Posts tagged: goodreads.com

LEROY WATCHES JR. & THE BADASS BULL WAS FREE YESTERDAY ––

LEROY WATCHES JR. & THE BADASS BULL

LEROY WATCHES JR. & THE BADASS BULL

I tried to tell you about it beforehand on my trusty blog, Your Shelf Life, right here. Yep, Leroy Watches Jr. & the Badass Bull, the award-winning, almost 5 star rated, Western bit of craziness was free. And I didn’t tell you about it here. I tried.

I don’t know if you’ve put on an Amazon KTP Promotion. Amazon makes it easy to give your book away free for a few days, but the hard part is letting the bazillion potential readers know about it. That requires contacting an infinite number of sites that will tell people about your freebie. When I say INFINITE, I mean it.

Lord have mercy. I have a  wonderful person who helps me, but even so. I mean, other wonderful people and I were cranking out the free eBook download––in addition to the free LEROY download––until minutes before the free day started. Cranking, loading, writing, Photoshopping.

I finally got a moment to whack out a Your Shelf Life (YSL) article. I opened the Dashboard on WordPress … and discovered I didn’t have a blog. YSL was gone. $#@$%&!! WHAT!!??

Turned out that my URL address had expired. How could that happen? Uh. Well, we had some fraud on our credit card and had to get a new number. I contacted everyone I could think of and used often and changed the number with them. But not PowerHoster.com where I buy my URLs. They had YSL on auto-renew, so what’s the problem?

Big problem. YSL’s auto-renew had not been renewed because they didn’t have the right card number. AAAAHAAHHHH! Not only was I freaking out over the promo, I have so many really good articles on YSL. Articles to make a great book for self-pubbers and writers. Articles that weren’t backed up anywhere. Gone. This was HUGE.

I paid the delinquent fee, changed my credit card number to the good one, and checked the net. NOTHING. NO YSL. GONE, ALL GONE.

CUT TO THE CHASE:

I opened the Dashboard this AM and YSL was back. At least enough for me to write this. I’m writing fast.

The promo was a great success. Leroy Watches Jr. & the Badass Bull hit #1 in free Westerns, #2 in Metaphysical & Visionary and topped out at #125 in the free store (I was asleep at that time: my friend told me.) About 9,000 books were free that day; hitting 125 out of the pack was not bad. Not only that, a bunch of people got their Leroy and went over to my website, Sandy’s Website, and downloaded the eBook I created for the occasion–for FREE. Yep, made it just to give away, for a limited time. More on this below.

LEROY HITS # 1. ALSO #2.

LEROY HITS # 1. ALSO #2.

Not only was the Leroy giveaway fabulous, a dear friend of mine, Vallibus Apache Sherwood, started a fan site for me: author sandy nathan  So hop over there and say howdy! Please join my little group. It may be small, but I’ve got some great friends and fans! And appreciate Vallibus so much.

What did I say about the free eBook, in addition to the FREE LEROY? Oh. I was a participant in a very fun and awesome event my friend Wendy Potocki throws for the month of October: Halloweenpalooza II. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, for the sheer wackiness of it and lack of any serious purpose. Also, I like the concept of getting dressed up and wandering around town. I don’t actually do that, because it’s a lot of bother. I don’t like the part about kiddies going into sugar comas over the potentially poisoned candy they score, but the rest of it is great fun.

Especially the graphics. Check out Wendy’s Halloweenpalooza II FB page above. You’re lucky enough to get this post so you can still read the guest posts and scary thing Wendy has planned.

Wendy has various guest authors write stories, tales, and descriptions of real paranormal events they’ve experienced and adds her own magic. I wrote “The Richest Person in the World”, posted right here on Wendy’s blog, HALLOWEENPALOOZA: 31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN. We featured my visionary fiction/romance/horror combo, Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem. I gave away some eBook copies and then Wendy presented “The Richest Person in the World”, the short story I wrote for the event.

