I was shopping in a mall because here in Georgia malls are kind of rare, so I ended up in one and found all the James Bond movies.
Naturally, the next step was to watch them all in order and rate which James Bond is the best. I’m a Rodger Moore fan, but I’ll be honest, it’s because he has a great last name. Anyway, about halfway through movie number four I got caught up on something I had never noticed before. Once I saw it, I couldn’t un-see it. After James Bond kills the main villain, he’s sitting around with a lady friend or what not and the main villain’s henchmen shows up to kill Mr. Bond. This happens a lot. Like a lot a lot.
Here is my thought.
If my boss dies… am I that devoted to the company that I’m going to work anyway? I mean if I’m a henchmen and my boss is killed by James Bond and my place of business is destroyed, do I love my boss so much that I go after his killer? This seems like the kind of intense friendship everyone is looking for in life. The kind of devotion to keep going after Bond, even if it means death and after you know he has killed so many in your organization… plus he might have destroyed your super cool hideout… well, that’s just kind of amazing.
And… if you are doing it for the money, who is paying you? If the henchmen kills James, who does he tell that he finished the job? Where does he collect his paycheck? I mean, if the evil mountain lair is now on fire, where is accounts payable?
I have not finished all the movies yet, but I plan to check and see if this is a running theme of devoted henchmen. In fact, I am starting to wonder what some of these guys get paid. The pay must be very good because they never run away even if everyone around them is dying. I have not decided how much money you would have to pay met to stay at work while people are getting murdered.
By the way, Bond kills like even the lab guys and scientists working. Just saying.
If you are visiting the site, you might notice my Alien Love Novels. I am working on some writing outside of my Ice Era Chronicles. I started with my alien books, but I have some outlines for other stuff too. This does not mean I will be leaving my Ice Era Chronicles to wave around in the wind. I have 3:05 a.m. finished and I just sent One Strong Gale to my beta readers. After that, I have work finished on Sky's The Limit and we have been chatting about what is going to happen in 4:05 a.m.
As for other works... I don't know yet. I might do a vampire... or another gay male love story... or a sweet romance set in a small town... or all of it. There is a quote I once read that says while writing you must kick away ideas. I am not kicking them away so much as I'm placing them in a bottle for later. The thing is, now becomes later. So I have been glancing at those bottles and aliens is where I started. I am published on Anystories and on NovelCat.
If you read anything by me, no matter what it is... Thank you. I appreciate your support.
Here it is. The end of 2020 and the start of the new year. I have seen TONS of post about this, so mine might be a little redundant.
If I'm honest with you, I always think I can't tell if something is good or bad until I see it in my rearview mirror. For example, presidents... Sometimes long after a president is dead historians look over their lives, and the overall state of the US and the world, and they say that they guy did okay. And other times, the history books highlight in glaring obvious detail how bad someone was at their job. But in the end, you never can tell until the dust settles.
That is how I feel about saying goodbye to 2020. I moved this year which might have been the best for me or terrible. We will see. I released a book and bought a truck and another car and I mourned the lost of some of my friends. I even said goodbye to my therapist and am trying out the world without her. It's a little scary.
I guess to put it in a nutshell, this might have been an amazing year or a crap one, but I wont know for a while.
Normally on New Year's eve I watch a movie set in the future (but not really the future just some directors idea of what that year would look like.) I didn't do that this year because I was driving, but I still might... just because I think it's funny. However you all are saved from listening to my movie thoughts. Soooo, I'm going to say that is a win for you. No matter how your 2020 went you were spared from my rambles on a lame B movie and so that's something. If you like the bright side, that is what I can offer.
Anyway, Cheers my friends! I hope 2021 is a great year for you or at least some facsimile of that.
Sooooo It is that time of year again. Thanksgiving, shopping, Christmas, shopping, New Years, more shopping. Cool.
But you know what you need? You should take a break with a cup of rum filled eggnog and curl up in your favorite chair. For a moment or two, you could put down your phone... and read my newest Ice Era Chronicle.
Right now I am looking for a few people to read advanced copies of Holiday Cup of Joe and join our read for review team. If you think you'd be interested, you should message me. I will send you a FREE digital copy and then you can write a review and tell me what you think!
Of course, if you want to give a struggling author a dollar or two, that is very "holiday gift-giving" of you. Holiday Cup Of Joe comes out on December 1st and you can PRE-ORDER now!
Here is a Blurb in case you missed it!
Today is an important Ice Era Holiday!
Instead of going to a party, Joe rushes to a cave-in. Everyone knows Snow-Everyone-Joe. He’s a feared member of the H.S.P.C. And on this day, Joe doesn’t want to be anyone special. When he saves a trapped doctor, Joe discovers the joy of being “Jack.” A no one. Just a friend.
Heading to work, Mather carries the snowmen cookies for Sky Serum Holiday. Right as he thinks this celebration will be like all the others, in a flash, a blast rocks his world. As Mather accepts his death, a stranger saves him, altering his life forever.
“Jack” and Mather are simply friends. What starts off as strangers, grows into more. Problem is, Joe isn’t who he says he is, and Mather isn’t in any hurry to change the slow and easy love building between them.
So we just got moved in...
The house is a lot of work, but it's bones are good and I can't beat the view. This is a picture from my deck. Now when I sit and write, this is all I see. I get to listen to the forest with the cars a long way off.
To those of you who miss us, we miss you as well. If you didn't even notice we were gone, then that's cool too.
And... If you're here to keep up with our writing, well, well, you are in the correct place, my friend!
Right now, we are hard at work putting the finishing touches on "Holiday Cup Of Joe." This is a holiday Ice Era Chronicle that we have planned. I always thought Joe needed his own book. After that, we will be back on time. 3:05 a.m. will be the next work.
I will admit that the internet here isn't the best, but we got a little something-something, so I will be here on my blog and on Facebook and Twitter. Plus we are now on Pintrest looking at ideas for re-designing the new house. All and all, we are here and I thank all of you who are sticking with us!
As some of you know, we decided to move out of the state of Minnesota.
It's funny because I like almost everything about Minnesota. This was a nice place to live for the last 15 years. However, about a year ago, we came to the conclusion that the weather no longer worked for us. As a war vet, my injuries are exasperated by the cold. I think anyone old (or with arthritis) knows what I mean. Since we are not the rich snow birds with two houses (one in Arizona and one in Minnesota) it came down to the choice to move to a little warmer climate.
Anyway, that's what we are up to.
I tell you this because I know some of you are wondering why the next book isn't in your hand right now. I'm sorry that this change in where I sleep at night has slowed us down, but I promise, we are writing.
So far we have finished Hands Of Clay (which is the throw back I told you about in the last post.) We also wrapped up a fun side novel called Holiday Cup Of Joe and 3:05 a.m. An Ice Era Chronicle is ready too. During the packing process for the house, we have written a couple off-the-rails books that fall after 3:05 a.m. The first one is called One Strong Gale and the second is called Sky's The Limit.
As soon as I unpack, I plan to start on 4:05 a.m. I am hoping that this trek to a new place will fire up my creative juices.
So we are moving forward!!! Thanks to all of you that are still sticking with me and the Ice Era Chronicles.
I say the same thing over and over again, so much so that my better half wants to put tape over my mouth. I always say that “The seeds of my end are in my beginning.”
People always ask me how I can write a whole story. I have a few friends that often only write the beginning of their books, but then they don’t know where to take their stories. For me, a book starts out as a little idea. Maybe it’s a character that I think would be fun or even a job I’d like to explore. After I have my one little inkling, I tend to do something with my hands. I paint rooms. I fold laundry. I cook or wash dishes. Agatha Christie said “The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes.” True that. I like to do things that are repetitive and it opens my mind to wander. The story grows from there, but I won’t even try to plot out an outline until I know the end. I have had books where I thought I knew how it was all going to wrap up and then about three chapters in, my characters stop talking to me. So, I don’t do that anymore. I simply go about my sweeping or scrubbing or car fixing, and think about how everything will finish up before I sit down with my computer and my better half. Once I know the end, only then do I plot the chapters one by one. When the outline is finished, the real typing begins. So far Monica and I have never disagreed with how a book will finish. But that might change in the future, I have the idea of how the series will end in 12:05 a.m. The last Ice Era Chronicle. Monica isn’t a fan. I have some time to convince her that I’m right. We will see if I’m successful.
I saw another author talking about her kids on one of the social media platforms. After I read the post about writing sex and listening to My Little Pony, I realized how hard it must be for parents to write and look after little ones. Kids have a hard time understanding that you need silence to write. Silence isn’t children’s strong suits, unless you give them lots and lots of candy. That way their mouth is full! I don’t suggest that.
Anyway, I have the wonderful added bonus of having older kids while I write. I have two teenage daughters and they are amazing. My eldest gives me tips for better hashtags for Instagram and is always up for a lively debate on the way a character should die. My youngest helps out around the house when Monica and I are deep into marketing or editing. I am so blessed to have the kind of kids I do. They really are supportive of the writing with little to no judgments. Sure, I am still a mobile ATM some days and they often ask for a ride or a sleepover, but when I need them for something book related, they’re always there for me.
I don’t know what it would be like if my kids were young, but as teens theses two are crazy helpful. I love their imagination.
On a side note, Monica and I were editing a sex scene and we thought we were alone. We were sitting on the couch in our living room.
Monica turns to me and says:
“What’s another word for this part with the precum? I don’t like that you use the word ‘spot pools’ in this sentence.”
From the kitchen my eldest calls out. “Maybe the precum drips, not pools?”
Okay, I’ll admit 50 % of me wanted to tell her to wash her mouth out with soap… but she was right. It was a better word choice. I love that my kids roll with the fact that they have parents that write what we do. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
I was at a Wounded Warrior Project Event and another veteran asked why I don’t write about my military career. I realized this isn’t the first time someone has asked Monica and I that question. She has some great stories from her time in Afghanistan and some not so great stories. I could talk about Iraq, Afghanistan, or even when I was stationed in England or other areas around the United States. The thing is, Monica and I didn’t set out to write memories. We set out to have a vacation from life. We were connecting after I came home from war. The Ice Era Chronicles are our outlet, our love on paper, our healing through words. At one point, I faced suicide, as did Monica. I don’t want to struggle with that right now. The writing we do now is fiction, but it’s also self-discovery in our fake created world.
Monica and I were working through our Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) when we first sat and played around with a story of an assassin, Karma. At the time, I didn’t realize how much of me was Karma and how much of Monica was Rea. Thinking back, I believe Monica and I discovered pieces of our soul in that made-up world. Rea struggled with his need to look after Gears. (That’s Monica’s Mom, probably.) And Rea often mentioned how Karma could just get up and leave him at any time. That was absolutely how Monica felt and it reflected in the pages. At the same time, Karma kept saying she was staying no matter what, and she wanted to be there for Rea. I identified with that. I was all in. Even when it came to looking after Gears.
I guess, over coffee, we grew as people. We met as these characters. Monica and I got to know each other on a totally different level. If I were to write some of the events in my military career, (especially the darker stuff) it might rip me open and be too large a wound to face. But on a Water Base or riding a harvester train, I can live painful things. I can be happy and sad without the emotions being too raw.
I hope that all makes sense.
One day, I plan to write about my experiences in the Army, but not yet. Monica might write about her life in the military as well, but some things for her are too haunting. I understand and I always try to protect her. I would never push her to talk about the Army, let alone write about it.
As for military romances… Monica wants to write about two soldiers that we knew in England. She might write a romance for them one day. We will see. The Ice Era Chronicles keeps us pretty busy. And… I like it that way. I think she is calling me to have coffee right now.
While I took a break from writing on my blog, I started on a story that is a throw back. I always wanted to write a story for Brice. If you remember him, he was a side character in 1:05 a.m. An Ice Era Chronicle.
