Tag Archives: Dave Freer

Monday News

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Looking outside this morning and seeing the remnants of snow, and watching the reports of all the people not thinking about ice on bridges, I was glad I didn’t have to get out in it.  I hope those of you who had inclement weather this weekend stayed safe and warm.

A new Drooling for Books review is up.  John’s been under the weather and, like so many of it is seems, has had family emergencies to deal with as well.  But he’s back to work and starts the New Year off with a review of Written in Time by Jerry and Sherry Ahern (published by Baen Books).

Here’s a reminder as well that Dave Freer’s Teen/Early YA novella, Without a Trace, is now available as an e-arc.

Also, Wedding Bell Blues by Ellie Ferguson is on sale for $1.99. It is available at the discounted price through our site, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Our spotlighted short story is Fancy Farmer by Pam Uphoff.  It is free on our site and available for 99 cents through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Enjoy!

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New Schedule Announced

Let me start out by once again thanking everyone who submitted either short stories or novels to us in November.  We received quite a few submissions and it was difficult to choose exactly which ones to sign.  However, our editorial board was up to the task and contracts have been sent out and returned.  Now I have the pleasure of announcing the schedule for the first quarter of 2011 as well as some of the titles we will be publishing later this year.

January

The e-arc for Dave Freer’s YA novella, Without A Trace, is already available for purchase.

A Deeper Silence, a collection of short stories by Charles Edgar Quinn.

Legion, a short story by Dave Freer and Kate Paulk.

February

Lawyers of Mars by Pam Uphoff.

Short story collection by Dan Hoyt, title to be announced later.

Death of a Musketeer by Sarah D’Almeida.  This is the first of the Musketeer Mysteries and has never appeared in digital format.  We are very pleased to be able to add this title to our catalog and to announce that we will be offering later this year The Musketeer’s Confessor, a new book in the series.

We will also offer an as yet to be determined short story or two this month.

March

Impaler by Kate Paulk.  A mix of alternate history, historical mystery and a new take on the Dracula myth.  This is the follow-up novel to Kate’s novella, Born in Blood.

Hunter’s Moon by Ellie Ferguson is a mix of urban fantasy and romance.

Blood Ransom, a short story collection by Sarah A. Hoyt.

Last, but certainly not least, we will be offering our own irreverent take on St. Patrick’s Day, much in the vein of Robert Hoyt’s Christmas Campaign.

April

The Great Flying Saucer Conspiracy by Tom Easton.  Tom will be doing a guest blog for us later this month complete with information about the book and a giveaway.

An as yet to be titled short story collection by Dave Freer.

Want, a short story by Jay Caselberg that came to us during our November submission period.

Skipping Stones, a short story by Darwin Garrison that also came to us during the November submission period.

May

Revocare, a short story by Leslie Fish that was submitted to us during November.

Here There Be Faeries, a short story by Stephen Simmons that came to us also during the November submission period.

There will be at least one novel added to the lineup.  We’ll announce which title as soon as possible.

Summer/Fall/Winter

Among the titles we’ll be offering the second half of the year are the following:

The Musketeer’s Confessor by Sarah D’Almeida.  This is a new title in the Musketeers Mysteries and we are very excited to be able to offer it to you.

Firefight by Tom Easton will be published in August.

Tiltamouse is Hunger, a YA novella by Sarah A. Hoyt.

Vengeance Mine, a mystery by Jenny Schall that is also a product of the November submission period.

ConVent by Kate Paulk.

Robert A. Hoyt’s holiday collection which includes Christmas Campaign.

These are just a few of the titles we’ll be bringing you over the next year.  As new titles are added, we’ll let you know.

 

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E-ARC Available

The e-arc for Dave Freer’s new YA fantasy adventure, Without a Trace, is now available.  This is your chance to be the first on your block to have Dave’s newest work.

For those who aren’t familiar with what an e-arc is, it’s an advanced reader copy of the novella.  In other words, this is not the final product.  There may be spelling and punctuation errors present.  It’s possible there will be some text changes made as well before the final product is published Feb. 15th.  While you may find some errors in this product, those who purchase the e-arc will get to read it before anyone else.

In this YA offering, a boy’s search for his grandfather’s downed plane leads to a parallel South Africa with pirates and worse.  His quest to clear his grandfather’s name turns into a desperate race against time to return to his own reality before it’s too late.

CHAPTER 1

HISTORY
“Universes, endless parallel universes, may lie right next to next to ours. They are as unreachable as the stars. Or are they?”

You’ve heard of the Bermuda triangle? You know, where compasses suddenly start to spin wildly, with a sudden darkness at noon, where ships and planes sometimes just disappear. When they’re gone, they’re just… gone, and nothing ever comes back. There are other places where this is supposed to happen too. There’s a spot deep in the Gobi, and another above the Java Trench. And then… there’s the Wild Coast…. some very strange things have happened there. Over the years Portugese Carracks, British East Indiamen, and, in 1908, the Wahratah have disappeared off that coast.

On the 27th of July in 1981 my Grandad flew his Piper Cherokee out from the little bumpy airstrip on our farm, in the direction of Port St. Johns. He flew off to go and take a swarm of bees out of a friend’s holiday cottage. He flew out of our lives, and for all anyone knew out of this world. He, and his plane were “missing”. They’d just disappeared, disappeared without a trace. No wreckage was ever found. Then the problems started.

For starters he was in trouble with the security police. Politics, guns. They reckoned Grandad was a gun-runner. My Old Man says it was quite possible. He says his Dad was up to anything, provided it was totally lunatic. Everyone had thought he was a rich man, but it seemed he owed a lot of money. There was very little money in his bank account.

Then the story came out. He’d drawn out twenty thousand Rand the day before he flew, and bought Krugerrands with it. He’d been buying gold for years, it seemed. Suddenly, nobody believed he’d crashed anymore. Everyone said he’d cut and run. Everyone but my Dad.

“My father never ran away from anything in his life!” That’s what he said to the papers then. That’s what he said to me maybe a thousand times since. My Dad was twenty three then, not even married a year, and still having a grand old time at University. Me, I was three months old.

Suddenly he wasn’t a rich man’s son anymore. Suddenly he didn’t have any friends. Three days later he didn’t have a wife either. She left him with a baby boy, a stack of debts and no future.

He’d lost everything but the farm. Fortunately my grandmother had left that to Dad. Grandad couldn’t be proved to be dead, so my father never got to see Grandad’s will. Grandad was well insured, but Dad couldn’t claim anything because Grandad wasn’t legally dead. The plane was insured too, but it was just “missing”.

Dad had to sell what the creditors hadn’t taken. Most of the livestock, almost all of the farm implements, Grandad’s cars, radios, TV, and antique furniture went. Dad had no money to replace anything that broke down. While there was still money owing there was no chance of credit from anyone.

Grandad had built quite nice staff houses, with electricity and running water, and paid his employees far more than anyone else in the district. This had made all the local farmers mad with him. Apparently one of them had come around to the farm and had a shouting match with him, about how he was “spoiling the Kaffirs”. Grandad had picked him up, and tossed him into a rose bush.

The old man had also never been scared to speak his mind about anything, and it seemed he’d trod on a lot of toes talking about the way the farmers treated their labourers. The result was, now that Dad needed help, he found that even those people whom Grandad didn’t owe money to, treated him as if he was a scorpion on a picnic blanket.

Dad couldn’t possibly afford to pay the all the farm workers. Eventually only one family stayed, but some months Dad couldn’t find the money to pay them either. Still, because of the way Grandad had treated them, they stayed with us. They had a few cows and goats and patch of mielies, so nobody starved. They were more like friends than labourers though.

Often the only customers Dad could find for the farm produce were the local black people, because no one in town would buy from him at a fair price, and he had no transport to take our stuff to anywhere else. Fortunately, virtually everyone who had ever worked for Grandad came to the farm buy from Dad. Dad spoke Zulu and even Xhosa — because we were pretty near the borderland between the two languages — and people liked that. “Respect begets respect,” he always said. I was never too sure what ‘begets’ meant. I think it had something to do with the way people greeted him.

Dad just kept trying. Somehow he made enough money to pay cash for everything. Somehow we made it through the droughts. Nothing was going to stop my Dad from paying off the debts, proving he was an honest man, and making that farm rich again. He loved the place and he was going to keep it. If I’d known it was something special, I’d have been really proud of him. I suppose I didn’t. I just thought that was the way grown-ups (especially my Dad) behaved, when I was a little kid. I guess my Old Man was the centre of my universe. He told wonderful stories. About Granda’Al, about the San, about the Zulu wars. He was interested in that kind of thing.

So I grew up on the farm. We were dirt poor, but nobody told me about it, so I didn’t know. The farm was a bit wild, and run down, but we had electricity from the Pelton wheel, plenty of milk, fruit, mielie meal and eggs. Occasionally we’d eat a chicken. My milk brother, Amos, and I ran after the chickens, rode the pig and generally got chased out of every kind of trouble. He was the best friend you could ever have to grow up with.

Fat Mamma Lena, who’d raised us both, looked after us in a cheerful lazy fashion, usually just telling one of her older daughters to make sure we didn’t kill ourselves. The big old house was bare, as most of the furniture had been sold, but the kitchen with its smokey woodburning stove was always warm.

When I was six I started going across the river to Mevrou Cronje to learn my letters. She was a kind, gruff old lady, a widowed ex schoolmistress, who thought everyone ought to be able to read. On her stoep she taught me and a few of the other farm workers’ kids to read, write and count. She never said a word about me being the odd one out with straight black hair and a sunburned nose, when the other kids were lucky enough not to get sunburned. Dad said I look black Irish, but I wouldn’t have minded just being sunburn-proof dark brown back then.

Then I turned eight and I had to go to town to school. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just go to the local farm school with Amos, but that was the law back in 1988. One law whites and one for black people. Pretty dumb, but that was the way it was.

School was the worst thing that ever happened to me. All the other kids knew each other. Their clothes were new. All of them had shoes. I had horny bare feet, threadbare shorts and a kahki shirt one size too small. Even the teachers sort of steered away from me.

It must have been a week before any of the other kids even spoke to me. It was the class bully, a brute called Butch Visser. He was nearly a head taller than me, and maybe five kilos heavier. He said “Hey thief! Why aren’t you in jail?”

I didn’t answer straight away. I was still translating everything anyone said into Zulu, and I couldn’t believe what he was saying. He must have thought I was scared.

“Why do you stink, thief!” he closed in on me, standing too close.

“I’m not a thief!” I blurted, scared and hurt.

“Well your Grandad was, so you must be. He was a thief and he ran away! He owed my Dad money.” He leaned over me and I had to look up to see his face.

My best goodnight stories ever since I could remember had been about my crazy Granda Al. Stories about places with wonderful names like Casablanca and Tangiers. About small boats and misty nights. I could recite some of them, word for word. Dad always finished every story with these words “He was a real man, son. He never ran away from anything in his life!” I didn’t have to think about what to say. I just yelled “My Grandad never ran away from anything in his life!”

***

One final note, our home page will be undergoing some redesign tomorrow, so I’m not going to risk mucking it up and bringing down the wrath of our tech gurus by trying to add links and images myself.  So just follow this link or click on the “new novelettes” link on the right side of the homepage for Without a Trace.

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Update and Freebie Announcement

Sorry, guys, the promised e-arc will be posted in the morning.  The gods of the internet didn’t play nice this afternoon — as in my internet went down — and then I spent most of the rest of the day dealing with a furnace that decided it didn’t want to work.  Usually, in the DFW area, that’s not an issue.  But it’s cold tonight.

Any way, the e-arc will be posted in the morning.

Tomorrow’s freebie will be A Touch of Night by Sarah A. Hoyt and Sofie Skapski.  If you like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice or if you like shapeshifters and dragons, this is the novel for you.  The downloads will be free tomorrow, starting at 9 am CST (possibly earlier) and will remain free until 9 am CST Monday.

Again, apologies for the delay.  Check back tomorrow for more information about Dave Freer’s e-arc for Without a Trace and for more information about upcoming giveaways.

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Happy New Year!

I wanted to pop in for a moment to wish everyone a Happy New Year.   To kick things off here at NRP, later today we’ll be offering the e-arc of Dave Freer’s novella Without a Trace.  In this YA offering, a boy’s search for his grandfather’s crashed plane leads to a parallel South Africa with pirates and worse.  His quest to clear his grandfather’s name turns into a desperate race against time to return to his own reality with his injured grandfather.

We’ll post here and on our homepage later this afternoon when the e-arc goes live.

Also, to help kick off the New Year, starting tomorrow, we’ll be offering some of our titles for free.  These free downloads will be announced the night before (CST time) and will be available for one day only.  Specific dates and times will be listed in each announcement.  You’ll have to follow the links in the blog for the freebies.

Don’t forget that our submission period is now open.  We’re accepting submissions for short and long fiction of all genres until 2359 EST January 31st.   If you have any questions, leave a comment or send us an email to submissions at nakedreader dot com (you know how to fix it to work.  Just trying, probably in vain, to beat the spambots)

Remember, check back this afternoon for the announcement that Dave’s e-arc has gone live and for an announcement about our first freebie offering of the month.

