Check out the Ostium Store

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It’s official: the Ostium store is now open. In the store you’ll find a whole range of products related to everything Ostium, whether it’s cellphone covers, iPad cases, clocks, shirts, skirts, stickers, posters, bumper stickers, and so much more.

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To check out the Ostium store, click on the image above or follow this link.

And remember: tell your friends . . . and family . . . and random strangers on the street.

Ostium Mini Episode: “Save the Clock Tower”

Having recently arrived at this strange town called Ostium, Monica decides to go on a bit of an adventure and find out what exactly is going on with this whole clock tower thing. Does the clock wind up? Can she get it working again? Does it have a chime? And how exactly does one get to the the top of that clock tower?

Written by Alex C. Telander
Performed by Georgia Mackenzie

Background music by BG Subset, courtesy of the Free Music Archive.

If you want more Ostium, why not become a patron on our Patreon page, where for just $2 a month you’ll get access to an exclusive brand new mini episode every two weeks (and this includes all through the offseason); and during the regular season of the show you’ll get access to new episodes a full week before everyone else. Alternatively, you could also make a one-time donation and help support Ostium on our website, ostiumpodcast.com.

And if you wouldn’t mind leaving Ostium a review on whatever app or program you use to listen to podcasts and that way people can see what you’re saying to convince them to listen to Ostium.

Thanks for listening and see you in two weeks.

“The Furthest Station” by Ben Aaronovich (Subterranean Press, 2017)

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The furthest station in question of this short novella refers to the last station on the Metropolitan Line of the London Underground, and the one located furthest from London. What’s piqued the interest of PC Grant and the Folly – officially known as the Metropolitan Police’s special assessment unit, which is essentially your Mulder and Scully: the people you bring in when the case involves something unsolved and what can only be classed as paranormal – are sightings of ghosts on the Underground.

Teaming up with Jaget Kumar of the British Transport Police, along with Toby the ghost hunting dog (one of Grant’s ongoing “experiments”) and his “wizard-in-training” teenage cousin, they meticulously work their way through the investigation: scouting as many of the Tube trains as they can during regular business hours when these ghosts have been sighted; drawing them in with magic, and Grant making a hypothesized deduction that there’s been a kidnapping. The question is who?

Often, these Subterranean Press novellas are really great, because they give fans a new albeit shorter book to enjoy before the next full-length one is released. And, alternatively, if you’re new to Ben Aaronovich and his particular brand of British urban fantasy, the Furthest Station is the perfect introduction, as it features all the main characters, an engaging story, and allows the reader to get sucked into the series and want to start at the beginning once they’re done.

Originally written on April 26, 2017 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Furthest Station from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Ostium Mini Episode: EMU #4 – The Beginning of the End

In the fourth installment of Enigmatic Mysteries of the Unknown, Dave is physically and emotionally reeling from the nuclear plant disaster. (For more info, check out Ostium Episode 4.) He also talks about Jake’s latest adventure passing through a door in Ostium.

Written and performed by Alex C. Telander.

Warning, this episode contains explicit language.

We’ve partnered with @Podchaser, a new website for podcast listeners to rate and review their favorite podcast episodes! Visit the website at beta.podchaser.com and review your favorite episodes from our show. Use the key “ostiumpodcast” to gain exclusive access. Only the first 100 listeners can join, so hurry over!

If you want more Ostium, why not become a patron on our Patreon page www.patreon.com/ostiumpodcast, where for just $2 a month you’ll get access to an exclusive brand new mini episode every two weeks (and this includes all through the offseason); and during the regular season of the show you’ll get access to new episodes a full week before everyone else. Alternatively, you could also make a one-time donation and help support Ostium on our website, www.ostiumpodcast.com.

And if you wouldn’t mind leaving Ostium a review on whatever app or program you use to listen to podcasts and that way people can see what you’re saying to convince them to listen to Ostium.

Thanks for listening and see you in two weeks.

The Hunter: Awakening by Nicholas Arriaza

The Hunter: Awakening, is the first of a series of novels that will explore the nature of good and evil and the question of redemption: Is it available to those who have perpetrated great evil? Not long after the theft of a leather-bound book from a hidden hillside tomb in LA, a young hiker inadvertently awakens something fearsome that has been laid to rest some two hundred years ago. Soon after an emaciated, amnesiac man falls from a cliffside trail into the backyard of young, pregnant, neurosurgeon Melisa Castro. The young doctor feels compelled to help the “John Doe” regain his memory. Meanwhile a vampire who no longer has a hunger for blood comes seeking to rectify the awakening only to find himself in the middle of a power struggle within the family Melisa’s fiancé Chris leads. Chris has yet to tell Melisa of his true nature and the fact, she is carrying a werewolf’s baby.

From the San Francisco Book Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series. The plot was great. Who doesn’t love a story about werewolves and vampires? If you don’t, you should. Even though Melisa was the main character, I actually liked Aaron, her future brother-in-law, and Ranald the best. Ranald, the sarcastic vampire, was an enjoyable character to read about. I hope that if I ever become one of the undead, I can still keep it light like he does. Aaron makes his brother, Chris, who is the father of Melisa’s child, just look bad. He’s willing to go as far as needed to protect her and her unborn child.

There were some very small errors, which can be somewhat typical of eBooks, and that is the version I read. There were a few grammatical errors, and one time a different name, which was obviously a spelling error, was used for a character who was referenced a few times. Otherwise, it was very well-written, and the story flowed nicely. It left you wanting more. I look forward to finding out what happened to the Hunter, what it’s going to be like for Melisa as she develops her gifts and has her son, what happened to Ranald, and if Melisa will marry Aaron instead of Chris.

Nicholas Arriaza has worked as a pizza maker, an electrician, a carpenter, a luxury home electronics salesman, and an owner operator of a successful luxury custom home theater design company. He is now a stay at home dad and fantasy writer. He lives with his wife, their infant son, and Pit-Bull Basil in Los Angeles, CA. THE HUNTER: AWAKENING is his first published novel. He is currently working on the second novel of the saga.

“Gringo” By Dan “Tito” Davis

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Dan “Tito” Davis comes from a town in South Dakota that’s so small everyone knows their neighbor’s cat’s name. But once he got out, he made some noise. While at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, he started manufacturing White Crosses, aka speed, and soon had the Banditos Motorcycle Club distributing ten million pills a week. After serving a nickel, he got into the weed game, but just when he got going, he was set up by a childhood friend. Facing thirty years, Davis slipped into Mexico, not knowing a word of Spanish, which began a thirteen-year odyssey that led him to an underground hideout for a MedellIn cartel, through the jungles of the Darien Gap, the middle of Mumbai’s madness, and much more.

From the San Francisco Book Review:

We’ve all heard it said that truth is stranger than fiction. I can’t say this is always true, having read some very strange pieces of unconventional fiction, but I can say that truth is sometimes just as wild and exciting as fiction, and Gringo is the perfect example of that.

Dan Davis, also called Tito, has lived an extraordinary life, and I am lucky enough that a man with the skills of Peter Conti was willing to help him tell his story. The book opens with what I consider the literary variant of a television teaser: a prologue which shows where the author’s life will go, featured just before a first chapter, which goes back to the author’s childhood. While at times this may seem like a cheap trick, when used effectively, it can stir excitement and maintain the reader’s interest. This prologue falls into the latter camp, and all through the first few chapters, I found myself wondering just what would lead Tito to flee to Central America and where his life would go from there.

That’s not to say that I skimmed through those chapters, looking eagerly for the time when the action would pick up. While I was eager to reach the part of his life which would feature his flight from the law, those early chapters were far from wasted. They gave me insight into Tito’s personality, allowing me to understand who he is and how he reached the part of his life that would form the endpoint of the book.

The story begins with Tito – still merely Dan Davis then – as a young Midwestern man, looking for some way to make money. He settles on selling drugs, and from a little ambition, a little know-how, and some good luck in knowing the right people, he finds himself with a nascent drug empire on his hands. This part of the book alone could make a compelling tale, but the story continues from there. Betrayed by someone he thought he could trust, Davis finds himself hunted by the government, and he abandons his family to flee the country, making his way to Central America. Once there, he does not merely lie low but sets about building a life for himself.

Tito has lived a fascinating life, one well worth reading about, and I was enthralled by every page. Tito’s ambition and know-how lead him far past his humble Midwestern beginnings, and his rise and fall made a tale well worth reading, one which I would recommend to anyone.

“The Salad Oil King” by M. G. Crisci

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The Salad Oil King  is a uniquely American tale of Greed-Gone-Mad. Inspired by real events that took place in the 1940-60’s. An unpretentious, diminutive Manhattan-born high school drop-out named Alfonso Gravenese morphs into one of the great scam artists in American financial history.

Watch “Fonso” graduate from a modest childhood scam into an executive who initially steals hundreds of millions of dollars from Federal domestic and international aid programs. And ultimately becomes a cunning entrepreneur who creates a $14 billion Wall Street scam that halts NYSE trading and destroys two venerable brokerage firms.

Along the way, you meet an unforgettable collection of friends, enemies and accomplices. Notably benevolent Mobsters, a jealous and compliant wife, a vicious yet oddly romantic right-hand man, and a collection of opportunistic Government and Church officials.

And a surprising ending that will leave you wondering.

 

From the San Francisco Book Review:

There’s something about criminal stories that commands our attention. Maybe it’s the chance to look behind the curtain of illegality and see just how someone can manage to pull off a wild scheme. Maybe it’s the curiosity of wondering what goes through someone’s mind and brings them to commit actions the rest of us would never dream of. Whichever the case, the story of Alfonso “Fonso” Gravanese has all the elements needed to be a classic tale of American crime, and it spins out from a master storyteller.

Born in Little Italy, Fonso starts off learning how to con early from watching his father stuff fish full of ice before weighing them to sell to customers. His father’s ambition is to get a little extra money for the family, but Fonso’s dreams are greater, and he has the passion to pursue them. When his father moves from selling fish to having a butcher shop, he finds ways to get more money from that, too, even studying meat carving, so he can find a way to get more meat from each cut and more money from each animal. After his father’s death, he moves on to bigger and better things, finding loopholes in laws that allow him to gain more and more money for himself.||From the first chapters of The Salad Oil King, I was completely hooked. It’s a book that pulls you into a world not only of domestic corruption, but of international politics, one that sprang from The Great Depression to World War II and beyond, showing how one man can take advantage of foreign troubles to line his own pocket. Personal betrayals and struggles only add to the book’s power, as Fonso struggles not only to keep himself on the top when it comes to business, but also to keep his friends and allies.

I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in how corruption can shape history.