Okay, tomorrow is the big day! I know, I’ve bothered you all week, but I just wanted to be sure I got the word out.
This will mark three books published in 10 months. It’s not quite as amazing as it sounds. For one thing, for a number of reasons I had a three-year-hiatus in publishing, well, except for my companion cookbook. So, this pretty much puts me back on track for a book a year. It amounts to the four books of the Traces of Treasure Series, and the stand-alone historical novel The Hag Rider (my other Summer of 2020 release).
I managed to cobble Penumbra together in a little over five months, from the first page to the final revision and signed contract. My first book, The Fever, took close to three years. Writing is like any other journey. There are left turns and right turns, and any number of hard stops. One encounters bumpy roads and pitfalls. Actually, in writing, we create a lot of bumpy roads and pitfalls.
Anyway, thanks for coming along for the ride. There will be more to come, most certainly. I have assembled quite a crew of characters who are meant to take this series forward, but I probably won’t feature ALL of them at the same time as I did in Penumbra.
Look for Penumbra on Amazon tomorrow, in Kindle, KindleUnlimited, & paperback. I’m working on getting copies into some bookstores as well but with my small publisher, this is a work in progress.
I guess it is time for another review! Bonnye Reed is another prolific Goodreads reviewer with almost 2900 reviews posted. She’s reviewed several of my books and I am gratified that she has so far liked my work:
I am pleased to refer Thomas Fenske to friends and family. He writes a tight, intriguing story set in the desert southwest – or as we know it, God’s Country. His characters are contrary but honest, and his background and scenic descriptions are spot-on. The addition of mystical and possibly unhappy spirits is an added bonus. I have enjoyed everything I have read from Thomas Fenske, and this is another five-star effort.
Penumbra is stand alone, the fourth in the series Traces of Treasure. Sam and his girlfriend Smidgeon along with several of their friends get drawn into another intriguing search for missing treasure. They travel over the desert SW, driving from Van Horn, TX north into the White Mountain Wilderness north of Ruidoso, NM, and back around and through the Mescalero Reservation and Tularosa, Alamogordo, and several trips through Roswell – back in the age of payphones and Roswell without aliens everywhere. It was a good trip, very nostalgic and satisfying. It was also back in the ago of mandatory 55 mph all across the US, but the drudgery of travel in that time period is left out thank goodness. Most of us remember that all too well. .
Mixed into Penumbra is a posse of good friends, conscientious law enforcement, polite, helpful people, and excellent food – I enjoyed that part of traveling back in the day. You will, too. And the bad guys are satisfyingly bad. Definitely a win-win novel.
I am blushing when I read such high praise. You can judge for yourself.
Penumbra will be available on Amazon Saturday, August 1, in Kindle, KindleUnlimited, and Paperback. Pre-order Kindle NOW at Amazon!
Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina.
You can find more information about him and his writing at http://thefensk.com
There are four days until the release of Penumbra!
How about another review?
Diane Bylo is co-owner of the Tometender Book Blog. She is an awesome book-reviewing machine. I just checked her totals on GoodReads and Diane has at this moment, 6490 reviews posted. By the time you go check, it will most likely be more!
She took a chance on my first book, The Fever, and has reviewed every one of my titles since then. I told her I thought this was the best book so far, and she agreed. Here’s what she had to say:
Thomas Fenske’s writing, his characters and the scrapes they get into always remind me of simpler times and dare I say the family television of yesteryear? PENUMBRA is the latest in the Traces of Treasure series and it combines mystery, mayhem and a touch of the unknown as Sam, Smidgeon and their friends take time off from the diner and head to the hills for adventure.
This time out, Sam isn’t at the top of his game, so when someone Smidgeon met before seeks her help in finding her missing boyfriend, the plot thickens as the whole truth comes out. There is treasure buried in them thar hills and isn’t that just right up their alley?
Whose treasure is it? How can it be found? Who knows the secret to finding something buried centuries before? Who will live to uncover the truth? Who is scamming who? Hang on tight, this down-home mystery has Sam and company up to their pickaxes in deceit and the supernatural and you are going to love it as old friends return, once again!
There are five days remaining until the release of Penumbra!
