News and Notices from the Writing Trenches # 150…

[Another milestone for this online newsletter: edition # 150…and it doesn’t even come out every week. OK, I’ve been doing this for 10+ years now, but it’s still fun! Hopefully for you too.]

Would you rather be reading? Of course, this question probably doesn’t apply to you—that is, all the avid readers out there—but I can now add two more modern activities that have less worth than reading. In other posts I’ve mentioned streaming video (especially “binge viewing”) and video gaming. The two new additions are fantasy football and online gambling. As the smartphone becomes more like a miniature laptop, people sit around (or worse, driving!) and become addicted to them like they were the modern version of Brave New World’s soma (don’t know the book? shame on you).

You, noble reader, probably don’t do any of this, but if you know people who do, help them out of their mental passivity by giving them books and encouraging them to read them. Books make us human; those other activities make us vegetables. In libris libertas!

Twenty years of wonder. On September 15th we bid farewell to the NASA space probe Cassini. Some of its discoveries from its twenty-year mission were already incorporated in Survivors of the Chaos and More than Human: The Mensa Contagion, and maybe some of my short fiction for all I know. Read the “Ode to Cassini” now featured on my “Home” webpage. The data obtained from the probe will keep scientists busy for years…and might appear in more of my sci-fi stories.

Just in from Midwest Book Review (on the mystery/suspense shelf): “A deftly crafted and consistently riveting read from beginning to end. ‘Rembrandt’s Angel’ showcases author Steven Moore’s genuine flair for originality and his impressive mastery of the Mystery/Suspense genre. While unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that ‘Rembrandt’s Angel’ is also available in digital book format.”

(Thanks to James Cox, Editor-in-Chief, and his excellent staff at Midwest Book Review.)

And to continue… this thread, let me state I’ve loved public libraries since I was a kid, so I’m honored that Midwest Book Review recommends Rembrandt’s Angel to them. Recently I also made ALL my other ebooks available to these libraries at a reduced price on Smashwords. If your library lends ebooks as well as print versions, let your librarian know. (Smashwords performs a great service in allowing authors to offer special prices for libraries.)

In general, fiction books in a library allow many readers to be entertained, and a major part of my motivation to tell my stories is entertainment. To paraphrase Vonnegut, fiction should entertain. I’m sure any author would be happy to know that her or his fiction is available to many; I sure am.

Just in from an “Amazon Customer”: “In an extensive update of this popular novel [The Midas Bomb, Second Edition], author Steven M. Moore refines his star NY sleuths with telling details that leave you certain you can hear the stilettos of female detective Dao-Ming Chen as they strike the city’s streets and smell the fast-food that sustains her more wizened partner, Rolando Castilblanco. This time the pair are puzzled by some easy-to-miss connections between the murder of a seasoned US operative and that of a pretty financial analyst on an innocent dinner cruise with her handsome doctor brother. The doc survives but knows nothing about why he and his twin were targeted for apparent assassination and even less about how it relates to the death of the federal agent.
As Chen and Castilblanco pursue their killers, we meet a Russian oligarch whose greed is matched by a genius for evil that impacts both cases, enlisting a cast of killers to reign down terror from Las Vegas to lower Manhattan. His team includes a Columbian drug dealer and an unwilling Israeli scientist. But, perhaps most memorable, is a lusty Russian bent on revenging the death of her Chechen lover….”

(The reviewer goes on to point out that this novel is as current as it was when the first edition was published. My thanks to the reviewer. Six more books follow in this series!)

Indie Authors Day. October 14 is Indie Authors Day. Because it really means DIY authors and those published by small presses and everyone in between, this mongrel of an author still qualifies. Montclair Public Library, 50 South Fullerton, will host the local event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. I’ll be there schmoozing with readers and other writers. Stop by if you’re in northern New Jersey and are interested in writing, the book business, auithors, and their books. You can check out the library too—it’s a great place!

Guest posts. For authors wishing to test their op-ed skills, I accept guest posts. Tuesday’s articles are generally comments on current events—see the archive categories for common topics (maybe you’ll write an article that creates a new category!). Thursday’s articles are generally about writing and the book business—I prefer writers to agents, editors, publishers, or marketing people, but I’m open-minded. In either case, your article must be original, and keep it clean. Query me via the contact page.

On the flip-side, I often do guest posts, that is, articles on the above topics. Unlike book reviews (you should query Bookpleasures instead—that’s where I review), you can query me via the contact page. You have the right to reject, of course—it’s your blog, and I can always post the article here!

Sci-fi book sale. More than Human: The Mensa Contagion and Rogue Planet are now on sale at Smashwords from October 1 through October 31. Their prices are reduced to $1.99—that’s one-third off. In the first novel, an ET virus changes the world, but in a good way, and leads to the colonization of Mars. In the second, there’s a wee bit of fantasy mixed into the hard sci-fi as Prince Kaushal leads his Second Tribe in their fight against the First Tribe’s brutal theocracy. Both books are stand-alone, not part of a series. Use the Smashwords coupon numbers when you check out. You can also find the second book in both ebook and print versions on Amazon. Lots of exciting fall entertainment for a reasonable price!

Rembrandt’s Angel (Penmore Press). How far would you go to recover a missing masterpiece? Have great fun this fall reading about the adventures of Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Inspector Esther Brookstone and her paramour/sidekick, Interpol agent Bastiann van Coevorden. Esther becomes obsessed with recovering Rembrandt’s “An Angel with Titus’ Features,” a painting stolen by the Nazis for Hitler’s museum. The crime-fighting duo goes after the painting and those currently possessing the painting, but the whole caper becomes much more dangerous as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens the security of Europe. With all the danger, their budding romance becomes full-blown. This book is available as an ebook on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, B&N, and Apple, and also as a print book from Amazon and your local bookstore (if they don’t have it, ask for them to order it). Check out the review and interview at Feathered Quill.

In libris libertas!


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