Ted Cross' The Immortality Game is #1 in Sci-Fi Cyberpunk sales on Amazon.com! "An absolutely riveting technothriller"
Moscow, 2138. With the world only beginning to recover from the complete societal collapse of the late 21st Century, Zoya scrapes by prepping corpses for funerals and dreams of saving enough money to have a child. When her brother forces her to bring him a mysterious package, she witnesses his murder and finds herself on the run from ruthless mobsters. Frantically trying to stay alive and save her loved ones, Zoya opens the package and discovers two unusual data cards, one that allows her to fight back against the mafia and another which may hold the key to everlasting life.
Do you love Lord of The Rings and epic fantasy? Do you love Dee Harrison's Firelord Trilogy? Need a riveting fantasy fix? We've got the perfect short for you!
This is a description for Foresight, written by Dee Harrison. The short can be found in Breakwater Harbor Books' newly released anthology, Gateways!
Riom - a world of crystals and magic
Dee Harrison’s Firelord’s Legacy series is based on the world of Riom, an earth-like planet in orbit around Salix, an aging red sun. Riom has two moons, Talior and Sipis: Talior is closer to Riom and appears larger while Sipis is not visible north of the Robanon mountains. Most of the story takes place on a single continental mass spanning several thousand miles. Environments vary from vast grassy plains to deserts, immense forests to frozen wastes. Animals are somewhat similar to our own and so have been called by familiar names. Some like the Sil, majestic deer-like creatures, or the fer-cats, large sentient felines, have no Terran equivalent.
The inhabitants of Riom appear similar to humans but with some differences. Most obvious is their ability to manipulate the planet’s energy flows, often enhanced by the use of crystal technology. These abilities, known as maisterie, or mastery, are hereditary and viewed by those not in possession of them as magical. Some powers of maisterie are considered to be active, others passive. A particular colour, or aura, is associated with each of the primes: red/coercion; amber/healing; purple/foresight; blue/defence; green/shapeshifting and indigo/weather-working. A few very rare people have a platinum aura indicating they possess a little of all the primes. There are also very many secondary talents, such as finding and far-viewing. Those people possessing maisterie are called runecasters, a reference to the words, or spells, that are chanted as they work. However, the words serve only to focus mental pathways and are not, of themselves, magical. A group of runecasters comprising all six primes is known as a ‘crown’.
The story included here can be viewed as a prologue to The Firelord’s Legacy and takes place a few weeks before the beginning of The Firelord’s Crown. It introduces several of the primary characters and shows the led-up to some of the main focal points of the series.
After a devastating misuse of magic the world of Riom shifts on its axis, initiating another Ice Age. Two thousand years pass before Tamilin, Master Healer and Seer, uncovers this truth. He learns that the only chance of saving his world from unrelenting winter is to reforge the Firelord’s Crown, the powerful artefact that was instrumental in the original magical battle.
But the circlet was divided up amongst six companions who took ship and headed for safety when their homeland was destroyed. During the voyage one of the ships vanished but the segment her captain guarded will be needed to complete the Crown. Tamilin believes that it may lie far in the uncharted north and dispatches an expedition in search of it...
In a medieval world, history and literature are transmitted orally by bards and folk sitting round fires in the evening. Duglys leans back against a log as fire light washes his face and he launches into a controversial racial and religious tale.
This is a description for Pivot of Fate, written by Lela Markham. The short can be found in Breakwater Harbor Books' newly released anthology, Gateways!
In a medieval world, history and literature are transmitted orally by bards and folk sitting round fires in the evening. Imagine a group of travelers in a caravanserie in the east of Celdrya in the world of Daermad. The travelers take turns telling tales while they digest their evening meal. The bard’s work next falls to a young teamster with wide shoulders and a pleasant smile. Duglys leans back against a log as the fire light washes his face and he launches into a controversial tale of racial and religious integration attempted and lost.
The rig of Clarcom said the neighboring and now-hated Kin massacred peaceful Celts at Ama’na, but Duglys was there and tells a different story involving some of the main characters of the Daermad Cycle.
Pivot of Fate
by Lela Markham © 2015
I mean to tell the tale of Ama’na, what the Kin called Peace River – for that was what they hoped to find there – peace with the Celt over a subject we could both agree upon … horses. It became much more than that, much better if not for … where people are involved you can never find paradise.
My name is Duglys and my father was a horse drover who took us to Ama’na when I was 12, hoping to breed better horses. Our family tumbled about for a good many years before we came to roost. I lost my taste for the rambling life at Peace River, but you do what you have to do in this world.
