Tuesday, October 6, 2015


by Dan Adams

Alice is minding her younger sister when the Zombie apocalypse hits. She has to find safety but is thwarted at every turn - by a strange man, by two stoners. The world has gone mad and she doesn't know who to trust.

She took off racing down Seacrest Road, hoping that if she caught up with the soldiers, their rifles would seriously even the odds. Her feet smacked against the road, the shoulder holster slapped against the side of her breast — she would need to tighten it up when she got to safety.

Ali pulled up, oxygen flooding her lungs as she inhaled deeply, her eyes wide with disbelief. The undead were climbing over the jeep to get to the lone remaining soldier – his rifle firing in small bursts as he turned in small circles. He let out a yelp when a hand grabbed his ankle and took his legs from under him. Within seconds they were devouring him and his panicked cries faded to the sound of chewing.

A single shot broke her from her stupefaction and she looked straight to the left, where the man in the waistcoat had the rifle pressed against his shoulder and was standing above the fallen body of a zombie that had gotten too close. The noise however, had alerted the rest of the undead to his presence and they all had looked up from their meals to find him. Only they saw Ali first.

Ali looked from the undead to him, their eyes meeting for an instant before he turned the rifle on the horde and sprayed them with a quick burst, clipping their legs from underneath them and sending them back onto the ground.

He turned and bolted, running straight for the construction site of new apartments, through the open gate.

Ali had little choice. She couldn’t go back now, the zombies in pursuit were closing in and the ones that had killed the soldiers were coming straight for her.

The construction site it was.

She bolted after Waistcoat, passing the pallets of bricks and cement bags and looking for somewhere that they wouldn’t be able to reach her. Stairs. The moment she spotted them she cursed under her breath. She hoped they couldn’t climb stairs; going up was her only ticket to safety.

Ali ignored the creeping suspicion that up also meant she would be trapped.

She tore up the first set of stairs she came across and immediately went to the fourth floor — the highest she could. But there wasn’t a door. She had no way of keeping them out. Panicking, she raced around the space looking for something to barricade the entrance with but there was nothing. Construction wasn’t as far along on this block as it was the one adjacent.

‘Shit’ she screamed, and raced back to the stairs.

She stopped at the doorway, her plan to head back down foiled when she heard them coming. Ali peered down over the edge; they were almost up to level three. She couldn’t go back down now and there wasn’t enough time to find something to block the door with.

She pulled the .45 from the holster and pressed her back into the door frame to help counter the recoil. If she survived she would be sore in the morning.

Waiting an eternity for the first one to make it onto the landing beneath her caused her heart to pound a million beats a minute.

It had been a man, early 20s, short brown hair. He’d been in jeans and a white t-shirt, but the white had turned to a dirty red and the bloodstains were centralised down the centre of his chest.

Ali raised the .45 and gripped it in both hands. She closed her left eye and lined up the shot.

Exhaling slowly, her finger slowly squeezed the trigger — the tension designed to make firing deliberate — and slammed into the doorframe as the blast echoed in the stairwell.

The zombie lurched back, a bleeding hole appearing in his chest. The shot had gone too low.

Ali re-aimed. Fired again.

This time she clipped the side of his neck.

The man didn’t have the chance to move before Ali fired a third time, successfully blowing his brains across the wall. She lowered the gun in her trembling hands, her heart still racing as she congratulated herself on the kill.

Unfortunately he wasn’t the only one. Arriving on the landing were another three standing abreast and attempting to maneuver around the fallen corpse. It had taken three shots to destroy the first one, taken what felt like forever. There was no way she could turn back a wave of undead on her own with the .45 — she didn’t even know how many bullets she had left in the clip.

Racing around the outside of the floor, she realised she had nowhere to go. There was no crossover to the other apartment building, no crane that she could leap to. She was fucked.

Looking over her shoulder the first zombie had made it to the doorway. She turned and fired, somehow managing to hit him in the face and he fell back against the others. Ali ran around again, seeing a blue tunnel shimmering at the far corner of the floor.

They hadn’t followed her so far, but she was running out of options. A quick look inside revealed it went almost straight down. Ali didn’t have an option, not anymore. She put the .45 back in the holster and threw herself into the tunnel, hoping that she wouldn’t break her neck when she landed.



Dan Adams is a Sydney-based writer. When he’s not penning kick ass war stories, he’s working on his guns - the arm variety, rather than the weapons featured so prominently in his books. He loves slushies and always finds himself climbing too many stairs on Wednesdays. Follow him on Twitter at @DanAdamsWriter.

Find him online:


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Friday, October 2, 2015


by Beth D. Carter

Ravage is the fierce Alpha of his people, the Lycans. During the mating celebration, while their guards are down, his people are attacked and twelve are captured for the gladiator games of Kappuah, including Aleirah, the woman Ravage wants above all others.

He tries to resist, but he’s unwilling to see his men and his female harmed by the ruthless tyrants of the games. He must make the ultimate sacrifice of taking lives if he’s to protect his people.

But there is one secret no one knows, and Ravage is more than willing to show how some myths are based in truth, by letting his inner wolf come out to destroy all those who enslaved them.

He pulled her away from both bonfires, into the woods, letting the darkness shroud them. Sometimes it was easier to let go of secrets and fears when the other person was cloaked in shadow. The night had always been a friend of the Lycanis people, so Ravage used the moon to his advantage.

“I remember you from when we were children,” he murmured.

“I remember you too,” she said softly.

He grinned, pleased with her answer. She may deny that she wanted to be his mate, but the pheromones coming off her body indicated otherwise. Aleirah found him desirable. Whether or not she wanted to be his mate, her body had already begun changing to accept his claiming bite. Now, he just had to get her to admit it, and he wasn’t above using seduction on his part.


-All Romance Ebooks

-What inspired you to become a writer?

I began reading my mom’s Harlequin Romance novels when I was around ten. I loved the beautiful covers and the happy-ever-afters. Then I got into reading the Zebra Historicals. I think my fate was pretty much sealed by them. The amazing stories pressed between the pages had me creating my own.

-What draws you to romance?

Sometimes the world can be an ugly place. I want to create a beautiful world for someone to escape to, if only for a moment, where love conquers all.

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

I used the Spartacus revolt as the influence of this story. I had to do a lot of research about the gladiators, what it was like for them, the politics behind the games, and how they were treated. I have one more book planned for this Warriors of the Arena line, and I’ll be writing more about the women/slave aspect of that time.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

The heroine, Aleirah, is pretty bad ass and strong. I wouldn’t mind knocking back a beer or two with her as she told me about her hunky Alpha, Ravage!

-For aspiring writers, any tips?

Write something every day, even if it’s one line.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

Horror, maybe. I don’t think my mind works in ways of dreaming up sadistic, frightening stuff. I don’t think I’d want to live inside Stephen King’s head.

I like writing about the very ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so my heroines will probably never be lawyers, doctors or corporate highrollers. I try to write characters who aren't cookie cutters and push myself to write complicated situations that I have no idea how to resolve, forcing me to think outside the box. I love writing characters who are real, complex and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love. I love to hear from readers so I’ve made it really easy to find me on the web:

-Amazon Author Page


-Kit ‘N Kabookle posts on Twitter @desantismt. Tag me for retweets.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

EMERALD BOUND by Teresa Richards

by Teresa Richards

A princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses. This is the sliver that survives of a story more nightmare than fairy tale.

Maggie Rhodes, high school junior and semi-reformed stalker, learns the tale’s true roots after a spying attempt goes awry and her best friend Kate ends up as the victim of an ancient curse. At the center of the curse lies an enchanted emerald that has been residing quietly in a museum for the past fifty years. Admirers of the gem have no idea that it feeds on life. Or that it’s found its next victim in Kate.

Enter Lindy, a school acquaintance who knows more than she’s letting on, and Garon, a handsome stranger claiming he knows how to help, and Maggie is left wondering who to trust and how to save her best friend before it’s too late.

If only Maggie knew her connection to the fairy tale was rooted far deeper than an endangered best friend.

A part of me died long ago.

It was the part of me that feels, and it was Calista’s fault.

