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Cookies are for closers. By now you folks know the deal: I co-authored a zombie series with a guy who couldn’t finish the job, fought through a “cease and desist” threat, and used Amazon’s own platform to earn more from Wicked than Amazon was offering through a publishing contract.

I cannot begin to tell you how many people have read this series (specifically the Journal of Emma Wilson) and asked for more. Dead on Monday came later and it’s a story that I’m very proud of. I mean, this series even uses a cover that I revived from the dead! Like me, Wicked has had every reason imaginable to just lay down and die. It has been written off, threatened, abandoned, and has somehow managed to pick itself up and thread its scars together to form a masterpiece.

Wicked: In the Flesh is coming soon! I cannot believe I’m saying that, yet I’m saying it with a matter-of-fact grin on my face. I’m planning a lot more for the official canon, too. Some zombie franchises enter the world of publishing with a huge bang, but my prized horse chops away slow and steady. Let’s face it: things that go “bang” eventually run out of ammo. I’ll keep my machete and simply sharpen it from time to time.

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Be Yourself

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Is anyone else out there in Internet Land sick and tired of stating an opinion, and then having to explain it a thousand times over? Seriously, guys, I can’t tweet something nominal without hate tweets hitting my page from the offended. If I tweet the fact that I’m proud to be Icelandic, I’m hammered b/c of their laws when it comes to childbirth. Even though I don’t live there. And have never lived there. Ever.

If I say that I’m Christian, I’m a “mindless sheep”. If I admit that I’m a Republican, I’m (wow, there are a lot. Let’s see…) “racist, homophobic, anti-immigrant and the scourge of society”. If I talk about a hard day of work (writing), coal miners blow me up because it isn’t “real work”. If I complain about book sales, vagrants get on library computers to hate on me for “having it good” and if I say sales are good, I’m being a “blowhard author”.

When is it enough people, seriously? Is the average person really that unhappy with their life? Where I stand, it goes as follows:

*I’m a proud Christian that refuses to judge others based on their beliefs.

*I’m a proud Republican. Like most Republicans, we welcome any and all people to this country. Skin color, religion or even nationality has 0 importance to us, so long as you are willing to work for your lot in life, pay taxes, and be nice to other human beings.

*I’m an author, and proud of it. It is hard work. Unlike working at the widget factory, our paychecks vary greatly from month to month and in America, I have the right to bitch about it accordingly.

*I stand for the national anthem, and while I’m on this subject, what does not standing even do? Aside from land you in the unemployment line – nothing. I was raised to believe that if something is broken, you fix it. You don’t complain about it being broken. Don’t like the way police officers do their jobs? Become a police officer and do it better. Don’t respect our soldiers? Become a soldier and do it better. Be the beacon of difference, though I suspect that most of these people are too cowardly to do either. So they refuse to stand for our flag, which is the equivalent of my youngest son stomping his feet in the toy isle at Target.

Long story short – I’m a very happy person. I try to treat (all) others the same way that I want to be treated. I try my very best not to hate anyone, or their beliefs, so long as they aren’t trying to kill people. It’d be great if the rest of the world could join me.

 

Trimming My Friends

With this blog, I use the term “friends” lightly.

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Gaining another year of age (er, experience) has taught me a few new tricks. The biggest, it seems, is finally understanding that I don’t have dozens of friends, but rather two or three people that I can really depend on. Oh, the countless hours I’ve spent trying to be a good friend to some of these people. Today I realize that, in terms of effort, 90% of it has been on my end.

You see, I’ve figured out that people like this (the friendship loafers, as I like to call them) are a huge drain on resources. I no longer have the time for people who refuse to make the effort. They’re cut off, and I’m standing here with the clippers. The bad habits (and bad friends) must go for the sake of productivity.

Bye, Felicia. 

A Guest Post: Author M L Moos

This past week, I had the pleasure of interviewing on M L Moos’ blog and thought I’d return the favor by featuring one of her blogs here. She’s one awesome lady!

