Monday, January 4, 2016

Farewell Loyal Friends




It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing the end of this blog.  I've enjoyed getting to know so many new and talented writers over the past several years during which I've been putting these posts together.

When I first started the blog, my intention was to share writing related essays in order to give back to the writing community. With the advent of the Internet, I was introduced to many other writers who shared their knowledge with me.  I felt it was important that I do so as well.  I soon realized I didn't have the time to devote to new articles every week and still keep up my other writing interests.

It occurred to me that others would be interested in meeting new and upcoming writers.  Thus began the current incarnation of this blog...a venue to introduce a wide variety of writing talent to my followers.

I hope you've all enjoyed reading these posts and have found new authors to try and books to enjoy.  I know I have.  In fact, some of my guests I now consider good cyber friends.  

I wish to also thank all of my guests for sharing their stories and writing advice, many of whom offered free books and swag to people who commented on the blog posts.

The blog will, of course, remain in cyberspace, so if you were a guest and want to refer fans to a specific post, you can still do that.  Also, from time to time, I may have news I wish to share, or something I feel might interest you.

In the meantime, I want to wish each of you the best of luck in your own writing careers.











Monday, December 28, 2015

Kay LaLone, Family Secret


AUTHOR: Kay LaLone
BOOK TITLE: Family Secret
GENRE: YA, Mystery
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I am a part-time writer. I try to get up early in the morning and write.

When and why did you begin writing? I was writing at a young age. But sixteen years ago I took a writing course and started taking my writing more serious.

What inspired you to write your first book? I think family inspired me to write my first book Ghostly Clues.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? I also love going to auctions and buy. Now that I have a big collection of antiques and stuff, I sell on ebay and flea markets.

What are your thoughts about promotion? It is hard work promoting books.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel? The toughest criticism I got was from my critique groups when I was writing my first book. The biggest compliment I got was from my mother-in-law. She told me after reading the first chapter she cried. It is nice to know my writing can put that kind of emotion in my readers. Yes. I think the criticism and the compliments make me a better writer.

What are your current projects? My current writing project is working on book 2 of Family Secret. Also revising another manuscript, Mysterious Visions.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Finding the time to write. All the revisions I went through to get the book where it is today.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process? I like to free write and see where my imagination will take me. Once I get a rough draft done I’ll read through it and develop an outline.

What comes first: the plot or characters? Characters come first.

How did you decide how your characters should look? After writing the rough draft, I’ll do a character sketch to get to know my characters better.

Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children’s literature? Write. Write. Write. Read. Read. Read. Kind of helps to be around children and see how they interact with each other.

Tell us about Family Secret.
On the road to solving his mother’s murder, sixteen-year-old Thomas Patrick Henry discovers a secret his father has kept from him for years. Tom thought Dad’s secret put him in danger, Mom’s secret is far worse. Magic. Witches. Ancient Book of Spells. Magical Amulet. Ghosts. Demons. Tom never thought these things existed until he is face to face with them. There is nothing else to do but destroy the demons before someone else Tom love dies. He already lost his mom and a close friend because this secret was kept from him. No one else will die. No one else will be possessed. Tom faces his demons. A mother’s love gives Tom the strength to slay his demons.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun? Am I connecting with these characters? When I finish reading a book, I like to feel like I just met a friend.

Describe your writing space. The kitchen table.

Where can fans find you?
blog 
Website
Facebook
Twitter
good reads


Where did the idea for Family Secret come from? 
Ideas for stories can come from many places. I’ve had ideas come from dreams, daydreaming, and things my family might do. 
Family Secret is not based on a secret from my past or from my family. The idea for Family Secret came from a picture I saw for a writing class. The writing assignment was to look at a picture and develop a story from it. In the picture were a train and a boy and girl.
 I asked the question, What if? What if this boy was running away from something? What if he felt like he wasn’t wanted? What if a secret was being kept from him? Asking what if gets the imagination flowing. Over the years (it took fifteen years before Family Secret became published) I just let my imagination run wild and soon it developed into the book it is today.   





Excerpt

“Ow.” Tom yanked the chain and dragged the burning amulet from under his shirt. Even the chain was warm, but there was no way he was going to take the stupid thing off. He let it drop to his chest and rest warmly on the top of his shirt as he stared at the demon.

“It’s not your grandfather,” Tom whispered. Anger rolled around inside him because of what this thing did to Sarah.

The dark figure stepped out of the shadows causing the boys to take two steps back. The demon looked like a man dressed in thunderous storm-like clouds from head to toe. Even his face was black and the eyes a dimly puke-yellow that churned Tom’s stomach. He felt Rob’s heavy breathing just inches behind him, but it didn’t stop a chill from shimmering up his spine like fingernails on a chalkboard.

“I know who you are.” Tom tried to sound confident even though his voice shook with fear. He swallowed hard. “What do you want?”

The demon raised a shadowy arm and then his stormy cloud-like body started to swirl like a mini tornado. In a gust of black smoke, the demon shot up into the air and zipped right over Tom and Rob’s heads. The boys ducked and laid flat on the wet grass, afraid the demon would consume them.

Tom turned his head to see the black smoke head toward Mr. Watson’s house. Tom got to his feet while Rob remained on the ground. The black smoke swarmed over the house and then drifted back down. It slithered around the house like a snake looking for a place to sneak in, circling several times before seeping through the crack in the window and disappearing inside.

Rob scrambled to his feet. “That thing is inside my grandfather’s house.” His voice was high-pitched in fear. “My…” He glanced toward the empty driveway. Then he sighed. “Mom must still be at the hospital.”

Tom touched Rob’s arm to prevent him from doing something crazy. He didn’t want another one of his friends to get hurt by this thing.

“We need to do something, but I don’t know what.” Tom glanced over to the tents in Granddad’s backyard, hoping Matt or Granddad would come running to save the day. But there was no movement over there.

Inside the house, Jake growled and then started to bark wildly. Before Tom could stop him, Rob dashed upon the back porch and flung the backdoor open. Jake continued his wild barking as if protecting Rob and the house. If only the dog could save the day, but Tom feared nothing would save them.

A cracking noise caught Tom’s attention, and he turned his head toward what he assumed was Mr. Watson’s bedroom window. The glass appeared pitch black at first, and then a face appeared. The same puke-yellow eyes stared at Tom and gave him an evil grin.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Greetings and a new book from Stephanie Burkhart, plus #giveaway






Author: Stephanie Burkhart
 Book Title: Joseph’s Cradle
 Publisher: 4RV Publishing

Do you have a giveaway? Yes

What is it?  I’ll offer a coffee mug with the cover of the book, magnets, and 1 $5.00 Starbucks gift card.

Who will deliver the prize?  I will.

NOTE:  Be sure to leave your contact information to be considered for this gift from Stephanie.


Tell me a little about your book:

STEPHANIE: Joseph’s Cradle is about discovering your gifts and how you can use them to help others.

Why did you choose to write a story with a Christmas theme?

STEPHANIE:  When children read “Joseph’s Cradle,” I want them to understand that gifts come from the heart.

Do you see special challenges to marketing a book with a seasonal theme?

STEPHANIE: Good question. I don’t really see that with “Joseph’s Cradle,” but I suppose it’s very possible. I know “Christmas in July” sales usually do well, but ultimately, for me, I think it depends on the story. The more you touch readers on an emotional level, the more sales you have year around.

How long before December did you submit to your publisher?

STEPHANIE: I believe I sent Joseph’s Cradle to the publisher in 2012.

How and why did you choose this publisher?

STEPHANIE: I discovered 4RV Publishing in 2010. Vivian is on Writing.com with me. I’m really impressed with the stories they publish and I’m honored to have my stories in their collection.

What about your book makes it special?

STEPHANIE: What I like about “Joseph’s Cradle” is that it takes a look at the Christmas story from another perspective.

What does Christmas mean to you?

STEPHANIE: It’s a time for family and friends to come together and enjoy each other’s company. The hope of Jesus’s story helps one prepare for the new year.

What is your favorite Christmas or Winter memory?

STEPHANIE: Going sledding as a young girl with my auntie. It’s especially memorable now since I live in Southern California and snow is rare out this way.

What is your favorite stocking stuffer?

STEPHANIE: Anything but coal!

What was your favorite Christmas present?

STEPHANIE: I got engaged on Christmas Eve.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

STEPHANIE: Here are some links where you can find me on the web.  Penny, thanks for having me here today. It’s been a pleasure to visit your blog and share my story with your readers.  

FIND ME ON THE WEB AT:
WEBSITE:

TWITTER:

FACEBOOK:

GOOD READS:

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:

PINTEREST:




JOSEPH’S CRADLE BLURB: Joseph and his wife, Mary, expect a baby. With all that is happening, including the government requiring a census, Joseph feels a little overwhelmed and a bit left out of the preparations for the baby. Is there something he can do?


Monday, December 14, 2015

Kate Preston, A Vintage Year, plus #giveaway #free ebook




NOTE:  Kate is offering a free electronic copy of A Vintage Year to someone who comments.  Be sure to leave your contact information to be considered in the drawing.  Also, Kate is seeking folks interested in reviewing the book.  If you are interested in that, please make a note in your comment, and she'll be in touch.

AUTHOR: Kate Preston                 
BOOK TITLE: A Vintage Year
GENRE: Contemporary Women's
PUBLISHER: Book Baby

Please tell us about yourself:
I am an environmental policy consultant by day and fiction writer by night (well, actually, by day too -- 10pm is usually my bedtime). I live in Montreal with my husband, our three teenagers, and an agoraphobic cat. My work can be pretty stressful and intense so writing light-hearted escape stories is a therapy for me.      
            
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I write part-time. I have thought about writing full-time, but I'm not sure I have the attention span to do that. I enjoy my day job, it pays the bills and I get to meet really interesting people and see interesting technologies. In fact, I get a lot of inspiration from my day job. I'm fortunate that because I'm a consultant, I rarely work a typical 9-5 Monday to Friday job. Instead, I can usually find time two days a week to write fiction. I also write for a few hours on weekend mornings before the kids are up -- not that that's an issue anymore as they're teenagers and lead independent lives. I also take a pen and notepad with me and use the 50 minute public transit ride to work to hash out ideas I might have. My brain can't handle writing for more than four hours in a day anyway so short spurts of time work best for me.

When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing fiction as I was finishing up a Master's in Political Science and Environmental Studies. I had to write a lot of papers for that program and I kept wanting the real, historical figures to do things other than what they were doing. I would say, "What if he had done this instead of that? How would the world be different today?" I promised myself that once I'd finished my degree I'd start writing fiction. So I did.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I am always coming up with new ideas even when I am not actually working on something. If I'm organized, I will even write the ideas down, but that's not always the case. I love being outdoors, so when I am not at my desk I play tennis, go for a bike ride, a walk, a hike with my husband or friends. In the winter I play squash and we ski as long as it isn't too cold (I draw the line at -20C). Writing is a solitary experience, your characters can only keep you company for so long, so socializing and doing exercise at the same time is a good way to keep fit and connect with the real world.

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
I have always had a romantic notion that I would like to own a vineyard. While doing the research for this book hasn't changed that idea, the idea of having farm animals did. They need a lot of work and you can't just up and leave them to go on holiday somewhere. At least with grapes -- or any crop for that matter -- you have a defined period of rest during the winter months. I also made the vineyard in my book biodynamic. After researching it, I am skeptical of the need to going to that level of farming to produce great fruit. It is a lot of work and, while wineries that use the method swear by it, (and what do I really know versus a real farmer), I would definitely be more inclined to stick to organic farming which seems a bit more straightforward.

What are your current projects?
I am in creative mode at the moment, which can be wonderful and frustrating and depressing all at the same time. I come up with tons of ideas, write them down, explore them and see if they can go anywhere. I potentially have about five different plot ideas at the moment -- the key question is, are any of them viable -- and I don't know the answer to that yet.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.? 
Twitter: @kprestonbooks

What genre do you write in and why?
I write contemporary fiction, primarily targeted at women. Basically, I like to write works that I would like to read. I like suspense and comedy with a bit of romance woven in, with a great plot and complex characters.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.
A Vintage Year is about a retired former number one tennis player, Harris Tucker. Harris is eight years into his retirement and on the brink of running out of money -- but he's still living like he's the center of the universe with no clear direction other than having a lot of fun.
He ends up working on a vineyard in the hills of Santa Barbara, CA, as a farmhand where he tends the vines and looks after the animals. I wanted to test his resolve and see how he would do going from King to lowly farmhand. I also put a love interest, Laura Walters, in there for him -- not his typical female companion (she's not a social climber, nor does she think a lot about her appearance since she works on the farm all day). She has issues of her own and comes with two sweet children. It is through his interactions with her, her children and the rest of her family, as well as the good old-fashioned physical labour of working on a farm that show Harris what life for "normal" people is like. The question is, once he is finished his little stint on the farm, will he go back to his partying ways, or will he pull up his socks and start developing a life for himself?

What gave you the idea for this particular book?
I had had this question sitting in the back of my mind for a few years: What happens to professional athletes after they retire? Most retire fairly young because of the brutal beating the sport they play takes on the their bodies. Unless they become a commentator, you don't really hear about them much.

Then, when I was out in California visiting my sister a few years ago, we were exploring Santa Barbara and wine country. It was February so there were few tourists and the landscape was brown, but it was still beautiful. While we were winding our way through the vineyards we started discussing a book I was working on and I came to the conclusion that it was boring. But there were elements of it that had potential. My old question, What happens to professional athletes after they retire? came back into my head. Suddenly, I had my story.  I kept the two main characters, but changed their jobs, lifestyles and where they lived and plopped them onto a vineyard in Santa Barbara County, and let the story run from there.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?
I absolutely outline before I write. I read several books before I start writing a new work to remind me of how to write again. My writing bible is The First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner. For me, this book is an amazing resource. It breaks a story into essential parts with all the technical reasons why certain elements are necessary for a good story. I also read Hooked, by Les Edgerton, The First Five Pages, and The Plot Thickens both by Noah Lukeman. While I'm rereading all these books, I also start thinking of what my story will look like, who my characters are, what are their strengths and weaknesses, etc.

What comes first: the plot or characters?
Plot.... No, characters!, No, plot!....for me they develop together. I like a good plot, but it's the characters who make the plot come alive. The characters need to be interesting and well-developed, using their special talents and flaws to drive the plot forward.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why? 
Definitely Harris. He is charming and naive, and sweet when he wants to be. He doesn't understand how the real world works because he's been coddled, bossed, and protected all his life. But he has so much potential once he's out of the clutches of his mother and able to think about what is really important to him. Out of all the characters he changes the most during the book and he becomes so much more emotionally mature by the end. Plus, he was so much fun to write!

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?
A Vintage Year is my first published novel. I have 5 or 6 "drawer novels" (ie., sitting in my drawer because they're not good enough for prime time) that I might revisit, but I am also developing a new one -- an environmental suspense thriller, loosely based on technologies I've come into contact with during my day job.

What advice would you give a new writer starting out?
If you love writing keep at it. It is one of the most difficult skills I have ever learned. When you read good writing, it fools you into thinking it is easy to do. Believe me when I say it is not. So, write as often as you can, preferably every day. On the days when you don't feel like it, cut yourself some slack and sit at your writing place for ten minutes. If you haven't put anything on the paper, leave and try again the next day. You will have days when the creative well is dry. It's normal, just accept it and move on.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
It depends on my mood. I usually want to read something with a strong main character who is intelligent, but stuck in some kind of situation or problem and works hard to overcome it and succeed in the end. 

Describe your writing space. 
I don't just have one writing space because I often need a change of scenery. Sometimes I will steal away to the living room and sit on the couch with my laptop beside the fire with some great background music going. Other times I'll be business-like and sit at my desk in our "catch all" room (spare bedroom-den-office). That's usually when I've given myself a deadline to get through a certain element of a new story. I have post-its all over the office with magazine cut-outs of places where I think my characters might live or work.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?
I love to create new stories so having the freedom to invent anything I want is as much fun as it is a challenge. I love the idea of living in new and interesting places and working in different jobs (like on a vineyard in Santa Barbara County). It's not likely I will ever get the chance to do that in real life so experiencing it through my characters is the next best thing.
The least favourite thing about being an author is usually finding the initial thread of the story that is interesting enough to hold my and readers' attention. It's a challenge that can be easy to give up on. Once you have it though, it's incredibly gratifying to follow it to the end (with a few more starts and stops along the way).




 EXCERPT CHAPTER ONE:

Harris Tucker had finished his warm-up half an hour before game time. Now, in the privacy of his locker room, out of the way of the nosy crowd and paparazzi, he took four yellow pills to help dull the pain that was already seeping into his knees and lower back. In hindsight, he should have stopped by Dr. Morton’s office for the steroid shots he’d suggested. It was too late now, so he hoped the yellow pills would take effect in time for the match.
            Once again he was kicking himself for agreeing to this event. “ButHarris,” his mother had pouted, “it’s for the children. They need you.” More like she needed him, he grumbled to himself. He knew perfectly well that the event was as much about his mother announcing her candidacy for state senator as it was about his raising money for the Santa Barbara Children’s Hospital.
            He didn’t play tennis anymore, his knees and lower back protested every time he demanded they do anything more than a brisk walk, while his right rotator cuff wouldn’t even allow him to have a friendly game of golf without a complaint. So when his mother had approached him to star in this event, against none other than his former rival, Win Sommers, he’d immediately declined. “There is no possible amount of money that could get me out on the  court against him again,” he claimed. He had watched his mother’s expression go from glee to tears in less than ten seconds. He had to give her credit, she was a fine actress. It took her a solid twenty days of badgering, and she’d had no qualms about enlisting the help of his girlfriend and her publicist, Lindsay, to finally convince him to play.
            Now, sitting in the locker room of the Santa Barbara Municipal Tennis Center, he changed into his new Lacoste tennis outfit. The weather in January was generally mild and today, although still early in the month, was no exception. A pleasant 65°F with a cloudless blue sky and sunshine, he couldn’t have asked for a nicer day. It made for decent tennis weather and it would be comfortable for the fans. His mother had told him that the event had sold out, as if that was a justification for her asking him to play, never mind his aching joints. He could already feel the yellow pills starting to work their magic.
            Doubling the dose had been a good idea, he decided, given how quickly the pain was receding. He could put his T-shirt on over his head without wincing from rotator cuff pain – always a positive sign. He put on his new shorts and sat down to change his socks and shoes. Huh, he thought as he looked down at his feet, when did he grow a second set of legs? He lifted his right leg and watched two right legs rise in tandem. Then he lifted his left leg and saw the same thing. Amazing. He stood up and felt the extra stability from having not one but two sets of legs. Everyone should have four legs, he decided – it’s just so much better for stability.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dion Lack, Voyage of Truth




AUTHOR: Dion Lack           
BOOK TITLE: Voyage Of Truth
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction
PUBLISHER: LackToast Entertainment


Please tell us about yourself. My name is Dion Lack. I was born and raised in Dayton Ohio but now live in Los Angeles with my wife and two children. Even though I have written a fantasy sci fi novel, I have a strong background in comedy spanning from stand-up, sketch to improv. I’ve written scripts and commercials for many well-known comedians and helped to build a production company from the ground up.

Please tell us your latest news. I recently published my first book “Voyage of Truth,” and I plan on rereleasing it, this time in two parts. The original book will be a limited edition and will be discontinued soon.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? Yes, I am a full-time writer. I have a wonderful, supportive wife that allows me to be a stay home parent. Once I prep my 9 and 4 year old off to school, I am able to write throughout the day.

What inspired you to write your first book? Voyage of Truth was inspired by an analogy I used to help teach one of my daughters. I created a whole world and she absolutely loved it.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? One of my hidden talents is being a lyricist. I write, perform and edit rapping jingles for small businesses or events.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it? Yes of course I get writers block. If I didn’t I would change my name to God. Lol! Usually what I do is use a software called Dragon Natural Speaking and hear my words being read back to me. This allows me to listen as a reader and edit along the way.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? I published my book through my production company LackToast Entertainment. Working through my company gave me access to more resources---mostly a second set of eyes to review my work.

What is your marketing plan? My initial plan was focused around promoting my book using videos and book trailers. I was able to share these with my email listserv and social marketing groups.  I started growing my facebook page a year before the book was published so I relied on the relationships built there. Now I want to reach newer audiences so I have to revise my strategy just a bit.

What are your current projects? As I stated before, I am about to re-release my first book in two parts. I am currently working on the second book in the series.

What do you plan for the future? I see Voyage of Truth as a series of five books. I plan to complete that. However, my dream is to see this series on the big screen.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.? My website and blog can be found at VoyageofTruth.com.  You can find me on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram @DionLack

What do you do when you’re not writing? When not writing you can find me behind the camera directing and editing.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself? Father, Driven, Supporting, Loyal, Passionate, Trusting, Entertainer

Describe your writing space. I usually write in my bedroom where I have a wall full of index cards that outline the entire story. I have character and story notes plastered all over the place. I like to have it right in front of me.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite? My favorite part of being an author is not having a wrong answer. This is my world that I created gives my readers an adventure, action with seeds of self-esteem. I would say the least favorite part is the marketing. Trying to stand out from my genre of fellow authors and finding my core target audience.



EXCERPT:

The headline from the evening news captures the attention of a passing lieutenant and he yells, “Hey, turn that up.” Sharlo grabs the remote and increases the volume.

Nulo hears the reporter emphasize how expensive the recent mezzanine damages are and ducks deeper into his seat.


The bar shamefully frowns at the aftermath and sighs at Nulo’s photo appearing across the screen.
Nulo hears sarcastic praise over the cro
wd’s gurgling. “Let’s give a round of applause to the heroic, super soldier eating alone over there.”

The soldiers join the drunken Lieutenant Kaphir standing in ovation and laughing. Humiliated, Nulo preps to escape the surrounded mockery and exits his booth. He pays for his half-eaten meal and maneuvers through the insensitive crowd.

Kaphir quiets the crowd and stops Nulo at the doorway. “Aww, we were just having a little fun. Where are you running off to?”

With drowsy eyes, Nulo responds, “I had a long day and I just want to head to my condo and get some sleep.”

“And you know what I want?” Kaphir asks. “An honest apology.”


Nulo now recognizes Kaphir’s face. “Come on
, now. Are you really that petty?” Kaphir’s extended silence gives Nulo his answer. Nulo bursts with frustration. “Fine, I’m sorry. I am so sorry for accidentally shooting you earlier.”

The stubborn Kaphir sucks his teeth and doesn’t accept his repentance. “Maybe I’d believe it more if you were on your knees.”

Nulo scoffs. “That’s not going to happen.”


“I think it will.”

Kaphir’s crew begins to surround Nulo. He’s outnumbered and carefully says, “Let’s not do this,
guys. I really don’t want any trouble.”

Kaphir laughs hysterically. “Who said we wanted trouble? I just want a real apology; on
e we all can believe. Now kneel.”

Nulo looks over to Sharlo behind the bar and she agrees with a light nod. Nulo contemplates an exit strategy and looks around for options.

“Time is wasting, Nulo.”

Before he can devise a plan, Nulo is kicked in the chest by the impatient Kaphir. Nulo stumbles back, but gets tossed forward by one of Kaphir’s cronies. Nulo propels through the glass entrance and slides outside of the bar. Kaphir steps through the broken doorway and walks over the shattered pieces of glass. Nulo attempts to stand, but gets kicked back down.

“Here lies the infamous, Nulo,” Kaphir says while standing over him. He grabs Nulo’s head and pushes his face into the pebbles of glass. He asks, “How does it feel? Punished and powerless just like that? It hurts, doesn’t it? I don’t care what this ship believes. You’re just another weak phage in my eyes. So the next time you feel the need to prance around here like you’re untouchable, I want you to remember my face and this moment.”

Nulo struggles and feels around for something to grab. As Kaphir stands up, laughing, he is blasted in the jaw by a brick. Kaphir falls to one knee, but bounces back invigorated.

“Woo, cheap shot from the super soldier. I should’ve known it that wasn’t easy to take you down. Let’s dance.”

Kaphir licks his bloody lip and fires up his arm cannon. Nulo pushes off the ground, but stays low. The pedestrians in the courtyard start to scatter. Nulo puts some distance between himself and Kaphir, hiding behind the crossing foot traffic and says, “We’re even.”

Kaphir pitches two shots from his AC. Nulo tucks and rolls behind a trashcan and looks for something to use as a weapon. Kaphir shuffles to get a better shot and watches Nulo creep back toward the entrance of Sharlo’s diner.

“There you are.” Kaphir opens fire and Nulo uses others as a shield. Kaphir loses sight of him and yells, “Move. Everyone get down.”

Nulo dives through the window and scrambles to take cover behind an overturned table. Sharlo tries to diffuse the situation. “Alright Kaphir, I think you’ve scared him enough.”

Kaphir snaps, “No, I haven’t.”

“You are ripping my place apart, stop this.”


“Put it on my tab. Shut up and let me do everybody a favor.”


The smoke starts to clear inside the diner and Kaphir sees Nulo hiding behind the bar in the reflection of the ceiling’s mirror. Kaphir playfully taunts Nulo as he inches towards him. “Come out, come out, wherever you are, super soldier.”
...
FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
By downloading
Voyage Of Truthby Dion Lack on Amazon.com