New release: The Pandora Initiative as part of the CyberWar: Digital Battlefield anthology

This one was large enough I could give you a snippet from the first chapter
The Pandora Initiative: Snippet 1
As far as he was concerned, after serving with the SAS, any other position in the army would have been equivalent to a desk job. And anything that he considered a desk job meant he was out of the army.

Still, he had to honor the call if it came in. Surviving as far off the grid as he was, that meant he needed an alert indicator when the phone rang. He was often working outside on the vegetable patch or looking after his small number of livestock.

Mostly he wanted the warning system to tell them they could get fucked as quickly as possible. He just wanted to be left alone now. The rest of the world could go to hell after how he’d been treated, as far as he was concerned.

He thudded the ax into the chopping block and headed inside. Answering the phone he said, as rudely as possible, “Get fucked!”

He could almost feel Brigadier Worth’s teeth grinding. The man hated any disrespect and was a marionette of a man when it came to military formality. Apparently, his temperament was very similar to that of Field Marshal Montgomery in World War II. He looked completely different and was the highest-ranking member of the Armed Forces with any aboriginal heritage, ever. He was a quarter Aboriginal, and on the outs with his tribe for joining the military

He was also highly competent. His ego was small enough that he’d put up with a lot if he felt it was for the good of the forces, or required due to the needs of the mission. That he was still on the phone after how McNaughton had answered it was a sign that he felt he needed McNaughton for whatever was in the works.

“You remember that paper you wrote on combined military operations of political enemies?” Worth growled after finally letting out a breath.

It took him a minute. As an officer, he’d had to complete a degree. Unusually for someone in the Special Forces track, he’d gone for one in international politics. He’d enjoyed it, and followed through to the Doctorate level in his ‘copious free time’ The thesis he’d written had gotten top marks and been immediately classified. It was a shame, he’d considered publishing it in the Journal of International Affairs.

“Yes,” Mad Dog answered curtly

“Good. Consider yourself called up and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. You’ve just become my candidate to lead the proposal, both in formation and on the ground,” Worth said.

“No,” McNaughton answered, although his voice was more respectful now, less confrontational. There was an undertone of curiosity, but his negation was still firm. Dave was now warring internally, as people didn’t join the special forces unless they enjoyed the challenge. Except for the oddballs that enjoyed misery and pain. Still, as far as McNaughton was concerned, the world could go to hell.

I wrote this while stuck on other stories, and it’s a hell of a ride. Give it a whirl. The other authors I worked with also wrote some fantastic stuff. There’s something for everyone in this book!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073Y343BN

Combat Psychology now live – More fiction coming soon

Combat psychology is the 2nd book in my Writer’s guide to combat series. To write a successful combat scene you need to understand the psychology of a soldier or warrior during combat. To write a successful book with combat present you need to not only understand the possible states of mind during combat but also possible states of mind before and after combat.  This work tries to cover all these factors in a concise and understandable format.

It explores the wealth of data that is being gathered over the centuries, both deliberately, in modern times, by psychologists, and by the description of authors. It follows the challenges soldiers face from their mind before, during, and after, combat.

If you are having problems writing a believable combat scene, this may well be the book for you. Often authors portray warriors or soldiers as somewhat flat characters. This book will give you the tools and information you need as an author to create a fully fleshed out character that takes part, or has taken part, in combat.

It also describes the psychological stages a person goes through in a combat situation, allowing you to deepen the feel of any combat situation you write. It explains and expands on pieces of information critical to the writing of any believable combat situation, from a bar fight brawl to an assault on a beach.

This book was written with the significant support and aid of Kat Lind, an Industrial Psychologist of note. Without her input and aid in piecing together this work, it would not be the book it is. She has been an awesome partner to collaborate with, and mentor on improving my fiction and non-fiction works.

You can purchase the book here

A Simple Trip – snipet

This snippet of A Simple Trip comes to you before it’s final edit. The anthology it will first be released in hasn’t been named yet, but should be out before the end of the month. More news to follow.

Chapter 1

It had taken me months to convince the twins to come to school early, so we could go into the strange shop that was on the way from our homes. I like the twins, they are an interesting pair. They’re both Russian, but not what you’d typically think of as Russian. They are about five foot four, with dark hair and olive skin. Although they come from a family that claims Cossack Heritage they don’t look like the traditional blonde haired, blue-eyed, tall, muscular Cossacks. They looked closer to the Romani, both in features and in the quirky temperament.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Asked Katya nervously.

“What makes you so sure he will even be open this early?” Tatiana asked grumpily. Tatiana was not a morning person. One of the major differences between the twins.

“It will be open. I’ve got a good feeling about this.” I said confidently.

The twins looked at each other, as if they knew something I didn’t. If I’d been paying more attention I have noticed the deep sadness and the edge of timorousness to their faces. But I was too wrapped up in my own excitement at getting a chance to see what was in the store. Secondhand stores like this one had some of the best stuff you can find, and for prices a teenager like me could afford.

We left early enough to give ourselves at least half an hour in the shop. Probably longer, as in my excited anticipation I’d hurried. With my long legged gait they’d had to jog to keep up. When we arrived I could hear their heavy breathing, and feel the slight burn of their angry stares at the back of my head. I ignored it. They had agreed to come along, after all. I just hoped Tatiana, the more volatile twin, wasn’t actually mad at me. She could be terrifying.

As we entered the store I barely noticed the elderly cat cleaning itself next the register. What hit me was the overwhelming odor of old books. The kind of smell that only the best bookstores that sell new books have,  but secondhand bookstores all seem to have it permeating them. Used paper and ink, with a hint of another, sort of musty odor. A smell that is one of the simple pleasures of life, in my opinion.

It surprised me because from the front of the store, all you could see was furniture and knick knacks. As the bell above the door tinkled, I heard the shuffling of the store owner. I’d never met him before, for some reason he always closed the shop between three and four. He probably didn’t want the younger kids pawing through his shop and damaging things.

When I spotted him, he seemed to tense up at the sight of us. There was some apprehension, and the flicker of fear crossed his expression. I bowed deeply and said “Good storekeeper, we merely wish to peruse your wares. I swear there will be no damage done to them.”

Cursed Mother 2nd Snippet

I have long since come to the belief that if there was a God, he’d stopped listening some time ago. He sure as heck hadn’t heard my prayers.

When I married my first husband, Dan, I would never have believed that my husband even believed in cursing people. I used the excuse that he was at work so often for why I cheated on him. He never seemed to have time for me. I see now that he was working so hard for us. After all, when I broke his heart he didn’t just try and curse me himself. No, he found a real professional and paid her.

Then he ended up marrying her.

The curse his new wife put on me came in two parts. The first part was that I would never give birth to a human child. The second part was that I would be fertile for more than a century. It’s been 15 years. I still didn’t fully believe the curse was over me until after the birth of my fifth child.

My first two children seemed normal, although my eldest daughter has always had a green tint to her hair. Following the birth of my third child, I found myself thinking that the curse that had been placed on me might actually be real. That was my final child with that father. When she came out with scales covering her legs, unlike the medical staff,  he hadn’t been able to ignore them. Thankfully I’d had a prenup. With no evidence or actual cheating I’d taken him to the cleaners. I also became afraid that some of a Fury’s nature might have crept through from the curse.

I have two more children from discreet one night stands, despite using every method of birth control known to man. The only sex I’d had in the last twelve years. The final one had, despite my own needs, forced me to reconsider having any sex life beyond those dandy little devices. It still caused me some despair at times. A woman has needs, Okay?

I loved all my children, but in desperation had needed to find a new home for the youngest. He’d been an Imp. Horns, a Tail, the works. Of all people, Alecto’s grandson, who insisted on being called the Mongrel, had been the only one willing to help me with that problem. Even he refused to cross his grandmother on helping me find a way to break the curse problem I have.

