Patreon Content – “Gabriel of the Internet”

Patreon Content – Gabriel of the Internet is a new story in the Talents universe

 

Patreon Content – Gabriel of the Internet

The Archangel Gabriel has long been the patron of communication. I wish I could remember the name of this artist–she’s a fascinating woman I met through the Order of St. Michael. Her “future icons” speak to me. I wrote a story featuring Gabriel in this form.

Jacking in with the Talents

Lots of authors write about “jacking in”. So, they carry connecting with the Internet from a visual/touch experience to a neural one. The Talented connect online normally. Some, though, can get in without a headset or datajack.

The Story

“Thought you had given this up,” the woman said, looking across the table at her friend.

“I had,” the man replied, as he powered up his computer.

They sat at a coffee shop in New Orleans’ Mid City neighborhood. It was just after seven o’clock in the morning, and they were the only customers sitting inside.

“Just keep an eye out for me while I do this,” he requested.

“Gotcha, Nate. I remember the drill,” she said.

Nathaniel Haller was a high school math teacher who left the classroom years ago to do computer consulting. He did well in the early days of personal computing, and now, at 52, he was still on top of the tech that made the corporate world run. He smiled at Whitney Cordova, a friend and occasional partner when a consulting engagement required more than a solo effort. The forty-something blonde smiled back. She looked around the room as Nate’s fingers danced on the keyboard, connecting him first to an anonymous relay network, then to a corporate Virtual Private Network in a distant city.

More on Patreon

Gabriel of the Internet is a stand-alone story at the moment. So, Nate continues in the Talents universe, don’t worry. In the meantime, Dragon’s Defiance, the third book in the Blood-Bound series, debuts in November.

Personal Log 2018100701

Giving new thought to Patreon. I set up a Patreon page to see if I could monetize the writing a while back. It never took off. When I saw that Rude Pundit uses it, I thought it might be time to re-visit the concept. He regularly promotes “Patreon-only” blog posts and such on Twitter.

Thing about Patreon, what discouraged me about the platform was when I saw women on Instagram pointing people to Patreon as a way for men to pay for porn. Now, if that’s the approach they want to take for making a buck, OK. My concern when I saw this was that nobody would take what I’m doing seriously if I ask for money from a platform that channels money to porn.

So, I let some dust gather on my Patreon page. I’m not at the blogging level of Rude Pundit, so I doubt I could write stuff for Yatpundit that would attract people, even at a dollar a month. Perhaps a mix of things, though. For the history blog, possibly some “cornerstone” posts. Yoast SEO suggests cornerstone material be 900+ words. So, a thousand-word-a-month post would be worth a buck.

Then maybe add a short story as we go along. If you figure, I’m selling the novels for $12-$15 apiece. A 4K-5K story for a buck. Twelve chapters in, say, a dragons novel. That’s 60K words for $12.

Expand that notion with short stories from some of the other projects. The total mix of writing could appeal to folks. If I get stuck on something, like a chapter of dragons, I can turn to, say, a St. Patrick’s story that will find its way into that book. Or the dystopia idea. Or dragons stories outside of the Blood-Bound series, like Dame Jessica, or 1895. Or maybe experiment with some romance stories..

Muffuletta Fest today was OK. It was enough of an experience to rate a food blog. I was going to do a post on dinner, then didn’t take pics. Well, grilled chicken isn’t unique. One of the lists I need to make is for “test kitchen” to try new things.

More “Enterprise” will hopefully stimulate ideas!

Personal Log 2018100601

Some folks head to the garden when they want to get away from the world. Others work on their car, or maybe bake a pie (hi, Buzz!). Me, I write, or I re-do a website. That’s the thing for today. I’m working regularly on Pontchartrain Railroad, but I’ve been wanting to mess with WordPress Network. At a Self-Publishing workshop Chris at Jefferson Parish Library did last month, there was a presentation on Pressbooks, a cloud-based authoring system. I saw that Pressbooks was available as a WordPress plugin, but it needed multi-site. So, I backed off the single-install version of ebranley dot com and configured multi-site from scratch. I can also play with a few modules like community and forum stuff.

