Friday, April 29, 2016

Thanks Goodreads Readers!

Hallow Mass back cover. You can read it better on the page. 

Bookish Community Responds to Hallow Mass Giveaway

In less than a month, over a thousand readers requested a free signed copy of my just-released horror novel. 15 have been selected by all-wise algorithms and will receive their copies soon. This time around, Goodreads has favored the Commonwealth with six winners in Great Britain, three in Canada, one in Australia, leaving four in the U.S.A. A welcome to all and I hope you enjoy the book. Comments on Goodreads and Amazon are appreciated. Even a brief "loved it" and/or "hated it" line is sufficient. 

Horror Novel Now Live

All who pre-ordered Kindle versions should've been notified that their books have been delivered. So I've been assured by Amazon authority. Those ordering paperbacks—such as book resellers—will have to wait a few days, but time passes swiftly in the digital age and the hours will fly past like a great robin.  


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Alien Scum Art

Image: Heavy smokers, these alien scum. 

UFO Bastards Aim to Trash Earth  

As I warm into my next book—and first sci-fi effort—that will feature massive kaiju battling alien scum, I've been searching for inspirational artwork to fire me up. I've begun a fine collection over on Pinterest. But here are a few other selections:

Pallas@Deviant Art
Love the saucer's retro look, the isolated farm house, the sense of menace. 

Let's hope the chains hold. Of course, others felt the same way about King Kong.

This is more like it. Suck up the population with lift-o lights. Then what, I ask you?

My hope is to have the next book out and ready for Christmas 2016.

Using that as a promotional segue, paperback versions of Hallow Mass are now available. Book resellers have already purchased three. Official launch date is tomorrow, April 29. If so inclined, you can pre-order your Kindle copy or click to order a version in durable, old school paper, complete with complimentary back cover blurb from Kirkus Reviews and my new author photo. 

While I'm hawking things, there are only a handful of hours lift to win a free signed copy of said hot new horror novel, Hallow Mass. 15 copies will be mailed out to 15 winners. All you need do for a chance to win is click the button below:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hallow Mass by J.P. Mac

Hallow Mass

by J.P. Mac

Giveaway ends April 28, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Kalju Size Chart for the Home

Via OregonMuse Sunday Book Thread

See Giant Monsters Measure Up!

Since the book I'm writing now will contain kaiju, I thought to link to a handy size comparison for those writing similar works, or merely curious. (Much more at the link. )

Only a few days left—four to be precise—to enter for a chance to win a free signed copy of my upcoming horror novel Hallow Mass. Kirkus Reviews called it "an entertaining addition to the genre of occult fiction." Find out why by clicking below for the opportunity to snag one of 15 copies.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hallow Mass by J.P. Mac

Hallow Mass

by J.P. Mac

Giveaway ends April 28, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Kirkus Review of Horror Novel

Kirkus Reviews

Hallow Mass Well-Recieved 

"A university gets ensnared in a paranormal battle over a dangerous book in this debut horror novel."

The waiting is over—for me.

Kirkus Reviews has delivered the verdict on Hallow Mass and it is positive. The venerable book reviewing magazine has found that "Wit and humor color the novel . . . ."

Yes, there are a few dings, but overall a wholesome accounting. Read the rest here.

What happens from this point is any one's guess, but the book remains on track to publish next Friday, April 29. The eBook version is available now for pre-order.

The paperback edition, with appropriate quotes from the review, will be ready by the release date. Or,  should you feel fortunate, Goodreads is conducting a giveaway of 15 signed copies, slated to end next Thu. April 28. Try your luck for a book written with "wit and humor."

But don't take it from me. I'm just quoting someone.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hallow Mass by J.P. Mac

Hallow Mass

by J.P. Mac

Giveaway ends April 28, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
A word about publishing. In using their pre-order function, you must upload the final manuscript ten days before release. For me, that was yesterday at the stroke of midnight. The penalties for missing the deadline are stark: all your pre-orders are cancelled, plus you are banned from the pre-order function for a year.

Due to a simple error, the deadline was missed by several hours. I contacted them and explained the situation. They were decent enough to give me a one-time pass on the dire consequences. If they hadn't, I'd be typing here, bitching like crazy. In fairness then, I should use this space to compliment Amazon for its discretion and generosity.

