ARC Winners and Audio Book News

Howdy there, Monster Hunters!

Two weeks to go before Redemption‘s release, but there’s still something to celebrate: the winners of the ARC giveaway! Drum roll please . . . 

The five winners of the Advanced Reader Copies of Redemption are:

 Kantami B., Andre D., Amanda K.,

Kelly M., and Rhiannon M.!

  

Congrats, y’all! I’ll be emailing you shortly to find out what book format you prefer. If you don’t hear from me by 5 pm, give me a shout on via the contact page.

In other fun news, the Matt Archer: Monster Hunter audio book has now hit stores. If you are an Audible member (or if you want to sign up to become one!), you can find the book on Audible or Amazon.  If you have an Apple device, the audio book is in the iTunes Store. I think Chris and Dark Fire Productions did an awesome job with the recording. The monster voices are especially funny, and Jorge turned out pretty cute too–he totally has a Connecticut accent!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway. Y’all are awesome. I’m going to go dark for a little bit. I’ve got some traveling to do and to get ready for the launch, but take a peek back here on July 4th for a release announcement. Oh!  If you are a newsletter subscriber, I’ll be sending out some discount coupons for Smashwords. If you aren’t a subscriber, it’s not too late! You have until July 3 to join.

See you on the flip side! The end is almost here…

An Early Halloween Treat: Matt Archer Bloodlines Cover Reveal!

Greetings monster hunters! I hope you’re all well and in the Halloween spirit, because I have a treat for you. The cover of Matt Archer: Bloodlines (MA4):

 

Matt-Archer-Bloodlines-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

 

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find this cover supremely creepy. AND I LOVE THAT! The compass is important (you’ll find out why very early in the book) and the backdrop is the desolation of the Australian Outback. As you can surmise from the title, this one focuses a lot on family…and gives (a few) answers about the Archers.  There are some seriously big revelations, too.

I’m in the midst of editing right now, getting the book ready to send to my editor, Cassandra, next week. After her pass, I’ll have one more cycle before it goes to my betas for the final read. Getting closer every day. Oh, and this one’s going to be a little longer than the others. Hope you don’t mind. : )

The cover reveal isn’t the only treat I have…below you’ll find a teaser of chapter one of Bloodlines. I left y’all–and Matt–hanging at the end of Legend, so this is a little peace offering to keep you going until Bloodlines’ release in early January. For those of you subscribed to my newsletter, I’ll be sending out all of Chapter One on Halloween proper, so if you haven’t signed up, do it today so you won’t miss out!

Without further ado…a sneak peek of Matt Archer: Bloodlines:

 

Chapter One

 

When I was fourteen, I picked up a knife and started a fight that was named mine long before I was born. When I was fifteen, I was forced into a war against creatures the rest of humankind should never know about—and they won’t if I have anything to do about it. When I was sixteen, I became a slave to my destiny, and the spirits who guided it.

Now I’m seventeen, and the fault, a man once said, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Or in my case, my blood. Which is why I was chosen. And why I have to fight.

My name is Matt Archer. And I am my father’s son.

 

* * *

 

“I’ll kill you!  I’ll kill all of you and drink your blood!”

My best friend was in rare form this evening. Will had been ranting like that ever since he managed to spit out the bandana we’d gagged him with. No one felt like dealing with him, though, so we didn’t bother shoving the gag back in.

Still, I felt responsible for his well-being, even if Will was possessed by a demon and not his usual happy asshat self. I grabbed an MRE—a hamburger patty for the entree—and ducked inside the command tent, one of the few left standing after last night’s monster attack. The interior smelled like sweat, piss and…burned bacon?

“Gross, dude,” I told not-Will. “You smell like a prison latrine.”

Not-Will spit at me. His face was pale in the dim light, but his eyes glowed a brilliant jade green. “You’ll beg for mercy before the end.”

“That’s getting really old. Why don’t you give your voice a rest, okay?” I held up the MRE. “I’m guessing that even demons have to eat. You hungry?”

Not-Will shut up for a moment, but his muscles still strained against the towing cable keeping him tied to his cot. My best friend, at six-four and two-hundred-forty pounds, was pretty strong on his own. Add in a little dark magic, and he was like a tank with legs. It had taken three guys to tie him up, and the Humvee’s towing cable—one end still attached to the vehicle—had been the only thing hefty enough to keep not-Will chained.

