Today is the start of a new year. Welcome. As I say in the video (if you don’t feel like watching it), two of my books are currently free. Links below. If you’re a subscriber, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you any ebook in my collect to you, free. This is a small way to say Thank You for sticking with me while I figure things out.
Secondly, Harvey, I’ve followed your blog and I’m glad to see you’re back as well. Always good to see your posts in my feed even if I don’t comment often. That’s something else I’ll need to change in the coming year.
I’ve big goals for 2021 and you are all part of that. Growing my audience is the only way I’ll ever be successful. I’ve been neglectful, and for that, I’m sorry. You’re tired of hearing that, so we’ll move on and I’ll get to work cranking out books.
Until Next Time!
V&A SHIPPING 1 & 2! One is free, the other is on sale for only 99 cents! That’s right. You can grab two books for only a buck!
Okay, enough yelling. So I’m have a giveaway and sale on V&A Shipping. Pick up a copy of V&A Shipping if you haven’t already, pick up V&A Shipping 2 for only a dollar. This will help push both books up the Amazon rankings. If you’ve already bought and read both books, consider leaving a review. This helps far more than I can explain. If you do leave a review, let me know and I’ll send you any of my other books absolutely free!
As for the ‘getting back at it’ part of this post. I’m almost done with the editing on Golden West book 2. I’d forgotten just how powerful this book is. It gives me chills as I read it, knowing what’s coming up next. It also gives me chills as I hope to have book 3 completed before the end of the year. As soon as I’m done editing book 2, I’m all about book 3.
I’m also poking away with Jack Kane book 2. You’ve heard about Jack Kane, right? It’s the book I wrote with Mike Plested. You can grab a copy of that one here (http://www.amazon.com/Jack-Statue-Liberty-Michell-Plested-ebook/dp/B00Y4BIY8Q). He and I are working jointly to get this book done. It’s a hoot to be back in Jack’s head. It’s probably as fun for me as it is for Mike to be back in Felonious’s head 🙂 An inept hero versus a psychotic (and equally inept) villain. What’s not to have fun with?
So much writing will be happening. I also plan on getting back to the whole blogging thing. I want to try and do one or two a week. Not much has been happening that I’ve felt like writing about, but it’s time to get back at it.
I’m off to go make words happen.
Until Next Time!
STAY AWESOME! and thank you for all your support!
V&A SHIPPING! STILL FREE! http://www.amazon.com/V-Shipping-J-R-Murdock-ebook/dp/B00B1MVTYM
I woke up this morning to see that V&A Shipping had reached #42 in free Space Opera! That’s quite exciting! My Goal and hope is to get it into the top 10 of Space Opera! Now that would be something.
But I cannot do this alone. I do need your help. If you have an Amazon account and you haven’t picked up a copy yet, please consider doing so. It will help move the book up the charts and help it gain some much needed visibility. And hey, you get a free ebook out of it. 🙂
I’ve sold a few copies of V&A Shipping II as well as a couple copies of Giant Robot Planetary Competition. This was the goal all along to help get some other titles a little bump while getting this one moving along.
If you’ve gotten a copy, THANK YOU! You’re awesome! If you’ve shared my post in your social media feeds, THANK YOU! You’re even awesomer! If you’d like to help a little more, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.com or goodreads.com. Both help tremendously.
Again, thank you for all your help and support.
Wait, has Jay lost his mind? Again? V&A Shipping is free?
That’s right. You’ve waited this long to jump onto the series, Now you can jump in for free! Just follow this link (http://www.amazon.com/V-A-Shipping-ebook/dp/B00B1MVTYM/) and BAM! Free ebook just for you!
If you’re subscribed to Kindle Unlimited you can also read it there. Actually, you can read all my books on Kindle Unlimited now. Well, all my self-published works that is.
So don’t delay! You’ve only got until the end of the week to pick up V&A Shipping for free, then it goes back to its regular price.
For those that are wondering, yes, the events in Giant Robot Planetary Competition take place in the V&A Shipping universe and they take place after book 2. No, you do NOT need to read V&A Shipping to understand what’s happening in GRPC. The gang does make a cameo and that’s all I have to say about that.
If you’ve read (or listened to V&A Shipping) please consider leaving a review on Amazon. You don’t know how helpful these are to selling books. If you don’t have a device to read a kindle ebook, you can still get a free copy as this also helps move the book up the charts. If you have any ‘smart’ device you can download a kindle app to read the book. Need help? Contact me and I’ll walk you through the steps.
