The Lion, The Lamb, The Hunted

Andrew E. Kaufman’s second thriller delivers the goods. The Lion, The Lamb, The Hunted.     

Tabloid reporter Patrick Bannister begins to suspect that his abusive mother, now dead, and his uncle had more than a hand in a child kidnapping and murder when he was young. He’s hated the pair of them for as long as he’s known them (the novel alternates present scenes with those of his childhood, making it abundantly clear just why he does), but he can’t believe  this perfidy of them.     

Hiding behind his reporting  job, Patrick follows the clues down one bloody track to another, finally ending up in small-town west Texas where he enlists the help of a newspaper writer/editor who becomes his friend, and manages to put everyone else in town on the brink of violence with his questions.     

As Patrick and his partner in investigative reporting get closer and  closer to The Truth, and an incomparable villain emerges to scare the hell out of them, they belatedly realize that the hunters have become the hunted. This is one novel that doesn’t leave you wondering what happened and why at the end; Mr. Kaufman lays it all on the line for you.     

Better than his first, While The Savage Sleeps. Get it here–     

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK–Sourcery by Terry Pratchett. Raise The Titanic! by Clive Cussler.









Indie Publishing–Hit or Miss

Guest blog by romance writer Deb Sanders.

Every self-published writer knows the road to Indie success is fraught with bumps, chuck holes and deep chasms. Some of these are unavoidable, i.e.  bad reviews. You simply cannot please every reader. But the fact you elicited enough emotion to prompt a reader to review is absolutely remarkable. Chalk it up to a job well done. Compare it to an actor who consistently appears in roles that make us love to hate them. They’re garnering a negative reaction, but it’s a testament to their talent for us to feel so strongly about their character.

Writing is like that. Ups and downs. Hits and misses. Love and hate. It’s a fluid market that can change with a moment’s notice.

If you are an Indie published author, as I am, you probably understand writers must wear many hats. Some feel tight and uncomfortable. Some are a bit too loose and seem to flop around, forcing us to hold them tightly to our head. And others fit just right.

I enjoy Indie publishing. No, I THRIVE on it. It’s addictive. It’s fun. It’s all consuming. I’ve never felt so alive. Would I have the same elation with traditional publishing? Not so much. I had an opportunity to follow that route. I chose not to, and have not regretted my decision. In the first three weeks of January 2012, I earned more in royalties on two books than I gross in four weeks in my day job. These were manuscripts gathering dust after two years of repeated submissions to agents and editors. I released my first book in late November. My second in early December. I’m gathering 5-star reviews for both novels and a portfolio of glowing fan letters. Am I pinching myself? Oh, yes! I’m black and blue all over and loving it!

Let me expand by saying I watch my numbers daily. More like hourly. I pay attention to trends. I monitor discussion groups to see what others are doing and if they are experiencing the same declines or surges in sales. For instance, right after Christmas when many Kindle owners were learning to use their new eReaders, I noticed a higher number of returns. Mine were actually lower than many other digitally published authors’, but there was still a spike. Amazon makes it too easy for readers to press the “buy now” button, especially if someone is scrolling through selections on their smart phone. It’s since subsided.

I’ve enrolled both titles, Blood Storm and Stone Cold Justice, in Amazon Select. I’m a new writer. Barnes & Noble and Smashwords were simply not producing the number of sales I received through Amazon. With the new Prime lending library, it made sense to list my books on the site that pays the most. I earn more through the lending library than I earned in total royalties through the other two sites. I gave both B&N and Smashwords readers an opportunity to step up to the plate. They didn’t. I suspect if I were a recognized author, it would have been a different scenario. Since Amazon allegedly sold 1 million Kindles during each week of December, the sheer volume of readers in that format encouraged me to test the waters. I’m glad I did.

The Prime library focuses not on the price of the book but on the cover and blurb. When Stone Cold Justice took off like a lightning bolt and Blood Storm didn’t, I knew something was wrong. I lowered my price. Sales increased, but not substantially. I redesigned my cover and revised my blurb. Bingo. Sales went up immediately, as did the “borrows” from the library.

