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Flights of Fantasy: New Release

The next anthology from Raptor Retreat Press has been released and it’s only 99p!

Flights of FantasyFlights of Fantasy is pretty obviously a fantasy collection. It is raising money for Ben Cassidy as he is fighting cancer just like Brandon Hale was last year. Being in the US comes with scarily high medical bills so he needs a little help.

In here are fifteen amazing stories by some brilliant authors and it includes the prequel story to my fantasy Winter series, titled The Hope of Winter. And if that doesn’t tempt you enough here’s the amazing blurb:

A winter’s tale of mirth and wonder, flights of fantasy that make the mind ponder. From wizards tales of classic magic told of long ago places, and dragons – oh of dragon’s lore, to a king’s champion whose heart now stirs only for a common lass.

This collection of wintry tales mixes the strange and the macabre, and swirls in a touch of holiday magic. Captured within a globe of dancing mists, these stories take the reader across the worlds of Fairie and alien alike, while Texas-sized dreams fill the void of a lifetime across the fields of hardship. This varied collection touches the heart and fuels the soul to bring these worlds to life, at winter’s edge.

So here’s those buy links: Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

The Bitten: An Anthology

I mentioned a few months ago that a really good author friend of mine was facing cancer. To support him with his book sales and help him raise some of the cash towards his medical bills I got a bunch of authors together to write an anthology of shorts based on the genre he writes in.

I would like to present to you, The Bitten. In this anthology are 28 tales of vampires, werewolves and other paranormal encounters, one of which is written by me under my Amelia Price pen name.

Brandon is an amazing guy and even if this isn’t your sort of thing it would be awesome of you to grab a copy of the ebook as all the royalties will be going to Brandon and he really is an amazing guy.

Buy links – Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

 

Knowing When to Use Each Tense and Perspective

When starting a story it can be difficult to decide what tense and persepective to use, and as a reader it can be very confusing if you pick up a book and find it’s not in the sort of style you expected, so I thought I’d talk a bit more about what to use, when and what all the different terms actually mean.

Tense

Books are usually written in two tenses. Predominantly past tense (there will often be a smattering of present tense parts of sentences, usually attached to a past tense action with a comma somewhere in the middle) or present tense. Future tense is something I’ve never seen used as a predominant style and I’m actually not sure if that would work anyway so we’ll ignore that as an option.

Past tense is my favourite and probably the easiest. Here’s an example sentence:

She pulled back the organza sleeves that covered her wrists and most of her hands and showed him the black rose tattoo on the soft inside.

Everything is described as if it happened and isn’t happening any longer. This is pretty much how most standard novels are written. It’s comfortable and not too driven, but it has a few limitations. Here’s the same sentence again in present tense:

She pulls back the organza sleeves covering her wrists and most of her hands and shows him the black rose tattoo on the soft inside.

As you can see it’s not entirely natural sounding, but it can lend a sort of immediacy to a book and drive it forward. As far as I am aware, the example just given of present tense isn’t one commonly used because it’s also in the third person perspective.

Perspective

There are three perspectives to choose from, third person (where events are narrated by someone outside even if limited to a single characters perspective), second person, and first person.

Third person is the most common perspective to use, along with past tense. The first example sentence is both of these and it’s the style I usually write. It’s what most of us are used to reading and I find it the easiest to write. On top of that there are some readers who refuse to read anything not in this style.

Second person is probably the least common, and I’ve only seen it used in the pick your own adventure type stories, with the subject being you. Here’s a present tense example:

You pull back the organza sleeves covering your wrists and most of your hands and show him the black rose tattoo on the soft inside.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen second person in past tense, mostly because it’s useful to give the sense of urgency to make a decision at the end of each chunk of narrative.

Finally there’s first person, which combined with present tense as well, makes a popular choice of style for a lot of young adult novels. The Hunger Games is written in first person, as is Fifty Shades (also present tense) so they seem to be getting much more popular in the main stream as well. In this style the main character is talking about himself or herself in a sort of diary like way. Here’s an example (again present tense):

I pull back the organza sleeves covering my wrists and most of my hands and show him the black rose tattoo on the soft inside.

Occasionally first person might use past tense but it’s less common. Just so it’s a complete picture of all the types you could use, here’s the example.

I pulled back the organza sleeves that covered my wrists and most of my hands and showed him the black rose tattoo on the soft inside.

In terms of which style I’d recommend people use, it entirely depends on what you want to write. As I mentioned earlier the pick your own adventure type story uses second person present the entire time (I’ve got one blogged here), and I’d recommend anyone who tries to write that format of book to use that style as well. For those who write for the young adult or new adult audiences (especially paranormal stories) it’s very common to use first person present, but it can also work very well for those punchy stories from strange perspectives where you really want the reader to engage in the mindset of the main character and get into their head. If you’re a relatively new author and you read a lot of first person present you will probably find this format easiest as well, although it’s not easy to get right. For everything else, mostly because that’s what those genres expect and because it’s easiest to get right, use third person past.

There are some writers who mix. Having chapters from one character in first person with other characters in third person, and also having the book mainly in present so flashbacks can be in the past. These are all good reasons to switch things up a bit, just be careful not to switch in the wrong places and confuse your readers.

Personally my favourite is third person past, probably because I grew up with it, but I also quite like second person present. I don’t enjoy first person, but I can see why people do. What’s your favourite to read and write? And what style puts you off books?

This blog is entirely free to the reader and will continue to be, but as you might have gathered from the website around this, I make my living from writing fiction. This post is just under 1000 words long and took me a few hours to write and polish. Although it’s definitely not a must, if you enjoyed it or found it helpful and want to say thank you in a monetary fashion please consider tossing a few coins into the tip jar (via paypal). You can also say thank you by sharing this with friends who also might benefit from it or by dropping me a message here or through my email address.

Dylan Gray & His Crew

So this is one of those blog slots where I normally share something I’ve been working on. The problem is, the last few weeks I’ve been held up with all sorts of things I can’t really blog about easily. So I thought I’d talk a bit more about a world I’m in the middle of creating.

This world is inhabited by a United Federations Fleet Captain called Dylan Gray. United Federations Fleet Captain Dylan Gray is a bit of a mouth full so we’ll go with Dylan or maybe Captain for the most part. As you’ve probably worked out Dylan is the Captain of a space ship. At the moment his ship is called Sapphira. That may change but not until the full length novels come out.

So far I have one story written about Dylan and his crew, called The Slave Who’d Never Been Kissed. I shared the opening a few weeks back here, and the anthology it is available in is free on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. This isn’t the first story in the string of introduction novellas I would like to do but it stands alone well (hopefully they all will), so there’s no need to hold off reading for that reason. I also think it’s one of my better shorts as well as it being my personal favourite.

I think there will be another three of these, maybe four, which will help introduce the crew members so the full novels can get going with a whole crew. I guess that sort of makes them prequels, but I’m writing them first to get my head around the world.

And on that note, I should actually talk about the world a bit (that was the point of this post). In my head it’s pretty much an amalgamation of Star Trek, Firefly, Farscape, Stargate and pretty much everything else set in space. The Sapphira is bigger than Serenity in Firefly but smaller than the Enterprise, but is a small ship for the world Dylan is in. As he grows in his Captain role he will possibly be given larger ships to command, sort of how the navy used to give different ships to different people, and like the navy Dylan will take certain members of his crew with him, Probably the Thorian, Trell and Auraylia. I haven’t decided for sure on the other two or three officers and engineers who are named in the novella already written.

As mentioned in The Slave Who’d never been kissed, the United Federations is at war with several other alien races but also has several as allies (Trell and the Thorian aren’t entirely human), and the fleet is used to protect the allied colonies, although there’s a lot of human colonies where Dylan is stationed.

The colonies themselves range from very poor and struggling to survive to rich, successful and well protected colonies nearer the heart of the human empire. Earth still exists but I’ve not decided in what form yet. Dylan was born on one of the wealthy colonies and enrolled in the fleet acadamy at a young age. He’s basically always wanted to be a Captain in space.

Book Cover Cubes

I’ve just had the most amazing fan make the most amazing tribute/present for me ever. A design for a book cover cube.

Doesn’t it look amazing! Not only is it a really lovely thing for someone to make for me, it’s exactly the sort of thing that appeals to my brain. I used to be the kid who spent ages putting together models made out of this sort of thing and had a lot of fun Sunday afternoon making up another from the extra sheet I was given.

I’m also going to get a pdf of the design via email so I should be able to make more of these gorgeous things and this awesome fan doesn’t seem to be too opposed to the idea of making different designs as I get more covers and creating cubes with genre themes or series books on them.

I have a feeling lots of them together is going to look amazing, even two looks better than one and I’m super excited about having them as extras when people buy books off me etc. I think they need to have something inside them though. Any suggestions (other than chocolate, cause let’s face it everything is better with chocolate)? And who wants one?

Three For All, And All For Free

Yup, that’s right there’s three freebies you can pick up that I want to tell you about (actually there’s four but End of the Road has been free for a while now).

The first is only free for a few days. Sherdan’s Prophecy in kindle format is available free on all good Amazon sites until close of day Sunday. If you’ve not yet tried my sci-fi, it’s a good start to the genre and quite different to my historical novels, although there’s plenty of action still.

Also free of mine and in need of some help making it free on amazon is Wandering to Belong on Smashwords, Apple, Nook and many other places. If people would like to see it free on Amazon they should report the Apple link to them under there report a lower price section. This is another great introduction to my fantasy genre and all the tales I’ve got written in the same world.

Finally, my most recent release is a sci-fi story set in space and is one of the stories featured in the Kiss anthology, also currently going through the process of being price-matched, but you can grab a free copy on Smashwords. My story is the last one in the anthology but don’t just skip to the end. There’s a lot of great stories in there from some authors I love.

A Fire’s Sacrifice

This is my latest release and is the fifth fantasy story I’ve had published and is sort of the fifth tale in my Ethanar series. I say sort of because it’s a loose series. All the stories are separate characters and so far separate places but they do build up the world collectively and I will have some of the people and places appearing in the epic novels set in the same world so it’s worth reading these and getting a taste for the coming full length fantasy novels.

A Fire’s Sacrifice has it’s own shiny page and blurb and all that for those curious about this story, but to add to that, it’s a bit of a mash up between period, domestic slavery, class friction and fantasy all melded into one.

You can buy it already at the bargain price of $1.99 0r £1.43 from any of the amazon stores, but for speed Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk. I’m also throwing a mini launch party on facebook for anyone who would like to come join in. There will be the chance to win several of my eBooks and probably other things to boot.

Quite excitingly this is my tenth published story in my ninth publication under my own personal name and completes the set of tales I’ll be packaging together with more information on the Ethanar world early next year.

The Slave Who’d Never Been Kissed

As you can see from my progress bars on the right, I’ve got a project on there with the above title. This was one of those ideas where I had the idea, got really excited and pretty much had to write it straight away and it totally hi-jacked NaNoWriMo so I thought I’d share an excerpt from the start of it. It also spawned a whole series of stories and this isn’t actually the first of them I don’t think but it’s still awesome.

 

“All right, all right, the lot of you can have an hour in the market. Then I want you back to your stations.” The man said with an Irish lilt to his voice and chuckled. The five people Auraylia had seen badger him for the last few minutes grinned and dispersed into the crowds.

Despite knowing none of them she found herself smiling at their exchange. He wore the uniform of a Unified Federations ship captain and the deep blue shirt and trousers brought out the blue in his eyes. Complete with the black ankle length coat and insignia on the right shoulder he had many young ladies turning their heads in his direction, hers included.

She saw him pull out an ornate pocket watch and glance at the time before making his own way into the market area right past her. The scent of spiced aftershave marked his path and tantalised her senses. Intrigued, she followed him.

For several minutes he merely browsed and didn’t buy a single item but eventually he haggled for a small packet of herbs from a specialist stall. It disappeared somewhere into his coat, leaving her no reason to approach him yet. She kept back and continued to watch, only half sure she wanted to approach but convinced the risk would be worth the nerves making her shiver already.

***

Dylan made his way through the pressing crowds, inspecting the wares of many of the market stalls. Although he’d held out on his crew and pretended to be concerned over their wishes to explore the market town he was pleased at their desire. It gave him the free time to browse alone and gather his thoughts.

The few purchases he had already were tucked into the deep pockets of his coat and weighed it down a little more than usual, but it helped keep them safe from the little hands that snuck about the place.

As he glanced over some ornate necklaces on one stall and wondered if they would make a good gift for his third officer he noticed a familiar face amongst the masses. A young woman, barely of age and dressed in the usual female slave outfit, a pale coloured top and pantaloons, leaving her mid-riff and arms bare with organza overlays and shoulders to hint at the body that lay beneath. Unlike most of the girls nearby who wore oranges and yellows to stand out she wore a pale blue ensemble. In contrast it made her easier to spot and it was the third time he’d noticed her meandering along behind him.

He frowned but didn’t confront her yet. So far she had kept her distance and appeared to be alone.

At the next few stalls he picked up more of the items he wanted, including the necklace he’d spotted and two more books for his miniature library in his cabin. With the bottle of wine, and jars of his favourite foods he had his arms full and started looking around for something to carry his purchases in.

The slave girl chose this moment to close the final gap between them and he steeled himself to reprimand her or prevent her stealing his items.

“Can I help with those, sir?” She turned her bright green eyes on him and they flitted across his face like a nervous cat’s. Her words startled him to silence and for a moment he could only stare back at her. Before long she broke the contact and lowered her head, allowing him to think about the question she asked.

“How do I know you won’t run off with anything I hand you?” he asked. She pulled back the organza sleeves that covered her wrists and most of her hands and showed him the black rose tattoo on the soft inside. He frowned, such a tattoo in so delicate a place must have hurt.

“My master and owner trades under this mark. If I displease anyone they can find him easily in the nearby district.” She pointed to the buildings rising up in the west. Several tall wooden houses rose up each with a different symbol on the side of it. The matching black flower covered one of the constructions although, like many of the others, it looked as if it had seen better days.

When he looked back at her she was shivering on the spot and her head was bowed. He couldn’t tell if it was respect or fear but he decided to take pity on her.

“How much will such a service cost me?” he asked. Her head lifted and showed him her widened eyes.

“Nothing, sir. I… If I help to your satisfaction…”

“All right. Carry these for me and keep up.”

She nodded and flicked her brown hair back behind her shoulders so it wouldn’t become entangled before taking the few parcels he sent her way and cradling them against her own body.

“You’ve been following me for quite a while,” he added as he made his way to the next stall of interest to him. She had the good grace to blush at this challenge but didn’t respond at first, giving him time to purchase some food for the fish he kept. The wrapped up item was added to the stack already burdening her.

“I saw you earlier, sir, with your crew. I liked the way you talked to them. I can tell you are a good man,” she said as he moved on again.

“Being a slave cannot be easy.”

“It is not always bad, but I am for sale and that worries me sometimes. I want to be bought by someone who won’t hurt me… or… What is space like? I’ve always wanted to see it.”

“It’s large, and empty. Some say it is beautiful but its charm soon wears off,” he replied, starting to get a sense of where this conversation was going. Despite her sweetness she wasn’t very subtle.

“Do you need any more crew? I’m not very expensive and I work hard.”

He stopped walking and gave her his full attention. For a moment she met his gaze again but she soon lowered her eyes to focus on his booted feet.

“I’m sorry, but I cannot buy you,” he replied. “You’re very sweet, but…”

“I understand.” She turned her face back to him and he could see the tears threatening to fall from her green eyes. Such a reaction was unexpected.

“What do you do for your owner when you’re not helping Captains with their shopping?” He carried on with his browsing and tried not to dwell on her emotions.

“Mostly I help him with his stall here at the market, selling, wrapping the valuables and sometimes with selling other slaves. I’m good at haggling.”

He stopped their conversation to purchase his final item, a bottle of strong single malt whiskey, a special crew member who’d never had a present appreciated a good drink. Once it was wrapped and in the slaves arms she carried on her list of tasks.

“I also run messages and other errands a lot, as well as some management tasks. On top of that I’ve been trained to look after a household and keep its books in order.”

She stopped talking and followed on and he figured the list was finally complete. It wasn’t what he’d expected. Most of the slaves here were for companionship or other relational services but she seemed to have genuine intelligence and skills. It occurred to him that as a free person she’d have made a good addition to his crew.

“I’m surprised you’re still for sale with a resume like that.”

“There have been a few offers, but my owner rejected them when I asked him to.”

He raised his eyebrows and she noticed.

“I didn’t want to be brought by the men who offered money. I persuaded my owner that I could get more elsewhere for the other things I can do. In the mean time I’ve orders to earn as much as possible.”

As she finished speaking they reached the edge of the market and the transport from his ship. She helped him load the packages in the cargo space inside and smiled at him.

“I’m really sorry I can’t buy you. As a Unified Federations Captain Its just not something I can do. Slaves aren’t allowed on our ships, but I’m sure someone will come along who can,” he said as he placed a small note into her hand and kissed the back of it. She smiled and thanked him but he could see the disappointment in her eyes.

He had to push it from his mind as he glanced at the time and saw he only had five minutes to present himself to the Federations building, and the admiral residing there, for his next mission.

His ship had docked earlier than expected so he’d had time to use up, but he hurried the small hovering transport along to the only building in the area that looked well kept. It was also the only one made of materials other than wood, and the brick and stone stood out for him to travel towards.

On this planet there were few other vehicles but some moved back and forth on the hyper-way, most of them going in between the Federations buildings and the houses of the more wealthy residents.

This planet didn’t look like it had been colonised for over fifty years, but other than the working class farmers, slave owners and other various officials stationed here, the rainy climate hadn’t attracted many people and the indoor market was one of few tourist attractions for off-world visitors.

He rushed up the steps and through the archway to stand in the atrium of the building and a receptionist greeted him before he could look around.

A minute later he was shown into the commanding officer’s room. A balding man sat behind a desk with a built in display. When Dylan walked in it had a map of the nearby star systems, with enemy territory in red and their own in blue. The map had a lot of red on it.

“Sir, Captain Dylan Gray, reporting for orders.”

“Ah, Captain Gray, come in, sit down,” the commander waved his wrinkled hand towards the chair nearest to him. Dylan did as he was told. Until now all his orders had come from his previous captain, the now Admiral Keane. Before him sat someone who’d been an admiral for over ten years and probably didn’t hold out much hope to be promoted further.

“What mission have you got for me?”

“We need you to take some food from here to another planet of ours. Its a relatively new colony and the planet’s recent crops failed due to draught. They’re also having problems with a few diseases and need medical aid.”

“That sounds more like a job for a cargo runner. I have a reasonable amount of space for cargo but my ship’s outfitted for battle not speed.”

The admiral didn’t reply but motioned towards the map. On the other side of all the red was a blue blob that spread around one solar system and towards the left edge. Somewhere off the map he knew it connected up.

“That’s where I need you to take it.”

“Across all that area?”

“Yup, you guessed it. It needs to be there in as few days as possible. A transport could take it around the edge and be there in just over a week but you could go through the middle and take half the time.”

“When do I get started?”

“Right away. The cargo is already on its way to your ship. We can go there now and talk over the rest of the details on the way.”

The admiral stood up again and Dylan had to hurry to his feet. For an old man he could move faster than Dylan expected.

The two transports joined the hyper-way back to the docks and his ship. Long before they got there Dylan could see the container of cargo sitting right by the main hold of his ship. Beside it was his logistics officer already overseeing the loading of the food and other resources his crew would need to replenish their mandatory stores.

As soon as the admiral got out the transport and walked over with him he noticed a group of slaves there to help with the transfer process. Walking out of the loading hatch came the same slave girl again. She gave commands to several of the men around her in a language he didn’t understand, and they lugged the boxes and crates wherever she directed.

Not wanting her to notice him he led the admiral into the ship while she was in the container and they went up to the main ship where they could observe the progress without being directly involved.

After making polite small talk the admiral handed Dylan the electronic tablet with his official orders on as well as a list of all the cargo he was loading and where it needed to go.

“Did you also get my request for extra crew?” Dylan asked before the admiral could leave.

“Yes, but there’s no one here of the right level. You’ll have to keep going with what you’ve got. We’re expecting some recruits in the next few months but none have arrived and many more Federations ships are asking for extra hands.”

Dylan nodded. Admiral Keane had said similar words last time they’d seen each other.

“I hear you picked up some crew on your last couple of missions? A Thorian as well?” the admiral continued.

“I did. All of which are now working on the Sapphira in my service. And on that note, do you see that girl down there?” Dylan pointed at the slave he’d met an hour earlier. The admiral looked her over as she helped his logistics officer work out where the cargo should be stowed.

“What of her?”

“She’s a slave. If I bought her, could we call her a recruit?”

“No slaves are allowed on a fleet ship. You would have to declare her free, but if you think she would help.” The admiral took another look at her as she issued more orders to the men helping with her.

Dylan knew this wasn’t the normal way to acquire crew but so far every new recruit had been found in some new way. Buying a slave was possibly one of the simplest.

“You’ll need to get enough information from her to sign her up as one of our staff and she will need to pass the background check, but it’s up to you what you spend your money on.”

The meaning wasn’t lost on him. There would be no refund if she proved to be a reliable member of his crew. All he might get is gratitude, and a little recognition, but the money would be gone. He also suspected the admiral thought he had further ideas about the pretty girl but that line of thought was nothing new from men like the admiral.

With the important hand overs done Dylan escorted his superior back to his transport and went back to see his logistics officer, another of his new recruits. She smiled when she saw him.

“Captain, the cargo is safely stowed and we’re ready for departure.”

“Fantastic, thank you, Trell. The girl, in the pale blue. Was she helpful?”

“Very. I couldn’t have done it without her. Everyone here speaks a mixture of Chinese and English and she was brilliant with them as well as keeping track of what went where.”

“I’m thinking of hiring her,” he said, not mentioning her current slave status.

“A brilliant idea, captain.” The enthusiastic crew member beamed and bounced on the spot, as she often did when she was excited.

With the extra boost of confidence from one of his own trusted crew Dylan’s uneasiness at buying the slave reduced enough for him to act, and he hurried over to her before she could leave.

“Hello, sir,” she said to cover her surprise.

“Hello…”

“Auraylia, sir.”

“I’m assuming you’re still for sale, Auraylia?” She nodded her head and the edges of her lips twitched up in a barely restrained smile. “And you still want to see space?”

Again her head bobbed up and down vigorously.

“How much will you cost?”

“Well, my highest offer so far was nine hundred credits, but I’m advertised at fifteen hundred.” Dylan winced at her words. The price was significantly higher than he’d expected when she’d said she was cheap. Her beauty must play a large part in her cost and if he paid her asking price it would almost entirely wipe out his savings.

At his hesitation she lowered her eyes again.

“It’s too much isn’t it?” she said, barely loud enough for him to hear.

“Your asking price is higher than I expected.”

Instantly her head bobbed back up again, another gleam of hope on her face.

“Oh, you won’t have to pay that much. If you haggled you could easily get me for closer to a thousand.”

“All right then. If you’re sure I can get you cheaper. Let’s go see your owner.”

NaNo 2013: Update 2

So it’s been a while since I last blogged (read three weeks) and it’s NaNo which has been fun, although really busy.

First off the stuff I’ve been doing that’s not NaNo, but still super cool.

<– This. I launched the paperbacks for Sherdan’s Prophecy and Sherdan’s Legacy. I know only one is in the picture but both are getting there, ( I had some snaffu with the dark green and the printers) so that was a lot of fun, as parties often are.

It took some time out of NaNo, but I don’t think I mind. Also taking a chunk of time out of NaNo but totally worth it was the TRC Christmas fair I mentioned a few blogs back. It was awesome and I had three books in print for it, as you can see from another cute photo of me with a table full of books.

This is the first time I’ve done something like that and it was super fun and had the added bonus of raising money for my favourite charity. I met some great people, sold a bunch of books and hung out with other amazing creatives for a day. It also led to some online sales after which is also awesome.

Of course all this did have an impact on NaNo so currently I’m behind the 52k word target I’m meant to be at for today. Also I’ve had more snaffu with the book I intended to write, Sherdan’s Country.

So I stopped writing it at 38k and gave up. I know I was forcing myself to write and it was mostly just churning out crap so I stopped. Instead I’m writing the story I actually wanted to write, a short story for an anthology that had a december deadline anyway. By the end of the year I should be at the same place I was anyway, assuming I can get Sherdan’s Country going again, but it does mean I’ve managed to get myself out of my rut and my current word count for the month is 49,550 words. I’m still aiming for 60k and as I said I’m a bit behind, so I think I better get back to that.

New Stuff in the Sherdan World

The anthology I was part of recently has finally been made free on Amazon.co.uk, so all those kindle readers out there can grab a copy and check out the 30+ authors contained therein.

In this collection I’ve got a short story about Sherdan and some of the people close to him, called Sherdan’s Road. It’s not long but it gives a bit of a glimpse at his future and the people in it at that time.

The rest of the collection is also pretty awesome and they are all themed around the title. That does mean quite a few of them are sad but they are well written and there’s more than a few that have happy moments and other awesome things in them.

It also gives a great overview of the sort of stuff all the authors write so it’s a great way to find more authors in different genres without risking any money.

The other piece of news in the Sherdan world is book 2! It’s being launched this Saturday via facebook as usual. There’s going to be the normal party with some quiz type stuff and prizes. The full list will be posted in the event when it’s finalised.

Here’s the blurb for anyone interested, although you don’t want to read it if you don’t want some of the first book’s plot spoiled:

Now that Utopia is established Sherdan has a full time job as a diplomatist. Everyone wants to know how his country is protected and whether they can persuade him to part with his secrets, but he has other things on his mind. Has Utopia come at too high a price?

When Anya left Utopia she expected to fit back into her old life, but too much has changed and God is not finished with her. Did she make the right choice in leaving, and will Sherdan let her return, even if she wanted to?

The second book in the Sherdan series continues the journey Sherdan’s Prophecy started, bringing the world closer to the end and whatever might follow.

So there’s the two new Sherdan things and Saturday is the big launch day. Do come join the fun!