Saturday, 28 December 2013

The First Sense (N.P. Postlethwaite) on Sci-fi Saturday

After a short break, Sci-Fi Saturday is here again and One Thousand Worlds has the pleasure of introducing The First Sense, a futuristic, fictional novel by N.P. Postlethwaite in One Thousand Words. 

The First Sense-

The First Sense, a futuristic, fictional novel by N.P. Postlethwaite, was published as an e-book in 2013. Set in Lakes City - that sprawls across what was once Cumbria, this new city retains space and natural beauty unlike the other British cities which have become over-populated and plagued with inner-city viruses.

The book revolves around three central characters with extraordinary abilities: Eiko uncovers secrets from shadows, smells memories, and reads between life’s lines. Café owner Thorsen, alleviates his customers’ mental afflictions with his mysterious but wonderful, culinary creations. Zach gate-crashes others' private thoughts for his self-gratification. All three struggle to understand their unwanted ‘gifts.’ As their stories unfold and lives intertwine, their mysteries unravel with tragic consequences.  

This is a highly imaginative novel about human longing, loneliness and love, stitched with irony, and Lakes City provides an alluring backdrop for this futuristic fable. This novel blends science-fiction with some of the very real complexities of human relationships.

About this author-

Author, N. P. Postlethwaite was born in Manchester in 1975, and grew up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and writes short stories, poems, lyrics and a blog.  Nisha moved to Cumbria in 1993 to do a degree in Media Studies, and followed this with a Postgraduate Diploma in HR Management. Subsequently, Nisha has has worked in HR, as well as a singer, freelance writer and editor. For many years, Nisha owned a café-bar in Kendal where she was the chef where many interesting people came through the doors; this inspired her character Thorsen, and his experiences in her first novel The First Sense.

N P Postlethwaite is currently writing the sequel to The First Sense and a book of short stories. 

The First Sense


I found my name when I was seven. My mother chose another name when I was a fern tip floating in her womb, but she would never get to say it, so as soon as I was yanked out into the cold air, my search began. I thought my name may be concealed in pictures, hidden in texts, or in the whispers that brushed across my ears as I slept; I searched the depths of eyes and the pauses in conversations, but my search was as endless as the sky.  
Then seven years on, on a blistering hot afternoon in October – after I’d turned 
everything I could think of, upside down and inside out - my name came to me. Just like that. I was at home in the kitchen and I’d flipped my homework onto the Hub, eagerly hoping for a ‘pass’ so I could escape outside, when my com turned itself off. I commanded the com to come back on but nothing happened. 
‘That’s not right,’ I mumbled. Neither was what happened next. A digital, red butterfly 
appeared in the middle of the black screen; I clicked at it with my fingerMouse but it wouldn’t budge. So I spat on my shirt and rubbed the screen, but it wouldn’t go away. Defeated, I decided to give in and go outside, but suddenly, an explosion of sparkling white stars appeared on the screen, and I watched them twinkle away until the screen went back to black. 
Then to my complete horror, a red cut appeared across the top of the screen - as if an 
invisible knife had slashed it. Dark red blood oozed out of the wound and leaked across the screen. I tried to touch it, but it wasn’t wet - it was on the other side. I wondered whether to get help, and feared the com was in pain, after all, it could see, speak, listen and react to touch, but a state of calmness glided over me when my inner voice said ‘stranger things have happened.’ 
I watched the blood slowly creep into lines and curves until letters were formed, and they soon became the words: Every Individual Kills Order. My face burned. The red letters rolled off to the right of the screen, only for more to appear from the left. They read: Everything Inside Kicks Out. I swallowed a lump and watched the words roll away again. Next came, Erase Identity - Keep Open. I wondered if that message meant I should keep myself open to it, because I had only recently tried to shut it off. Then came: Early Instinct Knocks Opponents. I had already guessed that my unusual ‘instincts’ may be essential to my survival. 
The room heaved like a lung. I stepped out of myself to watch the scene from the other 
side of the room, and if that sounds odd, well it wasn't the first time. My other-self hugged my other-knees – where I was precariously balanced on a stool, my other-face paler than pale with blood-red letters reflected onto my other-eyes. It was only then that I realised each message began with the same four letters. Another round of words confirmed this: Esoteric Intuitive Keen Outsider. 
I slammed back into myself with a thud. My body went cold as I realised all the messages 
were deeply personal and relevant to my life so far, but where had they come from? The last message was: Emotional Ironic Knowledgeable Orphan. A dog whined, it took more than a minute to realise it was me. I felt completely overwhelmed to receive affirmation of my life like that. I tore my eyes away from the screen as the room began to spin. I turned as sticky as the day, slipped onto the floor and held my rolling head in my hands until everything became still again. Eventually, I rubbed my eyes but yelped when I saw the four letters: E I K O singed onto the inside of my eyelids. 
After spending seven, long years lost in a dark, dense forest, I had stumbled into a clearing. My name was ‘Eiko.’ 

