Texas than in Maine.  Coffee, Tea…Cocoa?

Tim Greaton: Thanks, Lynn, but I prefer not to hydrate before cyber-flights.

Lynn Hallbrooks: As you may have noticed, I try to help others on their journey before, during, and after self-publishing, so I’d like to focus mainly on those topics.

Tim Greaton: As one of your flock of followers, I somehow knew you would.

Lynn Hallbrooks: How did you get started in this wonderful world of writing?

Tim Greaton: I know there are some writers who have drifted accidentally into the profession, and there are others who were inspired by certain books or stories. In my case…well, it was my crappy childhood that drove me straight into the arms of my local library. To say my parents had a disastrous relationship would be an understatement. My parents hated each other, but poverty and the responsibility of raising six children kept them together. Unfortunately, that also meant their children became inadvertent pawns in their domestic war. I won’t say much else except that from as early as I can remember, I prayed that things would change, that somehow my brothers, sisters and I might somehow be magically transported to a normal life. It wasn’t to be. I survived fourteen years in the midst of that battlefield, and I’m only sitting here today because several thousand authors were kind enough to pave me a fictional path to adulthood. I couldn't run away…but I was able to escape into books.

So, to answer your question—finally—is that I write because I owe it to all those authors who provided me with shelter those many years ago. I know how important fiction can be, so for me it is not just a calling, but the highest calling. If I can shine a light or even a distraction into the life of someone who is struggling, then I feel I have made it. I’ve succeeded. 

Lynn Hallbrooks: Thank you for sharing that intimate glimpse into your life, with us.  If that is truly your criteria for success, then I think you have succeeded quite well.  Personally, I've witnessed you taking on various story challenges and coming up with contest-winning results. Not to mention making me laugh, cry, or both.  Speaking of which, how did you and your muse get on such good writing terms?

Tim Greaton: That might be the easiest question of the day, Lynn. I never seek the help of a muse. Writing for me has always been a need. I knew from the time I was a little boy that I would grow up to write novels, but that meant I had to spend a lot of time practicing. And I did. From the time I was about seven I have been writing something nearly every day. Even when I was having a bad day (and some of those childhood days were really bad), I still used to write. Today, I type over a hundred words a minute, and story-building is as instinctive to me as carpentry might be to an old-time contractor or as medicine might be to an experienced doctor. And the imagination I used to escape into books is now an invaluable asset. Today, I get just as lost writing a story as I do when reading one. It’s the same process, after all, just reversed.

Lynn Hallbrooks: Do you have a writing ritual?

Tim Greaton: I really don’t. The late Jack Bickham, a wonderful writing professor from the University of Oklahoma and a famous author in his own right, used to say, “The key to creativity is action.” Writers write, which means they sit in their chairs and produce words, preferably a certain number of them each day. For me, it’s exactly like that. When I need to write something, I sit in front of my keyboard and begin. For stories, I usually have only a loose idea that develops as I write. For novels, these days, I usually develop some form of an outline first, which can save a lot of rewriting later. I write at least four hours each weekday, during which times I am strictly writing, not making calls, not networking. On the days I can find time to write for even longer stretches, I feel fortunate.

Lynn Hallbrooks: Do you have a promoting/networking ritual?

Tim Greaton: I have been developing one. These days, I do most of my writing in the morning and early-afternoons. By evening, usually after dinner, I settle down to at least three or four hours of networking, writing reviews, and doing other marketing endeavors like blog interviews and short story contest entries (which I do for exposure, though winning occasionally is always fun).

Lynn Hallbrooks: Tim, I’ve noticed that your family helps you with the mechanics of publishing your books.  Can you explain what that experience is like?

Tim Greaton: I’m very fortunate to be close with most of my brothers and sisters. My youngest sister is often one of my beta readers. She’s very intuitive and has been instrumental in smoothing out some pretty rough scenes in many of my books, and  honestly I’m not sure if I could have finished my five-year YA opus “Zachary Pill, The Dragon at Station End” without her help. I wrote so many versions of that book (maybe as many as fifty) that today she has a difficult time remembering which version we ultimately published. One of my brothers is actually the owner of Focus House Publishing. He works with other authors, too, but spends an inordinate amount of time and money keeping my career on track. Finally, my older sister often arranges ARC reviews, media events, and even pushed me out into the networking world originally. If I remember correctly she was actually central to you and I meeting, Lynn.

Lynn Hallbrooks: Can you explain why you chose to brand yourself as “Maine’s Other Author” TM?

