Friday, November 1, 2013

I Want Your Freebies for Reviews

            I receive the most traffic when I do my independent writer reviews.  More traffic means my “voice” reaches more people, and I’m able to speak directly to the people who might like my books.  Everyone wins in a deal like that, so I’m asking you to send your free books to me for a review.

            Because of the amount of time necessary to read and write reviews, I’m unable to predict a time-frame for reviews.  Also, I WILL NOT review books that are unreadable (too many mistakes/typos).  I might also turn down an author because his/her book doesn’t hold my interest (based on preference).  It doesn't hurt to send a copy of your book my way, however, just in case it’s something I’d like to share with my network.

            I want your freebies.  I want horror, science fiction, thrillers, short stories, novels, and anything in between.

            Also, I might not be sticking to my regular blog schedule in the future, which means I will be blogging as much, or as little, as I think is appropriate.  For the most part, I receive the most blog views after I advertise new posts on Facebook and Twitter, so an irregular blog schedule shouldn't be a problem for me.

            Email me at and let me know that you want to send a freebie my way for a potential review.  I’ll be happy to hear from you.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Flashlight Stories, Horror Anthology

I had a great time writing Flashlight Stories.  My earlier mental roadblocks while attempting to write full-length novels seemed nonexistent while I was working on this horror anthology.

Flashlight Stories is a collection of horror stories.  There’s a story about a witch, one about a vampire, one about a shadow demon, and more.  Like many other authors who write anthologies, I wanted to explore different ideas.  The freedom to write quick, snappy stories to completion was a breath of fresh air for me.

The only negative experience I had was after publishing the book.  I downloaded a copy to my Kindle, and began reading.  I was happy to see my work published on an electronic reading device.  I had the same happy feeling after publishing Disclosure and The Journal of the Missing Day.  I was so satisfied with my new book that I kept reading, even though I had been reading it nonstop before publishing.  That’s when I started finding some errors.

Maybe the topic of flaws is taboo to write about if it’s about your own book, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal; people make mistakes, and learn.  It’s all part of the process.  Besides, this blog is about my personal experiences with writing.  Just to be clear, the problems were fixed shortly after the first release.  At least, I have read the entire book (again) on my Kindle, found (and fixed) problems that were overlooked while I was editing the book on my computer, and uploaded the new file to Amazon.

My overall experience is extremely positive.  I love my book, and I’ve read it a couple of times for my own entertainment (something I didn’t think would be possible with my own stories).  I love the cover, I love the content, and I love the reactions.  Writing this anthology has me excited to work on the next one.

But first, here’s what’s inside of Flashlight Stories:

The Calm (Before the Storm): A flash fiction introduction

The House at the End of the Street: A young boy works up the courage to enter the witch's house, located at the end of the street

Twelve Feet Under: A boy's father will go to extreme lengths (and depths) for his son's love

Being the Reaper: A man must take on the task of being the Grim Reaper to pay for the sins he committed during life

Afraid of Clowns: A clown with a silly name terrifies a young boy

The Last Vampire: Old legends come alive when the last vampire is trapped by hunters

What's Buried in the Barn: A deal with the Devil, and an unholy secret

Your Friends are Coming: A man's past comes back for revenge

Buried Alive: It's worse than you might think

It Man: A story about a shadow demon who lives off fear

The Storm:  Flash fiction closer that continues from the opener

If you want a taste of Flashlight Stories, just go to Amazon or Smashwords and download the free sample.  You’ll get the first two stories for free.  The first story is extremely short, because it’s a flash fiction opener, but the second story is longer, and one of my favorite stories in the book.  I urge all of my friends to read the freebies, at least.  Thanks for being a fan, and I hope to hear from all of you very soon.

Flashlight Stories is still only 99 cents, but not for long.  After Halloween, the price will be set to $1.99.  Grab the story now, and let me what you think at

Friday, October 4, 2013

Indie Book Review: Between These Pages, by Catherine MacKenzie, Part 2 of 2

      This is the second half of my review for Between These Pages, a short story anthology by Catherine MacKenzie.
      The first half of Between These Pages was good, but the second half is definitely my favorite.  With respect to the other authors I’ve reviewed, Between These Pages is probably the best book by an independent author that I’ve read over the course of this year.  It was well-written, and contains a lot of interesting topics, especially the half I’m about to review.
           Quota:  This interesting story stood out almost as much as Island Lovers, but, being a fan of science fiction, I enjoyed this one more.  This sci-fi story could best be described as a population-control horror story (if such a genre ever existed).  A man must fill his quota of death, or else.
       Between the Good and the Bad:  This is an erotic story about a character (Vanessa) that is a cross between witch and vampire.  The main character uses her abilities to kill people who she believes deserve to die, because they are evil, or to end their misery.  One of my favorites.
      The Mannequin:  One of the most memorable stories in the entire book, a wife pretends to be the mannequin that was created in her likeness in order to catch her husband having an affair.
      Molly Mulligan:  This is a story about secrets.  Molly Mulligan has a family secret, and her children want to know the truth.
      Afterword:  In one of the more tragically compelling stories of this book, a woman kills her husband, assuming he was having an affair on her.  This story is extremely well written, and memorable.
      Trapped in the Swallow:  A man and wife go on vacation to New Zealand, and one of our main characters finds herself stuck in a sinkhole.
      Tart Thorns among Silken Threads:  This is a story about a woman who continues to marry men, and kill them, to inherit their possessions and live a life of luxury.
      Footprints in the Snow: Catherine MacKenzie pushes boundaries with this story about a controversial topic.  A woman once requested to be put out of her misery if her illness took away her quality of life.  Will her husband live up to his end of the bargain?  Will she still want him to when the time comes?
      Blood Dreams:  An old woman claims that her caretakers are draining her blood, but people think she’s delusional.  The marks on her body are real, but what about the bats flying overhead?

Who would like this book?  Previously, in the first half of this review, I said Between These Pages was geared toward women.  That remains true for the second half as well.  However, Catherine MacKenzie has written a book that can be enjoyed by a variety of different readers.

Here are some of my personal reactions to the second half of Between These Pages:

“Afterward”:  This was the story that had me on the edge of my seat.

“Quota”:  The first, and only, science fiction story in the book.  I was happy to see something from the sci-fi genre in this book, and even happier to see how well it fit in with the rest of the stories.

