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."

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.


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


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.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Jimbo Reviews Crusader

Jim McCoy has released his review of Crusader.

His complete review is here, but some highlights

Tommy is a hero and the kind of guy we all wish we could be. I mean, unless your goal is to be a bad person....

.....For those of you who may not be Christian, this is still an ass-kicking adventure novel. There are gun fights and fist fights and insanity. There is even some sexual depravity. There are chases and woundings, quite a bit of blood, some things turned to ash and a seriously creepy setting in one spot. There are surprises. There is a conspiracy. I mean, you can't go wrong with a book that has oodles and bunches of people with AK47s in it, right?

.... I guess the thing that I've always enjoyed about Finn's writing is that it has a message but it's not message fic. Finn doesn't have his protagonist constantly harping on the evils of whatever. Yes, Tommy is a Christian and he prays a lot. His enemies tend to be demons or at least influenced by them. That's fine. At no point have I read a diatribe about the evils of non-Christians or been subjected to a lecture ala David Gerrold in Jacob. Tommy is simply a man doing what he needs to do. If he has a few extra gifts to do it with, so much the better.

One of the most exciting things about Crusader is that there is a sequel coming soon. It's due out November fourth. This is good. I can't wait to read it. The thing about a guy like Tommy is that you're always wondering about what he'll be up to after the current adventure. I have it on good authority that there are a number of books coming after Deus Vult too. My top secret sources have revealed to me that they'll be out soon and that I should keep myself from losing it too much. I mean, it's good to know that there will be more soon but I'm going to have to wait no matter how excited I get and like, I'm a geek and I get excited about stuff, so... yeah. I'll hold it together. At times like this I'm reminded of the fact that for the longest time I wouldn't read a series unless it was already completely published. Thanks J.K. Rowling! You've ruined me!

It's all good. I'll make it through the waits the same way I did for Harry Potter... somehow. Thank God that Finn writes fast.

Bottom Line: 4.75 out of 5 Paintballs Filled with Holy Water
And if you don't follow me on Facebook, yes, I have finished book 7.

I write a little quickly, yes.

Monday, November 18, 2019

NEW RELEASE: Places Beyond the Wild (Z-Day, #4)

This seems to be the year for anthologies. First I was in the Area 51 anthology, then I applied for the Movies, Monsters and Mayhem anthology (with Kevin J. Anderson).

And now, I'm in Places Beyond the Wild: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Anthology, set in the world of Daniel Humphreys' Z-Day.

Places Beyond the Wild: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Anthology (Z-Day Book 4) by [Humphreys, Daniel, Corcoran, Travis J.I., Finn, Declan, Piatt, P.A., Schantz, Hans, Del Arroz, Jon, Anjewierden, J.M., Brumley, Bokerah, Paolinelli, Richard, Beckwith, J.D.]

Let's just say that Mad Dog Moon had something to do with my getting the job on this one. Heh heh heh.
Anyway, it's already a #1 bestseller on Amazon. So, time to party.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Why we can't have nice things

I had an interesting exchange a while back with a random jerk on Twitter.

The start of this exchange really begins with my posting yet another stupid thing done by Pope Francis. No, not heretical, not apostasy, just stupid.

I publicly said that I was "done defending this idiot." Because seriously, both John Paul II and Benedict managed to get a hold of their message and deliver it clearly. within short order of becoming Pope. This is ... what? 12 years later, and more often than not, reading a Pope Francis statement is like trying to interpret a drunk text? And of course, guys like me who actually understand Catholic stuff have to be the ones to interpret the Pope into English.

Me: Um, no, he's cleared up red tape so that someone who's had an abortion can walk into a confessional and be absolved without going into a bishop for approval.

It's a long, arduous process that requires time and energy on my part that I just can't be bothered investing as I come out with six books this year as well as publishing several short stories as one-shots, and editing an anthology, and being accepted into three others.

So defending the idiot known as Pope Francis is a waste of my time. This was even before the Amazon Synod insanity. I said as much on Twitter as a comment with whatever latest drivel the Pope was talking about that week.

I end up with a comment by this Rando: "STOP SPREADING CALUMNY!"

Calumny, as defined by Miriam Webster,  is
  • n. A false statement maliciously made to injure another's reputation.
  • n. The utterance of maliciously false statements; slander.
  • n. False accusation of crime, misconduct, or defect, knowingly or maliciously made or reported, to the injury of another; untruth maliciously spoken, to the detraction of another; a defamatory report; slander.
I said I was done defending this idiot.

