Book Blitz: Edge of Nowhere by CH Armstrong

Posted on January 19th, 2016

One of my friends, CH Armstrong, is releasing her debut novel today. Check out her guest post and see whether it’s a good fit for your next read!




The year is 1992 and Victoria Hastings Harrison Greene—reviled matriarch of a sprawling family—is dying.

After surviving the Oklahoma Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, Victoria refuses to leave this earth before revealing the secrets she’s carried for decades.

Once the child of a loving family during peaceful times, a shocking death shattered her life. Victoria came face to face with the harshness of the world. As the warm days of childhood receded to distant memory, Victoria learns to survive.

No matter what it takes.

To keep her family alive in an Oklahoma blighted by dust storms and poverty, Victoria makes choices—harsh ones, desperate ones. Ones that eventually made her into the woman her grandchildren fear and whisper about. Ones that kept them all alive. Hers is a tale of tragedy, love, murder, and above all, the conviction to never stop fighting.



C.H. Armstrong is an Oklahoma native transplanted in Minnesota. A 1992 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, “Cathie”is a life-long lover of books, and staunchly outspoken on subject of banned and challenged books. The Edge of Nowhere is her first novel and was inspired by her own family’s experiences during the 1930s Oklahoma Dust Bowl and The Great Depression.






Free: A Shark at the Park Video!

Posted on February 14th, 2015

I’m trying something a little unusual: I’ve posted a video reading of A Shark at the Park.

What does that mean? You’ll get to preview all of the pictures and hear the story, entirely for free.

If you like what you see, share the video with your friends and buy a copy of the book at your favorite retailer. Enjoy!

Kickstarter campaign

Posted on July 1st, 2014

The publishing world is rapidly changing with the rise of the indie author. What’s less known is that some of the supporting services, like audiobooks, are also looking to find ways to take advantage of the most popular independently-published books.

Caldarian Conflict kickstarter torn

I’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign for recording an audiobook of my novel, The Caldarian Conflict. This book was independently published and has sold thousands of copies. Last year, it was also selected for six months as a featured read in all Dunn Bros Coffee stores. In March, Common Mode, an audiobook company with over 30 years of experience contacted me with an interesting proposal: launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund a professionally produced audiobook using the best available voice talent.

Common Mode is trying this innovative crowdsourcing method to help independent authors afford the significant expense of hiring this top talent. The Caldarian Conflict is their second foray into this field, and the first full-length novel.

I’m really excited about this opportunity. Please join the adventure and help me make this a reality.

About me:

author photo for kickstarter - transparent Mike Kalmbach grew up in a forest near Lake Michigan. Spending his summers chasing wizards and battling evil ogres, Mike has always had a creative mind. He’ll often share stories from his past, and some of them are even true.

After time dragged him from childhood, Mike moved into freelance editing, helping other authors improve dozens of stories. During the daylight hours, he writes software to help with genetics research. He leads the Rochester MN Writing group (over 100 members) and often speaks on topics from writing and editing to engineering and robotics.

Luckily, Mike now has two sons, so he has plenty of excuses to set down the pen and play. He lives in Minnesota where he, his family, and a band of pirates can still be found battling ogres, dust bunnies, and even the occasional dragon.

Mike has authored three released books, and is a freelance editor of dozens of other novels, including New York Times Bestseller The Darwin Elevator by Jason Hough.

If you’re a blogger and would like to help, please let me know in the comments or at [email protected].

Cover reveal for How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser

Posted on June 2nd, 2014

cover1000I’m really excited: my friend, Ann Noser, is about to release her debut novel, published by Curiosity Quills! The cover reveal is today, and its release date is July 15, 2014.

Along with several other people, I worked through this story as a critique partner. It’s so cool to see it so close to meeting the world!

Here’s a short blurb:

College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice:  “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”.  But when charming Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.

Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back.  Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell.  The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury.  As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn’t the only one.

Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a desperate victim determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first.  More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows.  Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.

Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will ignite the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.

Join me in congratulating Ann on her awesome cover and upcoming release. Put July 15th on your calendar to pick up this exciting new novel!

Find out more about Ann at:




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Break the Rules

Posted on December 21st, 2013

I really enjoy being a dad.

As I was preparing to give Alex his bath last night, he stared out the window at one of the neighbor’s houses. “Lights out there, Dad! Lights!”

“Yep, you’re right,” I said. “They’re pretty, aren’t they?”

“Yeah, lights!”

I paused a moment so I could change the subject. “Come on, bud. Time for bath!”

I was tired. It’s been a long week–late nights, early mornings, the stress of trying to finish things at work before a long vacation. I was already in sweat pants, looking forward to maybe watching a movie before heading to bed myself.

I went to the bathroom to start the water. He padded along behind me, but then darted to his room. As I reached for the faucet, he came back with some outdoor clothes.

“Lights?” His voice trembled, realizing that we were about to do the normal routine, and that meant he’d soon be in bed. I could tell he was about to cry.

As a parent, I prefer to maintain routines. It’s good for kids to know what to expect each day, and this works for us–I rarely need to discipline him (other than the occasional playing too rough with his brother or the cats). On the other hand, I’m very mindful of helping my kids develop their independence. I want them to feel like their opinion matters.

I took my hand off the faucet. “You know, Alex, you’re right. Let’s break the rules and go look at some lights.”

We spent a half hour driving around our town, looking at all the lit-up houses. We talked constantly, pointing out the colors and the stars and the snow men. Alex had a blast (I did too), and when we got home, he went to bed without complaint. Even though I was still exhausted from the stress of the week, that half hour helped melt that stress away.

Sometimes we get so stuck in our routines that we forget to stop and admire the lights. I hope you take the time to break the rules with your family this holiday. Or on a random Monday.

Our time here is short, and knowing when to give in on something small can make a huge difference to a little boy. And his dad.

Enjoy life. It matters.

Site hacked, trying to recover

Posted on October 23rd, 2013

If you haven’t visited recently, you may see that my site layout has changed. Unfortunately, my personal website was hacked and populated with ads for certain little blue pills and other enhancement drugs. This required several hours of attempting to remove the embedded code before I finally decided to start over with a fresh install. Luckily, all of my data is regularly backed up, so all of the posts remain intact.

I’m taking advantage of the situation to create a custom theme for the site. It’s likely you’ll see lots of changes over the next few days, so please bear with me. Thanks in advance!

If you’re looking for information about the Rochester Writing Group, please email me at [email protected]. Thanks!

Big, BIG news! Coffee & Books

Posted on January 18th, 2013

Big news! The Caldarian Conflict was selected for the Coffee & Books program at Dunn Brothers (currently there are only around 20 books in the program). Read on for a coupon promo!


This is a very big deal–the top four books each quarter are displayed in all Dunn Bros locations. This could help The Caldarian Conflict find hundreds of new readers.

Why is this so important?

  • There’s very little competition right now in the program, which helps increase my visibility
  • As a participating author, it’s relatively easy for me to get in for readings and signing events.
  • Buying books gets you free coffee. What better deal is there than that?

To celebrate the inclusion of The Caldarian Conflict in the Coffee & Books program, I’m running a promo. The first 50 people to buy The Caldarian Conflict ebook will receive 20% off the book! Just use the coupon code “pirate” when you check out (without the quotes). Remember, this is only good for the first 50 customers!

Share this with your friends. The more people who buy The Caldarian Conflict, the better my chances are of the book arriving in the store!

Thanks everyone!

Review: The 10,000-Year Explosion by Gregory Cochran & Henry Harpending

Posted on October 21st, 2012

Overall, good read. They provide a compelling argument for why human evolution has continued throughout the past several thousand years, and identifies some of the selective pressures that continue to act on us today.

In addition, this book includes an extensive resource list for additional reading and data that supports their conclusions.

While I personally would have liked a little more meat in the identification of specific genes responsible for changes in human DNA, or the selection pressures the authors believe will shape humanity’s future, this book is an accessible resource for armchair scientists.

Full disclosure: where did I obtain this book?

Purchased myself

To buy this yourself from Amazon, click on the image below!

Please note that I make a small percentage of the sales resulting from this link, but this did not influence my review.

Review: The Secret Underground – Natalie Bahm

Posted on October 12th, 2012

What a fun read!

Intense, suspenseful novel for middle grade readers–and adults will enjoy it too! I had so much fun with this book, and didn’t want to put it down, even for dinner!

What did I like? The mystery and suspense introduced by the tunnels, and the wonderful characterization of the main character, Ally, and her female friends. The Gauze Men made wonderful villains, and I loved the conflict surrounding the bank robberies, keeping secrets from parents, and early relationships.

My only issue is that many of the boy characters were difficult to remember–many of them, with the exception of Paul, Eric, and Jake, were pretty interchangeable. I would have liked to see more identifiable characteristics early on. That said, by the second two-thirds of the book, I completely hooked.

Can’t wait to read another book by Ms. Bahm. Well done!

Full disclosure: where did I obtain this book?

Purchased myself

To buy this yourself from Amazon, click on the image below!

Please note that I make a small percentage of the sales resulting from this link, but this did not influence my review.

FREE Kindle ebook April 24-25 – Writing Advice for Teens: Creating Stories

Posted on April 24th, 2012

Writing Advice for Teens: Creating Stories is free on Amazon Kindle April 24-25.

Please share this with your friends!

Cover for Writing Advice for Teens: Creating Stories

Don’t have a Kindle? You can still read the electronic version on your computer. There’s no DRM, so converting it to another version is a breeze with Calibre.

Please grab a free copy to help my Amazon ranking, which will eventually sell more books. Thanks everyone!