The Mark of the Spider – Launched


Sebastian Arnett thinks of himself as a simple man with simple needs: His cameras, his patron and plenty of booze to wash away the painful memories of dead wife every night.

The Mark of the Spider - 3D-smallHe is a practical man as well, devoid of philosophies and superstitions. So when an old woman gives him a priceless black orchid, he is skeptical. Dark orchids exist, but black orchids do not. (Go ahead, look it up. No such thing as a black orchid.)

Except for the one in Sebastian’s hand and dozens more where the old woman comes from. Sebastian bites.

Will you take me there? he asks.

She nods her assent, and he lives to regret it – just barely.

Sebastian’s story is The Mark of the Spider: A Black Orchid Chronicle. The book goes on sale today in print and ebook editions, available only on Amazon.

Buy the print book and get the ebook free.*

But order the book today. Sebastian won’t live forever.

* Also available free to subscribers of Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.


Mark of the Spider: Now on Smashwords

The Mark of the Spider - 3D-small

My 90-day exclusive distribution deal with Amazon has ended, and The Mark of the Spider can now be had, in ebook format, on Smashwords. You still have to buy from Amazon to get the print version.

I’ll be adding it to other distribution networks over the next week.

Christmas is coming; your suspense or ghost freak would like this story. Really.

Kirkus Calls ‘Mark of the Spider’ “Engaging”

More precisely, Kirkus Reviews said The Mark of the Spider is:

An engaging thriller that successfully explores the implications of a wicked curse.

The way I parse that, The Mark of the Spider is not just engaging, but thrilling, successful and wicked.

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And I’m pretty sure that line violates the Kirkus excerpting policies.

To avoid an encounter with the Excerpting Police, I send you to the entire review on the Kirkus Reviews Web site.

For those not familiar with Kirkus, it is an “American book review magazine” founded in 1933. In 2005, it allowed Indie authors to purchase a review meeting all their standard review criteria. There is no guarantee the reviewer will like the book. And there are no refunds.

So I’ll take “engaging” any day.

If you haven’t engaged with The Mark of the Spider yet, hie yourself over to Amazon and pick up an ebook or trade print edition. If you order the print version, you get the ebook free. What an “engaging” deal.


Secret Device for Successful Writing

I was Flipboarding through the news this a.m. and stumbled on a piece in Inc. about an ancient communications device that taught Neil deGrasse Tyson how to write better.

Spoiler alert: It’s a quill pen and ink.

quill and inkDon’t get it?

The quill pen and ink imposed a cadence on users that translated into how they write: Word, word, word, word, word, (maybe word), (maybe word) [dip the pen; you’ve run out of ink.]

Short sentences communicate more easily.


It reminds me of my high school Latin teacher who expounded on the benefits of Anglo-Saxon over the latinized Norman speech: Simple words in simple straight forward sentences.

Or, as the Inc. subhed stated,

Keep your words simple and your sentences short.

On a completely unrelated note, my new suspense novel, The Mark of the Spider, contains lots of simple words and short sentences.

Get your copy (in print or ebook) from Amazon and see.