Tag Archive: novel



body snatchers
NOTE: This review contains spoilers, so read only if you choose to.
Ever since the 1956 black and white classic movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was released certain phrases became part of everyday life for most folks.  I’ve heard things like:  Pod person?  Have you checked his/her basement for any giant seed pods?  So-and-so is acting weird, you think he/she might’ve been switched by a seed pod?  Dunno, if they did it’s an improvement… (this one was directed at me more than once, fyi).
But before the movie came the novel, a brilliant piece of fiction by Jack Finney (who also authored other great works such as “Time and Again”, “The Night People” and many others which I hope to read and review down the road).  However, it was “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” that captured the minds of readers.  Released in 1955, it was subsequently snatched up by Hollywood to be made into a movie in 1956.
Interestingly, despite the time of the book’s release Mr. Finney seems to have had no intention of making his book about McCarthyism or the “Red Menace” (referring to Russia and socialism during the Cold War).  Instead, it seemed to hint at the loss of individuality and personal freedom, as well as (from my point of view) the overuse of the planet’s resources.
Those who’ve seen the original 1956 movie already know the basic plot, a small town doctor in California begins encountering patients who swear their nearest and dearest are not who they appear.  Each of these people swear that somehow their mother/father/uncle/teacher you name it… has been somehow replaced by a doppleganger who intends some kind of menace.  The patients admit that the individual in question looks, sounds and acts like the person they’ve known all their lives, but SOMETHING is missing and that’s how they know the person they’ve loved has been replaced.  Naturally, the good doctor talks to some of these ‘replaced’ individuals and finds nothing amiss, at least nothing he can really put his finger on.  And being a man of science and medicine he chalks it up to mass hysteria, especially after referring some of the patients to a psychiatrist friend of his (unknowing of course that his friend was replaced some time back).
The doctor then meets an old flame who’s come back to town and they start dating only to notice there are some differences going on in their little home town.  Restaurants that were normally busy as can be are practically empty, some of the homes/businesses seem to be slacking off on work and even basic maintenance, etc.  Then some of the good doctor’s patients who had complained that someone close to them had ‘changed’ begin telling him (with exaggerated embarrassment) about how silly they had been acting and that all is well, etc.
Of course we the readers are fully aware that something is up and follow the doctor and company slowly catching on as well.  The final proof for our protagonists comes when a close friend summons him late at night to check on a ‘dead’ body found in his basement.  As one can surmise, the body is one of the invading pods that is slowly replicating the doctor’s friend, little by little in an attempt to replace him.  This is where the action really kicks into high gear as the pieces start coming together for our heroes and heroines.  The clock begins to tick and the horror begins to dawn on them as they discover hidden pods making these duplicates and now they must alert the town only to learn to their growing horror that they may be the last 4 normal humans who are not being targeted for replacement.
All of this can be seen in the movie, which was shot on a shoe-string budget to great effect.  However, there are certain scenes which were left out which shows that the pods were not as intelligent as many think.  The doctor speaks with a botanist who tells him about a farmer summoning him to his barn where a some strange large pods showed up amidst his trashcans.  The botanist tells the doctor that aside from the unusual pods (“…which over time I probably could have identified, but not right then…”) he saw nothing unusual except two empty tin cans of tomato sauce that looked remarkably similar, along with 2 axes with identical broken handles amidst the rubbish.
Another part that is left out of the original movie is the revelation that the pods travel through space and purposely land on various planets or astral bodies in search of things to duplicate and replace.  “The moon was quite lush at one time…” it’s revealed, “Mars too…” For me, these passages raised the threat and terror levels to all time highs.  Furthermore, the pod-people reveal that they only have a 5 year existence, and that they cannot reproduce themselves, thus they must help grow more pods to keep their ‘race’ alive.
At this point the idea of not McCarthyism or Communism being the implied threat went out the door for me.  The good doctor gets the pod people to reveal that they can duplicate anything that is/was alive and that the originals simply crumble to grey fluff after being duplicated and replaced.  Meaning grass, trees, animals, etc.  In 5-10 years time everything on Earth would be duplicated and then the duplicates would themselves perish, leaving a dead planet behind while the newest pods would float up back into outer space and find another world to drain of its resources.  At one point the pod speaker says, “How is it any different than the way your kind are using up what your planet offers?”
Again for the most part, the movie closely follows the book remarkably well.  However, the climactic finish differs wildly… and I’m NOT about to share it with you.  This is a cracking good read so I suggest you get your own novel, Kindle/Nook, or audio version of the story and let it capture your imagination.
As Stan Lee would say, “Nuff said…”
Advertisements

the-vampyre-blogs-coming-home-cover-5

The third installment of my Para-Earth Series, “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” will be released on October 28th!

That’s right folks, Halloween will start a couple of days early, so get ready to grab your copy of the next installment of the Para-Earth Series. The book will be available in Trade Paperback, Kindle, Nook, Sony, Apple and all other e-readers.

Within these pages of this novel you’ll meet a whole new breed of vampire who drinks blood, needs to sleep in the ground, avoids sunlight (because he’ll start to sparkle as in slowly spontaneously combusting), and cannot eat garlic. He’s also one of the best people you’d ever want to have on your side in a bad situation.

“My name is Nathaniel Eoghan Stewart, in the Spring of 1862 I joined the Union army to help end slavery and preserve our country. As I left, I promised my family I wouldn’t let the war change me… but I was wrong, so very wrong…”

Keep watching this page for more entries from some of the other characters you’ll be meeting in this the first novel co-written with my wife Helen, who has been an integral part of the science side of the Para-Earth Series since it all began.

If you’d like to learn more about the characters, we have a collection of short stories over on our blog titled “The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition” (note: None of the short stories appear in the book itself. What you will be getting in the book is a brand new full-length adventure).

Below is the link to the first blog entry, where you will meet Nathan. From there, you can read the rest in order by clicking the word “Newer” at the bottom of the page or check out the Archives section located to the right of the entry.

I hope you enjoy what you find there, and look forward to the novel itself which contains the occasional reference to some of these short stories.

http://thevampyreblogs.blogspot.com/2014/01/first-blog-entry-of-nathanial-steward.html


After a prolonged absence, I’m pleased to announce that book 1 in my Para-Earth Series is back online at Amazon. Newly re-edited, my first venture into the world of writing is back and better than ever.

Those who purchased a copy in the past should be receiving the updated version automatically through Amazon. Give it a few days and check to see if the words “Re-edited 3rd Edition” appears on the second page. If by week’s end that hasn’t happened, check “Manage Your Content and Devices” under your Amazon account and make sure the “Device Sychronization” (WhisperSync settings” is ON.

Amazon has told me there might be a few days delay in getting the new edition to those who already have the book in their collection.

And for those who haven’t gotten a copy yet, now’s your chance to see where the mystery and wonder began. Click on the link below and get your copy now, before book 3 in the Para-Earth Series arrives next month…

https://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Something-waits-Para-Earth-Book-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=pd_ybh_a_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ZYQ9Y12832F2PRH58EC2

8f201-thebridgebookcoverpressreleasekit


In spite of all the excitement of “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” being released this October, I keep hearing people ask “Whatever happened to “The Door”?  Are you going to finish that storyline with Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassandra?”  Of course I’m pleased to tell you all the answer is a resounding YES!  I am working on it as we speak in fact.  In fact I’ve been working on it for quite a while… a really long while… like over two years…. (groan)
SMLXL

“What happened?” I hear you ask.  Well it’s quite simple.  I’ve spent the last 24 months with a serious case of too many ideas.  What does that look like you ask?  Here, let me show you.
SMXLL

