A Bit of Amazon Magic

Greetings, Terrans!
Did you know that there is a way to shorten links to your books on Amazon without going to third-party sites like Bit.ly? It’s true! Take this link, for example, which goes to A Time To Build:
http://www.amazon.com/Time-Build-Umea-Bakearen-Book-ebook/dp/B00FMYQ8AU/
Long and unwieldy, right? Try Tweeting that, and you won’t have enough characters left to say anything about it.
But all you have to do is edit it, like this…
http://www.amzn.com/B00FMYQ8AU/
…and it goes to the same page! Magic! Well, no, it’s not magic, it’s technology! This little feature is probably documented, somewhere, but you’ll tear your hair out looking for it. The set of characters in the link is your book’s ASIN code. Keep this little trick in mind, and you’ll soon be Tweeting your books like the pro you are!

Character Profile: Tony Diego

There has been a challenge going around facebook (perhaps you’ve seen it?) to list five details about one of your main characters. I’ve been tagged in this game several times, and it reminded me that I’ve sort of neglected to add more character profiles to this site. Sorry about that.
Tony Diego was a Desert Storm veteran. He flew A-10s, which are still one of his favorite fighter jets, even now that he’s flown spaceships. This is because in space, it hardly feels like you’re moving.
His character was created after watching a marathon of NCIS episodes, so he is inspired by Special Agent Tony DiNozzo from that series.
Like DiNozzo, Tony Diego tends to use pop culture references when he’s stressed. That trait makes him hard to write, because I have to make sure that whatever movies or programs he’s quoting actually existed during the time the Umea Bakearen stories take place (The first book is set in 1995-96, while the second begins in 2001. Eventually, the settings will catch up to the present, and then go beyond).
After events in A Time To Build, Tony was awarded the Luken Zaio Medal of Valor by the Denebian Government. If you’ve read it, you know which event. If you haven’t, the book is available (see links at right!). He’s the first Terran ever to receive that honor.
Finally, Tony simply can’t stand gagh! He does love a good corn dog, though, and he can tell you where the best vendors are in every system he’s been to.