Posts Tagged ‘Nook’

VR CS front cover

Last time I visited with Zahara Bakur, the protagonist of Video Rage, to talk about what’s been happening since she left Reborn City. This weekend though, I’m visiting with the Reborn City series’s male lead, the quiet and gruff Rip. I’m a little nervous, because the last time I met Rip he tried to kill me, but I’m sure we’ll get along this time.

If not, I left my will underneath one of the couch cushions, and I want my instructions for the funeral followed to the letter! We’re doing that procession New Orleans-style, with lots of jazz and fanfare! And if that doesn’t happen, my ghost WILL HAUNT YOU!

So without further ado, let’s get started!

Notes and Stats:
Sex: Male
Age: Unknown (believed to be between ages 16-18)
Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian
Birthday: Unknown
Eye color: Grey
Hair color: Dyed brown (grey prior to dyeing, brown prior to turning grey).
Religion: Agnostic bordering on atheist.
Affiliation: West Reborn Hydras
Special Powers/Abilities: Able to create neon-green claws using specialized glands in his knuckles capable of cutting through most substances. Skilled fighter in street and military combat. Average hoverbike rider.
Notes from the Author: In fiction, characters often go on a journey of emotional and psychological growth as well as on a physical journey from Point A to Point B. In Reborn City, Rip’s journey involved his relationship with Zahara. In Video Rage, Rip’s journey is a bit more complicated. Although he’s very tough and strong, in many ways he’s still immature and has room to grow. In this book, he’ll have to make some very tough decisions and learn from some mistakes that have far-reaching consequences. I’m looking forward to seeing how people react to this aspect of the story.

RU: Hey Rip! Long time no see.

Rip: Oh no, not you again.

RU: Happy to see you too. So Rip, these days you and the other Hydras are still on the run from Parthenon. What has that been like for you?

Rip: It’s a fuckin’ pain in the ass.

RU: Care to elaborate on that?

Rip: Not really.

RU: Why not?

Rip: Because I’m fuckin’ tired an’ stressed.

RU: Dude, that’s your life every day.

Rip: Well, it’s worse these days.

RU: I bet. Top of the Most Wanted list. Every law enforcement agency on the North American continent looking for you. Most are being encouraged to kill rather than capture.

Rip: All while sittin’ on a fuckin’ hoverbike an av’rij of twelve hours a day.

RU: Here, have this.

Rip: What’s this?

RU: Pre-war soda. Trust me, they don’t make them like this anymore.

Rip: They barely make ’em at all. Mm. Not bad.

RU: Look Rip, I know you’re a busy guy–

Rip: That’s an understatement.

RU: So just answer me one question and I’ll let you go. What do you hope to happen if you manage to get away from Parthenon and all your pursuers?

Rip: I doan know. I guess I just want us all to live in peace. ‘Specially Zahara. She puts up a strong front an’ she’s braver than she used to be, but a girl like that doan deserve a gangsta’s life. She deserves a quiet life. An’ I’m gonna try to give it to her.

RU: I wish you luck with that. Hoka hey, Rip.

Rip: Ho-what now?

RU: You’ll find out soon enough.

Remember folks, Video Rage is available from all retailers June 1st (that’s Wednesday if you don’t have a calendar). Right now, it’s available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, and Kobo. And you can still get the first book, Reborn City, from those same sites.

All for now. If anything comes up, I’ll make sure to let you know. Until next time, my Followers of Fear!

VR CS front cover

As promised, I’m doing a whole lot of prep and promo for Video Rage. I think I might be putting out a new VR-related post every Sunday up until the book comes out. By the time June 1st roles around, you’re probably either going to be very excited for this book, or you’ll be sick of me talking about it. I’m really hoping it’s the first one.

Anyway, this Sunday I’ll be doing as promised and posting an excerpt from the first chapter of VR. If you’re curious as to what my writing style is like when I’m writing fiction and not blogging, this is a pretty good way to get a sense of it. It takes place not too long after the end of Reborn City, and tells us what the Hydras have been up to since the end of the first book.

If, at the end of this excerpt, you find you like what you’re reading, you can pre-order the e-book version of Video Rage from Amazon. If you would like to read the first book before you do that, though, you can read an excerpt for that here and then find RC  on Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & NobleNook, and Smashwords, with more sites to follow in the next couple of days (if all goes according to schedule).

