Monthly Archives: May 2015

Dolor and Shadow

My wonderful friend Angela B. Chrysler has a book release today. It’s called Dolor And Shadow. Here is what she has to say about it:

When Kallan, the elven witch, Queen of Lorlenalin, fails to save her dying father, she inherits her father’s war and vows revenge on the one man she believes is responsible: Rune, King of Gunir. But nothing is as it seems, and the gods are relentless. A twist of fate puts Kallan into the protection of the man she has sworn to kill, and Rune into possession of power he does not understand.
From Alfheim, to Jotunheim, and then lost in the world of Men, these two must form an alliance to make their way home, and try to solve the lies of the past and of the Shadow that hunts them all.
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Now then, you want to know even more, right? So you need to start here at Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group_folder/275195 where Angela sits calmly and waits for you to ask questions. She’ll pick a winner from the questioners who will win an autographed copy of Dolor And Shadow.
Then go to Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/846622578706284/ for another chance. Bergen sits there, quaffing Angela’s beer and staggering through questions as well. Same deal from him. He’ll pick a winner and send off a copy of the autographed book too.
Finally, head over to Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cfbsofd61dftijta6h017atdm44 and get the straight dope from Kallan herself. She’s still watched closely by Rune so you might have to referee for a moment or two before you get an answer for your question. They’ll pick a winner as well but I have my doubts that it will be easy for them to collaborate long enough to send the copy out. I’m sure Angela will have to step in for them.
And should you get lost in all that running around, you can always find your way around at http://www.angelabchrysler.com/ where you’ll find even more treasures about this fascinating world. So go, bring a lunch and have a good time. Ask questions and get answeres from the author and her characters. Just tell Angela that the crazy guy sent you…
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#IndieRoar: Are You Ready to Roar?! * June 1 – 10 *

First things first.  Do you sort of like Indie books? Indie Authors?  Indie anything?  Okay. You’re in the right place.
Next, do you do Twitter?  I mean seriously.  Are you a part-time tweeter?  A one-in-a-blue tweeter?  Or, are you a hardcore Twitter-nista? Why?
‘Cause for the #IndieRoar challenge from Monday, June 1 through Wednesday, June 10 we are going to throw out a new challenge every day for you to show your Indie chic savvy coolness!  Bone up on your Indie news and views, authors and series!  We want you to show us your Indie passionate roar!
No! We won’t ask you to do anything illegal, or get naked. (If you choose to do these things, we’ll watch! ) Kiddin’!  But we will dare you! Maybe even scare you a bit! But, it’s all good Indie fun!
We’ve got prizes for the three overall winners that make us smile the most!
Prizes:
1st Prize – $25 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 6 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors
2nd Prize — $10 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 4 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors
3rd Prize – Choice of 3Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors
Take a moment to sign up today to get each day’s challenge dropped in your inbox!  You can also find each day’s challenge on this blog.
To signup, click here.  Or, signup using the form below.
Can’t wait to see you roar beginning on Monday, June 1st at 6:30 am EDT!

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How You Can Join the Mother of All Blog Tours

Far too good to pass up…

Archer's Aim

Logo B2BEvery author is looking for a way to discover readers so blog tours are a very popular option. I know I’ll be trying to organize as many tours as possible for the release of The Bow of Destiny this fall. But I didn’t think I’d get an early start on tours. However, I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take part in one before the release: The 2015 Books To Brains Blog Tour.

Angela B. Chrysler has come up with a generous idea to host a month-long tour on her sites, Brain to Books and AngelaBChrysler.com. Each day a new author will be featured with the total being over 60. Wow, that’s just huge! Talk about generosity – Angela’s got it.

B2B ThunderclapI’m scheduled on August 31st with a pre-release post about The Bow of Destiny. I’ll begin sharing about the details of the book and getting a…

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Why Do Parents Think They’re Doing Right For Their Kids?

So lets start the rantwagon and go for a spin. I really didn’t want this to sound like a when-I-was-young thing, but for all purposes, that’s exactly where it’s going. Let’s start with baseball. Little League. When I was a kid, if you stunk you didn’t play. It taught you to either learn to play better or find something else you were good at. Much the way real life works. If you perform poorly at work, you get fired. If you continue to seek work that you obviously can’t do you end up sleeping on a bench in the park.

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So, when he’s supposed to be learning how to adapt and overcome, we change the way it gets played. Now, when little Johnny wants to sit in the outfield with his glove on his foot, it’s OK. When he can’t field, hit or throw, it’s OK. Then later, when he’s 37 and sleeping in mommy and daddy’s basement, leeching their SSI because he can’t keep a job, we wonder what went wrong. Or when he gets bullied at school and can’t take it, runs home and gets daddy’s gun and shoots up his class, we wonder what went wrong.

Which brings us to violent behavior. Of course, modern parenting says it’s wrong to hit a child. It teaches them violence. They already get too much violence from TV, books and movies. Here it comes again. When I was a kid, we watched almost nothing but violence. We watched sailors beat the hell out of each other, we watched cats and mice trying to kill each other and probably the one that causes most modern parents to shudder, we watched three guys that pretty much slapped, kicked, punched, eye-poked and maimed each other throughout their set.

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The difference back then was that our parents explained that cartoons and the Stooges and movies were all make believe. It was a fantasy world. Much different from the real world. You couldn’t do things like that. You had to respect people. We were taught to treat others as we wanted to be treated. Well, I can tell you that I didn’t want anybody to drag a saw across my head or shoot me in the ass, so I made sure I didn’t do those things to anybody else. And sunuvabitch, it worked! Nobody ever stabbed me, shot me or put my head in a vise clamp. Amazing how parental guidance worked.

Which brings us to the real problem today. Parents. So far, you don’t want to teach your children to be competitive and learn how to fit in and make things work. You don’t have the time to teach them the values of co-existance and how to differentiate between real and fantasy. Guess what else you do?

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You don’t teach your children to respect anything. Not the world around them, other people or themselves. I hear them cursing their parents, being obnoxious and rude, whining and carrying on because they can’t have their way…it’s ridiculous at best and again, harmful for their future. When I was young, I was taught to respect cops. If they said sit down, you sat. I watch the news and see young adults arguing and fighting the cops and then screaming when they get tazed or shot. Cop said sit down 2 dozen times and he was wrong for putting them down?

No, you as a parent hold the blame. You didn’t teach respect. If I ever told my mother or father half the things I hear kids saying, I wouldn’t have been able to sit down for a month. Did that make me afraid of them? Absolutely not. It made me afraid of being stupid! Now, we all know stupidity is a trademark of youth, and it will happen no matter how careful the child is. But it’s OK, because we were also taught responsibility. You stand up and admit your mistake. Yeah, you might get grounded for a week, but better that than get caught in a lie and get a spanking on top of the grounding.

You all say you’re making a better world. I just don’t see how. What I see are several generations of little pussies that whine and sniffle if every block doesn’t fall exactly into the right space. I see people with no respect or regard to anybody or anything that come into access of guns. I see uncaring, thoughtless people coming into areas of politics and positions of authority over the population. If you see a better future from this, I wish to hell you’d show me where it is.

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Shooting the Child

Truman Capote once said, “Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.”  I think he was right in that assessment. I recently finished the third and final book of a story I started almost 14 years ago. It’s possible it may have been even longer than that. The story was a special one to me because it was also the start of my writing habit.

I started playing an online game of sorts in the old Yahoo chat rooms. It was more a social site than a game site but there were certain rules to follow. I would write these little scenarios for what was going on in the game. First one, then another and then more of the people started telling me to write the whole story. So I did.

From a writer’s standpoint, it was horrible. No, that is too good a word…atrocious is better. But, it was a start, and to me it was a masterpiece. I was certain it would be in the top 5 of the NY Times best seller list within a month of publication. I dutifully sent copies out to publishers and sat back, waiting for the offers to roll in. I waited days. I waited weeks. I waited months. I’m still waiting for some of them.

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I did get one reply. I had submitted it to a popular RPG Game company that I will not name and bless their souls, they replied. It seems, they did want my book. Not for the story mind you, they were going to trash that completely. They wanted the characters I created. Artistic integrity whispered for me to refuse the offer and so the book sat quietly for a few years. Then, just like the One Ring, it found me again. This time, I was ready.

I had done a lot of writing since I sat it down, including a massive fan-fiction work that was getting great reviews from the gamers that were reading it. So, Fire At Dawn was pulled out and rewritten. She was dusted off and spun until she sounded better. Then, unable to publish the fan-fiction work, I rewrote that and published it. Doing that book helped me see writing a lot differently as I had lots of critiques about what was missing and what could have been done better. So, that was taken out of publication and fixed before going back out.

I took another look at Fire At Dawn (FAD) and saw everything that needed to be polished and yet another rewrite happened. This time I bit the bullet and sent it to publication. It got good reviews. Not OMG, I have the new #1 title, but people liked it. I started immediately on a sequel to it called The Stormrider. I was more confidant as I wrote this one and a bit more skilled at writing. A keen observation showed me a missed opportunity in FAD, but there was no way I could capitalize on it in this book. That was when I realized that both books were just parts of a huge story.

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That story found its ending in the third and final book, A New Dawning. So 14+ years later, the child I had brought into the world was complete. Then I took it out into the yard and shot it. As I knew I would, I stood over the bloody body and thought of how to resurrect it. I had already made provisions for that even before I knew I was doing it. There was a good amount of story just hinted at in the first book, that would form a prequel of sorts.

Then, I allowed a twenty year span between the ending of the 2nd book and the start of the 3rd. This, was genious on my part. I could bring that beautiful child I had just shot back to life. 20 years is a long time and I’m quite sure that someone was writing down all the little adventures that happened. In fact, I’m almost posative there is a Lost Tales series of adventures out there somewhere.

 

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So rise little dead child, your creator has returned life to you. This is the power we all have. None of the children we take into the yard need to stay dead. There are always ways of breathing life into them again.

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day, an American Holiday set aside to do what the name suggests. It is the day we are supposed to remember the fallen heroes from wars past and present. The history of America is its wars. The country was founded within a war. Statistics are mind-boggling.

  • 1775-1783 – The American Revolutionary War – 50,000 dead and wounded
  • 1785-1796 – The Northwest Indian War – 1,881+ dead and wounded
  • 1798-1800 – The Quasi War – 556 dead and wounded
  • 1812-1815 – The War of 1812 – 20,000 dead and wounded
  • 1846-1848 – The Mexican-American War – 17,435 dead and wounded
  • 1861-1865 – The Civil War – 750,000 dead
  •         -1898 – The Spanish-American War – 4,068 dead and wounded
  • 1898-1913 – The Philippine-American War – 7,126 dead and wounded
  • 1917-1918 – World War 1 – 320,518 dead and wounded – 3,350 missing
  • 1941-1945 – World War 2 – 1,076,245 dead and wounded – 30,314 missing
  • 1950-1953 – The Korean War – 128,650 dead and wounded – 4,759 missing
  • 1955-1975 – The Viet Nam War – 211,454 dead and wounded – 2,489 missing
  • 2001-Present – The Afghanistan War – 20,904 dead and wounded
  • 2003-2011 – The Iraq War – 36,710 dead and wounded

You look at that list and see a good number of years with no conflict, but this list is by no means complete. There is hardly any time when the U.S. is not engaged in some type of occupation. That’s a total of 2,645,547+ dead and wounded from this very short list. What a waste of life. It makes Memorial Day seem small, as if one day couldn’t possibly do it.

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Viet Nam was my war. It was the first war that was broadcast into American homes on a nightly basis. It gave us haunting images like the one above, pictures that will be burned into our minds forever. A friend of mine, Chipper went long before me and was lucky to come back. A lot of our friends didn’t. He lost his left leg at the knee and his right leg at mid-thigh. His life could have gone into the bitter world like Captain Dan of Forest Gump fame.

But Chipper was a fighter. He was the kind of guy that took set-backs and diversity and looked them right in the eye. He didn’t back down from anybody or anything. So how did America pay back this man that sacrificed his legs for her? He was rewarded by a lifetime of bureaucratic red tape from the V.A. on every single thing he tried to do. And why the tape?

Chipper was instructed to wear his prosthetics. They were uncomfortable and hurt. He was not ashamed of his wheelchair, never caring what people thought when they saw him in it. He was told that “Americans didn’t want to see returning soldiers missing limbs”. What? They watched the ravages of war on television, saw executions, burned children and an endless supply of caskets being loaded onto C-133 Cargomaster planes. They saw all of this, and yet they didn’t want to see one of their sons in a wheelchair? What did they think was happening there?

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When Viet Nam was done, they labeled the returnees as sick, demented and dangerous drug addicts. Protesters blamed them for taking part in a war as if they had a choice. The Viet Nam era veterans were cast aside by the country and made invisible. Such is the cost of losing a war. Thankfully, today’s troops have it slightly better. They still get screwed by the V.A., but not as bad as back then. Today we understand what war does to people, things like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. It strikes me as odd that it only took 240 years for it.

But today is Memorial Day. Sit back, pop a beer and light the bar-b-que. Just take a minute to remember the many that have died in wars for this country. Don’t take the time to wonder if the wars were just or warranted, because a great many of them were not. Remember instead, the ordinary man called on to do extraordinary things. The soldier that just takes orders because he was trained to do that. The soldiers that faced death and kept going. The soldiers that paid the ultimate price for this country. Raise a glass to them and if there’s a vet at your party, thank him for what he did.

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The Release Day – Through Hell and Back

After far too long, the final book in my trilogy is out. A New Dawning marks the end of an epic tale I started almost 14 years ago. Of course the first book, Fire At Dawn was my first attempt at writing and it was never published until it went through a dozen or more rewrites and edits. The second book, The Stormrider arrived in a timely fashion and kept the story going and reviews for both books were good.

Then came the dark times. We decided we had had enough of New York and its cost of living. Next stop was Miami and all the preparations were made. With just two days to go before departure, we found out we had no housing. In a panic we turned to an offer from friends to stay with them in North Carolina until we could get a place in Florida. The old adage about not knowing someone until you lived with them was never truer!

These people turned out to be crazy on the bat-shit level. Long story short, we ended up living in a motel for almost 8 months and the worst thing was an interruption to my writing schedule. Yes, I’m one of those people. I like to get up at the crack of dawn and write while the house is still. So, for 8 months my routine was smashed. I wrote when I could, sometimes at the job I had taken. Chapters were getting done at a snail’s pace.

Thankfully, Miami finally came and my routine was back! The chapters started pouring out again although, they had taken a much darker form. This was no doubt from my frustration leaking onto the characters. But even through this new darkness, we forged on and now the dream is reality. All three books are public and the epic story is finished.

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My promo picture came from an extremely talented artist on Deviant Art named Alector Fencer ( http://alectorfencer.deviantart.com/ ). It seemed to show exactly what the theme of the book would be and thankfully he allowed me to use his images for the promos. As it says, The Chronicles of the Free People Trilogy is indeed an epic tale.

It spans more than 20 years in the lives of the main characters Hellion and his wife Fire. Theirs is a story of love, devotion and surrender in its purest form. This great romance is set amid three devastating wars that continually test the fortitude of the Clans they lead. Their character is tested at every turn as is their faith and their love.

Their world is beautiful beyond measure despite the turmoil that rages through it. From the golden sand of the beaches in the south to the majestic peaks of the Red Mountains in the north, their world is a mixture of beings. Men, Dwarves and the Free People live among the immortals. The Elven Lords, the Dragon Lords and the Vampire Clan share their worlds alongside the rest. The Hecaetans, the Chosen of Gaia are the magical bridge that joins these two worlds.

The Hecaetans are responsible for the Clans existence. From their magic, the first of the clansfolk emerged. They entered a hostile world that began with their savagery towards each other. Then came the Slavers, men who saw a profit in that savagery. This was when Hellion stepped forward and fought for his people. With Fire by his side they forged a new world in the Wilderlands, united the Clans and gave them the title of Free People.

The trilogy is finished now. Their story is available in each book or as a box set containing all three books. Their popularity has me thinking of at least one more book for them, a prequel that will tell the story I described in the previous paragraph in deeper depth. It will end at the weeks and days before the start of Fire At Dawn.

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My hope is that you will enjoy their story. If you have been following them, I hope the wait for book three has been justified and if you are new to them, I hope that you’ll find them as beautiful as I see them. If you are a blogger and would like a free copy in exchange for your review, please drop a note to me at fabsfan419@aol.com

Remember readers, the best way to thank an author that has given you a little brightness in a darkening world is by leaving a review of his/her work.

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