What Went Wrong?: 15 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Tales

Today I’m super excited to share with you not only the details of this awesome anthology, but some excerpts!  I hope you end up as excited about WHAT WENT WRONG? as I am. 

We've all had that day...(1).jpg

A Caring Company
By Matthew Harrison

The two HR ladies slowly backed away. Danny, still ‘reading’, kept one eye on them all the time. What did Sandra have in that handbag? “Platform infrastructure obsolescence…” Eventually, the HR ladies disappeared. Danny put down his ‘report,’ and went to the corner to check that they had gone.

On his return, he found Vicky collapsed in her seat, breathing in great gasps. Danny stood awkwardly, wondering what to do. Then Angelina, from a neighboring department, came over and comforted Vicky.

When she had recovered somewhat, Vicky looked up at Danny gratefully. “Thank you so much!” she whispered. “You faced them down.” Angelina glanced at him admiringly, and then returned to her cubicle.

“We should stick together, they won’t dare take us on then,” Danny whispered to Vicky urgently. “Here, take this.” And he handed her his own sheath knife which he had smuggled in. He would have to get another, but they surely wouldn’t come for him that day.

Vicky took the weapon in her small hand. “I’m not sure, I—”

“Just take it,” Danny insisted. “You just have to show it; that will already put them off.”

Vicky nodded, and put the weapon in her handbag. Danny made her promise to call him at once if she saw anything threatening, and then made to go. Glancing back, he saw how frail she looked. He was going to have to find stronger allies to have any chance of surviving in Prospect.

This conviction strengthened as he rounded the corner and found the large HR gentleman standing over his own cubicle.

2008
By Holly Riordan

“I want to test it first, to see if it’s safe,” my aunt said, unfolding the place mats and flipping through them. “Which one wouldn’t you want?”

“We never really did much for Easter. Try using that one.”

“Sounds good to me.” She plucked it from the pile and a smiling bunny face stared up at us. Its fur and little pink nose filled the entire mat, except for a black box in the lower left-hand corner, which held a signature line.

I nudged the knife with my knuckles, hoping she’d pick it up and slice without wasting precious minutes trying to prepare herself for the pain.

That’s exactly what she did. She swept the knife across her skin, like she’d done it hundreds of times before. Like she was as used to seeing blood as the man in the booth.   

“I guess this is my temporary goodbye,” she said as she dipped a pinky into the blood and wrote out the year she wanted. She chose 2008, the same year I was planning on picking. The year before it had happened.

As soon as she finished drawing out the last number, her hands fell to her side. Her eyes rolled up. Her back arched. Then her body froze. I would’ve called an ambulance if I’d had a more innocent childhood, but I’d seen death before. This wasn’t it.

This was magic.

Balancing Act
By N.O.A. Rawle

“Gentlemen! Just starting out on the rocky road to marriage? Want the kinks in your future smoothed out before you start?” the spindly gentleman tugged on his fine moustache for dramatic effect, “Ladies! Want to know that you and your partner will share equal footing in the house? Or know that your spouse will pull his weight?” he allowed himself a smile, but not long enough to arouse suspicion, “We all know that balance is the key to a good relationship but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it… Or is there?”

“My secret is right here!” He gesticulated to the large oblong box draped in purple silk. “It’s simple! Here, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the key to your Happy Ever After! Here, is what no matchmaker or priest can guarantee! But do you dare to try it?”

The crowd was now so silent that his patent leather boots could be heard as he clicked back across the wooden platform.

“I speak now only to the brave among you. Those of a sound heart! Let me introduce you to the Equilibrator! Modern science, my friends, mixed with a just the right sprinkling of magic of course, has the answer! But are you sure you want what I have to offer?”

The audience nodded, some already murmuring consent.

“The Equilibrator will iron out all your differences before you even know what they might be! Lifelong attraction assured! No arguments! No Discussions! No risk! And I mean no risk, because if you are not satisfied that balance has been brought to your relationship after the first week, I personally, will refund every last penny of your hard earned cash! Yes, that’s right, you heard me correctly! If you can show me that your circumstances are not balanced, I will give you your money back.”

Descends Olympus
T.R. North

Kruse threw open the glass doors with a theatrical flourish. “Look upon my works, ye mighty!”

That part wasn’t an act. I was willing to entertain the possibility of a Guild scientist who didn’t have a few screws loose, but I’d certainly never met one. The walls were lined with wicked-looking weapons, portable orbs and platforms of dubious purpose, and stacks of canisters with brightly-colored biohazard symbols all over them. Kruse handed me what looked like a bottle of perfume from a particularly well-organized section of the counter. I took it gingerly and waited for him to explain before I did anything with it. There was still a stain on the ceiling from some apprentice shaking a bottle of what had turned out to be a new explosive.

“I’m not going to get Victoria-Charlied, am I?” I asked.

“No, may she rest in pieces. I’ve been more careful with labels since then,” Kruse said quickly. “Perfectly harmless, that one. It’s a lovely little cocktail for my new conflict-avoidance line.”

