Off Armageddon Reef

I’ve heard for a while how awesome David Weber’s books are.  The Honor Harrington series in particular is often remarked upon.  In fact, a couple months ago, a friend of mine asked if I had read any of his books, and I was forced to reply, “No, but I have On Basilisk Station and it’s next on my to be read list.”

And that was true.

Fast forward.  I finished listening to Aristotle’s “Rhetoric, Poetics, and Logic” on audiobook, and I was looking for which book to “read” in audio next (since I’m still in the middle of the final book in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series in actual text-reading).  I saw that I had “Off Armageddon Reef“, by David Weber, in my audio book library, and I queued it up.

Somehow, I transposed the titles of the two books, “On Basilisk Station” and “Off Armageddon Reef“, in my head, and as the first few chapters of “Armageddon Reef” went by I was wondering how and when Honor Harrington was going to come into play, considering that Safehold is a planet whose people were once star-farers but now are no longer.  It was only after I went back to Amazon to check the titles that I realized my mistake.

Of course, the story of Safehold was compelling enough that I stuck with it…and boy am I glad I did.

As all of you know, I’m a Naval Officer.  In fact, I was commissioned onboard USS CONSTITUTION, and did my first summer on active duty onboard that ship, learning to sail a square-rigged vessel and learning her history and the tales of her many engagements (never defeated).

And so, when it turned out that “Off Armageddon Reef“, though a scifi story, really ended up being a story about Naval warfare in the age of sail….well, there is literally nothing you could do to engage me better than that as a reader.

And boy did it deliver.

GREAT book.  And great depiction of the Naval lifestyle and ethic.

Wow.  Extremely well done.

If you haven’t read this book, you totally need to.  I’m definitely continuing on in this series.

Well done, Mr. Weber.  Well done.

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Posted in Audiobooks, Books I Like

I Was Wrong

Back in December, after watching The Force Awakens, I came away with a theory.  I posted about it here.

When the movie came out on Blu-Ray, we bought a copy because we liked it and we wanted the kids to see it.  I’ve happily shown them the other three Star Wars movies, and the kids all loved them.  So we were eager to see their reaction to the new one.

Of course they loved it.  So we’ve watched it again.  And again.  And again. And…

You get the picture.

With these repeat viewings, a couple things have happened:

  1. I find my objections to the more silly and infuriating parts of the movie have lessened.  Yes, Rey is a total Mary Sue who got way too powerful way too fast for no good reason.  And yeah a lot of the fan service is cheesy.  And yeah it makes the galaxy look like it spans about a hundred meters from one end to the other.  But you know what?  It just gets more fun with each watching.  And some of the things that irked me make a little bit more sense.  So that’s ok.
  2. I’m pretty sure now that my theory, which I was so proud of back in December, is wrong.  Maybe not entirely wrong.  (I’m still thinking it was Snoke, not Ren, who trashed Luke’s school; Ren and his posse just helped, or joined up in the end, or something.)  But wrong enough that I felt the need to come out and say it now, for the record.

We’ll see just how wrong I am when the next one comes out.  In the meantime, Rogue One looks promising, head-scratchingly cliched chick-who-can-beat-up-6-big-tough-guys-at-the-same-time aside.  If it’s done well, even that well-worn cliche can be fun.  And the story looks promising.  So I’m looking forward to that.

So anyway, that’s all I’ve got right now.  I’m going to make it a point to post here more often from now on, because consistency.

Talk to y’all later.  :)

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Posted in Movies

Still Here

Holy smokes.  It’s been over 6 months since I posted something here.  No good reason except I’ve been lazy.  It’s not like I haven’t had things to say about current events and the like.  I’m tempted to say it’s because I’ve been lazy, but that’s not really the case.  I’ve done a lot of good, cool things.  There just hasn’t been a lot of writing-related things to address over the last few months.

Well, that’s not entirely true, either.  For instance, I received Honorable Mentions from the Writers of the Future Contest two quarters in a row to start this year, and I’m currently waiting on results for the quarter ending March 31.  So that’s cool.

I went to the WotF awards gala with a friend of mine from the Navy back in early April.  That’s always cool.