“I would appreciate a meal,” he said in a formal, polite voice.

That wasn’t like the real Will, either.

“Okay. I’ll feed you and bring you some water, if only to keep your mouth full so you can’t scream at us for a while.”

I opened the MRE, discarding anything not-Will could use as a weapon if he got loose. Because his hands were tied behind his back, I had to feed him.

“Seriously, man, if you remember any of this after we exorcise you, you’ll never live it down,” I muttered as not-Will chomped up his food like a rabid dog.

“I’ll kill you soon, so none of that matters,” not-Will said, smiling and showing me bits of carrot in his teeth.

In any other situation, I’d have laughed. This evening, I had too much on mind to find any of this funny.

Badass Aunt Julie poked her head in the tent while I attempted to shovel applesauce into not-Will’s mouth. She wrinkled her nose at the stench. “Poor Will.”

“Hello, gorgeous.” Not-Will leered at my aunt, and his eyes roamed every part of her body. Even wearing desert print battle-dress uniform, Aunt Julie was gorgeous…and no one but my Uncle Mike had license to look at her that way. My fists clenched as he said, “Think I’ll keep you around a while after I’ve killed all the men. We could have a little fun.”

Aunt Julie gave not-Will a dangerous smile. The demon must not know who he was dealing with. “I’d like to see you try. I could kill you with a nail. Or a spoon.” Her smile faded into a scowl. “Or a tire-iron. I’m not picky.”

“Captain, did you need something?” I asked, not in the mood to break up a tent brawl. When in doubt, interrupt.

“Sorry,” she said, rubbing her eyes. “The major got worried so I came to check on you.”

I shrugged; Major Tannen—also known as my Uncle Mike and Aunt Julie’s husband—had reason to worry. Right now, it seemed like this day would never, ever end.

I’d gotten most of the food into not-Will’s mouth and I was ready to escape. “Will, if you’re in there, kick that demon’s ass, okay? See you later.”

We’d barely cleared the tent before he started screaming threats again. Every muscle in my back tensed up. “Tell the major I’ll be at the other end of camp.” I jabbed a thumb at the command tent. “I don’t think I can handle listening to that anymore.”

Aunt Julie patted my shoulder. “We’ll fix it. Agent Archer thinks his contact with the local Nocturna Maura coven can help displace Will’s demon.”

Agent Archer…maybe if I called him that—instead of Dad—this whole situation would be a little less weird.

I doubted it, though. “I need some air.”

I stalked to the far end of camp and settled down facing west. The sun was beginning to set, and I needed its warmth and protection for as long as it lasted. Night would bring horrors, and I had to be prepared to fight them.  

I reached into my left jacket pocket and pulled out the St. Christopher medal my girlfriend had given me more than a year ago. I turned it over and over in my hand.  I missed Ella like crazy, and the medal gave me hope that I’d live to see another dawn.

Dad came striding out of the HQ tent and headed my direction. He didn’t see Uncle Mike step out behind him, his right arm bound up in a sling. Not-Will had dislocated Uncle Mike’s shoulder in addition to breaking my nose last night. Mike watched Dad’s progress with narrowed eyes. I let out a long breath. As if I didn’t have enough to deal with; now I was caught in a tug of war between the guy who fathered me and the man who raised me. My life could easily be a three-ring circus for all the chaos and drama going on around me.

“Tink, think you could, I don’t know, teleport me somewhere?”

No answer.

“Crap, now I’m missing you and Ella. How’s that for irony?”

Still nothing. Yeah, Tink was well and truly gone. Our knife-spirits had been banished somehow. Not-Will had told us his mistress had sent them away. As angry as I’d been with Tink when we left on this mission, the absence of her presence in my head left an echoing emptiness. And despair, too. How could we complete this operation without the spirits’ help? I had to get her back somehow, if not for me, for Will. I’d seen Tink save someone else from a demon possession—maybe she’d be able to help Will, too.

If only I could find her.

