Weekend Coffee Cookbook

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If we were having coffee today, I’d have to talk about the cookbook.

What cookbook?

Well, it’s this way:  I saw somebody else had a cookbook based on their book series.  I was downright gobsmacked.  I’m a cookbook collector, I’ve created a couple of cookbooks before, my novel series Traces of Treasure has a small country cafe as a central locale, and I’m just slapping myself in the forehead for not thinking of this before.

Sure, I’m being derivative.  So, who isn’t?  As a collector I have to tell you, everybody and their dog has put out a cookbook.  Everybody is being derivative.

So, I’m cobbling one together.  I actually have the concept pretty well nailed down, I’ve got the recipes copied and (mostly) formatted.  Formatting, that’s the key.  Takes time.  And I need to find some more royalty free art to sort of jazz it up.  I’ve got a little, just need a little more.  Then finalize things and it will be ready to go.

If you’re interested, I suggest you sign up to my mailing list.  You can find a link for that on my web page.  That will be part of the promotional part of this, to get the mailing list moving along.  Anyway, I think it is an awesome cookbook.  Since the novels are set in  West Texas there are lots of Southwestern recipes and just a little bit of fun too.  It’s written as if the fictional proprietress of the little cafe has put it together.  She’s a lot of fun.

Keep tuned!


Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina.  You can find out more information about his books and subscribe to his mailing list at:
http://thefensk.com

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Weekend Coffee Research

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.com

If we were having coffee today I’d have to hurry because I’ve been busy researching and want to get back to it.  Book three in my Traces of Treasure series has been off to a slow start and I am finally making some progress.  I’m pretty much what they call a “pantser” in my writing.  Well, a total pantser just starts writing, as if by the seat of their pants, going wherever the story may take them.  I’m not that hard-core. I have the germ of an idea and I cobbled together a basic outline based on that idea.

But at this stage of the story, early in, I tend to get bogged down in simple details.  I want to set the stage just right, and possibly set up for future action.  Working in the past (the story is set in 1983) is tricky and I am in a somewhat unfamiliar locale.  Limited resources prevent me from traveling there so I use a combination of Google maps & Satellite views and USGS topographic maps to help me.  I’m lucky on the latter because I can get USGS maps from the past.  Most of my action takes place in far West Texas so things don’t change too much.  But they do change, so I rely on the topographic map to keep me in the time frame.

I used to buy the maps for some location work.  Ironically, one of the characters in my first book did the same thing, spreading them out on the floor with a huge magnifying glass and a big lamp.  Now, you can get those same maps in PDF format.  I have to say, zooming the PDF gives one a much better view than any magnifying glass.  Awesome details emerge.

I found something so interesting, I had to write to the actual ranch I identified in the PDF to get some clarification.  I hope they write back.  They should.  It’s a big operation and they have their own web page and had detailed contact information.  It’s a working ranch so I’ll have to be patient.  It is funny where research takes you.  Their web page had a history of their ranch and it was a fascinating look into a place I’d never heard of before.  But it was a typical story too, one small piece of history that helps to fill in an overall sense of time and place.  Really interesting.

It feels really good to be actively writing again.  Getting excited about this story.  I think it is going to rival the other two in suspense and mystery.  I had to take off so long because of my eyes, then got lazy because of that downtime, it’s been tough to start up again.  Today was the first day I felt like I was really back.

 

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Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina.  Yes, a writer.  And he’s writing.  I promise.  More info: http://thefensk.com

Giveaway!

How about a new giveaway for the new year?

I’ve partnered with TomeTender Book Blog to give away a signed copy of both of my novels  … so you have two chances to win
thomas-fenske-banner

Enter the Giveaway

These books follow the story of Sam Milton and are inspired by a Texas legend — you’ll find mystery, romance, danger, and a touch of the supernatural.

… a riddle, an obsession, & a curse …what could possibly go wrong?

More info on the books can be found at www.thefensk.com … there are giveaway links there too.  Don’t forget to reblog!

Great News!

Judgement day

My latest novel, A Curse That Bites Deep, will be published October 1!

My publisher, in association with most of the major eBook retailers, have decided to offer the a 25% discount on eBook pre-orders until the official release day. On the first of October it goes back to normal price.

That’s a crisp one dollar bill off, folks!  It will reserve your copy and it will be available on release day.

This is a sequel to my debut novel, The Fever, and continues the story.  Ah, but things take an evil turn in this one.   People are dying, suspicions run high, and poor Sam seems to be in the thick of things.

More information and quick buy links can be found on my web page:http://www.thefensk.com

If you have already caught THE FEVER … you won’t want to miss this continuation.
If you haven’t caught THE FEVER … yet … well, there is still time!

 

WeekendCoffeeShare: The Find

img_6284If we were having coffee I’d have to tell  you about the find.  I mean, we all seem to spend half our lives trying to find something, either our glasses, the car keys, or the remote control.  Sometimes it’s something we hung onto for six years and threw away as useless only last week.  Sometimes, it is something we weren’t even looking for.  Those are the best, especially when it is something significant or remarkable.

That’s what this conversation is about, something I found that was both significant and remarkable.  And I wasn’t looking for it, either, but I’m glad I know where it is now.

What I found was the original note I wrote detailing the basic premise of my novel, The Fever.  I remember the fact of writing it but here was the remarkable thing: I didn’t know I had dated it.  I don’t date anything, but I did this time.  It was written 30 years previously THAT SAME WEEK.  I’d come across it from time to time but hadn’t seen it since long before I wrote the novel.  The mere fact of writing it down pretty much committed the few facts I jotted down to memory, but the note itself had been floating around the house for quite a while.  I hadn’t planned on writing anything that day in 1986.  My wife and I had gone to San Antonio for a weekend getaway.  She was several months pregnant and had decided to take a nap after some of our running around and I retired to the hotel bar to let her sleep for a short while.  Bored, I asked for some stationery and wrote down a page of notes.

There wasn’t a lot of detail but at the heart of it was this:  “Shift to flashback – ten years earlier.  Scene: Jail holding tank (Austin?) Protagonist is incarcerated >> befriending grizzled old-timer who has been manhandled by police during arrest.  He was punched in the throat and is coughing up blood. Our hero holds his head up and gives him water and talks to him but he is dying.  At this point he is told certain details of the lost Franco mine in West Texas.  They seem to be the muddled words of a dying wino but the hint of truth rings clear.  The information seems to be a bit more than an empty legend.  The man dies and the information is quietly filed away.”

The novel has all of that, although I later found a bit of Texas folklore to use as the goal — not sure how I concocted the “Franco” mine, but it was the idea I think.  But the injured wino in jail, making his deathbed confession remained the catalyst of the story over all the years of speculation, writing, and revision.

The note ended up with: the hero beginning to … “research the legend.  The information he was given jives with the legend — and then some.  The fire burns in his breast now and he tries to find every and any shred of evidence he can.  He studies historical records, oral histories, geologic maps, & topographic maps >> IF it exists — maybe he can find it.”

All remained central to the story.  Even the “fire burns in his breast now’ … later naturally applied itself to the title: The Fever.

It’s ironic I find it right now too, I’d tell y ou … here, right on the cusp of the publication of the sequel to The Fever.  I never envisioned an extension to the story, but now there is not only an extension, there is even a third book in the works.

All from my decision to take a short break in a bar in San Antonio Texas.


Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina.  He is the author of The Fever and A Curse That Bites Deep (Due out October 1).  More info:  http://thefensk.com

 

 

Donut Delight –#weekendcoffeeshare 6/3/16

If we were having coffee, it being National Donut Day weekend, I’d be inclined to read you a passage from The Fever, about a legendary Austin donut shop:

“The aggravation of Austin’s rush hour traffic spurred Sam to make a side trip on the way to work. Mrs. Johnson’s was a doughnut shop that had carved a niche in the collective appetite of Austin. If he drove past the shop late at night when the hot doughnuts were being freshly glazed, the aroma would permeate the air with a sweet and luscious fragrance that was impossible to ignore without stopping.

“My car starts shaking and then automatically pulls in,” he would joke to friends.

Despite its reputation, the store itself was not impressive. It was a low-slung frame building with peeling paint and a parking lot that resembled the lunar surface.

“A dozen glazed,” was his order. The clerk sauntered over to the production line and pulled his order from the warm doughnuts that were resting after being glazed. As he carried his prize back to the car, he savored the irresistible aroma and could feel a gentle warmth radiating from the box.”

More information on The Fever: http://www.thefensk.com

Isn’t It Time You WON Something?

This is just a friendly reminder that there are still TWO COPIES (Kindle version) of my novel, THE FEVER up  for grabs on an Amazon Giveaway.  No purchase necessary, just go and enter for a chance to win.

What’s The Fever?  I’m glad you asked.

What if someone told you how to find a lost gold mine?
What would YOU do?
THE FEVER is about Sam Milton, and that’s exactly what happened to him. Now he is obsessed with finding it and it hasn’t been easy. Time, money, skepticism … he deals with all these things and, in the process, he’s lost friends, lost love, and begins to question his own sanity. Still he goes out … again and again, trespassing, risking his life, and his freedom … for what? He doesn’t know anything except the raw urging that tugs at his soul, driving him to continue.
How far would you go to feed your FEVER?

Click below to enter the giveaway … it takes just a second … and you don’t need a kindle to enter.

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/2c2b70a3a7387f64

Amazon has a kindle app for just about any device.  Open up your world!

 

Sometimes Life Imitates Art

As I was reading this story:

http://www.statesman.com/ap/ap/us/treasure-hunters-disappearance-still-a-mystery-aft/nrH4Z/

I was amazed at the parallels between between this real-life drama and some of the situations I wrote about in my novel The Fever.  The novel was published long before the tragedy of this man’s disappearance but his apparent fixation with his treasure parallels the trail of obsession for the Lost Sublett Mine my main character Sam follows in the book.  As I explained while detailing Sam’s fictional quest, such an endeavor is extremely dangerous.   In Sam’s case, no one knew exactly where he was headed.  He almost died within the novel’s pages and I made it very plain, it would have been quite a while before anybody found him.  If ever.

My heart goes out to this family.  Even though I concocted and imagined a similar scenario, I can not help but feel sorry for their plight … I know how helpless they feel.  Here’s hoping that he turns up soon, hopefully alive and well.