Monday, November 15, 2021



Experiment gone bad, that’s all I can say. As you can read below, back in August, I was high on the use of Amazon’s newest trick, VELLA. A new source for serialized electronic books in a half dozen genres. Everything I have read (and on YouTube) about the experiences of the users was negative. No marketing support, hard to use, hard to find your own serial, etc.

So, I bailed. On November 16, 2021, I published Seven Hours to Barstow in its entirety. It’s a short novelette as I call it, just about 15,000 words (most full novels range between 60,000 to 140,000 words—and longer). And it will always be $0.99, or sometimes free when I want to juice up the ‘sales’ numbers. And besides I love the cover I designed.


It’s an irreverent road trip down the back side of the Sierra Mountains. Enjoy.

To quote the first paragraph:

Don’t do this if you’re sober, or straight, or even got your head on right. No one should do this—ever. You must be certifiably stoned, plastered, over-religious, missing a body part, even a Democrat. This is what it takes: peyote, a lid of LSD, a handful of Cubans, a bottle of mescal, the Bible, and one of those anti-COVID masks. You need seventy-five horses between your legs, steel and chrome up the ass, big tires, a bag of Snickers, and Johnny Cash bleeding his fucking heart out and crying about June over the speakers. That’s all it takes, that and a plan; oh, and a Teflon jock strap printed with the fucking Milky Way hand-stitched with gold thread.


Go here and download.



The publishing game is getting crazier. There’s more consolidation in the future (big fish eating other big fish). A year ago, Penguin Random House (already a collection of imprints) announced plans to buy/merge Simon and Schuster (another collection). Here it is one year later and it’s, as far as I can tell, not been consummated. The Gov’ment is stepping in, a little concerned about the free market and monopolies – which I find to be quaint and self-serving. Hillary Clinton’s thriller (with Louise Penny) is at Simon & Schuster. Barack Obama’s first volume, A Promised Land, is a Penguin Random House, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, Crown (owned by Penguin Random House). Kamela Harris is also with Penguin books. To balance, Dick Cheney is with Threshold (Simon & Schuster), and the apolitical John Grisham is with Knopf (Penguin Random House). To balance this out even more, James Patterson (and President Clinton - new mystery series) is with Little, Brown and Company (part of the Hachette Book Group), and Nora Roberts is probably keeping Macmillan Publishing alive. No sour grapes here, but more of a concern over the concentration of thoughts an ideologies in the hands of a few on the streets of New York. Also note that Simon & Schuster is owned by ViacomCBS (talk about eyeball coverage).


There are dozens if not hundreds of smaller publishing houses, groups, and companies. Some were established to support a particular writer, then grew. Others came into being because a person loved the idea of a genre such as sci-fi, westerns, or romance. But it still is a business, you must sell books (paper, ebook, audios) to survive, and it is getting tougher. I know this well.


This publishing merger (and others) all about control, control of the market, control of the message (thoughts), and control of the politics. Books are the preeminent force of change, education, and enlightenment. In reality, who cares about a chip company merger, a tool and die conglomerate, two automobile companies forming an alliance. But two companies under the control of a particular political persuasion, now that is a different type of monopoly. After the invention of the Guttenberg press, the powers that be (state and church), feared what would happen when knowledge was easily acquired by the people through cheap books and pamphlets. Would Martin Luther (for better or worse) have had such a profound impact if the printing press had not been invented only forty years before his birth? He used it deliberately and sharply, to both government and church dismay.


Mein Kampf, written by he who will not be named, is a preeminent example of how words can change a nation – and how a publishing house was acquired and used to disseminate that ideology.


I am very concerned about concentrations of power (or aquisitions) for whatever reasons or rationalizations. Free and open competition is the backbone of capitalism, whether in goods, services, or words. It is imperative that more than a glossy review be taken of this merger. I could care less about pricing (the merger will help keep pricing fair – phooey), this is about control of ideas, the words that make those ideas real, and the minds that are manipulated by those words.


More later . . . . . .



Friday, August 6, 2021

7 Hours to Barstow - Kindle Vella

7 Hours to Barstow - then Turn Left

Alert, Alert, Alert . . . I am trying something new – and maybe you should too. Amazon Kindle has this new serial format that allows us writers to serialize our books (not old ones, mind you). From just a few episodes to an unlimited number – all your decision. It’s called Kindle Vella. I’ve just published the first five episodes of my first serial titled 7 HOURS TO BARSTOW – THEN TURN LEFT. New genre, Slipstream and new character, the Gray Rider. Ten episodes are available, the first three are free, more to be added. Check it out here.

Years ago there was the opportunity to use Amazon Kindle as a way of serializing our stories, even novels. Hugh Howey used this as a stepping stone to his success, Wool, and so did Andy Weir and his amazing novel The Martian. Both started by publishing one chapter (episode) at a time. Eventually they became the novels we enjoy. But they started in the old fashioned Dickens-Victorian way (England) on weekly episodes in the newspapers or magazines.

I don't know whether Amazon will pull this off, there's some concern (on my part) about the issue of buying Tokens (credits) to be used to acquire new episodes (complicated) and the split for the author. Time will tell and they will adjust as needed. However, I believe that this will provide opportunities for writer to strut their stuff, try new genres, styles, even go over the edge (as does 7 Hours to Barstow - Then Turn Left).

Here's a peak at the scope of VELLA:

7 Hours to Barstow comes from an idea my trainer and I cooked up. He was taking a motorcycle ride down the backside of the Sierra Mountains on Highway 395 last summer and we starting wondering what he'd run into along the way: ghosts, sheep, hitchhikers, etc. I started a run of text that I liked and it became what you will find.

There's an obscure genre out there called slipstream (WIKI HERE). My fascination with this style came from a book an old friend (who sadly has passed) gave me. It is Robert F. Jones' Blood Sport, A Journey Up the Hassayampa. It is without a doubt one of the weirdest novels I've ever read and totally embodies the goal of slipstream as "nonrealistic fiction with a postmodern sensibility."


7 Hours is sort of an homage to Jones and his story. What I'm hoping to do is keep adding episodes (10 posted or soon will be), that continue the travels of my man, the Gray Rider, as he cruises the back roads of America. Let me know what you think.

More Later . . . .

Thursday, May 13, 2021


 >>>>>BREAKING NEWS<<<<<

On October 5, 2021, I'll be publishing two new novels.

Two on the same day!

click to pre-order: This Face of Evil


Now a word from our sponsor:

We survived – or at least that’s what it looks like. We’ve been through a lot this past year, for the first time in maybe forever, we have all been in the battle together. And we won! Yeah, for us. Three huzzahs. Our thoughts go to those families that lost someone, and to those that will never know what their future could have been. Sometimes humans need to be reminded how delicate and fragile life really is. Hug your family, have lunch with friends, dream of that vacation . . .


Now, get back to work, we have a much to repair.


Lots of great things have happened this year to me and here at Windsor Hill Publishing—and others are promised.


Chicago Boogie Woogie was published in February. For those that know Detective Tony Alfano, his latest case takes him from Chicago to Hollywood to chase down a killer. Yes Hollywood, film fantasyland for the incredible 1930s. The reviews are great. Get it here.


Two books are being studied by my wonderful agent, Kimberley Cameron. Both with new and modern characters, as well as exotic settings. You will not be disappointed. More as they develop.


This October it’s twins. 

What can I say . . . What better way to celebrate a new character (actually two!) than to release two books on the same day – October 5, 2021. Introducing OSS Captain Max Adler and MI6 agent Sophie Norcross. I’ve worked on these two novels for the last five years (more like forever). Both are chockablock full of action, adventure, politics, Nazis, Rome, Paris, Cairo, London, Chicago – what a ride. These novels have been promised for the last two years – and finally they are here. Pre-order at Amazon, send me a message if you want a reviewable copy, go to my website for more information ( They will make great Christmas presents.

click to pre-order: This Face of Evil


And a reminder that all the other characters in the Gregory C. Randall universe are waiting for you. There are the seven Sharon O’Mara action-adventure thrillers, the three Alex Polonia international thrillers, and the aforementioned Detective Tony Alfano stories that take you back to 1933.


Have a great and safe summer.


Look for me on Facebook (become my friend), send me an email at, or just pick up one of my novels and get lost in the worlds that I have created.


Stay Tuned:


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Boogie Woogie Coming 2-16-21



I'm thrilled to offer you and my readers the latest Detective Tony Alfano mystery. It's 1933 Chicago, the Century of Progress World's Fair is now in its fourth month, and a starlet is found murdered on the top floor of the Palmer House hotel. Tony is sent to investigate and discovers she's with a Hollywood promotion tour for their latest gangland movie. At the request of the producer, Chicago Mayor Ed Kelly, sends him to Hollywood to be their technical advisor. And the first thing Alfano finds is another body.

In Los Angeles, California, Tony discovers that fantasy can become reality.

Pre-order before 2-16-21 or order now here!