A SWORD INTO DARKNESS = 99 cents!!!

ASID Sale1

If you haven’t yet read my debut novel A Sword Into Darkness and all the awesome hard science fiction, military sci-fi, space opera kickassery inside, IT’S ONLY A BUCK ON KINDLE THIS WEEK.

And, SECRET, it’s totally, frickin’, no lie, gosh-darned FREE every day, all day if you have Kindle Unlimited!

If you have read it, now’s your best chance to gift it, or to move on to my next novel, The Mutineer’s Daughter, done with the great Chris Kennedy, and also full of awesome hard SF, military sci-fi, space opera, but ALSO including my growth as a writer, his deft wordplay and gritty ground-combat action, and a great coming-of-age story wrapped up in the classic tale of a father going to great lengths for his daughter, along with nuanced moral conundrums!  Honestly, how can you NOT?

Go!  Buy!  Download!  Read!  Review!  And Thank You!

Book Launch Alert – THE MUTINEER’S DAUGHTER

What would it take for you to discard everything you believed in and give up your sacred honor?

What would it take to make you rise up and fight when all the odds are against you?

Mutineers Daughter Ebook Cover

Think about those questions.  Really, THINK.  I have.  I’ve given it a lot of consideration.  Many meat-space processor cycles have been devoted to that, and the literal truth is that I have no idea.  I’d like to think I know the answer.  I’d like to believe that I’d John McClane the shit out of it if I was ever challenged in such a way, but that is merely supposition.  I’ve prepped for it, but have never faced the Great Test.  Others have.  Many of my friends have, people that I respect.  And sometimes they stood and did not fall back.  And sometimes they failed.

Absent putting myself into a life or death struggle, or engineering things so that I face a moral quandary where I might have to sacrifice my honor — honor I highly prize — in order to prevent an even worse fate, we can all turn to our histories, both personal and shared histories.

And we can also turn to fiction (and — best of all — science fiction).

In this case, I present to you two characters, Mio Sanchez and Benjamin “Benno” Sanchez.  One is a 14-year-old girl (which I am not) and the other is a Naval Chief Warrant Officer in a future space navy (which I am also not, but I’m closer to being that than a teen girl).  In mine and Chris Kennedy’s new book The Mutineer’s Daughter, they each face BOTH of those questions. They each make hard choices in which there may not be a 100% right answer.  In fact, the feedback I’ve gotten from several of our advance readers is that they can understand what Benno and Mio choose, but they don’t necessarily agree with their choices.  The split is about 50/50 on those who would do those same things and those who might choose the safer, less morally ambiguous route.

And in the meantime, between and because of their tough moral choices, we also get a lot of kick-ass sci-fi action.  Railguns, point defense cannons, missiles, x-ray laser (xaser) warheads, multi-g acceleration, faster than light drives, stabbings, shootings, ground combat, etc.  This one has it all!  The Mutineer’s Daughter is a cross-genre book, trying to find the sweet spot straddling character-driven drama, hard science fiction (where the physics is as accurate as possible), military science fiction (where we focus on both close-quarters Space Marine style ground combat AND big ship-to-ship fleet engagements), space opera (sci-fi stories with an epic scope, involving big questions and clashes between empires and political ideologies), and young-adult sci-fi (which should be accessible for teens and still exciting for adults, like The Hunger Games (there’s some limited cursing — they are sailors after all — but I would never mind my own teenage girls reading this one)).

A word for my readers and for those who have been waiting PATIENTLY for the sequel to A Sword Into Darkness:  this is not that sequelbut it is of a kind with ASID.  The ships and ship-to-ship combat will feel very similar to you if you loved Sword.  In fact, this book got me off butt and got me back on the horse and actively writing that sequel Lancers Into The Light.  I hope to continue apace and have it out this year as well!  I am indeed looking for beta readers for its first half, so hit me up if you want to join in.  For you fans of Nyrath’s/Winchell Chung’s resource site Atomic Rockets, he REALLY enjoyed The Mutineer’s Daughter, and I hope you see some words to that effect on his site really soon!

As for my writing partner/publisher Chris Kennedy, man, you could not ask to know a better dude.  A retired US Navy Commander, an aviator, an educator, a great dad, and a great husband, he continues his string of greats by being an awesome publisher and a fantastic writer.  He’s easily the most prolific author I’ve ever met, and the train of pure kick-assery shows no real signs of stopping.  He is the author or co-author/contributor of like 17 books and the publisher of almost 39 more, and that’s just in the last four years.  He has his own Theogony series of military sci-fi (8 volumes), his Can’t Look Back fantasy novel, and OF COURSE, the AMAZING Four Horsemen Universe of merc-based military sci-fi that he and Mark Wandrey co-created (now up to 12-15 volumes, and which I contributed a story to in their second anthology For a Few Credits More.

I first met Chris four years ago at my first science fiction convention, RavenCon in Richmond, VA.  He was just starting out as a writer then, too, and already helping to write the book (literally) on succeeding with self-publishing.  We were both Navy, both dads, so we hit it off pretty well.  Our writing styles were very different, but that just goes to show how AMAZING this genre is (and its readers) that we could both find success.  We saw each other at multiple conventions, traveled to a few together, and he was a great friend when my marriage fell apart and I was going through the divorce (with all the unintended consequences to my writing throughput).  Then, at LibertyCon in 2016, I had a sit-down with the great Bill Fawcett, sci-fi writer and publisher elder statesman.  I lamented my lack of progress on finishing Lancers Into The Light, wondered how I could knock ’em out like my bud Chris Kennedy, and Mr. Fawcett suggested why don’t I just collaborate with Chris and have him finish it?

I balked.  Sword and Lancers were my babies, but the basic idea was not a bad one.  I met with Chris and we talked it over, and both agreed that we should do something together.  At that time, he was also working out the particulars with Mark Wandrey for their Four Horsemen series, but that was a shared universe.  This would be an actual co-written novel, between two very different writing approaches and with vastly different production rates.  And, remember, I was the one who was having difficulty balancing life, work, and writing.  Still, it had great potential.

A few months later, wanting to maximize our individual strengths, and to explore both a more character/moral based story than just our usual action-pop or physics-porn, as well as tap into the potentially lucrative young-adult market, I sat down and hashed out the story idea and first outline.  We met up, discussed changes, planned out a writing schedule and routine, and said “Go!”  The plan was that we would trade off chapters and characters.  He would stay planet-side with Mio and the resistance.  I would be up in space, on the ships with Benno as he went from loyal officer to desperate mutineer (spoiler!).  I wrote the first chapter that November, gave it to Chris so he could make his chapter, then sat back to wait for him to deliver it and I’d write my next one.

Remember the prolific thing?  Yeah, Chris gave me his next 10 chapters.  His whole half of the book.  Like a month after I gave him my ONE chapter.

I panicked.  I admit it.  I hadn’t even STARTED chapter 3, and here he was, FINISHED.  I apologized for my misunderstanding on what the work routine was supposed to be, then knuckled down and started writing.  But, as alluded to and discussed in previous posts, I was still working out exactly how to do that work-life-writing balance.  My day job is HIGHLY time-and-focus-intensive, and when the day is done, you sometimes just don’t want to write.  Weekends, well, I was juggling time with my kids mid-divorce, time dating and eventually “going steady” with my wonderful, understanding girlfriend Kristin (yes!  Like Kris in ASID!).  So, I made progress, but, shamefully, I kept missing my own self-imposed deadlines, kept breaking my throughput promises to Chris.  For his part, he was VERY understanding and supportive, plus he had all that sweet 4HU action to keep him distracted, but I did owe him big.

Finally, once the divorce was final and the kids moved away, once my job ceased to be a 24-7 crisis and I gained more confidence in charge, and once my beautiful, evil, task-master of a lady-love reminded my regularly to sit down and WRITE, I finished (only a year late!).  Chris jumped to at the beginning of this year, kicking complete ass as publisher in getting the edits done, the cover finished, and the launch strategized.  And now, here you have it:  The Mutineer’s Daughter, on sale as ebook and paperback, Book One of In Revolution Born.  I think it is an absolute improvement over ASID and has indeed got me going gangbusters on finishing LITL.  I think you’re going to LOVE this one, but only YOU can determine that.  So don’t wait!  Go!  Buy!  Read!  Review!

I gots writin’ to do!  First Lancers, then Book Two of In Revolution Born, following The Mutineer’s Daughter.

Mutineers Daughter Print Cover

Audible ASID – For FREE!!!

I may have mentioned it before, but I really, really, REALLY love the story I told in A Sword Into Darkness.  I get it, I’m biased, but I really did try to write the best story I could, mixing all the elements of science fiction I love together, while also offering up an homage to my favorites of the genre.  What resulted is a story that is both classic, fun, and makes you think, presenting some new twists on an old idea, a melange that is more than the sum of its parts (that’s not just me saying that, by the way).

And while I do love my book, I never experienced it fresh as a new reader until I heard Liam Owen’s narration of it, produced by Sci-Fi Publishing.  The audiobook of ASID simply MUST BE EXPERIENCED.  I adore this amazing thing, this amalgamation of my thoughts and another’s voice.  As I said in a previous post, whether you are new to the story or you enjoyed it in print already, you will love the audiobook of it all over again.  And it was so effortless enjoying it that way, I’ve been turned on to audiobooks from a number of authors and producers, enjoying them while I work, work out, or commute.

Here’s the offer, though:  Audible gave me 25 free copies of the A Sword Into Darkness audiobook, and I’m not sure who to give them out to.  I’ll be offering some up as prizes in a contest soon, but if you are a reviewer and you’d like to experience (or re-experience) ASID, drop me a line in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via e-mail.  All I’d like in return is a listen and a fair shake on your review which you would then share with others.

And if you are not a reviewer, but you’d still like some audible ASID-y goodness for free, you can always start your 30-day free trial of Audible.com and get that puppy for gratis, nothing, nada, zip, ∞ times the value of what you paid. 

Links to my new ASID Gallery page can also be found at the toolbar to the right, or here.  Take care, all.

A Sword Into Darkness – Kindle Daily Deal for 17Apr!

Retweet! Forward! Share! A Sword Into Darkness is only 99 ¢ in the good ol’ US of A today!!!  Go there now, buy it for yourself, buy it for a friend, buy it as a hedge against inflation, buy it for someone you don’t even know and Pay It Forward! Then after you’ve bought it for that reason, BUY IT FOR ALL THE OTHER REASONS AGAIN.

I’m basically not gonna stop until Amazon’s servers are all tied up, everyone has the book, and I have all the money.  Simple enough goals, I think.

Kindle Daily Deal

Sci-Fi Anarchy in the UK!!!

No foolin’!  This weekend, from March 29th to April 1st (April Fool’s Day), the Amazon Kindle edition of A Sword Into Darkness is only a pence less than a POUND STERLING!!!

It’s the United Kingdom’s turn to have a Kindle Countdown Deal, so you can spend a mere 99 pence … 99 p … £ 0.99 … less than tea and crumpets … less than fish and chips … yes, for far less than her Majesties’ tinder of snuff, you can have my acclaimed, bestselling novel in handy electronic format.  Guvnah.  Here’s the Amazon UK link.

Is that racist/statist?  I dunno.  For less than a single Amazon Instant download of an episode of Doctor Who from the Beeb (the BBC, not Justin Bieber, I have no idea how much he charges for quirky sci-fi), you can have hours to days (depending on reading speed and available time on the loo) of kick-ass American outer space imperialism adventure.  Adventure which features a British space warship squadron in the awesome climax (spoiler!).  C’mon, you can’t beat that with a riding crop (which you have because you’re going fox hunting).

Let’s see, let’s see, what other stereotypes can I shoehorn in here . . . OH!  I would be honoured if thou wouldst try mine novel!  Hmmmm.  That was kind of a mix of the Queen’s English and bad faux-Shakespeare.  Anyways, Big Ben is ticking, my dear Scots, Brits, Welsh, and N. Irish.  Don’t let the deal of the centuryyearmonth, long weekend pass you by!!!

Spread the word!  How do you say “viral” in English?

ASID Front Cover UK

Note:  Everything I know about the UK is from CGP Grey:

Win a Free Military Sci-Fi Trade Paperback!

Which military sci-fi trade paperback?  Why, the bestselling A Sword Into Darkness, of course!  I’m closing in on 5000 sales since launch (I’ll probably hit it by this evening, and I’m feeling magnanimous).  So I’ll make it easy since I have laundry and writing to do:

The astrodynamic destroyer USS Sword of Liberty (DA-1) and her sister-ships are pretty dang cool, but I’m prepared to allow that they may not be the coolest ships to ever sail the spaceways.  So, in 140 characters or less (approximately), what is the coolest spaceship to ever grace science fiction and why? 

Post your answer on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or here on the blog by Monday, and I will send the winning answer and maybe a runner-up or two a signed trade paperback copy of A Sword Into Darkness anywhere here on planet Earth, so long as you have an address.  Postage is on me.

So, what’s gonna win?  The Millennium Falcon?  The Enterprise, and which variant?  Serenity?  Or some bad-ass mama-jama I ain’t never heard of before?  Well, they’re all in the running!  Don’t forget to justify your answers!

ASID Front Cover 2

You’re Gonna Break Your Arm Doin’ That

Patting myself on the back, that is.  Yes, I am grotesquely pleased with myself, racking up 1600 sales, Top 5-10 Bestseller in three different sub-genres, 21 reviews and 4.5 stars in three glorious weeks.  But all I did was write the damned thing!  The people I want to thank are YOU, THE READERS, the folks that gave a no-name a chance and (for the most part) liked what you saw.  And the question repeatedly comes up on Twitter, Facebook, via e-mail and blog comments, and over and over again in the reviews, “What happens next?  When is the next one coming out?”

I’d love to say “Next week!”, but that just ain’t happening.  Unlike many folks out there, I don’t have a ready supply of sequels waiting in the wings.  I have to write one.  Hell, I have to THINK of one, but I’m not too far off.  Now that I know there is a demand, I can think about dipping back into that well.  So, there WILL BE a sequel (and perhaps more) to A Sword Into Darkness!

In the meantime, though, I have GOT to stop being overly pleased with numbers, stop continually refreshing my Amazon, Goodreads, and KDP pages, and GET BACK TO ACTUAL WRITING.  First, I invite you all to follow me as I continue to plot out the apocalyptic adventures of poor Josh Montgomery on The Ends of the World.  Pull for me as I wait to hear back on my short stories making the rejection cycles:  “The Rememberists”, “Bumped”, and “ILYAMY”.  Then, bear with me as I tackle my ever-shifting works-in-progress list, which includes Echomancer, two movie scripts, a short story or seven, and the ASID sequel. 

But I do what to fill out my bench a bit, so be on the lookout for an e-book collection of my military science fiction tales (gotta prove I’m not a one-trick pony!), as well as the ASID audiobook, and the ASID app/game. 

And check back here often!