Welcome to my worlds!

I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), the superhero novels Nobody Gets the Girl and Burn Baby Burn, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collection, There is No Wheel. In 2017, I'll be releasing a new superhero series, The Butterfly Cage. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

CUT UP GIRL Preview Chapter!

CUT UP GIRL will be available an Amazon tomorrow, and can be pre-ordered today! Here's a taste to whet your appetite! 


AS I CLIMBED the ladder to the deck of the submarine, a huge hand clamped onto my shoulder. Any hope that it was Harry vanished as I looked up into the snarling visage of an injured steam-ape. The tangled wires inside his glass skull dome glowed red hot, giving off smoke that smelled like battery acid. The sound of gears stripping and grinding filled the air as he tightened his grip. The steam-ape looked like he was seconds from death, but he still had enough strength to jerk me off the ladder, drawing me toward his slathering jaws.

Suddenly Harry towered over both of us, his enormous fists raised over his head. Glass and gears flew as Harry smashed the beast’s mechanical brain. My attacker’s grasp went limp. Harry grabbed my forearm before I fell back into the hold.

“You all right, Valentine?” he asked.

“Yeah.” I said as he set me on my feet. “You get Chopper?”

“He’s cruising higher than I can jump,” he said, craning his thick neck to look at the sky.

I followed his gaze and saw Chopper’s helicycle in silhouette against the glowing clouds. I heard his engine screaming as it strained to lift the Victorian’s time-bomb. He was barely a quarter mile away, for all the good that did us.

“What genius put together an assault squad without a single goddamn member who can fly?” Screaming Jenny screamed as she came up the ladder.

“Take it up with the Retaliator,” snapped Harry.

“Don’t panic, I got this,” said Nimble as she leapt from the dock onto the sub beside us, knocking two of the remaining steam-apes into the river with her extended arms. All the holes the kill-bot had punched in her earlier had closed up. I guess having a body the consistency of Silly Putty makes Band-Aids unnecessary. She wrapped her legs around the ladder for support, then stretched skyward, turning thin as an extension cord as she reached for Chopper’s ride.

There was a flash of bright blue light as her elongated fingers wrapped around his torso. Nimble recoiled with a TWANG, snapping back to her human form with such force she bounced right off the hull of the sub.

“Nimble!” Harry shouted, diving into the river.

He was only under for a second before he surfaced with Nimble pressed against his chest. She spat water, then sputtered, “Cut Up Girl, you didn’t warn me he had a Taser!”

“You just survived a kill-bot,” I said. “How can a Taser hurt you?”

“Without total command of my muscle fibers, I’m useless. Electricity screws me big time.”

“We’re all screwed,” Jenny said, her voice a sob. She sat down, running her black fingernails through her purple hair. “Oh, Jesus, he’s going to trigger the bomb. I’m going to start wearing corsets again!”

“It’s going to be okay,” said Harry as he climbed back onto the sub. He placed his hand on her shoulder.

“No!” she said, twisting away from his touch. “No! I’ve been on the other end of the Victorian’s time ray! It’s terrible! I can’t go through that again! If we don’t stop that bomb—”

“We’re stopping it,” I said. I locked eyes with Harry. “Throw me.”

“What?” he asked.

“Throw me! It’s our only chance to catch him.”

“You’re confusing me with Golden Victory,” he said. “There’s no way I could get you that far.”

“You can with my help,” said Nimble. “I’m too jangled to stretch after him again, but I make a pretty good slingshot. Big Ape, I’ll need you to pull me back and aim Cut Up Girl.”

“You’re both out of your minds,” said Harry.

“There’s no time to argue!” Screaming Jenny shouted, punching Harry in the center of his leathery black chest. “Do it!”

Nimble was already stretching her trembling limbs toward two sturdy pilings at the entrance of the dock. With her rubbery skin still wet from the river, it sounded like some invisible clown was building the world’s biggest balloon animal. She wrapped her arms and legs around the two supports and called back, “Let’s do this, Valentine!”

I jumped down onto the dock and ran toward her.

“You’re going to get yourself killed,” grumbled Harry.

“Shut up and do it!” Jenny screamed.

I pressed myself into Nimble’s crotch, holding my breath. Thanks to her dip in the river she smelled like sewage.

Harry leapt down from the sub. The whole dock shuddered as he landed behind us on all fours.
“Are you trying to kill yourself?” he asked. “I know that finding out the truth about your father was really messed up, Val, but—”

“This isn’t suicide,” I assured him.

