Announcing My Big Ghost Thief Black Friday Sale

I’ll admit it. I’m not a big Black Friday fan. I don’t like getting up early and fighting crowds even if the deals seem good. Years ago, when stores first started “Cyber Monday”, that was more my speed. Recently, it seems that Cyber Monday has simply been rolled into an online version of Black Friday. Honestly, this makes more sense and I’ll happily visit my favorite sites to get a good deal.

This got me to thinking. I have something that I’m selling now. Why don’t I have my own Black Friday sale? Of course, I want to give people as much chance as possible to buy my book at the sale price so my “Black Friday” sale will go for eight days instead of lasting for just one.

From Friday, November 25th to Friday, December 2nd, the Kindle version of Defenders of Shadow and Light: Ghost Thief will cost only $1.99. This is a 60% savings off the normal price of $4.99. If you’ve been unsure whether you want to read this book, now’s your chance to get it for under two dollars.

Of course, I can’t sign Kindle copies, but if you want a signed paperback copy of Ghost Thief, you can enter either my Great Ghost Thief Giveaway or GayNYCDad’s giveaway to try to win a copy.

The Great Ghost Thief Giveaway

defenders-of-shadow-light_fc_thumbnailYou might have heard that I’ve published a book – Defenders of Shadow and Light: Ghost Thief. It’s a tale about a thief named Murray Gastev. Murray’s just going about his day to day life “liberating” items in exchange for cash – as thieves often do – when he winds up getting fantastic abilities.

Murray finds that he can pass through walls and float about. There’s only one problem, though. He can’t really control his abilities. Alright two problems. He also can’t breathe while “ghosting.” Oh, and there’s the little issue of a “Dark One” who hunts and kills people with powers.
The story is the tale of how Murray meets up with other people who can help him use his powers and the great threat he encounters along the way.
Of course, this book is just the beginning. This is the start of a likely trilogy and I’ve already written one of many short stories based in the same universe. (The character in my short story is likely to appear in Book 2, so the short story can be her introduction.)

With as much enjoyment that I got from writing this book, it would be a shame if it sat on the virtual shelves of and nobody read it. So I’m trying to get the word out with a giveaway. I want to make this fun, so imagine that you inhabited the world of Ghost Thief and were granted special abilities. Given that people in this world don’t tend to put on colorful costumes and act like superheroes, what ability would you like to acquire and how would you use it? Perhaps you’d get super-speed so you could run into work – avoiding traffic and cutting your commute time down. Or maybe you’d like super-strength so you could vacuum behind the sofa with ease. Perhaps you’re a parent who would choose the ability to heal a person’s injuries and illnesses with a touch so that you could make your child feel better when they are ill.


One of my readers will win a signed copy of Defenders of Shadow and Light: Ghost Thief. To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below.

The contest starts today, November 14th and ends at midnight on December 19th. You must leave a valid e-mail address to enter so that I can contact you for your mailing address once the giveaway is over. Your e-mail address won’t be used for anything else – unless you sign up for my newsletter in which case it will be used to send you periodic updates. It will not be shared with anyone else. I will select the winner using Rafflecopter and contact you via e-mail. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to Continental U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Journal – A Short Story

write.pngI’ve been hanging out on Reddit for awhile and stumbled upon a subreddit (a forum dedicated to a single topic for those of you who have ever been on Reddit) called Writing Prompts. Here, people will post simple ideas and other posters will run with it creating amazing short stories. Earlier this week, I posted the following premise:

You receive a mystery book in the mail. Every page begins “Today I will…”. You soon find that if you write something on the next blank page in the morning, it will happen by evening. One morning, you wake up to find someone has already written “die” on what was the next blank page.

I’ll admit, I didn’t get many responses.  Only two people replied and each kept their story around two or three sentences long.  I began to think of a short story to fit my premise and came up with the following short story. I’ll admit that I deviated from the description a bit, but I’m really happy with the result. I might have to write more of these short stories and post them.

The Journal

Andrew put down his pen next to the bottle of white-out. What had he just been doing again?

“Why did you do that?” Gerald asked.

Andrew stifled a laugh. Gerald’s voice always became high-pitched and squeaky when he was upset.

“What do you mean?”

“You wrote in my journal.”

Andrew looked at the book lying on the table. Each page began “Today I Will…” and Gerald had a habit of writing in the book first thing every morning. He wasn’t sure why Gerald kept this thing anyway. Maybe as a motivational tool? Andrew was always more of a take-life-as-it-happened sort of guy.

“Yeah, sorry about that. It seemed funnier in my head, but looks kind of lame actually written out.”

“Now this is going to come true.”

“Dude. It’s just a journal.”

“That’s just it. It’s not a normal journal. I got that months ago. It just arrived out of nowhere. Whatever I wrote in the journal in the morning happened by sunset that day.”

“You’re pulling my leg.”

“No, I’m serious. Remember three days ago when I won $100 in that Lotto drawing?”


“Look at the entry for that day.”

Andrew turned the page back. Sure enough, that entry read “Today I Will win the lottery.”

“Total coincidence,” Andrew scoffed.

“What about a week ago when Mary agreed to go on a date with me after months of rejections?”

Andrew turned a week back. Gerald had written “Today I Will get Mary to go out on a date with me.”

“You could have written this afterwards,” Andrew said.

“You’ve seen me writing in it every morning,” Gerald replied.

