The Conspiracy Behind Margarita Popsicles

 

The conspiracy behind the margarita popsicle is the book Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History. And it will only be behind the popsicle if you physically put the book behind it. Gotcha. Hey, it’s the millionth straight day of 100+ degree heat here in Texas and my mind just might be playin tricks on me. Seriously though, conspiracies are to fiction, especially thriller fiction, as popsicle sticks are to popsicles. It’s the conspiracy that props up alot of fiction out there. Think Brad Thor, some Stephen King, or anything by Dan Brown. In Voodoo Histories, David Aaronovitch (his last name’s a conspiracy to wear out our “a” key, you know with the two “a”s together like that!) talks about the big daddies of the conspiracy universe – JFK, the moon landing, the Catholic Church’s Jesus cover up, etc. Like a spider, he draws readers into the web of half-truths and rumors behind each conspiracy and then tears each one apart. Ummm, what better way to cool off raging conspiracy theories than with a little research and common sense.

And speaking of cooling off, how about a Margarita popsicle on this Thirsty Thursday? Here’s the recipe. Enjoy and let me know how they taste. Oh, and remember, lets keep these adult treats out of the kids’ reach, okay? Last thing we want is our 7 year old stumbling around the house like Amy Winehouse on tour (God rest her soul).

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

Why you should self publish in 2011

Yesterday, we talked about some of the possible negative effects of self-publishing will have on the publishing world. Today, a more positive view of it. Here’s a link to thriller writer J.A. Konrath’s blog post on why he thinks you and I should self publish (hint: it’s all about the Benjamins!). It seems that his post has hit a nerve, with 427 comments and counting…

Your thoughts about self-publishing? To the keyboards!  

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Here’s what people are saying about Mark Fadden and his latest award-winning thriller The Brink:

“A masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest
“He’s the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas                                                                                                                 
The Brink grabs the reader by the throat and doesn’t let go until the final page.” – film producer Don Phillips

Send Mark an email at mark@markfadden.com.  

New Ereader? Download the eBook version of The Brink in seconds, for less than $8

Need a unique gift? Buy a signed copy of The Brink for the book lover in your life. 20% off the cover price + FREE SHIPPING!

The Birth of the Conspiracy Thriller

As a writer, one of the coolest things I get to do is talk about books with people. Inevitably, one of the questions I get asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?”

Whenever I start a story, my main goal is to create a thriller that people cannot put down. Closely behind that goal is my desire to “edutain” or educate people on subjects that they normally wouldn’t want to read about as the murders occur, chases ensue, and suspense builds.

For my latest thriller, The Brink, I studied Dan Brown’s international best seller The Da Vinci Code. Not only is it a great thriller, it educates the reader on religious symbols and history, something that usually invokes a yawn or two. What Brown did for religious history, I wanted to do with another subject, financial history and economic theory. The Brink uses the story of a fugitive cop who helps a woman running for her life to educate the reader about the history of our Federal Reserve banking system and the fragility of the international monetary system.   When the systems that govern our daily lives are ripe for manipulation and outright conspiracy, it becomes an obvious choice for a novelist to come up with a scenario where exactly that occurs.

Want some more info on the history of the world’s banking system? Here’s an excellent video about the Rothschild family, the world’s first banking family and how they came to be the wealthiest and most powerful family in the world. This is just part 1. Please visit Youtube to see the rest.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

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Get a signed copy of The Brink 20% off the cover price + FREE SHIPPING! Visit www.markfadden.com for more information. Hurry, offer ends Nov. 15!

Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

“I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

“[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

“Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

Secrets for better book marketing on Facebook

We all know how powerful and ubiquitous Facebook is. It’s the 2nd most visited site on the Internet. With 500 million users, if it was a country, it would be the 4th largest on the planet. For authors, it has leveled the marketing playing field tremendously. By simply creating a Facebook ad, we can reach people in Moscow, Russia, Tokyo, Japan, or Beijing, China, 3 places from which people have visited my website, for a few cents per ad. Truly remarkable.

