CREAM OF WHEAT AND OLD SPICE

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Two days of drizzle. Not bad. I would prefer a good pouring, but I have to take what is given. At any rate, it’s a glorious grey, Mystere Gris day. The perfect kind of day for writing.

 

I am an American living in a third world country. An ex-pat they call it and I am not an ex-anything. Well, an ex-drinker. Anyway, living here and trying to exist like an American is complicated. I call it Amerikano living with a twist. There are a lot of limitations and many, many things that are just not available here.

 

Books are one thing that is rare to come across. (BTW I do accept old paperback book donations–mysteries and adventure. No romance. Literary and classics always welcome.) Not many people here actually read, and English isn’t their cup of joe. They have the most annoying expression when English is presented. They grab their face and scream “OH! English! I am getting a nose bleed!” They live under the impression that speaking English causes the nose to begin bleeding. I have been speaking English for more than 40 years and never once got a nose bleed. The peculiar thing is all of the important newspapers are in English. The road signs, advertisements, signs at the mall, t.v. shows, even a lot of radio stations. English English English. I go to buy medicine at the pharmacy and the tech makes a huge production about how she cannot understand English. But is very good at her job. All the medications, instructions and dosages and all the textbooks are in–yep you guessed it–ENGLISH.

 

So yesterday I got a good surprise. Another American I know just returned here from a few months stateside. He popped into my work for just a moment and gave me some goodies that he knew I was missing. A box of Cream of Wheat and a bottle of Old Spice aftershave. I couldn’t thank him enough.

 

There exists a certain camaraderie among the foreigners living here. No matter what you hear about The Philippines, I am here to tell you they are an extremely prejudiced and racist group of people. Not a day goes by that I am not ridiculed. My friend, too. Unless–unless you have a lot of money. Then they leave you alone. Then and only then are they nice to you and warm and friendly. As soon as they find out you aren’t ‘rich’ by their standards–well, they treat their dogs better. And they don’t treat their dogs very well.

 

Honestly though they think they are doing well. It’s all ego driven. they want the American lifestyle and line up to leave The Philippines, yet refuse to think like an American. You cannot live like an American and think like an American unless you adopt the American ideals. That’s what leads us Americans living here to kind of stick together. That and a good dose of English now and again.

 

We are a bunch of guys that wouldn’t normally mix back in the States. I mean take for instance my buddy, Doug. He is 70 years old, retired sailor. An airplane mechanic most of his life both private and for the US Navy. He is a big guy with a barrel of a belly and slicked back dirty grey hair that used to be blonde. And even at is age he has the kindest blue eyes I have ever seen on a guy. Now, taking all that into account and knowing me. We really couldn’t be more different in our likes and hobbies and even political and religious stances–BUT we have two common things that bind us–ENGLISH and the USA.

 

I am not talking USA the land, or the states or even the government. I am talking USA the ideology and the attitude of the American. “Get ‘er dun!’ as Larry the cable guy used to holler.

The main attitude here is “Do it for me or not at all. It’s too hard.” I can’t stand it.

 

Cream of Wheat. You know, I grew up on the stuff and I really got tired of it after awhile. Then after about a year here, I started looking for it. Not that I have the money to buy imported goods (hershey bars are imported here–very expensive. I accept donations on chocolate as well!) No Cream of Wheat. No grits. In fact, cereal is very limited here.Here they take rice from the night before–fry it up– or boil it with chocolate powder –and call THAT breakfast. No sir–I need my cereal. So at long last when Douglas, my American friend, told me he was going home for the holidays, I jumped on him right away. Cream of Wheat and Old Spice. There is no better after shave, in my humble opinion, than Old Spice. He returned two days ago and I am pleased as punch about it.

 

So I am going to sit here and wait for him to come by and chat. The skies are still gloomy. Makes me think of Akron. A bowl of cream of wheat and gloomy skies and I am a happy guy.

 Thank you and GoodNight

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MY FIRST ARC REVIEW


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A while ago I sent out some ARC of my upcoming novel. Thirteen Years of Dust. The deal is they get a free copy (complete with typos) and I get a review. It’s a fair deal and I ask for an HONEST review. I can’t very well grow as a writer with out honest reviews. 
I just got one from one of my reviewers. 
So because I am an egoist in some respects, and I want to sell my book, I decided to post that review here for all and sundry to read. 
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I received an advance review copy of this book. This ‘whodunit’ introduces a new protagonist in the world of noir mystery, the down-and-out PI Duke Bradley, as he goes about solving a cold-case murder in hopes of collecting some reward money. While he proceeds from a cynical starting point, Duke develops a sense of righteous outrage along the way to a satisfying conclusion. His character, and the supporting characters as well, were developed well enough to make them interesting enough for me to want to keep reading, and I enjoyed learning what makes Duke tick. This was fortunate, because although the writing itself is stellar, especially for a first effort, my ARC could have benefitted from some more copy editing – and in fact, I vacillated between 4 and 5 stars for this review because of that. But I understand that more editing has been done since my ARC, and this is a clever tale that’s told well, so I think it would be unfair to ding it just because of typos. The story may sound typical for its genre, but there are some interesting twists and character development that I think make it stand out. All in all, I think Duke’s debut foray is a fine addition to the noir canon.
– Garrett Dennis, author of Port Starbird: A Storm Ketchum Adventure (Storm Ketchum Adventures Book 1)
Garrett Dennis is an acomplished author with a great reputation. His opinion you can trust. I sure as hell do. The point is he isn’t going to give anyone a bum steer toward a terrible book. That could kill his own writing career. So there you have it all wrapped up in a nice bundle. My book is pretty good–love to hear your feed back.
Thank you and Goodnight

