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A Review That I Had to Share

I’ve seen other authors share their reviews.  Honestly, I couldn’t understand why.  I remember thinking as I read them, “Gee, do they so seldom get a 5 star review?” or maybe, “Was this review a certain milestone for them?”
If you’ve read my previous posts, then you know how important reviews are for writers.  We live and die by them.  Numbers matter.  Whether you work in an office and have to get quarterly reports out in time or if you work on an assembly line and have a production quota, numbers matter.  As a writer…so much weight is put into reviews that…well, it isn’t worth rehashing here.  Just trust me when I say, they MATTER.

So, what made this particular review so noteworthy?  What made me keep going back and re-reading this review?  I’ve received numerous 5 star reviews in the past.  I’ve received more than my share of 4 star reviews.  I’ve even received a 3 star review.  Heck…I even got blasted by one guy who handed down a 2 star review.  And the ONLY reason he offered up 2 stars instead of 1 was because the story had solid editing.  Of course, of all of his nitpicking, he only had one valid gripe…but is it worth going online and arguing with someone and proving them wrong?  Will it change their mind?  Will it cause them to suddenly admit they were wrong and raise their rating?  No, of course not.  Pappy always said, never argue with an idiot.  They’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.  Besides, reviews are OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS.  You can’t blame someone for having a different opinion or for not liking what you offered.

So, back to the point of this blog entry.  What was it about this one particular review that had me going back to it time and again, re-reading it and smiling each time I read it?  I’ll let you decide.

Whispers – A true masterpiece!
Before I begin, I just want to say that no matter how hard I try to write a deserving review for Heath Stallcup’s “Whispers”, I fear there is no way I am going to be able to do it justice. Read the book and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Descriptive writing can be quite the challenge for authors, so I’ve been told. Too much description – too little description; there’s a fine line between the two. Heath Stallcup has without a doubt found his “comfort zone”. In my opinion his descriptions are dead on, creating the perfect imagery for me, the reader, to envision the characters and their surroundings. Speaking of character’s – there are several main character’s, each one is well developed with a personality and voice distinctive to them. As Heath tells his story, switching between the characters is clearly defined. I never found myself confused by the story line or the character’s roles. The dialog between character’s is genuine and flow’s effortlessly.
Without saying too much, told in the prologue, “Whispers” unfolds far back in Western times. The tragic events surrounding Sheriff James “Two Guns” Tolbert and the love of his life Mary O’Dell drew me in and I was hooked, compelled to continue reading. Chapter one sets the scene in present day as local law enforcement personnel, faced with a string of grisly murders, work diligently to solve the crimes. Though I am not educated in the legal field I found Heath’s portrayal of legal behavior and the interactions between these characters believable; true to life.
I strongly recommend “Whispers”. It is so suspenseful it will keep you anxiously turning the pages wanting more, desperately needing to find out what happens next. I had difficulty putting the book down.
Treat yourself, read “Whispers”, you will not regret it, I promise.

Is this review really any different than what others have said?  Is it simply a compilation of what others have written, just strung together?  I don’t think so.  I think she nailed the hammer right on the thumb…well, okay, you know what I mean.  I’ve said all along that this was one of my favorite stories to date.  I still think this is one of my best works.  Although I’ve questioned the quality of what I do, it’s reviews like this that make me think it’s all worth it.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Over 550 Entered, Two Winners!

I’ll admit, I made a mistake in setting up the giveaway.  I thought it was supposed to end tonight at midnight.  It ended last night and I received word from Goodreads that they had already randomly selected the winners.

Over 550 people had entered the giveaway and two lucky ladies, one from KY and one from TN were the winners.  Goodreads stated that I had 4-6 weeks to arrange delivery, but to me, that just isn’t right.  If you win something, you want it right away.  I made sure both went out first thing today.

I doubt seriously that either follow my blog, but if they happen to stumble across this, be sure to check the book when you receive it.  There may be a bumper sticker shoved in between the pages.

I don’t want to give out any information on either winner, but allow me to say, “Congratulations Hannah and Shirley!” I sincerely hope you enjoy the book and if you do, please, tell your friends!

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Think Nobody Ever Wins? Guess AGAIN!

Still haven’t entered to win an autographed copy of Whispers?  Think ‘nobody ever wins those things’?  Guess again!  I entered for a copy of Phantom, Ted Bells latest Alex Hawk novel and guess what came in my Gmail?

