A very underrated Judas Priest Album. The first three songs below are actually some of the heaviest stuff they’ve done. And yes, I’ve excluded Diamonds and Rust…only because I’ve featured it before on my blog.

Dissident Aggressor



Here Comes the Tears


When I was a kid, I unfortunately didn’t ready much fantasy. This is because I really didn’t know the genre existed as no one I knew read it. Therefore, most of my fantasy consumption resulted from films (i.e. the Conan movies, etc) which later drove me to find Robert E. Howard as an adult and finally be exposed to something I had always been looking for.

With that being said, I did read the fantastical as a kid. However, this mostly revolved around mythologies such as King Arthur and Merlin (loved these stories) and the ancient myths of the Greek, Roman, and Norse pantheons. When you think about it, isn’t the story of Jason and the Argonauts really just a Sword and Sorcery tale?

Anyway, the stories I loved the most involved Hercules. I read anything and everything I could find about him. I also watched every movie about the character from as far back as the Steve Reeves and Reg Park films (pretty good for their time) to the Lou Ferrigno atrocities and the Arnold Schwarzenegger B movie that is worth watching if only for a good laugh.

The problem I had with most of these movies was that they never really focused on the stories already there. Well, finally it seems that Hollywood is going to get it right. The new Hercules trailer (starring The Rock) came out the other day and I’m as giddy as the 6th grader who read the same novelization of the twelve labors four times in one school year.

Finally, we get the twelve labors (or at least part of them in a flashback), and finally we’re going to see the troubled character I remember and felt connected to as a kid.

I haven’t been this excited about a movie in a long time. Hopefully, it doesn’t fall flat.


When a Hard Rock band puts the word “rock” in the title of their song, it automatically gets classified in the rock anthem category in my mind. Most of the time it works (You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll, Let there be Rock, etc.).

However, occasionally this falls flat.

April Wine wrote a song that has some pretty good music. However, they gave it one of the worst names I’ve ever heard. I Like to Rock.

That’s it. Replace the word “like” and it would be alright, but the word “like” lacks the passion it seemed they were going for. The lack of passion is even more prominent when the chorus isn’t belted out so much as it is sung in a slightly higher volume than someone’s speaking voice. Just listen for yourself.

April Wine - I Like to Rock

To make matters worse, the actual lyrics for the song are awful. It reads like someone making things up on the fly. No coherency, no flow, no story. Just blah. See below.

Well alright, somethin's got you goin' tonight
Doin' all she can, it's alright
Come on can't you see
That when we all let go
We get high on rock 'n' roll

Journey to the stars, rock 'n' roll guitars, yeah
I like to rock, some like it hot, baby
I like it, you like it
I like to rock, I like to rock

I can sing, that's the kind of life for me
Want it loose and fancy free
Come on then let's go
And it'll be alright
We can rock 'n' roll all night

Journey to the stars, rock 'n' roll guitars, yeah
I like to rock, some like it hot, baby
I like it, you like it
I like to rock, I like to rock

Ooh, I like to rock
Some like it hot, baby
I like it, you like it
I like to rock, I like to rock

See? Awful.

So, here’s my stab at writing the lyrics to a song with the title “I Like to Rock.” It is far more amusing if you imagine it sung by Michael Caine as I keep doing. Ha.

Verse 1
My word
Is that a guitar?
Well grab it
And throw it in the car
And is that
a set of drums?
Gather them up
You can beat them while I strum

I like to Rock, I like to Rock
Wherever we are
All the ladies flock
I like to Rock, I like to Rock
By jove, I like to rock

Verse 2
We’ll go down to
The local bar
Play on stage
And get money for our jar
We’ll play all day We’ll play all night
We’ll get the crowd amped
Everyone will feel alright

Repeat Chorus

Guitar solo

Verse 3
I do enjoy
A good bass line
And that power chord
Makes me feel just fine
Just don’t bring
Your silly keytar
We’ll never be a star

Repeat Chorus 2x

By the way, that took me like 10 minutes. Admit it, that was far more entertaining than the original lyrics.


Though I don’t own anything by Crosby Stills Nash, I’ve always liked the band (even more with Neil Young). Anyway, a good friend of mine invited me to one of their concerts this weekend which I’m pretty excited about it.

And yes, despite the crowd I will be sporting a metal shirt (even if I’m the only one doing so). \m/

Here are a few of my favorites:

Southern Cross

Suite Judy Blue Eyes

And my top choice . . .
Carry On/Questions


Today I sold my 10,000th book. That’s a milestone I honestly never thought I’d reach when I began publishing my work a couple years ago.

What makes this even more special is that after a fairly slow start, most of that number has occurred in the last 6-7 months. Even more strikingly, is that about 85% of my sales have been in the UK which I also wouldn’t have expected.

With four to five books in the pipeline for this year, I’m hoping to continue building my brand and maybe if I’m lucky some of that success in the UK will spill over into other countries. Maybe, even my own! Ha.

I think this reiterates a point made by many authors: publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me thus far! It’s been awesome.

Today’s Music Monday is the new Iced Earth album.

Overall, it’s a pretty good release (their best since Framing Armageddon part 1, in my opinion) and a step up over Dystopia for me. I wasn’t a huge fan of that particular album. The songwriting is much stronger here and I think Stu is really finding his own voice within the band.

If I Could See You

The Culling


Peacemaker (Live)


The Cult of Sutek, The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel, Vol. 1 (target release date of May 2014) officially has a cover!

His life has no purpose. She’s out to prove hers. An unlikely alliance forms. Their legend is born.

Rondel, a once famous minstrel is crippled and rotting away in prison. He has nothing to live for until Andrasta, a mysterious warrior, gives his live meaning again. The pair escapes prison and in the aftermath, form a partnership they hope will lead to fame and fortune. Their journey is a long one, filled with peril, adventure, and even failure.

The ancient cult of Sutek grips the land of Iget. Framed by the cult for kidnapping and attempted murder, Rondel and Andrasta help a young noble rescue his sister in order to clear their name.

The Cult of Sutek is the first volume in a planned series of standalone adventures in The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel.

* * *

I decided to go with a different look for these books than what I used for the Blood and Tears series. I hired a very talented illustrator named Alex Wakefield to paint the scenes for each cover in this series. (Notice the brush strokes!) You can reach Alex through his website at www.motorart27.com.

Once we got the finalized version from him, my wife Leah took care of the graphics and layout. The image above is the Amazon cover. The covers for other retailers will be cropped differently based on their dimensional requirements.

I’m very happy with the final product. Preliminary work on the cover for The City of Pillars, The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel, Vol. 2 has already begun.

For those interested, below is the full piece of artwork before we began cropping for the Amazon cover.

I can’t wait to get these books released. Thoughts on the cover?

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Led Zeppelin rightfully gets a lot of credit for their catalog. However, their third album is almost always grossly underrated. It has some of my favorite Zeppelin tunes.


Out on the Tiles

Gallows Pole