The entire series is great, highly recommended.
Vengeance of Grimbald by Richard Hacker released in January in the Fantasy Thriller genre.
Addison and Jules, members of the League, a secret alchemist society of Inkers who protect the time continuum, believe they defeated their enemy, Cuthbert Grimwald, known to them as Kairos. When he resurfaces filled with vengeance, intent on destroying the League, and acquiring the Alchimeia, a book of such power the League has hidden it for millennia, Grimwald leaves a path of destruction across centuries. As he quests for absolute control of reality, Addison and Jules pursue him through time and death in a desperate struggle to save the world from his vengeance.
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The concussive force of the explosion scrambled the pod’s nav system, her pod, wobbling, flipping and twirling out of control. Jules fought to override the navigation controls, but the G-forces whipped her around viscously, her vision narrowing until she finally lost consciousness altogether.
With a start, she took in a deep breath, the ocean moving swiftly toward her. She reached for a manual control, something like a gaming control she once to use in a life that seemed so very far away. She pulled back on the stick, the water still rushing toward her.
“Come on. Come on, dammit.”
Without warning, the pod leveled out.
“Thank god.” Her heart pounded, but she took in another deep breath, grateful to survive. The moment didn’t last.
Like being caught in a Tilt-a-Whirl, the pod spun around as if top heavy, then crashed into the ocean like a stone skipping across a pond. Once, twice, three times, then hitting hard enough to submerge completely under the water. For a moment, disoriented, Jules sat frozen in place. Then survival instincts set in, holding fear back long enough to find a way out, a lever, a release button, something. She knew the pod was in motion, but she wasn’t sure in which direction–floating to the surface and light and life, or sinking to the bottom and darkness and death.
A sudden burst of morning light confirmed the former, the pod bobbing in the ocean. She scanned the surface. Addison. Come on, Addison. Where are you? But she couldn’t find another pod bobbing in the water. Meili had given her life to get them to Tokelau. Against her will she let the possibility enter her mind that Addison may have died as well. Rising and falling with the swells, Jules held her face in her hands and wept.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Richard Hacker, lives and writes in Seattle, Washington after living many years in Austin, Texas. In addition to the science fiction/fantasy novels of The Alchimeía Series, his crime novels ride the thin line between fact and fiction in Texas. Along the way, his writing has been recognized by the Writer’s League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. As a judge in literary contests shuch as PNWA and ChicLit, and as a freelance development editor, he enjoys the opportunity to work with other writers. In addition, he is the Sci-Fi/Fantasy editor for the Del Sol Review. DIE BACK was his first novel in the Alchimeia series.
Del Sol Press books by Richard Hacker are available at Amazon
I asked Richard what was the most challenging aspect of writing this book, and here’s what he told me.
When I think about challenges in writing the books in the Alchimeia series, plot complexity, shifting reality, and historical research come to mind. And while those are definitely challenges, they are also what make the books fun to create as a writer.
The story goes all over the world, past, present, and future such as ancient Egypt; 19th century Alexandria; WWII Belgium; an altered present-day Seattle and Tokelau Atoll in the Pacific; 1940’s Padang, West Sumatra; 17th century Delft, Dutch Republic; and Cromwell’s England. As the story in Book 2 unfolds the time continuum once again shifts, sometimes with subtle changes and sometimes with radical shifts in culture and technology. And my characters have to play on this multi-dimensional chessboard. So, I’m sure you can imagine, I had to be structured to the point of working from an outline and making notes to myself at the end of each writing session to keep me oriented.
I also found early on that I needed to make the ‘inking’ scenes, when Addison and his cohorts transport their conscious awareness into the mind of someone who lived and died in the past. To make that distinction, you’ll notice how the present is written in third person, but the inking scenes in the past shift to first person from the inker’s perspective. Not only does the shift in perspective help the reader distinguish between the two realities, first person also gives those scenes more presence. The reader is inside the story versus observing to the side.
One other aspect of the Alchimeia series which creates some challenges is the amount of research required to create each historical setting and characters. With DIE BACK that meant doing things like reading primary documents of witnesses to the Wright Brothers’ test flights for the U.S. Army and reading translated accounts of early European contact with the Incan empire. In VENGEANCE OF GRIMBALD, among other things, I visited the Washington D.C. for the scene in 1960’s Washington Monument. I read first-hand accounts of Spanish envoys to the the 14th century Mongal warlord, Tamerlane, and researched the Der Delftse Donderslag—when an ammunitions stockpile in the 1654 town of Delft in the Dutch Republic, exploded, destroy a quarter of the town and killing many of its inhabitants.
I invite you to check out DIE BACK and now book 2 of the Alchimeia, VENGEANCE OF GRIMBALD and see for yourself how I addressed those challenges! Both are available on Amazon. And you can find me at www.richardhacker.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RWHacker
- $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC