Does anyone else feel like this?

I no longer find post-apocalyptic movies entertaining.

Some of my favorite books over the years have been: Lucifer’s Hammer, Alas, Babylon, Childhood’s End, and One Second After. And who will ever forget great classics like The Day of the Triffids, On the Beach and A Canticle for Lebowitz. I loved these post-apocalyptic books. I’ve read them all more than once. I even wrote one myself about 4 years ago: The Girl With No Shoes, about time travel and a civilization ending plague.

And some of my all-time favorite movies have been The Quiet Place, The Bird Box, Signs, and I Am Legend, to name just a few. I own the DVD of Signs and binge-watched The Bird Box three times one week on Netflix about a year ago. I loved it.

But now that I feel like I’m in one, I no longer find them quite so entertaining.

I’ve had a few co-workers make comments along these lines (over the phone, of course, while on con-calls). One said that he “feels like he’s a supporting cast member in a sci-fi movie.” Another one said that she “feels like she’s been dropped into a sci-fi plot.” These comments all came unprompted, without a leading question. I found it interesting because I was feeling the same way. When I commented on this to my brother, he quipped: “What took you so long? I’ve felt like I’ve been in a dystopian nightmare ever since Trump got elected.”

I was really looking forward to the release of The Quiet Place II this March in movie theaters. But I never got the chance. All the theaters closed due to the virus the same week it was released. (Does anyone else see the irony in that?) Maybe Netflix will stream it, but I no longer care. It’s going to be a very long time before I’ll be in the mood to watch it.

In the past I’ve had to watch these movies alone or with a friend or one of my adult kids, because my wife doesn’t like them and will leave the room if one is on. She much prefers stuff like Call the Midwife, Doc Martin and Downton Abbey. At Christmas time she binge watches cheesy Hallmark holiday romances. Shows that usually put me to sleep before the opening credits are done.

Like everyone else around the world, my wife and I are in self-isolation at home. Fortunately we both have jobs that are suitable for work from home. My work sent us all home with our laptops two weeks ago and told us not to come back until further notice. My wife’s employer sent them home with their computers and telephones last week. She’s setup in the dining room and my ‘office’ is now in the living room.

We won’t be going out anytime soon, and there is suddenly a lot of time after work to read books and watch TV. And I have absolutely no interest in apocalyptic books and end of the world movies. My wife found out that Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, has a new series on Netflix: The English Game, about soccer in the 1870’s. She wants to watch that.

Sounds good to me Honey. I’ll make the popcorn. And after that’s over, I’ll even watch Call the Midwife with you.

Reading Not Cancelled

Everything, it seems, is being cancelled. When hockey gets cancelled in Canada, and football is cancelled in the UK, you know things are getting serious.

But the cancellations are for a good reason. Social distancing is the best way to curb the spread of this virus. Social distancing and self-isolation is the responsible thing to do. I saw a thing on FB yesterday that made me laugh so hard it brought tears to my eyes. It went like this:

“Our grandfathers were called to storm the beaches of Normandy. We are being called to sit on the couch. You can do this.”

Yes, we can. The isolation won’t be fun, but it is the socially responsible thing to do. Even if you are not in a high risk category, you can still become contagious – so this is about protecting other people as well.

The good news is that reading hasn’t been cancelled. And with the entire world going into quarantine, restaurants, bars and all public events closing, there is going to be a lot of time to read.

This week, from March 16 to March 19, 2020, I am giving away for free the Kindle version of “Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte”. Available on Amazon now. It is a fun, escapist read that is by no means serious SF and has nothing to do with viruses, so I hope people will find it a refreshing and enjoyable diversion.

This is the first book in my Jack Winters series, about a detective and a group of alien smugglers who come to Earth for our coffee and have all kinds of adventures around the galaxy.

The second book in the series is also available now – “Coffee To Go, With a Spaceship.” The 3rd book is planned, and I hope to have that ready later this year.

Various promotions will continue after the free giveaway ends March 19. After March 19, I will raise the price up to 0.99 in both the US, Canadian and UK markets. (0.99 Euro for UK, and 0.99 USD for the States and something like 1.35 in Canada – whatever the conversation rate works out to.)

The book will be featured in a series of online promotions and email blasts between now and April 5, with BooksGoSocial, Bargain Booksy and BookSends. The price will remain at 0.99 throughout this time and to the end of April.

Please drop me a line and let me know what you think!

Stay safe and stay healthy… and don’t forget to wash your hands!

A New Jack Winters Adventure

In response to the overwhelming demand from my readers, I’m planning the 3rd book in the Jack Winters series. Actually, truth be told, I’d planned on continuing the series from the very beginning. Readers have been asking me when the next is coming, and I expect to have it out in the first half of next year – by spring of 2020.

Thanks to my readers, the first two novels, Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte and Coffee to Go, With a Spaceship have been a tremendous success and I’m excited about continuing the series.

I will keep readers updated with news and progress. Keep an eye out for future posts on my website!

Thanks!

Mike

Jack Winters is looking forward to his next big adventure!

