Saturday, December 31, 2011

The author's resolutions, 2012 style

My resolutions for 2012:

I will take better care of myself in 2012.

This is something I slack on. Authoring -- typing -- is a sedentary profession with limited movement. I don't run, but I could walk -- even though there's a chance of getting shot in my hometown. I also haven't seen a cardiologist in quite a while. I resolve to set aside time in my daily schedule to walk at least a few miles every week, and to schedule a physical/consultation.

I will not put pressure on myself in 2012.

When I say put pressure on myself, it's mainly worrying about how many words I write in a day in a project. There are some authors who don't reach my daily output. I resolve not to stress over daily counts. I get what I get.

I will write more in 2012.

Interesting that I put this resolution after the one about not putting pressure on myself. Simply put, I only wrote two books, plus two novellas (one not published yet) and a few short stories. All told, I wrote about 210,000 words in fiction. I also wrote 122,412 words in sportswriting this year. The first half of 2011 mainly dealt with editing and releasing novels in my backlog. I finished Model Agent, wrote C is for Coulrophobia as well as Vam Yankees (unreleased). I resolve to use my time more productively, and write more novels. I'd like to write five this year.

I will rest more in 2012.

Another interesting one. Author mate Steven Savile always implores me to take a break every so often. I rarely watch TV. I've been watching movies the past few days at night. I resolve to recreate a little more.

I will (hopefully) sell more books in 2012, which will help me scale back my sportswriting commitments in 2012.

Sportswriting keeps me fed during this early portion of my career. I wrote over 122,400 words in sportswriting during 2011 -- the equivalent of one long book, or two short books. Think about it: I could have written two more books this year if I had that sportswriting time back. If sales are at a level that I can live with, I resolve to cut my sportswriting time and concentrate on writing fiction.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from Sean

Hi ho (ho ho ho!) there, and welcome to yet another edition -- a Christmas edition, at that -- of The Notepad. I'm Sean, your host. Please, save your applause until the end.

Over the next few hours, people across the country will open a Kindle or a Nook or an iPad from underneath the tree. These are great gifts, and hopefully those proud recipients will add a Sean Sweeney title to them straight away. It would be a great Christmas present to yours truly. Just saying. 


Since tonight is Christmas Eve, I'll continue the Chinese food tradition once again, and for the third straight year, I'll hold a 10-hour, solo Christmas Eve Movie Marathon, all on DVD.

Here's the slate:

3:30 p.m.: Order/pick up food.
4:00 p.m.: The Charlie Brown Christmas special/It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown/I want a dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
6:15ish p.m.: Emmett Otter's Jug-band Christmas
7:15ish p.m.: A Year Without A Santa Claus
8:15ish p.m.: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey version)
10:15-10:33 intermission
10:33 p.m.: A Christmas Carol (Alastair Sim version)
12:00 a.m.: The Ref

It is my sincere hope that everyone who has read my blog here in 2011 have been entertained. I hope you'll return in 2012.

Until next time, from my family to yours, Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sean's Annual Christmas Gift Giving Guide, 2011 edition

Early this morning, I put the capper on not one but two new releases for the first six months of 2012. They're formatted and ready to go. All I need are covers for them, and they'll be ready for your Kindle and Nook. So with that said, it's time to rela...

Oh shit, I didn't do my Christmas shopping yet!! Damn it, I knew I forgot to do something this year. I would have thought six new book releases would be enough.

Time for me to play Santa and dish out a few gifts for a few of my friends. Keep in mind these are actual gifts for actual people.

For Estee-Noel: More attention from me in 2012. I love you.

For The Wonder Cat: More sleeps and catnip.

For Steven Savile: More hours in the day to write GOLD, as well as every other project you're working on. And here I thought I was a prolific bastard.

For Bruce A. Sarte: A hat with the Kansas City Royals on one side and the New York Yankees on the other, so he doesn't have to worry about flip-flopping. The same can go to author Jarret Rush, except change Yankees to Texas Rangers.