Chapter One


I never knew the man that left me in my mother, and hoped he hadn’t passed down any part of himself to me. That was wishful thinking, I now know. My mother, Mia, left me when she was twenty-seven years old and thirty-eight weeks pregnant. I was told she died from a ‘heart attack’ during labour, but that was not exactly true, I know her broken heart really finished her off.  
Mia died exactly three minutes before I was born. As a child, I’d often watch the 
seconds on a clock tick by for three minutes, and I was always surprised how easily they slipped by, when three not-to-be-taken-lightly-minutes stole my mother away from me. I also spent every birthday alone in my room; no amount of bribery lured me out because it didn’t feel right celebrating the date my mother died. Instead, each year, I wondered how much more like my mother I’d become. 
I saw from pictures I had the same fierce blue eyes and prominent jaw, but I wanted to know if she would raise her left eyebrow to be insolent, but couldn’t raise the right one, or if she had trouble remembering her nine-times table, so did her ten-times table instead, and worked backwards. I particularly wanted to know if her eyes ever dropped to the floor when she met new people, because she was drawn to their shadows instead of their faces. I never found out any of the answers to those questions, but I often heard her whispering to me, her voice as soft as butter. And once, while I slept, I felt her body heave under me while the tide of her breath washed over my face. 
My mother's only relative was her brother, Edward James, and he brought me up with sheer persistence. 

Want to read more? You can buy The First Sense at the retailers listed at this link:

Link to Amazon Kindle sales page:

Connect with N.P. Postlethwaite here:

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Legend of Finndragon's Curse (Richie Earl) in One Thousand Words

The Legend of Finndragon's Curse by Richie Earl is today's featured book on One Thousand WorldsIt is the first book in the two part Tales of Finndragon series. As a thank you for supporting One Thousand Worlds, Earl would like to give everyone a free ebook copy of The Legend of Finndragon's Curse for Christmas. To get your copy, send an email stating Free Book in the subject line and whether you prefer a Kindle or PDF copy. The closing date for this offer is 31st December2013.

The Legend of Finndragon's Curse-

Emma, Megan and Scott long to find their father, who mysteriously disappeared eleven months ago. Can they unravel the secret of the cursed Kingdom of Morgannwg and save him, or will the powerful, but evil wizard Finndragon thwart their efforts.

The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse is a fast paced, engaging and thrilling page turner. The story races along with plenty of twists and turns as it heads for the prophesized confrontation between the children and the evil Finndragon himself.

Combining wizardry and magic with modern technology, and containing magical animals and terrible demons, The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse is a rollercoaster of emotions. You will laugh out loud and then fight to hold back the tears, as the children race against time to rescue their father. In doing so they have to kill Finndragon and put an end to the dreadful curse.

A young adult adventure that is sure to be enjoyed by all ages.

About this author-

Richie Earl is the author of The Tales of Finndragon series. He is currently working on his third novel, a stand alone paranormal murder/mystery. Earl launched this blog in September 2013, aiming to give his fellow authors a platform to showcase their work.

Chapter 1

The Davies family lived in a typical Welsh valley town called Crafanc y Ddraig (The Dragons Claw), which was surrounded by great hills and mountains, situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Crafanc y Ddraig was renowned for its history of coal mining and steel industries, like many of its neighbours, but also locally for the legend of Finndragon’s Curse.

The children of Crafanc y Ddraig had been brought up for centuries on stories of the legend. Sat on a parent or grandparent’s lap, the tale was retold over countless generations. Although each retelling was slightly different, the story had a constant theme. Legend told that in the sixth century there was a great kingdom in Wales. The story was full of mystery and magic, wizardry and witchcraft. The legend of Finndragon’s Curse had been widely swallowed up by the more popular Arthurian Legend, which dated from roughly the same time, and as a result Finndragon’s Curse had generally been forgotten.

Emma, Megan and Scott had heard the story told many times and by many different story tellers, including their grandmother, uncle and several teachers. However, they'd always lay enchanted in their beds as Dad told the fabulous story at bedtime. He had a way of bringing the characters to life; his colourful words painting them on the canvas of the children’s imagination. He didn’t just tell the story; he transported them back in time. They could almost smell the strange aromas of medieval life. Now Dad was gone, Emma continued the tradition by telling the tale to her younger siblings.

“A long, long time ago there lived a wise old king called Dafydd the Defiant, who ruled the Kingdom of Morgannwg. It was a time of magic, wizardry and witchcraft and like all powerful men of the time, Dafydd had a court wizard who advised him on everything, from what to eat, to where to build his castle,” Emma said dramatically, subconsciously teasing her long brown hair between finger and thumb as she spoke.
“Dafydd's wizard was called Finndragon, it is said that he was a giant. Most tales say he stood head and shoulders above the tallest of men, which probably made him about seven feet tall. He would have seemed like a giant, as people were generally much shorter then. He looked like a typical wizard, with a long grey beard and even longer grey hair, partly hidden by his pointy hat. It was said Finndragon had lived five lifetimes, which made him influential and all knowing. He was a very powerful magician, and it is claimed he once served King Arthur at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall. Finndragon had been a loyal and good servant to his master,” she continued as her sister Megan and brother Scott listened intently. No matter how many times they heard the tale, they still hung on every spoken word.

