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Greetings, Bearers (and others)!

You all know me as being pretty much a sci-fi/fantasy author, but today I’d like to talk to you about a different direction I’m taking with my writing.

As I’ve stated before, I’m a Christian, and while I don’t ram Christianity down the throats of others, so to speak, I won’t hide it either.  As a Christian, I take great interest in the so-called “worship wars” of the church, where the discussion between contemporary and traditional advocates centers around what is best for Sunday worship.

This has prompted me to write a book in my “spare time” (HA!) about the topic.  I’ve submitted the book to the Christian Faith Publishing Company, and the good news is that they like the book.  The bad news is that the initial cost of publishing, marketing, and distribution is a bit higher than I can afford at the moment😦

But there is good news.  I have started a Kickstarter campaign for covering the cost of the book, and I would invite you (especially if music in the church is a topic that interests you) to consider pledging an amount to help me in financing the cost of the book.   Of course, as a thank you, I’ll have a couple of nice offers for those who make pledges.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to quit the fiction genre.  I have too much fun writing in it.  But this is something I take very seriously, and I wanted to add my voice as one of clarity in this current debate about music (something that isn’t always heard from either position on the matter).  As enjoyable as fiction writing is, sometimes we have to switch gears and tackle more serious matters, especially when they can make a real difference for the good of others.

So check out the link below for more information, and please consider helping us out!

I’ll be putting some more updates out soon, both on this and the Vein world, so stay tuned!

See you in (or out of) the Vein!

J. Dean

KICKSTARTER LINK: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/990717443/the-beneficial-project

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(From left to Right:Chad, my son Connor, Dragon Dronet, and Yours Truly)

Greetings, Bearers!

As promised, I am now going to deliver a summary of my time at RadCon, during which time I will explain the details of the picture above.

In a nutshell, RadCon was a blast!  I spent President’s Day weekend there, working and resting in the luxurious Red Lion Inn in Pasco, Washington.  During that time, I got to witness firsthand some of the most incredible and detailed cosplay costume designs put together by fans of science fiction and fantasy.  While I know that some of the costumes were bought, others were clearly put together from innovative, homemade ideas and work, and I saw everything from Firefly (double thumbs up on the Redcoat outfits!) to furrys (which, I have to admit, make me a bit…. uneasy).  The interactions with the fans was wonderful, as the people I talked to were warm and friendly, and if you were one of the people I talked to during RadCon, I want to say that it was a pleasure meeting you!

I also met some great authors and scriptwriters who have put together awesome works, and have to admit that many of these men and women are probably skilled enough to write circles around me.  But it was great to pick their brains and engage in professional conversations with each and every one of them.  It’s my intention to put a list of these people up in the near future for your perusal, as the ideas and imaginations of many of these fine authors deserves to be seen and heard by lovers of great writing.

Which brings me to the picture at the top of my post.

The two fellows in the picture (excluding me and my son Conman) are Dragon Dronet and his pal Chad.  Dragon Dronet is somebody who has done extensive behind-the-scenes work on a great many movies and television shows, including the current Star Wars movies coming out.  The man is amazing.  His work involves the designing of armor and weapons, as well as having the honor of standing in as body double for Michael Dorn (Lt. Worf) from Star Trek: The Next Generation.  He is a trained martial artist and saxophone player as well.  In short, the guy is an all-around Renaissance Man, and it was the distinct privilege of me and my son to have an audience with him for the better part of two hours.  He was very engaging, very informative, and very friendly (as was his pal Chad, who from what I understand is also a phenomenal martial artist, and the talk of martial arts has been pushing me to get back into it again…).  Even offered us some very good chocolate chip cookies, packed for him courtesy of his friend’s wife for the trip!  Anyway, if you get a chance, check out Dragon’s online stuff.  You’ll be quite impressed with his work.  And I’m proud to say I know him now.  It’s guys like him that make the movies and tv shows we love look great!

So that was RadCon in a nutshell, and I loved it.  It’s my hope that I get to do something like this again and meet people like you all and Dragon Dronet again.  This was truly an enjoyable experience.

Okay, back to writing.  Keep reading, and see you in the Vein!

J. Dean

 

Greetings, Bearers!

No, I did not forget about my RadCon update, but I do apologize profusely for not making the update.  Between Real Life and switching internet plans, I’ve been a bit thrown off.  But I WILL do the update THIS coming week even if it kills me (And it just might).  Promise.

On a better note, I’ve been  cruising along well with the writing, and want to give a shout out to the MANY people who have made recent purchases of my works, particularly The Summoning of Clade Josso.  It’s always fun to see the first time reactions of the brave souls who venture into the Vein and see what kind of a world awaits them, a place unlike anything else they’ve ever experienced.  So thank you again, and I hope you enjoy the travels through the Vein!

Alright, getting back into gear here.  I will surface soon with more information.  Until then, write on and carry on!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Very tired greetings, Bearers!

Back from RadCon and back to the daily grind (unfortunately I don’t mean writing when I say that at the moment).  I have stories and pics to share with you, and intend to do so later this week.  For the time being, however, I must subjugate myself to the rigors of work all on two hours and forty-five minutes of sleep (had a little delay on my flight home).  Rest assured, however, that sometime between now and Saturday I will catch up with that elusive sleep (hopefully not while driving) and can present you with a summary of the wonderful time I had at RadCon as a Guest of Honor.

In the meantime however, I’ll be giving zombies a run for their money in moaning and slow walking.

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

Yes!!!!!! It’s almost time for RadCon, and I hope to see many of your faces out there come February!  I’ve been busy making some last-minute preparations for the convention, so hopefully all will be set when I make my way out there on February 13th and 14th.

This is my first Con ever, and God willing it will lead to bigger and better things.  That I’m getting a chance at all to do this is a great honor for me, and I’m hoping that you who will be out there will have as much fun as I hope to in meeting people and talking about writing in the scifi/fantasy genre.

So with that, I will delve back into writing and working hard.  In the words of Willy Wonka, “The suspense is terrible!  I hope it lasts!”😀

See you at RadCon (and in the Vein)!

J. Dean

Greetings and Merry Christmas to you, Bearers!

As a special treat for all of you (and especially for those of you who have not yet purchased my works), I’d like to offer up all of my Vein novels as well as Alternate Endings on Smashwords for half off between today and January 25th!  Simply log in the coupon codes listed below for the works you’d like to purchase from Smashwords, and enjoy!

Well, back to enjoying Christmas for me.  Tonight I’m going to be seeing the new Star Wars movie for the first time, so I’m pumped about that.  Friends of mine (who are old enough to remember like I am) said it was like going back in time to see A New Hope as a kid all over again.  Needless to say, I’m geeked.

And I’m still trying to invent the lightsaber, too.😀

So look below, use the coupons, enjoy the stories, and pass them on to anybody who you think would be interested!

Hopefully, next year I’ll have some more new works ready for you to enjoy.  And for those out in the Seattle area, looking forward to meeting y0u at RadCon!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Books and coupons

The Summoning of Clade Josso: TE44F

The Summoning of Old Velt: JM69S

The Summoning of Kran: JG34A

Alternate Endings: AF27N

 

Greetings, Bearers!

After many delays, I am pleased to announce that Surrealities part 3, my third installment in the Surrealities series, is now available for purchase on Smashwords! Check out the description below and enjoy!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

From the mind of storyteller J. Dean comes the “Surrealities,” short story series, a concept rooted in and inspired by weekly television serials such as The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and The Outer Limits, and classic radio serials such as Suspense, Dimension X, Lights Out, and other regular tales that take the imagination to the heights of exhilaration and the depths of fear.

In the short story “Sliver,” a woman preparing for an illicit meeting encounters a distraction requiring more than just a little medical attention. “Charity work” tells the tale of a college professor who stumbles upon a startling discovery while attending a benefit dinner.