Somehow, my stating that I would no longer take action was slanderous in itself. 

Frankly, Pope Francis is either an idiot or a heretic. I figured "idiot" in reference to his message management was the more upbeat and hopeful course to take.

Anyway, I moved on. Radio silence from the rando.

Later on, I posted to Twitter John C. Wright's review of Avengers Endgame. John liked it, but, like I did, saw that this was the beginning of he end of the MCU, if not the outright end. Apparently, we differed in our estimates of how the time it would take. Later, even JCW would be shocked at how fast we would realize that this was The End, plain and simple.

This exact same Rando showed up on Twitter. What was his issue this time?
Oh, and if it was a single Tweet, it would have been nothing. I wouldn't have cared. My mistake, I tried to have an honest conversation with this jerk. I asked and offered the Wright review three times in order to having him read it, and then we could discuss it.

His response was, of course, an endless string of insulting memes.

Yes, I was stupid enough to engage with some fuckwit on Twitter. 

See? We really never should engage with people on social media.

You know, I have faults. To quote one of the few good moments from that lousy Firefly universe, if I'd have to pick a sin, "I'm gonna have to go with wrath." It's my default position. I have some redhead in me, so that's a thing.

And lately, I will admit to feelings of envy as hypocritical cowardly invertebrate eunuchs enjoy fame and notoriety for virtues they preach, but promptly violate as often as possible. 

But frankly, if I have any virtue, it's that I'm honest with people. I prefer the term blunt, but some people insist on describing it as "brutal." While I may occasionally soften the blow publicly, privately, people will get the cudgel.

I also have my faith. To be perfectly honest, I don't even think it's faith as much as knowledge, due to personal experiences, but that's a different conversation.

So yes, having someone accuse me of spreading untruths and being an idolater irks me. In part because it's some rando saying "Here is the mote in your eye" when there's a nice big log I can pick out of my eye and beat you to death with.

On top of that -- by slandering me with the blasphemy bullshit, he also slandered John C Wright as well. You know, John C Wright, who is only slightly less Catholic than God himself.  Suggesting that Wright worships anything less than the Lord High God of All Existence requires negative IQ points.

Of course, just to make everything perfect -- and I mean PERFECT -- is this guy's Twitter feed. It is filled SOLID with an endless stream of "WWWAAAAHHHH, The Right should support each other! We should stop punching right! The Establishment Right should fight the Culture War! They should especially support my books of ideas I cribbed from 20 year old anime. But my books! No, I'm not going to review anyone else's. Why should I?"

Of course, this is while this rando jerk is ... punching right. Into my face.

Fucking Twitter. 

I called him on it. He was treating me like an enemy. We were both right wing. We were both Catholic, supposedly.

Know what he said? 

He said he didn't treat his enemies like this. He prefers to talk to them... 

Ain't that special? Shit like this is why we can't have nice things.

Of course, this jerk would later apologize. 

What for? 

"Playing rough." 

Not calumny. Not slander. Not punching right. "Playing rough."

Oh, and it had to be "pointed out to him" by someone else. Because of course rando jerk who whines about people who punch right ... while he punches right ... would have to have his basic hypocrisy pointed out to him by someone else.

This is why I'm not in favor of weaponized autism, since they have no idea what direction "This side towards enemy" is.

And I must admit, this level of cowardice pisses me off. This is the sort of fool who nails himself to the cross and claims that he is being oppressed. He whines and cries about punching right ... while punching right. Bitching at me for one tweet about how the Pope was an idiot, then, within the month, publicly accusing me in a string of nearly a dozen Tweets about violating the first commandment. Yeah. Sure.

Better still is recently, this jerk joined a coalition of people online boasting about how they "created" of epic Christian fiction and fantasy... 

Fascinating. Tell me more about where you were when I self-published A Pius Man back in 2013. Or Honor at Stake in 2015. Or Saint Tommy, NYPD for the past year. Or when Russell Newquist published War Demons in 2017.

As I said, it's funny how "support conservative artists" quickly turned into "support me."

There's a reason why I review other books. Because they're good and they need the PR.