“Between the Good and the Bad”:  I’m not an expert in the commercial success of books, but if I could make a suggestion to Catherine MacKenzie it would be MAKE AN ENTIRE SERIES BASED ON THIS CHARACTER!  The main character of this story, Vanessa, is sexy, violent, and already has a great story.  She’s a witch and a vampire.  She’s a renegade who kills people based on her own judgment.  She’s sexually promiscuous without shame or apology.  Vanessa, in my opinion, could sell a lot of books.

“Footprints in the Snow”:  This is my favorite story in the entire book.  The story evokes strong emotions of what it means to be alive, and what it means to experience the process of dying.  Cathy MacKenzie tells her story as a work of fiction, but the real-world implications are hard to ignore.

Between These Pages was an excellent read.  Support Catherine MacKenzie by downloading her book, and let her know what you think of her stories.

Email Catherine MacKenzie at

Joshua Hicks recently released Flashlight Stories, an anthology of short stories that are meant to terrify.  The book is only 99 cents until after Halloween.  Get the first story free (plus a flash fiction introduction) with any sample download.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Indie Book Review: Between These Pages, by Catherine MacKenzie, Part 1 of 2

My apologies to Catherine MacKenzie for the late review.  I thought I would have it done before now, but I fell behind on my schedule.  The biggest event that slowed me down was the FBI Green Dot Moneypak Virus (mentioned in my last blog).

Between These Pages has been one of the best books that I’ve read by an independent artist, and I want to give it a proper review.  To do the book justice, I plan to give it a two-part review.  I’ll try to avoid spoilers, but I’m going to give my synopses of the individual stories within the book.

1.      Collecting Knocks:  The story is somewhat vague, but sometimes that’s a good thing.  Some of my favorite stories are the ones that leave a little to the imagination.

2.      Doorbells and December:  The story is told at a slow pace, meant to bring the reader into the world of a woman who must take care of her grandson, after the disappearance of her daughter.

3.      Away with the Fairies:  A boy is coping with the divorce of his parents, and has a new life that includes three new sisters.  The boy doesn’t quite fit in, but with some help he learns how to cope with his new situation.

4.      Night Candy:  This story is full of innocence lost.  A little girl sees many things that she doesn’t quite understand.  I read the story thinking, how far is Cathy willing to go?  I wasn’t disappointed.

5.      Island Lovers:  This one stood out the most to me.  The story involves the strange rituals of an island tribe, and how those rituals affect two people who are in love.  I won’t give away the ending.

6.      The Party:  A birth mark results in a woman’s negative self-image.  Despite her feelings about her appearance, a masquerade party allows her to enjoy herself, and gives her a new sense of confidence.

7.      Balloons, Chocolate and Flowers:  This is a story that takes readers on an emotional journey that many people have been on before.  A young woman thinks about giving her boyfriend another chance after he has cheated on her.

8.      Rear View Mirror:  Very cool flash fiction story about a woman who has just committed murder.  The body is stashed away in the car, but... you’ll have to read it for yourself.

9.      Hourglass:  A story about twin brothers that ends with a twist.  One brother is constantly cleaning up after the other, and he’s had enough.

I’m straying a bit from my normal format, but I would like to say… Who would like this book?  I think the majority of the stories in this book were written with women in mind.  The first half (this half), is especially geared toward women.  However, there were a lot of thrills and horror in this half of Between These Pages, making it enjoyable to a wide variety of tastes.

Personally, I think the book is well rounded, but the second half actually contains the majority of my favorite stories.  I think this book is worth buying, and hope that the readers of my blog will support this author.  Cathy MacKenzie is one of my favorite personalities when it comes to writers.  I’ve always thought she had a crazy side, but she’s managed to put her insanity into a bottle, and pour it into a book for us to read.

Which story is my favorite in this half of the book?  Rear View Mirror.  Although it’s probably the shortest story in the book, it’s full of cool imagery.  It comes in fast and hard, and delivers everything a good short story should.

Keep watching for the second half of my review for Between These Pages.  Until then, check it out for yourself…

Email Catherine MacKenzie at

Joshua Hicks recently released Flashlight Stories, an anthology of short stories that are meant to terrify.  The book is only 99 cents until after Halloween.  Get the first story free (plus a flash fiction introduction) with any sample download.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 20, 2013

My Experience with the FBI Green Dot Moneypak Virus

So, I haven’t posted a blog in a while… a long while.  I haven’t posted anything about my new book, and I haven’t reviewed Catherine MacKenzie’s book like I said I would, either (my apologies to her).  That leads me to my first post since early August…

The FBI Moneypak virus that infected my computer several weeks ago would be hilarious if it was not so annoying/scary.  It put my independent writing career on hold as it taunted my family from our laptop.  The image:  Large FBI letters, a message that we had been CAUGHT in illegal activities, and a webcam photo of my girlfriend, staring at the computer in confusion.

We were accused of viewing and/or downloading child pornography, bestiality, and/or instances of rape.  The virus used our own laptop’s webcam to capture my girlfriend’s image as “proof” that she was indeed the one identified as committing these crimes.  Of course, I knew this was a scam, because my girlfriend had been browsing artist trading cards while me and our little girl were watching Curious George on Netflix.  We were supposed to believe that the picture was taken while the crime was being committed, but my girlfriend’s sleep shirt (which she was still wearing) and ruffled hair (from just waking up) made it clear that the “FBI” had caught her lazily looking for quotes to paste onto artwork.

Not only was the “evidence” far from convincing, but the “FBI” seemed to be willing to clear the accused of all charges for a $300 fee, paid to a Green Dot Moneypak card that can be purchased at Wal-Mart or local convenient stores.  Wow!  No prison!  The FBI was either being considerably generous or we were targets of a huge SCAM.

What’s funny about living during a time when the internet is available on a plethora of devices, is that sometimes people forget about their options.  Usually, when I need to search for answers, I use the computer, but my computer had malware.  It wasn’t until the next day when it dawned on me that I could start my Nintendo Wii, go to Youtube, and search for a way to get the malware scam off the computer.  It was the complete opposite of trying to flip on a light after the electricity goes out.  Instead, I had power when I thought I had none.

