New Book Pre-Order Details

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and that you are eager to hear more about my new book that’s on it’s way to you right now! If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably have an idea of what’s going on. If you’re new, let me explain…

I am on the cusp of releasing my fourth book in a collection (not a series) of stories set during the Second World War. Each story is told from the perspective of someone different from the story preceding it, covering different events altogether. My first book, Resistant, was released in April of 2014; my second book, Unguarded, was released in January of 2015; my third book, Imminent, was released in January 2016; and this fourth book will have a Kindle pre-order release date of January 5, 2017. The print version of the book will release within a day or two after the Kindle version; there is a Kindle version and a print version for my previous books as well.

This story, entitled Needless, is told from the perspective of Ben – a young man working in the U.S. Consulate-General in Barcelona in 1942 – and follows his experience in the war from there. This book is admittedly different from its predecessors in some ways, yet familiar enough for returning readers to associate it with the other three books in the collection. It was written in bulk over this past summer, but received nothing less than the usual editing rundown since then. It came in at about 80 words shy of the word count in Imminent. I had fun researching and writing this story; if I had to rank it, this storytelling experience comes in behind (but pretty close to even with) Unguarded.

Here is the cover:

pratt_needless-final-front-cover-ebook

If you’d like to pre-order this story for your Amazon Kindle, you can do so here:

Needless Pre-Order on Amazon

If you’d like to see the first draft version of the story’s Prologue, you can find it here:

Needless Prologue (First Draft, February ’16)

I am very excited to bring this story to you, and I hope that you are just as excited to read it! Over the next two months, I’ll post updates on social media to remind about the pre-order. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for these deals on my others books in the lead-up to the Needless release:

Resistant – Only $0.99 on the Amazon Kindle

Unguarded – Free on the Amazon Kindle from December 22-26

Imminent – Amazon Countdown Deal from December 27 – January 2

As always, thank you for reading my post and for supporting me! To my family and close friends, I truly appreciate the love and support you all give me, inspiring me to do something I love and for which I have a passion.

Until next time,

-Eli

Special Preview Blog: Book Four Prologue

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and in good spirits! I have something special for you today, and I think it’s something you will like. I recently finished the rough draft of the Prologue to the fourth book in my WWII historical fiction collection. Since I’m feeling good about my progress so far, and because I’d like to try something new and different, I’ve decided to make YOU a beta reader for the opening to my next book! So read ahead and leave a comment telling me your thoughts (both positive and constructive), and keep in mind that the formatting in this post is not the same as what it will be in the actual book…

Prologue

     “You’re sure he’s going to be here?” I quietly asked Benito. I tried to hide my anxiety over the matter.
     “According to my source, he’ll be here…patience, my friend,” Benito softly replied from the adjacent café table. His chair and my chair nearly touched backs; we sat at separate tables for a reason.
     I fidgeted in my seat. “Easier said than done,” I grabbed my water glass and swallowed a refreshing gulp. I looked out across the open circular thoroughfare. A beige, stone fountain was positioned in the middle, its water arcing into the air from the mouths of fish and angels. Five automobiles, all older Spanish or Swiss models, drove around the fountain, the drivers making their way to wherever they needed to go. Three young boys, conversing in Spanish and laughing wildly, walked past our table on the sidewalk. A modestly dressed woman carried a bag of groceries.
     “Your men are in position?” Benito asked, double-checking. He turned the page of the newspaper in his hands.
     I looked beyond the fountain to another café on the other side; Ezra, a tall, unimposing man with a mustache, leaned against a post. To my right on the east side of the thoroughfare sat a man on the fountain’s ledge; Mitchell was his name, and he was a more intimidating figure with his stocky build and booming voice. They both blended in beautifully with the pedestrians that meandered by, minding their own business on that sunny Thursday morning. “They’re in position,” I said nonchalantly, not looking directly at Benito. In our current business together, subtlety was a necessity. “And your men?”
     “They’re where they need to be. Everyone is where they need to be, Mr. Fisher,” Benito assured me.
     “You know, I’m still a little troubled that I have yet to meet your source,” I admitted. “I know we couldn’t meet out in the open like you and I are now, but still…something could have been arranged.” I glanced at Benito from the side of my eye.
     “Mr. Fisher, it would be very difficult to do that,” Benito reminded me, as he had done twice before when we planned this operation.
     Benito was a local businessman who had ties with underground movements against the Franco regime. He also had friends in the Maquis. I met him early on in my posting to Barcelona. Through my position as Cultural Attaché in the Consulate-General, I was introduced to and worked with many individuals of various backgrounds and experiences. But then again, Cultural Attaché was merely a title. A distraction. A cover.
     “I just want to be sure of the source of our information, that’s all,” I sipped my water again.
     Benito turned the next page of his newspaper, pretending to read the goings on of the world. “You are right to feel that way,” he voiced softly, his tone understanding.
     I looked down at the silver watch on my left wrist: 9:37. “Three minutes…” I spoke quietly.
     In three minutes from that moment, a car was expected to pull through the circular thoroughfare – a car transporting a German officer of the Abwehr division in Barcelona. The German intelligence organization had set up camp in this city of Spanish culture, as with other cities around the country, in order to glean intelligence regarding Allied operations and plans in the Mediterranean and North Africa. The German, a Captain Metzger, was the liaison officer for communication between Barcelona and headquarters in Berlin. The operational objective in play at the moment was simple: capture the German alive. The execution itself was nearly impossible.
     I ran over the operation in my head. ‘Car parks at the adjacent café at 9:40, Metzger and two guards get out to buy newspaper and coffee while driver remains in car at 9:41, vendor briefly talks to Metzger about nonsense until 9:42, the three are back in the car by 9:43. No more than three minutes to get the job done.’
     “There’s Diego, right on time,” Benito pointed out. One of his men, Diego’s task was to purchase a coffee at the café where Metzger would get his coffee, then sit outside to await the German when he exited the building. Diego was a strong man, hence his role as a handler in the apprehension of Metzger.
     I looked down the road to my left. Parked by the curb at the mouth of an alley was a black car with its engine off. It was another of Benito’s men, Julian. Once the apprehension took place, he would provide the primary getaway option for the handlers. Benito and I would simply act as unknowing pedestrians, leaving soon after the commotion would end. I glanced at my watch again: twenty seconds before 9:40. Mitchell rose from the fountain ledge and started walking toward the target café.
     A luxurious, black car emerged from between the buildings where the thoroughfare ran through, its engine heralding the coming of an important figure. ‘Here we go,’ I thought.
     “Metzger…” Benito mumbled, still feigning to read the paper.
     As the car circled around the fountain and slowed to the curb, Ezra began walking toward the café as well. Mitchell was already inside buying his coffee. The car’s dark windows kept me in suspense of glimpsing the man who was our target. I knew his face only from photographs taken by Benito’s men.
     I picked up my water glass, the small amount of condensation moistening my already sweaty palm. Looking on, I saw the car finally come to a complete stop; I heard the gear shift into park. ‘This is it,’ I told myself. Ezra and Diego were closest in proximity, and Mitchell was inside waiting to walk out at the right moment. From my seat nearly sixty feet away from Metzger’s car, I looked to my left at Julian waiting in the getaway car.
     Papapapa!
     Papapa!
     I spun around as gunshots rang out through the open space of the fountain thoroughfare. Before my eyes, three German soldiers with pistols shot Ezra, Diego, and Mitchell in their chests! The few locals in the vicinity cried out and fled; I discerned the words pistola and policía from their screams. The menacing Germans stood just a few feet from their car. In the flurry of motion I didn’t recognize any of them as Metzger.
     Benito slid out of his chair and tipped his café table on its side. I did the same and ducked down, frightened I’d take a bullet. Fear gripped me; my hands shook and my body quaked.
     No shots.
     I heard a car door shut, and then another, all followed by the revving of an engine and the receding acceleration of the German car. Still nervous and shaking, I mustered the courage to peek over the overturned table; Benito remained behind his table. His fearful and worrying eyes met mine. “Benjamin…” his broken voice said in a sorrowful tone.
     I stood up and looked ahead on the sidewalk. Three men squirming in pain. I ran to them as Benito rose from the dirty sidewalk. I quickly knelt down beside Diego, the first one I reached.
     “How bad is it?” he coughed, the breath in his lungs wheezing in and out of his mouth and the blood-soaked hole in his chest.
     I examined him, but I was no doctor. “Keep breathing, but slowly. Despacio,” I animated myself breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. I tapped his thigh to encourage him to hold on as I stood up to tend the others.
     “Benj- …Benjamin…” Ezra rasped from twelve feet away. A pool of blood had gathered under him.
     “I’m here,” I assured him as I knelt down. Seeing the blood under him meant that a bullet exited through his back.
     “Check on Mi…Mitchell,” he struggled to breathe and speak. His eyes were gray-blue with a hint of red, and he was sweating.
     I examined him a moment more, then spoke. “I’ll be right back.” I quickly stood up and turned toward Mitchell. Benito had since knelt down beside Diego, and Julian joined him after running from the car that was still parked by the alley. I walked a few steps and found Mitchell lying on his left side just in front of the door to the café.
     He lay very still.
     “No, no, no, no…!” Benito cried out louder and louder. He engaged in resuscitating Diego; Julian squatted nearby, helpless. Benito breathed air into Diego’s mouth, then pressed on his chest repeatedly again.
     I returned my focus to Mitchell. Kneeling down for a closer look, I saw that he also had an exit wound in his back. The red blood on his beige shirt showed it. There was also a small stream of blood that ran down his back, but didn’t gather in a pool like with Ezra.            “Mitchell…” I tried gently turning him onto his back.
     “Nooooo!” Benito cried out, tears starting to stream down his cheeks.
     Diego was dead.
     “Boss…?” I heard a voice whisper.
     I turned and saw Mitchell barely moving. “Mitchell!” I immediately helped him turn over and sit up. I could more clearly see where the bullet entered: it missed his lung and clavicle.
     “Huuaaghh,” Mitchell coughed but struggled with the pain.
     “Are you going to be okay?” I looked him in the eye.
     “I think so…just hurts bad. I’ve never been shot before…” he replied softly. He wiped a bit of saliva from his lips, then paused. After a moment our eyes met. “Boss…” he gazed at Ezra.
     I looked as well, only to find Ezra lying still.
     The sounds of wailing sirens approached the grisly scene. Benito’s sobs were the only audible sound in close proximity, and Julian’s state of shock was what my weary and unbelieving eyes rested on as we all knelt, sat, or lay on the dusty sidewalks of Barcelona, our mission far from salvaged and with many questions to answer for the authorities.