Social media has lowered conversation online to the comments section. The comments section used to be the sewer level of the internet. And now, social media has turned every interaction into bull shit virtue signaling. Whether it be how intersectional you are, or how much more churchy you are. This rando wants to boast about everything "the right should be doing," but lucky for him, he can sit on the sidelines and Monday morning quarterback, throw beer cans at passerbys, then tell you to buy his book because of "the culture."

Funny thing is that I actually believe in the culture wars, and that yes, every indie author who's to the right of Mitt Romney (yes, that's deliberate) should stick together and spread the word around our social media circles about each other.

Until there's some jackass like this who will screw it up for everyone. 

And that's why we can't have nice things.

... I usually feel obliged to pimp a book, but not today. Click on anything in the right hand column, or check out my book reviews on this blog. Or there's my kickstarter. You can find something for everyone.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Music to write to: Powerwolf, Incense & Iron

As I've been writing Saint Tommy, NYPD (kickstarter link here, and series link here**) I've tripped over a few bands.

One of them I tripped over a cover version of Army of the Night. It was covered by Amaranthe, who I had been following for a while now.

So I looked up the rest of Powerwolf.

They're my kind of smartass.

Please remember to contribute to the St Tommy NYPD Kickstarter. It has some good prices on the books. And Christmas is coming up. 

**Amazon CYA: I cut a very small cut from all Amazon links on this blog. Please feel free to click on one of them before buying bulk items for Christmas. :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

I am now an Amazon bestseller

So this has been an interesting few days.

First, my latest release, Deus Vult, became an Amazon bestseller. Practically overnight, from what I can tell. 

It's the little orange tag

Who knew?

(Everyone. Apparently, everyone knew.)

That isn't even the impressive part.

Tuesday, things became a little more interesting.

It seems that Deus Vult made such a good impression, it brought Hell Spawn to #1 as well.

But wait, there's more.

We didn't just make bestseller in Christian Fantasy, but one or two more categories.

So ... these are apparently doing fairly well.

A joke I like to tell my family is that of course I'm doing well -- my major competition in Christian fantasy is dead. CS Lewis hasn't come out with a Narnia novel in decades. :)

But in all seriousness, it's going well. Deus Vult is coming along, so is Hell Spawn.

And then there are reviews by the great author Adam Lane Smith, author of Making Peace.

So... yeah... there's that.

If you haven't read them yet, you can get the entire series via the kickstarter page, or just grab them from Amazon.

Be well all.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Table of Contents for Deus Vult

For those of you who are wondering, well, this is what the chapter headings for my novel Deus Vult ** look like.

Do any of these, perchance, look familiar?

Chapter 1: Visitation 
Chapter 2: Your Mission 
Chapter 3: Walking the grid 
Chapter 4: Behind the Wall of Downey 
Chapter 5: Hell Spawn 
Chapter 6: The Evil in the Walls 
Chapter 7: Cardinal Tape 
Chapter 8: Beyond Bullets 
Chapter 9: The Exorcist
Chapter 10: Death Cult 
Chapter 11: The Essex Horror 
Chapter 12: Infernal Affairs 
Chapter 14: The Dreams in the Summer House 
Chapter 14: Campus of Shadows 
Chapter 15: The Doom That Came to Dunwich U 
Chapter 16: Deal with the Devil … But Only at Gunpoint 
Chapter 17: House in the Mist
Chapter 18: The Last Statement of George Matchett 
Chapter 19: Whispers in Darkness 
Chapter 20: A Shadow over Essex 
Chapter 21: At the Cliffs of Madness 
Chapter 22: The Call of Tiamat 
Chapter 23: Unleash Heaven 
Chapter 24: Crusader
Heh heh heh.

Let's just say that there's a reason I keep this in Essex, Massachusetts. And it's not just because I wanted to blow up parts around Boston.

And, if for some reason, you have been waiting for the last book in the planned series to drop... buy all six books right here in the Kickstarter for the audio book. If you do buy all six, in any format, it comes with the audiobook. And who knows, the stretch goals will probably have audio books for the other novels in the series.

Be well all.

**If you're looking for the E-book version of Deus Vult, click here. Note, all links on my blog are part of the Amazon affiliate program, meaning that I get a small cut of selling my own book. This does not increase the price you pay in any way whatsoever. The only reason I'm even bringing it up is because Amazon legal CYA BS demands it of me.

