Murder in Ocean Hall – Free for Black Friday!

cover of Murder in Ocean Hall

Murder in Ocean Hall is free for Black Friday! Normally $2.99, I’ve marked the price of the Kindle edition of my first novel down to zero.

In this murder mystery, the world’s most famous oceanographer is killed – when a whale falls from the ceiling of the Natural History Museum and crushes him. Suspects are many and it’s up to a cynical detective to solve the case. Murder in Ocean Hall draws upon my knowledge of DC beyond the monuments. Along the way, you’ll learn about the fascinating history of the city and why it works – or doesn’t.

It’s a fun, quick read that has received five-star reviews on Amazon. Download it today!

Amazon Prime Members: Use Your Free Kindle Borrow

If you have Amazon Prime, you get to borrow a Kindle book each month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Don’t let your September borrow go to waste! You have just a couple days left to use it. Both of my books are available for FREE through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

Don't Mess Up My Block book coverDon’t Mess Up My Block

Can you fake it til you make it?

Don’t Mess Up My Block is a parody of self-help books. This funny and cynical tale follows the adventures of Laurent Christ, a man who pursues self-improvement to its logical conclusion – he reinvents himself with a brand-new name and history. He drops a hundred pounds, shaves his head and goes on the road as a management consultant.

Everywhere he goes, comic disaster follows as companies follow his glib counsel.

cover of Murder in Ocean Hall

Murder in Ocean Hall

When the world’s most famous explorer is murdered at the Smithsonian, it’s up to a cynical Washington detective to solve the case.

Bob Fundwell dies in the Smithsonian’s Ocean Hall when the life-size replica of a whale falls from the ceiling and crushes him.

Murder in Ocean Hall is inspired by true events, including the real-life controversy over the discovery of the Titanic, as well as my two decades in Washington, DC. This fact-based murder mystery takes you behind the scenes of our nation’s dysfunctional capital, revealing the real city beyond the monuments.

Borrow one now and the other in October, when you can borrow another Kindle title!

Borrow My Books and Keep Me in Beer Money

DC Brau

There’s a reason why Amazon is such a titan in the e-book world – it delivers income to writers. It does so seamlessly, easily and without authors having to do anything. You don’t have to hound publishers for checks or wait for the results of some sort of mysterious accounting process.

Amazon posts sales results weekly. For me, it’s just beer money, as I watch my two novels sell in dribs and drabs. Still, it’s something. My work is getting out there and I’m making some cash, even if it’s not going to get me more than a six-pack or two.

And the company constantly innovates, like with their Amazon Prime program. Among other benefits, you can borrow select e-books for free. And authors get a share of a pool of money set aside for the program. In March, it was $600,000!

Each time one of my Kindle titles got borrowed last month, I received $2.18, according to the Amazon press release. That’s a nice royalty, considering one of my novels is 99 cents and the other is $2.99.

So if you’re an Amazon Prime member, borrow my books please! You don’t need a Kindle either. There are Kindle apps for the iPad, iPhone, Mac and PC.

Murder in Ocean Hall is a great read if you like mysteries set in DC. A reviewer wrote that it will take you behind the scenes of the city and show you how things work – or don’t work. It’s a mystery novel written by someone who actually lives in Washington and knows the neighborhoods beyond the monuments.

Looking for something fast and fun? Then check out Don’t Mess Up My Block, a satire of the self-help biz. Follow the adventures of Laurent Christ as he pursues success across an American landscape littered with greedy consultants, social media frauds and incompetent bureaucrats.

Check them out! And remember, borrowing my books will keep me in beer, an essential element of my creative process 😉

Free Kindle Books – All Weekend Long

In honor of my Irish heritage, you can get Kindle versions of both of my books for free all this weekend.

Don’t Mess Up My Block is my newest novel. It’s a funny parody of self-help books that examines the American faith in gurus and easy solutions.

Murder in Ocean Hall is my first book. It’s a mystery and is ideal for anyone who wants to learn about Washington beyond the monuments.