I hope you liked it, and also liked the different kind of blog for this week. Again, please leave me a comment with your thoughts so that I can consider my readers’ input in my edits of the story. Thank you for your support and encouragement, as always, and may you have a great week filled with success and accomplishment!

Until next time,

-Eli

Getting Closer to the End

Friends,

A new week has arrived on the calendar, which means that we have yet another opportunity to seek and achieve great things – be it goals, ambitions, passion…whatever you set your heart to! I am in the process of working toward achieving my own goals, and I’ll share some news about those goals with you now…

The Faces of the War Collection

I’ve sent my second round of changes for the book cover for Imminent and am currently awaiting the designer’s next draft as I write this. This is a very exciting part of the publishing process because it’s the first tangible sign that your project is coming to life!

Just last night, I eclipsed the 10K word mark for Part II, and finally completed the writing of that part, with the first draft word count coming to just over 11K. With about 15K more words to go, I am in the home stretch of writing the first draft…and that is very exciting too! Hopefully in just a few weeks, I’ll have the first draft completed and can then move on to the next step: editing.

YouTube

If you haven’t yet subscribed to my channel, I encourage you to do so! You’ll be able to stay up-to-date on my writing projects as well as get a glimpse into my life behind the writing. In my vlogs, I share my thoughts about writing, indie publishing, and other topics, as well as give advice to newer writers based on my experiences in the industry so far. I also have done a series on my writing process, so if you’re new to the game then I encourage you to check it out. Keep in mind that all writers are different, so everything I say or do might not fit into your style of writing and working. But that’s the beauty of it: we can learn from each other. It’s a journey that I want to take with others interested in what I do or who like my work, so please join me and let’s connect!

Short Story

As you may be aware, I submitted a short story to a historical fiction contest on the website Inkitt. The contest ends in late September, but the time to read it is now! Why? Because in order to win the contest, I need votes from you, my readers. But it’s more than winning a contest; it’s about sharing new content with the world and providing good stories for others to be entertained by. I’ve been told my story is a good one, so if you have 15-20 minutes that you’d like to put toward reading a short story, please give mine a look. Don’t forget to vote for it by clicking the heart icon at the bottom of the screen!

Indie Writing Advice

When you write your first draft, it’s easy to get wrapped up into trying to perfect it as the words first fall onto the page. Though it’s a good habit to make – editing and reworking the words as you go – it’s not something that should be a make-or-break sort of thing. You should ground this thought into your head as you write your first draft of any project: it’s not going to be perfect.

I’ve published two books and am working on my third, and even now I can think of ways that I could’ve made my stories better. And that’s after I read through the manuscripts each a handful of times, had them edited by others, and gave myself time in between self-editing so as to approach the drafts with a refreshed eye (all of those things, by the way, are practices I advocate in my writing process videos)! So it’s wise to live by the idea that you can always improve a story, so there’s no sense in bothering with trying to make it perfect on the first go.

Just focus on getting the story in your mind onto the page in it’s rawest form, then go from there with a fine-tooth comb to make it better down the road. And if you’re in the same boat with me, you’ll want to write for the sake of writing because you lack the freedom of time, and you know that editing will come later. Take a deep breath. Relax. And write on.

That’s all I have for you right now. Keep an open eye for news of my book cover, whether it be in social media or in next week’s blog post. Either way, it’s coming, and it’s going to be great!

Until next time,

-Eli

Dayton Book Expo is Close!

Friends,

A new week awaits, hopefully holding for you a slew of opportunities and experiences that will enrich your lives! Let’s get down to business…

The Faces of the War Collection

I am happy to say that writing for Part I is nearing its completion…only a few thousand more words to go! Though writing has been slow due to preparations for the Expo this coming weekend, I look forward to picking up the pace upon my return next week. Also on this front: ideas for the book cover are coming together and I’ll soon be getting things moving for that, so keep an eye out for details in the coming weeks and months for its reveal!

During the writing of this book, I have come to realize that I have a better understanding of creative writing, and my hope is that this trend will only continue so I can produce better writing. The storyline of this book is different from my previous two books in many ways, yet my aim is to intertwine familiar plot and structure attributes into it. I am excited for what this story will convey to readers and how the moral of it will be perceived. Time will tell!

If you would like to check out my first two books in this collection, you can find them under the tab above entitled “The Faces of the War Collection.”

The Short Story Collection

Not much has happened on this project, given that my main focus has been preparing for the Expo and writing in my third WWII book. I am still awaiting the return of a manuscript from a beta reader, so the project as a whole won’t be moving forward anyway. As I said before, my hope is to now have this project released by early summer, so keep an eye out for details to come!

If you would like to check out my first short story volume in this collection, you can find it under the tab above entitled “The Short Story Collection.”

Dayton Book Expo

With the Expo only days away, my excitement is ever increasing. I have just about everything ready to go for my table displays, which I hope will be sufficient. That’s all part of the process, I think–gauging what I should take with me and hoping it’ll be enough, and then comparing other tables when I get there. Then if I plan to go again in the future, I’ll have a better idea of what to do!

The Expo will be from 11am to 4pm this Saturday, April 25 at Sinclair Community College. I’ll be in the Great Hall (Building 12), but I’m not yet sure where exactly I’ll be set up. But the details for that will be in the reader’s event booklet, so you can find me in there. At my table, I’ll have paperback copies of my two books, which I can sign if you’d like, as well as an email signup list to receive a FREE ebook of your choice after the Expo. And of course, if you’d like to chat about WWII or my books, I’d love to entertain a conversation!

Remember: I’ll be in attendance under my real name (Mike Pratt) and will be listed accordingly; however, my table information and books will have my pen name on them (Eli Kale).

I hope to see you there, and if not, then I’ll let you know how it went in next week’s blog post!

YouTube

My writing process videos are coming along well, with my ninth one in production this week. Last week’s vlog touched on the topic of having another person (friend, colleague, professional, etc.) edit your manuscript and the importance of it. This week’s vlog will touch on what to do once you get the edited manuscript back. To catch up on (or start watching) my vlogs, you can find them on my channel here. Please consider subscribing!

GoFundMe Campaign

I am raising money to support the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. If you have it in your heart to help me support this organization, and to help maintain an important part of history, then please consider donating to my campaign. You can find the details on my campaign page here.

That’s about it for today, but more details and information will arrive in the coming weeks. Thank you for reading my posts, and for supporting and encouraging me as I pursue my passion. It truly means the world!

Until next time,

-Eli