HAYWIRE has been let loose upon the world!

Well, it’s March 13th, and you know what that means! No, I’m not talking about when St Felix III began his reign as Catholic Pope, or that today is when Mongolia declared their independence from China in 1921. No, I mean that today is the day HAYWIRE becomes available for purchase. I hope that all of you are ready and eager to buy your copy, because I’m more than ready for you to get it. Now, the first question is of course, “How do I get it?” Great question! First, and probably most importantly for a good number of people, it’s available on Amazon via the following links:

Kindle $4.99_____. Print $9.99______.

It is also available from Barnes & Noble for the Nook. I don’t have a cute picture to serve as a link, but you can click HERE and head straight to it.

If those aren’t to your liking, it’s also available from Smashwords in a wide variety of formats, among them PDF, EPUB, Palm Doc, RTF, and HTML. You can go HERE to see those if you’re interested.

Soon it will also be available in print from Barnes & Noble, as well as in ebook format for iBooks, Sony, and the Kobo. When those come available, I will let you know immediately.

Now, some people have asked me, “What about signed copies of the print book?” That’s another great question! As of right now I don’t have any copies on hand to sign and send out. When I do, I’ll let you know. Until then, though, you are free to mail me your copy with a self-addressed stamped envelope, and I’d be happy to sign it and mail it back to you, or you can order it and send it directly to me, along with an email to let me know to expect it. Either way, reach out to me and I’ll pass an address along to send it to. Or you could make a trip to Balticon, run me down in the hallway or on a panel, and I’d be happy to sign it and have a chat. Your choice.

Let me end this by saying thank you. If you’re reading this, then it means you’re at least somewhat interested in buying my book and reading it. For that, I thank you. Writing is something I’ve wanted to make a career of my entire life, and with your support I get closer to living my dream. I hope that you order the book, love it, order copies for your friends and family, and then you review it on Amazon or where ever you bought it to help bring more people on board. I also hope you pass this post along to everyone you know, and so on, and so on. Thanks for everything, and check back soon for more news.

w00t! 🙂

Would you like a taste of HAYWIRE?

I want you to buy my book Tuesday, March 13th (from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other fine retailers). I do. I can’t lie. I’d love for you buy it. But, more than that, I want you to buy it and ENJOY it. If you buy it and end up hating it, I might have gotten some of your money, but I’ve lost a reader, and at the end of the day it’s you guys who will help me establish a career that thrives. So, to make sure that you know what you’re getting in for before you actually plunk down your hard earned cash, I want to offer you a sample of the book. Right-Click HERE or on the small book cover above to download a PDF of the first three chapters of the novel, complete and unchanged from the full book. If you read it and you like it, then I encourage you to purchase the novel on March 13th in print or the ebook format of your choice. If, sadly, you don’t like it, at least you’ll have saved some money and time, and maybe the next novel that will be coming out later this year, A MINOR MAGIC, will be more to your liking.

Thanks for reading this post, for your time, and for your consideration. It means a lot.

HAYWIRE out March 13th!

How’s that cover, huh? Because HAYWIRE is being published by a small press, I had more control over what my cover would look like than a lot of other authors would, and I knew my brother — who’d worked on previous covers me, all to my delight — was up to the challenge. What do you think? Do you like it? Please let me know.

Also, the book will be releasing on March 13th in both print and ebook versions. You won’t be able to just walk into a store and see it on a shelf since Gryphonwood is a smaller press, but you should be able to order it at your local store, as well as online. I hope that you do, and that you contact me to tell me what you thought. I’m really excited. Are you?