Tim Greaton: First, I should say that my brother or maybe his publicist is responsible for that legally trademarked phrase, which came literally from having people refer to me that way.  Stephen King first, me second. Though I often joke that he might someday be “Maine’s Other Author,” the truth is I’m honored to be compared with him at all.

Lynn Hallbrooks: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

Tim Greaton: I’d refer every writer back to my comments from Jack Bickham. Writers write. Sit down in your seat and do it, a lot of it. From practice comes instinct, ability, style and—most importantly—work product. You can’t sell a book you haven’t written. And if your first, second and third books aren't selling…write a fourth, and another and another until you hit your stride and find your audience. I believe that most successful novelists have either written at least sixteen novels (many of which have likely never been published) or have spent a minimum of ten thousand hours honing their writing craft. If a writer has done one or the other, they are definitely ready for prime time. If not, sit down in your seat and write.

Lynn Hallbrooks: What advice do you have for those just starting out in the independent author world?

Tim Greaton: I’m not sure I have any answers above and beyond what most of the other indie and small-pub novelists already know, but it seems to me that building a network marketing platform and exploring every chance to get your name out can only be good. I really don’t understand why writers have usernames different than the ones on their books. It only makes sense that if your usernames match your books, every post you make is free advertising. I also encourage all authors to be friendly, helpful and non-opinionated at all times. If you’re constantly espousing liberal or religious points of view, how many conservatives or atheists do you think will be reading your books? Of course, we all have opinions, but I harken back to an imagined time of gentlemen and gentlewomen who kept their opinions to themselves unless sharing among friends. Besides the world is nicer with less bickering. :)

Lynn Hallbrooks: Just for fun, let’s say you have the combined talents of three authors when you write your next book.  Which three authors would you pick?

Tim Greaton: I think I’d like to have Danielle Steele’s ability to appeal to romance readers, because there are a ton, ton, ton of them (you know who you are). I’d also want to throw in a good dollop of Shakespeare, which would make for some incredible newspaper reviews. Finally, I’d want JK Rowling’s ability to gather a few hundred million book buyers at midnight for my next book release.

Lynn Hallbrooks: So, what would that book be like?

Tim Greaton: It would be about a Witch and a Wizard (Rowling) flying off in a two-seat Cessna to someplace tropical and romantic (Steele). En route, a boy on a flying vacuum cleaner (Greaton) would knock on the window and snatch the witch away, forcing the Wizard and his Cessna to pursue.  The witch would fall in love with her captor (Steele again), but the Wizard would trick the boy into playing an aerial game of chess (Rowling) with live birds and flying pigs (I’ll take credit here). And, ultimately, the boy would tumble to the ground with a gruesome splat (too late to add in Stephen King?) In her grief, the Witch would hurl herself and the vacuum cleaner straight into a mountainside (Mr. Shakespeare, of course).
I’ll probably also run the plane out of fuel and send the wizard to his death so I can call this can’t-miss masterpiece “A Midsummer’s Crash.”

Lynn Hallbrooks: Thank you so very much for being with us today.  Can you please give the audience a list of your books and where they might be able to find them?

Tim Greaton: Lynn, I really enjoyed spending time with you and your readers, and I hope we can do it again soon.

My novels:

“The Santa Shop (The Santa Conspiracy)” - Christmas through the eyes of suicide (30 five-star reviews).

“Under-Heaven” - Pain doesn't end at death, at least not for nine-year-old Nate (7 five-star reviews). See the amazing theater-like book preview here.

“Zachary Pill, The Dragon at Station End (The Zachary Pill Series)” - Magic won't save you...but monsters might (9 five-star reviews).

“Bones in the Tree” - A chick-lit dating catastrophe in Maine (4 five-star reviews).

“Ancestor - Book 1” - A 1600's colonial terror wants to come back now.

“Ancestor - Book 2” - Friends stand against an evil too powerful to defeat.

My stories/anthologies:

“The Shaft & Two Other Stories” - Dark tales to leave you shivering.

“Dustin Jeckle & Mr. Hydel” - A modern twist on a classic tale.

“For the Deposit & Two Other Stories” - Tales of murder and mayhem.

“The Pheesching Sector - a 6,000-word sci-fi story” - A suicide mission at the edge of space.

My titles can be purchased at:

You can also see them on my blog

Lynn Hallbrooks:  Thank you Tim and have a safe cyber-flight. Watch out for flying vacuum cleaners and pigs. 

Tim Greaton waves good-bye just as he disappears behind a vibrant flash of multi-color beams. 

I'm sure that Tim is going back to type up another wonderful story to share with the reading public. As for me, I'll be looking forward to his next adventure. I hope you will too. 

