My first novel, Balak, has been set free to run amok once more, in the form of an e-book release (Kindle and Nook formats), as well as an audio book release from Crossroad Press (forthcoming in the next few months, read by Erik Synnestvedt). I originally wrote the novel in the early 1990s and then overhauled it in the late 1990s; in 2000, it was published by Wildside Press, some months after the release of Dark Shadows: Dreams of the Dark (HarperCollins, 1999), which I co-wrote with Elizabeth Massie. Thus, my first novel was actually my second published novel.
Balak may be considered a Cthulhu mythos story; it draws its inspiration from Lovecraft's mythos, to be sure, though it features few of its overt trappings. Primarily, it's a police procedural novel with an undercurrent of dark fantasy, set in Chicago in the early 90s; in fact, many of the locations in the book are actual places in and around the neighborhood where I lived during the 1980s, fictionalized... perhaps... to incriminate the not-so-innocent. Unlike so much Lovecraftian fiction, in which the cosmic scope of the story so frequently overshadows the characters, Balak is a distinctly character-driven story; the cosmic events, such as they are, tend to be glimpsed in bits and pieces by the various characters involved.
You can download free samples of the novel from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble for you e-reader. Here are links to the respective book sites:
Balak for the Kindle from Amazon.com
Balak for the Nook from Barnes & Noble
Of course, the original trade paperback edition is still available, nicely packaged by Wildside Press. You can get more info, including an excerpt and numerous reviews of the novel, at my Web site: Balak at The Realm of Stephen Mark Rainey. From that page, you can also order autographed copies of the book directly from me, via Paypal.
Enjoy. Or run screaming, whichever turns your crank....
"Stephen Mark Rainey brings us a Cthulhu Mythos novel that neither gushes with avant-garde blood nor creaks under the rusty chains of homage. Balak strikes me as the best story of its kind since Russell Kirk’s Lord of the Hollow Dark (1979)...Rainey moves his story along with just the right balance of suspense and revelation, and provides a resonant climax."
—Paul Di Filippo, Asimov's Science Fiction