A note on pay what you want- I want my books to find readers. I’ve decided to make them available for free so more people can read them.
While, like most Americans, I could definitely use more money than I’m making, I’m not in danger of being unhoused or hungry, so if your budget is limited, I’d prefer you grab one of my books for free and spend your art budget on the work of a creator struggling to buy necessities.
Having said that, I certainly welcome any money you want to spend. I welcome positive feedback even more. If it feels weird to email me to tell me you liked a book, rest assured I will not find it weird. You will more than likely make my day.
Also—once you’ve gotten a book, please feel free to send a copy to a friend you think would enjoy it. Again, I’m really just trying to get my work in front of readers. I did this for money in the early 2000s and I no longer want that kind of relationship with my writing.
Pay What You Want Ebooks—YA Novels
Black Diamond— Morgan and her brother Cam are not looking forward to their ski weekend with their dad and his latest too-young-for-him girlfriend. But it's even worse than they imagine. Awkward family time turns to an all-out fight for survival when a nightmarish beast escaped from a military lab arrives looking for blood and revenge.
Legacy— It's understood that Colin will go to Harvard, like his brother Jake and many generations of his family before him. But Colin has other plans: sailing, getting high, and hooking up with girls.
Until a forbidden love changes his life and sets him on a new path. Or so he thinks. Colin is about to discover that the truth about the life he's preparing for is darker and more twisted than he ever imagined.
Shelter in Place—Four high school students find themselves caught in an active shooter lockdown on a college campus early one Saturday morning. These four strangers will learn more about themselves and each other than they thought possible, and they'll need to work together just to stay alive.
Enter the Bluebird—Enter the Bluebird is the story of Julie Rouge, who's nearly 16 and can't wait to join her mother, the masked crimefighter Red Talon, patrolling the crime-ridden streets of New Edinburgh.
Unfortunately, Julie's mom has disappeared, and, while searching for her, Julie is going to discover that the city she calls home is even nastier, more corrupt, and riddled with toxic secrets than she ever knew.
Enter the Bluebird is a noir YA superhero novel about secrets and betrayal and violence and love.
Pay What You Want Ebooks: Novels for Adults!
The Mall of Cthulhu—(Writing as Seamus Cooper) A decade ago, college student Laura Harker was saved from a fate worse than death at the hands (and fangs) of a centuries-old vampire priestess. Her rescuer, an awkward, geeky folklore student named Teddy, single-handedly slew the undead occupants of the Omega Alpha sorority house, inexorably intertwining his and Laura's destinies. After navigating her way through law school, Laura is now a junior FBI agent assigned to the Bureau's Boston office. Unfortunately, she finds her job involves more paperwork than adventure.
When Ted stumbles onto a group of Cthulhu cultists planning to awaken the Old Ones through mystic incantations culled from the fabled Necronomicon, he and Laura must spring into action, traveling from Boston to the seemingly-peaceful suburbs of Providence and beyond, all the way to the sanity-shattering non-Euclidian alleyways and towers of dread R'lyeh itself, in order to prevent an innocent shopping center from turning into... The Mall of Cthulhu!
Terror at the Shore (Writing as Seamus Cooper)—Welcome to Dagon Heights, New Jersey. Home of Sun! Sand! Saltwater taffy! And nameless horrors from the deep!
The author of the acclaimed comic horror novel The Mall of Cthulhu is back with a loving homage to EC Comics-style horror and the joys of the Jersey Shore in Terror at the Shore!
In these four interlocking novellas, New Jersey teens head to the beach for fun in the sun, only to find... Terror at the Shore !
A young filmmaker finds there's great location shooting, great makeout spots, and nameless horrors from the deep “Under the Boardwalk!”
A young man with an evil plan discovers there's a very good reason he's forbidden to visit Dagon Heights in “ The Off Season!”
A phony psychic gets a glimpse of genuine horror in “ Madam Anushka's Summer Job!”
Teens who vowed never to return to Dagon Heights break their promise and find themselves becoming “The Master's Bait!”
The Long Detention—(Writing as Frank Dolan) A ripped-from-the-headlines suburban noir mystery. Tim Doyle, a burned-out, recently-divorced English teacher, finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation when one of his co-workers is murdered and a student he believes to be innocent is arrested for the crime. Investigating a case everyone else believes to be closed, Tim finds that this boring suburban town has a violent, predatory, and repugnant underbelly.
As I mentioned above, I wrote professionally for ten years. I wrote a lot of books in that time. They’re all still available as ebooks. So you can read for free if your library has them. Most of them are free to read with a subscription to Scribd or Kindle Unlimited. Otherwise, you can buy at any of the major ebook retailers. I don’t set the prices, so I’ve categorized these as “pay what they want.”
Pay What They Want Ebooks—YA Novels!
Donorboy—When both of Rosalind’s mothers die, she moves in with the donor father she never knew. Fifteen, angry, and feeling completely alone, Ros refuses to speak to her biological father, Sean, sharing her feelings only with her journal. But through a series of emails and text messages, Ros and Sean slowly get to know each other. (I won an ALA Alex Award for this one!)
Shutout—Soccer has always been a part of Lena and Amanda’s friendship. For six years, they have been an unstoppable team on and off the field: best friends and great teammates. Amanda is sure they’ll both make the varsity team in ninth grade and go on to win the state championship. But when Lena makes the cut and Amanda doesn’t, everything seems uncertain, and Amanda worries that her best friend is leaving her behind.
Forever Changes-Brianna is a math whiz. She’s almost certain to be admitted to MIT—that is, if she survives to see her nineteenth birthday. Brianna has cystic fibrosis, and after her friend Molly died six months ago, it’s hard for Brianna to let go of the feeling that she’s next. Numbers make sense to Brianna—they give her something to think about besides her own crummy odds. To her great surprise, it is in math class that she discovers the infinity that exists between eighteen and nineteen. (Thanks to editor Janine O’Malley pushing me ever harder to keep working to make this better, this is the best book I’ve ever written. Pretty much everything I believe about life and death is in here, and, years later, I can read every sentence without cringing!)
The Half-Life of Planets (Written with Emily Franklin)—Liana’s decided to boycott kissing this summer, hoping to lose her reputation and focus on planetary science. Hank has near-encyclopedic knowledge of music and Asperger’s syndrome. When they meet by chance in a hospital restroom, neither one realizes that their friendship will change everything.
If Liana’s experiment goes as planned, she’ll learn to open up, using her mouth for talking instead of kissing. But Hank’s never been kissed and thinks Liana might be the one to show him . . . if he can stop spewing music trivia long enough to let her. (Should I, a mostly neurotypical guy (unless you count the anxiety and OCD) have written a protagonist on the autism spectrum? I dunno. I’m a bit conflicted about it, TBH, but there’s some really good stuff in this book.)
Notes From the Blender—(with Trish Cook) Declan and Neilly are opposites. He spends his time playing video games and she is the queen of the school. Until today, when she's dumped by her boyfriend, betrayed by her BFF, and informed that her mom is marrying Declan's dad. (This was the first time an editor allowed me to depict a realistically horny teenage boy!) (Also: made the ALA rainbow list and was targeted for banning by fascist politicians!)
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom (With Emily Franklin)-
Lucas and Tessa's friendship is the stuff of legend in their small Midwestern town. So it's no surprise when Lucas finally realizes his feelings for Tessa are more than friendship and he asks her to prom. What no one expected, especially Lucas, was for Tessa to come out as a lesbian instead of accepting his heartfelt invitation. Humiliated and confused, Lucas also feels betrayed that his best friend kept such an important secret from him.
What's worse is Tessa's decision to wear a tastefully tailored tuxedo to escort her female crush, sparking a firestorm of controversy. Lucas must decide if he should stand on the sidelines or if he should stand by his friend to make sure that Tessa Masterson will go to prom.
(Also an ALA Rainbow list honoree, also targeted for banning by fascist politicians! When we wrote this, I wondered if we went too far in our depiction of anti-gay LGBTQ bigots. Turns out, sadly, we didn’t go nearly far enough)
Pay What They Want Ebooks: Novels for Adults!
Dear Catastrophe Waitress—Mark and Philippa find themselves the subjects of hit breakup songs in different decades and different countries, suffering years of romantic disappointments as a result. Their lives take very different paths, but when their paths cross in adulthood, they may find their biggest humiliation leading to their deepest connection.
Long Way Back—Francis has two childhood encounters that shape his life: one with God, and the other with Dee Dee Ramone. When his life falls apart in adulthood, Francis, feeling betrayed by God, turns to his other spiritual mentor, emerging as that rarest of beings, a middle-aged punk rocker. A love letter to punk rock and the spiritual power of music, Long Way Back rocks through grief and tragedy toward a new beginning for Francis and an ending sure to make even the hardest of hardcore punks cry.
Memoirs (also pay-what-they-want ebooks)
I honestly debated about whether to even include these on my new site because while I am proud of them, I’ve also grown a lot as a person since they were written. So, like, the person depicted in these books is not the person I am today, is I guess the disclaimer. (Linking to Amazon, but you can get ‘em wherever you get your ebooks)
It Takes a Worried Man—Hilarious and heartbreaking, profane and profound, It Takes a Worried Man is the true story of a young husband and father whose life is changed forever by his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis. Following Brendan Halpin’s cranky, irreverent and lustful thoughts through the diagnosis and treatment of his wife, Kirsten, It Takes a Worried Man is an unflinching and raw look at how cancer transforms a family. It’s also the funniest book about cancer you’ll ever read.
Losing My Faculties—In his first nine years as a teacher, Brendan Halpin goes from wide-eyed idealist to cynical, heartbroken idealist. Unique among teaching memoirs, Losing My Faculties is not the story of a heroic teacher who transforms the lives of his hardbitten students; rather, it’s the inspirational and often unpretty truth about people who choose to get up ridiculously early day after day and year after year to go stand in front of teenagers. It’s also a rarely-seen, all-access view of both suburban and urban education, including the ugly truth behind the mythology at a much-hyped charter school.