Today, I’d like to share one of the pre-release reviews. Marianne Reese is a fellow author and book blogger. Please visit her Amazon Author Page to learn more about her. We found each other through a Facebook author forum and have been fans of each other ever since. She’s an awesome writer … check out her books.
She even has a cameo in the third book of the series, Lucky Strike. She read an early version of the manuscript and mentioned that she actually lived in one of the locations for a short time; it coincided with the timeframe of the book! So I stuck a scene with her in there, stranded with a flat tire and helped by one of the protagonists. It added a little compassionate depth to his character and allowed me to honor the support and help she’s given me over the past few years.
This is the fourth book in the Traces of Treasures series, and like the first three, it did not disappoint!
Sam and Smidgeon, along with their friends, are at it again on the hunt for a treasure, but who’s the true owner of the much sought after cache?
Friendship and faith collide with evil as the mystery unravels in this page-turning story.
With less than a week to go before publication, I’m going to let you in on a few of the surprises in my August release, PENUMBRA.
For the first of these surprises, I’d like to introduce you to a new character, Ximena. Well, actually, she’s not quite a new character. We’ve met her twice before, in the first two books of the Traces of Treasure Series. She was a young girl in The Fever, a passenger in a car Sam encountered at a gas station in Fort Stockton Texas. She served as a translator for her aunt, an old bruja woman who discerned the danger surrounding Sam’s life and gave him a small stone that contained the power to help protect him.
After surviving the troubles in The Fever, Sam managed to lose track of the stone and danger followed him again in A Curse That Bites Deep because of its absence. The old woman sensed this and perceived the peril that Sam faced, so she looked him up to warn him. The young girl, now a few years older, served as the driver for her aunt.
In Penumbra, this girl is now a young woman of about nineteen. Her aunt recently died, passing the torch of responsibility to her young charge, who we learn is Ximena (pronounced Hi-men-a). Although new to brujeria, she does not take this duty lightly.
Brujeria is a form of spiritual belief akin to witchcraft in Latin American cultures. Ximena has been well instructed, and as we will find out, possesses perceptions and powers that go far beyond even a loose interpretation of normal.
Consider this passage from Penumbra, when Sam is about to encounter some of the bad guys unarmed.
..the phone rang again.
“Sam! Where are you?”
“We just pulled into Carlsbad. Ximena made me stop and call you.”
Smidgeon’s heart skipped a beat. “What?”
“She suddenly pointed at a payphone on the side of the road and said I needed to call you right away. Is there anything wrong?”
“I just got off the phone with Holly. She told me that Earl called and let her talk to Dave. He’s in Carlsbad with Earl and Ding. She is supposed to come by herself along with the paper and meet them at a small store on Lea Street at 5 in the morning. She said it is on the west side of town.”
“I have the paper.”
“I know that. I was just fixing to call Mule to ask him what we should do when you called.”
“Call Holly, and tell her to stay put. I’ll handle it.”
“Sam, how can you face off with Earl and Ding? You don’t even have a gun.”
“I have Ximena.”
She’s young and she’s short, about five feet tall, but she’s already proven that she can handle herself in a tense confrontation.
What can she do? What does she do? Well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it?
Penumbra, the fourth book in my Traces of Treasure Series, is an adventure mystery that continues the adventures of Sam, Smidgeon, and Lance, along with a few other friends and characters. Yes, the ghosts are back as well, more ghosts than you might expect. The first three books in the series are basically a trilogy, but this continuation of the series is quite capable of standing alone. But I have to warn you: after reading this one you will be hooked; you will definitely want to go back and read the other three. Just saying …
I’ve just released my fourth novel, The Hag Rider. It is historical fiction set during the Civil War and because of that setting, it covers subject matter that can generate an emotional response in many people. In normal times I’d let it go at that and leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions. But because of the nature of the book, I want to offer just a little more introduction.