“Finndragon advised Dafydd to build his huge castle, called Castell y Mynydd - The Mountain Castle - above a high, sheer cliff face that surrounded three sides. It is said the castle was the greatest ever built. The cliff face provided a good source of stone for the construction of the castle and was impregnable against would be attackers. To the front was a long sweeping plane, making a surprise attack impossible. A large moat, about thirty yards wide protected this side and it's believed that Finndragon filled it with strange, fierce creatures. They had dagger like teeth, which would rip apart any unfortunate invader who happened to end up in the water.

"A narrow strip of land split the moat in half and led up to the castle, stopping a few yards short. Access to the castle was only possible when the huge wooden drawbridge was lowered to span the gap. The massive castle was practically a perfect square and took seven years to construct.” Emma paused for a moment, reflecting on the magnificence of Castell y Mynydd.

 “Word had spread for the last two or three years, of invaders from the east. Barbaric warriors with huge beasts of war were rampaging across Britain, slaughtering everyone and destroying everything in their path. Finndragon ensured the castle would repel any attacking force. The front wall was over thirty feet tall, with battlements all the way along it. There was a large, strongly fortified gatehouse to the centre of this wall and at each corner of the castle stood a tall, circular tower.

“The invaders finally arrived at Castell y Mynydd and lay siege for 100 days. They were unable to launch an attack on Dafydd’s well defended castle. So they thought they could wait until the castle food ran out and Dafydd’s men were starving, forcing them to leave the castle. However, they didn’t realise Finndragon had cast a spell on the food store and that for every item removed, another magically took its place. The invaders eventually decided to launch an attack, which proved hopeless. As they attempted to cross the moat in small rafts, Finndragon’s creatures left their watery beds, tipped over the rafts and savagely turned the water red with the blood of the barbarians; feasting on their flesh and bones.”

“What happened next?” Megan asked excitedly, her hazel eyes burning brightly, even though she knew how the story ended.

“The surviving barbarians fled and were never seen in Wales again,” Emma concluded. “But soon after, Dafydd and Finndragon had a huge argument. It was the Feast of August and everybody was celebrating. There was food aplenty and an ample supply of good strong wines and ales. Nobody knows for sure what they argued about, but some say Finndragon may have fallen in love with Dafydd’s wife. Queen Hafgan, which means ‘summer song’, was much younger than Dafydd and was very beautiful. She had long red hair and a pale complexion. Dafydd banished Finndragon from his kingdom.”

“And as he left Castell y Mynydd, the wizard turned to Dafydd and said,” Megan continued the story now. “Unless you lift my banishment before thirteen moons light the sky, then you, your castle, kingdom and everything in it shall sink into the earth. You will be set upon by monsters and demons until the end of time, and never be seen again.’ Then the sky went dark, only lit by the frequent flash of lightning, with thunder crashing all around. Finndragon swirled his long cloak in the air around him and vanished.”

“Dafydd soon forgot about Finndragon, employing a young Welsh wizard called Myrddin, which meant hawk, who claimed he could protect Dafydd from any curse. Many people believe that Myrddin was actually Merlin in Arthurian Legend,” explained Emma. “Myrddin had an even younger apprentice called Gwayne, which means white hawk.

“With the barbarian invaders dispatched, life was very peaceful. Dafydd was happy and his kingdom prospered. Exactly a year after Finndragon’s banishment, with a full moon in the beautiful night sky, a terrible storm came up from nowhere, right in the middle of the Feast of August. It is said that his visiting cousin Dewi, King of Ceredigion was with Dafydd that night. Suddenly everything was in pitch darkness except for Castell y Mynydd, which was illuminated by a single shaft of moonlight. Every fire and light within the castle was extinguished by the howling wind and the lashing rain. The waters in the moat began to bubble and boil, and the ground began to shake.”

“What did Dafydd do, Emma,” asked Scott, “And what about Myrddin’s magic?”

“Myrddin was a young wizard. His magic was not yet powerful enough to stop Finndragon’s Curse as he’d claimed. So he saved himself by turning into a hawk, and flew away before the kingdom sank into the earth. A mountain rose up above the spot where it had stood and Dafydd, everyone and everything else weren’t so lucky,” Emma went on with the story.

“So that was the end of Dafydd?” said Megan.

“Yes, except some people think his kingdom is still intact, in the belly of the earth, where Dafydd is plagued by Finndragon’s demons for all eternity,” Emma concluded.

Where you can buy The Legend of Finndragon's Curse:

Amazon - Kindle edition

Lulu - paperback

Connect with Richie Earl:

Monday, 23 December 2013

Author Interview - David Stevens on One Thousand Worlds

David Stevens is today's interviewed author on One Thousand Worlds. David first featured on this blog in October 2013. You can read that post here.

Tell us about your latest book.

My latest books published are Vampiric Retirement & A Trainspotters Guide To Other Earths.

Vampiric Retirement in its simplest form, is a world encompassing war led by the vampire elders, intenting to seek and obtain world domination over humanity. The tale is told in a trilogy with each being a story in its own right, but each leading into the next. For more information you could read the prologue and opening on Amazon.

A Tainspotter’s Guide to Other Earths is a Sci Fi of the weird kind. The story centers around a Trainspotter, an alien She and a race of insane genocide intent aliens. It regales the reader with the why, where, how and everything. I always say if you loved Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by the late Douglas Adams, you will assuredly like, if not love, this very different but equally unbalanced tale. I describe this book as being a Marmite book (Vegemite) they say 50% love it & 50% hate it!

I have been asked what exactly is a Trainspotter?

The answer is simple to answer but not necessarily to encompass, if you imagine a plane spotter or bird watcher they each desire to view and collect the details of their chosen prey. The Trainspotter is a typically British geek, often associated with anorak’s (pull over water-proof jackets) duffel bags (a tube bag with draw string that hangs over the shoulders). Coupled with the insistent desire to note down, having seen, every train number of every train ever produced and still in service.

These heroes to the geek world often involve themselves in other activates such as stamp collecting. If you need to know more might I suggest that the best way would be to read the book.

How many books have you written?

Well let me say that currently & ready for publication I would say there are seven completed. Two more published, with two more due march 2014 if all goes to plan.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am glad you asked this question. The answer as some of you will already know is The Foundation Of A Kings Legend. A fantasy fiction tale. This is one of the two expected out 2014. It is book 1 of a trilogy with book 2 being edited now & book three plotted ready for writing.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

Believable characters, a good story and an endless supply of coffee & biscuits.

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?

I am severely dyslexic, I remember being asked what I would like to be when… You know its that question! My reply of being a writer tickled the teachers immensely! That set my path & thanks to computers & great support from my wife & the Trolls (Editors) I have achieved some of what I set out to do.

There is much more detail on my blog than I can reasonably say here, which you might like to view, I can assure you it kills 99% of all boredom, it is at :-

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

Frankly not a lot, other than if you want to achieve something badly enough you will, one way or another.

If you could meet any of your own characters, who would it be?

A book waiting to be published is called Transgressions (currently) it is a transsexual love story & I would like to meet the three main characters over coffee, their lives are fascinating.

Do you have a favourite character among the ones you've invented?

I like all of the characters I have created, good bad or plain ugly, they all have something to recommend them. Admittedly in some cases you would need to look very hard but it is there, buried deep down just waiting to be discovered by the reader.

My none book  favourite is a Dragon called Robert, he is young & a typical teenager in all respects, he can be found on Twitter at :- DS_Books.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What is this growing up?

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

I would not like to trade places but I would very much have liked to meet Isaac Asimov,Arthur.C. Clark & Clive Cussler amongst many others.

What do you think about when you are alone in your car?

Mostly what the hell is he/she/they (other drivers and pedestrians) going to do next!

What song best describes your work ethic?

Shine on you crazy Diamond, or Bat out of Hell.

You can buy A Trainspotters Guide To Other Earths at:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

You can buy Vampiric Retirement:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Connect with David Stevens:

Free stories at:-

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Author Interview - Curran Geist on One Thousand Worlds

Curran Geist is today's interviewed author on One Thousand Worlds. The first five people to leave a comment below will be gifted a free ebook copy of The Sity through Please note, that you would have to have an account to accept your free ebook. Curran was one of the first authors to feature on One Thousand Worlds. You can read his original post here.

The Interview:

Tell us about your latest book.
The Sity is a dystopian fantasy adventure that pits humanity against alien dictators. At its core, it’s about the oppressed standing up to their oppressors and the inner struggles of two young humans to find their purpose in a world where they don’t belong. It’s a gory, action-packed and full of shocking twists and turns. I hope you’ll check it out.

How many books have you written?
At the moment, I only have one published novel.

What are you working on at the moment?
I actually have two projects that I’m currently working on. I really want to finish the 2nd book in The Sity series. I hope this will be available during the Spring 2014. I am also working on a mother-son relationship drama inspired by some traumatic events in my life.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Passion, positivity, and flexibility.

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
My childhood experiences are a big inspiration for my writing. One reader described The Sity as deeply psychological. I couldn’t agree more. I exorcise some of the demons of my childhood through my characters.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
Always questions things and don’t just accept something as the truth without doing your own research.

If you could meet any of your own characters, who would it be?
Probably, I’d like to meet Carina, since I have a crush on her. Lol. Ok, seriously, I would like to meet her because I think she is driven, complex, and has a big heart.