Thank you all for your support and your help with making V&A Shipping the success that it is!
YES! That’s right. Big giant robots that like to smash things are coming your way.
July 1st I start a new series. Giant Robot Planetary Competition: Entry Level is the first book in the GRPC series. These will take place in the same universe as the V&A Shipping books. I’m super excited to get this one out there. I’ve had the idea for some time, and now it’ll be in your hands! (or at least on your ereaders).
Beta Readers loved the book with great things to say like:
“What did I just read?”
“You did a bait and switch on me. This isn’t funny at all.”
“I loved the part <deleted> and then things <deleted>.”
“Are you sure you want to release a book like this to the world?”
So yes. You can see there is much excitement about this book already. Is it funny? No, not really. This is a departure from V&A Shipping in that it’s not humorous. Are there funny parts? Yes, but not as many as you’d expect from someone that wrote a short story with Vampire Cows! Is it entertaining? Well, it is giant robots trying to destroy each other. I thought it was rather brilliant.
The book does follow the life of Ravikanth Helio, an orphan, as he’s abducted from an orphanage, put into slave labor as an asteroid miner, and finally used as a pawn in the galaxy’s greatest competition. A competition where one thousand giant robots fight for the mineral rights to an entire planet!
I’ll make sure to shout loudly on July 1st when it’s available! Until then, check out my other books I have available. I’m sure I’ve got something to tide you over until then.
Hey! What’s that? a new cover for V&A Shipping? Why yes, yes it is. (recovering, see what i did there?).
Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the cover that Starla did for me. I love all the covers she did for me. But i ran into an issue and it had to do with cost. I have a lot of books and need a lot of covers. So rather than wait until i have enough money for new book covers, i decided that the best thing to do was take a the time needed to learn enough about PhotoShop and build my own. I also took the time to rebrand all the covers so there is a common theme not only for the books in a series, but across all titles. So I’ll be posting all the covers here over the next few days while i get ready to post new titles in the coming year. I have three books done, written, complete, ready to rock and roll. So while I spend some time posting those covers here, I’ll be getting those ready to post for sale.
It’s an exciting time. I can’t wait to get these news books out there. I hope you’re excited as well.
Now, for the sale!
For Cyber Monday week (sure, why not. All week long) if you buy any one of my books and email me your receipt, I’ll send you any two of my titles FREE! Just let me know what you’d like and what format, and I’ll send it on over. So what are you waiting for? Get on over there and buy a book!
Until Next Time!
I must be losing my mind! Why else would I price a book at 99 cents? I mean, really. Who does that? It’s almost like giving it away! Well, this is your chance. If you haven’t picked up V&A Shipping yet, it’s now on sale at all your favorite ebook retailers for only 99 cents. That’s right, pick one! It’ll be 99 cents. If it’s not, send me a link, I’ll send you a free copy.
If you paid full price for V&A Shipping, email me. I trust you. I will send you a free copy of V&A Shipping II. If you already have V&A Shipping II, I’ll send you one of my others title (that I’ve published myself, this doesn’t include the anthologies). So drop me a line and say “Hey! Murdock! I feel like I got ripped off for paying full price!” and BAM! Free ebook for you just for being awesome.
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/275220
So check it out. Let me know what you think. Don’t forget, that V&A Shipping II is also out there (and only $2.99). That’s right, you can get 2 books for only four bucks (well, $3.98 if you want to be picky about it). So what are you waiting for? Head on out there and pick up something to read!
Until Next Time!
The six months on Planchar, waiting for the Acid Rat to be fully repaired, gave Joey time to really become one with the team. He and Vic spent a great deal of time flying the Iron Butterfly. June even taught Joey how to fly it.
Joey flew it the day they all went back to Earth. He and June stood on the scorched Earth waiting for the rest to disembark.
He and June had spent a great deal of time together. During the move off their base from Munchkada to Planchar, at the request of Chancellor Pitrine, the two of them had grown closer. Much closer. He put his arm around her shoulders and she slid her arm around his waist.
He would have smiled, as her touch always made his smile, but the complete emptiness of the streets unnerved him. Nothing moved. Not even the air. Everything had a red haze in the hot, stale air. The sun burned far brighter than it should have and if it weren’t for the special sunglasses June had gotten him, he was certain he’d be blind.
