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Jul 30, 2012

J. C. Martin's Oracle is now available

Not enough excitement at the Summer Olympics for you? J.C. Martin is looking to fix that. I am proud to help her promote her new book, Oracle, a crime thriller set amidst the athletic action currently going on in London...and you thought the summer couldn't get any hotter.



J.C. Martin releases her debut novel, crime thriller Oracle, today! To celebrate, she's holding a month-long Oracle Olympics Blog Tour, with tons of games and prizes, including a possible grand prize of an iPad3 (for more details, visit J.C.'s blog)!

And it all kicks off with today's Opening Ceremony!

Read on to find out how you could win a signed paperback copy of Oracle right off the bat!

So what is Oracle about, anyway? Here's the blurb:

Oracle

ORACLEWith London gearing up to host the Olympics, the city doesn't need a serial killer stalking the streets, but they've got one anyway.

Leaving a trail of brutal and bizarre murders, the police force is no closer to finding the latest psychopath than Detective Inspector Kurt Lancer is in finding a solution for his daughter's disability.

Thrust into the pressure cooker of a high profile case, the struggling single parent is wound tight as he tries to balance care of his own family with the safety of a growing population of potential victims.

One of whom could be his own daughter.

Fingers point in every direction as the public relations nightmare grows, and Lancer's only answer comes in the form of a single oak leaf left at each crime scene.

Purchase Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

Intrigued?

Here's your chance to win a signed copy of the book!

All you have to do is visit all the blogs in the Parade of Nations in order (for a complete list of blogs, visit Olympics HQ here), including this one! Each blog will have a secret letter. Collect them all to decipher the secret message. Then go back to J.C.'s blog and enter your answer in the Rafflecopter for your chance to win! Answer some additional bonus questions to multiply your chances of winning!

The contest will remain open till midnight EST on Friday 3rd August. The winner will be announced on J.C.'s blog!

So here is my secret letter: A

Click on over to M. Pax's Wisful Nebulae for the next letter!

Good luck!

Jul 26, 2012

BookPushalooza: Win, Read, Have Fun!

Hello all! I am pleased and honored to help out my fellow authors in the first ever BookPushalooza! Read on for details on how you can enter to win and be sure to check out the awesome reads below.



Welcome to the FIRST EVER BookPushalooza!

July 26th ONLY

9 Books, only .99.

With each purchase you get the chance to WIN while Helping Authors reach new heights in Amazon’s ranks.

It’s so easy a CAVEMAN could do it!

Follow the Instructions on the Rafflecopter Widget and for each book you purchase (or Borrow through Amazon Prime for Free) you get an entry in to WIN ---

(1) Grand Prize- $100 Amazon Gift Card

(2) Runners up of $25 Amazon Gift Cards

That’s not all! Purchase all NINE (9) books and get an additional 5 entries!

Don’t delay, this offer is good for JULY 26th ONLY!



Overview of Dark Isle

When evil begets evil, a choice is forced on Quinn, the one person who can see the danger. Does she save the ones she loves, or does she save the world from Chaos?

As the realms of Fae and human collide, Quinn's future has never looked so grim, or so damn impossible.

Genre- Urban Fantasy
Overview of Enemy in Blue

 The streets aren't safe when your enemy wears a blue uniform and a gold badge.
What if the good guys weren't good?
What if a cop went rogue and killed an innocent man?
What if it was all caught on video and the cop would do anything to cover it up?
Chase this lawless cop through the streets and to a scintillating series of showdowns with Cruz Marquez, a young attorney trying to nail down his enemy in blue.
Will justice be served?
Genre- Thriller



Overview of Land of the Noonday Sun

When two strangers have nothing left but their dreams, they must forge a relationship in Nantahala, North Carolina, a small town known as Land of the Noonday Sun.

A man with a traumatic past is able to turn his life around and is happy with his chosen career as a whitewater guide. Everything changes though when fate hurls a woman into his path. His carefree life is in turmoil, and his former weaknesses threaten to overtake him. Will he be strong enough when tragedy strikes and is once again in danger of losing everything he loves?
Genre- Contemporary Romance


Overview of This Time Forever

Delaney Brannigan and Blake Morrisson met at the Cedar Cove annual costume dance, known only to each other as the leopard and the cowboy--but, as Delaney soon discovers, the cowboy she'd thought had ridden off into the sunset never to tempt her again, is none other than the man she came from New York to find and discredit. Against her will, Delaney is drawn deeper and deeper into an overwhelming attraction to Blake--an attraction she can't give in to if she wants to keep the one thing she values more than anything else.
Genre- Contemporary Romance


Overview of Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula

Fourteen-year-old Cassidy Jones wakes up the morning after a minor accident in the laboratory of a world-renowned geneticist to discover that her body has undergone some bizarre physical changes. Her senses, strength, and speed have been radically enhanced.

Lives are put at risk when they find themselves embroiled in a dangerous, action-packed adventure. Soon they are forced to confront a maniacal villain willing to do anything - including murder - to reach his own ambitious goals.

Genre- YA/MG Superhero

Overview of Gray Justice

Gray Justice is the fast-paced debut thriller from Alan McDermott. When a killer walks free from court, the victim's father sees just two options: accept the judge's decision; or take on the entire British justice system. Tom Gray chooses the latter and his crusade attracts instant worldwide media coverage. It was just what Tom was hoping for, but it brought him a lot more than he bargained for.

Gray Justice is much more than a simple tale of revenge: it's a rollercoaster ride with an ending you'll never forget!
Genre- Thriller

Overview of Gone at Zero Hundred 00:00

"Their lives are in the hands of two 18-year-olds..."
A Prominent P.I. is gunned down - killed by a sniper - and it’s broadcasted on live TV.
Now, her daughter, along with her childhood pal, are thrust into a complex and riveting thriller forced to take on a secret club whose members call themselves The Privileged Ones.
Murder. Teen abductions and illegal underground parties.
They’re chased by men in ski-masks, nearly gunned down by members of a cartel, and the only way to bring down this criminal enterprise; is to crash a Mardi Gras bash and stop their private cruise ship from sailing off into the sunset.

 

Overview of Allegiance

Who do YOU pledge allegiance to?

After exposing one of the most notorious rings of police corruption in history, lawyer Cruz Marquez planned on starting a new life south of the border. That plan unraveled when an extremist group of Minutemen captured and tortured him and his wife.


Will Cruz pledge allegiance to do right, or will he do anything to serve up revenge?

Genre- Thriller


Overview of Curbchek Reload

Curbchek-Reload is a dark account of the streets as they were worked by Zach Fortier, a dangerously deranged cop. Welcome back to the inner city and the twisted mentality of Zach Fortier. Patrolling the streets, broken and mentally damaged from years of urban violence, Zach fights a losing battle to maintain a hold on reality. Join him in the passenger seat of a police cruiser for more of the darker and meaner side of life: The inner city. In Curbchek-Reload you get a front row seat to an attempted murder of a cop, suicide attempts, rapes, and DARK cop humor. Curbchek-Reload - Fasten your bullet proof vest and buckle your seatbelt, it is gonna be a wild ride!

Genre- Police Procedural 


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/49be101/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

All winners will be notified via email July 28th 2012. For a list of winners contact onedaybookpush@yahoo.ca

Jul 22, 2012

Sony: thwarting pirates or screwing customers?

The beauty of having a blog is that I can occasionally switch topics to scream out a hearty screw you to those I feel have wronged me. Congratulations to Sony. They deserve this hearty Screw You!

I've been a fan of their video game line since the original Playstation.  I loved the PS2 and I have been quite fond of my PS3. I'm not much of a mobile gamer, but my kids like the PSP and now the new PS Vita.  I've been a fan even through some missteps: like their idiotic handling of the PSN hack, their continual crippling of features after the fact (removing backwards compatibility and Linux support from the PS3), and their overall increasing arrogance as a company.  Even the most obsessive fanboys have their limits, though.

I never intended to purchase a PS Vita for the household. However, my oldest (ADD boy) started competing in gymnastics this year.  A while back I made him a deal that if he placed in the top three of the regionals, I'd get him a PS Vita.  Before you say anything, let me just add that at the time I thought it was a safe bet for my wallet.  Imagine my surprise (and parental pride...let's not forget that :) when he brought home the gold. So now we're a PS Vita household...for the moment anyway.

The PS Vita goes hand in hand with the PS3 and Sony's PSN (Playstation network) except for one moronic little "security" feature which I had the misfortune of running into this weekend. I have a master PSN account under my name.  Everything else in the household is a sub-account connected to it.  On the PS3 this works fine.  I have the kids' accounts locked down nice and tight. Only the master account can make purchases, but the kids can play them when they log in.  Makes sense and it works.

Not so with the PS Vita.  This weekend ADD picked up a PSN card.  He wanted to grab a game for his Vita.  Being that his account is locked for purchases, we bought the game on my account.  The Vita, however, is registered under his sub account and only supports one account in total.  When we tried to copy this legitimately purchased game from the PS3 to the Vita, we were met with an error that the accounts didn't match.

A quick web search later confirmed that this "error" was in a fact a security feature against piracy, one that couldn't be easily surmounted. No big deal. I called Sony, sure that we could straighten this out.  I figured they either had a workaround or could just transfer the purchases.  Generally speaking, this is all part of that thing that most of us like to call good customer service.

Not so.  Multiple calls, emails, and a chunk of my Saturday later, I was told the same thing over and over again:  1) despite it being a sub account, they consider it completely separate and thus non-transferable (apparently we have different definitions for sub account) and 2) these purchases made in good faith were non-refundable, even for the purpose of unlocking ADD's account to repurchase them.  Their grand advice: wipe the Vita and put the master account in it (complete with all the access and info I specifically DON'T want my kids to have). Needless to say, I shan't be following their "generous" suggestion. 

In other words: I can pretty much go taking a flying leap with my issue.  So now I'm stuck with a game I can't use and a disappointed son (because amount aside, there's no flipping way I'm giving them another dime until this is resolved in a manner I consider fair).

Congratulations, Sony, your misguided attempts to stop the piracy problem have done what so many other company's efforts have: treated a legitimate customer like a thief and in doing so added one more person to the list of those who don't care for your attitude.

ps: before anyone says anything, I'm not finished and plan on seeing if I can run this up the flagpole a bit.  That being said, I'm still pissed off and the damage is already done. 

Jul 11, 2012

Integrity starts with I

I will state up front this is a rant. It’s not aimed at most of you and I will apologize if you take it as such...unless you’re guilty of some of the below...in which case: knock it the hell off!



Is there such a thing as paradise? Personally I think it’s a temporary situation at best, typically reserved for those still possessing stars in their eyes. After a while, though, you begin to notice the details and that’s where the devils lie. Little by little you’ll begin to see the vipers in the underbrush and the occasional rotten fruit hanging from the tree. Once that happens, you’ll take off those rose colored glasses and see the bad behavior that’s always been there.

I entered into the writing world around a year and a half ago. My goals were simple: tell fun stories, meet others who do the same, and hopefully entertain a few people along the way. Those goals have since matured a bit, but the underlying value is still there. My hope is that it’s always there.

In joining this crazy world I have met (and continue to meet) tons of awesome people. For a time, those were the only type I met...so much so, that I began to think that the usual underbelly that normally exists anywhere else had never taken a foothold in the writing/reading community.

Not so, sadly. The stars have been falling from my eyes for a while now, but events from a few weeks back really left a bad taste in my mouth. I saw bad behavior on both sides of the coin - writer and reader alike - and I just don’t get it.

I’m not about to get on a moral high horse. I’ve done plenty of stupid things; however, I believe that’s the key word: stupid. There’s a big difference between stupid and malicious. I can forgive the first. The second is a little harder because it’s usually blatant.

I understand that in anything passions can run high. But when people resort to unfounded mob justice or underhanded tactics to try to enforce their viewpoint on things like this...well I have to take a step back and say:

They’re just stories, people! Get a grip!

For those who read: if you catch a writer, publisher, agent etc doing something unsavory or even illegal, then by all means report it, tell people about it, and scream it to the high heavens. I have no problem with that. People should be held accountable for their actions. By exposing those actions, you hopefully make the world a slightly more honest place.

For those who write: I will sum it up very succinctly...act like a fucking professional!

I could go on and on about underhanded marketing tactics, similar mob justice attitudes, or blatant disregard for people who paid for your product. If you fall into this bucket, I just want to know: are you a writer or a con man / woman? Pick one, not both.

It’s even worse, because this behavior goes beyond stupidity. If someone on a forum somewhere acts immature, the consequences are limited. If you (the writer, the brand, the artiste) act up and get caught...well congratulations; all I will say is that the internet has a long memory.

It’s not us vs. them, no matter which us you think you are. Neither side should be out to get or game the other. There should be mutual respect between and amongst both sides.

Writers: concentrate on putting out the best work you can. Be thankful for each and every person who takes a chance on you. If they don’t like it, learn from the experience and move on.

Readers: be discerning with your time and money. Reward the experience with appropriate word of mouth (positive or negative), but keep things in perspective. Lively debate is great...witch hunts, not so much.

Above all else, don’t stand for it when you see bad behavior no matter whence it came. Sometimes it takes just one voice to quell the madness before it gets out of hand. The main question is, when our time comes will we have the courage to be that voice? 

Hopefully the answer is yes because both reading and writing are about enjoyment and, outside of the minor inconvenience of a lousy story or bad review, there’s no reason it should ever turn into anything else.

Rant over! You may carry on with your day.

Jul 3, 2012

The Mourning Woods: Final Teaser and Launch

The Mourning Woods, the 3rd book of my comedy / horror series about a geeky vampire named Bill, is finally finished and has been released. I’m busy basking in the afterglow (read: trying to keep my brain from pouring out of my ears), but I wanted to let everyone know as well as post one final teaser to hopefully make you salivate a little for it.

Enjoy and (if you celebrate it) have a safe and happy Fourth of July!



The last hundred miles took far longer than I would’ve liked. Thank God for four-wheel drive. Had the weather been any worse, I don’t doubt we’d have had to find a village or traveling hockey team and trade in our wheels for a couple of dog teams.

At long last, though, we were driving through dense, dark woods, following a trail that was just barely wide enough for our vehicle, when the portable GPS finally told us we were close. It was about time. We had maybe one more tank of gas left in the trailer and our supplies were beginning to run low. I had been starting to wonder whether we should have drained that moose just in case. Another couple of days and I would’ve probably needed to start keeping an eye on Sally around my roommates. On the upside, Tom’s constant zombie moaning and groaning had lessened considerably (albeit not entirely). So there was that. What can I say? I’m a “glass is half full” kind of guy.

We all kept lookout through the windows for...something.

“Jeez,” I complained. “This is only a conference to decide the fate of the world. You’d think they’d at least have signs telling us where to park. Are you sure we’re in the right area?”

Ed turned and gave me his best withering glance. “We’re in the middle of fucking nowhere. How the hell am I supposed to know if it’s the right middle of fucking nowhere?”

“Don’t get testy, Ed...” I started to say in a condescending voice, but immediately had to change my tone. “HOLY SHIT! STOP!”

Ed turned back to the trail and immediately hit the brakes. The car skidded to a halt just inches from the thing in front of us. It had appeared from out of nowhere.

“Is that what I think it is?” Tom asked excitedly.

From my vantage point in the backseat, I could only see the front of the car and a pair of hairy, heavily muscled legs standing in front of it.

“Well...” The question was answered as the owner of said legs bent down and peered into the windshield. The face that looked in at us pulled back its lips in a snarl. It was one hell of an ugly motherfucker. Take the creature from Harry and the Hendersons and then beat it with the ugly stick for an hour or two and you might be in the ballpark.

Sally, Ed, and I just stared at the gruesome visage in front of us. Tom, ignoring the basic tenets of sanity, lifted his cell phone and immediately started snapping pictures. The creature noticed him and looked none too happy about it.

I reached forward and smacked him upside the head. “What the fuck are you doing?”

“What?” he complained. “We just proved Bigfoot is real. These babies are going up on Facebook.”

“Are you absolutely sure I can’t kill him?” Sally asked.

I glared at her out of the corner of my eye and replied, “Let me get back to you on that.”

Get out.

“Huh?” I asked. “What, Ed?”

“That wasn’t me, Bill.”

“Then who...”

GET OUT...NOW!

“Did that thing just talk?” Tom asked, echoing what the rest of us were thinking.

I turned to Sally. “They can speak?”

“How would I know?” she snapped back. “Do I look like Jane Goodall?”

“Weren’t you supposed to ask Boston about these things?”

“How the hell would I even know to ask? The only apes I’ve ever seen are in the Bronx Zoo. Last time I was there, they didn’t talk back.”

NOW!” the ugly face before us demanded again. This time it brought one cantaloupe sized fist down onto the hood of the car. The entire vehicle shook from the impact.

I looked each of my companions in the eye and said, “I think he wants us to get out.” Never let it be said I didn’t have a grasp of the obvious.



Looks like the woods hold more than one surprise for Bill and his friends. He’d better be careful, though.  He’s up against foes bigger and meaner (not to mention smellier) than anything he’s ever faced before.  If he doesn’t watch himself, he’ll wind up being scraped off of their feet like...well, something nasty they stepped in.

Oh and just to answer what seems to have become my very first FAQ question: no, these are not the same creatures that appear in my horror novel, Bigfoot Hunters.  Sorry to say, but Bill and the Crypto Hunter are not currently in the same universe.  Alas they are not fated to meet...unless I change my mind at some later date. ;)

The Mourning Woods (The Tome of Bill, part 3):
Kindle
Nook
Smashwords

Haven’t checked out the first two books yet?
Bill the Vampire (The Tome of Bill, part 1):
Kindle
Nook
Smashwords

Scary Dead Things (The Tome of Bill, part 2):
Kindle
Nook
Smashwords