Capitol Reef National Park

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

THE RULES OF THE GAME - JUST RELEASED!


Author's page at AMAZON.

ADVICE for parents looking to buy the book for kids.

New book page to buy the book at AMAZON.

Kindle will be up soon.

Roaming his way through the cities, deserts, and archaeology sites of the Middle East, Nafis Salib worked hard to become a playboy smuggler in the relics business. Through his ruthless and conniving ways, he accumulated more money than he knew what to do with. However, when a mysterious archaeologist offers him the mission of a lifetime for even more money, he jumps straight into it by boarding a cargo vessel with a boatload of terrorists and thieves with concealed and secretive purposes to transfer items from an ancient pagan cult to wealthy buyers. Nevertheless, as the voyage sets sail, the cursed treasures of the past won’t prove to be nearly as dangerous as the men who are waiting for this mission’s completion.
Only one group has the power to stop them. The American Special Forces unit S1, which fights the worst villains in the world and the cryptids, ghosts, and aliens that accompany them, is ready at a moment’s notice to settle the score on all things beyond top secret.
Many great men and women make up this group, but for this mission, Colin Jameson is the wild card in GSGT Anthony Williams’ six-man crew that Colonel Bart Doherty sent to eliminate the cargo boat bound for New Orleans.
Growing up in suburban America, Jameson was an unassuming ten-year old kid until three things changed his life. The first of these was the game of football, which gave purpose and direction to his life. The second was his uncle Bart Doherty, who helped him begin his journey into the military by helping him with outdoor skills, work ethic, and leadership. The final influence was his friendship with Billy Jacobs, who has just been captured by terrorists prior to the mission to save the relics. Now, Billy is on the boat as well, a prisoner waiting to be rescued by Colin and his team.
Also involved in this mission is Liam Collingsworth. In England, he was spending his days monitoring drug enforcement operations from his desk when he received an out of the blue opportunity to travel to America, where he worked a field operation with Doherty and his fellow troops to confiscate a drug shipment and to arrest the perpetrators. After the mission, his whole life changes, and now, he, too, has been drawn into the gunfire in the Gulf of Mexico.
Along the way, all of these men’s lives are dramatically affected by the presence of the wendigo, a bloodthirsty creature from the northern-most woods of America. Its past appearances give way to present sensations and warnings of its future reappearance in their lives.
Will the S1 crew be able to save the day from these terrorists and their larger plans of devastation? Somewhere in a world of treachery and evil, there is hope. However, there is also a darkness emerging in the world and the dreams of many other men and women who are being called by a more mysterious fate and / or a drug called Our Lady of Guadalupe to go to a place outside of Blanding, Utah, called Blackrock Canyon. Soon, this mysterious ghost world will come to life unless some force for good can halt the engines of a journey into evil.
Read the book now to witness the events of the third book in the Blackrock Canyon series!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Rules of the Game Description



Roaming his way through the cities, deserts, and archaeology sites of the Middle East, Nafis Salib worked hard to become a playboy smuggler in the relics business. Through his ruthless and conniving ways, he accumulated more money than he knew what to do with. However, when a mysterious archaeologist offers him the mission of a lifetime for even more money, he jumps straight into it by boarding a cargo vessel with a boatload of terrorists and thieves with concealed and secretive purposes to transfer items from an ancient pagan cult to wealthy buyers. Nevertheless, as the voyage sets sail, the cursed treasures of the past won’t prove to be nearly as dangerous as the men who are waiting for this mission’s completion.
Only one group has the power to stop them. The American Special Forces unit S1, which fights the worst villains in the world and the cryptids, ghosts, and aliens that accompany them, is ready at a moment’s notice to settle the score on all things beyond top secret.
Many great men and women make up this group, but for this mission, Colin Jameson is the wild card in GSGT Anthony Williams’ six-man crew that Colonel Bart Doherty sent to eliminate the cargo boat bound for New Orleans.
Growing up in suburban America, Jameson was an unassuming ten-year old kid until three things changed his life. The first of these was the game of football, which gave purpose and direction to his life. The second was his uncle Bart Doherty, who helped him begin his journey into the military by helping him with outdoor skills, work ethic, and leadership. The final influence was his friendship with Billy Jacobs, who has just been captured by terrorists prior to the mission to save the relics. Now, Billy is on the boat as well, a prisoner waiting to be rescued by Colin and his team.
Also involved in this mission is Liam Collingsworth. In England, he was spending his days monitoring drug enforcement operations from his desk when he received an out of the blue opportunity to travel to America, where he worked a field operation with Doherty and his fellow troops to confiscate a drug shipment and to arrest the perpetrators. After the mission, his whole life changes, and now, he, too, has been drawn into the gunfire in the Gulf of Mexico.
Along the way, all of these men’s lives are dramatically affected by the presence of the wendigo, a bloodthirsty creature from the northern-most woods of America. Its past appearances give way to present sensations and warnings of its future reappearance in their lives.
Will the S1 crew be able to save the day from these terrorists and their larger plans of devastation? Somewhere in a world of treachery and evil, there is hope. However, there is also a darkness emerging in the world and the dreams of many other men and women who are being called by a more mysterious fate and / or a drug called Our Lady of Guadalupe to go to a place outside of Blanding, Utah, called Blackrock Canyon. Soon, this mysterious ghost world will come to life unless some force for good can halt the engines of a journey into evil.
Read the book now to witness the events of the third book in the Blackrock Canyon series!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

New Orleans Description Passage from The Rules of the Game



Post-Katrina New Orleans had a mixed feeling of the flooded disaster of 2005 and the history of a world that existed unto itself from the way that much of America lived. The mix of French heritage, debauchery, pre-Civil War Southern influence, modern urban life, and voodoo all came together in an eerie, but unique way that made the city a distinctive expression unto itself. This combination either made the town one of the premier American travel destinations or a Sodom and Gomorrah to avoid.


In addition to the high-class shopping areas and jazz clubs, there was the impoverished devastation of the Ninth Ward as it waited behind levees to be flooded again. Down the streets from this, mansions stood proud and tall in the Garden District. Just outside the city, plantations drew crowds to marvel at a historical way of life that the guides now told with a small apology at the end for slavery. Of course, there was an opportunity for mint juleps along the way. However, no matter where the crowds went, there was a feeling of being haunted by the restless spirits of a past that still flourished amidst the street performers and paddle boats.


From the mix of Spanish and French architecture to the above ground cemeteries, the town was alive with a flavor all its own. What’s more than the average tourism appeal that they city offered, this “flavor” had very little to do with absinthe, gumbo, Hand Grenades, jambalaya, or blackened catfish. Perhaps, it had something to do with the counter-cultural call of the voodoo business of Marie Laveau. Then again, maybe it was the witching and vampire world built up by Anne Rice, memories of the Carter Brothers murders, or the mysterious coffin-shaped boxes in the Old Ursuline Convent. If that was case for these hordes descending on the city, then it was only a superficial and pretend understanding of what the truth in those stories truly represented.


Maybe New Orleans was more than that as the jazz of Congo Square and Louis Armstrong, which the white world segregated itself from, despite their habit of naming bars and music halls after it, still floated into the humid air of this swampland. Then again, there were the bored housewives and other privileged classes who snuck into the clubs to hear the lustful musical notes of the sexual world of jazz and the sweet release of the blues as told through gravelly voices and out of tune acoustic guitars. The big brass band blew hard into trumpets and trombones to express the primal feeling of joy from deep inside their souls. Everyone knew how these everyday people would get curious about the darkened nature of these mysterious Caribbean types or the jazz world and its personalities. While the women would buy medical dolls labeled voodoo dolls, the men would attend quadroon balls to enter into placage contracts. Na├»ve and prejudice-reared people and their fortunes are quickly parted, especially when they’re told what they want to hear.


To add humor and warning to these historical tales and present news articles, the men and women who ran the city and ghost tours would speak of how the Crescent City was founded by pirates, pickpockets, and prostitutes, as well as how the city’s open container laws only recently changed. When the history was explained, it made perfect sense, and the groups continued wandering along Conti Street, Bourbon Street, and Burgundy Street to find their way to Canal Street and the walled off tombs in the heart of the French Quarter.


Everyone who braved the spirits and hurricanes to come here knew how special the city was. Sure, Mardis Gras and the Saints brought the tourists in so that they could find their way to Preservation Hall and the bars of the city that served mixed drinks in plastic goldfish bowls. This combination brought the horny men who threw beads to the balconies in hopes of receiving a glimpse of boobs. And as they did, tourist couples and families would find their way into shops for cheap T-shirts and souvenirs of women fornicating with alligators.


Nevertheless, the real feeling came from somewhere else, as along the way, young African American children would beat on gigantic plastic paint cans that were almost as big as they were with a feverish determination to achieve musical ecstasy. Slapping their makeshift sticks in the same way that their musical elders would play their own beats on “real” instruments, the crowds stood in awe to watch them, too. Still, at every other corner, bigger bands with brass accompaniment wailed out the harmonies of the town to speak of the truth of NOLA in front of the shadow of Jesus on St. Louis Cathedral, as painters offered up their art for pennies on the dollar.


