Ahh!!! We have NEW covers finally for the Prequels here at Raven Central!

Also a new title for both the Thanksgiving “Between the Books” novella and Book 2 in the novel length stories!

Here’s what the new Prequels covers look like:

Yep, the same guy I said maybe snide remarks about in the past, but JB had me compare his mug to my own in a mirror and…yeah, he could steal my identity, so he’s the dude we’re using.

At least for the prequel and “Between the Books” novellas. The folks at Burns and Lea Books who handle the novel length stories are still cooking on the cover for the second book, which has once again changed it’s title. Currently we’re calling it MARKED RAVEN.

Well, I do sorta get “marked” for death since someone or something has put a hit out on me. Really knows how to muck up a guy’s Valentine’s Day. Naturally I ended up doing far more than just ducking death — if a guy who is just (or was) nothing more than ink on paper or pixels on a screen can be killed, that is.

Hey, there’s always the chance, so why take it?

MARKED RAVEN doesn’t release until January 2021 though — yep, just in time to give it to your Valentine…or to put off doing your taxes a bit longer. There is that stimulus check aftermath to deal with. That is what taxes are — aftermath of being able to eat and stay out of bad weather. Ye olde basic necessities.

There are new Raven adventures on the much nearer horizon though!

J.B. swears she’ll have what started out as THE RAVEN AND THE ANCIENT and has now become RAVEN’S ARK, finished and available by the end of August if not before. Have my fingers crossed on it actually surfacing before then.

Come mid October the first of the Between the Books novellas will hit Amazon. There is a chance it will be free for a short time to get you reved up for MARKED RAVEN. It takes place over the four day Thanksgiving Weekend following the events in RAVEN’S MOON, the first book, and introduces some characters that show up again in the second book.

Worth marking your calendar to getting cozy with RAVEN’S REWARD that holiday shopping weekend? Well, and preordering MARKED, too, that weekend!

There is still a Raven Tales short story hanging ten. It takes place in the Raven universe but doesn’t really have anything to do with the storylines in the other tales. In fact, I’m not sure anything much even happens in it! Other than that I get to make some wishes that are instantly granted.

Unfortunately, not well thought out wishes. Inadvertent wishes.

Even though you might already know I’m a babbler, this is probably enough babbling for the nonce. If you haven’t met me in a story yet, perhaps now’s the time to do so!

Bram

http://www.amazon.com/author/jbdane

DREAMS FOR THE (HOPEFULLY) NEAR FUTURE!

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Bram Farrell here…you know, The Raven. Just sitting around counting dust motes like everyone else. Really makes us all family under the skin, doesn’t it?

Even if some of us aren’t “real” people but fictional.

You know. Like me.

Does that stop J.B. Dane from insisting I need to stay in touch with everyone? No, it does not. If she were a bit younger, I might suspect there are dominatrix costumes hidden in her closet.

(As she’s looking over my shoulder, she just muttered, “You wish”.)

Which brings us to the topic for the day.

And, no, it isn’t sex. It’s close though. It’s another delight of life – food.

Preferably food cooked by someone else and brought to the table.

Food that you leave a tip for the person who brought it to you.

Yes, I am craving the temporarily lost experience of going INSIDE a restaurant, ordering a drink to sip as I ponder the menu. The ambiance! The sounds of strangers enjoying themselves or spotting the lone diner with a Kindle propped in place to lose themselves in a book while waiting for a savory meal to be delivered. (It has to be a Kindle as I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read anything but RAVEN’S MOON or one of the Raven Tale prequels which are only available for Kindle. I mean, why would you want to read anything else?)

For those of you familiar with my tastes already (because you’ve read Raven Tales stories), I’m sure you can picture me with a tumbler of Evan Williams bourbon at hand and a steak with my name on it sizzling somewhere in the restaurant’s kitchen (we won’t mention vegetables because as food they might be dubious to some of us). It’s certainly what I’m dreaming about.

Although J.B. lives in Kentucky bourbon brewing country and I’m in Detroit, we share the same mind dimension. It’s like cohabitating but not.

Do I get steaks cooked to perfection here? No. She dislikes cooking and would rather eat out, too. I must have inherited that from her. But we ran out of Evan Williams weeks ago and when I mention it (she says “whines about it”), she points to the tall bottle of Jim Beam another writer gave her in January.

She does not understand taste nuances. Hell, the woman adulterates the heavenly elixir of EW by pouring a dollop of it in a glass of Pepsi! Of course, she thinks Jim Beam is the same. She can’t taste it as a true connoisseur of EW does.

