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Sunday, November 1, 2015

99 Cent November

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. Seasons Greetings to you as we enter the stretch run of 2015. Once you get to Halloween the next thing we know it's New Year's Day. Am I right? Hopefully it won't really be like that. Here in the California central valley the heat has finally left us, although it hasn't really gotten that cool yet. Yes, I wrote "cool." We don't really get winter here. Whatever. I'm just glad the heat is gone. Summer is overrated here, and I'm so pleased it's gone. Summer is my latest favorite season, as you may have guessed.

In any event, November is here. I find myself fighting against my nature, willing myself to slow down. As I mentioned before it can really race by if you don't force it to stop. Thanksgiving is my wife's favorite holiday. For me, I'm already looking forward to that afternoon when I start moving furniture and preparing to decorate for Christmas. Yeah, that's me. How about you? What's your favorite? Was it Halloween? You'd think a horror guy like me would love All Hallow's Eve, but not so much. Yeah, I'm evil that way.

Once again I have been invited to join what we call 99centnovember. It is the brainchild of author Milo James Fowler. If you're looking for a great read now is the time. Follow the link and fill that virtual bookshelf. You'll find my paranormal novel Seeing Ghosts there. Here's the cover. I hope you'll give it a chance.

The e-magazine that I used to write for, Kings River Life Magazine, featured my latest novel, Infernal. They gave me a positive review, featured an interview and also are giving away copies of the series so far. Check that out and feel free to throw your name in the proverbial hat for the giveaway.

This has suddenly become the season for book events, which I am very pleased about. I was invited to speak at my local branch of the public library. You always worry that no one will show, but I had a good group, and I think it was a successful event. I was able to sign several copies of my books, I met new readers and had a lot of fun doing it. Next, we have the Kingsburg Ladies Night Out event. Last year's event was big, so hopefully this one will be bigger and better. There will be another opportunity in December as well. In addition, I was invited by the librarian of my local high school about potentially speaking to the students. I'm very honored to have been asked, and look forward to having that opportunity.

Have a great November and a Happy Thanksgiving, you guys. As always, thanks for stopping by.

We'll talk soon.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October Greetings

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. Now that summer is officially in the death throes I have finally climbed out from beneath my air-conditioned rock. *laughs* You folks who know me know full well that I think summer is over-rated. Of course here in central California our winter is a season in name only. It might get grey and there will be Tule Fog, but that's about it. I realize that if I actually had to live through a real mid-west, upper east coast kind of winter, I might be a lot less cavalier about it.

Well, summer isn't the only think that's dying around here. If you follow me on Facebook you know that my youth is dying as well. As I type this note I am sporting my new glasses. Yep, I understand I now belong to the distinguished-looking group! What say you? Thankfully I only need to to see the real small print...

Anyway, I'm cool with it. Go ahead and give me your comments. I'm just glad I can read a menu again, and certainly the bill!
"How much does this say, Dear?"
"If you wouldn't have had that second drink..."
"No, I'm trying to figure out the tip." *sigh*

I have had two book events since last we've spoken. The first was a release event for Infernal in my hometown. It was held at the store that sells my books. I did pretty well there. I signed about 33 copies, if memory serves. We were slammed that first hour, but it was a lot of fun. There were certainly friends and family in attendance; however, a lot of fans came out, too. That never gets old!

The other was a street event where downtown was closed off and there were bands playing on stages on either end. It wasn't bad, although it was all day and quite warm. I only signed about 18 copies or so, but four new people bought all four books at once, and many others stopped by to get to know me and what I do. It's what it's all about, isn't it? I have another event coming up on Halloween morning at my local library. It sounds perfectly delightful to me and I'm looking forward to sharing. More on that later...

My wife and I took some time to get away again. We headed for the coast to attend a concert in Paso Robles at a relatively new amphitheater that turned out to be really cool. The weather was great in the evening and I finally got to see Tears for Fears. It was a very good show, and I'm hearing rumors of a new album in the works.

I finally have a website. I've been fairly quiet on that front because I wanted to live with it for a time before letting the proverbial cat out of the bag. Before this I had been using this blog as my base of operations. Hopefully, this new site will be another step forward in my attempt at global domination. *winks*

Lastly, I am taking part in a vampire books for blood event this month which benefits the Red Cross. If you have yet to take a bite into my crossover vampire series, this would be the month. 100% of the proceeds for each and every ebook sold this month will go to the American Red Cross. It's a very cool event and I hope people will consider buying. You get the book(s), I have the word spread about them and the Red Cross gets the money. It's the brainchild of author Scott Burtness and there's a bunch of vampire authors participating. Check them out here.

