Book Review – Dead in the Water


Full-disclosure: I am a member of a writing group called LOOW (League of Original WOOLwriters or Lobotomizing Our Own Warthogs– whichever you prefer). Carol Davis is also a member of this group. We both have stories in the charity anthology, WOOL Gathering. I was given a copy of Dead in the Water to read prior to its release, but a favorable review was not expected.

A few things about Carol — she is a wonderful writer. She’s written countless stories over the years, but only started publishing through Amazon in the last year. She has a number of stories set in Hugh Howey’s WOOL Universe, but I daresay her original stories are better. She’s penned a few werewolf stories featuring a father/son team as well as many other original tales that don’t always conform to one genre.

DITWI’ve been a fan of Carol Davis’ writing for a while now. The woman can sure craft a visual story; everything I read of hers, I can plainly see in my mind’s eye. That trend continues with her novel “Dead in the Water” — a spine-tingling, creepy, page-turning read well worth your money as well as a couple afternoons spent reading.

Davis has already shown her writing chops on a handful of short stories and novellas, including the Silo Saga trilogy “Rebel State.” While she is a pro at putting together a plot for short stories, “Dead in the Water” shows she is more than capable of adding the complexity a novel calls for. Her writing is sharp, and in this case, not for the feint of heart. She isn’t afraid to scare her readers, putting her protagonists in terrifying situations, only to play out their fears for the readers to see.

The story follows two “Investigators” — Nick Moore and Terry Banner, who have garnered fame thanks to an “Inside Edition”-type TV show. The two end up at the backwater location known as Thompson Lake, searching for scandal and hidden secrets. They uncover some, but they end up getting more than they bargained for when supernatural forces begin to invade their comfortable, but not-quite-stable lives.

Throughout it all, and even after the mystery of Thompson Lake is solved, Davis is setting up Moore and Banner for future stories. There are plenty of directions for Davis to go, but one storyline in particular is glaringly obvious for Davis to take the pair in the next installment. The book stands quite well on its own and doesn’t leave any threads dangling, but some clues are definitely there for future Moore and Banner books.

It is clear that Davis is passionate about writing — it comes across with each word you read. Make sure you don’t miss out on this novel by a great new author.


New Release – Contact Window


CW vert

On Saturday night, I went to a friend’s house for a cookout during their town’s Summer festival. I had admittedly been in a small funk writing-wise and was forcing it a bit on a current work in progress. Something happened that night, and I’m not totally sure what, but it gave me the inspiration for this story. I started in on it Sunday afternoon and finished it yesterday night. I sent it off for edits and finished those up early afternoon today. And there you have…Contact Window.

This is my first story which features aliens, but it won’t be my last. In fact, I really began to fall in love with these characters–so much that I would say there is a good chance this story opens up new possibilities of stories for me. You’ll find strong influences by Stargate and Star Trek in here (in fact, one of my editors said she would love an encounter between my protagonist and Jean-Luc Picard!). It’s just a short story, but I really put a lot into it. It broke me out of a funk and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Just 99 cents on Amazon today!

By the way, don’t forget to comment to win on my 100th Blog Post! Here’s the link right here.


Book Review – The Lazarus Particle


Full-disclosure: I am a member of a writing group called LOOW (League of Original WOOLwriters or Legendary Octogenarian Orbiting Whales – whichever you prefer). Logan Thomas Snyder is also a member of this group. We both have stories in the charity anthology, WOOL Gathering. I was given a copy of The Lazarus Particle to read prior to its release, but a favorable review was not expected.
That said, this is a favorable review. Snyder has created a great book with fantastic launching-off points for future books.

 lazparAfter reading The Lazarus Particle, I needed to just sit back and take a deep breath. There is so much going on and the action so intense, it seemed at times as if I was holding my breath waiting for the next shoe to drop.
Scientists gone rogue, bounty hunters, galactic corporations, space battles — in ways reminiscent of John Scalzi, Firefly, and the era of classic sci-fi, Logan Thomas Snyder takes the reader on a wild ride with this complex and epic tale through a huge, well crafted universe.
As a kid, I was a huge Isaac Asimov fan, notably the Foundation series and the Galactic Empire the books are centered around. We’ve seen the huge space-based empire played out on a number of fronts through the years and the competition for real estate throughout the galaxy. Snyder takes this idea and expounds on it with a corporate empire dealing with corporate espionage, a very competent alien race, and action all along this wild ride. One of the great aspects of The Lazarus Particle and the universe Snyder made is that even though two creatures are the same species does not necessarily mean they have the same goals, agendas, or political ideologies. At certain points, I found myself nodding in agreement with the antagonists, only to realize they were the bad guys! What was I doing? Snyder tricked me into liking nearly all of his characters, even if they were slimeballs.
This is an amazing universe Snyder has crafted and I look forward to reading more books set in this universe and dealing with many of the same characters. Well done!


Don’t forget to read my 100th Blog Post and comment on your latest reads. You could win paperbacks of my booksDead Sleep & Dead Sight as well as my family collaboration Baking With Swords.

Paperbacks…dead? (Also a giveaway inside!)


SPOILER ALERT — 100th Blog Post!

(Giveaways to follow in comments)


After I opened my latest package from Amazon, I decided to take a picture at a lot of the books I’ve stocked my shelves with over the past year since I started as an indie author. I’ve definitely added to it thanks to my wallet, but I’ve been lucky enough to have been the recipient of fellow author’s good graces.

Here’s the thing — none of the books pictured are traditionally published. From Hugh Howey’s last two novels, Peter Cawdron, Jason Gurley, John Gregory Hancock, Michael Bunker, an outstanding Indie collection edited by David Gatewood, Paul Kupperberg, and myself — all are what you might call independently published. (There are a few others I have that aren’t pictured for whatever reason.)

With the arguments surrounding indie vs. traditional publishing, Amazon vs. The Big 5, digital vs. paperback, we all line up a choose a side. I would argue that we can have both. Indie can coexist with traditionally published books. Amazon and the Big 5 can get along and all can make a profit (unlikely, but I’m a dreamer), and we can have paperback and digital books. The more I got into my Kindle and reading books on various digital devices, the more I wanted to own some of these books in paperback form. I don’t regret it — what happens when the zombie apocalypse happens and the Internet goes dark? I’ll still have my copy of Jason Gurley’s Eleanor to keep me company as I trek across America under dark and grim skies.

I almost feel inadequate when I put my own books in the same picture as some of the others here, but that’s the beauty of indie publishing. My books are viewed on the same playing field as Gurley, Bunker, and even Howey — even Patterson, King, and Koontz on occasion.

Are paperbacks dead? Not for me. I certainly scour and search for books on my Kindle on an almost daily basis, but when I want a physical copy of a book, I don’t hesitate to add it to my collection. I don’t think I’m alone here, either. It is a special time in publishing and most readers are recognizing this as well. Go out and read!


Still here?

Good — in honor of my 100th blog post, I want to give a few books away. I’ll give away a set of Dead Sleep/Dead Sight and a copy of Baking With Swords as well. That is two (2) winners — one for the DS1/DS2 books and one will get the copy of BWS.

What do you need to do to win? Tell me what is the best book you’ve read in 2014 and whether it was physical or digital. That’s it. I’ll keep this open for a week (until July 8) and then choose a winner randomly then. (Sorry — winners will be chosen from U.S. only)