Friday, December 27, 2019

Age of Myth Audio

Hey all, with Age of Death's release date less than 40 days away, it's a great time to pick up your copy of Age of Myth. And since Audible put it into their two listens for one credit sale, you can get it for half off.  But you have to hurry. The sale ends on New Years at midnight PT.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Adventure Ends

I suppose there are a few of you interested in when Age of Death will hit the streets, maybe even a handful hoping to discover when Age of Empyre will roll into beta. Might even be one or two wanting to learn more about the new trilogy: Nolyn/Farilane/Esrahaddon, or the schedule for Drumindor, the next Royce and Hadrian novel. But by far the vast majority of those who read this blog I am certain are on the edges of their perches desperate to hear how it all turned out. 

Who won the Great Birding Year Challenge of 2019?

Black-crowned Night Heron (shot in Central Park, NY)

As all of you are aware, my daughter and I began competing to photograph the most species of birds in one year. Given we started the day after Thanksgiving the contest is now over, and all of you I am positive want to know the outcome. Before I get to that, lets review.

Winter Wren (Central Park)

We based our contest on the movie and book of the same name: The Big Year by Mark Obmascik, but we changed the rules to require identifiable photographs in order to count. The result was a country-wide, year-long, Pokemon style adventure were we tried to shoot them all. Together, or separately, we traveled to Key West, Everglades & Merritt Island in Florida; High Island, in Texas; Occoquan Park, and Virginia Beach, in Virginia; Central Park in Manhattan; and several less trod sanctuaries mostly in the south, mid-Atlantic and northeast of the United States.  

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Female) (Photographed in Shenandoah VA)

Over the course of the year, we learned a ridiculous amount about birds. At the start, both of us would have had difficulty identifying more than ten bird species; now we can do more than that by bird song alone. We have an understanding of migration patterns, where and how to find specific birds, their habits and quirks. Crows will lead you to eagles; chickadees always hang with titmice, usually in pine trees; owls are best seen at dusk; birds know to keep the sun behind them in order to blind you and ruin photos; Morning Doves are not owls but they sound like them; birds of many feathers flock together, and let you get closer the more of them there are; the board game Wingspan is almost impossible to obtain; birders are consistently some of the nicest people you’re ever meet; winter and early spring is the best time to bird, and leaves and misquotes are not a birder’s friend. 

Northern Water Thrush (Photographed Central Park)

Over the year, we had great fun, got plenty of exercise, went to places we never would have dreamed of going (skipping Disney World for Merritt Island) and are the better for it. I feel like I should have paid money for the fun we had playing this game, but it was free, and often I never had to leave my front porch to play. I once spotted sixteen species on my own front lawn in one hour. Even the rainy days, the cold days, the early mornings crawling out of bed, were far more enjoyable than I’d like to admit. And of course, we get to keep the photos.

Pileated Woodpecker (Shenandoah)

We’ll be doing it again this year, only this time well begin on January 1st like the rest of the world, and as we know how to identify, and both have good binoculars, we’ll play by the official rules. If you want to join us down load the free eBird app, get a pair of binocs, and then just go outside. 


Doesn’t matter where you are, there will be birds, and you’ll never know what you’ll see because life is chaotic and often magical. But be careful, and be warned this activity comes with the very real risk of learning something, experiencing real-life adventures, breathing fresh air, building muscle, seeing some wonderful sunrises and sunsets, and making new friends. 

Final tally:
My daughter shot 179 birds on the year. 

I lost by two, coming in with 177. 

Total List for 2019:

1. Anhinga.jpeg
2. Blackbird (RedWing).jpeg
3. Blackbird (brewers)
4. Bluebird (Eastern).jpeg
5. Brown Creeper.jpeg
6. Bunting (Indigo).jpg
7. Caracara.jpeg
8. Cardinal (Northern).jpg
9. Catbird.jpeg
10. Chickadee (Black-capped)
11. Chickadee (Carolina)
12. Coots (American).jpeg
13. Cormorant (Double Crested).jpg
14. Cormorant (Neotropic).jpeg
15. Cowbird (Brown-headed).jpeg
16. Crane (Whooping).jpeg
17. Crow (American).jpeg
18. Crow (Fish) VB
19. Dowitcher (Long-billed).jpeg
20. Duck (Black)
21. Duck (Black-Bellied Whistling).jpeg
22. Duck (Blue-Winged Teal).jpeg
23. Duck (Buffleheaded).jpeg
24. Duck (Fulvous Whistling).jpeg
25. Duck (Gadwall).jpeg
26. Duck (Greater Scaup).jpeg
27. Duck (Lesser Scaup).jpeg
28. Duck (Mallard).jpeg
29. Duck (Muscovy).jpeg
30. Duck (Northern Pintail).jpeg
31. Duck (Northern Shoveler).jpeg
32. Duck (Ruddy).jpeg
33. Duck (Wood)
34. Dunlin.jpeg
35. Eagle (Bald).jpeg
36. Egret (Cattle).jpeg
37. Egret (Great).jpeg
38. Egret (Snowy).jpeg
39. Falcon (American Kestrel).jpeg
40. Falcon (Merlin) VB
41. Finch (American Goldfinch).jpeg
42. Finch (House).jpeg
43. Flycatcher (Brown-Crested ).jpeg
44. Flycatcher (Scissor-tailed).jpeg
45. Flycather (Greater Crested).jpeg
46. Frigatebird (Magnificent).jpeg
47. Gallinule (Common).jpeg
48. Gallinule (Purple).jpeg
49. Geese (Canadian).jpeg
50. Geese (Snow)
51. Geese (White).jpeg
52. Gnatcatcher (BlueGray ).jpeg
53. Grackle (Boat-tailed).jpeg
54. Grackle (Common).jpeg
55. Grackle (Great-tailed).jpeg
56. Grebe (Horned).jpeg
57. Grebe (Pie-Billed).jpeg
58. Grosebeak (Blue)
59. Gull (Herring).jpeg
60. Gull (Laughing).jpeg
61. Gull (lesser black-backed)
62. Gull (Great Black-backed) Virginia Beach
63. Gull (Ring-billed).jpeg
64. Hawk (Broad-Winged).jpeg
65. Hawk (Cooper's).jpeg
66. Hawk (Harrier Northern)
67. Hawk (Red-Shouldered).jpeg
68. Hawk (Red-Tailed).jpeg
69. Hawk (Sharp-Shinned).jpeg
70. Hawk (Short-Tailed).jpg
71. Heron (Black-crowned Night)
72. Heron (Great Blue).jpeg
73. Heron (Great White).jpg
74. Heron (Green).jpg
75. Heron (Little Blue).jpeg
76. Heron (Tri-colored).jpeg
77. Hummingbird (Ruby-throated)
78. Ibis (Glossy).jpeg
79. Ibis (White-faced).jpeg
80. Ibis (White).jpeg
81. Jay (Blue2).jpeg
82. Jay (Scrub).jpeg
83. Junco (Dark-Eyed).jpeg
84. Killdeer.jpeg
85. Kingbird.jpeg
86. Kingfisher (Belted).jpeg
87. Kinglet (Red-crowned)
88. Kinglet (Golden-Crowned).jpeg
89. Martin (Purple)
90. Meadowlark.jpeg
91. Mockingbird (Northern).jpeg
92. Nuthatch (White-Breasted).jpeg
93. Oriole (Baltimore)
94. Oriole (Orchard).jpeg
95. Osprey.jpeg
96. Ovenbird
97. Parula (Northern).jpeg
98. Pelican (Brown).jpeg
99. Pelican (White).jpeg
100. Pewee (Eastern Wood)
101. Phoebe (Eastern).jpeg
102. Pigeon (Eurasian Collared Dove).jpeg
103. Pigeon (Ground).jpeg
104. Pigeon (Mourning Dove).jpg
105. Pigeon (Rock).jpeg
106. Plover (Wilson).jpeg
107. Polver (Palminated).jpeg
108. Polver (Piping).jpeg
109. Raven (Common).jpeg
110. Redstart.jpeg
111. Robin (American).jpeg
112. Sanderling.jpeg
113. Sandpiper (Solitary)
114. Sandpiper (Spotted)
115. Snipe (Wilson).jpeg
116. Sparrow (Chipping).jpeg
117. Sparrow (Field).jpeg
118. Sparrow (House).jpeg
119. Sparrow (Savanah).jpeg
120. Sparrow (Song).jpeg
121. Sparrow (White-Crowned)
122. Sparrow (White-throated).jpeg
123. Spoonbill (Rosette).jpeg
124. Starling (European).jpeg
125. Stilt (Black-necked).jpeg
126. Storks (Wood).jpeg
127. Swallow (Barn).jpeg
128. Swallow (Cliff).jpeg
129. Swallow (Norther rough-winged).jpeg
130. Swallow (Tree).jpeg
131. Tananger (Scarlet).jpeg
132. Tananger (Summer).jpeg
133. Tern (Caspian ).jpeg
134. Tern (Forester's).jpeg
135. Tern (Least).jpeg
136. Tern (Royal).jpeg
137. Tern (Sandwich).jpeg
138. Thrasher (Brown).jpeg
139. Thrush (gray-cheeked)
140. Thrush (Hermit)
141. Thrush (Northern Water)
142. Thrush (Swainson’s)
143. Thrush (Wood)
144. Towhee (Eastern).jpeg
145. Tufted Titmouse
146. Turkey
147. Veery
148. Vireo (Warbling)
149. Vulture (Black).jpeg
150. Vulture (Turkey).jpeg
151. Warbler (Black-throated Blue)
152. Warbler (Black & White)
153. Warbler (BlackThroatedGreen).jpeg
154. Warbler (Canadian)
155. Common Yellow-Throat.jpeg
156. Warbler (Nashville)
157. Warbler (Hooded).jpg
158. Warbler (Palm).jpeg
159. Warbler (Pine).jpeg
160. Warbler (Prairie).jpg
161. Warbler (Tennesee).jpg
162. Warbler (Yellow) Virigina Beach
163. Warbler (Yellow-Rumped).jpeg
164. Warbler (Yellow-Throated).jpeg
165. Waxwing (Cedar).jpeg
166. Whimbrel.jpeg
167. Willet.jpeg
168. Woodpecker (Downy).jpeg
169. Woodpecker (Hairy).jpeg
170. Woodpecker (Northern Flicker2).jpeg
171. Woodpecker (Pileated) .jpeg
172. Woodpecker (Red-bellied).jpg
173. Woodpeacker (Red-headed)
174. Woodpecker (Yellow-bellied Sapsucker)
175. Wren (Carolina).jpeg
176. Wren (Winter)
177. Yellow Legs (Greater).jpep

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Fantasy Bridge Holiday Giveway

When fantasy bridge told me they were doing a holiday giveaway and asked me to participate, I said, "Sure thing! I love giving away things. Especially during this time of year."

So here's the skinny.
  • From now through January 2nd of next year, you can sign up. 
  • Five winners will receive 25+ ebooks.
  • One Grand Prize Winner will receive the 25+ ebooks plus a $50 Amazon Gift Card.
  • When you sign-up you can opt-in to one (or several) writer's newsletters (but this is NOT a requirement to enter).
And just for entering, you'll also receive 2 free shorts (including one from me), and three novels (which are the start of a series). Here's the details on those freebies:
  • "Pile of Bones" by Michael J. Sullivan - a Suri and Minni short story adventure that precedes the Legends of the First Empire books.
  • "Prophecy of the Dragon" by Mike Shelton - a prequel short story to The Alaris Chronicles.
  • Journey of Fire and Night by D.K. D.K. Holmberg - the first novel in the  Endless War series.
  • Benjamin Forrest and the School at the End of the World by Chris Ward - the first book in the Endinfinium series.
  • Dragon Rider by Jada Fisher - a prequel novel to The Brindle Dragon series.
That's a nice set of perks, and I should mention that the ebook version of my short story isn't available through any of the retail chains so this giveaway (and various Kickstarters) are the only way to get it. So why not enter? You'll get some nice free stuff, and maybe you'll win one of the 27 full book sets.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Legend Pre-orders on Sale at

It won't be long until the final titles are officially released:
Pre-orders have been coming in steadily and we already have more than 5,000 copies sold. But, if you've not picked up your pre-order yet, then here's a way to do so and save a little cash.

If you are an Audible Gold member, you know that your monthly credit costs $14.95. Well, for a limited time both of these titles are on sale for just $12.48.  That's a savings of almost 17%. 

While you're at it, you may want to look around for other titles as currently, Audible has every title on sale. Sale ends December 19th

Friday, December 13, 2019

Audiobook Giveaway

We LOVE audiobooks, and since it's the gift-giving season, Robin and I want to give away three of our audiobooks to some lucky person. But because of the format, you may have some questions, so I have some answers for you.
  • Which books are being given away? You can select up to three titles. They can be the first of each series (Theft of Swords, The Crown Tower,  and Age of Myth). Or you could get the first three books in a single series, or you can mix and match - it's totally up to you.
  • What if I already own all your audiobooks?  No problem! You can either gift them to someone else or choose 2 non-MJS books.
  • What if I'm not an audible member? Not a problem, you can sign up at (and receive a free book just for doing that.  Then, after we send you your free copies, you can cancel your membership (a full month before the first charge is made to your card).  Even when you aren't a member any books you have will stay with you.
  • What if I'm not interested in your books? Not a problem, as you can see from bullet #2, you can get three of my books or 2 of any other book. So go ahead and enter anyway!
  • When will I receive my audiobooks? The last day to enter is December 15 at midnight EDT. Winner will be drawn on December 16 and the audiobooks will be sent within 24 hours of the winner selecting the titles they want to receive.
  • How do I enter? Just hit the button below!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Free Heroes Wanted Anthology

Hey all, earlier today I sent on an email about a free copy of a new anthology that I have a Royce and Hadrian story in. At the time I sent the email, it was free on Amazon (and many other stores).  Well, the other stores are still free, but for some reason, Amazon has switched over to $0.99. That wasn't the intention of myself or any of the authors.  It would appear it's something Amazon did. 

We (the authors) still stand by making this anthology free, so if you are in a situation where you are seeing it for $0.99 (lowest price Amazon usually lets an author set), then drop me an email at with the subject: Send me a free Heroes Wanted. And I'll email you DRM-free copies.  In the meantime, the author who has this book listed on their account will be working with Amazon to get it back to free. We apologize for the inconvenience. I assure you it wasn't our doing.

12/8/2019 - UPDATE - The book is back to free again on Amazon. We apologize for the interruption in the free promotion, but as I mentioned it wasn't our doing.  You can still get the ebook from me here, but you can also get it from Amazon again.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Holiday Book Sale

Okay, so I must admit I get a bit annoyed that the holiday sales season starts earlier and earlier. This year, I saw a number of promotions before Halloween! Well, since we have officially crossed into December, Robin feels it's time to launch our Holiday Sale.  So, whether you want to give the gift of Riyria or see why The Legends of the First Empire books have hit the New York Times Bestseller Lists, this is a great time to pick up some of my books.

What's on sale? Well, everything.  For ebooks, we are providing a 50% discount. For multi-book sets, we are offering 25% to more than 32% off.  For titles that we have to buy from our publishers, we have 20% off, and for books that we self-produced, we'll increase our discounts to 30% off the list price.  Here's the complete list of savings.

And remember - all books are signed! So, whether you are looking to dive into one of my titles that you've been putting off for a while, or you're looking to introduce a friend to my stories, now is a great time to buy. Oh, but you need to hurry. The sale prices are only good through December 15th.