Tuesday, 27 February 2018



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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Available Now: Mission Perilous by Margaret Pearce

Margaret Pearce



(99c through 25 February)
Deep in a dungeon beneath the streets of the Black City, three men await their fate. To escape, Rofe, a crusading knight, Olaf, the Barbarian, and Merc, ‘Prince of Thieves’, must put aside their differences and band together.

They journey through enemy territory, fighting gargantuan reptiles, man-eating plants, and voodoo poisons. Their survival is dependent on their swords, courage and sheer cunning.

• • •

Rofe the Younger returned to consciousness after the battle. His head ached. Disoriented, he opened his eyes. It took time for his eyes to adjust to the faint flickering light. It took even longer for him to realise he was not lying on the battleground but on a damp stone green-slimed floor covered in the mouldering bones of previous occupants.

He sat up slowly. Torchlight flickered on the stone walls of the cell. Outside the cell, a blank faced guard in the dreaded Black City armour leaned against the wall and stared at him.

Rofe absorbed his predicament. Stripped of his armour and weapons, he wore only his soft cotton tunic and leggings. He dwelled regretfully on the loss of his linked-chain shirt. Apart from his sword, it was the only thing he had inherited that he valued. There had been some curious legends around the linked shirt. It had been softer and stronger than any other, no matter how skilfully made. It had protected his body from the pain and cuts of broad swords.

He set up a makeshift altar on the stone platform that rose from the floor. He hoped the long-dead owners would forgive him his disrespect in tying two of the bones together to make a cross, but he would seek their forgiveness when he joined them. It was his duty to spend his last night of life praying for the soul of his young squire, and forgiveness of his sins. He squeezed shut his eyes and bowed his head lower ignoring the stench coming from the floor. Again he saw his young squire crumple, a poisoned dart falling from his jugular vein and the ferocious battle waged amidst smoke and stench of death around them.

This alien world had been a complete disaster despite the righteousness of their crusade. There had been the hellish journey to transport everything across the swamp when the army disembarked from the galleys and barges. Then the days spent dragging the horses, as they heaved and strained to pull the wooden-wheeled siege machines through the swamp. Then more tedious days floating the wagons, siege machines, and horses over the treacherous waterways and the valuable equipment lost through the quicksands.

The Crusaders had succeeded in setting up their fortified encampment on the high ground above the swamp almost within sight of the sinister dark walls, but the attacks towards the Black City always ended in disaster as the slightest scratch from the enemy’s weapons poisoned and paralyzed the attackers.

They had suspected that there were secret routes in and out of the swamp. Otherwise, the Black City raiders could never have made such lightning raids and vanished so quickly, but no one had ever found them.

His concentration was disturbed as two soldiers came down the steps heaving a barbarian and came to a halt outside Rofe’s cell. They stripped the barbarian of his heavy helmet, breastplate and greaves, two large worn and balding bear skins, the knee-length leather jerkin with its overlapping discs, his tunic, and the studded belts carrying sword, axe, and daggers.

The guard on duty gestured to the barbarian. “He looks more beast than man.”

“That he is,” said the bigger of the two solders. “He fights like one too.”

In a coordinated action, the soldiers pitched the longhaired man face down into the slime on the floor of the cell floor. His arms and legs flung out as he thumped into the stone. They did not even glance at Rofe kneeling on the platform in the gloom of the cell.

The taller soldier spoke to the guard. “This one brings tomorrow’s feed count to three hundred. Our Dark Lords will grow even greater when they feed on the undamaged, healthy bodies we offer.”

The cell doors clanged shut. The two soldiers left carrying the barbarian’s weapons, armour, and skins. The guard resumed his stance against the wall staring at the prisoners in the cell.

Rofe counted the soldiers’ paces up the steps until he could no longer hear them. From the sound of it, they had passed through three heavy iron barred doors. No escape that way.

The burbling sound of the barbarian breathing in the slime brought Rofe to his feet. It took sweat and time to pull the barbarian out of the grunge and onto the platform. Exhausted by the effort, Rofe sat on the edge of the platform and wondered at his odd weakness.

Rofe lifted his head at the sound of the tread of a single man descending. He held a tray with two stone plates and two mugs on it. The smell of the food on the plates preceded him. He came closer. The plates of high piled roasted meat, bread, and cheese looked appetising.

The guard spoke to the newcomer. “By the looks of it a heartier meal than I’ve had for weeks.”

The newcomer said, “Food for these bodies is food for the Dark Lord. Be glad he has no need for your sacrifice. He will soon be strong enough to claim the three kingdoms.”

