Category Archives: The Prodigal Son

Why Spirit Cooking isn’t done yet.

Perhaps the most frequent question I get from my own readers – and even Silver Empire fans – right now is, “When is Spirit Cooking coming?” For those who are new, Spirit Cooking is the sequel to my debut novel War Demons.

I know, it’s been ages.

Currently, Spirit Cooking is very close to half done. It should be further along than that. So what’s happened?

The short answer is that I’ve been way too busy selling other people’s books.

The longer answer: Silver Empire grew 15x in 2018. Not 15%. Not 1.5x. Fifteen fold. That’s borderline on catastrophic growth. And, honestly, it could’ve been catastrophic growth if we hadn’t put a lot of effort into keeping it from becoming that.

2019 growth has been a lot slower than that, so far. Although with that said, the year isn’t out yet. We have 31 books out now. And we’ve got roughly 40 or so left on the docket for 2019. Odds are good we won’t quite get them all out by December 31, although we’re pushing hard for that.

In other words, we won’t get 15x growth this year… but we will still see pretty crazy growth.

The other thing about that growth is that we focused all of our energy internally on infrastructure above and beyond anything else. It was painful in the short term, but will be well worth it in the long term. The result is that although growth in the first half of 2019 has been relatively slow, we’re now positioned to take more and more advantage over new opportunities.

In the past twelve months, we’ve done the following:

  • Switched to a new printer that offers better services, better long-term pricing, and hardcovers!
  • Heavily streamlined internal processes that are helping us to get books out faster.
  • Built out our new online store, which is a pretty solid success. (Don’t miss our 4th of July flash sale on Heroes Unleashed books today only!)
  • We’re building out one last project which will go live soon.

And that’s just the stuff I’m ready to talk about publicly. We’ve got several even bigger projects in the works that aren’t ready for announcement yet. Oh, and we put some books out, too.

But with all of that said, I think I’m finally at a spot where I can devote the time to finish up Spirit Cooking, and it’s moved way up on my priority list. It’s a high priority of mine to finish it by the end of the year at least. I’d prefer to have it finished by DragonCon, but we’ll just have to see.

On the plus side… I also have about a quarter of Unholy Matrimony written. The first book in Peter’s spin-off novel series, it actually takes place between War Demons and Spirit Cooking. It won’t be released, however, until after this trilogy (War Demons, Spirit Cooking, and Sacrifices) is complete.

But rest assured, the book is coming. It’s just been slow.

Happy Frogs 2018 Dragon Award Recommendations

The excitable amphibians that compose the Happy Frogs crack book recommendation team have been hard at work this year putting together their suggestions for the 2018 Dragon Awards! There are a ton of great recommendations this time around, and I heartily suggest that you check them all out for yourselves.

Robert Kroese’s Dream of the Iron Dragon takes their fantasy recommendation – and really, how can you go wrong with Vikings in space? Trick question – you can’t, so don’t even try to answer. They also suggest a masterpiece in alternate history: A Rambling Wreck by my friend Hans Schantz. Imagine a world in which Al Gore won the 2000 election and a secret conspiracy tries to rewrite the very nature of science. It’s awesome, even if it is about Georgia Tech (#GoDawgs!). And what can I say about The Orville? If you haven’t been watching it, drop everything and start now. It’s that good.

I’m also humbled to find that my own supernatural thriller War Demons has made the list for best horror novel. It’s an honor to be in this kind of company! The full list is below, or you can find it on the official Happy Frogs site.

Remember: the best part about the Dragon Awards is that you get to nominate and vote! Don’t forget to make sure your voice is heard – nominate for the 2018 Dragon Awards today!

  • Best Science Fiction Novel
  • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
  • Best Military SF Novel
  • Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel
  • Best Alternate History Novel
  • Best Media Tie-In Novel
  • Best Horror Novel
  • Best Comic Book  & Best Graphic Novel
    • Timothy Lim – My Hero MAGAdemia #1
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series, TV or Internet
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
    • Bright
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game
    • Doki Doki Literature Club
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game
    • Middle Earth: Shadow of War
  • Best Board Game Best Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game
    • Star Wars: Destiny – Fantasy Flight Games

[Cross posted to Urban-Fantasy.com.]

There’s A Dragon In The Church

After modern day paladin Peter Bishop and his friend Michael defeated the dragon over the skies of Athens, Georgia, it fled to Europe – with Peter’s girlfriend Faith in tow. Well, she’s a girl. And she’s his friend. And her stunning beauty doesn’t hurt.

