Have You Read This Yet? (Part 2)

Again in a hurry, I copied and pasted this from my email subcription service. Thus the funky block formations. The whole thing actually froze up the first time, so let’s see if this works this time…

Aaannddd…. it looks like the links don’t work. Shit.

It’s 11pm now, so I’m not fixing them. How many of you are actually reading this right now anyway? At least you know they exist. You can find these books with a few extra clicks. Sorry, but my circuits are blown at this point. Been doing computer work all day, just drove through a blizzard to get home, and it’s time for bed…

Enjoy what I did get the cyber gremlins to cooperate on below. 🙂


Happy Saturday, Fellow Conspirators.

Now for Part 2 of my “here’s some stuff to read” gazette. If you like superhero fiction, this is your weekend. (And I hope it’s not so much that I blow your circuits. It’s very rare for me to cram so much into one email, I promise!)

First, the self-aggrandizement: if you somehow haven’t scored a copy of Hungry Gods yet, you can get it for $0.99 this weekend only just about anywhere exceptAmazon. (I’m all for sharing the love—no reason Amazon should get it all.) You can click these links to find it on these sites:




Can rookie superhero Spitball stave off the zombie apocalypse?!

My fellow indies don’t always feel the same way about Amazon. (They might, for all I know, but the following links are all AMZ related.) If you’d like to check out some of the “local” talent, here’s a few more superhero books that might catch your fancy:

Trish Heinrich’s Serpent’s Sacrifice is also on sale at $0.99 right now.

Serpent’s Sacrifice is the first book in The Phantasm Trilogy, a twist on the popular superhero mythos. If you like brave heroines, chilling villains, and nail-biting action, then you’ll love the thrilling emergence of the Serpent!

N. K. Quin asks, How do you make an unstoppable killer robot even more lethal?

The answer: Put the mind of a sixteen year old girl inside it.

The Operative: Book 1 is on Amazon for $0.99 too. Or free, if you have Kindle Unlimited.

In Bounty, author J. D. Cunegan gives us a detective with strange secrets involving a tour in Iraq, a secretive cybernetic experiment, and a conspiracy that involves a native son.

Find a link to everywhere by clicking here.

C.M. Raymond and L. E. Barbant launched their new book Catalyst: Steel City Heroes Book 1 this weekend:cata A mad scientist fighting the laws of man and nature. A demon-monster of mythical proportions. A corporate conspiracy that goes back more than a century.

Whew! I’ve given you a lot of books to think about this weekend. Hope it wasn’t too much!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Hope there’s some reading involved.


Have You Read This Yet? (Part 1)


Okay, I’m going to blog this the lazy way. Sorry, but it’s 9pm on Friday night and I have more things to get done — “miles to go before I sleep” and all that.

So here’s the deal: I just sent this via my Conspiracy Theory Newsletter. It’s a book review of these three books. If you’d like to check it out, please do by clicking the hyperlink you’re reading right now! (That way I don’t have to write it all over again and build in the images again…)

Simple enough, right?

Good night!

Galaxy’s Edge, Geek Gab, and Nick Cole

You know how sometimes you can hear (or be told) something many times, but it isn’t until after about the 20th or 50th or 100th that you finally say, “Oh, now I get it!” ???

Big thanks to Deuce Richardson for enlightening me to Geek Gab episode 128, and a big thanks to them for having on Nick Cole, one of the two authors of the huge mega space marine hit Galaxy’s Edge series, and an even bigger thanks to him for what he had to say on there!

Haven’t heard of any of these people? I hadn’t either.

But I had heard, from many folks, that if you want to make it big as an indie writer you have to write in series, and get that series out in short order, and play Amazon’s algorithm, and a bunch of other stuff. And while I acknowledged it and saw the wisdom in it all each time I heard it, it didn’t really sink in or make me think about changing my plans or getting more serious. Partly because the writing aspect in my life is always second-fiddle to about 3 or 4 other more important things in my life.

But suddenly, having listened to this podcast this morning, it actually sunk in and kicked me in the shin and said, “Hey, I’m talking to you asshole, are you listening?!”

It also makes me want to read (at least the first book of) Galaxy’s Edge. Add that to my ever-growing to-read list.

So, finally having “come to Jesus” about what I need to do to actually make some headway in writing, I come to the same most difficult question: What to write? (Among other serious questions, like, What time am I going to start getting up every morning to do some writing before work?)

So if you tuned in he other day for when I laid out my almost ever month publishing schedule for this year, it might be up for some changes. If I continue to scatter shit all over the place like chicken feed (to continue that analogy from that post), I’ll continue to be unknown and ignored.

So what series to I decide to dedicate myself to first? The superheroes universe I’ve already started and have multiple (chickenfeed) series started in already? Is superheroes a big enough genre to actually get any traction?

The coming of age fantasy series I started FIVE YEARS AGO–actually, I wrote Tarnish more like EIGHT years ago and it took three years to get it out after that.

One of, like 2 or 3 other fantasy series I have in mind but haven’t started?

The space pirate series I started with short stories published in Cirsova Magazine?

Or one of a zillion others.

Whichever I pick, it will mean essentially abandoning the others for a year or two (or three) while I finish out that whole series. Which I really can’t see doing. But if I bounce back and forth across 2 or 3 different series, one book at a time, I’ll just continue what I’ve been doing, which is not working.

Think Netflix. Everyone watches a whole series/season at a time, right? And get pissed when they have to wait for the next episode. They don’t want one episode now, one next year, etc. They do the whole thing in a weekend.

That’s what I have to do. But which one…?


