Tag Archives: novel

“Perceval’s Secret” FREE through April 7!

Perceval’s Secret is FREE through April 7 at B&N.com, Kobo.com and Amazon.com

Synopsis: In June 2048, American Evan Quinn conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Vienna, Austria as Americans and Chinese conduct talks in that city about their economic relationship to prevent a global economic meltdown. Evan defects to be free of American oppression and brings a “Day of the Jackal” secret with him that could demolish the talks and ignite a global war. Viennese Police Inspector Klaus Leiner, convinced Evan is an American spy, especially after CIA operative Bernie Brown takes an interest in him, organizes a surveillance operation to collect evidence for his arrest. Evan must stay ahead of the police and CIA while establishing his new life and music career. He believes he’s left America behind but has he? Whom can he trust? Finally, he realizes that his secrets could make him his own worst enemy or provide his best chance for survival.

Pricing update: As of March 25, the only Amazon site offering Perceval’s Secret for free is Amazon US. 

Sampling of Reviews at Amazon:

“A dense psychological suspense thriller full of surprises.”

 A chilling story of the world’s near future, with an emphasis not on the amazing technology, but on the personal relationships people have with technology, politics, and each other.”

This book is a well-crafted spy mystery/cold war drama with interesting details about classical music, conducting, and levels within people. It also works in post traumatic stress from a non-military vantage point. The ending leaves this open for additional books and I hope to see a new one.”

Do you like to read suspenseful novels that take you into a different world of experience as well as a different country? If so, check out my thriller novel Perceval’s Secret. It’s available at Amazon, B&N.com and Kobo.com for FREE through April 7, 2018.


Nothing Stops the Books Giveaway: Want to win a Kindle Oasis?

In addition, if you’re a member of BookBub.com (or want to become a member), there’s a big promotion going on from March 23-29 sponsored by LitRing. You can enter a drawing to win one of two Kindles Oasis by clicking on C. C. Yager’s name on the giveaway page here. Her BookBub author page will come up and just click to follow her there. Voila! You are now entered to win a Kindle Oasis!


After entering the drawing, hop over to Amazon or B&N.com  or Kobo.com and get your FREE copy of Perceval’s Secret to read!


Writing Update

To be honest, I was thinking of skipping writing a post here this week in order to work more on “Aanora” today, but then I decided to write a short update on where I am with all my writing now that I’ve become accustomed to my fulltime work schedule during the week. Actual writing at the computer (or handwritten) occurs on the weekends. Thinking and imagining occurs all the time, even when I’m at the day job. During this past week, my printer at home began sending me error messages that the ink pads were almost full which for my particular model apparently means that I need a new printer. Too bad.  I love this printer. It has served me well for the last four years. So this means that until I get the new printer, I won’t be printing out much of what I’m writing.  I usually print out a draft and do revision work by hand rather than on the computer. This could also be a motivation to hurry up and buy the new printer.

“Light the Way,” the sci fi short story whose first draft I finally finished this summer is still fermenting. I think I printed out the first draft at the time I finished it, so I could do some revision work if I get stalled on the “Aanora” story.

Clipped a nice story from the newspaper this morning about Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the settings in Perceval’s Shadow, the second novel in the Perceval series. I’ve discovered that Google Maps can be especially helpful in researching locations also. I’m almost to the point with this novel where I no longer feel daunted by it. Revision work could start at any time.

What has been preoccupying my mind (and imagination) though is the “Aanora” story. Yesterday I worked more on the rough outline in order to work on the second act, i.e. the Conflict/Obstacle Act. I want the conflicts and obstacles to evolve organically out of the characters (what I want with every story), so it’s been necessary to think more about who the villain is. Now I know who the villain is and what he wants, but he’s not the only obstacle in the way of the main character achieving what he wants. I realized yesterday that the main character is probably his own biggest obstacle. So this could be a challenge. I understand now that Aanora is so important because she will help the main character overcome himself. Not quite sure how that will happen yet.  I also have the climax sequence in my head but haven’t yet written it.

Working on “Aanora” has been a weird experience for me. Instead of the story unfolding through a main character scene by scene, I’ve had scenes from different parts of the story come to me.  It feels a little like my imagination has thrown a bowl of spaghetti at the wall of my mind to see how much of it will stick to it. I’m frantically trying to save all the strands to see where they fit later. Fortunately, the characters continue to intrigue me and I’m enjoying spending time with them as well.

I do miss my fulltime writing life…..

Author Media Kit

My "Office"

My “Office”

This past week, while cleaning out e-mail and reading writing newsletters I subscribe to, I ran across an article in a newsletter that nearly made me gasp. I have moved into book-promotion-land with Perceval’s Secret. I know less about promo than I do marketing — they are related, true, but promo is a function of PR while marketing is a function of advertising and sales.  I’d found a possible place for an ad online at a reasonable price for the novel, but I was struggling with the PR part.

Then my eyes rested on a newsletter article entitled “7 Must-Have Items for Your Author Media Kit” by Joan Stewart, publicity expert and author of 10 books.  Exactly what I needed and didn’t know it!  In the article, Stewart lists the items to include in a media kit and describes them.  She has also developed templates for a media kit which is available at BookDesignTemplates(dot)com under the Specialty section.  I’ve bought the templates.

Why create a media kit?  When you send your book to a book reviewer, or you want attention from a magazine or newspaper book editor, or you want a bookstore to stock your book, you need to give them a bundle of information about your novel that includes synopses (in different lengths), book cover photo, maybe some point-of-sale materials, e.g. bookmarks, and information about you.  You can mail them the kit initially, or you can hand it to them in the store.  But it is a wonderful informational tool for your book publicity.