Monday, November 4, 2019


And it's here, the book that Amazon couldn't kill. Despite the ups, the downs, and the sideways bumps this tale has gone, it's made it back onto Amazon. 

But at the end of the day, here it is.

Book six of Saint Tommy, NYPD releases today.

Title: Deus Vult. 

(Click here to see the e-version)**

It's going to be a big one.

Very big.

To start with, Tommy can't even go on vacation without something going terribly wrong.
God wills it. A Saint must find a way. 
All Tommy Nolan wants is some peace to enjoy his family. He’s been to hell and back, and now he needs a break. 
But evil doesn’t need to take a breather, and now the Vatican is back on his doorstep asking for help.
A nearby monastery has been desecrated and the exorcist monks murdered in the most brutal ways imaginable. A legion of demons is gathering for something big, and Tommy’s the saint they need to help.
An old enemy is the ally he needs, but can Tommy trust him? Can they track down all of the demons in time?
And what does the Necronomicon have to do with it all? 
Read Deus Vult today and find out!
This has everything come together. And I mean it. In ways that I can't even articulate without spoiling it. Pick a book. Pick an element from a book. Any element. Yes, it all ties together. Demons, dealt cults, warlocks, gangs, terrorists, succubi, wealthy psychopaths.... all of them.

I should also mention that this one takes place in Massachusetts. That's something we're going to discuss in a future blog post. Heh heh heh.

And did I mention that we have a cover?

Deus Vult: A Catholic Action Horror Novel (Saint Tommy, NYPD Book 6) by [Finn, Declan]

I don't know I like it. And it has a small sample of the level of devastation that's in the novel. A very small sample.

As in "you think Harry Dresden leaves property damage"? That's cute. Even Dresden would be impressed by everything that gets trashed in this book. And he'd be perfectly happy with it, because none of it would be his fault... Okay, some of it would be his fault. Because Dresden.

But yeah. I slaughter a monastery full of monks. I have several combat exorcisms. I have shootouts. And monsters. And bugs. And demons. And dragons. And heavy artillery. And powered armor. And demonic books. Killer topiary. Killer fishmen. And a little Lovecraft. And this time, the enemies are Legion.

And Deus Vult, mother, fucker.

Image may contain: one or more people and text
As you can see, it's already doing well, before I announced it.
This might be the best thing I ever wrote, with the most horror, most action, and the biggest stakes.

This is going to be so much fun, it's not even funny.

But it will be awesome.

Buy Deus Vult, right here, and now, today. You are not going to regret it. (E-book here)

And, if for some reason, you have been waiting for the last book in the planned series to drop... buy all six books right here in the Kickstarter for the audio book. If you do buy all six, in any format, it comes with the audiobook. And who knows, the stretch goals will probably have audio books for the other novels in the series.

Be well all.

**Note, all links on my blog are part of the Amazon affiliate program, meaning that I get a small cut of selling my own book. This does not increase the price you pay in any way whatsoever. The only reason I'm even bringing it up is because Amazon legal CYA BS demands it of me.

Friday, November 1, 2019

New TV Review: Perfect Harmony

I can almost hear this casting discussion.

"We need someone to play an elitist, out of touch egomaniac."
"How about that guy from West Wing."
"We can't afford Martin Sheen."
"No, not him, the other screaming nutcase."
"The Jewish stereotype with a beard?"
"No, the other flaming egomaniac."
"Bradley Whitford?"
"Yeah. Him. Let's stick him in a setting where the locals make fun of him, and they poke fun at their own foibles."
And this is how Perfect Harmony was born.

The setup is simple. A retired music professor has lost his wife. After taking her to the deep south town where she was born to bury her, he is about to commit suicide... when he is stopped by horrendous singing of a church choir. Drunk, and deciding he will not die to such painful sounds, he marches in, corrects all of their singing foibles, and passes out.

The local southerners take pity on him, and adopt the arrogant SOB.

And this is a comedy.

I will grant that a lot of the humor is culture shock comedy. Those aspects are hit or miss -- the hits usually land in Bradley Whitford's head, so are much appreciated. (Can you tell he may have played this part a little too often?)

But where the show usually shines is in the music. And they have funny music moments. Whether they're slowing down a song to make it intelligible, and it works, or they're doing a rock version of a hymn (I believe one was Nearer My God to Thee).

I'm not going to say it's going for depth, but it does tell you something that I have gotten more laughs out of this show than I have out of any "comedy" in 30 years. (The last comedy I watched was Night Court reruns... or Head of the Class.) And merciful God, the humor DOES NOT RELY on the characters being total morons, or sex, or "I'm so smart, society is stupid." In fact, only one character here is actually a moron ... and even he's not so stone stupid, you expect him to stop breathing.

Anyway, you might want to give Perfect Harmony a try. It has been getting steadily better about the culture shock humor, but solid on the music fun. Expect at least three good laughs.

Let's call it a 6/10. Maybe even 7/10, depending on the episode.

Fall TV review, 2019: Evil

Watch Evil: First Look At Evil On CBS - Full show on CBS ...
To start with, psychologist Kristen Bouchard (actress Katja Herbers) was going to profile a simple serial killer. Then he started speaking in tongues and going insane at the sign of the cross. Vatican assessor David Acosta (Luke Cage's Mike Colter) thinks it might be a case of demonic possession. When the DA tries to twist arms to force Bouchard's verdict, she quits... 

And the Vatican needs a psychologist to help with assessments, because demonic possession can be confused with mental disorders and vice versa.

But assessor David Acosta comes with his own nemesis, Leland Townsend (Michael Emerson). Leland another psychologist who wants to promote dark, twisted behavior, going so far as to tell our heroine that he wishes to release the guilty and condemn the innocent.

And went Acosta tries to pray, something that looks very much like Townsend comes to harass and harangue him.

And thus begins Evil, one of the creepiest, smartest shows I've seen outside of Prodigal Son.

Aasif Mandvi with Mike Colter and Katja Herbers on EVIL
Our Trinity. The assessor, the shrink, and the tech guy.
This show is ... horror, after a fashion. The main plots with the miracle / possession of the week are relatively good procedurals. 

Somebody actually read the novel The Exorcist and decided "Wow, there are a LOT of tests you have to run before doing an exorcism ... or declare a miracle. We could make this a whole series."

These are some nice flashes of creepy in the main plot, and a lot of character driven element to the main story. Though a lot of it is deflated by the scientific, rational explanation presented as a possibility offered by the end of the episode.

There is usually a subplot including Bouchard's four Catholic school girl daughters, so seem to be getting sucked more and more into a tidal pool of darkness. And while everything that seems to be creeping in on them has a perfectly rational explanation, no one actually stops and spells out those explanations, unlike in the main plot.

While I don't know the actress playing Bouchard, she pulls it off quite well. And I've enjoyed Mike Colter's work ever since he was on Ringer, here is no exception.

I do have trouble with reconciling how Michael Emerson can be so normal, while being the creepiest freaking thing in the entire TV show...Okay. He's not the creepiest thing on the show. But damn, is he close.

Then there's "George" -- a Joss Whedon demon who plays a recurring night terror. Though whether or not he's a night terror or a real demon is left up for grabs. But he's entertaining anyway.

While this so is filled to the brim with wall to wall creepy things, much of them from the main plot are explained away, or are just ambiguous enough to be eerie. Because after all, this show isn't called Supernatural, it's called Evil. And the most evil, creepy things in this entire show isn't the potential possession that might be demonic. They're the things that are almost certainly "merely" human... but they're still pure flipping evil.

Right now, an 8/10. Yes, I'm grading it lower than Prodigal Son, but that's because the latter has more laughs. Dark Laughs, but laughs.

Speaking of dark, check out the kickstarter for my current horror series, Saint Tommy, NYPD. It's got a dark, twisted sense of humor, a strange perspective, and generally ... dark. And having fun with it.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fall Review 2019: Prodigal Son

From the mind of the creator of Chuck -- Prodigal Son.

So, our hero, Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) is the offspring of Doctor Martin Whitly, alias the serial killer named The Surgeon (actor Michael Sheen). Bright discovered what his father was and turned him into the cops, let by Gil Arroyo (Lou Diamond Phillips).

Fast forward twenty years and Bright is very ... intense for the FBI. When they declare that they're afraid he's about to break, Bright goes back home to New York. To his mother the blue blood, and his sister the reporter.

Now that Bright is out of a job, he's recruited to the NYPD by the very man he turned his father in to.

This series is dark. But it's also got a dark sense of humor. The father and son are delightfully deranged and demented. Everyone is slightly broken and nuts. I love it. 