What happened tonight was nothing new—innocent victims welcomed into our home, not knowing they would never leave. I learned long ago I could not help them, so I stopped trying. But this time something was different. This time I was awake, burning with a gut-wrenching guilt, as the next victims slept downstairs. This time I knew the victims. And they didn’t deserve what was coming.

It had always been hard for me to make friends. I’d been called loner, loser, outcast, and freak. Even still, I remembered Maggie offering to show me around when I first transferred to their school. Through her, I met Kate and Piper. The three of them were always nice to me, while other kids kept their distance and spread rumors behind my back. I told myself I didn’t care—I wasn’t like them.

But being a loner was lonely. So tonight when I saw Maggie and her friends here, something inside me snapped. Or, perhaps it was the dead piece of me coming back to life. Now I cared desperately about what was happening in the room below mine.

But there was still nothing I could do.

Calista usually lured in victims from out of town to avoid arousing suspicion. Pregnant ones were a particular favorite—easy prey, she called them. But Maggie and her friends came here all on their own. The opportunity was too good for Calista to pass up.

Everyone thought Calista was my mother, but she wasn’t.

Back in my day, almost four centuries ago, Calista had an alternate method of luring in victims. She and her husband, Theodore, advertised for hired help with their inn. The number of parents willing to sell their daughters into a life of servitude in exchange for a forgiven debt or a clean slate was staggering.

My father was one of them.

By the time my mother found out what he’d done, it was too late. There was no escape. I was bound.

My story was well known in this land, whispered as a bedtime tale to ease children into sleep. But, just like any other story passed down through time by rumors and idle gossip, the fragment that survived was woefully incomplete. It began something like this:

There is rumored to have been (once upon a time, of course) a princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses.

That much was true, though in actuality it was only one mattress, not twenty. The pea was also real, though most would call it a precious stone—an emerald, to be precise.

The gem that sealed my fate was now in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. Calista was furious when she found it missing. She thought I’d stolen it until she remembered my limits. The identity of the true thief remains unknown.

Even though the emerald is no longer in our possession, we are still bound to it, as it is bound to us. Admirers of the opulent necklace where it rests don’t understand it. Like me, the gem is a prisoner, struggling against its fate.

Even now, centuries later, I don’t understand all the details of what happened to me that night. But it began with a troubled slumber on a bed of enchanted emeralds.

83,000 words

~Buy EMERALD BOUND on Amazon and Evernight Teen’s website.

~Add it on Goodreads.

-What inspired you to become a writer?

I started writing as a creative outlet in middle school. I always thought it would be fun to write a book, but it wasn’t until my youngest son turned 1 and my husband was in grad school that I really started taking the itch seriously. My husband was working full time and when he came home from work, he had to spend hours doing homework and I got bored of watching movies by myself. So I sat down one night after the kids were in bed and started writing. Things just snowballed from there, and soon I had a first novel. I started researching publishing, querying agents, attended a writers’ conference and joined a writers group. Soon I had my second novel, this one done much better than the first.

-What draws you to ya?

I write YA because that’s what I love to read. There’s just something so special about that time—when you’re learning about life and love and what makes you special. I wish I had enjoyed that time of my life more without worrying about what the future would bring or dwelling on the things that made me different from others. Writing and reading YA is my way of revisiting those special years. I hope I can inspire teens to enjoy being young. Don’t worry about the things you can’t change. Just enjoy the things that are awesome.

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

Part of my book takes place in Scandinavia in the 1600’s. At one point I was researching what eating utensils people used at that time. I learned that forks weren’t invented until the early 1600’s, and that “early fork users were looked upon by others with mistrust.” I laughed out loud when I read that. To think that the first people who used forks were considered untrustworthy oddballs and the masses who ate with their hands were considered normal.

-Which of your characters would you go out for pizza with?

I would just love to hang out with Maggie and her friends, Piper and Kate. They’re such an odd, mismatched group of friends, I think hanging out with them would be a blast. Especially Piper. She is one-of-a-kind.

-For aspiring writers, any tips?

Everyone says this, but here it is again—keep going, keep trying, keep improving. It’s not over until you give up. And don’t you dare let your desire to publish suck all the joy out of writing.

Also, find a writers’ group that focuses on real critique—not just feel-good compliments. My writers’ group is the reason my book is being published. Because my initial drafts were definitely not good enough. Not by a long shot.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

I could never write horror. Never, ever. I can’t even read it. I get scared enough just by my empty, dark basement at night. If I spent my days imaging all the horrifying things that could come out of that basement then it would be all over for me. I’d never be able to go down there, ever again. And forget walking to my car in a parking lot at night. Or taking my trash out to the curb in the dark. Or going camping. Or star gazing. Or … well, you get the point. No horror writing for me.


Teresa Richards writes YA, but loves anything that can be given a unique twist. Her zombie stories 'Are You My Mombie?' and 'The Zombie Code' can be found in Z Tales: Stories from the Zombieverse by The Fairfield Scribes. When Teresa’s not writing, she can be found either chasing after one of her five kids, or hiding someplace in the house with a treat her children overlooked. Emerald Bound is her debut novel.

Find her online:

-Twitter @byutm33

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-Kit ‘N Kabookle posts on Twitter @desantismt. Tag me for retweets.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cover Reveal: THE RIFT by S. D. Wasley

by S. D. Wasley

“I longed for normality. Even our own, off-the-wall brand of normality.”

She’s finally got things together. Mimi’s dating a hot guy and has a place in the school’s Gifted Program with her awesome friends. Yes, she still attracts the dead. But there’s only one ghost these days, and he doesn’t seem to have an awful lot to say.

Just when Mimi’s life is looking pretty good for the first time in years, the unthinkable happens ... one of the seven gifted teens is torn from their close-knit group. The unity of their circle shattered, things begin to go terribly wrong. It’s ruining their focus—and with the threat of the Astarion cult growing stronger each day, the gifted seven need all the focus they can muster.

In The Seventh, Mimi found her place in a circle of seven extraordinary teenagers. In The Rift, she must face what happens when the circle of seven is broken.

Release: November 2015

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

GODDESS'S HAND by Samantha Holloway

GODDESS’S HAND (Married to the Wind, Part 3)
by Samantha Holloway

Everything has changed.

Annissa, now of the Clans and carrying a heavy burden of power, knows that the world is not as her entire land has been told all their lives, and she must bear this knowledge back home to end the war that is destroying the world bit by bit. But she must do it alone, for though her friends back home are gathering an army for her, she's lost Ardeth to Air and she's the only one who can face the Dark--if she can convince Glorisa, the other half of her soul, to do it with her.

In a world torn by the clash of Light and Dark, where ancient powers alter the lives of mortals and gods alike, can she do what needs to be done to save the world? And will she save it by fixing it--or will she, too, change it utterly?

“I hope this doesn’t hurt you,” Annissa said in Danthe's mind, with Danthe's mouth, “but I really need to talk to Hiri and I don’t know how long I can hold this, or if I can do it again. It was sort of an accident this time.”

Footsteps pounded back toward her, each one echoing in the ground as if they ran in an empty room over a hollow space. And her head was full of noise, a harsh clicking buzz, a thumping deepness, a single note, high and sweet above it all.

“I’m sorry,” the girl said. “Please believe me.”

Two people threw themselves down on the ground beside her, breathing heavily.

“What is it, what’s wrong?” Hiri’s voice said, but still no one touched her.

“Oh, Hiri, I found you!” the girl said through her, and they were so close now that Danthe couldn’t avoid feeling her genuine relief. Danthe wanted to throw her arms around the Orphan Mistress, Annissa's relief was so great, but they didn’t move, and the wanting wasn’t hers.



“How are you doing this?”

“It’s a long story and I don’t have much time. What matters is that I found you. Listen—” The voice cut off for a moment, and the presence fell back, then grabbed hold of her and pulled back into her mind by what seemed to be sheer force of will. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I hope I’m not hurting you. Hiri, it’s coming back.”

“Where have you been?”

“All sorts of places, I’ll tell you when I get back, but I’ve found something you need to know. I can stop it. I can end the war. But I need everything to be set up for me when I get there so I can.”

“I—” Danthe had never heard Hiri sound unsure before. But the Orphan Mistress was nothing if not quick-thinking. “Tell me what you need.”

-What inspired you to become a writer?

When I was twelve, I used to get sick a lot. I think it was the school, and lingering severe culture shock and new anxiety after we moved back to the states. I also read a lot. So by the time I reached twelve, I’d been reading like five or six Babysitters Club books a week for maybe a year, and they were starting to seem too easy--and too expensive to keep buying! I’d also read through all my mom’s Cat Who… mysteries and liked them, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. I’d read through her VIctoria Holt romances, and those were closer to what I was looking for--which turned out to be Girls Who Do Stuff.

Then I discovered Anne McCaffrey on my dad’s shelf. The Dragonriders of Pern. I read all the ones there were up to that point, like five or so and a few spinoffs, and waited on the new ones every time until she couldn’t write them anymore. But then, after I’d caught up to current, I was so full of dragons and life-or-death adventures on alien worlds, and people falling in love--so full of Story--I just had to start writing.

I haven’t looked back since.

-What draws you to spec fic?

I write probably around 80% Fantasy and the rest a mix of Scifi and weird poetry. I love speculative fiction in general because you can tackle real-life issues and concerns without ever having to actually be just another story about people starving to death on a dying farm or people fleeing from a totally ordinary and still horrific war. I like the layer of altering that changes the details but keeps the message--the news is full of the actualities; I’ll tell stories that deal with the emotional and social impact of things, not the things themselves. It’s a sideways way of facing the problems of the world that makes it easier to look at them and process them, offers solutions that strictly realistic mainstream stuff might not ever come to, and broadens the meaning and the impact.

Plus, aside from that, if I write Fantasy and Scifi, I can set these stories on other worlds, include any sort of alien or mystical being, give people power or science or technology that they wouldn’t be able to have in a realistic story. I get bored easily when I’m doing something as long as writing a book--every time I’ve tried to do really mainstream literary stuff, I’ve wound up with a ghost or a mysterious twin or a god sitting down next to them or something, just to keep myself in the story! After a while, I just stopped pretending I wasn’t writing Fantasy!

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

The Tuareg people of Northern African deserts are Islamic, but are the only ones where the men wear veils and the women don’t.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

Probably Hiri, from these books. She’s worldly and street smart and I bet she could drink me under the table and still get up in the morning to rescue orphans.

-For aspiring writers, any tips?

Oh, man, so many!
-Keep writing--write new stuff all the time, go back to old stuff and make it better, finish things and revise them and start something else.
-Write as often as you can handle--every day is good, even if it’s just one page. If you can’t do every day, set yourself a goal for the week, and write until you hit or pass that goal.
-Finish stuff. The thrill of starting a new thing can drag you away, and it will try, but also keep plugging away at the old thing, because the sooner you learn to end a story, the easier your life as a writer will be!
-Remember that crap first drafts are basically standard--and that allowing yourself to write really shitty stuff is freeing. You can fix what’s written--you can’t fix what you never wrote.
-Read a lot. Read in your genre, especially the so-called classics. Read out of your genre to figure out what you don’t like and what you can bring back to your genre. Read nonfic to gather facts and details. Re-read your favorites to see how they do it.
-Keep a notebook on hand, and write down every idea you have. The really good ones are made by separate ideas growing together as you let them percolate through your subconscious.
-Learn what burns you out and avoid that.
-Try challenges like NaNoWriMo and Theme Weeks and stuff to learn how to write faster and fuller and worry less.
-Take writing classes. They’re Good Stuff.
-Find other writers to talk about writing with.
-Send stuff out. Get used to publishing early and grow that tough skin you’ll need!
-Take yourself seriously--commit time and effort to writing and getting better at writing--but don’t be one of those pretentious asses that no one wants to talk to, and who can’t take criticism or collaboration; stay open and ready to learn and humble. But prioritize your writing as much as you can without sacrificing school or life or job.
-Read writing books--How To’s, but also those books just about being a writer like On Writing by Stephen King and Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. Learn how pros do it, and see what you can take away from their stories.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

I don’t see myself writing much Horror, despite how random horror elements keep creeping into my work. I hate gore, and I’m not a fan of psychological horror, and I think writing a whole book in any sort of full-horror subgenre would really mess me up. I get too wrapped up in my books--I want them to be beautiful, not horrific!

I probably won’t write any traditional Romance, either, unless it’s actually a Fantasy or Scifi and everyone just happens to fall in love along the way. There’s too many requirements and length limits and specific rules and categories in Romance publishing. I know some people who do that very well, and I’m not one of them! I prefer the freedom and experimentalism of Fantasy.


Samantha Holloway is unfit for anything but writing expansive fantasy and the occasional science fiction story, so she does it full time. She's the author of the upcoming epic fantasy novel Married to the Wind, and has published dozens of book reviews, TV reviews and a few short stories. In between writing and thinking about writing, she lives in North Carolina with an aptly-named cat called Ninja, wears too much jewelry, runs a home made nail polish company for a lark, and subsists mostly on tea.

Find her online:

-Twitter @pirategirljack
-Series Tumblr
-Personal Tumblr

Share MARRIED TO THE WIND with the #MarriedtotheWind hashtag. Also share the individual books in the series with #MTTW1, #MTTW2, and #MTTW3.


-Kit ‘N Kabookle posts on Twitter @desantismt. Tag me for retweets.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A FISTFUL OF CLONES by Seaton Kay-Smith

by Seaton Kay-Smith

Henry Madison is an apathetic young man with little to no ambition. When he loses his job and his girlfriend in one day, he is destitute and signs up for paid medical testing. The doctor creates clones of Henry and when these clones escape and start causing havoc in Henry's life, he is hired in secret by the strange doctor and trained to hunt the clones down one by one and kill them. Henry soon finds out, however, that personality isn't genetic but made of the experiences you have, and as time progresses, his clones become less carbon copied than he was lead to believe, growing their own identities and challenging Henry's perception of what it means to be Henry Madison and of what it is right and what is wrong.

As the sun rose over Duelham, a pair of brown leather boots stepped off the curb and onto the road. Cut from a long-dead cow, turned inside out, cleaned and stitched onto a foot, they walked down the grey-gold street and through the gates to Mingum’s Mill: a seemingly abandoned mill which towered over the rest of the town and imposed a certain enormity on the suburb. Previously home to rats, drunks, youths, and young drunk rats, Mingum’s Mill had recently opened its doors to a new venture. Though the youths, rats and the drunkards hadn’t been entirely evicted, “Medicine” was open for business and Henry, the owner of the boots, had the telegraph-pole advertisement to prove it.

Entering the abandoned mill’s front office, Henry passed the security guard fiddling with his phone and approached the receptionist, a young woman in a smart white blouse and navy-blue skirt. She looked up at Henry, who stared into her amber eyes with a steely look of determination.

Henry’s hand moved slowly but steadily to his breast pocket, his eyes never leaving the receptionist’s. Her heart beat faster. Henry could hear it. His hand disappeared into his jacket and promptly returned, not with a gun, but with a piece of paper: an advertisement, yellowed and weather-bleached.

Henry slammed it on the table in front of her. “I’d like to do it,” he said. Then remembering his manners, “Please.”

The receptionist looked across her desk to the paper she was presented with. She picked it up and studied it once more before returning her gaze to Henry. “Do you understand all the risks?”

“There’s understanding and there’s accepting,” Henry said with a gritty resolve, “and I see no reason to need both.”

The pair remained locked in their stranglehold gazes, neither willing to be the first to look away, to give in, to show weakness. The security guard watched on, his hand resting on his taser, ready for action but unsure of what action to take.

Finally, the increasingly tense silence was broken as the receptionist offered Henry a standard ballpoint pen. “Sign here.”

Henry cocked his head and smiled briefly. “The name’s Henry,” he said as he signed the document with that very name. Then, raising the pen to his mouth as if he was blowing smoke from a recently fired pistol, Henry pursed his lips and blew.

“What are you doing?” asked the receptionist, confused by his inappropriate and disease-spreading behaviour. That was her pen; she had to use that pen.

Henry’s gritty resolve dropped; his awkward self-awareness returned. It was as though he had suddenly sobered up at a party and realised he wasn’t actually having fun. An overwhelming sense of average took over his entire body and his mind went blank. Gone were his delusions of grandeur. He felt like a child in a world of adults. “I was just …” He stammered, unsure of what to say. “I was just blowing the pen.”

The receptionist leaned forwards in her chair. “Don’t.” She snatched the pen back from him.

Henry, shaken, feeling small, his voice almost a whisper, replied, “Sorry, I’ll take a—”

“Take a seat,” she said.

He was no cowboy, no western hero. He was just a man with a signature, a name, and little else. Henry took a seat and, fighting off a blush, picked up a magazine. It was a celebrity gossip magazine. Sometimes, it seemed, Henry couldn’t win anything.



Seaton has written for The Roast on ABC2, Lost Pilots on FBi Radio, and is a regular performer of stand up comedy. Currently he is Head Writer at Paper Moose, a film and design collective based in Sydney.

Find him online:

-Twitter @seatonks

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Seaton will be awarding an eCopy of A Fistful of Clones to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.

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-Kit ‘N Kabookle posts on Twitter @desantismt. Tag me for retweets.

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Monday, September 21, 2015


by Joshua K Johnson

The nation of Ansgar is divided.

In the east, King Eadric Garrard has crushed one rebellion but gets no rest as the rebellion in the West is rapidly spiraling out of control. If he can't get things in line soon, his reign could be at an end.

Raedan Clyve has traveled across the Vast Sea to secure treaties and trade. Unchecked in his studies of magic, his powers are growing beyond his control. The dark path he has set himself on leads to destruction and chaos, but is it too late to turn back?

Kyrie Salas captains the Dragon's Breath, chartered to carry the Western emissaries across the world. She sees the potential in Raedan and seeks to harness it. But will her emotions get the best of her?

War has raged, battles have been fought, and lives lost. But the conflict for the future of Ansgar is just beginning.

Cadmus Reid was slow and methodical with his shots, carefully choosing his next mark. He was looking for officers to cause chaos or sharpshooters to limit the risk to his men. The Loyalists were hiding on the other side of the valley, behind boulders and below the crest of the hills. The eastern skirmishers were limiting their exposure, only presenting themselves long enough to find a target and fire.

Cadmus squinted as he looked up the sundrenched hills. The enemies had multiplied; where once a handful of skirmishers had been, now dozens were firing. Every hill on the eastern side of the valley was suddenly populated by a hundred Loyalist soldiers.

“They’re going to make their move soon,” Cadmus said to Gared as he reloaded again.

The increasing volume of fire was meant to frighten the western skirmishers: only a fool would expose himself to so much flying lead. Cadmus was unmoved by the tactic. He’d used the same tactic five years ago in the fight to free the Broken Plains Barony from foreign invaders and orcish mercenaries. A particularly deadly group of orcs had taken up in a temple. He’d fired volley after volley to distract them while another platoon had circled around to flush the mercenaries out. He had never expected to be on the receiving end and it bothered him that there was no effective way for him to counter the tactic. A regular infantry company would have a light gun or two to throw shells at the enemy from range. Skirmishers had no such luxury.

The first boom of cannon-fire echoed over the valley and the shot whistled as it fell. The enemy guns would have been placed on the plains beyond the far hills. Their angle would be poor and they would be relying on the scouts to direct their fire. The first rounds sailed over the western soldiers to slam into the ground far behind them. Solid shot against his skirmishers would be dangerous, but at least they weren’t explosive shells. The fragments of iron balls would be deadly.

What must have been a brigade of Loyalist troops flooded over the eastern hills, some firing at Cadmus and his men, others trying to load their rifles as they ran. Cadmus counted the flags.

“Signal a withdrawal,” he said. “Make for the swamps!”




Joshua Johnson is the author of "Gunpowder Fantasy" The Cerberus Rebellion and the creator of the Griffins & Gunpowder universe. When he isn't working or spending time with his family, he writes novels, short stories and novellas.

He currently lives in Northern Illinois with his wife and young children.

Find him online:

-Twitter @authorjkjohnson

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