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Update on The Wolfcat Chronicles

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A dear friend of mine from the UK, Maureen Brindle, is an amazing poetess. I was chatting with her in the wee hours of the morning – for me at least – and sometime since that she composed the following poem that is inspired by the characters in my soon to be released series, The Wolfcat Chronicles. Unlike me, composing poetry is part of her nature.

Elgon William’s Wolfcat Goddess
by Maureen Brindle
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Ela’na, wolf goddess beauty born,
Amidst a universe war torn.
Consummating spirit dance,
Levitating lustful trance.

Wolfcats magically can change,
To a wolf the plains to range,
Into a fearsome Battle cat,
Or human, alluring attract.

A wolfcat is a powerful creature,
With many a magic feature,
Control of matter, time and space,
Spirit of love, warmth and grace.

Rotor, Ela’na’s lover star,
Worshipping from afar.
Banned in dogmatic disgrace,
From looking on her fair face.

The Heart of the Forest condemned,
Their love to a calamitous end.
To spend their life chained to duty,
Devoid of love, happiness and beauty.

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For other poetry by Maureen Brindle, including children’s poetry and poetry about the British Isles go to her Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/Maureen-Brindle/e/B00I05SJC8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1421502845&sr=1-2-ent

For those in the UK, here’s that address:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Maureen-Brindle/e/B00I05SJC8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1421502845&sr=1-2-ent

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The revisions for Book 8 of The Wolfcat Chronicles are progressing well despite my crazy work schedule this week. Not only was a scheduled more hours – which is a good thing as I needed the money – but also I’ve been called in to cover for people who have come down with the flu, or some other affliction. Anyway, that has also limited the time I often use to compose posts for this blog.

Currently my revision is at Chapter 22 of Book 8, which leave about 150 pages. I get off around 7:15 tonight and will get home around 8. I could be able to knock out a couple of chapters tonight and a few more tomorrow morning before heading back to work. I have a conference call tomorrow morning as well, but, still should be able to get to chapter 28 or so. That means I should be able to finish Book 8 sometime Monday, run it through spell checker one last time and submit it. Then it’s on to Book 9.

I expect the ninth book of the series to require a bit more rewriting, especially toward the end as I am making some minor changes to the plot. I have already been foreshadowing the new ending for Book 10, that concludes the series. I estimate I’ll be working on Book 10 by the end of the month. That will allow me two months, if needed, to rewrite the last half of Book 10. That should be ample time consider how quickly I compose, especially when I have already established the characters.

I have decided to begin writing a supplementary piece to the series. I’m not sure if it will be novel length, though. It may be a novella. There has been interest in the past with readers in knowing what happened with characters introduced late in Book 7 that will now, as I am rewriting it, will affect the ending of the series. So, I will begin writing the draft concurrently with writing the conclusion to the series in order that there will not be conflicts between the two stories.

Another part of the story that beta readers wanted to have told has already been written and will likely be one of the projects I pursue having published toward the releases of the last two books of The Wolfcat Chronicles. It doesn’t really belong in the storyline but, again, provided background material. Titled The Power of X, it draws together some of the plot lines of One Over X with The Wolfcat Chronicles and features Brent Woods, of Fried Windows, as a supporting character. Never fear, there are many manuscripts about Brent. I’ll eventually publish those as well.

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#TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows #OneOverX #Revising #MaureenBrindle

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Throwback Thursday – ZZ Top Tres Hombres

Tres Hombres

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ZZ Top, that ‘lil’ ol’ band from Texas’ holds a rare distinction among Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famers. From their debut album in 1971 to present, the members of the band have not changed. Billy Gibbons (guitar, vocals, lyrics and arrangement) formed the band in Houston, Texas in 1969. Though the band went through some personnel changes early on but settled on the solid rhythm section formed by Dusty Hill on bass and co-vocals and Frank Beard on drums. Yes, Frank’s the one in the group without the long beard.

