Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Special Offer for TWND

99 cents too much money for a copy of "The Wizard Next Door", you say?  Well, you are in luck!  Starting on Good Friday, the book will be available for the all time low price of FREE but only for a limited time.  After that, the book will go up to full price!

To snag your free copy of the book that critics everywhere are saying, "Never heard of it"...err...well, did I mention that it's free?

Get it only on Kindle!

The Wizard Next Door - get your free copy here (offer starts on Friday, March 25th and ends Tuesday, March 29th).

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

TWND Goes Live!

The wait is over!  The Wizard Next Door is live and available to read on Kindle and Nook.  And the best part is it's available for a steal of a price...but only for a limited time.  Grab your copy today!

If you would like a free copy, I would be happy to send out a few...in exchange for a review of the book.  Always a catch, right?

The Wizard Next Door (Kindle)

The Wizard Next Door (Nook)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Daisies For Maude (The Video)

As part of the Thinkerbeat anthology, the editor asked me to read aloud my short story "Daisies For Maude" to help promote the book and what not.  It turned out pretty good if you'd like to take a look.  Now if only there was a way to make me look less pudgy!  Oh wait if I quit drinking beer and exercised more...nah!


Video Link Here

Or check it out on the Thinkerbeat website here

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Wizard Next Door (Prologue)

In the spirit of the ongoing continual book tease, here's the Prologue from the beginning of the book.  Enjoy.