And you don’t even need a Kindle to read them for free. You can also read them for free using the Kindle app on the iPad, iPhone or computer.

Murder in Ocean Hall – 99 Cents for Kindle Owners

Murder in Ocean HallDid you get a Kindle for Xmas?

Get my book Murder in Ocean Hall for just 99 cents in this holiday offer exclusively for Kindle owners.

My novel is a murder-mystery set in Washington, DC. Inspired by my experience in the city, Murder in Ocean Hall follows a veteran detective as he investigates the death of the world’s most famous explorer.

My book takes you behind the scenes of our nation’s dysfunctional capital, revealing the real place beyond the monuments.

Amazon reviewers call it:

“a fun, quick read”

“a howdunit with some good research on the author’s part.”

Get Murder in Ocean Hall today!

Murder in Ocean Hall – Now on the Nook!

My book, Murder in Ocean Hall, is now available on the Nook. Owners of the Barnes and Noble Nook and the Nook Color can pick up a copy of this novel for just $2.99.

In my book, the world’s most famous ocean explorer is killed at the Smithsonian. It’s up to a cynical DC detective to solve this high-profile case.

Murder in Ocean Hall takes place in a Washington “beyond the monuments”, in the real neighborhoods of the city that most tourists don’t see. Set during the summer before the 2008 presidential election, we follow Detective Thomas across the city as he encounters the powerful and the powerless in his quest to solve this case. He’s grown bitter from decades of investigating bloody mayhem on city streets. Despite the new condos and gentrification, has the city really changed? Or is it doomed to dysfunction?

A reviewer wrote about Murder in Ocean Hall that it:

will take you behind the scenes of places you’ve been and tell you how they function then give you insights into people in power and how they fail to function.

Murder in Ocean Hall is available on the Nook thanks to Barnes and Noble’s PubIt, an online service that allows authors to easily publish e-books.

Powerful tools like PubIt, Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace allow independent authors like myself to connect with readers worldwide. They’ve enabled me to publish Murder in Ocean Hall in print, Kindle and Nook editions.

Would Self-Publishing Have Saved John Kennedy Toole?

A Confederacy of Dunces is one of my favorite books. In this picaresque novel, John Kennedy Toole creates a vivid and hilarious world, the French Quarter of the 1960s, and populates it with unforgettable characters and fantastic scenes. His protagonist is Ignatius J. Reilly, perhaps the first slacker in American literature. He disdains work and the modern world, longing for the Middle Ages when his genius would be appreciated.

I read A Confederacy of Dunces in college and loved it from the very first pages. It’s a broad comedy, expertly told by someone who clearly knows every inch of his beloved New Orleans. Moreover, Toole was familiar with the slang and patois of the city’s residents. He portrays them as corrupt, flawed, confused – but always well-meaning, in their own way. Continue reading “Would Self-Publishing Have Saved John Kennedy Toole?”

Behind the Scenes at the Publishing Delay

The Kindle version of my book, Murder in Ocean Hall, is now available in the UK, through

So now Kindle users in London can download my book while drinking a cuppa.

What did I have to do to get my book in the UK? Nothing – Amazon took care of it for its Digital Text Platform (DTP) authors. And DTP is free. It was easy to use – you just upload the text of your book and the cover.

With e-publishing there’s no waiting on printing presses or slow-moving publishers. An author can distribute his work with just the click of a mouse. And readers can get their favorite author’s work immediately, rather than waiting on a publisher’s schedule.

Why does this matter? My mom is a huge Kate Atkinson fan (Behind the Scenes at the Museum). She reads everything this English author writes. Atkinson has a new book (Started Early, Took My Dog) coming out. It’s available in the UK on August 19. But it won’t be here in the US until March 21, 2011!

Does it take six months to translate Britishisms into Americanese? Does it take that long to design a cover? To get it into American bookstores? I imagine that the publisher needs the time to do a marketing campaign and so on.

But why delay the US Kindle version of Atkinson’s new book until March 21, 2011?

Readers are an impatient lot and want their books now. With e-publishing, there’s really no reason for such an indefensible delay.