Adventures of Gals and Gizmos

Once again, I contributed a story to the Brave New Girls anthology, which benefits college scholarships awarded by The Society of Women Engineers.

I was pleased to see the list of authors this time with a bunch of interesting titles. Including Mary Fan’s sci-fi retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales, The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

This year’s edition is called Brave New Girls: Adventures of Gals and Gizmos and it includes my new short story, Let the Numbers Show Truth.

I’m excited for you to meet Stella Purser, the “gal” of the story, and see the future Earth I’ve built for her adventure.

Stella is one smart cookie. Armed with a passion for figuring probabilities and an extraordinary attention to detail, she sets out on her first day as the youngest intern at the First Intergalactic Bank and Trust.

After a rocky first impression with the bank manager, she thinks her day can’t get worse.

She is wrong. Very wrong.

Upon the arrival of an alien dignitary, a bomb goes off in the heart of the bank. When Stella and the mischievously charming junior security officer, Fox, are among the few that are clear of the blast, it’s up to them to secure the bank and track down the bomber.

Did I forget to mention that the bank is underwater?

The paperback is available from some stores now. The ebook releases July 9. You can order/preorder now.

The Coming Anthology

For the first time, I’m participating in an anthology of short stories from various authors. I so love the title, Brave New Girls: Stories of Girls Who Science and Scheme.

I can’t take any credit for the title. That all goes to Mary Fan and Paige Daniels, editors and the brains behind the book. This is the second BNG, the first being Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls and Gadgets.

Each year, they pub a new BNG anthology, and every year they give the profits from the sale to a charity that encourages girls to pursue careers in STEM (that’s Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) fields. This year the money is going into a scholarship fund run by the Society of Women Engineers.

Cool, right?

My contribution to BNG is called “Sweet Emotion”, a never before pubbed short from the Mothman Mysteries universe. And it’s the first Mothman Mystery written from Bridget’s POV!

When strange, new benefactors show up for her school’s Spirit Week and offer outrageous prizes, all the students whip into a competitive frenzy. All the students except Bridget whose internal creepiness meter humming.

Bridget draws from lessons learned in science class to get to the bottom of the mystery before the Spirit Week winner is chosen and his/her fate is sealed for good.

The anthology includes some really cool stories ranging from dystopian to sci-fi. Titles and Blurbs can be found here.

Brave New Girls: Stories of Girls Who Science and Scheme will be available in ebook and paperback formats from major online bookstores starting August 1. You can preorder for your Kindle now.

I’ll also have a few copies for sale at signing events this Fall. 

Let’s Do the Time Warp – UtopYA style!

UtopyaCon2015_Badge_Exhibitor_MEDIUMI’m packing my bags for sunny Nashville, Tennessee, and the annual UtopYA con. The event, coordinated by Social Deviants, seems almost like a reunion, a gathering of indie writers from across the nation (and even a few international authors).

What I love most about UtopYA is that everyone is a fangirl. Doesn’t matter if you’ve sold one book or thousands, if you are a hobby reader or a book blogger with an army of followers, everyone is treated as an equal.

This year’s theme is time travel. I think I did a Snoopy happy dance when I heard it. I’m an absolute sucker for time travel stories. (check out Butterman Travel by P.K. Hrezo). And being the nut that I am, I declared to myself right away that I wanted to kick butt with my display.

IMG_0126You have to see it. I’m doing a whole Men in Black theme for my latest book, Wrong Side of the Grave, but I gave it a time twist. You see, Doctor Emmett Brown has joined forces with the MIB to stop a time disturbance in Nashville. Yep, I’m kind of a geek (of course, you already knew that). Even my convention booth has a story.

Anyway, visitors can stop by my booth, pick up a Save the Clock Tower flier and if Jennifer’s number is on the back, they win a prize like a flux capacitor car charger, futuristic sunglasses like in Back to the Future 2…heck, I’m even giving away a journal with a cover that’s a reproduction of George McFly’s Match Made in Space novel.

I’ll have BRAND temporary tattoos, toe tags “from” Rigby Funeral Home, signed bookmarks and cards. So, fill your bags up while you sit back and watch the MIB’s Secure Network screen. (oh yeah, that should be all kinds of fun).

My little sis and mom at UtopYA in 2014. Can't take them anywhere - LOL!
My little sis and mom at UtopYA in 2014. Can’t take them anywhere – LOL!

And I’m not the only one who is going all out. Starting this Wednesday, I’ll be featuring the cool giveaways that UtopYA authors will have to offer. You can catch the #CountdowntoSwag on my twitter, @mogdocnews, or instagram @butlerwroteit accounts.

Great Scott! I’ve got to go back…back to UtopYA. See you there!

Do Word Counts Count? 2014 update

Last year, I compiled a post called Do Word Counts Count? which continues to be the single most viewed post on my blog. It’s not a shock that authors are perplexed when it comes to the subject of word counts. There seems to be no single resource. No hard and fast rules.

So in lieu of rules, I offer you examples. Here’s a look at word counts for some of the most popular YA books on the market.

Barnes & Noble Bestselling Teen Fiction 9/10/2014
Novel Page Count Word Count*
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman 320 80,000
Where She Went by Gale Foreman 304 76,000
The Maze Runner by James Dashner 400 100,000
Four by Veronica Roth 304 76,000
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 384 96,000
The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore 371 92,750
The Giver by Lois Lowry 240 60,000   LOWEST
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 336 84,000
Gone by Michael Grant 576 144,000  HIGHEST
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey 320 80,000
*Word counts are estimated based on the standard of 250 words per page

B & N Bestsellers Average Word Count: 88,875

To get an idea of word count average for indie authors, below are the current bestselling books from Smashwords, a leading distributor of indie novels. As you will see, these are significantly lower word counts than their B&N counterparts.

Smashwords Young Adult/Teen Bestsellers 9/10/13
Novel Words
Lending Light by Rose Christo 94,250
Courting Magic by Stephanie Burgis 34,590  LOWEST
Haunted by Sherry H. Dec 57,920
Rooming with Ash by Zee King 48,150
The Dogs of Balboa by Rose Christo 81,420
The Posterchildren: Origins by Kitty Burroughs 133,870  HIGHEST
B Chord by Mike Robertson 84,440
Notice Me by Lili Lam 92,360
Storm Shells by GJ Walker-Smith 126,680
Ashley Fulton & the Secret of Europe by Ross Rossin 85,610

Smashwords Bestsellers Average Word Count: 83, 829

I found it interesting that a novella made it into the Smashwords bestsellers. If you read my article of last year, you’ll see one novella in that list too. Also, our highest word count, The Posterchildren: Origins, appeared on last year’s list; however, the author must have uploaded a lengthier, revised version as last year’s word count was only 127,604 (compared to stated 133,870 words this year).

And speaking of last year, I thought it would be fun to compare these numbers to the article I wrote last year to see if I could spot any trends. And I did. Average words counts for 2014 are noticeably lower than those of last year. The Smashwords (indie and small press) novels dipped slightly in word counts; while the traditionally published bestsellers from B&N greatly decreased in word count, nearly meeting the typically lower counts of the indies.



Did indies get it right? Are traditionally published authors now scrambling to produce shorter works? Is less more in the fiction novel industry? I’ll let you be the judge.

Fun Friday: Top 5 YA Couples


It’s Fun Friday! Yahooooo!!!

This week’s topic? It is June…i.e. wedding time and the Society has asked us to write about the Top 5 YA Couples we want to see live happily ever after.

I’ve read about so many great couples and asked for suggestions all week long, and here’s what I’ve come up with…

5. Daemon & Katy – Lux daemon katy

I’m typically not a sci-fi girl, but this series set in West Virginia was just a little too close to home to pass up. Daemon is cocky, but handsome alien boy. Katy is the new girl next door. Teen angst ensues turning into a love that is as big as the ‘verse. Continue reading “Fun Friday: Top 5 YA Couples”