THE ADVENTURES OF THE BRONZE BUCKAROO

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HOLLYWOOD’S AFRICAN AMERICAN SINGING COWBOY RIDES AGAIN IN PROSE! ‘THE ADVENTURES OF THE BRONZE BUCKAROO’ DEBUTS

From out of the Wild West, gun on his hip, song on his lips, returns a historic hero of the silver screen in brand new stories. THE ADVENTURES OF THE BRONZE BUCKAROO is now available in print and idigtal formats from Pro Se Productions.

Portrayed by singer/actor Herb Jeffries, The Bronze Buckaroo, Bob Blake, appeared on screens in 1939 as the first African American singing cowboy. Cast in the mold of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, The Buckaroos’ films had one major difference. They sported largely African American casts and were produced by African American companies. With four films usually listed as the Buckaroo’s legacy, this truly great moment in cinema history has been largely forgotten, except for film experts and fans of great stories. THE ADVENTURES OF THE BRONZE BUCKAROO features Robert J. Randisi, John Lutz, Gary Phillips, Christopher Alan Chambers, Frankie Y. Bailey, Michael Gonzales, and Percy Spurlark Parker, each giving their own take on the most unique Singing Cowboy to ever ride into a theater! Load your sixguns, saddle up, and get ready to charge into two fisted matinee movie action with THE ADVENTURES OF THE BRONZE BUCKAROO!

With a rip roaring cover and logo design by Jeffrey Hayes and print formatting by Marzia Marina and Antonino Lo Iacono, THE ADVENTURES OF THE BRONZE BUCKAROO is available now at Amazon and Pro Se’s own store for 11.99.

This unique anthology celebrating one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets is also available as an Ebook, designed and formatted by Lo Iacono and Marina for only $2.99 for the Kindle. The book is also available on Kindle Unlimited, which means Kindle Unlimited Members can read for free.

For more information on this title, interviews with the author, or digital copies to review this book, contact Pro Se Productions’ Director of Corporate Operations, Kristi King-Morgan at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook.

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When The Shadow Sees The Sun

It was an honor to be included in this memorial to a man who encouraged me in my journey as an author. This book, “When The Shadow Sees The Sun – Creatives Surviving Depression” is dedicated to, and in memoriam of Logan L. Masterson, but make no mistake, it is because of him, but not about him.

It is about the struggle so many creative, talented people face every day. The contributors of this book share and bare some the most intimate and vulnerable pieces of our psyche, our struggles, insights into how we cope, and our defense mechanisms. As you read the pieces of ourselves placed with fear, trepidation and hope on the pages of this book, remember, we do this for you. That you know you are not alone, as much as it feels you may be, there is someone who has some idea what you are going through and may even understand. We hope it helps.
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‘TALES OF THE INTERSTELLAR BARTENDERS GUILD’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BELLY UP TO THE BAR FOR SCIENCE FICTION THRILLS-‘TALES OF THE INTERSTELLAR BARTENDERS GUILD’ DEBUTS

Sometimes you run into people who change your life for the best even while at their worst, regardless of what star you are circling. Those people are called Bartenders and Pro Se Productions proudly presents an out of this world universe spanning collection featuring stories of the men, women, and beings that man the taverns and pubs on every backwater world and upscale utopia in outer space and beyond. TALES OF THE INTERSTELLAR BARTENDERS GUILD is now available in print and digital formats.

The Future. Humanity has spread through the galaxy, along with innumerable other races and creatures. In the thousands of solar systems that men have reached you’ll find monarchies, dictatorships, anarchies, utopia, dystopia, and utter chaos. But one slightly stumbling thread weaves through every world, every society– The Interstellar Bartenders Guild. As man took the leap out it seems that bartenders had something to do with it. These are stories of how they provided the shove for said leap. There are fistfights, love and lust, exotic bars, drunks, and a Guild Master with a mystery. Most of all you’ll find people- good, bad, lost, found, and somewhere in the middle. Mankind has grasped the stars but the problems that have been around since a thousand year ago are still with them a thousand years from now. Good thing they have the Bartenders of the Guild to help them solve their problems.

