Finally!!

The Mind Games of Doctor Sova

Get ready for a crazy ride as Dr. Rene Sova, the famous character from the bestselling book Treasure of the Mayan King, is back in action! With The Mind Games of Dr. Sova, we get a deeper look into his life and how he became the enigmatic and insufferable genius of a man that made him popular with many readers.

As the title suggests, Dr. Sova and a few of his university classmates are thrust into an incredible game as they attempt to decipher strange clues left by a mysterious man in a dorm room. The game is a tour-de-force race among the players to see who would decipher the ongoing symbols by using their wits.

This book is divided into three stories that showcase three specific games played in different stages of the player’s lives as they age.

The gauntlet has been thrown down. I ask you, dear reader, are you smart enough to play?

My new book The Mind Games of Dr. Sova is on sale for 2.99 at Amazon.

Get it, read it, enjoy it!

 

Is it a prequel or a sequel?

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Here are some answers to some questions that I have been asked about my new book; The Mind Games of Dr. Sova:

Q- The Golden Scepter (TGS) is the sequel to Treasure of the Mayan King (TMK) so is The Mind Games of Dr. Sova a prequel or sequel to the above mentioned books?

A- The simple answer is: Neither. TMK and TGS are novels about my main protagonist, Chauncy Rollock. Dr. Rene Sova was a secondary character initially introduced in TMK. TGS is the real sequel to TMK.

Q- Then why is it sandwiched in between TMK and TGS?

A- The Mind Games of Dr. Sova was designed to explain and expand the character Dr. Rene Sova. He became a favorite character among my readers in TMK and they wanted more of him. Even though Chauncy Rollock does appear in The Mind Games of Dr. Sova, this is not technically a Rollock series. From a chronological sense, the events in The Mind Games of Dr. Sova take place before TGS, the reader will have a greater appreciation of TGS after reading The Mind Games of Dr. Sova.

Q- When will this book come out?

A- Producing a book is a long, tedious process (I have explained this process in older blogs) it takes many months by people who already have day jobs (including myself) to publish one of my books. The release date was January 2016 but has been pushed to May-June 2016.

But there is definitely forward motion!! Future blogs will explain a little more about the book!

The editing is done!

 

The editing for my next book The Mind Games of Dr. Sova is done! Unlike my blogs, which may contain grammatical errors (like this one), my books need to be carefully edited so, you, the reader can concentrate on the most important thing: reading a good story!

I understand it’s not a perfectly edited novel. Mistakes will invariably be made or overlooked. The mind is amazing. The human eye may see a typo or a misplaced word and ‘correct it’ unconsciously and therefore the error gets passed up. It is what it is.

But it’s better to try than not to try.

I’ve read a lot of self-published novels (and a few traditionally published ones) that contain gross grammatical mistakes that should have never seen the light of day. I, on the other hand, try my best to present a product worthy of reading. I do a lot of research to make sure the story is historically or scientifically as accurate as possible. Then my co-author gets his hands on the manuscript and rewrites certain passages to make them more enjoyable.

Then it gets sent to the editor.

At this point we are now working on the book cover art and the inside illustrations. I’m very excited about The Mind Games of Dr. Sova and I hope you too will enjoy my new novel in April or May.

She broke all the rules!

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Unless you have been living under a rock lately, you must know that famous author, Lee Harper, passed away on February 19, 2016. She was the author of To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.

Lee Harper makes me mad.

She became successful author by breaking all the conventional rules. I have spent countless years and hours studying and reading many books and blogs on how to make it as an author, yet she singlehandedly eschewed all the rules and made it big!

How could that be?

First of all, I should educate you in understanding what those rules are. Below is a small list of ironclad regulations and guidelines that the ‘experts’ have compiled to guide us wannabe authors to become winners in the book writing world.

  1. Be a prolific writer. Write two or more books a year.
    • Lee Harper only wrote two books, 55 years apart from each other.
  2. Your first book will barely be noticed by anyone. Maybe by your fifth book you will develop a following.
    • Lee became a sensation with her first book. She won the Pulitzer Prize for literature.
  3. Don’t expect anyone to make a movie from your first book.
    • To Kill a Mockingbird became an academy award winning movie!
  4. Go out and do a book tour and heavily promote yourself.
    • Lee was reclusive and was not known for public appearances.

Well you get the point, don’t you? Lee’s first book also became a classic of modern American literature. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and many other honorary degrees for her contribution to literature.

All of this from only ONE book! Are you kidding me?

Do I sound jealous? Of course I do. All authors want to achieve some type of recognition for our literary work, me being no exception to the rule. But it really chaps my hide when somebody breaks all the rules and makes it big. Oh well, kudos to you Lee Harper and rest in peace.

