Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Review: The Drafter

The Drafter The Drafter by Kim Harrison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a fan of the Rachel Morgan adventures, I was excited to see Harrison starting another series. Unfortunately, this was a one-stop ride for me. This just never grabs me. I had to struggle to finish and it is one of the few times I considered returning a title.

It's okay, but not if you are expecting Kim Harrison with and character growth. There was almost nothing I could like about ANY of the characters in this book. Peri annoyed me beyond belief, also the general sci-fi idea used here has been done in varying forms to a better degree. I know it is often difficult for an author to sustain readers with new offerings, especially if they change their genre as well, and there will be some who love this book. I am just not one of them.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 23, 2015

Why are you here?


This is not where you will find my posts anymore. I need you to head over to And while you are there, subscribe to my newsletter! That will make it easy for you to know what's going on.

And tell me what you think of the new page.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What do you want?

The question is self-explanatory. Of course the context needs to be provided, so let me help with that. As many of you know, my web page is going live at 100% very soon. One of the things I will be offering is a newsletter. My plan is to just sort of update you on releases, toss out a contest or two, and after that...honestly, I have no idea.

So, what sorts of things would YOU like to see in my newsletter. After all, YOU are the ones who will read it. What will be interesting. Would you like updates on my Newfoundland and how she is progressing with her training? Her show appearances? How I spent my vacation?

Would you like it to feature reviews and book suggestions? Like I said, this newsletter can be whatever WE want it to be. So I just need you to let me know.

How about it? So, if you haven;t yet...drop on over to my NEW WEB SITE LOCATED AT THE END OF THIS LINK! Sign up for the newsletter. I will be announcing a cool giveaway for everybody who signs up before December 1st. So you may want to get over there.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review: Yes Please

Yes Please Yes Please by Amy Poehler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can't say I was an Amy Poehler fan before. I have never watched a single episode of Parks & Recc. That said, it was simply interesting to hear about a person's journey from one of thousands of improv comics to a recognized star. She does not give a lot of insight or behind the scenes stories (a few tidbits), but it was at least somewhat entertaining. Not a book I would pull out and re-visit like Chris Hardwick's, but still pretty good.

View all my reviews

Monday, October 19, 2015

Let's take a walk together.

Okay, believe it or not, I spend a lot of time at my desk. Funny thing about books...they don;t write themselves. It takes a lot of discipline to ignore the world around me and string words together that I think people will enjoy.

Because of that, I can get a bit...heavy. I try to push myself to get out there and move. I don;t hit the weights like I used to, but I know that I should. Also, I don;t run. I hate running. I have done everything poissible to trick myself into doing it, but it just never seems to work for very long. Even the "Zombie Run!" app does not keep me motivated. So, maybe you understand this sort of thing. Maybe not. 

I am inviting you to join me as a Fitbit person. They have weekly challenges that you can sign up for and everything so that you and your "FitBit Friends" can hopefully encourage each other. If you have a FitBit and are interested, then shoot me a request and join my zombie brigade of shamblers. Here is my info:

This is not an ad for the product, I don;t get anything. I just want to try and stay alive a bit longer. Being healthy will assist in that goal. If you care to join me on this...I welcome you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

People are talking about me...

...and I LOVE IT!

As you may or may not know, I recently released my first full-length audio book narration. I did all the talking and post-production involved with putting together the audio book copy of DEAD: Snapshot--Portland, Oregon.

The reviews on Audible are trickling in, but I just received on from one of my peers and contemporaries. I love reading reviews. The good ones make me feel great and the constructive ones teach me where I can improve. Sure...there are trolls who just hate, but I have learned to ignore them (like the one person who grabs anything of mine on Audible just so he or she can leave a one star rating, but does not have the stones to leave a review that would reveal their identity). And just a note, I accept the fact that there will always be people who don't like what I write or what I do in the studio. That is the business of entertainment. And I have actually learned a lot from some of the negative and critical reviews, but I never respond to them or defend against them. That is for the amateurs. But I wanted to share a review that just populated on Audible. It is written by a writer who I am a fan of and enjoy reading. J. D. Demars, author of THE HUNT CHRONICLES (grab a copy if you have not read this kickoff to a damn good series) was kind enough not only to listen to my audio book, but he wrote an amazing review. I thought that I would share it just because it made my morning.

