Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Music to write to: Kamelot - Forever (Cover by Minniva)

Kamelot is a strange group. But they have a good sound. 

Minniva, who's ...somewhere in Europe (she sounds like a friend of mine who's Russian) does a great impression of the lead singer's style.

Enjoy.  And while you're here, check out some of the books on the right margin.






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Monday, January 13, 2020

2020 Hindsight

A new year has arrived. Time to get serious ... about ... something.

Let's start simple.

If I had to do all of this all over again, would I?

Probably not the same way, no.

At this point in my life, I can look back and see that I've wasted years.

Follow the bouncing ball of my brain a little.

2000-2004, I spent time in college, getting two bachelor's degrees and a masters degrees.

One bachelor's degree in Philosophy gave me five books (Love at First Bite, A Philosophy for Living).

The other BA and the Master's gave me six books (five books of The Pius Trilogy, For all their wars are Merry).

One undergraduate glass in theology led to six books and counting.

Then I made the mistake of going for a PhD.

Why mistake? A PhD is a good thing to have. It makes one qualified to teach at any educational institution. 

One, I didn't know then that "PhD" at this particular university meant that you could glad-hand and fellate the egos of the right professors at the right time, instead of you know, doing the work. Work I could do easily enough. Politicking? Not so much.

I jumped ship in December of 2006, never to return.

From 2007-2012, I wasted even more time, going the "proper" route in publication. 

So, from 2005-2012, I should probably have been writing books. If you think I write fast now, just imagine how much faster I'd be writing if I had 7 more years of practice. Or how many more books I would have written? I'd be closing in on 30 books by now. Maybe more.

In retrospect, I should have gotten a minor in graphic design so I could make book covers. Or courses in marketing for advertising books.

Hell. Technically, I should have become an electrician. By this point, I'd be making six figures a year, and I could write books in my spare time about how to burn houses down with the right wiring... or the improper wiring.

Anyway, at the end of the day, I'm not doing too terrible. I met my wife because of my books. I have a fan base I enjoy interacting with.

Besides. I've been compelled to write stories since I was 16. I didn't really have an option about writing. it's always just been a matter of what the content was.

Anyway. 

For reasons of sanity, this year will be slightly slower than last year. 2019 saw the publication of nine books. Not counting the anthologies.

2020 will see me writing a little less and editing more. I have books in my queue that I haven't looked at in a decade. And the last time I edited stuff and released it, it went over fairly well.

There will also be more Saint Tommy books en route. Though probably not another six this year.

If you have a minute, check my books on Amazon, (here or on the right margin) and save a life -- left a review.

Be well all, and happy new year.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Ghostbusters: Afterlife - Official Trailer (2020)



Well, that was ... not what I expected.

Let's start with the premise that I no longer think that Ghostbusters holds up as well as it used to. I'm not sure if it's the style, the acting, the writing, it's just not as much fun as I remember it being. And I used to quite enjoy it.

Now .... eh.

Still better than that 2016 abortion.

Now we have a film that's ... technically a sequel? Obviously, it's got at least one set of grandkids from Egon Spengler.

I'll give them points for this. This trailer feels more like Ghostbusters at this early date than the 2016 travesty ever did. It has touches of the music. It has the right sound effects. The minimal CGI looks right. It even has an homage to the original cartoon.

The most important tie-in, however, is that the villain of the piece might be Shandor -- the man who made spook central in the first film because he thought all of humanity should have been wiped out because people were a plague on the Earth.

You know, like Thanos. Only working with the forces of Hell.

It's also nice to see Paul Rudd in a movie that's obviously toned down from his work in the Anti-Man films.

This might be interesting. Not sure if I'd see it, but I'm curious enough to see the next trailer.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wonder Woman 1984 – Official Trailer

Oh look, it's a comic book movie.

Not a lot to say about this one. It looks bright and colorful. Heck, it looks more colorful than.... every DC movie filmed this decade.

Gal Gadot, as usual, looks stunning. I never really appreciated how long her legs were until the 28 second mark -- the slit up her dress is so long, I expected her to flash the audience, but nope, still... modest? I guess.

Not sure what they're doing with the blonde in the trailer. Supposedly, she'll turn into the Wonder Woman enemy Cheetah. Right now, she looks more likely to turn into Arrow's Felicity Smoake.

