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Available at Amazon – read for FREE on Kindle unlimited!

(Releasing June 15th – Available for pre-order at Amazon)

CHAPTER  ONE

SARD LOPED ALONG BESIDE THE MOUNTAIN stream before angling away to start across the forest clearing that it tumbled through.

His hope that he’d finally lost the three men who’d chased him for a mile went unfulfilled but good instincts, great eyesight, marvelous reflexes, and a good deal of luck, saved him.

His instincts made him look toward the nearby trees on his left where he saw one of the followers step into the clearing and hurl a spear in his direction.

As the missile split the air on its path toward him, he avoided it by dancing to his right. With a practiced motion, he slid his knife from its sheath and snapped his wrist, propelling the honed weapon toward the spear-thrower catching him in the throat. The man collapsed without a sound.

At the same time, another assailant emerged from the trees at a run, axe upraised as he covered the twenty feet or so to where Sard crouched, but Sard had already pulled his own axe from its holder, and he dodged the blow of the fast moving figure. He swung at the attacker but only hit his weapon which sent it flying from his hand.

The man howled and snatched at Sard’s axe trying to wrest it away, but Sard doggedly held on and swept his legs, causing the assailant to fall, still howling. However, he clung to the axe handle and as he went crashing to the ground he dragged Sard down with him.

Sard landed on top knocking the wind out of his attacker, and the man lost his grip on the axe. He sucked in a breath and screamed, his eyes going wide as Sard brought the sharp-edged weapon down hard, silencing him mid-howl as his forehead split open from the force of the blow.

That’s when the third man who’d been trailing the other two ran from the forest shrieking, and cast his spear. Sard saw it coming and flattened himself against the dead man. The spear sailed over him and came to rest somewhere to his rear. Tugging his axe free and rolling away from the motionless body, he was scrambling to get to his feet and was still on one knee when, knife in hand and yelling, the wild-eyed assailant tackled and bowled him over causing him to lose his grip on the axe which flew from his hand and went skidding across the ground.

Stones dug into Sard’s back as he caught the hand that held the knife, preventing a slash to his throat. They went rolling over the blood-spattered terrain, the man hanging on to his knife, Sard trying to gain possession of it. One more roll and the man was on top of him, but Sard gave a forceful heave and tossed him over his head. He quickly scrambled to his feet, but so did the attacker who still had a grip on the knife.

Sard noted that the man seemed inexpert, holding the knife awkwardly, but he knew that wouldn’t matter in the end if he didn’t stay alert. He was tiring with sweat stinging his eyes but he watched his opponent’s hand, preparing to avoid the knife if he threw it. He was good at dodging and that would give him an even chance since the man didn’t appear to have another weapon. He could still get out of the struggle alive.

However, the man hung on to his knife and glaring at Sard, crouched as if preparing to spring. As Sard stared back bracing himself for the attack, his foot bumped something in the grass, and a quick flick of his eyes showed him his axe. Straining to keep his mind clear, he watched for his chance to grab it.

The man suddenly yelled and rushed him, knife upraised. Sard, acting fast, scooped up the axe and danced aside while swinging the weapon. It was a maneuver that might’ve worked better if his foot hadn’t hit a patch of the blood-slickened grass causing the axe to whiz past his intended mark as he slipped awkwardly to one knee. He grasped his axe tightly and hung on to it.

Swaying backward as the man clumsily thrust the knife toward his chest, Sard grabbed his hand forcing it down and away, a move that saved his heart but the assailant punched him on the side of the head making his ears ring, and he lost his grip on the man’s knife hand. Though he managed to hang on to his axe, he was unable to keep the knife blade from continuing its downward plunge and penetrating his left thigh.

He shoved his attacker away hard and retaliated, swinging his axe out and opening up his belly. The man gave a harsh gasp and fell to his knees clutching his middle as intestines came sliding out in a rush of gore, and Sard, his energy nearly depleted, used both hands and put all the muscle he could into it as he swung again, this time across the man’s neck nearly decapitating him.

A bright plume of red sprayed forth as he dropped to the ground with his head at an unnatural angle and lay still, his eyes already glazing over as he stared into eternity. Sard, covered in blood and gulping in deep breaths of air, went over on his hands and knees.

He tried to stand but realized the knife was still embedded in his thigh, sticking out like some sudden obscene growth. He’d felt it go in but oddly, it had only felt as if he’d taken a hard punch. He grasped it and pulled it out. Blood spurted bringing with it a blast of the pain he hadn’t felt before. He clutched his thigh and fell back, overcome with dizziness.

He lay there for a moment before rising up on shaky elbows, and through the sweat running into his eyes, he strained to see the wound. The pain was horrible but the blood had ceased spurting and the flow was ebbing to a trickle. It was an indication that the wound might not be as bad as it felt. But his body was leaden and his stomach roiled, and with a sudden rush of nausea he rolled over and vomited in the grass. Head swimming, his strength drained, he crawled unsteadily over to the nearby stream and tumbled in.

He barely felt the shock of the cold water as the bright day grayed out around him.

Bea’s Books

Boucher’s World series:

  Raven and C'elie: A Love Story - A Boucher's World prequel (novelette)   Moving Day - A Boucher's World prequel (short story)

Boucher's World: Emergent Book 1 of the Boucher's World trilogy  Boucher's World: Encounters - Book 3 of the Boucher's World trilogy

Cady and Sam werewolf series:

050413_0018_FREEBOOKS2.jpg 050413_0018_FREEBOOKS3.jpg A Blankie for Baby 1 Trilogy of Quiet SW the-other-shoe-6

Un-serialized books:

eyesfirst012a shaniqua4 Adams and Eves2

Spaceships and Magic series:

Bitter Change15 Bitter Change bc change23 

All available at these and other ebook sites: SmashwordsAmazonB&NKobo Apple, Inktera.  Also available at  Scribd subscription site.  Reviews at any of these sites are welcomed.

(All novels, novelettes, and novellas available as paperbacks; the first three books of the Cady and Sam werewolf series available in A Short Trilogy of Quiet as a paperback – see at Amazon, B&N, Createspace, etc.)

Going Green by Christina McMullen – available at Amazon

Over the past year, I’ve accumulated a host of books on my Kindle that I’ve simply not gotten around to reading. I’ve had this one since back in the spring and I’m kicking myself for taking so long to get to it – but glad that I finally did.

I’ve read a few zombie apocalypse stories and I have to say that this one is not what I expected – and that’s a good thing as I like stories that take an old theme and turn it into something new and fresh.

It’s kind of a case of “the road to Hell being paved with good intentions” or maybe “missing Heaven and hitting Hell” would be another way of describing it. It’s the end of the world (as we know it) written in a series of interconnected stories that describe the catastrophic outcome of a wrong-way government official having released a toxic agent onto the world that causes nearly everyone to become a shambling, grunting, flesh-eating zombie. While the book is short, the story is complete and definitely won’t leave you hanging. I don’t want to say a lot because I’m afraid of introducing a spoiler but I certainly liked the twist at the end and felt it was the perfect ending.

I loved the writing style, the satire, and the humor, and I certainly will be reading more of Christina McMullen’s work. (While perusing my Kindle I was happy to discover that I already have a couple other of her books and I’ve already bought her newest one.)

If you like sci-fi and zombie stories (and even if you don’t!) you will love this one!  A solid five stars.

Need a fun book for Summer reading?  Try this one!

(Available at these and other online stores)

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Apple

Amazon

 

 

First – A novel

 

The teenage years can be stressful.  It is a time of a lot of “firsts”: first crush; first date; first kiss, even a first heartbreak.

For sixteen-year-old Lyssa Brunner, life is pretty smooth.  Predictable, ordinary, safe.

Until one day it isn’t.

Until she discovers something about her family that’s been withheld from her “for her own good”.

Until she learns she’s not who she thought she was and is hit with some “firsts” she would never have imagined, and her life takes a decided turn for the weird.

Follow her as she struggles to come to terms with an existence that has changed from normal to, irrevocably, “other”.

Coming June 30th

Coming June 30th – Bridge, a novel

 

Randa and Ostrich17

There are many tales from the period in Boucher’s World history known as the Change.  This is one from near the beginning of that time.

The race of beings on Boucher’s World, called Elvwists, are telepathic psychics with various other extra-sensory abilities, and now, suddenly, the new generation of the Humans of that world has been born with these same abilities.  It is an event that will change both societies forever.

Two years after Randa faced  hard changes when her vow-mate left home to go fishing and met with misfortune, she had to take her family and leave her home in the foothills of the mountains, fleeing marauders who would kill her children for being different.  They were rescued by the Elvwists and taken to a village set up for the safety of the new Humans.

Randa is not one of the Changed Humans, having been born six years too early, but this does not worry her and she is neither jealous nor afraid of the new Humans as are some people.  How can she be, when her children are among the Changed?  Her task now is to raise them and figure out how to carve out a place for herself in the much different environs in which she finds herself, and where she has to fight culture shock and loneliness.  Will she be able to bridge the gap between the old ways and the new?

 

This is a sequel to the novelette, Hard Changes

The #MyWritingProcess Blog Tour

I’ve been asked to participate in the blog tour, #mywritingprocess, and, I must say, when I was asked, I was  just a teensy bit…well, nervous.

