The Mother I Knew

This is Your Story! 

If you're looking to explore a world that hits way too close to reality while leaving you laughing, falling in love, and growing to hate the many amazing badass women and dumbass villains you meet along the way, this is your story and I am happy to share it with you.  

The Mother I Knew: Race to Thunder Bay and the Battle for the Commons is my latest book and I am excited to say it is out and ready for purchase on:

 Amazon - $15.00

Kindle - $5.00

 StarrWriter - $13.00

You can save us both a few bucks and email me at to get a copy. Once you email me with your mailing address, I will ship your order and we can work out payment via Zelle, Venmo or PayPal. 

Here's a free brief sample narration. I am working on this as a good audiobook option so more to come soon. 

So what's the story?

The back cover copy sums it up well.

Brock is a young man on a relentless mission north into a savage warzone to rescue his mother, a woman most would declare dead without hesitation. Countless American and Canadian forces - dubbed the Gateway - were counted as missing after the Battle at Thunder Bay, including its top commander, the enigmatic General Max Flannery. So many witnesses swore they saw her lifeless form carried by Chinese military off the battlefield, tossed into a waiting truck, and spirited away into the abyss. But Brock clung to his skepticism like a lifeline. Ignoring the accounts, he embarked on a perilous journey, spanning hundreds of treacherous miles into enemy-occupied territory, driven by an unshakable resolve to reunite with his mother and bring her home.

A shadow of desolation had fallen over vast swaths of North America, Asia, and Europe, as a megadrought had a stranglehold on many areas while China ruthlessly ascended to the throne of global supremacy, toppling the once-mighty United States. The valiant Gateway Forces had made their defiant last stand in the forlorn Canadian city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, while the rest of the world, paralyzed by indecision, hesitated to pick a side in this new world order.

The Battle of Thunder Bay saw the Chinese military vanquish their American and Canadian counterparts, further consolidating their grip on the Great Lakes region and its invaluable freshwater resources. Among these, the fabled Subperior aquifer, rumored to hold ten times the water volume of all the Great Lakes combined, now lay firmly within China's grasp. Those who managed to escape the hellish battleground of Thunder Bay found themselves scattered, disorganized, and betrayed by the very allies they had counted on. Yet, whispers of hope persisted, as word spread of a resilient faction of survivors regrouping and preparing to rise once more against their oppressors.

Brock plunged headlong into the tumultuous, dystopian nightmare that had swallowed the war-torn region, his sole purpose a singular beacon of determination: to retrieve his mother and lead her back to safety. What followed was a relentless sprint into the heart of darkness, an odyssey through a world twisted and distorted by conflict, where marauding military units, ruthless bounty hunters, cunning spies, cutthroat criminals, and unscrupulous mercenaries roamed unchecked. At every twist and turn, Brock's trust and endurance were pushed to the brink, as uncertainty, treachery, and loyalty became a revolving door of unlikely companions on a journey that transformed into something far greater — an odyssey of discovery and a newfound perspective eclipsing anything he had ever envisioned.


Build Customer Engagement Without Going Broke

Remember the last time your company nailed that perfect advertisement that was shared by millions of people? How about that time you wrote that brilliant blog that went viral all over social media, driving people worldwide to your website? Now those were awesome events that launched your business into a new realm far past your competition, and now that you are awake you realize they never happened.

It's tough to nail that perfect message, especially with a small marketing budget. Limited promotional funds is the norm for most businesses, meaning that a company’s creative team better be smart, nimble and ready to take chances. When you don’t have the resources to compete head-to-head with the big boys, you have to be willing to take risks, says Rob Lynch, brand president and chief marketing officer of Arby’s in an interview with Ad Age.

The restaurant chain’s marketing budget is far smaller than competitors McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s, but the restaurant that built its name on stacking high piles of shaved roast beef on a bun is finding new and creative ways of reaching current and potential customers without breaking the bank. From the hat Tweet episode with Pharrell Williams during the 2014 Grammy’s to the farewell commercial to John Stewart that aired during his final episode as Daily Show host, Arby’s has left no opportunity to engage its consumer base untapped. 

Customer engagement is good for business. The more you can reach the people who support your business, the more successful your business will be. Customers who feel connected to your business are more likely to refer others.

Social media has become the main trunk line for building brand awareness and consumer engagement. Reaching out to consumers through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other platforms is the primary driver for increasing customer engagement. Using these tools along with other digital and traditional marketing strategies are an important part of continued business growth. Here are a few tips for raising brand awareness and creating consumer touchpoints.

Ask a Question

People want to be heard and they want to help others. Posing a question, especially on Twitter or Facebook, can launch a conversation that will get and keep people engaged. Be thoughtful when selecting your questions. Make it interesting and helpful to your customer; something they will want to think and talk about, and be involved in.

Sponsor An Event

People love to get together and they love activities that allow for a get-together. Think about your products and how you can share them in a way that appeals to people. If you’re a winery have a wine tasting or maybe take it one step further with a wine run. If there is one thing that runners love more than running it’s relaxing with a good drink after a satisfying run. Ste. Chapelle Winery in Idaho figured this out when it started its Idaho Wine Run, with half marathon, 10K and 5K races that start and finish at its winery in Caldwell. What better way to celebrate your big day than with a nice merlot and what better way for the winery to showcase its products to consumers.

Create a Group

Forming a group, be online or in person, is a good way keep customers connected and it creates a magnet to attract new customers. Meetup is great for organizing groups that bring consumers together for all types of events. Reddit, Facebook and Twitter are perfect virtual outreach tools that allow you to interact with your customers and for them to interact with one and other. It’s kind of like hosting a party and the buzz they create is happening in your house. Grand Rapids Marathon Race Director Don Kern does an incredible job at this. Between his blog posts and social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, Kern is regularly engaging followers with interesting topics, race details and positive antidotes that always wind back to running and his big event in October.

Hold a Contest

People love challenge and reward. Sponsoring a contest with prizes, preferably ones related to your business, is a great way to get customers in the door and on your website. The prize does not need to be tangible either. Take for instance a request Trail Runner Nation posted to its Facebook page asking followers to post inspirational quotes that could go on the back of their new TRN t-shirts. The response was enthusiastic and it allowed people to engage not only in the conversation but in creation of the TRN brand. What better way to make people feel that they are part of your business.

Have a Party

Use a milestone to celebrate your business and your customers. Maybe it’s an anniversary, you opened a new store location or just served your one thousandth customer. Celebrations can come from anywhere and anything, and it's a great way to recognize the people who got you to where you are today. Celebrate your success with your customers, and make sure they know how much you appreciate their loyalty.

Generate Unique Content

Original content is appealing and valuable to customers. Speak as the subject expert and share interesting information that your customers will enjoy and find useful. Make it specific to your product. This will deliver an added level of trust knowing that you are speaking from a position of authority on the topic. Offer this content through your website and share it through social media and blogs. This will further strengthen the trust of existing customers and bring in new ones as the information is shared. Adding unique content to your website also builds search engine optimization, or SEO as it is commonly know, and keeps your site’s look and feel fresh.

Respond to Feedback

Social media reviews can be a powerful tool for reaching your customers. Always respond to writer reviews and especially the negative reviews. This is a chance to address their issue and remedy the problem, or if there is no way to fix it apologize and assure them you will do everything you can to avoid a recurrence.

Running and triathlon race director Dan Quick said in an interview with that there is not always a fix, but an apology and smile go a long way to building good will. Whether it’s a complaint about the wind being too strong, someone not finding a parking space four minutes before the race begins, or the rainy or cold conditions, he makes sure all concerns are addressed with a smile: “You have our sincerest apologies and we promise to rectify the situation immediately (smile, smile, smile).”