Archive for August, 2011

Help Me Help YOU

Posted: August 31, 2011 in Books

In my never ending quest to bring you more of me, I’ve decided to give away some more books.

I’ll wait while you catch your breath.

Okay, here’s the deal this time:  you don’t have to like me or anything else.  You just have to write a little bit.  Or a lot a bit.  Whichever you prefer.

If you’ve read any of the three Noah books – KILLER SWELL, WICKED BREAK or LIQUID SMOKE – go over to Amazon and write a short review of one.  Or all three.  You write a review between now and Sunday evening, you go into the cereal bowl.  (Actually, not you.  Your NAME goes into the cereal bowl.  I don’t want any of you where I eat my Fruity Pebbles.)   Write one, your name goes in once.  Write one for all three, your name goes in three times.  I’ll pick a winner – or maybe WINNERS – on Monday morning and announce it then.  Winner gets a signed copy of LIQUID SMOKE for FREE.

But, you say, what if I haven’t read any of your books?  Well then I say – what are you waiting for???  GET ON BOARD NOW!!!

But, you say, I am your biggest fan and I’ve actually already read LIQUID SMOKE.  I don’t need a free signed copy.  What else can you offer me?

Wow.  Great question.  Okay, here’s what I can offer you:  remember how I have an alter-ego named Jeffrey Allen who wrote this hilarious little book called STAY AT HOME DEAD that doesn’t come out until January of 2012?  Well, turns out I got a box full of advanced reading copies.  I’ll give you a signed copy of one of those.


Okay, I’m in Texas so I didn’t experience any of Hurricane Irene this weekend, save, of course, for the masterful coverage provided by the chuckleheads at The Weather Channel.  (Cantore’s clearly getting old because they sent him to NYC, out of harm’s way.  YOU’RE SOFT, CANTORE!!! SOFT!!!)  No, all I experienced was the continuing soul sucking heat that we’ve endured down here for the last, I don’t know, 8 or 9 months.  I blame Rick Perry.

But I digest.  Or digress.  Whatever.

With the inability to get outside, the lack of power and the general inertia that comes with waiting for and enduring a hurricane, it seems like a perfect time to hunker down with a book.  I kept wondering all weekend if ebook sales would spike, due to people having not much else to do other than download books and read. And I wondered if all of those books that have piled up in people’s TBR piles got dusted off and dug into.  Could hurricanes encourage reading????  Do they make us more literate????  SEND CANTORE TO A BOOKSTORE RIGHT AWAY!!!

What did you read during Irene?

Oh and hey – Liquid Smoke is out if you’re into that kind of thing.

The Circle of Life

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Books

(Disclaimer:  Even though LIQUID SMOKE is now available, this post is not about LIQUID SMOKE.  But you should go buy it anyway if you haven’t.  Because if you don’t, it’s quite likely that you’ll be the last one to get it and you know what happens to the last one to get it, right?  ROTTEN EGG, SUCKER!)

When I was in the seventh grade (I think), I had to get glasses.  I was told I had an astigmatism, which, at the time, sounded like a cross between asparagus and asthma and it was IN MY EYES.  Turns out, that’s not what it is at all.  Just meant I had some vision issues and I was going to need glasses for the rest of my life.  I wore them off and on for a number of years – mostly off – and then about ten years ago, I had to start wearing them full time.  I tried contacts but we don’t get along.  So I’ve been wearing glasses for seemingly forever now and my vision has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older and man it totally sucks getting old because, you know, I like to see.  Someday, I will work up the nerve for LASIK.  (But, seriously.  Lasers.  IN MY EYES.)

Anyway, my daughter was diagnosed with a very mild astigmatism about two years ago, but at the time, it didn’t need correcting.  Ever since then, though, she’s complained about blurry vision and usually right after the complaint she says “And when do I get to get glasses?”  Which is really funny because she actually wants them.  It seems that, among her friends, it’s now cool to have glasses.  Which tells me one thing.

Kids today are nerds.

So this week she went back to the eye doctor and he granted her wish.


I can’t wait to tell her that there might be asparagus in her eyes.

And The Winners Are…

Posted: August 22, 2011 in Books

Okay, I know most of you probably lost sleep this weekend wondering if you won one of the brand spanking new exclusive copies of LIQUID SMOKE that I’m giving away.  Let’s end that sleep deprivation.

First, thanks to all that participated and liked the Facebook page.  Much appreciated and I’m going to update it regularly with reviews and other pertinent information about the books and events I’m participating in.  I won’t bombard you with useless information – I promise.

Second, LIQUID SMOKE is apparently NOW AVAILABLE.  Amazon has begun shipping orders and it’s available for immediate download to your e-reading device.  So if you don’t win – you can go buy if you are just dying to have a copy.  (And fear not – there will be a few more giveaways this week and next.)

Okay, let’s get to our winners…yes, I said winners.  I’m giving away TWO.  Your odds have just been doubled!!!

I put everyone’s name on a piece of paper and put the pieces of paper into the aforementioned cereal bowl.   The two names I pulled were:

Kristi Belcamino and Jennifer Ellis


Email me jeffreyshelby at gmail dot com with your address and I will get the book in the mail to you pronto.

And seriously – thank you all for playing.  I wish I could give a copy to each of you.  You guys are what make the writing gig fun.

It’s Friday, Friday…

Posted: August 19, 2011 in Books

Okay, this is gonna be quick because…um…well…because it’s the end of the first week of school and my brain is fried and I swear there is nothing left in my brain and HEY FRESHMAN WILL YOU PLEASE CLOSE YOUR MOUTH AND SIT DOWN???!!!

Whoa.  That was scary.  Sorry.

Anyway…today is your last chance to win a free copy of Liquid Smoke.  Wait, that doesn’t make sense.  It’s free because you win it.  That would be kinda funny if you won a copy and I charged you thirty seven bucks for it.  HAHA.

Seriously.  I’m fried.

Okay – today is your last chance to win a copy of Liquid Smoke.  Go on over to Facebook, like me and you’re in the drawing.  Winner(s) (what? there’s more than one?  MAYBE) will be announced right here on Monday.  So go like me.  RIGHT NOW.  (But, you know, just like me.  Don’t LIKE ME, like me, okay?  Then it’ll be all awkward and stuff and I won’t know what to say to you.)

Wow.  It’s Wednesday already.  That’s what happens when you are teaching America’s youth.  Time flies.  Because you are about to die from exhaustion.

But I digress…

First off, thank you to all those that went to the Facebook page and liked it or me or however you say it.  Very much appreciated and all of your names have been deposited in the cereal bowl.  Stay tuned…or tell more people to about it.  CHANGE THEIR LIVES.

Second, I’m not here today.  I’m actually over at Murder She Writes, courtesy of my pal Lori Armstrong, one of the best writers I know.  (Just don’t let her drag you into any drinking establishments.  Ever.  Nothing good will come of it.  Nothing.)  You’ll notice that the authors over there are significantly better looking than the one here. So I’m hoping a little bit of pretty wears off on me.  Anyway…I’m over there.  Come check out the joint and let’s hope I don’t embarrass myself.

Do You Want A Free Book?

Posted: August 15, 2011 in Books

Look, the title says it all and if I have to explain it to you, you might have trouble reading the book if I give it to you.

In my endless quest to overwhelm you with information about my favorite subject – ME! – I’ve set up a Facebook page.  Not a personal page, but an I’M AN IMPORTANT PERSON PAGE.  I’m going to use it to keep my fan(s) informed about reviews, new books, free books, my fluctuating weight and what my cat is doing.  It’s gonna be awesome.  Maybe.

Anyway, back to the free books.  I have books.  To give away.  And do you know what that means?  FREE STUFF FOR YOU, CHEAP PEOPLE.

Here’s what you need to do:

1.  Follow this link to the Facebook page.

2.  Look for the button next to my name with a thumb that says “Like.”

3.  Click on that button.

4.  Be wowed by our new relationship.  Revel in your worship of me.

5.  Be prepared to receive both relevant and irrelevant news related to my books, my writing and my cat.

6.  Continue wasting time on the Internet.

So that’s it.  That is ALL you have to do.  No heavy lifting.  Just go like my page and fill me with self-worth.

On Friday, I will take note of EVERYONE that has liked my page this week.  Mainly to send hate mail to those of you that didn’t and find out what your problem is.  If  you like the page, your name will be entered into this super cool magic deciding machine (read: cereal bowl) that will spit out TWO lucky winners who will receive signed copies of Liquid Smoke WAY BEFORE THE REST OF THE WORLD!!!


Anyway.  Free books.



Well, Hi There.

Posted: August 12, 2011 in Books

KILLER SWELL was published in 2005, which sorta feels like a lifetime ago.  But I can remember when I got my author copies – the UPS guy dropped them off and I literally sat down on the tile in the entryway, opened the box and looked through the books.  It was like Christmas.  But better.

