Worn

 

My teacher slaps my desk. I jump.

Students keep their heads down. I’m glad for this.

He asks me a question. Tells me it’s the second time he’s asked. That I’m not paying attention.

He’s right. I’m not. At least not to this lesson. I’ve been staring at his robe.

The edges are frayed.

Teachers are respected in The Society. They wear the robes of the higher classes. Dark blue. Tailored. Immaculate.

He sees me eyeing his sleeve and yanks his hand away. Something is wrong. I make a mental note to look at the other teachers after lessons.

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

June 29, 2017 prompt: Frayed In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about something frayed. It could be fabric, like a flag or garment. It could also be nerves or temper.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Featured On the Reef ~ AK Silversmith

 

 

On the Reef is a series featuring fabulous indie authors from around the blogosphere and beyond. Titles, covers, and blurbs that catch my eye, new releases, great reads… Basically, authors I’d like to highlight and works I’d like to share with my fellow book-loving word nerds. Happy Reading!

 

Featured

 

The Old Man at the End of the World
by AK Silversmith

Bite No. 1 (A Zombie Apocalypse Parody)

Gerald Stockwell-Poulter couldn’t help but feel it was extraordinary just how quickly his life had changed. One moment he was earthing up leeks in the West Sussex sunshine and the next he was rooted to the spot as Rodney Timmins from the end allotment ambled towards him, arms outstretched, blood pouring from a hole in his neck and a look in his eye which suggested that he was less after help and more after a helping of Gerald.

Now, as Gerald’s life takes a quick turn for the worse, he must do things he has never done before. After 87 largely well-behaved years as a model citizen, less than four hours into the ‘zompocalypse’ and he has already killed a neighbour, rescued a moody millennial drug dealer and forged an unlikely allegiance with a giant ginger Scotsman. And it isn’t even tea time.

Join Gerald as he and his newfound allies navigate the post-apocalyptic English countryside in their hilarious bid to stay off the menu.

 

You can get your copy here: 🙂

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

About AK:

The Old Man at the End of the World was inspired by a recent visit to an allotment in West Sussex, England. It was mid-summer, the weather was glorious and nothing could be further from most people’s minds than a potential zombie apocalypse. However… as a zombie fan… of course, such an event did cross my mind.

I chatted to one of the gentlemen in the allotment who was tending to his leeks and, voila – the idea of an older protagonist was born [note: 87-year old Gerald Stockwell-Poulter is not based on any real person etc…]. Throw in Hamilton (the giant ginger Scotsman) and Finnbar Phipps (a moody millennial) and I felt that I had a quirky, unlikely crew to mash together in a survival situation.

Bite No.1: The Old Man at the End of the World is my first fictional work; I love humorous zombie stories and wanted to add a UK-based offering with a unique protagonist to the genre. I am currently editing Bite No. 2, it will be ‘bite sized’ also (20,000 words) – I have noticed that more and more readers are looking for novellas and ‘short reads’ and that they enjoy installments of longer speculative fiction (without cliffhanger endings).

Website / Blog
Amazon Author Page

 

On the Reef: The Shark’s Friday Feature

 

As the Crow Flies #WritePhoto

 

 

The crows land on a tiled roof.

Stones of the old church are unwelcoming.

Ancient and powerful, the birds call to us. We are ignorant of their language. We quicken our pace.

Clouds disperse into the arms of sunset.

 

Their magic is misunderstood. Met with judgement and fear.

The Goddess sighs, asking them away. They take flight, shattering the remaining blue of a fading day.

She folds her wings, settling in the nook of a stained glass window.

 

 

My #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

writephoto-logo

 

Featured On the Reef ~ Geoff Le Pard

 

 

On the Reef is a series featuring fabulous indie authors from around the blogosphere and beyond. Titles, covers, and blurbs that catch my eye, new releases, great reads… Basically, authors I’d like to highlight and works I’d like to share with my fellow book-loving word nerds. Happy Reading!

 

New Release

 

Buster & Moo by Geoff Le Pard

 

With their relationship under pressure, is adopting a dog the best decision for Mervin and Landen? As they adapt to fit the animal into their busy lives a chance encounter with Dave and Sheri, the dog’s previous owners, develops into something more and the newfound friendship is tested to the limits.

