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MEANWHILE … Pro Se Presents: THE SALE!

MEANWHILE … across this great nation, the long Labor Day holiday weekend is marked by end of summer barbecues, home-made ice cream, and one last dip in the pool. But once the sun sets, what is there to do?

Might I recommend … reading? And if your looking for something new to read, my friends at Pro Se Productions may have just what you’re after ..,great books from my friends, colleagues, and even a mysterious stranger or two. And they are ON SALE!

pro se sale

Pro Se Productions, a leading Publisher of New Pulp and Genre Fiction, announces its first PRO SE PRESENTS: THE SALE!  From August 29 through September 1st, 2014, select digital titles, regularly prices $2.99, will only be 99 Cents at http://www.Amazon.com!

Read the best Authors in Genre Fiction! Explore Action, Mystery, Horror, and more in a variety of stories that only Pro Se Productions can provide! 20 novels and/or anthologies, every one less than a dollar!

Thrill to the following Pro Se Titles:

A Week In Hell by J. Walt Layne

week

Badge of Lies by Jason Kahn

badge

Ravencroft Springs by Logan L. Masterson

rcr

Vionna and the Vampires by Chuck Miller

vionna

The Bone Queen by Andrea Judy

bone

City of Smoke and Mirrors by Nick Piers

city

Companion Dragons Tales : A Familiar Name by Nancy A. Hansen

familiar

Dramatis Personae: Public Domain by Joseph Lamere

dramax

Fortune’s Pawn by Nancy A. Hansen

fortune

Just the Facts: True Tales of Cops and Criminals by Jim Doherty

facts

Monster Aces by Jim Beard, Barry Reese, Van Allen Plexico, and Ron Fortier

monster

Project Alpha by Lee Houston, Jr.

project

Rabbit Heart by Barry Reese

rabbit

Savage Noir by Greg Norgaard

savage

Sensible Redhorn by Tim Holter Bruckner

sensible

Snatched! A Kate and Craig Suspense Story by Charles Boeckman

snatched

The Adventures of Peabody Rich by Donna Smith

peabody

The Bishop of Port Victoria by D. Alan Lewis

bishop

The New Adventures of Jim Anthony, Super Detective: The Death’s Head Cloud by Joshua Reynolds

jim

Young Dillon in the Halls of Shamballah by Derrick Ferguson

DILLON

The Best in Heroic Fiction can be Yours for 99 cents each through September 1, 2014. Pro Se Presents: The Sale!

 

How You Doin’?

opening lines

MEANWHILE … Opening lines set the stage. Whether it is a first encounter in a dimly lit club or a meeting with clients in a dark paneled boardroom, the first few words can make all of the difference.

The date or the deal depends largely on whether or not those initial words and sentences elicit a spark of interest. A kind or desperate soul might be patient enough to wait through a mangled start, but most lack the patience. It is either catch them at the beginning or never catch them at all

As a writer, I always strive to create an opening that gets the reader to turn the page. Whether or not I am successful, I suppose, is up to the reader. Assuming that you have read this far … I thought I would share some openings with you and let you tell me if I am successful.

Following are 6 story openings: 2 from published stories, 2 from stories that should be published soon, and 2 from works in progress. Let me know what you think.

 

Doc Claus

Doc Claus

“The Chop Chop Chang Adventure from DOC CLAUS:

With the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Columbia only a couple of days away, Ramon’s Restaurant, like the rest of Cocoa Beach, was eager to relive its glory days.  While fresh paint and polished woodwork tried to turn back Father Time, one thing had never changed. There was no question that Ramon’s Caesar salad was still the creamiest, most amazing in the land just as it had been years ago when Alan Shepherd and Gus Grissom were regulars at both the restaurant and Ramon’s Rainbow Room.

But Norman Latham, Doctor Norman Latham, PhD, was not thinking about the Caesar salad. He needed a drink, a drink to still the voice in his head, and Ramon’s was the only place he remembered from the old days. He found a booth in the back where he could talk with some privacy and had that drink and then a few more.

Had it really been over twenty years ago?

“Harvey,” Latham slurred slightly, “Your name is Harvey, isn’t it? You look like a Harvey.  Anyway, Harvey, as I was saying, my team was ready to go before Shepherd.  Before Glenn.  Before any of them. At least Chop Chop Chang made it. Even after everything that happened.”

Tall Pulp logo typeset cover

“Mike Fink and the River Round-Up” from TALL PULP:

Back in sweeter times, back between the wars, travelling men would often stop at this little river town in Kentucky.  Some claimed to come for the waters and others for the peace and quiet.  But, these were travelling men and, truth be told, they came for the poker game that could always be found in the back of Dodd’s Barber Shop.  The amount of money that changed hands in that room was the stuff of legends.  Literally legends, as more than once, the likes of Titanic Thompson or Nick the Greek or someone with a similar reputation sat around that table stacking chips, tossing cards, and spinning yarns.

But that was a generation ago. Oh, there is still a poker game in the back of Dodd’s, but it’s only a couple of times a week now, the players are a lot older, and the travelling men don’t pass through any more unless they are on their way to visit grandkids. The bankrolls and bets tend to be smaller and the stories larger.

It was a crisp winter evening, coming up on Christmas 1961, when Coot Dillingham arrived about twenty minutes into the game shaking the snow from his coat and hat. Coot was spry for seventy-two, with a full head of wavy white hair and mischievous blue eyes.

Meanwhile

 

A soon to be published story featuring Dix Delacorte, a private investigator in Saint Louis, Missouri circa World War II:

In an alley a few blocks away from Sportsman’s Park, a penny clattered to rest no more than a quarter inch from the exterior wall of Bergmann’s Bakery. My penny. I gleefully snatched it up along with the three pitched by the losers. Hard to imagine that there was a time when I would not bother to stop to pick up a penny from the sidewalk. These days, I had no trouble taking pennies from twelve year olds. In this case the three twelve year olds were Johnny Davis, Skeeter Randolph, and Mickey Lowe, part of a group that called themselves the Knothole Gang. As they floundered for excuses for losing to an old man, their emphasis, certainly not mine, I made some reference to candy and babies just for their edification.

What I had neglected to tell them was that I was flush from a nice night at Vic Doyle’s and with flushness came generosity. In my pocket were tickets for the Knothole Gang to the Cardinals doubleheader against the Phillies which would be starting in less than an hour. Actually my gesture was not entirely altruistic; the tickets were more a payment for services rendered. The Gang was a great source of information and errands. And in my business, you can never have too much information or too many eyes and ears.

Right on cue, Cotton Masters and Boo Radcliffe came skidding around the corner. Alternating phrases as they waited for their breath to catch up with them, they spilled the latest news.

“Dix … Dix …” Cotton started.

That’s me. Dixon Delacorte.  Once upon a time I would have followed that up with “of the Saint Louis Delacortes.” For the last eight years, I have followed it with the words “Private Investigator” instead.

Meanwhile

A soon to be published story featuring a character that I cannot discus … yet:

Despite what some may say, I like the quiet life. that’s one of the reasons I left Saint Louis for the Middle East some years ago. The pace is slower. The people are patient. It is an ancient land and an ancient culture and with that comes an appreciation for the simple things in life.

Sure, the cacophony of sounds from car horns to camel bleats and the contrasts of bespoke suits with Bedouin burnooses might strike some as crazy. The bartering in the Bazaar and the incessant demand for baksheesh can appear chaotic to visitors. But from Istanbul to Marrakesh and back to Cairo, I have enjoyed the company of these proud people who seek little more than to provide for their family and please Allah.

These days I have carved out my own quiet little corner in Cairo.

Meanwhile

From Work-in-Progress #1:

As the Great Depression ravaged America, humbling even New York City, and the expanding economic plague wreaked havoc on the great cities of Europe as well, one city in the Orient rose above them all. For those seeking wealth or those already prosperous and seeking only the pleasures their riches could buy, an intoxicating pearl emerged from the Whangpoo River.

Shanghai beckoned the dreamers and the decadent, the rich and the refugees, the adventurous and the artists, along with the criminals and confidence men that congregate wherever money and opportunity meet. There were many Shanghais and occasionally one bled into the other, but it was possible it live in Shanghai as a Westerner and never experience the Orient or as a Chinaman in Old Shanghai eternally avoiding the foreign devils. But for most it was an exotic blend of East and West, an Occidental Babylon.

