My latest literary endeavor, The Detective Games serialization, has had its first installment published and is now available on the iBookstore, NOOK, and in the EPUB format for computers and other eReaders.
The cover is an altered version of the Notre Dame de Paris photograph I featured on this blog some time ago.
The current edition available is a preview of the beginning of second serial, which introduces the case at hand. It is called “Blackmailing the Great Detective.” The second edition, a much more action-packed teaser, will replace the first through all retail channels quite soon. It’s an excerpt drawn from the second serial as well, albeit further on when the protagonists have found themselves in dangerous circumstances. Thus the name, “Bullet Proof Barrels and Chandeliers.”
It is my hope that this free, first brief look at the series will enthrall readers to such an extent that they will eagerly anticipate the future installments which should be released on a monthly basis once the teaser has had its run.
The idea for the series occurred to me while I was aiding my father with the carpet cleaning division of his business. I had recently finished my first novel, The Labyrinth of Cosa Nostra, and was eager to delve into a new project, and so I mulled over the possibilities. There were so many genres to pick from, and I had numerous past works that could be improved upon. I thought of one which I had called Tête-à-Tête, and wrote in the format of brief entries, presenting them each night to some family of mine which had come into town. I had continued working on the series during my schooling and hoped to see it to completion, but as I grew busier and found other interests, it fell into the pile of old attempts.
The Detective Games takes place after my old story, vaguely hinting at its history while forging a new, deeper and more dynamic path. It has so far proved to be every bit what I had desired in a new tale, with plenty of suspense, lively characters, and a wonderful world for readers to explore.
The story begins with two of our main characters: Joe Holmes and Leor. The latter is a detective unaccustomed to seeking assistance. The former, however, is very much inclined to the opposite. Joe is a detective as well, but has no reservations in seeking others to do that work which he finds overly taxing. Although a fan of Sherlock Holmes, Joe is far from attaining the legacy of a great detective. Leor successfully solved the last cases which had proved too much of a challenge for Holmes, and has now come to discuss a couple loose ends which he suspects Joe might have some knowledge of. He is sorely disappointed when there is little information to be had. As he leaves 221B Baker Street, the home of the fan boy, he is covered in dust, spider webs, and has a sullied disposition to boot. Yet he finds hope in a shard of glass from a bottle of wine. Upon it is an address which may lead him to another, more gentlemanly source of knowledge, and our third detective-protagonist.
Joe, although failing to solve his own cases, also observed the curious threads that Leor discovered. As Leor journeys to France, he makes a trip to Ireland on his own precarious investigation.
With two very different methods, and very different leads, the two men find themselves in very similar circumstances of life and death.
I have included two excerpts. One from each edition of the first serial, and consequently parts of the serial to come.
Excerpt from Serial One (1st Ed.)
When stormy, Baker Street could be quite the foreboding place. When traveling to speak with a man of peculiar habits and unmannerly tendencies, the sense was heightened. So it was when one traveller arrived at the renowned address, and with great trepidation opened the office door. There was no landlord to greet him, or a friendly doctor with which to sympathize. Only dank darkness.
The floor creaked and the door squeaked as the man made his first steps through the entryway. The dust upon the room was so thick as to seem purposeful – dusty everything, from the appliances to the floors. It seemed the home of a rodent, rather than a detective.
“Holmes, are you in here?”
A man sat hunched over his grey desk, in a complimentary grey suit. Vibrant as always. “I know that voice! Leor?” he exclaimed.
“Unfortunately, yes,” Leor answered wearily. His disposition was hopelessly distraught as he proceeded towards the seat reserved for clients.
“Have you finally come to a standstill?” Holmes inquired, with relish. He was very much a foil to the shell of a man who stood before him. “Have you come for my help?”
“No, Joe Holmes, I have not come for your help.” Leor said, taking a step into the aura of light which surrounded the detective’s desk, and consequently colliding with a few spiders’ webs. Leor vigorously wiped off the lot of them, and flicked away the spiders whose abode had been ruined.
“Well you seem antsy enough,” Joe observed, straightening up to get a proper look at his companion.
“What gentleman wouldn’t be, covered in this filth and infestation?” Leor protested, rubbing off the last bit from his face.
“This gentleman,” Joe replied. “I like the spiders. They’re interesting to observe.”