Book review – Myke Cole’s SHADOW OPS: CONTROL POINT

When I think about spellcasting, wizards, and far-flung magical lands, the next idea to jump into my mind usually isn’t the US military, but luckily for all of us author Myke Cole made just such a connection, and his debut novel SHADOW OPS: CONTROL POINT is the result. One part J.K. Rowling, two parts Tom Clancy, CONTROL POINT is a taut military thriller, but instead of guns and terrorists Mr. Cole fills his story with humans bursting with magical powers, powers that spring from a distant world that could be our salvation, or the source of our destruction. And, unlike most urban fantasies where magic runs wild in the streets, unconstrained and unregulated, Mr. Cole — who has a deep military background himself — brings his unique perspective to the genre and shows us a world where the government has clamped down on all magical activity, and where those who have the ability to wield fire, air, and earth are pressed into serving the United States armed forces. Can such power be contained? Can beings who control the very fabric of reality be controlled? These questions and more lie at the heart of SHADOW OPS: CONTROL POINT, and the answers will blow you right out of your seat. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Cole’s debut novel, and if you want to see what happens when “Lord of the Rings” is smashed into “Clear And Present Danger,” buy his novel and join the excitement. You won’t be disappointed.

SHADOW OPS: CONTROL POINT will be available in print and on the Kindle January 31st, 2012.

I hate getting bad news, but especially when it’s late…

Back around 1993 or so I remember looking over the shelves of my local bookstore and coming across a book by the name of “Vampire$”. What caught my attention, as I’m sure you can guess, was that little dollar sign at the end. What was that about? Was this a book about rich vampires? What in the world? So, I picked it up and checked out the back of the cover to see what this strange book and its title were all about…

From Amazon’s description, “Vampire$” is… “about a tightly knit group of professional vampire killers. They may say they’re in it for the money, but their death-defying bravado and warm male friendships are as intense as those in any soldier-hero epic. The irrepressible, foul-mouthed, hard-drinkin’ Jack Crow–decked out in high-tech chain mail and wielding a fearsome crossbow–is the leader of the bunch. He’s the sort of man who screams obscenities at the pope, and then (after a lot of booze) weeps in the pontiff’s lap over the horrors he’s witnessed.”

Vampire hunters? For money? Backed by the Vatican? Yep, that was definitely my type of book. I couldn’t buy it and read it fast enough. But, while reading it, I was hit by a huge surprise — one of the locations used in the book was Cleburne, Texas, a small town not ten miles from where I was living, a place I knew all too well. What was a tiny Texas town doing in a novel? Later I discovered that the author, John Steakley, was actually from Cleburne, and that his father owned a car dealership in the Fort Worth area (where I happen to live). Seeing a place like that in a book everyone around the world could read struck me as insanely cool.

When I was done reading the book I went out and looked for more from Steakley. That was when I found the novel “Armor”. Amazon describes this one as… “Felix is an Earth soldier, encased in special body armor designed to withstand Earth’s most implacable enemy-a bioengineered, insectoid alien horde. But Felix is also equipped with internal mechanisms that enable him, and his fellow soldiers, to survive battle situations that would destroy a man’s mind.

This is a remarkable novel of the horror, the courage, and the aftermath of combat-and how the strength of the human spirit can be the greatest armor of all.”

Frankly, that’s a pretty poor description of what is an intense and engaging story about what a person must become to survive the horror of war. The closest comparison is obviously “Starship Troopers” by Heinlein, but “Armor” is a much darker story, and the story is less interested in dealing with future politics and more in getting inside the struggle to survive. Just an amazing read.

Once that book was put down I sought out more from Mr. Steakley, but sadly there weren’t any. For years I kept looking, but nothing new ever popped up. When the internet finally rolled around I looked to see if he had a website, which he did, but it seemed to be run by fans, and all it ever said about new work was “no information.” Ugh. For such a talented writer to not use and share his gift was sad.

Today I found out that John Steakley died nearly a year ago. Goodreads says that he passed away in his home after a long illness. I couldn’t find any further information. Apparently he had worked on a sequel to “Armor,” but he was never able to finish it. This is all very sad news to me, and I feel especially bad that it took me so long to find out about it.

To the family and friends of John Steakley, let me offer my sincerest sympathies for your loss. He was an amazing writer, and I’m sure he was a wonderful person to know and love. The world is a poorer place without him and the stories he had inside. My condolences to everyone…

The Dark Tower Returns!