Michael Sheen is so wonderfully creepy. He is so evil, and the actor is clearly having fun being Hannibal Lecter with a personality. He's so joyful as he chews the scenery. This smiling psycho is so normal, and yet so freaking creepy at the same time. The camera angles and the lighting are so perfect at highlighting him.

Tom Payne's Malcolm Bright is also wonderfully insane. He has PTSD up one side and down the other. He's only really doing "okay" when he's working on murderers. He's so intense in his performance, he's the right kind of over the top.

Prodigal Son is a fun, insane, dark romp that makes Criminal Minds look like ... okay, Criminal Minds is still flipping dark. But this is more enjoyable in a lot of respects.

Let's call it a 9/10 right now.

Speaking of dark, check out the kickstarter for my current horror series, Saint Tommy, NYPD. It's got a dark, twisted sense of humor, a strange perspective, and generally ... dark. And having fun with it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Deus Vult Preorders might be delayed

So, a funny think happened on the way to publication of my latest novel, Deus Vult, Saint Tommy NYPD, #6.

If you've pre-ordered the ebook, you'll find it had a little .... accident. The sort of accident that happens when you don't make your mafia payments.

Now, according to Amazon's story, my publisher failed to upload the internal files of Deus Vult. Which is a cute trick. He loaded up the files weeks ago. In fact, he even handed out the e-ARCs weeks ago for people who supported the original kickstarter.

Now, I'd expect this sort of thing to happen in the first book or two. Hell Spawn, maybe. It's a strange freaking time for things to go sideways, and pretend that Silver Empire doesn't know what they're doing.

Especially since, as a self-publisher, Amazon sends me reminders to upload my materials whether I have or not. Yet somehow, Amazon didn't alert Silver Empire about failure to upload materials? Curious that.

I might be less concerned if it weren't for another item. One, another book pre-launch was discontinued. Aside from the same publisher, the books have only one thing in common -- this is the first one of my novels that has been explicitly referred to as Christian fiction. THe other one was as well.

Normally, I'm not the type to indulge conspiracy theories. But two books? On the same day? With (if I recall directly) two different launch dates?

Sorry, but this requires me to believe that my publisher, after publishing 50 books with only one hitch, suddenly screwed up two in a row.

Let's just say that I am not giving Amazon the benfit of the doubt on this one.

Anyway, no worries. If you're still interested in pre-ordering Deus Vult, you can get it directly from Silver Empire. Or you can order the whole set from the current Kickstarter. 

Let's take the best view of things, and teach Amazon that it's not nice to screw around (or screw up) with writers.

New Release: Dances With Werewolves, Part 2

And now, we finish up Dances with Werewolves,** just in time for Halloween.


Secret Service Agent Wayne Williams is dead. But he has to keep busy somehow. When a coven of witches reports a threat to the President of the United States, it's the sort of threat that must be investigated. But it sounds like a vacation for Wayne.

When the witches start to die, and his consultant seems to be magic, it's time for him to get nasty.
CIA Assassin Catherine Miler is on a mission to kill Baron Samedi," a Prime Minister sacrificing American Tourists. When she chases him down to America, things start to get ... hairy.

Author Matthew Kovach is looking for his own version of Derry Maine. What he finds is the "Community of the old time religion."

All three are about to find themselves embroiled in San Francisco pagans, want to be vampires, pharmaceutical zombies, and New Orleans.

And all three have to survive their consultants on this case -- the Kraft Brothers.

This one has shootouts in the Muir woods, car chases in San Francisco, gun battles in New Orleans, Chicago and New York. They have satanists with horn and fang implants, drugged out zombies, witches, mad gunmen, and for the first time in my books, all three Kraft brothers -- Merle, Dalf, and Tal.

I enjoyed writing this one. There was a ton of madcap action, a lot of insanity, and just plain fun.

If you've picked up part one already, you can get part 2 right here.  

And if you haven't, you can get part one here while you're at it.

Just so you'll have something to read when you're done with Too Secret Service and Dances, then you'll want to stop by the current kickstarter....

Also, if you're interested in starting your Christmas shopping early (EG: I'm done already) then you might want to shop for some good books at a solid price.