4 Fantasy Novels Sci-Fi Fans Will Love

Though Science Fiction and Fantasy are often lumped together, they are as different from each other as pie is from cake. Fantasy is all about magic and mythical creatures, Sci-Fi is all about spaceships and futuristic technology. (Yes, there are many books which combine these elements, but I’m not talking about those right now.)

Many fans of Science Fiction also enjoy Fantasy, just as many fans of pie also enjoy cake. However, for many others, Fantasy has left a bad taste. To those fans, I give you a list of four fantasy books I dare you to dislike. After all, as our mothers would say, “How do you know you won’t like it if you don’t try it?”

Artemis Fowl

Twelve-year-old Artemis is a millionaire, a genius and above all, a criminal mastermind. But Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren’t the fairies of the bedtime stories, they’re dangerous! Full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.

If you like snarky evil geniuses, look no further than this exciting series of middle grade books. But don’t let his age deter you. He’s a young Sherlock Holmes, with all the anti-hero awesomeness fans of Arthur Conan Doyle love. Artemis might be rude and flaunt his superior intelligence at every opportunity, but he does it with flair. Though he’d rather have needles shoved beneath his fingernails than admit it, at his core, he wants the same things all lonely little boys want: family and friendship. He just uses unorthodox methods to get them.

The False Prince: The Ascendance Trilogy book 1

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point – he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

This one is a bit more medieval than Artemis, but the characters are just as gritty and tough as anyone on Adam’s Gunship (see John’s books). They’re so gritty, in fact, that I often had to remind myself how young Sage is. But his difficult childhood doesn’t leave much room for innocence and play, leading to more maturity than his age would otherwise indicate. If you enjoy seeing tough characters overcoming enormous odds and defeating cunning villains, then this book is just right for you.

Storm Thief

Perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Michael Grant, this darkly thrilling novel is a powerful blend of fantasy and science-fiction. Rail and Moa are two teenage thieves. Vago is a golem of metal and flesh. All three are are denizens of Orokos, a city scoured by chaotic storms that rearrange streets and turn children into glass. No one can enter the city, or leave. Until one day Rail finds a mysterious artifact that may hold the key to the secrets of the city – and the chance of escape. And so begins an impossible quest. Get ready for a breathtaking adventure.

I was gifted this book by a friend and if not for that I might never have picked it up. And that would have been a tragedy. I came to love this book in a way I never expected. It’s the darkest of the books on this list, but that makes the hopeful moments that much brighter. Rail is an unfortunate victim of the storms and Moa is his loyal companion. Together they take risks they never thought they’d ever be faced with. If you like dystopian books with a science fiction twist, then you’ll love this book.

The Final Empire: Mistborn book 1

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage – Allomancy, a magic of metals.

This series is by far the largest in scope as it is an epic fantasy. If you’re into the harder side of science fiction, then this one might suit your tastes best. The magic system is intricate and thorough without being too fantastical. The cast is large and diverse and Sanderson is excellent at pulling you into their lives and making you care about each of them as individuals as well as the huge task they undertake. If you’re looking for an intricate world to sink into and an epic battle to fight, then consider giving this book a try.

If you’re one of the many Sci-Fi fans who frown when a Fantasy book is recommended, I would challenge you to try out one or two of these suggestions. You never know. Maybe you just haven’t been served the right flavor.

Visit M L Moos online!

I’m the Birthday Boy

Yep, today’s my birthday and I’m turning…don’t you wish you knew. I can honestly say that this has been the toughest year of my life. It was off to a good start with this:

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Patricia’s my favorite actress and one heck of a good woman! Unfortunately, hours later I was at the hospital and, let’s just say that I’ve had plenty on my plate since then. I had to stop lifting weights for 11 1/2 months (lifting is my 2nd passion) and book sales have dived into the ground (and stayed there for pretty much all of 2017). But the struggle is what turns the average ones into the good ones, and the good ones into greats. I’ve kept that in mind, kept my head down and continued to write as hard as I possibly could. I’m averaging 3,000 words/day, 7 days a week and that’s gotta matter for something, right?

Anyway, today I’m the birthday boy and if you’d like to buy me a cup of coffee, I would sure appreciate it! If you do, be sure to leave a note so I know who to thank.