I Love Getting Reviews!

I Love Getting Reviews!

Greetings all,

Yet another two weeks in a row with some reviews to share! I still don’t think I get reviews consistently enough to warrant a “review day” post on my schedule, but if I keep getting them (this regularly), that might change.

The first review I’d like to share is a three-star review for Caught from Deedra. She was kind enough to post the review Amazon, Goodreads, and Audible.

The next is a five-star review for The Journals of Bob Drifter. This was an Amazon review from an unidentified individual.

I’m always so happy to receive reviews. Both of these reviews were every bit as informative and helpful as they were kind (even in how they expressed what they didn’t like). I thank both these reviewers.

If you’ve read any of my work, would you please consider leaving a rating and/or a review on Amazon, Goodreads or both? It really does help.

Thanks for reading,


A 5-Star Review for Caught!

A 5-Star Review for Caught!

Greetings all,

caught-front-coverI wanted to share this wonderful five-star review for Caught.

I met Cathey at AwesomeCon a few years ago (probably my first year as an official author), and she’s been one of my most stalwart supporters since.

This review actually has some opportunity, as Cathey asked a few questions (not bluntly, but the questions were implied, so I felt the need to answer.)

Was I/am I influenced by Matrix, Edge of Tomorrow, The Sixth Sense, Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, and/or Metallica’s Enter Sandman.

The short answer is no, none of those stories directly influenced (at least not consciously) any of those stories, but I am a fan of many, so I’d like to take the time to speak about them.

The Matrix: This movie was one I went to see because I had already developed a habit of seeing movies every weekend. Honestly, by that point, it was the only movie I hadn’t seen. I was one of ten or so people in the theater, and by the third time I saw it, the line was enormous.  This original movie (I have entirely different opinions on the sequels), struck me because of it’s visual breakthroughs and clever concept. It took the hero’s origin story to a new place. While The Matrix didn’t directly influence Caught, it did teach me that great stories are often re-imaginings of old concepts.

The Edge of Tomorrow and Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb: I must admit I’ve never seen the movie, and I’ve never been a huge fan of Pink Floyd.  I don’t hate them or anything, they just never make it into my playlists.

electric-chair-iconThe Sixth Sense: The plot twist for Caught is something I felt particularly happy with, and the responses from readers validate that feeling. To have someone mention Caught with a story with that great a plot twist is simply humbling. The trick, however, was what The Sixth Sense taught me in instinct, and Brandon Sanderson explained in a simple phrase: “I want my readers to realize what’s happening just before they turn the page to read what’s happening.”

The biggest payoff for me when watching The Sixth Sense was as the big reveal was coming, and I realized it just as it happened.  I call this the, “I should have known!” moment. Whenever I have a plot twist, I aspire to create that feeling.  Honestly, I think Cathey gives me too much credit here.  This implied comparison is probably the highest compliment I’ve gotten for Caught since it’s been published.

Metallica’s Enter Sandman: The nightmare sequences are what I imagine brought this comparison.  When the song first came out, I didn’t like it. It was a bit dark for me.  As I grew, I gained appreciation for the band and that song in particular. The visuals in the video and driving beat of the song would, in my opinion, make a great edition to a soundtrack if Caught were ever made into a movie. (Netflix, I’m waiting for your call!) I honestly hadn’t given the song much thought, but once I saw it in this review, I realized how fair the comparison is.  Alas, if the question was did I consider this song while writing Caught, I’m afraid not.

I loved having a review this complete and thought provoking. I’d love to respond to more musings and theories about Caught or other stories in the Oneiros Log. (Remember Repressed goes live Jan. 1!)

Cathey was honestly so kind in her review, and I can’t thank her enough.

Thank you all for support like this. It makes the tough times something I can endure.



A New 5-Star Review for Bob!

A New 5-Star Review for Bob!

The Journals of Bob Drifter Front CoverGreetings all,

I just wanted to share this very-kind, five-star review for The Journals of Bob Drifter I found on Amazon. You can read it here. Every review is a blessing, and I can’t thank the reader enough.

Thanks for reading,


The Art of Writing vs The Business of Being an Author: A request for discussion.

The Art of Writing vs The Business of Being an Author: A request for discussion.

As I grow as a business man, I learn more about some of the decisions writers make, and I felt it was appropriate to discuss some of these issues in an open forum. I’m really just taking a few minutes to gain a sense as to what the rest of the community of authors out there thinks about a few things that have come up during conversations or conventions.

BobsGreatestMistakeThe Amazon formula: At Awesomecon, I spoke with a few authors about a practice that I find a bit underhanded. It’s one thing for an author to release segments of a book. One wise piece of advice I’ve heard about long-form authors is to release segments, and then release an omnibus book when everything is done. However, the more sly tool I’m opening for discussion is the habit some authors have of publishing a book. Amazon tracks “Hot New Releases” for 90 days. What some due (and it works for them, so how mad should I be), is then slap a new cover on the book and re-release it. Thus restarting that 90-day tracker and keeping the book appearing on the relevant pages. As I look at covers every day, I see this on occasion, and I hear about it more (admittedly more than I actually see it). The first topic of discussion is: Is this practice bad form or what it takes to get out there? What do you authors think about the practice as a whole an any who do it? What information do you have on the subject? (I have word of mouth and a few discussions here or there.)

