Nobody Rung the Bell Yet

It’s been ages since I’ve written a blog post, I know. Shame on me, I know. I should write them more often… yeah, I know that too. I certainly have enough random thoughts to warrant more blog posts… but some of those thoughts might get me in trouble so I try to keep those to myself.

I could rant about the human rights violation that is the SCOTUS, but in my conspiracy-minded opinion, that’s just what they want us to think. I believe a large factor in why they’re doing it is to try and get America’s birth rate back up so it sustains population growth, not stagnation or decline.

Why does that matter? Economy. Our economy is in shambles and propped up by smoke, mirrors, and crime at the institutional level. It’s designed to flourish best when there’s population growth – more people spending, paying taxes, etc every year than the year before. They aren’t willing to figure out how to restructure it so that it’s healthy and stable because that would mean a lot of very wealthy people would get less than they’re accustomed to. But I won’t rant about that since I’d probably come across as a raving lunatic.

I write fiction because it makes more sense than the society we live in. Reality, sadly, has no proper sense of justice or fairness. Sure, in my stories bad things happen to good people, but in the end (usually) the bad things and bad people are served a karmic dish. I don’t like feeling hopeless and depressed and I generally don’t want to encourage those feelings in my readers either. Not if I have any control over it.

We’re in a recession and it’s only going to get worse. Possibly a lot worse. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that didn’t scare me. My day job seems to be somewhat recession proof, but for all of my resting bitch face I still see the impact on everyone around me and it sucks. I want everyone to be successful. Well, okay, I have a short list of people I’d like to see crash and burn – but if you’re reading this the odds are exceptional you’re not on that list.

Anyhow, a lot of people are affected by it or will be. If you’re one of those people and you love to read – don’t buy my books. Not on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or wherever else they’re sold. Instead come over to my site on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/booksbyjason). EVERYTHING is on there, and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than buying individual books. As a life hack, you can even sign up for only one month, download everything you can get your hands on, and then cancel your membership.

I realize that’s an unusual sales pitch but it’s totally legit. Hell, reach out to me privately if you’re looking for a specific book and I’ll make sure you get it one way or another. I’ve done it already with hundreds of people over the past few years and I don’t plan on stopping. If I can offer some escapism for a few hours and lighten the load I’m happy to do so.

Patreon is my primary release mechanism now for new material. Everything goes there first and, in some cases, only there. Generally I wait 2 – 3 months after releasing a novel on Patreon to put it elsewhere. I’ve got 2 novels right now that my Patreon subscribers have been enjoying for a while now that I’m slowly working on getting cover art so I can publish them traditionally. There are also storylines dedicated exclusively to Patreon that will never be published elsewhere. And, like I said earlier, it’s sooo much cheaper.

With all that said, here’s what I’ve released recently on Patreon:

-Flux: The first story in my next mini-series in The Lost Girls saga about a new heroine that is slowly emerging from her troubled past and embracing the possibilities that the Net and Virtual Reality allow.

-Self Help: The second story in my next Lost Girls mini-series. The same main character is back and this time she needs some help from Bling and Lady J bridging the gap between the VR world and reality.

-The First Wand: This is a story arc I’m several parts into that is a modern fantasy epic. Think of an advanced society that uses magic instead of technology for industrialization. And so far the main characters consist of a vampire, her totally mundane human protector, a confused elf with a chip on her shoulder and a dislike of her misogynistic race, a surly dwarf that is the elf’s mentor / father-figure, and… well…. that’s enough for now. If you want to know more, head on over and read about it!

-No Exceptions: The next novel in my Bloom Chronicles series. This one is a few months from traditional release since it’s only recently finished.

-The Egg of Immorality: Book 4 in the Thirst for Power fantasy series in my World of Kroth setting.

-Numerous shorter stories and novellas that take place behind the scenes in existing settings. They flesh things out, add some color, or just exist purely for entertainment value.

What’s coming next? Well, I’ve got some inspiration for another Dark Universe book after some a short story I’ll be posting to Patreon in the very near future. I also have a similar plan for my next Thirst for Power book that was triggered after a short story I just shared on Patreon. I’ll definitely be continuing my Lost Girls / Dark Earth books and shorter stories as well, but one thing at a time.

So, as you can see, I may not have been blogging much but I have still been very busy. Don’t miss out, come check out my Patreon!

To learn more about Jason Halstead, join his Patreon page, visit his website to read about him, or sign up for his newsletter.

Categories: Writing

Shame on Me

January 23, 2022 Leave a comment

I’m overdue on a newsletter. Long overdue. Two books overdue, in fact… although I could argue it’s more than that.

I’ve been focused on my Patreon subscribers, you see, and both of these books have been available to them for quite a few months now. Matter of fact, there’s another book they have access to I haven’t published to retail channels yet – not to mention several Patreon only stories that are cheaper than waiting for the retail versions. If that interests you, please check it out at https://www.patreon.com/booksbyjason. If not, then read on to see my newest retail releases.

First off is Domination, which is the 2nd book in The Bling Chronicles. This one is a very futuristic science fiction series about an interstellar salvage tech struggling with her own ship and a list of things to fix a few light years long. In Domination she’s taken on a living, breathing 2nd mate (instead of the android she had in the first book) and together they run across a derelict ship broadcasting a distress signal. Of course they find something inside… but you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is and why it threatens everything Nyx has worked so hard to accomplish.

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The second book, which I only released last week, is called Lost Girls Investigations. It’s more just a book though, it’s a collection of interlinked stories that I’ve written over the past year in the Lost Girls / Dark Earth setting. Skylar and Katalina’s adopted daughters have finally established their private investigation / law firm and they specialize on helping people struggling against the greedy and corrupt system. Amelia Foster,  Bling, is a key part of their business taking on contracts to do what needs to be done in the grey areas of the law. Along the way, Amy is figuring out who she is and what she wants out of life now that she can finally start living it for herself.

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I teased some other books I haven’t released yet. One is Broken Dolls, which is a full novel sequel to Lost Girls Investigations and book 10 in my Lost Girls series. Another month or two and that will hit the digital shelves. The final one I just finished the rough draft on, it’s called The Egg of Immorality and it’s book 4 in my Thirst for Power fantasy series. That’s the one with John the half Infernal Warlock as the main character. You remember, the one you don’t want to leave out for your kids to read. The Egg of Immorality should be out in a few months on Amazon, B&N, and all the rest… or you could subscribe to Patreon and read both of these now, as well as everything else I’ve written.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, join his Patreon page, visit his website to read about him, or sign up for his newsletter.

Categories: Writing

I’m Not Dead

It’s been weeks since I’ve posted on my blog. Shame on me, I know. I’ve been busy though. Promotion at work and still writing and a laundry list of other excuses that sound perfectly good to me. Whatever, I know.

So why now? Well, I feel like I’m losing out a little on interacting with my readers. Granted, there’s not much in the way of interacting here, but it’s an attempt and that makes me feel better, at least. The thing that’s driving my desire to interact is the latest work I’ve been doing. You see, I’m really enjoying it because I was starting to feel a little like I kept finding myself doing variations of the same old thing. I suppose my newest one is another twist on that, but it’s fresh and new enough for me it feels like something totally different.

I’m taking a departure in normal writing style too. Historical I would write novels or, rarely, novellas. This time I’m writing the story in segments or parts. For example, the first part introduces a main character and is about chapters long. The second part is 5 or 6 chapters long and introduces a second character. The third part, that should be where the meet one another. Each segment has a plot and a purpose, making them self-contained stories within the whole. Or, if thought of as a video game, they’re milestones or checkpoints and could include side quests. Or maybe each as a Netflix season of a show.