But are you using Facebook to its full potential? I thought I was until I watched a webinar from Search Marketing Now (SMN). I learned how to create ads for the segment, not vice versa (Like I had been doing). I learned how to use provoking words and images in my ad (A real benefit since you have very limited space). I learned about keeping bids the same for the same segment (if you bid higher each time, you will only have to top that last higher bid yourself!).

The webinar takes about an hour. If you don’t already have a firm grasp of how to advertise on Facebook, then you might get frustrated, because the host does go pretty fast. Here’s the link: http://searchmarketingnow.com/facebook-advertising-tips-and-tactics-6664

Enjoy.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

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Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

“I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

“[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

“Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

Get 20% off when you order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate unique gift at http://shop.markfadden.com/

Signed books as the ultimate unique christmas gift

My last post was about having book signings in unusual venues. In keeping with that theme, I wanted to share where I’ll be tomorrow. I am giving a presentation on my books and on how to market books using social media to the North Richland Hills, Texas Lions Club. As most of you know, Christmas is less than 3 months away, 81 days and counting. Everyone and their mother will be looking toward Christmas to help add some black to their spreadsheets, and so should authors.

One feather we have in our cap is that we can offer people unique gifts. In fact, a personalized Christmas gift, the signed book, would be fantastic – and classified as one of the relatively cheap Christmas gifts out there – to give as a business gift. Therefore, as this Christmas rolls around, I will be offering signed copies of my latest thriller, The Brink, as the ultimate unique and personalized Christmas gift.

Let’s say that a salon owner wants to send a unique gift to her top 20 clients this Christmas. As authors, we can sign each book to each individual with “Merry Christmas 2010.” The salon owner can also affix her logo to the inside page across from the signature page. Every time the client shows the signed book to a visitor to his home or office, that visitor will see that it was a gift from the salon owner. Wallah, another prospective client not only sees this unique gift, but the story of how the client came to receive a signed book will be retold again and again, keeping the salon owner on the client’s mind. And with all the crap out there that we have to think about, staying in someone’s head (especially when you provide them a service) is critical.

Here’s the flyer that will be at each and every seat before the meeting starts tomorrow (along with a few bookmarks, of course). It allows people to sign up for my email database (very important) and purchase both individual books for themselves or as personalized Christmas gifts. It also allows them to make a bulk order for business gifts. Since we’re still a little bit away from Christmas, some people may not be ready to think about Christmas gifts just yet. That’s why I have the check box toward the bottom that will allow me to follow up with those folks at a later date to offer the Christmas gift bulk book deal again.

 Thoughts? Comments? To the keyboards!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

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Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

“I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

“[Mark Fadden is] the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

“Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

Order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate one-of-a-kind gift at http://markfadden.com/buyabook.html

You had a book signing where? Finding book fans in unusual places

A book signing is the best way to meet readers and turn them into your book fans. While bookstores and libraries are great places to have a book signing, they’re also the most obvious. I mean, of course readers are there because that’s where the books are. That’s like going to the hospital for a doctor. But, you know what really makes you memorable? Having a book signing outside of the usual places. I mean, would you ever forget a doctor that was able to remove your ruptured spleen in the middle of the woods with one of those all-purpose tools and some fishing line? Of course not! Change the venue and you might not only freshen up your book signing, but you might just make more lifelong fans.

Book fair – it’s not just one store full of readers, it’s now an entire street, or even an entire downtown area filled with readers! You’ve just increased your exposure many times over. Grab your box of 2,000 bookmarks and work the crowd!

Chamber of Commerce/Community Group presentation – I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me and told me that either they wanted to or know someone that wanted to write a book. But they didn’t know the first step about getting it published. Chambers and community groups are always looking for presenters for their meetings. Call up your local groups and get on their schedules with your own, “How to get published” presentation. Pass around an email sign-up list, hand out more free bookmarks and have a box of books ready to sign at the end of the meeting.

Local book clubs – Club members love, love, love it when the actual author can stop by during the meeting when they review your book. Plus, book clubs always have a pretty good food/drink spread. Just no double-dipping the chips. Major faux pas.

Cooking classes – My local grocery store, Market Street, has a “Pots & Plots” class. For their class in January 2011, we will be making crab cake sandwiches from my latest novel, The Brink, and also talking about the book. Again, call your local grocery stores to see if they have such a class and see if they’ll host you. Again, free food here. Do you see a trend?

Have you ever had a book signing in an unusual venue? Where? How did it go? To the keyboards!

As always, I’ll be taking the weekend off, so we’ll pick it up next week with more about search engine optimization and online book marketing. Until then,

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

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Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

“I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

“He’s the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

“Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

Order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate one-of-a-kind gift at http://markfadden.com/buyabook.html

Want a side of thriller with that financial analysis?

We are literally awash in non-fiction books about the current financial crisis. James Kwak and Simon Johnson, who run the excellent blog The Baseline Scenario, wrote 13 Bankers, a book that “identifies many causes of the recent financial crisis, from housing policy to minimum capital requirements for banks. The authors lay ultimate blame on a dominant deregulatory ideology and Wall Street’s corresponding political influence. Johnson, professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Kwak, a former consultant for McKinsey, follow American finance’s rocky road from the debate between Jefferson and Hamilton over the first Bank of the United States through frequent friction between Big Finance and democracy to the Obama administration’s responses to the crises.” – Publisher’s Weekly review.

Arianna Huffington, of the famed Huffington Post, has written Third World America. According to her publisher, Random House, Huffington, “has her finger on the pulse of America, [as she] unflinchingly tracks the gradual demise of America as an industrial, political, and economic leader.  In the vein of her fiery bestseller Pigs at the Trough, Third World America points fingers, names names, and details who’s killing the American Dream.”

Raghuram Rajan, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, has added to the financial crisis list with Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy. Princeton University Press, the book’s publisher, has this to say about Rajan and the book: “Raghuram Rajan was one of the few economists who warned of the global financial crisis before it hit. Now, as the world struggles to recover, it’s tempting to blame what happened on just a few greedy bankers who took irrational risks and left the rest of us to foot the bill. In Fault Lines, Rajan argues that serious flaws in the economy are also to blame, and warns that a potentially more devastating crisis awaits us if they aren’t fixed.”

Finally, there is former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s Aftershock. Again, here’s a blurb about the book from its publisher, Random House: “Reich’s thoughtful and detailed account of where we are headed over the next decades reveals the essential truth about our economy that is driving our politics and shaping our future. With keen insight, he shows us how the middle class lacks enough purchasing power to buy what the economy can produce and has adopted coping mechanisms that have a negative impact on their quality of life; how the rich use their increasing wealth to speculate; and how an angrier politics emerges as more Americans conclude that the game is rigged for the benefit of a few. Unless this trend is reversed, the Great Recession will only be repeated.”

Just from doing a little research into their backgrounds, it’s obvious each of these authors knows what they’re talking about. But, honestly, show of hands here, you don’t even have to go so far as to fill out an online poll – would you read any one of these books?

The answer is probably no. Yet, something like 50 million people read Dan Brown’s thriller The Da Vinci Code, which, at its core, is about subjects almost as boring as economics for most people: Italian art and religious history. Why? The answer, at least in my eyes, is simple. To paraphrase political strategist James Carville, “it’s the story, stupid.”

Story drives everything. That was my idea when I first conceptualized my latest thriller, The Brink, which is based upon the current financial crisis. Much like Reich, Huffington, and Rajan, I wanted to educate people about America’s precarious financial situation, but I knew that people also don’t want to be nagged or preached to. Most readers would rather sit down and crack open a compelling thriller than a fairly dry textbook-like read. So, I used real-world numbers and real economic theories within a thriller format when I wrote The Brink, and it works. It entertains and educates. Some readers and reviewers alike have even called it, “faction” – the meeting of fact and fiction.

What about you? Have you been researching something from “the real world”, maybe it’s something like global warming, that you think would make the good basis for a novel? Would you ever write a book of “faction?” Do you trust the things you read in fiction to be the truth? Or should fiction writers no try to educate? Should they just entertain and that’s it?   To the keyboards!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

****************************************************

Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

“I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

“He’s the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

“Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

Order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate unique gift at http://markfadden.com/buyabook.html