Category Archives: sample

Soft Hearts, Hard Memories now available at Smashwords!

As promised, a physical edition novel will be available very, very shortly thanks to Amazon… but it won’t be the first volume of the Greatshale Chronicles. No sir. It will be, quite out of the blue, Soft Hearts, Hard Memories, a heavily edited and revamped novel originally entitled Bold Curves. It was Aaran’s big foray after her first short story, which I rewrote for the latter named anthology. At the time I was thinking it was too heavy a subject, and I’d never finish it.

Well friends, the times are now and we have arrived. This most certainly is the apocalypse. Children are being told to represent themselves as their own legal council in America. I couldn’t have written anything stranger… except that I did, nearly twenty years ago. Aaran, in Little Glass Soul (part of the Bold Curves Anthology) rescues the first legal child prostitute in the Twin Cities, and what follows is an embittered social argument between those who want into the industry, and those who want out. Aaran aids the latter, and her life is threatened – not a big leap to make.

“Nail you? Sandra paid with her core for that waste,” he spat at me. “What are you worth killing for?”
“Hopin’ you’d know that, wickwalker,” I growled, but felt the strength sap from my limbs. Everything doubled up, and I had to double over with the lightning in my middle and cold thunder that rumbled through my skin. Jassic tore away from my hand and made angry noises at me. The two of them stared at me, and then located a silvery pipe, which came down hard on my left wrist.
I screamed and tried to pull away, but I could hear him talking just under my voice.
“Don’t know who ordered this, but if you had any sense you’d let it be!”

I hadn’t intended to write anything so relevant or topical – these kinds of ideas are still ridiculous to most of civilized society, but not to the world. The story, it seems, needed time to simmer, and I needed some perspective. How does a society that allows its children to be employed by a unionized sex trade survive? I didn’t have the answer when I first drafted this story, but I do now.

It was meeting a new friend that pushed this door fully open. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: I am Mormon. That is to say, I know that modern revelation is real, and it is achieved by prayer that culminates in a direct relationship with God through the Holy Ghost by the authority and guidance of Jesus Christ. It bears repeating because it is He who confirmed the answer, and that is family, and that’s what this book is about. Aaran is nearly overwhelmed, and almost killed, by the forces who stand against her: The ones who want to allow the exploitation to carry on.

I swallowed, stomach clenching and face warming. The effect hit me fast, memories of my own abuse striking microflares under my skin and in every remotely sexual part of me. Stan wasn’t a bad judge of dramatics, I remembered suddenly, feeling a mixture of girlish vulnerability and vengeful madness in spastic waves.
There were four of them, and sure enough, if I squinted I could… uh… distinguish Krimp, standing off to one side like he was not involved in the event. Yei screamed again, and I tried to focus on faces, instead of the fact of their stripping her down and pawing her tiny body. I wanted to speak up, tell them I recognized Krimp… but by Dodge, my voice was deadlocked.

This is a political novel, even though it is set on another world with different people and advanced technologies. What does not change is human nature, or rather – the divine nature of who we are and the choices we face. If you’re still gawking at the idea that a Mormon could write about government sanctioned child exploitation, then you’d best sit down. Accepting God can grant you an understanding of the bigger picture, and the eternal nature of our lives. We are here to learn, and family is the key means by which we are guided to achieve exultation.

The fact that we’ve made so much noise about Trump’s attack on family – any family means all of them – tells me we’re not quite out of hope yet. Well friends, neither is Aaran. As uncomfortable as this all is, we’re backsliding into an amoral world where all things are acceptable because no one believes that we should be accountable for our actions. We know what we’re choosing, and we know why we get up in the morning.

You may be surprised to learn this book is a vote of confidence for society, even if it is a little bloodstained, tear-dyed and haggard. When we stop caring, the world gets a little darker. So, I present to you this tale of morality and tough choices.

“But they took Daelia!” Amanda shrieked from her niche. “It were one man! You din’t stop ‘im!”
“I tried!” I cried, speechless and overwhelmed. Maybe I could have told her how much I wanted to save all of them, all their friends, and just sweep them all away to a better place. Maybe it was best that I hadn’t. Instead I asked Amanda how she was feeling, doing.
“They can’t take me,” she said. “I don’ eat’n don’ talk neith’r… t’ make ‘em not want me. In dis cage we’re all want’d.”
I was flabbergasted. She understood perfectly.

We must not lose sight of the truth; we do not stand alone. We never have.

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For My Birthday, You Get a Novel

Live right now is Sector Bomb, featuring Aaran Coates and Buddy Namiki in their investigation of the attack on Sector 9. WordPress doesn’t like embedding … so here’s an excerpt and a link to the story:

Sector Bomb at Smashwords Continue reading

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A dim idea of safety …

A sample of Ahead on Machined Shoulders available now at Wattpad:

[May is the wife of Remy Therison, Aaran. At least in a full prosthetic she can protect herself. Convincing her to keep a bodyguard is not an enviable task. One I’ve been charged with by Garen many times.]
[Not to be insensitive about her whole body being turned into stock-and-shelf parts,] I retorted.
[She’s always had a dim idea of safety. She didn’t deserve it. Alright?]
Kitrid, as a retired ‘intelligence’ agent had an excellent understanding of the pieces missing from his stepsister’s life. [You get a pass this time. So in the end Garen strattera no prescription decided to keep tabs on her?]
[Not indiscreetly. She’s worth killing for. How many people rally around you? You’re worth killing for. Private security is the path to mass disruption.]
[Now what am I supposed to say to that?]
[‘Thank you’ would do. Or ‘that’s very flattering’. Why’d you call me?]
[‘Mass disruption’? Scratch it. You can explain that later.] Blast it, Kitrid … I thought. [You’re doin’ a great job keepin’ me on the defensive. Garen and I are going to rescue her son from the BSO and then she needs a safehouse.]

Thank you to my new followers!

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Ahead on Machined Shoulders: Sampled

So as it turns out I had this nagging impression to highlight Ahead on Machined Shoulders. Before that, I’ll tell you a little something: Shareware bites hard these days. “Free” downloads bait-and-switch trailware and interruptionsoft teasers galore, whilst I attempt to proofread with a sick dog on my lap. She’ll be fine, we figure, but it turns out Balabolka does a fine job of reading my work, once I got over my nervousness. Ironic, right? Nerves about having software read me my own story. Continue reading

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Excerpt: Coates and Yyone Alloy (Revisited)

Ten years or so. Probably longer. The initial concept was rough, unplanned and the world Aaran lived in far from alive. I borrowed ours. Going back with a patch job to draw the story in was a disservice to the inspiration I received. Thanks to a few choice words, I followed a logical process of not being precious about my ideas. Here’s a sample of the updated story: Continue reading

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Excerpt: Stand A Lone Girl

From the latest short story to be featured in Bold Curves, an excerpt of “Stand A Lone Girl”: Continue reading

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Every One Sample

It’s okay, you don’t know yet. That’s not actually a book title. “Sampling” is so mid-90’s … I remember, I was there. Those were good times. Actually, I’m here to show off some hard draft work on a full blown novel tentatively entitled “Every One Wish”, which follows Every One Fight, but only in release. And now, excerpt from 12 – A Missed One: Continue reading

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Every One Fight – Excerpt

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/444405

One: Backhand Fist

There was this one thought I couldn’t get out of Pop’s head, and that was the strange idea he had about me and marathon running. Built like I was Doctor Namiki warned me I’d pop a lung, so I put my foot down and raised my voice at Pop about it. It was because of that clap-trap he refused to let me compete offside.
Not like I cried about it.
A lot of stuff was important to me, but… the year-end meet at Columnar Secondary took first place. This was an annual meet, and in five years Dad hadn’t missed a solitary buy amoxicillin online event. Working his skin to the bone, and I noticed. Boy howdy did I notice.
I did my long jump, 100-meter dash, and was gettin’ ready for my big run when I got called over by J. Tennison, my new coach. Pretty guy, strict as law. I was crushin’ on him pretty hard. Mr. Tennison looked unsettled and sad.
He gave me his phone. It was Mom.
Pop had been killed in some kind of accident or something. Tennison was busy apologizing and explaining as if I gave a wick. I’ve never cried so hard in my life about anything.
Since? Maybe.

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Fruits of Editing: Bold Curves Excerpt

So I spent a portion of yesterday healing and editing. My shoulder’s still basically a mess and I overdid it a little. Slow healer, but hey, that’s fine. I wanted to sample something more overtly exciting than Every One Fight for y’all, so here’s a snippet from Little Glass Soul. Except follows: Continue reading

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