Team AlJ Update

Some months ago I shared the story of AlJ and his long struggle with heart disease.  There is little doubt that without a heart transplant … well, let’s just say it didn’t look good.  

He got his transplant and has been been doing very well.   Anything I can say pales in comparison to the following story. In short, there are always two sides to a transplant story. One is upbeat and encouraging. The other story is one of tragedy and nightmare followed by tough decisions. 

Sometimes, those timelines meet, like they did recently with AlJ & the donor family. I’ve long delayed making an update about AlJ.  I saved the best for last. Please click and read this story. 

Donor heart bonds Triangle, Florida families

Can’t Even Give It Away …

img_6284If we were having coffee today I’d admit I was a little depressed this week, because I’ve had a free promotion running all month and although it’s done okay, this promotion hasn’t been nearly as successful as I’d hoped.

“Free?  How can you make any money doing that?”

The truth is, I don’t, but I hoped to get a lot more people interested in my first novel so they’d be ready for the publication of its sequel this fall.

“And you say you can’t even give it away?”

Well, a debut novel is often a hard sell.  Nobody knows who I am, and it is sort of a mixed genre.  People get stuck in romance, mystery, suspense and … well, it has elements of all those things but mostly it is just a good story about a man who’s obsession is his own worst enemy.  Everybody who reads it loves it.  There are twenty-two good reviews on Amazon.  I thought for sure I’d get a lot of downloads when it was free.

“So, what’s the problem?”

I think it is because it is only free on one site … Smashwords.

“What the heck is Smashwords?”

They are a premier self-publishing platform used by hundreds of thousands of independent authors.  A vast percentage of ebooks come from Smashwords these days.

“I thought you had a publisher.”

Oh, I do.  But they also partner with small publishers like mine.  Smashwords converts ebooks into ALL available formats and distributes as well, to the likes of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

“Wow.  So why is the free offer just available at Smashwords?”

They sell direct too; they have a safe online store of their own.  Registration is free and they don’t spam or sell info.  They are very sensitive to that problem.  They are a good deal for authors, too,  because the royalties are higher.  You’ve heard of cutting out the middle man to increase profits?  Well, in this case, they are the middle man.
They have a promotional period every now and then to spread the word about their own retail offers, and I decided to participate this time.  I think people are a little timid to participate because they’ve never heard of it.
It’s too bad, too, because there are thousands of free ebooks available at Smashwords this month, not just mine.  I just hoped people would take advantage of this great offer to give my book a chance. All they need to do is just register and use the code SFREE and download the book … for nothing!

“How do I do they download it?”

It depends on what the user has.  In their FAQ they have instructions for all the major ereader platforms.

“What about the paperback?”

Well, the paperback isn’t free, but it’s available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Createspace.

“Well, this freebie sounds like a good deal.”

Free is always good … but the promotion only lasts until the end of the month.  Time is running out.


Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina.  And it’s true, his debut novel, THE FEVER, is indeed free for the rest of the month at Smashwords.  Links and more info about the book:


Your Next Summer Read Could Be Free

Someone once told me, “New authors can’t even GIVE their books away.”  Well, I want to prove that person wrong and I need your help!

For the next two weeks, my novel, THE FEVER, will be available as a free ebook download.

Get it today!  Details are available at:

It is available for all ebook formats. 

This deal ends July 31st.  Don’t delay!  

Violating My Own Rule

If we were having coffee today I’d apologize for violating my own rule.

You can see it right on my blog … where I mention that I’ll talk about a lot of things, but not shoes.

But today, I’m sorry, I gotta talk about the shoes!

Our daughter is getting married in a couple of months and my lovely wife  is beside herself with preparations. The happy couple are both dancers and the bride expressed some interest in somehow incorporating her immense back stock of old, dirty, used, pointe shoes as part of the table decoration.

If you didn’t know, ballet dancers save these shoes the way sports stars save memorabilia from their playing days.  Pointe shoes are expensive and dancers grind these things into the floor, day after day, supporting their entire weight on one set of toes then the other, until … finally,  the shoes, as they say, are dead, and they get tossed on the pile with the soiled, frayed, and spent remnants of their sister shoes.

I have often been proud of my wife’s skill at crafts but I must say she has outdone herself this time … enacting a most remarkable transformation on these pointe shoes.  I was absolutely  gobsmacked when I saw the first one and they keep getting better and better.  They will ultimately be  displayed upright in a vase as part of the centerpiece for each table at the reception.
I guess you would say in taxidermic terms … in a more natural state

What do you think?

Thomas Fenske is the author of The Fever and the upcoming release of A Curse That Bites Deep.
Download The Fever for FREE all July … Details
Or even better, buy it and the other book when it comes out. He has a wedding to pay for…

Katzenjammer Kats

 Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina.  His debut novel, The Fever,  is NOT about cats, but it IS currently being offered for free in ebook form.  Check his web page for details:

Sharing from Blaise the Baker Book Club – The Fever — Blaise the Baker

If you didn’t already know – I have my own book club over at Join us there! And guess what? I have another new selection! This book is huge in detail and great in commentary and descriptive details. You’ll feel like you’re living in this book… “The Fever” By: Thomas Fenske I am highly […]

via Blaise the Baker Book Club – The Fever — Blaise the Baker

Get “The Fever” Free in July

Awesome! Thanks, Kristin. Reminder to new readers, she has a link back to her recent review of the book. Catch The Fever!

The Edifying Word

Author Thomas Fenske is participating in a freebie at this month. For the month of July, all e-book versions of The Fever are free at Smashwords. Read my review from the end of May – it’s definitely worth giving it a read!

Details here. Use code “SFREE”

When you give it a read, please stop by and let me know what you think!


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