Saturday, March 29, 2014

Criminal Minds at Work: Accepting a PTSD diagnosis

Criminal Minds at Work: Accepting a PTSD diagnosis: Today, guest author Daphne Holmes, shares her knowledge about PTSD in law enforcement. Diane writes for and can be reac...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Meditation this is not...

Noise, white
Stars, bright
Tub, hot
Meditation this is not

Must clear the mind of conscious thought
Cease all fine poetries
Quit pondering infinities

Breathe deep through the nose 
Relax the fingers, 
Relax the toes 
Let the eyelids gently close. 

Those stars that now I cannot see
How did they start to be and when
and someday will they ever end?

Breathe deep find that space 
That quiet place 
Like at your birth 
when you first 
arrived on earth 
and had no words to guide your thoughts--

And no defined sense of self
I was one with everything else
No sense of me and you and them
Of now or never, how or when--

Breathe deep through the nose
Relax the fingers and the toes 
Lay back, supine pose
Let the water cradle bones
Let your ears sink below

Noise white
Stars bright
Tub hot--

Air cold, strange about that cold I caught...

Meditation this is not.

Brought to you by: 


Where everything that can possibly happen, does.

Friday, March 21, 2014

THE TRAZ: "viceral, relentless" TRAZ is my debut novel and that makes it very special. It is also the first book in my BackTracker Series—the launching pad for a life-time of stories told to me by the wonderful BackTracker characters.

THE TRAZ is about how these fascinating characters all met—way back in 1995-96 on the Canadian prairie in the rustic cabins of the THE TRAZ biker gang compound. Young Katrina Buckhold was only thirteen, grieving and depressed but possessed by a sense of adventure common to those of her age. In THE TRAZ, she does not yet comprehend her own mortality and thus, does not see the danger into which she rides.

She’s looking for a purpose to her life, a reason for being, a future. Brilliant, bullied and so very alone—she’s seeking a place to belong. Katrina quickly learns that the gang will let her hang around the edges of their lives—for a price. And that price, is oh, so very steep.

We meet the bikers—soulless, violent creatures, who can kill a man without blinking and make others watch along with them. Driven by the lucrative illicit drug trade and perhaps by Lucifer himself, Gator and his band of mad men connive with like-minded psychopaths around the world to fill their coffers and spread their destruction. Their wealth and influence intrigues Katrina; she’d like a piece of that power and it just may be hers if she bonds with Shrug.

In THE TRAZ we meet Shrug, a giant of a man and the keeper of many secrets. We learn little of what’s behind his brawn and his sharp wit and his vacant slate-grey eyes...but we sense, along with Katrina, that he is not what he seems, that somewhere within him there beats a giant heart.

We meet undercover cop, Corporal Chad Leslie, whose good looks replete with broad shoulders and endearing chuckle, rides into that biker compound and straight into Katrina’s heart –and who may just stay there forever.

We meet Sergeant Kindle who is likely the wisest, kindest, most honest man we’ll ever meet in fiction and will never meet in real life. He is who he is and we all need him to be just that.

THE TRAZ is just the beginning of all the BackTracker characters’ stories and that goes without saying because living for a year with a biker gang will affect them all for a lifetime—for an entire series.
THE TRAZ Book 1 in the BackTracker Series also comes in a School Edition replete with a Teaching/Discussion Guide plus a list of international resources for those dealing with, or wanting more information about, the social issues touched on in the novel—such as depression, addiction, gangs and illicit drugs.

What the reviewers say about THE TRAZ: 

“The action and dialogue are visceral, relentless, and blisteringly fast”
“I recommend this dark and compelling story”
“Raw and emotional with fast-paced, gripping tension”
“Full, rich characters and compelling storyline”
“An engaging read that is both entertaining and thought-provoking”
“The first of a series, igniting an appetite for the sequel”
“Great strong story—a wonderful read”
"I found that it was hard to put down (even for sleep)"
"I just had to finish it; I needed to know what was going to happen next..."
“Katrina tends to illicit a whole range of emotions in the reader..."
“I'd recommend reading THE TRAZ today - you'll thank me for it”
"This is a hard-hitting novel…”
“No shirking the grim reality of stepping to the wrong side of the law”
“...but nothing is quite what it seems.”
“THE TRAZ is an amazing book”
“This book is highly recommended”

Available in both eBook and paperback formats on:

THE TRAZ School Edition: 
THE TRAZ School Edition: 
THE TRAZ School Edition:

And other fine online stores. 