Tightly confined streets featured colorful buildings and decorative palm trees that punctuated the passageways. Along the uneven pavements, giant bubbles would float through the drunken crowds, who were no longer consciously able to avoid the septic puddles in the potholes of the streets. Standing in the shadow between cars or mixed with crowds, local business people and waiters warned of thieves, who lurked at every turn. Additionally, beggars seemed magnetically drawn to everyone who appeared to have a fat wallet.


The mixed bag of New Orleans was alive and well throughout the restaurants, drag shows, bars, curio shops, art studios, and strip clubs that made up a world that tourists demanded from this mecca to the hedonistic world of the lewd and lascivious.


In the midst of it all, traffic jams and jaywalkers hustled from side to side as construction crews hurried to repair the city for the next endless Fat Tuesday celebration and six weeks of parades that led up to it. Through the honking of horns and drifting street music sounds, endless lines of people stood waiting for beignets. Still other tourists hustled by the shops, too busy to notice the hanging flower baskets and the police Smart Cars, statues to leaders of the past, horse drawn carts, and the smell of garbage slowly decaying. Instead, it was all bars and lingerie mannequins in the windows as the bars beckoned them for huge ass beers or enormous mixers.

Sometimes, it was the call of the voodoo and witchcraft shops, but for the curiosity that they offered, the evil-eye owners and enormous bouncer-esque guards that stood watch inside made sure that nobody did anything stupid like belittling the merchandise. Heaven and Hell forbid that someone try to take a picture or video inside! Satan and Baphomet would rise up from their netherworld kingdoms to destroy the offending iPhone on the spot!


For that reason, it was no surprise that here was where the intersection of all of those antagonists who S1 fought on The Whale were getting ready to convene to establish the next phase of their mission.



Monday, November 20, 2017

PARENTAL WARNING FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO BUY MY BOOKS FOR KIDS!


Perhaps, you are wondering if this book or my others are for your child. I don’t know. My books aren’t porn (though Dead Mouths does reference sexual situations), they don’t promote drug use (though they feature drug use as a bad thing, which happens prominently throughout), they are violent (though not gory – much just happens and isn’t described in detail), they do include profanity (only Dead Mouths uses the F bomb; otherwise, I seek to avoid the big bad ones), they feature characters from all backgrounds (good, bad, indifferent, helpful, hurtful, ethical, and hateful), they are concerned with eradicating evil (Satanic demons and the like) while using Special Forces, paranormal, and supernatural means, there are references to societal taboos through historical and anthropological accounts (cannibalism, though it was something that happened – not something described - and it is based artistically on actual scientific accounts) and these books reference cryptids, ghosts, aliens, and demons like they’re dogs, squirrels, cardinals, and flies.


For those people reading this, note that I don’t like the gore porn (the really extreme bloody stuff that all but encourages people to root for the evil knife-wielding killer). Nevertheless, as with Dead Mouths, there is one very vicious murder in The Rules of the Game. It’s not how it’s described, since it’s more about the fact that it happens than describing intricate details of what happens (I don't do that). I won’t spoil the suspense for those people who aren't put off, but this kind of thing takes place in real life, too, though it doesn’t make the news very much. The link to a Reuters article that mentions a UN Committee on the Rights of the Child report is at the end.

Also, in my works, I create fictional conspiracies alongside real events (i.e. Fallujah 2004 and Benghazi), which some might take offense to. I do these not to traffic in conspiracy (many conspiracies traffic in extreme paranoia and hate, which really bothers me), but to give a historical place for FICTIONAL events to transpire (much as I do with the already existing conspiracy of things like Truman, Eisenhower, and Majestic 12. 

I do this solely as fiction and artistic expression. 

If truth be told, I do like the alien theories as science fiction, but I would really like it more if they direct people to the real events to create unbiased historical accounts.

However, I would say the biggest issue for a younger child (under 14) is the reading commitment. My books are thick and feature tons of characters. If your kid watches Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead or reads a book like It (or most any King horror), there’s no issue here with me going further to harm their sensibilities. For all of the paranormal worlds, I wouldn’t describe this as science fiction or horror. For many young guys, there is plenty of action, which would entice many teens to read this, but there are also lengthy backstories that require commitment. 

Additionally, there are also many links to historical realities in my books. I see that as a good thing, but I do see the sheer weight of the series as something for a serious reader who can comprehend connections that don’t always come back until many chapters later (King does that, too, in his best work The Stand, by the way). Having never read Harry Potter, I can't say what J.K. does or doesn't do, but I would like to hope that people of all ages would be enticed to read through it excitedly. That said, isn't that every author's dream?

