Been feeling a bit under the weather last couple days, so this post is a little delayed (and I’ll be keeping it brief). So without further ado, presenting my latest novel, Eros, Inc.

erosinccover

This was originally a short story idea that expanded while writing it. It started as just a “lark,” especially since it’s very much unlike anything I’ve written before (and perhaps ever after). But as I got into it, I started fleshing out the characters and scenarios and found that I enjoyed spending time in their company enough to beef up their trials and tribulations. Although some headier themes do emerge later in the story, it’s mostly just a light, little confection of humor, fantasy and romance.

True love doesn’t happen every day, as some dread pirate once agreed, but that’s not for lack of trying! We at Eros, Inc. strive and strain every day to forge the connections that cause love to blossom the world over. Don’t look us up in the Yellow Pages, though—we only operate behind-the-scenes, unseen and unknown, agents that serve on Earth after our time on that planet has passed. We just happily give a little back for the goodwill of humanity (and a little profit-sharing, too). The fact that I, myself, have been dead for quite a few decades should explain why I just mentioned the Yellow Pages. Do I need to explain that one to the kiddies out there? You see, once there was—ah, forget it, no time for that.

Don’t expect us Eros, Inc. agents to be fluttering on little wings and slinging arrows into unsuspecting keisters, though. No, no, it’s a little more complicated than that. Sometimes it gets really complicated, in fact. Like this one pairing I was supposed to match up: Beckett Howe and Moira O’Hara. The ethereal big wigs at ol’ Eros, Inc. thought those two would make a terrific couple. I just needed to get them together, that’s all. And being the good employee that I am, that is exactly what I set out to do. But…not everything works out how one hopes or expects. I certainly never expected that these two would irrevocably change my life—er, afterlife—but they did. Oh, they sure did.

Available on Amazon:
Paperback
E-book

As stated before, I’m keeping it brief, so if this enjoyable little story seems to be to your liking, I hope you’ll take the time to check it out and enjoy it. Rest assured, though, I’m not going to be disappearing for another few months now. In fact, I’ll be back quite soon with an unexpected (and, to the best of my recollection, previously unannounced) treat; for those who are like me and much prefer hard copy reading over the digital variety, anyway. Talk to you then.

Ugh, the heat, amirite? If you don’t have yourself a pool (and I surely do not have one), it’s just…I mean, come on! What an ass. Faren-bite me.

A good way to beat the heat is to avoid it altogether, thanks to the magical and mysterious force called “air conditioning” (which I believe is derived from Latin for oh that is refreshing) And while enjoying the sweet, satisfying relief of air conditioning, what better way to pass the time than to do a little reading? So glad you agree.

Knowing this, it seems a little unfair not to reward and incentivize such recreational proclivities. Therefore, I present my big summer sale–almost every story I’ve ever published will be either available on sale or for free on Amazon (e-book versions). Most will be affected as of midnight tonight (Friday AM), while others will kick in the following midnight (Saturday AM), and all sales will last through the close of the 4th of July. Forget barbecues and fireworks–Independence Day is best celebrated curled up with a good read (heck, in one of them, the climax occurs on the 4th of July).

So head on over to my Amazon Author Page to find all the great deals and load up one cheap/gratis goodies that will surely leave you satisfied (surely not a legal guarantee–don’t sue). Not even a bottle rocket can give you this much bang for your buck!

…I, uh…I’ll show myself out now, thank you.

Happy Father’s Day to all the proud pop’s out there. This quick update has nothing to do with dads, though; it’s mostly about televised lone heroes and the audience they enrapture. Notably, the fictional broadcast program, Silver Storm, which matters a great deal to a fella named Joe, though not necessarily in the ways he expected. Yes, it’s time to announce the recently released short story, Silver Storm Is on at Eight.

silverstorm

Like the rest of the nation, Joe is obsessed with the smash-hit broadcast program, Silver Storm. Its lone hero wanders the post-apocalypse armed only with cunning, determination, and a magnablaster. Each episode goes beyond exciting, straight to riveting. But while the weekly high point of a new Silver Storm is a reliable, thrilling constant, the rest of Joe’s life begins showing signs of disarray, with a lonely, young woman drawing him into her tumultuous life and a strange man leaving bizarre questions on his door knob. Soon, a startling revelation about Joe’s existence turns his whole world upside down and even that comforting constant called Silver Storm is beginning to betray him, blurring the line between his reality and the show’s fantasy.

If that sounds like your cup of tea, I suggest you check it out (link below) and hope it’s an engaging read for you. Next up, as previously mentioned, I’m editing down the novel I had written during downtime earlier this year. More details on that later (also later, a summer sale, so stay tuned), but it’s pretty far outside of my comfort zone, being a comic-romance with elements of fantasy and tragedy; inspiration and conceptualization struck, though, and I followed its bewitching whim.

After that, well, I’m not 100% sure. I’ve been planning on collecting a good number of short stories and novellas and packaging them in a single hard copy volume (stories both previously published and never-before-published), so I may do that. I may also squeeze out a new Hopeless Harry tale, or dive into my next novel, which will be a futuristic/dystopian action thriller, but not much like the Blood-Dimmed Tide series at all. But that’s for another day, and I really gotta focus on the dull stuff (editing) before getting back to the fun stuff (creating). So, go give your old man a hug, and thanks for stopping by!

Silver Storm Is on at Eight e-book

I know I’ve delayed the release of those two other stories (the novella and the novel) that I had finished first drafts on back before the release of Counterrevolution, but writing–and especially the dreadful task of editing–has been far from my mind in recent weeks. I’ll get back to that old business (and new business) soon enough.

Instead, briefly, I’m going to pay quick tribute to the little bunny rabbit that came into my life just shy of five years ago and gave me so much joy during that time. Due to multiple medical issues causing greatly-reduced quality of life, I arrived at the hard decision of euthanasia for her, and she was put to rest this morning. Many tears were shed, mostly in devastation, but also some of fondness, as the memories of her and all the funny, sweet, adorable things she did will survive for a very long time.

Her name was Domino, and she was loved tremendously, and she gave that love right back. I’ll miss you, baby bun.

It’s actually been available for more than a week now, but I was doing some dogsitting recently, so apologies for the delayed notice. Anyway, hot on the heels of Counterrevolution comes the short story/novella, Hail, Stavros!

stavroscover

A stranger in a strange land, Martin Birdsong finds himself on the unusual island nation of Erequoix as a guest in the opulent home of its mysterious overseer, Stavros. More name than figure, more legend than man, Stavros’ island rule demands obedience to the sovereign’s mandates; stray, and the consequences are dire. Yet Martin discovers that hardly anyone on the island knows much at all about this enigmatic autocrat, even as people begin to disappear without a trace. Soon, Martin learns that getting off the island alive may not be in Stavros’ design…or even permitted at all.

So, like most of my stories, it blurs genre lines a bit, this one being something of a mystery thriller with a touch of fantasy (in that it takes place in a made-up location in a world only vaguely reflective of the real one). Puzzling paranoia, examination of the illusion of power, a surprise or two; yep, it should be good, unwholesome fun. If it piques your interest, check it out, won’t you?

Next, I’ll be continuing editing/polishing the other short story/novella I have, along with the full-length. Not sure about the timeline, but I’ll announce something when I know more. Arrivederci!

As mentioned in the last post, the editing process for my recently released novel, Counterrevolution, was something of a grueling affair—not because of the story length (each volume in the Blood-Dimmed Tide series was longer, in fact, sometimes considerably so), but because of the difficulty in arranging everything and adding and removing bits as needed. The story doesn’t always follow a linear path; chronologically, at least, though logically, it’s less messy. Strange how you need to drop the “chrono” to arrive at the clearer truth in a story focused on time. I’ve always relished irony, though.

Because of the extra time needed to sort it all out and construct the final product (as well as the sporadic desire to “clear out the creativity cobwebs”), I toyed with other things during downtime spells. Notably, the kernels of a few other stories. Each one started out as planned short stories, but as I freely admit, I gravitate toward the embellished-if-longwinded tactic over the succinctly economical style. And because my “larks” sometimes become engorged by added details, complexities, and narrative developments, they didn’t necessarily remain for long in the short story aisle.

While length definitions are shaky (and agreed upon by virtually no one), I think it’s safe to say that of the three I was tinkering with, one remained in short story territory, one developed into a novella, and one blossomed into a full (if somewhat brisk) novel. Some would define both of the shorter ones to be full novellas, though. Again—who can agree on classifications? However you want to describe it, though, I’ve finished three more stories that will be released soon enough.

(Finished, that is, except for where I still need to go over each with a fine-tooth comb to refine, revise, etc. as needed first)

I’ll provide more details as they approach/reach their releases, but for now, a quick glance:

One is about a man addicted to a popular television show that learns some startling truths about both the program and his own existence. Another is about someone who washes up on a mysterious island run by an unseen, unknown tyrant willing to eliminate anyone that displeases him. The last one is about an otherworldly corporation staffed by souls of the deceased who continue to serve in the world of the living as matchmakers to lonely hearts.

Lest you think I’m spent on ideas, rest assured, I have at least four other projects in early phases, and several more as conceptual sketches. I intend to keep busy, and I hope you’ll follow along. Rest assured, however, that I’ll make sure to shape these three up before I dive into the next subject.

…unless, screw it, twelve-part epic about centaur wizards on Neptune! Yippee!

I am not oblivious to the fact that time traveling stories have been done to death. Nevertheless, when I set out on my latest full-length story, it hadn’t yet been redone to death—now, it has come to my attention that pretty much every other television show airing right now has time travel as a major plot component. So, unless there’s still a legitimate (and apparently unquenchable) frenzy of interest instead of a market oversaturation, I’m guessing that my timing is almost as bad as a broken pocketwatch. Because my latest release deals largely with, you guessed it, time travel.

counterrevfront

Yep, it’s finally here: Counterrevolution, a story of paradoxes, predestination, timelines, and trouble (with or without a capital T, River City!). Driven as much by character discussion as character action, the novel’s fragmented narrative is scattered over several periods of time (primarily the recent past and not-too-distant future); largely focused on a lone traveler, a lone hunter, and the inventor of the machine; revealing information and surprises piece by piece until it all comes together. Except for one thing—the holes, both small and large, that I intentionally left in there to exercise the reader’s noodle. It’s the kind of story that (I hope) inspires reflection, argument, even frustration. I’d rather encourage vitriol than ennui, after all. Still, I’d prefer it to be enjoyed at least a little, so…fingers crossed!

As is the case with most of my work that’s tangential to the science fiction genre, Counterrevolution exploits the divide between the chilly elegance of the logical and schematic and the turbulent warmth of the personal and emotional. The narrative fracturing was critical to this development, as it keeps one at arm’s length as the pieces are laid out before they can start snapping together; mystery and ambivalence prevail. But there are always cracks to the affectless veneer, motivation and sentiment emerges, and it becomes clear that not everything is as it seems. Of course, this also presented a considerable challenge; while arranging the jigsaw, I, of course, knew everything that was happening, but I was never fully certain if a reader coming in cold would be able to easily follow along and figure things out—I may have sometimes been too cryptic, while other times I may have hammered it in too hard to make sure connections aren’t missed. As for how well I succeeded or failed in making things clear enough when needed and not too obvious when subtlety would have worked better, I leave that to the reader.

So basically, if you like your stories linear and wrapped up tidily at the end, this may not be for you. But if you favor more challenging and occasionally impenetrable tales of fraught conviction and the miseries of obsession and loss, perhaps it’s worth your time. Whichever it might be, thanks for the consideration!

Available here in paperback and e-book versions.

Two quick post-scripts…first, for no practical reason whatsoever, I paid tribute to the band Poster Children with this book by naming minor characters after the band members’ last names, and even giving a company the title of Daisychain Tool, an amalgam of their albums Daisychain Reaction and Tool of the Man. Why exactly? Like I said, no practical reason—probably just because I happened to have been listening to their records during a phase of the writing. That, and blackmail, of course.

Second, if this book doesn’t sound terribly appealing, the silver lining, I suppose, is that in the course of the taxing edit sessions, I managed to write a short story, a novella, and another full-length novel. So rest assured that more is on its way soon enough; update to come in a few days.

Apologies for the long delay since the last post, but, hey, you know, stuff comes up, and laziness is a vile but beautiful temptress. She even looks good in jorts, and no one looks good in jorts, so you can imagine just how tempting she is when she spends a little time in the bathroom and even accessorizes. I could suggest at this point a desire to sleep with this comely personification of laziness, but I would be quite literal in that insistence–due to that zealous laziness (oxymoron?), I would only be sleeping, and there’d be a gap between us under the sheets, since I’m the toss-and-turn type (and have been told I kick in my sleep sometimes). I seem to have really rambled off on a tangent right now that should no longer be pursued, but I’ve gotta keep hammering away on his keyboard when talking about laziness and sleep, lest I be persuaded to just call it a night and lurch away to see what’s on truTV. And I’m not so merciful to spare you this glorious gobbledigook. Nor merciful enough to proofread myself, so I hope I kept the free-writing-esque grammatical travesties to under a baker’s dozen!

So, a quick update first: my time travel/paradox novel is shaping up well right now and nearing completion. I anticipate release in early 2017. After that, I’m not sure if I’ll poke at another short story or two or move on to the next full-length. That’s to be decided when I get there and end up following my muse (which is ephemeral, flighty, and shaped like a hoagie, natch). As for the book that’s in the late stages, I’ll just say that it will be called Counterrevolution, and it will have a fractured narrative (part necessity, part stylistic choice).

Second, there’s the matter of a certain holiday season, and I’m not talking about Boxing Day (I still have no idea what that’s all about). No, my greedy little kiddies, I did not forget about you and your materialistic rapacity. This weekend (or, rather, Friday through Monday), I have put several of my stories up for a free e-book download promotion. Head on over to my Amazon author page to see which ones are available. And if you don’t see a gratis title you’re interested in, check back on Christmas Day, as there will be a one-day sale in honor of Sol Invictus for several more (and maybe a couple holdovers from the first sale).

Finally, I must share some bad news with you. This post has actually nothing to do with the methodology utilized by Arch Hall, Jr. to save Christmas. I am not even entirely sure if Arch Hall, Jr. ever actually saved Christmas at all. Maybe he wasn’t even much of a fan of Christmas, preferring the emerald gleam of Arbor Day instead. Heck, maybe he was Jewish or something, I have no idea. I just know that the kids these days can’t get enough of Arch Hall, Jr., and so I blatantly used the name in the title as a way to generate some clickbait furor. I am unapologetic about this, except for the part where I apologize in a halfhearted way, so halfhearted I can’t even bother to check spelling. I’m sory. Okay? All good now? Terrific.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and Oh God We’re Only Like a Month Away Until…Until…FUCK It Wasn’t a Dream!

All right, so what’s better than releasing a short story? How about releasing two short stories? (And a lot of other things, including world peace, a box full of puppies, finding a quarter in between the couch cushions, hot fudge sundaes, and so on.) Regardless, releasing two short stories is not the worst thing I could have done, so you’re welcome.

Presenting: Scare Me and Of Buzzscrews, for Honeydoos, We Strive for Metaaras!

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If it is not already abundantly clear by the titles and covers, Scare Me is a horror story, while …Metaaras! is of the science fiction persuasion. The former had actually been written back at the start of summer, but needed a little fine-tuning. After I got the rough sketch of the latter down, I returned to Scare Me and shaped it up satisfactorily, before then jumping back and cranking out Metaaras. Despite this back-and-forth, the two stories are very different (except in one inexact way, which would be a spoiler to explain).

So what are they basically about? Well, I’m glad I asked. Here are the brief rundowns:

Scare Me
Prudence Unger isn’t on the lowest rung of her class’ social scale; she’s not even on the ladder. Alternately picked on and snubbed, she’s viewed as nothing more than a “scab.” So when the most popular girl in school approaches her with an interest in forming a friendship, Prudence warily accepts the olive branch. She could not possibly realize the popular girl’s ulterior motive in doing so, but neither could the popular girl possibly predict the frivolous competition that Prudence has planned—a contest to see who can tell the scariest story. And Prudence wants to go last, since she thinks her terrifying tale can’t be beat…

Of Buzzscrews, for Honeydoos, We Strive for Metaaras!
All that remains of the human race lives aboard the generation ship, Akarro One, with a course set for a distant new homeworld of Metaaras. One of the ship’s stewards, a buzzscrew named Ro, dislikes his life aboard the vessel, and is bothered by many things that the other passengers seem to entirely disregard. Worse, there are no satisfactory answers to his questions, not even from the ship computer. He was born on the ship and will likely die on the ship, yet still he desperately wants to know where is this fabled planet called Metaaras and why is it humanity’s last hope to begin with?

As usual, both are available for downloads as an e-book on Amazon (Scare/Metaaras). Feel free to check them out. I’ll get to an update on future projects and another giveaway at a later date. Until then, to borrow a bit from Ernie Banks, what a great day for a strange tale, let’s read two!

My apologies for the extended absence, but work has been busy and a move to a new residence has sapped up a lot of my recent free time (and energy). Frankly, I haven’t got a whole lot of energy right now. But I promised myself a quick one before the weekend, in part to pass along the news that there’s another sale on the doorstep. Several short stories and novels will be available for free on Kindle over the weekend; head on over to my Amazon page Friday to see what’s shipping out for nothing more than a few clicks of the mouse.

And now a quick update before I slip away again into the nether. I have two short stories in their late phases, likely to be released in a few weeks. I’m also in the early stages of the time travel book, and I have a couple more ideas floating around for quickies should the inspiration strike to hammer out something different during the longer process of writing that full novel. My next post will likely be to announce the completion of the two shorts, so I’ll be back then with more.

Until that time, enjoy the giveaway and try to keep cool this summer. How did I ever play outside in the heat all day long as a child? Now, I feel like I’m gonna pass out whenever I find myself underneath five consecutive minutes of sweltering sunlight…