Tag Archives: novel

Former Corrections Officer releases novel in Jail

Photo courtesy of Hilary Hauck. www.hilaryhauck.com 

 

September 13th was a historic day, at least for me. After nine years, my first novel, ‘One on One‘, had finally been published. I’d been working on this book so long that it seemed surreal to see it and hold a copy in my hands. A month ago, when my publisher first told me when the release date was going to be, I posted an event on my facebook page because I was so excited. I intended it to be a ‘remember this date’ type of announcement. Little did I know what was about to come from a simple post.

One of my facebook friends messaged me shortly after the posting and asked where the party was. Not wanting to say there was no party and he had misread the post, I told him that I would have to see how many people were interested in coming before I made plans.

So now, I was semi-committed to having a party that I never intended to have.

I wracked my brain for a suitable, yet economical place that would be interesting and have amenities. A few places drifted through my mind, the restaurant where I attend monthly writer’s meetings topped the very short list. I was floundering, unable to come up with an interesting location and then it hit me.

I am a former Corrections Officer and my novel is about a Corrections Officer, set in a prison, so naturally, I went to jail.

Not the current jail, I didn’t get arrested. There is a personal residence/business in the building that housed the former jail in my county. I approached the owner, asking if the old cells were still in working order. She said that yes, she would allow curious visitors to see them when they asked.

I proposed to do a book signing from inside one of the cells. Naturally, she was hesitant, having just met me I’m sure there was a bit of doubt. But the more information she received, the more she seemed to warm up to the idea. Once she agreed, my wife and I started into a whirlwind of preparations. With less than a month to go, the book was still in its last legs of the editing process. Once done, I ordered the books I would need for the party and sweated it out as they arrived mere days before.

The party was a success. Our host was amazing and helped out tremendously. My wife was spectacular taking care of food and setup along with her helpers. I had a great time, several friends showed up that I hadn’t seen in a while, Hilary took some fantastic pictures, and it was a most memorable experience signing books inside a jail cell.

It was a night I’ll never forget. A wonderful start for my book launch.

 

For more information, please visit my website.

Thank you for reading.

Review of Jonathan Maberry’s ‘The Dragon Factory’

Joe Ledger is back and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. The story barely starts before he’s being pursued by government agents for an unknown purpose. This book jumps us straight into the intrigue of the story of wondering why Joe is yet again being chased two months after joining the DMS.

Jumping straight into pursuit mode, this book is very much about action and intrigue which kept it moving along at a good pace.

A very strong, smart, group of evil characters who seem to have out thought the DMS gives Joe a formidable, seemingly unbeatable, enemy.

The thing that really struck me about this book was the stronger sense of relationship. Being that Joe Ledger is already established as a character, there’s a lot more of showing his relationship between the other characters. The trust that is forming between him an Church, the physical and emotional relationship that’s building between him and Grace, even caring about what happens to his men and being a better leader through knowing what his men can do.

There’s even minor relationships like between Joe and Dr. Hu, that are not critical to the story but amusing nonetheless.

Once again we’re given a countdown throughout the book that keeps the tension very high. We also have a sense of intrigue on the antagonist’s side of the story, giving us a very two sided story with a great deal of depth. That, plus the fact that the world is in very real danger of total extinction, keeps the tension high throughout.

One thing that I missed in this book was Joe’s smartass sense of humor. It seemed to have dissipated a little bit as he grows into his role in the DMS.

I listened to this book on Audible and the voice acting was excellent. Ray Porter did a wonderful job. All of the characters were very convincing and really drew me into the story. It also made the conversations much easier to follow when the characters had different accents.

The story itself was very well done. In the end, the plot could’ve been a very eye roll subject, however, Jonathan Maberry very expertly wove it together with the sinister intelligence of the villains and threw in a surprise or two at the end.

Unfortunately, I guessed a major plot point early on. So I spent most of the book confirming my suspicions. However, it was well done and the ending was both satisfying and disheartening.

 

A worthy read for the action/adventure/military crowd.

Review of Jonathan Maberry’s, ‘Patient Zero’

‘Patient Zero’ by Jonathan Maberry

‘Warning, mild spoilers’

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading my first Jonathan Maberry book, ‘Patient Zero’. Even though I am a fan of the zombie genre, it has been overused in the past few years and has become increasingly difficult to pull off a story that has a fresh perspective. Jonathan Maberry was able to do just that.

I appreciated the way he handled the subject. Using the word ‘Walkers’ instead of ‘Zombies’ a large percentage of the time gave it a different feel as well. One would be inclined to think that the author used the word to piggyback on the success of the now famous TV show, ‘The Walking Dead’ however, Patient Zero was published over a year before the show aired its pilot episode.

The main focus of this story was its lead character, Joe Ledger. Joe was a person that was easy to like right away. His sarcastic attitude and disdain for authority was backed up by his ability to take care of himself. At first we’re given glimpses of what Joe’s capable of as he describes the mistakes people make around him, but later on we find out just how capable he really is.

The manner in which the story is told is very detailed and a little dry at first, but those details paint the picture very clearly as the story progresses.

The story itself is a bit of an upgrade as well. We find that there is a terrorist organization that is attempting to do horrible things, however this one is very well thought out, with layers of subtlety. In fact, most of the way through the book we find the terrorists to be many steps ahead of Joe and his team.

The supporting cast is well fleshed out with many believable and intriguing characters. The most intriguing is the enigmatic leader of the ficticious government agency that recruits Joe, the DMS. The character, ‘Church’ could easily fall into the category of tight lipped agent leading his own department. However Mr. Maberry gave him such a depth of character that I found myself wanting to know more about him.

What followed was a whirlwind hunt to try and stop the unstoppable. This added tension to the story when they found out that there was no cure and infection would spread like an unchecked wildfire.

The tension drove this story. Tension of the DMS and Joe finding that they are hopelessly behind in trying to stop this pandemic, tension between characters, and the tension of Joe himself not knowing if he can handle the stress mentally without snapping.

This tension was expertly broken up at just the right places to keep it from being too much. Be it a clever one-liner or Joe’s sarcasm showing through, it gave a break when a break was needed to let the reader catch their breath.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of zombie stories, The Walking Dead, detective, or military cloak and dagger stories. All those elements are well represented with a sprinkle of romance thrown in as well.

I myself will be reading the next Joe Ledger book soon, with high hopes that I will be pleasantly entertained yet again.

 

Mike