“Okay, let’s say I believe you. That’s just normal day-to-day stuff. Well, maybe the Mary thing was extraordinary but what I wrote just isn’t possible.”

“That’s what worries me. Who knows what will happen now.”

“Fine,” Andrew sighed. “I’ll just white it out and write something else.”

Andrew picked up the bottle of white-out and used it to erase the words “Get stuck in an infinite loop.” As he picked up his pen, Andrew felt a strange tug on him, as if his entire world were rewinding.

Andrew put down his pen next to the bottle of white-out. What had he just been doing again?

NHL’s Video Review of Rory’s Story Cubes

Today, over on B’s blog, I’m guest-posting a Tuesday Tales review of Rory’s Story Cubes.  Before you head on over there, though, here’s a quick video review by NHL.  As a bonus, he ad-libs a story after rolling the die.


Disclaimer: We purchased Rory’s Story Cubes on our own and were not compensated in any way for this review.  All opinions expressed above (and in the video) are our own.

If Spam Came True

While cleaning out my spam folder, I was reminded of a comic strip I had seen a decade ago.  It was labeled “If Spam Were True” and showed various characters acting out how it might look if those endless arrays of spam messages were actually truthful in nature and not attempts to scam you out of your cash.  (Side note:  If anyone actually remembers this comic strip and knows where I might find a copy, I’d love to hear it.  For the life of me, I can’t remember the strip’s name and haven’t been able to locate it for years.)

Anyway, I was thinking about this strip, and wondered what would happen if someone did build a device that made any spam that entered his inbox magically come true.  It might turn out something like the following.


The phone rang three times before a voice answered.


“Hi, Adam?  Ted here.  I’ve got something I need you to take off of my hands.”

“What is it?”

“Well, you know all of those annoying spam e-mails that come in?”

“Yeah.  Man, do I hate those things.”

“Well I was playing around with some stuff and thought I stumbled on a way to make all spam disappear forever.”

“Wow!  You should patent that.  It’s a million dollar idea.”

“I don’t need a million dollars.  I need you to take this thing away from me.”

“Why would you want to get rid of it?  That thing’s worth a fortune.”

“I know.  There are just two problems.”

“What are they?”

“The first problem is that I can’t turn it off.  No matter what I do with it, it keep churning along doing it’s thing.  I even tried cutting the power cable but it’s still running.  Darned if I know how.”

“Ok, that’s weird.  Still, a Spam Stopper that needs no power?  Sounds even better to me.”

“That’s the other problem.  It doesn’t stop spam.  It makes it come true.”

“Makes it come true?”

“Yeah.  You know all of those International Lottery e-mails?  The ones that say you’ve won some huge prize from a lottery that everyone knows doesn’t really exist?”


“Well, somehow my machine has turned those imaginary winnings into real dollars.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No, I’m not.  I was suspicious when the first boxes full of cash began arriving, but they seem to be 100% legal tender.”


“I thought so too, at first.  Then the machine branched out into Nigerian spammers.”

“Those guys are worse than the phony lottery folks.”

“Except when they’re turned true.  Now I’m being showered with so much money, I don’t know what to do with it all.  I stopped counting at around $90 billion.”

“Okay, except for an accounting nightmare, I don’t see what the problem is.  You’ve got more money than you ever dreamed of.  I think a few tax or accounting headaches would be worth it.”

“It might have been, but it didn’t stop there.  You know those e-mails that claim to be from women who are just dying to meet you for illicit activities?”


“Yup.  You guessed it.  Suddenly hundreds of strange women began showing up at my doorstep throwing themselves at me.  My wife was already wondering what was up with the sudden influx of money but now she was convinced that I was cheating on her.  She left for her mother’s house three weeks ago, took the kids and I haven’t been able to contact them since.”

“But you didn’t actually *do* anything with these women, right?”

“Of course not.  Give me some credit.  Still, it’s getting draining saying ‘No’ to beautiful women three times per hour.  And since spam doesn’t respect night-time hours, these women show up at all hours of the day.  I haven’t gotten a decent night’s sleep in weeks.  Are you laughing?”

“Sorry, but I couldn’t help but chuckle over how you made having tons of money and beautiful woman fawning over you sound like such a chore.”

“Honestly, all I want is my simple life back.  I don’t want this infernal machine anymore.”

“Ok, ok.  I think I can take it off your hands.  I’m single, so there won’t be a complication with the women showing up.  When do you want to drop it off?”

“Um… Actually, I was hoping you could pick it up from me.  I can’t leave my apartment anymore.”

“Why not?  With every money e-mail spam adding to your bank account, I’d think you could transport it here in a private helicopter.”

“Yes, but you know all of those ‘add an inch’ spam e-mails?”

“Heh heh heh.  Yeah.  They came true too, right?  Wait a second.  Exactly, how many of them have come true so far?”

“28… Make that 29.”

“Um… Actually, I don’t think I’ll be able to help you Ted.  Maybe you could try Rick or Tony.  I just remembered that have something very urgent to take care of.”

“Please, Adam… You’ve got to help me.  I need to get rid of this before…”

Adam could hear a ding in the background and then another.  He hung up the phone as he heard Ted mumbling something about herbal viagra.  He felt bad for Ted.  He hated his overflowing spam folder, but decided that there are worse things in the world.  Those spam messages could be coming true!