Friday, August 24, 2012

Dear God, will you please...

My aunt had a prayer box. She said if I wrote down my problems and stuck them into the box, I wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore. God would solve them.

My little cousin told my aunt he didn’t think God answered prayers. “I had a headache once and prayed to God to make it go away, and it didn’t.”

“Do you still have that headache?” My aunt asked.

I shared my cousin’s skepticism. However, Auntie Joy had been right about pretty well everything else she’d taught me, so I figured I’d make myself a prayer box…just as an experiment.

I was about 9-years old, exactly the right age to enjoy cutting out poems and pictures and words of wisdom to decorate that old shoe box. And just the right age to write down lots and lots of stuff and slip those papers into that box. I didn’t just write down problems, I also asked for things. I figured if God was going to answer prayers, I might as well take full advantage of that.  I kept adding little notes over the next few months until some other childhood flight of fancy caught my attention. The prayer box languished under the trappings of a busy youngster.

The point of the prayer box was that you were to forget about the things you’d written, because, after all, God had it all under control. You weren’t supposed to be opening it and snooping at your prayers—once they were in that box, they were God’s problems, not yours. 

Of course that wasn’t going to happen. When I found that box a year later, you can be pretty sure I was going to check out the success rate of my prayers. Since I hadn’t noticed any miracles in my life, I wasn’t expecting much. 

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THE TRAZ


RegularandSchool editions ebookOnly 99¢ this month!
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Decades later, when my children were around 9-years old, I got them to help me build a new prayer box. We all put our little notes in there and carried on. As had happened to me years ago, the novelty wore off in a few months and the prayer box disappeared from the kitchen counter. A year later, I pulled it out of my closet, gathered the children, and opened that box. 

Some of our prayers had been answered so naturally, no one had even noticed. The kids’ immune systems had kicked in and their colds had gone away, antibiotics had cured my bladder infection, the terrible event I’d worried about, simply hadn’t happened.

Some requests were answered in strange ways. The hail storm hadn’t avoided us, but because of the damage it caused, the insurance company paid for the new vehicle paint job I’d wanted.  The lost dog had not returned but his absence had left room in our home and hearts for a new puppy in desperate need of a good home—a puppy that ended up being much better with the kids. I’d given my daughter my old camera when I got a new one, not knowing she’d popped a request for a camera into the prayer box.

Some requests had been answered by hard work on our part. The massive garage sale I’d organized provided the cash needed to pay off those worrisome bills. My daughter passed that exam she’d been worried about—thanks to hours and hours of homework and studying 

Many, many of the problems we’d written down, we simply couldn’t remember having. We decided those prayers must have been answered since the problems were obviously no longer worrying anyone. “Do you know why I was worried about your left leg, Tracy?” “No.”

And, oh yes, every one of our headaches had gone away.
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"A psychological mystery of the first order..."
"...insanely entertaining..."


 _______________________________

Eileen Schuh, Canadian writer
www.eileenschuh.com

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Safe Harbor

I'm helping author, Rosemary McCracken, celebrate her first mystery novel SAFE HARBOR. After you read the following excerpt, you will want to download this thriller and join the celebration--especially since SAFE HARBOR is free today from Amazon.

Thank you, Rosemary, for sharing this chilling excerpt. 
 
Chapter One

It was a little after four o'clock on the thirtieth day of December. The Bay Street and Wall Street stock markets had just closed when an attractive dark-haired woman rushed into my office. Her china-blue eyes were pleading. "Mrs. Tierney, I need to speak to you."
"You can't just barge in here," said Rose Sisto, our administrative assistant. "I'm sorry, Pat, she ran past me."
The New Year was almost here and I had work to finish up because the girls and I planned to drive up north in the morning. I was about to tell Rose to head on home and I decided now would be a good time to do so. "I'll take care of it, Rose. Call it a day. I'll lock up." 
Rose scowled at the woman and then nodded to me. "Thanks, Pat." She offered me a cautious smile. "Happy New Year." She closed the office door.
I motioned to the woman to take the chair that faced my desk.
"You've caught me at a bad time, Ms.…"
She extended her hand. "Seaton. Jude Seaton."
I hesitated and then shook it. "I'm very busy."
"I'll pay for your time, of course." She dug into her shoulder bag.
I held up a hand. "Five minutes. Then, I'll write a note for Rose to book you an appointment in January. And my fees only apply to my clients. Until you and I decide to work together, there's no charge. Who referred you to us?"
"It…it's not what you think. I don't need an investment advisor."


