“The Shifting Sands” and “The Duel” Free on Kindle Now!

First of all, if you do not have a Kindle, do not fear! You do have a Kindle-enabled device. You are using it right now.

If you have a Windows or Mac PC, an Android, Blackberry, or iOS phone, you can download the free Kindle app for your device of choice – or for all of them. Then you can get the books that way. Also, as a bonus for Amazon Prime members, you get free books every month simply for being in Prime. Don’t miss out on that opportunity!


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“The Shifting Sands” free starting tonight – plus: “Redeemer” update!

As I said in yesterday’s post, I have completed uploading the revised edition of “The Shifting Sands” complete with new cover and the first ever print edition of the book. To celebrate this, the Kindle edition of “The Shifting Sands” will be available free on Amazon for the next two days, starting at midnight tonight.

After that, starting Monday, the Kindle edition of “Firedancer” will be free, and then “Snake Charmer”.

The sci-fi short “The Duel” will also be free this weekend along with “The Shifting Sands” because why not?

Now, onto some progress reports on the final installation of “The Serpent’s Song” series:

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“The Shifting Sands” free today on Veteran’s and Remembrance Day

shiftingsandspromo“The Shifting Sands”, a book written by a soldier about the war in Iraq and dealing with PTSD back home, is available on Kindle and Kindle-enabled devices.

“The Shifting Sands” is “A well written book of a ‘fictional’ (I will use that term loosely here) series of events that lets people see into the mindset of a Soldier as he becomes who he will be for the rest of his days.” – Amazon Review.

And “Anyone who has served or have family that has served should read this book, if only to get a better understanding of what really happens while ‘over there’. ” – Amazon Review.

Follow the link to get it free:

How I Keep Action Active and Suspense Suspenseful – Using Hemingway’s “Iceberg Theory”


“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

– Ernest Hemingway

Those who have followed my blog for some time know I idolize Papa Hemingway.  That picture is his writing desk, preserved in his house.  Someday, I will visit that house and tour it.

I try to emulate “Iceberg Theory” in my own writing, with my own stylistic choices.  Iceberg Theory, or, as English Majors like to call it, “The Theory of Omission”, came from Hemingway’s time as a journalist.  Hemingway started his writing career as a newspaper reporter with no formal education or experience as a journalist or writer.  His first editors impressed upon him the idea of reporting only the facts and avoiding editorializing the story.  Because of size constraints, it was encouraged to only report the relevant facts and avoid the background information.  Hemingway grew to respect this style of writing and believed it was “real”.  He adapted it for use in his short stories and novels.  He believed you could omit anything from a story and it would only strengthen the story in the mind of the reader – leaving the reader to read between the lines to fill in the blanks.

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“The Shifting Sands” is Live on Kindle


Click the cover to get it now!

The Shifting Sands” – a war story, a coming of age tale, and a harsh look into the reality of PTSD and soldiers, is now available on Kindle for $2.99 and free on Amazon Prime.

This book started out as a NaNoWriMo project which blossomed into an intensely personal look into my own past and my own demons.  It was written by a soldier, using his own experiences to weave a fictional tale grounded solidly in reality, and then vetted by other soldiers who went through similar experiences.

In short, I believe, it is as accurate a portrayal of the maze of emotions, memories, and struggles of war and PTSD as I can write.  For this reason, I am releasing it – something I otherwise might have kept to myself due to the personal nature of what is contained within the pages.

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Book Blurb and Forward for “The Shifting Sands”

I’m finalizing formatting and editing on “The Shifting Sands” – the war/coming of age novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo that is based heavily on my own experiences with the war and PTSD.  As I tweak it, I thought I’d share the book blurb (description) and the forward I included to explain the piece:


It’s Christmas, 2003, and Mike Ritz is home on leave from the war in Iraq. He kept his homecoming a surprise and plans on having a fun-filled two-weeks with family and friends, booze and parties.

But Mike doesn’t come home alone. He quickly finds that he brought the war with him – and, despite his attempts to do so, he can’t escape it or what it has done to him.

Mike’s vacation from the war becomes a hectic gauntlet of friends and family who don’t seem to understand what happened to him, memories of Iraq that spring unbidden and unwanted to the forefront of his thoughts, and the brutal realization it wasn’t the real world that changed – it was himself.

“The Shifting Sands” is a chronicle of Mike’s time in Iraq and attempt to return home. It is a brutally honest, unapologetic, look inside the mind of a soldier, written by a soldier.

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NaNoWriMo Completed!

NaNoWriMo2012Due to family issues I figured out I only actually wrote 16 days this month – so I am pretty pleased with the result.  The official “winner” manuscript generated 50,639 words – a modest average of 3,165 per day for the 16 days that I did write.  Mind you, the novel itself isn’t done.  I figure I have another 10-15,000 words to get it to complete status and then a hell of a rewrite to get the style and voice that I really want for it cemented it.  So, don’t expect to be reading “The Shifting Sands” any time soon – months from now, maybe.

In the meantime, of course, you can still read “Firedancer” which, in celebration of the completion of NaNoWriMo, will be free on Kindle over the weekend.

Still, I’m quite pleased with what I wrote.  This story is a very honest story, brutally honest in that there is way more of me in this than anything I have ever written.  It will be interesting to put it out for the world to read.