Second Half of 2020 Publishing Schedule

It’s July…. Time to start thinking about what and when I intend to release books the rest of the year. So, this is subject to change based on a number of things, but this is my current plan….

  • Demon Boxes (Nephilim Narrative 3) – September 18, 2020 (Very Rough Summary): Soleil Burns is earning her private detective license interning for her uncle Remiel to supplement her income from her private exorcism business when strange little boxes start popping up all over town. They have one purpose; summon demons to possess the being that opens the box. It increases business for Soleil, but the boxes are getting more and more dangerous as larger and larger demons come out of them. She with Jerome’s help must now work at finding out the creator as well as exorcise all the demons coming out of them.
  • Buried Dreams (Dreams and Reality 19) – October 31, 2020 (Very Rough Summary): Ace and the SCTU go to Tennessee to investigate multiple disappearances where only some of the victims have been discovered. There is evidence to suggest they are all linked, but where are the rest of the bodies?
  • Innocent Dreams (Dreams and Reality 20) – November 23, 2020 – I am releasing this in conjunction with Thanksgiving for my American readers so they can enjoy it over the holiday if they don’t have to work. (Very Rough Summary): Both SCTU teams are being held in Kansas City until they whittle down a growing list of active serial killers and rapists in the metro area, starting with the child predators. The decision is made to divide and conquer the list and the groups are paired off into smaller units and are forced to work together. Ace is more worried about who she’s going to be stuck with from SCT Unit Bravo than the killers and rapists.
  • The Dysfunctional Christmas (The Dysfunctional Chronicles 8) December 25, 2020 – Nadine Daniels decides to throw a Christmas party for her family, Ace’s family, and the rest of the SCTU to celebrate Ace and the SCTU ending her stalker/killer problems over the summer (Dysfunctional Dreams). What could possibly go wrong?

So, that’s what you have to look forward to for the second half of 2020. It is an ambitious schedule, made possible only because most of the books were written before May (I have re-written 2 of them Demon Boxes and Innocent Dreams). Leaving me just 1 to write before it releases.

You might have noticed Book 18 of the Dreams & Reality Series is missing… It will be Avenging Reality. Since losing the book to computer gremlins, I’ve had trouble convincing myself to rewrite it. It is easier to rewrite books that don’t need to be rewritten. I am hoping to release it in early 2021. Once I finish writing The Dysfunctional Christmas Avenging Reality is getting all of my attention. Furthermore, the plots for several other 2021 releases have come together and the books will be my focus once I complete Avenging Reality including Juarez Dreams (D&R 21), Movement in the Shadows (Nephilim Narratives 4) and The Dysfunctional Halloween (Dysfunctional Chronicles 9 or 10 – The Dysfunctional Birthday might also get written for release in 2021).

So, there’s my plans for the rest of this year along with a sneak peek of next year.

Dysfunctional Dreams Reminder

Just a reminder that Dysfunctional Dreams releases in 7 days. Go get your pre-orders! This is my favorite of my 2020 releases so far.

For the last couple years, someone has been trying unsuccessfully to kill Nadine Daniels. Now, they’ve changed tactics. They’ve decided the best way to get to Nadine is through her Daniels’ Security clients. But you can’t commit multiple murders, without attracting the attention of the US Marshals’ Serial Crimes Tracking Unit.

The killer has attracted more attention than wanted, but it’s too late to go back now and soon Aislinn Cain and the SCTU are on his trail. Most serial killer motives are obvious to Aislinn Cain who thinks more like a killer than a normal person because she too is a psychopath with a thirst for blood that she has learned to control for the most part. But when this killer’s motives confuse her, she begins to wonder if there’s more to it than a simple case of bloodlust and a desire to get revenge on Nadine.

Aislinn will enter the shadowy side of Nadine Daniels’ life and explore Nadine’s role as a savior to hundreds who have used her assistance to escape abusive and violent partners. This also brings forth hundreds of suspects for the SCTU to comb through, because revenge killings can’t be ruled out.

This is book 17 in the Dreams and Reality series.

Crime Rates in Dreams and Realty and The Dysfunctional Chronicles

When I was working on Anonymous Dreams and again on Dysfunctional Dreams I got to thinking that I have never released “crime stats” for D&R. In the series, I have created something called Federal Guard Neighborhoods; gated communities operated and protected by federal officers that have retired or semi-retired due to injury from the FBI, Marshal’s Service, Secret Service, Homeland Security, and even the military.

I’ve given illusions as to why the FGNs and FGAs need to exist, but I’ve not given solid numbers. In D&R the death rate for police officers is 2,100 per 100,000 a year. Great. What is that in real numbers though? In D&R and the Dysfunctional Chronicles the death rates of police officers is 21% – way higher than real death rates – in 2019 there were a total of 89 officers killed in the line of duty in the entire country (the rate turns out to be something like 2 per 100,000 per year) – and 41 of those deaths were the result of traffic accidents while on duty.

So, back to D&R. If 21% of active duty law enforcement officers are killed in some way. There are roughly 9,000 officers (local and federal) in the KC Metro area in the books. In any given year, 21% of those officers are killed. That means 1,890 officers are killed in D&R each year. Given that the average is 100 officers per year in the US for us, that is a whole lot of dead police officers. Of course, in the books about 2% of the US population is a serial criminal, so it’s not surprising. In real life, less than .35% of the US population is a serial criminal that would fall under the purview of the SCTU (yep not even half a percentage point).

And in D&R less than 5% of those 2,100 deaths of officers are related to fatal car accidents and don’t also qualify as murder (as in a suspect ran the officer off the road to kill them or some other form of vehicular related homicide). In Innocent Dreams, I translated some of these percentages and rates into real numbers and the book starts with Gabriel telling the team that both teams are staying in KC for the two month, because there are 378 open murder and rape cases linked by DNA to 31 offenders and nearly all of them have passed a 6 body threshold including five preying solely on children.

This means that in D&R and The Dysfunctional Chronicles being a police officer is in fact the most dangerous job in America, by comparison it isn’t even in the top 20 in the real US. Knowing all this, what sort of criminals must exist and in what quantities to make such a thing happen?

A lot of very brutal killers. In this world, other crimes are less common, especially crimes like home invasion because you don’t want to force your way into the home of a serial killer or mob boss with goons. And it is violent “stranger” crimes that dominate the criminal landscape (murder, rape, arson, mugging, organized crime, etc). And this shows in the deaths of both main characters’ fathers; Nadine’s died either from a random armed robbery or a contracted hit set up by her own grandfather and Aislinn’s died while responding to a domestic violence call – interestingly, this does reflect real life more than most of the crimes in D&R. Domestic violence calls are among the most dangerous calls officer respond to.

At one point, Ace says towards the beginning of the series says there are roughly 1,000 active serial killers in the US… but the number has grown as the series has continued. For each one they capture Ace estimates there are at least 2 they don’t capture or even know about. This is a gross underestimation though as you will see in Innocent Dreams.

The Dysfunctional Mob – Part 1

This story was written by Hadena James and is part of the Dysfunctional Chronicles.

The Universe

Long airplane rides are good places to make deals with God, the Devil, and the Universe. The person behind you is being a jerk and kicking your seat, the kid in the aisle seat on your row won’t shut up about the newest video game, your husband fell asleep before the plane left the tarmac and has snored for the last ten hours, nine of which you have desperately needed to pee. It’s just not worth it to have a window seat sometimes because no matter who or what you try to strike a deal with, the Universe is going to make sure it does not go as planned. The only good thing was there weren’t any layovers once we left JFK. Of course, if there had been, I would not have been stuck in this seat for going on ten hours. It was an Aeroflot flight, which only offered economy seating, not my favorite way to fly to Russia, but one does what one can on short notice. Being a dual citizen meant I didn’t have to wait for VISAs and things. The only good thing about having a Russian mother that had once been a spy really.

However, why in the world they let me come back to the motherland was beyond me. I wouldn’t have let me have dual citizenship, but then again, Zeke was a dual citizen, I often wondered if that meant I was a double dual citizen or if he was a double dual citizen. I wasn’t sure how it worked, I just knew that Harry Burns with Homeland had cleared us to fly, immediately, so Zeke didn’t have a travel VISA either, which meant he had to be a citizen of Russia too. I hadn’t thought too hard about it until the flight. My goal was to never put this much thought into it again. It had made my brain hurt a little bit, like trying to figure out what the universe was expanding into.

The seat belt sign came on as a woman in Russian announced we’d be landing in Moscow shortly. She repeated it in English because no matter what kind of screwed up language English was, Russian was much harder to learn. The location of inflection in a word could change something from a sentence to a question… This is why I was better at reading Russian than hearing it or speaking it. Of course, my father had spoken some sort of Celtic Irish language along with English and I hadn’t learned it either. Needless to say, my trips to Ireland were on permanent hold since none of my relatives were willing to speak to me.

I did not wait for deboarding instructions. Zeke could grab our bags, I needed off the plane and into the terminal to find a bathroom. Of course, I’d get checked by Customs first, but maybe if they saw my desperation, they’d be fast.

No such luck. Zeke caught up with me at Customs, still waiting on one person in front of me. She must have been as old as the pyramids and she spoke not Russian and not English, that was all I could tell. There was a man speaking to her in the same language. Neither looked happy and I was just hoping they got her out of the way before there was a puddle under me. That would be bad for diplomatic relations.

All rights reserved.  Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the author.

This book is a work of fiction.  Any names, places, characters, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination and are purely fictitious.  Any resemblances to any persons, living or dead, are completely coincidental.

Copyright © Hadena James 2016

All Rights Reserved

Bestseller’s List

The day Elysium Dreams went to the top of the Amazon rankings, I checked out the rankings for the Kindle ebooks overall. And saw something interesting, but not surprising. 8 of the top 10 free ebooks in the overall Kindle Store were romance novels. Elysium Dreams eventually ranked 18th overall.

14 of the 17 books in front of it were romance novels, of some sort. Of the three that weren’t romance novels, 2 were written by men and the 3rd… well the 3rd is a series that I have tried to read because someone told me I would like them, they were like the Cain series, but with a male lead. I did try. But even though the romance is light in the series (the male is married), there is still more romance than what you’d find in the Dysfunctional Chronicles or Nephilim Narratives.

After those first 2 paragraphs, I have no doubt everyone now thinks this is a post dedicated to being annoyed by romance novels. But it isn’t. By 1:15 central time, I had 5,000+ downloads of Elysium Dreams. Enough to get me to 18th place in the Kindle Store overall and first in handful of genre categories, specifically crime fiction. Those 17 books ahead of me therefore by 1:15 central time, had more downloads than me. Possibly they were in the 10,000+ downloads for the day.

Now, those are some good numbers and by the end of the day, I myself would be in the 10,000+ downloads for the day. This means that all of 18 books (all by different authors) had great download days and we all ranked on Amazon. Not a single one of us will rank on any published bestseller list. Because the NY Times bestseller list as well as the big one in the UK, still only count physical book sales. To make the NY Times bestseller list, an author pretty much has to sell 5,000 physical books in a week. Which is practically impossible for an indy. The most physical books I’ve sold in a week is 34.

Now, I had 15,000 downloads of Elysium Dreams at the end of the day and it was only a Tuesday. Wednesday, I’ll continue to have downloads of both it and Tortured as well as all my other free books. This will publish before the end of the week, but I can estimate that this week alone, I will have more than 50,000 total downloads. And remember, I’m working solely with Amazon sales, because they are the only ones that report in “real time” everyone else reports on a daily or every other day basis.

I understand this is a free book, but free books lead to sales and the day Elysium Dreams hit 18, I sold (as in received royalties for non-freebies) nearly as many books that single day as I had all of the first 18 days of March across all retailers.

I’m sure the other 17 authors on that list can say the same thing (when I got my BookBub email, the other 3 non-romance novels were in my recommendations email, along with my own book).

Interestingly, while the NY Times still only uses physical books to count bestsellers, the USA today has begun using digital as well as physical sales. Meaning the USA Today is probably a more accurate bestseller list. Since I have 3 large bookshelves full of books and 1 half case full of books, I have been banned from buying physical books. Meaning nearly every book I buy is digital anymore… thereby not helping Clive Barker get to the top of the NY Times bestseller list when he releases a book.

Analytics

My best friend is finishing a second master’s degree in something technology related. One of her classes was big data analytics. She made the decision to analyze the D&R series. There were some interesting things discovered. However, the project isn’t due until today, so I won’t be releasing her findings until later this week.

However, I will go ahead and say she did find significant differences between D&R books written under the influence of Gabapentin and Lyrica and the others in the series. Not just in length or quickness of publishing, but in word choices and things.

Today, though, I have an advert for Elysium Dreams running on BookBub. And Ritual Dreams remains on pre-order for just a couple more days. Just as a reminder, I moved the publishing date from April 1 to March 22nd. So you only have 3 more days to wait.

I also have a much better idea of how this year is going to go (as far as writing is concerned) and can give better estimates on release dates for a couple of books. Avenging Reality will publish at Halloween. Anonymous Dreams will come out in December. Goddess Investigations in July and Oh My Wizard in September. And Dysfunctional Expansion in November.

This does mean a heavy end of the year publishing schedule, but as I am cranking out books pretty easily right now, I realized there was going to end up being a cluster somewhere, might as well have it at the end of the year to kick 2020 off in a good way (November and December royalties won’t pay out until January and February).

PS: I have 3 books that are still marked as WiP that will probably get put out in 2020. All of them are stand-alone novels. Throughout the day, I’ll be checking my Amazon rankings with the BookBub advert running. Tomorrow, I’ll post how it went. Currently, Tortured and Elysium Dreams are ranked #35 and #36 in crime fiction > serial killers on Amazon. I think they will both hit 1 in a couple of categories today. And the rankings on some of the other books in the series will also rise quite a bit. More on that later this week though.

Ritual Dreams Releasing Early

Ritual Dreams was formatted and ready to go in record time. And after sitting on it for a day or two, I realized it was a problem. I hate sitting on books. Sometimes, I think I have impulse control issues. After a day of not making progress on any of my works in progress, I realized it was because I was anxiously anticipating the release of Ritual Dreams…

So, I moved up the release date. Instead of releasing on Malachi’s Birthday (April 1), it will release March 22. That is all. Back to work.

Anonymous Dreams Update

On February 26, 2019, my writing program decided that no matter how good a writer I was, I wasn’t finishing Anonymous Dreams by the end of the month and it was correct! I didn’t. I’m about 10,000 words from “finishing.” It’s been a slower paced book. There are 63,000 words on it.

My new completion date is set for March 9th. Good chance I won’t make that one either. Not because I occasionally delete lots of words, but because it has been a stressful and crazy month. February did not go well for my husband’s family. J fell and broke his right arm (his dominant arm and hand) and it wasn’t set for 6 days which was brutally awful. My FIL had to be hospitalized for a couple of weeks. My MIL’s mom had some health problems and spent time in the hospital.

So February was rough on everyone and while I had a lot of really productive days, I had some days when it was a struggle just getting motivated to get out of bed.

A more accurate finish date for Anonymous Dreams is the end of March. I have a couple of doctor’s appointments in early March that are going to suck my will to live, so I’ll lose productivity those days.

Anonymous Dreams Update

As of 9 pm on 2/19/2019 the total word count on Anonymous Dreams was 44,534 words. I had a “delete” day on it. Where I deleted more words than I added, because I decided a few plot lines weren’t going to work.

And after discussing plot points and devices with my internet security goddess/consultant, I went through and changed a few things to make it more seamless, which resulted in a few more deletions. However, I’m happy to report that the route I was going with that, was correct enough for her.

What does that mean? It means I knew and understood more than I thought I did. Oh and yes, the title has been changed. I decided I wanted something more computerish/dark net accurate than Innocent Dreams, plus I still think Innocent Dreams will go a different direction. Hence the title Anonymous Dreams.

I don’t know what my publication plan for it is. My editor is working hard on Ritual Dreams, she says she’s had to look up a ton of stuff which has really slowed down the process. Tomorrow, I will make forward progress.

Off Lyrica

I went off Lyrica in December. After which I finished writing Ritual Dreams. The two Alpha Readers loved the book. I sent it to the editor and then plunged into a different book, that didn’t hold my interest. I was still in Cain mode, so I started work on Innocent Dreams…

And in just 2 weeks, it had 30,000 words. I have been trying to find the words to explain what it felt like to take Lyrica every day. I have failed so far.

I can tell you I had aphasia (forgetting words, occasionally inserting the wrong one) and I can tell you it had a huge negative impact on my memory, but neither of those things do it justice. It literally changed the way I thought.

Often, my own thoughts felt alien to me. I felt like an interloper. It wasn’t just that I felt disconnected from the world around me, I felt disconnected from my own brain. I would do or think things and wonder why. And because of the disconnect, I always felt on the verge of a breakdown. More than once, I thought “this is what it feels like to go crazy.”

I wasn’t suicidal and I didn’t cry all the time with Lyrica like I did gabapentin, but I still didn’t feel like me. Someone recently told me they were glad I was feeling better. But am I?

The short answer is no. I’m still in pain all the time. I still have to drug myself into a near catatonic state to be able to sleep through the pain. And I have more days when my brain is so preoccupied with the pain that it’s hard to think of anything else.

But do I feel more like me? That is a yes. I’m back to retaining knowledge I gather, which was a problem on Lyrica. I’m back to feeling like my thoughts belong to me. I’m back to being able to push myself to focus and write. Sometimes, even when it’s the last thing I want to do.

Ritual Dreams will join Fortified Dreams and Elysium Dreams as among my favorite books of the D&R series. Demonic will join Tortured among the least liked. And so will Flawless. But as I type away on Innocent, I believe it may join Ritual as one of my favorites.

If you’ve suffered through all 13 D&R books, hang with it a little longer and don’t judge the series using Demonic or Flawless. They get better. It just required a serious medication change. I didn’t talk about it a lot, but I was on Gabapentin for the majority of Flawless Dreams. I look at it and Demonic and scratch my head. I had big ideas for both books, big ideas that I failed in executing because of medications. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they are the two shortest in the series.

But I love Ritual Dreams. I love what it became and I love all the work I had to put into it to make it happen and be as good as it is. Even though I had to leave some things on the cutting room floor, because it was just too much for one single book.

I have no release date for Innocent Dreams. I just know I’ll finish it rather quickly. My bestie is going to have to go through at least some parts of it, so there’s that to consider as well.. her schedule is packed as she gets a second master’s degree.