The Shamrock That Was Patient Zero

Or: Why my wife is just the best.

Today, after church, I arrived at the area that my family convenes in prior to our exfiltration to the van. B, who is child 5 and has a personality the size of a continent, ran toward me excitedly brandishing a shamrock he had received in his kids’ Sunday School class.

The shamrock glittered and shone like the sweaty, fevered face of a diseased demon. It was covered in that wicked contagion called glitter.

As you can no doubt imagine, I threw myself backward rather ungracefully, forming my two index fingers into the sign of the cross at the cursed object my son had. “Where’d you get that?” I asked, rather appalled.

“My teachers made it for me,” he answered, somehow unaware of the vile contagion he was holding. “It’s so cool!” How has one of my children made it to the age of seven without understanding the truth of glitter?

“It’s covered in glitter,” I said.

“It’s so shiny!” He swung it my way. I dodged, almost screaming like a terrified vole at the sight of a plummeting falcon.

“Keep it away,” I said. I tended to a few other kids, then we all filed off to the van. In the van, I realized the youngest child had the shamrock. I got in, saying, “Burn it with fire!”

My kids wondered what I was talking about. As I drove us toward home, I said, “Glitter is a contagion. Once it gets on you, it never leaves. And if it gets near you, it’s getting on you. It’s worse than ebola.” I know, I’m a terrible, insensitive person. But it’s also true. The kids laughed, but you know they were thinking, “It’s funny because it’s true.”

My wise nine year old said, “That shamrock is patient zero.”

He has never spoken truer words. Meanwhile, my incredibly courageous wife had secured the shamrock from the 5 year old and set it on the van’s deep dashboard, quite far down and out of reach of little arms. I didn’t realize how smart she’d been until ten minutes later.

We continued to drive home and my wife and I had a conversation. It went something like this:

Me: “Somebody actually made that and gave it to B.”

She: “True story.”

Me: “I guess people just live different lives. Paradigms are so different all around the world.”

She: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Well, some people, like the ones who made that glitter-crusted shamrock, allow glitter in the home. And since they allow it in the home, it’s naturally everywhere. So the only world they know is a glitter-filled one.”

She: “Yup, true enough.”

Me: “So they don’t know what it’s like to be uncontaminated by glitter.”

She: “Or cheese.”

[Pause for laughter.]

Me: “So it’s like two different worlds. And we live in the one without glitter.” I consider this for a moment. “We have no-glitter privilege, don’t we?”

[Pause for laughter. But it’s funny because it’s true.]

She: “We do.”

And the rest of the drive home was filled with our kids doing their intricate games of hand characters, raucous voices, and inconsiderate giggles.

We pulled into the driveway and everyone was getting out of the car. The five year old had apparently taken ownership of the glitter-scabbed shamrock. He said, “But the shamrock! I need to get it!”

I laughed wickedly. “Go ahead and try to reach it.”

He didn’t, knowing full well his woefully stumpy arms weren’t long enough for the Mr. Fantastic-level task.

Before he could launch into a whiny cry, back came my heroic wife. She took him in a tight hug and said, “W, come here.” She CARRIED HIM OUT OF THE VAN AND LIFTED HIM UP. “See what a nice decoration it is for the van? You can see it so nicely out here.”

And the 5 year old agreed.

The shamrock, patient zero of the glitter infestation that tried to invade our home, is still safely contained deep on the van’s steppe-sized dashboard. Because my wife is brilliant.

So tell me, just how far are you willing to go to keep the scourge of glitter out of your home?

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My Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2016 Schedule

If you wanted, you could go to the Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2016 panel schedule and search for my name, but I’m here to help!

So here’s the plan:

I’m driving down from Seattle to my friend Nathan Riddle’s house on Thursday afternoon. It’s a 12+ hour drive, so I’ll get in during the wee hours. Which is fine. Who needs sleep?