Almost Here!

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The Mind Games of Dr. Sova is almost here! My co-author Dyego Alehandro has finished his part of the writing. Now it goes to the dreaded editor. But that’s okay. That simply means the manuscript is on its final journey before publication. I will keep you posted when the pre-publication sale starts!

It’s getting closer!

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My new novel, The Mind Games of Dr. Sova is getting closer to publication. This photo is a very rough draft of the cover art.

The collage of swirling photos are the clues to the novel, if you look closer you may recognize some of the items. In future blogs I will expound on each one (without giving the meaning of the game away, of course).

So stay tuned for more information. My co-author is finalizing some details on the manuscript. The pre-order sale should be ready sometime this February.

Who is Dr. Rene Sova?

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My new novel, The Mind Games of Dr. Sova, is coming out soon. Dr. Rene Sova was first introduced as a side character in Treasure of the Mayan King (TMK) in 2013. In TMK Dr. Sova is a master linguist, an overall genius and an insufferable coot. In the novel he teaches the protagonist, Chauncy Rollock, how to expand the powers of his mind to learn the Mayan glyphs. Many of my readers have commented that they really like Dr. Sova a lot and wanted more of him. Unfortunately he didn’t make it to the following novel, The Golden Scepter, for reasons I don’t want to explain here because it will spoil the ending of TMK. But I can say he’s back in The Mind Games of Dr. Sova.

Here is a brief overview: As a young student attending the University of France, an unusual incident takes place where, unbeknownst to Rene, a strange man leaves a paper in his dormitory. Unable to decipher the things on the paper and suspecting a prank by a fellow student, Rene angrily walks into the cafeteria and demands the culprit to reveal him or herself. Other students are intrigued by the puzzling clues written on the paper and eventually they get sucked into playing the game.

The novel contains three different stories or ‘games’. Each one occurs in different times of Dr. Sova’s life, spanning about 40 years.

The first story is named The Mystery Man.

The second is The Mystery Lady.

The third, The Middle of the Earth

The final story is played while Chauncy Rollock is working with Dr. Sova in the jungles of Yucatan, thus bringing Dr. Sova back to where he was first introduced in TMK. The character of Dr. Sova is in the arc line in all my Chauncy Rollock series. He is either present or mentioned in the novels. The goal of my new book is for my readers to get a full background and understanding of this enigmatic character.

I am done with the writing. I have turned the manuscript over to my co-author. He is presently feverishly polishing it up to make it a marketable product. We expect to see it released in January/February 2016.

2015 in Review

Treasure of the Mayan KingTreasure of the Mayan King (TMK)

Apparently people really liked my debut novel since it’s still my publisher’s bestselling book (and has been since 2013). The linguist, Dr. Rene Sova, discovers a secret Mayan code on a temple glyph. My protagonist, Chauncy Rollock, gets caught up in some serious trouble after he is abducted by drug lords who want him to decipher this enigmatic Mayan code that might lead to hidden money.

 

 

The Golden ScepterThe Golden Scepter (TGS)

TGS is doing well. It’s a sequel to TMK. My protagonist, Chauncy Rollock, again finds himself in some serious trouble after he discovers a fragment of a golden scepter buried in the desert sands of Iraq. He has to go incognito for a while to escape a religious cult that is after the scepter. Apparently the scepter contains a strange power that can change the world! TGS is very character-driven with an exciting plot that will keep the reader intrigued. I call it my EPIC novel.

We garnered a wonderful blurb from the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self Published Book Contest: In The Golden Scepter we are presented with a sprawling adventure story with a touch of historical intrigue that spins the reader deeper and deeper into fully realized worlds that seem richly imagined and as real as our own world”.

That’s a cool blurb! I hope you like the story, too.

 

2016 promises to be a prolific, great year. I have 2 books slated for release:

The Mind Games of Dr. Sova In a nutshell this novel is a scavenger hunt on STEROIDS. Dr. Rene Sova and a motley crew of friends are involved in a club that plays a mysterious game that involves searching for clues around the world. More information concerning this book will appear in future blogs.

The Secret of La Danta (LD) The main protagonist in TMK, Chauncy Rollock, has a son named Troy. In LD Troy is grown up and he has his own adventures. Troy and his associates are hired guns who search for stolen archaeological artifacts. Two scientists hire Troy and his friends to go to La Danta, the biggest pyramid in the world located in Guatemala, to find an unusual contraption. More information about this book will be available in 2016.

The Ten Commandments of Book Selling

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If you are an author, here are some tips for selling books on Amazon. There is no silver bullet for success. I cannot guarantee you will sell books if you follow my Ten Commandments. However, failure is almost surely guaranteed if you don’t have a successful plan. Keep in mind that it’s a tough world out there. It’s very difficult to sell books.

These commandments are written in order of importance and production sequence:

1-     Write a good book

The foundation of your success is based on writing a good book. Without a good foundation, no structure, no matter how well built, will last.  When I say write a good book, I mean it! It must be a compelling story that “hooks” the reader. Make the reader want more of your art! You could spend a lot of money on marketing, but when potential customers read the first few free pages on Amazon, they will be turned off if you can’t compel them to want more (or if the writing style isn’t good). They will simply go off to peruse the 2.5 million other e-books Amazon offers.

2-     What is your competition doing?

I do a lot of research on my competitor’s material. I read their books. I want to know why they are selling books! There is a difference between plagiarizing and imitating. If you don’t know the difference you may end up in court. Do your research and be careful.

Find out what is popular and write something similar or even better.

3-     Story Engineering

All buildings, no matter how strange and bizarre they seem, have to follow certain architectural engineering rules. It’s the same with stories. Follow the true and proven structure. It’s rare when an author becomes a success because he or she deviates from the established rules of story engineering. There are only seven basic stories in the world, but a million ways to tell them.

4-     Peer Review

All authors (including myself) suffer from delusions of grandeur. We think our manuscript is the next great American novel (or some other nonsense). So how can you tell your novel is awesome? Is it because your spouse, your best friend or the editor who charges you to edit your manuscript told you? Nope! Your mother, partner, husband or wife won’t hurt your feelings, and the editor needs money. If his/her payment was based on a percentage of your book sales, then that would be a different story. But they get paid up front and walk away.

Get unbiased people to read your novel and tell them to please hurt your feelings. I’ve had my feelings hurt! But I went back and rewrote my manuscripts. I had to get out of my own way and see the manuscript through their eyes. The results were great!

5-     Editing

Most books have typos, including the ones published by the big name publishing companies. One or two might be acceptable, (this blog probably has editing issues) but too many typos or bad grammar will be the death of your career. Pay for an editor or get it done in house or outhouse, it doesn’t matter, just get it done!

6-     Work the Amazon Rankings

Amazon rankings tell the potential customer how well your book is selling. Commandment  Seven will explain how to work the rankings.

7-     Free is a four-letter word

We offer all of our books for free on Amazon once or twice a year (I ain’t telling when). There were a total of 1,300 of our books that people got for free in 2015. All of our books reached the TOP 100 on Amazon. That’s where the eyeballs are! Amazon also reports to us that an average of 3K pages of our books are being read daily. Some of those readers become cheerleaders and tell others about our books because sales spike afterward.

8-     Write more quality books

You can’t survive on just one book. Start writing more quality books. ‘Nuff said.

9-     Social media

Get into social media. Research all the hashtag links, Facebook, newsletters etc., etc.

10- Blurbs

Enter well-known book contests. I got blurbs from The Clive Cussler Society and Writer’s   Digest book contests. The results? Priceless!!

Did you notice half of the above “Ten Commandments” involve making a good book? There is no shortcut for selling books. Now start writing!!

Book Review week

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Title: Piranha

Author: Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison

Price: Library

Star review:  4.5 (out of 5)

Piranha is my kind of adventure story. Before I get started I do want to mention that even though I do read Clive Cussler novels, I don’t always like everything he puts out. Once in a while he (or his co-authors) will do a great job. This is one of them.

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Here’s the editor’s synopsis:

‘In 1902, the volcano Mt. Pelée erupts on the island of Martinique, wiping out an entire city of thirty thousand—and sinking a ship carrying a German scientist on the verge of an astonishing breakthrough. More than a century later, Juan Cabrillo will have to deal with that scientist’s legacy.

During a covert operation, Cabrillo and the crew meticulously fake the sinking of the Oregon—but when an unknown adversary tracks them down despite their planning and attempts to assassinate them, Cabrillo and his team struggle to fight back against an enemy who seems to be able to anticipate their every move. They discover that a traitorous American weapons designer has completed the German scientist’s work, and now wields extraordinary power, sending the Oregon on a race against time to stop an attack that could lead to one man ruling over the largest empire the world has ever known.’

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So there you have it. I liked the science behind the story. Basically the secret weapon [Spoilers!] is some type of strange telescope that has the ability to see whatever the user wants to see. Of course there were a lot of cliché scenes and whatnot, but in the end the book satisfied the adventure reader in me.

I am an author of adventure novels and I am always trying to improve on my craft. Reading what the competition offers and seeing what is selling out there helps me to figure out in what direction I should steer my author ship.