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Posts Tagged ‘magic’

It’s Time for Some Payback!

February 16, 2013 Leave a comment

No tricks and no fancy play on words today. This post is about the release of my latest novel, Silver Dragon. I’ve blogged about it a few times but now it’s finally here. Silver Dragon is the third book in my Blades of Leander Series (Child of Fate and Victim of Fate preceded it). It picks up the story immediately after Alto has buried his fallen loved ones and follows him on his path of revenge.

Rather than waste time trying to drop teasers without spoiling the story, here’s the blurb, cover, and links. If you enjoy an epic fantasy that has a little bit of everything in it, head on over and pick it up.

Alto’s hands are stained with the blood of the fallen. The only justice he can find must be had by the blade, but the path of vengeance shows him that he is but a pawn in a far more dangerous game. Sarya’s plans reach far beyond anything the young warrior could imagine and require a sacrifice from him greater than he can give.

Alto must make fear his ally if he is to lead his companions into the dragon’s lair with any hope of saving the woman he loves and the two nations he calls home.

Silver Dragon, book 3 in the Blades of Leander fantasy series by Jason Halstead

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble (coming soon)

iTunes (coming soon)

Kobo

Smashwords

Sony (coming soon)

Print (coming soon)

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.

Fallen Heroes

January 18, 2013 1 comment

I’ve been so caught up in writing that I missed some big news this month. Lance Armstrong, who most of you are probably sick of hearing about, admitted to using performance enhancing substances to win all his medals. I hope this doesn’t come as a shock to many people, but if it does, I’m sorry you had to witness the fall of a hero.

Does it change his accomplishments or his victories? Not really. He still won all those races and he still beat cancer. As Mr. Armstrong himself put it in his interview with Oprah Winfrey, he was leveling the playing field.

That’s what I’ve been telling people for years. No, not that I’m doping up to compete because, well, I don’t compete in any physical venues these days. Although I did spend a year as a competitive powerlifter before a catastrophic injury sidelined me, but that’s another story. From the college level of sports and above (and sometimes even in high school, sadly), athletes are doing whatever it is they need to do in order to compete. They’re told to win and that the end justifies the means. So as soon as one guy grabs a needle then the next guy knows he has to grab one too or he’s not going to be able to stand a chance against him.

The thing is, enhanced or not, these athletes are playing on a level field. There’s no competitive advantage, it’s all about training and hard work. You can’t inject 1000mg of testosterone every week and expect to become the world’s next home run king without working out and swinging a bat thousands and thousands of times. You can’t bench press 800 pounds without spending years working your way up from 135 pounds to 225 to 315 and every five pound increase in between. You can’t skate hard for over sixty minutes while pounding other players into the boards and shooting a puck past a goalie to win the Stanley cup in triple overtime. You can’t survive being pounded by 300+ pound linebackers every time somebody hands you a football and still go on to win a Superbowl ring. And you can’t win umpteen Tour de France and Olympic medals in cycling against an international level of competition. These things can’t be done without years of incredible focus, determination, and hard work. And if even one guy is using a little something extra to get a boost then if you want to win you have to use it too.

The International Olympic Committee and the Tour de France stripped Lance Armstrong of all his medals. Big deal. The guys that got moved up know they didn’t win. Sure, they got a shinier medal now, but they know they did the same thing that he did, they just didn’t get caught for it (yet). And even doing the same things they still couldn’t beat him. But by stripping him of the medals he spent years working hard to earn they sure taught him a lesson, didn’t they?

The lesson, sadly, is that you do what you have to do in order to win and then you have to lie about what it really takes to be a champion. This is one of the reasons why I admire bodybuilding and powerlifting so much – there are no stupid rules that say we want you to do superhuman things, but you can’t do what you need to do in order to win while you’re doing it. Oh, sure, there are drug free federations and competitions and those are definitely worth watching and competing in (that’s what I did, for the record), but when it comes to the pro circuit – the guys everybody looks up to – there’s no hypocrisy involved. And get this – the guys lifting crazy amounts of weight that admit they take testosterone, masteron, trenbolon, deca, anadrol, anavar, winstrol, and a host of other performancing enhancing substances to get there? They’re lifting the same weights that you see in the Olympics or other world class drug free sanctioned events. The same weights that are physically impossible to lift without those performance enhancing drugs and years of hard work.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve said it but I’ll say it again. To the IOC, Tour de France, and other legislative bodies made up of scrawny or overweight armchair coaches: Knock it off. Stop being blind and stupid. Stop demanding the impossible and then punish people who find ways to do it. To be fair the world is at fault for wanting superheroes to be real, then demanding that there be nothing super about them. Or as Dash put it in The Incredibles, saying everyone’s special is another way of saying no one is.

Now to twist this into more than just a rant, I can get around all these complications. I do it in my books all the time. I write science fiction and fantasy stories and in those, performance enhancement is the name of the game! Sci-fi offers opportunities beyond anything you can imagine, and I try to make it legal and ethical when possible (unless it’s a bad guy, of course). Fantasy, on the other hand, is the realm of magic. Anything’s possible when you’ve got magic. The hard part about magic is finding balance, otherwise things will spiral out of control and bad things happen. Bad things like villains taking over the story and world and people losing interest because there’s no challenge or adventure anymore.

To be fair, there are dangers involved in using performance enhancing drugs. They vary by substance and a host of other factors, so I’m not in favor of blind acceptance by any means. But, on the other hand, there are dangers involved when communing with an extra-dimensional deity exchanging future favors and promises for the ability to summon fire from the sky and raise the dead. It just goes to show that there’s no such thing as a free lunch…

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 Devil’s out of the Icebox

April 20, 2012 1 comment

Regular readers may remember a post I made some time ago regarding the devil being in my icebox. Well, just like before, this post does not mean my refrigerator is possessed or misbehaving. It’s a book! The Devil’s Icebox, sequel to Dark Earth, is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and loads of other places like Sony, Kobo, Diesel, and others in the very near future. It was a lot of fun to write and it sets the stage for two more books in this series. I don’t have timing on those books, but knowing me I’ll probably have at least the first available before 2012 is over.

The Devil’s Icebox was slated for release on May 1st. Everything came together great on this, from writing the story to having two consummate professionals helping with the editing and cover art. So why not get it out a little bit earlier – I’ve had a lot of feedback wanting an immediate sequel for Dark Earth.

Devil’s Icebox blurb:

Lord Baxter’s portal between Earth and Dark Earth beckons. Eager to seek the promises of the otherworld’s powers, Cassiopeia has been sent by her Lord to ensure his realm rivals the mightiest of nations.

 She shares a history with the protector assigned to her, a history filled with familiarity and contempt. Setting the past aside and sharing the present offers forbidden opportunities, as well as a new world filled with opportunity and unimaginable surprises. Her quest remains the only constant, and the one thing she yearns most to be rid of.

Devil's Icebox, by Jason Halstead

Devil’s Icebox on Amazon

Devil’s Icebox on Amazon UK

Devil’s Icebox on Barnes and Noble

Devil’s Icebox 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.

Making Goth Look Good

My Voidhawk series started with the first book I’d ever had accepted for publication. It was actually a collection of novelettes that I strung together into a super-novel. After I finished I had a lot of story left to tell, so I wrote a sequel called Voidhawk – The Elder Race. That one was just as long as the first but it blended the original style of telling mini-stories into an overall plot that revealed itself to me as I wrote it. When I finished it I knew that the characters had more stories in them to tell. Heck, some of the abuse a few of them went through demanded more attention.

And so, after the first two mega-novels I split away and worked on Voidhawk – Redemption. That tells the story of one of the Voidhawk’s crew as he struggles to come to terms with a lot of the anguish of a life poorly spent and a second chance he never wanted. It was a lot of fun for me to write and in the process I feared that the main character had evolved from being my favorite person to torture to my favorite character in the series.

The story of the Voidhawk and crew didn’t end with Redemption, but it did take a hiatus. Well that break is over. Voidhawk – The White Lady, is ready for consumption at long last! The White Lady follows more of the Voidhawk’s crew. They reach a new world with a race rumored to have the knowledge and power necessary to help them solve their personal dilemmas. Along the way their troubles multiply time and again. They meet new foes and new friends – although at times its difficult to tell the difference between the two.

And hey, check out this amazing cover by Willsin Rowe!

The official blurb:

The people of Kelios have an unlikely group of saviors in a cursed priest, a confused sorceress, and a woman with a damaged soul trapped in the body of a teenage girl.

The three members of the Voidhawk’s crew came to Kelios seeking council with an powerful race of beings called the Fayer. Along the way they run afoul of the unholy army of The White Lady and vow to stop her. The only problem is that the answers to Bekka’s problems may come from the very being they’re determined to destroy.

Voidhawk - The White Lady, book 4 in the Voidhawk fantasy series by Jason Halstead

Voidhawk - The White Lady, by Jason Halstead

Voidhawk – The White Lady on Amazon

Voidhawk – The White Lady on Amazon UK

Voidhawk – The White Lady on Barnes and Noble

Voidhawk – The White Lady 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.

Fire Hydrants Beware!

March 1, 2012 1 comment

March 1st is the official launch date of Wolfgirl, my latest book in my Lost Girls series (follow The Lost Girls and Traitor). This makes it a trilogy, but don’t worry, I have no plans on stopping at only three books. I’ve already thrown some virtual ink on virtual paper for the next book in the Lost Girls series, Black Widow. I won’t begin serious writing on it until later this year though. If you just can’t wait there is a novella set in my Dark Earth setting called Voices that actually takes place slightly after Wolfgirl ends and includes a rather important cameo appearance of the main characters.

I’m also running a special promotion on the 1st and 2nd of March that has The Lost Girls, book one of the series, free on Amazon.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, first let me give you a teaser of Wolfgirl:

The world of Dark Earth is the latest vacation thrill for the wealthy. When an all inclusive vacation to see how wild the west really was goes wrong the CEO of a biotech company’s family is attacked by natives and one of their number held for ransom.

Lieutenant Katalina Wimple is the perfect woman for the case. Not only does she have the experience, the skills, and the friends with the right talents, but it turns out she has a distant relationship to the kidnapped victim. In order to do the job she has to put personal tragedy aside and return to the world she hates in the hopes of not only rescuing her estranged family, but finding the acceptance that’s missing in her own life.

Wolfgirl takes Katalina back to Dark Earth, a place she’s grown to despise. As if Dark Earth wasn’t bad enough she’s also got to spend some time in New Vegas, the wicked step-sister to our own Las Vegas. The difference? Minimal technology and even fewer human rights. For a cop who often becomes a monster so she can fight monsters she might find she’s bitten off more than she can chew this time around.

Wolfgirl is available all over the place, find a link below if you’re interested and don’t forget to tell a friend and / or write a review!

Wolfgirl, book 3 in the Lost Girls series, by Jason Halstead

Wolfgirl, book 3 in the Lost Girls series, by Jason Halstead

Wolfgirl, on Amazon

Wolfgirl, on Amazon UK

Wolfgirl, on Barnes and Noble

Wolfgirl, 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.

Some Fun and Furry March Madness

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve made mention recently on Twitter about some exciting news, but now it’s time to share it on here. It’s exciting to me, so just smile and nod if you’re not as thrilled as I am. It’s been a challenging year, especially the month of February, so these things coming about came at a great time.

The things I’m talking about? First is the pending release of Wolfgirl, the sequel to Traitor. Wolfgirl is the third book in my Lost Girls series, which takes place in my Dark Earth setting. Wolfgirl continues the story of Katalina Wimple and her friends, co-workers, and romantic disasters. It shares something else in common with Traitor, Katy heads back through the portal to New Vegas, the lawless version of Sin City where anything really does go. And what happens in New Vegas only stays in New Vegas if you don’t have a big enough gun to get away.

Wolfgirl, book 3 in the Lost Girls series, by Jason Halstead

Wolfgirl, book 3 in the Lost Girls series, by Jason Halstead

The same day I received the finished cover art for Wolfgirl (courtesy of Willsin Rowe), I also received a very suprising email from one of my editors. It turns out she finished editing Voidhawk – The White Lady, a couple weeks ahead of schedule! Maybe that doesn’t strike you as a big deal but I only gave it to her less than two weeks ago. I was shocked, but after skimming through it I was also impressed. Either I’m getting better during my rough drafts or there’s a lot of finishing touches that need to be put into it. Either way, I launched my cover art requests today. I’d planned to release Voidhawk – The White Lady on April 1st but now it’s looking like I may get a mid-March release date on it.

Wolfgirl takes me up to 16 books published. Voidhawk – The White Lady, will take me to 17. With the release of Wolfgirl also be on the lookout to pick up The Lost Girls, the book that begins that series, for free! I’ll be running a special on Amazon the 1st and the 2nd so be sure to check it out. Or if you just want to help a brutha out you could head over to Amazon now and pick it up for $2.99. Voidhawk, the first novel in my Voidhawk series, is available for free on Amazon with no deadlines! Grab it anytime and start the high fantasy adventure! Just be prepared to leave your sense of physics behind but bring plenty of fun along for the ride.

Left I forget, the mention of “fun and furry” in the title is not just Twitterbait. Both books have some pretty hefty paranormal creatures / activities going on in them. Not to worry, I’m not on the verge of turning into somebody who has to write about such beings, it just happened the these two books fell into my writing lineup at the same time. I’ve gotten it out of my system, if ever it was in there, you can … aw nuts, no you can’t. I just remembered the one I’m writing now (Dark Earth book 2: Devil’s Icebox) has a different breed of paranormal entity going on. I promise, the next one I write won’t!

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.

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