I’ve also been able to finish the first book I brought back from the show, Joe McKinney’s brand new The Red Empire. It is truly a fun little read, reminding me so much of the old-school Jack Arnold scifi monster flicks from the 50s, like Them! or Tarantula. Definitely worth a read if this is your kind of bag, as his writing is riveting and the story a fast-paced and action-packed humdinger.
As I’ve been trying to keep promoting my own recent release of Curse of Kali, I have been guest-blogging on two additional sites this week also. Over at Indie Horror I have talked about Prepared to Sell: My favorite book covers. I love cover artwork, whether it’s from books, music albums, games or movies. A great artwork inspires and fascinates me, and in this guest blog you will see some of the covers that I find truly outstanding for many reasons, so make sure to stop by and take a look.
The other guest-post I made was on Bookgasm where I wrote about Hunting monsters in Victorian England. As the title suggests, the write-up explains why I find Victorian England such an exciting setting for my Jason Dark stories, but it also goes a bit further discussing the historical and literary references I use in all of those books.
Please stop by and take a look at either of these blog posts and let me know what you think. Yes, leave comments, if you please. It always looks a bit hapless if there are lengthy blog posts but no one comments on them. I don’t know about you but it always makes me feel like a piece of forgotten cheese that has mold beginning to grow over it. So, please… let me hear your opinions and thoughts on these subjects.
Since I am still in Curse of Kali promo mode, I also thought I’d do something I haven’t done before… at least not in this way. Since you are already here, I decided to present you with a little excerpt from the book. Please, below, enjoy the opening scene from the book…
“I am not so sure I like this,” Jason Dark said, as he looked at the barren warehouse doors that loomed against the night sky in front of him.
“This is the address, right?” Siu Lin asked, allowing her gaze to rove along the unlit, square outline of the building.
It had been after dark already, when a note had been delivered to Jason Dark’s house on Sandgate Street in London’s Southwark district. Written in an unpracticed scribble, the message upon it was short, asking for a meeting in this decrepit warehouse at the dockyards at 10:00 pm. It was signed by Tom Baker, one of Dark’s frequent collaborators: a boy of 16, who had a network of streetwise urchins assembled around him, essentially acting as Jason Dark’s invisible eyes and ears in the cobbled streets of London. On a number of occasions, Dark had made use of Baker’s invaluable services. So, when the unexpected note arrived, Dark knew by instinct that the matter had to be of some import.
Jason Dark eyed a smaller, man-sized door that was set flush into the foreboding barn-size doors of the warehouse, allowing easy access for a single person. Without a word, he reached for the handle and pulled it open. For the length of a few heartbeats he stopped and simply listened. Only the soft lapping of the brackish water against the dock was audible, drowning out even the distant noise of the metropolis at large.
He turned and looked at Siu Lin. Careful, now! He could clearly read her determined face in the bright moonlight.
A thick fog rolled in from the river, its ethereal arms weaving in a sluggish dance, like ghostly wisps, eating away at the moon’s light. Dark blacked out his lantern and took a careful step forward.
The inside of the warehouse was dark, and only shadows allowed the eye to create an image of the interior. Without a word, Dark waved Siu Lin inside and closed the door, careful not to make an unnecessary sound. Together they stood in silence and listened. A foghorn blew somewhere in the distance, lonely and forlorn. Other than that, the warehouse was silent.
Almost in unison, Dark and Siu Lin opened the blackout shades of their lanterns, allowing the soft glow of the kerosene flames to illuminate the room. Thirty feet above them, the slatted ceiling covered the cavernous structure. Stairs and walkways splashed the walls with their wooden rag-tag construction. Large stacks of shipping crates and containers lined up in jumbled rows down the length of the entire warehouse, each announcing its far-away origins by stenciled-on designations. The rows disappeared into the darkness, interrupted only by smaller passages between different stacks.
Dark looked over his lantern and saw Siu Lin tilting her head as she took in the enormous structure. Time and again her dark eyes scanned the walls and walkways, before she returned his gaze and nodded. “You lead.”
As Dark took cautious steps, the sphere of light traveled with him, peeling ever new shapes and details out of the darkness. Two steps behind him, Siu Lin followed, silent as a snake on cotton balls. Walking backwards so she could see behind them, she brought up the rear, taking no chances for a surprise.
“I do not like this,” she finally whispered. “Where’s Baker?”
“Maybe he’s late.” Even as he said the words, however, Dark felt that the answer was more of an excuse, rather than any actual conviction on his part.
“Then who unlocked the door?”
“Let’s just take a look around.”
They proceeded another few yards down the main aisle into the warehouse, when Dark unexpectedly froze. Siu Lin nearly bumped into him and was ready to open her mouth, when she turned and saw what had stopped Dark dead in his tracks.
Did you like it? And that was just the beginning. The story will surprise you, I have no doubt, and take you on a roller coaster ride, so please feel free to get your copy for only 99 cents now on Amazon and Barnes&Noble. Or if you would like print versions, make sure to stop by on the official website