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Friday, October 30, 2015

I've finally done it... (Plus give-a-way information - Including a signed set of books)

I broke down yesterday and joined Facebook.  For years I've refused to break into the social media thing, for I believe it is pure evil.  That and I don't particularly like airing my personal life to the public.  But due to a recent event I've been invited to, I had to sign up.  And in the sea of endless Jack Crosbys, I put a picture of Death Among Us up as my profile picture, making it easier for anyone who wants to friend me to find me.

So, speaking at this event I've been invited to, in a few weeks the guys over at Two Dudes, Brews, & Books came up with a really cool idea - a re-launch event to get the word out about our books.  We'll be doing give-a-ways, trivia, contests and a bunch of other cool things.  For you Grimm's Reapers fans, I'll be giving away a few kindle copies of Death Among Us, plus to one lucky dude or dudette, a complete signed series of the Grimm's Reapers books.

To learn more about the event, friend my on Facebook as I'll update info as we get closer to the date, which is tentatively scheduled for November 12th from 11 to 4.  And thanks for being awesome readers!


Monday, October 12, 2015

Chapter 3 preview

So tomorrow is the big day my homies, Feast or Famine comes out.  Have you preordered your copy?  No, well that's cool - you're probably a savvy shopper who waits until they can actually read something before you buy it.  Kudos to you.  However, to all of you who did preorder (which was more than I was thinking), thank you so much.  I'm glad you are enjoying my writing and wanted to hop on board the train.

Before the big day tomorrow, let me throw at you one last chapter to get the engines going.  So here we go for the last time before you can read the whole book - Feast or Famine Chapter 3:

I walked by a sleeping Famine to open the door.  Whoever was knocking this early was just asking for a good old fashioned whoopin’.  Unfortunately, the person standing there would not be receiving any sort of ass kicking from me.  The Arch Angel Michael was one tough dude.  He was also a good friend and dedicated ally.

I stepped outside and quietly closed the door.  “What do I owe this morning visit over the Mexican sunrise?”

His friendly eyes shined in my direction.  “I am glad to see you in such good spirits.  I dropped by early because we need to discuss the topic of Dante’s little meeting later today.”

I dropped on to a step and took a seat and he followed suit.  “You mean this fool’s errand of going into Tartarus and trying to kill Abaddon?  Yeah, this sounds like suicide to me.”

“It is without the right tool.  The Almighty has deemed this mission necessary, but what Dante fails to understand is the prerequisite.”

Turmoil brewing Upstairs perhaps?  “What sort of prerequisite are we talking about?”

He reached into his leisure jacket and pulled out an old piece of parchment with a drawing of a sword on it.  I knew exactly what it was, even before he continued.  “This is the Morningstar Blade, Lucifer’s personal weapon.  The Almighty blessed this personally and with such power is the ability to permanently bring down Abaddon.”

I didn’t know that little secondary fact.  “Whoa… if that’s the case, why doesn’t Old Lucifer himself slay the beast?”

He folded his arms.  “For the same reason many of us choose to stay out of Tartarus, the dangers and chances of success are nil at best.  Just because a weapon can kill does not provide the user with the skill to deliver such a blow.”

“No offense, but if Lucifer isn’t skilled enough to take on Abaddon, who is?”

He looked up at the rising sun.  “With the help of the Horsemen, I believe my apprentice Veronica would be able to wield the blade and bring down the monster.”

“You think so?  Why not you?”

“Do not ask questions you already know the answer to.  My handicap makes it impossible for me to ne anything more than a guide.”

I didn’t exactly know what happened to him, but there were always rumblings about Michael suffering a terrible injury.  I wasn’t going to push him for info on that, with everything else going on.  “So Veronica it is huh?” 

He smiled and nodded.  “She is much more capable than she gives herself credit for.  However, this still does not solve one problem.”

“Yeah, there ain’t no way in Hell, literally, that Lucifer’s going to give us his blade to use.”

“This is where you come in Death.  We wish for you to enter his realm and get the blade by any means possible.”

“Ha... haha… hahahaha!”  Was Michael insane?  I was about to find out.  “You do realize after the stunts I pulled on Beelzebub and Astaroth that I’m about as welcome there as ice cubes are?”

He flashed a toothy grin.  “You are the one being above all others that is feared by most Downstairs.  With your powers being close to what they were in the days of old, why can you not undertake this task?”

I knew this wasn’t going to be an optional mission.  “If this is what’s required from me, then of course I’ll do it.  But, I want a promise on your end.”

“I will do whatever I can.”

I pointed over to the window where Astrid’s head was barely visible.  She was doing her best to stay out of sight during her eavesdropping mission, but failed.  “You’ll protect that one and my unborn kid.”

He waved to Astrid who returned the motion and disappeared.  I figured she was on her way outside.  “Your bloodline is going to be a very important figure in the future Death.  We will do our best to keep the two of them safe while you are away.”

My bloodline?  Go figure it’d take an angel to make it sound so over dramatic.  We sat their quietly for a few seconds until the Nyx joined us.  She popped down beside me and greeted Michael.  “Welcome to our home.”

“I can see why the two of you escaped here, it is most peaceful.”

The only noise was the rolling waves from the ocean.  “So you know I gotta go Downstairs, huh?”

“Yeah I heard most of the conversation.  I guess that is safer than Tartarus.”

Michael’s look turned into a frown.  “Once you acquire the sword, you will have to join the others in Tartarus.  I am afraid that your journey Death will be the toughest of them all.”

“Well that just blows then.”

Astrid wasn’t as cordial as I was.  “Oh come on!  This is fucking ridiculous!”

Knowing he was losing his crowd, “I assure you that this is not how we wanted this to unfold, but with Dante pressing forward, we are at a loss for options.  Death, you must understand, we come to you because of our faith in your ability to get the job done.”

I started absentmindedly rubbing Astrid’s very tan and smooth leg.  “How will the others know when I’ve acquired the Morningstar Blade?  Will they wait outside of Tartarus until I return?”

“Dante is stubborn and is going to go forth with his plan.  He does not wish to leave your success up to chance.”

Annoyance broke through Astrid’s voice.  “Didn’t you say that the Morningstar Blade was the only weapon that would kill Abaddon?”

“I did Astrid.”  He beamed in her direction.  “Dante is under the foolish delusions that with enough celestial fire power the demon will succumb to injury.”

“You can’t stop him?”

As the sun began to shine even more, Michael stood up.  “My time here has come to an end.  You can try to talk him out of this foolish quest and you might succeed where I have failed.”  His wings spread out like an eagle’s.  “I must make preparations for your journey which you will embark upon at sunset.”

One, two swooshes and feathers and the angel was high in the air, disappearing from view.  “I’m starting to think he only has bad news when he arrives.”

“I agree, though he did spare us after our last little escapade and didn’t smite you for getting me pregnant.”

I gave her a hard smack on the ass.  “Good for you for seeing the good in everyone!”  Her face turned red at both my words and the gesture.  “Still, I can’t help but get the feeling this is penance for my actions, sending me Downstairs.  Que sara though…”

With nothing left to do outside except stand around like morons, we walked back into the house.  Famine was still snoring on the couch, so I left him there.  He could get his panties in a wad later about my new mission.  I was hungry.

We had a few eggs left and Astrid cracked ‘em open along with her newest invention, fish bacon.  The one bad thing about living with a Nyx is their cat-like tendencies.  This means an unhealthy interest in all things fish.  We had fish burgers, cheese and fish pizza, and now fish bacon.  It wasn’t that greatest thing ever, but Almighty bless her for trying.

As I ate my eggs and fish bacon (which surprisingly wasn’t as bad as I assumed it would be), Famine came crashing in.  “What is that terrible odor?”

I held up a piece of the bacon stuff.  “Fish bacon.  Want to give it a shot?”

His face turned green.  “I will pass thank you very much.  However, if you have any of that coffee drink, I shall gladly take a cup.”

“How the hell do you know about coffee?”

Astrid handed him a cup and he just shrugged.  “Conquest brings me back stuff from his odd trip here and there.”

“Of course he does.”  I watched with morbid amusement as he drank the hot concoction.  “So, not to put a damper on your morning, but Michael just left not too long ago.  I won’t be joining you into Tartarus right away.”

He nearly spit out the coffee which would’ve hit me in the face.  “What do you mean you will not be joining us?  What has the Arch Angel done?”

“Derrick has to go to Hell and retrieve the Morningstar Blade from Lucifer.”

Thank you Astrid for your bluntness.  “She’s right.  I have to try and get the one weapon that will kill that creature.”

He sat the cup down on the old wooden table.  “This is the first I am hearing that a weapon has been made that could kill the creature.  Dante told us that it would take a combined effort of all of us to bring him down.”

“Michael said the Almighty himself blessed the blade and that Veronica, his protégé, would have the skill to wield it against Abaddon, with help from us and our brothers.”

“If this is true, then why would we be going to Tartarus before we had such a weapon?”

“Because,” the voice was behind us, “Michael does not want me to waste resources and wants to leave it all to chance.  I disagree with their assessment.”  Dante was standing at the entrance to our kitchen with Veronica behind him.  “The plan goes ahead, minus one Horseman.”