October #ReadsForFree - Grab Them While You Can!

This month, Simon offers us his ghostly triptych of short stories Faces in the Shadows while Milo is raffling off 10 copies of Dahlia's Feast.



Faces in the Shadows
- three short stories by Simon Kewin -

Her Long Hair Shining
Smith spends his days wandering the backstreets of the city looking for lost souls to rescue. He is accompanied by Tom, the ghost of a young boy. When they catch a glimpse of a ghost in a deserted mill they know they've found another trapped spirit in need of help. Now they have to work out what is keeping the ghost tied to the physical realm.

And then there is the question of why Tom has remained there as well...

The Wind Singing in the Wires
Every day, before her son comes home from school, Pamela McBride walks past an abandoned telephone junction box lost in the undergrowth. For some time she has been hearing the buzz of voices coming from it. One day, on an impulse, she stops to listen. What she finds changes everything...

Her Pale Smile
Two years ago, Daniel died of a heart-attack. Now he has two problems. One is the traditional unfinished business tying him to the mortal realm. The other is the embarassing fact that he died while riding a ghost train. Because now, however much he wails and moans, no one will take him at all seriously...


Free for all eReaders from Smashwords until November 29th, using coupon code LQ95X.






Dahlia's Feast

Dahlia, the last human child, has been summoned to a banquet in her honor by the Elders of the great council. Her escort, Brawnstone the trollgre, must carry her through the dangerous ruins of an ancient human city, deep into the abandoned warehouse district where the feast is to be held. No one knows this little girl's dark secret -- not even Dahlia herself.

Science Fiction / Fantasy ; includes 2 origin stories

"Dahlia's Feast" originally appeared in Aoife's Kiss
"Stone for Brains" originally appeared in The Fifth Di...
"While She Sleeps, Mountains Tremble" originally appeared in the Triangulation: Morning After anthology

 > Enter to win here. Winners announced 10/28!


September Give Aways

The Spec Fic Authors Collective is branching out. We don't always write speculative fiction. This month, we have free stories from Simon Kewin (The Wrong Tom Jacks), Milo James Fowler (Beneath the Surface), and Lyndon Perry (writing as Garth Perry for thriller short, Drinking Games). Hope you enjoy this month's offerings.


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PI Ned Nbonivoy is stuck on a case he can't seem to solve. That's because he's up against a sinister psychopathic killer whose hobby is to bestow random acts of havoc on as many people as possible, leaving too many clues and rabbit trails to track down. Ned needs someone who can help him focus. AJ Rakowski is just the kind of mentalist who can help.

Drinking Games by Garth Perry
A Nbonivoy/Rakowski Short Thriller 

More Mentalist than Medium, Ava Jane Rakowski has finally accepted the fact that she can't speak with the dead. That doesn't stop her from using her paranormal gifts to help the living - especially those in desperate need. From finding missing persons to solving homicides, Rakowski is on the case.

With each success, however, comes unwanted attention. AJ knows it goes with the territory. The occasional nut job will propose marriage. An oddball stalker will make a fool of himself. But when she captures the attention of a serial killer known only as Carlton, that's when the real game begins.

This short thriller is 13,000 words (about 45 pages) and is available for free on Wednesday, September 25 for one day only at Amazon. (Only 99 cents otherwise, just in case you missed this promo.)



Twenty years after the end of the world, the earth is a desolate, alien place.

For Willard and his people, their bunker has provided everything they've needed over the past decades; but now it's time to strike out into the unknown and rebuild civilization.

The problem: Willard doesn't want to risk contamination on the surface, and so far, everyone who's left the bunker on a scouting mission has returned...changed.

5,000 words - Science Fiction / Horror
Originally appeared in the Arcane II anthology

Available for free:  Smashwords  Amazon

*Subscribe to Milo's blog and enter to win a copy of his first novella Immaterial Evidence

The vault door never opened. The bank went into lockdown in less than a minute. Yet the security footage was unmistakable: a hundred silver bars had simply vanished.

Ever since the city’s most dangerous crime boss put a price on his head, private investigator Charlie Madison has lived as an exile in Little Tokyo. But now an old friend and police sergeant has lured Madison back into the city to hunt down an invisible criminal—if he can.

As Madison makes his clandestine return, high-profile people start disappearing. And when federal agents swoop onto the scene to take matters into their own hands, they offer Madison a deal he can't refuse—as long as he agrees to work with them. With Japanese freedom fighters and refurbished killing machines threatening to take the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust, the United World government needs all the help it can get.

