29 November 2011

Pressed (sequel to The Patriot Paradox) is available!


I released Pressed, the sequel to the best-selling espionage thriller The Patriot Paradox late last night. This story has been in the works for a long, long time, and i'm thrilled to finally set it loose for fans of Kurt and Amanda everywhere.

Happy reading!

You can purchase Pressed for the introductory price of $2.99 on Kindle, Nook, and at Smashwords. Apple, Sony, and print editions will arrive in a few weeks.

24 November 2011

Turkey is a vegetable, right?

About six months ago, I decided to drop meat from my diet. I had been toying with the idea of trying vegetarianism for quite awhile, mostly due to health concerns, but also because of my general squeamishness around modern industrial farming practices. I'm not going to get up on a soapbox about these processes, but it's safe to say that a few minutes (and I spent more than a few) of googling will open your eyes and turn your stomach.

I've been pretty good about it. I haven't lost any weight from eliminating the meat, but I haven't really gained anything either, so that's a wash. I've enjoyed my food a little more, secure in the knowledge no animals were harmed in its production. Well, most of the time. I admit I didn't go all the way when I gave up animal products. I still eat fish and eggs, and I LOVE ice cream. The eggs and the ice cream (all organic) are reasonable - no animals are killed in their production. The fish thing is a little trickier. I was a pretty serious fisherman when I was younger and I've caught, cleaned, and eaten more than I can count. My rationale (yes, I rationalized pretty hard here) with fish is they fall far enough below the sentience level of other farm animals that they're pretty damned close to a vegetable. Now I'm sure the hardcore vegetarians out there will blast me for this attitude. Feel free. But you may want to keep reading first, because I'm going to give you a whole lot more ammo in just a few sentences.

This brings me to Thanksgiving. Turkey Day. The day we, as Americans, stuff our selves until bursting and then collapse in a tryptophan and booze-induce coma for a long fall nap. Coming from the south (Virginia specifically), Thanksgiving has always meant country ham and turkey. As the day grew closer, I began to develop intense cravings for country ham. Forty-something years of conditioning was signaling my body that the time was near. If you're not from the south, the whole country ham thing probably doesn't make a lot of sense. It's a regional thing, and many accustomed to northern hams (as my Aunt called sugar-cured hams several years ago) don't like it because it's rather salty. But I do. In fact, I love it.

I made a momentous decision: I would abandon vegetarianism for the day. I wasn't, however, going to go out of my way in my search. I know it's possible to get a country ham delivered over the internet. I've done it after all. More than once. But, I told myself, if I found country ham at Trader Joe's, Sunflower Market, or Whole Foods, I would buy some. And I would eat every last bite, vegetarianism be damned.

Alas, I live in the desert southwest. I'm not sure of the ham culture here, but country ham certainly doesn't seem to be part of it. I saw lots of sugar-cured hams, turkey hams (WTF?), proscuitto (which is close to country ham, but not quite), and believe it or not, vegetarian ham substitute. But no country ham.

I was relieved. My temptation had been foiled by lack of availability.

Not quite.

I started to gather ingredients to make a nice stuffed squash instead.  I had most of my stuff in my basket, when I passed by the meat section and encountered a display of Tofurkey and right below it, genuine, organic turkey breasts. I stopped. Stared. My stomach rumbled and my mouth watered at the thought of a slice of hot turkey meat, swimming in gravy.

Mind you, my wife an I have three chickens living in our back yard. They're not the smartest animals. They feel pain and they most definitely feel terror when I try to catch them or our dogs bark at them. Turkeys are not that different. The thought of killing one turns my stomach.

But...

But one turkey breast can't hurt, can it? It's already dead after all. Maybe it died of natural causes? Yeah. Right. I wrestled with this dilemma as I did a lap around TJs, trying to justify my cravings. Returning to the meat section, I picked up the Tofurkey and examined it. I read the ingredients and nutrition label. I stared at the picture for a long minute, trying to convince myself the pinkish-brown loaf-shaped thing on the box would satisfy my cravings.

And then I put it back on the shelf and took the Turkey breast.

Sorry turkey. I'm an omnivore, at least for today.


23 November 2011

The sequel is coming! The sequel is coming!

To prepare for the release of the second book in the Reluctant Hero Series, I've dropped the price of The Patriot Paradox to 99c for a short time. Grab it now on Kindle Nook, and iPad/iPhone.



18 November 2011

The giveaway Kindle Fire has arrived!


Fire: Elements of the Undead 100% Coupon @Smashwords LZ43W

Valid through December 15, 2011

(Note: Previously I had marked it at 99c. Late last night I changed my mind and decided to go FREE via a Smashwords coupon. It's a little more hassle, but hey, free is better than 99c isn't it?)

Get it HERE.

It begins with the end...

When prostitute Megan Pritchard clocks in for her shift, she has no way of knowing it will be her last. Struck down by what she believes is a fast-moving stomach virus, she has her first encounter with the new zombie plague. It won't be her last.

Thirty-five thousand feet above central Kansas, airline pilot Mike Pringle has his own problems. When the zombie infection spreads through the cabin of his Boeing 757 and air traffic control stops responding, he is forced to confront the unthinkable - an airplane full of cannibalistic monsters and nowhere to land. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, submarine captain Betty Hollister receives an Emergency Action Message (EAM) unlike any other. With orders to fire upon the very country she has sworn to defend, she alone is the last line of defense against the zombie uprising.

...

In the twilight of a shattered civilization, the fate of humankind rests upon the actions of a handful of war-weary survivors. Driven to a scorched and decimated corner of the former United States, they alone hold the key to a global reawakening.

Or the final epitaph for a dead planet...


Available on Kindle, Nook, and iPad.

14 November 2011

I'm giving away a Kindle Fire this month!

Find out more here.

Check out my interview with Jim Bronyaur

The past year has been a flurry of activity, with the release of two Elements of the Undead stories (Fire in May and Air in September) and the forthcoming release of Pressed. Somehow, in the midst of all this activity, I managed to sell a few books. Jim Bronyaur was nice enough to let me ramble about my experiences on his blog. You can read it here.

Thanks Jim!

03 November 2011

Pressed (the sequel to The Patriot Paradox) is off to my editor!

The next several weeks are going to be brutal as she deconstructs it and I put it back together again, but pretty soon we should have the next installment in the Kurt and Amanda saga :)