#TheRoadToMars – a little info to chew on

So now that the word is out, it’d probably a good idea to give some details on my new book. That being said, here goes. The title itself, The Road to Mars, comes from a concept I had about four years ago. Back when I was still exploring the notion of getting published (wow, that was a while ago!). The story was meant to be a post-apocalyptic tale, but with a twist. The twist being that I wasn’t attempting to write about zombies, a killer outbreak, or a killer outbreak which causes the zombies. Rather, I wanted a post-apocalyptic tale where all the light is slowly being “eaten.” Hence, that’s where the Pulse came into play.

As you can read on the back cover, I give a hint as to what the “Pulse” truly is. And what’s causing it. In my story, Mars has already been colonized and has slowly formed itself into a quasi-utopian society. By the time The Road to Mars is underway, Mars has eclipsed the Earth in technology, wealth, and overall human welfare. There are no murders. There is only prosperity. And there is peace. 

Naturally, Mars’ leaders – being the visionaries and proud people they are – decide it would be a good idea to share with the Earth what’s made them so powerful. And of course, this is where everything goes haywire. Or should I say, “explodes in their faces.”

I’ll leave the rest of the explanation for the faithful who will be reading it. I’d prefer not to give away too much on the topic. Just rest assured that this particular backstory will be delved into with greater detail.

Be back with (a little) more at a later date. Till then, enjoy the weekend!

#12Months12Books – April: “Spirit, Run”

This month has been rough. I’ll just throw it out there. I’m officially four months in and this #12Months12Books thing isn’t getting any easier. However, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to re-release this novella, Spirit, Run for the month of April. So here we go.

A little about Spirit, Run, I wrote this story about a year ago and shared the majority of it on my blog. I’d say this was one of my first attempts to do something that wasn’t a full-scale novel. The entire thing felt like a contained story, one that could be told in fewer words than a big, overarching tale. I liked the concept and away I went with it. Ironic considering how appropriate I feel the title has become for what I did with it: run. 

Originally, Spirit, Run was just Spirit Run (hopefully you caught the change there). There was no emphasis added; no comma. I know it may seem ridiculous, but that added punctuation made all the difference. It turned the title into a command. As if the spirit is being ordered to run. That’s what I liked about changing the title. Rather than sounding like a linear tale, one that followed a specific track, it was now left with a greater deal of freedom.

The main character, a spirit racing toward its human vessel, is commanded to run for its target. And it does so under the guidance of three angels; a trio of protectors battling on the soul’s behalf. However, they are unable to interact directly with the one whom they are defending. A real challenge considering the types of opponents they find themselves up against. As for what (or who) they end up fighting against, I’ll leave that up to the reader to find out.

Spirit, Run will be available on Kindle Friday, April 24.

Hope you enjoy.


The Scientist’s Dilemma – December 4th!!

It’s nice to have a solid release date and I have one. I’ve been posting, tweeting, and Facebook-statusing lately about my short story, The Scientist’s Dilemma, but I’ve been neglecting to mention when it will be arriving. So here it is: Thursday, December 4th for Kindle and Kindle apps. No paperback, no hard cover, just electronic this time around and it’ll be starting at $3.99 per download in the U.S.; an amount that will vary in other parts of the world. So I hope you’re one of the folks who has the capability to give it a download soon. No matter what part of the world you’re in.

And that’s it for shameless self-promotion and now onto a small amount of self-reflection.

It’s been over a year since I last published something and I forgot how nerve-racking the anticipation can be. As a writer, you must knowingly enter a certain mindset prior to releasing your work. The reason being that when you are putting something out to the public – one such as The Scientist’s Dilemma – you are inviting a wave of opinions, thoughts, critiques, and hopefully a small amount of praise directly to your doorstep.

A good analogy would be standing on the other side of a dam, pulling back the gates, and taking a deep breath as the wave comes crashing over. Yes, I’m sure that sounds overly dramatic but sharing stories is like trying to impress total strangers with a good joke at a party. Your acceptance – your initiation, if you will – is dependent on so many things: knowing your audience, having a strong delivery, and ultimately giving a compelling message. All three of those have to come together if your goal of making new friends will come to fruition. The same applies to writing and sharing a good story. And if I’m lucky enough to make some new friends then hey, that’ll also be a win in this newest of endeavors.

More later.

How Every Writer Envisions His Work

Two of my friends reading my recent book.

Two of my friends reading my recent book.

I’d say that picture about sums it up. I received this photo a day ago from two of my friends (who happen to be brothers) as they were “eagerly” and “anxiously” reading my new book, “Epiphanies, Theories, and Downright Good Thoughts…made while being single.” I didn’t ask them to do this so I thought it was rather clever and just had to share.

The best part is, I feel like that’s how any writer feels when he releases a new book. He imagines people actively reading and engaging the new work like they can’t put it down. At least that’s how I think of mine. If anything, it gives a writer the necessary gusto to keep charging ahead. Wherever that may lead.

To my friends, Tim (brushing teeth) and Brent (sitting on the John), thank you for making my day. And supporting my most recent endeavor. Perhaps I should throw this out as an open submission to any/all who can take a similar and funny candid while reading my book? A prize to go to the winner??

I may have to take some time to think about that one. You know, for what the prize should be and what not.

Hmmm….till next time then.


WordPress Snafu


Yesterday, my blog had a serious snafu and stopped giving access to my blog post – the one with the picture of my two books. In light of this, I’m reposting the picture. Basically, this is me saying, “No, I will not be denied, WordPress.”

Unless you decide to take it down again, of course.

More to come.

– J.C.L.

It’s Finally Here!


Ok – so I’ve been periodically keeping my blog up to date about a book I wrote and at last, that book is available. I’m very excited (seriously), but also fully aware that the road ahead is quite long. So no trumpets blaring, no grand entrance – just me being ecstatic over another publication.

Any who are interested in checking it out may do so at any of the following websites (but I’m sure there are more):

http://www.iuniverse.com (not up yet, but will be).

This took a while to come about but this venture was certainly worth it; as is any hard labor. Now it’s just time to share it with others. And be prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly criticisms/experiences that may follow. So here’s moving forward with a positive outlook. You have to be that way when you write a book about being single anyway, wouldn’t you agree? Otherwise, you’re just sunk before you get started.

More good stuff to follow soon!

Till later – J.C.L.

A Small Snippet from the Next Book

The title of my book is too big to put in a single header (Epiphanies, Theories, and Downright Good Thoughts…made while being single), but here’s a short exerpt I’d like to share regardless.

To set the stage, one of the chapters focuses on some quick and easy survival techniques. Nothing too crazy like hunting apartment squirrels for food; or the burning of bedroom posts in your gas fireplace for warmth – just the basics; the things you wouldn’t necessarily think about if you were about to live on your own. These are but two of the many within the chapter that I felt up to sharing this afternoon.

So here we are. Hope you enjoy a good laugh or two (as well as some enlightening insight for thought):

If it still smells good…then you can eat it.
If it doesn’t, then please throw it away. My stomach can handle just about anything. Old salami, stale bread, even a box of Cheez-Its that have made it through three relocations (yet were never been opened)…you name it, I could probably engulf it with minimal side effects. But I will warn thee – do not, under any circumstances, think that your stomach can handle spoiled milk. Dairy is public enemy #1 of things-to-not-eat-when-past-expiration. So no, no, and no. I’d sooner partake in a cage fight than be force fed spoiled milk. A broken nose or a busted jaw pales in comparison to the backlash of curdled milk consumption. Bruises will heal and bones will mend, but the scars within the lining of one’s stomach will last forever.

When moving locations, the amount of “free” food you provide…is proportionate to the amount of “free” help you get.
It’s no secret that I’ve relocated plenty of times. Each move became a more arduous task than the last. The first one entailed the use of my parents’ vehicles; the second involved a friend’s truck; and by the time I got to the latest move, I needed a conversion van, three cars, and a loading dock. You tend to accumulate a ton of crap when you live alone (which still boggles my mind) but since you can’t move everything on your own, you need some “hired help”. The only problem is, nobody works for free these days so you have to come up with ways to acquire certain aid.
In my experience, I’ve discovered that a large cheese pizza with pop is equal to 2.5 college students. This equation changes if you add a six pack of beer though. In which case, the result is now equal to three adult males. Add the pizza and you have the makings of a basketball team (with one really tall guy to cover the extra .5).
I will caution on one thing though: don’t always think that three adult males are greater than 2.5 college students. In fact, college students will work for less, do not bark back when given orders, and there’s a good chance their endurance levels are higher. You’re probably better off trying to get college students in that case. They’re beyond critical thinking, semi-efficient when given proper direction, and easily bought with a few pizzas; the future of America at its finest.

Stay tuned for more updates this weekend!