Win the ultimate Lord of the Rings prize pack!

Do you love Middle-earth? If so, check this out:

Win the ultimate Lord of the Rings prize pack!

I and other authors have teamed up with Silver Empire publishing and Chris Kennedy Publishing to offer this great prize pack. All you have to do to enter is agree to join our email lists. Once the contest is over and your email has been distributed to all of the creators listed above, you can choose to unsubscribe from each individually. But we hope you won’t!

The prizes include:

  • The Lord of the Rings illustrated hardcover edition
  • the complete extended edition Lord of the Rings film collection on Blu-Ray or DVD
  • Alan Lee’s Lord of the Rings Sketchbook
  • a prop replica of the one ring
  • a real Sting sword
  • a Lord of the Rings map throw blanket

Not bad, huh? Dang, I’m jealous!



The Demons of Critique Groups – Addendum to Novel Workshop – A Blast From The Past From December 2014

This is too good to not share!

Mad Genius Club

*Sorry to do a blast from the past, but not only am I on the homestretch of an overdue novel, but I woke up really late and I have a doctor’s appointment.  But this is old enough you might not remember it, and it sort of ties in with Amanda’s thing. – SAH*

Now, these can be a problem in short stories too, but some of them are rather specific to novels, and if you’re a first time novel writer and find a writer group for guidance, they’ll eat you alive.

I could give you a list of ten, but I figure it will do nothing, because to counter the poison, you need to know why it’s a poison, and that it in fact has nothing to do with your novel.

View original post 2,060 more words

Happy Birthday, Professor Tolkien!

I don’t know if it is because it’s the esteemed professor’s birthday, but this poem has been rattling around my head all day:

I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door.

– J.R.R. Tolkien

I love Middle-earth so deeply it goes beyond words. And I won’t deny he has influenced my writing; indeed, I’d be a fool to attempt it. My stories are science fiction, not mythology or fantasy, but the footprints of Professor Tolkien are there. Check it out, if you haven’t already:

Sword's Edge



The Lord of the Rings is anti-racist – Brad Watson

When the recent article popped up online accusing Prof. Tolkien of being racist, the subject was discussed within a group on Facebook. Some of the insights were wonderful, and one in particular caught my attention.

I gained permission from that poster to share his thoughts:

One of the core themes of The Lord of the Rings is the co-operation of diverse races to defeat evil & lay the groundwork for a new future. Dwarves & Elves, in particular, must overcome a bitter history. Gimli’s adoration of Galadriel & his related friendship with Legolas symbolizes a rich new fellowship based on racial forgiveness.

Other key relationships include Merry’s vassalage to Theoden & then Eomer; Pippin’s homage to Denethor & then Faramir, culminating in Aragorn’s lordship over Pippin; Merry & Pippin’s friendship with Treebeard & Quickbeam; Aragorn’s fosterage under Elrond; his friendship with Elladan & Elrohir; his love for & marriage to Arwen; and Bilbo’s many friendships with Elves & Dwarves & Men. All of these relationships involve love, friendship & loyalty between people of different Races.

Another obvious aspect of Tolkien’s world is the way he celebrates the unique gifts & accomplishments of the different cultures of Middle-earth. The hard work & superb craftsmanship of the Dwarves, the horsemanship of the Rohirrim, the swordsmiths of Rivendell, the cloaks of Lorien, the beer & cooking of Hobbits, the Citadel of Gondor: All represent the distinct achievements of unique cultures capable of existing harmoniously.

The Lord of the Rings is anti-racist in a way few on the modern Left know how to be.

– Brad Watson

Thank you, Brad, for allowing me to share your post.




Brandon Barr: Father, husband, friend, author. #BrandonsBuddies

USA Today Bestselling Author Brandon Barr is facing his final days battling leukemia. For details about his fight, his books, and more, please visit this page: Brandon Barr: Father, husband, friend, author.


The first three books of his Song of the Worlds series are now available on Amazon, beginning with Rise of the Seer. Available right now for only $2.99 on Kindle.