Big News!

February 2024

Happy Groundhogs Day!

“When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.”

I know, you are saying to yourself, I just heard from him. What the hell does he want now? Normally I would wait a few weeks, but I was a little anxious to share my big news. I’ve completed the new book covers for Awakening and Unworthy!

As you know I have been struggling with this for quite a while. I loved my old covers, but they didn’t align with other books in the Urban Fantasy genre. The normal design includes the main character prominently positioned and provides the shopper a clear idea of the type of story. The problem was I didn’t have a clear picture of what Christian looked like in my head besides the generic features. The innards I had, temperament, intelligence, sarcasm level, social issues, feelings of inadequacy. It was my daughter who solidified it.

So armed with a model of Christian, Midjourney to turn my words into pictures, and Photoshop to put on the finishing touches, I present to you the new and improved Tainted Wars Series:

I will be putting them into circulation in the next few days, but I wanted you all to be the first to see them.

This new style was the first step in a new marketing strategy. Step two will occur after February fifteenth when Awakening is removed from Kindle Unlimited. I will be making the eBook free as a reader magnet which will be available on my website and Amazon. The hope is that it will drive new readers towards the other books in the series. I have joined a company called Book-Funnel who connects me with other authors offering free books so I will be able to pass that information on you! It will be included in a new section of the newsletter called Author Connection.


There has been some great progress with Heretic as well. I have completed the third round of edits, and the updated manuscript has gone out to Mark Stay, for story edits. I expect to get his insights towards the end of February, so we are still on track for June 4. I hear some of you are already scheduling your tattoo sessions.

Next month I hope to have an update on the audio books! The goal is to have all three available by Heretic’s release. Talk to you next month, and please reach out! I love hearing from you. Your best chance for a quick response is my email below.

Nonsensical Ravings Newsletter January 2024

January 2024

Happy New Year!

The changing of the calendar is customarily a time for resolutions. In the spirit of such declarations, I thought it was appropriate to make my own. Here it goes: #throat clearing# The official launch date for Heretic is June 4, 2024! Mark it in your calendars! Write it on a sticky note and tape it to the fridge. Tattoo it on your arm! However you choose to remember it, please make sure you share it. And let the countdown begin!

For a monthly quote, I will use one from a movie that climaxes on New Year's Eve. Yes, that is technically December, but this is my newsletter and I make the rules. I use this quote often at work. In jest of course.

“Everything you are doing is bad. I want you to know this.”

There has been a lot of activity happening in my world over the past few weeks. There was Christmas of course, and New Year. But between the two I became a grandfather. Yup, it’s official, I’m old. But I can honestly say I am thrilled about it.


I have made good progress over the last few weeks though, I confess, not as much as I hoped. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I could not dedicate as much time as planned to whipping Heretic in to shape. However, I have the Second Draft complete, and my most important editor (my wife) is currently reviewing. After an early reading session she told me she had planned on read only a few chapters, but wasn’t able to put it down. So far so good!

Simultaneously, I’m running it through ProWritingAid which highlights all of my bad habits, poor grammar, and worse spelling. My goal is to have the completed third draft to Mr. Stay, my story editor before the end of the month.

In other news I have had to move my woodworking shop from the Garage to a newly built shed in the backyard. In doing so, I came across a three-and-a-half-inch floppy disk with one word on it: “Novel”. I started my attempt at being an author when I was still in college, before I got serious about writing. It was something that I started and stopped for years. It was before I had the money to buy a laptop, so I wrote in one-subject notebooks which I carried around with me constantly. I’d scribble in them when I was recruiting for a college I worked for and in-between service parts sales orders when I was employed by a printer manufacturer.

Now remember where I found it; my garage where sawdust coated every surface. I took it inside, went on Amazon and bought a floppy drive that would connect the antique to my high-tech computer. I slid back the protective metal cover and tried to clear out any debris. To my shock, after what seemed like an eternity of read time a drive popped up on my finder. It contained three documents, a single chapter, a short story entitled A New City and a file called Novel which was created on February 16, 1999.

I was able to pull in the Novel file and convert it to a more updated version. It contained 318 pages of which 116 were usable text containing 67557 words. I read pieces and both cringed at the poor writing and cheered at my improvement over the years. Following the advice I recently gave a fellow writer, I will not throw it out. I may try to resurrect it one day, either whole, or in pieces as a new novel, or reader magnet. Maybe I’ll steal a character, or character name. Or maybe it will be a springboard for a future project. The key is never get rid of your old stories, no matter how bad you think they ar

A popular author threw out a part of a manuscript. His wife found it, read it, and urged him to finish it. That author was Stephen King. The manuscript that his wife fished out of the trash was Carrie. The book that launched his career.

Please reach out with questions or just to talk. Social Media doesn’t dominate my life, so I may not respond immediately. Your best chance for a quick response is my email below.

Happy Holidays!

December 2023

It’s December! Happy Holidays!

This is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s a time for gathering with family and friends. A time to reflect on the craziness of the past year and looking forward to what is in store for us in the next. For me it also means several days of decorating making cookies, and wrapping the mountain of gifts we’ve bought, all while listening to Christmas music.

I debated on what quote I would use for December. With all the holiday favorites, there are so many I felt like my brain was trying to calculate the last digit of PI. I decided to go with a more controversial Christmas Movie.

“Come to the coast we’ll get together, have a few laughs.”


As of December first, I started editing Heretic. I’m about halfway through and still on target for the launch date in the summer. Once I get a better idea of dependent timelines, I will narrow it down to a more focused date. I am hoping to release this one properly with a marketing campaign run up to a party and live event. As usual, I will keep you updated as we get closer.

I know I’ve said this in the past, but I am hoping to use my time off from my day job over the next couple of weeks to progress with the audio book for Awakening. I have a new platform with Book Funnel to distribute it when complete. This will allow people to purchase direct from me.

Location Connection:

In Unworthy Chris visits a club called The Blue Martini. It isn’t a made up nor a nod to the Blue Oyster from Police Academy. I visited it when I was on a business trip to Miami. Funny enough I went there with the inspiration for John McCaw. Below is a picture of him and I though his name is not John. The Picture of the Blue Martini next to us may or may not be the one we visited but it shows the general atmosphere.

As always, feel free to reach out and I will see you in 2024!

New Book Cover First Look!

November 2023

Happy Thanksgiving! Autumn is in full color, there’s frost on the pumpkin, and according to my daughter, as well as every retail store, it is the start of the Christmas season. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Scrooge. When I was young my parents would go out somewhere and they would return to a fully decorated house, tree and all. But I also remember my father had a ban on Christmas music before December. I have come to concede that I, like my father before me, have a finite amount of Christmas cheer. If I kick things off too early, there is a chance I will run out.

But enough of my crankiness. November is an important month as the bulk of the plot in Awakening occurs in throughout the month. As such I will quote one of Christian’s favorite movies as referenced in Chapter 30 in Awakening. Since it is vastly popular, I will try to select one that is slightly less well known.

"I hired you to start a war. It’s a prestigious line of work, with a long and glorious tradition."


December first I start the first round of edits to Heretic. The past few weeks I have been recharging my creative batteries, working on different versions of book covers for Awakening and adding a blog to my website.

The addition of a blog should be a no brainer since every web development software comes with a blog builder module. Unfortunately, my WordPress, what I use to power my store, doesn’t want to cooperate and no one has a clue why. This is the chance you take when working with open-source applications. There is no helpdesk to call when things go belly up. So, I’m doing it from scratch. Mostly you will find past newsletters there, but I will occasionally pepper in additional nonsensical ravings. You can find it here.

The New Covers are coming along nicely though slowly. As I mentioned in the September Newsletter, I have been using Midjourney to create both images of Christian as well as possible backgrounds. My wife and daughter have reminded me that Christian is not the typical superhero male antagonist. Kris said it best: “He is less Capitan America and more Ant Man.” I am paraphrasing but that was the gist and I agree whole heartedly. I needed the Gibbs slap to set me back on course. The results are much closer to what I was picturing. Please vote for your favorite.

These are not finished products just directional ideas. Let me know which one you like or if none, let me know that too. That’s all for now. As always feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I’m happy to connect!

Book Three First Draft Complete!

October 2023

Happy October! A time of falling leaves, cool nights by the fire pit, morning walks in the crisp autumn air, and pumpkin flavored everything. Well, that’s for the first two weeks. By mid-month Christmas commercials are already starting, and if my daughter has her way Christmas music as well. There are so many great quotes around October, but there could only be one source for my first one. This holiday show had many to choose from, but my favorite is short but pointed. If you don’t get this, I can only weep for you.

"I got a rock."


The results of the survey are in and the new working title of book three is (drumroll) Heretic! And in more good news, the first draft is complete! My process now is to put it in a drawer for about six weeks. Then I can go back to it with fresh eyes to start the first rounds of edits. My wife Marie has the privilege (or burden) of the first read, then I will be recruiting my story editor Mark Stay in the early months of next year for his insights. This will lead me to the second round of edits. From there it will go to my copy editor Liv Mammone, and yet another round of edits. Finally, I will kill two birds with one stone by reading it for the audio book. Reading the work out loud is the best way to catch issues or dialog that just doesn’t work. The final step before launch is sending out advanced reader copies to my beta readers. These usually result in a few tweaks here and there and then it is off to the launch date! I am aiming for early summer but will provide more details as we move along.

The sound maze is up and running blowing cool air into my recording studio, though not as much as I had hoped. Needless to say I will be researching larger capacity fans. Luckily the weather has cooled off so I will have the audio for Awakening chapter 1 on the website by Halloween. I have a video series on how I made the sound maze, and because it’s me, there are several moments that would not qualify me for the big brain academy. Like when I stuck my finger in the fan. I thought my son would drop the camera. It will be up on Youtube this month as well. That reminds me, I created an animated logo for my future videos. Check it out below.

What I'm Working on

Over the next month I am hoping to accomplish a few things:

  • Complete the audio book for Awakening – This is something I’ve been wanting since the original release and it’s time to get moving. Now that I won’t suffocate while recording.
  • Updated covers for the Tainted Wars – While I have some great fans now, I’m hoping to extend my reach. I love the current covers, but they aren’t in line with other books in the same genre. By updating them I am hoping to boost sales. My wife and daughter think I’m nuts, and generally they are not wrong. Only time will tell.
  • Complete the first book in a new series – I started a techno-thriller back in 2020 after I released Awakening. I had it about two thirds complete but dropped it when there was interest in follow up books in the Tainted Wars Saga. Now that I will have three books completed soon, I thought it would be a good time to pick it back up.

Location Connection

On twenty-third street a few doors down from the Lego store is a little gem dedicated to all aspects of Italian cuisine—Eataly. Stepping through the doors you would swear you were in a little marketplace, mostly because you are. Eataly is a cleaver combination of shopping center and restaurant where you can get anything you need to cook a world class Italian meal, or simply sit at one of the seven eateries to have someone do it for you. On the ground floor each restaurant has a focus, be it pizza, seafood, fresh from the garden, a bar straight out of Milan, aperitivo, or of course freshly made pasta. On the rooftop is Il Patio di Eataly where you can dine while looking out at the city in the glass enclosed “outdoor” restaurant. This is where Christian introduced Jackie to his new gig as a superhero. Like any good friend she laughed at him.

free to email me via the link below with suggestions, general questions, or just to say hi.

New Covers for the Tainted War Series!

September 2023

This month’s quote is a little outside of my usual genre. But when I tried to think of one for September, this was the first thing that popped in my head. It was released at the end of the nineties and starred one of my favorite actors.

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would buy you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”


I know I said I would have chapter one of the audio book posted by the end of August, but that didn’t happen. My son graduated college for which we had a party of course. The last week of the month was dedicated to taking back the yard (garden for my British fans) from the post-apocalyptic state it was in. However, since he now has added time, he will take over my social media. I am great at creating content, not so good at actually posting it. He’s also apparently acting as my business manager since he was bugging me to get this newsletter out as well.

I wrote another 5311 words in August and I’m starting on the final battle scene for book three. I don’t know about you but I’m getting excited about it. Every time I think I’ve pushed the limits, another idea smacks me in the face, and I think, oh I’ve got to do that! I am still on target to have it completed for a release in summer of 2024.


Now for the big news. I’m working on all new covers for the series. My sales could be better, and I think the issue may be that the cover does not align with what is currently expected from the genre. Most other urban fantasy novels have the main character on the front, so I’m going to give that a shot.

I’m using Midjourney to create the artwork, and Photoshop for the design elements. After I get several versions, I will post a link so you can vote for your favorite. In the meantime, this is one illustration of Christian as well as some background images. None of these are official or final, just the ideas that are being generated. This is creativity in action.

Feel free to email me via the link below with suggestions, general questions, or just to say hi.

The Blazing Phoenix is Live!

August 2023

Happy August! We have one more month before the kids go back to school, a few weeks before Labor Day weekend, and about thirty seconds until stores starts pushing pumpkin flavored everything.

The quote of the month comes from a movie parody. The author of the original book, published in 1818, was born in August.

“Are you saying that I put an abnormal brain into a seven and a half foot long, fifty-four inch wide GORILLA?”


In July I wrote 6048 words which brings me over the sixty percent mark. This has been a crazy month for writing. The story took a turn that I was not expecting, but was in my opinion at least, awesome. If you remember from last month I revealed a working title, Devotion. However, after some reflection, I am considering another title, Heretic. Let me know which you prefer and why. Select the Start Survey button to pick your favorite.

I finished recording the first draft of Chapter four of Awakening. There were some hilarious out takes I will be posting on TikTok of me trying to distinguish an Irish accent from a Scottish accent. Somehow a little Spanish crept in as well. I will post the first Chapter on my website by the end of the month.


My son Will has launched his own website and store. It is a motivational site based on the medical hurtles he has had to endure since he was born. He has faced more challenges his first two decades than most people will in their entire life. Yet he hasn’t let that stop him or dampen his spirit. In his site he shares his experiences, his trials, how he coped and what keeps him motivated. He covers the importance of finding a daily escape to reenforce your resilience which is very similar to the doctrine I follow on refilling the creative well. His two main escapes were Star Wars and Video games.

Feel free to email me via the link below with suggestions, general questions, or just to say hi.

Passed The Halfway Point On Book Three Of The Tainted Wars!

July 2023

Happy Independence Day! And for all my UK friends out there, no hard feelings. I thought with my love of movie quotes I would start off each newsletter with a quote. This months is:

“I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a congress!”

Any guesses?

June was a productive month with a total of 9500 words written. I had a major breakthrough with the storyline and I think this might be the best story line so far. I also have a working title, Devotion. I created a tracker on my website that I’m keeping up to date. Stop by anytime to see how I’m progressing.

I started recording the third chapter of Awakening audio book. I may have to postpone the remainder until after the weather starts to get cooler. My recording studio, which would make the cupboard under the stairs seem spacious, is in the attic. If I start recording in the morning I have about a half-hour before it becomes a sauna. I can’t use my early morning writing time because at that point of the day my voice is closer to Roz from Monsters Inc than usual.

In other news, I was messing around with AI. No, not to help me write the book. How dare you suggest such a thing. My issue was caused by Amazon. They decided to change the book categories eliminating the ones my books were in. Based on a suggestion I loaded ChatGPT with a few chapters and asked it to tell me what genre categories would fit best. It came back with several good suggestions, but my favorite was this one. “Mystery: There is a mention of the protagonist's determination to find a hat company, which could imply a mystery element or quest-like subplot.”

I was also playing around with Midjouney. For those who are not familiar it is an AI image generative program. You write out what kind of picture you are trying to create and the program creates the image. I used it to create images of some of the characters from Awakening. Let me know what you think:

Feel free to email me via the link below with suggestions, general questions, or just to say hi.

The Twin Pines Publishing Store is Open!

June 2023

See, I told you I would be more consistent with my newsletters. Okay fine, two does not make me consistent, but it’s a good start. It has been an excellent month for writing. I banked 7454 words in May and have a better vision for the next book in the Tainted War Saga. I’m working on a few title options and I will let you know when I have it narrowed down.

The big news is my store is open for business and I have my first order! Granted, it’s from a relative, but I’m still counting it. Thanks Joan! You can go there to buy autographed copies of either the paperback or hardcover version of either of my books. You can also get t-shirts with variations of quotes from the series. There are only two so far, but more are coming. Eventually I will have other merchandise as well as downloadable content, including scenes from Awakening that ended up on the editing floor, the short stories within the Tainted War Universe, and audiobooks.

Speaking of which, I’ve recorded the first chapter of Awakening. Some of you may have seen one outtake I put up on TikTok. I plan on sharing more memorable moments as I progress. With how often I screw up, I should have plenty of content to work with. I also plan on putting some excerpts on the site so you can hear some of the finished content.

My wife suggested a few additional sections to the newsletter which I thought were awesome. One was pictures of locations from the book. Some locations were actual places which I had visited. Others were just pulled from google maps. I thought the best place to start with is the Church that inspired Christian's origin story.

St. Marks is a small Episcopalian church in the very real hamlet of Chenango Bridge. Like Christian, my inspiration came from the very welcoming introduction to the communion service. The Roman Catholic Church of my memories was very restrictive, citing any number of reasons someone was not eligible to receive. It was that dichotomy that spurred the question; ‘what if?’

That's all for now. Let me know if there are other places you want me to expand upon. You can email me via the link below with suggestions or just general questions.

Unworthy Released

May 2023

Yup, I’m back. Sorry for the ridiculously long hiatus. I promised myself when I started this newsletter that I wouldn’t be one of those authors that only emailed you when a new book was available. Yet, here we are. Luckily that is not the only thing I’m working on, so I have a lot to share. Don’t worry I will keep it short and sweet. Okay sweet is not really on brand, so just short.

First and foremost, Unworthy is now available! You can find it on Amazon, Kindle Unlimited, and larger book retailer websites like Barnes and Noble. Formats include ebook, paperback and two versions of the hardcover. The Amazon option has the artwork printed right on the cover. The higher end option has a cloth cover with the title printed on the spine and includes a printed cover jacket, will be available through Barnes and Noble and other fine book retailers. (I always wanted to say that.)

If you are looking for your very own signed copy of either book, I am setting up a dedicated store on my website. You will be able to purchase print versions of the book as well as merchandise, which will come a little later. It should be up and running by the end of the month.


I attended my first author event! The East Rockaway Library hosted a local author event on April 29th where I sat on a panel along with Kristi Strong author of Balloon Days, and Shanita Liu Author of Dear Durga. We talked about our inspirations, writing techniques, and publishing experiences. It was an outstanding experience getting to talk to potential fans, as well as fellow authors, and I even sold a few books! Links to the books and their social media are below.


Now that I have both Awakening and Unworthy out in the world I’m going to start working on the audio books for both. I procrastinated for many reasons, foremost because I am a lazy bastard. However, alongside that was the knowledge that Audible listeners usually go for longer listens. Let’s face it, if you had a token to spend on either a five hour listen or a seven hour listen, what would you go for? Yeah, me too. So I figured I would record each book, then bundle them for the frugal listeners. You heard right, I will record the audio books myself. I set up a small recording studio in the corner of my attic so I need to get them done before the oppressive heat of summer kicks in. You can expect regular updates on my progress, including some outtakes since I will film the recording sessions.

Finally, I am about thirty percent done with the next book in The Tainted Wars saga. This will be the first multi-location book which will include some of the original characters and several new ones. I hope to have the first draft completed by the summer and push for a release early next year. You can watch my progress on my website!

Now that I have some things to talk about, I am committing to making this a monthly newsletter. If you have any additional suggested content or questions, please reach out.

Check out my new friends' books!