Jason Cosmo: Royal Crush Countdown

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Royal Crush will debut one month from today – December 5!1

We’re in the final countdown. I am eagerly awaiting the cover art from an Artist To Be Named Once I Get The Cover Art and will flip that around to my cover designer to add the logos and titles. Meanwhile, I have completed multiple revision passes through the manuscript and am about to print it out for copyediting with my trusty purple pen. I copyedit by hand because it is easier to scrutinize paper than to spend even more hours staring at a computer screen.

That will take a few days. Then I’ll type in any corrections and switch gears to formatting the MS-Word file into an ebook file for uploading to the various online retailers. That’s my schedule for the next few weeks. I’m looking forward to finally getting Royal Crush into your waiting hands. Or, at least onto your favorite reading device!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

  1. I pushed the launch date back from October due to some unforeseen production delays []

Magicka: The Ninth Element

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Magicka: The Ninth Element by Dan McGirtOver the past year I’ve worked on — and occasionally mentioned — a “Secret Project” media tie-in novel. It is finally finished, published, and on sale now!

Magicka: The Ninth Element (A Tale of Wizards) is set in the world of the Paradox Interactive fantasy adventure computer game Magicka.

Now available at the Amazon Kindle Store and on the Apple iBookstore.

Also available at Smashwords and at Barnes  & Noble.

Also available at Kobo.

Read much more about it at DanMcGirt.com

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Smashwords Summer Sale until July 31

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Noble Cause (2010) by Dan McGirt

July means the Smashwords Summer Ebook Sale is here again (or Winter Sale for Loyal Readers in the Southern Hemisphere). Yes, you truly can beat the heat with an ebook–try fanning yourself with a Kindle! Works pretty well, huh? Just don’t get too close to the pool.

As usual, several of my titles are included in the summer (or, again, winter) sale fun:

25% off (enter code SSW25 at checkout to get your discount)

50% off (enter code SSW50 at checkout to get your discount)

100% off … yeah, FREE!

Only at Smashwords, only until July 31!  If you’ve already bought these books — Thank you! To share the fun, please leave a review and/or recommend to a friend.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

Differences between Jason Cosmo and Hero Wanted

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I noticed someone came to my site via a search for “differences between Jason Cosmo and Hero Wanted” and thought it might be worthwhile to address that topic (again).  My first novel was Jason Cosmo, published in 1989. In 2009, I released a revised version of the book, called Hero Wanted(2009).

Jason Cosmo Omnibus book cover

Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy

The two books tell Continue reading

Jason Cosmo Omnibus ebook now at Smashwords

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I recently released an omnibus ebook edition of the original Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy. This ebook includes the original texts of Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, and Dirty Work. The Jason Cosmo Omnibus is currently available at Smashwords in multiple formats, for your Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone, Sony reader, Kobo  or other preferred device. Soon to be available at other ebook retailers.

Jason Cosmo Omnibus book cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granted, if you’ve already read the original series, you may have no need for this Omnibus. But if you don’t already have the ebooks and want to dive right in to the classic version of the series, here you go!

Best Regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo comes to the Kindle

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

A quick note to let you know that the Trove Books Kindle edition of JASON COSMO is now available at Amazon.

To remind you, this is an ebook of the original text of JASON COSMO, as first published in 1989 (with minor corrections).  HERO WANTED is the revised version of this book. So if you’ve read one, you don’t need to read the other. Unless you want to. In which case, please do. I don’t mind anyone reading both the old and new versions of this book, but I don’t want anyone to buy JASON COSMO thinking it is a brand new story. Not a mistake longtime Loyal Readers are likely to make, but newer readers may be confused. So I hope to dispel confusion here.

Again — JASON COSMO, original version. HERO WANTED, new version.

Read both if you want, but please read responsibly!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Happy New Year, Loyal Readers!