I’ve never messed with “projects” in WordPress. Since this is a more-or-less clean start, I’m going to give it a go. I’m a total project management/time management junkie. I got hooked on the Franklin-Covey process back in the late 1980s, when a client let me join their employees on a Franklin training. The whole ABC/123 system and Covey’s systems for doing what’s important rather than what’s next stuck with me. So, ever since, I look for good time management systems.

Looking at this Muffaletta Fest happening tomorrow. Might be something good to get out of the house a bit and #people. I’m not a big fan of street festivals, though. The food rarely meets expectations. Still, sometimes you just have to get out. For me, that means getting out further than the patio at PJs. I can return to the web stuff later.

Pizza (calzone for me) and wine at Mid-City Pizza, on Banks Street tonight. The fans on their patio blow the bugs away and the temperature wasn’t so bad. I didn’t know they use Terranova’s hot sausage, so that was a treat.

 

 

Restructuring this website

I’ve decided to use ebranley dot com as a base for WordPress Network (multi-site). I’ll be adding the stuff from the legacy site as we go along. Stay tuned.

 

Marconi and Lakeshore construction

Marconi and Lakeshore Drives

marconi lakeshore
Marconi and Lakeshore Drives, 21-August-2018 (Edward Branley photo)

marconi and lakeshore
Marconi and Lakeshore Drives under construction, 21-Aug-2018 (Edward Branley photo)

I went out to Marconi and Lakeshore yesterday, to sit, reflect, and let the water lapping up against the seawall relax me. Ran into a bit of a problem, though–fences! The area is undergoing a revamp from the Orleans Levee Board. I was disappointed, but understood. That seawall is a WPA project from the late 1930s. Erosion has always been a challenge. Not sure if the OLB is going to concrete the approach to the seawall, like they’ve done on other parts of the Lakefront. If they do, I’m OK with that. It’s about sitting and looking out at the lake, not back at the cops.

Marconi and Lakeshore is a thinking spot. It’s where dragons and angels come to visit. Father O’Donnell, who is also a Brother Martin alum, is quite familiar with the spot. The boys of the Trio, Joey Newfeld and David Williams, are certainly not surprised to encounter him at this spot. The power of Elemental Water is refreshing, even for a Fire Dragon of the Red Tribe. Come read the Talents and the Dragons, you’ll get the idea.

marconi and lakeshore
Marconi and Lakeshore Drives under construction, 21-Aug-2018 (Edward Branley photo)

I went out to Marconi and Lakeshore yesterday, to sit, reflect, and let the water lapping up against the seawall relax me. Ran into a bit of a problem, though–fences! The area is undergoing a revamp from the Orleans Levee Board. I was disappointed, but understood. That seawall is a WPA project from the late 1930s. Erosion has always been a challenge. Not sure if the OLB is going to concrete the approach to the seawall, like they’ve done on other parts of the Lakefront. If they do, I’m OK with that. It’s about sitting and looking out at the lake, not back at the cops.

Marconi and Lakeshore is a thinking spot. It’s where dragons and angels come to visit. Father O’Donnell, who is also a Brother Martin alum, is quite familiar with the spot. The boys of the Trio, Joey Newfeld and David Williams, are certainly not surprised to encounter him at this spot. The power of Elemental Water is refreshing, even for a Fire Dragon of the Red Tribe. Come read the Talents and the Dragons, you’ll get the idea.

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But we always came back to Marconi and Lakeshore. After Brother Martin, it was a place to sit and think with my fraternity brothers. Beer was still the go-to then, but other substances came on the scene as well. The seawall at Marconi and Lakeshore was a good fifty yards back from the street and parking bay. That’s a long walk for a cop, and they weren’t going to run. One could finish consumption of just about any controlled substance in one’s possession.

Making out, “parking” in the vernacular, wasn’t something we did at Marconi and Lakeshore. Put simply, you never know who would show up. The girls as a rule weren’t going to get busy out on the seawall, so those activities were limited to the car. No, that’s where the Plaza parking lot came in.

