Friday, January 31, 2014

RELEASE DAY and Oh What a Knight! Day 6!!!

Today's the day! DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT releases from MuseItUp Publishing and at other major retailers!!





As a special treat, Prince Brody and Princess Rielle are taking questions as part of the Building Character series at Kai Strand's Strands of Thought. Swing in and learn a bit more about the two main characters of DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT.

There's also an excerpt over at THE CHILDREN'S AND TEEN'S BOOK CONNECTION hosted by Cheryl Malandrinos


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Oh What a Knight! Day 5!!

Today is a busy day on the blog tour with two stops.

Princess Rielle stops by Jimena Novaro's Come Explore the Unknown with Me and talks Brody, knighthood, and more.

And Meradeth Houston interviews me at Write Stuff. Want to know my favorite part of the writing process? Or what author I'd love to meet? What books I'd recommend? Swing on by and see.

Did you miss the interview with Prince Brody? Find that and more HERE.



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Oh What a Knight! Day 4!!

Today I am thrilled to be over at fellow Muser, Christina Weigand's blog, Palace of Twelve Pillars, sharing a long excerpt from DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT.

Did you miss the short excerpt earlier this week? Find the link for that, as well as the other stops on the tour HERE.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oh What a Knight! Day 3!!!

Today my friend and fellow CP, Erin Albert is hosting an interview with Brody. Pop on over to Erin's Blog and meet the hero of DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT. 


Miss a stop on the tour or want to see what's coming up? Find the Tour Dates HERE.



Monday, January 27, 2014

Oh, What a Knight Day 2!!!

Read an excerpt from DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT today at Beverly McClure's site. Stop by for a visit and enter to win a copy of all three Princess of Valendria books (QUEST OF THE HART, CHARMED MEMORIES, and DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT)

Miss a stop on the tour or want to see what's coming up? Find the Tour Dates HERE.


DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT is available for pre-order at MuseItUp Publishing. Use the coupon code below to get QUEST OF THE HART or CHARMED MEMORIES free.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Oh What a Knight, Day 1!!

Today I'm over with Katie Carroll, sharing a behind the scenes with the princes of Valendria: Devlin, Trevor, and Brody.  Swing by The Observation Deck and meet this trio.

I'm also sharing secrets about the editing process with Becky Wallace in her Editor's Note series. Want to know what really happened after my book was accepted? Stop by and see!



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oh What a Knight! Blog Tour Dates


In celebration of the upcoming release of 
DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT, 
the OH, WHAT A KNIGHT! Blog Tour 
begins 1/24/14 and runs until 2/14/14. 

Stop by these awesome bloggers for:
behind the scenes looks at some of the characters, character interviews, author interviews, and some excerpts. 

Enter to win a copy of each book in the 
Princess of Valendria series 
(QUEST OF THE HART, CHARMED MEMORIES, and DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT)



SCHEDULE:

1/24/14 
Katie L. Carroll: THE OBSERVATION DESK
behind the scenes with the princes of Valendria

Becky Wallace: BECKY WALLACE BOOKS
author interview with focus on the steps to 
publication after your book's accepted

1/27/14
Beverly McClure: THE STORY OF A WRITER-short excerpt

1/28/14
Erin Albert: Erin Albert Books-Interview with 
Prince Broderick, aka Brody

1/29/14
Christina Wiegand: Palace of Twelve Pillars-Long Excerpt

1/30/14
Interview with Princess Gabrielle, aka Rielle

Meradeth Houston: Write Stuff-author interview

1/31/14
Release Day!!!
Kai Strand: Strands of Thought-
Building Character with Brody and Rielle

Cheryl Malandrinos: The Children's and Teen's Book Connection-long excerpt

2/3/14
Heather & David Fraser: Driving Blind Productions-
author interview with random facts

2/4/14
Trisha Leaver: Trisha Leaver, YA Author-behind the scenes with the princesses of Valendria

2/5/14
Heather Greenis: Heather's Blog- Q and A
Mary Pax: Wistful Nebula-Q and A
Melissa Petreshock: Dragon Blog- Cover Talk (blog swap)

2/6/14
HK Carlton: Pick a Genre Already!-
Behind the Scenes look at the World of Valendria (18+ only!)

2/7/14
Michael di Gesu: In Time-his introduction to 
DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT

2/10/14
Michelle Pickett: These Words Tell a Story-Cover Story (blog swap)

2/11/14
Angelina Hansen: YA Scribe-Author interview

2/12/14
Tammy McKee: Just Another Aspiring Writer In the Slush Pile- first chapter

2/13/14
Suzanne de Montigny: Suzanne's Thoughts for the Day- overview of series, upcoming releases, and how I spend my time.

2/14/14
Jay Scott: Jay on Writing-overview of Valendria
K.F. Breene: K.F. Breene- more on The Princess of Valendria series



Pre-Order DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT and get 
QUEST OF THE HART or CHARMED MEMORIES FREE!
(Offer good until 2/14/14 at MuseItUp Publishing)


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

CREED Cover reveal!!!

I am so excited to be a part of this cover reveal for one of my dearest friends and her co-author. 

CREED – November, 2014 from Flux
Three days.
Three of us went in.
Three of us came out.
None of us even a shadow of who we once were.


About the Authors:
Trisha Leaver resides on Cape Cod with her husband, three children and one rather excitable black lab. She spent most of her childhood living inside her own mind, creating characters and stories that only a child's imagination could dream up. She now spends her days breathing life into those characters, writing realistic fiction for young adults. Today, Trisha is a free-lance editor and a proud member of the SCBWI, YA Scream Queens, The Horror Writers Association, TheBookYards, and OneFourKidLit, a community of authors with debuts upcoming in 2014. More information about her solo and co-authored projects can be found at the links below.



Lindsay Currie lives in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids and one adorable, but irreverent Bullmastiff named Sam. She graduated from Knox College in the heart of the Midwest and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She is a freelance editor for young adult, new adult and middle grade fiction, and is a proud member of SCBWI, The American Horror Writers Association, The YA Scream Queens and OneFourKidLit, a community of authors with debuts upcoming in 2014.


BLURB:
Dee Langley is seventeen and mere months away from total freedom and a life where state social workers, counselors, and foster parents don’t dictate her every move. She has spent years trying to eke out a normal existence, hiding from her past and walking the tenuous line between denial and self-preservation. A weekend away with her boyfriend, Luke, and his brother, Mike, seems like the perfect opportunity to forget and start over. Little does Dee know that she's just trading one hell for another.

When an unexpected storm and a lack of gas force their car off the road, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves with no other choice but to wander into the nearby town of Purity Springs for help. But it’s not good Samaritans they find, but rather complete and utter silence, every store and every house abandoned. Forced to seek shelter in one of the deserted homes, they uncover a disturbing book with explicit instructions on how to correctly rear a child, complete with a hand written record of its use. It’s not until the next morning, however, that they discover the alarming truth – the town isn’t abandoned; it is populated by a deadly cult, and the leader, Elijah Hawkins, has plans for the three of them. The group’s only hope for survival lies in the hands of Elijah’s son, Joseph. But is Joseph really their ticket to freedom or is his game just as deadly as his father’s?




Thursday, January 16, 2014

Introducing Theo from FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS

I can't believe I finally get to share this interview with you. Of all the ones I've done so far, Theo was by far the most amazing. I mean really, who wouldn't want to interview a dragon. Of course, he was in human form for the interview, but I did get to see his dragon form and let me just say, Mmmm.

Theo flew, no not by plane, but in his dragon form, to my house for a quick interview. He'd left Cait with Dante, and while he trusted the two, let's just say, given the circumstances, I understood why he wanted to be quick about things.

He changed from his dragon form to human form and made himself at home on y couch. My two cats curled up on his long, denim clad legs (even the one who usually hides from everyone!) Even though it was rather chilly, he took off his leather jacket, revealing a Rolling Stones t-shirt. Of course, having a dragon in my home had me all flustered (as you'll see!)

MW: Welcome, My Lord Pendragon. I am honored by your visit.

Theo: Agtos is our Lord Regent. I’m just Theo. You can save pretentious titles for my brother Sir Oliver... But I appreciate the gracious sentiment. Thank you.

MW: You're welcome, and Theo it is. So, you look human but are a dragon. How does that work?

He ran a hand through his black hair and stretched and arm over the back of my couch, revealing some very impressive guns. Sigh. Someone must have told him I like men with muscled arms.

Theo: Looks can be deceiving. Never judge a book by its cover…  He  flashed a set of perfect, white teeth. For a moment I felt like Red Riding Hood with the wolf, but he grinned and I melted.  It works because the Goddess created us to blend into human society, remaining with our wards, at their sides as they walk their paths of destiny. Yet we must be capable of annihilating any and all threats necessary, which takes the strength of our natural dragon forms. We can shift quite fluidly from one to the other, at will, though certain circumstances can force an undesired shift.

MW: That is so cool! I wish I could see you change, but I value my house a bit too much to risk losing it. You've lived a long life. What's one thing you wish you could go back and do over again- either to change what you did (and the outcome) or to experience it a second time?

He laughed, the sound sending shivers down my spine. 

Theo: I’d offer to step outside and demonstrate, but it tends to draw a great deal of attention. His smile faded a bit as his tone turned serious. The Goddess created us to walk the paths of destiny ordained, not to look into the past at what we cannot and should not change. Every choice made affects the future. It is our duty to destroy dark souls who will only harm the future of others, protect innocents who cannot protect themselves, and to guard those of great destinies. We guide them in what ways we can, though we cannot reveal what we know of their destinies. Any small event changed, even the seemingly least important decision made, affects the future, cascades along the timeline in ways you cannot fathom. The only thing I would wish to experience a second time, exactly the way I did the first, is something particularly personal for dragons and involves Cait, so I prefer not to reveal the specifics. It was a uniquely beautiful experience.

MW:  I understand and respect your privacy. Like King Corrin, you've never wished to marry, but have been content to be an observer of all around you. What about Cait made you change your mind?

At the mention of King Corrin, Theo growled.

Theo: I am not like Corrin. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. I gave him a moment to collect himself. Dragons and marriage… That is a complicated subject we do not have time to discuss fully. Suffice it to say, it is not a matter of whether I wished or did not wish to marry. As for being an observer... He chuckled, and butterflies danced in my stomach...We dragons do observe… so we know when and where to take action. I’m not Dante, though I do deeply respect my friend. The Dracopraesi are ordained by the Goddess to act on her behalf, not simply observe the world around us. And Cait… You have already met her. Any male, dragon or otherwise, would be mad not to consider her worth their time.

MW: Yes, I can see why the three of you would want Cait. I understand that dragons don't marry for love. In fact, it is rare for them to marry at all. Knowing that, why should Cait choose you? And what would you be willing to do to see that she does?



Theo crossed his arms over his chest and nodded, a solemn look in his eyes.

Theo: This is true, a fact I do not deny. Cait should choose me if she believes I am the best choice for her. I will not force the matter, yet I will do everything within my power to love her the way she deserves, not simply because of honor or duty, but in the way a husband should love his wife. Either I can achieve this or I cannot. Cait must decide if the outcome is enough for her, knowing I would always remain faithful, devout in my vows to her, even if I cannot give the “hearts and flowers” romance she deserves.

MW: Well, if Cait doesn't choose you, you're welcome to come back here for consolation anytime you want. He chuckled. Now, for some rapid fire questions, if I may?

Theo: I’m amenable to such questions.

MW: Thank you. Coffee or tea?

He laughed. 

Theo: Water. Dragons do not drink coffee or tea.

MW: Wine or beer?

He howled in laughter and my cats jumped. 

Theo: Do you honestly want a fire-breathing dragon ingesting a flammable liquid, Mary?

MW: Hmm. Didn't think about the flammable thing. Okay, so how about chocolate or bacon?

He grinned, his eyes sparkling with humor.

Theo: I suppose bacon, since livestock are the only reasonable dietary option when no dark souls roam around to be eaten.

MW: Work or pleasure?

Theo: Work. Dragons exist with a purpose. I would be errant to choose otherwise.

MW: Dining in or eating out?

He covered his face and laughed long and loud, and I flushed as I realized my mistake. When he finally recovered, he looked at me and shook his head.

Theo: Mary, I just told you I eat livestock… I do not do that in human form. In fact, I don’t eat in human form. All dragons shift into our natural state to eat. I’d have to say eating out… as in outside.

MW: Oh. well, I guess that would make for an interesting date. I laughed. Thank you so much, Theo. I've really enjoyed getting to know you better. Sometime, if you don't mind, I'd love to see your dragon form.


Theo: You’re welcome, Mary. If it it’s dark enough, I could shift for you outside… Your neighbors might not notice. It’s a silent process… As long as you don’t scream, most people do the first time they see a dragon shift… If they ever see it. Most never see it coming until it’s too late. 

He winked and I followed him outside and watched him change. Let's just say, I was too amazed to scream.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Stan Hampton Sr, and BETTER THAN A RABBIT'S FOOT

Today, I'm honored to be hosting fellow MuseItUp author, Stan Hampton, Sr., as he shares his experience of celebrating the New Year on a military base in Iraq. Talk about a unique experience! Glad you made it home safe to share this incredible experience with us, and thank you for you service, Stan!


