News, Updates

Pre-Order Time is Here for Mr. Tenpenny!

Hello Book Nerds!

Before you get confused…yes, it is still Wednesday. I know The Book Owl normally invades the blogosphere on Thursdays, but I’ve got a special announcement I just couldn’t wait to share.

My upcoming novel, The Undead Mr. Tenpenny, is now ready for pre-order!!

Below (copied from my main blog over on TammiePainter.com), you’ll find more details than you could ever need or want, including…

  • The book description
  • Some amazing early reviews
  • A sample chapter, and the chance to grab a 14-chapter sample
  • And, of course….Links to your favorite online retailers

Alright, I’ll leave you to it, and I’ll be back again tomorrow with Episode 22 of the podcast!

Cheers!!!

Hello Book Lovers!!

That’s right, Mr. Tenpenny is ready to take your orders…pre-orders, that is.

But wait, I hear you say, hasn’t The Undead Mr. Tenpenny been up for pre-order for months now?

You’re absolutely right, but only on select retailers. Now, the book can be found on most any retailer out there, including…

  • Apple
  • Kobo
  • Amazon
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Tolino
  • Google Play Books
  • and many more

About the Book

Here’s the blurb (you’ll also find a sample chapter below)….

Work at a funeral home can be mundane. Until you accidentally start waking the dead.

Cassie Black works at a funeral home. She’s used to all manner of dead bodies. What she’s not used to is them waking up. Which they seem to be doing on a disturbingly regular basis lately.

Just when Cassie believes she has the problem under control, the recently-deceased Busby Tenpenny insists he’s been murdered and claims Cassie might be responsible thanks to a wicked brand of magic she’s been exposed to. The only way for Cassie to get her life back to normal is to tame her magic and uncover Mr. Tenpenny’s true killer.

Simple right? Of course not. Because while Cassie works on getting her newly-acquired magic sorted, she’s blowing up kitchens, angering an entire magical community, and discovering her past is more closely tied to Busby Tenpenny than she could have ever imagined.

If you like contemporary fantasy with snarky humor, unforgettable characters, and paranormal mystery such as Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series, you’ll find it hard to pry yourself away from this first book of the Cassie Black Trilogy.

  • Selected as one of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021
  • Winner of the Novel Excerpt Prize from the League of American PEN Women
  • Finalist in the Yeah You Write! Novel Contest

Ready to Pre-Order?

If you’re ready to pre-order your copy, the easiest way to do that is to follow the Universal Book Link below….

Universal Book Link: https://books2read.com/CassieBlack1

Then, just click the store of your choice, and by the magic of the Interwebs, you’ll be whisked away to the store specific to your region.

This UBL gets you to the shopfront you need, while keeping lazy ol’ me from having to get links for 10 different Amazon stores, 88 different Kobo stores, 100 different…you get the idea.

Paperbacks Are Coming

Yes, there will be paperbacks of The Undead Mr. Tenpenny. Unfortunately, there’s no pre-order system for those just yet. But next week, I have something special planned for the “real” book fans out there!

Not Convinced Yet?

I could tell you that the book is fabulous, but that’s not going to seem very genuine. So don’t take my word for it. Instead, look at some of the amazing feedback from Mr. Tenpenny’s early reviewers…

The Undead Mr. Tenpenny is a clever, hilarious romp through a new magical universe that can be accessed through the closet of a hole-in-the-wall apartment in Portland, Oregon.

—Sarah Angleton, author of Gentleman of Misfortune

Man oh man, did I love this book! …The plot was great, and got even better as things progressed…. I think the biggest pro of this book is the characters. 

—Jonathon Pongratz, author of Reaper

Wow and wow again! I absolutely loved this book! You get such a feel for the characters and the story is so fast paced you don’t want to put it down.

—Goodreads Reviewer

…suffused with dark humor and witty dialogue, of the sort that Painter excels at…a fun read for anyone who enjoys fast-paced, somewhat snarky, somewhat twisted, fantasy adventures.

