Wednesday, February 01, 2017
I've been writing a book in secret.
No, it's not Book Four of The Obscured, though that will be next on my list of things to work on. In fact it's not set in one of my worlds at all, but one created by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. If you read Post-Apocalyptic books, you probably already know Nick's name. He's the USA best-selling author of multiple series, including Orbs, Hell Divers, Trackers, and the tremendously popular Extinction Cycle. Well Nick very graciously asked me to be a part of the Extinction Cycle series by way of Kindle Worlds, and I very wisely accepted. Kindle Worlds, if you didn't know, is a platform Amazon started a few years ago where authors can write in each properties.
My book is called Extinction: Isolation, and it takes place during the events of Extinction Horizon, the first book in Nick's series. It follows the story of Will and Stanley Sharpe, two brothers on opposite sides of the law, and their struggle to stay alive in the Pennsylvania wilderness as they make their back to Will's family in Washington D.C. I had a great time taking on this challenge, and as far as the release date, the book drops...oh, about five hours ago.
That's right- it's already out. I just Beyonce'd your ass.
This is a Kindle exclusive, ebook only, which is just the deal with Kindle Worlds. As you might know, you don't need a Kindle to read a Kindle book, just an Amazon account. You can read it on your phone, your computer, and pretty much anywhere else. I tried my best to create a book that wouldn't require having read the Extinction Cycle first in order to enjoy it, but if you have- and I recommend you do if you like good Science Fiction and Horror- you'll enjoy it that much more. This is easily the biggest thing I've been a part of, and I'm so grateful to Nick that he let me be a part of it.
So that's my confession. I am Beyonce. Enjoy.
at 6:20:00 AM
Monday, May 30, 2016
The third book in The Obscured series is out! It's called Hot Dirt, as the last update said it would be, and it's available on Kindle as of this moment and paperback very soon. I won't bother you with an update when that happens, but if you check that Amazon link again in a week or so it should pop up. Here's the description:
No one goes to the desert to be found.
Liam Cain is the biggest, meanest guy you'd ever want to run into in a dark alley. He's also good at one thing, and that thing happens to be killing people. And like they say, if you're good at something, never do it for free.
When a job for the German mafia goes south, Cain has no choice but to skip town and find a new place to call home. But in a tiny, unknown town in the middle of the desert, he finds more than he bargained for when a woman's body turns up in his trailer. Cain finds himself in the middle of a fight between two, ancient enemies, and a search for a secret long buried in the sand.
It's a good thing Cain has a few secrets of his own.
Some other news. First, I was interviewed by the editor of Horror Metal Sounds, a site which you've probably already guessed what they're all about. It was a great experience, and we talked about a few of my books as well as all things horror. It's a good read, so go check it out.
Also exciting, I've started a partnership with Tapas, the leading Indie comic app which serves up bite-sized content. They recently branched into books, so I've teamed up with the people behind it to offer most of my books through their format. A Chemical Fire is already available, and very soon The Obscured series will be added along with a few others. I'm a big fan of their app, so my stuff aside I totally recommend downloading it.
That's all. Here's to a great summer.
at 9:51:00 PM
Saturday, February 20, 2016
It's already been five short months since Book Two of The Obscured came out, which means at least some of you have had the chance to read City of Demons by now. So, any thoughts? Good? Bad? I'm always open to criticism, believe me. Over on Amazon the book has exactly one review right now, so, please, click over and take a minute to tell me what you thought, and the same goes for Book One. You're only helping me and the future of the series by telling me (and the world) what works for you and what doesn't.
Speaking of the future, I'm also announcing the first details on Book Three, including the reveal of the title, which you can see in the first, official teaser image below. The name of The Obscured, Book Three will be...
Hot Dirt follows Liam Cain, semi-reformed killer looking for a place to hide in the desert, who instead finds himself in the middle of a fight between two ancient enemies. The release date is TBA, all I can say is it's coming sometime in Spring of 2016 and I'll leave it at that.
That's it for now. Hopefully soon I'll be sharing some news on an interesting new way to read books, including my own. It's a format I'm excited to be a part of that I think has a lot of potential if it gets off the ground. I'm always up for an experiment, so we'll wait and see what tomorrow brings.
at 9:08:00 PM
Wednesday, September 09, 2015
The second book in The Obscured series, City of Demons, is out on Kindle. For you tree-haters in the group, I expect the paperback to be out by the end of the week, so keep an eye out for that, you two. It also means Shallow Veins, the first book, is free until the 13th. Not like free to date or pursue a career, free to read. It's just a sale. This is for four days only, so download now and read at your leisure. As always, you don't need a Kindle to read a Kindle book.
City of Demons took a while to come together, but I think the longer development has been kind to it. Where the first book was Butcher kind of stumbling across this widening mystery, this time around the universe of The Obscured has really begun to expand. Events are set in motion that will have repercussions in future books, and new characters- the ones that make it out alive- will return to cause problems for our heroes.
at 6:49:00 AM
Friday, February 13, 2015
I have a new short story up on Inkitt for their 'Darkest Place" horror contest. The first part is here, the rest of it past the link. Make sure to vote for it if you enjoy it.
The house sat empty at the top of the hill. Its security lights were a beacon in the night, like a lighthouse alone in the mist, warning ships away from the kiss of sharp shores. The closest neighbor was further away than a man could throw a rock, a fact that didn't appear to be a coincidence.
Inside its smooth walls, gray hardwood spread out across an expansive, single floor. The leather furniture decorating the space looked like someone’s idea of a futuristic catcher’s mitt and felt half as cozy, chosen, as was the case for much of the house, for color more than comfort. Doubly so for the tank of tropical fish that shimmered against the far accent wall. Its forty-odd gallons of water sparkled in the dark, cared for by a professional who came out to the house on alternating Tuesdays.
Overhead spotlights clicked to life. They were triggered by the abrupt opening of the heavy front door. A burst of cool air was followed into the house by Douglas, the owner. He shut the door just as quickly as it had swung open, his gray, unblinking eyes flecked with bits of blue.
Three hard clacks and the door was locked. Four beeps and the alarm system was activated.
In the kitchen, Douglas stood at the refrigerator and poured himself a glass of water, drinking it down in one gulp, then did the same with a scotch. He was thirsty and had been for some time. His nerves were on fire and needed extinguishing. After another scotch, this one over ice, he drew the blinds and ran the shower until the mirror couldn't be seen. Then he undressed and stepped in.
Under the hot water, Douglas kneaded his sore neck like a baker working a tough batch of dough. Three days now it had been stiff, three days of limited movement, of waking in the mornings with a cry. The rub helped, but he knew within twenty minutes of getting out of the shower his neck would be back to the way it had been before. A masseuse was in order, he thought to himself, one of those cute girls he always passed by at the gym. The thought alone was enough to relax him.
The little hairs on the back of his neck suddenly stood up. He felt the unmistakable presence of a man standing just behind him. He rubbed the water from his eyes to catch the intruder in the act, ready to pounce on him in a commotion of fists. But he was alone in the steamy shower, and though the feeling faded the longer he kept his eyes open, Douglas swore he could feel subtle changes in the direction of the air- shifts so slight they didn't move the shower curtain.
Almost like breathing, yet soundless, and cold.
Ready for bed, Douglas turned off all the lights in the house. As he went from room to room he checked the windows to make sure they were locked properly, noting with some comfort the wires of the house's alarm system. He had settled into a decent state after two large scotches and a hot shower, and he looked forward to a good night's sleep for a change. He crept into the bedroom, slipped between the cool covers and let his eyes close of their own accord.
The house was quiet. Secure. A few odd moments in the shower notwithstanding, Douglas felt the closest to content he could expect. Already the silken kiss of sleep was swallowing him down, like sinking into the warm sap of a thousand, billowing trees.
“Tastes like salt.”
A whisper in his ear. He jolted awake at the man's voice, with it the sensation of breath on his face. A moment later came the loud bang of something hitting his bedroom window from the outside, first the impact, then the shimmy of glass dancing in its frame. It sounded like a fist had pounded at the window. He threw the covers off and jumped out of bed, looked around the room for whoever had whispered to him. Once he was sure he was alone, he yanked the curtains open.
No one. Just his front yard, a hill which sloped down to the empty street, all of it blanketed in yellow-white moonlight. Douglas leaned in close to look under the window. Possibly the trespasser had ducked down and was hiding against the house, tucked in behind the azaleas.
A black bird twitched in the grass. Its wings flapped in erratic rhythms and its legs were two, hardened sticks. Douglas looked for and found a sign that the bird had hit his window- an impression of the animal's shape had been left behind, a fine silhouette rendered in dust, the body at the center and the two feathery wings spread outward. The bird continued to twitch in the grass until the movements slowed, its solid, black eyes finally drained of sight, left to stare unfocused into the sky.
Douglas watched the bird die. Then he returned to bed.
The rest: http://www.inkitt.com/stories/7444
at 8:02:00 AM
Thursday, August 28, 2014
The day has come: Shallow Veins, my fourth book, and the first in a series, is alive. Since announcing it four months ago it's seen a successful Kickstarter campaign, the hiring of an excellent artist by the name of Michael Macrae, and as per normal, multiple edits. The end result is in my opinion the strongest work I've put out to date.
Obviously there's an issue with distance here- not only did I write the thing, I JUST wrote the thing- but as my second harshest critic (top spot went to this guy), I think the book came out really well. It definitely has me excited to continue the series, which is a good thing considering I'm planning to put out two entries per year. This is by far the biggest challenge I've set for myself, but I know that without pushing past our comfort zones we never really grow. A bit like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, except when I push out of my coffee can, I'm not planning to eat anyone.
Not planning to.
at 7:09:00 AM