It is good to be back!

Hey-ho, everyone!

So happy to be back among you, the functioning human beings! After a month of enforced smoke inhalation and general ill-health, I’ve had a great week. Well, a great week for someone who could barely write for a month.

6000 words in the last five days (yes!!!) A short story close to finished! (Reforged in Fire, Suddenly Supernatural #3, should be out by the end of the month. #2, Future Forward, Visions Past should be out before Christmas/Yuletide/Solstice/Hanukah/Kwanza.)

So you should be receiving a fresh new happy snippet next week and the week after and probably the week after that!

As for Suddenly Supernatural #1? A Simple Trip can be found in the Prime Fantasy II Anthology, which was published a long time ago on a continent near you. Go catch up if you have not read it yet!

And the Saga Continues… or Smoke and My lungs don’t mix!

Hi all

Sorry for the incommunicado. I have not been well. It seems like breathing in smoke, nor is dust-filled air so good for me.

I lost all of November to that crap. Sometimes it was so bad I could not even see across the road. It was impossible for me to get my head together enough to write anything that didn’t sound either trite or make my characters two dimensional.

You, my readers, deserve better than that. At least in my opinion.

Besides, it hurts my soul a little to show people work that is far behind my usual standards. Some of what I wrote is undoubtedly usable with expansion. Much is not.

I feel like the bushfires not only burnt most of the native forests around the town I live in but also most of my November, damnit!

It will take me a little time to get back up to a decent level of words per day. Hopefully, I can make this up to you all, my readers, by stringing releases from late December to April.

I hope to reach a chapter a day by the end of next week.

Wish me luck!

P.S. I also hope to fulfill my goal of posting a couple of times a week (or more!) on my blog and on Facebook. Hopefully, I can keep you all more up to date. I won’t be pushing hard on that one until after Christmas. However, I need to get my regular writing back up before taking on something new!

 

Bushfires -The Reason for My Silence

Hi all.

Sorry I have been silent for so long. It has been a long few weeks.

The town I live in has been surrounded by Bushfires. Not only have I needed to help a couple of friends out in this situation, but the constant smoke has been doing a number on my lungs.

Still, I am far better off than many. Over three hundred homes have been destroyed. My best wishes go out to those who have lost everything.

Here is a list of organizations for donations if you can.

List

I would suggest either WIRES for native wildlife in need or the Australian Lions Foundation for helping people.

I hope to be getting back to regular updates at the beginning of next week. I hope this nightmare ends for everyone in NSW and Queensland before that.

A Cyclone coming across the beaches would be a different sort of disaster, of course, but I suspect I am not alone in praying for that over the wildfires that are currently burning and that will light up if we don’t get some heavy rain soon.

 

Author out

Paul C. Middleton.

Halloween Valentine: A side story in the #Mongrelverse

Some authors ignore all their minor characters.

I find I cannot ignore all of them. Some of them start whispering their own stories in my ear and start harassing me until I write them.

That is the case here. For those who have read Through the Veil, you should remember Morgan, the Half-Fae PI. Well, this is the second short story about his life. (The first was Oathbreaker’s Blood, in The Hand You Were Dealt anthology.)
Enjoy a  horror driven romance in Treated to Tricks!

Have a Snippet from the tale here!

Morgan knew that he needed to bring something to Tegan. It was what people did for those with whom they would have to associate with for a long time. Everything he knew about the situation whispered to the Fae part of his soul that their association would either be short or most of the rest of his life.

Especially considering his oath to beget a child by her.

While he would not be a controlling arsehole like his own dearly departed Dad, he wanted to be involved with any child that he helped produce.

He was looking for a relationship that he had no way to define from his own experience. His life had been so tightly controlled by his father that he had no way to identify what he was looking for. Something more than someone to warm the bed of occasionally.

If he had any vaguely normal friends, then they could have told him what he was looking for. Even some of the saner members of his estranged family could have told him. He was looking for a loving, romantic, partnership of equals.

