Tuesday, April 29, 2014

'The Company of Seven' now available in print

That's right, The Company of Seven, the third novel in The Horrors of Bond trilogy, and the sixth Kron Darkbow novel, is now available in print for all those who prefer to hold and read actual books. Price is $19.99.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

New Kron Darkbow novel is rolling out

Finally, after more than two years, Kron Darkbow returns in the novel, The Company of Seven: Book III of The Horrors of Bond Trilogy.

As of this moment, the e-book is available at Amazon, Smashwords, and Google Play, but it should be rolling out to all major e-book distributors (and probably a few minor ones, as well as some torrent sites) within the week. For you Kindle owners, the novel is only 99 cents for the next week. For those of you who prefer to read actual books, do not fret, for the print version will be available in May, though I don't know the exact day as of yet (I'll announce it's availability on this blog).

For anyone with concerns about this being the third book in a trilogy, the first being Ghosts of the Asylum followed by Demon Chains, I have to tell you this novel was written as a stand-alone story, so you don't have to have read the earlier novels to read this one. The other novels in this trilogy also were written as stand-alone novels and do not have to be read in order. The books share characters, scenery and some themes, but they can be read and enjoyed individually.

As for the writing side of things, this was the longest novel I've written, coming in at 155,000 words. No spoilers are necessary here, but as is often the case, I tried a few new things here, so hopefully they will work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Books read in 2014: No. 15 -- The Gate House

by Nelson Demille

Started: April 3
Finished: April 15

Notes: I came about this novel by accident, and almost by tragedy. I was visiting a friend a while back when we dropped in at his parents' house. Sitting in the garbage can in the kitchen was the hardback version of this book. Which is why I call it "almost a tragedy." Never throw away a book. Never! Sell it or give it away, but don't throw it away. So I rescued the book and took it home. I have never read this author and know next to nothing about him, other than I believe he is known for thrillers, but I always enjoy experience an author for the first time. Let's see how good this guy is.

Mini review: A pretty decent novel. Not great, but entertaining enough, especially as the protagonist is pretty funny in a sarcastic fashion. I won't go into too many details so as not to spoil anything, but this one involves an attorney and his ex-wife and their children and an unfortunate past they shared with a late mafia boss, but now it's ten years later and the mob chief's son is grown and comes looking for payback. I can't say I'll go out and buy any DeMille novels any time soon, but I can say this: Of all the modern thrillers writers I've read in the last few years, this is the only one who didn't send me away feeling as if I'd been insulted as a reader, as if I'd been written down to. DeMille is a pretty good writer, though I only base this upon this one novel, yet he's no Mario Puzo or Ed McBain, both of whom are tops in my book.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Books read in 2014: No. 14 -- Crawlspace

by Evans Light

Started: April 2
Finished: April 2

Notes: This is another writer and book recommended to me by author Edward Lorn, and since I trust Lorn's opinion on such matters, I decided to check this one out.

Mini review: This is a pretty darn good horror tale. The title tells you everything you need to know to get started. Yes, it's that kind of horror story. The protagonist isn't all that likable, but he's far from the worst sort of person, and his fate ... hmm, it probably outweighs the sins he has committed ... but he's realistic enough that you feel for him in the end. I do wish this story had pushed the boundaries of horror a bit more, but then I tend toward being a sick bastard, one who doesn't enjoy gore for gore's sake but often gets a good chuckle at the level of insanity of violence in some horror tales. This one is dark, but it's not overly gruesome, so those who enjoy Laymon, King, Koontz, Lorn, and the like, should enjoy this tale. I give it a solid four out of five stars.

Books read in 2014: No. 13 -- So Long As You Both Shall Live

by Ed McBain

Started: April 1
Finished: April 2

Notes: I just finished an 87th Precinct novel and I didn't come away completely satisfied, so I thought I'd give another one a go. This is an older one, usually my favorites, from 1976. This novel centers around the wedding night of Detective Bert Kling and his bride, who goes missing.

Mini review: Now that's what I'm talking about! From beginning to end of this short novel, the action never lets up. Right in chapter one, things move along well, then continue through to the last page. And when I say "action," I don't mean there were constant fist fights and gun shootings and the like, but that the text flows so swiftly one can hardly keep up with it. This is the type of novel that makes me love McBain and the 87th Precinct all over again. It has to top my list of favorites.

Cover reveal: The Company of Seven

At right you will find the cover for my upcoming novel The Company of Seven, the latest in my Ursian Chronicles and another adventure of Kron Darkbow.

This cover might change, but for the most part I believe it is finished. I'm not crazy about some of the coloring, but I've tried all kinds of different shades and so far this is the one I like best. So, tinkering is still possible, especially as the novel is currently with an editor and it might be some while before I get it back.

For those of you who are familiar with some of my earlier Ursian novel featuring Kron Darkbow, this cover has a hint at a returning villain, one you might not expect to be returning (no, they didn't come back from the dead ... that would be cheesy ... let's just say the last time this villain was seen, they were seemingly out of the picture permanently, but without being dead ... if that makes sense).

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Books read in 2014: No. 12 -- Mischief

by Ed McBain

Started: March 18
Finished: April 1

Notes: Right now I'm pretty deep into some dense historical non-fiction, and I needed a little break. So, as I often do, I turned to Ed McBain and his 87th Precinct novels, of which I've read more than a few and thank God there are still plenty more for me to read. This time the infamous master villain the Deaf Man makes one of his handful of appearances within the series.

Mini review: This wasn't the best of 87th Precinct novels, but perhaps I was distracted since I was reading much of it while also reading another book. Another thing, this was one of the most complex of all the 87th novels I've read with 5 or 6 plot lines all running around one another with some of them finally mergingi nto 3 major plots with lots and lots of characters, even moreso than usual, which is a lot of characters. Here you've got the Deaf Man up to a heist, a madman on the streets shooting graffiti artists, an outdoor concert causing headaches for a rap group, somebody mysteriously going to public places and dropping off old people without any identification, and ... and ... actually, I could go on. There's an awful lot happening in this novel, and all at less than 300 pages, which could be why this one isn't a favorite ... because you never get to spend much time with any of the characters, and that hurts, especially when dealing with serial characters who are old friends. But still, it's not the worst novel I've ever read, and I was glad to drop in on the 87th once more.