Category: "Announcements"

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2012-08-20

  01:26:08 pm, by

Just Released - Playing Dead

 

 

 

My science fiction short story Playing Dead is now available from Smashwords and Amazon.com.

In Playing Dead a game designer’s nemesis tracks her into the afterlife bent on an endless quest for revenge.

 

Here is an excerpt from Playing Dead:

I logged onto Death's website at six a.m. An ungodly hour if ever there was one. Even when I owned a body, I hated that time of day. The body was gone, but the mind remembers.

My orders were waiting. And that's when the day went bad.

I downloaded the relevant parts of my brain into one of the standard issue bodies. The metal casing felt uncomfortable at first, at odds with the memory of soft flesh. Selective memory offered embellishments, just as it forgot the wracking coughs caused by the poisoned air and the cramps from contaminated water.

Silicon forgets nothing, but in the process of remembering it is possible to revise and save over. So on this morning I was thinking of sleep and forgetfulness and the sensation of lying in a soft, warm bed even as I was stuffing my consciousness into the metal body allocated to me.

I flexed robot fingers, took a tentative step on metal legs. Physical locomotion took a moment's getting used to after flitting about with little more than a thought. I loaded my icon into the ID patch on my chest, and downloaded the rest of my profile. I checked the parameters of this new image. Privileges were rudimentary at best. Locomotion, tools of destruction. In the file marked arsenal, I found laser-lances and pulse guns. Nothing new there. Fully loaded, I headed for the door.

For a millisecond, I entertained the notion that I shouldn't leave without at least a swallow of my morning coffee, then shook my head. The sudden movement startled me. Another slip. I was fragmenting all over the place this morning.

And it all started with that message and the one damnable signature embedded in it.

Darq Phyre.

That name activated links to files best unaccessed. Too late to abort the transfer, I was stuck with the memories and the bad mood that spread like a virus through my code.

 

 

 

2012-07-31

  03:20:36 pm, by

Miles To Go - Now Available

 

 

 

A spooky drive down a foggy country road inspired this short story.

Miles To Go is now available from Smashwords and Amazon.com.

Here's a short excerpt. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Blurb:

A dark, lonely road.
A driver on the edge of exhaustion.
A sudden shape appears in the headlights.
No time to react.
What he hits turns out to be far more terrifying than he could ever imagine.

 

Excerpt from Miles To Go:

Wet ground crept by in a pool of yellow light. His hands were sweaty now where they gripped the  steering wheel as he prowled slowly back through the alien, white landscape.

Each column of parting fog renewed the terror of what he might find. His imagination eagerly supplied the gruesome details: a dying raccoon, desperately trying to drag itself from the road. Worse still, the vacant eyes of a dead man staring accusingly back at him.

Or perhaps that he had completely lost his mind and dreamed the whole incident.

The ground began to slope upwards. He breathed a sigh of relief.

Then, in the fog-shortened beam of his headlights, he saw a lump of something dark against the black ribbon of the road.

Weston slammed the car into park. Leaving the motor running and the lights on, he crept toward the black shape in the road. The car's key alarm dinged several times, then fell silent.

Too big for a cat or a fox, he thought, stopping to examine the thing from a few feet away. The way its back hunched toward him, it couldn't be a dog, unless the spine was broken. At least it wasn't a person. Raccoon maybe. He crept closer. Not like any raccoon he'd ever seen.

For one thing, it had no fur...

 

 

2012-06-04

  02:00:00 pm, by

Newly Released - Giving Up The Ghost

 

 

 

Giving Up The Ghost is my new paranormal vignette, now available from Smashwords and Amazon.com.

I once heard a ghost tour guide say that some old buildings just had a spooky feel to them. It got me thinking…What if ghosts policed themselves? And what if one of those otherworldly guards stepped away from his post for a moment and let something nasty escape?

Giving Up The Ghost is the result. Hope you like it!


Blurb:

Even a ghost needs a break once in awhile. When Rhys Sentry steps away from his post, he’s just trying to catch a glimpse of beautiful brunette, Marla. Unfortunately, his lapse in concentration allows a dangerous entity to escape.

Rhys must return the spirit to its rightful place. But during his quest, he makes a startling discovery…Marla can see him!



Excerpt from Giving Up The Ghost:

Even a wraith needs a break once in awhile. Even a dead guy gets bored. When Rhys Sentry stepped away from the portal, he was just trying to catch a better glimpse of the dark-haired beauty disappearing around the corner. A momentary loss of concentration, it could happen to anybody, right? Everyone made that kind of mistake once in awhile, didn’t they? Didn’t make him a bad guy, er, ghost, did it? After all, he had been a man once, and for pity’s sake, he was only looking!

Rhys cast a glance behind him at the portal he'd been guarding for over two hundred years. Down in the basement of the old abandoned brewery, it had seen its share of disreputable characters, both living and dead. The area had been revitalized in the past few years and turned into a trendy nightspot. Like that was a good idea. But no one asked a lowly ghost about such things.

The evening had begun normally enough. He'd been dozing at his post, waiting for the tour group to pass. Just for fun, he goosed one of the members and snorted when the middle-aged lady squealed. Ghosts! If they wanted ghosts he was happy to oblige.


That was when he saw the brunette disappearing down the corridor, trailing the tour. She glanced over her shoulder and squinted in the dim light as if she could see him. She must be a sensitive. Rhys quickly veiled himself. Revealing his presence was forbidden, ghost tours or no. A little fun was tolerated. An outright revealing was a punishable offense. The last thing he wanted was to spend another two centuries guarding this pit.

Too late he realized his mistake. As he stepped away to gaze at the dark-haired beauty, he'd done something he'd never done in over two hundred years.

He left his post.

Quickly, he jumped back into position.  The tour group moved on. Rhys breathed a ghostly sigh of relief. No notice seemed to have taken notice of his gaffe. He glanced back at the portal with relief.

That's when he saw the dark vapor trailing after the tour group, an inky cloud that took on more form with every passing second. It moved through the patrons until it located the brunette.

* * * *

Marla shivered as they passed the shadowed hallway under the old brewery. Her friend Deb had talked her into this foolishness and she couldn't wait for it to be over. But Deb had wanted so badly to take the tour, Marla just couldn't dampen her enthusiasm. Her friend was visiting from Calgary and she'd promised her a night on the town. On the town, she added mentally. Not under the town!

According to the tour guide the tunnel led to the lake. Smuggling had been big business during prohibition. She glanced back at it again and couldn't contain the shudder that ran down her spine. Something far more malevolent than smuggling had happened in that long-unused passageway. She hurried after the group.

Yet as she passed she was certain she'd seen the ghostly outline of a blond man staring out at her with green, haunted eyes. She blinked and the image vanished. 

A cold breeze blew from the tunnel. The wind seemed to stick to her like tar. Silent screams echoed in her ears, echoes of long ago horrors. Mist clouded her eyes. It filled her nostrils and clogged her lungs. She choked and clutched at her chest. For a moment, she thought she'd perish there down in the darkness with a knot of people around her, unable to help. Something moved in the gloom, a man-sized blond blur. Then her vision cleared.

She drew a breath and screamed.

2012-05-29

  03:02:42 pm, by

Time Slide - Now Available

 

 

 

A new edition of my space opera Time Slide is now available from Smashwords and Amazon.com.

I've always been fascinated by the idea of alternate realities and alternate universes. The idea for Time Slide began as a short story entitled Time Slide.  I later expanded it to include a sequel, Beyond Oblivion.

But I still felt like a lot of Harry and Moraina's back story was missing, so I wrote the prequel chapters to explain how Moraina came to be Harry's bodyguard and why they both have such tortured pasts.

Here is a blurb and a short excerpt from Time Slide.  Hope you enjoy it!

 

Blurb:

As a warrior in an ancient conflict between planets, Moraina Keller is resigned to dying in battle, until she's captured by handsome space pirate, Harry Kong.

Life as Harry's bodyguard seems to suit her, until she discovers that not only is someone trying to kill her, he looks a lot like Harry.

While trying to solve the mystery of her elusive attacker they stumble upon an even bigger secret, a technology that has the power to destroy the universe itself.

 

Excerpt from Time Slide:

We made our way through the smoke-filled cantina, through half-whispers about Harry Kong, the bored aristocrat, and his Tahluzzian assassin. At another time those whispers would have warranted a brandished blaster, but I held my temper and we stole from the bar into the musty night beyond.

I stepped first, blaster drawn, into the cobblestone roadway which broke off into a labyrinth of passages, all spiraling downward to the spaceport at the bottom of the hill.

A thousand shadows lined the curves of the spiral roadway. A thousand hands, holding a thousand blasters waited to relieve Harry Kong of his mysterious new treasure. And I was Harry's bodyguard.

“Fool,” I said through clenched teeth. “Harry, you make my job difficult.”

“You're well paid.”

“Not well enough.” It was half past midnight on a planet with a 48-hour day, and thanks to Harry I probably wouldn't be getting much sleep. I stifled a yawn, took a tighter hold on my blaster, and pushed forward, Harry bringing up the rear. The third moon was rising in the west, casting inky shadows in triplicate on the cobblestone. Shelter could have been a galaxy away.

The road twisted abruptly and our vision was blocked by a stone wall. We lingered in the shadows. I peered out into the roadway. The spaceport lay just beyond us, a narrow dash, easily accomplished.

Except that the passageway was blocked by every hired gun in the city.

I turned to Harry and the black box he held in his hand. Our attackers closed the space between us, moonlight reflecting off their blasters. Harry grasped my shoulder and his finger moved along the inky gleam of the instrument. Then the bottom of the world fell out.

 

 

2012-05-04

  01:34:02 pm, by

Dark Love - Now Available!

 

A new edition of my paranormal short, Dark Love, is now available from Smashwords and Amazon.com.

Dark Love is the story of Carena Wilder, a new homeowner who finds a handsome and sexy vampire living in a hidden room.

Below is an excerpt. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Blurb:


Carena Wilder is delighted to finally have her own home, even if the power of sale property needs a fair bit of work. She’s less happy with her purchase when she finds a vampire living in a hidden library room.

Kalan Marx has had the worst date of his life. He wakes up on the beach with no idea how he came to be there or what happened to the mysterious woman he picked up in a bar. He returns home to find out his house has been sold in his absence to the lovely Carena Wilder.

While they work out the logistics of their joint ownership of the property Carena and Kalan find themselves falling in love. Until Kalan realizes he’s become the target of an over-zealous vampire hunter.

 

Excerpt from Dark Love:


Carena had been having the strangest dream.  She'd awakened in the bed in the old house she'd bought.  A terrible storm had shaken the night.  Then she'd heard the creak on the downstairs floor.  And that's when the dream had changed ...

Red soaked her mind.  Red shadows, red lightning etching the walls, crimson liquid running across the kitchen floor.  She should be afraid, she thought, desperately afraid.  Strangely, she wasn't.

She floated on that red tide, weightlessly.  Conscious thought seemed impossible to hang on to.  Dizzying waves of desire spiraled through her.  Strong arms enveloped her, holding her up, which was good because her knees had long ago given way.  It became impossible to think beyond the curtain of red across her vision.  Valiantly, she tried to pull back that drapery to gaze beyond at the being who held her, but awareness drifted away from her until the red became black and she remembered no more.

Consciousness came back to her with a jolt and a gasp.  She reached out a hand, finding warm leather beneath her questing fingers.  She cracked an eyelid.  Darkness.  Well, not quite, she could make out the colors in the spines of the volumes on the bookshelf on the other side of the room, see the weave in the carpet beneath the couch.  Someone had covered her with a blanket, even though the air felt hot and muggy.  She didn't recognize the room, she thought with a start, sitting up quickly.

The blanket fell to the floor.  And then she realized why she'd been covered with a blanket.  Her robe was gone along with the ratty t-shirt she usually wore to bed.  She reached for the blanket and hastily covered herself.

Something moved in the shadows on the far side of the room.  She caught a glimpse of a solid-looking oak desk and an old wooden chair on wheels.  But it was the man sitting at the desk, watching her carefully that absorbed her attention.

"Hey," he said, the way you might if you met a friend on the street.  It made him sound younger than she'd expected.  It made him sound like anything but the kind of monster who might ....

Might what, her mind inquired?  She searched her memory for the answers and drew a blank.  All she could remember was red.

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