Thanksgiving ‘Give-away’

sci-fi detective noir
My alter-ego staring down the bad guys.

Exciting news! The Kindle version of Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte is going on sale for 99 cents! Okay, maybe that’s not exactly a free give-away as the blog title might suggest, but I thought the title was catchy, and it is still almost a give-away. Cheaper than a Latte, that’s for sure.

The promotion will be on November 18 and then again the 25th, featured on Booksends and Bargain Booksy.

 

 

 

Summer Fun 2018 Promos

Summer fun

I’ve got a promo running this month for a couple of my books, The Girl With No Shoes and Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte. The picture to the left with the cute pink flip-flops has nothing to do with anything, but I like it for its winsome cheerfulness.

The fun starts this week. I’m giving away the Kindle version of The Girl With No Shoes for free, from August 6 to 9. You can download it from Amazon here. After that, it goes on sale for 99 cents for the rest of the month.

Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte will be free (Kindle version) starting August 7 through to the 11th. Then it goes on sale for 99 cents to the end of the month or longer if the promo is going well. Download it from Amazon here.

Be sure to get your copy! I hope you enjoy the books as much as I loved writing them.

 

Coffee to Go, With a Spaceship now in paperback

Coffee to Go
Book 2 in the Jack Winters adventures

A paperback version of ‘Coffee To Go’ is now available, however it may be a few more days or weeks before Amazon has them linked together in all markets. If you search on the title, you will still see them listed separately. I’m told by the folks at Amazon that it sometimes takes a week or so before their automated algorithms link the two.

The paperback version has a different cover, and you may ask why… well, since you are asking, the answer is simple. Economics. All publishers operate on a budget for each title they publish, and indie publishers like myself are no different. Print versions represent a very small fraction of over all sales. In fact, I basically produce a print version to make it easier to give copies away to friends and family, and I probably give more paperbacks away than are sold. So since the bulk of my sales are digital downloads, that is where I decided to spend my money on the cover.

It’s kind of crazy how much extra it costs to get a paperback version of the same cover art, so I made the executive decision to make my own cover for the paperback and use the free images available.

Sand Angel title has been changed

The Girl With No Shoes, a dystopian time-travel romance

Just a quick note to my readers that I’ve changed the title of my time-travel romance, Sand Angel, to The Girl With No Shoes. It is the same great story, just a different cover and title. My wife looked at me funny when I told her, and maybe you are too, but I have my reasons. First, like most creatives, I can be flaky. That’s just the way we are. Kind of goes with the territory, unfortunately.

But secondly, I just never really liked the original title and went with Sand Angel because some close relatives liked it and urged me to use that. But the title always made me feel itchy and recently I decided to do something about it. I really like the new title. Here is the new blurb I’ve put up on Amazon along with the new title and cover:

When the new girl moves in next to Jake’s beach house, he is immediately interested. She’s beautiful, intelligent and mysterious, and it’s not long before he’s head over heels in love. What he doesn’t suspect, and what Octavia can never tell him, is that she is a time-traveller from the 23rd century. A time-traveller on a mission, because the world is about to end in a terrible plague and the lives of Jake, his precocious young daughter, and everyone around her is in grave danger.

But as their romance blossoms Octavia is troubled by the dark secrets she is keeping from him and all the lies she has to tell. How do you tell the person you love that you are from the future? How will they ever believe you? But how do you continue living a lie by keeping secret the single most important thing about you?

As Jake grows suspicious, Octavia’s secret threatens to tear them apart and she is forced to make a horrible decision. Does she stay in the past with the only man she has ever found true love with, risking her life in the plagues to come, or return to the safety of her own time? Equal parts time travel adventure and romance, The Girl With No Shoes is a touching story about how love can change the future.

The sequel to Aliens & Latte is here!

Coffee to Go, With a Spaceship is now available on Amazon! Yeah!

I started on the sequel to Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte in the spring of 2016. Fans have been asking about it ever since I announced that the 2nd book was in the works, and many of you asked to be put on my mailing list so you’d be notified when it was released.

Well, it’s finally here and available on Amazon for Kindle.

Coffee to Go
Book 2 in the Jack Winters adventures

The title is slightly different than what I had originally announced, but I felt that it was a bit of a mouthful and decided to shorten it.

In this sequel to ‘Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte’, the alien bounty hunters are back and bent on revenge against Jack. They kidnap his son, Johnnie, and take him to a desolate slave world. Donna accompanies Jack into space on a rescue mission to get Johnnie back, and along the way she learns how to fly a spaceship. With them is Montclair, a little elf-like man from another world who offers the use of his spaceship to go after the bounty-hunters. But Montclair’s generosity comes with a price, and Jack is forced to make some promises he may later regret.

I hope you enjoy the sequel as much as the first one. If you find the time, I’d love to hear from you after you have read it and let me know what you think.

Thanks again for reading my books! Being a writer is so much more fun when there are readers who enjoy it  🙂

And yes, I did leave a huge opening at the end of the 2nd book for a third installment…

Cheers

Mike