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Posts Tagged ‘sin city’

Vengeance, Vegas Style

December 17, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m cheating here – this article is one I posted on a fellow writer’s blog a week or two back. Leah Rhyne, writer and zombie afficionado, was the lovely young lady to host it for me. She’s a talented writer and a classy lady, I encourage anyone interested to head over and check out her blog at http://www.leahrhyne.com/. Last I checked she and her husband were working hard on raising money for a charity, St. Jude’s, I believe, and her hubby offered to shave his head if they reached their goal.

Now then, on to the blog post, it’s a blatant attempt on my part to promote my latest book, Bounty. But amidst all that promotion I think it’s got some interesting bits and a touch of humor. Definitely worth the sixty seconds it takes to read the blog, not to mention the minimal cost of buying the novel and enjoying Carl, Jessie, Tanya, Sarah, and Allison’s exploits!

 

Sin City has a history of organized crime and preying on the weak and innocent. Bounty, the third book in the Wanted trilogy, lives up to that legacy.

Writing Wanted was a strike of luck for me. It seemed like a great idea but I found myself hung up from time to time figuring out what came next. It deviated drastically from my original plans but thanks to a moment of inspiration I was able to turn that deviation into a great book. I didn’t realize how great a book it was until it became a bestseller and topped multiple Amazon charts.

My readers called for a sequel, they weren’t happy with the story of Carl, Jessie, and Tanya ending so soon. That allowed me to write Ice Princess, but it was even more of a trial than the first one was. I was very happy with the finished product, thanks to a few more random bubbles of creativity along the way. As a matter of fact, with the end of Ice Princess I felt myself getting choked up as I identified with a couple of the characters personally. In particular Jiri Kurkova, the father of Tanya, Miss Ice Princess herself.

After Ice Princess I was spent. There was nothing more I could do with these characters. They’d done it all. They’d been dragged through the mud. They’d been shot, beaten, stabbed and worse. What more pain could I inflict? Well that’s a stupid thing to ask a writer, especially one with an occasionally macabre sense of humor! The concept came to me out of nowhere  one day on my way into to work at 6:30 in the morning. What concept? I won’t spoil it, but I will say it involves an incredible fear of loss that all of us experience at one point or another. Here’s one of the tweets I’m using to promote it as well: “My new release, Bounty, focuses on family values and why you shouldn’t try to kidnap Carl Water’s family.”

Check out Wanted, it’s a free ebook, and then once you’re hooked look up Ice Princess and then Bounty, the incredible conclusion to the trilogy.

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.

Bounty Posted!

December 10, 2012 Leave a comment

There are so many cheesy ways I can have fun with the titles of my sci-fi trilogy, Wanted. So of course, I’ve been doing my best to maximize the corniness for my own amusement! Take the title of this blog article, I’m specifically talking about how I just released it this morning in a print version available on Amazon or Createspace. That makes the entire trilogy available. Hmm, makes me wonder if I should make an omnibus out of it? That’d be a doozy of a book though.

In the meantime, I’m working hard on Victim of Fate, book two in my Blades of Leander fantasy series. Simultaneously I’m hunting for a new day job. That’s tying up a lot of time, I have to admit. I’ve had a few interviews and I’ve got more coming. I wonder how many I have to go through until I get a free set of steak knives?

Worth mentioning for my fellow computer programming geeks out there – I spent some time this weekend and this morning teaching myself hyperthreading. It’s pretty cool and I really wish I’d learned it earlier. So many windows and web applications I’ve written in the past could have benefited from it! C’est la vie, at least I’ve got the basics down now and I can boost it for the future – and talk about it intelligently during an interview!

Now enough about me, time for you to get yours! Here’s the links to Bounty:

Bounty, book 3 in the Wanted series by Jason Halstead

Bounty on Amazon

Bounty on Amazon UK

Bounty on Barnes and Noble

Bounty on Kobo

Bounty on Smashwords

Bounty on iTunes (coming soon)

Bounty on Sony (coming soon)

Bounty in print

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 Soldier, a Porn Star, and a Coed Walk into a Bar…

December 5, 2012 1 comment

The subject might be a great lead in for a dirty joke or the next book in the 50 Shades series, but I just used it to pique your interest. Although to be fair, the book I finally released has all three of those characters in it. More importantly, it’s a book that people have been wanting me to write for over a year now. Bounty, book three in my Wanted series, has been released!