Dani Archer: Heartbreak and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Every once in a while, I get the urge to look at a scene from another character’s point of view. Yesterday as a I was driving home, Dani Archer, Matt’s mom, was quite insistent that we hear her side of the story. The scene I kept seeing…well, it’s a powerful one, at least to me. A mother’s love is an awesome thing when you think about it…

 

Heartbreak and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Mamie and I waited outside the terminal, waiting for Matt to get home. I’d never get used to this. Never. He was only fifteen years old, and out with the Army, hunting things Stephen King couldn’t even dream up. Every time he left, my heart cracked just a little more…not that I’d ever tell him. He had to see me strong, otherwise I was afraid he’d worry about us too much and forget to worry about himself.

Cold air blew inside from the automatic doors leading to the arrival level and I shivered. It probably wasn’t just from a chill, though. I was on edge, worried what I’d see when my son arrived. Mike had told us what happened in Afghanistan, probably to spare Matt from reliving it. If my brother was worried, it was bad. I knew about the broken arm…and the dead soldier. God, Matt was too young to deal with this, and it made me angry. But there were some things you couldn’t protect your children from, despite the very best intentions. Sometimes, their hearts had to be broken so they’d be stronger and wiser in the end.

I wasn’t sure this was one of those times.

Mamie touched my arm, her eyes round and worried, nodding at the terminal door. There, in a crowd of business travelers, vacationers and grandparents coming to visit grandchildren, was Matt. He walked out carrying nothing but a backpack and a duffel bag, shoulders straight and chin high. To any stranger, he probably looked like a tough kid returning from a disastrous ski run, what with the cast and the bruises. But I saw through it. I could see what no one else could. He was almost broken, in ways I thought might never mend.

“Oh, honey,” I breathed. My little boy, the baby of my family, wasn’t a kid anymore. This trip had changed him irrevocably. And all I could do was watch.

I took a step forward and opened my arms, hoping he’d accept the invitation. Hoping he hadn’t become so numb or hardened that his mom wasn’t enough. He paused for a heartbeat, then another and another. It was like he’d been frozen in place.

Wondering if I’d be rejected, I went to him and wrapped him up in a hug. Matt stood stiff in my embrace for a moment, before lowering his face to my shoulder. “Get me out of here.”

He sounded stretched to the end of his endurance. I waved at Mamie. “Go for the car. Hurry.”

I hustled Matt out of the terminal before he broke in front of everyone and kept an arm around his waist while we waited for the van. We didn’t wait long; poor Mamie screeched up to the curb like car-jackers were after her. I’d never seen her drive so recklessly, but I wasn’t angry. She understood as well I did what we were trying to do.

I flung the sliding door open and pushed Matt through, making sure to take his bags so he could climb in without bumping his broken arm. He slid across the seat, breathing hard. His hands were fists, pressed tight against his legs, as if this was the only thing keeping him together. I climbed in and slammed the door shut. Before even buckling up, I told Mamie, “Go.”

She took off, speeding through the airport, while I turned to Matt. “You’re home now. You’re home now.”

He seemed to melt right before my eyes, and he dropped his head in my lap, grabbing fistfuls of my shirt hem. Then he cried. This child hadn’t cried since he was eight years old; at least, not in front of me. Yet, here he was, very nearly a man, sobbing like his soul depended on it. I caught Mamie’s eye in the review mirror. Tears were running down her face, too. I managed a sad smile; this child cried at puppy food commercials. Her heartbreak was genuine, though. Mine was, too. But being a mother meant I couldn’t give in to the pain–and the fury–I felt over Matt’s hurt. Because I was furious. I hated the knife, I hated the Army, I hated monsters and I hated fate. The mother-dragon in me woke, burning with the need to flame everything that made my happy-go-lucky son feel so much, drowning in sorrow over the death of a friend.

Somehow, I held it together long enough to make it home and help Matt upstairs. He’d stopped crying by then, and that was almost worse, because he looked so hollow…cored out. Not sure what else to do, I ordered him to go to bed, then hurried downstairs to cook. Making comfort food for my always-hungry, always-growing teens was the way I showed love. Nothing said, “I care,” like a gooey grilled cheese sandwich when you were a bottomless pit of a fifteen-year-old boy.

While I put together my ingredients for tomato soup, Mamie glided into the room, silent as a ghost. “Will he be okay?”

Her voice was so small, without its usual commanding confidence. I gripped the edge of the counter. I’d go hide in the bathroom soon, let it all out, but it looked like I had to hold up just a little longer. “He will, but be prepared. There’s going to be a new normal around here. He’s seen too much to be his old self and we need to adapt to the new Matt as fast as we can, for his sake.”

