This sort of thing reinforces the will to write.

Book review

Touch to read the review

More on the crime novel here.

I’m not sure why it was “unexpected!” but am not about to ask.

I see it’s been awhile. A couple of days before that last post my bicycle and I crashed in the rain with a little help from a nasty railroad crossing and a momentary lapse of judgment. We’re all fine now, except for a sore shoulder, but haven’t felt like or even thought much about writing in the intervening weeks.

Working now to taper off of some pills that have kept yours truly in something of a fog, it’s time to get back to writing stuff. Probably (OK, most certainly), the followup to “Blood Solutions.” Time to get back more seriously on the road bike, too.

Another post soon to elaborate on the “rejuvenated” part of that headline.

Pedal on.

After posting recently about marketing an indie book and writing in the literary obscurity of my basement office in Longmont, I took a look around at some of the reader comments that have started coming in for my Des Moines crime novel, Blood Solutions.

They’re encouraging even if relatively few in number at this point:

Here are a couple posted by people who bought Blood Solutions on Smashwords…

English: Flag of Des Moines

English: Flag of Des Moines
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Review by: chand305 on April 09, 2015 :
    This thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow Red Shaw on his quest to solve some grisly murders. Smith creates characters with depth whose interlinked lives are all affected by and implicated in the killings that take place in their city. The story pulls you in with its well-written and connected narrative threads and won’t let you go until the mysteries have been solved. Enjoy!
  • Review by: ianvanliew on April 08, 2015 :
    Red Shaw has a problem. A Des Moines-sized problem that’s a microcosm of all those unsolved murders out there, scattered around the UK and the US and Canada and points unknown. I’m a new fan of Red Shaw and I desperately want him to solve this particular problem before any more innocent parties are murdered. Will he or won’t he? Read “Blood Solutions” and find out!

And a couple more from Barnes&Noble readers…

  • Great book. i was hooked from the first chapter.  Great characters some you love some you just feel sorry for.
    I hope B.J. Smith writes a few more books about  Detective Edward Shaw .
    I look forward to his next book.
  • Great detective novel. Very good read. Can’t wait for the next one.

There are some nice, star-filled reviews on Goodreads, too, which are nice to see.

Good time to buy: It’s half-off at Smashwords for the next three days with coupon code LY86Z, and just $2.99 through Sunday for Kindle readers on Amazon.

It is trying—taxing, if you will—all this effort to make your writing stand out above the suffocating dreck* of 21st Century publishing.

“It’s a process,” my daughter wisely observed at dinner when I told her my first novel is now on the shelf at the West Des Moines Public Library, right there in the heart of my adolescence.

Blood Solutions turned up first at the Longmont Public Library just a few days ago, a few miles from my Colorado home, and it is slowly getting noticed and even purchased from various fine online bookstores.

It’s a process, for sure.

Ask the person in the next seat on the bus what she’s reading on that NOOK. Learn that she appreciates a good crime story. Recommend your new one.

Guy at the bus stop asks what’s new. Tell him.

Leave a copy lying around in your office, like a nightcrawler dangling below a bobber on a pond. Set the hook when a potential reader nibbles.

Send some emails. Ask beta readers and others to recommend your book on Goodreads, Amazon,, if they would be so kind and did actually like the story.

Mick Fleetwood

Mick Fleetwood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Schedule some tweets. Revel in obscurity.

“Don’t be shy,” I remember Mick Fleetwood admonishing me again and again in his drum solo at the Pepsi Center. You say he wasn’t talking just to me? OK.

Still, don’t be shy. Build your platform.

Work on the next book.

I did ask for this, I remind myself

It’s a process, and it’s interesting, and rewarding.

* I tried to read 50 Shades of Grey a few months ago and barely made it past the first chapter. I wasn’t offended by the subject matter, but the writing was just too awful to go on.

Use a hashtag and you’re bound to have a tweet turn up at some point in an unexpected place.

What a surprise, though, when my tweet was harvested for the #amwriting page of a site called Literary Obscurity.

Just where a writer wants to be, right?

Literary Obscurity

No real complaint from me, though. I had a good laugh.

Better yet, it gave me something more to pitch back out to the madding cloud to be RT’d several times and counting.

If Literary Obscurity brings me another reader or two with a few bucks to spare on a good book, so be it.

Here’s what the item looked like on the page, from which it may already have been refreshed into oblivion. (Click the image, though, and it will take you to the Barnes&Noble site.)


Here’s a shortcut to my brand-spankin’-new author page on Amazon.

They don’t let just anyone have these, you know.

Well, OK, so pretty much anyone can have one, but still…


That string of letters (I hesitate to use the word “word” here) turned up in this otherwise sort of interesting piece about sports “journalism” and the teaching thereof.

I don’t know much about this Bill Simmons guy except that there are a gazillion articles and blog posts about his departure from ESPN clogging up news feeds throughout the civilized world right now.

Based on what I’ve read, though, I’m not sure I would call him a journalist.

Feel free to agree or disagree.


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