Granted we have had donuts, another of my weaknesses (and hers) because while the grocery store may be out of toilet paper, it isn’t out of Krispy Kremes.

We tried ordering something from Olive Garden online then pulling up to the restaurant’s door to pick it up. Yeah, it’s the same meal but…well, it just isn’t the same. I’m sure you’ll agree.

About now I’d kill for a breakfast Slam from Denny’s.

Beelz is no more happy than I am. A virtual 50-lb. bag of generic dog food appeared to sustain him. The woman does not realize the chance she is taking in supplying something that looks more like gravel, though not quite as hard, for a hellhound to munch on. I really think he’s missing buttered popcorn from Target. She might buy chocolate for her own savoring but she is not sharing it. Not with him (because, hey, he’s a hellhound – chocolate doesn’t affect him the same as it does normal mutts), and not with me. We’ve got one selfish author to cater to.

‘Cause, of course, Beelz and I DO cater to her. She invented us. We owe her.

But if she thinks either of us will be content with a visit to Burger King with coupons in hand when the restaurants all open once more…well, she’s dead wrong on that!

Stay safe. Read – write and post reviews. Nice ones. And may the gods of takeout be kind to you.

Later!

Bram

P.S. With appreciation for the picture I used! ID 101000315 © Boris Ryzhkov | Dreamstime.com

Ah, Gentle Readers…

What with the current solitary confinement dictates in place – though I’m not sure whether a guy who is pretty iffy on whether he has managed to make the leap to being human yet is in danger of contacting anything – I entertained myself recently by seeing if anyone new had commented on Raven’s Moon.

Hey, a guy wants to know if any of you bought my story – literally! Yeah, if you haven’t, why the heck not? Huh?

Anyway, I found a couple new reviews had surfaced since the last time I checked. Here’s what one said:

“…he [that would be me, Bram] is not alone in this adventure. With him we have the faithful and fantastic Dachshund from Hell. And yes, I intend it literally! It’s a real Hellhound who usually keep[s] the form of a dachshund. So, year, a real dachshund from hell. How cool is that??? And Satan himself took a liking for our PI and helps him out here and there. And he is the best. Those are the characters that I really liked!

“But we won’t stop here! We have a ton of different magical creatures and this is a thing that I really appreciate in a book. We have hellhounds, witches, vampires, trolls, and man, many others!

“…I have no doubt that I would read the second book in this series, because I can’t wait to see again the Dachshund from Hell!”

Oh, geez! There will be no living with the mutt now. He’s collecting a fan club! And Sam, too! That would be Samael, aka Satan, Old Scratch, Mr. Deal, The Devil, Lucifer, or as I’m sure Beelz (the newly christened “Dachshund From Hell”) calls him, Boss. Weird that he’s taken an interest in me, ’cause, ya know, I don’t exactly have a soul. Though that could be why he pops in to irritate me now and then.

And he’ll be back. Come this Fall, actually, in The Raven: Demon Sale. It’s a story that takes place between Raven’s Moon and the next novel in the series, The Raven and The Curse, due out in January 2021, if you’ve got a two- or five-year calendar to mark these things on, make a note. Otherwise, never fear, I’ll remind you…a lot!

But this wasn’t the only new review that surfaced. Here’s the next:

“I liked Bram’s character, trying to figure out who and what he is in the real world, and where he stands. The complications of who has good intentions, and who is out for power or more nefarious things had me guessing throughout the entire story. Hints were dropped, and I found myself muddling along side Bram. Some of the twists I suspected, some I considered and rejected, only to have it all turn around on me. I think it was the combination of the knowledge of a wide variety of legendary creatures and Bram’s own self-awareness that really made me love this story. The world and character building were very well done. The humor of a dachshund shaped hellhound and other characters certainly made the read every better for me though.

Raven’s Moon is a wonderful start to a series, and I will be reading the next book as soon as it is available, but for now I am going to get my hands on the prequels.”

Now THAT I like to hear…or read. It just so happens there are 3 of them. and one is currently priced at just 99 cents for the duration of the “plague” – RAVEN’S REST.

In fact, if interested, here’s how to find all the currently available stories from both sides of the Raven Tales universe!

RAVEN FOR A SONG www.getbook.at/RavSongEbk

MOCK RAVEN www.getbook.at/MOCKRAVEN

RAVEN’S REST www.getbook.at/RAVREST

RAVEN’S MOON (novel- Raven Tales Book #1)

Amazon https://amzn.to/2IIqRhS

BarnesAndNoble http://bit.ly/321Xcan

Cuttin’ out of here now. There’s another prequel in progress (The Raven and The Ancient) and I’ve been procrastinating over it long enough to merit a desk of my own in the Procrastinator’s ring in Hell. Bet Beelz already has dragged a blanket in to make a comfy nest beneath the probably lopsided table Sam supplies.

