Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"The Blood Cries Out" Great Review Giveaway!

Win original sketch by Kimberly Erickson!
You've probably heard the news--The Blood Cries Out is now available as an e-book through both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  (Soon, it should also reach traditional distribution.)  The challenge now is how does one jumpstart the online reader reviews when no one seems to want to go first?  Well, we have a plan!

If you purchase and honestly review the tale (at either online retailer) between now and August 3rd, we will enter you for a chance to win this original sketch completed by artist and illustrator Kimberly Erickson (author's wife).  All you need to do is to e-mail Karl when your review goes live online.  If you do two reviews--one for Kindle and one for Nook readers--you'll receive one extra entry to win the sketch.  

We're going ahead, though, and throwing one more enticement into that winner's lucky hand.  Kimberly has just launched a Summer Art Sale online.  It will features many paintings and prints at a reduced cost--for a week only.  Our randomly-selected winner will also receive a coupon code good for 25% off any art purchase (for this online sale only).  

You should know that this art sale will also feature one work by Kimberly's father, John Carroll Collier.    

So, don't miss out!  Submit your review today!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Returning with Something Quite Silly

I have a disturbing confession to make today:  I have an unusual sense of humor.  Truth be known it has gotten me into some trouble in the past.  It's also raised some bushy eyebrows among my serious-minded friends.  I've paid a high price indeed for the influence of Peter Sellers, Danny Kaye, Steve Martin, Al Yankovic, dog, Chester.  (Seriously, though, I do believe laughter is terribly important in our lives.  See the referenced post for more.)

The other day I returned to my blog with the brilliant idea of posting my entire Restless Auditor work entitled How to be Unsuccessful Without Really Trying.  Sadly, however, there is likely a very good reason why this little work remains undiscovered and unpublished; it's not that good.  Since I just released some real writing, I thought it might not be the best marketing move to inject the entire RA work into the public domain at this time.  Have you seen Outbreak?  Anyway, I took it down after a few days.  (This cycle is actually not uncommon when it comes to Restless Auditor wanderings.)

Then, it occurred to me that a better approach might be to put this quietly back up with the inclusion of just two excerpts.  If you'd like the entire sordid piece, just e-mail me a note, and my staff will get on it immediately.

Again....I am so very sorry for what follows.  :)


I took it upon myself to really go the extra mile when it came to failing my membership within Society of Financial Proctologists (SFP).  What follows below are actual copies of my letters to Mr. Bubba Bubbason.

To: Mr. Bubbason, SFP

Re: Late Night Visit and Related Issues

Late last night I made an ill-advised phone call to your secret cell phone.  After I hung-up and tossed my disposable phone out my window, it occurred to me that some of the descriptive terms employed within said message were less than neighborly--or auditorly.  That being the case, I decided I needed to make amends.  I proceeded straight to your secluded residence a little after midnight.  

As I wandered your manicured lawns and poked around your private spaces, I had two to four main goals in mind.  First, avoid your sprinklers.  Second, erase message on the cell phone.  Third, leave behind my autographed picture of Stephen Colbert--for whom I may soon be offering my brain in jar for Super Pac consulting opportunity--as a gesture of my good will.  Fourth, avoid your sprinklers.

I was not, however, made aware of your two new dogs.  Instead of heading into your house where I usually do (you know the 1st floor library bathroom window you leave ajar?), I had to make a life/death decision and make entry via the dog door.  Sadly, this really wasn't a good choice.  (Please return the seat of my black pants, if found.)  

After wandering to and fro for a while, I finally located your cell phone on top of your bedside table.  I accessed your voice mail and deleted the inappropriate message.  After heading back downstairs at 2:35am, I stubbed my toe on your bear rug in the Great Hall.  Unfortunately, this caused me to drop the Colbert picture in your wet bar.  Stephen is  at the bar.  

Truth be known, I was a little upset at this point.  On the way back out to that hole in your south fence, I happened across your neighbor's Prius.  I was so impressed with its successful removal from the pond, that I'm afraid I bumped it (or maybe released the brake and put it in neutral).  It's indeed likely that this hybrid vehicle may have rolled back into the pond a second time.

That's not necessarily the worst of it, though.  Rolling down the fairway grass on its journey to said pond, the little hybrid pancaked a sleeping mallard.  As your two dogs had apparently been investigating the duck, it may have also hit them.  In the process of attempting to recover the duck (duck a l'orange is a favorite), I somehow managed to activate the water supply to your pond.  The pretty water rushed in so fast!  It was fun to watch for a few minutes, but, as your backyard began to disappear, I was getting sleepy.  

At any rate, I know that I was successful in removing the message, because I still have your cell phone.  Isn't that funny!?  Also, I deleted the other messages--to be safe, you know.  Incidentally, who's Sylvia whom you're meeting at "our special place?"  Be sure to tell her hi from me!  She sounds like a nice girl.

Returning back to the ol' homestead, I found your package in my mail slot.  I guess I haven't checked the mail in a few days.  What is a "Restraining Order" exactly?  Although my cousin plays a small recurring role in CSI SUV ASAP @ the AARP, I'm afraid my legal skills are not as strong as his are--at least when he's sober.

Look forward to working out those membership details!  I'm sure we'll have this all behind us in no time.  

Best Regards,

The Restless Auditor

To: Mr. Bubbason, SFP

Re: Sorry About Rolling Prius into Your Koi Pond

Per paragraph 2 of the stipulated judgement forwarded to me today by Harrold Hummers, I would like to express my written apology to Bubba Clyve Bubbason, current president of the Society of Financial Proctologists.  It was indeed a very poor exercise in judgement to run your neighbor's Prius into your Koi pond.  Also, adding the piranha to the koi pond was not really neighborly of me.

Since we're taking a moment to air our dirty laundry, I'd like to pause to reflect on some other items.  To the lunchtime dinners of Franky's Pizzeria, you really should not have been eating the salad bar's tapioca.  To the Honorable Scott Deylander, I didn't realize that was a Chihuahua in your backyard when taking up falconry.  (I thought it was a rat.)  Really sorry 'bout that.  If you'd like, I can return several parts.

To Stephen Colbert, when you failed to accept my generous consulting offer for your Super Pac, I'm afraid I may have been momentarily upset.  It's possible I may have fired off a very angry letter to a Hell's Angel representative in your name.  It's true that I called the organization "a bunch of pansy boys in leather who care more about wearing their dresses on the weekends than riding their little trikes," but I'm sure they'll laugh amicably at the humor of it all.  (Oh, I also gave them your address and e-mail.)

Please also accept my apologies in advance reference the box you will be receiving later this week.  As long as you haven't visited South America in the last decade, you should be fine.  ...Did you happen to see Outbreak?

Anywho, that's about it.  Oh, wait, to that strange Wikipedia editor who runs the feral cat and poodle rescue service, I probably shouldn't have ordered those fur coats for you.  That was indeed unkind--but they are awful fuzzy.

Lastly, Bubba Clyve Bubbason, if you should happen to notice a short man wearing all black sneaking around outside your home late at night, please pay him no mind.  Also, would you mind turning off your automated sprinklers until Tuesday?  No reason...


Don't you just adore jury duty? It's indeed a happy time! I'm so excited to have the opportunity to participate in such gripping human theater! (Keep in mind that I don't get out that much.) As an auditor, I take this civic duty particularly seriously. That's why I have compiled an informal guide to better assist you (the poor reader) in negotiating the mysterious labyrinth of justice. Many people arrive for jury duty completely ill-prepared.

Most, truth be known, even leave the relative security of their homes or park benches without the added protection of the Special Aluminum Foil Hat of Great Power (SAFHGP). That's a mistake I'll never make again. Like I told that big bailiff last time, "No, I'm not taking it off. Without my hat, I would be unsafe. People might even speak to me. With my hat, however, I am ready for anything that comes my way--except clowns or women carrying small dogs in glittery purses." Yikes!

Without further ado, here are my top ten must haves for a successful jury duty experience. For the sake of reader convenience, I have decided to share this list in a randomized order with a dash of psychosis.

4. A Barbie cell phone is useful for communication purposes. Use it to discuss the skin condition of the person sitting in front of you.

3. The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is ideal for light reading. It also builds arm strength, though, which is a negative.

5. Bring a small stuffed animal or two as your special companion(s). Share your feelings. Think stream of consciousness here; free all those dark thoughts! If your small companion happens to be missing a head or arm, no worries! (Try to sit next to a woman who is wheeling a doll around in a stroller. You won't be sorry!)

8. A circa 1980s walkman radio. No reception? Connect it to your SAFHGP.

2. Don't forget to also use the aluminum foil on your glasses and hearing aids. No hearing aids? That's not very macho!

1. Special Aluminum Foil Hat of Great Power (SAFHGP)

7. A camera is a must have for deliberations. Record the fun!

6. Share your thoughts! Do you believe any person in a court (including that big bailiff) should be shot? Be truthful and honest about this. This is sure to win you points and influence important people!

9. Remember eye contact. Winking at the judge is a great technique.

10. Purple. Don't forget to take this seriously. After all, this is an important part of our justice thingy.

What about afterwards? What does the courteous and respectful juror need to remember post-jury time? Sure, you've sentenced that weird-looking guy with bad hair to serious prison time, but what about the judge? You don't want to lose that special relationship you've established with him, do you? Judges are really touched when jurors look up their personal addresses and send them regular cards. Keep in touch. You might even consider flowers on his childrens' birthdays!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Blood Cries Out is Released!

Happy to announce that The Blood Cries Out is now available from Light Switch Press!

Seattle Police Homicide Detective David Lightholler finds himself on a case unlike any he's faced before. In the midst of working the darkest double homicide of his career, he unearths violent secrets of his family's past that promise to haunt him for many years unless he can bring redemption and meaning out of the evil of the past--and present.

While the tale is set between Seattle and Friday Harbor, it also incorporates some important Oregon frontier history. The novel is first be available for Kindle and Nook readers, then it should reach traditional distribution channels. For regular updates, "like" the book's page on Facebook!

Interested in learning some of this novel's backstory? Read "Beginning at the Middle". For more story details, read last year's "Locked and Loaded." (The excerpt has been updated because of changes since the editing.)