-

Short Stories

Oops, I did it again…

Posted on

Not in the Britney Spears way, more I got sidetracked from what I was going to write by a new story idea.

I was going to work on the short story idea I had called “The Redaction of Vernon Reid”, but due to some early morning brainwaves over the weekend coupled with copious amounts of coffee I’ve come up with a new idea that is just begging me to write it.

What is it?

Hmm, it’s still early days, but it’ll be a young adult novel set some time in the future where the Earth has been completely flooded. No landmasses anywhere, now just a complete ocean world.

A story of the survivors, and a starling discovery they find beneath the waves.

That’s all I’ll give away for the moment. I have knocked out a little over 1400 words since fleshing out the plot lines though, so it’s off to a great start. I’ll post more about it as it progresses, so check back regularly as always.

No news yet on “The Second Coming” except for a text message from my beta saying she’d got a few chuckles out of it already. So it’s always good to know it’s not just me that thinks I can be funny.


•••

My most recent novel

The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior

Is available exclusively through Amazon.

•••


 

██ Redacted ██

Posted on

I handed off my most recent work – The Second Coming – to my beta reader over the weekend so the publication date of that one is drawing ever closer. Obviously I can’t give a firm date yet until I’ve checked over whatever notes she leaves for me while reading it, but my hope is mid to late November.

I’ve not had any other thoughts about cover design, which is kind of weird for me. Normally I’ve got a few different versions I want to check out, but I’m still happy with the one I’ve made so at this stage it looks like it’s the one I’ll publish with.

The blurb has had a few little tweaks since last time I posted about it.

Skylar, the wayward daughter of Stan (better known as Satan thanks to a typo in a first edition) is desperate to escape the ethereal planes of Hell and become a bounty hunter.

Sapphire, God’s forgotten second child, is oblivious of her divine heritage. Archangel Gabriel was to deliver the news on the night of her conception, but wound up bleeding and left for dead behind a seedy strip club.

So instead of delivering God’s latest and overriding commandment of “Don’t be a dick” to the people of Earth, Sapphire gets sucked into Skylar’s quest of hunting down an escaped soul from Hell that’s causing mayhem in Las Vegas.

The Second Coming is a wickedly funny urban fantasy crossed with comedic blasphemy, and laughing along with this book may land you in Hell.

I’m about 99% on that one. I might change a word or two, but for the most part I’m happy.

While The Second Coming is out of my hands I’ve been poking through my ideas folder for what to write next. One in particular keeps nagging at me to be written, a short story I’ve titled “The Redaction of Vernon Reid”.

The idea for this one came about while I was mucking about designing a cover for another book I wrote. I had the idea of a “Classified” document type design with various words blacked out. I quickly knocked out an example, and it became the inspiration for the rest of the story.

It’s the story of an ordinary NSA analyst named Vernon Reid, a sentient and very intelligent bomb that has developed a conscience, and an invading alien race hell bent on the annihilation of Earth.

When Reid accidentally designs a weapon possessing war-ending potential, the aliens deploy the bomb against him to erase him from history. All memory of him to be redacted until he never was.

Things don’t go to plan when the bomb has second thoughts about killing Reid, and the more it tries not to the bigger the paradox becomes.

Even though the cover exists, this is still in the very early stages of outlining so will be a few months away at the least. Check back soon for updates!


•••

My most recent novel

The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior

Is available exclusively through Amazon.

•••


 

Book Review | 4 Shorts by Robert Bevan

Posted on

Four short stories I’ve been waiting to read finally made it into Kindle Unlimited. I grabbed all of them as part of Robert Bevan’s 5D6 release where he rolls up 6 shorts into one book (the first two reviewed here).

As usual, Mister Bevan proves himself the master of low brow humour. In these final four he delivers an astounding array of disgusting and hilarious scenarios for our hapless heroes to fight their way out of.

Tossing the Salaad – Deftly sidestepping any possible copyright infringements by a subtle renaming of the monsters, this book sees everyone’s favourite Cooper impregnated by the amphibious Salaad after what first could be mistaken as a prostate exam. From there things get decidedly more gross.