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the excerpt. Happy reading. I’m off to conduct interviews with some of the characters of Video Rage (for the character interviews from Reborn City, check out the Interviews page). Have a good one, my Followers of Fear!


August 1, 28 AB (2056 AD)

On Interstate 70 to Denver

The sunbaked concrete and metal shimmered in the hundred-plus degree heat, while the many cars and trucks reflected light off their chrome bodies like blinding beasts zooming down the highway. As truckers listened to country and rock music and children played video games on the backs of their parents’ car seats, some occasionally looked out to see a marvel of the modern world on the road. Five black hoverbikes, each with two people straddling the seats, zoomed between vehicles as they floated a few feet above the ground. Those who saw them marveled, paying no attention to the riders, who would’ve warranted their own attention if the drivers knew who they were.

Zahara Bakur, age fifteen, caramel skin, brown-eyed and until recently blonde, deftly maneuvered her hoverbike between an SUV and a motor home. Twisting the throttle, she slipped in front of the motor home and checked to see where the other four bikes were. Fox and Iori floated between two cars while Kevlar and Rico appeared from behind a semi. Not too far away Alto and Owl were trying to get in front of a minivan going too slow in the left lane, while Rip and Miguel were—

Zahara blinked, unable to find them. Where did Rip and Miguel go? At once she felt the familiar biting fear, the sense of impending doom. Where did they go? Her heart was hammering. She was about to give the signal to alert the others when the hoverbike appeared a few cars ahead, shifting from behind a boat to the next lane over. Zahara sighed with relief as Rip and Miguel fell back a bit and rejoined the rest of the group. For a moment there, she’d feared the worst.

Up ahead, Miguel raised his right arm and pointed his index finger towards the sky. From behind Zahara, Ilse called out “Finally!” and raised her arm to signal the others that a rest stop was up ahead. Iori raised her arm a second later, followed by Owl and Rico’s arms as well. When Miguel saw that all the arms were raised, he let his fall back to his side and tapped Rip on the shoulder. A moment later, their hoverbike was listing to the right-bound lane, getting in line for the exit. Zahara banked to the right as well and fell in line behind them. A squeeze on the shoulder from Ilse a moment later told her the others had gotten into the turn lane as well.

As they turned into a large parking lot with a fuel station and a large indoor food court, Rip led the Hydras around the parking lot and to the pumps, pulling into the first available one he could find. Miguel and Rip slid off the bike, the former joyfully stretching his limbs while the latter pulled off his sunglasses and went to examine the pump.

As Zahara waited for a space to open up, Ilse slid off the bike and said, “I’m gonna head to the bathrooms, sweetie. Ya want me to grab ya anything on the way back?”

“Could you just see if they have any veggie burgers?” Zahara asked as the driver of a pre-War Mercedes slid into the driver’s seat and turned the engine on. “That’s as close to halal as we’re gonna get.”

Zahara had just taught the Hydras the other day about the diet observant Muslims ate. Although they said they understood it, Zahara thought that the others found the whole concept a little mystifying, especially the prohibitions against pork and alcohol.

The Mercedes drove off and Zahara slid into its spot, switching off the engine and swinging her legs over the seat. Taking off her helmet, she shook her hair out, letting it free for the first time in several hours. Since they had left Reborn City, all the Hydras had been taking pains to disguise themselves so as not to be recognized. Zahara had let her hair go back to its natural brown color and had even cut it so that it just barely brushed her shoulders. Personally, she was glad she wasn’t a blonde anymore, something she’d only put up with because her mother thought it would help her fit in. And besides, it made blending in easier.

Zahara felt eyes on her and glanced to see Rip looking at her. As soon as she looked though, Rip turned back to the pump console, selecting what sort of fuel he needed. Seeing him only reminded Zahara that she wasn’t the only one looking different. Not long after leaving Reborn City, Rip had dyed his hair to what he called his original hair color. It was actually a nice shade of brown, warm and soft like a teddy bear’s fur. She actually thought Rip looked better with it, especially now that he was letting his hair grow out of that military buzz cut of his. And of course Rip never said it himself, but Zahara got the feeling that he liked it better too.

Turning back to the console, Zahara selected the “Credit Pay” option, and then inserted her trick card. The thin piece of plastic, which contained a virus in its computer chip, fooled the computer in the pump’s console into thinking she’d given the machine a legitimate credit card, and unlocked the nozzle for her. She didn’t like using the trick card—it somehow made her feel dirty—but desperate times called for desperate measures, and these were certainly desperate times.

