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A Different Sort of Communion

I finished working on the rough draft of Taken by the Beast with my wife the other day. It was hard work for me, I have to admit. Historical romance is hard to write if you intend to be historically accurate. My hat’s off to those that manage it. The story turned out great, but I had a lot of doubts along the way. Dawn’s determination and optimism helped me get through it, thankfully. If you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about, it’s the single volume prequel to the Claimed by the Beast series.

So I finished that on a Friday night (no comments on how I spend my Friday nights, thankyouverymuch), and started my next project on Saturday. Vitalis: Communion. Or at least I’m calling it Communion for now. The important thing is that it’s another Vitalis book, which should excite all my loyal readers. Everybody loves Vitals, and deservedly so. Light sci-fi set a long time in the future, it’s got amazing characters, many of them in compromising clothing, and some freakish and often terrifying monsters trying to eat them. Guns, babes, herculean heroes (and heroines), and sharp-toothed slobbering aliens. Plenty of humor to be found too, all in all it’s a win.

I can say that because I forgot a lot of what was going on. Communion picks up about 6 weeks after Invasion left off. Invasion was a book that centered on the unthinkable happening – the onset of an alien invasion of planet Earth. So I had to reread a lot of the book for continuity’s sake. I knocked my own socks off, and I’m pretty hard to impress.

Page after page flew by. Both the reading and then the writing of the new book. I was amazed at how quickly and smoothly the new work flowed, especially after the occasional struggles I had with Taken by the Beast. It’s definitely my comfort zone and, I’m very happy to say, some really great stuff has already happened and I’m only four chapters into it.

But I learned something. No, not something, a lot of somethings. Not from the return to my comfort zone but from my departure into historical and paranormal romance while helping Dawn Michelle. I’ve definitely broadened my style and understanding. I think my characters are more robust and the stories deeper and richer. There are more subplots and more going on behind the scenes. I honestly don’t know where this book is going to end up, but I know it’s going to be awesome finding out!

My plan is to have it ready to release by mid-September, I’ve recovered from a computer crash (lost a hard drive – don’t worry, I back everything up religiously) over the weekend and should be able to get back to making steady progress. 2,000 – 3,000 words a day just doesn’t feel like I’m doing any real work when it comes to Vitalis, it’s too much fun!

 

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.

The Grass Really Is Greener Over Here

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

The only problem – most of the grass in Las Vegas is artificial. Today’s the first full day of my vacation here in Vegas and I’m doing a great job of enjoying myself. I have every intention of keeping that up and forgetting all about my day job while I’m here, but the writing sticks with me.

To that point, I’ve got a promo campaign going right now centered around my Vitalis series. It just started on the 22nd of September and it’s ramping up slowly. One cool thing the marketing gurus I’m working with came up with was a very snazzy press release for the book. In the interest of ‘there’s no such thing as too much exposure’, I’m pasting it into this blog to share just how cool it is. And please note that I had several inappropriate jokes about being exposed in Sin City that I removed before finally posting this. :)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Penny Sansevieri, CEO

penny@amarketingexpert.com

(858) 560-0121

 

     Popular Sci-Fi Series Now Available In One Collection

Christmas has come early for Sci-Fi fans with seven books packaged into a single edition.

 

(WARREN, OH) Due to popular demand, author Jason Halstead has released the Vitalis Omnibus edition to include the first seven Vitalis stories in one edition.

 

In Vitalis Omnibus, Part I of the Vitalis series, Mysterious blackouts left Kira with precious few memories of events in her life, never mind those worth sharing. Somewhere in those blank spots she acquired skills – skills she was hard pressed to explain. But those skills got her a job as the new navigator for the Rented Mule, a transport ship that plied the Rim Systems at the very edge of human civilization.

When their ship is set upon by pirates Kira’s skills allow her and the crew to escape, only to find themselves stranded in deep space with only one chance for survival, an undiscovered planet teeming with life that is light years beyond the borders of the Terran Coalition of Systems.

Forced to crash land, the crew of the Rented Mule learns immediately that the key to surviving on Vitalis is a closely guarded secret. Vitalis has a way of getting inside the mind, body, and soul of a person and once it’s got them, it doesn’t let them go.