“Congratulations Heath!

You are one of our First Reads lucky winners! You will soon receive a free copy of Phantom (Alexander Hawke, #7) in the mail. Please allow a few weeks for shipping.”

And trust me, I don’t have NEAR the fan base that Ted Bell has!  So what are you waiting for?  Time is running out!  There’s only a few short days left to mash the hyperlink and ENTER TO WIN!

Good luck!!

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Countdown Has Begun

As of right now, there’s still officially a week left for you to enter for your free autographed copy of Whispers at Goodreads.  It doesn’t cost you anything but a wee bit of time.  So what are you waiting for?  Tell your family, your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers!

Oh…yeah.  I didn’t think of that.  Yeah, the more people that enter, the lower the odds are of winning, but there’s actually going to be TWO copies given away.  There!  I just doubled your chances of winning.  So go on, tell everybody.  Help me to spread the word about this one.  So far, it’s been my favorite, both to write and to try to promote.  There was just ‘something’ about this one.  I hope that you think so too.

So scroll down on this post, look for the Goodreads ad and press the ‘enter to win’ hyperlink and get yourself in the running!  Time is running out!

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Only Two Weeks Left To…

Only two weeks left to enter to win your autographed copy of Whispers!

Look around the blog here for the Goodreads ad and click the ‘enter to win’.  No obligations, only a hope that once you’ve read it, you’ll leave some kind of review…good, bad or indifferent.  And you don’t even have to do that.  It’s just a suggestion.  A request really.  A small one.
What are you waiting for?  Go!  Tell people!  Time is running out!

**Disclaimer: This post is intended for the use of  the  individual
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ignored. No animals were  harmed  in  the  transmission  of  this
email,  although  the  yorkshire  terrier  next door is living on
borrowed time, let me tell you. Those of you with an overwhelming
fear  of  the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no
hidden message revealed by reading  this  warning  backwards,  so
just ignore that Alert Notice from Microsoft: However, by pouring
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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Want to Win an Autographed Copy of Whispers?

This post will be short and sweet.  If you’d like a chance to win one of two autographed copies of Whispers, signed, sealed and delivered to you, simply look to your right and scroll down a little.  If you’re reading this on a mobile device, good luck.  I have no idea how it might populate on your screen.  But if you’re on a computer, you’ll see a small ‘Goodreads Book Giveaway’ offer next to the cover of Whispers.  Right underneath that is the hyperlink you click that will take you to the Goodreads website where you can enter to win!

It’s really that simple.

Why give away a paperback free of charge?  The hope is to generate interest and possibly drum up a few reviews.  Remember my previous post about ‘live and die’ by reviews?  Yeah…they’re that important.  So why are you still reading this?  Scroll down, click the hyperlink and ENTER TO WIN.

Tell your friends to enter, too.  The more the merrier.  Let’s spread the word and see if we can’t put this one out there.

Oh yeah…one teensy-tiny little caveat.  You have to a U.S. resident to win.  Sorry.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Radio Interview Today

Okay, I admit.  I’m new to all of this.  The idea that I get to do a radio interview, even a short one, to plug my writing is just too exciting for me.  I was practically giddy all the way to the station and sat somewhat nervously as I waited for Craig Stone of 105.5 the X-Factor to get me from the lobby.

He’s just as nice in person as he seems on the radio and we talked for a little bit before we recorded the short spot.  It probably wasn’t but a few minutes long, but we covered the important stuff and had a few laughs along the way.  He wanted to give me a chance to plug my latest book, Whispers, prior to Halloween since it is a ghost story…and, I think he likes the idea of the Monster Squad, too.

He told me that the spot will air today around 4:15 local time.  I was just thankful that it wasn’t live or I probably would have froze up.  He’s a true professional and had a wonderful way of putting me at ease.  He knew that I was pretty much clueless as this was my first time to be interviewed on the radio, so he took the reins and ran with it.  Afterward he told me that if I had friends or family out of the area, that they can download the radio app for their smart phone to be able to listen to the interview.  Unfortunately, my brain couldn’t absorb everything he said and I didn’t have the sensibility to write it down, so if you are out of the area and want to hear it, HA!  You’re on your own!  I have a Blackberry so those apps won’t work for me…

I had a great time and really enjoyed the whole experience.  I think my favorite part was watching him ‘turn on’ his radio voice as we began recording.  I actually had to stifle a smile when he started in, but I recognized that voice immediately as the one that comes out of my radio every day.  We had a chance to chat a bit more after recording the interview and just visit a little.  He really is such a nice guy.  It’s no wonder he’s the area’s top DJ.

