Sunday, November 6, 2016
Amazon: October 25, 2016
Second book I've read by this indie author. Allan has now partnered with his wife, Helen.
Characters are fun. If you like vampires, you'll like this story. A little Twilight, a little Bram Stoker, a little Stephen King. You can see Allan's influences in his works. Nathan is a fascinating take on the immortal vampire. His family and friends are as dysfunctional as any modern group. He negotiates the modern world with great agility.
The monsters appear, the battles arise. A fun read and a nod to Helen for the scientific additions.
By Amazon Customer on October 31, 2016
This is the 1st book I have read by these authors and I was hooked!
Such a different approach to the "birth" (of the vampyre),,, and the para earths are fascinating! I look forward to the next installments!
Care to see more? Then just click on the appropriate link below and see what all the praise is about:
NOOK USERS ($2.99):
APPLE AND ALL OTHERS E-READERS (INCLUDING PDF) CLICK HERE ($2.99):
Friday, October 28, 2016
Welcome to "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home". My name is Nathaniel Eoghan Steward, and I hope you'll be as pleased to meet me and my friends as we are to meet you...
After two long years of brainstorming, writing, re-writing, editing, and planning Helen and I are proud to present to you all our first collaboration: "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home".
Those who've been following this blog for the last two years will be familiar with Nathan and some of the other characters who appear in this novel, but for those who are not here's a synopsis:
In 1861 sixteen year old Nathan Steward joined the 7th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment to help end slavery and preserve the Union. Before he left home, Nathan promised his sister Isabella that he would not let the war change him... he was wrong.
While serving in the Union Army, Nathan found himself fighting on many battlefields. But his toughest fight took place on a parallel version of Earth (a Para-Earth) where evolution had taken a very different turn. Although he managed to get back to his own world, this particular battle left him so altered there was no going home. For now he needed to drink blood, sleep in the ground, and avoid the sunlight.
Today, after 150 years of wandering the world and touching the lives of others, he is finally coming back to claim his family mansion which has stood empty for the decades. However, unknown to Nathan, his homecoming will not be as lonely as he anticipates. For someone has bee waiting all this time to welcome him back.
But, there is another who wishes to meet up with him again as well. The being he faced and defeated in that Para-Earth, back in 1862, has found its way into this world and has caught his scent. Now it is drawing closer to his hometown, bent on his complete and utter destruction. For this foe knows he is the only force that can stop it from enveloping this world and its dead...
The book is available in Trade Paperback (including signed), and all e-reader formats. To get the version that suits your needs click on the link below which will take you to our new Para-Earth webpage. There you can find all three installments of the every-growing Para-Earth Series. Simply, choose the button for whatever format you need for any book, and a new page will appear to take your order.
Webpage for the Para-Earth Book Series
Helen and I thank you all for your support and patronage, and promise you all that we have many more stories to tell, involving all your favorite characters from the series, as well as many new ones. We also ask that you please share the links and help spread the word about "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" and the rest of the Para-Earth series.
Finally, we want to wish you all a Happy and Fun-Filled Halloween!
Friday, August 12, 2016
I was making my way back to "The Crypt", after having visited my family's plot tonight. Everything was just as I'd left it a few months ago. Except for the weeds which I made short work of. And of course the flowers needed a little freshening up, so I circled the graves and released some of my green mist, which brought them back into a healthy bloom.
Went inside the mansion briefly because I thought I saw a figure at one of the windows. A small figure... holding a... never mind. I didn't find anyone inside, so I headed back towards town.
Naturally, my thoughts drifted to the days of my youth, before I left for the war. Unfortunately, not all my memories were happy ones. Mind you I have a lot of good memories, but there are a few involving my father that still sting from time to time. He loved me, of that I have no doubts. Heaven knows he told me and showed me enough times, but there were some days when I could see and sense his disappointment in me. I wasn't always the son he really wanted me to be, but I had limitations that he couldn't understand at the time. Of course, I no longer suffer those problems these days, but it would've been nice to let him see how far I'd come.
I had just reached the downtown area of Pointer, when I spotted a figure carrying a guitar case I knew only too well. It was young Teddy and he was looking pretty down as he walked. Concerned I started to quicken my pace, only to be passed by a car which pulled up next to my young friend. Immediately, a man got out of the car and started scolding my young friend rather vociferously.
