Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Morbid Metamorphosis - A Horror Anthology



I had the honor of doing a book trailer for "Morbid Metamorphosis - Terrifying Tales of Transformation." The horror anthology is due out this June by Lycan Valley Press. 

https://youtu.be/yO2xcq0FoXo

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A book trailer for Pursuing the Dead

Even though it's a year or so away from being released, I've put together a book trailer for Pursuing the Dead.

https://youtu.be/VztFXc-QiPU

Friday, March 11, 2016

Pursuing the Dead - The third story in my Jacob Schmidt series



My story, Pursuing the Dead, has found a home with MuseItUp Publishing. This is an interesting story because it's both a sequel and a crossover. It's technically a sequel to my dark fiction story, The Landfill, but it pulls characters from my Jacob Schmidt series as well. It's due out in the spring/summer of 2017. This is the cover for the print book. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A flash fiction "Jacob Schmidt" story



Since my Jacob Schmidt character is quickly turning into a series, my plan is to post flash fiction pieces every once in a while that relate to the character (as well as his partner, Dinah Peterson). Below is a story titled Scare Tactics.

“Scare Tactics”

“You’re certain he’s here?” Dinah asked, sitting in her car along the street.
Dinah’s business partner, Jacob, spoke into her earpiece. “Is there a gray Honda Accord in the driveway?”
She looked. Sure enough, a vehicle matching that model was parked along the side of the garage. “Yes.”
“Then he’s there. I just tailed him from work. I’m hanging back a couple of blocks.”
Dinah exited the car with a large envelope in hand. She didn’t care much for this part of the job, but private investigators were often used as process servers, especially when it involved difficult individuals. A local law firm contacted her and Jacob after an attorney service company they used failed to serve the man.
That was the firm’s first mistake. Attorney service employees only got paid when they successfully served papers, so they concentrated on volume and not etiquette. More times than not, they’d bang on doors and tip off people with their behavior. It was still effective when you were dealing with your average Joe, but it rarely worked with higher profile people. They could smell servers coming a mile away. The firm needed the man as a key witness in one of their cases, but now he was being evasive.
Dinah walked the length of the driveway, making her way to the covered front porch. It was your typical suburban house in middle-class America. Normally dressed in a business suit, she wore blue jeans and a cream blouse. Jacob thought a woman would be less threatening, particularly a casually-dressed one. Dinah agreed, so she went along with it, even letting her hair down.
She climbed the steps, trying to make as little noise as possible. Though Dinah was normally calm and collected, she could feel the perspiration building beneath her armpits. With her heart rate accelerated, she took a big breath and put her ear to the door. Dinah heard a male and female talking inside—a good sign.
Dinah put her fist to the door. Without being too aggressive, she knocked loud enough for them to hear. The discussion on the other side of the door quickly came to a halt. She waited thirty seconds or so before knocking again. Still no answer, and the silence continued. Dinah gave them a minute, but they were clearly avoiding her.
“They’re not answering,” she said.
“As expected,” Jacob said.
“I’m positive he’s in there, though. I heard voices.”
“Can you get a visual?”
Dinah descended the steps and stood in the front yard, staring up at the house. A couple of minutes passed, and then she noticed movement in one of the second-floor windows.
“I just saw a white male… bald… on the second level.”
“That fits the description,” Jacob said. “Make the call.”
Dinah took out her cell phone and tapped the screen. “I’m calling now.”
“Let it go to voice mail, and make sure they can hear you inside the house.”
She’d called Jacob’s office phone, and she waited for the beep before speaking.
“Hi,” she said with a booming voice. “This is Dinah Peterson. I’m at 2789 Gateway Road. Mr. Silva is definitely home, but he’s refusing to come to the door. I think we should start preparing an Affidavit of Attempted Service. He’s obviously evading our service.” She paused. “Yes. I think it’s time to request Substitute Service. I realize this will add to his court costs, but there’s nothing I can do.” Dinah stopped again as if someone on the other end were speaking to her. “I know. It will cost him several thousand dollars, but he’s not cooperating.” She nodded for a few seconds. “Thank you.”
Dinah terminated the call and looked back at the street, pondering her next move.
“Nice,” Jacob said.
Before she could respond, Dinah heard a jiggling noise behind her. As she turned, the door opened, and a male appeared.
“Can I help you?” the man said.
Dinah approached the door. “Frank Silva?”
The man hesitated. His body language didn’t reveal anything either. “Yes,” he finally said.
Dinah extended her hand, and Frank cautiously took the envelope.
       “Thank you,” she said. “You’ve been served.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Free Short Story - Azalea's Choice

Below is a short story titled Azalea's Choice. It touches on a very sensitive subject, but the point of it isn't whether it's right or wrong. It's about the tough choices we often have to make in life. This was done for a very specialized theme. Though the publisher liked it a lot, they couldn't move forward with the project, so I'm posting it here for people to read. 

