Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Photos Related to Shattered World II: Russia -- Steam Locomotive to Siberia

These photos are of the steam engine used to transport the Demon Hunters to Lake Baikal in Siberia in Shattered World II: Russia.

This photograph of an old Russian truck converted to rail use inspired the idea of General Zhirinovsky converting buses into makeshift steam engines to travel to and from Moscow.
The 1950s Soviet-built LV locomotive that Major Svetlana Krayevsky used to transport the Demon Hunters to Lake Baikal.

The dining car that Svetlana converted into her command car.
Jason's quarters on the train.

While researching Shattered World II: Russia, I discovered this image of a German armored train from World War II. It gave me the idea to have an armored LV locomotive lead the rail convoy to Siberia.

The routes for the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

I'll Be Taking Over the Written Undead Facebook Page 10 April

This Friday, 10 April, from 8 to 10PM EST, I will be taking over the Written Undead page on Facebook. We're going to have a good time. There will be some fun contests and, yes, a few giveaways. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Photos Related to Shattered World II: Russia -- Red Square and Lenin's Tomb

These photos are of Red Square and Lenin's Tomb where the battle to close the first portal occurred in Shattered World II: Russia.

St. Basil's Cathedral (left) and Savior Tower (right), the major entrance to the Kremlin, on the southern border of Red Square.

The State Historical Museum on the northern border of Red Square. This is the building in front of which the portal opened.

GUM Department store.

Inside GUM Department store.

Lenin's Tomb.

Inside the main vault of Lenin's Tomb.

Close-up of the sarcophagus with Lenin inside.

The portable nuclear device used by General Budenny's forces in Red Square.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Photos Related to Shattered World II: Russia -- Moscow's Underground Complex

These photos are of the underground bunker complex that the Demon Hunters use to sneak into Red Square in Shattered World II: Russia.

Soviet leader Josef Stalin ordered a secret bunker complex built under Moscow to serve as the government's nuclear war command post. The bunker complex connected all parts of Moscow and select locations in the suburbs.

The hall beneath the Kremlin where those to be saved would be greeted and registered.

The blast doors leading into the reception hall.

One of the underground tunnels beneath Moscow.

A tunnel leading to the VIP quarters in the underground complex.

A photograph of Vladimir Lenin's corpse being maintained before being placed back in its sarcophagus.

Postponed Events, Free Kindle Books

Sadly, I was informed last night that both the Author's By the Sea event scheduled for 19 April and the Vermont Sci-Fi and Fantasy Expo scheduled for 25-26 April have been postponed. The organizers of both events are hoping to reschedule them for later this year. Once I know when they're going to be held, and whether I can attend, I'll let you know.

Also, to help out those who are under lockdown, whether it's self-isolation or mandatory quarantine, and who are short on money because of the financial hardships created by COVID-19, I'm offering the Kindle version of two of my books for free until 12PM PST 29 March. Just go to Amazon and download Rotter Nation, the second book in my Rotter World saga, and my novella Nazi Ghouls From Space (the title speaks for itself). All I ask is that you leave a review of the books on Amazon.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay distant.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Photos Related to Shattered World II: Russia -- Demon Spawn Concept Art

After I published Shattered World I: Paris, I posted a series of blog entries with photos and images that inspired the novel's locations and demons (Mont St. Michel, St. Mere Eglise and Falaise, Paris, and Demon Spawn Concept Art). As with Shattered World I, I have been fortunate to have visited most of the major locations in Shattered World II: Russia. To bring Shattered World II alive for my readers, every Wednesday for the next four weeks I'll be posting blog spots with photos related to the locations described in the novel and/or concept art about the demons. I hope you enjoy them.

This week's photos are the most interesting of the series because it will be dealing with the concept art and ideas that went into developing the Demon Spawn. [WARNING: There are spoilers in this blog post, so if you have not read the book be forewarned.]

I was on two minds whether to add dragons among the hordes of demons pouring from the portals because I didn't want the books to seem like fantasy novels. I decided to include them because I needed Demon Spawn capable of inflicting mass casualties. They will only appear in Shattered World II: Russia. Uwe Jarling, who did the cover art, came up with this design for the dragons.
For Shattered World II: Russia I wanted to up the ante and introduce Demon Spawn much more terrifying and destructive than the soul vampires from Shattered World I: Paris. When I stumbled across this piece of artwork, as well as the next two in this posting, I developed the concept of the ravagers. I think these are one of the most evil demons I've come up with... so far.

When I was developing the demons that would guard the portals, I came up with the concept of using Golem, the animated anthropomorphic protectors of Jewish ghettos. However, I wanted mine to be much more intimidating and powerful than the man-sized guardians from Hebrew folklore. To give the Golem a more gruesome appearance, I changed them from being created from inanimate material, such as stone, to being a compilation of human body parts. I stumbled across the above artwork while researching other demons and decided to adopt the basic body design for my own Golem, although those that appear in Shattered World I: Paris and Shattered World II: Russia have significant differences. The process on how the Golem are created will feature prominently in the next book in the series -- Shattered World III: China.

Are the flesh eaters zombies? Not in the traditional sense. I liked the concept of hordes of shambling dead roaming through the countryside and attacking the Demon Hunters en masse, but did not want to turn my book into a zombie apocalypse novel. So I created the flesh eaters as the desiccated bodies of those condemned to Hell who come back to wander Earth because this is the realm they know. Yes, they eat human flesh, which is what makes them dangerous, but they do not have the other attributes of a zombie -- they are not rotting away, and being bitten by a flesh eaters does not mean you will die and come back as one.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Shattered World II: Russia Is Available in Paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited

Shattered World II: Russia is now available in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited.

After closing the portal in Paris, Jason is a hero and the undisputed leader of the Demon Hunters. He also has a new goal: to close the portal in Moscow.
On the long journey across Europe, the Demon Hunters encounter new threats and unexpected allies. Dragons guarding the portal in Moscow. A Russian doctor who is fascinated with the demons. And a beautiful Russian officer who leads Jason’s team on a wild journey through Siberia on an armored train.
However, Jason is secretly torn between his devotion to his mother and his responsibility to save the world. He is also struggling between his affection for Jeanette and the heartache he feels for Sasha. These insecurities are tested with the arrival of the Purgatoriati, a mysterious group sent to assist the Demon Hunters on their expedition.
With so much against them, will Jason’s team be able to close the portal in Russia and stop the flow of the demons into our realm?