I found the answers to my problem on Youtube, and I’m including a link to the video for anyone who might need instruction on how to remove the virus.  You will need a second computer that isn’t infected, an empty flash drive, and possibly a blank CD.  We used my girlfriend’s parents’ computer to go online and download the program to get rid of the virus (put on flash drive), and the program to override the virus before it gets a chance to disable the infected computer (put on CD).  It might have been a time-consuming process, but it was easy to accomplish once my girlfriend had access to her parent’s computer.  We’re not sure what gave our computer the virus, but the guy in the Youtube video claimed to have acquired the virus (after searching for a lot of questionable files in order to make the video) from something as simple as a searching for Danica Patrick.

Sadly, I have heard plenty of stories in which people were scammed into losing money because of this virus.  Sending money won’t get rid of the malware.  The FBI isn’t really locking your computer.  If you get a message that asks you to send money to pay for a crime, don’t bite.  Chances are, you’re being scammed.

Here’s the Youtube video that helped me get rid of the FBIMoneypak Virus

To download my horror story anthology, Flashlight Stories (get the first two stories completely free with sample).  Still only 99 cents for a limited time:
From Smashwords
From Amazon

Friday, August 2, 2013

No School, On Writing, Extra Cash, Next Indie Review, On Blogging

            So, I passed up an opportunity to go back to school.  I think it was for good reasons, and I hope I’m right.  By the time I got my packet of information there were only 18 days left until classes started.  I still didn't have my financial aid figured out, and the school’s website still wasn't working on my computer.  I felt I had to make many very big decisions in a very small amount of time.  This biggest decision was the $20,000+ loan I would have taken out in order to attend the school. No grants, no scholarships, just a huge loan that would accrue interest.  I passed on the loan, and worked things out with the administrators so that all my progress (background check, Praxis I test results, transcripts, application with essay, fees, etc) would be saved in my file for whenever I’m able to attend.  Hopefully, now that I have some more time, I’ll be able to get some grants so I don’t have to take on the entire financial burden when/if I decide to go back to school.

I would have loved to go back to school, and I would love to say that I’ll definitely be going next year, but I can’t.  I’m glad that I tried, and I’m happy about the progress I made.  I still hope that the progress wasn’t just a waste of time, and that I’ll actually pick up where I left off sometime within the next few years.  However, things change, jobs happen, family happens, STUFF happens.  I’m keeping school open as an option, because I’d love to become a teacher, but the situation has to be right.  The situation wasn’t right this time.

On Writing:  First of all, the biggest of the changes concerning writing is that I plan to start writing on a more serious level again.  I’m no longer concerned about passing tests, getting letters of recommendation, or any of the other activities that I was putting at the top of my priorities.  I could be upset about that, but I’m not; it was my choice, after all.  Instead, I’m excited about trying to get SOMETHING published.  I’m not going to say how soon, because I tried that with The Dream Machine, my unpublished science fiction novel that is sitting on the back-burners, waiting for me to finish it.  For the same reason that I haven’t tried to finish The Dream Machine (unreliable computer, that might possibly die at any time), I’m going to have to be careful when writing.

Some readers of this blog might wonder what the difference is… I write blogs, so why not continue writing my novel?  You might be right, but it’s a personal preference.  The novel is longer, more complex than a blog, and would be worse to lose than a blog.  I suppose I could use Google Drive, but I’m also a technophobe (“Great thing to be when you’re a writer,” he said, with a hint of sarcasm).

The point is, I would feel safer writing short stories now.  Personally, I can manage short stories easier.  I get more words out per day when I’m writing a short story, compared to when I’m working on a longer story.  I’m able to wrap my head around the stories easier, and I don’t run into the dreaded Writer’s Block as often.  Short stories might actually be more FUN for me to write.  It’s possible that I’m just not ready for the challenge of a full-length novel yet, although I was so close to being done.  All I needed was a good ending and some heavy editing.  I’ll go back to focusing on short stories for now, and see how that works for me.

Slice The Pie:  I want to share a link with you.  It’s an interesting site that I ran across a couple weeks ago, and thought some of you might enjoy it.  Apparently, I can earn a few cents for referrals, and well as reviewing.  I don’t want to spam, because nobody likes a spammer, but I genuinely thing that most of you would enjoy this site, too.  You won’t earn a lot of money (about 10 cents per song review, depending on quality), but it IS possible to earn some spare cash just for writing short reviews for songs.

You will have to create an account, but after that, just listen to (at least) 90 seconds of the song, and fill the text box with your thoughts.  You can find other helpful sites that discuss popular keywords that the Slice the Pie system looks for (vocalist, instrumental accompaniment, intro, solo, commercial potential, creative, original, etc), but it’s basically intuitive, especially for writers and fans of music.

I’ve earned close to $8, and I’ll get to cash out when I reach $10.  I've searched online to see how legitimate this site is, and apparently a lot of people are big fans.  They say they get their money whenever they ask for it after reaching the payout amount, and one of my friends recently received his first payment.  I’ll keep everyone posted about my own experiences with this website, but until then, use this link to help me earn some extra referral cash.  You won’t lose any money, but I’ll earn 10% of whatever you make, just for getting you to participate.  Here’s the link.  Let me know what you think.

THE NEXT INDIE BOOK REVIEW:  It’s going to be a book by Cathy MacKenzie, called Between the Pages.  It’s an anthology of very interesting stories, and it’s probably one of the best independent books I’ve read in a long time.  Independent doesn’t mean I put it on a lower scale than commercially popular books, but I’ve been reading a lot of Stephen King lately, and he’s one of my favorites.  Regardless, Between the Pages is going to get a two-part review, because I think it deserves it.  I see great quality, and I see a quantity as well.  Cathy MacKenzie put in a lot of work with this one.  I’m going to try to review the first half of the book two weeks from now (two weeks, not one).

On Blogging:  I’m going to stop posting new blogs every week.  Now, I’m only going to write a blog every OTHER week.  I enjoy writing them, but it’s not what I set out to do.  I set out to write fiction.  This blog is my way of discussing the events in my life, my journey as a writer, and a medium for me to discuss other writers and my own thoughts.  Writing a blog once every two weeks should still give me the opportunity to stay connected, as well as allow me time in between blogs to work on other projects, as well as accumulate content for the blog posts.

As I was saying a little earlier, I’m going to try to review the first half of Between the Pages two weeks from now.  That will give me enough time to finish the anthology (that contains over 60,000 words), and write the review.  I’ll make sure to tweet and post updates on Facebook when I publish new posts.  Until then, go check out Cathy’s book.  Enjoy.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Getting Reviews From Me: How I decide what to review

I love to read and review stories by independent writers.  I want to support writers, especially since I’m still trying to write stories of my own.  I know how appreciative independent writers can be when they earn a good review.  That said, this blog entry is to let writers (and readers) know a little bit more about how, and what, I choose to review.  Also, I will let you know the best ways to work with me to get a review.  My indie reviews seem to bring the most traffic to my blog, so I’d love to keep doing them.

I’ve reviewed independent books, independent games, and I’ve even reviewed a non-independent game as part of a nostalgic blog entry, because it was something that inspired me.  My focus, however, is on independent stories.

Since my art of choice is writing, I like to support other independent writers.  The biggest issue with writing reviews for independent writers is time.  It takes time to read a story, and it takes time to write the review.  If I want to keep my personal standard of writing at least one new blog entry every week, I’m not going to be able to make each entry a book review.  Sometimes, I might be able to write a review based on something I’ve already read, watched, or played, but I couldn’t possibly keep up with reading/writing reviews, and still continue with my own projects.

Therefore, I try to be picky when it comes to writing reviews.  You might be saying, “Gee, you sure don’t seem very picky.  You review some of the same writers over and over again.”  That’s true; one reason, is simply because I know these writers have good content.  I network with them, know their potential, and choose to support them.  Another reason is financial availability.  I will not choose to review a book that I think might be overpriced.  People go to independent writers because they want value, and good content.  If I spend more money reviewing books than I make selling them, I’m not making a smart financial decision.  More often, I only choose to review independent books that are given to me free.

This is where something should be made clear:  I do not give good reviews in exchange for free reads.  I have read books full of errors, and that’s a deal-breaker for me.  Did I write a bad review of that book?  No, I didn’t.  Although I don’t exchange reviews for free books, I don’t choose to write bad reviews, either.  It’s a choice I made early on.  I write reviews to help independent writers, so for me, writing negative reviews is a waste of time.  On the other hand, I believe there is a potential reader for every book.  If your book makes sense, doesn’t contain tons of grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, isn't confusing, and is interesting enough to hold my attention, I'll probably give it a review.

There is a reason why I always write, “Who will like this book.”  It’s because certain books aren’t for everyone.  Instead of bashing the story because it doesn’t fall into the category of my normal reading material, I let readers know who would enjoy the book.  It’s safe to say that, if a book has kept me entertained enough to finish reading it, and I write a review for it, it was worth the time I spent with it.
I’m also fond of saying, “Personally,” and then following that up with why I was entertained enough to finish the book and write a review.  With this section, I usually try to shed some insight on why I chose to review a particular book, and what personally kept me entertained.  It’s about my personal taste in stories, and what I think other people might also enjoy.

Have a story that you want reviewed?  Get in touch with me.  I’ll let you know if your book is something I might like, and I’ll make sure to let you know if I can review it.  If there are numerous errors in your book, I’ll let you know.  You have the option of fixing the mistakes, and I have the option of reviewing something else.  It’s that simple.

Also, I can’t promise to write a review by a certain day, but I’m willing to discuss postponing a review if it helps your marketing strategy.  I’d like to have some reviews stored away just in case I get too busy to write one.  It feels good to have a backlog, just in case.

To get in touch with me through email, please use

You can visit my Yahoo! Contributor Network profile by clicking, here.

If you’re interested in downloading free samples of my two short stories (more to come soon, hopefully), please check out Disclosure, and The Journal of the Missing Day.

To follow me on Twitter, click here.

Also, I invite you to join me on facebook, and my writer's profile.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Nostalgic review: Dragon Warrior and Turn-Based RPGs

When I was growing up, video games were played on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).  When I try to think back to the first games I ever played, I remember Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Duck Hunt, Adventure Island, and… Dragon Warrior.

Dragon Warrior didn’t go straight to the top on my list of great games.  That achievement went to Super Mario Bros.  Adventure Island was pretty cool too, but I wasn’t very good at it.  I wasn’t very good at most games, actually.  The Legend of Zelda made me feel downright incompetent, and I had to stand right next to the television to accomplish anything on Duck Hunt… Despite my love of video games, I’m obviously not a gamer.

So imagine my surprise when I started playing Dragon Warrior, my first turn-based RPG experience, which allowed me to train my character, and to get more powerful after every victory.  Well, honestly, I didn’t know what the hell I was supposed to do.  The character couldn’t jump, and I couldn’t even see the bad guys until the screen suddenly transported me into battle.  Then, I couldn’t even swing a sword; I had to choose an option to swing a sword (actually, it was a club to start off with… Actually, I’m pretty sure I went into battle without buying any weapons at all when I first played the game.  It never occurred to me that I would be responsible to purchasing my own gear).  All that I knew, was that my dad’s character was completely awesome, and mine could be killed by slime balls.

It wasn’t until later, in my teens, that I realized how great Dragon Warrior really was.  The memory of the game had stayed with me; how I had to win battles to make my character stronger, and how the focus of the game was on role-playing, instead of the actual gameplay.  Dragon Warrior was like being involved in a book.  I had to pay attention to the non-playable characters, and use critical thinking to figure out what I was supposed to do.  My character would gain experience whenever I won in battle, and occasionally, would level up.  Leveling up is a great feeling of accomplishment.  It’s accompanied by a grandiose melody, and a list of improved stats.  Buying better weapons and armor is also a satisfying part of playing the game.

I’ve used Dragon Warrior as an example, simply because it’s one of my turn-based RPGs.  It really is the most basic example of the things I enjoy about these kinds of games.  It’s a simple back-and-forth between fighting battles, resting your character, buying new weapons and armor, and pushing forward into harder areas of the game once you think you can handle the challenge.

So… Who would like Dragon Warrior?  Even though this isn’t my usual template for reviews, I wanted to give some background for this specific genre of game.  My blog is mainly about writing, but I think it should also focus on storytelling.  Playing a turn-based RPG is like taking part of a story.  If you would like to play a game where you can take your time, experience a story, and aren’t necessarily looking for a big challenge, this game might be for you.  There will be times when you have to spend a lot of your time raising your character’s level in order to get strong enough to progress.