I love the fact I have total control over my published manuscripts. It makes each achievement more personal. Not every writer can design a cover or decide how to market their work. I understand that. It’s a classic example of why Indie publishing is NOT for everyone.

It works for me. I love it. I’m a control freak, so go figure!

Blood Storm and Stone Cold Justice–category length Romantic Suspense now at Amazon. The Gatekeeper–Urban Paranormal releasing February 14th.

Thank you, Deb Sanders.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK–The Lion The Lamb The Hunted by Andrew E. Kaufman.

A writer’s life

Boy, am I busy. Right now I’m back to promoting the Scare The Dickens Out of Us ghost story contest, and as part of that we are thowing a Scare The Dickens Out of Us reading party this Saturday, January 21 at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas. Stewart McGregor will read us the winning story from the main contest, “Dirt on Vicky” by Clint Smith of Indianapolis, IN, and the winning  junior contest winner “The Queen of the Crooked Teeth” by Diane Ward of Brandon, MS. Cake and punch are refreshments. My sister Roxanne and I will answer any questions about the contest and pass out entry forms. And after that’s over, I’ll go back to sending out information about the 2012 contest. You can find full rules and entry forms at

I just finished judging the Golden Heart novel contest for Romance Writers of America  The past two years I have also judged another chapter-level romance writing contest, but may pass that by this year.

I started my new novel Talking To The Dead Guys, a Boo-Done-It Mystery on January 1. So far, so good. This time, instead of having a daily time amount as my goal in writing, I’m using a writing schedule Susan Mallery  passed on to my local RWA group. It’s based on page count, not time, and it’s pretty difficult to transition from the time goal to the page goal. But with her schedule I’m already on Chapter 9 and working harder than I ever have before. And it’s damned fun, too.

In a couple of days I’m going to publish my short story Truepenny to I need to proofread it twice more before I let it go. And after that is up, I need to edit Saints and Sinners, another of my short stories, into better shape and then start the whole process over for it. And then there’s even more where that came from.

Meantime, Arroyo had been published as an e-book, and recently issued as a paperback available through and locally at the Buffalo Clover florist and gift shop. We are also selling copies hand-to-hand, successfully distributing five in Austin and five yesterday afternoon at the Irving Club in Lockhart.

I’ve got books to read that I promised reviews on, and then I’ve got the reviews to write. I hope they will be as good as the last one I read, Fate’s Mirror I just did that review. Busy, busy, busy. And that doesn’t even count the mundane stuff like taking out the trash, mowing the lawn (actually, hiring someone to mow the lawn), grocery shopping, watching The Big Bang Theory, walking the dog, etc.

I left out the part about Twitter, Facebook, RWA loops, the big spam hunt, reading other people’s blogs and most of all, watching my statistics on for the Kindle and Createspace, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble for the Nook. Out of all the things I do on a daily basis, watching my statistics is the most useless, but it’s addictive. I swear I’m going to wean myself from it to maybe only once a week, but it will take time.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK—Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston.   Brood of the Witch Queen by Sax Rohmer.

I love it when a book’s so good you can’t put it down.


A futuristic cyberpunk novel even readers who don’t like science fiction will be happy with.

I love it when a book’s so good you can’t put it down.

In his head and on the job, computer hacker Morris Payne is a swashbuckling, wisecracking and invincible pirate. And I do mean pirate. In reality, the man can’t leave the house. He’s afraid of wide-open spaces and subject to crippling panic attacks. But so what? He stays home where he has everything he will ever need. Well, the food has to be delivered.

Then while working with an ex-lover (yes, he used to get out and about a little more) on a secret government project to save the world, she is murdered and his house explodes. Morris has no choice but to seek help and shelter from the wide world outside his experience.  He thinks someone is trying to kill him. He’s half right.

This is a very good action/adventure science fiction entry into the territory first explored in Neuromancer all those decades ago. FATE’S MIRROR abounds with excitement, tension and mystery. Even if you don’t read science fiction, this is a great adventure novel, thriller, and even a  bit of a romance. The characters are appealing and it really is a page-turner.

I’m going to shut up right now and go see what else M.H. Mead has written. I bet I’ll love it too.

Oops. Hey you two, write more!