Welcome to my blog

Hello visitors. On my blog I'm talking about my books, but also about what I'm currently working on and, maybe, some other stuff. Browse through my posts and don't forget to check out my older posts in the archives. If you are interested in my books, please, visit my website Fictitious Tales for more information and a few excerpts. You'll find more excerpts in my old website Herbert's World. Also, take a look at my second blog Herbert Grosshans, where I talk about fun-stuff and things that concern me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A new cover for Bullet of Revenge

My crime novel #'Bullet of Revenge' has been released as a second print with a brand new cover. There wasn't much wrong with the old cover, but this one seems a bit more stylish. I like it. It is attractive.
The book is available from my publisher Melange Books.

Go and check it out for an excerpt.

And here is the new cover for you to admire:



Sunday, August 21, 2016

Rhodar and other news about my writing



I've published a different version of this on my author facebook page, but I have no idea how many people actually look at that.

As of today I've reached 55,000 words with my Rhodar novel and there is much more to go. I do have sort of an outline, but that changes as the story and the characters develop.

My next release with Melange Books will be in October of this year with Book 4 in my Spider Wars series. Actually, the book is the fifth book in that series, but the first one 'Outpost Epsilon' stands on its own and when I wrote it I didn't know it would develop into a series.

Melange Books is also designing a new cover for my already published mystery novel 'Bullet of Revenge'. I’m looking forward to that new cover.
My self published books number 7 and number 8 in my Xandra series have also been accepted by Melange to be published next year. They aren't selling well with Smashwords. I should never have self-published them, because they are part of a series and they should be published with the same publisher, which is Melange Books for me. But at that time Melange wasn't accepting any Science Fiction. I didn't know that was meant for only new authors. My publisher Nancy Schumacher told me later that I am one of her Science Fiction writers and she will always accept my stories.

It is nice to know I have a home for my stories. Writing is lots of fun but part of that fun is to share the stories I write, to share my imagination with people who want to escape the daily grind and live in a fantasy world for a little while. That's what I supply and I hope the readers enjoy my stories as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Even though writing for me is a pleasant pastime and my passion I do take it seriously, especially if I want to publish it. As I write I also learn and grow. I make sure my grammar is correct and I try to avoid spelling mistakes. When I’m done with the story I read it probably half a dozen times, each time looking for errors like inconsistencies, spelling mistakes and sentence structure and yet—there is always something I miss. That’s why it is so important to have an editor. My new editor at Melange is going over my stories with a ‘fine-toothed comb’ and she has a sharp pencil. I’m always amazed how many errors she finds, but I take her advice to heart.

Writing is fun, but if you want to publish it is also hard work. Most of us authors don’t make any money on our books. We don’t get paid for all the hard work, but that doesn’t discourage us from writing the next novel, always hoping this is the one. If we don’t get rewarded with money for our efforts there is still a payoff. We enjoy dreaming our dreams, living in the worlds we create and we learn. That’s what living is about, experiencing and learning and growing and using the gifts we received. Doing nothing with our lives is a terrible waste. We were meant to create; even it is only in our minds.

Enjoy this day. Perhaps read one of my stories.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Update on Rhodar, the Barbarian

Yesterday I passed the 50,000 word mark with my new novel about Rhodar, the Barbarian. I don't have a title yet. That won't happen until I'm finished with the novel. Things are moving along fine. I have a skeleton of an outline, but that changes with the progress of the story.  As I write, the ideas come to me and the story takes on more substance. I try to write every day, as times allows. Sometimes I may write only a couple of paragraphs, other days I write a few pages. And that's okay. As long as I stay with the story so I don't have to waste too much time re-reading what I wrote. There are quite a number of characters in the story. New ones introduce themselves as the story develops, but there are only a few main characters and the story is written with multiple POVs. Some of the less important characters may appear only once, others show up more times during the story. I have a sheet listing all the characters and they all have some kind of background, which may not be mentioned in the story itself. As I introduce a new character, he/she gets added to the list. It's the only way to keep them organized, especially with all the names I have to invent.
Writing a sword & sorcery story is different from writing science fiction or a modern crime story. The people talk differently and act differently from characters in a crime story for instance. Science fiction is different again. It is a challenge but I'm enjoying it.

When I used to read (so many years ago, no time now!), I read a slew of sword & sorcery books. My favorite authors were Robert E. Howard, featuring Conan ( I read them all, more than once); Lin Carter with Thongor; Michael Moorcock with his Elric of Melnibone. And, of course, Edgar Rice Borroughs with John Carter of Mars and Carson Napier on Venus (I read all of them). There were other authors, like John Brunner and Roger Zelazny, and more. I have a library full of books and I read each book. Oh, I miss those wonderful worlds they created and to read about them. I wish I had time to read them all over again and live again in those worlds. Now I just write, creating my own worlds. There are only so many hours in a day and so many other things I want to do.