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A Rush of Wings

A Rush of Wings is our newest offering.  This collection of short stories includes such authors as Sarah A. Hoyt, Dave Freer and Chris McMahon.

Every society has its tales of angels and demons, those creatures whose purpose is to either save humanity or destroy it. Some times, it’s not always easy to tell which is which. Beauty can be used to deceive and ugliness can hide the true beauty. The stories in this anthology take a number of different approaches to the theme of angels and demons, predators and protectors.

In Daughter of Man, (Sarah A. Hoyt) a young man comes home from university to claim his lover only to find she’s run off with another. The only problem is no one in their village has seen this other man. The only clue is a note she’s left saying she’s found her true love, her angel. But is he really an angel?

In Agape, (Taylor M. Lunsford) a new angel and an equally new demon are teamed together to help maintain the “balance”. What they don’t know is that means going after two of their own. If that isn’t trouble enough, neither feel particularly well-suited for their new roles. In life, Esme did everything she could to be good. Kamin was the bad boy soccer player. Now they are demon and angel respectively. Talk about being thrown a curve ball.

His Father’s Son is the story of a son’s thirst for vengeance against his demon father for what he sees as the ultimate betrayal of his human mother. But vengeance is never quite as easy as it seems, nor does it always go as planned.

Murtagh’s Fury (Chris McMahon) brings Celtic mythology to life along the banks of the Brisbane River. Bound to the land, one of the last of the ancient Celtic protectors fights to stave off the destruction of the land and people under her care when attacked by the Fomori, an ancient enemy.

Predator: Prey: Protector (Robert Cruze, Jr.) takes on the very real danger of cyberstalking. Add in a young woman who once wanted to be a flapper, vampires and a thirteen year old who isn’t nearly as grown up as he thinks and the real evil in this story never has a chance in this tale where the hunter becomes the hunted and the meek aren’t necessarily what they seem.

In Angel and the Demon, (Chris Kelsey) the monsters of our childhood nightmares are real. Some of them, however, wear the white hats and come to the rescue when the government doesn’t know how to handle a problem. This time, however, the demon strikes just a bit too close to home for comfort.

Afterlife 2.0 (Robert A. Hoyt) answers the age old question of whether lawyers really are the agents of Hell as the Devil himself battles two former ghost hunters turned soul “capturers” and their rather angelic secretary.

My Grandmother’s Shame (Dave Freer) is a tale of love, abandonment and hope. For seventy years she’s waited. She’d borne his child and withstood the shame. Her strength had seen her through so much. But would that strength see her through to their reunion?

This anthology is available for purchase here for the discounted price of $1.99.  It will be available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets within a few days.

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If it’s Saturday…

I should be repairing the ceiling in the garage.  But, as you can see, I’m not.  Instead, I’ve been reviewing a couple of contracts — announcements soon — and reading slush — more announcements soon — and pondering the holiday season.

Like a lot of folks, I hate to shop.  It isn’t that I don’t like to give.  I do.  But I don’t like crowds.  So I do my best to avoid malls, especially this time of year.  This is when the internet can be my friend.  I say “can” because a lot of it depends on how reliable the product information and shipping times happen to be when you purchase online.   Then there’s the whole thing of making sure someone is home to accept the packages when they’re delivered, etc.  Now, if only I could find a way to have everything gift wrapped, without having to pay more for it….oh well, that, too, will happen one day.

Over at Mad Genius Club today, I posted links and cover images to some of the books and short story collections the other mad ones have for sale.   Three of them — Dave Freer, Sarah A. Hoyt and Kate Paulk — already have titles out with NRP.  A fourth, Chris McMahon — a wonderful Australian author — will have a short story in our upcoming Angels and Demons themed anthology, due out later this month.  Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we’ll have something to offer from Rowena Cory Daniells as well.

What I’d like you to consider, if you have books — or e-books — to purchase for friends or loved ones this holiday season, is buying something from one of these wonderful authors.  Dragon’s Ring by Dave Freer is probably the best fantasy I read this year, and that’s saying a lot.  Darkship Thieves is the best space opera I’ve read in a long time.  Both definitely make my top ten list in books I’ve read this year.  Rowena’s King Rolen’s Kin trilogy is in my tbr pile as are Chris’ books.  (See the MGC post for links to all their books I mentioned today.)

Give the gift of a book, or an e-book, to someone you care about.  Share an author you love.

 

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Wednesday Morning

Thanksgiving is almost here and, like so many folks, I’m facing — and dreading — that last minute run to the grocery store later today to make sure I have everything needed for the big Thanksgiving dinner.  Of course, because of family scheduling conflicts, dinner will actually be lunch on Friday.  Not that it means I can postpone the trip to the store… Oh no.  Have to brave the crowds today to do food shopping in case I have to brave the crowds Friday for Black Friday sales.

And, yes, that scream you heard was me.  I hate, absolutely HATE, shopping of any sort.  Add crowds to the equation and, well, I’m sure you get the picture.  Thank goodness most of the sales also have online equivalents.  Still, you know there will be that one item my retired mother will want me to go out to get for her and, dutiful daughter — okay, quit laughing — that I am, I’ll go, grumbling and clutching my mug of coffee like a lifeline.

Any way, if you check out the site today, you’ll see that Darwin Garrison’s latest Animanga Viewpoint is up.  You can see what he has to say about Raiders by JinJun Park here.  Go take a look and let him know what your thoughts are.

Also, don’t forget that Dave Freer’s collection of short stories, A Goth Sex-Kitten & Other Stories, is now available for sale.  You can find it  on our site or at Barnes & Noble.  As soon as it goes live on Amazon and smashwords, we’ll let you know.

Enjoy your holiday.  Be safe and have fun.  Oh, and check back on Friday.  I have a feeling you might find a few “Black Friday” sales here as well.

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Goth Sex-Kitten

and other stories.

Okay, admit it.  The title of the post caught your attention.  Think of how I felt when I saw that in the subject line of an email first thing one morning.  Now, imagine it happening pre-coffee.  Yes, I did do a double-take, especially since the sender of the e-mail was Dave Freer.

Now, there are a couple of thinks Dave’s known for.  The first is his wonderful writing.  He’s a wonderful writer of fantasy and sf.  A lot of his work reminds me of Terry Pratchett.

He also has a wicked sense of humor when he wants.

So, yes, I was a little leery when I opened the email.  I was also very surprised and did a fan girl squee to see that the subject line referred to one of his short stories.

That short story is now the lead in a collection of six stories by Dave that we’ll be bringing out later today.  The collection will be available in our store tomorrow, when the store comes back online.  It will be available over the next few days at Amazon, B&N and Smashwords.

But, for now, I thought I’d give you a taste of what he has in store for you. . . .

The Goth Sex-Kitten

Standing inside its pentacle of finely powdered bone-dust, the alembic quivered and shook on its stand.”Concentrate, famulus, for Zorathsyrtus sake!” cursed the master. “Keep that flame steady or I’ll turn you into a privy in a camp full of puke-drunk Joringian mercenaries.”

Tom concentrated. That was enough of a dire — and possibly real — threat to focus his mind remarkably, turning it away from thoughts inspired by his secretive perusal of one of the volumes on the master’s locked shelf. The one with the well-thumbed color illustrations. Tom retained little of his origins, except for a certain fastidiousness, some vanity and a tail, but he knew what he had been, and he knew what he had no fancy to be.

It was all very well for Master Hargarthius. The master magician was as wrinkled as a dragon’s hide after a long hibernation, and was even older than the cheese that lurked at the back of the third pantry cupboard. Marcencius, who had been the master’s previous famulus from before Tom was born, said it had been there a century or so, and he was not to go too close to it, or the cheese would have the flesh off Tom’s hands at the very least… If he was lucky, which, as Marcenius pointed out, he wasn’t. It was a cheese that ate mice. . . .

Rob

The churn of the ocean boiled foam for the gale to pick and fling landward. The spume gobbets swirled up the cliff, as great seas ate into the narrow cove across the grinding cobbles.

The storm had left a grey dawn, hazed with rain-squalls and tatters of racing cloud. It was hard to see clearly from the cliff-top, but they could still make out the straight black lines of masts and spars above the angry water that pounded the reef. The two men standing there, braced against the wind, stared at the wreck. “There’s never a man that got off her alive, Bart,” said the shorter of the two, giving an involuntary shiver.

The other, a broad, tall and solid pylon of a man, nodded. “Aye, William-lad. You’d be right about that. It’d take a seal to swim out of there. But the bodies’ll come in the tide. We’d best get down there before anyone else does.”

It was grim work picking through the sodden clothing of the bodies washed ashore, but the rewards could be great, for poor men. And it was fitting that they’d get something for the labour of hauling the corpses to the churchyard. . . .

There are four other stories included as well.  Check them out tomorrow when the collection goes on sale!

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