Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NaNoWriMo is upon us!

Yes, the yearly writers Mecca is here: NaNoWriMo, the month when everyone sits down and tries to crank out a 50,000 word fan fic masterpiece!

Every year I find some excuse not to participate, though this year I'm getting closer. I've got two jobs and so many writing irons in the fire, that I just can't sit down and crank out a novel from scratch. Instead, I'll just use my NaNoWriMotivation to work on a novel project that I started before but only got about 16,000 words into before it came grinding to a halt.

I think that's a pretty good use of my time, considering the two jobs and working on the Weirdo Company serial. That project is going well, since I just released Weirdo Company: Hellshark and I've already made solid progress on the next episode, Blood of the Keres.

So, I'm feeling pretty good about NaNoWriMo, even though my participation is a little... NaNoWriModjacent. 

Any of you out there going to dive into this yearly sacrifice ritual?

Current Soundtrack
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier by Jerry Goldsmith

Review: "Whiteout" by Ken Follett

WhiteoutWhiteout by Ken Follett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first half is pretty slow, there is a lot of setup going on.  Follett is careful to introduce every character, no matter how minor, and give them all their own subplots.  At times, it feels like he's just padding things out - a subplot involving a a character having an affair with her sister's husband feels pretty pointless in the end - but mostly it all works.  Things don't start to really gel until the second half, when the plot kicks into higher gear.  The ending feels a little bit too neat, but overall this is a solid thriller.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Unleash the Hellshark! ...Also, tweets

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, the third part of the Weirdo Company serial - Hellshark.

Having a personal crisis after the events in Britain, Becky Davis returns home to Florida to consider her future. But no sooner has she arrived than she finds herself thrust into a new adventure: The locals are being terrorized by a massive, bloodthirsty shark that can spit fire! 
With the team still scattered, Davis calls on her only backup - team leader Lt. Paul Harper and pilot Colin 'Rhymes' McCollin - for help. But Weirdo Company are not the only ones hunting this hellshark...

Hellshark is available now for your Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble NOOK.

In other news, Star Trek novelist Dayton Ward tweeted me the other day to say nice job on my Strange New Worlds story from 2006.  That's pretty awesome! Kind of made my day, since everything else that was going on had to do with Hurricane Sandy.  Luckily, Boston was mostly spared, and I was safe.  I have a few friends who lost power, but nothing major.  Unfortunately, it looks like New York and other nearby areas were hit pretty hard, so I'm hoping those people get the help they need. 

Current Soundtrack
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country by Cliff Eidelman

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My wasted Saturday

Today I had all kinds of things I wanted to do.  Big things, important things.  Things like finish the cover for Hellshark. Well now it's after 6 and what have I done today?

I put a bunch of beef in the crockpot and then watched 30 Rock until it hurt.

Okay, so I did do some work on the cover for Hellshark. Not bad.  And I managed to stick to Paleo meals today, unlike yesterday (stupid, delicious calzone...).  So I guess I didn't waste the day after all?  The beef is still in the crockpot.  It's been almost seven hours.  I hope it's delicious.

Here's the latest WIP cover for Hellshark, which I'm planning on uploading Monday for Tuesday release announcement.  Special thanks to Smalls for suggesting red, glowing devil eye.

Current Soundtrack
Quantum of Solace by David Arnold

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Adventures of Weirdo Company continue!

Yes, folks, the third part of the "Weirdo Company" serial is almost upon us.  Hellshark is complete, I just need to finish the cover and give everything a last once-over and we're good to go!  And that means it's time to announce part four:

Blood of the Keres
In 1944, a battle between Allied and Nazi soldiers was interrupted by hideous demons that fed on the blood of the wounded.  Decades later, this ancient evil has been disturbed once more to prey on an unsuspecting countryside.  Weirdo Company, complete once more, heads to Europe to investigate this latest strange occurrence, only to discover a shocking connection to Lt. Paul Harper's family history.  Burdened by guilt, Harper heads recklessly into danger.
But as the bodies begin to pile up, Harper and the rest of the team must devise a method to kill the agents of Death itself.

Sounds pretty cool, doesn't it?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Review: "Drown" by Junot Diaz

DrownDrown by Junot Díaz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is dirty. It is full of dirty people in dirty places doing and saying dirty things to each other. And yet, it is wholly fascinating. These are disparate tales of a family scraping itself through life on the edge, barely surviving extreme poverty, first in the Dominican Republic and then later in the lower-class immigrant communities of Miami and New York.

The stories themselves are fairly simple, in terms of plot. They generally involve everyday happenings like going to work or to a family party, but through the prism of a family whose relationships are essentially built on distrust and stress. But it's the author's use of language that makes them so fascinating, how he creates images that are both revolting and but gripping at the same time. Diaz is an expert at setting his scenes, and crafts a world that is barely held together, physically or emotionally.

Some of the stories are difficult to read because of their content. There's cruelty, jealousy, drugs, sex and violence on display here, but for readers who can stand it, "Drown" is a fantastic collection.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Get Zombies vs Unicorns now... for free!

Today, October 13, 2012, in honor of World Zombie Day and the return of AMC's The Walking Dead, I'm giving away free copies of Weirdo Company: Zombies vs Unicorns for Kindle and Nook.

They are the US military's special response unit for monsters and other creepy-crawly creatures that go bump in the night. They are Weirdo Company. Lead by Lt. Paul Harper, the team embarks on a mission uncomfortably close to home: Contact has been lost with a small farming town in the northeastern United States. What the team finds there will set them up for the fight of their lives, as the townspeople have been turned into vicious, bloodthirsty zombies.

But Harper and his team, including a green new recruit Davis, will discover that there is far more danger in this town than just zombies. Because if the people have mutated into something grotesque and dangerous, what has happened to the farm animals?

"Zombies vs Unicorns" is the first story in the 'Weirdo Company' series and features thrilling, summer blockbuster-style zombie-killing action and a few fun surprises.

I'm doing these downloads myself, so the links will take you to a Google Docs page.  Click on the link for your preferred format, .mobi for Kindle or .epub for Nook and other e-Readers, and then click "Download" in order to get the file.  

And don't forget to circle me on Google+ or 'like' me on Facebook!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

'Ninja Werewolf Assassins!' and 'Hellshark' updates

For some reason, my posts announcing the release of Ninja Werewolf Assasins didn't actually... post.  Unfortunately, I was posting remotely and didn't bother to check if the posts actually went up, and well, they didn't.

So here I am, looking kinda dumb with a blog that hasn't been updated in over a month.  Awesome.

Anyway, Ninja Werewolf Assassins! is out now!  You can get it for your Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook.

My other update to share is that the third story in the "Weirdo Company" series, Hellshark, is moving along nicely.  I've mocked up the cover art for it, but it's a long way from finished.

I'll also be giving away a few copies of Zombies vs Unicorns this weekend in honor of World Zombie Day.

Current Soundtrack
The Expendables 2 by Brian Tyler