Saturday, December 10, 2011

Darned If I Can Figure It Out!

7 January 2012 Update: The trailer for A & A is now at 1,528 ... and still no sales to speak of. Seems strange to me.

My trailer for Aldric & Anneliese has 1,445 hits, while there are 241 readers on Goodreads who have had Aldric & Anneliese on their 'to-read list' for months now. Yet ... yet, no one is purchasing the book! Neither the paperback nor e-book (at both Kindle Store at and at Barnes and Noble's Nook Store) version is selling.

Aldric & Anneliese has gotten very good reviews: 4.17 average from 12 ratings on Goodreads and 5 stars average from 10 reviews on Amazon. The last review at Goodreads on Dec 6th read, "Short and sweet. A classic tale of Kings and knights. Betrayal, action and romance, this book had it all. Very pleasantly surprised."

Not only women readers, but both teenage boys and men, will enjoy this medieval action-adventure novel ... if only I could get them to read it.

Books make great presents to round out your Christmas shopping, especially for hard-to-buy-for male readers. Just thought I'd mention it! :-)

Holiday Cheer!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

A 1930s Christmas to Remember -- My entry to short story contest

Today I entered the short story contest at Lulu Press. (It really is for flash fiction because the maximum number of words allowed is only 600. As I understand flash fiction, the term now defines prose pieces between 300 and 1,000 words, although there is no consensus of the allowable upper maximum. Some people place the maximum at only 600 words. Short stories are longer, running 2,000 to 3,000 words usually.)

My story is entitled "A 1930s Christmas to Remember". It is an appropriate story for the holidays upcoming, and it is a good read, I believe. You can download it for free here:

I hope you will read it (Did I mention is free?) and let me know what you think of it.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

99 cents sale on Kindle: Three of my books

I have reduced the Kindle price of three of my books to only 99 cents! That's a real bargain any way you look at it. All that great reading for only 99 cents each. Please check it out, and buy yourself some cheap but good reading:

Bob the Dragon Slayer, a witty fantasy novella.

White Lightning Road, a contemporary romance novel.

Gilleland Poetry: Storoems and Poems, a collection of my fabulous poetry.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Trailer for Aldric and Anneliese Now Has 1,000-plus Hits

My book trailer for my latest novel "Aldric and Anneliese", a historical fiction action-adventure love story, has recently received its 1,004-th 'hit'. I never expected that many views. However, despite the large number of viewing for the book's trailer, there has been a paucity of sales for Aldric and Anneliese. Any ideas why that might be? I can tell you the lack of sales is rather disheartening.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Book Trailer for Aldric and Anneliese Now Has Over 700 Hits

I don't know how many "hits" the average book trailer gets or even whether hits lead to book sales. Nonetheless, I am pleased that the trailer designed and produced by Aidana WillowRaven for Aldric and Anneliese now has received over 718 hits/views. Hopefully, that indicates interest in the book.

What do you think? Does the number of hits for a book trailer indicates anything about future book sales?

If you haven't done so yet, please check out the trailer for Aldric and Anneliese.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aldric and Anneliese now available on Amazon's Kindle and on B/N's Nook

Aldric & Anneliese is now for sale for $5.50 as an e-book at both the Kindle Store at and at the Nook Store at Barnes and Noble.

The e-book versions are not yet linked to the print version's page. You need to search either the Kindle Store or the Nook Store for "Aldric & Anneliese" to find the e-book version. Did I mention it only cost $5.50 for the e-book? LOL

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

e-book Version of Aldric and Anneliese Soon

If all goes according to plan, the publisher, 4RV Publishing LLC, should have the e-book version of my latest book, Aldric and Anneliese, made available on Kindle at and on e-Nook at Barnes and Noble next week. Be sure to check for it then!

I know a lot of people these days prefer to buy e-books rather than print copies. My 11-year-old granddaughter reads books on her Kindle. She likes receiving Kindle gift cards as gifts. It's cheaper and quicker getting books that way.

Aldric and Anneliese Book Trailer Receiving Viewings

My book trailer for Aldric and Anneliese now has 234 "hits". If you still haven't watched the trailer, now's a good time to do so. :-)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Republican Party Is Built on White Men’s Racism

Look at Southern history: From the War Between the States onward through the 1960s, the South was solid for the Democratic Party. Then, within a few years, it became solid for the Republican Party. What happened to elicit this change? The Democratic Party in the 1960s openly pushed civil rights for blacks, whereas the Republican Party did not. Hence, southerners became Republican in opposition to civil rights for blacks. Pure racism at its best. Today this racist motive is not as openly visible, but it is there all the same. The Republican Party is the vestige of white, old men desperately trying to forestall America’s new demographic future. It and they ultimately will fail, but they will do irreparable harm to America before they do.

The Republican Party seems hell-bent on dismantling the American way of life for the common man / middle class as rapidly as possible. This includes privatizing Medicare / Medicaid so the common man ends up paying a greater and greater share of his elderly health care, busting unions to reduce the power of the common man in getting fair treatment at work, privatizing public education into a charter school system using government vouchers which won’t cover the cost so that getting an education cost more for the common man, ending programs that help the common man send his children to college so that getting a college education becomes harder and harder for the common man, destroying programs that aid primarily the welfare and lower working classes, such as HeadStart and Planned Parenthood, shorting and reducing unemployment benefits for the jobless, ending funding for the arts and music programs, on and on. All the while, the Republicans want to give more and bigger tax breaks and subsidies to corporations, including oil companies raking in billions and billions in profits, and to never raise taxes of the wealthiest millionaires / billionaires, i.e. the elite richest, top 5% of Americans.

I understand why the corporations and the billionaires like the Koch brothers support these Republican plans. However, why does the working / middle class support these plans that ultimately will take the American dream away from their children and grandchildren? It seemingly makes no sense. Until you examine the demographics of the Republican Party: the majority of its members are largely white, above the mean in age and income, i.e. “old white men.” They frequently claim they want to “take back America”, i.e. return to the 1950s when all the power rested in the hands of white men. The Republican Party appeals to white men who long for the good old days when they called all the shots. The reports that within three to four decades whites will become the minority in the U.S. with Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians being able to dominate politics scares these white men to death. They cling to the Republican Party as their only hope to somehow forestall the upcoming loss of control by the white population. The working / middle class supports the Republican Party because consciously or unconsciously they are responding to subtle racism. In some cases, like in Arizona, the racism is overt and heavy-handed.

The Republican Party will probably wither away over the next few decades as Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians take charge of the government. And with it will go the white man’s hope of keeping control of American politics. So, if white hopes are almost certainly doomed, what better than to have placed most of the control of the country’s economy into the hands of corporations and the richest elite, where white men will still dominate. Let the Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians take charge of the government some day. What they will inherit control over will be a third-world America. The white man will have won a Pyrrhic victory of sorts. As I see it, the working / middle class supports the Republican Party’s economy plans through racism and impossible dreams of keeping a white-controlled America forever. Why else do they support a party that is actively seeking to gut the working class?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Republican Party and the Middle Class

The Republican Party is hell-bent on putting the common man (working people including the shrinking middle class) in as weak and powerless position as it can while vesting more and more power in the hands of corporations and the elite richest class.

The corporation-bought Supreme Court justices repaid the corporations for their largess by voting to treat corporations as individuals (how ludicrous can they be!), which allows corporation to spend unlimited amounts (literally hundreds of millions of dollars) to try to buy elections. This allows the Koch brothers and the variety of conservative front groups such as those Rove funds and directs to buy congressmen and governors, resulting in what we see now in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, etc. (Why do the Koch brothers and power brokers like Rove hide behind their conservative front groups trying to make it appear their ads and support represent millions of supporters instead of being honest about where the vast majority of the funding actually comes from? Would that make it all too obvious that the elite rich are running the conservative movement for their own benefit, like removing EPA regulation over companies they own to increase their profit in the name of smaller government?)

These Republican–led state governments have declared war on the common man. They want to bust unions, privatize schools in favor of a national for-profit charter school business, sell off prisons to private corporations, force Medicare to be turned over to private insurance companies to run (which will cost more than the proposed government stipend to be paid to individuals so that individuals will have to pay more for their health care … but the private insurance companies will rake in untold billions of taxpayer dollars), allow financial Wall Street advisers/firms get their hands on Social Security and charge fees for their services (fees and more fees), cut unemployment payments to those who cannot find jobs, and on and on. At the same time these Republicans are hurting the common man, they are giving more tax breaks to the corporations and to the richest elite class.

