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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Roxanne Short Story - Red With Lust

Greetings my fellow humanoids. I hope you had a great Christmas and have some cool plans for New Years. Me, I'm going to chillax in Chicago as I am off for the rest of the year!! No need to tell me it is only 4 days, I will take my vacation and run.


So, my tag team project with Morganna Williams has been very well received. The Primal Heat/Merciless: A Pirate's Tale combo platter is up on Amazon and neither of us realized just how popular it would be. Well, when something is good, you keep running with it. Morganna asked me if I had another Grimm's Reapers tale to tell and, naturally, I did. So with her next novella that'll be released right at the kick off to 2017, Roxanne is coming back for more.


In the short story, Red With Lust, our favorite demon has been tasked with assassinating JFK. What happens next is a tale that sends us from the east coast to the heart of Texas as we follow her adventure. By the conclusion, you'll know a lot more about her and how she came to be in Derrick Grimm's (aka Death) life.


Real quick, The Witch Wars Volume 2 is coming along nicely - should be an early 2017 release there. Plus, my other new(ish) book, The Electric Mile is free this week. You should grab it at www.amazon.com/author/jackcrosby. Video games, hot ladies, and a wacky plot that makes little sense? What's not to love?! And finally, me and some dude named CG Blade are up to no good with the Grimm's Reapers series. I am super stoked to continue to work with that mad genius. Just don't tell him I complemented him, okay? Good.


That's all I got party people. Have a safe and great New Years and I will see you in 2017.


-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Friday, December 16, 2016

Working with Morganna Williams

As I get back into the swing of things, I had a tempting offer happen this week. Good friend of Crosby Entertainment, Morganna Williams approached me to put two of our short stories together and give readers a chance to get to know us. A lot of you are familiar with my short - Merciless: A Pirate's Tale, which is the story that I offered her.


Well, Morganna, her work is unique. She writes in the sub-genre called spanko-erotica. Her books are fun, action packed, and highly good time reads. I wanted to fit in a bit with that, so I upgraded Merciless just for this opportunity. Adding in the same elements she uses, Merciless: The Bad Girls Edition is now out as a bonus story in her book, Primal Heat. You can pick it up over at Amazon, of course!





Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZ047ST/


Before we go today, I figured it'd be best to give a little sample of the novel, a bit from each story. Please enjoy!


-Jack


Merciless: The Bad Girls Edition
Cooing in my ear, “Oh captain! What a magnificent sword you have! Slay me like the evil vixen I am…”
Bless her, the dirty talk in my ear softly made the situation that much more unbearable. She locked her ankles around my back to keep me from going far as I grinded myself deep inside her. Roxanne loved it the dirty little girl. Something in her eyes though drove me to do something even more. I pulled out and turned her over on my desk. “Bad girls get a jolly old lashing.” I took my hand across her ass, hard.
Quicker than I could’ve imagined, she had me on my back and her eyes were like embers. “I will pardon you once, Captain, but do that again and I will disembowel you on the spot.”
“Yes ma’am.”
Primal Heat


“All right little girl, it’s time for some answers,” a grumbling voice above her said sternly. Kyra squinted trying to adjust her eyes to the sudden bright light. He came into focus about the same time his scent hit her, wrapping around her comfortingly.


Shit! It was her mate…hell no…she was getting out of dodge immediately. Kyra had no plans to mate at all in her future.


She sprang from the trunk with a lithe grace the unknown shifter wasn’t expecting and spun to face him with a glare. Her hair was coming loose from its moorings and hanging rather haphazardly around her face and her glasses were at an odd angle, but she raised her hands in front of her ready to knock him for a six if he came at her.


“You can’t just go around kidnapping people!” she yelled.


“Don’t give me that line sweetheart. You paid me 4k to kidnap you and give you a fantasy weekend,” he told her with a little growl.


Kyra refused to let the big ox intimidate her, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard; you’re clearly delusional. I insist you let me go this instant or face criminal charges.”


“Stupid? Delusional? You better stop while you’re ahead little girl. I like a little role play on occasion but you aren’t going to get away pretending this whole scheme wasn’t your idea to begin with,” he told her firmly as he stalked towards her. “Now, would you care to explain to me why any of this was…oomph”


She stopped his words by rushing him and ramming her tied hands up into his chin while kicking him hard in the groin simultaneously. Unfortunately, she hadn’t checked her momentum and ended up knocking him on his ass with her sitting on top of him.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Return of Jack

Hey hey hey, long time no bloggin'. I apologize as I had a number of things going on, but you were in the quite capable hands of my newest associate, Sabrina. As you probably know by now, she's taken over the day to day running of my small book empire, affectionately known as Crosby Entertainment. Her experience in running a business plus her enthusiasm for helping me are two great qualities and I couldn't be happier.


The advent of Crosby Entertainment isn't the only cool thing happening. Since we last spoke, Pseudosynth Press has picked up my rag, The Electric Mile. Yep, another publisher actually wanted to be associated with my stuff. First and foremost, I want to thank CG and Jackie for bringing me into their family and helping me to achieve even greater milestones. What they've done for my book can't be underscored; they are the real deals.


Second, I want to encourage everyone to check out their entire library of awesomeness. If you pop over to www.pseudosnyth.com, you'll not only find me but a cadre of very talented people. Trust me, you'll be in for a rocking good time.


So yeah, a lot happened while I was away on one of my trips. New and improved copies of my books are on Amazon and are going to be out on paperback real soon. CG, Jackie, and Sabrina have done so much for me and I hope in 2017, you, the readers, reap the benefits.


-Jack


Sneak peek at the new paperback covers courtesy of Sabrina. For The Electric Mile paperback cover, please visit Pseudosynth Press at the above link. Please enjoy:




 
 

 

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Witch Wars: Free this week

Yep, after the success my publishers over at Two Dudes, Brews, & Books had with a few giveaways last week, they asked me to do one this week (Jeff Trelewicz also has a book for free - read about it at his blog).  I was like hmmm maybe, and then over the weekend I got to thinkin' and drinkin'.  You guys have been very good to me, so why the hell not?


So, starting on Tuesday, August 2nd and running through Saturday, August 5th, The Witch Wars: Volume 1 - Jacoby's Revenge will be yours to grab for the low, low price of nothing.  You can't beat that with a stick can you?


(Get The Witch Wars Here)


Also, 2 quick updates:


1. I currently have 12 people entered to become a character in the next Witch Wars book.  You still have plenty of time to get in on that action.  Just email me at jack.crosby25@gmail.com and let me know why you'd be a great character,


2. So I listened to some of the complaints that The Witch Wars wasn't available in paperback where the rest of my books are.  Later this week, the paperback version should be live on Amazon for $5.99.  I submitted the files over this morning and everything should be good to go rather quickly.


Want to see the full paperback cover?  The guys over at 67 Studios Production nailed this one for me.


-Jack



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Free Books

Morning everyone.  Have you entered your name into the "Become a Character" contest yet?  We've still got plenty of time and there's already sixteen entrants.  Get your name and reason in ASAP.


So, the title of the blog gives this away - there are free books to be had.  Being the company man that I am, and owing a lot to Jeff and Jeremy, I feel the need to hawk their wears today.  Plus, one of them includes a short story written by me, so it's not all totally shilling out.


Twisted and Sinful Stories - The Anthology (This one has my story in it)


https://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Sinful-Stories-Morganna-Williams-ebook/dp/B01FWZYU26/


Jimmy Blades: The Puck Stops Here


https://www.amazon.com/Puck-Stops-Here-Blades-Season-ebook/dp/B01CDIUJGQ/


The Curse of Oberon (The Inglewood Chronicles Book 3)


https://www.amazon.com/Curse-Oberon-Inglewood-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01BRG9GCI/


There you have it.  3 books for free, so go and grab them.  At the very least it'll help the download numbers, and that'll make us all happy.


-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Witch Wars #2 and Contest Time

Hey guys, what's good? Me? I've been slumming it up in hotels along the eastern seaboard the past few weeks as the family business is in full swing. However, I've begun drafting the second book in the Witch Wars series, so that's good right?


Haven't read the first book yet? For shame padawan, for shame! It picks up from the conclusion of the Grimm's Reapers series and stars Death's kid Oz. Do you need to read the first series? No, you can enjoy Witch Wars without previously readings any of my books, but if you do, you'll catch a lot of cameos and inside jokes.


So yeah, number 2 is in the outline phase. I might not be able to make this deadline, but I'm hoping for a Halloween delivery date, as that seems really appropriate. But you know what; you guys can help me out. Keep reading to see how.


If you've followed me for awhile, you'll know in the last series, Sabrina was named after a reader who won a contest. So, we're bringing it back. While I'm on the road, I'd love to get some reader email stating your case why you should be a character. Could be just five words or it could be fifteen paragraphs, either way state your case.


On August 21st , I'll pick a winner (or two) and then on the following Monday I'll release the names on the blog here. You need my email address? Yeah, that'd help - jack.crosby25@gmail.com.


Good luck everyone and I look forward to reading your shenanigans!


-Jack

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Witch Wars: Character Dossier #2 - Cassandra Zane (along with cover reveal)


Real name - Cassandra Zane
Age - 21
Species - Witch
Skills - Control over the elements, seduction, critical thinking skills
RPG Classification - Black mage


Notes:


Cassandra Zane is the other Zane Twin that was recruited by Merlin to oppose Morgan Le Fey.  Unlike her brother, she was born a witch and as such, has control of a great many elements.  Her spells are varied by color - if you see black fire appear in her hands, run!


Another gift of hers is dream premonitions.  In her case, she has just one; a vision of her and the Son of Death Oz hand in hand defeating Morgan Le Fey.  Because of this and her insistence that Oz is the key, Merlin reluctantly allows her and Caspian to venture out into the realm of humans to find him.


Much like her brother, Cassandra has no wish to discuss her parents or whatever happened to them so many years ago.  The Zanes' parents are a great mystery, one neither Twin is looking to rehash.


Look for more from Cassandra soon as The Witch Wars: Jacoby's Revenge is churning up for its big release.  But before we go, how about a cover huh?  It only seems appropriate to release this on the day I spotlight Cassandra:




-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com



Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Witch Wars: Character Dossier #1 - Caspian Zane

Real name - Caspian Zane
Age - 21
Species - Human
Skills - Driving, thievery, foul mouth, ladies man
RPG Classification - Rogue


Notes:


Caspian "Cas' Zane is one of The Twins selected by the wizard Merlin to oppose Morgan Le Fey.  Unlike his sister Cassandra, Cas was not gifted any celestial powers.  This doesn't seem to bother him much as his motivations are women and speed.


Deep down, he cares deeply for Cassandra, though he shows it in his own way.  He is the older of the two twins by about a minute, but you'd never know it.  He also doesn't speak about his parents, as they died in a tragedy some years prior to being recruited by Merlin.


Cas has some skill with knives and isn't afraid to take on demons given his limitations.  He also enjoy using firearms but his real skill is his driving ability.  Behind the wheel, Caspian Zane is second to none.


Look for more dossiers to randomly pop up between now and the release of "The Witch Wars: Jacoby's Revenge" later this summer/early fall!


-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Monday, May 23, 2016

Excerpt of Merciless - A Grimm's Reapers Short Story

Last week, Merciless - A Grimm's Reapers Short Story was released as part of an anthology.  A few of you wanted a sneak peak at the book to see what I was exactly up to.  Well, you can't say I'm not a man of the people.  So here it is!  Enjoy!


-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Chapter 1 – Ahoy Matey



“Cappin’ Fletch, we got a vessel approachin’ we do.”


I pulled out my brass spyglass and looked in the direction First Mate Anders pointed in.  Sur enough, off the portside of the ship was a merchant cruiser.  “Anders, get the boys ready.  We got ourselves a pay day coming!”


Anders looked alive.  “Aye aye cappin’!”


The short man scurried off to rouse the crew.  I knew my band of bloodthirsty animals would be willing and ready to do whatever it took to capture that ship.  With that in mind, I retreated below deck to my quarters to grab my pistol and blade.  None were as feared on these waters as me, Captain Argus Fletcher.  Though those who knew me just referred to me as Captain Fletch, the Merciless.


When I returned topside, Oggles was steering my ship, The Black Cat, towards our target.  “Get us in range of the long cannon.  I want to make a good first impression.”


He gave me a lumpy look and spun the wheel hard.  As the ship turned, I looked down and screamed, “Prepare the Cat’s Tail!  I want these merchants to cower in fear.”


The Douglas Triplets signaled at my command and began preparations.  The thrill of the chase and capture was on.  I returned to the highest point, ready to watch everything play out.  The Black Cat was the fastest pirate ship on the Eastern Seas.  I had no fear that my target would escape.


The winds favored us this day, blowing hard with the ship, allowing us to gain great ground.  Through the spyglass, I could now see their captain shouting orders to his crew.  I couldn’t read lips, but I gathered he was giving them orders to prepare to be boarded and to protect their cargo.  Good – I never liked it when sailors gave up without so much of a fight.


“Prepare to fire!”  It was one of the Douglas Triplets, but I didn’t know their individual names.  Hell, I didn’t care to be honest.  “Fire in the hole!”


A few seconds later and the water rocked with the sounds of the Cat’s Tail.  The long cannon sent its ammunition towards the other ship and the aim was true.  The iron ball shattered their main mast, leaving them a downed duck in the water.  With nowhere to go, it was time to fight.