To get back to Rhodar, I don't know how long the story will be, but I'm aiming for about 90,000 words. Shouldn't be a problem. Too much longer and it will be too long for e-publishing. Can't have that. Many of my books turned out too long and I divided them into 2 or 3 books, but I don't want to do that anymore. I don't think readers like that. Most prefer when the story ends in one book. A series is fine, but each book has to have an ending. Anyway, that's what I want to do for my future books.


Thursday, April 07, 2016

#Rhodar, the Barbarian

Apparently, Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery stories are selling right now. Many years ago I wrote a short story featuring a barbarian by the name of Rhodar. The story was published in my Anthology 'Tapestry of Dreams' under the title 'Pythese'. In my younger days I used to read plenty of Sword and Sorcery stories. I enjoyed the stories of Conan, the mighty Cimmerian written by Robert E. Howard immensely. I make no secret out of it that I patterned Rhodar after Conan. Many other writers did so, like Lin Carter featuring Thongor of Lemuria or Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone; just to mention a few.

Actually, I started writing another story with Rhodar a few years ago, but it never got past the first chapter. There was always something else that demanded to be written. Rhodar just had to wait--until now. I dug up that first chapter and began writing a new story. I'm at around 7,000 words right now. It has no title yet. That won't happen until the end. The working title is 'Saleen'. Here is the prologue to that story:



Seal and Rumos, the two night suns, illuminated the grisly scene below.

The riders had burst upon the small camp from out of nowhere. One of them killed the old man who stood guard with one vicious thrust of his lance. The others spread out, plunging their lances into the dark shapes on the hard ground.

Men and women, lost in their dreams, dying without knowing their murderers. A few woke…too late. Death came mercilessly on swift, dark wings even to those.

When it was done, the riders slid off their mounts, stalked through camp on long, stiff legs, overturning cooking pots and scattering bales of cloth and garments from the low wagons. Some walked among the slain bodies, turning them over to look into the dead faces.

They seemed to be searching for something or someone. One of them, who appeared to be their leader, spoke words in a harsh, hissing language. He was taller and broader than the others, his face hidden inside the hood of his cloak. Only his eyes glowed in the darkness of his cowl.

Lifting those eyes to the sky, he uttered a shrill, piercing cry. Moments later from close by came an answer. A large shadow separated from the branches of a tall tree and glided silently toward the caller.

The light of the night suns reflected momentarily on outstretched talons and a long, wicked beak, as the creature settled on the shoulder of its master, folding black wings like a cloak around its feathered body.

The riders mounted their steeds and disappeared as silently as they had come, leaving their bloody deed behind.

A sob and then a loud cry came from one of the low shrubs surrounding the clearing. Two figures emerged, one small, the other one taller. The pale light revealed a white, oval face, framed by long, blond hair…a girl, barely past puberty. She hurried after the small figure that ran toward one of the still shapes on the ground.

“Come back, Kalo,” she called, her voice quavering, breaking, as she saw the bloodstained earth.

“They killed my Moma,” cried the little boy. He cradled the lifeless head of a woman in his arms.

The girl reached him, gently pulled him away. As the dead woman’s head lolled to the side, blood oozed from her open mouth. The girl screamed, grabbed the boy and ran blindly into the protection of the trees.

* * * *

At dawn the first scavengers moved in, tearing and ripping the welcome meat from their bones, growling and snapping at each other with bared teeth, not willing to share the bounty even with their own kind. When an intruder dared to disturb them at their meal, they lifted their heads, snarling angrily.

He was tall, lean-hipped, with wide, massive shoulders. His muscular arms were bronzed by long exposure to the sun, and in his face two steely blue eyes narrowed as they took in the gruesome scene.

He rode a large, strong horse, its hide covered with a black, shiny coat.

“Looks like we’ve stumbled onto something unpleasant, Nightwalker,” the big man rumbled. He reached for the heavy battle-axe slung across his back, hefting it easily.

The carrion-eaters showed their long sharp fangs, but slunk away, their thick tails between their legs, when the tall warrior advanced. One, bolder than the others, tried to take a stand and died screaming as the double-bladed weapon split its skull.

Turning his broad back to the watching animals, the man bent to examine one of the dead. “Pretty,” he murmured as he peered into the face of a young woman. A thick crust of dried blood hid a deep wound caused by the murderous thrust of a lance between her full breasts. “Much too young to have died so horribly,” he carried on to himself. His face showed no emotion, but his eyes glimmered with a cold fire and the muscles of his jaws stood out rigidly.

As he bent over another of the still bodies, his sharp ears detected the sound of hoofs. Straightening, he turned to look at the trail entering the clearing from the other side.

A lone rider burst out of the forest. He was young, with a scowling face, short but broad and muscular. Padded leather armor protected his deep chest, his thighs were bare; the boots he wore, reached over his knees.

In his right hand, he carried a short, curved sword. A long bow and a quiver filled with arrows were slung across his back.

His steed reared on its hind-legs when he brought it to an abrupt halt, clawing the air with cloven hoofs.