That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by. We'll talk soon.  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Introducing the Devil... Infernal (Dance on Fire 3)

Greetings and salutations, Fire Enthusiasts. It has been a while, hasn’t it? I hope you and yours are well. I am doing fine, thank you very much. In fact, I am better than fine. As you can probably guess, I am quite ecstatic…because at long last my latest novel has been released.

If you have yet to read Dance on Fire, it is the crossover horror story of the vampire Nathaniel who saves a woman and her twin infants from another vampire. Not just any vampire, but the one who killed his family, kidnapped and ultimately turned him into one as well. Although he knows the Bible front to back, and knows all too well that he has no place in the Kingdom of God. The woman he saves in not so convinced. This starts him on a journey of self-discovery, as well as making him the family's protector. You can get it here on Amazon or on Smashwords for 99 cents.

In the sequel Flash Point (Dance on Fire Book 2), Nathaniel lives in a monastery with monks. He has not yet heard God speak, but he seeks Him nonetheless. Unbeknownst to him, one of the vampires that escaped in book one has returned with four others. She seeks revenge upon him and his extended family for a wrong done to her. When he races back to town he will find it is too late to do much but enact some revenge himself. At the end of that chapter, the Devil himself steps out of the shadows and proclaims that it is he that has been after Nathaniel all along. Flash Point is also available at Amazon or Smashwords.

In this third book, Satan has returned, armed with over 100 vampires and an Infernal plot to destroy Nathaniel and his extended family once and for all.


Nathaniel looked down at his hands and closed his eyes.
“Don’t tell me you’re praying now?” Satan asked. “Why do you even bother? Look what it’s got you! Before this next act is through, there will be many more bodies under many more sheets. And you will be among them.”
“Do your worst, Devil,” Nathaniel said calmly, his eyes still closed.
Satan relented and laughed. The sound reverberated off the walls as if a multitude of devils were celebrating their dark deeds. “Remember you said that.” Satan was delighted to see Nathaniel open his eyes once again and look upon him. He went to say something more but turned, distracted by a presence. He glanced behind him as if he could see down the hall and through the closed front door. He heard the hum of a motor as it powered itself up the lane. “It seems you have visitors. Good. I enjoyed a fantastic barbeque on one of my last visits. Perhaps it’s time for another.”
Nathaniel leapt to his feet and jumped into his face, surprising him, albeit only momentarily. His expression twisted into a hard grimace and he noted spittle on his mouth. “Get thee behind me, Satan!” he roared.
“Ah, you do care,” Satan said. He reached up and made a move to wipe the spittle from Nathaniel’s mouth, but the vampire caught his arm.
Do not touch me!
Satan allowed himself to be held, and simply stared at the grip on his wrist, the wrinkled fabric of his suit. He glanced up and looked deeply into Nathaniel’s eyes as if he could now crawl inside them and up into his mind to read his thoughts.
Nathaniel pulled his arm down and released it. He backed away slowly, like someone retreating from a venomous snake, and then moved back near the chair he had graced, but didn’t sit down.
“Go, Satan,” Nathaniel said. His voice was calm again. “You are not welcome here.”
“You’d be surprised,” Satan replied. He put his hands back into his pockets and turned to retrace his steps. At the doorway, he stopped and turned back. “The next time we meet, you will beg for mercy.”
“There is no mercy in you,” Nathaniel said. “I learned that lesson long ago in an old dilapidated castle in Romania.”
“Oh, yes.” Satan smiled. “I remember it well. Your mother was there. Nasty business, matricide.”
“My mother died at home,” Nathaniel said. “What I met that night upon my escape was not her.”
“Yes,” Satan cooed. “Dogs, was it?” He shook his head. “Hilarious.”
Footfalls echoed loudly in the corridor as someone came running toward them. Satan turned, as did Nathaniel.
“My God!” Luis cried.
“Good guess, but no,” Satan said. He looked down upon the monk and touched the brim of his fedora. “Hello, Luis. You’re looking well. Must be all the exercise. Hiking up mountain sides, long walks, running from a legion of vampires…?”
Luis said nothing. He merely glanced Nathaniel’s way as if looking for direction. Satan followed his gaze and held it as he heard the sound of many others entering the hallway.
“Wonderful,” Satan said and stared the vampire down. “I just love an audience.”
Satan!” Nathaniel shouted. He took two steps forward.
Raising his left hand, he held it in the air between them. “I’m leaving. And I was only kidding about barbequing your friends. These are not the friends I am interested in. Go to California. I believe Marie is outside, waiting to usher you away from the sleeping vampire horde.” He spun on Luis. “Isn’t she?”
Luis’ face dropped in shock at the revelation. Satan frowned. “Please!” he said and turned back to Nathaniel. His look was a serious one. “I have written this entire play. The monks are safe. I will make sure the vampires know exactly where you have gone. Don’t doubt that for a moment.”
Satan adjusted his fedora, turned, and walked through the doorway. The hall was lined with monks. Some respectfully moved away and allowed the stranger some space to navigate; others held their ground as if suddenly troubled for reasons they couldn’t readily explain. Satan stood before them.
“Nathaniel,” he called without turning. “Would you have the men step aside, or shall I do it?”
Nathaniel entered the corridor. “My brothers,” he began. “’Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.’”
“That’s cute,” Satan replied. “James: four, seven. I have a scripture for you,” he said, staring into the faces of those standing before him. “Second Corinthians: six, fourteen. ‘For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?’”
“You left a part out, Satan,” Nathaniel said calmly. It begins: ‘Do not be bound together with unbelievers.’ I believe in God, my Savior.”
“You are the only one here who doesn’t believe,” Luis added.
          “Oh, I believe,” Satan replied. “I simply choose to disagree.”