Cause of nervousness?  Simple.  I’ve not been a good blogger.

Three reasons I’ve not been good:

1.)  I tend to neglect to do regular updates, mainly because I’m usually working on a new story – or four (or six…or more) – and don’t like to take time to stop and do anything else (a caveat: I do take time to go to Twitter and tweet!  Well, I primarily retweet, but it doesn’t take long, and for some  reason it relaxes me.  I’ll retweet practically anything but I mainly retweet about someone else’s book or blog post, especially indie authors.  Heh, us indies need all the help we can get!).

2.)  I don’t know why, but I sometimes have problems writing anything other than fiction.  I only come up with something I want to post, oh, say, about every two or three months or so, and after that I have nothing else to say for a while.

3.)  I’ve always believed that if you don’t have anything to say, you ought not to say it.  So I don’t.

However, I am hoping to get better at finding things to blog about, because, in the end, what’s the point in having a blog if you don’t blog?

So, I was intrigued by the blog tour, and thought maybe I could answer the four questions posited,  after all, I am a writer, and I do have a process – um, well sorta – so, though I’m a tad quivery in my flip-flops, here goes…

 

What am I working on?

Currently, I’m nearly finished with the first draft of a novel that I’m writing as a sequel to a novelette I wrote last year called Hard Changes.  While it’s definitely a sequel, it’s a story that will stand totally on its own.  Tentatively titled Bridge, it continues the tale of  Randa and relates what happens after she and her children escape from marauders with the help of the non-humans who occupy the same world.   Hard Changes  is itself a stand-alone, side story/prequel in the Boucher’s World  science fiction series in which I’ve written a trilogy, a couple of novelettes and novellas, even a short story (all of the stories are prequels to the trilogy – at least so far!  And, I guess you could say the new book is a sequal to a prequel… 😀  Clearly it’s a universe that keeps pulling me back in, and is not yet ready to let go of me, so there will also be sequels to the trilogy!).

I’m nearly finished with the first draft of another novel (in an entirely different universe from Boucher’s World) that I plan to publish by Fall of this year.  It’s kind of a dystopian/fantasy.   And, I’m also doing one  in my werewolf series  (Cady and Sam), not to mention three other’s that have nothing to do with any of the above…sigh.  You get the picture.

 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

 How my work differs…hmm…well, in the case of my science fiction series, it includes elements that I guess aren’t strictly science fiction, in that the main characters are all psychics endowed with certain types of extra-sensory-abilities.  There is an alien world, and aliens (also psychics), star ships, domes (no, not like that one), all ingredients that are part of a science fiction story, but these stories are much more character driven.  And my female protagonist, while strong, isn’t exactly a tough kick-ass.  Um, well, in one instance, she does kick-ass but it was a fluke – and he deserved it.  These stories are mostly what you might call “soft” science fiction, but, while in some cases there is a love interest (and in some of the stories, a bit of, ahem, “mating”), the stories aren’t romances (er, um, there is that soul-mate thingy, but I don’t think it’s really romantic).

As for the fantasy/paranormal stories about the werewolves: unlike most such stories floating around, there is no romance involved here, either (I don’t think the neighborhood flirt trying to hook-up with Cady’s husband counts!).  There’s no alpha male and some young woman (or female werewolf) going hot and heavy at each other, no wolf-pack drama with the beta fighting to be alpha or to take the alpha’s mate.  There is actually no alpha, or even a wolf-pack, as  such.  There are some vampires around (mostly friendlies and they don’t sparkle) some ghouls (unfriendlies) and a few demons thrown in for good measure (good and bad – and neutral).  These werewolves are a happily married couple trying their best to live a quiet and uneventful life in their small town, going to their jobs as a barber and a masseuse, and raising their young daughter, but they keep running up on situations that throw a monkey wrench into their serene existence.

 

Why do I write what I do?

 I write what I do because it’s also the genre(s) I most enjoy reading.  I started out as a small child reading fairy tales (still like them, too.  After all, they fall under the umbrella of “fantasy”!), and graduated to science fiction when I was in fifth grade and came across Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot series that someone had, apparently by mistake, placed in the school library.  After that, I read every science fiction book in there (which, sadly, didn’t consist of many) and at the public library (which, happily, had many, many more, thank God!), and when I ran up on Zenna Henderson’s People stories, I started looking for others like those, too.  I was hooked for life, and I knew that I wanted to write such stories.  It has taken a while – one might say a lifetime – but now I do.

 

How does my writing process work?

 Well, I’ll get an idea – and I nearly always know how the story begins and ends, it’s the middle part that’s a bit tougher – and sometimes I’ll make an outline, though it’s usually only a loose one (I confess that I often stray away from the outline).  Then I set aside time to work on the idea.  I’m retired so I can work on a story whenever I want, but I work on it for at least an hour every day (usually more)  and I do write every day.

Other times, there is no outline, not even a loose one.  The urge to write is so strong that I just take off writing by the seat of my pants and don’t quit until I have the basic story down.  I have been known to write all day – or night – when the story grabs me by the throat and won’t let go (since I’m retired, I can also write for however long I want, which means that I have, upon occasion, come to, and found myself lying face down on my keyboard hoping I haven’t slobbered on the thing and shorted out something!).   Then, of course, there’s all the editing and rewriting and proofing, that sort of thing.  It’s a tad messy sometimes (okay, all the time), but it is a process.  One that I enjoy a great deal.

 ******

I was invited on this blog tour by a very nice Twitter pal, Sonya Craig, science fiction writer of the Outbound series, who is a previous blogger on the #mywritingprocess tour.  See her post here.

The next blogger up is Freddie Silva, a writer of science fiction and fantasy.  His novel, The Order of the Wolf, is the first of his Kingdom of Haven series.  A link to his post will be placed here as soon as it’s published.  Meanwhile, take a peek at his blog, Fred on the Head.

Okay, as promised, here is the link to Freddie Silva’s post on his writing process: How Do I Write Thee?

 

A Review of “The Order of the Wolf” by Freddie Silva

Okay.  I have to tell the truth.  When I first saw this book, for some reason I had the notion it was about werewolves. You know, with the usual storyline of alpha males, fawning females trying to get next to the alpha, soul mates, pack fights, that sort of thing.  Even after reading the blurb I still thought a werewolf might be in there somewhere.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good werewolf story but really wasn’t in the mood for one.  Then I read the sample before buying, and boy, was I delightfully wrong!  And, after reading the book, I’m happy to say: I was wonderfully wrong!

Instead, what I found was an engaging tale set in an alternate world and time.  A world of warring kingdoms and mercenary warriors who, though fighting for different rulers of the land, try to hold to a code of honor.  The story begins directly after the destruction in battle of a particular company in the Order of the Wolf, called The Old Guard, wherein our protagonist has been horribly wounded, and is the only surviving member of his company.  He wants to die and join his comrades but is instead, healed and pressed into training a company of newbies by the Order commander.

The story takes off from there through a string of twists and turns, some of them political, all of them intriguing.  It has lots of action but is not just a litany of one battle after another.  There’s even a touch of humor, and, it has a hint of romance but not enough to make you wonder what it’s doing in a story of war and bloodshed as it fits the circumstances.

The writing is clear and concise and the story moves right along.  My only complaint is that it ended before I was ready for it to!  I want to know more!  I want to know what happens next!  Now, I have to sit and wait – impatiently – for the sequel.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good read that has action, adventure, and intrigue, set in another time and place.

Most definitely: Five stars!

A Review of “The Universe, Five Minutes At A Time” by James McAllister

I had intended to first, read a couple of the stories in this book of shorts, then get the others, a few at a time, later, when I had more time.  However, I found that as I finished each one I was anxious to go on to the next intriguing story.  So, I finished the book at one sitting, and then sat around wishing for more.

The stories range from the humorous to the tragic – occasionally within the same one, such as I found in “The Neptune Fudge Affair”.  I especially enjoyed “Looking for Master” and “The Used Car Salesman”, but as someone who loves science fiction, I appreciated every story.  They are well plotted and told, and generally well written.  I felt I was right in the middle of the action with each one.

This was a quick and easy read, great for anybody who doesn’t have a lot of time, and I’d recommend these extremely good stories to any fan of science fiction.  And, if you’ve never read anything in the genre, I think this would be a great place to start.

A Review of “Fin & Tonic, Talon & Tombstone by David Moss & Lance Carney 

What an entertaining read! This book of well written short stories span a range of topics, some dealing with the supernatural or paranormal, some with science fiction.  Some are horror, and quite dark, guaranteed to give a delicious shiver, or in the case of “The Pizza Man”, a shiver and a laugh.  One favorite of mine, “You Do What You Gotta Do”, a science fiction piece dealing with an alien come to do some abductions, I found to be downright hilarious – and surprisingly sweet.   A few of the stories can’t be categorized into a specific genre as they contain elements of more than one, but they are, nevertheless, a delight to read.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys any of the above genres, blended or otherwise, especially if they don’t have a lot of time to read, or to anyone who likes a good short story.

Five stars for excellence!

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