I understand why CEOs of corporations and millionaires/billionaires vote Republican. It lines their pockets with more and more money. But, for Heaven’s sake, why do middle class Americans vote to put Republicans in office when doing so is cutting their own throats economically? Why on earth would working-class Republicans want to give Republicans control of the national government? I think I have figured this out. I’ll explain it in my next blog.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Republicans Bush/Cheney Caused the Current High Deficit

The Unwisdom of Elites

"These days Americans get constant lectures about the need to reduce the budget deficit. That focus in itself represents distorted priorities, since our immediate concern should be job creation. But suppose we restrict ourselves to talking about the deficit, and ask: What happened to the budget surplus the federal government had in 2000?

The answer is, three main things. First, there were the Bush tax cuts, which added roughly $2 trillion to the national debt over the last decade. Second, there were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which added an additional $1.1 trillion or so. And third was the Great Recession, which led both to a collapse in revenue and to a sharp rise in spending on unemployment insurance and other safety-net programs.

So who was responsible for these budget busters? It wasn’t the man in the street.

President George W. Bush cut taxes in the service of his party’s ideology, not in response to a groundswell of popular demand — and the bulk of the cuts went to a small, affluent minority.

Similarly, Mr. Bush chose to invade Iraq because that was something he and his advisers wanted to do, not because Americans were clamoring for war against a regime that had nothing to do with 9/11. In fact, it took a highly deceptive sales campaign to get Americans to support the invasion, and even so, voters were never as solidly behind the war as America’s political and pundit elite.

Finally, the Great Recession was brought on by a runaway financial sector, empowered by reckless deregulation. And who was responsible for that deregulation? Powerful people in Washington with close ties to the financial industry, that’s who. Let me give a particular shout-out to Alan Greenspan, who played a crucial role both in financial deregulation and in the passage of the Bush tax cuts — and who is now, of course, among those hectoring us about the deficit.

So it was the bad judgment of the elite, not the greediness of the common man, that caused America’s deficit."

by Op-Ed Columnist PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: May 8, 2011
New York Times
The Opinion Pages

This is so true! The Republicans caused the current financial deficit to soar to to the current high. They are to blame! Yet, now they are trying to pass the blame off on the "Tax and Spend" Democrats &/or the public. They are like a child when caught having screwed up: What? Not me! It's that guy over there.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Will Rogers Sayings

My sister Sperry, who lives in Fayetteville, GA south of Atlanta, sent me this in an e-mail. That Will Rogers was one smart man!

Will Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash with his best friend, Wylie Post, was probably the greatest political sage the U.S. ever has known. Proof of this statement is below:

1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman . . . and neither works.

4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

5. Always drink upstream from the herd.

6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading; The few who learn by observation; The rest of them have to urinate on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.

12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.


First ~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers.. Not me; I want people to know why I look this way. I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.

Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

Sixth ~ I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Tenth ~ Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf.

And, finally ~ If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trailer for Aldric and Anneliese

The book trailer for Aldric and Anneliese is now ready:

It plays best, I think, going to U-tube and hitting 'Expand' button at bottom right.

Check it out and let me know what you think of it.

Aidana Willowraven did a wonderful job with the three illustrations she created for the trailer, don't you think?



Saturday, April 23, 2011

My new poem: Who Were the Savages?

Yesterday I wrote a new poem entitled "Who Were the Savages?"

Who Were the Savages? is a long, free-verse poem addressing the fate of the Indians during invasion of the West.

The old warrior chief sits
atop his magnificent stallion
on a high hill overlooking
the green valley below
through which a wagon train
of many Conestoga wagons
is snaking its way slowly.

Anger fills his body, giving way
to dread and consuming despair.
Like a plague upon the land,
spreading their contempt
for both Nature and the Red Man,
in more and more increasing number
come the White Man with his hatred,
his lies, and his superior guns.

Once the buffalo herds roamed
in great number, flowing across
the land, providing his Native Peoples
with plentiful food and hides.
The buffalo were like the stars
high in the nighttime sky,
but then came the White Man
to slaughter the buffalo for
hides and for sport, shamefully
leaving the meat to rot in the sun.
Now Indian children hunger and die.

The White Man considers
Indian ancestral lands to be his
for the taking. The Native Peoples
tried to make peace with these invaders,
but the White Man has broken treaty
after treaty. They murder Indian women,
Indian children for fun and bounty.
They consider Indians an inferior
race of men, even though Indians
have lived for centuries in complete
harmony with the land. The White Man
doesn’t see the soul of Nature that resides
in everything they are destroying.

The old warrior knows his tribe
soon once again must fight gallantly
to attempt to preserve their heritage.
But he also knows deep in his heart
that they cannot stop the humiliation
of his people and the destruction
of their way of life. He understands
loss of their lands and confinement
to a reservation at the mercy of the
White Man will be their pitiful fate;
he also understands his proud people
will fight as long as they are able
against the passage of their culture.

As he turns his horse to ride away,
his heart breaking with sorrow,
he’s spotted by the wagon train.
He hears them shout as they point,
“Up there. It’s one of those savages.”
The old warrior gallops away peacefully
as shots ring out from the White Man.
All too soon the shameful decimation
of the Indian Nations was complete.

[Note: To read more about this shameful chapter
in American history, read the new book
“Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia”
by vehoae. Look for the warrior on the cover. ] ]

I was an editor at 4RV Publishing for vehoae's informative book. Her book should be read in every American history class. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting more information about treatment of the Indians during "settlement" of the West after the War Between the States (otherwise known as the War of Yankee Aggression).



Monday, April 4, 2011

My Kirkus Indie Review for Aldric and Anneliese

I paid the exorbitant $425 fee charged by Kirkus Indie for obtaining a review from them. I bought into their claim of a review from Kirkus being a high-quality and widely respected review, making it worthwhile to pay the excessive fee. Well, here are two salient points from their review of Aldric and Anneliese:

1. “There are no surprises in store for the reader, delightful or otherwise.”, according to the Kirkus Indie reviewer.

This surprised me immensely since almost all other reviews that Aldric & Anneliese has received commented on the surprising twists and turns of the plot:

Excerpts from reviews which you can read at at Gilleland/dp/0982659407/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1299221085&sr=1-1 ,
stating they were surprised at the plot’s surprising twists and turns:

"Gilleland throws us quite a curve ball, as the plot proceeds through a series of implausible twists, turns, and surprises, but we stay with it, leading us to an ending that I didn't expect and nor did I predict." Norm Goldman

"The twists and turns are sometimes surprising, but always fun to follow." Ben Langhinrichs

"Readers everywhere will be unable to let go of this adventure with its surprising (and sometimes quite tragic) twists and turns---and they will find a very satisfying end for seeing this tale through." C.Cuadro

"It is an interesting book full of unexpected twists and turns!" Kim Aures

"I did find myself captivated enough to keep reading to find out what would happen next. The plot has several twists and turns and I did not see the final twist coming at the end, which is always a good thing." Tyler Tichelaar

“The author does well with the mystery, the love, the turmoil and the reactions of the audience. It is a quick read and because it is a page turner you will most likely read it over again … This is a real neat story, the details are wonderful and the author keeps you engaged.” J. Cormier

“Read this book to see what happens next. This is a big surprise, … Believe me, however, it holds your interest and is a fascinating and unpredictable story. Wow. Read it.” By Donna Doyle of Romance Reviews, posted at Romance Reviews

When I questioned the editor at Kirkus Indie about the fact their reviewer seemed to be the only one not surprised by the twists of plot, this reply was provided by the reviewer:
“I have a long history of devouring romance books, especially historical romance, …written with no big surprises for a seasoned romance book reader."

I invite you to read Aldric & Anneliese and see for yourself if you agree with the Kirkus Indie reviewer or with all the other reviewers about being surprised by the twists in the plot. You decide!

2. I wanted readers to have mixed feelings about several of the main characters and have to argue whether they were good or not. The reviewer seems to have not seen any of this. For one example, Aldric ordered all the wounded and captured enemy soldiers after one battle to be murdered instead of letting them survive as Edmund had always done in the same circumstances. Hardly the act of a "good guy". Yet the Kirkus Indie reviewer said, “Characters are predictable, yet likeable, and fall into either good guys or bad guys.” Aldric is considered your typical “good guy” no matter how many people he murders. Hmmm.

I’ll leave it up to you readers to decide who is correct in this instance about the nature of the characters in Aldric & Anneliese, whether they are always predictably “good” or “bad”. You readers decide!



Saturday, April 2, 2011

Contacting Public Libraries to Buy Aldric and Anneliese

I spent the last several days mailing material to more than fifty-five libraries across the U.S. asking them to consider buying copies of Aldric and Anneliese for their library's book collection. The mailing was a cover letter, a two-page "Excerpts from Reviews Received" with excerpts from eight reviews received to date, and a press release for Aldric and Anneliese. Each letter required a 61-cent stamp, which the Post office actually sells.

I mailed materials to fourteen Louisiana public library systems, covering all the major cities in the state. I emphasized that I was a Louisiana author with them. Then I mailed letters to selected cities in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, emphasizing my being a regional author. Finally, I mailed materials to a variety of libraries in major cities across the country. I chose the ten most prosperous cities according to a Google search, along with random cities by size.

It was a lot of mind-numbing busy work to get this accomplished. And, I'll probably not get any favorable results. But, if you don't at least try to market your book, then you know you'll get no sales. You gotta keep plugging away with marketing!



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Working my fanny off to market Aldric and Anneliese

Greetings ~

Ever since getting home from our trip to Orlando, FL and Macon, GA last Tuesday, I've spent the week trying to get a buzz going for Aldric and Anneliese. I got a notice placed in the Shreveport Times mentioning the book, and it ran while we were away. This last week I have mailed first-class review copies of Aldric and Anneliese to nine paid reviews sites, including the outrageously overpriced Kirkus "Indie" program, to three other free book review sites, and to four individual reviewers who agreed to review it. In addition, I have emailed thirty-two book review sites/blogs requesting a review for Aldric and Anneliese. So far, I have received back one 'yes' and two 'maybes'. Many of these sites tell you up front that they won't answer should they decide not to review your book; they are overwhelmed with review requests. It is getting harder and harder to get your book reviewed! I even offered to give anyone a copy of the book if they would write an Amazon review after reading it. I posted that here and also at my blog and to the Bragging Rights group on Yahoo. From the three postings, I got three takers. I guess I have done about all I know to do to solicit reviews for Aldric and Anneliese. Now it is wait and see what happens.

I also purchased a Spotlight Cover ad to run for four months on, beginning in April. I also donated copies of Aldric and Anneliese to the public libraries in Shreveport and in the surrounding towns of Ruston, Minden, and Homer.

Now I need to try to line up some book signing events locally. I will be at the North Texas Book Festival at Denton, Texas on April 16th at the 4RV Publishing tables.

Anyone who has a suggestion for marketing Aldric and Anneliese that I haven't tried yet, please let me hear from you.



Friday, March 4, 2011

Free copy of Aldric and Anneliese for review on Amazon

My new short novel "Aldric and Anneliese" is now available on Amazon. It is a tale of nation building, kings, knights, fair ladies, battles won and lost, triumph, betrayal, tragedy, revenge, redemption, and great loves It is a story for the ages. It is an action/adventure, historical fiction, love story. It was published by 4RV Publishing.

Check it out on Amazon: Aldric & Anneliese

I am currently seeking reviews for my book. Therefore, I will send a complimentary copy of my Aldric and Anneliese paperback book to anyone interested in reading it in exchange for a commitment/promise by him/her to post a review on within two months of receiving the book. A free book for a review of it posted on Amazon! If interested, please let me know.



Sunday, January 9, 2011

First review for "Aldric and Anneliese" now posted

The first review for my upcoming short novel (46,000 words) is posted now at The One Hundred Romances blog . I think the review is fair and accurate. The reviewer liked the book, while noting it is not your typical romance story. This is true; the story is filled with action and adventure but has a couple of love stories also. The reviewer found Aldrich and Anneliese to be "...very satisfying. I liked it, and would recommend it to fans of medieval intrigue and chivalry." Thanks for the honest review, Ben!

Aldric and Anneliese should be published mid-February by 4RV Publishing. Please make a note to check out the book then.



Saturday, January 1, 2011

Today I sent "Aldric and Anneliese" for its first review

My newest novel, "Aldric and Anneliese", is currently in the formatting stage at 4RV Publishing, getting ready for publication as a paperback book and as a ebook in another month or two. A & A is a historical action/adventure/romance short novel. Today I sent a pdf copy of the novel, the cover art, and the supplemental material to get a review from The One Hundred Romances Project. They plan to review 100 romance novellas and novels in 2011 from small presses and self-publishers. I decided to ask them for a review of A&A, and they graciously agreed to do a review. If you get a chance, go and check out The One Hundred Romances Project.