Did I Forget Something?

My last blog post was about my current work in progress, The Goblin Queen. It was a good update and the book has advanced considerably since then. In fact, it’s nearing the novel length and I’m perhaps halfway through it. But that’s not what I forgot.

It occurred to me the very next day after posting it that I mentioned a bunch of characters by name. Most of them are reasonably well known by my readers (I hope), based on sales of the original Blades of Leander series. I sold tens of thousands of those books (if not more), allowing readers to partake in the adventures of Alto, Patrina, Garrick, and so many others. But what about readers that are new to my book or blog? Or readers that stuck with my science fiction and haven’t tried my fantasy books. No doubt the character names were confusing. Well, here’s my attempt to fix that!

Kroth – First off we have Kroth. Kroth is not a character, it is a world. The world of Kroth, wherein Alto and his friends live. By and large it contains all of the Kroth adventures, but that’s not the extent of it. Kroth is also a world in my Voidhawk setting, which readers of Voidhawk: Broken Shards and a few others will no doubt remember. The most exciting part about this Voidhawk tie-in is that if one world in the void can host so many stories and adventures, then how many others could I one day write given the void touches countless inhabited worlds?

Alto – Alto was born the son of a mercenary turned farmer. He never knew of his father’s violent past until after tragedy struck. Alto’s own foray into the life of warrior and adventurer began after a surprise attack by a tribe of goblins injured his father. He tracked them down and fought them alongside a group of mercenary’s known as the Blades of Leander. In short order he joined them and began his training as a warrior. From there Alto went on to rise to become their leader and make a name for himself until, one day, he seized the opportunity to establish a kingdom of his own bordering on the western reaches of the Northern Divide mountain range.

Patrina – Patrina was a runaway princess of the seafaring kingdom of Kelgryn. She was rescued by Alto in his earliest days of adventuring in a cave filled with goblins. Shortly after, she turned around and rescued him right back. They fought both together and against one another until their love for another became too great to fight.

Karthor – Karthor began as a young priest serving in the Blades of Leander. He is also one of Alto’s earliest and closest friends. His steadfast friendship and calming influence has helped countless people over the years. His chief source of strife are his father, a well-known and powerful wizard named Kar. His mother is a witch named Arcturia that lives in Mira, the desert empire that borders the Sea of Broken Shards. As of The Goblin Queen, Karthor has been named high priest of a temple to Leander he commissioned in the Kingdom of Altonia.

Kar – A wizard that fits many stereotypes. He loves his pipe, his food, and to talk about magic and theory. He also loves to experiment and borders on hazardous displays of magic while counseling others to do no such thing. He’s lived a long and colorful life and shows no sign of slowing down. His son is his greatest enigma- for all the magical phenomena he can understand and explore, he cannot fathom how a boy born of two great magic wielders could turn from wizardry to the priesthood.

Garrick – Garrick was born on the frozen tundra north of the Northern Divide. From his earliest days he hunted rabbit, caribou, and reindeer while being hunted in turn by hungry packs of wolves. When Alto and Patrina were forced into this harsh wintry land they met Garrick and his clan. It was a difficult time, given the barbarians interest in Patrina and the rivalry that grew between Garrick and Alto. With time and understanding, Alto and Garrick overcame their differences and became fast friends. Garrick still fancies Patrina, but his love for her is that of an adopted sister while he still searches for a woman that could be his equal rather than a mere night’s pleasure.

Namitus – Namitus is a half-elven minstrel and rogue. He always has a tale to tell or a tune on his pipes to play, and that is how he found himself a “guest” of the Kelgryn and an indentured friend and tutor for Patrina. With her rescue from the goblins came his, and Namitus quickly formed a bond with Alto just as strong as what he shared with Patrina. Now he works with and for them, traveling the lands and searching out trouble before it can rear its head.

Gildor – Gildor is a relative newcomer to the books of Kroth. He is a guide and archer whose skill is often sought out in the southern lands. One day he rescued a babe from a village that had been raided and destroyed, only to keep her and raise her as his own daughter. He has since suffered greatly at the hands of the Order of the Dragon, but since being rescued by Namitus, he’s thrown his lot in with Alto to do what they can to foil the Order and defeat them.

