Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fan-Fic Spotlight

As I said last week, writing Tales from Castle Destro has allowed me to discover some great fan-fic authors. Another of these authors is a young lady who publishes at under the name Firestar9mm.  Here is my current favorite of her stories, Breathless, which takes place 'between the scenes' in the old Sunbow episode, Cobra's Candidate.  I know you're going to like it, so make sure you leave a comment for the author!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tales from Castle Destro (Press Release)

I am pleased to announce that my third ebook, Tales from Castle Destro Volume III - Vengeance, is now available as a free download at The link should take you directly to the page where you can download the ebook in any of the following formats:

Format Full Book
Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)View
Online Reading (JavaScript, experimental, buggy)View
Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)Download
Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)Download
PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)Download
RTF (readable on most word processors)Download
LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don't support .epub)Download
Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)Download
Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)Download
Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page)View

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 CoilCon Exclusive Story

A little while back, Jay Hunger, the proprietor of and one of the organizers of the COIL Club's annual CoilCon, contacted me to ask if I'd be willing to help write the file cards and a short back story to set the stage for this year's CoilCon Exclusive Set.  Obviously, I was excited at the opportunity!  

Jay already had a lot of the character information sketched out with significant contributions from Moira Hunger and Jon Cremeans, so the file cards needed very little from me.  The information had to be trimmed down to fit on the cards, but these are the original, unedited cards...

Experimental Equipment Expert

File Name: Renwick, Richard
Grade: E-7
Birthplace: South Bend, Indiana
Primary Specialty: Experimental Equipment
Secondary Specialty: Special Operations

The only surviving member of BattleForce 2000, Dodger is the G.I. Joe Team's authority on all types of experimental equipment. When he’s not helping to repair vehicles and gear damaged in combat, he is off working to develop new, cutting-edge hardware that will help keep his teammates one step ahead of their many adversaries. As if that isn’t enough, he is also quite a good cook and has been known to prepare elaborate meals for his teammates on occasion. Dodger tends to be something of a perfectionist. His tenacity and commitment to mission accomplishment is virtually unparalleled. Because of this, Dodger is one of several Joes semi-permanently assigned to a task force created to locate and capture COIL agents around the globe.

Guerrilla Fighter

File Name: Classified
Birthplace: Classified
Primary Specialty: Guerrilla Warfare
Secondary Specialty: Airborne Operations

A legendary creature from Russian and Tatar myth, the zilant is a fearsome winged snake. Sometimes helpful, sometimes destructive, they are known for fiercely protecting their homes from incursion. Zilant was born in a small town in the Eastern European nation of Tatahkstan where he grew up sharing his father’s passion for building and flying ultralight aircraft. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Tatahkstan chose to remain independent and Zilant joined his nation’s fledgling armed forces, committing himself to keeping his land free from occupying forces. When Tatahkstan was later ravaged by heavy fighting between G.I. Joe and Cobra, Zilant was able to escape the carnage in one of his father’s aircraft. Driven by a desire to rid his homeland of outside oppression, he joined the COIL and used their resources to raise a homegrown force to repel both foreign armies. He combined it with his knowledge of light aircraft to become an authority in the development and use of ultralight aircraft, gliders and windsuits as a method of covertly inserting special ops troops. Recently, there's been a new force intent on invading his homeland, so Zilant is taking action once again. He thought that he had faced and defeated his enemies, but is this new man his ultimate enemy?


So without further ado, here is the background story for the 2012 CoilCon Exclusive...

Tatahkstan, Eastern Europe
1430 hours, local time

It had been like this for nearly two months now; humping the bush all day with nary a sign of his quarry.  The only leads coming from the locals; rumors regarding the ‘winged serpent’ that protects their homeland.  General Hawk had been prepared to bring him home two weeks ago, but Sergeant First Class Richard Renwick, codenamed Dodger, was nothing if not thorough.  The information was sketchy at best, but he’d requested a resupply drop nonetheless, and had continued with his mission.  Now, frustrated and low on supplies, Dodger was ready to pack it in.  He paused in the shade of rock outcropping, wiped the sweat from his brow and then consulted his GPS.  He had a couple more klicks to cover on his current patrol route before he would arrive back at his bivouac site.  Definitely calling for extraction after this circuit, he told himself.


Tatahkstan had been peaceful for some time now, and the wounds of war were slowly healing.  But this new intruder threatened all of that.  For two days now, Zilant had stalked him from a distance.  Thus far, the man had found nothing to indicate that the COIL was not only surviving, but thriving here.  But the man was tenacious and his skills were formidable, that much was certain.  Zilant struggled again with the decision to simply kill him and be done with it.  But Zilant was no fool; deep down, he knew that it wouldn’t be the end.  If the man disappeared, others would come to look for him.  Better to let him find nothing and then leave of his own accord.  He’d report back to his masters and Tatahkstan would remain at peace.  Yes, patience was called for in this case.  Still, the man was nearing one of the COIL’s early warning Observation Posts.  The guerrilla fighters manning it had been alerted to the intruder’s presence and would make every effort to remain undetected.  But if he were to stumble upon the OP, then there would be no other choice.  Time to change positions, Zilant thought to himself as he deployed his backpack glider.


The heat was oppressive this late in the day and Dodger paused next to a deep gorge to pull out a canteen.  His bivouac site was almost directly across the gorge and Dodger briefly considered breaking out his portable glider to hop across the gorge.  It would have been easy to do so, but it would have cut his patrol route short.  Easy is for wimps, he told himself.  As he tipped his head back to drink, he caught a flash of movement.  A bird?  No...  a glider!


Zilant cursed under his breath as he realized that he’d been spotted.  Action was now unavoidable.


Dodger used his hand to block the sun’s glare as he studied the glider circling overhead. He heard the ricochet and cursed himself as an amateur; standing in the open, gawking at the glider while its pilot lined him up in his sights.  Dodger ran hard for the treeline to his right, as three more shots struck the rocks behind him.


Zilant was furious.  He circled again, but saw no sign of his target.  He needed to end this quickly, before the man was able to report back to his masters.  A disappearance was one thing, but a confirmed report of enemy combatants was quite another.


Dodger crept toward the edge of the treeline, craning his head as he looked for his attacker.  He saw nothing and pulled back to consider his options.  Hawk needed to know about this as quickly as possible, but his Sat-Comm unit was hidden safely away near his bivouac site.  To reach it, he could circle the gorge, remaining concealed by the forest, but that would take hours.  The faster way would be to unpack his glider and shoot across the gorge.


Zilant caught the movement below and was astonished to see a black glider clear the edge of the gorge, headed for the opposite side.  He wheeled his own glider around and dove after his prey.


I hope you dug it and I expect to see some of you this weekend at CoilCon!

Until next time, Weir Aybidin!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What's next for Tales from Castle Destro?

Now that Volume III of Tales from Castle Destro is complete, several people have asked me what I plan to do next.  If my friend Nathan asks, then the answer is that I'm retiring from writing (he gets upset when I say that).  But in truth, I plan to slow down a bit.

Once my pal Hugh finishes the cover art (which I sprang on his rather unexpectedly), I'll publish the collected chapters of Volume III as another e-book.

This weekend, I'll be attending CoilCon at Kokomo Toys.  I hope to run into a few of you there.  If I don't completely fail to remember to take pictures, I'll post some of them here, as well as on the Tales from Castle Destro Facebook page.

After that, I'm planning to do some reading of my own.  Since I began writing this stuff, I've had the pleasure of discovering some fan-fic authors that I greatly enjoy reading.  Until I have something new for you, I'll try to share some work that appeals to me in hopes that you'll like it, too.

One such author is a lady who publishes at under the name Catswings1026.  She writes a variety of different things, but the stories I enjoyed most were the ones inspired by IDW's Hearts and Minds by Max Brooks.  Here is one of them:  Hearts and Minds: Hard Drive.

 Captain Flaherty and the other Iron Grenadiers will be back soon.