Friday, March 30, 2012

The Phoenix Guardian

On the planet Mithris, humanity is caught in a terrible war . . . and the gods don’t care.

Serena is an eighteen year-old girl who doesn’t care about the gods. She just wants to be left alone.

Unfortunately for Serena, a strange girl named Natalie Bliss falls out of the sky with an urgent mission: Serena must help her stop the war and save the world.

Natalie claims to have been sent by the Pantheon (the deities who run the universe) to confront the negligent gods of Mithris. The gods need to intervene before mankind destroys itself—and Serena has a vital role in Natalie’s plan.

Serena is thrust into a supernatural world that she never believed in, and she demands to know why she was chosen. Natalie won’t tell her—yet. When the truth is revealed, Serena must choose between walking away . . . or uniting her fate with the survival of mankind.

As the girls get closer to the Tower of the Gods, they face terrifying assassins, raging infernos, and falling bombs. Secrets surround them as Serena tries to discover her true identity—and unravel the mystery of the red-haired girl who carries a magical umbrella.

The girls hope that the gods will answer their plea for help, but they may already be too late. Betrayal stalks among the gods of Mithris, and the traitor has dangerous secrets that could destroy them all.

The clock is ticking for Serena and Natalie—and for the world itself.

From Straw Into Gold

Taylor Thompson's life is rudely interrupted when her wicked stepmother is hired by an evil Earl to kill her. Taylor barely escapes by using magical powers she didn't know she had. Suddenly, real life seems a lot like a fairy tale, especially when Taylor learns her powers have been inherited from a mysterious magical ancestor.

Now Taylor must join her friends Gwen and Will on a dangerous quest to a magical world called Mataquin. They have to discover why the Earl wants to kill Taylor and where her powers came from before it's too late.

But it's not easy to go on an epic quest when you have to dodge giants, shoemaking elves, and wicked stepsisters who want to kill you along the way. Taylor also has a sneaking suspicion her powers might not be as great as they first seemed.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I've got a story for you to read.  Go read it and get back to me -- see if you're as ticked as I am.


Okay, onto the diatribe.  ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card is one of the best science fiction novels I've ever read.  I give it to my children to read.  Children.  I want everyone to understand that.

I also recommend the book to all my friends that have not read it.  Doesn't matter what they like to read, I recommend this book.  There's something about the storytelling, something about the character of Ender Wiggins that appeals to everyone who reads this story, boy or girl, man or woman.  It has to do with childhood and the loss of innocence.

For anyone to claim that the book is pornographic is simply ridiculous.  Some irate parent must have read a sentence on the back cover that didn't agree with him or her.  Instead of looking the book up on the Internet or talking to a local librarian, this person chose to make this underpaid, underappreciated teacher who is treated more like a glorified babysitter and guilt-dump for any failings their child or children may have scholastically a target in the news.  News, by the way, that has spread internationally at this point.

If this parent had bothered to look the book up on Wikipedia or talk to that local librarian, he or she would have discovered that ENDER'S GAME is a multi award winning novel, and one that is regularly selected by proponents for teen and children's literature.  In fact, the book is listed on the Accelerated Reader program that most public schools adhere to while teaching reading to children.

This is one of those books that's good for you.  Maybe if the parent were better read, this would not have happened.  But teachers don't get the opportunity very often to instruct parents.  They have to start education with the people they see every day: the children.

My suggestion to this parent is:

1)  become better educated yourself.  Take time to look things up on the Internet, or go talk to an informed person.  Since the education process is a public process, I promise there are lots of people available to have an informative discussion with.  Most of those people would love to see parents.  That's where our education system is breaking down -- at the parental level.  Not the education system.

2)  get to know your kids' teachers.  I coached little league ball for 15 years.  I promise you that I knew every parent because they wanted to get to know me and tell me how a good little Johnny was at what ever position they believed little Johnny should play at.  Parents should take the same kind of interest in their child's education.

