Tag Archives: book

Last Rites – A Last Healer Mystery

When I wrote The Last Healer, I did not intend to continue the story in a sequel, but several people who read the book said they wanted to read more about Katie and Joe. I decided to get to work on a second book that I titled Last Rites. I am happy to say it is now available.

Last Rites starts three months after the events of The Last Healer. Katie and Joe return from their honeymoon and learn that Katie’s friend, Ashley has been shot and near death. They race to Milwaukee so Joe can use his healing powers to save her and end up investigating the murder of Ashley’s mother. Like the first book, their investigation again leads them into danger.

This story continues to highlight the differences in personalities. Katie is the outgoing one. She knows how to talk to people and has a good moral compass. She also is a modern girl with fashion sense. Joe, being over a hundred years old, is grounded in the past. He is polite, chivalrous, and wise. He is also uncomfortable with technology and can sometimes be blunt when talking to people.

If you haven’t read The Last Healer, you can find it here. If you would like to read Last Rites click here. While it is better to read the books in order, you can read Last Rites by itself. If you do read one of my books, I would be grateful for a review. As of this writing, the print versions of Last Rites are not yet available due to an error in the cover design. I’m hoping to have that fixed soon.

Three Books in Six Months

I self-published my first novel, Identity Crisis, on July 9th, 2023. Granted, it took 20 years to start writing it and five years actually to write it, but I did it. I then wrote and published my next book, The Last Healer, a little more than two months later in September of last year.

Once I knew I could actually write a book everything seemed to become much easier. That is what I thought after I finished my second book. Then things got hard. The next book I started went well for a few chapters but then I got stuck. I had the beginning and I had a good idea of the ending but I couldn’t figure out how to expand the middle without boring the reader. That story just wanted to be a short story so I gave up.

I then tried something different. I decided to write a family friendly story. A story you might see on Disney back when Disney was family friendly. Unfortunately, after several chapters, I just couldn’t get excited about the story so I stopped writing it.

I then started writing my latest book Shooting Star. This story I felt better about writing and was able to get through the first draft pretty quickly. I wasn’t entirely happy with the story after the first draft although no first draft is ever perfect. At 30,000 words it was too short for one thing. I also felt that the characters needed more depth.

I spent some time working on the story. I added a little more romance between the characters and increased the word count to about 36,000. It’s still fairly short but it falls into the novella category. I suppose I could have added scenes to make it longer, but I didn’t want to dilute the story. Often times when I am editing my writing, I find deleting parts of the story works better than adding to it. In the end I am happy with the final version of this book.

For now, the book is available only on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. I wanted to enroll in the KDP program. Doing so means that I can only sell it on Amazon for 90 days, but I can offer the eBook for free for, I believe, a total of five days during that period. So today and tomorrow you can get the Kindle version for free. I am hoping I can get people to read it and leave a review for me. If you would like to help me by reading my book and leaving a review, you can get the book here.

I would also appreciate reviews for my other books. I can’t offer those for free, but I can offer my gratitude and a good story. Thanks for reading.

Writing My Next Book

My first novel, Identity Crisis, took me five years to write and more than 20 years to start writing after the original Idea occurred to me. I published it this year on the 9th of July, and I started writing another book on the 22nd of July. I finished the first draft of that book on the 1st of September.

I don’t know why writing my latest book, The Last Healer, was so much easier. Perhaps finishing the first one showed me what I was capable of, so I was more motivated to write the next one. It still wasn’t easy, though. Like the first one, I started it without knowing how it would end. Sometimes, it feels like the story writes itself, and I’m just there to type the words.

This one is not quite novel length, but I feel it is a good story. I think this one will appeal to women more than my first book. I didn’t start out with the intention to write a mystery romance, but that is the direction the story took. There is also a bit of science fiction mixed in.

I hired a different cover designer for this book. The last one was good but took way too long. This one was a great artist, but I think she lacked experience with formatting for print books, so after several failed attempts, I was able to fix all the formatting issues and upload the cover art to Amazon. I published the ebook on September 22, but because of the formatting issues, it took until yesterday to get the paperback published, and I am still waiting for approval on the hardcover.

I also decided not to enroll this book into KDP Select. That is supposed to give authors more opportunities to make money in exchange for having the book solely available on Amazon. I found it, at least in my case, to contribute almost nothing extra to my bottom line. Instead, I went with a company called Draft2Digital. They distributed my ebook to several booksellers. Some of the booksellers where my book is available can be found here. Others, like Google Play Books, I’m still waiting for the book to go live. I’m also considering offering a print version through Draft2Digital, but my profit would be much lower than I get through Amazon, which still isn’t that much after printing costs and Amazon’s cut.

I feel like I want to write another book now. The problem is that my few ideas would make good short stories, but I can’t yet think how they could be expanded into full books.

Writing My First Novel

Recently I finished writing my first novel and plan to self-publish it as soon as the cover is ready. How I got to this point is the real story.

I had the idea for the story floating around in my head since 1996 or earlier. I wanted to outline the story before starting, but I never could come up with an ending or even a decent middle, so I put it on the back burner and thought about it occasionally. Finally, on July 30, 2018, I started writing. I hoped that the story would resolve itself as I wrote.

It went pretty well for a while, but I soon hit a roadblock. I made many changes to what I had written, so the story became different from what I originally envisioned. Still, I couldn’t think about where I was going with it. So for nearly five years, I would add to the story only occasionally.

Things changed after St. Patrick’s Day this year. That day the company I worked for went out of business, and I was out of a job. I found myself with time on my hands while I looked for work. During that time, I was writing with new enthusiasm. I managed to break through the roadblock and finished the first draft of the book around the first of May. So it took me about six weeks to go from less than 24,000 words to over 60,000 words. I’m sure most writers could do that easily, but considering how long it took to write the first 24,000 words, I thought it went well, especially since I had no outline to follow.

I then read through the book two or three more times, correcting errors and inconsistencies. I gave a copy to my wife in hopes that she could find mistakes for me, but she was way too busy, so I sent it to my mother. She read it and sent back three pages of corrections. I was amazed that I missed so much. After that, I added Gramerly to my Word program, which helped me catch many more mistakes.

I read through my book six or seven times before I was ready to publish it. Then I had to wait for the cover. I contracted with someone on Fiverr to illustrate it for me on June 8, but he was swamped and gave me a delivery date of July 8. He finally finished the front cover a day late and I was able to publish the ebook on my birthday. I’m now waiting for the back cover for the print edition. If you are interested you can find the book here.

If you do decide to purchase my book, I would really appreciate a review.