Cy Reed Goes Supernatural?

Here’s this week’s writing excerpt, completed just yesterday. This story has a strong supernatural side, similar in style to Indiana Jones. It’s a pretty big departure for me as my previous Cy Reed books have all been quite grounded, with a solid base in science (albeit, speculative science, sometimes). That’s part of the reason why I’m considering spinning this off as a separate series. Anyway, enjoy!

“It’s getting bigger, too,” Jocelyn said. “I’d rather not be here when it gets through.”

“Unfortunately, Sawyer’s guys are holed up in the next room.” He shrugged. “They were at the block when we arrived. We managed to drive them back, but only as far as the statue.”

I furrowed my brow.

“Half of them are posted there,” he continued. “Every time we show our faces, they take a shot at us.”

“Half of them are at the statue?” My furrow hardened into a ridge. “Where’s the other half?”

“In the room after that one.”

“You can see them?” Jocelyn asked.

“Not easily,” he replied. “But yeah, I caught a glimpse of some people trekking that way.”

My eyes widened. “They’re trying to trap us.”

Tairona Cacique: A Cy Reed Visual

Tairona Cacique (Cy Reed Visuals)I found this today in my writing notebook. At the time, I was playing around with doing some more visual, Cy Reed storytelling. Look at all of that smudging! Ahh, that’s what I get for not using a tissue under my hand. Anyway, it’s nice to see it again!

The Reason for God

Over the last week, I’ve been consuming books by former Presbyterian pastor, Timothy Keller. Partly because my WIP is about the Garden of Eden. But mostly for personal reasons. My father-in-law, Richard Platt, passed away on Saturday, after a long battle with a veritable mountain of ailments. And so, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about the subject of death as well as about what lies ahead of us.

I came to Timothy while watching a sermon from now-former pastor and family friend, Pete James. Pete mentioned three favorite authors, with C.S. Lewis and Timothy Keller being two of them (the third one escapes my memory). So, I watched one of Timothy’s sermons on YouTube (The Wounded Spirit) and was blown away by it. Right away, I bought his first book, The Reason for God.

Suffice it to say, it was truly eye-opening. I thought I understood Christianity before this, but nope. Not even close. Rather, my views were similar to those of the Pharisees. That is, people should, by and large, avoid sin and attempt to live as morally as possible. Which, to my astonishment, was utterly wrong. Even my working definition of “sin” was wrong. So, yeah … I’ve got a lot of soul-searching to do. Perhaps strange to say, but I’m excited about it!

A brief look back at TORRENT

This week’s excerpt comes to you from TORRENT, book #3 in the Cy Reed Adventures. This is still my best-selling book of all-time, I believe. Anyway, it’s fun to look back at how I used to write, versus how I write now. Enjoy!

A bloodcurdling howl rang out. I tightened my grip on my machete. My other hand flew to my shoulder holster.

Transporting my gun to Mexico had proven difficult. But I was glad to have it. Alligators and crocodiles lined the shores of the nearby river. Jaguars, pumas, ocelots, tapirs, and other animals roamed the jungle.

The howl died out. Slowly, I released the pistol. But I kept my machete in front of me.

Picking up the pace, I strode ahead of Miranda. Rows of giant palm trees dotted the landscape, forming a series of massive, endless walls. Saw grass, briars, thorn-covered bushes, and acacias sliced at my arms and legs. Ankle-deep mud sucked at my boots, threatening to pull them right off my feet. I found it amazing Beverly and I had survived our all-too-brief foray through the jungle.

“Stop,” I called out.

Miranda stopped. So did Beverly. Silence and stillness fell over the area.

I aimed my beam at a rusty metal pole. It was awkwardly angled and covered with soil. “It’s over there,” I said. “It looks like an old biplane.”

Cy Reed Progress Report

I’m now on draft #3 of my current Cy Reed book, tentatively entitled, Curse of Eden. I have no idea if that title will stick. Probably not. I tend to pick out the title right at the end of a story, not at the beginning.

So, you can probably guess that this story has something to do with the Garden of Eden. Originally, it started out as a book about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I’d planned to incorporate some of the amazing research done by Stephanie Dalley in her book, The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced. But as I ventured deeper into the story, I found my vision of the garden changing until it became the Garden of Eden.

Anyway, I’m roughly a third of the way through this draft. The story is still taking shape on the page, although I think I see where it’s going. I’m hoping to have it finished up by the end of the month!

Banned from Facebook?

Last night, Facebook unpublished my author page, claiming that it went “against our community standards.” Needless to say, I was flabbergasted. What did me in? Was it my weekly Work-in-Progress excerpt? Or perhaps it was my occasional thoughts on the writing process? I didn’t know and they wouldn’t tell me.

I understand that Facebook has been under a lot of pressure to police content. Even so, I was caught by surprise. After all, I don’t talk about politics or sex and I don’t use profanity. My page is about my writing and my life, period. I can only assume that a bot mistagged my content. Regardless, I was unable to request a formal review of the decision, with Facebook explaining that it has “fewer reviewers right now because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.” All I could do was register my “disagreement” with the decision.

This story has a happy-ish ending. In the dead of night, Facebook reinstated my author page. No explanation, though. Just a note telling me it had been published again after a review of my “appeal.” I suppose I feel fortunate. In researching this issue, I came across lots of stories from people who’d lost their Facebook page and never gotten it back.

Truthfully, I don’t have a big Facebook audience. Plus, Facebook deliberately limits my reach, requiring one to pay up in order to reach a larger percentage of one’s own fans. So, my engagement tends to be rather limited. If I had lost the page, I doubt it would’ve hurt me much.

As of late, some of my author friends and I have been discussing the peril of building our platforms on third-party sites. Frequent rule changes and rising ad costs are often cited as key problems. I guess I can now add the risk of accidental deplatforming to the list. All in all, I don’t see much point in building something that could be taken from me at any time. I’ll continue to cross-post on Facebook for the time being. But going forward, I’ll be putting more of my effort into this website as well as into my newsletter.

Once the Same … Now, Totally Different

Random thought of the day …

Growing up, everyone I knew had seen the same movies, watched the same shows, played the same games, listened to the same songs, and, in many cases, even read the same books.

These days, nobody I know does anything the same. I imagine part of it is content explosion, part of it is better catering to specific tastes. Regardless, it’s sometimes strange how broad and disconnected our cultural experiences have become.

Cy Reed Prequel becomes a Sequel

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a new Cy Reed story. It was to be part of an origins series, one that would describe how Cy Reed got to Chaos in the first place. It started out as an expedition to uncover one of the lost Ancient Wonders of the World and turned into … well, something else.

Regardless, the story continued to come along quite well. But there was a problem. The Cy I was writing about was far less green than I’d imagined. And he was coping with an emotional issue that would’ve put him ahead of where he was in Chaos. And as I was finishing up the second draft, I had an epiphany. It turns out this isn’t a prequel after all. It’s a sequel. To Fury, specifically.

And yet, it still feels … different. I don’t know if I’ll slot this one in as Cy Reed Adventures #6 or continue with my original plan to start a whole new series. I guess I’ll see how it turns out.

So, here’s an excerpt from my Work-in-Progress. It’s raw and not fully edited. But it should give you a good idea of how things are going. Enjoy!

We were positioned behind a couple of medium-sized boulders, lined up in the middle portion of the cavern. I held my pistol loosely in my left hand. My legs were comfortable and I kept up a steady aim at the light. And all the while, a single thought replayed endlessly in my brain.

Does it ever get better?

The past few years had been some of the worst of my life. Which was unfortunate, because they should’ve been some of the best. After all, I’d discovered an important lost treasure and gone public with my story, thus clearing my family’s name. I’d never really sought glory before, but suddenly, it’d been mine for the taking.

Unfortunately, that glory had been short-lived. For in telling the truth about Fort Knox, I’d also caused tremendous embarrassment to then-President Wade Walters. I knew he’d retaliate. I just never realized how far he’d take it.

Building an Author Platform

How much Internet time do you spend away from social media? That is, do you browse around, visit favorite sites? Or do you mostly stick to what Facebook/Twitter/etc. offer you?
 
The reason I ask is this … the Internet giants continue to tighten the screws, making it increasingly difficult (and expensive) to reach new fans and retain old ones. Plus, the rules of engagement change frequently and without notice.
 
Going forward, I’d like to put more time and effort into my website. At the very least, rework the blog feature so I can cross-post there. That’ll give me more control in how I reach readers. But I wonder if it would even be successful, given browsing habits. What do you think?
Broken Ties

Broken Ties is here! Plus, Cy Reed News!

Broken TiesI’m thrilled to announce the release of Broken Ties, the second book in my ground-breaking Broken Nature trilogy. Broken Nature, as you’ll recall, takes place in a post-apocalyptic future in which all of Earth’s surface water has vanished. Like all of my work, it’s stuffed to the brim with action and adventure, epic mysteries, and jaw-dropping twists!

Book Description
Two cities, ripped apart by fear. One secret that could save them … or end them forever.

Day and night, Titus Foster treks across the hinterlands, hunting for his hated brother, Dargon. Consumed with vengeance, he fails to see that Natica is splitting apart … until it’s too late. A sudden, violent coup erupts in the heart of the city. Forced to flee, Titus races toward a legendary mountain fortress known as the Shell. An astonishing secret awaits him, one that could unite his people … or send them spiraling into civil war.

Meanwhile, age-old secrets rock Luminosity. Framed and vilified, Kayden Kell must run for her life. Hunted by a growing mob, she delves deep into the city’s disturbing history. What she uncovers could bring about her people’s salvation … or their total destruction.

Broken Ties is a rip-roaring, post-apocalyptic adventure, perfect for fans of mystery-box TV shows like Wayward Pines and the 100 as well as for readers of Greig Beck, Hugh Howey, Blake Crouch, Michael C. Grumley, A.G. Riddle, and Jeremy Robinson. This heart-pounding tale will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page!

***Your copy of Broken Ties is just moments away. Click anywhere you see the title or cover, or the links below, to purchase it from Amazon!***


What’s Next?

Next up, we’ve got Broken People, the epic finale of the Broken Nature trilogy! It goes live on May 6, 2021. Pre-order it today by clicking the above link or the cover.Broken People

After that, we’ve got … Cy Reed! That’s right, Cy Reed is back after a way-too-long hiatus. This new story, tentatively entitled, Curse of Eden, is the first book in my all-new, Cy Reed: Lost Cities series. These books will explore our intrepid hero’s early days, prior to the events of Chaos. Curse of Eden is in its final round of edits and should be finished in the next week. Unfortunately, I don’t have a cover to share with you yet. Expect to see it in my next newsletter, though!

In closing, I have a favor to ask of you. Reviews are a huge driver of book sales, so leaving one—or even just a rating—makes it possible for me to keep doing this. So, please take a few moments and leave a review for Broken Ties on Amazon and / or Goodreads. Thanks in advance … I deeply appreciate it!

Yours in Adventure,
David Meyer