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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.

Hoping for a Better Tomorrow

Mathew McConaughey won an Oscar the other night for his work in the movie, Dallas Buyers Club. This isn’t news at this point, so let’s move on to speech he gave. It was a speech that I found to be rather peculiar.

Mr. McConaughey rattled off three things that he needed every day. And then he ended the speech with a quote from Dazed and Confused, which I personally considered one of his finer roles. All in all though, the speech left me a little confused and wondering if he and Gary Busey have been spending a lot of time together.

I’m not here to discuss or judge the merits of that speech other than to draw attention to one of his three needs. He mentioned he needs someone to aspire to be. The target of that need is himself, 10 years in the future. It sounded a little cheesy to me in the speech, but the important part is the recognition of what potential the future holds and the fact that with hard work and hope can make for a great tomorrow.

For example, two days ago I would never have guess that my futuristic sci-fi book, Vitalis, would shoot from being in Amazon’s 18,000 – 19,000 ranking to being 2,412 this morning when I woke up. A book about the future with a bright future. It’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now my book and Mathew McConaughey have nothing in common beyond that tenuous line of logic, but if he wanted to pick a character to portray in a movie of the book, well, I would be open to talk about it. We could even call it the Vitalis Buyers Club…

Jokes aside, I’m very excited to see Vitalis doing so well. So I’m writing this, to try and convince other people to go and check it out and  share my excitement with me. Readers write me about the Vitalis books and I love discussing the story with them. In fact, there’s been a few times where I’ve had new ideas, twists, and even characters arise from those discussions. And for only $.99 for a novel that’s well beyond 100,000 words, how can you go wrong?

So please, give it a look and some honest consideration. Vitalis has metric tons of fast paced excitement involving pirates, aliens, a new world, insufficient resources (including clothing, in some cases), politics, intrigue, and even a few crazy people. And unlike a lot of sci-fi the science isn’t there to be the story, it’s there to sit in the background, be cool, and allow the story to take place. As a few readers have said, Vitalis is a great intro into a genre (sci-fi) that they never had any interest in before.

 

Bestselling sci-fi anthology, Vitalis, by Jason Halstead

Vitalis on Amazon

Vitalis on Amazon UK

 

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.

Living the Dream

January 17, 2014 Leave a comment

The topic of today’s post is backwards. However, “living the dream” sounded a lot better than “dreaming the life.” People would read that and maybe wonder what the heck was wrong with me. Maybe. More likely they’d not even bother.

The question of what the heck is wrong with me still applies though. I’ve been writing hard and fast, like always, but my last two books were both Vitalis books. That means futuristic science fiction, complete with animals, plants, and people from another world. And trust me, alien plants can be some pretty scary things.

I’m near to finishing up Vitalis: Chryslis, it’s the 6th book in the popular series and it brings the reader back to the plight of the colonists stuck on the planet of Vitalis. In this book more is learned about how Vitalis works beneath the surface while most of the characters are trying to find a way to help a very sick young woman that comes to planet with no other options left to save her.

Vitalis, futuristic science fiction by Jason Halstead

Now I explain the dreaming part. I had a dream last night that some people might consider terrifying or at least disturbing. I’m not most people. In fact after my alarm went off and I finished stretching and bemoaning the fact that I didn’t want to get up yet, I remembered the dream and began to pick out bits and pieces and tie them in to things that made sense. I was left with a sense of satisfaction and warm fuzziness.

In my dream it was obvious that a few people trying to fight or escape something monstrous. That’s easy – I’ve got a small security team amongst the survivors busy fighting the biggest and nastiest threat they’ve faced yet. Then they’re running from this monster down a dark tunnel – easy again, the people my characters are trying to protect are holed up in a cave.

Next comes a light that seems like a possible escape, only find out it’s some sort of fire or explosion racing down the tunnel. The people in the dream duck into a side passage and find a place to take cover while the flames race past them. They do not escape unscathed. The dream people lose track of the dream monster, but it tries to escape too. It doesn’t find a place to hide and it’s too big to try and duck behind a rock.

So what does the light and fire mean? Well I can come up with a couple of theories but they would release spoilers in the book. The fire, I believe, represents something more intangible, and yet more threatening long term.