Overall, it was a great morning.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Today’s the Day!

Or rather, ‘Tonight’s the night!’

Whispers

The plan is for my publisher, Denise Brown, to ‘push the button’ to time the release around midnight.

The problem is…Amazon doesn’t always cooperate.  Sometimes it can populate as quickly as two hours, sometimes as long as the next day.  She has the files pretty much ready but there’s still some work to do.

I wanted the release to coincide with my wife’s birthday but this is close enough.  Too many readers like to have a weekend to enjoy a new book and I’d rather get it out in time for people to enjoy.

So, without further fanfare, I’m announcing the release of Whispers and hoping that those of you who read it will truly enjoy it.  If you do read it, whether you love it or hate it, please leave a review.  As I’ve stated before, we live and die by reviews, so every little bit helps.  So far, I’ve been fortunate in that one beta reader and two of the ‘characters’ in the book have already put up reviews for it before it is even available for purchase.  How cool is that?  I doubt there are many books out there that have had HONEST reviews put up for it before it was available for public consumption.  Fortunately, it was well received by those who read it.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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One Week To Release!

Whispers

 

Yes, I know I’ve been rather excited about the release of Whispers, and now the countdown has begun.  One week from today, it will be released for public availability.  Originally, my plan was to release it on my wife’s birthday (October 20th), but since that falls on a Sunday and people who get a new book like to enjoy the weekend reading it, I figure a Midnight Friday release might be more appropriate.  Still, I’m going to call it her birthday since we’ll be celebrating it all weekend.  Hopefully, I can coordinate everything with my publisher so that she can ‘push the button’ at exactly midnight CST Friday and have it ready for everybody to enjoy.

You might wonder why I’m so excited about this particular release.  Well, it’s not exactly something I can put my finger on.  It’s not part of my signature series, the Monster Squad, but it is one of my favorite stories to date.  My missus has read everything I’ve written so far and she has other favorites, but this one is closest to my heart.  I can’t explain why.  Perhaps because I dedicated it to both of my dads?  Maybe.  My father passed in ’88 to cancer and my father in law has done his level best to be there for me even though I know filling those shoes isn’t possible.  Maybe it’s because it has small town law enforcement as the central characters…people I can relate to.  Maybe it’s because it deals with a love that runs so deep that even in death it can’t be denied.  Oh, wait.  I better not say much more.  I don’t want to give anything away.

If you’ve been one to search Amazon in anticipation, you’ll note that Whispers sits on their website but it says, Out of Print–Limited Availability.  That’s sort of a teaser.  It’s populated to Amazon and simply waiting for the publisher to ‘press the button’.  So…why wait?  Well, if you’ve followed any of my posts on Facebook, then you know that the grand majority of the characters are real people who donated their names to be used in the story.  I knew that the body count would be high in a story like this.  Rather than sit and pull out the last three or four hairs that I had left trying to think of names that sounded real, I asked for volunteers.  I posted in the thread that I would only use their names, not their likeness.  I couldn’t guarantee what would happen to them or what character they might be.  I literally printed out names, cut them out, folded them in half and put them in a hat.  As I made the list, I pulled out names and filled the list.  The Fates decided who went where.  Then I decided that those who volunteered their names should get a free autographed paperback for their trouble.  By coordinating with my publisher, she pre-ordered the books so that we could get them to folks BEFORE the book was available to the general public.  Factor in shipping to me, labeling and shipping out to them and we still had plenty of time to make it available before Halloween.

I owe a big debt of gratitude to my editor Todd Brown for getting this done in time and to my publisher Denise for having everything ready to do the pre-order and having the patience to let it sit while we wait for folks to get their copies.  I know this was no easy task.  The book was written in ‘Okie’ and spell check does NOT like southern speak.  At all.  Neither does grammar checkers.  Nope.  Not one bit.  This is one he had to do line by line, word by word.  And it is not a short story.  At over 150K words, this is a long story.

So, with all of that said, I hope that those of you who enjoy a good ghost story will give this one a shot.  It may or may not be up your alley, but it was certainly a joy to create.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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