—Berthold Gambrel, author of Vespasian Moon’s Fabulous Autumn Carnival

Still Not Convinced?

Here’s a sample from the book, and if you’d like even more, there’s a link below to grab a 14-chapter sample to see if Cassie Black’s mayhem and antics are for you….

Prologue – The Unexpected

I work in a funeral home. I’m used to seeing all manner of dead bodies. I’m used to bodies ranging from young to old, fat to thin, dark to pale. I’m used to the peacefully deceased to the horrifically killed. I’m used to them lying there still, silent, and slowly decomposing. 

What I am not used to, is them getting up and walking away. 

Which is why when Mr. Boswick — he of the untimely coronary embolism — started drumming his fingers against the cold surface of the metal work table as I added the final touches to his makeup job, well I’d like to tell you I kept my cool, that I maintained my composure, but that’d be a lie. 

Nope, I screamed like a baby boomer who’s just lost every dime in her 401K, then promptly upended my tray of cosmetics as I jumped several feet backward. Five weeks and two walking bodies later, and I’m still scraping beige powder out of the oddest places.

As the cloud of talcum-soft haze filled the chilly workroom, Mr. Boswick sat up with a grunt, put his hands to his ears, and gave me the dirtiest would-you-shut-the-hell-up look I’ve ever seen on a guy — dead or alive.

Still giving me The Look and moving with uncertain slowness, Mr. Boswick eased himself off the table. His legs trembled a little as his feet and legs took their owner’s weight for the first time in several days. I could have taken him then. I could have just pushed him over and hogtied him, but let me tell you, no matter how many zombie movies you’ve seen or novels you’ve read, no matter how well you can suspend belief, you still go around living your life assuming the Zombie Apocalypse is something that happens to other people.

And so, rather than attack, double tap, or run, I stood there getting coated in Dewy Chiffon dust while Mr. Boswick took two clumsy steps with his hands held out like an unsteady toddler. 

He looked back and forth between the two doorways in his line of sight. First one, then the other, then back to the first, then he headed toward Door Number Two. Unfortunately, this first effort at post-mortem decision making landed him in our storage closet, but we here at Wood’s Funeral Home don’t deduct points for guessing. Standing amongst a year’s supply of paper towels and bottles of extra-strength cleaning solution, Mr. Boswick turned to me with a question on his heavily made-up face.

I suppose I should have rushed over, slammed the closet door, locked him in, and burned the place down to save humanity, but at this point my neurons were more than a little numb with shock and were refusing to chat with one another. Instead of being the hero, I pointed to Door Number One above which shone the green glow of an exit sign. Mr. Boswick gave a little nod of thanks before shuffling to and out the door.

With my brain operating about as quickly as a dial-up modem from 1992, I glanced down at the metal work table. To all appearances it was empty, but I reached out and patted it just to make sure all the chemicals I work around weren’t giving me hallucinations. With a grimace, my hand landed on a cold, smooth surface that was definitely lacking the corporeal remains of Mr. Boswick. Then my eyes caught the photo of him I’d been working from. The photo his family had loaned us.

His family! If he tried to get to his family—

And there we have it, folks. Miracle of all miracles, Cassie Black’s brain is functioning once again.

(end of sample)

Need a longer sample? Get your 14-chapter excerpt HERE

Ready to pre-order? Just select the store of your choice HERE

***

The Cassie Black Trilogy is a fish-out-of-water tale that takes you from the streets of Portland to the Tower of London. It’s got magic and mystery, pastries and zombies, sentient gnomes, and an evil wizard…because there’s always an evil wizard, isn’t there?

 

Book Bargains, Having Fun

Quiz Time: Are You a Well-Read Book Nerd?

Hello My Lovely Little Book Nerds!

Do you love a quiz? Do you love books? Well, then today is your lucky day!