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I hope that you rang in the New Year in style and have great things ahead in 2011! I simply want to take a moment to thank all the Loyal Readers who bought my books and stories in 2010, who posted kind reviews at Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Goodreads, etc; and who took time to tweet, email, or otherwise let me know that you enjoyed my work. I love to tell stories. I love to entertain and amuse people. So it always makes my day when I hear from a Loyal Reader that you liked something I wrote.

Of course, I know what many of you would like is for me to write faster! (And, perhaps, better). Noble Cause is very obviously way behind schedule. My plan to release that book in 2010 were derailed various non-writing time commitments, as well as self-inflicted delays, such as the month or so I spent writing Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter and the month or so I spent on the Caladon Falls role-playing game project. For those who have been patiently waiting for the new book, I apologize for getting sidetracked. I’m back on the case, and will have Noble Cause done and published by spring.

Aside from the aforementioned SPVH and Caladon Falls, 2010 also saw my world audiodrama debut at The Dramapod, which was at least non-awful enough that they invited me back for a dramatic reading of my horror-comedy short story Beginner’s Luck as part of The Dramapod Halloween special. The Dramapod gang produces some really fun material and if you enjoy audiostories, you should definitely check out their catalog.

Also in 2010, I quietly released the original Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy as free Smashwords ebooks. This is a limited time Smashwords exclusive, so if you haven’t jumped over to grab Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, or Dirty Work do it soon! I’ve secured rights to re-use the original Richard Hescox cover art for the ebooks. As soon as the new covers are done, the Non-Trilogy ebook titles will go on sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Apple and other ebook retailers, priced at $2.99.  So get ’em while they’re free! (And if you’d care to post a review of the Non-Trilogy at Smashwords, I would greatly appreciate it.)

Speaking of ebooks, through the end of 201o my 9 ebook titles have 16,584 downloads (free + sales) at Smashwords alone, with just shy of 40,000 total downloads/sales when other retailers are included. Those numbers include far more free downloads than sales, since I gave away the Hero Wanted ebook for one full year. Whether you bought or read if for free–thanks for reading!

And if you bought, thanks again!

What’s ahead for 2011? I can only tell you my plans. Chances are, some of these won’t happen and I’ll think of new projects as I go. But here is my working list:

  • Release Noble Cause: this is definite. This will happen.
  • Re-release Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, Dirty Work ebooks with new covers. Also coming soon.
  • Another Jason Cosmo mini-novel (cf. Rainy Daze)
  • Revised version Royal Chaos: Book 3 in the relaunched series, after Noble Cause.
  • Boltblaster: At long last!
  • Sarah Palin Vampire Hunter II: because you demanded it!
  • Maybe a few other non-Jason Cosmo stories, for variety’s sake.

Less definite, but I’d like to do:

  • Hero Wanted podcast/bookcast: I love what authors like Seth Harwood and Scott Sigler are doing, serial podcasting entire books. But as I learned recording Beginner’s Luck, it is hard work and time-consuming. I want to do it, but this won’t be a top priority.

That’s what I have on the drawing board for you in the year ahead, Loyal Readers! Thank you again for all your support and encouragement. I hope your own plans for 2011 are even bigger and better than mine!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo in Rainy Daze, Part 2

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Below is the next section of my Jason Cosmo novelette-in-progress, Rainy Daze.  Before you read this, you’ll want to back up to the previous post, and read Part 1.  And before you do that, you should buy Hero Wanted, the first volume of the Jason Cosmo series. (Or get the Hero Wanted ebook at Smashwords.) This story is set between chapters of Hero Wanted, specifically after Chapter 6 and somewhere between the lines of the first paragraph of Chapter 7. It isn’t strictly necessary to read the first 6 chapters of the book before you read Rainy Daze, but it may help.

***

Who blazed this trail and where it went, I did not know. Mercury didn’t know either, but the wizard led the way with resolute confidence. The path was steep and narrow and made more treacherous by the unending flow of water around the fetlocks of our steeds. Every ridge, gully and channel tracing down from the heights was awash with swift-flowing runoff. The river passed from sight as we picked our way between the hilltops, but its great roar contended with that of the storm.

