Mike’s Books

Bloodsuckers: A Vampire Runs for President

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Norman Mark was a politician with skeletons in his closet. Literally.

Disgraced journalist Steven Edwards considers the “Batties” — the loonies who believe that vampires are real and Norman Mark is one — just another crazy tin-foil extremist group. Then someone shoots at Mark, changes into a bat, and flies away before Steve’s eyes, leaving him as the prime suspect. With the help of the Batties, Steve goes underground. The only way he can establish his innocence is by proving vampires exist — not an easy task while on the run from both the FBI and the bloodsuckers.

Click here to read the first few chapters

Paperback / Ebook / Kindle / Nook

The Axes of Evil

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One barbarian prophecy says the legendary hero Bishortu will unite the three warring tribes. Another tribe has a prophecy that directly contradicts this, and they want Bishortu dead. And a third tribe, which may or may not be comprised of werewolves, refuses to let anyone know what their prophecy says. Meanwhile, the Duke on whose land the barbarians sit wants them all gone.

In the middle of all of this is squire Terin Ostler, who has been mistakenly identified as the great Bishortu. Under the Duke’s orders to get rid of the barbarians, he heads to their lands without the slightest idea of what to do.

Along the way, he has to avoid crazed assassins, rabid werewolves, lovesick barbarian princesses, and confused goblins while attempting to figure out the meaning of the magical and mysterious Wretched Axes.

Nobody said being a hero would be easy.

Click here to read the first few chapters

Paperback / E-book / Kindle / Nook

Arch Enemies

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The prophecy said that The Chosen One would save the duchy from the evil gryphons that were about to escape from behind the magical arch.

Too bad they got the wrong guy.

When cowardly young bard Terin Ostler is called before the Duke and told that he fits the description of the hero of the prophecy, he is certain there has been a grave mistake. When the Duke’s own men later try to kill him and he is forced to go into hiding, he realizes that it may be his own grave that is in question.

Our young hero struggles to overcome his inexperience and limitations to figure out the meaning of the mysterious prophecy, accompanied by two squires who are torn between obeying the orders of the knight they have sworn to follow and doing what they believe is right.

Click here to read the first few chapters

Paperback / E-Book / Kindle / Nook

Tales of Fortannis: A Bard in the Hand

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This is the second in a collection of stories taking place in the world of Michael’s novels! Terin and the gang from Arch Enemies and The Axes of Evil make an appearance in one murder mystery story.

A Bard In The Hand also includes stories by noted authors Davey Beauchamp, Jon Cory, Roy C. Booth and Brian Woods, Tera Fulbright, Jesse Grabowski, Henry Hart, Laurel Anne Hill, Mark Mensch, Bernie Mozjes and Bob Norwicke, and Mike Strauss.

You can read more about these stories on the blog here!

Click here to read the first few pages of “The Mystery of the Black-Bearded Dwarf”

Paperback / E-Book / Nook

Tales of Fortannis: A Bard’s Eye View

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This is the first in a collection of stories taking place in the world of Michael’s novels! Terin and the gang from Arch Enemies and The Axes of Evil make an appearance in “The Zombie King’s Plan”

A Bard’s Eye View also includes stories by noted authors Davey Beauchamp, Danny Birt, Nick Bond, Jon Cory, Roy C. Booth and Brian Woods, Tera Fulbright, Laurel Anne Hill, Ron F. Leota, Mark Mensch, Bernie Mozjes, Matthew C. Plourde, J. Thomas Ross, and Mike Strauss.

You can read more about the stories included here.

Click here to read the first few pages of “The Zombie King’s Plan”

Paperback / E-Book / Kindle / Nook

Dreamers in Hell

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This latest collection in the very popular “Heroes in Hell” series from editor Janet Morris features Michael’s story “Hell, I Must Be Going” in which Groucho and Chico infiltrate the bureaucracy of Hell with unpredictable results.

The Heroes in Hell series has included many noted authors over the years, such as Robert Silverberg, CJ Cherryh, Gregory Benford, Robert Asprin, Lynn Abbey, and many others.

This collection also features stories by Nancy Asire, Larry Atchley Jr., Tom Barczak, David L. Burkhead, Leo Champion, Jason Cordova, Jack William Finley, Richard Groller, Sara M. Harvey, Michael H. Hanson, Yelle Hughes, Sarah Snyder Gray Hulcy, Petra Jorns, Deborah Koren, Shebat Legion, John Manning, Ed McKeown, Bettina Meister, Chris Morris, Janet Morris, and Bill Snider.

You can read more about the stories included here.

Click here to read the first few pages of “Hell, I Must Be Going”

Paperback / Kindle / Nook

Twisted Tails VII:  Irreverence

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This newest collection of Twisted Tails contains Michael’s story “The Jesus Secret” in which the discovery of a new Dead Sea Scroll reveals something the Catholic Church wishes to keep hidden.

As the editor explains: “Here you’ll find Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Thrill-a-minute — even Mainstream. The only common element here is Irreverence. The other big deal about the Twisted Tails series that is a must are unexpected endings and sheer quality of writing”.

Other contributors include Eugen Bacon, Sam Bellotto Jr., Jay Greenstein, J. Richard Jacobs, John Klawitter, Dave Kuzminski, Biff Mitchell, Joe Occhipinti, Joe Powers, Michael D. Smith, J. Malcolm Stewart, and Margret Treiber.

Click here to read the first few pages of “The Jesus Secret”

Paperback / E-book / Kindle / Nook

Rum and Runestones

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Arr mateys!

This be a collection of tales of pirates and magic, which include Michael’s Greenie and Captain Irad story “X Spots the Mark.” Has Captain Irad been swindled? Is that treasure map real or is it a trap? Greenie isn’t sure, but Irad has surprises of his own up his sleeve.

Other contributors include noted authors Gail Z. Martin, B.A. Collins, Danny Birt, James R. Stratton, Laurel Anne Hill, M.J. Blehart, Tera Fulbright, Davey Beauchamp, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Stuart Jaffe and Misty Massey!

Click here to read the first few pages of “X Spots the Mark”

Paperback / E-Book / Kindle / Nook

Cutlass and Musket: Tales of Piratical Skullduggery

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Avast!

This new collection of grand pirate stories features Michael’s Greenie and Captain Irad tale “Get Kraken” as the lead story. In order to avoid the hangman’s noose, Irad convinces the British that he knows how to kill the kraken! Of course, he has no such plan, but he’s now forced to somehow save the day, all the while dealing with angry mermaids, mutinous pirates, and a crafty voodoo queen.

Other contributors include Jason Andrew, Darren Gallagher, M.S. Gardner, Coy Hall, Rebecca Hart, Dev Jarrett, Kate Larkindale, Reese Mills, Gary Moeser, Mark Lee Pearson, Henrick Ramsager, Cherie Reich, Scott M. Sandridge, Marc Sorondo, Ken Staley, Harris Tobias, Sarah Zama, and Lee Clarke Zumpe!

Click here to read the first few pages of “Get Kraken”

Paperback / Kindle / Nook

Alliance Rule Book

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The Alliance LARP is one of the largest live-action fantasy medieval role-playing games in North America, with thousands of players throughout the United States and Canada.

This Rule Book contains all of the rules for the game, plus much more.

It’s 166 pages full of photos, graphs, examples, advice, and explanations of all of the game rules, as well as tabletop rules so you can play at home. If you’ve ever heard of LARPing and wondered what it was all about, this is a great introduction, as it explains everything fully, walking you through adventures to give you an idea of what to expect when you finally play.

Paperback / E-Book (PDF only) FREE!

Inside Scoop

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Inside Scoop contains articles about writing and acting from Hollywood insiders and published authors, many originally published in The Golden Goblet Newsletter.  It was a Top Ten Finisher in the 2007 Preditors and Editors Readers Poll and won the 2009 Eppie Award for best electronically published non-fiction anthology.

It includes Michael’s article “Basing Your Novel on a Game: What, are you Stupid?” Other contributors include Lincoln D. Bandlow, Lee Barwood, Rachel DeFriez, Kenneth Dolin, J. Richard Jacobs, Jo Kelly, John Klawitter, Geoff Nelder, Marilyn Peake, Sara Reinke, Sue Thurman, Michael J. Wallach, and Larriane Wills.

Paperback / E-Book / Nook

Katrina’s Ghost

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Candorville is an excellent comic strip, and Michael’s afterwords is featured in this collection. It starts like this:

Darrin Bell has destroyed my childhood dreams.

Growing up on a diet of Peanuts and Doonesbury, I knew that some day I would be a great cartoonist. I’d not only make people laugh each morning, but would also produce insightful political commentary to make them think. My characters would be well-rounded, with real personalities—actual people that my readers would care about. They’d have experiences that would shape those personalities, and grow in significant ways. Oh, and I’d toss in a lot of Star Trek and science fiction inside jokes, too.

Paperback

Run! Vampires, Werewolves, The One That Got Away, and Other Demons

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Michael’s interview with Darrin Bell is featured in this collection. An excerpt:

When Candorville got syndicated, I sat down and tried to figure out exactly what it was I liked about my favorite comics as a kid. And what they all had in common was, ironically, that they often weren’t funny. I often laughed at them because of some truth they delivered to me, not because of a punchline. Calvin and Hobbes, for instance… I’ve almost never laughed at that, but it’s one of my favorites. So I don’t try to be funny, I just try to speak my truth and hope other people relate to it.

Paperback

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