Friday, December 16, 2011


Hello All,

I have big news - HILL 170 is now out in PAPERBACK!

I've got my copy sitting right next to me and it's awesome. The cover looks great. The reviews on the back are incredible. You can't help flicking through it. And when you do, the next thing you know you've just read twenty pages (and I've already read it a dozen - or more - times).

And just in time for Christmas - whew! Trust me, it looks great tucked under the Christmas tree (and placed on the sofa, night stand, coffee table...). I'm sure there's someone on your list who'd like a copy of their very own. The great thing is there's no waiting in line; it's available at Amazon's bookstore CreateSpace for $9.99 (that's only $1 more than the digital Kindle version).



"An awesome, action packed book!"

"On-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense and espionage."

"WOW! This is one book I couldn't put down."

"This book comes highly recommended! I can't wait to see what Mr. Barclay has in store for his next novel. He is definitely an author to keep an eye on."

"A fantastic writer."

Friday, November 4, 2011

Amazing review! From Coffee Time Romance & More

“Few authors have the ability to draw you in and hold you captive with a debut novel, but Michael Barclay does just that. Dodge’s character is arresting, supremely intelligent, but totally human and fallible. He has that quiet strength and commanding presence of someone you just know will get the job done, even if it nearly gets him killed. This has all of the action and excitement you could ask for in a thriller, and just enough heart and emotion to keep the characters real.”

For the full, ultra-encouraging review go to:

An open letter to John Locke (author of Saving Rachel and the Donovan Creed series)


It is time for you to open your own independent authors’ agency. I will be your first client.

You are the undisputed master of applying social networking to book marketing. The first self-published author in history to have sold one million eBooks on Kindle. Your Donovan Creed thriller series has sold more than 1,200,000 downloads since January, 2011. You have what it takes to sell books in the 21st century.

I am getting outstanding reviews for my debut thriller, HILL 170. Published via the Amazon Kindle (thanks to the examples set by you, Hocking and Konrath) this spring, HILL 170 is the story of an Air Force intelligence op stationed in Korea whose remarkable string of intel discoveries have suddenly made him the #1 target of China’s master assassin. It is a race against the clock as East and West square off in a chillingly authentic story of defections, betrayals and clandestine intelligence operations.

Thanks to a friend’s virtual book tour, the novel has already found a foothold with a wide variety of readers outside of its core audience.

I want your help getting HILL 170 into a much greater number of hands. For you there is the full, standard agent’s commission with minimal overhead; for me, an octane fueled boost to kickstart my writing career.

And just think, when we sell anywhere near what you’ve accomplished with your works you’ll be able to write yet another book with a catchy title - How I Turned Lackluster Sales Into A Major Success.

It’s a challenge. And right behind me stand dozens more ready to fill the Locke Agency portfolio.

Michael Barclay

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Another great review! From Immortality and Beyond

“From the very first page, as you're thrown right into a dramatic scene you will find yourself turning the pages to see what happens next. I was literally on the edge of my seat at times.”

“…this couldn't have been a written any better.”

“…a fantastic writer that captures the reader's interest and I can't wait to see more from him.”

Jump down to the My Review section - it’s great!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

“An awesome action packed book!”

Read the full interview at:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wow! Great review from Just One More Paragraph

"This military thriller is a book you must add to your TBR list."

"...a fantastic thriller full of on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense and espionage..."

"I was so involved in the suspense that I had to remind myself to breathe."

"WOW! This is one book I couldn't put down and read straight through."

"This book comes highly recommended! I can't wait to see what Mr. Barclay has in store for his next novel. He is definitely an author to keep an eye on."

