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Posts Tagged ‘thriller’

Den of Sin

A subject like that implies decadence at the least, with possibly some hedonism and bloodshed mixed in. I suppose that’s not too far from the truth since this post is my attempt to advertise and advertisement. Once your head stops spinning, read on!

Today I’ve got a promotion going out over at Kindle Books and Tips for a book. It’s none other than the book J. Knight Bybee and I wrote together called Devil’s Island. Devil’s Island happens to be the first in the Fallen Angels series, and this promo is our attempt to both advertise the sale price of $.99 in conjunction with the new release of Devil’s Rising, book 2 in the series.

Given the book titles and the title of this blog post, you’ve probably got an idea about the books genre. Yes, there’s a load of occult and religious stuff going on. No excessive preaching or anything of the sort though. Our mission is to entertain, not to make you feel guilty.

And oh yeah, there’s all sorts of entertainment. I really had a lot of fun working on these books (and continuing the project on the next book in the series). So much character growth and development with characters that anyone can identify with.

But enough of me, already! Go check out the promo over at Kindle Book and Tips. Give this page, that page, or any other affiliated page a like to help us spread the word.

Book 1 of the Fallen Angles series by Jason Halstead and J. Knight Bybee

 

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.

 

Drugs, Guns, and Topless Sunbathing

Queue the deep announcer voice: In a world brought to the edge of civilization by terrorism and economic collapse, one man… ah, screw it. That’s too cheesy even for me.

I am very happy to announce the release of Marshal, the fourth book in my Wanted series! Is there terrorism and economic ruin and all that stuff? Sure. But it’s in the past mostly by this point (in other words, read the first three books and start with Wanted – it’s free!). Marshal pits Federal Marshal Carl Waters against some new adversaries that are doing their best to lay the groundwork for an extensive drug, weapons, and human trafficking network throughout the American southwest before the United States government is able to fully reclaim the area.

The excitement doesn’t stop there though. Carl’s daughter, Allison, has followed in his footsteps and used her tech-savvy skills to become a deputy marshal on his team. Jessie (Carl’s Wife) is back and has used her entertainment industry skills to turn herself into a producer as well as an actress.

Tanya Kurkova, billionaire ice princess, and her devoted bounty-hunter turned personal assistant Sarah Gibson are back as well. And wow, are they back. In fact, one of the main plots of the book involves Tanya inheriting the corporate empire from her father. Of course that brings another character out of the past to stir up some trouble. Tanya’s brother, Dustin. The same Dustin that once hoped to have his sister killed so he could become the sole heir.

So Marshal’s got drug dealers, corporate intrigue, romance (including some twisted up love triangles), family struggles, undercover police work, a private pool with clothing optional sunbathing, and some international travel. There’s a lot going on and it’s a lot of fun watching Carl try to maintain his tough guy image while spending time with his daughter and reaching deep to try and offer a more sensitive side to support both friends and family.

 

Book 4 in the Wanted series, Marshal, by Jason Halstead

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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 Finally Killed the Zombies!

March 28, 2014 1 comment

For years now I’ve agonized over a cover for a book of mine that I just didn’t like. The characters looked like zombies. Dirty, blood stained, mindless, flesh eating, you know the type. But that was what my original publisher thought was a great cover and my objections were promptly ignored.

Well it’s my book now (has been for a while, I’ve just been focused on new stuff). So now I’m unveiling a new and polished look by a great cover artist I found in Italy. I didn’t have to go to Italy, unfortunately (hmm, tax write off?). Her name is Cora and she can be found at http://www.coragraphics.it/.

But enough about that, first marvel at the polished beauty of the new and improved cover for my alternative romance / scorched earth / alien survival thriller, Human Nature!

Human Nature, by Jason Halstead

And I’ve got something in the works for a possible sequel for it too. Second Nature…I know, cheesy, but it”ll be worth it, I promise!

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 Next Pandemic

With movies like Outbreak, World War Z, Resident Evil, and shows like Walking Dead it’s easy to imagine a worldwide epidemic. Granted, most of those movies involve zombies and far-fetched possibilities, but Outbreak glamorized a real world example of just how dangerous these things can be. And how self-limiting. Infecting and killing a host within a matter of hours limits the ability to spread.

Now imagine that when you get infected you feel better. Your body gets stronger, your hair grows thicker and longer, your nails strengthen, maybe you even grow a little and put on some healthy weight while shedding fat. You feel younger, like you’re in your early twenties and the world is yours to take. That means you’re not dying in a few hours, instead you’re staying healthy and spreading the infection.

Sounds awesome, right? Infect me, please! Okay, now what if that meant you were trapped. You can live young and healthy and be at the top of your game, but you have to be confined to an island with only other infected people. Is it still worth it?

This is where I shift things to my new release, Vitalis: Invasion. It is the 5th novel in my Vitalis series and it’s all about spreading infection. In Vitalis: Provenance a ship carrying samples and people from Vitalis crash landed on Earth. A very dystopian Earth of the future. The privileged fraction of human society that still live there risk exposure and infection, and they’ve got to figure out what’s going on and how to get away from it if they want to remain members of the human society. The alternative? Quarantine. Being an outcast on the homeworld of humanity. Or, depending upon just what survived the crash, perhaps much, much worse.

Was it just bacteria that made it or was there something else? What if something was in hiding? Something with its own simple agenda. Something that lives only to feed and reproduce, in a place where the only living things remaining on ninety percent of the planet are humans.

That, my friends, is a hint of what Vitalis: Invasion is all about. For the sake of sating your curiosity I’ll post the blurb and cover. It’s available now, and hot on its heels will be the next Vitalis book, which I’m roughly 2/3 of the way through. Book 6 takes us back to the world of Vitalis and explores not only the troubles of a very sick young girls struggling to survive but also exposes more of the inner workings of what’s behind Vitalis. Why is this planet there and just how, and why, do these amazing things happen to people who live there?

Leona Montessori left a life of violence for one promising happiness, stability, and a family. A life to be envied, working security for the executives of a major corporation with headquarters in the Pacific Northwest still on the surface of Earth.

All that changed when the unknown ship crashed and the Army garrison was activated. Using her forgotten training she teams up with an unlikely partner in Astra Redmond, an inter-stellar superstar. Astra’s got her own hidden agenda though, a reunion with her lost twin-sister that was a passenger on the spaceship.

Meanwhile Klous, the human leader of the Vitalians that escaped the wreckage and butchered the Army platoon, gets ready to wage a war for the fate of Earth.

Vitalis: Invasion, book 6 in the Vitalis science fiction series by Jason Halstead

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Coming soon – Kobo, iTunes, Sony, and others

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.

Weak, Boring, Spineless Women

January 7, 2014 2 comments

I watched a movie recently called Prisoners. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal star in it, as well as a handful of other people who are largely forgettable. In spite of that, it was a really good movie and I thought Jackman did a great job in it. I was hoping a few times that he’d pop the Wolverine claws and tear some people up… but such was not to be.

The problem with the movie was Jackman’s wife. Mrs. Dover (I don’t remember the actress or the character’s name). She was forgettable because she was a nobody. A pretty lump of flesh that existed solely for the sake of the story and to round out Mr. Dover (Jackman).

The premise of the movie is that his kid gets kidnapped. He goes crazy and does some things to try and get her back that seem extreme to our refined sensibilities – but at the same time they strike me as the kind of thing any man would, or should, do in the same situation. What does the mother do during all this? She pops a lot of pills and remains largely catatonic. In one of her only memorable scenes she pushes everybody away and says, “I just want to sleep.”

Really? You’re kid has been kidnapped and you have no idea if she’s being molested, tortured, or already lying dead somewhere while the wild animals tear at her lifeless body. So all you want to do is sleep? If there are any people out there like that, man or woman, I don’t want to know them.

I’m a fighter and so are the people I like to surround myself with. Those are the interesting people. The people that make things happen. And those are the people I write about. I think Prisoners was a good movie, but I attributed a lot of weak characters and loose ends to an adaptation from a book that they just didn’t have time for (it was already over 2:30 hours!). I was wrong, it was just a movie with no book.

What would I change? I’d get Mrs. Dover out of bed! I’d get her doing something with herself. Drive around. Hell, even the cowardly neighbors (husband and wife) that lose their kid contribute to a certain degree. But the woman that should be up in arms and walking through the streets and forests – she’s sleeping it off.

Watch the movie, I highly recommend it. And when you’re done and your aching for some women with a spine and the ability to think and feel, go check out one of my books. You’re guaranteed to find some feisty ladies in any of them, but the latest books climbing up the hcarts at Amazon are my Vitalis series! Or if you’re more about listening I’ve got a brand new audiobook out that knocked my socks off when I heard it. The narrator is well and truly outstanding with all the voices he does and how well he reads it. Child of Fate, a fantasy novel where the men are manly, the women are strong, and the monsters sound and act like real monsters.

 

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 Was Worried

November 12, 2013 Leave a comment

I started a new story the other day and it’s a bit out of the ordinary for me. It’s fiction and it’s a detective style novel. I’ve dabbled in both I guess, but this time there’s no science fiction, no fantasy, and no paranormal. No anything out of the ordinary. Its…mainstream!

I know, weird. But that’s the funny part, I’m two solid chapters into it so far and I’m really liking the characters and where / how it’s going. Regular readers of this blog might remember me mentioning a character concept I had for a woman named Cookie. Well, Cookie’s one of the two main characters in this book. And so far she’s proving to be a lot of fun! Yes, she’s coming across a bimbo, but the other main character, Mark Cohen, is learning there is a lot more to her than meets the eye.

So what’s the story? Well, Detective Cohen (private investigator style), is dealing with the mistakes of his past, including an ex wife and a daughter that wants nothing to do with him when Cookie walks in and needs help. Her sister is in trouble, she says. Trouble that came about from spending too much time with her boyfriend who got into trouble with drugs and who knows what else. Now Devin, Cookie’s sister, is missing too. Mark’s got to figure out what happened to her and if he can help her out – and if he can, if he’s willing to risk what it’s going to take to do him.

Still working on a title for the book and the series. I was considering “Cookie Cutter” for one or the other… cheesy in the extreme but then again, so am I!

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.

NaNoWriMo for Wussies

October 14, 2013 Leave a comment

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, don’t feel bad. I had to look it up a couple of years ago when I first heard about it. In fact, I’m still not sure what it stands for. What I do know is that it’s a pain in the butt to write a made up word with varying capitalization throughout it. But that’s just me being crotchety.

My next complaint about NanowhateverMo is how excited people get about it. And by people I mean writers (Yes, we’re people too. Strange people, but still people). I see Facebook posts and tweets and even emails talking it up and getting themselves psyched for the month of November and what that entails. I see it and I wince. I cringe. I shake my head. Then I move on.

So what is NeenerNeernerMo? It’s a challenge that was thought up and issues at some point in the past for writers to write a novel within the month of November. Just the rough draft, not a finished product. But still, an entire novel in a month?! That’s crazy!

Or is it? I’ve never consciously taken part in NaMoWamoDingDong and I’ve been writing a book a month for close to two years now. Honestly, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. If you want to write a book that quick, then do it. Don’t waste time that could be spent writing by drumming up a bunch of pomp and ceremony to announce it. Just do it.

On the other hand I do understand that some people like a challenge. Some people want to feel inspired and provoked. For them this helps them focus and put words to paper. Writing is a learning experience that never ends. Historically novels are supposed months and years to write. Technology and the upheavals in the publishing industry have changed all that. If NannerWhammer is what helps a writer evolve with it, then more power to them.

Me, I don’t bother with the distraction or the hype. I just keep plugging away and producing quality books that more and more people are discovering and loving. Case in point, I’m waiting anxiously to release last month’s project, Vitalis: Genesis. The cover art, by Willsin Rowe, is outstanding. In fact, it’s almost as good as what’s behind the cover! Genesis is the 4th novel in my Vitalis science fiction series. This one is more than just pure futuristic sci-fi though, it’s got some horror worked in as well.

And since you were probably wondering, this month’s project is Dragonlady, the 4th and final book in my Order of the Dragon fantasy series. Next month…well, I’m not sure. I’ve got some great ideas though, but there’s a lot of days between now and then so I don’t want to lock myself into something yet. That also means my reader have a very real chance to influence what comes next. Hint, hint.

 

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.

Welcoming Change

September 24, 2013 Leave a comment

The title of this might imply that I’m offering some sagely advice on how to adapt and evolve. One might believe I’m offering up a secret to surviving the pitfalls of life, be they romantic, financial, dietary, or otherwise. A person could even go so far as to hope I’m going to reveal the secrets to success beyond their wildest dreams…

Well I’m here to say, “Not a chance!” I’m not peddling smoke and mirrors, my friends. What I’ve got is an update on the latest volume in my Vitalis science fiction series. And yes, it’s all about change.

I’m around halfway through it so far but I spent last night, after writing two chapters, outlining how the rest of the story is going to progress. I was very happy with how it turned out, at least in theory. Being roughly halfway through means I’ve written 25 chapters so far. My outline calls for 17 more. Knowing me the way I know me, that 17 could easily turn into 25 or more. Sounds like a pretty freaking big book, doesn’t it?

It’ll have substance to it, but I’m anticipating a word count in the 60k – 75k range. Nothing too excessively meaty. The chapters typically range from 1100 – 1800 words. A few pages of fast paced fun to keep the story moving, although there are a couple of outliers on both ends of the spectrum.

I will admit this one has given me a little bit of a test. I’m hoping to keep it geared more towards sci-fi thriller and horror and combining the typical fast pacing of my Vitalis series with the need to build up some suspense and mystery (and carnage) has been an exciting challenge for me.

So what’s this one about? Well for those fresh to the setting Vitalis is an amazing world over ten light years from Earth. A thick asteroid cloud has hidden the solar system from Earth until it was accidentally discovered a few years back (think Vitalis time, which is set a few hundred years in the future). Humanity has mastered interstellar travel via technology that allows them to travel through man-made wormholes from one system to the next. These are called jump gates. The problem is that someone has to travel to a new system at relativistic speeds to build one of these jumpgates before they can travel that way.

Blah blah blah, okay, enough backstory. In Provenance, the third Vitalis novel, there was an outbreak of sorts that allowed some native material from Vitalis to escape the planet and solar system. It traveled to the Terran homeland (we know it as Earth) with the intent of bringing Vitalian, ahem, enhancements to the root of the Terran Coalition of Systems. That attempt was met with heavy resistance. Along the way a little something special happened though. Vitalian material was dropped off at Europa, a small moon orbiting Jupiter. Why? Just in case the Earth mission failed.

Genesis follows the lives of the small crew living in a research station on the hostile icy moon of Europa. Deep beneath the surface of the frozen crust a liquid ocean surges with the tides caused by Jupiter. The crust is so thick that the scientists are only now beginning to get close to breaching it for the first time and sampling the salty ocean beneath. Until they lose contact with their mining rigs and sensor arrays.

It quickly becomes obvious this is no mere equipment malfunction. The ice is breaking apart and the temperature’s rising at impossible rates. Water and oxygen are spraying into the thin atmosphere and building pressure – an impossible task given the small size of the moon. Yet the burgeoning atmosphere is saturated with oxygen, not nitrogen, making it hostile to human life.

Life on Vitalis, however, thrives because of its ability to adapt and evolve. As one survivor of an early space ship crash onto Vitalis once said, “If Vitalis can’t kill you it will get inside you and change you. You can’t beat it, you can only join it. If you’re lucky.”

The inhabitants of Research Station Europa are finding that out firsthand.

My plan is to finish Vitalis: Genesis on or around the end of September. Then editing and cover art and all that jazz for a hopeful release near the end of October. A sci-fi thriller just in time for Halloween? I wish I’d planned it that way, but I’ll take luck and circumstance any day!

Stay tuned and if you haven’t had a chance to pick up the other Vitalis books in preparation, what’s stopping you? The first one (Vitalis Omnibus) is only $.99 at Amazon. Then follow it up with Vitalis: Resurrection and Vitalis: Provenance.

Vitalis, parts 1 - 7, by Jason Halstead

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 Brakes Don’t Work!

I’m nearly 30,000 words into The Sands of Betrayal, the third book in my Order of the Dragon fantasy series. I hope to have it finished by the end of August, which gives me just shy of two weeks to write a lot of words. Yikes. Okay, moving on…

That’s neat in and of itself, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing going on. When I’m not writing and I have a chance to do so, I’m thinking about writing. I can’t stop doing it either, it just happens whether I expect it or not. On the ride home last night from Michigan’s Renaissance Festival I dreamed up some really disturbing / upsetting ideas for the book I’m writing right now. Stuff I hadn’t considered before, but it was so powerful I’ve already started writing it in. It’s my way of telling my characters to stop thinking they write the stories.

But there’s other ideas out there too. For example I have one idea I’ve blogged about a little bit before. It involves a young women with a terminal disease that’s lost at sea. A few years later she’s found on the shore of a tropical island by some spring breakers. The bad part: she has no memory of who she is or where she’s been aside from her name, Tam’rah. The good part: she’s completely healed. And as the story unfolds she learns she’s more than just healed, she’s special. Special in a bad-things-are-coming-for-you kind of way. But she’s got some amazing tricks of her own that she’s discovering too. And of course, there will be bumps and twists along the way.

I’ve got a concept for a fifth Lost Girls book, which will pit the semi-retired Captain Katalina Wimple  against a man who’s not only evil, but he’s caught her taste through one of his victims and he won’t stop until he finds her and kills her. And everyone she’s ever cared about.

And now onto another idea that just rolled into my head. I’ve been challenged many times to write young adult or new adult fiction but I just don’t have it in me. My writing is too visceral. Too real. Too grisly. And, occasionally, too naughty. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t do a hybrid. I’ve got the perfect character and setting for it, in fact: Jessica Baxter, daughter of Eric Baxter, the star of Dark Earth. Jessica is just about college age and even though they’ve moved from Michigan to Dark Earth to try and civilize the cruel people of that world, there’s no reason she shouldn’t be allowed to come back for college. Fortunately Northern Michigan University doesn’t have any rules or stipulations about allowing witches on their roster.

I’ve got other books for my existing series planned too – a fourth book (Dragonlady) to end the Order of the Dragon series, for example. And then there’s my next Vitalis book which will explore the infection spreading on Earth as well as the effect the Vitalian crystals that were dropped in Europa’s atmosphere have on the basic life and the researchers living on that planet. And there’s more Voidhawk to come down the road too, although I’m not sure what, exactly, will happen there yet.

So many words, so few hours. But I’m trying to crank them out as fast as I can. One of these days I hope to be able to focus on writing full time, instead of just part time. That requires a lot more word of mouth and book sales though, but I’m not the pandering type so I’ll just keep writing and doing my best to give my readers (past, present, and future) the types of books they tell me they want to read.

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.

It’s Bound to be a Good Time!

And by bound I don’t mean nylon rope and / or handcuffs. Although I suppose that’s not too far off, in hindsight. The Bound I’m referring to is my latest book that I finished the rough draft on last night! I’ve got some minor revisions to make and then editing to do, then the usual cover art and such. What’s that mean to interested readers? It means look for Bound sometime in late July or, possibly, early August!

But wait, what is it and why should you care? Well, it’s my writing, which is fast paced and filled with fun, combined with a touch of romance. Okay, more than a touch – the plot pretty much revolves around a romance between two characters that are about as star crossed as they can get. The book starts out with a hefty dose of stereotyping and racism and then spends the rest of it trying to recover from the damage a single moment in time can do. Bound takes place in my Dark Earth setting and I do have a a reason for that (let’s call it an ulterior motive so it sounds more devious), but as a stand alone book the setting is irrelevant. For the faint of heart let me offer warning, there is some bloodshed in the book, though I only go into semi-graphic detail at one point. There is also an unusual amount of, ahem, adult behavior. Personally I don’t think it’s enough to earn it the title of erotica but others may disagree. The book is not about bumping uglies at all, it’s about two people finding each other and persevering in spite of the difficulties along the way. And bad guys – what fun can there be without bad guys?

Bound came to me out of nowhere on my ride down to Florida on vacation. I’d just finished Voidhawk – Lost Soul, and I was wondering what I wanted to do next. Bound slipped into my head somewhere between Ohio and West Virginia and I just knew I had to write it. Well, 19 days later I’ve finished the first draft of it. I know it’s good because when the words rush out of me like they’ve been doing lately, there’s no other option.

For the Dark Earth setting fans Bound fits in the same general timeline that Voices is in – kind of before The Lost Girls series and concurrent with it.

So stay tuned, my friends, Bound will be available before you know it! As for me and what’s next… I haven’t thought about that yet. First I want to tidy up Bound then I’ll get into thinking about what comes next. It might be Black Widow, book 4 in the Lost Girls series, or I might write Vitalis part 8. It’s good to have options!

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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