Embroiled in an unimaginable mystery, one private eye must rely on his wits to solve a case where the evidence is immaterial, and the odds are stacked high against him at every turn.


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The Genehunter #1
The Wrong Tom Jacks
Simms is a genehunter, paid by megarich collectors to track down the DNA of the famous for their private zoos. He's employed to locate the genetic code of Tom Jacks. But not the rock star Tom Jacks, just an unknown namesake.

The job bugs Simms. Something about it is wrong. Someone is playing him. Problem is he doesn't know who or why. None of the illegal plug-in technology filling his brain is much damn use. The one person who can help him is an ex-lover, but she's also the one person on the planet who never wants to speak to him again.

The last thing he needs is Agent Ballard of the Genetic Monitoring Agency pulling him out of the jump network to interrogate him about someone he's never even heard of.

Someone called Boneyard...

Free to read right now:





August #Reads4Free!

Available this week:


The  B a c k T r a c k e r


For Harry Muldoon, private investigator, there's just one thing beyond his reach: the BackTracker.

It's a device that could make his job a whole lot easier, but there's a problem: he's not the only one after it.

Whoever wields power over the past must accept responsibility for the future -- but Harry's top priority is surviving the night.

10,000 words - Future Noir

Free on Amazon August 25 - 29  

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Live From The Continuing Explosion

A terrorist sets off a bomb in New York's Grand Central Station. But it is immediately obvious this is no ordinary explosion. Everybody nearby is caught within a bubble of space-time inside which time grinds almost to a halt. The world watches in horror as the explosion unfolds in close-up slow-motion.

Kirsten Campbell escapes the blast but her twin brother is caught inside it. She can do nothing but watch him there, frozen, as she ages. Meanwhile the explosion, and then Kirsten herself, become the focus for cataclysmic change the world over.

The two children run, screaming with delight. Around the legs of the adults in the crowd, legs like planted trees. They run in easy harmony as they veer left or right, speeding up or slowing down together without needing to watch each other. They laugh so much they can barely breathe. They hold hands, letting go only at the last moment as they split off to go around someone before reuniting.
A dog, watching them, barks excitedly, wanting to join in.

The children run as if they have practised the whole set of manoeuvres beforehand. They run almost as one, a single being with two halves. Eight-year old twins, a boy and a girl.

It is the first day of the explosion.
Now free to read at the following book stores:


'Affecting, chilling post-9/11 science fiction that offers depth enough for drowning.' (TRS2 Reviews)

'Scores highly with a very vivid central image.' (Best SF)

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Last Gasp - Four Cozy Thrillers 
by Lyndon Perry (Published by ResAliens Press)

This collection includes the following stories:
 + Audition With The Vampire - A movie director can't believe his latest auditions.
 + Show, Don't Tell - A writer struggles with a new genre...and her muse.
 + Captain Tyler's Ghost - A local legend takes on new meaning for a hotel owner.
 + Princess and the Zombie - A father/daughter hunting trip goes terribly...right!

This offer is available for those who subscribe to my occasional newsletter. To sweeten the deal, I'll send you my latest cozy thriller called "Ma Tutt's Donut Hut," a 4,700 word bizarro mystery with a bit of magic...and a cat. Subscribe today! (Promise, I won't flood your inbox.) Thanks for trying something new.

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What is your greatest fear? What if someone else's life depended upon you facing that fear? A recluse who fears germs must make that choice when a coughing woman begs him to open his door because a dangerous man is on the loose. Does he face his fear of germs, or does he stay safe and leave the woman to fend for herself?

"The Siege of Peter Marak" also appears in "Zero Hour 2: More Stories of Spiritual Suspense." However, this ebook edition also includes a bonus "Backstory" section that reveals "behind-the-scenes" information into the creation of this story.

Available for free from Smashwords

July Freebies!

Available for a limited time:



Blessed with the ability to walk through walls--and besieged with financial woes--a young man takes to robbing banks to support himself and his disabled mother.  However, what he hopes will be his last heist goes awry when he comes face to face with a "hero" named Verdict who has particularly grisly plans for the "Ghost Robber."

Free on Smashwords until August 1.  
Use coupon code YJ95V.









Fawkes the cook has had enough of Mr. Stuart's insults. And now Stuart's son is making advances on the maid, Fawkes' daughter. How much abuse can a good cook take? When it appears that a better position is within his grasp, Fawkes plots revenge, but even the best cooks can make a mistake, and snakes don't ask questions before they bite.

