Back Home!

After a wonderful vacation, it’s almost time for to re-enter the reality of my daily grind. I’ve still got a few days before I head back to the day job to get caught up on things, at least. First order of business is sorting through all the photos I took while at Niagara Falls, Portland, ME, and our quick stop through the White Mountain National Forest range in New Hampshire. We also had a quick overnight stay in Kingsland, Ontario but didn’t get to see very much of the city beyond a few blocks surrounding our hotel.

We road-tripped it, and the scenery was absolutely beautiful. One of the most refreshing, relaxing vacations I’ve had in a while. It maybe helps that it’s been a few years since I had a real, honest-to-goodness vacation.

On the bright side, all the hours on the road gave me lots of time to plot and figure out Book Number 3. So, second order of business is to outline, plan, and research.

Before I do any of that, though, here’s some quickies from my Instagram feed for y’all. Each were shot with the iPhone 4s and processed in-app. In the coming days, I’ll share photos that I shot with my Canon 7D when those are all ready.

Niagara Falls:

Portland, ME

New Hampshire

Kingston, ON

Reblog: The Pixel Project Reddit AMA — End Violence Against Women « terribleminds: chuck wendig

Originally posted at Wendig’s blog comes this campaign that is certainly worth spreading the word about:

The Pixel Project Reddit AMA — End Violence Against Women « terribleminds: chuck wendig.

The Pixel Project, in a nutshell, is an effort to help raise awareness and combat violence against women with part of the proceeds going to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. You can read more about it at their FAQ, or check out the details on Wendig’s blog.

You can also find a bevy of information on the Read for Pixels campaign here, and donate over at IndieGoGo.

The Speculative Fiction Blog Hop – this week, Sheila Guthrie

Michael Patrick Hicks:

Hard to believe my post in this blog hop was back in May! Lots of additions since then, and all are well worth checking out.

Originally posted on shamansland:

Here is my weekly round-up of the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop. Sheila Guthrie is this week’s contributor, and has also taken over the organisation of the Blog Hop from Heidi Garrett, who is concentrating on the Speculative Fiction Showcase, together with Cora Buhlert and myself.

Sheila has taken up the torch to write about her writing process. Sheila is a fan of Scrivener ( a very helpful programme for writers) and got me interested. She writes both Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction, and tends to write character-driven novels. Go and read her post!

Forthcoming blog posts:

September 1: Harry Manners
September 8: Carole McDonnell
September 15: Dean F. Wilson

October 6: Amelia Smith

There are plenty of openings, especially if you are a member of the KBoards.

Previous blog posts:
Vincent Trigili:
Ceinwen Langley:
Kevin Hardman:
Cora Buhlert:
Jessica Rydill:
Jamie Maltman:

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Reblog: Author Wednesday – Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks:

Many, many thanks to Patricia Zick for the wonderful interview as part of her on-going Author Wednesday series!

Originally posted on P.C. Zick:


Welcome to another installment of Author Wednesday. Michael Patrick Hicks joins me today to talk about his first novel Convergence. This science fiction technothriller features Jonah Everitt as your everyday drug addict, memory thief, and killer. There’s bound to be an edge-of-your-seat story in the telling of his journey! convergence-800-cover-reveal-and-promotional

Hello Michael! Your book sounds exciting and chilling at the same time. Tell us a little bit about yourself as a writer before we delve into the plot of Convergence.When did you first discover your voice as a writer?

Probably in high school. I always dabbled with writing as a hobby, but in my senior year of high school–way back when now–I decided to get a little bit serious about it and took a creative writing course. I wasn’t quite prepared for the worlds it opened up for me, and I completely fell in love with the art. I’ve…

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Reblog: Whisper’s Non-Profit Your Voice Is Now A Digital Platform To Discuss Depression Openly

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Michael Patrick Hicks:

Reblogging because I think this could be a very valuable resource and merits further exploration.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

In the wake of all the discussion about depression and suicide this past week, Whisper founders Michael Heyward and Brad Brooks announced they are starting a $1 million endowment for Whisper’s separate non-profit entity Your Voice. Whisper also announced that Your Voice morphs today into a new digital platform for Whisper users and others to share their struggles in the hopes of letting others know they are not alone.

Your Voice launched as an information site for depression and suicide prevention back in 2012. Troubling messages about self-harm and suicidal thoughts kept popping up on the mobile network for sharing secrets. This was a serious concern to Brooks who says Your Voice was created as Whisper’s answer to those types of posts.

“People who call a suicide prevention hotline are more likely to get help. They’ll probably make it,” says Brooks. “We needed to create a way to let…

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Sunday To-Dos

To-do list for Sunday:
1. Yard work
2. House cleaning
3. Mead


At some point, I need to get caught up on the The Strain. These bottles seem somewhat appropriate to accompany a viewing of some recent episodes.

The honey wine comes from a local meadery, B. Nektar. Never had any of their stuff before, but I certainly love their sense of humor.

Oh yeah, I should probably also keep on editing book two… I’m about half-way through and it’s taking a bit longer than anticipated. It’ll be going off to the pros for their first-round edits next month.

Pig & Whiskey 2014

The last time my wife, Maureen, and I attended Pig & Whiskey in Ferndale was two years ago, so we were a bit overdue for a return. This festival is the highlight of July in Michigan, as far as I’m concerned, and namely because it involves two of my favorite things: whiskey and pork products.

The temp was a fairly comfortable 80 degrees, a nice breeze blowing, and the sun was shining. Certainly a perfect day to partake in some barbecue and booze.

Unfortunately, the ticket prices and our budgeting didn’t line up exactly, but we still got to sample some damn fine stuff. Among the highlights were Woodward Avenue Brewery‘s candied bacon, Vinsetta Garage‘s Macon Bacon slider with a cup of bannoffee pudding (a small meal that I happily recalled from 2012), Ole Smokey Moonshine, and The Smoke Ring BBQ food truck served up a truly marvelous pork belly sandwich – absolute dynamite!

I’d never had moonshine before, but they had multiple flavors on display, in addition to the straight-up ‘shine. The menu listed blackberry, which caught my eye immediately, but they were out, so the wife and I split a strawberry and, later, apple pie moonshine. Unfortunately, Maureen liked them so much that I didn’t get much more than a taste of either. Still, the sample was more than enough to sway me and we’ll be on the lookout for this during our next shopping trip. Dangerous stuff, that moonshine, but so damn delectable!

I was really surprised by the Black Velvet Reserve. This was my first time trying the brand at all, and I found the drink to be incredibly smooth and mellow, with a solid bit of oak, but not overpowering or unpleasant. Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, and Woodward Reserve were on hand, as was Red Stag, and a few others, but I wanted to focus on some new brands I hadn’t had the pleasure of tasting previously. I did have a SoCo cocktail that was made with a jalapeno syrup that was tasty, but didn’t quite have the heat I was looking for.

The festival had expanded to take over a couple additional blocks then the last time we’d attended. I’d expected more distilleries to be on display given the expanded territory allotted to the festival, but maybe the bigger turnouts were on Friday and Saturday and we just missed them. There was also a large array of music acts scheduled, and I can’t recall what the line-up, if any, was like during our previous attendance. We weren’t too focused on the musicians, though I managed to catch a few snippets of The DeCamp Sisters, and it sounded like they’ve got some nice vocals. I may need to check out their music a bit more later on.

One great thing about the additional space for all the revelry was  that it provided lots of extra room to maneuver, and lots of tables and seating made for easy access comfort, something we struggled with a few years ago. If I had one complaint it would be directed toward the almost incessant badgery of Uber salesfolk; we managed to get stopped three times by three different salesman trying to sell us on the app with reward incentives, but that’s not what we were there for. Even though we promised to find an alternate route through the lot, just to avoid the Uber tent, we somehow always managed to find ourselves passing by it anyway and eventually just kept on walking while they tried to flag us down. I hate to be rude, and I know sales is a tough business, but after a certain point there’s little other recourse. To top it off, we had even less need for Uber than usual thanks to the accompaniment of our sister-in-law, fellow pork enthusiast, and designated driver (thanks again Jenn!!!).

Regardless, it was a lot of fun and I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival. In my opinion, this is, hands down, one of the best events to occur in Michigan (maybe because I’m not much of a car guy and the annual international auto show does little for me? Either way, it seems really hard to go wrong with Pig & Whiskey, far as I’m concerned).

Here’s some pics I took on my iPhone, so excuse the quality and click to embiggen:


Word of advice upon entry, not that it was needed…





Adding the finishing touch to the paella.

Adding the finishing touch to the paella.


The Macon Bacon Slider from Vinsetta Garage. So good! Also had a small serving of banoffee pudding – very tasty.


Candied Bacon, courtesy of the Woodward Avenue Brewery.


The DeCamp Sisters playing on the Jack Daniel’s Main Stage.


The DeCamp Sisters playing on the Jack Daniel’s Main Stage.


Ole Smoky moonshine was the surprise hit of the Pig & Whiskey festival for Maureen & I. Dangerously delicious stuff. I recommend drinking it straight from the jar whenever possible.


Beer Barrel Bourbon – nice and smooth. Didn’t get to sample the Zeppelin Bend, but it comes highly recommended by the wait staff. Supposed to have a very chocolatey taste, so we’ll be on the lookout for this one.






Last Chance: Convergence Sale

convergence-800-cover-reveal-and-promotionalSo, lots of you may know Convergence has been on sale this week for only 99 cents. But, lots more may not know that at all! And since the sale has proved to be pretty healthy, I’m extending it an extra day to cover the full breadth of the DetCon1 weekend.

Even though DetCon1 is happening nearby, I, unfortunately, will not be able to attend. I’ve already committed myself to some family fun with our town’s Founder’s Festival and the annual Pig & Whiskey.

I’m hoping to attend next year’s DetCon1, though! In the meantime, please enjoy Convergence at the nicely (I think) risk-free price of 99 cents throughout the rest of this weekend (and bonus-points for supporting a local, metro-Detroit author, too!).

| Kindle | Nook | Kobo |


The vitals:

An Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist

A Kobo Next Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reads Selection, May 2014

Jonah Everitt is a killer, an addict, and a memory thief.

After being hired to kill a ranking officer of the Pacific Rim Coalition and download his memories, Everitt finds himself caught in the crosshairs of a terror cell, a rogue military squadron, and a Chinese gangster named Alice Xie. Xie is a profiteer of street drugs, primarily DRMR, a powerful narcotic made from the memories of the dead. With his daughter, Mesa, missing in post-war Los Angeles, Everitt is forced into an uneasy alliance with Alice to find her.

Mesa’s abduction is wrapped up in the secrets of a brutal murder during the war’s early days, a murder that Alice Xie wants revenged. In order to find her, Jonah will have to sift through the memories of dead men that could destroy what little he has left.

In a city where peace is tenuous and loyalties are ever shifting, the past and the present are about to converge.

Publisher’s Weekly* called CONVERGENCE a “smart splice of espionage and science fiction. … frighteningly realistic. Well-drawn characters, excellent pacing, and constant surprises make this a great cautionary tale about technology and its abuses.”

“kept me on the edge of my seat the WHOLE friggen time! The writing is tight. The world building is incredible, and the story itself is pretty compelling! A+”
-Melissa “Book Lady” Caldwell, Must Read Faster

“Not only is it original and fresh it makes you think about topics ranging from addiction to loss of personal freedoms and civil liberties. The book is very well written…”
-Amazon Reviewer

“This is a book with well-rounded and evolving characters. It draws you in right from the start and keeps your heart rate up the whole way.”
-Amazon Reviewer

A Top 100 Cyberpunk Bestseller on Amazon

A Top 100 Cyberpunk and Technothrillers Bestseller on Amazon UK

A Top 100 Science Fiction and High Tech Bestseller on Kobo