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Posts Tagged ‘space opera’

Cosmic Spin the Bottle

No, I haven’t kissed any aliens. I don’t know anyone who has either. I was simply looking for a phrase that implied randomness, because this post might seem like I pulled the contents out of a bingo bowl.

First up is Terminus, a series I wrote a couple of stories in back in 2016 with John M. Davis. I wrote a novella to launch the setting and then the second book in the series. He wrote the first one. For those not in the know, Terminus is science fiction taking place in the year 2277. Humans have reached the stars and met our neighbors. Some are nice, some are not so nice, but everyone is civilized… or as civilized as humanity has been throughout history.

There are pirates and bandits, evil governments, vicious mobsters, rebels and outcasts, and even a special caste of people called the Gifted that are feared throughout the universe for their merciless psychic powers. John took a group of people and wrote about their exploits as they sought to establish themselves and buck the system. I did the same, although with different people.

If you’re just hearing about this series, don’t be surprised. We were both very excited about it. I whipped up a website and everything for it – even tried to encourage as much reader interaction as possible with it – but our excitement was one sided. A few people read the books and I got some great feedback from those that did. They loved it and wanted more, but those few people seem to be the only ones that heard about it. Talk about a disappointment! I shelved the project for a rainy day and had to move on to other books that sell more.

The artist and creator in me felt betrayed by my actions. It was like I’d stabbed myself in the back, and that would be a feat since I have to find a convenient wall corner when I need to scratch my back.

Well, I spent a week in Florida on a family vacation and, during downtime, I dusted off Frozen Dreams and read through it again. Oh. My. Stars! I fell in love with it all over again. Great characters and setting. My only problem was the minor errors I found in the book. Less than ten, to be sure, and some of those were some style tweaks I made to improve the flow, but I was still embarrassed. All the same, I’ve just resubmitted the updated story to Amazon and it should be available in a day or so. If you’re one of the few that have already bought and read it, the story is the same and you’re not missing anything. If you haven’t…well… you should. It’s a damn good read, if I do say so myself! Although I do recommend starting with Terminus, the story that began it all.

Am I going to continue the Terminus series now? I’d like to very much. In fact, I’m sure I will, but not just yet. I still have to finish off Bling 2.0 before I can do that. That book is already at the 50,000 word mark and I expect I’ve got a solid 15% – 25% to go (if not more). After that I might return to Terminus, but I’ve got another project that’s coming up fast on my schedule too, so I can’t promise anything.

Remember that randomness I promised? Well, even more random than bringing up a series written back in 2016 is another book I read while on vacation. I’m working on Bling 2.0 right now, as I said, and that is a Lost Girls book that takes place in the western United States. Arizona, mostly, except for this one they are spending a lot of time on Dark Earth instead of the Earth we know and love. Dark Earth is the same as ours, except instead of technology to chase away the monsters they have magic. And sometimes the monsters use magic too.

Anyhow, in Bling 2.0 there’s a lot of time spent with the native people, which happen to be the Dark Earth equivalent to the Diné (Navajo people). They speak the same language as the Navajo and have the same beliefs, lore, and spirits, although they are a part of the Mayan empire there. I’ve done a lot of research on the Navajo people because of my Lost Girls series and I’ve been very fascinated by it all. Imagine my surprise when I found a book by Rebecca Roanhorse called Trail of Lightning that is a science fiction book that fully incorporates Navajo lore into a great story! My one and only regret is that book 2, Storm of Locusts, won’t be released until April 23rd. I can’t recommend Trail of Lightning enough – I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of Maggie’s (the main character) struggle against the monsters of flesh and legend that she had to try and overcome. Spoiler alert: she’s just like the rest of us in that sometimes she makes bad choices and sometimes she doesn’t win.

Okay, that’s enough for one night. I’ve got to get back to Bling 2.0 if I’m going to finish telling her story and then be able to work on the stories of the other characters fighting to be heard!

 

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’m a Bad Parent

January 25, 2019 Leave a comment

Not literally, but in an artistic license sort of way. My kids are fine, I haven’t let them wander into any abandoned mines or forgotten to pick them up from a creepy corn maze run by a guy in a clown mask. What I have done is let a new release go unannounced for over a week! That’s right, Confliction, Dark Universe book #7, is available everywhere!