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Tres Hombres is the groups third album. Released in 1973 it contains the hit La Grande about a small town brothel not far from Austin that cared to politicians made famous in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The song selection epitomizes the band’s characteristic song and sense of humor blending bluesy riffs with a hard driving back beat. The band followed up a live album titled Fandango that included five live tracks from the Tres Hombres tour. The song Tush became a top 20 hit, receiving a lot of FM airplay.

My introduction to the band was connected to my Senior English project in high school. Yeah, I’ll explain. You see, my best friend and I wrote a rock opera based on Beowulf. And the rock band to which I belonged at the time recorded it. While the recording engineer, my best friend and I were taking a break from remixing the rock opera we titled One Thane, my best friend suggested we play Tres Hombres on stereo we were using for playback – it was a pretty good system for my first listen to the album. Years later, when I was studying at The University of Texas at Austin, my roommate and I had the rare chance to see Z Top perform live in a honkey tonk. They were getting ready to go back on tour and their appearance was hastily arranged and went unannounced until the last minute. Even so the bar was packed. They made a lot of music for just three guys.

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Although the band realized some success in the 70’s they also released some albums that only hard core ZZ Top fans own. in 1979 they released Deguello which included I Thank You, Sam and Dave and Cheap Sunglasses, the latter hitting of what was to come in the 80’s.

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The confluence of forces coincided in the early 1980’s. After the release of El Loco in 1981 which featured Pearl Necklace and Tube Snake Boogie, the band began experimenting with synthesizers, slightly altering their sound in a commercially appealing way. With the launch of MTV they began experimenting with music videos to support their singles. 1983’s Eliminator became the bands monster album release selling 10 million copies and producing three hits Legs, Sharp Dressed Man, and Gimme All Your Lovin’. The band also won their first MTV Video Music Awards for Legs and Sharp Dressed Man.

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ZZ Top’s fame has extended beyond playing their music. After recording the theme song for Back To The Future III and performed in the movie – they’re the band playing at the dance party. Billy Gibbons has also appeared in a recurring role on the TV series Bones as Angela Montenegro’s father.

#70sMusic #ZZTop #Texas #Eliminator #TresHombres #HallofFame #MTV         

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Some Thoughts on National Championship Game

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Oregon (#2) vs Ohio State (#4) – first of all, as the parenthetical numbers showing end of season ranking indicate, polls are sometimes, if not often, wrong. A play-off for the national title is more fair, though clearly other teams could contend that had they been in the final game things might have been different (TCU, for one).

I’m not a sports writer. Since I don’t have a TV anymore I don’t watch sports that often. After working retail for so many years, anything played on a weekend was something I could never follow anyway. So, don’t expect an intelligent or even semi-intelligent treatment of the game here. I didn’t watch it, but I saw highlights this morning, thanks to the Internet. And by the way, yes, I worked last night. Even if I had a TV to watch the game, I wasn’t home.

As a kid born and raised in the Buckeye state, I was a huge OSU fan in the Woody Hayes era. I recall teams toward the end of the 60’s being highly ranked nationally and appearing in the Rose Bowl usually to lose to California teams. Yes, I watched the USC trouncing of OSU on TV on New Year’s Day. You know the game. It was the one featuring “The Juice” at running back for USC. As a Buckeye fan I was heartbroken. But those were the days when national championships depended mainly on poll rankings after the bowl games. Ohio State won a few of those but lost several as well.

Fast forward a few years for my college years – I decided to not attend Ohio State, or any other school in Ohio for that matter. Why? I had this crazy idea that I needed to broaden my world a bit, experiencing other places, meeting other people. As many of my friends and acquaintances from grade school and high school (I attended different school systems between the two) were attending Ohio colleges, I figured the best opportunity for me to walk away from my past and start out fresh was to go somewhere that the people didn’t know me. Initially, I picked Purdue. Even so, in my sophomore year, a couple of people from my high school showed up on campus as freshmen. I guess being a couple of hours drive from home wasn’t enough separation.