Deputy Paul Grier had been with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department for 35 years.  In all those years, he had seen some weird things and busted people for bizarre stuff.  For example, there was the case of the missing cats from Francis Johnson’s house.  This happened outside of Charles City back in 1997.  It turned out her neighbor, Old Man Howard, was trapping the cats, skinning them and eating them.  He had gone so senile, he had reverted back to his childhood when he and his folks lived off of raccoons and skunks they trapped in the field.   In 2003, there was a case of a reckless driver on Highway 218.  Deputy Grier and his partner, Clyde McDonnel, called in the license plate and quickly found out it belonged to a Mr. Reginald Van Pelt from Los Angeles, CA.  When they pulled the guy over, they thought it would just be another drunk driver or speeder.  But when the guy rolled down his window, they quickly learned that Mr. Van Pelt was now a Miss.  Van Pelt explained that one of his breast implants had become dislodged while he was driving and he was attempting to put the breast back into place but was having trouble steering at the same time.   
And then there was today, Friday morning, the weekend was just eight hours away.  Grier sat in the driver’s seat of his cruiser with McDonnel sitting shotgun.  Both men were overweight, well past their prime and getting close to retirement.  Grier was bald with double chins, a wide nose and beady brown eyes.  He wore a dark brown shirt with his bright, brass badge prominently displayed.  His belt strained against the girth of his belly, his sidearm dug uncomfortably into his gut.  When he breathed, it sounded as if he were panting, as if he had just finished running a marathon.   McDonnel could have been Grier’s doppelganger except he wore a thick, grey moustache under his wide nose. 
The two had been discussing what to do for lunch, sitting in the parking lot of the abandoned Rockfurt gas station.  Rockfurt was a small town, population 1500.  It was a good spot to sit a spell, waiting for a call to come in from dispatch.  It was late Spring, Summer was just around the corner.  School would be out in two weeks or so, the kids would be up to no good and more calls would come in.  This was all floating in the back of their minds when a call finally did come in.
“Paul? Hey, Paul? You and Clyde in Rockfurt?”  Martha Allen’s squawking voice came in across the radio.  Paul was a veteran with his 35 years of experience but Martha was an antique with her 45 years under her belt as a dispatcher.  The running joke was that Martha was born, climbed out of her cradle and started working for the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department. 
Paul reached over and lifted up the microphone. 
“Yeah, we’re here.  Whatcha need, Martha?” he asked.
“We’re getting some reports over by the Library.  There’s a man running around in nothing but a poncho and a pair of underwear.  He’s gibbering and scaring the blue hairs and little kids,” Martha reported in her typical “tell it like it is” fashion.
“Alright, we’ll go check it out,” Paul sighed.  He hung up the mic and turned on the engine.   Five minutes later they were across town and rolling along Main Street to the Library.  It didn’t take them long to find the man in the poncho.  He had already drawn quite a crowd of onlookers, unfortunately.
“Hey, isn’t that Bob Rinehart?” Clyde said from the other seat.  Robert Rinehart owned a plot of land a few miles outside of Rockfurt, it was his family’s land.   He farmed it or so folks said but he didn’t make much money off of it.  He was also a notorious drunk or so Paul had heard from Walter Dixon who owned the only tavern in town.  Last Paul had heard, Robert had two kids and a wife to support as well.  Paul pulled to the side, shifted to park and looked over at the man in question. 
He wore a dark green, plastic rain poncho that draped across his narrow frame like a trash bag and every time he took a step, it would move revealing bare legs and a flash of tidey-whities underneath.  It was hard to look at anything but those hairy legs under the poncho but when Paul managed to look up, he did recognize the face.  He had seen that strong jawline, slender cheeks and piercing blue eyes many times throughout the years.  It was the face of Robert’s father, Sam, who had died mysteriously fifteen years ago.  There hadn’t been an investigation because he was found dead in his bed but it was odd because Sam was one of the healthiest guys that Paul knew.  Robert’s mother, Margaret, died shortly after that, many thought it was because of a broken heart.  And then just last year, Robert’s younger brother, Billy, was killed in a car accident down in Kansas.  And now here was Bob Rinehart wandering around Main Street, talking to himself and tossing his hands up in the air sporadically.
Robert also looked like he had just walked out of a spring downpour even though there hadn’t been a drop of rain in the entire county since early April.  His brown hair looked black from wetness as it lay plastered across his pale forehead.  Water dripped from his nose and dribbled from his fingertips as he gestured wildly in the air.
“Let’s find out what’s going on,” Paul said.  He then opened his door and struggled out of his seat. 
As they approached the farmer, Paul noticed the onlookers and rolled his eyes when he spotted Clayton Jones.  The scarecrow thin journalist owned the Town Tattler which was a near cousin of used toilet paper as far as Paul was concerned.  Clayton was snapping photos one handed with his Digital Camera and apparently recording the bizarre ramblings echoing from Robert’s mouth with a Digital Recorder in the other.  Paul wanted to tell the news junkie to beat it but he knew that would just wind up in whatever story Clayton wrote so he thought it best to let it go for now.  Instead he turned his attentions to Robert who was having one hell of a conversation with himself.
“Shadow…coming…can’t stop it,” he muttered.  His blue eyes were focused on the street, as he paced back and forth.   Suddenly he stopped, raised his hands as if to ward away some invisible attacker before he began pacing again.
“Hey, Bob, what seems to be troubling you?” Paul asked as they approached.  Clyde began skirting around behind Robert, Paul kept his eyes friendly but observant. 
“He’s been like this for almost an hour,” Janine Douglas, one of the onlookers, called out to Paul.  She carried Baby Huey against her hip who was nibbling on a rubber nook.
“Is he high?” another person asked.  But Paul ignored the question and focused on Robert. 
“It’s our curse…it’s happening,” Robert continued to mutter.
“Bob, why don’t you come and sit in the cruiser for a sec?  Let’s talk about what’s going on?” Paul offered.  While he spoke, he continued to approach Robert from the front while Clyde approached from behind.  So far, the farmer did not seem to notice they even existed.
“I’m sorry, Millie…” Robert said as Paul and Clyde closed in on him.  Paul reached out hesitantly and then placed his hand on Robert’s shoulder.  Finally, the blue-eyed man looked up at him.  Paul had seen people high on drugs, their pupils were usually dilated.  Bob’s pupils were not dilated at all.  Paul realized what he was seeing reflected in those eyes.  It was fear, pure and unadulterated.
“Talk to me, Bob,” he said.  For a moment, he thought Robert might just do that but then a car came speeding up the street.  It screeched to a halt, not far from Paul’s cruiser.  Paul and Clyde turned, staring at a beat-up old Volkswagen.   The gears grinded as the driver shifted it into park.
A woman with frizzy hair and wild eyes stepped out of the rust bucket.  She wore a tight blue t-shirt that accentuated her feminine form nicely.  Being from a small town, everybody knew everybody and Paul quickly recognized Tammy Weinbecker.  She worked over at Dixie’s Tavern on Fridays and Saturdays.  She nodded at Paul and Clyde and then stared at Robert.
“Hey, Bobby,” she said, her voice low and sultry.  A mischievous grin fell across her lips.  The man in the green poncho turned toward her, and his shoulders slumped.
“You found me,” he said in defeat.
“You knew I would.  You can’t hide from me,” she said.  Paul stared at the two of them, befuddled by the strange conversation.  Finally he decided enough was enough.
“Tammy, if you don’t mind, we were talking to Mr. Rinehart before you interrupted…” he said.  Tammy turned toward him and something changed about her.  She seemed to darken, her eyes took on a menacing glare and Paul would later swore that she even growled at him.
“Actually, I was just about to take Bobby away from this godforsaken place so I kind of do mind…” she said and in a flash she reverted back to her flirty self.   “Now come along, sweetie, time’s a wastin’.”
Robert stepped past Paul and Clyde, his eyes locked on the frizzy haired woman with the tight shirt.  Clyde glanced over at Paul, Paul could only shrug his shoulders.  It wasn’t as if Robert had broken any laws and now the problem seemed to taking care of itself.  They watched as Tammy opened the passenger door and Robert climbed, the poncho slid up revealing his underwear and bare legs.  Tammy then slammed the door shut and skipped over to the driver’s side.  She waved farewell to the crowd and climbed into the car.
A few seconds later, the two of them were headed south out of town.  It was the last time that anyone ever saw either of them, although rumors had been circulating for weeks that Robert was having an affair with the cocktail waitress so it wasn’t hard to put two and two together.   It would be the hot topic in the small town, probably even the county for a few weeks.  Not that any of that concerned Paul Grier or his partner, Clyde McDonnel.
The two Deputies told the gawkers to go back to their business and then they went back to their cruiser.  Paul climbed in and Clyde did the same.  Paul reached down to radio Martha, to give her the all clear but Clyde said something.
“Huh?” Paul asked.
“I just said I feel sorry for his wife and two boys.  Millie’s a good woman and his boys are going to go through hell when word of this gets out.”

