Showing posts with label Dan O'Brien. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dan O'Brien. Show all posts

Q&A Sixth Prime by Dan O'Brien

Friday, June 24, 2016
Title: Sixth Prime
Author: Dan O'Brien
Series: The Prime Saga (Book 1)
Genre: YA/NA Sci-fi/Fantasy (elements of space opera and romance as well)
Publisher: Self Publish
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Edition/Formats: eBook
Blurb/Synopsis:
2.3.5.7.11.13.
A war brews as a galaxy struggles to maintain a peace treaty signed in haste. The Commonwealth boasts sprawling cities built upon slums. The Sovereignty has placed the yoke of industry upon its citizens. Sixteen men and women are connected in a way they cannot yet understand. A murder of a prominent artist begins a chain of events that will ultimately determine the fate of the universe. Only thirteen will remain. In the end, there can be only one Prime. Are you a Prime?





Book Links
Amazon Pre-Order Your Copy NOW

Spotlight Mobsters MOnsters and Nazis by Dan O'Brien

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Dan O'Brien and Steve Ferchaud have done it again! Mobsters, Monsters & Nazis will be a six-story illustrated series that will launch on Halloween and conclude right around Christmas. It is equal parts noir, pulp, Lovecraft, and detective fiction with enough intrigue and mystery to keep you hanging on. 

It is available for pre-order starting today, so be sure to grab and let everyone know about it!

You can pre-order it for only $2.99 by clicking on the cover above or by following this link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OE781J2

Spotlight Conspirators of the Lost Sock Army and Loose Change Collection Agency by Dan O'Brien

Sunday, March 16, 2014

You’re never too old to have one more adventure 

Brought to life by Steve Ferchaud’s vibrant drawings, this story for all ages by Dan O’Brien lets us know that it is never too late to have one more adventure. 


An Excerpt:


Robert Pendleton opened one eye as the light of a passing car flashed over the window, shattering the darkness into prisms. He rolled onto his back on the beat-up couch and yawned as he reached his hands up and rubbed his eyes unceremoniously. 

He looked out over the darkness at the digital clock. The red digits spelled out a quarter ‘til midnight––nearly fourteen hours of sleep. He smiled and grabbed one of the cushions of the couch, burying his head in it. Just enough sleep, he reminded himself. Robert felt that anything less than twelve hours of sleep was very nearly too little. 

He grasped blindly for the TV remote. 

Groaning as he lifted his head, he looked at the empty table––his eyes drawn by another flash of a passing car. He couldn’t see clearly, but he knew that the remote had been there before he had fallen asleep nearly half a day ago. 

“Could have sworn….” he mumbled as he pushed himself up and brushed his hand around the top of the table, finding nothing. “Where did….”

Another groan escaped his lips as he lifted his body to a sitting position and threw aside the cluster of pillows that he had gathered around himself. He reached out for the lamp, but instead knocked it to the floor with a resounding thud. 

Robert muttered as he stood up from the couch, and then sank to his knees to search around in the darkness for the fallen lamp. Reaching around on the shadowed floor, shards of the broken lamp scattered like pieces of light. 

He turned his head, peering beneath the large space underneath the couch and saw the reflection of the buttons on the remote. The off-gray piece of machinery was underneath the couch––only darkness lingered beyond it. He reached out as he spoke again. 

“How did it get all the way down there?” 

Robert flexed his hand and strained as he twisted his back to reach farther; yet, the remote remained just out of reach. He pulled his arm away with a huff and craned his neck to the side, staring underneath into the darkness below the couch. 

His eyes widened as he saw the impossible: there was something beyond the remote. He shook his head and closed his eyes, whispering to himself that he didn’t see what he thought he had.

“I saw a little man,” he whispered to himself as he opened his eyes once more and nearly gasped as he did so. 

The figure was closer now and he could make out the outline clearly. A tiny man rested just beyond the remote. 

“What in the name of…?”

“Not here in the name of nobody, laddie. I be a friend though,” crooned the miniscule figure as he interrupted Robert and stepped forward, placing a hand on the darkened and slick surface of the remote. 

A tam-o’-shanter crested his bright red hair, the shaggy mane blending perfectly into his equally crimson, neatly trimmed, beard. 

A billow of whitish smoke drifted from the long-stemmed pipe that he held clenched between his lips. 

