Sunday, August 9, 2015

Another Johnny Spicer caper...

I love spreading the word about indie authors I enjoy, and H.P. Oliver is on my list of 'Coolest Writing Dudes and Dudettes'.

I just finished 'Pacifica' by Mr. Oliver. His main character, Johnny Spicer, is an LA gumshoe (google it, kids ;-) with attitude, a nose for adventure and the moxie to back it up. Check out my review under the 'Reviews' page.

I think H.P.'s writing strikes a note with me because the scenes seems to form with no effort on my part. Johnny's office popped out of the page smelling like old newspaper with a faint whiff of whiskey. Classy. The Golden Gate International Exposition on 1939's Treasure Island came to life with all its Art Deco facades, Chinese pavilions, the 'Dog Lady' and more.

It's easy to follow along with Mr. Oliver's story and characters. There are twists and turns to keep you guessing. There are bad guys you can boo at and guys who don't want to be heroes but nevertheless are. Real people. They act like you and I might if we were put in their situations. At least we like to think we would.

Of course, no one knows how they will act when confronted with harrowing dilemmas and life or death decisions, but H.P.'s characters seem to act like 'real' humans would. They make the right decisions most of the time, but very, very wrong decisions other times. That pulls you into Mr. Oliver's characters and makes them approachable. That kind of writing is not an easy.

Take your time with this story, don't rush it. Enjoy going back to a 'simpler' time that really wasn't all that simple to it's occupants.

My advice? Go find an author, and I recommend H.P. Oliver, that you haven't tried. Scan the promo and if it's a story that peaks your interest, buy it and enjoy a new perspective on storytelling.

Oh, yeah. I'd recommend a large pizza with the works and a couple of cold Shiner Bocks for this yarn. Clear your afternoon calendar, hit the patio, settle back into your wicker chair, put your feet up on the ottoman and dive into Johnny Spicer's latest caper.

Be Cool, my friends!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

New challenges and opportunities

It's the middle of July in North Texas and it's finally getting HOT! ;-) The flood waters are starting to recede and the lakes are inching their way down from record overflow levels. My lawn looks super and we even finished the pergola patio with the swing! Whoo Hoo!

The last few months have both flashed and crawled by, depending on what I was doing at the time. The older I get, the more I think about time and the less I have of it. God has a strange sense of humor. It's another thing she and I will discuss when I get to the pearly gates and ask for an audience. I'm sure she'll see me, if for no other reason than to replay all the stupid things I've done here on Earth. She's probably getting a big chuckle out of my optimism right now.

I finally finished and launched book three of my SciFi series 'Arlo and Jake', called 'Lost Partner'. From the reviews I've gotten, I think I finally have the pacing and dialog down and I'm doing a better job of letting my characters do the 'showing' instead of just telling the reader what's happening. I still struggle with my screenplay vs novel writing.

You see, 'Genome' was originally a screenplay back in 2006. When I failed to get any attention for it in Hollywood (surprise, surprise!) I decided to convert it to a novel. Even now I rework it occasionally, trying to make it less of a director's script and more of a true novel. (NOTE: Hey Hollywood, I'm still up for a movie deal! ;-)

I also launched my first novelette or stand alone short story, 'Etchings'. It's available on Kindle and Smashwords if you're interested (please! ;-). Instead of hopping right onto book four of the Arlo and Jake series I decided to try finishing and publishing a few of short stories. 'Etchings' created a little buzz for me and I'm hoping it will catch on and introduce readers to my other books.

My next short is 'Walk with Me'. It's about half finished. I expect to publish it in a month or two. Then it's back to Arlo and Jake or maybe improve Genome or maybe a kid's spin off from Genome I have in mind.


I have lots of new writing opportunities just waiting for my attention. So do you. Just sit down and work out the top story that is nagging for you attention and go do it. If other ideas come to you, great! Write down a quick synopsis and add them to your list of Todos. Then go back and work on that top story. Finish it. Love it. Pamper it. But don't let go of it until it's birthed.

Be Cool.
Be Happy.
Just Be.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

'Etchings', a Colorado ghost story...

I've been working on this short story, off and on, for several years. I'd play with it and then set it to the side; it never really seemed to flow right and I didn't have a good ending.

Last weekend I was looking through my 'To Do' writing list for something I could complete while stuck in the house. I have several short stories and a few 'what if' outlines that I'm always tweaking and playing with.

I read and reread what I had so far in 'Etchings', looking for a good ending. While staring out the back patio, it came to me. It was like I was standing in that tiny deserted mountain town, next to the neglected graves. I saw how Alan and Lizzie were caught up in the brewing storm and how they resolved the mystery.

I spent half a day writing and rewriting the conclusion and then going back through the story several times, tying up some loose ends and fixing my tenses again. ;-)

I'm happy with the results and I hope you get a chance to enjoy it as well.

Bring a rain coat. ;-)

'Etchings' a ghost story  <--------

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hard Core Military SciFi 'Mission Veritas' by John Murphy

Check my review of John Murphy's military adventure 'Mission Veritas' on Amazon and here on my 'Reviews' page.

I'm a big fan of Johns writing now. I read 'Mission Veritas' in two sittings. Took two because of silly work requirements ;-)

John's style is brisk and solid hard scifi adventure. The story hooks you with great characters and a solid intro and then flings you into the maelstrom without time for a breath.

I love this kind of 'I ain't no hero, but I'll do what has to be done or die trying' story. There are characters that step up to the challenge and those that either can't or won't. So. Real people put into extraordinary circumstances with unpredictable results.

Buy this book and then grab a half dozen of your favorite cold brew and a huge plate of nachos, you're going to be busy for a few hours.

Talk/blog to John here:
Twitter: @ArmOnToast ('Armageddeon on Toast')

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Another day on the patio lost in the works of a fine author, Pete Carter

Curse you, Pete Carter! ;-)

I just spent another fine Texas afternoon, turning pages in his latest thriller, 'The Legacy Trust'.

It took me two blond and sweet mugs of hot coffee, a breakfast plate of over-easy eggs, bacon and toast and assorted snacks to finish. OK, fine, I also had an ice cold Fat Tire, LATE in the afternoon. (around 12:07 I think ;-)

Pete's a favorite author I found while Tweeting, blogging and making a nuisance of myself in the CyberSphere. We've traded reviews, talked about writing and most of all had a lot of fun throwing ideas around.

Pete and I both enjoy writing AI characters. Try his 'The Fence' for a great example. It's pretty cool how his AI character, 'Jay', and mine ,'PIP,' grow from tiny little sparks of imagination to full blow viable characters. Fun.

In this adventure though, Pete shows his expertise with a different plot angle. Time Travel. And again, Pete, does not use that old saw as a crutch but rather as a tool to pull you along in the story. And, as in all of his works, Pete, gives you great characters, who can stand on their own.

I was rooting for Andrew Knight from the get go. As the story unfolded, I was cringing when he screwed up and cheering when he figured something out. There is a lot of cringing, BTW.

This is a page turner.

It's a damn fun story.

Thanks again, Pete!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

'Arlo and Jake Lost Partner' has launched!

That's right, Buckaroos, the highly anticipated third book in the SciFi series 'Arlo and Jake' has left the launch pad and is rocketing into Cyber Space!

Our brave compadres have embarked on another spine-tingling adventure that's fraught with danger in every corner of the Galaxy.

They battle new EUAPs (evil ugly alien predators). What has three legs, three arms, and a tri-faceted face only it's mother could love and we're not sure about her?

There are more dazzling space battles with lasers, particle beams and kitchen sinks being thrown at high speed against overwhelming odds. Has the FTG Triumph met it's match? Why is Jake spinning like a top OUTSIDE the battleship?

Hmmm. Arlo meets the gorgeous eight-legged Tia. Does Arlo's outdated sense of chivalry keep him focused on the love of his life, Tizzy, or....

They encounter weird new AIs (Artificial Intelligence) that may or may not be sane. How can you tell with an AI? Can AIs have siblings? Who or what the heck is 'FrankenBot'?

There are hopeless conundrums, brave acts of daring-do, strange worlds where small partners must survive and as always lots of just plain FUN!

Join my heroes and their shipmates on the space battleship FTG Triumph as we dive into another adventure with 'Arlo and Jake Lost Partner'.

Amazon: Arlo and Jake Lost Partner
Barnes and Noble: Arlo and Jake Lost Partner

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hours away from the launch of 'Arlo and Jake Lost Partner'!! Whoo Hooo!

Yep, it's finally time to shove book #3 of the 'Arlo and Jake' SciFi series out of the launching bay and send it rocketing into fame and glory. ;-)

Hollywood, your next Mega fun Space Adventure has arrived!

A rash of design flaws, character redefinition, plot FUBARs, countless rewrites and a general issue with 'vita intercessiones' (real life interference) have delayed 'Lost Partner' well past my self-imposed deadline.

I am truly sorry to my loyal fan, uh, I mean fans, for having to wait so long. As a consolation, I believe 'Lost Partner' is the best in the series so far! More good guys, more villains, more tension, deeper plot and just more fun.

Tonight I'll load up the covers, fill in the book spec's and push the 'Publish' button on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I haven't decided on Smashwords yet. It doesn't seem to be a viable publishing avenue for me yet but who knows?

Then I'm going to break out a cold Fat Tire or two, a plate of hot wings and celebrate!

I'll post again when it's launched.

Arlo says, "'bout time, you lazy Tadpole!"

Be cool.

Friday, April 10, 2015

My first Goggle Hangout with Paul Levinson

(Sorry about being out of sequence. Somehow this post had a strange embedded something and refused to show up with the red background.)

I spent some time last night talking to the marvelous Paul Levinson (@PaulLev) about his novella 'Loose Ends'. (link to Amazon)Check out the event here:

As Mr. Levinson puts it: 'Time travel has always been my first passion as a reader and then writer of science fiction.'

We discussed some of the Universal fascinations that all of humanity seems to possess, regardless of culture or geography. Time Travel, Religion, Immortality, Flight (without machinery), Telepathy, Magic in all it's forms, etc.

Time Travel seems to be one of the human desires that sparks endless debates and speculations from virtually everyone. Sometimes in jest, other times very seriously.

Why is that?

Is it because we're 'aware' of time's passing? We can change so many things about our environment but not change what has already happened. Yet because we're aware that there is a yesterday, we seem to gravitate to it, seek it out like a lost love one. 'If only I could do that over...'

So check out the event and Mr. L's books. I'll be posting a review this weekend.

Unless of course there is Time Travel. In which case my future self will come back and write it now.... ;-)