New Covers

I've been working hard on learning to market books, and finally realized it was ridiculous to spend a penny on advertising without improving the book covers... So! Along with the new cover for Civilly Disobedient, I got new covers for Project Reunion and Martial Lawless as well! Aren't they pretty? :)

And the new full set (font-matching):

Martial Lawless Excerpt

Martial Lawless, the third full-length book in the Calm Act series after Project Reunion.


Martial Law vs. Religion Run Amok

“What God demands of us –” Those were the chilling final words of Major Dane Beaufort, before a mob beat him to death in the streets of Pittsburgh. Beaufort was the martial law Resco assigned to lead the city through the climate change crisis. The punishment for interfering with a Resco is death. The consequences for murdering one have yet to be devised.

Martial Law vs. Religion Run Amok

By far, the hardest couple hundred words of a book for me are all in the blurb. The hardest handful are in the title. Copy-writing, the art of selling with words, is not my genre. But I’m trying to get better at it.

Recently I ran across a fun new concept – the Emotional Marketing Value of words. The idea is that some words are just better at yanking people’s chains than others, and persuading them to buy. Or read. Or whatever you’re trying to persuade them to do. I even found a tool for this, for rating possible headlines:

(You need to enter 4-20 words. Pad out with “a” or “the” as needed.)


Were you ever taught not to talk about yourself? I sure was. To the point that it’s hard to do even when it’s ‘appropriate’, even necessary. Like when promoting my books, or in a job interview. Who me? Oh, I’m uh...not very interesting, really...

End Game isn’t a debut novel. I’ve been writing fiction since I was 7. I still have that storybook, in fact, from second grade. So I wrote, and loved to write. Even published a bit. I have no idea how much nonfiction I’ve written over the years – hundreds of thousands of pages of technical stuff. But in my private opinion, my fiction plots were never quite good enough.

Project Reunion

Project Reunion, Calm Act book 2


A bold plan to save a dying city

New York City is a lost cause. When Ebola broke out, the Calm Act prescription was to wall off the city with armed borders. Otherwise refugees would flood out and take the whole Northeast down along with it. The survivors outside, struggling to make ends meet in a chaotic climate and collapsed economy, are grateful. But they feel guilty as sin. New York weighs heavily on the regional conscience.

At the conclusion of End Game, Dee Baker and her lover Emmett MacLaren were invited to present proposals at a military conference on the problem. Dee leads the Amenac Internet empire, which bypasses the Calm Act’s censorship to empower survivors to self-organize and help themselves. Emmett is a martial law governor anointed within the Calm Act to lead and rebuild their county. The rule-breaker and the rule-maker could prove a dynamic partnership – or be torn apart.

Now that the crops are harvested from the first year under the Calm Act, can the Northeast afford to save New York? Or is it even safe to try, with another state beyond their borders preparing for war?

Project Reunion is the sequel to End Game, book 2 in the Calm Act series.

Calm Act Genesis - Dust of Kansas

Dust of Kansas is a short prequel to End Game.

Chapter 1

Interesting fact: Fort Leavenworth Kansas is home to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, which offers a number of master’s degree programs in military science. The majority of students are ‘mid-career’ Army officers — ranks Major, Lt. Colonel, and Colonel — with a smattering of inter-agency, international, and inter-service students. Fort Leavenworth lies on the Missouri River, about 30 miles north of Kansas City.

Emma MacLaren, recovering army wife, looked around the kitchen judiciously. All the newly stocked cabinets were closed, cooking utensils at the ready. She nodded approval of a job well done. “Well, that’s the last of your crap stowed away. Welcome home, Emmett. And welcome to the Midwest, Cam, John.” She smiled warmly at her son’s new room-mates.