Have You Caught THE FEVER?

img_5454-1I’m hosting a giveaway through Amazon for a copy of The Fever. Three copies are still up for grabs.
Trust me, it’s not just another “lost gold mine” story … find out for yourself.

This giveaway is to celebrate the Hilah Cooking video detailing a dish described in the novel, Huevos Rancheros Especial.  imageClick below, and watch the video (it’s a short video) and maybe you’ll win a Kindle version of The Fever!

GIVEAWAY >>>->> https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/6b3d884ab12e291b

Don’t have a Kindle?  The free Amazon Kindle reading app can run on your tablet, your phone, your computer … there is no excuse not to enter!


From a few of the reviews on Amazon:

“What an enjoyable read! Nothing better than diving into an adventure story and being swept along as if you are actually there.”
“This is a good read, fast paced, good action descriptions. Hard to put down!”
“…one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.”
“Fun story, great characters! Looking forward to the sequel”
“How far would you go to feed your Fever?”
“Fun read! Easy to place yourself in the old VW clunker with their minimalist heating and defrosting.”


If we were having coffee …

img_5454If we were having coffee, I’d be complaining about how hard it is to sell a debut novel.  I’d tell you how all my author friends say the first book is the hardest but to keep at it.  They always assure me that by the time I publish the third or fourth book I will be on my way.  But then again, they’re not really friends, are they?  They are the competition.    

Still … I’d tell you that I see their point.  I’d finish my coffee and carefully place the empty mug on the table, then stand up and announce, “That’s it, then .. my next novel will officially be my FOURTH novel!”


Thomas Fenske is the author of The Fever


Fickle Finger of Fame

I’ve always secretly wished someone would name a sandwich after me.
That has long been my theoretical high-water mark of fame. I’ve just about given up on that one, but I’ve always subscribed to the notion that if the wind is just right, sometimes a wisp of fame might blow across one’s brow.
I feel a bit like that today because something exciting has happened: The popular YouTube cooking show, Hilah Cooking just released a new video featuring a dish inspired by my novel, The Fever. IMG_4221

I am very humbled by her effort. In the novel, the dish Huevos Rancheros Especial, was a specialty of a café that is not only mentioned, becomes a major locale in the book (as well as the upcoming sequel).
Okay, I confess, I’ve known Hilah for a quite a while and, since she is a friend, she read my novel.  I am gratified that she said she really liked it. We kind of joked about her doing a video early on, but then I realized something … she was serious: she really wanted to recreate the dish.

Ah, but first I had actually make the dish I had described. Think “Proof of Concept” here.  image
I did, and I have to admit that it was delicious and although I had completely made it up for the book, it tasted exactly like I had imagined it would.


imageLike any great cook, Hilah took what I did and tweaked it to fit her style. And of course, she knew what to do to make it look great on screen too. She did an awesome job!  Did I say I was humbled? I am downright gobsmacked!

So I urge you to go watch the video, and while you’re there check out some of Hilah’s other awesome videos. You will be there a while because there are a LOT.
Picture me blushing right now – I may not be famous but I am surely honored.

Hilah on YouTube

Interested in the book?  Please buy it >>>> details on THE FEVER here!
    (links to buy and more info on the novel itself)



Confession Time

IMG_4814-1It’s April Fool’s Day and I’m fessing up … I did play a little joke on my readers and now, finally, the truth will come out.

This is about character names. Names are always tough for a writer. My old creative writing professor at the University of Houston, Mr. Karchmer, always chastised us for worrying too much about names. Everybody did it, and looking around at a lot of the current deluge of writers, everybody still does it.
His point: they are just names, concentrate on the story.  I know writers who get baby books for ideas, and there are online guides for “most popular names” for given years. All good stuff. I have an unpublished completed draft where the main character is Tucker Bailey … those are the names of two of my cats.
For my novel, The Fever, I decided to have a little fun. I spent way too much time on this too because it was a lot harder than I imagined it would be. When I started planning the novel, although I had already worked out most of the major plot elements in my head, I needed a number of good character names. I got an idea. What about … anagrams? So I experimented with a few choice phrases that had some bearing on the plot. A few of them were zero … I don’t remember exactly what I tried at first … but then I tried lostgoldmine. I used an online anagram generator for this and got a wide range of what looked like usable words. I had to ignore the words lost, mine and gold along with combinations that included those words because they was too obvious (for example, golden and mein). 

 I poured over the lengthy list pulling out what I hoped were suitable names worthy of the characters I imagined. Sometimes I found I could combine items on the list into viable names that didn’t appear directly in the list.
Through quite a number of revisions, all the names remained intact but down the line, as I solicited input from test readers, about ¾ of them hated my main character’s name … his first name was Milt. It was too bad, too, because I kinda liked old Milt. Another character had a name that was really just too similar to another character … that was Midge. 

So in later revisions I changed them both to more accessible names. But a majority of the other character names survived intact: Smidgeon Toll, Loot Meldings, Godson Millet, Ted “Slim” Longo, Gillet Osmond .. even a place name made the cut, Dolings Motel. All should be anagrams of lost gold mine (barring a typo in this hasty blog entry).

I also added another small similar touch … Loot Meldings lived at 4653 Tesoro Rd … using a phone numberpad anagram, 4653=GOLD and of course Tesoro is Spanish for treasure.

I also have a confession … on two stray pages, I messed up and called Milt Mitch. Of course when I did a global search and replace to change Milt to Sam, those references to “Mitch” were missed. Although I corrected it in the publisher galleys, somehow that change did not make it into the Amazon kindle edition … and after MONTHS, I am still trying to get them to upload the fix. Nook, iBook, print editions are all good but the Amazon problem persists. The question, “Who the hell is Mitch” has been directed to me a number of times.

Anyway, please forgive me my bit of fun.  I think it worked out okay. 

 Interested? get more info and links to buy the book at