Grishna – Grishna is the latest introduction to the world of Kroth, though she was not born on Kroth. The Goblin Queen introduces Grishna as the last remaining survivor of a voidship that crashed many years ago on Kroth in the Sarana river far from its steamy headwaters. Grishna’s mother was a human slave that was owned by Zorrik the Merciful, an orc chieftain that sailed the void as a merchant. Unlike her mother, Grishna is a free woman, even before her father and all of her clan perished in the crash thanks to the claws of a massive dragon.

Celos – Sir Celos Lyonsbane is holy knight of Leander. A paladin whose mission in life is to defend his church and strike down darkness and evil. He is an esteemed member and considered by many to be the sword-arm of the church, or at least the leader of it. His life is spent in quest, seeking to banish one evil after another. His wife, Dame Aleena Lyonsbane, often tempers his zealous faith with wisdom, compassion, and mercy. Together the two are a sight to behold.

Aleena – Dame Aleena Lyonsbane is another holy knight of Leander, although she was once smitten with Alto and fancied a means of trapping him to be her husband while she was a serving maid at her father’s inn. When Alto chose Patrina instead she ran away to the church of Saint Leander and, in doing so, discovered her true calling. She trained under Celos and served as his squire until she was deemed worthy of being knighted and proclaimed a paladin. Along the way her purity and goodness earned her the friendship and service of Moonshine, a unicorn.

 

I think that’s the majority of the characters. Quite the crew! Just writing this snippet about each of them makes me remember the great many trials they’ve been through and the many sacrifices they’ve made. With each hardship overcome they’ve grown into someone stronger and better, for the most part. They’re more than just the voices in my head, they’re the kind of characters that feel like friends. The type that you love to read about, and hate to finish a book for fear you won’t hear from them for a while.

 

So I’m almost 50,000 words into this book and writing hard, but in no rush to finish and lose touch with them again! Rest assured though, I will finish it and worry not, I have other plans to keep them close by… but that’s another blog post.

 

 

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.

Overdue Update on My Fantasies

Either this blog title is clickbait or it’s sending people screaming and hiding. I’m okay with both.

The intent behind it is to share the latest book status. Fantasy is especially fitting since I’m writing a book titled, “The Goblin Queen.” It’s the next book in The Serpent’s War series, but I have to say this one is nothing like the two that came before. As I’ve said before, I enjoyed writing those books, but it was more work and less fun. This one has been nothing but fun, both when I write and when I’m not writing but thinking about it. It takes me back to the first series, Blades of Leander, and I can’t wait for people to read it! In fact, thinking about this book has gotten me through a lot of treadmill time while warming up or cooling down on my workout days (I run a mile before and after lifting).

Recently the story has expanded quite a bit. I originally intended only to follow Grishna (new main character), Garrick, Carson, Namitus, Aleena, Celos, and Gildor in their quest to investigate and attempt to foil the plans of the Order of the Dragon as they build their army. Inspiration and far reaching plans have launched a few more subplots though, enough to draw Alto, Patrina, Jethallin, Mordrim, Karthor, and Kar into the mix.

And wow have the characters grown and changed. Here’s just a sample of what’s come to pass:

  • Jethallin went from her role as a homeless young mother in Shazamir to the High Warden of the forests of the Kingdom of Altonia. Jennaca, her daughter, is doing well and getting into all sorts of trouble, by the way.
  • Kar has apprentices that are contributing to his mad scheme of mastering the air by piloting the experimental airships he’s creating. So far the injuries have been minor…
  • Karthor has been granted the title of High Priest of the Altonia branch of the church of Leander. His liberal beliefs have caused disturbances amongst those entrenched in the church’s ranks, but the number of faithful in Altonia is growing faster than any temple or missionary in the history of Saint Leander’s worship.
  • Aleena and Celos have been wed! Ahem, excuse me, that’s Dame Aleena Lyonsbane and Sir Celos Lyonsbane. Even though Celos can’t let a chance slip by to try and one up Moonshine, Aleena’s unicorn companion.
  • Patrina and Alto are soon to welcome an heir to the throne, and Patrina can’t wait to be able to fit into her armor again.
  • Mordrim has been named dwarven ambassador to Altonia, though his duties often keep him traveling and unable to enjoy the rewards of the work he has done.

 

The bad guys have changed too. The Order of the Dragon has learned from their setbacks and explore new ways to exert their will on the peoples of the world of Kroth. The first key to their success was in obtaining the help of a half-breed, which they’ve done in enlisting Lariki the half-dragon to be the general of their armies. Next they must eliminate their biggest threat if they hope to succeed – the Kingdom of Altonia and its champions must be destroyed.

 

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.

Happy Birthday For All!

What better way to celebrate my upcoming birthday than to release a new book? Vitalis: Miss Fortune, is out now!

That’s what I’ve been hard at work on for the past several weeks. A brand new sci fi novel that focuses on the life and story of a few people amidst the chaotic Vitalis universe. Unlike some of my previous Vitalis entries, this book doesn’t involve the movers and shakers, nor does it explore the possibilities of the planet Vitalis and the varied – and dangerous – creatures on it.

What Miss Fortune does do is show how the unfolding events are affecting the little people. The everyday people like you and I. The people that enjoy having a drink or two after work. The ones that have responsibilities to families and friends. The ones with loved ones who are sick or missing. The people who are so focused on their careers they forget to live a little, until they realize that maybe they missed the mark and living is more important.

I put all of those things into this book and I see them clearly, but I’m biased. It’s entirely possible that the average person might read this and just enjoy the action / adventure / thriller aspect of it. After all, there are cyborgs, genetically enhanced people, guns, martial arts, and even a couple of revealing dance scenes in a night club on the lower level of a space station.

There’s intrigue too, and enough background to move the entire Vitalis storyline along. After all, there’s a countdown to how much time humanity has left before the biggest threat they’ve ever faced arrives — and they aren’t coming to play nice. You can find it at the link below, including in print!

 

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Amazon UK

Print Version

Everyone Else

 

What’s next? Well, I’m hard at work on a fantasy novel called Goblin Queen. It takes placed in the world of Kroth (Blades of Leander, Order of the Dragon), and is going to officially be the third book in my Serpent’s War series. I hate to admit it, but I’m having more fun writing this book than I did the first two in this new series – it’s got a really fun new character AND I’m bringing back in more of the original characters from the earlier series (Garrick, Carson, Celos, and Aleena, to name just a few). Goblin Queen is also going to lead into another crossover between Voidhawk and the world of Kroth – but that will come later.

 

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 Love my Books!

I hope that’s not arrogant to say. Or maybe it should be obvious. After all, if I don’t like them, why would I expect anyone else to?

The explanation behind this unusual statement is that I was doing some research while working on my latest book (Vitalis: Catalyst). I didn’t have notes written on what I was after (something from Vitalis: Genesis), so I had to read through some of the book to find what I wanted. Well, reading a little soon turned into reading a lot. I was sucked in and couldn’t stop myself.

This isn’t the first time that’s happened. It happens a lot, actually. Whenever I need to do something like that, I get pulled in. I’d do it more often but I have this irrational fear that when I read a book I wrote a while ago, I’m going to find parts of it that I don’t like. Things I want to rewrite or change. Or parts that just plain suck. None of that has happened yet, for the record, although on rare occasions I do find typos that got missed through multiple rounds of editing. No such problems this time, but that irrational fear lingers.

That also serves as a refresher for me. Sales are in the water closet (that’s a fancy term for shitter for us working folks) lately, so my natural assumption is that I’m writing garbage. Sure, I know they’ve taken a dive for virtually everybody out there and a lot of it has to do with Amazon’s fluctuating algorithms and attempts to monetize their own product lines and brands as much as possible, but the demons hiding in the shadows still linger and wait for me to turn away so they can pounce.

I was wondering though, why do I enjoy what I write so much? I’ve written a lot – over 100 books between myself and my shared projects – and I’ve forgotten bits and pieces of everything. Being reminded of them is a blast. It’s more than that though, it’s also my writing style. I write what I like to read. Fast paced, fun, thoughtful, and challenging. Or at least that’s what I like to think I’m writing!

I had a business trip recently and I wanted something to do on the plane (my laptop is too damn big to write on during a flight since I can’t afford first class). I picked up a Terry Goodkind book (The Omen Machine), and revisited some old friends in the process (the main characters of his Sword of Truth series). I also reread the Sword of Truth series last year and found myself enjoying it less the second time around because of all the passive mumbo jumbo they contain. The Omen Machine had a little less passive stuff in it, but near the end it contained a ton of repeated stuff that was really tiresome. Practically entire chapters, in a few cases. I was disappointed and it left me in no rush to buy his next book.

