16 January 2015

SFFS: A Snippet From FALLEN (now published)

Well, even though I posted a snippet from a first draft short story last week, I decided to take it a different direction for this week's Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday.

As I mentioned last week, my new Aston novella Fallen is now available for your Kindle devices (or with the Kindle app). Thanks to the always-amazing TK Toppin for the awesome cover art. The paperback copy is currently in process, so I'm hoping to have that one available for an upcoming convention in February. Stay tuned!

So, even though Fallen has had several snippets posted here in the past, all of those were draft copies. I'm going to go ahead and post one that I haven't posted before (I hope), and this from the final published edition. So, enjoy this snippet from my new Aston novella Fallen for your enjoyment:

She took the first bowl, grabbing a long cylindrical wooden pin from a nearby shelf. Then she smashed the sweet Roiyo into a liquid pulp, tossing the powder and the flowers into the concoction, working it over like a mad woman. Although I smelled the sweet Roiyo at first, the aroma was quickly overpowered by the flower and powder. I crinkled my nose at the foul, bitter odor.

Her father smiled at my reaction. “Not to worry, my daughter is highly skilled in the healing arts. It may not seem the most pleasant, but it will get the job done.”

“I hope so,” I told him.

Eve ignored us both, concentrating fully on blending the light gray mixture before her. Only when it formed up into a smooth and creamy paste did she set it on the table. Then, she turned to me with a stern tone on her lips. “Off with your clothes.”

Oh my!!! What has Aston gotten himself into now?

Hope you enjoyed it, and hopefully I'll be back in the saddle next week...

09 January 2015

SFFS: A Snippet from "Ridealong"

Whew! It's been forever since I posted a snippet for Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday and with the new year, I figured it was time.

Since last we saw ol' Aston in the SFFS gauntlet, he's been a busy boy. His new novel Life and Death is finished (at least the first draft), his short story collection The Dirty Dozen is all ready pending completion of the cover art, and his novella Fallen is coming out soon (update: it's now available). See its beautiful cover art?

However, here's the issue...I've already posted snippets from almost all of those (even if Life and Death was previously titled Resurrection...links above take you to them)!

Heck, Fallen itself had several snippets over several months in 2013 (yikes!):

SFFS: Snippet 1
SFFS: Snippet 2
SFFS: Snippet 3
SFFS: Snippet 4
SFFS: Snippet 5
SFFS: Snippet 6
SFFS: Snippet 7

So, what's an author to do?

Well, go to the new WIP file, of course.

So, here, hot off the first draft presses, is a snippet from my new Aston short "Ridealong" for your enjoyment:

It had been quite a while since I’d seen Diedra Caine in the flesh. There was no mistaking the chocolate-skinned woman as she approached my ship in her business attire, a dark gray jacket and skirt, with a pale blouse. Around her neck, small golden heart dangled on a chain.

I stepped off the hatch’s staircase onto the black landing pad as she approached. She smiled slightly, a few lines appearing on her smooth face framed by short, dark curls. She’d progressed beyond simple handshakes and gave me a hug. “Aston, it’s been too long.”

I smirked, deciding not to delve into the fact she could have contacted me at any time to set up another job. “Yes, it has.”

She kissed me on both cheeks, which I thought was odd, but went with it. Turning, she motioned with her index finger. “Follow me. We have some cargo to pick up.”

Hope you enjoyed it, and hopefully I'll be back in the saddle for a few more installments in the coming weeks...

01 January 2015

Writing Goals for 2015

Well, now that 2015 is upon us, it's time to start putting together a list of the writing goals I'd like to accomplish this year. Granted, since many of my goals from last year ended up falling short, this list is going to look pretty familiar...

So, here goes:

1. Publish my new Aston short story collection, The Dirty Dozen.

Everything is finished with this one but the cover art. I anticipate completing this one in the first quarter. It will be good to have a second companion collection to my first, Dead or Alive...

2. Publish my new Aston novella Fallen.

The first draft of this one is complete, and it shouldn't be difficult to get some cover art put together. I do have a short story collection that's setting out there, so Fallen may have to wait until the second quarter or so. But, Seeker is patiently waiting for another novella to enter into the stable alongside it...

3. Finish and publish my new Aston novel Life and Death.

Those who've read Friends in Deed and Death Brings Victory know that a lot has happened in the Aston West universe (and if you haven't read them yet, get moving!). Building off of the events in my non-Aston novel The Cure, you can likely guess what's going to happen, but part of the fun is finding out how the story transpires.

4. Publish another Triple-Shot.

I currently have four triple-shots out there, and I'm hoping to keep up the trend of publishing one of these collections each year (my original hope years ago had been to publish one a quarter...how quaint!).

5. Finish the next novella in the Max McCannor series.

Lyndon Perry and I published the first in this series, Escape, a year ago now. The goal is to at least finish (although we're hoping to have them published) the next one by the end of 2015. Although I don't normally like to set goals that depend on other people, I'm hopeful that we can get this done.

All in all, it's going to be a busy year. Thanks to everyone who's purchased a copy of one (or all) of my books, and I'm looking forward to bringing you even more great stories in the near future.