Vic exited the Acid Rat first. He no longer wore his black pants, black boots, black vest with his white shirt. He now wore white pants with a red shirt.
Argmon, next off the ship, had healed. He refused to have any prosthetics to replace his missing arms. He looked lopped-sided with two arms on his right side.
Finally Dexter waddled off the ship. They’d probably all be dead if it hadn’t been for Dex. The suspicion Joey felt for the tri-ped had dissipated over the past six months and they’d had quite a number of their own little adventures.
Behind the three of them, a large cart carrying two coffins exited the ship.
“Where are we?” Joey asked.
Vic put his arm around Joey’s shoulder and pulled him away from June. “Kid, if you’d been on Earth, you wouldn’t have lived to see this place. This is San Diego in the future as you would have known it. I came back here and didn’t find anything to explain what happened on the planet when the sun went mini-nova. I don’t think I’d want to. It’s bad enough to just look at it and know that everyone is gone. It’s just you, June, and me, kid.
“I tell you what, I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would. I thought it would be hard coming back for the third time, but I think knowing that I’m not alone anymore, or even alone with June, I feel somehow better about it. You know what I mean?”
Joey guessed he knew, but seeing everything intact and no people, he didn’t like it. He felt sick looking at it.
“Kid, don’t dwell on it. Let’s get going.”
Vic led the way down the street.
“Where are we going?” June asked.
“Well,” Vic said as he turned around and started to walk backward. “I’ve got to bury my dad.”
“Who’s in the other coffin?” Joey asked.
“I figured since none of us knew where Joop-Nop came from, I’d bury him here as well. He didn’t do much on the ship, but he didn’t deserve what he got.”
Vic turned back around and kept walking. Joey sidled along side of him and matched his step. Vic held his head high as he walked. Joey did likewise.
They came up on an ancient cemetery. The headstones all bore marks of age, but because no more air moved, they had to have eroded long ago. They were ancient even before the sun went mini-nova. That put things into perspective.
Vic made his way through the headstones unerringly and stopped in front of a small, flat headstone and bowed his head. June pulled Joey back.
“Give him a minute.”
“That’s his mom’s grave. I guess he’s going to bury his dad here too.”
“Yup,” Vic said, raising his head. “They were meant to be together. Even if dad lost it in the end.”
Vic turned and picked up a shovel off the cart. Joey looked at Vic’s clean clothes.
“You’re not thinking of digging a hole, are you?”
“Oh hell no.”
Vic placed the shovel in the ground and gave it a turn. A section of dirt moved aside as easily as opening a door. He then pulled a control from his belt and pressed a button. One coffin rose off the platform and with the control, he guided the coffin into the hole, turned the shovel, and the matter was over.
“Quite impressive,” Joey said.
June hit him. Vic knelt down and pressed his closed fist to his head. He could have stayed there for a long time. Joey looked about the cemetery. Maybe his parents were buried here as well. Maybe he could find their grave site.
“Don’t,” said June. Almost all of these graves…”
“I’ve got to look.”
“Okay, if you’ve got to look, there’s a directory inside the office. That’s how Vic found his mom.”
Joey didn’t even wait for June to stop talking before he sprinted to the office. The glass had been smashed out, presumably by Vic. The map on the wall had faded in many areas and the writing, tiny writing, was barely legible. None of the plots were in any kind of order. So many graves. So many dead people. How could anyone…
“Provoski,” he muttered to himself. “Joey Provoski…Senior.”
Tears welled up in his eyes. The next plot he saw Alice Provoski. The writing had nearly faded away, but he could see their names. He had to see their grave. He just had to.
He ran from the office. He barely noticed June, Dexter, and Argmon sitting on the cart with the second coffin. He ran through the cemetery. Their plot sat at the far end. He ran the entire way. By the time he arrived in front of two crumbled head stones, he had to gasp for breath. The hot air made it extremely difficult to breath.
Please have lived a long life. Please. Please.
He looked first at his mom’s. The writing on the stone was all but worn away. 1966-2056. She’d lived to be ninety. Ninety years old. At the base of the stone only partial words could be made out. Joey’s imagination filled in the blanks. “I will never forget my baby boy, Joey.”
He wiped the tears away with his sleeve.
On his father’s it read “I go now, to be with my boy, for I’m sure he has gone ahead of us.” And the date, Joey had to read it twice. 1963-2097. he’d lived to be one hundred-thirty-four. Joey sat looking at the dates, amazed his dad hung on so long and right up until the end he thought about…
Joey crumbled to the ground and cried. If only he could have been there. Somehow the finality of his parents being dead brought the reality of what he’d gone through to heart. He could have easily continued living in ignorance, but he had to know. He had to see for himself. That didn’t make it easy. He pounded the ground with his fist.
He could have been there five minutes, or five hours. The sun hadn’t moved in the sky, and his friends waited, patiently. All four waited for Joey to return on his own. The second coffin was no longer on the cart.
June hugged him as soon as he returned and Vic slapped him on the shoulder.
“That’s as tough as it gets. Trust me on that one.”
And Joey did. He trusted Vic. He would trust Vic with his life for as long as they both lived.
Vic smiled and adjusted his sunglasses. “Should we go see who needs something shipped?”
B.T. Justice scratched at the wall with a rock he’d procured from the yards. Yards where big rocks were made into small rocks. Yards where he had to toil in the sun for hours a day and he’d lost nearly all of the paunch he’d once carried around. If nothing else, the six months he’d spent on the prison planet, Brakthanian, had gotten him into the best shape he’d been in since attending the academy.
He wanted out. He needed out. He needed a hamburger. None of that would happen though, and he knew it. Today, just like every other day, he’d go out to the yard and hear the warden shouting over the P.A. system “All you criminals need to think about why you’re here toiling under the hot sun making big rocks into little rocks.”
The pain of sore muscles he’d gotten used to. The annoying and constant prattle of the warden he hadn’t. He doubted he ever would.
Only one thing kept him going: getting out. Getting out of the prison and tracking down Vic and Argmon of the SS Acid Rat. The crew that had eluded him and defamed him and gotten him thrown into prison. It was their heads he saw each time he brought him hammer to bear on a rock. It was their skin he scratched, not the wall, to mark off the days he’d served.
The six months were nearly up. Soon, very soon, he’d be out. He wouldn’t be a Sheriff anymore, but that didn’t matter. Only one thing mattered. He had to find the SS Acid Rat. He had to put an end to them.
“Buford T. Justice! Get up. Time to go to work.”
Justice eyed the guard. He stashed the rock back under his mattress and rolled out of bed. The guard led him to the yard.
The sun hadn’t crested over the peak of Lifesaver Mountain, the name given to the mountain because it saved the prisoners from the first three hours of direct sunlight. They’d work a couple hours more before lunch, then sweat away the afternoon under the blazing sun. If it hadn’t been for that mountain, many a man would have died.
B.T. Justice looked up at the peak of the mountain. A ship, a large blue and gold ship, crested the mountain and descended down toward the prison. A blue and gold ship that Justice recognized as the Apprehension. A smile crossed his lips.
“Junior,” he said under his breath. “Bring me a hamburger.”
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Vic looked at his crew; no, not his crew anymore. His friends. He didn’t know how to break it to them. How did he tell Argmon that the shipping business would close its doors? How did he tell June, a woman who would rather spend time in space to help her forget about Earth, that he didn’t want to fly any more? And Dexter, hell, he didn’t really even understand Dexter or the tri-ped’s motivations. Joey would probably take the news best. He’d only been with them for a short time.
All of them rushed, but Vic held up his hands. “No hugging! No hugging! I’m still in bad shape. I don’t need any rib crushing hugs right now.”
In all honesty, he did. Even though he wore new clothes, he noticed that June and Joey wore new clothes as well, and he looked good, he wasn’t certain as to his condition.
The smell of food, real food, not hospital food, entered his nose. All thoughts of telling them anything faded until he could eat a decent meal.
“Is there anything to eat?”
June smiled and led him to the table where the remains of breakfast sat. “I can order you something. The government is picking up the bill.”
“I don’t want to wait that long.” Vic put his hand to his stomach. It rumbled in response.
“Well, there’s plenty of left-overs.” Joey picked up a plate with a half eaten omelet.
Vic sat and ate. He only paused when he finally looked at Argmon and noticed the bandaged left side of his friend. As if feeling responsible for June and Joey being here wasn’t enough, now his father had gone and wounded Argmon. Another burden he’d have to carry thanks to his father.
“How are you doing?”
