Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Permanent Man - The Complete First Season is Live!

I'm happy to say that The Permanent Man - The Complete First Season is now available in digital and print!

If you haven't read all the individual episodes (or even the free pilot episode) here's your chance to get into the series. On top of that, you'll get bonus author commentary in the book that will give more insight into the stories, my writing process, and why I made certain decisions with the plot.

What are you waiting for? Pick up your copy today!

From Desmond Shepherd, author of Imaginary Me, comes the breakthrough adventure told in a serialized format. Private Investigator Patrick Hold’s life is turned upside down when a secret agency claims he is someone called the Permanent Man—a man incapable of dying. Fearful of what they want with him, Patrick attempts to escape, only to find himself catapulted back in time. With a pregnant wife waiting for him in the future, Patrick is determined to find his way home, even though all hope seems lost.

From the exciting first episode to the action-packed finale, relive every detail of the first season of The Permanent Man. With all 12 episodes of the season and bonus commentary from the author that takes you behind the scenes of each episode, The Permanent Man - The Complete First Season is a real find.


Digital Edition Available at Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books | Smashwords

Print Edition Available at Amazon (includes free digital copy) | Barnes & Noble

Monday, March 24, 2014

First Episode of The Permanent Is Now FREE!

With the upcoming release of The Permanent Man - The Complete First Season, and the fact that the e-book sample contains almost the entire first episode in it, it's only fair to offer the standalone digital copy of the first episode for free.

You can pick your digital copy for free at the following e-book retailers:

Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books | Smashwords

And don't forget, the The Permanent Man - The Complete First Season will be coming April 8, 2014 in print and digital!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How Disney's Digital HD Copy Works

A month and a half ago, I pre-ordered Frozen in Digital HD from Amazon for my daughter. I did something similar with Wreck-It Raplh last year. I don't have a Blu-Ray player, so Digital HD is the way to go for me to watch movies in hi-def. And Disney releases Digital HD copies of their movies a month ahead of the Blu-Ray/DVD release. So it's a win-win all around to do that.

My wife had no knowledge of me pre-ordering the movie, so she actually pre-ordered the Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital HD combo from the Disney Store in our area. When I found out, I quickly cancelled my order with Amazon.

But then I wondered how the Digital HD Copy that comes with the combo discs works. In the past, it came with a disc that allowed you to download the movie file to your computer. But that offered limited choices for viewing the movie. Unless you had the right devices, you could only watch in on your PC.

In other words: Dumbo.

Yesterday, we picked up the Frozen movie, and I'm happy to say that Disney has opened up their Digital HD Copy to make it accessible through just about anywhere. Here's how it works:

Inside the case for the movie is a card. On it is a web link that you go to, along with a special code printed on it. Go to the web link and enter the code.

Next, you will be able to select the provider of you Digital HD copy. In the US, this includes iTunes, Amazon, VUDU, Google Play, and Target Ticket.

I use Amazon for all my digital purchases, so I chose them. Once I did, a new code was on the screen that I was instructed to copy. Below it is a link to the provider's digital copy of the movie. Clicking it opened a new tab where I was asked to enter the code. Once entered, a credit was put on my Amazon account to purchase the movie. I clicked the link to be taken to the product page, clicked to buy the Digital HD copy, and Bammo! The movie was added to my Amazon library.

It's that simple and easy. Now I have the Blu-Ray copy (but no Blu-Ray player), DVD copy, and Digital HD copy. So I can watch the movie anywhere.

Actually, I should say my daughter can watch it anywhere.

This is now the Disney standard for redeeming Digital HD copies. So any movie from recent months and in the future should follow this setup. If you have other questions regarding this, check out Disney's page on Digital Copy Plus.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014

For the past few years, I have submitted an entry into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. In 2012, it was Fram Gage and The Infinite Ability. In 2013 it was Futan Vice: The Trouble on Drabble.

The way the contest works, there are several rounds to pass through to win the award. The first round is The Pitch. In this round, the judges choose what novels will make it to round two based on a pitch of 300 words or less. When I entered Fram Gage and The Infinite Ability, I didn't make it past this round. But Futan Vice did make it to round two.