Construction! 

marconi and lakeshore
Marconi and Lakeshore Drives under construction, 21-Aug-2018 (Edward Branley photo)

I went out to Marconi and Lakeshore yesterday, to sit, reflect, and let the water lapping up against the seawall relax me. Ran into a bit of a problem, though–fences! The area is undergoing a revamp from the Orleans Levee Board. I was disappointed, but understood. That seawall is a WPA project from the late 1930s. Erosion has always been a challenge. Not sure if the OLB is going to concrete the approach to the seawall, like they’ve done on other parts of the Lakefront. If they do, I’m OK with that. It’s about sitting and looking out at the lake, not back at the cops.

Marconi and Lakeshore is a thinking spot. It’s where dragons and angels come to visit. Father O’Donnell, who is also a Brother Martin alum, is quite familiar with the spot. The boys of the Trio, Joey Newfeld and David Williams, are certainly not surprised to encounter him at this spot. The power of Elemental Water is refreshing, even for a Fire Dragon of the Red Tribe. Come read the Talents and the Dragons, you’ll get the idea.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Oh, we hung out at more places than Marconi and Lakeshore, mind you. The Resurrection guys took us out to this new construction at I-10 and Read in Da East. Was going to be a new shopping mall. Turned out, it was a much better place to “park” than the lakefront. Fewer cops out there.

But we always came back to Marconi and Lakeshore. After Brother Martin, it was a place to sit and think with my fraternity brothers. Beer was still the go-to then, but other substances came on the scene as well. The seawall at Marconi and Lakeshore was a good fifty yards back from the street and parking bay. That’s a long walk for a cop, and they weren’t going to run. One could finish consumption of just about any controlled substance in one’s possession.

Making out, “parking” in the vernacular, wasn’t something we did at Marconi and Lakeshore. Put simply, you never know who would show up. The girls as a rule weren’t going to get busy out on the seawall, so those activities were limited to the car. No, that’s where the Plaza parking lot came in.

Construction! 

marconi and lakeshore
Marconi and Lakeshore Drives under construction, 21-Aug-2018 (Edward Branley photo)

I went out to Marconi and Lakeshore yesterday, to sit, reflect, and let the water lapping up against the seawall relax me. Ran into a bit of a problem, though–fences! The area is undergoing a revamp from the Orleans Levee Board. I was disappointed, but understood. That seawall is a WPA project from the late 1930s. Erosion has always been a challenge. Not sure if the OLB is going to concrete the approach to the seawall, like they’ve done on other parts of the Lakefront. If they do, I’m OK with that. It’s about sitting and looking out at the lake, not back at the cops.

Marconi and Lakeshore is a thinking spot. It’s where dragons and angels come to visit. Father O’Donnell, who is also a Brother Martin alum, is quite familiar with the spot. The boys of the Trio, Joey Newfeld and David Williams, are certainly not surprised to encounter him at this spot. The power of Elemental Water is refreshing, even for a Fire Dragon of the Red Tribe. Come read the Talents and the Dragons, you’ll get the idea.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Oh, we hung out at more places than Marconi and Lakeshore, mind you. The Resurrection guys took us out to this new construction at I-10 and Read in Da East. Was going to be a new shopping mall. Turned out, it was a much better place to “park” than the lakefront. Fewer cops out there.

But we always came back to Marconi and Lakeshore. After Brother Martin, it was a place to sit and think with my fraternity brothers. Beer was still the go-to then, but other substances came on the scene as well. The seawall at Marconi and Lakeshore was a good fifty yards back from the street and parking bay. That’s a long walk for a cop, and they weren’t going to run. One could finish consumption of just about any controlled substance in one’s possession.

Making out, “parking” in the vernacular, wasn’t something we did at Marconi and Lakeshore. Put simply, you never know who would show up. The girls as a rule weren’t going to get busy out on the seawall, so those activities were limited to the car. No, that’s where the Plaza parking lot came in.

Construction! 

marconi and lakeshore
Marconi and Lakeshore Drives under construction, 21-Aug-2018 (Edward Branley photo)

I went out to Marconi and Lakeshore yesterday, to sit, reflect, and let the water lapping up against the seawall relax me. Ran into a bit of a problem, though–fences! The area is undergoing a revamp from the Orleans Levee Board. I was disappointed, but understood. That seawall is a WPA project from the late 1930s. Erosion has always been a challenge. Not sure if the OLB is going to concrete the approach to the seawall, like they’ve done on other parts of the Lakefront. If they do, I’m OK with that. It’s about sitting and looking out at the lake, not back at the cops.