Long short story. All I need to do is add three more and I’ll have a full length book. Which is what I intend do do. That’s how Vanessa Schierman PhD, Witch came into being. I had “The Richest Person in the World” formatted nicely and got Clarissa Yeo, my brilliant cover designer,to do up a cover. Voila! Something to give away for more than a day.

VANESSA SCHIERMAN PhD, WITCH

VANESSA SCHIERMAN PhD, WITCH

I wasn’t able to get news of Leroy Watches Jr. Free Day to you in time, but I can tell you about this. For a limited time, I’m going to give this brand new, never launched, never seen by anyone but those involved in producing it eBook–and it’s as big as some eBooks you see–away free. Yes, FREE! It’s more important than that. Grab your copy and I’ll explain why. Go to my website and punch the button right in the middle. It looks like this:

HIT THIS BUTTON TO GO TO DOWNLOAD PAGE

HIT THIS BUTTON TO GO TO SANDY'S WEBSITE AND THE DOWNLOAD PAGE

Why should you care about Vanessa Schierman Phd? What has she done for you? Well, turns out she’s a major character in my upcoming novels, starting with In Love by Christmas, which should be debuting the last week of October. Halloween? Never heard of In Love by Christmas?

You will. It’s the sequel to Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem. It’s also the sequel to Leroy Watches Jr. & the Badass Bull! Yes, the series really is a series. If you read Mogollon and then read Leroy Watches Jr. and Vanessa Schierman PhD, Witch, you’ll be in the know. You’ll be ready for In Love by Christmas:

In Love by Christmas (Bloodsong 3)

In Love by Christmas (Bloodsong 3)

In Love by Christmas will be out before Halloween! I promise–I ain’t jokin’. This is the story that completes the others. This is the novel that will break your heart and rend your soul. You’ll fall in love, and be scared to death.  You’ll be glad you read Mogollon and Leroy and went to my website and downloaded Vanessa.

Happy trails!

Sandy Nathan

Earth’s End Trilogy – Perhaps More Action, Excitement, Romance, Thrills, and Adventure Than You Can Stand

The Earth's End Trilogy

The Earth’s End Trilogy delivers on its promise––this is a series you’ll remember far after you turn the last page.

  • In The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy, join , exquisite dancer who’s from anther world, and Jeremy, the sixteen year old tech geek with the skills to save the world––if he can save himself.
  • Lady Grace & the War for a New World is just that, how the survivors of nuclear Armageddon fight hideously mutated monsters and learn to survive in their New World. Nuclear war has blasted them back to the stone age.
  • The Headman & the Assassin is a love story for the ages, taking place in a bomb shelter 300′ beneath the surface of the earth. Radiation seals the people  of the village in the shelter forever. A love for the ages blossoms improbably in the worst place of all.

Earth’s End consists of three print and eBooks and a “boxed set” containing all the eBooks. It’s still in production and will be available on Amazon in August. While you’re waiting, look at the spectacular video. It’s high resolution, so you may have to let it play once to buffer.

Sandy Nathan and Tecolote

Author Sandy Nathan writes to amaze and delight, uplift and inspire, as well as thrill and occasionally terrify. She is known for creating unforgettable characters and putting them in do or die situations. She writes in genres ranging from science fiction, fantasy, and visionary fiction to juvenile nonfiction, spirituality and memoir.

Mrs. Nathan’s books have won twenty-four national awards, including multiple awards from oldest, largest, and most prestigious contests for independent publishers. Her books have earned rave reviews from critics and reviewers alike. Sandy lives with her husband on their California ranch. They bred Peruvian Paso horses for almost twenty years. She has three grown children and two grandchildren.

Would you like to know more about Sandy Nathan’s writing?

Sandy’s Amazon Author Page. Click here of on image.

HERE ARE LINKS TO AND DESCRIPTIONS OF SANDY’S SIX BOOKS!
They range from wild sci-fi to adorable children’s nonfiction. You’ll find something you’ll like in the list below:

  • NUMENON,  a novel about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman
  • STEPPING OFF THE EDGE, a modern day spiritual companion
  • TECOLOTE, the adorable kids’ book about a baby horse.
  • EARTH’S END––COMING IN AUGUST 2013 the new, three book sci-fi/fantasy/visionary series that takes you to the end of the earth, and beyond.

I Don’t Write Like a Girl –– or How I Became a Literary Grown-up and Why It Doesn’t Matter

Sometimes the process of blogging helps the blogger as much as those who read the blog. In my previous post, I introduced my new banner (above), handled some feminist and definitional issues, and tossed out a description of the kind of fiction that makes me want to  throw up. Namely, the sweet Southern family story packing all the dramatic tension of a banana slug.

BANANA SLUG - This is the UC Santa Cruz Mascot. I was going to put a picture of a real banana slug here, but they're so gross I had mercy on you--and me.

Not being able to leave the topic alone, I rewrote the Southern story, making the plot more interesting by adding pole-dancing, zombies, and a meth lab. By that time, I’d broken through the seriousness of writing all that other stuff. I sat at my computer, laughing.

Exactly at that moment, a powerful inner voice spoke to me: “IT DOESN’T MATTER THAT YOU DON’T LIKE A PARTICULAR GENRE. IF PEOPLE LIKE TO READ THAT STUFF, IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. IF THEY WANT TO BE LITTLE GIRLS (OR BOYS) THEIR ENTIRE LIVES, THAT DOESN’T MATTER, EITHER. YOUR JOB IS TO PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR OWN WRITING AND LIFE. DO NOT JUDGE OTHER PEOPLE.”

This was a personal growth moment, a message from my Inner Self. Did I ever need it. If I had posted what I’d written to go here, I would have alienated readers and writers of the major book genres.

So I wrote what follows, which has turned into a “free Kindle short.” I really can’t write anything under three hundred pages. Sorry.

SHIVA NATARAJ IN SHADOW - The Dancing Shiva represents the dance of life. If a force like this taps you on the head, it's best to listen up.

So how should I fill this space?

What I was trying to point out in the “I don’t write like a girl” thing is I don’t write like a girl. My work is gritty, sometimes violent, has strong language, and is very sexy (but not too explicit). My writing also has a very strong and pervasive spiritual thrust (which is nondenominational). It deals with rough subjects, such as: will we grow up as a species and learn to work together before we blow up the planet? (That’s the underlying theme of  The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy. )

I would give all of my novels solid R ratings. The non-fiction is G rated. That’s Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could, a kids’ book abut a premature baby horse born on our ranch. Stepping Off the Edge is a spiritual companion for today’s world.

The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy - Here's the new cover. A different kind of angel

The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy - Here's the new cover. Another face of the Angel.

Typically, female genre writers are associated––and this is a generalization––with fluffier subjects. Or flat out romance, much of which has degenerated until it’s close to porn, as far as I’m concerned. Literary fiction is a different matter; female literary authors turn out some of the most profound and beautiful work in existence.

But how about profound, beautiful, hard-hitting, truthful, difficult, transcendent, and inspiring work for men and women? Writing that’s fun and entertaining? That’s what I aim to produce.

Why is my work gritty and hard hitting? Believe me, I’d like to write gentler, easier pieces. But I can’t. (Yet!)

I’ll let my story tell itself.

WE GROW THE WAY WE’RE BENT.

RICK MORA Native American Actor & Model

In his bio, Native American model and actor Rick Mora says, “Planted in the womb of my mother, a seed from the Sun. Birthed in a field of corn called Los Angeles, but raised on a one hundred acre cattle farm. . .”

Lovely words. I contemplated them and they inspired this blog article.

 

I was born in a hospital in San Francisco and raised in a minefield.

Ours was not the kind of mine that kicked out gold and silver. It was the kind that blew your legs off if  you made a false step.

