Merry Christmas!

Just a few days left until Christmas!

This is a great time for me to take a moment and think of all the things that have happened over the past year and all of the things I am grateful for.

Right, we just did that at Thanksgiving. I like to do it again around Christmas.

For me, Thanksgiving day's emphasis is more about the things I am grateful for like freedom, opportunity, family, friends, home and belongings. All the "stuff" of life that makes life worth it in this world.

In the Christmas season my focus is more on the spiritual things, like the Bible, music, prayer, Christian fellowship, Jesus Christ my savior, the history and writings of the church. That last part deserves a comment. Some of the history and the writings can definitely raise an eyebrow.

That is okay. It is a testament that the writers and actors were both human and honest about things said and done. They were just like us; full of good and bad. No point in trying to hide it. Deep down we are all a bunch of stinkers!

But, that is the very reason God sent His Son into this world to redeem us. Even though we are capable of some pretty horrible things on our own, God decided not to leave us on our own. He enters the world, just as He enters a life, to make changes, even if not all at once.

I am grateful that He didn't pass me over and that He has a plan for my reclamation, and that even though the changes don't all come as quickly as I'd like, He is not leaving me the way He found me.

So, as one stinker to another, Merry Christmas! And, "God bless us, every one."

Jack Will Be Back!

Jack will be unavailable on an off for a little while.

The description is being rewritten, and a few typos corrected. Whenever you do that places like Amazon, B&N, Apple, et al, take the book down, review it and then put it back up.

If it is not available in some e-tail places it may still be available in others while the process plays out.

At the end of the updating and correcting, the electronic version should also be available for the first time right here on this website, same price, direct download.

There may be a few other direct downloads, and one might be for free. Sign up for the news letter to keep posted.

Happy New Year!


Available in Paperback!!! Jack!!!

Jack the Demon Hunter is available right now in paperback. (Finally).

This link will get you to the paperback edition.

Paperback Jack

At times I never thought I'd get here, but here I am. And there Jack is. This is the print version cover, just a little different from the e-version.

I'm behind on a bunch of other things. I need a page on this website to download a "thank you" story to reviewers of Jack the Demon Hunter.

I First need to complete the free "thank you" story. It is almost done, but now that the book is finally approved in paperback I can turn my attention to other things, like completing that story.

If you do a review of Jack the Demon Hunter you can receive a free download of A Day At Groom Lake. It will not be available to anyone else until the third anthology. In the third anthology it will be titled Jumping Jack and have about 25% or so of additional story (that is, it will include part V, you will get parts I thorough IV). Most of the story is tied off at the end of part IV. Gotta save a little of the story for when it goes public!

To get your free download:

1. read Jack the Demon Hunter, and then,
2. post a review on Smashwords, B&N, Amazon, iTunes/iBooks, another e-retailer, or on GoodReads.
3. Then cut and paste your review into the comments with your email address (Not the same as registering for my newsletter. If you want the newsletter, register for that separately. If you want the download, post your email in the comments with your review. Comments are filtered, so your email will not go public, and will not be entered in my newsletter database. It will just be used to send you a password that lets you download your "thank you" story).
4. Go to the Free Story For Reviewers page.
5. Enter the password.
6. Choose your format, and then download your story.

Thank You!

The free story will be available as soon as I can complete it to my satisfaction and set up the webpages.

I should have had this done two weeks ago! But, I am still working on it. It will get done. Jack did, and is available in paperback right now. That feels so cool to say. Available right now in paperback. Yeah, cool!

Thanks to all you encouragers!


Tomorrow is the Release Day for Jack the Demon Hunter

Jack the Demon Hunter is available on preorder right now--see the free sample page right next door to this one.

I'm surprised at all of the places that Jack the Demon Hunter is available. Smashwords electronically distributes the books that you publish on their site to a whole flock of retailers including:

Apple iTunes/iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Page Foundry, Baker & Taylor Blio, txtr, Flipkart, Oyster, and Scribd. More to be added as they go. If you have accounts at any of these places you should find the book available on the 28th or 29th of August.

Jack the Demon Hunter is also available for distribution to libraries. Library Direct, Baker and Taylor's Axis360 and OverDrive all make the electronic copy available to libraries. If you like Jack the Demon Hunter you can tell your librarian! They can order a copy for their electronic lending library. The paperback version will also be available to libraries through Create Space.

Amazon makes the book available in 15 countries, and Apple makes it available in 44 countries. Wow. I had no idea it would be available in so many places.

The preorder ends at midnight, immediate order begins at that time. I hope the book finds a receptive audience. Check out the free sample and see if you like it. Who do you know that also might like it? Thanks for any recommendation you make, and if you like it, please consider posting a review at Goodreads, Smashwords, Apple iTunes/iBooks, Amazon, B&N or anywhere else that you like to get your books.

Feels Like Running a Marathon

There is always one more thing to do.

Today it was FINALLY getting the information about Apple and Amazon going live for pre-order. (See my free sample page). B&N and KOBO are still not up and available, but everyday we get a few more details here or there fixed. So, sooner or later.

When we first got a date of August 28 for release I thought, why so far away? Now I know the answer, because there is so much you have to do! 

Now it would be great to have a few more weeks. But, one week to go. That is good. I still have to do a lot of letter writing and asking of friends to give recommendations if they like the book. What if they don't like the book. What if I am the only one who likes it! 

That is the kind of thought that goes through my head until I speak to someone who just read the free sample and liked it. Then I am on cloud nine. I can't wait to write the next story. Then my dear wife says something like, "honey, would you take out the garbage."

Then I remember that there is always one more thing to do.

Free Sample will be up on my site until the 28th!

The first story from Jack the Demon Hunter is posted on my website. Go to my website at and click the free sample text on the navigation bar and you will be at the free sample. or click this link (if it survives):

I hope you like it. If you read it, who do you know that might like it too? It's free. Please feel free to pass it on! Thanks!

Release date for Jack the Demon Hunter

I have a release date (at last), for Jack the Demon Hunter: August, 28, 2014.

It should be available in a variety of formats, and pre-order should be available at a number of ebook retailers.

The ebook will be 3.99, and the paperback 9.99 plus S&H.

The first story in the book, Chasing A Menter, Should be available in a few days to give a taste of the rest of the book.

Table of Contents
Chasing A Menter
What Is A Menter
Breaking Away
A-51 Blaster
Daemonia Nervosa: the unexpected visitor
Cracker Jack
Demons Underground
Rescue Jack
Chapel Jack
Acknowledgments and Dedication
Notes to Readers and Disclaimer
Author Links
Other Things In Print and Coming Attractions

Limited ARCs available in epub. Stay tuned for details.

Every Day A Little Closer

A little closer to the release of Jack the Demon Hunter.

It has been a merry chase. But it is nearly done.

My dear spouse believes we will sell several trillion copies and is making arrangements for such things as new drapes, a new coffee maker, and a trip to the salon.

I am a little more realistic. I'm just planning to write the next one.

But, life goes on.

We did volunteer work at our Church's Vacation Bible School. It was really cool. I was dreading the event. Little kids aren't really my age group to work with. But, the first day came and it was not as bad as I expected. By the end I was looking forward to going. Afterwards, I was sad not to have the group of kids to go and see.

Kind of surprised me.

I don't know if we will volunteer again next year, but I will not quickly say no.

Review of The Art of War and The Prince

This is a review of two books. They are by the same author and linked through him to the same kind of thought. I'm posting the same content as a review for each book, so don't bother to read my review of the other one, it is the same as this one.

The two books are, The Art of War and The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli. In my opinion the two should be read together because the understanding needed to grasp the strategy in The Prince comes from the understanding of the battlefield in The Art of War. If you understand how Niccolò Machiavelli sees the battlefield it can give insight into how he sees politics as an extension of the battlefield.

That, in turn, gives much insight into the use of force and politics even in modern headlines.

The Prince is known by many and has a well earned reputation. Not as many know the earlier work, The Art of War.

The Art of War is set out as a dialogue between several younger men and an experienced military campaigner. The style and feel are a bit archaic, as you may expect. You will need to sift through the wordiness of the times and to apply patience. If you don't have a vocabulary that includes medieval expressions it may pay to set your dictionary close at hand.

The Art of War gives a well thought explanation of medieval warfare, how it was conceptualized and carried out, and why it endured as a form for as long as it did.

It traces the use of a phalanx with pike-work, the formation and use of squares and reserves, the motion of a battlefield, and use of various formations to protect each other. Starting with the use of forces on the battlefield it continues to the movement of troops and setting up of encampments.

There is a logical flow from the simplicity of the sword, spear and shield, all the way through to the setting and function of camp. It is similar to expanding a point to a line, a line to a plane, and a plane to cube or sphere or any 3D universe. Each extension of logic flows from the previous step and implies the next. His insights come from war rather than geometry, but his presentation has the same force as doing derivations.

I have wondered on some occasions at the use of such things as forming up squares, motion of cavalry, holding out of reserves, and other such things. After you read Art of War, you should be able to recognize how a medieval battlefield is set up and why, and have insights into why a particular kind of attack or a defense is used and is or isn't successful.

But, war does not exist in a vacuum. It both comes from and makes possible political units of organization called governments. The ability to make war is based on the health of the political system, and the strength of the war making machine.

The Prince, is Niccolò Machiavelli advice to a ruler written as a series of letters.

I read The Prince years ago and found it interesting, but have a new and deeper appreciation for it after reviewing it again now that I've read The Art of War. The Prince continues at the level of State-craft, the logic begun in The Art of War. I think if you read them together you will get more out of each than if you read them as separate works, even though that is what they are.

After having read The Art of War, reading The Prince acquires greater depth as the wielding of political power becomes an extension of the sword, spear and shield in the same way that moving of troops and setting encampments does.

When you move an army the safety of the army implies moving formations, since the military convoy may itself become a battlefield at any time. Because of that the shape of the convoy for safe motion is implied. Similarly the structure and maintenance of the camp flows from the same readiness to confront a threat.

The shape of a political unit flows from the same logic, including the maintenance of its members, their food, livelihood, morale, freedom, and nearly everything else. The same things threaten the state that threaten the war machine. A sustainable war machine requires a sustainable economy and stable culture.

Examples of what must be sustained are in his arguments about whether it is better for a monarch to be loved or feared, or to be admired or detested. One set of attitudes maintains and builds resource the other depletes resource. Failed resources equals failed states that collapse from within or are conquered by those with greater resources.

The fate of those who disconnect the two becomes apparent, even in the contemporary global circus of events. Political movement as an extension of the logic of the battlefield adds layers of insight to the daily headlines. The same things said above about archaic language and benefit of having a dictionary within reach apply with The Prince as well.

I don't know if there is a "modern English language" translation that makes the reading easier. Whether there is or isn't an 'EZ' translation, after wading through the language, the ideas themselves are not out of reach of the average reader. The application of them to the real world may require a little brain power, but just the same, most people should be able to handle it. It is worth stretching yourself to understand it.

Does it have any practical application to the real world beyond analyzing the headlines? If you are not planning a siege of the neighboring village, or if the city to your south is not preparing to marshal its troops against you, maybe not so much. If you labor in a competitive capitalist system, maybe a bit more-so. The greatest utility is probably to writers of Historical Fiction, history buffs, or Epic Fantasy readers and writers.

If you know "Force Field Analysis" as a management tool, you will see it in The Prince as well as in the Art of War.

The thing that stands out to me after reading both of these together is the continuous thread of the working of the will of one person which requires the complicity of another, and often another and so on.

If it is not gained through diplomacy, there is the fist and strength, then the rock and stick give way to the sword, the shield and the spear; which give way to armed groups, to the phalanx, squares and other disciplined maneuver, to the use of cavalry, supporting formations, the threat of force, and finally to a balance of power based on mutually assured destruction; and the sustaining of states with the social and economic power to continue projection of their will through diplomacy, until that gives way to something else. A never ending circle.