My Summer, 2015

I had the best summer ever I went on a two week trip ALL with my dad! It might not seem that exciting to you, but my parents are divorced so when I found out I was going on a two week trip with my dad I basically screamed my head off! The only annoying part was my mom she packed a giant suitcase that you would have at the airport, a medium sized one, and one that was a little higher than a foot. And only like half maybe even less was filled up, I mean COME ON! Any ways the first week me and my dad went to Missouri to visit my dad’s brother. We were going to stay at his house I was soo excited. We went by car in my dad’s truck. Luckily I brought a DVD player so I wasn’t bored the whole trip. Before we arrived my dad told me they had a cat and when we arrived with the knowledge that I had I scurried off to find the cat, after we were greeted nicely at the door by my uncle’s mother-in-law. At the end my uncle’s daughter gave me a homemade scarf. It was pink, it was giant, it was thoughtful of her. In fact I thought it was so touching that it felt like I just found the fountain of youth! Well maybe not that happy, but you get the idea. Remember that was only the first week …

Elizabeth & Joe Combs in an Office of Naval Research (O.N.R.) submarine, April 2008.

Elizabeth & Joe Combs in an Office of Naval Research (O.N.R.) submarine, April 2008.


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The Cartaphilus Saga: book #2 Passionis

Here are the mockups for the cover. I am so excited I just had to share them with you. When I receive the final versions I’ll share them too.





You know when people read a book they think of the author. But a book is really a team effort. Yes, the book is my idea and I wrote the book myself, but there is so much more to publishing a book and getting it into your hands.

Genevieve and AJ work with me on every Cartaphilus book. Genevieve does the editing and AJ the cover magic. Then there are my beta readers, Cristi, Kim, Katy , Martha and a few others. I use different beta readers for each book but they are still important. They are my test readers. They are an advocate for you. We all work to give you an enjoyable read and we all have to put our best effort forward to give you the best read we can.

I am very fortunate to have the team I do, I am very fortunate and proud to work with these ladies. As we get closer to publishing the first book in “The Judas Effect” series I’ll introduce you to the team that is working on those books as well ~ another team of talented women.

I do not want to give away the story. But I will say that the second Cartaphilus book takes you through from the end of the first book to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius at Pompeii, while you learn more about Cartaphilus and see a side of him you did not see in the first book as he falls in love, marries and becomes a dad. All of that while running from the Roman authorities and starting a successful shipping company.

Have a great weekend!


PS Here are the covers for the first Cartaphilus book that AJ did.


The Cartaphilus Saga: book #1 Amissio

The Cartaphilus Saga:
book #1 Amissio



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Good News !!!

August was a very busy and productive month. The rough draft of the second Cartaphilus books was completed. When the rewrites are completed the editor from the first Cartaphilus book, Wildly Writing Editing Services, will return to work on the second book.
AJ Corza the illustrator of the first Cartaphilus book has finished another winning cover for the second.
Plus, work has already begun on the first rough draft of the third Cartaphilus book.
But that’s not all. On August 2, the first book in the upcoming spy series was posted here on our site so you would have an opportunity to tell us what you thing the series title and book title should be.
The series is, “The Judas Effect”
And the first book title is
“Son of a Baron.”
Also, for the last three months we have looked at more than a dozen editors to replace the original editor we had intended to give the “Judas Effect” series to.
We would like to welcome Rebekah Valentine as the editor of “The Judas Effect.”
A final selection for the series illustrator has not been made yet.
Thank you for your suggestions and we are looking forward to reading your reviews of these books as they are published.
Everyone have a great holiday.

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August 2015

Yes it is August, but here in West Virginia fall is in the air. My trip has been extended a week, but I am taking full advantage by spending some quality time with my dear friends Graeme & Janette Taylor.

The weather is beautiful across the country on this Saturday and I suggest you let go of your troubles and enjoy the day. Leave that work behind and let a light heart spread a smile across your face. We will all be back to work soon enough.

Breakfast with friends somewhere in the mountains. August 29, 2015

Breakfast with friends somewhere in the mountains.
August 29, 2015

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Can I Talk To You Man To Man?

Today I want to talk with someone no one ever talks with. We talk about them, we talk at them, and we never talk with them. Today I want to talk with the people who do the things society calls abuse.

Since I brought society into this and for those of you reading this that I am not talking with, let’s look at whom society says the people are that commit abusive acts. Then we will look at who actually commits those acts. Then I’ll go back to the conversation and those of you not in our conversation can continue your eavesdropping.

Turn to the government or one of the many domestic violence groups and most of them will tell you that people who commit abusive acts are men. Also, they will tell you they are men who are or have been in a relationship and that most of them have kids they are also abusive too. Many of the organizations get upset if you try to include anyone who is not in that group. They do that for many reasons not the least of which is a political agenda.

Now, who is it that actually does things that have been called abusive by our society – EVERYONE. No I do not mean that everyone is abusive. I mean that the people who do those things can be anyone. Men, women, children, rich, poor, and middle class, and they can be of any or no religion young or old – anyone can commit abusive acts.

If you are a kid, what society calls your actions is bullying, but it is domestic violence too. They will classify you as a bully and bring a world of hurt down on you. If you are a woman who is abusive to your kids, just like the bully, society is looking for you and they will not be nice about it when they find you. If you are a woman who is abusive to your man, well society is not ready for that yet. You can get by and your man will most likely be the one arrested. I know. I found that out in Columbus, Ohio, independently from three law enforcement officers all off the record. But times are changing some organizations are actually accepting the idea that women can physically abuse men. It won’t be long and they will come for you too.

I’m a man and I want to talk with men who do this. But I want you kids and women in our conversation too. This applies to you as well.

Now the rest of you can snoop while we have our conversation.

Hi, I’m Joe and I do understand you. No I do not abuse people, but my dad and one of my ex-wives did. First I just want to say I know you do not wake up in the morning and say to yourself, “I think I’m going to be mean to so and so today,” or “I think I’ll go hit so and so today.”

I know you don’t do that. You are a good person. I know that sometimes they just don’t know when to quit. I know that. I have people in my life who push me and push me, they just don’t know when to quit.

But you know what? There are probably other people who feel like you about the same person that gets you started. You know what? Those other people do not hit her. That’s the difference. I know you don’t want to. And even if you have not been arrested yet, there are people who know you hit her. You think no one knows, but you would be surprised who knows, I guarantee it. Today in our world, anyone of them can pick up the phone, call 911, and you are going to jail. They do not even have to see you hit her. All they have to do is to say they have seen bruises. When that happens all kinds of bad things are going to happen to you. It gets written up in the paper and now everyone who knows you, knows you were arrested for domestic violence. You spend time in jail and now you have to go to court and defend yourself. That means you have to hire a lawyer. Some employers will fire you if you have been arrested for domestic violence.

Also, every time you fill out a job application you have to answer “yes” to that question “have you ever been arrested?” and you have to tell them why. Most employers won’t hire you if they see you have been arrested for domestic violence. And if you are arrested, even if the charges are dropped, you now have an arrest record that will follow you for the rest of your life. You cannot get that erased.

If you have not been arrested yet there is a reason why. Because that woman that you hit, she knows you are really a good man and she does not want all those bad things to happen to you. She just wants you to stop hitting her. Also those other people who know what you are doing? They know you are a good man too. And they do not want to see all those bad things happen to you too.

I want you to think about something though. You do not have to tell me, but I just want you to think about this. Remember the first time you hit her and remember the last time you hit her. The last time was worse wasn’t it? You don’t have to answer. Just think about it.

You know what? Over time, you are going to hurt her even more. It is not your fault, but you can’t help it. One of these times you will hurt her bad enough she will have to go to the hospital. Hospitals look for this now-a-days, and they report it on their own. All those bad things I talked about before? When that hospital makes that call – every one of them will happen and even more. She can’t stop it. Those friends of yours that know you have been hitting her? They can’t stop it either.

And if you have kids living at home the court can (and often does) tell her that if she does not want the kids to go to Foster Care, her and the kids cannot live with you.

Do you see all the bad things that can happen to you? All because you are doing something you really do not want to do?

Here is something else for you to think about.

How important is she to you?

How important are your kids to you?

Do you want to lose them?

From the moment the cops are called this is where you are headed and no one can stop it. She can tell them she does not want to press charges. But many states now have laws so they can go after you WITHOUT her pressing charges.

Here is the kicker. You cannot stop the abuse. Not by yourself, it is not going to happen. I know you think you can. I know how sorry you are after it happens. I know you swear it will never happen again. But you cannot stop yourself. She knows all of this. Those other people that you think do not know – but do know? They also know all of that. All of them are waiting for just one thing. They are waiting for you to get help.

It does not mean you are crazy, it does not mean you are not a man. Actually it means you are a man who is willing to do anything you can for your family. As men we are taught to make sacrifices for our family, to do everything we can for our family. Has your dad or uncles ever told you to “man up,” mine did. They said it as a put down to shame you. But there is no shame in getting help when you need it. When something needs to be done and you are not good at it what do you do? You go to a professional – no shame.

I’m bad at plumbing. If I do it it is going to cost three times as much. So I call the plumber. This is no different.

You do not want to hit her, but you cannot stop on your own. So call a professional. No shame. Just another man doing what he has to for his family just like you always do. If you don’t eventually you will have all those bad things happen to you. I guarantee it.

Every day a woman ends up in the hospital or even worse. Not one of those men wanted to do that, but it happens. And if you have drugs or alcohol involved when you become violent you need help even more. I’m not saying you need to stop drinking (I won’t comment on drugs). Once you go for help they might not even tell you to stop drinking. But you need to stop the abuse.

You are a good guy and there are plenty of people who want to help you. They do not want to see anything bad happen to you. And if you do not know anyone to turn too, contact me, I’ll help you, and together we can find someone near you that is a professional (because I’m not). If you do not know how to contact me, leave a comment asking me to contact you and tell me how to contact you. I have people do that on other topics all the time. No one will know why you want to talk with me and I will keep it secret. You know what? It probably won’t even cost you anything. Most insurance will pay for it.

I know how bad you feel after you hit her. And if she has bruises every time you look at her you are reminded of it. It stinks doesn’t it? You have no idea how many of us there are that are willing to help you and support you, if you will just take that first step and ask for help.

Like I said if you have no one to turn to, ask me. I will help you.

Think about it ok?

UPDATE September 13, 2015: One of my friends who knows about some of the abuse I have suffered, thought I should make my position on the subject more clear.

I am not an abuser. I suffered physical and mental abuse as both a child and a spouse. I refuse to call myself a victim of domestic violence. I believe that by calling myself a victim I am enabling those who abuse others.

We need to stop the abuse of others. There are still women and children who are physically and mentally abuse every day. But there are also men who are physically and mentally abused every day. However, as I found out, our society has not yet accepted the idea that women can abuse men. Our system has placed laws in place that make it virtually impossible for men to protect themselves from their abusers. This needs to stop as well.


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