The primary rule of our minefield was: don’t acknowledge that it exists. Never talk about it.

Am I going to talk about it here? Good heavens, no. I’m still shaking from my mine-induced memories. But I will allude to the field and its effects.

BONSAI - We grow the way we're bent

WE GROW THE WAY WE’RE BENT.

Kids model themselves after the people in their lives who are powerful, effective, and successful. These winners become multi-sensory reality templates. Multi-sensory: encompassing sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. We are poured into the mold of our mentors’ being; they brand us to the bone.

I identified with my dad. He held the power in our family and without a doubt had the most fun. Lining up with this man had pluses and minuses.

On the plus side, I identified with a person who went from a penniless immigrant to owner of one of largest residential construction companies in the United States. I breathed the intoxicating energy of success and was force-fed what I needed to be/do to succeed so mightily.

On the negative side, I identified with a person who founded and owned one of largest residential construction companies in the United States. The guy was tough. You wouldn’t believe how tough. And demanding. My childhood was like being in the Marines.

ANDY ODDSTAD Water-skiing in the San Fransisco Bay in the 1960s. He was as tough & powerful as he looks.

My father was driven, an ultra perfectionist, and more capable and effective than anyone I’ve known. He was a volcano of energy, a champion wrestler, and incredible water skier. He lifted weights as big as manhole covers. Expert at reading people, he could negotiate around the most recalcitrant city council and tell who would vote with whom the minute he entered a boardroom. He rose to the top, moving from college athlete and scholar to war hero to captain of industry in a few short years. He always took the hardest course and didn’t shirk anything.

He also demanded that everyone around him reach his mark. That meant me.

ANDY ODDSTAD IN FULL BATTLE GEAR - This my dad somewhere in the South Pacific during World War II. He belonged to UDT 4, Underwater Demolition Team 4. The UDTs went into occupied waters before the Marines––and blew up mines. This is his style: pick the most dangerous thing you can do and succeed like crazy. He brought home a fistful of medals.

When I was ten, my dad said the most valuable words a father could say to a daughter: “There’s no reason that a girl can’t do everything a boy can do.” He looked at me with those brilliant blue eyes. I felt pierced, the way a whale does when the harpoon hits. “And I know how smart you are. Don’t think you can fool me with your grades.”

He knew what I was capable of and expected me to achieve it. No whining. This knocked the “unnecessary little girl” out of me in one swoop.

WE GROW THE WAY WE’RE BENT.

We lived in the subdivision beyond these gates.

Time passed, life went on. I took physics and pre-calculus in high school and prepared to go to college. The business soared, catapulting my family into a world none of us could have imagined.

When I look back at those years, I see the tender tips of oak branches reaching across the country lanes near my home. Brilliant foliage spilling out of bronze urns that soared far above my head. Hundred-year-old magnolias lining a driveway. We lived on an old estate that had been subdivided. The place was magical.

I recall red-hot speedboats and weekends spent water skiing. Magnificent horses moving around arenas in pristine fairgrounds. Roaming California’s coastal range on my beloved steed. Riding so far into the forest that the boundaries between forest and horse and I blurred, so that all we were was the spirit of the forest moving. I remember riding in a drill team and dancing in my parents’ country club. I’ll never forget the time when we entered a restaurant and the maître de genuflected to my father. Truly.

I was something then, just because of my name.

That life was seductive and I was seduced.

Here I am riding Robin Rose at the Menlo Circus Club.
This was the last time I showed a horse for twenty-three years.

One January morning in 1964, my golden world collapsed. A drunk driver hit my father head on. My dad died three agonizing days later. My access to the world of horses and horse shows, boats, and country clubs disappeared. I went from a princess to nothing in a few hours.

I have great affinity for Native Americans. They, too, had the kingdom and lost it. I know how that feels.


WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU A BOMBSHELL?

1. Get high: People perish when something so massively bad happens. They turn to drugs, alcohol, all sorts of addictions, and destructive behavior. And they die.

2. Get low: Fall into the ocean of depression and despair, self-pity, and blame. Some of the people in this group join the “I am the most abused person in the universe contest.” I know a number of people with traumatic pasts, including myself. “The most abused person” is an actual contest that you see in this group. Entrants compete for who’s had the most rotten life. The contest is great for cultivating self pity, not so hot as a life theme. When I fell into this, I would tell myself, “At least you’ve never been napalmed.”

3. Fix it: We grow the way we’re bent. I had this crazy war-hero, captain of industry, do-it-the-hardest, roughest-way father as my role model. Trying to bring my dad, the life my family lived, and our position in society back, I went on a mammoth achievement binge, working harder than anyone should. I was full-on with it for about fourteen years, and still am probably in it. I ended up with a couple of master’s degrees, part of PhD, careers in economics, and negotiation coaching. I even was principal interior designer for our furniture store! I did the personal growth workshops of the seventies very hard and was associated with a meditation group based in India for twenty-five years.

All of it failed: I didn’t bring back my dad, our family fortune, or social position. I didn’t save the world or stop business cycles through applied economics. I did not cure the emotional ills of the planet through counseling. Nor did I become enlightened.

I did become highly employable. I was Economic Analyst for Santa Clara County (San Jose, CA, the southern part of Silicon Valley). I got to coach negotiations at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, working for my favorite professor ever, Richard T. Pascale, PhD.

4. Shrink it. Get personal/psychological help if you need it. The mental health community exists to  help you. I used to think that psychotherapy should be mandatory: When a baby is born––Whaa!––it gets a ticket for lifetime psychotherapy. That’s because I’ve seen people in their fifties who’ve been in therapy a while. If you compare them to folks the same age who haven’t been shrunk, the difference is amazing. Good therapy works wonders.

Years ago, I realized that mandatory, universal therapy wouldn’t work. The problem is that only a relatively healthy segment of the population can benefit from therapy. The people who really need help don’t think they have a problem. And they don’t have the insight into their behavior and the discipline to change if they do get into therapy. Too bad. Only the toughest, most motivated people can profit from counseling or therapy.

Therapy can also be a swamp. How do you find a good therapist? A really good psychotherapist told me, “If you do not see a definite, positive change in the situation that got you into therapy within two or three months, change therapists.”

5. Rise above it. Ahah! At last something that really works. I’m talking about spiritual experience, religious experience, and communion with the source of all that is. Grab on that transcendent path and run with it.

Sandy & Rey de Corazones "King of Hearts." The Bliss of partnership with a horse

I have been graced by spiritual experiences since I was a young teenager riding my horse through the redwoods. Sometimes, I couldn’t tell the difference between my horse, the warm light and green majesty of the redwoods, and myself. I learned in graduate school that this is called a unitive experience. Many more types of religious experience exist, and I’ve been lucky enough to have more than a few of them. I guess that’s the way I’m  bent, apart from my family’s influence.

These experiences have thrust their way out of me whenever I needed them. You can read the Author’s Notes from Numemon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money and the three-book Earth’s End series. In those Notes, I tell exactly what happened when the ideas for those books came to me. Hint: mostly they come from really rotten things occurring. My soul processes pain into books.

In addition to the wondrous and magical working of spirit, I suppose that my own internal bending toward the light and search for the divine sets me up for transcendent experiences. And the twenty five years of meditation and spiritual practice I put in might have helped, along with my participation in several churches that reflected my inner reality.

Sandy Nathan and Tecolote - What was truly mine came back to me.

LIFE KNOCKED THE “LITTLE GIRL” OUT OF ME LONG AGO. I was raised in a minefield, but have found that through grace and my own hard work, a mine can yield diamonds and gems, an infinite wealth of insight, fountains of creativity. A life worth living, love and fun and family.

The jewels came to me when I dug deep enough. If my life hadn’t been as hard as it has been, I wouldn’t be able to write the way I do or feel the honed-bright joy.

