The Rockland Horror, Book 1, is now available on Amazon. The story opens in Southern Indiana in 1882.
You can preview the book below.
The Rockland Horror, Book 1, is now available on Amazon. The story opens in Southern Indiana in 1882.
You can preview the book below.
Most writers tend to change over time. Stephen King’s most recent offering, If It Bleeds, is quite distinct from his early breakout novels like Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, and The Shining. If It Bleeds is almost like a book from a different author.
King is one of the best-known examples of writers who’ve changed, but there are many others.
I haven’t been writing and publishing for as long as Stephen King, of course. But I’ve been at it for about a decade now, and that’s long enough for my story interests and narrative style to undergo significant changes.
Relatively early in the game, I wrote and published a short story collection, along with three novels: Blood Flats (2011), Termination Man (2012), and The Maze (2013).
The short story collection, Hay Moon and Other Stories, has remained on Amazon since 2011. Readers have liked it, and it sells fairly well, as short story collections go.
But the aforementioned novels were a different matter. These are all standalone novels, and in a mix of genres. A marketing nightmare. Although reviews were generally positive, sales languished.
These three novels are all long books, well in excess of 100K words. (Blood Flats is about 180K words). This past year I decided that it would be a good idea to take the books off the market for a time, give them a thorough reread, and decide if they needed to be altered, republished as originally written, or scrapped.
I’ve written so much in the intervening years, that rereading these books was a bit like reading three books written by another person. I remembered the general plots of each novel, of course; but I had also forgotten huge swaths of the stories.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that all of these novels are, well…pretty darn good.
I subjected these books not only to an author’s reread, but also to an external proofread. A handful of typos were found and corrected (though not many).
I’ve rereleased these books and put them back in Kindle Unlimited. Here they are, with Amazon links and descriptions:
Blood Flats: Lee McCabe is on the run from the law, mafia hitmen, and rural meth dealers. A gun-blazing chase through the badlands of Kentucky.
Termination Man: Sex, lies, and corporate conspiracies! A workplace thriller for fans of John Grisham and Joseph Finder.
The Maze: Three ordinary people step into an alien world of magic and nonstop danger. A modern-day parallel world fantasy with the soul of a thriller!
If the above story descriptions appeal to you, then I think you’ll like each of these books. And you can presently read them for free in Kindle Unlimited.
This book was partially serialized here on the site.
Now you can get it on Amazon.
I’ve enrolled The Consultant in Kindle Unlimited for 90 days… so those of you who are members can read it for free.
Paperback also available. Audiobook version coming soon!
Barry Lawson is an American marketing consultant traveling on business to Osaka, Japan. After striking up a conversation with a woman in a bar, he agrees to accompany her back to her apartment.
He discovers that the North Korean government has abducted him for a specific purpose. The North Koreans don’t plan to ransom him. They want him to work for them.
But Barry is determined to escape—whatever the cost.
His allies are a Japanese abductee, and a beautiful American woman who understands the North Koreans, and speaks their language.
With a U.S.-North Korean summit fast approaching, a coup plot shakes the very foundation of the Pyongyang regime. Barry chooses this moment to make a desperate dash for freedom. But he and his fellow escapees risk death at every turn.
The Consultant is a thriller ripped from real-life headlines, with unforgettable characters and nonstop action!
I recently read this collection of three novellas by James Patterson and various coauthors. (Since when has Patterson written his own books from start to finish? But I digress.)
Some readers were angry because these novellas had previously been published as “Bookshots”. (This is/was Patterson’s attempt to market novellas as a new idea, a concept that met with mixed reviews.)
Anyway: I had not read the novellas before, so I was experiencing all three stories for the first time.
Overall, not too bad. Let’s look at them one-by-one, briefly: Continue reading “Reading notes: ‘Murder in Paradise’, by James Patterson”
Hi, folks! For the next four days (through Wednesday, Sept. 2nd) my short story collection, Hay Moon & Other Stories: Sixteen Modern Tales of Horror and Suspense will be just $0.99 on Amazon Kindle.
This collection is rated 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and 4.5 out of 5 on Goodreads.
The stories are diverse. In these tales you’ll meet zombies, vampires, forest creatures, terrorists, mobsters, and killer sharks. There are even two time travel stories.
Of course I’m biased. (I wrote these stories, after all.) But I think you’ll like this collection, and lots of other readers agree!
And, if you don’t want to spend $0.99 (or if this post finds you after September 2, 2020) you can always read this collection for FREE if you have a Kindle Unlimited membership.
This is a question I received the other day on Twitter. It isn’t a frivolous question, I suppose. About a third of my titles are classified as horror, after all.
Perhaps I should begin by clarifying what kind of horror I don’t write.
I have never been interested in horror fiction that fetishizes violence and cruelty for the mere sake of wallowing in such things. (If that’s your goal, then why not just watch one of those ISIS beheading videos?)
This means that graphic depictions of torture (for example) don’t appear in my books. Cannibalism is pretty much out, too. (Gross.)
I’m old enough to remember the capture of Jeffrey Dahmer in 1991. Suffice it to say that I am not interested in exploring the most extreme possibilities of human depravity in fiction. Again, what’s the point?
Are you into “splatterpunk”? You probably won’t like my books. Do us both a favor, and read something else.
Likewise, I don’t care for horror stories that simply involve horrible things happening to horrible people.
You’ve certainly seen horror movies that involve the following scenario (or something like it): A group of obnoxious, unlikable people enter a house, and they’re killed off one by one.
But the thing is…you don’t care! The protagonists were all awful people, anyway. (Maybe you were even rooting for the monster.)
Do you like the Zombieland movies? My horror fiction probably isn’t for you.
I love comedy films—Airplane, Blazing Saddles, etc. Cheers from the 1980s can still make me laugh.
But horror is serious business. There can be moments of levity amid the darkness. There are many of these in some of Stephen King’s novels. (Cujo and The Stand stand out in this regard.) But when the monsters come out, it’s all business. Monsters are serious.
My influences are Stephen King, Peter Straub, and the campfire ghost stories of my youth.
I have always been fascinated by urban legends. I am endlessly interested in the dark house at the end of the lane, the one that all the kids say is haunted.
A good horror story should involve characters that you care about. If you don’t care about the characters, then you won’t care if the monster gets them.
A good horror story should involve redemption. The evil is defeated in the end. Or some crucial lesson is learned. Or the human condition is in some way illuminated.
Redemption is a key element of most of the horror stories that we love best. The salvation of Mina Harker at the end of Dracula. The closing scene of The Stand, in which Frannie Goldsmith and Stu Redman wonder aloud if people ever really learn from their mistakes. The last scene in The Dead Zone, in which the shade of Johnny Smith assures Sarah that nothing is ever really lost, nothing that can’t be found.
Note that redemption doesn’t necessarily mean a happy ending. But there has to have been a point to it all.
I like ghosts, monsters, things that go bump in the dark. My sainted grandmother was a direct descendant of immigrants from County Cork, Ireland. And every Irishman (even a diluted, generations-removed Irishman like me) loves a good ghost tale.
Let me give you some examples. Here are a few of my horror novels, to date:
A college filmmaker takes a walk down a notoriously haunted road, in order earn a $2,000 fee for documenting the phenomena he sees.
This novel contains ghosts, demonic beings, and a long-dead witch who inhabits a covered bridge. Oh, yeah—and hellhounds!
On Halloween night, 1980, three adolescent friends go out for “one last Halloween”. But they have been cursed by an entity known as “the ghost boy”. As a result, their familiar neighborhood is transformed into a supernatural landscape filled with vampires, wayward spirits, and trees with minds of their own.
In the summer of 1976, an Ohio teenager named Steve Wagner discovers that the Headless Horseman has returned to terrorize twentieth-century America. The Horseman has brought other ghosts back with him, including the once beautiful (but now hideous) Marie Trumbull, an executed Loyalist.
I have others; but these are the three you might check out first. They are usually enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, which means you can read them for free if you subscribe to that service.
It was the late spring of 1994. Bill Clinton was in the White House. Seinfeld was the country’s most popular sitcom. (Friends wouldn’t debut until the autumn of 1994.)
I was living in Wilmington, Ohio. I had a job I liked, and I lived in a cheap apartment with wood panel walls and worn shag carpet from the 1970s. I was 25 years old. Those were good times, all the way around.
For five days, from May 8 to May 12, 1994, ABC aired a miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s 1978 post-apocalyptic novel, The Stand.
In case you’re not aware, The Stand is one of King’s most popular books. The Stand is a good-versus-evil epic about a supernatural battle between good and evil.
Oh, but before that happens, 99% of the world’s population is wiped out by the Superflu, or ‘Captain Trips’. That was years before COVID, of course. But the end of the world is always a good place to start a story. Right? Continue reading “‘The Stand’ (1994) now available in blu-ray/DVD”
I just finished watching the two available seasons of Hanna on Amazon Prime. Hanna is based on a 2011 film of the same name.
This is the setup: A CIA program called UTRAX alters a group of children’s DNA, in order to transform them into super-soldiers/covert assassins. (In the series, at least, all of the UTRAX program’s subjects are young women.)
Most of the girls (who are coming of age as the series opens) are happy enough to go along with the program. They have known nothing else, after all. But one, the eponymous Hanna, rebels. She is aided by former CIA agent Erik Heller, who is a surrogate father figure to her.
The Bourne Identity with teenage girls/young women, then. Hanna is both a coming-of-age drama and a conspiracy thriller. That could have been a disastrous combination. Thankfully, it isn’t. Continue reading “‘Hanna’ (Amazon Prime series): quick review”
In Tennessee, a father and his adolescent daughter must battle two evil men who harbor sinister intentions toward one of them.
In Zacatecas, Mexico, a recent college graduate takes a job as a private English language tutor for a wealthy family. But the entire household is hiding a horrible secret.
In Virginia, a young stockbroker’s colleagues insist that George Washington, the First President of the United States, is alive and well in the twenty-first century.
In rural Ohio, curiosity compels two travelers to stop at an abandoned schoolhouse with an evil history, and a reputation for ghostly activity.
In western Pennsylvania, a junior high student learns that his beloved teacher is not what he purports to be.
A collection of five unique stories, each of which contains an unexpected twist.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the stories in this collection:
“The Van”: While traveling through Tennessee, a single father and his 13-year old daughter encounter two men who take an unwholesome interest in one of them.
“Thanatos Postponed”: A recent college graduate takes a job as a private tutor at the estate of a wealthy businessman in Zacatecas, Mexico. But there is something horribly wrong in the palatial residence high in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains.
“I Know George Washington”: A young man’s new work colleagues insist that George Washington is alive and well in the twenty-first century.
“One-room Schoolhouse”: A young couple stop at an abandoned schoolhouse in rural Ohio. The schoolhouse is reputed to be haunted.
“Mr. Robbie’s Secret”: a beloved English teacher is not what he appears to be.
I hope you enjoy these stories.
As I’ve written here before, I am a long-time fan of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch LAPD detective series. I’ve been reading the novels since 2004, more or less.
Since last month, I’ve been binge-watching Bosch on Amazon Prime Video, starting from season 1.
I’m now most of the way through Season 4. I’m still enjoying this original series immensely. Very, very good stuff.
Or should I say, “inspired by” these two novels? Continue reading “‘Bosch’ season 4: what I’m binge-watching”
Here’s one more casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting shutdowns around the world: most (or many) of the titles published by Lonely Planet Publications.
I have many Lonely Planet books in my personal library—most of them purchased during the 1990s, when I was studying various foreign languages and traveling abroad frequently for business.
As the hyperlinked article notes, these are tough times for any business associated with travel or tourism.
Like all of you, in recent weeks I have been more preoccupied than usual with current events. As a result, the content here since mid-March has focused on the daily news.
The name of this site, though, is Edward Trimnell Books. I chose that name for a reason. Commentaries on the news will always have a place here. (I’m rather opinionated, as you may have noticed.) That said, this site isn’t, strictly speaking, a news site. I primarily write books, many of which you can find on Amazon.
This is a business for me. I’m an author, of course; but I’m also a micro-publisher.
Nevertheless, these are tough times for many readers. The COVID-19 shutdown has cut US economic activity by about a third. Unemployment now hovers at an unbelievable 18%. Hopefully the economy will be reopened soon, and the raw numbers will improve. Many people, though, will need time to recover from this unprecedented interruption to normal life.
In light of these highly unusual circumstances, I would like to make all of my books available to readers for free.
This is already the case with most of my existing library, if you’re a member of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program.
I realize, though, that Kindle Unlimited won’t be the right option for some of you. And as much as I love Amazon, people were reading online long before anyone ever heard of a Kindle.
One of the purposes of a website is to provide free online content. Without something for people to read, a website is nothing more than a glorified online brochure.
That’s what all too many websites are. I’ve always wanted this site to provide more to the reading community—especially in times like these.
I initially explored the idea of making more of my existing catalog available here on the site. The problem, though, is that I can’t make content freely available to you here, as well as in the Amazon Kindle Unlimited program. Amazon requires that all Kindle Unlimited titles be exclusive to the Amazon platform (in electronic form). I am bound by the terms of that contract, and I intend to abide by it.
So I had another idea…
I’ve therefore decided to start making some titles available here on the site exclusively—or in advance of bookstore publication. These will not be serials, technically speaking, but I’ll be posting them a chapter at a time, as I write them. And you’ll be able to read them here for free.
I have several titles in mind for the first round of online books. These will be a mixture of fiction and nonfiction. The fiction books will span several of the genres that I usually write in (thriller, horror, mystery). I also have some short stories planned.
And for those of you who have enjoyed all the news commentaries over these past few weeks, fear not: At least one of the titles I have in the works concerns politics. But whereas the daily blog posts typically deal with ephemeral headlines, the upcoming book one will dig deeper and involve more theory.
The plan is to serialize several diverse titles at once, so that at least one of them will be something you’ll be interested in reading. As I say on ETB’s About page , I don’t expect anyone to like everything posted on this site, but everyone should be able to find at least something that they like. That’s one of the advantages of a variety format.
No, this isn’t a prelude to asking you for money.
Some sites that provide free content immediately turn around and panhandle you at every turn—usually via requests to support them on Patreon.
I don’t necessarily have a philosophical opposition to Patreon (or similar crowdfunding intermediaries, like Kickstarter). I’ll probably put up a Patreon page eventually, for readers who would like to voluntarily contribute. But if I’m going to make that an upfront requirement, I had might as well just put everything on Amazon first. A Patreon paywall is still a paywall.
But I still have bills to pay, just like everyone else. Can free content work with paying the bills? In part, yes.
One of the really cool things about online content is that “free to the reader/viewer” need not mean “unpaid to the creator/publisher”. This principle goes all the way back to the origins of the Internet-as-we-know-it, in the 1990s.
In the beginning, at least, the Online Books Project will be sponsored the old-fashioned way: through the placement of a few unobtrusive ads.
Some of these ads will be for my books on Amazon. If you really like what you read here for free, consider purchasing a book of mine that isn’t part of the Online Books Project. You may also want to purchase an edited, proofread version of a book that appears online first. But that’s totally up to you.
The Online Books Project will also be sponsored (sparingly) by banner ads and affiliate links to third-party products. I don’t fundamentally have any difficulty with the idea of supporting free content with third-party ads. That’s what newspapers, magazines, and television have done since time immemorial.
Online ads have (not without some justification) gotten a bad rap in recent years. That’s because some sites have totally overdone the concept.
The online versions of The Independent and USA Today come to mind here. These sites are littered with dropdown full-screen ads, autoplay video ads, and many more extremely intrusive forms of advertising.
Edward Trimnell Books is old-school all the way. Just like I hate social media (why would anyone want to bother with Snapchat or TikTok?), I’m also allergic to newfangled forms of online advertising. I keep the ads here low-key, like they were up till about 2003.
Those are my basic ideas about the Online Books Project.
I’ll be posting new content and new chapters daily, more or less, so check back often!
Tonight I started watching the Amazon original series, Bosch.
I’m a little behind on this one, I know. (The series premiered in 2015.) But hey—I got to The Sopranos only a few years ago. I am, however, a very longtime reader of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch novels, so I knew that I would eventually find my way to the Amazon series, too.
First things first: This isn’t the Harry Bosch of the novels. The Harry Bosch of the novels is now about 70 years old. The onscreen Harry Bosch (played by Titus Welliver) is a old Gen Xer or a young Baby Boomer. (The actor, Welliver, was born in 1962.) Continue reading “Watching ‘Bosch’ on Amazon”
This bombshell hit online publishers this week, both large and small:
….Commission rates for several affiliate product categories are getting reduced significantly. For example rates for furniture and home improvement products have been cut to 3% from 8% while grocery product commission rates fell to 1% from 5%. The commission on ads for headphones, beauty products, musical instruments, and business and industrial supplies got reduced to 3% from 6%.
The commission reductions are a significant blow to some Amazon affiliates who rely on commissions as a main portion of their income. Websites like BuzzFeed publish buy lists that drive readers to Amazon products in return for a cut of those sales.
Amazon is one of the oldest affiliate programs on the Internet. I don’t know exactly when it launched, but Amazon Associates certainly dates back to the turn of this century. Continue reading “Amazon slashes affiliate commissions”
How would you like to get 981 pages of action-thriller stories, and help disabled vets in the process?
Check out Origins of Honor: An Action-Thriller Collection on Amazon.
Many of the authors in the collection are military veterans themselves.
100% of the proceeds go to the Oscar Mike Foundation for disabled vets.
I’m from that generation that was too young to serve in Vietnam, and mostly too old for the recent troubles in the Middle East. I turned eighteen in 1986. At that time, Cold War tensions between the US and the USSR were easing, but no one was thinking about the threat of Islamic terrorism yet.
I was twenty-one in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, and everyone naively believed that we’d seen an end to war and strife.
I did not serve in the military.
Nevertheless, I’m immensely grateful to those who have. And we should all be grateful to those who have paid the ultimate price, as so many young men and women have in Iraq and Afghanistan.