These books are the foundations of two series. Whether you’re into funny, action-packed crime novels or fun, dark fantasy that’s a bit Buffy, click a cover to grab you free copy. If you like it or love it, please do leave a review! Cheers! ~ Chazz
After immersing myself in the bloody pool that is Frank Underwood, I can’t get that voice out of my head. I only wish House of Cards broke the fourth wall more. There were a couple of heavy-handed moments in this season and it was a slow open. However, overall, I recommend it. No spoilers in this edition of the podcast. In fact, anything I mention about House of Cards is purely tangential. But…that voice. I can’t get that voice out of my head. It’s crowding out all the other voices that usually populate my cranium. So…you’ll see how Frank underwood and I suffer King of the Universe Syndrome.
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Chazz versus The Man
This week on the All That Chazz podcast, we take a little trip to court and, predictably, complications ensue and things go awry.
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Chazz is back! And so is the hit man! That can’t be a coincidence. Anybody seen these two guys in the same room at once?
Today we continue with the author reading of Higher Than Jesus. Meanwhile, the third book in the Hit Man Series is suddenly available. Don’t know what I’m talking about? It’s the funny/hardboiled adventure with my luckless Cuban anti-hero, Jesus Diaz. Come for the action and surprises. Stay for the jokes.
Good news! All three books are also now available in one ebook edition: The Divine Assassin’s Playbook, Omnibus Edition! Read all three crime novels — Bigger Than Jesus, Higher Than Jesus, and the latest, Hollywood Jesus — for one low price.
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I’m working on the last draft of the next instalment of the Hit Man Series, Deader Than Jesus. My luckless Cuban assassin has big plans for tonight. Here’s an excerpt from today’s revisions…
Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, the character of the clever hit man will be played by Jesus Diaz. The actor’s motivation will be supplied by his lost childhood and tortured fool’s soul.
Take a deep breath. Step closer to the mirror. Look into your eyes and try to find the man behind the scary luchadore mask. What happens tonight shouldn’t be narrated by Morgan Freeman. Tough guy voice over work for tonight’s adventure should be supplied by the cowboy in the Big Lebowksi, Sam Elliot. Or maybe Dennis Leary could put a funny, edgy spin on what’s about to unfold, like he does for those truck commercials.
Somebody really badass should play you. If John Leguizamo isn’t available, can Jason Statham play a short Cuban?
I think the book will be out in a month (or less.) Stay tuned, and be sure to read Bigger Than Jesus and Higher Than Jesus. You can jump in anywhere, but you’ll get the full flavor if you start at the beginning. Enjoy.
As I’ve mentioned on Facebook, it seems whoever’s in charge has decided that it’s okay to spoil Game of Thrones immediately. I’m now hypersensitive to the problem of spoilers so, though I won’t get into great detail on the movie Transcendence, I’m going to tell you up front that I plan to spoil it. Perhaps enjoy this review more like a Slate Spoiler Special (a review of a movie you’ve already seen, not one you plan to see.)
So, straight to the problem with Transcendence:
It’s based on a paranoia that is never supported and the stakes are all wrong.
If the very foundation of the film wasn’t immensely flawed, it wouldn’t have been a bad show. I like Johnny Depp. He’s good in this in that he says his lines and doesn’t walk into furniture. (He hardly does any walking at all since mostly he’s on screen and percolating through the net. They sure didn’t give him much to work with in the script.
Sadly, Morgan Freeman plays the dumbest character he has ever played. Here’s the deal: Download a brilliant, dying scientist’s mind into a computer. The photocopy of his consciousness might not be entirely him, but there’s no evidence it isn’t all him.
We’re supposed to be worried it isn’t all Johnny and it might be PINN, the autonomous computer that MIGHT DESTROY THE HUMAN RACE! Except we barely meet PINN before the scientist gets on PINN’s hard drive and there is no sense of menace. PINN isn’t HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s as innocuous as Microsoft Word’s paperclip character that popped up to ask, “It look like you’re typing a letter. Can I help?” PINN will open the pod bay door and won’t keep you out of the airlock, Dave, so relax.
Anyway, the ghost in the machine (i.e. Johnny’s character of Will Caster) embraces solar power and starts making the blind see, saving lives and doing good everywhere.
Morgan’s character’s answer to all this good news? A note that tells the dead guy’s wife to run away because…um…well…hm. Because paranoia! Because freedom! Because your dead husband is down in the basement curing cancer with nanotechnology that could save us all! What a jerk!
Making the people he cures of terrible diseases into a slave army (part-time) was supposed to alarm us. However, if the doctor said, “I’m curing your blindness for free but I get to run around in your body, as needed, maybe 10- 20% of the time,” I’d say, “Sure! Thanks! Better than being a debt slave for the rest of my life. That’s a fair exchange! Bring on the nano-tech!”
Skip to the death scene
Dying wife looks up at dying husband (again) and says, “It’s you.”
Meaning: You aren’t the monster we feared.
He answers, “Always was.”
Meaning: I was always Jesus. You’ve killed me again and learned nothing in over 2000 years.
She smiles!? No! She should not be smiling. She should be weeping and begging forgiveness, not only from her dead husband/computer program, but from the human race.
Ah. The human race. What did we win in the end?
Pain. Disease. Weakness. Congratulations, humans! You had a shot at long, healthy lives and hope for the future but you weren’t worthy of the gift. You “win”, ya big dopes! That’s what anti-intellectualism and paranoia and fear of new things gets you. I’d call it a life lesson, but your lives are so short and miserable, who cares? Sure, science guy healed the planet a bit in the end, but we still die hooked up to machines. Whee! We win!
Transcendence needed a lesson from Lawn Mower Man. You don’t make a guy a beneficent god and bring him down. You transform him into a mad, evil god and then you bring him down. Bring down monsters or we’re all doofuses.
And that non sequitur little tag of an ending, so full of nonsense and obfuscation?
I wonder if studio suit thought, Add in some hope for the husband and wife at the end, despite the fact that the anti-virus worked everywhere else. Sure. If we confuse the audience with a vague ending, maybe they’ll forgive us the rest.
We won’t forgive. The point of the movie is, we won’t. We aren’t worthy and we don’t cut anybody else any slack, either.
~ FYI: For a satisfying ending, try my funny crime novel about a Cuban hit man trying to escape the mob. It’s called Bigger Than Jesus. It’s pronounced, “HAY-SOOSE.” As I write this, it’s free on Amazon here.
I got a review today that put me in a bad mood. Everybody gets an opinion. That’s fine and I don’t ever reply to bad reviews. However, borderline libellous statements sap my creative energy and make me sad. I’ve reported the abuse to the platform in question, though I doubt they’ll do anything about it. That’s how these things tend to go.
I took an hour off. I lost some writing time. I watched an episode of Band of Brothers. Was there ever a better film depiction of soldiers in war that didn’t glamorize it? It was a good thing to lose an hour to.
Anyway, I posted the story below on Facebook earlier. Then I decided to share it with all of you. If you like my crime novels, Bigger Than Jesus and Higher Than Jesus, you might go for this. It’s from a dark work in progress in my head. Let’s have a demonstration of psycho-macho psyche and what that BS can get you. Let’s call it…
The big man’s first slap stunned the smaller man.
The victim’s head rocked back and blood ran freely from his split lip. Shocked, he touched his mouth. “The speaker phone was on when you called me at home before. My family heard. You frightened my wife and child. You shouldn’ta done that.”
A smile. “Scared of me?”
“You’re making a mistake. Leave. Leave now! Please!”
The big man stepped closer, looked him up and down, and chuckled.
The smaller man took the cell from his shirt pocket and hit “End”.
The big man’s second slap didn’t connect. Instead, the intended victim cupped his attacker’s chin in one hand and grabbed him by the hair at the back of his head. The big man laughed, even as the smaller man twisted his neck and, almost gently, guided him to the ground.
Then the big man’s intended victim brought all his weight down, hard, slamming the point of his knee into the side of the attacker’s face, just in front of the ear.
The big man’s laughter broke cold over stunning realization. The jaw didn’t break. Instead, it wrenched to the side in a loose, snapping slide.
A second’s silence passed. Nerves lit fire. Brain gears whirled panic. The screeching and flailing began.
The smaller man yelled to be heard above the big man’s pain. “You came to humiliate me! You came here to beat me up. But I’m not here for a fight!”
He took the big man’s eyes first. After that, it was easy.
When the man stood, he wasn’t the victim anymore. His cell lay on the floor, ringing and ringing. That would be 911 calling back to make sure he was okay. He was fine. He felt taller.
Jesus is trapped in the back of the God Eats Diner. He’s just killed two people and feels kind of bad about it. Worse, he just realized he’s been working for a really bad guy. Oh, and did I mention the back door is guarded by the guy he almost beat to death and there’s no way out because the diner is on fire? Facing a fiery death, my funny, loveable and luckless hit man has a few last thoughts to share. He also has some tough choices about how to die. Coming to Chicago was a mistake.
About the title: I love Elmore Leonard, but today’s author reading is from Higher Than Jesus. The chapter is called “Get Shorty”. Except for the last two chapters, all the chapter titles in Higher Than Jesus are from old movies. I’m a big noir and neo-noir film buff, so that’s why.
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Buy, read, love, and review This Plague of Days and learn more about the horror serial at www.ThisPlagueOfDays.com.
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I miss America. It was awesome. However, with the plague coming, it was going down anyway. This Plague of Days, my world flu pandemic/autistic/zombie apocalypse horror serial will be released soon.
(Check out ThisPlagueOfDays.com for sneak peaks and to find out more.)
Meanwhile, in this episode of All That Chazz, I read another chapter from my crime novel, Higher Than Jesus.
The Story So Far
Cuban assassin-for-hire Jesus Diaz has come to Chicago to escape all the trouble he started up with New York’s Spanish mob (as told in Bigger Than Jesus). After killing a bad guy on Christmas day, he finds himself in the middle of an arms deal going terribly wrong. Two groups: a gang called the Victorious and a group of religious nuts called the Recipients are vying for the same arms shipment. Diaz has fallen for his new boss’s beautiful daughter, Willow Clemont. Chill, the bodyguard has to keep Willow safe while Jesus deal with the bad guys. Last week’s episode got sexy. Things are about to get hotter, but not in a happy way.
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This podcast is sponsored in part by Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com. Music today was Mechanolith and What You Want #2, both supplied by Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.
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Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign came up with an excellent demotivational poster based on the beginning of Bigger Than Jesus.
Jesus Diaz, my loveable, luckless hit man, would definitely approve! (I do, too!)