I'm all about lists. I haven't done one on myself in a while, and have had a lot of new stuff come out since then. So, it's time for an update.
If someone asks me which one of my books or stories I would recommend, of course, I would strongly insist they read all thirty-three published works. But if I had to pick just five, like if my life depended on it or something, then these would be my top five.
Watch the Skies
Both epic and inmate, this sprawling story spans several decades and tells the UFO story through the lives of three female characters, and the dramatic consequences of their close encounters, as their lives become changed forever.
Bottom line: If you have any interest in the UFO phenomenon, enjoy multi-generational stories, or are a fan of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "E.T.", or "The X-Files", then you will absolutely love "Watch the Skies".
The year is 1983 and something strange is going on in Cross Creek, Pennsylvania.After a devastating family tragedy, Emma moves across the country at the start of her freshman year of high school. Grief-stricken, isolated, and harassed by local bullies, she is feeling lost and lonely. One day, she takes a shortcut home from school through the woods and encounters a group of strange, otherworldly, flying orbs of light that she dubs “the fireflies”.
She feels a deep connection to them as her interaction with the fireflies continues, bringing her new hope, wonder, startling insights, and horrific dangers beyond anything she could have imagined.
Bottom Line: If "Watch the Skies" is my "Close Encounters of the third Kind", then "Fireflies is my E.T.".
Everyone has a favorite TV show. For Lieutenant Alex Bell that show was a short-lived action adventure space opera called “Among the Stars”. It was much more than just a television series to Alex. It offered her escape during her adolescence. It even inspired her to become a Navy fighter pilot. Then one day, the show became her real life.
Bottom line: Although this is a short story (technically a novelette at just under 20,000 words), it is available in a 55 page paperback, as well as on Kindle. If you like space opera TV shows such "Star Trek", "The Orville", "Battlestar Galactica", "Buck Rogers", etc, then you will love "Starfighter".
Caitlin Star: The Trilogy
Part animal. Part legend. All woman.
Caitlin Star: The Trilogy, is a collection of the first three action-packed books in the controversial Caitlin Star series, collected in one volume for the first time ever. All three books are newly edited and contain brand new, never before read scenes. Also included is a ten page sketchbook of illustrations by the author, all exclusive to this special-edition collection.
Bottom line: Extending my Spielberg film analogy from above, this would be my "Indiana Jones" series. But a more accurate film franchise comparison might be "Planet of the Apes" (the 2011-2017 reboot). Or perhaps, this would be my "Game of Thrones."
A girl from the year 2080 travels back in time to the present to save us from ourselves in the mind-blowing epic “Super 8 Images: A Time Travel Story”.
An illustrator at an ad agency creates a drawing of a woman taking a selfie for a smart phone ad campaign. Then he comes across a real-life, living version of the exact same woman in “The Selfie”, a romantic science fiction thriller.
Sixteen year-old babysitter Gina Zeneski takes the kids for a day at the amusement park and gets more than she bargained for in “Rollercoaster”, a pulse-pounding story of harrowing action.
A weekend road trip turns into a chamber of horrors for four college students in “The Rally”, a relentless tale of terror and suspense.
Carlos is the film critic for the Miami Herald. His life is all about the movies. But now, he is about to experience a cinematic plot twist that will change everything.
Read these page-turning tales of imagination and more in “Fantastic Stories”, a collection of science fiction, action-adventure, and suspense stories, in the tradition of anthology shows such as “The Twilight Zone”, “The Outer Limits”, “Amazing Stories”, and “Black Mirror”.
Bottom Line: Okay, I am kind of cheating here, because this is really eight picks in one. But that is exactly what makes this book so awesome. You get eight exciting, wildly entertaining stories in one slick, beautifully designed package.
Fueled by the ugly rhetoric of a new leader, the cold civil war in America escalates until it splits the nation into two separate countries. Champion sprinter and Olympic hopeful Jasmine Pulp is trapped on the wrong side of the dividing line. She must now utilize all of her physical skills and mental toughness to survive behind enemy lines, in hope of escaping this dystopian fascist nightmare, and reuniting with her family on the other side.
“The Pledge” is a harrowing piece of relentless action noir by James J. Caterino, the author of “Starfighter”, “Fireflies”, and “Fantastic Stories”.