Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Vengeance of Grimbald by Richard Hacker @GoddessFish

Vengeance of Grimbald
by Richard Hacker
GENRE: Fantasy Thriller


Addison and Jules, members of the League, a secret alchemist society of Inkers who protect the time continuum, believe they defeated their enemy, Cuthbert Grimwald, known to them as Kairos. When he resurfaces filled with vengeance, intent on destroying the League, and acquiring the Alchimeia, a book of such power the League has hidden it for millennia, Grimwald leaves a path of destruction across centuries. As he quests for absolute control of reality, Addison and Jules pursue him through time and death in a desperate struggle to save the world from his vengeance.


The concussive force of the explosion scrambled the pod’s nav system, her pod, wobbling, flipping and twirling out of control. Jules fought to override the navigation controls, but the G-forces whipped her around viscously, her vision narrowing until she finally lost consciousness altogether.


With a start, she took in a deep breath, the ocean moving swiftly toward her. She reached for a manual control, something like a gaming control she once to use in a life that seemed so very far away. She pulled back on the stick, the water still rushing toward her.

“Come on. Come on, dammit.”

Without warning, the pod leveled out.

“Thank god.” Her heart pounded, but she took in another deep breath, grateful to survive. The moment didn’t last.

Like being caught in a Tilt-a-Whirl, the pod spun around as if top heavy, then crashed into the ocean like a stone skipping across a pond. Once, twice, three times, then hitting hard enough to submerge completely under the water. For a moment, disoriented, Jules sat frozen in place. Then survival instincts set in, holding fear back long enough to find a way out, a lever, a release button, something. She knew the pod was in motion, but she wasn’t sure in which direction–floating to the surface and light and life, or sinking to the bottom and darkness and death.

A sudden burst of morning light confirmed the former, the pod bobbing in the ocean. She scanned the surface. Addison. Come on, Addison. Where are you? But she couldn’t find another pod bobbing in the water. Meili had given her life to get them to Tokelau. Against her will she let the possibility enter her mind that Addison may have died as well. Rising and falling with the swells, Jules held her face in her hands and wept.

Interview with Richard Hacker

What was the hardest scene from your book to write?
First, thanks for having me on The Avid Reader. I think technically one of the more difficult scenes involved a German soldier in a fox hole at the Battle of the Bulge. There were essentially two characters inside the mind of a third character. The German soldier, Grimbald, and Addision’s mother, Rebecca, who has been held captive by Grimbald. The dialogue needed to distinguish between the internal voices of Grimbald and Rebecca in the German soldiers head, as well as dialogue with the American soldier external to them. Here’s a little excerpt to give you a sense of what I’m talking about. We begin in Rebecca’s perspective.

I look to the boy soldier and our guard, but of course, they cannot hear our thoughts. “How could you force me to act against my son, Grimbald?” His real name is Cuthbert Grimbald, using the alias Kairos to keep him clear of League Inkers. “You promised if I helped you–”
I promised I wouldn’t take his consciousness. For all the good it did me.
“I could have killed him. My own son. Please, I’ll do anything you want, but please don’t ask me to hurt Addison.”
You sabotage me at every turn, Rebecca. If I didn’t need your knowledge of the League I would scatter your consciousness across time. By God, I’ll do it anyway!
“No! Please. I’m sorry. It’s just that when I saw him…it’s been so long. I–”
Think about it, Rebecca. Didn’t you see his eyes when he squeezed the trigger? The boy, knowing you were in Maya, blew out your brains! Trust me, you no longer hold a place in his heart.
“No! He still loves me, uh…. “
My mind…compresses...a fist closing around me to darkness.
You continue to defy me?
I cannot breathe, I cannot think.
My mind goes to some dark corner. A desolate loneliness enfolds me. All senses closed off, no space, no time, no sensation. Nothing. Nothing. Noth…
He releases me. The world expands from a small, black hole, back to the Ardenne Forest. The boy still sits beside me in an almost fetal position. The icy cold air smells of pine and death.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? 
Vengeance of Grimbald falls into slipstream—in my book, a combination of speculative, sci-fi, and historical fiction with a fantastic element. As a genre, settings for slipstream often shift and meld. China Miéville’s The City & The City tells a story of a police procedural in two cities occupying the same space.  My novel edges toward science fiction with what appears to be time travel and yet uses the fantastical element of alchemical ink to transport a character’s consciousness into the mind of someone who has died in the past. I have to admit that I’m a fan of this type of story that messes with your mind by breaking through barriers of time and space and mind.

If you write in more than one genre, how do you balance them?
My first novel, which is yet to be published (although I’m hoping to make that happen this year) is humorous sci-fi along the lines of Douglas Adams or Tom Holt. The next three published novels were a series of crime stories with a sense of humor, something like an Elmore Leonard story. Then I shifted to slipstream, leaning into sci-fi and historical fiction with the Alchimeia books. I tend to write what jazzes me in the moment. Each genre has its own challenges and joys. I guess the balancing comes in terms of focusing on one genre at a time. It’s difficult to be thinking and writing about a humorous Texas crime story and at the same time be on a battlefield in Agincourt!

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I especially enjoy the historical settings for many of the chapters when my characters ink into history. I like to research the scenes, looking for small things that distinguish that time and place from something in our present. In VENGEANCE OF GRIMBALD, among other things, I visited the Washington D.C. for the scene in 1960’s Washington Monument. I read first-hand accounts of Spanish envoys to the the 14th century Mongal warlord, Tamerlane, and researched the Der Delftse Donderslag—when an ammunitions stockpile in the 1654 town of Delft in the Dutch Republic, exploded, destroy a quarter of the town and killing many of its inhabitants.

What book that you have read has most influenced your life?
I have a feeling this is not what you mean, but when I think about the book that most influenced my life I immediately think of the text book I used when I was becoming a pilot. Not only did I learn the ins and outs of flying, but much of what was in there contributed to me being alive to answer these questions. And flying is on the top of my most cherished experiences.

Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Since I’m talking about flying, most people don’t know I was mission pilot in the Civil Air Patrol in Texas for a few years. At the time, we flew missions to look for brush fires in the summer and were called out several times to fly reconnaissance after hurricanes or tornados. It’s kind of funny, because I don’t come from a military background. My dad was a B17 bombardier in WWII, but not a career military guy. And I was a kid who group up in the late 60’s and early 70’s with Vietnam, etc. The Civil Air Patrol is associated with the Air Force, so it gave me the opportunity to understand the military and meet folks who were career military professionals. And I also got to fly quite a bit!

Can you tell us something about your book that is not in the summary?
VENGEANCE OF GRIMBALD is slipstream fiction—a cross of sci-fi, thriller, and historical fiction. Readers of those various genres will gravitate toward this story. The science fiction reader will find alternative presents with new technologies, as well as the use of alchemy, not as magic, but as an early form of chemistry, albeit with a fantastical element. Readers of historical fiction will enjoy the journeys these characters make into the past—Moscow in the early 60’s, 15th century London, the 17th century ‘Thunderclap’ in Delft, a 16th naval battle off the coast of England, the 15th century battle of Agincourt, the world of 14th century Mongal warlord Tamerlane, and post WWII Sumatra among others. And thriller readers will appreciate the pacing of the story and some epic scenes such as an alternate world high-speed assault vehicle, a Drachenfeuer or Dragon Fire, armed with an auto-cannon, chasing Addison and Jules, who are riding fuel cell powered motorcycles, down the Transfāgārān Highway in the Carpathian mountains of Romania.  But for all the science fiction, history, and thrills of the novel, I think readers will find the characters, their ability to adapt and change, to persist in the face of darkness, especially compelling.

Thanks for having me on the blog. And thank you readers for being here! I hope you’ll check out DIE BACK and now book 2 of the Alchimeia, VENGEANCE OF GRIMBALD. Both are available on Amazon. And you can find me at www.richardhacker.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RWHacker

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Richard Hacker, lives and writes in Seattle, Washington after living many years in Austin, Texas. In addition to the science fiction/fantasy novels of The Alchimeía Series, his crime novels ride the thin line between fact and fiction in Texas. Along the way, his writing has been recognized by the Writer’s League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. As a judge in literary contests shuch as PNWA and ChicLit, and as a freelance development editor, he enjoys the opportunity to work with other writers. In addition, he is the Sci-Fi/Fantasy editor for the Del Sol Review. DIE BACK was his first novel in the Alchimeia series.

Del Sol Press books by Richard Hacker are available at Amazon

The Alchimeía Series



Other books by Richard Hacker:

Nick Sibelius Crime Series


Follow the author on his Website

Or on Facebook
Purchase Vengeance of Grimbaldon on Amazon


$25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Bernie Wallace said...

Where do you do most of your writing? I hope your book is a success.

James Robert said...

It has been great hearing about your book and although I am not the reader myself, my 2 sisters and 2 daughters are. They love hearing about the genre's they like and me helping them get to find books they will enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

Grace said...

Thanks so much, your books sound fantastic!

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post - thanks for sharing!

Richard Hacker said...

Thanks to The Avid Reader for hosting today. Much Appreciated. Bernie, under normal circumstances, I do quite a bit of writing in coffee shops. At the moment, I'm working from home...like I imagine many of us are. James, thanks for lifting up my book for your sisters and daughters. There's a real kick ass female co-protagonist I think they'll like. And Grace & Victoria, thanks for the kind words. Hope you enjoy the read.

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good read.

Mya Murphy said...

Holy cow.. This sounds awesome!!

Richard Hacker said...

Thanks Rita and Mya. Hope you both enjoy reading Vengeance of Grimbald. You don't need to, but you might want to start with the first book, DIE BACK. Enjoy!

Grace said...

Thanks so much, for Hosting!

Grace said...

Thanks so much!

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