Tag Archives for " science fiction "
Dindi is kidnapped to be the bride of a shark... To escape she must untangle a terrible curse caused by a love and magic gone wrong.
This stand-alone novella is set in Faearth, the world of The Unfinished Song. Available here ONLY.
The Unfinished Song - This Young Adult Epic Fantasy series has sold over 70,000 copies and has 1,072 Five Star Ratings on Goodreads.
In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life – until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side. Pursued for a secret he does not possess and with the fleet at his heels, he has but one thought: to stay alive. His pursuers aren’t inclined to sit down and talk, although that’s not the end of Elei’s troubles. The two powerful parasites inhabiting his body, at a balance until now, choose this moment to bring him down, leaving Elei with no choice but to trust in people he hardly knows. It won’t be long before he realizes he must find out this deadly secret – a secret that might change the fate of his world and everything he has ever known – or die trying.
Winner of position #6 on the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll in the category of Fantasy and Science Fiction Novels published in 2011.
Warning: Some profanity and violence.
Blood seeped between Elei’s fingers.
The small wound was above his left hipbone. He pressed down harder to staunch the bleeding and gritted his teeth. His pulse leaped under his palm as he sat shivering on a hard, cold bench. He rested his other hand on the grip of his holstered gun. In his blurry eyes, everything had a shimmering edge, suspended between reality and dream.
Then the world tilted.
Elei jerked and sharp pain erupted in his side. Hissing, he drew his gun and waited. His possessed eye throbbed; cronion, the strongest of his resident parasites, hated surprises. The world lit up in bright colors. Be ready. His heart pounded in his chest, sent bruising beats against his ribs. He swallowed past a dry throat and gripped his gun until his knuckles creaked.
Nothing moved. Oblong objects around him pulsed in cool hues of green and blue. Safe. Nothing living. He relaxed a little. For a while he simply sat, left hand pressing against the wound, the cold metal barrel of the gun held against his right thigh.
“Hey, you,” a man’s voice said from behind.
Clamping his jaw, Elei lifted the gun and turned to point in the general direction of the voice. Cold wind blew his jacket hood back, allowing him a wider view. The man appeared at the right periphery of Elei’s tainted vision — a splash of red. He went still when Elei cocked the hammer. The click rang too loud in the quiet.
“Calm down, will you,” the man said, raising his hands. “Just checking on you. You’re bleeding all over my boat.”
The boatman. Elei let out a breath and lowered the gun, but didn’t click the safety back on, just in case. The cold breeze ruffled his short hair and water splashed and murmured. The low hum of an engine set his teeth on edge. What was he doing in a boat out at sea? He prodded his memories, but came up blank.Cronion beat at the back of his eyeball like a hammer. He forced his tense muscles to relax and rubbed his eye with his thumb until the dull ache eased. This time, when he blinked, he saw the surface of things, his unfamiliar surroundings — the wet prow, moonlight glinting on metal benches like the one he sat on, yellow lifesavers underneath them. The boatman stood by the rail, dressed in shabby trousers and a pale yellow shirt, watching him from under his dark cap. The light from a lamp set on a bench pooled around him. The sky stretched naked above, night-black and starry.
The boat rocked and listed. His legs slid. He was falling.
He threw his hands to the sides, to find a handhold, the gun screeching against metal. His fingers caught the edge of the bench. He clutched it, the deep, sharp pain in his side squeezing the air from his lungs, and he bent over, panting.
Broken pieces of memories rushed back with a deafening roar. Shots fired. Running through the streets. The docks of Ost.
He was crossing the straits between the great islands.
Shivers crawled up his spine. He lifted his hand and stared at the blood on his fingers. He’d been shot, but couldn’t remember who’d done it.
Elei groaned to himself. He laid his gun — an antique, semi-automatic Rasmus — on his lap and wrapped his arms around himself, tucking his icy hands under his armpits; hoping fervently this was nothing but a dream, and knowing he just wasn’t that lucky.
“Hey.” The boatman approached him, stepping over the benches with his long, spindly legs. Red color flashed over his heart, pulsing with each beat.
Elei straightened with a wince and raised his gun. It seemed to have grown heavier; he could barely lift it. “What do you want now?”
“We’re almost there.” The boatman’s voice resonated with a hidden growl. When he raised the dakron lamp, its light revealed a leathery, deeply lined face and bright blue eyes. “Better get ready to jump, do you hear?”
“I heard you.” Elei kept the gun leveled, his arm muscles straining. Where in the hells are we? Cold sweat sluiced down his back. His nostrils flared and his body tensed with the urge to run. Run where? He was in a boat, for all the gods’ sakes, and yet he knew that even here, in the openness of the sea, he couldn’t afford to let down his guard.
Holstering the gun, he struggled to rise but his damn legs cramped and resisted. Shivers danced down his spine and adrenaline made his blood pump faster, so it trickled down his side, scalding his chilled flesh.
