Authors and Illustrators:
Keira Andrews, Connie Bailey, Sophie Bonaste, Tara Bluhm, Michael J. Bowler, A.L. Boyd, Jade Crystal, Catherine Dair, Fiona Fu, Nancy Hartmann, JP Kenwood, Mia Kerick, Jackie Keswick, Eleanore Pavelle, Kate Pavelle, Jonathan Penn, Tali Spencer, Taomi, Rayne Vogel, Brandon Witt
With a special foreword by Eric Arvin’s sisters Angela Arvin-Young and Amy Arvin
Against bad odds, he persevered. Wit, grit, and guile pulverized his scary opponent into a sad pile of dust.
Eric Arvin is Kickass.
Even a kickass hero needs a hand from a secondary
character, and Eric needs that extra power boost right now. This anthology is a volunteer effort organized by Eric’s fans and fellow writers in order to help him raise funds and help cover the cost of his high-tech recovery. His wicked sense of humor is intact, but his body needs a bit of help.
These stories are meant to inspire. They’re a warm hug, a wave from afar, a wink and a nod. Discover new authors and graphic artists as you, too, get revved up to slay whatever ails you!
About Kicking Ass and Taking Names
Hi, I’m Jack Horwood, and god only knows how I got myself roped into this blog tour thing. Did it have something to do with a rambled telephone conversation about kicking ass and how it’s important? I can’t really remember, seeing it was a week ago, and close to three in the morning and I was busily… No, I better not admit to that in public.
I do remember it has to do with an anthology and Eric Arvin. And, you know? That’s something I can talk about. Kicking ass and taking names? Ditto.
If you wanna know why, take a look at the cover that Tara Bluhm did for The Power of Zero. Seeing that image bit me. It brought back stuff I thought I’d well and truly forgotten.
Turns out, memory is much more tenacious than that. What I remember most from that time—apart from a persistent hollow ache in my middle, nobody to talk to, and the acrid smell of clothes that haven’t properly dried in ages—is being scared and being cold.
I don’t know whether Eric’s ever been truly cold, but I imagine he’s been scared plenty in the last year. Really, bone-deep scared. Scared the way few of us ever are. But you know what? It doesn’t show much.
Eric doesn’t let it.
He fights to get better. He rebuilds. He makes videos to share what’s happening. And he kicks any fear lurking close by to the kerb.
That’s important. Because the moment you let your fear show, the moment others can see and smell it on you, you start to believe in its power. And once you do, you’re done for.
You see, courage isn’t about defiance. It’s about kicking your fear in the ass. Hard. And then do it again. And again.
And no, that’s not a walk in the park.
If it were, what would be the point of having a Kickass Anthology? What would be the point of looking up to people like Eric Arvin and his family and friends, who don’t lie down and give up? Part of that whole triumph over adversity spiel is the simple truth that triumph is sweet. But you have to wade through the shit to get to it. And not everyone is up for that.
Kicking ass is something you can learn to appreciate, though. It’s mostly thorns and crap, granted, but it has its sweet moments, too. I’ll never forget the first time I was allowed to lay a finger on Rio’s computer. Goosebumps and shivers stuff, that. Not so much the computer, mind you, though that piece was sweeeet, but the fact that Rio was asking me, a nobody, a street brat he’d rescued like a stray dog, to watch his back. And Rio wasn’t just anyone, and by that time I knew it.
Being allowed near his gear was heady stuff.
Just as much fun as watching Declan Flanagan swing from the ceiling, covered in ink and wailing like a stuck pig. That guy was a right plonker, and totally full of himself to boot, but he taught me a lesson, too.
I’d never have thought that I’d stand by and let a bully play his tricks on the people close to me. That’s just not the way I roll. But back then, I was in love, and scared, and stuck in the past—and as a result, I couldn’t see past the end of my nose.
That’s because fear distorts things, like one of those carnival mirrors that make more than just your butt look fat. Kicking ass breaks the mirror and the next time you look at yourself you know your diet’s working.
Joking, right? We’re all made of awesome and we know it. Remember that.
In all seriousness, though, we all love a story where the little guy takes on the big guy and wins against the odds. Just look at Robin Hood. And no, I wasn’t referring to the tights. Get yourself a history book, for heaven’s sake!
None of us like being scared. And when we are, we all welcome a bit of help hiding those wibbly feelings behind a layer of tough.
So, technically, we really should have asked Eric Arvin to write the Kickass Anthology. Seeing he’s got the most recent up close and personal experience kicking ass. And he looks to be doing exceptionally well with it.
But Eric is busy right now.
Very busy, actually. Living and planning and stuff.
So rather than not have a Kickass Anthology at all, we put one together ourselves. It’s full of stories of the little guys doing what we do best… showing fate and the local bullies where to get off. With a smile.
And because Eric Arvin’s an inspiration, this anthology is for him and his family. Not just the stories, but the profits, too. Whether Eric knows it or not, he’s helped a lot of people this year. And here’s our chance to return the favour.
So, if you need inspiration, go and watch Eric’s videos. Then grab your credit card and order your very own copy of the Kickass Anthology. Because kicking ass and taking names is important. It’s also fun and habit forming. And what we do best.
(And now Jackie owes me a drink. Please don’t let her forget it!)
Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurrent dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig. She’s spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with a husband, a cat and a tandem.
Jackie’s current obsession is a green-eyed hacker-turned-vigilante by the name of Jack Horwood. The first part of his story, Job Hunt, is going to be published by Dreamspinner Press and is due out in May 2015.
For questions and comments, not restricted to green-eyed hackers or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places:
A Note from the publishers:
KICKASS ANTHOLOGY was produced in order to raise funds for the medical recovery of our friend and colleague, author Eric Arvin.
All artwork, both written and graphic, was donated free of charge.
All proceeds will go directly to Eric Arvin and his family.
12/13/2014 – Boys in Our Books – Kate Pavelle
12/15/2014 – Kimi-Chan Experience – Jade Crystal with Eleanor Pavelle
12/16/2014 – The Novel Approach – Amy Arvin & Angela Arvin-Young
12/18/2014 – GGR Reviews – JP Kenwood with Fiona Fu
12/19/2014 – Rainbow Gold Reviews – Jackie Keswick with Tara Bluhm
12/20/2014 – On Top Down Under – Nancy Hartmann
12/22/2014 – Joyfully Jay – Sophie Bonaste
12/23/2014 – Prism Book Alliance – Brandon Witt with Catherine Dair
12/27/2014 – MM Good Book Reviews – Mia Kerick & Michael Bowler
12/29/2014 – Love Bytes – Keira Andrews with Connie Bailey
12/31/2014 – JP Barnaby – Tali Spencer
1/2/2015 – Hearts on Fire Reviews – Jonathan Penn with Taomi