3)  don't freak out immediately.  If a parent freaks out about something involving a child, that child usually thinks he or she is partially to blame.  Take time to think things through.  Otherwise, you're going to train your child NOT to come to you when there is a problem.

I think I'm going to contact that school and ask if I can donate books or money to that teacher's personal classroom library.  My wife is fourth grade teacher.  We buy several of the books that go in her classroom for the kids to read.  Teachers need that additional support from people that can provide books for their students because, God knows, we don't pay them enough or get them all the tools they need for the jobs that they are responsible for.

And personally, I see a child's education every bit as important as a child's health.  Parents pay doctors a lot of money and usually never question what a doctor prescribes for their child's medication.  Good teachers should be encouraged and allowed to think for themselves so they can equip your child to take on the future and not be caught unprepared.

This instructor should be applauded, should be awarded, should be shown off by school systems so they can take pride in the differences he makes.  Not castigated like this.  The biggest problem I have with this whole situation is that, sure, the charges can be dropped, but the damage that has been done by one selfish, unthinking, uninformed person cannot be undone.

I hope this teacher has the strenghth to come back from adversity.  I'm betting he does.  That's one of the most important lessons that a young reader gets from ENDER'S GAME.

Art by Keith Birdsong

Keith Birdsong is available for book cover design.  Contact Keith here.

Alicia Dean's New Book Out!

For more than twenty-five years, a series of unsolved murders has haunted newspaper columnist, Monroe Donovan. One of those victims was Monroe’s best friend, Katie, who was snatched from Monroe’s back yard when they were only twelve years old. Hours later, Katie’s body was found, but the killer was never caught. The most recent murder was over two years ago. It seems the monster has finally stopped.

After a promotion from obituary columnist to crime writer, Monroe begins publishing a series of articles on the murders, hoping to uncover information that will lead the police to solve the case. But, rather than helping find the killer, it appears the articles might have woken a sleeping maniac. A young girl is brutally slain and the M.O. is eerily similar to the others...except the killer has added a twist that points directly to Monroe.

When more young girls are murdered, and someone close to Monroe is kidnapped, Monroe becomes embroiled in a game of cat and mouse. But what the cat doesn’t know is that the mouse can play games, too...and with stakes this high, Monroe is determined to come out the winner.

(WARNING: Explicit language and graphic violence)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Caught My Eye

Love the Old School fantasy feel of this one.

Military SF Anthology

John Joseph Adams has been putting together some outstanding anthologies.  The lineup alone on this one is enough to pull me in.

Caught My Eye

Love the wolves, the graveyard, the reds, and the pose.  Rebellious and sassy at the same time.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Coming May 1st!


I love the covers on these, and I know a lot of the names involved in the series.  My buddy James Reasoner is one of them.

Matt Fisher was a normal boy--until he found the Door. The Door that led to the House. The House whose Doors opened into places all over the world--and into worlds that had been, and would be, and even never were. But Matt wasn't the only one who'd found his way in. Now he had something the man named Twig wanted, something that could sow the seeds to everything's destruction. This first book in the spine-tingling Latchkeys series sets the stage for more adventures with Matt Fisher and the rest of the Latchkeys Kids!

Matt Fisher is just starting to get used to life as one of the Latchkey kids, exploring—and protecting—Tanglewood, the House of Doors. So when an ugly little man named Grinder pops up in the House and begs them to help his people avoid being trampled by two opposing armies, Matt’s all for it.

Kaitlyn is the youngest of the Latchkeys, but possibly the most powerful. She tends to respond instinctively to situations, relying upon luck and spunk and quick wits to see her through. But when she gets outraged at Grinder’s plight, and steps up to help his village, the consequences may be more than she bargained for.

This second installment of the all-new Latchkeys children’s book series, by acclaimed author Robert Greenberger, is here! Get your copy–the key to adventure is in your hands!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Son's Fantasy Pet

My son Chandler wants a Woola.  I'm very supportive of the idea.  The character was one of the best things in the new John Carter movie.

