Personal Effects: Sword of Blood cover by J.C. Hutchins

While there are no plans to release my debut novel Personal Effects: Dark Art in full podcast novel form (though I do hope to hook you up with a little audio taste of that bad mofo), I am thrilled by the next best thing: the upcoming release of Personal Effects: Sword of Blood, a podcast-exclusive prequel novella to Dark Art. I'll tease the plot in a sec. First thing's first. Here's the nearly-final version of the cover.

Sword of Blood "podcast cover" version

I'm about halfway through writing Sword of Blood, and plan to debut the first episode May 15th-ish. Recording is currently underway. We're looking to clock in about 40,000 words on this sucker, or around 14 chapters. The novella takes place during Halloween 2008, mere days before the events seen in Dark Art. (You can read a brief excerpt here.)

Sword of Blood "traditional cover" version

Sword of Blood is a terrific introduction to the Personal Effects universe and its characters, including art therapist Zach Taylor and his "tribe" of friends and family, including girlfriend (and video game blogger) Rachael Webster, slang-slinging kid brother Lucas, and Ida "Eye" Jean-Phillipe, an NYPD crime lab assistant. We'll also meet Zach's patient, Gertrude Spindler -- a wily quilt-making elderly woman with a deadly secret.

When Spindler -- or "Spindle," as she's nicknamed by hospital staffers -- completes her latest quilt and informs Zach that a 30-year-old "grand design of nine" has just been completed, Zach's curiosity is piqued ... and soon leads him into a dangerous subculture filled with psychics and secret societies. What is the grand design of nine ... and what is the "great blade of blood" Spindle keeps hinting at?

You'll soon find out. Personal Effects: Sword of Blood will debut here at in mid-May. Subscribe to my blog/podcast feed now to experience this groundbreaking prequel project ... and be sure to order Personal Effects: Dark Art to read the continuing story.