Marconi and Lakeshore is a thinking spot. It’s where dragons and angels come to visit. Father O’Donnell, who is also a Brother Martin alum, is quite familiar with the spot. The boys of the Trio, Joey Newfeld and David Williams, are certainly not surprised to encounter him at this spot. The power of Elemental Water is refreshing, even for a Fire Dragon of the Red Tribe. Come read the Talents and the Dragons, you’ll get the idea.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Marconi and Lakeshore

Marconi and the Lakefront. Marconi Lakeshore. This has been my thinking spot since around 1973. That’s when my 14-year old freshman butt went out there with older guys who were on the Brother Martin High School Debate team. The beer of choice (or perhaps that was the beer of necessity?) was Schlitz. We had a solid cadre of seniors and just-graduated guys who were at Tulane or (then) LSUNO at that time who didn’t mind buying extra beer for us youngsters. We would sit on the seawall, shooting the shit. For the most part, if the older guys took notice of us chirren, it was on the receiving end of scathing critiques of our debate skills. For the most part, those critiques were intended to be positive. Harsh, but, the older guys wanted us to win.

So, Marconi and Lakeshore became our spot. Getting seriously drunk after dropping off the dates after Homecoming that year. And the next year. By then, we were juniors, taking freshmen under our wing.

Hanging out in High School

Oh, we hung out at more places than Marconi and Lakeshore, mind you. The Resurrection guys took us out to this new construction at I-10 and Read in Da East. Was going to be a new shopping mall. Turned out, it was a much better place to “park” than the lakefront. Fewer cops out there.

But we always came back to Marconi and Lakeshore. After Brother Martin, it was a place to sit and think with my fraternity brothers. Beer was still the go-to then, but other substances came on the scene as well. The seawall at Marconi and Lakeshore was a good fifty yards back from the street and parking bay. That’s a long walk for a cop, and they weren’t going to run. One could finish consumption of just about any controlled substance in one’s possession.

Making out, “parking” in the vernacular, wasn’t something we did at Marconi and Lakeshore. Put simply, you never know who would show up. The girls as a rule weren’t going to get busy out on the seawall, so those activities were limited to the car. No, that’s where the Plaza parking lot came in.

Construction! 

marconi and lakeshore
Marconi and Lakeshore Drives under construction, 21-Aug-2018 (Edward Branley photo)

I went out to Marconi and Lakeshore yesterday, to sit, reflect, and let the water lapping up against the seawall relax me. Ran into a bit of a problem, though–fences! The area is undergoing a revamp from the Orleans Levee Board. I was disappointed, but understood. That seawall is a WPA project from the late 1930s. Erosion has always been a challenge. Not sure if the OLB is going to concrete the approach to the seawall, like they’ve done on other parts of the Lakefront. If they do, I’m OK with that. It’s about sitting and looking out at the lake, not back at the cops.

Marconi and Lakeshore is a thinking spot. It’s where dragons and angels come to visit. Father O’Donnell, who is also a Brother Martin alum, is quite familiar with the spot. The boys of the Trio, Joey Newfeld and David Williams, are certainly not surprised to encounter him at this spot. The power of Elemental Water is refreshing, even for a Fire Dragon of the Red Tribe. Come read the Talents and the Dragons, you’ll get the idea.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

The Blood-Bound by Edward J. Branley

The Blood-Bound

The Blood-Bound – Yellow, Red, Blue, and Green

Eleni: “AHEM!”

The Chronicler: “Yes, Lady Eleni?”

Eleni: “Monsignore, Renard and Tara are wonderful people, but what about ME?”

The Chronicler: “Well, we certainly wouldn’t want you to feel ignored,

Joey: “For sure. Crazy Girlfriend will start burning stuff.”

Eleni: “Joseph!”

We’re in the midst of the roll-out/drop of the latest Talents novel, Trusted Talents, but I wanted to remind everyone about the Dragons! Here’s how the story came about.

I was talking to my now-30yo son a few years ago. He’s a Naval officer, a submariner. At the time of this chat, his boat was in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. He lived in a charming apartment in Portsmouth, above a dress shop. He’s a New Orleans kid, naturally, and New England winters didn’t set well with him. So, the fireplace in this particular apartment. He’s a nuclear engineer. Fire and power are part of his existence.

