Turn, Book One of The Humanity’s Edge Trilogy goes into Kindle Scout

Today, I am one step closer to my next Kindle Scout campaign. I say ‘next’ because I’ve already been down this path once before, back in May of last year. I wrote and submitted my novel The Hunted Assassin to the program, but it was, unfortunately, unsuccessful. It was a great experience, though, and I vowed back then that I’d try my hand again at penning something worthy of their selection. Hence, what brings me here today. I’ve submitted my next novel to the Kindle Scout program, and it’s now LIVE!

Now, a little about the book, and the process. The title of the submitted novel is: Turn, Book One of the Humanity’s Edge Trilogy. You should be seeing the cover over there to the side. It’s a beauty, right? Anyway, the idea for the story came out of an erotic fantasy dream I had several years ago. Without going into too much detail (of the dream, because I still want to keep this somewhat of a PG site), the main character lived in a small mountain town with his wife and children. Life is good for them, until an apocalyptic moment comes along, and assures that the town would be lost forever and needed to be evacuated. A handful of the town residents stayed back to make sure everyone evacuated. Little did they know when they agreed to stay, they’d be victims of the town’s destruction. Shortly after the town was evacuated, there were three or four survivors. They soon realized they would die. The man and a few other stragglers and two single women would gather at the local bar to try and drown their sorrows. The dream ended with the final four dying with the town, but not after some hanky-panky ensued.

Ok, that’s not at all how my novel ended up. The premise of the evacuation stayed put, but that’s about it. The dream was just fodder for the creativity in my mind. Here’s the blurb I’ve used for the story submission:

Clay Dobbs has a perfect life coupled with an unparalleled job: Long-time sheriff of Carterville, and loyal husband of 19 years. Everything changes though when an egomaniacal military man storms in, barking orders for evacuation. The Sheriff is tasked with maintaining peace in his utopian town, rounding up reluctant expatriates, and for killing the Crazed. Into this world, he’s thrown with no lifeline to speak of. In the end, will he make it out the same man he was before, or will he be Turned?

Now, as I wrote this first book, I started to realize that to tell the story completely, I’d need more than 200,000 words. Not at all what I wanted to tackle this year. So, I decided to introduce the trilogy approach. Turn turned into Turn, Detour, and Reversion! That’s all three in the series, and the story is a wild ride. Oh, and there’s zombies … but we don’t call them zombies. They’re called Crazed in my book because I didn’t want to overdue the zombie name too much. It might be in there once or twice, but that’s it. The rest of the time, the Crazed are out for blood, and they have a secret! But, that secret won’t be fully revealed until Books two and three are published. Sorry about that. Until then, you can see all three book covers together to sooth your desires to know how it all ends.

The good news, though, is all three of the Humanity’s Edge Trilogy will be published this year. Book one is already complete and has been submitted to Kindle Scout. Book two is written and is in the process of a few rewriting sessions. Book three is completely outlined but has not been started. By the time the Scout campaign wraps up, and it’s published, Book two will have been edited, and Book three will be in the rewriting process. My goal is to publish each succeeding book about two months after the last one. That way, nobody will have to wait too terribly long for the next part of the story.

Now, here’s where things could change: If Turn gets selected for publication, I may decide to increase the speed of the remaining two books. Only so that I can capitalize on Amazon’s push of their new shiny book. If a contract is not extended, I’ll leave the schedule as it is, and then focus on combining everything into a bundle sometime next year. And for that, here’s the bundle cover concept. Pretty snazzy, no?

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been working on. I’m hoping the campaign is good to me this time because it would be awesome to consider myself a hybrid author. That is an author that is both self-published and traditionally published. If you’d like to assist in that dream, please consider nominating Turn on Kindle Scout today! Also, be sure to tell all your friends and family to do so as well. Hell, why not just tell everyone, regardless if you know them or not, that Turn NEEDS to find a home with Amazon! Id’ thank you forever and a day.

Turn, The Title of my W.I.P.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted to my blog, but I’ve been busy! I’ve been busy creating a brand new world which will consist of its very own Trilogy!

Late last year, I got the idea for the story, and I haven’t come up for a breath since. The project is called The Humanity’s Edge Trilogy, and book one is so very close to being complete.

Turn has been through several rewrites already, as well as its first pass through editing. I am mid-way through its fourth rewrite, and as soon as that’s complete, it’ll be on its way back for content editing.

Book two of the trilogy (titled Detour) is mostly written and will follow the same process as Turn did in quick succession. Book three (titled Reversion) is outlined but is still a true work in progress.

Now, for some exciting news about the project: I’m going to be submitting it to Kindle Scout, just as I did with The Hunted Assassin last year. With any luck, the fine folks at Amazon will get behind the project, and it will see so many more eyes than I could provide for it on my own.

And until all that happens, here’s a snippet from the first book. Please enjoy Chapter One (unedited) of Turn, Book One of The Humanities Edge Trilogy.

Chapter 1

Darcy scrambled up the hayloft ladder, an entire kaleidoscope of butterflies fluttering deep inside her. She could feel the scratchy straw beneath her fingers as she gripped each rung, but she didn’t mind. She was breathless, her knees quick to bend and snap back. Far below, she felt Caleb’s eyes watching her ass, gauging the darkness beneath her skirt where her legs met. The moment she reached the top, she whirled around, her dark hair skimming over her eyes. She blinked toward him.

“Are you coming up, or are you too scared?” she taunted, tilting an exposed shoulder toward him.

Caleb laughed, his broad, quarterback shoulders shaking slightly. A bit of 18-year-old five o clock shadow dusted his cheeks and upper lip. His eyes gleamed with lust for her.

“You sure you want to do this?” he asked her, raising a thick eyebrow high.

“Just come on, before my dad hears us,” Darcy sighed. She beckoned, allowing him to see an inch of cleavage before ripping herself back toward the hay bales in the loft, listening as he climbed.

The pair had left the football game only thirty minutes before, speeding out across the dirt roads and toward her father’s farm, ditching their friends and their typical pizza joint. This night was different. It sizzled with something special.

When Caleb finally appeared in the hayloft, his face glinted in the moonlight, a slight gash beneath his right eye; a memento from the game. Darcy reached toward him, touching it delicately with her thumb. “Caleb, I didn’t think they hit you so hard,” she whispered, breathless. The moment she touched him, the tension between them broke, and he turned toward her, catching her lips with his.

The moment they began kissing, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, feeling the force of his upper arms and back muscles. She allowed herself to forget about her father, only twenty yards away, reading in the farmhouse. She was a young woman, brimming with endless sexuality. In a moment, she felt Caleb’s fingers attack her cardigan’s buttons, ripping the top ones apart.

She broke the kiss, looking at him with misty, doe eyes. “Oh, Caleb,” she whispered.

“What?” he asked her. His lips were red from the passion of their kisses.

“It’s just—it’s different this time. It feels like—like maybe—” she shook her head, the single word tickling along her tongue. “It feels like maybe I’m in love with you.”

Caleb didn’t move. He still held her tightly, looking at her with sure eyes. “I love you, too,” he said. His voice was deep, gruff. Almost like a hero’s in an old movie.

As Darcy leaned in closer to him, to catch him in a kiss once more, she noted that his eyes suddenly looked out behind her, toward the field and the pine-covered hills beyond. His jaw dropped, and his arms swept around Darcy, almost in a tackle.

“Holy shit, Darcy. Look!” He pointed toward the open bay door in the loft, inhaling sharply.

Darcy frowned slightly before turning toward Caleb’s extended arm. There, in the distance, was the most remarkable shooting star she’d ever seen. She slipped from Caleb’s embrace, feeling her breasts strain against her unbuttoned cardigan. She felt Caleb appear beside her as they crept toward the open window, watching as the shooting star seemed to burn light upon the dark, pine-covered hills. The field turned bright orange.

“It looks like it’s getting closer. But that’s impossible,” Darcy whispered, shaking her head. “It must be a million miles away.”

But Caleb took a step back, grasping Darcy’s hand. “Darcy. No. It’s coming right for us,” he said, his voice cracking.

Darcy stared into his eyes, the moment filled with tension and fear. She shot a fleeting glance back toward the shooting star, seeing that, sure enough, it was bearing toward them. It was now only about thirty feet above the trees that skirted around the field. It seemed like a bull’s eye. Like it knew they were there, waiting.

