There’s nothing like an evil wizard to ruin a perfect good trip to London.
Ever have one of those weeks? You’ve taken an overdose of magic, you’ve just melted a twelve-year old girl, and Magic HQ has sent a letter “requesting” you come by to discuss your magic control issues.
No? Just me then?
I don’t want to go. I’ve got a boss in a wheelchair (my fault), a zombie cat who demands his treats on schedule, and no interest in sorting out the quirks of another magical community.
But when someone slips me information tying my parents’ disappearance to HQ, I can’t pack my bags quickly enough.
I’m soon destroying historical displays, befriending befuddled ghosts, and focusing more on uncovering the truth about my past than on figuring out how to rein in my magic. Which, since HQ has a test for me that if I fail… Well, best not to think about that.
This second book of The Cassie Black Trilogy squeezes you through a magic portal, lodges you in a hidden corner of the Tower of London, and plunges you into a tale of mysterious mishaps, peculiar ravens, and TV-binging trolls.
If you like contemporary fantasy with unforgettable characters, snarky humor, and a touch of paranormal mystery — or if you’ve ever wondered what those garden gnomes are really up to — you’ll find it hard to pry yourself away from The Uncanny Raven Winston.
If you caught my Mini-Episode/Quick Announcement last week you’ll know I’m taking a spring break holiday from The Book Owl Podcast during the month of April while I do a bit of nest fluffing (aka “trying to stay sane as I get everything in order for my next two book releases in April and May”).
But as is my way, the minute I cross one thing off my to-do list, I quickly add another.
Which, as I mentioned in the mini-episode, is why I got the crazy notion in my head to try out doing some book review videos.
Anyway, in this first quickie video (less than two minutes), I quickly explain what to expect with this madness…
And in this second video, it’s my premier video review!! No, no, hold your applause a moment, while I introduce it…
Just give a clickity clack on the image below to watch me babbling about this wonderful tale…
As I say in that intro video, I’m not sure how regularly I’ll post these reviews. I’ve got a few books lined up that I’m eager to share with you, so there’ll definitely be more coming soon. Whether you like it or not!
Looking for More of the Same?
If like Mr. Tenpenny and Gobbelino London, you enjoy a little paranormal with your fantasies and/or your mysteries, please do have a browse around these book bundles I’ve been invited to join this month.
Remember, these bundles are a crucial part of my ability to get the word out about my books, but I can only be a part of the fun if folks like you check out these bundles.
You don’t have to buy a thing. Just browse a bit. it really does make a difference to me and all the authors involved. And who knows, you might just discover your next favorite story!
Thanks everyone! Just click the image for whichever bundles suit your fancy.
Happy book hunting…
99c and Free Fantasy and Paranormal Fiction (that pretty much says it all, right?):
Witchy Book Fair (paranormal and fantasy fiction with, you guessed it, witches and magic):
Paranormal Women’s Mysteries (mysteries in which the ladies are sleuthing out the clues):
April Fool’s Mysteries (cozies, thrillers, and more…these aren’t necessarily paranormal, but most of them look pretty darn intriguing!):
So we can all admit there’s some pretty trashy novels out there, right? But what about books that are literally in the trash? As a book lover, it boggles my mind that anyone would throw out a book. Actually, it sounds like the set up for a book nerd-themed horror movie!
After all, why throw out a book when you can pass it on and expand another person’s mind with rollicking tales, high-stakes adventure, and loads of literacy?
See, Durson Ipek was out doing his garbage route one day when he found a bag of books chucked in the bin. He kept it and encouraged his fellow workers to do the same with books they found. Eventually, they had collected a couple hundred books that were in terrific shape.
And what did they do with those books?
These book heroes started a library!! The original library was in a disused brick making building and opened in 2017. And it received a HUGE amount of support from the community and the local government.
Today, this trashy library has over 6000 books in its collection, including a children’s section, fiction, comic books, books devoted to science, and even foreign language works.
I wonder what Oscar the Grouch would think of the library?
Anyway, you don’t have to go digging in the trash to discover something new to read (unless you want to, I won’t judge….much). All you need to do is browse the book bundles below.
Please, Please, PLEASE Do Take a Peek….
I know you’re used to seeing mostly fantasy and sci-fi bundles from me, but since The Undead Mr. Tenpenny has a strong paranormal mystery as its central plot line, I’ve also been invited to join in on some marvelous mystery collections this month.
As with all these bundles, this is an affordable and effective way for me and all the hard-working indie authors involved to get our books noticed.
Trouble is, while good for my budget, I’m only allowed to participate if I get readers to browse what’s on offer. So please do check out the bundles…I mean, it beats digging around in the trash, right?
And yes, your bundle browsing is a huge support!! You don’t have to buy a thing, but please do take a peek…you never know, you might just discover your next favorite author.
And of course, if you do buy anything, let me know what you selected. I’m always curious about what you’re reading!
Here’s what’s on offer this month in mystery, thrillers, fantasy, and more….
Explore what’s new in cozy mystery..
Get some thrills, solve some whodunnits…
How about a few fantastic deals…
Or perhaps some SFF Adventure for less than $5!
Thanks for browsing… It really is a wonderful way to show your support!
Studies show that reading changes your brain for the better in many, MANY ways. Of course, us bibliophiles already knew our brains were tiptop thanks to our love of books, but it’s nice having the scientists confirm that for us.
So really, the book bundles below aren’t just a way to promote the hard work of indie authors like myself, they’re a way to help keep your brain healthy. Isn’t that wonderful of me?
But before we get to your brain boosting book bundles, a quick reminder….
Please, Please, PLEASE Do Take a Peek
As with all these bundles, this is one of the most affordable and effective ways for me and all the fabulous authors involved to get our books noticed.