Long ago, I wanted to write a love story for Brice and I created an outline... so while I sat at home, I wrote it. I don't know what I will do with this book or if it will ever be published, but it exists and the novel made me happy. Brice's story (also known as Hands Of Clay) would fall after Grinding My Gears at the height of Snow Flu. It ended up being a male-male and what I love about this story is that it's not about the action. I created this story to highlight how boring life would be too. All my books have so much going on, but for some people, they just work and live and they don't have big grand adventures. For Brice and Clay, that's what it's like for them.
Here is a part of the first chapter. This is unedited and a bit raw, but I hope you check it out.
Place: A ramshackle hut in the snowy areas of the Confederate Territories of North America (C.T.O.N.A.)
Time: 1:45 a.m.
Brice licked the gash on his arm like a dog licking his wounds. When the bleeding stopped, he tightened the knot on his shirt wrapped around his crushed foot. The Originals had broken his toes trying to glean information from him. The cloth looked like a psychiatrist’s ink blob test.
Struggling, he couldn’t bend forward with his broken ribs to tend to the injury. At this point, Brice simply prayed that the appendage would be fine. At least fine in the sense that he didn’t get gangrene. Whether he would be able to walk or run again was too big a question to face right now.
As Brice picked a new jagged cut to close using his saliva, his gaze popped to Agent Toby’s still form. Toby was faced away from him on the other side of the huge boulder in the middle of the sagging hut. The chains attached to the agent were also wrapped around the massive rock and locked in place. Both Toby and Brice had been secured to the five-foot squat stone probably because the little hut would be easy to escape. With the heavy shackles around both Brice’s wrists and ankles, escape was out even if the walls were nothing more than bundles of sticks.
“Toby?” Brice whispered. “Agent Tobias?”
The other man didn’t move. In fact, Brice’s ex-boyfriend hadn’t moved for the last two days. Brice tried to remember when he last saw Toby do anything. On some level Brice knew the agent was dead, he just couldn’t tackle that reality without losing hope.
Before Brice could whisper again, the door to the run-down shack was tossed open with a bang. The wood struggled to stay on its hinges. Two Original members dragged a mangled stranger into the tiny space. The guy was dumped next to the rock and secured like Toby and Brice. The new person’s face was nothing but blood, bruises, and swelling. One eye didn’t even open. For a second Brice met the stare of one of his captors. Not wanting to get beat again, he dropped his glare to the dirt and huddled into a ball.
The two men finished hooking the beat-up man to the boulder and then unlocked Toby. They hauled his ex-boyfriend out of the shanty. The door slammed shut. An ice sickle hanging from the hole in the roof fell and broke in half.
Brice wasn’t sure how long he stayed curled on the dirt floor, but the sound of thunder brought him out of his pain and cold limbs. Raising to a sitting position, Brice eyed the hole in the roof. He pushed the cracked plastic bowl under the opening and prayed for rain instead of sleet or hail or… God-forbid snow.
As the first drops hit the pathetic container, the stranger moaned. Brice turned in time to watch the man roll toward him and try to rise. The manacles rattled as if cackling at the guys effort. He collapsed on his second attempt.
“The chains aren’t long enough for you to stand.” Brice leaned his head against the stone. “Save your energy.”
The man scooted toward the rock. Their eyes met. This man’s one open eye was a green-blue like pictures of the ocean. The color Brice would’ve described as clear aquamarine. The agony in their depth stole Brice’s breathe long enough to distract him from his aching limbs.
“I think The Originals must poop out chains. I don’t know how they always have so many.”
Brice cracked a smile and the stranger returned his grin before he crept closer.
Brice had been beaten too, but this person was covered in more blood than anything else. His shirt was nothing more than two shredded pieces hanging on his biceps. His gray underwear clearly offered no protection from the elements, and he had no pants or shoes. His brown hair was shaved short so not even that part of his body would be warm. One grimy sock held on valiantly to his right foot.
“I…” The man ran a hand over his short bloody brown hair. “It’s cold here. I…”
As a rain-sleet mixture pelted the flimsy walls, the temperature continued to drop. The air that puffed from Brice’s lips was a white mist hanging between them.
