Football Diplomacy ...

For those of you who've noticed, I wear a lot of football (soccer) shirts. I started my little fetish almost 20 years ago when I was sick of just getting a t-shirt or some other little souvenir from the places we travel. Instead, I buy a shirt from the local team. To me, they look better than t-shirts and they're a lot more comfortable over 3 seasons. It also helps me engage in what I call Football Diplomacy. I'll explain.

Football is played all over the world, almost a universal sport and people who love football are not afraid to give their opinion about the game or a particular club or country. This is particularly true in places where alcoholic beverages are served, which I frequent as often as I can in my travels.

Inhibitions down, total strangers will come up to me and start talking about the game, or why they don't like the club or the guy whose name is on the back. Most are knowledgeable of the nuances of the game and I've had some wonderful, hours' long conversations with people I'd never seen before or have again. Language is no barrier, and a few words along with hand and foot gestures gets the point across.

I've also met great friends by what started out as a conversation over the football shirt I was wearing. I still remember how a couple of them started.

My friend Darko who was a bartender aboard Queen Mary 2 at the time and I sat down with a Manchester United shirt on:

"I hate Man U," he said. "I hate Alex Ferguson (the manager at the time). You're an American, what do you know about football?"

Or my friend Terry from Wales when I was wearing a Wayne Rooney England shirt:

"You like Wayne Rooney; do you, boyo? What, you like rubbing his bald little head?"

You can see why they're my friends. Heh ...

In closing I'll say, like diplomacy, the wrong shirt can get you in a lot of trouble. I wore a Fiorentina (Florence, Italy) shirt through Fumicino Rome Airport and was heckled from the front door until I got to the gate by every old Italian guy in the place. I was waiting for them to reenact the crucifixion of Christ, and I was grateful they thought me a poor replacement for Jesus. And I would never, ever wear an Ajax (Amsterdam) shirt in Rotterdam. Stuff I think about before I pack. The one shirt you can get away with in almost every country is a Lionel Messi shirt from Barcelona (I have 2 for tight situations) because he's just that good. I don't see the tradition ending anytime soon.

Cover art ...

I use my own images for my football stories.

Les Champs - Elysees

Dear Friends and Followers,

You may or may not know that my wife and I support a decent number of charities and foundations; our way of giving back for the amazing lives we've been able to live. We don't publicize who we support with the feeling that if people give, they should do it from the heart and not for self-aggrandizement or to guilt others into giving. That's between a person and his/her conscience.

That said, a little sappy love story popped into my head while we were in Paris in August and I 'put it to paper' when we got home. This story doesn't fit with the rest of my stuff; it is considerably shorter than my usual epic long-windedness, so I thought I'd do something different.

Since the story involves one of my favorite football (soccer) clubs, I'm going to donate all the royalties from its sale to the U.S. Soccer Foundation. From their Mission Statement:

"The U.S. Soccer Foundation is addressing these issues through our sports-based youth development program 'Soccer for Success'. Our program uses soccer as a hook to engage children from low-income, urban communities through an evidence based curriculum that increases their nutritional knowledge and physical activity in a safe mentored environment where coaches/mentors help children develop important life skills."

I normally don't bug friends to buy my stuff - you all know I write and if you feel so inclined, you'll buy one without me bugging you - but if you feel like giving, grab a copy. I kept the price low (the Kindle version is less than $3) so it wouldn't pose too much of a barrier. I hope you'll consider it.

Thanks in advance for your support.


Kindle Edition


Cover Art ...

And, just saying, the cover art is my own too.  I tossed my PSG shirts on the bed and messed with them a few minutes before taking the pic.

Les Champs-Elysees

Love and football ... and a murder ... and Paris.  My first novella coming soon.

Taking requests ...

Since I'm winding down my series of novels that has gone on WAY too long, I'm looking to go in a different direction. I'm looking for plot and character suggestions for a new novel, maybe to be expanded into a series. I'd rather not do spy stories or sci-fi but I'll consider anything. Proper credit will be given to those whose ideas I use. Message me at my RH Wood Facebook page with your suggestions.

Holding Out For Heaven

A 22nd Century New York City police detective and a popular journalist stumble across a coverup at the highest levels of the young, fragile government and their pursuit of justice leads them places they never thought existed. Their lives and jobs on the line, they try to stay one step ahead of those who would do anything to keep them from learning the truth. They never believed the danger was much closer than either of them could imagine.

It's available now at


A runaway princess and a young doctoral student find they are the only people with the power to stop a galaxy-wide civil war. The problem was trying not to fall in love in the process.

Available now at

2013 Releases ...

The latest promo video ...

Been a while ...

I know it's been a while since I put anything out and I apologize.  My previous publisher was sold to a shady outfit and their pricing schedule was ridiculous. I couldn't see someone paying $30 or more for a paperback, I don't care how lavish it is.  It took a few years but now that Amazon has opened a publishing division, I can keep the prices down to reasonable levels (below $20) and still make my ten percent without feeling I'm ripping people off.  It's still a decent quality book, though their print format is a bit smaller (large print editions will be available too), and zipping out a Kindle edition is seamless.

Another reason for the delay is I had to get Empires right (rewrote it five times) and that took longer than expected.

That said, to make up for lost time, we're putting out three books over the course of eight weeks just to get people caught up.  There will be four more after that on a schedule of one a year starting in 2014.  By the time we get them out, I'll have figured out where the series should go from there or whether I should just put it to bed and start something else.  I never intended for it to run out for so long (maybe four or five episodes at most) but I've just had so much fun with these characters.  They're like my own little voodoo dolls, all of them a piece of me and I feel all I inflict upon them.

Thanks for following along.

Empires is out already (see below), Birthright will be out soon, and Holding Out For Heaven will follow before the end of August.  With my penchant for long-windedness, I figure those should last you until Thirty Days At Zeta comes out this time next year.


Empires is on sale now!

The beginning of the third decade of the 21st Century was a time of peace and reconciliation, the people of Earth on the verge of uniting under one government. It was a time of hope and promise, of big dreams and bright futures but, even in such an enlightened time, reactionary forces sought to undo it all in a final, desperate act of unspeakable violence. It was up to those who saw Humanity's future among the stars to stop them and push the people of Earth to realize their full potential.