Zeitgeist Teaser #1: The Characters

In the months leading up to the release of my new novel, Zeitgeist 1919, I'm going to be posting a series of sneak peeks at the work in progress (currently facing the slings and arrows of the outrageous editorial process). We'll begin with the featured players in our story and the caveat that this list of characters (which will appear at the beginning of the book) only highlights the central players in the drama. The full dramatis personae that appears in the appendices for the novel has (at current count) forty eight characters! So without further ado...

 

Dramatis Personae

Rory Donnelly … A teenager who has recently enlisted as a cannoneer serving on the Tesla batteries that protect New York City.

Nora Donnelly, née Keane … The pregnant sister-in-law of Rory, she is plagued by fits and visions of impending doom.

Evangeline Donnelly … An American technomancer and Rory’s aunt, she serves as a magician-advisor to the forces defending New York City.

Silke … A young German spy whose body and mind have been warped by sorcery.

Konrad von Elbing … Scion of an ancient Prussian military family and a reluctant drachenwolf rider.

George Kohlberg … An immigrant German-American technomancer haunted by the disappearance of his son and the mountain that looms over his town.

Delphyne … A mysterious girl living in an isolated cabin with her grandmother on a Pennsylvania mountainside.

August Frazier … An American magical researcher and botanist who has recently lost his wife, Elizabeth, to an accident in the woods.

Lazare Viger … A young Québécois smuggler and nationalist who suffers from hypertrichosis, resulting in most of his body being covered in thick hair. 

Josephine Sable … A self-educated, mixed-race schoolteacher and occasional fortune teller. Previously a domestic servant for the Roth family.

Oscar Roth … A wealthy academic magician, more attuned to discovering magical secrets than casting spells. An affair with his family’s servant, Josephine, ended badly a dozen years ago.

Stefan Lang … Kapitänleutnant in the Kaiserliche Marine and commander of the unterseeboot U-188. His wife and child have been lost to the Russian Armiya Mertvykh.

Baptiste Leopold … An exiled freedom fighter and vodou practitioner of mixed Haitian and German descent.

Imperialer Zaubersänger Sigmund Gramlich … Chief sorcerer to the Kaiser and architect of the invasion of America.

Calling All Beta Readers

Want to help make my latest book better? Not intimidated by rough text and the likelihood of plot inconsistencies? Just want to get a look behind the scenes at how the sausage is made? Excited to see what flying wolves and sorcerers would bring to World War I?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then head over to the book page for my next novel, Zeitgeist 1919, and sign up to be a beta reader today! Don't delay. This is a big book, and I'll need you to read it and submit your feedback before August 25th.

Thanks in advance!

2016 Accountability Post

Is the annual accountability post a useful exercise, particularly in an essentially creative endeavor? I’m not entirely certain, but it does provide a milestone (not millstone!) and reminder of sorts about whatever path I’m on. With that in mind, let’s review what my intentions were for 2016 before the reality of time constraints, the whims of imagination, and a ceaseless slog of negative news took their toll…

  • Put the icing on the Symphony cake. I wrapped up my historical fantasy series, The Dreambetween Symphony, in 2015, but I wanted to package the series as an omnibus box set / compilation / what-have-you. Status? Mission Accomplished!
  • Revise and publish The Pike. While the initial drafting phase for my latest novel was complete in late 2015, it still required heavy editing. Also, I wasn’t sure whether to publish the book under a pen name given that it didn’t quite fit, genre-wise, with much of my previous output. Status? Published, June 2016.
  • Begin a new series. Status? Fail! I was in the planning stages for a series tentatively titled Gunmage. Expanding upon my short story Lamia’s Daughter, this alternate-world western with demons, fey magic, and gunslingers is still in the planning stages and has been pushed behind other projects in the queue.

Which brings us to 2017. What tentative goalposts do I put up and then pull a Charlie Brown trying to boot the ball through?

  • Publish a new novel. The first draft of my next novel is complete, and I’m currently muddling through the first round of edits. Tentatively titled Zeitgeist 1919, this book is a beast, currently weighing in at almost double the page-count of my previous longest novel, Requiem. Zeitgeist tells the story of a reimagined aftermath/extension to World War I, where Kaiser Wilhelm II, aided by the sorcery and genetic monstrosities of his hexenmeister warlocks, invades the United States and faces the might of American technomancy (machine-magic!). Readers of my shorter work may recognize The Sack of Gotham, the novella (re-edited and slightly adapted) that forms the first portion of this new book. Assuming no catastrophic editing nightmares, Zeitgeist should hit the digital shelves in late spring or early summer.
  • Start writing a new series (or possibly a stand-alone novel). The aforementioned Gunmage series is in contention to follow Zeitgeist, but it will have to push aside another idea that’s been pinging around in my skull. This would be a novel consisting of a series of linked paranormal and cyberpunk-ish short stories set in a near-future American spaceport. At some point, I'd also like to revisit the cross-dimensional, post-apocalyptic invasion series that Symphony shoved aside a couple of years ago. And get started on an epic swords & sorcery fantasy. And a space opera. Sigh...
  • Begin to reboot my short story collections. While novel-writing will consume most of my production time, I’m also embarking on a reboot of my short story collections, splitting them into longer, novel-length work focused more narrowly by genre. The twenty-one stories of The Singles Collection will be repackaged with new work and some older, reworked material. I’m not sure how many collections are going to result, but the first should hit the digital shelves this year.
  • Update my production workflows and website. Part of the process of rebooting the shorts collections and publishing the new novel(s) will include a move to a new publishing workflow using the ebook formatting software Vellum. This should result in prettier and more consistently formatted ebooks, and, if all goes well, most of my back catalogue should get a makeover in the next 12-18 months. Finally, I’ll try to work in a reboot of my website, which hasn’t exactly been lavished with attention the last year or so. 

That’s the tentative plan anyway. See you back here this time next year (assuming the world hasn’t blown up or civilization collapsed into Dark Ages barbarism), to check how far off the roadmap I've veered!

Holiday Sale

Celebrate the holidays with FREE and 99¢ ebooks from yours truly. Did you find a new Kindle, tablet, or phone under your tree? Maybe somebody special gave you an Amazon gift card? Then there's no time like the present (zing!) to grab most of my books in this special holiday sale. 

Enjoy the books, and don't forget to post a review or otherwise let me know what you thought about the stories.

NuLo Books On Sale This Week

If you haven’t yet explored the seedy underbelly of the dying city called NuLo, you're in luck! All this week (9/12 - 9/16), my novel Seven is just 99¢, and the novella Quinboy is FREE.

 
 

Skirting the uncertain waters at the nexus of dystopian science fiction, urban fantasy, and cyberpunk, Seven is the story of a girl who might be psychic and might be psychotic (or maybe both!), while Quinboy is a prequel novella exploring the backstory of supporting players from Seven.


Seven: The Haunted Girl of NuLo

Seven and Pug must cross the dying city of NuLo, evading the clutches of wolves and cyber-witches, priests and madmen, in a desperate race to counteract a virus before it transforms Pug into a monster. But what lurks in Seven’s head may be the greatest monstrosity of all.


Quinboy: A Tale of NuLo

Danny is in trouble. An orphan recruited into a gang of street thieves, his first job ends in disaster. His best friend is injured, and the man he tried to rob lies bleeding on the pavement. With nothing to show for his efforts, Danny can expect only punishment from Pipejohn, the cruel gang-boss.

Countdown Deal This Week

This week only, get two ebooks for just 99¢!

My latest novel, The Pike, a cyberpunk, dystopian thriller, will be on sale this week (Monday 8/1 through Friday 8/5) for just 99¢. Not feeling the whole military SF, cyberpunk, dystopian vibe? Then that same 99¢ will let you sample some of my work in other genres with The Singles Collection, a selection of twenty one short stories and novellas ranging from interstellar SF to urban fantasy to horror. 

 
 

Don't forget: if you're a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can borrow these books, and the rest of my work, FREE from KU today! And Amazon Prime subscribers can get one book a month (including mine!) from the Kindle Lending Library. Ready to borrow or buy? Then hit the links below...

The Pike

Ben Kazmaier’s mother is in a coma, and he and his veteran father are working triple shifts at PikeCo to pay for the machines that keep her alive. When terrorists strike close to home and his mother disappears, Ben is forced to choose between his duty to his family and joining an uprising against his corporate masters. It is a decision that will tear open the wounds of the past, cause new blood to be spilled, and change life on the Pike forever. 


The Singles Collection

Twenty-one stories. Twenty-one worlds. Some are close to our own. Others are less so. It begins on the frontier colony world of Abilene, where Jak and his band of retired Imperial marines hunt for a monster that killed one of their own. It ends in an alternate-history version of early 20th century Manhattan, where young Rory Donnelly has just been assigned to the Tesla cannon batteries that protect the walls of Gotham from an impending attack by the Kaiser’s runesingers and genetic monstrosities.

Dreambetween Sale: 4 Books for Under $2

This week only, you can get the entire historical fantasy series, The Dreambetween Symphony, for under $2! Not sure if you'll enjoy this sprawling saga of dark lords and orphan girls, sorcerous songs and tragic loves? Then try the first book, Song of the Severed Lord, FREE, to get a taste. If you enjoy the tale, you can buy the next two novels, Exile Ballad and Requiem, for just 99¢ per book. Then complete your series set by picking up the companion volume, Preludes & Elegies, free.

 

 

What readers are saying about The Dreambetween Symphony...

“Refreshingly original, exquisitely written, enchanting, beguiling and utterly worth the read.” - Amazon reviewer

“M.S. Hund did it again in painting a beautiful world within the Dreambetween.” - Joanna Ogan, author of Prophecy Revealed

“Well written fantasy you feel and see coming together as you read each book.” - Amazon reviewer


 

Remember: the sale ends Friday, so don’t wait. Complete your collection or discover the Dreambetween for the first time today. Get the entire series of four books for under $2!

 

A song is calling to you from the far side of sleep. Will you answer its siren call?

 

New Release: The Pike

Enter a world of terrorist drone strikes, neural network interfaces, cyborg soldiers, and an America that isn't quite what she used to be. The Pike is a new dystopian(ish), cyberpunk(ish), coming of age, science fiction thriller, and during the release weekend (June 24-26), the Kindle ebook is available for the special launch price of $2.99 ($12.99 for paperback).


A revolution is brewing on the Pike…

Ben Kazmaier’s mother is in a coma, and he and his veteran father are working triple shifts at PikeCo to pay for the machines that keep her alive. When terrorists strike close to home and his mother disappears, Ben is forced to choose between his duty to his family and joining an uprising against his corporate masters. It is a decision that will tear open the wounds of the past, cause new blood to be spilled, and change life on the Pike forever.

The Pike is a near-future thriller set against a backdrop of terrorist drone attacks, corporate intrigue, and cyborg soldiers. It explores a dystopian vision of America as a fallen superpower that has been reduced to a tourist theme park and ruthlessly exploited by corporations and foreign interests. Sensitive readers are advised that the book contains adult and racially charged language and is intended for a mature audience.

Discover NuLo

If you haven’t yet explored the seedy underbelly of the dying city called NuLo, you're in luck! All this week (6/13 - 6/17), the novel Seven is just 99¢, and the novella Quinboy is FREE.

 
 

Skirting the uncertain waters at the nexus of dystopian science fiction, urban fantasy, and cyberpunk, Seven is the story of a girl who might be psychic and might be psychotic (or maybe both!), while Quinboy is a prequel novella exploring the backstory of supporting players from Seven.

 

Seven: The Haunted Girl of NuLo

Seven and Pug must cross the dying city of NuLo, evading the clutches of wolves and cyber-witches, priests and madmen, in a desperate race to counteract a virus before it transforms Pug into a monster. But what lurks in Seven’s head may be the greatest monstrosity of all.

 

Quinboy: A Tale of NuLo

Danny is in trouble. An orphan recruited into a gang of street thieves, his first job ends in disaster. His best friend is injured, and the man he tried to rob lies bleeding on the pavement. With nothing to show for his efforts, Danny can expect only punishment from Pipejohn, the cruel gang-boss.