I keep getting new scenes going that help move the story along but after a while these new ideas wind up derailing the main plot of the story and I have to pull them out again.  And when that happens I end up hitting the infamous “Writer’s Block” and find myself unable to move the story forward.  This has happened a number of times.  Of course, some people will suggest that you have an outline to follow and stick to it.  This is a great idea, but unfortunately in my case, a number of my characters wind up with ideas of their own that are often way better than what I had planned in my outline and things end up going in a completely different direction.  And quite often those new directions are way better than what I had originally had in mind.  So I mainly work with a ‘loose’ outline.  There are some scenes and ideas that I have nailed down for sure, and then areas where I’m still finding a direction to head in.
However, in the case of “The Door” I had a number of scenes that were so solid there was nothing that could make me budge from using them…  and I wound up hitting wall after wall.  I’d go as far as to introduce new characters such as my vampyre Nathan, who makes his debut in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, at one point.  By adding him I created a bunch of new scenes that really helped the plot along, but also wound up sending the word count skyrocketing.  How did this happen?  By adding Nathan I had to introduce him to the audience, then the other characters, blah-blah-blah… too many words.  But by keeping certain scenes he inspired and giving those scenes to existing characters, I moved the story along much quicker and made those characters more interesting.
Furthermore, when I write a story keeps evolving.  I have a good idea where it begins and ends, but the in between stuff gets fuzzy sometimes.  As I mentioned earlier, my characters sometimes go off in better directions than what I had planned which leads to other problems.  Remember how I mentioned I had certain scenes planned for the story that I was going to use no matter what?  Well, some of those became stumbling blocks and it took me the longest time to come to terms with the fact that they no longer fit the story as it was developing and I had to edit them out…
SLXLM

For me this was hard, because I really fell in love with those planned scenes.  However, as I’ve told many other writers, those scenes will not go to waste.  Instead, I saved them in another file folder on my computer where they will one day see the light of day in another book, where they will fit in just perfectly.
So what shape is “The Door” in now?  Much trimmer and faster-paced than in its previous incarnations.  The story is tense, exciting, full of mystery, with a growing sense of menace that I hope will keep you all on the edge of your seats to the very end.  Certain friends you’ve met before are starting to have an air of menace about them, and will make you wonder if they can still be trusted.  While newer characters will keep you guessing about their allegiances until the very end.
At this point the story is sitting at 50,000 words, and will probably wind up at about 110,000 or less by the time I’m finished.  Many unanswered questions from the first two books “The Bridge” and “The Ship” will be answered.  Furthermore, the fallout from the battle scene with the police at the end of “The Bridge” will be playing a key part in this novel.  I hope to have a completed first draft before the end of the year.
Finally, I’m also working on two collaborations as well.  One is with my wife Helen who co-authored “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  The other is “The Pass” with one of my best friends from high school Richard Caminiti.   He and I hope to have a completed first draft by the end of this year or early next year.
I’m also hoping to have each of them do some blog entries here so you can find out their thoughts on writing and having to put up with me.
Until next time, take care and keep writing my friends.

Rosemary's Baby

I’ve waited to get my hands on this novel for some time and it was certainly worth the wait.

Keeping in mind that this book was written and set in 1967, this novel is tame in some respects compared to the gore and horror many authors and movies unleash on today’s readers. But they are able to do so thanks to the efforts of Mr. Levin and other authors who broke ground and explored these mysteries and possibilities.

Rosemary Wodehouse and her husband Guy find themselves searching for a new home in New York City, so Guy can pursue his acting career on the stage, and soon find themselves with the opportunity to rent an apartment in the old Victorian building called “The Bramford” which has seen its share of notorious characters including a Devil worshipper who claimed to have summoned Satan himself some decades ago.

But now, considered a respectable/historic structure, Guy and Rosemary take a chance after seeing the apartment who’s last elderly tenant who slipped into a coma and never recovered. The young couple soon get to meet other residents of the Bramford, including their odd next door neighbors the Castavets, an elderly and rather eccentric couple who take an unusual shine to them.

Shortly afterwards, things begin to happen. Guy is getting more roles and his star begins to rise in the theater world as well as drawing attention from Hollywood. Shortly after that, Rosemary finds herself pregnant after a very unusual dream where most of the other residents of the Bramford, including her new doctor, are wearing dark robes and chanting while Guy makes love to her… or was it him?

Most folks know the full story so I won’t go any farther, but I will say Mr. Levin does a very good job of creating an atmosphere of suspicion and isolation, while still surrounded by the city of New York.

The ending actually took me by surprise because of the ray of hope that still burned in spite of the darkness that Rosemary finds herself surrounded by.

I look forward to finding the sequel “Son of Rosemary” to see what he did with it.

I also highly recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing fancy regarding the supernatural and black magic. Even though it may not hold a lot of surprises, the story does have a lot to keep the reader busy.

Ideas For Under Your Tree


****LOOKING FOR A GIFT FOR THAT PARANORMAL/MYSTERY READER IN YOUR LIFE****

Psychics, ghosts, and beings that are/and are not from this world await you within the pages of these 5-star stories

Signed copies of books I and II in the “Para-Earth” series are just $10.00 each, plus $5.00 shipping and handling anywhere in the United States. (For overseas shipping will be more of course, and will depend on the destination). These books are trade paperback sized and will look great on any bookshelf.

*I accept Paypal, checks, or money orders*

Just tell me which title(s) you want and if they’re to be signed and personalized. (Some people prefer just signed, which is why I ask).

You can contact me by leaving a message below or by e-mailing me at:

allan.krummenacker@gmail.com

Please note: Normal mailing time is 5-9 days, so order soon to get it in time for Christmas.

44a50-xmas2bgift


Happy New Year 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

If you’re reading this I’ll take it that you survived 2014 and are a glutton for punishment because you’re still reading what I have to say here.  Bless your hearts.

With that said, I’m going to try and start the year off on a good note here by posting the opening section of “The Door”, which will be the third book in my Para-Earth Series.  This time Alex, Veronica, Cassie and Julie are back together to face threats old and new.

The white-haired man known only as Z has returned, along with the fragment of the creature our heroes helped destroy in “The Bridge”.  For those who read book 2 “The Ship” we saw Z and his companion help protect Cassandra from the threat that arose from the deeps, but it wasn’t out of kindness.  He has plans of his own for her and now they’re about to bear fruit.

But the girl is guarded by her friends Alex and Veronica, as well as her lover Julie.  Plus of course there’s the ghostly Brandon who has watched over the girl since the day she was born.  However, Z has allies of his own.  Betrayal and danger await from the most unexpected quarters.

With all that said, allow me to post the first preliminary sketch for the cover, along with the opening sequence of “The Door”.  I hope you enjoy, but remember one thing, ‘You enter at your own risk…’

20141231_201149

THE DOOR

by

Allan Krummenacker

(Copyright 2015)

The door stood in a hillside near an open field.  Grass and weeds had long ago swallowed the stonework that surrounded it, leaving just the portal itself visible.   The dark wood looked strange and sinister.  In the grain one could almost see contorted faces crying out for release.

Few people came here, if ever.  But now tall figure appeared with a long cape of jet black approached.  He had long white hair and wore a black frock coat.  He strode up to the door and halted.  After studying the vegetation around the edges, his eyes fixed on the portal itself.  A smile slowly crept over his hawkish features as he turned away.

Strolling along the slope he continued to study the plants along the way.  The changes he’d noticed around the doorway were getting more prominent the further he moved away from the portal.  Eventually he reached one section where the flora had become almost sinister in appearance.  “Oh yes,” he whispered and listened closely to the silence that seemed to have settled in this area.

Suddenly, his cape began to billow and flap even though there was no wind.

The man stiffened and leapt some fifty feet straight up.  The folds of his cloak spreading like gigantic bat wings as he descended onto a thick branch of a neighboring tree.  Landing with the grace of an eagle, he bent his head and stared downwards.

Smoke-like hands had shot out of hillside itself, reaching and grasping at the space he’d just vacated.  With growing satisfaction he watched the ghostly appendages waved about in an almost pitiful manner, knowing their quarry had eluded them yet again.  Finally, they slowly sank back into the dried leaves that covered the ground, and disappeared from sight.