"Loved the fact that the Author was the Narrator"
Any additional comments?
I learned this was the author's first attempt at narrating his own novel. Though there was one spot where he repeated himself, and a couple more that were off, I am still giving him 5 stars for his performance. Mainly because he did what I expect in an audio book. The characters had their own voice and each was given personality. The reading was at minimum average and at best great. But either way, it just sounds better coming from the author himself. As an author myself, I KNOW I will never be able to do it, at least, not nearly as well as Brown did.

The story itself was great. I've been a fan of the Dead series since before I started writing myself. Even if you never read the main series, this book is fine as a stand alone. There is a beginning, strong middle, and a finality to it that was comfortable. Being in the apocalyptic genre myself, I am always critical of the way the stories play out. Most do not have an ending at all. This ending, while not "climatic", was appropriate for the story.

The characters were great. My favorite was the Ken, the retired cop. He wasn't a good or bad guy. Knowing many police officers, I know it is a occupation that leaves you jaded about most situations. Ken was portrayed great. He was the Dirty Harry character that wasn't "unstoppable", but instead relate-able.

The realism of Brown's writing gets me every time. Everything is possible (at least, as far as a zombie apocalypse is concerned), Too many stories in this genre have "Rambo" as the lead. Don't get me wrong, Ken and Jason are both pretty tough, but it's realistic. They have feelings (both good and bad).

I also have to mention Brown's use of the dogs. Being a dog lover myself, and having one of my main characters an actual dog, I was very happy with how Brown used them in this story. I would think getting into their heads would be cheesy, but Brown got 5+ stars from me when he showed things from their perspective.

Great work and I am looking forward to more of the snapshot series!

J.D. Demers

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Review: New Jerusalem News: A Novel

New Jerusalem News: A Novel New Jerusalem News: A Novel by John Enright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book that I might have missed if it were not provided to me for purposes of a review. I went into it without even glancing at the summary because I was ready to be surprised. I am glad I had the chance to spend some time with such a wonderful story. There is so much going on and it does feel very true-to-life in the way it is presented. There is a bit of mystery and intrigue, but above all, there are interesting characters and a well-told story that is not quite a whodunnit, but more of a "what is really going on" sort of tale. While I did find the "romance scenes" somewhat blocky and awkward, I am not entirely sure that was not by design. The ending sort of reminded me of an episode of Seinfeld where I sort of had to as myself if that was actually it.

This is something you might miss or pass over for a number of reasons, I would advise you to reconsider.

View all my reviews

Monday, October 12, 2015

Check out my new place!

After months of hard work by the talented Shawn Sampson, as well as endless and tireless effort from my friend Caroline Harmon, the new web site is up and running!

So, take a little time today if you have it to spare and pop over to and tour the new digs. Sure, there is still a little work to do, but it is now open for the public to come in and see. If you have some ideas, feel free to drop me a note and let me know what you would like to see. There will be a newsletter soon as well as a regular video message from me that will start soon.

So, I won't keep you any longer. Please make yourself comfy as you explore the new digs.

One final note, I have a lot of unclaimed Audio book gifts. If you want yours, I hope you will accept it soon, I know things can come up, especially in today;s busy world, but I do hope that you will claim your gift soon.

Friday, October 9, 2015

I really need your help.

Okay, I am gonna do some begging here. Ready?


Please what? you might (or might not) wonder. I have entered a short vampire story in a contest. I need a hundred votes to even have a chance. Currently I have 12. So, if you have a friend or two you could hit up for me...that would be HUGE for me. It is as simple as clicking the link below:

Then, just click on the little heart to cast your vote. If everybody who clicks on this blog does that and has ONE friend do the same, then I have a shot at hitting my number that will put me in the running for this contest. In the process, you get a chance to read a little story that will only take a few minutes and hopefully entertain you. It may not seem like much, but being able to lay claim to any sort of an award can boost a writer's resume. 

So, can I get a little love?

There, just like the story, I am keeping this short. Remember...I need your vote. I can't explain how much I appreciate your help, just know that I thank you and appreciate it VERY much.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Can we talk?

Seriously. How would you like to have my undivided attention for ten minutes. (Ask my wife...that is a feat that is next to impossible.) I will even have my pups on hand if you want to say hi to them. Seriously, that is probably way cooler than talking to me.