Incorporating elements from the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence," "Sixpence and Rye and a Snake in a Pie" weaves a cautionary tale of revenge gone horribly wrong.

This story is perpetually free. (Don't wait. Get it NOW.)





Unseen Things collects 7 flash-sized tales in the slipstream, horror, and science fiction genres.

"From Scheol My Soulfire Burns" - The cursor blinks. This white veil awaits my next thought. 

"Imaginary Friendships Aren't the Easiest to Break" - Bernard felt things no one else did. 

"You Kill Me" - Looking at you now, it's tough sometimes to see the person I fell in love with.

"While She Sleeps, Mountains Tremble" - The child looked as much like an angel as anything could, innocence incarnate.

"Darker Ever After" - I'm too old for this.

"Autonomic Zen and the Art of Destruction" - Unit X11-76 entered the universe as more than a null set but far less than an infinite number of possibilities.

"A Monster By Any Other Name" - Sometimes he really hated being seven.

These stories originally appeared in Silver Blade, Liquid Imagination, Misfit Magazine, Triangulation: Last Contact, Every Day Fiction, and Bards and Sages Quarterly.

Free July 25 - 29   



Witching Hour
- three short stories -

The Standing Stones of Erelong
Elian returns to the valley she was born in, the valley where all her family were slaughtered by the Marauders. Now only a circle of standing stones remains to mark the place. But the stones harbour a secret, a secret only she can uncover...

A Sorcerous Mist
Captain Quirk's boat Sheerwater is becalmed - held in port by a thick fog. He requests the help of a powerful witch to lift the mists. But the witch's help comes at a price, a price that will bring Quirk into conflict with the powerful Druidh...

Slieau Whallian
Ginny Kerruish watches as an old woman is rolled down a hill in a spiked barrel to test whether she is a witch. The old woman cannot survive the ordeal. But Ginny is secretly relieved, because only the old woman knows Ginny's dark secret. She, too, has the Sight, and if others find out, she will be next to be tested...

Free until July 31st from Smashwords using coupon code AP98H.





New from Lyndon Perry:

"A Promise of Glory" (Sword of Otrim #1)
Your coupon code is: JV26Y (Free through Aug 25)

Paeter the Nederlander, a young mercenary searching for glory, is captured by Otrim of Idessa, a fierce warrior who sees something good and honorable in the sell-sword. When the time for battle comes, however, will Paeter prove himself true or will he deny his upbringing and betray his new commander…risking his very soul?

A Promise of Glory is a stand alone novelette of about 8,000 words (approximately 28 pages) but is also Part 1 of a 5-part series, The Sword of Otrim. For more info on the series, visit Lyndon Perry, Writer.

June Free Reads

This month, Simon Kewin brings us Remembrance Day, a Sci Fi short story; Stoney M. Setzer contributes Fealty, the first in his Super Chronicles; Lyn Perry offers A Trumpet for Battle, an historical fantasy novelette; and from Milo James Fowler, Minutemen, an alt-history tale.

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Remembrance Day


Magnus is a broken-down veteran of the Basilisk war, running a bar on the Möbius Strip. Most of his customers are trying to forget their pasts. He spends his time trying to remember his.

A woman he once knew comes seeking his help on a dangerous mission. When Magnus finds out who is really involved it's time to reach for his blaster. But then he begins to discover just how unreliable his memories of the war actually are...


Free to download from Amazon, June 25th - June 29th.


   

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Fealty (The Super Chronicles #1)
by Stoney M. Setzer

For years, Scott Archer lived a double life as Fang, sidekick to the superhero Puman. Scott has since retired from the hero business to pursue a "normal" life as a sports reporter. When Puman is killed by an old nemesis, however, Scott feels duty-bound to bring his killer to justice.

Available at Smashwords - Coupon Code is JN97M (expires 7/31/13).

Other titles in The Super Chronicles include: "Just Passing Through" and "Hath No Fury."

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A Trumpet for Battle
(Sword of Otrim #2)
A Trumpet for Battle (Sword of Otrim #2)
by Lyndon Perry, Published by ResAliens Press

Veteran soldier, Terell Mowbray, has vowed to follow his leader, the fearsome barbarian, Otrim of Idessa, "into the bowels of Hades." As the close band of warriors make their way to the enemy city of Korreth on a secret and dangerous mission, his commitment and resolve is tested beyond measure. Will the mighty fighter fulfill his vow to his closest friend? And at what price?