Writing the story that’s in your head or the story that might earn you more: Having done more research now than I have, I understand just how small the Fantasy/Science Fiction audience really is. (Horror is that much smaller.) I have a few friends who jump at opportunity. I’ll be honest here. I don’t have any issues with writers sitting down and producing quality work for any reason. Getting other products out and bylines completed is a great strategy. I’ve had people loop me in on anthologies. I’ve only volunteered for one, and that was because I had the idea kicking around my head already. I can’t seem to write anything but the story playing out in my head. This is why Bob came out when it did, and was then followed by the much darker Caught. To be honest, it’s hard to keep my mind on Oneiros because Perception of War is playing like an X-D theater in my mind. Writing Kaitlyn’s short story has done a good job to help get the Oneiros juices flowing, which is one of the two major reasons I decided to make that my main project. I’m also aware that some genres simply sell better. I have friends that insist I’d be a best seller by now if I wrote romance. I’m not actually against any writer producing any quality work. I just don’t have a lot of “romance-specific” stories running around my head. Also, those novels are much tighter, fast-paced stories. I have to force my self to keep the word count down. How many of you struggle to write in a metaphorical box? This may mean you’re writing to try to satisfy an audience or produce a story for something for the sake of a byline. Again, I can’t stress enough how OK I am with it, I simply don’t have that ability. I have to write what’s in my mind and in my heart.

ElelefinalGetting Product Out in a Timely Manner: This leads me to the third topic (and I think I’ll stop here even though I could go on much more).  I love epic fantasy. Most of my projects are large. But it takes time to write 400,000 words (or even 100,000).  So when an idea for a shorter format story came to mind, I went at it. What this will do is something I feel is a financially beneficial decision to keep me in the lighter shades of red while I produce the deeper, wider-scoped stories I love most. I would’t be able to do this on the spot. Even Sojourn was a tangental project that was made harder for me because my mind wanted to focus on Images of Truth. The main reason I was able to work on it as quickly as I did was Elele is in both books.  This other world captured my fancy. The theory is I can do one “large” project a year (like Caught or 1,200), and one or two smaller projects. I’m holding off on releasing until I build a buffer of sorts that allows me to release product more frequently, but that’s the ideal pace for me. I still admit I don’t prefer this method at the moment. I like to work on a thing until it’s done (or the draft is done) and then step away to something else. Based on where I am with Oneiros and 1,200, my newer short-fiction saga (called Mercer in case you’re wondering) is what will be my “step away” project while I’m in between drafts of the Oneiros log (not to mention trying to get 1,200 out there).  The question here is, what is your ideal pace, and what do you all think is a solid “release” year?

I’d ask any author to comment below. If you could, please state what you have out and some record of where you are in terms of being a business author.  What are your thoughts on these topics? What works for you?

I thought this was a good chance just to open the doors to the community and get a dialogue  going on these subjects. If this goes well, I’ll make it an occasional post.

Thanks for reading,


Book Review: Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson

Book Review: Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson

Cover image used for review purposes under fair use.

Character:  Davis and Chaz are interesting enough characters. Chaz isn’t likable at all, but that’s what makes him compelling. I found myself reading the book more just to find out what he wouldn’t do with the power he had. Davis is the more compelling and interesting character (he’s the main character after all). I found his arc sad. He’s a man trying to prove himself in every way, but the path he’s chosen isn’t one that will prove what matters most. What disappointed me about this was the end. Sure, the plot twist was as surprising as any Sanderson novel, but what I gained on the satisfaction of a clever plot twist, I lost in association with a character.

Photo by Nazrilof. Image taken from Mr. Sanderson’s website. 

Description: Here Sanderson does something clever that kept me turning pages. There’s a detail thought the book that just drives a reader crazy trying to imagine all the way to the end. It’s a pleasant little mystery just for the reader, and I would have burned through the book just to find out the answer to that riddle.

Thanks for reading,


Caught is Available for Preorder

Caught is Available for Preorder

caught-front-coverI am so very happy to announce that Caught is available for preorder!

There’s going to be more news here as I continue to set up my tour for the book, but this sort of news is just too awesome to hold back! I had a lot of people help me make this possible, and it’s finally time to get the book out there to you all.

I did a few things differently, so things are actually more available than this, but I’m trying to build around live events and online events.

First:  You can preorder an autographed paperback edition from my personal online store here. Understand if you order from me, you will get an autographed copy, but it won’t ship until the book’s hard release date of Jan. 28.

