Hey guys, this a call to arms, of sorts. I’m looking for a few folks who would like to be test subjects, if you will. I’m in need of some Beta readers for a set of stories I’m writing. I need people who are willing to read my stuff, for free, before anyone else has the opportunity. The downside, they may be a little rough, your job as a beta would be telling me what are the last few things I need to fix before I send the manuscript off to, Max, my editor. Please, if your interested in helping me out send me an emil to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll explain more expectations, don’t worry, it isn’t hard work, if you can read and can be honest with me about my work you are perfect for this job. Like and share this post as well. I can use all the eyes I can get on these things.
New Point Blank Comics logo.
Check out my new indie press here.
Started my latest comic series today. I’m loving the dark noir feel of this series.
When a man wakes up in a ditch next to a major interstate with no knowledge of who he is or who would want him dead he sets out on a quest aided by the only two clues he has, a strange brand on his right forearm and a uncanny ability to kill people with is bare hands with the slightest of ease.
Two novellas set in the Pine Bluff Universe and Adrenaline Issue #1 are now available for free download. Please check them out. And let me know what you think. They are available at Barnes and Noble on Nook, Apple IBOOKS or many many other devices (coming soon to Amazon Kindle), or download it directly from my Author Page at Smashwords if you would prefer the Kindle version you can download it from there.
Please let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.
His Father’s Eyes is a short story set in the Pine Bluff universe. Tony Corbett comes from a long line of Missouri lawmen but he is about to leave all that behind and run off the the Florida Keys. But just before the man sentenced to death for murder of Tony’s mother over 20 years ago is about to be executed skeletal remains are discovered near the home where his mother was last seen. Tony soon uncovers a conspiracy that casts doubt on his long held belief that his mother received justice and points to the unthinkable.
I’m giving this story away. It will be available at Barnes and Noble, Apple IBooks and many more.
Or you can download the format of your choice here. I hope you enjoy it. If you get it through an ebook site please leave an honest opinion of what you thought.
As Always, Thanks
As writers we want our stuff to be seen and consumed. I made the mistake for over a year of allowing that market of potential readers to be greatly reduced by allowing myself to be blinded by the royalty rates of Amazon and Kindle.
As of yesterday Adrenaline Issue #1: Gold Rush and A New Man, Jacob Mallory Mystery #1 are available at every ebook site including Barnes and Noble and Apple iBooks as well as Kindle.
I saw no need in keeping an exclusive with Kindle Direct Publishing when they were not selling enough copies to act as an incentive to stay with them.
Adrenaline Issue #2: Passing the Torch will be available the Wednesday February 10th.
An Innocent Man, Jacob Mallory Mystery #2 will be released in August.
I’m nearly done with the second installment of the Adrenaline series. Adrenaline: Passing the Torch picks up with Romanian mob boss Andre “The Dragon” Rosu picking up his brothers mantel. This sketch is from Jeremiah at Synthetic Human Studio Fine Art and Comics is doing the cover. He sent this sketch of The Dragon for approval, I approve. I’m gonna try something a little different for this cover, he is going to send me a few sketches and I want my WordPress friends to help me decide by voting by on the sketches. He will then turn it into a cover for the novella. In the meantime do me a solid and check out his work at https://m.facebook.com/Synthetic-Human-Studio-Fine-Art-and-Comics-309332149207830/
Here is the sketch of Andre “The Dragon” Rosu.
The early morning moon still hung in the sky as the sun began to rise over the New Haven Museum. The red and orange of sunrise a beautiful backdrop to the castle look of the building. Its towers rising on the corners merely for look with no functionality. The forest was cold on the dark winter morning as I sat in the dark. There had been several reports of muggings around the museum and I had a feeling that RS would be making their appearance soon.
It wasn’t long before I had gotten my wish. A nerdy young woman with disheveled hair and Birkenstock shoes got out of her prius. A young European male approaches her and pulls out a chrome revolver and shakes it at her. Scared she dropped her purse and her attacker pushes her to the ground. Suddenly from out of the shadows comes her knight in a white van. He chases the male mugger around the corner and the woman scoops her purse and rushes inside the museum.
Quietly I move along the outside of the parking lot just inside the woods hoping I had not lost the mugger and the security officer when I hear rustling of leaves. I stop, listen and as the sound grows closer I can see long blond hair. Calico kneels beside me.