Also, it's odd to see that Steve Trevor is back. I wonder how much of this was "He was fun, let's bring him back" and how much was "Chris Pine isn't going to have a Star Trek IV, we can hire him again..."  Supposedly there's a variation of monkeypaw syndrome going on during this one, so we'll see what happens.

Apparently, the primary villain is Maxwell Lord, who was only recently turned evil in the comics. He's also suffering from a bad case of 80's hair.

I don't know why they set this in the 80's, since the only thing that seems period specific is the amount of people hanging out in the mall.... and Lord's hair. Ugh.




Monday, December 9, 2019

Give the gift of reviews this Christmas

Hello everyone.

Last week, I noted just how much I've come out with this year.

Image may contain: cat, meme and text12 releases -- six novels (two long ones in five parts), a box set and two anthologies. Damn it's been a busy year.
However, there is one thing I will also note.

My first saint Tommy novel, Hell Spawn (link to the right) as of now has 87 reviews. Honor at Stake (ditto) has 115.

The others, however, need a few more. Technically, even Hell Spawn can use 13 more... because 100 is a magic number. Amazon gifts me a unicorn or something.

So if you wouldn't mind, if there are books kicking around that you've read and have not reviewed, could you please do so. A few lines about how perfect and awesome the books are wouldn't go amiss.

This even includes the individual parts of Too Secret Service and Dances with Werewolves. Remember -- Amazon algorithms are a pain in the ass, and ever evolving to play havoc with how they push your book, and who they show the books two..

As you may have noticed, I haven't been posting with my regular frequency this year. But I think I'm going to spend the next few weeks building up a release schedule of blog posts so I can once again establish a daily release.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Sirius Science Fiction

From friend Lou Antonelli....

Sirius Science Fiction

“In a time when mainstream speculative fiction has been overrun by political correctness and identity politics, we offer a venue free of pretension and ideological litmus tests. We read the story free of preconceptions, and we do not ask for a biography from an author until and unless their story is accepted."

https://siriussciencefiction.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

#BlackFriday, give the gift of books (2019)

Black Friday is this week, and as usual, I suggest giving the gift of books. 

I was going to do yet ANOTHER of my Black Friday posts, but honestly, there is so much already on previous lists that it would be insane to do it again. 

First of all, here's last year's Black Friday List.

Second, here's this year's Dragon Award nominations list.

That should be a few dozen books already for shopping this year. 

Of course, we have books I've reviewed here there and everywhere that I do heartily recommend for purchase. The below link are to the reviews


And the following books are all that I've come out with this year.


11 books.

9 releases and two anthologies... Okay, if you want to be pick, they add up to six novels and two anthologies. But two of those were LOOONNNGGG flipping books, and I had to break them up to self publish them.

Damn it's been a busy year.

More is coming. I'm not sure how much more, but I'll keep providing as much as I can for as long as I can.

Be well everyone. Have a good shopping trip, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

**FYI: According to Amazon, I should tell you that every link here is part of Amazon Affiliates -- which means if you buy through one of my links, I get a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I don't know why this matters, as, again, it is at no additional cost to you. [Shrug] Don't ask me, I just work here.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Review: Overlook, by Jon Mollison

Part of the advantage of being part of a publisher is that I get to read books for free.

The disadvantage is that reading the e-ARC months before the book releases means I have to wait months to review it.

Anyway...

Of the Silver Empire superhero books released thus far, I believe this is my favorite to date. And this is out of an elite batch of authors, all of whom excel in their subgenres. Morgon Newquist's was more classic superhero. Kai Wai Cheah's was more police procedural or noir thriller. JD Cowan's was more Isekai.

Jon Mollison's Overlook is more spy thriller. I could almost hear Jeffery Donovan's Michael Weston narrate this one.

Nothing is more dangerous than an invisible man.

Joe’s spent his life being forgotten. Not even the IRS comes for his back taxes. He’s a ghost, a perfectly average, perfectly forgettable man. It suits his purposes, though it’s a lonely existence. He can live as he wants, plying his almost-invisibility for freelance jobs.

Then a pretty blonde finds him when no one else can, asking for his help solving a murder. He almost says no, despite his instincts to help a damsel in distress. But how did she find him? And who is she?

He takes the job to find out. But he bites off more than he can chew as he realizes a brutal secretive organization called The Phoenix Ring is behind the murder, and somehow they can predict his every move.

A new Heroes Unleashed series begins with Jon Mollison’s Overlook, a fast-paced, action-packed superhero spy novel that will keep readers guessing until the end.

