Get MAROONED!

Praise for MAROONED: 

“More thrilling than fifteen men on a dead man’s chest–more fun than a bottle of rum!”
-Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island 

“If I could only bring one book to a desert island, that book would be MAROONED.”
-Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe 

“I wish I’d thought to make mine interactive…”
-Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick 

Marooned_featured-CYP

3 Unique Storylines. Over 50 Possible Endings. Just one question… Will YOU Endure Treachery and Survival on the High Seas? 

Here’s how it works: You, Dear Reader, are the main character of this story, a youth born to prosperity in the English countryside. Now it’s up to you to sail atop the vast oceans or be swallowed into their murky depths. Each link represents a choice, and there’s no going back, so choose wisely.

Whether you’re a fan of classic books series like Horatio Hornblower and Aubrey/Maturin, or more modern films and shows like Pirates of the Caribbean or Black Sails, you can now live your own high seas adventure! Like the gamebooks popular in the 1980s-90s (Choose Your Own Adventure, Give Yourself Goosebumps, etc), this is a series where you choose how to progress through the book. Unlike any others, this is the first novel-length interactive book series for adults. And as an ebook, you simply click your choice and the story flows forward for you. No flipping pages.

Prefer a paperback? Make your choice:

You’re captive on a pirate ship, but the Royal Navy is giving chase. What do YOU do?

-Find a weapon. Time to fight off these pirates and help your liberators! Go to page 106
-Sabotage the ship. Drop the anchor and strike the sails! Go to page 259

Get MAROONED today!

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World Premiere: MURDERED Book Trailer (official)

The day you’ve been waiting for (or at least the day I’ve been waiting for, either way) is finally here!

Check it out, the mystery/thriller book trailer in all its glory:

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Some people have said it’s a bit odd to put out a book trailer almost a year after a book’s release (or again, just a voice in my head, either way), yet I couldn’t be happier with the decision. I’m extremely pleased with PixelTwister Studio, and I think you can see why. What an incredibly professional product. The feeling of seeing my words turned into art is, well, let me put it this way…Shortly after completion, Jeremy and Ellen asked if I’d be willing to give a testimonial for their website. I was glad to do so, and I’ll leave you with my glowing review:

When I first saw my words come to life in the trailer, I got chills. Not figurative chills, literal chills. I can’t recommend PixelTwister Studio enough. Ellen and Jeremy are ideal collaborative partners–they’ll listen to your ideas, then use their own intuition and artistry to make the world you’ve created not only richer, but instantly accessible to readers in a tangible way. PixelTwister represents everything I love about the indie publishing front; passionate people doing professional work on their own terms.”


 

So, what do YOU think? Make you want to read the book all over again?

Feel free to comment, like, share, and subscribe!

INFECTED Promo Results (Day Two)

Continued from Lessons Learned from the INFECTED giveaway.

January 9th
PhotoFunia-16f3d2b_smallGood morning, again! Today Book Blast is set to go out and, with (fingers’ crossed) the continued buzz from yesterday’s promotion, this should make for an exciting day. I don’t know about you, but I could hardly sleep a wink. Whattdya say we see how much action happened overnight?

NOTE: CLICK ALL IMAGES TO ENLARGE

2686 Downloads as of 0600, January 9th.
2686 Downloads as of 0600, January 9th.
Woo-hoo! Made it into the coveted Top 100.
Woo-hoo! Made it into the coveted Top 100.

Two interesting points of order based on these stats. First, is that I’m still listed in Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure (an old category) as well as Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic (new category). Could this be because my update is still “processing”? I’m not sure. I’ll have to watch carefully as this develops. Second, even though my rank has surpassed the Top 100 free books in the kindle store, I only gave away 450 copies over the course of the entire night. Which leads to…

LESSON LEARNED: Be patient/don’t panic. Within the first two hours of the day, my rank got worse and shot up to #99. If this is a race to #1, that means I’m not doing well… or does it? Amazon’s best seller ranking is elastically flexible and doesn’t necessarily correspond to current downloads. Maybe someone else’s rank simply processed before mine? I could just need some time to catch up. Tough to say. Amazon keeps their ranking algorithm a closely-guarded secret, but it pays to go with the flow. Just keep doing what you know you should be doing, and let the ranking system do its thing.