Personally, I enjoy leveling up.  Like I said previously, I’m not a hardcore gamer.  When a game gives me the opportunity to make my character(s) stronger, I take it.  I want my character to overpower the competition, or at least give me an advantage.  Games like Dragon Warrior, and other turn-based RPGs give me the opportunity to fight weaker enemies to gain experience, and the time to save up money in order to buy the best weapons and armor.

Of course, there is always the story.  Stories have made a lot of progress since Dragon Warrior, but the game is still immersive enough to keep players involved.  You have to talk to the other non-playable characters in the game, and actually pay attention to what’s going on.  Games, like books, put participants inside of an imagined world, and hope the delusion is strong enough, vivid enough, and well-constructed enough to be entertaining.  Books offer very specific paths for taking a journey.  Games drop you into the world where the adventure takes place, and offer a variety of different paths to completion (sometimes, to different results).

Stories can be found almost anywhere:  Books, video games, movies, comic books, and even music.  When we can enjoy a world so full of stories, it would be a shame to limit ourselves to just one specific interest.  I have many interests, and they all influence my writing, because they all influence my personality.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Update: 07/12/2013

I wanted to fill everyone in on what’s going on with me right now.  One of the managers where I’m employed was impressed enough with my work to offer me a job in his department.  It’s not a huge promotion, but it gets me out of the rain and heat and gives me a small raise and a set schedule.  I’ve already worked two days in the new department.  It’s like having an entirely different job.

I had some trouble getting my transcripts from the college I graduated from to college I’m trying to attend, but finally got them there.  Now, the new school is going to process my application, and I hope to hear something from them very soon.  I can’t even explain how much I want to go back to school.  This time, I have a clear understanding of what I want to be:  A teacher.  Like many first-time students, I went through college not really knowing what I wanted out of life.  By the time I was done, I had a degree that I didn’t know what to do with, and a pile of student loans to pay off.  I want to do it right this time.

I received the final test results of my Praxis I test, and writing was actually my lowest score… lower than my math score… lower than my reading score… Hmm, I figured math would have been my lowest, but at least I still had a score high enough to meet the requirements.  The only thing I’m not sure about is financial aid.  I applied for financial aid before I did anything else, but my understanding is that have to be accepted to a school before I’ll know exactly how much to expect.  I guess I’ll find out soon, one way or the other.

I hope everyone had a good Fourth of July.  We took our two-year-old daughter to see fireworks.  She was in awe of them.  She wouldn’t look away from them, but she wouldn’t let me put her down, either.  She was afraid of them, because she didn’t understand them, but she kept talking about them in that excited way toddlers use to express their interests.

I finished reading Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry last week.  I’ve always enjoyed the TV miniseries, and found the book at a thrift shop for a few bucks.  Took forever to read, but I enjoyed every bit of it.  I think it might be the first western-genre book I’ve ever finished reading, and I definitely recommend it to fans of the genre.  Currently, I’m reading Roadwork, by Stephen King.  I’ve read plenty by him.

Thanks for reading.  I’ll be back next week with something new.  Make sure to check back frequently for new reviews and discussions.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Indie Review: Pirates, Pirates! (A Rogue's Tale Part III), by Saoirse O'Mara

A Rogues Tale Part III is probably my favorite of the series.  Saoirse O’Mara continues to deliver enjoyable fantasy-fiction for young adults, in Pirates, Pirates!

Who will like this book?  Fans of the first two books will enjoy the continuation of this series.  As I was reading this third installment, I realized that it took me back to a time when I used to read The Hardy Boys.  A Rogue’s Tale takes place in a world of fantasy, but each story involves solving a mystery, and saving the day.  If you enjoy mystery, you should download a free sample of this book, as well as the previous two.

Personally, I enjoyed the focus on the female character of the series, Tayla.  She’s been my favorite character since the first book, and this book devotes at least 80% of its time to her.  Tayla is a young girl who has made drastic changes in her in life since the first book of the series.  Watching this character develop, prosper, and struggle is a pleasure to witness.

Pirates, Pirates! is the third book in the A Rogues Tale trilogy, but hopefully we haven’t seen the last of these characters.  Saoirse O’Mara has created a world with plenty of potential for new characters, locations, and stories.  Like its predecessors, Pirates, Pirates! is geared toward young adults.  It’s easy for kids to read, and still entertaining enough for adults.  As always, free samples of all the stories are available.  Check out the links below to learn more about the A Rogue’s Tale series, and Saoirse O’Mara.

Download a free sample of:  Pirates, Pirates! (A Rogue's Tale Part III)
Download a free sample of:  The Lost Diadem (A Rogue's Tale Part I)

Learn more about A Rouge's Tale and Saoirse O'Mara, here
You can find Saoirse O'Mara's contact information, here

For information about reviews, stories, and various other activities by Joshua Hicks, follow me on Twitter.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Indie Review, The Masks in the Mirror & Unmasked, by Angel Sharum

Angel Sharum has had many experiences writing stories with twists.  I have enjoyed her previous work, but chose a title that I felt demonstrated the growth of this particular writer.  Angel continues to deliver twists and suspense, as well as dynamic character depth, in her psychological double feature, The Masks in the Mirror & Unmasked.

Who will like this book?  This title contains two short works of psychological fiction intent on taking your mind for a ride.  The Masks in the Mirror deals with the mind of a schizophrenic woman who must cope with her less-likable personalities, who harass her from the mirror.  Unmasked is the story of an inmate who is facing death row.  Before his execution, he tells his story to a writer.

Personally, I enjoyed reading these stories because of the new character depth that Angel Sharum is showing off.  Maybe she was conscious of doing it, or maybe it happened naturally, but the characters in these two stories seemed to have more depth than previous characters in her work.  It seems as though she took her time where storytelling is concerned, and managed to improve upon some of her skills; most notable, I appreciate the extra time given to the endings, and how dynamic the main characters seemed to be, despite the length of the stories.

Some writers get to a certain point and get comfortable, but I believe that Angel Sharum is still growing as an artist.  I respect writers who continue to improve, and Angel Sharum is one such writer.

To find out more about Angel Sharum, visit her author website and blog.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Indie Game Review: Game Dev Tycoon

I talk a lot about independent art, and how much I appreciate the numerous ways I’ve been able to express myself as an independent writer.  However, writing is not the only form that independent art takes.