Azalea’s Choice

“Do you see anyone?” Azalea said.
Azalea’s sister, Evelien, peeked through the blinds. A soda can fell to the floor as she bent over to get a better look, the trailer’s kitchen sink and counter filled with garbage and debris. “No.”
Azalea moved to the opposite side of the trailer and sat next to her husband on the couch.
Hugo rested a hand on her leg. “Everything will be fine.”
Azalea took little comfort from those words, continuing to stare at her sister instead. Every time she looked at Evelien, she felt as if she were gazing into a mirror. Though a few years apart in age, the two could pass for twins. Dark hair flowed halfway down her back, and Evelien’s brown eyes complemented her bronzed skin tone.
“How are you feeling?” Evelien asked, backing away from the window.
Azalea swallowed. “Okay.”
She wasn’t, though. Azalea’s heart fluttered. Sweat beaded on her forehead, and her breaths were quick and shallow.
“You should drink some water,” Evelien said.
She opened a cupboard above the sink, the door nearly coming off one of the hinges. Evelien found a glass and held it under the faucet. Azalea watched as a murky liquid filled the glass. Evelien glanced at her with a concerned face, then dumped the water down the drain.
“We have some bottled water in the back,” Hugo said. “I can get it.”
“No,” Evelien said. “I’ll get it.”
Trash littered the floor, nearly causing Evelien to slip. She disappeared into the back bedroom, and Hugo squeezed Azalea’s leg.
“We shouldn’t have to live like this,” she whispered to him. 
“I know. I promise it won’t be like this forever.”
Azalea had heard those words before. She wanted so much to believe it, but her faith had dwindled in recent weeks. It’s why she was forced to make the hardest decision of her life.
“Do you hate me?” she asked.
“Why would you say such a thing?” Hugo wrapped his arms around her.
“I know how much you want a child. I do, too … eventually … but no child of ours should have to be raised like this.”
Hugo pulled her close. “It’s our decision. You don’t have to justify it.”
A tear descended Azalea’s face, and she quickly wiped it away as Evelien appeared.
“Here, sweetheart,” she said, handing Azalea the bottle.
Azalea forced a weak smile. “Thank you. Shouldn’t Dom be back by now?” she said after a long pause.
Like everyone else in the compound, Evelien’s husband Domenec had to work in order to live there. One edge of the facility, which divided Mexico and Texas, was fenced off, while a huge wall had been erected on the other side of the complex. It kept people from entering what eventually became known as “Free America.”
 Those who lived in the compound were only allowed beyond the wall on two occasions: a medical emergency or employment. However, only a select few were permitted to work in Free America, Dom being one of them. He’d passed the rigorous screening process all citizens were subject to prior to receiving their job assignment. The government found him to be a low flight risk and granted him this special privilege.
“Don’t worry,” Evelien said. “He’ll be here.”
“I’m sorry,” Azalea said.
“For what?” Evelien stared at her.
She found it hard to maintain eye contact with her sister. “For putting you and Dom in danger.”
Evelien knelt down in front of her. “You’re my baby sister, and Dom loves you like his own blood. You know we’d do anything for you and Hugo.”
Azalea bobbed her head. “I know, but we could be deported if we go through with this. Maybe even jailed.”
Evelien kissed Azalea on the head. “Whatever happens, we do it together. Okay?”
Azalea nodded again, a sense of pride and contentment rising up inside of her. A knock came, two knocks to be precise, startling Azalea and forcing Evelien to turn.
“That should be him,” Evelien said. “He said he’d knock twice.” She stood and put an eye to the blinds just to make sure.
“Dom?” Azalea whispered.
Evelien nodded and opened the door. Dom stepped inside wearing jeans and a flannel shirt, quickly closing the door behind him. Tall with parted black hair and a smooth face, Dom always looked and acted in a very professional manner. It’s probably why he was allowed to work outside the wall. He carried himself much differently than most men Azalea knew, including her husband.
“Sorry I took so long,” he said. “The drone patrol is pretty heavy this time of the day, so I didn’t want to look suspicious or attract too much attention.”
“I’m just glad you’re here,” Evelien said, hugging Dom. “Please tell us you have good news.”
Dom broke away from Evelien and walked over to the couch.
“We gave you everything we had,” Hugo said. “Was it enough?”
Dom took a clip of money from his pocket, offering it to Azalea.
“He didn’t take it?” Azalea said with alarm.
“He didn’t want it,” Dom said.
Evelien sidled up to him. “What does that mean?”
“It means he’s going to report us.” Azalea had no intention of hiding the fear in her voice. “They’re probably coming for us now.”
Dom shook his head. “No. I don’t think so.”
Azalea didn’t understand. “How can you say that?”
“Doctor Lawson is an outsider, but he’s someone I trust. He’s sympathetic to our situation.”
“Then why—”
“He didn’t take the money,” Dom said, interrupting Azalea, “because he doesn’t need it. He said you need it more.”
“But he’ll still help us out?” Hugo asked.
Dom’s demeanor didn’t change. “Yes.”
Azalea stood up and hugged him. She wasn’t happy by any means, but the news brought a sense of relief. “You’re taking a big risk, Dom. Thank you.”
Hugo and Evelien joined in, the four of them embracing one another. When they separated, Dom spoke again.
“You’ll go in tomorrow morning. We’ll say you’re experiencing abdominal pains and that you’re in your first trimester. Dr. Lawson will handle the procedure. He’ll report it as a life-saving measure under the circumstances.”
“Thank you, brother.” Hugo extended his hand and Dom grasped it.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” Dom said. “We have to play this right, but I’m cautiously optimistic.”
“Thank you, baby.” Evelien kissed Dom on the lips.
Hugo gave Azalea a peck on the cheek, and she rested her head on his chest. The painful reality of terminating her unborn child in a few hours’ time threatened to eat away at her from the inside out. Azalea would no longer have this life inside of her, the life she and Hugo made together. It brought fresh tears, but imagining the pain and suffering their child would undoubtedly suffer in such a cruel world outweighed the alternative. Maybe in time she would learn to live with herself again.
And that’s when it came…
      Another knock at the door. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

