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Book Review – Brings The Lightning

Peter Grant, author of the Maxwell Saga and the Bayou Renaissance Man blog, has taken a new turn in his writing.  His new western, Brings The Lightning, tells the tale of Walter Ames, a former Confederate soldier returning home to Tennessee after Appomattox.  Following his heart west, he meets the love of his life and together, they forge a new life together.  The book explores post-Civil War history as Americans bridged the Great Plains to settle in the Mountain West and the conflicts they fought with nature and the Native Americans there.

Grant has always been a wonderful storyteller, and he has fully matured as a writer.  Brings The Lightning reads as if it were written during the golden age of western fiction, and the author did an outstanding job making it a story that can be enjoyed by anyone who loves the romance and realities of the West.  The story develops well, as do the characters.  Grant has paid a lot of attention to the details of technology, especially firearms, from the period.  This works because it enhances the story, rather than distracting from it.

I heartily recommend Brings the Lightning, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Escort Duty – On Sale Now!

Escort Duty went live on Amazon this morning.  I’d like to thank everyone who pre-ordered.  Having that dump of sales on the first day it’s generally available helps a lot in rankings, which can lead to more sales, which in turn leads to more coffee and ammunition, which leads to a happier writer, which leads to more books.

If you’d like a signed hard-copy, send me an email at daddybear@daddybearsden.com.  The cost is the same as Amazon, $10, and I’ll cover shipping.

Escort Duty is a bit of a grab bag of stories, like I said in the announcement of the pre-order. There is fantasy, religion, suspense, and spoof.  I hope there’s something in there for everyone to enjoy.

I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts on this one, both here and on Amazon.


Escort Duty Pre-Order

My latest collection of stories, Escort Duty, is up for pre-order.  You can find snippets here, here, and here.

UPDATE – Oops, found another snippet here.

This collection runs a gamut of subjects.  The book begins with a short novella from the Minivandians universe.  Next are short stories that deal with action, religion, and  intrigue.  The book finishes with a sort-of action/thriller novella that has been ruminating around in my brain for quite a while.

Hard copy will be available soon, and I’m enrolling the book in Kindle On-line Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited, so subscribers can read it that way if they want to.

Hope you all enjoy it, and no matter what, please leave an honest review on Amazon.

Sneak Peek

“Escort Duty” should be available for pre-order in a couple of weeks.  While I get final comments and do one last read through and edit, here are the hard-copy and ebook covers.



Here’s another bit from a short story in the upcoming collection.

December 31, 11:55 PM Eastern
Louisville, Kentucky

Jeanine stirred the coals with a poker, then put a large log into the fireplace. Behind her, she could hear Jim switching the television back and forth between New Year’s Eve programs. One showed one of the latest pop tarts squeaking her way through a forty-year-old folk song, while the other had a band, which was old enough to have played that song at their first rehearsal, grinding their way through a big band tune. Neither seemed to be keeping her husband’s interest.

As she turned back toward the family room, he settled on one of the news stations. It showed a long pan of Times Square, which would normally have been wall to wall with revelers braving the cold to ring in the New Year. Tonight, however, only the stage had a crowd around it, and even that was sparse. When the camera panned around the brightly-lit square, Jeanine saw two lines of police in armor and helmets, as well as several dark-painted armored cars, arrayed around the crowd.

“Think something will happen?” she asked as she sat down in her chair and picked up her drink. On the TV screen, a police helicopter flew noisily over the top of the stage. The singer did not miss a beat, however, and continued to hop around and mouth the words to her song.

Jim shrugged. He had been quiet all evening, yet seemed restless as he played cards with Jordan before putting him to bed.

“Don’t know,” he said, ice ringing against the side of the glass as he lifted his bourbon from the table, “Wouldn’t surprise me.”

His wife reached over and caressed his shoulder. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Went by the recruiter’s office yesterday,” he replied.

What?” Jeanine sputtered.

“We’ve talked about this,” Jim said, “I’ve been thinking of joining the Guard for a while, and you said it sounded like a good idea.”

“So you’re joining the National Guard?” she answered.

“No, I was talking to the active duty recruiter,” he replied, finally taking his eyes off the TV and facing his wife.

You what!” she exclaimed.

Jim shrugged. “I wasn’t going to sign up without talking to you,” he said, “I just wanted to see what I could do.”

“And?” she demanded.

“There’s not much need for a middle-aged fobbit,” he replied, “Even when I showed them my DD-214 and degree, they didn’t have anything for me.”

Jeanine relaxed a bit. She had tried to read Jim’s discharge papers, and the laundry list of assignments and training had made her eyes cross. If the recruiter had turned him down with all that, then he would not be going anywhere.

“Honey, I know you want to do something…” she said.

“Other than sitting here on my ass and pushing electrons around at work?” he said darkly as the image on the TV changed to the crystal ball at the top of a tower in Times Square.

“Baby, we need you here,” she said, “I need you.”

“Line was out the door,” Jim said, looking down at his tumbler, “Everything from high school kids to a couple of Vietnam pilots trying to sign up. Recruiter said it had been like that for days, and even the ones they can take are on a waiting list.”

Jeanine sat silent for a moment as the brightly-lit ball on the TV screen started its descent.

“What are you going to do?” she asked quietly.

“I’ll figure something out,” Jim replied as the crowd on the TV counted backward to zero.

Jeanine got up from her chair and sat down on her husband’s lap. Putting her arms around his neck, she held his head close to her and kissed him tenderly.

“Happy New Year, sweetheart,” she said, “and thank you for being here for us.”

Indie Author Christmas Sale!

The good folks over at the Mad Genius Club have put up a list of good reads that are on sale this week for Christmas.  Remember, a book makes an awesome gift.  Enjoy!


Just in time for Christmas giving, here’s a list of books, stories, and other readables. Who doesn’t love to get a book in their virtual stocking? Bonus is that this gift won’t sit around collecting dust or taking up space. And you don’t have to go out and fight the traffic to buy it, or worry about shipping on time, and it’s as easy as a few clicks and knowing an email address.

1.      Dragon Noir

dragon noirBy Cedar Sanderson

On sale for the first time from Dec 17-23rd

The pixie with the gun has come home to see his princess crowned a queen and live in peace. But nothing is ever easy for Lom. A gruesome discovery on his doorstep interrupts their plans and sends Lom off on a mission to save not one, but two worlds. It’s personal this time and the stakes are higher than ever before. With friends falling and the enemy gathering, Bella and Lom must conquer the worst fears and monsters Underhill can conjure. Failure is not on the agenda.

Or if you would rather give the whole trilogy, Pixie for Hire is now available in ebook form only.


young warriors2.      Young Warriors

by Pam Uphoff
Free for five days!
It’s traditional for young lords in the Kingdom of Ash to spend two years in the army. Xen Wolfson is a young wizard, and Garit Negue a young prince. And the world is filled with adventures and danger . . . and learning experiences.

Their world has been in sporadic contact with two different cross-dimensional worlds–generally as a target for conquest. When the Empire of the One returns, the young warriors are standing foursquare in their path.

nocturnal challenge3.      Nocturnal Challege

By Amanda Green

Brand New Release!

The one thing Lt. Mackenzie Santos had always been able to count on was the law. But that was before she started turning furry. Now she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy to keep the truth from the public-at-large. She knows they aren’t ready to learn that monsters are real and they might be living next door.

If that isn’t enough, trouble is brewing among the shapeshifters. The power struggle has already resulted in the kidnapping and near fatal injury of several of Mac’s closest friends. She is now in the middle of what could quickly turn into a civil war, one that would be disastrous for all of them.

What she wouldn’t give to have a simple murder case to investigate and a life that didn’t include people who wanted nothing more than to add her death to the many they were already responsible for.


hilda's inn4.      Hilda’s Inn for Retired Mercenaries

By Cyn Bagley

In Delhaven, there is an Inn run by a retired mercenary. If you are a down-on-your-luck mercenary or men-at-arms, come to the public rooms and Hilda Brant, the owner, will give you a bowl of stew. If you want ale, hand over the coins. Hilda may give you floor space, but she expects you to pay in favors or coins.

Hilda isn’t prepared for the damage and chaos caused by a dragon, black mage, and elementals. And a very angry Lord Barton.


highT5.      The High T Shebang

By Mark Alger

Dolly was reborn into a new body just last week. Right out of the birthing chamber, she was tumbled into a conflict that goes back to the stone age. Her creator, the Greek Goddess, Aphrodite, has disappeared, and the God in charge of her institution — the Babylonian Marduk — has called for her death. Her lover and Geppetto, Mitchell Drummond, is threading his way through political minefields to keep Dolly safe.