So is this book for your kid? Read the sample chapters at this site and see. I’d rather you take in the real before feeling I just made a quick $1-2 on you after you bought and got stuck with something that isn't you or them (by the way, that’s what I’m making per book with the lower prices I choose to charge).


Thanks all the same for considering this purchase!

Intro to The Rules of the Game


INTRODUCTION
This book has been in the works for about a year and a half.
Originally, I saw it being 300 pages. It’s twice that now. Congratulations, you got so much more than I ever expected (for roughly the same price – though print costs more due to paper). What’s more, you received a much better story (my best?). Not to break my arm when I try to pat myself on the back, but I do feel more in the flow with this than my other works, and yes, I do love them, too. This means something for me, and I hope it does for you.
Thank you for buying this!
For many reasons, this book feels more special for the flow and the growth of characters that I am exhibiting. This is a mix of experiencing positive psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and having read Luigi Pirandello’s play Six Characters in Search of an Author. This is not to forget my love of the first season of the TV show Heroes, The Walking Dead, pretty much everything on Destination America, Ancient Aliens, the first Die Hard, many of M. Night Shyamalan’s films, Joseph Campbell’s Hero with 1,000 Faces, Marvel origin films, and even some This is Us mixed with James Wan’s Insidious, Annabelle, and Conjuring side – not Saw.

I’m a big fan of character growth. Static characters mean nothing. I’m also a big fan of the “beautifully imperfect” nature of all people (we’re still lovable and human despite our failures). People can only find pure good and evil in the godly and the demonic. Humans are problematic at many points in time. They have back-stories. They make decisions for a reason, and we need to know it, even if the reason doesn’t come up right away. I like this characterization and connection. I would say this is why I’m moving from this book to Intersections (the next mega collection of Blackrock, which will outsize this one and the last one).

Perhaps another reason I really like this book is that it started out as a tribute to my sister’s son CJ, who is the inspiration for Colin Jameson. From the first idea of what I originally called “The Wendigo Story (what is now chapter 1)” to an image of a Punisher type character, who was locked and loaded with bullets melted down from the Nails of Christ, CJ figured prominently in the book as someone who I wanted to give the opportunity to destroy evil.
As time went on, I added other personas to the book because I wanted to pay tribute to other young people that needed to be heroes. These include my friends Will and Heidi’s sons (Liam and Zac) and a teenager I tutor (Tyler). Additionally, I included my dad’s cousin Bart (he was a rancher in real life (RIP) – who is mixed with the look of my one school’s president Dr. Griscom), my niece Amanda, my nephew Quinton, remembrances of several former friends who were lost to different directions and bad decisions along the way, my mother’s maiden name (Gittleman), my brother in law (Bruce), my English teacher (Borkert), my neurologist (Vargas), a former student (Nguyen) and my Air Force training instructors in the military (Honig and Rouse – they seem like the right people for the job of training). Once again, these were all people who needed to be heroes. I like how they worked out here.
In creating personas, I believe that everyone deserves a chance to be a hero. Many of these younger people are not only good people, but they are great young people who were never received a spotlight to stand out, so I figured, “Why not make them a sort of superhero who could stand out?” Thus, they all appear positively to make them members of S1, the world’s foremost paranormal organization dedicated to fighting paranormal, supernatural, and evil beings in a Navy SEALs meet the X-Files way.
And yes, there is a persona of me in Dead Mouths. Many people saw how that character resembles me (as Charlotte was originally modeled after my wife Heather), and yes, it’s true, I started out writing fiction this way. It happens. While I’m stuck with that in some ways, I’ve deviated from that connection significantly, and I will continue to do so in Intersections, as I’ve moved beyond that to the cosmic world that creates characters for me.
In the original version of the story (outline only), long since annihilated well before book 1’s release, Dave was the main character. However, in this book you are about to read, it’s clear that the main good characters are Tony Lucas (the id), Suzie Heilman (the ego), Ouray (the superego), Bart Doherty (the leader lost down the rabbit hole), Marcus Powell (the leader on the side of the rational), Colin Jameson (the knight in training), Ivan Parker (the strength of experience), Charles “Chuck” Jones (the warrior lost down the rabbit hole), Sean “Big Dig” Carruthers (the mysterious adventurer), Abraham Owens + Vincent Littleman (the heroes from another world coming to save the day), and Benson Villaneuva (clairvoyance).
In a future book, I will be able to express the evil more clearly, though it’s obvious that Eli Jordan + his father, Abdul Halim, Paolo Crespo, Theodore Swanson, the Fressineaus, Parvez Kharimi, Jason Harper, and Pyotor Osokin will fall majorly into this with all of the demons who are coming to congregate at Blackrock.
That said, it’s best not to get too far ahead in these things.