For Willie Meikle: A snow blower and some Johnny Walker Blue label. It gets snowy up there in Newfoundland.

For Jeffrey Beesler: Vodka milkshakes at McDonald's. Can't you tell he's trying to feed his muse? (Quick aside: I never knew you were a lush!)

For reviewers Misty Rayburn, Misty Baker, Rachelle Gagne (and all of the others out there): Several extra sets of eyes for their reviews, so they can read more. (I'd give them more time in the day, but that went to Sav)

For Trisha Reeves and Lucia Antocci: A spark under their respective keesters.

For Jackie Hazeldine: A life-size cutout of her alter ego.

For Big Al of Big Al's Books and Pals: Another fantastic idea.

For David McAfee: Master Cole's hairline.

For David Dalglish: A bomb. You know where to stick it, brother.

For Daniel Arenson: The fourth Dragons novel already written for you. (Consider this your eighth day of Hanukkah present.)

For Mike Crane: The novel inside you. (I gave that to you last year, didn't I? Well...)

For Daniel Pyle: A beard trimmer.

For Jason Letts: A sandy beach somewhere far away... that may be difficult to fit into a stocking, Jay.

For Robert DuPerre: A generator. Or two. You know, so you can hook the Internet and your laptop in during October snowstorms and hurricanes.

For Amanda Hocking: A DeLorean. Enjoy the ride, kiddo.

For David Kruh: A scaled-down model of Scollay Square, with Scollay's Building right in the center instead of the pillbox.

For Imogen Rose: A complete Hermes makeover.

For Christin Mowery: Your baby girl home for good.

For Allie Burke: Toe socks and sparkles.

For Katie "River" Jordan: A poster of all your favorite author-type peoples.

For Kent Holloway: The drive necessary to continue his ME blogs.

For Dean M. Drinkel: A free pass from Tottenham Hotspur taunts.

For all of my fans: A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks so much for hanging with me in 2011. There is so much more to come from me in 2012! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Changing Over

If you haven't realized by now, the old site is dead and buried. As you've already read in this space back when I created this new blog, I had planned on changing over to a new website to end confusion over my author name. That new site will be Right now, it's empty save a closet with a shirt hanging inside and the words, "Coming soon - future home of something cool." If I do say so myself.

Until everything is propagated and sorted, my blog is my website. If you already know these things, I apologize in advance. There may be some who are new to my writing and don't know.

All of my books are available on Amazon for Kindle (books with an * are available in trade paperback), on Barnes and Noble for Nook, as well as Smashwords.

Books and stories by Sean Sweeney

The Jaclyn Johnson, a.k.a. Snapshot AGENT series 
Model Agent: A Thriller*
Rogue Agent: A Thriller*
Double Agent: A Thriller*

Royal Switch: A Major League Thriller
Zombie Showdown*

The Obloeron Prequel Series
The Rise Of The Dark Falcon
The Shadow Looms (Coming soon)
Krampel's Revenge (early 2013)

Short stories
Belief Debt: Paid In Full (Part of Christopher Nadeau’s Not in the Brochure anthology)
C is for Coulrophobia (Part of the Phobophobia anthology*)
Red Christmas (Part of the Bump in the Night 2011 anthology*)

As John Fitch V

The Obloeron Trilogy*
The Quest For The Chalice
The Return To Labergator
The Fall Of Myrindar

One Hero, A Savior*
Turning Back The Clock*
A Galaxy At War*
The Mastermind: A novella

Short stories
Amber Twilight

Sunday, December 11, 2011

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a BCP BOGO deal for under your tree

With two weeks to go until Christmas, you're probably looking for those last-minute gifts. Truth be told, I haven't even started shopping, but that's beside the point. My publisher, Bucks County Publishing, wants to help you score some low-priced trade paperback books with a Buy One, Get One free offer on the company's fantastic titles, including Zombie Showdown, through the BCP Direct store. All of the titles you pay for are only $10! You have to pay $15 on Amazon, and probably a couple bucks cheaper on B& Through BCP Direct, only $10.

