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Wearin’ Of The Grin…

Posted by on December 3, 2016

As we inch toward the end of another year, there’s no way to ignore the tides of change.

On the professional front over the last few months I’ve been involved in a couple of time-consuming creative projects that I couldn’t really talk about due to pesky non-disclosure agreements. But here’s a little visual tease:

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I’ve also been writing PARALLAX PRIME: OF DIRE CHIMERAS…the first novel in a new series featuring the characters and concepts of my creation that appeared in 18.5 years worth of OUTLANDERS novels.

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It’s been slower going than I hoped—I’m still amazed I wrote four to five 90K word books per year under the James Axler pen name for nearly 15 years—but since a new setting was created, the backstory somewhat reframed and the canvas expanded, the process has taken longer than I anticipated…not mention, it’s a big epic adventure. I promise it is worth waiting for.

Speaking of epic adventures…the character I’m most associated with—other than the OUTLANDERS crew—is making his return…DEATH HAWK!

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Thanks to the support and patronage of Laurence Keith Emery, the ever-awesome Jeff Slemons is completing the final chapter in the Soulworm Saga, started way back in 1988 by Adam Hughes.

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It’s been a long time a-coming but judging by Jeff’s gorgeous art, well worth the wait!

Partly due to the tragic and untimely death of Caliber Comics’ founder and publisher, Gary Reed, the original DEATH HAWK TPB is no longer directly available from Caliber or any bookseller…that goes for the two MISKATONIC PROJECT TPBs and well as MR. HOLMES & DR. WATSON: THEIR STRANGEST CASES.

All of them will be re-released as new, revised editions most likely with new covers next year along with a few others under the Millennial Concepts imprint. DEATH HAWK: THE SOULWORM SAGA will be complete in one volume.

On the more personal front—within the next month or so, Melissa and I are relocating to Ireland. Although we’ve lived in Newport RI for 20 years, moving to Ireland was always our intention. In fact, 20 years ago when we escaped from Florida, it was Plan A, our first destination.

Instead, due to various factors, we decided to move back to Newport, a New England community where we lived in the early 80s. It was a wise move. For the most part our life here over the last two decades has been happy and helped us to heal from severe physical and psychological injuries we suffered during our last three years in Florida.

Thanks to the diligent efforts of Melissa, we gained our Irish citizenship over a decade ago…and so now, our long-deferred relocation to Eire will finally come to pass. The move has been in the planning stages for well over a year, so the recent election had nothing to do with our decision…except to strengthen our conviction it’s the right one to make.

Because the move is taking place during the holiday season, we’ll probably have a pretty UnMerry Christmas.  We’ll miss Newport and many people here, but we won’t miss the nearly daily challenges. After all, we are Irish citizens, so it will feel like coming back home…all things being equal…it’s a case of the “Wearin’ Of The Grin.”

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And speaking of grinning…

I grinned almost all the way through what is hopefully Will Murray’s  first entry in THE WILD ADVENTURES OF PAT SAVAGE: SIX SCARLET SCORPIONS.

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Although an integral part of the Doc Savage Saga since her debut in 1934’s BRAND OF THE WEREWOLF, Patricia Savage has only rarely been featured in adventures of her own—the last was a one-shot comic book put out by Millennium Publications in 1993.

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Pat, like her cousin Doc Savage, has the same gold and bronze coloring of hair, eyes and skin. Like him, she has talent for sniffing out trouble in the unlikeliest of places and circumstances. Unlike him, she is reckless and has a hair-trigger temper.

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In SIX SCARLET SCORPIONS what begins as a straightforward trip to Oklahoma to scout out promising oil well sites in which to invest quickly turns dangerous—and very strange. Monk Mayfair comes along since he’s an Oklahoma native and understands the process of oil lease brokering.

They’re barely in—or over —Oklahoma before a sabotaged rental plane nearly ends the trip. The crash is the just the beginning of wild adventure over the length and breadth of the central Oklahoma oil fields.

Pat and Monk shortly encounter Ben Nansen, an emaciated man suffering an extreme case of anemia, due to an agent that if not supernatural, is very bizarre—especially considering a blood-red outline of a scorpion mysteriously appears on the man’s face. Nansen is suffering from an illness akin to polio. The illness is spreading throughout the region and seems incurable.

The strange scorpion mark is associated with a group of hooded and robed terrorists and/or Native American activists called the Seven Scarlet Scorpions and they are apparently led by man with the improbable but memorable name of Chief Standing Scorpion.

Tumultuous events swirl around Pat and Monk and it’s not long before bodies begin piling up. When they find themselves fugitives from the law, they seek out legal help. The only lawyer Monk knows—and halfway trusts—is Ham Brooks, who he very reluctantly calls in from New York. Ham obligingly brings along Monk’s pet pig, the remarkably intelligent Habeas Corpus.

SIX SCARLET SCORPIONS is a complex story but it is also a lot of fun, holding elements of the screwball comedy/mysteries that were so popular among movie-goes in the 1930s and 40s. Monk Mayfair is the comic relief, the foil and reliable sidekick throughout the novel.

Pat Savage herself is an engaging heroine. Short-tempered and acerbic, prone to gun and fistfights, she’s definitely not as reserved or as methodical as her famous cousin, but that makes her attempts to solve the mystery of the scarlet scorpions even more compelling. The “Gentle Savage” she ain’t!

SIX SCARLET SCORPIONS
is a fast-paced, action-packed novel, full of extreme characters populating a headlong narrative that is alternately funny and chilling. Writing as Kenneth Robeson, Will Murray’s latest entry in the Savage Saga is one of his most original and entertaining…and that’s saying something!

You can order the book from Amazon here:

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More later…most likely in the New Year from the Emerald Isle!

 

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