It is written as a Civil War memoir from the viewpoint of a Confederate cavalryman, who was just fifteen-years-old when he enlisted. Early in the book, we met Jack, a broken boy in Texas who runs away. He manages to discover parental love and wisdom through Moze, an enslaved man who in essence becomes his family. Moze is anxious and reluctant when Jack is enticed by fiery secession fever and decides to enlist, to join the Civil War campaign. Concern for Jack leads his mentor to seek protection for his young friend through the only source available to him. A local witch, Vanita, who is also a slave, embodies a source of mysterious power in spite of her life situation. Jack makes his way through the violent and confusing time of war, with her help, and through his reflection on lessons gleaned from Moze’s discourses about dignity, respect, and humanity.
Yes, it is set in the south during the Civil War, but this book is far from a glorification of the antebellum era. At its core, it is a soldier’s story told through young eyes. Jack is against slavery and he strives to overcome the prejudices of the time while at the same time knowing he is a product of those times.
If we were attempting to have coffee today, I’d be lapsing into book news again. Sorry. I know it gets tiresome but I try to not make it so. Ah, but with a new release coming out Monday, June 1 … it’s an exciting time. A new release always is.
But I know I’ve talked about The Hag Rider several times in recent weeks, so I’ll just say the kindle edition is now available for pre-purchase on Amazon. <—<< click there to check it out.
In other news, this is not my only new release this summer. August 1, I will be releasing the fourth book in the Traces of Treasure Series, Penumbra. I consider the first three books in the series a trilogy, but I’ve always thought the second and third books could stand on their own — but a reader gets more enjoyment if they’ve read the first and/or second books. With this fourth book, the story stands on its own … yes, you’ll want to know the characters better but they (and the reader) are so consumed with the evolving mystery, the past is soon rendered moot.
That said, I want to unveil the new cover’ I consider this one to be the most awesome cover of all my books.
I’ll reveal more about the book later, but I want you to know I think this is the best book of the series so far. Like I said, it is due out in August.
In other news, in honor of this unveiling, I’ve put the kindle editions of second and third books of the series on sale for 99 cents. Sorry, I already had a special on the first book in April and it will be a while before Amazon lets me do it again. My hope is that if you have read The Fever, you will jump on this opportunity to experience A Curse That Bites Deep and Lucky Strike. They should both be on sale in the US and UK for 99c/99p starting sometime today through next Thursday. Update: I created a link to both books on my web page: http://thefensk.com/spec.html
As restrictions ease, please stay vigilant. I suspect this thing is not over. Just exercise common sense, please. Stay safe.
==================================== Thomas Fenske is a writer living in NC. More information on his books can be found at http://thefensk.com
If we were having coffee, I’d be in a big rush. “It’s all about the timing,” I’d say.
Or maybe it’s fate. I’m not sure. These aren’t situations I’ve created. Well, I guess that’s not true. Yes, I’m responsible, but the timing difficulties aren’t my doing.
You see, next Saturday, my lovely, talented daughter is getting married and we are in a whirlwind of final preparations. Here’s where fate comes in. That same day is the release date of my second novel. Yes, I had a hand in her creation and in the creation of the book, but the convergence of these dates is not my fault. Really.
We are in the process of going crazy trying to check off every detail on our multiple lists. Remember the shoes? There seem to be endless final touches and my lovely bride has made other crafty contributions as well meaning there are other decorations to tweak. And all of the contacts must be coordinated: Caterer, Cake, DJ, Photographer, Venue …
And in the middle of all of this, in the background, I’m trying to lay the groundwork for the release of my book. Thankfully, my publisher started doing “pre-release” earlier this year. With that, the book is already rolled out to the ebook retailers but in pre-release. That means readers are offered the opportunity to pre-purchase the book for a 25% discount. You just don’t get it until release day. It’s a good deal, really.
It also allows me the opportunity to do some of the promotion work early. That’s the only thing that’s keeping me sane about it right now. And outlets like Facebook and WordPress will let me schedule posts so I can set up some “RELEASED TODAY” posts ahead of time … so I guess the release will be heralded with at least some fanfare. I am under strict orders to NOT mention the book at the wedding. I’m good with that. It’s my daughter’s special day, not mine. Anyway, I’ll be too busy being the gracious host.
So I probably will miss coffee next week. Maybe one of my coffee buddies will pitch in and help my auto posts along. Oops, I gotta go …
Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina. His latest novel, A Curse That Bites Deep will be released October 1. More info: http://thefensk.com