“WE HAVE TO RUN!” Caleb shouted, shooting his arm around Darcy’s small waist. “Come ON!”

But Darcy’s mind was too far away. She suddenly felt outside of herself, floating in the stars above. She thought she could even feel the heat from the streaming orb, shining against her cheeks. “It’s beautiful,” she whispered, her pupils drowning out her pale blue eyes. “And besides,” she said, as the star whizzed closer, “if we run away now, my dad will see us. He’ll know we were about to—”

“IT DOESN’T MATTER. NOT IF WE DIE.” Caleb thrust her toward the ladder they’d only just climbed, launching her over the edge and toward the mammoth haystack below. As Darcy fell, her hair swept back. She was flying, feeling the rush of the shooting star in her ears in the moments before she landed.

Immediately after Caleb threw Darcy from the loft, he turned briefly, curiosity running through him. Just as he spun, the meteorite made its final plunge toward the barn and crashed directly into the hayloft. It struck Caleb’s chest—dead center—blasting him through the air and to the ground, nearly fifteen feet below.

He died instantly.

Far below the wreckage in the hayloft, Darcy lay still. Smoke filtered from the barn. The sky was dark, without stars. And the meteorite steamed in the dirt.

 

 

Cyber Monday …

cyber-monday

… doesn’t just mean Sales. It also means FREE!


Nearly ALL of my ebooks are set to FREE for today only. All you have to do is click over to my Amazon Author page (the link is HERE) and poke around. Most everything should show FREE, and if it doesn’t, click the book to see the price. If it shows regular price, I’m sorry, but it’s not included. There should only be four or five books that are not part of the deal, but there are FOURTEEN others that are! So, why not have a look-see?

And, please, spread the word! I’d love for all your friends go grab some FREE books today. Thank you all for your continued support!

November FREE Short Story

tilted-fullToday is the last Friday of the month. What makes this Friday so special is that the last (for the year) of the FREE short stories has just gone out to my Readers Group! This blog post will be the companion for that short story in case anyone would like to leave a review of the story.

This month’s story is titled: Tilted, and is a self-narration from the protagonist/hero, as he copes with too much shit on a stick, as he would say. Here’s the blurb:

A self-proclaimed geek—with a penchant for cheerleaders—struggles through a particularly unpleasant day, filled with one misfortune after another. After narrowly avoiding expulsion, Chester skips school and takes refuge at a local arcade. As he tries to mentally bolster his collapsing disposition, the pixelated spaceships take more than just his last game life. Filled with despair, he returns to the scene of the early morning incident in an effort to right his wrongs.

antho2That story will finish off the inclusions into my latest publication: An Anthology of Short Stories: Winter 2016, which just went on pre-order over at Amazon. The anthology includes the last six short stories that I’d been sending out to my newsletter, as well as the first Borrowed Souls book, titled: The Soul Collector. Trying not to toot my own horn, here, but these short stories have been some of my best writing. I am beyond excited to hear what everyone thinks about them. And if you’ve been reading those stories from month to month, you’ll soon be able to post your thoughts and reviews on Amazon shortly. Just as soon as the print book goes live, you’ll be able to do so. Or, you can wait until the ebook goes live on December 27th. Either way, I hope you will share your thoughts with everyone else.

Lastly, there will be another blog post coming up on Monday. It’ll be a HUGE ‘cyber’ post, if you catch my drift.

October FREE Short Story

msk-1It’s the last Friday of the month, and that means a new short story just went out to my newsletter subscribers. This blog post will be a companion to the newsletter.

This month’s story is called My Sister’s Keeper. It’s a paranormal story about two siblings that have a much stronger connection than just their familial ties. Here’s the blurb:

When Stuart discovers that his physical touch has far more implications than just the sensation of feeling, he goes to immeasurable lengths to save his fraternal twin sister, Alice, from a tragic fate that is out of her control.