Life is complicated when Landen loses her job following the discovery of her affair with a colleague and then she becomes involved in a police investigation into alleged money laundering and drug dealing at her old firm. She tries desperately to keep the sordid truth from Mervin as events begin to spiral out of control.

As the four lives overlap and criss-cross the one constant is their shared love of the dog named Moo. But the problems mount up. While Sheri and Mervin grow close as they struggle to help each other, it is the unlikely alliance between Sheri and Landen that leads to the dramatic climax. However, there is only room for one hero in this story – who will it be?

Available for pre-order now. You can get your copy here: 🙂

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Out July 15th.

 

About Geoff:

Geoff Le Pard (not Geoffrey, except to his mother) was born in 1956 and is a lawyer who saw the light.

He started writing (creatively) in 2006 following a summer school course. Being a course junkie he had spells at Birkbeck College, twice at Arvon and most recently at Sheffield Hallam where he achieved an MA in Creative Writing. And what did he learn? That they are great fun, you meet wonderful people but the best lessons come from the unexpected places.

He has a line of books waiting to be published but it has taken until now to find the courage to go live.

His aim is for each novel to be in a different style and genre. Most people have been nice about his writing (though when his brother’s dog peed on the manuscript he was editing, he did wonder) but he knows the skill is in seeking and accepting criticism. His career in the law has helped prepare him.

Website / Blog
Amazon Author Page  (Please check out his other books here)

 

On the Reef: The Shark’s Friday Feature

 

My Savior #WritePhoto

 

 

“It’s okay,” a voice echoes, “you can come out now.”

My eyes have adjusted to the dark and all I see is a white oval. “Why don’t you come in?” I ask.

“I’m not sure it’s safe. You really should get out of there.” The voice bounces off the cave walls, words hitting me in syllables.

A shape emerges in the whiteness. I think it might be one of them. “Okay,” my fingers wrap around a knife and I begin crawling. “I don’t know if this is a good idea,” I creep, hands and knees, toward the thing in the light. “They might find out where I am.”

“I won’t tell,” the thing says. And then I know.

I know what it is and what I must do. Pebbles press into my knees, bruise my shins, but I stay low. “I’m almost out,” I say.

It reaches inside, “Good.”

“Could you just…” I stop, sitting back on my heels, and aim. “Help me the rest of the way?”

“You can do it,” it laughs. “A few more steps.”

I adjust my aim. “Help me?” I repeat.

It shuffles its feet, moving to the left a few inches. I see it clearly for the first time and my stomach turns. I never get used to the sight of them. I pull my arm back, prepare to stab it, when a noise from behind startles me. I gasp and lose my balance. “Dammit!” I turn to see a rat. Just a rat, I think. But it is too late. The thing that waited outside has its hand on my ankle. I twist from its slimy grip but it drags me out into the sun, and into the arms of another I hadn’t seen. Others approach. I can’t escape them all. I know where they will take me and what they will do. I will not become one of them.

“We got her,” the first one says into a small box attached to its head with wires.

I examine the knife I carved. My art, my weapon, my savior. “You don’t,” I plunge the knife into my throat.

 

 

 

My attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

writephoto-logo

 

Featured On the Reef ~ Loni Townsend

 

 

On the Reef is a series featuring fabulous indie authors from around the blogosphere and beyond. Titles, covers, and blurbs that catch my eye, new releases, great reads… Basically, authors I’d like to highlight and works I’d like to share with my fellow book-loving word nerds. Happy Reading!

 

Featured

 

This World Bites by Loni Townsend

Cera Chronicles (Book 1)

It’s her first day on a new world and Cera’s already found trouble. Michael, her guardian, was bitten by a zombie and will soon join the undead ranks.

Everyone tells her there’s no cure, but Cera won’t give up. She’ll face off with zombie hordes, demon slavers, and black market informants if it means she’ll find a cure for Michael. But she’s not the only one hunting for something.

Something is hunting her.

 

You can get your copy here: 🙂

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

About Loni:

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

By day, she writes code. By predawn darkness, she writes fantasies. All other times, she writes in her head.

People call her peculiar with a twisted sense of fashion, but don’t let those understatements fool you. Her behavior is perfectly normal for a squirrel disguised as a human. That’s part of being an epic ninja—blending in.

She makes her home in Idaho with her sadistically clever—yet often thwarted—husband, two frighteningly brilliant children, and three sneaky little shibas.

