The Oz Chronicles passes a milestone

101 reviews and counting

So, we indie authors count victories in smaller increments than the big boys.  For instance, the Oz Chronicles books just passed a tiny milestone.  The five books just went over the 100 reviews mark on Amazon.  Collectively, they have a total of 101 reviews to be exact.  Even cooler, only one review is a one star review, but I count that one as a badge of honor because it was a mother who made her boys stop reading the books because – well, why don’t I just post the review so there’s no chance I misquote the woman.

Terrible………My teen boys love to read so I am always looking for a good series. I typed in teen fiction and this series popped so I bought all of them. After they were almost done with the series, I asked them what it was about. By the time their description was over I felt like I wanted to throw up. What had I subjected them to? I couldn’t believe the gore details they described. Sure that I had not subjected my Sons to this type of disgusting reading, I had them read aloud. I made them stop and took the books away. I cannot believe that these were in the teen section. Gross, Gore, Evil, Blood, Guts……….I’m so full of regret that I had ever bought these. The series should not be listed anywhere near teens. In fact, it should be labeled with a parental advisory. I think I’ll burn the books. I will use much more discretion with my selections from now on!

Thanks to all who are among the 101 reviewers (even the mother who wants to burn them).  You’ve helped me sell books over the years, and I can’t ask for more than that.

Oz Chronicles T-Shirt?

The following comment was posted by Laura on the blog last week.

This just came to me as I was reading this entry. I would SO purchase an Oz t-shirt or sweatshirt if it looked really cool. Have you thought of creating them? At the very least, what about CafePress…put your web site on it…OH! Make it like a concert t-shirt, with the names of the books on the back!! And a cool picture of the Oz gang on the front…or the monsters…

I attempted to do t-shirts years ago, but I wasn’t happy with the way they turned out, so I never really promoted them.  But, Laura has planted the seed in my head that I might need to give it another try.  Here’s my first design attempt for the front pocket area.  What do you think?

Possible t-shirt design

Also, Laura suggested putting the titles of the books on the back.  That’s an idea, but if you have any thoughts, let me know.

Lou’s Diary – Entry 3 (text version)

This morning I woke up and there was another pack of crackers lying on the ground next to me.   I would have thought it nothing more than an incredible stroke of luck or some intervention by the Storytellers if it hadn’t been resting on top of a note that read, “You are being watched.  F.T.”

I ate my crackers with a knot in my stomach.  I’m guessing this F.T. person… I hope it’s a person… thought they were doing me a favor by giving me a heads up on being watched, but frankly, I’d rather not know. What good does it do me?  I don’t have any weapons.  I’m weak from hunger.  I’m pretty sure my insides are frozen solid.  Worrying about being watched is just one more layer of crap I’ve got to deal with.

And what’s with this F.T.?  Why don’t they just show themselves?  It’s creepy and rude to sneak up on me at night, even if you’re leaving me food.  So, help me God… if I catch up to this F.T. and they’ve got something better to eat than stale, frozen crackers, I’m going to punch them in the face.  I guess I should be thankful, but screw that.

I’m laughing at my lack of gratitude.  It’s really all I have the strength to do right now.  This F.T. probably expects a big hug and kiss from me if we were ever to meet, but instead he’ll get a good dressing down from a bratty little made-up girl for failing to recognize that I needed a good sight more than crackers and a warning.

I need someone to end my misery.

Is it bad for me to talk like that?  I don’t think so because no one is around to care… except for F.T., and they only care enough to spare some barely edible crackers.

I hear something.  And this time I know it’s not the wind.  It’s a grunt… almost a growl.  I want to shut my eyes and pretend none of this real.  I just want it all to go away… The growl again.  It sounds big.

It’s a funny thing about being scared.  I’ve completely forgotten about being cold and hungry.  I don’t know who F.T. is, but they were right.  I am being watched.

Lou’s Diary – Entry 2 (text version)

I don’t know where I am.  I’m still in the mountains.  I’ve been following a path, and I’m pretty sure I’m heading north… pretty sure.  I may not be real, but I’m hungry.  That doesn’t seem fair. There should be some advantages to being a fictional character.  I shouldn’t have to eat or sleep or… other stuff.

I slept under something that looked like a park bench made out of sticks and logs off the side of the trail last night.  I must be in some kind of national forest or something.  There are mile markers all up and down the trail.  This morning when I woke up there was a pack of crackers under the bench.  I couldn’t believe it.  I don’t know how old they were or how they got there, but I have never tasted something so delicious in my life.  They were stale, frozen, and insanely good.

The only problem is they just made me hungrier.  I haven’t seen a store or house or…. Anything at all in days. If I had my crossbow, I could hunt, but I don’t even know if there’s anything to hunt.   I hear noises, especially at night, but I’m pretty sure it’s the wind.  That’s that I tell myself, anyway.

Why didn’t I keep the crossbow?

I know why.  I thought I’d be dead by now… no, not dead.  That’s the wrong word.  I thought I’d stop existing.  What’s the point without the others… without him?  I miss oz…

No.  I can’t go there.  I won’t be able to breathe if I do.  If I have to live for another second without him, I have to forget about him.  That’s the way it has to be.   I am not real.  I can’t be a part of his world.  It will cost him his life.  It will cost the others their lives. I know it.  From this moment on, I have not past.

The Takers Needs You

Enter The Takers in Amazon.com's Customer Selected Essential Books for Young Adults Sweepstakes

Want to help my young adult book The Takers get some national attention?  C’mon!  Say yes!  Okay, here’s the deal.  Amazon is having something called the Amazon.com Customer Selected Essential Books for Young Adults Sweepstakes.  You select a book that you think is essential for Young Adults and then you are entered into some sweepstakes where you can win a prize.  That’s it.  It’s free and everybody’s happy!

Here’s the link to the form for entry – BTW, the deadline is July 31, 2011! Amazon.com Customer Selected Essential Books for Young Adults List

Update: Someone told me they were having trouble with the name field on the form.  It didn’t work for them.  So I tested it out and got the same issue.  I tried putting my email address in the name field and it went through.  You also have to put your email address in the email field.  Sounds weird.  BTW – I didn’t cheat by voting for my own book.  I voted for one of my childhood favorites, Durango Street. 

Another Two Notch Song – Rye Whiskey

Thanks to Bailey for turning me onto the Punch Brothers.  I looked them up on Youtube and found the song Rye Whiskey, and I’m adding it to The Man Who Saved Two Notch virtual sound track.  Why?  Because rye whiskey plays a fairly prominent role in the story.