New in love, they soon find they can’t keep their hands off each other. Their sexual fever comes to worry them. They suspect there’s more to the situation than mere new love. Meanwhile, they have a job to do. Keeping up the pretense that all’s well and nothing’s going on is wearing thin. But in Upothesa, you’re not allowed to talk about secrets. Dolly is a secret. Trying to keep it together, Dolly and Drummond go on a mission to New Zealand to protect the Dolly’s secret and the life of a major TV drama star.

collisions6.      Collisions of the Damned

By James Young

My God, we are losing this war.—Lt. Nicholas Cobb, USN

March 1943. The Usurper’s War has resumed, with disastrous results for the Allies. In Hawaii, the U.S. Pacific Fleet lies shattered after the Battle of Hawaii. Across the Pacific the Imperial Japanese Navy, flush with their recent victory, turns its gimlet eye towards the south and the ultimate prize for their Emperor: The Dutch East Indies.

For Commander Jacob Morton and the other members of the Asiatic Fleet, the oncoming Japanese storm means that the U.S.S. Houston and her Allied companions must learn to fight against overwhelming odds against an enemy who claims the night as their own. In the skies above Houston and the other old, tired vessels of the ACDA Fleet , Flight Lieutenant Russell Wolford and his men attempt to employ the Allies’ newest technology to even the odds. With full might of the Japanese Empire falling on them, the ACDA’s soldiers, sailors, and marines must fight to hold the line long enough for reinforcements to come.


blackbird7.      Blackbird

By Alma Boykin

$.99 Dec 21-24, 1.99 Dec 25-28

One man becomes all that the Turkowi fear – and respect. Matthew Charles Malatesta, second son and rumored bastard of a mercenary, grandson of Duke Edmund “Ironhand” von Sarmas.  One man, who will fight to the last breath to carve a place for himself, who will create a court of learning and civilization, who stands alone between the might of the Turkowi Empire and all of Godown’s people.

one infinity8.      One in Infinity

By Amie Gibbons

On sale for $0.99 from 12/19 to Christmas

Turns out coincidences do happen, and it sucks when it leads killers from an alternate reality to your door…

Rose plans on partying her last weekend of freedom before her residency starts, but fate has different plans. When men straight out of a fantasy novel attack, she gets pulled into a blood feud between magical beings thanks to a random stroke of luck. Now she has to adjust to her new world view and help one of the men to save herself from a fate worse than death.

tick of clock9.      Tick of the Clock

By Travis Clemons and Michael Z Williamson

A man awakens in a 21st century Illinois hospital, holding very distinct memories of being shot in Switzerland decades earlier. The nurse calls him Detective Crabtree and says the DuPage County Sheriff will be by to check on him shortly. Yet he remembers his name being Sherlock Holmes.

When Sabrina Worthington is killed during a home invasion, her billionaire husband has an ironclad alibi. But Adam Worthington does not appear to be the grieving widower people would expect to see. Meanwhile, their former girlfriend keeps tugging on every possible string to convince the authorities to indict the man for murder.

By the tick of the clock, it would seem impossible for a man to be shot in the 19th century and wake up more than one hundred years later. It would also seem impossible for a man to shoot his wife while she’s at home and he’s at a theater thirty miles away. But when the seemingly impossible is properly analyzed, will Holmes determine the improbable truth behind her death and his life?

  1. spaewifeThe Spaewife

    by David L. Burkhead

Pricing will be $0.99 the 19th through the 26th.

A young mother hears the Norns. They tell her of terrible things to come. When Ulfarr wants her gift of prophesy to serve him, he takes her, murders her husband, and steals away her children. Can the young mother escape from Ulfarr’s clutches and save her children from him? Only the Norns know.

via serica11. Via Serica

by Tom Rogneby

on sale from the 19th to the 26th for $1.99

Marcus Aemelius Paullus has a problem – he is playing with fire and falling in love with the wrong woman. Appius Plinius also has a problem – he has a unit full of warriors who continually get themselves, and him, in trouble. Caesar Augustus has a solution to their problems, but it may cost them their lives. Eastward lies fame, fortune, and the key to returning home. Deserts, mountains, marsh, and ocean lie between, occupied by barbarian cultures and hostile rulers. On this grueling journey, Marcus and Appius will find their courage tested to the limits. But before they’re done, the world will know the unconquerable spirit of Rome!



Sneak Peek

Here’s my idea for the eBook cover for the upcoming short story collection.

What do you all think?


Escort duty


Forgot to add – The photo that is the base for this is called “Spider Canvas“, and can be found on Free Big Pictures.

Book Schedule

I finished the Low Earth Orbit outline of the Via Serica series today.  After taking a deep breath, I realized that I might be able to pull this off, given time and a ton of research*.  I’m going to alternate books in the series with other projects so that I have less of a chance of burning out on the subject.  Which means that this is going to take a while.

Here’s how I want books to work out:

  1. December 2015 / January 2016 – Short story collection.  Several snippets from the rough draft have already been posted.
  2. December 2016 – Second  Via Serica – Working title:  Indus
  3. Summer / Fall 2017 – Second Minivandians book – Working title:  Coming Home
  4. Fall 2018 – Third Via Serica book
  5. Summer/Fall 2019 – Short Story collection
  6. Fall 2020 – Fourth Via Serica book
  7. Summer/Fall 2021 – ????
  8. Fall 2022 – Fifth and final Via Serica book.

Of course, dates, titles, and everything else are subject to the vagaries of family, work, and whatever else gets in the way.  But at least now I know where I want to be when Boo starts middle school.

*Oh, no, please don’t make me listen to lectures and read books about languages, food, cultures, and history.  Whatsoever shall I do?

Signed Hard Copies of Via Serica and a Snippet

The Big Brown Truck of Happiness dropped off a rather heavy box at my door last night, and it contained a shipment of the paperback edition of Via Serica.

For those of you who alpha and beta read for me, your copies will be on the way this week.

For anyone else who wants a copy, hit the email link above or write to me at daddybear@daddybearsden.com and we’ll arrange payment and delivery.

Copies are $15 apiece, the same price as Amazon, and I’ll even pay for shipping.

Thanks to everyone who has read the e-book version, especially if you’ve left a review.  All I have for marketing is the blog and word of mouth, so I really appreciate your efforts.

Just because I’m in a good mood, here’s a snippet from Book 2 (Or maybe 3.  I’m not sure where, both geographically and story-wise, this sequence is going to go):

Appius Claudius looked across the heat-shimmered. packed clay of the plain before him.  In the distance, he could see the strange banners of the enemy.  Their drums, beating a tattoo that he felt more than he heard, kept a rhythm that was slightly faster than the rhythm of their approaching horse.

He turned to Lucius Gratianus, military tribune and his second in command on this expedition.  The younger man’s face, which had seemed so pale and smooth when they had met in Alexandria, was weathered and tan from the sun that never seemed to darken in this land so far from Rome.

“Outnumbered,” he said in a low tone.

The Tribune nodded, then spit into the dust.  “Any word from Cotus and the third file?”

Appius shook his head. “No, not yet,” he replied, “We’ll have to make do with what we have.  Take the first file and swing wide around those trees over there.  I’ll hold here with the second.  Have your men leave their javelins here.  Once they’ve passed you and are occupied trying to cut us up, hit them from behind as hard as you can.”

The younger officer considered that for a moment, then nodded and turned toward his horse.  His men saw his approach and mounted their horses.

Appius took one last look at the approaching dust cloud.  He could just make out the thunder of hooves on the clay flood plain.  Whistling between his teeth, he turned and walked into the hedgehog of carts where he could would make his final stand.

More Book Information

  • The dead-tree version of Via Serica is now on-sale for those of you who prefer the feel and smell of a physical book.  If you’d like a signed copy, please hit the email link on the main page to send a message to daddybear@daddybearsden.com and I’ll arrange payment and delivery.  The cost will be the same as the book is on Amazon, $15, and shipping will be included.
  • Reviews are coming in, and they seem to be positive.  If you’ve read the book and have anything good or bad to tell me about it, please do.  The Amazon page for the ebook had six reviews when I got up this morning, and several of you all have put up reviews on your sites:
  • If you’ve put up a review somewhere that I haven’t noted here, please leave a link in the comments and I’ll add it.
  • Would anyone be interested in a series of blog posts that discuss the weapons and such of the characters?  I tried really hard to not get into the nerdy details in the book, but the nerd in me is screaming to be heard.
  • The experience of reading something you’ve written and deciding that it’s too convoluted and shaky is probably the same feeling a knitter gets when he notices that he’s dropped a stitch and has to rip out two or three rows to fix it.
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