As for the mad props… 


First and foremost is the love and support of family and friends. Whether they be the family I’ve found along the way (my wonderful wife, Heather) or my parents + sister and the rest of my extended family (especially my Gram, who let me build forts in her apartment as well as to play with my Star Wars figures at her place every weekend of my youth – rest in peace), I’ve always been able to be lost in other worlds of daydreams and fantasy.
Quite simply, from an early age, I was encouraged and allowed to be imaginative. This led me to Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, V, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Independence Day, Altered States, Contact, The Mummy (the Brendan Fraser one), The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Creature Double Feature, Ancient Aliens, The Conjuring, A Haunting, Signs, Monsters and Mysteries in America, Jaws, and a lot of other science fiction / aliens / ghost stuff  (Frank Edwards’ Stranger than Science and the Warrens’ experience) as well as great action movies like Die Hard and the Asian cinema of John Woo and Chow Yun Fat. This is not to forget the myriad of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Norris action movies in my formative years (not to mention one too many viewings of the original Red Dawn).
In addition, music is a big part of who I am as a writer and person. From my earliest days with Billy Joel to Iron Maiden to Neutral Milk Hotel to the Polyphonic Spree to the Misfits to Phish to Jack Johnson to Okkervil River to Jay Z to the Hold Steady to the National to Slayer, songs have always inspired me to sing along and to move on through. My mp3 player ranges from cheesy pop songs by Echosmith to eerie metal music by King Diamond to experimental stuff by Sonic Youth. There’s a time and place for everything, and frankly, I wouldn’t want to live in a world without music of every genre. Simply stated, I could have never written this book with bad music or silence. For this, I do name check songs, bands, and literary things to get other people interested in them as well. Support your favorite artists as I support mine.


First and foremost is the love and support of family and friends. Whether they be the family I’ve found along the way (my wonderful wife, Heather) or my parents + sister and the rest of my extended family (especially my Gram, who let me build forts in her apartment as well as to play with my Star Wars figures at her place every weekend of my youth – rest in peace), I’ve always been able to be lost in other worlds of daydreams and fantasy.
Quite simply, from an early age, I was encouraged and allowed to be imaginative. This led me to Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, V, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Independence Day, Altered States, Contact, The Mummy (the Brendan Fraser one), The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Creature Double Feature, Ancient Aliens, The Conjuring, A Haunting, Signs, Monsters and Mysteries in America, Jaws, and a lot of other science fiction / aliens / ghost stuff  (Frank Edwards’ Stranger than Science and the Warrens’ experience) as well as great action movies like Die Hard and the Asian cinema of John Woo and Chow Yun Fat. This is not to forget the myriad of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Norris action movies in my formative years (not to mention one too many viewings of the original Red Dawn).

In addition, music is a big part of who I am as a writer and person. From my earliest days with Billy Joel to Iron Maiden to Neutral Milk Hotel to the Polyphonic Spree to the Misfits to Phish to Cat Stevens to Jason Isbell to Modern Baseball to Allo Darlin’ to the Front Bottoms to Okkervil River to Jay Z to the Hold Steady to the National to Slayer, songs have always inspired me to sing along and to move on through. My mp3 player ranges from pop songs by Echosmith to spacey stuff by the Orb to eerie metal music by King Diamond to happy stuff by Bob Marley to experimental stuff by Sonic Youth. There’s a time and place for everything, and frankly, I wouldn’t want to live in a world without music of every genre. Simply stated, I could have never written this book with bad music or silence. For this, I do name check songs, bands, and literary things to get other people interested in them as well. Support your favorite artists as I support mine.


Along the way, I have also had many great teachers who allowed me to grow as a writer, teacher, and person with their style and willingness to take on my honors contracts and engage in personal discussions (Ron Borkert, Bill Harst, Dave Leight, Susan Hartman, and Eric Wolf come to mind). With them, I was able to do many great projects and learn so much more than I would have if I didn’t participate in class actively. Because of them and my parents, I learned the value of education. While I didn’t always understand or appreciate education or the “do this / do that” approach to things, I eventually did embrace it, and I was able to teach myself by learning to observe what others did and by absorbing information and educational experience because of it. In addition, many colleagues and peers in the educational world supported my dream, which was to educate other people about the value of writing (of these Karen, Joann, and Helen stand out). I can’t begin to state what that means to me. Teaching and learning are great things. Embrace knowledge in all that you do.
In an ideal world, I would list many names, and they would be definitive with regard to who has helped me along the way. However, I know that I’ll forget people, so rather than try to be all-inclusive here, I’ll thank all of my friends from those who were there with me during the awkward and lonely high school years. In addition, there were the friends during the wild ride of the Loft days, my time in the Air Force, the England experience, the post-England college time,  and the last seventeen years of my life. All of these people have been involved in me being an educator, and my experiences hiking, traveling, and living life while listening to great music, experiencing movies, reading books, and embracing an America that I almost left, while spending time with the people who matter.
For all of the mistakes I’ve made, the dumb things I’ve done, and the bad choices I’ve made along the way, my family and friends have stuck with me to get to this place as a writer / teacher / person. I appreciate that. I must also say that I still can’t believe that I have a wife who would embrace my eccentricity and rough around the edges nature to still be here for me, nearly nine years after our first memorable date. Like Lou Gehrig, I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth to have someone who’ll let a major time, effort, and cost undertaking like this book series happen.
As for me, in many ways, like Eddie Vedder said when he refused to be people’s messiah after Kurt Cobain’s death or when King Ezekiel on The Walking Dead negated himself to the role of just being “some guy” after causing his group’s problems, that’s who I am, too. However, I have a gift (writing) and experience (good and bad) to share. For this, I hope I inspire you with my life and dreams.