Featuring a terrific cover by Antonino Lo Iacono and print formatting and logo design by Lo Iacono and Marzia Marina, TALES OF THE INTERSTELLAR BARTENDERS GUILD is available in print at Amazon and on Pro Se’s own store at Pro Se Store for $17.99.

This exciting adventure into mixed drinks and science fiction is also available as an eBook formatted by Antonino Lo Iacono and Marzia Marina for the Kindle at Amazon for only $3.99. The book is also available to Kindle Unlimited members for free.

For more information on this title, interviews with the author, or digital copies for review, contact Kristi Morgan, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

Fairy Tale Noir

Sharing an excerpt from one of the stores from an anthology I am writing.  This is raw draft, no edits yet, hoping it polishes up well.

 

“My family and I arrived on the shores of Draisia in the dead of night. Life seemed simple to me then, life through the eyes of a child always does. Complexity is for the adults who knew this was a calm before the storm.  The eerie darkness of the night we landed will never escape my memory. The milky speckles twirled and danced along the river in various patterns, tugging at the corners of my lips in a way that almost made me smile.

 

The Canso was a veteran of the brine. The old planks retained the fetid odor of fish, though leaky had been seaworthy enough. Her nets had been removed to allow every inch of room and we filled it, many sitting with knees tucked to their chests. When her hull crunched into the mud of the river’s edge, one leg of our trek was complete.

 

Everyone awake. Everyone asleep. Many eyes were bleary, reactions slow, tiredness running in their veins just the same as their blood. Everyone who survived the crossing climbed up the grassy embankment in a mix of emotions. For some relief, some fear, some grieving for the place they left. Ahead is unknown, all we can do is pray for things to be better where they are heading for they cannot know what awaits them.

 

At the top of the embankment we all huddled into the shed. This is where we had been told to wait. On the floor near the front wall sits a woman and child, the kid relaxed into her arms so fully it was like they were one organism, melted together. He has a look of contentment on his face. Now that her son is drifting into sleep her face becomes grave. Without his timid gaze she has no reason to feign a confidence she may not have felt.

 

The tiny window in the shed has its view obscured behind swirls of dried mud. The dawn came with a musical silence. The soul hearing a melody ears could not. A new day had come, new possibilities, a fresh page yet to be written.

 

With it a funny feeling comes, not excitement, though at first it appears that way. Some cry, some look grim, and the children are held close and loved with all the strength they have left in their bodies. My parents gathered myself along with all my brothers and sisters into a circle, hugging us as the first rose tinted rays of dawn glowed through the dried mud of the window.

 

Soon, the sound of a coughing diesel engine came from beyond the levee. A pair of the braver ones peered out. Excitedly they tell the rest of us the bus is coming. We all pour out of the shed, waiting as the old bus trundles up the road, its grumbling old engine spitting smoke like a trail of breadcrumbs.

 

It rumbles to a stop just above us, on top of the levee. An older alligator in a vest and a beret wearing weasel climbed out and motions to us to board.

 

“C’mon, we ain’t got all day.” The weasel called as he pulled the ladder down to throw cargo on top of the bus.

 

“Youse three, help people load their gear. You climb up and move things forward, you get to the top of the ladder and hand stuff ovah, while you, my you are a tall one, hand things to the guy on ladder. You heard Cavan, now get a move on.” The alligator hissed at an Orangutan, a Mountain Goat and a black bear, who took the positions indicated. So we loaded the few belongings while the old diesel pinged and creaked as it cooled. The process did not take long. There were not many belongings among those who made the journey.

 

Soon, we were all aboard the old bus. Rusted and dirty it was but to our eyes, it was a chariot to our hopes and dreams for a better life. The seats were full and those of us who were too big to sit in the laps of others lined up along the floor. After a couple of sputtering failed attempts the old engine roared into life with a mighty belch of exhaust. The decrepit bus lurched forward along the levee road pitted and bumpy with rocks soon to kiss the smooth asphalt to their destination.

 

From my vantage point on the floor I began to see the roofs of houses. Vaughan drove while Cavan stood on a rail at the front. Sometimes staring back at us, sometimes punching the alligator pointing directions.  Then other taller buildings appeared as we passed through a city. The buildings gave way to houses and as two hours passed the houses gave way to barren road.

 

The squeal of brakes signaled our journeys end. In front of us a building stood with a curved roof and corrugated metal walls. There were other similar buildings in the area but the road we had traveled was littered with old machinery covered in dirt and long since scavenged into skeletons of whatever they once were, indicated this place was long abandoned.

 

Cavan had run to the top of the bus while were taking in our surroundings. He began throwing our belongings down.

 

“This is where we part company. Your future lies in there.”

 

As soon as the bus top was emptied Cavan swung inside where Vaughan had kept the temperamental engine idling. We picked up our belongings and shuffled into the structure.”

 

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

 

The Sleeping Hare

This is a rough opening for a work in progress. A short story set in the world of The Three Billy Goats Gruff for an anthology. I think it’s off to a good start. Perspective needs to shift slightly but a good start.

*****

Don’t expect to find dignity in an old bar. Not here. Not at “The Sleeping Hare.”
The sallow light of street-lamps trickled into the darkened room through diamonds of lead panes. The smoke twisted in an artistic way, forming curls in the gloom, illuminated only by the age-speckled bar lights.
The smell has changed over the years. Once it was of cigarette smoke only, the bouquet clung to clothing, skin and furniture alike. Now it is joined by the miasma of stale beer, cheap hooch, body odor and cheaper perfume from the quiff trying to make a buck.
“The Sleeping Hare” was always a den of debauchery, alcoholism and the great unwashed of the town. It still is. No-one comes here with anything wholesome in mind. Probably why the small mountain of a goat sat on the stool by the door. Black, with tufts of grey in his beard, a tight T-shirt highlighted bulging muscles. If he did not look menacing enough, flexing those muscles was often deterrent enough for the occasional trouble maker.
Once upon a time, the place might have had a classy, old world feel. Now nicotine-stained walls, which might have been white, the darkened wood and stained reddish carpet only hinted at what might have been. There are establishments that are more like restaurants now – all clean with waiting staff. Not at “The Sleeping Hare.” Here, you still bellied up to the bar, where along the wall was every hue of amber liquid in their inverted bottles, and caught the barkeeps eye to place your order. Bring your patience though, tortoises are not known for their speed and Tabor is not as fast as he used to be, but he will take care of you.
The thunk of darts and clack of pool balls came from the back of the joint. An addition to the old building the plaster and wood gave way to cinder block walls painted black. Four red felt pool tables commanded the center of the room. They and the dart board lanes in the back of the room brought in almost as the cheap hooch Tabor stocked.
Only one table was in use tonight, a young brown goat crisp white shirt with sleeve holders, thin black tie tossed over his shoulder as he lined up a shot while nearby a ferret in a beret watched, anxiously hoping for a scratch.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Book Review: Bishop & Hancock’s Pulse Friction: Anthology

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Craving adventure? Pulse Friction has all you could want. This anthology will take you on a whirlwind tour of pulp stories. The collection does a good job of presenting various archetypes from Masked heroes, Mercenaries, Cat Burglars, Westerns and Hard boiled detectives and all undeniably Pulp.
Pulse Friction is a great buffet of authors. I am familiar with and have enjoyed three of the authors in both other anthologies and their own work, D. Alan Lewis, Barry Reese and Tommy Hancock are all favorites sitting on my shelves and they do not disappoint. I enjoyed the sampling the works of Eric Beetner, James Hopwood and Brian Drake and will be looking for more of their work. Each author brings their own flavor and the result is a series with a good rhythm. Each story has a plot with memorable characters which drive you forward in the action. A complaint I sometimes have with anthologies is a tendency for the stories to feel the same. Not to worry about Pulse Friction, the variation in protagonists and settings means you will not be reading the same story over and over.
The narration by Chase Johnson is solid. There are no background noises to distract from the narration. He enunciates clearly and is well spoken. In listening to the different stories Chase was at his best tone and style in the hard-boiled detective stories such as “Never Enough Corpses” or “Cry Blood”. This is personal taste but he did not feel quite right to me in “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Worst Friend”. Overall, the listening experience was enjoyable and I would listen to more books narrated by Chase Johnson.

Bishop & Hancock’s Pulse Friction: Anthology   

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Stories of The Iron Dragons – Awakening Pt. 1

…..File Access 70% Data Available…..

 

Galactic Science Academy XenoArcheological Files

 

Vhoorl XenoArcheological Survey

Binary Star AL-Janubi

Star Chart Vector: Obscura

 

Personal Log: Charles Ward, Lead Xenoarcheologist

 

Star log 0946012.M40

 

“.. en route on board shuttle Hetty from the Cruiser Miskatonic down to meet with Captain Kalmar of Federated Space Force. He is the Commander of an elite company of super soldiers, the Iron Dragons. This planet, clear only a spate of years from the warp storm Hasturang; already shows signs in its Northern Hemisphere of its transformation into a new settlement for the Empire. With the storm cleared, it will be able to support Imperial efforts in the outer reaches of the vector.

 

The Iron Dragons garrison and their allies the Arkham Confederates, an Empire military unit have been stationed here to protect the establishment of the Imperial presence. Indeed, one factory for small arms and ammunition is online with armor and aircraft factories to be online within the next 3 and 6 months. The Ministry has created an administrative miracle, considering the labor source are rejects from the interior worlds.

 

Scouts for the Arkham Confederates report an enormous Xenos Ruin in the Southern Hemisphere on the largest continent. It is like nothing built or classified within Imperial record by any of the known Xenos. So, I travel to this star forsaken world, along with Commissar Lavinia Whatley and the Inquisitor Nathaniel de Salis, to inspect and classify this ruin. The area is described as “a coast-line of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy cyclopean masonry seemingly carved from solid blocks of basalt, possibly not native to the planet” by the Ministry projects geologist. We are tasked with classifying it and its potential threat to the Empire.”

 

End transmission……….

 

This was the last official transmission received from Vhoorl.

 

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Stories of the Iron Dragons – A Bad Dream

The Providence and rest of the Iron Dragons fleet had been wondering for an untold number of years now. The warp storm which engulfed them upon entering this sector of space had been relentless.

 

Now, on the Miskatonic screens the Astronavigator showed a scene of unbelieved horror.

 

A vortex, a hole in the very fabric of the warp storm had opened. Through it, an arm was reaching. At the end of this cosmic arm was a large hand grasping and picking up million tonne ships as if they were playthings.

 

First the Providence, grappled amidships, was dragged stern first into the nothing. The Arkham and The Red Hook followed in short order. Ship after ship was being snatched, disappearing through the hole in the universe. An entire fleet lost into the nihility of space by a creature which treated them like toys. And then, it was the Miskatonic turn.

 

There was almost no sensation as the hand engulfed the ship. The only sound was the screams of the Astronavigator.

 

Soon, the darkness gave way to a blinding light as the mighty warship shook with a loud crash. Damage reports came in, no apparent damage but the ship was canted.

 

Captain Kalmar made his way to the observation decks. Pouring in through them was a blinding light. After his eyes adjusted, a sight of madness met him. There strewn along a great plain were all the mighty ships of the Iron Dragons fleet.

 

There were jagged mountains in the distance. Some structure, possibly ruins, could be seen at their base.. Already some men from the other ships were descending to the plain. The sensors were useless. Recon was the only way to determine their situation.

 

What trick of chaos was this, after all the battles with chaos forces, all the xenos, what bizarreness was this?

 

Towers of various colors bordered the plain. Beyond the towers, figures could be seen, a few emerged, Skraelings from a militia unit, claimed they had been part of a battle when a huge hand scooped them up depositing them here. Their reports indicated some Anarchist marines in the vicinity as well as daemons and Keldaran.

 

Shadow darkens the sky, the hand reaches out and a grey anarchist marine disappeared into the sky.

 

As Kalmar read through the scouting reports, he shook his head, what madness? The ships checked out. The power fields were still operating, how could the warp have touched them this way?

 

Kalmar awoke to a great shaking, the ship was being shaken and even an enhanced could not hold. As he fell though the ship, he prayed the divine dragon to deliver them.

 

Eventually, he fell along with others, out of the ship, into a palm. Yes a palm, perhaps the same which grabbed them.

 

All the crew fell in a heap on the plain. Some trickery of chaos paralyzing them so they lay in the heap.

 

He could see through a gap the same grey anarchist marine. The hand picked it up. After a time, the figure reappeared and it was no longer grey, but a blue with light trim, almost the reverse of the Iron Dragons colors.

 

Time and again the figure disappeared and reappeared with more detail, more color.

 

He secretly marveled at its appearance.

 

Feeling movement, Kalmar realized the whole heap of the men and marines had been picked up, Soon a falling sensation, followed by being engulfed in a cool, viscous liquid and darkness.

 

Kalmar had no idea how long he and his men were in the liquid. Eventually it drained and after a rinse in a lighter liquid, they found themselves back on the plain, next to a squad of anarchist marines with tentacled heads.

 

 

Many cycles of light and darkness pass. Marines began disappearing and reappearing. Each time with some color added. Never did they have the look of anarchy, nor the beauty.

 

One day an anarchist is placed nearby, and Kalmar’s comm-link crackles. The story the anarchist tells is similar, plucked from their battles and brought here, forced to face and fight others. If they win, they receive more color.

 

If they do not…

 

Slowly, Kalmar saw other Loyal Marines, fuzzy looking and armor poorly painted.

A battle comes and with it, life and new paint…..

 

Captain Kalmar looked up from the Miskatonic ready room at the sound of klaxons.

His equerry entered the room, knocking on the way in, as a brief nod to protocol, obviously excited.

“Sir!, the warp storm has dissipated!, we have contact with ships not in our fleet! Master Kullulu is speaking with them now.”

Shaking sleep and the strangeness of what must have been a warp dream from him, he headed for the bridge.

Introducing Tales of the Iron Dragons

Good evening,

Tonight I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of my worlds. A planetary expedition force on the fringes of the galaxy with the goal of preparing the planet for colonization. You have been introduced to one of the characters already in “A Cultists Tale”. A piece of the story will be introduced each week. I hope you enjoy them.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Stories of the Iron Dragons – Discovery of Vhoorl

Administratum Planetary Surveys

 

Vhoorl Planetary Survey

Binary Star AL-Janubi

Segmentum Obscurus

 

Personal Log: Donovan Gilman, Lead Planetologist

 

Planet Vhoorl, strategically located on the edge of Segmentum Obscurus is an earth-like planet in many respects. Atmosphere composed primarily of Nitrogen and oxygen, slightly richer in oxygen than Terra with a gravity approx 4/5s that of Terra.

The planet is majority water with two primary land masses, a northern and southern continent. The ocean separating the continents is primarily salt water.

The Northern Continent has an extensive river system, with eight major drainage basins, all of which drain into the ocean. Two of these basins account for more than half the total drainage area. The largest river system in the Northern Continent originates in a mountainous region and receives tributaries from a basin that covers 45.7% of the continent, principally the north and west. The main river system flows from west to east. Through this basin flows one-fifth of Vhoorls fresh water. This system provides a sufficient supply of potable water for the hive city, Astra Militarum garrison and cooling for the factories.

Although 90% of the continent is within the tropical zone, the climate varies considerably from the mostly tropical North to temperate zones below the 23°27′ S latitude. The Northern Continent has five climatic regions: equatorial, tropical, semiarid, highland tropical, and subtropical.

Temperatures along the equator are high, averaging above 25 °C (77 °F), but not reaching the summer extremes of up to 40 °C (104 °F) in the temperate zones. There is little seasonal variation near the equator. At the country’s other extreme, there are frosts south of the 23°27′ S latitude during the winter and there is snow in the mountainous areas. Temperatures outside the Hive City are moderate (usually between 15 and 30 °C or 59 and 86 °F), despite their relatively low latitude, because of their elevation of approximately 1,000 meters (3,281 ft). The coast has warm climates, with average temperatures ranging from 23 to 27 °C (73.4 to 80.6 °F), but enjoys constant winds. The southern coast has a subtropical climate and temperatures can fall below freezing in winter.

Precipitation levels vary widely. The Northern Continent has moderate rainfall of between 1,000 and 1,500 millimetres (39.4 and 59.1 in) a year, with most of the rain falling in the summer south of the Equator. The region is notoriously humid, with rainfall generally more than 2,000 millimetres (78.7 in) per year and reaching as high as 3,000 millimetres (118.1 in) in parts of the western side of the continent. Despite high annual precipitation, the rain forest can have a three- to five-month dry season, the timing of which varies according to location north or south of the equator.

In contrast to the Southern Continent which rose to elevations of nearly 17,000 meters (55774.3 ft) in a relatively recent epoch and inverted the river flows direction of flow from westward to eastward, the Northern continent geological formation is very old. Crystalline shields cover 36% of the territory, especially its central area. The dramatic granite sugarloaf mountains are an example of the terrain of the shield regions, where continental basement rock has been sculpted into towering domes and columns by tens of millions of years of erosion, untouched by mountain-building events.

The principal mountain ranges average elevations just under 3,500 meters (11482.9 ft). The Murum Mar range hugs the eastern coast, and the Murrum Medius Range, the largest in area, extends through the south-central part of the continent. The highest mountains are in this range, others traverse the northern border.

In addition to mountain ranges (about 0.5% of the country is above 1,200 m or 3,937 ft), the Northern Central Highlands include a vast central plateau (Planalto Central). The plateau’s uneven terrain has an average elevation of 1,000 meters (3,281 ft). The rest of the territory is made up primarily of sedimentary basins.

The Southern Continents  main structural lines show both the east-to-west direction characteristic, at least in the eastern hemisphere, of the more northern parts of the world, and the north-to-south direction seen in the southern peninsulas. The Southern Continent is thus mainly composed of two segments at right angles, the northern running from east to west, and the southern from north to south.

With a heavily grown rainforest and has not been extensively explored at this time. Orbital surveys have shown extremely high mountain ranges circling the central portion of the continent, pictures of which provide the suggestion of jagged teeth biting their way through the planet. The forest canopy prevents the penetration of any light creating a perpetual twilight gloom.

Mean monthly temperatures exceed 18 °C (64 °F) during all months of the year.[5] Average annual rainfall is no less than 168 cm (66 in) and can exceed 1,000 cm (390 in) although it typically lies between 175 cm (69 in) and 200 cm (79 in).[6]

The highest of these peaks reaches nearly 17,000 meters (55774.3 ft). Mons Imperalis as it has been deemed is about two thirds the height of Olympus Mons on Mars.

Inside the ring of mountains, appear the outlines of an ancient city. Preliminary review and exploration by the planetary geologist assigned to the colonization and establishment of munitoriums on Vhoorl indicate the city appears intact and is made of a black rock which may not be native to the planet.

A xeno-archeologist has been requested for further review. All exploration of the Southern Continent has been placed on hold pending his arrival. As a footnote the geologist came down with a strange malady after the visit to the Southern Continent. In his delirium he even decried his faith in the Emperor and was exterminated before further contamination could occur.

 

 

Thank you for reading,

Ernest