Saturday, April 27, 2013

Monster Librarian "Highly Recommends" Epitaph of Jonas Barloff

Authors crave good reviews, especially from specialists in their chosen genre.  So when Monster Librarian accepted the task of reviewing The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff, I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers and put my patience cap on knowing this could take a while.  A few weeks passed.  Nothing.  Then I got the highly anticipated yet dreaded email.  The review went quicker than expected.  This is a good thing, right?  No!  It couldn't be.  I mean, what if they hate it.  They'd simply rush through it.  Or maybe pitch it aside.  Or worse yet, give it a terrible review.  

After my breathing returned to normal and my cursor finger relaxed enough to open the email, I focused on the text before me.  There it was.  That red, screaming Monster Librarian logo with a pair of evil eyes staring back at me.  I began to read.  Suddenly, the sweat under my armpits began to evaporate.  A smile curled the corners of my mouth.  THEY LIKED IT.  Better yet, they HIGHLY RECOMMEND it.  They said things like "fast-paced, likeable characters, hell of a twist ending."

Whew.  I can breath again.  Thank you, Monster Librarian.  Thankyouverymuch.  What's that?  You'd like to read the review.  Okay.  Click the link and you'll be whisked away in no time:  http://www.monsterlibrarian.com/ghostsya.htm#The_Epitaph_Of_Jonas_Barloff   

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Epitaph" Available World Wide

Rave reviews continue pouring in for The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff.   

"Impactful...a heaping dose of things that go
bump in the night...read this one with all
the lights on...filled with intrigue
and mystery...a real page turner."

The novel is available around the globe.  Here's a convenient Amazon.com shopping list:


Order your copy today.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Soldiers and Ghosts

Dreamspring is a blog site dedicated to author interviews and other information.  Recently, Marion Sipe, the blog's creator and chief contributor, asked me to join her for an interview.  Marion, is a graphics artist and writer in her own right.  In fact, she produced the cover art for The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff.  Check out the questions she dropped on me.  Marion definitely knows how to reach down deep.  Just click the link:


Friday, April 5, 2013

Debut Novel Set In Author's Home Town

The following article comes from the Tate County Democrat, a newspaper based in Senatobia, MS.
When Senatobia native, Calvin Dean, set out to write his first novel, he did what all authors do – write what you know.  For Dean, growing up in a world of black and white reruns of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone, that meant writing horror and mystery set in the place he knew best, the fictional town of Sycamore Grove, MS – a.k.a. Senatobia.
“The story is set in 2013, but it’s the Senatobia of the mid-1970’s,” Dean said.
Why the mid-1970’s?  Because that’s the Senatobia the author knows.  The son of the late Jesse Dean, he was born in the house where his mother, Katherine, still lives.  Dean graduated from Senatobia High in 1975 before moving on the NWCC and Ole Miss.  Though the street names have changed in the novel, the park, library, courthouse and cemetery will be familiar to most Tate Countians. 
The journey began more than 40 years ago when his 9th grade English teacher issued a writing assignment, a short story.
“I wrote a story, read it to my mother and asked her for help with the title.  She immediately said ‘The ‘Epitaph of Jonas Barloff’.  I asked her what’s an epitaph?”
For thirty-five years, the story sat quietly inside Dean’s head.  He doesn’t recall what happened to the original paper.  In 2009, the television Writer/Producer/Editor turned author began reconstructing the story – a story Dean says he always wanted to read.  A fan of horror, mystery and the supernatural, Dean says many books in the horror genre left him unfulfilled.
“Everyone has their own fear threshold.  For some people its zombies, vampires or werewolves,” Dean said.  “Some people fear masked killers with chainsaws.  For me, it’s haunted houses and cemeteries – things that happen in the shadows.”
Dean’s debut tale of horror and mystery carries the name of his original 9th grade writing assignment. “The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff” is about a popular high school senior who is killed in a suspicious automobile accident.  When two classmates begin to investigate, they pinpoint their fallen friend at a crumbling antebellum home – the estate of Jonas Barloff.  A veteran of the Civil War, Barloff’s perplexing epitaph becomes central to the story.
Dean said the hardest part about writing the book wasn’t the plot, but rather character development.
“I needed time to get to know each character, to let their personalities develop.  After we became more familiar with each other, the story began to write itself.”
Before seeing his book in print, Dean collected a stack of rejection letters from agents and publishers before landing a contract from a small press in California.  Dissatisfied with the terms, Dean countered their offer, but received no response.  Assuming another rejection, Dean set out to publish independently.  Two months later, the small press contacted him explaining that his email had fallen into a junk mail folder.  Indeed, they were willing to accept part of his offer.  Regardless, Dean chose not to sign.  So far, he is pleased with his decision and the reviews.
“It’s gratifying to finish a project and know that others are enjoying your work,” he said from his home in Olive Branch, MS.
What can readers expect from this author in the future?
“I’m about halfway into a thriller involving the new hospital being built in Olive Branch, a released prisoner, political intrigue and supernatural gamesmanship.  Knowing how much my first book changed over time, that’s all I’m willing to commit to right now,” Dean said.  But he assures us the story is fictional, and adds, “Hopefully, this one won’t take as long as the first.”

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Book Worm Soup Reviews 'Epitaph of Jonas Barloff'

Tim Wilkons at Book Worm Soup received a copy of The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff on Tuesday, March 2.  In an email I received the next day, Tim revealed that he stayed up that night and read the entire book.  
Then he proceeded to write a glowing review that I'm proud to share with you.  A huge fan of Goosebumps, I'm blushing over the comparison to R.L. Stine.  Tim also wrote accolades about syntax, use of words and research.  Of course, I never expect reviewers to love everything about a book, and Tim didn't disappoint.  But in the end, he recommends the book.  I'm good with that.  Thanks, Tim.

Here's the complete review at Book Worm Soup.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Winners of Book Giveaway

During the month of March, I commissioned a book giveaway through the Goodreads website.  The program marked the launch of The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff on March 1, 2013.  By the end of March, 282 contestants entered the contest by simply clicking an entry button.  There were no forms to fill out, no questionnaires and no commitments - just a single click.  At midnight on March 30, Goodreads selected two winners at random.  Congratulations to Dana in San Antonio and Nicole in Cincinnati.  These two will received autographed copies of my YA horror/mystery, "The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff".

In addition, I'm sending a copy to Dawn at Wee Care Outreach in Dalton, GA.  Dawn's non-profit group promotes literacy and gives away books to the less fortunate.  I salute the work Dawn is doing.