J.R. Tate

J.R. Tate

Bad Games - 5 out of 5 Stars

I've been thinking about things to blog about and dang it, I'm gonna practice what I preach. I've said many times, word of mouth is one of the BEST ways to help an author out. If you enjoyed a book that you've read, talk about it! Tell other readers about it! Leave a review. If the author leaves contact information, contact them! We love to hear from readers and writers.... even if you didn't enjoy what you had read. We want to improve, so constructive feedback is always useful too!

Anyway, to get to the point - I'm going to start blogging about books that I've read and enjoyed. I kick off the first entry with Bad Games by Jeff Menapace. 

Click here to go to the book in the Amazon Store

I gave it 5 stars out of 5 - it really was quite a thrilling read. I'll post my review from Amazon on here:

This was definitely a dark psychological thriller, as the title says. The Lambert family goes on a quick getaway to Crescent Lake to escape their hectic city life. After ample warnings, they decide to chalk it up to circumstance and stay there. They don't want two men ruining their plans. Little do they know, they're about to take part in a game where they have to participate.

Bad Games was very thrilling. I did get frustrated at the main characters for not taking note to all of the warnings - the creepy guy at the grocery store, the creepy man who talked Penn State to them and took their daughter's doll. If Patrick would have listened to Amy, they would've high tailed it out of there the first day and been home safe, but then again, if that would've happened, I guess there wouldn't have been an entertaining book to read.

There were a few spots that were somewhat drawn out, but I still feel this book deserves 5 stars. I'm definitely a fan of psychology, and this book displayed good knowledge of the evil in this world. Without giving too much away, **spoiler alert** -----

I loved the scene when Patrick and Amy go to Arty's hospital room at the end of the book and put him through his own torture, even if it isn't physical. Mentioning how he was likely adopted and how he also fit the "crazy mold" really played well against him and gave them good revenge on a man whose intention was to kill both of them.

I recommend this read. It is rough and gritty, but for thriller lovers!


Just a word of caution - Some language was harsh at times.... if you have a tender heart or get offended easily, tread lightly. It generally doesn't bug me if it goes with the story, and in this case, it did. There is also quite a bit of violence, so if this is not your thing, go on to the next book.

I on the other hand, enjoyed it very much! I like a good, thrilling. psychological read. If you're like me, you won't be disappointed in this one! 

(Another) Revamp!

Long time no see, readers! Here's a small update in the world of J.R. I was talking with another writing friend and we were trying to brainstorm some ideas on why I can't get my Troubled Heroes Series to sell. I've changed descriptions, prices, and covers several times. My friend was gracious enough to do some experimenting on her own, and she came up with 3 fantastic covers that I have changed those books over to. Here they are:

So my next concern was, how would I let people know that these books were about a firefighter? More brainstorming commenced, and we came up with a name change to the series. So, what was once known as The Troubled Heroes Series is now know as the Firefighter Heroes Trilogy.

I'm really loving these new covers - I'm trying hard to get eyes on this series and I'm hoping that they catch someone's eye. Again, special thanks to M.P. McDonald, fellow author and friend, for her ideas and wisdom on this!

As always, if you enjoyed one of my books, please spread the word! Word of mouth is one of the best promotional tools we can have! Happy reading!


J.R.'s Books - Now Available For Nook and Apple!

It occurred to me this evening that I have not officially announced that my books are now available on Barnes & Noble and in the Apple store. About a week ago I took all of my books about of Kindle Select so I could make them more available for those who might not have a Kindle. So, here in this blog post you can find the links needed to get the books for your Nook or iPad!

I've had several ask why they weren't available before - I tried out KDP Select because of the ability to make my books free at any time, as well as allowing Kindle readers to "borrow" the books too. Well, I gave it a try - needless to say, it wasn't a successful marketing plan so I'm going to move on to trying something else and expanding the availability for other people.

To make a long story short, here are the links for those who are interested in purchasing them from Apple and Barnes & Noble, or for those who want to pass the word along to others! Word of mouth is the best way to help tell others about books you have enjoyed!

                                     Click Here for Dance With the Devil on Barnes & Noble

Happy Reading!

Murphy's War - Now Available!

Murphy's war went live last weekend, but here is an update for those who might have missed the announcement!

Sean Murphy knows all about the dark side of growing up in a violent Irish family deep into gang activity. What he doesn't know about is love, but he wants to learn when he meets Gracie. She's the light to his darkness, but how can he have her when violence threatens his every action? Can he risk dragging the only woman he ever cared for into the middle of his dangerous life? He longs to leave the gang, but his only option out is in a body bag. Will his love for Gracie trump his allegiance to his family? As an all out war with a rival Italian gang rages, he is thrust into the thick of the battle, unable to see an escape from the way of life he's come to loathe.

Available at these links:

Murphy's War Teaser

Murphy's War is in the final stages of being edited with a release date coming very soon! Here is a small preview of what is to come in the book! 

          "If the cops catch you, you know nothing."
          It was a common phrase heard in the Murphy household growing up. Uncles, cousins, siblings - they were all too aware of it and of course, what was implied within it. You know nothing, which translated to, "If you rat on anyone or what you were doing, you're in for a beating." It didn't matter that you were family. It didn't matter that you shared the Murphy last name with everyone else. It meant you were a rat, never to be trusted again. No chance of redeeming yourself. Pushed to the curb and dead to everyone. That was if you were lucky. So many before had been killed or disappeared, never to be found again. And this was with family. Hard to imagine what they were capable of doing to those who didn't share the same blood.
          Sean Murphy walked down the street, hugging his leather coat around his midsection. The package he was carrying wasn't obvious to just anyone, but the feel of the weight in his pocket made him all too aware that he was carrying something that could possibly put him in prison for life. Police presence in the city seemed to always pick up when he was on a job. Nodding toward one of the men in uniform, he continued at normal pace, so used to the situation that he could do it while sleep walking. He recognized their faces, just as he assumed they knew who he was. It was no mystery that he was part of the Irish gang in the neighborhood. They were like celebrities in the area, and unfortunately for Sean, a mark of notoriety that he wished he could scrub off in the shower. He didn't like the lifestyle. He wanted out. Until he found a way, he had to play along and continue working for his uncle. It was the only way to ensure that he stayed alive.
          After a few blocks, he ducked into a bar that the locals knew as Pat's. To him it meant unloading the pound of cocaine he had strapped on his body. Only a pound, but it was like a ton of bricks lifted off of his shoulders as he scooted it across the table in the back office, making direct eye contact with the man in the chair.
          "You Murphy's work quick. I just requested a pound this morning."
          Sean nodded, but didn't speak. He had learned in his thirty six years to say a lot with body language and leave the talking to the ones who died young.
          "Every time you come here, you hardly say two words. You a mute?"
          He shook his head and swallowed, glancing around at the other men who served as body guards. "No. Just nothing to say."
          "You know who I am, right?"
          Cyril Sullivan, a cousin to the Murphy's and one of the dealers hired on to distribute product. "Yes, I know who you are."
          "We're cousins, yet you act like I'm some stranger. Have a seat. We got some good Irish whiskey. Might as well enjoy some of this product you helped bring over."
          Sean sat down, looking at each of the men, hesitating. "I need to get back soon with the money. Jack will be waiting."
          "Jack Murphy, our notorious uncle. God bless that man. He can wait thirty damn minutes, yes? You're a trusted guy. You've been doing this since you were biting ankles. It's established you're not gonna run off with this stuff."
          Sean watched as one of the men poured the amber liquid in a tumbler next to him, sliding it to his reach. The last thing Sean wanted to do was get drunk with them, but it would tarnish his reputation even more if he bailed on an invite to sip down some of the alcohol. It was smooth - a normal drink among everyone and something he had developed a great tolerance to. A few drinks wouldn't hurt too much. Savoring the burn, he tapped the rim of the glass, requesting more.
          "How is it?" Cyril asked.
          "It's good."
          "Still a man of few words." Cyril laughed, downing his third glass full. "Picked it up in Ireland last time I was there." He threw a band of money on the desk. "Better get that back to Jack."

          Sean finished his drink and grabbed the money. "Pleasure doing business with you." Shoving through the door, he avoided all eye contact with the bar tenders and patrons. Looking down, he was caught off guard when he ran right into one of the cops he had seen before dropping off the package. His heart skipped a beat, but he tried to keep his face neutral. This wouldn't be his first run-in with them, nor his last.

Check my Facebook author page here for updates. I will post there first when it is available. You can also follow me on Twitter @JTateAuthor! Happy reading! 

Cover Revamp!

Today I took some time to revamp my Troubled Heroes Series covers. Through Smoke, Backfire, as well as the Trilogy box set all got a makeover, and here are the covers for you to take a look at!



The books were overdue for a facelift, so here they are! I hope you all like them, and as always, HAPPY READING!


Murphy's War Cover Reveal!

I am about 3/4 of the way through with my new book, Murphy's War! I don't have a book blurb on it yet, but here's a sneak peak of what it's about:

It is about an Irish American family in a big city (not specified, I'll let your imagination think up the city) who is involved in a family gang that has been active for many years. Sean Murphy is the main character who is struggling with his way of life and whether or not he wants to leave the gang and stray away from his family. There is a romance that blossoms between him and a non gang member by the name of Gracie Collins. I'm not going to say much else in fear of revealing too much, but it will be categorized in the Thriller/Romance genre.

And.... (drum roll)....

Here is the cover reveal for Murphy's War:

I am hoping to have the rough draft complete within a few weeks (depending on how productive I am in the coming days). The muse is really flowing with this one! Let me know what you think of the cover and happy reading!


Ryan Shay's Story

If anyone has taken a gander at my author page recently, they probably have realized that Fight for Absolution is no longer there. Rest assured, it IS still available, just under a new name and has a new cover. In a previous blog post, I mention that the book is my red headed step child, that it has sort of been in the shadow of my Troubled Heroes Series , and that I want to get Ryan Shay's story out there and heard.

I was given some advice from a fellow writer friend who suggested that a more catchy cover might grab some attention. Also, Fight for Absolution was sort of a mouthful, and as I thought about it, I started to agree with her about it. So, after a revamp, what was previously known as Fight for Absolution is now going to be known as Reformed. It is the same exact book as before - this is just a marketing attempt to try to get it some exposure that it desperately is needing.

Here is the book blurb for those that aren't familiar with it -

Ryan Shay wants to forget his past.  Memories of an abusive childhood, betrayal from his family, and failure to trust anyone have held him captive his whole life. Afraid to confront his demons, it's a miracle he hasn't wound up a statistic in the war on drugs. Having no real purpose or reason to get better, he has failed several rehab stints and has always gone back to the one thing he finds comfort in - drugs and alcohol.  After being accused of stealing from a local dealer, suffering from an overdose, and learning he might have a son, Ryan finds a strong reason to break the chains of his addictive past and end the cycle of his shameful ways.  He is determined to become clean, despite the constant negativity sent his way from his friends and society.  His success is not only for himself, but for someone who desperately needs him.  What could be viewed as a careless mistake to many is possibly the one thing that might save Ryan Shay's life.

I have also posted a note on the book -

Forgiveness won't change the past - but can do a lot for a future. This book was an idea I have thought about for several years.  I am fascinated with the human mind, from addictions, to deep rooted psychology - it is a topic I'm always thinking about.  This story poured out and I wrote it faster than any book I've ever mused about. I was a bit worried about the subject matter at first, which is why it took me so long to actually give the idea a second thought, but now that it is published, I am thankful I did it. It became a journey far more exciting, emotional, and thrilling than I ever imagined it could be. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I really hope changing it around isn't murder for the book, but really, the sales have been quite dismal on it since it's been published, so the few who have purchased it probably won't realize it anyway. I'm really hoping more people will get to know Ryan and his story - it's not a pleasant one, but his struggle might lend some inspiration to everyone out there.

Happy reading!