Paul merely nodded and then radioed in to dispatch.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Blast From The Past

I was talking to a co-worker towards the end of work yesterday and he said he saw my book when he was over at a friend's house.  I was a little confused especially when he said it was a science fiction book.  I said that I only had a vampire book out at the moment and then it suddenly dawned on me.  So I asked him to describe the cover and his description was of the first anthology I was published in.  

It made me laugh and cringe a little.  It's not that I'm ashamed of the story I wrote for it, but the people who published it did not do much editing (if any at all) or proofreading so it's a little embarrassing because of that fact.  Any writer worth his salt knows that editing is just as important as the actual writing.  That's probably why talented editors can make a nice living if they are at the height of their craft.

Either way, it was nice to know that some random person in St. Louis had a copy of a book that I was published in and what a coincidence that a co-worker of mine would notice it while paying his friend a visit.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year and Book Update

It's 2016 and me and the wife spent our New Year's Eve...asleep.  I've been battling with bronchitis and a sinus infection and the wife was not feeling too good either so when we put our son to bed, we did the same.  I feel so much better this morning so figured I should post more about the book.

I'm hoping to get it out to the masses sometime in February.  I'll post more updates until then.

In the meantime, here's a little something about the characters:

Jake Rinehart (14-years old) – Jake takes after his father, Robert.  He shares the same brown hair, same strong jawline and same blue eyes.  But that’s about all that Jake has in common with his Dad especially after the Great Betrayal.  Rarely seen without his notebook or journal in hand, Jake is trying to cope with the many changes that he and his family are going through while facing the possibility that there could be a bona fide, real life wizard living right next door to them.

Adam Rinehart (9-years old) – Adam is Jake’s younger brother and looks more like his mother with his curly brown hair and rounded features.  He is a lot more outgoing than his older brother and he loves cars.  Unfortunately, he’s also been impacted by his father’s Great Betrayal and he clings to childish things such as a ratty old teddy bear and a red baseball cap that he likes to wear backwards.  And he cannot stand having the closet door open at night.  

Old Man (Age Unknown) – The weird old man who lives in Apartment 313 is the subject for much speculation by Jake and Adam.  Jake has heard and experienced some odd mischief around the complex and he thinks the old man is behind it.  Plus it doesn’t help that the old man wears a strange hat, an argyle scarf around his bearded face and has been known to meow at the moon on occasion. 

The Black Cat (Age Unknown) – As if the old man wasn’t weird enough, he also has a freaky black cat with seemingly humanlike green eyes.  It is the cat that first draws Jake’s attention when they move to the apartment complex.  The animal is constantly watching him and everyone else from the bay window of Apartment 313.  And when things really begin to get weird, the cat is always there watching.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Wizard Next Door (Book Cover Revealed)

So I've been kind of keeping this under wraps but I'm just too excited to keep it a secret any longer.  I'm planning on self publishing my 2nd novel, "The Wizard Next Door" and I hired a Seattle-based graphic designer who previously did some work for us in the past (us being CKE Restaurants).  Anjl Rodee is her name and while she didn't charge me for the work (the lil stinker), I'm very pleased with the finished product.

Anyway, I'm hoping on having the story available for Kindle and Nook soon.  I'm still doing final edits and have the story out with some beta readers right now.  If anyone would like a free copy, please let me know and I'd be happy to send you one (when it's finished).  The only thing I ask is after you've read the story, I'd sure appreciate a review of the book regardless if it's positive or negative.