I turned the bottle over in my hands and watched the oily, pink-tinged liquid shift around the dip tube. It was perfectly emulsified, glittered in the overhead fluorescents, and looked more like a body spray marketed at tween girls than a diabolical superweapon.

“I’m calling it Love Potion Number Ten,” he continued. “One spritz and the opposite sex will be putty in your hands! Security guards will hold open doors for you as you make off with everything in the store. Policemen will help you load stolen merchandise into the back of your truck. Armored car drivers will hand over the keys and security codes with a smile.”

Lab Rat
By Jonathan Shipley

Clare reached for her phone, pausing as she felt the sudden increase of increase of air pressure around her.  “No, don’t,” she called, but already she saw the blue glow of the implant in Feodor’s temple.  And McHenry was gone.  Disappeared into thin air.

“Your heart,” she reminded Feodor as the blue faded.  “You know it strains your heart every time you do that.”  But he seemed all right for the moment — no shortness of breath or discoloration of the lips.  She picked up the phone and dialed.  “Where did you send him anyway?”

Feodor started to shrug, then winced at the pain in his arm.  “About a half-mile down the beach,” he rasped.  “He can be thankful that’s the limit of my range.”

Clare nodded absently and finished the call.  A half-mile hike would be nothing to McHenry once he got over the shock of the jump.  As angry as Feodor was, it could have been a lot worse.  A half-mile out to sea, for instance.  Or straight up.

They had a word for it–translocation–because teleportation sounded too sci-fi.  Feodor’s newly developing talent for relocating objects, his heart flutters–both directly connected to his ground-breaking research into trans-dimensional portals.  He should never have used himself as a test subject for the control implant of the machine in the attic.  Now it was to the point where this new translocation talent might be the death of him.

Literally.

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Categories: Look, May 2016 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Black Raven, White Dove by Elle Marlow

blackravenABOUT THE BOOK

The Black Raven, White Dove is a
Christian Inspirational Action Adventure Romance By
International Amazon Best-Selling Author Elle Marlow

“Welcome aboard the Raven, Miss Paloma.”

The Blurb  

Known as the Ice Pirate, Stefan Ice captains the Raven. A wicked ship filled with treasures and haunting secrets. What’s missing from the Raven’s coffers is revenge, what’s missing from Stefan’s life is love.

Bianca is the jewel in her father’s crown. When she is captured and bound on the Raven, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a feud between her father and the dark pirate. With every rock of the ship, Stefan steals her heart and unravels their tangled and tragic past.

Bianca will need to rely on her faith and her heart to find God’s purpose for her life. Is with the legendary pirate?  

blackraven2

Author speaks candidly about the book.

The idea for Black Raven, White Dove was introduced to me by Captain Ice. His image came to mind, and even though he showed himself as a pirate, I could only see the goodness within.  A good man living a hard life deserves a love so powerful and pure, that the only woman for him would have to be a lovely girl he met as a child.  Bianca Paloma, aka, White Dove is only fragile on the outside.  Inside, she is a strong, capable woman who finds her greatest strength through her faith.  They make an unlikely pair as they navigate the Atlantic on the ship that is home to a slew of old sea dogs.  This book has some humor, some sadness, but it is really about finding one’s own worthiness and having a little faith that you are where you need to be.   

This is my first Inspy romance.  I fell in love with the genre.  There will be more. Perhaps another pirate tale aboard the Raven?  We’ll see.

Where to find Elle Marlow’s titles.  

elle

Amazon.com
www.ElleMarlow.Blogspot.com
ElleMarlowwrites/twitter
ElleMarlow5/Facebook

Categories: Look, May 2016 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interview: Emily Witt

Author Book Review (10).pngMUAHAHAHAHA!

You know what my maniacal laughter that sound means.  Another authors has become prisoner to my blog.  Are you ready to meet our latest test subject guest?

Hiya, I’m Emily. I’m an Australian librarian/archivist living in Canberra. I tend to write romance with a little fantasy thrown in for good measure. When I’m not reading or writing, I can also be found singing in choirs or doing musicals with local theatre groups.

Ooooooo… I like to sing too!  But I sort of follow the Geneva Convention and that bit about torture sometimes, so I’ll spare you this time.  In exchange for my kindness, would you tell me your writer origin story?

I’ve been writing pretty much as long as I can remember. In creative writing assignments in primary school I always went above and beyond what was actually asked because I’d always get carried away. Once we were asked to write about what job we’d do if we belonged to a circus and mine was about three pages long because I wanted to be the ringmaster, lion tamer, acrobat, trapeze artist and probably every performer as well. Everybody else wrote maybe a paragraph. 

Are you sure that isn’t some kind of super power? If it isn’t, that’s a good ground floor attribute to have before becoming a superhero.  But if writing made you a superhero what would be your superpower and what would be your super weakness?

I spent most of my teen years writing fan fiction (mostly of the Doctor Who variety) and thanks to that, I’m quite good at character development and dialogue, but I really struggle with world-building. A lot of my dialogue will stay the same from draft one, but descriptive parts need a lot of feedback and subsequent drafts to get them right.

Gotta love the Doctor!  Though I doubt he’d approve of my experiments.  Speaking of which…  If you could have any superpower, what would you want the radioactive gummy bear to give you?

This is a very good question! Probably the ability to teleport places or at least get there really fast, as I am a fan of a lot of places but not such a fan of the getting there. But depending on the in-universe physics and knowing the limitations of the human body, it’s highly possible that once I got there, I’d be too exhausted or in too much physical pain to actually do anything. I’d have to watch how I used it.

Why don’t you guys check out Emily’s book, while we wait for the gummy to kick in?

AMCFTsmallMost of the young women in Nardowyn swoon over Crown Prince Felipe, but Caitlin has never seen the appeal. When she catches his eye during a royal festival, she has little choice but to begrudgingly go along with his attempts to form a friendship between them, and soon learns that there is more to him than meets the eye.

When Felipe goes to war to avenge the death of his brother, Cait enlists as a nurse to be nearer to him. Here, Cait’s connection to the prince will put her in more danger than she can imagine. But Cait’s never been one to take the easy way out, so if her life is going to turn into some sort of fairy tale, with a prince and a happily ever after, it’s no surprise it will be a more complicated one.

Buy it on Amazon!

Get more Emily Witt on
her blog or her facebook page!

Gloria Weber (3).pngP.S. –

Categories: April 2016, Interview, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Interview: Tiffany Shand

Author Book Review (9).pngIt’s Monday and I’m MUAHAHAHA-ing!  That can only mean one thing.  I’ve captured got another author interview.  Shall we see who fell into our trap came to the blog today?

Hi, I’m Tiffany Shand from Essex, UK. I write urban fantasy and all things paranormal when I’m not being terrorised by my demon cats.

Demon cats?  I think I need to get me some of those.  I think they’d make good henchmen pets.  I wonder where you get those, though.  As for you, Ms. Shand, why did you decide to pursue a life of crime writing?

I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. After I left school due to health reasons writing really helped me learn to cope with that. After doing a creative writing course, I felt inspired to go ahead and publish my first novel. 

I’m glad to hear it has helped you.  Usually crime writing just lands people in Arkham with the Joker Cthulhu.  Of course if you have the right skills, you can escape.  What crime writing skill is your best?

I think the strongest part of my writing is dialogue. I love seeing what my characters have to say.

Weakness?

The hardest part of writing for me is writing descriptions – that’s definitely something I struggle with.

Now, drink this and tell me what result we’re hoping for?

I’d love to be able to teleport, but the downside with that is I probably wouldn’t be able to go everywhere.

Yes, there’s usually some sort of range limit with that power.  Here’s hoping, though!

[CRASH!]

Oh, dear. Ms. Shand escaped on us.  But she dropped this.

Denai Bound Cover.jpgDenai witch, Cate McCray should be enjoying married life with her new elemental husband, Jason. But their arrival in a new city soon has them stumbling headlong into a new case with dangerous connections to the very people that govern their world.

Cate and Jason face opposition from those they once considered allies. Together with their team of enforcers, they must find the killer before anyone else dies.

With danger from all sides and the threat of ancient, dangerous magic, the team must pull together and use all their strength to find their enemy before disaster strikes.

US Amazon | UK Amazon

For more Tiffany Shand visit:
Tiffany’s WebsiteFacebookTwitter
Google+LinkedInAmazonGoodreads

Categories: April 2016, Interview, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Eating My Feelings ~ #ROW80 Check-In

4On the same day UNMASKING: LEMON’S THESIS released, an old friend of my husband’s passed away.  My husband had known him since high school and I hung out with the man more than a few times.  My miniature war gaming?  It was this man’s influence.  I watched my husband and him play a game and then he gave me a sheet, lent me some minis, and had me join in.  So, the fact I spent the night before his memorial service (Friday) trying to figure out/playing Heroclix?  Very fitting.  (Though, he might have called it “miniature gaming for card floppers” or something like that.)

So yesterday, Saturday, was the service.  It started then.  Me putting food in my mouth nonstop, not giving a crap if it was good or bad for me.  I just had to like it or it had to look sweet.  I wanted to eat.  I still want to eat.  I’m too tired and sad to have willpower.

But I had it.  Monday through Thursday, I was awesome.  I did most of the stuff I was supposed to.  Household, exercise, and writing were all in balance.  Then the sads started on Friday and…  I just ate more fudge.  I shouldn’t have done that.

UNMASKING: LEMON’S THESIS got two reviews. See, you totally should read it!

I’m giving myself until the end of today to be a sad sack.  I’ll resume exercise and writing properly tomorrow.  Today, being a ball in my covers eating muffins is okay.

Categories: 2016 8a, ROW80, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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