Have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author and PR person to David McKoy
co-owners of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Veterans' Day

The title characters of our book, Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Storm Warning), are former military members.  Reading the last part of the Prologue you see exactly what talents each possess.  Then as our story progresses, it becomes clear why the head guy at the CIA chooses this particular team to go forth with the very special mission. 

While the events are fictional, the characters are based in part on real people who chose to serve our great nation.  If you haven't heard, my co-author and I are also veterans of the United States Armed Services. We hope that you will join us in supporting the troops, each in your own way.  Remember that freedom is never really free. 

Happy Veterans Day!

Lynn Hallbrooks
Co-author to David McKoy
Co-owners of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An All Hallow's Eve Excerpt

In honor of Halloween (aka All Hallow's Eve), I thought I'd post an excerpt from our book, Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Storm Warning):

A big-breasted, blonde tech, who looks to be 6 foot-1 says, “We’re the Vampires.” 

An even bigger-breasted, black-haired, olive skinned tech who is shorter than the first one adds in a Bela Lugosi tone. “We’re here to collect your friend’s blood.”

Without skipping a beat, Mac says “Velcome and enjoy your snack.”

The blonde says, “Oh you’re good!”

After the ladies are finished taking Deb’s blood, they say, “Good night.”

“You mean, morning. You don’t vant to be caught in the sunlight.”

“Oh he’s good,” both laugh as they leave the room. *

This is taken totally out of context of course plus it is not part of the sample package.  If you'd like to see what is really going on here, you might want to purchase our e-book through AmazonBarnes & Noble, or Smashwords.  Frighteningly enough, our book is going to start selling for $1.99 until 2 January 2012 just in time for the Holiday Madness!

Y'all have a Happy Halloween!

Lynn Hallbrooks 
co-author to David McKoy
PR person for Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC

*Italics added for emphasis

Monday, October 17, 2011

Covert Cover art

Unbeknownst to my co-author, I entered a cover art poll on another blog, Wringing out Words, created by Shannon Mayer author of Sundered. Shannon is one of my Triberr Tribe-mates and I was only to happy to help her with the debut cover art poll. 

It was suppose to be for ten cover art participants but it stretched out to be fifteen cover arts presented.  One of the rules was that the winner got his or her (or in our case, his & her) cover art displayed on the remaining contestants' blogs for at least one post.

Being the gracious person that I am, I agreed that our cover art was indeed not the best one in the line up.  So our blog is now temporary home for Daniel A. Kaine's cover art for the book, Dawn of Darkness.

Dawn of Darkness' Goodreads page 

eBook release giveaway (which ends 22 Oct 2011)


Daniel's blog

To see the complete set of cover art participants, please visit:  Wringing out Words Cover art poll

Congratulations Daniel A. Kaine on your great cover art winning the contest by the slim margin of one vote.  Thank you for allowing us to share the spotlight with you if even for the briefest of moments.

Here's hoping that all of our followers are having a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy
PR person for Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Time and Struggle

Today, I think I'm going to ramble a bit about time and the struggles of self-promoting.  I've read a few blogs, articles, or comments today that indicate that many people feel as though they are wasting their time blogging, twittering, or self-promoting in general.  

I sometimes wonder that myself.  Then I open my e-mail, see some new follows on twitter and/or many re-tweets helping me promote our book or helping me help others promote their books or blogs.  The word is spreading.  So I wonder why have we had so few sales.  Is our book just so controversial that no one wishes to purchase it.  Is our book too overpriced for some to consider it.  If we do lower the price will anyone buy it.  Will putting out a second and third book make a difference in our over all sales. 

I don't honestly know what the future holds but I'm willing to keep fighting the good fight until I can not fight any longer. Thanks Triberr tribe-mate and new friend, Jeff B., for your inspirational blog posts but especially the one about your Grandfather in World War IISide note to those of you who are just starting out or still in the process of writing, you might want to look at Jeff B.'s thoughts on ten things Author's should ask themselves. 

A final random thought, I learned a few months ago that you shouldn't go into being an author because you'll get big bucks right off the bat.  You go into it for the long haul.  Not everybody can be an overnight success but if you don't try then you'll never know how you'll do. 

Okay, I have one more thought.  Maybe you can help us keep a positive attitude during our fight to get noticed and/or purchased by just leaving us a positive (G-rated) comment.

Thanks and have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author & PR person for David McKoy

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My adventures

Pardon me, while I step a little bit out of my normal blogging mode.  Yesterday, October 5, 2011, was a big adventure for me.  It began by waking up at about 0430 hours (for those unaccustomed to the 24 hour clock or "military time" that's 4:30 a.m.).  To some that is no big deal like my friend, Wade (alias for privacy sake).  To me, the person who stays up late for the peace and quiet to finish a day's work, that's early.  Or as our main characters' would say...o' dark early. 

