07 August 2014

Heroes Die Young, Second Edition

Hot off the presses for your Kindle-reading pleasure, here's the second edition of Heroes Die Young:

Space pirate Aston West has come across derelict freighters many times before. But this latest catch, fresh out of a recent battle, proves to be a little more than he expected. He can’t fight the urge to pilfer a valuable cache of illegal contraband, but discovers one last stowaway who tries to kill Aston. Attack craft return to finish the ship off and Aston has no choice but to save her from certain destruction.

Who is she? What was this cargo he just took? Why was the freighter destroyed?

Surrounded by a host of old friends, new acquaintances, and desperate enemies, Aston travels from one system to another, getting the answers he wants, but revealing even more questions, and putting his life motto of never getting involved to the ultimate test. Climaxing in an ending for which even Aston is not prepared, the story will have you gasping for breath, and desperate to find out if heroes truly do die young.

01 August 2014

SFFS: 2 August, 2014

Been far too long since I lasted posted a snippet for Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Life has been a little more than interesting lately, and hoping to get back in the swing of regular posts. In addition to all of the life circumstances, my contract with Champagne Books for Heroes Die Young has reached its end. So, I'll be bringing this one out on my own shortly (just working out final cover art tweaks with TK Toppin). An as such, I figured it's time to bring back an old excerpt from the reworked manuscript. So, for those who've already read it, enjoy the flash back down memory lane. And if not, enjoy!

I moved on to the other bays, going through the same process. As the third bay jettisoned, I heard a metallic clang echo farther down the hold.

I pulled out my Mark II and stood, as a woman with bronze skin and black hair jumped out from a crawlspace under the floor. She raised a disintegrator cannon and pointed it at me. I dropped to the floor just before her first shot hit the bridge door behind me and showered sparks down onto the floor grills. I fired a three-shot burst and she dropped down in the crawlspace again, while minimal damage was done to the aft bulkhead. At least it gave me the opportunity to run toward the bridge door, where the impact mark from her first shot still glowed. Eager for cover, I ducked into a small alcove at the front of the hold as another shot struck the wall. Sparks fell at my feet while I pressed my back firm against the cold hard metal. My heart beat faster than it had in quite a while.

And of course, as always, if you like what you see, pick up a copy of all of my other works through the links above. 

31 July 2014

Monthly Goals - August 2014

For those who missed it back in January, I set up the writing goals I aim to accomplish in 2014. Right after writing that post, I then read Dean Wesley Smith's post about how to be successful at your writing goals.

Life's circumstances have been a bit rough this month, but even so, I was able to get some work completed this month. That included meeting my daily word count goal every day this past month (not even counting another 9 days or so at the end of June). Here's how I did against my July goals:

1. Write 1,000 words on "Payback" - Around 3,200 words completed
2. Write 4,000 words on Life and Death - Around 5,000 words completed
3. Plot out one new short story - Developed plot for "Innoculation"

And now, the goals for August:

1. Complete first draft of "Payback"
2. Write 4,000 words on Life and Death
3. Write 1,000 words on "Innoculation"

Here's to everyone striving to accomplish their writing goals for 2014!

30 June 2014

Monthly Goals - July 2014

For those who missed it back in January, I set up the writing goals I aim to accomplish in 2014. Right after writing that post, I then read Dean Wesley Smith's post about how to be successful at your writing goals.

Sorry for the lack of posts for the past several weeks...but on the plus side, things have been moving quite well on the fiction writing front (more so than the rest of life, but that's another batch of stories entirely). Here's how I did against my June goals:

1. Plot out two new short stories. - Two stories plotted, "Red Light" and "Payback"
2. Write 3,000 words on Resurrection - 5000 words completed, new title of Life and Death.

And now, the goals for July:

1. Write 1,000 words on "Payback"
2. Write 4,000 words on Life and Death
3. Plot out one new short story

Here's to everyone striving to accomplish their writing goals for 2014!

16 June 2014

Meet My Main Character (Blog Hop)

I was tagged by J.C. Cassels at Gotta Name my Blog to talk about my main character. Those who've followed me long enough probably know most of the information below, but it's always good to have a bit of a refresher for the long-time fans and a brief introduction for those who haven't yet met Aston.

1. What is the name of your main character? Is she fictional or an historical person?

Aston West, space pirate extraordinaire (technically, a scavenger pirate, or as it's been referred to in the past, a galactic garbage collector). Aston is completely fictional, as much as he'd like to believe that he's real. But who knows? He may show up on my doorstep any day now and give me a quick kick in the junk for all the trouble I've put him through over the years.

2. When and where is the story set?

Aston doesn't have just one story, but a series of stories and novels. All of these take place across great spans of planets and solar systems in a distant galaxy. While it's unknown for certain whether these all take place in the past, present or future, my personal opinion is that it's a present-day set of tales, all far away from here.

For the sake of giving out more individual information on this question, I'll take my next novel (working title Resurrection). This one spans across three different planets and two different starships (one of which being Aston's new ship to replace the one that met its demise at the end of Death Brings Victory).

3. What should we know about him?

Aston tries to act tough, a symptom of his career choices and his upbringing as one of three orphan brothers. But really, he has a noble sense of right and wrong that he tries to enact through his own brand of vigilante justice when it's necessary. And of course, the most important thing to remember about Aston is that he constantly gets tossed into a mess of trouble. This doesn't end up being too much fun for him, but it's a lot of fun to read along as he tries to get himself out of it all.

4. What is the main conflict?

It varies from story to story, and the novels too. Sometimes, it can be Aston versus old enemies (or old friends). Sometimes, Aston's main conflict is internal. Sometimes, there's a mix of both. In Resurrection, the main conflict is that Aston's old nemesis Elijah Cassus has returned with some nasty surprises in store. But one of those surprises causes both an internal struggle for Aston (how far will he follow Elijah to get his absolution?) as well as an external struggle (with a recently formed relationship).

5. What is the personal goal of the character?

Most times, it's just to get out of the trouble that he's found himself in, and to try and scrape out a living with his scavenging (or his illegal activities). Within the scope of the novels, his goals often get altered or combined, depending on the circumstances.

For Resurrection, Aston's goal originally starts out that he wants to save someone he failed to save before. Along the way, though, he has to figure out a way to right the wrongs he's set in motion.

6. What is the significance of the title of your book?

I try to come up with titles that fit either the story or the novel's main premise. For the novels, I've been attempting to come up with catchy three-word titles (something I'll have to work on for the fourth installment currently in work). As far as any special significance, there isn't any that I know of.

Resurrection is just a title that depicts the main topic behind the plot. I have a feeling I'll need to make it catchier.

7. When can we expect the book to be published?

I have several novels and stories already published (check out the Novels and Collections links at the top of the blog). My hope is that I can get another novella and short story collection published later this year. Resurrection may be out late this year, but I'm guessing that we'll probably see it next year.

Next up is T. K. Toppin. Be sure to check her out. Also, click back, too, to see what characters came before. Thanks for reading!

07 June 2014

Author Extravaganza 2014 Recap

So, today was the 8th annual Author Extravaganza, hosted by the wonderful folks at Town Crier Bookstore up in Emporia, Kansas. I think this is something like the 5th time (according to my last recap back in 2012) I've been in attendance. Overall, it's always a good time, and Town Crier has always been good to independent authors in regards to stocking copies of your books after the signing and such.

So, if I could actually get my pictures to post you'd see a lot of authors join this event. It can make things quite exciting, talking with your fellow authors (and catching up with those who you've seen in past years). But having so many different authors does help in bringing additional customers into the store, which can help you sell your books as well (as long as they don't come in only for that book and then leave the store immediately).

That said, sold four books (two of which were remaining from last year's event), and the store elected to pick up copies of my two novellas. So, all in all, it was an okay event (especially since it looked like most folks were struggling to get a single sale) and I look forward to returning next year.

04 June 2014

Monthly Goals - June 2014

For those who missed it back in January, I set up the writing goals I aim to accomplish in 2014. Right after writing that post, I then read Dean Wesley Smith's post about how to be successful at your writing goals.

Running a bit behind on posting the monthly goals, unfortunately. I did get a bit of work completed,
so there's at least that. Here's how I did against my May goals:

1. Complete the first draft of "Reciprocity" (the new short story, estimated 2,000 words) - Final draft completed.
2. Edit the final version of "Just Rewards" (now "Trust and Obey") - completed
3. Write 3,000 words on Resurrection - 500 words completed

Rather than write a separate post for the weekly goals, I'll just remark that those 500 words above were written this past week.

And now, the goals for June:

1. Plot out two new short stories.
2. Write 3,000 words on Resurrection

Here's to everyone striving to accomplish their writing goals for 2014!