ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)
( Feb. 14th, 2017 12:15 am)

On Valentine's Day, it's always good to remember your Valentine, by which I mean the love of your life, by which I'm talking to you, guys. I'm not suggesting women never forget romantic dates ... I mean, there's no such thing as never. But let's face it: Chances are pretty good that anyone raiding the store on February 14th for candy, flowers, or lingerie is likely to be a panicked male.

By the way, guys: Admit to yourself that lingerie is almost always a gift for you, not her.

An important question to ask yourself is: "Would my life be better or worse without this person in my life?" If the answer is better, you need to do some hard thinking. If the answer is worse, then the chances are good you're taking that person for granted. That's human nature.

When I met my wife I was alone, lonely, aimless, and bankrupt. How did she cure me? Let me count the ways:

Working backward, Emily is cheap. This can be a complaint, but to me it's a compliment: She doesn't like to spend money. I don't have money. It's a match made in banking. When I say, "I don't feel like cooking--let's get takeout", her response is, "I don't feel like spending money--I'll cook". And everything's fine, as long as I do the dishes.

Which I do. Why? Because the other night, instead of letting me get KFC, she made these baked chicken thighs that are so good angels smelled them and started crying. I was so happy I did the dishes, and also the laundry, and shampooed the carpets.

It goes without saying that I'm no longer alone and lonely. I'm the kind of person who doesn't mind spending time alone, but that only goes so far. Did you know that watching TV is actually more fun with someone else? You did? Okay, did you know that reading books is more fun when you can discuss them with a loved one? You didn't? Ha!

She talked me into getting a dog. Seven years I'd gone without a dog. How did I stand it?

Since we met, I've published nine books (well, nine as of March 7th), plus pieces in three anthologies. Before we met, I published ... zero. Coincidence? Heck, no. Yes, I've had encouragement from others, but she did more than that: She pushed me. No excuses--do the writing, polish the writing, sell the writing. Not to mention half the books are self-published, and there's no way I had the design and computer talents to pull those off myself.

And finally, she gets me. Sure, women often try to change men, usually for the better. Her work on me has been superficial (and boy, did I need it). She didn't try to turn me into a different person--she accepts me as I am, moles and all. (We get moles in my family. No, not in the yard.) She not only accepts me, but she understands the why of me. And yet, she stayed with me anyway.

Basically ... Emily's awesome. So this Valentine's Day, which is today, I'm going to appreciate her.

Wait. It's today?

Ah, jeez, I gotta get to the store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


For those of you totally ignorant of the fact that Valentine’s Day is coming up (I’m looking at you, men), the humor anthology My Funny Valentine is still available in print and e-book. (I have a few copies on hand myself.) Maybe your loved one is sick of chocolate, or flowers, or chocolate flowers (Chocolate flowers? The perfect gift!) I’m one of the contributors to My Funny Valentine, which is unsurprisingly about Valentine’s Day.
 
If your loved one has an e-reader, the Kindle version is just $2.99. If they don’t have one, don’t be cheap—buy them one. If they already have one, be cheap. Or, you could get the print version for $9.95 at Amazon:
 
I’d advise against getting them the book for the second or third year in a row, though—they’d certainly notice. But I suppose in that case you could go over to www.markrhunter.com (or Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, etc.) and grab one of my romantic comedies for the loving one you love.
 

 

Unfortunately for me, Valentine’s Day comes during a time of year in which I don’t do well. I’ve said before that the only good thing about February is that it isn’t January, but let’s face it: they’re not all that different.

 

The best way to describe most men on this dedicated-to-love holiday is: epic fail. This is two steps beyond complete fail, which is itself three steps below just fail. As a result, any store that’s open the morning of Valentine’s Day is sure to see an influx of desperate, rather dazed looking men, searching for flowers or chocolate. If they can’t find a place open with Valentine chocolate, there’s always the corner convenience store.

 

“Let’s see … what’s more romantic, Baby Ruth or Milky Way? Say, do you have any wrapping paper here? No? I’ll just use the real estate listings, they’re a little colorful.”

 

My wife is not a fan of flowers, and is allergic to milk chocolate. She also doesn’t like to go out to eat, citing the expense and the crowds on a holiday. At first glance that seems like a great thing. But it takes away all the emergency “I’m in trouble” backups.