You may say, well there's always coffee or caffeine and you'd be correct. The problem was that I had lab-work scheduled for 1100 hours (11:00 a.m.) and they had to be fasting.  Fasting meant no Dr. Pepper for me until after the lab-work was done. 

So after getting dress and ready to go, Wade takes us from our small town to the northern most point of the DART green line about an hour away.  After dropping me off, he goes to work as a firefighter, thus accounting for the early hour.  It is about 0615 when I select the day pass which includes round trips and transfers. Thanks to a sweet unnamed gentleman for helping me decide that was the correct choice. The sun is still asleep but the trains are running. When the next train arrives and the passengers disembark, I find a seat to settle into for the long trek.

Having been to the VA many times before, I know to bring a book to keep me company.  I selected from my friend's personal library, Without Remorse by Tom Clancy. My journey within my journey began while awaiting my fellow passengers to board. I read as the train trekked down the line taking on people and letting off others. Occasionally, I'd look out the window.  Mostly it was dark out and all you could see were vehicle lights twinkling below us.  We must have been elevated about two stories above the traffic. 

Nearing the transfer point to the next leg of my journey, I put away my book into backpack. I disembark the train.  Oops, I discover I got off the train too soon. The blue line isn't here after all.  So I approach some people waiting and yet another unnamed sweetheart of a gentlemen explained that I should be at the West End station.  He added that the train on this track should get me there and I could get on the blue line from there. I do as instructed.  

This time as the new train becomes elevated, I notice the orange-peach colored clouds as the sun struggles to meet us. Then I delve back into my book trying to keep an ear out for my stop. Something in my subconscious alerted me before I was aware of the reality.  My stop was there and I wasn't ready. I quickly disembarked tossing the book into the backpack as I waited for the cross walk light to allow us to proceed. 

Now dear readers, this is about three hours from the time I left home.  Nature called loudly as I entered the now familiar first floor of the VA. I took care of business.  I waited and read for another couple hours fighting off the urge to sleep.  I finally was able to get my lab-work done. 

I wait my turn and was greeted by a lab technician who seem very quiet at first. I forewarned him that I was sometimes a hard stick and he nods, verifying the tests. He has on a radio that wasn't very loud but he appeared to know the words to the song and sang beautifully while drawing my blood.  When he was done, he said "You weren't that hard of a stick." I explained that sometimes I am but you never know when. He quipped, "Are you unpredictable?" It made me laugh as I said "Yes, and you have a wonderful voice." He blushed slightly as he wished me a good day.

I left the lab and went to the mini store half-way between the lab and my assigned clinic.  Inside the mini-store, was the caffeine my brain was craving to stay awake and the food my tummy wanted.  With the purchased diet Dr. Pepper and small Ham & Swiss Lunchables in hand, I went to the VA Cafe across the hall. I devoured the food, drank the caffeine and proceeded to the clinic for check in. It has now been about 6 hours from the time I left home. 

About a half hour later the male nurse weighs me and then takes blood pressure, etc. which all look great. We have a pleasant conversation about all the things that I need to do now that I've reached the half century mark. I get my flu shot before I depart to wait some more. 

When I finally see my provider of care, she is pleasantly pleased to see the obvious change in my weight and overall appearance. I got a standing ovation from her. That made my day.  We went over the labs and I did great on all of those.  A vast improvement from a year ago.  Diet and exercise does work folks.

I depart the VA about 10 hours or so after I left home. I make my way towards my son only to discover that I missed the connection so I call him. While starting on my way to the secondary location, I'm approached by a man who asks, "Ma'am, can you spare a dime."

I say, "Sorry Sir, I have no money. I'm having to hitch a ride with my son."  His eyes look slightly disheartened but understanding my plight.  I continue walk on my way.  My son and his fiancee' locate me at the designated corner.  He hops out I jump in the back as he quickly gets back in the front.  I direct her all the way to my friend's house.  We make one stop where they buy me dinner.  After which, my godchildren get to see their "cousin" and their soon to be "cousin-in-law".  My son gets to see his Godmother and introduce everyone to his fiancee'.  All is right with my world even if it has been about 14 hours since I left home.

Thanks for allowing me this slight departure from our normal blog. As always, I appreciate your comments but please keep them G-rated. If for any reason you have problems posting a comment please leave a message on our website's guest book.

Lynn Hallbrooks