A Trumpet for Battle is a stand alone novelette of about 8,300 words (approximately 29 pages) but is also Part 2 of a 5-part series, The Sword of Otrim.

Available as a free ebook for your Kindle, June 25-27 and then for only 99 cents for the next three months, exclusively at Amazon.


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In this Flintpunk tale, the minutemen of the American Revolution are not exactly as we remember them from grade school, and the British with their fighting corpsemen are the stuff of nightmares.

A young minuteman blessed with the power of the surge is able to take on a score of lobsterbacks alone with his brace of tomahawks -- until one of the living redcoats wields an unknown weapon against him.

4,000 words - Originally published by Cosmos

Free on Amazon June 24 - 28


   


May Madness

As ever we have four fantastic delights for you this month - all free to download for a short time!

Milo James Fowler gives us his poke at Facebook with I Am FanFare; Simon Kewin makes his Genehunter novel free for a few days; Lyn Perry taps the spirit of battle and intrigue reminiscent of classic sword and sorcery in a tale called A Lesson in War; and guest writer, Stoney M. Setzer, provides us with a collection of 12 pulp-style stories of science fiction and suspense in Zero Hour II.

If you grab any of this month's stories, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. Reviews are an invaluable way for writers to reach a new readership. And without them we literally starve and die. And no one wants that.




For Hermann Nesmith, the FanFare online network is the social life he's always wanted, despite a few annoying advertisements. But the new "friend" he's made might not be 100% human...





3,700 words - Science Fiction/Humor
Originally published by MindFlights


     



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The Genehunter
The five Genehunter cases collected together into a single novel, with bonus material.

The Wrong Tom Jacks
The Zombies of Death
The Clone who Didn't Know
A Soldier of Megiddo
Boneyard

Simms is a genehunter, paid by megarich collectors to track down the DNA of the famous for their private zoos.

He walks a line, pulled in ten different directions at once. The law, ex-lovers, religious nuts and anti-genehunter crazies. But when he starts to work the Boneyard case he discovers that, sometimes, you have to decide which side of the line you're on...

A future noir cyberpunk novel set on an Earth slowly going to hell. The Genehunter follows the adventures of Simms, genetic detective and all-round nice guy.

Bonus Material


The World of Simms - characters and organisations of the Genehunter universe
22nd Century Genie - the original Simms short story

Normal price around $3.49/£2.30, free to download May 23rd - May 27th.




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A Lesson in War
A Sword of Otrim Story

Do you enjoy epic fantasy? Then you might enjoy Lyn Perry's A Lesson in War (about 5,000 words or 10 pages) for free direct to your email by clicking the links on this web page (via Gumroad). The story is in PDF format for viewing suitable on your Nook or Tablet or even your Kindle.

A Lesson in War (Free PDF to your email direct from Gumroad.)

Fighting the barbarian hordes for Queen Philipa of Idessa, Otrim - a fierce yet contemplative warrior - hadn't considered that his real enemy might just be his commander. Completing the campaign against the Korreti infidels and returning home victorious is all he really wants. But when Otrim's commander, Ardus Telemachii Atellus, challenges him on the battlefield, the bronzed warrior must quickly determine where his ultimate loyalty lies.

Lyn Perry writes a variety of speculative fiction, from fantasy and science fiction to mystery and spiritual thriller. In this short story, he taps the spirit of battle and intrigue reminiscent of classic sword and sorcery.


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Author Stoney M. Setzer returns with more "Twilight Zone"-type stories with a Christian worldview in "Zero Hour 2." In these twelve pulp-style stories of science fiction and suspense, Setzer leads readers on another journey into the shadowlands of imagination, complete with a spiritual twist.

Get ready to meet Peter Marak, a man forced to choose between his compassion and his phobia of germs... Hattie Wilcox, a wealthy woman who decides to help God out with dispensing judgment on sinners... and Houston Hall, a man recently engaged who is confronted by an old flame whom he cannot recall...

From the deck of the Titanic to the distant future, from carnival sideshows to scientific laboratories, the time has come once more to get ready for tales that carry you through the farthest reaches of imagination and lead you face-to-face with timeless bibical truths.

Available for free through the end of May from Smashwords. No purchase code needed!


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Upcoming Releases from the SpecFic Authors Collective:



Now available for pre-order from Musa Publishing
Release date: May 31

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Available from ResAliens Press June 30

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 Available from December House, July 2013