Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Sgt. Janus Primer

JUST outside the small city of Mount Airy sits a sprawling, patchwork mansion, the home and business office of Sgt. Janus, Spirit-Breaker…

With great and terrible risk to his person and soul, Janus seeks to break the para-physical ties that inexplicably bind the spirits of the dead to the Earth - for an inordinate amount of these wayward phantasms in turn serve to vex the living and make their still-warm existence a living hell.

The sergeant’s strange and oft-times mystifying career keeps him quite busy, so much so that he requires his clients themselves to write their own accounts of his struggles to aid them. SGT. JANUS SPIRIT-BREAKER chronicles eights such stories, including the most difficult challenge yet to Janus’ abilities and fortitude.

Here’s what readers are saying about SGT. JANUS SPIRIT-BREAKER on Amazon:

“While he may deliberately conjure the spirits of authors of Victorian and Edwardian occult fiction before him, Beard's prose is fresh and entirely modern in his, at times, frank and unsettling tales of the wages of his characters' past sins. Each story breezes by and like the best tales told round the campfire, it leaves the reader hungry for more.”

“…an ingenious and inventive romp full of striking images, subtle horrors, and moments of real shock.”

“I felt transported in time, into another era and there were no breaks in the constructed reality. This is a nicely crafted book…”

“I do have one tidbit of advice concerning this tome. DO NOT read it at night before bed…you may be in for one very long, and frightening evening.”

“I found I enjoyed each story more than the one previous…”

“Great atmosphere, spooky hauntings, superior storytelling. Highly recommended.”

“…a very different and inventive approach to storytelling which succeeded well beyond my original expectations.”

AFTER the tumultuous events of the first volume of Sgt. Janus’ adventures, the world discovers what it is like to be without a Spirit-Breaker. Then, one year later, an amnesiac appears in a sleepy little town’s center square, a beautiful and serene woman who is drawn to spirits and sworn to help those who are troubled by them…

SGT. JANUS RETURNS follows the dark and mysterious path of the woman to discover herself and come into an enigmatic inheritance. Her frequently brutal confrontations with the spirit-world are chronicled by a young layabout who swiftly learns that by following the dark lady, he may be in far over his head.

Here’s what readers are saying about SGT. JANUS RETURNS on Amazon:

“Superior supernatural fiction, and one of the most fascinating female characters in the genre.”

“Hang on for the ride, dear reader, through investigations and battles, with the spirit world and the physical, through tribulation and trial. Some questions are answered, some remain mystery, but it all adds up to a great book.”

“…a brilliant follow-up to the previous volume.”

“There is much going on beneath the surface in Beard’s fiction, but that only helps whet the reader’s appetite for more.”

“This book is one of the best New Pulp adventures I have ever read. High praise? It's well deserved. I've enjoyed the author's past works but I really feel that he's elevated his game with this one. I simply can't recommend it high enough!”

As always, please consider leaving a review of either book at Amazon, or even on a blog or other site. It's always appreciated and very helpful.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Brunner For Sale

I've been informed that Zach Brunner, multi-talented artist on SGT. JANUS RETURNS, is offering prints of all the interior illustrations for sale.

Prints are black and white, 11x17, and you may choose from any of the eight pieces from the book. Cost is $50 US each, and that includes shipping.

Drop Zach an email here: zbrunn89@gmail.com

I have one myself and its GORGEOUS at that large size!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Spirit-Breaker (or Three) in Your Future

More than a month after its release, SGT JANUS RETURNS seems to be going over well with readers, which please me to no end and turns my thoughts to the good sergeant’s future. Here’s a little about what Spirit-Breaker fans can expect from the next few Janus projects.

Following SGT. JANUS SPIRIT-BREAKER and SGT. JANUS RETURNS, the third volume will be entitled SGT. JANUS ON THE DARK TRACK. With Roman Janus back in the saddle again, he’s eager to get back out in the world and revive his chosen profession: eliminating ghosts. But, in the middle of a long journey, he gets a bit more than he bargained for when a cunning, willful spirit materializes and forces the sergeant to seek a path that will surprise and shock even him. The third book will return to the multiple-narrator style of the first volume, but with its own twist. If all goes well, SGT. JANUS ON THE DARK TRACK may be out by the end of 2014.

Because the future is always in motion and no one, not even myself, can be assured that Janus will survive that adventure, the fourth volume will take a look back into the sergeant’s formative days. SGT. JANUS: THE GHOST OF A YEAR follows a young Roman Janus over the course of twelve months, at a time in his development when he was at his most spiritually vulnerable and gathering the experiences he’d need to become a worthy Spirit-Breaker. SGT. JANUS: THE GHOST OF A YEAR will also utilize the multiple-narrator format, but again with a flavor all its own. Expect the fourth book some time in 2015.

In addition to the next two full Sgt. Janus books, I will also be supplying a Janus tale to an upcoming Airship 27 anthology called THE OCCULT DETECTIVES. I was honored and thrilled to be invited to contribute to the collection, and decided to re-visit the online Sgt. Janus tale “The Lost Wife of Thomas Tan” and expand it to twice its original length - in effect, it will be almost a new story. If you’ve read it here in its serialized form on the Spirit-Blog, you’ll find that the longer version will be enhanced with new characters and new situations. There is no set publication date for THE OCCULT DETECTIVES, but I’ll give a shout when it arrives.

One more thing while we’re here: it seems that the narrator of SGT. JANUS RETURNS, Mr. Joshua Hargreaves, has been receiving good marks from readers and a small interest has begun to grow to perhaps see him in his own adventures. As I said before, the future is always in motion, but if this idea intrigues you, well, let me know somehow, either here or on Facebook. I have a few thoughts on how to pull it off, but I must be assured that further tales of Joshua would be welcome.

All content © 2014 Jim Beard

You may find the first two Sgt. Janus books and all my other literary projects on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Reviews Ahoy!

William Patrick Maynard, author of the new, authorized FU MANCHU novels, says of SGT. JANUS RETURNS, “I’m delighted to see the return of… Sgt. Janus. There is much going on beneath the surface in Beard’s fiction, but that only helps whet the reader’s appetite for more.”

You can read his full review HERE.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Sgt. Janus Review Recruitment Drive Contest

Sgt. Janus wants YOU…for reviews!

You can win your very own Sgt. Janus story by posting a review on Amazon.com. How? It’s simple:

The Rules: Just post a review of either SGT. JANUS: SPIRIT-BREAKER or SGT. JANUS RETURNS on Amazon by February 16th, 2014, and you’ll be automatically entered into the Sgt. Janus Review Recruitment Contest. Only one entry per reviewer will be accepted. Reviews must be new as of today, January 19th, 2014 – reviews posted previous to that date will not be eligible to win. Reviews may be of any length and of any opinion on the work, positive or critical, but any review that seems to signify that the reviewer did not actually read the book will be ineligible. After February 16th, one entry will be chosen randomly from a pool of all entries as the winner.

The Prize: An original, Sgt. Janus tale of at least 1500 words and written exclusively for the winner.

The story will be delivered privately by email to the winner and will never be published in any collection by the author or by any other means. The winner may not chose the topic or theme of the story and may also not publish it themselves in any form whatsoever without the express permission of the author. Sgt. Janus and all other characters within the story will remain the exclusive property of the author. The story is meant as a prize only, for the sole entertainment of the winner.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your reviews!

All content (c)Jim Beard 2014