Books from the attic: “The Secret Warning”

I’ve got lots of Hardy Boys adventures. I grabbed this one from the top of the stack.

Everybody knows about the Hardy Boys — the great teenage detectives and sons of the well-known detective Fenton Hardy, from whom “they had inherited his unusual keenness and with that his uncanny ability for solving mysteries.”

This case has to do with a couple of ruffians who have it in for the boys because they inadvertently scraped the ruffians’ boat, who team up with an evil guy who runs a diving/salvage company. Along with their chum Chet, the boys have to drive to Bailey’s Landing to recover important papers that their father idiotically left in his suit jacket that someone borrowed. In Bailey’s Landing they end up having many underwater scrapes as well as a multitude of secret warnings left in their hotel room, all of which are obviously left by the two ruffians or the evil owner of the diving company.

Like Tom Swift, Jr., the Hardy boys have a famous father, a mother who is a cipher (Why does she let her children stay in Bailey’s Landing week after week, where they are threatened with death pretty much every day?), and an amusing chum (Chet is fat! He thinks about food all the time!). Tom Swift, Jr. and the Race to the Moon is bad, but it’s kind of funny in its badness. The Secret Warning, on the other hand, is just bad. There’s no continuity to the plot, no attempt at characterization beyond chums and ruffians, and the requirement that every chapter has to end in some kind of climax leads to a succession of random emergencies: Watch out, Frank — the ship’s anchor has come loose and is heading straight for you! Oh no, where did that octopus come from, and how can we possibly defeat the sea monster!

Growing up I loved these books. I’m kind of disappointed in my childhood self.

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Terra now available on Kobo, Google Play, iTunes…

For those of you who like to take less-traveled roads, my new novel Terra is now available on Kobo, Google Play, and iTunes.  I’m not sure what’s taking Barnes & Noble so long.

Here’s an article about the market shares of ebook vendors.  iTunes has 11% of the market; Barnes & Noble has 8%; Kobo has 3%; Google Play has 2%; Amazon has almost all the rest.  Oddly, most of my sales come from Barnes & Noble.  I do see a smattering of sales from the other vendors not named Amazon.

I will now start reminding people that customer reviews are the life’s blood of book sales.  So far Terra has none.  I expect that they may be hard to come by, since the novel will be of most interest to folks who have read The Portal.  So it’s all the more urgent for me to browbeat you into both reading and reviewing the thing.

Here’s the plot summary and first chapter.

“Terra” is now available from Amazon!

It took longer than I expected — but Terra is finally here.

Terra is the sequel to my novel The Portal; it extends and deepens the story of Larry Barnes and the cosmic gateway he has discovered to parallel universes.  Here’s a summary, along with the first chapter.

Terra cover

The ebook will be available on Barnes & Noble and other online vendors before long.  A print version will show up shortly thereafter.

By the way, if you read the marketing description of Terra on Amazon, you’ll notice a reference to the next book in the series, which is called Barbarica.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for it to appear, though; I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft.

Farewell to Portal

Thanks to everyone who followed along with (or who is following along with) Portal.  The next step is to turn it into an ebook; that’s in process.  As usual, the biggest issue is what to do about the cover.  If anyone has any suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them.

Portal was my attempt to write a Young Adult novel, but I think I got a bit carried away.  The novel ended up longer, and the issues I covered were deeper, than I had intended.  I have no idea if modern-day young adults would have the patience for it.  Still, I enjoyed inhabiting its worlds for a while, and I enjoyed writing from Larry’s point of view.  Let me know what you think.

Here’s Chapter 1, if you’re just stopping by and have no idea what I’m talking about.