OK. See that picture up above? All you have to do is click it, enter in a few details and BAM, you’ll get FOUR free sci-fi books in your inbox. If you happen to be one of five lucky winners, you’ll also get ebooks for all the books pictured. And one lucky winner gets a prize package that will include over 17 (!) signed physical books sent to your house. So…what’re you waiting for?! Get clicking!
Z Ball, originally featured in The Z Chronicles, (if you haven’t read that, do so. Excellent collection of stories) is out and available on its own for the first time and for ONE DAY ONLY (Thursday, Sept. 24), Z Ball is FREE on Kindle. Click on the oversized cover above to be taken to the Amazon page. Reviews are very much appreciated as well.
Been radio silence around here for a couple months. Sorry about that…I’ll fill you in later. Suffice it to say this summer didn’t go exactly as planned on the writing front, but was still productive as well.
(Yes, yes…I’ll get to the Kindle Paperwhite giveaway in a bit…)
But while I haven’t been updating Ye Olde Blog at all this summer, I’m breaking that fast now for Chronicles Week.
Let me back up a bit. When I started writing, I credited a lot of the reasons why to one man — Hugh Howey. After reading his blog and WOOL, I was heartened by his approach and the success he had. Not success as in worldwide blockbuster multi-millionaire success, but rather just simply getting that book written and published success. I told anyone and everyone that it was due to Hugh Howey’s career that I had one as well.
While I still credit Hugh a lot, I’ve taken my own course in the past year. And what a year it’s been in my life. Exactly a year ago this week, I arrived home after flying to Africa with my wife to adopt our four (now five) year old son. If you’re familiar at all with international adoption, you know that the transition isn’t always smooth. Our son has been a blessing on our lives, but my writing schedule took a huge hit. I went from being able to write hundreds or thousands of words a day to dozens. Maybe.
So it was a huge boon when I worked up the courage to introduce myself to Samuel Peralta.
Sam is the publisher and curator of The Future Chronicles. A year ago at this time he’d only published the first of the series — The Robot Chronicles. I nabbed an early copy and wrote up a review for it and honestly included it in my best-of-the-year list. I saw some of the authors he’d included in that volume and knew I was as qualified as some of them. I asked about being considered for a future anthology and he graciously read my novella Ant Apocalypse. A few weeks after returning from Africa (and writing virtually nothing the whole time), Sam got in touch with me and offered me a spot in The Alien Chronicles.
I will honestly tell you my heart skipped a beat when I read the message that Sunday afternoon (yes, I can tell you exactly where I was) and I had to read it a couple times before I would believe it.
I knew the quality of story the Chronicles called for, so I took a personal day off teaching and wrote all day. The worst part of that? I ended up scrapping the entire story I spent the day on and went a different direction. But I needed that time to convince myself the first story wasn’t as good as the story I ended up writing — Uncle Allen.
(Hold on, the Paperwhite giveaway is down a bit, hang in there…)
When The Alien Chronicles released in early January 2015, my story was one cited in a number of reviews as a favorite, and I reached a bigger audience in that month than I had in the previous year and a half I’d been publishing put together.
The Chronicles allowed me to keep writing, but adjust my new life around quality stories with a larger audience thanks to the dozen writers featured in each volume. Being put alongside writers like Hugh Howey(!), Jen Wells, B.V. Larsen, W.J. Davies, Ann Christy, and… (I could literally go on all day…) has elevated my stories and pushed me to write even better than I did before. The relationships I’ve developed in the past few months have shown me the different ways to be an author in today’s new publishing system and Samuel Peralta is a true visionary with goals for the Future Chronicles for multiple anthologies down the road. I’m as thankful for Peralta and the universes he has had a hand in creating as I am for Hugh Howey at the start of my career.
Uncle Allen led to Z Ball (my editor says its my best yet) in The Z Chronicles and I’m one of the few veteran voices to be featured in The Immortality Chronicles (now up for preorder — get your copy now!)
With all that said, it’s CHRONICLES WEEK! All the authors behind the current Chronicles books (so far we’ve had Robot, Telepath, Alien, A.I., Dragon, Z, and Alt.History 101) plus the half-dozen or so planned in the next eight to nine months are showcasing the Future Chronicles anthologies. If you haven’t yet read a Chronicles book, there is a special edition due out in a month, entitled (appropriately enough) The Future Chronicles. It will feature ten stories which have previously appeared in Chronicles books and five NEW stories, as well as a Foreword by Hugh Howey himself(!). It’s up for preorder right now for just 99 cents.
And in honor of the celebration, The Future Chronicles authors are giving away a Kindle Paperwhite. Wait, there’s more! Not only will you get a brand new Kindle Paperwhite, this amazing machine will be pre-loaded with all the Chronicles titles already released. Each of these books have hit #1 in the Sci-fi/Fantasy Anthology list and you want to win this thing. Visit here to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway (GIVEAWAY is now closed. Thanks for all who entered!)
Okay…visit The Future Chronicles this week and check out all the amazing books there. If you want a taste, my Alien Chronicles story, Uncle Allen is FREE this week only. Check it out as a taste of the collection.
Published earlier last year with the collection Baking With Swords, I’ve republished my short story A Whimper separately. For a couple days, it is…FREE! It’s just about 6,000 words (about 30 minutes reading time) and is a somewhat light-hearted look at the end of civilization. Click on the image below to get your copy today!
