Tag Archives: exclusive extract

Where Freedom Rings

Today I have an exclusive extract from Steven Donahue’s Where Freedom Rings – take a look…

In this scene, Kelsa is getting a lecture from Jackson Mallard, her owner. A neighbor named Wilkensen had questioned her about slaves who escaped from his plantation, whom he thought were hiding on the Mallard’s property. 
They stood in silence for a moment until Kelsa composed herself. She looked at Jackson. “May I go, sir?” she asked. He said yes. Kelsa looked down at the floor as she unsteadily walked away. She was nearly out of the room when he asked her to stop. She turned and faced him with her fists balled tightly.

“The slaves Wilkensen is looking for,” Jackson said softly. “They were badly mistreated by his foremen.” He inched toward her until he was close enough to touch her. “They were abused, poorly fed, and kept apart from their families. It was a miserable existence. But you have it good here, Kelsa. You and your family. Far better than slaves at other plantations.” He slowly took a deep breath. “Remember that,” he said.

“We appreciate your kindness,” replied Kelsa. She folded her hands and rested them against her legs. “I understand how things are here. This is our home. We don’t have any desire to leave.” She looked into Jackson’s eyes and hoped he believed her. “I should get back to work,” she said. “Miss Virginia has chores for me.” Jackson nodded, giving her the opportunity to leave the library.

 

Download this book now

 

Advertisements

Safe Haven

Safe Haven is a story set before The Running Game. I wrote the story after I published The Running Game as a sort of companion piece, but it is also a great introduction to the feel of the series. This story is available for free from most online retailers including Amazon so if you like what you read please give the full story a go – I promise you won’t be disappointed. And don’t forget you can leave comments and feedback at the bottom of the page.

 

The world was white. So white the dark night couldn’t penetrate the layers of snow suffocating the surrounding forest. Each breath Isobel managed to push out crystallised in the air around her small mouth, sparkling under the moonlight. She pushed forward, the snow swallowing her legs to the knees in hungry gulps. Her hands and feet were numb but her thighs burned furiously with each agonising step.

It was late and she was so very tired. The last night was spent in the back of their Landrover, fighting for space on the backseat with her little sister while their Dad kept watch. It had been a cold, broken night, but Isobel would give anything to be back there now. Anything not to be walking through Red Forest in the middle of December.

She sniffed and looked behind her. Rachel was only six, three years younger than Isobel but at that moment it felt like there was a lifetime between them. Rachel didn’t understand why they were in the middle of the wilderness. She had no idea why they had to leave their mother. She had slept through their uncle running into the cottage, screaming that the army was coming. She had no idea of the danger they were in. Isobel stared at her sister as she struggled in the snow and envied every tiny, oblivious step she took.

Rachel fell and started to cry. She was sobbing for their mum, looking around the expanse of nothing for her. But Isobel knew they would never see their mother again. She took a strong heavy breath, close to tears herself. She wanted to move to help her sister but her legs refused to go back, not after the effort they had put into going forwards.

Instead she called out. “Dad!”

He was ahead of them, scoping out the safety of the forest. When he saw Rachel he hurried back, covering the ground in five easy strides. Despite the cold and fatigue Isobel broke a smile. Her father was the greatest man, he could still do anything in her eyes. Despite the snow sticking to his beard, the creases in his weather worn face, he was still her hero. He lifted Rachel effortlessly into his large arms, brushing the snow from her hair. And that’s when the gunfire started.

“Run! Isobel run!” He screamed.

He grabbed her coat as he ran past, but she stayed, looking through the trees at the erupting lights, as though the night sky had sunk to the earth.

“Isobel!” Her father shouted and she came to her senses.

They were coming! She started to run. Her feet leapt into her father’s footsteps, following his shadow as he weaved through the trees. The foliage became denser, the snow thinner. She found her feet striking firming soil, frozen dirt and icy puddles. She leapt over a ditch and her father caught her. His hand pulled her close and they huddled together into a dug out burrow off the path.

“We need to work together,” he whispered, so softly Isobel thought she was imagining them. “We’re not here,” he told them both. “Say it with me girls. We’re not here.”

Isobel closed her eyes, sinking into the warmth of her father’s wax coat. She reached for her sister’s hand and concentrated. “We’re not here,” she repeated. “We’re not here.” Over and over she focussed on the words, hearing the echo in the baritone voice of her father and the small squeak of her sister.

Time started to twist, the cold subsided and she felt herself floating against the body of her father. The explosions around her, the shouting, the danger, all started to melt away. But the power running over her wasn’t hers, it didn’t even belong to her father. The dominant voice inside her head became her sister’s, small and yet entirely commanding. She focused on it, echoing it as best she could and then she felt herself merge into nothing.

How long had they stayed like that? Isobel had no idea, but when her father broke free of their spell the militia had gone, leaving a stunned silence in their wake. The surrounding trees were torn apart with gunshot. Pieces of bark and bullet shells scattered the ground around them. It had been ferocious whatever had come their way.

“Daddy,” Rachel asked sleepily. “What’s going on?”

