Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Cover Copy: The Hanged Spy

Yay for Blurb Week! I love seeing the books Coming Soon to a shelf near me. Continuing the promo trend, here's the latest in the adventures of Bix, the Immortal Spy. THE HANGED SPY is slated to release during the winter holiday season.

THE HANGED SPY
The Immortal Spy: Book 4

The Hanged Spy upright encourages a new perspective.

For Bix and her team, stealing the build specs for a prototype Mid Worlds defense system is a high-risk mission they can’t refuse. The pantheons have dispatched their elite wet works unit to smite every researcher and facility associated with the project. Unfortunately, the gods have a head start, and Bix’s only clue to salvaging the data is a personalized Tarot card of the Hanged Man.

Illustrated by arcane magic, the card depicts an old Sage who’d trained her in the spy game. A Sage who’d repeatedly tried to kill her. A Sage who’d died in the throes of an op. Purportedly.

As deceptions multiply, the superpowers sworn to protect the Mids hamstring each other in the name of politics while a merciless foreign army invades yet another World. The pressure mounts for Bix to deliver the specs with all haste, but higher powers and hidden truths sideline her team and send her spiraling out of control. When one bad decision shatters the life she most treasures, no god, angel, dragon, or Fate is safe from Bix’s wrath.

The Hanged Spy reversed demands a sacrifice.


It's not quite ready for pre-order, but if you sign up for my newsletter at kakrantz.com, you'll be notified when it's available to purchase.

Monday, September 17, 2018

A blurb, you say....

Jeffe said, "This week at the SFF Seven we're sharing a blurb from our current work in progress or a blurb from an upcoming release. Serendipitously enough, for me they're one and the same at the moment."


Well, here are a few from my series TIDES OF WAR. The last book in the series THE GATES OF THE DEAD is coming out in January.

Here's the cover. Oh, heck, here are all three covers for the series because they are AMAZING and I love Alejandro Colucci's work 












And here are a few blurbs:

“Gripping, horrific, and unique, James Moore continues to be a winner, whatever genre he’s writing in. Well worth your time.”
– Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of the InCryptid and Toby Daye series

“James A Moore is the new prince of grimdark fantasy. His work is full of dark philosophy and savage violence, desperate warriors and capricious gods. This is fantasy for people who like to wander nighttime forests and scream at the moon. Exhilarating as hell.”
– Christopher Golden, New York times bestselling author of Snowblind

“With The Last Sacrifice, James A. Moore has triumphed yet again, delivering a modern sword and sorcery tale to delight old and new fans of the genre.  With its intriguing premise, stellar cast of characters, and flavorful horror elements, this is damn good stuff.”
– Bookwraiths
“I love it. This is a story that turns the genre story arc on its head, mixes up the motives of heroes and villains, and muddies the waters of divine intervention. A fantastic, surprising start to a major new series.”
– Beauty in Ruins
The Last Sacrifice is a solid start to the sordid grim-dark tale documenting the end of a bleak violent world.”
– Smorgasbord Fantasia
“I found The Last Sacrifice to be highly engaging, magical with a distinct grimdark feel and the world herein is richly imagined and cleverly wrought and brought to life. I can’t wait to read the sequel and I am now also eager to check out the other works by this author. I highly recommend this book to all lovers of fantasy.”
– Cover 2 Cover
“Moore has laid the groundwork for a trilogy that promises to be loaded with terrifically grim fantasy storytelling. I might even call it epic. There is a lot of swift, merciless violence in this book, mingled with an undercurrent of very welcome, if very dark, humor. All of it together takes me back to what made me giddy about epic fantasy way back when. I’d say I’m happy to be back, but I’m not sure that’s quite the right word for a book packed with this much violent incident. Let’s say instead that I’m bloody satisfied.”
– Rich Rosell for the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
“James A Moore throws in elements of horror, dark fantasy, low magic and some amazing world-building into this boiling mix that somehow seems to work. Spinning off the staid old genre story-lines into a new direction with this epic take on God versus Man, The Last Sacrifice is a solid start to the sordid grim-dark tale documenting the end of a bleak violent world.”
– Fantasy Smorgasbord
The Last Sacrifice is dark and violent with no punches pulled. The worldbuilding is epic in scope but focuses on a select few individuals to flesh out the story.” 4.5/5 stars
– San Franciso Book Review

