Stalk me elsewhere

Monday, December 31, 2012

Another New Year's Eve

"Another knockout. James Garcia Jr. manages to take ordinary, everyday people -- characters that are our neighbors, our friends, and even us, and put them in extraordinary circumstances. The novel has the quaint, almost cozy feel due to its small-town setting, but the theme is anything but -- evil, and a vampire's quest to find whether there is good in him is epic, to say the least. I love where Garcia took the characters from the first novel, whom I was happy to see again, and added a few new ones. The ending, with a visit from someone whom I thought was a great surprise, well -- I cannot wait for Book 3!" Nicole Hadaway, Author of Release.

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. Forgive me the shameless promotion, but when you get a review like that one... Well, you know.

How is everyone? Did you enjoy/survive Christmas? We had three gatherings here in five days, so it was fun to say the least. *laughs* Our house is only about 1800 square feet, lest you think I've sold enough copies of my vampire series to afford living in a mansion. Not yet, anyway. I tell you this because my wife's family came over for Christmas Eve. That was about 30+ people. Thankfully not all 95 could make it, do you know what I'm saying? :)

It hasn't been all cleaning, entertaining and cleaning again. I got a bit of writing done, have gone to the movies or sat on the couch for a few of them. We saw Les Miserables on Saturday evening. I knew nothing of the story - other than the fact that it existed. Incredible performances. They should cancel The Academy Awards this coming year and hand those Oscars out for that film right now!

I've been on vacation and have another week. I plan to shake the virtual dust from my WIP and begin draft two of it. You may recall it is my take on paranormal romance. Now before you start picturing half dressed models on the book cover, you can calm down. It won't be like that. I'm not talking about characters hoping into the sack together left and right. No. However, I am definitely talking about exploring love and great loss. It is currently entitled, Ghosts. The plot involves both ghosts of the literal and figurative; ones that haunt the heart and mind as well as the darkened hallway or the mysterious attic.

So, that's what's next for me. In 2013, I plan to try and spend less time with endless promotion that has little reach, look for better ways of getting the word out there and ultimately spend more time than I have been with my family. How about you?

Finally, if Santa brought you a new Kindle this year, or you're just looking for good books to fill a Kindle you've already had, I have a crossover vampire series for you. You should find it fresh and hopefully not too preachy. My aim was not to convert people to Christianity so much as it was to show that you can mix horror and Christian themes, and have fun doing it. The prices are recently reduced as well, if your arm requires any further twisting. *smiles* Dance on Fire is now .99 cents and the sequel Flash Point is only $2.99. Get them both for $4. If now isn't a good time, perhaps throw them on your Goodreads shelf and pick them up later.



My friends, I thank you so much for stopping by in 2012, however many times that might have been. I hope to visit your sites more often, and to be as encouraging to you as you have been for me. Happy New Year to you and all of yours.

We'll talk soon.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Future Without Twitter?


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. How are you all doing? Are we in the Christmas spirit yet? I hope so. I am getting there, but some things have risen up to do their best to dampen them…

Things have gotten tough at the dreaded day job. Due to many factors, we had a lousy busy season and have been forced to work weekends. I got out of working a weekend ago and the subsequent Monday due to the fact that we already had plans to accompany our high school freshman and his choir to Disneyland and the Candlelight celebration. It was a very cool time, but now I’m on the clock for weekend work and worked this past Saturday. I typically take two weeks off during the holidays – you may recall my having been sick for them last year. In any event, even that is in jeopardy, and I may have to work during this time as well.

Not only are we really busy, but now I find myself really tired. It didn’t take long at all for the busy workload to wipe away that three-day weekend I just had. Christmas makes us all busy. I’m trying to get some writing in, but my three hour window is shaky now because some days I am far too tired to concentrate. Lately, I’ve hardly blogged at all. Many have continued to visit in spite of the fact that I have rarely reciprocated, which I adore you for, and hope to improve upon.

Then this past Wednesday morning during a work coffee-break I attempted to do my #WriterWednesday shout-outs on Twitter, only to discover that the Follow Friday App had been permanently shut down. This left me with no real way of doing that work – which is more of a labor of love for me, to be honest. I just don’t have the time to check Facebook or Twitter feeds, so doing my #WW and #FF work from my trusty iPhone was my only dedicated method of continuing that interaction. I was left more than a bit disappointed by the fact that I only heard from a handful of friends last week when I usually hear from so many more.

Out of sight is out of mind, so I suppose what really bothered me was the very real possibility that I might be quickly forgotten in a community where we literally “know” hundreds and thousands of people. One might have thought that less Twitter interaction might actually be better, giving me more time to write, read or blog, but I don’t see it that way. To me, it’s a big loss.

So, my friends, does anyone have any suggestions? Is there another App that can help me do the same thing? I’m not interested in mass following and unfollowing people which seems to me to be what these bigger and better mousetraps are for now. How do you Twitter-loving folks keep up and reach out? I just want to be able to interact with my friends, even if it is only at 140 characters.
We’ll talk soon… I hope.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Teaser from Flash Point

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. By the time you read this I will have returned from a short weekend trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. I pen this post Friday evening as we prepare for it. You see, our Freshman and his high school choir are performing and we are chaperoning. It will be great because it is decorated for the holidays and always very cool to visit during this time. Since I haven't offered anything of my writing in a long time, I thought this would be the time to share something. It is from the moment that Tiffany returns to her parents who have thought her long dead. If you like what you see, I have just recently lowered the price of the ebooks. Flash Point is now 2.99 and book one in the series, Dance on Fire, is now .99. If nothing else, how about adding book 1 or 2 to your Goodreads shelf?


