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

Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause is finally here!

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I am excited to announce that I have finally finished work on Noble Cause, book 2 of the Jason Cosmo series. Noble Cause is now on sale at Smashwords, in formats for your Kindle, Nook, iPad or other favorite ebook reader. It will reach Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore, Amazon, and other stores in the coming weeks. Since this is also Read an Ebook Week, Noble Cause is 50% off through March 10 — get your copy for only $1.50!

Noble Cause (2010) by Dan McGirt

Noble Cause (2010)

Noble Cause picks up a few weeks after the conclusion of book 1, Hero Wanted, and concerns the adventures of our hero, Jason Cosmo, and his lovely companions Sapphrina and Rubis, in Caratha, greatest city of the Eleven Kingdoms.  You may have read a draft version of the first twenty chapters during National Novel Writing Month, but this is the full, completed novel, 48 chapters in all. And you’ll probably want to start at the beginning even if you read the preview, because I’ve done extensive revision from beginning to end since November.

I’ll say no more about the story for now–just read it! If you have questions or comments (or typos to report–they happen!), get in touch with me by a comment here, or via Twitter or Facebook. I’m on pins and needles to know what Loyal Readers will think of Noble Cause. It has been more than two years since Hero Wanted was published. But the even bigger milestone in my mind — Noble Cause is my first entirely new novel since I completed Dirty Work in 1991. It is also the longest piece of fiction I’ve ever written. But it is now out of my hands and into yours, so I hope you will enjoy it. Meanwhile, I’m going to take a few days to catch my breath, take care of some deferred housekeeping matters (website updating and such), and then dive into my next project! More on that soon.

By the way, all of my ebooks at Smashwords are discounted for Read an Ebook Week. Hero Wanted is FREE this week.  So is Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter.  See the full list here: Dan McGirt ebooks at Smashwords.

As always, thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter New Cover!

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Here is the finished Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter cover by Brian Denham. In celebration, get the ebook for only 99 cents through Halloween with this coupon code: JH95N.

Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter

Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo: Hero Wanted Kindle Edition

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Hero Wanted is now available in the Amazon Kindle Store, both US and UK.

The book is the same — the Hero Wanted ebook has been available at Smashwords since July 2009 — but it does have a crisp new look thanks to some custom formatting by ebookarchitects.  (Look for the wanted poster!) I hope Loyal Readers who are also Kindle owners will enjoy the newly formatted version.

In 2009 I released the Hero Wanted ebook free at Smashwords and kept it at free for one full year. As of today, more than 8600 people have downloaded Hero Wanted.1

More than 12,900 Loyal Readers downloaded the (no longer) free ebook at Barnes & Noble. Others grabbed it at Kobo.  or got one of the the *ahem!* many bootleg copies that seem to be available on file-sharing sites.

Hero Wanted is also available at the Apple iBookstore and via the Stanza ereader app for your iPhone. And probably a few other sources I can’t recall.

Whatever your preferred ebook flavor I should have you covered!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

  1. Or perhaps one person has downloaded it 8600 times. That is always possible. []

Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause Cover Story

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

The cover for Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause is here at last. The gorgeously absurd and absurdly gorgeous illustration, once again, is by award-winning artist Richard Hescox, with cover design by Kris Tobiassen. They did a great job! I’ll let the picture speak for itself. You’ll have to read the book to get the full story, but what you see depicted here is our hero Jason Cosmo and the lovely twins Sapphrina and Rubis. And a very large bear.

Noble Cause (2010) by Dan McGirt

Noble Cause (2010)

Alas, we had to trim the picture a little to fit the dimensions of a book cover.

Since I don’t want Richard Hescox’s great work to go to waste, here is a peek at the full image before it was edited for the book cover:

Cover art for Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause by Richard Hescox

Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause Copyright 2010 Richard Hescox

I hope you enjoy this cover as much as I do.  Stay tuned for Noble Cause!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause – Chapter 2 (pt 3)

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Continuing our preview of Noble Cause with the third section of Chapter 2.  If you missed Chapter 1, start hereThe first part of Chapter 2 is here. All caught up? Great! We rejoin our story, already in progress:

I skidded to a stop just short of the ursine colossus. Glancing back over my shoulder, I saw a bespectacled potato sack of a man with fussy beard and a bad comb-over scurry my way. He wore a dull green robe. Pinned to his scrawny chest was a leaf-shaped badge.

“Don’t hurt the bear!” he repeated.

“Why not?” I demanded. “Is this a friendly magical bear that is not truly violent, just misunderstood?”