Recently, I purchased a video game from an independent company.  The company is called Greenheart Games, and the game is called Game Dev Tycoon.  Let me start by saying that, while I’m no stranger to the gaming world, I don’t consider myself to be a gamer.  I enjoy games with good stories, and I prefer my playing experiences to be casual.  Game Dev Tycoon was perfect for my playing preferences.

What’s it about?  Game Dev Tycoon begins in the 1980s.  You are the main character, and develop games for a variety of different platforms.  The platforms mirror the technologies made in the 80s, and lead all the way up to the next generation of consoles (Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Wii U).  The names of the consoles have been changed, but closely resemble their actual counterparts.  The storyline relies on the history of the gaming industry, and new consoles come out on a regular basis.  Most of the gameplay revolves around developing games, and running your company.

What can you do?  As a player, you develop games by trying to create the most enjoyable game combinations, and have to make decisions on game size, topics, genres, platforms and game engines.  You have the ability to train your character (and other members of your team that you can hire later on), research new technologies (such as MMOs, new topics, and self-created game engines) and develop your own consoles.  A big chunk of the game involves devoting the right amount of time to specific games.  For example, RPGs should have a lot of time devoted to dialogue, but racing games need a lot of work done on artificial intelligence, and would do well with minimum dialogue.

Personally, I enjoyed playing through the timeline of events.  There are around 30 years of progression in which new consoles will be released, consoles will go off the market, and new technology will be born.  Also, I liked experimenting with the different game combinations… Pirate Simulation?  Racing strategy?  Life RPG?  Virtual Pet Adventure???  All of these combinations are possible within the game, although none are a guaranteed success.

I really enjoy playing tycoon games, but this is probably the best one since the lemonade stand game I used to play while growing up in the nineties (simple, but iconic).  The creators of the game are very appreciative of their paying audience, and even sent me an in-game message to tell me how awesome I was for supporting an independent team.  They also have a sense of humor.  Apparently, they released a version of their game to be pirated.  In that version of the game, in-game pirates ruin the player’s company by pirating their games.  I think that’s hilarious.  However, I was so impressed with the trial game that I went ahead and paid the eight dollars to get the full version.

As an independent writer, I appreciate the hard work that’s involved in creating independent work.  Sometimes, all the work is done by just one person.  With Game Dev Tycoon, two brothers are responsible.  Support independent artists by buying the stuff you like.  Try the free sample of Game Dev Tycoon.  Don’t be a pirate.  Buy the game if it’s something you think you’ll enjoy.

Visit Greenheart Games to download your free sample of Game Dev Tycoon.

For more information about the author of this blog, follow me on Twitter, or check out my Facebook page and Author Page.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Indie Review, Trouble in the Mage Guild (A Rogue’s Tale Part II) by Saoirse O’Mara

Trouble in the Mage Guild, just like its predecessor, was enjoyable enough to read in a single day.  I admit that after finishing The Lost Diadem (A Rogue’s Tale I), I started reading Trouble in the Mage Guild the moment I got it.  I wanted to find out where the next adventure would take me.  For this review, I went back to the story so it would be fresh in my mind.

Who will like this book?  This book is intended for young adults, but enjoyable for all ages.  There is a focus on fantasy and magic, and centers around two young city guards who must disguise themselves as servants in order to solve a mystery.  Readers of The Lost Diadem will enjoy catching up with Tayla and Govin, the main characters of both books.  Although familiar, Trouble in the Mage Guild contains its own, unique story.  You don’t have to read the first book to enjoy the second.

Personally, I was happy to be reading about familiar characters.  Many of the independent books I’ve read aren’t part of a series, so I was looking forward to how Saoirse O’Mara would create continuity between the two books.  She does it well.  The story picks up a short time after the first book ends, and readers are shown some of the changes that have occurred since the last adventure.  The story doesn’t dwell on the past, however, and is quick to thrust our main characters back into action with a new mission that involves investigating magic and mages.

Trouble in the Mage Guild (A Rogue’s Tale Part II) shares many of the same qualities as The Lost Diadem (A Rogue’s Tale Part I):  They are both easy to read, written with young adults in mind, but written in a professional style.  If you have a teen that enjoys reading (rare these days), you should encourage them by downloading free samples of these books.  Crude language and adult content are completely absent from these books, so even young readers could enjoy these stories.

Also, be on the lookout for A Rogue's Tale Part III, coming out very soon.

Download a free sample of The Lost Diadem (A Rogue's Tale Part I)
Learn more about A Rogue's Tale and Saoirse O'Mara, here
Saoirse O'Mara's full contact information can be found, here

For information about about reviews, stories, or various other activities by Joshua Hicks, follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Test Results / Next Review

            This is another late blog.  I postponed publishing this one until I took my Praxis test.  I needed a score of 175 on reading, math, and writing.  My score were 184 on reading, 182 on math, and I’ll have to wait 10-15 days for the results of the writing portion.  If I fail the writing portion of the test, I give my full permission to the members of my writing group to excommunicate me… Not really, though.

            Speaking of writing, I’m trying to keep up with my blog posts.  I should really try to build up a backlog of them.  I would like to keep this medium of communication open so I can speak to those of you who enjoy reading what I have to say.  Ideally, I would be sending out stories, but my computer is still very unreliable.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it stopped working at any time.  The one I’m using has suffered numerous incidents of being pulled off a table after my sister’s dogs got tangled up in the power chord.  I’m actually surprised it works at all… but it seems to be holding out well enough to risk posting some blogs.

            So, what’s next now that I passed my Praxis?  Well, I have to start going through all the red tape at the college I want to attend… It’s not the most interesting topic for writing blogs, so instead I’m going to review another story from an author who has already made an impression on me with some of her earlier work...

            Saoirse O’Mara is next on my list of reviews, with Trouble in the Mage Guild (A Rogue’s Tale Part II).  Stay tuned.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Studying... Any Help?

Lately, I’ve been using my free time to do stuff so I can go back to school.  I’ve always thought the worst part about college is the stuff that comes prior to taking classes.  I didn’t really mind sitting through class when I was attending college, or studying the subject matter, but applying for financial aid, getting letters of recommendation, and finding out exactly what I need to do is more confusing to me.

