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A couple of years ago, I woke up with a very silly vignette of a story-ling in my mind. This got written as “The Rain of Frog.” After that, whenever I was depressed, or just tired of the news, I’d write another very very odd story, and put it up.
I haven’t done that in some years, and while you guys clamored for me to publish it as a book, it’s really short, and I let it drag. It’s sat, completely edited, on my desk for …. five months, I think.
I finally managed to get it published, and it’s up now. I haven’t checked if the paper version is available, and I promise to make it available on other stores, as well this week.
For now it is only on Amazon. The cover is by the very nice and talented Caitlin Walsh, who has hung out among you reprobates for many years, and who let me beg/push/annoy her into making me a cover.
FROM SARAH A. HOYT: Odd Magics: Tales for the Lost
This is a very strange collection of fairytales, recast for modern life. In it the prize isn’t always to the fairest, the
magic is rarely to the strongest.
But lonely introverts do find love, women who never gave it a thought find themselves at the center of romance.
Doing what’s right will see you to the happily ever after.
And sometimes you have to kiss an accountant to find your prince.
FROM M. C. A. HOGARTH: Dragon’s Fealty
When he attended their wedding in summer, Lisinthir Lauvet Imthereli, Third of the Chatcaavan Empire, promised his cousins they would see him in spring for the birth of his heirs on Eldritch soil, and to attend the birth of theirs. He returns to a world and a people reviving from their long winter: a new navy; the rescue of their suffering acreage; and the burgeoning of a tenant culture revolving around the new communications and travel networks.
But a prince and a culture aren’t the only things making their return. When a mistake made in the summer season comes back to haunt them, Lisinthir will discover himself torn between warring allegiances… and someone else will have to pay the price. Will their enemies succeed in blighting the promise of the season?
FROM SABRINA CHASE: One Blood
(Sequel to The Scent of Metal)
After freeing the AI ship Argo from the ice of Pluto, Lea and her team race for the prison planet Beredul to free the Wiyert trapped there. The planet conceals vital information about the aliens that enslaved the Wiyert–and now threaten Earth. Little time remains to protect humanity. A handful of escaped Wiyert, desperate to rescue their people, offer to guide the team. With their help, Argo’s formidable power, and Lea’s unique mental abilities, they hope to penetrate Beredul’s defenses without detection.
They must trek on foot for days across the war-torn surface, pursued by gigantic, nightmare predators to reach the nearest Wiyert stronghold.
And then the hard part begins. Everything on Beredul conceals a dark past…even the terrifying beasts that roam the planet. Disturbing intelligence reaches the alien civilization, triggering an investigation.
The Wiyert have learned caution through harsh experience, and something about the humans from Earth arouses their suspicions. They know too much—and do impossible things. Can the Wiyert trust them with their lives?
Trust always comes at a price, and that price may be too high to pay…
A new constitution prepares Carlissa for an era of enlightenment. The harsh traditions of the past fade, and a promise of freedom stirs the air.
In the space of one terrifying day, that promise is shattered in a bloodbath of fire and magic.
Thousands of years ago, an epic battle was fought between good and evil. The demon lords had opened a door to the realms of hell itself, and their horde threatened to overrun the earth. But the Kalarans, led by the hero Calindra, destroyed their hellgate and drove them from the world.
The Great War has long since been lost to myth and legend. The Church struggles for relevance as the people forget their covenant with the gods. A renaissance of freedom and learning stirs the air in the modern age of Carlissa, led by the royal family, and the wisdom of the Archmage.
All of that comes to an end when a dome of shimmering magic appears in the capital city.
The people fight desperately to survive the chaos that follows, and wonder bitterly why the gods seem to have abandoned them. Their only hope lies with the magic of the Archmage — and his, with a young princess who never wanted to rule. She must find the strength to set aside her bard’s calling and take up a battle against impossible odds, or surrender her land and people to the Black Magus and his demons.
In The Return of the Horde, the Demon Horde returns to Carlissa with the opening of the Hell Gate. Can the land’s heroes survive its sudden and brutal onslaught? And even if they do, can they stop it from conquering the world?Sanctum of the Archmage, Volume One – Dawn of Chaos
Dawn of Chaos, Book 2: Hell Gate
Hell Gate, Part I – The Return of the Horde
Note: An earlier version of this book appeared as part of the novel Dawn of Chaos, published briefly on Amazon in 2017. That book has now been re-written and expanded into a series of six novella-length installments.
FROM FRANK J. FLEMING: Hellbender
Doug wasn’t sure whether he should trust Satan.
The red flag was that he said he was Satan. But the deal was good: Listen to Satan’s story in exchange for some donuts. And Doug only half-fulfilled his part of the bargain.
But maybe he should have listened better, because during his friend Bryce’s next scheme (theft with light to moderate treason—the usual), Doug and the rest of his friends—Lulu (the fun one) and Charlene (the not fun one)—end up with a powerful artifact, a small metal cube with world-ending power that Lulu decorated with bunnies. And now everyone wants the bunny cube, which means Doug, Bryce, Lulu, and Charlene are being pursued by an insane supermodel general, an army of sadists, a vast criminal organization, a smaller, more-in-startup-mode criminal organization, and an unstoppable killing machine—the worst kind of killing machine.
Doug and his friends may be a bunch of losers who aren’t particularly smart or good at anything, but they have one thing going for them: a really cool name for their mercenary group. And now it’s up to Hellbender to save the world—well, what’s left of it. It’s pretty ruined and war-torn already. But, you know, they live there, so they kind of need it.
It’s a mess, but that’s what you get for listening to Satan. Or half-listening.
BY ED LACY, WITH FOREWORD BY D. JASON FLEMING: Blonde Bait (Annotated): A hard-boiled noir thriller
Mickey Whalen lived on his boat and bummed around the Caribbean all by himself, until he found a woman alone, on a sandbar, with a suitcase full of money. He fell for her, hard, even as he was trying to figure out who, or what, the hell she was running from!
FROM ALMA BOYKIN: Hairballs (A Cat Among Dragons Story)
“Gee, Rada, what could go wrong?” Plenty, as it turns out.
Join Rada, Yori, and other Adamantine Division Scouts as they rediscover why bars are not the best place to find inspiration.
A Cat Among Dragons short story, 4500 words.
FROM MICHAEL HOOTEN: A Bard Without a Star.
Gwydion ap Don is a talented harpist, and a known rogue. His uncle Math sees something more: a young man with the magical talent to succeed him as Lord Gwynedd. But to learn magic, Gwydion will also have to learn self-control, duty, honor, and the martial arts. He’s not sure which will be the hardest.
And when his training in magic begins in earnest, how he sees the whole world will change, as well as how he sees himself. He will have to battle bandits, cattle raiders, and armies in his efforts to learn how to be a leader. But mostly he will have to learn how to control himself, which is the one battle he is not sure he can win.
This volume contains the first three eBooks in the Bard Without a Star series: Wizard’s Heir, The Two Tanists, and The Bardic Academy.
FROM BLAKE SMITH: Lyddie Hartington: Galaxy Sleuth
Facing poverty after a childhood among the wealthy and powerful, Lyddie Hartington decamps to Ceres, a newly colonized planet on the edges of the galaxy. Armed only with a change of clothes, a letter of introduction to the directors of the Andromeda Company, and a blaster, she is determined to make her fortune.
But Ceres is nothing like Orion-14, and before she knows it, Lyddie is witness to a murder- a murder that goes to the heart of the Andromeda Company and puts her life in danger. With the help of her new friend, an entirely too handsome captain of the Galaxy Watch, she must discover the murderer and solve the mystery of her family’s downfall.
If she can survive long enough to do it.
Time and place? The Republic of Texas, at mid-19th century
Who and what? Texas Ranger Jim Reade, and his Delaware blood brother, Toby Shaw – tasked with solving puzzles, finding the missing, guiding the clueless, and protecting the innocent!
“So,” Toby observed, an hour and a half later. “What have you seen, from this?”
The two of them stood, a few steps from a crude scarecrow cross-frame of poles, from which hung an extremely ragged linen shirt, formerly belonging to Elisha Reade – a shirt from which some small patches had been cut to mend items of a newer vintage. But there was enough of it remaining to serve, hanging from the cross-pole thrust through the sleeves, as a target for Jim’s trusty Paterson revolvers … A good few shots had been at close range. As close as the range in which Jon Knightley had exchanged – or claimed to have exchanged – revolver-fire with his wife.
“A curiosity which I had already suspected,” Jim replied. He was tired. His shoulders slumped, and his ears rang from the frequent report of his revolvers. “Jon Knightley murdered his wife – his latest wife…”
Lone Star Glory – continuing the adventures of Texas Ranger Jim Reade and his blood-brother Toby Shaw of the Delaware, in the Texas of legend!
FROM AMANDA S. GREEN: Night of the Wolf: A Nocturnal Lives Prequel
Mackenzie Santos has seen it all as a police detective–or so she thought. The last thing she wants after closing one of the worst cases of her career is to go out to celebrate her birthday. But she promised and maybe Jenny was right. Maybe having dinner and drinks with her best friend would help put the horror of the case behind her. Soon she will soon learn she should have listened to her gut. Nightmares do come true and monsters really do exist. And, on this night of the full moon, she is the prey.
This expanded story was originally released as Wolf’s Prey.
FROM LAURA MONTGOMERY: Fractional Ownership
When his company demands either a move to Mars or the loss of his job,
perpetual plaintiff Lewis Ostrow finds he can’t even get a ticket to
the world without lawyers.
A short story.
Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.
So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.
If you have questions, feel free to ask.
Your writing prompt this week is: BROTHER