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How quick the end came (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

After the massive solar flare lantern usage skyrocketed. Candles too. Torches soon ran flat. Batteries were impossible to find. It wasn’t just that the power went out. All electronic devices became obsolete without the ability to recharge them and diesel-powered generators died when the supplies did. Those that required hospital care perished. Personal attacks started as soon as the power went out – long before food and water did. Transportation was impossible. Then the bullets ran dry.

So fast were we to destroy ourselves.

Within weeks the electromagnetic interference settled enabling power to be restored.

By then it was too late.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

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Word Count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

Behind the stack of household leftovers and the packed away art room, behind the bikes and crates was a false panel and behind that was another room. A secret room with a ladder down to a cave with an underground entrance/exit. I use it when I need to sneak out without being seen. My boss sends an amazon box to the front door, and I’d suit up and be gone in minutes, returning tired, drenched in alien guts and slime and ready to sleep for a week. The last tub contains the trophies of my missions. Washed clean of course.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

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Word count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Lost and Found (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Trish Nankeville

The red banksia bloomed like blood across the open bushland. Fire had burned them to the ground, but had also given them life, birthing spores that covered great distances creating this river of crimson. It made the perfect landing strip. I’d parked my spaceship at the source of the river where only wildlife dared to roam. The walk was brutal. Dusty and hot. Blackened trees from the last bushfire inferno formed a map of sorts that should lead me home. Hopefully my journey to this planet would bring a similar renewal to my incinerated heart. I’ll find him, I vowed.

This is a Friday Fictioneers prompt

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Word Count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Plan B (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © LIsa Fox

She said the building with the white cross. I race behind it and find … what is that? A ferry? Pontoon of some kind? On a trailer. Hands on hips I survey the location. Where the f*@# is the water? How is this my inconspicuous getaway vehicle? I blow out a breath and tap my broken travel portal wristband. Useless piece of future tech. Worth no more than the crap around here. I spy a tarp and yank it up. Now that’s more like it. I rev the dirt bike twice before the tingle of the transporter yanks me away.

This is a Friday Fictioneers prompt

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Word count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Cover Reveal: Boss From Hell

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

*screaming*

Here it is. COVER REVEAL for Boss From Hell. My new genre mash novel will be out late 2022. For the time being, let get the interest up! And of course, if you would like to be on the list for an ARC later in the year, message/email me. Boss from Hell is a supernatural mystery thriller with a hint of comedy and a dash of horror (includes a pinch of curse words to season). Heck, it’s just a good fun read.

I’m so excited to show you all the cover. I have been quietly screaming about this cover for while and keeping secrets is HARD!

Boss From Hell will be out late 2022.

Starting a new job can be murder…

Mig Solder’s new place of work is a little… odd. Sure, there’s unlimited free coffee, but there’s also personal messages that seem to have no sender, colleagues that don’t seem quite, well, human, and random emails warning her to run. Now. 

When she discovers her predecessors didn’t quit, they just disappeared, Mig decides to put her obsessive attention to detail to good use and investigate. With the help of her mysterious new neighbor, her spirit-contacting best friend, and her wild grandmothers, Mig uncovers a plot way above her pay grade. And once she starts dabbling in the supernatural, the consequences won’t just end in a bad performance review, it may just take her life – and her soul. 

I’d like to thank the amazing Pat Naoum and Red Tally Studios for this incredible artwork.

And without any more stalling, here it is…

Look up in the sky… (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

My new parents locked my ship in the rear shed when I arrived all those many years ago. It’s still there. At least the last time I sneakily broke the lock and checked. Dad doesn’t – didn’t – like me to talk about it. “Better that you get used to life here, lad. Keep those feet on the ground, huh?”

I miss that voice and his words of wisdom. Though I don’t always keep my feet on the ground like he wanted me too.

“Clark?”

“Coming, ma.” It’s good being home for the holidays this year. The stars are brighter out here.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more FF prompt responses here

Word Count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Review: Priest of Crowns (War for the Rose Throne book 4) by Peter McLean

About the Book:

‘Praise be to Our Lady of Eternal Sorrows, and blessed be the Ascended Martyr.’ Those were the words on lips of the faithful: Blessed be the Ascended Martyr, and woe betide you if you thought otherwise. The word Unbeliever had become a death sentence on the streets in those days.

Gangster, soldier, priest. Governor, knight, and above all, Queen’s Man.

Once, Tomas Piety looked after his men, body and soul, as best he could. Then those who ran his country decided his dark talents would better serve in the corridors of power.

Crushed by the power of the Queen’s Men and with the Skanian menace rising once more on the streets of Ellinburg, Tomas Piety is forced to turn to old friends, old debts and untrustworthy alliances.

Meanwhile in the capital city of Dannsburg, Dieter Vogel is beginning to wonder if the horror he has unleashed in the Martyr’s Disciples might be getting out of control.

With revolution brewing and tragedy and terrorism running rife in the cities, Piety and Vogel must each weigh the cost of a crown.

My thoughts:

Wow. Book 4, Priest of Crowns is the conclusion to the War for the Rose Throne series and it is explosively, earth shockingly good.

From Ellinburg to Dannsburg, Tomas Piety’s journey from gangster to Queen’s Man through books 1-3 is a violent political awakening that builds and then wraps to a satisfying conclusion in Priest of Crowns. Tomas has realized the horrifying truth of Dieter Vogel’s plans and has a choice to make. He knows the slightest misstep will not only end in his brutal death but in the deaths of all those he holds dear. In the past he ruled the Pious Men with an iron grip and would do anything to keep his territory and his people safe. His territory has expanded almost beyond his reach now, his people too numerous to count and are almost beyond his control. But Piety has always been a man of the people – the common people – and he will have to return to these roots to stay alive. He must be cautious where he puts his trust and the circle of those he can trust is growing smaller by the day. His intentions mean that circle will grow even smaller. Death stalks Tomas Piety. And he will stand face to face with death before the end. His choices, his decisions, his actions will affect everyone.

Peter McLean has a way of writing that sucks you in and keeps you turning the page. This series has been a must read from book one – Priest of Bones and McLean doesn’t disappoint with how the series ends. It’s a read that flows well, with tight writing that leaps off the page, action scenes that you can’t put down and emotional payoffs that fit with every character. And speaking of character, McLean’s characterisations grip you tight and won’t let go. Every character is driven by internal demons and remain consistent to who they are throughout. Every decision made by each character makes perfect sense and even when Peter McLean tells you exactly who and what they are their actions will still surprise you. 

I just want to tell everyone who enjoys a good, brutal grimdark gangster political intrigue military fantasy to read this series as a matter of urgency.

Peter McLean has written a truly brilliant series here and if you like Game of Thrones and The Godfather then get on this series immediately because this is better! It is gritty, brutal, dark and delightful.

You can read my reviews of the rest of the series below

Book One: Priest of Bones

Book Two: Priest of Lies

Book Three: Priest of Gallows

It’s time to go (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

She ate quickly knowing she couldn’t afford to linger. The mark had been called and she must answer. War was coming. Her job as a scout put her in hot demand. The codes in her pocket burned like they were already on fire. Her escort would arrive shortly. He’d ensure she got off the planet safely with the message she carried for the Queen.

“Kara.”

“Bullocks.” It was him. Why did it have to be him.

“I’m here to escort you—”

“I know. Bullocks.” It had to be her ex, didn’t it? With luck she’d be killed before nightfall.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

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Word count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Things unearthed (Friday Fictioneers)

@ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The image was of a time best forgotten. Finding it in the basement was a shock. We were huddled there in the hopes of surviving another planetary bombardment from the Tesh. “What is that?” My youngest asked.

“Oh, a painting love, of a time long ago when it was safe to walk the surface. Those things, they’re called seashells.”

“What do they do?”

“Look pretty, I guess.” I didn’t want the memories. I hoped for no more questions.

“Who painted it?”

Damn. The question I didn’t want. “My Aunt. She was gifted, but very mean.”

“Well, I love you, mommy.”

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more FF prompt responses here

Word count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Review: Blackbirch – The Ritual by K.M. Allan

About the Book:

After the devastating events at The Playhouse, Josh is once again grieving. Unwilling to put Sarah and Max in more danger, he vows to deepen his abilities alone and stop the mysterious threat Kallie warned was coming. But his powers aren’t as strong as they once were.

Something is siphoning his magick, and he doesn’t know where to turn. Can he have faith in Eve after her sudden reappearance? Or should he side with Sheriff Stevens, whose help comes with secrets the lawman isn’t prepared to reveal?

When Josh is faced with enemies—both old and new—he has a choice to make: fight the one who threatens to take everything from him, or put his trust in an enemy who promises to cast a ritual that will give everything back.

My thoughts:

Wow, this was so much fun. Book three jumps straight into the action. And boy there is a lot of action!

Magic and mystery abound as Josh attempts to deal with the events of book two and keep his friends out of danger, all while staying out of the grips of the monsters trying to take his magic. But all is not what it appears. Even the secrets have secrets in Birchwood.

Uncovering these secrets and staying alive will take Josh to the limits of his abilities. Unless he learns what he is fully capable of, he won’t survive. And that is just the start.

K.M. Allan has done such a wonderful job with this third installment of the Birchwood series. The story rips along at a rapid pace. All the old favorites are back, and we meet some new characters too. even the secondary characters (Sarah, Max, Eve and Sheriff Stevens) are complex and deliciously layered. The town of Birchwood, and in particular the woods, have a life of their own and are practically a character in their own right. The magic used within the series is well described, clever and seductive and a powerful tool that can be wielded by both sides. The emotional trauma experienced by all of the characters is written in a very realistic and believable way.

Just be careful of who you trust in Birchwood.

This series just keeps kicking goals. Love it!

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