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?

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Northeast Comic Con and Collectibles Extravaganza Has Been Canceled

What a bummer. I just received word that the New Hampshire Board of Health has canceled the Northeast Comic Con and Collectibles Extravaganza scheduled for this weekend in Boxboro, Massachusetts. I'm really disappointed. I'll let you know if/when it's rescheduled and whether I'll be able to make it.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Upcoming Events for March to May

I have too big things coming up this Friday the 13th, which is a very appropriate day.

My latest book, Shattered World II: Russia, will be released on 13 March. This is the sequel to Shattered World I: Paris, my young adult post-apocalypse series about portals opening between Earth and another dimension, allowing demons to invade our planet. The book will be available in print, on Kindle, and on Kindle Unlimited. You can pre-order your Kindle copy here.

Also this Friday, I'll be attending several conventions and book signings over the next two months. At each of them, I'll be selling/signing copies of all my books that are in print or, if you've already purchased one of my books, I'll autograph it for free. Below is my list of appearances.

-- Northeast Comic Con and Collectibles Extravaganza from 13 to 15 March at the Boxboro Regency Hotel in Boxboro, Massachusetts.

-- Author's Night by the Sea on Sunday, 19 April, from 2 to 6 PM, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

-- Vermont Sci-Fi and Fantasy Expo on 25 and 26 April at the Champlain Valley Exposition Center in Essex, Vermont.

Plans are also in the works to release the first in my new zombie novella series on 1 May. Nothing is definite about this -- the title, cover art, published format, etc. The beta readers of the first draft loved it and wanted me to publish it as soon as possible. Who am I to argue with my fans? The tentative publishing schedule is 1 May, the first zombie novella; 15 June, Shattered World III: China; 1 August, the second zombie novella; 15 September, Shattered World IV: Tokyo; 1 November, the third zombie novella; and 15 December; Shattered World V. The zombie series will continue well into 2021.

Soon I'll be making announcements about two other convention attendances I'm trying to arrange, one of which is awesome (wicked pissah, for my Bostonian friends) as well as newsletter I hope to release soon.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Photos Related To Shattered World I: Paris -- Paris

This week's photos are of the Demon Hunters' journey through Paris.

One of the station stops on the Paris Metro. I don't think I need to remind anyone what types of creepy crawlies the Demon Hunters run into down here.

Place de la Concorde, where the Demon Hunters emerge from the subway into a horde of flesh eaters.

The Louvre, where the Demon Hunters head after escaping from the Place de la Concorde.

The view from the Louvre looking out over the Ile de la Cite. Notre Dame is visible in the upper center portion of the photo. The bridge they cross to get onto the island is in the foreground. The lava flow runs down the right side of the island.

The square in front of Notre Dame that is filled with Golem and flesh eaters. The center and right portails on the front facade of the cathedral from which the lava flows are clearly visible.  

The interior of Notre Dame. The portal is located at the far end of the cathedral near the chancel. The lava flows down the center of the nave and the aisle on the right. The battle between Demon Hunters and Demon Spawn takes place along the left aisle.

A close-up of the chancel. The portal opened in front of the cross, destroying the choir on either side.

The spiral staircase leading up the bell tower where Sasha lures the flesh eaters away.

The view of the square from the bell tower.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Photos Related to Shattered World I: Paris -- St. Mere Eglise and Falaise

This weeks photos are of St. Mere Eglise, from the first scene in Shattered World I: Paris, and Falaise where [SPOILER ALERT] the group is attacked by giant wasps.

This is an aerial view of the St. Mere Eglise town square where Jason is attacked by a horde of flesh eaters and soul vampires. The parking lot is to the right and the church where he makes his stand against the Demon Spawn is in the center left. In the upper left corner is the Airborne Museum commemorating the Normandy invasion.

"In the far corner of the parking lot sat St. Mere Eglise church, the one made famous when an American paratrooper got stuck on the belfry during the D-Day landings."

Falaise Castle, the castle owned by William the Conqueror, where the group holds up on the second night.

The main hall inside Falaise Castle where the group dined.

The town square of Falaise as seen from the hill where Falaise Castle is located. The church in the background is where the giant wasps made their nest.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Photos Related to Shattered World I: Paris -- Mont St. Michel

This weeks photos are of Mont St. Michel where the Demon Hunters are based.

First, let's begin with Mont St. Michel, the Normandy home for those refugees who survived the opening of the portal.

The causeway leading from the mainland to the island. In the book, this has been destroyed so that, when the bay is at high tide, there is no access to the city.

King's Gate -- the entrance into the walled city. Off to the left is Le Mere Poulard Hotel where the Protective Force lives.

"The only access to the structure passed between twin towers stretching over one hundred feet into the night sky that guarded a flight of steep stairs between the ancient walls of the Abbey and the outer defensive wall."

The stairway leading to the Abbey.

The Romanesque facade of the Abbey.

Inside the Abbey. Doc's office would to the right rear of this photograph.

The streets of Mont St. Michel leading from King's Gate to the Abbey.

The view from the terrace in front of the Abbey overlooking the bay.