Stepping off the branch he landed nimbly and proceeded to move away just in case the offending appendages tried to make another attempt to accost him.  But nothing happened, much to his delight.

His cape fluttered briefly in the still air.

“Yes, they have become much weaker,” he murmured as if answering a question only he could hear.  “We’ll start keeping closer tabs on the girl.”

Once more the black fabric moved of its own accord as if in response.

“Yes, keeping watch over her would be difficult for us.  The son of Jerome has been watching her more closely than ever after that business on the other side of the continent.   But I have other allies who will keep us apprised of her movements,” he told his garment.  “They are already in position as a matter of fact.  Thanks to them I know Cassandra is in Connecticut right now, visiting the very friends who helped kill your parent.”

This time the ebony shroud did not move.

He was not surprised.  The being was primitive in many ways.  Loyalty to its progenitor was not part of the creature’s nature.  Then again, it wasn’t his either.  After all he did share a lineage with his intended target.  He’d even orchestrated her birth, but only to make sure the bloodline was as close and true to that of the original ‘key’.


Happy Halloween

*HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!  I decided to give you all a treat by sharing a snippet from my upcoming novel “The Vampyre Blogs”, which will be coming out this Christmas. 

 I was careful to choose this particular entry since it involves all three of my main characters dealing with a the scene is one most of us can relate to.  Here we have Marisa a seventeen year old young lady being comforted my vampyre Nathaniel and his goddaughter Lisa.  Marisa (who has no idea what Nathaniel really is) has an intense dislike for vampires even though they don’t really exist according to her.  She hates movies, books and television shows about them because in her mind they have come to embody cancer (which her father is struggling against) in a human form.  

The scene takes place inside an old four story building Nathaniel owns.  He keeps a dance club downstairs, while on the top floor he has an art studio where he likes to paint at night.  Marisa has just had a run in with another girl and is been being comforted by Nathaniel and her best friend Lisa (who is also Nathaniel’s goddaughter).  As you might expect, Lisa knows all about him, including how to keep his secret.  

The three are up in the studio where Nathaniel has been showing the two of them some of his paintings, which include several images of a young woman of Romani descent.  He’s just finished explaining she was his wife and that she died in his arms after being abducted, a few years ago.  

This book IS part of my Para-Earth Series, but does not involve any of my earlier characters.  However, this doesn’t mean they won’t meet down the road…mwahahah.  Also, this is my first attempt to introduce a character from this world who went into one of the Para-Earths and came back… alive, but changed.

So without further ado, here are Marisa, Lisa and Nathaniel.  Happy Halloween my friends.*

MARISA’S MUSINGS – October 7th, 2012

It’s been such a strange day, especially this evening.  I still don’t know what think at the moment.

Waking up and finding Dad was still at home sitting in front of the TV just like in my dreams, gave me a start.  Especially when I saw he looked a little greyish, but then Mom opened the curtains and I saw he was just tired.  I literally blew a sigh of relief, but it still set me on edge for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately, most of my classes were on the quiet and boring side today, which meant I kept worrying about my dad.

Thank God Lisa was in all of them with me.  I don’t know what I would’ve done without her around trying to distract me.  But I still couldn’t get that damn dream out of my head.  It had felt so real.  Then, just as we arrived at The Crypt, I started wondering if it had actually been some kind of warning. The idea it might be really put me on edge.

Unfortunately, that’s when Dianne showed up and started in with me, as usual.  Normally I can ignore her comments, but tonight, I just couldn’t.  God I feel so bad about what happened.  Poor Lisa got caught up in things and could’ve wound up getting hurt if Nathaniel hadn’t stepped in when he did.

I still feel bad about blowing up at him the way I did at the time.  But that’s not the only thing that’s bothering me about him.  After tonight, I can’t look at him the same way I used to.

Finding out he was once married and that his wife pass away in his arms, really hit me hard.  I guess that’s why I kissed him the way I did.  I just wanted to wipe away the pain I knew he was experiencing at that moment, along with my own.  I didn’t tongue him or anything, but for a second I nearly did.  Something about him that made me feel so alive that I didn’t want it to stop.  But I remembered Lisa was with us and I know she has a crush on him.  So I backed off.  But a part of me wanted to go right back to kissing him.   I don’t think I’ve ever wanted someone so bad in all my life.

And truth be told, I still want him.  But I’m also a little leery of him, because of because of what happened next.

I excused myself and started to fix my make-up.  After all that crying I’d done earlier, I knew I must look like hell.

Nathaniel was kind enough to walk away and give me my space, while Lisa checked on me quick before she went over to join him at the window.  As I heard the two of them talking quietly, I stole a glance over my shoulder.  Lisa was hanging onto him in a playful way, and I started to get jealous for a moment.

Quickly, I shook my head and pulled out my compact so I could use the mirror as I fixed my make-up.  Surprisingly, I didn’t look too bad and was able to make myself presentable rather quickly.

Then I decided to use the mirror to take another at Lisa and Nathaniel to see what they were up to.  And that’s when it happened.  I could see Lisa still acting if she were draped all over Nathaniel, only he wasn’t there.

I blinked and stared at the mirror again, but the image had not changed.  From the way Lisa was positioned, I knew she had to be hanging onto someone, because there was no way she could keep her balance in that pose.  But there was no one there.

Carefully I took another look over my shoulder and saw the two of them just as I had before.  Then I looked back at my mirror and saw only Lisa holding on to empty air.  I let out a little gasp and dropped everything, including the compact which shattered on impact.

Immediately, Lisa came rushing over to see what was wrong and quickly helped me gather everything.  Nathaniel on the other had stayed by the window.  He seemed to be in deep thought.

Naturally, I didn’t tell either of them what I saw, or rather what I didn’t see.  Instead, after Lisa helped me get all my make-up back in the purse, I told them I felt like going back down to the dance floor.   I’d remembered there were huge mirrors on the walls down there and wanted to see what would happen when we got down there.

To my amazement and relief, I saw all three of our reflections in every one of them.  At that point I was fully ready to believe my eyes had simply played a trick on me.

But now my mind has gone back to the day in my Aunt Betsy’s office when I first met Nathaniel.  She had brought in those beautiful fresh cut flowers.  But after he went near them to get his coat and hat,  we’d found them black and withered.

Is he what I think he is?  I’ve seen enough movies to know all the signs.   Yet, I saw his reflection in the mirrors of the club.  Plus he has a bunch of mirrors in his home which I’ve seen him use.

No, I think I’ve just been stressing out too much lately.  There’s no such thing as vampires.  Right?

Trick or treat

My First Newspaper Review!


Here is the first newspaper review of one of my novels.  I tried getting my first novel “The Bridge” reviewed, but never seemed to have much luck.  I think the fact that “The Ship” was set in Santa Cruz and featured a local landmark The S. S. Palo Alto, aka “The Concrete Boat”, really helped.

 

 

 

 

Here’s a shot of the S. S. Palo Alto…

 


Well, well, well…

Another review for my 1st book “THE BRIDGE” has appeared and it’s a 5-STAR one. Woo-hoo! Let’s hope this is the start of something really good folks…

5.0 out of 5 stars delightful, May 29, 2014
By Stacey Lettich – See all my reviews
This review is from: The Bridge: Something waits (Para-Earth Series) (Paperback)

A great book and relatively easy read. It took me 2 or 3 chapters to get into the story but once I was hooked I never looked back. The characters are dynamic and I found myself fully invested in the story line. Looking forward to reading Allan Krummenacker’s next book.

http://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Para-Earth-Allan-Krummenacker-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=la_B00B1W8TEU_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401895821&sr=1-1

*Also available for Nook at:

The Bridge Book Cover 2.75

%d bloggers like this: