I'm hosting my first giveaway!

Earlier this week I received an email from Audible.com that they are allowing me to give away five free copies of both Warleader - A Blood and Tears Short Story and Rise and Fall: Book One of the Blood and Tears Trilogy.

If you are interested in receiving a free audio copy of both “Warleader - A Blood and Tears Short Story" and "Rise and Fall: Book One of the Blood and Tears Trilogy" just email me at joshuapsimon.author@gmail.com that you want your name included in the drawing. (Don't worry, I will never sell your email address or spam it!)

That’s it. Email and you're in the drawing.

I’ll let the giveaway run for two weeks (ending on July 11th). Then I’ll pick five people at random and email them the codes for each audiobook. You will need to be an Audible.com member in order to redeem the coupon codes.

Good Luck! And share this giveaway with your friends!

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Unlike the last AIC release with William Duvall (which turned out to be my second favorite AIC album behind Dirt), this one took a little longer to grow on me, partially because I think the beginning of the album is weaker than the middle and ending. That being said, it is still another solid release with some great songs that only improve with each listen.

I do have a few gripes though, most notably is that Duvall’s vocals are again too low in the mix. Don’t get me wrong, I like Cantrell’s voice, but Duvall is capable of belting these songs out and rather than doing so is stuck doing background work or accompanying Jerry on most tracks. Not cool. Give the man his due and push him up to the front.

I also felt like this album came across like a Jerry Cantrell solo album (not a bad thing), rather than a AIC album. The title track (The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here), is the only AIC song I’ve ever skipped and is my least favorite by the band. Just don’t care for the music, vocal melody, or lyrics.

Below are my four favorite tracks right now. A strong sign of how good these songs are is the fact that writing up this blog post is making me want to put the album on again. Enjoy!



Phantom Limb (one of the heaviest riffs Cantrell has written)



Time for a little old school Thrash today. Such a good band/album.

Gods of Wrath

Metal Church (Live)

Beyond the Black


Over the last week, I’ve read a few interviews with former NBA stars selecting their all time starting five. I’ve disagreed with all of them. For instance, Dr. J didn’t include anyone that played in the 80s or later and Karl Malone left Michael Jordan off his list (obviously still bitter).

Anyway, I decided to go one step further and not only choose a starting five, but my all-time NBA team which means 12 spots total.

I won’t go into detail about each selection because honestly, the names speak for themselves in most instances. It’s not like I included someone like Manute Bol as my center.

Starting Five
PG – Magic Johnson

SG – Michael Jordan

SF – Larry Bird

PF – Kevin Garnett

C – Bill Russell

Second Five
PG – Oscar Robertson

SG – Jerry West

SF – Elgin Baylor

PF – Tim Duncan

C – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Charles Barkley

Scottie Pippen

Additional thoughts and expected criticisms:
- Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett could easily be switched between my first and second five. However, I thought Garnett’s intensity and defensive skills fit better with the first unit. Can you imagine trying to penetrate the paint with him and Russell blocking the way?
- No Wilt Chamberlin? No Kobe Bryant? – I agree both players are awesome. However, I feel that both would dominate the ball too much and have shown in the past they can struggle to play with other superstars on their teams. If we were choosing a list of best one on one players, both would make my list.
- No Lebron? – Not yet. He might be the best player in the league now and the one with the most physical tools of all time. However, his commitment to defense has always been sporadic and until last year, he shied away from pressure situations (something he’s doing again in this year’s NBA finals). I need more than one year of him playing with a killer instinct for him to be on my all-time team.
- Scottie Pippen? – Absolutely. The ultimate glue guy and perfect for a team like this. He is also in my opinion, the single best shut down defender to ever play the game.

This side project from Jesper Stromblad (Former In Flames guitarist/songwriter) is absolutely brutal. Probably one of the heaviest things I’ve heard in a long time.

Needless to say, I’m quite fond of it.


(I will) Die Alone


So, this is the end of my efforts at casting the Blood and Tears series for the hypothetical movie taking place. Same rules apply here that applied on the previous two blog posts.

Jonrell – Clive Standen

Jonrell was probably the hardest one to cast out of The Hell Patrol because he is such a major character in the series. I decided to go with Clive because I think he has the look of a leader and also has experience in similar roles. Most recently, he stars on the History Channel series “Vikings.”

Cassus – David Wenham

David was in 300 and is most famous for playing Faramir.

Kroke – Milo Ventimiglia

This was also a pretty hard role to cast. I switched choices several times before finally settling on Milo (Thanks to some brainstorming with Leah). He’s short, wiry (but in good shape), and I think he could pull off the killer look.

Krytien – Conleth Hill

Not super familiar with his work except that he plays Varys on Game of Thrones.

Raker – John Rys-Davies

This might seem like an odd choice as he is most known for his roles in Indiana Jones and especially as Gimli in Lord of the Rings. However, I think he could pull off a hard-nosed veteran with a slight soft side.

Drake – Josh Wood

I’m not married to this selection but I think he has a good look for the role.

Crusher – Conan Stevens

Absolutely perfect. He’s a 7 foot tall former bodybuilder and wrestler, turned actor.

Yanasi – Rose Leslie

Made for the role. Exactly what I imagine Yanasi to look like.

Rygar – Chris Pine

Yeah, I know Captain Kirk would probably scoff at taking a small role. But, I think it could work.

Hag – Meryl Streep

When I wrote this character, a part of me always heard Estelle Getty’s voice in my head. Well, unfortunately she’s dead. I thought it would be fun to have someone like Meryl Streep play the role. She’s versatile enough to pull it off.

Wiqua – Lou Diamond Philips

This was all Leah’s suggestion. I had someone else in the role and was pretty happy with it, but then she pulled up this picture and I was sold on her choice. It’s an interesting choice but one I think would be fun to see.

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