Then I’ll be at FanX 2016 on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, I have one panel at 10AM, in 255C. It’s called Rocky, The Cold War, and Creed.

rocky panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

This panel is with five people I don’t know: Brooke Heym, Jonathan Decker, Patrick Gibbs,  Paul Gibbs, and Andy Wilson. It will be great and I expect you to attend and tell me to stop geeking out about how much Rocky really did inform our cultural consciousness during the Cold War.

And yes, I must break you.

My next panel is on Saturday at 10AM in 150G. It’s called Structuring Life to Support Creativity.

structuring life to support creativity

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll tell you what. The only way for me to get as much writing done as I do is to build time into my day. Creativity comes when you give it lots of opportunities to show up.

This panel is with four people I don’t know: Chris Bodily, Claudia Gray, Mikki Kells, and Richard Lance Russell. There are also two people I DO know on the panel: Josi Russell- a wonderful breakout author with the same publisher as me, and Sandra Tayler- the business side of Howard Tayler’s Schlock Mercenary and an accomplished fiction and children’s book writer, essayist, and blogger in her own right– particularly of her award-winning One Cobble at a Time blog. I met Sandra in passing years ago, have chatted with her husband Howard intermittently over the years, and am good friends with Howard’s brother, Randy. We were in a critique group together for something like a year.

And my last panel is on Saturday at 8PM in 150G also. It’s called 30 Years of Big Trouble in Little China.

Big trouble panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, I can’t wait. I adore this movie. Listen to the old Pork Chop Express.

I am excited to be doing these, my very first panels as a writer. Show up and throw rotten fruit at me, will you? (Or just applaud like most boring audiences.)

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Fantasy and Science Fiction Super Sale

THIS SALE BEGINS ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016

Hello, Readers! Welcome to the Fantasy and Science Fiction Super Sale! All books below are priced at $0.99 or FREE. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I haven’t read most of the books on this list. Authors assigned their own movie ratings.

TEEN PORTION
From $7.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook Kobo iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

Nicole has been chosen to lead an anti-magic organization in a revolution which will destroy all Aretes, including herself. But if she doesn’t do it, a curse placed long ago will lead to everyone’s destruction.

From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Fantasy

In a land of magic users, one boy is born without magic. In a realm of angry dragons, one dragon befriends a human boy. Together, they follow their hearts in order to save their land.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: YA Fantasy

Shanice has never felt like she belongs. Then she learns why—she is the last known princess from another world, their last chance to stop the one who is bent on destroying it.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Christina is a demon, but she doesn’t want to be. Only one person stands in the way of her transformation, and he will stop at nothing to keep her the way she is.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Megan’s been known for her luck her whole life. But when a leprechaun shows up at her door, Everything changes. Her friends must help her get it back before it ruins her high school career forever.

From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes 
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Gothic Paranormal Romance

Amelia meant to help a ghost, not unleash a curse. As her classmate’s bodies pile up, she must exonerate the boy next door…or end up the next victim.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Magical Realism

When the royal family is brutally murdered, Princess Kazia is left to rule. But how can she rule when her home has burned to the ground and at any moment the assassin may return?

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Paranormal

If Lord of the Flies and The Thing had a baby, and then that baby was raised by Evil Dead, it would grow up to be this toe-curling camp scare speckled with black humor and nasty stuff.

From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Time Travel Romance

Cassie is going to heaven—if she can get amnesty from hell in the next twenty days. Her assignment is to change the eternal destination of a girl in Albuquerque to earn admittance into heaven.

From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Dystopian

Arcene, Awoken and trapped in her own body as a perpetual fifteen-year-old, gets a lot more than she bargained for when she finally finds herself behind the walls of the blue castle.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Science Fiction

When the Hubble Telescope disappears, the FBI calls Jake Corby. Corby has promised his wife to cut down on the hero stuff, but when the ISS is targeted, his promise gets hard to keep.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Urban Fantasy

What if the greatest weapon in the age-old war between good and evil was inside of you? Crystal Scott must use her newfound gifts against the tide of evil threatening all of them—or die trying.

From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Fantasy

Born a Naga, Kanvar is hunted, hated, and driven into hiding. Soon the dragon sickness will come upon him, and he will die if he cannot find a dragon to bond with.

From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Winner of the state libraries’ Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project! Three unlikely heroes board a doomed bus. Destination: the afterlife. Their mission: to save forever. But first they have to save themselves.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Supernatural Suspense

St. Margaret’s was an almshouse until its previous occupants burned to death years before. When a bag of bones falls on twelve-year old Julia, she gets thrown into the spirit realm with house’s past residents.

From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

Merge with a demon. Fight a traitor trying to destroy both their worlds. And above all don’t kill the people trying to help.

From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Time Travel

When Petra Baron goes into the fortuneteller’s tent at a Renaissance fair, she expects to leave with a date to prom. Instead, she walks out into Elizabethan England.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal

When a jagged cut shows up on Kylee’s arm, she enlists her neighbor to help her uncover the truth. But Price shows her much more—he shows her what it is to be alive.

From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Dystopian

Get this bestselling dystopian fantasy series from YA author Elana Johnson in one convenient digital boxed set! Includes 3 volumes: Elemental Rush, Elemental Hunger, and Elemental Release.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal

Mackenzie Carver accidentally stumbles into a supernatural’s plot to frame the school loner for murder, drawing the attention of the plotter and painting a target on her head.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal

Can YOU survive the fish-zombie apocalypse? The fate of your friends and family is in your hands, and when the stakes are high, YOU need to decide what you’ll be—a survivor, or fish food.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Ghosts

What would you do if you had a camera that could photograph ghosts? When Jenine discovers an abandoned Polaroid, she realises the dead aren’t as peaceful as she’d imagined…

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Spooky Fantasy

Sam dreams he has a friend, but when he wakes, he always forgets him. One day he does not forget, one day he remembers, and on that day, the boy comes to stay…

From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Kyle, an extraordinary level magic holder, has a problem. It isn’t the pretty girl that has taken an interest in him. It’s the organization that is trying to kill him. High school is tough.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Science Fiction

High school dropout Darius Arthur Heisenberg is recruited to be an agent for the Keepers, whose mission is to maintain and protect the myriad threads of time. What could possibly go wrong?

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Science Fiction Space Opera

Bob Astor lands himself in the middle of a desperate crisis that could lead to the destruction of all human life. It’s up to Bob to stop the dangerous alien force headed to Earth!

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Dystopian

In futuristic America, ratings are everything. When Treena gets the wrong number, she takes a dangerous mission to prove her true worth. But why is someone trying to kill her?

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Aspen—a skydiving, rock-climbing, bear-cuddling, adrenaline junkie, finds herself in real danger when she unwittingly ensnares the heart of Obsidian, the dragon king.

From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal Romance

The bracelet around my wrist is a permanent reminder of my mission. The silver charm attached to the leather cord is stamped with my birth sign. Mission: Unite with my twin flame soulmate.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

Duty versus love is the one battle warrior Kae does not know how to fight.

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes 
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal

Mary has always been different. She’d like to be normal, but being able to hear ghosts means she’ll never be like everyone else.

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes 
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Coming of Age Fantasy

As the second son, Micah Brachon is happy to focus on his inventions and experiments. When one of those experiments is sabotaged, he learns about the deadly faction that seeks to rip apart their government.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes 
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal Romance

When do dreams erupt into reality? After Hannah, vacationing in Arizona, meets handsome Josh from the Navajo reservation, she experiences vivid nightmares about the Navajo nation’s past — a riveting tale blending romance and paranormal mystery.

From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Science Fiction/Super Here

Power of a villain, heart of a hero.

From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Mia Winterborne is destined to be special. Details are sketchy, though, as her dad disappeared with the answers. As her birthday draws near, long-buried lies are exposed, putting her on a path she never expected.