In this, it’s important to note that my whole family and all of my friends support me through my Parkinson’s diagnosis (September 27, 2016). I may have PD, but PD doesn’t have me. I will write through the tremors I am currently experiencing and whatever symptoms occur to me in the future. Simply put, my role in this situation is to educate and advocate (not whine about what I can’t do). I do that by choosing to live life and be happy. If my role in life is to share my knowledge of the world and entertain people while answering their questions about my condition, so be it. People mean well. If they’re asking, it’s not to troll; it’s to learn. Really. Disability is only an inability if we let it own us. We can avoid this by living, living vicariously, and supporting the causes of finding a cure and treating people. Boo yeah!


Also, in whatever came my way, I always found great people to influence and inspire me. One of those people was MaryAnn Schaefer, who edited this book and provided tons of writing advice to me. I am very very grateful to her for that (she changes my Barks to Barts when my mind is getting bumpy on the I’ve been writing too long / lack of connectivity on the PD dirt roads, too). I’m also very thankful that she allowed me to have a couple of Air Force / England Thanksgivings with her, her husband Bill, and her daughters Sky and Nicki all those years ago. I can’t begin to explain what they meant to a young guy 3,000 miles from home on the holidays.


I am also mega-grateful to Ken Guard for his NRA-fueled action writing advice, which made many things with the attack on The Whale possible. He’s been my friend longer than many of my readers have been alive. That’s a good thing. The same is true with my friend, Pete Apostolakos, who has made various input suggestions throughout. Muchos gracias!



I am thankful to Thaddeus Stevens Library for hosting Halloween readings two years in a row. It’s so cool to be able to do things like this with and for students.
I am super thankful to Brad Adams, Tyler Richard, and Caleb Haddon for all of the graphic arts work they did for me to include complete design and creation of this cover. When in doubt, hire a student intern that comes recommended by his / her teacher. You’re giving them experience to be even greater (these guys rock). Also, support the industrial arts. I may be a college writing teacher, but higher education isn’t all college. We need great tradespeople, too.


In this writing endeavor, many of you will choose to help me by either advertising or buying this book. You will read my works and provide constructive criticism. You’ll tell your friends about my books. You will inspire me while I keep working on the Blackrock Canyon series, which is between 1,500 and 2,000 pages at this point in four different books. I think it has (at least) a couple thousand to go, but that’s just me. THANK YOU for what you will do and what you have done!!!!
In the meantime, I look forward to entertaining you along the course of my writer’s journey. Hopefully, I’ll even inspire some of you to embrace your own creativity, which would be awesome to see all of the young people, the Dylans and Lydias of the world (as well as Little Zen Monkeys), move to take to a keyboard to bang out their stories and / or just keep living their life in greatness. The world is your oyster. Do what you have to do. It’s go time. Where would we be without writing or the oral tradition or petroglyphs or other great art to inspire us to communicate what we see and do to the world?
Thanks for reading and supporting my art.
You guys and gals are awesome. Really.
Enjoy my book. I know I enjoyed writing it.
Dan

November 20, 2017


Monday, October 23, 2017

Come Celebrate Samhain (November 1st) with me at Thaddeus Stevens


       Samhain is a Pagan festival of the dead, so what better time to support my supernatural / superheroes against paranormal villains story?!! Thus, on November 1st, at 730pm, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology will be hosting me (and hopefully students) reading from my books. I start reading at 8pm. At 730, they start S'Mores at the fire pit behind Mellor Hall (in front of the library). Come and support a great cause - my writing dream!

       If you're interested in learning more or supporting my writer's page / dream, see my Facebook page at this link.