Here’s a mid-day update, after Book Blast has gone out:

4113 Downloads as of 1400, January 9th.
4113 Downloads as of 1400, January 9th.
Back to "increasing!" Slow and steady wins the race today.
Back to “increasing!” Slow and steady wins the race today.

Interesting to note that the categories are still switching. Could this be a good thing? It’s putting me on several different categories throughout the day (the maximum allowed is two), so I can’t see how it would hurt… Hmm. But the main point is that it’s getting better. From all I’ve heard and read, Book Bub is the behemoth service that’ll push any promotion over the edge. So if I can just keep climbing the charts, no matter how slowly, I should be in for a treat tomorrow.

The snowball is your book promotion. The more people you get to help push it along, the bigger it’ll get until it eventually starts feeding itself.

The afternoon was spent doing more promoting and marketing, of course, which leads to another…

LESSON LEARNED: Set up everything beforehand. I started contacting book sites a month out, but I found a great list of resources I was planning to contact during the promotion. Big mistake. Just going through with everything I’d had planned, to include continued social media marketing, took up all my time. You should have everything ready to go before you promotion starts, so the most work you have to do during the event involves the copy/paste function.

It’s getting late. Let’s do one last look at the stats before bed:

5358 Downloads as of 2200, January 9th.
5358 Downloads as of 2200, January 9th.
Still increasing and -- BONUS -- now it's topping 3 categories!
Still increasing and — BONUS — now it’s topping 3 categories!

It’s getting significantly more difficult for INFECTED to climb the ranks, but at least it still is. And with tomorrow set to be my “anchor day” I’m hopeful. You might also notice 3 more sales of MURDERED in 24 hours. Not exactly the boost I was hoping for, but it’s still early (and I’m thankful for each sale I get). Time to try and sleep and prepare for the exciting conclusion tomorrow…

Continue to INFECTED Promo Results (Day Three) 

Get INFECTED for *FREE*

UPDATE: The promo is over, but you can still check out the results here.

That’s right, INFECTED is currently FREE on the Amazon Kindle. 3 Unique Storylines, over 50 Possible Endings, Just One Question: Will YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

This promo will last from 8-10 January ONLY, so tell your friends.

Spread the news and help the world Get INFECTED!
Spread the news and help the world Get INFECTED!

Why? With MURDERED out for a month now, I felt like it would be an appropriate time to give back. Limited-time free promotions can be a powerful marketing tool as well, so I’m hoping this will expand my audience and generate a buzz around Click Your Poison books. In accordance with my blogging New Year’s Resolution, you can expect some Lessons Learned from this promotion over the coming days and weeks.

Want more? If you’re a blogger with your own website, create a post during the free promotional period announcing the giveaway and I’ll mail you an INFECTED wineglass free of charge. These are limited edition, so it’s first-come, first-served and once the stock is depleted, that’s it.

Sip out of your free glass while reading your free ebook! Wine sold separately.
Sip out of your free glass while reading your free ebook! Wine sold separately.

INFECTED currently has a rating of 4.8/5 Stars based on 44 reviews — None of which are below a 4-Star rating. Pick up your copy today and see if YOU have what it takes to survive. Good luck, and remember, always aim for the head.

Amateur Detective Contest!

AVAILABLE NOW: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H3T9TAI

Ever read a whodunit where you outwitted the main character? Ever watched a murder mystery where you outfoxed the gumshoe? Grab your pipe and magnifying glass, super sleuth, it’s time to test your powers of deduction in Click Your Poison’s Amateur Detective Contest!

murdered_promo

How does it work? MURDERED is a murder mystery unlike any other, where YOU are the main character and must solve the crime by making choices. To see what I mean, try out a sample here.

The Kindle edition of MURDERED released on Amazon on Thursday, 5 December 2013. That’s when the contest starts. One grandprize winner will receive the *first ever* signed paperback copy (the paperback release date is 12 December 2013), annotated as such and congratulating you on your prowess as a detective. You’ll also receive an autographed copy of INFECTED or a $25 amazon gift certificate (your choice) AND a collectible INFECTED wine glass (to toast to your success). That’s over $50 in prizes!

Oooh, sparkly!
Oooh, sparkly!

How do I win? The contest is simple. Once the ebook is released, the first reader to email me the correct identity of the story’s villain (along with your proof) wins the grand prize. That’s it! It’s a race against time to piece together the clues.