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It wasn’t like Purdue was a national football powerhouse. They were renown as a cradle of quarterbacks, though. During the years of my matriculation the Boilermakers were, at best, worthy of their unofficial nickname, the Spoilermakers. They upset Notre Dame’s hopes of repeating as National Champion, beating them at home – I game I attended, by the way. My friends and I kind of crashed the gates. As the Boilermakers jumped out to an unexpected 21 – 0 lead in the first quarter my friends and I got in to see the game by using return passes we acquired from those Irish fans who were leaving the game in disgust. Later in my college career I watched a game at home where the Buckeyes were ranked and supposed to handle Purdue easily, but didn’t.

My point, if there is one, is that polls and rankings are often wrong. College football is played with a lot of emotion and at times even the best team on paper doesn’t win on the grid iron. Also, as the football season progresses some teams get better while others get worse or stay the same. That why I’m in favor of a playoff system. However I don’t think four teams are enough. And I doubt eight teams would do for me either – except it would give more teams the opportunity to prove they are worthy on the field, the only place where it really counts.

My question is how many national championships in the past have been awarded to the wrong team. My guess is many, though certainly not all. If the playoffs give most fans a sense of fairness and opportunity, then by all means let’s do it. Supposedly Ohio State wouldn’t have been considered under the BCS system and doubtfully would have been in the top five under the previous system. Yet they won. Go figure.

Several years ago, if you told me Oregon would be playing in the title game I would have laughed, but they have come a long way in the past decade. I’m sure they deserved to be where they were last night. Although I live in Florida and probably should support FSU, I don’t think they deserved to be in the playoffs. They were there because somehow they escaped defeat for 13 games during the season. I’m not sure if TCU had been the team picked to go up against Oregon in the semi-finals at the Rose Bowl that Oregon would have advanced. No one knows the answer to that. And any playoff system devised will not answer lingering questions like that. Yet, a field of eight teams instead of four would have included TCU and perhaps Baylor, or some other team that might have surprised everyone, coming from a 7 or  8 seed to take home the trophy. Now that would shout fairness to a playoff system. Judging from college basketball’s playoffs upsets happen because polls are often wrong and they do not take in account the intangible factors of team spirit and performance peaking at the right time.

I’m happy for Ohio State this morning. I have a lot of friends and relatives who still live in the Buckeye state. My publicist lives there and she’s a huge fan. So had they lost I would be  commiserating with her this morning. Since they won I guess I have to listen to her gloating. Oh well, it’s not so bad. I used to be a fan, too.

One of the things I like about the way OSU won the game is that they overcame their own mistakes – four turnovers – preventing the Ducks from cashing in most of their opportunities. Also, they pretty much shut down Oregon’s vaunted scoring machine, though Marcus Mariota threw for 333 yards and was obviously in the game. It was just good to see that in an age where football seems to be mainly about a fast-scoring, passing game, Ezekiel Elliot dominated with the run. It was kind of an old school game plan for that reason, one I’m sure Woody Hayes would have take pride in.

As for getting away from one’s roots and seeing the world, I did a lot of that. So I reached my goal of seeing other parts of the world back when I was young enough to enjoy it and have it leave an impression. Certainly it’s not a bad thing for an aspiring writer. somewhere along the way I ended up at the University of Texas at Austin where, to my knowledge, no one from back in the Buckeye followed me. Later on, I joined the Air Force and served in California, Texas and the Republic of Korea.

Ironically, when I was halfway around the world – 13 time zones away from home, actually – I saw someone on base who looked familiar. I stopped him in passing and seeing that his last name on his uniform was Boggs, I asked, “Are you related to a guy named Randy?” “He’s my brother,” was the response. Yeah, Randy was in my class at high school, and his little brother served with me in Korea – small world.

#SmallWorld #OhioState #Oregon #NationalTitle #College #Rankings #Purdue #UniversityOfTexasAtAustin

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The Wolfcat Chronicles Book 8

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Yesterday I started revising Book 8 of The Wolfcat Chronicles. Since it has been some time, about five years, I think, since I last worked on this book, I was concerned that there would be a lot of tweaking required. I may still run into that situation later on in the book but six chapter into it I’m not finding much that needs to be changed. Not he optimistic side I’m hoping to be finished with this book before next weekend. Barring anything major that comes up with this revision, it’s possible.

