Thursday, June 23, 2011

Goodreads promotion

I wanted to follow up and tell you about a Goodreads promotion that I did. My novel, The Ambush of My Name, is now 10 years old. As a result, I wanted to mark the occassion with a celebration. To do so, I offered to give away 7 copies of the book to people on Goodreads.

This is the text I used on Goodreads to explain my contest:
It's been a decade since I published my first mystery novel, The Ambush of My Name. The story takes place in Southern Ohio just after the Civil War. General US Grant is taking a victory tour to relax after the years of battle and to cement his burgeoning popularity. At his stop in Georgetown, Ohio, his boyhood home, he's surprised to enter his hotel room and find an unidentified corpse. 

Grant has to solve the mystery and a plot to make him the next victim. 

The contest will run until June 1, 2011, the anniversary of its publication. 

You can read more about the series at

760 entered the contest! I'm not allowed to use the information from the contest to email or spam any of the registrants (that's part of the rules.) However, I received a number of good reviews (see below) AND 54 people added the book to their Goodreads to-be-read queue.

3 reviews:
 rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: first-read
The story begins with Ulysses S. Grant (née Hiram Grant) arriving in this hometown after the Civil War. One must understand that even in Ohio, the town was split down the middle with sympathizers for North and South. He is welcoming includes speeches, cheers, jeers and finding a dead man in his hotel bed. And so begins our mystery, who is this man, and does he have anything to do with a potential plot to harm Grant and his wife? 

I really enjoyed the conflicted nature that Mr. Marks gave to Grant; not just at having to come home and face his childhood past, but also the more recent and horrific war past. I also really enjoyed Grant’s relationship with his wife. Mr. Marks made her strong without being a shrew, and she is totally relatable. (She just knows what she wants and makes her feelings known to her husband, subtle though the facial expressions may be to others.) 

I recommend this book for anyone interested in Grant, the post Civil War era or satisfying mysteries in general. The ending, is so good (I can’t even begin, without ruining it); it just has a great surprising and suspenseful ending - like I wrote, if you like mysteries, you'll enjoy this one. And for full disclosure, I did receive this as part of the Goodreads First Reads program.(less)
Jun 11, 2011
 rated it 4 of 5 stars
I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in historical fiction, the Civil War and/or mysteries. It has all of the above elements, with a hint of romance (my perfect combination). 
A previous reviewer did a good job of a summary of the plot; I will just add there are several possible suspects and Marks does a good job of making sure any of them could be implicated in the crimes. I had an idea of who it was, but wasn't able to be sure until the final pages. 
I will be reading his other books, A Good Soldier, also about Grant, will be first on my list. 
I won this book as part of the goodreads giveaw
Jun 01, 2011
rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: first-reads
I enjoyed the author writing about an actual historical character (Ulysses S Grant) in this fictional piece. Actually, without revealing too much, there was more than one famous and/or infamous character involved in this story. Depicted in Georgetown, Ohio in the late 1800's, Grant goes back home for a visit only to find his life and his wife's in danger.
Things aren't always as they seem nor or some grudges ever forgotten
ay. (less)

All in all, I was very pleased with the results, and the cost was in no way prohibitive for a fun contest.

You can learn more at:


  1. Very good, Jeff! I remember enjoying The Ambush of My Name when it first came out. Good book. It should do well all over again, especially since it's historical (and therefore timeless).

  2. Thanks for posting your results, Jeffrey. Sounds good! As far as expense, it's only the loss of revenue for your books, right? Goodreads doesn't charge anything?

  3. Kaye, the cost of the books and the cost of shipping are the only costs incurred. Media mail shipping usually is only $2-3 per book. So this cost me about $4 a book.