Just like all of my novels, Infernal: (Dance on Fire Book 3) is available at Amazon, Smashwords and all other outlets. For the locals who live in Kingsburg, California - my hometown and the setting for the novels - the paperback will be available here in two weeks. We'll be having a release event at the Trinkets & Treasures store. Details will be forthcoming. A heartfelt thanks for all of you who have supported me, encouraged me and have eagerly awaited this next chapter in the saga. You rock!

We'll talk soon.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Is This the End?

Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. How is summer treating you? Do you enjoy summer? Here in central California the teachers only teach three seasons... *laughs* We have plenty of sun and no water to spare. Between November and February the skies get grey and we can get some fog, but that's about the extent of it. From June to October it is very hot here, reaching 108 degrees at its worst. *sigh* Can you tell I'm not a fan?

At long last, my latest chapter in the Dance on Fire series is about ready. If you are new to the series, I call it crossover vampire horror. The series explores whether a vampire can actually be used for good or not. Let me catch you up:

In Dance on Fire, the vampire Nathaniel saves Barbara Lopez and her infant children from another vampire. Knowing the Bible front to back, he is aware there is no place in God's kingdom for undead flesh. Barbara is not so sure. Their chance meeting causes them all to band together against the second vampire, provides him with a family once again, and leads him on a journey that causes him to question everything. Follow the link and get the e-book for 99 cents.

In Dance on Fire: Flash Point, five vampires descend upon Nathaniel and his extended family, enacting some twisted revenge upon them all for actions taken in book one. Does what happens cause Nathaniel to lose what he has gained? Will another family be taken from him? Who is the mystery figure that is ultimately shown to be pulling these strings that make him dance?

This summer in Dance on Fire: Infernal, the Devil himself and an army of vampires converge upon Nathaniel and the extended family he has left - because undead flesh that seeks God must not be allowed to live.

The series is a crossover, so there are Christian themes at work here, but it is also definitely horror as you will see. I hope you will give it a chance...

“Marie?” Josef asked.
“Hello, brother,” she said as she followed Satan’s outstretched hand and entered the room. She didn’t take it, but it seemed to lead her just the same. “Meet Lucifer.”
“I really must insist that you refrain from calling me that,” Satan instructed. If he was displeased that Marie refused to take his hand, he made no show of it. “In spite of what you may have read, Lucifer is no more. I prefer Satan. Scratch. The Devil, if you must. Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name,” he sang and giggled.
Satan marched into the room. “Sit,” he said to the vampires who lurked closest to him. When they didn’t, he paused and stared back at them. “Sit or I shall remove your legs. Trust me when I say that I can do this in a great many ways. You no doubt have heard I am not a man of my word, but you will be alive to endure it. I promise you.”
The four turned and glanced at Josef who nodded silently. All in the room sat except Josef. Marie stood her ground. Her body language read that being present there was not her choice.
“We’re supposed to believe that you’re the Devil?” Josef asked.
“Yes, Josef,” he said, nonplussed. “I am he.”
The elder-general gritted his teeth. “I’m having a difficult time believing this,” he added.
The Devil ran the fingers of his left hand over his goatee and scratched the bottom of his chin. Then he flipped his hat onto the large table. It slid across the surface and stopped dead in the center of it. “Said a vampire,” he said sarcastically. “I could show you my true nature, but it isn’t pretty. I could kill every living thing in this board room with my will alone; however, I have need of you, so I won’t. I actually live for these moments—relish them even. Yet, I find myself strangely disinterested. I have much to do, you see. Much to do.” His voice trailed off momentarily, but he quickly snapped out of it. “I like you guys. We’re brothers in a way. All of us outside the so-called Kingdom of God. My disdain for mankind is legendary because of this.”
Josef and the Devil held eye contact.
“Are you familiar with a vampire named Nathaniel?”
“I am familiar with many vampires by that name,” Josef replied. “Felipe?”
Immediately, Felipe clicked open a database and began typing away. There were a great many references with that name. Some deceased. The data went all the way back to before the printed word. This was the cyber version of original material, which had been researched and compiled well before computers.
Satan waited.
“I have a Nathaniel who was involved in the deaths of several other vampires?” Felipe offered.
“Bingo,” Satan said. He rubbed his face and tapped his forehead. “It is curious you know of this, yet allowed him to live. I thought killing vampires was an offense punishable by death? Perhaps I have been misled.”
“Hmm,” Josef remarked. “I believe I recall this one. Our investigation concluded that he was not the only one at fault. In fact, was it not discovered that others were to blame?”
“Yes,” Felipe replied. “A vampire named Vincent is referenced, as well as another. A newborn. Tiffany.”
“That’s correct,” Josef said.
Satan thrust his hands into his perfectly pressed pants and glared at Josef. “No, this is not correct, and I am here to finally get you to do something about this egregious oversight.”
“Hmm.” Josef put on a thoughtful face. “Let me take a wild guess at this. You had something to do with these vampires attacking this Nathaniel. They failed and you’re coming here to get more vampires to do your dirty work for you. How am I doing?”
Satan said nothing.
“Bingo,” Marie said.
“Just what has he done to you exactly?” Josef inquired.
“And why can’t you simply take care of this yourself?” Marie asked. “Surely you don’t need our permission?”
“I like you, Marie. You have spunk,” Satan replied.
“Forgive me, my brother,” Marie said, leaning into Josef. “But perhaps as the evidence suggests, the great Satan has already failed twice in this personal vendetta of his.”
“Until the sky rolls back like a scroll, I have failed nothing,” Satan said, and it was clear to all that he was trying very hard not to lose his temper. His countenance softened as he quickly seemed to regain his composure.
The vampires waited him out, until Josef broke the silence. “Satan,” he began. “Forgive us for making sport of you…”
“You confuse me with another, Josef.” Satan glared back at him, crossing his arms at his chest. “I am no good at forgiving.”
“Very well then,” Josef said. “You do well to say that it is a crime in our community to kill another vampire. It is rare that such an act is sanctioned by the board, much less its elder-general. But I ask you – if I may – just what has he done?”
“It really doesn’t matter what he’s done, Josef,” Satan said, approaching. “What matters is I want him destroyed. He has no love for the vampire community or its elder-general. He seeks to change his nature, to become a Christian, and to follow God.”
“Satan?” Josef asked. “What will you do if we respectfully decline to intervene in this matter?”
All eyes quickly moved from their elder-general to Satan. Satan glanced about the room and thrust his hands back inside his pants pockets.
“I would be very disappointed.”

We'll talk soon.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Devil Returns with an Infernal Plot

Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. It has taken longer than I thought, but the next chapter in my crossover vampire series is nearly ready. As of this writing, I have completed the edits that my wonderful editor had for me. All that is left is for me to do is to venture back into Writer's Cave and work through the painstakingly slow process of reading the book aloud - to make sure that every paragraph, every sentence and every word is just right. Today I have a teaser for you, hopefully to whet your appetite or capture your curiosity...

