Mothers Hate Me

You Better Listen To Your Mama!

You’ve got some s’plaing to do, C. Hoyt!

Before I get into the bones of this blog post, let me make it perfectly clear that I understand that criticism comes with the territory of being a writer. Bad reviews are bound to be delivered, and for the most part, I receive them well. I hold nothing against anyone who doesn’t like something I write. This post isn’t a *criticism of the horrible woman who called Savage Reckoning “garbage” on Amazon. (I feel compelled to point out that the use of “horrible” was a total joke. I shouldn’t have crossed it out… That was a joke, too.) She is entitled to her opinion. I’ve been writing and publishing since 2005. I’ve gotten good reviews, bad reviews, and puzzling reviews, like the time someone simply posted “Got a free copy. Didn’t have time to read it. It looks like something I would have enjoyed” and then gave it a one-star rating. It was as if the reader was punishing me because she didn’t have time to read my book. What makes it even more puzzling is the fact that she wasn’t on a deadline. Not sure why she felt like she ran out of time.

The reason I titled this post “Mothers Hate Me” is because the two worst reviews I’ve received in 11 years both came from readers who identified themselves as mothers. In 2008, a mother of teen boys posted the following about The Pure.

Terrible………My teen boys love to read so I am always looking for a good series. I typed in teen fiction and this series popped so I bought all of them. After they were almost done with the series, I asked them what it was about. By the time their description was over I felt like I wanted to throw up. What had I subjected them to? I couldn’t believe the gore details they described. Sure that I had not subjected my Sons to this type of disgusting reading, I had them read aloud. I made them stop and took the books away. I cannot believe that these were in the teen section. Gross, Gore, Evil, Blood, Guts……….I’m so full of regret that I had ever bought these. The series should not be listed anywhere near teens. In fact, it should be labelled with a parental advisory. I think I’ll burn the books. I will use much more discretion with my selections from now on!

I filled this woman with regret because of my evilness. It doesn’t get much cooler than that. And, she wants to burn my books. I could not be more honored.

The latest mother who hates me didn’t think I was evil. My lack of talent and attack on hillbillies filled her with regret.

This was astoundingly poor quality. Try to imagine a Quentin Tarantino movie, but without any random attractive women or cutesy dialogue.

Just kidding. That’s actually a review of one of my favorite books, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. It goes without saying that I strongly disagree, and I post it here for a reason. Opinions are not right or wrong. As an artist, you can’t take them personally. True, some reviews seem personal, but when people are moved to review a book or movie or any piece of art, they are going to express themselves with passion.That passion, when it is cast in a negative review, can come off as personal.

Here is what Mommy of Many on Amazon said about Savage Reckoning:

I received a digital copy of this book free via Netgalley.

This has to be one of the worst books I’ve read in a while. The writing is bad. The characters are bad. The story could have been ok but the writing and the characters dragged it down. It’s listed as a thriller but the only thing thrilling was being finished and trying to forget that I’d wasted hours of my life on this garbage. Far from being an edge-of-your-seat thriller, there was some mystery but the book was just so bad that I didn’t even care what was behind the disappearances.

If you’re the kind of person who believes that everyone in the south are hillbillies and you like to make fun of that, then you might find this book enjoyable. Otherwise, save yourself a few hours and skip it.

I tried to include a couple of quotes to demonstrate just how ludicrous this book is but by the time I filtered out all the words that Amazon was blocking, the quotes really lost their impact. Just download the sample and keep in mind, it only gets worse.

OUCH! The nicest thing she said is the “story could have been okay.” She is from Georgia, so I completely understand her lack of reading comprehension. ZING! Just kidding. Honestly, she’s not wrong. I do make fun of Southerners. I am a Southerner. It’s kind of what I do. We are a goofy people. I find our faults endlessly entertaining. But my protagonist is also Southern, and she’s smart as hell.

Here’s the point if you’re an author reading this. Embrace your bad reviews. They are badges of courage. Yes, Mommy of Many came off as kind of a dick, but to be fair, I wasted hours of her life. Who can blame her? I’d be a little pissy, too.  Besides, Savage Reckoning is  extremely profane, disturbingly violent, and extremely twisted. It would totally destroy my backwoods cred if someone who calls herself Mommy endorsed it. Frankly, my own mother probably would have hated it.

* – Okay, so maybe I was a little critical of Mommy of Many, but I seriously don’t hold her review against her. I was just having a little fun. It’s her opinion, and she’s entitled to it.  Have a good life, Mommy of Many.  Whatever you do, do not read book two. It features a “hickbilly’ (not to be confused with hillbilly) fucking a horse. I’m assuming that’s not your cup of tea.



Savage Reckoning: A Backwoods Justice Novel has its day of reckoning! Official Release Date!

cropped-facebook-banner-savage-reckoning2.pngThe day has arrived! Only time will tell if my publisher made a good investment! Savage Reckoning is now available to read! Can’t wait to hear your feedback! As always, I appreciate everyone’s support!

Savage Reckoning is available download at the following online retailers.

Savage Reckoning Review – Day 6

cropped-facebook-banner-savage-reckoning2.pngCrunch time has arrived! Tomorrow, Oct. 4, is the official release of Savage Reckoning: A Backwoods Justice Novel. Today’s Partial review comes from Book Bum.

As soon as we met Step and Kenny talking about anal sex, I knew I was going to love this novel, (that sounds all kinds of wrong)…

This is by no means a sophisticated, thought provoking novel, it’s just pure grit, humour with a couple of inciteful anecdotes, “Each woman’s got a different ‘forget-shit’ trigger, Kenny. A man’s whole goddamn purpose in life is to figure out that trigger and pull it”, mashed together to make an excellent, fun and exciting read. Each character, no matter how small or large their role in the story, was developed brilliantly and although there were some obvious parts of the plot it didn’t even matter because you’re having too much fun reading it to care about the fact you can guess what happens next.

Genuinely one of the funniest novels I’ve read in such a long time even if it does deal with some pretty gruesome stuff. Anyone bored of meaningful, eye-opening type thrillers? Well pick this one up as your next book to help loosen you up a bit. I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for more from Kenny and Step!

Savage Reckoning is available for pre-order now at the following online retailers.

Savage Reckoning Review – Day 5

cropped-facebook-banner-savage-reckoning2.pngOct 2! We are approaching crunch time for the release of Savage Reckoning: A Backwoods Justice Novel.  Today’s partial review comes from one called Carrie.  Carrie rightly points out that this book is about lowlifes, and it contains a lot of profanity and some disturbing violence.  But, it’s fairly tame when compared to the presidential election ( I added that last part).

Savage Reckoning is not going to be for everyone since there’s a lot of language and a lot of low life activity in this backwoods town. But for those that wouldn’t mind that sort of thing what you will find in this book is a lot of colorful characters that are completely brought to life to where it feels like you’ve stepped right into the story.

Step and Kenny are true to what you would expect of low life thugs but strangely the pair was almost addicting and likable once the story got going. Dani is a strong young woman stuck in a man’s world that you couldn’t help but root for. And with this story there were numerous twists and turns along the journey that made it all a highly addictive read from start to finish.

Overall, yes, I’d definitely recommend checking this one out if you can tolerate the language and criminal behavior involved.

Savage Reckoning is available for pre-order now at the following online retailers.

Savage Reckoning Review – Day 4

cropped-facebook-banner-savage-reckoning2.pngToday is Oct. 1, which can mean only one thing… it could actually mean a multitude of things, but on this blog it means we are three days away from the release of Savage Reckoning: A Backwoods Justice Novel. Today’s partial review comes from Shelby who apparently trains flying monkeys. I have a special affinity for Shelby’s review because it is accompanied by a slew of GIFs and JPEGs, a few from one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, Tucker and Dale vs Evil.

I loved this book. It might not be high-brow literature but I was completely entertained the whole time of reading it. It’s funny in spots and even managed to make me have a few feelings there for a minute.
I’m giving it all the stars.

Savage Reckoning is available for pre-order now at the following online retailers.

Savage Reckoning Review – Day 3

cropped-facebook-banner-savage-reckoning2.pngToday’s Savage Reckoning (Release date, Oct. 4) review comes from Breakaway Books. You can click on the link to read the entire review.

This is a crime novel like no other I have read. It’s raw and violent. It pictures a society quite unlike anything one would expect in any other area – one which makes up its own rules and is governed by the local rich and powerful regardless of who sits in the sheriff’s office…

This is not a book for those easily offended but it is hard edged, warm hearted and at times emotionally draining at the same time. Well worth a few hours of anyone’s time.

Savage Reckoning is available for pre-order now at the following online retailers.

Savage Reckoning Review of the Day

cropped-facebook-banner-savage-reckoning2.pngWhat happens on Oct. 3? Savage Reckoning, that’s what.  Here’s today’s review coming to you from Vivian on Goodreads. Vivian starts off the review thusly: Holy Crackerdoodles–AWESOME!

And she ends it as follows:

This is fast-paced, ugly, and downright cynical– Still one heck of a wild ride. What takes this the extra step is amidst all the crazy, wild, out of control clusterfuck there’s some real gems of truth thrown out for you to take or let drop. I took a few.

You can read the rest of Vivian’s review here: Savage Reckoning Reviews

Savage Reckoning’s big day is almost here!

cropped-facebook-banner-savage-reckoning2.pngOctober 4, is gonna be yuge! That is the official release date for Savage Reckoning: A Backwoods Justice Novel. The publisher has done a terrific job of getting some pre-release reviews, and I thought it would be prudent to share a few of them here over the coming days. In other words, things are gonna be all Savage all the time for the foreseeable future.

Today, our review comes from Paromjit, who gave it 5 out of 5 stars. It is a thorough review, but I’ll just share with you the final paragraph and the link to the entire review if you would like to see everything that Paromjit had to say.

This is a spellbinding book with a fast paced narrative that engages your emotions. It has an intricate and complex plot packed with twists. The character development is superb, and as for Step and Kenny, I sure hope I encounter them again. They have made an indelible impression on me. An unalloyed joy of a read. Deranged but brilliant! I highly recommend this novel without any hesitation and urge others to read it. Many thanks to Random House Alibi for an ARC.

Incidentally, “deranged but brilliant” is exactly what I want my headstone to say.

BTW: You can avoid the rush and pre-order a copy today. It’s available at most online retailers, but here’s the link to Amazon because… well, it’s Amazon. The price is a paltry $2.99.  Savage Reckoning: A Backwoods Justice Novel

Hugs Not Skittles


It occurred to me that there are two issues in our country that feed into the prejudices of opposing groups. On the one hand, we have a group of bad actors committing terrorism in the name of Islam, creating a fear among too many that all Muslims are terrorists. And, on the other hand, we have a group of inept, racist cops committing murder under the guise of public safety, creating a fear among too many that all cops are corrupt.

Neither is true. A small fraction of Muslims are radical Islamic terrorists, and a small fraction of cops are despotic thugs that think black lives don’t matter. They don’t represent the majority of either group in which they belong. Yet, their acts are so heinous and vile, those of us on the outside looking in paint both communities with broad brushes and insist that our prejudicial views are justified. Why? Because we only listen to like-minded voices on either topic. We don’t want to hear that the truth is complicated and contrary to our pre-conceived notions.

I’m not going to pretend that there isn’t a problem with using a religion to turn desperate people to terrorism. I’m agnostic, so it’s easy for me to blame religious doctrine as a catalyst for hatred. But to me, there is no difference between Islam and Christianity in that aspect. Both are tools of oppression and hatred in the wrong hands. Theocratic governments, poverty, and lack of education is the historical formula for creating a terrorist. At this point and time, the Middle East happens to be the epicenter of these three elements.

I’m also not going to pretend that we don’t have a problem with the justice system in our country. Not all cops are bad, but the bad ones are being protected by the system. It’s a grotesque byproduct of the “Blue Wall” mentality. Misconduct by a police officer is protected by police unions, and district attorney offices that are essentially partners with the police departments in their jurisdictions.  Corrupt cops are allowed to skate too often because there’s a ‘protect the badge at all costs’ thread of thought at the top of most police departments that taints everyone in uniform.

Here’s the thing, good Muslims, the majority of Islam, are as frustrated by the acts of terror committed in their religion’s name as most non-Muslims. And most police officers are as angry about the corruption among their ranks as most civilians. And both are equally enraged that they must share the blame of depravity committed by a small number in their communities. A few have spoken out, but they’re largely ignored because their condemnation doesn’t fit the “all are corrupt” or “all are good” narratives.

There clearly has to be a change on both sides of all issues. A person doesn’t deserve to be considered a terrorist because of their ethnicity and/or religion. A person doesn’t deserve to be labeled a criminal because of the color of their skin, and a person doesn’t deserve to be identified as a corrupt racist because of the badge pinned to their chest. We have to start talking to each other instead of at each other. When we start listening to each other, we can then institute meaningful systemic changes that solve the problems in a fair and just manner. If we continue to shout at and insult one another, we create wider divides that grow increasingly hard to bridge.

In closing, be a hugger, not a hater.

9-11 from a Georgia highway

Howard Stern and 9/11

The South Side of the Moon

A reprint of where I was on 09-11-2001

I was in my car when it happened, on my way to Milledgeville, Georgia from Charleston, South Carolina.  I sat in misery as I drove down a backwoods highway.  I was 34-years-old, and I hated my job.  Worse than that, I couldn’t remember a job I liked since I quit my gig as a dishwasher in a hospital at the age of seventeen. I had lived an entire lifetime since dreading the concept of waking up on a weekday and dressing for a job that would slowly suck the life out of me.   Professional fulfillment was something that eluded me so thoroughly I was convinced that I was hardwired to hate working.  Not the physical effort just the emotional investment.

Howard Stern was on the radio.  He is the one who told me what happened that morning, and because of that I…

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