Robert fell back and knocked aside the adjacent table. Rubbing his eyes, he spoke a single word: “Leprechaun.”



About the Author:


Dan O’Brien, founder and editor-in-chief of The Northern California Perspective, has written over 20 books––including the bestselling Bitten, which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012. Before starting Amalgam, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine. In addition, he has spent over a decade in the publishing industry as a freelance editor. You can learn more about his literary and publishing consulting business by visiting his website at: www.amalgamconsulting.com. Contact him today to order copies of the book or have them stocked at your local bookstore. He can he reached by email at amalgamconsulting@gmail.com



Would you like to win a remarked copy of Conspirators of the Lost Sock Army and Loose Change Collection Agency signed by the author and illustrator?

Simply follow the author here and here and a few winners will be randomly selected on March 20th!

Spotlight Water A B-Sides Story by Dan O'Brien

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I want to thank you for having me on your blog to promote the release of my latest publication. Water is a novella in the B-Sides universe, which follows people in a post-apocalyptic world. While each story is a standalone adverture, together they form a deeply intricate web of action, drama, and hope. Here is a brief summary of the novella:

The next installment in the B-Sides series follows a father and son living out a quiet life in northern Arizona. A strange occurrence at the border, and a series of events that turns the world upside down, plunges society into a spiral from which it might not be able to recover. Having to flee from their home with a band of unlikely friends in tow, the open road beckons. 

Can they survive? 


And here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:

Tuesday


His phone vibrated as it slowly ventured toward the edge of his nightstand. Shaking and spinning, it was a ballet of electronic futility. James had left it behind; it wasn’t even an afterthought as he neared the valley of sand and heat that he had passed through only the night before. There were two reasons to live in the desert: sunsets and sunrises. 

This particular morning was no exception. 

The valley was formed of a crimson pastel rock that from a distance looked like the mountains at the entrance to some unknown world. But in the morning and just before the wisps of night grab a hold and smother the day, there was an explosion of colors. It was a beautiful cornucopia of blistering and beautiful art. 

The sun crawled just above the sand dunes, flooding the valley in sunshine. The splashing light tumbled across the rock formations, and iridescent stones ignited the walls of the basin. 

This was the part of the day James loved the most. 

This was when his life felt less worthless. 

There was purpose here. 

The sun came into the valley each day to create this beautiful marvel, and each day he was here to witness it. The twisting serpent of the road wove in and out of the majesty of nature, until the paved parking lot of his daily grind came into view. 

A grotesque sign was perched just off the road. 

It read: Our Stuff. 

The door of the jeep creaked as James closed it. He pulled his red vest over his black t-shirt and ran a hand through his short hair. 

The parking lot was mostly empty. 

A beat-up Buick had been parked there since the late 90s and had never moved. By this time, it was a makeshift homeless shelter for local transients. It was an important component of his duties for the day, driving off the homeless when they panhandled in front of the store. 

Silence permeated the morning––a rare treat James relished in the early mornings. She walked in from the other side of the parking lot. A blue Honda with a dented door and missing hubcaps was parked some distance away. She was his dream girl, of a sort. She was married to––or had been, it was a strange situation to be sure––a local drunk and abuser. 

Light brown hair to her chin: It was often combed over one eye, mirroring a childhood memory. There was too much eye shadow to hide indiscretions, long shirts to hide bruises. 

She was a broken doll. 

“Hey Violet,” James mumbled as he got closer, chancing an awkward wave. 

She rarely looked up and when she did, all he was struck by was the wide eyes that looked at him in gratitude for recognizing her existence. This day, she smiled weakly. Dimples in her cheeks deepened as he got closer. 

“Hello, James,” she whispered back, her voice small. 

He felt protective of her.

As he neared, he smiled widely, invitingly. 

“Did you bring Julie with you today?” 

Julie was her eight-year old daughter who often frequented work with her mother when her father was away on a binge, or more violent than usual. James felt defensive of her as well, much to his detriment. 
She shook her head. Most of the time she wore an over-sized coat with a faux fur lining and hood that was often the barrier of her hidden face. 

“Her father took her today.”

James nodded absently, as he could not imagine what that man could do with a child. He could barely take care of himself. Too often, he would barrel into the store––half-drunk and yelling––and would have to be dragged out by the police. The automatic doors at the front of the store did not open as they approached. 
Reaching out, James pulled them open and gestured for Violet to go first. She bowed her head, making an already smaller person even more diminutive. The interior of the store was still dark. The echo of the speakers played elevator music, water-downed versions of songs no one wanted to hear. As Violet disappeared into the aisles of the store, James turned and shut the front doors and locked them. 
“See you later,” he spoke, trailing off at the end.

*

The morning passed as it often did. 

The sun rose. 

Heat sweltered in the desert and the fringe humanity of Miranda sought air-conditioned shelter. James was a walker, a transient employee who sauntered through the store. Seeking out customers who required help, he sometimes cleaned the bathrooms. Often, he attended to those duties that fell between the cracks of other employees. As the morning gave way to the afternoon, there was a palpable tension in the air.

Customers were more curt than usual. 

People left angry. 

It was not until James had the distinct pleasure of interacting with a deranged desert degenerate that he began to understand what it was about that day that was enraging people so. 

“Nametag.” 

James did not register the cruel tone at first. 

“Nametag,” he repeated, this time drawing James’ attention. “Nametag, I’m talking to you. Turn around.”

James turned, his grimace dissipating into an even line. 

It was his best attempt at a smile. 

The man was a caricature of a person. His chin disappeared into his pocked neck and his bulging brown eyes seemed to be of two different sizes. Crooked teeth were revealed as he opened his mouth to speak once more. 

“Hey, what about customer service? C’mon, nametag.”

“What can I help you with, sir?” mustered James. 

The man’s face twisted into a sneer. 

He was wearing a shirt three sizes too small, his hairy belly exposed from just beneath the dirty white shirt. Putrid breath radiated from the man. It was an odor that could have risen from a trash heap in the Mojave Desert. “Attitude? You giving me attitude now, nametag? Time like this, in a crisis and what not.”

“I’m sorry that you feel I am being discourteous…”

The man sneered again. His voice, though masculine, broke as he spoke again. “Using big words on me now, college dropout. You think you’re hot shit, selling commodities to us lower folk.”

James looked at the man in disbelief, his behavior was deplorable. “Perhaps if you can just calm down, I can help you find whatever it is you are looking for.”

The man moved in closer, the scent of body odor was overpowering. “You some kind of wise guy? Why do you think I’m here? You retarded? Don’t you listen to the news? Don’t you know what’s going on?”

James looked at him, bewildered. 

“Sir, I…”

“Water,” the man spoke clearly. “Water, I need water.”

“Bottled water? Is this about the Hernandez thing? The border?” queried James, making a connection slowly, though uncertainly. “Are they peddling hysteria already?”

“Hysteria, boy, you must be living under a rock. It’s coming. That border thing’s old news. Poison is in Texas now, parts of New Mexico. They’re talking about rationing and sanctions on tap water. You believe that shit?”

James looked around the store. “I really don’t.”

It had evaded him previously. 

The scampering populace of Miranda bustled about the store, arms full of plastic water bottles and greater containers. One woman had another by the hair, dragging her away from the last water bottles on the shelf. People screamed at each other, pointing accusing fingers, claiming water as their own. 

“It would appear you aren’t the only one looking,” replied James, as he pointed to the pandemonium. “Best of luck to you.”

The man glowered at him as he passed by, but James could not believe his eyes. Lines were backed up, people nearly climbing over each other to get water and carry it away in the heat of the day, to survive. 

He stalked over to the throng of people who had begun to congregate around the empty shelves. As he approached, the masses turned as one. Their bleary eyes and angry words were upon him before he could even speak. 

“Where is the water?” one cried.

“Is there more?” queried an elderly woman shakily. 

“What do we do?” screamed another.

James held up his hands, trying to calm them. 

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he began, but they continued to bicker. Each voice rose above the others. Some shoved those smaller than themselves, like a rabid mob. He raised his voice. Some mumbles remained, but most had directed their attention at him. “Let’s all calm down for a moment. I will go in the back and see what we have.”

He moved away from them, not giving them time to object or grow ever angrier. The store was packed. Never in his eighteen months there had he seen such a rush on the store. He wondered what it was he had missed to which everyone else was reacting so intensely. Pushing open the double doors that led into the warehouse, James sighed. 

The madness was tangible. 

It permeated the air, made it thin. 

Other employees had congregated in the back, seeking shelter from the madness. Two of them talked loudly with each other. One he knew, the other was a new employee or perhaps someone with whom he had never crossed paths. The first was dressed in a style that could only be described as early fuckup. The other was the kind of person who you would not give another look, as average as they come. 

An unevenly mounted nose ring, jagged teeth, and a tone that was filled with ignorance: The younger man James did not know spoke in an overbearing tone.

“This is epic. All these fucking hillbillies running around like the skies are falling in. I’m surprised the fat ones aren’t screaming Chicken Little. Epic.” He held his hands up demonstratively. “Epic.”

Average Bob watched the less-than-eloquent fellow employee with a listless gaze. “The news said it was serious though…”

“The news? You can’t trust the news, man. They are trying to pull some bullshit over our eyes. Always, trying to force your hand,” he continued to rant. 

James moved past, making sure not to make eye contact, as he did not wish to engage them in some kind of rhetorical conversation. As he moved out of earshot, he could not help but shake his head at the redundant movie references that took the place of grammar and syntax. There was only the replacement of actual thought with recycled thought. It had become the repetition and regurgitation of the words of another. He was not necessarily bitter toward fan worship, but was simply irritated by the lack of thought most other people his age seemed to show. They were more content in the safety of what other people thought––more concerned with their small shell of a world and not the greater picture. 

His face twisted into a scowl as he moved past racks and racks of brown boxes marked in black permanent marker with various numbers designating position, quantity, and retail-related mediocrity. As he reached the back, where normally there were pallets upon pallets of shrink-wrapped water cases, he swore.

Reaching down, he picked up the wayward bunched band of plastic that had once held the pallet in place. There were seven empty pallets, the entire back stock of what the store carried. 

Where had he been? 

How had he not seen this?

The voice startled him. “Pretty intense, huh?”

James rose slowly, turning to face Violet. “Yeah, wild. How did I not notice all of this water going out?”

She moved next to him, folding her arms across her chest. “You’ve been in a daze lately, moving around as if you didn’t notice anything, anybody.”

They lingered like this for a moment. 

Neither spoke––nor breathed really––except in fractured, shallow breaths. Finally, letting out a burst of air and licking his lips, James shifted his feet and ran a hand through his hair. “I should check on those people out there. They were acting like fucking animals.”

Violet nodded, tucking her hands inside her sleeves. 

“Yeah, my break is almost over. I should be getting back.”

James nodded again, awkwardly. 

Turning away, he disappeared into the racks once more, leaving Violet to her thoughts. He shook his head and mumbled to himself in mock anger. Whenever there was a moment when he and Violet seemed to connect, they both froze, neither making a move. She was scared, but was looking for a way out. 

He knew that. 

He could be there for her. 

Smacking a hand against his forehead, he whispered to himself angrily. “Stupid.”





A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.





Spotlight The Hobbes Family by Dan O'Brien

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Welcome to the seventh day of the Hobbes Family blog tour. It will run until September 2nd and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

The world had ended abruptly and without warning. How will a family navigate a world that seems bent on destroying them? Follow them in this exciting new serial adventure.


A few questions for the author:


Tell us about your most recent release.

Hobbes Family is the first chapter in a serial that I hope to put out for many months to come. The idea behind it is to combine an episodic ensemble like Lost and Walking Dead in digital novella form. This story follows the Hobbes family from the first throes of the apocalypse through the darkness of a world bathed in darkness.


What else do you have coming out?

A few books and many, many more serials in the B-Sides series that starts with this story. Water is the next novella that introduces more of the ensemble cast as they navigate the first week of the apocalypse.


Is there anything you want to make sure potential readers know?

I write a lot of different stories in a lot of different genres. Definitely follow the blog to learn about what I have coming out. I have a tendency to create gray-washed characters in terms of morality, and often ask much of the reader. 


Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:






An on-ramp had been painted over with long strokes of graffiti, hopefully. A few cars sat off to the side, heavy skid marks from where they had pushed aside from larger vehicles. There was a narrow chute through which a car might fit. 

Michael chanced it. 

He knew that staying in a city meant certain doom. 

Without the amenities, the basics of civilization would soon crumble. This thought worried him deeply. A regression to the mean, to the horror that lay at the depths and darkness of every living being, was something that hid when the beauty of children were introduced into the world. 

Being a father had put that darkness at bay. 

There was something life-affirming in being the caretaker and guide for a being, to be there in moments of despair and happiness, all the while being at the mercy of chance and probability. 

The sun dipped below the horizon. 

Michael’s heart dropped. 

Turning his lights on would draw attention to them. 

Highway 99 was slow going. 

A lot of the cars had been abandoned. Looming to the east and west was a silent darkness from which they would not escape until the sun kissed the sky once more. Susanna remained silent, eyes forward as she watched the darkness. 

Clara hummed softly. Reflex caused Michael to reach for the radio, but he stopped himself. If he wasn’t willing to turn on the lights, the radio would have to wait until they were out of town. Even though night had arrived, there was enough light to drive slowly through the thickening maze of the mechanical graveyard. 

Something bumped into the front of the car, but Michael kept the vehicle going. As they moved on, the whine of fingers on glass as a groaner reached out for the Subaru made Clara scream. Dead eyes and diseased flesh watched the little girl. Head titled and mouth agape, it gnashed angrily as it struggled to get past the window. 

Susanna was in the back seat like a slithering serpent, her feet kicking the rearview mirror as she hugged her daughter, surrounding her completely. Michael swerved a bit, giving the groaner a bump. 

It was enough. 

The highway was littered with the carcasses of machine and man alike. As they neared the next turn-off, the small family watched a staggering horde move just ahead, waiting for a moment as if expecting the stop light to suddenly come alive and grant them passage. 

The mass of groaners was not what made his heart drop. 

Heavy floodlights atop the overpass made Susanna squeak. Groaner-fearing folk would never be bold enough to flash about in the darkness; a point made all the more prominent by the sudden but inevitable gravity of attention from the groaners waiting for the turn signal. 

The floodlights disappeared for a moment and Michael allowed his quick pulse a reprieve; this, however, did not last. The roar of the diesel engine was accompanied by the bouncing will-o-wisps of electricity as they circled around the off-ramp going south. 

Michael turned on the lights to the Subaru and gunned it. The engine ratcheted up, squealing for a moment as the RPMs matched his urgency. The road no longer seemed calm. As the headlights danced over the asphalt mausoleum, heads rose with varying degrees of decay. 

Abandoning the slow crawl, Michael veered right, driving right toward the on-ramp and the disabled street lights. The mob of groaners had moved onto the overpass, chasing the floodlights. 

For a moment, Michael breathed easy. Maybe the truck hadn’t seen them. Maybe they weren’t Children. As he looked into the rearview mirror, he knew how this would end as he saw the heavy lights of the truck in pursuit.



Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.



All of his books are only 99 cents on Kindle right now!


Download Hobbes Family for free on Kindle from 8/28 until 9/1!


Would you like to win a Kindle Fire?

Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!


Spotlight Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9am - Rhys by Dan O'Brien

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Welcome to the fourth day of the Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9am - Rhys blog tour. It will run until August 9th and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

Abraham Rogers has an unusual psychotherapy practice: monsters. This first installment is a session with Rhys, the IT vampire who can’t quite connect with the modern world the way he would like.


A few questions for the author:


What do you want from life?

To achieve my goals. I have been moving in that direction and it feels good to stay determined and persevere. I keep making new goals, which will make sure that I am always pursing something. I just want to continue doing what I want to do....


If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

Is an infinite number of wishes on the table? If so, then that. Otherwise, wisdom, patience, and clarity.


What three things would you take to a Desert Island?

My Kindle with all of my books (I can fashion a charging station out of a pineapple. Don't believe me? Search YouTube), my wife, and my survival bag.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


Abe knew that Rhys suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder, though it was more likely a bout of generalized anxiety tied to some kind of recent drama. 

It had taken Abe several sessions to become accustomed to the idiosyncratic behavior of the moody child of the night. As a psychologist he was supposed to remain composed, but the first few sessions bordered on frightening. 

Rhys had on more than one occasion threatened him with bloodletting if he continued down a particular course of questioning. This passed as the vampire soon revealed his aversion to the sight of blood and the passion with which he dreaded violence. 

“What of social engagements?”

Rhys collected himself before speaking. “In 400 years I have bedded many women, but Eileen was different. She was unfettered by my flights of sorrow. At first she thought it was going to be blood and bondage, but she soon saw that we are just bored with this world.”

“We have not spoken of Eileen in some time, Rhys. Have you done what I suggested?”

“Go out and meet people. Are you quite mad?”

Abe and Rhys came to this point often. “You came to me because you wished to overcome some of your fears, some of the things that were holding you back. You asked me to treat you as any other patient because the alienation and loneliness was at the very center of your concerns.”

Rhys nodded and motioned with his hands. “Do not get flustered. I recall what I said.”

“Very good. So have you?”

“I created a profile on one of this computer dating sites. That is not how a man met a woman in my time.”

Abe smiled. “Things have indeed changed.”

“I get these messages from women wondering if I am a goth or if I am an Anne Rice fan. I find the process disgusting.”

“Disgusting how?”

“I am not a literary character beholden to some novelist somewhere.”

“Do you take offense to the portrayal of your kind in the media? In fiction?”

Rhys leaned back into the couch, his reed-like frame consumed by the cushions. “Not all of them. Stoker did not terribly displease me. I prefer Mrs. Rice’s portrayal of my people, even if we are not as refined and romantic as the masses would hope. These sparkly, brooding types obsessed with teenagers paint us as horny men incapable of satiating our lust for youth. A terrible literary metaphor if I have ever seen one.”



Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.



All of his books are only 99 cents on Kindle right now!


Download Mondays with Mephistopheles for free on Kindle from 8/21 until 8/25!


Would you like to win a Kindle Fire?

Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!


Spotlight The Twins of Devonshire and the Curse of the Widow by Dan O'Brien

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Welcome to the last day of The Twins of Devonshire and the Curse of the Widow blog tour. It will run until August 17th and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

A plague has covered the land, a single word on the lips of the frightened masses: the Widow. Washing a wave of terror over the countryside and then disappearing like a thief in the night, the Widow holds a kingdom in the palm of her hand. The eyes of Chaos have settled on Prima Terra and heroes must rise. Xeno Lobo, enigmatic and cryptic, hunts the Widow, seeking an object taken from him years before. Will he be able to stem the tide of violence and horror that sweeps the land?



A few questions for the author:


How can we contact you or find out more about your books? 

You can like my Facebook page, or follow my blog, where I will be raffling off a Kindle Fire in September to a lucky follower. If you aren't already following my blog, I would encourage you to do so. I am also very active on Twitter: @AuthorDanOBrien. I like to hear from fellow writers and readers alike, so get in touch!

What can we expect from you in the future?

I have a lot of releases slated for fall and the following year. I started an apocalyptic serial called B-Sides that will unfold over the coming months, starting with Hobbes Family and Water. The re-launch of The Ocean and the Hourglass is coming, along with several new releases.


What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Share your experiences with others, leave a review, share updates, and follow me on social media. By being connected to readers, and readers being connected to me, I am able to get the word out about my books. Buying a book doesn't hurt either.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:

Dawn was breaking as Xeno and Uthen rode into Sel’verene. A sheet of freshly fallen snow covered the majority of the street. The sparse buildings seemed more the part of tombs than businesses. They spied the sign that had INN sprawled across it in faded black paint and tied their horse out front, taking a moment to look up and down the deserted street.

Xeno grasped the rusted iron handle and turned it. Emitting a thin, squealing creak as the door swung inward, it revealed the darkened interior. With the exception of the dwindling embers in the fireplace and the dancing light of the lantern at the counter, there was little luminance of which to speak. They approached the counter, their snow-drenched boots leaving puddles of water and slush as they made their way.

Xeno peered over the empty counter, his eyes adjusting to the sudden darkness. “Hello?” he called, his voice echoing in the chamber.

The rustle of footsteps and then the muttering of several small voices came from the staircase to their right. Xeno moved to inspect when a young woman emerged from around the corner, her white dress covered in a dark brown shawl. “Can I help you?” she whispered, her voice more youthful than her appearance.

Xeno stared at the young girl for a moment.

Producing a small satchel of coins, he laid them upon the counter. “My companion and I weathered the snowstorm and need a room for the day and part of the night. Can that be arranged?”

“We have many rooms,” she began, but was interrupted by a craven, bent man who emerged from the same corner as the girl.

His thinning gray hair was almost non-existent, and his glasses slid to his nose. The freckles and dried skin made him appear the part of a troll. His back was crooked and his clothes hung from him as if he were a walking skeleton that had just risen from his grave.

“From where have you come?” asked the man with a harsh tone, his voice raspy.

“Far away from these parts, we are merely passing through,” replied Xeno quickly, knowing full well that the man was wary of strangers; especially those who had come looking for spirits in the darkness.

“Far away, eh? Your companion looks the part of a soldier,” crooned the old man.

“No, sir,” began Uthen and then trying to think quickly, he continued, “I’m a––uh…”

“We are entertainers, from the west. We have merely lost our way,” finished Xeno, flashing Uthen a disgusted glance. The man regarded them suspiciously and then scoffed, disappearing around the corner.

“Entertainers?” queried the girl with as much enthusiasm as she could muster.

“Storytellers mostly,” replied Xeno as he opened the satchel of coins. “How much for that room?”

“Seven gold is what we charge, but if you are entertainers….”

“Seven it is,” replied Xeno as he placed the seven golden coins marked with the emblem of the Nine Kings near the girl. She made them disappear beneath the table into an iron box.

“Would you tell me a story sometime? We don’t have many strangers who pass through, and none who can weave a wonderful tale.”

Xeno hesitated for a moment. “Of course, we shall tell a grand story of good and evil here tonight, after some rest. How does that sound?”

“Thank you, I will be waiting.” The girl skipped off. This was a change from the somber zombie who had stalked out to wait upon them.

“Was that wise?”

“Uthen, sometimes the Fates choose to play strange tricks upon us mortals, and it is best to just take them as they come.”

Uthen could not fault Xeno’s words, knowing that he would be reluctant to deny a few moments of peace to a town steeped in its own despair and misery. As they made their way up the stairs, they saw that snow had begun to fall once again.




Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.



All of his books are only 99 cents on Kindle right now!


Download The Twins of Devonshire and the Curse of the Widow for free on Kindle from 8/13 until 8/17!


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Spotlight The Journey by Dan O'Brien

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Welcome to the sixth day of The Journey blog tour. It will run until August 9th and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

The Frozen Man. The Translucent Man. The Burning Man. The Wicker Man. The guide known only as the Crossroads, together these are the signposts and totems of the world that the being called the Lonely inhabits. Seeking out the meaning of his journey, the Lonely is a being consumed by philosophical inquiry and adventure. Filled with exotic places and age-old questions, the Journey is a book that seeks to merge the fantastical and real. Join the Lonely as he seeks out answers to his own existence and perhaps the meaning for us all. 



A few questions for the author:


Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now? 

More than likely not. I have managed to get past outright anger anymore. There are frustrations that creep up now and again, but I imagine anything that long ago has no bearing on me today. 


What is your happiest childhood memory? 

Any time spent playing with my brother. We do not get to spend nearly as much time together as I would like, and it seems that this will not change anytime in the near future. I find that when I visit my family, many of these memories become more distinct, more heartbreaking. 


At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? 

Right now. I am attempting to do what I love despite the possibility of failure. It is a tremendous feeling that is both frightening and life-affirming. It remains to be seen if I can make this way of like my only way of life.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


VI
The Crossroads Revisited


The Lonely watched as the world flooded back into view. Slowly ebbing like disturbed water and then eventually setting so that he could see his surroundings once more. 

“You have visited the Frozen Man?” queried the Crossroads. 

The Lonely remembered the tundra and rubbed his hands together. “I visited the Frozen Man, though I’m not entirely certain that it was a man.”

“A relative term I am afraid,” replied the Crossroads. 

“Man?” asked the Lonely. 

He looked upon the Crossroads and the being now resembled a vagrant. A hooded robe covered him, but was torn in places and splotched with dark patches that appeared wet. 

“Yes, the term to which you apply to the being the Frozen Man is not of gender, but of nomenclature. He is no more a man than I am a woman; or you a frog. It is simply what the being is called, only a word.”

The Lonely pondered this for a moment, looking toward the north. He noticed immediately that there was no longer a signpost for the North. 

“Where has the sign gone?”

“Which sign?” asked the Crossroads.

“The one that pointed north,” replied the Lonely. 

The Crossroads moved ever so slightly, his form seemed to shimmer through the air. He gestured with a covered arm, his hands beneath darkness. 

“The North is no longer available to you. Whatever it was that you were to learn from the Frozen Man has been learned. There is nothing for you now in the cold, hence you can no longer reach it,” reasoned the Crossroads. 

“So simply because I have learned it, I cannot return to it again?”

The Crossroads shook his hooded head. 

“Having visited there, you can never visit there again anew. With the knowledge you have now, the visit there would not be the same and the outcome would be different. Hence, you can never truly revisit the North.”

The Lonely crossed his arms over his chest. 

“What was he, the Frozen Man?”

“He was the Frozen Man: the accumulation of the North and its principles––the totem of ice and cold. He was the summation of cold, hard logics that lacked passions of any kind.”

“Was?” queried the Lonely. 

The world around the convergence of the four roads had grown gray and weary. The sky above was darkness and the air around them thick in haze and fog. Had the Lonely walked just meters from his spot, he would have been lost to the fogbank surrounding him. 

The Crossroads shifted yet again, this time taking with him a tendril of the fog around him. “The Frozen Man is no more. For you to have returned, he must be no more.”

The Lonely pondered this. 

“Did I kill him?”

“Would you wish him dead?”

“No, but the way that he thought, seemed to me in many ways to be a form of death. I suppose I felt he was already dead. His logics, his mannerisms, were such that I truly believed him to be the machine that he resembled in the end.”

The Crossroads looked at the Lonely with his vacant stare. “And thus, he is no more. You have yet to understand why you are here. Do you believe that this is a journey with an end or an end to a journey?”

The Lonely shook his head, his arms crossed over his chest. “It is a journey, is it not? I am searching for something, answers to which I do not yet know the questions.”

The Crossroads nodded, but did not respond. 

The Lonely continued. 

“So then my conversation, my words, killed him?”

The Crossroads moved about the dusty patch of land that they occupied. “There are four paths and four totems, one totem for each path, and each life. There is a truth hidden among the four: the Frozen Man, the Burning Man, the Wicker Man, and the Translucent Man.”

“Four totems? Of elements? Totems of what?”

The image of the Crossroads morphed again, now he stood as a wintry traveler. A gray fedora covered his silvery hair and a wool coat wrapped his slender shoulders. Smoke drifted from a pipe at his lips and the bill of his hat covered his eyes. Only his lips moved; the subtle glean of his teeth white. 

“Four totems of life.”

“I don’t understand,” said the Lonely. 

“You are not yet meant to. There is much to search for yet. As I recall, you cannot even remember your name or from whence you came?”

The Lonely hesitated for a moment. 

The Crossroads had not previously been so candid with him. “Indeed, that is true. Can you tell me my name or where I have come from? Even from what time I come?”

“When?” queried the Crossroads. “Have you begun to question your existence?”

The Lonely shook his head, looking to his feet once more: no shoes, tan skin. He was more confused than ever. “I am not certain of anything, though I believe that you know more than you are telling me.”

“I can assure you that I know no more than what it is that I am supposed to know. Just as you are only certain of those things that are most certain to you,” replied the Crossroads. His stoic tone belied the mirth of his riddle. 

“Riddles? Truly?” queried the Lonely with a raised eyebrow. 

The Crossroads seemed incapable of anything except movement––emotions, characterizations; some levels of humanity were beyond him. “I do not wish to burden you with the riddles of the eternal. I will begin again. I believe you remember how this goes. I am the Crossroads.”

The Lonely stood up straighter as if he had been scolded for slouching. “I am the Lonely.”

The Crossroads spread out his hands, the fog dissipating as if it had never been there at all. “What path do you choose?”

The Lonely considered for a moment. “I have already seen the North, witnessed its logics. I feel as though the south calls to me––the Burning Man.”

The Crossroads remained still. 

The fog had settled farther from them now. The Lonely could see clearly the remaining three signposts. “It is just as well, I suppose,” said the Crossroads. 

“Just as well what? What is that you are hiding?” asked the Lonely challengingly. 

The Crossroads shook his hooded head. “There is nothing more than you already know. The South is now your path. Go in peace.”

The Lonely nodded and started south. 

The fog was cold on his face and he closed his eyes, envisioning a broad desert, palm trees in the distance. There in the distance he could see the Oasis, the realm of the South. Time tugged upon him, space toyed with his form, and soon he was transported once again.



Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.



All of his books are only 99 cents on Kindle right now!


Download The Journey for free on Kindle from 8/5 until 8/9!


Would you like to win a Kindle Fire?

Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!


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