In no time, our ship caught up to theirs and the boarding party was ready.  I joined the team and tossed the first rope across.  No one wanted to be the first, but if the captain was willing, his crew was inspired.  At six foot one and close to two hundred pounds, I had little fear of being overpowered.  Two sailors rushed me as soon as my feet touched down on their wooden deck.  I shot one in the chest with my pistol and engaged the other with my sword.


He was skilled no doubt, his sword play kept me on my feet.  As we were dueling, my crew stormed forward and fights were breaking out everywhere.


Parrying away the sailor’s blow, “You have good form.  It’s a shame it won’t serve you much longer.”


“Fuck off ye bugger!”  He lunged with a jab, leaving himself wide open for a counter.


I slapped away the attack and sliced him from chest to hip.  Shock appeared on his face and for good measure, I kicked him overboard.  The amount of blood rushing out of him would no doubt attract sharks to complete nature’s cycle.  With that attacker out of the way, I continued forward.


Hacking down opponent after opponent brought me face to face with the captain.  He was an older man, chiseled hard from a life at sea.  “So, you be Fletch the Merciless eh?”


“That am I captain.  Command your crew to stand down and no more need to become chum in the water.”


He had a duty to his employers, but dead men have no masters.  “Aye, we’ll stand down.”  He hollered his directive to the crew and each of them after a moment laid their weapons down.  “The ship is yours.”


I circled my finger in the air, giving my crew notice to take everything of value.  “Your mast is broke but Sannigel Island is not but a day’s row from here.  Send for help.”


“Merciless they say, yet you’re giving me a chance to live.”  He looked on skeptically.  “What’s in this for you?”


I did a quick count; he had about ten survivors left on his ship.  “You spread the word about my pirate crew.  Your recollection of this attack will strengthen my grip on the Eastern Seas and leave no question what ship is the most dangerous.”


He comprehended my wishes.  A pirate’s reputation is his calling card.  Having fear before we even come into view is a victory in itself.  With this captain telling his story, mine would increase tenfold.


When we had plundered all we could, my crew returned to The Black Cat, all except for me.  “What is your name captain?”


“Levenworth.  What’s it matter to you?”


I would commit that name to memory.  “Whether you believe it or not, you’ve made a friend today Levenworth.  I appreciate a man who is honorable, but knows when to yield.”


As I returned to my ship, I gave one last glance to the disabled ship floating.  The crew would have to wait a bit; three great whites were fighting over the remains of the body I sent to the depths.  Once the sharks left, they would be clear to row to help.  They may call me Merciless, but I’m no heathen.

Chapter 2 – The Hurricane





We made good time returning back to Lost Haven, the pirate port town at the far reaches of the Eastern Seas.  Few pirates called this port home, which made it perfect for me.  My crew, filled with pride after a successful raid, stormed off the ship to their favorite watering holes.  As for me, I still needed to add up the total haul and plot our next course.


A strange wind blew across the deck of The Black Cat.  I wandered out of my quarters to take measure of the breeze.  As soon as the wind buffered my face, I had a very ill feeling.  “Mother Nature, you wicked vixen!  It is far too early in the season for a hurricane.”


I’d been on the seas far too long to be surprised by any occurrence.  Still, spring was no time for weather like this to whip up – unless there was something supernatural behind it.  The seas were filled with hidden spirits and monster alike.  Though what would cause this to happen, well even that was beyond my purview.


Based on the speed and direction, we maybe had five to six hours before the powerful storm hit the island.  That was plenty of time to get the ship ready, even if I could only scrounge up two or three of the crew.


“Cappin’!  I have ill feelings in me bones.”


I located the source of the voice, Anders.  The first mate was as reliable as any could be.  “I’m glad you returned Anders.  We need to get The Cat prepared.  I’ll begin the preparations while you go get some of the crew.”


He gave me a half drunken salute and ran off into the streets.  In no more time than it took me to get the first mast tied down, Anders returned with the Douglas Triplets and Oliver, our youngest member.  They needed no direction and the five of them went to work like busy bees tending to The Cat.  In less than an hour’s time, we finished and were off ship.


The Black Cat had been my ship since the previous captain wiled it to me.  Long John Shanks was my mentor to the pirate game, but he succumbed to a bad case of the plague.  Shanks had no reservations about eating suspect meats and drinking spoiled wine and it caught up to him.  I wouldn’t make the same mistakes.


With the ship secure, I sent the crew back into the night for more debauchery.  The tavern life never really suited me, but this evening called for a drink.  I followed the cobblestone street up to the last establishment in town, Whore’s Tap.


The name was very misleading; there were no whores in the bar.  The keep, Finnegan, was an old Irishman who was hiding from the Royal Navy.  He preferred to be left alone, hence the bad advertisement.  I too enjoyed the quiet, so we bonded over quality ale and lack of spoken word.


My second ale had been poured when another entered the establishment.  It was a lady, but she wasn’t dressed like a proper wench at all.  She wore an open tan shirt with leather pants and proper pirate boots.  Attached to her belt was a long thing sword, a rapier I believe they’re called.  She took off her hat and put up one finger.  Without a word, she sat down next to me.


Red hair cascaded down her pale face.  There was something of amusement in her eyes as she kept gaining my attention.  After her first sip of ale, “Argus Fletcher, I’ve been watching you.”


I tipped my cup towards her and drank as well.  “Well met my lady.  And who do I have the pleasure of sharing a beer with?”


Her laugh was angelic, not fitting her figure at all.  “Honestly, I doubt you’d believe me.  For the meantime, please just call me Roxanne.”
To Be Conitinued in Merciless!


Friday, May 20, 2016

Anthology Released!

Well today is the big day, the anthology I am a part of has been released into the world.  So, why should you as a Jack Crosby reader want to buy this book?  Excellent question!  Well for starters, as you might know, my story in the anthology is a pirate tale starring some yoyo named Argus Fletcher.  In his adventure, he meets up with some old girl named Roxanne and tragedy ensues.  I'm not going to tell you everything, but for the low low payment of 99 cents, you can find out yourself!


The second reason to grab it is I included the first chapter to my next series The Witch Wars.  Book one will be entitled Jacoby's Revenge, so in addition to Roxanne's little tale, you'll get the very first look at the start of the next series.  Our pal Oz will be leading the charge this time and he's almost as bad as his dad, Derrick.


So do I have you intrigued?  Okay then.  I guess the final thing for me to do is set you up with the link: https://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Sinful-Stories-Morganna-Williams-ebook/dp/B01FWZYU26?


*Quick Update


The Witch Wars: Jacoby's Revenge will be out this fall.  Later this summer I plan to upload chapters 2 and 3 here, so be on the lookout.  I'm sure I'll have a cover reveal at some point too.  Well until next time,


-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Return of Roxanne

Greetings my friends and a happy Friday to you.  The weekend is close at hand and I know I'm looking forward to it.  You want to know what else I'm looking forward to?  The Epic Return of Roxanne!  Next Friday, May 20th, the tale Merciless: A Grimm's Reaper Short will be part of an anthology called Twisted and Sinful Stories.  In fact, my story will be the very first one, kicking off this awesome assortment of mischief.


I know what you guys need - a free sample.  Well, ask and you shall receive:


My second ale had been poured when another entered the establishment.  It was a lady, but she wasn’t dressed like a proper wench at all.  She wore an open tan shirt with leather pants and proper pirate boots.  Attached to her belt was a long thing sword, a rapier I believe they’re called.  She took off her hat and put up one finger.  Without a word, she sat down next to me.

Red hair cascaded down her pale face.  There was something of amusement in her eyes as she kept gaining my attention.  After her first sip of ale, “Argus Fletcher, I’ve been watching you.”

I tipped my cup towards her and drank as well.  “Well met my lady.  And who do I have the pleasure of sharing a beer with?”

Her laugh was angelic, not fitting her figure at all.  “Honestly, I doubt you’d believe me.  For the meantime, please just call me Roxanne.”

Roxanne, a name fitting an angel or a devil.  “A pleasure to meet you miss Roxanne.”  I saw she was empty as was I.  Finnegan remedied the situation for us.  “I’ve not seen you on the island before; did the bad weather bring you this way?”

The first sounds of the hurricane echoed across the harbor, the wind starting to pick up.  I looked worried as did the barkeep, but Roxanne drank as if nothing was out of place.  “I’m here because of the weather, yes, just not in the way you think.”

“I’m intrigued and that doesn’t happen often enough.”  I leaned in closer.  “Care to share your twisted words?”

She waved her hand and everything around us froze in time.  Finnegan was in mid-pour, the beer hanging in the air unnaturally.  “There are certain truths you’ll have to understand.  For one, I’m not human as you just put together.”

“Bloody hell…”
That's just a snippet of the fun you can expect.  But wait, that's not all!  When you grab this Twisted and Sinful Stories Anthology, you will get the first look at Oz's story.  Chapter 1 of The Witch Wars: Jacoby's Revenge will be inside too.
Like I said, look for the anthology next Friday on Amazon and to keep things on the up and up, it'll only be listed at 99 cents.  Along with my stuff, Jeremy Croston, Jeff Trelewicz, and Morganna Williams will have their own works in there.  Hell, maybe you'll find another author that you'll enjoy.  Anyways, that's it for today.  I'll be back next week at some point.  Until then, keep it real.
-Jack

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Itch Doesn't Leave

As I sit here in my hotel, far away from Chicago, I'm feeling the need to write.  I'm tired from working all weekend in a small cramped space with no air circulating.  I have a headache from a very annoying man who won't give me the space to do my job.  I should either be drinking a beer or trying to sleep, but I have this need to write.


I miss my characters.  I miss the antics that the Grimm's Reapers cast gave to me.  Oz's story is in my head.  The story idea I bought off my buddy has been consuming my thoughts.  If I don't do something soon, I'll go nuts.  I honestly thought it was for the best not to try to keep up my author pursuits while I was expanding my day job.


I can man up and say I was wrong.  My tablet isn't going to cut it.  Today I'm going to go to this little specialty computer store I found and build the perfect lap top.  I'm going to email my buddies Jeremy and Jeff to see what dates this fall are open for a book release.  Then I'm going to start Oz's story.


Damnit people, Jack is back.


-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Monthly Update

You've probably been wondering where your good pal Jack's been huh?  Well, to keep it short, I've been just about everywhere the past few weeks.  The IT consulting firm my dad and I started is really picking up steam, so my day job has been robbing me of opportunities to write.  Honestly, it could be awhile before my next book comes out and for that I apologize.


Now don't be mad at me as I offer some exciting news.  An original short story entitled Merciless will soon be available as part of an anthology on the Kindle.  Everyone's favorite Lust demon is coming back for a pirate tale for the ages.  The main character Captain Argus Fletcher will be the human she's helping out this time and it's full of cannons, cutlasses, and orgies.  The anthology will be out in May sometime, so as soon as I know for sure, I'll relay it to you.


Well that's it for now.  If you're looking for another bad review taken to task, I hit the road on Friday so cross your fingers that tomorrow might be a Good Day to One Star.


-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Friday, March 18, 2016

Exciting News!

I'm way overdue for an update, but this week has been pretty awesome.  First I had a very easy, yet well paying job in my own town of Chicago that's going to pay the rent in April.  Second, I got to talking to a fellow author who has this amazing idea for a book, but won't be able to get to it any time soon.  As we talked, I knew this was a subject I could handle and really spice up.  So when it came time to talk some incentives, he sold me the rights to the story and I'm pumped.


Before we get into the new material, this is going to push The Witch Wars to the back burner for now.  When I thought about it, I ended up thinking this was a pretty good idea, as I'd been doing the world of Grimm's Reapers for a long time now.  Maybe a break from it would be best for both the author and the readers.  Don't lose out on hope though - Oz Grimm's story will be told, just not next as originally planned.


As for the new story, here's the premise:


A star hockey player has a secret - he's actually an Ice Elemental from a long family of arcane masters.  Unfortunately, instead of using his powers to help rid the world of demons and their ilk, he uses it for self gain and to make lots of money.  Unfortunately, he can't run forever from his lineage and it's going to be a long way down for our "hero."


A main character after my own heart!  Forget doing the right thing, we need fame, fortune, and ladies!  Anyways, this story is obviously in the planning stages and needs to be done right.  As I get more into details, I'll update you as I progress.  Keep it real cyberworld and I'll see you next week.


-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Future of the Grimm's Reapers series

My popular One Star Theatre will be back next week as I'm in Seattle on assignment.  This week I wanted to talk about the future books coming for the Grimm's Reapers characters.  If you haven't finished the series yet, you should probably do so before continuing on.


So I'm sure you'll all be glad to hear that I am going to do a short story based on Roxanne's history.  It's going to be part of an anthology I'm writing with fellow authors Jeremy Croston, Jeff Trelewicz, and Morganna Williams.  The whole premise will once again throw real history under the bus as she cusses and sleeps her way to the end.


A second anthology will be coming out sometime this summer, but it'll be all my own stories.  There will be four of them to be exact, introducing us to the main characters to the new series starring Oz Grimm, The Witch Wars.  I'm not going to give away much here, except the names of the characters:


The Human - Caspian Zane
The Witch - Cassandra Zane
The Angel - Jessie Torres
The Demon - Oz Grimm


Each one will have their own little 10-12K story that gives the background on them.  Stay tuned for that, like I said this summer.  Well, I need to get cleaned up and go make some bacon.  See you all next week when the Review Samurai finds another troll that needs beheaded,


-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Feast or Famine Q & A

Dudes and dudettes, you sent me a lot of questions this time around.  I ended up sorting through what I had on Monday night for my top 5 and answering them last night so I could get them up today.  Real quick, there are a lot of spoilers coming, so if you haven't finished this book in the series, I would recommend coming back when you did.  Now on to your questions.


Q1 - Sabrina is one powerful and evil girl.  How do you see her playing out in the last book?


A1 - I don't want to give a lot away, but she maintains her hatred for her mother all the way through.  That hate, because of Roxanne's betrayal to Beelzebub defines her really.  The fun thing is when you see how she treats Jacoby, it'll go a long way in defining her character.


Q2 - This was by far your best writing effort to date.  As an author, what do you do to keep improving your writing?


A2 - With Death Among Us, I tried to do everything myself.  It was my first effort and I didn't want anyone to help me because I didn't want to lose the integrity of the story.  I learned that's not a good thing.  In Old War Stories, I had Jeff and Jeremy help me a lot plus I got a few Beta readers.  Getting Sarah, my English teacher turned editor friend on board was a big boon too.  Then with Feast or Famine, I took everything I learned from my first two attempts and really fine tuned them.  I'm sure there are still issues here and there, but I hope it reads smoothly.


Q3 - You dirty son of a gun, you brought Roxanne back into the fold.  Was that because of peer pressure or was that always the plan?


A3 - Roxanne is my favorite character bar none.  The journey she goes on from the start of the series to the finish is one that has a lot of bumps in it.  I wanted her character to be the one that experienced the most growth, yet also got the most emotional connection from readers.  I know her "death" in Old War Stories pissed a lot of people off, but that's good.  I did my job as a writer by creating a character people love.


Q4 - Will we see more Lucifer?  The scenes with Derrick dealing with him were awesome.


A4 - Minor spoiler here - his role in the story is just about finished.  He does come back in Divide and Conquest briefly, but it's not a huge role.  As you'll see, he's going to have a lot of other problems going on.


Q5 - I'm going to ask it but I don't expect an answer.  Oz and Jacoby, there going to be the focus moving forward right?


A5 - A lot of people wanted to know about the step brothers and their roles.  As you know, Oz is with Derrick and Roxanne while Jacoby grew up with Sabrina.  Their different upbringings will play a huge focus in their individual stories, but as the end of the day, Grimm's Reapers is about Derrick Grimm.  That said, what the future holds after this series, well that can be up for debate.


Thanks for everyone and their curiosity.  Divide and conquest is out now, so feel free to grab the last book in the series and see what the future is going to hold.


-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Grimm Comes Early - to a Kindle Near You!

First off I need to give a shout out and a huge thank you to my friend Sarah and her husband Doug.  Over the past few days the two of them have hung out at my apartment while Sarah and I finished editing and revising Divide and Conquest.  We really wanted to get the book finished earlier for you guys, so a few long nights with beer and pizza and whammy!  As of last night, D & C is ready for upload.


My goal today is to get all the small stuff taken care of - keywords, description, and pricing set so I can upload the final product.  Look for book 4 to be out as sooner as maybe tomorrow afternoon.


That doesn't mean I'm going to cheap out on the chapter 2 preview, no way.  Plus I already have a ton of emails about both Derrick and book 3, Feast or Famine.  So on with the show as the say, and enjoy chapter 2.

Chapter 2 – The Treaty



The two of us were whipped into a frenzy.  If Jacoby and Balrog were here, that meant Sabrina was close by too.  Philadelphia was my city and if she was here, I’d find her.  Just as I was about to storm the city, Roxanne grabbed my arm.  “Derrick, what about Oz?  He could be in danger.”
Father of the year goes to me, the guy who forgot his own child in a fit of bloodlust.  “Shit, you’re right.  We’ll have to split up, one of us goes and gets him while the other starts hunting down any leads.”
“She’s my daughter; I’ll track her down.”
There was no talking Roxanne out of this.  Especially after what Sabrina did to her in Iran all those years ago.  “Fine, but take Khloros too.  I’ll feel better if you’re with him.”
I tossed her the keys which she caught with a deft hand.  With determination, she got into the driver’s seat and Khloros’s engine roared to life.  Together the two of them were pretty good.  My fear of something bad happening went down… slightly.
I headed up the street in the direction of Oz’s friend Jesse’s house.  Call me a bad parent again, but I never met Jesse’s parents, just the boy himself.  He was a redheaded kid with leprechaun like eyes, aka, he looked like he was always about to get into trouble.  However, the two of them never did, so I was cool with them hanging out.
Not really paying much attention as I turned the corner, a large blast of brimstone hit me.  I stopped in my tracks – it was still early afternoon and the streets were full of walkers and bystanders.  Where in the blue blazes was that smell coming from?  I looked all around me, trying not to look like a nut job, finding it hard to pinpoint the epicenter of the brimstone.
As my gaze came back around closer, boom there it was.  Sitting on the other side of the glass in a coffee shop was none other than Belial.  An Arch-Demon right here in downtown Philly having a drink of coffee.  What next?
He motioned at me to come in and join him.  I was still quite worried about Oz, but remembering this thing called a cell phone, I shot him a quick text.  ‘Hey, it’s dad.  Let me know you’re okay.’
Stuffing my phone back in my pocket, I opened the door and went to meet a demon.  No one else seemed to notice what was amongst them; the other patrons were happily drinking their brews and listening to hippy music.  I sat down across from Belial and a young girl asked me if I wanted anything.  “Yeah, can I get just a regular coffee with some sugar?”
She took my order and left.  Biting my lip as to not unleash a tirade of profanity, “Strange day isn’t it?”
He straightened the tie under his jacket.  “If you mean this meeting between the two of us, then yes.  If you’re talking about the witch who is toying with you, than no.”  His voice rumbled like a bass drum.
Demons always had a high fashion sense.  Nothing like me and my board shorts and unbuttoned plaid shirt.  “If you have something to say, just get on with it.”
He took a sip of his coffee, his black eyes never leaving me.  “You have been out of touch for a long time Reaper.  There is much information you need to know.”
I looked back at my phone, nothing yet from Oz.  “Listen, I don’t have all day…”
“Patience Death, your son is out of harm’s way.  Lucifer himself is seeing to that while we speak.”
My phone buzzed; I got a message back from Oz that everything was A-Okay.  I swallowed hard.  “What cares does Lucifer have with my boy or me for that matter?”
The Arch-Demon snapped his fingers and everyone all at once left the coffee shop, including the staff.  The last guy on the way out flipped the sign from open to closed.  Locking the door, just the two of us were left.  “A war is coming, one that has not been seen in millennia.” 
He brushed his hand over the table and it lit up.  It was a map of Hell.  “The witch Sabrina has conquered Beelzebub’s and Astaroth’s old territories.  Baal is currently fighting her off as we speak, but it does not look good for him.”
“By war, are we talking Armageddon?  Have the seals been broken?”
He shook his head.  “No, the seals are intact.  This is a war not predicted by any of the prophets.  This is a war against the Celestials.”
Celestials – angels, demons, Horsemen.  “Sabrina is out to wipe us all off the playing field.”
“Yes, that is her goal, from what we can tell.”  By his look, I got the feeling the other shoe was about to drop.  “In the midst of the fighting in Hell, a small platoon broke off and invaded Eden.”
I ran a hand through my hair.  “What happened?”
“The battle took place last night.  From what I understand it was a small skirmish involving the Minotaur King, Balrog, an unknown demon clad in black versus the three Horsemen and a squadron of angels.”  The unknown black demon had to be Jacoby.  “The fighting stopped when Balrog broke off a piece of the Tree of Life and the Horseman Conquest was captured.”
“My brother, captured?!”  Rage washed over me and I flipped over the nearest table.  “FUCK!”
Belial stay calmed and continued to drink his coffee.  “The worst part is they sealed Eden shut.  War and Famine are trapped there until the seal can be reversed.”
“Where did they take Conquest?”
“An angel by the name of Veronica located him early this morning.  He is in an old prison in Russia called the Gulag.  There is quite the force keeping that place under guard.”
“Isn’t the Gulag controlled by angels?”
He tried to smile, but I could tell it was bad news.  “Sabrina has taken it over.  She started a mutiny amongst the prisoners and killed what forces of Heaven tried to resist.”  He gave a halfhearted stir of his coffee.  “Most of those creatures were vile enough that Hell wasn’t even sorry to see them captured.”
I fell back into my seat.  Not really caring too much, “And the piece of the Tree of Life?  What did they need that for?”
For the first time this whole meeting, Belial shifted uncomfortably.  “She wishes to do something only Beelzebub dreamed of – invade Heaven.”
“Isn’t that something you all can get behind?  I mean, that sounds like an Arch-Demon scheme.”
The Arch-Demon seemed to be taking his time on this one.  “Arch-Demons like to talk a rather big game, but we know going after the Almighty would end poorly for us.  This is not a battle to be taken lightly.”
“So if your territories fall, with the minor demons follow her lead?”
“Depending on how she gains control, there is a good possibility she could marshal the troops of Hell into invading Heaven.”
Foolish demons, always wanting to kill things.  “Hopefully this isn’t a problem we need to worry about.  When I free Conquest from the Gulag, we can go from there.”
I got the sense from him that our meeting was coming to an end.  He reached into his pocket and pulled out a scroll.  As soon as he placed it on the table, it rolled out for me to read.  “This is a treaty, signed by all remaining Arch-Demons in blood with Lucifer as witness.  We propose peace between us and the Horsemen in exchange for help.”
Very carefully, I read over the scroll, written in a very ancient dialect of Ozkavosh, or the Demon Language.  There were no catches, hooks, or fine print.  These guys must’ve really been up shit creek without a paddle.  “So in exchange for getting rid of Sabrina, you guys leave me alone for good?”
“It is as you say Death.”  He pointed to an empty space below their signatures.  “If you sign the treaty in blood as well, we will honor the peace agreement immediately, only to be broken if you fail or choose not to finish your bargain.”
I pulled out Leviathan and brought my weapon to life.  Using the edge of the blade, I nicked my finger drawing blood.  In the space below, I put my name with theirs.  “Our interest is mutual in this venture.  This job will be far from easy and without help, it will take some time.”
“We know, that is why we’ve given no end date to the contract.”  Well wasn’t that thoughtful of them?  “However, do not come for us for help.  As our kingdoms are under siege, our forces must remain.”
I wasn’t counting on that anyway.  What did bother me is where Sabrina got her force from.  “How did she gather an army so quickly?”
“It has been fifteen years Death!  I know in terms of our lifespans, that is but a blink of the eye, but to gather an army?  It was more than enough time.”
He paced around the table.  “She started off by enslaving most of the minor demons, the Minotaurs, the Nyxes, and the Yeti just to name a few.”  All powerful beings, that was for sure.  “She claimed her birthright by taking the throne of Beelzebub’s kingdom and inherited his force.  Then with the conquering of Astaroth’s former kingdom, her force expanded yet again.”
I saw where this was going and why Hell’s services were out of the question.  “I got a few friends I can still call on, I think.”  Besides Khloros and Roxanne, there was a certain Pride demon that I fought beside once before I thought of.  “But my first order of business is to break my brother out of the Gulag.”
“Going there will cause you to face your greatest fear, so I caution you to beware.”  He snapped his fingers and the closed sign on the door flipped over to open.  In only a matter of time, humans would be returning to the cafĂ©.
The scroll rolled back up and flew into Belial’s hand.  “But that’s what we expected from you.”  He looked at the watch on his left wrist.  “I’ve been away from my kingdom for long enough and must return to shore up the defense.  Good luck Reaper, in both endeavors.  You will need it.”
-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Monday, February 1, 2016

Divide and Conquest Update

The finish line is so close that I can taste it.  My editor friend Sarah and I are working out as many bugs as we can find to deliver (hopefully) top notch entertainment to you the readers.  We've added some stuff, axed other parts, and updated grammar and all.  Now Sarah wants me to tell you that's she not a professional editor (in fact, she's a high school English teacher), but by God she's going to catch as many of my goof-ups as possible.


Over the weekend, I was bombarded with emails asking for a release date.  One guy was polite - 'C'mon Jack, give us the low down! We've been waiting a few months to see how this all ends!'  One wasn't so polite - 'Damnit, you're dragging your feet getting the last book done.'  I certainly appreciate the enthusiasm you guys have, so it's at this time I feel confident giving a release date.  Based on finishing up a few things, getting the book formatted and all, Divide and Conquest will be to the Amazon Bookstore on 2-16-16.  As always it'll be available for both purchase and Kindle Unlimited borrowing.


In the lead up, I'm going to release chapter 2 this week, probably Wednesday or Thursday, and I'll also be doing a few special Q and A sessions.  If you want to get in on that (one topic will be the Feast or Famine one and the other will be The Life of Derrick), send questions to jack.crosby25@gmail.com.


Well my other job calls, so that's it for now.  Tune back later this week for chapter 2 and send me those questions.


-Jack

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Old War Stories Q & A (with an updated Divide and Conquest cover art)

So you guys really liked my question and answer segment on Death Among Us.  When I got home last night from a pretty awesome trip to Tampa, I noticed all the questions in my inbox.  So I'll postpone my blog taking in the local Tampa fun places to go so I can get to these.


First, MAJOR SPOILERS will be revealed in this post.  If you haven't read Old War Stories, I suggest coming back afterwards to join in the conversation.  Second, I've received a few Feast or Famine questions and I'll hit those up next week.  So with that out of the way, let the questions begin.


Q1 - The second story has a much more serious tone to it than the first.  Why did you go in that direction?


A1 - I wanted to give Derrick a little more depth to his character.  He's Death after all and yeah he's a goofy pervert, but he's also got a very serious job to do.  Sometimes that job is hard and isn't something to take lightly.  All and all, I was happy with a bit more character building, which will lead nicely into Feast or Famine.


Q2 - Vlad the Impaler was such a cool side story to throw in.  Is there any way you might write a book about that adventure?


A2 - I won't write a book about it, but I definitely might write a short story and post it somewhere for free.  That's a really good idea.  I think later this year I'm going to do that, maybe like a Halloween special?


Q3 - Sabrina the witch is bad ass.  Is it true you named her after a fan?


A3 - I sure did.  Sabrina won a contest I held last year and she was really pleased with the character I dreamed up.  If you liked her in Old War Stories, you'll love her going forward.


Q4 - Derrick's not supposed to dump Roxanne for Astrid!  Roxanne kicks so much ass!


A4 - Even though this technically isn't a question, a lot of people were a bit confused.  Again, this volume was about revealing Derrick's character and his lack of commitment comes into play.  For him, the grass is always greener elsewhere.  He saw Astrid and in her something new.  Trust me, this choice will come back to haunt him later.


Q5 - Going forward, will we get to know each Horseman a little better?


A5 - If you couldn't tell, the titles reveal which Horseman will be instrumental to the story.  Death obviously stole the show in round 1 and War was very important in round 2.


Q6 - HOW THE HELL COULD YOU KILL ROXANNE OFF YOU DUMB BASTARD?!?!


A6 - I got a variation of this one in quite a few emails.  Listen, for celestial beings, dying isn't as permanent as it is for humans.  Much like every comic book character not named Uncle Ben, these guys find a way to come back.  In Roxanne's case, Michael took pity of her soul and called in a favor.  What does that mean going forward?  Good question.  The Death Among Us universe works in mysterious ways and just about everybody is fair game...


I hope I got to your question in some way, shape, or form.  I'm so surprised by the passion you guys have for the story and that's so cool.  I appreciate all the questions, well wishes, and curiosity.  Keep them coming as we keep moving forward with the story.


Before I go, real quick, I updated the cover for book 4.  I'm much happier with it and I think you'll all like it too:





-Jack
You can email me at jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Monday, January 18, 2016

On the Road Again

When you take a job in sunny Florida, you expect a bit of nice weather.  I've ben freezing in Chicago and my pal Jeremy lives in Orlando, so you can imagine all the obnoxious posts.  But late last week, when I emailed him that I was coming to Tampa, he's like you picked the wrong time to come.  I got in on Saturday and that night we had a tornado warning.  Sunday wasn't too bad, but today I woke up to the 40's.  Seriously?


Long story short, my dreams of partying on the beach for a few days were dashed.  I did hear the original Outback Steakhouse is down here, so I might try to find that.  The locals also talk about Ybor City, which apparently has excellent beers and cigars to choose from.


I leave on Wednesday, so come back on Thursday and I'll detail all the fun things I find.  I don't plan to go over to Orlando unfortunately (it's about 80 miles away I think and I am using public transit), so if you want info on the tourist traps, look elsewhere.


Real quick book update - I got some writing done on the plane.  The story is really picking up and soon we're going to be going on a reunion tour of sorts.  Depending on my progress, I'll maybe have another sample chapter up in a week or two.


That's all for now,


Jack Crosby
(thanks for all the awesome email - keep them coming! jack.crosby25@gmail.com)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Q and A - Death Among Us

So recently Death Among Us has picked up a lot of steam, reaching into the Top 100 Dark Fiction category on Amazon.  I'm really happy that new readers are finding my book and for the most part, enjoying my writing antics.  Over the past two days, I've received quite a few emails about my stories, with most questions centering on things Derrick does in Death Among Us.  Well, I'll do my best to answer these and more.


Q - As a reviewer pointed out, why didn't Derrick know who Maggie was already if she was a world famous historian?  I mean, they're having sex and he doesn't realize who he's in bed with?


A - Stay with me for a second.  You go into a bar and see this gorgeous lady, a few years older than you and she's staring you down.  You get some drinks, you make small talk, and then boom, you're back at her place doing the deed.  At what point in time do you know or care what she does for a living?  That was Derrick's frame of mind at the time in Chapter 1.  This was a hot lady and he just wanted to have sex with her.


Q - Follow up to that, why didn't Derrick just get the info he needed off the internet?


A - He's Death, one of the old ones.  As I've tried to make clear, he's not exactly tech savvy, nor does he believe information he can't verify.  It is totally within his character to want to find the source of the information and make sure it's legit.


Q - Death is this all powerful being that's been around since the beginning of time.  Why does he constantly want to have sex?


A - In this universe, spirits take shape in different ways.  Death happened to come out as an early 20's guy and with it, all the impulses that they have.  Sure he has a job to do and he's rather good at it, but he's also acting within the nature of who he is.


Q - You're writing style is a bit scattered.  What's up with that?


A - I'm not a classically trained writer and I don't pretend to be.  I get that my style's not for everyone and it might come off as clunky.  What I do try to do is improve everyday and get a lot of opinions from those around me.  What I write entertains me and I hope it entertains you.


Q - I love the interaction between all the celestial beings in the book.  Will we get more of that, perhaps visits to Heaven or Hell?


A - I don't want to give everything away, but ask me that again once you finish the 3 books available.  I'm in the midst of writing book 4 and you never know what might happen.


I hope this helps you when it comes to making a decision to buy my books.  I don't write serious material and I can't see that ever changing.  What I do write is silly, ridiculous, and hopefully fun to read.


One last thing before I go - I'll try to keep the blog updated more often as we are getting closer to the release of book 4.  Writing has been going well and the story is really taking shape.  Plus, you have more questions?  Don't hesitate to ask.


-Jack
jack.crosby25@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chapter 1 of Divide and Conquest (rough draft)

So I'm far enough into the story where I feel good about sharing chapter 1 with all of you.  Keep in mind, this is still the rough draft so there will be typos and grammar errors.  If you can over look that, I think you'll enjoy the start to the final book in Derrick's story.


Chapter 1 – Driving Lessons



“Damnit Oz!  Pay attention to the road!”
My kid just looked at me like I was toilet slime.  “Dude, I got this.”  Then he addressed the car.  “You won’t let me die, will ya Khloros?”
My horse’s voice came through the stereo system in the car.  “Of course not Master Oz.  As for your imbecile of a father, I should have years ago.”
I should probably back up here and answer a few questions.  Last time we spoke, Oz here was just a wee little guy who had just lost his mom and I ran away with.  Now the little asshole’s sixteen and is getting ready to get his driver’s license.  God bless the examiner the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation gives him.
Yep, we’re back in south Philly too, at the old detective agency Roxanna and I started.  We had hopped around the globe a bit before settling down back here two years ago.  Roxanne said it would be good for Oz to have some stability in his already unusual life.
The poor kid was the son of the Horseman Death and a Lust demon.  And yes, I told him what happened to his real mom, Jecella.  I thought he was going to be pissed at me about it, but he took it in stride.  Turns out he’s one tough kid, which is good because of the life he’s going to have. 
What really helped is when he said he thought of Roxanne as his mom.  Not having any children of her own, I’m pretty sure she cried for two straight hours.
The past sixteen years have taken their toll on me though.  For the first time in my very long life, I feel old.  The running and hiding from the inevitable has done a number on Derrick Grimm.  It’s hard to sleep at night and it’s even harder to trust the world.  I haven’t seen any of my brothers since that fateful night years ago and contact from Upstairs has been minimal.  Only Rachel, the angel, checks in on us.
What scares me is that Sabrina, the Hell witch spawn of Roxanne and Beelzebub (don’t ask – celestial family reunions are a total clusterfuck) is still out there.  Plus she has my other son, Jacoby.  I tried so hard to find him, but they’re like ghosts in the wind.  Whatever small leads I find here or there just lead to dead ends.  Plus, I didn’t know just how strong Sabrina’s gotten.  She might be on par with Lucifer for all I knew.
The car swerved again, breaking me out of my thoughts.  “Whoa!  What the hell are you doing Oz?”
“Sorry, I got a text from this hot chick at school.”
I looked on at him incredulously.  “You can’t text and drive you dumb fuck!  Sweet mercy, do you have shit for brains?”
He just rolled his eyes at my outburst.  “You’re one to talk.  Whenever mom texts you, you take it.”  Then with added zing, “Hypocrite.”
“I’m an adult!  If I want to risk my life, I will!”
“To be fair Grimm,” great the horse had to chime in, “you are both immortals.  A car accident would only really mess me up, neither of you.”
Yep, Oz was gifted with my special ‘talent’ of immortality.  I mean he was half a Horseman and half a Lust demon, it only made sense.  “See Oz, you should think of your Uncle Khloros before you go texting said girl next time.”
He dropped the phone in the cup holder and hit the gas, sending me head back into the headrest with vigor.  Let me tell you, I was so happy when he pulled up front of our little slice of heaven in the city so I could get out.  I practically ran from the car and kissed the ground.  “I can’t believe Roxanne talked me into this shit.”
Oz tossed me the keys as he walked by towards the door.  “Don’t be so melodramatic.”
I put them in my pocket and followed him in.  We were greeted by our former Lust demon and angel, Roxanne.  She’d taken well to life back in the city and was dressing the part too.  When I asked her why she always dressed like she was going to the club, her response was, “To feel good, you must look good.  Something you desperately need to do.”
She gave Oz a big hug and kiss before sending him on his way.  Once he ran upstairs to his little apartment above us, “So, how did he do?”
“He’s a terrible driver!  I don’t even know where he picked up half of those habits!”
Her black heel tapped the ground.  “I know exactly where he picked them up – you.”  The way she said it with that impish grin was actually quite cute.  “Whether you like it or not, you’re his father and his role model.  You could do a better job at both if we’re being honest.”
“Always with the honesty huh?”
“That is why you still love me after all these years.”
It wasn’t the love story you’d hear about in one of those sappy movies women love, but Roxanne and I made it work.  Even after a few (hey, I’m being nice to myself here) transgressions and all, fate brought us back together.  “Be that as it may, sometimes a nice white lie would be cool.”
“And a diamond tennis bracelet would also be cool, but alas we don’t always get what we want.”
Loud stomping shook the house.  Oz was on his way back down.  “Yo, parental units, can I go over to Jesse’s house to hang out for a bit?”
It was a Saturday afternoon and what kid wanted to be stuck in the house with his supernatural parents?  “Yeah, just don’t be out late okay?”  He gave me a salute and ran out the door. 
Roxanne was looking at me like I had three heads.  “You sound like such an old man.”
Having looked in the mirror before I took Oz out for his lesson, I knew I still looked like an awesome early twenties guy.  “The only thing old on me is my soul baby.”
Just as I was getting ready to seduce this hot little piece of ass, my phone rang.  No one really calls me, they know the best way to get in touch with me is through Roxanne.  I pulled it out of my pocket and saw it said unknown caller.  Roxanne and I shared an odd look before I answered.  “Hello?”
“Derrick Grimm, your life is forfeit.”
The speaker, who was trying to sound intimidating, failed as soon as his voice cracked.  “Is this some sort of prank?”
I heard a harsh cough, as if to try this again.  “This is a deadly serious matter; you won’t live to see another of your son’s birthdays.”  The guy’s voice on the other end squeaked again on the word birthdays.
I couldn’t help it, I just started laughing.  “If this is one of Oz’s friends, you’re doing a piss poor job of scaring me.  You should try this again when you’re not going through puberty.”
Roxanne was smiling and mouthed, “I’m going to the bedroom.  Be naked when you finish.”
With that to look forward to, my attention went back to the phone call.  Muffled voices seemed to be arguing on the other end.  I waited patiently as this was becoming a fun game.  When the voice returned, it was trying so hard to sound deep and manly.  “You don’t know the forces you’re mocking!  I’ve been to the depths of Tartarus and back!”
My smile faded.  None of Oz’s friends knew about our family secrets and wouldn’t have known anything about Tartarus.  “Who is this?”
A second voice, one that sounded hauntingly familiar took control on the other end.  “You will get the answers soon Horseman.  In the meantime, take this as a courtesy and prepare yourself for combat.”
I reached into my pocket and felt Leviathan, my scythe.  I hadn’t used it in sixteen years.  “Picking a fight with Death isn’t the smartest thing the two of you buffoons could be doing.”
“Balrog, King of the Minotaurs, does not fear you!”  Then the phone cut off.
I dropped it right where I was standing.  Roxanne must’ve heard and walked back into the main room in nothing more than her silk robe.  Her breasts were practically hanging out, begging to be fondled, but now wasn’t the time.  “My dear, what’s wrong?”
Focusing from the phone lying on the ground to the half-naked woman standing in front of me, “I think that was Jacoby.”  I still couldn’t believe it, was that really my son?  “What have they done to him?”
She gasped and ran forward, holding on to me.  “How can you be so sure?”
“Balrog was with him, the Minotaur King.”  Her mouth dropped open, just as shocked as I was.  “This can only mean one thing.”
Her voice filled with venom and hatred, “Yeah, that my bitch of a daughter has come to die.”