Confliction picks up a little over a year after Lucky Star left off and continues the saga of the Dark Universe struggle against the Kesari, a race of alien beings intent on dominating the galaxy. There are new heroes and heroines in this book, although I really was searching for something a little grittier when I wrote this one. I even had one person accuse me of channeling some inner Shakespeare! Whether that’s true or not, the main characters might be better described as anti-heroes. As with all of my books, the story unfolds and the characters grow, evolve, and endure the struggles necessary to become better people. Or they fail and are never heard from again.

I’ll be honest, Lucky Star was a fun book for me, but I felt it missed a certain spark that made it really shine. This time I recaptured it, and I’m certain it had to do with including a lot of scenes with some of the stars from books past. It just didn’t feel like it was a complete story without some appearances and interaction with Aden, Twyf, Seph, Sierra, Niko, Neesha, and more.

So here is Confliction, anxiously awaiting eager eyes to dance across the curves and angles and expose it for the dark beauty that it is!

 

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Into the Dark (book 1) Out of the Dark (book 2) Chasing the Dark (book 3)
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Dark Star (book 4) Shades of Dark (book 5) Lucky Star (book 6)
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  Confliction (book 7)  
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In other news, I’m very close to releasing a new Lost Girls novel: Bling. This character inspired me in a way that I haven’t been inspired since Katalina Wimple willed herself into creation in the back of my head and demanded I share her story with the world. Then she did it again, and writing back-to-back books in the same series was unheard of for me. Bling did that too – I’m working on book 2 about her as I type this, before the cover art for book 1 is even finished!

2019 feels like a better year for writing for me so far. Here’s to hoping I can keep that going all year long!

 

To learn more about Jason Halstead visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

The Wait is Over

I once took pride in releasing a dozen or more books a year. I’d like to take pride in that again. Unfortunately, life has gotten busy and shows no signs of letting up. Nonetheless, I’m working as hard as I can to keep pumping out new books and, today, I’ve got another one ready to enjoy: The Goblin Queen is available everywhere now (see below for links).

So what is it? Well, it’s officially a continuation of my Serpent’s War series. However, nobody seemed to care that much about those books. I’ve heard disappointment in the covers mostly, which I don’t understand because I love them. The story itself readers enjoyed, but there hasn’t been nearly enough readers to confirm or deny it. With the Goblin Queen I tried a different take on the cover and the story is a bit different too. It continues the series, but the main characters in books 1 and 2 don’t play as much of a role. In fact, the original Blades of Leander factor heavily in this one, although they are a force divided and each have stories to tell.

Oh, and lest I forget there’s a new character in the series that is a force unto herself. Grishna, a woman from the void with a serious grudge and the will to see her vengeance carried out – if she can survive long enough.

Other than Grishna there are some other great sub-plots unfolding too. Caitlin continues her struggle for and against the Order of the Dragon. Alto continues to rush into dangerous situations that tempt not only fate, but his ability to survive almost anything through force of will and sheer luck. Garrick is meeting new people and challenging his narrow view of the world. Patrina is… well, Patrina has a pretty major ordeal to bear and it’s seriously getting in the way of what she wants to do. Last but most certainly not least is Sir Celos Lyonsbane and his newly made wife, Dame Aleena Lyonsbane. They’ve been acting like a couple for a few books now, it’s about time they did something about it!

Namitus, Gildor, and Amra are here too, playing important parts in the story and trying to do their best to thwart the long and serpentine tendrils of the Order of the Dragon. Yet no matter how hard they try, the Order seems one step ahead of them thanks in no small part to their newest general, the half-dragon Lariki.

Phew, with all that going on is there much left to tell in the book? Heck yes there is! I barely scratched the surface of it here. The Goblin Queen is a deep book filled with twisting plots and subplots. Story arcs that sometimes work out and sometimes do not. Poison, magic, intrigue, treachery, and the darkest magic the world of Kroth has yet faced fill the pages… so grab your copy now and enjoy! Then go back and give Servant of the Serpent and Rise of the Serpent a fair shake since you’ll want to know how things got to the point they’re at now.

 

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What’s next, you ask? Well, that’s a little complicated. I’m finishing up a story that is fan-fiction for the Shadowrun setting. Shadowrun was originally (and remains) an outstanding tabletop role playing game (TRPG). I’ve babbled about it in the past so I’ll refrain from doing so again. When I finish it, I’ll make it available for free and put it on some free story sights for people to enjoy. I can’t charge a thing for it, what with the IP being owned by others. I had to write it though, and with any luck maybe it will draw more people into my other works (or entice the copyright owners of Shadowrun to invite me to write something for them officially).

After that it’s a return to Vitalis I think. Like Miss Fortune, this next one will be a stand-alone novel that is tied in to the others through backstory and universe links. It is also taking sci-fi to a new place that has me really excited. It starts out, in fact, in hibernation units while a colonization ship launched before Vitalis was even found heads toward a distant star in hopes of finding a planet for humanity to settle and thrive on. So what could be exciting or interesting about a bunch of people sleeping in suspended animation? Cue maniacal laughter – the science and intelligence divisions of the Terran Coalition of Systems are running some experiments…

 

To learn more about Jason Halstead visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

The Ship has Sailed

October 19, 2016 Leave a comment

Voidhawk – Queen of Shadows, has sailed! To the editor, at least. I have cover art already so I just need that to be finished when it can dock a port near you for reading.

What took so long? An incredibly busy and crazy life lately, for one. The book itself was a joy to write and never stalled for lack of ideas of interest. In fact, it took on a life of its own and went in a direction I didn’t intend. Along the way a few characters really dug deep and really showed some amazing things to me. All in all, it was a good time and one I wish I could have gotten done sooner, only so that I can share it with the Voidhawk fans out there.

What’s next, you ask? Well, I have a couple of awesome character ideas, but unfortunately they won’t fit in the next Serpent’s War book, so they have to wait a bit for me to finish that. Another character I’ve been dying to write is a soldier who is living with PTSD, and a lot of ideas I have around it would fit in wonderfully with my Wanted setting. Think anybody’s up for an unexpected 5th book in the Wanted series?

Then there’s The Continuum, my joint venture with Dawn Michelle. That one needs more books written as well. Argh! So many options and so little time – and don’t think for a moment I’ve forgotten about Dark Universe or Vitalis.

So that doesn’t really tell you anything about what comes next, other than to say sooner or later, they’ll all be new books waiting to be read! Until then, hold tight for Voidhawk and stay tuned for more updates on what I settle on.

Oh, and my updates were pretty sparse lately. For that I apologize. I kept saying I need to write one down and share it… or I could spend the time writing the book and get it that much closer. I knew I was near the end, I just didn’t realize it would extend out another 6 or 7 chapters until I reached it. Next time, update first. These are short and quick, so why not make the time to do it?

 

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.

Please Hold…

September 28, 2016 Leave a comment

For fans of the Voidhawk series, I imagine you’re getting plenty frustrated. First I started #9 and then I took a break to work on something else (Symbols). Now I’m back on it, but it’s taking forever to write. Entirely my fault, but not due to lack of interest or desire. Just increasing demands and, arguably, less than optimal time management. But damn it, I am working on it! Just last night I finished off another 4000 words in fact. The end is near, my friends, but still a week or so out.

And that brings me to my next discussion point. I’m 99% sure I know what my next project is. This wasn’t what I had planned, but for these characters and this series, it’s usually how it works. I’m returning to my Wanted series for another installment. No idea about the title, but I’ve got some wicked-cool ideas on plot and an even more amazing idea for a new character to introduce.

This character has been rattling around in the back of my head for a while, but they never real took on a lot of substance. Some reading I’ve been doing has reestablished the need for this character though, and that in turn helped me flesh them out. Originally I was thinking it would be a woman because that’s a little less common / mainstream, but then I realized poor Carl is surrounded by women and he could really use another guy on his side. Once that decision was made, the character more or less popped into life.

I’d spend time writing more about it, but I need to get back to working on Voidhawk (amongst other things). So consider this a teaser!

Oh, and not to worry, Vitalis and Dark Universe are not abandoned, and neither is my wife’s latest series, Continuum.

 

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.

Queen of Spiders

September 23, 2016 Leave a comment

Voidhawk #9, Queen of Spiders, is still in progress. Steady progress, although not as fast as I’d like. It’s nearly the length of a full novel though and I’ve got a bit to get yet, so that’s great news I think. Sure, I wish I had it finished already, but only because I want to see how it’s going to end.

I started this book out with some ideas and a plan on how I needed to help Volera discover more about herself, as well as help everyone find a way to deal with the restless spirits that are plaguing the void. Yet, as usually happens, things took a twist on me as I was writing. Something that seemed insignificant took on a greater priority and, before I knew it, my story had changed. A minor sojourn at a port has turned into an entire adventure by itself!

When they’re done with this they won’t be nearly as far as I’d hoped, but that’s okay because it sets everything up for the next book. Assuming, of course, that no more surprises come my way.

And because I like to think ahead, what’s going to come next after I finish this book? I don’t know for certain, but I have a lot of ideas. Dark Universe has been silent for a while now, but Vitalis is nagging away in the back of my head. Believe it or not, I’ve had some really exciting ideas to continue my Wanted series into a 5th book as well. The ideas and concepts don’t stop there though, I have other things I’d love to do, but I’m not sure if I can justify the time spent on them. These days I have to focus on what’s going to deliver the most and please the most people, versus writing for the sake and love of writing. Kind of a sad day, but fortunately as long as I’m writing something I’m still having a good time.

 

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.

Sailing the Stars in Exclusivity

Voidhawk, by Jason Halstead

Today’s blog title is a bit of a play on words. While sailing the stars is a bit of an allusion that could be used for any starship or space travel, I mean it literally. As in using a solar sail, of sorts, to ply the solar winds and travel from star to star and world to world. Using modern science (or even future science, perhaps), it’s a viable means of transportation, but slow. Using fantasy, it opens up all sorts of possibilities!

So, since I abhor reality and enjoy escaping into my imagination, I’m talking about Voidhawk. Voidhawk is the name of the series and of the wooden ship that sails through the void (space) under the command of Dexter Silvercloud. He’s part scoundrel and part knight, among many other things. The Voidhawk is a ship that has been through a lot since he found it and rebuilt it. They’ve faced off against Elven Armadas, chased demons, travelled outside the void to a place without time, and hunted dragons that could not be killed. And they’ve paid the price for their boldness many times over. But they keep doing it.

The exclusivity? Well, that’s because I just put my entire Voidhawk series into KDP Select, which means it’s available on Kindle Unlimited. It’s exclusive because that means, for the ebooks, at least, I cannot sell them anywhere other than Amazon for the next 3 months. Since they weren’t selling anywhere but Amazon for the past several months, I figure this isn’t much of a sacrifice.

Better yet though is the news that Voidhawk, the first book in the series, is free on Amazon today (8/3) and tomorrow (8/4)! Then it goes back to its regular price of $0.99. Or, if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can read all 8 books in the series without paying a dime.

As for 8 books in the series, I’m working on book number 9 right now, although I have to finish up another one first, I hope to have that out of the way very quickly.

Oh, and lest I forget, Voidhawk becomes intertwined with another fantasy setting I have, the World of Kroth. The Blades of Leander trilogy (Child of Fate, Victim of Fate, and Silver Dragon) is already part of Kindle Unlimited. The next series, Order of the Dragon (4 books in that one), is not in KU yet. Nor is The Serpent’s War trilogy a part of it (and for the record, I haven’t written the 3rd book in that trilogy yet either). Voidhawk and Kroth cross paths in Voidhawk #7 (Broken Shards), Voidhawk #8 (Fallen Goddess), and soon to be in Voidhawk #9 (untitled). As for the World of Kroth books, the action happens between the end of Order of the Dragon and the beginning of The Serpent’s War, although there should be some interaction in the upcoming 3rd book in the Serpent’s War trilogy.

Phew, if that was confusing to you as a reader, imagine how tricky it is for me, the author, to keep it all together! Don’t worry though, I’ll take on the burden of keeping it straight. All you have to do is enjoy the books – and don’t forget to snag Voidhawk while it’s free.

 

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.