Now Peter and his friends have tracked the dragon to France, where it’s living under a church and terrorizing the village. Can they slay the dragon, save the village, and rescue the girl before dawn?

Or will a wayward priest destroy everything they’ve fought for?

The Dresden Files’ Michael Carpenter collides with Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International in this supernatural high-octane thrill ride!


I’m pleased to announce that Vigil, the latest installment in the Urban Fantasy world of Peter Bishop, is now available – and so far it’s been quite well received. But don’t take my word for it. Read for yourself what others have said:

  • Imagine if the 80’s cult classic Big Trouble in Little China was actually Big Trouble under an ancient French Cathedral, and based off of Christianity rather than Chinese Buddhism. Then stop imagining it and pick up this book because it is exactly as hilarious as it sounds. Catholic Reads
  • Vigil is one part action flick, one part horror, one part fantasy, and all-parts fun. Alex
  • The pace doesn’t let up once the action begins, and the splitting of the scenes works very well. The romance and relationships are well crafted. Love the dragon and the gargoyles as well. Alfred
  • Non-stop action and surprises throughout. Jan
  • I read a LOT of sci-fi and fantasy. It takes a really good story to grab my attention and to hold it. I could. not. put. this. down. It engaged from the beginning and kept me there wondering what was next. This is only the second Newquist book I have read so far but there will be lots more. Shugharz

I’m particularly pleased that Catholic Reads picked up on the Big Trouble in Little China similarities, as I literally had that movie in mind while writing the story. If you have half as much fun reading it as I had writing it, then you’re in for a great time.

Vigil is only $0.99 on Amazon through this Saturday, so you’ll want to pick it up now. It’s also free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you missed the last installment, War Demons is also only $0.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited through Thursday.

Recommended reading order:

War Demons

Today I’m very pleased to announce the launch of my debut novel, War Demons.

When he came home, so did they…

Driven by vengeance, Michael Alexander enlisted in the Army the day after 9/11. Five years later, disillusioned and broken by the horrors he witnessed in Afghanistan, Michael returns home to Georgia seeking to begin a new life. But he didn’t come alone. Something evil followed him, and it’s leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

The police are powerless. The Army has written Michael off. Left to face down a malevolent creature first encountered in the mountains of Afghanistan, he’ll rely on his training, a homeless prophet, and estranged family members from a love lost…

But none of them expected the dragon.

Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden collides with Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International in this supernatural thriller that goes straight to Hell!

 


 

I’m very happy with how this ended up for my first book. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what early readers have to say:

  • Recommended for anyone who enjoys the more action-packed branch of urban fantasy, particularly if they wish for more explicitly Christian protagonists and story worlds without wanting to inflict the glurge of official Christian Fiction™ on themselves.
  • The twists and turns don’t stop and the reader will rarely, if ever, see them coming. Michael, Peter, Jim, and Abby are all well developed and dynamic characters. None of them leave the tale the same people they were when they came in. Newquist knows how to create tension (every chapter ends with a cliffhanger), but he makes sure you care about these characters before he literally throws them into the fire. War Demons is a fun quick read that will leave you looking forward to more from the world of Michael Alexander.
  • An excellent first novel. It has its own flavor, but I’d compare it favorably to the Monster Hunter Chronicles by Larry Coriea. Guns and monsters, good stuff.
  • Mr. Newquist has delivered a solid debut work in the vein of early Larry Correia or Jim Butcher. Fans of the latter two authors will devour War Demons.

You can get your Kindle edition through Amazon today for only $2.99, or free with Kindle Unlimited. If you still prefer the feel of physical books, you can get the paperback for $9.99.

Podcast Appearance: Geek Gab On The Books with Brian Niemeier

Brian Niemeier was kind enough to have me on as a guest tonight on his Geek Gab: On The Books podcast. We discussed my upcoming novel War Demons, the pitfalls I faced as a first time novelist, and what resources I found to help me get past them. Thanks to Brian for having me!

And the Winner is…

The result’s of last night’s poll are in! Thank you to everyone who voted. I got considerably more replies than I expected. I tabulated all of the votes across Twitter, Facebook, and this blog. The winner – by a landslide – was cover A, the one pictured below.

Final results:

  • Upper Left: 26
  • Upper Right: 3
  • Bottom Left: 5
  • Bottom Right: 11

Thanks again to everyone who voted!

New Title, New Cover And a READER POLL!

After consultation with some experts who sell far more books than I do, I’ve altered the title for my upcoming novel. With it, I’ve also commissioned a new cover design. Both the title and the cover fit the genre far better. However, all of us (including the experts) had one question about the cover – and we decided the best answer was to ask you, the readers!

There are four versions of the cover above (click on the image for a larger version). One has no tagline. The other three have variations on the tagline and positioning. What do you think, dear reader? A, B, C, or D?

Polling is open until the end of this week! Vote here in the comments or on Twitter!

Post Traumatic Stress – Chapter One

My new novel, Post Traumatic Stress, will be available on August 1, 2017. You can pre-order it now directly from Silver Empire, or wait until July 25th to pre-order it from Amazon.com. Either way, today you can enjoy a sample chapter. The prologue is below.

It is through suffering that the soul is purified.

Every soldier brings demons home from war. But when Sergeant Michael Alexander came home to Athens, Georgia from Afghanistan, his war demons started kidnapping local college girls. Things got crazy when Michael tried to stop him.

Then the dragon arrived.

Post-Traumatic Stress delivers on its title. Newquist drills deep into the head of traumatized former soldier Michael Alexander as he tries to adjust back to normal life. The perspective is so tight that readers will feel immense connection to the character. Tension builds with the story at a pace like a landslide. At first, one’s not sure if Michael is crazy or if he’s the one at fault for a string of murders involved. Then comes the incredible action with demons, vampires and zombies! Once the plot explodes, it’s impossible to put down.

Jon Del Arroz
Author of the bestselling For Steam and Country

Sample Chapters:

  1. Prologue
  2. Chapter One

 


Chapter One

A bead of sweat rolled down Michael Alexander’s cheek, dripping onto the orange petals of the Tiger Lily in his hand. Despite the early hour, the temperature and humidity had already launched their neck and neck race for triple digits. He’d missed a lot of things about Georgia. The August heat was not among them. Despite growing up here, he’d never truly gotten used to the southern summers.

He heard a noise behind him and turned, greeting the older man with a nod. The pair stood in silence for a time, paying their respects. His friend had spared no expense on the beautiful stone, nestled in amongst the others in the small private graveyard. Some of the well-preserved stones dated back to pre-colonial times.

The older man broke the silence.

“After all this time, I still never know what to say.”

“I always know what to say,” the younger man replied. “But no matter how many times I say, ‘I’m sorry,’ it’s never enough.”

The older man frowned at him.

“It wasn’t your fault, Michael.”

“If I’d made the flight, she’d have been at the airport to pick me up. She’d have been well out of the way.”

“Sometimes we have less control over things than we think we do.”

Michael shifted awkwardly and looked away. The point hit too close to home. James Covington let it go. The silence loomed over them for a moment. Again James spoke first.

“How long are you home?”

“For good.”

Covington’s momentary shock quickly transformed into a genuine smile.

“Finally came to your senses?” he asked.

Michael shook his head, but his face showed a faint hint of genuine humor. “No good sense here at all. Medical discharge. I fought it all the way.”

“Ah.” Captain James Covington, US Army retired, tapped his right leg with his cane. “I’m all too familiar with those.”

The cane and the injury that necessitated it served as a constant reminder of his eighteen months in the Hanoi Hilton. He paused and waited for the young man to elaborate. When nothing followed, he changed the subject tactfully.

“I’ll have a room made up for you.”

Michael gazed up the hill at the massive house. The Covington family had lived on this land for centuries. Over time, they’d accumulated quite the fortune, becoming one of the richest families in the state. The nearby town was even named for one of them – James’ great-great-grandfather, or something. The generous offer tempted him.

“Thanks, but I’ve got Pa’s place,” he answered.

“You held onto it, then?”

“It made a great rental property,” Michael shrugged. “And it was completely paid for. The last tenants left it in good enough shape. It needs a little work, but not too much.”

“Got any plans?”

“Back to the University to finish that history degree.”

“Good choice. Look up Abigail while you’re up there. Turn on that charm you used to have and lure her away from that obnoxious rich boy.”

Michael actually laughed at that one. “He must be pretty bad if you’d prefer me over him.”

The older man smiled back at him. “You were alright, even then. I had to be hard on you. You were about to marry my little girl, you know.” He turned somber again. “Besides, that little punk boy died the same day Katie did.” He pointed at the stone. “Boys don’t become men when they hit a magic age. Men are made – in blood and pain and struggle. Abby’s pansy ass boyfriend is the son of some rich oil sheikh. He couldn’t struggle his way out of a paper sack.”

“Probably very pretty, too.”

They shared a laugh again as Jim nodded.

“That always was her type,” Michael continued.

“True enough. But I’d still much rather be welcoming you into the family. Her sister always did have better taste. Hell, considering that you were two weeks away from joining it, you might as well be family already.”

Michael David Alexander and Catherine Virginia Covington had planned to wed on September 29th, 2001. United Airlines Flight 175 derailed those plans a few weeks early when it crashed into Two World Trade Center. Katie had been on the observation deck. All they ever managed to find of her was a half-melted cell phone. The beautiful stone before them marked an empty grave.

Michael had called her as soon as he’d seen the news. Miraculously, he’d gotten through. He managed to keep her calm down nearly sixty flights of stairs. It proved to be forty flights too few. He’d been on the phone with her when the tower collapsed. That afternoon he’d found himself sitting in an Army recruiter’s office, bound and determined to kill Osama bin Laden himself.

“Don’t hold your breath. I’m pretty sure Abby still holds me responsible.” And she’s right, he didn’t add out loud.

Covington’s eyes bored into him, and for a moment Michael felt certain that he knew. That shouldn’t be possible, but there it was.

“I guess some things are just too much to hope for. Besides, Abby still thinks I’m some kind of racist because I’m not fawning all over the twerp. She forgets that I never liked any of the rich American boys she dated either.”

“I don’t see how she could possibly forget. Who was that one guy? Rowan?” Jim gave him a quizzical look. “You must remember. The one who had a sex change later?”

Covington tossed his head back in laughter.

“Rupert. His name was Rupert. You know, Abby totally melted down over that one. I paid for a year of therapy.”

“Seriously?”

“She even checked herself into the mental ward for two weeks.”

“She always was a little out of it.”

“A little?” Jim shook his head, and then changed the subject. “Why don’t you come on up to the house, get some lemonade and fill me in on what you’ve been up to?”

“I’ve got to make it back to Athens. My first class starts in a couple of hours.”

“You’d better get going, then.”

Michael agreed, but he took one last moment of silence at the grave. Covington watched somberly as Michael said a soft prayer and laid the Tiger Lily on Katie’s tomb.

“They always were her favorite,” the old man noted. Michael agreed.

They began the long walk up the back side of the property to the house. Out of habit, Michael had parked in between the twin garages on the south side of the house. With the morning heat rising, he wished he’d parked in the parking garage in the rear instead. It was much closer, and he already missed the air conditioning of his car. The older man eyed Michael sideways as they walked, frowning.

“So… medical discharge?”

Michael frowned.

“Helicopter accident,” he let out slowly. Memories leapt unbidden into his mind, vivid as the daylight around him. Teeth. Sinew. That glowing yellow nose. He forced them down, but he couldn’t keep the look off his face.

“Ah,” Covington answered, sensing the delicacy of the subject. “Come back by for another visit when you have more time and tell me about it.”

The younger man met his eyes and nodded. He supposed he had to tell someone. Who better than Jim Covington?

“I will. I promise.” They shook on it, and then Michael reached for the door to his car.

“Hold on,” James told him, reaching into his pocket. He pressed a button on the chain. One of the three doors on the larger garage bay opened. “You took off so fast I couldn’t deliver your wedding present.” He tossed Michael a key chain.

“That’s because we never had the wedding.”

“I wasn’t taking this one back.”

As the door rose Michael recognized the car at once. The deep metallic gray body of the 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo gleamed in the morning sunlight. Once, Michael had dreamed about that model car, lusted after it almost as much as the girls he used to chase.

“I can’t accept this,” he said, preparing to return the keys. Covington turned his back before he could throw them.

“Too late,” he replied, striding toward the house. “The car’s already in your name. Insurance is taken care of. Whenever you want it, it’ll be there.”

“Wait – how’d you put it in my name? I never signed anything.”

The older man flashed an enigmatic grin.

“You can do all kinds of things you’re not supposed to when you’re filthy rich,” he answered, before turning back to the house. He called back over his shoulder. “Take care of yourself, Michael. And keep in touch.”

“I will.”

Michael gazed longingly at the Porsche for a long moment. Visions of racing it down the back roads of Georgia flitted through his head. He grinned. Then he frowned and shook his head, glad he hadn’t gotten the car years earlier. He probably would have crashed it on the first drive.

Eventually, he pressed the button on his new key chain and closed the garage door. A moment later, he drove his beat up Subaru down the long driveway of the Covington estate, thanking God for air conditioning.


Pre-order it now directly from Silver Empire, or wait until July 25th to pre-order it from Amazon.com.