Cover Reveal: Long Haul by: Tom Olbert

Publisher: Musa Publishing

Publication Date: August 1, 2014

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Synopsis: This trucker's haul takes him to the end of time and space, and beyond...

In the near future, physicists have stumbled on a way to open rifts into other universes, making it possible to transport goods and people anywhere in the world in nothing flat.  The unscrupulous corporation that owns the new technology uses it to monopolize shipping worldwide

Thrill-seeking, death-defying truckers like veteran army driver Garth Jenkins and his gun-toting trucking partner Sally Drake earn hazardous duty pay by hauling rigs through perilous alien universes often infested with deadly alien monsters and many other dangers besides.

Garth and Sally accept a shady corporate contract to deliver some unknown cargo to an alien universe, no questions asked.  It looks like an easy way to score big money.  But, things go south fast when their truck is hijacked by the beautiful and mysterious Keira Takahashi, and they find themselves pursued by hideous alien parasites in undead human bodies.

On the run and in danger, Garth and Sally find themselves on a crooked cosmic road leading to bizarre other worlds and exotic time periods.  They have one chance to unravel the company's twisted plot and save themselves.  Whether they succeed or fail may decide the fate of a universe...

Excerpt: Three suns burned brightly in the sky, the Earth was breaking apart, and giant moths were attacking us. For most guys, that would describe a bad dream after a bender, but when you’re trucking a load on the long haul, that’s business as usual.

A big mama moth was comin’ straight at me, and she looked pretty damn pissed. Wing spread of about fifteen feet, jaws bigger than my head. Yeah, that’s how big they grow in the crazy gravity in this parallel ’verse.

I squeezed the trigger of my flamethrower. A long, twisting stream of fire snaked out and nailed that sucker right between its foot-wide sparklin’ silver eyes. The shrieking noise those mothers make when they burst into flames cuts to the marrow and curdles the blood. Kinda like my ex-wife when I’m late with a payment.

It was still coming straight for me. I felt the fire on my face as it swooped in. Those things go up like freakin’ gas balloons, y’know. As it passed over, I held onto the rearview side mirror, crouched down on the running board, and nudged that big flaming bug with the muzzle of the flamethrower. It passed on over, stinking, singed pieces of it falling onto my hair and coveralls.

“Damn!” I yelled at the top of my lungs as the truck hit the guard rail, sparks flying, metal screeching. My feet slipped off the running board, and the rearview started coming loose in my hand. I looked down. My feet dangled over a damn long drop into a kind of island floating in mid-air, a jungle landscape splitting apart, volcanoes erupting and lava bubbling up.

There was nothing but sky all around, filled with other floating islands, and swarms of those moth things were taking off from them. Behind that, the moon filled half the sky. It looked close enough to touch. I held on for dear life as the rubber screeched over the tar. My trucking partner, Sally Drake, was spinning that wheel blind, trying to keep the damn rig on the highway. A highway that was built in mid-air, stretching out from one floating island to the next. Don’t ask me how. Our road crews just paved over old highways that were already there. Built by aliens from another ’verse, maybe. Or by humans from our future. I just drive. I don’t ask questions.

Author Interview: Q. How did writing this book affect you?

It was my first attempt at first person narrative, and the first time I really cut loose with goofball comedic action sci-fi. I really had a ball with it. It reminded me you can always broaden your horizons as a writer.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Making the characters come alive for the audience; finding new and effective ways to really put the reader in the POV character’s skin and make the physical and emotional connection in ways that will make the reader care.

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

Yes. I already have a sequel to “Long Haul” written. It still needs fleshing out, but I hope to submit it to MUSA in the not-too-distant future.

Q. What are you currently reading?

Colony Ascension” by Valjeanne Jeffers.

Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).

I have a two-novel series coming out (soon, I hope) from Phase 5 Publishing.

Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Depends on how you define ‘quirk.’ I guess each writer is different.

Q. Please tell us a fun-fact about yourself!

I try to stay politically active. I canvass for progressive candidates, I march in parades and demonstrations for the causes I believe in.

Q. Is there anything you haven’t written about that you would like to in the future?

Yes. I’d like to write a near-future speculative spy drama in which U.S. military intelligence and the C.I.A. conspire to shut down the fossil fuel industry and save the world from climate change.

Q. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Anything to improve my computer skills; advanced spreadsheet functions, graphics, etc.

Q. What gives you the most joy in life?


Q. Which of your characters would you want to be and why?

I don’t think anyone in their right mind would want to be any of my characters. I put them through the ringer without mercy.

Q. How do you like to spend your spare time?

Writing. Reading. Blogging. Listening to music. Long summer walks along the river.

Q. How did you come up with the title?

It seemed pretty obvious. ‘Long Haul’ is a trucking term. This story depicts the longest hauls imaginable, so it fit.

Q. When did you know you would be a writer?

When my first acceptance letter came. No, probably the second or third.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Please read. And, please review. I’d like to know what effect I’m having (good and bad.)

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