Sneak Peek at Book Three of The Patch Project Series

Hey everyone, it’s Brittni Brinn taking over the blog today! I’m super excited to give you a sneak peek of Book Three of the Patch Project Series published by the fine folks here at Adventure Worlds Press! The book is called Where Long Shadows End, and we’ll be announcing a release date any time now!

Before I share the Prologue with you, I just want to take a second to thank everyone who’s entered the Fan Art contest so far! If you want to join this friendly creative contest, just post something based on the Patch Project series to social media with the hashtag #ThePatchProjectFanArtContest by June 30th. You could win one of the first copies of Book Three! You can find all the details here.

Here’s the opening to Where Long Shadows End! Hope you enjoy!

PROLOGUE

Isak looked around, disoriented. He was standing outside, facing a burned-up ridge that spilled out onto a flatline plain. The huge red sun hung heavy over the wasteland.

Had he skipped forward? Why? He tried to remember where he had just been, but came up empty. The desire was usually so strong when he jumped through time. Barely a second to blink between the wanting and the having. The curse of instant gratification.

Isak shifted his weight from his bad leg. Something snapped underfoot. Startled, he caught his balance and then froze. The broken, charred board was familiar. 

“Hello?” His cry echoed, no walls or trees to contain it. Sunset tinged the burned ruins around him red.

He knew this place. He recognized the board, part of a dining table he’d sat at hundreds of times. He knew that the square-cut logs sticking up around him used to support a two-story restaurant in the middle of a vast forest. He knew that he was alone and that everyone he loved was gone.

Before all that he knew could fully register, Isak heard distant footsteps coming up behind him. “What did I want?” he racked his brain as the footsteps drew closer. “What brought me here?”

The footsteps were right behind him. Isak caught a glimpse of a white streak in dark hair as someone familiar passed by. They continued for a couple of steps and then stopped, their back to him. They wore a leather jacket, mud-splattered jeans, hiking boots—nothing particularly significant. Maybe it was the way they stood with their hands deep in their pockets that gave them away. In addition to all the other things he recognized about this place, Isak recognized her.

“How long has it been?” he asked.

She stared beyond the ruins of Ulway’s Restaurant and Retreat Centre, out towards the wasteland. “This is what you wanted, isn’t it?” Pinot finally said, turning her ageless face towards him. “For everything to be over?”

Holiday Greetings!

It’s that time of year again! Lights, snow, hot chocolate, and books for everyone! We at Adventure Worlds Press want to wish you all a wonderful holiday and a hope-filled new year.

It’s been a kind of weird year for us: few to no book events to go to, uncertainty with what the months ahead will bring. But there was a lot to celebrate too! Christian Laforet started using a pen name, Ben Van Dongen released Break/Interrupt, and Brittni Brinn moved to Nova Scotia, all while working on upcoming projects!

[Image description: Eight books by Adventure Worlds Press are arranged on a green tablecloth accented by a red tablecloth set with a small Christmas tree made out of wire and beads and a painted wooden accent of a heart and a candy cane.]

2022 is going to be busy with releases from all of our authors. Keep an eye out for:

Christian’s upcoming releases with Eerie River Publishing and Timber Ghost Press

The release of Snow from a Distant Sky, the fifth book in Ben’s Novella Series

News on the third book in Brittni’s Patch Project series

And more!

Thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm for our books this year. It means a lot, and we’re looking forward to what the new year will bring!

Happy holidays!

The Secret to Writing a Novel

Welcome, readers, and especially writers searching for that ever-elusive secret of how to write a novel! It truly is the fountain of youth, the holy grail, the lost car keys for every writer looking to make that leap into the long-form of prose that has foiled so many seekers before! In trying to uncover this enigma, I consulted with the authors here at Adventure Worlds Press. Their advice will shock you! Do you dare read on, and at last reach the secret to writing a novel?

Are you still here? Good. Then let us continue.

I first approached Ben Van Dongen, the triple-threat of the company. Short stories, novellas, novels, he’s done them all! Surely he knows the secret to writing a novel? Let us see what he has to say:

“Writing a short story is easy. A monkey could do it in her sleep. You’re smarter than a monkey, right? Just write the thing.

Novellas require the kind of free algorithms you can download off the dark web. Usually Russian or Chinese in origin, expect to have to do some translating, but it’s not much more work than what the monkey does.

To write a novel on the other hand (a novel worth reading at least) you need to go to your local library. Give the librarian the secret handshake and a crisp hundred-dollar bill. They’ll take you to the hidden section where you can get a book to summon a demon. Make sure to get one with a really long name. The short name ones are bad at spelling.”

Ah, yes, the age-old bribing-a-librarian-to-reach-diabolical-novelistic-heights trick! But is this truly the secret to writing a novel?

I continued my search, next seeking out Christian Laforet. Recently signed on to a two-book deal with Raven’s Tale publishing, he would be the logical person to ask about the holy grail of novel writing. His comments:

“Marry someone with money. Lots of money. That way there’ll be no pesky day job to interfere with the writing of you masterpiece.”

Another solid piece of advice! Those day jobs, sucking the creative spirit from the genius novelist, ah! Best to seek out a wealthy partner and sponge off of them for life!

But again, I was not satisfied in my quest for the secret! As a last resort, I took to the deep, grim forest paths that lead to an abandoned cabin where they say at least three ghosts reside. I gathered my courage, and went inside, where I found C.M. Forest, roasting marshmallows over a space heater.

“Please!” I begged him, “My search has been so long! What, oh what, is the secret to writing a novel?”

C.M. Forest turned to me and said: “Write every day. Even if it’s only 500 words. 500 words a day will give you two novels by the end of the year.”

The horror! I ran from the cabin screaming and have never been the same since. My quest for the secret to writing a novel was all in vain!

Unless…

Do you know the secret?

Do you?

Cover Reveal – Break/Interrupt

Break Front Cover

I shared the cover of my new book, Break/Interrupt, over on my personal website, but I wanted to make sure to share it here, too.

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Glen Hawkes, who did the cover for the last book in the series, Broadcast Wasteland, knocked it out of the park again. Check out his website for his art, comics, and kids books.

The sample copy of the book is in the mail and I hope to have copies to sell in the next couple of weeks. I’ll make another short post when it’s officially available.

Break Banner 1

The Fifth Monday Four: Ounta – Part Two

By Christian Laforet

The fire swirled and crackled. A knot in the pine log popped, sending a small army of embers floating into the night. Aen, laying in his sheep-skin sack, watched as his mother stoked the flames. Tartara had only been in his life for a few months, but that time had been a whirlwind of instruction. She had taught him how to use his gift—to shift between the form of man and tiger—along with other useful traits. During all of those lessons, however, she had managed to carefully avoid his only real question: what happened the day the humans found him? Whenever Aen would broach the subject, his mother would give a vague, unsatisfying answer. His favourite being, It was so long ago, I cannot clearly recall.

Her refusal to shed light on that day, the day he went to live with the human tribe, had become so expected, that he stopped asking about it. That is why, while camped on the north road to Nythland, with freshly killed rabbit cooking over the fire with fat, lazy snowflakes danced to the frozen earth around them, Aen was shocked when his mother began to speak of the past without prompting.

“We had been travelling for many days before we encountered the group of humans. Your father, his name was Morga, felt that our safety lie in hiding amongst their kind.” As she spoke, Tartara, kept her gaze on the browning meat of the rabbit.

Aen pushed himself to sitting. “Why are you telling this to me now?”

Slowly, the woman, clad in a layered cloak, turned her attention to her son. “The event still hurts like a fresh wound. I would prefer not tell you at, but if we are going to continue on our quest, you need to know what happened.” Continue reading

Featured Author: Justine Alley Dowsett

We’re very excited for this month’s featured author, Justine Alley Dowsett. Besides being a fantastic writer, Justine is also owner and publisher of Mirror World Publishing.

You’ve heard us mention Mirror World several times over the last few months, but if you need a refresher course on just what Mirror World is all about, click here.

Justine’s writing is both deeply emotional and utterly fantastic. Although her books would be generally categorized as either science fiction of fantasy (or both!), her work is accessible and quite enjoyable for everybody, even those who don’t usually read such genres (Monsters!).

For the month of February, we’ll be bringing you an excerpt from Justine’s most recent novel, Unintended, a brand new short story and to cap it off, another except, this one an exclusive from Justine’s upcoming novel, Uncharted!

If you are interested in buying Justine’s books, you can do so at Mirrorworld.com, or if you prefer Amazon for your shopping needs, they can be found right here.

And make sure to check out Justine on Goodreads

The Fifth Monday Four: Ounta – Part One

Jason Abbott

Aen crouched in the brush, surveying the path that curved between massive redwood trunks and lesser conifers. The young hunter, no longer a child but still absent a beard, concealed himself beside a rotten and shattered pine. Having been there since dawn, dusk now deepened the shadows that filtered down from the towering forest canopy above.

Green eyes still focused on the path, Aen’s finger touched the knapped flint head of his best throwing spear. He left the weapon on the ground beside his knee to glance at the ash wood shaft of his second javelin. It leaned upright against the stump, beside a stout fighting spear.

Aen heard a shift in the birdsongs around him, and turned a keen ear to listen as the calls fell silent one-by-one. His gaze returning to path and forest, the growing hush was interrupted by a chittering treetop squirrel. He saw it drop a pinecone to the ground before skittering branch to branch.

His tanned limbs and back moved with a controlled, lean strength. Shifting his squat in a buckskin loincloth, Aen licked a finger and tested the air. Confirming he was still downwind of the path, he crouched deeper in the leaves and took hold of the spear on the forest floor beside him.

Slow, padded footfalls barely disturbed the carpet of orange pine needles upon the animal path. Yet Aen heard their approach, and eyed the bend that disappeared around a great redwood trunk. Continue reading

Monster Rabbit Test

Edele Winnie

“I knew you wouldn’t believe me.”  Allen said. His pale face was completely serious, even though what he was suggesting was ludicrous.

His skinny girlfriend Sheila shook her head, her long chestnut hair catching a shine in the light. “You’re right. I don’t believe you,” she looked again at the metal cage on the dresser and the small black and white rabbit that wiggled its nose within. “Bunny Hopwell wouldn’t hurt a flea.”

“I knew I shouldn’t have told you,” Allen said sullenly, brushing a lock of pale blond hair off his forehead. “You never believe anything I say.”

“That’s not true. Besides this is just a little too much- do you really expect me to believe that he turns into a monster at night?”

“Not every night. Just certain nights. I can’t tell if there’s a pattern.”

Sheila shook her head. “Nope. Don’t believe. How would you know this anyway?”

“I saw it happen. I had let him out to stretch his legs. A shaft of moon light hit him and he transformed into this big scary thing. His ears- he still had big bunny ears- they were touching the ceiling. That’s how big he was. And he looked- demented.”

This time Sheila laughed. “Stop it,” she said. “You’re just making it worse. “

Allen became pouty and it made Sheila laugh even more.

“Come on you big goof, give me a hug. I love you even if you do have a weird sense of humour.”

They cuddled on the couch for half a bit and then he wanted to watch a movie on TV. She fell asleep near the middle of the martial arts and bang bang flick and when she opened her eyes again the house was in darkness, and she was shivering and alone. Allen must have gone to bed. She padded to the kitchen to get a drink of water before joining her boyfriend and passed by the room where Bunny Hopwell’s cage was located. The little door was open and the rabbit was nowhere in sight. A long beam of moon light shone in through the window and caressed the green shag carpet. Continue reading

Down

Edele Winnie

Edwina almost fell as she ran to catch the elevator. Her yellow heels– a brave choice, bright yellow- were far too high and likely she caught them in a fold in the carpet or something like that. The apartment building was old and frankly pretty much everything about it was worn out, smelly and crappy. She managed not to fall though and changed that forward momentum into a comical hop, step, jump and then bang, she smacked into the elevator doors. They hadn’t been cleaned since Moses had used the elevator but there were still patches of shiny and after she’d regained her feet she checked out her reflection to see if anything had come unglued.

She was tall, really tall with the yellow heels, and wore a tight matching yellow dress. She thought of it as her Tweety Bird ensemble and she’d given herself extra long and full eyelashes to complete the effect. Her pale blonde hair was piled up on top of her head to make her look even taller. Her lips were red, her eyes brown, and the black dot beauty mark on her left cheek completely fake. She smiled. She always looked better when she smiled. Not bad. She was going clubbing, hitting the lounges and night hot spots on the strip where the cool people hung. She did not consider herself cool. She was hot stuff.

The elevator dinged like a stupid toaster oven and she prepared herself in case there was someone inside. Head high, shoulders back, padded bra out and one foot in front of the other because she thought it made her look curvy. The elevator doors slowly parted and sadly there was no one inside. Well, there was a smell, but it was a permanent resident in the elevator- Reminiscent of sweaty gym socks and dead squirrels. It was the kind of smell that makes you take the stairs, but that was impossible for Edwina in the Tweety heels. She dropped her facade and clunked clumsily into the elevator and pressed G for ground floor.

Nothing happened. She pressed the button again and more nothing happened. She was not going to walk down nine flights in her bare feet either, holding her shoes, so she punched at the button panel in frustration. She was a lover and not a good puncher and the elevator continued to do even more nothing. At least the smell was more tolerable with the doors open. Continue reading