Just a note here: Most of the books that BCP offers are usually $15 for trade paperback. A BOGO deal where you pay only $10 plus shipping for two books that would normally run you $30? Count me in.

Here's the schedule:

Dec 12: Christmas Stories by Sandra Krajewski
Dec 13: The Star of Christmas by Bruce A. Sarte
Dec 14: Countdown to Grandma's by Sandra Krajewski
Dec 15: The Prophet by Kim Dahl
Dec 16: Zombie Showdown by Sean Sweeney
Dec 17: NonSense by Mark Davis
Dec 18: Lancelot by Steven Cross
Dec 19: Mouth to God's Ear by Christopher Grosso
Dec 20: Family Ties by Ottilie Weber
Dec 21: Fess Up, Jessup! by KP Wee
Dec 22: All of the above, if you missed those dates

Now, which books are in the free, get one category? Here's a listing:

Bump in the Night 2010 (with my short story, Vuvuzombie)
Murderous Intent by Kim Dahl
Towering Pines by Bruce A. Sarte
Sands of Time by Bruce A Sarte
Bump in the Night 2011 (with my story, Red Christmas, right at the front)
Naomi's Journeys by Sandra Krajewski
A Hot Dry Spell by H. Lindley

Once again, hit BCP Direct on the days marked above for a great deal. Two books for the price of one. Books make excellent presents for under the tree, next to the Menorah, or in the stocking.

And remember that Friday is my day, so swarm BCP Direct, especially on Friday. My bank account would be pleased.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Reading, Reading, Reading!

Over the past few weeks, I've read a few great books on my Kindle. This is what is called getting caught up on one's reading that one missed out on while one wrote a book. I do this between projects because I have so many great books to read since I pick up quite a few of them while I work. Damn my one-click finger... but I digress.

Here's a list of books that I've read over the past two weeks:

The Star of Christmas by Bruce A. Sarte

This is a cutesie tale that tells of Anna, the star hand-picked by God himself to lead the three wise men to Bethlehem. It's a quick read with pictures -- the pictures are incredible sketches -- and sure to be a hit with your family every Christmas. Something you could read to your kids as a good night story on Christmas Eve? Who said I was a heartless bastard? :)

Traitor's Heir by Steven Savile

I gush about Young Sav's work quite a bit. Steve is talented, there are no doubts about that. He crafts a mean tale, whether it be a vampire tale or a thriller. But for this book, he's gone to Young Adult -- I need to blog about my plan one of these days -- and hits a solid six (cricket term) with this one. Ashley Hawthorne is en route to her "aunt" Elspeth's will reading, and there she is bequeathed several items. What happens next is a flight of fancy into a world she couldn't dream of. I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.

Initiation by Imogen Rose

Imogen is an incredibly talented author. Initiation is another YA tale that is a tad racier than the first Bonfire Academy book, Faustine. While Faustine is a character in this one, the tale centers mainly on Cordelia, Faustine's mentor when the latter arrives at BA. Cordelia is 17 and has the hots for a certain Student Body president right from page one. Imogen has an easy going style that allows the reader to fly through a book. Like Steve's book above, I can't get enough of this series.

Ghosts of Arlington by D.G. Gass

When I saw the cover of this book a few months ago -- a Stan Tremblay creation -- I found myself wanting to read the book. I had it read in only a few hours, and this was a rather awe-inspiring tale of a woman whose ex-military husband (she is ex-military, too) takes his own life while suffering from PTSD and follows her recovery from the ordeal. She meets a handsome reporter who eventually does a story on her situation, which gets noticed by Congress.

Etchings of Power by Terry Simpson

This fantasy novel literally exhausted me. It's a fairly long book, and it took most of five days for me to read. There are two main storylines here: that of Ryne and Ancel, two beings with parallel lives. This is a brilliant, well-crafted work by an up-and-comer in the fantasy genre. The world is plausible, and one can tell that T-Simps spent many a day world building before he even put his fingertips on the keyboard. And there is a second book coming at some point.

Today, I start beta reading Susanne O'Leary's newest book before I return to my Kindle later this weekend.

I just love reading, don't you?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

#SampleSunday -- Double Agent

Ten minutes later, Jaclyn and Tasha arrived at a small back alley just off the Strip, just to the west of Stratosphere. A bunch of abandoned buildings sat here, boarded up. Jaclyn knew no one would truly abandon these buildings. She was sure there were vagrants of all shapes and sizes inside, mainly to survive the elements when and if it rained. She was also sure there were drug dealers and pimps there, all trying to make an unclean living under the noses of Las Vegas Police.
After tonight, Jaclyn thought, Tasha won’t have to live there ever again.
The alley Tasha had brought her to was littered with empty bottles of booze, empty crates, as well as trash bags and weeds snaking from cracks in the pavement. And within the alley
“Hey Tasha, did you score some johns? Whoa,” a voice called. “And who is this?”
Jaclyn knew this was Tony as soon as he stepped into the light. Through her HUD, Jaclyn saw that Tony was the stereotypical pimp: He wore a wide-brimmed fedora that matched the color of vomit, as well as a matching vest and pants. The man had gold chains around his neck that dangled to his bare chest. The metal slapped against his pectorals in turn as he walked toward the two women standing in the alleyway entry.
“You must be Tony,” Jaclyn said. “I’ve always been interested in sex, and I just want to become a call girl under your tutelage.”
The pimp grinned. Gold-capped teeth shimmered in the weak light.
“Well alright!” he said. “I can never have too many girls to farm, and you look like you can satisfy. How old are you, baby?”
“I’m 16 1/2,” Jaclyn lied. “I’ve known Tasha for a while now, and she said tonight was the night that I get to meet the man behind the money.”
The pimp licked his lips. He rubbed the stubble that lined his jaw as he measured Jaclyn up.
“Of course she did, of course she did, baby. What are you in to? Girls? Guys? Both? You’ve got a BDSM look about you. We always get customers that like it a little rougher than most of my girls can handle. Right, Tasha?”
Tasha frowned. Jaclyn smiled.
“Well, I’m into fem-dom, actually. I really enjoy it.”
A blank look crossed Tony’s face.
“Fem-dom? I’m not familiar with it.”
Jaclyn grinned wider.
“It’s girls who treat men like the pussies that they are. Beat them up a little, call them names. Inflicting a little pain is their specialty.”
Jaclyn was glad that she had her iPad as she and Tasha walked to the alley so she could Google the term.
You learn something new every day, Jaclyn thought as she smiled at the look on the pimp’s face. Tony had blanched.
“Naw, we don’t do that shit here. We got ourselves high paying clients that like to do the girls rough, you know. Not the other way around.”
“We don’t have to do it right here, Tony,” Jaclyn countered. To the side, Tasha bit her lip in anticipation. “I bet you’ve always dreamed of having a strong woman standing over you as you pull your little dick.”
Jaclyn saw that Tony tried to make out what she had just said. She acted before he could react, bringing her right foot up and hitting him square in the groin. He bent over, his face contorted in pain, a groan escaping from deep within his gullet. He hit his knees. Jaclyn’s fist flew across and landed underneath his jaw, sending him to the ground. Not wasting any time, Jaclyn picked the bastard up and tossed him deeper into the alley. He landed ass over tea kettle, crashing into steel garbage bins. He moaned as his back collided with the receptacles.
Jaclyn tore her trenchcoat open and looked to Tasha.
“Do you remember what I said about not looking?” she asked, pulling a Walther from its holster and drawing the suppressor from within her utility belt.
Tasha nodded.
“Don’t look.” Jaclyn screwed the suppressor to the barrel as she stalked in on the pimp. Tasha did as she was told and turned her back to the alleyway.
Jaclyn held the Walther low as she paused only a few feet away from where Tony lay, crumpled against the dumpster. She stared at him as he writhed in pain.
“How does it feel to have your life taken away from you, Tony?” she taunted. “That’s exactly what you did to Tasha and the rest of the girls. How does that make you feel, whore?”
Tony didn’t answer her.
Jaclyn took his silence as an invitation to kick him in the mouth. His teeth snapped with the force of her boot meeting his face. He screamed as blood, bone and saliva poured out. He spat the remnants; a trail of saliva lingered from his bottom lip to the pavement.
Jaclyn felt potent from his screams. It charged her up. She felt the goosebumps rising underneath the Lycra. She felt she could do anything she wished, even though touching him would make her have to wash her hands afterward.
Then again, she thought, it could have been the coffee.
She knew no one would call the police here in this forsaken neighborhood, which meant she was free to torture the bastard as much as she pleased. She took two more steps and spat on his face, the saliva pooling on the side of his nose. She stepped on his throat and shoved the suppressor against his forehead.
The pimp’s eyes widened.
“Where did you get the girls? What sick fuck sold them to you?” She could smell his fear, as well as the blood and his bowels. “Answer me and this will be all over quick.”
“Don’t kill me,” the pimp pleaded.
“Oh, I’m going to kill you, Tony,” Jaclyn corrected. “I’m going to kill you just as soon as you give me a name.” She spun on her big toe, putting more pressure on the pimp’s larynx as she moved her left foot over and drove her heel into his now-sodden groin again. His moan came out strangled. “Come on, you little pussy,” she yelled. “Big pimping Tony’s going to rat out his suppliers so I can go and kill them, too. Those fuckers don’t deserve to live another day, and neither do you. Give me a name now and I’ll let you breathe again.”
Tony cried as he spoke the names and where they’re from. Jaclyn recorded the names to her HUD. She would deal with them in time; it wasn’t exactly priority one, but as soon as she had finished in Las Vegas, she would head for the San Fernando Valley. Tony’s face, she could see, had turned white from the loss of blood. She applied a little more pressure to his groin as she leaned back. She stepped off the pimp. He immediately inhaled until he coughed.
“You better pray there’s lube in hell, Tony, because the devil’s going to have a lot of fun with her new fem-dom bitch,” Jaclyn said, raising the Walther and squeezing the trigger before the pimp could make any of it out. The bullet buried itself in his forehead. He became still half a heartbeat later. “And I didn’t say how long I’d let you breathe for.”
Jaclyn took a deep breath as she unscrewed the suppressor. She stashed it inside her utility belt and slid the Walther into its home on her hip. She buttoned up her trenchcoat before she turned and walked back to where Tasha waited for her. It appeared the girl hadn’t turned her head, nor moved a muscle. At the very least, the girl knew how to follow directions.
“You didn’t look, did you?” she asked.
Tasha shook her head in the resoundingly negative.
“Nope. I didn’t hear a word of what you said about him needing lube in hell, either,” the young girl said. She winked.
Jaclyn grinned. She had the feeling that the police wouldn’t find Tony’s corpse for quite a while. She made a mental note to have Alex send in a containment crew. They’d take care of that for her just as soon as she had Tasha on a plane. That was more important than securing the body of a pimp who used girls for sex.
“Come on, Tasha. You’re getting out of Vegas.”
“Where am I going?” she asked as they walked back to the Dodge.
“A quaint little place on the east coast called Foggy Bottom,” Jaclyn replied.
Tasha paused. Jaclyn turned and looked at her.
“Foggy Bottom? Is that like an anal sex place you go to?”
Her seriousness and the questioning look on her face made Jaclyn laugh. She grabbed her by the arm.
“For some senators and select Congressmen, yes,” she said, pulling her young charge away from the alley.