Trouble is, while good for my budget, I’m only allowed to participate if I get readers like you to browse what’s on offer. So please do check out at least one of the bundles…after all I am helping improve your brain, so it’s a fair trade, right?
You don’t have to buy a thing, but please do take a peek…you never know, you might just discover your next favorite tale.
Alright, Onto the Triple Hit of Brain Juice
The first collection of books was put together by the fantabulous fantasy author Laura Greenwood and features a nice pile of urban and contemporary fantasy stories just waiting to improve your brain function.
This second group of make-your-brain-happy books was cobbled together by Jay Toney, author of tantalizing tales, and features all manner of fantasy and sci-fi adventure. And every book should be on sale for $5(USD) or less. Bargain brain boost!!
And last but not least, this terrific collection of neuron nudgers steps into the paranormal side of fantasy, because there’s nothing like escaping reality for a little cerebellar serenity.
Of course, if you do buy anything, let me know what you selected. I’m always curious about what you’re reading! Oh, and if you want to see an article about those brain studies, you can find one HERE.
Don’t get confused, it is indeed Wednesday, not my usual Thursday posting day. You’ll be hearing about this announcement in tomorrow’s episode, but I just couldn’t hold off celebrating yesterday’s release of The Undead Mr. Tenpenny!!
Below, I’ve pasted all the information you could ever want about this darkly humorous paranormal mystery/contemporary fantasy…okay, it’s probably more info than you could ever want, but seriously, I’m super excited about this book, the reviews it’s earned, and the trilogy as a whole.
So, if you haven’t already seen this on my main blog, keep scrolling to see….
The Sales-y Bit – with links to buy ebooks and paperbacks of The Undead Mr. Tenpenny
The Happy Bit – reviews from a few of my early readers
The Goofy Bit – the Book Launch Video Extravaganza where I share the stories behind the story of Mr. Tenpenny
The Informative Bit – with the book description and a sample chapter
Enjoy! And I will be back to hoot at you tomorrow with the super sappy, lovey-dovey Episode 23!
Break out the bubbly because it’s finally time to say…
Happy Release Day to The Undead Mr. Tenpenny!
Ugh, and what a slog it’s been to get to this day.
As some of you know, I had planned the release of this book for last fall, but I think we can all agree that no one’s plans for 2020 panned out quite as they should have.
I’m glad I waited, though. Working through the trilogy as a whole has really brought a nice cohesiveness, consistency, and, and, and, argghhhh, I can’t think of another suitable word that starts with CO. Colorado-ness? No, probably not.
Anyway, the series is far stronger thanks to the delay and I’m thrilled to get the first installment out into the world.
Okay, let’s get going with this launch, let’s look at what readers are saying, let’s get you a sample chapter, and let’s make sure anyone new is brought up to speed…
Let’s Get This Out of the Way
Before we get too deep into the celebrations, I need to try to sell you stuff.
To anyone who pre-ordered The Undead Mr. Tenpenny, THANK YOU! It’s always a thrill to see I have a few eager beavers out there.
For those of you who haven’t ordered the book yet, but are ready to get your copy, the links you need are right here…
Select the paperback option on the book’s Amazon page.
Or go directly to your region’s Amazon store and enter the book’s Amazon Identifier: B08WVC5D8N (this gives more accurate results than searching for the book title)
For Non-Amazon Retailers (more stores will be rolling out over the next week or so…sometimes the paperback gods don’t move as quickly as I’d like):
Search or ask for the book by its title, or
Search for the book by its non-Amazon ISBN: 978 138 697 7674
Maybe You’re Not Convinced Yet?
Okay, if you’re still not quite convinced this book is for you, perhaps a few comments from some delighted readers might entice you…
“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
“When I saw the book title…my first thought was, “another zombie apocalypse”. A wonderful surprise greeted me with an entertaining story that was written with humor, a great story line and new twist on the undead.”
—J. Tate, Eugene Reviewer
“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: Aftermath
“…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
“…a fun and entertaining read. Great wit too.”
—Carrie Rubin, author of The Bone Curse
“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.”
Or Maybe You’ve Never Met Mr. Tenpenny
There’s three ways to learn more about this book: You can peruse the description below, you can read a sample chapter (also below), and/or you can watch some goofy videos.
For the goofy videos…
If you haven’t caught the first two parts of “The Undead Mr. Tenpenny Book Launch Video Extravaganza”, here’s your chance. More parts are coming soon, and I know you’d really hate to get behind on the show, but I refuse to be held responsible if you lose your lunch at the sight of me.
Part One (beware, there’s talk of pustules) can be seen HERE
Part Two (in which I explain how a funeral inspired an entire trilogy) can be seen HERE
Part Three (in which you can learn the furry secret behind the names in the books) can be seen HERE
Part Four (where I tell you all about my favorite part of the novel…the desserts!) can be seen HERE
If you’re looking for that description…
Work at a funeral home can be mundane. Until you accidentally start bringing the dead back to life.
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
And Finally, Here’s a Quick Excerpt…
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.
More Fun for the Week Ahead….
Daily details of what’s in store….
Monday – The Inspiration for The Undead Mr. Tenpenny (with video)
Tuesday – Release Day! Links and a repost of a stellar review. (no video, phew)
Wednesday – Double dose of videos. 1) The secret of my character names, and 2) Why my magic system made me drool more than once
Thursday – Oops, I forgot to tell you about the book. I do so in this post (with video) where I might also toss in a sample chapter.
Friday – I had too much fun with cultural references in the book, and thought I’d share a few (with video)
Saturday – Paperback show off!! What not to do with paperback design, and the final result after fixing it (with video)
Sunday – A break from my books to post about what I read in February
Wednesday (3 March) – Finally, what’s coming up next (with video)