Blimprider Times, No. 5

Featured Site of the Week

Irevuo is a site I’ve only recently encountered, coming to my attention when its operator, Cristian Mihai, followed mine.  He doesn’t offer much in the way of personal information, which is certainly his prerogative, and I don’t know whether he’s U.S.-based or works from another country, whether English is his first language, nor even what “Irevuo” means.  He does handle English well, whether it’s his native tongue or not, as he posts several times a day on the subjects of art, music, movies, and writing, both his own philosophy, and reviews of the works of others.

His offerings are very insightful, as you might expect from anyone I recommend; you regulars know that I wouldn’t steer you toward a junk site just because the owner posts a lot!  An example of a post that really touched me as a writer was So you want to be a writer…  Most of my friends, and many of my readers are also writers, and if you aren’t yet writing at the level of Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, you should read this… for me.  After you do, you’ll realize that it was really for yourself.

Irevuo; a site worthy of a lengthy exploration.

This Week’s News


Terror in the Shadows, C.W. Hawes’ Lovecraftian horror novel, is live and on sale through  This is the third installment in the Pierce Mostyn Paranormal Investigation series, and takes place in rural West Virginia as Mostyn and his team attempt to deal with shadowy forms that come out of the night to murder whole families and eat the corpses.  Late evening read, anyone?





William J. Jackson pens the The Rail Legacy series, a brief description of which might be a sort of steampunk X-Men.  That isn’t exactly what it is, of course, but it will put you in the ball park.  The currently three-book series isn’t new, but he is constantly offering deals on one or another of the titles.  This weekend, for example, the entire series is £3.44 for U.K. readers, and book one, An Unsubstantiated Chamber, is free for the asking until further notice.  I’ve read this; you should, too!



The View from the Blimp

Here in my own little corner of the literary world, anyone who has been reading my material on a regular basis knows that I have been having trouble getting started… started on Beyond the Rails IV, that is.  I do have a story line developing, which anyone who read BtR3 will understand entails some difficulty, given where I left them.  It is developing nicely, though, and my notebook is growing in volume and detail as it comes together.  My tentative subtitle is The Devil You Know, which seems to go with what I’ve put together so far.

While I’m offering teases of future projects, all the time I’ve been steampunk-blocked hasn’t gone entirely to waste.  I intend to, by the end of April, and hopefully before that, lay a major product of a completely different sort before you for your consideration.  It promises to be a major experiment with my established audience, but my hopes are high for acceptance… and that’s all you get for now.  To quote Dr. Betruger, “Great things are going to happen here, you just wait.”

Of course, the main purpose of this page is to support Beyond the Rails, and I can’t do that without occasionally thumping my chest and bellowing about how great it is, so for those of you who cannot tolerate a blowhard, BLOWHARD ALERT!


I wrote these books, so obviously, I think they’re just great!  They have found a niche as a fun ride for fans of Jules Verne and Firefly.  Here are some important events in it the first volume’s unfortunately somewhat obscure lifetime:


“If I could tell a story like this, I’d get a job just so I could quit it and spend all my time writing.  Excellent work!  I’m hooked—on to the next adventure of the Kestrel.”

This was from a member who went by the handle of “Evertrap.”  I was on top of the world when I read this.  How could anyone think of anything more supportive to say?


An Australian literary blogger, Arabella Bramble, featured Beyond the Rails on her personal blog (now unfortunately closed) before I ever considered turning it into a book.  Among other things, she said,

“This is a story that is off to a great start with an interesting cast of characters from diverse backgrounds thrown together initially on an airship called the Kestrel. This is classic adventure stuff taking place in a colourful setting.”


Kaz of Books Anonymous said,

“These stories are the best fun.  Seriously.  Yes, Jack’s a mate of mine, and regulars on my blog will have seen his comments on various posts, but, as I said to him when I reviewed the first of these stories ages ago, I didn’t review the story because he’s my mate.  I reviewed it because it was a cracking good story.”

It should be noted that this was also the book’s first review by a friend.


The Good, The Bad, & The Bizarre took a very favorable view of humble little Beyond the Rails.  They especially approved of my portrayal of women, noting that their dialogue and actions passed the Bechdel Test.  They also noted in this long and detailed review that,

“We have to say, this book single-handedly convinced us to reconsider our dislike of Steampunk.  This is a feat all by itself.  And with that, we can’t say that it’s anything but Good, even though it has plenty of Bizarreness everywhere–which, of course, just adds flavor to the whole shebang.”

I’m especially fond of this one.  Good, Bad, Bizarre has regrettably closed their doors, but I very wisely kept a copy, and the review can be read in its entirety here.


Beyond the Rails was the subject of a giveaway due to ship in January 2014.  Ten days before the announcement of the winners, I was stricken with pneumonia and H1N1, and to make a long story short, spent two months in hospital and rehab.  Goodreads member Shayla gave it one star, and stated,

“Update: More than a month later, and still no sign of the book.  He was able to get a relative to email all the winners saying that he’d been ill and would get the books out soon, but apparently couldn’t get anyone to actually send the books.  I suspect he backed out and just made up the hospital story.  Whatever.”

That review can be read on my book page at Goodreads.  It takes a special brand of self-importance to rate a book you plainly state you never received.  The little cherry on top came from Goodreads member Danielle, who Liked Shayla’s review, and added it to her Do Not Read shelf; their loss.

So that’s Beyond the Rails through the eyes of others.  I hope to sell a lot of copies, and I hope it continues to stand on its own merits in the eyes of its readers.  I would never ask anyone to buy a pig-in-a-poke, and so have made a free story from each book available as samples under the “Beyond the Rails” tab at the top of the page.  Drop in for a visit and draw your own conclusions.  The books are for sale on, and I’m currently working on the continuation.  I hope you take a look, and I hope you like what you find.  Steampunk is obviously not for everyone, but mine is light on technology, and heavy on characters, so take a look; you might just discover a whole new world of reading enjoyment.

7 thoughts on “Blimprider Times, No. 5

  1. Hi Jack,

    Thank you for posting about irevuo. About the name: “revuo” means journal in Esperanto. And the” i” might come from a million different places: interconnected is a nice word.

    Also, I am based in Romania. English is not my native language.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this information, Cristain. It’s always nice to learn a little about the people whose work you read. Also, I must offer a tip of my begoggled patrol cap; English is not an easy gig, and I must say as a native speaker that you handle it with great facility. Great work all around, my new friend!


  2. Hey Jack! Took a look at Irevuo. Liked the post on what really sells a book. Basically, who knows? Although, word of mouth, I agree is probably still one of the best – and good luck to get it.

    Thanks, also, for the shoutout. Appreciate it!

    And looking forward to Beyond the Rails 4. But don’t forget Brass & Coal. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are a persistent devil, aren’t you? Actually, I am flattered by your support for Brass & Coal; I would be an insufferable lout were I otherwise! They will return in some venue. At this time, my intention is to continue their adventures as stories in the pages of future anthologies. Having said that, I may never be invited to participate in another, so where does that leave our bumbling friends? Could be with their own book of stories, but not anytime soon. I’ve a lot going on.

      I’ve been very impressed by the activity of Irevuo. Cristian posts several times a day, and I can’t find any sign of garbage posts or filler. When he posts an article, he has something to say, and it’s usually thought-provoking. He was an excellent acquisition for my reading list,

      It’s always an honor and a privilege to support my friends’ activities. You guys are a valued part of my life now, and if I can return a little of that value, that makes my day. Have a great weekend!


  3. I love the picture of the desk, so of course I have to comment on it first. Old desks with character are my favorite. I’ll have to check out the Irevuo site after April is over, since I lost my marbles and decided to participate once again in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge again this year. What made me do it? Nostalgia, maybe, or missing the opportunity to find some new bloggers to enjoy, as if I have time to add more . . . either way, my time is not my own until May. But I’m glad you were able to promo yourself for a change! Nobody likes a blowhard when he’s always a blowhard, but you, sir, are certainly not, so it’s always fun when you share your successes. Take care, Jack, and I hope your Easter was relaxing.


    1. Well look at you, you silver-tongued vixen, you can visit me anytime! Yes, that is my desk in the picture, and the computer I’m typing at right now. Sorry, did my old nameplate from work give it away? One of the few classy items I own, and just sitting down at it sometimes can inspire me.

      I have noted with sympathy your A-Z participation, and that of several other friends as well. I don’t indulge in “gotta” activities; my blogging is for fun. I got a fat chunk of change for many years for doing a “gotta” job that wasn’t much fun, and ain’t nobody paying me to blog. I have been commenting, though, and courtesy demands that I tip my begoggled patrol cap to those who have enough to say to blog every day for 26 days. I’d be regaling you with tales of my belly-button lint by day 26!

      And thank you, finally, for your closing comments. It rubs me the wrong way to stand up and say “My work is good, and you ought to pay money for the privilege of reading it!” If someone else says that about my stuff, I feel giddy; when I have to say it, I feel tawdry. Your benediction means more to me than you might have thought while you were typing it.

      Thanks for stopping by, and have a great month of blogging!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! A lot you know . . . you’d have to talk about your bellybutton lint on day two or it wouldn’t count, lol.

        I’m trying to keep my posts short and sweet, and they’re basically me, hammering into people why they need to hire an editor. Over and over, the same message. Some of it’s snarky and some is serious, but it’s one of those things I feel can’t be stressed often enough. I haven’t done the A to Z since 2014, and am already thinking I may not do it again unless I really, really want to. I thought I wanted to (back in February when I signed up) and then changed my theme three times, so perhaps I am best off saying whatever I need to say when it truly inspires me. Even so, I may find a new author, blogger, or client through the process, so you never know.


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