Monday, April 30, 2018

*Monday Author Fiction Spotlight* New Kings of Tomorrow by J.M. Clark

New Kings of Tomorrow by J.M. Clark

Twenty years ago, Jacob lost everything. Just as he was starting to figure out life as a college freshman, Jacob ’s world was suddenly shattered when A rapid and devastating illness that destroyed everything and everyone who mattered to him. 

Jacob and the other survivors of the pandemic were transported to The Palace Program. The palace, a quarantined perfect community housed in a modern facility was designed to protect them from the sickness that wiped out ninety-five percent of the population while creating a man-made Utopia. 

The Order, which has risen as the new ruling power, believed the desires of The Old World were responsible for its collapse. They appointed responsibility to Sirus, The Program Director, to rehabilitate the survivors and continue with reproduction of mankind. 

As the years go by and Jacob’s relationships in The Palace grow, he slowly begins to see that the Utopian society is nothing close to a perfect Tomorrow, but instead, an unfathomable deception. 

New Kings of Tomorrow
J.M. Clark
ISBN 1973596199

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ted Cohen's Promotion!


All Three
Kindle Editions 
Starts this Sunday

April 22 through 29
99 cents each

0.99 each in the UK

Book 1:

Book 2:

Book 3:

Don’t have a Kindle? Get the FREE Kindle app for you device at the URL below:

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Available on iOS, Android, Mac & PC

I hope you enjoy these THREE new flash fiction books!  Remember: each book contains 73 stories and each story is prompted by an intriguing photograph!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Monsterland Reanimated by Michael Okon - Chapter 1


Front page of the Copper Valley Sun

President of the US, World Leaders, and Thousands Dead
Many still missing as the world reels from the impact of the Monsterland disaster

Multitudes are still unaccounted for and presumed dead. Escaping werewolves, vampires, and zombies of Dr. Vincent Konrad’s theme parks inexplicably escaped en masse and massacred unwitting parkgoers ... Massive government shutdowns as the world teeters on the brink of chaos.