• • •
Margaret Pearce was launched on an unsuspecting commercial world as stenographer and ended up copywriting in an advertising department. She took to writing instead of drink when raising children and was surprised to be published. She completed an Arts Degree at Monash University as a mature age student and lurks in an underground flat in the Dandenongs still writing.

Find Margaret online:

Website - http://www.sites.google.com/view/margaretpearce
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/margaretpearceauthor
Tirgearr Publishing - http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Pearce_Margaret

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Available now: The Powers Alone - The First Principle by Mark Everett Stone

The First Principle

The Powers Series, #1
Mark Everett Stone



(99c through 11 February)
Two-thousand years ago, Rome fell to an ancient curse called the Scourge. It took the Collegium—a cabal of powerful wizards—to finally eradicate the menace. Two millennia of expansion and reconstruction saw humanity once again ascendant in the world while the Collegium faded from glory, slowly becoming a relic in the eyes of a society that thought it no longer needed them.

Sejanus Antius Macro, known as the wizard Diamondfang, is the embodiment of the First Principle of Magic, Ritual and Repetition. Armed with a certainty that the Scourge will return and uncertain whether the faded remains of the Collegium will be strong enough to drive it off, he and his comrades seek the heir to the greatest wizard of the Collegium, the One of All.

For centuries wizards have scoured the known world for The One but to no avail. Sejanus believes that his only recourse is to travel beyond the frontier to the lands of the savage red men, the people who have successfully resisted the Empire for four-hundred years. Armed with his raven familiar, Lucius, and centuries of experience, he undertakes a journey in an effort to save the empire he swore to protect. But can even a near-immortal wizard survive in a land from where the great Legions of Britannia never returned?

• • •

New Londinium looked far cruder than the original, or so the killer reckoned, but it also had a vibrancy the other had long since lost. The people seemed more alive, more excited about the prospect of going about their daily lives than those in the heart of the Empire. This new world, so close to the frontier and its red barbarians, lent a sense of danger that heightened the energetic humors in the populace. Yes, that was it. Being so close, death gave life a taste not found elsewhere.

He opened a large, black leather case exposing a new rifle purchased at a dear cost on the far side of the Atlanticus from a one-eyed Serenian merchant who smelled of exotic spices and opium. One hundred fifty gold royals, a fortune in the New World, enough to buy a goodly sized house or farm. The weapon shone nice, clean, and perfect. A beautiful, long, precision piece of murder.

Lifting the rifle, the killer fitted the new sighting lens to the top of the barrel, the brass tube carefully dulled so no telltale gleam of light could give away his position. Like the tube, his face was darkened, and his clothes lay black against his stout body. Staring at the deepening sky, he figured on a few short minutes before the mark made it home.

The killer marveled that the most powerful man in the Empire outside the Emperor himself chose to live in a rundown little brownstone in the middle of the lower east side of town. Why, the place was not even a stone’s throw from the Tenderloin, the area better known as Bacchus’ Temple where the unwary tended to both disappear in the evening and reappear in the morning, often without accompanying valuables.

It had taken the assassin nearly a year to run this mark down, exhausting a small fortune to find the First Principle, but find him he did. The reward for the wizard’s head would beggar the royals already spent on the hunt.

There were quite a few assassins in the Empire (it was a lucrative business, after all); but out of all them only a few were competent enough to successfully kill a wizard, and maybe only three who had the ability to tackle a full Principle. That being said, there were always those willing to beard the lion in his den if the royals were stacked high enough. Nothing, not the gods and their priests, not the Senators or even the Emperor, spoke louder than the satisfying clink of a sackful of royals.

Whoever wanted the Principle dead had deep pockets and vast influence, influence enough to contact the Shadow Guild of Assassins through several different cutouts to reach the best hired killer in the Empire. That told the assassin more than the amount of the award. It told him that the person who wanted the Principle dead was either a member of the Mercantile, or a Senator. Perhaps both. If it was indeed both, then it could be only one man: the third most powerful man in the Empire, a treacherous blagger, but one who always paid debts.

But that made no matter to an assassin of the Shadow. Only the contract mattered, above all else. So he had been taught, so he believed, and for a member of the Shadow, the mark was a dead man who simply hadn’t come to the realization yet.

• • •

Transplanted from Helsinki, Finland, he came to the US at a young age and promptly lost his accent.

Currently he lives in California where he writes and plays Mr. Mom to two wonderful but annoying boys and three even more annoying cats.

Writing consumes most of his free time, as well as the editing of several of his books awaiting publishing. When he’s not losing sleep and writing, he’s stalking his eye doctor.

Find Mark Online:

Website - https://www.markeverettstone1.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MarkEverettStone
Twitter - https://twitter.com/M3verettStone
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/stonehenge1217
Tirgearr Publishing - http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Stone_MarkEverett