Today is the celebration of a great man who probably doesn’t get celebrated enough. For some reason, we look to Dr. King’s inspiration today, but too often forget about him and what he stood for during the rest of the year. That should stop.

Most people know his famous “I have a dream” speech. However, he said countless other things that should be an inspiration for all of us each and every day. The below article I found provides a few of those quotes that are far less known than others.

http://www.vox.com/2015/1/19/7552977/martin-luther-king-quotes

Just about every death metal band out there owes something to Carcass (especially those on the melodic side). The classic Heartwork album is just unbelievable start to finish, especially the guitar work.

Plus, there’s a lot of good anger on this album as well and I never get tired of that. ;)

Heartwork


Embodiment


No Love Lost

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In January of 2014, I posted the following writing related goals. The results are bolded.

1. Write two to three books. This will probably be Book Three of The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel (currently working on this…about 35K into the rough draft), completing Book Two in The Tyrus Chronicle, and either working on Book Three in The Tyrus Chronicle or going back and doing Book Four of The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel series.

Done. I wrote The Tower of Bashan: The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel, Vol. 3 and published it this past summer. I also wrote Wayward Soldiers: The Tyrus Chronicle – Book 2 which is currently with my editor. I’ve started The Maze of Hidesi: The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel, Vol. 4 (over 50K written so far) and will finish it early this year.

I was hoping to be a bit further along in Volume 4, but overall it’s been a pretty productive year considering what I’ve published.

2. Publish four to five novels. This will be the first three books in The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel and at least the first book in The Tyrus Chronicle. I’m hoping I might be able to publish the second book in The Tyrus Chronicle as well, but I’ll have to play that by ear. If I do get it out it will probably be around December.

Done. I later decided it made more sense not to push things and publish four books in 2014 (still quite a bit of work) rather than kill myself and my wife trying to get one more out.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how the year turned out from a writing/publishing perspective.

2015 Writing Goals

1. Publish Wayward Soldiers: The Tyrus Chronicle - Book 2
     1A. Hoping to get this published in February 2015.

2. Finish writing The Maze of Hidesi: The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel, Vol. 4
     2A. Hoping to publish this in Late Summer 2015.

3. Write Resurrected Soldiers: The Tyrus Chronicle - Book 3
     3A. Hoping to publish this in November or December 2015.

4. Start writing either Book Five in The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel series or possibly the last Tyrus book. This will depend mostly on my state of mind at the time I’m ready to start working on these.

5. Maybe publish a short story I’ve got lying around that needs a bit more polish and a cover. It would be a good way to get one more thing out this year from me if I can get it together.

6. Release the first three Andrasta and Rondel books in audio format. I’ve hired a voice actor/producer I’m really excited about these. The plan is for all three to be available before the summer months.

So, those are the writing goals. If I can accomplish all of it, I’ll consider it a very successful year.

What are your 2015 goals?

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On December 26th, I got to see Stuck Mojo for the first time as the band got together for a reunion show. In my mind, they really don’t get the credit they deserve. They were one of the pioneers in combining rap and metal. However, they never got the fame of the garbage nu metal bands, but somehow still got associated with them which immediately turns most people off from checking them out.

And that’s a shame. Rich Ward is probably one of the most underrated guitarists in metal. Just a great riff creator and song writer. Bonz does an excellent job fronting the band with lots of energy. Plus, Corey Lowrey’s clean vocals are amazing and his bass playing is perfect for Frank’s groove behind the drums.

Lots of energy and an unbelievable live show. You know a show is intense when two people are knocked out with concussions (one had a wound on the back of his head) before the end of the third song of the set.

They ended up only playing tracks from their first three albums so I thought I’d give a small sample from each of those below.

Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Twisted


Throw the Switch


Not Promised Tomorrow

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I hope everyone has had or is having a happy holiday season. Things have been pretty crazy for me. My wife came down with the flu and all three of my kids picked up a bad cold that we’ve all shared with each other over the last week plus. Therefore, all of our original holiday plans ended up getting nixed. My wife and I went into scramble mode to make sure Christmas was still fun and special for the kids.

I’ve still been writing/editing, but because of this and just a really hectic December, I’m admittedly several weeks behind of where I wanted to be. Nowhere near panic mode, just eating into the lead time I like to maintain on my releases so things never get to panic territory.

Anyway, as I usually do every year, below are my top 10 favorite reads of the year (not necessarily 2014 releases)

10. Eric by Terry Pratchett


9. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson


8. The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig


7. The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons


6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy


5. The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks


4. The Martian by Andy Weir


3. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence


2. King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence


1. Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence


So, what are your thoughts? Read any good books lately? If so, share them in the comments.

It’s that time of the year again. This year has been really good as far as new releases are concerned, making the cut to five more difficult than usual. In fact, the margins between each spot are pretty thin. The deciding factor became which albums I listened to the most since their releases.

5. Overkill – White Devil Armoury
Bitter Pill


4. KXM – KXM
Rescue Me


3. Arch Enemy – War Eternal
Avalanche


2. At the Gates – At War With Reality
Heroes and Tombs


1. Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls
Hell & Back


What were your top five albums?

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A great war. A changed world. A soldier through it all.



Forgotten Soldiers: The Tyrus Chronicle - Book One is now available for your Kindle! Click here to purchase or borrow if you're a member of Kindle Unlimited.

A paperback version can be found here.

Forgotten Soldiers is the first book in The Tyrus Chronicles. Three more books are planned for this series: Wayward Soldiers, Resurrected Soldiers, and Forever Soldiers. The next two are scheduled for release next year.

Here's the description for Forgotten Soldiers.

The Turine army is on the brink of victory against the Geneshans. Sergeant Tyrus and his unit are tasked to steal an artifact from the enemy that some believe has the power to destroy the world. Taking such power from the Geneshans would end the decade long war.

Upon their success, Tyrus’s unit is among the first wave of soldiers discharged from the army. War has robbed him of time with his wife and children, but now the life he has dreamed of every day for the last ten years is just a long journey away.

Traveling home, Tyrus finds the world he left behind changed in ways he never expected. His own countrymen view returning soldiers as a threat. His own townsmen want to forget he even existed. Danger is everywhere. His dream is in jeopardy.

If you enjoy the story or any of my other works, please consider leaving a rating or review at the site of purchase as well as other places such as Goodreads and Librarything. Like many other indie authors, I do not have a marketing team working for me and a positive review (even if only a couple of sentences long) can go a long way in enticing others to give my works a try.

Thanks for the continued support!

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