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Available for Pre-order! Tornado Warning: A Post Apocalyptic Thriller (Damaged Climate Series Book 1)

I am pleased to announce that Tornado Warning: A Post-Apocalyptic Thriller (The Damaged Climate Series Book 1) is now available for pre-order! Right now it is set for June 28, 2016, but I am going to be moving the date up, so you will receive it sooner! Stay tuned for the official release date!

Click here to pre-order on Amazon!

Book Description:
In the blink of an eye, the small Texas town of Harper Springs is flattened by the worst tornadic system to hit the area. Homes are demolished, trees are uprooted, and people are left for dead.

Taking cover in a cellar with his son, Ryan Gibson narrowly escapes the storm and gets separated from his wife. He hopes that help will come fast – his child is severely injured and the crippling weather pattern rages on, making them pawns in Mother Nature’s game.

Weeks pass with no sign of another human being. Tornadoes continue to hammer away at the already ravished land. Ryan wonders why they have been forgotten. Basic survival skills set in – their food rations get smaller, their water intake less, and their limited resources will soon be gone. With his son’s fading health and his wife still missing, he will have to make a decision soon – leave their shelter and risk death, or stay patient and hold out hope that a rescue team is on the way.


A harsh truth will soon be revealed – the tranquil way of life in Harper Springs will never be the same.  

Happy reading!
J.R. Tate

Sneak Peek - Tornado Warning Book One

I've been working on a new post apocalyptic series and to try to get some exposure on it, I am giving you all a sneak peek on the first chapter of the story. I'm over 20,000 words on this, so I'm hoping for a summer release if things go as planned!


Chapter One

Looking back now, they should have seen it coming. With advanced technology and accurate forecasting, it should have never played out the way it had. As the old cliché saying went – hindsight is twenty-twenty, and what Ryan Gibson would have done to go back and redo it all. The difference in a few seconds would’ve changed the outcome of everything that had happened.

~~

I really wish you didn’t have to work today, Ry.” Cecilia Gibson flipped the pancake on the griddle and tightened her bathrobe around her midsection. Arching her eyebrow, she poured herself a cup of coffee and smirked. “It’s already bad enough that we don’t see you when you get fire calls.”
It’s not like we get tons of calls, CeCe. And this is one Saturday out of the month that I have to go into the shop. It’s my turn. Next week it’ll be Danny’s and his wife will be the one complaining.” Winking, he ruffled his hand through his son’s hair. “How’s the pancakes, Tye?”
The child shook his head and gave a thumbs up, his mouth full of food and a small drop of syrup dripped on his chin.
You got a five year old’s stamp of approval, hon.” Ryan wrapped his arm around Cecilia’s waist, pulling her in for a hug, her back pressed into him. “I’ll be home early. There wasn’t much on the list when I left yesterday.”

The National Weather Service is anticipating that a tornado watch will be issued later this afternoon for several counties in the area. A weather system is brewing over the mountains and will impact us tonight. Keep it tuned here for updates.”