If it is not on the shelves of your local bookstore or library, you can ask to have it ordered in for you.

Eileen Schuh, Author

Schrödinger's Cat

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Something inside me is screaming

Something inside me is screaming
and I know not what it is.
Its terrified cries
for countless weeks
Today's poem is sponsored
have kept away sleep
as I seek
to understand.

What does it fear? Is danger near?
Does it think
I’m on the brink
Of disaster or defeat or death?
Or is it fighting monsters
from the past, perhaps?

I gasp and sweat and pace,
searching for the face
of the nameless terror.
Whose voice is this
that destroys
my dreams?
What must I do to mute
those screams?

Something inside me is crying
and I know not what it is.
Crying, denying, dying
Trying to be free
of me, perchance.
Or of time and flesh and circumstance,
What was and what should have been.

Something inside me is screaming
And I know not what it is.

Insight is not always the strong suit of those suffering from Critical Incident Stress or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Two police officers in my new release FIREWALLS deal with their PTSD the best way they know how--which often falls short of what their jobs demand and their relationships need. That in the end Shrug and Katrina are able to help each other heal, is a testament to the power of the human spirit.

FIREWALLS is Book 3 in the BackTracker Series. Enter the international Rafflecopter draw below to win a 3-book set of the series--eBook or paperback, winner's choice. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Luck of the Irish!

Before I tell you about my latest Luck of the Irish! promotion, let me give you:

Some writery advice

Elaine Denning - Editor
Elaine Denning, Editor
I blew the digital dust off an old manuscript of mine and found I was quite entranced with the story. The first part of the novel, tentatively entitled NORAEBANG, is set in South Korea and reading it brought back fond memories of my trip there in 2006. I'll tell you more about the novel in another blog, but first I want to talk about where NORAEBANG fits into my career plans.

I decided to query Noraebang to some agents. (I'll explain why in a later blog.) Whether one is submitting queries to agents or publishers these days, the guidelines often ask for the opening chapter or chapters of the work being queried. So I carefully polished those pages before attaching them to the cover letter, bio, synopsis and whatever else specific agents say they want. With response times from agents ranging from weeks to months, I was left wondering what to do with the manuscript in the meantime.

In the event finding an agent didn't pan out and I decided to self-publish Noraebang, I contacted my editor, Elaine Denning, to see what her schedule is like. (I won't self-publish without employing the skills of both an editor and a proof reader.) In the ensuing discussion, she offered me some sound advice, which came a little late for Noraebang but will be very useful in the future.

She suggested it would be a great idea to have those opening chapters professionally edited before submitting them to agents and/or publishers. This is something she would be willing to do for a reasonable price. She notes that she wouldn't be able to edit thoroughly for things like pacing, plotting, and inconsistencies. However, she could polish those samples to a bright shine, potentially impressing those all-important decision-makers who just might be holding the key to my success.

Watch for my next blogs: Why I want an Agent and NORAEBANG: the novel

Where does the luck of the Irish come in?

My great grandfather Treasure was Irish through and through, according to my late mother, so we always celebrated St. Patrick's Day with green. This year I'm incorporating that fine family tradition into my month-long celebration of my latest release FIREWALLS  by adding a bonus prize to my Rafflecopter draw. First prize will remain a 3-book set of the BackTracker novels, eBook or paperback--winner's choice. Second prize will be winner's choice of an eBook copy of my adult SciFi thriller, SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT or...a critique of a 10-page manuscript. What that means, is you email me ten pages of your work in progress and I'll send you some feedback on your writing.

So...enter today, enter everyday to increase your chances of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Luck of the Irish! has been brought to you by

FIREWALLS"A gritty, fast paced thriller"

"Be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions..."

