Call for ARC Readers of Haven (i.e. free advance ebook up for grabs!)

Haven, Book 2 in the Orbit Series, contiues the adventures of the Zero crew and is out Oct 2015

Haven, Book 2 in the Orbit Series, contiues the adventures of the Zero crew and is out Oct 2015

Can I tempt anyone to some FREE fiction? And that’s FREE fiction BEFORE everyone else gets their hands on it?

I tease ye not!

As some of you may already know, Haven, book 2 in my Orbit Series and sequel to the laser-blasting space-pirate-packed Zero, is due for release by Dagda Publishing this October. It continues the story of Kaleb Hugo who continues to try to find stability in an unstable universe, as well as protect those he cares about against impossible odds. The final script is days away from being formatted and I am calling for people who would be up for a preview of the e-book in the next few weeks, in exchange for a review!

The review would need to be posted on Amazon (and anywhere else you like!) on the launch date of the 24th October. You are in a better position to enjoy & review if you have already read book 1 (Zero is available on Amazon in hardcopy or for Kindle – CLICK HERE), though this is not absolutely essential.

The Orbit Series has so far been enjoyed by fans of science fiction the vein of Star Wars, Firefly and Ghost in a Shell, but plenty of people who never read scifi still enjoyed Zero, so don’t think you have to be a die-hard fan of the genre to enjoy it.

Check out my Orbit Series page and/or reviews & ratings of Zero on Goodreads and Amazon if you want more of an idea.

Haven is now also up on Goodreads

If you would like to be added to the list for an Advance Review Copy, comment below or get in touch with me by message through Facebook or Twitter. All I will require is an email address!

Thanks in advance and thanks already to everyone who has already volunteered. You should receive your copy soon!

Let’s BLAST OFF.

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Author Interview: Fantasy/Horror Writer C J Somersby

Greetings fiction fans. A treat for you today!

Horror/Fantasy Writer C J Somersby is about to see his debut novel Conquest released by Dagda Publishing. Conquest is the first book in the ‘Angels of Chicago’ series which promises to be a big hit amongst fans of supernatural fantasy. It’s about Private Investigator Samuel Black who has strange powers and is commissioned by an angel to stop the apocalypse.

Aye. Epic.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Conquest is released in July on Amazon (Kindle pre-order available now) and I was able to corner C J to find out more about this great debut and his experience so far with writing and publishing.

C J Somersby, Author of Conquest, Interview

 So how long have you been writing?

Conquest is Book 1 in C J Somersby's 'Angels of Chicago' series and is available for pre-order on Kindle now. Due for general Kindle & Paperback release July 1st from Dagda Publishing

Conquest is Book 1 in C J Somersby’s ‘Angels of Chicago’ series and is available for pre-order on Kindle now. Due for general Kindle & Paperback release July 1st from Dagda Publishing

As long as I can remember. My father has still got a few hand-drawn comics and newspapers that I enjoyed making when I was very young. School almost killed reading & writing as an enjoyable pastime and it petered out when I got to my late teens, but in recent years I’ve rediscovered my enjoyment of literary creation.

Tell us a little more about your debut paranormal fantasy novel Conquest.

Conquest is the first novel in a planned series of apocalyptic fantasy fiction stories called ‘The Angels of Chicago’. It centres around a Chicago detective named Samuel Black, who is dubiously gifted with certain psychic abilities. He is approached by a renegade angel called Alleam, who wishes to use those psychic abilities to help him track down the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and stop the end of the world. It’s a book with angels, hellish minions, bikers and explosions, so I think there’s a few people out there that might find it interesting.

Have you always liked this sort of genre? And what were your influences?

In the past, I’ve largely been a science fiction writer, and an approach to stories that are based in our current time period is something that is a bit new to me. However, apocalyptic fiction itself is something that I’ve always found fascinating. As a teenager, I was intrigued by concepts like nuclear war and virus weapons, which is something that has developed into another interest I have in all things zombie-related.

Generally speaking, I’m influenced by the works of Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), Stephen King, and the structural style of Lester Dent’s short fiction. With regards to The Angels of Chicago specifically, I would recommend it to fans of Jim Butcher and the television series ‘Supernatural’, both of which influenced my writing of this series. I’ve also taken the time to delve into a number of literary works that deal with my apocalyptic subject matter to make sure I stay reasonably close to established lore, so I have been browsing the works of Milton, Dante, and the Bible itself to keep me on track.

What do you plan to do next?

My immediate plans are to promote the launch of Conquest when it becomes commercially available on July 1st. I am also currently writing a short piece of urban fantasy for an upcoming anthology of stories called ‘Undaunted’, which is being published by Larrikin Books and will be up on Kickstarter at the beginning of July. The sequel to Conquest is also in the planning phase.

How did you find the process of writing your first novel and getting it published?

I had never written something the length of a full novel before now, and the process was remarkably different to anything I have done previously. I spent a month on the planning process, drawing complex diagrams to make sure I knew where each character was going to be at any time. This developed into a series of chapter-by-chapter bullet points that formed the backbone of my daily writing plan.

Writing a novel is something like a war of attrition, as opposed to the brief skirmish of a short story. Enthusiasm waxes and wanes throughout the writing process, which is why most novels never end up being finished. It required me to learn a greater degree of discipline to ensure that I was getting words on the page at times when I wanted to give up and do something less mentally taxing. I was also managing severe anxiety problems at the time that would render me incapable of creation. But when the book was done, I felt incredibly accomplished that I had brought something of substance into the world.

Getting the novel published has been easier than the writing process. I was referred to Reg Davey of Dagda Publishing by a mutual friend. He expressed interest in the concept and the sample I provided, and that was that. Reg is a dedicated and passionate publisher who has gone out of his way to push Conquest out to as many people as possible. We are currently in the final week of raising marketing funds on Indiegogo, which will be accepting pledges until June 30th.

Where can people find out more about you and your work?

You can find myself and my quirky Facebook posts at www.facebook.com/cjsomersby and soon at my own website that is currently under construction but will be hosted at www.cjsomersby.com – keep updated on the Facebook page for when that goes live.

When is Conquest out and is there any way people can pre-order or support this project in other ways?

Conquest is released on July 1st. You can find the funding campaign for Conquest at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/conquest-by-c-j-somersby-marketing-campaign–2 – this also contains a summary of the novel’s setting and a list of perks you can receive for helping us raise money for the marketing process.

Conquest itself is up for pre-order on Amazon at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Conquest-Angels-Chicago-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00VTQOSVQ/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435129053&sr=1-6&keywords=conquest

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Book 2 in the Orbit Series ‘Haven’ now on Goodreads

Haven, Book 2 in the Orbit Series, contiues the adventures of the Zero crew and is out Oct 2015

Haven, Book 2 in the Orbit Series, contiues the adventures of the Zero crew and is out Oct 2015

Happy Friday funky, fantastic fellow fiction-loving fanatics! Hope this incoming weekend is finding you happy & healthy and with some great weekend plans lined up. It doesn’t matter whether you’re heading out to the great outdoors to enjoy the weather (and, therefore, probably not living in the UK O_o) or planning a big night out, a big night in or even just some quality time with yourself, I hope your weekend is a spiffy one.

This post is a quick-check in to announce that HAVEN IS NOW ON GOODREADS!

Oh yes, people. It’s up there in all its teasing, tantalising glory. CLICK HERE to be taken to its shiny, digital display!

“And just what the deuce is ‘Haven’?” I hear you ask.

Well…*deep breath*

Last year I released my first novel, Zero. It is a character-driven SciFi adventure set in the not-to-distant future, about Captain Kaleb Hugo who gets put in charge of a rag-tag crew on an even more rag-tag undercover vessel, the Zero. During the course of his investigations and missions, Hugo unearths all sorts of juicy conspiracies, gets himself caught up in some death-defying action and, naturally, is hit over the head with some hefty self-discoveries. It has been described as ‘James Bond meets Firefly’ and has been well received by fans of SciFi and general fiction alike!

You can find out more about Zero on my Orbit Series Page.

Read reviews & grab your copy off Amazon here

Read reviews & add to to-read list on Goodreads here

Zero, Book 1 in the Orbit Series, has been described as 'James Bond meets Firefly', is raking in great feedback and is available on Amazon now!

Zero, Book 1 in the Orbit Series, has been described as ‘James Bond meets Firefly’, is raking in great feedback and is available on Amazon now!

Zero continues to received good feedback which makes me beam like a loon. However, as pleased as I am with Book 1, I feel Hugo’s story is not quite over. Enter Haven.

Hugo is reunited with one of his old crew members, everyone’s favourite space-scamp, Ezekiel Webb, to take on a mission that is just as dangerous but far more personal than any he has previously experienced.

You can, again, find out more on my Orbit Series Page, but you can now also read the publisher’s official blurb and add to your to-read lists on Goodreads!

Yes, that’s right, Haven is now on Goodreads!

It’s really happening, folks! The Orbit Series has blasted off and is taking itself right into the stratosphere.

Haven will be released this October. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming months for chances to pre-order the book along with exclusive perks through Dagda Publishing’s upcoming Crowdfunding campaign. I will also be calling for volunteer ARC (advance review copy) readers! These fantastic folks will receive a FREE advance ebook copy of Haven in exchange for an honest review to be posted on Amazon & Goodreads at the time of the launch in October.

Please let me know if you are interested! Either comment on this post to register your interest or message me through Facebook or Twitter. I will add you to the list and love you forever.

Happy adventures, my fellow spacefaring comrades! Until the next announcement!

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Cover Reveal: SINGULARITY by H. H. Basquait & Co

Greetings Fiction Fans.

Those of you who like the wonderfully weird and the weirdly wonderful may remember the project headed up be self-confessed Dilettante Helena Han Basquait last year called Jessica. This was a collaborative effort from Helena and a few others including myself, putting together the backstory of Helena’s alter-ego and horror-writing minion, Jessica Bell.

This collaboration was very well received and next will be the sequel, SINGULARITY, continuing Jessica’s story.

SINGULARITY is out this summer and today is the momentous cover reveal!

Read on and watch for more details!

Singularity

The time is now.

Singularity is the new novel from Helena Hann-Basquiat, with Sara Litchfield, Sandy Ramsey, Lizzi Rogers and Hannah Sears.

Singularity is the sequel to last year’s JESSICA — a metafictional look into Jessica’s possible pasts.

Singularity is coming August 1, 2015

Singularity is its own novel, and can be enjoyed all on its own, but if you haven’t read JESSICA, GO HERE to read the first chapter or GO HERE to purchase a copy in paperback or e-book.

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Interview with SciFi Author and Indie Publisher Lucas Bale

Greetings fellow SciFi and Fiction fanatics! Have I got a treat for you today.

I was lucky enough to be able to corner the great Lucas Bale for an interview this week. Bale is not only the author of the hard-hitting space opera series Beyond The Wall, which is drawing a lot of attention from the SciFi community, but he also was the mastermind and curator behind the No Way Home SciFi anthology.

This anthology featured myself and 7 other new voices in Scifi and was released March this year. Thanks to the efforts of the ring of writers involved, overseen and co-ordinated Bale and another great writer Alex Roddie, the collection made it to the top of a number of Amazon Charts, including the SciFi Anthology chart and Space Opera chart and is still doing well.

I was able to ask Bale about all he thought about his experience so far of writing and publishing independantly as well as about what makes his own creativity tick.

Interview with Lucas Bale

  1. What first drew you to Science Fiction?
Book 1 of the Beyond the Wall Series by Lucas Bale

Book 1 of the Beyond the Wall Series by Lucas Bale

I’ve been asked this question a lot recently, and I can honestly say I don’t know the answer to that. I think, in fact, I was first drawn to traditional fantasy – by Lord of the Rings, and by Dungeons and Dragons. I recall one dismal Easter when I was around 12 years old, convincing my mother to take me to the local Oxfam shop. I had become convinced there was a second hand copy of Lord of the Rings to be had and I had heard about it and become suddenly overcome with the desire to read it. She told me it was impossible there would be a copy there – the chances were so small as to make the trip pointless.

Nevertheless, as tired parents do with willful children, she indulged me. Of course the shop was chock full of dog-eared Jilly Cooper and Tom Clancy. No sign of any Tolkien. I was about to leave, when I decided to ask the assistant to check in the back. She brought out a box-set containing all three books, along with Hobbit, and two other lesser known works. I still have them now.

I think that’s my earliest memory of a lust for the fantastical and I suspect my love of science fiction stemmed from there. Haldeman’s The Forever War, Asimov’s Robot and Foundation series, Herbert’s Dune, Gibson’s Neuromancer, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Robin Hobbs’s Farseer Books.

SFF allows us to explore what possibilities lie in wait for us in the future and how we will end up influencing that future. The stars fascinated me as a boy and I could think of nothing more exhilarating than being up there among them. Currently, there seems to be a renewed thirst for knowledge of what is out there – it’s a great time to be writing science fiction.

  1. You orchestrated a very successful anthology of Science Fiction earlier this year. No Way Home was released in March and made its way to the top of a few Amazon charts and is still doing well. How did you find the process of organising it?

There were very few major challenges, in fact. I was fortunate to work with very professional authors who essentially allowed me to handle everything without complaint. Whatever aspects of the process I could canvas opinions on I did, such as the cover, but in the end I made the final decisions myself. Every author within the anthology was happy for me to project-manage in the way I did, so that made it rather easy. I set deadlines which were met.

I recall one author couldn’t make the first manuscript deadline and that threatened to curtail the whole thing. We were keen to retain every author, so I asked the rest if they were happy to set the date back a little, and everyone agreed. Everyone played their part – in proofing, beta-reading, and promoting. Alex Roddie and I edited and formatted together. All in all, it went well. I think, as a collective of authors, we worked well together and will continue to do so.

  1. When did you first get the idea for curating this anthology with these writers?

I can’t honestly say. I contacted a number of indie writers I respected and liked, and who I thought were in the early stages of their career, as I was. Authors I had something in common with both professionally and personally. I didn’t realise it at the time – I was simply reaching out with the intention of sharing resources and advice – but I had set up a writers group.

I had initially envisaged creating a collection we could all give away as incentives to sign up for our mailing lists. It sounds so mercenary now, but this is the reality of the self-publishing world and the internet age. However, the cover came out so well and the stories were far too high-quality (and long) to be simply given away. It was just too good a book to not formally publish it. So we did.

  1. What did you enjoy most about working with a group of writers like this?
Book 2 in the Beyond the Wall Series by Lucas Bale

Book 2 in the Beyond the Wall Series by Lucas Bale

Apart from access to seven really fantastic stories, seeing them progress over the various stages, and flexing my own editing muscles, it was undoubtedly their professionalism. All the authors approached the theme – that of being stranded – in their own way, giving it their own individual slants, but each remained true to the format. Every one of them understood the importance of collaboration, of critique (not only of their own work, but of others’ work too) and that this was an eight-person project, not just mine.

  1. You are very knowledgeable about releasing books independently. How long would you say it has taken you to get to grips with the way indie publishing works?

I doubt I could say I have gotten to grips with it! Quite apart from the fact it is a constantly-shifting landscape, with mines laid for self-published authors by those seeking to restrict the market to traditionally published work, there is so much to learn. In particular, advertising is something I know only the very basics of. That which I have learned has taken me all of the last twelve months to learn, by reading books by the likes of Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, Joanna Penn, Chuck Wendig, David Gaughran, Susan Kaye Quinn and investigating blogs, forums, podcasts and so on. It has also been about experimentation – doing certain things and seeing how they pan out. I doubt a day has passed in the last twelve months where I haven’t been thinking about strategies for discoverability, launching or marketing in some way.

  1. Do you have a starting point you would recommend to someone who is wishing to start looking into publishing independently?

The authors I mentioned above are a great starting point. They all have great books on the topic and whilst some might overlap, I’d read them all. Jo Penn and Chuck Wendig have great sites, full of good theory and thoughts on the process, as do David Gaughran and Russell Blake. Also, Hugh Honey’s website contains a list of his most popular posts on self-publishing. They’re a little dated now, but the principles are gold dust. If I wanted a quick way into self-publishing, I’d take a look at all of those websites and/or blogs, and read every book on the publishing process by Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, Joanna Penn, Chuck Wendig, David Gaughran, Susan Kaye Quinn.

  1. You recently attended your first convention at which you were invited to speak about your work, both writing and publishing. How did you find the experience and do you think you will do more?
Book 3 in the Beyond the Wall Series by Lucas Bale - NEW RELEASE OUT NOW

Book 3 in the Beyond the Wall Series by Lucas Bale – NEW RELEASE OUT NOW

It was pleasant enough and the people who came to meet me and listen to me speak were very interested and asked lots of questions. I spoke for an hour about self-publishing science fiction to an audience of engaged readers and fans. I guess I was surprised just how engaged! They asked probing questions on the future of science fiction, the future of publishing, whether the influx of books, self-published or not, would lead to a diminution in overall quality. They wondered whether working with only one editor, rather than several, meant authors did not improve as quickly as they might when they progressed by writing more books.

All good discussion points.

Then I listened to the fascinating Ian Watson on how living in Japan as a young man had influenced his science fiction and how new advances in science too easily influenced authors – often before they became accepted theories. I have read Ian since I was a boy, so this was a special moment. I was on a particularly enjoyable panel with Pat Cadigan and Ian, as well as Niamh Brown. What’s it like to be an expat writer? Does it influence our prose, our characters and our themes? Perhaps, unwittingly we decided, it does.

  1. What current projects of your own are you working on?
Stories from which there are no escape - a dystopian SciFi collection, curated by Lucas Bale, out now on Amazon!

Stories from which there are no escape – a dystopian SciFi collection, curated by Lucas Bale, out now on Amazon!

At the moment, my main focus is an epic space opera, which tends towards the harder end of the science fiction scale, called Beyond the Wall. I have just released the third book in the series, A Shroud of Night and Tears, with the final book, Into A Silent Darkness, to come at the end of this year.

I’d say that the majority of my time is going to be spent on the final research and planning for IASD, then writing it. I’m about 20,000 words into the manuscript, but I think it’s likely to be more than 140,000 words. Beyond the Wall is as much about government and civilisations, and their rise and fall, as it is about reconciling the age and scale of the universe – the vastness of the unknown that waits for us in the black. That becoming part of that huge scheme doesn’t even begin until you take those first steps into the unknown, but that the reality is that we as a species may be hugely under-equipped to deal with it.

I think Beyond the Wall is for anyone who read classic science fiction and loved it. I hope that fans of the likes of John Scalzi, Peter F Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, James S. A. Corey and Iain M. Banks will find something to love in there. I’m also working on the follow-up anthology to No Way Home called Crime and Punishment which I hope will be released in late August.

Finally, I’m writing a hard science fiction novel with a friend of mine, Alex Roddie. I can’t say a great deal about it right now, as it’s only in the research stage and that’s going to take many months. Suffice to say it will explore similar themes to Andy Weir’s The Martian, and to the Nolans’ Interstellar. Both Alex and I are tremendously excited by developments in space exploration currently, and we both write what excites us.

  1. Where can people find our more information about you and your projects?

Either join my mailing list (www.lucasbale.com/inside) or find me at my website (www.lucasbale.com), my Amazon Author Page (http://www.amazon.com/Lucas-Bale/e/B00LGVGUMO/) or twitter (https://twitter.com/balespen). I post regularly on my website and twitter.

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Zero Giveaway and Incoming Interview with Lucas Bale

Greetings everyone!

A lightening Monday check-in today.

*Waves*

Click here to be taken to the Facebook competition to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Zero & goodies!

Click here to be taken to the Facebook competition to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Zero & goodies!

First: Since I surpassed 500 likes on Facebook, I’m giving away a signed copy of my first SciFi novel Zero along with limited edition bookmark & badge! The competition closes this Wednesday 10th June at midnight GMT, so there is still time to enter. All you have to do to enter is follow this link to the picture on Facebook and follow the instructions.

Good luck!

Secondly, I’m pleased to announce that I have been able to snag the illustrious Lucas Bale for an interview to post right here on The Path! For those who don’t know, Bale is not only a SciFi author making some serious waves with his first series, the Beyond the Wall series, but is also one of the masterminds behind curating and releasing the SciFi Short Story anthology No Way Home.

No Way Home was released in March 2015 and was a collection of 8 stories from new and up-and-coming Science Fiction authors, including myself. They were 10,000 word stories, so it really gave the writers a chance to get their teeth into the settings and narratives and reflect upon the theme of being ‘stranded’. They are stories ‘from which there are no return.’

Stories from which there are no escape - a dystopian SciFi collection, out now on Amazon!

Stories from which there are no escape – a dystopian SciFi collection, out now on Amazon!

The results were varied and engaging and the anthology did exceedingly well, topping both UK and US Amazon charts for Dystopian Science Fiction and SciFi Anthologies within the first few weeks of release.

This is not only a testament to the stories, but to the gumption, know-how and determination of Bale who engineered the launch, publicity, cover art and, with the help of equally talented writer Alex Roddie, also did the formatting and the editing.

In short, Bale’s list of a achievements is not short and with the third book in his BTW series, A Shroud of Night and Tears now out and another potential collaborative anthology in the pipeline, it seemed like a really good time to pick his brain about his experiences of working as a writer, independent publisher as well as coordinator of a ring of writers and producing anthologies.

The interview will be posted later this week so stay tuned! In the mean time you can find out more about Lucas Bale and his projects and work on his website.

You can also find out more about the recent release No Way Home on Goodreads or Amazon!

Get to clicking and stay tuned for the interview!

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Motoring On & A New #FlashForFriday

J. S. Collyer:

For Throwback Thursday this week – a twisted little tale I wrote last year about love, life and inner demons

Originally posted on The Path - J. S. Collyer's Writing Blog:

I hold my hands up and admit that I have not posted a lot of fiction up here recently. This is due to the official announcement earlier this week that my first debut novel, Zero, (a SciFi romp set in a gloriously dystopian future of oppressive social structures, rebellions and space-cannons), will be released this August 2014. I am more than a little pleased, not only because IT’S HAPPENING, IT’S REALLY HAPPENING! But also that it should be coming out in time for people to sling on their kindles for their summer holidays. It’s just the sort of story to sweep you far and away, just the kind I enjoy when lounging next to the pool.

So, I’m spending my evenings editing the 140,000 word draft at the moment: tightening, pruning and polishing. It’s such a different ballgame to writing, though a great amount of fun. There’s nothing like…

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Teaser Friday – Excerpt from new SciFi Short Story ‘New Tricks’

Greetings everyone and happy Friday to you all!

To celebrate the weekend rolling round with a cheeky little Bank Holiday attached, here’s an excerpt from a current WIP. This short story, currently titled ‘New Tricks’, is hopefully destined for an exciting anthology planned for relase later in the year. The collection is in its early stages at the moment but if it comes together as planned, it promises to be a strong gathering of tales.

Alas, I can share no more, but please do cast your eyes over this little teaser that is currently the opening of my contribution.

I did promise myself a while ago that I would try writing Space Crime. Here is my first attempt.

Enjoy!

New Tricks

ac0cf721bf8f4a0485571e3e0105d30a“You know you didn’t have to come.”

“Are you kidding?” Helga smiled and Felix could tell she almost meant it. “I can’t wait to be let loose in that lab.”

Felix managed a half-smile of his own. “It’s good of you. I know it’s not exactly the honeymoon you were expecting.”

Helga laughed and accepted the bottled water off the steward with too-white teeth. “If I told you this is a dream holiday to me, you would never have married me.”

“What, you’d prefer to be bent over a microscope in a labour camp gene lab than a resort on a pacific island somewhere?”

“I don’t think they like you to call it a labour camp, darling,” Helga said, sipping her water. “I’m pretty sure the politically correct term Major Raleigh would like you to use is Correctional Facility.”

She patted his leg then leant to peer at the blue swirl of Earth falling away in the distance out of the porthole. Felix felt something warm inside him as he watched the easy way she was swept away with wonder by her first space trip. He himself was having trouble deciding if he’d rather have flunked the physical and been quarantined to Earth for the next six months, pollution, overcrowding and all, than be in the reclining seat on the luxury moon-bound shuttle.

He sipped his own water and looked away from the black curtain of nothing out the window. The shuttle’s environment controls heated the cabin to the perfect temperature but he still had the chill of sweat on his forehead. The passengers around him were all well-dressed and well-off, murmuring amongst themselves, reading or playing on game or book panels. There was a school party taking up the first three rows, a teacher moving amongst them to make sure they didn’t crush each other as they clambered to try and to see out their portholes. He remembered doing a similar trip to the Tranquillity Research and Recreation Centres on the moon at their age. The highlight had been riding the moon buggies through the fine dust of the boarder of wasteland inside the atmosphere shield.

He swallowed, rubbing damp palms on his trousers, wishing that he and Helga were heading no further than the Rec Centre spas and tours. He wondered if the holiday makers really knew what they would find if they got the connecting shuttle to the end of the line.

They might have a better idea now, he thought bitterly, what with the Correctional Facility Lunar Alpha making the headline news the last six weeks.

He pulled out his own data panel and booted it up. The first file that loaded was the image file of Arcadias Cole. This picture always caught him off guard. The boy’s expensive haircut, good posture, the way he managed to look down at the camera and the obvious disdain with which he wore the grey Detention Centre overalls were proof enough of his privileged background even without the attached profile data. Felix could tell just looking at him this was someone who had never been denied anything. But his eyes were the colour of ice and looked right through him, even in this poor-quality digicam image taken in some Detention Centre Processing Lounge.

Cole was only twenty one years old according to the profile. He didn’t seem to have been alive long enough to have developed a taste for destruction. But what did Felix know? He had been in the Ground Corps for three years by that age. He hadn’t killed anyone, then, though. But that was before the war.

Still, it seemed incredible that this boy – who may have easily been an upstart…possibly a rebel, even to have done the things they said he did. But then Felix looked into those eyes and he wondered.

Helga’s warm hand on his leg made him jump. He skipped the image file and the screen switched to Cole’s bio stats, but Helga wasn’t looking at the screen. Concern ghosted in her eyes and she gave his leg a squeeze.

“You’re going to do great,” she said. “It’s just another job.”

Felix sighed and rubbed his eyes. “I told Major Raleigh I don’t do this anymore.”

“Serves you right for being too good at it.”

“I never wanted to be good at it. I couldn’t help that people like to tell me things.”

“They trust you, Felix. You have this…quality.”

“My Father’s the priest. I’m just a soldier.”

“Well they must get something from you. People speak to you…admit things to you. And you can read them. Honestly, they should have had you assigned to the Investigative Service from day one.”

“I’m too old for this.”

Helga chuckled and kissed him on the cheek. “If you’re not too old for a whirlwind romance you’re not too old for a bit of action and intrigue.”

“That was different.”

Her teasing smile melted into something more affectionate. “I’m not angry we’ve had to move to the moon for a few weeks, Felix, if that’s what’s bothering you.”

“This wasn’t how I was planning our life to start, it’s true. But I told them I was done with it,” he dogged on. “I’m supposed to be retired. Major Raleigh signed the release herself.”

“She wouldn’t have asked if it weren’t important, love. And after what that boy did…” Her eyes flicked towards his panel and he turned the screen downward so neither of them had to look at the report. “Well, she’s just keen to be sure he can’t hurt anyone else. And the clock’s ticking.”

Felix nodded, glancing at the overhead chrono display. It was three hours before their connection time on the moon. Five hours before he was due to report in at the Admin Centre of Lunar Alpha. Three weeks to get enough together to formally charge and sentence Cole before his family lawyers could demand his release due to insufficient evidence and slap them with several damaging lawsuits along the way for wrongful arrest.

And then the boy would walk, and with him whatever ability or device he had that enabled him to kill seventeen people in one instant leaving no marks, no destruction, no evidence and no blood.

He shivered again and Helga took his hand. “This will be the last one,” she said. “I’ll help you make sure. I’ve got my solicitor looking into the contracts already. I guarantee, whether you get Cole to talk or not, this will be the last time Raleigh and the IS can call you up. Ok?”

He squeezed her hand. “Thank you.”

Neither of them mentioned that failing to convict Cole wasn’t really an option.

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Wet Wednesday Check-In: Haven, Events and more!

Greetings wonderful WordPress land and a happy Wednesday to you all!

I hope everyone is going well and enjoying the break in the weather. Or not. Oh well, spring showers aside, the year is definitely gathering steam and so am I.

Haven, Book 2 in the Orbit Series, contiues the adventures of the Zero crew and is out Oct 2015

Haven, Book 2 in the Orbit Series, contiues the adventures of the Zero crew and is out Oct 2015

If you haven’t been following me on Facebook or Twitter and have therefore missed my spamming, my second novel, Haven, sequel to Zero and book 2 in the Orbit Series was FINISHED and sent off to the publisher last week. It was a truly momentous feeling! After receiving some good feedback as well as good tips from my beta reader, I’m more excited than ever to share the next instalment in the series with you.

If you’ve not followed the Orbit Series so far, book 1, Zero, was released last year. It’s a character and plot-driven science fiction adventure, following Captain Kaleb Hugo, disillusioned soldier who gets reassigned to a black-ops vessel overseen by the cocky and wry Ezekiel Webb. The rag-tag crew and the questionable missions grate on Hugo to start, but he soon come to discover more than he knew was possible about the truth of the organisation he works for as well as the people that work for it.

There’s drama, action and adventure, the whole package really! It’s been described as ‘Firefly meets James Bond’ and was tremendous fun to write and has been general well-received by fans of Science Fiction and more.

Zero was released Aug 2014 by Dagda Publishing and has blasted into the stratosphere, gaining fans of Scifi, action and general fiction alike

Zero was released Aug 2014 by Dagda Publishing and has blasted into the stratosphere, gaining fans of Scifi, action and general fiction alike

Click here to find Zero on Amazon.

Click here to find Zero on Goodreads.

And now it’s time for book 2. Haven continues the adventures of Hugo, a little older and a little wiser, with another unofficial mission but a more personal axe to grind. It is out October this year and I will be clamouring for ARC readers in the coming months so if you would like a FREE ebook copy in exchange for a review to be posted on or around the release date, comment or get in touch through any of the ways on my contact me page.

SUCH EXCITE.

So whilst Haven builds up its own head of steam, for me it’s time to get on with the next project. Well, three projects actually. Starting another novel and completing two short stories for exciting new anthologies are the next missions on my list. Itching to spout details all over the place but sadly it can only be a tease right now. Do stay tuned and keep an eye on Facebook & Twitter, because I will be spouting the minute I’m allowed to spout.

Digi-Con in Doncaster is on Sun 21st Feb and promises to be a great event for all things out of this world. See you there!

Digi-Con in Doncaster is on Sun 21st Feb and promises to be a great event for all things out of this world. See you there!

I shall finish on another event announcement: I’ll be attending Doncaster Comic Con in February 2016! I love Yorkshire and I love events even more (there’s MILLIONS! Who would have known? Very much enjoying of uncovering this magical world of conventions) so I can’t wait to attend. Looks to be yet another great event with stalls and stars, the whole shebang. It’s on Sunday 21st Feb so I do hope to see you there!

For details of all my upcoming events at which I will be selling & signing copies of my Orbit Series books (Haven will be with me at every event past October 2015) as well as limited edition swag such as badges and bookmarks, check out my events page. The best part of conventions and festivals is talking to fellow fans of the fantastic, so do swing by and say hi if you’re going. I love it!

May the weekend wing round quickly for all of you, folks. Thanks for checking in with me on this wet Wednesday.

Peace & love and lasers to you all!

Posted in Musings on Writing, Short Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Different Kind of Book Review: Zero by J.S. Collyer #MondayBlogs #bookreview

J. S. Collyer:

Not only has this review of Zero made me beam from ear to ear from the wonderful comments, the review itself has been done in the most lovely way!

Head on over to Marie’s page to check it out and be sure to let her know how great it is :D

Originally posted on 1WriteWay:

Hello, dear Reader.  I’ve managed to squeeze some time into writing a different kind of book review.  This one is for a novel I’ve had for … ahem … well, quite some time.  It’s been available since August 2014.  Sigh.  And I finished reading it back in February.  I’m sharing these details to simply illustrate that, yes, I’m rather slow at reading and reviewing.  But without further adieu, here’s (finally) my review.  Enjoy!

***

Zero

Sarah leaned over and dropped the softcover book onto Michael’s lap. He grunted, startled out of his half-dozing state, his eyes still itchy from too little sleep.  He picked up the book and for a second conflated the book’s cover with what he had seen through his telescope only a few hours before.

“What’s this?”

“A book.” Sarah turned her attention to her hot coffee, avoiding the sight of Michael rolling his eyes.  She waited for…

View original 932 more words

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