 

Now, you may be thinking, “But Mark, what does she get you for Valentine’s Day?”

 

If you’re thinking that, you’re a man.

 

Valentine’s Day, like weddings, is for the woman. The man’s job is to show up, look fairly nice, and make her the center of the day. With weddings men can usually focus just well enough to handle that for a day, having been around the planning stuff for months beforehand. With Valentine’s Day, the word “planning” puts them on life support.

 

I love my wife. I wouldn’t have married her if I didn’t love her. The idea of marriage for convenience ignores the fact that making a successful marriage isn’t convenient at all. And yet, as each holiday approaches, I utterly freeze up. I stink at shopping. I stink at picking out cards. And—this coming from a man who actually writes romantic comedies—I stink at being romantic.

 

The fact that most men have the same affliction is in no way an excuse.

 

At least, that’s what I assume my wife would say, if I was dumb enough to ask her.

 

My conclusion—and guys, you can all benefit from my hard-won wisdom—is this:

 

Being a man is no excuse. Suck it up, fellas. If, like me, you can’t seem to function during winter, try this: Go out in the summer and buy a bunch of generic presents. It’s your job to find out what your wife likes, I can’t help you with that. Figure it out, buy a bunch of them, and hide them away somewhere. When you hit that inevitable panic point—and you will—and realize the holiday happens to fall on a Sunday and there’s no store close enough for you to sneak out to, don’t gift her a zippo lighter from the Sunoco station. No, break into your horde of presents, and—surprise!—you’re a hero.

 

That’s what I’m going to do. Next year. This year, wish me luck.

 

"Yes, I promise to try to remember ... what was I supposed to remember?"

 

 

If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day gift and you’re sick of chocolate or flowers, or chocolate flowers (like anyone could be sick of chocolate), the humor anthology My Funny Valentine is still available. I’m one of the contributors to the book, which seeks to tickle the rib of the one you love.

If your loved one has an e-reader, the Kindle version is just $2.99. If they don’t have one, don’t be cheap—buy them one. If they already have one, be cheap. Or, you could get the print version for $9.95 at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/My-Funny-Valentine-MyFunnyBooks-Writers-ebook/dp/B006JROL8K

I still have a few copies, so get in touch if you’d like one from me—I might even cut you a deal. After all, it might be devalued by the graffiti of my signature.

If you got that book for them last year, it’s treading thin ice to do it again—they’ll probably notice. But you could always pick up one of my romantic comedies for the loving one you love. It goes without saying that you can find all my books at www.markrhunter.com … but I said it anyway.

I’m posting this mostly for my benefit, so you can ignore it or, preferably, embrace it and send it to your friends all over the world. I’ve had a few (rather surreal) moments this summer when I struggled to remember all the works I’ve had published. Not that there are that many, but I’m putting them up as a list here so I can refer to it in a hurry, and/or refer it to a potential reader. This has made me realize my next book after Images of America: Albion and Noble County will be the tenth publication my name has been on! That’s assuming you don’t include newspapers.

 

 

Storm Chaser (2011): A famous weather photographer runs afoul of an Indiana police officer, who suspects she may be manufacturing disasters to photograph.

 

My Funny Valentine (2011): I have a piece in this anthology about Valentine’s Day, and how very wrong it can go.

 

Storm Chaser Shorts (2012): A series of short stories featuring characters from Storm Chaser and The Notorious Ian Grant. (E-book only)

 

Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century Or So With The Albion Fire Department (2013): This illustrated history of my volunteer fire department was written for its 125th anniversary; proceeds go to the department.

 

The No-Campfire Girls (2014): When a group of teenage girls find out a drought will prevent campfires at their annual summer camp, they go to extreme lengths to bring on the rain. (Half the profits go to Girl Scout Camp Latonka in Missouri)

 

The Notorious Ian Grant (2014): A B-list Hollywood troublemaker tries to redeem himself by coming to Indiana to plan his sister’s wedding—whether she wants him to or not.

 

Strange Portals: Ink Slingers’ Fantasy/Horror Anthology (2014): Two of my characters from Storm Chaser and The Notorious Ian Grant have a Christmas encounter in this holiday themed fiction anthology.

 

Slightly off the Mark: The Unpublished Columns (2015): A collection of humor pieces published to “celebrate” being downsized from my weekly humor column job, and picked up again as a monthly.

 

Images of America: Albion and Noble County (2015): A photo-filled journey through local history, covering the settlement and early growth of this northeast Indiana county.

 



 

            My last book signing of the year, and probably the winter, is this Saturday, and I’d like everyone to attend. Everyone in the world. Yep, all seven billion of you. Except you, that guy with the blue coat in Apsheronsk. You’re a little creepy.

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of free parking along Main Street in Kendallville, although some of you might consider carpooling. I’ll be at the Mini shops, 134 S. Main Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 13th. It’s a new place, where you’ll find a number of small vendors in the former Best Little Hair House (not making that up) a block south and across the street from the News-Sun building.

Remember, every time you don’t go to my book signings, a butterfly in the Amazon flaps its wings. Don’t cause a hurricane.

https://www.facebook.com/events/405524479603470/

I’d planned on one book signing this holiday season … now there are three. In addition to the one coming up this Friday at 100 N. Orange Street, I’ll be doing another one a week later in Kendallville—only the second book signing I’ve ever done outside of Albion.

That one will be at The Mini Shops, 134 South Main Street, on Saturday, December 13th. At the moment we’re planning a mid-day signing: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information will be forthcoming, but meanwhile don’t forget to stop by the art show and signing in Albion, during the Christmas at the Village! That’s running from 4-8 p.m. December 5th, and here’s the event page for it:

www.facebook.com/events/310190809164184

What does a real, official writer’s press release look like? Well … I don’t know. But here’s the press release I sent out to the local media, minus my e-mail address and author photograph. Obviously it’s different from my less formal post from last week, but otherwise all I can tell you is that it’s probably too long for modern media outfits.

            Oh, if you have Facebook and want to let us know you’re coming, the event page is at https://www.facebook.com/events/359823550853994/. Or, you could just let us know you’re coming.

 

            Local author Mark R Hunter is visiting the Noble County Public Library’s main branch in Albion for a book signing Monday, November 17th.

            Hunter’s diverse works include two romantic comedy novels, a young adult adventure, a collection of short stories, and a history of the Albion Fire Department, in addition to a humor piece in the anthology My Funny Valentine. Two of his works came out in 2014:

            The Notorious Ian Grant, a romantic comedy set in northeast Indiana, came out in August and is a sequel to his first novel, Storm Chaser. Both were published, along with his e-book short story collection, Storm Chaser Shorts, by Whiskey Creek Press

            The No-Campfire Girls, a humorous adventure set in an Indiana summer camp, was released in June. Some of the proceeds go toward operating costs for Camp Latonka, a Missouri Girl Scout camp that once provided a second home for Hunter’s wife, Emily.

            Proceeds from Hunter’s other book, Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With The Albion Fire Department, go toward the Albion Fire Department.

            Copies of all the books will be available for sale at the book signing, which will run from 3-6 p.m. and include some reduced prices. You can find out more about Hunter and his books at www.markrhunter.com, or on his Amazon author’s page at http://www.amazon.com/Mark-R-Hunter/e/B0058CL6OO/

I’m a little late getting to this (okay, a lot late), but for about another day you can buy the humor anthology My Funny Valentine as an e-book for just 99 cents. A great seasonal read and a fun gift:

 

http://www.amazon.com/My-Funny-Valentine-MyFunnyBooks-Writers-ebook/dp/B006JROL8K

 


ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)
( Sep. 14th, 2013 05:42 pm)
I updated my biography on Yahoo.com. Naturally, I expect a 500% increase in sales any second now.

http://www.amazon.com/Mark-R-Hunter/e/B0058CL6OO
For those of you sick of chocolate or flowers, or chocolate flowers (how could anyone be sick of chocolate?), don't forget that you can again order a copy of the humor anthology My Funny Valentine, which includes a piece by me, to tickle the rib of the one you love. If you got them that book last year it's treading thin ice to get it again, but then you could always pick up my novel Storm Chaser or its prequel, Storm Chaser Shorts, for the romantic comedy loving love you love.

It goes without saying that there are details on how to order all three on my website, www.markrhunter.com. But I said it anyway. The books are available in print or e-book, although sadly Storm Chaser Shorts is Kindle or Nook-ready e-book only. Don't be cheap -- buy them an e-reader!

My press release on the half-price Storm Chaser offer and on the My Funny Valentine Amazon ranking … although the shelf life for the latter is just about up for the year.

 

The e-book version of a local author’s debut novel has been selected by his publisher as one of fourteen romance related stories offered for half price this month in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Storm Chaser, a romantic comedy that follows the adventures of a cop and a disaster photographer in northeast Indiana, is available for $3.50 from Whiskey Creek Press as a PDF or HTML e-book, readable on almost all e-readers and computers. Anyone can place an order or read a sample chapter and a review by going here:

http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=899

 

The author, Mark R. Hunter, is also a contributor to the humor compilation My Funny Valentine, which in advance of the holiday reached a notable high note on the Amazon.com humor book rankings: It hit #16 for e-books and #15 for print books. Hunter’s humor column, Slightly Off The Mark, appears weekly in the local newspapers Albion New Era, Churubusco News, and Northwest News.

My Funny Valentine can be ordered on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/My-Funny-Valentine-ebook/dp/B006JROL8K/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328660994&sr=1-2

Or from the publisher at:

http://myfunnybooks.biz/

Hunter’s website is:

www.markrhunter.com

Print copies of My Funny Valentine are also available at the Albion New Era office and at Just Off the Square Antiques and Collectibles, on East Main Street in Albion.

Whiskey Creek Press is offering the e-book version of Storm Chaser at half off for the month of February; it’s one of 14 WCP books on sale in honor of Valentine's Day! 

 

http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=899

 

But wait, it gets better: I've also learned that My Funny Valentine has peaked at #28 in the humor category at Amazon.com, in both print and Kindle categories!

 

http://www.amazon.com/My-Funny-Valentine-ebook/dp/B006JROL8K/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328660994&sr=1-2

ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)
( Feb. 1st, 2012 11:43 am)
We sold 7 copies of Storm Chaser and 7 of My Funny Valentine at the book signing Monday ... both are now available at Just Off the Square Antiques, and should be up to borrow soon at the library. Many thanks to the employees of the Noble County Public Library for being such fine hosts! Naturally, you can still get either through me -- order on my website, www.markrhunter.com .

My Noble County Library book signing on Jan. 30th was announced on Thunder Country, a radio station in LaGrange County.  (Their website’s at http://www.wthd.net/ )  I sent a press release out to all the area news outlets, but didn’t really expect a station in the next county would use it!

 Also, as we were passing the library last night Emily noticed my name on their sign, which blows my mind just a bit.  Their website is here:  http://www.nobleco.lib.in.us/central_library.html .

And, of course, the Facebook events page with all the details is here:

https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/events/133555793426698/

A local columnist is one of forty humor writers featured in My Funny Valentine, the perfect antidote to the problem of both wintertime blues and finding a perfect and unique Valentine’s Day gift.

 Mark R. Hunter’s column “Valentine Fail, or: Where to Sleep When You Don’t Own a Doghouse”, originally appeared in The Albion New Era, Churubusco News, and Northwest News last year, and is reprinted in My Funny Valentine along with pieces by columnists, bloggers, and cartoonists from all over. The book makes a great Valentine’s gift: It doesn’t go bad in a week like flowers, has no calories like candy, and at $9.95 (plus tax) is way less expensive than jewelry – and will probably be more appreciated than lingerie. Plus, a little humor goes a long way in the dark, cold months of winter.

 My Funny Valentine is available as a print book at Hunter’s website, www.MarkRHunter.com,  and in print or e-book at the publisher’s website, http://myfunnybooks.biz/

 Hunter will also have copies available at a book signing January 30th, from 3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the Noble County Public Library main branch, 813 E. Main Street in Albion. Anyone who buys both it and Hunter’s novel, Storm Chaser, will get the second book at two dollars off.

 Print copies are also available at the Albion New Era office, on South Orange Street in Albion.

 

 

More on My Funny Valentine: )


I got two shipments in the mail today: A box of Storm Chaser copies and a box of My Funny Valentine copies. Pretty much the most important items for the January 30 book signing.

My Funny Valentine is selling for $9.95 plus tax, while Storm Chaser is $14.95 – or $12.95 if you buy them both together. Come to the book signing or contact me for an order (www.markrhunter.com), or get the e-book version of My Funny Valentine at:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/My-Funny-Valentine-Hilarious-Complications/dp/1936955040/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323064081&sr=8-1
and smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/112278
A book signing featuring local author Mark R. Hunter will be held at the Noble County Public Library main branch Monday, January 30th, from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Hunter’s romantic comedy, Storm Chaser, was released last year by Whiskey Creek Press. In addition, he’ll have available copies of the humor compilation My Funny Valentine, just in time for Valentine’s Day gift buying. My Funny Valentine includes a holiday related column by Hunter that originally appeared in the Albion New Era, Churubusco News, and Northwest News, as well as humor pieces and cartoons by thirty-nine other humorists from all over.

Anyone who hasn't bought Storm Chaser (or has, but wants another copy!) can get both books for a bargain: buy My Funny Valentine at $9.95, and get Storm Chaser for two dollars off, at $12.95. Hunter, a longtime local humor columnist who has a collection of short stories coming out in May, will answer any questions in addition to signing books at the library, located at 813 E. Main Street in Albion. He’s also a member of the Albion Volunteer Fire Department, and is working on a history of that organization. )
More reviews of Storm Chaser:

http://www.traceycramerkelly.com/storm-chaser-more-romance-less-storm/

http://www.lisaolsen.net/review-of-storm-chaser-by-mark-r-hunter/

The book now has eleven 5-star and one 4-star reviews on Amazon, three 5-star reviews on Barnes & Noble, and on Fictionwise.com it has one Great rating and one OK rating. But the OK guy was just jealous. That's my story.

My Funny Valentine now has six five-star reviews on Amazon -- and needless to say, you can get signed copies of either book through me!

www.markrhunter.com
Get a new e-reader for Christmas? Sure you did. Time to fill it, and why not start with an action-adventure-romantic comedy-mystery? That way you have a lot of the genres covered, right from the beginning. And if you’re old fashioned like me, you’re still going to need something to read in the dead of winter.

Storm Chaser is available at:

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storm-chaser-mark-r-hunter/1107480138?ean=9781603131131

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Chaser-ebook/dp/B0056U41F4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325052958&sr=8-1
(And Amazon UK)

Fictionwise: http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b124316/?si=0

My publisher’s website: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&zenid=94d38a8965725086c3e2f2a4f07c67d8&keyword=storm+chaser

And of course through my own website: http://markrhunter.com/novel.html. There you can also order a print copy, if you’re not close enough to pick one up at the Albion New Era or Just Off the Square in Albion, the Churubusco News in that town, Summer’s Stories in Kendallville, Freedom Acres in Cromwell, or The Bookmark in Fort Wayne.

Copies will be available at a book signing Monday, January 30th, from 3:30 – 6 p.m. at the Noble County Public Library main branch in Albion.

And don’t forget about Mark Hunter’s contribution to the humor compilation My Funny Valentine, the perfect companion book to bring a few smiles in the dead of winter:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/My-Funny-Valentine-Hilarious-Complications/dp/1936955040/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323064081&sr=8-1
and smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/112278

More on Storm Chaser, by Mark R. Hunter:

The black funnel of an approaching tornado makes all other troubles seem small. But when Indiana State Trooper Chance Hamlin “rescues” Allie Craine from a twister, his troubles are just beginning—Allie, a disaster photographer, rescues him when he drives into the storm’s path.

Chance doesn’t like being rescued, he doesn’t like photographers, and he definitely doesn’t like being stuck with Allie when she wants to stay in calm, peaceful Indiana. Too bad his family, friends, and even the other members of Chance’s volunteer fire department think she’s great. Suspicious of Allie’s motives, he decides to drive her away out of sheer boredom—but that’s not so easy when someone begins causing fires and other catastrophes around the area. That someone might be Allie, who has plans of her own...
.

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