This week over on The Book Club Mom’s blog, Book Club mom herself shared a quiz that tests just how well-read a book nerd you really are. It was a fun time waster and I encourage you to take it if you’re in the mood for some bookish procrastination.

Of course, this is only one person’s interpretation of what it means to be well-read. After all, some books of the books in the quiz aren’t exactly high-quality literature (50 Shades of Grey? Twilight? Really?).

I also found strikingly few examples of non-fiction and genre fiction…after all, being well-read doesn’t have to mean reading gobs of classic lit and literary fiction.

And as someone who reads across all genres (except westerns and romance) and who reads at least a book a week, I was surprised to only score 22%.

Still, like I said, it’s a fun quiz and a nice diversion. If you’re ready to beat my score, you can find the quiz at List Challenges (https://www.listchallenges.com/if-youve-read-10-of-these-books-youre-very)

 

Book History, Episodes

18. Have Book, Will Time Travel

 

Tuesday, the 8th of December, was Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day. Don’t ask me what in the world that is supposed to mean or what kind of presents it involves, but so far, science has let us down with its inability to come up with a time machine. Which means the best we can do is to open the pages of a book and journey along through time with the author’s imagination.

Please note: There is a little jumble in the info at the start. I talk about several stories that send the hero into the future, then I talk about a story that sends the hero into the past, then I say something like  “it seems authors were focussed only on sending people into the future.” Sigh, what can I say, it’s been a long year. So, apologies for any confusion.  

Links Mentioned in this Episode….

Like what you hear?

 

Have Book, Will Time Travel (Rough Transcript)

Introduction

Hey everyone, this is Tammie Painter and you’re listening to the Book Owl Podcast, the podcast where I entertain your inner book nerd with tales of quirky books and literary lore.

And this time we’re getting in our way back machines. Or maybe our way forward machines? Either way we’re traveling through time because Tuesday, the 8th of December, was Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day.

Don’t ask me what in the world that is supposed to mean or what kind of presents it involves, but I’m sure Doc Brown and Marty McFly could clue you in.

The Icky Part I Have to Do…

Before we start, just a reminder that this show is supported by you. Of course, since we’re speaking about time travel, you could use the fast forward feature on your podcast app to time travel past this part, but I’ll try to make this quick.

There are a ton of ways you can support the show and most are super inexpensive, including, as I mentioned last time, just doing your normal Amazon shopping through the Amazon affiliate link you’ll find on TheBookOwlPodcast.com/support. You don’t get charged any extra but every time you shop, I get an itty bitty commission that helps contribute to the time I spend bringing you these tidbits of entertainment.

And since it’s gift-giving season, also on that page you’ll find some snazzy Book Owl merchandise. I’ll admit some of these items are quite costly and I don’t earn much commission from them, but if you’re looking for something unique to treat yourself this holiday season, there’s notebooks, stickers, and t-shirts.

Intro Part Two Because Once Isn’t Enough

Okay, enough of that, let’s get time traveling. Or more accurately, let’s look at time travel in fiction throughout the ages. See, it’s sort of time traveling.

I think we’d all agree if we’d known what 2020 was going to involve a time travel machine would have been a well appreciated 2019 Christmas present so we could just skip over the year.

But so far, science has let us down with its inability to come up with a time machine. Which means the best we can do is to open the pages of a book and journey along through time with the author’s imagination.

Mythology Meets Physics

It turns out the concept of time travel stories aren’t anything new. Hindu mythology includes what might be recognized as the oldest time travel tale. In this story  the king travels to meet the creator god Brahma for I don’t know, maybe a nice chat and a cup of chai? Whatever his reason for going, when the king returns he finds out decades have whizzed by in his absence.

Which, if you know anything about physics, isn’t too far off the mark. Assuming Brahma lived in the sky or on top of a very high mountain, science does show that time moves more slowly for people who are under less gravity. So someone up in a spaceship actually ages less than someone on Earth. It’s a fascinating discovery, albeit an absolutely creepy one, and it has been proven using really accurate timepieces.