Isobel waited. She’d asked the question herself the night before, but she was sure her father wasn’t about to repeat his answer. How could he tell a six year old the truth? That they were caught in the middle of a civil war, insurgents and militia intent on claiming land that never belonged to them? How could he explain to her that these men didn’t care who got caught in the crossfire? That this wasn’t a fight for freedom, or liberty or any sense of lost righteousness? That this was about control and power? How could he tell his youngest daughter that she had never been in more danger, because if they found out what she was, what all three of them were, both sides would lock them away and do all kinds of experiments on them?

“We’re playing a game,” he said, stroking his younger daughter’s hair, while at the same time squeezing Isobel’s hand. “It’s called the Running Game. We have to run and hide, concentrate on not getting caught. Wherever we go, whatever we do we keep moving, counting the exits, planning our escape routes so nobody can ever find us.”

“It sounds like a stupid game,” Rachel said.

Their dad laughed softly. “It does, but you get a prize if you play it well.”

“What prize?”

“You get to live Rachel. You get to grow up, to keep running. You have to keep running baby. Always be ready to run because they’ll always be coming for you. Whatever happens, they’ll always be coming for you.”

“When will they stop Dad?” Isobel asked.

Her father held Rachel close, as though he were protecting her from the next confession.

“They’ll never stop,” he said. “Right now we need to rest. The secret to winning the game is knowing when to run and when to wait. You’re tired. You’ve done so well today. Try to sleep now, we’ll try to get out of the forest in a few hours.”

Rachel was asleep in moments and Isobel had a suspicion her father had put her to sleep using his powers. She snored quietly, looking almost peaceful.

“There’s a lot of ground to cover,” he said to Isobel. “We’re going to make our way south, to S’aven. There’s a man there. A priest called Father Darcy. He’s an old friend. We can trust him. He’ll help hide us until all this is over.”

Isobel nodded, understanding these were instructions, not reassurances. She rolled the name in her head; Father Darcy. She had to remember it.

“Your sister, her powers…” he shook his head and sighed. “If they find her it will be bad for all Reachers.” He turned to her, his eyes warming. “If they find either of you, it will be bad honey. You’re so young, this isn’t the life I wanted for you. You need to be strong now sweetheart, you need to look after your sister. I wouldn’t trust her to anyone else.” He pushed the hair from her face. “My beautiful girl, look at you, you’re so grown up already. You make me and your mum so proud.”

She felt a lump swell in her throat.

“Whatever happens you look after your sister. Can you do that Isobel?”

Her father was a good man and she would have done anything to make him happy. She stared into his dark blue eyes and the look he gave her betrayed everything that was about to come – his death, their journey, her future.

“Can you do that Isobel?”

Would he have asked if he had honestly known what it would mean – what she would do to keep her sister safe?

“Isobel?”

 

This book is available to download for FREE. Get it from Amazon Smashwords or Kobo 

And you can add your book and others in the Reacher series to your Goodreads


Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories

This week I’ve been chatting with Jaysen True Blood and he has been telling me all about his book of short stories. Here’s what he has to say:

 

 

Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories is a real mix of genres, is there a running theme or style that unites each story?

Not really. I am a “stream of consciousness” writer.

This book is in two volumes, should the stories be read in order and how are the volumes different to one another?

The only stories out of order in the book are the westerns, and I didn’t realise it until after publication. Other than that, the others that are part of a series are all in order. But as a whole, the stories can be read in any order.

So let’s pick your favourite of the short stories – tell us a bit about it.

I would have to pick the title story, “Mexican Radio”. I had the silly song running through my head when I began and thought: “wouldn’t this make a great story? Then, I put the main character in the most impossible position I could-a staged prison break that he uses to his own benefit, and that of the female lead. Although there are so many excellent stories in these two books.

Who is your favourite character in all of the stories and what sets him/her above the others?

I would have to say either Fancy Marsh or Guy Marlowe. Fancy, because he carries a buffalo gun and knows how to use it, and Guy because he is fast with both guns and at cards.

What locations feature in your stories, are they based on real places?  

Most of my stories could be located anywhere, except a few sci-fi, but I do mention L.A., Baton Rouge, and a few other US cities, but there is only one-the historical fiction piece-that is based solely on fact…with conjecture mixed in.

Overall how many stories feature in each volume and how big on average is each story?

Book 2 has 23 stories and the Book 1 has 14.

Who is your target audience for Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories?

Anyone who likes a good story and loves adventure, no matter where the action takes them.

So you have your favourite but is there a particular scene you can show us from any of the stories?

As I raised up out of my hiding place in the backseat, she looked in the rear view mirror. As I scooted to a position right behind her, she thrust her can of mace in my face and commenced to sprayin’. I bellered in pain and surprise. Even though she was chokin’ on the mace herself, she didn’t let up until I knocked it loose from her grasp.

“Are ya stupid?!?” I exclaimed, eyes, nose and throat burning as if I’d swallowed a match and splashed gasoline in my eyes.

(From “Mexican Radio”)

And finally what is next for Jaysen True Blood?

I have two novellas, “Bad Company” and “The Faust Syndrome”, due out in a couple months and am working on a third. I also have another collection in the works.

 

You can download Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories now from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mexican-Radio-Other-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B00FLL00GM/ref=la_B00IUNJWFI_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411485010&sr=1-4


The Science of Loving

Before we go any further I have to put up a warning. The following contains scenes of a sexual nature and adult language. The Science of Loving is an erotic novel from Candace Vianna so if this is your thing then read her exclusive extract.

Him:
I woke next to a sleeping angel. Her lips pursed as her eyes shuttled back and forth beneath her eyelids—that had better be me she was kissing in her dreams—her hair was a disarming mess, sticking out in some spots, dried sweat gluing it flat in others; her creamy skin was patched with beard burn. I liked her wearing my marks, but the idea of other guys seeing them didn’t sit well with me. Last thing I wanted was some tool seeing how fuckable she was, or worse, looking down on her thinking she was easy. She was mine and I wasn’t sharing.

Shit, my bladder was ready to explode, but after yesterday morning’s freak-out there was no way I was letting her wake up alone. Grinning, I tickled her nose, her lips, making them twitch. She rolled over, burying her face in her pillow, leaving me no choice, but to go looking for other things to tickle, starting with her shoulders. I began tracing little circles over her skin.

“Mmmmm…” She stretched sleepily, rolling over, sliding her leg around me making my cock jump as the duct tape bands scratched my skin. She stopped breathing, her body no longer relaxed. I guess she noticed.

“Morning, sweetness.”

“Morning,” she mumbled, shyly burrowing into me.

“Much as I would love wiling away the morning in your arms, nature’s been calling me for a while.” Flipping the sleeping bag open, I took a moment to admire my properly fucked woman. I fingered the band on her wrist. “I really hate removing these, but they might raise a few eyebrows, not to mention some really uncomfortable questions.” I crawled over her, returning with my penknife. “Wrist.” I slipped the knife under the band, sawing until the tape gave way. I briefly massaged her wrist—I need to find something that doesn’t leave marks—then went to work on the others until she was band free.

“I hear you awake in there.” The tent rattled from Danny’s abuse. Fuck, I hate early risers.

“Yeah. Yeah… Give us a minute.”

After tossing Angie her jeans and last night’s tee, I yanked my shorts on and left to thwart any further assaults on our tent.

“Morning Biggie.” Danny smirked.

“Morning,” I grumbled. “Where’s Brett.”

“He went for a walk. He’s been up for a while.”

“I take it he’s another early riser.”

“Boy howdy.” The pleased look on her face was warning enough to change the subject.

“Avery?”

“Car.”

“Shit, I’d hoped he’d crawl back under his rock during the night. I guess we’re breaking camp early.”

“Yeah, I figured as much. Before you leave, we should make sure Dad can get the RV closed, just in case, ya know?”

“Uh huh,” I said, dropping Angie’s shower shoes at her feet after she climbed out of the tent, steadying her while she squiggled her toes under the straps.

“Morning Brain, nice hair.” Danny grinned at Angie’s bedhead. This was definitely a Kodak moment. Dammit, where’s my phone?

“Same back at ya, Pinky.” Maybe I should lend her a hat. Naw… This is too funny not to share.

“Ooh, someone’s feeling feisty this morning. I knew Biggie’d be a good influence.”

Angie blushed. “I need a shower.”

“No shit, you guys reek.”

“Fuck off.” I said after faking a silent laugh. I turned, offering Angie my arm, “Come Angelina, let us ignore this philistine and attend to our morning ablutions.”

Strutting off with our noses in the air—well, my nose anyway—we ambled through the campground, enjoying its unique flavor at the start of the day. The night’s dewy softness had yet to burn off, and snores and groaning, hung-over murmurs drifted on the shifting breeze, mixing with notes of smoke, trees and mold, along with occasional dashes of vomit and latrine.

Her:
“I wandered into the showers not really thinking. Apparently Mat’d found an on/off switch that led directly from my mouth to my brain. Shit! I almost had a heart attack when I spied the dark haired disaster victim walking next to me. I spun, and stared at my reflection. Now Danny’s ‘nice hair’ remark made a lot more sense. Frizzy clumps of hair were sticking out from my head at odd angles while other spots were smashed flat, making me look something like the Elephant Man—yeah, if he stuck his finger in a light socket—this wasn’t my typical bed-head. I didn’t know what this was—Fuckhead. I had fuckhead—shit, Mat’d seen me like this—oh, my God, he let me walk around like this! That asshole.

I jumped in the shower without thinking, letting out a girly squeal when the frigid water bitch slapped me—Bitch slapped? I’ve been spending way too much time around Danny; my inner voice was beginning to sound like her. If I wasn’t careful, I was going to end up with intimate piercings and covered in tattoos—I scraped my scalp vigorously then turned to my body, noting more than a few tender spots. I wasn’t sore exactly—okay I was sore, but in a good way—and the water burned where it struck raw patches. Muscles unaccustomed to use were tight, and my groin felt deliciously bruised. All in all, I could finally say I’d been well used and thoroughly debauched.

I was just bundling my dirty clothes in my towel when the fem-bots strolled in. “Hey guys,” I said, not wanting to be rude.

“Hey.” Suzi grinned. She was by far the nicest, if not too terribly bright. The others’ just ignored me. Like I care.

Mat was waiting tensely outside. He blinded me with a broad smile when he saw me and I melted—then frowned. Wasn’t I mad about something? But it was impossible to be mad at someone who looked and smelled so yummy. “Hey baby.”

“Hey.” His eyes roam over me, his smile widening when they reached my curls. Shit, my morning fuckhead. You rat bastard.

“I should be mad at you.” His smile faltered.

“Should be? Does that mean I’m forgiven?”

“Yes, not that you deserve it. Good thing you’re so pretty.” I swiped at him lightly. I couldn’t bring myself to beat on him the way Danny did.

“Care to share what offense my manly charms have overcome?” he said as I made a half-hearted attempt to escape his ogre arms.

“I looked in the mirror.” His smile returned full force then grew so wide his eyes crinkled. “I can’t believe you let me walk around like that. It’s your fault you know. It must’ve been all that hair pulling last night.” The fem-bots walked out just as that comment left my mouth. Shit.

“But baby, you wear just fucked hair so well,” Mat drawled, tugging one of my curls, earning me another round of nasty looks from the lingering bimbos. Awkward…

“That wasn’t just fucked hair. That was rode hard and put away wet hair,” I hissed making him laugh. “Thank God, everyone was still sleeping when we walked over here—oh, shit, Danny… She’s going to tease me for months.”

“Naw.” The bald headed freak grinned. “Years.” That damn smile didn’t leave his face the entire walk back. Jerk.

There was more activity around us now. Our fellow campers were emerging from their tents and RVs, turning wisps of smoke into clouds as campfires were stirred back to life. Pots clanked and excited Spanish blared from a radio tuned to a Mexican station. Avery cut a forlorn figure as we approached, huddling dejectedly under the canopy. The men didn’t acknowledge each other. Mat just continued on to the camper’s open door, dragging me in after him, the spicy scent of chorizo immediately making my mouth water.”

 

You can buy this book from Amazon now: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MXC0E2C

And find out more about Candace Vianna here: 

https://www.goodreads.com/Candace_Vianna
https://www.facebook.com/candaceviannawrites

http://candaceviannawrites.tumblr.com


Other Victims

Other Victims by Rachel JanLynnette McCormick is a fictional story about the Holocaust and Rachel has very kindly prepared a character introduction for us today. So allow me to introduce Namib Mushelenga.

 

 

Namib Mushelenga is the main character of my novel, with the story revolving around her and her experiences as she tries her best to live her life in the infamous Nazi Germany. Her name is short for the African country Namibia, which her black Namibian father, Omir Mushelenga, named her after. Namib’s white German mother is named Lody Mushelenga. When Hitler comes up with the devastating Death or Divorce Law, targeting interracial couples with death in a concentration camp or divorce instead, the couple and their daughter are forced to go into hiding, living in an apartment abandoned by a Jewish family. Namib is just three-years-old at the time in 1933. Now Namib is fifteen-years-old in 1944, rather small for her age and pretty thin due to stress. Because she is not an Aryan, she cannot do a lot of the many things people tend to take for granted. She can never vote, go to school, or marry an Aryan man if she wanted to. However, Namib does go to an underground school at an undisclosed location. The fact that she has to go out of her way to go to an underground school further from her home, but cannot go to the one closer to her home shows how the Nazis did not want nonAryans to be around and live productive lives. Something as simple as looking out of the window, can be life-threatening to her, for fear someone will see her and make trouble. Because she is of mixed race, Namib must deal with Aryans who don’t like her because she is half-black and then with blacks who do not like her because they feel she is half-Aryan. Understandably, she suffers a lot emotionally, being sad about her unfair circumstances. The only few things in her life that she has to make her happy are her Jewish boyfriend named Aven Beneluz, her best friend Damara Nande who is an black, African girl from Namibia, her Polish aunt named Anka von Bon that she wishes she could see more of, her God, and the hope that she and her father will soon flee from Nazi Germany and her mother, who has been growing abusive to her. Namib learns over time to try and weather the storm of her life and country.

 

Read more about Namib here: http://www.amazon.com/Other-Victims-Historical-Experiences-Persecution/dp/1492188905/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411047267&sr=1-1&keywords=rachael+janlynnette+mccormick

 


Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol

Today it’s the turn of Harry Whitewolf, take a look at this exclusive from Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol.

 

 

CIUDAD DEL ESTE

or

Claustrophobic Electronics

Ciudad del Este ain’t like anywhere else in the world.

There’s one reason for visiting and one reason only: shopping.

Mostly anything can be bought in the city of the east, but its main trade is cheap electronics. iPhones, iPods, laptops, Sat Navs, Notebooks, Androids, hard drives, Hi-Fis. Wi-Fis, PCs, TVs, CDs, DVDs,

USBs, Blackberries, Apples, Oranges, Dongles, Tom

Toms, pompoms, rom-coms and bonbons… You name

it. It’ll be there.

No one visits for more than a day. In fact, a whole day is way past most people’s stamina.

Capitalist and black market bartering by street sellers, stall holders, shopping mall salesmen and overly sexily dressed señoritas.

Jack and the tourist ride the bus across the bridge from

Brazil to Paraguay, without any border checks whatsoever. Best to walk back from the bus stop to border control and ask if they need their passports stamped.

“Hoy solo?” the man asks. Si, they’re only visiting for the day. No need for stamps. It’s fine to just wander in to Paraguay.

It’s raining so hard that it feels like Iguazú Falls may have spilt over into the heavens.

Ciudad del Este is dark skied, depressing and crammed with bodies of business. The backside of Capitalism.

And the two travellers are walking through its shit, hands tightly holding on to wallets, in a Blade Runner landscape on the brink of post apocalyptic living.

“Amigo, amigo…” “Señor, señor…” Desperate Paraguayan people push into them, peddling their wares.

Opium, cocaine and marijuana are offered within the first ten minutes. They join the conveyor belt of buyers and barterers, like they’re in the mad house of a movie director’s mind.

Nothing to see except for department stores, shacks and stalls. Whore houses on the horizon. Motorcycle taxis

touting for fares. Sexy store assistants flirting for foreign currency, by bending over in red uniformed skirts, exposing long legs to tempt any prospective male shoppers.

No matter what expectations you may have of Ciudad del Este, having heard the same story from any traveller that’s braved the city, you’re bound to still be bowled over. The city most certainly lives up to the hype.

A few hours is plenty enough time. There’s nowhere to go and nothing to do other than shop. Lunch is had in a mall. Coffee is had in a market style area of shacks and stalls, covered by a loose tarpaulin; the rain hitting it hard.

Get the hard drive Jack’s come for, and get the hell back to Foz. Not that there’s anything to do there either.

It was worth coming for the sheer mad frenzied spectacle of Ciudad del Este. It was also worth coming for those oh so hot and sexy Paraguayan women who

had eyed the tourist. Maybe he should think about

visiting Paraguay proper after all. But nobody goes to

Paraguay. It’s the one place still overlooked by the tourist trail. A good reason to go then.

 

You can download this book from Amazon now: http://www.amazon.com/Route-Number-11-Argentina-Alcohol-ebook/dp/B00DSCBFFQ/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1411047810&sr=8-1&keywords=route+number+11


Clipped

Today I’ve got an exclusive from author Michelle Vongkaysone and her novel Clipped – don’t forget you can comment on this post at the bottom of the page.


 

The years have scarcely touched either of you, I see. Don’t hesitate, I’ve grown since last we all met. Don’t fear me, I need to make peace with all this now. It feels so long ago, doesn’t it?
So long ago since the ocean’s fury threatened to drown the earth. So long since the baking heat threatened to roast the earth dry. Far away it was since greater forces were summoned to quell those furies, water and land alike. Forces I captured and tamed for your benefit. For the greater good.


For a moment, you two were like gods of old, weren’t you? Masters of land or sea, modern-day Poseidon and Demeter, I suppose. You claimed your actions were for the best, and I am inclined to believe you. Your intentions were “noble”, not your methods, mind you.


Still, earth and sea are inclined to destroy as much as cultivate life on their own. So cocky were you two to urge their forces to bend to your wills. But the road to hell was lined with good intentions until it crumbled beneath our feet.


I don’t wish ill on either of you. I presume you’re doing well after all’s said and done. There’s something to be said of resilience. Of how water and earth and wind grapple among themselves, yet keep our world fit for us to live in.


What I’m trying to say is that I needed closure regarding our past. I can’t say what happened was ideal. I can’t say it hasn’t left it’s marks. But it’s made me that much stronger. That much more hardened for life, like a clay figure fired in an oven.


I wish you two the best in future doings. I hope you’ve learned and grown from the experience as I have. Thank you for offering such things to me, whether I wanted them or not.


You can download Clipped now here: http://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Vongkaysone/e/B00NEVL1RS

Clash of the Clans

Today we’ve got an exciting post, not only is there an exclusive extract but also a GIVEAWAY! So please give a warm welcome to martial arts author L Benitez and check out all the details about her book Clash of the Clans below ….

Greetings! Or as one might say in Japan, Konnichiwa!

My name is L. Benitez and I’m a self-published author of the Martial Arts fantasy Shinobi 7 Series. I have one book out called Shinobi 7: Trials of a Warrior, the first book of my ongoing series. However, today I’m here to discuss my newest release, Clash of the Clans, Shinobi 7’s very own companion book!

Clash of the Clans is not the official sequel to Trials of a Warrior, it’s a short story involving the characters from the Shinobi 7 universe. For those of you who have read Trials of Warrior, this is a nice bonus to get you excited for the official sequel/second installment. For those of you who have not read Trials of a Warrior, Clash of the Clans will give you a solid sample of my writing and peak your interest for each of the characters.

As read in Shinobi 7: Trials of a Warrior, the evil shinobi clan known as Blackthorn has started a war in the world known as Shaaku Den. The only warriors left to defend the innocent people are the Kitsune Clan, where the members of Sector 7 are introduced. Sector 7 must not only train to be soldiers, but they must grow together as a team and learn to rely on each other through the times of battle.

In this companion novel, there is no war in Shaaku Den, and the Blackthorn Clan was never formed. Therefore, all thirteen ancient shinobi clans are still around and the pressure of battle doesn’t weigh on the students of the Kitsune Clan. However, peace and harmony isn’t awaiting the six members of Sector 7… misadventures lie ahead!

I’m a Martial Artist myself and an active participator of Shotokan Karate. I’ve been in many tournaments. This book is about the nerves of competition and overcoming them, the pressures you place on yourself to perform, and the support that can come from your friends and teammates. It’s not about being the best, it’s about trying your best and having fun!

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Clash of the Clans. The current point of view is from Tabitha Meko, one of the young girls and main characters in the story. Please enjoy!

You can enter the giveaway to get a copy of the book here:

https://www.facebook.com/shinobi7series/app_228910107186452

We arrived at the Black-Sho Clan early the next morning. Akira stayed true to her word and returned to our camp at five in the morning. She merely said, “Let’s go,” before we took off again. Today wasn’t like yesterday, our team wasn’t rushed to travel. Akira probably wanted the six of us to conserve our energy, that or the school wasn’t too much farther from us.

The forests of Viper Country began to get thinner and thinner as we walked. It was only an hour before I saw the outline of a building off in the distance. It was still far away because the building looked like the size of my thumb. I’ve still got a long way to walk.

Therefore, I chose to walk next to Kuroi. It wasn’t for the sake of his company! I walked next to him to try and get information out of him. My team leader has been at the Kitsune Clan for three years and for two of them he was all by himself. He knows a lot about the shinobi clans, even if he chooses to be a jerk about it and refuse to clue his team in.

“Getting awfully close there, Meko-Chan. Hoping my badass skills will rub off on you?” I purposely gagged after hearing Kuroi’s comment. “You wish!” I exclaimed.

He smirked at me. Smirks from Kuroi Kaze weren’t nice, they were always intended to be taunting.

“So why walk so close to me, then?” he asked me.

Dang it, Kuroi caught onto my plan. “I’m just walking,” I replied.

“So go walk next to your gal-pal, Yami-San.” Kuroi often teased Yami about how sensitive he was and constantly told him to “be a man.”

“Quit being a jerk. I just wanna ask you more about Battle Month.” There, the truth finally came out of me.

Kuroi gave a short snarl. “I shoulda guessed that you or Yami-San would come bother me about that. It’s not like I’m some expert or whatever, I’ve only been to a Battle Month once.”

“Really? You’ve been there once before?” I asked with enthusiasm. My eyes instantly glued to Kuroi, I wanted to hear what he had to say more than ever.

He nodded. “Yeah. Once. Three months after I arrived at the clan.”

Back when Kuroi had his old teammates, I thought to myself. A red flag went off in my mind. Kuroi never talks about the old Sector 7, never. I need to be careful and not ask him about that.

“Which clan was it?” I asked him. I lost a peg of previous enthusiasm.

Kuroi furrowed his thick eyebrows, anger making its way into his face. “This one,” he growled, “the Black-Sho Clan.” Uh-oh.

I turned my head around to the front of me. We were almost at the building! A moment ago the place was miles and miles off, now it’s almost in my face. What in Shaaku Den? I thought.

Kuroi saw my look of perplexity. “It’s called an illusion, Meko-Chan,” he told my dryly.

The Black-Sho Clan was all indoors with an infrastructure made of creamy marble. The building was shaped like a large rectangle but it was hard to tell because of how big the place is compared to how small I am as a human. The open doors were almost as tall as the ceiling, which ascended above us by two stories. We stepped through the threshold and into the clan.

“Wow,” Cassie and I awed simultaneously.

The ceiling was made out of glass and the view of the bright blue skies was overhead. The floors were a simple concrete. On the outside wall of the clan, it was creamy marble that covered the building. Once I walked inside, the walls were a shiny black marble that gleamed and glistened brightly. That’s so cool!

My awe didn’t last long. I paid attention to what was in the room versus the room itself. There was plenty of open space around us and the room was already crowded with hundreds and hundreds of people. All these people… they’re all shinobis… oh spirits!

You can enter the giveaway to get a copy of the book here:

https://www.facebook.com/shinobi7series/app_228910107186452

But if you can’t wait, or are naturally unlucky order your copy of the short story Clash of the Clans on Amazon.com when it releases September 20th!

http://www.amazon.com/L.-Benitez/e/B00K1JBRH0/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

And you can add the book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7077413.L_Benitez

And don’t forget to like L Benitez’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shinobi7series


The Unlucky Man

Being a beta reader means I get to read a lot of great books before anybody else and then when it comes to promotion I can pick my favourite part of the book to showcase. This is a great scene from The Unlucky Man by H T G Hedges and you can download this book for free on Saturday.

 

A figure was seated at a huge, dark wood desk that curved majestically into the centre of the room, a glass decanter atop it filled with amber spirit.

“Mr. Happen,” Baldman said with deference and a strange almost half bow to the figure behind the desk before retreating to stand in the shadows behind him. I was pleased to see him remove his ridiculous sunglasses as he did so.

So this was the Make It Happen Man. He was not at all what I had expected.

He was a tall, gaunt figure, old but in no way diminished by age. Thick white curls rolled back from his brow, flowing above a face of weathered and thickly lined leather skin. His was not a kindly old face, however, but rather the unyielding countenance of a feared and respected teacher. Old ink showed on his skeletal fingers and across the backs of his hands, faded sigils and angled characters in a spreading blue green that may once have been black.

But it was his eyes that surprised me the most: one dark as oil, the other rheumy and white and surely blind, peeking like a marble from beneath a scarred and puckered lid. He smiled very slightly at Corg, a glint of sharp gold teeth catching the light cast by the oil lamp on the mammoth desk.

His voice, when he spoke, was deep and resonant, at odds with his advancing years. “Alexander,” he said, “It has been some time.” He raised a hand in a vague gesture taking in the room around us.

“Please excuse the mess, but we find ourselves living in interesting times.” He grinned a big, predatory golden grin, picking up a heavy based tumbler and swirling the liquid within. “And to what do we owe this unexpected pleasure?” He inflected the final word with enough venom to make it plain that we were far from welcome in his rotten castle. Behind him I caught Baldman’s smirk.

Corg spread his hands in an imploring gesture.

“We’re in trouble Mr. Happen,” he said earnestly, “We could use a place to lay our hats for a while, whilst the storm dies down.” His words sounded small, muffled and swallowed by the thickly scented hostile air.

From out of the shadows Baldman re-emerged, hand on the gun concealed under his dark jacket, but the stricken old man at the desk waved him back. His eyes still bore into mine, both of them, thought I had the disquieting notion that the cold marble orb was the one he was really seeing me with. Cherry red droplets dripped unnoticed from his fingertips.

“It’s you,” he rasped and the look in his eye said he recognized my face though I knew we’d never met before. “You,” he croaked, “The Unlucky Man.” His words tumbled out atonally, like those spoken in a dream and I heard them both from his pale lips and echoed in my head, drumming at my temples with every syllable.

“I knew you would come. I’ve seen it.” His skin looked suddenly thin and pale as paper. “Chaos follows you; death is in your footfalls, Unlucky Man.” He spat the words at me and, as I heard them, something shifted once more in my head and I felt the dark particle coil and flex itself, almost like an animal that recognizes its name being spoken. Happen, too, it occurred to me was touched by the same darkness.

“You should not have come here.” Mr. Happen still spoke like someone asleep but his gaze didn’t flicker from my face. “You bring chaos everywhere your crow shadow touches. It will be drawn to you.” There was pain etched in his features, a thin line of blood ran from his felt nostril. If this was a parlor trick, I thought, then it was a damn good one.

“We’ve done terrible things,” Mr Happen whispered, “And you are our reckoning. I knew you would come, I wanted to be ready.” He shut his eyes, his face creasing with an emotion I couldn’t even begin to read.

“It will be drawn to you,” he repeated in a whisper.

An enormous booming crash rocked the building. It felt like some massive object had collided with the outer walls. Everything shook, plaster drifted in torrents from the ceiling, the light flickered as the floor bucked and swayed.

“What the hell was that?” Baldman grunted as the door opened and Loess stepped into the room, white and anxious.

“Time to go,” she said urgently, a worried look on her face. The sudden cacophony seemed to have roused the Make it Happen Man from his trance as, with an effort, he pulled himself up onto his feet.

“We cannot help you,” he repeated in a whisper. “We will show you the way out and then you will go. Take your troubles with you.” Without another word or a backwards glance he limped from the room, wiping the blood from his face with the back of his hand. We followed, subsumed by his entourage, into a long austere green corridor much like the ones we had entered through, at the end of which was another door leading, I guessed, to a staircase back to ground level.

We were about halfway along the floor when the far door opened, a cluster of figures emerging from the gloom beyond. They looked at first glance for the most part like our escorts – grim, dishevelled, grimy – but there was a uniformity to their unkempt appearance that was lacking in Mr. Happen’s ragtag ensemble.

For a long, tense moment they looked at us and we looked straight back, suspended in a moment of perfect stillness. But it couldn’t last.

The first bullet took Baldman through the lens of his wraparounds. I heard the glass pop as his head cannoned backwards then his legs splayed and he went over like an unruly mannequin. Somehow, as he fell, I got a hand under his jacket, popped the clip on the holster, and brought out his pistol, firing off round after round into the shadowy gaggle of figures at the end of the hallway as more shots followed.

To my left, Loess had her weapon out and was firing too, whilst everyone else seemed frozen in icy shock. The noise was incredible in the confined space, every shot a boom of thunder, every burst as bright as lightning. Penned in the narrow confines of the doorway they never stood a chance.

The echoing silence after the last shot had fired was deafening as the door at the end of the hall quietly slid closed, cutting off the bilious tableaux beyond. Two of our group were fast cooling on the wormy carpet: Baldman and another whose name I’d never learned and never would.

Loess was the first to speak. “Come on,” she said. “We need to find another way down.” We reversed our footsteps, heading back the way we had come and taking a right into a room that must have cornered the building. A great, dirty window looked out over the desolate wasteland below.

“Who the fuck were those guys?” Corg demanded.

“No coincidences,” Happen growled. “Chaos draws chaos like a black-hole swallowing light.”

“Which way now?” Voices were raised in a clamor of differing opinions but I was no longer listening. Through the glass I could see that it had finally stopped raining, but the sky was so dark and thick with churning cloud that it could have been night once more. It was not so dark, however, that I could not see the figures moving about below. These weren’t Mr. Happen’s men, of that I was certain.

A glint of light caught from something shining for a brief moment out of the murk, a long, cylindrical object being hefted to a shoulder, its bearer kneeling awkwardly in the sticking sludge. I rubbed at the grime on the window, spreading it like green algae under my palm, squinting down, trying to make out what was going on. Suddenly it swam into focus and was only too clear.

“Shit!” I shouted, pushing away from the window. “Get out of here! Down!” But it was too late. I caught the plume of smoke through the glass, heard, or imagined I heard, the keening whistling whine of the rocket, and then everything exploded in a crunching ripple of shattered glass and crumbling masonry. Someone was screaming, maybe several someone’s, as the world went red.

And then I was falling as the ground rushed up to meet me – gray and massive – with crushing speed as, in a moment of pain and exclamation, everything melted mercifully to black.

 

Buy the book now from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Unlucky-Man-H-T-Hedges-ebook/dp/B00N2V7DXQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410871209&sr=8-1&keywords=h+t+g+hedges

 

And like H T G Hedges’ Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/HTGHedges


The Running Game

I’ve been promoting authors for the past three weeks and – well you might have already seen – I also write books. This week one of my own stories is reduced to $0.99/£0.99 so I thought today I would shove the other authors out of the way and bring you an extract of my book The Running Game and don’t forget your comments are encouraged and welcome.

 

 

Five past eleven. Rachel’s shift should have finished three hours ago. She slammed her time-card into the machine. Nothing. She gave it a kick, then another until it released, punching her card and signing her out for the night. The hospital locker room was unusually quiet. There was a nurse signing out for the night, two doctors signing in. Nobody spoke to each other – it wasn’t that kind of place. Grabbing her threadbare coat from her locker, she drew it over her scrubs – the only barrier between her and the unforgiving October night. She walked through the ER waiting room, eyes fixed on the exit. You had to ignore the desperation. Three hours over a twelve hour shift, you had no choice but to pretend like you didn’t care. Push past the mothers offering up their sick children like you could just lay your hands on them and everything would be better. Push past the factory workers bleeding out on the floor. Push that door open and get out. Get home. You had to. In six hours the whole thing would start again.

The first blast of cold air slapped the life into her aching body. The second blast nearly pushed her back inside. She tightened the coat around herself, for the good it would do. November was coming, and coming fast. She quickened her pace, trying to outrun the winter.

She hurried past the skeletal remains of another fallen bank, a relic of the days when there had been an economy. Now the abandoned building housed those left to the streets; the too old, the too young, the weak, the stupid. Cops would be coming soon, moving them on, pushing them from one shadow to another until dawn or death, whichever came first. But for now they sat, huddled around burning canisters, silently soaking in the heat as though they could carry that one flame through winter. They didn’t notice Rachel. Even the really bad men lurking in the doorways, waiting for helpless things to scurry past, overlooked the young doctor as she made her way home. Nobody ever saw her. At least they never used to.

Three – two – one. Right on cue. She felt someone watching her. It was always the same place, opposite the third window of the old bank. He was hidden, not in the bank but close. So close she could almost feel his breath on the back of her neck. She’d watched muggings before, these were desperate times and people took what they could when they could. There were rapes too, five this week, at least five that had needed medical care. It was a dangerous city and getting worse. But this was different. He – and for some reason she knew it was a he – did nothing. For a week he had been there, never betraying his position or his intentions, but she could feel him and the longer he waited the more he tormented her. He knew where she lived, where she worked, the route she took to the exchange store. And he escorted her home each night without ever showing himself. It made no sense. And that made it so much worse.

She wasn’t intimidated easily, doctors in St Mary’s couldn’t be. It didn’t matter that she was only five feet tall and looked like a strong wind would knock her down, she had to take care of herself. But the stalking had spooked her. The sleepless nights followed, wondering who he was, what he wanted, if he knew.

There was nowhere for her to go in the city, no place she could hide, no escape. If she wanted to eat she had to work and he would be waiting for her outside the hospital – watching, doing nothing. She was tired of it, tired of everything, but there was something she could do. She could make it stop, one way or another. Whatever he had planned, whatever he wanted to do to her, he would have to look her in the eye as he did it, because she was done running.

She stopped walking and turned.

The street was empty. But she could still feel him there. The buildings pressed their darkness into the street and the spattering of hissing lamplights did little to expose the nocturnal danger below. There was noise, there was always noise; voices, vehicles, the persistent buzzing of the electricity struggling to reach the edges of the city. So much going on, so little to see – a perfect place to hide.

“Okay you pervert,” she whispered to herself. “Where’re you hiding?”

The road stretched back into a tightrope. Gingerly, her feet edged back towards the ruined bank. She scanned the buildings around her, the upper windows, the ground level doorways, waiting for him to pounce. One step – two step. Look. Nothing. She retraced her steps to the next building. Then the next. He felt so close – why couldn’t she see him?

“You want me, well here I am, you freak. Come and get me!”

There was a shout from the bank. Someone running. A man. Her stomach clenched. She braced herself. He pushed by her, hurrying away. It wasn’t him.

She turned confused and warm breath touched the back of her neck.

“Get down!” The world went white.

 

You can download this book for $1.66/£0.99 for this week only

http://www.amazon.com/Running-Game-Reachers-Book-ebook/dp/B00G7VJ0GG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410981330&sr=8-1&keywords=the+running+game+l+e+fitzpatrick