I’ve also been writing, of course.  The 5th book in the Glimmer Vale Chronicles is about 85% complete; I just need to hunker down and finish it.  Problem is, I’ve reached the point where I know the very end but have no idea how to get there from where I am.  So I took a break to get started on the new series I’ve had in mind to do, about a new junior office in a space Navy.  I’ve been plugging away on it slowly, drawing off my know-how from 19 years in the Navy to make it work in an actual Navy-like manner.

But that still leaves The Falconer’s Stairs to finish up.  And I shall finish it before the summer is out, I promise.  Just needed a diversion to properly cage my brain for it is all.

Let’s see….what else?

I built a bar/food prep/grilling table for my back yard, to surround my grill.  As n, I personally built it from scratch and raw materials.  I finished the construction today after a couple weekends’ work, and it feels pretty good.  It also LOOKS pretty good, if I do say so myself.

So that’s what’s been going on around here.

You can expect to hear from me more regularly going forward from here.  But for now, I’m sleepy.  Just figured I’d say high again.

More to follow later.  Have a great week, everyone!  🙂

Posted in Life and Stuff

My Star Wars Theory

Warning: SPOILERS!

I went, with my wife, to see The Force Awakens on 19 December, in Imax 3D.  Because Imax.  I’m generally not a 3D fan, and the first couple minutes (fortunately just previews) reminded me why.  But I will say the 3D thing did add a bit of coolness to the show.  Certainly the Imax HUGE screen did.

So…did I like it?


Of course!  It was pretty awesome, and great fun.  Was it repetitive from the first Star Wars (don’t tell me that’s not the first.  There are only 4 Star Wars movies.  We do not acknowledge any others in my household.)?  Completely.  Were there some head-scratchingly contrived and cheesy moments?  Absolutely.  Were there things that made no sense at all (like how the hell did the computer-generated-lady get Luke’s blue lightsaber when it fell down the hole at Bespin after Vader cut his hand off, and was lost in the clouds of that gas giant)?  Yup.  Was Rey a total Mary Sue?  100%, without a doubt, no question, utterly cannot be argued, what are you nuts if you don’t agree, yes.

The movie was still great.  I never thought I’d have a Star Wars movie to like, after the abortions we don’t mention.  I now do.

More than that, it sucked me (and the Admiral at home) in, and we left the theater discussing the many questions left by the movie.  Specifically (duh) who the hell is Rey?

It’s immediately obvious that she’s part of the family.  Not just because Star Wars is, at its core, a family saga.  But also because of all the clues dropped in the movie.  But what part of the family is she?

After the movie, the Admiral and I went to a bar and discussed it, at length.  In the end, we came up with a theory that I think holds the water completely.  I’ve since read many inane and, frankly, idiotic theories on the internet.  And one or two that closely approximate our theory.  In the interest of being able to say “I told you so and I knew it before XXXX posted it on the internet”, I present it here, for your evaluation.

And remember, we came up with this at about 1600 on 19 December, 2015.

Just saying.  :P

So here goes:

Han and Leia had two children: Ben (who later became Kylo Ren) and a daughter (who we know as Rey but who probably was not born with that name).  Ren was the older brother, but both were blessed with talent in the Force (just as Luke and Leia were…and why didn’t she train, like it was implied that she would in Jedi and like she did in the EU books?  But that’s another question).

When Luke started his school, Ren and Rey went, despite their very young ages.  At the school was another student that Ren began to look up to as a surrogate father figure because for some reason he was angry with Han (maybe because Han sent him off to the school at just the age when he needed his father most?  Or maybe something else.  Ren’s a gamma-male emo bitch, so it could just be because Han disapproved of his hair style.  I presume we’ll find out why later in the movies).  That student was the man who we now know as Snoke.

Snoke betrayed Luke and destroyed his school.  Ren helped him, for the reason I stated above.  Or maybe he just stood by, and in the midst of the carnage, followed Snoke.  Either way, Ren followed Snoke instead of Luke.

In the process of overthrowing the school, all the other students were killed, and Luke barely escaped with his life.  Both Ren and Snoke believed Rey perished, and they went off to gather the remnants of the Empire and form the First Order.

When he came to his senses, Luke found Rey and spirited her away.  He would have brought her back to Han and Leia, but by then they had split up in their grief and anger over what happened, and he feared that leaving Rey in the midst of that anger would cause her to grow up already fallen to the Dark Side.  So he left her with Leia’s trusted ally on Jakku (The guy Poe went to see at the beginning of The Force Awakens) with instructions to keep her safe until Han and Leia straightened things out.

But they never did.  And for some reason, Rey and the ally (what’s his name anyway?) got separated (maybe she got pissed at him when she hit puberty or something…or maybe he dropped the ball…who knows).

Still, the ally kept tabs on her in the vain hope that, when the time came, he would be able to help her get back to her parents.  And so she languished there on Jakku until BB happened to come across her in the desert.  And we know what happened from there.


And that’s our theory.


Think about it, and consider these things:

  1. The immediate connection between Rey and Han.  Han thinks his daughter’s dead, but he sees something of her in Rey and can’t help feeling close to her.
  2. The apparent, and immediate, connection between Rey and Ren.  Same reason.
  3. Why does no one in the general populace know that Luke was actually real?  Apparently he’s only remembered as a legend, which means he vanished quite a while ago.  Which means Ren COULD NOT have been his betrayer, because he’s far too young to have done that and have enough time pass that Luke’s not remembered as a real person.
  4. Rey’s flashbacks.  She saw the end of Luke’s school.  She saw a spaceship flying away from her at Jakku and a voice telling her to stay there.  Now, I’ll admit when I first heard that voice I thought it sounded like Kylo Ren in his mask suit.  Which makes one think maybe he was the person who dropped her off.  But as I said in #3, he’s too young.  And really that could have been anyone’s voice, really.
  5. Han tells Leia that he saw their son, but neither mentions a daughter.  This checks, because they thought their daughter died in Snoke’s rebellion.  They wouldn’t discuss their dead daughter, because that would tear the scab off the not-totally-healed wound that was her death.


So…what do you think?

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Posted in Life and Stuff, Movies

Release Day

It’s December 4th, which means….

*drum roll*

It’s release day!

*cheers echo throughout the room*


That’s right!  Robbed Blind, the fourth book of the Glimmer Vale Chronicles, is now out there for the world to grab and enjoy.

Robbed Blind Ebook Cover 700x1060

A stunning robbery threatens to bring Lydelton’s economy to its knees, and it is up to Julian and Raedrick to find the culprits. With the year’s first trading caravan in town and the missing funds needed for vital transactions, time is of the essence. Fortunately, the Constables have assistance in the form of a team of Royal Marshalls, in town for a prisoner transfer. But they have an agenda of their own, and Raedrick and Julian must tread carefully to avoid revealing the secret of their own past.

With few leads and little time, the Constables will need to use all of their skill and wit to solve the case and save their adopted home from ruin.


The ebook is $4.99 and can be found on Amazon, KoboiBooks, SmashwordsInktera, and Scribd.  Nook and Google Play are still processing, but it should be live there shortly.


Alas, it is not available in print at this time, because of an unexpected problem with the cover art for the print version. I expect the problem to be resolved shortly, and will get the print version out there as soon as possible.  Stay tuned here for updates.


So that’s what’s new around here.  Go pick up a copy already!

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Posted in Glimmer Vale, New Releases, Novels, Writing as a Business

New Release

Hola folks!

As I promised last week, Robbed Blind, Glimmer Vale Chronicles #4, is now up for pre-order.

Robbed Blind Ebook Cover 700x1060

A stunning robbery threatens to bring Lydelton’s economy to its knees, and it is up to Julian and Raedrick to find the culprits. With the year’s first trading caravan in town and the missing funds needed for vital transactions, time is of the essence. Fortunately, the Constables have assistance in the form of a team of Royal Marshalls, in town for a prisoner transfer. But they have an agenda of their own, and Raedrick and Julian must tread carefully to avoid revealing the secret of their own past.

With few leads and little time, the Constables will need to use all of their skill and wit to solve the case and save their adopted home from ruin.

The release is set for 4 December, but you can pre-order it now on Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, and Kobo.


I also took the liberty of combining five of my novellas and novelettes into a single book.  This is the second time I’ve done this.  The first was called Tales of Adventure, so I went ahead and called this one Tales of Adventure #2.

Tales of Adventure 2 700x1050

A sword-for-hire quests to defeat an evil Necromancer.

A young girl discovers that music has a magic of its own.

An FBI interrogator discovers a chilling conspiracy.

A shipwreck unleashes a supernatural monster onto the inhabitants of a tropical island.

A washed-up electrician battles a monster from beyond our universe.

Tales of Adventure #2 is a collection of five science fiction and fantasy novelettes and novellas: The Necromancer’s Lair, A Note Of Magic, Facilitated Interrogation, The Beast And The God-Woman, and What Lurks Between.

It’s now available on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and Google Play.  Smashwords will follow shortly.


Go.  Buy.  Read.  Enjoy.

And leave some reviews.


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Posted in Glimmer Vale, Novels, Post Production, Promotions, Writing Progress

Cool Developments

Hello, folks.

It’s been a while since I had anything to say on here.  Or rather, it’s been a while since I bothered to say anything on here.  Suffice it to say the last couple months have been pretty busy.  We ran through a fairly hefty financial debacle, got really busy with the kids and school, had several visitors from out of town, took a family trip to Disneyland, wrestled with the Navy detailers to figure out what my next (and last) Navy job is going to be, and…

Long story short, I haven’t gotten much writing done, though I did get stories submitted to Writers of the Future, so that’s good.

As the post title implies, I’ve got some cool developments to announce.  So let’s get to it.

First.  My orders are finalized.  My Last. Navy. Job. EVER! will be on a Carrier Strike Group staff here in San Diego.  Which is cool because we don’t have to move until I retire.  And because I get to go back to sea, on a Carrier.  On the down side, I’ll be deploying again, and only a few months before my retirement date.  So that will make transition…interesting.  But that’s the Navy for you.

Second.  Turns out the nice people at Kobo are having a sale on books that are published through their Kobo Writing Life portal – 50% off the list price.  Since all my stuff is published through that portal and I’m a big Kobo fan, I figure you guys might want to know about that.  The sale has a different duration depending on what country you’re in, as follows:

October 28th – October 31st
Promo Code: CA50SALE

United States/Australia/New Zealand
October 27th – October 30th
Promo Code: GET50SALE

United Kingdom
October 30th – November 2nd
Promo Code: UK50SALE

So if you want some cool books for a good price, run on over there and use those promo codes, and Kobo will hook you up.  :)

Third.  I’m doing a giveaway of Glimmer Vale, book one of the Glimmer Vale Chronicles.  If you want a free copy of a fun book, click here, input your email address, and your wish will be granted.  :)

Fourth.  You probably noticed I’ve given the website a bit of a facelift.  I had been using the Ocean Breeze WordPress theme for a while, but decided to try The Responsive after interacting with a few other writers who dig it.  I have to say, I like it so far.  What do you guys think?  Better, same as, worse?

Finally, and speaking of the Glimmer Vale Chronicles, the fourth book in the series, Robbed Blind, is, at long last, about ready to go.  The cover art is basically finalized, so I figured I’d share it with you.  There are a couple very small tweaks still to make on the cover, but I expect it will be wrapped up this week.  Here it is as it currently stands:


Pretty sweet, right?  Once again, James Beveridge consented to provide the artwork, and he did a great job as usual.

Anyway, once the cover’s finished, I’m going to do something that I’ve not done before: pre-orders.  Barring some unexpected catastrophe, expect to see the book up on all the sites that allow pre-orders next week, for an official release at the end of November.  It’ll go for $4.99 for the ebook and $13.95 for the trade paperback.

That’s all I have for you for right now.  Don’t forget to hit up Kobo, and please do either hit the link above or click on the Newsletter link in the menu atop the page, to sign up to get updates and free stuff.  It’s good for you.  It’s good for me.  It’s good for the children.

Remember the children.


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Posted in Giveaways, Glimmer Vale, Novels, Writers of the Future, Writing as a Business, Writing Progress

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