Next: You can preorder the ebook from Amazon right here. Prime users get sweet deals. Trust me on that. But, for most everyone else, I have a special promotion going on. From now until Feb. 4, Caught will be on sale for $0.99! On Feb. 5, the ebook will go up to its regular price of $2.99. The ebook is an Amazon exclusive, so that’s the only place you can grab it from.

You can expect quite a few posts from me in the next few weeks or so as I set up events. I’m so excited. I truly hope you’ll all decide to give this book a try.

Thanks for reading,


New 5-Star Reviews

New 5-Star Reviews

coverrevealI wanted to share two new 5-star reviews for The Journals of Bob Drifter.

You can check one out here, and the other here.

I’m always thrilled to get reviews no matter the number of stars. The first is no different. This one is special because the reviewer spoke highly of Bob. He’s a very special character in my hart, and I get a particular thrill when someone speaks well of him.

The second review speaks about the readability of Bob. I love getting so caught up in a book you think to yourself, “I’ll just read one more chapter.” You think it to yourself until the sun rises and you’ve read the whole book. To think my book kept someone engaged in any manner close to that is an honor.

I thank the reviewers, and I appreciate any who take the time to offer their thoughts.



Yet Another 5-Star Review!

Yet Another 5-Star Review!

coverrevealI was happy to log on the other day and see another 5-star review for The Journals of Bob Drifter.  You can see the full review here on Amazon.

This review comes from Author Alice Langholt. Her book First Family was a Readers’ Favorite 5-star novel, and is available via paperback and kindle.  It’s the story of what happened to Adam and Eve after that fateful bite of the apple.

I’m always happy to receive reviews. Positive reviews are even greater, especially when they’re from other authors.  I’m grateful to Alice for reading my book and feeling good enough about it to post such a great review.  I hope giving you and your book a shout out in some small way shows my appreciation to you.



Book Shoutout: Entrepurpose, by Rusty Pang and Brian Laprath

Book Shoutout:  Entrepurpose, by Rusty Pang and Brian Laprath

I’ve always said I love it when other authors get published.  These particular authors and this particular book makes me that much happier because Rusty is a friend of mine.

Let’s start with the book blurb for Entrepurpose:

Begin blurb

14680572_349703372032090_6956008003380102308_nYou are here for a reason. So, the question is: Why?

Entrepurpose is a book inspired by 13 intense years of struggle to find the answer to the question,

“Why am I here?”

That journey took me through three depressions, alcoholism, and unhealthy weight gain as I tried to reconcile my life without purpose.

Now that I know my why, I have experienced an infusion of life and focus that I have never felt before.

This work has become my mission, and I can enjoy it more fully each day. But, it came at a price. That price was 13 years.

My story is our gift to you.

Inside these pages are the tools and principles that led me to understand what I was born to do.

If you apply these principles to your life, you will begin to see that every experience, no matter how painful, is part of your strength. If you feel different from others, a misfit perhaps, this book will show you why different is better than better. Maybe, for the first time, you will begin to accept who you are.

Whatever the reason that brought you here, know that you are here for a reason. That reason can be understood, and once you know it, you will have a responsibility to impact the world in the way only you can.

Welcome to your rebirth.

End blurb

This book is already doing well, and I couldn’t be happier for the creators.  It reached number 1 in three categories: Business and Money, Education and Education and Reference.

What’s most important about this book is, it’s designed to help people who truly feel low.  All the feedback I’ve seen and all the messages I’ve read continue to say, “This is what we need.”  Every writer wants his or her book to have an impact, and the early returns on Entrepurposve indicate this book does that.

Now let’s meet the creators.

rusty-profile-webI met Rusty somewhere around two years ago.  We both teach at the same school.  Over the last few months, we’ve been working more closely as he’s teaching the same segment of the course I teach.

There’s a bond between authors.  They don’t have to recognize it or accept it in any way.  It’s a bond of caring for your craft.  You see it when they’re a bit tired the next day because they rushed home to eat up whatever time they can with their family before they toil away at another job that takes not just a great deal of effort, but an insane amount of mental energy.  I’ve watched Rusty as he’s pushed himself to share this with you.  It’s not just his story, which alone is something compelling; it’s his passion.

Every day I see him talking to people about personality types and how they gather information.  Every thing he does as a teacher is driven to understand how the student thinks and learns, so that he can teach more effectively.  I haven’t had a chance to read the book just yet (it’s next on my TBR), but his story and his effort to find ways to reach people are already strong motivators for me.

brian-laprathI haven’t had the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Laprath.  He’s currently a reservist in the Air Force, and any time I can help out a fellow veteran, I’m going to.  You can find out more about him on the Entrepurpose website.  That site also has a blog and a ton of information worthy of checking out.

So I wanted to take a moment today and share this with you.  As most of my followers and those I follow know, I love giving shoutouts when dreams come true.  I relblog posts where authors announce they’ve finished a book.  I like it when people achieve their dreams, and I wanted to share this achievement with you.

Thanks for reading