It's release day for Vargrom!


Vargrom: Modrad's Exile is now available for Kindle, etc. If you have purchased a copy of the book, please let me know, and I will offer you a choice of free gifts. Either a copy of The Fire King, which is where we first meet Modrad, or a copy of the audio book for Vargrom. 

Book Trailer:

https://youtu.be/nAbcMA-NvhI

Amazon Page:

http://www.amazon.com/Vargrom-Modrads-Exile-Kevin-Hopson-ebook/dp/B01B554WNE/ref=la_B006XVDMT6_1_1_twi_kin_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456238110&sr=1-1

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A follow-up to Delivering Jacob



I'm happy to announce that I just signed another contract with MuseItUp Publishing. My short story, Children of the Snow, will be a follow-up to Delivering Jacob. I wouldn't call it a true sequel since it takes place a few years in the future and it falls under a different genre (dark fiction), but detective Jacob Schmidt will be back. I also put together a teaser trailer for the book, which you can view below. 

https://youtu.be/KIp2XrBYk2w 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Flash Fiction Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who read my flash fiction piece "There's No Time Like the Past" and took a stab at summarizing the story. Terri Bertha came the closest to solving the mystery, so she wins a $20 gift card from MuseItUp Publishing. Below is my interpretation of the story, though all of you who commented made some very interesting theories and your ideas would probably make a better story than mine. 

Despite the title and appearance of Daniel, this is not a time-traveling story. It takes place in the present day. Taylor and Scott witness some sort of UFO, and they both fall ill shortly after their experience. The air raid siren comes and goes with Daniel. Daniel is Taylor's grandfather (WWII veteran), and his ghost shows up to help lend a hand. The blinding light is a result of the UFO leaving, which forces Daniel to go as well. Realizing that Daniel was actually his grandfather, Taylor is certain he's looking out for them, giving him hope that they'll make it back home safely. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

"Three Wrongs" by Chuck Bowie



This is the first book in Chuck Bowie's "Donovan: Thief for Hire" series. The third book just released last week. 

