Book Series, Cover Reveal, Craig A. Hart, Crystal of Ahrum, Mayan Shadows, New Book Announcement, S.J. Varengo

The Shadow has Begun to Spread…

I want to tell you about a book, but first I have to give you a modicum of background. But don’t panic, it’s a kind of human interest meets man vs. machine meets van winkle thing.

You’ll see what I mean.

I certainly hope so

Easy, you. Deep breath.

Anyway, a while back I, (living room famous author from Central New York) was talking to my writing partner, (award-winning, best-selling, and famous probably all the way to the back yard,) Craig A. Hart. Cuz we’re like that. We talk. About, you know, stuff.

So this conversation drifted to an idea he had for what would become a new series. We were both very excited about the concept right from the start, and before long he’d written us a treatment for book one, which we dove into.

So you started writing. Great. Aren’t you writers?

Seriously, who hired the headline tech?

But anyway, even with that backbone (aka the treatment), we developed and introduced a lot of ideas as we progressed. We also deviated from the treatment once or twice. I’d like to tell you it was all Craig, rolling about like an unsecured field cannon with its fuse nearly spent. The truth is, every time we drifted it was because of an idea I had that drew us. So Craig helped, but it was also always him who came to his senses first. I’d get messages that said things like, “I had to do some minor rewrites in the previous eight chapters. Well, okay the four you wrote. Anyway… I think we’re on to something here!”

And I’d respond with an interrogative “Yay?”

Seriously? We’re supposed to care about this?

Wow. I really don’t like the headline tech.

I guess here’s where the story gets a little darker. In January, amidst an entire galactic hurricane of family garbage, I somehow fell outside my front door and fractured my skull, damaged my brain – a real tragedy since it was barely functioning to begin with, and set the progress of our new book back significantly as I reconnected with my ability to do this job. More than once did I think ditch-digging might be a lateral move at worst.

I was going to grab a picture from the internet of a guy with his head wrapped and make some sort of joke about never looking as bad as him, though I did have the same bandages but have you ever done that? Depressing.

Anyway, over the next three months, things kind of went up for a bit. I mean to the point where I was starting to snatch little moments of optimism when apparently my heart turned off.

I mean this quite literally. I was sitting on the same device Elvis Presley was when the elevator opened for him one last time, as his pals found him on his bathroom floor. And the next thing I knew I was waking up on my bathroom floor. Stinking Elvis and his stinking trend-setting ways.

It took me a couple of seconds to work out the best way to stand up, but I did, and went back to my living room chair and sat down. There was no pain. No real understanding. In my mind I fainted I guess. And before you ask, no I was not wearing a constricting corset.

I’d been receiving regular home visits from a nurse, and she was due to arrive in about an hour from the time my wife got up slightly after the bathroom maneuver. Now I need to explain that I was actually wearing a heart monitor at the time, after my second visit to the ER, and it was due to come off the following day to be mailed back to the company. The people monitoring it began calling our house, apparently right after my cold-tile faceplant. First the house phone, then my wife’s cell. On this later they left a message saying they saw a “significant pause” in my heart function and she should get me to the hospital.

But like I said, the nurse was coming. When she arrived we told her about what had happened, but there wasn’t a huge amount of concern by then. We were communicating clearly, I felt no pain, blah blah blah.

Now part of her job was to take vitals, and she had an oximeter on my finger, on which she watched my oxygen saturation and heart rate drop to zero. Right in front of her. She worked on me for about 27 seconds, at which point I woke up. I was unable to recall the incident, and she told my wife to call the ambulance.

They arrived, gurney-ed me up, put me in the vehicle, and before we left our parking lot I had a third incident, this was slightly shorter. But in each of the three, I was more or less dead for a while.

Okay. I’m done being grumpy. What happened next?

Thank you. And to answer the question, agonizingly slow recovery. But in what I consider a very serendipitous coincidence, one of the first activities I found I could manage – was writing.

I got back to work on the book. Craig got back on as well. We followed the treatment. We finished the novel.

It looks like this:

[SUBLIMINAL DIALOGUE: “You want this book. You really want this book.”

Now comes one of our favorite parts and at the same time the part we’d just as soon do without, which is book release. Officially this will be May 15th, which is a lovely day if I do say so myself.

I’m guessing you have a point. Do you have a point?

Why yes. The point, simply enough, is that E2 Books is going strong, ramping up even, for what we sneakingly believe is going to be a very fun series. STAY TUNED FOR MORE NEWS!!

Book Sale, Book Series, Cleanup Crew, Craig A. Hart, Free Book, New Book Announcement, S.J. Varengo

Facelift

Did you have a celebrity crush when you were in high school? Have you been out of school for a while now? If you answered yes to both of those questions, I have a third for you. Have you seen them lately?

Just for the record, no one’s teen celeb crush was
Joan Rivers.

Chances are they’ve had some work done. The thing about facelifts is that if they’re really good, you don’t realize they’ve happened. And while I would never call anyone out on this you can cast your eyes to the left and … what? What’s that? Okay, I would never call anyone out on this that I think could beat me up. Or that was alive. So if that actor or swimsuit model from your youth now looks like blinking is probably something they only manage once a week or so, it wasn’t necessarily a good face lift.

There are, on the other hand, facelifts that, while dramatically noticeable are clearly an improvement.

To wit, E2Books recently commissioned acclaimed author and all-around great guy, David Berens, to create new covers for the Cleanup Crew series.

Guess what? You get to see them first!

Book 1

We might as well start at the beginning.

The idea for The Beauty of Bucharest, the series debut, as the author has explained many times, came when he and his wife were going to Home Depot, and heard a thump in the trunk as he was parking. Being a twisted individual a creative writer, he immediately thought, “My wife has killed someone and the body is in the trunk.”

[Ed. Note: We were kind of expecting him to tell you the wife was innocent. We also thought the writer of this post would not refer to himself in the third person. We thought by now he would start acting normal. Sigh. We are guessing you feel as disappointed as we. He put a rubber snake in our lunch box. A RUBBER SNAKE!]

Also for the record, neither of these are pictures of Craig. One is Mickey Rourke and one is a gelatinous alien who has almost finished congealing into a simulacrum of
Mickey Rourke.

[OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY E2BOOKS CO-FOUNDER, CRAIG A. HART: Look, S.J. Varengo is a hell of a writer, and a really good friend. But in order to get him to write these E2Books blog posts, he had to bring the editorial staff from his award-winning [citation needed] website, sjvarengo.com. And before you think I knuckled under to his pressure, he was just as upset as I was. “They” pretty much run things around here. Okay, I suppose we should get back to the post. That part of this madness was actually starting to get interesting.]

Are you guys done? Because I’m fine waiting if you’re not. All good? Let’s continue, then. Okay? Good. Where were we? Starting at the beginning.

Pretty sweet right? Also, this one is free in digital if you’d like to give it a read for nuttin. But just look at what Dave did! In this first adventure we travel to Romania and his cover captures the mystery and intrigue of the old city of Bucharest. Adding the birds lends some ominous foreboding, yet the sun peering through the triumphal arch leaves a hint of hope in the distance. Is it hope realized? Get it here to find out!

Book 2

In The Count of Carolina, we learn how it is that a young, beautiful housewife and mom from the Mile-High City came to be an international assassin.

There’s a lot of subtle magic going on in this one as well. This volume demands a little more from the reader and deals with some difficult subjects, as well as introducing Dan and Nicole’s daughter J.J. for the first time. Close inspection of the female figure suggests a young subject, but it could be Nicole as well, and the beauty is that the reader gets to decide for herself. Fire is also a significant theme in the story, and David made sure to work that into the design, not only in the title which appears to be blazing, but in mirrored burning buildings on each side of the walkway.

If you’re ready for the tough stuff, get it here!

Book 3

After the life altering events of The Count of Carolina, Nicole was enjoying a little downtime. J.J., after returning to school and finishing the semester is home for the summer with her parents and her brother Tony, also home from school.

When Nicole is drawn into a cleaning she wanted no part of, she is forced to face the fact that she isn’t as young as she’d once been, and the job, even if it wasn’t easier back then, it sure seemed that way now. Meanwhile J.J. must once again step up into shoes Nicole and Dan never saw her filling.

The Terror of Tijuana takes place in the titular city as well as the outlying badlands as Nicole finds herself in a situation so bad that only a one-in-a-millions alignment of the stars, and her family will save her now.

Again David has stripped the action to the bare essentials, give a clear impression of danger in the dessert-like hills and mountains to the east of Tijuana, where much of the climactic action takes place.

Read to see if Nicole can save a cleaner, finish the cleaning, and get herself and her family out of danger and to lead to a major confrontation with a man whose name appears in each of the three volumes so far published – Conrad Barker.

The action concludes with all parties racing back to Denver. Hmmm. To read for yourself, click here.

“But that seems like a kinda garbage way to leave things, Mr. Writer-man.”

Every Reader in the World

[Ed. Note: A lot of authors would take a burn at that sort of thing. We hope these two are that sort. Wah-ah-ah!]

This really is Craig. Don’t he look concerned?

[A SECOND OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY E2BOOKS CO-FOUNDER, CRAIG A. HART: I’m really starting to regret all of this. These people are literally horrifying.]

Well, as the only person actually authorized to speak in this post, I’d like to once again attempt to wrest control of it’s direction, as we have an official genuine announcement.

Because as it turns out, in this case Craig and I both agree with every reader in the world. After leaving everyone driving home from Tijuana for almost a year, I’m happy to announce:

Book 4

Coming soon, with an obnoxious amount and hoopla and whatever is the next most obnoxious thing to hoopla, will be the fourth volume in the series, with the ominous sounding title The Demon of Denver.

I am further excited to reveal that Cleanup Crew, in addition to it’s new cover designs, will further get the E2Books treatment, as this will be co-authored by Craig and myself.

[Ed. Note: At least he forgot that he had been talking about himself in the third person earlier in the post. That was really annoying. Does he think he’s Bob Dole?]

As a matter of fact, he did not forget.

So be sure to check back often.

One Last Thing

[Ed. Note: And now he thinks he’s Steve Jobs.]

Just ignore them.

Wanted to let you know that there is now an E2Books Readers group on Facebook. I could not in good conscience recommend that you join this group unless I thought that I might gain personally from it, so why not give it a click?

There’s more news coming too. It’s like our news bush bloomed.