The two men looked at each other, but before either of them could react, a score of men broke from among the trees. They were small and agile, clad in green garments. They carried short bows, arrows nocked and pointing at the tall warrior.

“Admiring your work?” said the horseman.

The tall warrior chuckled without humor. “Surely you don’t think I, one man, killed all these people? Besides, they’ve been dead for hours.”

“Enough time for your accomplices to get away.”

“Let us use him for target-practice, Lord Carn,” said one of the green-clad men.

The young lord shook his head. “No, he must be punished in the proper way. Shackle him but don’t harm him.” He turned to the others. “See if you can find her.”

While most of the small men searched the bodies, three of them carefully approached the tall warrior. He watched them come closer, his battle-axe half raised, but then he shrugged, dropped the axe and held out his arms.

The young lord, who had been watching him with curious eyes, spit into the dust. “Somehow I didn’t expect you to give up so easily. But it doesn’t surprise me. You’re not only a murderer but also a coward. Do you have a name or do you prefer to be executed nameless?”

The warrior stood rigid for a moment, his eyes narrowed slightly, but then he relaxed and smiled. “Better to be a live coward than a dead fool. I am Rhodar.”

“Rhodar,” Lord Carn mused. “Your mode of dress tells me you’re an outlander. Where do you come from?”

“From the western plains,” Rhodar said. “Beyond the mountains.”

“A barbarian.” The young lord nodded. “I guessed that much. Where are your companions?”

“I told you I travel alone. And this is not my work. I do not murder helpless women and children.”

“So you say, but the evidence is against you,” Lord Carn said coldly. “Enough of this chatter. Put the shackles on him.” He watched as his men put the irons around the barbarian’s thick wrists, then he turned away, sheathing his curved sword. “Did you find her?” he asked the nearest of the green-clad men.

They shook their heads. “No, she’s not among the slain,” said one of them.

“There might be a chance then she’s still alive. Search the grounds,” Lord Carn commanded. “Perhaps she fled into the forest.”

They searched the surrounding area but didn’t find who they were looking for. Suddenly one of the men came back. “My Lord, I think I have found something. There are two sets of tracks leading into the swamps. One was made by small feet, a child’s feet, and the other one could be those of a girl or young woman.”

“Could be?” Lord Carn said sharply. “I thought the Quinx were expert woodsmen?”

“The person who made those tracks was of light stature and wore soft leather boots, the kind most slave girls commonly wear when going outside. That is all I can tell you, my Lord. She was running, obviously in a great panic.”

Lord Carn nodded, seemingly satisfied. “We’ll follow those tracks.”

“There is something else, my Lord,” added the woodsman. “The tracks of many horses…leading south. The tracks are all over the camp, as you can see for yourself. Single-hoofed animals, the same breed the prisoner is riding.”

“Proof that he is guilty.  I wonder why he lingered on.”

“Maybe he wanted to have some fun with the dead women?” suggested one of the woodsmen. “I’ve heard ugly stories about these barbarians.”

Rhodar glared at the man. “Only a so-called civilized man would get ideas like that. We honor our dead, especially the women!”

“How? By each male member of your tribe giving them one last ride?” laughed another.

The huge muscles on the barbarian’s arms corded as his hands became fists, but after a tense moment he relaxed. He even managed a grin. “It would become quite tedious to lead a horse around with a dead body tied to its back. No, we have a different ceremony.”

The other one looked at the big man, a puzzled expression on his elfin face. Suddenly he laughed again. “You have a strange sense of humor, barbarian; also a temper but very well under control. I like that.”

“Who cares what you like!” thundered Lord Carn. “Stop fraternizing with the prisoner and let’s get moving. You…” He pointed at one of the woodsmen. “Take four men, round up the pack-animals, load the dead onto the wagons and take them back to the city. Tie the prisoner behind one of the wagons. He looks strong, he can walk. And don’t forget the Ax. I’d like to add it to my collection.”

The woodsman bowed. “Yes, my Lord.” He bent to pick up the big battle-ax but managed to get only the handle off the ground. Straining unsuccessfully, he finally called another one to give him a hand. Both tried without success. The shiny double-bladed head stayed on the ground.

“What manner of weapon is this?” cursed one of the men, straightening. “I’ve seen the barbarian carry it in one hand, apparently without strain.”

Rhodar, who had been watching, laughed. “Singar is a special weapon. No man but its rightful owner will ever wield it.”

“An enchanted blade,” said Lord Carn. “How is it you possess such a weapon?”

“My father gave it to me, but the magic will fade soon. It must be renewed by the sorcerer who once, a long time ago, put the spell on it. That is the reason I travel through your country…to find Arguss, the Sorcerer, so I can become the true master of Singar.”

“How can you wield this weapon if you are not its true master?”

“Singar was given freely to me by my father. If I don’t use the ax too often, the spell will last until I have found Arguss. Another reason I would not waste its power by indiscriminately murdering innocent people.”