Round two is based on an excerpt of the novel. This is the first 3,000 to 5,000 words of the book. If the judges like this enough, they send it to round three. Unfortunately, I never made it past this round.

In round three, the entire manuscript is evaluated. Submission requirements state that this must be no less than 50,000 words and no more than 125,000 words. Five semi-finalists are then selected from each of five categories (General Fiction, Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, and Young Adult Fiction).

In round four, a finalist from each category is selected, making them winners in their genre. And finally, from those five, Amazon customers vote for their favorite, selecting one grand prize winner.

And the prizes are nice. Finalists get a $15,000 publishing contract with Amazon. The grand prize winner gets a $50,000 publishing contract.


This year, I'm entering my book Imaginary Me into the General Fiction category. Of all the times I've entered, I have the most confidence this year. This is because Imaginary Me is a unique book told through the eyes of an imaginary friend. It also touches on subjects of abuse and how a four-year-old girl overcomes them. All of it results in an inspiring book that I hope can help those who find themselves living in similar situations that the book presents.

Do I think I'll win? I'm a realist. And there will be up to 10,000 entries for the award, so while I would like to win, expecting it is unrealistic.

But, if I can get past The Pitch round (which I think is the hardest part) I might have a chance to at least get into round three.

We'll see what happens.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I'm Surviving Snowmageddon

Here in the Northeast, we've had an unprecedented winter. Continuous deep freeze temperatures. Snowstorms. Sleet. Ice. Falling tree limbs. Massive power outages. All I'm waiting for now is fire and sulfur to fall from the sky.

But I'm hopeful that won't happen, at least not until summer.

Some are dubbing this winter Snowmageddon, and I think the name is appropriate. I've experienced all of the above problems, along with damage to my home from these storms. Below is a little snippet of that experience. The tree in front of my property split in half last week on Wednesday morning during the freezing rain event we had. Other trees on my property experienced similar fates. That ice, along with the wet snow on the limbs from two days earlier, led to the destruction.



I know what you're thinking: At least the snowman made it out alive.

Well he did, losing only his left arm. But as the day wore on and the freezing rain warmed to plain ole rain, he began to droop sideways and tumble apart by the afternoon, ending his short two day life as the world's happiest snowman.

You see, snowmageddon is even affecting the snowmen around these parts. A week later and the tree looks like this.



And now, another storm is hitting my area, looking to give us upwards of 14 inches of snow.

I love cold weather. I love snow. But even I've had enough of this winter. I look forward to the end of snowmageddon. The beginning of flowers blooming, grass turning green and needing to be cut. Trees (what's left of them) bearing leaves.

Let's just hope the warmer weather doesn't bring us a summageddon. Because I have no idea how to protect myself or property from fire and sulfur.

By the way, word has it Michael Bay is making the Snowmageddon movie, set to release in December 2014. Bruce Willis will star in it along with Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler. It's said the movie will be a bit better than last year's disaster Sharknado.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Permanent Man - The Complete First Season

Almost a year ago, I envisioned a book series where I told the story similar to the way a weekly television series airs. I'll avoid going into the details of it as I've blogged about the process of writing it and the format extensively.

And so, The Permanent Man became a reality. Beginning on November 12, 2013 and running through to January 28, 2014, I "aired" a new episode of the series every Tuesday. It even had a double-length season finale similar to the two-hour finales that many television dramas do.

Continuing in that format, I'm happy to announce that the complete first season of The Permanent Man will be available in print and digital on April 8, 2014! The book will contain all 12 episodes of the season and will include bonus author commentary for each episode. The commentary highlights my writing process, points out interesting facts about decisions I made for the story, and even contains some spoilers.

In addition to this, buying the entire season comes with a discount. The single episodes all cost $0.99. If you purchased all of them by themselves, that would be nearly $12.00. But The Permanent Man - The Complete First Season will be only $9.99. It's like getting two episodes for free.

