… he pops up on this incredibly awesome list. VERY humbled to be included here with the likes of James Elroy, Lawrence Block, and Jo Nesbo.
Drug addiction and detective fiction. Hand in hand.
LOTS of great reviews.
This is such an awesome moment for me.
After all these years of trying to get this book published? Then to finally GET it published? And then to have people react so positively?
I’m really humbled, and yeah… of course I’m over the moon happy at the responses.
Here are some review quotes that I wanted to share with you. It’s crazy, that after over a decade of trying to get this book published, I get the words and thoughts like those below, directed at this book, Lost Wings:
B. Claypole White: “Yes, even the chilling, earthly version of Lucifer. I can’t recommend this action-packed novel enough–for character, for plot, for depictions of heaven and hell, and for good-old fashioned story.“
John M.: “The book lays out a convincing sense of binding the human with the celestial. Vale retraces and integrates well known spiritual axioms, metaphorical allusions, and millennia old narratives into a palpable pop culture, action movie saga. Clearly, he had to believe in his “point of departure” and the ability to carry it forward with confidence, to make this story work.”
ravenwood: It’s fast paced, with characters you want to root for, and unexpected twists and turns. Kept me reading until way too late in the night. C
Sandy94901: I typically do not go for “fantasy” novels but the story line of Lost Wings caught me immediately and felt so very real.
J. Joiner: This book pulled me and I finished in a mere 2 days. Yet this isn’t Milton or Dantes take on hell. No this is hell as we make it in our minds. I look forward in eagerness to the second book.
Syliva M. Barker: “Very interesting characters and storyline. I enjoyed this foray into the paranormal and found the storyline not only interesting but also rather intriguing. The idea of a hero going to hell to save an angel and the human race is fascinating reading and his ability to withstand the devil and his minions give hope to mankind.”
Amazon Customer: “I truly hope the author writes a sequel to this tale as I would love to read more about Richard Eastman and how God’s plan comes about.“
Kindle Customer: “It was great. I wanted it to go on. I read the whole book and didn’t put it down unless I had to, really a great read.”
Amazon Customer: “This book was a very enjoyable read. Perfect for a night by the fire and a good glass of wine.“
(And my favorite) Amazon Customer: “Part hardboiled noir. Part fantasy. Part horror. Mix it all together and enjoy a great story about loss and redemption with action worthy of a John Wick movie and the best version of hell I’ve read. Highly recommended.“
Totally awesome. and I AM really humbled, but yeah… there’s a bit of being proud in there, too. I admit it.:-)
Yup. If you want an Urban Fantasy (I am writing under a pen name for this series) to curl up by the fire and read on those cold, winter nights, NOW is the time to act!
You can find it here, on Free Kindle Books.
To refresh your memory as to what the book is about:
“Richard Eastman wasn’t looking for redemption. He was content drowning his memories of the Gulf War, his dead brother, and a father whose love had always seemed unattainable. But when an angel whose wings have been sawn off arrives in his life, “Captain Eastman” makes a decision:
Save the angel and return her wings or die trying.
In search of the wingless angel, Eastman battles demonic henchmen on the streets of San Francisco, venturing down to the deepest levels of Hell, all the way to Lucifer’s throne. For Captain Richard Eastman, the only way home is death or victory; the only way to redemption is to help his angel and retrieve her missing wings.”
And once you’ve bought it and read it, please let me know what your thoughts are on it by giving it a review. That would be deeply appreciated.
Lost Wings is now available on Amazon, both as hard copy and E-book.
It took fifteen years of never giving up on this book to get to this day, and you know, yeah… I feel pretty proud at this moment. The book was always there in my desk drawer, and it always there in my mind.
I just knew that I could never give up.
And now here it is, published through an incredible press, Elephant’s Bookshelf Press. This house has never published books like mine before, like Lost Wings, but they were willing to take a chance on Richard Eastman, Avesta, Demarco, and Lucifer. And for that, I will always be grateful.
So, after all these long years, this novel about a war vet that comes home one night to find a wingless angel in his bathtub and then goes off on the mission of his life to find those wings, is finally here.
Hope you have as much fun reading it, as I did writing it.
I thought it would be cool to share the prologue to Lost Wings with you all (coming out September 22nd, 2017), to sort of “whet your appetite”.
At the end of the darkness were the hands.
The concept of hands touching her, grasping at her, hurting her, was new. Her skin felt as if it were on fire, as if she would burn up.
Her mind reeled, a mind that was used to being a part of a larger consciousness. She experienced being alone for the first time since she had been given form so long ago, in a time before the mind of man was even conceived.
Where was God?
Where were the Seraphim?
She was being held down on a cold, hard floor. Darkness was all around, the very air a great weight on her chest. Then there were voices, murmuring to each other in awe. She could make out snippets of sentences over the rushing in her ears.
“Jesus, Jeet, we really got her.”
“Demarco, man, you did it!”
It hurt to breathe, and she gasped for air. She felt heavier than the Earth itself, unable to lift even a finger. She was used to feeling as weightless as a beam of pure light, or a thought. Then it hit her: she had been captured. But that was supposed to be impossible! God would never allow it.
“Turn her over, man!”
The voices were a scourge across her skin. She was lifted off the floor and turned over onto her face. She experienced smells for the first time, and her stomach churned. They were sharp, bitter, filled with disease and decay. How was any of this happening? It was supposed to be impossible for humans to come near her, much less hold or bind her. Any human would be immolated, turned to dust unless she allowed the contact to be made or render herself visible to their eyes. If a human were to see her as she truly was, they would go blind, their eyes burned out of their heads. But now? Now she struggled, but it was as if the hands that held her were stone: unbreakable and unmovable.
