21 July 2018

STORMRUNNER Excerpt

Stormrunner is now officially released for the Kindle, and is available over at Amazon.

Go ahead and check out this excerpt.


Life tends to throw you for a loop when you least expect it. Unfortunately, it sometimes throws me for a loop, even when I expect it all the time.

I was staring at the long-range navigational charts on my side console screens, and kicking myself for not scoping out the details of this job before I took it. That was the trouble with consistently having a cash flow problem, that you tend not to be choosy.

If I had actually done some homework first, I would have noticed the fact there was only one direct path from my last stop to my next, Rubicon. Giant areas of plasma storms called the Tycho fields stagnated between here and there, making it impassable as far as a direct route goes. Someone finally built a transport with technology that could navigate through the expanse, making it a bit more feasible. The only way to get to Rubicon was to circumnavigate the Tycho fields until you reached the planet from the other direction, which meant a huge delay in arrival, and likely a huge cut in my pay, if I even received any at all.

Given the minimal cash I always had, I probably would have taken the job anyway, even without the transport.

Jeanie, my ship’s computer, broke my concentration. “The orbital station is transmitting an automated message.”

“Put it through.”

A female voice announced in broken, mechanical-like diction, “Next scheduled departure is imminent. All vessels wishing to traverse the Tycho fields should make contact with the comptroller to arrange for payment.”

I asked Jeanie, even though I already knew the answer, “And you’re sure we’re not better off going around it?”

“Travel on the transport is slightly cheaper than the fuel burn required for circumnavigation of the storms. You will not make much profit with this job, either way. But the on-time arrival will at least help build goodwill with the client.”

I sighed. “Make contact and arrange payment.”

Then I looked over toward the station sitting just this side of the phenomena’s edge. The round, spherical structure was fairly non-descript, with its shiny silver outer hull. For what it was worth, it was dwarfed by the actual transport ship resting nearby.

The vessel seemed like it may have been modified from an old Ursulan freighter, with its squashed hexagon form, and the large spherical dome on top of the forward end of the ship where the bridge would have been located. It didn’t seem to have a full complement of cargo bay doors along the entire length of the ship, though, and had several curved, blade-like appendages mounted all over the outer hull. It wouldn’t win any beauty contests anytime soon, but if it did its job of getting through the expanse in one piece, it didn’t need to be pretty.

The mechanical female voice returned. “Aston West, you and your vessel are now approved for passage through the Tycho fields. Please proceed to the transport vessel. Arrival information has been transmitted to your navigation computer.”

Jeanie alerted me, “Information is loaded. Proceeding to the transport vessel.”

We altered course a bit to the right, where I focused instead on the plasma storm field itself. It was rather hard to see anything out there, but if you strained your eyes, you could make out a large blurring of the stars, as if there were thin clouds of gas in the way. Every so often, I would see streams of light zigzag in the blur.

“Doesn’t seem all that impressive to me. Sure we couldn’t have just made a run for it?”

Jeanie was matter-of-fact, as always. “Those small light streams you see are powerful charges transmitting within the phenomenon. When metallic structures, such as ships, pass through, they attract the charges and end up severely damaged as a result, if not destroyed.”

I leaned back in my chair, admitting defeat to myself. But then, I wondered aloud, “So how do they take a huge ship like that through?”

“They keep the technology tightly guarded, to prevent other ships from learning how to traverse the phenomenon by themselves.”

It seemed wrong on so many levels, but I probably would have done the same thing. Cash flow is king in the depths of space.

We continued toward the transport, as one of the side panels lifted and opened wide for us. Jeanie did her usual expert job of taking us in, giving me a brief glimpse into the landing bay just before we rotated back around and drifted backward between two similar-sized vessels already docked inside.

My landing skids touched down gracefully, and the outer door closed while another automated message came through. “All travelers shall remain on their vessels until the transport vessel enters the Tycho fields, at which point an all-clear message will be provided and permission to move about the ship granted. Anyone found violating this order shall be required to leave the transport vessel and all monies shall be forfeited. Anyone who resists shall be subject to deadly force.”

“Friendly,” I muttered.

“I do not believe they are exaggerating,” Jeanie told me. “Individuals in pressure suits are standing guard at various spots in the hangar, including all exits, armed with automatic burst rifles.”

Suddenly I wasn’t sure this was the greatest idea.

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09 July 2018

Weekly Goals - July 9, 2018

Currently attempting to meet my July goals. A real struggle this past week. Here's the recap:

1. Write 750 words on Before the Dawn. - Didn't get anything written on this one.
2. Write 750 words on my sci-fi suspense/mystery novel. - Wrote just under 400 words on this one.
3. Write 625 words on a new Aston West short story. - Didn't get anything written on this one.
4. Write 750 words on my "Demonkiller" story. - Didn't get anything written on this one.

Now, my goals for the coming week:
1. Write 750 words on Before the Dawn.
2. Write 750 words on my sci-fi suspense/mystery novel.
3. Write 625 words on a new Aston West short story.
4. Write 750 words on my "Demonkiller" story.

01 July 2018

July 2018 Writing Goals

Well, it's been six months since I first started working toward my writing goals. Things were still a bit weak this month.

So, here are the results for June:

1. Complete 3,000 words on Before the Dawn. - Didn't get anything written on this goal this month.

2. Complete 3,000 words on my "Demonkiller" WIP.  - Didn't complete this goal, but did get around 2,400 words written this month.

3. Complete 3,000 words on my sci-fi suspense/mystery novel. - Didn't get anything written on this goal this month.

4. Write 2,500 words on a new Aston West short story (other than "Toll Road"). This will require 625 words per week, which should be able to be completed in a single day. - Didn't get anything written on this goal this month.

Here are my goals for the month of July (along with my goals for this coming week):

1. Complete 3,000 words on Before the Dawn. This will require 750 words per week, or a little over 250 words per day, writing three days per week. Setting a goal this next week of 750 words.

2. Complete 3,000 words on my "Demonkiller" WIP. This comes up to 750 words per week, or 250 words per day if I write three days per week. Setting a goal this next week of 750 words, after getting nearly 1,000 words over the past two weeks.

3. Complete 3,000 words on my sci-fi suspense/mystery novel. This will require 750 words per week, or 250 words per day if I write three days per week. Setting a goal this next week of 750 words.

4. Write 2,500 words on a new Aston West short story. This will require 625 words per week, which should be able to be completed in a single day. Setting a goal of coming up with a short story plot and writing 625 words this next week.

24 June 2018

Welcome, Smallville Fans!

Enjoying my time at Smallville this weekend, and thought I'd pop in to introduce myself to all of the new folks popping by to check out the site...from my bio:


T. M. Hunter has always had a fascination with travel to other worlds, earning a B. S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas. His works have often been compared to the great pulp writers of the last century.

He mainly writes action-adventure stories in his Aston West universe, with a series of novels, standalone novellas and short story collections (all featuring space pirate Aston West). He also has a standalone thriller from the same universe, even though Aston does not make an appearance. In the pipeline, he’s currently working on a paranormal thriller and a near-future mystery (separate from the Aston universe), and also a pair of additional Aston tales.

In the sliver of spare time that he has, when not adoring his wife, working in the aircraft industry, volunteering for his church, or penning new tales, he also plays electric bass as part of a local classic rock band.

18 June 2018

Weekly Goals - June 18, 2018

Currently attempting to meet my June goals. Here's the recap:
1. Write 750 words on Before the Dawn. - Didn't get anything written on this one.
2. Write 1500 words on my sci-fi suspense/mystery novel. - Didn't get anything written on this one.
3. Write 625 words on a new Aston West short story. - Didn't get anything written on this one.
4. Write 1000 words on my "Demonkiller" story. - Completed around 600 words on this one.


Now, my goals for the coming week:
1. Write 750 words on Before the Dawn.
2. Write 1500 words on my sci-fi suspense/mystery novel.
3. Write 625 words on a new Aston West short story.
4. Write 1000 words on my "Demonkiller" story.

11 June 2018

Weekly Goals - June 11, 2018

Missed putting out last week's results, so will combine the last two weeks. 

Currently attempting to meet my June goals. Here's the recap:
1. Write 750 words on Before the Dawn. - Didn't get anything written on this one.
2. Write 1500 words on my sci-fi suspense/mystery novel. - Wrote around 1400 words on this one.
3. Write 625 words on a new Aston West short story. - Didn't get anything written on this one.

4. Completed 800 words on my "Demonkiller" story.
 

Now, my goals for the coming week:
1. Write 750 words on Before the Dawn.
2. Write 1500 words on my sci-fi suspense/mystery novel.
3. Write 625 words on a new Aston West short story. 

4. Write 1000 words on my "Demonkiller" story.

02 June 2018

June 2018 Writing Goals

Well, it's been five months since I first started working toward my writing goals. Things were a bit weak this month, but better than nothing.

So, here are the results for May:




1. Complete edits on "Toll Road" (or whatever the new title will be). - Completed this goal (with the title of Stormrunner). This is now with beta readers, and a cover artist. Hoping to have this ready for Smallville, later this month. But I have this feeling we'll be looking at this for Air Cap instead.

2. Complete 3,000 words on Before the Dawn. - Didn't get anything written on this goal this month.

3. Complete 3,000 words on my "Demonkiller" WIP.  - Didn't complete this goal, but did get around 2,200 words written this month.

4. Complete 3,000 words on my sci-fi suspense/mystery novel. - Didn't complete this goal, but did get around 2,000 words written this month.

5. Write 2,500 words on a new Aston West short story (other than "Toll Road"). This will require 625 words per week, which should be able to be completed in a single day. - Didn't get anything written on this goal this month.

Here are my goals for the month of June:

1. Complete 3,000 words on Before the Dawn. This will require 750 words per week, or a little over 250 words per day, writing three days per week.

2. Complete 3,000 words on my "Demonkiller" WIP. This comes up to 750 words per week, or 250 words per day if I write three days per week.

3. Complete 3,000 words on my sci-fi suspense/mystery novel. This will require 750 words per week, or 250 words per day if I write three days per week.

4. Write 2,500 words on a new Aston West short story. This will require 625 words per week, which should be able to be completed in a single day.