Angie sat transfixed. There were simply too many thoughts, too many emotions, and too many memories colliding into one another in her poor brain and she was woefully unequipped to handle it all. It was no small wonder why she didn’t fall over with a heart attack.

“Mom,” Tiffany began as she hung her sunglasses on the front of her long sweater. “Are you alright?” She stopped abruptly.

“No.” Angie heard someone saying but didn’t realize who it was or where it was coming from. It did sound remotely like her voice, although but a shell of its usual strength. It was then that she realized that she was also shaking her head. “No, no, no,” she announced, her voice finding itself with each syllable.

Angie was seemingly powerless, as if she were part of an audience witnessing what was transpiring rather than a participant. “It can’t be. Don’t do this to me.” Angie closed her eyes and fought to hold them that way as she began to yell, defiantly. “I’ve lost her. Are you trying to drive me mad?”

But she lost the battle. She opened her eyes to see Tiffany approach and kneel before her, staring deeply into her eyes. “I swear, Mom,” she spoke tenderly. She didn’t touch her yet. It was too soon. “It is me. I’m so sorry that I was taken from you, but I am back now.” She leaned closer still, setting her hands down on the floor on each side of her. “I have found my way back to you and I will never leave you again.”

It was Tiffany. Angie had spent perhaps a hundred sleepless nights, wondering what it might have been like to hold her daughter the night of the fire and have her die in her arms. She had wished for the most basic of human desires: to kneel against the gurney in the morgue and weep over her departed flesh; to even have a body to bury. Kneeling beside her was the subject of both her bitter dreams as well as a promised, but unlived future.

“Steve!” Angie cried out suddenly. She didn’t wait to see whether her husband had heard or not, she simply yelled once more with everything that she had. She needed him beside her now. “Steve!”

***

Steve heard his name called out the first time and had begun to swing his legs out of bed by the time that she called again. He managed to get the closed door open, but was unable to navigate through the doorway without bumping his left side in the frame because of the cobwebs of sleep on his brain. He winced as he came barreling down the hall to see what could be the matter. He could see someone kneeling before Angie but seemed to have trouble registering just what exactly was taking place there in the middle of the room. The person pulled back a little, no doubt hearing his approaching assault, and only then did he finally see her.

“Holy Mother of God!”

He stopped dead in his tracks and had to lean against the nearest wall in order to keep himself from joining the two of them there on the floor.

“Steve,” Angie said, turning to face her husband. Her expression was blank. Even her eyes seemed drugged. “It’s Tiffany,” she stated plainly.

“I see that, dear,” Steve replied, still holding his position against the wall. He stared at his long-thought-departed daughter. She looked just the same as she did the afternoon that he had last seen her, the day that they had left her home for what was to have simply been a weekend. She smiled at him warmly, as if reading his mind.

“Hello, Dad,” she said.

“Hello, Tiffany.” His legs gave out then, and he slid down the wall. He seemed not to notice.

It was the most extraordinary of reunions; the three of them sitting on the hardwood floor in the living room and mouth of the hallway. No one moved for a good ten minutes or so as if doing so would cause one or all of them to awaken to find this were but a dream. Angie stared at her beloved daughter, speechless but reborn. Steve simply studied both of his girls, taking it all in. A smile broke out on his face as he could visibly notice the color of that rebirth filling his wife’s cheeks and lips.

Finally, Tiffany stood. Her parents studied her, marveling at her, as if she were an angel suddenly appearing before them. She reached down and took her mother’s arms at the sleeves and lifted her to her bare feet.

“You’re cold, dear,” Angie whispered as she continued to simply stare at her beautiful young face.

            “I’m always cold."

 

Hmm? I wonder why she's always cold. What do you think it might be?

We'll talk soon.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I haven’t been writing of late. Do you know how you can tell? Because I have been reading so much. Believe me, if you see the same book cover on my Goodreads badge for weeks, chances are that it’s because I’m writing again. In any event, I have been reading a lot lately, and I’d like to share one of those books with you now.


I just finished reading a delightful book by my good friend author Susan Ricci. It’s not horror or a thriller of any kind. What it is, however, is genuine, sweet, funny, tender… and real. It is called, Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems. Here’s the synopsis: Twice divorced, cynical Cindy Layton feels like a relic with prehistoric baggage, and doubts she can muster the courage to establish a new relationship, even if it's on her own terms. Her journey out of the Stone Age hits freaky, hilarious turbulence when she joins an Internet dating service. The scammers and weirdoes she meets in cyberspace make Cindy want to crawl back into her cave, until she receives an accidental email from Jay DeMatteo. Jay has the dating blues, too, but after meeting Cindy, reconsiders his options. Now it's up to him to convince her it's never too late to pursue a meaningful relationship, even when a couple is struggling with midlife adolescence.

I’ve mentioned previously that I watch romantic comedies and like to take a hard left turn from my horror reading on occasion for something different. It keeps everything fresh that way, I guess. In any event, I just read Susan’s book and am so glad I did.

Sometimes we read something and can tell that the author really didn’t own the material. They researched and did their best, but they really haven’t lived it. If Susan didn’t live every single moment of this storyline, than we must consider her a master because I could find no flaws. It kept my attention throughout, driving me to turn those pages with a perfect narration that never once caused me to trip over a word or phrase. I laughed aloud a few times and even found myself tearing up at one point. I was sitting at my desk at work, too, and I hate that. *laughs* The last thing I need is for my employees to come into my office and see me dabbing at leaking eyes. But that shows the wonderful job that Ricci did with this novel.

