Monday, May 27, 2013

Music blog: Epic FPS, meet Epic Violin girl

Music blogs -- the haven of the lazy blogger.  Originally, this was "music I write to."  Though there are days that it looks more like "music authors in general write to" (usually John Ringo).

Before we begin this one, however, I should note that I have a Catholic Writer's Guild acquaintance who has a new blog up. It's about classic literature. Anyone want to welcome her into the blogosphere?

Now, as for todays music -- Lindsay Sterling does Halo. Part 1.  Enjoy!  You don't have to watch this one, you can just listen... while reading Mary's blog.  :)

Enjoy

 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Brain has gone out on strike

Sorry about this everyone, but I'm taking a break. It wasn't planned. I hadn't expected to wimp out and stop posting, it just happened.  I even went out and scoured Youtube for something to post for a music blog, and nothing new looked interesting.

So, that said, I'm going to repost a trailer, and hope no one notices.


 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Today's angry rant has been postponed.

Before I begin, A Pius Man is free on Kindle every Friday this month. I only ask if you take a copy, you leave the most positive review you can when you're done.

I was going to schedule my first "Angry Review" vlog todag -- a concept inspired by the "Angry Joe" video game reviews on Youtube. In commemoration of Dan Brown's release Inferno, I was going to do a filmed version of my Da Vinci Code review, which I did for this blog, and which I toned down for Examiner.com.

However, I've noticed something lately; I'm too tightly wound, frustrated, angry, and on the verge of full- blown insanity.  Don't get be wrong, the books are selling well enough, sorta.  Codename: Winterborn is actually selling better than A Pius Man.  They've sold more than It Was Only On Stun! (remember that? No one else does either)

But I'm exhausted.  I said yesterday that I was on the point of "media blitz" where I'm the one who's blitzed. What have I done? you ask.  Well....

I've been contacting every conceivable bookstore within New York City, shooting for independent bookstores ... do you know how many of those stores are in New York? And why must I do this? Because Barnes & Noble won't let me in the front door as an author.

I've been posting flyers around my neighborhood, and outside of Barnes and Nobles, so they may not even let me in as a customer.

I've been trying to get quotes from Authors ranging from John Ringo, Vince Flynn, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, Douglas Preston, James Patterson, James Rollins and Nelson DeMille. I've heard back from exactly one, and that was Vince Flynn's PR guy giving me a brush off and a middle finger.

I've written Examiner articles on my own books.

I've interviewed with practically everyone who came along. The best interviews thus far being from Stuart West and Daria DiGiovanni (I linked to her review, but you can find the interview easily enough on her site). There was Catholic Fiction,  and Indie Review (twice), and others that won't even be posting for a few months. That doesn't include the guest posts on the "Catholic revenge "novel, and redemption in fiction,

I've been sending out copies in hard copy to anyone I can talk into it -- AND I'VE STILL FORGOTTEN TO SEND ONE TO DARIA, NUTS!!!  (Daria, I've got the books, I just need the mailers, honest).

I've applied for the Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval, which will take at least the rest of May.

My next step is to go to Bostwick Communications and pay them to spam the universe for my novel. We'll see how that goes.  If that goes.

And I've had three -- count 'em, three -- reviews on A Pius Man over at Amazon.com, and two of them because I had to ask for them.  (Not Mr. West, he volunteered)

In case you're wondering, being a writer really is a full time job; but the pay is still commission-based. Unlike a real 9-5 job, the hours can range from 40-80 hours a week, and can cost you more friends than you can imagine. Not to mention having bridges burned while you're still on them.

Right now, I'm just very tired. I think I'm going to plug myself into either a good book, or my Xbox.  It's either that or an electrical socket.

Be well, everyone.

Monday, May 13, 2013

FREE BOOKS! FREE BOOKS! (did I mention free books?)

Yes, every Friday this month, you can get A Pius Man, A Holy Thriller, written by me, Declan Finn, for free, on your Kindle. 

It has history. It has explosions. It has death, doom, destruction, love, faith, and an armored SUV rolling down the Spanish steps, and the most kick ass pontiff since Julius III (who was almost more warlord than religious figure).

You can take your Dan Brown, your limp and lame killer-albino-monk assassins, and throw them to the bottom of the Marianas trench.  A Pius Man has everything short of an RPG shooting through St. Peter's, and that's because I'm saving it for the next book.

However, in the event that you do take the book for your Kindle, would you kindly leave a review on Amazon.com? Preferably a 5-star review?

For those of my long time readers who are confused by this particular message, and why this sounds so manic, I'm at the point of a media blitz where I'm the one who's blitzed.

I may be posting a special vlog tomorrow.  I'll let you know.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Redemption in Death -- Christianity in fiction action.

Yes, I stole the title theme from a JD Robb series, if not a straight title rip-off.

Today isn't really a blog post, but a notification or two.  More like a blog posting board.

First of all -- you can get A Pius Man on Kindle for free every Friday this month.  No, free.  Honest.  Just do me a favor, and please pound out a quick, 5-star review on my Amazon.com page, here.  4 stars are also nice. I'll even take 3.

Yes, I'm desperate.  I'm at the part of a media blitz where I'm the one who's blitzed.

Next, Karina Fabian is still doing her blog tour for her latest Dragon Eye novella. So, go take a look at the lat two days.

Third and finally: I've written a guest post for the blog Catholic Once Again.  Which sounds like an Irish rebel song I heard once or a hundred times.  It's about redemption in fiction -- and not just for bad guys.

Because when my heroes go bad, they go really, really bad.

I'm going to go back to editing A Pius Legacy.  Enjoy.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Greater Treasures Mini-Review

After a Fios installation that came a day early, we're back.

Again, I'm going to mention that A Pius Man is free on Kindle every Friday this month. Feel free to try it out, and then buy the book a few times later. Thanks. :)

Now, the mini review.

The plot:
Being a private detective in the border town of the Faerie and Mundane worlds isn’t easy, even for a dragon like Vern. Still, finding the wayward brother of a teary damsel in distress shouldn’t have gotten so dangerous. When his partner, Sister Grace, gets poisoned by a dart meant for him, Vern offers to find an artifact in exchange for a cure. However, this is no ordinary trinket—with a little magic power, it could control all of mankind. Can Vern find the artifact, and will he sacrifice the fate of two worlds for the life of his best friend?

Review: I recommend that if you haven't read the Vern novels yet, please read this first.  It's nice, short, and to the point, representative of the other books in the series, and a whole .99 cents on Kindle, and it's highly amusing if you've ever seen The Maltese Falcon.

I only have one problem with this, mainly because I read the last Vern book -- we're going to Sister Grace in the hospital? Again?

Other than that. it's fun. Go see the Maltese Falcon -- it must be on tv somewhere -- then read Greater Treasures. You won't be disappointed.




Excerpt:



Given the day I was having, it came as no surprise that when I got home, I found the dogs sprawled in a drugged sleep and the sounds of things being overturned from within the warehouse. I decided not to bother with subtlety, but I did resist the urge to burst in with flames going full-blast. I had questions first.Naturally, I walked straight in to find an automatic weapon—yep, a bona fide black-market AK-47—and I thought only Faerie lived their clich├ęs—and six other weapons of various types pointed at me. I didn't stop, just closed the door with my tail while I strolled in slow and placid-like. My visitors had shaved heads, faces painted white with clown paint, and black t-shirts with swastikas in white circles.
"If you're the housekeeping service, you're fired." 
"You stay right there, or we gonna fire you!" said one guy from the sidelines as he held his nunchucks at the ready.
What'd he think he would do—whack me on the nose? I turned to the one holding the assault rifle. "Scraping the bottom of the barrel with that one, weren't you?" 
"He's right. You just stay still while we search the place." 
"The place" was a ten-thousand square foot warehouse with offices on the upper floor. Boxes I still hadn't opened line the walls and made a maze in the second warehouse room. I settled myself on the floor and rested my head on my crossed arms. "Go ahead. I get half of anything you find." 
They stared at me, unbelieving. I smiled back. Mr. Cooperation, that's me. Finally, Big Gun snarled for the others to get to work. As he turned his back on me, Nunchucks muttered, "I got your half. Don't think I don't." Guess he learned such witty repartee in Hitler Youth Summer Camp.I watched and listened and waited. With eight teenage skinheads trashing my place, it was only a matter of time.
"I wouldn't go in there if I were you," I suggested as Nunchucks made a grab for the doorknob to Grace's workshop."You gonna stop me?" He turned the knob."Nope," I said as I closed my ears and my eyes. Even so, I saw the otherworldly light and heard the harmonious roar of Divine Vengeance followed by Mundane screams."The Heavenly Host on the other hand…" 
I waited until the screams died down to whimpers before opening my eyes and rising.Four of the skinheads were unconscious. Three may as well have been; they were curled up in the fetal position, whimpering. Nunchucks was actually crying for his mommy. Big Guns had collapsed to the floor as well, the gun thrown away from him. He was sitting and rocking and making high-pitched keening through the roof of his mouth.I'd tell Grace to tone down her wards some, except that the effect is directly proportional to the evilness of the intent. Suddenly, I was feeling a little shaky about my earlier entrance.Knights out of the armor now. I went around, collecting weapons in the office trash can and poking through pockets. I found the usual stuff—driver's licenses, credit cards, petty cash… One kid had a condom; wishful thinking on his part, I knew. Another had a report card. MLK High. Wonder if he was the one beating up Faerie kids? Honor roll grades, too. Of all the years I've battled evil, there were still some things I didn't understand.As I was returning Big Guns' (aka Rick Matherston's) wallet back into his jacket pocket, he blinked and focused on me."What was that?" 
"Angels, kid." Actually a kind of magical shadow of the real thing, but close enough. 
"But I thought angels were—" 
"There's a reason why their first words are usually 'Fear not!' whenever they meet a human."His eyes returned to their unfocused stare. I almost felt sorry for him. Then I noticed the letters FARISLAR tattooed on his knuckles. Faerie slayer.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Book tour special: "Greater Treasures" Interview with Karina Fabian

Before we begin today's blog properly, there's a little announcement.  A Pius Man can be found on Kindle for Free every Friday this month. Why every Friday? Because I'd like to encourage people to get hooked, and then buy the novel, rather than wait a week for another freebie. The first taste is free, then you have to pay. It works in other marketing environments.

Now, on with the rest of the blog.

Longtime readers will remember Karina Fabian, author of Live and Let Fly, and co-editor of Infinite Space, Infinite God II.

Greater Treasures is a novella set in the Live and Let Fly universe.

The story? Well, it's as follows:


Being a private detective in the border town of the Faerie and Mundane worlds isn’t easy, even for a dragon like Vern. Still, finding the wayward brother of a teary damsel in distress shouldn’t have gotten so dangerous. When his partner, Sister Grace, gets poisoned by a dart meant for him, Vern offers to find an artifact in exchange for a cure. However, this is no ordinary trinket—with a little magic power, it could control all of mankind. Can Vern find the artifact, and will he sacrifice the fate of two worlds for the life of his best friend?


And with that established, let's begin.

Your previous DragonEye books were full novels with small press publishers, and now you're going a different route with a short story. Why the change? 
KF: I have two DragonEye novels—Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem, published by Swimming Kangaroo; and Live and Let Fly by MuseItUp books. I also have numerous DragonEye stories in various anthologies and magazines. I have a few larger stories, however, that are too small for novels but too big for anthologies or magazines. So I’m self-publishing those. It’s not a change, so much as an expansion—another arrow in my publishing quiver.

I love the publishers I’ve worked with and have great respect for them, and I am still submitting to small and big traditional presses.



You've got a lot of different and disparate elements scattered throughout the book. Heavy on religious elements, scattered with scifi tv references, in an atmosphere that's very much The Maltese Falcon. With all that in mind, one must ask: who is your target audience? 

Geeks? How about well-rounded readers of fantasy who enjoy a different approach. I don’t expect everyone to get or appreciate every reference in a story. I know when I read, I don’t, and one of the joys of reading is to discover something new.

I have to ask – how many times did you see The Maltese Falcon before you wrote the story? 
Once while taking notes.

Your world is an alternate world where two worlds – Mundane and Faerie – are connected. Yet you still have real-world events like 9-11 mentioned. What does the history of your universe look like? 
The Mundane world’s history and culture is very similar to our own, and where the Faerie world has changed it, I’ve mostly explored the local level. There’s a nice little nastiness about the Faerie in that they cannot be too far from the Gap for too long or they lose their connection to the magic. It’s fine for the humans, but any magical creatures get ill. (I explored this some in Live and Let Fly.)

The Faerie world has a lot of parallels to ours, but with some major exceptions. Satan and his minions prowl about the world in a very visible way, and the Catholic Church has remained united against them. It’s the only human religion, with the pagan gods (who are actual creatures) having been put in their proper place by the True God. Many of the problems leading to the Protestant Revolution either not happening or solved in-house in light of the fact that there’s an obvious bigger threat we need to stand against. Politically and technologically, they are behind us historically. The Gap connects to an area in England that is a duchy complete with a Duke who, as Vern will tell you, likes to have fun with his authority.


You made a point in the short story to say that dragon's don't have souls “like humans,” and therefore couldn't be converted. How does that work, considering that Vern is quite religious?

Christ died for humans, but that doesn't mean the other Faerie races don’t have souls or religion. They worship differently. In dragon’s case, it’s more of a great appreciation for their creation. They believe that while Man was made in God’s image, Dragon was made from God’s great imaginings. (It also accounts for their superiority complex.) They also have a different morality; for example, eating a lesser being does not count as murder—and all non-dragons are lesser.

Vern is a special case, however. St. George, convinced that the Church needed a dragon on its side, “recruited” Vern, but he did not go willingly. In the end, God through George had taken away just about everything from him—from size to magic—and told him to earn back his former glory, he would have to serve God’s creatures through the direction of the Church. Everything he does toward that end gives him something back; every backslide morally means a backslide physically. After 850 or so years working in the human religious institution, he’s picked up some human habits.

Why use the Lance of Longinus for the plot device? 

The Lance of Longinus is the spear used by the centurion to pierce Christ’s side, and has been sought after as a source of supernatural power in our world for millennia. I needed something with more punch than a bird statue. I don’t remember now why the Lance came to mind, but as I read all the conspiracy theories around it, I loved how it fit into the story.


In the Gap, God seems to take a direct hand in things more often than He does indirect– including an angelic security system. How do you manage the theology of Vern's world?

Carefully. They are more open to miracles and visions there than in the Mundane, but even so, God seldom comes from On High to hurl a lightning bolt. That’s more Zeus’ style.

What's your next project? 

I’m finishing the last book in the Mind Over Trilogy—Mind Over All. The second book, Mind Over Psyche, comes out in September. It’s a fantasy about a young man who claws his way back to sanity after suddenly acquiring psychic abilities. In the second novel, he escapes the mental asylum to another world, where he meets the woman who had been contacting him through visions. He (and his friend and intern who got caught up in the teleport) discover that she, too, is facing visions she cannot handle, and if they want to live, they need to help her understand the visions before they drive her insane.

What are you reading right now? 

I just finished Rapunzel Let Down by Regina Doman. One of the best books I’ve ever read in my life—edgy, griping, and very believable. As you can tell from the title, it’s a modern-day play off the Rapunzel story, but as told by the Brothers Grim. I highly recommend it.

Next, I need to read a biography on a saint for a writing assignment. Haven’t decided who is next; I just finished St. Ignatius of Antioch.


What question would you like me to have asked? 

None come to mind. Actually, it’s refreshing to have some unique questions. Thanks!

Come back tomorrow for the review.



Karina Fabian




Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem), Karina Fabian has imagination that takes quirky twists that keep her--and her fans--amused. Nuns working in space, a down-and-out Faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, zombie exterminators—there’s always a surprise in Fabian’s worlds. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars, but mostly is concerned with supporting her husband, Rob Fabian as he makes the exciting leap from military officer to civilian executive, getting her kids through high school and college, and surviving daily circuit torture…er, circuit training. Read about her adventures at http://fabianspace.com.