Stuck in the Game
After a terrible car accident puts seventeen-year- old Noah Newbolt into a coma, he is hooked up to the innovative Dream Engine—a virtual reality helmet that immerses the player in an online fantasy game. The Dream Engine keeps Noah’s mind alive while doctors frantically work to heal his body, but dying in the game could send Noah back into a coma, forever. Meanwhile, Noah’s girlfriend, Sue, is suffering injuries from the same car crash, and the doctors grow confused when she seemingly fails to connect to the game. Then Noah encounters a mysterious avatar who suggests the last remnants of Sue’s consciousness are being held prisoner in the most dangerous part of the game. Noah takes it upon himself to rescue Sue, allying himself with a group of high-level players. But as he rises through the ranks, his high status earns him the ire of top players across the world. Can Noah stay alive—and awake—long enough to save Sue and escape the game?
Read Stuck in the Game here.
A near death experience changes Matt’s life forever when he discovers he has the ability to shatter objects with the emotions it brought on. However, in the city of Tandayum, these ‘Breakers’ belong to the Terriam organisation, a military company that controls the breeding program with the goal of enhancing their strength for political dominance. Witnessing first-hand how the company corrupts the lives of his friends and parents, Matt resolves to use his ability to work for Terriam, but as a double agent for The Underground, a liberation group where many Breakers have fled. His loyalty to their cause wavers when his relationship with a girl linked to the company becomes a game of cat and mouse hidden within a blossoming romance.
Read Shatter Sphere sample here.
Gods of the Mountain
Ever since losing the war against the Avaani Empire, the city of Tyria has become a hive of conspiracy and intrigue. Down on his luck, ex-lieutenant Faulk is taught a collection of symbols that endow him with special abilities by an old comrade. He is confronted soon after by Yuweh, a dark-skinned Lunari priestess from the hidden village where these powers originated. Yuweh takes Faulk with her in the hope of stopping the symbol’s powers from spreading, believing it could trigger the same ritual that created her gods.
After the assassination of a Tyrian Cleric, Inquisitor Mullen is ordered by the Earl of Tyria to uncover the culprit. However, upon studying the scene of the assassination, Mullen comes to the realization that the killer controls the powers of the ancient Lunari race. With one of his two assistants being incompetent and the other whispering conspiracies into the Earl’s ear, Mullen must simultaneously deal with the political intrigue and his court rival, General Conack, while also discovering the source of the power that is spreading through the city. Yet when Conack goes missing and his assistant’s whispers puts Mullen in his place as the Tyrian general, the Inquisitor will have to piece together events to find both the assassin and his master before he his crushed under the weight of his responsibilities.
Read Gods of the Mountain sample here…
Those Who Would Fight
The cool night air smelled bitter with the scent of corruption. Kessler envisioned the Lunari Symbol for enhanced sight and his vision changed so he could clearly see every detail of the city of Tyria spread out below him. His eyes skimmed over dark, mortared towers looming above the thatched slums. Squat buildings were crammed between towers tall enough that the splash from an emptied chamber pot could still hit the bottom windows. It was a fly-ridden corpse of a city, dead but not yet buried.
Perched on the roof of a high tower, Kessler watched as one of his target’s guards, who would have appeared as merely a speck to any normal human eye, entered his enhanced view. He was a man in white armor swiftly making his way down the stone path toward the whoring district.
Not the best place for a Cleric to be found dead.
He knew that the guards in the Loincloth brothel would be trouble even having wift, the Symbol for speed, planted in his mind. Despite this knowledge, he did not hesitate before stepping over the roof’s edge. Falling, he watched through enhanced eyes blurred from the rushing wind as the guard beneath him walked under the veiled archway of the brothel. Kessler envisioned the Symbol to decrease his weight, ari, lowering his speed to that of a drifting feather. Just as the white-clad man vanished inside, Kessler slowed in his fall, the tail of his black cloak billowing out behind him as he landed.
Looking up, he saw the Loincloth’s two bouncers staring at him with shocked, wide-eyed expressions. Kessler smirked as he envisioned the wift Symbol and drew out his two Sai-blades. He bounded between them as the blades landed in the bouncers’ necks and they fell limply on either side of the archway. Piercing skin with the wooden Sai-blade killed in an instant. Just as the Sai-organ sucked life from the earth to give strength to the massive trees they came from, so too did the blades carved from them steal the life of anything they cut.
Kessler hadn’t seen the bouncers fall. Dashing forward, he leapt and landed in a crouch on the long wooden table in the middle of the brothel’s bar. Men of all classes and creeds looked up as silence came over the room, with some at the table wearing the same white regalia as his target. He flung his arms back and envisioned the Symbol which manipulated the Sai-blades, a crossed arrow known as zex. The daggers dislodged from the bouncers’ necks and flew toward him, spinning onto his index fingers as he brought them up in front of him. He heard seats fly back and tip up from men’s backsides as the Cleric’s guards stood and drew steel.
Kessler threw his arms out, causing the Sai-blades to sink directly into the white cloth between two of the guards’ armored plates. The blades of the other two guards’ swords slashed downward in his direction but they only hit the wood of the table. The bewildered fighters looked up to see Kessler above them, his body spinning in the air as his cloak trailed behind his every movement like a flag. As the Symbol for ari faded from his mind it was quickly replaced with the crossed arrow before he changed the arrowhead’s direction. The daggers flew up into his waiting hands before shooting out again to seek new victims. He flipped back onto the floor behind the table, his Sai-blades once again returning to him. He counted six dead already, four spread across the floor in front of him and the two bouncers behind.
Kessler rose slowly and envisioned uon, the Symbol for strength. At the mere flick of his hand the heavy table flew from his path before smashing into the sidewall of the bar. People ran screaming from its path. He began to walk, his long, black cloak stained with the ale he had crouched in. Having been hidden in a corner of the room, the guard in white he had first seen entering the brothel ran screaming out from behind him with his sword raised. Kessler envisioned the Symbol for uon again and kicked out, his foot crushing the man’s breastplate like a tin can. He had assumed the kick would kill the guard but had not predicted the man’s corpse would fly through the plastered wall of the brothel and into the street. Kessler smirked and strode to the stairs that led up to the private rooms. No one was rushing at him now that they could see the almost perfect circle of dead guards spread around where the table had once been. As he arrived at the staircase, the single remaining white-clad guard seemed to weigh his odds for a moment and then fled through the door.
Better that than through a wall.
Feeling he would no longer need them, Kessler sheathed the Sai-blades under his cloak. Climbing the stairs that led up to two separate balconies, he envisioned the Symbol for hearing. He was suddenly blitzed with a myriad of sounds which, when he had been new to this ability, had been overwhelming and confusing for him. Over time he had trained himself to focus on only what he wanted to hear.
The familiar voice of the Cleric was blurred with every other sound at first but soon became clear to him. “… Did what to my men? Here?”
From the same upward direction he had heard the voice, Kessler noted heavy footsteps approaching. He looked up as the white-robed man came into view on the landing above and then looked down on him. Ptolemy was even fatter than Kessler remembered, his second chin alone showing the wealth he had gained from his betrayal. This thought quickly made way for the Symbol of ari. A single Symbol needed complete and utter concentration. He leapt up onto the staircase’s banister, jumping off it and landing with a flip onto the second floor. The fat Cleric cursed and retreated back into his room, his flowing robes no longer belted to hold in his fat, wobbling body. Kessler followed him through the sliding doors, seeing the young, frightened boy lying on the room’s sleeping pallet. As he entered he saw, not Ptolemy in the darkness, but the flash of steel in the light of a flickering candle.
If Kessler hadn’t kept his ears enhanced the ambush would have undoubtedly finished him. However, his knowledge of the trap wasn’t going to make it any easier to avoid. As quickly as his mind could work he used wift to dive away from the strikes. Rolling up onto his feet he turned to face the two remaining guards in the darkness. Obviously Ptolemy was paranoid enough to keep them even in his bedding chamber. Replacing the Symbol with uon Kessler ran forward, throwing the men through the sliding doors and off the balcony with a single push.
Then, as though only by instinct, he leapt up as he heard the broken doors hit the bar floor below. His instincts served him well, for as soon as he jumped, Ptolemy stumbled under him with a thrust from his own Sai-blade. The Symbol of ari that looked so much like the letter ‘i’ was replaced by the crossed arrow once again. The look of shocked horror that came over Ptolemy’s chubby face when his Sai-blade flew from his hand didn’t change until he turned to see Kessler landing behind him with the very rare and sought-after weapon now within his enemy’s grip. Even then it only changed into a look of bewilderment. As a result, Kessler found it difficult to take him seriously even at a time like this.
“Now give that back. You may be a killer but you’re not a petty thief, are you Kessler?”
Kessler was surprised by the effect a few dozen pounds could have on a man’s voice. He turned to the young boy still in the room with them, unmoving, as though frozen in fear from what he had just witnessed.
Sliding the extra Sai-blade under his belt, he murmured in his gravelly voice, “Get out.”
As though taking any opportunity he could get, Ptolemy turned to leave.
Finally getting the hint, the boy awoke from his trance, jumped to his feet and ran out of the room. Ptolemy stopped and shrugged, giving him a whimsical grin that reminded Kessler of older days.
“You can’t really blame me for trying.”
“I can!” snapped Kessler. “And I do blame you… for everything that has happened to this country. You must’ve been relieved that they kept their promises. Now you’re a Cleric and can get all the young boys you can lay your sticky fingers on.”
Ptolemy poked out his bottom lip and raised a fat finger. “And a lordship, but I assume that promotion is still being decided upon considering how long it has taken the Earl to summon me.”
“The Earl…” Kessler’s already heavy voice rumbled with hatred when hearing that title.
“We couldn’t have won, Kessler. This land would have been the Avaani’s within a year anyway, even if I hadn’t—”
“If you hadn’t betrayed us?” Kessler’s interruption cut through Ptolemy’s words like an axe through wood. “Have you seen what he has done to the land? What you allowed him to do?” He walked over and pulled aside the thin drapes from the open window of the third floor room, pointing to the barren wasteland that was visible over the wall between the high towers. “Look! Do you see any trees out there? No, because they cut them all down to make Sai-blades! You sold them this land and they have destroyed it! How can you be proud of that?”
Ptolemy was unaffected by Kessler’s words, his face turning solemn. “My pride was never as strong as yours, I’m afraid. If Lord Ganarak had won his duel maybe we could have kept fighting but—”
Kessler held up a hand to stop him. “But he didn’t and so you sold us out?”
As though still content with his decision, Ptolemy nodded. “This is a different world we live in now, Kessler. I was simply the only one with the vision to see it coming and yes, I took advantage of that. I saw the changes for what they were and acted upon them for my own benefit, what’s really so wrong with that?”
Kessler’s expression changed as his features darkened in shadow. “Nothing. But I wonder if you’ll have the foresight to see this coming as well.”
“Wait, what are you doing?!”
Kessler stalked forward, envisioned the uon Symbol and grabbed Ptolemy by his shoulder.
“Kessler come on, no, don’t!” the fat man cried, struggling against Kessler’s rock-like grip as he carried him to the window. “Kessler, no!”
Catching Ptolemy’s ankle up in his other hand, Kessler threw the fat Cleric through the opening. He watched the man’s quick fall end with a sudden stop as he hit the rock pathway in front of the brothel. It didn’t make as much of a mess as he had expected. Despite this, he was surprised at how quickly the guards posted in the area rushed to see the Cleric’s dead body. They had obviously been warned by the one guard he had let go and were now being ordered to storm the place to look for the Cleric’s assassin. Kessler had no intention of waiting around for them. He had done what he needed to do here.
Taking a few steps back into the room for a run-up, he envisioned wift again, the Symbol for speed. He sprinted toward the open window, launching into the air as he swapped that Symbol for ari. He soared over the open street, between two of the high towers, and landed softly on a tiled roof before he began running again. No one could catch him now that he was in free-flight unless they were on horseback. Even if they were, he could always take them out in a similar fashion to the guards he had killed.
Although being chased was always more interesting to him no one seemed to be following. It didn’t matter. His mind was calming again, wandering to other issues and goals ahead. Revenge on the betrayer was only step one. Step two was the drawing together of those who still remained true to Tyria, those who would fight like him if given the power. He hadn’t been collecting these Sai-blades for nothing, after all.