Note Friday, November 29 (Black Friday) on Your Calendars

The new cover for Nocturne as of November 15, 2019.

On Friday, November 29 (Black Friday) I will have four of my works free on Amazon Kindle: Click; A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror; The Scent and Other Stories; and Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover.

I am doing this primary as an experiment in marketing and publicity. Yesterday, I offered the same four books as free and I got more takers than usual.

If you noticed, I have new covers for three except The Scent and Other Stories. I hope to have a new cover for it by Friday the 29th, however. This is another marketing tactic. Because I love black and white photography and often find it captivating and powerful, I have used it for most of my covers, trying to express something I see in each book.  But I see that most, more experienced authors use full color, flashy covers to grab the buyer’s attention. So I decided to give that a shot and see if sales pick up.  I tried to make each cover grab the attention of a passing buyer by making it not only in full color, but also expressing something powerful and exciting about the experience I hope to get across in my book.  I would like readers, not to judge my books by their covers, but maybe get a taste of

The new cover for Click as of November 15, 2019.
The new cover for Click as of November 15, 2019.

my books from their covers.

Anyway, I have included the three new covers in this article. If you would like to find out more about each, please go to my Amazon author’s blog. You can sign up for updates there or go to and follow me there.

Oh, by the way, if you’re wondering where I got the covers, I downloaded some royalty-free public domain images from Pixabay (and maybe Pexels) and manipulated them in Pixlr. Each one took a few hours to make.

Hasta luego.

I am sitting here right now (Saturday night, 8:47 pm CST, at home in Arkansas Post, listening to Carlos Nakai. It sort of makes me homesick for New Mexico. Beautiful, slow, peaceful, Native American flute music that sounds like it’s coming across a mesa or from some Anasazi ruins. If you ever need to seriously relax I recommend listening to Carlos.

The new cover for A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror as of November 15, 2019.
The new cover for A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror as of November 15, 2019.

My Quick, Initial Impressions of Michael Crichton’s Next

On Monday I drove to Dallas to meet my wife and family and lead them to our new residence in deepest, darkest Arkansas. The drive is six hours one way. In Texarkana (about half way), I stopped at Books-a-Million for a quick break, to get some iced tea at Joe Muggs, and to find out if they had any new audio-books available. There I found Next (published in 2006) by Michael Crichton. At five hours length, it seemed to be ideal for the remainder of my journey to Dallas and most of the journey back (I picked up Pride and Prejudice on the return leg). After the end of the novel was  an interview with Michael Crichton, which was probably the best part of the audio-book, because it provided insight into how he got the idea for the novel and Mr. Crichton discussed his fascinating views on the insane world of corporate patenting and marketing of gene technology. It’s a shame that his views weren’t as clearly expressed and understandable in the novel as in the interview.

During the interview Mr. Crichton said that he wanted to make the book reflect the complexity of the issues surrounding gene patents and corporate ownership of genes. That came across very well in the book. Mr. Crichton touched on numerous topics, which made for a complex novel.  What did not help was that instead of focusing on the stories of a few characters, he seemed to bring in one or two new characters every few minutes (remember I had the audio-book).  Not until the end of the novel did he focus on a few main characters. I felt like I needed a notebook and pen to keep track of all the characters and the minor plots behind each, of which there seemed to be a thousand. Most of these plots focused on the legal and ethical problems of gene technology, which, while often intriguing, did not make for an exciting book.  Indeed, while the first few pages showed promise of adventure with a detective trying to surveil someone who had stolen several embryos, after that there was little true action until the last few chapters. There is some corporate espionage and black marketing of genes and theft of chimeras (mostly human-animal hybrids) to make for some excitement, but nothing as action-packed as Jurassic Park.

If anyone wants to know why economy of characters is important, he/she should read this novel.

Next was not so bad that I threw it out the car window. It did have its highlights and lighter moments and probably because I have something of an analytical mind (as my friends and acquaintances tell me), it did keep me intrigued and curious as to how everything would be resolved. However, for me it was something of a mild disappointment considering that it came from the author of Jurassic ParkThe Andromeda Strain, and many other fine, entertaining novels.

Would I recommend this book to others? It wasn’t a waste of time, I will say that, but its focus on legal and ethical problems would probably bore some. I would recommend this to people who are interested in the law and issues behind the evolving world of gene technology and research and the corporate patenting of it or to people who are interested in the law and/or technology in general. Fans of Michael Crichton would probably find it interesting, but I doubt anyone would find it exhilarating.

I may write some more on this later, but these are my initial impressions. I have posted this review on Goodreads also.

Hasta luego.



“The Scent and Other Stories: the Dark Side of Love” is Available on Amazon Kindle and in Print

New Cover for The Scent and Other Stories
New cover as of November 21, 2019.

In this collection of short stories, I explore the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range from regretting losing a lover to forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s deathbed confession in present-day New Mexico to debating pursuing a hateful man’s wife to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas.

To read a sample and to view my other works as well, visit my Amazon author’s page at:

Praise for Stories Contained in “The Scent and Other Stories”:

The Scent

“This story has a lovely dreamy quality whilst being unsettling too. It lingers on half processed emotional experiences and leaves the reader asking ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ – feelings that are familiar for so many people.”

“You wrote about something we can all relate to – how, out of the blue, the scent of something evokes a memory of something long past; and the emotions we felt at the time! A clever story …”

“This descriptive piece about remembrance, the thought of what might have been, is a common sad thread that will resonate with those have experienced the pain of that one love lost. Slattery’s use of scent was exquisite as we feel Quinn’s pain and hope that he finds his peace, at last.”


“Fantastic writing – I held my breath for most of the story. The descriptions of the countryside and the people were beautiful and the tension compelling. This could possibly be the start of a novel or a suite of stories. Thank you very much and good luck with your writing in the future”

“Suspenseful and engaging. The dialogue and descriptions kept pace with the action. Well done.”

A Good Man

“Lots of detail examining an old question of how do you judge a person’s life. It left me wondering.”

“Great job capturing the social climate of the sixties. Good choice for how to present the story – deathbed “confession” by the mother. I enjoyed it.”

The Slightest of Indiscretions

“Excellent writing brings this poignant story to life and makes the reader work to understand more of what might be. Very many thanks for a satisfying, emotionally intelligent read…”

If you enjoy poems about love, check out my poetry collection Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover.


Reviews Needed

I am seeking people to review my works and who post their reviews to markets in the US, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada. I offer my Kindle e-books for free periodically according to Amazon policy.  You can find my works on my Amazon author’s page.  Let me know which you would like to review and I will let you know when it available for free or set up a date that you can have it for fee. I am most interested in having reviewed either my short horror (A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror), my collected poetry (Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover), my short fiction on relationships (The Scent and Other Stories), or my action-adventure novelette (Click).  The other two works are contained in A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.