Hell Spawn is alive! ALIVE!

So, Hell Spawn, the latest in Catholic horror, is live.

 

In paperback, hardcover, and yes, ebook.

This has been one of the most interesting experiences of my writing career. In large part because this one started with a publisher asking for the book, requiring an outline, getting an editor especially for my output, and having people casually mention that it’s a Dragon Award contender before it’s even published.

I think people like it.

And it already has over a dozen reviews. The lowest of which is one three-star review who can’t seem to understand that, when your subplot involves MS-13 in New York, less than 500 words on sanctuary cities is not “over the top preaching.”

They want to see over the top preaching, I can mange that [cackles evilly].

But otherwise, the reviews have been amazing, all four and five stars. You’ve probably all seen the early reviews (and if you haven’t, they’re right here). This is pretty much more of the same.

I like the one entitled “Wow — Can I Open My Eyes Yet?
The highlights are as follows.

From the start, the hint of humor in the narration during the chase scene let me assume that this was probably going to be a good book, despite the dark overtones of the title. But when the fight scene at the precinct with the demon started, I was ready to scamper out of the way of the fight that made me feel I was right there! Powerful descriptive writing, as the whole scene appeared clearly in my mind and the chaos never stopped! Whew! Believe me, this is a book you’ll want to read, if only to see the mastery of words from this author. I was definitely impressed!

Someone named Brenda who I need to buy a drink for.

This is a well written book with an interesting and intriguing story line. The author brings strong well developed characters and weaves an exciting story filled with danger,suspense and action. He does a great job pulling you into the story and keeping you glued to the pages right to the end. I highly recommend this book

Or Heidi’s review

This was such a interesting book to read. It was full of action, suspense, thrills, excitement, and great characters.

Or this one.

The murders are brutal to say the least thankfully the author does not take it to a totally immersed sick level but uses it to keep just enough tension to move the story along.

….There is enough humor to counter the dark nature of the story.

….Since we are dealing with a saint there is a religious aspect to the book that some may get a bit standoffish about…however you are reading a book about a saint and expecting no religion theology to be shown would be a bit foolish.

….Tommy’s discoveries and his journey as he tracks down this demon is compelling and keeps you interested to following him down that dark alley.

So, yeah, this has been awesome.

I think it’s time to get on board with the best thing that I’ve ever written.

I can promise you that you won’t regret it.

Purchase Hell Spawn here.

 

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TV Review: New Amsterdam

This is an odd one.New Amsterdam the show is about a hospital of the same name. It’s a rebranded Bellevue, the state run hospital in New York, made famous mostly by locking in felonious nutcases.

In the case of this series, it is based on Dr. Eric Manheimer’s memoir Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital. Since he’s been the Medical Director of Bellevue Hospital for over 13 years, I can only wonder how much of what is on screen is what happened in real life, what Manheimer WANTED to happen in real life, and how much is just television.

The premise, so far, is, from IMDB,

Dr. Max Goodwin is brilliant, charming — and the new medical director at America’s oldest public hospital. While he’s set on tearing down the bureaucracy to provide exceptional care, the doctors and staff are not so sure. They’ve heard this before, and no one else has delivered on those promises. Not taking no for an answer, Max disrupts the status quo and proves he will stop at nothing to breathe new life into this understaffed, underfunded and underappreciated hospital — the only one in the world capable of treating Ebola patients, prisoners from Rikers Island and the president of the United States all under one roof — and return it to the glory that put it on the map. Inspired by Bellevue in New York City.

Step one is to remove all of the buzzwords from that BS write up. What’s actually happening is “hospital brings in new guy, new guy takes a sword to the Gordian knot of red tape.”
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TV Review: Magnum, PI

No automatic alt text available.Standard “Social Justice Warrior” (where they’re anti-social, don’t believe in justice, and will sooner stab you in the back ASAP) tactics involve finding a beloved institution, gutting it of what made it great, and wearing its skin like a suit and demanding the same respect.So, there was a Magnum PI reboot.

You can kinda of see where this is going to go. It’s going to be… close. Not quite, but really damn close.

If you remember the original series (and it’s out for relatively cheap on DVD, go out and just buy the damn thing, won’t you?) it features Tom Selleck as Thomas Sullivan Magnum. Magnum is former Naval Intelligence and Vietnam vet, who became a Private Investigator — and don’t call him a PI. He’s living in the guest house in the estate of “Robin Masters,” a Mickey Spillane knockoff who owns a vast Hawaiian estate. Magnum’s constant antagonist is the estate manager, Johnathan Higgins, who is a stuffy British WWII vet who endlesslessly prattles on about the good old days during the war… and his dobermans, Zeus and Apollo.

Don’t expect any of that here.

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Review: Making Peace

I’ve been following Adam Lane Smith on Twitter for a while now. A few months ago, he asked me to look over his (first) novel of Making Peace. The review was held off due to the fact that my Kindle died.
But, now that one of my wedding gifts was a Kindle Fire, I’m now back up and running again.
So, Making Peace …

Interstellar romance author Belkan Candor has had a string of bestsellers, and his latest hit, My Mech, My Love, is flying off store shelves. When he takes a job as an embedded journalist with a peacekeeping organization, he expects a plush assignment with a big payout. What he gets is an exposé into human trauma and psychological pain, and a twisted conspiracy on an entire planet looking to stay off the grid.
Swords are swinging and magic is flinging, and Belkan is right in the center of it. Assassins, serial killers, prostitutes, and obsessed romance novel fans collide in a web of intrigue and violence which threatens to tear his world apart.
Will he survive, or will this novel be the death of him?

Image result for making peace adam smith

Here’s the short version: This is the best epic fantasy novel I’ve read in years. It’s even better than Correia’s Son of the Black Sword.

Hell, it starts with a flipping memo, and it isn’t boring. Which is an achievement all by itself. Then again, the memo has a fun bit of meta-humans. (“I noted that bit in the waiver you had me sign: death by, among other things, giant lizards? This book had better make enough to settle all my debts”)

Our hero, Mr Candor (really, Mister Smith? Really?) is essentially sent to serve in a less friendly Ankh-Morpork, only played less for laughs. (Or just shown from street level, which is fairly messy to start with). Only a war between the noble houses is brewing and the peacekeepers are the only ones who can nip it in the bud before there’s riots and blood in the street ….

If you’re also a fan of Terry Pratchett, you might think of this as Thud!, as told from the perspective of the city accountant who is sent to audit the Watch, only to be drafted into the front lines of the riot squad.

And yes, I’m comparing Smith to Sir Terry. If you have a problem with that, then buy the book, read it, and tell me where I’m wrong.

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Vampires in Legend, Folklore, and Fiction, DragonCon 2018

So, this panel was described as follows
Description: Long a staple of urban fantasy, vampires first appear in folklore, often unrecognizable from the versions contemporary readers and viewers are familiar with. Our panel explores how those early stories have influenced the fictional depictions they create, and others they admire.

Time: Fri 10AM Location: Chastain 1-2 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)

Melissa F Olson, E.J. Stevens, Declan Finn, Clay and Susan Griffith, J.F. Lewis, Dacre Calder Stoker

This is the complete panel   

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VIDEO: Looking at Classic Fantasy from the Viewpoint of Today, DragonCon 2018

You will note that I have embedded this video twice in the same post. That is not a mistake. The audio and video quality is variable at different points on each video. So, I thought I should give you an option.

The above video was shot by my wife at DragonCon this year, in part because this was our honeymoon. Aww, isn’t that cute?  (Okay, there was a bit of CYA, after what happened to Dave Truesdale at WorldCon a few years ago.)

The video below is the official DragonCon video footage.

To be honest, this was a fun, fun panel to be on. The audience was great, the panelists were amazing. Everyone was sane. Who knew?

The description of the panel is as follows:

The Isms: Looking at Classic Fantasy from the Viewpoint of TodayDescription: Social consciousness changes, but books are forever. Something that was once progressive today may seem anything but. Are these works simply products of their time or true reflections of the person? Let’s not toss the dragonet out with the Hatching Sand and shells. *Trigger Warning*

Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Embassy EF – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

(Panelists: Jody Lynn Nye, Larry Niven, Declan Finn, Lisa Manifold. Moderator: Toni Weisskopf)

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DragonCon: Meet the Authors, Dragon Awards

This took forever to get up. Mainly because I wanted to see if anyone posted something with better audio.

 

Then again, I listened to it and discovered, nope, you can hear most of them.

Description: Listen to the nominees of the Dragon Awards. Maybe we will even have this year’s winner sitting with us. We will have past year nominees.

Time: Sun 05:30 pm Location: International North – Hyatt
Panelists: Declan Finn, Marina Fontaine, Larry Correia, Bill Fawcett, Mark H Wandrey, R.R. Virdi, Jonathan P Brazee,
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