PS — You MUST email me the via the contact form. If you publicly spoil the story, you’re disqualified. Also, you’ll make me sad.

Good luck and happy hunting!

UPDATE: We have a winner…

MURDERED Release Date & Giveaway

Mystery Books

Its official.

MURDERED, the second in the Click Your Poison series will be released this Thursday, 5 December 2013.

Could YOU solve a murder? MURDERED is a mystery/thriller unlike any other. As the main character, you must follow clues, interrogate suspects, and piece together the puzzle before the killer gets away. Try a sample here.

For a chance to win a FREE COPY on release day, join and share the following events:

The more people “attending,” the more copies that will be given away. So click “join” and invite your friends!

Could YOU Solve a Murder?
Could YOU Solve a Murder?

The Living and the Dead

I was asked by my friend and fellow author, Todd Travis, to write the foreword to his new anthology of short horror/thriller stories. I’m honored to have done so and I think I even managed to say something halfway poignant, so it’s my pleasure to share that foreword with you now:

TLATD FOREWORD
by James Schannep

The short horror story is one of the oldest human traditions. Indeed, one could theorize that we evolved into creatures with language just to be able to tell such tales. Prehistoric man’s first thriller—for which he was rewarded with a warm fire, roast strips of mammoth venison, and ample grunts of approval—was called “The Terror at Black Rock” and told of a brave warrior’s near-death experience with a saber-toothed tiger. You see, these stories and their monsters were real, and by hearing them we could learn to avoid Black Rock, especially alone and after dark. The short horror story kept us alive.

These tales are still important in the modern world; whether it’s still being told around a campfire for the benefit of your fellow hikers or if you’re reading this book in bed, ready to plunge down an emotional rollercoaster before safely drifting off to sleep in the comfort of your own home. But what about the monsters—are they still real?

I’m not telling you that Bigfoot is out there (constantly looking over his shoulder and walking with extra long arm-swings, such as the Alaskan scientists in the story In Season hope to find) but certainly the potential exists. The threat of the unknown is real. There are, without a doubt, things in this world we don’t fully understand that are dangerous, and out to get us.

Recent events have proven that monsters are real. I don’t understand the kind of person who would bomb a marathon any more than I do the kind who would shoot up a school or a movie theater, but I do understand exactly what motivates zombies and werewolves. Ultimately, that’s why we love a good horror story, because all the terrible things that we live with, all the hidden facets of society, become tangible and comprehensible. Whether it’s a simple ghost story or something more complexly metaphysical like in The Living and the Dead, we get to break down and analyze the dangers of evil through the reading of stories. We experience something new and terrifying without needing to go down to Black Rock ourselves.

The true genius in Mr. Travis’s collected shorts is that he manages to do both: delight us with thrilling tales of monsters while showing us that true terror lives in the people and world around us. So sit up, don’t relax, and prepare to be terrified, because if you pay attention—these short horror stories might keep you alive. Just make sure you blame Todd Travis (and not me) if you can’t look at the people around you the same way when you’re done.

Happy reading and sweet dreams.

16 April 2013
Orcutt, California

TLaTLCheck out The Living and the Dead, available now!

For fans of STEPHEN KING and DEAN KOONTZ … author TODD TRAVIS (Creatures of Appetite) has gathered a haunting collection of suspense stories exploring the monsters, both living and dead, roaming our world.

– A brilliant biophysicist on the verge of proving there is no life after death discovers, to his horror, that the dead are determined to stop him …

– An abused small town boy finds a special friend in the woods next to his trailer, but his friend isn’t like other children and cannot leave the woods, not ever …

– A group of determined graduate students seek Bigfoot on a remote Alaskan range seek but discover a monster far more deadly than they ever imagined …

– An elderly store manager, disturbed by a stranger eying the armored truck deliveries to his store, decides to take matters into his own hands …

– A beautiful young woman walks the streets of Manhattan at night seeking men, but for her own dark purposes, because for her, night is for hunting …

– A mysterious little girl somehow “invites” herself along on an abduction, leading her captors to wonder who really is in charge …

Five stories of suspense and terror and a short novel exploring the darkness everyone eventually faces when it’s their time to die, THE LIVING AND THE DEAD is a collection one may want to read with all the lights in the house on …