The short story collection I published a few months ago with my brother Paul and my sister Betsy is now available for free for a very limited time (just one more day!).
You can pick it up at no cost and enjoy three separate and different short stories. Paul’s story, The Price of Greatness, is about man’s eternal search rivaling the ordinary of daily life. Betsy’s tale, Flutter, tells about a mother and her daughter, who is undergoing inexplicable changes. My story, A Whimper, is an end-of-the world tale through the lens of one person and society’s dependence on technology.
To get it, just click on the large cover image above!
It’s a milestone and as such, it is time to celebrate.
What for you say?
ANT APOCALYPSE. My short story that proved to have some long legs.
I was knee deep in the self-publishing world last summer…having released a short story, a novel and then my Silo novella, all within a two-month time period. I was emailing and talking with other authors and really enjoying the experience.
Then one morning, I woke up and checked my phone. I found a tweet from Lyndon Perry, a fellow self-published author, musing about a can of ant spray. I don’t remember the tweet exactly, but it was something to the extent of “it claims to kill ants for up to 14 days. What happens after the 14th day?”
I tweeted back, “ANTAPOCALYPSE.”
Lyn tweeted back, “You should write that story.”
And then I tweeted, “Hmmmm….”
At that moment, I didn’t really plan to, but the concept wouldn’t leave my brain, eventually evolving into a tale of zombie ants, terrorizing a man at his wit’s end. That little seed of an idea became ANT APOCALYPSE. I commissioned a wicked cover from Jason Gurley and went ahead on writing the 15,000 word story, which I published in September last year.
Over the five works I have published, I have accumulated 68 reviews on Amazon. A whopping 25 of those reviews are for AA, which I didn’t expect in a million years. The story was simply one I had to write to get it out of my brain. I didn’t aim for literary genius, and even called it my “quick and dirty” little story for a while, just intending to publish it for funsies.
And so, to celebrate this achievement, I will have ANT APOCALYPSE free on today and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday, January 29 & 30) this week. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, download and enjoy it now.
Here are some of my favorite reviews:
“This bit of horror is a slow burn – fun and well-written, but long on anticipation, so hang in there. It’s written in that memoir-ish style that catapults you along toward a finish you know is coming, but dread all the same. Clean and creepy.” – Lyn Perry
“The story line is reminiscent of those oh-so-popular “B” science fiction movies. I can just hear the MST3K team making fun of the scenes while I read the book, but that is a good thing because this was supposed to be campy story.
I identified with the dreaded ant invasion, as I have one every year at my own house, but the story slowly wraps and twists the horror into itself until you realize you are on the edge of your seat (as I did when there was a noise from the next room and I jumped.)” – Thomas R
“THE POINT IS, this is one amusing… and creepy… story. Well-crafted and draws you in, it’s hard to put down. Except when you get the heebie jeebies. Segmented insects….crawling where they don’t belong…. yikes!” – J. Hancock
“…a very interesting tale with very fleshed out characters, and some very villainous tiny ants. I thoroughly enjoyed Ant Apocalypse and would recommend it to anyone with a love of Stephen King.” – Joshua Cooper
“The ending? A whole new level of creepy. If you like a fast read with an unexpected turn or two, you’ll like this horror-lite story. Even if it is creepy.” – Deb Robbins
“Suffice it to say, this is one scary story that will make you look at ants differently. Ouch and WOW!” – A Navy Vet
So there you have it – without giving away too much, I’ll give away the whole story. Enjoy!
Halloween is turning out to be a treat for book-lovers. There are four books I know of that are free over the next few days which are normally not — perfect time to go pick them up.
First off, go get Peter Cawdron’s Little Green Men. Seriously. Do it now.
I reviewed it already a few months ago and it will be well worth your time. Cawdron drew his inspiration from the Philip K. Dick stories we all grew up on and achieved his goal tremendously. A classic sci-fi tale written in modern times. LGM is free today through Nov. 3.
Next is Blood Moon by Carol Davis.
I also reviewed Blood Moon a few weeks ago and did a short interview with author Carol Davis. Carol is fairly new to the self-publishing scene on Amazon, but not new to writing. Carol has got some serious writing chops and Blood Moon shows it. A good werewolf story told in a new way. Blood Moon will be free on Halloween day.
Also free right now is Eric Tozzi’s The Scout.
This is the only one out of the bunch I haven’t yet had a chance to sink my teeth into, but boy does it look good. Very highly recommended by friends of mine, Tozzi’s book tells the story of an alien scout that was sent to survey the earth. Tozzi’s background lends itself perfectly to his first written work. From his Amazon author page: “For over five years I worked for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a documentary producer and editor, covering Mars Exploration.” I know I’ll be reading this as soon as I get a chance.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Nighthawks at the Mission by Forbes West.
This book can probably best be summed up in this review by Michael Bunker. “Nighthawks at the Mission is an epic, fantasy, sci-fi, tour-de-force. It is also a slightly demented, scatter-brained, fragmented, meme-dropping, allusion-riddled, drug-addled, Jack Kerouac-like, stream-of-consciousness mind thumping that dares you to “get it.”
Also right now, I’m offering my own sci-fi horror short story Ant Apocalypse free today and tomorrow.
The set-up is simple — a man in a house with ants. What happens when those ants become more than what the man expects? If you download it and read it, I’d love for you to leave me a review on Amazon for it.
Anyway — that’s what I’ve got for now. Go get some great reading material!!