Language Notes

Since time began, the Grakhul, immortal servants of the gods who choose who lives and who dies when it comes time to make sacrifices to their deities, have been seeking to keep the world in balance and the gods appeased. When they take the family of Brogan McTyre to offer as sacrifice, everything changes. Brogan heads off on a quest to save his family from the Grakhul. The decision this time is costlier than they expected, leading to Brogan and his kin being hunted as criminals and the gods seeking to punish those who've defied them.This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

About the Author

“Gripping, horrific, and unique, James Moore continues to be a winner, whatever genre he’s writing in. Well worth your time.”
– Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of the InCryptid and Toby Daye series

“James A Moore is the new prince of grimdark fantasy. His work is full of dark philosophy and savage violence, desperate warriors and capricious gods. This is fantasy for people who like to wander nighttime forests and scream at the moon. Exhilarating as hell.”
– Christopher Golden, New York times bestselling author of Snowblind

“With The Last Sacrifice, James A. Moore has triumphed yet again, delivering a modern sword and sorcery tale to delight old and new fans of the genre.  With its intriguing premise, stellar cast of characters, and flavorful horror elements, this is damn good stuff.”
– Bookwraiths
“This was a very good read.”
– Purple Owl Reviews
“Epic fantasy at its best.”
– Amanda J Spedding
“Grimdark as fuck!  So in a word “’GREAT’”.
– The Blogin’ Hobgoblin
“I liked The Last Sacrifice a great deal.  I’ve always enjoyed Moore’s work and don’t see that changing anytime soon.  He just keeps getting better.  Check this one out and see.”
– Adventures Fantastic
“What’s Moore to say? People fighting Gods? Bring it! This is a great addition to James A. Moore’s line up.”
– The Book Plank
“I love it. This is a story that turns the genre story arc on its head, mixes up the motives of heroes and villains, and muddies the waters of divine intervention. A fantastic, surprising start to a major new series.”
– Beauty in Ruins
The Last Sacrifice is a solid start to the sordid grim-dark tale documenting the end of a bleak violent world.”
– Smorgasbord Fantasia
“I found The Last Sacrifice to be highly engaging, magical with a distinct grimdark feel and the world herein is richly imagined and cleverly wrought and brought to life. I can’t wait to read the sequel and I am now also eager to check out the other works by this author. I highly recommend this book to all lovers of fantasy.”
– Cover 2 Cover
“I’d recommend this and I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next one. More evil Grakhul/He-Kisshi action please Mr Moore!”
– Ribaldry’s Books
“I was just turning pages as fast as my eyes could devour the words.”
– On A Dark Stormy Review
“Moore has laid the groundwork for a trilogy that promises to be loaded with terrifically grim fantasy storytelling. I might even call it epic. There is a lot of swift, merciless violence in this book, mingled with an undercurrent of very welcome, if very dark, humor. All of it together takes me back to what made me giddy about epic fantasy way back when. I’d say I’m happy to be back, but I’m not sure that’s quite the right word for a book packed with this much violent incident. Let’s say instead that I’m bloody satisfied.”
– Rich Rosell for the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
“Fast-paced fantasy that you simply can’t put down. Great action adventure.”
– Morpheus Tales
The Last Sacrifice is an enthralling fast-paced book with ass-kicking characters who could only grow stronger as the series progresses.”
– Zirev
“James A Moore throws in elements of horror, dark fantasy, low magic and some amazing world-building into this boiling mix that somehow seems to work. Spinning off the staid old genre story-lines into a new direction with this epic take on God versus Man, The Last Sacrifice is a solid start to the sordid grim-dark tale documenting the end of a bleak violent world.”
– Fantasy Smorgasbord
The Last Sacrifice will tickle the fancy of any fans of grimdark fantasy, with its large cast of characters and earth-shattering consequences.”
– The Warbler Books

“Fantasy lovers will enjoy this book, and while an emphasis on gritty storytelling and horror elements elevates this from more standard magical creatures or hocus-pocus, it is still an absolute page-turner.”
– LeftLion
The Last Sacrifice is dark and violent with no punches pulled. The worldbuilding is epic in scope but focuses on a select few individuals to flesh out the story.” 4.5/5 stars
– San Franciso Book Review


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Coming Soon! THE ARROWS OF THE HEART


This week at the SFF Seven we're sharing a blurb from our current work in progress or a blurb from an upcoming release. Serendipitously enough, for me they're one and the same at the moment.

I just received developmental edits from my editor, Peter Senftleben, on THE ARROWS OF THE HEART. They're pretty light - yay! - so I should have those revisions turned around and out to my copy editor by Wednesday. All of this means I should be on track for my planned October 3, 2018 release date!

I'm not doing preorders for this one, so your best bet to be notified when it's live is to sign up for my newsletter.

And, because we're nearly ready to go live, I've been going back and forth with the gal who does my blurbs/back cover copy. Which means I also have that, fresh off the press. We're going to tweak it a titch more, but here's the penultimate version!

As the Twelve Kingdoms and their allies are drawn toward war, a princess cast aside must discover a purpose she never dreamed of… 
Karyn af Hardie behaved like a proper Dasnarian wife. She acquiesced, she accepted, she submitted. Until her husband gave her a choice: their loveless, unconsummated royal marriage—or her freedom. Karyn chose freedom. But with nowhere to run except into the arms of Dasnaria’s enemies, she wonders if she’s made a mistake. She wants love, security, a family. She can’t imagine finding any of it among the mercurial Tala. 
Worst of all is Zyr. The uninhibited shapeshifter is everywhere she looks. He’s magnetic, relentless, teasing and tempting as if she’s free to take her pleasure where she wishes. As if there isn’t a war rising before them, against a vile and demanding force far stronger than they. Thrown together in a dangerous gambit to tip the balance, Karyn and Zyr have every opportunity to fail—and one chance to steal something truly precious…

Coming soon!! Eeeeee!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

My Partial Reading List from the Past Month

To be clear, I expected to love this book
and I did!!!

The topic this week is to discuss a book we read believing we would hate it and ended up loving it instead.

Um, no.

I have no such book to offer you. I don’t read books I don’t expect to like, I Do Not Finish (DNF) books I’m not enjoying and any book I expected to hate that I’ve been forced to read (which would be mostly an issue from high school)…I hated just as much or more by the time I was done reading it.

So, not much more to be said there.

Life is too short and too full of good things to experience, to waste any time on books I expect to hate.

Which leaves me four hundred or so words short of any kind of a decent blog post. I thought maybe it would be mildly interesting to post a list of some of the books I have read fairly recently (in the last few weeks or so) and enjoyed to varying degrees. My scale ranges from “WOW, I loved that book and I need to read everything else by that author NOW”, to “well, ok, that was a pleasant diversion but I don’t need any more time in that world, thank you”. Here in this post I’m not going to quantify them for you in that fashion because I’m not a reviewer. The books are listed in a pretty random order, as they come to mind, or as I look at my kindle.

Rebel Hard (in ARC) by Nalini Singh, which led to me re-reading Rock Addiction and Rock Hard
Buku by Jennifer Anderson
Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews, which led to me re-reading the previous 13 books in the series and thoroughly relishing the experience. (To be fair, some of those are novellas.) I also found that now that I know how the series ends, I picked up some nuances in earlier books that I’d missed before so that was fun.
Alien Commander’s Mate (Warriors of the Lathar Book 6) by Mina Carter
Hardwired by Andrea Bills
The Cyborg Bounty Hunter: Love in the Stars by Miranda Martin
Antibody (Love and War Book 3) by R. A. Steffan
Operation Thunderbolt by Saul David, nonfiction account of the rescue operation at Entebbe
Re-read Dark Piper by Andre Norton
Stripped (Happy Endings) by Zoey Castle
Surviving the Apocalypse by Tinnean
Lights Out by James Hunt
In Darkness Transformed (The Paladin Strike Team Book 1) and Atone In Darkness (The Paladin Strike Team Book 2) by Alexis Morgan, which led to me re-reading books 1 and 2 of her Paladins of Darkness series
Re-read The Snow Tiger and High Citadel by Desmond Bagley
Re-read Frederica by Georgette Heyer
Tailspin by Sandra Brown
The Girl on the Balcony, non fiction, autobiography of actress Olivia Hussey
Claimed by an Alien Warrior by Tiffany Roberts
All the Project Rebellion books by Mina Carter

