Meet Pavel the Czech

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Pavel the Czech. Gangster, sometimes friend. Can he be trusted? Read “The Crow’s Head: Book I of The Chemical Marriage” by Adrian Stumpp. Coming April 2022.

#fiction #dreams #sanfrancisco #crowshead #chemicalmarriage #alchemy #chemicalwedding #counterfeiting #monarchbutterfly #magic #ayurveda #brazil #dance #apprentice #theGreatWork #egypt #fiction #magicalrealism #Damian #Nathalie #Phaedra #Albert #Pavel #adrianstumpp #suspense #booktok #bookgram #adrianstumpp #literature #April2022

Meet Nathalie Jevali

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Meet Nathalie Jevali – dancer, daughter of Brazilian immigrants, and protagonist of “The Crow’s Head: The Chemical Marriage Book I” by Adrian E. Stumpp Coming Soon, April 2022

#damian #counterfeit #counterfeiting #sanfrancisco #crowshead #chemicalmarriage #alchemy #paveltheczech #nathalie #brazilian #dancer #Heroine #adrianstumpp #fiction #ebooks #April2022 #dancers #novel #literature #palemusepress #readers #booktok

Meet Damian Lancaster

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Meet Damian Lancaster – master counterfeiter and protagonist of “The Crow’s Head: The Chemical Marriage Book I” by Adrian E. Stumpp

“In the beginning, just getting off the ground, Damian had done any job he could get: petty drug deals and small-time gamblers, coyotes and car thieves. He budgeted every cent and allowed himself to eat twice a day. He lived in a studio apartment on the edge of the Mission until the city made it illegal to be poor. When the rent hiked higher than he could hustle, he washed down to Bayview with the rest of the dregs who refused to leave the city and took a studio apartment. A couple years of this and he traded in the petty crooks for fancier ones. Corporate accountants putting band-aids on broken books. Shorthanded paymasters buying civil servants with discounted kickbacks. They wanted the magic he could conjure: counterfeit. He set up an offshore bank account under a stolen identity and dealt strictly through a short list of agents. He did not want his clients to know who he was or how to find him. The quiet and the dark, his haven.”

– Excerpt from “The Crows Head: Book I of the Chemical Marriage” by Adrian E Stumpp – Author

#damian#counterfeit#counterfeiting#sanfrancisco#crowshead#chemicalmarriage#alchemy#paveltheczech#paveltheczech#nathalie#adrianstumpp#fiction#ebooks#April2022#novel#literature#palemusepress

The Crow’s Head Soundtrack

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A handful of songs that capture the spirit on the novel. Look for The Crow’s Head: Book I of The Chemical Marriage April of 2022.

The Crow’s Head

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Book I of the seven novel series, The Chemical Marriage, is coming out in print and e-book April 2022. Pre-orders will be available soon!

excerpt from The Crow’s Head:

Slowly, with time, the sun warms the crucible. Amniotic water incubates the quickening earth. It is a brooding and an elongated meditation on thaw. Blue skies reflecting blue oceans. Deep in the sky dreams the sun and deep in the ocean the earth dreams of a sea-tortoise dreaming a wooden bench, painted white, dreaming of the dreamer. No longer a child but not yet a man. The sea is nearby and a salt breeze strokes Damian’s face. Beneath him the damp grass. He sees the distant wharf and street-traffic. The sun is high and dazzling and where Damian lies in bed, dreaming, he feels it fall through slatted blinds hot and white across his eyelids. He is aware of his sleeping body and he knows he is dreaming a familiar dream from his childhood. He approaches the white bench. The woman is sitting on it. As Damian knew she would be.

In bed he twists among the sheets and rolls over. He sees the dreamscape and he feels the bed-linens and he contracts into a fetal ball. The woman is older than him—more than ten years, less than twenty—but in the years Damian has had this dream her age and appearance have never changed. It is only he who has aged in the last four years. As a child, he sat on her lap and she seemed large, kind, knowing. But now he is an adult and she is small and dark and freckled with dimpled cheeks, kinky hair, and a white dress. Damian sits beside her on the bench and puts his arm around her. She leans against him. Together they quietly watch the sea. He would like to speak to her but has never been able to speak in this dream. When he tries, nothing comes out and panic rises up his throat. It has not occurred to him what he would want to say to her if he could, so many years have passed since last he tried.

The sky is flattened by a single shade of pastel blue. Midday. Summertime. But the stars are visible and enormous, the stylized seven-pointed stars of cartoons and religious iconography. Their color reminds him of reflective chrome, like shapes wrapped in foil paper. They swing from side to side as if suspended on invisible strings, and then they are in motion, flying in trajectories of some complicated geometry. Stars orbit one another and whirl across the horizon, closer and closer to one another, but they never collide. Stars poise motionless before zipping around, only to rearrange in a new pattern on the sky. Damian watches with detached curiosity the stars scatter and assemble again and again. The woman holds his hand in her lap. From time to time she squeezes it.

He lies in bed a long time afterward with his eyes closed, feeling the acidic trails of tears on his face, the thudding of his heart, the melancholy and hopeless fear this dream has always inspired. 

After a while he opened his eyes.

Saga of the Jomsvikings by Adrian Stumpp

An older short story written back in 2012…

Burnt Bridge

The Jómsvikings

They were a band of Viking mercenaries in the eighth and ninth centuries, fearless warriors bound by a severe code of honor and reminiscent of both Mafia gangsters and Arthurian Knights. It is not even known if they actually existed. The Jómsviking stronghold on the island of Jómsborg, for example, has never been identified by archaeologists. Their memory is owed entirely to a handful of contemporary runestones in the Swedish countryside memorializing a battle between Haakon Jarl and King Olaf; a single Icelandic saga, Jómsvikinga saga, written in the late thirteenth century; and a few references of the eleventh century preserved by the historian Snorre Sturlesson in the Heimskringla—most notably Óláf’s saga Tryggvasonar and Óláf’s saga Helgi.

The Jarl

Leif Engberg: born August 1, 1959, Stockholm, Sweden, to Per Engberg, father, and Àsta Engberg, mother. The proof of his power lies in the obscurity of his name…

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Nativity Review

Adrian’s short story “Nativity,” was published in the U.K. collection, Various Authors Anthology 1  by The Fiction Desk. “I can’t ever remember reading a story on the fears of impending fatherhood, so this is a new one on me. And I think that author Stumpp has treated the subject brilliantly, raising all of the fears and the upheavals that impending fatherhood brings with it. But with the story comes even more depth and complication. Not only does his wife in her pregnancy suffer from ‘sleep-punching’, but with fatherhood weighing heavy on Ed’s mind he thinks about visiting the father he hasn’t seen since he was four. With so much going on it sounds like Nativity may be too busy, but it’s a surprisingly engaging and thoroughly entertaining read.” Read more: Here