5 FREE WAYS TO GENERATE EBOOK SALES!

promodukeThat’s exactly what I am looking for. Free ways to generate ebook sales. 5 would be awesome–I would settle for two. Sadly I have no cash. I live in a far off place in South East Asia and although I am from the USA it’s impossible to do anything from where I am sitting.  I have been all over social media and registered for all the free advertising I could click a mouse at. I learned to use gimp and made up some pretty cool promo posters. For now, I am just drumming my fingers waiting for my reviewers to finish and write their reviews so I can (hopefully) apply for more free spots. I have no chance at the paid ads. I don’t have a credit card.

 

My limitations are endless. Just ONE paid ad on a tweeting site is more than a full week’s salary for me. The exchange rates kill me (not that I have any money to exchange LOL) I have two kids to feed. **Sigh** what is to become of the MYSTERE  GRIS genre.

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But fear not! I will never give up on Duke Bradley or the Mystere Gris genre I have invented. (To learn more about Mystere Gris, scroll back to an earlier blog post Mystere Gris and Noir) I figure somewhere, sometime down the road I will come across the right info or the book will fall into the right hands. Perhaps the real money is in marketing other people’s books. All you have to do is show it. Don’t even have to guarantee sales for the poor sap that pays you. Just build an email list then **poof** your paypal is overflowing! But that takes a lot of time. And I am a writer not a salesman. And I am not in this for the money.

 

Making sales is nice. And I am all for it and if someone wants to offer a nice book deal, well I am not one to sneer at such a proposal. But what really salts my tomato about making sales is the fact that someone out there, whom I don’t know, is reading my work. Here I have spent the better part of the last year putting this together,( and at my age the days aren’t to be wasted) and someone saw the cover–read the description (which I am horrible at writing) and chose to shell out the dough for my creation. That is more of what I am after. Having people appreciate my art and walk away a little different.

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Buy Now!

This book and the upcoming series are a part of me. A part of my everyday thoughts. A part of my dreams. Even if I don’t make the sales I can’t let it go. I will always write until I take my last breath. That you can take to the bank.

 

The first rule of writing is–you don’t talk about writing. No, I am just kidding. For me the first part is to NOT think about publishing it. That can lead to limitations. THIRTEEN YEARS of DUST started as an idea for a short story. I was thinking 6-7k words. Then it grew to 12k. So I thought , well, I’ll make it a novella. Now 70k words later I am sitting here with a complete novel and a series in mind with no where to put it! Had I stuck with the limitation of selling it as a short story, then I am not sure where I would be right now. Maybe sitting here with “writer’s block” (which I have yet to experience–In fact I get the opposite–”writer’s open floodgate” and at the most inopportune times!)

 

I suppose a lot of indie authors are in the same banana boat as I am. Luckily, I have had some great advice–especially from another indie author who knows the ropes and should have his books displayed on the front table in any book store worth its salt–Garrett Dennis author of  Port Starbird: A Storm Ketchum Adventure (Storm Ketchum Adventures Book 1).  Now here is a guy with talent.

 

But as it stands we have to put our works and our lives into the hands of the one who is greater than us. The almighty. AMAZON. That’s just a joke. I am a man of prayer, but I never send God any requests. Just let Him know I am here thinking about Him and I will accept whatever He has planned. I have no choice but to accept it and I am happy to do it. God knows what I need and knows what I want. Sometimes the two match and other times they don’t.

 

So for now I will keep up with the tweets and the facebook posts and see what turns up. It’s a good book. I like it. I hope you find time to pick it up and give it a try–

 

Thank you and Goodnight

 

P.S. Sorry about the rouse in the title–sometimes that’s how I operate. LOL

JMTjr

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Troll Hunting

Great story for the fantasy readers!

J. Rae Moore

Troll Hunting is a short story in parallel to the novel Youngspell – both written by J. Rae Moore.

“Cagord ‘ears ya, chicken,” a deep voice bellowed from the dark depths of the cave. “Ya shall suffer for da murderin’ of da daughters,” it continued. “Cagord will grind ya bones to make me bread, ya hear?”

