Sunday, July 09, 2023

A New Valens Universe Book by a New Author!

 Earlier this year, one of my long time Patrons on Patreon asked for permission to write a trilogy in the Valens Heritage Universe, a story taking place about 20 years after the Valens Heritage series.

Now Peter has always had interesting ideas and I was curious to see how it would do, so I agreed to license him to write the books and the first one just came out. Honestly I'd encourage you to go take a look. It's his first ever novel and I enjoyed it and apparently a lot of other people are enjoying it as well. It's kinda fun for me, as an author, to see Peter's take on some of the things I've done and set up in the world. 

If nothing else, I'd say read the sample to see if you like it or not.

Link -> Best Laid Plans 


Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Car Crash...

 I went to LibertyCon in Chattanooga last weekend (6/22 - 6/25) and on the way home (yes, I drove this year) we got caught in a nasty squall. After most of it had passed and we were on our way again, a gal in the fast lane hit a large puddle and lost control. I think she may have spun a 450, but I'm not really sure, due to just how much water she was putting up into the air.

I was in the middle lane and started moving into the slow lane and had slowed down considerably. When suddenly she got traction and shot forward (she was now pointed across the highway) and hit the side of my car, hitting the left front wheel and then ripping down the side of my car. 

The car is totaled, sadly. She ripped the door halfway off and I'm lucky that she hit me up by the tire and not right on the door, or I'd probably be in the hospital right now. Or worse. This has messed up my schedule this week as I've been dealing with insurance agents, hers mostly as it doesn't appear that she reported this? Of course I had to spend the night in Little Rock and rent a car to drive home, and my wrecked car is now sitting in an impound yard in Little Rock as well.

So it's been a right pain in the ass. 

I'm hoping I don't have to get a lawyer, that her insurance company (State Farm) just ponies up the money they owe me and deal with the car in the impound lot. Then I can move on. However, I need a car that will seat at least four, if not six, can tow a trailer, and gets decent gas mileage and is in excellent shape. Because that's what I just lost - a well maintained 2011 Ford Flex with -all- the options. With the prices of used cars right now, I very much suspect that I'm screwed and won't be getting enough money to replace what I just lost. Looking on line the price of that car is almost TWICE what I paid for it. And of course blue book goes by what I paid 4 years ago - not what that car costs now.

Anyway, hoping I'll be back to writing fulltime tomorrow. I'd hoped to finish the first draft of the new book by Friday. As I've got 30 to 40 thousand words left to write. That ain't gonna be happening...

Oh, the wheel is canted in now, the picture doesn't show it well.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

The Anthology Pinup Noir is live and I have a story in it!

Pinup Noir just went live today. This is an anthology in which I have a story, along with a number of other very good writers (many of whom I know). So if you're looking for something different, I would highly recommend cruising by Amazon and taking a looksee.

Cover Picture:

Sunday, June 04, 2023

New Valens Heritage book is out: Bellicose

 Bellicose <- URL


 Mihalis finds himself in a new situation, one which all of the training he's received growing up isn't helping him to cope as much as he'd hoped. He's angry. He's never truly been angry before in his life and the anger he's dealing with isn't even coming from him! It's coming from the djevels.

His lion side, he's discovered, is far less affected by it than his dark elf, which only makes sense when you consider his dark elf heritage. But if he wants to pull himself back together, he needs to understand
just what he's dealing with and how to manage it.
Then of course there are the other djevels out there. There are more he needs to bring under his banner and Prince Bratsch will undoubtedly be looking westwards towards those lands that once belonged to the former Prince Talt's now dead lords.

Last of all there is that nascent hotel business of his and Sawyer's. Nobody ever saw through Superman's glasses disguise, maybe Mihalis can do the same with those horns?

Saturday, June 03, 2023

Thoughts on a Song

I was out working in the shop on one of the motorcycles, then a few other odds and ends as the rain hit and neither I nor my dog wanted to get wet walking back to the house. So I'm taking care of some repairs that had been put off and the Bryan Adams' song 'Summer of '69' comes on. I'm sure you've all heard it, but mostly he's singing about how High School was the best days of his life. It's a song about disappointment when you get right down to it.