Forward into the rest of the day!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Santa Anita 5k Photos

Overweight Author Shambles to the Finish Line

Well, there you have it. It's not the glory of Eugene, but it is a welcome return to running on this Boston Marathon Day.

Here is my bling. Pretty fancy for a 5k.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Book Review: On The Burning Edge

On the Burning Edge: A Fateful Fire and the Men Who Fought ItOn the Burning Edge: A Fateful Fire and the Men Who Fought It by Kyle Dickman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Life hangs by a sudden wind shift.

For 19 men fighting the Yarnell Hill fire, that shift was fatal. An elite firefighting crew, the Granite Mountain Hotshots battled a wildfire outside Prescott, Arizona on June 30, 2013. As a thunderstorm brought in heavy winds that changed the fire's direction, the men left a safe spot in order to move to another position. Caught by a wall of flame, they were 'burned over,' leaving behind grieving relatives and many questions.

Author Dickman, a former wilderness firefighter, might have taken time to map out the movements of the doomed crew. It was difficult to follow his narration. Also, he writes out the men's thoughts, particularly during the last moments of life, adding an unnecessary fictional element to a story that needs no extra dramatization.

Dickman does a good job of describing hotshot culture as well as the last few months of mostly young men engaged in a difficult occupation. The pacing is fast and builds toward a tragedy that, despite two investigations and lawsuits, still remains a mystery.

View all my reviews

Meanwhile, Hallow Mass inches toward an April 29 release. May you pre-order a Kindle copy? Why, yes! Thanks for inquiring. Paperback versions will be available on the release date.

Or you may click a button for a shot at receiving a signed copy of my horror tale over at Goodreads. Decide as you will and may the rest of the day pass in quiet and a general sense of well-being.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hallow Mass by J.P. Mac

Hallow Mass

by J.P. Mac

Giveaway ends April 28, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Santa Anita 5k: Ten Years Later

A Runner Returns to the Scene of the Ouch

A decade ago, almost to the day, I broke my fifth metatarsal running a 5k with Team in Training. I was gearing up for my second marathon in San Diego and really wanted to nail it. Jeff Carroll walked me back to my car and said I'd probably cracked the bone. Naturally, I didn't believe him.

I should have.

Subsequently, I lamented my fate here and here and here

Trading crutches for a walking cast was delightful. 

Time passed, I ran again, set prs, and was injured once more in 2008 and that's pretty much been the end of my racing life. I did a 5k in 2010 and another the next year, but seemed to develop a pattern of running for three or four months, usually no more than 3x a week, then suffering knee pain and backing off. In between there were knee and shoulder operations, plus a skin cancer surgery to vary the routine. 

Four years ago, I wearied of my accordion-like training pattern and chucked running for good. So long. Thanks for the medals. I took up eating instead. And added a prostate cancer operation for good measure.

Finally, back in January, I reached a point of absolute disgust with my own physical deterioration and signed up for a 5k. Having dabbled in chi running for the last eight years, I decided to recommit. If done correctly, the technique results in minimal pounding to the knees. 

So I've been running 3x a week, no more than 3 miles a session. I don't sweat pace and often don't take a watch. All I concentrate on is my form. So far, I've dropped ten pounds and whittled three inches off my waist.

And this morning, I once again finished the Santa Anita 5k.

What has changed over a decade?

No more plastic tie strips as the chips are now inside the bib. 
A mere 5k offered a technical shirt, plus finisher's bling of better quality than I've received for marathons.
A small drone circled the start line shooting video.
Compression socks are all the rage.
So are selfies at every stage of the race. (It's only 3.1 miles, not Badwater.)

What's the same?

Excitement, anticipation, goodie bags, kids running like mad through the pack, running out of gas, walking, then running like mad as before. 

Here is my time from ten years ago. I ran almost the entire first mile in around eight minutes before twisting and rolling my ankle. 

Hard to see, but hobbling along I finished in 37:41, averaging 12:07 a mile.

Here is my time from today:

  Forty pounds heavier and ten years older I averaged the same pace and finished five seconds faster.


But rewarding. 

So I'll relax today, do some yoga tomorrow, and run three miles on Monday, always working on my form. It would be nice if the running continued as I do enjoy it out of all exercises. 