Book 8 begins The Last Wolfcat section of the ten book series, picking up a short time after the events of Book Seven. Throughout One Pack, Mang, a character introduced in Spectre of Dammerwald (Books One and Two), became increasingly important. In the Last Wolfcat he has a major role. When the series was beta tested on Fan Story a few years back many people commented that he was one of their favorite characters. The way the rewrite of the ending is envisioned he will pay a larger role in the conclusion.

The Last Wolfcat tends to be more about Rotor than Ela’na, I can’t go into why that is with spoiling the plot, but it has a purpose. Ela’na has a key role in the finale as well as other books that have a tangential relationship of The Wolfcat Chronicles. Also, as I have said before, I envision a separate volume to handle a backstory issue that some beta readers indicated they would love to read about. That material would not fit into the story arc of this series but some of the subject matter is already handled in two other books I’ve written in draft. The fact that I have written that part of the story allows some depth to the treatment of of the information about it that is included in The Wolfcat Chronicles. There are over twenty manuscripts I have written that are set in the same universe as The Wolfcat Chronicles. I have been working on this story for most of my life. And so, the world has a feeling of completeness and believability about it that I feel is necessary for a fantasy.

Although The Wolfcat Chronicles could be labeled an epic fantasy it is really not. There are elements of urban fantasy and sci-fi throughout. That is not to say it lacks anything int he portions that comprise the epic tale. It’s set on another planet. The characters are influenced and sometimes visit the Earth through connections that exist in nature as well as those produced artificially. And there are parts of the series that take place in the future and out in space.

I set out to write a story that I would want to read. That’s important for the writer and serves as some pretty good advice, really. Some would be authors think that the creative process of building a story ends when they type The End on the final page of the first draft. Most understand that there is still a lot of work ahead with revisions and rewrites prior to subjecting the world to professional editing. I estimate that the average work of fiction will require an author to read it twenty to forty times before it is published. So, the book had best be something you enjoy reading. Otherwise you are in for a painful experience re-reading your words over and over again.

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#TheWolfcatChronicles #Revisions

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The Wolfcat Chronicles Book Seven Revisions Complete

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For those of you following the saga of the entire series revision for The Wolfcat Chronicles, Book 7 was submitted to my publisher this morning. Now I move on to Book 8 – after a brief break.

As I have said before, I’ve not worked on Books 8 through 10 for several years. Over that time my writing style has changed a bit. Also I completed and self published The Attributes and signed with Pandamoon Publishing to see Fried Windows released this past May. In other words, a lot has happened.

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I’ve always planned a substantial revision for the final three books that comprise The Last Wolfcat section of the series. As I have written several of the other tangential pieces that tie into The Last Wolfcat, I have some new ideas for the conclusion. I have never been happy with the way the original draft ended.Now that I know how everything connects to Fried Windows, The Attributes, One over X and The Power of X – along with some as yet untitled pieces – I will tackle the task of rewriting the last third of so of Book 10. I am also considering an 11th book that falls outside of the storyline of The Wolfcat Chronicles but would provide some backstory support. I’m thinking of calling the supplement, The Offspring – not to be confused with the musical group.

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So, although I’m happy to have completed the Spectre of Dammerwald and One Pack sections of The Wolfcat Chronicles, and would love to take the day off and celebrate, I have a lot left to do. I really need to have the entire series wrapped up before April to fit into my plans for other books that remain on the back burner – including sequels to Fried Windows and Becoming Thuperman.

As for Becoming Thurman’s release date, expect it sometime around summer. Since it has a baseball theme that is a better time of year for it to appear, I think.

I’ll be promoting Fried Windows locally in some bookstores with signing and personal appearances over the next few months as well as building interest in the first book of The Wolfcat Chronicles and having some launch parties. So if you live in Central Florida be looking for the announcements. My publicist and I are considering some other promotional events, perhaps in other states. Nothing has been officially scheduled yet but it’s in the works. Also, I’ll be offering personally autographed copies of Fried Windows online. I’m working out the logistics of that as well.