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Saint Comic Preview

Moonstone Books: THE SAINT #0
Coming in July!

The Robin Hood of modern crime returns!
The first new SAINT comic book in America
in over 60 years!

Soon to be a major television show!

He robs from the evil and heartless rich, and gives to the wronged and deserving poor--in the process, keeping a percentage for his own expenses. He doesn't work for the law, the government, or anyone else. He is a lone wolf…an adventurer, a detective, a rogue, but always…a gentleman!

In “The Sizzling Saboteur” - The Saint travels to Texas in pursuit of a man who has been sabotaging weapons factories, but when his quarry turns up burned to crisp, he has to contend with both the local police, a trio of mysterious men behind the sabotage, and a beautiful Russian.

This issue is a preview of the upcoming graphic novel, and it will be the only time this story will be seen in color, so get it while it’s hot!

Story: Leslie Charteris, Mel Odom
Art: Eduardo Barreto


During the month of March, if you buy Fight Card: Felony Fists from you can get Fight Card: The Cutman for FREE, or visa-versa, buy Fight Card: The Cutman from and get Fight Card: Felony Fists for FREE . . .

To receive your FREE Fight Card novel forward your recepit email from to and you will receive a Kindle file by return email to send to your Kindle email address.

Along with your FREE Fight Card novel, you will also receive a FREE copy of Fight Fictioneers Magazine featuring numerous articles and reviews pertaining to fight fiction and the Fight Card series.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Bad Luck Runs In The Family

Few people know that the Lone Ranger was the Green Hornet's great-uncle.  After seeing Seth Rogan as Green Hornet and being tremendously let down, I still wasn't prepared to the Lone Ranger to get dragged down the same miserable road.  Just saw this today and I'm put off.

The Lone Ranger never wore the star AND the mask at the same time.  Once he put on the mask, he was never a Texas ranger again.  He rode throughout the West.  And Tonto?  With a crow on his head and warpaint?

I was really looking forward to introducing my son to the Ranger.  Now I'm REALLY thankful for John Carter.

What's Fantasy?

For Phil Athans's take on fantasy, click here.

And if you like Conan the Barbarian, have a look at the first book in the series!

Monday, March 05, 2012

New Fight Card Book Out Now

Danny Dugronski has been a fighter all his life.

As an orphan at St. Vincent's Asylum for Boys, he first learned the "sweet science" of boxing from Father Tim, the battling priest. Then the Marine Corps taught him far more lethal fighting tactics before shipping him off to do battle in the hell of the South Pacific.

Now, with World War II over, Danny "The Duke" has returned home and earned a respectable ranking as a regional heavyweight in the Milwaukee area. But his record, free of KO losses, is jeopardized by a mob front man who tries to push him into a series of rigged fights.

When Danny refuses, hard push comes to deadly shove, and he must call upon all his fighting skills to stand his ground. And when Danny comes out swinging, he’s determined to put the mob down for the count.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

New Cash Laramie & Gideon Miles Book!

Cash Laramie Returns! Gun Smoke Rises And Blood Spills.

In the town of Bear Pines, Mrs. Tolliver has announced she is running for the mayoral office. She’s the first woman to run as a candidate which divides the residents and sets the town into a tailspin. U.S. Marshal Cash Laramie is sent in to maintain peace and order and to protect Tolliver and her family from powerful allies of the incumbent, Mayor Nolan. In a bid to force her to quit the race, things turn ugly ... and deadly. Surrounded by killers who will stop at nothing to make sure Mrs. Tolliver is not elected, Cash wires Cheyenne for assistance, but will help arrive in time?

Friday, March 02, 2012

New Rancho Diablo Book Is Out!

Gabby Darbins heads for Pike's Peak country to find gold. He finds more than he bargained for, including gunfights, conniving women, and the terrifying slide-rock bolter!

Get In The Ring!