"Packed with humanity, crafted with insight."
"A tale of comfort and hope that we, too, can slay our own dragons."

Monday, March 3, 2014

Three-book set give-away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway I am so very excited about my latest release, FIREWALLS. This is the third novel in my ongoing BackTracker series and with Katrina, my young protagonist no longer a child, the intensity of the writing and the drama has definitely been ramped up.

FIREWALLS is everything its predecessors, THE TRAZ AND FATAL ERROR are, plus much more. It is gritty, addresses young adult issues, is written with power and sensitivity, yet reads easily. It's about danger and evil and coming to understand one's self. The crime-fighting plot, replete with  clever police work, keeps one turning the pages. Yet when the story ends, it is the characters' hearts and souls that haunt readers' minds. But it's more than all that.

FIREWALLS is about two police officers struggling with the aftermath of a violent year with The Traz biker gang. Both are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and both are dealing with it differently. They are trying their best to make something of their troubled lives and are achieving some great things--and failing miserably at others.

FIREWALLS is about a young girl becoming a woman. About trying to go it alone. About protecting one's heart from hurt by keeping others at bay and about the desperation that finally makes those cold walls tumble.

It's about learning how to deal with a past that will always exist, always be painful. Always. It's about the healing power of relationships. It's about falling in love.

In celebration of the release of FIREWALLS,I'm pleased to offer this easy-to-enter Rafflecopter contest with a set of all three BackTracker novels as the prize, in the winner's choice of either eBook or paperback format..

Up for grabs is THE TRAZ (winner's choice of the School Edition or the First Edition), FATAL ERROR, and FIREWALLS. I invite my fans from around the world to enter. Even if you already have my books, I urge you to enter. This prize package would make a great gift to lighten the eyes of a avid reader in your life.

There are several different ways to enter and you may enter daily--just follow the easy Rafflecopter directions. The more times you enter, the better your chances at winning.

The draw will be made at the end of my official online launch of FIREWALLS on 24 March 2014.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Have I got a deal for you!

I'm celebrating my BackTracker series this month in conjunction with the release of FIREWALLS, Book 3 in that series. Part of that promotion is a reduction in the eBook prices of some of the novels in the series.

I've received great support from several sources, some anticipated and some a pleasant surprise. So, here's what promotions are on for the next few days. my books are available as both eBooks and paperbacks. I don't have sale prices on my paperbacks, but they are priced very reasonably and are available on Amazon (click here to go to my author page where you can find links to the titles in which you are interested) and Barnes and Nobel and other fine online stores. My books sell for about $15.00 each, depending on currency conversions and any special promotions the booksellers may be running. Many online stores offer free delivery so check for the best deals.

For off-line buying, you can ask to have my novels brought in, if they are not on the shelves of your local library or bookstore. As well, if I'm asked, I'll mail fans autographed copies of my paperbacks once payment has been arranged.
There are several eBook sales going on.
Here's a wrap up. Remember, prices may vary because of changing currency conversion and/or bookseller's promotions.

 You can also get them through Smashwords in a variety of popular eFormats. Follow Smashwords' easy purchase instructions. Click on the titles for the purchase links. To get the sales price on THE TRAZ  use Code: UX54T at check out. For THE TRAZ School Edition  use Code: PK68Y
I had planned on having my new release FIREWALLS specially priced at $1.99 throughout this promo, and you can find it on Amazon for that price. However, the online eBook store, Smashwords, surprised me with their "Read an eBook Week" promotion from now until 8 March 2014, allowing me to offer this novel for free this week. Smashwords offers eBooks in a variety of eformats, for all popular eReading devices including tablets and computers. It's an easy-to-use site. To get FIREWALLS for free, just follow the instructions and use the coupon code RW100 at checkout.

Although  SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT is not part of my BackTracker Series, my publisher WolfSinger Publications has joined Smashwords' special Read an eBook Week promo and is offering  my thrilling SciFi novella for half-price this week. Use coupon code REW50 at checkout to get it for $1.50 US. would be awesome if each of my fans bought at least one of my books this month, even if it just the free one. Because I'm sure if you read one, you'll want to read the rest!
Please, if possible, post a short review for me on Amazon and/or the site you purchased your book from, your blog, facebook, etc. A review need only to say if you liked the book, why or why not, and if you recommend it to others. Longer reviews, too, are appreciated.

I will be announcing a special contest later this week, so be sure to check back for all the latest news. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Paperback heaven...

Ah, yes...the sight, sound and smell of a great paperback.

I'm celebrating my BackTracker series in conjunction with the release of FIREWALLS Book 3 in that series and although the celebration includes special eBook pricing, my paperbacks are definitely worth a look, too.

I mostly promote my eBooks, because that's what I've been coached to do. However, paperbacks remain a favorite of many readers so today I'm going to cater to those of you who love the smell and touch of a book with real paper pages.

All my books are available as paperbacks
All my books are available in paperback format: THE TRAZ, THE TRAZ School Edition, FATAL ERROR, FIREWALLS, and SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT. Through the magic of computer and internet technology, if you click on any of those titles in the previous sentence, your device will take you to the page on your country's Amazon website where you can buy it.

However, Amazon is not the only place you can buy my paperbacks. I mostly promote Amazon because it is the biggest online bookseller, meaning it sells more of my books than anyone else (other than perhaps myself in person). Not all consumers, though, like shopping on Amazon and not all like shopping anywhere online. That doesn't mean they can't buy my paperbacks!

For those who do shop online, but not on Amazon, there are several places you can buy my paperbacks.  One of the larger booksellers that carries them is Barnes and Noble. Click on their name in that sentence and you will go to the page where you can buy FIREWALLS. Use their search feature to find my other books.

On the right hand side of the home page of this blog, Magic of the Muses, you will find links to various online booksellers that carry my novels. I won't re-list them all here.

Now, for those who don't shop online, that's not a problem either. My novels are on the bookshelves of many libraries and a few bookstores as well. If they are not in your local bookstore or library you can ask to have them ordered in for you. Just give them my name and the title or titles you are looking for and they can do the online purchasing or inter-library loan for you.

And then, of course, there's the option of purchasing directly from me. I always have lots of copies of all my books on hand and can autograph and personalize them for you and confirm shipping costs before sending them. If you live in my neck of the woods, I will even deliver them to you. 

Firewalls eBook is on for $1.99
The Traz eBook is  

Why are paperbacks seldom on sale? Paperbacks cost much more to produce, print, and ship than eBooks, so they are, of course, priced higher. However, I have priced my paperbacks very reasonably upfront and there are restrictions on how low I can price them. Online booksellers demand a certain amount of commission--meaning there is a minimum price they will let me charge--they need to make their money. I respect that, because if they don't make money, they go out of business and can't sell my books. Another difficulty in putting paperbacks on sale is that changing the price of paperbacks is a more difficult process than the one in place for eBooks. There are often long time-delays before the new price shows up online and different distributors have different pricing requirements, making short-lived promotions difficult to impossible to organize.

Protagonist, Cst. Katrina Randal
Compared to the cost of a night out at the theatre or opera, or an evening hockey game, the price of my paperbacks is bargain-basement and the books provide many many more hours of enjoyment than most forms of entertainment. (You don't have to worry about parking, either.) Plus, you have instant replay at your fingertips should you want to read it again, and you can share the novel with your friends at no additional cost.

In person, I sell my novels for $15.00 Cdn each. That price varies throughout cyberspace, depending on currency conversions, special promos the distributors offer, etc. The online price often includes free shipping if your order is over a certain amount. Sometimes, through Amazon, you can get the ebook at a discount if you buy the paperback, and vice versa. It's called their MATCHBOOK program. So you can check that out if you're an Amazon shopper.

If you're a paperback lover and have any questions about how to get your hands and eyes on one of my paperbacks, please leave a comment below or contact me on any of my other social networking sites. 

Author, Eileen Schuh

Eileen Schuh, Author

Schrödinger's Cat