Website / Blog
Amazon Author Page (Please check out her other books here)

 

On the Reef: The Shark’s Friday Feature

 

Dawn Arrives #WritePhoto

 

 

They have left me here.

Night settles and I am alone. Dawn is far away. But I will wait.

I am dying. My blood is ink, spilling onto the midnight soil, mingling with darkness and mist. I will hold on. I will make it through the night.

To see just one last time…

“Aaron,” she breathes. Her lips brush my forehead. “Gods. No.”

She is crouching next to me. I lift my arm and she grasps my fingers, ignoring the dry, crusted blood caked on my palm and the slick, new blood running down my arm. “Dawn,” I sigh.

 

 

I’ve combined two prompts again this week:

#writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent which asks writers to use photos for inspiration (the photo above is this week’s prompt)

 

writephoto-logo

 

and Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: Dawn).

June 15, 2017 prompt: Dawn In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that symbolically, mythically, mystically, or realistically involves dawn, as a noun or verb. Write about the dawn of time or the time of dawn, or the dawning of an idea.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Featured On the Reef ~ J.D. Estrada

 

 

On the Reef is a series featuring fabulous indie authors from around the blogosphere and beyond. Titles, covers, and blurbs that catch my eye, new releases, great reads… Basically, authors I’d like to highlight and works I’d like to share with my fellow book-loving word nerds. Happy Reading!

 

Featured

 

Captured Moments by J.D. Estrada

Glimpses of life caught in verse

Life is experienced one moment at a time. Capturing those instants can be quite the challenge. This third poetry collection by JD Estrada is his literary attempt at capturing a thought, an emotion, or a moment at its most raw and alive.

Some people use video.

Others use photography.

Estrada has chosen words as his tool of choice and he hopes you enjoy the day’s catch.

You can get your copy here: 🙂

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

Author of numerous poetry collections, J.D. has also written novels and short story collections.

 

About JD:

After years working in advertising, J.D. Estrada decided there were better ways to write fiction. Born on August 13th, he shares birthdays with Alfred Hitchcock and Fidel Castro… an interesting coincidence since his mom is Cuban and he loves a good story.

Truth be told, he always dreamt about being an inventor, he just didn’t know he’d end up doing it using words. Where some people choose to invent new products, he has chosen to invent worlds through words.

An avid reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy, throughout his life, he’s always loved writing and connecting with people. Mind you, although he loves those genres, his reading tastes are as eclectic as his musical passions. So from rock to salsa to classical music, he also reads and writes in a variety of genres and is just as satisfied writing a review or a poem as he is in writing his next novel.

His favorite band is Pearl Jam, he was born in Puerto Rico, he bodyboards and to him, playing a guitar is as therapeutic as a notebook.

He hopes you are doing well and that you enjoy your visit to any of the literary planets he has lovingly crafted.

Website / Blog
Amazon Author Page (Please check out his other books here)

 

On the Reef: The Shark’s Friday Feature

 

Hope Doesn’t Knock #WritePhoto

 

 

They say we should have hope.

Yet they take away everything that might make us feel hopeful. People seem content. I don’t understand.

One morning, after breakfast, I ask my father. He sits with me. Takes a breath. I think he is going to speak but he ruffles my hair. Tells me to enjoy my day. His eyes flick to the doorway.

I turn and notice my mother, watching us, wiping her hands on a dishtowel.

This is my cue to leave. When the door shuts, I see an ornament on the wood. This is not good for our family.

 

 

 

I’ve combined two prompts again this week:

#writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent which asks writers to use photos for inspiration (the photo above is this week’s prompt)

 

writephoto-logo

 

and Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: Content).

June 1, 2017 prompt: Content In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story write about feeling content.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

Featured On the Reef ~ Sacha Black

 

 

On the Reef is a series featuring fabulous indie authors from around the blogosphere and beyond. Titles, covers, and blurbs that catch my eye, new releases, great reads… Basically, authors I’d like to highlight and works I’d like to share with my fellow book-loving word nerds. Happy Reading!

 

New Release

 

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

How To Craft Superbad Villains

Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.

Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?

In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover:

+ How to develop a villain’s mindset

+ A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up

+ Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible

+ What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs

Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.

These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs. If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains.

Read 13 Steps to Evil today and start creating kick-ass villains.

Get your copy here 🙂

 

About Sacha:

 

Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.

Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.

When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

Website / Blog
Amazon Author Page

 

On the Reef: The Shark’s Featured Author