Pixie Dicks – Magical memory loss leads Tim to be a lot less of an asshole for the bulk of this story, a side some of his friends may prefer. Sent on a mission by a bunch of pixies, the boys prove they are capable of rising above all, especially when the pixies have been such dicks to them.

Fistin’ the Furious – One of the more confusing of the bunch, the team hook up with an attractive woman for a mission to kill her siblings. A mind/body swapping spray swaps the guys with the grotesquely deformed siblings, which is where some of the confusion came in. It was a little hard to follow in places and made more sense the second time through.

The Fuccubus – By the title it should be obvious what this one is about. The boys are “tricked” into wanting to have group sex with a half-elf who is really a succubus and wants to suck our their souls via… well, you get the idea.. This one had me howling with laughter, easily the funniest short that Mister Bevan has put out in a while. The others were funny, no doubt, but this one really took it to the next level.

TL;DR Version

Funny as hell, but not for the easily offended. Check out the sample at Amazon!

 

Book Review | The Haunted Vagina by Carlton Mellick III

Posted on

“Bizarro fiction? What’s that?” I thought to myself when I first heard the term. Of course, I needed to look up this previously unheard of genre, landing on suggestions. Most of them fall into the NSFW category, and I guess this one – The Haunted Vagina – does too, to a degree. Depends on how prudish your IT department is about the word ‘Vagina’.

Most examples I found looked as if they were trying to outdo each other with outlandish book titles. There are certainly some interesting ones out there…

Anyway, after a bit of a crawl through GoodReads I landed on this one that sounded less disturbing than others I’d seen, and sounded funny enough that it might be a good introduction to the genre.

What’s it about? The blurb:

It’s difficult to love a woman whose vagina is a gateway to the world of the dead…

Steve is madly in love with his eccentric girlfriend, Stacy. Unfortunately, their sex life has been suffering as of late, because Steve is worried about the odd noises that have been coming from Stacy’s pubic region. She says that her vagina is haunted. She doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal. Steve, on the other hand, completely disagrees.

When a living corpse climbs out of her during an awkward night of sex, Stacy learns that her vagina is actually a doorway to another world. She persuades Steve to climb inside of her to explore this strange new place. But once inside, Steve finds it difficult to return… especially once he meets an oddly attractive woman named Fig, who lives within the lonely haunted world between Stacy’s legs.

So that sets the scene. Stacy’s been hearing strange noises from down below for most of her life. One night after an adult-sized skeleton crawls its way out of her, she talks her boyfriend Steve into a mission to investigate.

Armed with walkie talkies and greased up like a Scotsman in an air duct, he ventures forth and finds Stacy is a doorway to an alternate reality.

It’s a short story, novella I guess at around 100 pages, but Mister Mellick packs quite a lot into those pages. The world he describes his both warped yet made vibrant and interesting by his words, and what happens once Steve gets trapped there kept me reading to the end.

Will I read more bizarre? I’m not saying no at this point, but it was a bit of an eye opener as a genre. I’ll see what GoodReads suggests as “also reads” once I’ve marked it as “Read”.

TL;DR Version

Certainly an eye-opener. An enjoyable short read. Check out the sample at Amazon.

Book Review | 2 Shorts by Robert Bevan

Posted on

Robert Bevan is an author I’ve been reading for years now. His Critical Failures books in the Caverns and Creatures series are some of the most re-read books on my Kindle.

Between each Critical Failures books he puts out 6 short stories which eventually get bundled into their own six-pack. These are the most recent two which I read one after another (I was behind a little since it took a few weeks for them to get onto Kindle Unlimited).

They Fight Three Giants

While the title seems somewhat literal, you need to understand the short stories Mister Bevan puts out are always puns or jokes on whatever the theme is. Cornholed for example, isn’t about what you might think. Probing the Annis is another.

Anyway, a subset of our usual heroes are tricked into following a sorcerer through a portal where their doom awaits them. Not an uncommon occurrence for the hapless heroes, but Bevan always manages new and disgusting lows in which to take the story.

Tricked into becoming slaves / target practice for stone giants, the boys must escape. Through a series of misunderstandings they’re not sure which fate they’d prefer.