Wind howled around us, flapping our cloaks, bending the trees and slapping at our faces with flying leaves and stinging raindrops. Terrible peals of thunder shook the ground and spooked the unhappy horses. Fearsome clouds blotted out the last remnants of sunshine, leaving our way to be lit by blasts of lightning that shot across the sky like tongues of white flame.

Never had I beheld such a tempest as this. The rains of Darnk were dull and monotonous. But this was like something out of the old stories, the myths of long ago. Had the golden chariot of Great Whoosh, God of Wind and Sky, overturned, spilling its cargo of thunderbolts across the clouds? Had Thunderhoof and Skysplitter, the ornery goats tasked with pulling the chariot, broken out of their pen and partaken of the fermented pomegranate whiskey that Freshlord, God of Fruits and Vegetables, kept in a clay jug behind his sacred tool shed?  Perhaps a massive cold front advancing through moist, warm air had triggered atmospheric instability leading to high intensity precipitation and an accumulation of charged particles released as a massive electric discharge that in turn superheated the air, resulting in the aerial shockwaves we perceived as thunder? I didn’t know. Yet whatever its causes, this was a downpour of legendary proportions. It could only portend ill.

I grew more uneasy with every step away from the river road. Darnkites were not by nature travelers. My homeland was so isolated from the rest of the Eleven Kingdoms that it didn’t even share a border with its nearest neighbor, Brythalia. Between the two realms lay this unclaimed wilderness of rocky hills and scrubby forest that now we crossed. All manner of beasts roamed the area—bear, goat, deer, boar, hobcat, and various fowl, including the noisome stinkbird.

But that wasn’t all.

Darnkites delighted to tell one another tall tales about the dangers beyond our borders. When we gathered in our drafty taverns or around the smoking dung fires at night, we spoke of the many fearsome creatures said to dwell in these strange hills beyond our stony pastures and familiar turnip fields. Gruffasaurs and grumpsnorts. The pearly-eyed horngrim and the irritable stumpthrower. Rock toads the size of small boulders. Bully beetles that would bore a hole in your skull while you slept and lay eggs in your brain. Bands of vicious goblins, brutal hobgoblins, and pretentious snobgoblins. The hairless boggins, who stole buttons in the night, and their magical cousins the frownies, who would gruntingly relieve themselves in any pair of boots carelessly left by the doorstep when the moon was full.

Nor were the supernatural terrors of the region limited to such third-class fairy folk. There were slithy troves here. Ghosts who drank blood. Scare hags. Phantom creepers. Free-range enchanted kettles that would cook anyone unwary enough to climb inside them. And the terrible, terrible Jib-Jab Man. Having heard these stories all my life, I had every reason to fear venturing cross country. Yes, it was possible that the monsters rumored to stalk these hills did not exist outside the alcohol-addled imagination of my countrymen. But maybe they did.

Maybe they did.

***

“What is that sound?” said Rubis.

“All is hear is wind and rain,” I said.

Night was near. Though we could not see the setting sun, the wet gloom grew gloomier.

“No, there is something more,” said Sapphrina. “There! Do you hear it?”

I did. Cutting through the storm came a distinct wailing cry. It rose and fell, then was gone. The sound was distant, but not distant enough.

“A raccoon,” I said.

“Raccoon?” said Rubis.

“That was no raccoon!” said Sapphrina.

“Could have been,” I insisted. “A scared raccoon stuck in a tree.”

“Are you serious?” said Sapphrina. “It sounded more like a lost soul.”

“Like the wail of the shanbee,” said Rubis, nodding.

“That’s it!” said Sapphrina. “The dreadful spirit whose mournful keening is heard when someone is about to die. How does the verse go?”

Beware the shanbee, ye who shan’t be,” quoted Rubis.

“Do you think so?” I said. I had not considered the possibility of encountering a shanbee.

“Much more likely than a raccoon,” said Sapphrina.

“Might be a lamia,” said Rubis. “Half-woman, half-beast. Devourer of men.”

“Only men?” I said.

Seeing the stricken look on my face, the twins laughed.

“Oh, Jason, we shan’t let the lamia have you!” said Sapphrina.

“We’re hardly done with your ourselves,” said Rubis. She licked her lips.

“But a shanbee could give us trouble,” said Sapphrina. She turned serious. “You don’t think it is one really, do you?”

“It is neither shanbee nor lamia,” said Mercury.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“Because I’ve heard both and that is neither. Now, hush, all of you!”

The cry came again through the wind. It was distinctly louder.

Merc frowned. “We need to find a defensible position, and fast.”

“Why?”

“Whatever is out there—it’s hunting us.”

TO BE CONTINUED … AT SMASHWORDS.COM

I think I’ll leave you with that cliffhanger for now. I haven’t quite finished writing this tale, but plan to do so in the coming days. When I finish, I will release it as a multi-format ebook at Smashwords. In the meantime, you can pop over there and read my two Jack Scarlet tales and my 2008 Halloween story, Beginner’s Luck, as well as the full text of Hero Wanted.  By the way, if you enjoy any of those stories, please 1) recommend them to a friend and 2) post a review at Smashwords.  (And if you hate the stories, please warn your friends … but give them the link, so they’ll know exactly what to avoid!)

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo and the Espresso Book Machine

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Getting your hands on a print copy of Hero Wanted (assuming the free ebook on Smashwords doesn’t satisfy you) requires ordering a copy from Amazon or your other favorite online bookseller or placing a special order at your local bookshop. My publisher, Trove Books, takes a very 21st century — and, may I add, eco-conscious — approach to publishing books. Instead of killing a bunch of trees, printing a bunch of books, storing said books in a climate-controlled warehouse, then shipping the books out to bookstores in heavy trucks to sit on the shelves until someone strolls by and decide to buy a copy, Trove only prints a book when it is ordered1 and ships it straight to you, via Amazon or whomever.

UPS was going to be in your neighborhood anyway.

But whether you order Hero Wanted online or at your local bookstore, you do have to wait at least a couple of days to start reading the book. Is there any way to get the book faster? If you happen to live in a few special communities around the world, then yes, there is: it is called the Espresso Book Machine.

No, it does not make coffee.

The Espresso is more of an “ATM for books.” Here is the official pitch from the makers of the Espresso, On Demand BooksWhat Gutenberg’s press did for Europe in the 15th century digitization and the Espresso Book Machine will do for the world tomorrow.

I assume that means they are hoping to set off decades of bloody religious warfare between Catholics and Protestants.

Or else provide “library quality paperbacks at low cost, identical to factory made books, printed direct from digital files for the reader in minutes, serving a radically decentralized world-wide multilingual marketplace.” Er, right. That’s more PR gobbledygook, but translation:  it’s a machine that prints, collates, covers, and binds a single book in a few minutes.

Here is a video that eventually shows you how it works:

So.  Nifty.  So what? Well, Trove Books has arranged to make Hero Wanted available through the Espresso Book Machine.  So if you live in or near a town where an Espresso Book Machine is located, you can — in theory — go there and purchase your very own copy of Hero Wanted and see it printed before your very eyes. 2

Here are the known locations of Espresso Book Machines around the world:

AUSTRALIA

CANADA

EGYPT

UK

USA

If there is an Espresso near you, go check it out! I’ve seen a demo in person and it is pretty cool to watch it make a book.

If you do happen to buy a copy of Hero Wanted printed on an Espresso, remember to take your digital camera and send me a picture of you, your new book, and the Espresso at Dan@JasonCosmo.com. Send me the picture and your thoughts on the experience and I’ll feature your story here on the Jason Cosmo Update. I dont’t think anyone has bought an Espresso-made copy yet, so you could be the first!

Best regards,
Dan McGirt

  1. Thus killing trees one at a time. The trees appreciate this. []
  2. Unless they keep the machine in a back room, but why would they do that? []
  3. I had heard the Library of Alexandria was burned down. Evidently, I was misinformed. []