A Spaceship for Hire, Coming this June

I’m excited to announce the upcoming release of A Spaceship for Hire, the 3rd book in my popular Galactic Smugglers series about Jack, Donna and their coffee loving alien smugglers.

Book 3

In the first book, Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte, Jack and Donna meet the alien smugglers for the first time. In the second of the series, Coffee to Go, With a Spaceship, evil alien bounty hunters are back, and furious with Jack. Jack enlists the help of Montclair, a strange little elf from another world he’d only just met that morning. But he’s the only person Jack knows with a spaceship.

Donna, Jack’s daring girlfriend, accompanies them and together the trio give chase across the galaxy. Along the way Donna discovers a hidden talent for stick-handling spaceships and navigating through space.

Many of my fans have expressed concern that Book #2 leaves our heroes in a tough spot. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil things for those who haven’t read Book 2 yet, but I am a huge believer in happy endings and upbeat stories. I’m a bit of a romantic sap that way, but what’s the point in reading stories or watching movies that leave you depressed? We’ve got the daily news for that.

Book #3 continues the story of Jack and Donna and their Radauti friends.

Exiled from Earth, Jack is making a living running a cafe on a distant planet at the edge of the galaxy. That is, until marauding space pirates start raiding the galactic trade routes. It looks like Jack is soon to be out of business, out of money, and with war spreading he’s unable to return to Earth.

But help comes from a very unlikely person – Donna, his ex-girlfriend. She’s finally learned how to fly an old spaceship that’s been hidden in the woods behind her farm, and agrees to help Jack out.

As much as Jack really, really, doesn’t want to go back out into space, he also has no other options.

However, the unlikely couple discover that they still have feelings for each other. But before they can start living their happily-ever-after, they first have to fight off the space pirates, stop an inter-galactic war from starting, and try to find their way back to Earth for another load of coffee.

This is a ride you don’t want to miss!

Publication date June 28, 2024

Available for pre-order now.

From now until shortly after release, I am offering this at a special pre-order price of 99 cents. Soon after release it will return to our normal published prices.

** Be sure to take advantage of our special pre-order price of 99 cents. Order now and the book will be automatically downloaded to you when it’s published **

Please reach out at mikeATmjwahl.com (replace the AT with @) if you have any questions. Thanks and have a great day!

Some coffee and alien humour to put a smile on your face

During the dark winter months when the nights are long and we hardly ever see the sun, when we’re stuck inside for days at a time, it’s important to find ways to keep our spirits up. Writing and blogging helps me stay sane during the long winter.

I also like making humour memes for fun. At least, I try to be humorous, but that’s for you to decide. Here is a selection of some graphics I’ve made up over the last few years, usually when I’m up early in the morning with my first coffee and don’t feel like doing any serious work yet.

I made these memes using images I purchased or found for free on the internet. This first one is one of my favorites. I found this image of the coffee cup beaming up a coffee bean on Depositphotos, and I think it beautifully captures what my ‘aliens and coffee’ novels are all about, so I bought it and used Canva to add my own words to it.

A day without coffee is terrifying to contemplate…

Not much can happen in the morning until after I’ve had a cup or two. I made this when I found the image of the screaming woman, and thought, “Yup, that’s what it would feel like if I was forced to go a day without my favorite beverage.”

Save the Earth!

The earth is worth saving for many reasons, but, let’s face it, it’s the only planet we know of with coffee, and that makes it pretty special.

Why do they only abduct crazy people?

I got the idea for this next meme while browsing a general store in a small town in northern Ontario. I think it succinctly captures why I’m highly suspicious of so-called alien visitor stories. It seems we only hear such stories from people who are nutcases. Why don’t the aliens ever visit high-ranking political and social leaders and real scientists? NASA astronauts even? Serious people with real credibility that if they were to say, ‘Hey, an alien just visited me and gave me a plan for world peace’, we’d be inclined to listen. Instead, aliens seem to only be interested in sharing their solutions for our world problems with unbalanced fruitcakes no one could possibly take seriously. Not very smart of the aliens. If these stories really are true, than it can only mean the aliens are really pretty stupid.

This about sums it up…

…When you get up in the morning and find there’s no coffee in the house…

A silent cry for help…

This next one is not very original. I’ve seen the meme on signs in a few different shops. But I like it and made my own sign.

Coffee is my superpower…

My collection of blogs for coffee lovers

Coffee blogs and other random stuff...

Have a marvelous day and don’t forget to smile!

Thanks for visiting! Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

The Believer Coffee Company, specialty craft coffee roaster in Ontario

While on vacation in Owen Sound last week I wandered into Birgit’s Bakery & Café in search of coffee, and this looked like the kind of cute, funky little café that might know how to brew a good cup.

I wasn’t disappointed.

A coffee roaster with a sense of whimsy and humour

I found their coffee absolutely lovely, smooth and fruity. I asked the barista behind the counter who her roaster was, and that’s when the day’s coffee adventure got even better. She pointed to some shelves along the wall lined with bags of whole bean coffee. “That’s them,” she said. “The Believer Coffee Company.”

When I went over to look and saw the picture on their bags, for me it was love at first sight. I just had to buy a bag and take it home.

The logo, as you can see from the photo above, features a UFO beaming it’s light down on a Sasquatch. In their own words, “at Believer Coffee we believe in the possibility of bigfoot & aliens, but most of all we believe in fresh roasted coffee for our consumer.”

They were singing from the same hymn book and I couldn’t resist

How could I resist, considering what I do – write sci-fi about coffee loving aliens? So I bought a bag of their medium/dark Ethiopian and took it home. I found it full of flavour, smooth and fruity with a hint of blueberry.

Now here is a coffee roaster that gets it! And they clearly have a sense of humour as well. You can order from them online and have your bag of coffee delivered right to your door.

Check out their Instagram here.

science fiction detective noir

Next, in addition to great coffee from a company that ‘believes’ in aliens, you may also want to check out Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte, – a sci-fi adventure in space with coffee smuggling aliens.

Available on Amazon,

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Make it a great day and visit again soon!

It’s Fun Friday, and time for more aliens and coffee humor

If there are aliens, they’d come for the coffee. Today’s humour brought to you by www.mjwahl.com

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It’s Friday, and I’m sitting outside on my deck enjoying an unseasonably beautiful and hot November afternoon. Now, I think that has to be the first time I’ve ever used those words together in the same sentence – beautiful, hot, November. We’ve never had such a gorgeous streak of weather in November. It’s been warm and sunny for over a week now. But I digress. The real point of this blog is that it’s Friday, and time for another fun Friday post featuring alien and coffee humor.

I found this image of the coffee cup abducting a coffee bean on iStock this morning, and loved it so much I just had to have it and made up this humour meme.

Have a wonderful day and keep smiling!

Stay happy!

UFO Investigation Has Now Gone Mainstream!

A UFO captured on video by a US Navy pilot

Finally, UFO investigating is no longer the domain of fringe crazies and the tin foil hat brigade. It’s gone legit! Last year the Pentagon released its long anticipated UFO Report, and experts have been weighing in on it ever since.

Even NASA is getting in on the game. Last week NASA announced that they are kicking off their own study of UFOs, although they are now calling them Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAPs. NASA can call them UAPs if they want to, but they aren’t fooling anyone. We still know what they are.

NASA’s Help Isn’t Needed

While I appreciate NASA’s intention to help us out, it really won’t be necessary. Since I’ve been writing on the subject for years, long before NASA came to the party, I’ve come to consider myself an expert in the field. And I’ve already figured out what these UFOs or UAPs or whatever you want to call them are. As I’ve blogged previously, it’s a proven fact that UFOs are aliens looking for coffee.

Thanks NASA, but we won’t be needing your help after all. It’s already sorted.

However, not all experts in the field of UFO investigation are agreed, and this is where you, dear reader, can help. My colleague and follow UFO expert, Gluplock, is also a regular blogger on this website. Gluplock argues that UFOs are not actually visitors from space, but some type of advanced technology from Earth. Likely Chinese drones or advanced top-secret American aircraft, according to Gluplock.

Has NASA joined the tin foil hat brigade?

As my fans know, (and all rational people will admit), UFO skeptics like Gluplock can’t be right. The UFOs must be alien in origin.

Chinese drones? I doubt it!

Gluplock disagrees. He doesn’t believe in aliens (or so he claims) and is convinced the UFOs are just Chinese drones or advanced US tech the Pentagon doesn’t want us to know about.

You can take the Russians out of the equation. They can’t launch an invasion of Ukraine without their equipment breaking down on the highway to Kiev, so I doubt they’re capable of any advanced tech. So it’s down to either the Chinese, Americans or aliens.

I money’s on aliens. Gluplock argues it’s the Chinese.

As you may well imagine, this has stirred up quite the debate among the bloggers, staff writers and owners at my publishing house, Franklin Street Press. And this is where readers of this blog can help. We’d like you to weigh in on this important debate and send us your thoughts. Are UFOs alien visitors, or advanced technology from Earth? Let us know what you think!

Are my colleagues secretly suppling aliens with coffee?