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Paranormal Romance

On her sixteenth birthday Emily discovers she is a witch and accidentally causes complete mayhem as her first spells don’t exactly go to plan. A young adult paranormal romantic comedy.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Fantasy

When a psychotic werewolf comes to town, Xoe’s life is a disaster waiting to happen. Throw a tall, handsome vampire into the mix, and the question of Xoe’s preternatural heritage, and it’s total chaos.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Fantasy

When nerdy Rich Witz unwittingly becomes a paladin in training, he is thrust into a world where flunking a test can change history, and a mysterious bully is playing for keeps with his life.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

Tamara thought she was a normal girl in a normal world. Wrong. Her new reality is full of ghosts and demons and she’s a member of the Choir Invisible, a demon hunter. Join her.

From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Apocalyptic/Dystopian

No one knows why they have to evacuate at first. What they soon find out is it will take a lot of inventiveness with limited resources for the evacuees to survive the Weather Wars.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Science Fiction

If your heart rate goes over 140, you die. A hundred years after the Bug wiped out humanity, Nik battles murderous soldiers and a murky tyrant to discover the truth about his best friend’s death. But the revelation might destroy everything he knows.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Science Fiction/Cyberpunk

The world is broken. The powerful machines that once ruled over land and sky fought and died, leaving humanity in a primitive age of swords and monsters and only the Etherwalker can save them.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Above ground an epidemic sweeps the planet. In order to survive, most of the population must slave away in the dark, unforgiving caverns of the Yyinum mines. These self-appointed guardians strive for survival on Minea.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Science Fiction

After the world was torn apart by the nightmares of myth and legend, a revenge-filled Caleb and a bewitched Eric find themselves on journeys to hunt down the Dragonlords.

ADULT PORTION
From $7.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
 Genre: Urban Fantasy

Nicole has been chosen to lead an anti-magic organization in a revolution which will destroy all Aretes, including herself. But if she doesn’t do it, a curse placed long ago will lead to everyone’s destruction.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Urban Fantasy

The Goddess blesses Her people with 25 Telepathic Gifts. In addition to Telepathy, the Gifts include command over Air and Fire, Telekinesis and Teleportation. She never bestows more than 15 Gifts on a single person.

From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Paranormal Romance

When an ancient mystery leads archaeologist Alexandra Larson to a millennia-old war between god-like beings, she must choose between the father she’s never met and the man she’s fated to love.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction Romance

Yanked from her life by the mysterious Revik, Allie discovers she’s the Bridge, meant to herald the evolution of humanity––or possibly its extinction. A psychic romance set in a gritty, alternate version of Earth.

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal

Homebuyers Kim and Julian get more than they bargained for in the secluded Beacon Estate. Its previous owners have been declared dead, missing. Something, however, still lingers in the house. Something unnatural.

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Meet the couple that started it all, Edward and Connie. Two bear shifters that found each other in 1955 and started the Rochon family legacy. Sweet, spicy, sexy, and shifty.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Urban Dark Fantasy

Helena is ready to die. She gets more than she bargained for in the form of a vampire. An angel finds Helena alive and the vampire dead. Not mortal, not vampire … what is she?

From $4.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: G
Genre: Space Opera

Everyone has a place where they always find serenity, a place that acts as their bond to peace. Aliea Academy was Space Cadet Q’s bond to peace.
And now it was going to be destroyed.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: G
Genre: Science Fiction

The galaxy is in crisis, and Carrie Hatchett is the last person on Earth who should be fixing it.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Ghosts

A woman mourns her murdered husband. A serial killer stalks his latest prey. Something unannounced moves amid the shadows, with an agenda very much its own. All are participants in the Damnation Game.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense

Mystery, medical school, marriage – and murder! And if all that wasn’t enough, Sara’s also visiting other people’s dreams. Can Sara catch a killer, survive medical school and keep her marriage in one piece?

