It's your friendly neighborhood Paranormal Author reminding you that funny isn't just for looking. It's for listening, too.
I've got audiobooks out right now on Audible. They're the first four in the Providence Paranormal College series, narrated by P.J. Morgan, whose comedic timing is impeccable.
And as it turns out, you can get two free audiobooks when you sign up for a 30 day Audible trial membership. Once you've done that, all you need to do is type Providence Paranormal College (where nothing is normal) in the search bar and you get half my audible offerings for free.
You could give this membership and the free books as a gift to someone. But I won't blame you if you get one for yourself, too.
Some girls wander by mistake. Sometimes it happens when they're responsible grown women driving sensible hybrid vehicles, too.
I had an interesting weekend. Saturday at the Rhode Island Author Expo was a good time. Toward the end, I got hit with a pretty heinous vertigo attack and had to get a ride home. After a Sunday spent resting, I finally got the big blue Prius out of the parking lot.
Many thanks to author Angelina Singer and her family, who checked to see if I was okay, the staff at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet for assuring me that they wouldn't tow my car, and of course, Jim. He's not just an amazing cover designer, he's the greatest and best husband in the world.
Click the links above or the images below to see Angelina's books and Jim's artwork.
It's time for an excerpt today. If you like what you read, click the picture to find the book.
I barely know anything about vampires, even after I got turned into one. Yeah, I know. That makes me sound like a walking stereotype. At least it didn't happen in High School or before I quit my job at Cranston PD to hang out my own shingle as a PI. But now everything's different in new and special ways. In other words, it sucks.
Pizza and beer are right out of my diet plan. So are long walks on the beach at sunrise. I can't tell anyone I'm a vamp, so it gives me no extra cool factor with friends or game in the dating department, either. Which is bad enough anyway for a twenty-seven-year-old dude like me.
Sunday dinner with the folks isn’t the same as it used to be, either. And that’s where I am, in my parent's downstairs bathroom glaring at an empty mirror while I try to figure out a fourth excuse about why I'm not at Mass every Sunday morning. Forgive me, Father for I have been vamped. It's been a whole month since my last confession because I can't set foot inside Church. I used to be an altar boy, too.
“Tino?” Dad’s knocking at the door. I've got to answer him. He’s my father and we’re Italian Catholics. Honoring our parents is just what we do. It's the same way for my best friend, Maury even though he's Jewish.
“Yeah, okay.” I run the water and rinse my hands so Dad doesn't get grossed out. It's not like I need to because I don't actually use the john anymore. All the blood we drink goes to fuel spiffy vampiric powers I haven't learned yet.
It's been two years since I released A Change In Crime, so it's about time the cover and description got updated. To celebrate, the ebook is also on sale. Scroll down to see the new shinies!
Change comes with the strike of a match.
Leo Riley loses his whole family when mobsters burn his home to the ground. His only ally now is Oguina, a vengeful woman-turned-monster. If Leo walks her path, at least they're not alone.
As Leo plots his demise, Giacomo Bianco gazes into an abyss that stares back. His fall to madness is a one-way trip Leo aims to stop at all costs before Bianco orders another hit.
Monster and Mafioso fight for dominance over Fall River's streets. But powers change everything. Can Leo roll with the punches or will it all go up in flames?
Read this 2017 Dragon Award shortlisted book today!
I'm so excited! Book three in the Supernatural Vigilante Society is uploading today. When it's available on Amazon, I'll post on Facebook and to my mailing list. It's called Counting Costs. Have a look at the cover and description below.
There’s no fortune in favors owed.
After saving a king but losing a kingdom, Tino’s up to his fangs in debt. But he doesn’t owe money. A vampire’s word is his bond. When a rival, a witch, and a hunter all call in their markers at the same time, Tino’s suddenly got a metric ton promises to keep.
To keep his vows, Providence’s newest vampire must find missing memories, adopt an orphan, and cure a comatose fiance. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. The Mafia’s standing in his way at every turn. And the holes in his own recall are a total roadblock.
Meeting obligations is impossible if they’re forgotten. Can Tino pay his debts without cashing in his unlife?
I'm starting some fun posts to run at the end of the week. Here's the first, with a holiday theme.
Ah, Black Friday, the Capitalist's tantamount holiday. Some of its trappings lead to unexpected inspiration, like this:
Excuse me, sir?"
"Yes, what is it?"
"It's just that, uh, you've got, um something."
"Right there. And there. And--"
"Oh bother. Faeries in my beard? Again?"
"Yes, sir. I didn't want to say anything but, well, they're er--"
"The buggers are lighting up, aren't they?"
This is a writing prompt a friend posted from The Ugly Side of Tumblr on Facebook. I ran with it below the image.
Of course I bring the girl home. I’ve only got one last soft spot in my heart. This job already takes so much from me and I’m determined not to let it have my soul. And it goes well at first. The girl is smart, recognizes danger when she sees it and has good reflexes. And that’s no surprise. She survived long enough to try and hire me after all. But in a few weeks, I discover the unforeseen consequence of my kindness.
Because this girl I’ve adopted is far from the only abused kid trying to escape. And these small survivors are observant. They’re also desperate and bold enough to approach someone like me. Each of them look up, gaze into my soul with their wide, haunted eyes. And from a practical standpoint, I ought to refuse. But how can I?
I don’t. I can’t. I slay their demons, literally, and take them in. Every one.
Within a month, I’ve got three children to train. Within six, a dozen. And they don’t stop coming to me and asking the essential question. Unluckily, the world is a cruel place so I still have plenty of paying adult clients. The fees I charge them feed mouths and clothe bodies.
I can’t go on like this, though. Not in the small flat I’ve rented in the city. So I set up a shell corporation and buy a rambling old house in the middle of nowhere. The children live and train in that yard and sleep under that roof. They work a small garden and feed the cats in the barn.
I leave the first girl, the oldest, in charge when I’m out on a job. Her name is Erin, but she hates it. She follows instructions like lesson plans and recipes she finds on the internet. Erin makes a chore chart and includes my name on it along with the others. I come to understand that I love teaching. The kids all call me Uncle Hart. And every time I return with another orphaned kid, the place feels like home.
One night I’m stalking a drug kingpin. The bastard’s holed up, hiding behind his lieutenants. But I’ve had jobs like this before. More of them than I can count because the children need me. So of course, I dispatch the kingpin’s help easily.
The kingpin’s laughing as I enter the closet-sized space. And I pause. This isn’t typical. The kingpin’s unarmed but that laugh is nastier than the actions of the abusive parents I rescue my children from. The kingpin lifts his foot, revealing an object. Small. Metallic. Deadly.
The explosion knocks me out of the room, into a world of immeasurable pain. I see his dead eyes in his grinning face. Fear grips my heart. My children are losing me. And I lose consciousness.
Vague echoes plague my psyche. Bustling doctors, beeping machines, antiseptic. When I regain all my senses, I’m surrounded by my children. They bring me the rest of the way back from life’s edge. But I’ve lost an arm and half a leg. I can’t continue the jobs that support us. I’m certain we’ll starve. The oldest child, the first one I rescued, changes her name. Eris goes out in my place.
And every week, she brings a new child back with her to join the family.
There's no creative talent who fits the above better than Stan Lee. So many of my friends and peers keep saying he saved their lives. My own experience was different.
I'm getting personal in this post to talk about the effect his work had on me. It's not what I expected when I started writing about it.
Stan Lee's work didn't save my life. I grew up in a community where "girls can't read comics" so his stories didn't reach me until I was an adult and had fled that swamp. I was taught to use everything and everyone to my own advantage, look for the next best person or thing and grab it, no matter who might get hurt. And I was starting to get worse.
I'd just gotten power over the direction of my own life. Where I'm from, you either stand up by stepping on people or take whatever you can grab and then run. I knew nothing at all of responsibility. And then I picked up a Marvel comic.
Stan Lee didn't save my life. He saved the people who walked into it. His work showed me another way to be. That there's always a choice, that people who grew up surrounded by cruelty, pain, and loss can choose to do good instead of harm.
Cycles can be broken. Anyone can be a hero. Kindness is a form of strength. We're stronger together. Keep going, even if the way seems impossible.
Those ideas come naturally to so many people. I wasn't one of them until I got help. That wouldn't have happened without Stan Lee's worlds and characters opening my mind to empathy. Even a kid raised to be cruel and indifferent can choose a different path later in life.
What impact did Marvel Comics have for you?
So I haven't been getting out as much as I'd like. It makes me a little batty. If only that looked as cute as the picture above. But it doesn't so I've got to do something. And that thing is for me to blog more, Blogdor.
Expect to see more posts here, probably every two weeks but possibly weekly instead. I'm aiming for Monday to get something up. You could see all sorts of posts, like pictures at past events, book recommendations, or bits of lore I've researched for works in progress.
I'll also be updating the site with more information on the worlds in my books. Like any good ex-DJ and recovering performance artist, I take requests. Just email me at email@example.com with ideas of what you'd like to see here. I'm happy to talk about, where ideas come from (not the stork), what a typical writing day is like, et cetera.
This is going to be a busy summer. Will I find time to breathe? Who knows? I'm working hard on Clerical Error. I hope to get it out by the end of this month. Kallisti: A Collection of Poetry will release next week. July 13th is the date I hope to have Body Count out in the world.
I'm not sure what comes later in July or in August but I will need to be ready to travel to Dragon Con on the 30th. Maybe I'll take a break and not publish anything that month. If Counting Stars is done, that will complete Valentino's 3-book arc in Supernatural Vigilante Society, so we'll see.
The book after Clerical Error focuses on a different character but likely won't be ready until September or maybe October. That's okay because I have a second book of poems slated for one of those months. And sometime in the fall, the third La Famiglia book will drop.
At least I can say I'll meet my goal of publishing nine works in 2018. Whew!
Anyway, thanks for being here. What are you up to? Tell me in the comments.
Are you looking for something new to read? Click the picture below to see some releases for May, 2018.
“I have to kill you. You're too good.”
Now that Providence Paranormal College is done, I have been working on this. It's a new trilogy about kids from an Alternate Timeline version of the 80s who get stuck in a virtual reality game. Here's my elevator pitch:
Kids go missing all the time and are never found. But six of them end up stuck in a game instead of dead in a ditch. Can they convince a misguided GM to let them go home to their families by beating the game? Do they all want to? Find out in this Retro GameLit adventure.
I'll release some of it over on Patreon but remember, it's still in draft form. Elements and events are subject to revision. This trilogy might also connect to other books down the road. $5 and up Patrons get to see it a few days earlier than the rest. The cover's only temporary, but Jim has some ideas in mind for this one.
Today, I'm here with J.D. Cunegan, author of the Superhero meets Sci-Fi Jill Andersen series.
D.P.- You're ready to write and have your pen and paper or computer or microphone ready. What else do you need during your session?
J.C.- I almost always have to have a hot mug of something – either coffee or tea, depending on the time of day – at the ready, and something I can use for background noise. I have music I like to listen to, the heavier the better, or sometimes I’ll put a TV show or movie I’ve already seen several times on in the background. I can’t write in silence; I have to have something going on in the background to get me going.
D.P.- Tell us one thing you don't want to put into your stories.
J.C.- All the typical sexist trappings normally found in genre fiction; e.g., needlessly skimpy clothing, awkward revealing poses, storylines that rely on sexual violence (or the threat thereof), character backgrounds that also rely on sexual violence (or the threat thereof). Female characters in genre fiction, the headlining heroes in particular, are not props, but fully-formed people with their own agencies.
D.P.- If I only had time to read one of your works, which one should it be?
J.C.- Bounty, because moreso than anything else I’ve ever written, that book exemplifies who I am and how I view the world. Jill is, in a lot of ways, the sort of person I wish I could be, and being able to use the world she inhabits to examine problems, both real-world and hypothetical, in a grounded and personal setting is one of my greatest triumphs as an author. I love what I wrote in Notna, but Bounty is more true to who I am and what I believe in – and as the first book I ever published, it’s the volume that made everything since possible.
D.P.- Tell us about a time when you almost gave up on a project but decided to keep on going anyway.
J.C.- I’ve lost count of how many times I almost gave up on Notna. It’s been a lifelong labor of love, something I’ve plugged away at for over two decades. I’ve lost count of how many times I would rage-quit, walk away because I was convinced the plot didn’t work, the characters didn’t work, or I simply felt I wasn’t good enough. When I was in college, I was in a dark period, one in which I didn’t do anything, didn’t care about anything… and during that time, I stopped writing. Period. But upon discovering the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, the spark to write came back – and the first thing I tackled was Notna. The fact that I finally published that book is a tremendous source of pride.
D.P.- What's new with you?
J.C.- My latest novel, Behind the Mask, is now available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple iBooks, and other digital outlets! Also find the first three books in the Jill Andersen series -- Bounty, Blood Ties, Behind the Badge -- on those same formats, as well as the contemporary fantasy Notna. Coming spring 2018: Betrayed.
You can follow J.D. on Patreon, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Author Central, and at his website.
He's also started a newsletter for exclusives and the latest updates.
Thanks for reading about J.D.
We're here today with Janet, who is a freelancer with one published work and several more to come in the future. Speaking of which, she writes about the future, also alternate versions of the past. I've had the privilege of beta reading some of her work. Here's a bit more about her.
D.P.- What's your favorite thing to cook?
J.G.- I love to cook Thanksgiving, and it's actually been a few years since I've done it on the real turkey day (I've been going to my folks') so it ends up being late December holiday fare. I do the whole nine yards - turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green veg (usually asparagus or broccoli), salad, fruit. We usually don't do the big dessert as that's enough already! Oh and I make bread but it's in the machine. Does that count?
D.P.- Tell us about the coolest writing-related thing to happen for you recently.
J.G.- My coolest recent writing-related thing happened while podcasting. I am one half of a podcast called Semantic Shenanigans. We discuss how law, society, scholarship, and fandom all collide. Because of the kerfuffle about the new Dr. Who being - oh my God! - not a man, we wanted someone on who knew Who (that's hard to say, but you know what I mean). I then recalled a cousin of mine has a podcast, Who Back When, where they review new and classic Dr. Who. We got in touch and had him on, all the way from Oxford. We had a lovely time of it and then at the last 10 minutes or so, he said, "And I also wanted to talk about this compelling book I recently read. It's called Untrustworthy." I hadn't known that he had so much as read it! So that was cool, as he truly had enjoyed it and wants to talk to me about in person but we need to get on the same continent as he's from Sweden and currently lives in Oxford.
Check out the video below!
D.R. Perry's books on Goodreads
Bearly Awake (Providence Paranormal College, #1)
ratings: 117 (avg rating 4.16)
Fangs for the Memories (Providence Paranormal College, #2)
ratings: 41 (avg rating 4.20)
Of Wolf and Peace (Providence Paranormal College, #3)
ratings: 28 (avg rating 4.18)
Dragon My Heart Around (Providence Paranormal College, #4)
ratings: 25 (avg rating 4.16)
A Change In Crime: A Supernatural Depression-Era Thriller (La Famiglia di Mostri, #1)
ratings: 15 (avg rating 4.27)