WICKED BREAK was published 2006.  I took the box into the living room this time before I opened it.  My daughter had just turned three and she helped me open it.  She was more interested in the box.

Well, yesterday, guess what showed up at my door?

I opened them in the living room.  Then I just sat down with them for a minute, looking at the covers and paging thru them, not really looking for anything.  And I think this time was the best because the wait was so long and because I like this book so much.  Plus, they are so pretty!

I’ll be giving a few of these away in the next few weeks – stay tuned for info – but you can assure yourself of getting one by going here.

Who Is Your Cheerleader?

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Books

I am lazy and I am a procrastinator and I don’t always wanna write and I’ll come up with a myriad of reasons not to.

There.  I said it out loud.  I’m on a roll.  Here’s some more:

I’m not organized and I think what I write sucks and I lack motivation at times and I have no inspiration and I’m too busy to write today and and and and…

You get the picture.

If it were up to me, sometimes I think I’d never write.  I can come up with all kinds of excuses to not write.  As a matter of fact, I know plenty of writers who are the same way.

Fortunately, most of us have a cheerleader.

The cheerleader is the person who understands that while we may complain loudly, there is work to be done.  The cheerleader understands that the excuses are just excuses.  The cheerleader understands that writing can be lonely and isolating.  The cheerleader enjoys kicking us in the butt and saying “GET MOVING, YOU LAZY SLOTH!  THE BOOK WILL NOT WRITE ITSELF!  AND NO MATTER HOW AWFUL YOU THINK IT IS, IT WON’T BE THAT BAD AND I WILL BE HERE TO ENCOURAGE YOU WHEN YOU ARE DONE!”

Or something like that.

But we all have cheerleaders.

Mine lives in Minnesota.  She isn’t afraid to use her sharp tongue, isn’t afraid to speak her mind, isn’t afraid to tell me when I’m wrong, isn’t afraid to tell me to stop being lazy, isn’t afraid to mock me, isn’t afraid to push me, isn’t afraid to bribe me, isn’t afraid to leverage me, isn’t afraid to tell me to suck it up, isn’t afraid to roll her eyes at me, isn’t afraid to tell me I can do it, isn’t afraid to stare at me until I start writing, isn’t afraid to use sarcasm as a motivational tool, isn’t afraid to hug me, isn’t afraid to tell me she believes in me.  She gets it and she gets me.

Thank you, Beth.  I’d be lost without you.

Who is YOUR cheerleader?

Questions That I Am Asked Frequently*

Posted: August 8, 2011 in Books

I am asked many questions frequently.  Or, at least in my head, I am asked questions frequently.  Or maybe that is just the voices.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell.  The voices can be loud and kinda pushy.  Anyway, here are some questions that I may or may not be asked frequently:

Q: Is your book, like, a REAL book?

A:  Yes.  It’s totally real.  It has words and everything.  It’s very real.  As is the pink elephant standing next to you.  Watch out.  It’s about to pee on you.

Q:  Is your book any good?

A:  No.  It’s GREAT.  It’s so GREAT you’ll probably want to quit your job and travel the world, telling people about it.  If you wanna go to Mongolia, I’ll probably go with you.  I’ve never been there and I hear they have great BBQ.  And I hear they love great books.  Like mine.

Q:  Are you rich?

A:  No.  I’m Jeff.  Pay attention.

Q:  I have an idea for your books.  Can I send it to you?

A:  No.  I’m already full of ideas.  Those voices again…


A:  It’s smoke that is made of liquid.  Duh.

Q:  Why do you have such awesome hair?

A:  (Blushes)  You think?

Q:  Are you going to write more Noah books?

A:  Yes.  Unless I don’t.  But I will.  Maybe.

Q:  I heard you wrote a book called STAY AT HOME DEAD but you’re using a different name.  Jeffrey Allen.  What’s that all about?

A:  Where did you hear that?  Did you tap my phone?  Because it’s true.  Look for it in January.  And stay off my phone.

Q:  What’s the hardest part about being a writer?

A:  Counting all of the money we make.  (BURSTS INTO LAUGHTER)  Kidding.  Um, probably writing the very first word of the story.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

A:  No.  I always wanted to be a baseball player.  But the Padres got a restraining order and it’s all awkward now.

Q: If you could give me one piece of advice about writing, what would it be?

A:  Write.  And don’t let pink elephants pee on you.  Ever.

*It’s quite possible that I’ve never been asked any of these questions frequently and that’s why I answered them so poorly.