“I know, and I’ll adapt.” She touched my arm. “Why don’t you let me make the soup. I’ll call you when it’s ready.”

Leave it to my empathetic Mamie to know what I was hiding just under the surface. I kissed her cheek before retreating to my room. “Thank you.”

How did my kids grow up to be so exceptional? I was lucky, that had to be the reason.

When the tears finally fell, the sorrow was mixed with pride.

 

**Photo by Sheri Richards**

Character Interview: Jorge

Hi everyone,

Last week I promised an interview with a very elusive character in Matt Archer’s life: Jorge, Peruvian medicine man, magic-knife creator and Yale scholar. He’s graciously agreed to speak with me via satellite phone…primarily because Major Ramirez offered him a box of Girl Scout Cookies?

J: Well, you can’t exactly get Thin Mints out here very often. The major was kind enough to pick up a box when he was on leave.

K: Wouldn’t they melt, though? It’s kind of humid in the rain forest.

J: You’re assuming I try to keep them for a while. I shared one sleeve with the major’s team, and ate the rest the same day.

K: Wow, and I thought my addiction to Tag-alongs was fierce. But this leads me to my first question. You grew up here, with your people, but were offered the opportunity to study abroad, in the United States. What kind of culture shock was that?

J: It was extreme. I picked up English quickly, so it wasn’t the language, but I had no concept of what American life was like. I’d find myself in social situations and have no idea what was going on. I’m good at studying behavior, so I worked hard to fit in, although I never really did.

K: Is there anything you miss from those days after returning home?

J: Besides the Thin Mints? <laughs> Well, I don’t miss the winters. It got very cold in the Northeast, and I was sick a great deal those first few years. But let’s see…some people would probably say modern conveniences like plumbing and coffee makers. I don’t really need those things. I miss the books. I have a small library here, and the major brings a few for me, but it’s difficult to keep them since I’m on the move a lot.

K: I can see that being an issue. I’d miss books, too.  So I have a few questions from other people…Misha has questions about the knives, if you are willing to answer them.

J: <long pause> I’ll answer some, but this isn’t necessarily knowledge I’d prefer to get out. It could be quite dangerous, you see.

K: Okay, we’ll give it a try. First up, materials:  What metals did you use to make the knives? Was it the same mix for all five?

J:  The blades themselves are all made of the same mix of metals. They’re a bronze alloy. <chuckles> Don’t tell my grandfather, but I threw a little steel into the mix for durability. Not classic technique, but these aren’t ordinary blades.

K: How about the handles? What are they made of?

J: Each one is slightly different. Four are made of enameled bone. Plain white, plain black (which is mine), black with white markings and white with black markings. Variations on light and dark. The fifth I made from a bronze/steel alloy.

K: Why the difference with the fifth?

J: That’s a secret. Next question?

K: Um, okay. How did you forge the blades, and when you bound the spirits to them, did you feel it?

J: That’s two questions.

K: Well, yeah.

J:  Hmmm.  To the first, I used a version of clay casting (the old ways are better sometimes) and a great deal of heat. I…might have achieved the desired heat through less than natural means.  <clears throat> To the second, yes, I absolutely felt the spirits enter the blades. I had to bind them together, so I was the link. It was painful, especially with young Archer’s knife. His knife-spirit is willful and extremely strong. The bronze’s spirit was strong-willed, too, but more…refined? I don’t have a better way to explain it. The other three were strong, but definitely less potent than those two.

K: Speaking of which, what do you think about Matt?

J: He frightens me.

K: Uh…what?

J:  His power, his ability. It’s…odd. But my hope is that it’s a good kind of odd. We called the knives the “blades of redemption” for a reason.

K: Sounds like all the wielders have a rough road ahead.

J: You have no idea. And hopefully, you never will.

K: Not very optimistic.

J: That is not my role.

K: You’re probably right. Well, I know you’re a busy man, so we’ll wrap up. Thanks so much for taking the time.

J: You’re welcome. And keep that boy out of trouble, will you? I can only heal so much.

K: I…can’t promise anything, but duly noted.

J: Hmmm…

 

Birthday Extravaganza!

Greetings Monster Hunters!

cupcakeIn a few short weeks, the Matt Archer series will celebrate it’s first year in print (the first edition published on August 18, 2012). When we get to the anniversary, I’ll do a publishing state of the union, just to let everyone know how we’re doing and lessons I’ve learned (believe me, there were quite a few!) along the way.

Even more exciting, Monster Hunter hit 50+ reviews on Amazon and 100+ ratings on GoodReads this past week. I’m so thrilled by the support from the readers that I want to share the love! So let’s do a little giveaway. The prize is a signed paperback of all three Matt Archer books and the opportunity to name a character in the final book, MA5, likely to publish this time next year. To enter, see the Rafflecopter link below. I’ll announce the winner on the August 5th blog. Oh, and the giveaway is open internationally!

I also have a request. When I asked if you’d like to hear from other characters, a number of you suggested I interview Jorge. I’d love to post that next week, but I need your help. What questions would you like to ask him? Post them in the comments below, or send me ideas via my contact page.

Thanks again for all the support, reviews and kind words. This has been an awesome journey.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Monster Thank You!

Just over a week ago, Matt Archer: Legend went live. The response to the book astonished me, and I’d like to thank all the readers who came back to visit Matt again. He’s quite glad, otherwise I would’ve had to send him back to Greenhill High to stay. Instead, it looks like he’ll fight on in books 4 and 5!

Snoopy Happy DancerA number of people have asked about the schedule for the last two books. Book 4 should come out in very early 2014 (late December if I can help it, but certainly by January 15). Book 5, the final full-length novel, will come out this time next year. And I’m going to throw a hint…there’s a Matt Archer Sekrit Project in the works for late 2014. After that, I plan to start a new series for 2015. More on that next year, but it’s going to be older and edgier than Matt, likely a type of mystery series suitable for readers ages 14+. I hope you’ll give it a whirl!

Finally, to show my thanks, I’d like to do a series of character interviews/alt POV short stories kind of like I did with Mike and Mamie earlier this year. Who would you like to hear from? If I were to interview Matt’s Mom, what questions would you ask her? Or how about Badass Aunt Julie? Or Johnson? Any of these characters are fair game. Let me know and over the course of the next few months, I’ll post from tidbits. Give me some ideas and we’ll see what we get!

Again, thank you for all your support! Matt’s already working hard in MA4. Last night, I left him passed out in his sleeping bag, one hand in the sun, to recover from a brush with the Dark. He and Will both have had quite a rough go of it so far…but I have a feeling this story is going to be my favorite so far. : )

 

P.S. (The new look on the blog is due to a “catastrophic code failure” with my old website that my web hosting service can’t decipher. Just thought you ought to know. : D)

Teaser Tuesday: Will Meets His Match

Happy book

Greetings Monster Hunters — how about a little “Teaser Tuesday?”  MA3 is coming to an eBookstore near you this summer, but I thought I’d drop a little sneak peek on the old blog today! Will finally meets his match (only very mild spoilers if you haven’t finished Blade’s Edge):

 

*****

 

On Monday morning, I stared glumly into my locker, looking for the motivation to go to English. We were studying The Scarlet Letter and I couldn’t think of anything less interesting than a bunch of colonists blathering about a woman who got knocked up. My bad mood was intensified by Mamie’s departure back to Helena. Already feeling hollow and discouraged at facing another week at school, I packed my books into my backpack without enthusiasm and closed my locker door.

Will met me, wearing the predatory smile I’d come to recognize as “that’s my next girlfriend, bro.” He pointed down the hall. “Who’s the new girl?”

I turned to catch a glimpse of a tiny girl with curly golden-brown hair and the most gorgeous brown eyes I’d ever seen. Seriously, her eyes rivaled Ella’s and I couldn’t give higher praise than that. Except where Ella was tall, slim, and strong, this girl looked like a living, breathing china doll.

I turned to Will, frowning. “Dude, really? She’s barely five feet tall, and if she weighs more than ninety pounds soaking wet, I’d be shocked. You’d break her inside of two minutes.”

“Maybe she needs a big, strong guy to protect her,” he said, standing taller. “Watch and learn.”

I dropped my face into my hands, but couldn’t make myself look away, so I peeked between my fingers to see how this went down.

Will sauntered up to the girl. “Hey. I’m Will, head of the new student welcome association. Need some help finding your next class?”

The girl craned her neck to look up at him. “Good Lord, they make ‘em big in Billings.”

My best friend, being a jackass of the first order, flexed his biceps by crossing his arms across his wide chest. “In more ways than one.”

Pixie-girl rolled her eyes skyward. “Well, that’s good to know.” She started to walk away, but Will trailed along behind, which elicited a very annoyed sigh. “Look, big guy, I don’t take in strays, so stop trying to follow me home.”

That did it; I cracked up. If I had any cash on me, I’d lay twenty that Will was about to crash and burn for the very first time.

She stopped right in front of me. “You got a problem, too?”

I choked back another laugh. “No…I’m just enjoying watching my best friend make a fool of himself.”

“You belong with this one?”

I glanced at Will, who looked pretty shocked by her reaction to his charms. “Unfortunately.”

She nodded. “Figures…you’re ginormous, too. Well, y’all can move along. I’m competent enough to find my class without a guard dog.”

“Wait,” Will said as she made her way down the hall. “I didn’t get your name.”

Without glancing back, she said, “Just so long as you promise not to follow me…it’s Penn. Penn Stoyer.”

Will followed her a few steps. “Penn? That’s unusual.”

“It’s short for Penelope.” Penn paused and turned to point a finger at him. “But if you ever call me Penelope, you’re dead to me.”

She started down the hall again and made it about ten yards before Will called, “At least tell me where you’re from? I can’t place that accent.”

Penn threw her hands up. “Oklahoma. Now, Giant-Will-from-Billings, please excuse me. I’d hate to be late on my first day.”

Then she disappeared into the crowd.

Will stood stunned, his jaw slack, and I grinned. “Dude, that was awesome. I’ve never seen a girl shoot you down like that.”

“Listen close,” he said, his voice reverent. “I’m swearing off all other girls until Penn agrees to go out with me. As Tom Brady is my witness, that girl is my Everest.”

“I know you like a challenge, but you might be getting ahead of yourself. People die trying to climb Everest,” I said. “Besides, you don’t even know her. What if she’s not actually worth the effort?”

“Oh, she’s worth it. I can just tell.” He grinned at me. “How long do you think it’ll take for me to convince her to say yes?”

“Last time I checked, a woman has to like you enough to talk to you as a pre-requisite to scoring a date. Come on, we need to go,” I said. When he didn’t move, I punched his arm. “You’re going to be late, Mr. Romance.”

I steered him toward his chemistry class, then I went on to English thinking Penn Stoyer might be the very best thing ever to happen to Will.

Super-power failures were character building.

Has It Been Six Months Already?

Hey everyone and welcome to a special edition of Monsters and Mayhem!

matt_archer__monster_hunter_by_sweartoad-d5g5bbe

Matt Archer by Alex Baird

Six months ago, Matt Archer first appeared on Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. Yep, our favorite monster hunter is half a year old. I can hardly believe it, to tell the truth–it seems like a much shorter period of time. There’s been a steep learning curve on my part, but it’s been a fun ride so far.  Here are a few milestones from the last six months:

  • Two books and one short story published. Monster Hunter came out in August 2012, Monster Summer (MA 1.5) came out in October 2012, and Blade’s Edge (MA2) released in late December.
  • First draft of MA3 is complete. The release is scheduled for summer 2013, probably in the July/August time frame.
  • MA4 is in the outlining/plotting stage and a Sekrit Project is also in the works.
  • Monster Hunter has sold more than 750 copies, 600 of those on Amazon.  The series as a whole has sold 1030+ copies (not including free downloads or promotional copies for bloggers).
  • Matt and I have been on three blog tours, several features as book of the day and experienced the magic of BookBub and eReader News Today.

Thus far, I’ve been very encouraged by the response to the books. Thanks to everyone for your reviews, encouragement, word-of-mouth and generosity. It’s been a huge help while I’ve been getting started. There are a ton of people to thank and if I tried to do it by name, the list would take a few pages, so just know I’m very thankful for my readers, re-tweeters, cheerleaders and Matt’s die-hard fans.

So what’s up for the next six months? Hopefully putting out MA3, starting the draft for MA4 and the Sekrit Project, and getting my serial novellas off the ground. But I think it’s safe to say I’m finding publishing a rewarding journey, and plan to keep going.  I hope you’ll join me and Matt as we forge ahead.

In the meantime, I’d like to offer some fun stuff on the blog and want your thoughts. If I were to interview a character, who would you want to hear from?  We talked to Matt and to Mamie during the blog tours, but I’m sure they’d be happy to answer more questions. Anyone else?  Is there a particular scene you’d like to see from another character’s point of view? If so, which one, and who’s head should we be in? Give me some ideas, and I’ll work them in.

Here’s to the next six months!

Help Me Share a Little Monster Summer

Greetings Monster Hunters!

First, I want to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and condolences regarding my grandma’s passing last week. She was really special to us, and today we lay her to rest. So thank you, your thoughts mean the world to me.

After a surprise snow (THUNDERSNOW at that!), my family is facing a somewhat treacherous 70 mile trip out to Grandma’s funeral today, so I’ll be brief in order to go scrape the sleet and snow off the Jeep. I’ve never been happier to have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Just saying.

Now, on to the point of this post: sharing a little Monster Summer.  Two things have prompted this post. First, the revelation that a book that looks a tad like Matt Archer: Monster Hunter is traveling up Amazon’s charts this week. I won’t provide the title, but it came out after MA1 and I was a little stunned to find out about it.

Second, I’m just really boggled by Amazon.

I’ve been trying to have Amazon price-match Matt Archer: Monster Summer to free since it went free at all the other retailers…in early November. For two months, I’ve pinged the “tell us about a lower price” link, and sent them links to Barnes&Noble, Sony, Smashwords and iTurns. Nothing. The story is still $0.99 on Amazon.

So I’d love a little help. If you could follow the Amazon link to Monster Summer and click on the “Tell us about a Lower Price” Link (see picture below), a window will pop up. Select “website,” and copy/paste one of the other bookseller’s links below into the window and follow the instructions.

I would really love to offer this short story for free, because it’s fun and the first chapter of Monster Hunter is included, which gives people a risk-free way to try out the story (which is back on sale for $0.99, yay!). That, in turn, might help new people discover the other books in the series. But it’s not just that…I feel like a real heel having a short story priced the same as a whole novel on Amazon. It looks hinky, and I worry it’s turning off readers. 

Tell us about a lower price

 

 

Links:

Amazon:  Click here to access Monster Summer

Barnes and Noble (copy link and paste into Amazon’s reporting window):  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/matt-archer-monster-summer?store=allproducts&keyword=matt+archer+monster+summer

Kobo (copy link and paste into Amazon’s reporting window):   http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=matt+archer+monster+summer

Sony (copy link and paste into Amazon’s reporting window):    https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/kendra-c-highley/matt-archer-monster-summer/_/R-400000000000000840416

Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your help…both in getting the word out and asking Amazon to price match this story!

Climbing the Mountain

It may not last long, but I can call Matt Archer: Monster Hunter a bestseller…with a straight face. ::faints for a minute::  My fearless Matt made it all the way to #15 yesterday on the Kindle Teen Fiction list (currently I’m at #45, and by the time you read this, who knows if I’ll even be on the list). Granted, my sales will settle down from their spike, and I’ll slide  down the lists, but my hope is that I’ve gained some readers who will come back from more. 

How Matt leapt onto the Amazon Bestseller lists is easy pinpoint–I ran some strategic ads over the last week to gain exposure, and it worked. Why it happened, I think, is something else entirely.  And that’s because of you guys.

I’ve met some amazing people during the last few years by entering the writing community and I’ve built friendships, both local and long distance, via emailRock Climbing The Southwest, USA and Twitter. I’m always humbled by how much support I get from beta readers, friends and family.  Having that support in the form of reviews, retweets, word of mouth and general cheerleading often gave me courage in a tough, scary market.  Because, y’all, publishing books is like climbing a mountain. The top is steep, narrow and far, far away. To be successful, you have to face rocks slides and Yetis (and the occasional troll). So now I’m going to get mushy and say y’all are the anchors, the ropes and the hand holds that keep me from plunging off the mountainside.  (I know, I know…such mush! I’ll snap out of it soon, promise). 

So, thank you. And thanks from a certain monster hunter who’s currently being forced to return to school after a long hunt, where a host of problems await. (His creator tends to be kind of mean to him… :: evil cackle:: — see, I told you the mush wouldn’t last!)

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