Tag Archives: book summaries

Authors Answer 121 – The Parting of New Shores

The Parting of New Shores. What in the world could that mean? I thought this would be an interesting title, and I was very interested in seeing how it would be interpreted. And now you’ll see!

So what happened with last week’s stories? Check out Dodecahedron to read the stories. The winner is… a tie? C E Aylett and Paul B. Spence share the win this time!

On to this week’s story!

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 121 – The Parting of New Shores

Elizabeth Rhodes

The Parting of New Shores, a fantasy story set on a tropical island.

A survey crew shipwrecks on an island not marked on any known maps and populated by a yet unknown race of people. They quickly find that these people wanted to remain unnoticed, and why – their island is a wellspring of magical power that civilized nations could only dream of, and can harness this power to make just about anything happen. The people are none too pleased with their new guests, but they’re also reluctant to allow them to go home. And when one of the crew falls in love with an island native, the situation is complicated even further.

Gregory S. Close

The Parting of New Shores (from The Nine and Ninety Tales)

Fantasy Adventure

The Padrah Imesxh has issued a challenge to the people of Isht’in: “Go forth, and part the shores of the unknown!  For the man or woman that can reach the faraway Eastern Realms and return with alliances in trade and knowledge, the reward shall be a Royal Charter of land, coin and a seat among the Wise.”

There is no war to win.  No Dark Lord to defeat.  But power, riches and respect are there for the taking, and Ahtma Ku has need for all three.  With her father’s mare, her mother’s lucky copper coin, and an indomitable will, she sets out to find the eastern end of the world, and all the adventure between.

D. T. Nova

Genre: Fantasy

Setting: the age of exploration, but with magic

Summary: Explorers set sail in search of new lands. What they find is a strange new continent that seems to get farther away the more they try to approach it.

Eric Wood


Jack and Annie Shore are pregnant with twins. However, both babies mysteriously disappear from the hospital during their first night. Who took the babies and why? What secrets are they hiding?

Beth Aman

Genre: Contemporary (not really)

Setting: Ocean City, Maryland

Summary: Valarie and John met on accident.  They didn’t mean to fall in love; they didn’t mean to get married; and they certainly didn’t mean to turn into vampires… it just happened that way.  Now they will spend eternity in Love’s Happy Bliss, always seeking the next pair of Young Lovers lounging on the night beaches – after all, teens are easy, delicious prey.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Genre: Sci-Fi

Setting: Deep space

Summary: Humanity finally accomplishes what it has been dreaming of for millennia: discovers intelligent life on a distant planet. All seems well at first, as the two species’ curiosity in each other takes precedence, but soon a grave event sets in motion the beginnings of the greatest war the universe has ever seen.

Paul B. Spence

Genre: Romance Comedy Horror

Setting: California, near future

Synopsis: The big quake finally hit, and California has separated from the mainland and is moving north rapidly. It wouldn’t have been so bad for Jill and Tom, except that the zombie plague erupted out of the fault, and now they are trapped on a large island, moving into an uncertain future, with zombies trying to eat their brains.

Cyrus Keith

Genre: Science Fiction

Setting: Deep space

Summary: A billionaire has a dream, in which he receives orders from God: “Leave this place, and go to another planet I will show you, a land flowing with milk and honey.” He overcomes resistance, bureaucracy, and sabotage to build and launch the first colony ship, destination unknown. But among those who join him are some who are determined to make him fail, at all costs.

Jean Davis

The Parting of New Shores is dramatic story set in New England. Newlyweds, Jim and Sandy Shores return from their honeymoon only to learn that marriage is a lot tougher than it looks. Divorcing is even harder. Amidst angry parents, opinionated friends who hire hitmen, and a war over the wedding china, the one-time lovebirds must amicably sort things out before death parts them forever.

Jay Dee Archer

Genre: Fantasy

Setting: The continents of Shandar and Torollen

The Carvalians fought a three hundred year war that saw no end. The Gods had no other solution: separate the warring nations. The continents of Shandar and Torollen were born. Kendar Dragonspur lost the love of his life, a new sea forcing them to live apart. Can he find a way to cross the waters and find the woman he loves?

How about you?

Now it’s your turn. Choose a book that you think should be written. Which best fits the title “The Parting of New Shores” in your mind? Vote below, then leave a comment explaining your choice.

Authors Answer 120 – Dodecahedron

A geometric shape as a title? This could be anything. And it’s a shape people most likely don’t even know. It’s a twelve-sided polygon, and if you play role playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, you most likely have used one.

Before we get to the stories, let’s find out who won last week’s story. It was called Fender Slander, and the winner is Gregory S. Close again!

So now on to this week’s story.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 120 – Dodecahedron

Jean Davis

Dodecahedron is science fiction. The Council of Twelve acts in the shadows, pulling the strings of planetary governments, crime lords, and the galaxy’s financial markets. Matthews, a scientist who’s funding has suddenly vanished, hunts down the council, slowly exposing its supporting structures until the Council must reveal its faces and answer for all it has done.

Cyrus Keith

Genre: Science Fiction

Setting: Near-Earth space

Summary: A strange, immense 12-sided structure is found during excavation on the moon. Found inside are humanoid aliens, long dead, along with animal forms — a total of twelve different species. But not every life-form is truly dead. What was the original purpose of this mission: to save a race, or to exterminate another?

C E Aylett

Genre: Sci-fi Thriller/Cyberpunk

London 2035

Heston is a cop in search of a gang of arsonists. His investigations lead him into the murky depths of London’s criminal underground where a new recreational drug is sweeping the streets: Dodecahedron. But this drug is like none ever seen before, a plethora of multifaceted highs that no single user shares with another. Sometimes stimulant, sometimes hallucinogenic, sometimes opiate, among a few; users take a gamble with each dose as to what experience they will get. Then there’s those who ‘pop out’ —an effect created by more industrial-scale usage that is hotly rumoured to make people literally disappear into thin air. No one can swear to have witnessed this; objective judgement is but a minor sacrifice for the hedonists involved in abusing the substance, and no one can be sure if it’s real or an imagined side effect. Those who ‘pop out’ return, unscathed, even if they can’t remember much of what went on in between. But as Heston navigates his way through a maze of alternative society in drug-induced psychosis, and the lines between reality and possibility begin to blur, he soon finds out that not everyone comes back. And especially not the women. Inexplicably, he is certain the disappearing women and the arsonists are connected. He just can’t quite figure out how.

No one else believes him — his chief superintendent has written off testimonies from ‘Dodecaheads’ as tripper’s folly and assigned the cases to the sex trafficking unit. As the city fires become more and more frequent, Heston’s under pressure to find the arsonists, yet that voice inside keeps nagging him that the disappearing women are connected in another way. He can’t help but involve himself with Merena, the DI dealing with the trafficking case, to stay abreast of any developments.

His appetite for updates on its progress seems exacerbated by a sense that he’s being watched and a recurring dream he’s had every night for weeks that turns him into a trembling mess and makes him soil his bed linen. A dream of fearsome creatures raining down from the sky. Creatures with razor-sharp fangs or glowing eyes, tails or blue skin. Creatures who like the taste of human flesh. Heston can’t help but feel as if something awful is coming, and the end of the world is nigh.

Compelled to follow his instincts, he’s going to be horrified at what he’s about to find. Something that blows all perceptions of reality out of the water and takes him through a myriad of trails, from the dingy dens of London, to the corridors of Whitehall and across Europe. Even to the beyond. Heston is about to find out just how dark the world really is. Can he save it before it’s too late?

And does he even want to?

Paul B. Spence

Genre: Historical Crime Techno-thriller

Setting: Ancient Rome

Synopsis: Decimus had entered into the priesthood after serving his time in Imperial Army. Things had been going well, until priests started mysteriously dying. What had caused their violent deaths, and what was the role of the strange bronze dodecahedrons found at the scene of each crime?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Genre: Mockumentary

Setting: Back-alley America

Summary: This book follows a young D&D addict as he leads the reader through the seedy underbelly of underground tabletop gaming. He’s known as a legend among his friends, but will his velvet dice bag be enough to get him through the challenges ahead?

Beth Aman

Genre: Fantasy

Setting: The Library; time and space

Summary: There have always been twelve stories that Librarians had to know by heart.  But one morning, Librarian Zack Stewart awakes to find that he has forgotten a story, as have all the other librarians.  The Twelfth Story has been wiped from everyone’s memory, and it will take a search through time and space to recover the lost story – and the lost souls.

Eric Wood

Science Fiction

Post apocalypse world. There are 12 people left – 6 men, 6 women. The storyline will follow from each person’s perspective on how they intend to reestablish the human race. Which one will succeed… or will they?

D. T. Nova

Genre: Historical/thriller/mystery

Setting: Ancient Greece

Summary: Someone has been murdering Pythagoreans, and their newest inductee works with an outsider for find why. But the murderer isn’t the only one who wants the reason behind the crimes to remain unknown. And will the two investigators be able to keep their relationship purely platonic?

Gregory S. Close

DODECAHEDRON (Book One of the Sacred Geometries)

Cosmic Horror, New England

Mal and Ben Algernon had always seen the world in numbers as much as words, more comfortable discussing theorems and proofs than sports or pop culture. Adults found their intellect unnerving.  Other children thought them odd and withdrawn. But by the time they were sixteen, their talent had attracted the attention of Professor Allan Edgars, the foremost theoretical mathematician in academia, and they found themselves the youngest in his exclusive cadre of students at the esteemed Blackwood College.

Mal and Ben find more than they bargained for in Professor Edgars’ lab.  He is obsessed with an ancient mathematical mystery, dubbed “The Unknowable Truth.” He believes that it is the only answer to counter an awakening evil, the Slumbering Dread – a malevolent other-worldly being that seeks to rule and feed on the mortals of Earth. But when their mentor and classmates are all horrifically murdered, its up to the twins to discover the Unknowable Truth, where arcane rituals of magic and complex geometries of mathematics intertwine.

The sum of this equation may be the survival of humanity.

Elizabeth Rhodes

Dodecahedron, a science fiction story set in the near future.

Allison Morris is a post-grad math student who has just discovered how to travel through time. Half the department gathers in secret to test her theories to some measure of success – but in the process damages the very fabric of spacetime. The fallout is unpredictable and needs to be contained fast, but it may be something that requires more than academia to fix.

Jay Dee Archer

Genre: Fantasy

Setting: Geo-Earth

Twelve kingdoms, twelve fates. The Gods of Geo-Earth gamble with the futures of the kingdoms to satisfy their desire for entertainment. With the roll of a twelve-sided perfectly-shaped piece of ivory, they unleash one of twelve horrors on a chosen kingdom. But Toss Arnegax has had enough. Can the twelfth son of the hero Sparc Arnegax resist the gods? He must first find the twelve blades of Gyneson.

How about you?

Now it’s your turn. Choose a book that you think should be written. Which best fits the title “Dodecahedron” in your mind? Vote below, then leave a comment explaining your choice.

Authors Answer 119 – Fender Slander

Another interesting title. To be honest, this one seems a bit difficult, doesn’t it? What exactly is Fender Slander? Check out our ideas for stories, and you can then vote for your favourite.

But first, last week’s winner. The best story, as voted by you, the readers, is by Gregory S. Close! Check out the entries for Bonbon Journey.

And now, this week’s story!

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 119 – Fender Slander

Elizabeth Rhodes

Fender Slander, a thriller set in modern-day Seattle.

Carl Gallagher just made his big break. The video he put on Youtube playing his song went viral, and record companies are knocking at his door. He attracted near-instant fame… and attention from a supposed superstar on the other side of the world who now accuses him of theft. The man lays claim to Carl’s signature song, look, and even the custom Fender passed down from his father. Now Carl has to defend his good name in court, and defend his life from this man’s rabid fans.

Gregory S. Close

Magical Realism, Louisiana Bayou

It started small, like most storms do.  The stranger sold the car to Jeb for a pittance, with a strange warning to “just take things as they come, or it’ll go worse for you .”  It was in bad shape, rusted out, covered in bumper stickers like “My other car is an F16” and “Better Dead Than Red.”  Jeb needed wheels, and he was low on cash, so he ignored the twitch in his gut that warned him it was too good to be true.

The next morning, that twitch was like the kick from Pappy’s old mule.  Sittin’ there in the drive, parked next to his new-to-him car, was a shiny jet fighter, all glimmery in the sun.

Jeb dropped his cup of joe, shaking as he surveyed the words on that rusty old bumper in a whole new light.  Which one would be next?

“Just take things as they come…”

D. T. Nova

Genre: Courtroom drama

Setting: any typical city, particularly the courtroom

Summary: A man has to appear in court for a car accident that he knows wasn’t his fault. Though he has no alibi to prove it, he wasn’t even there.

Eric Wood


Ellie gets into a car accident when she’s rear ended by a macho model named Yuri. After refusing to pay for the damage, Ellie begins a slander campaign against him. She wants nothing more than to destroy his posh, playboy career. But then something happens and she finds herself falling for him instead.

Beth Aman

Genre: High Fantasy

Setting: The stone castle of Fender

Summary: The royal court, the servants, and all the guests see only one version of the Great Stone Castle that has been the jewel of Fender for a thousand years.  But Meredith-Dragon-Keeper sees what no one else does: the disappearances, the bloodstains on stone, the secret hallways between the rooms.  It’s up to her to find out who is behind the killings, and fast, because if her evidence is right, then she’s next on the list to die.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Genre: Crime/Mystery

Setting: Urban America

Summary: The police are baffled when a serial vandal, who carves demeaning insults into the victims’ cars, begins to work his way back through his targets in order to murder them in a variety of increasingly horrifying ways.

Paul B. Spence

Genre: Postmodern Literature

Setting: California freeway, today

Synopsis: One man’s journey through rush hour hell. The hours trapped in his car without AC will change him forever.

Cyrus Keith

Genre: Thriller

Setting: The NASCAR community

Summary: An up-and-coming driver is accused of the assault of a young racing fan. He must prove his innocence, race with the best, and restore his reputation. But the rapist is on his crew, and determined to get away with his crime–even if he has to kill.

Jean Davis

Fender Slander is a legal thriller set in New York. A hit and run car accident ruins Chuck’s drive into work and his new BMW. The article in the next day’s paper, though full of lies, ruins his career at the firm. With his car in the shop and unemployment barely paying the bills, Chuck must hunt down the person intent on ruining his life before he’s out on the street.

Jay Dee Archer

Genre: Science Fiction

Setting: Late 20th century USA

In a time when mind transference to androids is possible, one young man has been accused of assault. What’s unusual about this man is that his mind has been transfered into a 2063 Toyota Prius. Crime fiction meets science fiction in this thrilling novel. Can the young Prius and his android lawyer beat the odds and prove his innocence?

How about you?

Now it’s your turn. Choose a book that you think should be written. Which best fits the title “Fender Slander” in your mind? Vote below, then leave a comment explaining your choice.

Authors Answer 118 – Bonbon Journey

It’s back! This month, we’ll be doing some more fun book summaries where we get to test our authors’ creativity. We take a title, then give it a genre and setting, and write a summary of the book. It’s a lot of fun.

And this is interactive. You get to vote on your favourite! So, please read the summaries and choose the one you’d love to read.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 118 – Bonbon Journey

Jean Davis

Follow chocolate lover, Charlene Taylor, on her world tour of confectionary bliss in this food travel guide. Bonbon Journey is sure to make your mouth water with the stunning photography and vivid descriptions of the words greatest bonbons and other rich chocolate treats.

Cyrus Keith

Genre: Romantic comedy

Setting: The Rhine River, 1890’s

Summary: A young, eligible (but determinedly single) heiress to a once-great chocolate empire embarks on a river tour of Switzerland and Germany. Accompanied by her best friend (and personal assistant) Sylvia, she tours various chocolatiers along the way to revamp her failing company’s fortunes with new products. A steward aboard the ship falls for her, and with Sylvia’s help, hilarity and romance ensue.

C E Aylett

Bonbon Voyage – The Sugar Wars of the Caribbean

Historical dynasty fiction set in the Caribbean.

She’s the daughter of the most ruthless sugar baron of all the islands. When the estate is abruptly bequeathed to her, she refuses to rule the plantation with an iron fist, just as her father once did. Her lone vulnerability soon makes her a target and she finds herself caught between European powers with no allies. All she has are the slaves whom her father mistreated, none of whom trust their colonial masters, even if she does wear a dress.

He’s a ‘privateer’, one of many pirates sanctioned by the British government to conquer the monarch’s first ‘jewel in the crown’ against Europe’s warring factions. Set loose upon the Caribbean seas with the royal seal, he seems at liberty to fill his coffers with sugar and gold any which way he is able and kill whomever he wants.

As the sugar wars reach their climax, with every major European navy threatening to destroy them and their enterprises, the last thing either of them expect is a piracy-slavery alliance. Suddenly, there’s a new power at sea, and it might just tip the balance.

Paul B. Spence

Genre: Paranormal Romance Horror

Setting: A tropical island, modern times.

Synopsis: It was supposed to just be a three hour cruise, but the storm shipwrecked them on the small tropical island. At first things were fine, they had little to do but while the hours away in pleasurable dalliance, but then the unthinkable happened. One by one the survivors were being hunted down and slain, eaten. Was there some supernatural force on the island, or was there a darker secret? Was it one of the seemingly innocent crew or passengers? Jen was terrified it might be one of her friends or lovers, but what if it was worse than that? What if it was Jen?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Genre: Chick Lit

Setting: A Bakery Shop

Summary: After losing everything she owned in a fire started by her crazy ex-boyfriend, Sasha has to move back to her hometown with her parents. There she gets a part-time job at one of the only choices available – a small bakery – and learns a great deal about herself as she learns how to create the most delicious of sweets and treats.

Beth Aman

Genre: Sci-Fi

Setting: The galaxy of Bonbon

Summary: When 17-year-old human Jack Stevonson gets kidnapped from earth, he awakes to find himself in a world stranger than his wildest dreams.  And the most frightening part isn’t the blue, 8-legged aliens, or their strange obsession with food – no, it’s that humans sell as collectibles on the intergalactic black market.  Jack will have to use all of his cunning and wit if he ever wants to get home alive and in one piece.

Eric Wood

Children’s book

A brother and sister move to the city of Sugarville and open a produce stand. There is a city wide power outage and people have to rely on the only thing made without using electricity – produce. Can two kids feed the city and save it’s citizens?

D. T. Nova

Genre: Children’s fantasy

Setting: A world made of sweets

Summary: Anthropomorphic candy people travel to the chewy center of their candy land (no, not that one). By the end, a bitter rival has gotten his just desserts, and our heroes have learned just how sweet life can be.

Gregory S. Close

Setting: Alternate History, Genre: Steampunk

Emperor Justinian’s twin heirs, en route to important peace talks between the warring factions of Rome, have disappeared along with their airship over Northern Africa.  Now, if falls to the Kingdom of Aksum to find the missing children or the fragile peace of the last five years could crumble.  With it’s navy occupied in a stand off with the Sassanid Empire, only a few airships can make it to the area in time – and only one, the Astar’s Daughter, is captained by Cush, a retired naval officer and hero of the Carthaginian War.

Cush has the experience.  Cush has the strength.  Cush has the cunning.  But Cush no longer commands a warship – now, he is captain of a freighter that brings frozen delicacies to the far corners of the continent, a circuitous and dangerous route known as the Bonbon Journey.  With a hold full of ice cream, a crew desperate for a payday, and an airship that’s seen better days, Cush will have to pull off the most daring rescue of his life to save the world from another devastating war… before his cargo melts.

Jay Dee Archer

Genre: Children’s book series

Setting: Europe

Summary: Join Hans, Marie, Ingrid, and Petr on their adventures around Europe, making friends in local candy shops as they battle the Bitter Boys, misguided teenagers who hate everything sugary. Can they show the boys the error of their ways? Can they protect Europe’s traditional bonbons? Only Hans can unite bitter and sweet with his secret weapon: chocolate!

How about you?

Now it’s your turn. Choose a book that you think should be written. Which best fits the title “Bonbon Journey” in your mind? Vote below, then leave a comment explaining your choice.

Authors Answer Story Summaries Returns!

Back in August, Authors Answer did something different. No questions, no answers. Instead, I provided a title, and that’s it. The challenge was to create a book for that title. The genre, setting, and story summary had to be created based only on the title. You can check them out here:

This time, there will be another four titles. The rules are the same. For you, the reader, all you need to do is choose your favourite story. Which one would you be most interested in reading? Tomorrow, the first group of stories will be available for you to vote on.

This is a really fun activity. It’s interesting seeing what everyone thinks of based on only a title. I’m looking forward to it, and I hope you are, too!

Authors Answer 95 – The Personality Dealer

It’s the final story of the month. Can our authors bring us a compelling story to read? Would you buy it? This time, we’re dealing in personalities!

Check out last week’s winner for “Lessons of a Jolly Hermit“, Tracey Lynn Tobin!

So, let’s check out today’s story and then you decide whose is best in the poll at the end.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 95 – The Personality Dealer

Gregory S. Close

Science Fiction

Rory wanted something more from life.  Something exciting.  Something different.  But he couldn’t afford an upgrade from BASIC, not even an A4 Quirk or a back catalogue Recessive Trait, so he’d given up hope of moving up in the social hierarchy and out of his dead end job as a doctor.  Celebrity wasn’t meant for everyone.

Then Magnus Cain shows up on the clinic doorstep, bloody, paranoid and on the run from the law, and he brings with him the hope of something more.  Once a lowly, unaltered med school peon like Rory, Magnus’ career at PsychCorp took an illegal – and highly profitable – turn when he started dealing in high end augments to powerful Celebs.  But Magnus is in trouble.  He’ll need Rory’s help if he’s going to close the biggest score of his career… and Rory will need Magnus’ help, and just a little personality, to survive!

Eric Wood

The Personality Dealer is a fantasy about a being who is responsible for handing out personalities to children before they are born. However, when the being accidentally hands out two wrong personalities it could mean World War III.

Jean Davis

The Personality Dealer is a paranormal novel set in Los Vegas. Sometimes fate deals you a hand you have to live with, other times it’s a card from Lucy Butler’s deck. Down on her luck, Lucy turns from tarot card reading to dealing poker to pay her mounting bills. When a magical deck finds its way to her table, Lucy finds she can not only begin to repair her dismal credit score, but also fix the lives of others.

Elizabeth Rhodes

“The Personality Dealer,” a dark fantasy set in Medieval England. The “fairy godmother” is a myth; everyone knows the job of Personality Dealer is a more serious and powerful undertaking. A Dealer is responsible for shaping newborn children into decent – or sometimes, indecent – human beings. One young mother, afraid her son’s personality is defective, seeks her old Dealer to ask for a new one.

D. T. Nova

Urban fantasy

Present day Chicago

Hate your personality? Trade it in for a new one. But the prices are suspiciously low, and no one knows what the dealer actually does with the used personalities.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Setting: Modern-Day American Suburbia

Have you ever wished that you were braver? Cleverer? More outgoing? The Personality Dealer has you covered, with hundreds of thousands of personality traits to pick and choose from. But remember: everything comes with a price, and the Dealer always collects his payment.

Paul B. Spence

Genre: Western

Setting: American West 19th Century

Summary: Joseph had found out the hard way that most of the outlaws and thieves he was forced to rub shoulders with in the small mining town of Silverpaw lacked much in the way of personality. He was going to change that, even if he had to do it with an iron fist, a six shooter, and a badge.

Jay Dee Archer

Genre: Science Fiction

Setting: 21st century North America

In a day when unemployment is high and competition for jobs is fierce, Katrina Curry has a stranglehold on the newest field of employment. She is a personality dealer. But when a homeless man comes in after receiving a generous donation from a mysterious benefactor, the personality alteration procedure goes very wrong. Now she must go after a homicidal nymphomaniac or face prison time herself.

How about you?

Now it’s your turn. Choose a book that you think should be written. Which best fits the title “The Personality Dealer” in your mind? Vote below, then leave a comment explaining your choice.

Authors Answer 94 – Lessons of a Jolly Hermit

How can a hermit be jolly? Ever heard of a jolly hermit? Find out what our ideas are in today’s Authors Answer. You get to choose which story is the best in a poll at the end of the post.

But first, the winner of last week’s contest, The Practicality Engine, is… me! Congratulations, me!

So, let’s look at today’s story!

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 94 – Lessons of a Jolly Hermit

Paul B. Spence

Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-help

Setting: 21st Century America

Summary: There has never been a better time to be a hermit that the 21st century. Nowadays you can sit at home and never leave, even to work or buy food! But this isn’t without a downside. Not everyone will be happy without any human contact. With our handy guide you too can learn to turn that socially-awkward frown upside-down and be JOLLY!

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Genre: Coming-of-Age/Young Adult

Setting: Unknown mountains/wilderness in modern-day Asia

Erin has made a lot of mistakes in her life, but running away with a man nearly twice her age has to be some kind of record. Penniless and abandoned in a land she doesn’t even know the name of, the teen’s luck changes when she stumbles into a kind old man living at the base of the mountains. But this kindly hermit isn’t going to save her; he’s going to teach her how to save herself.

D. T. Nova


Fantasy world vaguely based on ancient China

A young girl who wants to be a philosopher seeks out the greatest mind of her grandfather’s generation. But years away from society have changed him, and the lessons she learns are not what she expected.

Elizabeth Rhodes

“Lessons of a Jolly Hermit,” a young adult novel set in a big city. Karla spent most of her life on a ranch with her father, interacting with few outsiders. Now she’s off to college and the culture shock of her life.

Jean Davis

Lessons of a Jolly Hermit is self help novel for those who are alone for the holidays. Written by one of retired elf, Twinkleberry Hammerthumb, this book is filled with anecdotes and helpful advice on how to single size your Christmas spirit and find joy in being just one.

Eric Wood

Lessons of a Jolly Hermit is about a romance put to the test. When a big music industry CEO finds herself on a kumquat farm she becomes entranced by the voice of the hermit farmer. He risks everything on a trip to LA to make it in the music industry when things take a turn toward the complicated.

Gregory S. Close

Science Fiction

Chance Watanabe is the pilot of the U.N.S.S. Longbow, custodian of her onboard systems, engineer for her nuclear pulse reactor, and caretaker of her hibernating crew. He is a scientist, an astronaut, and an explorer.  He is meticulous, efficient and happy at his work.  He is alone, but not lonely.  He doesn’t miss his friends.  He doesn’t miss his family.  To him, it seems like he just saw them yesterday.

For twenty years, Chance Watanabe has awakened every day not remembering the last 24 hours of his life.  Every day, the mundane tasks of his lifetime in space seem fresh and new.  Every day, just like the first day in the marathon of his interstellar voyage.

But when something goes horribly wrong – can he remember enough to save his crew from death, the Longbow from destruction and their mission from failure?

Jay Dee Archer

Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational

Setting: Canadian Rocky Mountains

Caleb Jameson has a problem. As an introvert, he’s always asked why he’s so quiet. He goes to parties and doesn’t enjoy them. He prefers to spend his time alone. He goes on a week-long hiking trip through the Canadian Rockies and stumbles upon a grizzled old hermit named Lucky Pete. Living alone, he’s achieved happiness. Can Caleb learn his secrets?

How about you?

Now it’s your turn. Choose a book that you think should be written. Which best fits the title “Lessons of a Jolly Hermit” in your mind? Vote below, then leave a comment explaining your choice.

Authors Answer 93 – The Practicality Engine

You may be wondering what a Practicality Engine is. Well, you’re going to find out what our authors think it is. As with last week, we’re taking a title and turning it into a possible story. You, the reader, get to choose your favourite at the end with a poll.

But first, last week’s winner of Lemons and Steel is Gregory S. Close with his entry. Congratulations!

So, let’s take a look at this week’s story!

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 93 – The Practicality Engine

Gregory S. Close

“It takes what you want and makes what you need.”


Veronica didn’t have much.  No family.  No money.  No future.  Maybe her looks, if the lighting was just right, but certainly not her pride.  When Caleb and Ron Ron dragged her out in back of the Kitty Kat Klub, she knew she was losing what little she had left.  They had it in their eyes.  Lust and murder, and maybe not even in the that order.  Caleb and Ron Ron were messed up like that.

That’s when she found it.  Her back against the wall.  Her lungs filled with a hot scream and her fingers digging dirt and broken glass.

The Box.

It had everything she could think of.  Anything she wanted.  Just the thing she needed.

What’s the price for having whatever your heart desires?

Veronica is about to find out…

Eric Wood

Practicality Engine is a Thriller bound to keep biting your nails. The frozen North Pole is melting. Four scientist are determined to get it refrozen. Only they don’t know what’s about to come crawling from the thawing ice.

Jean Davis

The Practicality Engine is science fiction. Through endless dependency on technology and generations gone before, common sense has been eradicated from humanity. Michael Smith is the last man on Earth with a practical mind. He must overcome his utter frustration with the stupidity of others and help them see their way into a more logical future before man is driven into the dirt forever.

Elizabeth Rhodes

“The Practicality Engine,” a historical science fiction novel. It’s a little known fact that the first artificial intelligence was created in the sleepy town of Ratliff, Texas in the late 19th century. Marty Hale and his wife Velma unveil their prototype just as a threat appears on the outskirts of town.

D. T. Nova


The wild west

The local tinkerer has invented a machine that changes probability to make the impractical practical. Now all gunslingers use at least two revolvers at once, cowboys compete for the most innovative way to round up cattle, and all the rest of the tinkerer’s inventions work reliably. But then the Engine gets turned up full steam, and now no one can do anything the simple way anymore.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Genre: Alternate History

Setting: The Wild West

William H. Edinger has always been a mediocre inventor, until the day a fortuitous accident occurs that changes his life forever. Now he possesses the invention of a lifetime, but ambassadors from several nations are willing to do anything to ensure that he never gets to use it.

Paul B. Spence

Genre: Paranormal Steampunk Romance

Setting: Victorian England

Summary: Linsey led an ordinary life as a gear cleaner until she was bit by a radioactive rat. That fateful bite changed her in ways that science could never explain, and led her to explore the depths of the London underground, an underground filled with the other cast-offs and dregs of society. Linsey’s new life as a were-rat also led her to explore avenues of sexuality that had been previously forbidden, such as the sensual joy of exposing her naked tail…

Jay Dee Archer

Genre: Science fiction

Setting: Alpha Centauri Ab

Earth was not the only civilisation in the galaxy. Archaeologist Terry McDougal leads a team of scientists and historians to discover the secrets of the alien civilisation that once inhabited Alpha Centauri Ab. It holds a secret. A secret so wondrous that it could provide a world with all its needs. But it could also lead to its downfall. Will they listen to the warning before it’s too late?

How about you?

Now it’s your turn. Choose a book that you think should be written. Which best fits the title “The Practicality Engine” in your mind? Vote below, then leave a comment explaining your choice.

Authors Answer 92 – Lemons and Steel

Lemons and Steel? What does that mean? You’re going to find out! This month, we have a special Authors Answer where we take a title, decide what genre it is and where it takes place, then write a brief summary about the book. You get to see our creativity.

And this is an interactive Authors Answer! At the end of the post, you’ll find a poll. You can vote for your favourite idea. We’ll be doing this every week this month, so expect some interesting stories.

Also, there are several members who are absent this week due to various reasons: a couple are in the process of publishing books, while another is busy preparing for school. It’s a busy month!

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 92 – Lemons and Steel

Paul B. Spence

Genre: Non-Fiction

Setting: Asia

Summary: A comparative analysis of European Colonialism in Asia, focusing on the role of industrialism and modernization on the cultures of Asia. A hard look at how the lack of lemons in Europe forced early colonial navies to forage in Asia to prevent scurvy, and the influence of those sailors on the native peoples.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Genre: Science Fiction

Setting: Dystopian Future Tokyo

A young man with no name and no past runs a fruit cart in the rundown Nishi-Shinjuku district. This lonely vendor holds a secret deep inside, forever shielded from the world around him, but when the Invaders decide to set their sights back on Japan, his blade must ring out one final time.

D. T. Nova

Science fiction/historical

Medieval England

A used car lot is transported back in time by a mysterious phenomenon. The cars have more speed and endurance than any horse, as long as they aren’t breaking down. The owner is now known as Sir Raymond, the Yellow Knight.

Elizabeth Rhodes

“Lemons and Steel,” a webcomic set in a south Florida bakery. Ellie’s fresh out of culinary school and is over the moon with her first serious bakery job. Turns out the job comes with much more work – and play – than she thought.

Jean Davis

Lemons and Steel is a mystery novel set in the midwest. Veronica Weston is called in to solve the murder of Clive Lemon, avid knife collector. When the murder weapon, a jeweled dagger, turns up in Clive’s grieving brother’s home, she’s sure she knows have the killer. But then they meet the rest of the family and they give sour a whole new meaning.

Eric Wood

Lemons and Steel is a Young Adult novel. In a small, rural town a few teens hear about an enormous corporation who wants to set up shop. When the suspicious teens mistakenly uncover a dark secret they vow to stop the corporation. Opening a Lemonade Stand is just their first step.

Gregory S. Close

YA: Romance/Adventure

In a world where civilization has collapsed, and citrus fruit has succumbed to the biological plague known as the Scurvy, gangs of hairless mutants with bad teeth rule the desolate landscape of the apocalypse.  But into this madness and despair strides one boy with a dream… and a seed.

Citron is the last of the Planters, a mysterious cadre of botanical experts devoted to the preservation of Earths’ flora.  His family murdered, their seeds scattered, he has only one hidden lemon seed and a dream.  Can he overcome the suspicions of the relatively beautiful mutant called Steel, the roguish daughter of the unscrupulous mutant Captain Blight?

Together, can they bring an end to the Scurvy and lead humanity back from the brink?

They’ll need soil.


A dash of plant food.


…and love.

Jay Dee Archer

Lemons and Steel is a historical novel set in the Edo Period of Japan. A lone samurai wanders the land encountering injustices that are running rampant. He’s discovered by the Yuzu ninja clan whose leader wants him dead. But he has a secret weapon, he polishes his sword with lemon juice before every battle.

How about you?

Now it’s your turn. Choose a book that you think should be written. Which best fits the title “Lemons and Steel” in your mind? Vote below, then leave a comment explaining your choice.