This got me thinking. I don't think I've had a 'best days of my life' as far as looking back and wishing I was 'back there' and how much 'better' then was. This isn't to say I haven't had great times in my life — I have. I have a lot of things I look back on with incredibly fond memories and happiness — people too! Friends, lovers, acquaintances, some who are still in this world and some who are no longer with us.

I honestly don't think I've 'peaked' and I don't know that I ever will.

This isn't to say I haven't been through bad times; I've had more than my fair share of shit. I've been homeless. I've come close to death more than once. I know what it's like to pray to god that when the sun comes up, you're still alive. To see a dozen people killed in an instant, and it was more luck than anything that it wasn't you.

Maybe it's because I've been through some of these things that I stopped viewing setbacks of any kind as permanent. I've seen the truly terrible things that people who think they're entitled or untouchable can do. Been on the receiving end of that more than once. Sometimes there was justice, but more times than not, there wasn't. However, I learned from those things, I grew, I moved on. But I can tell you that:

There is no greater motivator in the world than spite.

There is no sweeter taste than the taste of revenge.

And love will carry you through a lot of troubled times.

But to get back to the song, sure I wouldn't mind being young again, who wouldn't? But I don't spend my life looking backwards, neither should you. There will be good times and great times, but you have to go looking for them. All pain is temporary and all fame is fleeting. All things will pass.

As the saying goes: Life, is a journey. Enjoy the ride.

Friday, April 21, 2023

The Golden BB

 I'm sure that for any of you old enough, that you remember an expression or saying from the late 80's / early 90's: The Golden BB. Because they sure used the hell out of it. I saw it in several movies and also several science fiction novels.

Now, what is the 'Golden BB' you ask? It's a BB. I'm not sure if it's .22 caliber or .175, it's not made of gold, it's not made of anything special at all. However it, through odds or incredible amount of luck, manages to hit the exact right spot to totally destroy a military aircraft - usually a fighter or a bomber.

The Star Wars Death Star explosion? Yeah, something like that, only they did it with a BB. Not an explosive set in the exactly perfect spot.

Now the whole 'Golden BB' thing sounds great, it's David and Goliath on steroids times a thousand, no! A Million!!

The problem is, it's pure bunk. Even if you scale it up to a single bullet from a standard issue military rifle, you're not going to blow up or down any military aircraft with a single shot. You're not even going to get through the canopy to hit the pilot in the head and kill him. 

Why? You ask?

Simple: Redundant systems, armor, all sorts of things. There are very few critical flight systems on an aircraft that a single bullet can destroy. And that's taking them out of the aircraft and setting them on the ground to be shot at point-blank range. For those few things where it can do significant damage, there are more than one, and they're behind metal. 

Now I'm not saying that there aren't weapons out there were a perfectly placed shot can take out some aircraft - but those aren't 'BB's. They're heavy weapons, mounted on something, and they're sending out a pretty large and heavy projectile. They may even be explosive. Or exotic materials (like depleted uranium). They are most definitely NOT BB's.

You have to remember that aircraft fly into things at some pretty high speeds. Like birds, hail, water, dust, etc. And some of those things (like birds) can be pretty damn big. So they're made to take that kind of abuse even if they're not military. And if they are military, well then moreso.

Then there are the engines. Engines are big vacuum cleaners and will suck up anything (or anyone) in their path. Some engines are notoriously fickle, those are ones in older, smaller, and 'cheaper' aircraft. The T-38 was said to flame out if you coughed in front of it. Other engines, like say a centrifugal compressor type, you can shovel rocks in the front and you will get gravel out the back. 

Also most military aircraft (most, not all) have more than one engine. There are usually at least two actuators for each flight control surface. There are back ups for damn near everything, and often back ups for back ups. Then a lot of nifty little tricks that you learn or get passed around for whatever it is you're flying.

So no. No 'Golden BB's.

The reason I bring this up is because we all hear things and are told about things that are '1 in a million' shots / chances, but in realty they're 0 in a million. They can't happen, won't happen, never happened. There are a lot of things like that in life and I've had people who should have known better tell me things that were just so patently wrong it wasn't funny. But everyone likes a long-shot and everyone likes a cool/funny/unexpected/underdog story.

Not saying those things don't exist either. But sometimes, sometimes the claims are just so ridiculously out there that no, no one in their right mind who has any critical thinking skills should believe them.

Yet way too many people do.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Buy a cool knife and help someone out


My friend Benjamin Olsen who makes really great knives is auctioning off one for charity. I have a -lot- of his knives, they really are great. So if you want a good knife and want to help someone out, please check out his auction:

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

For those of you who like AudioBooks

 Audible has the audiobook for Summer's End on Sale currently. I don't know how long this will last, I only know about it because a fan told me.

So if you've been holding off, now's the time!

Summer's End on Audible



Friday, February 24, 2023

Looking for Something to Read this weekend?

Hey everyone, it's time to give some attention to some well deserving writers, some of whom are friends of mine. So if you're looking for something to read this weekend, by all means take a look!

First off, this just dropped today from Raconteur Press: Space Cowboys

This is an Anthology about Cowboys in the future, in space. There are a lot of good stories and people worth discovering: Check it out:


Next up is my friend Jim Curtis (JL Curtis on Amazon).

Jim has three main genres in which he writes. My personal favorite is his Science Fiction Rift World Series. Next would be his Grey Man series, which is a modern day story about a group of people fighting drug cartels in the southwest. This is by far his most popular and you might want to check it out. Third are his Westerns, and while I don't tend to be a fan of Westerns I have found that I enjoy his.

Jim also knows more about firearms than damn near anyone I know and competed in the shooting sports for years. On top of that he's a Navy vet (Mustang) and has seen the kinds of things you normally only find in the movies.

So if you're looking for something to read this weekend, give him a look:


Also I would be remiss if I didn't mention Dorothy Grant and her 'Tactical Romance' series. These are amazing stories that I am also quite fond of. They're interesting and exciting Science Fictions / Military stories written by a former Alaskan Bush Pilot who is married to a retired special forces commando (and no, not an American special forces commando, which of course makes it even more interesting!)

Again, worth the look so please do look:


And while I'm on the subject, if you like Science Fiction (as well as Westerns) you should check out her husband's (Peter Grant) works. His 'Maxwell Saga' is again, another one of my favorites, not just because of his military experience, but he has also a far better understanding of the Tong gangs and their empire than I've ever run into before and you will definitely find that to be fascinating.

Check him out as well:

So, definitely something for everyone out there if you're looking for something new or someone different to be reading. All good people, all good books!

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

New Valens Heritage Book Out!

 Beware of Darkness (Link)   is now live on Amazon in both ebook and paperback formats! 

I don't have a date yet on audio, though 'Ain't it the Life' should be out in Audio come May. Preorders for that will hopefully go live soon.

This is another Mihalis book, and I hope you all enjoy it!

Again link: Beware of Darkness

Monday, December 19, 2022

Christmas Sales


Hey everyone, I will be running the following promotion on the Amazon store and the Amazon UK store for Christmas:


From 12/23 5am to 12/27 11pm PST 0.99 cents on for the following:

Jan Stryvant

Valens Heritage

Mihalis - us only (due to an Amazon Promotion)

Sean (SJ)

Valens Legacy

Black Friday

Perfect Strangers


John Van Stry

Portals of Infinity

Book One: Champion for Hire

Book Two: The God Game


I will see about adding Take Two and the First Dan's Inferno books, but as they're no longer in Kindle Unlimited (too many problems with the KU people) it's a bit more involved to put them on sale.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

(and I'm still avoiding Social Media right now, so I'm sorry if I haven't been replying to any posts or pages).