The Celt call it the Southern Confluence now, but the Kin – what the Celt call the Fey -- called it Peace River. That’s what Ama’na translates as, you see. That were the hope and it started well enough. The community had been growing for a few years when we arrived and they’d settled the worst of the conflicts.
When I say conflicts – you shouldn’t confuse the way it turned out with how it started. It were a beautiful place and beautiful people.
We called it Peace River because that were what we were after – peace. I don’t think anyone were looking for paradise, but they were hoping for a place where Celt and Kin could be friends and raise some wonderful horses. My mam would have said it were a good place to raise children – a place where young ones could run freely and even strangers wouldn’t harm them.
It were a wondrous place to raise horses. Ama’na were on the other side of the lake from Clarcom … far enough from civilization that there were no uninvited noses to enter our business, but close enough that we could take horses to market when we like. It were right at the end of a Kin trail … they’d used the meadows between the two streams for generations. Some of the early Celt settlers called it the confluence because the two streams – small rivers really – came together just off the mountains and then spilled toward the lake as one. The grass grew lush and green and the lake was filled with eating fish. It had everything a drover were looking for to raise horses and a nice community besides.
A 'Big Boy' named Burgundy and Leila, a tough blaster wielding hacker, take their revenge to the underground to clear Burgundy's name in Dyane Forde's Blind Alley! Can't get enough of Dyane Forde? Get ready for a Thrilling read!
This is a description for Big Boy Burgundy: Blind Alley, written by Dyane Forde. The short can be found in Breakwater Harbor Books' newly released anthology, Gateways!
Big Boy Burgundy: Blind Alley is actually the third installment of a serialized story. It has been modified to become a standalone piece in order to meet the requirements of this anthology. Fun facts: a writer friend inspired the story by providing me the prompt words burgundy, mycotoxins,
manhunt. That friend was amused
that, like him, Burgundy is big and bald,
owns a .500 magnum Smith & Wesson and a muscle car.
In the section presented, Burgundy has joined forces with Leila, a tough, smart hacker who’s as adept with punch-kick combinations as she is with a blaster. Though totally different, the two have come to respect one another, and have come to the point of gaining proof that Burgundy was framed for the governor’s murder. Of course, that doesn’t stop something unexpected from coming into the picture and tugging at Burgundy’s taut heart strings…
Big Boy Burgundy: Blind Alley
Leila shut off the hover car. The compressed air under it slowly thinned, lowering the vehicle until it came to rest on the pavement. Burgundy threw open the door and unfolded himself until he was standing on the curb.
“I hate small cars.” He said small cars like it was a cuss word. “And I hate hover cars more. Can’t feel the road, can’t even sense how fast you’re going.” He vigorously rubbed the muscles in his back and neck.
“They’re an improvement over the stinky, gas-guzzling abominations of the past. You know, the ones that wrecked the planet.” Leila pressed a hand to a panel, locking the nondescript, energy efficient car. Burgundy scowled at the slight to his beloved Shelby—the gorgeously curved metal lady he’d wrecked in a high speed chase the week before.
“Yeah, well, this bloody thing doesn’t even make any noise! You can’t even call it a car.”
“You’re right. It’s a hover car.”
Burgundy scowled again, but he was glad Leila was comfortable with computers and anything tech. It made things easier for him since he couldn’t stand the faceless machines that computed everything from key strokes, to how much food you ordered from the dispensers in the market, to dosing medicine in the pharmacy. Even how many squares of toilet paper you used to wipe your ass. Damned control freaks!
“I still say it’s creepy that the thing drives itself.”
“It’s a Smart Car, newest model out there.”
“So now they’re making cars that are smarter than people.”
“No, smarter than you. Because you refuse to use GPS, if you’d been driving, you would’ve gotten us lost four times over before finding this place.” Leila snapped on leather gloves and reset the skull cap over her straight, dark hair.
“You ready?” Leila pulled her blaster from her hip holster and placed her thumb on the micro screen. The minicomputer inside recognized her DNA. A blue line etched along the side of the barrel, signalling it was charged and ready to go. With a finger, she nudged a nearby tab, and the blue streak changed to green. The blaster was set to kill.
Burgundy grunted. He slid Big Boy from its holster and tilted it so the barrel and chamber glinted in the lamplight. The hard rubber handle of the .500 magnum Smith and Wesson rested comfortably in his hand. The feel of the grip was as familiar to him as the creases in his favorite leather jacket. Was he ready? “Hell, yeah.”
Burgundy started to rise from a crouched position to slide along the alley wall to the building situated at its end when Leila checked him by clearing her throat.
“One thing. Don’t do anything stupid this time.”
“This time?” Annoyance crept into his voice. Not because of what she had said, but because she was right.
With one hand, Leila reached up and pulled on the edge of his black jacket to bring him back down to eye level. Of all the women in the world, only she had the balls to drag this mountain of a man back to the ground.
“Look, Burgundy. I get it. You’re big and strong, and damn brave, too, I’ll give you that. After working together over the last few weeks, I figure there’s no one else I’d rather barge into an unfamiliar building with. You’re good with a gun and can turn anyone into a New City pretzel faster than that vendor on the corner of Eight and River. I know you don’t think you’ve got much up there--” here, she tapped him lightly on the forehead, “but that’s not true. You just have to take a second to think before dashing off into unknown territory. As much as improvising can get you out of a tough spot, it can also get you killed.”
Burgundy brushed her hand aside and stood up. He tugged on the front panels of his jacket with both hands, snapping the leather to straighten them out. “Thinking isn’t my thing. Shooting shit up with Big Boy and wrecking stuff with my bare hands, on the other hand--”
Ever heard the phrase ‘two whores is too many’? Love isn’t cheap and business is deadly. Lethal Black Book, a Melissa Simonson killer work!
This is a description for Lethal Black Book, written by Melissa Simonson. The short can be found in Breakwater Harbor Books' newly released anthology, Gateways!
Chelsea George is an oblique but important character in Pretty Waste. Dead long before the start of the novel, her role is that of narrator. Her attitude isn’t what anyone would consider sweet or pleasant—it’s rare for Chelsea to have a nice word about anyone, but she shares a special sort of aversion for one character in particular. In this short story, you’ll learn more about the why.
Youthful beginnings. They’re less aww-inspiring when you’re dead.
The woman sitting beside me isn’t someone I’ve met, but I still recognize her. And what she’s doing. Ever heard of the phrase two whores is too many?
Didn’t think so. I just made it up. Not one of my best. And I was feeling so quippy yesterday.
She’s pretending she can’t hear my delicate little ahems. Maybe she’s deaf. With earrings that look like doorknockers, I suspect all sorts of ear-related havoc is afoot.
“You’re poaching,” I tell her. Loudly.
Suddenly her hearing works, and she looks me full in the face. “Excuse me?”
“Yes, you’re excused.” I hook a thumb toward the exit. “Try across the street.” And good luck with that. This is the only bar around that doesn’t card religiously. My fake I.D. puts my age at twenty-one, three years off the mark, and I doubt she’s much older than me.
She flicks a brown wisp of hair off her forehead and gives me a look of phony bewilderment. Who, me? Whatever do you mean? I love this dive.
“I’m sure you’re a swell person, but I don’t need another distraction hanging around.” I point at the TVs in the corners of the bar and sweep the rest of the place with a hair flip. “I didn’t come to a sports bar to watch the Mets get their ass kicked. These tards can hardly take their eyes off the game. When they finally come up for air I’d prefer to not watch them have an internal struggle over whether they prefer blondes or brunettes.”
Too many options would be confusing. Hello, I’ve got rent to pay.
“Blonde?” She laughs, fingers her godawful earrings, and turns back to the television. “That’s the brassiest blonde I’ve ever seen. Steer clear of the drag queen salons. They’re not your friends if they send you off like that.”
Three mortals versus one planet-devouring horde. Existence is on the line. Just another day in the life… Do you love the NOVA series by Scott J. Toney? Want to see a planet splinter into space? Well do I have an anthology for you!
This is a description for The Fall of Eon, written by Scott J. Toney. The short can be found in Breakwater Harbor Books' newly released anthology, Gateways!
Eon. A planet like any other, rife with wars, science, and love. But at the peak of its civilization, a great meteor fell, bringing long-dead planetary essences that scattered across the planet, giving inhuman abilities to mortals while scarring their bodies and corrupting their lives.
Centuries later humanity is corrupted and the planet is dying, being devoured to its core. Three friends—the last living mortals of Eon—stand in the essences’ way.
Can they survive the planet’s fall?
The Fall of Eon is a Gateway into Scott J. Toney’s NOVA series. It takes place before the NOVA series and serves as a standalone work.
A young soldier in Iraq communicates with a girl back home in a magic journal. Do you love Mindy haig? Living in the Pages is one of her finest. Pick up Gateways today for FREE for this and much more!
This is a description for Living in the Pages, written by Mindy Haig. The short can be found in Breakwater Harbor Books' newly released anthology, Gateways!
My Gateway is from the novel Hidden in the Pages, which was published in November, 2013.
In Hidden in the Pages, Jantzen Burke was given a tattered old journal by his grandfather and told that the book could find his perfect match, the person he was meant to love. So while his life fell apart around him, he wrote in the magic journal and dreamt of a future with the girl who answered.
In the end, when the magical promise was fulfilled, he vowed to get rid of the journal.
But objects made of magic have a life of their own.
I imagined that journal’s journey as it made its way to the hands of the next man meant to write his words inside. It may have been dumped in a Salvation Army bin and traveled to another town in a collection truck. It might have fallen from that truck at another pick-up location. It might have been picked up by a child running for a school bus, and unknowingly dropped again. It might have traveled a thousand miles to be washed down a street in the pouring rain just to lie under a purple table outside a bakery on Harris Street as it waited for the next man in need of its magic.
And this is his story.
Living in the Pages
Objects made with the magic of love can never be destroyed. They simply disappear and find their way into the hands meant to hold them.
The rain was coming down in sheets. A heavy curtain of water pounded the cars, the sidewalk and me, as I hunched into the hood of my sweatshirt and plodded toward the drugstore on the corner. The automatic door opened with a faint whoosh, which was lost in the drumming of the storm outside.
Sun shower, my foot.
I pushed the dripping hood off my head, wiped the wetness from my face and pressed my palm to my eyes for a moment as I squeezed my temples and wished the pounding in my head would stop for just a few moments.
This place had a whole aisle dedicated to just one product. If only those little pills did actually kill pain. How great would that be? But no, they just dulled it for a little while, when I really needed mine exorcised like the unruly demon it was.
Oh, how I wish.
I squinted a little as I searched the shelves. A small sigh of relief escaped my mouth when I found what I was looking for. I didn't even wait to pay for them. I tore the box open, pushed, my thumb through the safety seal and swallowed well over the recommended dose of blue capsules in the hopes of stopping the wrecking ball that seemed to be crashing around inside my head.
The pills hit my empty stomach like I'd swallowed a fistful of lead pellets.
Can't get enough of Ted Cross? Is The Immortality Game the best thing since water on Mars? Pick up BHB's anthology, Gateways, today for FREE and delve right into his short work, Arrival!
This is a description for Arrival by Ted Cross. The short can be found in Breakwater Harbor Books' newly released anthology, Gateways!
“Arrival” is a story that bridges Ted Cross’ first two novels--The Immortality Game and The Shard—and it shares characters that appear in both novels. How does a cyberpunk thriller sit within the same universe as a traditional epic fantasy?
It started with a red moon. Made of an element not found in Earth’s solar system, this moon circled one of the nearest habitable planets to Earth. One of the effects of this unusual element is that people on Earth, depending on their level of attunement to the element’s power, can sometimes have visions of life on the moon’s world. Thus many tales and legends of Earth were not actually made up, but were instead visions or dreams that some people had. Those who are strongly attuned—Professor Tolkien, for example—have visions in much greater detail. His elves and other fantastical creatures are not exactly like those on the far planet, but they are close enough.
In The Immortality Game we meet a group of scientists that loves playing a virtual reality fantasy game and plans on being the first colonists to a recently discovered habitable world. They have no idea that when they arrive on that world they will find a real-life version of their favorite game, or that those very tales that they loved so much are in fact based upon life on this world.
An excerpt... For more download 'Gateways' for FREE in eBook on Amazon today!
By Ted A. Cross
Zoya first heard a faint beeping sound that slowly grew louder as her mind struggled toward consciousness. She considered opening her eyes to search out the source of the annoying beep, but reconsidered when she realized how oddly her body felt. In her mind she reached out to her limbs, her stomach, her beating heart, trying to understand what was different. Her body felt pristine and full of energy, making her feel as if she had been exhausted for years without her truly knowing it. She couldn’t recall ever feeling so refreshed.
Now she opened her eyes and blinked in what at first seemed the harsh glare of white lights, though after a few moments her eyes adjusted and the lights turned out to be standard panel lighting in the ceiling. A few inches above her face, a cocoon of thick glass was hazy with the mist of her breath. She reached up to touch the glass as if she wasn’t certain it was really there. A green light above the glass near her head blinked in time with the beeping noise. The glass coffin—as she decided to think of it—smelled faintly of chemicals.