I would also like to take a moment and congratulate the author and her team on producing an exceptional novel. I read a lot of Indie stuff these days and typically find one or two errors in editing or formatting, but not so here. God knows I still find stuff in my own writing, sadly. I found Dinosaurs to be an exceptionally produced and professional job – and I would be remiss if I didn’t give Team Ricci their props for a job well done.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I am pushing forty-four years old in 2013 that made me love this story. Now, I married my second girlfriend, didn’t date much, and have never been divorced or separated. The only thing I really had in common with the characters is my age, and desire to be loved and to love another. In spite of all of that; however, I found myself completely engrossed with the characters and the story, finding myself right there with them.

What does that tell us? It tells us that this author did a brilliant job. If you find yourself tired of the supernatural, the science fiction, the formula-driven serial killer and monster stories, do yourself a favor and pick this up. I'm so glad I did. You can find it on Amazon here.
Of course I'm going back to my serial killer and monster stories now. *grins*
We'll talk soon.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Zombie Experience


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. For those of you who celebrate it, did you have a Happy Thanksgiving? I did, and I hope you did as well. Everything was perfect except my beloved Dallas Cowboys losing. But hey! It’s been that kind of season, so what can I say? *wipes one solitary tear*

Have you ever tried gnawing every last piece of meat off of a rib during dinner while the teenagers were forcing you to watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead? How’s that for a segue, huh? *grins* Do you guys like that show? Do you like zombies at all? I was never much for them, if I can be completely honest with you folks. It’s not that I’m all about vampires and nothing else. I assure you that isn’t my story. Maybe I did appreciate the typical handsome, gentlemanly traits of most vampires. Perhaps because they seemed to live well, dress well and seemed to rise above the filth and the waste that zombies seem to frequent. I don’t know. I realize not all vamps are that cool and that there are a great many that do act like zombies, scrounging for gristle, but you get where I’m going, right?

In any event, a great many of my author pals do indeed have zombie books available. It’s just that I have been reluctant to pick one up. Do you know what I mean? I mean, I can see why The Walking Dead is doing very well. It’s a quality show for horror enthusiasts. It has good acting, a storyline that hasn’t grown tired and the effects are really good for a non-movie. It’s just not me, you know?

So, imagine my surprise when I finally picked one up, began to read and found myself intoxicated by just how wonderful it was.


I’m speaking of an entry into what Author Stant Litore calls The Zombie Bible, a canon of several books that he has planned. I read, Death Has Come Up Into Our Windows. The synopsis: God is weeping behind her veil in the Temple while the dead are eating her city alive, and her words are coming out through the mouth of her prophet Yirmiyahu. The king and the priesthood don’t like what he has to say, so they’ve thrown Yirmiyahu down a dry well, and once a day, his gaolers toss a zombie in after him. During the three days of this story, the prophet will have to fight to survive the hungry dead, dehydration, and some truly wrenching memories -- memories of atrocities witnessed, lives lost, and sacrifices that shatter the heart.
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As a Christian, I am familiar with the Old Testament books of the Bible. With his use of original language, setting and thoroughly capturing the speaking style of characters of this day and age, Litore completely and easily immerses us in the story; so much so that I believed I was either reading an Old Testament book or perhaps had unearthed another long lost scroll.

In less masterful hands, this could have very easily come off as campy and cute or boring, and completely solidified my desire to never read zombies again. Instead, quite the opposite has happened. Although the plot does include “the dead”, it more importantly includes the living. We feel for Jeremiah as he recalls his wrestling with God and what God wants from him. We see the horror that surrounds him and feel the pain that he feels over sending his beloved wife away…and much worse later - that comes off as one of the more powerful and heart-wrenching scenes I may have ever read.


Litore took aim at telling this sub-genre in a way that no one was doing and he absolutely nailed it. I’m seriously blown away by everything Litore has done here, and you will be, too. Death Has Come Up Into Our Windows, my friends. There are zombies that attempt to locate and feed upon the living, but what we get here is oh so much more. Five Stars! You can find it on Amazon here.

We’ll talk soon.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Few Good Reads


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts.  Once again I feel the need to apologize for taking so darn long to get anything read around here. With my impossible schedule I just don’t have the time. If you only knew how many days and weeks I have brought my trusty Kindle to work never to open it. On the upside, if I start reading your novel, rest assured that your cover will be prominently displayed on my blog for weeks! *laughs* That’s good free promotion, my friends!

In any event, I have read some real good books of late which I think you’ve probably already heard about. They seem to be doing very well for as far as I can tell, and their respective authors have been making the rounds.

For the past couple of years I have almost exclusively read Independent or brand new authors. I think there is something about discovering great up and coming or as of yet undiscovered authors that really interests me. I hope there’s a bit of that in you as well.

The first novel I would like to share with you is The Book of Paul by author Richard Long. Here’s the synopsis:

"Everything you've ever believed about yourself...about the description of reality you've clung to so stubbornly all your life...all of it...every bit of it...is an illusion."

In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure "beyond all imagining"-- an immaculately preserved, fifth century codex. The sole repository of ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the alchemical rituals for transforming thought into substance, transmuting matter at will...and attaining eternal life.

When Rose, a sex and pain addicted East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with Martin, a battle-hardened loner, they discover they are unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who guards the book's occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy.

The action is relentless as Rose and Martin fight to escape Paul's clutches and Martin's destiny as the chosen recipient of Paul's sinister legacy. Science and magic, mythology and technology converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn't be higher: control of the ultimate power in the universe--the Maelstrom.