Even about if we got to talk on Halloween!? Of course you have to have Skype or Google+ and your own web cam, and be over 21. If you fit those few requirements, then all you have to do is reply in the comments section below or on Wastebook. Or, if you want bonus points, email me at with "CAN WE TALK!" in the subject line.

The winner will chosen by random drawing on October 25 and announced here on the 26th. You will have me for 10 minutes on Halloween where you can ask me questions about any of my books, have me read a sample from DEAD: End Book 12 of the DEAD series talk to my African Grey, my Newfie or the two Border Collies. Plus, you will get a video tour of my office and the place I do all my work. It's YOUR 10 minutes, spend it how you want. 

(Doggy pictures posted by request.)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Review: Darth Vader and Friends

Darth Vader and Friends Darth Vader and Friends by Jeffrey Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, this was a gift for my birthday and I have to say, I chuckled more than once. It is fun, cute, and something that most STAR WARS fans will appreciate. It has a Star Wars-meets-Far Side feel at times. Over all, it is something I enjoy peeking it from time to time when I want to smile.

View all my reviews

Stop saying their names!

First, this might be a touchy subject, so feel free to tune out. I seldom like to discuss current events and such here. And I REALLY stay away from politics and religion. If I shared mine, it would automatically alienate everybody who was on a different plain of that realm's existence. Besides, do you really care who I would vote for or what my spiritual beliefs are? And if so...WHY?

As many of you might know, there was a horrible shooting in my state. Some lunatic walked in to Umpqua Community College and killed a bunch of people. He also hurt many others. The families dealing with that loss of a loved one are dealing with a tragedy that few can understand.

It has become a story that we see far too often. There will be noting here about gun control. My issue is with the horrible people who commit these acts. I also don;t want or care to talk about "mental" issues. Plenty of people struggle with issues, they don't all go on shooting sprees. I believe that some of these people actually decide to jump off that ledge for the fame and notoriety. That whole deal about "bad attention being better than none" comes to mind.

I want to commend the sheriff who has been dealing with this issue and must speak with the media. He had made it his policy not to speak the killer's name. I find that to be a wonderful thing. Too bad the media does not follow suit. They parade the name around and help fertilize the next sick mind with their crap under the excuse of "reporting the news" when  (and I am totally serious here) they finish talking with the sheriff and make a comment how he had made this policy of not giving this killer what he wants (attention) by refusing to use his name...then they refer to the killer BY NAME!

Seriously. STOP! Quit giving these people their dying wish. Stop letting them have their post-mortem moment of glory and fame. Focus on the victims, commemorate the fallen and the heroes who responded or did something amazing to save others. But WHY must the media give so much attention to the killer.

Even more interesting of a topic for you to bat around with friends; perhaps discuss why the next phase is up-ending the lives of the killer's family and seeing who (and for what reason) a heaping pile of blame can be thrown at since it is obviously somebody's fault this person turned into a nutjob. Oh, and while you discuss that, perhaps dig into why the media is now on "witch hunt" mode against this Sheriff John Hanlin. Oh yeah, since many people have applauded his actions, the media has thought it in their best interest to try and dig up dirt on this man. is time we start holding the so-called journalists accountable for their actions. Stop editorializing and just report the damn news.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Review: A Murderer's Heart

A Murderer's Heart A Murderer's Heart by Julie Elizabeth Powell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am always astounded at how a writer can create the smoke and mirrors needed to offer up a good mystery. I spent the entire time changing my mind as to who the killer would be...and naturally I was wrong in the end.

This is such a fun story to spend an afternoon with and whittle away a few hours. I suggest a cup of your favorite warm beverage and a couch. If it is raining outside, so much the better.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 2, 2015

Say goodbye. I am leaving this place.

I hope that got your attention. If you are a regular follower of this blog, then you need to know that I have been in the process of having an honest-to-goodness web page built. It seemed like the right thing to do. I will have a newsletter and all sorts of cool stuff. And yes, I will be once again trying to gift somebody with a script for Night of the Living Dead signed by John Russo and George Romero (I did not come anywhere close to that goal of 50 free audio books given away and claimed that I tried on my birthday, so maybe when I have my newsletter sign up, things will go better with this being brand new and all.).

Coming in about 10 will be able to go to for all the news, release dates, and freebies. Also, that is where you will be able to sign up for my newsletter where you will get opportunities that you won't find anyplace else. Signed stuff, merchandise, and even a "Happy Birthday" personal phone call.