Juliana shivered. She knew the words were directed at her. She glanced across the rocky terrain at the three stone figures in front of the cave. “Daughters?” she muttered. Until then, she’d thought the petrified trolls were boys. Their exaggerated, wart-heavy features showed no sign of femininity. She shrugged. “Who knew?”

It had been her folly that brought Cagord’s daughters to their ends. She hadn’t meant to harm them—not to the point of death anyway—but the potion she needed to complete called for troll beard stubble, and she was going to get it. Since…

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First review from my ARC Thirteen Years of Dust

woodreflection2 
A while ago I sent out some ARC of my upcoming novel. Thirteen Years of Dust. The deal is they get a free copy (complete with typos) and I get a review. It’s a fair deal and I ask for an HONEST review. I can’t very well grow as a writer with out honest reviews.
 
I just got one from one of my reviewers.
 
So because I am an egoist in some respects, and I want to sell my book, I decided to post that review here for all and sundry to read.
 

By Garrett Dennis on January 27, 2016

 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received an advance review copy of this book. This ‘whodunit’ introduces a new protagonist in the world of noir mystery, the down-and-out PI Duke Bradley, as he goes about solving a cold-case murder in hopes of collecting some reward money. While he proceeds from a cynical starting point, Duke develops a sense of righteous outrage along the way to a satisfying conclusion. His character, and the supporting characters as well, were developed well enough to make them interesting enough for me to want to keep reading, and I enjoyed learning what makes Duke tick. This was fortunate, because although the writing itself is stellar, especially for a first effort, my ARC could have benefited from some more copy editing – and in fact, I vacillated between 4 and 5 stars for this review because of that. But I understand that more editing has been done since my ARC, and this is a clever tale that’s told well, so I think it would be unfair to ding it just because of typos. The story may sound typical for its genre, but there are some interesting twists and character development that I think make it stand out. All in all, I think Duke’s debut foray is a fine addition to the noir canon.
– Garrett Dennis, author of Port Starbird: A Storm Ketchum Adventure (Storm KetchumAdventures Book 1)
Garrett Dennis is an accomplished author with a great reputation. His opinion you can trust. I sure as hell do. The point is he isn’t going to give anyone a bum steer toward a terrible book. That could kill his own writing career. So there you have it all wrapped up in a nice bundle. My book is pretty good–love to hear your feed back.
 
Thank you and Goodnight

Mystère gris and Noir

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CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE

What is Noir? Hell, I don’t know. It seems to me there are a lot of definitions out there for this genre. I decided to look it up in a few places just to see what I come up with.

a genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity.

That one was the best, I suppose.  Bleak settings, depressive plots, tough, cynical characters–etc. There are even a few “must have” elements for a novel to be considered Noir. That’s why I call my writing Noir inspired. It’s not pure Noir and it’s not ever going to be and I don’t care. I write the way I want to write and I am not going to follow a recipe and add or slash to fit into a category. the story is what it is. Maybe some would call it cozy-noir, a term coined by Andrew MacRae. I myself like to say it’s “mystère gris” style. That’s french for grey mystery. To have grey you need light. And there is always light.

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So as far as Noir is concerned my stories lack a few elements. For instance in my books you will never find explicit sex scenes. I’m not going to write them. I won’t do it. I have other things to write about. Sex is a simple operation and easy to describe and it has no place in my novels. Maybe a bit of romance, desire and longing–sure why not? But as far as some harcore stuff–pick up an erotica novel there are plenty of those.

I also have no use for excessive curse words. There are a few and they are placed in places where necessary. Not everyone talks like Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci. I certainly don’t talk that way and neither does Duke. There are thousands of other things to say. Even in Noir.

Mystère gris is Noir inspired. It’s the shadows, the thoughts of the mind that drive you crazy. Those memories from the past that haunt you as you lay down at night trying to sleep. It is the bleak times with a sunrise coming and two ways to go–back into the darkness or straight into the daylight. It is moral issues, addictions to deal with and the invitation to give yourself a good hard once over.

These are stories of murder and other crimes by criminals you wouldn’t expect. Those criminals that crossed over into the darkness and got themselves all wrapped up in it. Duke is on the edge. He can go either way and he knows it. One drink and it’s back into the gutters. He stays there on the grey line where the two meet. One misstep and he is finished. But has no idea how to go the other way. He doesn’t know that life.

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At any rate, number one will be hitting the bookshelves on Feb 6th. Number two is on the way. Now, number one was a bit light on the mystery for the main reason had to set up all the stuff about Duke and Shriya and how they met and whatnot. With that out of the way I can get down to business. Spend more time on the twists, the relationship between our Indian princess Shriya and Duke with his addiction struggles– I have the next four plotted out. Let’s have some fun.

Mystère gris, or just gris if you prefer, is a more exacting term fitting for my style of writing. It’s not the forties anymore. That’s unfortunate, but as with all things we have to move forward in art.

Thank you and Goodnight

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