But there was nothing in his experience that led him to believe such was possible. His family, until he had broken from it, had been based entirely on dominance chains. There were no friendly equals within it that he had seen.

At first, Morgan considered which shop he might visit, what sort of gift he might purchase for Tegan. Then he realized two things. First, no matter what he bought for the woman, it would have less meaning than something from the collection of trophies and artifacts that had become his upon his father’s death. Things that should have been his long ago by battle right.

Secondly, his usual illusions might not cover his new appearance from an othersider, someone who had not crossed the Veil yet. He did not want to risk crossing someone over. Unnecessary travel in public would do precisely that, at least until he gained a better appreciation of what had changed about him.

His share had included much from siblings who were no longer alive. Those, however, lacked a personal touch in Morgan’s mind. He wanted to give Tegan something that he had been responsible for acquiring or liberating.

Monday Music

I have been trying to figure out ways to show you that I am still around and working on what you all want – more reading material. I will admit I have been absolutely terrible at the Facebook thing. It just isn’t really my wheelhouse. I love writing, but on Facebook brevity is a virtue. (Twitter even more so. I absolutely hate the character limit.) ‘short’ writing is not one of my virtues. So, I am going to trial a few things, starting with Music Monday – posting a tune that has helped me past a bump in my writing, or simply in life in general.

This week it is Broken Pieces by Apocalyptica (with Lacey.) There is simply something in it that sings to me as I write the second Mother of Monsters book.

Khazali’s Tale Release Snippet Sole: Book is live (and went live FAST!)

So… I was expecting to need two release snippets for you guys, but Khazali’s tale is already live. That’s right. You can buy it HERE
But I still owe you a snippet, and here it is:
The time was approaching. Khazali could have sworn she heard the marching steps of at least six people approaching the building. That made her frown slightly. Six people meant he had brought the maximum guards allowed. Four. She was not sure that boded well. It indicated either there was trouble near the border that this meeting was taking place, or a lack of trust, in one way or another, of the Sadeghi.

The young woman shook herself and thought, It is just my nerves talking. I can do this. Everyone I know has praised my beauty. Mazyar seemed interested when we spoke not two weeks ago. Surely with the additional attraction of my looks, he will desire a betrothal and a marriage as quickly as can be arranged.

There was a knock at the door. “Sister, it is time,” Vahid stated starkly. He had never been one to mince words. Oddly, it was comforting that he had not changed how he acted around her. Blunt and bluff as always.

She drew in a deep, calming breath, checked that her dress was in place and walked out the door. While ambling down the hall, she considered how to make the best impression on her suitor. Eventually, she settled on keeping her head bowed in respect. His rank was much higher than hers. He could be one of those people who was highly conscious of status. If so, keeping her head lowered, while keeping her body straight and her shoulders firm would show respect without implying servile station.

She also drew strength from Vahid’s presence. Everyone in the family knew that he never shaded the truth. If the Miahran heir found fault with her for some, probably imaginary, reason, then her family would not blame her. Then he stepped in front of her to open the door to the room where she would finally see Mazyar.

She firmly took control of her thoughts as she bowed her head and strode into the room.

Khazali’s Tale Snippet 2

“It is late for you to visit, my lord. It cannot be because of the message I sent you. So, what brings you to the border so late?” His agent asked as he led him over to a long table. Making sure his patron had water, he waited for Kazem to drink.

“I’m looking for a spear shaft for my niece. A particular type. It needs to be Ash.” Kazem explained. He was comfortable telling Umom this. The man had been loyal, and beyond that, he owed Nader and Kazim his life and his business. There was not much chance he would betray them. Especially over something involving Djinn politics. He might listen for disquiet on the clan lands, but he stayed clear of the politics of the Genies.

