Nether here, nor there.

Recently, a cool dude by the name of Jason Beymer gave me one of his books to read, called Nether. It’s an Urban/Paranormal fantasy set, of course, in the modern world where things are much more freaky than Tolkien could have ever imagined. Now, I dig Urban Fantasy, having published one (shameless plug here) Things to do in Denver when you’re Un-dead, and having two more on the way, so it was a no-brainer that I’d read this book.

Glad I did.

As a master of sarcasm (yes, I know…hard to believe) I appreciate the craft when practiced with some skill, the skill I found Beymer employing all through his novel. That was hook #1. Hook #2 was the talking dog. Hey, what can I say…I’m a sucker for smart-aleck canines (only problem…why did it have to be a dachshund? Why?) and their semi-competent masters. Although I learned waaaaaaay too much about female dachshunds, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this book. Hook #3 was Beymer’s gritty, no-nonsense approach to the material–yes, even with the talking dog, a shapeshifting lady, a demon and more, he kept the tongue firmly in cheek and still managed to punch you between the eyes.

All in all, this was a fun read…I thought there were some subtle plot errors, but they were in no way egregious enough for me to suspend my happiness in reading the material. Overall: Good Job, Jason.

Next time on Mark’s Blog:  I have no clue…haven’t got that far yet. See ya, folks. Same blog time, same blog channel.


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Back in the saddle. Boy my butt hurts!

Hello friends!

Been away from blog land for quite some time. Not that I hate to blog (every author likes to see his/her words in print), but because MY BOOK, Things to do in Denver when you’re Un-Dead, has finally arrived and I’ve been plugging away like a sonofagun to promote it. Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, any and all social networking sites to make the populace aware of my ginormous talent. Pretty shameless, huh? You bet your sweet bippy it is. But that’s what you have to do to make a splash in this business: make an annoyance of yourself.

Working hard to put the damn thing into the Tattered Cover and even managed to convince the local Barnes and Noble to carry it on a trial run. Fingers and toes crossed here, even my eyes.

Thanks to the lovely and talented Catherine Treadgold of Camel Press, the sequel to the Denver book, What happens in Vegas, dies in Vegas, premiers this November 15th! Yep, for those of you (raise your hands….1,2,3…4,5…6…yep, all ten of you) who have read the first one, I promise the sequel is more action-packed, gritty, dark and furious than the first. I really wanted to go over the top with the second book and I think I have succeeded. Also appearing early next year (also from Camel Press) is The Judas Line, a hard-hitting story about friendship and sacrifice.

Down to brass tacks. I have a review! Yes, indeed…a real review! A few weeks ago I purchased a slew of books, one of which was True Hero?, by Jack Hessey. Ready? You sure…if you have to pee, or get a snack, I’ll wait. Go ahead, I have Angry Birds on my iPhone, I can wait forever.

Done? Good. Where was I? Oh yeah, True Hero? Let me start the ball rolling by saying that I love super-hero movies. Spider-man, Thor, Iron Man, Superman, Batman (Ok, not the ones with Michael Keaton, Clooney or Kilmer, but the cool ones with Bale), and The Incredible Hulk (The one with Edward Norton), so it was a no-brainer that I’d buy this book. Rather glad I did, too.

Stella Stargirl, a B-list Super Hero with an A-list desire for fame, is the focus of this whimsical super-romp. When all the other super-heroes are taken out of the game, it’s up to Stella to step up to the plate. Will she? Won’t she? That’s the premise behind this story and it’s one that could easily have been taken from the pages of any Marvel comic book. Hell, I can see Kevin Smith directing the movie (can you see it? Starring ex-porn star Traci Lords as Stella? No? Sheesh, you kids lack imagination, I tell ya).

At it’s core, this is a fun little story with plenty of entertainment value. For comic book fans, its a must…for fans of lighthearted fantasy with tongue firmly ensconced in cheek, it is recommended. Just pack your bags, it’s a fun ride. You know, I hate giving star reviews, like 1-5 because it really doesn’t do justice as a rating system. So, if you want an actual measurement of how I feel about this book….hmph…ok, say Midsummer’s Night’s Dream and LOTR are 100s and the GOR books are a 25, with The Runelords an 80, I would give True Hero? a solid 84…pretty freaking good considering the competition.

