Tag Archive for fantasy

Fiction Bragging — “Blow ‘Em Down” released at Beneath Ceaseless Skies!

I am thrilled to announce that you can now read my steampunk retelling of the Battle of Jericho, “Blow ‘Em Down,” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies Special 5th Anniversary Double Issue #151!

The full text of the story is now available on BCS‘s website for free, along with the rest of the fantastic stories in the issue. On that page, you will find download links for all e-reader types that you can also use to acquire the issue for free.

Of course, I would encourage you to purchase the issue for your e-readers because I think it’s worthwhile to support good art, and I hope you will think “Blow ‘Em Down” qualifies as good art. If you agree, you can make that wallet-busting $0.99 purchase at Amazon or at Weightless Books.

And now for your teaser,

From our brass band’s vantage point at the Gilgal plains, the glass dome was impenetrable. An immense central copper tube supported it, using a full city block for its foundation and generating energy for the whole town by absorbing the sun rays trapped within the glass. One skygate operated through the top of the dome, opening only to let merchant airships and their escorts in and out. The ships floated by so high, we could barely make out what was seared into their taut material: giant brands bearing profiles of the cityscape. The same image, embossed in a black pattern, circumnavigated the dome’s bottom edge. A single word in bold typeset appeared above each repetition:  Jericho.

They never sent so much as a volley our way. Who could blame them? We looked a sorry mess after forty years spent crossing the desert, but we were many. Forty days our parents had been told, but as it turned out, solar-powered chariots don’t work so well in the desert. The salt from the Red Sea air had rusted most of their steel frames within days of the crossing, leaving us with only a handful, and those were barely powerful enough to raise one person off the sand at a time. Then there was the pillar of smoke blocking out half the sky. Little sun meant less energy for our solar cells to regenerate. When the pillar lit up like a fireball that forgot to fly at night, we tried to mine the heat, but we never could get the calibrations right.

Again, you can read the rest of “Blow ‘Em Down” right here.

Fiction Bragging Reminder: Last Week to get “Bother” for Free!

In February, I let you all know about the opportunity to get your hands on one of my short stories for free for a limited time. And now that time is almost at an end! “Bother,” along with many other fantastic stories collected by M. David Blake for the 2013 Campbellian Pre-Reading Anthology, will only be available until 4/30. So what are you waiting for? Click your browsers on over to Stupefying Stories and get your copy! And be sure to give Durham author Mur Lafferty your congratulations on being nominated for the Campbell Award for the second straight year. Some of her work is also available in the anthology. You can find her at the Murverse.

Campbellian Anthology 2013 cover

Here’s what I posted to explain the anthology in February:

Published by Stupefying Stories, the 2013 Campbellian Pre-Reading Anthology is now available for free — that’s right, free! — for anyone interested in perusing the works of authors eligible for Campbell award nominations this year. What’s that? As M. David Blake, editor of Stupefying Stories explained,

Named for John W. Campbell, Jr., whose 34 years at the helm of Astounding Science Fiction (later renamed Analog) defined the “Golden Age” of the genre and launched the careers of dozens of famous writers, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer is presented annually at WorldCon to an outstanding author whose first professional work of science fiction or fantasy was published within the previous two years.

What does this have to do with me? Well, with my sale of “Bother” to Bull Spec nearing on two years ago now, I became eligible for the Campbell Award. I have absolutely no expectations of being nominated, especially because I haven’t had other speculative fiction published since then — I’ve been working on my first fantasy novel instead of sending out my short stories. But “Bother” has been reprinted in the anthology, and now’s your chance to read it for free along with other worthy works by a large list of fantastic speculative fiction authors. All for free until the Hugo nominees, including for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, are announced at the end of April.

To take advantage of this amazing access to these stories, just click here and chose the e-format you prefer at the end of the publication announcement post. And if you do read “Bother,” please let me know what you thought! Us writers do thrive on feedback.

Fiction Bragging: The 2013 Campbellian Pre-Reading Anthology

Campbellian Anthology 2013 cover

Published by Stupefying Stories, the 2013 Campbellian Pre-Reading Anthology is now available for free — that’s right, free! — for anyone interested in perusing the works of authors eligible for Campbell award nominations this year. What’s that? As M. David Blake, editor of Stupefying Stories explained,

Named for John W. Campbell, Jr., whose 34 years at the helm of Astounding Science Fiction (later renamed Analog) defined the “Golden Age” of the genre and launched the careers of dozens of famous writers, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer is presented annually at WorldCon to an outstanding author whose first professional work of science fiction or fantasy was published within the previous two years.

What does this have to do with me? Well, with my sale of “Bother” to Bull Spec nearing on two years ago now, I became eligible for the Campbell Award. I have absolutely no expectations of being nominated, especially because I haven’t had other speculative fiction published since then — I’ve been working on my first fantasy novel instead of sending out my short stories. But “Bother” has been reprinted in the anthology, and now’s your chance to read it for free along with other worthy works by a large list of fantastic speculative fiction authors. All for free until the Hugo nominees, including for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, are announced at the end of April.

To take advantage of this amazing access to these stories, just click here and chose the e-format you prefer at the end of the publication announcement post. And if you do read “Bother,” please let me know what you thought! Us writers do thrive on feedback.

Fiction Bragging — Apocalypse

It’s been a few weeks since the last installment in my Thursday Bragging series. We are now almost caught up to a year ago in my published works. This one is a fantasy flash fiction piece that happens to be one of my favorites, likely because it stems from my love of poetic prose and abstract plots. Enjoy the first few lines of “Apocalypse,” published at Yesteryear Fiction. 

Corena sits on a bench in a field of marigolds and cement. She sits and watches the people walk past her in the same direction, which is away. They tread on the endless sidewalks lying between the rows of marigold planter boxes. Their expressions are serene as they stare ahead, wearing shapeless clothes the color of corn silk. Some of the people turn and look at her; they turn their heads but don’t stop walking. Most continue onward, focused on the path that is the future. Corena sits. She records the sky’s markings in her notebook. There are many clouds, dark and light grays swirled together like mixing paint. They give her comfort, though the wind is strong today. She fears the time is near, but she hopes the clouds will stay.

You can read the rest of “Apocalypse” for free here. And because I’ve developed a habit for adding a possibly scene-setting photograph, here is a potential view of Corena’s bench as she waits for the world to end.

And here might be the sky on this fate-filled day.

Enjoy!

 

Six Sentence Sunday

I’m joining in with Six Sentence Sunday this week, giving my fiction fans six sentences from one of my works to see if it entices you. Six Sentence Sunday is mainly perused by romance authors and readers, so when I participate, I try to include something a bit similar to that genre. This six comes from my short story, Treasure, that I’ll soon be submitting to a speculative fiction magazine.

By now, she knew such things were repulsive here, that killing another human was anathema to his race, yet she was amazed he could focus on anything but her curves in the morning light.

“Get dressed,” she commanded, “or don’t you plan to work today?”

He gazed at her for a moment, groaned, and then rose. With both hands, he pulled her face toward his, kissed her, then whispered in her ear, “You’re safe with me, Filor.”

Her cheeks colored, both with flattery and shame. She could not trust him with her real name—did the shame mean she wanted to?

 

Hope you enjoyed it!

Six Sentence Sunday

For this week’s Six Sentence Sunday, I’m sharing the very first six lines from my work-in-progess, an epic fantasy novel. I’ll be spending all of August working hard on this book–I’m really hoping I finish it this year. Feedback on if this first paragraph grabs your interest is definitely welcome.

He was an enticing prospect, especially the way the candlelight accentuated the curves of muscle seeping through the black sleeves of his tunic. He’d taken off his cloak, hot from the ride, and was holding it hooked around his pointer finger. Vesperi stifled a giggle at its vivid hue, the bright purple of the Meduan sunset on a cloudy night. Illa wasn’t trained in subtlety. Anyone wearing a cloak that bold was practically announcing his ambition the moment he rode through a town square. Maybe that was the point; her father was a man drawn to power like a priest to intrigue.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to browse my other works available for purchase or for free. Also, I have a giveaway of my romance novella, Maya’s Vacation, over at I am a Reader, Not a Writer. Leave a comment there to be entered to win an e-copy of it!

Six Sentence Sunday

For Six Sentence Sunday this week, I’m venturing into my recently published urban fantasy short story called Bother. Let’s just dive right in, shall we?

The sound of crunching bones came next, like nuts cracking but louder, so much louder. It went on for what seemed like ages, but it could only have been a few minutes. She knew it didn’t take the beast long to finish a meal. The shaking died down, and the smell of sulfur grew weaker, but the creature had to be nearby. She would have to risk it; she had to get up, to go see for herself. She had to know.

Intrigued? Here’s a synopsis of Bother:

The apartment is taking dingy to a new level. Air quality is suffering. Trees keep falling down, and there are piles of refuse all over the neighborhood. Yet Jonah’s more concerned about his awesome day at work than he is about the dragon that’s taken up residence outside his home. His wife, Susan, isn’t so apathetic; she spends every waking moment with a vigilante force, trying to rid the district of the dreaded creature. Can they figure out what’s worth fighting for together, or will this couple be yet another casualty of the dragon.

Bother, along with a bunch of other wonderful fantasy and sci fi short stories, is available  in Bull Spec, Issue #5.

You can purchase a year’s subscription to Bull Spec here for $15 + shipping and handling, or you can order Issue #5 on its own in either print or PDF forms. Or head over to my blog on its release for a full listing of stores you can find it at.

Thanks for dropping by!

 

Check out Apocalypse

Yes, folks, it’s time for more shameless self-promotion! On Saturday, I had a short story published over at Yesteryear Fiction.

It’s a free daily Webzine that publishes flash fiction fantasy of all stripes, whether they be paranormal, epic, urban, or poetry. This particular piece, Apocalypse, is poetic prose that takes place in an alternate world–unless you’d prefer to read it as an extended metaphor. Here are the first three lines:

Corena sits on a bench in a field of marigolds and cement. She sits and watches the people walk past her in the same direction, which is away. They tread on the endless sidewalks lying between the rows of marigold planter boxes.

Now go and read it!

Upcoming Publications!

Today, I have an update on my writing ventures, specifically, on two writing ventures that are coming up in the next two months! At the end of March, my romance novelette, Maya’s Vacation, will be released by Astraea Press! It will be available in e-book formats only, but Astraea hopes to add print-on-demand to their repertoire in the future. Regardless, I’m super excited to have signed with them and to have Maya’s Vacation out in the world soon.

I’m posting the synopsis in a moment, but I think this novelette will be great reading if you’re a fan of this blog—my years of writing and pondering food and wine play a huge role in the story’s concept. If you enjoy how I describe a dish or beverage, I hope you’ll buy a copy and delve in! It’ll be a fast read and safe for anyone who enjoys passionate characters without the busom-busting to go along with them. Astraea only publishes nonerotic fiction, which is one of the many reasons they and Maya’s Vacation are a great fit. Here’s that synopsis.

Twenty-year-old Maya knew, as she watched Dean walk away from her front door, distraught at her silence and her father’s threats, that she would never love anyone with the intensity that she loved him. He was her painter, her artist, her soul mate and being apart from him hurt too much. She tucked those feelings away, determined to enjoy the safe and secure life her parents approved of: business school and a marriage to Chuck, a successful real estate agent.

Thirty years later, Chuck has cheated on and divorced her. But when he comes back, begging for reconciliation, Maya follows her intuition and takes a vacation to think it over. Her love of art, food, and wine combine at this retreat in the woods, and she prepares for a week of making new friends, tasting exquisite wines, and learning to paint again. What she hasn’t prepared for is the familiar voice she hears the first morning at camp . . . a voice that makes her skin tingle and brings back memories of who she used to be before Chuck. Has Maya buried her passion too deep to find love with Dean again?

In other news, the fifth issue of Bull Spec is set to to appear on April 15, with my short story, Bother, in the fiction section. Woo hoo! The release party for Issue #5 will be at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh on the same date.

As part of the festivities, I’ll be reading from Bother. Be prepared for urban marital angst and dragons! If you don’t want to miss my short story or you’re just a fan of speculative fiction, you should definitely subscribe to Bull Spec now. It’s a gorgeous print magazine, but if you prefer reading online, e-subscriptions are available too.

Don’t worry, I’ll be posting reminders as the dates draw near, and I will definitely keep you posted on any release night plans I come up with for Maya’s Vacation. My family will be in town, so dinner out, at the very least, will be in order!