I slid my chair back. "Then why come to me?" I was sure she was going to try to sell me something, until I saw tears glisten on her cheeks.
I pushed a box of tissues across the desk. She patted her face and fixed her eyes on me again.
What was she up to?
"It's my little boy, Tommy. I'm afraid someone will…" She worried her hands together. "Hurt him."
"Your little boy?"
She took a deep breath. "I've heard a lot about you. Gemma Johannsen is a friend of mine."
Gemma had come to my late husband, Michael for investment advice when she had inherited her uncle's large estate. I'd managed her money for the past four years, since Michael's death.
"I realize this is a strange request, but…I need someone to take Tommy over the New Year, while I sort things out. Would you…"
I stared at her and wondered whether she was crazy. She was in her mid-thirties, nicely dressed in slim-fitting black trousers and a black cashmere turtleneck. Well groomed. Didn't look like a head case, but…
"Ms. Seaton, if your son is in danger, you need the police."
"No. No police."
I was taken aback. "They'll know how to handle whatever this is."
"Absolutely no police."
I frowned. She was up to something she didn't want the police to know about. I wanted her out of my office.
I stood up. "Surely this is a matter for your family."
"I can't leave Tommy with my mother or my sister. Or any of my friends."
I didn't need this. I walked over to the door and opened it. "Look, Ms. Seaton, I've had enough. You must have noticed in the listings downstairs that our name is Tierney Pratt Financial. We're a financial services firm, not a child-care center."
The woman's eyes seemed to grow larger in her pale face. "I don't know where else to go, and I didn't think you'd turn Tommy away."
"Whatever made you think that?"
"Tommy," she started, in a voice not much louder than a whisper, "is Michael's son."
I stared at her and let her words sink in. She held my gaze.
"Michael?” I asked. “My husband?"
-30-

Download your free ebook from 

SAFE HARBOR is free for 3 days only:
August 21 - 23, 2012

Available as a paperback on Amazon.com  Amazon.co.uk Amazon.ca  Barnes & Noble


View McCracken_web.jpg in slide show Rosemary McCracken is a freelance journalist and fiction writer who lives in Toronto. Her first mystery novel, Safe Harbor, was shortlisted for Britain’s Debut Dagger in 2010. Safe Habor was released by Imajin Books this spring.

Rosemary invites you to visit her website and blog

Click here to view the Safe Harbor book trailer.

Eileen Schuh, Canadian Author
 Schrödinger's Cat
THE TRAZ

www.eileenschuh.com

Friday, August 17, 2012

Celebrating with a Kindle Give-away

In celebration of the upcoming release of FATAL ERROR (sequel to The Traz), I will be making a draw for a Kindle. I already have it in my possession as you can see from these pictures.

Everybody who posts an Amazon review of either THE TRAZ or SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT between now and when Fatal Error is released next month will get their name put into that glittery gold draw box.

I have been running various contests and eligible events since THE TRAZ debuted last fall. I made a draw this spring to celebrate the release of THE TRAZ 2nd edition and THE TRAZ School Editions, but my daughter won. I gave her the prize but bought another Kindle and kept everyone else's name in the box. (I banned all my children from entering this time.)

So if you entered at one of my signings or presentations or participated in one of my contests or answered one of my eligible questions...yes, your name is still in there and you can enter again.

If you review both books, I'll put your name in twice.


Reviews posted elsewhere online, such as on Goodreads, Smashwords, or your blog are also eligible, but you must let me know where and when they are posted so I can enter your name.

If you don't live in the U.S. or Canada, you will receive the optional $100 US gift card because I've been told this Kindle may not work outside North America. $100 should be enough to buy yourself a basic Kindle from your local Amazon site...or lots of eBooks if you already own one.

A Canadian or U.S.winner may opt for a gift card as well.

Good luck!

Here are the purchase links for my books. Just click on the titles.

THE TRAZ (only 99¢ until the end of August)

SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT (only $2.99)


Eileen Schuh, Canadian writer
www.eileenschuh.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One mistake & someone dies...

 
One mistake & someone dies > FATAL ERROR < Loss of data. System crash. No recovery. His vacant blue eyes will haunt her forever. Coming soon...

