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.