#FriedWindows #TheWolfcatChronicles #BecomingThuperman #ThePowerOfX #OneOverX #TheAttributes #Revisions #Publishing #PandamoonPublishing

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Throwback Thursday: Rush – Canadian Rock, Progressive Style

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I’m not sure any discussion 70’s music could ignore Rush, a Canadian band formed in Toronto in 1968. Although early not he band had some personnel changes, since mid 1974, after the release of their self titled debut album, the current members of Geddy Lee (bass, keyboards, lead vocals), Alex Lifeson (guitar and backing vocals) and Neil Peart (drums and percussion) have been performing together ever since.

Although the band released a single in 1973 that was a cover of the Buddy Holly song Not Fade Away, it received little attention or response from record companies. The band formed their own label, Moon Records and a year later their debut album featured a hit Working Man, receiving some local attention. When a DJ at Cleveland rock station WMMS put the song on her playlist its popularity resulted in Mercury Records rereleasing the album. Some have made comparisons of the album’s bluesy style to the British band Led Zeppelin. The lyrics for the first album were penned by Geddy Lee though with he addition of Neil Peart, lyrical duties were seeded to him. As a result the bands songs took on more science fiction and fantasy themes.

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In 1975, Fly By Night was released and its title cut became the band’s second successful hit. The album also included the bands first epic tale, By-Tor and Snow Dog, that hinted of things to come. Later in 1975 Rush released Caress of Steel, a large departure from Fly By Night presenting two extended cuts back to back. Due to the lack luster sales of the album the record label pressured the band to produce more commercially viable songs. However, the band continued in the direction they had been heading releasing 2112 in 1976, featuring a 20-minute title track. The album became a commercial success reaching platinum status in Canada.

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A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres round out the bands work in the 70’s, with their direction moving further in the progressive direction. Both albums were recorded in Wales and evidence the groups progressive influences from such bands as Yes and King Crimson.

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1980’s Permanent Waves incorporated new wave and reggae musical influences turning the band in a new direction with songs like Freewill and The Spirit of Radio. Supported by the airplay of the hit songs the album became the band first Top 5 in the US. 1981’s follow up Moving Pictures featured the lead track Tom Sawyer, perhaps the band’s most well known song, that propelled the album to #3 on US charts.

Rush continued to record and perform throughout the 1980’s and into the 1990’s, supported by a following of devoted fans. They took a hiatis from recording and touring for several years from 1997 to 2002 in the wake of person tragedies Neil Peart suffered with the loss of his daughter and wife. Since then the band has returned to creating new music and touring. Rush has also been inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

#70sMusic #Rush #ProgressiveMusic #CanadianMusic

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Coupons, Coupon Everywhere

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A lot of us have worked in retail at sometime or another and probably have had to work a checkout either ringing up merchandise or stuffing it into shopping bags. With the advent of self checkouts, both those jobs seem threatened, but have you ever noticed that the stores that utilize those kiosks have someone standing nearby to ‘assist’ while also making certain that everything is rung up and paid for. Yeah, I’m not sure how much payroll the self service checkouts really save.

Anyway, if you’ve ever been a cashier, I’m sure one of the banes of existence was the multi-coupon shopper. We’re not talking about the guy or gal with a couple of coupons for cents off an item or two. Multi coupon shoppers of real pros, the lady – as it is usually a lady for whatever reason, from my observations – with a organizer to keep her clipped coupons. She only buys what she has a coupon for and also waits for additional promotions, like in store coupons for BOGO (buy one get one) deals. That way she can receive multiple discounts off individual items. Hey, she’s good a saving money. As a consumer we all want to do that.

Manufacturers and stores obviously use coupons as a means of attracting attention and enticing a consumer to shop. The rub comes from those coupon shoppers who are attempting to get something for little or nothing through nefarious means. They usually shop close to closing time, have a zillion and a half coupons, often printed from discount coupon websites – some of which are bogus – and always see to be in as much hurry and the ten people in line waiting behind her for the cashier to dutifully deduct each individual, valid coupon – and debate the merits of suspicious ones.

Reatil Coupons

Coupon have been around seemingly forever. They help manufacturers and retailers temporarily increase the velocity of certain items in a product mix. With grocery retailers, it may be to move product before expirations codes expire. With manufacturers, it may be in an effort to empty out warehouse space in advance of a special seasonal increase in production  requiring more storage room. Whatever the reason, it is a win for everyone, except for the time it takes the cashier to scan or, worse, manually enter in the coupon discount information into the cash register. There are some ways, though, for the process to be streamlined while also enhancing security – if retailers and manufacturers were willing to make a few programming changes.

In the vast majority of cases, manufacturer’s coupons have scannable barcodes that can be programmed into retail cash registers to almost instantly deduct the promotional value off an item. In store coupons may or may not have bar codes. Often the store uses a look-up code programmed into the locations price look-up system. The time to manually type in a few digits results in a slightly longer delay in the overall transaction, but in the case of multi coupon shoppers, the time is significant adding to the air time for anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in line behind.

Sometimes stores double a manufacturer’s coupon, and each item must be processed with a special code to allow the in store discounts. Other coupons are for dollars off an entire transaction total or a percentage off if a certain total amount is achieved. Those take more time yet. And, worst of all, there is the old faithful competitors coupon price matching of another store’s coupons.

Meanwhile, that one customer waiting in line behind the multi-coupon shopper has multiplied to now be three irritated customers. Hopefully this has prompted a front end supervisor to open another register to take the pressure off the cashier. Still, it causes a disruption. And at the end of it all, the shopper purchased x number of dollars of merchandise is paying x – coupon total dollars, sometimes saving half or more of the total original transaction price.

Obviously there is an incentive for a shopper willing to put forth the effort to clip coupons and save hard earned money. But there is also a golden opportunity for disreputable shoppers to abuse the system.

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Having observed the phenomenon for many years as I worked in retail management, I have some ideas, provided manufacturers and retailers alike are sincere in wanting to provide value to their customers and not simply trying to attract attention while hoping most customers will forget to use the coupon at the checkout. (Believe it or not many customers do not use many coupons or sometimes forget to use them). It also assumes that the store wants what the customer does, to be able to have their items rung up properly and efficiently.

Here are some proposals:

1) Create a preregistration loyalty  system administered online that actually does more than a rewards system that is mainly used to track a customer’s purchases for future marketing purposes. With such a system a customer could ensure that they will always receive in store promotions automatically deducted from their totals through he scanning or a card of look up of their profile by phone number. If the customer checks a box to receive online ads, the store could provide promotional information on items based on a customers previous shopping habits. Yes, its intrusive but sometimes saving the money is worth it, especially if a shopper buys the time frequently enough to want to stock up when it is on sale or part of a coupon promotion. Manufacturer’s coupons could be included and discounts applied through cooperative advertising arrangements as well.

2) As part of the preregistration loyalty system any customer that enrolls would automatically receive discounts for the items on promotion that usually require the cashier to input a look up code. The count could be tallied through a report tied to the look up system. This would satisfy the manufacturer’s requirement for verification of coupon count to apply a rebate for the promotional period. The end result would be a speedier checkout experience.

3) Preload the look up codes for each product into a menu prompt that would appear on the register screen and signal with a beep to alert the cashier providing a one click, yes or no response to whether the coupon is present. This would also speed up the checkout process.

In most cases a physical coupon is required for the store to receive its cooperative advertising rebates from the manufacturer, as they are usually based on increased volume of sales during a promotional period. If a coupon is not present the system would default to preregistered customer discounts only. If a coupon is present, it would deduct the amount. If the customer has not registered and does not have the coupon, it would not deduct the coupon amount from the purchase price.

These measures would also allow the cashier an opportunity to inform the customer of the existence of a registration system for discounts and, perhaps, letting the shopper decide to suspend the order and collect the coupons before completing the transaction – or finding the coupon and getting a refund for the coupon amounts after the sale but taking the receipt and coupons to customer service.

Reatil Printable Coupons

Stores and manufactures need to address a growing problem of online coupon fraud. The net result is that retail stores lose money and eventually pass not he additional cost to all consumers. It may require the elimination of printable coupons altogether, or the creation of some security code that proves it is legitimate. Again, if manufacturers were to work with retailers the information could be preprogrammed into he stores price look up system  to streamline the processing. If the coupons were already int he stores system there would be no need for printable coupons.

#Retail #Coupons #PriceLookUp #PLU #CustomerService #Loyalty

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Pandamoon Publishing Acquires The Kingdom Thief by Alisse Lee Goldenberg

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Pandamoon Publishing is proud to announce the acquisition of The Kingdom Thief by Alisse Lee Goldenberg, the eagerly awaited sequel to the winner of Mom’s Choice Award Gold and the Cybils Award Nominated fantasy novel Sitnalta, October 2013 Pandamoon Publishing – ISBN 978-0-9912131-3-9 (eBook) ISBN 978-0-9912131-0-8 (paperback).

Princess Sitnalta has been living happily ever after with Queen Aud and King Gerald as her adoptive parents, enjoying the peace in her world. Her growing friendship with the mysterious Prince Navor leads her on a journey to visit his island kingdom. While there she receives the horrible news that her kingdom has been stolen and cruel King Wilhelm is responsible. Far from home and unsure of whom to trust, Sitnalta must find a way to save her kingdom, and return her beloved Aud and Gerald to their rightful thrones.

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Alisse Lee Goldenberg is an author of Horror and Young Adult fantasy fiction. She is the writer of such novels as Bath Salts, and The Strings of the Violin. She has her Bachelors of Education and a Fine Arts degree (neither of which she uses), and has studied fantasy and folklore since she was a child. Alisse lives in a very full house in Toronto with her husband Brian, their young triplets Joseph, Phillip, and Hailey, and their rambunctious Goldendoodle Sebastian.

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When Alisse is not writing, she is a property manager, musical theatre performer with Steppin’ Out Theatrical Productions, and go-to props manager for Angelwalk Theatre. You can find her doing anything from singing and dancing to building a life-size key to the city out of toilet paper rolls. She firmly believes that coffee is the nectar of all life.

You can follow Alisse on her website.

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#PandamoonPublishing #AlisseLeeGoldenberg #TheKingdomThief #Sitnalta #ComingSoon #NewBooks2015

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Books to Read in 2015

Sheryl Monks

I was given a ton of money on a bookstore gift card for Christmas, so I’ll be placing a nice order ASAP. I just purchased a hefty stack of books for my spring classes at Salem as well, so I’m really getting excited about the new year. One of my goals is to start doing reviews, and here’s a short list of where I may begin. You’ll notice there’s only one male writer on this list, and that’s unusual for me. Truth is, there are several new books out by men I’m equally excited about. It’s just that I’ve already purchased several of them or am in the process of reading them. I’ll tell you about those later. For now, I’ll just say that these are the books presently calling my name.

Young God by Katherine Morris Faw1. Young God, a novel by Katherine Faw Morris

Three reasons I’m dying to read this book: (1) Katherine Faw Morris hails from and (2) writes about the same county in NC from…

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Projects for 2015

books

Yesterday I completed a list of uncommonly spelled words and names for my editor’s use in preparing a stylesheet for the publication of The Wolfcat Chronicles. The list is complete through Book Six, which is as far as I have gotten with he current round of revisions. I figure as I go forward l’ll add anything that appears to the list, though I believe most things are on the list already. There are some new characters for Books Eight through Ten, though. Already the list is eight pages long. It will exceed ten pages before I reach the end of the series.

The first order of business for 2015 is completing the revision on Book Seven, a process I’ve already begun. Sunday is a day off from my nn-wiritng job, so I’ll knock out several chapters. I’m hoping to complete the effort before January 15. I don’t foresee a problem in doing that.

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Beyond Book Seven I expect books Eight and Nine will take until the end of February. I’m allocating March and April for the rewrite I envision for Book Ten. Factoring in the time I’ll need to devote to substantive and content edits on both Books One and Two of the series, if I finish the revisions sooner, all the better. At some point I’ll be going through sub-edits and content edits for Becoming Thuperman as well, as I expect to release three books this year, two of them are part of The Wolfcat Chronicles. Because the entire series will be completely revised by April, I suppose it is possible that more book of the series might appear in print before the end of 2015, provided my publisher has the bandwidth to process them. Depending on how many of The Wolfcat Chronicles books are slated for 2015 release, I might spend most of my time with edits.

