Bad Way Out is “Definitely not a literary masterpiece”, but it will be free for Kindle-lovers soon

Free for Kindle-lovers June 1-5

Free for Kindle-lovers June 1-5

Got a brand new review of Bad Way Out on Amazon, and it was posted just in time for this announcement.  Bad Way Out will be free in the Kindle store from June 1 to June 5 (This coming Sunday thru Thursday). That’s the good news.  The bad news is the review is not a ringing endorsement unless you count “so-so story” and “the writing is predictable” as major selling points.  I can’t complain too much because the reviewer gave it 3 out of 5 stars.  I’d hate to read his/her 1 star reviews.  I imagine threats of bodily harm are issued towards current and future generations of the author’s family.

So here’s my request.  Tell your friends and family who are Kindle-lovers to download the book, but don’t mention the “so-so story… Definitely not a literary masterpiece, the writing is predictable” bit.  Let them come to that conclusion on their own.

BTW – I’m not the “literary masterpiece” kind of guy.  Don’t ever pick up one of my books and expect a profoundly moving experience that will change your life.  If I get a chuckle, smile, chill, or even tear out of you, that’s enough for me.

BTW2 – In all seriousness, I appreciate that the reviewer took the time to read the book and offer his/her opinion.  I was just having a little fun… to hide the pain.  🙂

I TOLD YOU SO!!!! – Warning this post contains Breaking Bad Spoilers

Could he come knocking again?

Could he come knocking again?

I know some of you are still getting into the Breaking Bad phenomenon, and you haven’t seen the entire series as of yet.  Out of deference to you, I am going to make this first paragraph filler so you can have adequate time to back out of this post and not cast your eyes upon the major spoiler below.  If you don’t wish to know how Walter White’s saga ends stop reading… NOW!

(BTW – What is wrong with you people?  I’ve watched the entire series twice already!)

This goes out to all those people who thought I was crazy.  I told you before, and I’ll say it again.  HE’S NOT DEAD!  The producers brilliantly left the ending open to interpretation.  It was so brilliant most viewers thought it wasn’t open to interpretation at all.  They walked away convinced Walt was dead.  But not this rabid – bordering on irrational – fan of all things Breaking Bad.  No, no, no! I immediately turned to my wife and said, “He’s not dead.”  I told the clerk at the store, “He’s not dead.”  I told my dentist, “He’s not dead.”  I told the Girl Scout at the neighborhood Bi-Lo selling cookies, “He’s not dead.”  They all looked at me like I was crazy.  “He’s dead,”they assured me. “You’re out of your mind,” they snarked.  “We’re out of thin mints,” the Girl Scout said mockingly.

But today I am vindicated.  Today, Bryan Cranston himself has hinted to what I’ve been saying all along, “He’s not dead.”  In a post on, Cranston refused to rule out a Breaking Bad comeback saying, “You never saw bags zip up or anyone say … you know.”

My guess is that within five years we’ll be watching Walt breaking out of prison to save his family the only way he knows how, the Heisenberg way.  My hat’s off to Cranston for playing the uncertainty card in true Heisenberg fashion.  

I saw Godzilla – (Generic spoilers)

Cool monsters in a confusing movie

Cool monsters in a confusing movie

I needed a good brain washing after figuratively spending a few months in the hills of Tennessee with a bunch of killer hillbillies, so I took in a showing of Godzilla at the nearest multiplex yesterday.  What did you expect me to do, read Hamlet?

I should start out this review by saying I’ve never understood the fascination with Godzilla.  He’s basically a dragon that can’t fly.  The only Godzilla movie I liked as a kid was when he fought King Kong, and we all know why I liked that one.

That out of the way, from a writer’s point of view it was meh with a side of confusing.  They skimmed over the science and mythology, and it felt like it.  Some of it didn’t make sense to me at all.  The species of monster the overgrown terrestrial dragon battles is called the Muto.  Godzilla and the Muto come from a time on Earth when the atmosphere was filled with radiation.  As the radiation on the planet subsided, they went deeper and deeper underground and under water to feed on the radiation in the Earth’s core.  Then mankind carelessly started testing nuclear weapons and they decided “Hey, it’s totally cool again.  We can go up top.”   Once they re-surface the Mutos (there were two) cause earthquakes and tsunamis through their ability to generate electromagnetic pulses.  I’m still there with you as far as storyline goes.  It’s science fiction logic to the nth degree, but I get it.

What I don’t get is why Godzilla was so hellbent on finding the Mutos and killing them. At one point the head scientist in charge made the profound statement that “He was hunting them.”  I assumed it was profound because of the astonished look on his face.  But to what end was Godzilla hunting them?  Was he hungry?  If so, he left without eating.  Did he just not like the Muto?  Did they post a nasty tweet about him?  What?  I know it sounds silly, but I need a clear reason why Godzilla chased the Muto from Japan to San Fransisco.  Not knowing that kind of killed the movie for me.

On another front, I need my monsters to be interested in feasting on people.  I kind of like them to be bloodthirsty.  Otherwise they just aren’t that scary.  They’re really only big nuisances that cause collateral damages that result in unfortunate fatalities.  C’mon!  Monsters gotta eat people!

Speaking of damage, I’m also confused why the human population was conflicted about their feelings for Godzilla.  They didn’t know if he was a monster or a hero?  Hello!  He contributed to the destruction of a couple of major population areas, and he personally caused the deaths of what appeared to be tens of thousands of people. Seriously?  Is it really hard to figure out that he’s a huge asshole that was only thinking about himself, and his inexplicable obsession with the Muto?

The good parts – The monsters looked cool.  Bryan Cranston wasn’t in it long enough to ruin his credibility. And, it did wash out my brain.  The hillbillies are basically gone.  I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking about Book Seven since I left the theater… scratch that, since about half way through the movie, and I’m getting more and more excited about completing Oz’ journey.

Book Seven update and the official logo of The Closeout Kings Beta Readers

You gotta earn it to wear it!

They gave all… of their reading time.

Why? Just because that’s why!  Seriously, I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, but I’ll think of something.

And now for the update on Book Seven.  Here’s where I am.  At the beginning.  I’m talking first page.  But that first page rips a hole in the Oz Chronicle universe.  My challenge from book to book has been to give Oz and the gang room to grow, for them to discover something about themselves along their journey.   With that in mind, page one of Book Seven of the Oz Chronicles features a major catalyst for Oz to grow.  I’m toying around with doing a video read to give you a sneak peak at what’s to come, but at the same time, I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you.  What to do. What to do.  What to do.

I’m also going to take a different approach with this book than the others.  The other six books are sequential and interconnected.  Meaning, you have to read them in order to understand where you are in Oz’ world.  If you don’t, you’re lost and frustrated, and your hate for me surpasses your hate for getting a cavity filled at the dentist.

This book is going to be a stand alone novel.  The six books before it are all back story to this novel.  That means it is likely to be longer, almost epic like in proportion.  If I do this right, you should be able to read Book Seven and know everything there is to know about Oz and the others without ever reading a single word of the other books.  Let me repeat the key phrase from that last sentence. IF I DO THIS RIGHT!

Obviously, what I don’t want to do is rehash old story lines, plop them in this book, and package it as something new.  That’s cheating, and won’t make Oz readers very happy. This has to revisit elements from the other books in a new way.  It won’t be easy, but it’s a challenge that will make this story worth writing and hopefully worth reading.

Wish me luck!



#IndieBookWednesday – Jonny Bails Floatin by J. Lee Glassman

A tale that will light up your life!

A tale that will light up your life!

I wrote a blog post for CreateSpace encouraging indie authors to spotlight deserving indie books that would otherwise go unnoticed.  The one rule is it cannot be their own books.  In an effort to practice what I preach, I’d like to recommend an indie book to you today that I found entertaining.

That book is Jonny Bails Floatin by J. Lee Glassman.  It’s a Florida Keys tale of bioluminescence and love.  Musician and ne’er-do-well Jonny Bails is living song to song and joint to joint in Key West.  A late night dip in the ocean and a one night stand with a tourist leave him glowing both literally and figuratively.  He’s picked up a condition that gives him the gift of bioluminescence, and he’s been cursed by feelings of love for Leila, a one night stand.  Jonny struggles to both understand his sudden illuminating talents and his newly discovered ability to fall in love.  What is a poor glowing Florida Keys boy to do?

This is a Sci-Fi book like you’ve never encountered. I’m somewhat reluctant to even call it a Sci-Fi novel. It’s a character driven story that makes it a multi-genre vehicle. It’s got a little Carl Hiaasen feel to it mixed in with a tiny bit of Alan Dean Foster.  Setting and the laid back mood of the book make it a truly fun and unique read.  I give it a big recommend.  If you like debauchery at the hands of a skilled storyteller, this is well worth the read.

How did I find out about this book?  The author “Friended” me on Facebook.  After several months of enjoying his status updates that very rarely had anything to do with his book, I decided to check out his novel.  It just so happened the day I looked it up, it was available for free on the Kindle.  He has no idea I’ve read his book, nor does he know I’ve posted this review.  The only reason you (and he) know I read it is because I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Kudos J. Lee Glassman.  I look forward to your next book.

Before Breaking Bad – Aaron Paul, Come on down! You’re our next contestant on The Price is Right!

Before Aaron Paul became Walter White’s right hand man on Breaking Bad, he was a huge, loveable goofball on The Price is Right. It’s safe to say that Bob Barker was both terrified and smitten by the future drug kingpin.

The Closeout Kings is in the hands of beta readers

Based on all the feedback on Facebook, here, and in the non-internet world, this looks like the winning cover.

In the hands of beta readers

I put out a call for beta readers for The Closeout Kings on Facebook, and I was pleasantly surprised by the response.  As a result, the early first-revised draft of the book is in the hands of 20+ readers.  I’ve never used that many beta readers before.  At most, I’ve used a half-dozen, so it will be interesting to see the results.  I created a survey on Polldaddy that allows the beta readers to anonymously rank the general elements of a story (character, plot, setting, humor, etc.), and I also gave them the opportunity to leave detailed comments about any issue they want to address.

I’ve already gotten some excellent feedback on dialect, firearms, trucks, and other details. These are factors that are as important as the major aspects of storytelling, and are incredibly helpful.

The book is almost 84k words, so I don’t anticipate I’ll see a significant number or survey results for a couple of weeks, so that leaves me some down time to hop on other projects.  Those other projects include Book Seven.  I’m going to play around with some plot points and see if I can pull together a full skeleton of the story.  This is Oz’ finally journey, and I’m somewhat terrified I’m not going to do him justice.

I may also take a look at The Tree Readers again.  It’s become an epic Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel that is currently well over 100k words, and by my estimation, it’s only about 2/3 of they way done. Given that it’s taken years to write, I don’t see myself rushing to get it done now.  It’s one of those manuscripts that I may finish, hand off to my agent and forget about it.

That’s my state of writing report for now.  Stay calm and keep reading.

The Closeout Kings update

Based on all the feedback on Facebook, here, and in the non-internet world, this looks like the winning cover.

Looking for beta readers

The first edit is done for The Closeout Kings.  I’ll be looking for beta readers soon.  I’ve already got two volunteers, but there’s room for more.  Here’s the preliminary one sentence pitch:

When two hitmen for the hillbilly mafia discover they’ve been unwittingly involved in a human trafficking ring in the mountains of Tennessee, they team up with a local deputy and turn their talents on their employers to help find the missing children.

Remember this is a C. Hoyt Caldwell novel. There’s sex, violence and strong language. Backwoods style!

Contact me if you’re interested, here or on Facebook.

#BringBackOurGirls – Wow! George Will won’t even take a break from being an ASS on Mother’s Day!

With almost 300 girls missing in Nigeria, George Will takes the opportunity to criticize Michelle Obama for participating in the Twitter campaign to shine a light on the girls’ plight.  He thinks it’s a fruitless exercise because the kidnappers don’t care.  It’s not about the kidnappers, you horrible ass!  It’s about bringing pressure on the Nigerian government to do something about it!  AND IT WORKED! I don’t know who the woman is at the end of this video is, but thank God she gets it.

And seriously – #BringBackOurGirls