Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Demon Maelstrom, Excerpt #10

It was the same feeling as when Miriam was torn from him.

All around him, the world spun in a free-fall bedlam of noise and smoke and death. Everywhere he looked he saw the dead, and the ones doing the butchering, and heard the rush of jellied gasoline that preceded the scorching blast of fire that erupted behind him. His tenuous control of the mayhem had finally slipped free of his fingers. The order of the day was now to survive, to get out at all costs with anyone left alive.

The devil-masked SubVersion soldiers had surmounted the outer sandbagged defense and now swarmed towards the rear inside the original defensive line, bodily smashing through the remainder of Daniel's forward squad. Every shot they fired hit flesh, and when they got too close to fire they drew knives and hacked their way through. As they coursed around the conference center from both sides, Daniel spotted several racing across the roof carrying flame throwers. They stabbed the flame throwers through the cavity in the roof and lit them up, engulfing the building in a blast of roiling flame.

Get them out! Go! Move!” Daniel shouted into his mic, waving a hand to the second-to-last assault vehicle sitting at the top of the hill. Its occupants crouched in the cover of its open doors, laying down a blistering barrage of fire with their assault rifles. Simon spotted Daniel at the same time he heard his voice over the radio, and he nodded to Daniel. His face was a mask of despair, but he didn't waver. He shouted to his men and they shut themselves into the vehicle. Simon jumped into the driver's seat and mashed the accelerator pedal, sending the truck speeding down the hill towards the cover of the surrounding woods.

Daniel glanced back to the building and saw another SubVersion soldier rush to the edge of the roof, cradling a rocket launcher on his shoulder. Daniel whipped his rifle around and took aim, but was caught sideways when a grenade rolled into the dirt nearby and exploded. The shock and flying mud punched him off balance and sent him reeling to the ground. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the flash of a rocket igniting, and a trail of white smoke as said rocket streaked downhill towards its target.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Release Date and an Excerpt

I already made an announcement about it on Facebook, but I shall now make it official on the blog as well. The Demon Maelstrom will make its debut in print and Kindle ebook editions on the 31st of December of this year. That's right, there is now a timetable! Woohoo!

And to celebrate the announcement, here is one of the last excerpts that I will be posting before the book is released.


The vehicle arrived in two minutes, and when Amanda saw the headlights approaching she rushed to it and hopped into the passenger's side of the warm interior. Kahua sat in the driver's seat and he flashed her a grin. “Where to, my lady?” he inquired cheerfully, putting the car into reverse and backing out into the street.

“My home,” she replied distantly. “I need sleep, and I need it now.”

“Bad operation? Dr. Charles said it would be complex, no?”

“Something like that,” Amanda replied. “No, not bad … just … melancholy.”

Kahua glanced over at her lap briefly before returning his eyes to the road ahead. “What's in the package?” he asked conversationally.

Amanda jumped a little at the question. “Oh, just Charles trying to buy back my affection,” she said, fingering the case. “A brain scanner he scrounged for us to use with the SubVersions. I'll take it over right away after our meeting tonight.”

Kahua raised his eyebrows. “Some men…” he remarked almost to himself.

Yeah,” Amanda breathed, her stomach knotting with an unknown feeling. “Some men.” She pulled the envelope free from the brain scanner case and turned it over in her hands. Her name was scrawled on the front in a masculine cursive hand, Amanda. She bit her lip at Charles' handwriting, a flood of memories rushing back and threatening to carry her away on their rising tide. Shaking her head, she slid a finger into the top of the envelope and ripped it open, pulling out the card inside.

A cartoon man stared at her from the front of the card, an apologetic grin on his face and his hands holding a wrapped gift which he held out to the viewer. Amanda smiled at the words “Let's Be Friends?” arcing over the cartoon man's head in puffy red letters. She flipped the card open…

and her heart stopped.

Inside were a few short sentences written in black pen:

Dear Amanda,

Remember what you are, a snitch and a liar. Central Admin has not forgotten Project Wraith.

The brain scanner you carry must go to where Vérité is keeping the SubVersions they stole, and it must be placed near a window. If both of these conditions are not met in the next twenty-four hours, Dr. Charles Wallace will be tortured to death. If you reveal any of this to anyone, especially your Vérité friends, I will expose Project Wraith and you will hang, either from Vérité's gibbet or Central Admin's.

You decide.

Have a good night, Mandy.

Love, Maelstrom

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A New Excerpt for a New Day

Well, it's now March of 2016, but I haven't abandoned y'all! I have some more excerpts coming up, including this one. Enjoy, and have fun guessing!


A flash of humor crossed Anna's mind and she grinned at him. “I've stopped sleeping around, if that makes you feel any better. I've got that part down, I know you frown on that.”

Mr. Vickers' mouth spasmed, maybe a smile, maybe not. “That's a start,” he remarked.

And I'm not getting drunk anymore!” she continued, not sure whether the joke was over yet. “Something must be getting through.”

The old priest stepped back and leaned on the counter, regarding her earnestly with piercing eyes. He waited for so long to speak that Anna suddenly feared that she had offended him somehow. He licked his lips, then squinted at her with a strange look in his eye. “So, how long do you think either of those achievements will last?”

Anna was taken aback. “How long? I dunno, hopefully forever.”

Mr. Vickers held her eyes with his, still squinting at her. “Forever? That's your best guess?”

I think so. Why?”

He looked down at the floor but his voice still filled the space between them with its quiet weight. “And when the original reasons for the drunkenness and sleeping around return, what then? What motive will you have to deny those temptations? Will you truly have the freedom to say 'no'?”

Anna frowned at him. “Are you suggesting that I can't be a good and decent person just the way I am? Are you already questioning my resolve?”

Still staring at the floor, the old man answered her bluntly. “Yes, I am. Until what you've heard with your ears and understood with your head filters into your heart and becomes its lifeblood, you will fall. Maybe not today, but the time will come when your resolve will be severely tested, possibly beyond its limits.” He lifted his head back up and locked stares with her, and somewhere deep inside his eyes Anna detected a flicker of paternal fear. “And when that day comes, that's when we find out where your strength really comes from, yourself or from above.” He cast her a grim smile. “Everyone fails the ideal, even saints. But we don't trash the ideal just because we don't always reach it.”

Anna's face contorted in a storm of mixed emotions. She sat down at the table and put her head in her hands, stroking her temples through her mussed hair and trying to hide from the man's gaze. “I'm not the person I was then,” she offered by way of placating him. “Jesse's out of my life. I've stopped drinking. I'm not that woman anymore.”

Mr. Vickers pushed off from the counter and approached the table. “So, your transformation is all negatives? Jesse is gone, the drinking has stopped, you've stopped thinking the way you did before? How does one live a life full of things that are not present?”

Anna looked back up at him and shook her head. “You're damn confusing sometimes, you know that?”

He frowned at her. “You know what I'm talking about, Annalise. Don't play stupid.”

She rolled her eyes. “Fine, I do know. But I might disagree.”