But this isn’t the Physics Owl Podcast, so let’s get back to the fictional side of time travel.

Japanese Sea Monkeys?

Moving up the ages and shifting over a few thousand miles to the east, we get a collection of fairy tales from Japan that dates to around 750 CE. One of these bedtime stories tells of a fisherman who decides catching fish isn’t how he wants to spend his weekend, so he heads underwater to hang out in a sea palace. And yes, this had me picturing a scene from a Sea Monkeys ad.

The fisherman hangs out with the Sea Monkeys for a few days, but when he returns to the surface, after he takes a big gulp of fresh air, he finds out he’s been transported 300 years in the future. And I hope he enjoyed his time in the sea palace because obviously by this time no one knows who he is, he’s lost his boat, and all of his family have died. Which does make this a pretty miserable fairy tale, so maybe we should move on.

Sleepy Head Time Travel

So while the idea of playing loose with time isn’t anything new, it does take a while for technology to catch up with time travel. Even though machines were already making their way into our lives and changing them sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, these machines take a long time to work their way into fiction.

And rather than jumping into a machine, we find a lot of earlier time wandering tales involves someone falling asleep and waking up in the future. Which makes me wonder if you force yourself to stay awake will you go back in time? Think about it.

Anyway some of these sleepy stories include Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving from 1819 , Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy from 1888, and The Sleeper Awakes by H.G. Wells who we’ll be returning to soon enough.

Ow, My Head!

Similar to the sleepy head version of time travel, is the conked on the head method of time travel. And probably one of the most humorous and famliar examples of this in Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

There’s a lot going on in this simple tale, but the title pretty much sums it up. A man from Connecticut, Hank Morgan, gets hit on the head and this sends him back in time to King Arthur. Hank gets captured by one of Arthur’s knights, then uses his knowledge of the high tech world of 1889 to convince everyone he’s a magician and that it would be a really bad idea to kill him.

Hank tries to make things better for King Arthur and even tries to prevent Arthur from being killed, but no luck. And while this story was well-received in the US, in England they saw it as an attack on the institution of the monarchy.

Take Me Back

So, from these examples it would kind of seem that most writers were obsessed with getting a glimpse into the future, but a few, and some of the earliest time travel stories in English have our travelers going back in time.

These include the short story Missing One’s Coach: An Anachronism, and this was written anonymously in 1838 for the Dublin Literary Magazine. In it our hero waits under a tree for a coach to show up and falls asleep. When he wakes find himself roaming around in the 9th century. He tries to tell people about the future and a few believe him, but most thinks he’s a bit doodalalee.

Another early example of backward time travel comes from Paris avant les hommes (Paris before Men) written in 1861 by the French botanist and geologist Pierre Boitard, although it wasn’t published until after his death which is too bad for him because it turned out to be a pretty popular story. In this story, we finally see someone time traveling without falling asleep or receiving a head injury. Instead a magic demon sends the main character  into prehistoric times where he hangs out with dinosaurs. Maybe the precursor to Jurassic Park.

Twenty years later we get “Hands Off by Edward Everett Hale in which the main character goes back to Ancient Egypt and tries to change Biblical history by keeping Joseph from being enslaved by the pharaoh. And while this is one of a few stories of someone going back rather than forward in time, it’s also quite likely the first time travel book where the character’s interference alters history.  

A Little Back and Forth

But why stick with the past or the future? Can’t we have both? Yep, and Charles Dickens was ready to deliver this…well, sort of. His A Christmas Carol published in 1843, does take old Ebenezer back in time, but it’s not as if he can do anything while he’s there. It’s merely a memory the ghost of Xmas past is forcing him to remember.

