Sunshine Patriots… Cover Reveal

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Sunshine Patriots is set in Steven Konkoly’s Perseid Collapse Kindle World, launching Feb. 3. I’m honored to be a part of Steve’s project and a stellar team of post-apocalyptic authors.

Retired Army Ranger John Goodwin and his two daughters fight for their lives from sweltering FEMA camps to the mangrove swamps of the Florida Keys. As the massive federal relief effort triggers conflict between freedom and order, a family still reeling from loss finds themselves under attack. Can Alexandria find hope when all hope seems lost? Can John destroy his enemies and save his children without losing himself? After the Event, nothing is certain.

Fans of the Wrath series will recognize my favorite themes in this novella… evil, faith, and family in peril. And of course, plenty of rounds zipping through the air!

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Author Spotlight: Sean T. Smith

I’m super-stoked to be included in Steven’s The Persied Collapse Kindle World.

USA Today Bestselling Author Steven Konkoly

The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World

Author Spotlight: Sean T. Smith

patriots-promoAuthor of the Wrath Series, a post-apocalyptic series set in the aftermath of a collapsed United States, Sean’s Kindle Worlds novella takes readers south to the Florida Keys, at a time when thousands of college students should be descending on the islands for spring break. Obviously, things are a little different several months after the “event.” Unrecognizable might be a better term. 

I’m deep into reading Sean’s novella, which explores the complex and tenuous relationship between the Federal Government’s disaster relief program and the rights of individuals in the Perseid Collapse World. Sean’s experience tackling this topic in his novels shines in The Sunshine Patriots. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the play on words.

Check out Sean’s blog, and be on the lookout February 3rd for his novella.

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American Sniper: Reivew and Controversy

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I read Chris Kyle’s autobiography last year, and when I learned that the book was going to be turned into a movie, I was thrilled and a bit skeptical. Clint Eastwood has delivered a movie that exceeded my expectations, a war film that deserves a place beside Saving Private Ryan and Apocalypse, Now. I hope it wins a truck-load of awards.

The pacing is excellent, juxtaposing scenes stateside with the war in Iraq. Bradley Cooper is utterly convincing in this role as the most lethal sniper in U.S. history. His performance is nuanced and heart breaking. The battle scenes are riveting. As the credits rolled, the entire crowded theater remained in their seats. No matter his flaws, Chris Kyle is an American hero, and this film is a great tribute to him and the brave men and women who risk their lives everyday defending our freedom.

Chris Kyle’s heart comes across better in the film than it did in the book, the inner conflict between duty and family, and the most emotional scenes of the movie revolve around Kyle’s inner struggle, whether it’s making an agonizing call on the battle field or a phone call to his wife.

There has been a surprising amount of controversy surrounding this film. A few celebrities have condemned it, Michael Moore publicly slamming the film. People have called the movie racist. Kyle experienced war in a way most men never do. He experienced savagery and witnessed atrocities that shaped his outlook on his enemies, people who were actively trying to kill him. He lost close friends in combat. The movie does not depict all Iraqis in a bad light; one of the most intense scenes in the movie does quite the opposite. The fact is, insurgents did melt into the civilian population, using IEDs and snipers to kill American soldiers. The notion that the film rewrites history is ludicrous.

The film is not political; it’s about what happened to the soldiers who were there and how the war stayed with them even when they were home. Whether or not the war in Iraq was justified or not doesn’t matter to the men and women who served in that fight. They carry the scars either way. The film doesn’t go into the justification for the war, doesn’t condone or glorify it. The fact is, war is ugly and mean and bloody and it’s always been that way.

Kyle prioritized his life thus: God, Family, Country. His ability to kill without remorse is chilling to soft civilians like me. I write about heroes, but I’m far from actually being one. But he’ s the guy you want at the gates when the city is under siege, standing on the wall, fighting back.

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I plan on rereading the book, and I’m sure I’ll watch the movie again before it leaves theaters. If you plan on seeing only one movie this year, see this one!

http://www.amazon.com/Sean-T.-Smith/e/B00IKHPGEK

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Here’s to Breaking Writing Rules—Rebels With a Cause or Rebels Without a Clue?

Some great perspective here.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Orignal image via Wikimedia Commons Orignal image via Wikimedia Commons

For the past several years, I’ve always begun the New Year with predictions of what the publishing industry would or wouldn’t do in the year to come. But this year? I’m being a rule-breaker and taking a different perspective—one I believe has greater impact and longevity. Algorithms rise and fizzle, publishers go out of business, change paths, or change rules. Heck, Amazon changes its mind more than my mother trying to pick a restaurant. So…eh. Not going there this year.

Unlike the days of early artists, we live in a light-speed society where something can fall flat or catch fire in an instant. This is an exciting time to be a writer.

We are in a New Age of the Artisan. When I give advice to young people about a future career, I simply want them to ask these simple questions. Can what I do be…

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What Things Here Lie Broken?

Broken

broken

What things here lie broken?

God, where do I begin

A window, the couch, the roof on this house

Beyond my means to mend

Discarded and forgotten

falling sad apart

A toy, her phone, the car, our home

four aching hearts

What here lies broken?

lives and hopes and dreams

my smile and faith and promises made

The broken thing is me

Sean T. Smith

2015