Then another voice spoke in the darkness, and she understood. This voice was unlike the others. It was deep and resonating, filled with an evil power she was familiar with, for she had been at war with that power since before the dawn of time.
“Give me the saw,” said the voice, and for the first time, she knew panic.
Her heart raced, threatening to break through her ribs. And her wings, her beautiful, white feathered wings, flapped desperately.
“Hold her down, God damn it! Get her wings under control, asshole!” A sharp pain stabbed her in the back. She struggled wildly, but it was useless. She was a butterfly, caught on a pin.
“Look at it, bitch,” said the powerful voice. A huge, heavily tattooed hand pushed a rusty saw into her field of vision. It was an evil-looking thing: the sharp, bent teeth seemed to leer at her. “See that?” the voice grated. “This is what’s going to take your stupid, fucking Grace.” She tried to crane her neck to see the speaker, but it was impossible.
“You will be cursed for all time, if you do this!” she said.
A higher pitched voice chimed in, mocking her. “You will be cursed! For all time!” It then broke into a cackling giggle.
“Welcome to the shit,” said the powerful voice. The saw disap- peared from her field of vision. Then there was a tearing and ripping on her back, on the bones that supported her wings. The pain shot down the bones, white hot, and into the very fiber of her body. Her eyes seemed to burn, and the world turned upside down. She shrieked, an explosion that made her throat burst. There was the sound of glass shattering, followed by someone yelling, “Christ man, my ears! Get a fucking gag!” A fouled piece of cloth was shoved into her mouth, choking her. The air filled with the sound of the saw, ripping and shredding its merciless way through her. The pain filled her mind. She was falling into a cauldron of boiling lead. There was a roaring in her ears, louder than the clash of the Thrones’ wings. Her vision dimmed, and she wondered if this was what the approach of death felt like for the ones she guarded. She didn’t even feel the saw stop its terrible, devastating path through her body.
“That’s one,” said the powerful voice, like a doctor removing an organ from an unfortunate patient. “Now, the other.”
Then it began again, but she had passed beyond it, her body unable to hold the pain; the first pain she ever felt. Silver tears, like little drops of mercury, formed in her eyes for the first time, then fell to the dirty floor where they pooled and were forgotten. At the last moment, she gathered her few remaining beads of energy and sent out a lightning bolt of thought, straight to God. She knew He would hear her, would feel her desperation and despair. She focused every last shred of energy into that one, final plea for help.
“Hurry, man!” the higher pitched voice said, “I think something’s coming!”
“Shut up, Jeet.”
“I know something’s coming! I asked for a saw, not this butter knife!” Then: “Done!”
She spun faster and faster, over and over, end over end… falling at the speed of light. It was as if everything she had ever known or had ever been was stripped away, leaving only the thought that she was truly apart from Him now. Alone. She closed her eyes against the pain and sorrow that enveloped her.
“Put ‘em in the sack and let’s get movin’. Hurry, you assholes!” “But what about her? We’re not supposed to leave–”
“Don’t you think I know that? No time! Move, damn it!”
There was the rumble of distant thunder, and she felt the atmosphere around her turn warm and then hot. The air hummed with electricity. The insides of her eyelids turned red, and she opened her eyes. The room was bathed in a fierce, white light, her skin feeling like it would blister from the intense heat. There were screams of agony and pain all around her.
He had sent aid.
It felt as if every ion had suddenly been charged exponentially. There were more screams, and she thought she heard someone begging for mercy, but she couldn’t be sure. The world lurched around her, and then she was receding down a long tunnel away from the light, the voices, and the pain. She had a faint impression of a woman’s soft voice, praying. Praying to her, beseeching her for help. It continued for only a second, but then she knew no more.
If you enjoyed this, please consider purchasing a copy, available in ebook and paperback formats.
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It’s about this (from the back cover blurb):
When Richard Eastman, a down-and-out veteran of the Gulf War, returns to his room in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district after another night of alcohol-fueled fighting, he finds a woman in a shimmering gown who has strange injuries on her shoulder blades. She is the angel Avesta, whose wings were stolen and who desperately needs to find them or be shut out of Heaven. With little to go on but his wits and experience, Richard takes on a new mission — save the angel or die trying. But in order to help Avesta retrieve her wings, Richard must battle his way through Hell’s minions all the way to Hell’s king: Lucifer the Morningstar.
Lost Wings arrives 9.22.2017, via EBP – Elephant’s Bookshelf Press.
How have you been? I know, I’ve been gone (again) a LONG time. But this time, I bring back good news.
My Urban Fantasy novel, Lost Wings, is about to arrive next month, via Elephant’s Bookshelf Press. It’ll be out as both an E-Book, and a Print On Demand (P.O.D.).
The story: “When derelict Iraq War vet Richard Eastman comes home to find a wingless angel in his bathtub, he realizes that there is only one option: help her to reclaim her wings, or die trying. It’s a mission that will take Richard from San Francisco’s Tenderloin district all the way down to the lowest levels of Hell.”
Here is the finalized cover:
I wrote this novel over ten years ago, tried and tried to find an agent or publisher, but no go. Every so often I would take it out and rewrite it to the level of my writing abilities at that time. I just couldn’t give up on it (obviously, lol).
If you’re wondering about the “Don M. Vail”, my agent told me that since it is in a genre SOOOO far from my usual one (Mystery/Thriller) that I should take a pen name and do the, “Robert K. Lewis writing as Don M. Vail” thing.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. It’s been SUCH a long road. I’ll show you the back cover copy when it’s finalized.
Like I said, been a long time coming.