Category Archives: Writing

Thoughts on Writing – Flash Fiction – “Unicorn”

I recently met Charli Mills, a local author who introduced me to her website, Carrot Ranch. There, a community of writers respond to weekly prompts for flash fiction, which, for their purposes, is fiction with an exact count of 99 words.

This week’s prompt is “Unicorn.” I very much enjoyed researching the mythology of unicorns when I was in junior high and high school, so I decided to take part in the fun. First, with a darker variant on the idea of the unicorn, which was inspired by stories in which the unicorn was used in courts to determine if a criminal was guilty or not. (You can blame these stories for the version of the chesnathé mentioned in The Shadow War, a brutal, bulky, immortal equine who tends to pass judgment on “lower beings.”) Second, I also wrote a lighter variant (following a more European story).

Enjoy. 🙂

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“Judgement”

His curved horn meets with flesh and another criminal meets his fate. A sinner. A thief. No more shall he steal. The crowd roars their approval. The unicorn raises his bulky head and swings it side to side like a bull. They cheer for him and his judgment.

He flicks his tail, slender like a cow’s, with a tuft of brown hair at the end. The rest of his fur is black. His horn is tri-colored. Black at the base, cinnamon in the middle, and red on top. Stained red… it would be brown, but the blood never dries.

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“Captured”

Her fingers pass through the creature’s mane, which is silky white, like threads dipped in the morning dew. He is in chains. She slides her fingers under the delicate silver.

“You will be free.”

His ears swivel, listening. She strokes the damp fur of his neck. He breathes hard from the chase.

“Do not worry. I will return.”

She disappears, her slippers padding through the rain-flushed grass. When she returns, her gossamer gown whispering around her calves, the unicorn raises his head. His blue eyes regard her, pleading.

She reveals a pair of wire cutters and smiles. “Be free.”

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I hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to participate, head over to Carrot Ranch for their Feb 22nd prompt. 🙂

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Ghost of a Memory – Available for Pre-order!

So, I don’t think I’ve shown you guys the book cover for Ghost of a Memory yet (unless you happen to be subscribed to the Distant Horizon Universe newsletter). But Isaac and I are happy to announce that the next book of the Glitch Saga is now available for pre-order! Ghost of a Memory will be published on February 26th,  so you don’t have to wait long before you can find out what happens next. It’s as fast-paced (if not more so) than Whispers in the Code, and you’ll get to read more about the illusive Lady Black, as well as the haunting Legion Spore.

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Ghost of a Memory

Available February 26th, 2018

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Some ghosts refuse to be forgotten.

Nineteen-year-old council member, Tim Zaytsev, oversees the Legion Spore—a living airship made from shapeshifters. He’s tasked with removing glitches, fragments of the shapeshifters’ memories that reside as “ghosts” in the ship’s code.

But as he removes each glitch, the ship shows an alarming trend toward developing its own personality. It clearly prefers to work with Tim instead of his superiors, and its haunting dreams invade Tim’s sleep, filling his mind with false memories of an affair with the alluring Lady Black, a council member known for her seductive advances. As the dreams intensify, he can’t even look at his loving girlfriend without remembering Lady Black’s touch.

Determined to perform his duties to the council while remaining faithful, Tim searches for the source of the Legion Spore’s rogue personality. But as the dreams descend into nightmares, Tim begins to suspect they aren’t random glitches; they’re warnings from the “ghost” of Lady Black’s lover.

To ensure a lifetime with the woman he loves, Tim must find the source of the Legion Spore’s rogue personality before the vessel usurps his mind, trapping him like all the other “ghosts” in the code.

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Pre-order Today!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Goodreads

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Haven’t read the first book yet? Sign up for the Distant Horizon Universe newsletter to read Whispers in the Code for free!

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Enjoy! 🙂

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Weekly Book Promotion Highlight

Today I’m highlighting three giveaways where you can download free ebooks from a variety of authors. This is a weekly event for February, but if you enjoy this, I may continue making these posts. 🙂

This week, we have the When Magic and Science Intermingle giveaway, the Up & Coming SF & F: Things that Go Bump in the Night giveaway, and the Sci-Fi February Giveaway.

Act quickly, though… these end on the 23rd and 24th.

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The first giveaway contains books that have some mixture of science or technology and magic (and it’s also my first attempt to host a giveaway on Book Funnel, so I hope you find something you like). Maybe there’s magic in your starship, or maybe your mages have an electric coffeemaker. The possibilities are endless.

When Magic and Science Intermingle - Book Giveaway!

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The second giveaway includes both science fiction and fantasy, but those with a creepy element underlying the story. Dark fantasy, horror, paranormal… this is the place to look.

Things that go bump in the night - Book Giveaway!

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The third giveaway contains all things science fiction… so if you want something with science fiction elements, have a look at this giveaway.

Sci-Fi February Giveaway!

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(Note: These giveaways are hosted through Book Funnel. They will usually ask for your email address. In most cases, the author will collect these addresses for their newsletters.)