750 East King Street Lancaster, PA 17602

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Origins of S1 and S2 paranormal groups (Chapter 6 - Rules of the Game Intro to chapter)


After my editor MaryAnn informed me nobody would know what S1 was without defining them, I chose to write their biography instead of an appositive phrase or noun clause. This is a small part of Chapter 6, which is here in a larger part on a different post.
I'm like that.

Enjoy


Bart Doherty looked at Colin Jameson. The two men had known each other almost every one of Colin’s twenty-eight years. From his family’s early visits to see Bart to Colin’s first trip to Minnesota in 1999, there was a mythology, which reflected the life of his great uncle. After that, there was a hidden reality with what he never said when Colin was there. Since then, to include Colin’s time in S1, there were only the secrets that the two men shared about their combined realities of being a part of the secret unit known only as S1 and all they had been through together because of this.
In the years since he joined the group, Colin learned quite a bit about their history, though he wasn’t informed of everything since some of it was need to know or unspoken secrets and failures that Bart kept hidden.
Nevertheless, what he did know was amazing.
Way back when, Harry Truman’s handlers, who advised him to legislate decisively on threats foreign and domestic in order to bring about the National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency, created the group that would go by the name S1. These behind the scenes men were the original top dogs of the American black-ops special forces world, a tight-knit group who acted with the same stroke of genius decision-making that worked to realize that there was a need to have a completely off the books military unit operating at home and abroad. Unlike other overt military units, the military would still train the covert units. When they finished initiating the men into the ways of fighting forces, they would list their trainees as being in routine jobs within the armed forces. Where these forces differed from other elite fighting forces is that they would operate completely apart from the standard rules of engagement that the Geneva Convention listed. Since the weight of the verdict of their engagements represented an existential threat to humankind, the men had to complete these assignments in ways that they could never expose to the everyday world. Civilization could not begin to understand what these villains and supernatural entities wanted to do to it. Whether these enemies appeared on their own or in tandem with recognized enemies of the state, it was imperative that S1 annihilated all of these people looking to fight alongside of these “other” beings since they were an enemy to world peace and general order. Truman particularly liked feeling that he was responsible for saving the world with this decision while his handlers felt contented knowing that they had convinced the President of the United States to do the right thing despite the possible ramifications that it might cause if the groups were ever exposed to the light of day. Though his men did not brief him on all of the potential issues, Truman was aware of the need for such utter secrecy that he eventually turned all controlling authority of this group over to the infamous group known as Majestic 12.
At a time when multiple clandestine groups were starting to appear in this country, Truman created S1, the first of these groups, to deal with many things Beyond Top Secret and all things supernatural, which put them in a category called “Magic Eyes Only.” Whether the S was for the former or the latter, the history is uncertain since nobody ever acknowledged this group in the light of day at that time, and in the end, it doesn’t really matter since the group performed both of these duties exceptionally. In fact, they did them so well in working to close loopholes and issues of concern that related to cryptids and ghosts that they became a model for other countries who had these concerns.
A second group, S2 was also set up at this time in order to deal with issues of the alien problem, which was rearing its head all too often after the events of Roswell that occurred in the summer of 1947. As these alien visitation events have continued incessantly ever since, the group is also still active within various capacities in the United States and abroad, though they now operate under different protocols. Since the changes of the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administration, S1 implemented a new era of clandestine efficiency in warfare. After Kennedy’s death, Lyndon Johnson’s men did not give him a chance to get upset about this by any ethical means necessary because his organization never briefed him on the organization. Rather than chance the worst, the handlers kept everything S1 and S2 to themselves instead. Since that time, the only president that the group ever acknowledged this military unit to was the senior Bush, which was a decision that S1 and S2 made because of his CIA history.
“Gentlemen, gentlemen. I think I have to take a phone call now,” Bush informed them.
“But don’t you want to -”
Bush’s handlers looked at the S1 liason, and simply said two words: plausible deniability.
That was their last attempt to come to the surface for the most powerful man in the world.
Nevertheless, certain like-minded and understanding senators in the House Armed Forces Committee and NSA types have been “indoctrinated” to the existence of organizations that operate outside of legal authority to prevent these issues from becoming all too public. Even the military that ran them knew little about them as the Joint Chiefs of Staff chose to be out of sight and out of mind with some of these details.
