I have been keeping track of the Amazon Kindle ranking of Blondes, Books, & Bourbon since it was released. I think if you check around, I’m not the only one to do this with their books. Out of fluke, I started watching the numbers of my debut novel Tomorrow Wendell as well, because, well … why not?

The numbers for the anthology were pretty good, then suddenly the ranking for the novel shot up. It caught me quite off guard, and most odd, is how it has sustained a better over all number. While they slowly dropped in ranking after the initial push of release, my novel actually stay just a bit ahead of the anthology in sales ranking.

Yesterday, I took a look to record the numbers, and BB&B was at 624k with TW at 437k. Usually I don’t check again for a couple days, but there had been a new review up and so I thought I’d just have a quick peek. To my surprise BB&B had rocketed up into the 255k ranking and TW had reached 160k.

Needless to say- I’m rather happy this morning. And it probably isn’t a coincidence that this happened shortly after my blog tour began.

As I mentioned, a new review came out for Blondes, Books, & Bourbon.. a couple actually. I’m going to share a few snippets with you. You can find the whole things on Amazon, or Goodreads, if you want to read all of them, I’m not going to fill your feed.

– ‘The character of Jonathan Alvey, and indeed the whole White Dragon Black series, reads as if the author mixed Harry Dresden and Phillip Marlowe in an acid bath and then etched the page in the peerless prose that resulted.’

-‘Brooding, cantankerous, and so deeply flawed he’s almost on the verge of shattering completely, Alvey is a fantastic homage to the hardboiled detective fiction of old with a fresh insertion of the mystical and arcane.’

– ‘I thought Sins of the Father was a good stand alone story, but felt that there could have been a lot more added to really make the story stand out. The dialogue felt genuine to the plot, the characters and to the setting. However, I felt that the story itself was too short.’

…. ‘Sins of the Father was the first White Dragon Black story ever written. I don’t disagree with the reviewer, but I wanted to present that original story unchanged. It even has cannon inaccuracies that I simple gave a nod of my head to due to it’s status.

Also, if you are interested, the editor-in-chief of Xchyler Publishing, wrote a blog review about my anthology… or maybe it was about me – you decide.

I expect to get my business cards delivered today. These are the cards I will be bringing to Ad Astra Con and handing out, so everyone who gets one can get a free e-copy of Blondes, Books, & Bourbon. It’s hard to host a book release party if there is just one of you in the province – but this way I can share my bourbon soaked baby to everyone everywhere in the Con. My hope for these business cards, is to draw more readers to the White Dragon Black series. If I can get more readers, more people clamouring about the series, I can be paying back Xchyler for taking that chance on me – and I can bring more eyes to a wonderful publisher.

I am typing this while sitting in my sister’s kitchen. The male cat, Connor, has already been out, and back in, and back out, in the 30 min I have been here. The older female cat has already, spit out a pill across the floor, hidden and had to be dragged out, yowled and hissed, at me.
In other words – everything is right on track.

I’m having my first cup of coffee, gearing towards that elusive state called ‘awake’. Once I achieve this mystical realm, I’m going to see if my Muse will deign to bestow a few moments of her time and inspiration. I’d really like to write again.

I’m starting to feel the excitement build for the approaching Ad Astra Convention. Having the business cards being designed for me is certainly fanning the flames. I will be handing these out, to fellow attendees as a ticket to a free e-copy of my newest release, the anthology Blondes, Books, & Bourbon.

And, in case, I needed any further proof that I am being sucked back into the life of the SCA, I bought a glass bowl just because it was a nice blue colour and I believe I can use the glass to make ‘gems’ for jewelry. In the same resale shop, I also grabbed up a great piece of fabric, which, although small, could have been a head cover, or insert panel, or something for my wife to make into garb… it was, however, far too over prized for the small amount of cloth.

 

 

My life over the past couple months has been taken unexpected turns. It’s not all bad, I don’t even know if, in retrospect, any of it has been ‘bad’, actually.

I stopped writing, not so much by choice or even lack of motivation / creativity, but because of ‘real’ life interfering. I was too busy cutting wood to keep the house warm, and working on making the truck run to really have time to sit and write. When I did find time, I was too worn out to actually do so.

Then my wife said that we were going to be active again in the Society for Creative Anachronism. I wasn’t necessarily being bitten my the bug to do so, though I had been on and off for the past decade. I didn’t complain because is was clearly a good thing for her. I knew, once we started playing, I’d be swept up in the life and that has proved true.

When this decision was made, I was already getting to the point where less time was being taken up by wood cutting, due to warmer weather. I had more free time, but wasn’t quite in the zone to write. Instead, I threw my creative energy into what I used to do last time we played SCA – jewelry making. By jewelry making, I mean carving / shaping bronze, and brass, bone and wood, into ornaments, decorated my hand shaped glass ‘gems’ all in the style of 1500’s venetian period. It is an exacting, creatively challenging, hobby that is very rewarding.Maiden's Heart #1full copy

So, in one way, I’m glad I wasn’t writing when this life change happened, because I would have found it harder to adjust and slip back into the life. I have plan on stopping writing. I honestly don’t think I could, even with the ‘new’ distraction. In point of fact, my mind is percolating, starting to work on a short story I started months back. working a short story is a good way to get back into the rhythm, I find. From there, delving back into the novel will be easier to accomplish.

When will this start? Saturday. How can I know? Because tomorrow, I go to Windsor for my twice annual cat sitting job which is always a writing retreat – a stimulus for getting the words out and onto the screen. I’m looking forward to it, the zen of writing, the enjoyment of submersing myself into another world. I am also packing the equipment needed to work on jewelry, so that I can have both creative outlets available to me. I will have the time, and the desire, and plan on indulging.

If I have any doubt about getting back to writing – or the value of completing another short story – all I have to do is look at the reviews coming in for my second released book, Blondes, Books, & Bourbon. The anthology has been getting some very encouraging things said about it :

anthology 5* – “I loved this book even more than Mr. Ridley’s previous one, Tomorrow Wendell, which BTW is also about Jonathan Alvey and is super awesome! I absolutely loved all the stories and will re-read them very soon (yes, it’s that good!) All the stories are unique and adventurous… Mr. Ridley has created something more than just a likeable character, he’s created a character sensation. Jonathan Alvey is an extremely well developed and an amazingly crafted character”

5* – “Ridley opened this anthology with an interview that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and an even bigger reaction in your brain to continue on reading.
If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Tomorrow Wendell, you’ll still enjoy this collection and get to know Jonathan Alvey, as well as a few other recurring characters”

5* – “Ok so I want to start out by saying I have a strong dislike for short stories in general. But I really enjoyed the time I spent with each one of these. Alvey is an awesome main protagonist that is easy to get along with and root for… I never felt lost reading these stories, and I was never just wanting to get onto the next one either. I can honestly say I like each and every one of them. Even if you haven’t read Tomorrow Wendell you’ll have no problem keeping up or getting to know Alvey…If you like magic and the supernatural in your stories, then Blondes, Books, and Bourbon: A White Dragon Black Anthology is for you. If you’ve never really tried out a detective story, then this is the one I would recommend finding out with. Great writing, amazing characters and fun yet creepy new monsters you don’t normally run into.”

5* – “This is an amazing read, although short stories, all the stories are linked through Mr. Jonathan Alvey and this is a unique collection that reads like an amazing novel. The reader follows Private investigator Alvey as he takes on paranormal cases. I won’t go into each one but just know they are interesting and compelling cases that will have the reader glued to this amazing anthology… This is an amazing book and the author has done a wonderful job creating a special story. Believe me this is a do not miss story!”

5* – “Alvey is a fantastic homage to the hardboiled detective fiction of old with a fresh insertion of the mystical and arcane. Conjuring images of rot-gut bourbon, duplicitous dames and dangerous foes, Ridley manages to channel some of the best traditions left over from the old school of detective fiction… Full of intrigue, danger and bleak humour – the stories in Blondes, Books and Bourbon not only expand on the world Ridley introduced us to in his debut novel Tomorrow Wendell, but rather supersede it.”

The Unholy banner1

 

cover

 

The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Thiller, Horror

Page Count: 200

 

Synopsis:

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, “The Unholy” is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.
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Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

 

About the Author

Author

PAUL DeBLASSIE III, PhD, is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.

Author Interview

  1. I get the impression that The Unholy is a book only you could write, because of the setting, and because of your own background. Let’s start with the setting. Tell me about Aztlan.

 

Aztlan is the mythopoeic realm of the mestizos (mixed bloods of southwestern United States). I am mestizo. Aztlan is New Mexico, especially  the region of Albuquerque (southern Aztlan) and Santa Fe (northern Aztlan) and extends to the four corners area. Spirits, dreams, visions, and natural magic are woven seamlessly into everyday life.

  1. Your protagonist, Claire Sanchez, is a curandera, a term which roughly translates as “Medicine Woman.” What exactly is a curandera? What led you to choose this occupation for your heroine?

 

A curandera is a healer. She spoke to me as the story evolved, told me who she was and told me of her struggle to find herself. The path of a healer is fraught with danger. She dramatizes the life of so many women and men seeking to face their fears, find themselves, and walk the path of healing, natural magic, and life.

  1. You live in New Mexico, in the general area where the novel is set. How has this affected the writing of The Unholy? How important was your knowledge of the places and people and culture? What kinds of personal knowledge did you draw on as you crafted your characters and setting?

 

New Mexico is Aztlan. My lineage reaches back for over three-hundred years in Aztlan, a long line of medicine people, healers.  I live here, breathe its air, am sheltered under the canopy of its turquoise sky. The Unholy and the natural magic of the medicine women, forces of darkness and light, exist side by side in the daily, mythopoeic realm of Aztlan. I live here. It is my homeland.

  1. The cover image for The Unholy is striking and haunting, and it’s not just some random stock photo. Tell me about that picture.

 

It is the Devil’s Throne, an actual site between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The evil archbishop performs atrocities there. The land has been contaminated by evil, women desecrated, the air itself befouled. It is the Devil’s Throne in the realm of Azltan!

 

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Giveaway

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5* ‘Great book, I can’t wait to read more from this author.’

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5 * ‘Brooding, cantankerous, and so deeply flawed he’s almost on the verge of shattering completely, Alvey is a fantastic homage to the hardboiled detective fiction of old with a fresh insertion of the mystical and arcane.’

5* ‘Like his last book, Mr. Ridley has created something more than just a likeable character, he’s created a character sensation. Jonathan Alvey is an extremely well developed and an amazingly crafted character.’

5* ‘Ridley opened this anthology with an interview that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and an even bigger reaction in your brain to continue on reading.’