“No,” said the new arrival. “It’s a vicious man-eater, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Carathans, numerous foreigners, several head of cattle, a prize camel, and a shipload of rare birds from the Cycloon jungles. Not to mention thousands in property damage and unpaid bar tabs.”

“The bear drinks and doesn’t pay?”

“Yes. It prefers spiced rum, brandy, or mead. The occasional daiquiri. And of course it doesn’t pay! Nor do the fleeing patrons of any bar it enters.”

“Gotcha. But is it really an unfortunate prince transformed into a dangerous bear by an evil sorcerer?”

“Ludicrous!”

“An escapee from the circus, where it was cruelly mistreated, who now lashes out in blind fury against an uncaring world?”

“Unlikely.”

“Family pet of a rich eccentric?”

“Are you mad?”

“Then why, pray tell, should I stay my hand?”

“Because, you fool, that’s a Long-Snouted Specklebacked Indigo Mountain Bear, one of the last of its kind!”

“And?”

“And that means it’s an endangered species!”

“So?”

“So you can’t kill an endangered species!”

“I can’t?”

“No!”

“Even to save this poor, crippled, crying beggar girl from being torn apart and eaten?”

“Yeah!” said the poor, crippled, crying beggar girl. Cute as a bucket of buttons, she had stringy red hair, big blue eyes and a constellation of freckles across her dirty face. She was also missing her left leg below the knee. “I think it wants to eat me!”

“It matters not! By the Laws of Caratha, the Long-Snouted Specklebacked Indigo Mountain Bear cannot be harmed!”

“What kind of man would sacrifice an innocent, though admittedly disheveled, child to this murderous beast?” I cried.

“I am Chief Inspector Cierrus of the Ministry of Environmental Services and Sanctions. It is forbidden, on pain of death, to engage that bear with a deadly weapon of any kind!”

The bear grinned at me, drooling blood. It cracked its bear knuckles with a loud series of pops. The beast obviously recognized Cierrus. This was not the first time the M.E.S.S. inspector had intervened to save the animal from well-deserved extinction.

“Then how do we stop its rampage?”

Cierrus shrugged. “Once he’s had his fill, Chompy will wander off somewhere to take a nap.”

“Chompy?”

“That’s what we call him.”

“You allow this beast run loose in the city, eating whomever it pleases and give it an affectionate nickname to boot?”

“People should stay out of Chompy’s way if they don’t want to be eaten!” said Cierrus.

“What about those who can’t get away?”

“Yeah, like me!” said the poor, crippled beggar girl. “I’ve got one leg! Rats ate the other when I was but a babe.”

“I’m not concerned with filthy beggar girls,” sniffed Cierrus. “My sole concern is the bear.”

“My sole concern is defending the defenseless,” I said. “I will not let this bear eat poor little——what’s your name, dear?”

“Saka, kind sir,” supplied the beggar girl.

“I’m not going to let Chompy eat little Saka here.”

“You have no choice,” said Cierrus coldly. “Meet the M.E.S.S. Squad!” He snapped his fingers. A squad of green-uniformed crossbowmen rounded a corner and assumed firing positions. Their weapons were aimed not at the bear, but at me.

This could get ugly fast. I decided to try a compromise.

“Listen, Inspector.”

“Chief Inspector.”

“Whatever. Suppose I fight the bear without my sword?”

“You would face Chompy unarmed?” said Cierrus doubtfully.

“On your promise that your men won’t shoot me, I’ll put away my sword and wrestle the bear instead. For the girl.”

Cierrus laughed. “You want to wrestle a Long-Snouted Specklebacked Indigo Mountain Bear?”

“Of course not! I want to kill it with my sword. Do we have a deal?”

Cierrus shrugged. “No law prohibits suicide by bear! Go right ahead!”

I sheathed my blade.

Chompy growled and shrugged his barrel-sized shoulders, as if to say let’s get on with it.

Young Saka tugged at my sleeve. “You’re crazy, sir, but thanks.”

“Thank me later. If I live.”

The bear stepped forward. So did I.

Warily, we circled each another, with Saka between us. Chompy had the advantage in weight, height, speed, and reach.

But maybe not strength. For I had the Blessing of Rae.

Every hero needs a patron deity. Mine, for better or worse, was divine Rae, Goddess of the Sun. As a sign of her luminous favor, the Bright One had granted unto me the strength of eleven men, possibly twelve, whensoever the rays of the sun touched my skin. It being a sunny day, I had at least a slender hope against Chompy.

“Okay, Chompy, let’s dance!” I raised my fists.

Without warning, the bear lunged and hit me with a combination of two left jabs, a strong right and an uppercut. I landed flat on my back, staring up at the morning sky.

Great. Just great.

Someone had taught Chompy how to box!

Here ends Chapter 2! Questions and comments are welcome!

Best regards,
Dan McGirt

Twinkle: an excerpt

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Here is an excerpt from my vampire mini-novel Twinkle, coming March 1 at Smashwords:

Twinkle, Oregon

Twilight’s last gleaming fell softly through the mist between the trees. Sinuous fingers of fog caressed the upright shafts and trailed teasingly through the underbrush. The sun plunged into the wet darkness of the rolling sea. Above, parting clouds exposed a full, round, ripe, pale moon heaving upward into the night sky. Its tender light groped downward to find a young couple in a forest clearing, clutched in a tight embrace, their lips melded together in a deep and passionate kiss. They broke apart.
“Oh, Edmund!” said Stella, gasping. “Sometimes I think I’ll suffocate from kissing you! It’s like you never need air.”
“Sorry,” said Edmund. He smiled apologetically. “Sometimes you make me forget to breathe.”
Stella grinned. “When you put it like that, I don’t mind at all. Oh, Edmund, I love you so much!”
“And I love—”
“I mean, I really, really, deeply, completely love you with every single part of me from my head to my toes.”
“I feel the—”
“I mean every single molecule of me loves you! Every atom! Every one of those sub-atomic thingies that Mr. Flagg talks about in science class but I don’t really know what they are because I spend the whole class staring at you or passing notes to Callie about how much I love you or writing your name on my notebook.”
“I know,” said Edmund. He ran his fingers through her stringy brown hair. “Stella, you have—”
“When I’m with you, I don’t care about anything else! Not school or shopping for clothes or feeding the dog or talking to my family or even the Jonas brothers.”
“Good to know.”
“And when I’m not with you, all I think about is you. How you look. How you move. How you sound. How you smell.” She inhaled deeply. “I’m so drawn to your scent. Does that seem weird?”
“I tried that Axe body spray, so no.”

[Continued here …]

You can see where this is going. Or can you? BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Hero Wanted – The Reviews Are In!

Greetings,  Loyal Reader!

The first reader reviews of Hero Wanted are starting to appear online, and so far they are overwhelmingly positive! I’m glad to know that Loyal Readers are enjoying the book and I especially appreciate those who have emailed or commented to let me know or have posted a review to let the world at large know.  Thank you!

Let’s get to it:

Loyal Reader Georges, from Luxembourg, recommended the Hero Wanted ebook in the MobileRead Forums:

“Funny read.”

Georges was seconded by forum members Dr. Drib of Peru, Slite from Sweden (who is the Minister of The Large Dogs Of Infinite Peace And Absurdity, which is a very important cabinet position in Sweden. I think.). Several MobileRead members downloaded Hero Wanted on the strength of their recommendations, helping make Hero Wanted the #1 novel on Smashwords!1 Thanks, Georges, Dr. Drib, and Minister Slite!

Last week, the first two Amazon reader reviews came in — both are 5-star ratings, for a grand total of 10 stars!

First, Loyal Reader H. Johnson from Minnesota says:

Clever and Funny with a good story too … It’s rare for a book to be able to walk that line between being a genuine fantasy novel, and a parody novel. This book gets that balance just right. Not too silly, but not serious either. … The wit is sharp, and some of the humor is dry, but that’s how I like it…

This is like a “Director’s Cut” of a movie. He has gone back and re-written the entire book from the ground up…Think Extended Edition Lord of the Rings, not Special Edition Star Wars. He took something good, and made it better.

Follow the link to read the rest of this 5-star review, including the parts I …’d out.

Next, we hear from Loyal Reader Rick Friedman:

HERO WANTED has shown that one can create a fantasy story- yet allow the characters to be painted with wit, smarts and intrigue. Not since the Late Douglas Adams have I read an author with such skills as Dan McGirt.

… This is a book that should be bought, as it can be read over and over, and digested like a fine French dinner, with new insights appearing with each reading.

But much less fattening! Thanks H and Rick for your generous reviews! I’m glad you enjoyed the book and I appreciate you encouraging others to try Hero Wanted.

That’s all the reviews I’ve seen so far. If you’ve read Hero Wanted and enjoyed the book, I encourage you to post your own review. If you didn’t like it, I don’t encourage you as strongly! But you could still post a review and discuss what you see as the flaws in my story–who knows, it might help me do better on the next book.

If you do come across a review, good or bad, that I haven’t mentioned, please let me know either in a comment here, on my JasonCosmo Twitter page, at my Dan McGirt Facebook page, or by writing me at Dan @JasonCosmo.com

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

  1. By number of downloads []

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. []