Dragon Award Bundle

The Dragon Awards are still open.

To vote now, go to the Dragon Awards website, register to vote, and your ballot will end up in your email. Feel free to vote for me, while I’m there.


To celebrate the Dragon Award nominations, a group of friends and I have put together deals, most of them running the length of August.

These Deals include

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Writing for Astounding Frontiers #1

At least one review of Astounding Frontiers #1: Give Us Ten Minutes, And We’ll Give You a World, has noticed that I stole elements of my short, “According to Culture,” from a historical incident. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, I’m a historian.

As Jeffro Johnson, leader of the Pulp Revolution, noted, there are elements of the film Taken in there. It should shock no one, but the Taken element was the #1 thing I thought of when I sat down to write my short story. After all, how do you do Pulp, aside from action, and insane goodness? Kidnapping is an easy way to do it. The very nature of the crimes comes with an automatic clock, and if there’s one thing I learned growing up with Jack Bauer, is that a ticking clock makes everything better. Though I guess I could have killed someone’s puppy.

One of the first characters I had created in my writing career was Sean Patrick Ryan. For the lack of a better term, he is a space ranger. There’s a lot of background to my Rangers, but the short version is that they are much like those of Texas: their jurisdiction is wherever they are.

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The Catholic Geek Radio Show: War of the Dragons 08/13

The Catholic Geek: War of the Dragons 08/13 by We Built That Network | Books Podcasts:



The August 13th podcast will be live at 7:00PM Eastern and include eight Dragon Award nominated authors for 2017, including
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Why Vatican Ninjas?


I think the first time I came up with the concept of Vatican ninjas was as a joke during a Dan Brown review. The protagonist stated that he, personally, knew the current pope, and therefore he was certain that the Catholic church couldn’t be behind the plot of The Da Vinci Code, because “the Church didn’t do such things anymore.”

My response was: “Anymore? You mean, the church used to have Ninjas? I WANT MY VATICAN NINJAS.”

And thus, a running joke was born, and, like everything else in my writing worlds, it quickly spiraled out of control.

When I bounced the concept of Vatican Ninjas off of a Catholic Facebook group as a force for fighting the legions of darkness, the first, almost reflex question by a lot of the group was: “Why does the Vatican have to fight the forces of darkness?”

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Bricktonshire at BrickFair

I just got through with BrickFair VA 2017, which was fun as always. I didn’t have much time to go enjoy other displays, though, so I didn’t get a lot of picture-taking done. The last time I had all the photos I wanted to get was in 2015, and even then I was at the convention until the doors closed at 2am Sunday morning. I was very tired when I came back for the last day only a few hours later!

What’s BrickFair? I described it in my article on why Lego is awesome, but here’s the gist. It’s an art convention built around one medium, namely the same plastic bricks you find in the toy aisle at your local department store. The creativity, ingenuity, artistry, and storytelling capabilities of both that humble brick and the people who build with it are staggering. I’m one of the volunteers who run one of the largest Lego conventions in the world, namely BrickFair Virginia, which just finished its 10th anniversary show yesterday. My section is Castle, which includes medieval and fantasy displays.

Lego Bricktonshire 2015  1

This was my display two years ago, and I put a picture of it in the above-linked article, promising further looks at it in the future as I expanded the display. Well, Catholic Geeks fans, I keep my promises.

Bricktonshire 2017 (1)

This is Brickton in Bricktonshire, a small town in a medieval England that never was. This town has the occasional monster, ghost, assassin, wizard, anachronistic playwright, and time-traveling police box.

This display was a rush. I had pretty much the same thing last year; the only true difference is the terrain. Even that was below what I wanted, and the only reason I got it done in time for the show was through the kind assistance of two young ladies named Annika and Kat. Additional assistance posing minifigures came from Cat, also known as Intern #1 over at Novel Ninja.

But last year was even more of a rush, and I never got detailed photos for the CG audience, so here I am and here you go. In fact, I’ve got video for you (if you don’t mind the occasional autofocus issue). And for all of you who haven’t seen it in person or looked at my Facebook feed, there’s a surprise at the end!

Yes, that last bit is a small detail that took a lot of effort. But someone came along who appreciated it in a rather gratifying manner (and appropriately dressed, as well!).

Bricktonshire 2017 TARDIS dress

Rather than subject you to a long article with inane and potentially self-aggrandizing commentary on each and every photo, here’s a slideshow of the display.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hopefully, next year I’ll be up to what I had planned for this year. I immediately started drawing up a new plan based on ideas I’d had this year as well as problems I’d encountered. Here’s a sneak peek . . . and yes, it’s on the back of an IHOP placemat. Hey, we got peckish after it was all over!

Bricktonshire 2018 plan 1

What’s that? You can’t read my handwriting? That’s because you can’t read Brickian runes. 😉

Eventually, I want this display to expand to show the countryside, and actually show the “shire” part of Bricktonshire. My upper limit will likely be based less on cost and more on how long it takes me to construct it at the con, and how much room I have in my car.

I hope you enjoyed that look, and perhaps I’ll have an update or two before BrickFair 2018!

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The Epic Conclusion to the Dragon Award Nominated series

Live and Let Bite is the second book of the Love at First Bite Series to be nominated for a Dragon Award.

Yes, when half of my quartet is nominated for an award, it’s “the award nominated series.”

So what does this Dragon Award nomination mean?

It means business as usual.

Book four, Good to the Last Drop, is almost here.

Yes, it’s the last book. Marco and Amanda are going to have one last ride, and when I say that the armies of darkness are coming for them, I’m not exaggerating.

Of course, you know what it means when it’s the end of a series, don’t you?

That’s right! It’s time to up the body count!

For the Whedon fans out there, let’s just say that it’s time to …. Wash the cast.

The final war is about to begin, in this conclusion to the Dragon Award Nominated series

Merle Kraft, Marco Catalano and Amanda Colt have battled against the mythical Council, a supernatural conspiracy that monsters fear. This war has brought them up against vampires, minions, and demons from Hell.. Along the way, they have accumulated allies among the police, the military, the mafia, college students, lowly street gangs, and even other vampires.

Marco and Amanda have overcome their biggest terror — their passion for each other.

But now, they face the final threat, one that is the culmination of every threat before them. This creature from Hell has powers beyond anything they’ve ever seen before, and has allies of his own: including SpecOps minions, an army of vampires, and packs of werewolves.

And that was before Marco got bit.


This ending is going to be epic.

Pre order TODAY

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The 2017 Dragon Award Ballot Is In!

Vote early, vote often ….
Sorry, some Chicago humor.

Let’s take a look, see if we know any names.

Best Science Fiction Novel

YES! Richard got nominated! Richard got nominated! YES.

Anyway, I’m a fan of Paolinelli’s work. I’m happy to claim him as a Catholic. If you haven’t read his work yet, do so.

Hmm… On the other hand, Brian Niemeier, who is a good author, and a Catholic Catholic, says he’ll give his award to L Jagi Lamplighter, and that’s another complication, to be discussed below.

Hmm, who else is there? Let’s see. I know Scalzi; wouldn’t vote for him on a bet. And Cixin Liu looks familiar. And that’s … it. Huh. Where’s Zhan’s Thrawn?  Hmm. I guess it came out too late for most fans to read and vote for it — otherwise, Zahn didn’t want it.

I suppose this year it’s between Brian and Richard.

Best Fantasy Novel 
(Including Paranormal)

Okay. I know who Vox Day is.

Okay. I liked both Sinners and Grunge … crap. Larry said he didn’t want an award. But hey, let’s see if Ringo wants one.

I don’t even know everyone else here. It’s between Vox and Ringo, really. And even Vox Day doubts his odds here, so my money is on Ringo to win. If Ringo isn’t back with the church yet, Grunge is actually the one I looked at and said, “Come home to Rome, John.”

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

Yup, it’s a Wright double header! Jagi is Mrs John C Wright. And my goal this year was to see if they could have a his and hers set of Dragons… Except Jagi has mentioned she wants John to win for Swan Knight’s Son…But I think she deserves an award for Rachel Griffin…

Yes, Brian will literally give his award to Jagi. But I want Richard to win that one….

So many choices…

My bet? JCW will win. Vox is throwing his people behind Mr. Wright, and so is Jagi. So is Happy Frogs.

Has Jagi told Dragon Con she’d like to withdraw her nomination?

Best Military Science Fiction 
or Fantasy Novel

Starship Liberator is a Vox Day pick, and he has a small army, so I’m not surprised.

Wait, they misspelled Jon’s name in the list? Oy. It should be del Arroz.

Mark Wandrey and John Holmes are good people. Charles Gannon is friendly as all heck, and smart as a whip.

I think I’m going to vote for Jon. I wanted John Ringo’s Monster Hunter spin off to have been in this category. So, who knows who’ll actually win. Especially since Gannon has the Baen vote, but I know that Wandrey, Holmes, and Jon will all campaign.

Boy, am I glad I’m not going to be in this middle of this shootout.

Best Alternate History Novel

Oh gee. Flint and Turtledove have gotten nominations. Who ever could have imagined…

I did. Several times. That was the easy part.

Kai Wai Cheah was a Vox pick, so no surprise there. I’m actually surprised that more of his picks weren’t on the list.


Yes, Lou’s cool. His book was awesome. Read it. That’s my vote.

My bet? Turtledove and Flint will split the vote, leaving it as a fight between Lou and Vox’s pick. And Happy Frogs is backing Lou.

Best Apocalyptic Novel
Dan Humphreys got in. Good for him. He’s good people. I don’t know Akkad. I don’t know Heinz. I dislike Jemisin’s work as a rule. I know that Doctorow exists.  Oh, look, John Holmes again! Good for him.
Codename: UnSub. By me. Huh. Had you asked me to place money one what I’d be nominated for, this … would not be it.
On the one hand, we’re up against Doctorow, so Allan and I should be screwed. Then again, I don’t know if Doctorow will campaign. So who knows? Common sense says Doctorow, but if I had any, I’d be a plumber. It’s steady work.
Best Horror Novel
  • The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood
  • A God in the Shed by J-F Dubeau
  • Blood of Invidia by Tom Tinney and Morgen Batten
  • Donn’s Hill by Caryn Larrinaga
  • Nothing Left to Lose by Dan Wells
  • The Bleak December by Kevin G. Summers
  • The Changeling by Victor LaValle
  • Live and Let Bite by Declan Finn

Littlewood is a Vox pick. No surprise there, even though I don’t know her. Tom Tinney’s been a guest on the podcast a few times. Dubeau? Larrinaga? Summers, LaValle…. Yikes. Do I know these people? Answer, of course not, I don’t actually read horror.

Technically, I don’t even write horror, I write paranormal romance or Urban Fantasy, depending on who you ask. But the Dragons don’t have this pick.

Tom is up against Dan Wells.  Well, that’ll suck. I’ve heard of Wells, he’s supposed to be Catholic Stephen King, only he writes well. Tom’s win will depend on whether or not

…. Live and Let Bite.

I got two nominations? Huh. To my rabid fan base, thank you. Yes. Really. Thank you. I’m … wow. Well. That’s … wow.

Best Comic Book
  • Monstress by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eleven by Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs
  • Motor Girl by Terry Moore
  • Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa
  • Saga by Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples
  • Wynonna Earp Legends by Beau Smith, Tim Rozon, Melanie Scrofano, Chris Evenhuis
  • The Dresden Files: Dog Men by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, Diego Galindo

Okay. I know of Liu, I’ve heard she’s good. I know of Buffy, obviously. And I’ve heard of Brian K Vaughn….

Nevermind. Jim Butcher is nominated. We know who’s winning.

Best Graphic Novel
  • Clive Barker Nightbreed #3 by Marc Andreyko, Clive Barker, Emmanuel Xerx Javier
  • Girl Genius: the Second Journey of Agatha Heterodyne, Book 2: The City of Lightning by Phil and Kaja Foglio
  • Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Wild Card by Jim Butcher, Carlos Gomez
  • Love is Love by Marc Andreyko, Sarah Gaydos, James S. Rich
  • March Book 3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris
  • Stuck in My Head by J.R. Mounts

Hey, I like Girl Genius. It’s a fun series and … Butcher is here, too. I guess it depends on which ones he wants. Assuming he’s not going to give all the comic awards away to his artists.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
  • Doctor Who, BBC
  • Lucifer, Fox
  • Marvel’s Agents of Shield, ABC
  • Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Sky1
  • Stranger Things, Netflix
  • The Expanse, Syfy
  • Westworld, HBO
  • Wynonna Earp, Syfy

I’m generally apathetic about these picks.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
  • Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve
  • Doctor Strange directed by Scott Derrickson
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 directed by James Gunn
  • Logan directed by James Mangold
  • Passengers directed by Morten Tyldum
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story directed by Gareth Edwards
  • Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins

My pick was Doctor Strange: Because Cumbersmaug, Sorcerer Supreme. Guardians isn’t a surprise. Or Wonder Woman. Several people I know like Passengers. Logan was a Vox pick….

No bet on who wins this one.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game
  • Dishonored 2 by Arkane Studios
  • Final Fantasy XV by Square Enix
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda by Bioware
  • NieR: Automata by PlatinumGames
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo
  • Titanfall 2 by Respawn Entertainment

Of these picks, Dishonored 2, Titanfall 2, Zelda, FF15 are not surprises. I guessed at least two would be there. But no Warhammer? Even Vox picked that one out.

My bet is between those three. I wouldn’t vote Bioware if you paid me.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game
  • Con Man: The Game by Monkey Strength Productions
  • Fire Emblem Heroes by Nintendo
  • Monument Valley 2 by Ustwogames
  • Pokemon GO by Niantic
  • Sky Dancer by Pine Entertainment
  • Super Mario Run by Nintendo

Pokemon GO. No bet. We’re done. It was so addictive and so popular last year, it’s not even funny.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk by Avalon Hill
  • Gloomhaven by Cephalofair Games
  • Hero Realms by White Wizard Games
  • Mansions of Madness (Second Edition) by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Scythe by Stonemaier Games
  • Terraforming Mars by Stronghold Games

Vox is behind Gloomhaven. So … bet on that? I don’t know. I haven’t played any. I may not vote for them.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game
  • A Shadow Across the Galaxy X-Wing Wave X by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Bloodborne: The Card Game by CMON Limited
  • Dark Souls: The Board Game by Steamforged Games
  • Magic the Gathering: Eldritch Moon by Wizards of the Coast
  • Pulp Cthulhu by Chaosium
  • Star Wars: Destiny by Fantasy Flight Games

Again, not my scene.

Once again, I’d like to thank all of you folks in the fan base for chipping in in the first place, and coming out to vote. If you look at my two nominations with thoughts of “If I vote for him twice, will that be a problem?” No. If I get both wins, I’ll give one to my co-author on UnSub. Assuming I get either.

If you don’t want to try reading every single book on the list, you can vote below.

Remember, you may register to receive a ballot until Sunday, August 28th at 11:59PM. You must be submit your ballot by Tuesday, August 29th, 11:59 EDT

But if you want to vote NOW, vote here.

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