So, I regularly came to The Menagerie, hoping to find someone crazy enough to cross one of the ancient Furies. Tonight was no different. I braved the unique and disgusting ambiance of the front bar to reach the main venue. Stale beer, dried blood and a hint of urine were not my favorite odors.

Thankfully the rear section had some form of ventilation that kept the foul odors from settling. Only once had an overwhelming smell of blood assaulted me, when one of the local packs was holding an Alpha challenge. Both the current Alpha and the Challenger had died that night, requiring more challenges to sort out the mess.

 

Cursed Mother Words complete (and snippet)

Finally. After a flu, getting a Wisdom tooth ripped out, Allergies and sinusitis, I’ve completed Cursed Mother. Sending it to the tender hands of my alpha readers, and hope to be able to send it to the editor tomorrow.

*Jumps for joy*

Snippet

I was always nervous as I headed into The Menagerie. After all, it’s not a safe place for people like me.  It catered to a unique mix of Supernaturals, and was the only place like it in Australia. Publicly, it was kind of dive that made biker bars look like havens for saints. You might find places where demons and angels would frequent simultaneously. Not as unusual as you’d think, as they both had an agenda to scare people away from the Supernatural, and towards the God they followed.

Not the kind of place people expected a wealthy woman like myself to enter. The number of propositions I received were somewhat ego swelling, although I looked at least a decade younger than I was. It was part  of the nature of my problem. I’d give up all those years of youthful looks to solve it, and gladly.

Behind the doors and the front bar, which often had Weres fighting each other in their human form. It was a venue that catered to any peculiarities that a Supernatural might desire. Except murder. For the vampires, there were ‘groupies’, recruited for their desire to be bitten or hopes to be chosen to become a vampire. Or so I assumed. I did not want to associate with blood givers and drinkers. For shapeshifters, a pit where they could conduct training and challenges. For the Fae it was considered neutral. In a way. Some place where they could meet without violence being guaranteed, no matter the mix of courts.

I came once a month, like clockwork. People assumed it was to get a piece of ‘rough’ on the side when they found out. I wish. I was looking for someone willing to take a big risk and help me remove the curse my ex’s new wife had placed on me on their wedding day.

The thought always brought a tear to my eye. I had loved Dan, deeply. I had played around on him because he was always at work. He even slept there four or more nights a week, making me feel like I was a piece of eye candy to him. Someone to be on his arm at events. He’d objected to any attempt I made to help him at work, or find a job of my own. I became bored and lonely, so I’d lashed out.

When he found out what I’d been doing, it nearly killed him. His love for me became a burning hate. Though I hadn’t known it, Dan believed in the Supernatural. He’d started looking for people to curse me. Unfortunately, both of us were angry at each other in different ways. Witches had been unwilling to curse a woman who felt scorned. So he’d looked deeper and darker for someone… some being… Willing to curse me.

He’d found Alecto. The Fury of Anger. As both of us were enraged at the other, and he lost most everything in the divorce he’d insisted on, her payment had been to curse him. A curse he found he enjoyed. They’d ended up married.

I’d ended up convinced it had all been faked.

What I’ve been doing: Phoenix Prime – and the first 30 shorts produced.

So here I sit, wondering how to explain Phoenix Prime to you all.

Phoenix Prime is basically a pressure cooker for authors. So, hopefully over the next months I will have at least one release for you a week.

And I’ll try to post regularly about releases from other authors in the program. For instance Lee Hayton has done a couple of collaborative works with me. ‘WereEagles fear to tread‘ and ‘A Mongrel, a Bard and Witches, oh my!’ The first of them was released earlier this week, and the second one is planned to be released on Friday (pending my RL problems which I will not go into here)

But I already have the first fruits of the programs labor. And for the time being, they’re available free, HERE, through Instafreebie. 10 anthologies of three free stories each. Enjoy.

The direct link to the anthology containing my Short story

‘Flight of the Phoenix’

 

Speak to you soon.

Paul C. Middleton

‘Sometimes knowing there is a battle is half the battle’