Those who know me, or at least who listen to my podcast, they know I’m a huge Stephen King fan. The man is just an amazing writer, able to cover so many genres (horror, fantasy, sci-fi, western, mystery, you name it) with ease, and he has the enviable ability to create living, breathing characters amidst worlds that can seem so strange and yet eerily familiar. I love his work, and always will. His greatest achievement, in my opinion, is the DARK TOWER series. In many ways, the Dark Tower is the axle around which most of his fiction revolves (and if you know the series, that pun was intended). Books such as The Stand, It, Salem’s Lot, The Eyes of the Dragon, and even Rose Madder are all — in ways great and small — part of the story of the Dark Tower. Even the book he wrote with Peter Straub, The Talisman (and to a much greater degree its sequel Black House) is a piece of the Dark Tower puzzle. But, above all that, firmly a series in its own right, is the Dark Tower cycle. Currently there are seven books in the series, starting with The Gunslinger and ending with (appropriately enough) The Dark Tower. Today came news that King has written another Dark Tower book, titled The Wind Through The Keyhole, and it will take place between books four (Wizard And Glass) and five (Wolves of the Calla). I am so excited! It’s due to be out next year, and hopefully that means January, because I don’t know if I could wait much longer. w00t!

Now, for those who don’t know what the Dark Tower is and are curious, I’ll give you a brief rundown. The Dark Tower tells the tale of Roland, the last of the Gunslingers (think of them like Knights of the Round Table, but with six-shooters instead of swords). His world is “moving on” (Dark Tower-speak for “dying”), and his quest is to reach the Dark Tower, which not only sits at the center of his world, but at the center of all worlds. Universes beyond number spin around the axis of the Dark Tower, and so goes the tower, so go those worlds. Unfortunately, agents of the Crimson King — the series’ big bad guy — are working to bring down the Tower. Along his travels Roland puts together a band of heroes, and it falls to them to stop the Crimson King and save all of Creation. The Dark Tower series is one part Lord of the Rings, one part The Once and Future King, and another part The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, with just a hint of Star Wars and Harry Potter. Think that sounds completely impossible? Think again. It works. It SO works.

Thank you, Mr. King, for writing the Dark Tower series, and thank you even more for coming back to it to give us more. I am eternally grateful.

You can begin your journey here…

Podthology

Everyone, I wanted to share the wonderful news – the short story anthology my short story is in has been released on Amazon! The book is entitled “Podthology – The Pod Complex,” it was edited by Tim Reynolds, and was published by Dragon Moon Press. I’m incredibly excited, and have already bought a copy. Please join me and purchase a copy for yourself and everyone you know. “Podthology” also includes stories by Scott Sigler, Tee Morris, Marie Bilodeau, Phil Rossi, J. Daniel Sawyer, Jack Mangan, Jared Axelrod, Mike Bennett, Emerian Rich, E.A. Zefram, J.D. Williams, Jennifer Rahn, and Alexander T. Crisp.

The Ties That Bind – Tales of the Breaking Dawn NOW ON SALE!

Well, I’ve finally gotten everything put together, and now my short story collection, “The Ties That Bind – Tales of the Breaking Dawn” is now available for purchase. Right now I have it in the following formats:

Printed Chapbook

CD – this is a little different from the audio version I podcasted

Kindle

Free PDF Download

An iPhone/iTouch version is in the works as we speak.

Now, some of you might have read parts #1 – #3 of this story in the previous three issues of Ray Gun Revival (#4 will hit in the next issue), so you might be wondering what makes the printed version special (other than the amazing cover art created by my brother), or you might have listened to the free podcast version and now wonder what the CD has that’s so special? Well, first, the chapbook and Kindle versions of the story have an essay at the end that tells how the story came to be, from its small beginnings to what it is now. The CD has brand new opening and closing credits, and there is a final track that contains hilarious bloopers and outtakes from the voice recording sessions. I hope those spark your interest.

And listen, don’t just take MY word for it. Here are just a few of the kind words that have been said about the story…

“Hard-hitting space opera in the golden age tradition, relentless and full of dark action.”
— David J Williams, author of The Burning Skies

“Whether regaling us with tales of anti-gravity pirate ships sailing an ocean of sand, or putting us aboard a cargo runner racing through coven gates and deep space perils, Justin Macumber delivers one hell of a fun story. What more can any reader ask?”
— J.F. Lewis, internationally published author of ReVamped (Void City, Book Two)

“The Ties That Bind is some of the best sci-fi I’ve read all year and the crew of the Breaking Dawn will have you rooting for their success on every page. Exciting, smart and well written, this is a story that is seriously worth reading.”
— Jeremy Robinson, author of Pulse and Antarktos Rising

Anyway, I’m really proud of what I’ve put together here, and I hope some of you decide to check it out. This story won Honorable Mention in last year’s Writers of the Future contest, and this year it was in Ray Gun Revival, so I couldn’t be more happy with what it’s done for me.

Thank you for reading this. And, if you buy a copy, thank you especially for that.

Oh, and by the way, if you want to see a higher rez version of the front and back cover, click HERE.

I’m back to reading. Who’da thunk it?!

Books Banner

You know, for a writer I haven’t been doing a lot of reading, and that’s damn near a cardinal sin. Writers write, but they also read, and over the past several years I’ve let that habit/passion slide to the wayside. Not sure why, though I think my increase in video game playing is mostly to blame. Be that as it may, over the past month or so I’ve managed to read and finish three books. That’s right, THREE. First it was “On Basilisk Station” by David Weber (it was okay, but not as good as I’d hoped), then “Contagious” by Scott Sigler (went in directions I hadn’t anticipated, and I loved the ride), and just the other day I finished “The Strain” by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (it had some issues, but all in all I loved it and highly recommend it). Man, that’s some speedy reading, for me anyway! It feels good, too. I feel like I’ve rediscovered an old love. Now I’m reading “Heart-Shaped Box” by Joe Hill, the son of my favorite author of all time Stephen King. It’s a good read so far. I love the way he gets into his characters’ heads and sets a mood. If any of you are interested in reading these books, here are some links that can get you to them. Now, back to reading!

Life goes on…

It’s been three weeks since Butch, my father-in-law, passed away. Since then our lives have been like a rocking ship trying to sail its way through stormy seas. Some days are good, some are bad, but nothing feels the same, and we desperately need them to. I’m assuming that as the days go on we’ll feel more normal, but for now that just isn’t possible. Dealing with his estate and getting all of his affairs in order is a huge task that never seems to end, while at the same time reminding us constantly that he’s dead. The scab of his passing can’t heal because we’re forced to pick at it all the time. Meanwhile, I’m trying to get back into writing, and my success with that has been iffy. I’m trying not to push things, to let them flow naturally, but that’s hard. I want to be okay, I want to write, and I want to be happy. Maybe someday I will.

But, not all is grim and Debbie Downer. I recently picked up a horror novel titled “The Strain” by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. It’s like “The Hot Zone” meets “Salem’s Lot,” and I loved it. I finished it last night, and immediately I wanted to dive into the next book. I have no idea when it comes out, but it can’t be soon enough. The book wasn’t all that scary, but it was creepy as hell, and that’s just as good. Creep can be sustained a lot better than horror can. I can’t recommend it enough. I chose it as the book for our next podcast book review/discussion. I hope the other guys like it as much as I did.

So, that makes two books I’ve finished in the past month. First it was Scott Sigler’s “Contagious,” and now “The Strain.” I thought about reading J.F. Lewis’ “Revamped,” but I didn’t want to follow one vampire novel with another, so instead I cracked open Joe Hill’s “Heart-Shaped Box.” He’s the son of Stephen King, so my expectations are high. Thus far, they’ve been met. We’ll see if he can keep it up.

Anyway, that’s it. That’s life. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have… well, you get the idea.

Take care.