And if memory is time traveling, I guess I’ll time travel back to a really tasty sandwich I had in Strasbourg last fall. But Ebenezer does the travel to the future. Or at least a potential future and it’s this potential future that is one of the key themes of time travel fiction.

As Scrooge says after seeing the dismal fate the ghost of Xmas yet to come has shown him “Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me….Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life!”

And yay, Tiny Tim lives happily ever after. Oh, I hope that wasn’t a spoiler for anyone.

The Rise of the Machines

But most of us, when we think of time travel probably aren’t thinking of naps, blows to the head, or creepy ghosts hanging out in our bedrooms. We have an image in mind of a machine like some strange chamber or a souped up Delorean, that moves our hero through time.

And while HG Wells’s Time Machine probably is the first thing that springs to mind, he wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of a manmade object making a mess of the world’s timeline.

In fact, we start out not with a large machine you step into, but with The Clock That Went Backward a story from 1881 by Edward Page Mitchell. Moving the hands of the clock shifted time. But unless you can open up the grandfather cook and step inside, it’s still not what we think of as a time machine, is it?

Finally in 1887 we get Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau’s El Anacronópete which is touted at the first story to have a true machine purpose built for time travel. It’s a huge iron box that’s like something straight out a steampunk novel with pneumatic tubes that are driven by electricity.

And weirdly enough, inside the machine are brooms that sweep themselves. Oh wait! Isn’t that a roomba! Anyway, all is going well as the voyagers visit various eras in the past, until it self destructs when they try to go to the day of creation.

Finally We Get to THE Time Machine

But of course, although there were predecessors the book that really stirred up the popularity of the time machine was HG Wells’s The Time Machine. This wasn’t Wells only foray into wandering around in time. Before this he’d written “The Chronic Argonauts” in 1888. Wells had thought of turning this story into something else, but wasn’t quite sure what exactly.

Then his publisher asked to see a serial novel based on time travel. Wells didn’t hesitate a moment to jump on the idea. The fact that the publisher was offering him the equivalent of 12K pounds in today’s money probably didn’t make the decision too tough to make.

In The Time Machine, the narrator is relating lectures about a man who traveled to the future and discovered a race of people who seemed happy and living the good life without having to work very hard, but then realizes it’s because another race of people have been forced to toil underground to keep everything running smoothly.

And much of the inspiration came from Wells own childhood where he and his family and the people they knew worked their fingers to the bone below stairs or literally underground in mines.

Time Travel Travel

But egad, that’s a bit depressing isn’t it? So let’s wrap up time travel on a happier note and that’s a subgenre of the time travel concept…Time tourism. Think about it. How many of us would love to take a time tour anywhere that isn’t 2020?

In 1948 American authors Catherine L. Moore and Henry Kuttner wrote the novella Vintage Season in which visitors from the future vacation at a rental home just when the owner wants to sell. The visitors like his place so much they tell heirs friends all about the quaint little place.

Then there’s Ray Bradbury’s 1952 Season of Thunder (season being a popular title, I guess) in which big game hunters get bored with killing off rhinos, lions, and elephants, and decide to time travel to the age of dinosaurs. I mean, go big or go home right?

Time Goes On

Anyway, the time travel genre started strong and continues to thrive today in books like Stephen King’s 11/22/63 when a man has to decide whether stopping the assassination of JFK is worth losing the love of his life.

There’s Diane Galbaldon’s Outlander series with men in kilts. Lots of kilts. And a woman who never seems for a moment phased by the fact she’s gone back a couple hundred years in time.

Michael Crichton brought the past to life with Jurassic Park, but he also took us back in time using some really amazing science research in his book Timeline.

And of course, we can’t leave off without Douglas Adams’ Hithchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series where the most sought after dining establishment is The Restaurant at the End of the Universe which is called Millways. Milliways is the nearest restaurant in space but not time, and is a five star restaurant situated at the end of time and matter.