I’m practising pitching my upcoming release, FATAL ERROR. The anticipation is driving me nuts! Yesterday I finished the edits requested by my publisher, Imajin Books, and emailed the manuscript back to her. It will again be reviewed by an editor before I do one final read-through and proof. Then...off it goes to the printer and to online bookstores.

In the meantime, my publisher will soon send me an ARC (that stands for Advanced Reading Copy). It is a draft version of the book that I will ask accomplished authors and noted reviewers to peruse. You will get to read what they thought of this action-packed adventure thriller because I’ll be shouting out excerpts from their reviews across my social network. Also, my publisher’s favourite review lines will appear on the cover and inside pages  of FATAL ERROR.

Also in the meantime, (there are lots of meantimes in the publishing industry...lots of waiting as the experts do their things) the cover for FATAL ERROR will be designed. As this novel is the second in my series, you can expect its cover to hold similarities to the cover of THE TRAZ (2nd edition). Other than know that, I have no idea what Imajin Books has in mind. Despite warnings to the contrary, we all know that people judge books by their covers, so you can bet Imajin Books will get me the most fantastic cover design ever!

Also in the meantime (told you there are lots of meantimes), someone out there with technical skills of which I can only dream, is putting together a book trailer for FATAL ERROR. This video promo for the book, with pictures, graphics, and text set to music, will get uploaded to YouTube, and to my website, and to my blog and to many other places eager to promote my novel. I will play this trailer on my laptop during my book signings and presentations, to attract the attention of potential readers.

In the meantime, I will be arranging book-launching parties (both real and virtual), visits to schools, bookstores, libraries... last time, during the launching of THE TRAZ, I even visited a facility for young offenders and talked to the kids about issues addressed in The Traz such as the dangers of gangs and the importance of good decision-making. 

As I await the September 2012 release of FATAL ERROR, I will continue promoting my published novels: THE TRAZ and SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT.


For the next 3 days, Wednesday, August 15th through to Friday, August 17th all those who use Twitter be sure to stop in at the Imajin Books’ Summer Sizzles Twitter Party. Search #ImajinAuthors to find us and pick up your virtual margarita. Follow the witty conversation, join in, ask a question, answer one...have fun. We’d love to hear from you.

And don’t forget, during the entire month of August THE TRAZ and THE TRAZ School Edition ebooks are both only 99¢. And my adult Sci-Fi novella, Schrödingers Cat, is on sale this month, too! 


My books are all available as paperbacks as well, and can be purchased from any fine online bookstore. If you want to purchase my books online, click on the titles of the books below. If they are not in your local library or neighbourhood bookstore, you can ask to have them brought in for you. 

THE TRAZ Amazon.com
THE TRAZ Amazon.co.uk
SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT Amazon.com
SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT Amazon.co.uk

Eileen Schuh, Canadian writer
www.eileenschuh.com
Twitter
Facebook Author Page

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

She was afraid...


It was a dark and lonely time in my life when she came to me…a tiny girl on a ridge, lying on her belly, watching danger unfold in the valley below. Listening.

Grasped tightly in her fingers were autumn grasses.

Her anticipation was so intense it hurt my lungs. She was barely breathing. Afraid to move.

Summer Sizzles with Imajin Books
I saw her there whenever I closed my eyes. She was waiting…

Each night, night after night, as I lay down to sleep, she came to me. Afraid. Excited. Alone. Always on her belly on an autumn ridge. One night I felt the  thump, thump, thump of an approaching helicopter shaking the ground beneath her belly. Once I heard the scream of sirens.

There came a night when I could stand it no longer; I needed to know who that young girl was. Why was she on that ridge? What was happening in the valley below? I flicked on the lights and made my way to my laptop.

There was no one but me in that tiny cabin in the forest that night--and it would only be me the next day…and the day after. There was no one I had to meet in the morning, nothing I had to do, no place I had to be.  There was no one to care if I stayed up all night, ate breakfast in my pyjamas, slept all day.

I snuggled down on the sofa, pulled an afghan around me, and began to write the young girl’s story.

Her name was Katrina. In the valley below was The Traz biker gang compound. Speeding in from the horizon was the police tactical team. And off in the distance was a rescue chopper… 

Katrina’s life unfolded, novel after novel after novel... 

And thus there came to be The BackTracker series.


THE TRAZ (Book I) also comes in a School Edition because that young girl had much to teach.


FATAL ERROR (Book II) soon to be released by Imajin Books.






 












Eileen Schuh,
Canadian Author http://www.eileenschuh.com

Also the author of SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT