There are three Starfire books in the series right now, and I will be completing a fourth soon. The first title, The Eggstone Murders, is available on Amazon, and the second, Liquor Is Quicker, will be published in October 2013. I’m not sure yet when the third will be out, but it will be in a few months. It’s title is Hurricane Kingdom.
Thanks to all the bloggers who are hosting my new book on this new tour! I will be stopping by to visit at times, and hope to find questions and comments!
My newest book, the first in a series, is titled “The Eggstone Murders.” It will be followed by at least two more in the series called ”A Starfire Mystery.”
The mystery is set in Middle-America, (Iowa actually) and involves a small town where a couple of perplexing murders take place. Perplexing, maybe, but the underside of the town of Hillville and its surroundings is laid out in full view. It becomes increasingly difficult to pretend that everybody in town is a simple, almost naive character, or that nothing bad ever happens there. This is not a ‘hard-boiled’ mystery, but much closer to the kind that are often referred to as ‘Cosy.”
A hefty sheriff, a couple of inexperienced detectives – one with a creative imagination – and greed and lust among the locals play active roles in the murders as well as in their solution.
Come for a visit! Meet Guy LeFevre, a ‘retired’ embezzler, and a group of natives who are likable as well as crafty. The momentum grows throughout the book, even after the murders are solved. For myself (as an author) it was a romp with the past – I grew up in the town I call ‘Hillville” – as well as an affectionate and entertaining look at the folks of Southwest Iowa. It’s a hometown that’s easy to remember.
My latest book: The Eggstone Murders, is first in a series of mysteries called the Starfire Mystery Series.
It’s been a fun adventure to write, and I’ve had lots of great feedback from readers! It will be published soon; in May or early June, 2013. (Create Space) Herbert L Smith, publisher.
The series is set in SW Iowa – near the town where I was born a long time ago – and is still impressed upon my mind. It’s what some people call a ‘cozy’ mystery, but I prefer to call it a ‘humorous’ mystery. It’s filled with the language and foods and activities and crimes of small-town Iowa in 1952 – a year I remember well.
Join with Guy and Caleb, the Starfire detectives, as they work on their first job – set on a large farm that is still a family affair in the Loess hills along the great Missouri River in Iowa.
A mid- twentieth century community that holds memories for anyone who lived at that time, or a new experience for all the readers who come from a later era and are interested in the past, it’s all real, honest, and often funny. Enjoy the Starfire experience as it unfolds. It’s worth the read.
My new Blog Tour starts today! I’ve decided to take Cairo: The Mother Of The World on tour because of the constant news from Egypt. The book isn’t about politics, but is a kind of love-poem to the great city. Cairo is, above all, a mix of everything old, new, mundane, spectacular, serious, funny, tragic and joyful. Almost everything the whole world knows is there, as well as some things that are unique to such a place. It is the most fascinating of cities, kind or cruel at times, but always bursting with timeless energy. It is life, all of life, and I have loved it from the first day I saw the city spread out on the desert as the airplane flew low across its rooftops and landed a few miles to the east.
Cairo changes slowly. Although the revolution in 2011 seemed to be a sudden thing, it was actually the result of a decades-long frustration with a despotic government that everyone knew was stealing much of the wealth of the nation. Now the agony of change is upon the country, and Cairo, as its capitol, is embroiled deeply in the center of hope, anger, and fear. But the spirit of the people will survive, and will live to take the next step in its walk through history. The world should understand that Cairo is the product of the oldest civilization we have yet known, and exists in our world as a symbol of life from the ancient to the modern. Cairo: The Mother Of The World attempts to describe it, succinctly and yet carefully, accepting the city for all it is and all it will become. It is my hope that Cairo will soon shine again. I saw it as a city of splendor, and it is a wonderful place.
I started writing about twelve years ago. At first I did plays and musicals – fun, but not very good or fulfilling. I started when a crisis hit and stayed with it for a few years, but gradually let it go until the next difficulty came along. Then switched to Egypt as a theme – and a couple of memoirs were the first pieces I produced. Cairo: The Mother Of The World was written during a time of stress while I waited for my body to repair itself after an accident. My left arm was broken – the humerus, up near the shoulder. It was a complete fracture that needed surgery. A metal plate was screwed into the bone, but it didn’t heal and the bone disintegrated, leaving the plate and all the screws in place. Another surgery to take the screws out (they were pressing into the muscle and caused a lot of discomfort) and I was finished, except I wasn’t. There was a domino effect: one year and three difficult surgeries later – mostly abdominal, resulting, in a very strange way, from the original arm job – and I had no bone in my upper arm and a spliced colon. I was left weak and more that a little scared. What could happen next? The books happened: I escaped into Cairo first, then Crossing Borders, followed shortly by one I haven’t yet finished, Songs Of Saints And Angels. They are all retellings of memories, some from very long past, all important in my life. The most recently completed, The Great Sphinx Of Amun-Ra, was a two-year study/writing project; well worth the effort.
Now I’m working on a new novel, 18 Days, a story of the Egyptian revolution of 2011. It has a lot of promise! I have no idea what will come after this one, although I am thinking of possibilities. Life is good again, and I am kept busy with ideas that want to get onto the page.
I have two new books working now. The most recent is a novel about the 2011-12 Egyptian revolution. It’s title is (currently) “18 Days.” It’s not easy to write- the events are horrific – and the scope is wide, but it has a certain rhythm or pattern that keeps it moving. I don’t know when it will be finished. My best guess is sometime within a year from now.
Another book, “Songs of Saints And Angels,” is my own story, an autobiography or sorts, about people and places I have known. I’ve been working on it for about four years already, and it’s not close to completion.
I’ve posted excerpts from the book (Saints And Angels) on a web site, “My Devotional Thoughts,” hosted by Ruth Hill. They will be published there sometime in October, 2012.
The blog tour for ‘The Great Sphinx Of Amun-Ra’ is underway! I am busy writing responses to interview questions, meeting the blog hosts, and generally getting set up for the tour.
The tour ‘company’ (if that’s the right name) is Pump Up Your Book, and you can find any information they have available about the book or the tour on their web site. I hope lots of readers will visit the blogs on the days I am there, and we can have a good talk with each other!
I am expecting to start a blog tour for my new book, “The Great Sphinx Of Amun-Ra” soon. It should be early June, if all goes as planned, and I will be touring on several blogs for most of the month. I’ll post a schedule of the tour here as soon as I have the complete info about it. It would be great to have a lot of people getting together to talk about the book!
I’ve had a lot of readers – people who read the chapters as I write them – and they are all enthusiastic about the outcome. I hope everybody likes the book as well as the ‘readers’ have.
Also, I plan to offer a couple of days of free books through the Amazon Kindle site. This will coincide with the opening of the blog tour, or shortly after the tour starts.
The Great Sphinx Of Amun-Ra is my newest title; a novel based on the history of ancient Kmet – now known as Egypt – with the addition of the person and power of the great god, Amun-Ra, and the staff that he gave to select people for the purpose of carrying out his plans in the ancient world.
The novel is classified as ‘historical fantasty’ but has none (or very little) of the shocking or spooky elements of that genre as it is known in the world of fantasy and sci-fi. The classification was the only one that satisfied requirements for publishing, but it doesn’t precisely fit this book. The novel is of interest to readers who enjoy reading about the ancient world, those who like Egyptology, spirituality, or travel and adventures among the monuments of Egypt.
The timeline of the book extends from about 5500 B. C. to 2012 A.D., and follows the path of history as it unfolds in the mysterious east. The mystical or mysterious part revolves around the great god, but is conflicted by the wars and struggles of humanity, and shares the blame for the calamities that enveloped the ancient world between the pharaohs who ruled the land and the people who carry out their own devious schemes and desires. The Sphinx watches the scenes attentively as they unfold before his unwavering gaze.
The Great Sphinx Of Amun-Ra is available as an ebook on Amazon Kindle.
Digital books – the energetic wave of the future (as well as the present) – are a new phenomenon for me. I have never been in the forefront of technology, and am struggling to stay even mid-pack as I work my way through the morass of the cyber world. It seems a morass to me, if not to lots of others. Being a ‘certain age’ – soon to achieve 74 years – I am rather late at getting started in the eworld. But there is no excuse, I keep repeating that mantra, for not jumping in and learning how to do this. And I need to learn. Now. My future as a writer demands it.
I set up my first digital book, “The Great Sphinx of Amun-Ra,” on KIndle and pressed the button to publish with confidence. I had done it! Or so I thought. Every section of the site was complete, and I happily sent the document into cyberspace. Then the red boxes and red print appeared, and I spent the next several days reading and re-reading what I had entered, and writing and re-writing. There was always something wrong. And it was my own fault. For many long and agonizing minutes I stared at the screen, unable to make any sense of what it repeatedly told me: I had not completed the required information. Even on the fourth or fifth attempt.
I am not the best at keyboarding. I learned to “type” at age 15, a very long time ago. I still make numerous mistakes. Already, in these short lines, I have been flagged with at least eight errors in spelling (typos) and construction. It’s baffling. Give me paper and a good, firm pencil and I’ll write rings around this thing. But of course, it wouldn’t be preserved in the same way, more or less permanently, and if I wanted to edit, which I would, erasing until the paper wore too thin would be the problem. And nobody wants a handwritten manuscript anymore; not even a typed one on paper. Far too many editors and publishers no longer accept anything by mail. It must be sent to them through the stratosphere, appearing on their capricious bluish screens instantaneously. I have enough rudimentary knowledge to understand this in theory, but my brain cannot totally accept it in actuality. It seems to me that a hiccup in the atmosphere – a good electrical storm, for example – could disrupt everything and send my belabored pages off to some unknown ‘virtual’ death.
Electronically, I am able (so I have been told) to go back and edit as I need. That’s not always the case, however. I have to go back and attempt to edit, a process that often produces new and better errors for me to puzzle over as I grit my teeth and try to get it right. And the machine sends me messages, sometimes incorrectly, because it really has no idea what I want to say and sets me up to make even more mistakes – which pass without a hitch – if I’m not careful. It’s the program. Blame the program. Of course it is , and I’m not programmed the same way. I don’t think like a machine. That is a serious problem. (I just found a definition of the word ‘cyber’ on my spell-check and it starts with the words: fake, repetition, and pretend, before it gets to ‘virtual.’) So be it. Who am I to argue with the spell-check? Or with anything else in the eworld?
I am currently reading a wonderful book that was published in 2005, and the sentence structure is often the kind that computers argue about. Two words. No subject. Or no verb. (I just got the dreaded green squiggly line under ‘two words.’) These kinds of ‘sentences’ occur all through the book and add lots of character and interest. But the computer wants them out. They are human a manipulation of the rules and they have to go. So I go on, leaving them in place, and the computer will forever question my authority to do that. The word ‘authority’ is, obviously, a relative of the word ‘author’ so why the fussy little lines? Let me make all the stupid mistakes I will, computer! I am the final authority for what I say, even if it’s not translatable by any other human – and certainly not by a machine.