Do you have a favorite character among the ones you've invented?
Besides the one above, I really like the character Joseph. He is inspired by my father-in-law. I like Joseph because he’s overcome a lot of obstacles in his pursuit of helping humanity.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a writer, and I want to think that my writing has impacted other people’s lives.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
That’s a tough question. I would love to be Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. She is so cool and badass. As a male, I’ve always been curious as to what it would be like to be a female. I just think that there are so many ways – social stigmas and constructions – that impact how men and women experience life. I would like to step into those shoes once in my life. I would also like to use magic and battle Voldemort.

What do you think about when you are alone in your car?
I usually think about my Philadelphia sports teams (Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, etc.) Maybe that’s boring, but I love sports!

What song best describes your work ethic?
“Know Your Enemy” by Rage Against the Machine

Victor’s memory has been damaged from months of torture and enslavement. But there’s one thing they couldn’t steal from him…the hope of finding his lost family. Carina is haunted by strange visions and the symbols etched into her skin. She will stop at nothing to discover her true identity.

In this tale of survival and vengeance, two young humans fight back against the oppression of an alien race called the Kuljik. Dangers and unspeakable horrors lie around every corner of the Sity, a violent metropolis where enslaved humans are abused for the pleasure of the aliens. Victor and Carina are both blessed with mysterious supernatural powers and represent humanity’s best hope to escape. Will their personal demons cause them to unravel as they forge the destiny of their futures?

Can friendship, community, and even love survive in the darkest of worlds? Dreams are dashed and nightmares are realized in this Sci-Fi Fantasy novel by author Curran Geist.


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Legacy Book One (Rachael Deragon) in One Thousand Words

Legacy by Rachael Deragon is today's featured book on One Thousand WorldsIt is the first book of a trilogy which mainly pertains to centaurs.


The greed of the Low King Eleazar has begun the war that the prophecy had foretold, planning to usurp the throne of the High King Emery. The centaurs Gunta, Stryder, tries desperately to keep his herds safe and stop Eleazar, but his world gets turned upside down as he takes the role of leader and faces almost constant setbacks. The wood elves, arcane elves, and the fairies have all been on the hunt for the Chest of Erinn, a relic that contains the clues to the oracle and only then can someone stop Eleazar before war begins and death ensues. The land of Rogasia and all who live in it, can only find peace if they can find racial and environmental harmony. Can they find amity between the races and come together to defeat the Low King and his army of mutants?

