I’m talking about Florida! Come on, what did you expect me to say after a title like that? Of course that’s really just a segue into mentioning a new book that I’m looking for some beta readers / reviewers for.
Why bother? Well, this book is called Devil’s Rising and it’s a collaboration between myself and J. Knight Bybee (the same guy who worked with me to create Devil’s Island). Not only that, but Devil’s Rising is the sequel to Devil’s Island – hard to believe, I know!
The premise of the story is the people leftover from book 1 are hell bent on stopping what happened in book 1. So they travel cross country to get help and the help they find is not what they expected. Then they have to go back into that hot and steamy place (Florida – get your minds outta the gutter) and try to right the things that went wrong the last time around.
It’s got action, romance, young love, epic character development, and a pace that has you sitting on the edge of your seat. By the time the book ended even I was shocked at what we’d created. I found a new favorite character in the series and can’t stop thinking about them!
So here’s the deal – if you’re itching to get your hands on it, let me know. Give me a comment, an email (Jason@booksbyjason.com), a facebook mention, a tweet, knock on my door, whatever it takes. The book is yours for the asking. What I ask for is your thoughts on the book and any glaring errors that may have jumped out at you (missing words, misspelled words, etc.). There shouldn’t be many but Mr. Bybee and I really got swept up near the end of the book and the writing was fast and furious between us. The only other thing I ask is that if you liked it even half as much as we did, you leave a review on Amazon when we launch it.
Oh, and I’m not looking for beta readers anymore for Devil’s Rising (book 1 in the Fallen Angels series), but if you’d like to get a free copy of the book in exchange for a review, let me know about that too. I’ll make it happen.
I’m a man who’s owned a lot of grills in his life. I consider myself pretty good at grilling, whether its burgers, brats, steaks, ribs, or more. I’ve even tried shoving a half full beer can up a chicken’s keister and grilling it – it was awesome. Who knew chickens liked it in the can?
Since I moved my family to Novi, Michigan, we’ve been treated to a variety of culinary delights. It makes sense, really. The crappy weather in Michigan leaves people with a lot of time on their hands. Between mowing lawns between rain storms, shoveling snow between early thaws, and ice fishing why not eat?
So my wife and I have been trying to find and try some different places to eat. First we found a new Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi restaurant that I can’t recommend highly enough. It’s called Genji’s and it’s just off I-96 on Novi rd (north of I-96). On par with the best sushi I’ve ever had and not a wallet buster. My wife will rant and rave about their Tiramisu until she runs out of breath too.
We’ve tried some more regular places like Buffalo Wild Wings in the West Oaks Mall and Hooters (same mall). Decent food there too, which surprised me when it came to Hooters. Probably not as much as the staff was surprised when me, my wife, and my two children rolled in during the mid-afternoon one day, but that’s called spontaneity.
Then on Saturday my wife asked me if I’d been craving anything that I hadn’t had in a while. I had not. We were tired after an overnight trip with the kids and just feeling kind of blah. I thought about it more and more though and realized I hadn’t had a steak in a while, at least not one that we cooked / grilled at home (through trial and error I’ve discovered that I make the best steaks for me). I was considering giving somebody a chance to impress me when my mind drifted to ribs.
I’ll be the first to admit that while I like ribs, I get frustrated at the mess and the work involved. Still, I was feeling adventurous so I asked if there were any places that had decent ribs in the area. We passed over the usual Applebees and Outback. Not bad places, we’ve just been there, done that. She consulted her smartphone and a moment later came up with one we’d seen but never really thought much about. Famous Dave’s. They had all sorts of stuff and, after she read off a few menu items to me, we decided to give it a shot. They had stuff to keep the kids happy and feed us.
Our timing was perfect, right between rushes. The 20 – 25 minute wait quoted to us turned out to be 30 seconds. It was awesome. We sat down and were waited on right away and, after browsing the menu we made the mistake of ordering kids meals for the kids and decided to share a feast between my wife and I. It says it will feed 2 – 3 people so we figured we’d be safe and maybe have something I could take to work for lunch. In almost no time the food came. Amazing service.
It turned out the kids wanted to eat from the giant platter more than their plates, so that was the mistake we made. My wife and I gorged ourselves on protein and left with a couple of containers full of leftovers and we had to waddle to the car. As soon as we got home it was time for comfy pants. You know what I’m talking about. And yes, I finished off the smorgasbord of meat Monday at lunch at work. It was gluttony at its finest!
Their chicken and ribs are great but I have to give an 11 out of 10 for their beef brisket. Absolutely outstanding. I will go back again. And again. And maybe a few more agains.
For those who don’t know me (most of you), I’m a big guy. Not pear-shaped-big, but I-pick-up-heavy-things-big. I’m 6’1″ and 235lbs, but I can pick up over 500 pounds and my chest is bigger than my belly. My wife is also very athletic and active and keeps herself in good shape. Gorging ourselves to the point of misery is out of character for us, but it was that good. I don’t recommend doing so for a variety of reasons, but I do recommend trying this place out if you never have. Unless you’re a vegetarian – in that case stay far, far away from the deliciousness that is smoked and barbecued meat.
Fueled by the wonderful proteins and amino acids I’m now ready to crank out a few thousand more words on my next book, Soulmates, the third book in my Dark Earth series.
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.
So there’s this grotto fed by hot springs, a full moon, and a gentle breeze blowing… Wait a minute, it’s not THAT kind of fantasy! What I’m talking about is a new fantasy book (or hopefully a new series). You see, I finished Vitalis – Resurrection and sent it to my editor yesterday. Black Widow should be out very soon, and that means my fingers are idle and in need of something new to write! Sure, I’ve got lots of options, but I want to break away and start up something new. So I’m thinking fantasy, but my idea of fantasy fiction and what others might like may not be on the same page. I’m very much in the conceptual stages right now, but I’d love to get some feedback on what people think they might like to see. For example…
Should there be a single main character or a small group of them? And if it’s just a single main character, should that character be male or female? (I confess I have a real fondness for writing female leads that kick ass – a combination of juvenile fascination and a desire to show how strong I consider the “gentler” gender to be capable of)
High, medium, or low fantasy? (high = loads of magic rivaling technology, all sorts of races and critters / low = historical earth / medium = somewhere between the two)
I’m willing to entertain any other thoughts or suggestions as well. I have plenty of my own ideas rattling around in my head, I’m just trying to make sure others will be similarly fascinated with what comes of it.
I don’t know when, nor do I know how, but I do know that I have got to get over to visit the UK. I haven’t done much of anything to target readers of fantasy and science fiction in the UK but I’ve had several books hit bestselling lists over there on Amazon. Voidhawk, Wanted, Ice Princess, and the Lost Girls all had a few moments of glory. It’s been shocking and amazing for me, and it instills in me a serious fondness for my readers in the UK.
So my plan, far fetched as it may be, is to visit the UK at some point in the future. I sincerely hope I can hook up with at least a few readers when this happens to share firsthand my appreciation with them. No, there’s nothing on the books yet, and for that matter I’m not sure when I could afford to do visit with my entire family, but that’s how goals start out.
As a case in point, let me share a link and a snippet from a review I stumbled across today on the web. It’s from Ishbel Stronach, a wonderful woman across the pond. She picked up Vitalis: New Beginnings not so long ago and used it to step into the world of science fiction for the very first time. She loved it and came back for more, starting with Wanted. To quote a line from her review she said: “New Beginnings was a fantastic book by Jason Halstead. my first science fiction book ever and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
If you’d like to read more of her blog, here’s the link: http://ishbelstronach.blogspot.com.
If you’d like to check out Vitalis – New Beginnings, here’s your chance:
I review a book, somebody reviews a book for me. Pretty darn good trade I’d say! Read on for a bit on the review done for Human Nature over at “Love on the Bookshelf”.
This book had me at post-apocalyptic. I admit, I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories whether they’re books, movies, or just a good yarn. Now, Human Nature didn’t have Kevin Costner, but it was still a really good story. Dawn Vincent, aka the Doctor, is one of a handful of people left on Earth that survived an alien attack. (I know! There are aliens!) Most of the aliens have left, deeming Earth unworthy of their attention, but they left a few stragglers that are causing trouble. You know, like killing and eating the humans. And not necessarily in that order.
The real theme in this book is growth. The human race is growing stronger against the aliens. As she works on patching people up, Dawn grows
more confident in herself and her skills – both as a doctor and as a leader. And, an unexpected love grows between Dawn and ________. Well, I can’t give it away, can I?
Read the rest of the review here.
Sometimes you wake up in the morning and find out your alarm clock quit working. Other times you realize you didn’t hear the dog whine and there’s a pile on your floor. Those are bad surprises – nobody wants those!
Then there are the good ones, perhaps the kind of thing that I shouldn’t mention in a family-friendly blog, for example. Or to be a little tamer, to receive an email saying I’ve inherited $20,000,000 from a Nigerian prince…
All right, I’m being silly. It’s early and there’s no coffee in my hand yet. The real surprise for me today was a review that came in for Dark Earth on a blog called the “Place of Reads”, run by a wonderful lady named Cana Elene. It’s a 4 out of 5 rating for the story with a great write-up!
Eric is a man who has lost a lot. His mother, his wife, and has moved to the middle of nowhere to raise his daughter. It is only when the world (and another world as well) comes to his home and world that he has to face what and who he and his daughter really are.
This novel is just as the title suggests, it is dark. There is a lot of death, even from the very first chapter. But even then it is still a really beautiful story. Eric is a strong man who after being introduced to a new and strange world, he takes it and grows. He fights to protect his daughter and becomes a stronger person. Between two worlds (parallel to each other), Earth and Dark Earth, the story tells of what love and courage can do for someone.
With a mix of Celtic myth, werewolves/changelings, witches, and secret organizations that protect the world as warders, you will get a wonderful mix of fantasy and fairy tale.
Recommend this book!
Dark Earth is a stand alone novel, however it also establishes a setting that I have several other books taking place in, some published and some forthcoming in the near future. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed!
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m headed off to Michigan for the day.