Posts Tagged ‘Book Extract’

Taking a break from release news, we’re giving over the blog today to an extract from Steven M. Caddy’s exploration adventure novel In Exchange.

Inexchange

Order In Exchange, Book 1 in the Michael Morgan series by Steven M. Caddy for £11.99 including free UK delivery

“Sunlight shone in through the windows in Michael’s room. The windows were too high to see out of, unless you climbed up to peek out. The benefit of having such high windows was that the space agency didn’t have to bother with any curtains.

Michael stirred having slept well. His feet were hanging over the side of the bed, and the pillows were on the floor. For a moment, he forgot where he was, but managed to stay still enough to not fall out of bed again. His shin was a little bruised from his adventure trying to cross the room in the dark the night before. He sat himself up to have a look at his surroundings. He’d been too tired to look at anything in detail the previous night.

Michael’s room was sparsely decorated, with painted cinder block walls. Next to his bed was a small white table that had a lamp and a telephone on it. He sighed; thinking how useful the lamp would have been if he’d spotted it before turning off the lights. It might have prevented his injury. Michael rolled across the bed, and played with the lamp’s switch. The lamp came on. Michael turned it off again, and tutted.

On the floor were the clothes that Michael had travelled in, the elasticated plimsolls similar to the ones he wore on the space station, his two bags, and the piles of clothes that had been on his bed when he arrived. Michael slid off the bed, and sat himself on the floor to inspect the clothing. There were four plain t-shirts of various colours to go with the white one he was wearing, a light blue short-sleeved shirt, some basic underwear and socks, a couple of pairs of shorts, some blue canvas trousers, a pair of trainers, a pair of black leather shoes, and a thick fluffy towelling dressing robe. He put on the dressing robe, and felt warmer. At the end of his bed, he also found a pair of sturdy walking boots, which felt heavy and didn’t appeal to him.”

You can get your copy of In Exchange from the Etsy store, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Nook, iBooks and Amazon.

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With the manuscript for the sequel to We Do Not Kill Children in the hands of our editors, we’ve decided to celebrate with an extract from Penelope Wallace‘s debut novel and transport all you lovely readers to the kingdom of Marod.

We Do Not Kill Children: An Extract

Meril woke early, but lay still and tense, shivering a little and dreading getting up.  It was hard to believe that they were really going to do this thing.

Master Hassdan had spent most of the day before arranging it.  He told her that nothing would make the inhabitants of the house accept a desecration of the children’s graves; any explanation he could offer would be regarded as an insult.  So Mistress Soumaki was to undertake further questioning of Lord Gahran’s people that afternoon, all together in the hall, to keep them out of the way.  Soumaki plainly thought this a waste of time, and a distraction from their task, and said so forcefully.  The possibility that the children might have been substituted was a very faint and unlikely one.  Hassdan was in charge of the mission, so she had to give way, but she did not like it.  Meril, excruciatingly embarrassed, had to witness their argument.

As they left the room, Master Hassdan had relieved his feelings by slapping the back of her head, and saying, “Take that smirk off your face.  Go and make yourself useful in the kitchens.”  While she was doing this, he exerted the authority of the King’s Thirty over the two reluctant priests, and talked to Captain Rabellit, whom Cremdar had left in charge.  The captain was willing to help, he told Meril, but she had to select the least talkative of her soldiers to assist.  “Not that there’s much hope.  Someone will surely let it out.

Meril, chopping vegetables and apologising for the ones she dropped on the floor, had been trying to learn what the dead children had looked like, but she had discovered little.  They were all little angels.  Gascor had a mole next to his eye.  Ilda’s hair was curly, and Filana’s straight.  This was all she could learn, apart from the colours of the clothes they had been wearing that day.

She had asked several people about the events of the funeral, and learned these by heart.  Cremdar, Arvill and Braf had wrapped the children in a sheet and sewn it together “out of respect”, before breaking the news and arresting Dorac.  The actual bodies had been too terrible to be viewed, after what that monster had done to them.   All anyone else had seen was the bloodstains on Dorac’s cloak, and on the floor, and seeping through the sheet… and the fact of the children’s absence.  The remains had lain in the chapel with those of their father for an hour or so, for last rites to be spoken, and people to pray.  Then they had been carried out into the grounds by Captain Rabellit and one of her soldiers, with everyone else following behind.  Lord Gahran’s chaplain had spoken the words of the funeral service, and all had wept and crowded round while the bloodied sheet was placed in the earth, in a hole dug by the soldiers.  The other body, that of the stablehand Arator, had been buried later.

“Very very odd,” commented Master Hassdan.  “Not even a coffin.”  It was clear, he said, and Meril earnestly agreed, that the people of Ferrodach could have had no part in anything suspicious after the murders, at any rate.  Captain Rabellit seemed trustworthy, and she was sure the grave had not been disturbed since.  When asked if Ferrodach had had enough warning of their arrival to organise a substitution, she had thought not.  “Our scouts saw nothing, and when we rode up, everyone was very surprised.  Or seemed to be.”

So today they were to dig up corpses.  Meril could not get her mind off this, wondering how horrible the sight and smell would be, and if she would disgrace herself utterly – throw up, or scream, or worse, in front of everyone.  She thought of pictures at home of the opening of the tombs at the Last Judgment, which had given her and her sister nightmares.  Her stomach was cold and heavy, and she could not make herself move from her pallet outside the Ferrodach guest chamber.

Meril!  You good-for-nothing brat!  Are you intending to sleep till noon?  St John preserve me from idle children.”  Hassdan kicked her up, and she stammered apologies.  He was still complaining loudly about her laziness and clumsiness as they went down to the hall (the same stair that Master Dorac and Master Cremdar had used that day), and Soumaki gave her a compassionate look.  It was almost funny.

 

We Do Not Kill Children

front“We do not kill children; we do not commit rape; we do not take pleasure in torment.”

Dorac Kingsbrother was one of the King’s Thirty in the kingdom of Marod. That was before he was found guilty of the murder of Lord Gahran’s three children. Though Gahran was a traitor, his children were innocent. The code of the King’s Thirty leaves no room for such a barbaric act, and for this heinous crime Dorac faces a life in exile.

The shame of such a sentence is something that Dorac can’t brook, and so he sets off on a journey to the Old Stones, the place where those that seek death meet their end. Followed by Gormad, a child in search of adventure, Dorac is not alone on his final journey.

But not everyone believes that Dorac is guilty. Gemara Kingsister, head of the Six, investigates the murder of Gahran’s children; though there is more at stake than the life of a lone warrior in this, the first of the Tales from Ragaris.

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We’re blasting off from Earth today and heading into space with an extract from In Exchange, the debut novel by Steven M. Caddy. We hope that you enjoy it and if you’re curious about the world of Michael Morgan, you can find out more here!

In Exchange: An extract

A flash of light tore through a scene of ecstasy. Michael pictured himself standing on a stage with a nameless band, plucking the strings of a bass guitar as a throng of screaming, sweating teenage girls surged towards forwards. He grimaced as he fought to hold on to the image in his mind, but it was no good. He was awake. He opened his eyes to reveal his darkened surroundings.

Damned cosmic radiation, Michael thought. He often saw little dashes of light skipping across his vision, caused by high energy particles that raced through outer space. Unfortunately, this usually happened when he was having his best dreams.

Michael’s life was something of an experiment because he was the first person born in space. He often fantasised about what he called “Earth life”. Daedalus, the space station that he called home, was very unlike Earth. Everything floated about to start with, and obtaining supplies was time consuming and expensive.

Michael pushed himself over towards a control panel, and adjusted the lighting. He turned and reached out to open a window blind. The window revealed the Earth’s continents speeding by at a furious pace. He pressed his nose to the window and looked at the planet. “Southern Australia, with the sun setting,” he said out loud, his breath fogging the window.

“I thought I could hear you moving about.”

“Max!” Michael exclaimed with a start. “I didn’t hear you open the hatch.”

“You’re awake early,” Max said in a casual voice. “Much more awake now that you’ve tried to jump out of your skin like that.”

“Yeah, very funny. A cosmic ray got me.”

“Lucky you. We don’t get many of those in low Earth orbit.”

“They always wake me up when I get to a good bit.”

“You remember your dream?”

“Yeah, I was playing bass in a band. We were on stage, in front of lots of good-looking girls.”

“Wow. I don’t dream at all when I’m in orbit.”

“Really?”

Max nodded.

Michael thought he knew Max well. The astronauts lived together in extremely close quarters, and didn’t usually keep many secrets from each other. However, Max hadn’t talked about his sleep problems in this much detail before.

“I know you’ve been issued with sleeping tablets. Maybe they make you sleep extra deep or something,” Michael said.

“Maybe. Anyway, the sleep problems are why mission control won’t let me do the normal six month tours up here. Not without taking a break for a couple of weeks in the middle.”

“But isn’t that better?” Michael asked. “You get to bring more fresh food with you. You can also see your friends and family more often.”

Max didn’t say anything. Michael’s words apparently hit a nerve.

Max pulled himself next to Michael, and recovered from his reverie. “So what have you got scheduled for today?”

“I haven’t checked the schedule yet, but I guess it’ll be more physical exercises as usual.”

“Uh huh.”

“And it’s Friday, so there’ll be a conference call with the nerds at mission control.”

“You don’t like the mission scientists, do you?”

“Not while they treat me like some sort of orbiting lab rat,” Michael furrowed his brow, and turned to look at Max. “At least you seem to understand me a bit.”

“Chocolate nut bar for breakfast?”

Michael’s sour expression melted into a wide smile. “I keep telling you that you’re the best. Mind if I remove the taste of last night’s curry first?”

Max nodded, and grabbed a hand rail to pull himself back into the core of the space station.

Michael rushed to brush his teeth, and threw his tooth-brush into a locker. With elegance learnt from years of living in micro-gravity, he pushed himself away into a forward roll, and headed over to the hatch to follow Max.

“I’d close the hatch after you,” Max called down the space station.

“Following all the safety rules today?”

“No, it’s just a mess in there, and I’d rather commander Yvetts didn’t see it first thing this morning.”

“Her lab is just as bad.”

“Not really. She keeps her lab tidy.”

“But all those rabbit posters?”

“Okay. Yeah. I prefer to see rabbits in a stew, not on posters.”

Michael considered Max’s comment about rabbit stew for a moment.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had rabbit on the station menu,” Michael said.

“Maybe I should suggest having it added?”

Michael shrugged. Max reached into a locker, pulled out a silver wrapped package, and sent it tumbling down the space station towards Michael who gave Max a quizzical look.

“Chocolate nut bar,” Max confirmed.

“Any of those bananas left that Jameson smuggled aboard?”

“Nope. He could only hide four in his baggage.”

“Pity. It was one of your better ideas, asking him to bring them with him.”

“If Dr Kleets found out that you’d been taking on extra calories, he’d be mincing me for lunch.”

“Boring British bumbling-”

“He’s still your mission doctor. He’s not someone you should ignore.”

Michael ripped open the package, and shoved the nut bar into his mouth.

“When is everyone else due to wake up?” Michael asked, still chewing.

“Another hour. You woke up very early this morning.”

Michael looked at his watch. 06:07.

“I guess I can get started on my exercises, before everyone else gets up,” Michael said.

“I would. Get them in before your conference call.”

Max pulled himself over to a window to admire the view while nothing else was going on.

“Max, do you think it matters that I’ve been pushing myself a bit harder with my exercise schedule?” Michael asked after a few minutes.

“That sounds a bit unlike you,” Max raised one of his bushy eyebrows.

“Maybe, but I can’t see what harm it would do to build myself up a bit.”

“It’d help burn off the extra calories.”

Michael nodded, and pulled the exercise rack into place. He located the securing bolts, and strapped himself down for a quick thirty minute march.

“Hey, could you fetch my mp3 player from my lab? It’s hanging next to the sleeping rack,” Michael asked Max.

“I suppose. And then I could try to get a bit more sleep, since you’re on top of things.”

“Yeah, I’ve done this a few thousand times now. You don’t need to watch me.”

“Watching you exercise is like watching paint dry. Although sometimes the paint moves quicker.”

“Cheeky!”

Max pulled himself along the space station’s core towards lab four to recover Michael’s small, battered mp3 player.

“What are you listening to at the moment?” Max enquired as he clambered his way back to Michael.

“Dented Armour – the best bass lines I can find.”

Max had never heard of ‘Dented Armour’ and decided now wasn’t the time to find out. He left Michael to his exercises, and dragged himself off to his laboratory to try to get some sleep.

As Michael exercised, he listened to his music, which wasn’t quite loud enough to block out the snores emanating from laboratory four. From this, Michael could deduce that Commander Alexandra Yvetts was still asleep. He gazed along the familiar layout of the space station’s central core. From the galley area at the rear of Daedalus, he could see the hatches to all the laboratories, airlocks, and return or resupply modules docked to ports on the four faces of the core.

Two loud tones from the station’s intercom startled Michael. He flinched, and ripped his earphones out of his ears. Alarms always made Michael rather nervous.

Inexchange

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On the third day of Christmas we are bringing you an extract from the sixth book in the Chronicles of Celadmore – End of Days.

End of Days – An extract

The City of Grashindorph. The oldest of the great cities of Celadmore. The first city to be built. Built by the Anaguras and Queterians and given to the line of Tutesk to govern the land of Nosfa and then Nesca and stabilise the uniting lands of Celadmore. Built to be the seat of power for the line of Kings and Queens for the new nations and to hide the realm’s greatest secret.

The site of the most bloody and vicious battles in the history of Celadmore. The city that suffered tyrants and revolution, the city that has seen the sun rise and fall over some of the greatest rulers that the land has ever known.

The city of hope that was destroyed and humbled by the monster that now seeks the destruction of the entire world. Blood ran through the streets, bones were left to turn to dust and no one came to its rescue.

The city where the war began is where it will end. There is much to rebuild and prepare as the destruction of the rest of Celadmore continues.

In the city where hope died so many years ago, it is now the only chance for victory; a forlorn hope, almost lost.

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Shroud of Darkness Trilogy

A fantasy book trilogy that was 16 years in the making. The trilogy follows Venetia, a queen amongst her people in the fantasy realm of Celadmore. Strange occurrences in her home world have Venetia searching for answers as to whether an old evil has returned or if a new threat has arisen. Joined by a number of unlikely allies, who do not all get along with one another, Venetia has to fight against not only the darkness threatening to destroy her home world but the treachery of politicians, the fear in those around her, assassins that want to take her throne from her and those that would go to any lengths to try and prevent another war.

The Shroud of Darkness Trilogy contains the three volumes of the Shroud of Darkness trilogy in the Chronicles of Celadmore – Shroud of Darkness, Lady of Fire and End of Days

Shroud of Darkness

In the realm of Celadmore, evil is stirring. The war torn land has not recovered from the last conflict as evil rises and threatens to ensnare the world of light. Venetia, favourite daughter of Queen Annalia, must fight enemies and allies alike. She must uncover truth amidst deception to discover the source of this new threat to her world before the darkness engulfs it.

Lady of Fire

United they must stand for destruction is upon them. The realm of Celadmore faces it’s destruction as a war that none perceived is brought against them. Venetia, Queen of the Order of Anagura and Queteria, must forge a new alliance between the nations of Celadmore against the evil that Aksoth, Lord of Nether Roth, is set to unleash. The Allied Spirit of Celadmore must be raised and march once more.

End of Days

The end is here. Aksoth’s forces roam unchecked across the plains of Celadmore; the people of Celadmore have been forced to retreat to the fallen city of Grashindorph. Revolution stirs amongst the poorest of the people; Venetia seeks to restore Gruagadon to his rightful place on the throne of Nesca and will sacrifice anything to get him there. In this final bastion, they must find victory.

The Chronicles of Celadmore (in chronological order)

The Rising Empire Trilogy
1. Rising Empire: Part 1
2. Rising Empire: Part 2
3. Rising Empire: Part 3

Shroud of Darkness Trilogy
4. Shroud of Darkness
5. Lady of Fire
6. End of Days

Fading Dawn Trilogy
7. When Darkness Falls
8. Torn Allegiance
9. Fading Dawn

Ailing Light Trilogy
10. Ailing Light
11. Ill Blowing Wind
12. Shadow of the South

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