Chapter 1

The Night After the Monsterland Catastrophe

A bright moon painted the desert’s surface pewter. Here and there, dark spots soiled the landscape like oil spills. Most of the bodies had been taken before the troops were ordered to leave. They carted away the corpses, bulldozing the zombies into mass graves, until radios chirped with urgent orders deploying the soldiers to the bigger threats that erupted in the main cities like a chain of angry volcanos.
Monsterland was extinguished, its carcass left for the vultures to pick, the exhibits silent as a tomb.
The dead president and his equally dead entourage were whisked away on Air Force One, along with the dark-clad special operatives that came and left like the brisk desert wind that now howled through the empty streets.
A gate screamed in the silence, slamming with a reverberating smash. The uneven gait of someone with a physical challenge filled the void. The scrape and plod of his limp echoed against the wall of mountains framing the theme park. His labored breathing huffed as he made his way down the streets.
A door creaked loudly as it was blown by the wind. He stopped, his distorted figure silhouetted in the pale moonlight, his body turning silver. He looked at the broken glass littering the pavement like diamonds, then up to the still, pre-dawn sky. He considered the sun peeking over the jagged horizon in the east, its golden light painting the dips and hollows of the hills. Soon the coming day would chase the darkness away.
Time was the enemy now. He had to move faster, or it would be too late. He picked up his pace, lurching along the winding road. A keening howl ricocheted through the streets, bouncing off the walls. It sounded like a ... no, he thought, it couldn’t be. The werewolves were all dead. Destroyed by Vincent Konrad when he made their heads explode.
The old man paused, listening for it again, and was not disappointed when the animal whimpered. He gauged it to be inside the defunct vampire exhibit. He moved toward the entrance. The storefronts had been destroyed. A few body parts lay on the pavement, as if people had discarded them in a rush. He heard the scraping of paws on the street and a shiver went down his crooked spine.
He knew the werewolves were dead; he had seen it with his own eyes. A figure detached from the shadows. Igor flattened himself against the wall. He watched it move stealthily down the street, stopping when it scavenged a morsel of rotting flesh. It looked up to stare at Igor, its eyes glowing in the darkness.
A coyote? He waved a hand, dismissing it. It had to be a coyote; it was too small to be a wolf, too big to be a dog. The beast twitched its ears, then resumed its meal.
Igor knew the coyote was not a threat, and he continued his mission. His lame foot hit a can, sending a cacophony of sound like an explosion in the deserted park. The beast dropped the bone it was gnawing on, sniffing the area. Its iridescent eyes searched the streets.
It could be a baby wolf, Igor thought, keeping himself as still as possible. He felt it watching him, even from this distance. It was not a threat, yet.
Igor skittered away, hugging the walls of Monsterland, putting as much distance as he could between them. Not an easy feat, considering his distorted hips. He muttered to himself about carrion and the wind. His eyes darted nervously, scouring the hills, not exactly sure what he was looking for. Adrenaline coursed through his veins. His heart pounded so loudly he was certain that the creature watching him could hear it too.
His feet stumbling to a halt, he bent over, gasping for air, cursing Vincent and those meddlesome teenagers, as well as the rest of the world.
The beast gave another mournful howl that went right through him. Igor glanced at his empty hands, berating himself for not bringing a weapon. He searched his surroundings for anything to protect himself.
Then he saw it, one of the axes they had on almost every corner. All of them had been pulled from their protective cases. One was lying in a pool of coagulating blood, the blade long gone. He picked up the broken axe handle, turning in a semicircle. He was ready for an attacker.
A new, larger outline made his heart quiver with fear. It crouched in a corner, its snout covered with blood. This one was bigger, not a coyote, a wild wolf. Wait, he thought. Weren’t the gray wolves of California all but extinct?
Igor narrowed his eyes. The beast was a light reddish brown and not the silver gray of a wolf’s pelt. A chain hung from its neck, the pendant of a werewolf’s head dangling, emerald eyes flashing. What was it? Was it a mutant coyote? A wolf? Some weird hybrid, he wondered for a minute, his breath harsh in his ears. They watched each other soundlessly.
A hybrid then. He’d heard about them, a rare mixture of wolf and coyote. What did they call them? Coywolves ...? or was it Woyotes? He shrugged indifferently. Perhaps someone’s pet, he decided. Igor’s mirthless laugh came out like a snort.
The coywolf stood still, its ears alert, its head cocked as if it was observing him.
Igor dropped the makeshift weapon, calling out, “Eat the rest of your meal, you dumb beast.”
The animal continued to watch him, its two front paws on the remains of a zombie’s chest.
Igor wiped his forehead, waiting, his eyes coming back to search the village, confirming it was empty, except for the carrion eaters like the coyotes and vultures. He looked up, noting the circling predators waiting for him to move on.
“Interrupted your meal,” he chuckled. Just the local scavengers looking for food. That was all; the shadows revealed nothing else. Satisfied he was alone, he moved on. He had work to do.
A paper flew past him, hitting a kiosk as the wind plastered it against its surface. It flapped like a dying bird. Igor reached over, taking the fluttering paper, peering at the map of the park, the one they gave people as they entered Monsterland. A bark of laughter escaped his mouth.
He looked up at the giant monolith that was once the Werewolf River Run, its hulking shape obscuring the horizon. “You are here,” he giggled, pointing a grimy finger on the paper’s surface. He dragged his deformed body further down the pavement. The storefronts that used to be Monsterland’s Main Street yawned vacantly, the wind whistling through the narrow alleyways. “Now, you are here,” he laughed. Shouting, he listened to the sound of his voice bouncing off the blood-splattered walls.
He made his way to the back end of the zombie village, feeling like the last man on earth. He glanced around at the desolate landscape. His home, the beautiful theme park, was little more than ruins destroyed by the army.
His nose twitched from the fetid smell of rot. The US Army had massacred the zombies. The troops came like a force of nature wiping out everything in its path, every last one of them blown away by the troops.
They were black ops, special forces, he knew from their uniforms. He wondered if things were indeed going as planned. He shrugged, knowing right now nothing mattered except for what he had to do. The irony that he was just about the most important man on earth brought more amusement to his smile.
The local police force was gone, as were the leaders of most countries in the world. He knew all was chaos outside, perhaps even war, each nation blaming the next for the loss of their leadership. Not to worry, he thought. Vincent left America in capable hands.
Dreams do come true, he snickered. Nightmares too, he finished the thought. A long line of drool pulled at his lower lip. He paused at a pothole in the road, decomposing body parts glistening, the disappearing moon turning the bits of bone and brains pearly.
Anxiety bloomed in his chest as he passed the opaque windows of Vincent’s derelict Monsterland hotel, the Copper Valley Inn. He hated that place. Abandoned construction vehicles were frozen in their spots, testimony to the hotel’s unfinished business.
Despite the pastel colors of its exterior, it sat like an ominous crypt to the part of the theme park that Vincent could never control. Told Vincent it was a money pit. Crews couldn’t work because ... well, it didn’t matter anymore. The help was all dead. He thought he saw a light flicker in the window, but when he turned, he realized it was nothing more than a sputtering gas lamp that had never been disconnected.
He stood for a while, staring for more activity, and then jerked with the realization that he waited too long and wasted precious time. Surely no one expected him to go searching during the heat of battle.
Vincent said it was enough time to set up the timetable. Vincent knew everything, and Igor felt his panic ebb. It had been barely twenty-four hours since the attack. For all he knew, he could be on a fool’s errand.
He pressed his hand on his hip, his back screaming with resentment at so much movement. He was not used to any exercise. He sighed, wiping his brow with the ragged end of his costume, the lace scratching his skin. He caught the cuff, snagging the material with his teeth, tugging it free from his velvet jacket. He loathed the show and was glad he’d never have to endure the humiliation of performing again, especially with the vamps. Those condescending, blood-sucking parasites. He wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore, he thought with satisfaction. Vincent had promised he’d not have to endure them for long, living up to his part of the bargain quite nicely. They were gone, torn apart by the werewolves or transformed into a tasty dinner by the zombies. Either way, they wouldn’t be bullying him with their nasty insults. Something buzzed around him, and he swiped at it.
It felt as though he walked to the other side of the earth. Why Vincent had to pick Zombieville to make his last stand, he’d never know. The Werewolf River Run would have been much more convenient. It was getting lighter now, and he could easily make out the smoking devastation.
He searched the horizon, his eyes resting on the burnt wreckage of a golf cart, the torched skeleton listing at an odd angle.
Pulling his lame foot, he pushed himself as fast as his body could travel, his breath hitching with the effort.
The corpse was gone. He knew they would have taken that for DNA testing, proof that the enemy was vanquished. The only things left were the putrid carcasses from Monsterland, the decaying zombies, massacred vampires, and what was left of the werewolves after Vincent had exterminated them.
He climbed a small hill, his bad leg screaming with pain. Igor crowed with triumph when he saw it, the discarded lump of flesh, lying forgotten in a ditch, face down. He shivered as the desert wind stirred and eddied around him. Damn, but it was desolate here.
He hunkered down, forcing himself to skitter on the hard-packed earth. He wondered what his son, the vice president—no, he corrected himself, the new president of the United States, Mr. Nate Owens—would think of his father now, scrambling like a dung beetle in the dirt.
He cursed. The drool was back, dripping from his mouth like a sparkling spider web. Instead of rising—it was beyond him at this point—he shimmied over to the severed head, reaching forward, reverently, grabbing it by the matted hair, and grasping it to his chest.
The black eyes stared back dully, the dark depths reflecting the hunchback’s twisted smile.
Vincent Konrad’s lifeless face lay in his hands, the pale lips open in a soundless scream.
“I’m so happy I could kiss you, Vincent!” he told the decapitated head. He cradled the face of his friend. “We’ll get you fixed up in no time.”
The moon bathed the face a pale blue. The hunchback jiggled the dead weight, cackling with delight as the one papery eyelid drooped as if it were winking.
In the distance, that coywolf howled, making Igor suck in his breath with fear. He tucked the head under his arm as he struggled back up the small hill, mumbling something about Plan B.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Collision The Battle for Darracia Michael Phillip Cash - Chapter 1 Excerpt

The Battle for Darracia

Michael Phillip Cash 
Book 2
Chapter 1 Excerpt
Available on Bargain Booksy April 6, 2018:

Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, 24 Symbols, Angus & Robertson - Link:

Chapter 1

     The shores of Fon Reni were fine black sand dotted with purple sea glass that littered the barren beach. Stars lettered the velvet sky, here and there a shooting cosmic spray spread across the inky darkness, illuminating the still night. It was quiet here, the distant planet devoid of life, save the lonely inhabitants who lived on the beach, footprints washed away by the icy seas.
     He had constructed a crude hut for his guest using the fronds on the leafy trees that populated the jungles. Zayden slept under the night stars, enjoying the peaceful freedom of the beach. Living on what he hunted, he reveled in the quiet of Fon Reni, knowing it was far from Darracia, his troubles, and the memories. He was tired, exhausted by grief, angry with his lack of solution.
     Staf Nuen had disappeared. It was as though he had never existed. Zayden had spent almost a year
tracking him, coming up with nothing but dead ends. He had traveled from one end of the solar system to the other, living by his wits, surviving hand to mouth, always just missing him. He must have gotten close, because he was jumped outside a graphen den on the planet Venturian. He woke up, disoriented, shamefaced, with his newfound friend, Denita, and with a colorful tattoo on his biceps. He watched the ripples rise from the dark sand, the heat sucking the air from his lungs. It was as hot as a furnace. He wore just his trousers, naked from the waist up, so he could see the stupid tattoo taking up most of his shoulder. The bruises on his torso had faded a bit, but his face still looked as battered as an old suitcase. Sweat evaporated as soon as it appeared, and he let the hot air roast him. He heard the foliage rustle behind him, made a face, then laughed softly at the curse he heard muttered behind the screen of the dense brush.
     There were fourteen planets in his solar system, Darracia being his native one. He had left it in search of his uncle Staf Nuen, who had killed his father, King Drakko, leaving his legitimate half brother Vsair the reigning king. Vsair pleaded with him to stay as his advisor, Zayden remembered, rubbing the still raw scar that bisected his once handsome face. The new king had appointed him grand mestor, Zayden thought with chagrin. Imagine that, the bastard of King Drakko was offered the highest position in the land.
     He drew aimlessly in the dark sand with a broken stick. He didnt want it. He didnt want any part of it until he could bring Staf Nuen to justice. It was because of his uncles overthrow that his beloved Hilde was slain, killed by her psychotic brother when she protected Zayden from a death blow of a Fireblade. Clenching his hands into useless fists, he relived the last moments of her life.
     The empty socket where his amber eye used to be throbbed as though a thousand pickaxes were stabbing it. Pressing deeply with his palms, he covered his eyes, trying to blot out the images imprinted on his brain.
     Blood, blood, and more blood, coupled with Hildes dying gasp as she collapsed into his arms, a sword robbing him of his future with the only woman he ever felt he could love.
He glanced at his discarded Fireblade, thrown negligently on the sandy ground. He hadnt used it since that day, preferring the heavy pistol strapped to the side of his leg. Darracians disdained guns.
     Swords were for warriors, guns for cowards, he had been taught. His people valued the skill one developed with a blade, never respecting those beings who just aimed and fired. Guns were illegal at home, the punishment fierce if one was caught with such a firearm. His father had taught him it was dishonorable; if a warrior fought in combat, he must be engaged with his opponent, feel the heat of battle. Guns made warfare impersonal; there was no honor to kill without knowing the skill of your enemy. It showed lack of respect for the ideals of battle. That was why only a small part of the population knew how to fight with the Firebladeit kept violence at a
minimum. Darracian warriors were taught to uphold justice, never kill for personal gain, and until his uncle had tried to overthrow the government, Darracia had been a relatively mild place to live. He had picked up the gun on the lawless space station, Pagil 7, far from the rules of Darracia.
     After Vsair had rocked the foundation of the beliefs about the Fireblade, Zayden didnt want it anymore. It seemed that Darracians had gotten it all wrong. Chanters from all over his former home were meeting, trying to make sense out of the Sradda Doctrines. There were forums and debates; all the schools were rereading and trying to find new ways to interpret the messages of the Elements.
     Well, he didnt give a crap about all that religious stuff. His faith died when Hilde perished. He didnt know why he hadnt jettisoned the Fireblade from his portal as he traveled through deep space.
     He shrugged his broad shoulders, thinking perhaps because it was presented to him by his late father when he achieved his highest honors, and he was a sentimental fool,
after all. He felt naked without it. He eyed his sword with resentment. Denita should never have taken it from the thug who tried to kill him. She should have left both him and the Fireblade to rot on the filthy streets of Venturian. Zayden sighed gustily. So here he sat, on the desolate beach of Fon Reni, reliving his nightmare and waiting for a sign. A signal for him to find Staf Nuen and kill him with his bare hands.
     He watched the progress of the silver crabs as they clawed their way up the dark sand of the beach. The tiny feet worked in unison, scrabbling through dense patches of seaweed. There were hundreds of them. He tapped his stick thoughtfully. Well, he wouldnt have to work very hard for their dinner tonight. Pushing himself onto his feet, he stretched widely, feeling his cramped muscles expand and his bones crack. His head still ached where hed been beaten, and his ribs reminded him they werent all that healed after all. He grabbed a rush basket and then began to pluck the crabs from the ground until his container was a swirling mass of nervous creatures trying to escape. He placed them over the fire he had built earlier in an old helmet he used as a pot. Soon, he heard the crackle and hiss of their bursting shells, their color changing to an appetizing light green. He thought to call out that dinner was ready, but shrugged instead, plopping down on the sand to eat alone. Thats how he wanted to eat, by himself. His guest was nothing more than an encumbrance. He sneered at the dense forest behind him. Carefully, he pulled a cooked crab out of his makeshift pot, singeing his fingers, catching the green juice of the dripping crustacean with his tongue.
     The fire warmed him against the stiff ocean breeze, and memories of camping trips with his father and Vsair came rushing back like a tidal wave. They had stayed here, the three of them, on this very beach. Vsair was so young, his royal braid barely touching his shoulder. No servants were allowed, and though his fathers elite guards hovered in the sky above, they spent a sun-filled week on Fon  Reni that became a yearly ritual. They returned Vsair, to his mothers horror, a lovely shade of brown, his light- tannish blue skin burned and toughened by the strong rays of both suns. It was a special spot for Zayden. Here he was just Drakkos son and Vsairs older brother, not the illegitimate offspring of the king and his laundress.
     He had loved his father, as well as his royal younger brother, despite the differences in their stations, even though it appeared that he was the only one troubled by it. He was older by a good fifteen years, and he didnt begrudge his younger sibling his inheritance; however, sometimes he admitted to himself that he felt invisible. It was funny, he mused, Vsair envied Zaydens Darracian strength, and he valued what Vsair took most for granted, his assured place in Darracian hierarchy. Oh, Vsair always treated him with respect, had offered him the position of grand mestor, but Zayden knew what the others felt. He was seen as an interloper, barely tolerated despite the fact that he was one of the armys fiercest warriors.
     He constantly pushed himself to be faster with his Fireblade, the hardest rider when it came to his stallius, as well as the best jolter in the tournaments. He lived by his warriors creed, happy to make his father proud. He enjoyed showing them all his royal placement was earned with dedication and hard work. But somehow the dynamics of the Fireblade had changed now. It was not about brute strength and chivalry, so where did it leave him? He reached over to grab his sword and heard it hum to life, great red streaks lighting with energy. He knew now it was the wrong color. It was the shade of anger, not strength. Once, it had been the true blue of justice and a force to be reckoned with. His had always been the blue of a pure heart, even though he never realized what it meant. Now it blazed red, like his enemys. The Fireblade was about something else now, and he didnt have the patience to try and understand. He was too tired. Angry and tired.
     He threw the shells of his crab onto a neat pile, sucking the meat from the tiny claws. He should eat all of them, he thought with a mean chuckle. She missed the crabs nightly progress; Denita never learned. He eyed the last few crabs and groaned. Last time she had walked in the shallow waters she had cut her foot. No, it wasnt worth ithed have to nurse her again, and hear her complaints. She could be an ornery pain in the ass. Better leave her enough to satisfy her hunger. He tried to remember Hildes soft laughter, and Denitas velvet voice smothered the ladylike sound. Instead he pulled a frayed, black ribbon from a pouch and held it to his nose. Her scent was gone. Just like Hilde. Gone, forever. None of that mattered now, anyway. The one he wanted more than life was taken from him this last year, killed by the hand of her brother, Pacuto. Zayden could not rest until he brought her traitorous father to justice.
     The four moons lit the beach, bathing him in their glow. He watched phosphorus mengles dance under the waves, their multicolored poison glowing iridescently under the swirling sea. Swimming was out of the question. One sting from their tails and he would sink to the bottom of the water never to be seen again. He drank deeply from a flask, swallowing the burn of the liquor, his eye never leaving the horizon of the endless ocean. Then what would his guest do, he thought contemptuously. He needed this complication the way one needed a headache. She would do nothing but slow him down, and although they had a common hatred for Staf Nuen, Zayden parked himself here hoping shed lose interest. Denita had howled with outrage when he landed, screaming for him to proceed to Planta and find his uncle. He didnt need her or anyone else. He didnt want her or anyone else, for that matter.
     He eyed the circular mark on his upper bicep. It didnt hurt anymore, and he supposed Reminda would know someone who could get rid of it. As much as he hated it, he thought hed keep it now. It was just another scar, like his ruined face, marked on this journey for revenge. Taking a faded patch from his pocket, he covered the empty place where his eye used to be. A comet streaked across the sky. He searched his memory for its name and came up with nothing. Due to his flight patterns, he knew every celestial event in the sky. Hearing about this one must have escaped him. He watched its progress, its feathered tail stretched out for miles, curving toward the west. Comets always meant something. Emmicus, his old tutor, always said that. Something was going to happen, he thought, wiping the back of his hand against his mouth. The salt and sand burned against his lips. Yes, he scanned the stygian sky, something was coming, he just wasnt sure of when or what. 

Available on Bargain Booksy April 6, 2018:

Amazon - Link:

Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, 24 Symbols, Angus & Robertson - Link:

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

*AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT* Asper by Rhonda Smiley

Rhonda Smiley 

ISBN #: 978-0-9984492-1-0 (ebook)

When her father is murdered, 16-year-old sorceress Milla is thrust into a dangerous journey away from her home realm of Asper, through present-day-Earth, and back again. Joined by rebellious teen, Parker—and a newfound strength—Milla faces off against the evil queen, ready to sacrifice everything to save both their worlds.