The Importance of Memorial Day

Here in Boston right now we’ve got an absolutely gorgeous day warming outside. Sun’s bright. There’s a nice dry heat with no humidity out there and it feels like an early summer. Without a cloud in the sky, it’s easy to imagine you’re in the midst of paradise. All over our country right now, people are excited about leaving work early, maybe cranking the grill and enjoying the unofficial start of summer.

And I’m right there with them. I love a nice long weekend. I love the idea of sleeping in and catching up with friends and family. Fifteen years ago, I got married on Memorial Day weekend and every year I get to be with my wife is time spent in no better fashion.

But I also love Memorial Day for what it is truly about: thanking those brave warriors who have laid down their lives in service of our country.

We’re not unique in observing a holiday like this; most countries have a day set aside to honor those who have paid the ultimate price. But far too often, the importance of Memorial Day is overshadowed by car sales, shopping, and early release from work. Too few remember who this holiday is really for. Too few understand the sacrifice. Too few know what it is like to walk in the boots of those who have braved far greater strife in seconds than most will ever encounter in an entire lifetime.

And too many mock the holiday itself with idle commentary and insipid attempts at humor. Usually this comes from cowards who don’t possess even a fraction of the courage it takes to serve or the intelligence to understand what it means to face death.

Whether you support the wars being waged right now is irrelevant. Whether you voted for Obama or McCain is irrelevant. Whatever party you belong to is irrelevant. What is most important about Memorial Day is understanding that without the sacrifice of so many brave men and women in uniform, we would not have the nation we have today. Memorial Day is a time to pause – no matter how momentary – and give thanks to those souls who have known the roar of explosions, the sound of gunfire, the pounding of heart and lungs, the urge to throw up, urinate and defecate simultaneously, the sting of sweat, and the smells of blood and too many far less pleasant things, and the rush of tunnel vision, shouting, screaming, crying, praying – who have kept going, kept advancing, kept fighting because that’s what they were: soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen – dedicated to a country they loved, duty-bound to defend and fight for her ideals, and honor-bound to protect those who served beside them.

When you enjoy the weekend, no matter how you choose to celebrate, take a little time away from the fun and festivities and remember those who have fallen, those who are no longer with us, those whose families feel the pain of their absence – and say thank you. The flags that wave in the breeze or stand in silent homage at cemeteries are there to remind us of the citizens who have answered the call, endured much, and fallen in distant lands and closer backyards. Without their sacrifice, our nation would be a far different land. With their sacrifice, we all enjoy more than most. And it’s a place we call home-flawed yes, but a wonder still-even for the cowards who may never understand the true significance of such a day.

In honor of those who have gone before, in remembrance of those who have braved the crucible of combat…Happy Memorial Day.

PARALLAX: Contest Extended

After much consideration and comments (both public and private) I’ve decided to extend the Parallax contest until we sell 1,000 copies of the book. This will guarantee that someone will win a trip to the set of THE FIXER television series-so we need to sell MORE books!

Thanks to all of you who contacted me-the response was overwhelming and deeply gratifying, especially considering the rave reviews you’ve all given the book. As an author, you all mean the world to me and your feedback has been priceless. Thank you so much.

So, to reiterate the contest details: We’ve already reached the 100-copy level so someone will shortly be getting a copy of Rogue Angel:Sacrifice. And since I’ve lowered the grand prize TV set trip to the 1,000-copy level, I’ll lower the lifetime copy of Jon’s books prize to just 500 copies.

  • 100 copies: Free copy of Rogue Angel: Sacrifice written by me
  • 500 copies: Copies of every book I’ve ever written and will ever write
  • 1,000 copies: A trip to the set of THE FIXER TV series (all expenses paid from anywhere on Earth)

Okay, so get your copy of the book and then tell your friends to do the same. I want this thing to be big and get even bigger than it has been up to this point. I need your help & support to make it happen. So let’s get rockin’!

Order a copy of PARALLAX in the following formats: .pdf, .rtf, .epub, .mobi, and as zipped HTML files. You order that direct from me by clicking the button here (please specify the format you want):

You can also get it for your Kindle right out on Amazon. Click Here to Buy PARALLAX at

The PARALLAX Contest: Results Thus Far

It’s been a few weeks (uh, a month already?) since I announced the PARALLAX contest and the deadline was supposed to be the end of April. You’ll recall there were 3 levels of giveaways associated with the contest – at 100 copies sold, 1000 copies sold, and then the big prize at 2,000 copies sold.

Well, sales haven’t exactly worked out. I’ve sold a few hundred copies of PARALLAX (which for an experiment with an ebook is pretty decent) and while the feedback has been utterly amazing-including all the 5-star reviews on Amazon-sales simply haven’t reached the levels I was hoping for.

So, I have a decision to make: I can either extend the contest for another month and implore all of you to get your friends and family to buy a copy of PARALLAX or I can simply end the contest and do the giveaways for the Rogue Angel: Sacrifice book and forget the 1,000-level and 2,000-level prizes since we didn’t get enough sales. The problem is, I really really want to give away that trip to the set of THE FIXER. It will be a ton of fun and I think you’re all very awesome and someone deserves that kind of excitement in their life.

The question is-if I extend the contest deadline another month, will it be enough to get more people into buying PARALLAX or is it going to be just me pimping the book endlessly. I guess I’m asking for your help here. If enough of you can get more people excited about the book and can send more customers to me whether directly or through Amazon, then we’ll have something great happening. But if I’m the only one pushing the book, it’s probably not going to lead to an overwhelming number of sales.

As I said at the start: this is an experiment with ebooks. I’ve been curious about them for a while and I’ve met a great number of new readers as a result of this, for which I am truly thankful and humbled. But I need your excitement about PARALLAX to go viral now and infect hundreds of new readers. If each of you who has bought a copy can get 5 new readers to buy PARALLAX, then I’ll drop the 2,000-level and make the trip to the set of THE FIXER TV series at the 1,000-level instead.

So if you can take a few minutes and give it some thought, I’d appreciate it. Drop me a line on Twitter or Facebook or email or comment below what you think we should do. I say we, because it’s a decision we make together. No author is an author unless he/she has readers. So we do this together. If you think it’ll be better to simply end the contest now, give away the Rogue Angel books and be done with it, that’s fine. But I’d personally rather stay in the ring and go another round.

If you’re of the same opinion and want to know how you can help, the best thing to do is talk to friends and family about buying copies. Post reviews on or any other book reading sites you can think of. Blog about PARALLAX. Interview me for your blog (doesn’t matter that it’s not the Huffington Post, I’m always happy to answer questions and talk with you). Direct people to this blog so they can order.

1,000 copies isn’t much-I think we can do it. And I really want one of you to come visit us on the set of THE FIXER!

Let me know. Thanks!

And once again, if you’re reading this and want to get PARALLAX…you can order a copy in the following formats: .pdf, .rtf, .epub, .mobi, and as zipped HTML files. You order that direct from me by clicking the button here (please specify the format you want):

You can also get it for your Kindle right out on Amazon. Click Here to Buy PARALLAX at