Umom froze slightly. Then he looked at Kazem. “She is of age already? My, how the time flies. Still, now is a bad time to travel, my Lord. An Angel, a Bene Elohim the commander thinks, sneaked through the gate just yesterday. I sent word as soon as I found out, and the commander sent a squad out to try and track it, as well as two runners from the militia to warn the Sadeghi himself.”

Kazem’s eyes narrowed. That may have explained the recruit’s salute. On the other hand, it also made the hamlet a possible site for conflict. Sighing, he said, “Why did you know I would seek you once my niece came of age?” He frowned slightly. Umom gave a slight frown.

“Because I was told what you would need. One of your niece’s tutors passed through here on his way home. I got him drunk, and he let slip to me that all the Sadeghi plans would be for naught if they did not have an ash shafted spear for their prized daughter.” A cunning smile crossed his face. “So, on the off chance he was not lying, I made a pair for her to choose from and hid them. It took me five years and several failures that were passed on to the garrison before I finally made a pair that I was proud of.”

Khazali’s Tale Snippet 1: Cover not ready yet.

Hello. Well, here is your notification that I am on track to publish yet another book next week. This one is a Spin-off/prequel to Mongrel’s Tooth and Consequences, focusing on Khazali. It can also be read as a stand-alone, and for this reason will be part of a new spin-off ‘series’ of sorts, called ‘Alone in the Mongrelverse’.

So without further ado, here you go for your snippet pleasure

In one case, the lesser noble had been so uncouth and brutal in reputation that no-one, not even Kazem, had suggested accepting it, no matter the political advantage. In the other case, Sima had reflexively tightened her hand on the Azadan suitor who had commented on her scar. Sima was more of a soldier than a flower of Djinn femininity. She had conceded to Kazem she needed to marry soon, and Khazali knew it was likely that she would marry a soldier from within the clan.

It would not harm the family. It would strengthen ties with the retainers to the clan. Nor would it advance the Sadeghi among the nobility. Any opportunity for such now lay in Khazali’s marriage potential. Sima clearly believed it would be high.

After help from her sister to clean off the dust from her arms and face, Khazali hid a grimace. The hardest part was yet to come. She was to be introduced to the notable guests. This was the time when any mistakes would be worst. The Rite of Adulthood was only marginally less formal than a wedding or a funeral for the nobility. Her etiquette needed to be impeccable.

First, she was guided by her father to where the representatives of the Seven were standing. “Azdana Khazali, let me introduce you to the representative of the Suren.” He said formally.

The young woman curtsied deeply, and said, “Your Excellency Suren. It is a pleasure to meet you.” She extended her hand, and he brushed her fingers with his lips. “Charming and skilled. Your family should be praised for nurturing you into such a blossom.” Khazali bowed her head and blushed slightly at the compliment. It indicated that despite her skill with a weapon, he felt she had lost none of a woman’s charms. Sima would have been called a fine blade. She was pretty, but her training as the only child for fifty years had made her more masculine than the higher nobility, or the Seven would have accepted in a wife.

Next was the cousin from the Miahran. After she was introduced, after careful check of his clothes, she curtsied gracefully, although not low, and said, “My Lord of the Miahran.” This was the man she most wanted to impress with her poise and grace. What he said to his uncle would give her family the most significant improvement in status. Especially if he managed to convince the heir to take her as his first wife.

Through the Veil Is LIVE!

A normal life shatters. Beings beyond her imagination show themselves.

The Veil between the ordinary and the extraordinary rips for Zora.

Former MP and Army Medic Zora is happy with her life as a Paramedic. Helping people and saving lives gives her a satisfaction she never had as an MP. Her experience brings something few others have to her job.

Then there is an incident at work. One that leaves Zora’s memories hazy and her partner injured. Worried, she tries to move on but finds herself digging deeper. Finding out that there is a whole world hiding right among what she knows.

Once she walks through the Veil, there is no going back. But will her sanity remain intact after the journey?

Purchase the book on Amazon Today