“Did you see that?” she asks.
“Yep, lets see where this goes.”
We move silently around until the white van just comes into view. The officer steps out of the van to the male who is now leaning against the side of the building. The officer pulls out a wallet and hands the man an envelope. I think I am starting to get a picture of what is happening.
The sun continued to rise behind the estate as I approached the front gate. An RS officer waved as I pushed the button on the remote control and the gate opened as my Mercedes glided up the cobblestone drive. My mind raced as everything I had witnessed over the last couple weeks rolled around, bouncing off the walls and trying to comprehend the plan. I missed on major component to this whole scenario. Why? What was Rosu’s endgame? What could he possibly gain from creating such a rouse as to have the city guarded by his men? He couldn’t possibly be making that much money from a security firm.
Bags hung under my tired eyes as I sat down in my desk chair in front of the board I had created in my study. Haze filled my eyes as I tried to make out the plan. Following the red strings from newspaper articles to push pins of RS locations. It made no sense to me.
“Here you go boss,” Eli tossed a newspaper on my desk. “We need to talk, sir.” “What’s on your mind?” I stared at the board, paying him little attention.
He pulled a chair up beside me. “I am going to have to quit.”
“What?” he had my attention now. “Why? What have I done, do you need more pay?”
“It isn’t that sir, I know.”
“You know what?” playing dumb, hoping he didn’t really know, or that it was something else.
“I know what…who you are. Adrenaline.” He said.
I shook my head, not able to force the denying words out of my mouth. I couldn’t lie to Eli.
“Yes you are, all the signs are there, I’ve collected enough evidence that I know. I don’t want to prove it to anyone. Lets just say it would kill me to keep a secret like that with me.”
“I don’t expect you to, I only expect you give me time to fix it.”
“Fix what, Simon? Let the police handle this.”
“They can’t, or won’t, I don’t know.” Standing my bones creak and I grow dizzy and loose my footing. Stumbling gravity pulls me head first toward the board. I never saw Eli jump up, I only felt him grab me as my fall comes to a sudden stop.
“Sit down sir,” he guides me back to the chair. “Relax I am not going tell anyone who you are. I swore to your father that I would protect you and I plan to keep that promise. But that means that I have to ask you to stop. I understand why you went to Mexico, I get why you want to save this city. And I get that you need have something to leave as your legacy like your father. But figure out a way to do it safer, this life as Adrenaline will kill you.”
My ears were ringing and anxiety had my chest heaving in and out. Something in me knew that Eli was right. I knew that I couldn’t live this live this life forever. I am only mortal and have mortal flesh and bone, unlike Dr. Indestructible who was mostly bio-engineering and mechanical parts.
A headline from the newspaper drew my attention away from Eli. LARGEST GOLD DEPOSIT IN NEW HAVEN HISTORY TO ARRIVE TOMORROW AT THE FEDERAL RESERVE. I jumped to my feet and grabbed a pair of scissors and a push pin, after cutting it out I pinned in on the board and looked at Eli.
“What do you see?” He asked. “All I see are a bunch of red lines and newspaper articles pinned to a board.”
“You used to be in the military, if this were a satellite photo of an enemies city what would you see.”
“That’s not exactly what I did in the military.”
“Focus on the red lines,” I pulled all the newspaper articles down except the one I had just hung and the picture became clear. All the lines surrounded the reserve article.
“He is protecting the reserve? But why?” He asked.
“Not protecting it, surrounding it. In preparation for an ambush.”
I had one person that wanted to get the Rosu family as much as I did and I had to convince him that I wasn’t crazy. More to the point I had to convince him that Adrenaline wasn’t crazy. And I would need some help from the girls to help me.
The black sedan sat near the intersection of Grand and Market just two blocks south of police headquarters. Calico and Blur hopped through the intersection jumping from car to car and off onto the sidewalk. A blue minivan, distracted by the commotion, didn’t realize the light had turned red and sped into the side of a red sports car causing a chain reaction. The black sedan became trapped between three cars, boxed in. Detective Henry Parker was just about to step out of the car and assess the situation when I slammed my foot into the door closing it on him. I slid into the back seat and tossed a large envelope into his lap.
He glanced at the evidence and tossed it in the passenger seat next to him. “What is this?”
“I think you know what it is.”
“I don’t ask questions if I already know the answer.” He glances in his rear view mirror. He won’t be able to make out my face for the hood that hangs over my eyes casting a shadow on my whole face. “Adrenaline?”
“In the flesh. That Detective is the latest plan Rosu has hatched. I’m giving you the opportunity to the right thing and arrest him.”
“I’m sorry son but at this point the only person to have broken any laws that I know of is you. I can’t arrest someone on the picture evidence of some vigilante.”
“I’m not ‘some vigilante’ I am Adrenaline. If you and your men will not do something about Rosu and his crime family and make this city safe again, WE will.”
I shot out of the back of the Detective’s car and got lost into the crowd and could see him looking for me. He stood outside the car staring into the crowd oblivious that he was looking right at me.
The upper middle class neighborhood of Coyote Village didn’t look the kind of neighborhood where a superhero would live. But that is exactly where one lived, Dr. Richard Thomas aka Dr. Indestructible.
Richard Thomas had been a noted bio-engineer who worked for Nash Industries when he was shot by a man he experimented on, he gave the man his sight and the man tried to take his life. Richard and my father were best friends and Gerald Nash gave him a new body, the real Six Million Dollar Man, more like six billion, but who is counting. Dr. Indestructible sat behind his kitchen table with his wife Mary and his two daughters. I sat across from him. Munching on carrots sauteed in brown butter we glared at each other. Something told me that if he had answered the door and not Mary I would still be out in the sedan with Eli munching on celery sticks. He didn’t speak, he only glared. After we finished our awkward dinner and Mary took the kids upstairs to get them ready for the evening, Richard showed me to his office. I had been here many times. Richard had been the one to take me under his wing when…when it happened.
“How could you?” I demanded.
“Do what Simon?”
“You know what. You killed my uncle.”
“I assure you I did no such thing.”
“You might as well have. Your little proteges did.” He rushed me placing his large had over my mouth and pushing me back hard against his study wall. His black eyes stared into mine, they blinked with lights inside them. I knew that Richard was in there somewhere but I really couldn’t be sure how much of him was real and how much of him was android.
“You will not speak of my life inside my home, you know the rules Simon and just because your uncle died doesn’t give you the right to break that sacred bound we had.”
He released me but I knew he would be on me in a second if I mentioned it again. But I had to. “I’m sorry, know that, but I have to know why they would want Uncle Ed dead.”
“It wasn’t them, I can promise you that.”
“I saw her knife, the one they are calling The Blur. Who are they Richard, tell me.”
“I will not, It is our bond, just as I will never tell your secret.” He sat down behind his desk.
“Do you remember why I came to you?”
“And what did I tell you?” He asked.
“That you would die before you gave my secret.”
“That’s not the only time I’ve made that promise. You will never get it from me. Think about why you came to me, think about how we have ended up here. You will figure it all out. Trust me when I tell you that your origins are closer than you realize. You can show yourself out.” He said as he pointed to his study door.
Leaving Richards home and driving back to mine I couldn’t help but think of Russell.
We left The White House at two a.m. one summer night. After a few drinks I was feeling bulletproof. “When are we going back up? I cannot wait to jump again.” I said.
“Dude it’s your building, you tell me when,” he was along for the ride.
Being the best friend of a Billionaire surely had its perks but the truth was that I wouldn’t have had any other friend and Russell never wanted anything from me. I guess that always made me want to offer it more.
“There is something about the feeling of falling. The feeling just before you pull the cord that I can’t explain. When you going to jump with me?”
“Man that is your thing, I will continue to pick you up when you jump, but I’m not jumping from a building.” We laughed and hugged each other. He rubbed my head like I was his little brother and I had just done something to make him proud.
Screams suddenly filled the night air as we made our way through Sherman Park. We knew it was dangerous to walk through the park at night with the upsurge of violence lately, but it was one more thing for me to get an adrenaline rush from. Besides my father had paid extra police force lately to patrol the area. That however didn’t explain the scream.
High pitched shrills grew louder as we crossed a small creek and got to the heart of the park. Suddenly a rustle of leaves caught my attention to the right.
“Man I told you we shouldn’t have come this way.” He said.
“Oh don’t be a pansy.” I teased.
Screams echoed throughout the park and I bolted into the woods. I could hear the heavy foot of my friend running behind me then suddenly I heard nothing and saw nothing.
When I woke up I could feel a wet warm and sticky substance on my face. I pulled my hand across it lifted it to my face, crimson blood filled my fingertips.
“Russell,” I tried but I didn’t hear myself, the words were quietly falling out of my mouth. All I could hear was a piercing ringing in my ears. I must have been blindsided with a something. Someone must of hit me in the head.
“Russell, where are you?” I stood up and staggered around, searching the woods and the path where we had been but found nothing. I reached into my pocket for my phone to call the police but found only an empty pocket. Searching all my pockets revealed the same thing, I had been mugged.
After I crossed the small creek again it grew so dark that I couldn’t see. I stumbled over something, my foot dragging across something soft. I bent down to get a closer look and found myself staring right into the eyes of Russell, his dead blue eyes.
….yet another jewelery heist has led to the death of a Rosu Security Officer near the Boneyards in New Haven…CLICK…Rosu Security Officer stabbed in heist is only the latest death in the crime spree…CLICK….this marks the seventh Rosu Security Officer to be attacked in a crime spree officials are calling the worst the city has seen since Gerald Nash introduced his bill….CLICK…”they are going down, we will catch these criminals. And that is exactly what they are, just because Mr. Rosu has ran some less than ethical businesses in the past there is no evidence that this business is anything other than a legal up standing business.” That was Detective Henry Parker, the head of the new ‘Anti-vigilante task force set up by Mayor Natalie Blume…CLICK…
I find it disconcerting that everyone thinks that The Romanian has turned over a new leaf, this business is far from legal, it has to be a front for his extortion scheme, the one that most likely cost my uncle his life. He had nothing to do with Rosu other than he was just one more victim of his greed.
The funeral appears to be over,” Eli said as the few people that had came dispersed. I stepped out of the car and walked slowly through the falling leaves to the hole that held the box that held my uncle. My father hadn’t even came back for the funeral. He said he had too many things to finish up at the ranch.
I bent down and picked up a hand full of dirt and tossed it into the open grave.
“He was very proud of you.”
Her voice was sweet. I turned to see Katrina standing a few feet away leaning against a tree. Her blond hair blew in the autumn breeze and her short black skirt showed her firm legs. I had forgotten until now that Ed had told me that she used to be a gymnast in college. She was beautiful and her Eastern European genes showed on her small frame. She certainly was stunning.
“I know, I only wish I could have helped him.”
“You did your best Simon. He would have never blamed you for anything.”
I thanked her and was on my way. I was headed back to my car when I realized she would be without a job. What an odd thing to think. I couldn’t let that happen, he loved her like a daughter. I turned to her, I dug the keys out of my pocket and tossed them to her.
“What is this?” She asked.
“The White House.” I said.
“What about it?”
“He left it to me. I don’t want to work it, it’s yours, I don’t think I could step foot in there again.”
She tossed them back. “Me either, thank you though.”
“Will you be okay, money I mean?”
“I’ll make it.” She said.
I walked back to her and handed her my card. “My cell is on there, call me sometime, I mean if you ever find yourself needing a job.” She wrapped her long slender arms around my neck. Then a small framed woman walked up beside her.
“Simon, this is Allison Berry, my roommate.”
“And girlfriend,” Allison added casually.
“Oh, I had, I mean…” I stammered.
“It’s okay, really,” Katrina said.
We all parted ways and I went to my estate across The Coyote in the Hills.
Staring out my window onto the city I found it difficult to concentrate as my mind flowed from Ed to Russell to the vigilante’s and to Dr. Indestructible. What had he meant about our origins? How could I be remotely close to these women, these murderers, these thieves? I had to have answers and I had only one idea on how to get them. I had to ask them. The buttons beeped as I dialed the number from the card I held in my hand.
“Hello, I have reconsidered your offer.”
“Oh, well I’m glad you have come to your senses Mr. Nash, I will swing by your office tomorrow to work out the details. I’m sure this will be a fantastic working relationship.” His voice was like nails on a chalk board as I thought about sleeping with the enemy. But partnering with The Romanian seemed the only way to draw The Calico Cat and The Blur to me.