Hello!


Well, I can’t believe that New Year’s Day is already two weeks behind us. Already. That fast.


In my years living in Las Vegas I have usually celebrated New Year’s sitting at my place, rum and egg nog in hand, flipping through the TV channels watching celebrations around the world. But especially the celebrations in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. I’ve gone down to the Strip several times—once with my once-fiancĂ©e, once with my youngest son and a good friend of mine, and once with my sons, when my oldest was going to be married a few hours later.


The numbers of people and the sound the crowd made as the clock ticked toward midnight was incredible. And the fireworks show above the Strip, beautiful! Each midnight meant the end of an old year and the beginning of a new year with all of its incredibly wonderful possibilities.


Of course, I remember one New Year’s Eve in particular—31 December 2006 (see my photo above). I sat in my corner of a little tent that I called home for a year as the clock ticked toward midnight. My fellow Soldiers and I left an almost two-year mobilization and assignment to Fort Irwin, California, for a little spot of land in northern Kuwait called Convoy Support Center Navistar. We were a mile south of the Iraqi border, near the village of Safwan, Iraq. Every day supply convoys came up from southern Kuwait, picked up gun truck escorts from our battalion, and headed into Iraq—our gun trucks also escorted empty convoys out of Iraq.


After two months of pre-deployment training in Mississippi we arrived at CSC Navistar in July 2006. A one-year deployment sounded so long. And it was, in a way. But before we knew it, New Year’s Eve was upon us. A lot of our Soldiers were up north on missions and some were, that night, engaging the insurgents in gun battles along the main north-south route, Main Supply Route Tampa. A lot of us were at CSC Navistar (I worked in the Company Admin, so I only went north three times on short missions).


At midnight I went outside of my tent; there was a small TV on the front porch of our Company HQ, probably tuned to the celebrations stateside. But I stood in front of my tent and smoked a cigarette while watching a “fireworks” show to the north. In Safwan the Iraqi villagers were celebrating by firing their weapons into the night sky. I heard the faint chatter of weapons fire and watched as multi-colored tracer rounds arced upward before vanishing into the night. From nearby tents I heard Soldiers shouting “Happy New Year” to each other.


After a few moments the firing from Safwan and the shouting from the nearby tents died down. Below the stars it was just me standing in a desert land with a recorded history thousands of years old. And I, and my fellow Soldiers, were now a part of that history.


I went back to my tent and watched a DVD movie before turning in.


That was over seven years ago. It does and does not feel like seven years. It is incredible how fast the years go by. It really is. Make the most of this coming year—enjoy it, and enjoy being with your loved ones. Before we know it, we will be another year older, and 31 December 2014 will be upon us.

Stan shares more of his military experiences in his novel, BETTER THAN A RABBIT'S FOOT


Book Blurb:

Sergeant Jerry Stanton is a young soldier serving in the War in Iraq. He is a gunner on a gun truck nicknamed “Lucky Bear,” one of those tireless workhorses that escort supply convoys from camps in Kuwait to destinations scattered throughout the war-torn country. In the early morning hours before a scheduled mission, a dust storm howls across his camp and threatens to bring convoy operations to a halt. Worse, the camp receives word that a gunner from his company was killed by an IED while on a convoy mission. Unlike most soldiers, Jerry doesn’t carry a lucky charm, but upon receiving news of the death of the gunner, he begins to mull over/ponder the merit/virtue of a good luck charm—only, what would work for him? Perhaps mail call will provide the answer.





Excerpt:
People like a happy ending.”

Sergeant Jerry Stanton, an M4 Carbine slung across his chest, glanced at the dark form that trudged alongside him in the hot, early morning darkness. It was all the darker for the dust storm howling across the small camp, a dusty and sandy convoy support center, CSC, a mile south of the Iraqi border. He placed his hand over the tall styrofoam coffee cup from the messhall that was open at all hours to serve those about to head out on a mission. He felt the itchy dust filtering down his back, along his arms, and coating his fingers.

In spite of his short time deployed to Kuwait, he had learned that dust storms were worse than sand storms; they were hot and itchy while the sand storms stung exposed skin and chilled the air. Breakfast was good but tasted flat, more due to the question of whether their mission would be a go or no-go because of the storm that roared out of the midnight darkness hours before.

What?”

People like a happy ending,” the soldier repeated. He was a gunner from another gun truck as the squat, venerable M1114 HMMWVs, which were never meant to be combat vehicles, were called. He held up a rabbit foot that spun frantically in the wind and added, “I like a happy ending. Especially now.” They rounded the corner of a small building, actually a renovated mobile home trailer with a covered wooden porch lit by a bare electric bulb. The gunner pointed to a small black flag, suspended from a log overhang, flapping furiously in the wind.

Oh shit.” Jerry sighed as a cold chill raced through him.

It’s been there for an hour or so,” the soldier said as he enclosed the rabbit’s foot within both hands and brought it up to his lips as if to kiss it. He glanced at Jerry. “I’m not superstitious, but still, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having a lucky charm. You know?”


Yeah.” Jerry nodded as he watched the twisting flag. “I know.”

Available at:
MuseItUp Publishing
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
and other major retailers

BIOGRAPHY


SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, a published photographer and photojournalist, and a member of the Military Writers Society of America. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007). His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. Second-career goals include becoming a painter and studying for a degree in photography and anthropology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology. After 12 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters. As of December 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hampton officially became a homeless Iraq War veteran.



You can find Stan, and his work, in these places:
Melange Books

Musa Publishing

MuseItUp Publishing

Amazon.com Author Page


Amazon.com. UK Author Page


Goodreads Author Page

Thursday, January 9, 2014

DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT

Today, I am thrilled to share with you all the cover for DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT, coming soon from MuseItUp PublishingCharlie Volenk (yes, my QUEST OF THE HART cover artist) did a great job capturing the necklace from the story. Now, to set the stage, here's the tag line and back cover copy.

Happily-ever-after isn’t guaranteed. Sometimes you have to fight for it.
Through a twist of fate, Princess Gabrielle became First Knight of the King’s Elite Guard, a position always held by the second born male. She's spent years proving to the Minsters of Faldaera she is capable of leading the king’s Army.
When mythical creatures plague her kingdom, Rielle is sent to capture Captain Brody, the alleged culprit behind the attacks and the man who broke her heart four years ago.
Brody, Crown Prince of Delphine, is living in self-imposed exile, atoning for the sins of his father. But Fate has different plans for him. Tired, beaten down, and ready to give up on life, he is tossed into the path of the one person he would do anything for―Princess Gabrielle.
With a traitor in her ranks, and a mark on her head, Brody joins forces with Rielle, hoping to keep the woman he loves safe. Happily-ever-after is not guaranteed, and mythical creatures aren’t the only danger the couple face. As battles rage, Rielle has the chance to prove herself a capable leader, but will doing so cost her the love of her life?

And now for the cover!!!!



Those who signed up for my newsletter got a special sneak peek at an excerpt I won't be releasing again until the blog tour.

To learn the latest news, get sneak peeks, and special offers (as well as meet some other really talented authors) be sure to sign up for my newsletter at marywaibel.blogspot.com

Interested in being a stop on my blog tour for DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT? Please contact me at mewaibel(at)gmail(dot)com

Monday, January 6, 2014

Life With a Fire Breathing Girlfriend by Bryan Fields

Today I am thrilled to share with you a new release from fellow MuseItUp author, Bryan Fields.


A lot of guys claim to have hot girlfriends. David Fraser has one who actually breathes fire.

Rose Drake is a Dragoness in Human form, come to Earth for three years to soak up the local energy and increase her chances of having happy, healthy, baby hatchlings when she goes home. In exchange for his time and energy, David’s body and love life both undergo extreme makeovers. It sounds like the deal of a lifetime.

Fate doesn’t let David and Rose off so easily. A friend of theirs is murdered, their homeowner’s association starts harassing them, and they have to complete a quest for an Elven sage in order to stop a genocidal Unicorn from turning Earth into a radioactive wasteland.

After all, when you’re dating a Dragon, you’re already a hero. It says so in the fine print.

Excerpt
This time the spiders didn’t wait for us to open the door. The wood shattered and giant, hairy bodies launched themselves at us. I cut two down with one stroke, then stabbed a third through one of its eye sockets.

Ember fell back, outside my range of vision. I heard her kiai and a loud, wet splat. No screams, so I advanced.

Jake pulled his Room Broom, a pistol-grip pump action shotgun, and emptied shell after shell into the mass of spiders filling the work room. Miranda was keeping an eye on the ceiling, blasting any creepy-crawlies trying to flank us.

The mass of bodies parted enough for me to glimpse two large boxes on the floor, almost the size of shipping crates. “Fall back! Don’t fire into the storeroom! Choke them at the door!”

Ember skipped outside, turning to scan the area while she kept her meteor hammer swinging. A Rottweiler-sized spider jumped at her from the underbrush. She caught it across the mandibles, knocking it to the side. It sprang back to its feet and charged right into the point of my sword.

Miranda ran out of shotgun shells and drew her Glock. She slung the shotgun over her shoulder and started pumping rounds into spider heads, two shots at a time. Double tap works for spiders as well as zombies.

Outside the shop, I stabbed my sword into the ground and drew my bow. “Jake! Fall back, now!” Even with an extended magazine, his shotgun was empty as well. He tossed a flash-bang and ducked outside. The concussion stopped the mob for a few seconds, but it was enough for Jake to get his AR-15 unslung.

As the spiders reached the shop’s doorway, I aimed and fired as fast as I could, trying to block the exit with their corpses. It was a good plan, but I didn’t have enough arrows. I drew my sword again and looked around, trying to spot our air cover.

Rose and Harmony were laying down a wall of fire partway up the mountain side. The slope seemed to be a solid mass of spider bodies, but for now the Dragon-fire was holding them at bay.

The wall of spider bodies blocking the doorway heaved and the bodies spilled out onto the ground. Jake fired three quick bursts into the shop, but there was no response. Miranda loaded the last of her loose shotgun shells into her magazine and moved to the side to cover the door.

“I think we should look somewhere else,” Jake called out. “They really like this place.”

“Negative,” I replied. “I saw two big crates in there. If they’re the ones we need, we can wrap it up here.”

Ember screamed, grabbing at her back. Miranda knocked the spider away and shot it as it landed. She got Ember’s arm around her shoulder and shouted, “Ember’s bit! Find out what’s in there, fast!”

Jake tossed me a big can of pepper spray and pulled his gas mask down over his face. I put mine on as well and we charged the door, spraying everything in front of us. I checked the corners and didn’t see anything moving; by the time I looked up it was almost too late. A kick from two hairy legs knocked Jake into the storeroom while a stinger the size of my forearm stabbed me in the chest. It knocked the wind out of me but my armor held. I staggered back as the spider shifted to try again. I flooded the base of the abdomen with pepper spray, hoping to hit the lungs. I must have succeeded, as the thing dropped to the ground. I took its head off with one stroke.

I heard Jake swearing and I headed to the storage room. He was face down with a spider on top of him, chomping down on his helmet. I gave it a shot of pepper spray and chopped down on it once it moved off Jake. I helped Jake up and we kicked spider corpses aside until we could get to the crates.

Jackpot. Both wooden crates had the bamboo-looking rune painted on them. I grabbed a hammer and pried the lid off one. Every box in it bore the seal we needed. I hammered the lid back on and jerked my thumb at the door. “We’re good! Clear the road!” I stacked one crate on the other and hoisted both in my arms. Jake covered the corners and kicked a few spider bodies out of the way as we charged outside. I set the crates down and grabbed the radio. 

“Marines! We are leaving!”

Jake and I wrestled the crates into the last two storage bags and lashed them closed. Rose kept up the air patrol while Harmony hunkered down so we could load the bags into the travel trunk on her back. The opening was almost too small, but the trunk itself was another dimensional storage space, so there was plenty of room once the shipping crates were actually inside it. We weren’t quite finished when the ground started heaving. I shoved the second crate in and latched the trunk.

A quarter of a mile away, midway up the mountain slope, all manner of spiders spilled out of a long-disused mineshaft. Rose swooped down to lay down a stream of fire, but the flood of arachnid bodies overwhelmed and smothered the wall of flame. She pulled up and started climbing, setting up for another pass, when the side of the mountain collapsed. I don’t have arachnophobia, but I still damn near shit my pants.

The thing’s body was as large as my house. Hairy, spiked joints and the familiar red and orange carapace. Mandibles big enough to crush a car. It screeched and started down the mountain toward us.

Buy LInks:






By day, I’m a mild-mannered IT tech; by night, a writer who spends too much time in online games. I grew up reading classical authors such as Verne, Burroughs, Wells, Haggard, and Lovecraft, often in conjunction with large doses of Monty Python, Wild Wild West, and Hee-Haw.  My current influences include Dr. WhoGirl Genius, and An Idiot Abroad.

I live in Denver with my wife Noelle and daughter Alissa. The three of us can often be found prowling around Istaria, Wizard City, and the wilds of Azeroth.  I also makes occasional side jaunts to scavenge bits of ancient technology in the radioactive ruins of the Grand Canyon Province.





Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year, everyone!!!

May 2014 be filled with great adventures and wonderful times with friends and family.