Denzil Walton , a friend of The Phil Factor, has written a fascinating book. If you’re a parent I’m sure that the title of this blog post caught your attention. How in the world do we get our kids off their phones and interacting with the “real” world? Denzil, a lover of nature, the great outdoors and birds in particular has some great ideas.
Author Denzil Walton
His highly rated book is available for Kindle on Amazon USA, Amazon in the U.K. , and on Kobo . If you’ve got kids who are already spending a little too much time looking at life online instead outdoors I encourage you to check out Denzil’s book! ~Phil
If you enjoy Halloween and a good horror story, then this is the book for you. 19 Gates of Hell is a new anthology of, you guessed it, nineteen stories of horror. Each story is by a different author and each is a gripping, blood curdling tale of horror in the vein of some of the great classic horror writers like Poe and Lovecraft.
I was gifted a copy of this book by friend of The Phil Factor, radio personality, author and Queen of Zombies, Marie Lanza who is the only other person to have written a Top Ten list for The Phil Factor. Check out Marie’s website for more info on all of her books. For 19 Gates, Marie contributed the story Facing Death, which is, in my opinion, the cream of the crop.
This is a review on Goodreads.com from a complete stranger who listened to the audiobook that somehow he got for free from a website that I’ve never heard of.
I am so glad I got the chance to listen to this one. A cheeky mix of a coming of age story for a young man, a guide to time travel and college parties. A very cool listen. If you are like me and loved Karate Kid then this story will make you laugh and definitely keep your attention for a few hours. The characters are very likable and you learn to like them more and more as the story goes on. There are so many pop culture and science fiction references/ shout outs sprinkled throughout this book that it gives it a kind of authenticity. With all the different timelines intermingled it lends a sort of confusion that is not confusing at all but gives this time travel tale a little something different. The main character’s sarcasm is so cheeky and fun that you cannot help but laugh at him, in a geeky way. If you are anything like me then you will love listening to the main character geek out in the college dorms and navigate his way through his freshman year. The narrator does a phenomenal job with this entire story, but especially the sarcasm. Each character has their own unique sound it gives them personality. There were scenes that you could really hear the urgency and tension in the narrator’s voice. What a great listen and I cannot wait for this series to be continued. I was provided a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for a honest review via Audiobook Boom. This is no way affected my opinion of this work.
There you have it. That’s a pretty great summary and endorsement. On Goodreads my book now has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.0. If you want a fun read, give it a try (here on Amazon) and if you really want to make my day today, go vote for my books cover in the AllAuthor.com book cover contest. I’m currently in 13th place and desperately need votes. You can vote without logging in or giving your e-mail! Have a great afternoon! ~Phil
Here is a funny review that came in on Amazon yesterday:
The Master of “Dude-Lit” Tackles Time Travel and Wins!
I’ve been a fan of Phil Taylor since reading his first two novels. If there were such a thing as “dude-lit” – this guy is the master. I bought Time to Lie without knowing anything about it. What a great read! I am a huge fan of time travel books so this was right up my alley. Plus he puts in enough references to other time travel so that geeks like me can enjoy that along with his completely original concept. I can’t wait to see where Landon heads next in this chronicle of stories! ~Gregory G. Allen
“Dude-Lit”? That’s funny. We’ve all heard of “Chick Lit” from authors like Janet Evanovich and Nicholas Sparks. Apparently my books have created the new genre of #DudeLit. I may not be on the Amazon bestseller list yet, but if I’ve created a whole genre of literature, I’m pretty happy with that accomplishment.
Actually, I’d like to thank friend, actor, and author Gregory G. Allen for coining the phrase Dude- Lit and applying it to my books in his review. Gregory G. Allen is an award-winning author of three novels, one non-fiction memoir, and two children’s books on autism awareness – the first of which won the People’s Choice Grand Prize Award in the 2012 MeeGenius! Author Challenge. He’s also a blogger. You can read his blog here. He has been in the entertainment business for over twenty five years as an actor, director, producer, songwriter, playwright, screenwriter, and author. His short film MOTHER won several awards on the festival circuit in 2015. Greg is a really great writer and an even better human. Go check out his books on Amazon.
No, I’m not going to tell some outlandish story and end with April Fools! I’m am often a joker throughout the year. I know, shocker right? My April Fools joke is that I don’t pull any pranks on the day when all the amateurs are out trying to be funny.
The reason I posted that picture of the Stalkers cover above is that April Fool’s Day always reminds me of it because in March 2006 on my blog in the two weeks leading up to April Fool’s Day I wrote a series of posts as if I was responding to an online stalker. My readers were all up in arms and urging me to call the police and not to respond to the stalker. On April 1st I revealed that it had all been a prank and that only one reader had seen through my ruse.
