We've uploaded the final draft of Second Chance to Amazon and it is now available on Kindle!
The print version is available through this website and through third party vendors on Amazon but for some reason the regular print version isn't showing there yet.
We were "officially" releasing the book this weekend at our table at the Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival in Natchitoches, La. but it didn't come from the printer in time. We'll still be there though so if you have a chance drop by and see us. The Folk Festival is always a lot of fun with local craftsmen there, great food and great music.
I understand they will have the blacksmith's shop back this year and you can take a few minutes to watch the blacksmiths working on their wares as well.
The Festival is at Prather Coliseum on the Northwestern State University (my alma mater) campus.
We will have my other 3 of books there and will be taking orders for second chance.
I'd love to visit with anybody who can come by!
I had a reader ask about this the other day and recommend that I keep updating the posts to let people know how the work was coming.
The novel about Louisiana is progressing in spurts, still on track to be finished and in print in time for the Natchitoches NSU Folk Festival in July.
I finished the chapters up through the explorations of DeSoto but to be honest, got a little burned out on writing about the explorers. The next chapter that I was going to do was going to be about Rene Robert LaSalle, but I couldn't get motivated to start moving on it. Writing historical fiction isn't as easy as a regular novel, not if you want to stay somewhat true to history. With a regular novel I can just sit at the computer and let the characters take over, but with historical fiction I have committed to sticking to historical timelines and facts, to some extent anyway.
What I finally realized is that with a historical novel like Louisiana, I don't have to write linearly. I can jump from the 1500s, to the 20th century, write a chapter or two there, then go back and write about another age. The timeline is laid out for me, so I don't have to worry about inconsistencies like I would in a regular novel.
With that said, I am about 16k words and about 60 pages into the book and have just started the section on Huey P. Long, one of the most interesting characters in Louisiana history. I actually have some Huey P. memorabilia so I'm going to dig that out and put it on my desk to keep me motivated through his life, then see what area comes next.
On another note, my mom told me that she saw that someone had just put up a new bottle tree there in Natchitoches. I don't know if they were one of the many people who purchased a copy of The Bottle Tree but if anyone has been inspired by the book to do a bottle tree I'd be honored if you could send me a picture or two to post on the website.
What a great time at the Natchitoches NSU Folk Festival! There were tons of people that came by to visit, many of them who were familiar with the turpentine camp that I wrote about in The Bottle Tree and one gentleman had even been there and we talked about what it looked like! It turns out that my great Aunt who had first told me about the camp had taught him in school when he was a kid.
Many, many thanks to everybody that came by and special thanks to those of you who bought the books! We almost sold out of The Bottle Tree and quite a few people bought Junebug and the Body and No' Chance as well.
I hope you enjoy the read and please let me know when you finish them.
We were invited back for next year so I'll have to get to work and finish a couple more books to have there!
5.0 out of 5 stars Felt Like a Kid Again July 16, 2012
If you like books that can take you back to a simpler place and time, read this one.
Sweet and endearing, this book is very enjoyable, with well drawn characters and a few twists and turns. I read this on the beach in Michigan, but as I flipped the Kindle pages I was easily taken south, to a small Texas town of the 70's. It brought back many great childhood memories of my own. Don't be afraid to upload this to your Kindle, and enjoy.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Whodunnit Read For Summer …(or anytime, really) July 23, 2011
I just read this little gem of a whodunnit and was completely enthralled. First off, kudos to the author on character development. It's the first thing that carries you in to the story because the 2 boys are so genuine that they engage you right away. This can't be easy for an adult author to pull off, but he does it in expert fashion. The use of childhood -or rather, boyhood humor, comes at unexpected yet welcomed times and had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. You might be disappointed if you're looking for a gruesome read, because this one's "G-rated."
Second, the plot is masterfully crafted with twists and turns that come at the pace you'd expect from a murder-mystery. Plus, the twist at the end will surely come as a surprise to even a serial whodunnit reader. I have to add that for anyone who is fond of southern culture and idioms, this story will quench your thirst in a big way. I can't remember the last book I read that had this kind of authentic grasp on southern mannerisms, and being a born and bred northerner, I literally crave southern characters. I'm definitely adding this author's name to my search list.
5.0 out of 5 stars Will be rereading this one. June 20, 2013
By Donna B. Smith
Eagerly awaiting sequels. Chilling story line with unique characters. I certainly felt connected to events as they unfolded and felt the horror that Junebug and friend must have felt. Chillbumps!
Hello dear readers and potential readers.
Joy, joy, joy! The long and incredibly arduous process of getting the print editions of Junebug and The Body, The Bottle Tree, and No' Chance, is finally over the files have been approved and the printed books should be available on Amazon as we you read this. If you want a signed copy (it still feels weird and slightly arrogant to ask that) you can drop us an email.
Many of my readers have asked questions about the actual process of indie publishing so I thought I'd share a little about it.
I can't believe the amount of edits we had to do just to make the format come out okay. Since digital publishing is still in its infancy there are a lot of problems to work through and the ability to get formats correct is one of them. We would find a problem, correct the error, upload the file only to find out that a new problem had now developed. On three occasions we uploaded a file, ordered the printed copy to proof only to find out that entire sections had disappeared!
I suspect that part of the problem had to do with the fact that I originally wrote those books, at least in part, in WordPerfect (my preferred program now) and then converted them to a MS Word file, then later edited them in a later version of MS Word. The problem with all of these is that they just aren't the best programs for writers. They are great for office work, but a little cumbersome for authors.
As always, if you notice a problem in the books please let me know.
I finally got around to hiring an assistant to help with getting the books ready to print and I'm about to do a final edit on the printed proofs so with any luck No' Chance, Junebug and the Body, and The Bottle Tree should be available to purchase in a physical format in the next week or so, I'll let you know when they are available via this website or you can keep an eye on my Amazon Author Page.
In the meantime, the books are still available on the Kindle and on the Nook through www.Amazon.com and through www.BarnesandNoble.com. They're a little harder to find at BarnesandNoble.com although if you use that link I just gave you it will take you to a page where you can select them by name. I'm still not sure how, or if, you can get an author page up on that one since it lists all books by authors with my name.
In the meantime, if you want me to sign a copy of any of the books to anyone in particular just drop me a note and I'll respond. It still feels strange to me that someone actually wants me to sign a book but when I look at how many I've gotten signed by authors I like it I know there is a need for it.
As usual, if you spot any typos or have any comments, complaints, or criticisms be sure and let me know. That is one way we improve.