My journey taught me that what is truly mine can’t be taken from me. What I was supposed to have came back, exactly in the measure that the universe had in mind at the start.

* * *

THE TITLE OF THIS ARTICLE STATES THAT BECOMING A LITERARY GROWN-UP DOESN’T MATTER. It doesn’t. My message from the Divine way up at the top said that. Everything I’ve said above applies to finding the personal you. The you you.This does not have to be reflected in your writing. (Oh, my. Human potential movement heresy.)

You can write whatever you want independent of your deepest Self. So write chick lit, just know that writing it is not going to satisfy your deepest and highest soul. And know that if your chick stuff sells, you’re going to be very happy. So will your publisher. You will have great fun spending the dough you earn. You will have a career and a position in society.

How about if you make money and  write to satisfy your soul?  And you do it, satisfying your heights and depths, your soul and maybe even your bank account.

It still doesn’t matter. You can write absolute dreck and be a bestselling author. You can write wonderful books and have only your mother and aunt June buy them. You can market 24 hours a day and sell a dozen books. Alternatively, your stuff can hook something in millions of readers and you’ll be a famous author. It doesn’t matter. Your writing success may be a matter of chance not worth fretting over.

In the long run, we all end up the same. That is something that matters. On your deathbed, will you wish that you’d won a Pulitzer prize or sold a million books or had a better KDP Free Day? Or will you wish you’d spent more time delighting in the beauty of the universe and the love of family and friends?

All the best,
Sandy Nathan

Giant Sequoias - Timeless, enduring, inspiring

This is the commercial message part of this post: My books have won twenty-four national awards, most of them in visionary fiction. Why that genre? Because without the visionary part of my life, without my contact with the source of Being, I’d be dead. I’d be a suicide, or drug overdose, or an accident. Kaput. I am alive because I went to that place, that fountain of love and beauty and acceptance and healing. That’s why I write the way I do.

What do I consider the hallmarks of visionary fiction? (1) It has a moral core. To me, a moral core means that the universe and the writing runs on rules of decency and fairness. No matter how far from these we may stray. No matter how bad things may become in my work (or in life), something exists that is righteous and will move me/my characters toward righteousness. Doesn’t mean happy endings. (2) Some characters will aadvance toward a more elevated, kind, good, educated, and individuated state. Not all of them. I’m not one that believes humanity will evolve so that we all ascend to the heavens at once. Some people will evolve and move to higher levels of human development. The rest will be headlines in tabloids.

By purest happenstance, a whole bunch of people write like me, or like themselves, rather. If you look to the right of this post, you’ll see a badge for the Visionary Fiction Alliance. I’m a founding member. If you go to their site, you’ll find all sorts of interesting posts and articles about the visionary in literature.

Sandy’s Amazon Author Page. Click here of on image.

HERE ARE LINKS TO AND DESCRIPTIONS OF SANDY’S SIX BOOKS!
They range from wild sci-fi to adorable children’s nonfiction. You’ll find something you’ll like in the list below:

  • NUMENON,  a novel about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman
  • STEPPING OFF THE EDGE, a modern day spiritual companion
  • TECOLOTE, the adorable kids’ book about a baby horse.
  • EARTH’S END––the new, three book sci-fi/fantasy/visionary series that takes you to the end of the earth, and beyond.
    The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy––An angelic girl shows up on the sidewalks of New York City in 2197. Or is she a girl? Jeremy Edgarton, teenage genius and revolutionary decodes the transmissions. They say the world will blow up tomorrow morning.
    Lady Grace––The radiation has cleared. A few survivors make it back to Piermont Manor to start a new life. What they face is a battle more deadly than any they’ve fought. Evolution can work for evil as well as good.
    Sam & Emily––Can love live in an echoing cement bomb shelter three hundred feet below the earth’s surface? Find out in Sam and Emily as headman Sam Baahuhd falls in love with a beautiful assassin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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