It was a close call, I admit. Writing the book, once the idea came to me, was the easiest part. It kept stretching out longer and longer as more great details and ideas emerged, but it never creeped so far out of scope that it became too long. Then I had problems with my content editor hitting my schedule, but those eventually sorted themselves out. Finally I ended up losing my job a couple of days before my copy editor finished with the book, preventing a timely payment – she was great and offered to give me a little leeway, due in part to her and her husband both enjoying my writing so much. Finally there was the issue with Amazon – they published it but the link wouldn’t open! I emailed them my concerns on December 2nd and they promised they’d look into it and have an answer by December 7th. 5 days?! Thankfully when I checked this morning it was finally cleared up and released. YAY!

So, without delaying any further, here’s the blurb, cover, and links so you can get your Bounty!

The U.S. government has reclaimed the abandoned western states but the law remains the province of whoever has the biggest gun. Life was good, if boring, for retired special forces operator Carl Waters and his wife Jessie until she received an offer to reprise her acting career and star in a new role. When a hired gun tries to kill Jessie on the set of her new movie they discover that their new found fame is not the blessing they’d hoped for.

Carl has to defend his family from the loose ends of their old lives. That, or avenge them.

Bounty, book 3 in the Wanted series by Jason Halstead

Bounty on Amazon

Bounty on Amazon UK

Bounty on Barnes and Noble

Bounty on Kobo

Bounty on Smashwords

Bounty on iTunes (coming soon)

Bounty on Sony (coming soon)

Bounty in print (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.

A Most Rewarding Bounty

October 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Long term readers of my blog will know by now that I take great delight in twisting my words into multiple meanings. In this case, I’m taking about the book I’m writing, Bounty. It’s book three in the Wanted trilogy. I’m nearing the end but in spite of the layout of chapters and tasks I’ve assigned to myself, I keep finding extra chapters slipping in. This shouldn’t be upsetting to anyone – the extra content isn’t merely added quantity, it’s added quality as well.

I’m talking about it now because I’m having such a fun time writing it! Sure, I love all my books but this one really had me scared. I’ve gotten a ton of reviews (overwhelmingly good) on Wanted, and almost as many on book 2, Ice Princess. That present a problem to me – it meant if I wrote a third book like I’d originally planned, it needed to be of equal or better quality. How’s that for being scary?

I don’t question my ability as a writer anymore. Some people don’t like me, some people do. Fortunately it seems to be more are pro-Jason Halstead than against. But there’s a different between knowing how to tell a story and living up to an expectation. I’ve seen this plenty of times in the powerlifting venue and even experienced it myself a couple of times. I expect so much even though I know how hard it’s going to be and subconsciously come up with ways to defeat myself. I justify the failure and before you know it instead of picking up 565lbs I only got it halfway before I twisted it around and damn near broke my shin in half.

And knowing the root of the problem does not mean it’s any easier to beat it. Our brain is designed to protect us, whether it’s from ripping muscles off of bones or public failure and embarrassment. Our subconscious is call ‘sub’ because it’s also subversive. It whispers in our ear and tells us it’s okay to give up, it won’t think less of us. We can say we had a busy day and needed the quick calories a cupcake provides. One little drink won’t hurt. I can lift heavy weights next week after my back stops hurting. All excuses that sound great at the time. Justifications for allowing ourselves to not try as hard as we could. As hard as we should.

So out of the blue an idea for Bounty came to me. It felt good but I wanted to be sure, so I let it rattle around in my head a few days while I finished writing Child of Fate. It was harder and harder, I’ll admit, but once I finished Child of Fate I knew what I had to do. Fear of failure be damned, this book needed to be written! And so I’ve been writing – not as breakneck as usual because life’s been a lot busier lately, but I’m still averaging at least 2000 words a day on it.

Bounty takes place six years after Ice Princess ends. Everybody’s living their own happy lives (more or less), and getting by. Allison’s gone off to college after being legally adopted by Carl and Jessie and without Allison around to keep her busy, Jessie’s itching to get back into the movie industry.

The United States government had moved back in to officially reclaim the western states. The special hardware Carl has is still state of the art, but it’s not the razor’s edge of biotech development anymore. It should be safe to reenter the public eye. It’s been six years, everything that happened before is ancient history, right?

For most people in most situations, yes. It’s time to live and let live. Two things can change that. Two very powerful things, such as beauty and hate. Either independently or together they can turn a rationale human being into something entirely different. Something obsessive and vicious. Something that will stop at nothing to get what they want.

And that, my friends, is what Bounty is all about.

A few more days and the rough draft will be complete. After a few weeks of editing I’m hoping for a early to mid December release date. I promise it will be a fun ride and it lives up to its predecessors in every way, shape, and form.

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.

Escaping Las Vegas

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

My wife and I came to Vegas with every intention of living the “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” lifestyle. Our intent was to put some of the sin back in Sin City. And so far, we’ve done a fairly decent job of it – and yes, there are some stories that won’t be told. However, I came here with many goals and I’m happy to say that I’m seeing almost all of them realized.

Vegas was more about having a good time, it’s also going to set the stage for a near future science fiction book I’m writing called Bounty. It’s the third and final book in my Wanted trilogy. Wanted and Ice Princess, incidentally, have probably been my most successful books to date (although my fantasy series, Voidhawk, is serious contender). I’ve been to Vegas before but I was looking for some inspiration on things to put in the book as well as some insight into nightclub life.

I’ve never been much for dancing. Two left feet and being tone deaf are only the beginnings of my problems. Add in the fact that I’m a large mammal and I get irritated quickly by people who do stupid things and you can see it’s not my scene. Or at least I always thought it wasn’t my scene, so I avoided it. Last night my wife and some friends we met in Vegas took me to a club and I got to find out firsthand that I was right.

Call me old or boring, but I don’t want to have to shout into somebody’s ear just so they can hear me. And the music that’s playing was fast and constantly being screwed with, on top of only sixty second snippets of the songs being “blended” together by the DJ. I’m not really giving the music part a thumb’s down, other than the fact that it’s just too damn loud. Even if I was foolish enough to dance the wall to wall people on the dance floor made it impossible without some stranger being way too close and likely to pick my pocket as easily as give me a communicable disease normally only transmittable via sexual contact. Yeah, it was that tight. And worse was some of the people on the floor. We counted (and later confirmed) two extremely nasty looking prostitutes that were trying to drum up some clients and another woman who my wife said looked like two pigs wrestling in a blanket. It was a vision that is burned into my memory and something I fear I just can’t purge out. Perhaps that’s why they recommend drinking heavily when going to such places – not so I can’t remember what I did but so I can’t remember what I saw!

But this was for research, and it was successful. I learned a lot and came up with some great ideas. We also stopped by another smaller club that was tasteful and had some exceptional entertainment going on. I have so many ideas I can’t wait for my characters to get to Vegas so I can have some fun with it! And that includes probably doing considerable damage to the fictional club I’ll be creating. I might also include the pigs-wrestling-in-a-blanket chick for ambiance.

We visited Fremont street last night too. Unbeknownst to us it was some bike weekend down there and the place was almost as packed as the night club would be later on. I came out of there feeling a little dirty, but I enjoyed it very much only because I had the experience and lived to tell the tale. The impression I came away with was that I had just been on the set of either Escape from New York or Escape from L.A. The only thing missing was Snake Pliskin!

So all in all, we’ve been having a great time out here. My wife even beat the odds and hit a decent jackpot on a slot machine yesterday. Believe it or not, she’s actually going to come out ahead on gambling this time around. We’ve also eaten at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill and I have to say the food was great. I’m not sure it was good enough to warrant the prices, but for a special occasion it was worth it. I will endorse a side dish they have there that consists of some sort of corn with a sauce. It’s incredible. I’m talking incredible like “I’m-having-a-no-strings-attached-affair-in-Vegas” incredible without the guilt. My wife and I shared a bowl of it, so I guess that makes it almost like a menage-a-troi…with corn. Okay, as weird as that just became trust me on it and give it a chance if you have the opportunity. You won’t regret it.

So between the days spent lounging at the pool, gambling, or just enjoying ourselves I’ve also managed to get some writing down on Bounty. Not a lot, unfortunately, but I’ve made it through one chapter so far and plan to keep on going. I read a book called Crystal Illusions, by J.E. Taylor, while lounging by the pool and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mystery / crime thrillers with a little twist of the paranormal or supernatural.

All in all, a pretty successful vacation thus far! We’re headed to see a Cirque show tonight (Zumanity) and headed home tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be sure to ramble on about what that’s all about, as well as any more progress or dastardly plans I might have for Bounty! This just goes to prove how dangerous writers are – we’re like a mental pandemic, spreading things far and wide that should probably be confined to the borders of Vegas.

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.

You’re Invited!

September 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Between day job and writing things have been hectic lately – and that’s not including quality family time and my other obsessions. Nonetheless, it’s time for a break. I’ve got a great start on the third and final book in my Wanted trilogy, and I hope to squeeze in a little bit more over this weekend. I mention only a little because I’m planning on being otherwise occupied. This time though I’ll be trying hard to do as little as I can. That’s right, it’s time for a vacation. My wife and I are headed to Vegas for a few days.

It was while I was daydreaming about Vegas that I came up with some ideas for this third Wanted book. That, in turn, has me wanting to check out a few specific things while I’m on vacation so I can do some research for the book. Come to think of it, I wonder if I can use some of the research specific costs as write offs?

I finally came up with a working title for the book. I’m over 10,000 words into it, it’s about time! Unless something better pops into my head the third Wanted book shall be called: Bounty. That title ties things together rather nicely and it has a lot of additional deeper hidden meanings associated with it too. I’d considered a few vengeance – themed titles but I didn’t want to give too much of the book away.

Now then as to the invitation. Vegas is a big place with a lot of people. I’ve had occasional fan mail from readers in Las Vegas as well. My invitation is that if anyone should happen to find a needle in a haystack and recognize me, I encourage and invite you to come up and say hi. Hopefully you’ll catch me before I’ve reached the point where I’m drooling on myself and stumbling into the pools at Caesar’s Palace!

In fact, by the time you’ve started reading this I should be on the plane headed west. I try my best to not get excited about things prematurely, but now that it’s all but here I can’t help but admit I’m really looking forward to checking out for a few days and meeting up with some great people (hopefully that includes a few people I’ve never met before!). Keep an eye out for this guy:

author Jason Halstead

 

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.

Some Fun and Furry March Madness

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve made mention recently on Twitter about some exciting news, but now it’s time to share it on here. It’s exciting to me, so just smile and nod if you’re not as thrilled as I am. It’s been a challenging year, especially the month of February, so these things coming about came at a great time.

The things I’m talking about? First is the pending release of Wolfgirl, the sequel to Traitor. Wolfgirl is the third book in my Lost Girls series, which takes place in my Dark Earth setting. Wolfgirl continues the story of Katalina Wimple and her friends, co-workers, and romantic disasters. It shares something else in common with Traitor, Katy heads back through the portal to New Vegas, the lawless version of Sin City where anything really does go. And what happens in New Vegas only stays in New Vegas if you don’t have a big enough gun to get away.

Wolfgirl, book 3 in the Lost Girls series, by Jason Halstead

Wolfgirl, book 3 in the Lost Girls series, by Jason Halstead

The same day I received the finished cover art for Wolfgirl (courtesy of Willsin Rowe), I also received a very suprising email from one of my editors. It turns out she finished editing Voidhawk – The White Lady, a couple weeks ahead of schedule! Maybe that doesn’t strike you as a big deal but I only gave it to her less than two weeks ago. I was shocked, but after skimming through it I was also impressed. Either I’m getting better during my rough drafts or there’s a lot of finishing touches that need to be put into it. Either way, I launched my cover art requests today. I’d planned to release Voidhawk – The White Lady on April 1st but now it’s looking like I may get a mid-March release date on it.

Wolfgirl takes me up to 16 books published. Voidhawk – The White Lady, will take me to 17. With the release of Wolfgirl also be on the lookout to pick up The Lost Girls, the book that begins that series, for free! I’ll be running a special on Amazon the 1st and the 2nd so be sure to check it out. Or if you just want to help a brutha out you could head over to Amazon now and pick it up for $2.99. Voidhawk, the first novel in my Voidhawk series, is available for free on Amazon with no deadlines! Grab it anytime and start the high fantasy adventure! Just be prepared to leave your sense of physics behind but bring plenty of fun along for the ride.

Left I forget, the mention of “fun and furry” in the title is not just Twitterbait. Both books have some pretty hefty paranormal creatures / activities going on in them. Not to worry, I’m not on the verge of turning into somebody who has to write about such beings, it just happened the these two books fell into my writing lineup at the same time. I’ve gotten it out of my system, if ever it was in there, you can … aw nuts, no you can’t. I just remembered the one I’m writing now (Dark Earth book 2: Devil’s Icebox) has a different breed of paranormal entity going on. I promise, the next one I write won’t!

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.