A few days before that I had a dream about a haunted house where everybody’s insisting I not go in because the ghostly / evil presence up on the second floor would do bad things to me. Mortal danger / scary kind of bad things. So of course, I thought I’d do it and show them what a bunch of wussies they were. I went up and sure enough, evil powerful badness awaits. I thought it was cool and somehow came out it changed. Not like puppy-kicking innocents-slaughtering evil change, just some occult weirdness with Hollywood style superpowers. That one, near as I can figure, isn’t related to any books (yet!).

So ultimately I’m still left with one question that you might share – what the heck is wrong with me?

 

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.

Can’t Keep a Good Book Down

September 14, 2012 Leave a comment

As a fellow reader I’m sure we’re all aware of the books that we have a hard time putting down. I can think of quite a few over the years, ranging from authors like Dean Koontz, Michael Crichton, Terry Goodkind, and Raymond Feist to many others. As a writer I can’t tell you how much it thrills me to have received feedback from readers who claimed they had the same “problem” with my books.

As much as I’m happy to boast about my books, there’s more to it than just being a reader who can’t put a book down. For me when I’m writing I get so sucked in to the book that I can’t put it down either, and that’s from a writing perspective! How else could I crank out 3000 to 8000 words a day? Certain doctors might insist it’s an escape mechanism designed to help me cope with reality, but I don’t buy that – wouldn’t alcohol be a lot easier?

When there’s something about a book that just has to come out of me it’s burning in my brain and it needs to be released. I’ve had characters over the years that demanded emancipation and they turned into great books. In other cases, like my Vitalis series, I had something terrible happen to more than a few characters, but they wouldn’t accept their fates. They couldn’t accept them. And so the next book in the series was born. Vitalis: Resurrection, is a full novel length book released today that continues the story of Vitalis six months after then end of the Vitalis Omnibus. New characters join the fold and old characters are redefined and reintroduced. Relationships are expanded and explained and there’s a lot of time spent in a complex of dark caves fighting Vitalian monsters that draws people closer together.

Vitalis: Resurrection is a story about surviving impossible odds and proving that nothing can quench the human spirit – even when the very essence of the world is pitted against them.

Here’s the blurb:

Vitalis is more than just a new world outside the fringes of Terran space, Vitalis is greater than anything humanity has ever encountered. And it’s getting fed up.

The time has come for humans living on the world to be judged. What better way to understand the colonists than to become one of them and see how they live, fight, and love?

Vitalis: Resurrection, a book by Jason Halstead

Vitalis: Resurrection on Amazon

Vitalis: Resurrection on Amazon UK

Vitalis: Resurrection on Kobo (coming soon)

Vitalis: Resurrection on Barnes and Noble

Vitalis: Resurrection on Smashwords

Print version Vitalis: Resurrection (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.

A Different Kind of Resurrection

The worst part about the title of this blog post is that I’m not going to go into details. Those would be spoilers, you see, and I just can’t have that! I will share that Resurrection is the title of part 8 in my Vitalis series. I will also say that Vitalis – Resurrection is slated at being longer than the previous seven parts. I might even opt to go for a full novel length story, rather than a novella.

Another reason I won’t go into details is because I’m not quite sure how it’s all going to play out. I’m two chapters into it and they’re practically writing themselves, but that doesn’t mean I know what’s going to happen in chapter 3 yet. So far I’ve got a full loaded troop transport hurtling towards Vitalis at speeds greater than anything seen previously in the Terran Coalition of Systems. Unfortunately for the Marines thawing out from their hibernation sleep, there’s a really big rogue asteroid floating in their flight path…

And in chapter two Elsa, the second in command of Treetown, runs across a new kind of hybrid. A hybrid, for those unfamiliar with the Vitalian take on the term, is the result of the queen of a species of Vitalian creatures dubbed spitters that inserts her eggs into the abdomen of a human host. The chemicals released leave the hosts lethargic and extraordinarily stoned while the eggs acquire DNA from the hosts to allow them to fertilize and mature. Then they hatch and begin to eat the hosts from the inside out. It ain’t pretty. And what’s different about the new type of hybrid that they haven’t seen before? Well all of the former hybrids had male hosts, thus the hybrids were male. The new one Elsa encounters just so happens to have breasts – and we’re not talking man-boobs.

So what’s the big deal? As anyone who’s read the series knows, the hybrids are close enough to humans that they’re able to breed with them. If it sounds gross that’s because it is. Scary too. The offspring are more intelligent and in a poorly lit alley very hard to tell from a pure blooded human, whereas the hybrids can only pass as human from a distance. From the perspective of physical menace the hybrids are more dangerous – no one’s sure just how dangerous their offspring are (yet). Now imagine a female hybrid that’s able to mate with her own sub-species. A rapid gestation period and high probability of multiple births makes for a race of dangerous and amoral creatures. Hmm, maybe it’s a good thing there’s a company of Marines about to crash into the planet?

Of course Resurrection can’t be just about that – there are too many characters and too many subplots to wrap it up that neatly! What about the Terran Coalition Systems ships orbiting Vitalis that are building the jump station to allow FTL travel between systems? Or Fiona, the newly crowned Matriarch of a tribe of hybrids that has to find ways to thwart every attempt Klous makes to steal the hybrids allegiance? Tarn, Captain Sharp, Jeremy, and the rest of the residents of Treetown have their own stories and lives to unfold. Not to mention poor Eric. What will he do now that Kira’s been gone for over six months and everyone has written the former huntress off?

In the meantime how about some reviews – I love writing and want to keep doing it but without reviews my books don’t make their way up on the Amazon lists for people to see and buy. For my books Amazon requires 20 words, a title / subject, and a 5 star rating. Okay, 4 star will do too. :)

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 Love it When a Story Comes Together

I gave up smoking cigars years ago, but if it helps the title of this post, feel free to imagine me with one in hand. If you have no idea where that image comes from…um, never mind, I’m just showing my age.

The point of the post is that I’ve decided to honor the requests of so many negative reviewers regarding my Vitalis series. Every one of them states they really enjoyed the story but they grew frustrated with the length of the individual stories – or lack thereof. They felt they were only chapters in a larger story. Sorry folks, that just ain’t the way of it! A chapter is generally less than 5000 words, although I’ve seen them grow to a rare 10,000 on occasion (e.g. my Voidhawk novel has multiple 10k+ chapters, but it’s basically an omnibus of Voidhawk adventures). The Vitalis stories are all well over 10k words, and even over 20k in some instances.

Now that I’m done defending myself, let me move on to the point of this. The Vitalis Omnibus book has just been released on Amazon and Smashwords! Barnes and Noble soon to follow. I’ll have the links up on my website tomorrow sometime (if not sooner). Until then, look below for a direct link to it if you’re interested. The appeal to this book over the others is that it’s cheaper than buying all 7 of the existing books. Outside of that, it’s just a combination of the first seven stories. My recommendation, for those not familiar with Vitalis, is to drop $.99 on the first book (New Beginnings) to see if you like it. Then if you do, buy the omnibus and you’re still saving money or buying all 7 of the individual stories. Did I mention it’s available in print too? Yeah, pretty cool, isn’t it? See below for the print links.

Oh, and not to worry, I’ve many more planned – I just haven’t gotten to writing them yet.

Until then, here’s the cover and the links!

Vitalis, parts 1 - 7, by Jason Halstead

Amazon

Amazon UK

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble 

Vitalis Omnibus in print!

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.

Matriarch Has Me Up Early On A Weekend

Technically my daughter woke me up way too early this Saturday morning. But if she hadn’t I’d probably have woken up on my own soon anyhow – I’m excited about an early release of my latest Vitalis book: Matriarch. Unfortunately the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet so I’m having a heck of a time coming up with anything witty to say to try and sway the massed to rush out and check it out. I will say that some extremely unexpected things happened in this one – unexpected even to me. The characters spoke to me and then Vitalis itself guided me a few times. Sometimes the world overrode the characters, much to their dismay.

As for a message hidden within the science fiction, I like to think Matriarch shows the characters struggling to improve themselves and searching for what matters most to them, all the while learning to accept what fate has in store for them and making the best out of it. In short, the same sort of thing we all have to deal with. The Vitalis characters just get to do it on a very cool, if a bit hostile, planet.

Here’s the blurb for it! Now it’s time for me to get working on the next chapter of Betrayal’s Hands to post for the weekend. Enjoy!

Vitalis possesses deadly beauty and unlimited possibilities. In order to survive both the human survivors must learn to put their differences aside.

In their darkest hour since they crash landed on the planet the unlikely colonists are faced with a choice: will salvation come from the Terran Coalition ships in orbit or by embracing the natural evolution of Vitalis?

Matriarch, book 7 in the science fiction series Vitalis by Jason Halstead

Matriarch on Amazon

Matriarch on Amazon UK

Matriarch on Smashwords

Matriarch 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.

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.

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