Tag Archives: Book

Pre-Order Kindle version of The Halley Branch!

The Halley Branch is available for pre-order on Amazon!  Well, at least the Kindle version is ready.  The book will be released on July 24, 2018 – 11 days from now.  At that time the paperback version will be available and all Kindle pre-orders will be “shipped”.

Here are a few places you can pre-order:

US
UK
France
Canada
Australia

If you want to try from another country, just go to Amazon and search my name “Trent McDonald” or the title “The Halley Branch”.  Hint, using the title will bring it up as the number one choice. Continue reading

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The Halley Branch – Launch Date!

The Halley Branch Cover

I am pleased to announce a launch date for The Halley Branch!  Unless something changes, it will be published on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.  That is exactly three weeks from today!

An evil 300 years in the making.  A trap set 150 years in the past.

The day should have been a normal “family day” at the Hawkins’ Mausoleum, but a premonition followed Trevor into the crypt. To make matters worse, he couldn’t shake his morning vision of a dead woman draped in a funeral-shroud.

After rescuing a girl trapped in the tomb, repressed memories forced him to reevaluate everything. Was his extended family a cult with roots going back to America’s colonial past?  Was the evil Benjamin Halley still stalking his tomb after 150 years? Was there any truth to the Power described by the family’s patriarch, Miles Hawkins?

Trevor realized that he was being manipulated and drawn into a trap set in the 19th century, and feared that everyone around him had already been ensnared.  Who could he trust?  The members of his own family’s Branch, The Bradford’s, like his cousins Bill or Stan?  Perhaps members of the Hawkins Branch, such as the beautiful but jaded Amelie?  The one Branch he knew not to trust was the extinct Halley Branch.

But the Halley’s were the ones who were welcoming him with open, if dead, arms.

 

Benjamin – The Halley Branch

Benjamin Halley was born on February 19, 1827, Jeremiah and Susan’s first and only child.  Susan Halley died just a few days after Benjamin was born.  His father was sympathetic.  Jeremiah’s own mother, Rebecca, died when he was only one.  And his own father, George Halley, was only three when his mother passed away.  The Halley men were all only children raised by single fathers, and Benjamin was going to continue this trend.

As a young man Benjamin was shy and sensitive.  But, like most of the Halleys, he was brilliant and driven.  He attended Harvard and had his own businesses by the time he was 22.  His father, Jeremiah, passed away when Benjamin was only 25, leaving his vast holdings and business to his only son.

It wasn’t just the huge Halley wealth that Benjamin inherited.  He grew even more like his father. Continue reading

The Halley Branch – Tweaked Cover

The Halley Branch Cover

When I did my cover reveal for The Halley Branch, I had one person ask me if it was an alien.  What?  “The skull just seems flat to me, but what do I know?”  I checked by putting a photo of a skull in the same position over it as a layer in Photoshop.  Actually it was pretty close, but yeah, slightly too flat.  I wasn’t going to do anything about it, but then, you know, there will always be someone out there who will say, “I bought your book thinking it was about aliens!  That skull is so misleading!!”   It took me about 5 minutes in Photoshop to get a little closer to the photo of a human skull I had imported.  Not exact, but closer.

What do you think?  A little less like an alien?

An evil 300 years in the making.  A trap set 150 years in the past.

The day should have been a normal “family day” at the Hawkins’ Mausoleum, but a premonition followed Trevor into the crypt. To make matters worse, he couldn’t shake his morning vision of a dead woman draped in a funeral-shroud.

After rescuing a girl trapped in the tomb, repressed memories forced him to reevaluate everything. Was his extended family a cult with roots going back to America’s colonial past?  Was the evil Benjamin Halley still stalking his tomb after 150 years? Was there any truth to the Power described by the family’s patriarch, Miles Hawkins?

Trevor realized that he was being manipulated and drawn into a trap set in the 19th century, and feared that everyone around him had already been ensnared.  Who could he trust?  The members of his own family’s Branch, The Bradford’s, like his cousins Bill or Stan?  Perhaps members of the Hawkins Branch, such as the beautiful but jaded Amelie?  The one Branch he knew not to trust was the extinct Halley Branch.

But the Halley’s were the ones who were welcoming him with open, if dead, arms.

Introducing Bethy – The Halley Branch

The Halley Branch Cover

Bethy was all Trevor could wish for in a girlfriend and more.  Although relatively uneducated, she was very intelligent and willing to learn.  In fact, when Trevor met her she was using a big chunk of her meager wages as a chain-restaurant hostess to take college classes.  She was also a talented writer with a handful of published works who appeared to be just on the verge of being discovered.  Bethy was very pretty, some would say gorgeous, the sexiest woman Trevor had ever met, a curvy blond with piercing blue eyes.  She had an “It Factor” that drew the attention of everyone in every room she entered.

Most importantly, she saw past Trevor’s social awkwardness and accepted him for who he was.

Trevor and Bethy had been together for more than six years and had never had a serious argument.  Well, Trevor vaguely remembered something, but it was always just beyond his grasp, so he could only assumed there were few arguments.  There was that time, but it was foggy, and.. well, if he didn’t remember, it must fine.  Their relationship was a trusting, each spending time with their own friends. Yet they were good together and often escaped the city for romantic weekends away. Continue reading

Introducing Trevor – The Halley Branch

Imagine living your life day to day almost by rote or routine.  Everything seems to be going great.  A super career, a great relationship with your significant other, a loving family, an ideal life.  But then what if  you discovered that it was all a lie?

Trevor woke up early on Saturday, August 15, and started his normal routine.  The day turned out as anything but routine.  Visiting the Hawkins Mausoleum might have been normal, but premonitions and visions of a dead girl or woman covered in only a funeral shroud cast a pall over the entire day.  And that was just the begining.  Within a few days he began to question everything.  Was his girlfriend Bethy really “the one”?  Was their relationship as perfect as he had assumed?  He was considered an “enfant terrible”  at work and skipped many rungs in his climb up the corporate ladder, but why had he stalled?  Was he really letting his coworkers down?

And then there was his family.  Were they really a cult with roots going back to colonial America?  And why were his memories from the “black side” of the family, the African American Hawkins Branch, so foggy, as if blocked from the outside? Continue reading

Looking for Beta-Readers!

The Halley Branch Cover - front

I’m looking for Beta-Readers for the Halley Branch.  You may have actually read this book!  Yes, I originally posted this as a serialized novel a few years back.  But it has changed a bit since then. Mostly some details have been filled in, characters made “real” and that type of stuff to make a bunch of blog posts become an actually book.

The Book

The book is a bit of a ghost story with “magic” and strange philosophy.  Paranormal?  I think of it as some place between contemporary fantasy and horror, perhaps closer to horror.  Not copying Stephen King, but in that vicinity.  I am posting the blurb at the bottom of the page.  The book is about 100K words.  There is some (not much) “bad” language and a few “adult situations”, though nothing in any graphic detail (if you make it past the first chapter, you are set).  Maybe one or two disturbing scenes, though these were posted on the blog without any complaints (as was most of the more sexual parts).

Where We Are

I finished the fourth draft of this two months ago.  Last week I read through it and made some minor tweaks.  After I get feedback I will do at least one more revision, perhaps a draft if called for.  After that it will go into editing mode, correcting all of those pesky mistakes that always show up. Continue reading

The Halley Branch Cover Reveal Part 2

The Halley Branch Cover - front

Yesterday I posted the cover for The Halley Branch.  Today I want to say a few things about it.

Several months ago I asked some people how early they do a cover reveal.  i was very surprised that most said 4 to 6 months.  I had someone say their publishing company did the reveal before the book was even finished!  So now that it is out there, I can use the image when I talk about it.

Some of you read the rough draft of the book when I posted it as a serial.  Do you recognize this image? Continue reading

Cover Reveal – The Halley Branch!

The Halley Branch Cover - front

It is still several months out, but I thought you all might like to see what the cover for The Halley Branch will look like.

What do you think?  Like it?

Here is a rough draft of the front and back together.  This is subject to change.  (I will have a second post with some conversation about the cover later): Continue reading

Sisters – Season’s Version

Sisters

(Note – This is a more finished version of two stories that I posted here several years ago.   It is in my book of short stories Seasons of Imagination.)

The bustle and buzz emanating from the hall announced the arrival of the kids long before they’d actually entered the classroom. They usually drove together from the high school, arriving en masse, a little gaggle on their own. The energy level of the room rose even though the small tribe was still in the hall.

Paul glanced over at the other students. He wasn’t sure if it was the early time of day or just the nature of the class, but all of the others were retirees. The five of them, Margret, George, Shelley, Ellen and Marilyn, though friendly enough, seemed to keep to themselves, their easels huddled to one side of the room as if afraid the high school kids had some type of contagious disease.

Paul, a young computer programmer and so a member of neither group, set up in the middle of the room, a firewall between the volatile youth and the more sedate retirees. Sarah Graudot, the drawing instructor, was Paul’s contemporary, give or take a few years, but was different. She had the ability to treat all equally and the instinct to understand who needed her help.

“Hey Mrs. G, guess what?” Paul turned to the door to see Shawna entering followed by her groupies. “The academy accepted me! I’ll be going to New York next year.” Continue reading