But the setting, why is it different and why do I think it’s so fascinating? Well, take a typical fantasy setting. You’ve got humans, elves, dwarves, dragons, giants, magic, zombies, and all the typical fantasy elements. Now take that setting and imagine what happens year over year. Organizations rise and fall. The scholars, artists, scientists, and inventors in the world find new ways to do things. The wealthy find ways to become more wealthy and the poor end up struggling to keep what little they have. Dark ages follow barbaric times, then renaissance era(s) occur. Industrialization too, as enough time passes. The common theme through it all – magic, not technology. Or rather technology based on magic.

This new setting, Kallanar, has television networks playing on magic-mirror like devices called Scryers. Mobile communications happen in real time courtesy of several companies that have set up their devices, portable Scrolls, for sending written text messages and even pictures. Shortwands and longwands replace convention firearms, and bigger offensive weapons are known as deckwands on the airships that take people from one place to another when it’s great a distance for a rollabout to take them. Yes, a rollabout, they are produced mostly in two- and four-wheeled variants.

Banks and markets, franchise restaurants, even shopping malls and magical gaming systems exist. Along with the pseudo-technology they have the very real problems plaguing a modern society. Racism, sexism, the device between the wealthy and the poor, homelessness, political parties, religious fanaticism, hunger, slavery and sex trafficking, growing magical pollution, and the ever present fear that an aberration might steal your child away in the middle of the night to eat them or, worse, turn them into a monster themselves.

If that doesn’t at least pique your interest, well, I don’t know what will? Prostitution and gang / crime syndicates? Got those too. Tales of revenge and betrayal? Step right up! My imagination is my only limit, and I’m a very creative person. To be fair though, I’ve added new things in already based on feedback and suggestions from others, so input is already welcome and appreciated!

If you’re interested in the story, it can be found on my Patreon site (https://www.patreon.com/booksbyjason) already. At least the first (and soon second) segments. Down the road I’ll make them available in other areas as well, but that’s going to take a few months, at a minimum. Join Patreon and for a simple $1 a month you can see the latest developments in this new setting and my other stories I write exclusively for there as well.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, join his Patreon page, visit his website to read about him, or sign up for his newsletter.

The End is Here

Here’s the important part up first: Voidhawk – Church of the Void, is live and available for sale! Well, it’s been available on Patreon for about a month, but now it’s available everywhere. More importantly, it’s the last one.

Not my last book! But it is the end of the Voidhawk series. Twelve years ago Voidhawk was my first book accepted for publication, even though it was terribly written. Grueling hours spent with an editor made it not only acceptable, but it taught me more about the craft of writing than anything else ever had. That also gave rise to characters that would not sail quietly into the void. They had stories to tell, and lots of them. Ten books worth, it turns out! Both sadly and contentedly, their stories have now been told and you, my dear readers, can enjoy them at your leisure.

As a matter of fact, I encourage you to wait a day or two before picking up Church of the Void so that you can be sure you get my latest update to it. I slipped in a little something in the epilogue of the story because… well… rats, I can’t share it without giving it away. You’ll have to trust me on it.

With all that said, Church of the Void is about the ongoing problem with the dead not staying dead in the Void and all the worlds that float in it. That includes Kroth, for the readers of those books. In fact, Kroth and the heroes and villains of that world play a role in Church of the Void. In an epic crossover Church of the Void not only marks the end of the Voidhawk series, but it also finishes the Serpent’s War saga within the world of Kroth. Yeah… a lot happens, you don’t want to miss this one!

Voidhawk – Church of the Void

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Now that Voidhawk is over, I’m working on a few new projects. A second book (Domination) in my Bloom Chronicles series and I’m continuing work on my Lost Girls Investigations series of stories. LGI follows Bling, Carmine, and new friends they make along the way in their struggle to survive and protect people from the injustices and horrors of the world. It has been exclusively a Patreon only series and will remain that way for some time – although I do hope one day to package up the novellas and short stories I write into anthologies and release them traditionally as well. I’m just not sure when that day will come. Or you could simply join Patreon and get the latest and greatest stories as soon as they’re available and for pennies on the dollar!

To learn more about Jason Halstead, join his Patreon page, visit his website to read about him, or sign up for his newsletter.

For Every Rule…

…there’s an exception. What goes up must come down unless it leaves orbit. I before E except after C. The only constants in life are death and taxes – okay, no exceptions there. But here’s a new one, artificial intelligence development is banned universally by all sentient species… unless you’re Nyx Bloom because she’s smart enough to get it right where everyone else has failed.

The Exception Clause is a new book I just released to Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and the other etail sites. Like all of my books, I’m quite excited about it. The difference is that this time around the excitement is really sticking with me even while I’m trying to work on other projects. It’s very futuristic science fiction and it is the beginning of a new series called The Bloom Chronicles.

Not only is humanity not alone in the universe, but they’re not very important either. A deep space probe in the year 2365 discovered a gravitational anomaly in the Oort cloud surrounding the sol system. Almost a hundred years later humanity figured out how to use artificial gravity to send a ship into the anomaly. Thus humanity discovered it’s first warp tunnel that connects the solar systems of the milky way and joined a much larger community. The Bloom Chronicles takes place in the early 32nd century and follows one young woman as she struggles to find a place for herself in the universe.

Nyx Bloom is bright, adventures, and blessed with the social skills of a skunk that ate a large dose of hallucinogens. Androids though… those are her thing. She can make them do anything, maybe even prove to the rest of the galaxy that the rules banning artificial intelligence don’t apply to her… even if she might need a little help getting there.

The Exception Clause tells begins Nyx’s story as a struggling independent salvage specialist on her near-derelict ship, the Rebexa. It’s just her, the Bex, and her devoted sexbot-upgraded-to-first-mate Zelda. Yes, I said sexbot. Zelda was top of the line when Nyx spent a year’s worth of savings on her, but not because she could keep her entertained on long, boring voyages. Zelda’s line of androids were remarkably upgradable, and that’s what Nyx has been doing to her. Improving her in every way to make her the partner she’d always yearned for, but was too afraid to find.

Nyx, like many gifted people, has a problem with obsession. Her obsession with making Zelda into a “real girl”, for example, means that she does a poor job of keeping up with her bills. With a bank account competing with empty space for the lowest number in the universe, she’s in desperate need of a big score to keep the repo man from taking the Rebexa from her.

What sort of a story would it be if Nyx didn’t manage to find something though? Something so advanced and ancient that finding it might be even more of a problem for her? Nyx isn’t the type of woman to turn her back to a challenge though, no matter what it takes to see her through. No matter what the risk to herself, her ship, her almost-lifelike friend, or the fate of every sentient species in the milky way. After all, she’s Nyx Bloom. She’s the exception to the rule.

Excited yet? Just writing that got me pumped up all over again about this new setting. I released this 2 months ago on my Patreon account and it’s been gobbled up. It’s a sci-fi / thriller feast. And I’ve been busy ever since too, with 3 more novelettes expanding the series and setting (on my Patreon site, if you’re interested). I’ll start up the next novel soon, but first I have to finish off my current book I’m working on…

The current book? Voidhawk: Church of the Void. Yes, Voidhawk! This will be the 10th and final book in the series. Or at least the final book focused on the Voidhawk and her crew. I won’t go into detail about it because this release is about The Exception Clause, but take comfort in knowing another Voidhawk book is coming.

I also want to mention that I haven’t sent out any newsletters in a few months, but I have been busy all along. There were three releases, in fact, I made. Enchanted, Warlock, and Wizard were books in my Thirst for Power series which takes place in the World of Kroth (same place as Blades of Leander, albeit many years later). Those books follow an enchanter who was reborn into the life of John, a virile young warlock, seduced by and serving the most powerful succubus Kroth has ever known. John’s Mistress is greedy and makes many demands of John to help her gain power and influence. John’s eager to serve, but every step of the way he struggles to balance his new demonic side with his human nature and the lessons his second-chance at life is teaching him. All in all, it’s a lot of fun and definitely a more “mature” series than I typically write (which is fun too).

That’s enough for now, I think! Enjoy The Exception Clause and keep an eye out for more. I’ll update as I produce them… but for quicker updates on my progress and the chance to more readily influence what I’m doing as well as having faster access to new releases, join my Patreon site.

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Categories: Writing

Dark Metal

November 6, 2020 Leave a comment

I mentioned this a couple weeks back – now it’s out in the world and waiting to be read! Dark Metal, book 9 in the Dark Universe setting by yours truly. Dark Metal picks up a little while after Under the Dark ends. Mirabel and Challee are both part of Aden’s crew on board Aden and Sierra’s ship, the Sentinel, but that makes for a very full ship.

At the same time Captain Amber Hanes is struggling with her ship, the Uma. She’s a bit beyond struggling, to be honest, but Aden has a plan. Dark Metal is all about turning that plan into reality. The thing about plans is once the first punch is thrown (or shot fired), it all goes down the drain. There’s a lot of flushing in Dark Metal!

My goal in Dark Metal was to focus on more edge-of-your seat flow. I was going for a lot of suspense and thriller type activity. Even to the point where the chapters were arranged in mini-story arcs kind of like what might be seen in a television series. The overall plot and threat are always there though, hovering and waiting for the opportune time.

And that’s really about all I can say without giving away spoilers! So, rather than me do that, go and read it yourself! It’s a ton of fun, I promise! It should be available everywhere even on my new platform, Patreon. Check out the links below to find Dark Metal.

Now Patreon… I vomited words all over the screen about it recently so I’ll spare you that. I will say I really like it. I’ll also say it’s been almost a complete flop so far. I’m baffled – but I’m also patient and understanding. And I’m trying to build up a better reason. Case in point, in the last 10 days I wrote another book (which I discussed in my prior post). Early mornings and late night – 80,000 words and I released it chapter by chapter (one a day, pretty much), on Patreon for my readers. I’m on book 2 now – and already 3 chapters in to that one. I’ll share more about it as I go on, but I have to say I had a lot of fun with this character and book and so far I’m getting some great ratings and reviews on it!

But hey, this is about Dark Metal. Try it out, if you don’t love it I promise I’ll write another one and keep on writing until you do!

To learn more about Jason Halstead, join his Patreon page, visit his website to read about him, or sign up for his newsletter.

Why Patreon?

October 27, 2020 Leave a comment

So I’ve had a lot of people ask me, why Patreon? Why switch over to that platform? Okay, I’m lying. Nobody’s asked me. But maybe they’ve wondered. Maybe they’ve wanted to but their sink sprang a leak right as they were about to reach out. Or aliens… you know, abductions… hey, it could happen! Whatever the case, here’s what I’d say if that question reached me.

I love to write. I need to write. I’ve got all these ideas and characters and stories in my head and if I don’t get them out, honestly, I get sad. More than sad… depressed. I need to experience them and see what they can and will do. I need to know what’s going to happen to them and how they’re going to survive (if they’re going to survive). Maybe it sounds crazy or corny, but it’s true.

So how does Patreon enter into that? How does it change the landscape from me using more traditional publishing like I’ve been using. Well… I’m really not sure! I probably shouldn’t admit that, but I’m a sucker for honesty and integrity. I see other writers using it to great effect and they’re able to focus more on writing and using a single platform. They can deliver more to their readers and tailor what they write to those readers. I’ve always pushed for interaction with my readers and Patreon offers great opportunities to do that.

Speaking of honesty, it’s about money too. Patreon is a subscription based service, but I’ve proven time and again that I can, will, and am producing content at a rate that blows away virtually every writer out there. It’s cheap too — damn cheap at the lowest tiers— and that’s a price cheaper than any book… yet it gives access to tons of my material – and at certain levels the access it to all of my material! I’ve even got a tier that gives access to my wife’s stories too. That’s well over a hundred books! Okay, so skip Dawn Michelle, it’s still somewhere around a 100 books.

And I’m writing more, obviously. While Dark Metal is in the editing phase (cover art’s already done), I’m focusing on new fantasy story that kind of came out of nowhere. The main character was one of those voices that I kept trying to do something with but kept running into dead ends. I figured I’d stop waiting for the right opportunity and make my own! So now I have the story, Enchanted, which is flowing like an open faucet these days. I’m seven chapters and 36,000 words since Friday! Oh, and all 7 chapters are available on Patreon too. Maybe, someday, I’ll publish it elsewhere too, but for now it’s only there.

What is Enchanted? It’s a story about a man who used to be a powerful wizard. A renowned enchanter with servants and estates all his own… Or at least that’s what he thinks he was. The story begins with him waking up in a strange place struggling to remember who and what he was. It gets better – or worse – when he finds a strange woman that claims to be his assistant. It turns out they both serve the same Mistress… and that Mistress is responsible for John’s change in venue, lost memories, and strange new powers. It’s not without a cost – John’s mistress has demands that must be met before he can begin to put the pieces together of his who he was or who he’s going to be now that he has a second chance at life.

Enchanted is also a change in style for me – it’s a spicy story. From John’s assistant, a willful and capricious woman with a her own dark side to the people along the way that John meets and interacts with in order to satisfy his Mistresses cravings.

So here it is, a chance to have access to tons of material and, as time progresses, original and exclusive material at a bargain. Plus work with me to help provide the kind of stories you want to see. So far Patreon hasn’t done much for me outside of inspiring me to do a lot of writing. My early morning and late evening hours (like now) have been consumed with writing… and don’t get me started on the weekend and the 18,000 to 20,000 words there alone! Here’s your chance to help me make it work across the board.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, join his Patreon page, visit his website to read about him, or sign up for his newsletter.

Categories: Writing Tags: , , ,

Fresh air

October 22, 2020 Leave a comment

I’m doing something different with this post. It’s not a new release notice (give me a week or two – I’ve got Dark Metal, my next book, in editing now). I’m obviously not talking about politics (even my masochism has limits). I’m talking about business.

Don’t worry, this isn’t where I try to pull anyone into a multi-level-marketing scheme or try to sell oceanfront property in Indiana… although I did learn recently the London Bridge really is in Arizona. No, this is me changing my business model for my books. Or at least trying something new. I signed up as a creator on Patreon and spent the last several nights uploading my work there.

What is Patreon? It’s a website that allows creators of all sorts a medium to create and share their work. In my case, as a writer, I have you guys. Readers that, I hope, will embrace this new medium and sign up for it. In addition to access to all of my stories (at least all the ones I’m contractually able to share), I’ll be posting future works as I write them chapter by chapter. I’m also going to focus on some Patreon-only exclusive stories. Probably shorter stories, but most of you know I struggle with anything less than a novella! Oh, I almost forgot… my lovely Mrs. Has agreed to let me include her stories on there too.

Okay, now that I’ve got you interested (I hope), go check it out: https://www.patreon.com/booksbyjason

And like I said earlier, Dark Metal will be on the virtual shelves (and in Patreon) soon! Dark Metal is the 9th book in my Dark Universe setting, and it was a real joy to write even thought I kept getting interrupted by long hours and extra-curricular activities (not the, ahem, romantic sort either).

Stay tuned, there’s more to come… or if you like more regular updates, join my Patreon where I will be making frequent posts.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, join his Patreon page, 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.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

And by glitters I mean bling. Or, to be more specific, Amelia Foster, aka Bling. This is the announcement of Bling 3.0, book 8 in my Lost Girls series!

As is often the case, I went into Bling 3.0 with a goal in mind. Almost an outline, in fact. Along the way Amy did what the women in this world often do to me – they let me know the story they want me to tell is not the story I thought it was. It got longer and longer and the plot twisted and things happened I wasn’t expecting. By the end it was nearly twice the length I’d planned, but that’s okay, it made for a great story!

But what’s it about? How could Amy go back for more after what happened to her in Bling 2.0? Well, modern medicine (circa 2073) is a miraculous thing. That and the new and improved upgrades that she gets by way of thanks for saving the wife and children of a very wealthy man. With survival and improvements comes a burden though: guilt. Not everyone made it back home and that’s not something she can live with. She has to go back to Dark Earth to find and save her brother.

Bling 3.0

 

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So what’s next after this? Well, I’m working on a new Dark Universe book to pick up where the last one ended. The crews of the Uma and Sentinel are hunting for a new ship and they have to find it before the bounty hunters find them. Then they’ll need to hope they can get the new ship running before the Ampytheans find out about them robbing a graveyard and try to stop them.

In the meantime, check out Dawn Michelle if you like some magic and paranormal urban adventures. Spoiler alert: she’s my wife and I often help her with her stories. Her new one coming out soon will be a lot of fun: It involves demons and call girls and police officers… oh my!

 

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.

A Cure for Quarantine Blues

I live in Michigan, and Michigan is presently under quarantine orders. We have been for at least six weeks now. Some people are finally coming around to accepting it (resigned to their fate) while others remain stir-crazy. Then there’s people like me that haven’t really had to make any lifestyle changes. Oh sure, I’ve fantasized about turning my neighborhood into a compound and enlisting my neighbors to help patrol, defend, and set up large gardens and organize hunting parties into the nearby woods and swamps, but that’s just how I entertain myself.

Six weeks of that, with leaving the house once or twice a week to gather groceries. Many of you know what this is like now, and for those who don’t yet, try to imagine it. Better yet, try to imagine being trapped for months at a time without even the reprieve of stepping outside to feel the sun or wind on your face? Of being stuck in a small place with the same people day after day – people that maybe you’re not related to or even care for. And the food? Vacuum sealed bland packs of rations designed to keep you alive, not to provide enjoyment. Or protein powders reconstituted with recycled water.

That’s an example of life in a spaceship. A spaceship like the Uma or the Sentinel, two ships that readers of my Dark Universe books will know very well. Under the Dark is a new release in that series and it brings back the original characters— most of them, at least. The ones that are gone are, well, gone. Although there are some fond memories shared about many of them.

It’s not just a trip down memory space-lane though. Amber, the latest captain of the Uma, has more problems than her predecessors ever did keeping the Uma flying. It’s not just the operating expenses or crew either, it’s the owners of the repurposed space yacht and their contractual demands she’s struggling to meet.

Then there’s Aden and Sierra, human siblings trying to put their troubled past behind them and live their own lives with their spouses on the Sentinel. The past has a way of catching up to them though, and the only way to secure their future could plunge them back into the middle of all the troubles they tried to leave behind.

Under the Dark is part of the ongoing Dark Universe series, but it also sets up a story arc that I’m expecting to span two – three books. Oh, and given the turbulent times we’re living in as far as a lot of workers being furloughed or worse, it’s only priced at $2.99.

 

science fiction

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You’d think I would have another Dark Universe book on the tail end of Under the Dark… but instead I’m halfway through writing up Bling 3.0. I’ve been inspired by Covid-19 for Bling 3.0 and there’s a highly infectious disease with no cure as a subplot in it. The sickness actually was mentioned in Bling 2.0, but now it’s going mainstream and spreading rapidly. But it’s hardly the main point of the book – just another hurdle Amy has to deal with as she struggles to rescue her brother and sort her life out and figure out what, and who, she really wants in it.

 

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