Zahara looked at the Hydras, the ones that had stayed behind to refill tanks, and saw that each one of them looked guarded, like they were expecting an attack at any moment. As she knew all too well, every single one of them had good reason to look that way. Just a few hours after they had bolted out of Reborn City on the stolen motorbikes, a bulletin had hit the Internet that the Hydras were being classified as Class A terrorists by the Parthenon Company for blowing up their Worldwide Headquarters.

Of course, the Hydras knew the story was a lie. 011, the insane super-soldier that Parthenon had created with an advanced mutation formula, had blown up the Parthenon building when he had used his strange explosion ability in a room full of hydrogen gas. However, the rest of the world didn’t know about 011, who the Hydras really were, or that Parthenon had been experimenting with human test subjects to create super-soldiers like the Hydra leaders. And since Parthenon was the reigning government in several cities across the continent, they had the ability to create a story that suited their purposes and no one would contradict it.

And according to the official story, the Hydras were originally just a normal street gang, but the addition of a radical terrorist into their ranks caused them to turn to terrorism in the name of a sick religion which wanted to expand its influence across the world. That radical terrorist was supposed to be Zahara, who made the perfect scapegoat because she was a Muslim, and therefore, in the eyes of the world, she was born dangerous and hateful.

Since the bulletin had gone out, the Hydras had had to be very careful about being seen in public, especially on the highways where they were sitting ducks for any law enforcement, military groups or bounty hunters wanting to catch Class A terrorists. Aside from hair changes with Rip and Zahara, Owl wore sunglasses most of the time to mask his yellow eyes. Each had changed their appearance in small but significant ways. They had even erased their Hydra tattoos using a tattoo-removal gadget that Max Frimms had given them back in Reborn City.

But the biggest change of all was in terms of clothing. Once wearing black had been considered sacred to the Hydras. Now, they would wear any color but black. As Rico had said on the night the bulletin had gone out, “The bikes are already a huge giveaway. We gotta do ev’rything we can so we doan get caught.”

Not that Zahara minded. The summer was hot, and it felt good to be in a grey cotton T-shirt and white shorts, even if the shorts did go above her knees. And the others seemed to like it too, even if they did seem a little hesitant to try on new colors.

There was a beeping noise and Zahara pulled the pump out of the fuel hatch. As she did, she felt something cold and wet on her neck and gave a surprised squeak. Turning around, she saw Ilse holding a can of soda and two bags with a dancing burger-man above the logo.

“Got yo’ burger, sweetie.” said Ilse, handing Zahara one of the bags. “An’ by the way, did anyone tell ya yo’ really cute when yo’ surprised?”

“Cut it out, Ilse!” said Zahara, pouting. “I’m nervous enough as it is.”

“Sorry, babe,” said Ilse. “Just lookin’ to let off a little stress. Come on, let’s get goin’ an’ have some lunch.”

As the others finished fueling up their bikes, they drove out of the fuel station and to a shady little copse of trees next to the food court. Sitting under the shade, the Hydras ate their lunches as parents tried to keep their kids from running too far away and dogs chased after Frisbees. A couple of times Ilse and Zahara tried to start a conversation with the others, remarking on the heat or that boys were wearing sequins on their clothes these days. Mostly there was silence, and after a while they stopped trying and decided to focus on eating, which made it easier to watch the crowds anyway.

As they finished their lunches and started heading back to the hoverbikes, a large black SUV pulled into a stop next to Alto’s bike. Several college kids wearing University of Toledo shirts tumbled out of the SUV’s doors, laughing and shouting as they gathered around a girl with a tablet.

“Come on, let’s roll,” said Rip, revving the engine. “We can make the outskirts o’ Denver by nightfall.”

“Let’s move quick,” said Miguel, eyeing the students from the SUV. One of them had just looked at the Hydras and had said something to the girl holding the tablet, who was now looking something up as fast as her finger would let her surf. All the while the others were looking up and staring at the Hydras on their motorbikes.

Before the girl with the tablet could finish her search, the Hydras zoomed out of their parking spaces, leaving the teens from the SUV choking on their dust. As they drove away, Zahara glanced back in worry. She wondered if perhaps the teens had identified them. And if they hadn’t, how many close calls would they have before someone actually did find them and identify them?

I told you I was going to get back to Video Rage, and so I have! And how I’m doing it! Ladies and gentlemen, Followers of Fear of all ages, I give you the cover for Video Rage!

VR CS front cover

Pretty awesome, right? And I somehow managed to get most of Joleene’s amazing artwork into the front cover (artwork assembled with contributions by artjazz, welcomia, Maltaguy1, kirstypargeter, and Joleene Naylor herself. Yes, I’m obligated to say that). Createspace wanted to cut off most of it, but I resized the picture and voila! We got ourselves a cover.

I also wrote out the blurb that will go on Video Rage‘s back cover and on the online descriptions. I think it describes a pretty epic story without giving away too much. However, there is some spoilers for Reborn City in the first paragraph, so if you think there’s even the slightest chance you’ll read RC and you don’t want any surprises to be spoiled, you’ll skip beyond the bold warning sign below until you’re past the safety point. Anyway, here’s the description I went with:

SPOILERS AHEAD

When Zahara Bakur was forced to join the Hydras, she had no idea that the leaders of the growing street gang got their superpowers from the shadowy Parthenon Company. Nor did she ever expect that after Parthenon’s CEO Jason Price was done with the Hydras, he would try to have them killed. Or that she and her friends would have to flee in order to survive.

In the epic sequel to Reborn City, Rami Ungar takes us further into the world of Anno Bombus as Zahara and her friends try to outrun Jason Price and the numerous forces sent against them. With tensions high in the group and old enemies hot on their trails, the Hydras will be tested beyond their limits if they hope to survive what fate has in store for them.

And maybe find hope in the most unlikely of places.

SPOILERS BEHIND

What do you think? Personally I like it, but then again I’m biased.

I’m also pleased to announce that Video Rage‘s e-book is available for pre-order from Amazon. It will probably become available for pre-order from other sites, but for now it’s just from Amazon. And only in e-book, unfortunately: for some reason, you can’t do pre-orders with the print paperbacks when you use Createspace.* Why can’t I do that, I don’t know.

Anyway, I’m including links for VR‘s Amazon page. When more links are available–some of which allow pre-orders–I’ll post those. I’ll also be posting an excerpt and interviews with some of the characters over the next couple of weeks. And if any of the blogs on my blog tour post anything, I’ll make sure to repost it here. With any luck, I’ll get you all interested in reading the new book!

Reborn City's cover

Reborn City’s cover

So if you’re interested, here’s the Amazon link for Video Rage. And if you’re interested in reading the first book, I’ll include the links for that down below. Reborn City is my first published novel, and by far it’s my most popular novel, the story of what happens when a girl named Zahara Bakur is forced to join a street gang named the Hydras in a dystopian city-state. The story contains themes of gang violence, prejudice, drug addiction, and, most important of all, overcoming what others think you are.

If you think that’d be something up your alley, you can check it out on Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & NobleNook, and Smashwords, with more links to follow. And you can read an excerpt from RC here, if you’re still unsure but want a sample before you make a final decision. And if you like what you read, please make sure to leave a review. Positive or negative, I always love and appreciate getting feedback from my readers.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. Expect more from me pretty soon. And happy reading.

*If I’m wrong, please inform me now and tell me what I need to do.

I’ve been dying to make this announcement since last week. Well, better now than never. As many of you know, I’ve been working on getting out Video Rage, the sequel to my science fiction novel Reborn City, out some time this year. I recently finished the final draft, and at last update I said a friend of mine was working on the cover art for VR. Well, today I finally got the art that will be gracing the cover of VR. Even better, I now have a release date!

Yes indeed, very exciting. Now before you scroll down and check out the amazing cover art, let me tell you about how it was created. My friend Joleene Naylor (check out her blog here) does covers on occasion, and when she does she does amazing work. After carefully describing what I wanted for the cover, she did a couple of drafts and sent me the mock-ups, adjusting with my feedback. When she gave me the final draft, it was like it was something right out of my imagination. I was so amazed with Joleene’s work, which was compiled using the works of artjazz, welcomia, Maltaguy1, kirstypargeter, and Joleene herself.

Pretty sure I’m legally or at least ethically obligated to list all that.

So without further ado, here is the cover art of Video Rage!

VIDEO RAGE - HIGH RES

Pretty cool, huh? And if you look closely at the image, you might see a familiar American monument. Yeah, that’s what you think it is. And something’s happening to it. What? I will say that it involves events that occur near the climax of the novel. Want to know what exact events? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

And speaking of which, I promised a release date for Video Rage, didn’t I? Well, there’s good news on that front. I’ll be releasing VR on June 1st. Yes, in one month and nineteen days, Video Rage will be available from as many platforms as possible, paperback and e-book. I’m sending the manuscript off to the US Copyright office tonight for the extra added protection. Then I’ll finish up getting all my other books onto other platforms, and then I think I’ll do a great big blog tour. I’ve never done one, so it should be interesting. I hope it’ll get people interested in reading Reborn City and Video Rage.

Reborn City, the book prior to Video Rage. Available now.

Speaking of which, if you’re interested in reading Reborn City before Video Rage comes out, I’ve lowered the price on the e-books. The paperback costs the same as ever, can’t change that much, but it’s now available on Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon, Nook, and Smashwords. And I plan to add it to iBooks and Kobo as soon as possible, so if you use those platforms I should have some updates on that soon.

That’s all for now. I’m going to get to work on making sure the book is ready for June 1st. If there are any updates, I’ll make sure you all know it. Get excited, my Followers of Fear. I know I am.

As many of you know, up till now my books were only available from Amazon and Smashwords. I didn’t do other platforms for a number of reasons. One was that Amazon and Smashwords are two major retailers (though the majority of my sales come from the former), so I thought that they were all that I needed. Heck, I even thought that I could be successful using those platforms.

Mostly though, I’m just lazy. I didn’t want to go through the extra trouble of uploading books onto so many platforms. Yeah, I admit it. But recently I realized that if I really want to get as many books out to as many people as possible, I really should diversify the platforms my books are on. For all I know, there could be a lot of people who want to read my books but can’t because they are not on their preferred shopping site or e-book platform. That is something, as an author, I can no longer allow. Not if I’m serious about being an author.

So, before Video Rage comes out (more on that in a future post), I’m making sure my books are available on as many different platforms as possible. Starting with Nook, Barnes & Noble’s answer to the Kindle and one of the most popular brands of e-reader. And as of today, The Quiet Game, Reborn City, and Snake are available to readers through Nook.

And if you’re unfamiliar with my books, here are some short summaries and the links:

The Quiet Game: Five Tales To Chill Your Bones

tqg cover

In his publishing debut, Rami Ungar brings us five terrifying stories of darkness in magic. You can experience the strange visions of a man battling sex addiction in “Addict”. Or feel the wrath of an enraged dybbuk in “Samson Weiss’s Curse”. Face your fears in Gene Adkin’s Murder House in “I’m Going To Be The Next James Bond” and then journey with a young autistic “In The Lady Ogre’s Den”. But most of all, prepare to play the most insidious game of all: The Quiet Game.

Now Available on Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & Noble, Nook, and Smashwords

Reborn City

Zahara Bakur is a Muslim teenager recently moved into the gambling town of Reborn City. After her parents are killed by gang violence, Zahara is forced to join the Hydras, an interracial gang whose leaders have supernatural abilities. As the violence in Reborn City escalates and Zahara becomes closer to the Hydras, including the quiet but stern Rip, she finds herself drawn into a dark conspiracy involving the origins of the leaders and the shadowy corporation that rules over Reborn City.

Available on Amazon, Createspace, Nook, and Smashwords

Snake

Cover of Snake by Rami Ungar

How far will you go for love and revenge? When a young man’s girlfriend is kidnapped by the powerful Camerlengo Family, he becomes the Snake, a serial killer who takes his methods from the worst of the Russian mafia. Tracking down members of the Camerlengo Family one by one for clues, the Snake will go to any lengths to see the love of his life again…even if it means becoming a worse monster than any of the monsters he is hunting.

Available from AmazonCreatespace, Nook, and Smashwords

My next mission–besides getting VR ready for publication some time in the next couple of months–is to get Reborn City and Snake available in print through Barnes & Noble (The Quiet Game is already available on that platform, a story for another time). After that, I’ll work on getting all three onto iBooks and then on Kobo. After that…well, if there are any other platforms I should know about, I hope you will remind me.

That’s all for now. I’ve got a meditation class to prepare for, so I’ve got to go. I hope you all have a great day, and I hope that the new platforms help you enjoy a new story that maybe you’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. Until next time, my Followers of Fear. Happy reading.