“Then why…”

“I can’t let the bastard win,” I said.

“Why is this up for debate?” Nimble asked, her voice squeaky and distorted by her stretched out lungs. “We can’t let that bomb go off!”

I swallowed hard. “If I don’t… don’t get through this… take care of Bullet, okay?”

Harry clenched his jaw and didn’t answer.

“We need to do this now,” said Nimble, with increased strain in her voice.

Harry grabbed Nimble and started pulling us back.

I glanced over my shoulder. Our faces were only inches apart. Maybe it was just the water running from his fur, but it looked like he was crying.

“Please don’t die,” he said. “I… I… hate your dog.”

I nodded.

He let go.

The sudden acceleration shunted the blood from my brain. When I regained my senses I was hanging in midair, at the apex of my arc, weightless at the moment my rise stopped and my descent began.
Harry had aimed high. I was falling toward the rotors of the helicycle.

Time slowed to a crawl. The Vectran-sheathed titanium rotors knifed through the air at eight rotations a second, but adrenaline had speeded my perception until I saw each blade. I briefly wondered if I’d slip between them without harm until I realized I was falling too slowly for that to work. The blades would slice me to ribbons. Was this suicide after all?

No. Whether I survived or not, I wasn’t choosing to die. I was choosing to fight. For the first time in my life I was completely in control of my destiny. I had no regrets, and only one final, lingering doubt.

You know how they say that, when you’re facing death, your whole life flashes before you? I had a life flashing through my mind. But after what I learned earlier… was it really my life? I rose that morning thinking I was Valentine Summers. Now, as I fell, I was no one but Cut Up Girl.

Beneath me, the blades were close enough to touch.

I stretched out my fingers and touched them.

Order now!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

CUT UP GIRL available for preorder!

My latest superhero novel, CUT UP GIRL, is available for preorder on Amazon! This is the first book in my LAWLESS series, set in a world where the greatest heroes of humanity have banded together to serve mankind as the Lawful Legion. Golden Victory! She-Devil! Atomahawk! Smash Lass! These legendary heroes have saved the world more times than can be counted.

LAWLESS will not be telling there stories. Instead, it will look at the superpowered characters who don't quite belong among the ranks of the A-list superheroes, characters whose powers are to weird or useless to make them great crime fighters. Or, maybe life has given you a great superpower, but no origin story that gives you a compelling reason to go out and risk your life to save others. Some people with super-strength will battle alien invaders. Others will have great careers moving furniture.

CUT UP GIRL is Valentine Summers. She can chop off an arm to create a perfect clone of herself. Her arm grows back instantly. Also, her clones are unstable and eventually explode. This isn't a superpower she particularly enjoys using, but when her best friend gets recruited into an outlaw band of vigilante superheroes known as the Red Line, she goes along to watch his back and finds herself swept up in a dangerous, violent war against super-powered drug lords. Then, her life gets even more complicated when her secret identity is revealed following a the release of a scandalous video made without her permission by a man she thought she loved. Now famous for all the wrong reasons, Valentine wants to start her life anew, but finds it difficult to put her past behind her. Just when it seems like things can't get any worse, the most dangerous supervillain she even put behind bars escapes and she has to suit up one more time to stop him. Can Valentine and her exploding clones stop the bad guy, save the city, and redeem her reputation? Probably not!

CUT UP GIRL will only be available as an ebook on Amazon, and will be released on January 19. The next book in the series, BIG APE, will be released in February, with the third book, VICTORY, heading out into the world no later than April.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Greatshadow on Audible Giveaway! Follow me on Twitter!

Behold! The last of the new Bridgit Connell covers, this time the variant of the cover for the audio edition read by Jake Urry.

How can you look at this cover and not want to listen to this book? Jake Urry's reading is amazing, and you can listen to a sample here. If you want to listen to the whole book, you're in luck! This week also marks my first week on Twitter! You can find me @JamesAllenMaxey. I, uh, don't have a lot of followers after one week. Twelve, to be exact. So, as an incentive for following me, I'll be giving away free codes to download Greatshadow from Audible. Starting Monday, 12-4 and continuing until Sunday, 12-10, I'll be randomly selecting one follower a day to receive a code for a free download! Sign up before Monday and you'll have seven chances to win! (Though, you can only win once.)

See you on Twitter!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Jake Urry returns! Hush is coming to Audible early next year!

Today I can reveal the real reason I decided to have Bridgit Connell update my covers for GREATSHADOW and HUSH instead of working with her on one of my upcoming books. The same week I met Bridgit, I heard from Jake Urry that he was going to be able to add HUSH to his recording schedule. If you haven't yet heard Jake's performance on GREATSHADOW, you're missing out on a truly satisfying audiobook experience. GREATSHADOW is a demanding book for any audio performer, blending high adventure and high comedy, and shifting between passages of philosophical ruminations on the meaning of truth into crude jokes about bodily functions. Jake tackles it all with style. I've heard his early chapters of HUSH and can report this is going to be another audio masterpiece.

Learning that Jake Urry would return for HUSH made me realize that his great readings deserved a great new cover. Behold! Bridgit's cover formatted for audio!

HUSH should be ready for download early next year. I'll keep posting news here, but an even better way to get the news is to sign up for my newsletter! Just use the contact form on this page to drop me a line.

Tomorrow, I'll reveal the new GREATSHADOW audio cover and a great offer on how to get the chance to listen to it for free. But, if you're an Audible subscriber and already have credits, why wait? Grab the book today!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Hush Cover! Get the ebook free!

Behold, Bridgit Connell's awesome new cover for HUSH: Book Two of the Dragon Apocalypse!

Bridgit sent me a couple of advance sketches for poses and the second I saw this I knew it was perfect. The gemlike head of the Gloryhammer delights me. It's much better than how I was seeing the weapon in my imagination. And, like the GREATSHADOW cover, I adore the use of colors here.

If you want to grab a copy of HUSH, you're in luck! I'm going to have it available as a free ebook from now through the end of the year. I'm still waiting for the new cover to show up on Apple or Kobo, but it's now live on Amazon. Download it today!

Tomorrow, I'll have some more news about the Dragon Apocalypse. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 27, 2017

New Greatshadow Cover by Bridgit Connell

A few weeks ago I blogged about the pros and cons of selling books at conventions. One benefit I didn't mention is that you get to meet a lot of other creative types selling their wares in the tables near you. I learn a lot talking to other authors about their marketing and production processes, and I get to see a lot of amazing artwork in a fantastic range of styles that always gets me thinking about making changes to my covers. Meeting Mike "MEZ" Phillips at Oak City Comicon this year lead to a whole new range of covers for my superhero novels.  

A few months ago at the Greensboro Comicon, I sat a few tables away from an artist named Bridgit Connell. Her artwork caught my eye, but not because of dragons. She actually didn't have a single dragon on display that I saw during the con. What she did have was amazing skills with colors and a line style that was simple and expressive. It reminded me of P. Craig Russell blended with a touch of Kevin O'Neill. The best element of her style that stood out for me was that she knew how to capture a story in a single image. I got her contact information and started thinking about potential covers I might collaborate on with her in the future.

I'm now ready to unveil the first cover she's produced for me. I'm going to be announcing news about the Dragon Apocalypse universe this week, and revamping the existing covers was an important first step to laying the groundwork of future success. So, behold Book One of the Dragon Apocalypse: GREATSHADOW!

I won't have a new print edition of this book until early next year, probably in time for Oak City Comicon. But, if you want to grab the ebook, it's a steal at $3.99 on Amazon!

This is just the first bit of art from Bridgit I'll be unveiling this week, and also just the first bit of news. Tomorrow I'll reveal the Audible variant of this cover, and tease out a little more news about what's in store for this series.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Big Ape, V2, Complete! Beta readers needed!

Woohoo! I just finished the second draft of Big Ape!

If I may offer a completely unbiased opinion, this book absolutely rocks. It's got robotic dinosaurs, a hidden city in the jungle, mystery, romance, humor, over the top fight scenes, and, of course, in the middle of it all, a really big ape named Harry Moreau.

The overall plot kicks off from a fairly standard place: Harry gets framed for a murder he didn't commit and spends the rest of the book one step ahead of the superheroes hunting him down. I would say he spends most of the book trying to prove his innocence, but he actually spend most of the book trying to prevent the death of all humanity at the hands of a pair of genius supervillains. It's also a coming of age tale, as Harry starts the book as a confused young man-ape and ends the book as a confused young man-ape, but now he's confused about different things. Character arc achieved!

I'll be plunging into a third draft soon. If anyone is interested in reading chapters as I crank them out and offering feedback, just email me at nobodynovelwriter (at) yahoo.com. A free signed copy of the print edition will go out to anyone interested in reading this draft!