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Old 12-04-2013, 06:19 PM   #1
HaemishM
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First Stone by Gary Ballard - Episode 1 of The Stepping Stone Cycle



Having released four successful cyberpunk novels, I've decided to take a new direction with my writing for my latest series, The Stepping Stone Cycle. The first novella in the series, First Stone, is now available for purchase in the Kindle store. A modern-day take on the Cthulhu mythos created by H.P. Lovecraft, the Cycle will tell the story of Dr. Jack Carter, forensic psychologist and his interaction with the dark god, Cthulhu. From the blurb:

Quote:
Forensic psychologist Dr. Jack Carter wakes from a semi-catatonic state in a mental hospital, with no memory of the previous year. His wife Sarah has disappeared and as the last human being to see her alive, Jack is the prime suspect in her disappearance. Without a body and with no physical evidence to prove foul play, the lead investigator and Jack's friend, Bill West, must continue to search for the truth even if it means fingering Jack for the crime. When a serial killer in West Virginia's coal country claims to have killed Sarah Carter, Bill and Jack rush to the crime scene. What they find is a deeply disturbed man with no memory of his crimes or of taking credit for Sarah's death. As Jack tries to decipher the mysterious series of runic symbols the killer carved into his slaughter house, he unlocks a deeper cosmic mystery that goes beyond anything he could imagine.
I hope you enjoy it, and anyone that wishes to contact me regarding a review, or wishes to keep track of the series' progress can visit the series web site - The Stepping Stone Cycle.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:32 AM   #2
HaemishM
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HaemishM writes the songs that make the whole world sing.HaemishM writes the songs that make the whole world sing.HaemishM writes the songs that make the whole world sing.HaemishM writes the songs that make the whole world sing.HaemishM writes the songs that make the whole world sing.HaemishM writes the songs that make the whole world sing.HaemishM writes the songs that make the whole world sing.HaemishM writes the songs that make the whole world sing.HaemishM writes the songs that make the whole world sing.HaemishM writes the songs that make the whole world sing.HaemishM writes the songs that make the whole world sing.
 
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This novella got a great review from the New Podler Review of Books. Some highlights:

Ballard invests a good deal of time developing his characters, and it pays off. You really get to know Carter and root for him to find the answers to Sarah's disappearance. His friendship with Bill plays easy. And Ballard develops the small town West Virginia characters, too. It would've been easy to let them be two-dimensional stereotypes, but Ballard invests in their backgrounds to make their personal stories real.

While Ballard is playing in Lovecraft's sandbox, he doesn't play with his toys in quite the same way. Ballard sticks with his own writing style. The story flows like a crime drama rather than cosmic horror. It's an interesting twist on presenting Cthulhu Mythos fiction and might serve as a bridge for psychological thriller fans to get a glimpse of the Old Ones.

All in all, it's an entertaining and quick read. I'm left wondering just how far Ballard intends to go with this series and if he'll deliver the goods at the end of the season. I got the feeling that he was holding back, not wanting to give too much away so soon. But like many a good writer, he dangles the line out far enough to hook you in.

I recently lowered the price on this book and its sequel to only $.99 cents as well.
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