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Six new authors were added recently to Pandamoon Publishing’s family. So their books will be in production concurrently as well as follow-up novels from authors who had books released in late 2013 and throughout 2014. Christine Gabriel, Chrissy Lessey and Steph Post have new manuscripts. Jason Beem plans another novel. Emily Belden is working on a new project as well. Alisse Lee-Goldenberg is rumored to have a sequel for her fantasy Sitnalta that is ready to enter the editing process – nothing officially announced on that one yet, but you can expect something soon. So, there could be as many as 24 books released in 2015 from my publisher.

Then there are other projects I need to work on as well, including the sequel to Fried Windows. I need to finish writing that one. There is also a sequel to Becoming Thuperman envisioned, though I haven’t begun writing it. And there are a couple of other novels in progress that I have yet to complete.

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Once I complete the revisions on The Wolfcat Chronicles I plan to begin revising some other manuscripts I haven’t yet published. I’m not sure whether my publisher will produce any of those, but at least I’ll submit them. For 2016 and beyond I may decide to pull my self-published work, revise those for new editions and submit them as well. At some point I want to complete the One Over X thread that covers Andy Hunter, Terry Harper and Lee Anders Johnston who appear in The Wolfcat Chronicles as minor characters. Then there are the Power of X books, which fill in the background for Ela’na and clarifies her connection to Earth and Brent Woods. Additionally I have a number of books about Brent Woods, pretty much from childhood through college and his military service upto entering The Program. I may also revise a new edition of The Attributes, which is sort of a capstone for all the science fiction threads from One Over X, The Wolfcat Chronicles and The Power of X. All told there are forty manuscripts in various stages of completion, with twenty written in draft (at least) and about half of those have been revised and submitted. So, even if I were able to push out five books a year, which is highly optimistic, I am looking at eight years’ work.

Publicity and building a fan based continue to be major background efforts. 2013 and 2014 were years of building from obscurity. There’s still a lot I need to do. Foremost is establishing a worldwide street team prior to the launch of The Wolfcat Chronicles Book 1. My social media presence has increased significantly in the past year, but I’ll need to leverage those contacts in some way. A major problem is that the majority of my friends and followers are fellow authors. Understandably they are working on their own books and promotions. So networking and dovetailing fan bases is the only strategy that will engage them for supporting my work.

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My urgent goal it to find more readers and get the word out about my writing. Fried Windows has not received the attention I think it deserves. Yes, I know I’m biased because I wrote it. But I truly believe int he book. People who have read it believe it is one of the best fantasy novels out there. It has remained relatively obscure with all the noise out there from competing titles. There is no lack of good books in the marketplace, but the problem for readers is finding them from amongst the utter crap, some of which has come from major publishing houses. Quality control is not exclusively a self-publishing issue, though, admittedly, the bulk of published work comes from independents. A lot of work being published every day that is not ready for prime time – if it will ever be.

It is far too easy to self-publish a book in the hubris and euphoria following the moment of relief typing The End on the final page. Many a writer has put work out there that needs considerable amounts of professional editing. In the past I’ve been guilty of that as well. But I have learned.

Despite overtures to the contrary, quality control in self-publishing remains virtually nonexistent. The measures some, like Amazon, have in place are too easily abused. A book troll can complain about a novel’s quality over some bogus issue and the book will be pulled and the author notified that a revision of the issues must be completed before the book can be resubmitted for further review. The problem with all that is that the validity of the reader’s complaint doesn’t seem to enter into the discussion. There have been several instances that best selling self-published books have been yanked due to a reader’s complaint about an alleged grammar problem that is not based in fact. Many indie authors pay a lot of money to have books professional edited using established industry standards by major publishing houses. I wonder if a reader complains about a book from a major house if it would be yanked from the site?

#revisions #writing #TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows #Publishing #StreetTeams #FanBase #Publicity #PandamoonPublishing