Tuesday, May 27, 2014

C. Dean Andersson's Bloodsong Trilogy!

For the first time, C. Dean Andersson’s three epic fantasy Bloodsong novels are gathered together in a digital omnibus!

BLOODSONG! — HEL X 3 (Omnibus Edition)
Warrior Witch of Hel
Death Riders of Hel
Werebeasts of Hel


Join in the Bloodsong saga, a grand tale set faithfully in the mystical world of Scandinavian mythology—a world of gods light and dark, of monsters and heroes, of flashing blades and a mortal warrior’s desperate determination set against the uncanny forces wielded by her immortal enemies.

Bloodsong and Freedom!

"Bow not your head!" Odin ordered.
Bloodsong quickly raised her head.
His expression softened. "You are free, Bloodsong, you and all your people, free by your own deeds. I have heard the war cry they scream in their thoughts. ‘Bloodsong and freedom,’ is it not? And so it should be, for if not for your leadership and your rebellion, you would this day still be Hel’s slaves, fighting against me and my allies instead of by my side to break Hel’s power and banish Her beneath the Earth.
"The Orlog of your bloodline will be a hard one, Bloodsong, and often your warrior descendants shall curse my name for the pain and suffering I shall set in their paths. But without battles and challenges, warriors grow soft and weak, and those who follow me must ever be strong, and free, as are you and your people."
Odin raised his spear toward Bloodsong and her assembled army of Corpse Beasts. "Bloodsong and freedom!" Odin shouted in his thoughts.
Bloodsong raised her chin high and held Odin’s gaze. "Odin and Asgard!" she shouted back with her thoughts.
"Odin and Asgard!" thought first one Corpse Beast, and then another, following Bloodsong’s lead, until soon her people were all repeating the battle cry over and over again.
“Freya and Folkvang!” screamed the Valkyries as Freya raised Her spear. Other battle cries arose from within the ranks of Odin’s forces, cries to Thor and Sif, to Frey, to Skadi, to Heimdall, to Frigga, on and on, while from behind Hel’s lines came only the silence of the grave.
And then the battle began.

Caught My Eye

In prohibition-era Southern California, real life detectives Charles D. Siringo and Dashiell Hammett must solve a mystery involving a ruthless politician—Joseph P. Kennedy. With sharp dialogue and rich historical background, Ragtime Cowboys is an exciting, suspenseful tale in which the Old West and Hollywood collide.
Los Angeles, 1921: Ex-Pinkerton Charlie Siringo is living in quiet retirement when Wyatt Earp knocks on his door and asks him to track down his missing horse. What begins as horse thievery turns into a deeper mystery as Siringo and another ex-Pinkerton, the young Dashiell Hammett, follow clues that take them from the streets of Los Angeles to Jack London's farm, until they discover a conspiracy masterminded by the notorious and powerful Joseph P. Kennedy.

From the first page to the closing chapter, these ragtime cowboys chase the truth in Loren D. Estleman's compelling tale of the Old West and early Hollywood.

The Amazing Wind-Rifle

I just finished reading THE ROAD TO RECKONING by Robert Lautner, a Western/historical (I don't know what else to call it because it takes place east of the Mississippi but in frontier areas).  The book was great, chockfull of historical details and a coming-of-age story to boot.
One of the characters in the book carries a Girandoni "Wind" rifle, a weapon I'd never heard of, and after I dug into the history of the rifle, I'm surprised I hadn't.  One of them made the trip across the Louisiana Purchase with Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery, and was very probably what saved their lives.
The rifle shot a huge .46 caliber ball that was accurate up to 150 yards away, and it could be fired several times on one tank of air.  Refilling the rifle's air tank (in the weapon's butt) took 1500 strokes of what was essentially a bicycle pump to build to 800 psi, so it took about an hour to reload.  The weapon could be fired up to 70 times, but only the first forty or fifty rounds were lethal.  The rate of fire was around 30 rounds a minute.
Originally built back in 1779 by Italian inventor Bartholomaus Girandoni, the weapon was used by the Austrian army and spread to several different countries, including the United States.  Napoleon was said to have made owning one of the rifles a crime punishable by death.
There is no powder residue on these weapons, nothing a man needed to carry with him other than shot, and care was simple.  It was also relatively silent, came with an accurate, rifled barrel, and didn't give away a shooter's position with expelled gunsmoke.  The drawback were that the weapon was fragile and the compressed air tanks exploded like bombs when damaged.
Replicas are evidently made today, and refilling the air reservoir is simple with pumps.  I'm extremely curious about these weapons and would love to see one in action.
Here's a video for those of you who would like to know a little more.

Monday, May 26, 2014

My, How My Garden Grows!

With all the trees in my back yard, it's been years since I've been able to grow a garden.  In fact, the last really good garden I had was in 1997, the year Chandler was born.
I'd tried a few times over the years since, but between heat, work, and all the tree shade in my back yard, they just didn't produce.
Two years ago, the power line people cut all the trees in the back yard along the fence, so last year I put in one 4x4 raised bed to see what would happen.  That was in May, the same month both tornadoes hit Moore.  Needless to say, not much gardening got done with all the repairs that were necessary to the house and yard.
The new fence at the side of the house is one of those additions.
But that little 4x4 raised bed produced a lot of tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.  I overloaded it and it still put out a crop of veggies.
So this year, I put in another five raised beds and they're all doing well.  The grass, however, leaves much to be desired, but since it was all torn up last year to put in the new gas line, I'm not surprised.
Sherry also wanted a grape arbor put in.  Our gate is wider than anything I could find a kit for, so I had to design one for us.  I looked at a lot of them, showed them to Sherry, and figured out what we liked best (it had to have places to hang lanterns for me!).  Then I put my ninth grade drafting skills to work and laid out a blueprint, figured out the necessary board feet, and we went to Lowe's.
While Sherry cut the boards (I don't necessarily cut the same length twice, but she does), I dug in the garden and put in the trellises above.  They're anchored with six inches of concrete with six inches of soil on top of that so plants can grow more easily and the trellises won't just blow over -- or away.
We put the arbor together and Sherry painted it (another skillset she has that is much better than mine), and I found lanterns I liked.  I think the end result turned out pretty spectacular.
Since we've added the arbor, I now see I've gotta replace that back yard fence.  I've got plans and I hope to get it done this summer.  It'll be a white picket fence that should look pretty nifty.
The arbor is buried a foot deep and also has six inches of concrete to anchor it.  The lanterns look great at night, but I haven't gotten any good pictures of them yet.
Those pictures were taken in April and it's now the end of May.  Here are some more current pictures of the plants so you can see how much they've grown.
These are cucumbers that I'll train to climb the trellis for easy harvesting.  I'm also growing three varieties of grape tomatoes and cantaloupes on the other trellises.  The cantaloupes are trickier because you have to train them AND make hammocks or use mesh bags for the fruit when growing them vertically.
Ah, gardening AND engineering!  I love a challenge.  And I've done this before with some success.
The peppers are already putting on as well, and I know I should probably pinch them off to let the plant grow bigger, but I'm hopeful.
The grape tomatoes are producing as well.
And the other tomatoes (a half-dozen kinds because that's the way I roll) are growing a lot too.
Usually Sherry ends up having to take care of everything after I finish digging in the dirt, but I find that going to the back yard and watering the plants, then doing some weeding (got the weed-eater out last night and straightened the lines around the raised beds) actually relaxes me.
I used to go to the used book shop to poke around to relax during the day, then come back to the writing.  These days I just hate the traffic everywhere, so I make the most out of the back yard.  As you can see, a bench was also put in the back yard.
Now if the summer heat doesn't kill everything, I'll be happy!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sin City 2

Another movie I'm looking forward to later this year.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


This one looks good.

Dick Grayson...Superspy?

Dick Grayson is dead?  And reborn as a superspy?
I dunno.  They just killed off Damian/Robin.  Dead Jason Todd is now the Red Hood -- and a good guy.  Tim Drake is still Red Robin, but he's been shuffled to the wayside.
I'm thinking maybe this is jumping the shark.  I'll give it a look, but it seems strange seeing Dick with a gun in his hand.
And the USA Today article has it wrong when it says Dick never had his "Lex Luthor."  In the original Batman series, Dick always figured out Two-Face.  In the TV show in the 1960s, the Riddler hated him.  As Nightwing, he had all kinds of enemies.
The New DC 52 has cancelled over half of their original startup run, and kept adding books.  Many of them have been interesting, so the publishers have been doing well.  And it is books like these that bring readers like me back to the pages to see what's going on over there.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Fight Card Monster Man

Albuquerque, 1947

A fighter on the rise despite a growing illness, Ben Harman is on-track for a heavyweight title shot until one disastrous night in New Mexico ends his chance at glory, and his pro career, in one overhand right.

Mamaroneck, 1953

Along with Pete – his manager and fellow refugee from Chicago’s St. Vincent’s Asylum for Boys – Ben lands north of New York City in the harbor town of Mamaroneck. This will be the latest underground boxing hot spot to fall victim to Pete and Ben’s scam. The scam is simple – it keeps Pete and Ben ahead of what happened in Albuquerque and, hopefully, ahead of the acromegaly twisting and weakening Ben’s body by the punch. Move and scam, move and scam, has always been their plan.

Then Ben meets Vicky, a fallen Hollywood day player able to see past Ben’s monstrous exterior to the man inside. As their romance grows, Ben and Vicky threaten to derail the perfect meal ticket Pete’s concocted, and Vicky’s connection to the man running Mamaroneck’s illegal fights – and the secret they share – puts everyone in danger.

Time is running out. With only so many punches left in his distorting hands, Ben Harman will have to decide how to use them – as a monster or as a man.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Omega Blue

Some of you have found this book, but I thought it would be worth mentioning again.  It's the first book of a two-book deal I'd done, but after reformatting this one for the ebook version and working on the second, I'm thinking of doing a third that I always wanted to.  Sometimes in this business you just don't get to write everything you want to.
Then the ebook market changed everything!
Set in the future a step past tomorrow, in a United States that's bleak and hard and crime runs rampant in the streets, there's only on team to call on. Omega Blue, the FBI's premiere hardcases take down crime too big or too dangerous for the average law enforcement agencies.

Tracking down a group of organ jackals dealing in the Red Market (organ harvesting), Slade Wilson goes head-to-head with an Asian gang sporting exo-skeletons and fighting to keep a secret agenda hidden from prying eyes. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, driven to succeed, Wilson and his team of specialists keep the pedal to the metal as they race toward doomsday.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Agent Carter!

I just heard that an Agent Carter television just got picked up too!  Didn't even know this one was in the works, but it makes me happy.  Hope they keep her in the 1940s, though I know that could be problematic.
Haley Atwell killed in the role in Captain America: The First Avenger.

TV Coolness

Agents of Shield got a second season.  I'm really happy about that because Joss Whedon and crew are doing some cool stuff.
Flash got the nod over at Fox as well, but I have to say that I liked the old series' Flash costume better.  Still, after everything that has been done with Arrow, I'm looking forward to seeing what can be done with Flash on the small screen.
Constantine has always just looked cool, and the concept of a conman turned world savior is great.  I like the look of the actor playing Constantine, so we'll see what happens when this series debuts in the fall.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Coming Soon!


First Lieutenant Heath Bridger joined the Marine Reserves to live away from his controlling attorney father.  Lionel Bridger had Heath’s life all mapped out for him to become an attorney at his prestigious law firm, and he resents his wayward son’s interest in serving his country.  With an emotional court case hanging in the balance, a new murder trial starting up that pits rival gang members against him on all fronts, deployment to Afghanistan is the last thing Heath needs. Assigned to a search and rescue operation for a medical team gone missing in the mountains, Heath struggles to get his personal and professional life together while surviving his military life.

Taliban leader Tayyabb Bukhsh fights to take back his country, killing all who stand against him.  But his pursuit of Dr. John Howard’s group is personal.  One of the men with Howard took something precious from Bukhsh, and there will be a reckoning.

With everything back home threatening to overwhelm him and the Taliban forces arrayed against him in hostile territory, Heath fights to survive against all odds with the help of fellow Marines Corporal Bekah Shaw and ex-biker Pike Morgan.

Caught My Eye

Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

 It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

 They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.

 You can’t kill what’s already dead.

World of Aetaltis Kickstarter Is Up and Running!

Over three hundred years have passed since the fall of the Atlan Enclave, and the people of the Sea of Tears have finally brought order to their fractured world. Fledgling nations have grown into powerful kingdoms, thriving merchant states have re-established the old trade routes, and the priests of the Enaros have rebuilt their great temples. But in this time of hope, the shadow of an ancient evil is rising once again.

Deep beneath the surface of Aetaltis lurk the armies of the fallen god Endroren. For over a thousand years powerful mystic seals held Endroren and other forces of darkness at bay. An order of holy knights known as the Warders of Alantra created and maintained the seals, but when the Enclave fell, so too did many of the ancient orders—including the Warders. Now, after centuries of neglect, the holy seals are failing, and the dark ones have returned.

For the first time since the Age of Darkness, orcs, goblins, trolls, and a host of other fiendish monsters threaten the good people of the world. They strike with unrestrained cruelty, burning, killing, and destroying all that lies before them. The recently reborn holy orders have combined their divine strength with the temporal power of the new kingdoms to face this growing threat, but the dark ones are many and the defenders few.

But there is hope!

Lord Drakewyn of New Erinor has called upon the brave men and women of his land to take up arms against their common foe. In response, a small army of independent heroes known as adventurers have joined the fight. These stalwart men and women fight the battles ordinary soldiers cannot fight, go where the holy orders dare not go, and serve as beacons of hope in a world growing darker with each passing day. From hardened dwarven warriors to crafty cheebatan rogues, from fleet footed fey scouts to wizened Selenthean mages, these brave souls provide what ultimately may be the only protection for the people of this troubled land.

Will you join these brave adventurers in their quest? Will you put spell and blade to the test in defiance of the Dark Hordes? If so, if you have the courage to take on this burden for the good of all, perhaps there is still hope, and perhaps you will become the next…

…Champion of Aetaltis!

I'm getting to do a short story for this, so it should be fun!

Go here to support the project!

Monday, May 05, 2014

On My Must Buy List: American Craftsmen by Tom Doyle

In modern America, two soldiers will fight their way through the magical legacies of Poe and Hawthorne to destroy an undying evil—if they don’t kill each other first.

US Army Captain Dale Morton is a magician soldier—a “craftsman.” After a black-ops mission gone wrong, Dale is cursed by a Persian sorcerer and haunted by his good and evil ancestors. Major Michael Endicott, a Puritan craftsman, finds gruesome evidence that the evil Mortons, formerly led by the twins Roderick and Madeline, have returned, and that Dale might be one of them.

Dale uncovers treason in the Pentagon’s highest covert ranks. He hunts for his enemies before they can murder him and Scherie, a new friend who knows nothing of his magic.

Endicott pursues Dale, divided between his duty to capture a rogue soldier and his desire to protect Dale from his would-be assassins. They will discover that the demonic horrors that have corrupted American magic are not bound by family or even death itself.  In Tom Doyle's thrilling debut, American Craftsmen, Seal Team Six meets ancient magic--with the fate of the United States hanging in the balance . . .

It's Summer and It'sCalling to Me!

Don't know how many times I've seen it, but it never gets old!

Thursday, May 01, 2014

New Kyle West Wasteland Chronicles Book is Out!

Time is running out for humanity to defeat the encroaching forces of the Radaskim. As settlements fall and the Great Blight spreads, it falls on the New Angels to unite disparate factions before it is too late.

But the dark Xenomind, Askala, has her own plans to end humanity before that can ever happen, and only the greatest sacrifice can stop her from achieving her aims...