Why the book? In 2013 the publishers of Stalkers asked for submissions of short stories involving stalkers. I used my blog stalker series as the basis for a story, but I wrote it in social media format. The entire story is told through blog posts, readers comments, Twitter messages, and e-mails. My story was accepted along with 16 others, and I was thrilled that it was positioned as the final story of the collection. It is seriously a great collection of suspenseful stories and I’m humbled to have been chosen to be included with so many great writers.
Stalkers is available on Amazon as an e-book for $3.99 or $18.99 for the enormous paperback. You already know me, but who knows, maybe you’ll find your next favorite author from one of the other stories. (P.S.: I don’t get a cent from the book sales. It all goes to the publishers) Have a great Friday! ~Phil
In honor of tomorrow’s premier of the 11.22.63 mini-series on Hulu, I’m re-posting my original review of the novel by Stephen King. Don’t worry, I don’t do spoilers.
Yes, I realize that Stephen King doesn’t need my review to help his sales, but every once in awhile you read a book that captures your imagination so much that you want to tell everyone to read it. 11/22/63 is one of those books.
When it first came out in November of 2011 I had no interest in reading the book. I hated the title and the cover art. That’s usually enough to steer me away from any book. I’m a Stephen King fan though, so about 6 months ago when I hit a dry spell in finding a book to read I gave 11/22/63 another look. Two things helped to convince me to give it a chance. The new book price had come down after it had been out over a year and I read the synopsis and discovered that it was a time travel story. Anyone with an imagination has thought about time travel. Most of us have wondered about the great what ifs both large and small, whether it be correcting mistakes in our own life or changing the world for the better.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to give out any spoilers here. In 11/22/63 school teacher Jake Epping is a likable fellow but a little lonely since his divorce. When his elderly, ailing friend reveals that he has discovered a “rabbit hole” in the back room of his diner that takes a person back in time Jake is of course skeptical, until he tries it.
Once Jake is convinced, his friend throws out the really big bait. What if Jake could travel back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination? Would the Vietnam war be avoided thus saving thousands and thousand of young men’s lives? What other positive changes to history might occur if John F. Kennedy hadn’t died?
The book is historically accurate and painstaking in many of the details. Stephen King builds a fascinating tale around that framework, adding flesh to the skeleton of information we all know about the event.
Of course if everything went according to plan Mr. King wouldn’t have much of a novel here, and that’s where this story gets really fun. What if, when you travel back in time, every little thing you do has a ripple effect that leads to unintended changes that you can’t possibly foresee? What if your interactions with people changed the course of their lives? How would your future be different when you got back?
In the end 11.22.63 turns out to be a surprising love story with a surprising ending that Stephen King credits to his son Joe Hill, who is a successful horror/suspense writer in his own right. As with any Stephen King novel, going in you have to know you’re making a significant time investment, but for this ending 11.22.63 is worth it. If the Hulu mini-series is half as good as the book, you’ll come away happy having invested your time in it.
As always, if you enjoy what you read at #ThePhilFactor please hit the Facebook, Twitter, or other share buttons below.
White Picket Prisons by Phil Taylor is located in the suspense book category, but it is so much more. Cooper, Dave, Chuck, and Cliff have been best friends since childhood when they had dubbed themselves The Golden Boys. They are now adults and have remained close friends through marriages, careers, life, and deaths. As the story begins, they have gathered for the funeral of Dave’s dad. We are quickly drawn into their reunion which consists of all the things they did as kids, picking on one another, taking the neighborhood walk and hanging out. The good time they are having quickly takes a turn for the worst and suddenly they find themselves in danger. The plot takes several twists and turns and we and the Golden Boys are unsure who and why the bad guys are suddenly after them. Is it something from their childhood, did one of them do something awful, are all four marked for death, we wonder, and until the very end there is no sure answer. Each of them reveals surprising new facts about themselves as they work together to survive and find the answers they so desperately seek.
White Picket Prisons is a book about lasting friendship that spans many years. It is a book filled with suspense and excitement, strong characters and an engaging plot. Phil Taylor has given us 173 pages that will keep you glued from start to finish. This may be Phil Taylor’s first work but I truly hope it isn’t his last. White Picket Prisons is a winner for everyone. Don’t pass up reading this book.
It is available in both e-book and paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It is also available in the iTunes bookstore. Have a great Friday! ~Phil
Up front I will say that I’m a Stephen King fan. On his worst days he’s better than most writers on their best days. His descriptive abilities and attention to detail paint mental pictures with a texture that is unmatched. Remember The Beatles? The world’s most famous and most popular band? They had 20 number 1 hits. Stephen King is The Beatles of writers. At least for me he is.
Although The Beatles had twenty #1 hits, with twelve albums there were probably about 100 other songs from those albums that weren’t #1 hits. Stephen King has had a lot of #1 hits. Revival may not be a #1 hit, but it’s not bad either.
The story of Revival follows the long and winding road of Jamie Morton’s life from the time the young boy meets his towns new pastor until Jamie is an elderly man who witnesses the strange end of the man he had met so many years before. In Revival Mr. King weaves a path for Jamie Morton that you are more than happy to follow through his happiness and heartbreaks. Strangely, Jamie’s path through life seems intertwined with that of his childhood pastor who, after a personal tragedy, turns away from religion as we know it to something that he believes may answer all his questions.
In order to protect others, repay a debt of gratitude, and possibly satisfy his own curiosity Jamie becomes his accomplice, helping him see his final experiment through to the end. And for me as a reader that was where the only bump in the long and winding road of this story appeared. Through the first 95% of this story I was all in, hook, line, and sinker. Loved it. Rooted for the protagonist. Wanted to figure out the mystery. Couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter. Then in the climactic scene, almost out of the blue Stephen King made it just a tad too weird. Following the climactic scene there was a nice wrap up and post script for the characters with even a little chilling/haunting reminder of what might be just behind the curtain that we can’t see.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely, but temper your expectations just a little. It’s not an all-time classic, literary Hall of Fame Stephen King novel, but it’s still Stephen King. It was a fun ride that I enjoyed from start to finish, and you know what? Just because I didn’t jump for joy at one scene doesn’t mean that I’m right or that you won’t love what I didn’t. It was a fun read and I don’t regret the money or time invested in it.
I’m not kidding. This is really about fantasy football. It may seem like a departure for me, but believe it or not, my online writing career began with fantasy sports back in 2005. I wrote for several websites and a magazine and even got paid for doing it.
Over the last couple weeks I’ve been listening to the satellite radio SiriusXM’s fantasy sports radio channel. A frequent guest on some of the shows was a guy named David Gonos. He talked about a new fantasy football book he had published that he was selling for $5.00 as a PDF download from his website. My first thought was, “I’d like to read that book.” Yes, I do know that fantasy football is just the sports nerds version of Dungeons & Dragons. (joke credit to Rich Eisen) My second thought was, “I’m not going to pay $5.00 for a PDF. Why the hell didn’t he just put it on Amazon so I could download it to my Kindle?”
So I looked him up online, e-mailed him and expressed my second thought much more tactfully in the e-mail than I thought it. Long story short, I spent the weekend e-mailing with David Gonos and helped him get his book in the Amazon store. If you or someone you know is into fantasy football I highly recommend this book. It is a GREAT resource with tips and strategies from over 50 experts. The information in it isn’t just applicable to this year either. You can use it again and again as you prepare for and play your fantasy football seasons. Also, David was a really nice guy who wasn’t offended that a random guy contacted him to give him advice. I believe nice people should be supported. If you play fantasy football here’s the link to his website: DavidGonos.com and here is his book on Amazon: 101 Fantasy Football Tips. If you’ve got SiriusXM radio you can listen to him as the featured guest on The Fantasy Funhouse on channel 210 sometime between 9:00-11:00 EST tomorrow.
See you tomorrow morning for Top Ten Tuesday! ~Phil
A few weeks ago the unthinkable happened. I got a bad review for my book on Amazon. Guess what? I L-O-V-E it. My thoughts are this; I’m not writing books for everyone. I’m writing books for me and for people who like to read the same kind of stuff that I do.
In my life philosophy, if people don’t get mad at you sometimes then you are obviously never taking risks with your thoughts, words, and actions. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want a lot of people to disagree with me or criticize my books, but if I occasionally get someone’s undies in a bunch then I think I’ve probably done something noteworthy
The reader, whom I shall not name, gave the book three stars and started her review by saying, “Not what I expected. I did not finish the book. I stopped about 1/3 of the way through.” Really lady? You decided not to finish the book because it was too scary and then gave it a 3 star rating anyway? Maybe it would have gotten all five stars if she had read the other two thirds.
She also said, “There is some swearing in this book. The usual words may not be used but you know what is intended.” What? Characters in a book acting like normal human beings? I can’t believe it. Hide your children! Contact the authorities!
Furthermore she added, “The boys frequently ignore rule for their safety, climb out their windows when they are supposed to be in their rooms.” Oh no! Fictional characters having fun and acting age appropriate? Get this on a banned books list somewhere immediately!
What really cheesed me off, and I do not say that lightly because I’ve never been cheesed off before, is that she gave away three crucial plot elements that occur in the first third of the book. If you don’t like my book, fine. We all have different tastes. Apparently she was searching for a book for small children and thought that the synopsis mentioning a serial killer wasn’t clear enough. If you don’t like it, I don’t care, but don’t ruin surprises in the book for others.
All in all, I’m pleased that someone read part of my book, hated it, and thinks it should be at least PG-13. I’m not suggesting any of you go write bad reviews just to please me, but if you clicked on the book in the right sidebar and read it I wouldn’t mind a bit.
Self-proclaimed grand poobah of leisure and author of humorous suspense novels The Sneaker Tree & White Picket Prisons, the humor essay book Fifty Shades of Phil and the long running blog The Phil Factor.