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“Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device” Has Been Published!

Dead Jack and the Pandemonium DeviceIt’s here! My first novel, Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device, has been published.

It’s been a long journey. I wrote the first Dead Jack story way back in 2006, and immediately filed it away. It sat on my computer for six years before I submitted it for publication — and what do you know?  It got accepted on the first try. (It was also my first story acceptance.) Still, another two years went by before it saw publication in the pages of Weird Tales magazine in 2014, which is also when I began work on the first Dead Jack novel.

This summer I ran a Kickstarter for the book and eded up raising more than $5300.

Now you can finally read it! The print book looks amazing. There are three interior illustrations and other, little illustrations on every page. You really need to own this book! Here’s the book description:

THE DEAD DICK RISES…

Pandemonium: a twilight dimension of nightmare creatures, mythical beings, the undead, and everything in between. To Dead Jack, it’s hell sweet hell. In the first book of the series, the tortured, drug-addicted detective stumbles upon his most dangerous case yet, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Can the zombie P.I. and his associate, the homunculus Oswald, save the day? It won’t be easy. The duo must face rogue leprechauns, ghost pirates, a sex-obsessed shark woman, sycophantic ghouls, an insecure fire demon, and a goateed maniac who calls himself the Duke of Pandemonium. Good thing Jack’s getting paid in a ton of fairy dust!

Also includes the first Dead Jack story, “The Case of the Amorous Ogre,” as well as a bonus scene from the warped perspective of the homunculus Oswald.

The paperback edition features three interior illustrations by artist Ed Watson.

For more info and a look at the illustrations go to DeadJack.com

Or you can just buy the book here:

Amazon | Kobo | CreateSpace | Get a Signed Copy

An Excerpt From Beth Cato’s Breath of Earth

BreathofEarth_500x332One of my favorite new novelists, Beth Cato, has a brand-new book out and she was kind enough to give me an excerpt. Read a sample of Breath of Earth below and pick up a copy today.

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In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.

When assassins kill the wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .

Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.

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This excerpt from chapter 1 offers an introduction to geomancy.

Whimpers and moans welcomed Ingrid to the junior classroom. Nearest to the door, a dozen boys half sprawled over their desks. A blue mist overlay their skin, and beneath that mist were the sure signs of power sickness—skin flushed by high fever, thick sweat, dull eyes. The rest of the class stared, their expressions ranging from curiosity to horror. Some of them still showed signs of very recent recovery in their bloodshot eyes. None of these boys was older than ten; the youngest was a pudgy-faced eight.

“There you are!” The teacher scowled, as if it were Ingrid’s fault he’d been so inept with his accounting. Biting her lip, she held out the bag. He snatched it from her fingertips.

The chalkboard laid out the terminology of the lesson, one Ingrid had seen taught dozens of times: hyperthermia, hypothermia, and the quick timeline to a geomancer’s death. These young boys experienced the hard lesson of hyperthermia. The last earthquake noticeable by the wardens had taken place three days before. These students had been directly exposed to the current and hadn’t been allowed access to any kermanite. As a result, they spent the past few days bed-bound in misery as though gripped by influenza.

Thank God none of them were as sensitive as Ingrid. Another direct tremor would cause their temperatures to spike even more, and could even lead to death.

The teacher adept pressed a piece of kermanite to a boy’s skin. He gasped at the contact. Blue mist eddied over his body, the color evaporating as it was pulled inside the rock.

If she could see the kermanite in the adept’s hand, the clear crystal would be filling with a permanent smoky swirl. It took a trained mechanic to rig an electrical current to tap the trapped magic as a battery. When the energy within was exhausted, a crystal turned dull and dark. Once that happened, kermanite became a useless rock.

The young boy sat up straighter. “Thank you, sir,” he whispered, voice still ragged. It would take him hours to fully recover.

Ingrid looked away, that familiar anger heavy in her chest. Wardens and boys in training carried kermanite openly from watch fobs and cuff links, or most any other accessory where stones could be easily switched out once they were full.

She had to be far more subtle. Her kermanite chunks clinked together in her dress pocket. She had to take care not to touch them today, or the energy she held would be siphoned away.

Ingrid loved this slight flush of power, because that’s what it was — power. It sizzled just beneath her skin, intoxicated her with how it prickled at her nerves. Certainly, if she absorbed any more energy, she’d use the kermanite. She didn’t want to feel sick, though she could hold much more power than these boys, or even the wardens. Mr. Sakaguchi said she took after Papa — that she stored power like a bank vault, while most everyone else had the capacity of a private safe.

When it came to her natural skill, Ingrid often regarded herself as a rare fantastic or yokai — not like garden ornamentals like the kappas or naiads sold to the stuffed shirts on Market Street — but like the geomantic Hidden Ones Mr. Sakaguchi so loved to research. She was a creature relegated to idle fancy and obscure mythology, and aggravating shoes.

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Amazon: http://amzn.to/1noq6fE

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/breath-of-earth-beth-cato/1122785052

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Beth Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger series from Harper Voyager, which includes her Nebula-nominated novella WINGS OF SORROW AND BONE. Her newest novel is BREATH OF EARTH. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat. Follow her at BethCato.com and on Twitter at @BethCato.

Dead Jack Kickstarter Has Launched!

Dead Jack Kickstarter with Logo 560
The Kickstarter campaign for my first novel, Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device, has launched and it’s off to a great start. It’s been the No. 1 publishing project on the site for much of the first week and was named a “Project We Love” by the Kickstarter staff.

And to let you know how busy I’ve been with it…this is the first chance I’ve gotten to write about the campaign on my own website!

Through the campaign, which ends August 11th, you can buy an ebook or paperback of the novel, as well as posters, bookmarks, copies of Weird Tales Magazine, and a chance to be a character in the novel (sorry, they’re all taken now). We already hit the first stretch goal, which means everyone in the U.S. who buys the paperback in any reward level also gets a 6-by-9-inch postcard of the Map of Pandemonium. (International backers get an ebook bundle). Other stretch goals include illustrations and an audiobook.

Click to visit the Dead Jack Kickstarter campaign here

New_DeadJack_Cover_WebSo What’s the Book About?

Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device  (cover by Ed Watson to the right) is the first in a series of short novels following an egotistical, drug-addicted zombie detective and his homunculus sidekick as they solve mysteries in a hellish alternate New York City (known as Pandemonium).

The Dead Jack stories are a mix of “Ash vs Evil Dead,” “Shaun of the Dead,” “Big Trouble in Little China,” and “The Maltese Falcon.”

The first book follows Jack and Oswald across Pandemonium as they battle gangster leprechauns, ghost pirates, goblins, demons and the lunatic Duke of Pandemonium with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

Read the first chapter of Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device here

But wait! There’s more!

FREE DEAD JACK EBOOK!

As a gift to my loyal fans, I made the first Dead Jack short story free.

You can download Dead Jack and the Amorous Ogre at Smashwords. (You don’t need to have an account or to sign in.)

It’s available in epub (Nook), mobi (Kindle), PDF and a few other formats.

The ebook also contains the first chapter of Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device.

Horror Movie Final Girls Through the Ages

This infographic makes me think we really need some final boys.

final-girls