Wednesday, January 6, 2016

V3 now has a facebook page

I created a simple Facebook page at which you can use to communicate more, if you prefer doing so over Facebook. I will soon start another promotion where the book can be downloaded for free for a few days, will provide more information soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

First review in

Mike H. Mccloskey was kind enough to write the first review of my book:

Varied characters and unpredictable plot

This is an engrossing and unpredictable book that pulled me in quickly. It was the combined logic and madness of the first unlikely alliance that forms between the initial characters in the book that really grabbed me. That was well done. In fact, Hofman's characters are widely varied and unusual. It's a strength of the book, though one downside is inevitably you will have some characters you really like and others you don't connect with as easily, so you find yourself waiting for your favorites to return to the foreground.

Hofman has created many unusual events here in a way that takes you off guard. That's another strength of the book: Hofman looks at things in ways you likely haven't seen them yourself, or seen them in books and TV shows.

Sometimes I found some odd details included in the story that I found jarring or unnecessary, but I think it's part of the author's eccentricity: I figure that's a small price to pay for a story that wanders off the beaten path. I think people who have read a lot and are tired of the formula books will especially like Hofman's novels.

The... I'll call them "antagonists", though it all depends on your point of view... are formidable of course. Hofman allows a few vulnerabilities to come out in ways that don't feel contrived.

In summary:
Strengths: unusual characters and situations; intriguing mysteries
Weaknesses: some characters did not catch my interest; sometimes distracted by odd details in the narrative 

I'm glad he enjoyed reading it and hope you will too. You can click on the cover to the right of this post to see it on Amazon, where you can also read the first seven chapters.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Kindle V3 will be free on Amazon on Sunday and Monday

I'm trying out the "free book" promotion, and V3 will be available for free on Kindle through the Amazon link on the right on Sunday and Monday. I'm not exactly sure which times it uses.

If you missed the promotion you can always buy the book for $2.99, or send me a message if you're looking to review it. In case you're curious about the book, you can read chapters 1-7 on the Amazon website as well, and chapter 8 here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chapter 8 - Glass Works

For those that want to read some of the novel before purchasing it, or just are curious, here is chapter 8 (I start with chapter 8, because chapter's 1-7 are already available for reading on the Amazon website as part of the kindle preview).

Glass works

Patty wondered why she sat in a car with Jason, this time driving much farther than the mall, to a city that didn’t have a train station and no way to easily leave in case he left her there. They passed the sign, which stated “Corning”, after which they saw the main reason why the town was still there, the Corning Glass factory. They had grown to be the primary supplier of the glass used for tablets and cell phones used all over the world. The factories were all over town, some sleek and modern, others made of bricks and reminding her of two centuries ago.
She pointed to a building with a combination of old and new. “It’s the museum.”
They were driving a larger van, so it was easier for the wheelchair to come with them.
She had rented it and he drove, with no intention to stop at the museum. “You understand that the fun isn’t at a museum, but at an abandoned factory?”
“Why would they abandon factories? Didn’t they have a new breakthrough? A harder and thinner glass type to make tablets lighter and more durable?”
“As if they need to be more durable. People replace them in less than two years. But yes, things are going well. However, the types of glass they used to make used a very different process, and the machines that made them can’t be modified to make this new type of glass.”
“Why not get new machines?”
“That would make sense. No. They are people, they are nostalgic. That’s why there is a museum, and that’s why they keep old factories around, just in case there is an increase in demand in their older, more beautiful kinds of glass.”
“You don’t think it will happen?”
“There are other places that make that glass now. Cheaper places. Sadly, the quality of the glass they make is also better than this factory would produce. It’s like that earthenware that you like to use. Wedgwood. They went bankrupt and their brand was bought by a Chinese China company.”
“You just liked saying that. But yes, their new teapots are actually better than the old ones.”
“See? It’s not that space is at a high premium here. You saw all the empty lands around this town. No one lives here. No one wants to live here. Except the people that work for the glass factory.”
“And there are more subjects in the glass factory?”
“The woman we found suspected this, yes. She was asked to come here once to take care of people, but this was cancelled later.”
“I’m still not sure why we aren’t involving the police in advance. Detective Persimmon has my attention now. He is more than willing to help us in these investigations.”
“Undoubtedly. But he isn’t a good sharer, and therefore less fun. I distinctly remember my parents telling me that sharing was fun.”
Patty looked at Jason oddly. “Your parents?”
Jason smirked. “They didn’t fail. My brain. It’s just different. Anyway, with Detective Persimmon we would have to follow all sorts of regulations, he would be withholding video files, and we might not even be finding anything else. And for what? It’s not that they are coming up with ideas faster than we are. I doubt they know she was a woman yet.”
The van slowed down in the parking lot of a factory. It was more damaged than the one around the psychiatric center, and her wheelchair bounced around loudly in the back. Chunks of asphalt and brown grass were visible between patches of black snow and ice. Patty frowned as he stopped in the handicapped parking spot.
Jason looked back. “What? No one comes to this parking lot during the day. Also, in case you haven’t noticed, you are actually handicapped. So we can park here.”
“This van doesn’t have a tag. It wouldn’t be legal. Also, my chair is fine moving around.”
“On this parking lot?”
Patty remained quiet for a moment, thinking about something he said. “Someone comes here at night?”
“My contact said that there is indeed activity at night.”
“Your contact?”
“Yes. Don’t worry. You’ll get to meet her. She said she would show up. She was curious what went on inside of the building. She likes places like these.”
Patty looked around. “Where is she?”
Jason pointed at a seven-year-old girl that was skipping along the sidewalk to their van. She had black curly hair escaping from her cap, dark skin and a thick dark green coat with wooden buttons. She waved at the van. Jason got out and waved back. Patty waited in the car until Jason had taken the wheel chair out and had placed it next to the van. He opened the door, and she lifted herself out of the car into the wheelchair.
She looked from the girl to Jason. “Tell me you didn’t.”
“Me? What kind of person do you think I am? That is just disgusting! Of course not. This is my friend Tonaya. Tonaya, this is Patty.”
Tonaya greeted her. “Hi, Patty! I’m glad to finally meet you. Jason talks about you a lot.”
Patty looked at Jason. “Does he now?”
Tonaya nodded. “Yes, he says you were cute, and a good girl. I’m not a good girl. Jason, let’s go! We need to see what is inside now.”
Jason smiled at Tonaya and looked at Patty. “Yes, Mistress. So, good girl, you think you can navigate that chair of yours to the entrance?”
Patty nodded, twisted the dial to fifty percent power and moved forward. The chair bucked, and jumped forward as she moved to the entrance, Tonaya skipping beside her.
She looked at Jason. “Are you sure it’s such a wise idea bringing a little girl into this?”
Jason smiled at Tonaya. “Of course. They should be exposed to these things at an early age.”
Jason turned on the flashlight as they went inside. Light came through the windows at the top, but it was indeed sparse and the flashlight made things cleaner. Tonaya pointed at footsteps in the dust. They went inside, and left again.
Jason looked at them for a moment. “I’m afraid we won’t find anything.”
Patty looked at him, moving the chair along the foot prints. “Why do you think that? These are fresh foot prints. Tonaya was right, someone was here last night.”
“True. But only last night. It’s clear that this is the first time in a long time that someone visited this place. I suspect it was only to make sure there was no evidence left.”
“But they were experimenting on…”
Patty stopped as she looked at Tonaya, who giggled. “I know all about it. They kept little children in here. Jason told me.”
Jason nodded. “To be honest, I think little children are always kept somewhere. It’s not that they aren’t a prisoner with their parents. Or at school. Or with anyone else.”
Patty thought about that for a moment. “But being with your parents is better than being with scientists experimenting on you, isn’t it?”
Jason nodded. “In some cases, I guess. However, not all parents are good parents. Stepparents are notoriously risky. With a scientist there is indeed a chance that you end up in the unenviable position of a feral child, although given that they had no idea of past or future, they probably were happy most of the time, like pets. On the other hand, you could be in the control group, in which case you’d be well cared for and eventually released into society, probably with sufficient money and education to not be noticed by most people.”
Patty turned the wheelchair as the footsteps moved to a down staircase. “You think this place housed the control group? And what is it with things being in basements? Down stairs? With no elevators?”
Tonaya bounced left, where there was a small platform with yellow/black lines around it. “There is an elevator, but I think it needs power, and I don’t think there is any.”
Jason smiled, and lifted Patty out of the wheelchair, even though she protested. “Don’t worry, I can carry you. But again, I doubt we’ll find anything.”
Tonaya twirled back to the chair and waltzed past them down the stairs, into the darkness. “I get to be there first!”
Jason moved faster, staying right behind Tonaya as she navigated the stairs and the turn at the bottom, past the other side of the elevator. “Yes, you are.”
Jason’s flashlight allowed her to see familiar gates. “Those are the same gates we saw at the psychiatric center. That can’t be a coincident.”
Jason nodded. “Yes, they must’ve built the cases using the same materials. It’s always good to keep the two groups in a similar state.”
Tonaya moved inside one of the cages and made faces at Jason and Patty. “They are empty.”
Patty sniffed, smelling something. “It smells very clean.”
Jason smiled, he had already recognized the scent. “It’s bleach. Very effective at removing evidence.”
Patty sighed. “So it’s a dead end. We won’t get anywhere from here.”
Patty gasped at Tonaya’s smile, which looked strangely reminiscent of Jason’s.
She waved her tablet around, which was a bright blue color. “Well, we have the picture of the person that came last night. A girl never goes without her tablet, after all.”
Jason nodded. “Yes, Mistress. This boy is very happy that you thought of that. Do you mind if we investigate that next?”

Tonaya giggled. “Of course not. You want to do it here? Or at a place with a little bit more power?”

Now available in paperback and kindle format on Amazon

Amazon now has a single page where you can buy both versions of the book, and it has also linked that page to my author page where you can find my other books (but on that page V3 is still missing, but I assume that this will be added soon as well). I will update this blog to have a link to the book soon, and I will post one or two chapters from the book so you can check see what it is like.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Kindle version now available on Amazon

CreateSpace finally approved by book and now has it available for sale on their site. Soon it will be available on Amazon as well. Amazon already has the kindle version available for $2.99. I will work on my advertising campaign tonight. Just in time for NaNoWriMo.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Second proof in

The second proof of V3 is in. There are still some minor issues, but these should be easily fixable. It is very likely that the book will be published and available on Amazon before November, when I should start working on my next novel.

You can see a picture of the book on the left, it's twice as thick as my Mar Enmig novels (it also took two years instead of one).