Tag Archives: cocktails


I have been doing a bit of a retrospective over my three years of writing by listing the top 10 things that have happened to me since I have started writing.

Topics Covered So Far:

#1 of 10 – My O.P.U.S. Blog

#2 of 10 – Bourbon Zeppelin

#3 of 10 – Meeting a Hero of Mine

#4 of 10 – My Love Affair with Hawaii

#5 of 10 – The Time My Books Were Featured on TV

#6 of 10 – The Story I Took 35 Years to Complete


Bourbon Mixology

As I look back on what has happened to me over the previous three years, there probably isn’t a bigger moment than last fall when I published Bourbon Mixology. It’s been my best-selling book to-date.

This book is actually volume 2 in the series.

Yep, my best seller is actually a sequel. The concept from Bourbon Mixology is a spinoff from my Small Brand America series where I focused on small business competing on store shelves against much larger brands. I had done a special edition focusing solely on bourbon distilleries. I noticed many of them used cocktail recipes to promote their brands. I assembled the best of their offerings to write the original Bourbon Mixology book.

The idea for the sequel in that series was to get 50 iconic bars to share their signature bourbon cocktail. It would become a combination of an awesome bourbon cocktail book and a travel guide for these incredibly cool bars.

I published it and did what I do. I just started working on more books. Soon…it started selling…and selling…and selling some more. By the time the holiday season came around hourly sales updates were one of the most exciting things I had going on.

The cool thing is, this little gem continues to find an audience. People apparently really like the idea of these great bars sharing their best bourbon cocktail.

Even with the success of this book, things haven’t changed for me. I’m still writing and hoping to continue the success and expand the audience Bourbon Mixology has found for me!

Pick up your copy of Bourbon Mixology right here!

Bourbon Mixology II Cover


Write Steve Write! is a weekly blog by author Steve Akley. Typically it is posted on (most) Sundays and features insight about his writing… though there is an occasional movie review or random thought post. It should be noted it’s posted as a live feed… no editing, no planning beforehand, it’s typed out on Sunday morning and the “publish” button is immediately hit. Apologies for any errors but you get this just as Steve thinks it!

Coming Sunday: We’ll be continuing on with my “It’s Because I Write” series next week!

In the meantime, follow check in on Steve in a variety of ways:

Steve’s Catalog on Amazon: http://goo.gl/kJpKcP

The OPUS Blog: steveakley.tumblr.com

Evan Haskill’s Blog: I am a contributor here: thebourbonguyandrye.com

Sign Up for Steve’s SAP News (writing updates) Newsletter: Email Registration

Sign up for Bourbon Zeppelin (bourbon newsletter): Email Registration

Check out the latest issue of Bourbon Zeppelin: See it here!

Twitter: @steveakley

Instagram: @steveakley

What’s App: Steve Akley

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You know, you can never quite be sure where life is going to take you. A while back, I made the bold move to write about something that I deeply love: that “something” is bourbon. For those of you who are regular readers here, you have read about my success in self-publishing on Amazon, Bourbon Mixology, and my most recent project, Bourbon Zeppelin.

I’m going to venture a guess that many of you find yourselves here reading these words in the hopes that I will share a new “must-have” offering or point you to a wonderful new way to enjoy this magical elixir.

Not today.

Because I think today it’s important for you to understand that I made a difficult choice some time ago. There are, in fact, two things I truly love, but presuming one would gain more traction than the other, I chose bourbon over my other love.

Had it been a different morning, had I been in a gentler mindset, had I the courage to take the “road less travelled,” I may have put bourbon to the side and chosen differently. Alas, I did not, but I am here today to tell you about that secret love of mine.

I am a noodler.

At first blush, you might be thinking to yourself, “Hey, who doesn’t like a big plate of spaghetti,” or maybe you prefer something a little more exotic, say udon or lo mein. And while I have always been a huge fan of carbs, I’m not talking about pasta.

Noodling is not about something as trivial and mundane as loving a certain sort of food.

Noodling is a lifestyle, a passion, a love.

For those of you not familiar, noodling is basically fishing with your hands. A noodler feels around snake-infested water with his hands and feet searching for a large hole. Then, the noodler goes underwater to ram his fist into the discovered hole. The result is usually the sensation of teeth latching onto the noodler’s hand. You see, the hole is the catfish’s home and it chomps on the intruder to get it to go away. But we noodlers don’t shy away from this attempt to scare us off. The latching on by the catfish is the signal to the noodler to start with the extraction. The noodler then has the task of dragging his catch—still latched onto his arm—out of the water and either onto shore, or into a boat. This must be done quickly, and certainly quickly enough so that the submersed noodler does not run out of breath. If the noodler can retrieve his arm from the grip of the catfish’s many teeth, then he’s having fish for dinner.

I might have chosen to write about the fifty greatest noodling adventures I’ve been on. (I have hundreds to choose from.) I might have even thought to tell about the minor amputation I suffered over a thirty-two pound Massachusetts bottom dweller. Had I gone the noodle route, I could have written volumes of recipes and shared tips for long-term storage of catfish who weigh in over twenty pounds. My largest “pull”—that’s what we call it—was a sixty-four pounder out of the Tennessee River. I’ve got two deep scars to solidify the memory, and the smell of that beast roasting over the July campfire will not soon be forgotten.

April 1

Here I am, pulling a good one!

There is a lot of information out there on noodling. Some good, some bad. I long considered becoming a force of advocacy for the ancient skill.

But instead, I went with my other love. Bourbon.

I’m not sure if it was the better choice. But I had to pick one: there simply isn’t time in one’s short lifespan to do justice to both.

Please know that every time I raise my snifter to sample a new variation on this beverage, I silently toast the catfish—both those I caught and those that didn’t try to scare me away by latching on. It is not lost on me that those who remained quiet kept themselves safe in their silence.

Not ever once did one scream out, and certainly there was never an occasion when I heard anything that sounded even remotely like: “APRIL FOOLS!”

This is not Steve Akley writing this post. This is his friend and fellow writer Jenna Brownson. Steve came up with this idea to guest blog—or maybe guest blog bomb—today. I was happy to play along.

You can find me blogging at www.jennabrownson.com, tweeting under @jennabrownson, and facebooking at jenna.brownson.author.

You get good ol’ Steve back with his next post. Ask him to share the photo of his chomped right pinky finger.

Happy April 1st.

See where Steve took over Jenna’s blog for April Fool’s Day by clicking here!


Write Steve Write! is a weekly blog by author Steve Akley. Typically it is posted on (most) Sundays and features insight about his writing… though there is an occasional movie review or random thought post. It should be noted it’s posted as a live feed… no editing, no planning beforehand, it’s typed out on Sunday morning and the “publish” button is immediately hit. Apologies for any errors but you get this just as Steve thinks it!

Coming Sunday: My fiscal year ends April 1st. What am I spending my book money on this year?

In the meantime, follow check in on Steve in a variety of ways:

Steve’s Catalog on Amazon: http://goo.gl/kJpKcP

The OPUS Blog: steveakley.tumblr.com

Evan Haskill’s Blog: I am a contributor here: thebourbonguyandrye.com

Sign Up for Steve’s Newsletters: Email Registration

Twitter: @steveakley

Instagram: @steveakley

What’s App: Steve Akley

Untappd: steveakley

Home Phone: I’m not giving you that!


I recently published one of the chapters from my book Small Brand America V: Special Bourbon Edition as a stand-alone 99 cent eBook. Not only is my Ozark Distillery  chapter republished, the new eBook also contains bonus material and photos not included in the book.

When I notified Dave Huffman, the owner of Ozark Distillery this mini book was now available, he wanted me to put together a small book on his company he could sell in his gift shop and give to some friends and family. In order to accomplish this, I would need to spend a few days at his facility (located less than 3 hours from my home base in St. Louis) watching and helping him make bourbon.

Dave wanted to know if I’d be willing to do this?

Willing to do this… are you kidding? This is like a dream come true!

I assume sampling has to be involved in this right? I am dedicated to quality control for Ozark Distillery!

Next March I’m going to spend two days at Ozark Distillery during a bourbon run. I can’t wait.

Christmas came early for me this year!


Bourbon Mixology II Cover

Speaking of Christmas, be sure to pick up a copy of Bourbon Mixology for all of the whiskey lovers on your holiday list. This book is my bestselling piece of all time and has been a hot holiday seller! It features 50 iconic bars from around the United States sharing their signature bourbon cocktail recipes.

Pick up Bourbon Mixology by clicking here!



Bourbon Mixology II Cover

My Bourbon Mixology book has been published for about 10 days now. I’m pleased to say it’s been the quickest selling book I’ve ever had out of the gate. Getting interest in your work is one of the most difficult aspects of independent publishing but this one seemingly has a built-in audience. Bourbon fans, cocktail fans, patrons of the 50 iconic bars featured… they are all seemingly interested in this book.

I hope this enthusiasm continues. It’s pretty exciting to see those sales numbers rising each day!

Be sure to pick up your copy right here: BUY BOURBON MIXOLOGY FROM AMAZON FOR ONLY $9.99.


With my three projects for 2015 finally winding down, I’ve just started to look ahead just a bit. Before we see what I’ll be up to for the balance of 2015, let’s do a quick recap of the trifecta of books I’ve spent this year working on:

Bourbon Mixology                                                                                                                        

Status: Published (Picked up a copy here: Bourbon Mixology)

It’s true, the first one is officially out there having been published earlier this week. This one truly looks special with it immediately selling right out of the gate.

Here’s a look at the cover:

Bourbon Mixology II Cover

Pa’u Hana 

Status: Final edits being done

My first novel is complete and I have five people reading proof copies. I’ve got notes from two of them, still waiting on the other three to get me their thoughts. This one should be out in October.

Here’s a look at the cover:

Pau Hana Digital Cover

Architect of Passion        

Status: Rewrites complete

A few weeks ago I spent 6 hours with Greg Schredder, the subject of this biography going over some changes he requested. I have finished those rewrites and now am awaiting some information from him to complete the rewrite. Once I get that done, I’ve got final editing to complete before getting it published. I’m guessing this will go on through October and we will get this one out in November.

Here’s a look at the cover:

Updated AOP Cover

So what’s going on for the rest of 2015?

I’ve got two things I’ll be working on, though they won’t likely be published until 2016. This first is a short story blending of fact and fiction. It’s called Brain Tsunami and its the story of my brother-in-law. This past summer he went on a bike ride and came back home with a gash on his head and no knowledge of what happened. I’m pleased to say he’s fully recovered and doing great, but he still doesn’t know what happened. I’m going to publish a short story with some different, and fun scenarios of what might have happened.

Here’s a look at that cover:

Human guidance and memory loss due to Dementia and Alzheimer's disease as a group of three dimensional roads shaped as a human head and brain tangled in a confused direction mind function concept.

Lastly, I have yet an untitled piece I am probably going to be working on. I have a rum company which has been reaching out to me for a few years now wanting to get into one of my Small Brand America books. With no plans in the works to have a sixth edition of this popular series focusing on small brands competing against much larger competitors, I think I am going to propose to them a book focusing solely on them… their history, the owners and their facility. Should be fun if they like the idea.

That’s it for now!


Just finished my upcoming book, Small Brand America: Special Bourbon Edition today. I’ve still got the editing to do, but you can’t believe how great it feels to complete that last chapter. Writing my Small Brand America books is a long process involving research, interviews, writing and tracking down busy small business owners to get photos, logos and approvals for their chapter. I can’t wait to get this one in the hands of bourbon fans everywhere!

My second upcoming book, Bourbon Mixology will be done this week. It will feature bourbon-based cocktails from the companies featured in the first book.

We’re still a little more than a month from getting these books published, but these milestones represent small celebrations during the process of writing my books!


Currently, I’m wrapped up in writing my latest Small Brand America book. This fifth edition from the series is focusing solely on craft bourbon distilleries. It’s really coming together nicely and I can’t wait for it to be printed. Also, because I can never work without challenging myself, I’ve also taken on  a companion piece. A cocktail book featuring all bourbon cocktails from the companies featured. I just came up with the idea this week, but I think it’s a pretty awesome one. I’m in the process of reaching out to all 20 companies featured in the book to see if they are interested in participating in this second book.

Look for both of these books in March or April depending on how quickly I can get them turned around.

Out in the horizon is really a pet project for me. A personal “bucket list” of writing. Creating my first novel… or perhaps novella. The actual distinction between the two is a little murky. I know that every fiction piece I’ve created thus far has either been a children’s book (pretty clearly defined) or a short story (also pretty easy to figure out based on the length of the pieces).

For sanity purposes I’m going to land on 15,000 – 30,000 words as a novella. Shorter than that is a short story. Longer is a novel.

Having never written anything beyond a short story, I don’t know where the buddy tale I’m working on is going to fall. I haven’t yet written a single word of it. I’ve been researching some of the information I need for the story (it has a backdrop of Kauai so I want actual restaurants/beaches/etc. to be in the book). I’ve even put together a detailed outline (number 11 pages currently) of the story. In my head I would say I’ve got the whole story down and I’m incredibly pleased with like 7/8 of it. That number might not seem bad, but I won’t settle for a story I’m 7/8 pleased with. I need to keep working through it in my mind until I am completely satisfied with my work or I won’t release it.

Once the bourbon books are done, my focus is going to turn to this book and I’m not planning on working on any writing other than a couple of books for my Coffeehouse Jazz series. Those are fun and shouldn’t be a distraction from what I’m trying to accomplish with my novel… or novella. I won’t actually have a clue which it ultimately is until I’m done writing, I guess.

I suppose that’s part of the fun here. Just start writing and see what happens. I’ve got the infrastructure of a story in my outline, but it will all come together when I start putting the words on the page.

I can’t wait!