“Oh quit it already!” Leor demanded, slamming his hands on Joe’s desk, then quickly moving back in repulsion as his hands were coated in grime. “You’re no gentleman,” Leor continued, wiping his hands on his jacket. He would wash it later.
“And you’re no… man, either.” Joe countered, albeit slow to the punch line.
“Profound,” Leor retorted, lowering his brows in contentment. “I am a man, and a gentleman, as I have already pointed out. My tidy nature isn’t bane to manliness. Though it may be to you. I’d rather retain my professionalism, than make a sty my place of business.”
“So you came here to be an Aedus then?” Joe said with a smile.
In the course of a few minutes, Leor had transitioned from a dread to a frazzle. “That’s the most clever you’ve been thus far. No, I’m not here to crack jokes or engage in repartee, as our Irish friend has done for his living. I’m here for your testimony. And, before you make another obscure reference to the Great Detective, which is not a reference at all because you’ve interpreted his character rather poorly, you are not him. Just because you’re a Holmes, doesn’t make you a Sherlock. You’re a fan boy.”
Joe was aghast. “A fan boy? You’re a pretty boy!”
“Thank-you, I think myself rather handsome. Now, about that testimony,” Leor said, drawing a notepad from his pocket and a pen from atop his ear. “You had an encounter at Hantée Mansion a few years ago. You came to my office, left quite a mess, but also paid quite a sum. I solved your murder, larceny, and kidnapping cases. I essentially did your job, though I actually made progress. Now, however, one point which I observed in that case, something that had never quite cleared itself up, has surfaced from the collective puddles of despair that were those cases. It has surfaced in the form a man named Jean Rusé. You know him, and you know of his cryptic occupation. I would like to share in that knowledge.”
“No,” Joe said bluntly. “Sorry, can’t do that.”
Excerpt from Serial One (2nd Ed.)
Two men stood at the entrance of the château, a third was in pursuit of their man – a fellow whose shaven head provided a stark contrast for his unkempt, stubbly face. All they had was a description, and that was all they required. A name was of no use to a corpse. The two men at the entrance had the easy job. If the third man got shot down, they would move in and carry out the job in his stead. If the target somehow managed to navigate around the third man, they were there to block the entrance. Their strategy was fool proof, but it wasn’t Joe proof.
• • •
Joe was the target, and an unusually delighted one at that. He gripped his gun with a smile, knowing his prissy detective friend would never have had the guts to pull through in a firefight. Leor had a knack for cases, but he didn’t know his way around a bullet. It was pure bliss when you had your niche.
• • •
Leor stumbled past the barrels, gripping his arm. The bullet had narrowly missed him, but the burning sensation on his arm gave him the impression that it hadn’t. He grimaced, both in pain and aggravation. He had been spotted again, and this time there was little chance of escape. Unless wine barrels were suddenly bulletproof. With a piece of glass for his clue, Joe never would’ve found his way to the winery, but he certainly could’ve done better in this fight.
© Text and Cover 2013 Zechariah Barrett
All Rights Reserved
Over the past year, the Adventure Writer’s Blog has transformed from a conglomeration of reviews, musings, and photography, to a place where I primarily discuss my writing endeavors. I hope to do some more of that soon, once there are further developments in the publishing process and in my others works. It’s slow-going at the moment, and I’ll likely begin making more queries soon, as well as starting a serialization project that I can self-publish.
In other news, after Protagonist Rising, I developed another short track of music which I’ve deemed the Antagonist Theme. It’s very short, and very gritty in terms of tone, heavily relying upon guitar and bass. I find that while I’m taking a short break with my writing, I can continue to express through my music. I may also use this theme for a movie project I’ve begun with a friend.
Below is the video in question:
Secure Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe7_9IgSCOU
The host of loops within Apple’s GarageBand ’11 is simply extraordinary. The fact that one may utilize them in innovative assortments is better yet.
Shortly after writing my novel, I decided to redirect my creativity to music. I had developed songs before, using the aforementioned application, but I had frequently had a particular objective in mind. This time, however, the ‘lines’ which were to guide the project were much less distinct. I decided that I would make the soundtrack reminiscent of one of my novel’s characters, the protagonist, Jake. I utilized guitar, violin, drum, even choir melodies, until I had something significantly varied in sound and tone. Although, upon its conclusion, I found that it hardly sounded anything like the character I had in mind. Albeit I still liked the results!
I’ve named the video, Protagonist Rising, in light of its previously designated purpose.
A few days ago I published a photography sampler eBook entitled, The Parisian Experience,
as a precursor to the full-length book I am developing.
This free edition features some of my most well-received photographs which have appeared on the Adventure Writer’s Blog, including Louis XVI, Omaha Beach, Notre Dame de Paris, and multiple others.
The book is currently being reviewed by B&N and Apple’s respective quality assurance teams.
On a different note – tomorrow I hope to post my comprehensive Hunger Games review, as well as an audio edition for the AW Blog YouTube channel.
Over the course of a few days I developed a soundtrack for a mini-movie which I will be presenting before an English class representing the poem, Dover Beach. This is the soundtrack in question, with shooting for the video in progress:
In January of this year, I provided the manuscripts for my short story publications on this blog, without
the extras provided by their ninety-nine cent counterparts, and developed my Literary Feedback page to gather the opinions of my readers and subscribers.
Since then, months have passed, and I’ve updated my publications. War at Our Doorstep has had punctuation errors and an imagery [literary] device was altered. 400 Years of Silence was extended to include additional background about the character Manasseh, and pave the way for the potential novel to come.
These new additions are available on their old posts:
If you’re looking for a quick read, these should do the trick, and as always, I’d love to have feedback (that’s why I changed “Leave a Reply” to “Share Your Opinion” – much more welcoming).
Passion: White Flag is the latest installment from the Passion music series, recorded live at Passion 2012, and debuting commercially March 9th, 2012. During its first day, it climbed to the top of the Gospel Christian charts and achieved a high ranking overall.
It is a thoroughly diverse album, featuring the talents of such artists as Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman, and the recently retired David Crowder Band who made their last performance at the live event. Boasting [in Christ] an incredible seventeen songs, four videos (including a sermon by GA Pastor & Passion Pres. Louie Giglio), and song booklet – the deluxe edition is certainly the best deal financially and in terms of quality content.
Its tone is vibrant – full of energy and passion. Its lyrics are not watered down, but beautiful, powerful, and pertinent. A common thread of surrender [and conformation] to Christ unites the album, hence the name, White Flag.
The full content list reads as follows:
» Not Ashamed (feat. Kristian Stanfill) » White Flag (feat. Chris Tomlin) » Jesus, Son of God (feat. Chris Tomlin) » How I Love You (feat. Christy Nockels) » All This Glory (feat. David Crowder) » Lay Me Down (feat. Christy Nockels) » You Revive Me (feat. Christy Nockels) » One Thing Remains (feat. Christian Stanfill) » Yahweh (feat. Chris Tomlin) » Sing Along (feat. Christy Nockels) » The Only One (feat. Chris Tomlin) » Mystery (feat. Charlie Hall) » 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord - feat. Matt Redman) » No Turning Back (feat. Chris Tomlin) » Let Me Feel You Shine (feat. David Crowder Band) » Who You Are (feat. Kristian Stanfill) » Jesus, All in All (feat. Charlie Hall) » Twenty Seven Million (feat. Matt Redman & LZ7) » How Great Is Our God (World Edition - feat. Chris Tomlin) » Fearless (Passion 2012 Talk - Louie Giglio) » Passion 2012 Slideshow » Digital Booklet
The Adventure Writer’s Blog Rating:
10/10 - Quality, diverse content with something for everyone.
Yesterday Andy Cherry released his first album, Nothing Left to Fear, containing the hit song Our
God’s Alive - a beautifully orchestrated piece with unique vocals and a dynamic personality.
This is by far one of my favorite songs within the Contemporary Christian genre, with well-thought out organization, instrumentals, and powerful lyrics with a simplistic message, effectively echoing the salvation message through a captivating medium.
News (3/07): Our God’s Alive is currently available for free [legally supporting the artist] on iTunes for a period of one month, by download code. Instructions are available on this page.
Tonight I’m revising my 400 Years of Silence six-hundred word story publication by extending it to
encompass the same scope as its duet-play counterpart. Once completed, the updates will be sent to the iBookstore and Barnes and Noble (NOOK).
I pray that, as I make these revisions, I will stay true to the heart of God – even if that entails extending it to the length of a novel.
The story in its current forms are available for reading on the Adventure Writer’s Blog. If you enjoy the story, you may also download the eBook version from the NOOK or iBookstore.