I’m excited to announce that two of my novels are available as free reads. One is my latest book and the other is a brand new version of my first. The new novel is available to read at SwoonReads.com and I’d love some solid feedback on the story and the characters. It’s suitable for teenagers to adults and just might land a publishing deal if enough readers are as passionate about the story as I am.
LIKE A HERO is an action-packed, contemporary tale of orphaned brothers coming to terms with the death of their parents while simultaneously fighting to better their community. It’s bursting with emotion and drama and grapples with complex issues of right vs wrong, legal vs moral. I’m impassioned about this story because I see apathy as one of our most destructive human traits, and it’s one we all too often slip into without even being aware.
Dennis may only be fourteen, but he’s an old soul who’s sometimes wiser than his twenty-year-old brother, Vincent. He believes with a fervor that one person can make a difference in this world, that one person can truly inspire the masses to take action. The question becomes, will the masses be inspired for better or for worse? That’s the moral dilemma these brothers face as they put their plan into action. It’s easy to convince people to engage in mob mentality. That’s been proven throughout human history. But can enough people be persuaded to take positive action in their community, to step up and fight against what is wrong, even if it costs them personally? The brothers believe they know the answer, but proving it is far more difficult—and costly—than they ever imagined.
Here’s a blurb that describes the book. You need to set up a free SwoonReads account at the link below, but that’s all. You’ll also have access to their other free reads, but I’m hoping you’ll check out mine first. Thanks!
Courage can be costly. Orphaned brothers Vincent and Dennis Villanueva learn the truth of those words when they create a masked crime fighter and turn him loose on Los Angeles. The brainchild of fourteen-year-old Dennis and embodied in twenty-year-old Vincent, “Invictus” hits the streets to jumpstart apathetic Angelenos into taking a more active role in their city.
But reality isn’t a comic book. Vincent finds poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, abuse, bad parenting, and cast-off children. Labeled a vigilante and criminal, the shy grad student with formidable martial arts talent and abysmal people skills soon doubts his ability to make an impact.
Forced to straddle an ambiguous line between moral and legal, he becomes disheartened and secretive, hiding the truth of what he’s doing from Dennis and driving a wedge between them. Feeling neglected, Dennis infiltrates a dangerous drug ring to show Vincent he can be just as heroic, not knowing that the woman in charge is weaving an insidious plot against Invictus as part of her citywide scheme of vengeance. In a race against time, Vincent must regain Dennis’s trust before he loses forever the brother he loves.
My first novel, A BOY AND HIS DRAGON, has been revised and rewritten and is unspooling chapter by chapter over at Wattpad. I had previously published this story on Amazon to test the waters, but it’s no longer available for purchase and can only be found on Wattpad. It’s suitable for all ages.
This book was written in the 1980s, well before the fantasy resurgence that culminated with Harry Potter, and also saw endless dragon-related stories hitting the bookshelves. I wanted to try a somewhat realistic approach to a dragon story, so I took my childhood—at least my seventh and eighth-grade years—and inserted a dragon. I wondered how life might progress for that thirteen-year-old boy living in suburban Northern California in the year 1970 as he juggled daily life while also caring for, and hiding, a rapidly growing dragon, without the use of the internet or any of the technology we have today that would have made such a task easier. Somehow, Bradley Wallace Murphy must figure out solutions to every dilemma that crosses his path without the use of Google, which means the story takes longer to unfold, but hopefully, it plays out in a believable fashion.
Of course, this is more than just a boy and his dragon story and the book is intended as the first of a trilogy that postulates a return of magic into our modern world (at least, the modern world of the ’70s and ’80s.) It’s a nostalgic tale for anyone who remembers that time, and for younger readers who can’t imagine life without cell phones and social media, it will be an eye-opening depiction of a different kind of childhood.
Here’s a blurb for the book. I really hope you go on Wattpad and check it out. I’m adding in visuals that tie directly into each chapter and are relevant to the storyline. If you do read this book at the link below, please comment along the way. Us authors only improve if we have constructive feedback to work from.
Thanks for checking out these free reads. Enjoy!
Bradley Wallace Murphy just turned thirteen, and he’s not happy about it. He doesn’t fit in at school, he’s no good at sports, a bully torments him, he’s a disappointment to his parents, and his only “friends” are fictional characters on a TV show called Dark Shadows. He’s on the verge of manhood, but wants no part of that, either.
Then he finds the egg and everything changes.
From this egg hatches Whilly, a supposedly mythical dragon that bonds with him emotionally and spiritually. The sudden responsibility of hiding, feeding, and caring for a rapidly growing dragon in a small California city in 1970 forces Bradley Wallace to grow up whether he wants to or not.
Through their adventures together, boy and dragon learn the true nature of their symbiosis and Bradley Wallace learns that he is not just a misfit kid.
He’s dangerous. More dangerous than anyone in history. So dangerous that he’ll be killed if the truth comes out. The boy who doesn’t want to grow up comes to realize that it might be better for the world if he didn’t.