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Happy Thanksgiving, my readers! Enjoy your blessings from God and your turkey from the store!

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See you next week!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

So there I was last night, running up to a car parts store, and I happened to see something that brought out a laugh in me.  So, in deference to J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars film (which, btw, I have been trying to avoid any information about like the plague so as to keep it a surprise), I give you my homemade meme based upon my adventures from last night.

Enjoy, and see you in the Vein!
J. Dean

 

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Greetings, Bearers!

No, I have not been quiet all this time due to grieving over football (believe me, Michigan is now 8-2, far beyond what we were supposed to be by anybody’s standards, and I’m taking a little comfort…and maybe JUST A LITTLE bit of revenge from Michigan State’s game against Nebraska😉 ).  But I have been writing, and I have been editing, and I have been trying to be as productive as possible, as well as trying to submit at least one story via print to a publishing company/house and also preparing for RadCon.  So I have not forgotten you, my loyal readers and occasional blog visitors.

And as a reward for your patience, I’d like to send you a little bit from the sixth book of the Vein series, which I’m currently writing, called The Summoning of Kainyn.  Read and enjoy!

See you in the Vein!
J. Dean

 

I.

Alone

 

 

We congregate within the throng in order to hide from the wicked specter of Loneliness.  Yet even here, amongst friends and lovers, she seeks us, she finds us, and she never leaves us alone.

-Tamoth of House Taskaber,

“A Study of the Soul”

 

He ran as fast as he could.

Branches and thickets struck him, grabbed at him, did their best to hinder him, but he fought through each one.  Further and further into the dark forest he ran, dodging left and right, driving through branches.  When a tree trunk loomed before him, he sidestepped it.  So fast were his paw-fashioned feet that he felt as if he were flying.  If only he could do such a thing.

He knew it wasn’t real, that it was only a dream—a dream of a memory.  Yet that did nothing to alleviate the terror in his heart.  Because he had to run.  Or he would die.

A distant echo of logic ridiculed him, told him to simply stop and wake up.  This had already happened.  The script had already been written and followed.  There was no reason to harbor this fear within him.  Yes, he understood that.  But as he was rehearsing the memory through this unconscious state, he had to do so with every detail, and that meant taking upon himself the terror he had experienced that night.  That made no sense, but he did not care at the moment.

Ahead of him, illuminated with torchlight and a soft, surreal tint of sky, loomed the familiar sight of the castle wall.  He had arrived: good. Soon all would happen as he remembered.  Father would rise up from the other side of the wall, a frantic expression fading into relief as his eyes fell upon the young form of his firstborn son.  The relief would melt into concern as a breathless string of words exploded from the mouth of the running lad, informing Father of what came after him.  With a graceful motion, Father would jump the wall, warblade in hand, and urge his son to make his way toward the main gate while he would deal with it.  A savior as grand and mighty as any of the great heroes of lore, that’s who Father was.  A stern disciplinarian too, although it would be the last time that the foolish son would ever do something so idiotic as take an unescorted stroll through the Amber Forest ever again.  No switch to his backside would be necessary this time. 

But it would probably come anyway.

He made it to the wall.  Furry hands connected with the smoothed surfaces of the groove-locked stone.  Father should appear at the top any moment.

Father did not appear.

Father?  Father?  Where are you, Father!?

He tried to speak the words, but only silence spilled from his mouth.  No, this wasn’t right, he reasoned.  Father should be here: that great, shaggy mane of greying brown hair, made coarse by old age and countless battles.  He was supposed to rise up, hear the cry of his child and rescue him in a daring act of salvation. 

But Father was nowhere to be found.

He tried to cry out again, scream at the top of his lungs.  The word hung in his head, but failed to register in his ears.  It was as if he had no mouth.  Yet he must scream, or he would die.

