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Who Wants a Guardian Angel?

February 11, 2014 Leave a comment

No, I’m not handing any out. I’m afraid I don’t have any to spare. Or any at all, for that matter. Which is ironic, considering the book I just finished the rough draft of. I’m calling it Guardian and the title is applicable for so many different reasons. For example, the main character is a foster parent aka legal guardian of some troubled teens.

There’s also a spirit out of southwestern Native American folklore that serves as a bit of a guardian angel. With a twist. Then there’s a few other spirits that get involved and a few people doing their best to protect others. It’s a mess and before Katalina (the main character) figures out what’s going a lot of people have been hurt and she’s too late to stop what she set out to do.

Guardian is book 5 in The Lost Girls series and it’s in the hands of my editor now. The cover artist is feverishly at work (or he should be when he wakes up). All that means a potential release before the end of the month. And the inevitable…what’s next?

Building on a blog post I released last week, courtesy of feedback from a reader, I have a couple of options. So I tossed the question out on my Facebook fan page to help me decide which direction to go. I won’t say the response was overwhelming but it was probably the biggest feedback I’ve had on a post so far. The result? Carl Waters, reluctant hero of the Wanted series, is strapping his boots back on and taking a stroll in the near future mildly scorched earth setting.

Carl is a US Marshall these days thanks to some contacts he acquired both in the private sector and their affiliations with the government. His wife, Jessie, has revitalized her acting career. Allison, their adopted daughter, may or may not play a role in the story. She’s turned to technology ever since Carl rescued her from the streets of Houston and demanded she learn to read.

What about the rest of the cast? Tanya, Sarah, and any past players? All to be determined. I’ve got a lot of scattered thoughts that I need to pull together on this one. It’s going to touch on Carl’s new career as well as bring in enough from the prior storylines to continue the series.

What was the other option? A new Voidhawk book that brings some or all of the crew to the world of Kroth. Kroth, for those unfamiliar with the name, is the world that my Blades of Leander and Order of the Dragon series take place on. If I remember correctly the Voidhawk’s crew slipped away from the City at the Edge of Forever with a certain something that belonged to someone very powerful. The very same being that played a part in the formation of Kroth. The really cool part – my subconscious planned all that out without even letting me know! I’m devious and I don’t even know it.

 

To learn more about Jason Halstead visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

I Survived the Black Widow

I spent a year living in southern Utah in a beautiful location called Moab. I highly recommend visiting if you like hiking and climbing. Incredible scenery and, as John Wayne once put it, “It’s where God put the West.” Activities include four wheeling, mountain biking, hiking, climbing (free and with ropes and spikes and stuff), white water rafting in the Colorado River, hunting elk / beer / deer / bighorn sheep / mountain lion / etc., or visiting multiple nearby national parks including the Grand Canyon and Dead Horse Point, where scenes from Thelma and Louise and The Last Crusade among other movies) were filmed. That was a helluva sentence, so go ahead and take a breath.

I bring up living in Moab because I came home from work for lunch one day and walked into my front door. I opened it first, not to worry. I ate my lunch with my family and then headed back to the same door to head back to work. I stopped abruptly though – there was a very large female black widow spider hanging right in the middle of the doorway at my waist height. I grabbed a shovel, relocated it to a safe place, then smashed the juices out of it.
There’s my creepy spider black widow story. My other Black Widow story is in the hands of my content editor (Lisa Shalek) as of this morning. I’m expecting great things from her, even though I was mighty impressed with it when I reread it and smoothed out a few issues. I’ll admit that I’m biased, so that’s where the third party editor comes in.
I’m leaning towards starting my eighth Vitalis book, Resurrection, but I’m not 100% on it. I’ve been working on brainstorming ideas for it. So far I’ve got quite a few, but I’m still looking for the threat to keep it exciting. Oh sure, there’s the constant danger of dinosaur like predators, hives filled with aggressive and poisonous creatures, and even dissension amongst the survivors. Not to mention the new species that’s living with a human who’s sanity is questionable. I’d really like those to be background threats though, not the main villain. I guess we’ll see what happens – just writing this has given me some possible ideas.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

I Hope You Like This

It’s been a busy time for me lately. I’m two weekends overdue on posting a chapter in Betrayal’s Hands and I’m still not sure when I’ll get to it. For that I apologize. Also for not posting much on here recently I apologize – my focus has been pulled in another area. Well, a couple of areas really…

The first is an attempt on my part to generate some love for my Facebook page. I’ve been reading up on some articles written by people who are far better at marketing than I am and they seem to think that having a well liked Facebook page can make a difference. Well, mine’s only moderately liked, if that. If anybody reading this wants to take a few seconds and a couple of clicks to help a brother out, I’d be mighty appreciative! Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Books-by-Jason/161622180537541. And now you see how the title of the post ties in to the body (“I hope you like this”…as in I really hope people will click on that link and then “like” my Facebook page. Come on, you can’t find stuff that cheesy just anywhere – I have to work for it!).

The other thing tying me up is the feverish desire I have to crank out Black Widow. I’ve been churning out 2500+ words a day on it for a while now, though most days I hit 3000 or more words. It’s a bold statement, but I’m really hoping I can finish the rough draft this week. That’s bold because I’ve got around 20,000 words still to go on it. Fortunately for me, I love a challenge!

As for Black Widow, I’m really enjoying where this story is taking Katalina Wimple (the main character). Kat, or Katie, is being forced by circumstances to overcome some handicaps she’s acquired over the years and her personal evolution is amazing. She’s even stopped threatening me as much as she used to – and trust me, that’s a milestone in itself! Also, readers of my recent release, Bound, will be happy to see the main characters from that book reappearing in Black Widow, although their roles are secondary to Kat and Skylar.

What sort of trouble has Kat gotten herself into this time? Well this time it found her, rather than the other way around. I won’t be too specific but I will share that she’s facing a mix of problems, both mundane and spiritual. It’s a continuation of the same type of spirit-based shamanism found in prior Lost Girls books with a hint of Poltergeist thrown in for a little violence and terror.

I’ll be happy to share more as I get it written. My targeted release date is mid – late August. Here’s to hoping fate conspires with me to get it down in short order!

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

Bound to End Up On Your E-Reader

…I hope! Bound just happens to be the name of my newest release. It’s an edgy romance novel, and by edgy I mean it has some delightfully naughty points in it. The story centers around a boy who makes a mistake and spends the next ten years of his life paying for it, then he has the chance to start fresh but realizes he doesn’t have a clue. Enter the female lead – the same young lady who was indirectly responsible for ruining his life in the first place. His father warned him about girls like her…

Bound, a stand alone Dark Earth romance novel by Jason Halstead

Wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he committed, James Macavoy’s regimented life is suddenly turned upside down when he’s released from prison into a world that’s all but forgotten about him. Sabrina’s the one person that remains for Jimmy, the woman who’s very existence made it possible for Jimmy’s life to be ruined.

 If adapting to a life without walls isn’t hard enough, Jimmy must decide if he can love her or hate her.

Bound on Amazon

Bound on Amazon UK

Bound on Smashwords

Bound on Barnes and Noble

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

Starting Over

November 11, 2011 Leave a comment

I emerged from my warm house this morning to find a blanket of heavy snow on the ground. I believe I may have said a bad word. Or five. I need new windshield wipers on my car and my windshield washer fluid is low. Oops, another bad word just slipped out. Yes, it’s November and yes, I live in northeastern Ohio. Suck it up, right?

Well not to worry, in spite of the inconvenience of cold hands and slow drivers, I remain positive. Very positive, in fact, because Willsin Rowe and I finished a great new cover for one of my books last night. The book is Dark Earth and it was supposed to be my attempt to enter the YA genre. It turns out I have a hard time telling a story from the perspective of a thirteen year old girl, so instead it launched my first foray into urban fantasy / paranormal.

