Cover Reveal – Darkscapes Anthology

I teased you folks last week about my latest offering, a short story titled “Fail House.”

Well, the publisher has revealed the cover for the DARKSCAPES anthology!

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Suitably creepy, eh?

Here’s the write-up on the offerings:

Curiosity Quills Press explores yearning, regret, and fear with the Darkscapes Anthology — a spellbinding collection of dark fantasy, sci-fi, cyberpunk, horror, and detective fiction.

Delve into worlds of terrible family secrets, unexpected doppelgängers, a home invasion on an alien planet, androids and assassins, places and people who aren’t as stable as they seem, frustrated musicians going to desperate lengths — and more.

Jordan Elizabeth and W.K. Pomeroy – EXLEY AVENUE
In 1920s upstate New York, a tormented girl learns that her family’s new stone castle was built on a former cemetery, and in 2014, a former police detective uncovers horrible secrets

Benjamin Sperduto – LENA’S SONG
In the near future, two frustrated musicians and creative partners get in on the ground floor of neural firestreaming — but an old guitar creates an unexpected effect

Mark Woodring – SORRY FOR THE MOUSE
A veteran back from Afghanistan develops a strange hobby to stay sane — but it doesn’t work as well as he had hoped

J.R. Rain – SKELETON JIM
A skeleton detective who leads a double life as an Internet sensation takes a beautiful woman on as a client — and gets more than he bargained for

S.E. Bennet – OF LUSHER AND SLEEP
In this modern, alternative imagining of Romeo and Juliet, a veteran from an old-money family returns to London for his mother’s funeral and is confronted with a toxic history of two warring families — and a lost love

B.C. Johnson – ROOMIES
Housemates experience something deeply unsettling during an earthquake

Piers Anthony – IN THE SHADOW OF THE SONG
An American’s car is rear-ended by a lost Muslim traveler with diplomatic immunity; the traveler sings in the American’s place at his daughter’s school recital — with surprising results

Robert J Defendi – THE GIOVANNI EFFECT
A man who lives alone with his family on a terraformed wind turbine farm receives a disturbing visitor

J.E. Anckorn – FOUR HUNDRED EYES, SIXTY-FOUR HUNDRED TEETH
An existentially anxious former star of a London goth rock band, missing fame and creativity, regains something he thought was lost

Darin Kennedy – CIRCULAR ARGUMENT
A severely dehydrated man is trapped in an endless loop on an external tram-shuttle around his base — and his patience with the on-board AI is fraying

Andrew Buckley – MOSES AND THE TALKING BUSH THAT WAS INCONVENIENTLY ON FIRE
An exhausted Moses herds sheep for his father-in-law until a burning bush gives him a holy quest he’s rather reluctant to do

J.P. Sloan – FAIL HOUSE
On the night the Chinese land the first mission to Mars, unemployed roommates in a crumbling American city navigate through riots to their government-subsidized housing — but is it the safe place they thought it would be?

James Wymore – ICU
A workaholic lawyer wakes up in an intensive care unit with painful regrets

Tegan Wren – BOOTHEEL
An aged German soldier returns to the Missouri Bootheel where he picked cotton as a POW, digs up an old mirror — and dares to look at his reflection

Nathan Croft – SECOND SENTIENCE
In this New Weird goat fantasy, two caprifauns explore a lost city — and their possible past lives

Rena Rocford – LANDING A JOB IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR
When an Imperial assassin’s Keeper betrays the Empire, the assassin goes off-planet — to transition out of government work as fast as possible

Ann M. Noser – TRAPPED
A woman is trapped inside a body with Alzheimer’s disease

Matthew S. Cox – OUT OF SIGHT
Unwanted kids wake up in an escape pod after years in stasis, and an AI bracelet is their only chance to make sense of a wild uncharted planet

Randy Attwood – A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
A processing plant worker on a cattle farming planet boards an interstellar ship to bring back a wife — and learns a hard lesson

Katie Young – THE ONE YOU FEED
A wolf hunter offers his services to a professional steer roper, hoping the cowboy will be his champion at the right time

Richard Roberts – HEART OF THE HARVESTER
A boy’s father sends him to a dangerous city populated with machines in order to bring back the heart of a harvester — but will the boy pass his test and become a man?

There are some serious best-selling authors in this anthology, and if you’re into dark fantasy, sci-fi and thrillers, you’re guaranteed to find a story to scratch that itch!

Darkscapes publishes on January 31st, so get your mouse-fingers warmed up!

New Covers/Fiction for the New Year

Happy New Year, all you Fistful Faithful!

Now that the glowing embers of that dumpster fire that was 2016 are behind us, we look ahead to 2017, hoping beyond hope that it has a kinder, gentler disposition.

On the Dark Choir front, we have some shake-ups on tap. First of all, you’re aware that the third book in the Dark Choir series, THE CURSE MANDATE, is available for purchase. Even better, the paperback edition is finally online at Amazon, and you can hold the real deal in your hands!

Furthermore, the publisher has decided to re-brand the cover for THE CURSE MERCHANT to align with the latest entry, effectively giving Dorian Lake a sexy makeover.

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And the latest in Dark Choir news… I have officially signed the contract for Book 4, THE DARK INTEREST, which is tentatively scheduled for release January 2018.

But what about 2017, you ask? This will be the year of short fiction for me, as I have two short stories publishing this year in their respective anthologies. If you hop over to my Books page, you’ll note that the short story prequel to the Dark Choir series, “Bait & Witch”, appeared in the Curiosity Quills CHRONOLOGY anthology. Well, CQ is releasing a new anthology this year called DARKSCAPES, and I have an entry waiting for your hot little hands. It’s a short titled “Fail House”, which follows two unemployed Americans in a near-future dystopia as they attempt to survive a labor riot. DARKSCAPES releases at the end of this month… I’ll keep you posted!

And coming later this year, I joined a collaboration of authors penning short stories within Matthew Cox‘s Divergent Fates supersetting. It’s a diverse world incorporating sci-fi, cyberpunk, a gritty post-apocalyptic milieus. My contribution, “Snake Oil”, takes place within the Badlands, a setting you’ll find in one of his best-sellers, Prophet of the Badlands. Stay tuned for a release date on that one!

In the meantime, I have a huge… YUUUUGE… project I’m getting ramped up for, and I’m looking forward to seeing it take shape. I might have to keep that under wraps for a bit, so take care and keep reading!

Cover Reveal – THE CURSE MANDATE

Six days! That’s all we have until the release of THE CURSE MANDATE!

I’m cooking up an online release party, and all of the Fistful Faithful are expressly invited. I’ll post up details as they come.

But in the meantime, I’m sure you guys are wondering about the cover for Mandate? You are? I KNEW IT…J’ACCUSE! Here you go, my friends…the cover for The Curse Mandate.

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And the cover summary:

War is coming…how much hell will Dorian Lake unleash when the gloves come off?

Saddled with both a new pupil and a bar to run, Dorian has to pick his battles carefully if he is to find his soul. When the Dark Choir bargains with Dorian in exchange for his loyalty, the power they offer may be too valuable to refuse…for a new menace threatens the hermetic order in America.

Members of the Presidium are being outed in the press, and the formidable cabal’s response is swift and brutal. But Dorian has no time to hide from the Presidium’s fury, as the new Deputy Mayor taps him to investigate a string of occult crimes. Dorian soon uncovers an ancient enemy of the Presidium, which threatens to plunge America into a lawless era not seen since the Dark Ages.

To sway Dorian to their cause, the Presidium gives him free rein to practice Netherwork. But even if the man without a soul can survive this conflict, if he can protect his friends and allies, if he can mean the difference between order and chaos… will this mandate save Dorian Lake from the schemes of the Dark Choir?

For those of you who were wishing for more world-building in the Dark Choir series, this one is for you! It’s a meaty book at 450 pages, wherein I lens out the focus from Baltimore to the national stage. There’s inter-cabal politics, a centuries-old conspiracy dating to the founding of the nation, and the Dark Choir has now arrived in the flesh!

Releases Monday… keep your eyes open, and spread the word. I’d LOVE for this to be a big release!

Holiday Sales Notice

Hey guys… just a quick note for some limited-time holiday sales on my titles!

Dec 11th & 12th, YEA THOUGH I WALK will be on an Amazon Countdown deal for $0.99 (Kindle Edition).

Likewise, THE CURSE MERCHANT and THE CURSE SERVANT hit the ninety-nine cent sale on Dec 17th & 18th. This is a good opportunity to bone up on Books 1 and 2 of the Dark Choir series before Book 3 hits Amazon on the 19th!

 

Book Trailer for Yea Though I Walk

Happy Holidays, dear Fistful Faithful…

We are exactly three weeks away from the release of THE CURSE MANDATE, Book 3 of the Dark Choir series. As such, I will be shifting my focus away from Yea Though I Walk, and switch back into Dorian Lake mode.

But I do have one parting shot for my horror/western…a book trailer I hammered together. Take a gander, and spread the word. This book really was my labor of love, and I’m particularly proud of the finished product.

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming info on The Curse Mandate, including the cover and where to buy! In the meantime, work off those turkey comas!

A Pre-writing Refresher

Happy autumn, one and all!

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I don’t have yoga pants, but I’ll tell you all my favorite things about fall…

I’m gearing up for a busy end-of-year, what with a finished manuscript for The Dark Interest almost ready to ship out to the publisher, a short story for an anthology nearing completion, and another short story in edits…all with the release of The Curse Mandate (Book 3 of the Dark Choir series) ready to release on December 19th!

Phew.

As I look back, I’m reminded of some of the most popular posts I made on this blog, namely the Pre-Writing worksheets I posted up years ago. After so long, I feel it’s a good time to dust these off and revisit them.

And so…I shall! This Sunday at 4pm EST, I’ll be joining K.M. Robinson at Reading Transforms for a live broadcast, during which we’ll walk through the character creation, plot outline and scene worksheets I’ve posted on this blog. Come click and join us!

In the meantime, here is a list of links to my old blog posts for reference. Take a look, and feel free to use and adapt these tools as you see fit.

First the intro, “On Pre-writing”:
https://jp-sloan.com/2011/05/06/on-pre-writing/
Then four pages breaking down my character worksheets:
https://jp-sloan.com/2011/09/30/tools-for-pre-writing-character-worksheet-part-1/
https://jp-sloan.com/2011/10/04/tools-for-pre-writing-character-worksheet-part-2/
https://jp-sloan.com/2011/10/07/tools-for-pre-writing-character-worksheet-part-3/
https://jp-sloan.com/2011/10/11/tools-for-pre-writing-character-worksheet-part-4/
Then a post about plot outlining, with a sample:
https://jp-sloan.com/2011/08/25/the-skeleton-of-a-story/

And the piece de resistance… the scene worksheets, which are the real workhorses of my left-brained pre-writing system:
https://jp-sloan.com/2011/09/08/tools-for-pre-writing-dissecting-the-scene-worksheet/