**According to new, stupid rules on Amazon, I have to inform you that the links to my book give me a little bit of extra cash for you buying the book from my referral link. all links on my blog are like that.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Fall Review: the returning shows

As you all know, in previous years, I've done reviews of the new fall lineup as I see it. I get some of these continuing shows, even after I've given up on them, so I can give you slight updates about some of the crap that's still crap. But I can give you the best reporting on the stuff that isn't garbage.

So, previously on ....

God Friended Me... As noted in my original review, this is a bit of Person of Interest, only they have managed to show off how to show all of the problems of being a prophet, without making it necessarily about religion. Frankly, when this show ends, its best move may be to either leave it entirely vague, or have a direct visitation. Frankly, the writing is getting better, and it was really tightly written before. I think someone plots out an entire season in advance, which is the only way they can pull some of the plot points they use here. Perhaps the best show on TV right now. Even though they've had plenty of opportunity to go full social leftist nut bar, they haven't. And I am so grateful for that.

The Rookie-- Now on Sunday nights, it may be doomed to a time slot that will eventually kill it. But ABC has had some success in that time slot, so who knows? Nathan Fillion is finally starting to expand some of his acting chops, so he's no longer playing just Mal Reynolds or himself -- which, so far, seem to be his own two modes of acting. Believe it or not, the series is actually getting better. And frankly, I think Joseph Wambaugh or Michael Connelly would both appreciate this show. 

Magnum, PI -- Still sucks. In fact, I'm not even sure why they called it Magnum, except to skin the original property and wear it like a skin suit. There were originally plans for a Magnum spinoff series with his Eurasian daughter ... but apparently, making him a lazy Hispanic played by Jay Hernandez, and turning "Higgins" from a stuffy English WWII vet to blonde Bond girl was apparently the ... better option? (No, it wasn't). Totally unwatchable crap, and probably even worse than my original review. The only positive is that Tim Kang from The Mentalist has got work in Hawaii.

SWAT -- they went full SJW BS. It's crap. Worse than the knockoff Magnum. Worse than the new thing calling itself MacGyver. For more details, see my Agit-Prop TV article.

NCIS -- It's the same as ever. So your mileage may vary, depending how what you thought of it before.

NCIS LA -- I watch it for Linda Hunt, and the banter between two sets of characters (Hint: neither one involves LL Cool J or Chris O'Donnell). There is no plot, no matter how much they pretend otherwise. But the banter is fun.

NCIS NO -- Mediocre. Though it's nice to see that Scott Bakula has work.

Bull -- Original review is here. And frankly, it's largely the same thing, different day. Last season was ... my last season of it. Screw it, I'm out.

Blue Bloods -- The writing is actually getting tighter on this series. Character development is still ongoing for most of the major players, and several of the minor recurring characters. I'm not going to say it's Babylon 5 level writing and planning, but the recent episodes are handling 3 or 4 plotlines at the same time, and usually tying together their issues around the Sunday dinner table. It's a nice balance, and every actor gets a workout over the course of the episode. In competition for best TV show out right now.

Hawaii 5-0: I was fed up with this show a few seasons ago. Strangely enough, though, they managed to breathe new life into the show by bringing in new blood and letting them take up most of the screen time. That's good, because Alex O'Loughlin and Sonny Corleone's kid were getting tiresome.

New Amsterdam -- It's a fun show, though our main character is a little stupid at times. He thinks he can cut through bureaucracy with a personal touch and face-to-face communication. The answer is usually no. While he talks a game of socialism every so often, the solutions offered tend to be capitalistic or Catholic. (No, seriously, someone needs to explain to him what the concept of Solidarity is.) There is one particular new character who's a vet, who seriously needs to make a comeback, as he got in some solid hits to our lead's head, and his ego. (EG: "This person needs a home health aid to check on her twice a day." Solution: "Get her a puppy. And a dog walker. The dog walker will check in twice a day to walk the dog, and cost $20, instead of $200.") It's actually getting better from last season, and if it continues like this

The Blacklist -- While I admit, they had some sucky moments for a while, it got better as they have dropped a lot of the family drama and replaced it with the insane Bond villain of the week. Again. They've made what little family drama they have into spy thriller. Even their computer nerd has become a badass. Who knew? 

However, to be perfectly fair, since there are only three shows here that have my full-throated endorsement, how about you check out the latest kickstarter -- because books don't need wifi to stream, or TV's to view on, and they'll go with you anywhere, even the bathroom. Just please don't drop it.