"Sean Donovan is doing all right; he has two offshore bank accounts and an American one as well and all three are filling up nicely. His network of clients know his business plan: he is willing to acquire whatever rare or inaccessible product is needed, be it the security plans to an art gallery, a rare Etruscan goblet or a recorded conversation from a former American President. And he will steal it and deliver it to them, no questions asked nor answered.

But he is becoming dissatisfied. In addition to the physical wear and tear inflicted on his body by adversaries, he is now becoming weary of the toll his newly-discovered conscience is exacting from these highly illegal exploits. A series of lies to his most recent client has caused him to think about the impact of his deeds and he doesn’t like how it makes him feel. An idea begins to form; what if he was to undo his last three wrongs? And what if he nevertheless wants to benefit from turning over this new leaf?

This story follows Sean Donovan as he travels from Bucharest to London to Montreal and New York. Will he repent his wicked ways? Will he quit the business before those who he has wronged catch up to him? Will he discover that three wrongs don’t make a right?"

Book Trailer:

https://youtu.be/fBEzDgVc3tU

Amazon Page:

http://www.amazon.com/Three-Wrongs-Donavan-Thief-Hire-ebook/dp/B00BACRDMU/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1454693283&sr=1-3&keywords=three+wrongs

Friday, February 5, 2016

Final installment of Vargrom: Modrad's Exile



Here is the complete first chapter of Vargrom: Modrad's Exile. 

Chapter One

            “Modrad,” a muffled voice called out.
            The dwarf thought it was a dream, but the pain felt real enough. Putting a hand to his head, Modrad rolled onto his back, letting out a groan. He felt the unforgiving wood beneath him, the noticeable discomfort still no match for the throbbing inside his skull. Modrad lifted his eyelids, but the intruding light of a nearby lantern forced them closed again.
            “Modrad!” The visitor put fist to door this time.
            His eyes shot open but not because of the banging. Something moved up through his throat, demanding to be released. Modrad quickly turned over and got to his knees. The dwarf vomited, the contents spattering the floor. Modrad never did make it to bed after arriving home from the tavern. That much had become certain.
            A dwarf rarely needed incentive to drink, but the prior day’s events begged to be washed away, so Modrad had taken on that challenge with a vengeance. Somewhat relieved, he managed to get his feet under him, though he stood with a clear lack of confidence. Another bout of door pounding ensued.
            “Enough already,” Modrad rumbled.
            Brushing past a clothes line, he made his way to the front of the house. Modrad grabbed a lantern, which hung along one of the walls, and opened the door. A male, one old enough to be his father, stared back at him.
            “Onoir Lightfoot?”
            “I know,” Onoir said. “It’s been too long.”
            Modrad gasped. “Not long enough if you ask me.” He turned his back to Onoir and walked toward the fireplace.
            “May I come in?”
            “You might as well,” Modrad replied, snatching a stool and taking a seat. “You’ll only wake everyone by staying out there, and I have enough problems to deal with.”
            Onoir entered, gently closing the door behind him, the elder’s face becoming more apparent in the light. Heavy wrinkles weighed the skin beneath his beady, blue eyes, and Onoir’s once youthful beard, shaven only at the chin, had turned a whitish gray. He even required a wooden staff to help him walk.
            “Why are you here?”
            “I have news.” Onoir temporarily looked away, apparently spotting the puddle in the far corner of the room. “Not feeling well?” He glanced back at Modrad. 
            “You’re very observant,” Modrad said, meeting his gaze.
            “I anticipated this.” He pulled a small flask from his sack and held it out. “Take it.”
            “As tempting as it is, the last thing I need is more ale.”
            “Does this look like ale?”
            Modrad squinted, taking hold of the bottle to get a better view. “Honey.”
Onoir nodded.
“This should help.” Modrad hesitated to spit out the words, especially when they were aimed at a hill dwarf. “Thank you.”
“Some honey tea will do you good. Allow me.”
Onoir found a mug and other utensils on the fireplace mantle. Using a ladle, he scooped hot water from the massive fire pot and dropped some honey into the cup. He placed the tea at Modrad’s feet.
“Give it a few minutes to cool,” Onoir said.
“You said you have news.”
Onoir bobbed his head. “Yes. It travels fast around these parts.” He paused. “The council has already voted.”
Modrad’s muscles tensed. “How do you know?”
“I still have connections here, even after the death of your father.”
Though Modrad didn’t like to think about his father, and would rather forget him altogether, Onoir had always been a trusted confidant. He would never admit it when growing up, or even now for that matter, but Modrad often had more faith in Onoir than his own flesh and blood.
“I gather the news isn’t good if you’re paying me a visit.”
“I’m afraid not,” Onoir said, shaking his head. “They’ll summon you first thing in the morning.”
Taking a deep breath, Modrad picked up the tea, its heat initially stinging his tongue. “Is it the only reason you’re here…to warn me?”
“No. Warning you makes no difference. I’m here to help.”
“How can you possibly do that?”
“By offering you an invitation.”
Modrad took another sip of tea, the temperature turning more manageable. “I don’t understand.”
“As much as you despise your father, he always had your best intentions at heart. Prior to his death, I gave him my word I would look after you in times of need.” Onoir put a hand on Modrad’s knee. “Come to Dhun Faldur with me.”
“Have you gone mad?”
“Why would you say such a thing?”
“Because I would be seen as a traitor. No mountain dwarf has ever left Vargrom for the hills of Dhun Faldur.”
“Are you sure of that?”
Onoir’s inquiry made Modrad uncomfortable, forcing him to stand.
“Our people are not enemies,” Onoir said.
“Nor are they allies.” Modrad spun around, resting his tea on the mantle.
Even with his back to Onoir, Modrad could sense his displeasure. He heard the elder exhale.
“Yet your father and I were close friends. I’d like to think you still consider me one.”
Modrad refused to look at him. “Even if I do, it wouldn’t justify the action you’re suggesting.”
“I see.” Onoir took a few seconds before continuing. “So, that’s it? You’re heading off to Coalfell to fulfill your mission?”
Modrad eventually found the strength to face Onoir. “I’m not done here. Vargrom is my home, and I will bring change to it, even if it means taking down the council myself.” 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Flash Fiction Giveaway - Win a $20 MuseItUp Publishing gift card

Like last week's contest, I want to keep things fun and interactive. Below is a flash fiction piece I recently wrote. The first person who can accurately tell me what the story is about will win a $20 gift card from MuseItUp Publishing, which can be used to purchase books from their online store. You don't have to go into too much detail...just a brief summary of what you believe the story is about. This contest will run through Sunday evening (February 7) unless someone answers correctly prior to then. Thanks and good luck!


“There’s No Time Like the Past”
by Kevin Hopson

“My head hurts.”
Taylor looked at his son, Scott. Sweat accumulated along the boy’s forehead despite a deep chill in the air. Light trickled through the forest canopy, but darkness would soon engulf them, making the trek even more difficult. To make matters worse, Taylor felt the same. His head throbbed, and he felt a cold sweat developing as his stomach muscles tightened. However, he hid his afflictions from Scott. He needed to be strong. Dizzy and off balance, Taylor righted himself. 
“We should rest.”
“I don’t need to,” Scott said. “It’s just that I’ve felt weird ever since we saw it. Like it did something to us.”
Taylor nodded. “It could be anxiety,” he said, only half believing his words.
“Maybe.” Scott gazed at him, offering a weak smile.
Taylor grinned. He touched his son’s forehead with the back of his hand, a sense of relief washing over him. “You don’t feel warm, so I don’t think you’re running a fever.” The boy rubbed his belly. “Is your stomach bothering you, too?”
“I can make it,” he said after a long pause. “I just want to get home.”
“Me, too, buddy.” A noise in the distance broke Taylor’s concentration.
“Dad, do you hear that?”
“Yeah.”
“What is it?”
Taylor took a few seconds, allowing his ears to track the sound. “It can’t be.”
“What?”
“It sounds like an air raid siren.”
Scott exhaled. “Like the ones on TV?”
Taylor bobbed his head. “I know the town used to have one, but I’ve never heard it before. It must be seventy years old.”
The boy’s breathing accelerated. “Is the town under attack?”
“I don’t know.” Taylor had no time to think because something else caught his attention. Leaves crumbled, twigs snapped, and a small evergreen waved back and forth. “Who’s there?” Taylor couldn’t suppress the panic in his voice.
A man moved into the clearing.
“He’s got a gun, Dad!”
Taylor noticed a rifle over the man’s shoulder and pulled Scott close. Dressed in an olive green outfit resembling military apparel, the man was clean cut with short hair parted down the middle. He looked fresh out of high school, but Taylor couldn’t be certain given the dimming light.
“I don’t mean any harm,” the man said.
“There’s no hunting in these woods,” Taylor said.
“I apologize if I scared you. My name is Daniel.”  
“Daniel?” Taylor stared at him, receiving a slight nod in return. “You live around here?”
“I grew up in Batavia.”
“Isn’t that where you were born, Dad?” Scott said. 
“Yeah. It isn’t too far from here.” Taylor turned to Daniel. “Do you hear the siren?”
“I hear it wherever I go.”
“Are we under attack?” Scott inquired. “We saw something in the sky earlier.”
Daniel’s eyes narrowed. “What did you see?”
Taylor shrugged. “Some sort of aircraft.”
Scott broke away from his father’s grip, bending over and vomiting a few feet away. Taylor knelt beside him, rubbing his son’s back. “You okay?”
Scott caught his breath. “Yeah.”
Daniel walked over to them. Resting his rifle on the ground, he took a sack and opened it, untying a piece of cloth. “These might help.”
“Crackers?” Taylor said.
“They always help my stomach,” Daniel said.
Scott looked at his father as if awaiting approval.
“No candy from strangers, right?” Daniel smiled and took a cracker from the cloth. “I’ll eat one first if it makes you feel better.” He placed a cracker in his mouth and swallowed it a few seconds later.
Scott glanced at his dad again.
“Go ahead,” Taylor said, feeling more at ease. “That’s if you’re up to eating.”
“Thank you.” Scott took one and slowly chewed it.
Daniel removed another item from his sack. “You could probably use this as well.”
Taylor inspected the L-shaped object. “It looks like a flashlight from my Boy Scout days.”  
“It will be dark soon. I’m assuming you don’t have one.”
“No,” Taylor said. “We don’t, but we can’t take yours.”
“I have another,” Daniel said. “Please.”
Hesitant at first, Taylor gripped the flashlight. “Thank you.”
He extended his arm, wanting to shake hands with Daniel, but a blinding light forced Taylor to cover his eyes instead. When his vision cleared, Daniel was gone.
“What was that? Where’d he go? Dad,” Scott continued before his father could answer, “the siren. I don’t hear it anymore.” 
Scott was right. The sound had ceased.
Taylor got to his feet and placed a hand on Scott’s shoulder. “Are you strong enough to walk?”
“I think so.”
Taylor fiddled with the flashlight, noticing something inscribed along the side of it.
He has the same last name.
“Dad?” Scott said. “That guy kind of looked like you.” He grasped his father’s hand. “Do you think we’ll be okay?”
Taylor smiled. “I know we will, kiddo.”  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Giveaway winners and the next chapter installment

As I mentioned last Wednesday, all participants will get a copy of Vargrom: Modrad's Exile (your choice of format). The answer to the giveaway question is "gnome" and the lucky winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is Kenneth Hicks. I will be in touch with all of you so you can claim your prize, and be on the lookout for another giveaway this week. In the meantime, here's the next installment of the first chapter. 


Chapter One

            “Modrad,” a muffled voice called out.
            The dwarf thought it was a dream, but the pain felt real enough. Putting a hand to his head, Modrad rolled onto his back, letting out a groan. He felt the unforgiving wood beneath him, the noticeable discomfort still no match for the throbbing inside his skull. Modrad lifted his eyelids, but the intruding light of a nearby lantern forced them closed again.
            “Modrad!” The visitor put fist to door this time.
            His eyes shot open but not because of the banging. Something moved up through his throat, demanding to be released. Modrad quickly turned over and got to his knees. The dwarf vomited, the contents spattering the floor. Modrad never did make it to bed after arriving home from the tavern. That much had become certain.
            A dwarf rarely needed incentive to drink, but the prior day’s events begged to be washed away, so Modrad had taken on that challenge with a vengeance. Somewhat relieved, he managed to get his feet under him, though he stood with a clear lack of confidence. Another bout of door pounding ensued.
            “Enough already,” Modrad rumbled.
            Brushing past a clothes line, he made his way to the front of the house. Modrad grabbed a lantern, which hung along one of the walls, and opened the door. A male, one old enough to be his father, stared back at him.
            “Onoir Lightfoot?”
            “I know,” Onoir said. “It’s been too long.”
            Modrad gasped. “Not long enough if you ask me.” He turned his back to Onoir and walked toward the fireplace.
            “May I come in?”
            “You might as well,” Modrad replied, snatching a stool and taking a seat. “You’ll only wake everyone by staying out there, and I have enough problems to deal with.”
            Onoir entered, gently closing the door behind him, the elder’s face becoming more apparent in the light. Heavy wrinkles weighed the skin beneath his beady, blue eyes, and Onoir’s once youthful beard, shaven only at the chin, had turned a whitish gray. He even required a wooden staff to help him walk.
            “Why are you here?”
            “I have news.” Onoir temporarily looked away, apparently spotting the puddle in the far corner of the room. “Not feeling well?” He glanced back at Modrad. 
            “You’re very observant,” Modrad said, meeting his gaze.
            “I anticipated this.” He pulled a small flask from his sack and held it out. “Take it.”
            “As tempting as it is, the last thing I need is more ale.”
            “Does this look like ale?”
            Modrad squinted, taking hold of the bottle to get a better view. “Honey.”
Onoir nodded.
“This should help.” Modrad hesitated to spit out the words, especially when they were aimed at a hill dwarf. “Thank you.”
“Some honey tea will do you good. Allow me.”
Onoir found a mug and other utensils on the fireplace mantle. Using a ladle, he scooped hot water from the massive fire pot and dropped some honey into the cup. He placed the tea at Modrad’s feet.
“Give it a few minutes to cool,” Onoir said.
“You said you have news.”
Onoir bobbed his head. “Yes. It travels fast around these parts.” He paused. “The council has already voted.”
Modrad’s muscles tensed. “How do you know?”
“I still have connections here, even after the death of your father.”
Though Modrad didn’t like to think about his father, and would rather forget him altogether, Onoir had always been a trusted confidant. He would never admit it when growing up, or even now for that matter, but Modrad often had more faith in Onoir than his own flesh and blood.
“I gather the news isn’t good if you’re paying me a visit.”
            “I’m afraid not,” Onoir said, shaking his head. “They’ll summon you first thing in the morning.”

Saturday, January 30, 2016

New book trailer for Vargrom: Modrad's Exile

Since embedded video files always seem to cause problems, the trailer can be viewed at the YouTube link below. 

https://youtu.be/nAbcMA-NvhI

Friday, January 29, 2016

The next installment of Vargrom: Modrad's Exile



Here's the next installment in the first chapter of Vargrom: Modrad's Exile. 

Chapter One

            “Modrad,” a muffled voice called out.
            The dwarf thought it was a dream, but the pain felt real enough. Putting a hand to his head, Modrad rolled onto his back, letting out a groan. He felt the unforgiving wood beneath him, the noticeable discomfort still no match for the throbbing inside his skull. Modrad lifted his eyelids, but the intruding light of a nearby lantern forced them closed again.
            “Modrad!” The visitor put fist to door this time.
            His eyes shot open but not because of the banging. Something moved up through his throat, demanding to be released. Modrad quickly turned over and got to his knees. The dwarf vomited, the contents spattering the floor. Modrad never did make it to bed after arriving home from the tavern. That much had become certain.
            A dwarf rarely needed incentive to drink, but the prior day’s events begged to be washed away, so Modrad had taken on that challenge with a vengeance. Somewhat relieved, he managed to get his feet under him, though he stood with a clear lack of confidence. Another bout of door pounding ensued.
            “Enough already,” Modrad rumbled.
            Brushing past a clothes line, he made his way to the front of the house. Modrad grabbed a lantern, which hung along one of the walls, and opened the door. A male, one old enough to be his father, stared back at him.
            “Onoir Lightfoot?”
            “I know,” Onoir said. “It’s been too long.”
            Modrad gasped. “Not long enough if you ask me.” He turned his back to Onoir and walked toward the fireplace.
            “May I come in?”
            “You might as well,” Modrad replied, snatching a stool and taking a seat. “You’ll only wake everyone by staying out there, and I have enough problems to deal with.”
            Onoir entered, gently closing the door behind him, the elder’s face becoming more apparent in the light. Heavy wrinkles weighed the skin beneath his beady, blue eyes, and Onoir’s once youthful beard, shaven only at the chin, had turned a whitish gray. He even required a wooden staff to help him walk.
            “Why are you here?”
            “I have news.”