Ryan and Cecilia turned to the television, and she patted his arm. “It’s days like this that I question you joining the fire department. No, you don’t get a ton of fires, but they always want the volunteers to go out and storm spot. And according to the meteorologist on channel five, it’s going to be a hell of a storm season. Tye and me may never see you.”
Ryan leaned in and kissed her on the lips. “You know the nickname of the meteorologist on channel five, don’t you?”
No. Do I wanna know?”
Doomsday Donald. You know how the man over-forecasts. About the only damn thing he gets right is the wind. Don’t worry, Cece. We’ll grill those steaks when I get home tonight. You know what’d be really nice?” His eyes widened and he didn’t give her a chance to answer. “It’d be awesome if you’d do those bacon wrapped cheese stuffed peppers to go with it. What do you say?”
Now I do want you to go to work.” She pecked him on the lips again, walking with him to the door. “Love you, babe.”
Love you.”
Ryan climbed in his pickup and merged onto the highway. There was definitely a change in the air, and he parked the truck on the side of the road, watching the clouds coming over the top of the distant mountains on the horizon. As a volunteer firefighter, he was required to take storm spotting classes, and he had just taken a refresher course a few months ago. Maybe the possible tornado watch was plausible, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. It was a little early, with storm season not usually starting for a while, but it was Texas – the weather was always unpredictable.
Drumming his thumb on the steering wheel, he took in the spectacular view. The sky was purple and orange against the sunrise, and the humidity was thick. There would definitely be some storms and Ryan couldn’t wait – there was nothing like a large system coming through, with lightning flashing, thunder roaring, as long as the severe stuff stayed away from the populated areas.
Watching for a few more minutes, he headed into town. It was a ten mile drive from his piece of land in the county, and it gave him time to wake up on the way in, and leave work behind as he went home for the day.
The population sign on the edge of Harper Springs read a little over a thousand people. The rural county was home to mostly farming families, and though sometimes the monotony was unbearable, Ryan couldn’t think of anywhere else he’d want to live. Everyone knew him and it was comforting to think about the tight knit community where he had grown up, and was now fortunate enough to raise his family in a town that was home.
Waving toward Mrs. McElroy, he could smell the fresh donuts in her bakery located right next door to the mechanic shop. She left the door wide open on purpose as a marketing ploy to pull in customers. She had the best coffee and baked goods in town.
Parking his truck, Ryan slid out and tipped the brim of his baseball cap. “Good morning, Mrs. McElroy. Sure smells delicious in there.”
Just made some fresh cinnamon rolls. I even iced some in chocolate. You oughta come grab a couple. Aren’t those your favorite?”
Ryan patted his stomach and smiled. “Cecilia made pancakes. Had I known you were gonna ice the cinnamon rolls in chocolate, I would’ve saved some room.”
Mrs. McElroy wagged her finger at him. “You know good and well that I do it every Saturday. I’ve been doing it since you were about this tall.” She motioned her hand close to the ground and laughed. “So it’s your Saturday to work, huh? Got a lot going on?”
A few oil changes and flats, but nothing too horrible.”
Good. You don’t need to be in town late anyway. Supposed to be storms tonight.”
So you’ve been watching Doomsday Donald too, huh?”
Mrs. McElroy folded her arms over her chest. “I’m sixty three years old, Ryan Gibson. Lived in Harper Springs every one of them. I can feel it in the air. We’ve had some big ones come through and we’re overdue for another.”
You think so?” Ryan cocked his head to the side and adjusted his baseball cap. The temperature was starting to heat up and he swiped some sweat from his brow.
How old are you, Ryan?”
I’ll be thirty seven in April.”
And you’ve lived all thirty seven here too, right?”
He scoffed and edged toward his shop. If he wanted to get home at a decent time, he’d need to get to work. “I see where you’re going with this, Mrs. McElroy. I know how the weather is, Ma’am. I’m not saying we’ll never get another big one, but I don’t think it’s gonna be tonight.”
Maybe not tonight, but soon. You tell your daddy hello for me, okay?”
Yes Ma’am, I’ll do that. I might hop over later for some coffee and one of those cinnamon rolls.”
Unlocking the garage, he skimmed his finger down the work order log. Just as he anticipated – three oil changes, a tire change, and one brake replacement. Depending on if anyone walked in, he would be done in a few hours. Starting on the first car, he went to work, half way listening to the radio as he focused on the job at hand. His mind was on Mrs. McElroy’s prediction. Hopefully it would be an active season. The last few had been a bust, and he was ready to see some good weather come through.

~~

The steaks were fantastic, hon.” Ryan sat beside Cecilia on the couch. The TV was on, but he wasn’t paying attention to it. Clasping his fingers in hers, he closed his eyes, relaxing into the cushions as he drifted off. She tightened her grip on him and leaned in, kissing him.
You cooked them. I can’t take all of your glory.”
Opening one of his eyes, he glanced at her. “You didn’t have to make the peppers. I know they’re a pain in the ass.”
I’ve had to make them so much, it’s no problem. Besides, now you owe me.”
Sitting up, Ryan nudged her. “Yeah? What do you have in mind?”
I’m not sure. I’ll have to think about it, and I won’t forget, so don’t count on that.”
Oh, I know you won’t forget. You’re still ruminating on crap that happened when we first got married. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about you, CeCe, it’s that you’ve got a hell of a memory.”

We are interrupting the scheduled broadcast for a severe weather report. The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Grant County, including the city of Fox Lake. Residents are urged to take cover immediately, as our storm chaser has spotted a tornado on the ground about ten miles southwest of the city, moving northeast.”

