Archive for March, 2008

One More Day

March 30, 2008

The draw for a free copy is near. Your last chance this weekend to log on to one of the blog stops and make a comment. I’ll post the whole tour below —

Mar 3  http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com (guest post)
Mar 4  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sydneymolare  (podcast)
Mar 5  http://buzzthebook.blogspot.com (spotlight)
Mar 6  http://rebecca2007.wordpress.com  (interview)
Mar 7  http://beyondthebooks.wordpress.com/ (interview)
Mar 10  http://thedarkphantom.wordpress.com/ (spotlight)
Mar 11  http://www.j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/ (review)
Mar 12  http://www.thewriterslife.blogspot.com (interview)
Mar 13  http://storycrafters.blogspot.com/ (guest post)
Mar 14  http://www.fictionscribe.com/ (interview)
Mar 17  http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/2008/03/interview-part-1-of-2-chris-hoare.html and http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/2008/03/interview-part-2-of-2-chris-hoare.html
Mar 18  http://www.inspiredauthor.com (interview)
Mar 19  http://www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com (spotlight)
Mar 20  http://theplotline.wordpress.com/  (spotlight)
Mar 21  http://theplotline.wordpress.com/  (character interview)
Mar 24  http://shareyourheroine.blogspot.com/ (character interview)
Mar 25  http://sadiej.findingperfect.com/ (review)
Mar 26  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dennisngriffin (podcast)
Mar 27  http://blogginboutbooks.blogspot.com/ (review)
Mar 28
Mar 31 – GIVEAWAY – free copy of “The Wildcat’s Victory” to one person who comments during your VBT

It has been an interesting month, that gave me the opportunity to visit lots of blogs and meet the people there. I haven’t started to put down my summary of the Virtual Book Tour as yet. In fact there are a couple of sites still to visit because the paper copies of the books were late and so only one of the four reviews made deadline. I will post announcements on this blog as the reviews become available

Just shifting gears . . . and planning an ongoing program now the tour is coming to an end. Just watch for the winner announcement on Monday.

On the Air Today.

March 26, 2008

Hi All:

Today I have another blog talk radio interview – with Denny Griffin. The time is 11:00 Pacific time, noon for me, and the link is http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dennisngriffin

I won’t know what we’re going to talk about until I get on the air, so everything will be a surprise for me as well. I think I’ll try to remember my old Toastmaster training and watch my umms and errrs this time. It’s not as easy when the talk is unscripted.

Did you take a look at yesterday’s review on Sadie’s Storylines? http://sadiej.findingperfect.com/
It’s always a revelation when a reviewer focusses in on some aspect of the novel that I never think to accentuate. “ . . . see the deception behind every character as they try to protect their own interests as well as the interests of their superiors.” Yes, there is a lot of deception and hidden intrigue going on, but I’d never realized that just about every character is hiding something. I’ll be posting the review on this site in the future.

I’d just like to keep your attention a moment about an issue in the news. You will have all heard of the unrest in Tibet and the crack-down by the Chinese government. They blame the Dalai Lama, of course, and pretend their 1950 invasion and conquest of Tibet has nothing to do with it. China has always been more of an empire than a country, and so they are very sensitive to any events that point up the fact that their government extends over many other ethnic groups besides Han Chinese. At the very least it means that justice demands they respect the indigenous rights and beliefs of those they rule. This evenhandedness has never been extended to Tibet.

There is talk of boycotting the Beijing Olympics, and no doubt many individuals will do this, even if the IOC and individual governments will be more concerned with the almighty dollar, or almighty yuan. It is to be expected that some athletes will speak out politically when they have the spotlight and we should applaud their sense of duty. It seems to me that a more significant boycott is one we can all participate in – taking a very long look before buying all those cheap Chinese products in WalMart.

I support the Tibetan people in their struggle for religious freedom and human rights. http://www.freetibet.org/

The Last Week to enter for the Free Book

March 24, 2008

It’s Been Quite a Month

This week is your last chance to be in the draw for a free copy of The Wildcat’s Victory. The draw will take place on the 31st, after all the tour visits are made. So far you have an excellent chance of being drawn – if the lottery had the same odds we’d all be millionaires. So take a minute or two, save the link to one of the venues shown below and visit it on the appropriate day. Heck, even visit a day or so late, as long as you enter a comment under the interview, review or podcast before the draw is held.

