Received my upcoming book, The Smoke Eater, from a Beta Reader.

The Good News

Looks like I have a greenlight to proceed with additional edits. The comments weren’t as bad as I thought. Actually, I have a renewed sense of accomplishment with my project and I’m feeling confident that my readers are going to like ti.

Nearing the Finish Line

I hope to get my book to market sometime after Halloween. Stay tuned.

Remembering 9/11

9/11 has affected everyone in the world. The biggest impact it had on me was
insight into our world.

When I was working the UAE I showed up on site one day and was kindly welcomed
as a new employee. This was in 2005 and my first overseas job in Oil and Gas.
The HR lead, an older Arab gentlemen, (great guy too), profusely apologized to
me for five minutes on how horrible 9/11 was.

This made me really uncomfortable, but others over there shared the
sentiment. I went to the Middle East thinking that there might be a grudge between my race
and theirs. What I found was a sense that so many people who were foreign to me
wanted unity.

Check out this link here for an excellent post on the Killzone Blog today by
Steve Hooley.

Traditional vs. Independent Publishing

I’m having second thoughts about publishing my book independently. Was thinking about trying to go traditional publishing.

What would you do? And why?

The book I have in mind is The Smoke Eater which is about 88,000 words – getting ready for the final polish.


Reid Harris is a firefighter who has seen better times. Still healing from his last act of heroism, the marks of third-degree burn have impacted his emotional and physical wellbeing. With a crippling injury on his right leg, and living with post-traumatic stress, Reid is still desperate to keep working in the only career he ever knew. To keep his life on track, Reid travels to Azurbar, in the Middle East, where he doesn’t have to pass any physical or mental tests.

But on the day Reid travel to the desert, all hell breaks loose. Reid witnesses a shocking event that provides a common taste of what life is going to be like. Threats of violence unleash in a ruthless tirade never seen before in this once peaceful country raising the tensions to their highest levels ever. The terrorists, from the Persian State, don’t see eye to eye with the royal family. Reid’s path will intersect that unknown adversary who is bent on disrupting the Azurbar way of life.

Even though Reid knew he would endure tough times, the mental trauma inside him spikes. He struggles with an Azurbaree national who threatens Reid’s safety, while his alcoholic mentor isn’t coping well with the steady rise terrorism. Reid is stationed in a facility that the terrorist continuously target—BuHasa—one of the biggest oil and gas facilities in the world.

The Smoke Eater is a thrilling novel about adventure, survival and redemption; while exploring foreign Oil and Gas industries that few people know.

Even got a cover

Building the Next Generation of Readers

There was a great blog post today (August 28, 2021) on Building the Next Generation of Readers |

An excellent author, Steve Hooley, wrote about Building the Next Generation of Readers. Mr. Hooley suggests we need to build the next generation of readers out of today’s youth and offers some good points and tips.

Mr. Hooley has also asked his reader today three questions.

 1. What factors encouraged you or made you a reader?

2. What has worked with your children or relatives to create an interest in reading?

3. What suggestions do you have to build the next generation of readers?

I thought I would blog my answers here

1. What factors encouraged you or made you a reader?

There isn’t one factor that made me a reader. I would say that I became an avid a reader when I moved into a profession, and reading was a necessity. I liked books, but not as a favorite pastime in my youth. I have one of those day jobs where I’m stuck in a book, doing research or reading reports for at least six hours a day, minimum. That necessity combined with my creative side led me down to path to be a storyteller.

2. What has worked with your children or relatives to create an interest in reading?

I have three kids. One boy, age nine and twins, which are seven. They all read but not as independent as I would like. However, the most successful things have been talking with their teachers and tutors (we hired one of those to go over reading and writing skills with our kids every week). Those discussions have led me to buy books for the kids based on suggestions that educators know will work. “Dragon Masters” and “Ivy and Bean” are book series that I would have never found on my own. I also find that books written in the last ten years vs. books when I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s, seem to connect better with today’s youth.

3. What suggestions do you have to build the next generation of readers?

I suggest you don’t force kids to read. It’s all about balance. Think of work-life balance that in your job you should have balanced out your work with your downtime. It’s the same for kids and reading is a stressful thing for those who are beginner readers. It’s hard when a little brain is firing all its nerves to comprehend subject materials that they have yet to experience. Letting kids watch TV or play video games in my opinion is a short-term distraction that allows them the break so they will happily go back and read the books they love.

What do you think? I would love to see your answer. Feel free to comment here or head over to TKZ.

Thank you,

Scammers, Cyberstalkers and Trolling Book Reviews

I saw this subject recently come up on Twitter this week that Internet Trolls are targeting authors. I thought at first, “interesting” but maybe it’s just something to Tweet about in the #writingcommunity for the sake of tweeting.

As the days went on, this story was getting traction. I also found an article that might back up these claims. Check out the story on

What would you do if you woke up and saw an email like this?


It would devastate me. However, (scammers, cyberstalkers and trolls) it’s not worth it to pay a ransom in my case. I’m really not sure something like this would end my writing career, but I’m not in it for the money.

This also got me thinking about the random emails I get and the links on Twitter—those that wish to guarantee me an excellent review. I guess these are potentially scams as well and could backfire on those who go that route as well. Some messages say that these services that could boost your book can also be the very trolls that are now ruining the lives of hardworking writers.


We might have to change our purchasing practices and not rely on reviews. In my case, if a book intrigues me, I read the first page and then decide to try—then I’ll read the first 5 pages to decide to buy.

Happy reading and have a safe weekend.