 

“This book (series) keeps you riveted from the beginning to the end. What people really appreciate is a hero who takes what is given them and excels in spite of everything. Because of our present sedate society we need heroes today more than ever. This series takes you from your dull every day life and lets you experience something which keeps you blood flowing, at least for a little while. When finished I felt saddened that I needed to wait to experience more. This series takes you into a life that most of us would give anything to live.” – Amazon reviewer

 

And Halstead continues to deliver – when readers are done with Part I they can purchase newly released Part II, Vitalis: Resurrection via Amazon.

 

Learn more at www.booksbyjason.com.

 

Title: Vitalis Omnibus

Author: Jason Halstead

Published: 2012

ASIN: B0089MZ09M

Publisher: Novel Concept Publishing LLC

 

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.

The Evolution of Lucky Number 20

Mord of that damned word play, I’m afraid. “Evolution” is the title of the book I released today. Vitalis part 6, Evolution, is available at Amazon, Smashwords, and in a matter of days Barnes and Noble, Sony, and other retailers. I mentioned the number 20 because Vitalis: Evolution is my 20th published book. Why is it lucky? That’s an easy one – I’m doing something I love and the interest and feedback I’m getting my readers tells me they love it too. How much luckier can I get than that?

Speaking of Vitalis and good things, each book in the series is ranked on multiple bestselling lists on Amazon (with the exception of Evolution, but that was just released so it’s not there yet). The overall ranking for each one is near the top of the overall charts as well. That, to me, is incredible. I can’t begin to thank all the readers out there who have helped propel this series and my other books along the way. I try though. Just ask any of the readers who’ve sent me feedback, even when they’ve got an issue with something.

Just the other day I had a reader send me an email thanking me for coming up with Vitalis and sharing both his thoughts and a few questions. He’d been hesitant to write, fearing it wouldn’t be received or bothered with. I was his first attempt at ever contacting a writer. I replied as soon as I could (the next morning), letting him know that he was important to me and that I appreciated his feedback very much. I answered his questions and shared some fun trivia about Vitalis that isn’t found in the books. He was ecstatic at my quick response. To my fellow writers out there I encourage you to treat your readers with as much respect as I do. After all, without them all the talent in the world doesn’t do us a bit of good.

But enough about me! Back to Vitalis. I should warn the fans of the series there’s a lot going on in book six.  It’s longer than most of the others and there’s a good reason for it, it’s got some amazing things taking place in it.  Amazing and, by the time you finish it you’re going to ask yourself, “Holy ^$#@! Did he really just go there?” Yes I did, and there’s plenty more of that to come in book seven (which I expect to release on June 1st). Until then, here’s the blurb, cover, and links for Vitalis: Evolution!

When a highly adaptive native species merges human DNA with its own, the results are enough to threaten the existence of everything in its path. The small colony of human survivors has to decide how they’ll deal with the newest menace Vitalis has pitted against them.

 Fear turns to terror when the residents of Treetown learn that the new breed isn’t trying to destroy them, it’s stealing them away in the dark of the night and exposing them to horrors so terrifying madness is the only escape.

Evolution, book 6 in the Vitalis series by Jason Halstead

Vitalis – Evolution on Amazon

Vitalis – Evolution on Amazon UK

Vitalis on 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.

Take a Squat

April 2, 2012 2 comments

Everything about my latest futuristic science fiction book, Squatter’s Rights, has been on the fast track. This is the fifth book in my Vitalis series. I wrote it in less than a week and my editor had finished it inside of another week. The cover art came in just last night, taking perhaps a week as well. All in all, it’s been a book that defies the traditional timing of writing and publishing. I know I felt fevered and impassioned when writing it. On any given day in spite of being constantly busy I would manage to crank out 2,000 to 8,000 words. I love the direction it took me and can’t wait to explore the possibilities that lay ahead of me. My editor returned it to me with the comments, “I liked Squatter’s Rights. And soooo creepy about those parasites!”

What? Creepy? Oh yeah, I went there. I’m branching out and trying to mix my sci-fi with a dash of horror!

There’s more though, this came through at an amazing time. Today’s my birthday and what better birthday present then for two people to get something at the same time? Treat yourself to Vitalis – Squatter’s Rights for a whopping $.99 and everybody wins! Here’s the blurb and the cover…

The accidental colony on Vitalis has grown with each lucky survivor the planet tried to chew up and spit aside. For three years Treetown has offered shelter and solace to the refugees of the beautiful planets merciless life cycle. Survival against nature is no longer enough.

 A new danger threatens the indentured colonists. The survivors must put aside their differences if they hope to stand a chance against an opponent that will use their very DNA against them.

Squatter's Rights, book 5 in the Vitalis sci-fi series by Jason Halstead

Vitalis – Squatter’s Rights on Amazon

Vitalis – Squatter’s Rights on Amazon UK

Vitalis – Squatter’s Rights on Smashwords

Vitalis -Squatter’s Rights on Barnes and Noble (coming soon)

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.

The Value of Mistakes

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

In my last blog post I mentioned that I made a potential mistake – I read a recent review on one of my books. It turned out to be extremely encouraging and left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling that lasted for quite a while. The only problem was that experience could hardly be classified as a mistake, thus I had little to learn from it. Quite the opposite, rather than learning I believe it conditioned me much like ringing a bell would make Pavlov’s dogs start to drool.

Yes, I went back and found another new review to read. This time it was for New Beginnings, the first book in my futuristic science fiction series titled Vitalis. Imagine my dismay when I read this review:

Jason Halstead wowed me again. I took a chance on him and read Wanted and still remember the vivid characterization even a couple months later, despite reading many books in between.

New Beginnings drew me in immediately. I turned the pages quickly, anxious to see what happened but didn’t expect the outcome at all. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in this series, as I believe the conclusion of this initial book sets the stage for things to come. Keep writing, Jason; you’re even managing to hook readers like me who would never have considered myself remotely close to being part of your target audience.

Woe is me! How am I ever supposed to learn my lesson when my dopamine receptors keep buzzing with good vibes from these kinds of reviews? I looked a little deeper into the New Beginnings reviews and found four reviews in total, rated 5 stars, 4 stars, 5 stars, and 5 stars in order of review date. All in all, I’d say that’s enough of a buzz to get me through the coming week!

Sadly, there’s no lesson to be learned about focusing on the writing rather than the review reading. In response to past reviews I did make a move to break my Dark Earth series up. Originally I’d called The Lost Girls, Traitor, and the immediately pending Wolfgirl part of my Dark Earth series. Well that is no longer the case! A few people were disgruntled at the span of time, distance, and lack of relation between Dark Earth and The Lost Girls so I’ve now reserved my Dark Earth series for Dark Earth and the sequel, Devil’s Icebox (which is due out in the second quarter of 2012). The beginnings of a ideas for a third Dark Earth book is forming in the back of my head as well.

As for The Lost Girls, Traitor, Wolfgirl, and Black Widow (due later this year) – they now comprise The Lost Girls series, which takes place in the Dark Earth setting. Hopefully that will clear up any future confusion and not mislead anyone.

But for now, if you haven’t checked out New Beginnings here’s your chance! As Norma Budden and a couple of other people have told me – it’s a story that pull you in even if you’re not a sci-fi aficionado.

Vitalis Book 1 - New Beginnings by Jason Halstead
Vitalis – New Beginnings, on Amazon

 Vitalis – New Beginnings, on Amazon

Vitalis – New Beginnings, on Amazon UK

(for now that’s it – my Vitalis books are exclusive to Amazon so as to be part of the Kindle Owners Lending Library)

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.

Another Amazon Prime Experiment

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

In a recent post I both applauded the usefulness of the KOLL (Kindle Owners Lending Libary – I think) and challenged the usefulness of Amazon Prime to people who suffer from a lack of enough hours in the day.  None of that has changed from that post until this one, but I’m trying to figure out just what an author can get out it.

For me the greatness of KDP Select (the program through Kindle Publishing where an author enrolls his or her books in to the KOLL program) isn’t about the lending or the borrowing. It’s about the [limited] ability to manage promotions. Each title gets a 5 day collection of days that the book can be offered for free. These can be broken up into 5 separate days, a five day stint, or any combination of lesser time (in full day increments running from midnight PST to midnight PST). That helps books get visibility and exposure, and if everything else is lined up AND the book doesn’t suck, then it can help generate sales.

So with that in mind, I’m releasing the third book in my Vitalis series, Parasites. Parasites isn’t going free but it’s close at only $.99. New Beginnings, the book that started it all, will be free for both Thursday and Friday (January 19th and 20th). Grab it and check it out, it’s got some great reviews and it’s free, what more could you ask for? And after that’s over, you’ll surely want to know more about this undiscovered planet and how the survivors are making do, so check out The Colony and the brand new third installment: Parasites.

Parasites, book 3 in the Vitalis series by Jason Halstead

Parasites, book 3 in the Vitalis series by Jason Halstead

Parasites on Amazon (doesn’t that just sound cool?)

Parasites on Amazon UK

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.

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