Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September Book Drawing Complete!

The September book drawing has taken place and this month's winner of a free, signed copy of Sunset is...Priya!

Priya, please send me an email at with a shipping address and I will get your novel shipped ASAP.

Other news:
Neck Chop Tees is open for business. Check out the link below.

JJ Ritonya merchandise is available at the CafePress Shop here. T-shirts, mugs, caps and more.

Also, an excerpt from Sunset: Bloodstained has been released on the Members Only page at http/
Hope you enjoy it.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Dead City by Joe McKinney Review

Dead City, by Joe McKinney
Reviewed by JJ Ritonya

Dead City is a zombie novel based around events taking place in a hurricane destroyed Texas. Eddie Hudson, a cop in San Antonio finds himself faced with many hard decisions. While he has a duty to his badge, he also has a duty to himself and his family. The moral struggles are only the beginning of his problems as the zombie hordes begin to rise and attack. Making his way through the city with other survivors in tow, Eddie does his best to be true to his badge and himself.
Dead City is another in the long line of zombie novels I've read and has a solid place in the top twenty. The action kept on coming as well as difficult decisions the main character had to make. The motivation for each action and decision was obvious after learning what he had gone through and was currently going through. What kept me turning pages was the constant action, though. Never a dull moment in this one.
I would recommend this novel to anyone loving the horror and zombie genre as well as lovers of action and cop novels. Police procedures take on a whole new meaning in this one as there are no written procedures for dealing with the undead.
Joe McKinney is a homicide detective for the San Antonio Police Department who has been writing professionally since 2006. McKinney has also written other novels in the horror/zombie genre.
I don't believe he has an author web page but you can purchase his books and read his bio on his Amazon author page here. There are also forums dedicated to McKinney and his novels on Permuted Press' website here.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August Book Drawing

The August book drawing has taken place. This month's drawing is for a signed copy of Hubbert's Peak.
This month's winner is Roberto Cardin! Congrats Roberto!

Other news: JJ Ritonya merchandise is available at the CafePress Shop here. T-shirts, mugs, caps and more.

Also, an excerpt from Sunset: Bloodstained has been released on the Members Only page at
Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Merchandise Store!

T-shirts, mugs, baseball caps. All available at the merchandise store here!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Autumn Series, by David Moody Review

The Autumn Series by David Moody
Reviewed by JJ Ritonya

The first zombie novel I ever read was Autumn, by David Moody. He'd put a free PDF out somewhere on the Internet and I somehow stumbled upon it. When I was done with the Autumn, I was so enamored with it that I immediately began looking for more of his work and was thrilled when I found out he had three other novels which served as sequels to the original Autumn. Two were out already which I purchased and tore through then chomped at the bit until the final novel was released.
After reading the four novel series, I found myself longing to write again. I hadn't done it seriously in years and decided why not now? I even corresponded briefly with Moody, telling him of how he inspired me to write my first novel and asked for any advice he'd offer. He graciously replied with some tips and offered other advice which I found very valuable. To date I've read everything Moody has published and will probably review another of his novels or series at some point.
A quick summary: After a cataclysmic event, most of the population of the world dies. Was it a disease or some other-worldy event? No one knows. The people die in seconds and act as if they can't breathe. Their throats expand and burst inside their necks, churning up blood from their eyes, noses and mouths. After a few days, the dead rise again, hungry for human flesh. The survivors must deal with not only the dead, but the living as well.
Other than inspiring my writing career, I found the Autumn series to be one of the best zombie series I've ever read. Other reviews I found weren't so kind but I found it compelling, believable and had a hard time putting it down. The main character was likeable and I wanted him to pull through the ordeal. But the one thing I take from the books was the feeling of hopelessness Moody conveyed through the images and emotions of the characters. I felt as if I could taste the bitterness they felt in a world they no longer recognized or probably even wanted to live in. They had no choice but to keep on living, so they did.
I'd recommend these books to just about anyone who loves horror, zombies or the apocalypse. They drew me in and kept me there night after night.
The free PDF of Moody's original Autumn is no longer available but I've read it was downloaded by more than half a million people.
David Moody's website is here. You can learn more about him, purchase books and contact him like I did if you wish. Currently he is working on the Hater trilogy, which I've read the first of. But that review is for another time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million

Sunset and Hubbert's Peak are now available on major book store websites! Use the links below.
Barnes and Noble Sunset Hubbert's Peak
Borders Sunset Hubbert's Peak
Books-A-Million Sunset Hubbert's Peak

Thursday, August 12, 2010


On a recent business trip I had an unusual encounter with the staff at a hotel that shall remain unnamed. The morning of the incident, I woke up early to get ready for my day. I hopped into the shower and busied myself with my usual agenda. Soap up head to toe, then rinse. Shampoo hair, then rinse. Condition, then rinse. Repeat. (I actually don't repeat.) Somewhere in the middle of cleansing my filthy body I heard a knock on my room door. I wondered if I had put out the Do Not Disturb sign and was fairly confident that I had. The knock came again, this time followed by a high-pitched voice.
"Housekeeping!" the voice said.
I didn't answer, hoping that she'd see the Do Not Disturb sign or hear the shower and move on to another room. After a minute or so, I didn't hear another knock so I assumed she'd gone on. The next thing I heard was another knocking noise. This time on the bathroom door which I'd thankfully closed when I went into the shower.
"Housekeeping!" the voice said.
This time I couldn’t ignore her.
"Yes, I'm here!" I called.
No response. Again, I assumed she'd gone away, embarrassed that she'd entered the room of a showering guest. I couldn't have been more wrong. Once more, a knock on the bathroom door.
"Housekeeping!" she said.
I could now tell that the maid had some sort of Spanish accent. I wondered if maybe she didn't speak English and couldn't understand what I had said.
"Please come back later!" I shouted in the most polite and clearly enunciated voice I could muster.
At this point I realized I'd been standing perfectly still, listening for the maid for two or three minutes. Soap from my hair began running down my forehead and into my eyes, stinging them badly. I put my head under the running shower to rinse the soap from my eyes when the knock came again. This time the noise from the shower and water raining down on my scalp and face interfered with me hearing what she said.
"Que?" I know a little Spanish.
"You want me wash your back?" she said.
I stood there for a second wondering if I'd heard her correctly.
"You want to wash my back?"
"Si," she said.
Now I was beginning to worry.
"No…Thank you. Come back later!" I screamed nervously.
"You want me towel you dry?" she continued.
I started to panic. Would she ever leave? What if she stood outside the bathroom door asking me questions for the next twenty minutes? I had appointments I needed to get to. Then I had a worse thought. What if she came into the bathroom? What if she stripped naked and climbed into the shower with me? My mind raced, going through different possible scenarios. The worst of them included being forced to physically remove a naked, middle aged Spanish maid from my room. I'm happily married, you know.
"No…I'm good!" I replied, not knowing what else to say.
She must have left because I didn't hear another knock or a voice asking to wash or towel me. I stayed in the bathroom another twenty-five minutes, afraid to come out. When I did, my room was empty and nothing was out of place. I finished dressing and left my room about a half-hour later. On my way to the elevator, I passed one of those maid carts stationed outside an empty room. I glanced inside but could see no one. The sound of a vacuum was the only noise I heard as I briskly walked by.
I never told anyone that story, especially my wife. I now know to pull that safety latch over or use the security chain any time I'm getting in the shower. In the absence of those, I wedge a chair under the door handle. I don't take chances anymore.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hubbert's Peak Trailer

New Hubbert's Peak trailer released. Check it out here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sunset Video on Amazon

New video for Sunset on Amazon's Author Cental page.
Check it out here at the bottom right of the page.
The video will also be available on JJ's YouTube channel.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

July Book Give Away

The July book drawing has taken place for this month's drawing which is a signed copy of Sunset.

This month's winner is KD!

KD, please send me an email at with a shipping address and I will get your novel shipped ASAP.

Other news: Sunset: Bloodstained still progresses nicely. As it moves along, I will be posting more sneak peeks of the book.
If you aren't already, sign up to be a site member at and be automatically entered for the monthly book drawing.
Thanks again for your support!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Discounts at Smashwords

Here are a few discount deals on Sunset and Hubbert's Peak at Smashwords. Follow the links below. Offers are good until the end of July.
Save 75% on Sunset.
Save 25% on Hubbert's Peak.