She pushed up on the glass and was surprised to hear a mechanical whirring as the glass rose up and to the left along one edge, finally coming to rest in a perpendicular position. At the same time, she felt something detach itself from the slot interface behind her left ear. Zoya coughed and pushed herself to a sitting position. Good God, she thought. What the hell is this place?...
Want more of Ivan Amberlake's stunning The Beholder universe? Want a stand-alone glimpse at it? Pick up Gateways for FREE by BHB now!
This is a description for As I Wake (and See the World) by Ivan Amberleke The short can be found in Breakwater Harbor Books' newly released anthology, Gateways!
As I Wake (and See the World) is the prequel to The Beholder, a fast-paced action-packed fantasy series that introduces the readers to a world of the Sighted, a select group of people who have paranormal powers, abilities, and gifts.
For those who have already read the series, this story will lend more depth and detail, while for those who are new to my universe, it provides a glimpse into the conflict between the forces of light and dark.
This short story is different from the rest of the series as it is written in the 1st person, present tense. I hope that will make your read more enjoyable.
I’d like to say thanks to my friends (who are also terrific writers) Ted Cross, Yannis Karatsioris, Scott J. Toney, Paul Freeman, and Simon Paul Wilson for their invaluable edit advice and unwavering support.
An excerpt... For more download 'Gateways' for FREE in eBook on Amazon today!
AS I WAKE (AND SEE THE WORLD)
by Ivan Amberlake
Angry clouds scowl at me. They’re the first thing I see when I open my eyes.
Clouds above me.
A hard surface below me.
I can’t hear any cars. Just the wind.
I stare at the clouds. They’re strange. They don’t move, even though the wind shoots past me.
The back of my head throbs, my skull about to split in two. It hurts so much I close my eyes, listening to the wind. My left ear is clogged like someone has pushed cotton wool inside. My forehead hurts and I swear there’s something sticky smeared over it.
I’m not sure. My arms won’t move so I can’t check it.
Where am I?
The monochrome sky frowns at me, as if accusing me of something I did but can’t recall. As I try to think of how I ended up like this, lying in the middle of nowhere, my brain refuses to function. I force my eyes left and right, up and down, but all I can see is the clouds, hovering, unmoving, threatening to pour with rain.
They are unlikely to tell me a thing.
There must be something for me to remember. My name? Or where I live.
No. No idea.
As my senses kick in, I smell something burning. Heat washes over me and I push myself away.
Gateways, Breakwater Harbor Books' 2nd Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Crime anthology, has released! Featuring gripping authors from around the globe!
Featuring gripping Independent authors from around the world, GATEWAYS is the second collection of short works published by Breakwater Harbor Books. Compiling heart-pumping tales of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Crime are nine stories that will thrill you, rivet you, and some will even make you sleep with the light on.
As I Wake (and See the World) – He wasn’t supposed to survive. But he did. Now the Dark Ones are after him.
Arrival - Zoya's mind is hijacked and her clone wakes to find she has no choice but to be a colonist on a new planet.
Living in the Pages - Hendrix Massey wished for a dream on a desperate day as he sat in a deli on Harris Street. What he got was magic.
The Fall of Eon - Three mortals versus one planet-devouring horde. Existence is on the line. Just another day in the life…
SCOTT J. TONEY
Lethal Black Book - Ever heard the phrase ‘two whores is too many’? Love isn’t cheap and business is deadly.
Blind Alley - In a high-tech future, low-tech ex-operative Burgundy sets out with Big Boy, his .500 Magnum Smith and Wesson, and Leyla, his capable techie partner to settle a score and clear his name.
Pivot of Fate - Ama’na was a grand dream of Kin and Celt seeking peace from ancient prejudices until a fell moon and desire tore it asunder.
Foresight - Falath believes he has free will. Tamilin knows differently.
Incident in Class 4666 - A normal Monday at school for Emi Matsumoto and her classmates: History, Math, Art, and a prophecy of Hell on Earth.
SIMON PAUL WILSON
Gateways is a step into the novel realms of Breakwater Harbor authors. Each work is a standalone, giving a gateway into the larger work it was inspired by.
The Breakwater Blog is run by our authors. Here you will find insights into the inner workings of our authors' minds and information on upcoming releases.
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