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Working the Depths of the Red Light District

The new PI Calvin Watters mystery Finders Keepers is now available at Amazon.

Back Cover Text

To beat the streets…

Calvin Watters spent three hard years on the Vegas streets, working the depths of the red light district. When a string of escort murders surfaces and the LVMPD has no answers, they realize that there is only one man they can turn to for help.

…you have to know the streets.

Calvin vowed to never return to his former life, but this new case pulls him back in. As he hits the streets, his honed survival skills kick in, and the PI must call upon his past experience to outwit a worthy opponent.

Caught in the crosshairs.

When Calvin killed Derek Baxter, he added fuel to an ever-growing fire inside Baxter’s longtime sniper partner, Jackson North. Now North is out for revenge, but how far will the hitman go to leave his mark on Calvin’s life?

Review Blurbs

“When it comes to writing compelling, knife-to-your-throat thrillers, Murphy’s the real deal.”—Rick Mofina, USA Today Bestselling Author of Search For Her

“Murphy ramps up the action to new levels in Finders Keepers, pushing the gambit right to the end.”—Jeff Buick, bestselling author of The Wrong Side of Murder

“Full throttle on page one, and it never lets up. It’s a riveting ride.”—James Thayer, bestselling author of House of Eight Orchids

Author Bio

Luke Murphy is the International bestselling author of two series: The Calvin Watters Mysteries and The Charlene Taylor Mysteries.

Murphy played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006.

His sports column, “Overtime” (Pontiac Equity), was nominated for the 2007 Best Sports Page in Quebec, and won the award in 2009. He has also worked as a radio journalist (CHIPFM 101.7).

Murphy lives in Shawville, QC with his wife and three daughters. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude).

Finders Keepers is the fourth book in the Calvin Watters series, and Murphy’s sixth novel overall.

For more information on Luke and his books, and to sign up for his newsletter, visit: www.authorlukemurphy.com

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Gray Man- What a Ride!

A couple of years ago, I started working with a woman who was just as much an avid reader as myself. We share books and have book discussions. I had not seen her for a while because of the pandemic and the first thing she said when we did meet up was not “How are you?” but “Have you read the Gray Man series?”

I had not so she promptly handed me the first four books in the series. If you have not read this series, head over to Amazon and check it out.

As Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series said- “I love the Gray Man!”

The book’s Prologue begins like a fast-paced action movie.

“A flash of light in the distant morning sky captured the attention of the Land Rover’s blood-soaked driver. Polarized Oakleys shielded his eyes from the burnt of the sun’s rays; still, he squinted through his windshield’s glare, desperate to identify the burning aircraft that now spun and hurtled towards earth, a smoldering comet’s tail of black smoke left hanging above it.

“It was a helicopter, a large Army Chinook, and horrific though the situation must have been for those on board, the driver of the Land Rover breathed a subdued sigh of relief. His extraction transport was to be a Russian-built KA-32T, crewed by Polish mercenaries and flown in from over the border in Turkey. The driver found the dying Chinook regrettable but preferable to a dying KA-32T…”

“The Chinook sank off to his left and disappeared behind a brown ridge in the distance.

“The driver fixed his eyes on the road ahead. Not my problem, he told himself. He was not trained to search and to rescue, he was not trained to give aid, and he certainly was not trained to negotiate for hostages.

“He was trained to kill.”

Author Mark Greaney is the #1 New York Times bestselling author. He is the coauthor of seven Tom Clancy novels, and he collaborated with Clancy on three Jack Ryan novels. Greaney lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Gray Man is scheduled to hit Netflix in 2022 with Ryan Gosling in the leading role as Court Gentry-The Gray Man.

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Pre-Order Finders Keeper by Luke Murphy Today!

Available on Amazon.

To beat the streets…

Calvin Watters spent three hard years on the Vegas streets, working the depths of the red light district. When a string of escort murders surfaces and the LVMPD has no answers, they realize that there is only one man they can turn to for help.

…you have to know the streets.

Calvin vowed to never return to his former life, but this new case pulls him back in. As he hits the streets, his honed survival skills kick in, and the PI must call upon his past experience to outwit a worthy opponent.

Caught in the crosshairs.

When Calvin killed Derek Baxter, he added fuel to an ever-growing fire inside Baxter’s longtime sniper partner, Jackson North. Now North is out for revenge, but how far will the hitman go to leave his mark on Calvin’s life?

Order Today!

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Happy New Year!

This past year has been a hard one for all of us. We have had to learn a lot of new norms – lockdown, social distance, no handshakes, no hugs, work remotely, Zoom meetings, etc.

While I did not do much blogging in 2020, I did read a lot of books. It is my hope (fingers crossed) to get several book reviews written in 2021.

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Write a Press Release to Promote Your Book

You have heard it all before. You need a website, you need a blog, you need to be on social media, you need to promote your book, you need to build a tribe, etc. All of this is true.

Have you tried writing a press release to promote your book?

If you don’t know how to write a press release, you can Google how to write a press release and will come up with various examples.

Once you have your press release written you will need to decide where to send it.  Here is a list of sources.

U. S. Newspaper List – write a press release and send it out. This will take time on your part. You will need to review the places you wish to send out your press release.  Small, rural, newspapers are almost always looking for news or are willing to sell you advertising space.

OpenPR Worldwide Public Relations.

PRFire – Free press release distribution in UK.

PRZoom – a free distribution service.

NewsWire Today – a free distribution service.

I can hear you now. This is just a waste of time. Maybe, maybe not. The choice is yours. Do you take a chance or will you whine about the fact that your book isn’t getting in front of enough people?

 

Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

 

 

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Where to find reading recommendations

I am often asked where to find reading recommendations.  I tell them to join the Book Recommendations group on Facebook, to Google book bloggers, to browse the pages of Goodreads, browse through the library stacks and aisles at a bookstore.

I recently Googled “bestselling authors” and a list popped up. One author, Mary Higgins Clark, passed on Friday, January 31, 2020.  Another author, that I had forgotten about because she passed away 20 years ago is Dame Barbara Cartland.

As I was scrolling through the names, Janet Dailey’s name appeared.  There was a time in my life that I devoured every Janet Dailey book I could get my hands on.  My reading taste changed over time as well as the amount of time that I have to devote to reading.  I am sure your tastes have probably changed and you might not have as much time to read as you would like.

I am making my way through the cozy mystery series The Cat Who Series by Lilian Jackson Braun.  I know I will be disappointed when this series ends and it will end as Braun passed away in 2011. But, oh, how I have come to love Koko and Yum Yum, the two Siamese cats in the series. After each book is read, I enjoy picking up the next to see how Koko will help Qwilleran solve the next crime.

The first book in The Cat Who Series is The Cat Who Could Read Backwards.

What book(s) are you reading?

Let me know in the comments below.

 

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Enter 2020 Writing Contests

My last post was about how to spot profitable writing contests.

To get you started entering contests FanStory is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Check out what they are offering!

Enter contests for free. Over $5,000 in cash prizes will be awarded this year.

Get Feedback: Get detailed feedback on every poem, short story, or book chapter you write.  All skill levels welcomed.

Keep your copyright:  You keep the copyright and all rights to your writings.

Join for $9.95 per month or a discount price of $69 for one year. (No, I am not an affiliate of FanStory. Therefore, I do not make any money advertising these contests.)

CONTESTS:

Horror Writing Contest
Put your readers on edge or terrorize them for this horror writing contest. Cash prize for the winning entry.
Deadline: 31 January 2020 (4 DAYS)

Continue reading

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3 Tips on how to spot profitable writing contests

I receive several newsletters and many include contests.

Here are three tips on how to spot profitable contests.

Tip 1: Look for contests that offer a good spread of prizes.

A good spread might be a top prize of $150, 2nd prize of $100,  3rd prize of $75, plus five to ten runner-up prizes of $10 each. Such a contest gives you eight to thirteen opportunities to win.

If you enter a major contest that offers just one top prize and no other prizes, your chances of winning are slim.

Tip 2: Look for contests that offer cash awards and where contestants must meet specific criteria.

The criteria might insist the author falls within a certain age range, ethnic group, gender, occupation or nationality. Provided you truly fit these criteria, you stand a better chance of winning than if you enter a contest that places no restrictions on the entrant.

Why? The number of entrants should be fewer and the judges will be looking for elements in the story that illustrate the criteria of the contest. If all the elements of the criteria are not followed, your story will likely be tossed into the trash heap.

Note, it would be unwise to fake your identity to enter such contests.

Organizers of such contest will more than likely want to publicize their winners to support their agenda.  It would be quiet embarrassing if you won and were asked to give a media interview. Especially, if the criteria were to encourage female writers and you turned out to be male. If you are a male who writes under a female pen name, contact the award organizers to see if you qualify. They may allow it or they may not.

Other criteria of contests may deal with the story itself. Several years ago I ran a contest and ask for three things to appear in the story. Over half of the contestants failed to include these elements and those stories (many of them were very good) were then deemed ineligible for the contest.

So be sure to follow the criteria, closely.

Tip 3: Seek out contests that ask for a small entry fee.

A fee of say $10 – $15 is a reasonable price if the top cash prize is in the three figures. A fee of $30 or more is probably not. For a weekly investment of $160 and an entry fee of $10 you could enter sixteen contests a week and have a good chance, not only of recouping your investment, but also making a profit. At $30 per entry, with your budget of $160, you could enter only five contests per week and would stand very little chance of winning.

 

Go forth and enter contests and Good Luck!

If you enjoyed these tips, sign up for my newsletter to learn other tips, to learn about contests and giveaways, and about books that I have read or am promoting.

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Do you make notes while you read?

Aaron Sorkin stated, “Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from the outright.”

I keep a notepad and pen handy while I am reading a physical book and I keep notepad open while reading an e-book so I can make note of  a sentence that sparks an idea for the story I am working on.

Let me know in the comments if you too make notes as you read.

And, don’t forget to sign-up for my newsletter.

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Proofreading – Wrong Words and Quotation Marks

A writer often has a hard time proofreading their own work.  I know that I do.

Even if you run spell check in your writing software, use Grammarly or some other proofreading software, you still probably did not catch all the errors in your work.

For instance, if use the wrong word and it is spelled correctly, a spell checker may or may not pick up this mistake.

 

Example of wrong word usage:

Did you catch my illusion to the National Geographic article?

The word “illusion” is spelled correctly, however, it means an error in perception of reality.

The correct word to use in the above sentence would be “allusion” which means “reference.”

 

What about those quotation marks?

When quoting another author, you need quotation marks to show where their words began and end.

Example of using quotation marks:

Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a woods, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Without the end set of quotation marks:

Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a woods, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.  Do you see how quotation marks are used?

Since the end set of quotation marks are not in place, a reader may think that everything was written by Frost, when in fact, the question is not part of the quoted poem.

To proofread the above, I would need to add an end set of quotation marks because Frost’s poem does not include the question, “Do you see how quotation marks are used?”

The correct way would be:

Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a woods, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”  Do you see how quotation marks are used?

 

Some authors use Beta Readers to help proofread and to catch those pesky inconsistencies in a story.  You know what I am talking about.  On page forty you read about an electrical fire and the fire department has spewed gallons of water and foam onto the structure, then on page forty-two, the structure has electricity.  Or a character dies on page fifty-five just to magically appear alive on page eighty without an explanation.  Yes, those inconsistencies.

Some authors hire proofreaders and editors.  This is not always possible, especially if you do not have the financial means to pay someone.  And if you do, you need to find the best possible proofreader and editor you can find and can afford to pay.

 

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