Month: December 2014

The Lazarus Gray Digital Box Set!

Press Release

RING OUT THE NEW YEAR WITH ACTION AND ADVENTURE!

DIGITAL BOXED SET FROM PRO SE PRODUCTIONS! BARRY REESE’S THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY: THE OMNIBUS EDITION DEBUTS!

Barry Reese, noted award winning Genre Fiction Author, has brought many New Pulp Heroes to life! One of his most popular has headlined four volumes of books from Pro Se Productions, a leader in Genre Fiction publishing. And now, those four collections are available as one book! THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY: THE OMNIBUS EDITION is now available as a digital ‘boxed set’ from Reese Unlimited, Barry’s own author imprint, and Pro Se Productions!

THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME ONE- On the road to discovering the many secrets of Sovereign City, including his own identity, adventurer Lazarus Gray and his Assistance Unlimited team encounter weirdness, madness, and over the top badness on every page! Finding himself naked and not knowing who he is on the shores of Sovereign, a stranger takes a name literally found around his neck as his own and becomes Lazarus Gray! Forming a team of skilled actioners around him, Gray sets off to not only find his own truth, no matter how horrible, but to shine light on the darkness that plagues Sovereign City!

THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME TWO: DIE GLOCKE- Lazarus Gray and his aides in Assistance Unlimited return for what may prove to be their greatest challenge… What is the secret of Die Glocke? Will Lazarus Gray and his teammates discover the answer in time to stop a power hungry madman and his undead soldiers? The Adventures of Lazarus Gray returns with an epic adventure where the fate of the world is at stake. Is even Lazarus Gray up to a task that could take him to the very gates of Hell itself? Also, Assistance Unlimited takes a case that will bring them face to face with Terror and the making of a Hero!

THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME THREE: EIDOLON –In the third volume of Gray’s adventures, Lazarus Gray and his aides in Assistance Unlimited battle against their opposite number as some of their most dangerous enemies band together to form MURDER UNLIMITED! They’ve sworn to destroy Lazarus and his team, but is there another agenda that secretly guides this sinister alliance? Also, Gray squares off with a new foe- Eidolon! Who or what is this latest adversary! Follow Gray as he works out a puzzle that began in the steamy jungles of Peru and may end with the fall of a hero! Also presenting SECRETS OF THE DEAD, the first in a series of illustrated features by Barry Reese and Award Winning Artist George Sellas!

THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME FOUR: SATAN’S CIRCUS- Two tales of pulse pounding action fill the fourth volume in the adventures of Lazarus Gray! In the first, Gray unites with the mighty Thunder Jim Wade to confront a menace from his past and in the second, the mysterious pair of vigilantes known as The Darkling and Eidolon return in a dark tale that reveals hidden secrets that will shake the world of Lazarus Gray to its very core!

One fantastic hero created by one talented and prolific author. Four Volumes bound together in a digital boxed set for fans of New Pulp and Genre Fiction everywhere. THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY-THE OMNIBUS EDITION, with eBook formatting by Russ Anderson, cover art by George Sellas, and cover Design by Sean Ali.. Get your copy for only $2.99 from Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/o7uhlt6 and from Smashwords at http://tinyurl.com/pq4loek.

For more information on this title, interviews with the author, 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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Another Damned Review!

damned_new_coverOur old friend Darkendale Raven posted a review of The Damned Thing on Amazon.com – let’s see what he had to say:

Something Wicked This Way Comes…

5 out of 5 stars

I must start by saying this one is a trifle more R rated that Barry’s usual PG13. What makes this a great story is that Barry weaves the scenes into the story so that they do not interfere with the action. This is what would happen if a pulp hero was allowed to be more human, and subject to the desires that other men or women might normally have. It works for this tale.

The story begins in the Nevada desert as Professor Carter Slade and his assistant Eloise Green discover a strange hollow artifact, a man’s face in a rictus of horror. There is something inside the reliquary, something that seems to draw Professor Carter like a homing signal. He opens the artifact that night, and descends stairs built for much shorter people into the depths of the earth.

Meanwhile in Atlanta, Violet Cambridge is just waking up. She finds two men in her bedroom, neither of which seems the type to trust. What Violet does trust is the .45 caliber Smith and Weston Hand Ejector II pistol under her pillow. They are agents of a certain Mr. Armitage, who accuses Violet of stealing from him. He had stolen the money himself from the orphan’s fund. Both men are killed in the ensuing scuffle.

The reader learns that Violet’s husband Walter has been dead three years and that she wears only black clothing. Her friend Miles Knopf is more than a little in love with her, but she is not looking for a lasting relationship just yet.

The Damned Thing is a statuette discovered in the Nevada dig. Professor Carter has gone insane just by being in its presence. So apparently has Eloise Green. The Statuette belongs to the world of the Elder Gods, the Great Old Ones of the Lovecraft Mythos. It must be destroyed before it infects others. But the statuette has fallen into the hands of occultist Johann Berkard and his toady, Lazlo Bane. And a huge foe joins the them: Aleister Crowley, self proclaimed Wickedest Man in the World…

Violet has been told of a local Hell-mouth that exists on an island inside a mental institution of bad reputation. Others also seek the statue and will give anything to get their hands on it. The showdown is at hand, and who will survive is not a given thing.

This book is a thrill ride of pure pulp from the moment you board at page one until the thundering crescendo of the climax! Barry’s carefully chose prose is designed for every word to make the reader want to ride this roller coaster again and again!

I give The Damned Thing five out of five stars. As always, I’m looking forward to more action from Barry’s heroes.

Quoth the Raven…

Thanks, as always, for the in-depth review, Raven! I had a lot of fun writing this one and you’re right, it’s definitely more adult than I usually go for. Not quite as out there as Rabbit Heart but still… definitely an R-rating, I’d say. Glad that the themes and presentation worked for you!

Gravedigger Volume Two Gets Reviewed!

Gravedigger_06_smallThe newest book in the Gravedigger series already has its first review, courtesy of Darkendale Raven! Here’s what he had to say:

Pandora’s… Skull?

5 Stars out of 5

This is the long awaited sequel to Barry’s first Gravedigger volume. Charity Grace returns with her small band of agents: Mitchell, the black British man who has been with Charity from day one and actually served the previous Gravedigger; the former prostitute Li Yuchun; Cedric Hendry, a wealthy businessman whose ancient home is now Gravedigger’s headquarters; and Mortimer Quinn, once a Gravedigger himself.

The gang is watching a large crate being moved to a ship under cover of darkness. Mitchell has infiltrated a gang who plan to open the crate and steal the contents. Li and Cedric are on board, and Li is chatting with a mysterious man named Donald Whitman. Meanwhile, gang leader James Pelvin is ready with Mitchell and the rest of the gang to open the crate.

When the crate opens, Pelvin discovers that they have set up. The crate contains no treasure, it contains an undead creature named Ira Shelly, dead and resurrected by dark magic in the year 1722. However an injury in 1893 caused his body to shut down in order to repair itself. Knowing he would be waking up, he was placed in the crate, put aboard a ship, and left to kill people on the voyage to wherever it sails, but not in Sovereign City. Gravedigger takes out Shelly, but the battle has just begun.

Back home, a package has been delivered to Hendry Hall. It contains a Silver Skull. Research reveals that it is supposed to contain Pandora, a demi-goddess who released the seven deadly sins, and who has been trying to eradicate sin by slaying sinners and devouring their dark souls.

The package was taken to Hendry Hall by “Quick Dan” Nunn on the orders of Hiroshi Tamaki. Tamaki desires to release Pandora and use her power to make himself Emperor of the world.

Sandra Locke uses sex and dominatrix tactics to entice the warden of Sovereign Prison to allow her access to prisoner Jonah Craig, whom she precedes to break out of confinement. Dr. Craig is an expert on the legends of The Silver Skull and Pandora.

Pandora is released and leaves for Washington, DC with Tamaki and the gang. The Voice tells Gravedigger that Pandora is her other, an enemy equal to her skills. The meeting between the two is certain, but the outcome is not guaranteed.

The action takes off like a bolt from Gravedigger’s crossbow. The story winds through various locations and in and out of mystical shadows. By the end of it all, every single person involved will have gone to the very edge of hell, and not everyone can make it back.

Are the survivors the agents of Gravedigger or the servants of Tamaki and his evil partner Pandora, now housed in the body of Sandra Locke? Time for you to take the ball and run with it. Read the book for yourself.

I give this book five out of five stars with a slight condition: I do not think the sequel was quite as good as the original. It is very close, but lacks a little—not enough to affect the rating, but there like a ghost faintly seen and questionable if it was there or not. Looking forward to much more from Barry Reese!

Quoth the Raven…

Thanks, Raven! I’m glad you enjoyed the book but I wish I’d been able to make the second volume even more interesting than the first to you! It’s often hard to match the excitement of discovery that the first book can bring but I tried to really delve into the characters this time around and I’m glad that you found plenty to smile about. Gravedigger will next appear in the “crossover” novel I’m currently writing. She’ll be fighting alongside The Peregrine and Lazarus Gray — but a third volume of her solo adventures looms on the horizon after that! Thanks Again!

Gravedigger Returns With a Vengeance!

gravedigger_cover_02_small_mockupPress Release – 12/27/14

THE HAUNTED HEROINE RETURNS! THE ADVENTURES OF GRAVEDIGGER VOLUME TWO DEBUTS FROM PRO SE PRODUCTIONS

A noted publisher of Genre Fiction, Pro Se Productions announces the latest volume released from its first author focused imprint. Reese Unlimited, the home of noted award winning author Barry Reese’s own personal Pulp universe, debuts the second collection of adventures of one of Reese’s most imaginative creations- The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume Two!

“Gravedigger,” says Pro Se Productions Editor in Chief Tommy Hancock, “is sort of the third jewel in Barry Reese’s New Pulp crown. And what a gem she is. Although all of the standard adventure and wordsmithing you’ve come to expect from Barry is there, Gravedigger explores themes that Barry’s other creations don’t really get into. Gravedigger is not only about justice, but about redemption and vengeance and moreso the gray area that exists between all three. Yes, there’s fists and guns and supernatural doings, but there’s a level of emotion, a distinctly inner aspect of storytelling that Barry taps when he puts his pen to a new Charity Grace story. And that happens in spades in The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume Two.”

“You will put them into their graves and shovel upon them the dirt that symbolizes their eviction from the mortal world.” These words changed Charity Grace’s life…and death forever! Barry Reese, award winning author of The Peregrine and The Adventures of Lazarus Gray returns to the shadowy streets of Sovereign City with a new adventure featuring Charity Grace: Gravedigger!

The Adventures of Gravedigger returns and Sovereign City’s haunted heroine continues her mission of justice and vengeance, with the redemption of her soul at stake! In this volume, Gravedigger and her faithful agents confront the twin threats of Hiroshi Tamaki and the immortal beauty known as Pandora when they investigate the strange secret of the Silver Skull!”

Returning to Sovereign City,” explains Reese, “always feels like coming home for me. I relished the chance to take Gravedigger and her allies in new directions and I’m thrilled for my loyal readers to experience the romances, dangers and excitement that make up this novel.”

The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume Two features action packed cover art and logo design by award winning artist George Sellas, print formatting by Sean Ali, and eBook formatting by Russ Anderson.

The latest volume from Reese Unlimited is available in print via Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/lj39tvm and at Pro Se’s own store at http://tinyurl.com/lkw6chqfor $15.00. The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume Two is also available as an eBook for the Kindle at http://tinyurl.com/kbmgkuf and for most other formats at http://tinyurl.com/opztpuffor only $2.99.

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

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

Merry Christmas!

rook_v2_kaslov_smallMerry Christmas to all my fans and friends! Take the day to cherish those who are close to you! I hope that you guys find some pulpy goodness under the tree — and, as Leonid Kaslov shows in this image from The Peregrine series, if you confront evil today, kick its ass!

Regular postings will resume soon!

Robbie Williams – The Albums, Best to Worst (Updated December 2014)

Robbie Williams Wallpaper @ go4celebrity.comGenerally I stay focused on my writing career on this blog but from time to time I like to venture forth into other passions that I have. For instance, I’ve posted rpg writeups and talked tv shows. When it comes to music, I have many favorites – David Bowie, Marina and the Diamonds, Led Zeppelin, Prince and Fleetwood Mac are just a few of them. But my absolute favorite music artist is Robbie Williams, the British pop superstar who’s well known everywhere but here, in the jolly USA. Robbie started out in a boy band called Take That back in the Nineties before going solo. He then began selling records… lots and lots of them. A few years ago, he even patched things up with the rest of the boys in Take That and released an album called Progress that dominated the UK charts and spawned a huge tour. Today I’m going over my favorite Robbie solo albums in order from the very best to the bottom of the barrel. I’m not including compilations or live albums here.

1. Reality Killed the Video Star (2009) – Kind of an odd choice, given that it’s the only album in Robbie’s career that didn’t hit # 1 in the UK. But I love this record and think that from start to finish, it’s an enjoyable listen. My favorites include Bodies, You Know Me, Starstruck and Won’t Do That. I just feel it’s a truly solid album that speaks to the wide range of talents that Robbie possesses. I actually listen to it quite often and think it works as both background music while I work and for when I want to just sit and listen to the lyrics.

2. Escapology (2002) – Considering that my two favorite Robbie songs are both off this album, I’m sure a lot of my friends would expect this to be in the top spot on my list. But while it contains many, many wonderful tracks, it does contain a couple of clunkers – How Peculiar and Cursed, for instance, are two songs that I can go the rest of my life without hearing again. Still, it contains Feel (my all-time favorite Rob song), Come Undone (my second favorite), Something Beautiful, Handsome Man, Hot Fudge and Me and My Monkey, all of which I really dig.

3. Take the Crown (2012) – A really strong outing that shows how much Robbie has matured. He’s a married man and a father now and you can see that all of that has helped calm his manic nature a bit. The lyrics remain deeply personal but are of a different sort. Now we see a Rob who’s promising to never betray his love, who thinks about where he’s been and where he hopes to be, etc. Contains some real gems like Candy, Be a Boy, Gospel, Different and Not Like the Others. A lot of people really enjoy Losers and while I dig the lyrics, the actual track isn’t one of my favorites.

4. I’ve Been Expecting You (1998) – Robbie’s second solo album is a classic, with perennial favorites like Strong, No Regrets, Millenium, Win Some Lose Some, She’s the One and Jesus in a Camper Van. Really, there are no stinkers on this album and it could easily be higher on this list… but I think that it’s very much of it’s time, as well, in terms of sound and Rob’s state of mind. As such, while I adore all those tracks I listed above, as an album it feels a little lighter than the ones I’ve ranked ahead of it. Still, a great one.

5. Sing When You’re Winning (2000) – A truly strong effort that, for me, solidified that Robbie was going to be around for the long haul. More mature than previous releases, it also displayed stunning self-assurance and confidence in his abilities. My favorite tracks include Supreme, Rock DJ, The Road to Mandalay, Kids and Better Man. There are a couple of tracks that are fairly weak, though, and that’s what moves it down to the fifth slot. I remember being so excited when this album was released and I wasn’t disappointed at all.

6. Intensive Care (2005) – While a fine album with a few stellar tracks, there remains something… off… about this one. I think we can begin to see the things that eventually veer off-track with the next album. I think that at this point, few people were questioning Rob’s decisions. He was selling tons of albums and singles so why should they doubt him? But there are tracks on here (Sin Sin Sin, which was actually released as a single) that feel a bit phoned-in and by the numbers. Still, I love Ghosts, Advertising Space, Please Don’t Die and The Trouble With Me. It’s a good album, just lesser than those above it on this list.

7. Life Thru a Lens (1997) – Rob’s debut album. It contains mega-hit Angels, which single-handedly transformed him into an international superstar. Lazy Days, Old Before I Die and Let Me Entertain You are all fine tracks and have rightly become classics in their own right. There are other songs, though, that reflect Rob’s struggle to become a solo star and which, no longer viewed in their 1997 context, just don’t hold up well. It’s definitely a flimsy record compared to his later works — a few wonderful songs surrounded by fluff.

8. Robbie Williams Swings Both Ways (2013) – Rob returned to swing in this follow-up to the 2001 Swing When You’re Winning. I rank this one higher because it contains several new tracks and two of them (“Shine My Shoes” & “Go Gentle”) are absolute classics. I really enjoy several of the oldies on this album, too, especially Rob’s versions of “Little Green Apples,” “16 Tons” and “Dream A Little Dream.” Is this as good as a pure, 100% Robbie album? Nah. But it’s a damned fine record.

9. Rudebox (2006) – Okay. I don’t hate this album and, in fact, think it has some very good tracks on it. But overall, it is a bit of a mess. The album doesn’t feel cohesive and contains a few embarrassing blunders (the title track wouldn’t be too bad as album filler but as the lead single? Very bad move). There were also a surprising number of covers (Bongo Bong and Je Ne T’Aime Plus, Lovelight, Kiss Me and Louise). I do really enjoy The Actor, The 80’s, The 90’s and Summertime but this was an album where someone should have stepped in and said “No, Robbie, this isn’t working.” It’s an example of excess to the extreme.

10. Under the Radar, Volume One (2014) – This one is an odd duck. It contains unreleased tracks that, for whatever reason, didn’t make it onto previous albums or as single B-sides. It was available only via Robbie’s official website so you weren’t even able to get it via normal retailers. Overall, most of these songs are exactly what you’d imagine — they’d make fine album filler but they’re not single-worthy. There are a few that I do enjoy (“H.E.S.,” “Surrender,” “Green Light,” and “The Pilot”) but there are also some that are… uh… not so good. A few suffer from poor decisions — “Super Tony,” for instance has a killer chorus but the song screeches to a halt every time Robbie does his little ‘cocaine’ thing in the song. Overall, this one is worth listening to if you’re a hardcore Robbie fan… but if you’re a fan of only his hits or are just scratching the surface of his catalog, you can skip this one.

11. Swing When You’re Winning (2001) – This album only contains one new song (I Will Talk and Hollywood Will Listen), otherwise it’s covers of old swing jazz songs such as Mack the Knife, Something Stupid (which hit # 1 on the UK charts as a duet between Rob and Nicole Kidman) and Mr. Bojangles. It’s fun stuff but I rank it at the bottom because it’s certainly the least “Robbie Williams” album he’s ever done. Rob loves this stuff and has incorporated some of it into his stage shows ever since.

If you’re looking to get into Robbie’s music for the first time, I’d say start with either The Ego Has Landed, a 1999 compilation album that takes the best tracks off Life Thru a Lens and I’ve Been Expecting You or In and Out of Consciousness: Greatest Hits 1990-2010. The Ego Has Landed was actually my own introduction to Robbie so it obviously worked. In and Out of Consciousness has 2 CDs and 39 tracks so you get all the major hits but you lose the cohesive feel of an album. It’s a compilation, you know the routine.

I’ll be back soon to talk about New Pulp and what lies next for me, writing-wise. Take Care!