Argmon patted the bandages and shrugged.
“I’m sorry that happened.”
Argmon shook his head and chuffed.
Even though Argmon didn’t blame him, Vic still felt guilty.
But why should he? He hadn’t made his dad pull the trigger. He’d tried to stop him as best he could. No, he shouldn’t feel guilty for what his father did.
He couldn’t shake the feeling. He hadn’t gone back to see if his father had survived. He hadn’t come searching for his father sooner. He hadn’t stopped when everything his father had done to try and stop his shipping business. He had driven his father to do what he did.
“Vic, stop,” June snapped at him.
“Stop what?” Vic looked at her, confused.
“Feeling sorry for yourself. Like all this is your fault. We’re all big enough to make choices for ourselves.”
“I’m sorry, Vic. I just don’t want you to take the blame for everything that happened. You weren’t there when I pushed the button in your father’s machine.”
“But it was my father’s machine that sent you here.”
“Vic,” Joey said. “I did the same thing. I went in there and pushed that button.”
“Yeah, but my mom put you up to it. How do I not take blame for that?”
“Because you’re not your mom,” said June.
“I understand that. I should have never come after my dad. I should have stayed home and torn that machine apart.”
Joey sat up. “The hell you say. I mean, I didn’t have a bad life, but I always dreamed of something better. I never thought I’d end up in outer space. Granted this isn’t anything like what I had expected it to be like, but I’m here. I’m alive. I didn’t die a nobody back on Earth like everyone else.”
“But you didn’t get to live out your life either. You’re here instead.”
“And maybe I’m supposed to be here.”
“You two calm down,” interceded June. “Now this isn’t getting us anywhere. We’re not going to talk about who’s at fault. Vic, I wanted to talk to you about the business.”
Finally it was out. Vic put the fork back on the plate, wiped his cleanly shaven face with his napkin and looked up. He looked from one to the next. Argmon, Dexter, Joey, and finally June. He had to word this carefully.
“I’m getting out of the shipping business.”
June gasped. Joey wrinkled his brow as if he hadn’t heard right. Dexter blinked his eyes out of synch. Argmon barked and yowled.
“Stop! Stop. Stop. I’ve had a lot of time to think about this. After what my dad said and after he stuck a knife into me, I did a lot of thinking about what he said.”
June held her hands up. “He’s wrong.”
“Just give me a minute to explain. I don’t think he was wrong. I mean, he’d built his machine to search the galaxy, to answer the mysteries of life, and to discover the unexplored. What did I do when I got here? I went to work. I didn’t go seeking any greater good. I didn’t do anything my father would have. I’ve wasted time I could have spent doing things for the benefit of people, not just for myself.”
“But Vic, you have.” June shook her head. “Look at the people here on Planchar. They worship you. You’ve brought them a shipment of something that could save their people and their planet from possible destruction. When no one else would help them out, you took a risk and you did.”
“I nearly got us all arrested.”
“But you didn’t.”
“Then I took us on a bet. A dare. And I nearly got us all killed. I acted irresponsibly.”
“If I even knew what that meant…”
“You make snap decisions. That doesn’t mean you should stop the shipping business. It just means maybe you need to take some time before making a choice and maybe even a little input on those decisions. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“Huh?” Vic sat up in his chair. “What do you mean?”
“What I mean is I wanted out. I almost left. On Munchkada I had an appointment to buy my own ship. I thought I could do this job better than you. I don’t need to do this job better than you. What I need is for you to listen to me. And not just me, but all of us. I need you to stop being so headstrong and listen to us. Your crew. Your friends.”
Vic looked at the food on the table, not really seeing anything. He had to process all that. Was she right? Did he just need to listen? Had he really been doing what his dad would have been doing? No, but then he wasn’t his father, was he? He’d grown into his own man. He’d started a business with Argmon and they’d done quite well for themselves. They’d done quite well for everyone on the crew.
He looked up. June crossed her arms. She didn’t look stern as if she’d intended to be mean, but she looked ready to counter anything he could say against not staying in the shipping business.
Joey, his innocent face still bruised from his battle with Mike, looked more grown up somehow. As if the week he’d spent in space had somehow brought him into manhood. He had an edge now and didn’t look like the soft creampuff Vic met.
Dexter, well, he was still Dexter.
Argmon narrowed his eyes at Vic, waiting for an answer.
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