For a short time, things between the groups went swimmingly when they needed to work together, but this tranquility and camaraderie did not last long when the infighting between S1 and S2 began to spill over after the latter group started to adopt more violent and oppressive tactics to conceal the “extra-terrestrial problem” from the population as a whole. There were numerous events, which included killing and capturing various beings from other worlds, that caused tussles and screaming matches after civilian eyewitnesses started ending up deposited into holes in the desert. Mostly these spats went on behind closed doors, but some of the events threatened to spill over into the mainstream with non-contained witnesses and news leaks as well as actual world events. In particular, there was an event at an archaeological dig referred to as Mormon Creek. This event, which occurred in Utah in 1995 right after the Timothy McVeigh bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Building, landed a pair of Native Americans named Solomon Owens and Donny White Feather, in jail, after S2 members infiltrated their group, the Pueblo Defense Fund, in order to commandeer them as puppets for an incident involving evidence destruction.
The S2 brass considered this an ingenious plan designed to create fake ancestral heritage claims in order to convince a group of problematic Native American activists to destroy an archaeology site that would steal and desecrate their ancestors’ remains. What the Native Americans did not know was that the excavation would have exposed ancient alien relics and bodies at the Native American site. S2 could not allow this to happen, so they armed the Pueblo Defense Fund to the teeth for battle. If the Native Americans won, S2 would rat them out to police or execute them as soon as they were out of eyesight. No matter how it happened, if they were to die, it would be all the better since their actions would create hostility toward the claims that tribes were making about ancestral remains and lands. Besides, so much had been going on in the country at the time with anti-government attitudes at Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City, that when the courtroom decided the punishment, it was short, sweet, and to the point, and nobody really batted an eye.
Other than a few cantankerous rebels, society as a whole didn’t want angry militants exacting “revenge” on anyone, so the authorities quickly removed Owens and White Feather from the public eye as quickly as they appeared on its radar. This worked out for S2.
It was almost hard to believe how quickly that an incident so violent could vanish, but since most people who know about eastern Utah only know about its National Parks, the proximity to Mormon Cross and the Middle of Nowhere helped put it out of people’s sight and out of their minds.
Nevertheless, when this event transpired, the Native Americans battled with archaeologists and members of the Bureau of Land Management for two days in an incident that resulted in the destruction of the site, the death of many men and women on both sides, sexual assault, and kidnapping. Prior to the arrival of the Feds, the incident had been quietly going on for a week, but then the proverbial shit hit the fan with a murder charge, and this signaled that authority needed to intervene, and intervene, it did.
While the men in question were guilty on many accounts, the authorities were supplied additional “evidence” to frame them for other incidents that they had nothing to do with. With nobody of power willing to stand up for their innocence, they were still currently sitting in prison at Uinta 1 in 2016.
There they sit in solitude to conceal an action that needed to transpire by any means necessary, at least in the minds of S2’s command.
In comparison to this method of dealing with problems, S1 tended to look at any innocent “bystanders” they encountered as potential resources to utilize in their war against this parallel world.
When word got out about the Mormon Creek covert operation, things reached a boiling point. The divisions exploded, and soon, S2 negotiated a division from the original program when they refused to back down from operating under this type of rule of law.
Under their new authority, the name S2 metamorphosed into “Black Unit 1.” This change recognized their standard dress uniform, which was black suits, white shirts, black ties, dark glasses, a silenced pistol, and a black hat on top. For ages, they created a mystique for themselves when they emerged in public in places like Point Pleasant, West Virginia, during the Mothman days. Because of these situations, they gained the name Men in Black in popular culture. This name originally created a level of respect for the men and women in the organization, but soon, they felt it was just too comic book and humorous for its own good, so they called themselves Team Black instead.
It should be noted that after the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones movie of the same name, their reputation stood out in the Special Forces community as something of a joke to S1, but that’s a very different story.
Despite their rare social emergences, S1 generally chose to stay more clandestine, even when their taunts and jokes were traveling back to S2. Since they never had a name except that one letter and one number, they stuck with their original moniker, when they mentioned their name at all. Most times, the men called it “my team” or “my unit.” The officers who referred to the community of men and women who defended the world’s interests weren’t interested in names, but rather actions. If you were on the team, you were important and special, and this was something you knew, so you didn’t blow it. If you were caught slacking, you were either told about it once or removed altogether. There was no halfway when the world’s interests were at stake.
Colin knew this right from the moment he found out at the post Hell Week meeting that his great uncle wanted him to be a part of the team. This was clear, but what wasn’t clear was exactly how intense and secretive his work would be in saving the world from the doom that could otherwise be inflicted by these savage beasts they were set to fight.
On this day, Bart re-introduced Colin to the members of the team that he would be working with for his latest mission. He had worked with many different members who didn’t work together consistently, so to be introduced over and over again wasn’t at all uncommon.
“Do you know any of these other guys, Colin?” Bart asked.
“Well everyone knows the Chief,” the nearly thirty-year old Colin responded.