From the Bowels of Hell Hounds

Continuing the tradition and possibly one of the grossest covers yet, From the Bowels of Hell Hounds finds our heroes as escorts of a wagon filled with magical goodies on its way to an interesting character I really wouldn’t mind seeing more of, maybe in the canonical series.

Count Fabulazzo welcomes them, calling off his hell hounds just after they’ve barbequed the groups horses. PS – If you’re a horse lover then this series (not just this book) isn’t for you. They meet their demise in a startling array of horrors.

Tricked, of course, into accepting the mission which is really a ruse for them to become the fall guys for the real mission, they’ve no alternative to accept the quest set to them by the Count to retrieve what was stolen.

Fans of the podcast Authors and Dragons will enjoy the appearance of a religious zealot by the name of Sinas, who I couldn’t help but read in the voice of Rick Gualtieri’s “Silas Kane” voice.


Both of these were lots of fun to read. They’re non-canonical to the overall series so can be enjoyed as individual reads. What happens in these has no impact at all to the main story, but knowing the background of the characters helps understand their motives so if you haven’t yet, go read Critical Failures.

Maze Quest – A Text-Adventure Short Story

Posted on Updated on

A short story this time (just shy of 5,000 words) from a Reddit Writing Prompt. Written as 2nd person (a perspective I rarely read and up to now haven’t written in)… but it suited the “game” theme as many old point-and-click and text-adventure type games would employ this style. It’s written as if they’re scenes in a game.


The Prompt:

[WP] You are the protagonist of a point-and-click game.


The Story: Maze Quest

Standing South of the Mansion

You are standing in the once manicured grounds to the south of a white stately mansion, but what have now overgrown from neglect. The mansion has stood abandoned since the former owner died many years ago and now, as the sole heir to the Stackson family fortune, the mansion and the acres she stands on are now all yours.

As you survey the lands to the west, the legendary hedge maze that has formed part of the scenery for over four-hundred years fills your view. To the east stand the burial grounds with mausoleums and monuments to the long dead.

Knowing that every window and door were padlocked and boarded over to deter thieves, you brought along with a rucksack which contains: Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review | A Matter of Scale by Jonathon Burgess

Posted on Updated on

matter_of_scale_smallI happened across this short story by Jonathon Burgess after an email from instaFreebie. It’s a fun short story you can read entirely on your lunchbreak (as I did) and is an great introduction (possibly a prologue?) for future novels.

The author lists is as the first in a series called The Blackscale Chronicles, which I’ll be interested in reading once they’re published.

A Matter of Scale is not available (at time of writing) from Amazon, but you can get it for free (well, for the cost of your email address) by signing up to the Author’s mailing list – http://www.brasshorsebooks.com/the-blackscale-chronicle/. Read the rest of this entry »

Death Is For Other People

Posted on Updated on

cover_211My latest short story – Death Is For Other People – is now live on Amazon!

Death Is For Other People follows the life of the protagonist who is one of only a handful of people known as ‘Eternals’ – those who are cursed to be reborn as new people after death. They retain all of their memories from their previous life, and can be born into any family, anywhere.

Death Is For Other People is a rebirth tale spanning hundreds of years, and a battle to prevent  the extinction of all mankind. Read the rest of this entry »

Death Is For Other People (For Sure This Time)

Posted on Updated on

Last week I wrote how I was unsure what to call my work in progress. Well I’ve decided I prefer “Death Is For Other People”  so I’m going with that. Over the weekend I finished the first rounds of editing, so next up is the stage where I’ll convert the text into speech and listen to it to pick up anything I may have missed before sending it off to my beta readers.

I’ve also been working on a cover, and I’ve been having a hard time with this one. In the end Read the rest of this entry »

Death Is For Other People

Posted on Updated on

My work in progress is going well since I first wrote about it last week. It’s now sitting at a little over 11,000 words with still some more to go.

Interestingly, I’ve written the beginning and part of the middle, but last time I sat down to write I skipped ahead and wrote the end. That isn’t something I normally do, but I knew exactly how I wanted to write it, plus I wanted  a break from the part I was currently writing. Next thing I knew Read the rest of this entry »