Nathaniel felt sudden remorse. “I apologize,” he said, but didn’t elaborate exactly what he might be sorry for.
“I don’t believe you,” she said quietly. “You don’t want me here. I am not welcome.” She leapt to her feet. “I don’t know why I bother.”
With that, she marched off into the woods and was gone. Nathaniel felt torn, but merely sat on the chair and waited for his clashing thoughts to clear, curious to see which side of the argument would emerge victorious. He didn’t know why she bothered, either, but tried not to worry about it. At least, that was what he told himself. After all, he had much larger concerns. Whether he would see Marie ever again wasn’t one of them.
What he could not afford to do was have her presence distract him from his mission, which was to seek God’s face and protect those under his charge. He had allowed himself to be unfocused too many times before when it had had mattered most.
Unfortunately, she had proved to be a distraction after all. The smell of sulfur hit him when it was far too late to do anything about it.
The chair beside him was no longer empty.
Satan sat there, in far finer clothing than even Marie had adorned herself with. He stared back at the vampire with the vilest grin Nathaniel thought he had ever seen.
“Greetings,” he said as he fingered the fedora in his lap. “You really have a way with the ladies, don’t you?”
Nathaniel bristled, but wasn’t afraid. It was far too late for that anyway. Satan had caught him unawares. And with an army of vampires well on their way, he never once considered the Devil doing anything but taunting him with that fact.
“Apparently so.”
“She is a fine woman, you know?” Satan chided. “There’s an opportunity there. Her perverted brother keeps her chained up inside that estate of theirs, while he does what he pleases like Caligula. Not really in chains, of course, but she may as well be. She just sits in that garden of hers.”
“So, she wasn’t lying about that?” Nathaniel asked.
“And of course I can trust you to tell me the truth.”
Satan shrugged. “Believe what you want.”
“Why did you bring her here?” Nathaniel asked.
“Who says I did that?” Satan laughed before he could get the words out. “I’m sorry. It’s too much of a lie even for one as accomplished in the skill as me. She’s a gift.”
Nathaniel shook his head. “The level of your contempt knows no limits, does it? She is a person and not a thing to be given or thrown out with the trash.”
“She’s a vampire, but I won’t split hairs with you,” Satan countered. “So you do like her then. Good.”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Yes, you did. Of course you did. She is my gift to you. Take her and do as you please.”
“Forget it.”
“And why not?” Satan asked. “You’re both alone. Why not be companions? Besides, I brought her here, but your God routinely turns things around for good, does he not? Romans eight; twenty-eight, I believe. Why don’t you ask God about it?” He leaned close. “Still not talking to you?” When Nathaniel didn’t take the bait, he sat back. “I see,” he said.
Eventually, Satan slid down in his chair in his expensive Italian suit and kicked one leg over the other. The moonlight leapt onto his polished leather shoes and held them far stronger than it had with Marie’s blouse. Nathaniel wasn’t surprised at the unearthly glow.
“Great shoes, huh?” Satan remarked, following his gaze. “It’s amazing how quickly they wear out. They last days at best.”
“It must be all the ground you have to cover,” Nathaniel said.
Satan nodded. “You would be correct.”
“Couldn’t you retire and see the world?”
“Ha!” Satan laughed loudly and some birds flew off the trees, making a loud ruckus. “Oh, I couldn’t do that. I have only my work. Seeing the world is not all it’s cracked up to be anyway. In any event, seeing it is a part of the job description.”
“Are there not wars being waged that you need to attend to? Famines? Mankind being woefully unprepared for the next hurricane, earthquake, drought, tsunami?”
“Yes,” he replied. “And infinitely more. However, I have everything covered, thank you so much. I have more than enough time for all of that, to handle what goes on here as well as what transpires in the central valley of the State to our south.”
Nathaniel blinked, but said nothing. He crossed his arms and did his best to fight the urge to take his sword off of his lap and run the Devil through with it. If only it were that easy.
“What’s the matter?” Satan asked. “Don’t you worry about Barbara and her children? Especially with Michael being here with you?”
He said nothing.
“No, of course you worry.” Satan nodded. He took his hat and set it back on his head. “You shouldn’t bother. Soon there’ll be nothing to worry about.”
Nathaniel began to pray in his mind, but showed no outward appearance of it.
“Stop that!” Satan ordered as he climbed to his feet. He threw an arm out as if tossing something away. “I was afraid you were going to start praying!” He spun around and faced him.
If Satan became riled and decided to kill him, there was really very little he could do about it, he knew.
“Look around,” he spat. “What has God done for you? I mean, really? What has he gained you?”
Nathaniel stared up at the Devil. This was perhaps his defining moment and he knew it. His chance to stand in the face of the greatest threat to God and man, and declare his allegiance. Satan leveled his cold, dark eyes at him, as if he fully anticipated what was coming.
“I am nothing without the Lord.”
Satan sighed and merely smiled. “Soon, you will be only nothing.”

If this is the first you have ever heard of my series, I hope you'll take a look at the first book, Dance on Fire. The e-book can be had for 99 cents at any of the major e-book stores. Here's the Amazon link. The series is definitely crossover or edgy, if you will. I don't label it Christian, though the themes are obviously present. You're going to find some language and a whole lot of blood being shed. Sometimes you will find your nose in the stuff. On the other hand the horror isn't so gratuitous that it turns all except the die-hards away.

Anyway, I hope you'll like it.

We'll talk soon. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hope Springs Eternal

Mississippi River cruise

Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. How is everyone? I am well. As I pen this we have just recently returned from a vacation that a few of you may have heard about. More on that later.

Usually, all I do is complain about the day job, and the length of my work day - the 12 hours days and all of that. However, I can report some very good news. Since I took this supervisor position at my company's Cold Storage Facility, I had really been in an unofficial acting-Manager role. Now, I am pleased to announce that I have been officially promoted to Facility Manager. It's a big thing for me, and they will be making it official this week.What's big is the recognition of the hard work I had already been doing.

For book news, it's taken a bit longer than I'd hoped, but I should have my edits back any day now. I guess that's what I get for writing something that is about 40k words longer than I usually write. The hope is to have the book available in all formats by the middle of May. We'll see. As soon as I get those back and begin the final phase of this production, I will begin sharing the cover more - as well as teasers.

I was interviewed recently by Fiona McVie for her Author Interview site. It's been a while since I have taken part in one of those. It was a bit of fun, and she's a cool new buddy. You can find it here.

The bank of the Mississippi

Breakfast, anyone? 

We just had the opportunity to follow our 17 year old's high school Jazz Choir to New Orleans. Many have asked me how the choir did - and they did fine. They took silver in the festival; however, the performance was secondary to the trip. Originally, there was supposed to be a New York trip, but that fell through on New York's side of things. The choir teacher then began looking for some other trip to take the kids on. I had hoped we wouldn't do anything since my wife and I celebrate twenty-five years of marriage this summer. I wanted to find something just for us in June. However, when the idea to visit New Orleans came up, it proved too tempting to pass up. We called it early celebrating.

Cemetery Tour

In any event, we took in a swamp tour, an old cemetery tour, a ghost tour, cruised down the Mississippi River for lunch and visited the National World War 2 Museum. Perhaps New Orleans might not have been the most appropriate city for the teens to be visiting; however, all in all, I think they had a good time. It might be one of those deals where they look back at some future date and look upon it very fondly. It's not Disneyland. It's a historic and old city, and one might need to be a bit older to fully appreciate where you're standing.

KHS Jazz Choir

Thanks for stopping by.

Rian & a 3-ft gator.

Oh, and it's baseball season. I'm wearing one of my Cubs shirts as I pen this post, and my beloved Cubbies start the season Easter Sunday night by playing against the hated Cardinals. "We" haven't won a World Series since 1908, and haven't played for a championship since World War 2 ended in 1945. But hope springs eternal. Let's Go Cubs! This is the year!

Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment.

We'll talk soon.

At the Bourbon Street Hard Rock Cafe w/ Morrison.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

One Extraordinary Mother

Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. How are you? Please forgive me. I realize it's nearly March, and you haven't heard from me since early January. Well, there's a reason for this. There hasn't been much going on, and it's far too early to begin inundating everyone with the new release until we get closer. *laughs*

A month from now there should be lots to discuss. I could have my novel back in my hands after a professional editing. It is book three in my crossover vampire series. I was so refreshed after Seeing Ghosts that I ran back to my vampires. I have a major new character that I am introducing; I'm killing in droves; and the devil is returning. There's a lot going on, and I can't wait for you to see just what I've done. Stay tuned. I will have had another birthday at next we meet. 46. Yikes! How did this happen? We're also heading for New Orleans. We'll be following my youngest and his high school choir as they have a visit planned. We've never been there before and we can't wait. Hopefully I'll be taking pictures...and sharing!

So, why am I here? I'm here because I took another chance, and stepped off of the well-traveled path of horror and paranormal books I usually read, and I want so badly to tell you about it. I do this because I famously did this once and ended up falling in love with Beach Music by the genius who is Pat Conroy. And I keep doing it. This time I read something that was inspiring, and that arguably contained more horror than I usually read - because it was all true. It was all...real.

The book: Naked: Stripped by a Man and Hurricane Katrina by Julie Freed.

The Synopsis:

A house and marriage violently disintegrate. Abandoned by her husband and left alone to raise an infant in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Julie is surrounded by the rubble of her life - stripped bare by love and loss.

What happens when one woman loses everything? It is a time of unprecedented clarity. She must unflinchingly face her marriage, her womanhood, her husband's alcoholism, his infidelity, and the remains of a shattered home. Acknowledging her own pain, she also shares the heartache of others in her coastal community rebuilding the ruin of their lives. As she reflects on choices past and present, Julie emerges anew.

Naked is a beautiful true story about choices, strength, divorce, Hurricane Katrina, flawed diamonds, addictions, a mother's dream, life changing bridges, single motherhood, and a baby girl named Genoa. Struggling to find meaning in her journey while paving the way for her own and her daughter's future, Julie shares a remarkable story with humor and tenderness. The strength and resilience of the Gulf Coast shines through as does the love and purity Julie finds. Experience the vulnerability, hurt, love, loss, anger, intimate reflections, authenticity, and ultimately the freedom as Julie's shocking story unfolds.

My review:

Imagine suddenly finding yourself a single mother.

Imagine your husband e-mailed you to say that he thought you both would be better off living apart.

Imagine your beautiful home is directly in the path of Hurricane Katrina, and you and your one year old must evacuate – and all that’s left of your life is inside one suitcase.
It would make a hell of a story, wouldn’t it? What if I told you it was all true, and that it happened to one extraordinary mother?

As a horror/paranormal author, you’d well expect that I would spend most of my time with the same sort of books – and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, I do love to venture off that beaten path periodically to see what else might be out there. The book I just described to you is "Naked: Stripped by a Man and Hurricane Katrina" by Dr. Julie Freed. She never asked to live through all of that, but as a mother of a toddler who suddenly finds herself abandoned by her husband – she does the only thing available to her. She survives.

I will tell you that this was an easy read. That’s not a critique of the writing. What I mean is I felt as if I were sitting across the table from Dr. Freed the entire time she was recounting her story. I could almost taste the wine we shared as she did so. It’s that personable; that engaging. She shares her life with the reader, once again stripped bare to the flesh to reveal everything. She’d already been left naked by her estranged husband, and the Hurricane that most of us followed over our flat screen televisions in total comfort while she lived through it with only her dear daughter to show for it.
Not everyone can tell a story. Not only did Dr. Freed live through a terrible ordeal, but she did a masterful job of telling it. I think you’ll find that true as well.

If you guys like moving from the beaten path as I do, or you regularly read things that are based more in real life than fantasy, give this a look. I think you'll find Dr. Freed's story completely compelling and inspiring.

Follow her on Twitter and her website.

We'll talk soon.    

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looking Forward

Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. Happy New Year to you and yours. I trust the holidays were a good one, and that Santa brought you at least one good thing. I had an iTunes gift card in my stocking as well as a small stack of BluRays under the tree, so my Christmas was a good one. #brat

See, everything gets decorated in my house!

The holidays were also good because I am on vacation and don't go back to the day job until January 5th. In addition, I had no writing projects and did nothing but sit back and enjoy them. My current work in progress is in the able hands of my wonderful editor - unlike 2013 when I was actually writing the thing. I wrote that first draft over four months (Nov. '13 to Feb. '14) and practically missed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years. *laughs* #writers So, no. I finished my 3rd draft in early December, spoke to the three beta readers (all were very pleased) and sent it off. Since then, I have simply been enjoying the season and hanging out with family.

This time of year media outlets typically spend a lot of time looking back at the year that was. In terms of writing I now have three novels self-published. The reviews have been very good and I can't complain. My latest novel - Seeing Ghosts - seems to have become everyone's favorite. That makes me very pleased. That book has everything in it that moves me. It's dark, haunting and very sweet. The only problem has been the chorus of readers who have told me they would love more of that story. Sadly, the book makes a perfect circle, with a lovely red bow on it, and milking it for another book seems wrong to me.

2014 has been my best year so far. Since my stories take place where I live, I have spent the bulk of my free time focusing on reaching that built-in demographic. I have my books in a local store, and have attended every event in town, doing my level best to get the word out. It's been working, but there's still more work ahead in 2015.

That is why I have titled this post: Looking Forward. 2015 needs to build on the previous year and propel me onward. I will publish my 4th novel this year, the third book in my crossover vampire series. Although I assume I will begin writing the next thing at some point, my focus will be to market the books I already have. I really hope to see them begin to pay for themselves. We all do, right? *sigh*

I'm going to keep this short, my friends. I wish you you the very best in 2015. I hope I encourage you the way you have encouraged me to keep pushing forward. I greeted many of you bloggers and writers before Christmas because I miss you all. If you did not hear from me, drop me a line here or on one of the other social networks and say hello. If not for you guys I might have quit this a long time ago. It isn't easy, is it? Not while our books float in a virtual sea of others out there.

The next time you hear from me you should see the blitz begin for my latest novel. There will be a cover release; blurbs, teasers and announcements - although I have not exactly been secretive when it comes to what's coming for our hero Nathaniel and his extended family. There will be other announcements, too.

In the meantime, Happy New Year!

Apparently I had yet to have my coffee in this photo...

We'll talk soon.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

An Army of Vampires

Season's Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. I hope the season finds you well, and well taken care of. I'm doing fine. I'm still working crazy hours for the most part, although not nearly as bad as in times past. As I pen this post, I am enjoying the last of my Thanksgiving break: four days away from the day job. I'm already looking forward to taking two weeks off at Christmas... 

In between everything, I have been hard at work on my latest work in progress. I'm working toward finishing draft three of Dance on Fire 3. You may have already seen the title as well as the cover. I'm not actively promoting it yet, but haven't exactly been secretive about it, either.

I'm aiming for a very early 2015 release, and then hope to spend the year promoting it as well as all of my novels. I don't have any plans to start writing the next thing, but we'll see. I say that because 2014 has been my best year so far. I'm still working on making a dent into the on-line markets, but in the mean time have been doing really well at home. I live in a small town and have had many opportunities for events. Considering I have set my novels either here in town or in the general area, I feel I have a built-in demographic that I need to continue to focus on. That's what I have been doing and it seems to be paying off so far.

So, while I'm hard at work on the new book, I've got a very short excerpt for you.

Where are we?

In Dance on Fire, we met the vampire Nathaniel. He saved a family from the notorious vampire Vincent, but somehow that family may have saved him. Believing himself to be forever excluded by the kingdom of God, the Christian wife and mother he meets is not convinced. The result is the vampire begins an incredible journey of self-discovery as he seeks whether God may have a use for him.

In Dance on Fire: Flash Point, we find Nathaniel living among monks in the mountains of Oregon. God has not spoken to him, but Nathaniel continues to seek his face in the hopes that he will. When five vampires descend upon his extended family, seeking a terrible revenge, Nathaniel races to save them before it's too late. In the novel, we find that the devil himself is alive and well, and none too pleased that one of his creations is seeking God.

In the next chapter, we find Satan has been plotting to end Nathaniel once and for all. He has set the trap and planned his scheme perfectly. He need only to flip the switch. And flip it he does.

In the following excerpt, a new vampire visits Nathaniel. Is she friend or foe? We must wait and see. She shows up at the monastery with advanced warning... 

Nathaniel stared at Marie, but said nothing.
Marie, for her part stared back, and seemed to wait for him. “What are you thinking, Nathaniel?” she finally asked. She didn’t approach.
“I am wondering what your presence here means,” he said. “As honored as I am to meet you in person, I worry you have not come alone.”
Marie breathed deeply. “You’re right to worry. I have only come with attendants, but vampires are indeed on their way here.”
“How many?” Nathaniel asked.
All?” he repeated.
“All of them,” she said. “They’re all coming.”
Nathaniel sighed and looked off into the distance. He saw the same view he’d seen for a decade, but it no longer appeared to be anything else but a shade. A shade that once pulled would reveal an army sent to utterly destroy everything that he considered good.
“Why have they come to destroy me?” he asked, approaching. “What have I done?”
“I don’t know,” she said.
“That is no answer, Marie. Forgive me, but I think you do know. You are under no obligation to tell me, but I pray you will. What have I done? What have these men behind me done? We have been here many years and have been nothing but honorable to anyone we meet. For the most part we simply are, worshipping God in our way, searching for His guidance and glory. What have we done to offend you?”
“It isn’t me you have offended,” Marie found herself saying. “It is Satan who comes against you.”
Nathaniel sighed. “I should have guessed. Why will he not just leave me alone?”
“You have met him then?” she asked.
“Yes. He came here once and killed everyone. I am haunted by the smell of the dead. Not a day goes by that I do not recall burying my brothers.”
Marie seemed to hold her tongue.
“Yet he comes with an army of vampires?” Nathaniel asked, contemplating what was being foretold to him. “Why do my kind rise up against me, my Queen? And why have you come to warn me?”
“That is a good question, and one I am uncertain of,” she answered.
Nathaniel waited, but although he thought he had a great many questions to ask of her, none seemed to come save one.
“How much time do we have?”
"Perhaps a day," Marie said simply.

So there you have it. I'm going to get back to work, so I can get this thing released. If you have yet to read book one, please follow this link and pick up a copy. The e-book is available at amazon for 99 cents, and is getting good reviews. I hope you'll give it a chance. It's a crossover, so you'll get a good mix of horror as well as Biblical themes. I promise not to hit you over the head with any one of those.

I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year.

We'll talk soon.


Monday, October 27, 2014

PNR Radio: The Paranormal Report

Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. Once again I just want to thank you for stopping by. There is so much going on this time of year. I'm participating in three blog hops at the moment, myself. You will see those posts and all of the links involved in the posts that follow this one. Whatever you do, please don't let me stop you from visiting as many sites as possible. There are so many great authors out there, offering giveaways of their books, swag or simply free copies of their work. You've just gotta' grab as many as you can. I know I have entered as many as I could - and will continue to do so all week long until Halloween is over.

The reason why I've posted today is to let you know that I was a guest on a podcast recently which is now live. My long lost baby sister (inside joke), the author and multi-talented Arial Burnz, was good enough to interview me on her show. There's a giveaway attached to that as well, so you've got to check it out. Just follow the instructions given during the show to be entered.

Pretty cool, huh? I think so. Anyway, as I mentioned above, I know you're busy, so I'll let you go.

We'll talk soon.