Special Deal: Get Pale Highway Today for Only $.99 Cents!

From today through Saturday, Red Adept Publishing will be running a special deal on the e-book edition of Pale Highway, and it’s a good one. If you get in fast, you can pick up Pale Highway for as little as $.99 cents.

A killer deal, if I do say so — and as the coffee obsessive that I am, I can’t help but point out that $.99 cents is less than a cup of coffee.

So, if there was ever a time to feed your Kindle with Pale Highway, now is it. Pick it up on Amazon today, get a coffee to go with it, and then enter the Alzheimer’s-afflicted world of Gabriel Schist, Victor, Bright New Day, and all of those weird little talking slugs that everyone keeps mentioning.

Pale Highway - Nicholas Conley

Gabriel Schist is spending his remaining years at Bright New Day, a nursing home. He once won the Nobel Prize for inventing a vaccine for AIDS. But now, he has Alzheimer’s, and his mind is slowly slipping away.

When one of the residents comes down with a horrific virus, Gabriel realizes that he is the only one who can find a cure. Encouraged by Victor, an odd stranger, he convinces the administrator to allow him to study the virus. Soon, reality begins to shift, and Gabriel’s hallucinations interfere with his work.

As the death count mounts, Gabriel is in a race against the clock and his own mind. Can he find a cure before his brain deteriorates past the point of no return?

Excerpt from Pale Highway

Hello everyone! Hope you’re enjoying the daylight on this beautiful Monday morning, and enjoying a coffee to go with it. As for me, I’m getting some work done on my various writing projects today, and looking forward to sharing more about my upcoming radio play Something in the Nothing very soon. In the meantime…

Excerpt from Pale Highway

Available now on Amazon!

Gabriel woke up in bed. He stretched out his stiff, aching arms, feeling years of trivial injuries, hey-this-will-get-better-soon wounds, and supposedly healed muscle tears ripple throughout his entire body. The years went by so fast. One day he was young, strong, and athletic, and the next, he woke up in a place like— Wait. Hold on. Where the hell was he?

A sky-blue curtain hung on his left, blocking off the other side of the room. A bulky television set was suspended from the ceiling. The walls were the same color, and he caught the faint stinging odor of antiseptic. To his right was an open door exposing a hallway, from which came the sounds of sirens, loud voices, and beeping.

He carefully rolled over onto his side. His aching muscles resisted the turn, and his bones weren’t much friendlier. His back immediately felt as though it had been exposed to dry ice. He realized that he was wearing a bare-backed johnny gown instead of his usual pajamas.

Tied to the railing of the bed was a vine-like wire, with a red push button on the end. Oh, no. He was in the hospital. But how? When? Was he sick? Had he gotten into a motorcycle accident?Why couldn’t he remember?

Gabriel panicked, breathing heavily. His heart raced. His skin was coated in a hot, syrupy sheen of perspiration. He struggled to sit upright, but his entire skeleton felt so stiff that it might snap at the slightest strain. He was trapped. He threw off the blanket and examined his body for wounds.

Instead, he found wrinkles. His thin, nearly transparent skin had become a crumpled-up piece of tissue paper. Liver spots. Reticular veins. Painful varicose veins on his ankle.

Oh. That’s right. Slowly, tentatively, Gabriel’s memory volunteered its services to him again. He wasn’t in a hospital. He was in a nursing home in New Hampshire, the same nursing home where he’d lived in for five years. Bright New Day Skilled Nursing Center. Yes, that was it.

He frenetically cycled through his usual checkmark system. His name was Gabriel Schist. That part was easy. The president was Bill Clint… no. George? No, Barack. Barack Obama. Wait. Was that the last one? Well, how about the year? The year was 2018. He knew that, at least. As far as his age, he was… what, seventy-five years old? Seventy-two? Seventy-three?

Well, his age had never been important to him, anyway. As long as he remembered the sequence, he was still okay. That was the most important part, the only way to determine if the gears of his mind were still turning properly.

“Zero,” he whispered. “One, one, two, three, five, eight, thirteen, twenty-one, thirty-four…”

Finally, he felt strong enough to pull himself up into a sitting position. He shivered, his bare feet resting on the cool linoleum floor. He waited for the sharp lines and blurry geometric figures of the world to come into sharper focus.

“Fifty-five, eighty-nine, one hundred forty-four…”

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Quick Reviews of the Last 5 Books I’ve Read

As much as I love analyzing stories, it’s sometimes a challenge to take the time to do a detailed review of every single book that I read; last year alone, I read over 100 different books, and while this year has been a bit slower it’s still over the 50 mark.  That said, I thought it might be fun to do a quick overview of the last five books I’ve read, with my thoughts on each:

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Chimpanzee – Darin Bradley – With the USA’s millennial generation currently drowning in student debt, this book, much like the Circle,  is a dystopia perfectly crafted for our time. There’s some interesting science fiction ideas in here, but what really matters are the big themes, which are masterfully plotted and executed.  Chimpanzee is one of the leaner, meaner and more interesting dystopic books in some time.  (And by the way, what a great cover!)

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2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke – Not going to get into the whole book vs. movie debate, but I will say this: the book doesn’t get nearly enough credit.  While the movie’s genius is in its openness to interpretation, the book’s genius is found in its specifics. Exploring the beginnings of humanity and ending with its possible future in a realm beyond understanding, it doesn’t get much more epic than this.

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Saint Odd – Dean Koontz I was surprised by just how much I loved the initial Odd Thomas book. Odd himself was a quirky, likeable character, and his town of Pico Mundo felt real. That said, I haven’t been as fond of the direction the series took after that point. I really enjoyed the third book, Brother Odd, but the other ones took a track that was different than what I expected–not necessarily bad, just different–and I missed the Pico Mundo town folk from the first and second book. The Annamaria storyline never quite clicked for me. Saint Odd brings us back to Pico Mundo, and in many ways back to the beginning of the series. Interestingly, what’s strange about Saint Odd is how small the scale is; whereas the previous books have been building toward some sort of epic, metaphysical conclusion with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Saint Odd never quite goes there, and delves into the supernatural far less than its predecessors.

Overall, I have mixed feelings, but my affection for the Odd Thomas character is no less strong, and it’s both enjoyable and saddening to accompany Odd on one last journey back to Pico Mundo.

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Between the World and MeTa-Nehisi Coates – A brilliant, heartbreaking and vulnerable piece of writing that may very well revolutionize the conversation on race in the United States.  I’ve been reading Coates’ articles in The Atlantic for some time, but this book takes is writings to an entirely new level.  Probably one of the most important works of this year.

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The Kite Runner Khaled HosseiniOkay, I’m really floored that I didn’t read this sooner. One of the most profoundly emotional stories I’ve ever read, this is a brave story written by a writer who truly knows its subject matter and has something he wants to say to the world. Can’t recommend this enough.

So now, fellow readers, how about you?

What’s the last book you read?