J. Drew Brumbaugh

Author of science fiction, fantasy and suspense

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Book Reviews

Hi everyone.  I felt compelled to remind readers, mine or anyone else’s, that for the indie author, reviews are extremely important.  Admittedly that’s not true for Stephen King or James Patterson since I doubt they even read all of the thousands of reviews they get.  But for lower list authors, especially indie authors, reviews can make or break a book.  I know it takes time to post a review, but it doesn’t have to be a long review.  Even a single sentence along with a rating helps.  Now to the point, many of you have seen my recent posting about the short story anthology written during the pandemic titled “Writers In Lockdown”.  Likely there are a few of you out there who bought a copy and read it.  This book needs reviews and you can help.  So please, if you read the book, go to Amazon and post an honest review.  It’ll help the book and the long list of contributing authors.  Thanks.

While you’re at it, if you feel like it, you could always post a review of one of my books, assuming you’ve read any of them.

And if you haven’t bought a copy of “Writers In Lockdown” you can get it here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BXRJTWY

Key to Tirumfall reading

Finally, here’s the reading taken from the middle of “Key to Tirumfall” that I promised a while back.  I hope it’s what you readers were looking for.  The book likely will still get published before year end, though no release date has been set.

Enjoy.

Writers in Lockdown edited by Faith Jones – a review

This is a wonderful collection of short stories made all the more amazing because all of them were written within the span of about 60 days while much of the world was confined to home.  Since each author had total freedom to write whatever they wanted, this is an eclectic collection and only a few of the stories are connected to the corona virus pandemic.  Just about every genre you can think of is represented and there isn’t a clinker in the lot, though there were one or two that I thought could be longer works because the ending left enough unsaid that I didn’t think the story was over.

I won’t comment on my own story or that of either family member who also had stories included.  Here are thoughts on a few that I especially liked.

“Trout Ticklers” was a great start to the book.  The whole idea of being able to tickle a trout set my imagination on overdrive.  Having spent time trout fishing in various streams, this one hooked me from the beginning.

I loved “Mad Language Broadcasting.”  The premise and conclusion were so unique and the story well told, that I couldn’t help chuckling throughout.  Well, done.

“Oberbootsmann Becker” was for me one of the very best, a brutal take on war so well written that my stomach was churning as I read it.  And the ending – well no spoilers – fitting and mind blowing.

“Lockdown Hero” was a cute story that reminded us of the good-news stories that have come out of the pandemic.  People doing things to help others without expecting even a thank you.  Inspiring.

“Something the Matter with Alpha Centari” reminded me a lot of scifi from a past era and though I did see the ending coming, it was a fun read.

“Digital Nomad” was another one that I liked, not for any particular reason, just because I found it entertaining and the character kind of likeable in an offbeat way.

“The Aviary” was interesting though again I saw the ending coming.  Still written well enough to keep me reading and not feel cheated when the story ended as expected.

And there’s “A Glorious Piece of Chocolate Cake.”  Short, quick to the point and just plain fun.

All in all, this book has got to be one of the better collections of short stories that’s come out recently. A huge kudo to the editor, Faith Jones.  I don’t know how she managed to put together such a professional collection in such a short time.

Grab your own copy at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BXRJTWY

Oops, not a Reading

I know in my last post I said I would be doing a reading from my next book.  But little did I know that I’d get some great news that couldn’t wait.  The anthology of short stories entirely written during lockdown has been published.  Why is that important, because I wrote one of the stories and so did my granddaughter and son-in-law.  It isn’t every day you can say you’re published in the same book with a granddaughter (or son-in-law).  Even better, it is her first published work.  Yeah.  On top of that, profits from the sale of the book will go to charity.

So, here’s the link to the book, either for Kindle or as a paperback.  Check it out and if you buy and read it, write a review.  All the authors in the book will appreciate it.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BXRJTWY

Author Readings

The other day I saw a video of Stephen King reading from his latest book.  Okay, I know I’m not Stephen King, but it got me thinking.  I could read a little excerpt from the unpublished (as of yet) third novel in the Tirumfall Trilogy.  Since much of the book has completed editing, I wouldn’t be giving away anything that won’t end up in the final version.  But would anyone want to hear it?  And should I read from the first chapter or pick a juicy section mid-story and read from that?  Right now, I’m just thinking.  Maybe reaction to this post will help me decide.

In the meantime, work on that final novel in the trilogy continues.  I’ve been getting mixed feedback from my editor; she really likes some sections, suggests work in others.  And that’s the way it should be.  So far, we’ve passed page 350 on our way to 500.  I am getting there, is all I can say with no publication date in sight.  In the meantime, thanks to all my readers and especially those who have taken the time to post a rating and/or review.

In other news, stay tuned for info on the forthcoming anthology of short stories (I believe there will be 20 in total) written during the pandemic. One of them is mine.

Writing News

I keep working on the third book in the Tirumfall Trilogy.  More pages done, edited and ready to see print.  More surprises for my editor, and even a “wow” thrown in from her at one point. (smiley face here!)  The first possible covers are being reviewed so that seems to be coming together as well.  Looking forward to seeing a proof copy and maybe getting out a few advance review copies (ARC).

And while that project moves forward, “War Party” is on sale for 99 cents and doing quite well.  It has moved up in the sales rank at Amazon thousands of spots, which is great, but still hasn’t cracked the top 100.  At the same time the book received another 5-star review.  Nothing makes an author feel better than seeing some post a good review because it means someone out there enjoyed reading your book.  What else is there?

Lastly, I am continuing to fit in work on the sequel to “Shepherds” because I am often told that it is someone’s favorite book and that I need to write a sequel.  So, for all the “Shepherds” fans, it’s coming.  With luck it might see publication later in 2020.

If you want to get notices of new books coming out, visit my website homepage at https://jdrewbrumbaugh.com and then follow me on BookBub, Facebook or twitter.

Writing with Distractions

I finished my short story for the upcoming anthology of stories written during the pandemic, not about it.  That felt good.  Even better was the fact that the book’s editor accepted my story.

I’ve also been chugging along on Tirumfall Trilogy book 3.  I am approaching 2/3 complete, editor approved and all.  That also feels good.

However, book sales have slowed, and that doesn’t feel so great.  I think this goes in cycles so I’ll just hang in there and hope for better days ahead.  Nonetheless, I can’t sit around, I need to do something and with the corona virus keeping things in a state of limbo I’ve tried something new, buying books online and this time not from Amazon!  I found a book store in Pittsburgh (The Tiny Bookstore) that will ship for free if you order $35 or more so I ordered a bunch of books.  We’ll see if they get delivered.

Also, I bought gift certificates to places I want to visit and can only hope they’re still there when it’s a better time to travel.  I see it as doing my part to help keep them in business.

And then I looked at charities that I think would use my money wisely and I’ve made several donations with the hope that someone less fortunate than I am will get some benefit and maybe even be able to smile for a moment or two.

All in all, this is a time none of us are used to, none of us wished for, but here we are.  If it brings us closer, makes us realize that we need to count on each other more, then there will be good come of it, maybe not enough to wipe away all the tears and sadness, but some good.

I can only hope those who are reading this stay safe and healthy.

More Craziness

On one hand I’m okay with staying at home and writing.  I have accomplished a lot, including getting halfway through the final draft of Tirumfall Trilogy book 3, writing a short story for submission to an anthology of stories written during lock down, and I got going again on another scifi book, namely the sequel to Shepherds.

But I do believe I’m starting to crack.  I got up this morning, took a moment to remember that I’d been dreaming just before waking up – dreaming about drying and putting away dishes.  Really?  That’s what kind of dreams I’m having.  I need help.

One of my main sources of entertainment has been the acrobatic antics of the squirrels trying to snag food from the hanging birdfeeders.  They really are amazing.  I can’t help laughing as I watch them jump around and hang upside down holding on with only one back paw stretching out to reach the food.  I only let them have at it for a while and then chase them off so that the birds can have a turn.  Does that count as exercise?

I’m getting better and better with zoom.  Holding meetings, family gatherings, and teaching classes all on line.  Who would have guessed?

It’s supposed to warm up soon so I hope to get outside more, walking and doing some gardening. Maybe that will restore my mental stability and I’ll once again feel better about sitting down at this computer and pounding out more text.  I really do want to publish more than one book in 2020 and they won’t write themselves.

I was supposed to be at the Madison Library on Monday for their Books and Cooks event.  I was looking forward to seeing the good people there and probably selling a couple of books.  I’ll miss them this year.  And I would have liked to see Bailey (who I met at the Matchworks back in January), if she happened to be working that night, so I could ask her how she liked Fall of the Western Kings. Anyway, I’m sure lots of people miss going to the library.

All the best.  Stay well.  Buy lots of books.

Stay At Home Writing

While the coronavirus makes life miserable for millions, I’m staying at home working on the final novel in my fantasy trilogy.  Well, that and a short story that I wasn’t going to write but somehow started writing almost unconsciously.  It’s for an anthology of short stories written during the pandemic.  This particular short story has nothing to do with anything I’ve ever written before.  I can’t really say where the idea came from.

Latest update on the fantasy novel – reached 240 pages done, edited and ready to go.  That means I’m almost halfway there.  Best news I’ve gotten from my editor in a long time was after the last chapter she said, “You know it’s good when I find myself forgetting to be the editor and just reading to find out what happens.”  It doesn’t get much better than that.  Now if I can keep that level of writing going for another 250 pages, I’ll have a best seller.

In the meantime, Bula Bridge, the second book in the Galiwee Visions series is on sale (ebook only) for 99 Cents.  Use the menu bar on the left to find links to places to buy it.

Everyone, stay home and stay well.  We all need each other.

A poem about hope

With things being what they are, I thought a poem about hope was appropriate. This one is by Kylli Berg.
 
Onward
 
Deep down in your soul,
 
is a tiny spark,
 
that when the need is great,
 
burns into a flame,
 
it urges you onward,
 
saying,
 
“don’t give up,”
 
it is the thing the world calls hope.
 
You can read more of her poems at https://wordsofink.com