Crimson Son Book Tour

Crimson Son

by Russ Linton

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About the Book

Crimson SonHis mother kidnapped, his superhero father absent, powerless Spencer Harrington faces a world of weaponized humans to prove himself and find the truth.

Nineteen-year-old Spencer is the son of the Crimson Mask, the world’s most powerful Augment. Since witnessing his mother’s abduction by a psychotic super villain two years ago, he’s been confined to his father’s arctic bunker. When the “Icehole” comes under attack from a rampaging robot, Spencer launches into his father’s dangerous world of weaponized human beings known as Augments.

With no superpowers of his own save a multi-tool, a quick wit and a boatload of emotional trauma, Spencer seeks to uncover his mother’s fate and confront his absentee superhero father. As he stumbles through a web of conspiracies and top secret facilities, he rallies a team of everyday people and cast-off Augments. But Spencer soon discovers that the Black Beetle isn’t his only enemy, nor his worst.

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CRIMSON SON is on sale for 99¢ through October 29



This part always comes so fast.

I hand the phone back to Mom. “You’ll need to send later, I guess. The signal dropped. Should be in your outbox ready to go.”

As she takes the phone, the wall of the room explodes.

Here. Dream becomes nightmare. For a moment, I feel I can make it stand still, but why would I? Events unfold with the emptiness of the bunker gnawing at my insides. I can identify every stray chunk of plaster and splinter of wood in this time-robbed moment.

Fragments of home spray like a swarm of locusts. Mom screams and the world spins under her protective dive. I struggle to see through a haze of dust. Glimpses of the valley filter past a humanoid silhouette. A long, pincered arm lashes out. The arm clamps tightly around Mom’s waist and retracts, drawing us closer.

“Release the boy and he will live,” the Black Beetle speaks with an unnatural vibration. “He can relay a message for your husband.”

Mom squeezes tighter but her screaming stops.

I search her face, knowing what I’ll find, all the while scrambling to find an anchor as we slide across the room. She’s bleeding from a gash on her forehead and the pincer cinches tighter. Her eyes are full of fear, but focused. She’s calculating, deliberating. A hundred times? A thousand? It always hurts.

“No, Mom, please!” I throw my hands around the leg of a toppled chair which drags uselessly behind us. Countless trips through this nightmare, I know I can’t keep us here, but I reach out anyway. And always, she lets go.

I grab her arm, trying to pull her back, cursing my stunted size, my weak limbs, my feeble grip. Sweaty hands slip as the pincer continues to retract. Her trembling lips form a final smile and she watches me with a sad but determined expression.

She mouths the words, “I love you.”


It is my pleasure to welcome Russ Linton, author of Crimson Son, to Room With Books.

Russ, would you please tell us about your novel, Crimson Son, and what inspired you to write it?

Crimson Son is the story of the powerless son of a superhero who has to survive in his father’s world of weaponized human beings. Not only survive, but escape his father’s enormous shadow and uncover the truth about his missing mother and absentee father.

I was inspired mostly by my family. The book is a fantasy and obviously isn’t about personal experiences, but I let those experiences inform my writing.

Crimson Son has plenty of heroics, action, and even robots that can’t seem to figure out how to use a door instead of blasting through the nearest wall. But the heart of the story lies in self-discovery and learning to understand and accept your family for who they are.

When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?

I’m one of those “whole brain” people. Tests for right and left brain dominance come back split right down the middle. The idea of an organized, structured plan is appealing to that logical thinking left side but the right side always says “oooh, oooh, I got this idea” and starts typing.

Usually that idea starts with a vague theme or maybe an opening scene in mind. The characters, the circumstances, sometimes my mood, all dictate which direction the story goes. I’ll even create elements in scenes which I have no clue what their purpose is at the time but become important anchors as I build around them.

Where my left brain starts freaking out and shouting “I told you so” is when I’m about sixty or seventy thousand words in and figuring out just how much work it is going to be to tie up all the threads I’ve created. That’s when the frantic much-too-late-to-be-a-proper-outline attempts start.

Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?

No. Next question.

What? No, I’m not saying that. Stop. I know you’re trying to be all cute and witty but I’m just not in the mood. Really, drop it. You’ll do what?

Okay, fine, I’ll say it.

‘Only when my meds are low.’

There, I said it. Happy, Spence? Now all these readers think I’m certifiable.

What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?

I have a third nipple.

Dammit, Spencer! I said to stop.

Honestly, I’m not sure what I could surprise you with. I’m pretty open about things. Though there are things about my time with the F.B.I. which might surprise you. Like the time I XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXX XX XXXXXXX XX X XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX. . . (NOTE FROM ROOM WITH BOOKS, I just love characters that attempt to take over these interviews?! It makes my day so much more fun.) 😛

If you could write with any other author who would you like it to be and why?

Neil Gaiman. Is the “why” part even necessary?

He’s such an inspirational person. His viral commencement speech, his work in Syria, and boundless energy supporting the arts alongside a body of work the spans mediums, genres and still maintains a cohesive “Neil”-ness. I’d be willing to talk body parts to make this happen.

Plus, our styles are similar in many ways. I enjoy grounding my stories in myth as he does. Those mystical boundaries and events where the real and the other cross, that’s where Neil’s greatest strengths lie and I could learn so much from even a few hours writing with him.

He also tends to write about ordinary people thrust into amazing circumstances. Neverwhere’s protagonist, Richard becomes a vehicle for exploring a world between worlds. American God’s Shadow may be related to the divine, but at the start he’s an old school American Joe who stumbles into his past and uncovers a hidden realm in the rest stops and tourist traps of the United States.

I love those kinds of stories because the fantastic should never be that far from us. One thin line, one unopened door, or the simple press of a button and the ordinary should meet the extraordinary.

When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?

In fourth grade I wrote down that I wanted to be a “writer and an artist”. Books and drawing were things I loved to do and out of all the school work I was assigned, they were the only assignments I ever completed or received high marks on.

Somewhere down the line, I lost focus. I took one art class in college. One creative writing class. And then muddled my way through a philosophy degree. It took a few false starts to rediscover that commitment I’d scrawled on a piece of wide-rule paper so many years ago.

When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?

The decision to try this as a professional came a few years back but the seed was planted long before. Books have always fascinated me since I was a child – a pretty typical writer’s story.

I completed a “book” for a 4th grade assignment and ended up with what might have been my first and only “A” in elementary school (mainly because it was one of the few assignments I actually finished…) But I set aside any notion of being a writer until recently, about three decades later.

At one point I was having trouble paying expenses for my business which had become a bizarre mix of private investigation services and graphic design. I ended up finding a freelance writing site and competing with other writers to sell articles on spec. To my surprise, nearly everything I wrote sold.

Business picked back up, mostly in graphic design, so I set the writing aside. But that minor success with the articles never quite went away. Eventually, I put it together with my fantasy-driven hobbies, my grade school dreams, and my use as writing as a crutch throughout my academic career and figured out I should try writing fiction. A few years later, a Crimson Son was born!

What music inspires your writing?

I don’t listen to music much when I write.

I have been known to listen to ambient sounds. Noises of a swamp at night, monks chanting or the sound of a busy marketplace for instance. I use those to get a feel for setting when I want to add detail or try to capture a specific mood.

My only exception so far is queueing up the Fleet Foxes’ album, Helplessness Blues when writing my current fantasy novel. They have an aural, medieval sort of folk sound that inspires discovery (even if it doesn’t fit the hindu-inspired theme of the novel…)

Fun Facts:

  • What is your favorite breakfast? I’ll eat breakfast any time of day, definitely my favorite meal. My go to breakfast is oatmeal with fresh blueberries and honey. Of course, I like it all – pancakes, eggs, biscuits, even a plain ‘ol bowl of cereal (not too plain like Spencer’s boxes of “insert grain” and “insert shape” bunker food).
  • What is your favorite color? Blue. No yel… AHHHHHHHH! (No, that never gets old. Fine, green.)
  • What is your favorite movie? Most recently, Guardians of the Galaxy. Spencer could totally grow up and be Star Lord. Of all time? Growing up, I probably watched The Empire Strikes Back more times than is healthy for a young, impressionable mind and it remains my favorite today.
  • What is your dream car? My dad owns a 1964 ½ Mustang which has been chromed and painted a blinding, glossy black. It’s a show stopping, first place winning machine. I know this because I went to many said car shows as a kid.  Wandering the rows of cars (and being careful not to touch – holy shit, DO NOT TOUCH) I decided I wanted a ’67 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500. Barring that, I’ll take a Bugatti Veyron. I’ll blast across the U.S. on a Cannonball Run tour then sell so I can publish and write without having to sweat the marketing and sales.

How can our readers find you?

Best place to find all things “me” is at my blog,

I’m also active on social media at the following:

And you can find Crimson Son at the following retailers:

CRIMSON SON is on sale for 99¢ through October 29


Thank you for chatting with our readers today, Russ (and Spencer) and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour.

About the Author

MEDIA KIT Author PhotoIn the fourth grade, Russ Linton wrote down the vague goal of becoming a “writer and an artist” when he grew up. After a journey that led him from philosopher to graphic designer to stay at home parent and even a stint as an Investigative Specialist with the FBI, he finally got around to that “writing” part which he now pursues full time.

Russ creates character-driven speculative fiction. His stories drip with blood, magic, and radioactive bugs. He writes for adults who are young at heart and youngsters who are old souls.

Russ lives in Denton, Texas where he writes beside an unnervingly quiet dog with the support of his history-obsessed son and his extremely patient wife. He regularly pursues community service and is currently scoutmaster for his son’s Boy Scout troop. He is a regular at the North Branch Writers’ Critique Group and has honed his craft through creative writing courses with Stanford University’s continuing studies program as well as writing workshops at local conventions.

Russ holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do which was marginally more useful in a former life not making his living from behind a desk. He enjoys the outdoors and when he isn’t leading his scouts on virtual campouts in Minecraft, he’s making them haul their gear across state parks in the North Texas area.

Connect with the Author

Giveaway Details

Russ will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner and another winner will receive a signed copy of Crimson Son (US ONLY), both prizes via rafflecopter during the tour. A $10 Amazon GC will be awarded to a randomly drawn host.

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Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

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12 thoughts on “Crimson Son Book Tour”

  1. I too am happy that concerning this you came across it and hit the nail on the head with your educative response. Consider me extremely impressed by your ability to post words which in such a flexible way as to apply to any possible situation. Are you perhaps a psychic? for if you are not you should consider entering into that noble profession so that you may profit from your ability to make vague blathering appear germane to the topic at hand.


    1. Sorry, Russ. Got hit with a bunch of spam all of the sudden. Moved them on out and shall hopefully be closer to my computer the rest of the day to talk with you and/or Spence.

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