My Review: In the tradition of Clive Barker, Author Richard Long has created a world that is something like we have rarely seen. Joining science, magic and religion, and bridging this world's beginning to its terrible end, he has done something incredible. The Book of Paul is an astounding achievement with incredible characters of great depth, a body of near-perfect prose, wonderful pacing and a "voice" that will entice you through short chapters that prove to be a satisfying way of story-telling. Long takes us on a journey that is sometimes complex but at most times brilliant. He doesn't dazzle us with words, but with real dialogue and a plot unlike one we've ever seen. Prepare yourself reader, for having your mind blown is just the beginning.


Recently, I just completed reading Wishbone by author Brooklyn Hudson. Here’s the synopsis:

A Manhattan power couple survive a tragedy and attempt a fresh start only to be plagued by unexplained and disastrous occurrences...be careful what you wish for.

Kings Hollow is a quaint town, nestled in the serene Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. At first, their new home appears to be the miracle they prayed for, until a traditional children's game begins to destroy their bliss; Rachael is no longer herself and Julien is experiencing a string of bad luck and unfortunate accidents.
At the center of it all is seventeen-year-old Sarah, a part-time caretaker on the property.
Can Julien and Rachael escape the nightmare of Kings Hollow...or is this just Wishful thinking?

Wishbone is a multi-layered thriller incorporating several sub-plots; in the vein of Pet Sematary, What Lies Beneath, Misery and Stir of Echoes. Dramatic horror at its best, Brooklyn Hudson takes you on a suspenseful roller coaster ride of emotional turmoil and shocking events.


My Review: This book was two parts Twilight Zone and one part Stephen King’s Misery. I found the writing to be very good with top notch narration; I wasn’t tripping all over fancy description or decorative prose, but was just consistently led by the hand and taken on a ride well worth the effort. The main character is French and I found him so refreshing as we got to see as he slipped into his native tongue on many occasions, and watched him struggle with English as his anxiety or stress level spiked. Hudson did a very nice job in using the French, as well as figuring out ingenious ways of explaining him to us so we knew what he meant or was thinking.

The plot itself was quite gripping and different. I could never really guess where we were going, which was wonderful. The work was loaded with twists and turns that kept me guessing and willing to be led along. I hear there is a Wishbone 2 in the works which also leaves me guessing since I don’t see where we could possibly go from here. I guess I will just have to take Hudson’s able hand in mine and allow her to lead on. I think you will happily volunteer to be led once you have read Wishbone as well.


Lastly, I would like to tell you about the diary I just finished. That’s right. Diary. It is a novella that is entitled, 100 Unfortunate Days. It was written by Penelope Crowe.

The synopsis:
If you stumbled upon the diary of a stranger you might be compelled to read. If you stumbled upon the diary of a madwoman--how could you turn away?

"100 Unfortunate Days is a narcotic head-trip to the dark side of the narrator's mind. I've read books that gave me the creeps, read books that gave me nightmares, but until 100 Unfortunate Days, I'd never read a book that made me certain that the act of reading was inviting the attention of raw evil. Crowe delivers a blistering look into the furnace of madness, and does it with aplomb."

"Crowe has crafted a journal of 100 days that can make you laugh, sigh, and frown all in one "day". Theological, anti-spiritual, psychological, just plain weird... Crowe has a grasp of the reality and truth of this world and life that many others could never put into words - though they understand it to be true. 100 Unfortunate Days reads like the inner-workings of a dream - lyrical, powerful, and full of lessons, if you only know where to find them."

My review: Have you ever watched the film Pink Floyd’s The Wall? If not, you must at least be familiar with some of the songs. We get to see what Pink says and does, but have you ever wondered just what he was thinking? At first glance, Crowe’s work here might seem random. I assure you it’s not. Read it again. You will see a thread here and there, a method to the madness, as it were. This really is a brilliant piece, loaded with substance. Enter the mind of a madwoman. You’ll see glimpses, I think, of how she got there. I believe you’ll find traces of truth as well as slivers of insanity, and perhaps far worse. You may even find it dangerous to read this book – especially during three very particular times per day. If you have a cat, keep a steady eye upon it. It knows far more than it’s letting on.
We’ll talk soon.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Reviews Are In


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. It's practically mid-November as I pen this post. Are we ready for the holidays? Are you a fan? I am. Definitely. You most likely will not find me on-line much the day after Thanksgiving because I will be decorating. Yeah, some horror writer, huh? You would have thought that Halloween was more my time of the year, but it isn't. No. I am all about Christmas music; decorative lights, both inside and out; drinking my coffee out of Christmas mugs; etc. Last year, my regular followers may recall how I was sick for two weeks. Hopefully this year will be different and I will be able to enjoy the time. I hope you will, too.

I’ve been doing a lot of promotion of late, since I have the second book in my Dance on Fire series just out and have been posting several teasers. I will be doing more of this as I attempt to convince thriller, suspense, paranormal and horror fans to come along for this ride. This week, I thought I would let some of my reviews do the talking…
 


“This truly was a spectacular read… The first thing that struck me about this book was the author’s prose. It’s beautiful, almost poetic, but not overly done. It has a wonderful flow and rich descriptions that will draw the reader in, immersing them in mood and setting. You won’t find one-dimensional characters here. Not only did I enjoy reading about each one, but I cared what happened to them. Dance on Fire is a mysterious page-turner that moves along at a fast pace. This story is a well-balanced blend of horror and suspense, and though it’s referred to as a Christian crossover, the religious undertones were subtle enough that they won’t encroach or offend those with…different views.” – Adriana Noir, Author of Requiem: Book of the Fallen.

“I cannot wait for the next book from James Garcia Jr. This book may have taken him 20 years to write, but it was well worth the time he put into it. I cannot recommend this book enough. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would.” – Author Lisa McCourt Hollar.

“What Author James Garcia has done is he’s taken two genres: horror and crime and blended them magnificently. It reads like a cop thriller yet has the special excitement that one can only find in a horror novel. Fans of both genres will be glued! I don’t want to give too much of the story away but I liked that the two vampires had a relationship as well as a past history which makes their depiction all the more interesting. I guess what I liked best of all was the theme of good and evil, and the inclusion of God in this well-written story. Too many times I feel this vital ingredient of good vs. evil is left out of many vampire novels. This is fast paced and tense. I liked the time element that the author uses because it tightens the pace even more. Lastly let me commend author James Garcia, because in his adept hands he has made this thoroughly engrossing novel an exceptional read.” – Carole Gill, Author of The House on Blackstone Moor.

“I loved how the author has you immediately pulled into the story. Though a good sized book…there is a wonderful pace to it which keeps you reading, drawing you into the story with every word. You’ll find yourself quickly immersed in the story…The plot is superbly written. I loved how it also took the form of a mystery while you follow the detectives trying to solve the bizarre murders. You won’t be disappointed in the growing tension which builds up to a dramatic climax. Don’t let the genre titles of horror or Christian put you off, if you love vampire stories, you’ll enjoy this book!” Jen Wylie, Author of Sweet Light.

“From the very outset I enjoyed this book. I liked everything that I read. As a writer myself, I would not have changed anything. I particularly loved the start. You do not need to be told that this guy is bad news. From there on it never lets up, and keeps you wanting to read right up the ending. Well thought out and well crafted. I look forward to more.” – Mathew Bridle, Author of Emun of Mor


“I thoroughly enjoyed Dance on Fire and found it totally absorbing, a terrific distraction from my ordinary life. The plot was skillfully developed and strung together with such grace, I wasn't really sure what was going to happen in the end until the conclusion. Garcia teases the reader in a variety of directions, and, like any good mystery, although you search for clues, nothing is revealed until the end. I liked the treatment of the vampire as both light and dark, and this book dealt with both sides believably.”  - Angela Love

“I originally was drawn to this book simply based on its setting. What I found, however, was that this author brings such a depth to his characters and a unique perspective to the storyline, it makes it difficult to find a stopping point! I loved the way he weaves vastly different genres together so harmoniously that, rather than being ridiculous, leaves you thinking outside the box. I can't WAIT for the sequel! – Trish Barbarick

“Mr. Garcia has taken the oft over-drafted "Vampire" story to a new level. I was enthralled with the storyline and characters. Being somewhat familiar with Kingsburg, I found myself drawn even deeper into the action as I could picture myself at the exact locations. The bridge between vampirism and Christianity was an intriguing twist in the book and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every page. I certainly look forward to the sequel and future works by James.” – Glenn Murphy

“I love what James Garcia, Jr. has done with Dance on Fire. The characters are drawn with depth and substance. Garcia has a gift for dialogue that “shows” more than “tells” the reader about the characters. I was also struck by the imaginative storyline which builds tension to the dramatic, bittersweet climax. Garcia mixes a horror thriller with deep suggestions about the nature of grace and providence and leaves you thinking about these concepts long after the book is finished.” – Pastor Ed Esaki, Kingsburg, Ca.

“Characters with substance that get inside your head and don't let go. A literary ride that was exciting and enjoyable. A must for lovers of the Vampire genre, anyone who has ever spent a day or more in Kingsburg, California, and those who just love a good book.” – Micheal Graham


“The book was captivating. I was drawn into the characters. Even within their mundane lives that were soon to be turned upside down, they had depth to them that really pulled you into their world. The scenes were very detailed as well: some of which you wish there would be more left to the imagination. But it wouldn't be a horror story if it didn't have the gory details. Great read! Looking forward to the sequel.” Cassia Pabis

“This book (is)…very different, very detailed and leaves nothing on the table, and Vampire enthusiasts will not be disappointed. The book brings Christianity and Vampires on a collision course and I loved it. The one trait I look for in a character or characters is determination. And Nathaniel and Vincent fill the pages with this purpose and the author does it brilliantly and not many can web together multiply themes and emotions. Garcia did it beautifully.” – Vince Considine, Author of the forthcoming horror thriller, Unable.

“I really got into this book because of the characters, they were well developed and believable. The action is intense and relentless. An epic tale of good vs. evil. I don't want to put any spoilers out there, but a "couple" of the characters had me baffled and I am hoping to read the sequel very soon to see what happens. Well done! I can't wait for book 2!” – Erik Gustafson, Author of Fall Leaves and the Black Dragon.
“What a pleasant, pleasant surprise. I truly enjoyed this book. James gave vampires an entirely different view to me. I immediately fell in love with Nathaniel; captured as a child, imprisoned and then turned against his will. His life changes the day he saves Barbara & her babies’ lives. This story not only showed how evil & despicable a vampire could be, but how wonderful, God worthy people they also are. You have drama, mystery, horror…just intense suspense, plus spirituality - nothing over the top - but just enough to make the story work really, really well. Highly recommended - will be thoroughly enjoyed.” – Liz Cabrejos


"Many thanks to all who have posted reviews. Everything helps. For those who are reading my work and will be posting reviews in the not-too-distant future, allow me to thank you in advance.

