Slayer of Darkness


Slayer of Darkness was the third installment of the Beyond the Rails series, and the first to be a full-length novel rather than a collection of stories tied loosely together by an arc.  I had some initial difficulty getting it going, but once I had the right mix of characters in play, it took off like a runaway blimp!  There are two main plots playing off of, and interfering with each other:  First, the young hooligan Jinx Jenkins, first met in Beyond the Rails, returns, and the crew is astonished to discover that she is far from the larrikin she presented herself as in the first book.  Second, Dave Smith’s past finally catches up with him in a most inconvenient manner.  I’ll quote the blurb here:

It’s March of 1883, and the inhabitants of the east African colony of Kenya are preparing for the Long Rain.  The crew of the Kestrel, a small cargo blimp, are no exception, trying to squeeze in the last few paying runs before two months of high winds and constant rain sweep the airships from the sky.

Arriving in their midst is an old acquaintance, an Australian woman of uncertain background who brings an unbelievable story, and asks them to aid her in what seems to be an impossible task.  She offers to pay them well, but can the money she offers be nearly enough to compensate them for the danger she plans to place them in?  And what business could the mysterious team of international bounty hunters be engaged upon?

Join the crew of the Kestrel for their longest journey yet, a thrill-packed, suspenseful ride through a world of shadowy operators that could prove to be their last.”

This is indeed the last book in the series to date.  It is not my intention for it to end here, but right now I’m working on the spinoff, The Darklighters, and it is a fact that I’m leaning hard on 70.  But the fates willing, there will be more.  Right now, you can embark for the whole ride at

View from the Blimp

In the interest of generating more interest, I have lowered the Kindle price of the original Beyond the Rails volume to 99¢ US.  I would lower the price of the paperback as well, but it’s always been at the minimum allowed.  I’m not trying to get rich off my writing . . . good thing, huh?!  No, it’s just that after five years, I’ve received enough reviews to know that I write a good story, and I want to share the joy I find in my work with the people who find joy in a rip-snortin’ adventure tale without all the obligatory modern trappings of gratuitous sex and unnecessary violence for their own sake.  I’m asking you to spend a buck, and see if you don’t get a buck’s worth of entertainment!

The perceptive among you will have noticed that I have backed off from a lot of social media where I used to hang out, liking and/or commenting on just about everything that hit the page.  I’m still around, still enjoying your material, but I tend to look at it once a day now, maybe twice, because this stuff is a huge drain on my writing.  The problem is that I write on the computer, so it’s just too easy to get stuck for word or a line, and say, “I need a break.  Wonder what they’re doing on Facebook . . .”  Time to apply the discipline to get that nonsense off the table!  I leave my email open all the time I’m around the computer, so if you specifically need anything, drop me a line, and I’ll get it fairly quickly.

And that’s 30 for today.  Join me again Saturday, when I’ll be presenting a general post about something or other.  I have a couple of choices to narrow down, but it’ll be good.  See you then!

2 thoughts on “Slayer of Darkness

  1. Good to hear your thoughts, as usual, Jack. I’ve been so sporadic with my social media and blog visits lately and I’m finally trying to catch up this week. I feel like the person running on to the scene of an obvious event/disaster and asking, “Did I miss anything? What happened while I was getting a sandwich?” lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, there’s always that one guy who’s in the bathroom when it hits the fan! Seriously, though, and here’s something for everyone to be aware of: When I was working, most of my days revolved around the job; being there, knowing what to do, doing it, then coming home to “A, B, and C.” Now that I’m retired, I wake up to a sea of hours stretching before me, and it’s easy to squander most of them on meaningless junk.

      I gotta write, and part of that is this blog, the “voice of the author” between books. I’m a big Xbox fan, and that’s going to get played, so there’s a couple of hours a day if it’s going to be a meaningful session. I obviously have to spend time with family, and there are those maintenance and housekeeping jobs that have to be done, so I don’t have to piddle away too many hours on FB and its clones before I find that one or more of the important things have to be set aside. I guess the moral here for those soon to retire is this: Make a daily schedule! It doesn’t have to be set in stone like it did for your working life, but it’s just frightening how much time slips through your fingers if you don’t have some concept of what you plan to do with it.

      Speaking of writing, Part I of The Darklighters story is almost done, one scene from completion. I’ll send it to you later today, or tomorrow. If anyone else would like to be a prereader, drop me a line and I’ll hook you up.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lynda; it’s always a pleasure to find you in my mailbox!

      Liked by 1 person

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