Six Sentence Sunday: Death Comes

Today I offer you a bit from my latest published story, Death Comes. I belong to a writing site called Scribophile and they had a television writing contest. I choose Spartacus: Blood and Sand as my inspiration due to the death of its star Andy Whitfield. RIP, Andy.


Areus awakes with a growl in his throat. The tender spot on his skull thumps to the rhythm of the ceiling in his dank cell. Hot and confining, his fingertips brush the walls of the small space. A roar bursts through his lips and mingles with that of the maddening crowd somewhere beyond the stone encasing him. Heavy chains clank at his feet and the festering smell of his body cannot overpower the need to break free of his prison. The clash of steel on steel, and the screams of a dying man speeds the blood pumping through his veins.

The whole story is available to read on Golden Visions Magazine‘s site.


Life After NaNoWriMo by Suzanne van Rooyen

This week, I am happy to present guest blogger Suzanne van Rooyen. She has a success story I’m quite proud of. Turning a hectic NaNo Frenzy into a published novel. Enjoy!

Life After NaNoWriMo

by Suzanne van Rooyen

It started as all stories start, with a grandiose idea needing to be whittled down, distilled into chapters and syntax. My initial idea was for a short story of the tech noir persuasion (that’s yet another subgenre within the speculative fiction genre, think films like “Equilibrium” and “Strange Days”) but then something else happened.

A friend mentioned the strange and arcane acronym: NaNoWriMo. What is that? A rhyming poetry competition? National novel writing month – a month in which all aspiring novelists pound away at the keyboard to the exclusion of all else, desperately trying to reach the 50 000 word mark. When I first took on the 2010 NaNoWriMo challenge I never expected to meet the 50 000 word count, all previous novel writing attempts having faded before reaching 20 000 words. And I didn’t. I only wrote 32 000 in the month because November is academic hell month and exams and assignments kept interfering with writing time. However, I ploughed on into December and by January I had something resembling a semi-decent story of the tech noir, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, hardboiled detective persuasion.

Through a contact on DeviantART (great website for networking), I discovered Divertir Publishing – a small press looking for short stories, the original home intended for that tech noir short story, now a monstrosity of almost 80 000 words. I sent off the submissions package not really knowing what I was doing, hoping for a personalised rejection, expecting a form rejection and ready to accept that rejection as all writers must at some point.

Despite a bungled synopsis, the Acquisitions Editor requested a full manuscript and a few weeks later, the impossible happened. I received an email saying they wanted to publish it! They actually wanted to publish my manuscript! I was amazed, overwhelmed, exuberant, thrilled, but mostly terrified.

The ink was still drying on the contract when I received my first batch of edits, which resulted in rewriting the novel from 1st to 3rd person; a lot of work but definitely worth it in the end. My editor, Elizabeth Harvey and I worked for more than 6 months together, readying the manuscript for that final phase of typesetting, printing and publishing. After too many hours to count, my novel was ready, front cover done and dusted, printed and listed on Amazon.

So, my first attempt at NaNoWriMo resulted in a published novel. I wasn’t even going to try and top that this year, and I didn’t. I failed miserably and only managed to scrounge 9000 words, 9000 words of fiction that is. Again, November is hell month across all sectors as everyone hurtles towards deadlines before the Christmas holidays. As a freelance writer, November saw me inundated with projects, which is what I’ll blame for my measly word count – it definitely wasn’t because I’m a pantser, adamant I don’t need a detailed outline before starting to write.

So a bit about Dragon’s Teeth. I thought I was being very original when I started writing what could be labelled dystopian noir (a variety of cyberpunk) but it’s a genre that has been done by others such as Toby Ball in The Vaults. As Ball wrote in his the article, Writing Dystopian Noir, one can expect “tough, cynical protagonists, bleak settings, femme fatales, an atmosphere suffused with threat and violence… the sense that the protagonist is in over his head against forces that are bigger than he/she is and indifferent, if not actually hostile.” This is exactly what you can expect in Dragon’s Teeth. Here’s the back cover blurb:


You can never outrun your past…

After years of war ravage the globe and decimate humanity, civilization is revitalized in the city of New Arcadia, a cybernetic playground where longevity treatments promise near immortality.

Detective Cyrus, fond of fedoras and narcotics, is hired by Benji MacDowell, heir-apparent to an eugenics empire, to find MacDowell’s long-lost biological father. Employing his network of shady contacts within the underbelly of the city, Cyrus uncovers a murderous web of corporate corruption and political conspiracy with ties to the old Order, a tyrannical organization whose sole intent was perfecting the next generation of genetically engineered soldiers.

Now Cyrus knows too much and finds himself caught in the cross-hairs of super-soldier assassins while the dark secrets of his past snap at his heels, forcing him to confront the truth he’s been running from… and discover his own terrifying purpose.


There is life after NaNoWriMo, for both the author and the words crunched out in those hectic 30 days. It just takes hard work, dedication and a little faith to go from NaNo novel to published NaNo novel.

Dragon’s Teeth was released in November and is available as a paperback and eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository.

Evernight Publishing’s Midnight Seduction

Every writer has a character they really like. Maurizio is one of them for me. I can’t recall when I created him exactly or what sparked it but the name came easy. I don’t feel like I cheated the character by putting him in a short story. In fact, all the writing I did with the character won’t be wasted. In fact, I’ve come up with another concept and another character to compliment Maurizio. Since he was the last Nikash, other existed with him in his ‘younger’ years. I have a plan to create something bigger out of the idea I started. Let’s see how I do next year on my ‘finish a novel, you twat’ epic quest.

Now for the fun part. The time has come for Midnight Seduction’s release! It is available for purchase on Evernight Publishing’s site and Amazon.

Soul Reaver

by Kastil Eavenshade

Maurizio is a Nikash–part demon and part angel—the product of the Crusades when Heaven and Hell pitted their best warriors against each other. Able to walk the fine line between the two realms where humans dwell, he snatches the corrupted souls of humans for his demon master Lucretius. Unlike the demon who owns him, however, Maurizio has a soul of his own. When he finds a woman named Amanda whose purity is like nothing he’s ever touched in his long lifetime, he finds himself at odds with the rules Heaven and Hell have set for his kind. Will Maurizio defy his master and fight to remain in the human world with the one woman who has stolen his soul for her own?

Here’s an excerpt to chew on:

“What do you want?”

You, his mind thought to her question.

Her breath on his skin ignited a fire like nothing he’d ever felt. His fingers danced along her shoulder, seeking to touch just a small patch of bare flesh. He yearned to taste her lips.

Maurizio yanked her close, his hand slowly smoothing over her hair. She still smelled and felt the same as she had outside. He smiled. “Amanda.”

She jerked back. “I never gave you my name.”

“You are Amanda Delgrato and you are the most beautiful soul I’ve e ver touched.” Maurizio held onto her forearms and she struggled against him. He couldn’t lose her again. “This isn’t what it seems.” He held her tight, casting his eyes about the room. “It’s dark and sinister. You deserve better. Do you not feel it?” He yanked her closer and placed her hands on his chest.

Amanda trembled as her eyes roamed his body. “These tattoos are archaic symbols. What are you?”


Want to win a copy of Midnight Seduction? Leave a comment and an email address in this blog post. Want to see what the other authors are up to in the blog hop? Click on the links below to visit their blogs.

Alexandra O’HurleyLuxie RyderEmma ShorttKelly Yeakle
Carolyn RosewoodPepper AnthonyD. F. KriegerLondon Saint James
Anna KeraleighLila ShawLee Ann Sontheimer Murphy