Flotsam & Jetsam

What set Ellie off anyway? A thought intruded. No, couldn’t be. He checked her profile. Nah. But his mouth formed a hopeful smile, and he leaned back, humming his favorite tune. Flotsam & Jetsam

The dashing Frenchman or the handsome handyman? Who will she choose? For the Love of a Spy

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Strange Tidings--Mystery, Magic, and Music from Jim Stein

Please welcome Jim Stein and his first (published) novel, Strange Tidings. Can you tell us a little of the background of your story?

Strange Tidings is set in New Philadelphia, a post-apocalyptic suburb not far from where I grew up. I’ve always been intrigued by Native American lore because my mother was part Cherokee—I am not, due to being adopted. Still, the mystique remains and may have contributed to Native American legends being central to Strange Tidings.    

I wrote the first half of the story during NaNoWriMo 2015, starting with just a few notes about Ed, the main character. Another month of hard writing and year of revisions brought Strange Tidings to publication.

This is the third novel I have written and my first published. The story is fresh and light, with a bit of mystery, magic, and music that should appeal to teens through adults. I hope you consider picking up Strange Tidings or one of the other fine books showcased here. As always—Happy Reading!

Now, tell us what the story’s about.

The apocalypse didn’t arrive with nuclear war or a plague of zombies, just a quiet virus that sterilized most everyone and put humanity's future in jeopardy. Fifty years later, seventeen-year-old Ed Johnson plies his musical talents in New Philadelphia, jumping at the chance to help launch a coworker’s band. But Quinn, their beautiful bassist, is inexplicably cold toward him, and other strange things are afoot.

In spite of a growing unease, Ed shrugs off being stalked by a crazy, old Native American and a frightening crone. But when nightmare creatures threaten his sister, Ed discovers he is bound to the strangers. To get out of this mess, he must enlist the help of his friends and Quinn, who harbors her own dark secret.

But there is little time for Ed to discover the true power of music and save them, himself, and perhaps the future of the human race.

Series: Book 1 of Legends Walk
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, YA
Length: 79,625 words / 312 pp print length
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: 26 Feb 2018

How about an excerpt?

Excerpt (G): The Witch

“Pete, get up!” The crumpled form didn’t move. I glared at the old woman. “Witch!”
“Temper, temper,” she mocked and flicked her wagging finger at me.
Spikes of pain drove into my skull, like a dozen tiny ice cream headaches had flown from her hand. I think I cried out. I dropped to one knee and grabbed my temples, trying to remember my plans. The hem of her long, black cloak swept toward me. I looked up through a red haze of pain and saw her arm was still extended, her cloudy eye sighted down its length.
With a thwack, a silver rectangle hit her beneath the chin. She flinched back at the impact and frowned as the remote control clattered to the floor.
“Keep off my brother!” Piper yelled.
The witch turned. I didn’t wait to see what would happen. I managed to get my brain into gear and my right hand into my pouch. I flung a bag of salt as hard as I could. My aim sucked, but, in my defense, barbs of pain still blossomed behind my eyes. The plastic bag hit the wall between the two women and pretty much exploded. I’d perforated each bag so they would hold together for a throw, but fly apart on impact. Crystals spattered against the witch’s clothing. It didn’t seem to hurt her, but she snarled and shielded her eyes, so the stuff must have some potency. Even better, the pain in my head winked out. I groaned in ecstasy, but my relief was short lived.
“Subdue them,” the woman called over her shoulder. “Leave the boy alive.”
I looked to where she turned, expecting to see some apparition. There was nothing. The witch backed up to the wall and brushed at her cloak. I heard scrabbling, like Max’s nails on the kitchen floor, and pushed to my feet. Pain seared into my left calf. I swung the butt of my rifled down, and it connected hard with something, something invisible. The pressure on my leg ceased. Blood seeped from jagged tears on either side of my jeans. I had been bit. My attacker scuttled past me, heading toward the couch and Piper.



Great excerpt! Where can readers find the book?

Buy Links:


 Tell us about yourself and where we can find you.

About the Author:

Jim Stein grew up outside Philadelphia and entered the Navy through Penn State’s NROTC program. His hunger for stories that transport readers to extraordinary realms developed early. He writes speculative fiction advocating the underdog and embracing protagonists with strong moral fiber, often overlaid with supernatural elements and a few dark twists. When not writing, Jim puzzles over social media and how the heck introverts deal with self-promotion. He and his wife enjoy road trips in the motorhome, visits with their son and daughter, and simply seeing to the home front. Broken pinball machines also tend to sneak into the basement looking for TLC, and the fishing kayak does call out from time to time. Jim lives in northwestern Pennsylvania with his wife, Claudia, and his muse, Marley the Great Dane.

Contact Links:

Blog: on website 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JimSteinBooks  @JimSteinBooks

Hyperlinks:  Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Jim Stein said...


Thank you so much for hosting me on your fabulous site! -Jim

M. S. Spencer said...

You're very welcome--I know my readers will love your excerpt!

Kathy Otten said...

Great excerpt. Like your main character's sense of humor. :) Best wishes.

Jim Stein said...

Thanks, Kathy!