Yes, that red is from me blushing. Read the complete review at:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Check out the new

Hello all,

After struggling for a bit (no web gurus live in my humble abode) I finally got a working website up & running for Hill 170. Stop by, give it a spin and let me know what you think (and what bugs you discover). Also, be sure to get involved in the giveaway; if not for yourself ('cause I know each of you already has your own Hill 170 ebook) then for a loved one or close personal friend. A Kindle makes a cool Holiday gift.

ps - yes, I know the Send email button isn't doing anything yet (and the Reviews page is gibberish at this point); anybody have a tutorial or some code laying around that will help me link the button correctly? I'm sure it's easy, I just haven't done it before.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Book Tour!

Time really does fly when you publish a [great] novel. I've been too busy to blog because I've been gearing up for something exciting. A little something called a BOOK TOUR!

3 weeks, 15 stops. This is going to be fun:

Sept 26th
Sept 27th
Review/ Giveaway
Sept 28th
Review// giveaway
Sept 29th
Feature/ Giveaway
Sept 30th
Interview/ Giveaway

Oct 3rd
Interview/ Giveaway
Oct 4th
Review, giveaway, Guest post
Oct 5th
Review/ Giveaway/ Interview
Oct 6th
Review, Giveaway
Oct 7th
Feature/ Giveaway

Oct. 10th
review, giveaway
Oct. 11th
Feature,  Giveaway
Oct 12th
Review/ Giveaway
Oct 13rd
Guest post and contest
Oct 14th
Guest post/ giveaway

So come along and join in the excitement. And don't forget to enter the FREE KINDLE drawing!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welcome Hoppers!

Welcome! Happy Canada Day and Happy Birthday USA to everyone. I hope you’re enjoying your cyberspace blogtour today. My name is Michael and I’ll be providing the espresso in the form of my debut espionage thriller - Hill 170 - one free copy each to three visitors!

Are you tired of these same re-hashed ingredients?

Arab terrorists
Islamic radicals
and still more al-Qaeda?

Then I invite you to read my novel - HILL 170 - just released on Amazon.

China, North Korea, South Korea and the United States - the major forces in the world’s most dangerous stand off.

Sergeant Dodge Bryce and the small team of USAF intelligence ops on Hill 170 keep the region safe. But who will keep them safe when a shocking incident costs the group fully one third of their number - overnight?

Now gravely short handed, the Hill faces its ultimate worst case scenario - a PRC spy in their midst. And Bryce - his remarkable string of intel discoveries having cost the PRC too much - is now the #1 target of China’s master assassin.

It’s a race against the clock as East and West square off in a chillingly authentic story of defections, betrayals and clandestine intelligence operations that you will never forget.
(here's an excerpt to whet your appetite)

Get a free copy! Leave a comment to this post and you’re in the drawing!

Want to earn extra chances to win? Easy, here’s how:
1 entry for becoming a Follower of my blog
3 entries for adding Hill 170 to your LibraryThing wishlist
3 entries for placing Hill 170 on your Goodreads to read list
5 entries for placing a copy of this post on your blog
(be sure to mention which you’ve done in your comment!)

In return I only ask the three lucky winners leave honest reviews at the three locations linked in this post.

Thanks for your time, enjoy the rest of your hop!

Michael Barclay

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hop to it!

Okay, new to this and all, I’ve been seeing references to ‘blog hops’. Sure, I’ve been curious but I’ve also been trying to get reviews for Hill 170 (reviews like - ‘You must read this novel; no really, you must!’, ‘Best debut in this genre in ages, maybe even best debut since the invention of paper!’, ‘I want to have Dodge Bryce’s baby!’ and stuff like that) and haven’t really taken too much time to learn much about the art/science of blogging let alone blog-hopping. And, the best way to learn something is to do it. So, killing two tasks with one stroke I am going to be participating in this hop June 30 - July 4.

I'll be giving away copies (pdf or mobi) of Hill 170 to three randomly chosen lucky winners! I'll have entry rules up tomorrow (June 30).

From what I understand there may be a few hundred visitors passing through so I better tidy the place up!

Monday, June 20, 2011

HILL 170 at LibraryThing

HILL 170 can also be found at LibraryThing. Feel free to stop by and leave a comment or review.

Gosh and golly; it's all starting to seem 'official' all of a sudden ;p

HILL 170 at Goodreads

HILL 170 now has a page at Goodreads. Please drop by and leave comments. Rumor has it that more people visit Goodreads than my blog (shocker, I know)!

Goodreads probably gets more visitors in one minute than I have had from my baby-blog's first day ;p

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June already?

Well, it’s been awhile. I’ve been super busy getting the word out about the novel. I’ve also been asking influential book bloggers to read HILL 170 and post honest reviews. And I’ve been pretty happy with the response - check out this review from Best O' Books:

Dipping my toes into another genre this week, I have just finished reading a military spy novel called Hill 170.  I have to tell you, Mr. Barclay is an author who weaves an exciting tale of espionage that seems so authentic, well, because it is! This is not usual reading fare for me, but I decided to give it a go. Mr. Barclay actually worked in the past as an Intelligence Officer at Osan Air Base in South Korea. His vast knowledge of the area and the work done there is evident in the crisp dialogue and vivid description of the base: the bone-weary soldiers, the Korean bar patrons, the mud, and the early-morning cold. One feels that they are right there shoulder-to-shoulder with these men on a mission to seek out the spy in their midst, who is wreaking havoc and murdering locals.

When a large group of soldiers stationed there are killed, it is suddenly very personal for Dodge Bryce. He is the central character of the novel, the esteemed leader of the Skivvy Nine, the men of Hill 170. They have the crucial job of keeping the Northeast Asian region safe from the Communists of North Korea and China.

I cannot say much more about the plot without revealing spoilers, but the novel builds to an exciting and satisfying finish.

For fans of espionage thrillers, especially in a military setting, this will be a great read for you! There is some coarse language, sexual innuendo, and bits of graphic violence, but it all rings true given the plot and setting.

This might make a great gift for Dad (Grandfather, Uncle) this Father's day! Available as a Kindle download for e-readers, or can also be downloaded onto your computer to read.


Add that to the 5 star reviews posted on Amazon (Highly recommend, A great read) and you can count me as one very happy writer. Pitiful blogger, but still a very happy writer.

I promise to keep improving both skills.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Don’t have a Kindle? No sweat!

For those of us [yes, myself included] who do not own a Kindle, HILL 170 is still available. Go to Amazon and download the Kindle application for your computer.

Free Kindle for PC click here

 Free Kindle for Mac click here

In fact, Kindle is accessible on just about everything!

Free Kindle for Mobile Devices click here

And, if you’re still not sure if you want to part with the $2.99 [what is that? One Big Mac? Half a Starbucks?] you have the choice to sample the book. And it’s a good sample, too. I tested it and was happy with where the sample ended [I did not get to choose]. You will be hooked.

My only concern is the memo [] which, when viewed on a Kindle can be turned sideways for the two pages but on a PC, well, people will need to crane their necks for two pages. Or they might just skip the memo. I wouldn’t recommend that; the memo helps ‘set the scene’ as it were.

1st novel - on Amazon!

Well, it’s official! My 1st novel is now for sale at Amazon! Woo-hoo!

HILL 170 on Amazon click here

It almost doesn't seem real but finally, after years of writing, re-writing, researching, editing and blood sweat and tears my book is actually available for everyone to read. I’m very excited and [I say this with true humility] proud that I was able to do it. I am very grateful for the new technologies that have shifted the world of book publishing into this much sleeker form which allows someone like me - someone who does not live in New York, does not have friends or relatives in New York publishing and has not written a vampire-laden story about New York, someone who has written [what I think is] a great and gripping story with characters readers can care about and associate with - to make this story available for anyone to read, and make it incredibly affordable. In many places $3 is not enough for the bus/subway/train… people would take just to get to the library to borrow the book.

Very exciting.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


It’s uploaded!

Now I just have to wait the 24 hours and hope there are no errors in the processing and then - boom - my first novel is available for purchase and hopefully everyone will buy it, love it, recommend it and it will be a box office blockbuster next summer!

Well, a guy can dream, can’t he?


I’ve heard people are having problems leaving comments. Apparently blogger [owned by Google?] requires people to sign in to leave a comment.

Beneath the 'Post a Comment' box is the 'Comment as' drop down menu. If you have a gmail [Google Mail] account select Google Account from this drop down list and use your sign in info. The same goes for the other choices [some of which I don’t recognize; what is an AIM or an OpenID? Is there a OpenEGO? Guess I oughta google ‘em]

If you don’t have a gmail account you might want to get one - it’s free email that you can access from any internet connected system [very handy when you’re away from home] and it allows you to post comments on cool blogs - like mine ;p

Monday, April 25, 2011

The cover is done!

Here’s what I came up with. What do you think? I was leaning toward the red cover but when viewed as a thumbnail image [the size it will be shown in the Kindle store/Amazon page] the blue cover is much clearer. So, for now, the e-book version will use the blue. When print copies are available I may go with the red. I gotta say, if I saw that on the shelf [or better yet, right at the front of the store on display with the other best sellers!] I'd pick it up.

I’d love comments - after all, people really do judge books by their covers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Once more into the breach

Okay, so I’ve done a trial upload of the book - all 340 pages of it [340 MS Word pages that is]. So far so good; with one or two minor exceptions. For some reason the preview [again with the preview! - A Pox On All Previews I say!] shifts the top line of each page to the left [Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s left handed like me]. Also, the html that is generated automatically by the process feels the need to add a single dash after chapter headings, like this:

Chapter 1

Eh? What gremlin floats behind the preview window?

Neither of these issues shows up in either my original HILL 170.doc nor the html I export from Word. So sure, I’m a bit stumped. But I will move forward! As I checked the preview I found myself getting hooked by the story again - and I’ve already read it at least thirty times! So this baby has got to get out to the reading public. And soon. Summer is coming and in June I have to start piecing together my next novel.

Two more steps to go - copyright and a cool cover. A possible third step would be uncovering an effective anti-Preview-gremlin voodoo spell….

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A quick Q for Kindlers

 I have an image [a memo] that plays an important role in my novel. When I test it on Amazon’s preview it shows a bit small and fuzzy. The tech notes say that’s to be expected but I’d hate for it to be too hard to read. When I test it split across two pages [wide and short vs. the standard tall and narrow] the text is much easier to read in the preview.

So my question is - how do you Kindle readers feel about turning your device sideways [landscape] for two pages and then back to normal [portrait] for the rest of the book? Is it irksome? No big deal? Your input would be a great help.

Btw, I’m uploading my thriller to Kindle first, with Nook and other ereaders quickly to follow - so don’t worry if you’re not a Kindler, you’re not forgotten!

Monday, April 11, 2011

HILL 170 excerpt

A short bit from chapter 22. Moon is the owner of a bar just off the American military base; a bar frequented by many members of HILL 170. The 'He' is Han, Moon's Chinese controller. They both have pivotal roles to play in HILL 170. This excerpt gives a taste of their characters. Hyunli is a young bar girl who meets her end early in the novel.

Why should I be frightened? He is nothing to fear.
The thought rang hollow and false in her mind. Moon knew that ice ran in his veins and he could end her life with no more fuss than finishing a cup of tea.
She arrived at the coffee shop he had chosen for their rendezvous. She kept her distance as she scanned the small lunch time crowd.
He forces me to meet him in the open, to pass secrets in the open! And he uses those difficult terms, so abruptly that sometimes I stumble in my report...I'm sure he does it intentionally so he can punish me! He is such a bastard! I wish I could kill him!
At that thought he appeared at her side, wearing an ice cold smile, and made her heart jump into her throat. She gasped.
"Ah, what a pleasant surprise to see you here, Dear Sister. Do you have time to join me for tea?" Without waiting for a reply he directed her to his small table in the most open spot he could possibly have chosen. On the table was a teapot, two cups and a Korean language newspaper. He purposefully led her around the table so that she could see the section he was reading. The newspaper was folded to the story of a recent murder.
He pretended to accidentally notice the article as they sat down. "Oh, such shocking news. It appears there was some horrible mishap in the capital. A woman was murdered. The article mentions she had a cut so severe that the poor woman's head was nearly detached from her body." He smiled as if telling her he had won the lottery.
Moon's right hand strayed to her throat, her fingers brushing the long scar on her own neck.
"Such a terribly ghastly way to die," he continued casually. "Do you think the police will be able to find the killer?"
Moon could not respond. He was fastidious; he expected things neat and tidy, except when he was making a point to someone else. She wondered what failure brought such a brutal death to the woman. A quick look into his eyes and she saw that he knew what she was thinking.
"The article mentions her hands were tied. Her killer must have taken some time to finish that cut." He pursed his lips in thought. "I imagine she must have died very slowly. Don't you find that horrible?"
Try as she might Moon could not tear her eyes away from his cold, black stare.
"Well, enough of that." He poured two cups of tea and leaned back into his chair. “It has been only a week, yet it seems so long since we have had a chat. The last two days have been dreadfully busy. How is your family, Dear Sister?"
Moon’s dry mouth made it hard to speak. "One of my sisters has had two new babies." [note - earlier dialogue clarifies this to mean two new recruits to Moon's spy network]
"Oh is that not wonderful?"
Moon did not smile. "One of my nieces caught a flu."
He crossed his legs and sipped his tea. "I am sorry to hear that; is she very sick?"
A quick flash of Hyunli’s dead body appeared at the forefront of Moon’s mind. "Very."

Okay, here we go!

My first blog [or would blog post be more accurate?] Years down the road I, and hopefully my fans, will look back at this page and think "Wow! That's where it all started. Ah such humble beginnings. Ah, such amateur blogging!"

Hello and thanks for stopping by. As the blog name suggests I am a novelist. I am about to launch my debut novel HILL 170 - a true page-turner of an espionage thriller.

When a USAF intel operative 'liberates' China's next-gen missile engine, he sets off a string of events that threaten to take down Hill 170, American intel's eyes and ears in Northeast Asia. Sergeant Dodge Bryce is the natural born star of Hill 170 and USAF intelligence on the South Korean peninsula. His remarkable string of intel discoveries has helped America greatly, and cost the PRC dearly. Han, a masterful Chinese assassin deployed in the nearby 'ville' of Songtan, has been chomping at the bit to push the US out of Asia. Bryce's actions give Han his ultimate green light.

Once I figure out how to do it I will link to an excerpt. [done]

People have asked me what other novelists I might compare with. So far I've heard Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Dale Brown. But I've also had someone once say I look like Kevin Costner [!?!? We wouldn't even pass for distant cousins thrice removed!], so I take comments with a grain of salt. My influences and the greats that I aspire to are Michael Crichton [particularly mid-career] and James Clavell, among others. After reading some [then all] of HILL 170 hopefully some of you can share your comparisons. I see that as a great way for me to discover authors as well.

The novel is complete. It's been read, proofread, re-read, edited, re-edited...the bun is ready to come out of the oven. As far as getting HILL 170 ready for sale and in your hands I still have a few things to figure out - such as setting up and testing proper formatting for the nook and kindle [initially]; the best method[s] for getting the word out that it's available, and learning how to get it into a wide variety of ebookstores. Oh, and of course make a great cover! I am always open to helpful comments/tips on these items; interaction with readers is one of the great things about epublishing.

If the excerpt gets you hooked come back weekly for updates on my progress for uploading my novel. If you love the novel please tell your friends and link to this page.