The Takers Audiobook Giveaway

ImageI have 25 free downloads of The Takers audiobook at my disposal.  I’m trying to come up with a fun giveaway for Oz fans.  Any and all suggestions are welcome!

Book Seven is eking out of me.  I may pull a Salinger before this one is done and hide out in the mountains until I die, the book only to be released five years after my death.

Either that or I’ll just write the damn book and let the chips fall where they may.

Thanks for the NPR nominations

I did a quick (translation: inaccurate) count of how many times The Oz Chronicles received nominations for NPR’s search for the best Young Adult novels, and I was happy to find at least six nominations through the first thirty or so pages.  It doesn’t sound like a lot, but most of the nominations went to the blockbusters (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Book Thief, etc.).  So to those that nominated the Oz Chronicles, I say THANK YOU!  To those that didn’t, it’s not too late.

The first step in the process is to assemble nominees from you, the audience. To nominate your favorite YA books for consideration, log in below and write the titles and authors into the comments field. Here are a few guidelines:

To those that just don’t want to, you’re totally going to miss out on the trip to Disney Land I promised everyone who nominated the Oz Chronicles…  Wait, I forgot. I didn’t promise anyone a trip to Disney Land.    But if the Oz Chronicles makes the list and NPR recommends the series, I’ll wear a Mickey Mouse Club hat for a week.  I’m talking 24/7.  That’s several trips to the grocery store, three trips to the gym, three runs around my neighborhood, at least one movie, a couple nights eating out… That’s almost as good as a trip to Disney Land, right?

Thanks again nominators!

Banshee Worm King: Book Five of the Oz Chronicles is now available for Kindle.

The Banshee worms are here, and they are ready to feed!

It’s amazing how fast things work.  I literally uploaded the file for BWK yesterday and then made a change an hour later.  By the time I went to be bed, it was (and still is) availble for download on the Kindle store.  If you’re one of the early readers, thank you for your feedback and very kind comments.  If you have the energy and an Amazon account, feel free to share your thoughts about Book Five on Amazon in the form of a review.  But remember please, no spoilers.

Here are some more comments from a few more early readers:

Loved the Worm King, great job… I tried to read real slow and check everything (typos), but couldn’t contain myself and got caught up in the story too much. I guess you should take that as a good sign. – Peter

I have to say that it is probably my favorite installment of the Oz Chronicles to date… Oz is learning that the important decisions in life are rarely black-and-white propositions. You have presented his unique moral dilemma in a manner that young adult readers (and not-so-young readers, like myself) are sure to find highly intriguing and entertaining. – Scott

The series has really drawn me and I couldn’t put this one down. It was pretty heartbreaking when you know who died. – Greg

Thanks for the chance to read Oz 5! That was great! It wasn’t as dark and creepy as the last one (good!! Book 4 went places that were too scary!) but suspenseful enough where it needed to be & kept me up past bedtime.  Oz seems more torn in this one, not just with Lou but his whole role. He’s growing up! – Danielle

The print version will probably be ready in a week.  A few more proofs are being shipped my way.  I’ll look them over for any printing errors and if all goes well, I’ll approve them by Wednesday.  If you’re an Oz fan, thanks for your support and keep spreading the word!

Banshee Worm King – Early Feedback

"Screw you for killing ______ I get it, but still, screw you…" – Brian

Okay, I wanted to wait until I heard from all the readers who received the first shipment of ARCs of the Banshee Worm King: Book Five of the Oz Chronicles before I posted any comments they sent my way because I didn’t want them to influence each other’s opinions of the book.   I thought it would be weeks before I heard back from all of them.  I’m happy to report that in just a little over a week, I’ve heard from all of them.  Here is what they had to say (minus any spoilers):

Got it yesterday. Finished it this morning. YOU’RE HEARTLESS. But this is the best one yet.  – Kinser 

…. I instantly started reading it. Several hours later I had finished the book. I enjoyed every page and every sentence of it. The book was by far the best you have written in my opinion. It was amusing, suspenseful, and exciting all at once. – Jacob 

Great job on book 5… I’m always a fan of your action scenes and this one didn’t disappoint… Screw you for killing ______ I get it, but still, screw you… – Brian 

Logan Has Finished ‘Banshee Worm King, Book 5 Of The Oz Chronicles’ And Has Now Allowed Me To Read It. He Won’t Say A Word, Per Your Inscription, Other Than “That Was The BEST One Yet!” I Am Only Halfway Through It And So Far I Completely Agree! KUDOS! – Christina 

I swore them all to secrecy in regards to who dies in the book, but as you can see, a couple of them were a little upset with me.  I learned from Charlotte’s Web as a kid that no one is safe in the world of fiction.   I’ve got more feedback from other readers, but I’m waiting on their permission to post their comments.  I am, to say the least, pleased with the feedback so far.

1,000 blog posts and counting!

Where the hell have I been?  I have never let the blog go this long without a post, but I promise I have a somewhat legitimate excuse.  My trusty laptop died, kicked the bucket, called on the big motherboard in the sky.  It’s gone, see, and it ain’t coming back.  I have a non-interwebby computer that I will never hook up to the three w’s.  Call me over-protective, but there’s just too much bad stuff that can leak into its computer innards from evil and nefarious types stalking the webs, so I want to have one computer that is free from the intercrap.  If not for the internet free computer, I wouldn’t be getting any work done. 

I’m loading today’s post from my beautiful wife’s computer, and I have a new (refurbished) laptop currently in transit from Costco.  So, all is well on that front.

Onto the important stuff.  This is my 1,000th post on the blog.  That’s gotta be some kind of record.  Surely no one has posted that many useless posts for the world to see… okay, maybe a few others have… okay, maybe 98% of bloggers have, but you’ve got to admire my complete lack of shame and self-awareness. 

On the writing front, I am currently working on two non-Oz books.  I really, really like one, and I’m confused by the other one.  I can’t decide if it’s good or not.  I must like it on some level because I’m about 70,000 words into and still going.  We’ll see where it takes me.  The one I really like is what I’ve been spending most my time on these days.  I’ll tell you more when I feel it’s the right time.

As far as Oz, I have the last two books outlined. I’ve outlined them before, but I had an epiphany recently that moved me to completely rewrite the outlines.  I couldn’t be more excited.  I want to deliver a satisfying ending to all the readers, and I think this new outline does it much better than the old one.  BTW – thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read one or all four books so far.   

That’s it for now.  Happy 1000th post to me, and happy… just be happy, damnit! 

In defense of Oz

Open at the risk of warping your child

A few years ago a mother gave The Pure a one star review on Amazon because she said all my books were evil.  Actually, rather than me explaining what the review said, I’ll just post it here for your viewing pleasure.

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 labelled with a parental advisory. I think I’ll burn the books. I will use much more discretion with my selections from now on!

I haven’t thought about the review for a while.  The woman is entitled to her opinion.  In a way, I take it as a compliment that she was driven to want to burn the books.   Some of my favorite books have been burned.Slamming her has never been an interest of mine and that’s not what this post about.  This post is about what I discovered about her review today.  I was on The Pure’s detail page and saw the review again and noticed something sweet. Five people came to the books defense.  They left comments on the mother’s review that more or less told her that she’s overreacting just a tad, and that horror books tend to be on the dark side, even horror books written for teenagers. She’s probably better served to read the descriptions before buying them.  It’s really kind of cool having people you don’t know defend your work. What’s cooler is that each of the five people weren’t disrespectful to the mother at all.

Thanks to my defenders and here’s hoping I didn’t warp the woman’s sons too badly.

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