As per usual with my stories lately, it has a tragic ending … but a new beginning at the very same time. The story finished up around 3,000 words. It is a standalone story at this time, but I’ve already been asked to carry it on further with one of the characters. Perhaps, in the future, that might happen. But for now, it’ll be a great addition to the year-end anthology I have planned. Now, if you’re a subscriber and have read it, feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

November’s short story is underway and is going to be a bit longer. It’s about a troubled teen that experiences a strange day after hearing some disturbing news. With his future in question, he copes with one bad decision after another. If you want to be in the know, be sure to get subscribed before the last Friday of October and you’ll get to read it when it’s complete.

September FREE Short Story

It’s the end of September and that means a new short story just went out to my newsletter subscribers. This blog post will be a companion to the newsletter.

This month’s story is called Words That Were Left Behind. It is a glimpse into the lives of Mick and Yvonne in the near future. Here is the blurb:

Mick and Yvonne’s difficulty with communicating to each other spell for troubled waters on their relationship front. Frustration leads to anger—anger leads to abandonment in this mild science fiction tragedy.

The story has an unforeseen conclusion that leaves you wondering if there are words that you should say now before it’s too late. The story came in around 2,300 words, and as with everything else that I write, could easily be developed into something more. But, it is a standalone story at this time. Now, if you’re a subscriber and have read it, feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

October’s short story is well underway and it has yet to be titled. It is a paranormal story about two siblings that have a much stronger connection than just their familial ties. As soon as more of the story develops, I will write the blurb and start working on a cover. If you want to be in the know, be sure to get subscribed before the last Friday of October and you’ll get to read it when it’s complete.

Now, I’d like to get some input, if you don’t mind. I have a brand-new trilogy that I’m currently in the very early stages of developing. It’s going to be a dystopian kind of story and will revolve around two or three main characters. Actually, the story begins in the current timeframe. Things are going to be normal for the characters and then possibly around a third of the way through the first book, some catastrophic event will occur. I’m still working out all the details yet and I don’t want to share too much. But, I’ve been thinking about going back to Kickstarter and opening up the development to some readers. I’ve run two other Kickstarter campaigns and they both funded successfully. Since then, I’ve been asked many times if I was going to continue using Kickstarter for the remaining parts of Linear Shift. Because of the delay between parts two and three, I didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do. I had already developed so much of that storyline, that by that point it didn’t seem like a worthwhile ordeal for either one of us.

But, for this new trilogy project, I am so early on in the planning stages that I think people might enjoy participating in its creation. My thought is this: offer up multiple levels of contribution, and in return, I will give you naming and creative license to help sculpt and mold several characters of the book. As planning has it right now, I’m looking at ten to fifteen characters that would be up for grabs, along with some fictionalized city locations. There will be a handful of other items that might be available too. This is all still in its infancy, so nothing has been determined. If this is something that you would be interested in, please let me know in the comments below.

Right now, my target publication date for book 1 of that trilogy is the first quarter of next year. This new novel will not at all interfere with my writing of Shifted Realities, the first sequel to Linear Shift. I am far enough along with that novel that it’s still going to publish in the first quarter of next year as well.

I just remember the fun the supporters of the previous campaigns had when they helped create a number of the characters. Like I said, I’ve been asked about doing this again, and here’s your chance. Let me know your thoughts below and will see if I can make things work out.

That’s about it for this month. I want to thank you all for your continued support, I truly appreciate it.

My Three Year Publishing Anniversary

Today is a special day. Three years ago, today, I published my first book. It was Linear Shift, Part 1, and although it was a short start to the overall novel, it was motivation enough for me to keep going.

Now, today, I have a total of 18 independently published books and am included in 5 anthologies. One of which is an amazon #1 Best Seller. And if I have me way, the next three years will be even more impressive!

So, without further ado, please celebrate with me. For today, September 20th, and tomorrow, September 21st, nearly ALL of my books will be free or specially priced. The two or three that are regular priced are out of my control to change and I apologize. Grab them now if you haven’t already. Let all your friends know, because FREE is a pretty good price to discover a potential new author for them. Just click on the images below and you’ll be swept off to the Amazon page to take advantage of the special.

And why does the special run onto tomorrow as well, you ask? Well, Tomorrow is my birthday, and why not extend the celebration over to tomorrow as well? Right?!? I only turn a year older … well, once a year, I guess. But still. Celebrate!

FREE Books!

BS1-ebookBS2-ebookbs3-fullbs4-fullbs5-fullbs6-fullbs7-fullantho-ebookrs-ebooklinearshift_new_part1linearshift_new_part2linearshift_new_part3linearshift_new_part4

Books on Special!

BS-O-FullThe Hunted Assassin

Books that I couldn’t put on sale. Sorry about that.

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My Writing Pipeline

coming-soon-coverHello, September! Ok, it’s ten days into my birth month (Happy Birthday, to me!), but things have been a bit busy as of late.

After taking my daughter up to college at the end of August, my attention had shifted to Fantasy Football. I take my fantasy team (Meat Popsicles, thankyouverymuch) very seriously. Our draft was on Monday of this week, and I’d spent a fair bit of time preparing for it. It was a blast, and my top secret software (not really a secret) projects me the winner! Ok, ok. It predicts me the winner every year, and last year it would have been right if I hadn’t made a few bonehead roster moves throughout the season. But, I digress…

So, now that I’m relatively distraction free, it’s time to regain my focus on writing. The last quantifiable project I worked on was Perplexia, A Crystal Medallion Story. It was my August’s newsletter story, which was read by hundreds of my subscribers for free. Since then, I’ve been bouncing around on various writing projects: namely, September’s untitled Newsletter story, A Wool (Hugh Howey) short story that will be included in an upcoming Chronicles anthology, and Shifted Realities (a Linear Shift sequel).

After I had finished The Hunted Assassin back in May, I had planned on diving right into Shifted Realities, but life has a funny way of side tracking life. My wife Cheryl had a stroke in mid-May which derailed my time devotion for the next novel. So, instead, I shifted gears and decided to slow down that process and work on some short-term focus projects instead. Hence, the reintroduction of the monthly short story! It’s all good, though. Really, it is. Cheryl’s doing much better now.

If you’ve been following my writing for any amount of time, you’d know that the Newsletter short stories were going on back in 2014, and then were combined into an anthology in July of that year. I had plans to continue that process in 2015, and then again in 2016, but my focus drifted to novel writing instead. It’s kind of tough doing both, and working a day job at the same time. So, the Newsletter short stories got shelved. Only after writing two more (still unpublished) in early 2015. They were titled Departure and Hunter/Hunted. My goal was to write six shorts and combine them with the first part of Borrowed Souls for my next anthology.

So, with all that said, a new Anthology is in the works! I’ll combine those two 2015 shorts, along with four from this year and publish in December. Perplexia was in August, and the remaining three (September, October, and November) have yet to be titled, but all have been started. The Anthology is planned for a December 27th publication, but you can read the stories as they come out each month. Naturally, you’d need to be subscribed to my newsletter to do so. So, what are you waiting for? Click HERE and subscribe today!

That brings up my next project. The Wool Chronicles! I was invited to write a new short story for this anthology a few months back, and after a fair bit of back and forth with Amazon, it’s actually going to happen! My story is in the early planning stages, and should have a first draft ready to go in about a month.

Finally, there’s Shifted Realities. I’ve completed the outline and am working (slowly) through chapter summaries. There’s a bit of a twist to this novel – there’s a story within the story – that’s proving to be a bit of a challenge. It’s going to be awesome, but it’s like I have to write two separate stories, and then intertwine them into a single, cohesive novel. If I’m successful, it will be an awesome tale. Fingers crossed!

Perplexia

Perplexia-1No, it’s not a pill you take. It’s August’s FREE Short Story! Well, it’s FREE to those that are Subscribed to my Newsletter. Are you?

Perplexia was something that I started writing many years ago but never finished. I remedied that through July and August, and now, it’s ready for some readers eyes. Here is the cover and short synopsis:

Lost and disoriented, a man with questionable origins finds himself trapped in a most unusual place, and in an even more peculiar way. His identity is a mystery, and besides the need to discover his very existence, there’s nothing that he wants more than to break free from his unforced confinement. His only obstacle: fear of the unknown … and his lack of clothing.

If you all remember, back in 2014, I was writing and sharing new short stories with every monthly Newsletter. In continued that on until early 2015 when I decided to put them on hold so that I could finish up Linear Shift. I ended up leaving it on hold from March of 2015 until now. In that time, I was able to write and publish the conclusion to Linear Shift, as well as The Borrowed Souls and The Hunted Assassin.

Now, as I am about to gear up for a four-month writing adventure on Shifted Realities (the first of two sequels to Linear Shift), I’ve decided to resurrect the short stories for the months of August, September, October, and November. Then, I’ll combine those four stories, along with the two that I wrote in 2015 that have not been published yet, and publish a brand new Anthology of Short Stories for the Winter of 2016. It’s going to be glorious!

Three of the six short stories are already written, and two of the other three are started but not finished. The final story to be included is still a mystery to me. Maybe I’ll write a mystery!

Anyway, be sure to stay subscribed to the Newsletter through the end of the year, or Get Subscribed if you haven’t already. It’s free and painless, and you get a free ebook when you signup. I promise not to spam you. Pinky-swear, promise.

Lastly, feel free to share your reviews here if you’ve read it. Seeing as this won’t be available on Amazon until late December, it would be good to let new readers what to expect.

 

Thanks for all you do, readers! You make all the magic possible.

My Writing Future

The Hunted AssassinNow that I’m two weeks past the launch of The Hunted Assassin, it’s time to start thinking about the future. What are my long and short term goal? What is the next writing project? I’m a big planner and very goal oriented, and I like to at least make an attempt at some realistic projections. As an example, I’ve set a goal to write every day this year (again-I’ve done it the last two years), regardless if I’m writing on a story or just laying down garbage words. Another goal is to write more than 700,000 words this year. Last year, I hit a little over 600,000 words, which blew my goal out of the water. I’d love to surpass the goal again this year.

But, for the time being, I need to get rolling on my next writing project. Back when I was finishing up with The Hunted Assassin, I’d slated the sequel to Silo Saga: Recoil to come up next. And until just the other day, I had been working in that direction. Then something happened. I realized that there are far too many of my own stories and worlds to explore – so many in fact – that I don’t think I’ll ever get to them all. So, why should I continue to spend time writing in another authors created environment? If I spend the next three to four months coming up with a sequel to Recoil, it’ll be just that much longer before I can get back to my other priorities. Besides, Hugh Howey is doing just fine without my added revenue to his bottom line.

recoil-final-kw2So, any Silo Saga: Recoil sequel is indefinitely on hold. This will free me up to work on my own stuff. As I wrote The Hunted Assassin, my mind constantly jumped ahead to what kinds of series sequels could fly in that new world. In fact, I’ve already outlined the next two Jaxon Rasner books. They are going to be a blast to write. But, Jaxon will not be back in action until next year. January, specifically. Between now and then, I am going to work on the sequel to Linear Shift!

Linear Shift is special to me. It was my first published novel and is what kickstarted this crazy new career path, albeit the second career that it is. Since finishing Part 4 back in February of 2015, I’ve tinkered with multiple paths for its sequel. Writing in a time travel world, where an alternate history is now established, the sky is the limit. I have a ton of wild ideas on where to take the series. But first, I need to address some immediate issues that I’ve left dangle at the end of Linear Shift. This first sequel novel will mainly focus on Peter and how he’s coping with the changes in his new world. Inevitably, Peter will have to climb back into Epson’s travel box again. From what I’ve brainstormed just this morning, Peter will be thrust into yet another action packed adventure. Obviously, the kernel is all that exists at this point, and I plan on working through a detailed outline over the next two to three weeks. Actual writing will begin no later than August 1st.

LinearShiftCompelte-ebookBeyond the next Linear Shift novel, I’ll most likely roll back to the next Jaxon Rasner novel beginning in January. After that, I’m thinking about a sequel to The Borrowed Souls, then back to Jaxon Rasner. That’s what I’ve got planned for 2017 at the moment.

Now, in addition to all that, I do plan on writing a few shorter novels based on a number of new story ideas that I have. They won’t be novellas-short, but they will certainly be shorter than the 128,000-word behemoth that Linear Shift became. James Patterson is onto something with his new BookShots, and I’d like to write a few of them interspersed with my longer novel works.

So, get in, sit down and buckle up – it’s going to be a wild ride!