Best Reads of 2016

What did I read in 2016?

It was a strange year for me and I don’t think I read quite as many books as in years past, but I’ve compiled a list of those I’ve read in my Kindle and can tell you what I did read was pretty great.

I have a wide variety of genres in there, but tend to lean toward Post Apoc it seems; though that’s predictable. This list is in ascending order; starting in January. In years past, I was able to pick one or two standout favorites…this was not that year. Some of them linger with me like Alas Babylon, a book I reread this year. This entire list is excellent. If there was a book I didn’t particularly enjoy, I didn’t list it. So I just cannot pick a favorite this year. Instead, I’ll say a few words about each below…whatever comes to mind from the memory of having read the book. If it’s on this list…I enjoyed the book very much and totally recommend the read.

 

The Moonlit Garden

Corina Bomann, Alison Layland

A lovely tale of loss and love again.

L. Douglas Hogan
Action packed
A plausible story of survival
An impossible escape and strong female character
Steven Konkoly 
Don’t live in California…after the water is gone.
Ann Howard Creel
A mother’s love isn’t always a relation
Tom Abrahams
Loved the wacky redhead and this series is awesome
Emily Bleeker
Oh my…a widower you will ache for
Joseph Souza
Excellently written and a tough subject. 
Fredrik Backman
Get ready to laugh and cry at the same time.
Lawyers don’t make enough money
Burt Walker, Hristo Argirov, Sabrina Jean, Casey Skelton
A surprising premise though not too far fetched sadly
Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
Oldy but great to revisit. A must read every few years.
Steve Berry
A gripping modern cold war tale
Anat Talshir, Evan Fallenberg
A beautiful and tragic love story. I loved it.
Russell Blake
A charming post-apocalyptic tale
Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Aaron Sikes
Excellent gripping series of war, mayhem and apocalyptic plague run amok
Lisa Kleypas
No one writes a romantic love, erotic, story quite like Kleypas
Pat Frank, David Brin
Another classic I try to read every few years. A must read.
Kim Cano
A poignant story of self-sacrifice. 
James Howard Kunstler
I read all fiction by Kunstler…this was the last in his World Made by Hand series…Hoping for more. Beautifully written.
Noah Hawley
OMG…this was excellent. A top contender for the year. 
Kerry Lonsdale
A surprising story. Starts out like a love story…not soo…good read.
Blake Crouch
Another top contender. A bizarre story and the research must have been a nightmare. Quantum physics and he did it so well. Totally recommend this one.
Cal Wilson
A hardcore post-apocalyptic novel. Never take the mark!
Diana Gabaldon
I had to because the video series was over…Excellent
David Perry
Beautifully written. Historical fiction at its finest.
Franklin Horton
Parental angst is what I felt reading this one. Franklin did an excellent job in this story and I hope he continues this into a series.
Ross Elder
Oh wow, I’ve known Ross Elder for a time. Knew he was an investigative journalist but I’d not read his fiction before. This guy can write! 
Murray McDonald
A post-apocalyptic first for McDonald and he’s certainly in the right genre. Trial with a twist. 
This was my last read of 2016. And could not have ended the year better. Patriot Deception is excellently written, a real page-turner…Ross Elder is an author to watch. I hear he’s now working on a postapoc series…

Graham’s Resolution Gets a Cover Update

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Graham’s Resolution gets a cover update.

Surprise! The Graham’s Resolution series has completely new cover designs by a great graphic artist, Hristo Argirov Kovatliev, of Bulgaria.

I’m really happy with the way they all turned out! Each book design is centered on a location and the season that it’s in. The China Pandemic is located near Seattle and that’s Mount Rainer in the background. The story begins in Autumn.14580360_1154157487997723_903295874_n

For The Cascade Preppers, we went with a winter scene on the frozen lake near the fictional town of Cascade which is really near Rockport, Washington near the Cascade Mountains. I love how Hristo captured the frozen dread of the situation.

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Then for The Last Infidels, set in Hope, Canada, during the spring, we went with this scene.

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And finally, for The Malefic Nation, during the summer months, set near Ross Lake in Washington State. I love the subtle summer skyline on this one.

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It will take a few days for the new covers to propagate over. I hope you like them as much as I do.

You can check out more of Hristo’s work below. He really is a talented cover artist and a great to work with.

Fractured State by Steven Konkoly

 

I just finished reading Fractured State by my friend, Author Steven Konkoly. I’ve looked forward to this one for a while.

I can never get enough of the survival genre and Fractured State is one heck of a survival story. This one is set in the near future, a future set up as bleak of freedoms any American would shutter; the rules no man could truly live by, willingly, for long. And yet, it’s a reality so close to the truth and only a step away in time.

This is the first installment in the series, one that I’ll keep up on. I hope you too will consider reading Fractured State. And imagine a place where personal water reclamation is as common as recycling and succession is a topic outside of Texas

 

Departure from Durham Road – New Release!

Departure from Durham Road is the second novella in the mini-series based on Steven Konkoly’s Perseid Collapse Series for Kindle Worlds.

The first book in the series, Deception on Durham Road, took a secondary character, Jamie McDaniels, and developed her story into a mini-series. The first book drew fans from both the Perseid Collapse of Steven Konkoly as well as the Graham’s Resolution series by A. R. Shaw. That is why I felt the need to write a second novella in the series and I hope Departure from Durham Road fills the fan craving for more of Jamie’s character.

Departure from Durham Road was a fun deviation from my normal genre. It’s actually a mash-up of several genres. I find her intriguing as both a mother and a survivor and hope my fans will as well.

With this new release, I am now able to focus on both Surrender the Sun, a co-book I’m writing with Steven Bird as well as a stand alone I’m really excited about. Stay tuned this year – there’ree a lot of new and exciting projects underway!

 

Home by Tom Abrahams – The Traveler Series

 

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I just completed reading Home by Tom Abrahams and I’m blown away. This well written, fast paced story is a modern day western.

One that will have you riveted to your reading device. At times, I dodged bullets, cried, and prayed along with our hero who goes by the apt name Battle.

You can feel the emotion within Home. A lot of it’s humor though awful sadness too. It’s one of those books you think about for days later. Home is also a novel of preparedness but not overly so. I think there’s a great balance in Home that will satisfy not only the preparedness reader but also someone who loves to read survival fiction.

More and more readers compare the post-apocalyptic genre with westerns and I’ve got to say, Tom Abrahams proves it with Home. The great thing is, this is only the beginning… Home is the first book in The Travelers series.

Here is the description from Amazon:

HE THOUGHT HE WAS PREPARED. HE THOUGHT HIS FAMILY WAS SAFE. HE WAS WRONG.

Five years after a pneumonic plague killed two-thirds of the world’s population, army veteran Marcus Battle is isolated. He’s alone with his guns, his food, and the graves of his wife and child.

Unaware of the chaos that’s befallen everything outside of his central Texas ranch land, Marcus lives a Spartan life. If anyone steps onto his property he shoots first and never ask questions.

But when a woman in distress, chased by marauders, seeks asylum, Marcus has a decision to make.

Does he throw her to the wolves to protect himself or does he help her and leave the shelter and protection of home?

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If you’ve not heard of Tom Abrahams before, he’s from my home state of Texas. He’s also a news anchor for Eyewitness News in Houston, Texas. I met Tom, virtually, through the collaboration with Steven Konkoly’s Kindle Worlds Perseid Collapse project.  As I wrote Deception on Durham Road, he wrote three novellas, The Pilgrimage Series, as his own contribution. Either I’m a slacker or he’s an overachiever. 🙂 I’m just getting started on the second novella my own series.

He also has a successful three book series out titled, A Jackson Quick Adventure and a stand-a-alone, Sedition.

I know you’ll enjoy Home by Tom Abrahams as much as I did. It certainly is a new twist in post-apocalyptic fiction.

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Durham Departure – Cover Reveal for a Perseid Collapse Novella

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It’s time for the cover reveal for the short story I’m currently working on. Durham Departure is the second book in the Deception on Durham Road series I’ve written for the Kindle Worlds Perseid Collapse series.

The story is coming along well and as soon as it’s complete, I will let my newsletter fans know first as it’s sent off to my editors. This is a short story about 25 thousand words and it continues Jamie’s adventure after the fall. She’s now responsible for three girls with no family or friends around. How will she make a life for them and what happens when they’re forced to flee. If you think you can predict where this is going, you’ll be surprised as I was writing it. It’s not what I expected. I hope you’ll enjoy the story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

At the same time, I’m working on a co-book story with author Steven C. Bird. We are complete with the first ten chapters and sending it back and forth as we both develop separate parts. It’s a fun project and I hope it turns out well, I’m pretty sure it will. More on that later.

If you’d like to keep up to date on my writing projects and learn about great book deals join my newsletter list where I send out something once a week or so, letting you know what’s happening or who might be having a great sale on their books.

To join just enter your email address up on the right side-bar.

Borrowed World by Franklin Horton a Review

If you like books by A. American, Steven Bird and Steven Konkoly you’ll love The Borrowed World by Franklin Horton. I can’t think of a better recommendation than that but what if you haven’t read books by those writers? Then, if you love survival fiction with a prepper mindset, you’ll enjoy The Borrowed World. There, I think that covers it.

Truly, Franklin Horton’s new series is a fast-paced, super-charged journey that will not only make you think like a prepper but will also scare the bejeezus out of you as well. I read it in two nights and stayed up way too late the second night because I only had 11 percent left to go…according to my Kindle.

What I really enjoyed about this book might surprise you. He wrote most of the book in third person except for the protagonist; that, he wrote in first person. The result was a more personal experience than you would have otherwise. Not many authors write in first person because of the limitations but he did and he did it well.

The Borrowed World also has that kind of humor I enjoy; you know what I mean…that sarcastic, high brow type that not many people get. He does that and it works great.