Game of Thrones

LT Firstborn is the nickname I use for my Navy kid on social media. LT Firstborn is a serious Game of Thrones junkie. When the first season came out, I hadn’t read the books. I kept asking him questions during S1E1 of the HBO show. He paused the show, went in his room, got the first book, and told me to read it before hitting “play” again. Yeah, he’s incredibly serious about GoT. A couple of years later, his first phone call upon getting off the boat after a multi-week underway was to me, to get the cable company’s password, so he could on-demand GoT.

LT Firstborn is fascinated by the dragons. We talk about them a good bit. He even bought the chest that was a wedding gift to Daenerys. It contains replicas of the three dragon eggs. We decided that the $100 price tag for the chest and eggs was too high to just throw one in the fire and see what happens.

That chuckle got me thinking, though. I wrote a story, about 5000 words, about a dragon egg. When I circulated that story around friends who had tweens/teens, the response from the kids was, “OK, what happens next?” So, that meant I needed to write the “next.”

That’s how my first YA novel, Dragon’s Danger, came about.

The Blood-Bound Series – YA Fiction by Edward J. Branley

Dragon’s Danger

Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!

Joey, Anne Marie, and David are three teens from New Orleans. They’re smart enough to understand this. Imagine their surprise when a “dragon’s egg” they bought online turns out to be from an ancient trading company that sells “collectibles and curiosities”. Suddenly it’s more than just kidding around, as they help their dragon avoid danger and evolve to its full potential!

Dragon’s Discovery

Can a video game become reality?

David, Anne Marie, and Joey are ready to start another school term after a laid back summer getting to know their dragon. The difference is, they are Blood-Bound to Eleni of the Red Tribe. As if school, band, and drinking chicory coffee are not keeping them busy enough, they are now part of the world of the Dragons. Join the Trio as their days are filled with curiosity, intrigue, and a new video game, while Eleni, the Guardians, Companions, and Merchants guide them through their discovery of life and love.

Dragon’s Defiance

Coming this Fall!

Strong Women in the Talents Universe

Strong Women

cover of the novel, "Hidden Talents"

Strong Women are important to the Talents Universe

While the primary characters of Hidden Talents are Renard Alciatore and Michael O’Donnell, the story features several strong women. Ren’s interactions with women are important. I didn’t want the story to be a bromance. Consider two of the women in the story.

JJ

Janet Julianne Garrison is Ren’s best friend, and will defend him to the death if necessary. But JJ doesn’t have Talents, so she’s no match for Anita Delatorre. JJ is still important to the story and will always be to Ren. JJ is a bit older than Ren, and her family moved in different New Orleans circles than the Alciatores. Like most folks in the city, the families intersect at points. The “six degrees of separation” game rarely goes past two in New Orleans.

I’d love to hear from readers about the Ren-JJ dynamic, particularly as it continues in Trusted Talents

Anita

The “ambitious woman” in a man’s world! Such a trope. Thing is, in the world of Christian publishing isn’t all that different from other industries that rely on a lot of personal contact for marketing. It’s no coincidence that pharmaceutical companies use women as direct-marketing representatives. Physicians are overwhelmingly male. Put the gal in heels and a well-tailored business suit, and she’s a welcome sight to the overworked doctor.

It’s the same thing for publishing. The dynamics of marketing to booksellers has changed radically, because of the Internet. Publishers need to come up with more ideas for getting their authors in front of the public. While there are a still a number of brick-and-mortar stores that sell Christian fiction and non-fiction, the attractive, well-dressed, professional young woman has a limited reach.

Christian Publishing is a challenge

Christian authors know their path to success lies in “church tours” rather than traditional “book tours.” When a Christian author goes on the road, it looks more like a band on tour than a typical author. It’s all about the advance person. A woman with a charming personality who is, as they say, “easy on the eyes” works wonders in this world. If that woman has Talents, well, that makes things even easier.

Marcus-Kayson Publishing, located in the DFW Metroplex, knows how this works. Even though the average M-K employee isn’t aware of it, the company also knows how to use the Talents.

To be continued!

strong women

Trusted Talents by Edward J Branley

The cover of Trusted Talents features three women. That speaks volumes for this trend continuing!

 

The Talents Universe of Edward J. Branley

Hidden Talents

cover of the novel, "Hidden Talents"

New Orleans is hot, humid, spiritual…and magical!

Anita Delatorre is a junior executive for a publishing company specializing in Christian books and homeschooling materials. Anita’s assignment is to be her company’s liaison with a New Orleans-based radio preacher, whose books the company publishes. A group seeking to discredit their client is all too successful, and Anita must take steps to stop them, using any means at her disposal. And Anita’s means are formidable: She is a sorceress, whose psychic Talents extend well beyond those of most mortals.

Renard Alciatore is a thirty-four-year old photographer who enjoys using his computer skills to mock Anita’s client, the Reverend Jay Hadley. As Ren begins to receive information of financial and sexual improprieties from inside Jay Hadley Ministries, his life is threatened, and, in the process his own Talents are revealed. He is placed under the Protection of a shadowy organization known as The Assembly as he learns to use his Talents, to improve his photography, help others when he can, and defend his own life, when Challenged.

What were once Hidden Talents emerge in the hot New Orleans summer. Only one will walk away when the duel is joined!

Available in paperback ($13.99), hardcover, and Kindle.

Trusted Talents

trusted talents

Someone’s stealing magickal artifacts – in the middle of Mardi Gras!

The priests of the Ordo Archangelli keep their tools hidden until needed. New Orleans has kept some of their secrets well, until now. Daniel McCain is a Dark Adept of the same group that tried to kill Ren Alciatore at Samhain. Now, McCain comes close to acquiring a powerful set of tools. When all are in his possession, challenging and defeating him will cost lives.

And there’s no better time to hide these thefts than Carnival! The Ordo don’t know where the theives’ next target is. Ren wants to enlist the help of one of McCain’s cousins, Brooks Stirling Sumner, to learn more about the artifacts.

Renard Alciatore’s Talents are no longer hidden. Will the shadowy group known as the Assembly trust him? With the guidance of a Coven of Witches and knowledge from his new friend, Ren and The Assembly must protect their city from those who want to win at all costs. Bullets and magick are a strong combination to defeat!

Available in paperback ($14.99) and for Kindle.

Trusted Talents is here!

trusted talents
Trusted Talents by Edward J Branley

Wednesday, 15-August, is the official drop date for my latest novel, “Trusted Talents“. Here’s the back-cover blurb:

Someone’s stealing magickal artifacts – in the middle of Mardi Gras The priests of the Ordo Archangelli keep their tools hidden until needed. New Orleans has kept some of their secrets well, until now. Daniel McCain is a Dark Adept of the same group that tried to kill Ren Alciatore at Samhain.

Now, McCain comes close to acquiring a powerful set of tools. When all are in his possession, challenging and defeating him will cost lives. And there’s no better time to hide these thefts than Carnival The Ordo don’t know where the theives’ next target is. Ren wants to enlist the help of one of McCain’s cousins, Brooks Stirling Sumner, to learn more about the artifacts.

Renard Alciatore’s Talents are no longer hidden. Will the shadowy group known as the Assembly trust him? With the guidance of a Coven of Witches and knowledge from his new friend, Ren and The Assembly must protect their city from those who want to win at all costs. Bullets and magick are a strong combination to defeat.

Trusted Talents picks up where my first contemporary sword-and-sorcery novel, Hidden Talents, leaves off. If you like magick, magickal duels, ritual, and extrasensory “Talents”, you’ll enjoy these two books. 

Continuing the story of Renard Alciatore and his mentor, Fr. Michael O’Donnell, is so much fun. I’m always playing with little short scenes. I post those to my Facebook Author Page, as well as the Bayou Talents Book Group. Trusted Talents features three women on the cover, because this book is all about strong New Orleans women! 

Trusted Talents is avaolable for pre-order at all the usual suspects! 

Verse – Opposite Ends of the Table

Opposite Ends of the Table

Twelve for dinner,
Six a side.
Hi! Haven’t seen you
In ages.
And it’s a shame,
That I can’t catch up
With you.
Because we are on
Opposite ends of the table.

©2018 Edward J Branley