“Hurry up, boy,” muttered the boatman and his hand closed around Elei’s arm like a band of steel. “We can’t linger here.” He hauled him up as if he weighed nothing, the movement sending sharp claws of pain deep into Elei’s side.
Hells. Elei gritted his teeth and refused to make any sound as the boatman dragged him to the rail and left him there, the boat rocking with the movement. Muttering, the man went back to his steering wheel and navigated the boat through the dark waters.
In the distance, squat buildings, old warehouses, rose from the white mist of night. Starlight reflected off polished gray walls. The vacant pier jutted out into the sea like an arm of stone. The boat swerved toward it, then slowed down and bumped to a stop, thumping gently against the square blocks.
Elei inhaled the humid air and tried to get his bearings, to remember something, anything. In the end, he had to admit defeat. “Which island is this? Is it Kukno?”
“Are you saying I tricked you?” The boatman’s voice was dry. “We’re right where you told me to take you. Dakru.”
No one knows where or when the rips will appear, but they do, and from them, Outlanders walk the earth. Coyote travels the territories with Caesar, her mysterious partner in the bounty hunter business, and together they confront these alien threats to humanity. Along the way, Coyote discovers a secret that threatens to shatter everything she believes about herself, her father, and her sworn enemy, James Westwood. Whether Outlander or inner demons, some things can’t be solved with a six shooter.
“We’ve been over this, Mr. Pinkerton,” she scolded, “people I do business with call me Coyote.” There was a mocking sparkle in her eye. One eyebrow was slightly raised and she continued, “You have a job for me.”
It wasn’t a question. Allan chuckled and pulled a drawing from his coat. He unrolled the thick paper and handed it to her. The face of the ugliest man she had ever seen stared up at her from the page. His face looked like that of a weasel with a bad haircut.
“Handsome,” Coyote quipped. “How much is Prince Charming worth?”
“Two thousand dollars.”
“Big catch,” she said, and she pushed her Derby back slightly with her thumb, as was her habit. Coyote leaned back in her chair and whistled. The man next to her did not bat an eyelash.
“Very big catch, this…” she scanned the printed name beneath the uncomely face, “Alfonso Martine.” Her large round irises were a strange shade of cornflower blue that gave the illusion of being violet in the soft light of the saloon. “Unusual name for an Outlander.”
No one said time travel would be easy.
Peter Cooper, a widowed father of two whose life is crumbling around him—until a bizarre encounter with a desperate Army general launches him on a risky mission: to go back to 1942 and change a moment in time. The repercussions will almost certainly alter the conclusion of World War II. But will the ripple effects stop there? And what kind of life will Peter return to?
Unknown Consequences: A successful mission may not have the success he had intended.
Linear Shift is a serialized novel, with 4 total parts planned. This is part 1.
“Why are you telling me this now?” Peter demanded. “Why didn’t you tell me this back then, if it’s so important to you? I’m no longer in the army and I’m not going back. What does it matter anymore?”
“Would it have made a difference if I’d told you this twenty-two years ago when you enlisted? Would you have stayed in the army longer with this information? Would you have still married? Would you still have become an architect? Would Mary still have died in an auto accident?”
All these questions floated through the air, but Peter flinched at the mention of Mary. Mary was his wife’s given name, and anyone that knew her called her Minnie. Hearing her name spoken out loud felt like an ice pick in the heart.
Peter was confused and irritated. “What’s the point of all this?” he asked, angrily.
“Peter, I clearly have more knowledge about you than just the basics. I know you are about to lose this house. I know your kids are barely passing their classes. I know you were laid off, and are currently looking for work. What if I told you that I could drastically change your circumstances, almost instantly?”
Peter was a proud man. To hear a stranger plainly spell out everything that he was struggling with almost brought him to tears. He had failed, and he was embarrassed. He was far too ashamed to ask for help from anyone.
“Are you sure I can’t get you something to drink? I’m going to get myself a scotch.” Peter stood without waiting for the general to reply and walked to the bar cabinet. He pulled out the bottle of Glenfiddich and two glasses. He returned to his seat and poured out two fingers each.
“Peter, this is not the answer to your problems,” said the general as he took the glass from Peter.
“It might not be the answer, but it might help ease the process.”
Peter brought the glass to his lips and tilted it back until the glass was again empty. The general sipped at his glass and returned it to the table. Peter poured himself another and leaned back, glass in hand.
“So, what do I have to do to get this ‘help’ that you’re offering?”
“Before I can really tell you more about that, I have to have your word that you will not divulge any of the information that we are to discuss to anyone. Not even your children—although I don’t think they would believe any of it. I have to be clear here: no one. No one at all.”
Peter held up his hand, his pinky finger pressed against his thumb and said with mock solemnity, “Scout’s honor.”
“I’m sorry Peter, but I’ll need more than that. I have a confidentiality agreement that you would need to sign. What I am about to tell you is beyond top-secret-level clearance.” The general opened his attaché case and removed a file folder with the words “EYES ONLY” on the cover. From it, he slid out two sheets of finely typed paper. He handed one of them to Peter, then sat back in his chair and again sipped his scotch. As Peter read over the forms, the general finally took his eyes off of Peter and scanned the living room. He was quite surprised to find the house in good order, considering all of Peter’s troubles, including raising two teenage children alone.
After several minutes of silent reading, Peter looked up at the general and said, “This must be seriously top secret if the army would go to these extremes, were I to talk. Do you have a pen?”
The general produced a blue-marbled Mont Blanc pen and Peter signed the document before returning it to the general.
“Actually, Peter, this isn’t an army operation. It’s an unclassified branch of the government that only a very select few even know exists. It’s so clandestine that I’m currently not at liberty to inform you of its call sign. The document that you just signed will only afford you just enough information to make a rational decision whether or not to assist us; no more than that. If you agree, there will be several more documents that will need to be signed along the way. Do you understand?”
“Good. Now that we have an understanding, and your signature, we are inviting you to join a small team of exclusively selected civilians, others such as yourself, to travel back in time. Back to 1942, France to be precise.”
She wanted her life to change … he wanted his to stay the same.
Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Swimming and spending time with Tatiana, her best friend, are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college, and Ash hopes to finally ditch her longtime crush for Finley, Tatiana’s twin brother. But when Tatiana and her family fail to return home after a family emergency, Ashlyn chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Finley Helton and his family are good at blending in as they run their sailing charter business in Lake Tahoe. But together, they guard an ancient secret. When a not so routine meeting forces Finley, Tatiana and their mother to return to Natatoria and Fin’s father on a dangerous mission, Fin can’t stay caged up for long.
Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, and a simple lifesaving kiss could change their lives forever.
“What’s wrong?” I asked and glanced over to where Tatiana looked, afraid her father might be storming down the beach towards us. Instead, a red Jeep rolled over the ridge and down the rocky path that separated our neighborhoods.
She tsked. “What does he want?”
My mouth parched as I caught a glimpse of Tatchi’s twin brother through his windshield. He wore his usual black baseball hat, and looked nothing short of adorable.
“He’s coming here?” My voice cracked.
Fia and Annie are as close as two sisters can be. They look out for each other. Protect each other. And most importantly, they keep each other’s secrets, even the most dangerous ones: Annie is blind, but can see visions of the future; Fia was born with flawless intuition—her first impulse is always exactly right. When the sisters are offered a place at an elite boarding school, Fia realizes that something is wrong . . . but she doesn’t grasp just how wrong. The Keane Institute is no ordinary school, and Fia is soon used for everything from picking stocks to planting bombs. If she tries to refuse, they threaten her with Annie’s life. Now Fia’s falling in love with a boy who has dark secrets of his own. And with his help, she’s ready to fight back. They stole her past. They control her present. But she won’t let them take her future.
Seven Years Ago
My dress is black and itchy and I hate it. I want to peel it off and I want to kick Aunt Ellen for making me wear it. And it’s short, my legs in white tights stretching out too long under the hem. I haven’t worn this dress in two years, not since I was nine, and I hated it then, too.
Annie’s dress is just as stupid as mine, but at least she can’t see how dumb we look. I can. I don’t want to be embarrassed today. Today is for being sad. But I am sad and embarrassed and uncomfortable, too.
It should be raining. It’s supposed to rain at funerals. I want it to rain, but the sun bakes down and it hurts my eyes and everything is sharp and bright like the world doesn’t know the earth is swallowing up my parents.
My parents. My parents. Mom and Dad.
Annie cries softly next to me, her head bent so low we’re nearly the same height. I’m glad she can’t see any of this, can’t see the caskets, can’t see the mats of fake green grass around them. Just show us the dirt. They are going in the dirt. I would rather see the dirt.
I reach out and take Annie’s hand in mine. I squeeze it and squeeze it because she is my responsibility now, and no one else’s. I’ll take care of her, I promise my parents. I’ll take care of her.
The moment he bends over to help the sorrow-eyed spaniel puppy, I know I won’t be able to kill him.
This, of course, ruins my entire day.
I tap my fingers (tap tap tap them) nervously against my jeans. He’s still helping the puppy, untangling the leash from a tree outside the bar. And he’s not only setting it free, he’s talking to it. I can’t hear the words but I can in the puppy’s tail that, however he’s talking, he’s talking just right, all tender sweet comfort as his long fingers deftly twist and unwind and undo my entire day, my entire life. Because if he doesn’t die today, Annie will, and that is one death I cannot have on my conscience.
So Kiersten White is completely awesome, and I’m not saying that just because of that one time we fought off flying sharks with chainsaws together. I loved her Paranormalcy series, which was laugh-out-loud funny, poignant and also romantic and kick-ass. I (mumble-mumble haven’t yet read) Mind Games, but I can tell from today’s excerpt that it’s going to rock and can’t wait to.