I read very VERY fast, probably because when I’m reading I concentrate completely on the book and let nothing distract me, aside from Jake the Cat’s piteous meows for his dinner (meaning loud and annoying yowls while he stands on the kindle in my lap and stares at me with his beautiful predator’s eyes).

I also re-read several of my own books, both because I needed to refresh my memory of some things about my current Badari Warrior series and because to tell you the truth, I write the kind of books I love to read.

And there were a number of DNF’s in that time frame as well, principally but not all scifi romances.

There you have it! Happy reading to you…

Have you pre-ordered your copy of Embrace the Romance: Pets In Space 3 yet, by the way?
My brand new 41K word novel in the volume is Star Cruise: Mystery Dancer, with an 'Anastasia' vibe...

Join us as we unveil eleven original, never-before-published action-filled romances that will heat your blood and warm your heart! New York Times, USA Today and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Ruby Lionsdrake, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Carol Van Natta, Tiffany Roberts, Alexis Glynn Latner, E D Walker, JC Hay, and Kyndra Hatch combine their love for Science Fiction Romance and pets to bring readers sexy, action-packed romances while helping our favorite charity. Proud supporters of Hero-Dogs.org, Pets in Space™ authors have donated over $4,400 in the past two years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans. Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space™ 3 today!

Amazon     iBooks     B&N    Kobo     Google



Friday, September 14, 2018

For Love of Books We Didn't Want to Read

We're supposed to talk about books we didn't want to read and then ended up loving and I've got nothing. I'd like to tell you it's because I know my own reading tastes enough that when I don't want to read something, it's because I bloody well know I'm not going to like it and to this point, I've been right. 

Everything I've read that I did not want to read I really didn't like. A few, I detested. The rest were entirely mediocre. I turned into a DNF (Did Not Finish) reader early in my career as a reader - the first book in Stephan Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series cured me of pushing through a story I hated. From that point forward, I figured out that I'd know whether I' be able to stomach a book within the first several pages. Thus began my habit of lurking in the aisles of bookstores reading and flipping through the first couple of pages. 

So it turned out that everything I was forced to read for high school English classes I knew I wouldn't like and only a few who surprised me into appreciating them. (Albert Camus, James Joyce, Joseph Conrad - Shakespeare, even.)

Am I sorry I read any of the books school made me read? A few of them, yes. I was a teenager. I did not need to be reading depressing books. I had a lock on all kinds of angst of my own. I didn't need all these major downer books adding to it. Most of the books, though, I am glad I read. Even if I didn't actively enjoy them. I mean, honestly. Who *reads* Shakespeare? That's not how you learn to appreciate the genius of those texts. It's only in performance of them that you appreciate exactly what Shakespeare did with meter and rhyme to imply stage direction and action.  

If you asked which of the writers I most learned to appreciate as I grew older, I'd say James Joyce - just for the beauty of his words and images. That The Dead was turned into a movie with Angelica Houston in it that mesmerized me helped a lot. NOTHING HAPPENS in that movie. Nothing. And yet. The words were so gorgeous. So I guess that's the story of the book I hadn't wanted to read that ended up pleasantly surprising me - a story I didn't think I actually had. 

You see, I think my brain is melting. I think we might be unexpectedly and sort of accidently be buying a house. O_o Stay tuned. Cause I have no clue how this roller coaster is going to get us back to the safety of solid ground. 

What I want to know is which book (if any) cured you of reading all way to The End in a book you don't like. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

True Confession: I liked Twilight

This is hard for me. See, I'm a book snob, studied literature in college, wax enthusiastic in deep lit-crit conversations. My favorite writer ever is John Freakin Keats. In other words, I'm not a person who should have enjoyed Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books. At all.

But -- yow, am I really saying this? -- I did.

Here's how it went down. Hubs, toddlers, and I were going to the coast for a vacation. Having lacked a free nanosecond since these children were born, I was positive I wasn't going to get any time to indulge in something so selfish as reading. I figured the week would be jellyfish avoidance, sunscreen application, and diaper changing 24/7.

Hubs did advise me to bring a book. I don't need a book, I said. I'll just bring this ancient pink GameBoy and play a spot of Tetris if I somehow manage to steal ten minutes of me-time.

Turned out I got just that. True fact: the Corpus Christi area of Texas is imbued with some magical time-dialation vortex. The toddlers played unburnt and unstung and came back to the condo and slept like, well, babies.

And I was bored.

Now, what happened next isn't some attempt to avoid self-incrimination. I sincerely have no idea who uploaded bootleg copies of the first two Twilight books onto my GameBoy. Whoever it was clearly did not have my best interests at heart. Reading low-res black-on-gray and having to right-rocker-button every 200 words through an entire book does not a pleasant user experience make.

But the books had me from scene one (gory vampire fight in a mirrored-all-over dance studio! Right there with you, Stephenie!). I zoomed through them. Found a book store in town and bought the rest of the series. Using actual money. Even purchased the first two books that I'd already read (because, bootleg files aside, I'm not a complete scumbag).

Yes, I inhaled the whole crazy, first-person, teen-angst bizarre-ass story through my eyeballs and then sat upstairs in the condo wondering Oh My God What Did I Just Read?



I mean, vampires, obviously. And I do love me some vamps. Dracula, I am down with you. Lestat, too. But... whiny, unlikable teenage girl getting stalked by creepy old dude who gets off on sniffing her?! And the most outstanding qualities of said whiny teenage girl also happen to be clumsiness and the ability to function as a null within a universe of thinking, feeling beings? THIS WAS NOT MY SNOBBY-READER SCENE!

I'm still not sure what I enjoyed so much about these books. It might have been the accessible language, the teen soap-opera quality of it all, or that scene late in the series when we get Jacob's POV and he says everything that was in my own mind: I have no idea why I love Bella so much as she is totally not lovable and kind of cruel and self-centered and actually might be killing my brain cells at this very moment yet here I am loving her despite. It might also have been the magic time-dilating vortex hovering over Corpus Christi. (Totally a thing. Believe it!)

Regardless, I did not in any way intend to love the Twilight books. But like them unexpectedly I did.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

"I'd Prefer Not To" : The Story That Surprised Me

Which book did I have to read, did not want to read, but ended up liking?

Bartleby the Scrivener, by Call me Ishmael, erm, Herman Melville. Moby Dick was probably the first school-assigned reading I DNFd. I took the lower grade rather than finish that book. So, when ol' Bartleby showed up on a syllabus there was a lot of gnashing of the teeth. I prepared my tirade on the many flaws of Herman Melville and his writing (having only partially read of Captain's Ahab's hubris), but when I saw it was a short story I simmered down and opened the anthology of western dead white guys' vaunted short works.

Friends, I loved that story. Bartleby broke my heart and the narrator made me so damn angry I fumed for days. Any story that can evoke a lasting emotional reaction, well, I had to revise my opinion on Melville. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Steppenwolf

Once upon a time my brother and me switched books. that is, he read one of mine and I read one of his. neither of had the least bit of interest in doing this, but we made a bet and you have to actually play in those or you can't win.

I gave him THE TALISMAN by Stephen King and Peter Straub, which is, as I have said many times, an amazing book. he gave me Herman Hesse's STEPPENWOLF.

I'd have to say it was a tie. neither of us wanted to read the other's book, but we had a bet going.

We both loved them.

That is, you may rest assured, the exception and not the rule. Mostly I don't find books I don't like.

In most cases I find there are good points to any novel. there are a few writers I can take or leave. Ask me in person and I might even tell you which ones, but for the books. I have seldom been disappointed.


On a different subject: Books coming out soon....

The Griffin & Price series

So me and my co-author, Charles R. Rutledge. decided to start writing the Griffin & Price series just for kicks. The process went very, very smoothly, actually. So smoothly, in fact, that we had the first draft of the first book done in eight weeks.

We had a blast. And we've continued to have a blast with the characters and world we've built up. So much fin, in fact, that we're working on a book set in the same world, and slightly to the side of our usual main characters.

But that's not why I'm here today, I'm here to say that for the first tome, well, basically EVER, all three of the books are out at the same time. See, we have a few publisher issues. As in, sadly, the publishers wither changed their approach to publishing (in one case deciding to focus on old non-fiction books about the occult, which is cool) and in one case making a few missteps in the distribution market and having to downsize substantially.

Now we have fixed the issue. Here are all three of the Griffin & Price books, with descriptions, covers and links.

BLIND SHADOWS




When private investigator Wade Griffin moved away from his hometown of Wellman, Georgia he didn't think he would be back. Too many memories and too many bridges burned. But when an old friend is found brutally murdered and mutilated, nothing can keep Griffin from going home. 

Teamed with another childhood friend, Sheriff Carl Price, Griffin begins an investigation that will lead down darker paths than he could ever have imagined. Soon Griffin and Price find that there are secrets both dark and ancient lurking in the back woods of Crawford's Hollow. 

As Halloween approaches, something evil is growing near the roots of the Georgia mountains, and the keys to the mystery seem to be a woman of almost indescribable beauty and a dead man who won't stay dead. 

As the body count mounts and the horrors pile up, Griffin and Price come to realize that the menace they face extends far beyond the boundaries of Wellman and that their opponents seem to hold all the cards. But the two lawmen have a few secrets of their own, and one way or another there will be hell to pay. 

Blind Shadows is a fast moving synthesis of high-octane crime fiction and horror. Lovecraft and Arthur Machen meet Spillane and Elmore Leonard. A Southern Gothic full of guns and monsters and hard boiled action.


Available in Trade Paperback and for the Kindle

CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD





In the small town of Wellman, Georgia, Sheriff Carl Price wants nothing more than to ticket speedsters and stop drunks from killing each other in the local bars. Unfortunately, things aren’t working out for a simple life. 

His best friend, private investigator Wade Griffin, has taken on a case he normally wouldn’t, to try and build his P.I. business and get out of the mercenary game, which leads to trouble with a major regional crime boss. 

With a missing teenager and a child abduction to solve, and tension brewing from the other-worldly Blackbourne clan, Griffin and Price have their hands full. But something dark rears its head in the form of a new mountain church and its mysterious and charismatic leader, Reverend Lazarus Cotton. 

Once more, Griffin and Price must use the deadly skills learnt in their past, and call upon even deadlier associates when the problems escalate out of their control.

Congregations of the Dead book is a redneck adventure-horror of the darkest kind. In the small town of Wellman, Georgia, it’s a damn hot summer.




Available in Trade Paperback and for the Kindle





A HELL WITHIN









Something dark is looming in Brennert County, Georgia. Sheriff Carl Price and ex-mercenary-turned P.I. Wade Griffin know well the other-worldly undercurrent that runs through the small town of Wellman, but with the Blackbournes trying to rebuild their strength, it seems they can breathe a little easier, Just a little. 

Griffin starts working a case when he stumbles across a massacre at a drug lab, and when Price is called to the scene of a brutal triple homicide, it has all the markings of Blackbourne retribution.

 Before the blood is dry, two more people are torn apart. 

As the body count rises, Griffin and Price find themselves in the middle of a turn war where bullets and black magic are the weapons of choice. Caught between the worlds of monsters and men, Griffin and Price enlist the help of associate Carter Decamp to put an end to to the brewing battle.

 But the gates of Hell have been opened and the beasts won't be denied their chance to feast.