Busy week of writing

Been doing a lot of promo lately for “Danger in Bass Clef”. Time to give an update on the other things that have been going on.

I have been cranking out a series of entertainment blogs for my friends over at Myth Machine. They should be going live in the next couple of weeks. Have not been doing this much binge watching and blogging but it has been great for my daily word count and helping me to hone my brevity. I never thought it would be so hard to punch out a review in a matter of 500 words. I have found it hard to keep it bellow 800 honestly but am starting to get better at finding a solid voice for them. I will keep everyone posted when those launch.

I have also started to shift my promo over to the upcoming release of the third Johnny Scotch comic which will be debuting at Salt Lake Comic Con in a little less than 3 weeks. Very excited for this one. Dan Schaefer’s art has really kicked it up for this issue and we are about to send something very special to the printers.

Of course, I am still putting out little promo shares regarding “Tales From the Braided Pony”. That book is special to me because not only do I have two stories in it, but it is the first thing I put out under someone else’s imprint. Chuck Anderson and Alucard Press have been awesome about this book and they have been pushing the hell out of it. So yay!

That’s it for now. Be sure to check out “Danger in Bass Clef” available through Amazon now!

 

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“Danger in Bass Clef” Excerpt 10…

I leaned out over my balcony railing, minding to stay under my overhang so as not to take on water from the morning shower. The cold iron stung my elbows. I held tight to my mug as it burned into my palms. Since I was not going to get a run in this morning I needed to kickstart my senses a bit. Overloading my senses with the cold and the hot and the wind dancing across my naked back was a welcome remedy to chase away the remnants from last night’s scotch that held on with a lover’s grasp. I clamped my jaw tight before opening up to the silky hot brew that was about to bathe my mouth in caffeinated goodness. I breathed in the hot steam as the espresso danced across my lips towards its destination. The welcome effect was near immediate.

My swollen, morning eyes engaged with the grey horizon spread out in front of me. I took in the blurred landscape of the jagged city skyline surrounded by the sharp green pine thriving on the near-constant, moss-inducing rains of Bridge City’s damp microclimate. I scanned the scene from left to right, contrasting and comparing the sharp buildings with the pine needles, juxtaposed with my neighbor’s smooth naked body partaking in her morning yoga ritual in the well-lit and revealing study just below where I perched on my balcony. Our eyes met for a moment. She smiled a playful invitation. I gave her a cheers with my coffee cup and headed back inside, maintaining our playful cat and mouse routine. The bored housewife and the mysterious neighbor. Innuendo separated by glass and decorum. Nothing would ever happen, which of course, is what made it so sweet. My hot shower might be a little longer after our taboo exchange.

“Danger in Bass Clef”, Available now in eBook and paperback formats. Johnny Scotch is…justice served neat. http://johnnyscotchjustice

“Danger in Bass Clef” excerpt 9…

I pulled my battered beast into his gates and rattled to the shop where a bleary-eyed Samson waited, standing vigil over a cup of two-day-old coffee and a stale bagel. His stained overalls complete the cliché, along with a face camouflaged by grease marks and dirt from days of staring down engine blocks through bloodshot eyes. Some people are addicted to drugs, caffeine, or even sex. Samson is addicted to cars. I try not to imagine the intimate moments he might have caressing a vintage corvette back to life.

My GTO had looked better. Cass dented my trunk to hell and disabled the locking mechanism, Houdini-ing herself out, back at the bar. Samson and I surveyed the damage in silence. I knew he could get it back to 100 percent, but it didn’t change the grief that we both felt at the lost sheen that would never be quite the same.

“You said she was…how big?”

“Not big enough to do this much damage.”

“I need a drink.” Samson, head hung low, slumped off towards his office to gather his strength for the task at hand.

“You and me both, brother. Hey, can you give me ride back to my place?”

His door slammed behind him, and I heard the rattle of a metal bottle cap spinning off the bottle of Wild Turkey rescued from inside his desk.

“Never mind. I can walk.”

As I left him to sulk, I could swear I heard the faint, gentle sound of taps being hummed from behind his office door.

“Danger in Bass Clef”, Available now in eBook and paperback formats. Johnny Scotch is…justice served neat. http://johnnyscotchjustice

“Danger in Bass Clef” Excerpt 8…

Not sure why I had won the badge of “hero,” but I was not in the mood to argue. I gave her a chuckle and began to lean down for a kiss.

My lips were intercepted by the top of her helmet that she had scooped up and worked into place, encasing her scattered, bright hair. She acted as though her deflection was an accident. We both knew it wasn’t.

“Be sure to keep in touch, Johnny.” Cass said, bounding up onto her scooter and kicking it to life. She shot me a wink and another smile as she zipped off into the early morning fog.

Not sure how I was supposed to keep in touch. We never exchanged numbers. I still believe I was just a way for her to blow off some steam after a tough bout. But hey, I’m not complaining.

I headed in the opposite direction, my GTO guiding me back to my quiet house where I could sleep off the rest of the morning, woken only by the smell of an Ella-brewed espresso, beckoning me to join the rest of the living world.

“Danger in Bass Clef”, Available now in eBook and paperback formats. Johnny Scotch is…justice served neat. http://johnnyscotchjustice

“Danger in Bass Clef” excerpt 7…

“Don’t mind me,” I said. The flushed couple gawked wide-eyed and confused. I was ripped away by the vice-like grip of whatever was taking me apart, one toss at a time. The bar was being turned into a Johnny-colored Pollock painting, throbbing cuts from my hand splattering blood from my pulsing wounds as I was flung to and fro.

The couple I had disturbed made a run for it as I sailed through the air for the third time. My assailant flung me about, smashing me to the ground and dragging me through the wreckage, scattering fresh rubble across the floor. He came to a stop, giving me a chance to get a look at the Gepetto pulling my strings. I stared at the rounded back of the Tolkien-esque reject in all his ogre-ish glory. His neglected hygiene tugged at my nose, and I coughed in disgust. The sharp taste of iron coated my mouth, overshadowing the scotch I had been enjoying earlier.

Desperate to get loose, I kicked at the massive fist leading me around like a puppy. The ogre at the other end grunted but kept hold. Another sharp kick with my heel, and he swung me loose. I tumbled across the hard floor, smashing through the maze of chairs and tables, gathering fresh splinters and bruises as I went. I wrapped my arms around my head, shielding it the best I could from the continued barrage of sharp-cornered obstacles. I skidded to a stop and looked around at my playmate. He was grinning and holding a round table triumphantly over his head, ready to strike once I stopped moving.

“Danger in Bass Clef”, Available now in eBook and paperback formats. Johnny Scotch is…justice served neat. http://johnnyscotchjustice

“Danger in Bass Clef” excerpt…

Scotch is an experience that, if rushed, will reward you with a tightened throat, coughing, and possibly even tears, as your system works to reject the high-octane drink. It is best to take a nice, slow breath as the drink is brought to your mouth, stealing the vapors as they rise from the glass. You should allow a small sip to roll off the lip of the vessel. Warmed by the heat from your lips, it will transform from liquid to vapor. Appreciated correctly, scotch engages all your senses in the process, exposing its rich character and personality. But at the time I didn’t know any of that, so I slammed two fingers worth back in one gulp.

I exploded in a coughing fit. Every head in the room turned to check out the jackass in the corner trying to drink like a man. The five other patrons snickered as I wiped the tears from my eyes and cheeks and coughed out a guffaw. As my disruption calmed, I took notice of the tasteful jazz coming on over the speakers — Miles Davis was finishing up a solo on Sketches of Spain. I could not stop taking it in. How he was able to sing and sob through his instrument, all at the same time. How he told a different story for each listener. How all emotions blended together and were present, venting into the atmosphere when he blew through his horn. I needed that. I had to have a cathartic release of all the crap bottled up inside, fighting for control of my soul. A few short hours before I had hoped the release would come from drinking myself to death. But now that release seemed possible another way.

“Danger in Bass Clef”, Available August 17th on amazon.com and at select stores. Johnny Scotch is…justice served neat. http://johnnyscotchjustice

Thoughts from “Danger in Bass Clef” launch event.

Well “Danger in Bass Clef” is out in the world and last Thursday evening we gathered to celebrate the official launch. What a great evening. We had a great room that carries such a great energy in it (Thanks @stardaytavern). My band was amazing, as always. and everyone that came out was having a good time and buying books.

So now what? Time to continue the promotion efforts and focus on the next project as well. I have a couple of events coming up in the coming weeks as well that include a talk I will be giving on the 11th on how to build a comic book from the ground up. I have a reading at Another Read Through on the 14th. The next week Dan Schaefer and I will be heading to Salt Lake for the Salt Lake City Comic Con to unveil Johnny Scotch #3. The week after that I will be in Medford OR performing at the Southern Oregon Jazz Festival. So all in all, a pretty busy month coming up in September.

If you have not checked it out yet, please pop over to Amazon and pick up your digital or paperback copy of “Danger in Bass Clef”. This scotch-soaked, adrenaline laced ride is a great summer read, so strap in.

 

“Danger in Bass Clef” Saturday morning reading…

I fought back a smile. “All this for a  messenger boy and a couple goons?” I looked back at the slithery leader. I took a step forward. This was answered by the two behemoths advancing from their leader’s flank. I looked into his eyes as his guards puffed their chests. “You think this morning was embarrassing for your boss?” The corner of my smile glinted in the light of the street lamps. “Just wait.”

Before his front companion could react, I had driven my thumb into his larynx compressing his windpipe, stunning him into a breathless moment of panic. I followed the throat strike with two balled fists to the Gila monster’s ears. He yelped and grabbed his head in pain. The goliath to my left moved on me with a lurch. I crushed my foot into his boss’s chest, crashing him into the henchmen’s clutches, tumbling them into a confused bundle on the ground while I dealt with the gasping giant on the right.

I kicked down, landing my heel on his right kneecap. SNAP! The man’s leg bent backwards, and he yelped in pain as he plummeted to the ground, grasping his damaged limb.

I had hoped the thug on the left would have taken longer to recover from the tumble with his boss. Hope does not carry much weight in reality. As I was following through on his buddy’s kneecap, he was on me, enveloping my shoulders in his ham-like fists. I felt myself go weightless and lift from the ground. He hurtled me through the air across the grass arena. The ground smashed the wind from my lungs as my brief orbit ended. I rolled to a halt nearly ten feet from where I had been standing.

“Smash his chops through his face. I don’t want him to be able to play that damn horn ever again,” the lizard man said over his kneecapped guard’s pained screams.

“Danger in Bass Clef”, Available August 17th on amazon.com and at select stores. Johnny Scotch is…justice served neat. http://johnnyscotchjustice

“Danger in Bass Clef” In the tower excerpt…

“We have a problem here, Jim?” the WWF-reject’s voice boomed. He strolled past the sentry station and came to a halt an arm’s length away from me. The golem had a solid six inches of height and fifty pounds of pumped-up mass beyond me. Pretty sure he keeps the GNC store near his house in business on his own.

“No problem at all,” I said, keeping my voice warm and calm. No need to thump my chest and escalate before it was necessary. “I was just inquiring with your comrade behind the counter if he would mind giving a call upstairs to see if I can get a walk-in appointment.” I pocketed my hands, putting on a relaxed air. I wrapped my right fist around the pair of silver-plated trumpet mouthpieces I kept in my pocket in case of emergencies. I have found that most people mistake the sound of mouthpieces clanking together in a pocket with someone playing with their loose change, not shoring up their fist for action.

Jim’s stance behind the counter became more rigid. Ready for possible action, the beast propped himself up on the counter, leaning with one leg crossed in front of the other. His posturing intended to show me that I posed no threat to him and it would be better for me if I got back in my ride and pushed off. “I am pretty sure my colleague has explained the protocol to you. Why don’t you be nice and go home and make an appointment for a more reasonable business hour and come back then.” The giant being held up by the counter changed his tone from authoritative to placating. I tried to be nice. Oh well.

“Danger in Bass Clef”, Available August 17th on amazon.com and at select stores. Johnny Scotch is…justice served neat. http://johnnyscotchjustice

“Danger in Bass Clef”, Get your copy today!