After the Borrowed World you can also delve into the second in the series, Ashes of the Unspeakable. I expect great things from this one as well.

 

The Malefic Nation is now a PreSale and a Giveaway


The Malefic Nation is now a PreSale and a Giveaway

As promised, the last book in the Graham’s Resolution, The Malefic Nation is now a PreSale on Amazon. You can purchase it now and it will magically appear in your Kindle Reader upon release, however, if you are a Newsletter Recipient, don’t buy it now!

Newsletter recipients get special pricing dates, so if you’d prefer to only spend .99 on the new release please wait until I tell you of the special dates via newsletter.

Also, The China Pandemic, the book that started it all, is currently on a .99 special until the 12th of July so if there is anyone you know who has not read it, please pass on the good news to them.

Now what? Well, I’ve got a few short stories to work on, one of which will be a Kindle Worlds sequel to Deception on Durham Road, and the other??? I’m also working on a Kindle Worlds addition to the hit series by Black Crouch, Wayward Pines. More to come soon… Beyond that, I’m working on a stand-alone idea. One that I think will be well received. Thank you for sticking with me on this journey into my fiction worlds. I can’t tell you what it’s like to have finished a series.

To celebrate, I’ve decided to run a little giveaway. Below, enter to win a signed copy of The China Pandemic. To enter, just tweet or visit my FB page. Very simple. Please share away as well. Thank you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


Wayward Pines Night!

Today is Thursday. You know that means? Wayward Pines night!

D1JLaCrfAiS._SL250_It’s funny how it’s the little things you look forward to during a repetitive week. I mean, The Walking Dead is out of season, Doc Martin is over for another year, and Downton Abbey is also in a lull. So what a treat it was to find out one of my favorite book series was becoming a TV show!

Tonight is the fourth episode of the series, and although I know what should happen next, they’ve skipped around a little and now I have no idea what’s in store. So it’s fun to enjoy the series after I’ve read it, in a different light. This is the TV producers version of Wayward Pines, and though many things are different, it’s still very entertaining. The one thing that’s a little cumbersome to me is the son. Why did they go with an older teen? Perhaps it’s because they needed to show a really dark side of the school, and they needed a perspective of a teen for that instead of an eight-year-old boy. Who knows?

One thing I do know is that I’ll keep watching. In the meantime, did you know there was a Kindle World’s for the Wayward Pines series? There is, and my friend Steven Konkoly wrote a three novella series highlighting the FBI guy Hassler. It’s really awesome. I’ve read them all.

In fact…(I’m saying this quietly; almost a whisper.) I’m working on a novella outline for one of the Wayward Pines characters to submit to Kindle Worlds too. Of course, this is on the side as I finish up Malefic Nation. It may be a few months before that becomes a real thing and I’ll be certain to announce it when it does come out.

 

 

Author Introduction – The Pilgrimage Series by Tom Abrahams

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I met Tom Abrahams in association with the Kindle Worlds Perseid Collapse group. He’s a multitalented guy, fellow Texan and great family man. Not only is he a successful author, Tom is also a news anchor for KTRK in Houston, Texas.

He’s interviewed some of the most famous people in the world and witness both triumphs and tragedy, it’s no wonder he’s a good author as well.

I’ve read the first in his contribution to the Kindle Worlds, Crossing. Tom takes a completely different view and shows what it would be like for a vacationing family to survive the mess that is Perseid Collapse. I think he did a great job with Crossing and after reading this one, I’ve got the other two in the series on my To Be Read File.

Not only that, Tom is the author of several other full-length novels.

The tag line for his work is, Political Fiction with a Punch and Sedition leads the way. The President of The United States is dead. There is no Vice President to take his place.

As the nation slips into a constitutional crisis, a small group of disenfranchised neo-patriots conspire to violently seize power.
They have the will. They already have someone on the inside. And they have the explosives.

Standing in their way is a woman who listens to conversations not meant for her to hear. She reads mail not intended for her to see. She knows their intention. But can she stop them in time?

SEDITION is a smart, fast-paced, modern day political novel woven in reality and based on the 1820 British plot, The Cato Street Conspiracy.

It navigates the thin line between good versus evil and patriot versus traitor, proving there’s always a reason behind treason.

So if you like the realism and historical context of a Dan Brown thriller, mixed with research of a Tom Clancy novel…you’ll love SEDITION.

Allegiance is another series Tom has underway. And the description starts like this,

Beer, Redheads, And Politics…  Jackson Quick should have known better.
First, he trusted a Texas politician.
Then he fell for a leggy woman.
Worst of all, he drank a beer that tasted funny.
Now he’s running for his life, trying to piece together how he fell into a battle over something so small it takes a high-powered microscope to see it.

I think reading these novellas is a great introduction to new writers and their work. It’s a small investment of both budget and time to read a novella. Once you’ve completed reading you get a sense of the author and if you really enjoyed their style, check out their mainline work. I’ve enjoyed each and every one of these novellas and I hope you will too.