Sunday, September 21, 2014

Notes on the Oxford Comma

Notes on the Oxford comma:

While reading my 'news' feed on Facebook, I cam across the picture below for about the millionth time.  I decided to respond.

1.  It's possible to write lists in such a way that it's not necessary.

Or you could say: We invited Washington, Lincoln and the rhinoceri.

2.  Sentences are understandable without it due to the fact that readers are accustomed to reading without it, thereby making making the rule unnecessary.

3.  I do not use the Oxford comma in my writing.  In 1 million published words, I haven't received a single comment saying something along the lines of, "I can only give this book 1 star due to the fact that there was no Oxford comma, leading me to unresolvable confusion."

All that said, everyone should write in the manner that works for them. The key is to understand the rules and make the writing understandable to as many people as possible.

And I will concede that it may be better to use the Oxford Comma than not.

All my best,

John H. Carroll

Thursday, September 18, 2014

International Apple Book Bundle Promotion features "Wings of Fantasy"

So as you may or may not have noticed, I put together a box set a couple of weeks ago. What I couldn't tell you at the time, was that it was to be featured in a special promotion on Apple iTunes store, right as the iPhone 6 and iOS8 (which now includes iBooks as a standard feature) are being released. Here's the Smashwords link:

A screenshot of it, there at the bottom right of the second row. :)

If you don't have it already, here is the link to the book on iTunes:

The compilation features great fantasy books by myself, Valerie Douglas, M. R. Mathias, M. A. Nilles, Stephen L. Nowland, and E.M. Sinclair.  I highly recommend checking it and many of the others out.  There's a feast of stories in all of these compilations. :)

All my best,

John H. Carroll

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wings of Fantasy, A Box Set of Fantasy Books

Recently, it was suggested that I put together a compilation of books together.  After thinking about a number of the authors I knew and considering what sort of theme I could come up with, an idea came to me.  That idea grew wings, wings of fantasy . . . and that's the name of the book I came up with, Wings of Fantasy. 

The theme of the book is winged creatures in fantasy: dragons, fairies, monsters and even a city with wings.  The genre is fantasy with full length books and a couple of smaller stories from Indie Authors who have been self-publishing their books for the last few years. 

Each of these authors, myself included, has written and published a number of books that have caught the attention of readers worldwide.  I invite you to explore the Wings of Fantasy and find exciting authors to discover.


Wings of Fantasy is a compilation of books written by six of the Indie World’s brightest upcoming fantasy authors. Let your imagination soar as you read extraordinary stories of winged cities, dragons, fairies, and other fantastic creatures of myth and magic.

Rojuun, a novel by John H. Carroll
Book 1 of The Willden Trilogy. Rumors are spreading about a new race called Rojuun. They appeared from the depths of the mountains eight hundred years ago with the intention of taking over the world. Tathan of the Shadows has been charged with learning more about them. However, he must learn more about his very unusual companions before he can succeed.

Song of the Fairy Queen, a novel by Valerie Douglas
It's said of Fairy that if you're in dire need and call their name they'll come. With his castle under siege and his young son in his arms, High King Oryan couldn't be in more dire need. With only Morgan, his High Marshal, and a handful of Morgan's men at his back, he has only one direction left to run...up. And only one ally to whom he can turn: Kyriay, the Queen of the Fairy.

The First Dragoneer, a novella by M. R. Mathias
When two young men go on a hunt that they know will be the last hunt of their youth, they decide they want it to be an unforgettable outing. When they cross a ridge leaving the protection of their kingdom behind, they find a cavern that looks like it needs to be explored. In the cavern they find exactly what they were looking for. In this stony hole lives something they will never forget!

Foxwise, a short story also by M. R. Mathias
Deep in the Lurr Forest there is a valley called Saint Elm's Deep. This secret valley stays in a perpetual state of Spring and hosts the thousands of Fae who live there. The Heart Tree's magic sustains the boundaries that protect them all and their lush forest, but the hoar witch has poisoned its roots. This a short story from M. R. Mathias' #1 bestselling series, The Legend of Vanx Malic.

Fireblood, a novel by M. A. Nilles
Magic is everything to a priest or priestess, inherited by the descendants of the Creators. Over time, Ayali's abilities have weakened, threatening to expose her tribe to the power of the darkness befalling their lands. Beneath the pressures of her family and tribe, Ayali turns down a dark path. She must face the shadows within her before it consumes their world and destroys her life.

Nature Abhors a Vacuum, a novel by Stephen L. Nowland
Aiden Wainwright was the son of a wagon maker in a small country town where nothing interesting ever happened, until a chance encounter with a strange relic changed him forever. His resourcefulness and courage are put to the test when he travels to a nearby town and finds the place on the brink of disaster. Aiden must marshal his limited resources to aid the town and uncover the villains.

Soul Bonds, a novel by E.M. Sinclair
A young slave girl flees from the Lord who owns her, choosing to die in the mountains rather than become one of his 'pretties'. When that death seems all too likely, she is found by one of the Dragon Kindred and Tika's life takes a twist she could never have imagined in her wildest dreams - or her worst nightmares.

Those are the books that you will find in Wings of Fantasy.  I hope they fly you to fantastic new worlds that expand your mind and tickle your imagination.

All my best,

John H. Carroll

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Understanding gay attraction

Gay attraction

So, for those of you who don't know, my son is gay.  As he says, "I'm the rainbow and the pot of gold at the end."  He came out to his mother and I when he was 14, an act that took courage.  His mother said, "And . . ."  I said, "Who wants coffee?" knowing he loves coffee and it would be awesome for him to have some while we talked about it.

In the time since then (He's 17 in a couple of weeks), he's flourished and truly come into himself.  All that aside, he's just an awesome person in general.  He's caring and giving and he has a sharp sense of humor that delights and occasionally startles.  I couldn't be more proud and thrilled to call him my son, simply for the person he is.

Me and Joe

But anyway, the reason for this blog post is because of something he posted on Facebook recently.  It's about knowing how he is attracted to the same sex.  I thought his response to the question is perfect and I believe it should be shared with others.

Joe's words:

"So, for a long time I have been asked a question that I consider rather silly when I tell people I'm gay. I tend to get the question, "Have you ever been with a woman?" and when I answer no I get a follow up question,"Well then how do you know that you're gay." 

For a long time I haven't come up with an answer to this question because I feel it is silly for me to humor a question that can be answered with, "How do you know your straight if you've never been with a man?" and that I feel questions my confidence in who I am as a person, but I think it is finally time for me to humor so here it goes. 

I know that I am attracted to men and not to women because in my life I have never felt romantic feelings for a woman. Before you go saying, "That's not a valid answer!" let me explain. When I have talked to women it has never led me to get the light-hearted tingly feeling that is associated with love, even with all the things I've discussed with them. However, when I've talked to SOME guys I have experienced this feeling. Along with that, I also gain a sense of security when talking to a guy (whom I'm attracted to) that I have never experienced with a woman. 

Furthermore, there is a sexual aspect that most of society can't get over. When people talk about this, they usually ask about the genitalia, and I can assure you that this is of no interest to me, but it's more then just the genitalia. When I find someone attractive it is usually because they have deeper set eyes, more predominate cheek bones, and broader body build, traits that women don't have. Now I'm not saying that I can't see what makes a woman attractive in today's society or admire them, I'm just saying that overall: their physical traits, mental characteristics, and yes their genitalia combine to make them romantically and sexually unattractive to me while a man's does. 

So I think this should put a silly end to a silly question."


I hope this post helps people to understand.  I'm also thrilled to share how awesome my son is.

All my best,

John H. Carroll