Everyone needs a little applause now and again

The encouragement and help of so many writers and readers have helped to make me a better writer. I would have probably thrown in the towel by now without it. So, today I’d like to pay it forward.

Let’s give a big hand of encouragement to Jacqui Murray, author of the popular Building a Midshipman, who is revealing the cover of her new book.

To Hunt a Sub


The USS Hampton SSN 767 quietly floated unseen a hundred fifty-two feet below the ocean’s surface. Despite its deadly nuclear tipped arsenal of Trident missiles, its task for the past six months has been reconnaissance and surveillance. The biggest danger the crew faced was running out of olives for their pizza. That all changed one morning, four days before the end of the Hampton’s tour. Halfway through the Captain’s first morning coffee, every system in the submarine shut down. No navigation, no communication, and no defensive measures. Within minutes, the sub began a terrifying descent through the murky grays and blacks of the deep Atlantic and settled to the ocean floor five miles from Cuba and perilously close to the sub’s crush depth. When it missed its mandated contact, an emergency call went out to a retired Navy Intel officer, Zeke Rowe, top of his field before a botched mission left him physically crippled and psychologically shaken. Rowe quickly determined that the sub was the victim of a cyber virus secreted inside the sub’s top secret operating systems.  What Rowe couldn’t figure out was who did it or how to stop it sinking every other submarine in the American fleet. 

Kali Delamagente is a struggling, over-the-hill grad student who entered a DARPA cyber security competition as a desperate last hope to fund a sophisticated artificial intelligence she called Otto. Though her presentation imploded, she caught the attention of two people: a terrorist intent on destroying America and a rapt Dr. Zeke Rowe. An anonymous blank check to finish her research is quickly followed by multiple break-ins to her lab, a hack of her computer, the disappearance of her three-legged dog, and finally the kidnapping of her only son. 

By all measures, Rowe and Delamagente are an unlikely duo. Rowe believes in brawn and Delamagente brains. To save the America they both love, they find a middle ground, guided by the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago.

Book information:

Title and author: To Hunt a Sub by J. Murray

Release Date: August, 2016 by Structured Learning

Genre: Thriller

Preview: Available on Kindle Scout

Cover by: Paper and Sage Design 

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to the United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech Ed topics. Her debut novel, To Hunt a Sub, launches this summer. You can find her nonfiction books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Are you having a launch soon? Do let us know!

I’d love to hear from you! Click the write me tab or contact me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at  jean.cogdell and Amazon.com, stop by and say hey! The lights are on and I’m waiting.

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Want to know which program to steer clear of?

KKBC, Kindle Kids’ Book Creator.

Well, that’s my opinion anyway.

Okay, I’ve told y’all many times how hard-headed I can be. So this post will come as no surprise, that even after reading the pros and cons of the new Kindle Kids’ Book Creator software, I still decided to give it a try. God I’m nuts!

To the readers which received an advance ecopy to review, I humbly apologize if you were unable to open the .mobi document.

I should have saved myself the trouble. Other than it being another software to use, trust me, it’s not worth the hassle.


It’s a lot of hard work for little return. Kind of like eating crawdads. After dinner, you wonder why you didn’t just go ahead and order a damn lobster.

Okay, enough bellyaching. Here is why after the hard work, cussing, and crying I ended up with a product that is very limited.

  • I will have to publish another Kindle version through CreateSpace.

Why? Because Kindle Kids’ Book Creator files are huge and this limits the price you can charge for an ebook. Another thing it only allows certain devices to download the book. Yep, you heard right. Not all Kindle devices will be able to buy the book. That is why I will release another one through Createspace.

  • It took me 10 tries to get this small picture book to look right. Sigh. Can anyone say crawdads? 

I could’ve published a couple of ebooks in the time I wasted playing with this program.

Although I had queried, searched and read everything I could get my hands on about this program, still I went forward.

Never again. For the future, I will use PagePlus to design the book, produce it in a PDF with Nitro10, and load it straight to IngramSpark and Createspace.

Bottom line, this is a no go for me. I won’t be using KKBC again.


Talk to me, the lights on and comments are now open.

Go to the bottom of this post and see what other writers had to say about KKBC.

You can find me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jean.cogdelland Amazon.com, stop by and say hey! Please remember to click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.


KDP Kids: Kindle Kids Book Creator

The disappointment: 5 reasons I’m not using Kindle Kids’ Book Creator software anymore

Please give me your input!

I’m getting close.

But I sure could use some feedback.

Should I pick one of these or find someone to do a professional cover. Think I’m about ready to do the self-publish route.

Please give me your thought! I need some input.


BookCoverPreview (1)

BookCoverPreview (3)

As ever, thanks so much for your help.

You can find me on Twitter and Facebook.