So, later, gentle (and not so gentle if you don’t happen to be human) readers!

See ya next time!

Bram Farrell, aka The Raven

P.S. If you’d like to get a notice the next time I decide to babble at you, head to Blog: JB Dane (find it in the menu) and click on the button to add your email address to the list. Thanks!

WHAT THE HECK DO I LOOK LIKE?

And five tough guys stepped out of the alley ahead of me, blocking the way.

“You da Raven?” the lead guy said.

“You talking to me or the pooch?” I asked. Beelzie flipped his growl switch into the “on” position again. At least this time the teeth were bared for the benefit of the muscle-bound barricade.

“He don’t look like his picture,” one of the muscles behind the point man said. Incredibly the dude had a book in his hand. A paperback, well-thumbed. He didn’t look like a reader to me.

“That you?” the head honcho asked, gesturing to the cover.

“That’s an artist’s rendition of a fictional character. Do I look fictional to you?”

“It’s him,” a third guy announced. “I read the book and he’s the guy.”

His friends were startled enough to forget Beelzebub and my unworthy self. They stared at the man. “You read the book?”

The Mensa candidate frowned at them. “How the hell else were we going to get a decent description of him?”

“Yeah,” I agreed. Let’s face it, I’m used to being the center of attention. I’m the hero in the series, if you recall. “What’s it say? So handsome women melt at this Raven guy’s feet?”

“Naw. It says you got black hair, weird green eyes –”

I doubted Calie ever bracketed the word weird to the color when describing them. “There are hundreds shades of green. Would that be a tequila lime, Douglas fir, clover, peppermint leaf or another shade?” Paint chips do come in handy.

“Shut up, smart ass,” the lead guy snapped.

“More olive green, I guess,” the reader said. He took the paperback away from his compadre and leafed through it. “It also says you got a lean athlete’s body –”

“I hope he’s a good sport and doesn’t mind me borrowing it then,” I said.

“—a square jaw, long pointy nose, and that if you stand up straight you’re close to six-two.”

I immediately stooped to appear shorter.

“Yeah, it’s him, Ham,” the reader said. “The smart mouth gives him away.”

Who’da thought?

 Excerpt from RAVEN’S MOON

Okay, you’re probably wondering why I dropped in this bit from the book that details my first days on this side of the seam stitched binding. Mostly because, I really have nothing else to go on in regard to what I look like. Curse of the fictional character, which I am…at least I think I still am.

Name’s Bram Farrell and I’m a PI who uses magic – when it wants to cooperate with me – to take down things that might pass for human, though many don’t even try, but aren’t human and are misbehaving. Really misbehaving.

But every time I look in a mirror, it’s nothing but words that I see. Hence the conundrum.

It seems to be shared by my creative team which includes J.B. Dane and the folks at Burns and Lea Books. They have the same thing to work with in sorting out my appearance as I do.

This is probably why I’ve had three different guys representing me on covers so far.

When J.B. Dane began working on covers for the prequel tales, she sorted through a lot of photos of guys she thought I might look like to use on the cover. She found the guy shown above on the left, the one in the suit with the gun in his waistband, as what she thought I looked like. Didn’t mind that. He didn’t dress like I did in the stories at that point – more of a jeans and black t-shirt dude really – yet I thought, “yeah, that’s me.”

Only it wasn’t.

Or at least what graphics J.B. found didn’t suit what she needed when the covers got changed to reflect the cover on MOON. I only get to show up on one of the prequel covers now – that’s the guy in the middle – and he’s styling his hair more than I do. I don’t own a comb, so fingers are sufficing as grooming instruments. No product either. This guy is groomed. But he looks just as clueless as I probably look, and the story did have me tracking down a guy who was posing as me in MOCK RAVEN.

Now we come to the dude Burns and Lea stumbled across to use on the cover of RAVEN’S MOON. Why he is wearing sunglasses at night, I’ve no idea. He probably doesn’t know why either.

Which brings us to the here and now. The 2nd Raven Tales novel arrives this year and I’m curious to know if I’ll look like any of these guys when the cover goes into production. The only thing I’ve heard is that the color red is likely to be prominent considering RAVEN HEART opens on the most dangerous day of the year – Valentine’s Day – and it’s raining females. Well, not literally. You’ll have to wait to find out what’s in store.

So, stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you haven’t met me on the page yet as some Otherworlder butt gets kicked in Detroit, isn’t it about time you did so?

Bram, aka The Raven

(And, no, I’ve no idea how I got that moniker. Another thing that would keep me awake nights if I ever figure out what sleep feels like!)

FYI: Prequel Novellas

RAVEN FOR A SONG getbook.at/RavSongEbk

MOCK RAVEN getbook.at/MOCKRAVEN

RAVEN’S REST getbook.at/RAVREST

RAVEN’S MOON (novel- Raven Tales Book #1)

Amazon https://amzn.to/2IIqRhS

BarnesAndNoble http://bit.ly/321Xcan

THE CARE AND FEEDING OF A HELLHOUND

Bram Farrell here to talk about something that not many humans – or passing for humans – need to deal with on a daily basis.

What might that be?

Well, if you’ve read RAVEN’S MOON, you know I picked up a sidekick that I didn’t have in the prequel tales. He probably prefers to consider himself “backup” as sidekick seems rather diminutive.

But considering he’s a black and tan dachshund, he’s sort of on the diminutive side most of the time.

Not always though.

You see, he’s a hellhound, so shape changing might be an expected sideline for him. Not that he turns into anything other than a dog, of course.

Now, what, you might be asking, is required of a guy who has backup that everyone else considers a cute pet but is really a vicious demon when he feels like it?

Not a whole lot, really. Beelz (aka Beelzie, or more formally, Beelzebub) was stuck being fed that specially concocted dog food – which looks nothing like real food – before I arrived on the scene. That stopped being his grub really fast once he began investigative work with me though. Now we both thrive on anything that was once on the hoof – okay, not anything that has hooves and is either paranormal, supernatural or legendary, and not horses or mules or zebras or… Just think “once lived on a farm or ranch” and you’re on target. Except for the horses and the mules, naturally. Grilled steaks, chops and barbecued ribs are our preferences. We do not turn down bacon, either.

We draw the line at vegetables whenever possible. I did not travel across the seam-stitched binding boundary to eat things that are good for a fella. Beelz is in accord with that.

We also took to daily donuts pretty fast, particularly with maple or cream cheese icing dripping down the sides. Buttered popcorn from Target? It is definitely another treat at the top of our list.

Beelz has not developed a taste for bourbon, so my stash of Evan Williams is safe. He’s not good with pizza either, so I get him meatball sandwiches, hold the bread.

Now, chocolate is an entirely different matter. Yeah, we’ve both heard it’s bad for dogs, but this isn’t exactly a run-of-the-mill dog. As far as Beelz is concerned, he far out classes AKC breeds, too. I mean, can they change in a blink of an eye to a much larger and fiercer looking mutt? I don’t think so.

The only thing that sets him apart from other short statured dogs, which he appears when in his Clark Kent disguise, is that his eyes aren’t normal canine orbs. No, they burn with the fires of hell, so they are definitely a bit off-putting. We tell folks not in the know that he has a gene defect. He doesn’t seem to mind.

The benefit of having a hellhound around the house though is the scent of him works as an extremely efficient pest deterrent. No bugs, no rodents, not even any gremlins or garden fairies or…well, nothin’ wants to be within his circle of friends.

‘Cept me. Well, maybe his previous owner, but she didn’t supply him with miscreants to chew on like I do. He likes me best.

At least, I think he does.

Come to think of it though, he does move in on any female I have a romantic hankerin’ for. Hounds get belly rubs just by giving girls the big-eyed look. He gets to lick ‘em, too. Am I jealous? Damn, right I am! Next life, I’m coming back as a crime fighting mutt! They get all the attention from the ladies.

There’s lots of daring-do for the two of us to do whether we want to or not in the future. Plenty of folks who might be passing for human come our way, and they aren’t selling Girl Scout cookies. But then I had to deal with the same type of miscreant when I was still on the other side – inside the book rather than out of it.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me. Beelz is curled up under the blanket in his bed for a snooze, but J.B.’s calling me. Something about a guy who can read cuneiform that we left hanging in the wind.

Later!

Bram, aka The Raven

P.S. By the way. If you’d like to give us your email address and have notices of when J.B., Nick Claus, or some other hero type like myself takes over the keyboard here, if the option to do so doesn’t turn up at the bottom of this page, then go to Blog: JB Dane https://jbdaneandnieddarnell.com/blog-jb-dane-with-imput-from-buttinski-characters-there-are-so-many-of-them/. This is where we put the first blog entry and for some reason we haven’t found a way back in that door to keep earlier posts yet still have the new post on that page. We’ll figure it out — probably with a lot of swearing and frustration. That’s the worst part of moving into a new home, even on the web. Getting the hang of the new place.