As with anything in the Hitchhiker’s series it’s a hilarious concept, especially how you make reservations and raise the money to pay for a meal there, but if you do as describe you can watch the universe end night after night while enjoying your Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

Update Time

And that is it for time travel so that must mean it’s time for your favorite…updates! The podcast is still plugging along. Another big thanks goes out to Tierney of TierneyCreates.com for including The Book Owl’s history of cookbook episode as part of her Thanksgiving celebrations.

Other than that, my next episode will be a little bit different. One tagline for this podcast is everything books minus the reviews, but just to wrap up the year I’m going o share with you my favorite books of 2020, a year when many of us got more than our fair share of reading in.

As for writing, as I mentioned last time, I put in the order for my proof copies of the first two books of my Cassie Black trilogy. Well, they showed up the day after Thanksgiving and they came out pretty darn good. There’s still a little tweaking to do on the covers, but the interior looks great. This month, I’ll give the first book yet another read through while also doing a full rewrite on book three.

And just in case you like to do a little shopping for yourself, all three books are currently on pre-order on most retailers. Unfortunately, you can’t pre-order the paperbacks, but I usually release those just a few days ahead of the ebook release date just to make sure everything goes through on time. I’ll keep you posted on when those are live on the stores.

Signing Off

Okay my time traveling buddies, that is it for this episode. Have a great couple weeks, and I will hoot at you next time.   

The Book Owl Podcast is a production of Daisy Dog Media, Copyright 2020, All rights reserved. Theme Music “Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License Audio processing by Auphonic.com

Book Bargains

News Leaving You Bird-Brained? Free Fiction is Sure to Help.

Hey Book Nerds!

What a week, right? I know it’s tempting to keep checking the news, keep checking in on those painfully close numbers, keep checking in on whether it’s time again to panic buy toilet paper, but for the sake of your mental health, Dr. Book Owl is here to prescribe that you escape for a while into the pages of a good book with November’s Book Bundles.

And don’t worry, unlike most health care in the U.S., this proven therapy won’t cost you more than $1 and in most cases it’s completely free.

As usual, I have a few books and short stories in each promo below.

Note: These promos are a great way for me to get the word out about my books in an affordable manner, but I can only participate in them if people (that’s YOU) browse the bundles. It costs you nothing to scroll through what’s on offer, and would be a BIG help in keeping my book marketing costs down. THANKS!!!

Happy browsing and be sure to let me know what goodies you end up finding. 

***

Promo #1….This promo features a wide range of genres, including mystery, romance, fantasy, thrillers, and more. And yes, all the books should be completely free.

Promo # 2…As you can guess, this one has fantasy and sci-fi tomes for free or for a mere 99 pennies.

Promo #3….All fantasy. All free. What more is there to say? Oh, except that for some reason, this one loads slooooowly, so, as with the election results, please be patient:))

Book Bargains

Chilling Halloween Book Deals

Hello Book Nerds!

Are you ready to get in the Halloween mood with some spooky stories?

These freebies and bargains will send a chill up your spine not only because of their great deals, but because of their creepy tales just in time for Halloween haunts.

And if you’re not into the weird and suspenseful, there’s also plenty of fantasy & sci-fi wonders waiting for you in the second promo below.

As ever, these bundles are all put together and supported by indie authors via BookFunnel.

They’re a great way for me to spread the word about my books in an affordable way, but I can only participate in them if I maintain a good “reputation” with BookFunnel. And my reputation improves every time you browse the bundles.

So, if you have the time, please use the images below to stop by and check out what’s on offer. It’s a huge help and really does make a difference.

Happy browsing!!!

***

Bundle #1

These stories all feature a dead being who’s been given new life and all are completely free. You may need to sign up for the author’s newsletter, but you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Bundle #2

Dozen of dragons, dark lords, and deep space adventures can all be yours for less than a dollar. You should not need to sign up to anything to get the freebies.

Bundle #3

There’s a superb mix of the scary and suspenseful in this special.