Ok, back to my favorite subject….me. I am currently working on something a tad different, but still in the Urban Fantasy genre. It’s called Unwilling Gate and I hope, someday, it meets with your approval.

See you later, blogophiles

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The Wolves of the Apocalypse

Hello again….tired of me yet? Good. Once again I’m here to provide a review. Hell, today I’m feeling so sarky I’ll post two. Yep, you heard me, two. I’m feeling that peppy.


Good question, thanks for asking. My book, Things to do in Denver when you’re undead has been released in an ebook format on and Smashwords, for the low, low price of $4.95! Damn, just can’t beat that now, can ya? So I’m feeling feisty, zippy, and happier than a politician at a fund raiser.

So, what books shall I review…..hmmm…so many possibilities, so many ultra-cool indie authors out there….let’s see…Heck, I’ll start with the next two books in a series. I’ve already reviewed the first book and enjoyed it very much.

Nightwolves on the prowl. #2 in the series by Clarrissa Lee Moon. Now, like always, no spoilers, no teasers as to the plot except for this: Watch out Japan, Cat’s coming and she worse than a barrel full of earthquakes! That being said, the book is written in a raw, vibrant style that takes no compromises, makes no excuses. You either take it on the chin or you walk away. This book has plenty of action, sex, and violence. Moon doesn’t back off, doesn’t apologize for how she writes, which is full bore, balls-to-the wall and damn the torpedoes. This book is not for everyone, not by a damn patch, but it is for those who want to kick life in the crotch and hump it into submission. I would include myself in that category.

Nightwolves Siren’s song: #3 in the series by Clarrissa Lee Moon. Cat’s back and she’s has a target on her back the size of Montana. Once again, we are treated to the type of action that punches you straight in the face and makes you want more and more, etc, etc.  Like I said in the above paragraph, it’s raw, it’s uncompromising. But, like I didn’t mention above, it is FUN! I had a blast with this author, entering her strange world of pre-apocalypse events and sexy action. Unlike so many other books I’ve read, I really, really want to read more from this author. Keep ’em coming, Ms. Moon!

Ok…done now with the reviews, it’s time to head on over to Mark Land, where the grass is always green, the sky is always blue, and Scandanavian chocolate grows on trees.  Check out my book, if you will, read the free samples and let me know what you think. I am on pins and needles here, dear reader, and I can’t wait to hear what you think, even if you hate the book, I want to know. So hit me with your best shot and have a wonderful day.

Peace out and….whatever…:)


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Raiders of the lost art of Sci-fi

You know, I’ve been reading science fiction for about thirty years now. My personal library contains roughly two thousand books and I’ve read at least five times that, so I’ve been around the block long enough for my odometer to have turned over. Now, I don’t know if you think this qualifies me as a reviewer of sci-fi and fantasy, but I think it does.

Why am I so concerned with showing you my bona fides? The answer is a simple one: when I review a book, I want it known that the opinion expressed has some merit, that I’m not just talking out of the back of my lap. Okay, enough of my favorite subject (me, of course).

Let us travel a few years into the future. Well, actually a couple hundred. That is the timeline for indie author Steve Umstead’s new book, Gabriel’s Redemption. Dishonored Naval Commander Evan Gabriel is given a second chance when given an assignment to capture a drug lord on the planet Poliahu.

That’s the set up for one of the more satisfying tales from what I believe is a shrinking genre. While everyone else segues into Urban Fantasy, Steve Umstead delivers a solidly crafted story with believable characters, near flawless dialogue, and a well plotted and paced story. All that is fine and dandy, but what adds the cherry onto this sundae is the science. Remember, it’s science fiction, not goofball fiction (anyone remember Berthold rays from the original Star Trek tv series?) and Mr. Umstead has given us, what I believe, is a logically thought out extrapolation of what science could be far into the future.

Is it original? Nope? Is it great? No, very few books are. The nuts and bolts are this: If you can lose yourself for a few hours into someone else’s strange little world and return safe and happy, then you’ve read a good book.

Gabriel’s Redemption is a good book. It’s $2.99 at Amazon in e-format and well worth the money.