There's an even better deal on this though. If you pre-order the book in digital form any time between now and April 7, 2014, you can pick it up for only $7.99. That's 12 episodes and bonus author commentary all for the same cost as eight single episodes! Below are links where you can pre-order the book.

From Desmond Shepherd, author of Imaginary Me, comes the breakthrough adventure told in a serialized format. Private Investigator Patrick Hold’s life is turned upside down when a secret agency claims he is someone called the Permanent Man—a man incapable of dying. Fearful of what they want with him, Patrick attempts to escape, only to find himself catapulted back in time. With a pregnant wife waiting for him in the future, Patrick is determined to find his way home, even though all hope seems lost.

From the exciting first episode to the action-packed finale, relive every detail of the first season of The Permanent Man. With all 12 episodes of the season and bonus commentary from the author that takes you behind the scenes of each episode, The Permanent Man - The Complete First Season is a real find.


Pre-order Now at iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books


Saturday, February 8, 2014

If You Upgrade Your Xfinity Modem, Will the Speeds Improve? Answer Inside.

A few months back, I posted about an upgrade to my service with Xfinity. They had emailed me to say that they had boosted my bandwidth speed. And I was like "great".

But it came with a catch. In order to take advantage of these speeds, I had to upgrade the modem to the new DOCSIS 3.0 standard because the modem I had was outdated. Fortunately, I rent my modem and Xfinity sent me a new one without charge.

Well, without charge except for the additional $1 per month they added to my modem rental fee.

So did my speeds improve upon installing the new modem?

First, here is the speed I was getting with the old, outdated, junky cable modem (Model: Terayon TJ715)


And now, here are the speeds I am getting upon upgrading my modem (Technicolor TC8305C):



As you can see, the speeds did improve. The upload speed increase was minor. But the download speed was significant. And the new speeds are testing on a server that is double the distance. So overall, I'm happy that I took the time to contact Xfinity and get the upgraded hardware.

For any who upgrade their hardware like me, there is something you should know about this modem. It's a dual purpose device, meaning it's a modem and wired/wireless router built into one.

You might consider that good because it means you have one less device to plug into the wall. But if you work from home and frequently need to connect to a VPN, that might be a problem. Apparently, Xfinity has locked out the ability to connect to a VPN with this modem if you are a Residential customer.

So how did I get around this issue (and I had to because my wife works from home and I have to keep her happy)? What you need to do is contact Xfinity and have them put the modem in Bridge Mode. This completely disables the router functions of the device and makes it work as a modem only. Then you can hook up your own router to the modem and connect to a VPN.

I had a problem when I first did this and had to reset my modem and contact them again to put it in Bridge Mode. What went wrong?

When Bridge Mode is activated, whatever device is plugged into an Ethernet port on the back of the modem becomes the only one that receives an Internet connection (if more than one is plugged in, only one of the devices connected will gain access to the Internet). This is because the modem assigns Internet access to one MAC Address.

How is this issue corrected so multiple devices can access the Internet?

I suggest plugging your main computer into one of the Ethernet ports during the Bridge Mode activation. This will give the modem that PC's MAC Address. Once you confirm the Internet works on the PC, unplug the Ethernet cable form the modem and then plug it into one of the available LAN ports on your router. Plug a new Ethernet cable into the modem and the other end into the Internet or WAN input of your router. You'll then need to access your router's firmware (see the manual for your router) and under the MAC Address section you'll want to clone the MAC Address of your PC. Some router's have a button that does this automatically. Otherwise, you can enter it manually. (Check your network settings on your PC to find its MAC Address. Also, make sure no other devices are plugged into your router's LAN ethernet ports if you are doing the automatic cloning of the MAC Address.)

Once you do that, your router can then function and distribute the internet through its Ethernet ports and wirelessly.

Hopefully this little tidbit of information on speed and this model modem helps you out. If it does, I'd like to suggest that you check out the books I've written or episodes of The Permanent Man that you might enjoy as a way of paying me back. :)