Behind him came a familiar sound, the thumping, plodding sound of the monster that followed him.  He knew it by sight; even though he had only glimpsed it during his excursion into the forbidden layout of the Amber Forest, its image had been burned into him.  Tall, dark, hairless, with a limber build.  A pair of burning blue orbs that served as eyes.  Compacted legs that allowed it to spring into the air and upon the sturdy branches of the trees with a single leap.  For all that mattered, it may as well have been able to fly. 

It was behind him, getting closer every moment.

And Father still did not appear.

Something slammed into the ground behind him.  He dared not turn around, dare not look into its face, that horrible expression of unblinking rage.  He didn’t want to see it, didn’t want to know what it had schemed to do with him, but based upon the dead carcass of the forge beast it had been near when he first encountered it, a couple of unpleasant guesses dared to flash through his head anyway.

Father? Where are you!?!?!

Heavy, fingered things slammed into either side of him, crushing him.

FATHER!!!!!!!!!!!

A thousand sharp blades pierced into his back…

**

With a scream, Kainyn awoke, springing from his mattress.  Claws swiped blindly into dark air, attempting to ward off the fading blur of the nightmare.  He caught himself after the third attack, realizing that his efforts were both futile and unnecessary.  With each passing moment, his pounding heart relented a little more, siphoning away a little bit of the panic that had filled him with each additional beat.

The familiar shadows of his sleeping quarters illuminated by a single, dim candle began to take shape: the script table, the thick, blocky form of the wooden battle armoire, the square, black hole of the window that revealed the dark landscape of the Amber Forest and the mountain range concealing the Dread Lands beyond.  He looked upon it all with desperation, pleading that this was reality, and not the fading phantasm.  A look at the wall to his right revealed a comforting sight: the family paladin displaying the colors of deep blue and dull maze, as useful a shield as it was a decoration.  Crisscrossed beneath it were the two squire blades, resembling the warblades in their construction: long, cylindrical shafts protruding from guarded handles, with razor-sharp tips measuring the length and width of Kainyn’s own hand at their ends.  And though the weapons did not possess the energy capabilities of true Fyryn warblades, they served their purposes well enough in combat.  The sight of the cutting instruments brought some relief to the Fyryn youth; he knew well enough how to handle them, and could cut through any nightmare in a single, swift stroke.

A frantic series of booms came against the door, followed by an explosion of light as it opened.  Two feline-like bipeds stood there, one considerably taller than the other.  The shorter one held a liquid lamp in her hand, casting a comforting glow upon her crimson-stained face.

“Kainyn?” she asked.  “Are you alright?”

“Y—Yes, mother,” Kainyn replied, nodding.  “A bad dream, nothing more.”

“Are you sure, son?” asked the taller Fyryn.  Even with low volume, the voice seemed to boom through the room. “Do you require anything?  Food or drink, perhaps?”

“No, Father.  Thank you.”

The two inspecting Beings looked at each other, then back at him.  “Very well,” said Father.  “We’ll be taking leave to our chambers, if you need nothing else.”

“Would you like us to post Eravin outside your room?” Mother offered.  “He can assist you if you require anything else.”

Kainyn shook his head.  The old family servant would scale a mountain if Father and Mother ordered it, as much from love as from duty, but he needed his rest more than anything else, as he was far into his twilight years.  “I’ll be good,” he replied.  “Let Eravin have his rest.  If I require anything, I’m fully capable of rising and asking, if need be.”

Mother gave him a concerned twitch.  “He’ll be fine,” Father whispered, laying a paw-hand upon her shoulder.  “Let us return to our sleep, my dear.  We’ve much to do for tomorrow.”

The two wished him good sleep for the rest of the night.

A moment later, the closing door swallowed the room in darkness again, save for the patch of light provided by Kainyn’s candle.  With reluctance, he returned to his bed and settled in, curling his body into a position not unlike the forms taken by newborn kits when nestled against their mothers.

He looked around the room one more time, searching the shadows of the room for burning eyes staring back at him.  None did.  Fatigue settled upon him again.  He gave in.

He did not dream.

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