Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

I've spent the last couple of days winding down and enjoying the holiday because 2017 will be busy. I will be hosting more giveaways and contests related to Hell Gate, will be getting ready to release the sequel, and will be finishing off book three and starting book four. 

To all my fans and friends, have a pleasant and safe New Year. Next year will be fun and exciting.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

My Review of Metro 2033

I picked up Dmitriy Glukhovsky's Metro 2033 because I was in the mood for some post-apocalyptic fiction and had heard good things about the novel. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. The setting and mood are well written and the characters are believable and interesting, but the plot dragged. The beginning part of Metro 2033 is mostly exposition about how society developed in Moscow's Metro following the apocalyptic event, the various factions that arose, and which stations they occupied. I made it 20% of the way through the novel without any significant events occurring, at which point I gave up and put it aside. I understand that post-apocalyptic fiction does not have to be action-packed to be entertaining (The Road and On the Beach are prime examples of that); however, Metro 2033 could not hold my interest.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Month of Interviews

For my fans who are interested in learning more about me, than you definitely got your wish this Christmas. In addition to my previous interview with Dab of Darkness on 17 December (which you can read here), these other two were posted this week:

On 20 December, I answered some really tough questions on M.K. Gibson's Drop and Give Me 20! interview blog. He asked me a lot of questions, including what I know about the Roswell aliens. To find out the answer, you'll have to check out the interview here.

On the 23rd, The Dabbler posted its interview in which I discuss the inspirations behind Hell Gate and plans for future books in the series. You can read the entire interview here.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All My Fans

Wishing all my readers a wonderful holiday season. May it be filled with wondrous surprises.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Interview, Book Giveaway With Dab of Darkness

This week Dab of Darkness interviewed me about my previous life in the CIA and my current career as a writer. To find out more, including the worst job I ever had, click here.

Between now and 17 January 2017, Dab of Darkness is also running a giveaway of one print version (U.S. only) and two Kindle versions (international) of Hell Gate. To enter to win, click here and answer the questions. Good luck. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Congratulations to the Goodreads Giveaway Winners!!!

Congratulations to the following winners of the Goodreads Giveaway of Hell Gate. Your autographed copies of the book went out in this morning's mail. Each copy has personally been licked by Satan himself.

The winners are:

Philip T.
Lauri C.C.
Pam F.G.
Susan M.
Ian Y.
Ashley F.
Emilie T.
Stephen D.
Gray B.
Stephanie T.

I hope you enjoy Hell Gate and become fans of the series. If you do like the book, please do me a favor and post a review on Amazon. Many thanks, and once again, congratulations on being a winner.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Less Than One Day Remaining in the Goodreads Giveaway of Hell Gate

Only seventeen hours left in the Goodreads Giveaway of Hell Gate. If you haven't already, sign up now before it's too late. If you have signed up, then good luck.

Monday, December 5, 2016

My Review of David Brin's The Postman

A few years ago I watched The Postman (1997) with Kevin Costner and thought the movie was excellent, despite its critics. Recently I picked up the 1985 novel of the same name by David Brin to compare the two, and did so with high expectations because usually the book is better than the movie. In this instance, that was not the case.

In the movie, Kevin Costner plays an unidentified wandering minstrel who travels from settlement to settlement in post-apocalypse Oregon, putting on Shakespearean performances in return for food, until he is forcibly inducted into the Holnists, a militia group commanded by General Bethlehem (Will Patton). Costner eventually escapes and stumbles across an abandoned U.S. mail truck, steals the postal worker’s uniform and mail bag, and adopts the persona of the Postman. He still travels from settlement to settlement, only now he claims to be a representative of the Restored U.S. Government. Inspired by the ideal of the country rebuilding itself, the settlements ban together and teenagers establish a Pony Express-like mail service that spreads across Oregon. General Bethlehem, afraid that this Restored U.S. Government will deprive him of his power, cracks down on the resurgent national movement, murdering the teenage postmen and enacting vengeance on any town that has established a post office or flies a U.S flag. Despite the Postman’s repeated attempts to avoid conflict, there is eventually a confrontation in which the Postman confronts and defeats Bethlehem, allowing the foundation to be set for an actual Restored U.S. Government. I always viewed the movie version of The Postman as having a political message that people need to stand up to tyranny, and that the individual has to rise above his/her own flaws and become something greater than themself for the good of the country.

Brin’s novel takes a different track. The main character is Gordon Krantz, a wanderer in post-apocalypse Oregon who hides in a postal truck after his possessions and clothes are stolen by bandits, and who steals the uniform of the postal worker to keep warm. As he travels from settlement to settlement looking for a handout, the locals rally around him, buoyed by the idea of a Restored U.S. Government. In an environment that is more science fiction/dystopian than post-apocalyptic, Krantz comes across: a town that worships Cyclops, a supposed sentient artificial intelligence that offers the locals guidance, but is actually an electronic hulk whose wisdom is provided by the scientists who run it; an all-female settlement of Amazonian-like warriors; and the Holnists, the leaders of which are physically augmented hyper-survivalists. What I did not like about the novel is that Krantz is not the driving force behind events; at best, he is driven by them, and often is only a witness. The Postman is filled with symbolism of what Brin thought, at that time, might bring about the downfall of humanity, and in that aspect it is an interesting novel. However, I had been expecting a riveting post-apocalypse story, and was disappointed.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Only Ten Days Left in the Goodreads Giveaway, Bosch Lottery

There are only ten days left in the Goodreads giveaway of Hell Gate. Over three hundred people have already entered, so be sure to do so now before it's too late.

There is also only ten days left in the giveaway of one print copy of Walter Bosing's Bosch: The Complete Paintings. To enter, just leave a review of Hell Gate on Amazon and message me on my Facebook writer's page so that I know whose name the review is under.

These make epic Christmas gifts, whether you treat yourself to an early present or pass it along to someone else. So act now before you forget.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish my fans and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving. May you eat until you burst.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Q&A With Burning Willow Press on 30 November

Have you read Hell Gate and wondered: How did he develop the idea for the novel? What concepts did he use to create the Hell Spawn? Are Lucifer and Lilith really based on his dogs? What type of sick person would kill off so many of his characters? Well, there's no need to keep on guessing.

On Thursday, 30 November, at 8PM EST Burning Willow Press will be hosting me on their Facebook page for a one hour Q&A event.

So drop on by and ask me about Hell Gate, the next books in the series (the sequel has already been submitted for review and I'm working on the third one), or about writing in general. I'm really looking forward to chatting with my fans. And no questions are off limits (except, of course, any pertaining to where we're the CIA is hiding the Roswell aliens). 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hell Gate-Related Contest: Win a Copy of Bosch: The Complete Paintings

The Goodreads giveaway of Hell Gate is well underway. As promised earlier, for those readers who have already purchased a copy of the novel and want to get in on the excitement of a contest, I am offering something special.

I am giving away one print copy of Walter Bosing's Bosch: The Complete Paintings, which analyzes the art of Hieronymus Bosch, the Dutch painter who specialized in depicting Hell in all its cruelty. Consider Bosing's book a primer for the rest of the Hell Gate saga. 

To enter, just follow these two simple steps:

1) Leave a review of Hell Gate on Amazon. It doesn't have to be long. Just give the novel an honest rating and a sentence or two stating why you liked it.

2) Go to my Facebook writer's page and leave me a private message letting me know that you have posted a review and the name it is under.

On 10 December, I will randomly pick a winner from those who have left a review on Amazon and will mail you a copy of Bosing's book on Bosch.

And remember, I plan on doing a Goodreads giveaway of the Kindle version of Hell Gate early in 2017 as well as run another contest to win a second copy of Bosing's book on Bosch. So keep checking back in, and good luck.   

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Photos Related to Hell Gate -- Hell Spawn Concept Art

This week's photos are the most interesting of the series because it will be dealing with the concept art and ideas that went into developing the Hell Spawn. [WARNING: There are spoilers in this blog post, so if you have not read the book be forewarned.]

Are the Nachzehrer zombies? Not in the traditional sense. I liked the concept of hordes of shambling dead roaming through the French countryside and attacking the Hell Gaters en masse, but did not want to turn my book into a zombie apocalypse novel. So I created the Nachzehrer as the desiccated bodies of those condemned to Hell who come back to wander Earth because this is the realm they know. Yes, they eat human flesh, which is what makes them dangerous, but they do not have the other attributes of a zombie -- they are not rotting away, and being bitten by a Nachzehrer does not mean you will die and come back as one.

The idea for the pus zombies came from two separate sources. Scientists discovered that certain spores can infect insects, taking over their minds and compelling them to climb to an elevated position where those spores rupture through the host body. The spores then spread and infect other insects. I reasoned this was a much more gruesome and unique way of turning people into Nachzehrer than through biting. The video detailing how this process works can be seen at

The second idea behind the concept came from a website report of a young man in China suffering from a severe, untreated brain infection that ate through his skull and filled his cranium with pus.The photos of this poor man were so pathetic and disturbing the writer in me had to incorporate them into the pus zombies.

I think the use of giant insects is self-explanatory. If regular bugs are creepy and scary, then enlarging the demons to monstrous sizes makes them downright terrifying.

Some of my readers have asked where I got the idea of having the giant wasps in Falaise use Andre as an incubator for their eggs. This happens quite often in nature, albeit with cockroaches taking the place of humans. A video detailing how the process works can be found at

When I was developing the demons that would guard the portals, I came up with the concept of using Golem, the animated anthropomorphic protectors of Jewish ghettos. However, I wanted mine to be much more intimidating and powerful than the man-sized guardians from Hebrew folklore. To give the Golem a more gruesome appearance, I changed them from being created from inanimate material, such as stone, to being a compilation of human body parts. I stumbled across the above artwork while researching other demons and decided to adopt the basic body design for my own Golem, although those that appear in Hell Gate have significant differences.

The hand-held six-barreled GAU-17 minigun used by Sasha and Haneef. When I first saw this weapon I knew I had to work it into the novel  

Holding the GAU-17 minigun. And no, this is not who Sasha is based on. It's just a coincidence that the model is similar to my character.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Goodreads Giveaway of Hell Gate Has Begun

The Goodreads giveaway of Hell Gate has begun. Between now and 10 December, you can enter to win one of ten autographed copies of my novel (this giveaway is limited to participants from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom). All you have to do is click here and enter.

For those outside of the U.S./Canada/UK, I haven't forgotten about you. I'll be running another international giveaway of the Kindle version of the book in 2017, so keep your eyes out for that.

And for my readers who already purchased the book, I love you, too. In the next few days I'll have a special contest you can enter with a chance to win a cool Hell-related surprise.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Goodreads Giveaway of Hell Gate 10 November - 10 December

The Goodreads' Hell Gate giveaway is scheduled for 10 November to 10 December 2016. I will be giving away ten autographed print editions of my novel to participants from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Click here for the link to the giveaway (although it will not go active for another three days).

I will be running another international giveaway of the Kindle version of the book in 2017, so keep your eyes out for that.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Photos Related to Hell Gate -- Paris

This week's photos are of the Hell Gaters' journey through Paris.

One of the station stops on the Paris Metro. I don't think I need to remind anyone what types of creepy crawlies the Hell Gaters run into down here.

Place de la Concorde, where the Hell Gaters emerge from the subway into a horde of Nachzehrer.

The Louvre, where the Hell Gaters head after escaping from the Place de la Concorde.

The view from the Louvre looking out over the Ile de la Cite. Notre Dame is visible in the upper center portion of the photo. The bridge they cross to get onto the island is in the foreground. The lava flow runs down the right side of the island.

The square in front of Notre Dame that is filled with Golem and Nachzehrer. The center and right portails on the front facade of the cathedral from which the lava flows are clearly visible.  

The interior of Notre Dame. The portal is located at the far end of the cathedral near the chancel. The lava flows down the center of the nave and the aisle on the right. The battle between Hell Gaters and Hell Spawn takes place along the left aisle.

A close-up of the chancel. The portal opened in front of the cross, destroying the choir on either side.

The spiral staircase leading up the bell tower where Sasha lures the Nachzehrer away.

The view of the square from the bell tower.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Photos Related to Hell Gate -- St. Mere Eglise and Falaise

This weeks photos are of St. Mere Eglise, from the first scene in Hell Gate, and Falaise where [SPOILER ALERT] the group is attacked by giant wasps.

This is an aerial view of the St. Mere Eglise town square where Jason is attacked by a horde of Nachzehrer and soul vampires. The parking lot is to the right and the church where he makes his stand against the Hell Spawn is in the center left. In the upper left corner is the Airborne Museum commemorating the Normandy invasion.

"In the far corner of the parking lot sat St. Mere Eglise church, the one made famous when an American paratrooper got stuck on the belfry during the D-Day landings."

Falaise Castle, the castle owned by William the Conqueror, where the group holds up on the second night.

The main hall inside Falaise Castle where the group dined.

The town square of Falaise as seen from the hill where Falaise Castle is located. The church in the background is where the giant wasps made their nest.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

November, December Book Signings

On November 6, from 9AM to 2PM, I will be signing books at the Rabbit Hole Bookstore on Montrose Avenue in Clermont, Florida. This is a very family-friendly event, so come by and bring the kids.

Two weeks later, on Sunday, 20 November, from 10AM to 5PM, I will also be attending Clermont Comic Con at the Clermont Performing Arts Center. This is a small but popular event that is loads of fun, and the fans have plenty of chances to interact and chat with the guests.

Finally, on 2-4 December I'll be attending Spooky Empire at the Orlando Civics Center.

If you live anywhere in the central Florida area, drop on by, say hello, get a book signed, and learn my dark secret. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Photos Related to Hell Gate -- Mont St. Michel

For those of you who have already read Hell Gate, by now you know that I have set the book in various locations around France. I have been fortunate to have visited the major locations in the novel, which inspired me to include them in the story. Having seen this places made them come alive for me while drafting the manuscript.

To bring Hell Gate alive for my readers, every Sunday for the next four weeks I'll be posting blog spots with photos related to the locations described in the novel and/or concept art about the demons. Many of the photos I took myself. I hope you enjoy these.

First, let's begin with Mont St. Michel, the Normandy home for those refugees who survived the opening of the portal.

The causeway leading from the mainland to the island. In the book, this has been destroyed so that, when the bay is at high tide, there is no access to the city.

King's Gate -- the entrance into the walled city. Off to the left is Le Mere Poulard Hotel where the Protective Force lives.

"The only access to the structure passed between twin towers stretching over one hundred feet into the night sky that guarded a flight of steep stairs between the ancient walls of the Abbey and the outer defensive wall."

The stairway leading to the Abbey.

The Romanesque facade of the Abbey.

Inside the Abbey. Doc's office would to the right rear of this photograph.

The streets of Mont St. Michel leading from King's Gate to the Abbey.

The view from the terrace in front of the Abbey overlooking the bay.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Nook Version of Hell Gate Is Also Available

For those of you who do not have Kindle, Hell Gate is also available for the Nook.

My Author Spotlight on The Darkness Dwells Has Been Posted

My author's spotlight on The Darkness Dwells was recently posted in which I talk about why I love post-apocalypse fiction. If you want to get to know more about me and what makes me tick, please check it out. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Trade Paperback Version of Hell Gate Is Also Available

Good news. The trade paperback edition of Hell Gate is also available from Amazon. You can pick up your copy here.

The E-Book Version of Hell Gate Is Available

The Kindle version of Hell Gate is now available on Amazon. You can get your copy here. The print edition should be released by Monday. I hope you enjoy my first young adult post-apocalypse novel. If you do, please leave a review on Amazon. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Coming Soon!!!!

Hell Gate is a post-apocalyptic young adult series by Josh Matthews scheduled to be released by Burning Willow Press in October 2016.

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Jason McCreary is living a nightmare within a nightmare. Not only is he trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by demons from Hell, he also shoulders the burden for humanity’s fate as it was his mother who opened the gates in a scientific experiment gone wrong.

In a last ditch effort to redeem his family name and erase his guilt, Jason joins a squad whose mission is to travel to Paris and close the Hell Gate. Once there, they discover an environment more frightening than anything they could imagine and demons more terrifying than they had ever encountered before.

Time is now against them

Can Jason gain his redemption along with the respect of his peers, or will a new web of lies threaten to rip apart his world and jeopardize his team’s only chance for success?