I’m going to finish what I have going right now. Deus Ex Machina is 70% done and I am going to do that first. But after that…? I’m guessing I’ll sell a dozen copies and then… nothing. So plow ahead on that or… something else?

I have several books in several series figured out. I could do any of them. But I need to write like 3 or more books and THEN start publishing them. What can I crank out quickly, in sequence? And if I get locked into that genre for a while, will I be happy with that? If I suddenly have a best-selling sci-fi series going, how easy will it be to switch back to finish my superheroes or fantasy series? Or vice versa?

Decisions, decisions.

Fortunately I have some time to figure it out while I finish up some things…


Readin’ ‘Em Books: Cthulhu and the Cannibal


Amid the continuing chaos of our whole-life transition, I haven’t been able to write very much these last few months. But I have gotten to read more! In fact, it’s been a very necessary and very much missed form of stress relief.

I found this copy of Silence of the Lambs from 1988 on a shelf in Goodwill for $0.79. Hell of a bargain and a great thriller read. No chapters are wasted here. Each one serves the story, characters, or both. The pace and the tension are high from the start and (almost) never let up.

My only complaint is that, even after 20 years, I could still see too much of the movie in my mind as I read. As great a movie as it was, I would rather it not taint my mind’s eye interpretation of what i was reading.


After that, I found these two books at the local Books-A-Million (also on the cheap). So far I’ve read two Lovecraft stories, including the legendary “Call of Cthulhu.” It’s been 20 years since I’ve read that too, and I have to say… Well, I wouldn’t say disappointed is the right word, but… The style contains what could be a heck of a lot of creepy weird horror in a compressed, summarized package. I could easily see that one story expanded into adventures four times as long.

I’ve also read a few trade paperback comics and/or graphic novels. They don’t take much time or commitment to get through. 🙂

By the way, “Readin’ ‘Em Books” was written on a box in my friend Tony’s garage many years ago. It denoted a box of books read for pleasure, rather than college text books or other stuffy tomes.

Silk Spider, Wasteland, and Sky

silk spider-mini

Thanks to a tweet that’s now about 3 months old, I found that Mr. J. D. Cowen had reviewed my Silk Spider story on his blog, Wasteland and Sky. (Or maybe it’s called “And between the Wasteland and Sky” or is that just a quote…?)

I only hit up Facebook occasionally, and Twitter rarely. Back in August, Mr. Cowen reviewed Astounding Frontiers magazine, as well as my story and one by Dominika Lein, all as part of his quest to find more pulp fiction. He tweeted about this and included me in the tweet. Today, November 4th, I discovered that tweet from August.


That’s me and my cyber aversion.

Better late than never though! Thanks J.D. for the kind comments–glad you liked it!


The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger


I saw the tall, slim book on the store shelf with a cool new cover very similar to this movie banner, and decided to pick it up.  (Can’t seem to find an image of the book cover via the Google Oracle though.)  This is the only Dark Tower book I’ve ever read and I wonder when I’m done with it again if I’ll feel compelled to go for the gold and try to read them all.  (Though such a quest would probably take me two years to complete, maybe more!)

The first time I read it, I remember substitute teaching and reading it during my off-period.  I feel like that might have been in Colorado Springs, though it could have been Santa Fe, New Mexico too.  (Funny how the mind works, flashing me back to certain times and places with certain stimuli.)

I don’t have high hopes for the movie, especially given the huge scope of the books.  Movies tend to jack stuff up, especially trying to cram everything into a 2 hour format.  (Or, trying to drag it out to be unnaturally long.  Case in point: The Hobbit, which was basically a short kids’ book, thrown on the rack and stretched to be 9 friggin’ hours long.  I still haven’t watched those movies and don’t plan to.  The very idea is too ridiculous and money-grubby for me.)

I’m also working to read three other books, which are all basically short stories.  I’ll showcase those soon too.  The nice thing about those is you can dip and in out as you please.

A quick quote—slightly abridged—from early in The Gunslinger that I liked.  (I don’t think Mr. King will begrudge me sharing this little snippet):


“Do you still believe in an afterlife?” the gunslinger asked him.

Brown nodded.  “I think this is it.”

And here’s another cool cover from ages past that I liked.


Thor, Loki, and a Lost Space Fleet

Finally getting around to briefly talk about some reading I’ve done lately.

norse-mythologyA couple months ago I read Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, scored from the base library.  Here’s the quick blurb I wrote on GoodReads:

This was actually more simplistic than I expected.  Really written in the style of oral myth tradition.  Which is to say, without a lot of detail or dialogue.  But nonetheless fast and fun.  It was great to get some of the authentic stories of old.  A great, fun way to educate yourself on the classic tales of Thor, Odin, Loki, and Ragnarok.  And told in an epic, building toward The End fashion.

Definitely recommended!

lostI’m currently reading Jack Campbell’s Dauntless: The Lost Fleet, which has been on my shelf forever.

I’m about 100 pages in.  Enjoying the heck out of it!  Definitely satisfies craving for the space opera.  Great character idea—a long lost war hero found to not be dead after all, coping with the new reality of a future Navy where he’s blindly idolized as a hero and worshiped as infallible.  I like the “this is not the Navy you knew” aspect, as the Navy I serve in is not the one I started in, and never was the one I expected!

Campbell also uses some great real-science elements that I hadn’t considered before.  Most notably the great factors of time and distance in space and how they’d affect fleet combat.

So far, just what the space jockey ordered.

I’m also bouncing between a few short story books, as well as assisting as a reader for an action-adventure anthology coming out soon.  I wish I had more time for reading, but…  I guess we all do.