Month: February 2016

Another Great Review and Mystere Gris

Things are picking up. I opened my product page this morning to find a couple more reviews both with 5 star ratings. Nothing could tickle me more. Now for my ARC I chose both people whom I knew would be gentle and those who would really crack it apart. People I know who know books and who know Noir and mysteries. At any rate, I’ll just get to the reviwes. This first one is fom a guy I have known since kindergarten and lost touch over the years, but just recently rekindled our childhood friendship. I asked him to be a reviewer and he agreed. Here is his review.


5.0 out of 5 starsGreat read from a great author
By Amazon Customer on February 4, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition

I’ve known the writer my whole life. Was surprised to hear he’s a writer. Being from Akron Ohio, this book has the gritty feel of my hometown. Very good read. Characters are believable. Very well written look forward to more from the author. Way to go Jeff. EVERYONE READ THIS BOOK!!!!!! And again thanks Jeff for early release.”

Great review and honest.

Now onto the surprising one. This next one caught me offguard and made me feel all tingly. He captured just about eveything I set out to acomplish in my debut novel for Duke Bradley, Private Eye. I only know this reviewer from Facebook and have never met him in person. We share one thing in common and thats a love of old movies. Now on to his review.
5.0 out of 5 starswith his dislike for sticking to the rules
By Keith A on February 4, 2016
Format: Paperback

Duke Bradley, Private Eye, with his dislike for sticking to the rules, his wisecracks, and his beloved (only to him) coconut straw fedora, tries to move beyond his past demons and his pathetically empty pockets to go after the reward on an unsolved murder case that has been sitting cold for thirteen years. With precious little time before his eviction is carried out, Duke needs the money the way he used to need his bourbon, as if his next breath wouldn’t be possible without it. The more he boldly sticks his nose into unsavory places, the less assurance we have that he will be granted that next breath.

Duke narrates his investigation like a detective stuck in an intriguing 1940s film noir, with a tinge of update to keep him up with the times. Duke is not without his prejudices and impatience, and makes far from a perfect hero, but you can’t help but love him anyway. He enlists the help of FBI Special Agent Shriya Thakur, simply because he needs a ride and her extra access, but she has more to offer than he expects.

The dialogue crackles with descriptive language that flows endlessly from Thompson’s pen. Thompson, as he notes in his forward, knows a thing or two about addiction and he uses that knowledge to make every hint of Duke’s struggle ring with honesty. Even sober, with his last drink sitting untouched for years, as this murder case has been, it doesn’t stop his addiction from tantalizingly calling him at every opportunity.

Thirteen Years of Dust offers what was so compelling about those past noirs, a great ride with dialogue that snaps knowingly and an engaging detective who doesn’t even try to be perfect, but who always stays one step ahead of us while we have to try to keep up.

-Keith Allison, humane educator for the Ethical Choices Program and author of What if the Shoe Were On the Other Hoof?

What a great review. He is an author himself of a great book called WHAT IF THE SHOE WAS ON THE OTHER HOOF? and a humane educator for the Ethical Choices program.This man’s ethics cannot be questioned, so his review is about as honest as they come.

Anyway, it’s another hot day in the Philippines. This heat is going to kill me one day I know it. We could use some good rain, or at least a skyfull of grey clouds..that I would like. Reminds me of home. Akron, Ohio. That is also the setting for the Duke Bradley mysteries.

I think I’ll share a little bit of what I am working on now. The next in the series. No title yet. just take a quick gander. Unedited and not yet juiced up but might give you an idea what to look for.

—-“I walked down Main and came upon the Civic theatre. The marquette was a lit up with the announcement of a Noir film festival for the coming weekend. I kicked around the idea of buying a ticket and getting a seat. Well, two seats. I knew Shriya would enjoy it, but then I would have to listen to her mimic their slang for the next week and a half. Maybe longer. That would ruin the whole thing for me.

I have seen all the films on the menu, but not on the big screen like they did back in the 40’s. I love the old black and white Noirs. Don’t make them like that anymore and they probably wouldn’t fly nowadays. People want shit exploding and sadism. The simple crook just isn’t fancy enough for people these days. Maybe that’s for tv.

Nothing is black and white anymore. It’s all gray. The real Noir is over. Those black days are gone no matter how hard someone tries to hold onto it. Even me. I’m not true Noir. I was born too late.

Maybe a new type of film and literature, Mystere Gris. That’s French for “grey mystery”. Came up with it myself. In those movies it seems the sun never shines and everything good happens at night. Well I am here to tell you it ain’t so. Sometimes the sun is shining bright as hell and you still feel like shit. Then others you can be happy as a hyena and it’s all gray and gloomy like I like it.

Akron is a gray city with gray buildings and overcast gray skies a lot of the time. the lake effect they call it I think. Since it sits so close to Lake Erie, it gets a lot of rain and clouds coming off the water. Down from Canada. Thanks k’nuks.”

Just a short teaser. Gotta a long way to go before the next one is on the shelves. My advice to you? Pick up Thirteen Years of Dust. It’s only a buck right now. I mean it’s a dollar–I don’t think it will kill you to try. Especially with these reviews. What do you have to lose?

Thank you and Goodnight.







Two days of drizzle. Not bad. I would prefer a good pouring, but I have to take what is given. At any rate, it’s a glorious grey, Mystere Gris day. The perfect kind of day for writing.


I am an American living in a third world country. An ex-pat they call it and I am not an ex-anything. Well, an ex-drinker. Anyway, living here and trying to exist like an American is complicated. I call it Amerikano living with a twist. There are a lot of limitations and many, many things that are just not available here.


Books are one thing that is rare to come across. (BTW I do accept old paperback book donations–mysteries and adventure. No romance. Literary and classics always welcome.) Not many people here actually read, and English isn’t their cup of joe. They have the most annoying expression when English is presented. They grab their face and scream “OH! English! I am getting a nose bleed!” They live under the impression that speaking English causes the nose to begin bleeding. I have been speaking English for more than 40 years and never once got a nose bleed. The peculiar thing is all of the important newspapers are in English. The road signs, advertisements, signs at the mall, t.v. shows, even a lot of radio stations. English English English. I go to buy medicine at the pharmacy and the tech makes a huge production about how she cannot understand English. But is very good at her job. All the medications, instructions and dosages and all the textbooks are in–yep you guessed it–ENGLISH.


So yesterday I got a good surprise. Another American I know just returned here from a few months stateside. He popped into my work for just a moment and gave me some goodies that he knew I was missing. A box of Cream of Wheat and a bottle of Old Spice aftershave. I couldn’t thank him enough.


There exists a certain camaraderie among the foreigners living here. No matter what you hear about The Philippines, I am here to tell you they are an extremely prejudiced and racist group of people. Not a day goes by that I am not ridiculed. My friend, too. Unless–unless you have a lot of money. Then they leave you alone. Then and only then are they nice to you and warm and friendly. As soon as they find out you aren’t ‘rich’ by their standards–well, they treat their dogs better. And they don’t treat their dogs very well.


Honestly though they think they are doing well. It’s all ego driven. they want the American lifestyle and line up to leave The Philippines, yet refuse to think like an American. You cannot live like an American and think like an American unless you adopt the American ideals. That’s what leads us Americans living here to kind of stick together. That and a good dose of English now and again.


We are a bunch of guys that wouldn’t normally mix back in the States. I mean take for instance my buddy, Doug. He is 70 years old, retired sailor. An airplane mechanic most of his life both private and for the US Navy. He is a big guy with a barrel of a belly and slicked back dirty grey hair that used to be blonde. And even at is age he has the kindest blue eyes I have ever seen on a guy. Now, taking all that into account and knowing me. We really couldn’t be more different in our likes and hobbies and even political and religious stances–BUT we have two common things that bind us–ENGLISH and the USA.


I am not talking USA the land, or the states or even the government. I am talking USA the ideology and the attitude of the American. “Get ‘er dun!’ as Larry the cable guy used to holler.

The main attitude here is “Do it for me or not at all. It’s too hard.” I can’t stand it.


Cream of Wheat. You know, I grew up on the stuff and I really got tired of it after awhile. Then after about a year here, I started looking for it. Not that I have the money to buy imported goods (hershey bars are imported here–very expensive. I accept donations on chocolate as well!) No Cream of Wheat. No grits. In fact, cereal is very limited here.Here they take rice from the night before–fry it up– or boil it with chocolate powder –and call THAT breakfast. No sir–I need my cereal. So at long last when Douglas, my American friend, told me he was going home for the holidays, I jumped on him right away. Cream of Wheat and Old Spice. There is no better after shave, in my humble opinion, than Old Spice. He returned two days ago and I am pleased as punch about it.


So I am going to sit here and wait for him to come by and chat. The skies are still gloomy. Makes me think of Akron. A bowl of cream of wheat and gloomy skies and I am a happy guy.

 Thank you and GoodNight





A while ago I sent out some ARC of my upcoming novel. Thirteen Years of Dust. The deal is they get a free copy (complete with typos) and I get a review. It’s a fair deal and I ask for an HONEST review. I can’t very well grow as a writer with out honest reviews. 
I just got one from one of my reviewers. 
So because I am an egoist in some respects, and I want to sell my book, I decided to post that review here for all and sundry to read. 

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I received an advance review copy of this book. This ‘whodunit’ introduces a new protagonist in the world of noir mystery, the down-and-out PI Duke Bradley, as he goes about solving a cold-case murder in hopes of collecting some reward money. While he proceeds from a cynical starting point, Duke develops a sense of righteous outrage along the way to a satisfying conclusion. His character, and the supporting characters as well, were developed well enough to make them interesting enough for me to want to keep reading, and I enjoyed learning what makes Duke tick. This was fortunate, because although the writing itself is stellar, especially for a first effort, my ARC could have benefitted from some more copy editing – and in fact, I vacillated between 4 and 5 stars for this review because of that. But I understand that more editing has been done since my ARC, and this is a clever tale that’s told well, so I think it would be unfair to ding it just because of typos. The story may sound typical for its genre, but there are some interesting twists and character development that I think make it stand out. All in all, I think Duke’s debut foray is a fine addition to the noir canon.
– Garrett Dennis, author of Port Starbird: A Storm Ketchum Adventure (Storm Ketchum Adventures Book 1)
Garrett Dennis is an acomplished author with a great reputation. His opinion you can trust. I sure as hell do. The point is he isn’t going to give anyone a bum steer toward a terrible book. That could kill his own writing career. So there you have it all wrapped up in a nice bundle. My book is pretty good–love to hear your feed back.
Thank you and Goodnight


promodukeThat’s exactly what I am looking for. Free ways to generate ebook sales. 5 would be awesome–I would settle for two. Sadly I have no cash. I live in a far off place in South East Asia and although I am from the USA it’s impossible to do anything from where I am sitting.  I have been all over social media and registered for all the free advertising I could click a mouse at. I learned to use gimp and made up some pretty cool promo posters. For now, I am just drumming my fingers waiting for my reviewers to finish and write their reviews so I can (hopefully) apply for more free spots. I have no chance at the paid ads. I don’t have a credit card.


My limitations are endless. Just ONE paid ad on a tweeting site is more than a full week’s salary for me. The exchange rates kill me (not that I have any money to exchange LOL) I have two kids to feed. **Sigh** what is to become of the MYSTERE  GRIS genre.



But fear not! I will never give up on Duke Bradley or the Mystere Gris genre I have invented. (To learn more about Mystere Gris, scroll back to an earlier blog post Mystere Gris and Noir) I figure somewhere, sometime down the road I will come across the right info or the book will fall into the right hands. Perhaps the real money is in marketing other people’s books. All you have to do is show it. Don’t even have to guarantee sales for the poor sap that pays you. Just build an email list then **poof** your paypal is overflowing! But that takes a lot of time. And I am a writer not a salesman. And I am not in this for the money.


Making sales is nice. And I am all for it and if someone wants to offer a nice book deal, well I am not one to sneer at such a proposal. But what really salts my tomato about making sales is the fact that someone out there, whom I don’t know, is reading my work. Here I have spent the better part of the last year putting this together,( and at my age the days aren’t to be wasted) and someone saw the cover–read the description (which I am horrible at writing) and chose to shell out the dough for my creation. That is more of what I am after. Having people appreciate my art and walk away a little different.

Book cover 6

Buy Now!

This book and the upcoming series are a part of me. A part of my everyday thoughts. A part of my dreams. Even if I don’t make the sales I can’t let it go. I will always write until I take my last breath. That you can take to the bank.


The first rule of writing is–you don’t talk about writing. No, I am just kidding. For me the first part is to NOT think about publishing it. That can lead to limitations. THIRTEEN YEARS of DUST started as an idea for a short story. I was thinking 6-7k words. Then it grew to 12k. So I thought , well, I’ll make it a novella. Now 70k words later I am sitting here with a complete novel and a series in mind with no where to put it! Had I stuck with the limitation of selling it as a short story, then I am not sure where I would be right now. Maybe sitting here with “writer’s block” (which I have yet to experience–In fact I get the opposite–”writer’s open floodgate” and at the most inopportune times!)


I suppose a lot of indie authors are in the same banana boat as I am. Luckily, I have had some great advice–especially from another indie author who knows the ropes and should have his books displayed on the front table in any book store worth its salt–Garrett Dennis author of  Port Starbird: A Storm Ketchum Adventure (Storm Ketchum Adventures Book 1).  Now here is a guy with talent.


But as it stands we have to put our works and our lives into the hands of the one who is greater than us. The almighty. AMAZON. That’s just a joke. I am a man of prayer, but I never send God any requests. Just let Him know I am here thinking about Him and I will accept whatever He has planned. I have no choice but to accept it and I am happy to do it. God knows what I need and knows what I want. Sometimes the two match and other times they don’t.


So for now I will keep up with the tweets and the facebook posts and see what turns up. It’s a good book. I like it. I hope you find time to pick it up and give it a try–


Thank you and Goodnight


P.S. Sorry about the rouse in the title–sometimes that’s how I operate. LOL





Troll Hunting

Great story for the fantasy readers!

J. Rae Moore

Troll Hunting is a short story in parallel to the novel Youngspell – both written by J. Rae Moore.

“Cagord ‘ears ya, chicken,” a deep voice bellowed from the dark depths of the cave. “Ya shall suffer for da murderin’ of da daughters,” it continued. “Cagord will grind ya bones to make me bread, ya hear?”

Juliana shivered. She knew the words were directed at her. She glanced across the rocky terrain at the three stone figures in front of the cave. “Daughters?” she muttered. Until then, she’d thought the petrified trolls were boys. Their exaggerated, wart-heavy features showed no sign of femininity. She shrugged. “Who knew?”

It had been her folly that brought Cagord’s daughters to their ends. She hadn’t meant to harm them—not to the point of death anyway—but the potion she needed to complete called for troll beard stubble, and she was going to get it. Since…

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