Stumbling to the End of a Story

Literally, stumbling.

Shortly after my last post I picked up an allergy. You might say that allergies are fairly common but this was a first for me. The cause is unknown, but it was probably related to the pollution that drifts across the Chinese border. The downer was that I got this one while developing a nasty Asian flu–a double whammy that drained the will to live. Anyhow, after 12 weeks, I thought it was time to see a doctor.

Two surgery visits and five X-Rays later, the Doc confirms the allergy (and the flu) and, for good measure, threw in acute sinusitis on top of chronic sinusitis (which accounts for a whole bunch of “feel bad” moments I’ve had and put down to growing old).

Two courses of antibiotics later, I could smell again–everything: the traffic, the burning rubber, propane gas exhaust, coal dust, early morning commuter farts and, worse still, stinky Tofu–the whole Asian street scene came flooding back. I’m also aware that my dogs need a bath, my favourite shoes are well past their sell-by date and I have proof-positive (finally) that the cheese in the fridge really does stink. I apologise to my wife for not believing her.

Moving on… Some of you will know that I am a pension portfolio manager by day. Of late, I have gotten involved in a new pension structure that has required my reading up on local legislation, tax treaties and tax codes globally. The more I read, the more I got excited about it and the more time I had to spend on it. Day and night.

…And now I’m taking a couple of weeks off to see my daughter be married in the UK.

So, yep, “Petroff’s Pogrom” has taken a back seat. Not willingly, mind. I enjoy the writing. But the “Birdie Down” sequel won’t be ready in late May as I had promised in early January. Sorry.  I thought I should just let you know.

In the meantime, the story I most enjoyed writing is waiting to be read. “Army of Souls”, the sequel to “Scat”, isn’t free, but it is my best yet. (Best being relative, of course. And subjective.) Still, I hope you’ve got a spare USD2.99 and a free weekend. And that you enjoy it.

Alternatively, if you promise to write an honest review and can leave me your email address, I will send you a Smashword code that’ll let you pick up “Army of Souls” for a dollar. That’s 5 pages of science fiction action and gallows humour per US cent.

And that’s a steal, right?

Jim

 

 

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And the Beta-reading begins …

Aside

So! Army of Souls is done. It has gone to the beta-readers, and I’m now just tinkering with elements of it, waiting on their comments. Publishing this one will be like giving away my daughter (which I must do at some point). I’ll be just as nervous. Army of Souls ventures into rarely chartered territory for Science Fiction. I only hope it isn’t damned for doing so.

Army of Souls starts a few months after Scat and continues the story.

Here’s the (draft) blurb:

Book Two in the Scat’s Universe saga

If flesh came into being because of the spirit, it is a wonder. But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders.”
Ancient text discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, December 1945. Believed to be the Gospel According to Thomas 24:1

Man’s soul is little more than collateral damage in a struggle between our daemons and demons. As Man succumbs to the soul-harvesting Haraan and the seven Vices pursue the four Virtues in a brutal and one-sided conflict, Scat must travel the Other-Worlds to free our souls from Purgatory.

But Man is allied against him. An army of souls is on the rampage. And the Demon Master is a single victory from reigning supreme

ImageDon’t forget, Scat is currently free from most of the popular ebook retailers.

Oh, and if you have already posted a review for Scat, I thank you. This is how scribblers like me get the word out to readers such as yourselves. Through other readers. It helps that the most recent batch of reviews have been very encouraging.

Best, Jim

St Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC

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St Patrick's Cathedral, NYC

St Patrick’s gets a whole chapter to itself in the upcoming science fiction, “Army of Souls”. It is the setting for a confession that will change everything; even how we view the After Life.

I took this photo during our Christmas visit 2009. I visit every other year at around the same time. I love New York, and although back home us Brits have buildings and monuments going back a thousand years and more, I find the city filled with interesting, often ignored, historical markers. Anyone with a real interest in New York should try reading: “The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America” by Russell Shorto.

Here’s a link to the book’s Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45000.The_Island_at_the_Center_of_the_World

The Tomb of Sir Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury

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The Tomb of Sir Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury

The  tomb of 1st Earl of Salisbury’s at St Etheldreda, Hatfield. St Ethelreda and the tomb get a mention in my upcoming novel, ARMY of SOULS. It has something to do with the four Virtues who bear the Earl’s likeness: Prudence, Temperance, Justice and Courage. 

Photo by chrisjohnbeckett.

A Book a Day Reviews: SCAT

A Book a Day Reviews has just posted their review of SCAT. I must say, I’m blown away, and was just the shot in the arm that I needed, given I was editing ARMY of SOULS at 2.30AM when it came through. Check it out at their blog then go grab yourself a copy. It’s still free.

Check out my website for 2 Free scifi e-novels

Being an unknown author I’m letting the first novel in each of the two Scat’s Universe series go for free. Call me crazy, after all, they took two years to get right. One of them, Scat, is a complex 170,000+ word epic that has picked up some great reviews from dedicated reader blogs and a dedicated scifi website. The other, Birdie Down, is a 60,000+ word adventure described as ‘High adventure of the best kind’ and a ‘ripping good yarn’.

So why give them away? Well, it’s my investment in myself. I’m keen for readers to take a look at them and to decide for themselves that the stories I publish are worth reading – without there being any risk attached. And that the stories I publish in the future might just be worth a few of their hard-earned dollars.

So, check out the site and find out where you can grab your free copies. And if you enjoy them, please do let me know, sign up for details of new releases or even leave a review.

Happy St Patricks Day

Jim