Even though they're a fair distance from where I'm standing, my hearing is exceptionally keen and I hear everything as if I was standing right there with them.
"I told you it could wait until tomorrow," the older man says in a very annoyed voice. "But, no, you have to make a scene."
"You were already making a scene by yelling at me in front of everyone, Dad!" Ted shot back.
I wince at that. Family arguments have never been my favorite thing to walk in on, much less be a part of. I consider taking a different route home at that point but then Ted's father says, "I told you not bother with getting a guitar months ago. It's not going to win you any scholarships for college. Now if you'd get into football like I keep telling you..."
"That's a made up thing, and even if it was real, only girls and women get it," his father yells, cutting him off.
That tore it for me. Suddenly, the scenery on either side of me blurs and in the blink of an eye I find myself standing next Ted and his father.
Luckily the two are so focused on each other neither even notice that I've suddenly appeared on the scene. "Good evening, gentlemen," I say clearing my throat meaningfully to get their attention.
Ted reacts first. "Oh, hello, Mr. Backman. I was just coming to return the guitar you loaned me," he says in a quiet voice.
"Whatever for? Don't tell me you've given up playing? You're really good," I tell him, mainly because it's true. But I also know what playing music does for him. It gives him a way of forgetting about his Fibromyalgia for a while. Everyone who fights a daily battle like his needs a coping mechanism and I don't want to see him lose this particular one.
"He's not going to have time to be playing music," his father replies, before Ted can speak. "I appreciate the fact that you let him practice with that thing, but it's not helping."
"Not helping?" I repeat curiously. "From what Ted has told me in the past, it helps him deal with his condition..."
"He doesn't have a condition, he's just too lazy and delicate," his father cuts in again.
I nod and reply, "It's my understanding he has Fibromyalgia. Is that not the case?"
"Fibromyalgia, if it exists at all..."
"For crying out loud, Dad. Mom has it, you said so yourself," Ted exclaims.
"Of course she has, but it's a condition women get, not men!" his father explodes.
"I have it," I say quietly. "In fact I've had it all my life, even when I was little. Growing pains they called it. Told me I'd grow out of it, but I never did. It's been my constant companion every day of my life."
Ted's father studies me for a moment and then says, "You don't look like your sick or in any pain."
"Looks can be deceiving," I reply cryptically and take a step towards him.
****TO BE CONTINUED****
Sunday, June 19, 2016
We finally got him, hallelujah! After all these years we finally got Uncle Nate but good, and he never saw it coming. It all happened over at The Crypt, the nightclub Uncle Nate owns downtown, which is located in the basement of a big old building he bought back during the Great Depression.
This didn't come as a surprise to me and I told him so. "I remember all the stories you've told us about how Uncle Nate stood in as a second father for your after granddad died. Uncle Nate has also acted like a father figure to me whenever you were stationed overseas during your stint in the army."
"That's true," Dad nodded and then looked at me, "But did you know he's also been a father figure to a great many other people?"
"Of course I know, I hang out with a number of them like Jack, Tom, and..."
"I don't mean just here in Pointer, Brian," he interrupted me. "I mean elsewhere. There are a lot of families here in the United States, as well as across the sea who he's watched over and been second father to as well. And they don't get to see him nearly as often as we do. But they stay in touch with him all the same."
"What do you have in mind?" asked Mom at that point, with a knowing look on her face.
"I think you already know, my dear," he replied and then proceeded to outline the plan.
It took us a week to get in touch with all the people we knew about, and another week for them to contact others we were unaware of. But soon enough we had a solid list of who could come for the planned gathering.
The only thing missing was the guest of honor himself. That became my job. Luckily, I knew an easy way to get Uncle Nate to come to town. I simply sent him an e-mail saying there were reports that the town council was thinking of trying to put his family manor up for sale, again. They've discussed this several times in the past, but never made any headway. Mostly because Uncle Nate would show up and pay a 'visit' to certain parties that always led to the motion being shot down.
Admittedly, this could be considered a little underhanded, but at least it would bring him running when the time was right. And sure enough he did.
In the e-mail I told him a bunch of us were meeting down in The Crypt this Sunday night to see what action we were going to take and that his presence and advice would be greatly appreciated. Naturally we all knew he wouldn't show up until the evening, or even if he was already at the club, he'd be in the lower sub-basement resting. In either case we'd be able to set things up for the party without his knowing.
As it turned out we got there way before he did and decorated the place in record time. With so many people it was really easy. Communications were a little hard sometimes between us and some of our visitors from overseas, but there was always someone who spoke both languages to help bridge the gap.
In any case, we were more than prepared for Uncle Nate when he entered the club that night. All the lights were off, of course so he couldn't see us. But we could see him just fine as he opened the door and stood silhouetted from behind by the moonlight.
As he stepped into the room the lights came on and all three hundred of us greeted him wildly.
There were many others present but one man stood out in particular, in spite of his small stature. He arrived a little late once the party was in full swing, but when he entered the room fell silent. The white hair, the round thick glasses, and the cigar in his hand made him very easy to recognize. At least one person murmured, "Oh my God..."
At which point the fellow shook his head and said in his famous gravelly voice, "Not really, but close enough."
The place exploded with laughter, and Uncle Nate suddenly appeared at Mr. Burns' side and embraced him warmly. Mr. Burns was accompanied by his son Ronnie and daughter Sandra, along with their spouses. Mr. Burns shared some stories with us about his early days in vaudeville, and how he met Uncle Nate who had inadvertently demonstrated some of his powers without meaning to. Mr. Burns also proceeded to give us a song or two with Uncle Nate on the piano.
Being it was Father's Day, Uncle Nate didn't let us forget to celebrate all the other fathers in the room and those who were soon-to-be-fathers. It was obvious he was touched by all we'd done, and it thrilled him to no end that so many had come all this way for the occasion.
Towards the end of the evening Dad took me aside and thanked me for all I'd done to help make this happen. "It's amazing isn't it, that all these people are just a part of Uncle Nate's Extended Family. There are still so many more out there."
"How did he get to know them all?" I asked curiously.
"The same way he got to know ours," Dad smiled, "It just started out with a person or two here and there who learned his secret, and found a deep friendship with him. As those people began families, he was there for them and soon their children would learn about our godfather, and ask him to help watch over the next generation as he had for them."
Startled I looked at my father, "Uncle Nate is your godfather too?"
Dad nodded. "He's been godfather to a great many people in this room. We're just lucky to see him more often because this is his hometown and we help watch over his family's estate. He's been a part of our family for generations. He watched over my mother, her father, her grandfather and so on all the way back to the end of the Civil War. And he has every intention of continuing to watch over all of us for a long time to come"
I found this a great comfort as I stared out at the crowded floor. It's good to know that when I have a son or a daughter, he'll be here to help watch over my kids as well.
Now, Uncle Nate is raises his glass in a toast saying, "I want to thank you all for including me in this Father's Day celebration. But I also ask you all to remember your own fathers, and stepfathers, mothers, stepmothers, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors who've also filled the role of a father figure in yours or another person's life. For their efforts help shape the people we become in the long run, and their legacy leaves in each one of us. Happy Father's Day everyone..."
Sunday, May 22, 2016
The 2nd draft of "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" is now completed.
That's right folks, the 2nd draft is now officially done and I couldn't be happier. I know this book has been a long time in the making, but Helen and I have wanted to get the story just right. We take a lot of pride in delivering a quality book to our readers. Of course, the book is not quite done yet.
Starting this week, we'll begin the loud readings with our editor to make sure the grammar and punctuation is right. But possibly even more important, we'll be making sure the story sounds right. if the words used are not flowing the right way. We've both read books where 'odd' wording can disrupt our enjoyment of a story, sometimes at a crucial point and ruin the enjoyment of the piece. So we'll be spending the next couple of weeks getting things just right.
Then comes the 2nd to last stage of the work... beta-reading. We'll be looking for beta-readers to check out the nearly finished product and give us feedback so we can make whatever final changes are needed. Those beta-readers will also receive a free copy of the final version in either paperback or e-book form (their choice), as well as a mention in the Acknowledgements page of the book.
So unless there's a major disruption at some point, our plans to release the book this October is looking great.
Stay tuned for more updates as well as new stories from Nathan and company. With university over for this semester, we hope to be adding new tales of adventure very soon.
Thanks again for all your patience and support.
Allan and Helen Krummenacker
Friday, April 29, 2016
I couldn't make out the man's face, or his upper torso, because he was literally buried under a huge pile of crumpled papers. I didn't know whether to laugh or scream. It looked so comical, but there was also the very real possibility that this man was injured or worse.
But then I heard the faint sound of snoring, coming from deep inside the mountain of paper, and breathed a faint sigh of relief.
Yet in spite of my attempt to be quiet, the unseen figure heard me because the legs flinched and the pile moved slightly, but not enough to uncover the man himself.
Not that it mattered because he spoke at that moment saying, "Writer at work... no disturbing the creative process..."
"Yeah right," I shot back with a huge grin, "You're getting high off the ink fumes again, Uncle Nathan."
An arm shot out of the pile, pointing an accusing finger at me. "Hey, I thought we agreed you were going to drop the 'uncle' part."
That made me wince as I nodded, "Yes, we did. Sorry, I forgot."
"Well don't let it happen again," the finger shook at me. "Now be a dear and help me out from under all this."
Taking the extended hand I pulled Nathan out from the pile and then proceeded to help brush him off. "What were you doing under all that garbage?" I asked.
"Trying to overcome a serious case of the dreaded 'Writer's Block'," he replied with a yawn. "I've been trying to get past it for a week now. I thought burying myself under all my failed attempts might allow me to sort through them mentally, so I could find a way forward finally."
"And instead you wound up falling asleep," I pointed out.
Drawing himself up to his full 5' 7", which is only an inch taller than me, he said in a dignified voice, "For your information I was meditating."
"Really?" I replied looking absolutely fascinated, "I always thought people who were meditating chanted 'Om'. I never heard of anyone using snoring instead. Must be a New Age thing."
Nathan made a face at me and then surveyed the clutter around us and shook his head. "Unfortunately, whatever I was doing didn't help. I'm still stuck."
"Maybe you should get white board and try jotting down some steps," I suggested.
"I don't do white boards," he shook his head, "The pen fumes give me a headache. Although I do have a blackboard in another room, but that hasn't been helping much either."
"Let me take a look, maybe I can come up with a suggestion," I offered.
"Trust me you don't want to go inside that room," Nathan told me. "I went a little overboard in there."
I rolled my eyes at him. "You haven't seen some of my friends' bedrooms. Trust me I can handle any mess you've got."
"Okay," he said with a shrug. "Just remember, I did warn you."
With that he led me out of the room with the papers and we headed down the hallway to a closed door. "You're sure you want to go in there?"
"Yes," I sighed in exasperation, "I'm a big girl, now open it."
Nodding, he pushed the door open and I walked inside.
For a moment I thought I'd stepped into the opening of one of my father's favorite shows...
The entire room, save the floor, had been covered in blackboard paint, turning all the walls and even the ceiling into gigantic, fully usable, blackboards. And every one of them was covered in writing. I kept expecting Bart Simpson to step out of the corner at any second. The only thing that saved me from that idea was the fact that none of the sentences or drawings were being repeated. In fact, the room was starting to remind me of my physics teacher's classroom. There were always notes, calculations, and other scribbles all over every blackboard in the place.
But now my eyes were really taking in the actual words and I could see Nathan was indeed dealing with a very involved scene. "How many characters are in this thing?" I asked finally.
"Too many," he sighed, "I'd brought one character from another part of my series into this one because the plot wasn't going anywhere at first. But one I brought him in, the ideas came pouring out of me. Things were going great, but then I started noticing the word count and realized, the book was going to be much longer than I'd originally pictured."
"How much longer?" I asked staring up at the notes he'd left on the ceiling.
"I was already 70,000 words into the story, and I still hadn't reached the halfway point," he answered looking around dismally. "I've spent so much time getting everyone acquainted, and then exploring how complicated their relations might be, that things kind of stalled in the main story line itself."
I nodded and studied the walls some more and could see just how complicated things were. "Had you thought about breaking it up into two books?"
"Yeah, but that would screw up the actual plot and I don't think my readers would appreciate it," Nathan replied. "And quite frankly, I wouldn't be happy about doing that either. It would ruin the flow of the story."
"I can understand that," I told him, "How important is the character you brought in to the story. Is he vital? Or was he just a plot device to help things along?"
"Plot device," he answered, "Why? Do you think I should remove him entirely? He did help inspire a lot of new scenes that got the story going again."
"Yeah, but you still wound up hitting a wall and a huge word count," I pointed out. "Can any of the previously existing characters still serve the same function to keep those ideas in place?"
Nathan's brow furrowed as he thought about it. "Actually, they could. And a huge part of the word count comes from the character I introduced interacting with the others."
"And if you took him back out entirely, would that help the word count?"
"Let's find out," Nathan replied and led me back to the room where I'd found him.
Opening up his laptop, he pulled up two chairs so we could sit side by side. Then his fingers began flying over the keyboard in a blur.
Now, I consider myself a fast typist, but believe me when I say, I'm like a tortoise in slow motion, compared to Nathan. I'm almost surprised the computer itself can keep up with him.
Within half an hour, we've removed all references to the character he'd added and reallocated the plot devices he'd helped inspire, to some of the supporting cast who already existed in the story. And sure enough, we'd lopped off over 30,000 words from the story, making it sleeker and faster paced.
By the time we were done, Nathan was looking much happier when we stepped away from the computer and headed downstairs. "That was a huge help, Lisa. Thank you so much."
I waved my hand and said, "It wasn't that big a deal."
"I beg to differ," he insisted, "Look, even after publishing a dozen books, I'm still learning about writing. There's no one straightforward path that anyone can take. It's a learning process that never ends. A writer is always discovering something new they'd never thought about before. The same thing holds true for artists who sculpt or paint. In spite of all the techniques you know, you always find some new trick or effect you've never tried before that gives your piece a whole new look."
That made me think, about my own artwork and special effects make-up I'd been working with, and I realized he was right. Creativity is a never ending learning process. You always want to try not to simply copy what you've done before, but create something new and original that makes people smile and stare in wonder at your work.
****A quick note from the author: The basis for this entry came from a recent experience of my own. As many of you know, I had planned to bring Nathan into the novel "The Door" which stars several of my other main characters. I'd been having trouble moving the plot along and had decided to bring him in to help open up new avenues and it worked. However, the length of the book was becoming too unwieldy and I was finding myself being sidetracked by too many new ideas. So I sat back and re-examined the story and found that much of what Nathan was doing in the story, could be done by existing supporting cast members, so I decided to remove him entirely from the piece.
Now, many of you may find this disappointing because you were eager to see him in a full-length novel before this year was out.
Well then you'll be pleased to hear that this will still happen. "The Door" is still not finished, but "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" is nearing the end of it's 2nd revision (which is why I haven't been posting here more frequently, it's been a very time consuming process). Next month I'll be sending it out to beta-readers, and based on the feedback we get, I will do a 3rd/final revision and release the book in October. So we're just 5 months away from Nathan's debut novel. As for "The Door", if it's ready in time, I'll release it in December or early next year.
So keep visiting, more short stories are coming soon. In fact, you'll soon be reading entries by my wife, Helen, who is co-authoring the "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" with me. I think you'll like what she has in store for you all.
Thanks again for all your patience and support.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
I interrupt this story line with a request for help from you the readers.
The second draft of "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" is over halfway done. I'll be sending it to my proofreader/editor for a good vetting by the end of the month (provided all goes well).
In the meantime, I'm facing a dilemma regarding the book's cover. I've completed the artwork seen here:
As you can tell I did not incorporate the title into the image this time, because I just couldn't make it work with the scene I'd pictured. I had tried spelling it out in the tree branches but it looked more confusing and hard to read. So I experimented with a letter-box version seen here:
From there I tried black lettering over the image, which I think is a bit hard to read...
Finally I went with white lettering over the image...
For myself, I've preferred the red letter-box version since the red helps bring out the colors of the artwork itself.
But I want to hear from you before I make a final decision. Please leave your responses in the comment section below and I will announce the results during the finale of the current short story.
Thanks for all your patience and support. The novel WILL be out this October just in time for you to add it to your spooky Halloween reads.