Teaser Tuesday with Katie Thornton!

Today’s Teaser Tuesday comes from author Katie Thornton!

Enjoy & Comment!
The Lands of Ayrenia was once a place that flourished with Magic until the Cataclysm, an event that eradicated all Magic. Three hundred years have passed since, and the gods seek a way to bring Magic back into the dying world. They choose Braelyn, a young girl, who is captured by pirates and sold as a slave to a gladiator house. Born to a warrior clan, Braelyn uses the skills her father taught her to rise in the ranks as a gladiator in order to earn her freedom. If she survives, the gods have great plans for her.
EXCERPT: 
The next few days were quiet in the village on the coast, with a few visitors to the Inn and very good catches at sea. There was rain one evening, followed by very thick fog that came rolling off of the ocean and settled over the village. The fog was still there in the morning, making it difficult for the children to concentrate with the sword practice.
            “Let us go down to the beach,” Braelyn told the children. They laughed as they made their way carefully down to the beach. Some of them chose to play around in the water but the rest chose to build sand houses. Braelyn was in the water for a bit, until she thought she heard what sounded like an oar dipping into the water. She turned to face the ocean but could only just see a few feet before her.
            “Out of the water,” she whispered to her friends, waving her arms to get their attention. They quickly did as she said and they all waited nervously on the beach watching the water. Beyond the barrier of pointed logs twenty feet out they could just barely see the outline of the barrier itself.
            Braelyn focused on the water, listening. Then she heard the unmistakable sound of oars in the water and men cursing.
            “Go alert the village,” she whispered to her friends. “Jack and Jon, go. Be quick.” She watched as the two boys ran off up the beach. “Meg and Ryan, go to the docks quickly!” Those two left at a run as well. To the remaining four she told them to head for the blacksmiths where there were weapons that would need to be passed out and most likely used.
            “What about you?” one of the girls her age asked her as she turned to go.
            “I will stay here.” Braelyn pulled a dagger from her boot and ushered her on. The girl ran as Braelyn went over to a sand dune to hide behind.
            She did not have to wait long till she heard a scream from the water where someone had met badly with a pointed log. Braelyn heard curses and then someone said, “This village is more prepar’d for water ‘tacks than them other ones.”
            “Quiet, you lout! Sound carries in the fog!”
            Braelyn rolled her eyes at the incompetence of the pirates as she noticed that the fog was thinning. She could finally see the longboat that the pirates were in on the other side of the barrier, and there was a man literally stuck on the point of one of the logs. Blood dripped down into the ocean as the man squirmed in death throes, only sinking himself deeper onto the log.
            Braelyn heard shouting from the location of the dock and then heard the crash of the dock falling apart.
            “Something’s happened to our ship!” one of the men in the longboat exclaimed. “This village is not like any of the others.”
            “Just ‘cause they’re ready for us doesn’t mean we can’t take ‘em,” another man said.
            She heard the creak of logs being moved by hand and she turned back to the ocean. There were men in the water moving the logs to allow the longboat and another behind it full of men through. Twenty pirates came onto the beach and headed up the path to the village. Braelyn followed through the long grass just behind them.
            She heard shouting up ahead and then saw many of the pirates stagger back with arrows in their chests. The other pirates drew bastard swords and advanced only to be met with the steel of the villagers. The blacksmith was among the villagers and he fought with his giant hammer, smashing in heads and breaking arms that came near him.
            “Back to the beach!” one of the pirates yelled out when he noticed fire from near the dock that he realized was their ship. A bell tolled on the ship which seemed to signal that they indeed needed to retreat so they took off at a run. Braelyn headed back down to the beach along with them, but when she reached the beach she was ahead of them and she did not hide in time.
            “Well, lookie here.” One of the pirates saw her as she tried to duck down behind a dune. “A villager brat!”
            “Might as well get one, than none,” another said as they advanced on her. One of them reached out to grab her but her dagger flashed in her hand and cut off a couple of the man’s fingers. He screamed in pain and fell backward as she slashed at another who jumped back and into the other man who pulled him down with him. Some of the other pirates came to their comrades’ aid and surrounded her whilst the others rushed to the longboats.
            The pirates yelled curses at her as she warded them off with her dagger. She caught flesh a few times, and punched quite a few where it counted. There was an opening in the circle that she took advantage of; she thought she was clear of them when someone grabbed her hair and yanked her back. She let out a yelp as he pulled her up by the hair and then cursed as someone yanked her dagger out of her hand.
            “Hurry it up!” a pirate from the longboat yelled to them. “There are people coming to the beach and the ship is waiting!”
            “You have caused quite some trouble, girlie,” the pirate holding her hair told her as he shook her roughly. “You should have stayed hidden, ‘cause you’re gonna be in the Shadows soon.”
            Someone tied her hands and ankles quickly, and then she was thrown over someone’s shoulder before they headed for the longboats. Braelyn heard yelling from the beach as she was thrown into the longboat, and she looked up to see villagers coming after them, yelling her name. She kicked and wriggled out of the ties on her hands and punched one pirate in the nose as hard as she could, hearing the sickening sound of the nose breaking. The man fell over the side of the longboat and did not attempt to get back up: cartilage from his nose had gone into his brain killing him.
            Braelyn grabbed hold of another pirate’s bastard sword and pulled it from its sheath in one swift move before disemboweling the very pirate the sword belonged to and pushing the man into the water. She turned on the other pirates but was not quick enough to avoid the blow to her head that knocked her out. She sank down amongst the viscera from the last man she had killed, and she knew nothing else but darkness for quite some time.
Katie grew up with a love of reading, and started writing in her early teens. By the time she was done high school she had written a novel. She went to Wilfrid Laurier University in the Archaeology program to become a Medieval Archaeologist. The knowledge she gained about the Classical and Medieval world she used to incorporate into her writing. She lives in a small town in the township of Howick, the County of Huron, Ontario, Canada. She is very happily married to her amazing and loving husband Jason. She has an adorable son Daniel, with another child on the way. They have two cats, Orion and Andromeda.

She loves reading and writing, and getting her feet dirty. She hates the cold, worships the sun, and likes sundresses. She likes all animals. She loves life, and is looking forward to the future.

Fantasy novels is what she enjoys most, in what she reads, and writes. It’s an escape. All of her heroine’s have a part of her in them. She created the Lands of Ayrenia to be a Magical world, where anything can happen. Keeps you on your toes. Wanting more. 

Teaser Tuesday with Chris Redding!

Today’s Teaser Tuesday is with Author Chris Redding!

Enjoy & Comment!

License to Nerd

Madison West appears on Peter Quincy’s doorstep as expected, when her husband, Charlie, disappears. Peter had been her husband’s best man and had promised to take care of Madison if something happened to him. Neither Madison nor Peter are what they seem, but will their lies to each other to save the world, instead fail to save them from each other?

   

 “He just has to help me,” she said to no one. Because no one occupied the alley.

     Until a man rounded the corner.
     The way the man slammed into her, she knew it wasn’t an accident.
      He could have gone around her, but he didn’t. She turned to give him a good Jersey Girl dressing down, when he grabbed her arm. He jerked her close. She looked up into deep-set eyes that held no soul.
     The snarky retort died on her lips.
     “We want the package, Madison.”
     Holy crap. How did he know her name? How did he know about the package? Her heart jumped into her throat. She yanked on her arm, looking around hoping for witnesses.
      No one else walked this stretch of the sidewalk. Odd since it was lunchtime. Maybe this man made this happen. His blocking of the road meant power.
     Turning back to him, she asked, “What package?”
     Madison wanted to snarl at him, but she needed to play the innocent so she shuddered.
     “The one your husband sent you,” in a voice that spoke of years of cigarette use.
     “I don’t have any package.” Her words tumbled over themselves as he gripped her tighter. His hot, spicy breath wrinkled her nose.
     “We know it arrived. You have it. We want it.”
     What the hell was Charlie into? Why did he send her that package? Damn him. She would like to give Charlie a nice roundhouse kick, but she after she dealt with this asshole.
     “Uh, I don’t have it.”
     “Yes, you do.”

Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her family and various animals. She writes romantic suspense and romantic comedy. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in Journalism. When she isn’t writing, she works part time for a local winery.
Buy Link License to Nerd:

Teaser Tuesday with Kenneth Mark Hoover!

Today’s Teaser Tuesday is from Kenneth Mark Hoover!
Enjoy & Comment!


            Thermopylae. Masada. Agincourt.
            And now, Haxan, New Mexico.
            We go where we’re sent. We have names and we stand against that which must be faced.
            Through a sea of time and dust, in places that might never be, or can’t becomeuntil something is set right, there are people destined to travel. Forever.
            I am one.
—Marshal John T. Marwood

CHAPTER 1
Haxan, New Mexico Territory
Spring, 1874
            I found the old man nailed to a hackberry tree five miles out of Haxan.
            They had hammered railroad spikes through his wrists and ankles. There was dried blood on the wood and iron. Blood stippled his arms and chest. He was stripped naked so the westering sun could peel the flesh from his bones.
            He was alive when I found him.
            I got down off my horse, a blue roan I picked up in Mesilla, and went up to the man. His twitching features were covered with swarming bluebottles.
            I swiped them away and pressed the mouth of a canteen to his parched lips. He was in such a bad way, I knew if he drank too much, too fast, he would founder and the shock would kill him.
            He took a capful of water and coughed. Another half-swallow.
            “I can work those nails out,” I said. “You might have a chance if a doctor sees you.”
            He raised his grizzled head. His face was the colour of burned leather kicked out of a prairie fire. His eyelids were cut away, his eyes seared blind by the sun.
            “Won’t do any good, mister.” He talked slow and with effort, measuring his remaining strength. He had a Scandinavian accent that could float a ship, pale eyebrows, and faded blue irises. “I been here two days.”
            I tried to work one of the nails free. It was hammered deep and wouldn’t budge.
            “No use,” he rasped. “Anyway, the croaker in Haxan is jugged on laudanum half the time. And the tooth-puller, he ain’t much better in the way of a man.”
            I let him have more water. “Who did this?”
            “People of Haxan.”
            I tried to give him more water but he shook it off. He was dying and he knew it. He didn’t want to prolong the process.
            “Why?”
            “They’re scared. Like children are scared of the dark.”
            He was delirious and not making sense. “Scared of what?”
            “Me. What I know about this place.” His words and his mind grew distant together. “The ghost voices frozen in the rocks and the grass, the water and the sky. The memory of the world carried high on the wind.”
            His head dropped onto his naked chest. He was losing strength fast. I tried to give him water again but he wouldn’t take it.
            “What’s your name, mister?” he asked in a hoarse whisper.
            “John Marwood.” I had other names, but he wouldn’t be able to pronounce them. Sometimes I couldn’t remember them all.
            “I waited for you, son,” he said. “I called . . . but you didn’t get here fast enough. This moment . . . in time.”
            I felt showered with ice.
            “So you help her instead, Marwood. My daughter, I mean.”
            “Let me help you first, old man. My horse can carry us both.”
            “Thank you for the water. At least you tried.” His head rolled back. His breath sawed in his throat. “Did I tell you it snowed the day she was born?”
            He gave a long, trembling sigh. With a sudden jerk his body slumped forward.
            He was dead.
            I cut him down and buried him in the shade of the hackberry tree. The sky was purpling in the east when I placed the last stone on top of his grave.
            An hour of daylight remained. Across the empty landscape a single mourning dove flew to water. I walked over the hard ground looking for tracks. Two single-rider horses, well shod, and a wagon, had come from the north and gone back that way.
            Headed for town.
            The stirrup leather creaked when I mounted up. It was the only sound in the desert and it carried like a scream.
            I shook the reins in my hand and pulled toward Haxan.
Kenneth Mark Hoover has sold over sixty short stories and articles. His fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, and others. He is a member of SFWA and HWA. His latest novel, Haxan, is a violent dark western published by CZP/HarperCollins in May of 2014. You can find out more about Mr. Hoover and his work from his blog kennethmarkhoover.me or his website kennethmarkhoover.com.
Sites where you can purchase the novel Haxan: 
Kindle Edition (Amazon):  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HCHCLUQ

ChiZine Publication: http://chizinepub.com/books/haxan