Triple C Ranch book club hosts “the next Dan Brown”

Once finishing a book, many readers would love the chance to ask the author questions about it. The ladies of the Triple C Ranch neighborhood in Southlake got that very chance when Colleyville author Mark Fadden stopped by during their recent book club meeting as they discussed his latest thriller, The Brink. “It was an engaging read,” said Patty Jefferson. “I read it in a day and a half. It was a real page turner.” Arlene Dang, one of the group’s founders, agreed with Jefferson and had perhaps the highest praise a thriller writer could hear. “I think he’s the next Dan Brown.” While the rest of the women had similar sentiments about the book, they also had some constructive criticism for Fadden. “While it would spoil the book to mention their exact comments, I can say that they had some specific ideas about the ending and some of the characters in the book. Anytime that we as authors can get this kind of feedback from our readers, it’s invaluable.”

The Triple C Ranch Book Club, which is comprised of women from all walks of life including housewives, lawyers and educators, began with an idea that sprang from a conversation between two of the women in the neighborhood. Dang and Sipho Gumbo had a conversation about books and found out that they both were active on Good Reads, an Internet website where readers discuss their favorite books with others. “We thought why not do the same thing in our neighborhood?” said Dang. “We knew that several people in our neighborhood liked to read. Creating a book club just seemed a natural fit.” Gumbo, whose husband has written a book of historical fiction about African politics, entitled The Fire Inside, agreed. “We wanted to have a neighborhood group where people could share and socialize.”

The club, which meets the third Sunday of every month, has a dozen members and has even created their own Facebook page. Fadden’s novel, The Brink, was the third book they’ve read. Sometimes, the ladies have different opinions about characters and plots of the books they review, and they each respect the other’s opinion. Other times they all agree about a book, like when they all thought that the bestseller Eat, Pray, Love wasn’t their cup of tea. Lorianne Hartman, who hosted the meeting that Fadden attended, picked The Weight of Water for their next book. “It’s a very informal group of women who like to read and like to share,” said Hartman. “We’ve got a great group and I look forward to spending time with these good friends.”

Fadden will be signing copies of The Brink at the Southlake Barnes & Noble book store on Saturday, Oct 9, from 1:00pm-3:00pm. To preview it, visit his website at

reat Dispatches from the literary trenches

September 19, 2010

Ron Paul – “This is much bigger than the Great Depression” interview

With this weekend being the 2nd anniversary of the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, here’s a video of yesterday’s Tom Sullivan show where he interviews Congressman Ron Paul, who has long been a relentless champion of fixing the devastated US economy through sound financial principles.

“Capital comes from savings, it can’t come from a printing press,” said Paul. When asked his prediction about the economy, Paul said, “it’s going to get a lot worse. This is much bigger than anything in the history of the world. Never has a world economy been run on a total fiat currency controlled by us, of course by the dollar. It has horrendous debt that has to be liquidated. And so far no one wants to do that. We have to return to sound money. We have to turn off the printing presses.”  

Paul’s latest concern about the role of fiat money in the global economic crisis is just one of the pieces of my latest novel, The Brink. Certain to be the year’s most controversial thriller, The Brink takes readers on a breathless race from the wilderness of northern Mexico to the center of power in Washington, D.C as a fugitive cop and a brilliant beauty try to uncover the link between a lost article of the Constitution and a ruthless secret society whose goal of total global financial collapse has already begun.

Order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate unique gift at

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to marketing a political thriller.

July 14, 2010

Day 30 of 365

Books sold so far (as of the end of May 2010 – sales reports in this industry lag big time!): 157

In this issue:

  • FB ad round-up  
  • Podcasts – How can we use them to sell books?  

FB ad round-up

The “chillingly current novel” campaign did very well yesterday, but dropped off today. Here are the numbers:

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
07/14/2010 44,950 3 0.01 0.47 0.03 1.42
07/13/2010 132,073 46 0.03 0.43 0.15 20.00
Lifetime 177,023 49 0.03 0.44 0.12 21.42

After further analysis, the bid range yesterday was $.49-$.59, then I noticed tonight that it had changed to $.72-$.92. I’ve never noticed bids to change like that before. But as you can see, there were far less impressions today then yesterday. So, I sucked it up and changed my bid from $.50 to $.72. Let’s see if the action ramps back up again. And so you won’t have to go back to last night’s post, here’s the “CCN” ad:

 Chillingly current novel

Preview the year’s most controversial thriller and get a 40% off coupon at your local Borders bookstore good through July 17th.

 Both “Next James Patterson?” and “Read a thriller anywhere” were big goose eggs. So, what do we do with eggs around here? Maybe make them into Eggs Carver like Danny’s accomplice does in The Brink?  (Scramble them with some chorizo and serve them on Cajun-spiced hash browns? No, we fry them like they were on death row in Huntsville circa 1980. They’re out. Here they are below. I’ll give you a second to say your goodbyes:

 Read a thriller anywhere!

Get the most controversial thriller of the year delivered to your desktop, laptop or smartphone in seconds for $7.13. eBooks rock!

The next James Patterson?

“Action & heroism keep readers turning pages.” – ForeWord Review. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time, & get it 28% off.

Podcasts – How can we use them to sell books?

So I’m doing my first podcast tomorrow night about the book for It’s an online book review site run by two very nice ladies that just want to inform readers about the good books that are out there. Isn’t the Internet a great place full of nice people?

To prepare, I’m brushing up on my podcast rules from  New Rules for Marketing and PR by DMS (I refer to the first initials in his name now because I read so much of his work, I feel I know the guy) and came across the story of ‘Grammar Girl.’ This is a woman who uses podcasts to “provide short, friendly tips to improve writing.” When I Googled “grammar”, her site was #7 in my results. Not bad for such a generic search word. By providing tips (i.e. valuable info) to people, her FB fans have grown to 26,365 as of today. That also translates into fans of her book Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Here’s her quote from NRFM&PR about how the podcasts allowed her to have an existing fan base, which affected (or is it “effected?”) book sales:

 “When I went out on my book tour, the crowds were much bigger than expected, and I believe it is at least in part due to all the groundwork I laid on social networks for over a year before the book came out…A lot of people who came out were people I connected with on Twitter or Facebook, and I posted messages about where I was going to be on both those services multiple times.”

 When thinking about your book, what could you podcast about it? I’ll agree that fiction is a little harder to podcast about than, say, a non-fiction topic like how to perform your own house energy audit and then, a year later write a cool book about it. But, you could select a topic from your novel, and talk about that.  Like during tomorrow night’s podcast, I’m going to highlight the fact that The Brink uses real-world economic theories and financial numbers to propel the plot forward. What about you? What topics propel your writing forward?

 The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…