Don Massenzio posted a wonderful review of Grinders today. Stop over and check it out. Don is an author and a super supporter of the author community. Take some time to check out his site, you might find another blog to follow, and another author to read.
I recently finished reading Grinders, by C.S. Boyack. I always look forward to reading new books by Mr. Boyack and I was not disappointed with this one.
The thing that struck me immediately was the mixture of imagination and possible natural evolution of the developments in both the environment and technology in the future. The book takes place in a future iteration of San Francisco which sees it’s citizens dealing with rising waters that cause them to live beneath the surface in some cases and deal with the effects of rising tides within the city.
The use of the ‘grid’ for the mobility of vehicles is ingenious even describing a sync with handheld devices to warn those absorbed in their cell phones (yes this is predicted to still be a thing in the future) that they are approaching traffic by sending a warning to their screens.
I warned you about it on Friday, and the day is finally here. You can grab your copy of The Yak Guy Project for free today. To quote pop culture, “Free, free, free, free.”
This is my attempt to ease your isolation by offering something fun to read. I suppose you could grab a copy to read this Fall, too, if you want. Anyway, here is a cover and blurb, plus a purchase link.
Imagine waking up in the desert with no idea what happened to you. You have clear memories of situations and places, but a complete loss in personal matters… like your own name. This situation is bad, and you have no idea how to get home.
When you’re rescued by a talking yak, the situation gets exponentially worse. You’ve obviously lost your mind. The immediate needs of a ride off the salt pan and searing heat, along with a drink of water, outweigh the concerns about your mental state.
This is exactly what happened to the Yak Guy. In fact he’s been placed in an alternate world and given a chance to start over in life.
Can this selfish, almost parasitic, young man learn to start over in a world where charity is hard to find? Life is brutal and short here, but he’s going to have to adapt or perish.
The Yak Guy project is loosely based around The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. Those with experience in Tarot will spot people and situations from the Major Arcana.
I had a reasonable opportunity to do some writing today, and squandered it away. This is my two day weekend, and Old What’s Her Face is off. That makes it kind of hard, but not impossible.
I dabbled. I switched back to Lanternfish, but it probably didn’t amount to 300 words. I also made some adjustments to an earlier part of the story. Nothing too Earth shattering.
Mostly, there were some decent movies on television. A couple of old James Garner comedies were on, back-to-back. I keep thinking I create wild characters, but I have a long way to go. Watching Harry Morgan and Dub Taylor yell at each other was hilarious. I’m calling it a study session.
Old What’s Her Face had to get her Toyota serviced, and I just kept watching movies. She was nice, and brought home an empanada and an apple fritter for me.
I also watched game 7 of the 2001 World Series. It’s one of my all-time favorites. It might be the only baseball I get this year.
In a few minutes The Invisible Man is coming on Pay-Per-View. I’m going to rent it and see what it looks like. Haven’t heard a thing about it, but the trailers look pretty good.
Hope all of you are staying safe, and enjoying the weekend.
Everyone is self isolating, if not outright quarantined right now. It get’s boring, even for those of us who can work from home.
Add into that, a whole bunch of people who lost their jobs and are trying to file for unemployment right now, and we could all use a break.
Reading is a good way to spend a few hours, and all authors would love to have you check out their wares. I don’t want anyone to accuse me of taking advantage, so I’m going to do a free promotion. Even folks who lost their jobs can take advantage of a freeby.
Don’t freak out on me just yet, because I set it up to run on Monday. This post is just so you can line up ahead of time, while practicing your social distancing skills. I’ll run out another post when it goes live.
I try to have a method to my madness. Yak Guy is an older title these days, and I never thought it got as much love as it could have. The reviews are all positive, but there just aren’t enough of them. Hopefully, you follow my logic. I’m not linking the cover, because the freeby trots out on Monday.
This is the one where I based the characters off the Fool’s Journey from the Tarot Deck. Yak Guy is The Fool who goes on the journey. He meets other Major Arcana characters along the way. Obviously, I had to weave in a few others, but it made for a fun way to tell a story. I was kind of proud of my Wheel of Fortune. (It’s an entire city with multiple choices of roads leading out.)
For today, you might want to give your yak an extra ration of oats, maybe use some saddle soap on your rigging. The journey begins Monday.
Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I’m excited to be on the air in this time of national crisis.
Many of us are sequestered away right now, and that leaves room for a bit of reflection. I think we can all form an idea of what that’s like. Which brings me to my special guest today. “Welcome to the show, Jonah.”
“Hi, Lisa. Thanks for inviting me.”
“My bio says you’re alone on an island somewhere. To be honest, that sounds like a dream come true to many people. What can you tell us about that?”
“Oh, yeah, dream come true. Let me tell you about that. It’s anything but a paradise. The whole island is covered with tangled brush with thorns and stinging nettles. And that doesn’t even include the poisonous flowers that burn the skin horribly. But the monsters that inhabit this godforsaken place are the worse. They have long red fangs that glow and claws like that of a giant eagle. They threaten me at every turn. On top of the horrific dangers, the only food I can scrounge to eat is muddy fish and bugs.”
“I suppose most of us don’t think about the downside of being stranded like that. In our minds it’s all sunny beaches and coconut drinks. How did you wind up in such a place?”
“I lived on the streets for many years once I escaped from the orphanage. The city was huge, but I had a turf and controlled it with iron fists. Everyone who knew me feared the Wrath of Jonah. But, then I got arrested and convicted of my crimes. They gave me a choice. I could either be locked in a cement box beneath the ground or be exiled to this island. I chose the island. In hindsight, imprisonment might have been easier. Let me tell you more about the creatures. I was terrified of them at first. But I soon discovered a secret. You see, when they dropped me off on this island, they gave me a dagger and a few meager supplies. After the creatures had me cornered, and I couldn’t run anymore, I turned and prepared to die. I screamed at the top of my lungs and lunged toward them with the dagger drawn hoping I could take out at least one of them. To my surprise, they backed down and slunk back into the brush. After that, I try to keep my dagger handy at all times.
“But let me tell you about something else that just happened. I’ve been keeping track of the days I’ve been on this island for thirty-one days. Just this morning, I awoke to a loud thud outside my hut. Imagine my surprise when I poked my head out and found a package. I looked all around and could not see anyone or any means of it getting there.”
“Oh my God, someone has to be watching you. Don’t leave us hanging here, what was in the box?”
“Yeah, pretty creepy, huh? It was a burlap wrapped package and inside I was thrilled first of all, to find a package of dried Buffalo. I couldn’t wait to tear into that. It was really good. Then there were a few hygiene items, two books, a pencil and a note. One of the books was “The Four Agreements” and the other was a blank journal. Let me read you the note because it’s very puzzling. ‘There is only one way off this island. You must examine yourself, face your truths and make peace with your demons.’ Now, what do you make of that?”
“This sounds like one of those escape rooms. You know, where people pay money to solve the puzzle so they can escape. It’s fun.”
“Nothing fun about this. And, there’s more and perhaps the strangest of all. I heard footsteps outside my hut and was sure my imagination had gotten in overdrive. After all, I was alone and hadn’t seen any sign of another human since they dropped me off. But, then I heard it again and lunged out of my hut prepared to fight. Imagine my surprise when I saw a young boy around twelve standing there.”
“You mean there’s someone else stranded there, too? That was a lucky stroke.”
“Well, that’s just it. Titus isn’t stranded. He tells me he lives on the other side of the island where everything is lush and beautiful, but when he tried to take me through the portal to his home, legions of green slimy snakes blocked my way. He seems to be able to come and go, but I am not allowed to follow. So, he brings me fresh fruits and vegetables from his place. You can’t imagine how amazing that is. But, there’s something strange about this kid. He has some kind of magic. Webbing grows between his long fingers and he has luminescent green eyes that glow in a strange way. But, he’s a good kid and he’s helping me in lots of ways. He told me that his mother died, and his father disappeared. It seems that his father is a Wizard. When he tried to tell me about his father, a huge storm blew in and totally destroyed my hut. I grabbed my stuff and threw it into a duffel bag and pulled Titus along with me. He was in some kind of a trance. Finally, he snapped out of it and held a huge Amethyst Crystal up to his forehead and chanted some words. The storm immediately stopped.”
“That’s terrible, but at least you had each other to get through it all.”
“I suppose so. For the first time in my life, I felt the urge to protect someone other than myself. So, we made our way back to where my hut had been and to my surprise, there stood in its place a bigger and sturdier built shelter. And there is another package lying beside the door. Inside this package was another book, ‘The Dark Side of the Light Chasers,’ and another note that simply said, ‘Because you cared for someone other than yourself.’ The other weird part about the whole thing is that the ground that was covered in torrential rain a few minutes earlier was hard as a rock and dry. So, now I’m working my way through this book. Titus comes and goes, and I never know when he will appear, but we’ve grown close. I can’t imagine how all of this is going to end, but for the first time since I arrived here, I don’t scan the horizon every day for a boat coming to take me back home.”
“Oh, Jonah, this sounds like some kind of weird rehabilitation program to me. Dangerous and with no defined ending, but the reward kind of feels like a positive step. I hope you complete the program and can get back to your loved ones soon.”
“I have no loved ones to return to, Lisa. My mom was killed when I was very young. When I think about going back to my old turf, I know that I can’t be the same way I was before.”
“ So sorry to hear about your mother. I know I speak for all of our listeners today in wishing you the best of luck escaping from the island. Any last thoughts before we go off the air?”
“Maybe I don’t even want to go back to the mainland anymore. As long as Titus is here and my living conditions are better, I can be content. But I crave the magic that Titus has. Who knows? One day, he may be allowed to teach it to me. I’d like that. In the meantime, I’m going to make the best of the situation.”
“You can read all about Jonah and Titus in the book, Jonah, by Jan Sikes. I’ll post all the pertinents on the website after I go off the air.
“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I know Jan and Jonah would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”
Fantasy meets reality when a young man is forced to choose his punishment for crimes committed. Jonah must decide between imprisonment in a concrete box beneath the earth or be exiled to a deserted, barren island. He chooses the island, but nothing can prepare him for the deadly creatures, and poisonous plants at every turn. Then there’s the maddening isolation that drives him to the brink of insanity. There is only one way off this island and it’s more difficult than anything he’s ever imagined. It’s much easier to face mortal danger than the demons within. Will he find redemption or another unexpected offer?
Jan Sikes openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way.
She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to bring the story full circle.
And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings
We just had an earthquake. Early reports are a 6.5 centered in the backwoods of central Idaho. It shook our house in the Boise area, and made the chandelier over the dining table rock.
We also have a bell on a stand out back and it was ringing. I immediately contacted our daughter, and she felt it in Sun Valley.
The west has many fault lines, but in nearly sixty years, I’ve never felt one. There really wasn’t any danger out here in suburbia. We aren’t near any tall buildings or anything. Honestly, I thought it was kind of cool.
Guess I can check that one off my list. I’ve been trapped in Alaska by a volcano, so I don’t need to repeat that one. I feel like I ought to make a trip to see the Northern Lights now. Either that or a tropical storm, but the Northern Lights sound like more fun.
This was my flex day, today. I dabbled on a lot of things, and didn’t really have much focus. Eventually, I decided writing might be a bit more focused.
I stuck with The Ballad of Mrs. Molony, which is my side project. I didn’t even keep a word count this time, but it feels close to 3000 words. Might be 2800 or so, but I have no way of proving it. It provides enough to send out to my critique group. I’ll have to do that later tonight.
I’m still trying to provide some fun things for everyone, but don’t have any new photos. It’s rainy outside and not worthy of photography. Both dogs have been to the vet this week, so they aren’t photo worthy either. We’re poor until payday, now.
In an effort to provide some fun things, I’m posting some Pinterest pages. People like memes, cute pictures, and graphics, so why not. The first one is the board I keep for Lizzie and The Hat. You can see what they did from other books, what they’re currently up to in Mrs. Molony, and what they might get up to in future books. Here’s the link.
The next one is my board for Grinders. If you’ve been curious about cyberpunk, some visuals that helped with the story, and other tidbits you can check it out. I shared some of my tour posts here, so you might have to scroll down a bit. I’m not going to post a purchase link today. The cover in my sidebar is linked if you’re interested. This is the Grinders Board.
Check out the boards and talk to me. There are some cool graphics involved, and obviously, you can share them on your own boards if you see something you like. Am I the only author who uses Pinterest this way?