Dark Earth follows Eric Baxter, a devoted single father who has not had the easiest life. His daughter, it turns out, is very special. So special that people want to kill her. It becomes Eric’s job to protect her, even if that puts the world as we know it in jeopardy. We all know the good of the many is supposed to outweigh the good of the few, but try telling that to a man who’s lost everything except his little girl.

In the process of keeping her safe Eric learns that part of what makes Jessica so special comes from him. He’s got a little something special inside him too, something that comes out when the moon is full.

Dark Earth also establishes my Dark Earth series. Already published in this series are The Lost Girls and Voices, with Traitor pending release in December of 2011 or possibly early in 2012.

Paranormal thriller Dark Earth

Dark Earth, by Jason Halstead

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

Live! The Lost Girls

October 15, 2011 Leave a comment

No, it’s not an adult entertainment show in Las Vegas or Amsterdam, it’s my latest book I’ve been working on. Between you and me I think it may be the best one I’ve ever written. The main character is outstanding – a mixture of incredible strengths and debilitating weaknesses.

But don’t take my word for it (or the word of my beta readers who tried it and liked it) – go check it out for yourself! Or if you’re the suspicious sort feel free to stop by my webpage and read the sample first.

The Lost Girls, a Dark Earth novel by Jason Halstead

The Lost Grls, a Dark Earth novel by Jason Haltead

The only thing hotter than the summers in Phoenix is the temper of a police detective who can’t figure out why young girls keep disappearing. Katalina Wimple is that detective. Her obsession with the missing girls makes her the best person for the job, but it also serves as a refuge from the problems in her own life.

 Battling her own demons offers coincidences impossible to ignore. Rescuing the missing girls will require Kat figuring out how much coincidence is too much, as well as fighting her desire for what she can’t have.

The Lost Girls is a 60,000 word mystery / detective novel with a dose of sci-fi mixed in for flavor

 

Excerpt:

 Panic hit me again, stealing my breath better than a dozen shots from his taser would have. I was going to be imprisoned again and abused. Raped, beaten, whatever. Last time that happened the sick bastard professed love for me and said he only wanted to show me how good it could be. He didn’t understand he was forcing me and that I hated it and hated him. This time there’d be no mercy, or no pretense of it. They’d fuck me over and over and in every way they could. I’d be broken and bleeding and still they’d go on. I’d seen cases where that happened, now it was my turn. It was my destiny, I’d dared to think I’d escaped it all those years ago but now it was just going to be that much worse.

“Knock that shit off. I said I ain’t going to fuck you. I take my women willing,” he said, then slammed the door shut. Through the door I could hear him call me a stupid bitch again.

Somehow, in spite of the situation and the incredible lack of trust I should have had, his words calmed me a little. It was a psychological trick and I knew it. I wasn’t any safer but I was panicked and desperate  and willing to believe anything. It was one of the steps towards the condition where a kidnapping victim can actually switch their allegiance over time to their captors. I’d never understood before how that was possible. I knew terror and fear from my youth, but I’d gone the other way, from loving my captor to hating him with every cell in my body. Now I began to understand how somebody could let themselves be tricked into going the other way.

I realized the bag was wet from my tears. I’d been whimpering as I tried to control my sobs. Now I was beginning to regain control, but every move I made just made my body hurt worse than it already did. I focused again and switched my eyes into heat sensing mode. They switched over and I immediately felt a little better. I could see a little bit through the hood. Craning my neck around I could make out my captor climb into the driver’s seat.

The van fired up, the engine roaring with the sound of a bio-diesel. I craned my neck around some more but saw little. When we started moving things changed. I could occasionally feel some warmth on my otherwise cold skin. Glancing in that direction rewarded me with an occasional pink glow of residual heat imparted by the sun coming in through the windows. I was sure it was the front windows, a van such as this wouldn’t have any rear or side ones.

We drove for what seemed like hours until I thought to call up the HUD in my eyes to display a clock. From that point on thirty minutes passed. Based on my captor’s comments about me being heavy and no comments about anything else, I guessed he didn’t have a clue about my enhancements.  It gave me hope that I might have a chance to make it out of this. Or if not, at least I’d go down fighting.

