Category Archives: Just Cool

The Best Fantasy YA Books

A couple of months back, Phil Treagus from “The Reading Lists” asked me and some other authors to publish a couple of quick blurbs for the best YA books we’d read over the years. What a great list! Definitely go have a look:

The Best Fantasy YA Books



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Free books: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

“Kick” is free today, along with a lot of other great books sponsored by the Self-Publishing Roundtable. Check it out!




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New Release: “Hell’s Children: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Thriller”

hells_ch_smallThe name says it all, and then some. I’ve had a post-apoc book itching away inside me for a very long time, ever since reading all those “Death Lands” books by James Axler, “Lucifer’s Hammer” by Larry Niven/Jerry P., “One Second After,” “Alas Babylon” — and many more. In a way, those books got together in my head, did the hinky-pinky, and out popped “Hell’s Children.”

The book is different than “Kick” or “Thief’s Odyssey” in that it’s written in 3rd person, not 1st. It’s also told from the perspective of a 14-year-old kid named Jack. Here’s the product description:

The world has gone to hell and it isn’t coming back.

It happened in a year: starvation, gangs of kids with guns, and every adult in the world dead from the Sickness. Houses are now mausoleums. Civilization lies in the hands of children who’ve never had to feed themselves or survive a winter without gas or electricity. Most will die. Others — a bare few — will tread a different path.

Fourteen-year-old Jack Ferris is a survivor — because his parents raised him that way. Leveraging qualities rare for his age, he must lead his desperate companions to a secret refuge. Too late, he learns that safety is a mirage, and that the high price of hope is paid in blood.

So yeah, it’s a little grim, haha. Don’t blame me — blame all those authors I mentioned. They ruined the world with nuclear bombs and stuff. In my world, the bombs are still there, waiting to be found by descendants of the survivors. I’m merciful, see?

If all this fun stuff interests you, pick it up and give it a read.

Here’s the link again: Hell’s Children: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Thriller


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Author C.W. Thomas: Children Of The Falls

Thought I’d share — me, posing with C.W. Thomas’s “Children Of The Falls” series. I just got the books today, and I have to say they’re simply stunning to look at. My ugly mug? Not so much, ha ha.  Oh, and the maps inside are incredible–makes me want to write high fantasy just so I can get a cool map. Enjoy.





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Review: Tails Of The Apocalypse

It’s been such a long time since I’ve read any fiction from an animal’s perspective, and of those, only Watership Down and Tailchaser’s Song come to mind. So it was with some trepidation that I picked up Tails Of The Apocalypse. After all, it has to be pretty hard to write fiction with animals either central to the plot or the main characters outright. Right? Maybe for me that’d be true, but not for the authors involved in the project. I found myself cheering or even holding my breath as each plot unfolded, though more often I was moved to regions sentimental. Because it is the apocalypse we’re talking about here. Dangerous things, apocalypses… Throw in some faithful animals that never hurt anyone and you’re bound break a few hearts. (I swear, if you’re not crying by the end of Chris Pourteau’s or Stefan Bolz’ stories, you might not have a soul).

One other thing I liked about the collection was how the worlds were often very unique. Perhaps the most unique was Hank Garner’s story of the first apocalyptic story in human history (I’ll let that tease you a little … you gotta read it). From a storytelling perspective, I’d say the authors did a great job, collectively — and for a very good cause. For every copy sold, $1 goes to the charity Pets For Vets. It’s win and more win everywhere you turn. Be a winner and get your copy today (click image below).





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Nook Free Fridays

Who said Friday the 13th is unlucky?  “Kick” was selected for inclusion in the “Nook Free Fridays” promotion. I think I’m gonna go break some mirrors and walk under a few ladders now 🙂



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Enjoying French Toast with the wife

Two months ago, I went to SFSE in Orlando, where I met Orson Scott Card and got to take a 3 hour writing session with him and some other lucky writers.  As awesome as that was, it didn’t stop there. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to break my healthy diet and pile up my plate with French toast. I’d actually had a dream a week or two before where I was at a buffet filled with everything you can imagine except French toast. That morning, at the conference, it seemed like fate was saying, “Here’s your chance — get it.”

I got it.


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“Hopper House” launched today

A messaghopper_housee to fans of the The Jenkins Cycle:

I’m happy to announce that “Hopper House” went live last night at the stroke of midnight. The pre-order was a big success, especially over on Apple, where it hit #2 this morning in the Paranormal category.

The series has been a bit hard to categorize. Horror? Paranormal? Contemporary Fantasy? As I think about it, “A Little Of Everything” sounds about right. But try as I might, I can’t find that section at any of the bookstores I go to. What that ultimately means is: “The Jenkins Cycle” is hard for new readers to discover.

Right now, I’m not sure how long until the next book comes out. That said, I greatly appreciate your interest in my books and your patience between releases. Anything you can do to spread the word (by sharing with family, friends, and colleagues, and/or by leaving reviews) would really help with discoverability. And I’d be forever grateful.

~ John

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Vine Voice reviewer Carol Kean’s epic article on Dystopian Sci-Fi

I felt my brain grow two sizes too big reading this wonderful article. Can’t say I have a problem with dystopian sci-fi, but I definitely think she’s onto something, and recommend this to lovers and haters of the genre alike:

Great quote:
Chicken Little Syndrome may not have a place in the DSM-5 Manual of psychological disorders, but it spreads faster than Bird Flu and Ebola. The chicken story began twenty-five centuries ago as a rabbit, by the way. The wise Buddha was trying to teach people to keep cool and carry on, as we say today. In his parable, a rabbit hears the noise of a falling fruit and instigates a stampede among the other animals—“the world is coming to an end!”—until a lion halts them, investigates the cause of the panic and restores calm.

I like that lion. I like his lesson on the value of deductive reasoning and investigation.


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Nick Cole taps John L. Monk to ride shotgun in the zombie apocalypse

Check out this hilarious interview with Apocalypse Weird creator Nick Cole:

As you can see, Nick’s a very intelligent guy who knows a good zombie hunter when he sees one. You know my motto: “The only good zombie is a dead zombie.”


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