Lord Carn stared at Rhodar, a brooding expression on his dark face. “Maybe you are not what you seem,” he mused. “Maybe you are a magician in disguise. Perhaps you are this sorcerer Arguss, come to visit your evil colleague Kastabaan.”

Rhodar laughed again. “If I were a magician I wouldn’t stand here now waiting for you to shackle me.”

“Easy for you to prevent with one of your spells,” murmured the young lord. He looked into the sky. “Oh, if only Saleen were here. No spell could touch me. Why did she have to escape? I always treated her fairly.”

“Who is Saleen?” Rhodar asked.

“Saleen?” Lord Carn gave him a long stare. “She’s a girl. A special girl with a special gift. Kastabaan wants her dead, but I need her alive. She’s my only protection against his evil.” His hand chopped down. “Enough!” he roared angrily. “I don’t know why I converse with you. Pick up the axe and put it on one of the wagons. Don’t try to use any of your magic tricks. My men will be watching you.”

Rhodar did as ordered. They tied a strong rope around his wrists and fastened the other end to a wagon. When that was done, Lord Carn gathered most of his men together and rode off, his men following single file.

Five stayed behind to take care of the wagons and the prisoner.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Codename Salamander news

I have been neglecting my book-blog. Mainly because I really  have nothing new to report. My next book won't be published until September or even October of this year. I haven't been idle, though. I concentrated mostly on keeping up my private blog 'Herbert Grosshans'.

Today I decided to put an excerpt on the 'Love Romance Cafe' site just to let people know that I'm still around. All of my books are still available from Melange Books. Please, browse through my books on the right side, click on one of them and you'll end up on the Melange Books site to find out more about the book or any other.

Just for visiting, I'll send you one of my books for free in any format you would like. Just send an email to hegro@shaw.ca and ask for it.

As I mentioned in previous posts, Codename Salamander is the fifth book in my SF series 'The Spider Wars', but the book stands on its own. You might want to read the first book in the series 'Outpost Epsilon' or perhaps the second book, which is the first one in the trilogy. You'll find it in the column to the right: Epsilon.

Here is the first chapter of Codename Salamander:



Prologue

Through tired eyes, Ahrragula watched the flock of black Cloudsingers circling above the Koura-trees. His eyesight, along with his ability to hear, had been gradually failing. Sick and weak because of his stiff joints and loss of muscle, he was of no use to the tribe now. Only young and strong males could protect the offspring and the females. There was no place for an old warrior like him. He had become a burden, so the tribe cast him out and left him in a remote area of the swamp to fend for himself. His chances for surviving more than a few days were slim to none. He had no illusions about that. Death would most likely come in the dark mantle of the night. Too weak to thrust the spear they left him he would not be able to defend himself against the giant Swamp-eels or the striped Windghosts roaming the sandy lands beyond the swamps. In his youth, he had been an expert with the wookka, always bringing down his quarry with the first throw. Now it hung from his belt of woven reeds, an ornament, useless for anything else. He even lost the ability to throw it in such a way to make it return to him when he missed his target.
He carried no grudges, because he knew the tribe had not made him an outcast to punish him or out of cruelty. It was the way of the People, and it had been so as long as he could remember. The tribe could not support the old, the crippled, the malformed, and those whose mind had been touched by the gods. The only thing they were still good for was to become nourishment for the wild beasts. It was their final sacrifice to the eternal gods.
A distant roar made him cast a look behind him, but he saw nothing in that direction but high grass, rocks, and the windblown skeleton branches of shrubbery foreign to him. He was used to the lush plants of the swamps, the tall, thick reeds with their purple globes of feathery seed carriers, and the broad-leafed giant Ferns.
Things were not the same anymore as they had been in his youth. The presence of huge, fierce beasts not native to this world and three times the size of the Windghosts forced the People out of their home territory. Used to living in the swamps since beginning of time, they felt uneasy and out of their element on dry land; it was not their natural environment. The plants were not the same and the animals were different. Unknown dangers lurked everywhere.
Some said the demons from the sky brought these beasts to the World. Not even the Seers-of- the-Future had seen this in their dreams. There had not been time to prepare the People for this new menace.
Even though resigned to have his life ended shortly, he was still curious enough to investigate when he witnessed the arrival of a massive silvery, oblong rock descending out of the clouds to land near the swamp amidst the tall Koura-trees. The rock had skin so smooth and shiny the reflection of the light from the Lifegiver nearly blinded him for a quick moment as he watched it coming to rest on the ground.
Crawling on his belly, he was careful not to give away his presence. He didn’t know why, because in a way it didn’t matter if the demons found him. He was destined to die anyway, but some survival instinct made him cautious. Survival instinct and the need to know what they were up to.
As he watched, he saw a crack appearing in the belly of the sky-rock and a number of demons spilled out of the opening, like seeds from the pod of a bursting Blood-flower. Then a larger hole opened in the rear of the sky-rock. A bulky object floated from it and settled gently onto the ground. The demons went to the object and began removing round spheres the size of a young male’s head. They carried them into the wooded area that surrounded the Koura-trees and deposited them among the tall shrubs.
In the meantime, another, much larger object had emerged from the hollow sky-rock. It looked like a cage and something moved behind the thick bars. The old warrior held his breath when one of the demons opened one side of the cage. A few moments later, a beast unlike any he had ever seen stepped into the open. It must have crouched inside the cage, because, now free, it rose on its powerful hind legs and it looked twice the size it had appeared behind the bars. It moved its giant head slowly from side to side as if surveying the area.
Shuddering with sudden fright, Ahrragula lay unmoving among the tall grasses. Pressing his thin body as best as he could against the ground, he peered over the small boulder he had chosen as his observation post.
The demon beast could not have sensed him, but it fastened its small, glittering eyes on the rock that seemed suddenly much too small. Its thick tongue lolled between double rows of pointy teeth in those massive jaws that were large enough to swallow an immature male with one gulp. A deep sound like thunder escaped from the beast’s throat as it moved sluggishly away from the sky-rock that had spawned it.
The demons stood watching the beast for a moment and then they withdrew into the belly of the sky-rock. A few moments later the silvery rock rose into the air and shot with ever increasing speed toward the Lifegiver hidden in the hazy sky.
Ahrragula watched it disappear behind the clouds, as he lay still frozen among the grasses. His gaze moved back to the scaly giant beast the demons had left behind. He realized its movements were slow and lethargic and he speculated that this was not typical for this creature. It seemed almost half-asleep, but Ahrragula knew the beast would soon be awake, and when that happened, he’d better be far away, unless he wanted to be its first meal in its new home.
Somehow, he didn’t have the desire to give up his life yet. With new hope, he slowly crawled away from the rock, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. There was a good chance the tribe would welcome him back if he brought testimony of what he had witnessed. This proved what so many had already assumed—the sky-demons released the menace that threatened the survival of the People on this world. To what end nobody knew.
He was certain that those round spheres were nothing but eggs that would hatch more of those demon-beasts. Perhaps he should try to destroy them before that happened, but he had to wait until the scaly demon left the area. He needed to be far away but still close enough so he could watch the beast.
When he found a safe hiding place between two large boulders, he crawled into the narrow crack and settled down for a long wait.

Available soon from Melange Books.

Thank you for visiting and reading this far. Watch for the book on my blog.




Monday, July 27, 2015

#Codename Salamander

My new Science Fiction novel Codename Salamander has been accepted by #Melange Books, LLC. I've signed the contract last week. It is scheduled to be published in September/October 2016.

That is the hard part: The Waiting. Of course, before it gets published my editor will go through the novel, send it back to me with suggestions and whatever else needs to be done until the final step. That won't be for months from now. In the meantime I will write another novel. So far, I don't have any ideas yet and I am hoping for 'Lady Muse' to give me some hints and inspiration.

A couple of months ago I had an erotic novel published by Fiction4All under a pen name. They take only a few weeks from the time I submit a novel until it gets published. Last week I submitted a second novel to them. So I'm waiting for that one to be published. I'm not divulging my pen name, because those two novels are quite explicit. Fiction4All publishes only Adult fiction and some of them are quite graphic. They have a large reader base.

I am not writing any more explicit erotic novels under my real name and I'm not certain if I will write more under my pen name. I'll see how those two are selling. I enjoy and prefer writing my Science Fiction novels over any other genre, anyway. A bit of titillating erotica won't hurt and I will keep that, but no more graphic scenes. Maybe I'm maturing and growing out of it. Perhaps the novelty of writing erotica has worn off. I'm not sure and it doesn't really matter what the reason is. My family is happy with my new trend.

To come back to Codename Salamander. It is the fifth novel in my 'The Spider Wars' series which was published a few years ago. I like the universe I created in that series and also the characters. I may just write another story that takes place in that same universe. We'll see what comes up.

Here is the blurb for Codename Salamander just to give you an idea what it is about:

 

Master Scout Terrex Stonewall and his nephew Bret Grayson have signed a one-year contract with Salamander Mining Ventures. Grayson is supposed to study one of the native tribes while Stonewall’s job is to teach rookie Scouts how to survive on a hostile planet. But those are not the only reasons they are on Salamander.
There is something on Salamander the humans want for themselves. It would give them access to an ancient device that would make it possible for humans to become the most powerful species in the galaxy. However, it seems the Spiders, the Anorians, the Accilla, and most other species also know about this device and all of them are willing to start a war with the humans to keep them from sole ownership of what is buried beneath Outpost Salamander. There is just one hitch—nobody knows the code that unlocks the device. Only the brilliant mind of Bret Grayson may be able to decipher the symbols on the artifacts an ancient race left behind.
When a sexy Anorian female makes Grayson an offer he can’t refuse, he is forced to form an uneasy alliance with her. The Spiders and the Accilla also want to be present should Grayson be successful in cracking the code. At the same time, Master Scout Stonewall has to deal with a threat from within the Solar Union. The Military High Command has a sinister plan, and the job of thwarting the plot is thrown into Stonewall’s lap.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

My interview on #Whohub



I just updated my interview on Whohub. Interested? Please check it out here: http://www.whohub.com/hegro/

Friday, July 17, 2015

#My new novel Codename: Salamander

I finished my first scrutinizing (and agonizing) edit of Codename Salamander, looking for inconsistencies and other mistakes that creep in while writing a novel over the course of a few months. I also did the line-break check, you know the one with the little reversed 'P' symbol, and then I inserted the page-breaks. Boring job.

Next comes the Spell check, but I don't rely on that one too much. The program has plenty of glitches, finding mistakes that aren't there and suggesting changes that are completely wrong. I still rely on my own judgement. When in doubt, I check out my books on writing which I have in my library. Books written by authors and 'gurus' of the English language.

Once I did all that, then I'll read it again to see how the story flows, but still with an eye on mistakes. That is already the fun part. After that I will convert it to RTF format, because that's what my publisher (Melange Books LLC) wants. And then I'll submit it.

It won't be long now. What I'll write after that I don't know yet. Something will pop into my head.

Monday, February 23, 2015

#A Matter of Integrity

My crime novel featuring Detective Lews Canon has a new cover. I wasn't happy with the one I originally designed myself. So I had one designed using the services of Fiverr.
Here is the new cover, but for more information and a free sample of the novel go to Smashwords and check out A Matter of Integrity.


Friday, January 02, 2015

The last movie in 2014



Watched December 30th, 2014

#The Equalizer with #Denzel Washington


It just came out on DVD. The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington. The premise of the movie is nothing new or outstanding. It’s been done many times before. It’s about a man with a violent past who wants to lead a quiet, peaceful life, but it never happens. We’ve seen it in Westerns, like the 1953 movie ‘Shane’ starring Alan Ladd; and numerous others. I enjoy them every time, especially when they feature stars like Denzel Washington. My wife and I have been fans of Denzel W. ever since we saw his first movie. He is a great actor and has a powerful screen presence.

We watched the movie December 30th and it was an enjoyable evening. We were not disappointed. Both of us are suckers for ‘kick-ass’ movies. We loved the Death Wish movies with Charles Bronson. Who doesn’t like to see criminals get blown away instead of putting them in jail?

I’ve always loved stories about men with a secret past, be they ex-agents or gunslingers as in the movie Shane for instance. I’ve used those characters in my own stories. My trilogy Web of Conspiracy features Police Detective Jeff Chartrand, a former agent. PI Frank Hummer in Bullet of Revenge is a man with a violent past he likes to forget, so is Peter Hartmann in Mark of the Cobra. Both men are drawn back into the violent world they left behind. The hero Thomas Stone in my two-book Science Fiction novel Seeds of Chaos is a mystery man. He possesses powers he can’t control or explain and the search for his past takes him across the galaxy to different planets. He finally discovers his true identity on the planet Ramarra, which means Portal. In fact, his identity is revealed with the last word in the novel. (Don’t read that last word if you are interested in reading the books. Book One: Eden’s Gate and Book Two: Hell’s Gate ☺) You don’t want to spoil the ending.

Happy New Year

Monday, December 29, 2014

After Christmas



Christmas is over. Time to relax, but innstead of relaxing, I spent the last two days looking for a lost receipt. I didn’t find it, but I did some much needed organizing in my office. It is amazing how much printed material I had stacked up, even in this day of ‘going paperless’. I threw away and shredded pages and pages of old files and needless stuff. Suddenly, I have so much room in my filing cabinet and things will be easier to find. In fact, one of my New Year’s resolutions will be not to print out everything under the sun and just create organized files in my computer. With 2 TB of memory on my hard drive there certainly is enough room.

Why do I print out so much? The thing is I still like to look at printed pages and it is easier to have information handy, especially when I’m writing. For every story I have to create characters, make outlines and have back stories for the main characters, which means I have to be able to look through the material as I’m writing the story. When I print out the information, all I need to do is flip through the pages. That is more difficult if I have to look it up on a file in my computer.

I’m slowly getting over my cold. It helps to stay home for a few days and to drink a lot of water, which means many trips to the bathroom during the day. We are not getting caught up in the Boxing day/week madness. No sense to buy something just because it is on sale, especially if you don’t really need it.

There isn’t much on TV right now, mostly reruns, so we’ve been watching some movies. I downloaded for free (OMG I committed a serious crime!) the movie ‘The Interview’, just to see what all the fuss is about. I think North Korea should be much more concerned with the quality of the movie instead of getting upset about the content. We only watched about ten minutes of it and then we stopped it. We could not take any more of it. There is no danger many people will see this movie. It is supposed to be a comedy. Sorry, that type of comedy escapes me. The movie is stupid, the acting poor, and I feel sorry for the people who paid to see it.

Instead of #‘The Interview’ we watched #‘Edge of Tomorrow’, a Science Fiction film with #Tom Cruise. It was another ‘invasion of the Earth’ movie, but actually quite good. A few days ago we watched #‘Gone Girl’ with #Ben Affleck. It started a bit slow but then it picked up and it was another movie we enjoyed.

My wife is a fan of #Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of his latest movies #‘Sabotage’ was okay. He plays a DEA agent and the movie ended with a bit of a twist. Not one of his best but still enjoyable, if you like Arnold.

A couple of weeks ago we started watching #‘Extant’. Also Science Fiction. It is about #Androids and alien invaders. What a great series. We were watching 3 episodes an evening sometimes. It ended with episode 13 and now we are hooked. Hopefully, it comes back next year.

Right now I’m looking for something to watch tonight. I have #‘Pacific Rim’, another invasion movie, on my computer. If I can persuade my wife we may watch it tonight. I’m a sucker for Science Fiction and easy to please. My wife is more selective. She’s not crazy about monsters, zombies, and huge mechanical robots. I’m afraid there are some on Pacific Rim. We’ll see.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A wonderful review of #Daughter of the Dark

It's been awhile since I posted on this blog. I'm concentrating more on my personal blog 

http://www.hergros.blogspot.com/ . To keep this blog going I need to talk about my books, new published ones, especially. I don't have anything new coming out right now. I'm at 75,000 words with the book I'm currently writing and much more to go before it is finished. These days, I'm not writing as feverishly as I did years ago, mainly because I want to do other stuff. My dream of becoming a successful writer, by that I mean someone who sells millions of books, hasn't realized, and somehow I've lost the drive to spend all of my free time writing. There are many reasons why my books don't sell, but I think the main reason is marketing. There is a ton of competition out there, thousands of book published every day. How can my books be noticed among all of those books? And I can't see myself spending thousands of dollars on advertising.


I still enjoy writing, it's in my blood, but I write other stuff now besides stories, and I'm enjoying that also.

 People who read my books, tell me they enjoy the stories and say I'm a good writer with a fertile imagination.Maybe I write the wrong stuff. I'm not into romance stories. When I write I want to enjoy it. I love Science Fiction and that's what I mostly write. I even spiced it up with plenty of Erotica and the books sold. Then people told me they would enjoy the Science Fiction stories but not the Erotica. Now I don't write Erotica anymore. My latest books have little or no Erotica in them. Do they sell any better? Hardly.

I got a big boost a few days ago when I went to the Goodreads site and read a review about the very first book I published. It is Book One of my The Xandra series, which has grown into eight books by now. The Book is 'Daughter of the Dark'. Here is the review:



Daughter of the Dark by Herbert Grosshans
Rate this book
12047226
Elly Helcl's review
Sep 23, 13

5 of 5 stars
Read from September 22 to 23, 2013

Wow. Just wow. Where do I even begin?

Before I began reading this book, I expected it to be a fantasy novel of some sort. I did NOT expect it to be an erotica (not that I am complaining).

First, it was refreshing to read an erotica, written from a man's point of view, by a man. So many men try to write an erotica from a woman's point of view...and it just turns out awkward. Kudos to this author for avoiding that slippery slope.

This book was just so unexpected. From being an erotica, to being a fantasy/sci-fi novel...just all of it. But I am surprised in a good way.

So, what is this book about? Well, other than sex.

This book is literally all about a new planet that can sustain human life called, Nu Eden. On this little planet, unbeknownst to the humans, is a goddess who rules this planet. She gives everything on the planet life..so to speak.

What makes this book so interesting is the meld of sexual fantasy into something straight out of a cross between Star Trek and Pandorum.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy erotica. To be honest, you don't even have to enjoy the sci-fi or the fantasy world to enjoy this book. Heck, I really don't read sci-fi and I five starred the book!
likeflag

 OMG!!! This is quite possibly one of the best erotica books I have ever read! It is a full length story (I don't know if there is a number two or not), it is full of steamy fun, and it has a very interesting story line! Sigh...WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO LATE?!?! I want to keep reading! And here I was worried by this authors lack of reviews...pfft! It's only because he hasn't been found.



Needless to say, I am wildly pleased with this review and quite excited, and my head is a little bigger today. I only wish, everyone who reads the book, or any book of mine, would write a review. It would help me tremendously. 
 I sent the reviewer a thank you note in an email, but she hasn't replied. She may have her reasons for not doing so and I respect that. I just want to say here, "Thank you, Elly. I'm glad you enjoyed the book."


Monday, August 25, 2014

Is it Poetry?



I wrote about this stuff last year on my blog just before Christmas. So writing about it again means it is important to me. I’m not against new things; sometimes a change is good, but there are certain things that should not be changed. One of those things is poetry. I’ve read some crazy stuff, mumbo jumbo to me. I think if somebody wants to experiment with new styles and new ideas, they should give it a new name. So these are my thoughts on #‘Poetry’. Actually, I wrote a poem about it. Here it is:

The other day I read a poem
And it left me puzzled and perplexed
Where the heck is all this goin’?
And I worry what comes next

It didn’t make no sense to me
Just a jumble of crazy words
No rhyme or reason that I could see
Even when I read it backwards

I always thought the words should rhyme
That’s how it used to be
To write a real poem takes effort and time
Until it becomes a thing of beauty

They call it modernist whatever that means
It still sounds like nonsense to my ear
Just because a sentence has its own line
Don’t make it a poem I fear

I’ve never been a fan of modern art
Picasso has always left me cold
His poems may have been written from the heart
And his pictures for millions they sold

I don’t mean it is crap he wrote
It just isn’t my cup of tea
It is important here to note
He was a genius and will always be

Some people may say I’m a stubborn old mule
Perhaps afraid to embrace this new way
But I don’t think that I’m such a fool
To believe real art to its true form will stay

Herbert Grosshans ©2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I met my publisher

We had four visitors to our house today. Nancy Schumacher and her husband Steve and Tom with his wife Linda dropped in for a little chat. Nancy is the publisher of Melange Books LLe (my publisher) and Tom is one of the editors.

Although I knew Nancy through emails and as my publisher, I've never met her in person. So I was a little nervous about meeting her, her husband, and Tom and Linda. When you meet with strangers for the first time you never know if you click. What will we talk about? Will I make a good impression? I needn't worry. We had a great time. They are such fun people, so pleasant and down to Earth. The evening went by much too quickly and I was sorry to see them leave.

Here is a picture with me, Nancy, and Tom:




Thanks for stopping by, Nancy. It was a pleasure to meet you. Have a good trip and a great vacation with your husband and your friends Tom and Linda.

Friday, May 30, 2014

I'm a guest blogger



I’m a guest today at Barbara Bradley’s blog. If you are interested, please, go and visit her blog and read about it

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#A Matter of Integrity, a new price



After reading that the price of $1.99 for an ebook is not a desirable price, I’ve decided to sell my latest crime novel ‘A Matter of Integrity’ for a short time for $0.99 at Smashwords (and other retailers). For some unexplained reason books priced at $1.99 don’t sell. Go figure. Well, here goes. I’m practically giving away my book, but that’s okay. As long as I get readers and they enjoy reading it I’m happy. I don't write for the money. I write because that is my passion and I enjoy it. So why don't I give the book away for free? I found that anything people get for free is not really appreciated, but 99 cents for a book is not asking too much, but it weeds out the people who just download anything because it's free, but they will never read it. That is the sad truth. I put too much of myself into this book (or any other book I write) to let it sit unread in somebody's computer. I want people to read it and spend a few pleasurable hours that I am giving them.





Monday, May 19, 2014

#Dark World and #A Matter of Integrity - new prices on Smashwords



I just lowered the price of my books on #Smashwords. Dark World and A Matter of Integrity are available now for a limited time at the price of $1.99. Alien World is still free.

Here are the links:

#Dark World:


#A Matter of Integrity:

It is also available from the Apple iBookstore:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-matter-of-integrity/id869721766?mt=11

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

My interview

I just published an interview with Smashwords. It can be viewed here: https://www.smashwords.com/interview/herbertg

Check it out and share it with your friends. I would appreciate that. Leave a comment.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

#Special Offer. Get a book for Free.

To celebrate the release of my new novel 'A Matter of Integrity', I have decided to make my Science Fiction novel #'Alien World' available for free to anyone who wants it. Just go to Smashwords and download it in various formats. 
Special Offer: Alien World Free from Smashwords   https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/345117

 It is also available for free from the Apple iBookstore.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/alien-world/id686796490?mt=11

Friday, April 25, 2014

My new Crime novel: A Matter of Integrity

#A Matter of Integrity has been released. I published it with Smashwords.
Here is the blurb:



‘A Matter of Integrity’ is a crime novel featuring PI Lews Canon. He is not your average hard-eyed PI. He doesn’t wear sunglasses or a hat, instead he wears a baseball cap; he doesn’t smoke or cuss, and he doesn’t carry a gun. His office is in a run-down building with no Air Conditioning and his twenty-year old car is ready to quit any day. He has an alcohol problem he doesn’t want to admit and he has the ability to get himself into trouble more often than not. The funds are low and he needs a case desperately to pay the bills. His sidekick isn’t some sexy beautiful woman, either. In Canon’s own words, “She’s built like a fridge and scares even me sometimes.” However, she is loyal to him and keeps him in line. There is much friendly bantering going on between Canon and Nelda throughout the novel. Even though the novel is written a bit tongue-and-cheek and with some humor, there is plenty of serious stuff happening. When Canon finally gets a case, he’s beginning to wonder if it was such a smart idea to take on his new client. The case gets more and more complicated and involves several of his other clients. It becomes quite personal, and Canon has to commit a violent act to save himself and the woman he loves.

Available from Smashwords:  





Also available from Apple iBookstore: