I am very pleased to announce that the short story anthology "Lucky or Unlucky?" is now available for download from Amazon (US and UK), Smashwords and from Barnes & Noble. I am also a tad proud that my highwayman tale, "Lucky Bill", was selected to feature within it. There are, rather significantly, 13 stories in all, penned by the members of the SFFWorld writing forum, expertly collated by editor Nila E. White and fortified by a piece from established author Mark Lawrence. Should your appetite require whetting further, here is a small excerpt, specifically from the story "Sundered" by Wilson Geiger, a prolific author who is currently carving out a name for himself with works that often contain a sublime combination of the everyday and the fantastical:

 “Man’s gotta have his time to let…” Jimmy’s voice trailed off, his eyes wide, his stare fixed on a small group of soldiers ahead.
They leaned against a tall wooden fence in quiet conversation, wisps of smoke hovering over their heads as the embers of rolled cigarettes lit their faces. A two-story house stood behind the fence, the small flames of candlelight dancing in the upper windows. The sun dipped below the western horizon, framing the soldiers against the evening sky.
I didn’t think anything of it at first, not until we neared the men, and then I noticed. My steps halted as I caught the flash on their shoulders, spotted the insignia us regular soldiers feared.
Not much could shut Jimmy up when he was on one of his rants. I might’ve cracked a joke if I could get a word out myself. Instead I held out a hand, clenched Jimmy’s shoulder so that he stopped beside me.
Rarely seen out and about, these men were part of the sorcerer cadre assigned to the 13th. Whispered secrets, rumor and legend, there was always an undercurrent of fear when they came up in conversation. Talked about, but never in the open, never loudly. The way I figured it, the less we knew about them, the better.
I didn’t much care to get too close to their mysteries now, so I did what any sane, fearful man would, when confronted with that kind of power. Go the other way.
One of them looked in our direction as I pushed Jimmy across the narrow street, kicking up clumps of dirt as we shuffled towards the other side of the street, away from the sorcerers. Jimmy paused in the middle of the road, coughed again, this time a deep rumble in his chest. He cleared his throat with a hacking cough, spat out a wad of thick mucus.
“You okay, Jim?” I asked, taking a nervous step away.
Jimmy looked at me, and I knew right away something was wrong. His lids drooped, his breath coming in wheezing gasps. He held a shaky hand up, aimed for my shoulder. “Told you it was bad luck, Gord,” he said with a rasp.

Oh, and here's another massive incentive. You can pick up the entire collection for the measly sum of approximately $1.00. I don't know what more I can do to entice you? Oh, links, ....you want links? Here you go, then. Click away!

·        Amazon UK

·        Amazon US

·        Smashwords

·        Barnes and Noble


And we would be extremely grateful if, once you have voraciously devoured it, as I am sure you will, you would post a short review for us  here on Goodreads.


Thanks
And a Happy New Year to all
ND


 
 
Picture


The members of SFFWorld's writing forum are about to embark upon their second online publication. The anthology, entitled "Lucky or Unlucky?", will include thirteen tales of fate, the number thirteen itself playing a pivotal role within each story. Bolstered by an especially commissioned short by established author 
Mark Lawrence, "Lucky or Unlucky?" will be available soon on Amazon and Smashwords. 

 
 
Wow! I received my first ever rejection from a paying market a few days back. For my Beneath a Violent Sky story. And it feels.....great!
It was a hurdle that I really needed to get over. What I'm going to do next is tidy up that story (I can always find a way to improve something, no matter how many times I return to it!) and re-submit it someplace else. I aim to get a few other things together over the course of the next months so that I have a number of stories in circulation at any one time. That will get the rejections coming in thick and fast!

In other news, I managed to break my duck for this month with a 1000 word flash fic piece for a contest on SFFWorld. I'll probably put that on here when the contest is over. In the meantime I could probably get around to uploading my entry from last month.

Always so much to do!
 
 
I've built up a bit of a backlog of things that need addressing lately. I'm hopeful that April will be the month that sees me ticking a few of them off. Notably, these include:

The final re-organisation, review and uploading of SOTS from Prologue to chapter 3. This is underway - honest!

The final draft of a short story I have been working on called Lucky Bill, then to be submitted (with fingers crossed) for possible publication in an online anthology towards the end of 2013.

A bit of housekeeping on the website, including a freshen up of the Links section and the uploading of some of the short fiction produced over the last couple of months.

The conclusion of the latest SOTS chapter. This is almost there - just needs wrapping up and a read through.

Read and critique of another writer's book that I am already a fair way into. I find this an enjoyable and useful task - particularly as it's damn good stuff in the first place!

Oh, and I did submit a short story, entitled Beneath a Violent Sky, a few weeks back and am still waiting to receive the rejection letter from the magazine!
Okay, waiting isn't really a job I suppose.

None of the above has been helped by a recent incident during which my iPad took a tumble down the stairs. It has become my number one tool for getting stuff done over the last few months and I was a bit lost without it. It's back now though, complete with replacement screen.

Time to crack on.

Happy Easter, everyone!
 
 
Have been blogging with some writer friends the last couple of days and one of them mentioned that he was trying to dedicate himself to writing a minimum of 500 words each day, a tip that he'd picked up from one Terry Pratchett, no less! Sounded like a good challenge to me, as I am in desperate need of a word count boost just at the moment. Got to it last night and got a short flash fic piece done (800 words or so) for an online contest in about thirty minutes flat. Surprisingly, when I revisited it today, I couldn't see anything that I wanted to change, so perhaps speed writing can actually work! Anyway, I need to decide on what to have a go at tonight. There is a short story that needs attending to for another contest, although my outline for this is sketchy at least. And then there is SOTS which obviously needs to be moved on (mustn't let the momentum waver!!). On the subject of SOTS, by the way, I can advise that I am in the middle of rebooting the whole thing as it currently stands. I've received some massively helpful critique from fellow writers of late, the upshot of which is that the first few chapters are currently being overhauled, as well as re-ordered into a more sensible chronological time frame. It has always been in the back of my mind that this would be required because the prologue and the first two chapters were actually written as standalone, albeit, interlinked stories. More on that in due course anyway. What it does make slightly daunting is the prospect of pushing on with further chapters whilst the beginning of the thing still needs tidying up. Hmmm, maybe it's that short story after all for tonight ;)

ND
 
 
The wait is over. The aptly titled Patiently Waiting is now available. Click HERE to go straight to it.
"I'm sorry," he said, returning to his newspaper, "I don't do surveys, I'm afraid."

"It's not a survey," Helen said, frustration creeping into her voice.

"It's about Sleet James," Moira interjected, unable to keep her peace any longer.

The newspaper dropped to the table and, for the first time, he raised his head to stare at them over the rim of his spectacles. His gaze lingered on Moira and then passed to Helen, whereupon his eyes opened wide. "You!" he exclaimed. 

                               "
 
 
 
 
Oops! Some 8 months appear to have passed since I last blogged here. Apologies for that. Things have quite simply been overtaken by the daily demands of work and family life - unfortunately, probably in that order too (which is intrinsically wrong), but that's the world we live in. Well, it's the one I live in anyway!
So, a Happy New Year to you, together with a resolution to post updates to this site a little more regularly than of late. In the first instance a couple of recent shorts have been added in the form of Two Before Bed, a supernatural tale to pull on your heart strings and Tototl Ascends, in which a young boy experiences his first participation in the frenzied religious festival of his people.
Hopefully, before too long, there will be a further instalment of SOTS as well as a return to Duplicity.

Watch this space!


ND
 
 
When, however, the creature lowered its demonic head into a position where it hung above his own and uttered a threatening guttural bark, he could not help but turn away. Its breath reeked with a foulness which certainly complemented its horrific appearance.

“You haven’t brushed today either, have you?” he muttered.
 


Rejoin Sleet James as he journeys deeper into the alien world of the Shadows. Chapter 16 is now here!
 
 
My writer's notes on the conception of new tale, Duplicity, are available. Go to the Duplicity main page for a link or simply....... click here