Can Joe defeat the shadowy Phoenix Ring? Or will his powers fail him when he needs them the most? Read Overlook today and find out!
Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and textAs the old poem goes,  "Last night I saw upon the stair, /A little man who wasn't there,/ He wasn't there again today /Oh, how I wish he'd go away..."

Overlook begins with a low key version of a James Bond opening, but it's one of the better fight scenes I've read in a while. It's clear, well blocked out, and sets up the rest of the book as perfectly as one of those over the top Bond scenarios.

Our hero, dear reader, is an average man -- average color, hair, eyes, appearance. Before he received his super powers, he was a sniper instructor, and already a bit of a ghost (insert John Ringo joke here). One day, he just ... disappeared.

But now, he's the little man who wasn't there. He's the middle child of five sons. He is so invisible, he has to cook his own food at a diner. When he's adrift at sea, he has to save himself, because no one would see his and save him.

His name? Joe Smith. Just plain Joe.

Because of course that would be his name.

Despite avoiding trouble as best he can, it finds him anyway. Because with great powers comes great headaches. And one is about to find him. It starts with a simple murder, and evolves into a conspiracy of the Phoenix Ring -- an organization so monstrous and so complex, the leads are less dead ends "and more of a knotted ouroboros with multiple heads eating its own multiple tails."

And that's a nice little sample of what the narration's like. There's at least one car chase so awesome, it needs a Hans Zimmer soundtrack.

If one were to compare overlook to the average thriller, it would be more like Adam Hall's Quiller series -- like with Hall's work, there are moments when one reads along, there's a cliffhanger, and then the reader must keep going in order to find out what happened. 

Joe doesn't have the powers of Superman, or the tech of Batman. He gets beaten up a lot. Unlike Jim Rockford, he makes certain that other people get beaten up alongside him.

Additional props must be given to the design of the villain of the piece. They are freaking evil. Imagine a Dean Koontz villain... then tone down the mustache twirling to a reasonable level. Perhaps using CS Lewis' NICE from That Hideous Strength. The enemy here is no less evil, with similar methods and motivations. They're anti-technology because technology makes it harder to control the masses, and their inquisitors look like a gender studies Umbrage of Rowling fame. 

The Phoenix Ring is less a reductio ad absurdum of a lot of current trends, and more like the logical outcome. They're scary because we could look around and see exactly how they would be the end result of current events.

.... As I said, they're like a Dean Koontz or CS Lewis villain.

Short version -- if you've read the other Silver Empire novels, Overlook is a great continuation of the universe. If you haven't read the previous works, this is an excellent stand alone novel.


While you're at it, you might want to check out my award winning Saint Tommy NYPD series as well.




Thursday, November 21, 2019

NEW RELEASE: PLUTO

My year of anthologies continues.

You .... okay, you actually may not know this one, but this has been an entire year of anthologies for me.

There was the announcement just this week about Beyond the Wild: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Anthology,

Storming Area 51

Lupus Dei -- a short story that comes with a subscription to Silver Empire's newsletter.

Supernatural Streets, which is coming ....sooner or later, and edited by Amie Gibbons

And now, finally, Pluto, from Tuscany Bay books.  Yes, I actually am in this one.  
Pluto, the Roman god of death and wealth, ruled the underworld far away from all of the other gods. So it was only fitting when, in 1930 and working on a theorized ninth planet proposed by Percival Lowell, Clyde Tombaugh used the telescope at Lowell Observatory to locate the ninth planet in our solar system, far, far away from its brothers and sister.

Then came that day in July of 2015. Like the Romans when they found themselves within Pluto’s realm and discovered it was nothing like the desolate fires of damnation assigned to his Greek counterpart, Hades, those of us in modern time discovered that Pluto was nothing like we had imagined since 1930.

That iconic photo of Pluto, with the heart-shaped plain later named Tombaugh Regio, told us that there was so much more to the planet. First, it was not blue and not just solid ice as so many had expected it to be. Just like Pluto’s mythological domain, the planet displayed a variety of features and composition.

In this volume, what you will find in the pages that follow are twenty-one amazing stories of death and wealth set around a wandering cousin far out in the cold edges of our solar system. You will find Vikings, knights, warriors defending home and hearth, of triumph and tragedy, and, yes, even the god himself. You will read tales of great courage and great loss. Of sacrifice for a greater good and of justice delivered to the overly greedy. You will even find the aforementioned Walt Disney himself.







You can find the book right here.