crosshatched-heartI’m still feeling smooshy-hearted, mostly because of the things I mentioned in yesterday’s post. So I want to do something nice for you (at least, I hope it’s nice). For the next 24 hours, I’m giving away free e-books (woohoo)!

Simply head over to Smashwords and follow these instructions:

Click here to download “The Watch.” Enter coupon code QK74P.

Click here to download “Peculiar Rhymes and Intimate Observations.” Enter coupon code SH54F.

I suggest you read “The Watch” first, because it’s oh-so-sad. You can cheer yourself up with “Peculiar Rhymes,” because it’s very silly.

Thanks for the fantastic support you’ve given me while I muddle my way through what is (currently) for me, the complicated world of self-publishing. I think you’re awfully swell.


Watch Out

beadies watch picture

Arrrgh! I keep writing and rewriting this, because someone posted something fabulous about one of my stories, and I get totally discombobulated and emotional for a while when things like that happen. It’s one of my great failings as a human being.  I’ve always been seriously awful at knowing how to handle large doses of kindness.

Example: A very sweet woman recently e-mailed me to say that she keeps a copy of “Peculiar Rhymes and Intimate Observations” next to her bed, because reading it makes her smile. She also said that, all day long, she’d been singing one of the awful, silly songs that were in it. Can you imagine how that feels? Answer: Amazing.

When I published  “Peculiar Rhymes,” people were so incredibly kind, so generous with their time. They sent out tweets and Facebook posts galore. They wrote about it, reviewed it, helped promote it and had absolutely nothing to gain in return. It damned near did me in. When this kind of goodness is directed toward me, I become all melty and confused. I blubber, though I hate the word “blubber.” My heart starts doing the Harlem Shake and I find myself at a loss as to how to handle it. I think you get the messy picture.

Publishing the “The Watch” was terrifying. Not that I didn’t think the story was decent, but because the subject matter is so difficult and sad. I was a wreck the day I rolled it out. I wasn’t sweating bullets–these were more like cannonballs.  That night, I received an e-mail from a dear blog buddy who told me that he liked it so much that he’d bought two copies as gifts for friends. I was so overwhelmed that all I could do was reply with something eloquent like, “Thank you. I can’t stop crying. I have to go now.” Which, you know, makes a great impression.

This doesn’t even dot the “i” at the tip of the iceberg. I could write pages devoted to the goodness of Internet folk. But I’m trying to keep this a little on track, because when it comes to this subject, I can get easily derailed. Actually, I already have.

It’s just that I’m extremely thankful for so many things (Seriously, I have an 885 word essay sitting here about Amadeus buying me an avocado). It’s a multi-layered, complex kind of gratitude, and for such a wordy gal, I often have difficulty expressing it. It mooshes my mind.

So, with this huge, poorly-written preamble, I’ll get back to the point, which was that aforementioned post. When I published “The Watch,” I put out a call for reviews, and boy, did I get a doozy from The Bead Den. I sent this blogstress a free copy, but I’ll be damned if she didn’t buy it anyway. After she read it, she sent me a wonderfully detailed critique that would rival that of a literary critic, and of course I cried like six babies when I read it. If that weren’t enough, she wrote about it on her blog. And oh, what she wrote. Here’s Part One.  Part Two is here. She even composed the photo above to accompany one of her posts, and I’ll bet you four dollars she made that watch band too. Oh my gosh, here I go again. Waaahhh.

One of my greatest joys is finding out that something I’ve written has impacted someone else–that it’s made them laugh or cry or just think about things in a new way. But there’s a special joy in knowing that someone has deeply related to a story, and Beadie’s done just that. I think her posts tell more about her and her strength of character than they do about “The Watch.” What an incredible person she is. I’ll never be able to thank her enough.


The Watch

What follows is the part of self-publishing I hate–promoting my latest work. For a while, I’ll post some little blurbs on Facebook, warble out a few tweets and post semi-apologetic paragraphs on this blog. Then, I’ll get frustrated and grumpy and abandon the whole thing because I’m so inept. I tried putting an excerpt on Goodreads yesterday, but finally gave up. I’m sorry if you heard me cussing. Anyway, I try to come up with non-pushy ways to let the world know when I’ve published something new. Ultimately, I hope to earn enough money to buy hair dye, to cover the gray hair I get when I try to format my work. It’s still hit or miss, but social media really turns me into a curmudgeon. Just ask Amadeus. Anyway, here goes:

My newest e-story is called, “The Watch.” It’s about a little girl named Angel Walker, an eleven-year-old whose parents have recently divorced. Her world’s quickly changing and she’s learning to maneuver. Her mother claims she’s trying to make a better life for them, and her way of going about it involves a search for a rich new husband. Her father’s a pill-popping playboy with a hair-trigger temper, who makes no bones about the fact that he has little interest in parenthood. Angel worships him, and prays that he’ll change. Lately, he’s given her reason to believe that he has.

A tale of family dysfunction, childhood resilience and trust, “The Watch” will transport you to another place and time, and Angel Walker will steal your heart. Don’t I sound confident? I really like this one, although I should warn you that it’s rather sad.

As part of my shameless self-promotion, I’m shamelessly copying and pasting some of the comments and reviews I’ve received so far.

“…this story is a highly polished gem…”

“What an amazing story! LOVED it!!!”

“I wept three times reading that story. It is a masterpiece.”

“…exquisitely written, each character completely believable and throbbing with life.”

“…poignant, meaty, truthful…”

Not one of those lovely words was written by a family member, nor did money change hands.

“The Watch” is available for the low, low price of $1.99 on Smashwords and at Amazon. My preferred site is Smashwords (because they take a smaller percentage of sales). I’ve published it under MB McQueen, in order to make my life more confusing. Actually, MB McQueen just seemed to fit this one better than Moonbeam. It’s a serious story, and initials are serious things. 

Thanks to all who’ve already sent me such wonderful, in-depth feedback, and to those who helped me purchase rights for the song used in the story. As always, I feel that you’re all a part of this process. If you feel the spirit, please spread the word. Post your reviews at Goodreads, Kindle and Smashwords. For the next week, I’ll gladly give a free copy in exchange for a review and a link on your blog (shoot me an email if you’re up for the task). Word of mouth is about all I’ve got to promote my work. Fortunately, I’ve got a very big mouth.