On the subject of enjoyment, if you're in the mood for a creepy horror novel, feel free to enter Goodreads Giveaway for my latest book: Hallow Mass. 15 signed copies are being distributed free of charge. Just click to enter. The postage is on me.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hallow Mass by J.P. Mac

Hallow Mass

by J.P. Mac

Giveaway ends April 28, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Hallow Mass is also in pre-order on Amazon and will launch April 29. 

Have a kind robust weekend.

UPDATE: Safety pins are still used to attach your race bib to your shirt.

The last tenth of a mile is run on the Santa Anita race track proper. Ten years ago it was thick dry dirt, like running in cotton. A decade anon, thanks to the rain, it was an oozing quagmire. A truck had driven along the track earlier and people were lined up Indian style, running one after the other because the tire track was the hardest surface. To pass, you had to slop out into the muck and punch the gas. It wasn't worth the effort. 

Thursday, April 07, 2016

How Much 'Science' Is Necessary in Science Fiction?

Author Wrestles with Proper SF Ratio

Attempting to move ahead with my next book, but keep hitting speed bumps. How much science do I need for verisimilitude in a sci-fi story?

Over the last week I've burrowed deep into the work of Tesla at Colorado Springs, his Wardenclyffe Tower, HAARP, Lenz's Law, Telluric current, Knot Theory, String Theory, and much more in the realm of quantum physics.

I'm growing to hate the whole project, but I can't start unless I know what result a certain character sought to achieve in the realm of science and what what wrong. (Then comes the relatively easy part: how do the characters deal with disaster.)

But last night while watching Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, it struck me that I don't need any heavy theory. Not really.


There's a reason Stephen King's The Mist is listed a horror story and not sci-fi, even though something involving the fictional Arrowhead Project goes haywire and kicks everything off. We don't really need to know the science of popping open another dimension. All we really need to know is that it's a hazardous thing for people.

Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy also comes to mind when pondering light, breezy  space fiction.

And despite the setting in 'a galaxy far away,' Star Wars is often referred to as space opera and not science fiction.

So this morning I feel much better, rejuvenated, and ready to outline. Since I'm not bucking to publish in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, all I require is starter science to get the story rolling, then put the characters in maximum jeopardy.

Speaking of books, and that's pretty much all I'm doing these days, Hallow Mass is in pre-order for Kindle editions.

Or, if you feel fortunate, you might enter a giveaway for a free signed copy, courtesy of Goodreads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hallow Mass by J.P. Mac

Hallow Mass

by J.P. Mac

Giveaway ends April 28, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
And now, back to my rump science.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

OregonMuse Delivers First Review of Hallow Mass

Michael Komarck via Space Cadets

Nods to Upcoming Horror Novel

Thanks to OregonMuse, who honchos the Sunday Morning Book Thread over at Ace of Spades HQ. He reviewed my Lovecraftian effort,  Hallow Mass:

"In Dunwich, Massachusetts, only a small, beleaguered band in the Antiquities Section at Miskatonic University is keeping back trans-dimensional horrors from wiping all human life from earth in preparation for the return of the Great Old Ones . . .

Into this simmering conflict steps Mercy O'Connor, an aimless party girl grad student in the Antiquities Section who has yet to find herself or her place in life. She's about to be thrust to the front lines of the age-old battle against ultimate evil . . .  

I liked this book very much. I loved the characters, the bad guys are suitably creepy . . . "

If so motivated, scroll down to What I'm Reading and scope out the rest. 

Hallow Mass is available for pre-order at Amazon. Pre-order delivers you the eBook version on the April 29, release date, but fine durable paperbacks will also be awaiting you at that time. I know this. I know it well.

If you're feeling fit and fortunate, then you might ready yourself for a Goodreads Giveaway starting in three days. 15 signed paperback copies of Hallow Mass will be mailed free of charge to fifteen readers selected via Goodreads algorithms. All you need do is sign up. 

Are you more visually orientated than most? Then stop by here and view a 63-second Hallow Mass book trailer. Or visit BookReels, a site specializing in trailers for the written word. In Staff Picks, check out the trailers for Hallow Mass and Fifty Shades of Zane Grey.  

Oh, what a Sunday. I'm buried in technical details for my next book, a sci-fi effort. Something says I'm overthinking everything, but eventually, I'll burn through the verisimilitude stuff and start writing. 
A happy April weekend to all. 

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