We'll talk soon.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Giant Celebration


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I want to thank everyone for helping to make the release of my latest book last week as successful as it could be. It was a long road, and I thank you. I really couldn’t have done it without the help of a great many of you. For now, however, let’s talk about something else, shall we? I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of talking about me all the time.

Sadly, what I bring you today doesn’t give me that much pleasure either. You might think I would be pleased, being from California, but I’m not. I’m certainly happy for the 2012 World Champion San Francisco Giants baseball team and their fans. Being a Chicago Cubs fan, I was just really happy that a certain other team from our division didn’t win it again this year. I wish my team didn’t always have vacation plans for October, but what can long-suffering Cubs fans do but look at the Giants – and their incredible run this October – and dream of what might be one day. One miraculous day.

It really is shocking to see what the Giants accomplished. So many times they were down to their last breath, only to rise up and rise above themselves. They had great pitching, timely hitting and made few, if any, mistakes.

I told my wife on the morning of game 4 that I would be shocked if the Giants didn’t sweep. They just looked to be on a great run that no one could stand in the way of. I also thought the Tiger’s fans must be mystified. They are used to seeing powerhouse teams come into that stadium; teams like Texas, Anaheim, New York. Do they even know who the Giants are? I bet they know now, huh?

Anyway, all I can do is tip my Cubs hat to the new world champions. Congratulations.

Hopefully one day it will be us, Chicago. One miraculous day.

If baseball isn’t your thing, I visited several places this past week or so, thanks to some really cool and special people. I certainly want to thank them for having taken the time. I was over at Author Lorelei Bell’s place, where she gave me the opportunity to share my new book. I was over at Author Jane Isaac’s place, where she interviewed me and made cruise plans for some future day. ;) I was also over at Michele Chiappetta’s place for a guest post on finding time to write. The awesome Nicole Ducleroir also shared my release with her part of the world without any prompting from me. She just did it out of the kindness of that big heart of hers. I was also included in the November Issue of Supporting Authors One Read at a Time Magazine, thanks to Author Eri Nelson. The last week or so has gone that way, where awesome, talented and very busy friends took time out of their hectic schedules to offer me a part of themselves. It was very humbling, and I adore each and every one of them for it. If you have a few moments, I would love it if you dropped by those places. Hugs to them.
We’ll talk soon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dance on Fire: Flash Point Release Day


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts and Coffin Hoppers. Thanks for stopping by. This is a big day for me and I appreciate you having taken the time. My first novel, Dance on Fire, took twenty years start to finish. That, however, is a very long story. If you just met me, you may not know my story, but we’ll save it for another time. My second novel, which is having its big release today, also had its share of drama. Suffice it to say that I was unsure that this second book in my crossover vampire series would ever see the light of day. I am overjoyed that it has, and I hope those of you who have read my first novel, or simply like this genre, will share it with me.

I may have written it, but I was not alone in the production. I want to thank the artist and author, Sue Midlock, for her work on the cover; my old school mate, Mike Graham, and the author, Adriana Noir, for their beta reading. And I want to thank the editor and author, Natalie Owens – who never would have allowed me to begin this sentence with “and”. When you discover that this novel “sings”, I assure you it was because of her hard work. I also thank the authors Marissa Farrar and Carole Gill for their endless support and encouragement. There are more people to thank, too, but this post is long already. It’s a fantastic community of writers and readers out there, and I thank all of them (you).

During Coffin Hop 2012 which ends at Midnight on Halloween, I am giving away several copies. In order to entice you to ask for one or to surf over to Amazon.com (US or UK) and buy one, I offer the following tease…

“Nathaniel!” came a bloodcurdling scream. It was an ancient voice, one Nathaniel knew all too well. It seemed to shake the very foundation of this sad, dilapidated barn which had served as his home.

Nathaniel pushed away the layers of old musty blankets and, taking one for himself, climbed to his feet. The sun wasn’t yet strong in the early morning sky, but it was more than enough to destroy him. Using the blanket as a shield, he approached a broken window that had fallen into disrepair and, in fact, been neglected just like the abandoned barn. He glanced outside and then quickly moved away, processing the gathered information from the safety of the second floor shadows.

He had seen nothing of significance. Instead, hearing only the early buzz of the new day, Nathaniel turned and headed down to get a better look. Draping the blanket about him like a cape, he leapt from the loft and nearly fell in a heap amongst the shadows at the foot of a rickety ladder.

Rising to his feet, he turned toward the place in the barn where he had left two sabers embedded through the wall. Vincent, the great beast, was on the other side of that wall, the two blades piercing his horrid flesh and pinning him there to await a terrible end.

Only, there was nothing there where the scarred blades should have been poking through.

Nathaniel felt something inside him sink into the pit of his very bowels, as if it were still possible to feel such things, and he absently dropped the blanket. With little regard for his own safety, he ran to the spot, literally throwing himself upon the wall. It shuddered as if it might give away, but didn’t. Frantically, he searched, willing his vision to penetrate the many cracks in the old boards and beams, but unable to see anything except the outside world.

As if sensing the presence of undead flesh, the sunlight—like tiny yet powerful laser-beams—prodded him, singeing whatever flesh they happened upon. Skin snapped and cracked open, revealing gray meat; hairs fluttered into tiny plumes and floated off into the morning air.

By the time that Nathaniel realized what was happening to him, he was already in awful shape. He winced at the pain and the smell of himself coming undone, but didn’t immediately retreat to safety. Numb to the destruction, he worried about more devastating concerns. His thoughts quickly turned to Barbara, Michael and their children, not to mention Vanessa and Mark.

Ultimately, he did retreat, but not for self-preservation. He was still hunting for Vincent.

Nathaniel could pick up no trace of Vincent’s presence. He could only smell the horrible odor of his own flesh burning about him. He moved right and left, still frantically looking for any sign of the other vampire, yet finding none.

Eventually, Nathaniel’s panic led him to another neglected window. It was covered in thick cobwebs, but not enough to keep him from seeing the sign that tore into him far worse than any measure of sunlight.

In the clearing, which had once stood as a driveway to the old barn but was now overrun with weeds and dead tree branches, lay the US Calvary Sabers. They had been cast aside. Nathaniel threw himself upon the window frame, letting a wave of sheer horror wash over him. The stained and filthy glass cracked, but he took little notice of it.

There was no sign of Vincent.

How he had managed to get free, Nathaniel didn’t know. He only knew that he was. It had taken the combined strength of many to subdue him, but apparently it wasn’t enough to slay him. Perhaps the vampire couldn’t be destroyed, and there was nothing standing in his way. He would kill them all, to be sure. He would avenge himself upon each and every one of them.

And he would savor doing it.

 

            You don’t know how much of a tease I really was just now, but I hope you will get your hands on a copy at some point and see just what I mean about that.

 
            This has been a crazy trip, getting to this day. Thanks for sharing it with me. Thanks for being supportive and encouraging, or for just being a friend.
 

            We’ll talk soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Coffin Hop 2012


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts and esteemed guests. I am overjoyed to have you stop by this particular week. There are two reasons for this. As you can see, and no doubt already knew, it is Coffin Hop time. We did this last year and it was a blast getting to know new ghouls and goblins (had to throw that in there). I hope not to take too much of your time as you will not want to miss out on eveything that everybody has planned. In case you need to locate the other participants, here's the link to the CoffinHop Site as well as the list.

The second reason is - as fate would have it - my second novel is finally ready.

It has been two years in the making. During this time we've had delays, the loss of my small publisher and the decision to make whether or not to proceed full Indie. In any event, the second installment of my crossover vampire series is ready to be released this Monday, October 29th. It is called Dance on Fire: Flash Point. You can find the e-book on Amazon.com, along with my debut, Dance on Fire. However, as a special Coffin Hop promotion, I am prepared to offer several copies.

In order to whet your appetite I have chosen a teaser from the new novel. In the story, one of the villians from book one returns to enact revenge upon our heroes. She did not come alone, but brought four other vampires with her. They took hostages and our heroes once again team up to save the day...


Luis waited until the vampire had moved several houses away before he risked whispering into his police issued radio. He had to be careful not to alert him to his position; however, every moment that the monk delayed brought potential harm the chief’s way. “Coming your way, Chief Daniels,” the monk finally warned, from his vantage point in the bushes across the street from the Rosen house.

***

Erich saw the man walking toward the same corner that he was headed for, and then grinned to himself as he continued along the sidewalk, heading in a collision course with him. With each subsequent step, the kill appeared easier as it was revealed that the man was thin and in his golden years. The vampire’s fangs began to protrude from his mouth in anticipation.

Suddenly, the old man before him spun and ran back the way that he had come. Erich stopped and watched him for a moment, and then began to chase. From this close distance, he could predict exactly how many steps it would take him before he caught the man from behind, how many feet the man would roll when he yanked him backward, and just how salty the taste of the man’s blood would be.

It would be all too easy.

The man ran as hard as he could. Under the circumstances, he was doing quite well, considering his obvious age. He abandoned the sidewalk and suddenly cut across a corner yard.

Erich didn’t feel it necessary to go to his full speed. He wore a grin as he turned the corner, continuing to anticipate that rush of warm sustenance. He set aside his concerns about finding that blouse in the yard. When he had run across the yard and back onto the sidewalk, just as his quarry had done, something pricked him the wrong way. The old man was still running down the sidewalk, but now another figure stood between them. The other man’s expression seemed to indicate that he had been waiting there all along.

Erich hit his brakes and stopped twenty feet before him.

“You are correct. I’ve been waiting here for you,” the figure spoke.

Behind him, the old man stopped his running as well, and had begun to carefully walk back. “Oh?” Erich said. He stood tall and imposing before him, unconcerned as of yet.

“I am Nathaniel,” he said and began to slowly walk toward the vampire. “And this here is Chief Daniels.”

The old man breathed heavily. “Haven’t … run like … that in a … while.”

Erich ignored him and kept his eyes fixed on the new man, the tall one. “Nathaniel?” he repeated. “Nathaniel?” Now, he was concerned. That was the name of the vampire that Tiffany had told them about. It was he who had thwarted her master’s efforts, and himself who had been made a vampire by him in the first place. They had expected to run into him on their trip to Kingsburg, and were disappointed when they hadn’t.

He should not be here! he realized and began to backtrack. Before the vampire reached him, Erich turned and began to run.

Nathaniel had him immediately and slammed him face first into the grass in the corner yard. He dragged him hurriedly, not allowing him to get his balance, and slammed him repeatedly into a nearby tree.

“What do you want?” Erich yelled between blows.

“I want to know what happened to the two women?”

“Why?” Erich asked, weak from both the body damage and because he had yet to feed.

Because I do!” he yelled. “They mean something to me.” He pulled the vampire close to him.

“I don’t understand,” Erich groaned. He began to wilt. If not for Nathaniel holding him, he would have fallen. “Both you and Tiffany going to so much trouble. Who was this Victor who caused so much to bear?”

Nathaniel paused, wondering whether he had heard him correctly. “What did you say?’ he asked, releasing him. The idea was simply too incredulous to be believed. “Did you say, Victor?”

“That was his name, wasn’t it?” Erich said, glancing up from a seated position there in the yard. “Victor?”

***

Feeling a sharp spike of anger beginning to swell within him, Nathaniel reached back down, grabbing the vampire by the hair and quickly hauling him to his feet. He brought his face close as he snarled through gritted teeth. “His name was Vincent! You have committed murder and brought ruin to two families and do not know the name of the monster that caused all of this to be!” Blinded by fury, Nathaniel brought his hands over the vampire’s head and slammed it repeatedly against the tree. It did little to appease his anger. Eventually, he gripped the vampire’s ears as if he were about to rip them off of his head. Instead, he gave them a turn, and twisted Erich’s head around.

Chief Daniels came walking up as Nathaniel released the vampire to the ground at his feet. He wasn’t dead, but would be soon enough. He spun. The chief raised his hands quickly in fear. Nathaniel saw the look on his face and waved him off.

Did you hear?” Nathaniel yelled. The chief raised his hands again, this time motioning for him to watch the loudness of his voice, but the vampire would have none of it. “They don’t even know why they are doing this!

Having said this, he turned back around, grabbed the body at his feet and proceeded to drag it behind him as he walked with a renewed purpose down the sidewalk toward the Rosen house.

Chief Daniels watched the incredible sight before him, but quickly went over to the fence and fished for his radio. “Michael,” he said when he had it back on. “Two down, but I think Nathaniel’s just gone off the reservation!”


Thank you for taking the time. I didn't want this post to be too long, so I didn't post the full synopsis. I will do that next Monday which is the day of the big release. In the meantime, I have several copies of the ebook to give away. I would love for you to follow all of my pages, etc, but want to keep this as painless as possible. If you would simply join my Facebook Event Page and then share it with your friends, that will be more than enough. Just leave me a comment that you did and wish to be included in the giveaway. Leave me your e-mail address in a way that the spambots won't find it. Mine is rapture22 (at) hotmail (dot) com for example.

The giveaway will last through the end of the Coffin Hop. I will then contact the winners.

Thanks again for stopping by. We'll talk soon.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Climbing Out of the Cave...with a New Book

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I want to thank you for your support and patience as I have been underground these past few weeks. I have missed my blog friends. I have seen your comments here over this time, and I thank you. Perhaps as early as this week you should see my return to regular blogging.

I have been prepping my second novel, Dance on Fire: Flash Point. The manuscript has been extensively edited by the wonderful Natalie G. Owens. I received it back from her with her final walk thru last week. In the meantime, I had been spending the past few days reading it aloud as I try and make it as perfect as possible. This weekend I made all of the necessary corrections and worked on the formatting. It was hard work, but it appears to be finished.

This week I will make certain that it looks good on my trusty Kindle and prep for the big release. Monday, October 29th will be the day. I have already been making arrangements with media outlets in my area and you should begin to see me reaching out to you on the social networks. I want to thank you in advance for your support and encouragement as I release another baby out into the world. I hope you'll like it, and find that it is a worthy successor to my debut.

For now, I am going to sign off. I literally spent every waking moment this weekend working on the project. I wouldn't have worked so hard these past few months - and certainly these past few weeks - were it not for the fact that this book has sat on a virtual shelf for nearly two years. At long last, she's ready.



We'll talk soon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Can You Believe I'm Vlogging Again?


Good Lord! It's never easy, is it? Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I was lazy this weekend and thought I would just do another vlog. Can you believe it? You know it's really bad if I decided to do this again. Right? *laughs* If you've seen my previous attempts at this, you know how nervous I can get. Would you look at that expression! Everything went great, but this is the shot that You Tube chose to feature. *sigh*

Trust me, my friends. This is the low point of the entire thing. The video actually came out rather well, considering I did it on one take. Anyway, check it out and either beg me to do more or offer to send money if I'll never do another. ;)

We'll talk soon.

Monday, October 8, 2012

News From the Writer's Cave


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. How is everyone? Thanks for all of your kind comments concerning my new photo which I revealed last week. That was very nice of all of you. Yeah, that serious-looking photo I had been sporting for two years was a bit much. This one is more me.

Well, if you saw any of my Facebook posts from this past mid-week, you might know what’s coming. For the month of October (hopefully not all of it), I will be stuck in the writer’s cave. Sadly, I won’t be writing, but editing and producing paperbacks.

I completed my second novel (Dance on Fire: Flash Point – book 2 in my vampire series), heard back from the wonderful beta readers, carved it up a bit and then sent it off to a professional editor. I just received it back and am in the process of fixing what needed fixing. I will then format and post on Amazon. This may be as soon as next week sometime.

That sounded odd, didn’t it? My plan is to get it on Amazon and then send out review copies before having a big event/release extravaganza, which should be the week after that. Certainly, if any of you out there would like to get a copy for review purposes, please let me know.

Once that is done, I must turn my attention to the paperback versions of both books. I did have a paperback of Dance on Fire once before; however, it is a second edition now and must be replaced. The reason why I am spending that time doing that is because my series takes place in my real-life hometown and I am still working on tapping that market. I have already begun reaching out to the media outlets, especially those who covered the first book in 2010. I also haven’t done any library events or book signings in a while and am excited to get back in that game.

What does this mean for you, my friends? Well, it means I will not be blogging for a while. I promise you that I will miss that, and will endeavor to get through this period as quickly as I can, so I can get back.

Speaking of which, I’d better get back to my cave.
We’ll talk soon.