I’ve still got Raymond Feist and Terry Brooks – both of whom I’ve fallen behind on. There’s Dean Koontz too, although reading anything he writes leaves me feeling like a grade school kid who’s barely learned how to spell. And of course, that doesn’t include numerous other writers worth reading like John M. Davis, M.R. Matthias, and Jane Taylor to pluck just a few of my favorite names.

And speaking of Vitalis, I’m over 40,000 words into book #10 in the series (Catalyst). I know it’s going to be another favorite because I find myself thinking about it all the time when I’m not writing. I figure I’m somewhere between halfway and 2/3 of the way through it, but the ends of my books have a way of stretching out longer than I expect them too.

 

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.

Medic – A Long Overdue Bestseller

January 22, 2017 1 comment

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I’ve been talking about Medic for a couple of months now. Way too long – not to be talking about it, but not to have it released and into your hands. That wait is over and it is now available everywhere as both ebook and print.

I made a claim of calling it a bestseller the very day it’s released. That’s bold, given my lack of marketing savvy and the fact that I believe in fair business practices. I have faith in this book though, both because of the strong brand the Wanted series has held over the years and the fact that I really think this book has something anyone can identify with.

Tom, the main character, is the kind of guy that surrounds all of us. He is us, in fact. He’s not sure who to vote for because he doesn’t really like any of the options. He goes to work and does his best, then comes home and wants to find the comfort and peace we seldom get to enjoy because there are things to do. He drives an old truck because he can’t afford a new one and because it gets him where he needs to go. He has a girlfriend that thinks the world of him and wants to help him become a better person… to the point he can hardly stand all the help she thinks he needs.

But Tom’s different too. Different from most of us, but not all of us. You see, Tom spent a couple of tours in the Middle East. He played an important part in a search and rescue crew that saved the lives of countless soldiers – or at least they tried to save lives. He’d lived through some of the worst that war had to offer and survived. Tom looked for a reason every day why he’d been spared when his brothers and sisters – and even his own teammates, had not.

Between his girlfriend and his nightmares, something has to happen. He knows he needs help, but he served with heroes, damn it. He’s strong enough to handle it. Besides, he’s got Doc Carter, the medic that ran his S&R team. They still talk and Doc wants him to visit. He wants to help now that he’s gone from patching up bullet holes to mending shattered hopes and dreams as a therapist.

I want to go on… but I won’t. I’m not sure if I’ve hooked you or not, but things get a lot worse for Tom before a run in with a certain familiar grizzled veteran and his feisty daughter give Tom a chance to turn things around for himself. Carl and Tom have a few things in common, it turns out, and the US Marshal and his deputized daughter need his help in figuring out what happened to Tom’s brother in arms. Nuts, I went on a little anyhow.

Well, here’s the links and you’ve already seen the amazing cover of the book Willsin Rowe made for me. Now get out there and grab your copy!

Amazon
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble, Nook, iTunes, Skribd, Inktera (some 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.

Hobo Stew

January 20, 2017 Leave a comment

I’ve got a lot of smaller thoughts that I thought I’d combine into a blog post, hence the title. Hopefully it’s tasty!

First of all, progress on my Vitalis book is coming along sorta great. I say sorta because I’ve been very busy and unable to squirrel away as much writing time as I want to. On the flip side, when I do get to write, the ideas and words are coming almost faster than I can write them down. In fact, I came up with some great new concepts for the current book that really blew me away. The problem is that might make it a longer book than I intended, but is that really a bad thing?

In a way, it could be. I roped myself into a second Complex book with a short deadline, so no matter what happens with Vitalis, I have to get my second Complex book done in short order. I have no idea what the title is yet, but I do know two major characters will be an Amazon and an Ogre.

Next topic is story telling. Back in December I saw a Facebook post from someone (I apologize for forgetting who posted it) sharing that Origin had a game available for free. Mass Effect 2. I’d always heard good things about the Mass Effect series but never had the time or interest to check it out. Since it was free (and  I guess it still is), I ended up downloading it and, a few days later, tried it out. I was sucked in almost instantly. The Mass Effect games are RPG and 3rd person shooter merged together – and the merge is really good. I don’t care for 3rd person games, but it was easy to overlook my bias and in no time it felt natural. The problem was, I ended up finishing the game. So that meant I had to grab Mass Effect 3, and yes, I ended up finishing that one too. Let me just say that ME2 was really good, but ME3 blew me away. The complexity of the characters in the entire series, but especially in the 3rd one, were outstanding. They told a story, complete with subplots that the player could easily identify with and hold to heart. It was, in my opinion, an interactive book with the reader playing the main character. When it ended I felt the same way a reader feels when they’ve finished a good book. What the hell am I supposed to do now?!

There is a new Mass Effect game coming out very soon, Mass Effect: Andromeda. I’m hopeful on this, but leery. It’s a new story unrelated to the original trilogy – or at least unrelated to the trilogies characters (and they’re in a new galaxy and some 600 years have passed). Everything about it sounds good, but I’m still hung up on the characters from the trilogy and really wanting more of them.

Medic, the fifth Wanted book, is so close to being ready to go out. As in days away, at this point. I’ll be sure to share as soon as it’s available!

That’s it for now. It’s election day and I’m hesitantly hopeful for things to come. Hopeful that President Trump is able to fulfill some of his campaign promises and hopeful that there are others he cannot bring to fruition. So far the economy has been rebounding nicely and things are going well for the country. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next. One way or another, we should be supportive and stand together. After all, nobody should want him to fail – that would be like wanting the captain of a plane to fail, with all of us being the passengers.

 

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.

Categories: Writing

Friendly Reminder

January 11, 2017 Leave a comment
The Complex Book Series.
A Lone Planet. One Complex.
Unlimited Chaos.
http://www.thecomplex.info
Remember a month back in December when I unleashed this gem onto the world? Well, it did okay, sales-wise, and so did all of the other books in The Complex setting. Well enough that we want to go for round 2 in 2017. But to make it happen, we’re trying to get a little more push on the existing releases. So if you haven’t picked up Arrested in Peace or any of the other great books in The Complex series, what are you waiting for?

But you guys know me by now. You know I don’t spam your inboxes with repeat advertisements. So there’s got to be more to this newsletter, right? Well, there is! It’s only news at this point, but it’s good news. I’ve finished Medic, the fifth book in the Wanted series, and it’s making the rounds getting ready for publishing.

That brings me to my next project (Vitalis)… which I blogged about already. It’s coming along very nicely and I’m in love with the new characters and new story idea. Meanwhile Medic is being worked on behind the scenes for a release as soon as possible – hopefully yet this month.

Until then, enjoy The Complex!

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ARRESTED IN PEACE by Jason Halstead

A vengeful woman must decide between the death of love or a love of death.

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BLADE OF FOREVER by Scarlett Dawn

The stars align when two all-powerful Giants, with supernatural ‘swords’, flip a Human woman’s galaxy upside down.

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HALCYON by Demelza Carlton

Catch a siren. Stop the storm. Whatever the cost.

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CURSED by Dylan Quinn

Cupid has a death wish but when her curse sets its target on the most powerful man in the universe, even the goddess of love may not be strong enough to resist.

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HUNGRY TOUCH by Shona Husk

He wants to usher in a new era for the Incubi, but the traditionalist will do anything to stop him.

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THE CURSE CATCHER by Laura Thalassa

Can a woman break her captor’s ancient curse before it’s too late, or will the beast prevail and destroy them both?

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NIGHT WHISPERS by Calinda B

Someone’s stalking her, in her dreams. If he doesn’t destroy her, will he be her seductive salvation?

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PROCRIS by M. Stratton

When magic decides an outcast Strogi should be forever linked with a Human they discover they are allowed something neither one thought they’d ever have, love.

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THE LAST DRYAD by Sarah M. Cradit

A future torn by war. A love that could change everything.

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DEATH’S ECHO by Rachel M. Raithby

She’s spent her life avoiding death’s echoes, now they may be the only thing that can save her.

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BALANCE POINT by Katherine Rhodes

Three people. Two mates. One chance to save their destiny.

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SHADOW OF RUIN by Cherie Marks

To obtain the impossible, she must overcome the shadows of her past.

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*The Complex books can be read in any order.