Fox Lake?” Cecilia grabbed her phone, her eyes wide. “You think my parents are seeing this?”
Call them, but make it quick. Probably shouldn’t be on the phone for very long.”
Ryan sat up and padded to the front living room window. Fox Lake was about sixty miles away and to the north, so they were out of harm’s way, but Cecilia’s parents and some of her family lived there. Stepping out onto the porch, he watched the twisting and churning of clouds. There was a drastic temperature change from the mid eighties to the sixties, dipping twenty degrees in a matter of a few minutes.
Looking to the north, the tail end of the storm impacting Grant County lit up as lightning flashed from cloud to cloud, the thunderhead so massive that it looked like an atomic bomb had been dropped.
They said they were in their cellar. Did they even issue a tornado watch before?” Cecilia joined him on the porch, still clutching her cell phone.
I didn’t even pay attention. Maybe it’ll miss them.” He pointed toward the top of the thunderhead. “See what looks like an anvil at the top?”
Cecilia nodded, her eyes red. Her brow creased with worry as she looked where he was pointing.
If you watch that, it’ll tell you which way the storm is going. Right now, it’s going northeast, but by the angle, it looks like it may make a more eastern track, and if that’s the case, your parents should be okay. There’s nothing south of Fox Lake, so if it goes that way, it’ll just hit some open farmland.”
I hope you’re right, Ry.”
A flash of lightning and an instant clap of thunder rumbled nearby and Ryan pushed Cecilia back inside, slamming the door. “Holy shit, that came out of nowhere.” Grabbing his scanner, he turned it on. No one had paged him to get out and spot, but maybe someone in Grant County was out and reporting the situation. There was nothing but dead air and Ryan focused back on the TV.
We are hearing reports that Fox Lake and Grant County is without power. We are unable to make contact with our storm chaser, but we are tracking the super cell on the doppler, and it looks to miss Fox Lake to the south.”
Cecilia relaxed some, but she didn’t move from the front of the television. Ryan scanned the frequencies on the scanner, only able to pick up bits and pieces of conversations, most from departments not even related to Grant County and Fox Lake. Their electricity flickered but stayed on, and Tye stood at the foot of the stairs, clutching a stuffed teddy bear as he rubbed his eyes.
Daddy, I’m scared.” He was still half asleep, but another flash of lightning and clap of thunder shook the whole house, making him jump into Ryan’s arms.
It’s just a storm, Ty. Everything will be okay.”
It’s loud. How come it’s not raining?”
Ryan didn’t answer his son. He continued to try and find a weather report, but was unsuccessful. It was a typical storm for the area, mainly electrical with high winds and a small sprinkling of rain, but with Cecilia’s family possibly in the path, there was a sense of urgency to find out more.
The National Weather Service has now downgraded the storm in Grant County to a thunderstorm warning. It is still very dangerous, but we are happy to report that it missed Fox Lake and is now dissipating.”
Oh, thank God!” Cecilia laughed and took Ty from Ryan. “I’ll give it a few more minutes and try to call them to make sure. You were right, Ryan. I guess those storm spotting classes are paying off.”
Ryan went back on the porch. The dark clouds were fading and he could see a few stars showing through the haze. Doomsday Donald had been right – was this a small preview of what was to come? At least everyone had dodged a bullet. The smell of rain was refreshing, and it began to pour, splattering the wood at his feet. Rolling thunder and distant lightning accompanied the rainfall, demoting the severity to just a typical spring time weather pattern.
Okay. Good. I’m glad y’all were able to get down into the cellar. I’m sure there will be plenty of insurance agents in the area.” Cecilia nodded to Ryan, holding Ty in one arm as she cradled her phone against her ear. All the tension on her face was gone. “Okay, Mom. Love you too. We’ll come by tomorrow.” She ended the call and slid the phone in her pocket.
Well?” Ryan stepped forward, offering to take Ty, but the child had his face buried in Cecilia’s neck, unwilling to move.
They got some hail and a little damage, but the house is fine. Can’t say the same about Dad’s truck.”
That’s good. That was a nasty storm. They were lucky.”
I told them we’d come over tomorrow. Things might look different when the sun comes up.”
Ryan nodded. “Sure. Anything we can do to help.” Turning his attention back out into the yard, he took in the fresh rain scent and humidity on his skin. “Sure is beautiful, isn’t it?” Glancing over his shoulder, he noticed he was alone. Cecilia had taken Tye back inside. Leaning on the porch railing, he skimmed his hand through some rain that had pooled on the wood. Mrs. McElroy’s words echoed in his head – they were overdue for another big one. Tonight wasn’t the night. Maybe this year wouldn’t be the year.


Cover Revamps (Again)

Due to lackluster sales recently, I've had to think of a new way to get eyes on a few of my stories, so again, I have revamped the covers on my Firefighter books as well as The Search For Skylar. And if you notice, I have changed it from The Firefighter Heroes Trilogy to The Firefighter Heroes Series. I am currently keeping my options open on it, as I might have a 4th Mikey book in the works for those who have stuck with the first three!

Here are the new covers:





I am currently waiting for the to go live on Amazon, but here they are! Hope you are having a great weekend, and happy reading!

J.R. 

New Ideas... New Ideas EVERYWHERE!

My last blog post was about digging out of a rut, and I'm proud to say that I am doing just that. I have a couple of new ideas I'm working on (at the same time, it all depends on my muse's mood)... I am going to write a sequel to The Search for Skylar and am also developing a new character and series. It is about a man who teaches in a prison.


This cover will likely change some by the time I finish the first book, but here is the flicker of brightness in the lightbulb within my head. I'm hoping to write at least three books about Ryan and am about 3k words in right now on the first book. I don't have a cover made for the second Charlie Wright book yet (haven't thought up a title yet), but I'm about 4k words into it right now, and Skylar's disappearance in the first book will seem like the least of his problems in the sequel!

For the first time in a while, I can safely say I'm excited about my current works in progress. Today I've got my coffee, my attention assist essential oil, and I plan to spend most of the day plugging away at both of these ideas! 

Happy Sunday! Spring is near!

J.R. 

Diggin' out of a Rut!


Well, folks, I'm stuck in a rut. And it pains me to admit it. But like with most writers, it happens... Call it writer's block... call it a momentary lapse in creative juices... call it what you will, but I will say this much - IT SUCKS! I am attempting to start a new idea and I think I have rewritten it about twenty  a thousand times! I'm going to buckle down today, dab on some attention assist essential oil, and get to work.

So, what does this little rant have to do with the picture posted above? It really paints a picture on what authors go through. I've been a writer since I was biting ankles, and only within the past six years have I developed the courage to publish and share my work. So much more comes with writing than just getting a manuscript finished - re-writes (as stated above), editing (the worst part of finishing a book for me), and not to mention the marketing! It is definitely a piece of our soul, a small glimpse into our minds, and it is nerve wracking opening it up for criticism to all of the world. Some days it feels extremely rewarding, and some days I wonder why the heck I keep doing it.

I continue to do what I do for readers, even if I only have a few at the moment. I try not to harp too much on the sales numbers - but believe me, it's like looking at a bad car wreck. You know it's bad, but you STILL have to look out of curiosity. I think the numbers are partly what has attributed to the deep rut that I'm stuck in. I feel like I'm writing to an empty room sometimes.

What I need to do is get back to basics - when I first started writing, it was Fanfiction for various TV shows. I did it for the FUN of it, since no money could be made off of it. Even back then, I thrived off of feedback and reviews. I need to remember how much of a blast it was. I didn't pull in a paycheck, but I loved every second of it. What is different with my original fiction? I still need feedback in reviews, but why am I focusing so much on sales numbers? I wish I knew the answer, but it is in my control. I need to migrate away from the reports and numbers. I need to only check them a few times a week, if any....

Long story short, it's time to dig out of this deep hole and get back to doing what I love. To those faithful fans who have stuck around, thank you! To those who have recently discovered me, thank you! And to those who randomly stumble across this blog and have not yet read one of my books, thank you! You are all why I continue to write. For the FUN of it. For the escape from real life. For the stress relief of forming a character in my head and watching him evolve into a huge force in my writing world.

Today I dig out of my rut! Today I start a new idea. Today I stop harping on sales numbers and move forward!

Have a wonderful Sunday!
J.R. 

The Importance of Feedback


I've had a few people ask me how they can help me with my books. One of the easiest and best ways to give a shout out is to leave a review. Even if you didn't enjoy the book, constructive feedback is always welcomed and appreciated. Notice I say constructive... slamming an author and being hateful isn't useful for us, but constructive criticism helps us grow as a writer.

I know a lot of people who cringe when they are asked to leave a review. I'm not asking for a ten page book report! :) It can be one or two sentences pointing out what you liked, what you didn't like, etc. Quick and to the point is just as great as someone who writes several paragraphs.

It's a catch 22. On Amazon, the more reviews a book has, the more exposed it gets. At least, that's what I've heard. It's a vicious circle - if I don't have many reviews, how can I get my book out there to get those reviews? Writing a book doesn't stop at finishing the manuscript. The marketing side is probably the most challenging to me, and reviews are a big factor in exposure. It also goes hand in hand with word of mouth. If you liked a book, tell someone. If someone asks for book recommendations, tell them about the books you read and liked. If you recommend to enough people, it spreads like wildfire.

So, if you ever wonder how you can help an author, start with leaving a review! If you thoroughly enjoyed a book, the simple gesture can go a long way. And even if you didn't care for the book, leaving something constructive is helpful so the writer can take the advice and try to improve.

If we don't hear anything from readers, we aren't quite sure how we're doing. After all, you readers are the reason we do what we do! Hearing from you is appreciated!

Happy reading! Here's to another week!
J.R.

Updates and Randomness

Yet another long break from updating my blog... yet another stupid excuse (I have no excuse).

With that being said... how's it going? (Taps on computer screen) Anyone out there? How's life treating you? How you getting through winter time (Ultimately my LEAST favorite season). I'm getting by.

I guess while I'm here, I'll announce my new release:

The Search for Skylar: A Charlie Wright Thriller (Book One)

Yes... that says book one. I have every intention of writing a second book about Charlie Wright and his shenanigans and have already started the idea. But first, you must go grab a copy of this one! It's in Kindle Unlimited for those of you who chuck out the $10 a month for unlimited reading. (The Netflix of Amazon)

I guess you need the link, right?

Click here to purchase The Search for Skylar (Book One)


Charlie Wright's life is plummeting into chaos. A recent divorce renders him helpless in an attempt to hold his family together. A weekend with his children is just what he needs to prove to his ex-wife Cassie that joint custody is the best option for everyone.

Tragedy strikes one Friday afternoon after school. Charlie's daughter Skylar goes missing. Every second that passes is a second wasted, and Charlie falls into a world of desperation and panic. Skylar has vanished into thin air - the only evidence that she was at his house is her shattered cell phone found in the alley.

With nothing to go on, the police label Charlie as a person of interest in the case. They harass and question him, basing their investigation around hearsay. His reputation quickly becomes tarnished, and he learns that the only way he'll find his daughter is if he takes matters into his own hands. With the help of his best friend Mary, he searches for Skylar, keeping hope that she is still alive.

The guilt Charlie feels for not protecting Skylar is his driving force, and he will stop at nothing to find out what happened to her.


Also, I've been busy putting several of my books into audio. Right now, Through Smoke is the only one available for purchase, but the others are in production and will hopefully be ready by this summer. 

So, busy times from me, and sadly, I've neglected my blog. For those who consistently read it, you know this is habitual. For those who have suddenly meandered here, strap in for a roller coaster ride.

60 days until spring. You know you're counting with me!

Happy Reading,
J.R. 

Audio Book Announcement!

I have to be honest and say that the idea of putting my books into audio has been a bit overwhelming. I've toyed with the idea since Through Smoke was published back in 2011, but I kept putting it off, using the excuse of "no time" to avoid messing with it. Recently, I have tossed around ways to promote and expose the books to different audiences - and the audio book world has gotten popular. I know of many people who prefer them for various reasons - listening on a long jog, during their commute to work, or while they are cleaning house - audio books give a person a chance to "read" while multitasking, because let's face it, we live in a time where it is customary to do more than one thing at a time.



So, the big announcement is this -

Both Through Smoke and Beckoning Souls are in production as we speak! I submitted them to ACX, had people audition with a small part of the book I provided, and I chose who I felt fit the voice of the book the most. On Wednesday I extended offers, and they were accepted. Chris Okawa of Cricket Sound LLC is taking on Through Smoke, and Allan Conley will be doing Beckoning Souls. They both will be released by the end of the year. Chris has agreed to stay on for Backfire and Fire Escape (I really feel it should be consistent) and Allan will be doing the sequel to Beckoning Souls (Wayward Souls, which will be released in the next few weeks).

It's been a busy time for J Tate Publications! With a new release coming out soon and audiobooks in production, I am excited to get more exposure on these books. Also, if you didn't notice, Beckoning Souls got a new cover that will go along more with the cover for Wayward Souls, seen below -



And always remember, feedback is helpful in more ways than you can imagine! A review on the product page helps get more eyes on the books, even if you only have time to leave a few words.

And as always, thanks to all of you readers! You breath life into the books and make this enjoyable for me!

Happy reading!

J.R.