The vehicle stopped, eventually, and I was plunged into darkness again. Even the residual heat was fading, which meant we were out of sun. I braced myself just in time. The door beside me opened and rough hands grabbed my ankles. I was yanked across the cold metal, scraping my back and shoulder but not bad enough to cut the skin. The pain helped me take my mind off the unknown, and that kept me from freaking out.

“Nice job Buddy,” I heard a new voice say, followed by a harsh laugh. I didn’t know if Buddy was his name or a title. “Maybe you never seen a woman naked before but they’re supposed to have two tits!”

The others joined in, laughing at the expense of the guy who’d captured me. I couldn’t make out how many people there were but it was enough to push the pain away and make my panic flare. It didn’t just start to rise either, it hit me full on and made me cry out in the most pitiful and embarrassing way. I even heard myself begging and pleading with them. My voice was so soft and weak, saying things like, “Please don’t hurt me! Let me go, I won’t tell anyone.” And the thing was, I believed if I just begged hard enough they’d let me go and everything would be all right. I just had to let them know they were right. I needed them. Real men, all of them – only real men could make me happy. That was what was wrong with me, wasn’t it? If I just accepted it everything would be okay.

“This ain’t just some chick I picked up,” Buddy said. “This is that blond chick’s sister. Said her name’s Katy.”

“Pictures showed her having a full rack?”

“Stuffed her bra,” Buddy said.

“Fuck!” Someone swore, a new voice. “She’s no use to us. Kill her and dump her out in the desert.”

My breathing changed. I’d been taking in enough breath to beg and plead, but now I started breathing faster. In a few minutes, if I lived that long, I knew I’d start to feel all tingly as I flooded my body with oxygen. If only I could just open my mouth and beg them to use me. I could think, why couldn’t I make my lips move?

“Might need her to keep the blond in line,” Buddy suggested.

“What the…let me see her.” Great, somebody else wanted to check me out. Maybe I was damaged goods but if the other parts worked fine they might still have a use for me. Maybe they thought they could still fix me. That’s what all men wanted, to fix me and prove I wasn’t broken. That I could appreciate a man. Or men, in this case. If only I’d learned it before none of this would have happened. I deserved it, I suppose. I deserved the harsh lesson. I knew these guys were going to overlook my disfigurement for at least one go round. I had to perform well enough so that my body wouldn’t be dumped in the desert. “Holy shit, I know this bitch!”

The voice sounded faintly familiar. My breath caught in my throat as I strained to hear more.

“This bitch tore Jerry’s dick off and she ripped out Manny’s throat. This bitch is strong!” I knew the voice now, I’d dubbed him Pussylover at the time. He was the one that got away the last time I’d been given another opportunity for a lesson I’d failed to learn.

“Don’t look so tough to me,” another man said.

“She’s fucking heavy for being a midget,” Buddy retorted. In any other situation I’d have come unglued at being called a midget. I was short and petite, but I wasn’t that short!

Something clicked in the back of my head. Pussylover really was an idiot. He had no idea I’d been upgraded, he just thought I was really strong. And if they didn’t know about my enhancements, I had an advantage. Maybe not against four or five of them, or maybe more, but if I could stop them from putting a few larger caliber bullets in me then I might have a chance. But then what? Another time and another place I’d be in the same situation. I’d be a victim again. All women were victims, this was just one more proof of it. This seemed like it might be time for me to stop fighting it and accept it.

“I thought Dusty shot her?” I didn’t know who that voice came from.

“He did. She’s been shot and blown up, but still she lives.” I stiffened. I didn’t know who spoke, but I clearly recognized the voice as belonging to a woman. “Remove the hood.”

The drawstring was loosened and the hood was yanked off. I stared around, my eyes adjusting instantly to the lights overhead that flooded the receiving dock of the abandoned building I was in. It was similar from the one I’d broke into a couple of weeks back. I had no idea where I was but, given the seven men with New Earth Order gang colors on, I guessed that I was back in the same area. The woman was Tricia Daniels, long red hair flowing and her business style suit tailored to make her look like a few thousand bucks. I’d finally found the head of the snake.

“Boys, this here is Katalina Wimple. She’s a detective for VDI that works on special cases,” Tricia said. She stared at me the entire time and her next words with delivered with a cold smile directly for me, “You should have gotten that boob job, maybe we could have used you after all.”

“She’s a cop?” one I hadn’t yet heard said. I scanned everybody, flipping rapidly through the different vision modes to check them out. Five of them were carrying pistols, as evidenced by the cooler gun shaped spots on their bodies. The three others I assumed had knives at least, although with Tricia I was clueless. I didn’t peg a sexy higher class lady to dirty herself with a firearm. Then again, I wouldn’t have figured she’d be caught dead hanging out with the lowlifes that were around her.

“Throw her in with her pretend sister,” She commanded. “Let them say their goodbyes.”

Buddy picked me up, grunting as he did so, and carried me past the leering others to an opening in the wall. A sliding door covered it, but it was up. He barked for somebody to come help him. I was able to see several doors down the wide hallway. I also detected a faint odor I couldn’t quite place. It smelled earthy and musky.

One of the other guys hurried over and fished some old fashioned keys out of a pocket. He tried a couple until he found the one that fit, then opened up the extra wide door. Light flooded into the room, making Skyler gasp and squint at the sudden brightness. I landed heavily on the floor, where the odor was stronger.

“Katy!” She gasped, tipping herself over and rolling and inching her way towards me. She was similarly bound. She didn’t stop until her face was next to mine. She kissed me repeatedly, whispering things to me and telling me how glad she was to see me and how scared she was and how she knew we’d be okay now.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say being there with her and seeing her still alive didn’t lift my spirits. I think fresh tears even rolled down my cheeks but with Skylar there I couldn’t tell who’s eyes were leaking. I smiled and tried to roll over, without too much success. Just being able to see again had pushed the terrors back. Seeing her relit the fire inside of me fully. Away from the men, with Skylar, I began to remember that I wasn’t in a dark basement. I wasn’t a prisoner. Well, okay, I was a prisoner, but I wasn’t his prisoner.

“I’m not a victim,” I whispered.

“What?” She asked me, snapping out of her own psychoses.

“Roll your back up against mine,” I said. My story was my story, not hers. I hadn’t meant to say it aloud but at least she hadn’t understood me. “We’ve got to get these things off.”

 

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com

Early Morning Surprises

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and find out your alarm clock quit working. Other times you realize you didn’t hear the dog whine and there’s a pile on your floor. Those are bad surprises – nobody wants those!

Then there are the good ones, perhaps the kind of thing that I shouldn’t mention in a family-friendly blog, for example. Or to be a little tamer, to receive an email saying I’ve inherited $20,000,000 from a Nigerian prince…

All right, I’m being silly. It’s early and there’s no coffee in my hand yet. The real surprise for me today was a review that came in for Dark Earth on a blog called the “Place of Reads”, run by a wonderful lady named Cana Elene. It’s a 4 out of 5 rating for the story with a great write-up!

Dark Earth by Jason Halstead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eric is a man who has lost a lot. His mother, his wife, and has moved to the middle of nowhere to raise his daughter. It is only when the world (and another world as well) comes to his home and world that he has to face what and who he and his daughter really are.

This novel is just as the title suggests, it is dark. There is a lot of death, even from the very first chapter. But even then it is still a really beautiful story. Eric is a strong man who after being introduced to a new and strange world, he takes it and grows. He fights to protect his daughter and becomes a stronger person. Between two worlds (parallel to each other), Earth and Dark Earth, the story tells of what love and courage can do for someone.

With a mix of Celtic myth, werewolves/changelings, witches, and secret organizations that protect the world as warders, you will get a wonderful mix of fantasy and fairy tale.

Recommend this book!

Cana”

Dark Earth

Dark Earth

Dark Earth is a stand alone novel, however it also establishes a setting that I have several other books taking place in, some published and some forthcoming in the near future. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed!

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m headed off to Michigan for the day.

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