The most terrifying things:  1.  Something happens during my application process, and I’m not able to go when I’m planning to go;  2.  I don’t pass my Praxis test.  Both scenarios leave me without the money I’ve spent while trying to go back to school, and set me back in time with my goal to start a good career.

The Praxis test… It’s one of those tests that you don’t study for, but I’m required to make a certain score before I can start taking classes.  I’ve been out of college for over 6 years, and I might be a little rusty on a lot of things.  Mostly, I’m concerned about math.  To compensate, I’ve been looking over some flash cards.  It doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence, but it’s the only thing I can think of that might help.  I took a practice math exam online, and passed by a small margin, but it was the only free exam that I could find.  The worst part about it all is I’m not sure what’s going to be on the test.  I’ve studied A LOT of math, and wasn’t very good at most of it.  I passed, but it was because I was tenacious, and put the time and effort into knowing what I was supposed to know.  Now, I’m faced with an exam that’s going to test me on a variety of different math questions.

It’s just nerves.  I really want to go back to school.  I want to get the financial aid that I need, turn in all the right forms on time, and pass the required exams.  I’ve passed tests before, and I’ve been under pressure before.  Come to think of it, being under pressure probably puts me into a better, more productive, mindset.  It also drives me crazy with stress, and I want everything to be over.

If anyone knows how I can improve my skills on the Praxis Test (Praxis 1), please feel free to share the information.  More free practice tests would be great, and/or resources on likely test questions.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Let's Take the Praxis Test

Now that I’m trying to focus on going back to school, I get to look forward to taking the Praxis test before I can start taking classes again.

The Praxis test is a skills test that includes math, reading, and writing.  For me, I’m worried about the math portion the most.  I’ve never been very good at math, but now that I’ve had some time away from school math seems more like a challenging game, rather than a dreadful enemy.  I’m scheduled to take the test on the eleventh of June.  Hopefully, I’ll be ready.

I’m not sure if the Praxis test is the only thing I need to be worrying about, or not.  I’ve already filled out my financial aid forms (not sure what I might be getting, yet), I’m in the process of getting my letters of recommendation filled out, I’m working with the University where I earned my degree so I can have my transcripts sent to my post-grad college, I’ve done my background check, and I’ve filled out my application, including the 250 word essay (easy as pie for anyone who enjoys writing) about why I would like to become a teacher.

This decision to continue my education isn’t without concern for the future.  After all, I’ve already earned one degree (B.S. in Social Science), and I didn’t exactly land a dream job.  I’ve made my own choices, but I have to admit that I thought there would be MORE options to choose from.

Recently, I gave up a life that I wasn’t satisfied with.  Some people would see it as a mistake, but I see it as another part of my personal journey through life.  I’ve been a person who plays it safe when it comes to life, but it landed me somewhere that caused me to feel lonely and cut off from the rest of the world.  Now, even though I’m a college grad who makes minimum wage, I feel like I’m, at least, part of the human experience again.

That being said, I’m not satisfied with minimum wage.  I want to be part of the world I live in AND have enough money to enjoy it.  I want to do something I enjoy, and be somewhere I fit in.  I want to continue my education, and earn a position in life where I can finally be comfortable and start concentrating on my friends and family.  Life might not lead me down the path I have planned, but there’s no reason not to set out on my journey.  Right now, I want to be a teacher, and I’m trying to find the right path.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Trying to Become a Teacher

As I stated last week, I’m thinking about going back to school to become a teacher.  Actually, I've made the decision; I’m going to try.

For a variety of different reasons, I chose not to pursue that path when I was in college the first time (2002-2006).  I earned a bachelor’s in social science, but I can’t say that it’s helped me very much.  At least, not yet.  I loved taking the classes that earned me the degree, but I haven’t had a job that fits the material I studied.  I’ve applied to jobs, but haven’t landed an interview for anything that relates to my degree.

I hope this doesn’t come off as me complaining, because I’m not trying to.  Everyone would love to land a great job based on their knowledge and skill set, but things are competitive out here.  I’m just thinking that I could try again, and this time I’ll have a clear goal in my mind.  Besides, it’s something that I was told I would be good at, something aptitude tests have suggested to me, and something I almost majored in to begin with.  At the time, I guess education just didn’t sound as exciting as psychology.  I wanted my four years of college to be interesting, and social science was very interesting.

Now that I've had time to reflect on my interest in social science, I think it would go hand in hand with my current interest in teaching.  I’m interested in people; how they learn, how they develop, how their thought processes work, what makes them who they are.  I’m interested in cultures, history, and the future of humanity.  I like watching the news.  I’m interested in space, and things we haven’t discovered yet.  I love to read, and my collection contains books from a wide range of genres, including science fiction, horror, thriller, fantasy, educational, mystery, and even westerns

I’m not giving up on writing.  If anything, I’m trying to enter a career that is conducive to writing.  I want to be learning, ALWAYS.  I want to feel the push to explore deeper, and understand better.  I want my characters to be knowledgeable, and my settings to reflect reality (even if the world’s are based in fantasy).

I’ll keep everyone posted.  Just to let you know, on a more casual note, my computers are still unreliable.  At this point I’m just waiting to see what kind of financial aid I might be getting, because I’ll bite the bullet and buy a new laptop if I can get the money.  I’m still looking forward to publishing The Dream Machine.  We were almost done with it.  I say “We” because I have to give credit to my wonderful girlfriend for her editing.  If it wasn't such a tedious task I might even ask her to edit these blog posts.  She keeps me humble when it comes to grammar and punctuation, and that’s a very important part of making my stories enjoyable… in the (hopefully) near future.

Thanks, Bek.


Friday, May 10, 2013

After a Long Break...

It’s been a while since my last blog post, so let me start off by thanking those of you who are continuing to follow me on my social networks.  We live in a time where people must continually be present online to market themselves to their audience.  Because of the nature of my desired goal (to publish books), it was especially disastrous when my computer overheated.  My information was saved, and moved to a jump drive, but I don’t have a reliable computer to continue working with.

Currently, I’m using a computer that was given to me by my sister, and it’s been very helpful when it comes to fulfilling basic tasks (browsing the internet).  Still, this computer has its own problems.  It has to be restarted several times before the screen will display images.  Often, when it does display images, they look smeared.  It’s almost like looking at abstract art, except I’m just trying to watch news videos.

The other computer (the one that overheated) is pixilated, and won’t function if I try to view web pages.  It would be impossible to accomplish anything on that computer at this point.

