Coming soon… “Mended Wings”

It has been almost a year in the writing process, but my second novel, “Mended Wings”, is nearing completion.  My amazing editor, Stephanie Ernst, has completed her initial edit.  Peggy Nehmen, from N-K Creative, has recently completed the cover design.  The novel should be available on Amazon by the end of 2016.  The story centers on one of the minor characters in “Painted Wings”.  Readers will enjoy meeting some new characters as well.  Here is a brief snapshot.

 

mended wings cover final low res

Flicker is a survivor. That’s what they call someone who is nearly killed by a drunk driver and lives to tell the tale. The doctors said that she would not live. She lived. Then they said that she would never walk or talk again. Flicker did those things and more. But living as the survivor of a traumatic brain injury sucks big time: the memory lapses, the feeling that your brain operates in slow motion, the sudden outbursts of anger, and the habit of getting into sketchy situations with the wrong type of guys. But the worst part is being able to remember what life was like before the accident, and what the future held in store. For Flicker, those dreams are gone. They did not include living in a group home and working as a housekeeper.

Late one evening, during a date-gone-wrong, Flicker is rescued by Jesse, a middle-aged cook from a local diner. A friendship develops and Flicker soon discovers that there is more to this short-order cook than meets the eye. Jesse helps her begin to think about what she wants out of life. Flicker sets some ambitious goals, including getting her diploma and attending the university.

As Flicker is beginning to see the beginning results of her hard work, a former high school classmate asks her out. He turns out to be the worst kind of influence and takes advantage of her desire for romance and companionship. He leads Flicker down a dark path that culminates in exploitation and a blackmail scheme. Which of these two men will have the greatest influence on Flicker’s life?

Mended Wings is a story about triumphing over adversity. It’s a story about making choices and the dignity of taking risks. It’s a story about the value of good friends, and about celebrating our differences.

Join Flicker as she experiences the ups and downs that are part of her journey toward a more independent life. You will laugh, cry, cringe, and cheer as you share her adventures. Along the way, you will meet some endearing friends. Their lives are enriched by supporting Flicker as she spreads her wings and takes flight. Yours will be too!

 

 

 

 

Thanks to new readers!

The recent free download promotion for Painted Wings was a success!  Over two days there were 150 downloads of the novel.  As a new author, my most important goal is to find ways to help readers discover my books.  Thanks to everyone that has contributed to helping this happen.

If you have enjoyed reading either book, please take a minute and give the book a rating on Amazon or Goodreads and write a sentence or two about your experience.  My hope is to get to ten reviews for each book!

Happy holidays to you and yours!

 

Download “Painted Wings” for free!

The response to the two day, free download offer on amazon.com in late Oct. was great, with almost 100 people downloading copies of Painted Wings. There were even downloads from Australia and Great Britain. I am going to repeat the free download offer on December 2nd and 3rd. If you have not obtained your copy of Painted Wings, now is your chance. Please feel free to share this info with friends.

If you have read the novel and you enjoyed it, please give it a rating on amazon.com and write a one or two sentence review. My goal is to get into double digits with at least 10 reviews!

Happy reading!

There’s something about a real book in an actual bookstore…

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Left Bank Books, St. Louis

On Saturday the 21st, Rachel and I stopped by and found a number of treasures and a few holiday gifts at Left Bank Books. A portion of our purchase price was donated to an elementary school located in the city. That’s the kind of thing that local shops like to do.

While we were there, Rachel and I walked downstairs and found the Travel Section. For the first time we saw There and Back Again: A Decade of Travel Tales on a bookstore shelf. I happened to have a camera in my pocket. Who would’ve thought! I’m sure other shoppers thought we were a bit odd, snapping pictures of the bookshelves.

There is something special about a physical book in a cool bookstore.  Our Kindle has over 150 books downloaded, but our library has many more.

Please support local bookstores like Left Bank Books in your community!

There and Back Again available at Left Bank Books!

I received a message today that Left Bank Books, the most awesome indie bookstore in St. Louis, has accepted There and Back Again:  A Decade of Travel Tales to be sold at their store and on their website (www.left-bank.com).  This will be for the paperback version of the book. Supporting a local independent bookseller feels great and I hope that many of you in and around St. Louis will visit the Central West End and check out this great bookstore.

The address is:  Left Bank Books,  399 N. Euclid Ave.,  St. Louis, MO 63110

Link to my sales page:  http://www.left-bank.com/book/9780996307116

Thanks to the folks at Left Bank Books!

So why did you decide to write about…

In the last few days I have gotten some interesting questions about Painted Wings, through Facebook and Goodreads. I have heard similar comments and questions from family and friends, comfortable enough to ask. The questions usually sound something like, “Tim, where did the idea for the book come from and why did you decide to write about lesbians?” There are lots of possible responses. Let me try out a few of them.

Around two years ago, when I decided that I wanted to devote some serious energy to writing, I took a class at the community college called, “So you want to be a writer”. The instructor was a young man who had recently completed his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at a Missouri university. In other words, he was at least 22 years old. I remember two of his foundation messages. First, you will never make any money as a writer, so don’t even try. And second, do not under any circumstances, write a novel about sex, from the point of view of a middle-aged man. After the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, every middle-aged guy was writing an erotic novel with a virile, middle-aged protagonist. I decided that if my first novel was going to have sex scenes, they would have to be different from my personal experiences. I’m sure that my family and friends appreciate that, too!

Those of you who read my book of short stories, There and Back Again:  A Decade of Travel Tales, are familiar with the actual creative spark for Annie’s story. Rachel and I were staying at a country inn in New Hampshire, where I read an entry in a guest journal in our room. A woman who had stayed in the room several weeks earlier wrote about the beginning of her summer of adventure. She had gone through a painful divorce and was starting over. Rachel and I talked about her that night over dinner. We had a million questions about her divorce and her summer road trip. I asked Rachel whether she thought that the woman might have met a handsome stranger at the inn, who looked like George Clooney or Richard Gere. Rachel was watching our attractive, tattooed bartender, and without skipping a beat said, “No, I think she meets a woman.” The seed was planted.

I spent many hours communicating with Stephanie, my editor, about plot, characters, grammar, and a million other things. During one conversation toward the end of the writing and editing process, I posed the question whether she thought that a guy could be taken seriously, writing a story about lesbian characters. Stephanie thought for a minute and replied that the story was really Annie’s story, and Annie was not a lesbian. Annie was heterosexual and during the course of her summer was experiencing some new feelings and attractions. I thought that was an insightful answer. I had heard a program on National Public Radio around that time that talked about the concept of “sexual fluidity”. The idea was that there is a range of feelings that people experience that may change over time, related to sexual attractions to either sex. These were common feelings, especially for women. The discussion on NPR was consistent with Annie’s journey.

So far Painted Wings has received a handful of reviews on amazon.com and three reviews from a literary website called Readers’ Favorite. None of the reviewers have mentioned anything about sexual orientation or lesbian erotica. They describe the novel as being about dealing with loss, starting over, exploring diversity and challenges relating to our prejudices. They also talk about the positive way that the story reminds us of the wonderful things that are there for us all, if we open ourselves to new experiences. I told Rachel, “They get it!”.

Last year I created a publishing company, Cedar Lake Publishing. Self-published authors are encouraged to do that. The tag-line that is printed under the company name says, “Celebrating diversity, one book at a time”. That is what Painted Wings is intended to be, a celebration of diversity. I haven’t decided on the story for my next book yet, but I bet it will explore another aspect of the beauty that can be found in our differences! I’ll keep you posted.