This week you have another opportunity to hear me live (more alive than last time – it won’t be 5:30 in the morning) and find out if I can make sense when I’m baffled with questions in real time. Talking about being baffled – I’d better check time zones with Dennis Griffin because we’ve had that extra-foolish time change this month. As if merely changing a clock setting could alter the amount of daylight. The studies so far say that it’s resulted in an increase of greenhouse gas emissions because people have spent the evening daylight to drive to the mall and shop.

The number of visits to this blog to follow the Book Tour has shown an upward trend but the largest jump came when I posted the information about the scam directed at my promotion efforts on Facebook. It doesn’t take a polling expert to see that Internet users are vitally concerned about the likelihood of scams, phishing, and identity theft online. Now all I have to do is put out some other bait and wiggle it like a worm to see if I can catch another do-badder that I can unmask online. Any takers?

After the Tour is over I will be looking for new items to place on this blog, so by all means enter a comment here with suggestions and I’ll see you’re included in the book draw. I will post all the reviews I get in the appropriate category – as they come in. Some will be late because the box of paperback copies was late. I have an interview with another writer on this computer so I will find that and see what I can do to build a week of material out of it.

The last week of the Virtual Book Tour starts tomorrow. The visits will be :-

Mar 24 http://shareyourheroine.blogspot.com/ (character interview)
Mar 25 http://sadiej.findingperfect.com/ (review)
Mar 26 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dennisngriffin (podcast)
Mar 27 http://blogginboutbooks.blogspot.com/ (review) and
http://www.youdontknowjack.blogsavy.com (guest post)
Mar 28 vacant.

I’m in the 2008 EPPIE Award winner.

March 18, 2008

“The EPPIE goes to: J. Richard Jacobs, Jeremy Davies, K.L. Nappier, Marilyn Peake, Margaret Whitley, Eugen M. Bacon, E. Don Harpe, Anderson Gentry, Christopher Hoare for TWISTED TAILS II: Out of Time Volume 2.”

Until J –  J. Richard Jacobs the editor of both volumes, e-mailed me for my snail mail address I had thought our sister volume Twisted Tales II: Time on our Hands Volume 1 had been the Science Fiction winner and volume 2 had been runner up. J replied to my query saying he’d thought the same thing until he received the official packet. Either way it’s a great boost for our science fiction anthologies about twists in time – both of them. The contributing authors at Double Dragon Publishing have followed up their good placing in last year’s awards with Twisted Tales I – making them a great band of brothers and sisters to be part of. Many thanks again to Marilyn Peake who did all the work of sending out the copies of the anthologies for the judging.

Watch out for next year – we’re expecting the imminent release of Twisted Tales III: Pure Fear for an anthology of terror that will have you hiding under your beds.

To get back to the business of this blog – this was Day Eleven of my Virtual Book Tour and I had an interview in two parts on Conversations with Writers. The stats showed a big peak in views over the weekend as readers logged in to look at the scam message I received on Facebook. The posts describing the scam and giving the actual wording will remain on this site, so you can still go and read them if you were busy on the weekend.

Tomorrow’s visit is to Inspired Author   http://www.inspiredauthor.com  for an interview.

Book Tour, Week 3 and more on the Facebook phishing

March 16, 2008

Hi All:

The Virtual Book Tour starts this week with Conversations With Writers, with a two part interview:- http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/2008/03/interview-part-1-of-2-chris-hoare.html

The full program for the week is
Mar 17 http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/2008/03/interview-part-1-of-2-chris-hoare.html and http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/2008/03/interview-part-2-of-2-chris-hoare.html
Mar 18 http://www.inspiredauthor.com (interview)
Mar 19 http://www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com (spotlight)
Mar 20 http://theplotline.wordpress.com/ (spotlight)
Mar 21 http://theplotline.wordpress.com/ (character interview)

Returning to the subject of the phishing scam that targeted me through my original promotion on Facebook —

As far as I can see from my posts to my Facebook page the original note of mine was posted to Marketplace on March 1st (the two messages posted below are set between >>>>>> and <<<<<<)

>>>>>>>
$5.99 – The Wildcat’s Victory
Listed by you on March 1st.|Edit|Remove
For Sale – Books | 0 views
ISBN: 1-55404-538-X
Condition: new

SF/Alternate world adventure. Second novel of the Iskander series.

On Sale at Fictionwise for Leap Year weekend
Listed at Calgary, AB.
<<<<<<<<<<

The reply was an e-mail to me on March 11th from notifications at Facebook headed

>>>>>>>>
Marketplace Enquiry: The Wildcat’s Victory

Linda Candy sent you a message about your marketplace listing: The Wildcat’s Victory

Subject: The Wildcat’s Victory

Hello ma/sir,
How are you doing today? I saw your item on craigslist and am really interested in it for my cousin and there so many questions i need to ask you here are the questions below…
1. What is the condition of this item?
2. How much is the final price of this item?
3. Can you email me the pics of this item?
4. Did u accept Cashier check, personal check or money order?
5. Am taking care of shipping by my self did u accept that?
6. Can u send the rest funds on the payment to shipping company same day you get the check?because there will be excess funds on payment because of shipping company
7. I need your full name, address and phone number?
Example below
Linda Candy John
247, Kulio avenue
Bolt
Maryland
21207
Because i have my own shipping company that pick
up there item from there seller, so when u receive
the check just got it cash and send the rest funds
on the check to the shipping company, because
there will be over payment the check, so when i get
ur info i will forward it to cashier that
will issue out the check to you.
NOTE….Email me to my personal ID now at linda_candy925@yahoo.com for me to be sure you get my email…………….Okay
<<<<<<<<<<<<

Looking at the message more closely now, I see that the classic overpayment scam is included. I guess I was too concerned about sending a compassionate response to what I thought was a child’s message that I skipped consideration of the last paragraph, which had seemed to me to be a sign of insecurity and confusion in a young person. One more example of seeing what one believes instead of what is actually there.

More about the Cyber Scam-bot.

March 15, 2008

This is a rest day on the Virtual Book Tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion. I’m not sure who’s supposed to rest – I never shut off my computer for a day unless I’m going to be away.
The Tour gets back on the road on Monday with a two part interview at Conversations With Writers.

Thanks to my Muse Conference Board buddies, Vivian, Terri, Vickie, Diane, and Chris for their takes on the message – and to  Jim Selleck, on the Museitupclub, and Dr J Lee Choron, on Zumaya Authors, for their responses to my query as well. Jim posted a lengthy explanation to Comments on this blog below. Thanks also to Mother Hen, Lea Schizas, who said she has scam notes like that periodically on her sites, even Apollo’s Lyre (well she has so many sites for scammers to find). We should all learn to avoid answering them.

Jennifer Schwabach, from the Double Dragon Authors’ site, sent me a note about an article on Yahoo-tech that described the very process used. The full article describes five cyber scams we should all be aware of. I will post the original message I received from the Russian CyberLover software tomorrow. You will be able to learn enough from it to be suspicious about similar notes.

Here is the info from note she sent me:-
Chatroom Scams
The Scam: Russian cyber-crooks have developed a software robot that poses as a human in chatrooms. These bots can chat with up to 10 people simultaneously, and easily persuade them to hand over phone numbers, photographs, birthday, address, and other personal information. The site claims “Not a single girl has yet realized that she was communicating with a program!” Information harvested by these bots can be used by fraudsters to carry out various forms of fraud. Unsuspecting victims may also be tricked into visiting a ‘personal site’ that could load malware onto their computers. Sergei Shevchenko, Senior Malware Analyst at PC Tools said CyberLover, “employs highly intelligent and customized dialogue to target users of social networking systems. It can monitor Internet browser activity, automatically recognize and fill in the fields in the web pages, generate keystrokes and mouse clicks, and post messages, URLs, files and photos.”
The Don’t’s: Common sense says never, ever give out personal information to anyone you just met online.
The link to the full article is <http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/hughes/24616&gt;

I will post the original message I received of Facebook next time I get to the blog (Should do one tomorrow with the next week’s Book Tour stops). Looking at it from the knowledge I have now it seems really easy to spot – but I don’t doubt the scammers are increasing the sophistication of their scambots all the time.

Day Ten and a phishing experience?

March 14, 2008

Today the Tour visits the Fiction Scribe http://www.fictionscribe.com/  Come on over and read the interview, I think I opened up more on some questions about writing the book.

I think I should post something about a strange occurrence that’s happened with my promotion for The Wildcat’s Victory – on Facebook. I believe (if I can trust my memory) that I posted the release of the novel as an announcement . . . something that goes out on a wide distribution to the membership. I received a reply on an internal message service that sounded to be from a young person. She claimed to be interested in buying the book, had mistaken my words to say this was a used book for sale, and that she wanted it for her cousin. She had a long list of questions about condition of the book, publisher and what-have-you.

Thinking to be kind to a young person I decided to send a reply from my regular e-mail with a blurb and an attached cover image – as well as a caution about an explicit sexual image in one scene. I sent links to the book on Double Dragon Publishing and Amazon.

This is the reply I received:-
HELLO,
How are you doing today, so am very sorry for late reply and am okay with condition and price of this item so i want you to get back to me now with your full name and address also yourphone number asap………………Okay

I replied that it was not okay, and that she didn’t need anything more than I’d sent previously. No reply to that. Am I too suspicious or was someone looking for enough personal information to rip me off?

Day Nine of the Blog Tour

March 14, 2008

I’m on Storycrafters today http://storycrafters.blogspot.com/ discussing how I created my Iskander series protagonist and giving some of the background that makes her who she is.

Yesterday I reached the first milestone in the selling of the paperback copies of my new release, The Wildcat’s Victory. I sold the first copy from the batch I had sent, and I took the first two copies into a friend with a used book store for sale off her counter. She is good enough not to ask for a cut from the sales, which is just as well, because the price on these is high enough that I need to sell them for $20 apiece to break even.

In return I plan on promoting a book signing in her store early next month, which will perhaps show more locals to her door, since the store is a bit out of the regular traffic way. (Just up the hill from the post office, where everyone would likely turn around after getting their mail and go back to Main Street.) She suggests I do a signing with another local author, but I need to canvass some to see who’s up to it.

Tomorrow is a visit to http://www.fictionscribe.com/  For an interview. See you there.

Iskander Series & the book tour

March 12, 2008

Hi All:

Today the book tour is at The Writer’s Life http://thewriterslife.blogspot.com/2008/03/author-interview-speculative-fiction.html with an interview about writing the Iskander series novels and the way I work.

Some days I get to write a chapter or a half on one of my two novels in progress, other times I just manage to figure out a few plot issues to clear the way for a new scene. I don’t expect to do much writing today because I have to go to town with a computer issue and then our local writing group meets this evening.

At our meetings, we have one member presenting a program on a topic (I think this evening’s is the Free Write) and then I’m the featured writer to bring a piece of writing to read and have members analyze. I decided to take part of a chapter from my Iskander series novel in progress to find out the reaction to a new character I’m introducing. She’s young, pretty, completely innocent, and adrift in the city because her step brother has cast her out – times are tough in the country, with poor crops. I have plans for her innocence because I need someone to look at the scenario with fresh eyes – this will be volume four and Gisel, who is still my main protagonist, is the military governor of the city and has the unusual task of strong-arming opposition, when always before she’s been the opposition. It’s a different plot structure and I’m still plugging away at making it work.

Will post tomorrow’s visit in the morning, and maybe a bit more here about the developing theme behind the Iskander scenario.

The Virtual Book Tour – Week Two — again

March 11, 2008

Correction to this week’s schedule:-

The interview with Share Your Heroine had to be shifted to March 24th to accommodate one of the other author tour schedules, and the Dark Phantom Reviews spotlight replaced it yesterday. Today is a blank day in the tour because my paperback copies of The Wildcat’s Victory did not arrive in time for me to send out the review copies on schedule. I will post the details when I know the review is done and a new date is set to post it.

Monday – The Dark Phantom Reviews
Mar 10     http://thedarkphantom.wordpress.com/ (spotlight on me and The                     Wildcat’s Victory)

Tuesday – was to be a review of the novel but the copies arrived too late
Mar 11     (The review will appear in April)

Wednesday – The Writer’s Life
Mar 12           http://www.thewriterslife.blogspot.com ( an interview about my writing schedule and how I started writing.)

Thursday –  StoryCrafters
Mar 13        http://storycrafters.blogspot.com/ ( has a guest post where I tell a great deal of Gisel’s life before her arrival on Gaia. )

Friday –  Fiction Scribe
Mar 14    http://www.fictionscribe.com/ ( an interview about writing and where the Iskander series entered my mind.)

Don’t forget that everyone visiting one of the sites and leaving a comment will be entered for the draw for a free paperback copy of The Wildcat’s Victory. Draw on March 31st