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal/Gothic Romance

He’s haunted by his troubled past; she’s desperate for a fresh start. When their worlds collide, everything will change.

From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

Jaxius and his companion, Tolian, must save a northern barbarian, Bergar, from death when Bergar’s soul is forced into Tolian’s body. Jaxius must call on a power from his past life to save his friends.

From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle  * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Magical Realism

Henry and Chandra feel stuck in life until new relationships help them see the world differently, blurring the lines between the possible and impossible. This is a story about new love, hope, and possibilities.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes 
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Fantasy

Nonomine offers Maddy and her husband the one thing they’ve always wanted, but when things with the drug go horribly wrong, the price it exacts could be more than either has ever dreamed.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction Mashup

A lush and fantastical tale of a prince who was created to save a planet but was tossed aside like yesterday’s news.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Sci-fi Romance

Never in a million years would I ever fall for the son of an alien drug lord. Or so I thought until I moved two doors down from Jett.

From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy

A young shapeshifter must prove himself by passing a test in the wastelands. But before he can return home, he’ll uncover the secrets behind what really happened 300 years ago to bring about the apocalypse.

From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal

Evil is stalking a beautiful woman in Hawaii.  He is powerful, charming, and deadly.  She fled him once after a brutal attack.  Can she escape his powerful spells once more?

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle Kobo
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction

Thrust into a world of elemental magic, Mieshka quickly realizes that the capital’s mage-powered shield is at risk—and she’s about to find out if she has what it takes to save everyone.

From $5.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: NC17
Genre: Fantasy Romance

When Lillian finds herself facing off against vampires and other mythological impossibilities, help comes from an unlikely source—the stone gargoyle who has been sleeping in her garden for the last twelve years.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

A failed hero in exile is given a second chance when he encounters a wounded mourning cloak–a woman turned demon–who needs his help.

From $9.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

13 full-length paranormal and urban fantasy novels featuring witches, vampires, werewolves, mermaids, psychics, Loki, time travel and more!

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

There is a story for every wave that washes upon the shoreline. Here are seven of them – stories of mermaids and ghosts and sea monsters and the sweetest apocalyptic love story I ever wrote.

From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Horror/Urban Fantasy

A celebrity-stalking photographer is forcefully employed by a woman who would KILL to find her reclusive movie star crush. That’s no surprise—she’s a vampire.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal Romance

She’s neurotic, insecure and doesn’t believe in spirits. At least not until moving into a Hollywood bungalow that’s ‘inhabited’ by one. Can she survive his dangerous charms long enough to give up the ghost?

From $9.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal

Twelve novels with modern humans facing off against heroes, Norse and Greek gods, djinn, and monsters of old … over one million words of divinely (and diabolically) inspired fantasy, adventure, and romance.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Comic Fantasy

Curious about the day Saint Christopher found out he’d been declared non-existent by the pope? What exactly is a cat in Hell’s chance? Answers to these and other questions are in this short story collection.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Falen longs to be a scientist. There are only two problems: she’s a woman and a princess. When a strange priest arrives promising everything she desires, Falen learns she should be careful with her wishes.

From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

Dex wants to be a knight…
Dominic wants to prove himself…
Reynard wants to win the fair maiden’s heart…
But nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

From $5.97 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction/Zombies

Conspiracy theory meets zombie fiction. Journalist Hunter Morgan uncovers a sinister web that connects biological experiments at an Ebola treatment center with a pharmaceutical company, U.S. government officials, the CDC and the World Health Organization.

From $5.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
 Genre: Epic Fantasy

All Johanna wanted was to run her father’s business. All she got was a mad prince.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Science Fiction Romance

She’s fierce, intelligent, subtle as a brick and he’s only human. Can they find love and save the universe?
Fun science fiction romance contains: aliens, blasters, culture clash, comedy, inter-species romance and a eunuch!

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Mythology

The world is thrown into turmoil as the ancient gods of myth and legend return to wreck havoc on humanity. Only a select few stand in the way of utter chaos and devastation.

