Tag Archives: challenge

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

Mystery

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.

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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

Romance

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.

Joining the A to Z April Challenge

April means the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge! Last year, I didn’t participate, as I was in the process of moving and settling in during the month of April, so I was very busy. However, I did the challenge in 2015.

When I did the challenge before, I wrote 26 short stories related to Ariadne, and it turned into a kind of story. You can read all 26 parts here. You’ll even learn a little bit about the main character of my debute novel, Solona Knight.

So, what am I going to do for this year’s challenge? I’m not sure. They haven’t announced the theme yet, but we don’t have to follow the theme. We can do our own. I won’t be doing the same thing I did two years ago. I may do something about science, or I might do something about writing. Or I may do flash fiction based on words that begin with each letter of the alphabet. I don’t know yet.

So, I’d like to ask you. Do you have any suggestions for what I could write about? Also, are you participating? Let me know in the comments below.

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!

NaNoWriMo 2016

Am I crazy? No, I’m just a guy trying to write a book. I’m going to be participating in NaNoWriMo this year!

NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, where you have 30 days to write a 50,000 novel or at least 50,000 words toward a novel. It takes place from November 1st to 30th.

I’ve figured now that I live in a house where I can go somewhere quiet in the morning or late evening, I can do some writing. All I need to do is write at least 1,667 words per day, which is achievable. I’ve done it before, but not for 30 straight days.

I’ll be working on completing Journey to Ariadne, which may or may not be 50,000 words. If it’s less, I’ll start on the first Ariadne novel, or portions of it. It’s a natural continuation of Journey to Ariadne, as this web serial is a prequel to the main story.

I talked about this on my YouTube channel, as well. So, check that out below:

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments below with your profile. You can go here to see my profile. Let’s be buddies!