“I know,” Brice whispered. “I guess we can talk about the weather.”
“Yeah, the weather or whatever polite conversation you want.” Once more the new guy crawled closer to Brice’s shoulder. “You were here first. Prisoner’s choice.” He made a sound that was a cross between a laugh and a groan. He tried to hug his arms around his middle for warmth. “Are we outside Dallas?”
“I don’t think we’re in Dallas anymore. It’s too cold here. I think we’re further into the C.T.O.N.A.” Brice wrapped an arm around the stranger and pulled him into his arms. Since his shirt was on his foot, the other man’s cheek met with Brice’s naked chest. The bitter chill ate at Brice as well, but a deep part of him told him to help the brunette, no matter the cost. “North.”
“I don’t remember some of the journey here and…” The half-sentence ended with teeth chattering as the stranger hugged Brice’s chest. “Thank you.”
“We’ll be fine. Close your eyes. Or at least close the one that’s open,” Brice directed. “I’m going to use my gift.”
The man did as Brice dictated. As soon as he was no longer looking at him, Brice summoned his added ability. Using his tongue, Brice began to lick at any open cuts on the stranger’s face. There were many. Although Brice hated the taste of blood, and knew that ingesting body fluids carried health risks, he couldn’t seem to stop himself. Gently, he licked and let his saliva stop as much of the flow as he could. The small action was what he could offer other than his body heat.
Moving down the man’s neck, Brice licked at a long wound across the stranger’s chest. When he glanced up, the brunette stared at him.
“My saliva stops bleeding and helps natural clotting and healing for the epidermis. It’s my gift,” Brice murmured in hopes The Originals wouldn’t hear him. His captors had been known to keep people for their extra abilities. “I told you to keep your eye closed.”
“It’s hard when a stranger is licking me.” The man tried to smile but his expression ended in a grimace.
“I will give you an C plus for effort.”
“Only a C plus? Fuck that noise. I deserve an A for keeping my eyes closed while you licked my face.”
Brice found a smile buried somewhere deep and grinned.
“My turn.” The man snuggled into his arms. “Close your eyes. Both of them. I’m going to—”
“Use your gift?”
“Yeah, but the least you could do is let me finish my sentence. I’m freezing to death after all.”
As Brice’s eyes closed, he laughed quietly. The stranger placed his hands flat on Brice’s chest. The move could’ve been to fend off hypothermia, but before he could ask what the gift was, Brice felt the sensation.
A flood of happiness filled him and overflowed into every inch of his soul. Suddenly, Brice could feel the summer breeze on his face and sunshine melting away the chill in his bones. In an instant, Brice was transported back to his favorite place where joy ruled. He was in that spot near the ocean. The rocky area was where he and his brother had built sandcastles. No longer was Brice in the hut, but now he was with his parents before they died. He was reliving the time before him and his brother, Colin, met Keith and became assassins for the Seemyah.
As the feeling of childhood carefree happiness began to fade, slowly Brice opened his eyes and he returned to reality. A little dazed, he glanced down at the man in his arms.
“You have a nice smile,” the stranger said.
Brice wanted to smile more at the compliment. He figured the tingling in his chest and the warmth must be the lingering effects of this man’s gift. The multiplying heat spreading through his arms chased away the frosty air.
As he tried to come up with a thank you, Brice noted the streaks of blood on his pectorals. Those were fresh and wet. He picked up the brunette’s hand. The tips of all his fingers were split open. Red drops gathered on the skin to roll toward his palm.
“The bleeding fingers is my side effect.” The stranger tried to tug his hands away. “It’s no biggie.”
“No biggie?” Brice kept his grip on the other man and brought the brunette’s fingers to his mouth.
“It’s not a big deal. No biggie.” The sentence ended with a shiver, and one by one, Brice licked the tiny cuts until the bleeding stopped.
“You can’t afford to lose more blood.”
“It was worth it to see your face like that.”
Our Book List in Order: