All posts by talon007

The Last Encore – Voodoo Rumors book 2

The Last Encore – Voodoo Rumors book 2

I’m proud to announce that the second book in the Voodoo Rumors series is now available. The Last Encore follows Thomas Dietrich and his girl Natalie as they work to solve a rash of vampiric killings outside of a popular Nashville nightclub. The clues all lead to sinister forces working in the music industry, and their connection to an old blues singer named Spence Danger.

Dietrich and Natalie find their lives on the line as they follow the trail to a dark conclusion.

 

The Last Encore follows up on the characters and landscape first established in book one of the Voodoo Rumors series, The Blood Red Ruby.  While the series follows a loose timeline, each book is written to be a stand-alone story, allowing readers to jump into the series at any point.

 

Click here to Purchase

Origin – A review

Why do I keep doing this to myself?

God help me…  I’ve always been a fan of Dan Brown’s type of stores, the puzzles, the history, and the chase to solve the mystery or gain the ultimate knowledge first. That being said, Brown’s love-hate relationship with the English language drives me crazy. And when I say hate, I’m not referring to a strong dislike.

No, no… Brown demonstrates his hatred of the English language, much in the way an Irish gang-member might demonstrate it, by tying it to a tree, shooting it in the gut and then smiling and softly chuckling as he watches it slowly bleed out.

But then again, who am I to cast judgement?

Origin is the fifth book to feature Robert Langdon, Brown’s Harvard professor of religious symbology. After facing down every conspiracy theorist’s top ten villains, the Freemasons, the Catholics, the uber wealthy to name a few, the story has him facing peril again from the Church, the Spanish Government, and possibly an A.I. created by his old pupil.

In every one of Brown’s books, Langdon goes after some lofty bit of knowledge that’s destined to change the world. This book is no exception.

Summoned to the Guggenhein Museum Bilbao to attend an event where his former student, Edmond Kirsch plans to announce a recent discovery that will alter our perception of the world, our future, and organized religion. Needless to say, Kirsch is killed and the hunt is on for his Earth-shattering discovery.

I’m not going to go into details about what follows. Instead, I’ll say this about the story as a whole. I loved every bit of it, up to the closing. The ending left me unsatisfied and I found most of the revelations, predictable. While using a magnifying glass on the writing, word choices, and Brown’s particular style will show a lot of flaws, the story is fun to read, moves at a good pace, and gives the reader a good feel of the environment Langdon is moving through.

This is a far cry from the last book in the series, Inferno, where Brown did his best to cram everything about Daunte’s Inferno into a mysterious chase across Florence. A chase which felt more like reading a tour guide to the city rather than a painfully bad mystery.

Brown’s first two books in the series, Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, had reasonably good and satisfying ending.  The Lost Symbol did not and Inferno was just a train wreck. The reader should take the ending for what it is, not a perfect wrap-up to the mystery, but something to make you think and speculate with like-minded friends.

The Blood Red Ruby – two weeks away.

The official release of The Blood Red Ruby, the first in the Voodoo Rumors series is just two weeks away.

One gem, five men, forty-eight hours of sheer terror.

Book two, The Last Encore will be released in March and then a new book in the series, every other month for the rest of 2018.

If the series is successful, then I’ll continue writing more for 2019.

The series mixes the hardboiled P.I. genre with the darkest elements of the paranormal. Set in 1950’s Nashville, Thomas Dietrich is cynical yet idealistic; amorous yet full of despair. He’s a man capable of harsh violence and unfettered compassion in a world where the darkest things walk the streets of his city at night.

Preditors & Editors Reader’s Favorites Poll for 2017

Preditors & Editors Reader’s Favorites Poll for 2017
Two of my short stories, released in 2017, were entered into the annual Read’s Favorites Poll. A couple of years ago, a pair of my works won first place. This year, I didn’t win the top spot, but both stories did place in the Top Ten, in their respective categories.
 
History NOW: Apollo 11   – Top Ten Finisher for Best Science Fiction Short Story.
A blending of science fiction, time travel, and the reality television genre.
 
Kaylana   –  Top Ten finisher for Best Horror Short Story.
A fusion of horror and Steampunk as a young woman finds herself trapped in a mansion with a vampire. Desperate for escape, she finds every path blocked and the monster seems to foresee her every move. Can she survive until dawn or will she lose everything?
 

 

Thank you to everyone who voted!!! Your support is greatly appreciated.

Voodoo Rumors update November 2017

Voodoo Rumors update

“Without magic, there is no art. Without art, there is no idealism. Without idealism, there is no integrity. Without integrity, there is nothing but production.”
― Raymond Chandler
I like to think I put some generous amount of magic into everything I write. My latest project is set for release in February 2018. It’ll be the first in a 6 book series. Well, series implies that you have to read each book in order. These are written so that you can pick up any book and enjoy the story.
I am mixing the hardboiled P.I. genre with the darkest elements of the paranormal to create the Voodoo Rumors stories.
Set in 1950’s Nashville, Thomas Dietrich is cynical yet idealistic; amorous yet full of despair. He’s a man capable of harsh violence and unfettered compassion in a world where the darkest things walk the streets of his city at night.
And with that, may I present the cover for The Blood Red Ruby.

 

Just another week in the life…

Just another week in the life…

 

There are some weeks where everything goes right. When the stars are in alignment and the best laid plans are executed with a flawless outcome.

And then there is this week…

In reality, it isn’t just this week that’s been the problem. Bad decisions, poor life choices, and a certain amount of stubbornness on my part have led to a near-constant state of frustration where my writing is concerned.

I’m not naming names. I’m not pointing the finger. Just vent about my own failing in certain areas.

And to say this week has been bad isn’t being fair. Problems arose and were dealt with. The issues that came up have pointed out problems that can now be fixed, saving me trouble in the long run as well as a ton of embarrassment in the coming weeks and months.

It started with a beta reader commenting that the first book in the Voodoo Rumors series still had a number of editorial issues. After two rounds with the editor, these should have been spotted. A second beta reader, a day later, pointed out similar issues in book two.

So the editor had to be let go. I asked her to stop working on book three, assuming that work had actually begun and began my search for someone new to fill that role. In addition, a personal message was sent to me that just added a kick to the gut that I didn’t need. For a while, despair and doubt oozed out of every pore on my body, so I apologize to those who encountered it.

Luckily, my Facebook friends, when I posted my frustrations, came through with plenty of recommendations. By week’s end, someone new was found to re-read over the first two books and a full-time editor and I made a deal for him to work on book three.

For those who are not in the publishing world, you may not be aware that for some book reviewers to consider looking at your work, they require that it is sent in to them, four months in advance of the releases date. Given that book one is set for a Mid-February release date to coincide with its dark Valentine’s Day message, I had to get copies out in Mid-October. So those reviewers will see the issues, but hopefully will understand that the final version will be clean.

One of the things that every writer encounters is self-doubt. Is it really worth all the effort to construct a story, write it out, and spend weeks or months cleaning, only to have no one care? Can a non-creative understand how hurtful it is to put yourself out there and have your work ignored?

Reviews are the life-blood for authors. And given the way places like Amazon works, they don’t even have to be good reviews. All you need are people to post comments and lots of them. As part of my marketing plan to promote the upcoming series, I’ve been asking… no begging for reviews. I’ve been willing to give away free books, eBooks and audio books just to get some numbers built up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people tell me how much they enjoyed my books or stories. But when I ask if they could write a simple review, they look cross-eyed at me.

In the final days of this dark, I got a sliver of sunlight that broke through the clouds. Some positive reviews came in that remind me why I do this. Not just two word statements, but lengthy and detailed reviews.

You can read them here:

          

 

So I’ll finish up this rant by saying that the week started off poorly but finished on a good note. Let’s hope more good notes are to come.

 

 

BTW:  The cover reveal for The Blood Red Ruby: Voodoo Rumors book 1 is coming soon.

The Killbug Eulogies review

The Killbug Eulogies is worldbuilding at its best.

 

The story is hardly a single tale. Instead, the book revolves around a troop of soldiers, stranded on a distant world and fighting off an enemy consisting of various intelligent insect species. With the troop’s chaplain dead, the men are told they will eulogize their fallen brothers. So each chapter then is the eulogy of a different man.

With the story being told about each of the fallen, we learn more about the fate of the Earth, the fate of humanity, and delve into the world of the insects. Each story has its own unique tone, sometimes funny, sometimes melancholy. That is what makes this work so incredibly special, one moment you’re laughing and the next you’re wiping a tear.

Madden took a crazy idea and a difficult and disconnected form of storytelling and knocked out a hit.  This story is a must for Sci-Fi fans.

The Blood in Snowflake Garden is out in audio.

The Blood in Snowflake Garden is out in audio.

The audio version of The Blood in Snowflake Garden is finally available. Clark Clayson did a fantastic job as the narrator. His voice provided a unique and some what darker tone for the story. I think you’ll enjoy.
As a bonus to the newsletter readers, the first 3 folks to email me at alan.lewis2765@gmail.com and mention the audio book will get a ‘freebie’ code to Aubible.com for the book.

Upcoming Stuff

Upcoming Stuff

 

Some may have noticed that I’ve released very little work over the past year or two. Aside from a few short stories, I’ve written far less than I’d have liked. But, having said that, I’ve not stopped completely.

So what can you expect from me this year? I have short stories, coming up in a pair of anthologies from Pro-Se Productions, hopefully, later this year. One will be another Black Wolfe story in Black Pulp 2. The other will be a World War 1 adventure, featuring the notoriously sexy, Mata Hari, in High Adventure History 2.

Seriously, I’m considering a short story series about Mata Hari. I had a lot of fun writing one.

More exciting is a series of six novellas, being released one a month, starting in August or September of this year. The novellas will feature a Nashville detective named Thomas Dietrich. Set in 1951, Dietrich’s cases deal with the paranormal elements that infest his city. Werewolves, vampires, ghosts and demons, all attempt to find ways to make The Music City a Hell on Earth, but the city has a savior fighting for its very soul.

Dietrich’s Nashville will be a dark noir-styled, paranormal series. If the first set do well, there will be a ‘1952’ series.

On down the road, there are more stories coming. A revamped version of one of my first stories, Kaylana is in the works for both ebook and audio.

 

An audio version of History Now is underway. An outline for the next Snowflake Garden book is just waiting on me to pull out of the archives and get started.

 

Stay tuned for more.

Book Review: Will Save the Galaxy for Food

Book Review: Will Save the Galaxy for Food

While glancing through the new additions of Audbile.com’s library, I stumbled across ‘Will Save the Galaxy for Food’ by Yahtzee Croshaw. The book blurb looked interesting enough, so I took a gamble forked over my money, and bought it. The author, as it turns out, was the narrator which in far too many cases, is never a good thing.

As it turns out, my gamble with worth it and Croshaw’s reading lifted what turned out to be a great book to an even higher level.

The book is described as a not-quite epic satirical science fiction adventure and it certainly lives up to that description.

The story is set in the distant future where humanity has established itself on hundreds of worlds throughout the galaxy. As we quickly learn, the Golden Age of space travel is quickly fading into history due to revolutions is wormhole technology, called Quantum Technology. All but gone are the days when Star Pilots ferried cargo and passengers from planet to planet, fighting off aliens and pirates alike, saving desperate worlds from disasters or invasions, and just generally being big damn heroes.

A lone Star Pilot, looking for work, finds himself thrust into the unlikely role of masquerading as the galaxy’s most famous hero, Jacques McKeown, in order to fool a mob boss who wants the legendary hero to take his son for a trip through the stars. The only problem is that the real McKeown has been writing a series of books, telling his adventures as the best Star Pilot. Only thing is, most of those stories are not his. It seems that McKeown has been stealing the real-life stories of other pilots and making money off their past. So, every Star Pilot in the galaxy have plenty of reasons to hate the man. Not a good thing when you’re impersonating him.

Needlessly to say, things do not go as planned.

I’m not going to go into the details but the story was well written and the plot turns more than a drunk mountain biker with an inner ear condition. Croshaw’s biting sarcasm is on full display throughout the story and makes for plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.

On a personal note, the idea of the Golden Age of space travel being left behind in favor of the quick and easy teleportation struck a cord as I listened to the story unfolding. This book is a very modern take on the Sci-Fi movie, book, and comic serials of the past. The Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and the other tales from the early and mid 2oth Century were full of big, damn heroes, doing dashing deeds until our more modern, serious take on space travel began to dominate story telling. Yes, the old stories were cheesy, but they were also fun and offered up ideas of worlds where we, as kids, would want to live. This book offers a satirical look at that brand of Sci-Fi storytelling and will make you want more.