Thank you for reading this, if you have shown the good taste to have done so. Please leave a comment, even if it’s to call me a son-of-a-bitch. I’m flexible.

Oh, back to my favorite subject (me), Things to do in Denver when you’re undead will be released July 15! Check it out on or where you can read the first two chapters for free! Free! Can you freaking believe it!

Ahem…and I’ve also completed the first draft of the sequel: What happens in Vegas, dies in Vegas.


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Nothing is stranger than fiction

Let me tell you folks something: I’m a pretty fast reader. I mean, Evelyn Wood speed-reading fast when I want to be. Yep, I can turn the page with the best of them (or, in this digital age, push the button like a fiend), but this new book I loaded into the Kindle…well, if it had been paper, I’d have friction burns.

Nightwolves Coalition. Yep, that’s the name. Not the greatest title ever conceived, but great things often are hidden by the most modest of trappings. Ms. Clarrissa Lee Moon was kind enough to send an ARC and I decided that I needed a new indie book to review, so synchronicity worked for me this time.

Nightwolves is the story of Catrina and her involvement in the U.S. Military and the saving of the world. That’s it.

What? You want more? Sheesh, aren’t you demanding! Okay, let’s add some Great Magical Races (you know, werewolves, dragons, and the fanged party boys we call vampires), 2012 Mayan Doomsday prophesies, some nifty science that seems to confirm all those wonderful prophesies, and one of Urban Fantasies coolest female protagonists (the aforementioned Catrina, remember?) and her harem of hunky, but oh-so-dangerous dudes.

Cool, huh?

I thought so. From the first chapter, On a Wing and a Prayer, she had me speeding through the pages faster than a politician can steal your kid’s piggy bank. Cliches float through my mind….a roller coaster ride…thrilling….fun & exciting…a must-read for all fans of Urban Fantasy, etc, etc.

Damn, I hate cliches, but at least they’re accurate. What it comes down to is that I had blast reading this book, plain and simple and I want to actually PAY (believe me, I’m cheap enough to squeeze a penny until Lincoln screams) for a the second and third installments in this exciting new series by author Moon. In a genre now dominated by female writers and their tough heroines, Moon has crafted something here that stands out from the pack (pun intended, you bet!)

Fine, I’m done gushing now. But in all seriousness, this is a great read and for you e-reader types, it’s cheap at twice the price.

That’s it for me, time to do whatever it is I do. If  you’ve found anything, or everything, I’ve written on this blog informative and/or useful, feel free to leave a comment.

Until next time…..

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Gimme some sugar, baby..

While visiting my family in Hawaii, I found myself with quite a bit of free time on my hands, so I decided to spend some of my wife’s hard-earned money and buy some ebooks. Wow! Was I ever surprised at some of the prices! Jim Butcher’s Changes (a Novel of the Dresden Files) was still ten bucks! I didn’t want to spend too much lest my wife rescind my allowance, so I went the Indie route and splurged on some 99 cent books, some $2.99, and even a couple of $4.99 books. Should be enough to keep my busy, right?

Well, kinda. You see, I purchased Blood Faerie by India Drummond, author of Ordinary Angels. Instead of having the novel published traditionally, India chose the self-publishing route, which I thought was risky, but what the hell, it’s only $2.99, right. Actually, it’s much more than that. In fact, I found myself pouring slowly over each sentence, savoring the book like a fine wine. So much so that I neglected the other books.

Blood Faerie is a “Urban Fantasy” set in Perth, Scotland, where a series of gruesome murders has taken place and PC Quinton Munro is thrust into a world he was not expecting. I’m not one to print spoilers, and I won’t here, but safe to say from page one I was pretty much hooked like a carp. Ms. Drummond wove an intricate, believable world of the fantastic with characters that seemed to more real most of those seen on modern TV schlock, including “reality” tv. But what surprised me was the thread of a love story that didn’t cloy me with saccharine sweetness and ham-handed dialogue. In fact, it was tender and somewhat authentic.

I know what you’re saying…”Mark, you’re such a buff, manly man, how can you be suckered in by a love story? Especially after being singed to the bone by the fantasy porn of Laurel K. Hamilton?”  Good question, dear reader, and the answer is simple. I am mostly human, after all. If it’s well-written enough, I can dig just about anything, and I dug this book mucho, compadres.

India Drummond has done something surprising, achieving an enjoyable read without breakneck pacing and grandiose characters. Instead the story flows like warm honey and gently leads the reader to a satisfying conclusion.

So, I will leave you with these thoughts: Is my opinion worth a Tinker’s Damn? Is it worth the risk to spend $2.99 on a self-published ebook? Can an Indie book be well written AND entertaining? Does Mark have fantastic pecs?  The answer to all these questions is a resounding “YES!”

Until next time, same blog time, same blog channel.

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READ THIS OR DIE!!!! (just kidding)

Hello again, dear readers. I have chosen to abandon for a bit my shameless self-promotion to shamelessly promote someone else’s self. Hence, my very first review on my blog. And for whom does the blog toll, you ask?

Dr. Shay Fabbro. Yes, she’s a real Dr., a geneticist dedicated to unlocking the human genome and to creating the world’s first long-tailed hamster. Her book, The Chosen, was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards. Doesn’t sound like much? Think thou that being an indie writer means producing work of substandard quality? Think again, oh skeptical one! Let me tell you, if I had done as well, I’d be geeking about it for the next decade. The Chosen is a quality read, so don’t let the Big 6, the publishing giants that wish to control the market and possibly your souls, tell you that indie’s suck the big one. Find out yourself how wrong they are…..or just read my blog and become my willing thralls, I’ll lead you down the path of righteousness.

Back to Shay. Smart cookie, totally hot and pretty darn handy with a turn of phrase. Her second book in the Portals of Destiny (not Density, Mr. McFly) series, Shattered Destiny, actually raises the bar for the series.

Most second books and movies suffer from what I call Middle Child Syndrome. They usually suck. Check out Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. See what I mean? Not this one. Our heroes, The Chosen, find themselves on new worlds, facing new challenges while the diabolical (or just plain dangerous) Mekans are swiftly on the move, threatening the galaxy. I won’t hand out any spoilers, but the Chosen face great peril and must adjust to situations unprepared for. This leads to one of the best openings to a book I’ve read in years. No, I….just….can’t…tell…you…..I must hold back! But it was funny enough that I think I peed myself just a tad.

Dr. Shay combines believable characters with witty dialogue that sounds natural, normal. Add to that a rollicking pace, a cool Science-Fantasy background, a dash of twists and turns, heated to a boil  then left to simmer. The result: a delectable, savory dish that will tantalize your mental palate.

Enough of the cooking metaphors. I’m starting to become hungry. In all seriousness, Shattered Destiny exceeded my expectations. Any trepidation I had at the emergence of Middle Child Syndrome has been thoroughly dealt with by an intelligently written book that is remarkably deep and passionate.

So….Plbtplbtplbtplbt!!!! to all the Big Six naysayers! This is Epic sci-fi at its best. Not hard-core si-fi, but movie matinee sci-fi that’s entertaining as hell and will leave you waiting anxiously for the third installment.

Okay. I’m done. See you soon, same blog time, same blog channel.

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Shameless self-promotion and other post-rapture events

Well, folks, we’re still here. The Rapture has come and gone like a whisper, things are exactly the way we left them and I’m still blogging. How cool is that!? The minister who predicted the Rapture lives in Boulder, CO, and let me tell you, I’m so thrilled to share the same state with that chinless weasel. But I guess stranger things happen in the Republic of Boulder.

So you’re here, I’m here, so let’s get this shindig under way.  A very nice lady by the name of Patti Larsen, author of four (4), count ’em FOUR upcoming books reviewed my book, Things to do in Denver when you’re undead. Cool lady and a sharp cookie despite the fact she’s Canadian. Here’s what she had to say:

Reviewing: Things To Do in Denver When You’re Un-Dead by Mark Everett Stone

I love paranormal books. LOVE. So when I found out Mark Everett Stone was offering a chance to review an advanced copy of his book I dove at the chance.

I was not to be disappointed, either. From the moment I began the first page to the final flip of the last, I was hooked. Mark’s snarky to serious main character offers up equal doses of sarcasm and action despite his deeply damaged soul. Kal Hakala is a man torn by loyalty to his team at the Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, deep personal hurts that span twenty years and an all consuming rage that seems to be an entity of its own.

With an equal balance of information and action, Mark shoves his reader into the life of an agent of the BSI, dealing with magic, zombies and Class 5 supernaturals that make vampires seem like fluffy kittens. Stir in a healthy dose of fairy-like Brownies with an obsessive compulsive cleaning disorder, a newbie agent dubbed Green Pea, a haunting that may or may not be a good thing and a whole lot of painful back story and you have a mess waiting to happen.

The writing is sharp, fast and engaging. The characters are fun and/or not so fun in all the right places. Mark has captured the soul of his lead character so well that it’s like the reader is sitting having a $300 bottle of vodka with him, chased with an aromatic and equally expensive cigar while Kal spins tales of his hey day, punctuated by live action reenactments so real you wish you hadn’t eaten dinner.

Five stars, two thumbs, fantastic.

Patti Larsen, author of:

Fresco (July 2011), Wasteland (October, 2011), The Diamond City (January, 2012), The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House (May, 2012)

See, told ya, FOUR books coming out in rapid succession. I’ve had many conversations with this young lady and have found her erudite and quick-witted. Her books, no doubt, will be wildly successful. If you want to know where to purchase them, please leave a comment or contact me through (a tasteful website, full of wit and charm).

I know that someone, somewhere, out there over the rainbow won’t care much for my book, and that’s their opinion, valid and honest, but until then, according to those who have read it….MY BOOK IS WICKED AWESOME…!

Ahem…sorry, carried away there. End of shameless plug…:)

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….and now for something exactly the same.

Hello, my friends, hello.

Back in the blog saddle again, still scratching my head and wondering what I should write. It’s come to me that I should write more about my favorite subject…Mama Stone’s bestest little boy. But what I will post here will not be all about me (bummer, right?) …nope, I do want to spread the love and give some shout outs while receiving some myself. Confused? Well, I am!

Received some preliminary reviews for Things to do in Denver when you’re un-dead and I couldn’t be happier. Cloud nine time and all that. Not sure it’s a desire for approval (about 75% true, I think), or a need to see what you’ve labored over in print (20%), self-gratification (3%), and/or just winging it so see what life flings your way (2%), but when you receive a positive review, you just want to stroll up to the nearest person and plant on a big wet one. Not recommended if it’s a big burly brute with a five o’clock shadow (sorry, Bart, my bad).

Here are some snippets from said reviews from three talented writers I have mucho respect for: Shay Fabbro (the Doctor), Bob GR Holton (The Cool One) and Clarrissa Lee Moon (The Pagan).

“Are you afraid of things that go bump in the night? Never fear, the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) is here to keep the ghouls, zombies, harpies, and vampires under control. Kal Hakala is the best agent in the Bureau, and in this business, that means he has survived longer than anyone else. Dealing with the foul fiends of the Underworld leaves agents with razor-sharp edges and sarcastic humor, a perfect combination to help them stay alive while combating the forces of evil. 

Things To Do in Denver When You’re Undead introduces the reader to Kal Hakala, an agent in the BSI. Very early on, we learn that his job is unlike any other on the planet: he is in charge of keeping the The World Under from wreaking havoc on the World Above (aka our world as we know it). We also get a taste of his personality, which is acerbic, sarcastic, and brutally honest, everything an agent needs to survive. They don’t have time to coddle or play games. Their lives, and ours, are at stake.

While working on the Organ Donor serial murder case, Kal’s team begins to unravel something terrifying and sinister, something that can endanger all of their lives, and any civilians that get in the way. Using flashback chapters intertwined with present day, Stone begins to weave a tale, giving the readers tantalizing clues to the truth behind the gruesome Organ Donor murders; a truth that could be the end of Kal Hakala and all he holds dear.

I had the great pleasure of reading an ARC e-book copy of this novel. While my students slaved away on their final exams, I sat with my Kindle, reading Things to do in Denver When You’re Undead. I laughed out loud a few times and some of the references Stone made to the state of Colorado and also references he makes to other scifi greats (Star Trek anyone?). It probably freaked my students out at first to hear their professor cackling at the front of the room. When I shared a tidbit from the book, they laughed too, which helped to ease a little of the tension. :) If you like quick wit, sadistic charm, and bad ass gadgets, then you will enjoy the hell out of this book…no pun intended.” –Shay Fabbro, PhD

Thanks Shay! And check out her Portal of Destiny series, available on, Smashwords, and B&N. The first book,  The Chosen, was a finalist in the Indie Excellence 2011 Awards. Way to go, Doc.

Our next contestant is Bob GR Holton:

“I have just finished with this novel and I must say it was definitely a fantastic read and at the same time it is very easy to follow. Mark’s imagination combining magicians, zombies and super ghouls with a Bogart style ultra sarcastic officer of the ‘Bureau’ made you want to continue to read this till the end. I highly recommend this for everyone and not just those into stories of the un-dead.”

–GR Holton.

Author of Soleri, Guardian’s Alliance and soon to be released Deep Screams from World Castle Publishing.

Can’t wait to read it Bob! Congrats!

And Last, but not Least is Ms. Moon:

five stars
“This book was an absolute pleasure to read. It was witty, funny, dramatic and a well thought out paranormal of very fine story-telling. I couldn’t put the book down! That’s a first for me in a long time. Mark Stone has written an intelligent, yet, very entertaining story that is sure to be a hit. “Things to do in Denver when you’re un-dead” has all the ear-marks of a best seller and would make one hellaova movie!!! The action scenes were intense and clearly done with an eye for detail. It had sad parts, happy parts, and just about every emotion a good book produces were written by a professional hand in literature. Yet, the story also had a true perfectly pulled off subtle comedy with a nicely done twist in the end. There is definitely room for a sequel here and I hope to The Gods he makes it and I will be the FIRST in line to grab my copy! Mark Stone has become my new favorite author that has me waiting with bated breath for his next book (again, something that hasn’t happened in a long time). I am planning on being a loyal fan of his work. Well done Mark, and please, make me more?!”

–Clarrissa Moon author of The Nightwolves Series and Celeste’s Nites

Buy her books! They’re delightful. And if you don’t, she’ll put a spell on you (trust me, I know what I’m talking about).

So, dear reader(s), I’ve crowed enough, my confidence levels are soaring. I’d love to tell you that you’ll receive complete satisfaction and find a cure for psoriasis by reading my book, but that would be silly. I just hope that you will be entertained.

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Hello world!

My new book (well, to be perfectly honest, my first book in print) will be arriving to and, hopefully, other sites and shopping malls around the country this July. Things to do in Denver when you’re undead. I hope the title is snazzy enough to capture your attention and the the book is entertaining enough that you want to purchase several copies for friends and family, keeping me in the dough.

Why did I write this, you ask (ok, maybe you didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell you anyway)? Simple: the damn story was in my head and wouldn’t leave me alone! I thought about and thought about it until I was sick in the stomach and presto! I puked it up all over my Mac in Times New Roman. Thank to the wonderful people at Camel Press, especially my heroically patient editor, Catherine Treadgold, it will be rendered unto the public (that’s you, btw).

But enough about me….Just kidding, let’s talk more about me! I’m a stay-at-home-dad, looking after two kids and a cat so fat she can barely waddle up the stairs. My friends live a gajillion miles away in Omaha, Ne (on purpose! Really!), and I have very few friends here, so I starve for adult conversation. One of the best ways I can keep sane is pouring forth the contents of my brain for others to read. Does that sound a bit f*@&ed up? Well, maybe it is, but it works for me.

Okay, really…a lot less about me now and more about the book. If you think that killing trees for reading pleasure is wrong, I highly recommend purchasing a Kindle or Nook (not the best investment if you have a tablet or smart phone, get the app instead) and head to and spend $4.95 for the e-book. Totally worth it, cheap at twice the price, and a lot more portable, too. In the next few weeks I will be crafting a book trailer, which I will link here, and keep you wonderful readers up-to-date on signings or specials and my next effort, The Judas Line. It is also an urban fantasy that has been described as a cross between the Godfather and The Dresden Files.

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