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Good luck finding a book you enjoy, and let me know if you would like to see more of these posts. 🙂

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Thoughts on Writing – Interviewed on “Sample Chapter Podcast”

Hey guys! Short post here, but I wanted to chime in and say that you guys should check out Jason Meuschke’s Sample Chapter Podcast, which currently has an episode up where he interviews Isaac and I about writing, and I read a sample chapter from Whispers in the Code. (It’s the scene where Tim sees the Legion Spore for the first time, so it was a lot of fun to read).

We’ve known Jason for a few years now, back from when we still lived in Missouri. So we jumped at the chance to be on his podcast. We had a lot of fun, and talked about what makes a strong character and how we developed some of our magic systems.

We hope you enjoy listening. 🙂

Click here to head over to his page and hear the interview!

He’s got several other interviews up, too, and has more on the way, so if you enjoy listening to this one, give the others a shot.

Also… if you are an author who would like to be interviewed, or you know an author you would like to hear interviewed, let him know. 🙂

Enjoy!

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Weekly Book Promotion Highlight

Today I’m highlighting three giveaways where you can download free ebooks from a variety of authors. This is a weekly event for February, but if you enjoy this, I may continue making these posts. 🙂

This week, we have the Short Month, Short Fantasy Stories giveaway, the Welcome to the Apocalypse! giveaway, and the Incredible Worlds Science Fiction giveaway.

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The first giveaway has an array of short fantasy stories. If you’re looking for something to test the waters into a larger series, you might find something you like here.

Short Month, Short Fantasy Giveaway! - Download Free Ebooks!

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The second giveaway hosts a variety of stories with post-apocalyptic and dystopian elements. This includes both full-length novels and books with previews or sample chapters, so you’ve got a bit of a range to choose from.

Welcome to the Apocalypse - Book Giveaway!

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The third giveaway contains all sorts of science fiction books and all sorts of worlds. If you’re looking for options about the world you want to read in, this is the place to look.

Incredible Worlds Science Fiction Giveaway - Download free ebooks!

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(Note: The first giveaway is hosted through Book Funnel. They will usually ask for your email address. In most cases, the author will collect these addresses for their newsletters. The last two giveaways are hosted through InstaFreebie. In order to download an ebook, they will ask for your email address. In most cases, both InstaFreebie and the author will collect these addresses for their newsletters.)

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Good luck finding a book you enjoy, and let me know if you would like to see more of these posts. 🙂

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Whispers in the Code – Release Day!

Woot! After a few years of having plotted, written, and revised the Glitch saga, the first book in the series is now here! It’s currently ebook-only, though I hope to have a print edition ready later this year. Please share this post if you know someone who might enjoy reading Whispers in the Code. 🙂

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Whispers in the Code

Upper YA Science Fiction

Whispers in the Code - Now Available!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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A haunted airship made from living people…

Nineteen-year-old hacker Tim Zaytsev is a traitor, but he never expected his betrayal would earn him the highest honor among the international community—a place among the Camaraderie’s elite council.

Ushered into a glamorous lifestyle of fancy airships and a chance to use his programming skills to better the world, Tim is assigned the task of finishing their secret Legion Spore project—a living airship made from shapeshifters.

Inside the Legion Spore, dozens of humans have been forcibly hooked to the vessel’s computer, but fragments of their memories reside in the airship’s internal code as glitches. Their faces appear in the walls, and their whispers invade the code of the Camaraderie’s base. Tim’s ability to telepathically connect with computers means that he’s the only one who can make the ship fully functional.

But programming a computer is one thing. Dealing with a haunted, living airship will not only test Tim’s wit, but his sanity. If he can’t learn to trust himself and his abilities, his mind will be trapped in the Legion Spore as just another whisper in the code.

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Get your copy of Whispers in the Code today!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Alternatively, sign up for the Distant Horizon Universe newsletter to read Whispers in the Code for free!

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Enjoy! 🙂

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Weekly Book Promotion Highlight

Recently, I’ve started taking part in joint author promotions. So, today, I want to highlight three giveaways where you can download free ebooks from a variety of authors. This will be a weekly thing for February, and if you enjoy this, I may try doing this in the future as well.

For this week, we have The Bloody Valentine Horror Giveaway, the Thrillers, Mystery & Suspense Giveaway, and the Fabulous February Fantasy Giveaway.

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The first giveaway includes an array of horror books and books with elements of horror. If it’s creepy you’re looking for, take a look here.

The Bloody Valentine Horror Giveaway - Download Free Ebooks!

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The second giveaway includes, as the name suggests, stories that have elements of mystery, suspense, or thrillers. There’s a huge variety, so you’re likely to find something of interest.

Thrillers, Mysteries & Suspense Giveaway - Download Free Ebooks!

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Third, we have a fantasy giveaway, with all sorts of books ranging from high fantasy to urban fantasy. If you’re looking to try out something new with a bit of magic, you might want to have a look here.

Fabulous February Fantasy Giveaway - Download Free Ebooks!

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(Note: All of these giveaways are hosted through InstaFreebie. In order to download an ebook, they will ask for your email address. In most cases, both InstaFreebie and the author will collect these addresses for their newsletters.)

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Good luck finding a book you enjoy, and let me know if you would like to see more of these posts. 🙂

Leave a comment

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