Meanwhile

From Work-in-Progress #2:

Glorianna Hastings stood with her hands on her hips, wearing nothing but a step-in, as she scrutinized the last two items left hanging in her armoire. One was an empty hanger still swinging from when she pulled the dress free and let it drop to the ground. The other was a gorgeous Coco Chanel number that she just could not cast onto the floor with the others. It was a Christmas gift from her father, just a little over a year ago, in 1928, back when they both thought the party would never end.

Her bottom lip pooched out into a pout, as much out of habit as anything, she stomped her bare foot in frustration. She had business to attend and somewhere amid her myriad of flapper dresses and co-ed ensembles there had to be something to wear. With her toes she poked and prodded the garments on the ground, wrinkling her nose at the options available. She moved to the bed and rustled through the clothing there finding nothing that even earned a second glance. A sigh turned into a soft, almost silent giggle, as she grabbed the Coco Chanel and pulled it on.

 

MEANWHILE … I need to get back to those works in progress ….

 

 

Christmas in July

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Keep Calm ... Christmas

 

MEANWHILE … as the calendar falls on the last day of July, our thoughts turn to Christmas. Christmas? Yes, Christmas. Christmas in July.

Okay, maybe not Christmas, but Santa Claus. Just what does Jolly Old Saint Nick do when he’s not checking the list, inspecting the elves handiwork, feeding the reindeer, and delivering presents? Would you believe …?

The Hero of the North, the Man of Presents, Doc Claus himself, serves as the first line of defense against villainy of all shapes and sizes. Aided by the Holiday Patrol, Cupid, Easy Bunny, Remington Elf, Montgomery Q. Leprechaun, Comet, and of course, the Missus, he draws a line in the snow against the most nefarious threats the world has to offer!

Doc Claus

Doc and company star in five adventures by a quintet of talented writers. [Full disclosure: it’s actually a quartet of talented writers and me.] Travis Hiltz, Terry Alexander, Robbie Lizhini, M. H. Norris and, yours truly, Greg Daniel deliver a book overflowing with action for the holidays and beyond!

So forget that the mercury in the thermometer is flirting with triple digits and celebrate Christmas in July with my story, “The Chop Chop Chang Adventure,” and the other great tales in DOC CLAUS.

DOC CLAUS (Metahuman Press) makes a great gift too. After all there are only 146 Shopping Days until Christmas.

 

Mike Fink and the River Round-Up

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Tall Pulp logo typeset cover

 

My latest story, “Mike Fink and the River Round-Up,” appears in Tall Pulp from Pro Se Production. It was an absolute blast building a pulp adventure around a tall tale character and I will tell you more about that … some day in the foreseeable future. But for now, I am going to turn things over to the Pro Se Productions P.R. Express:

 

“Tall tales,” says Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “are familiar in some form or fashion to every American, and some even have a worldwide presence.  And they lend themselves really well to being wrapped in the Pulp style and taken to another level.  Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Mike Fink, and more already stand well as over the top characters taking on insurmountable odds.  It makes perfect sense to throw six top notch Genre Fiction authors at these wonderfully realized characters and see what works of art they paint using a Pulp Fiction style brush.”

Tall Tales.  Stories of larger than life characters, heroes who stand above everyone else and perform great feats.  From digging the Grand Canyon to reversing the flow of the Mississippi River itself, there are figures woven into American history and lore that seem ready made for the classic Pulp magazines of yesteryear! Now, today’s best and brightest writers of Genre Fiction take those classic legends and shine a new light on them.  Pro Se Productions proudly presents Tall Pulp.

Thrill as characters like Jim Bowie, Joe Magarac, Anne Bonny, and Mike Fink come to life in two fisted action adventure tales!  Learn of the mysterious Leatherman and thrill to his wild adventures! And discover a whole new take on the concept of Paul Bunyan! Authors D. Alan Lewis, Gordon Dymowski, Nancy A. Hansen, Phillip Drayer Duncan, David White, and Greg Daniel take characters, both historic and fictional, and give them a treatment like no other.  Tall Pulp from Pro Se Productions.

Tall Pulp featuring a fantastic cover by Jeffrey Hayes and cover design and print formatting by Percival Constantine is now available in print on Amazon and via Pro Se’s own store at https://www.createspace.com/4891804 for $12.00. The collection of Pulped up Tall Tales will be available in ebook format in the coming days.

For more information on this title, interviews with the authors, or digital copies for review, contact Morgan McKay, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, at: directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

For more information on Pro Se Productions, go to http://www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

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