Chapter 1

“The dwarves and the wood elves may have made an alliance to find this oracle, or so my spy suspects.  There is also Eleazar to deal with, and his misguided sense of power. I am aware we are becoming greatly outnumbered as time goes on. But know this will never deter me from our cause,” Stryder shifted his weight slightly and turned to look at his new wife intently. “Hear me Isis, and never forget, I shall not rest until the oracle is in my hands, we walk this land as ours again, and the other races have been obliterated,” bellowed Stryder. 
Stryder was now the Gunta of all the centaur herds. He is the son of Aleyn, a fierce warrior and mighty leader; he died almost five seasons ago during a battle with the last Low King, Jaanlar, in Candarra. Now Stryder is the herds’ leader, their Gunta, although proud to hold this title, he misses his father dearly and often feels overwhelmed in his duties at such a tumultuous time.
Thousands of suns and moons before Stryder’s story ever began, for the most part the elves and dwarfs traveled through the certain designated trade cities. The most popular was the city of Tubar near the tar pits. Though there was an inherent distaste amongst each other, peace was profitable for trades. 
Then one day it began to spread that near Crandon Creek, a dwarf had uncovered a stone, which seemed to have a prophecy written on it. It foretold of the dying of Rogasia’s races, of a war that will ensue if one doesn’t come forth, find the oracle, and bring peace once again. It was a single insignificant dwarf found perhaps the most significant stone in all of Rogasia. Its story spoke thru strange writings that took years to decipher. Over time so much had been forgotten, so much loss of the past ways. It did not help that the stone had been broken and some text lost forever.
Though fractured, it partially read:
When the sisters unite, it shall begin
The time of tribal genocide…
The dark one…
He who shines to the beasts, inciter of conflicts 
Creator of blasphemy…
Find the object of all blood beings every desire,
This one hope could change the tide for he who possesses it.
It had been written in three languages; elven, dwarven, and centaurian. Only the first of those were deciphered at first, as they didn’t know what the other language was. It took eleven scholars hundreds of years to finally decipher the few words using old texts. The centaurs had been considered more a nuisance beast than a race. Often treated as such back then, hunted down and sent into small areas throughout Rogasia with very little land left for any real way of life.
Not long after that the races warred, they retreated to their own lands, alienating each race from the other, and consumed themselves with trying to discover the way to the oracle. Seeking the answer to what the oracle even was. For none had ever heard or seen such a thing and without revelation; no texts or scrolls have yet to be found that describes what it is. Over thousands of years, the prophecy was slightly interpreted in different ways, dependent on race mostly. 
“I understand,” Isis said gently, “but I worry about this prophecy Siita has foreseen. How can you just ignore it?”
Loudly Stryder began to preach, “It matters naught what that witch says, I will continue to fight for what my father’s blood has given to regain!” Stryder stomped his hoof down defiantly. “I will hear no more foolish banter from you Isis, you’re my lifemate and I forbid your disgrace. If you don’t believe in me, in my choices, in what we fight for, why should my battle herd? We shall never lay swords with any race Isis. Do you understand me?” 
Humbly Isis bowed before him, her hundreds of long golden braids flowing to the floor, “Yes my Gunta, as you wish. I ask your forgiveness and just know I only presented my worries to you not because I doubt you, for I love you my sweet Stryder. Please don’t be angry with me.”
Tension seemed to escape his brow, he held her closely for a moment then gently explained, using a Centaurian word that was a term of endearment, “My petra, Siita has been wrong before. She joined the herd just before I met you, after my father died and I had to take his place. She came to me and told me I would never find my life mate, that I would never sire a foal. She claimed that I was destined to fail my lineage. But then I found you, captured and enslaved by those dwarves,” Stryder almost spit the word in disgust. “I freed you and knew instantly you were the one. Now you are with foal. Do you see why this worries me not? I have no faith in her Isis, my faith lies with the Gods, elements, and my herds’ people, my great centaur warriors, and with Rogasia. I will find the oracle first. That my petra is my destiny.”
With a soft warm kiss, Stryder left their home and walked out into the crisp night air. He could almost taste the fresh fertile air of spring coming; the purity of the air was almost rejuvenating to him. Stundarak Village had always been where the Guntas lived as long as anyone could remember. The homes were built of the strongest tamarack and cedar trees and the roofs shingled from shells of the Akknar (giant turtles which live in the River of Gaundaa far northwest of here). Stryder gazed about the village, the windows glowed orange like candles in the darkest nights, as centaur families prepared for bed; and he knew what was being spoken in those homes and it angered him to no other.  How dare that turncoat try to ruin the herd’s faith in me! Siita is a useless, lying witch, and not even a good one at that. 
He could see towards the center of the village, where there was what they called the drangann, a circular area with a large fire pit in the center where biinin and bii would gather to speak about anything from announcements of life mates or births, to the common village gossip, to battle stories.  
He could see his four dearest and oldest friends standing there, Drake, Corst, Jake, and Kristoff, centaurs he trusted with his life as they did him. Drake and Kristoff he had known since they were all just foals together. All four were not just his friends but also his Team Generals for his battleherd, and he knew all too well what they spoke of, Siita. The word almost burned his tongue with just the thought of it. Stryder jaunted over to them; and his body seemed to harden as they quit speaking while he approached. After some pleasantries, he grabbed a craft of winter ale they still had left yet from this past season and took a place among his friends around the crackling blaze. 
Drake of course was the first to speak; he was a proven warrior and had been friends with Stryder since they were both foaled only a few days apart. Their fathers, Aleyn and Lindin, had been the closest of brethren. Drake had the blackest coat and mane Stryder had ever seen. His mane flowed down to his waist, as did his beard (manes on herdsmen or herdswomen were a sign of attractiveness and pride when selecting a lifemate), two long braids fell down the sides of his face. “My Gunta, my friend, I must address what we have heard. Rumors are being whispered amongst the herd that Siita has foreseen a prophecy.” 
Although he tried to keep his composure, his muscles tensed and rippled not by the chill of the late winter, which was amplified by the firelight on his chestnut coat even though he wore his leather and fur tunic and a cloak. As controlled as he could he said, “I have heard of this so called prophecy. I also have known Siita to be wrong before and I lost what little faith I may have had in that traitor a while ago. You know of my feelings about this magic she has brought here and I have had enough of it.” 
Stryder didn’t yell but his voice was deep and strong and he made his stance known. His voice beginning to rise, he continued, “Our kind has never used sorcery before and we don’t need it now. To seal a pact with any race would mean we turn our backs to what generations of bloodlines have sacrificed, and it would mean the possibility of giving up Rogasia to another race. That does not sit well with mine heart, does it yours? As long as blood coarses through thy veins and mine hooves carry me, this will never happen!” His voice becoming louder as he spoke, herdsmen and herdswomen began to filter around the drangann.  
Stryder looked to his left where Corst and Jake stood by him, two of his team generals, two of his closest friends. “Corst, did not an elf sorcerer kill your life mate?” 
To Jake he quickly asked, “Did you not watch, paralyzed by spells as the dwarf shamans took your older sister into slavery to breed those atrocities they have created?” 
Jake looked to the ground and weakly nodded. 
Lastly, he spoke to Kristoff who already knew what his next words would be, “Dwarves took your legacy when they butchered your foal son and took your lifemate, did they not Kristoff?” 
“Merciless, foul bastards they are Stryder” Kristoff snarled with damnation.

Where you can buy Legacy:

Connect with Rachael Deragon

Twitter: @RachaelDeragon

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Author Interview - Lauren Scharhag on One Thousand Worlds

Where Flap the Tatters of the King was featured recently
on One Thousand Worlds. Click here to see that post.
Lauren Scharhag is today's interviewed author on One Thousand Worlds. Lauren is the author of Under Julia, The Ice Dragon, The Winter Prince and (with Coyote Kishpaugh) The Order of the Four Sons series.  Her work has appeared most recently in The SNReview, The Daily Novel, Infectus, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry.  Her reviews appear on Horror-Net and Urban Fantasy Land, as well as her own review site, Blue House Review. She is the recipient of the Gerard Manley Hopkins Award for poetry and a fellowship from Rockhurst University for fiction. She lives in Kansas City, MO with her husband and three cats.

Tell us about your latest book.
My very latest book is Where Flap the Tatters of the King.  It’s the third book in the Order of the Four Sons series, which I co-author with Coyote Kishpaugh.  If the series were children, it would be our favorite child.  We really feel it’s our best work.  The O4S series is about a group of paranormal investigators who get sucked through a series of interdimensional gates and have to find their way back home again.  We balance action and drama with humor—if you like Buffy, Harry Dresden, or Sookie Stackhouse, this is the series for you.  We refer to Book I as the dungeon crawl, Book II as the weird west, and Book III as the fairy tale.

In Book III, our heroes find themselves in a kingdom called Corbenic.  At first glance, Corbenic is an idyllic place—it’s beautiful and magical, filled with creatures like fairies and mermaids.  The men practice alchemy and geomancy.  But the further our heroes venture into this world, the darker it gets.

How many books have you written?
By myself—six. Including the ones I’ve co-authored with Coyote—nine.

What are you working on at the moment?
Coyote and I are working on the fourth and final installment of the O4S series, of course.  On my own, I’m working on a new literary novel called Black Antler Farm, as well as a submission for the Dark Crystal prequel contest.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Writing is what keeps me sane.  If I’m away from my keyboard too long, I start to feel a little unspooled.  Otherwise, I have found that hanging out with other writers can be very cathartic—only other authors understand what we go through.

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
It’s had an immense impact on my writing.  When I was very little, my grandmother taught me nursery rhymes and fairy tales.  My father taught me to read early and bought me diaries, so I’ve been reading and writing pretty much my whole life.  Also, I had an unusual childhood in that my mother came from a poor, Mexican family, and my father was from a wealthy, German family.  I think growing up in two worlds, in every possible sense, has really shaped my perspective on life, and the very diverse influences instilled in me a lifelong love of language and stories.  

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
That’s a tough one for me to answer—I was a nerd, so I actually enjoyed a lot of my classes and learned the things I think you’re supposed to learn in school.  I was also fortunate to attend very good schools, so I had really excellent teachers who fed my love of literature.

If you could meet any of your own characters, who would it be?
No question, the characters from the O4S verse.  It’s a pretty big cast—we’re talking over 25 major characters across the four books.  I’d love to meet them all, the heroes and the villains alike, (though I would be very scared to meet some of our villains in person).

Do you have a favourite character among the ones you've invented?
Totally.  Christophe Ecarteur, who first shows up at the end of Book II in the O4S series.  He’s a Corbenese noble, best friend and advisor to the prince, and a classic rogue character.  He’s flamboyant, clever, witty, and very popular with the ladies . . . and the men, for that matter.  He’s also brave, loyal, romantic, and, very simply, a good person.  He’s the guy you want on your side.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A sushi chef.

What do you think about when you are alone in your car?
My characters take over my head.  I like to let them chatter away.

What song best describes your work ethic?
“We Only Come Out at Night,” by Smashing Pumpkins.

Connect with Lauren Scharhag:

Twitter: @laurenscharhag

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Shades of Smoke (Graham Buckby and Alan Denham) in One Thousand Words

Shades of Smoke by Graham Buckby and Alan Denham is today's featured book on One Thousand Worlds.

Shades of Smoke-

Brief synopsis:
Shades of Smoke tells the story (stories) of a young Illusionist, gifted with the ability to create wonderful pictures – on paper, in embossed leather, in ink drops in water, but mostly in smoke – yes, he is a sort of magician.
However, he has problems.  He lives in a violent and dangerous world, and he is not a swordsman!  And his magic is not exactly useful as a survival aid in such a world . . . or is it?  When he returns home after his training to find his father murdered, how can he set about his revenge?  And having done that, what will he do next, given that he has now used his Art in a proscribed manner, and his life could be forfeit if his College ever find out.  Answer:  He flees across the breadth of the world, seeking employment, righting wrongs, making friends, rescuing his childhood sweetheart from slavery, helping to provide justice where possible and vengeance where appropriate. And will he get the girl?

About the authors-

Graham Buckby and Alan Denham have been friends for many years.  The writing started as a sort of private joke between them – but it grew, and eventually became good enough for publication.  There are now four books published, and several more in draft form, one just waiting for the final polish, other needing more work . . .

Get more details about us and about our world from

The Price Of Life.

Cormell seemed to be a perfectly normal child.  He was born in the perfectly normal town of Bridgeport.  There were worse places to be born.
Bridgeport was a prosperous little market town huddled on the steep east bank of the upper reaches of the mighty River Nuarine.  Other people might have called it the back of beyond, but locals would reply grinning that the back of beyond actually began the other side of the town’s wall.  Bridgeport was where it was because the confluence of the White River - which was neither white nor properly a river - with the Nuarine created a natural harbour; and was called Bridgeport because it had one of each.  Bridges were a rarity on Nuome, and the high stone arch over the deep rocky cleft carved by the White River was a curiosity which attracted visitors who passed the night there when travelling along the Nuarine on the Southport ferry; and it lured them up through the little town’s market place, and that made the local craftsmen smile a lot.
Another minor curiosity, to a student of natural philosophy who is interested in such things, was the big curving spit of sand which looped across the junction of the rivers, creating the harbour, and which the locals called ‘the beach’.  That beach is important to our story because it was Cormell’s favourite childhood haunt.
Like little boys everywhere Cormell liked to play in sand.  He built defences against the washes of boats, dug moats and pools, threw dams across a small stream that ran nearby, and built castles.  But it was his models and pictures that he enjoyed the most.  While he was still a child people could recognise in his sculpting the town’s bridge and the tower of the Riverlord’s castle, and observed how good they were.
If you had asked the teacher at the Artificers’ Guild school whether Cormell was artistic he would have looked blank, and commented that he had a neat hand, though his script tended to be rather florid and over intricate; and wryly added that perhaps he should have been born a Ryaduran.  The teaching of art was no part of his remit, he taught the abstract sciences needed by his pupils for their crafts; reading, writing and sums.
However, Cormell’s father approved of Cormell’s artistic bent, for he was a leather worker, and artistically decorated leather work could fetch very good prices, especially from rich passing travellers, and especially if it was decorated with pictures of the famous bridge, so he encouraged his young son to spend his free time practising his talent on the beach.
When Cormell reached nine years his father gifted him with paper, inks and charcoal.  Cormell was truly delighted with that gift, and was proud to the point of bursting when his father first displayed one of his pictures of the bridge in his workshop.
When those pictures began to sell for real copper coins both Cormell and his father were even prouder, and, by his eleventh birthday Cormell was on a commission to produce a new picture of the bridge every week for the local bookseller and printer.
But Cormell’s father did not intend to let him be lured into another craft, and, on his eleventh birthday presented him with a set of a set of small sharp knives and punches and showed him how to carve a simple picture into thick leather.  Cormell quickly became rather good at it, and some of his leather work soon came to be displayed in the shop - and occasionally sold, for good prices; but, whenever he was able, he still spent time on the beach by the river.
He still enjoyed sitting alone on the beach, crafting castles and boats, and even faces out of the sand, humming happily to himself as he did so.  It struck him that some tunes seemed somehow to blend with his sculpting, though he couldn’t have explained why it was so.
Cormell was aware that he was having an idyllic childhood, and, if his family weren’t exactly rich, they were comfortable, and at least his father wasn’t a tanner!  Or a fisherman!  Or even a candle maker like Ellisa’s father!  At least worked leather smelt good.  So Cormell actively enjoyed being who he was, where he was, and if the hot summer evenings on the beach had gone on for ever it would have been his idea of paradise.  He knew in his heart that he would soon need to spend much more time in the workshop, and that a part of the idyll would thus be lost, but that was the price of life, and he accepted that.  But he was not expecting what actually happened.
It began innocuously enough.  He was twelve, nearing thirteen, when it happened.  His father had sold a leather saddlebag decorated with one of his bridge pictures for a very good price, and, well pleased, had told Cormell to take the rest of the day off.
Cormell had wandered down to the beach and found some wonderfully workable wet sand at the water’s edge, and was humming happily to himself, moulding his father’s smiling face, trying to capture the way he had looked when the saddlebag was sold.
The ferry boat passed close, and the wake surged up from it, threatening to sweep across his picture and erase it.  Something inside Cormell said ‘STOP’ and then ‘MOVE SLOWER’.  The wave flowed over the face, but, instead of blurring the image or washing it completely away, it smoothed the roughness of the edges, and left the picture clean and glistening, like a fine carving, with a layer of water standing on it like varnish.
Cormell froze, studying its perfection.  This was exactly what he had been trying to create!

Where you can buy Shades of Smoke: - Amazon US - Amazon UK

Smashwords - Smashwords

Connect with Alan Denham on Goodreads