Media Kit Example from Debarholdings.com

With the information in a media kit, your promo target will have the information he or she needs to promote you or your book intelligently whether it’s for an interview or a review.  In the newsletter article, Stewart lists the seven critical items that must be in an author media kit.  They are:

  • Cheat Sheet for Book Reviewers
  • Sell Sheet for Retailers
  • “How to Order” Form for Readers
  • Press Release with a High-Res Cover Image
  • Interview Topics or Questions
  • Author Bio for Events
  • Introduction for Events and Speaking Engagements

I’ve been creating a list of book reviewers that I want to send a kit to along with an invitation to read and review my book.  This will probably be my primary use of the media kit.  It’ll be on my computer, so I can also send it to any bloggers who may be targets for reviews.  I can also send it to bloggers when I approach them about doing a guest blog for them.  Oh, and you can send a media kit to book clubs who want you to attend one of their meetings.  Other uses include sending a kit to any bookstores you plan to visit, to organizations or schools who have invited you to come speak, and anyone else who requests the information.

Right now, I’m thinking that serendipitous article may have saved me a lot of embarrassment and helped me to be the professional indie writer I am. With a media kit, I stand a better chance of getting the attention that I want for my novel, and perhaps insuring that reviewers will review it.

So, you never know when subscribing to a writing newsletter will be just what you need…..



Contest for FREE Book!

How good are your eyes?


There is an element in the Perceval’s Secret cover photo that appears not to belong.  Can you find it?  Look closely…..

If you think you’ve found it, send me a note at percevalbooks(at)gmail.com identifying/describing the element and its location on the cover.

The first twenty-five people who identify the element correctly will receive a FREE copy of Perceval’s Secret in the e-book format of their choosing (Kindle or Nook).  Then I will announce the winners here.

Have you found it yet?

Check at The Perceval Novels public Facebook page for hints.

Remember, you must send me a note at percevalbooks(at)gmail.com.  Any other communication will not be eligible to win.

Good luck, everyone!



Designed by Christopher Bohnet, xt4, inc.

Designed by Christopher Bohnet, xt4, inc.

Perceval’s Secret has sold slowly during its first two months on sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. I expected this to a certain extent, although I would have loved to have been surprised with faster sales.  The slower sales underscores, for me, the importance for marketing and promotion.  How does one spark that incredible buzz that is “word of mouth”?

I hope that my most recent marketing and promotional efforts will help:

Facebook: The page is doing OK, but it could pull in more traffic.  It’s a public page, anyone can see it.  I have decided not to advertise through Facebook, however, due to the cost.

Goodreads: I have joined the Author Program here, and I plan to do some advertising via this site.  Being accessible to readers at this site appeals to me, also.

Postcard Mailing:  The final approx. 200 cards will go out today.  I’ve spent the last 3 weeks typing labels, ordering stamps from the USPS (love that they deliver!), labeling and stamping approx. 1100 postcards and mailing them.  Eleven orchestras will receive the cards in this mailing.  I may do another 11 in the fall.  Also included in the current mailing were people I know who are not online.

Author Buzz:  I have sent in all the materials for the ad campaigns and paid the bill.  The campaigns begin the week of June 24 and target book clubs, librarians, and readers.  I have high hopes for these campaigns simply because I paid big bucks for them.

E-Blasts: I’ve done two so far with plans for more.  One blast will be requesting honest, constructive reviews at Amazon and B&N about the novel.

Online Marketing: I’ve set up a link to the novel’s page at Amazon or B&N at each of my blogs.  I’ve set up my author page at Amazon.  I’ve also been working at LinkedIn groups, Twitter, and updated my Publishers Marketplace page.  Future efforts will settle into regular work at Goodreads, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook promoting the novel.

College Alma Mater: I’ve sent a “class note” announcing the book to the alumni magazine, and also posted an announcement at my college’s LinkedIn group.

Mensa: I need to write an article for the national magazine that describes my experience becoming a “publisher” as well as placing an ad for the novel in the magazine’s classifieds.  This could potentially reach 55,000+.  I’ve already written an article in the Minnesota Mensa magazine about marketing.

Postcard Handouts: I’ve been leaving piles of the postcards at various places in my neighborhood, my doctors’ offices, dentist, hair stylist, etc.  I’m learning the importance of being a motor mouth about the novel, and not being shy about handing out the postcard to people I meet anywhere.

Promotion Surprises: Last week, I published an article at Classical MPR.  The producer added a link to the novel’s book page at Amazon in my bio.  That was a welcome surprise.  Another surprise was a plug by Gina Hunter in the June 1, 2014 Minneapolis Star Tribune book section in a feature about great summer reads.  Very nice!  I noticed a little bump up in sales last weekend and early this week.  Yay!

Reviews: So far, only one, at Amazon.  I need more and will be promoting the book at LinkedIn to book bloggers.  Also planned: book giveaways in exchange for reviews.

Book Giveaways: I have two in mind, in addition to the Author Buzz and reviewer giveaways.  I think one will be a contest at Goodreads.  Another will be a contest at this blog.  Stay tuned for more!

Crowdsource Fundraising: I am considering this not only to raise funds to pay the production and marketing bills, but also as a promotional device.  For this fundraising effort, I will use Indiegogo.

Needless to say, I’m extremely nervous about going into debt to publish the novel. Thinking about it is very different from doing it.  I don’t have a job I can fall back on, nor any savings at this point, so I’m gambling a LOT on this.  Foolish?  Could be.

To assuage the waves of panic that rise up and crash over me at times, I focus on the work.  I trust in the process.  And I try to keep the faith, baby….