Bored yet?  I tend to get longwinded.

Anyway, I have thought about posting more blogs, but when my computer stopped, I stopped.  If I’m not currently making progress on a book, why would I continue to blog?

Good question.


The answer is this:  This blog started out as a place where I could share my journey.  This is just another part of my journey.  My stories didn’t disappear, they’re just not finished.  It’s going to take longer to complete them now that I need a new computer, but it’s actually giving me some time to think about my work and where I’d like to go with it.

On a very quick note (more to come on this topic), I’m thinking about going back to school to become a teacher.  I’ll talk about this more as I make progress (or if I fail to make progress).

My sister is graduating tomorrow.  She’s an incredibly smart person, and I’m proud of her.  I’m very thankful to have a family that I love.  My brother and sister are two very intelligent people, and I’ll be seeing both of them (along with my mom [Happy Mothers’s Day!], and my grandmother [also, Happy Mother’s Day], and my Dad [Happy Late Birthday!] tomorrow.

My sister studied education, and maybe she’ll be able to give me some pointers on becoming a teacher.  I’ll keep all of my readers informed, whether I fail or succeed.  It’s all about the journey, so let's see how it goes.

As always, thanks for following.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Connection Between Book and Writer

When I write, no matter what I'm writing, I think about the connection readers might make between the words I write, and my personality.  There's no doubt that certain elements of my stories represent parts of my own personality, but not all of them.

Right now I'm writing a science fiction novel, and that carries a stereotype.  I must like Star Trek and Dr. Who, right?  Eh, I guess Star trek is okay, and I've only tried watching Dr. Who once, but I'm actually more into conspiracy theories.  Sure, Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies, but I don't think that defines me.

 I also like to write horror stories.  As a matter of fact, that's probably more of my preferred genre.  I prefer reader horror, and always have.  Does that carry its own stereotypes?  I would think so.

 What if I decide to write a fantasy series one day?  Does that say something about me?  Will people who read my science fiction and horror stories be likely to read my fantasy series?  Will they tell me to pick a genre and stick to it?

 It seems that a lot of times writers DO stick to certain genres, and I've heard that's good for business.

 If you want to build an audience, you need to build a fan base.  I agree with that statement.  On the other hand, I want to write whatever I want to write, and I want my fan base to stick with me because of my personality and writing style, not because I fall into their preferred genre.

 I would think that it's almost inescapable:  people are going to make assumptions about writers based on the content writers produce.  Of course.  It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I'd like to think that the relationship between writer and reader could grow over time.  I want my collection of work, and not just a single story, to shed light on who I am as a writer.

 I'm not sure if anyone else feels the same way I do.  I know that some people just want to writer thrillers and others just want to writer mystery novels, but one of the reasons I like to write is my broad array of interests.  I want to explore those interests, and learn about my own personality through writing.

 Let me know what you think.

Leave feedback at:

Friday, April 5, 2013

What do Writers Want?

What do writers want?

The appropriate response is:  I just want to write.

Okay, of course you want to write.  But really, what do you WANT?

I've had a great time writing fiction that I've never showed a single person.  I've deleted files that were probably 30-40,000 words long, and not a single friend or family member ever knew the difference.  That must mean I just want to write for the sake of writing, right?


Take a few seconds to absorb that information, and calm yourself down.  Surely, there must be a traitor in your midst.  A writer who doesn't write simply for the sake of writing?  There MUST be more to this story.

And there is.

It's true that I love to write.  When I was a kid, and I'm talking six or seven years old, I would fill up entire notebooks with scribbles.  I was pretending to transcribe the storylines from television shows, pretending to convert the stories into a book format.

Why?  I don't know, but I was doing it for free and I was doing it for fun... Yes, it was fun for me.  I was doing it, just because I wanted to.

Now that I'm older I don't get a lot of entertainment from filling up notebooks with someone else's ideas.  I've found my own ideas, and I want to share them.  Mostly, I want to create my own storylines.  I want to take strange and unique ideas, and turn them into things that feel real.

Would I do it for free?  Well, I haven't exactly been raking in the cash from my first two short stories, but I'm probably not going to keep putting forth a lot of effort in the future if it doesn't pay off eventually.

Blasphemy!  I know, I know.  I'm not supposed to want money for what I do.  I'm a writer.  This is supposed to be fun, not profitable.  If I wanted to make money, I should have invested in the stock market... or something.

But that's just it, I WANT this to be my job.  I want to make enough money from writing books to quit my day job.  I want to be able to justify having a nice, quiet spot in my apartment where I can write in relative peace (which I don't have, but sounds so wonderful, doesn't it?).  I want money, not for the love of money, but for the love of writing!  I want THIS to be WHAT I DO!

That, I think, is what a lot of writers are looking for.  They want to be able to wake up in the morning and know that "going to work" means working on their stories.  When people ask, "What do you do for a living?" they want to be able to say "I write."

And what's wrong with that?  When a doctor claims that s/he wants to save peoples' lives, nobody expects him to do it for free.  The same goes for teachers.  We want teachers who enjoy teaching, but we wouldn't ask them to do it for free.

Ah, but writing is ART.  Artists are expected to make art for the love of the art.  That's fine.  You can create art for the love of art, and hopefully you have a significant other who supports your habit, or a second job that doesn't take up too much of your personal time.  Otherwise, your art is more like a hobby.

There are people who really are satisfied with writing as a hobby, and I don't begrudge them one bit.  Writing is a GREAT hobby.  I'd rather write than collect stamps any day.  Still, I would guess that these hobby writers wouldn't mind getting some spending money from their work.

Getting paid for what you like to do is gratifying.  It's a sign that people are responding positive ways.  It's an incentive to keep up the good work (or improve).  Competition exists because of money, and money motivates writers to create quality content.  Without it, we'd all be downloading a lot of free, mediocre, poorly edited ebooks.

Why do I write?  I write because I love to write, AND I WANT TO MAKE A LIVING WRITING.  I write because it's my idea of a dream job.  I want to do work that's creative, easy on my back, and allows me to have a lot of freedom in my life.

I want the same things for my friends and fellow writers.  Thanks to independent publishing, we all have the potential to reach an audience, and hopefully earn an income doing what we love.  Good luck to all of you, and I hope you achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

To contact me directly: