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Week Two Winner Announced

All this month I’m celebrating Colon Cancer Awareness Week by recounting my own battle with cancer and giving away a book a week. All you have to do to enter to win a copy of my book A Thousand Sleepless Nights is leave a comment on one of the posts. It’s that easy!

Sooooo . . . the winner of the second giveaway is Kate.Congratulations, Kate! You’re book will be in the mail soon.

Please visit the posts and leave your own comment. And please consider sharing the posts on your favorite social media sites.

This is stuff we all need to talk about.

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Week One Winner Announced

All this week I’m celebrating Colon Cancer Awareness Week by recounting my own battle with cancer and giving away a book a week. All you have to do to enter to win a copy of my book A Thousand Sleepless Nights is leave a comment on one of the posts. It’s that easy!

Okay, without further delay . . . the winner of the first giveaway is Paula Mayer. Congratulations, Paula! You’re book will be in the mail soon.

Please visit the posts and leave your own comment. And please consider sharing the posts on your favorite social media sites. This is stuff we all need to talk about.

LAST DAY to Win a Copy of FEARLESS (and Other Books)!!

David Prowse as Darth Vader in The Empire Stri...

(1980) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow, I can’t believe this week has already come to an end. THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the giveaways, especially yesterday’s. It was so interesting to see who those favorite villains were. I think Darth Vader and Marsuvees Black were the most popular. Lots of Star Wars and Ted Dekker fans out there, huh?

Okay, here are the winners from yesterday’s giveaways:

MIRROR IMAGE: Judy More
THE LAST HUNT: Sarah Hallam
REARVIEW: JoAnn Armstrong
FRANTIC: Jenn
FEARLESS: Vicki H.
FEARLESS: Mizael

Congratulations to all the winners!

And now for today’s giveaway . . . Simply leave a comment to this post. That’s it, nice and simple. Anything you want to say. Books on the table are MIRROR IMAGE, THE LAST HUNT, REARVIEW, THE HUNTED, and 2 copies of  FEARLESS.

And if you’re a mother may I just say HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Thank you for all you do!

FEARLESS: The Release is Here (With Lots of Giveaways)!

FearlessCoverToday is the official release day for FEARLESS and we have  a lot to cover so let’s get started . . .

Yesterday’s winners. Below are the winners from yesterday’s giveaways. Congrats to all!

THE LAST HUNT: Greg Sutis
MIRROR IMAGE: Pal Davenport
FRANTIC: Lois Hudson
FEARLESS: Cindy Snider

Want to help promote FEARLESS? Wow, thank you! Below are some links you may find interesting. Just copy and past them in your Facebook status or Twitter feed.

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Fearless-A-novel-Mike-Dellosso/dp/1621362418/
Fan video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha04CiaDJxA
Fan Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/jojosutis/fearless-by-mike-dellosso/

Rearview coverATSNcoverOkay, here’s how to win more books! See the “Share this:” section directly below this post? Just share this post on one of those sites and then leave a comment saying you did so and you’ll be entered to win one of 3 copies of FEARLESS, a copy of MIRROR IMAGE, THE LAST HUNT, REARVIEW, or A THOUSAND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS.

You have until midnight. Winners will be announced tomorrow.

Please share this!

FEARLESS is Coming!

FearlessCoverMy newest thriller, FEARLESS, releases next Tuesday, May 7. Folks, I know I’m probably a bit biased but you won’t want to miss this one. It’s a thrill ride from page one.

Join me next week right here, on Facebook, and Twitter, for giveaways galore. I’ll be giving away copies of FEARLESS, but I’ll also be giving away some of my other books, including A THOUSAND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, which I wrote under the pseudonym, Michael King, and copies of my e-stories, THE LAST HUNT, MIRROR IMAGE,  and REARVIEW.

It’s going to be a giveaway bonanza!

Check back here Monday for the first round of giveaways. 

A Thousand Sleepless Nights Nominated for an INSPY

ATSNcoverFound out yesterday that A Thousand Sleepless Nights was nominated for an INSPY award in the general fiction category. See what the other nominated books are. What a great collection of authors and stories! I’m honored. Truly.

A THOUSAND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS IS HERE . . . GET FREE STUFF!!

A family torn apart by neglect and hurt…
And brought together again by a most unlikely force  

In the 1970s, escaping a home where he knew nothing but violence and hate, Jim Harding found work, and love, on the largest horse ranch in Virginia. The object of his affections, Nena St. Claire, is the daughter of the owner—a man who ruled his ranch with an iron fist and would do whatever it took to keep Nena and Jim apart.

Against the wishes of her family, Nena marries Jim, and after her father dies, she sacrifices everything—including her family—to keep the ranch alive. Now their three grown children have lives of their own and want nothing to do with Nena. She was never the mother they needed.

When cancer strikes and Nena is given a devastating diagnosis, can Jim reconcile the family before it is too late?  

Purchase the book during the week of October 15-20 and receive free stuff!!  

Details: Purchase your copy of A Thousand Sleepless Nights from any vendor during the week of Oct. 15-20 and email me (as Michael King) at michaelkingwrites@gmail.com  saying you did so. PLEASE put “free stuff” in the subject line and where you got the book in the message box. In return you’ll receive a link and password to a secret page containing free downloads. No need to provide proof of purchase; we’re going by the honor system here.

Offer only lasts until October 20!

THE FREE STUFF INCLUDES:

Mirror Image: A short story I co-wrote with Aaron Reed. Aaron, a pastor, won the “Write a Short Story With Me” contest I held over the summer. This is the first time the story has been made public. Written in the style of Alfred Hitchcock’s psycho-thrillers, Mirror Image is about a man who discovers he has a double who has a much more exciting life than his. Believing he deserves the life his double is living, he plots to switch places. But reality isn’t always what it appears to be and what Dennis finds isn’t exactly what he expected.

A collection of 5 short essays I wrote including:
“The 3 Things That Matter the Most”
“Benefits of Being an Alien”
“Things I’ve Learned from Those Who Have Suffered”
“The Virtues of an Irritant”
“5 Things Suffering Reminds Us Of”

An 84-page journal of some of my most personal thoughts and devotionals written while in the midst of that valley that is cancer.

***Charisma House Book Group and Michael King (a colon cancer survivor) are donating a portion of the proceeds of this book to the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) and their vision for a world free of colon cancer. The CCA is the nation’s leading colon cancer advocacy organization and is a community that provides hope and support to patients and their families while saving lives through screening, access, awareness, advocacy and research.   Read Michael’s story on the CCA website . . .

Don’t Buy My Book!!

Not yet, anyway. A Thousand Sleepless Nights, my newest novel under my new pen name, Michael King, is available for order from all the major online booksellers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book) but please don’t purchase it yet. The book officially releases October 16th and I’m asking folks to please wait until that week to buy the book, whether from an online retailer or a brick and mortar store. We want to concentrate the sales into one week and see if we can bump up the sales rankings.

Now, comes the benefit to you for waiting.

If you buy the book during the week of October 15-20 and email me saying you did so I’ll give you access to a page containing a bunch of free downloads. I’m going on the honor system here, no proof needed . . . I trust you!

THE FREE STUFF INCLUDES:

Mirror Image: A short story I co-wrote as Mike Dellosso with Aaron Reed. Aaron, a pastor, won the “Write a Short Story With Me” contest I held over the summer. This is the first time the story has been made public. Written in the style of Alfred Hitchcock’s psycho-thrillers, Mirror Image is about a man who discovers he has a double who has a much more exciting life than his. Believing he deserves the life his double is living, he plots to switch places. But reality isn’t always what it appears to be and what Dennis finds isn’t exactly what he expected.

A collection of 5 short essays I wrote as Michel King including:
“The 3 Things That Matter the Most”
“Benefits of Being an Alien”
“Things I’ve Learned from Those Who Have Suffered”
“The Virtues of an Irritant”
“5 Things Suffering Reminds Us Of”

An 84-page journal of some of my most personal thoughts and devotionals written while in the midst of that valley that is cancer.

And just to note: A portion of the proceeds of every book sold in 2012 is being donated to the Colon Cancer Alliance to support their mission of wiping colon cancer off the face of the earth.

Please  help spread the word about this effort by Tweeting, Facebooking, standing on street corners, or whatever. Thank you!

Are you in?

In Need of a Recess

Sometimes in life you need to come apart, lest you come apart. I wrote a few weeks ago about being in the middle of a writer’s perfect storm: editing one book, writing another on deadline, preparing to promote yet another one. Now, as if I didn’t have enough to consume my brain, I recently started a new position at work, one that brings with it much more responsibility and a huge learning curve.

In short, I’m feeling a little stressed and need to take some time off.

My novel, A Thousand Sleepless Nights, (written under my new pen name, Michael King) releases October 16. The book is available for pre-order at most online retailers but PLEASE DON’T BUY IT YET. I’m asking readers to wait until the week of October 15 to purchase the book. And if you wait, there will be something in it for you. Free stuff. Everyone likes free stuff, right?

When time gets closer I’ll give more details, but for now, please wait to purchase the book. It will be worth your while.

How I Write: Characters, Part 3

character arc

(Photo credit: mrmayo)

People change over time. They do. Whether they want to or not. Things happen in our life that cause us to look inward and re-evaluate our motives, our passions, they force us to see our own weaknesses or develop our strengths. Circumstances shape us, sometimes even define us.

The point is, no one stays the same. We are constantly changing, evolving. We are works in progress.

And nothing accelerates change like a traumatic event or life-altering ordeal.

Case in point. Four years ago I battled colon cancer. I can assure you I am not the same person today as I was when it began. It was quite the journey and challenged me on many different levels. All of this caused CHANGE. And I think change for the better. For me, cancer was a blessing in disguise.

In fiction, our characters should be no different. They should face a traumatic or life-altering event and they should CHANGE. Some call it a character arc, I call it reality.

If you want your characters to come off as real people (which you do, yes, you do) then you must give them flaws, give them an ordeal to face that shines the spotlight on those flaws, then give them a means and a will to not only face those flaws but to conquer them and come out changed people on the other side.

Here’s a quick example from my upcoming novel, A Thousand Sleepless Nights, published under my pseudonym, Michael King (releasing October 16). When Nena Hutching was a young mother she was so absorbed in the family horse farm that she totally neglected her kids. Now they’re grown and want nothing to do with her. She doesn’t blame them but neither does she seek to do anything about it. She figures they’re too busy for her. Then she gets cancer. This incident causes her to do some real soul-searching, some reminiscing, some accounting. Over time she realizes what a lousy mother she was and regrets her neglect. When death is just around the corner she wants to see her kids, make amends. Will they come home? Can reconciliation happen? Well, you’ll just have to read the story to find out but I promise you, Nena changes. Everyone changes.

Here’s the bottom line, stories are based on CONFLICT. No conflict, no story. And conflict (internal, external, or preferably both) needs to cause CHANGE, an evolving of the character. Move him or her from point A to point B (or C or D or whatever, but MOVE them).

What was an incident in your life that changed you? For better or worse?

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