From $3.69 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Mythology Folklore

Go back to the fells and forests of the distant north with these new translations of medieval Nordic ballads. There are tales of tragedy and glory, vikings and Norse gods … and troll fighting.

From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Sucked into a portal to another world, Allison awakens with powers she can’t control and learns she’s fated to fulfill an ancient prophecy where one decision will determine which of two warring kingdoms will fall.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

He’s a powerful Genie, trapped in a magic lamp. She’s an ugly old witch. They’ll fight the dark forces… together.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction/Time Travel and Space Opera

What happens when Evaran, a space and time traveling being visting Earth, decides to interfere in the alien abduction of four humans?

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Sword and Sorcery

In the first Mages of Martir book, Darek Takren must stop a dangerous plot that will spell the end not only for his home, but for the gods and the world as well.

From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction

Time traveling was not on today’s agenda. Racing to intercept her thieving soon-to-be-ex, Evy Rivera is thrown back to ancient Spain with no rules, no guidance, and brand new, badass lightning bullwhips.

From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

Sam Sharp is trapped in another world. He must learn to harness the world’s unique vibratory energy to defeat the villain called the Gray Man or he can never go home.

From $5.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction Romance

When New York City is destroyed by a nuclear bomb, step-brothers Franklin and Everon are determined to find and save their sister Cynthia, her husband and infant child. An exciting tale of love and sibling-hood.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Weird Western Fantasy

Ranger of Mayat is the first episode of PISTOLS AND PYRAMIDS, an ongoing weird western series best described as an ancient Egyptian spaghetti western with magic. And mummies. Lots of mummies.

From $2.99 to FREE
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Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction

When scientist Chris Morgan finds his name on a hit list, he suspects it has something to do with Baltimore’s latest crime epidemic: illegal genetic enhancements.

Enjoy the books! And come check out Andrea’s giveaway here.
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I Can’t Believe This Is My Life

If you know me, you know I’ve had an interesting life. If I were a superhero, my origin story is pretty solid.

Maybe you don’t know much of that story. A good place to get some info about my childhood and past would by my Thanks Series, here on this website.

I think about living in western New York with 25+ other kids, born and being raised in a nomadic cult that splintered off Scientology. I have vivid memories of walking down the streets of Manhattan as a three-year-old, hurtling on my stomach across a frozen pond near Quakertown, Pennsylvania, and lifting weights in a slowly collapsing garage in Dallas, Texas.

For seventeen years, that orphanage style of living was my life. With morning and evening rituals and weekly Sunday ‘celebrations’ (songs, scriptures, speeches, candles, incense, etc), and greeting the adults with “God bless you” in place of hi or just ignoring them– I never really got why or what the religious stuff was. I still don’t know what the cult’s main doctrine was. Through my research, I know more about its really colorful origins than I get about its tame manifestation that I lived in through most of my growing up.

That was all my world. I saw families in movies and on TV and in books. Intermittently I saw them in the world around me. I fantasized about having a family. First about being a child in a regular family of a mom and dad and siblings and later about having my own family with the woman who was my true love and kids who got to be in a loving, devoted, united family. As my naivete faded and my cynicism grew, I doubted that would be something I would ever have. I would see the crap I had to live through and know what could have been and sometimes mutter to myself, “I can’t believe this is my life.”

I also fantasized about being a published writer. I wanted to be a novelist, telling stories for a living. I wanted to be rich too. Who doesn’t? I wanted to live in a nice home with plenty of space and a good kitchen.

These things– a happy, delightful family and successful novel writing– became my two most important dreams. Dreams I thought would always be dreams.

Life evolved. I left the cult at 17. And more stuff happened, including finding faith, volunteering as a missionary in Brazil for two years, going to college, a ten year career as a teacher, meeting and marrying the coolest lady on the planet, having a bunch of kids, lots of travel, lots of business failures, and more.

And this week has been rough. Heck, the last few months have been rough. I have a very stressful job, a commute that is longer than I thought it would be and very challenging sometimes, and pressure to write a lot and write well and push my blossoming writing career into something that can actually be financially rewarding. As I get older, and maybe partly due to the stress of life today, anxieties seem to be getting worse and I am struggling to get my health and weight back under control. This new job that seemed like it would be a financial home run is not, mainly because living costs in Washington are much higher than expected. Groceries are similar to Utah, but everything else is pricier.

I spend my days alternating between full-speed ahead and blindingly fast work and emails, and staring at my screen trying to figure out the right way to frame an idea or process. All of it at a breakneck pace so I can somehow, miraculously, get out of the office at the right time to catch the right shuttle (which hopefully isn’t delayed) so I can get the right train. And if I’m off by a couple minutes, I miss the train and have to wait another 25-40 minutes for the next one.

The traffic here is terrible. The shuttle ride to the train station should take 10-15 minutes. Two evenings ago, I was on the shuttle for 45 minutes and I missed the last train. Ended up taking the bus to my car. All together, my commute was 2 hours+.

I was recently infuriated by circumstances beyond my control.

I say these things and my dear Annemarie sees or hears it and wants to fix it. But that’s the thing– it doesn’t need to be fixed. It’s not worth trying to fix. The job can be improved so that stress is reduced, and I can work on timing my commute better and working efficiently enough to get out on time.

It doesn’t need fixing. Writing full time eventually will eliminate a lot of the stress, but other stress will surely show up. But this stuff doesn’t need fixing; it needs getting through.

And I’m sick of getting through stuff without rising and finding joy. Life is about joy. So this post is to remind myself that I need to see the joy surrounding me– practically overflowing the cup of my life and days.

Joy has a name, or names really. Annemarie. Thomas. Hintze. Lily. Nathaniel. Benjamin. Wallace. The familiar warmth of my wife next to me as I fall asleep. My kids’ earnest, sweet hugs and obsessions and kindness and play and happiness.

Then there’s the fact that I have books published. Stuff I published and stuff published by a real, factual publisher. I’m writing books and stories at a blistering clip and I could be going faster. I live in a warm, spacious home full of the people I love most and full of warmth and great food and noise and peace.

So I’m looking around myself today. My wildest dream of having my own family has come true. I work at Amazon. Amazon! I write books and they get published and people read them. I speak four languages. I am a gifted teacher and I love to teach the Gospel. I am blessed, lucky, and life is overflowing.

I can’t believe this is my life.

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A Serialized Story Anthology

Friends! Netizens! Countrypeople! Lend me your thoughts.

I’ve been kicking around an idea for some time now and would like to get your thoughts.

Say you saw a book on Amazon, or online at B&N, or other fine web establishments.

It’s called something awesome like Fantastical Science and Other Serialized Lies.

It has a cover that hearkens back to Frank Frazetta’s Conan artwork, without the revealing attire and misogyny. It’s stylized and the characters are larger than life. The cover might even remind you of Darrell K. Sweet’s work (Wheel of Time) or stuff by Michael Komarck (google him– I’ll wait).

Or just enjoy this image:

http://www.komarckart.com/bk_cov43.html

The blurb says something like this:

Enter seven extraordinary worlds with the first installation of stories by authors Jimmy Authorness, Alice Writerly, et al.

Fantastic Story title one: A two sentence slug about the first story.

Fantastic Story title two: A two sentence slug about the second story.

At the end of the blurb, you are told that the next compendium of installments in these wonderful stories will be ready on a given date one month or less from the day you’re looking at this first book.

So it’s a serialized set of stories– but only the first installment in those stories. And you get to read seven different ones for the price of one book. And the series will just continue. One story might finish in four installments, then have its place taken by a new story, while the other stories just continue on their merry way.

Does all that make sense? What do you think? What questions do you have that I might not have thought of?

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