Personally, I think Gluplock is just trying to throw us off. I’ve long suspected that he has ulterior motives. Maybe it’s his name – I seem to recall it from somewhere but can’t quite place where. Interestingly, he owns a farm out in the country with several large barns. Jut this past summer Gluplock invited a bunch of us from Franklin Street Press over for a barbeque one Sunday afternoon. While Gluplock was occupied with flipping burgers on the grill, I took a beer in hand and went exploring. I wandered into one of the barns and found it stacked, floor to roof, wall to wall, with skids of coffee.

That’s a lot of coffee. You could keep an entire Caribbean island caffeinated for the tourist season with that much coffee.

Alien Shoppers

Aliens have been spotted at the local market looking for coffee.

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Naturally, I confronted Gluplock with my discovery back at the patio, while everyone stood around us next to the grill. He feigned innocence, and claimed that he just really likes coffee and wanted to hedge against future price increases. But I have my suspicions. Curiously, I also noticed that no one else looked surprised. Several even quickly looked away, pretending to be suddenly interested in something else, or muttered under their breath that they needed another beer and went over to the cooler.

I’m going to be keeping a closer eye on all of them from now on.

The truth really is out there, and it’s time the public knew!

But now that UFO investigating has gone legit, maybe people will start paying more attention to what experts in the field such as myself have been saying for years. Aliens really are visiting us from space, and they’re here for the coffee.

Aliens like coffee. If there are aliens, they would definitely be here for the coffee.

However, despite the wealth of solid research and information I’ve provided in my blogs, the US government still claims they don’t know what these aerial phenomena are. But readers of my blog and popular novels won’t be fooled. We all know exactly who and what they are, despite what Gluplock and other skeptics say.

Thanks NASA, but this is one party you’re a dollar short and a day late for. Please turn your attention back to getting people to Mars. You’re a bit overdue for that.

Stay tuned for future contributions to this blog from both Gluplock and I as the debate over the true origins of UFOs continue.

Sci-fi escapism: this is beach reading at the very best!

You can’t please all of the people all of the time, an old sage once said. And you can’t be all things to all people. Books are like that too. No book, no matter how brilliant or witty or marvelously written it may be, can appeal to everyone.

That’s because we are often looking for different things at different times. Sometimes we want serious fiction, sometimes humour. Or you may be in the mood for something light and fluffy. Mindless escapism. Crime drama. Or a spy drama. Or a steamy romance. Fun-filled adventure. To help the reader find the sort of book they are looking for, books are classified into different genres, and within each genre are categories and subcategories.

‘Hard’ sci-fi or ‘soft’?

Take, for example, my own specialty: sci-fi. Within that broad genre there’s serious “hard” sci-fi. One of the key promises within that category is that it will stay within the boundaries of real science. The Martian is an excellent example of this. All the science and technology portrayed in that novel is real and current. Then there is space opera. In space opera you get to make up your own science, and use fantastical made-up things like worm holes, time travel, warp drives, alien civilizations, and so on. Star Wars and Star Trek are very obvious examples of this genre.

A good book, regardless of its genre and category, will deliver on the promise that’s inherit within its category. And publishers put a lot of time and effort into coming up with titles and covers for books that will give customers a good feel for what can be expected between the covers.

Judging a books’ intention by its cover

I think my publisher, Franklin Street Press, did a great job coming up with the covers and titles for the two books (to date) in my Jack Winters Detective Series, which is about Jack’s friendship with alien coffee smugglers who have come to Earth looking for coffee.

I think the covers and titles of my books make it pretty obvious – there’s nothing series here folks. This is not ‘hard’ sci-fi. I’m all about mindless escapism, frankly. I get enough “serious” drama from my day job and reading the news.

Looking for ‘hard’ sci-fi in all the wrong places

But there’s just no pleasing some people. No matter how brilliantly witty the title and cover of a book may be in accurately portraying what a reader might expect between the front and back cover, some people still manage to get it wrong.

Recently a reviewer on Amazon criticized “Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte” for not being very plausible. I kid you not. This reviewer also said that as sci-fi, it was a bit too “soft”. Now, that’s funny. Was this reviewer seriously expecting “hard” sci-fi with a plausible, realistic story line when they picked a book with a title like this, featuring an alien holding a steaming cup of coffee?

Hmmm…

Space Opera

Relaxing, humorous, and definitely not ‘hard’ sci-fi.

I wonder what his first hint was that this wasn’t hard science? Perhaps it was the cover with the picture of an alien holding a cup of coffee? Or was it the title, “Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte”? Or maybe it dawned on him in chapter 21, when Aunt Beatrice complains about alien visitors landing their spaceship in her cabbage patch. I don’t know, but it’s hard to grasp how anyone could pick up a novel with such a title and cover and expect anything other than fun-filled escapism.

A good book delivers on its promise

I don’t mind being judged on the basis of what my books are intended to be. But being criticized for something the book was never intended for is just plain silly. He may as well criticize my book for not having any good recipes for baked lasagna.

I think my novels deliver exactly what you might expect from the kind of covers and titles I’m using. There’s no subterfuge here. It’s beach reading escapism at its best. I like to think of my novels as modern day dime novels. Fun filled adventures in space.

We all need to take a break to recharge and relax

We often turn to forms of entertainment to relax, recharge, and take a break from the seriousness of work and daily life. Dime novels came into vogue during the American Civil War, arguably some of the darkest years of the country. People needed a break from the horrible news, and TV hadn’t been invented yet. Dime novels provided an affordable form of escapism. During the depression people snapped up cheap “pulp” fiction and went to the movies. They needed the break.

That’s what myself and other authors writing similar books are trying to do. Provide light-hearted escapism. We need it these days. I can’t remember a time when the news was so consistently depressing and awful on so many different fronts.

If you are looking for light-hearted escapism, you’ve come to the right place. If you want serious, hard sci-fi with “plausible” story lines, that’s not what I do. You won’t find it here.

That’s my rant for the day.

Why we need pulp fiction now more than ever

The dangers of doomscrolling

I’ve been spending a lot off time doomscrolling since Russia launched its brutal and unjust invasion of Ukraine, and I can’t recall when I’ve ever felt angrier with what I’m seeing in the news.

With the war in Ukraine, the global pandemic, the climate crisis, severe weather events, and the election cycles in America that never seem to end, there is no shortage of bad news to doomscroll through.

As a writer of escapist pulp fiction, I wondered if anyone would still be interested in the kind of light-hearted novels I like to write. Why would anyone want to read stories about aliens coming to Earth looking for coffee? How could I spend my time writing about such frivolous topics with all the truly serious crap hitting the fan around the world?

So for a while I stopped work on my current project – a sequel to my humorous sci-fi series about aliens who love coffee. I didn’t feel it was the right time for writing light-hearted escapism.

It’s a very good time for light-hearted escapism

But then I thought about how popular dime novels were during the American Civil War, which featured escapist adventure stories. And during the Great Depression cheap adventure stories in the form of ‘pulp’ fiction were hugely popular.

Dime novels became very popular during the darkest years of the Civil War

During the dark days of the Civil War and the global depression, people needed the break and low-cost escapist novels came into their own as an industry.

We are in a similarly dark period now, and it’s precisely in times like this that low-cost escapism is needed more than ever. We all need to take a break from doomscrolling and find a way to unplug from everything that’s going on and relax. Pulp fiction, escapist adventures, humorous sci-fi – whatever kind of reading you prefer – is a legitimate form of recreation. So I’ve taken up my pen once again and resumed writing.

Support a worthy charity

However, I still believe we should try to do what we can to help and not ignore what’s going on in the world. As a result, I’ve made some personal changes. Instead of doomscrolling, I’ve cut back drastically on my news consumption and started doing something practical. I started giving.

Recently I did some research into charities dedicated to assisting the people of Ukraine. The Washington Post and The Globe and Mail have both published lists of reputable charities supporting Ukraine.

Charities supporting Ukraine:

Don’t ignore what’s going on, but I think you may find it more rewarding to spend less time doomscrolling and more time doing something practical. I think one of the best ways most of us here in Western Europe, Canada and America can do that is by donating to charities supporting worthy causes.

Oh, and spend more time reading great adventure sci-fi about aliens who like coffee.

And that’s my rant for the day.

Aliens, Spaceships & Latte on Goodreads

I just came across some really good reviews of my books on Goodreads.

science fiction detective noir

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In an act of shameless self-promotion (I am in the business of selling books, after all!), I decided to post some of the nicer ones here in today’s blog. That way I get to say nice things about my books without having to think too hard. Just cut and paste! And just to keep myself honest, I’m including the link to Goodreads for my book.

As an author, it’s very encouraging to hear from fans who have liked my books. I really like my books as well… so it’s always good to hear from people who are on the same wavelength.

So here we go… Goodreads reviews….

Warren W. wrote: What a ride! I totally loved this book from start to finish! I love first contact books, and this one was really fun! I hope to see the relationships develop in a next book. I don’t drink coffee, but this made me appreciate the Interplanetary Java crowd! Well done, Mr. Wahl!

Phil wrote: Enjoyable Escapism. Different and humorous. Light hearted adventure akin to a 50s style sci fi show with better writing. An apolitical story where the writer just wants to provide an enjoyable read.

Tracy: Intriguing Storyline. When I saw the title I thought that the book would be funny but it’s more than that. It’s filled with action and great, relatable characters. It doesn’t get technical about the spaceship or space travel. The author doesn’t burden you with alien language, which can take away from the story. I look forward to reading more of Jack’s adventures!

R. J. wrote: A fun story. The author created an alien species I wouldn’t mind meeting. Alien science fiction is not my thing and I was pleasantly surprised. I read this book because I had the pleasure of meeting the author. I’m going to be looking for the next instalment.

Vancil: Excellent storyline! The title caught my attention and I just had to read the first couple of chapters. I was seriously hooked by then! Read this! You will enjoy!!!

Pat: Good…..real good ! This book was funny and thrilling. I am so glad that I took a chance on it. I am just about to download the next book in the series….so much fun.

UFOs are just aliens looking for a good cup of coffee

Do aliens like coffee? We think so! What intelligent being wouldn’t? As readers of my blog and fans of my novels have long suspected, UFOs are aliens just looking for coffee. For years, I’ve been the lone voice in the literary wilderness pointing this out to anyone who would listen, and writing a few novels about it. But now other serious writers are beginning to take notice. Joe Queenan, well-known columnist for the prestigious Wall Street Journal no less, has come around and now agrees. They’re here, and they’re looking for coffee.

The Wall Street Journal Finally Agrees With Me

In a recent WSJ column, “Are UFOs Just Aliens Looking for a Cup of Coffee?”, Joe Queenan argues this very point. And we think this is good news, because it means UFOs probably do NOT have hostile intentions or planning an invasion. If the aliens are just looking for coffee, then logic dictates they are nice, peaceful, intelligent and witty, because in my experience human coffee lovers are nice, peaceful, intelligent and witty. We prefer to sit and visit while sharing great coffee over interesting conversation, rather than invade foreign countries – much less attack someone else’s planet.

Now, the more cynical among us may argue the opposite. Since, to the best of our knowledge, Earth is the only known planet in the galaxy that can grow coffee, might not aliens be tempted to take us over? As their logic goes, the very fact aliens are coming to Earth might mean they’re planning an invasion so they can get their hands on our coffee.

But I don’t think so. Alien visitors are likely to be intelligent – after all they’ve managed to invent UFOs that can travel trillions of miles through space to get here. If they are smart enough to do that, they are smart enough to realize it’s much cheaper to simply buy the coffee from us rather than attack.

Planetary invasions can get pretty expensive.

Buying a Cup of Coffee is Cheaper Than Planetary Invasions

Do the math – it’s not all that hard. How much is a pound of coffee? My local grocery store carries it for anywhere from $5 to $10 a pound. I usually spend $20 on premium Rwandan coffee from a roaster here in town. It’s much cheaper – and quicker, by the way – to go shopping than it would be to invade Rwanda.

As a matter of fact, as I write this at 5 o’clock on a Friday morning, I’m getting low on coffee. And I think I’ll simply go see my local roaster and spend $20, rather than launch a military assault on an African nation at the cost of several millions of dollars (not that I have several millions, I’m just trying to make a point). If I can figure this math out, I’m pretty sure any alien astronaut can as well.

They Are Here for the Coffee

I feel confident our alien visitors have come to much the same conclusion. And the proof? Well – they haven’t invaded yet and apparently they’ve been visiting us for decades, at least since the 1950s when people started to notice UFOs, and have yet to take hostile action. If they were going to invade, I think they would have done so by now.

And what did it cost the US to invade Afghanistan? 1.2 trillion dollars! If it cost that much to invade a little country right here on Earth a mere 8,000 miles away, think of the cost to invade an entire planet across the galaxy. For an alien visitor, wouldn’t it just make more sense to come to Earth peacefully, find a human willing to trade, and spend the $5 to $20 dollars a pound?

And it would be much more pleasant for both the aliens and humans involved. They could sit down, enjoy a nice cup of coffee while comparing notes on our respective cultures. Launching military invasions is no way to make friends. A pleasant cultural exchange is much nicer than shooting at each other.

As readers of my popular novels have long suspected…

Aliens are here for the coffee.

Let’s hope the Pentagon is paying attention. If the American military brass realize that UFOs are just aliens looking for a decent cup of coffee, not to invade, then they are much less likely to start shooting and inadvertently start an inter-galactic war.

Alien abductions?

It’s way too hot to take anything seriously, and it is expected to reach 45c today, so here is a bit of humour I hope will give you a laugh.

This expresses in a nutshell why I am very suspicious of so-called abduction stories.