Thursday, October 31, 2013

Oblivious Lenth picks his weapon.

I posted this on my facebook page a few days ago... and y'know what? I do much more there than I do on my blog. SO, I'd decided to TRY to share what I post there, with the blog. Oh, once upon a time, FB accepted RSS feeds, and things seemed to simple... except that it took forever to update itself. Meh. So, I'll just have to remember to bring some of my FB over here... for those who are interested, you can just follow me there:

You all know the story behind this? No? Well, it's actually the "Skulltree", and is part of the back cover for Rubberman's Cage.. but some ladies on FB decided to rename it.. and now.. and now this is a thing. So. Yeah.

Fresh off the keyboard, unedited, and.. UNRATED... (there's a bad word in it.. like THREE TIMES!) from Rubberman's Cage-


The next room over was fairly large, and badly lit. The middle of the room was a semi-organized pile of blankets, presumably with a mattress underneath. The far wall displayed a selection of items.
Tools, mostly. Lenth wasn't familiar with tools in general, but it seemed obvious that some were modified by Citizens, maybe Mike.
A ball-peen hammer had a few nails attached to the head. A claw hammer had its claw battered down to be sharper than the original design. A heavy pair of gloves hung with barbed wire wrapped around them with a metal plate attached to shield the forearms. A set of crude, spiked 'iron knuckles' hung near those. Some longer tool no longer had its original working end, and the metal shaft had been hammered down into a blade, like a medium-sized sword.
Several more items filled out the display, but Lenth was drawn to the largest item, a sledge hammer. It stood on its head, handle sticking up. He knelt next to it and felt along the handle, picking it up with a bit of a grunt. He looked at Marcy, who was looking at him with a raised eyebrow.
“Like it nice and big?” she purred with a sultry smirk.
Lenth heaved it up into both hands. “People fight with these? Seems kind of stupid, by the time you get it swinging, the person you're trying to hit would like... not be in that spot any more.”
“That was supposed to get a reaction out of you,” Marcy said, slightly disappointed and slightly frustrated.
“Huh? I answered.”
Marcy unzipped her top, past the navel, and arched back to nudge out a bit of cleavage. It was a motion she'd done many times in the past, but this time she did it with no seductive smoothness. Just quick, blunt, and almost clinical. “Okay, a girl unzips in front of you, alone in a room with a bed. What does that make you think?”
“Oh. Oh! I'm sorry, I'll pick a better weapon and leave so you can get to sleep,” Lenth said apologetically, turning back to the weapon display.
Marcy clenched her fists and shrugged. “It's no fun telling you I'm not interested in actually fucking you when you don't take the bait!”
Lenth dropped the sledge hammer where he'd gotten it from, and turned back to Marcy. “I'm confused.”
Marcy shook her head. “Yeah. Yeah, don't worry about it, I'm just wasting your time anyway,” she flicked her hands dismissively at the weapons. “go ahead, pick what you want. Don't rush on my account.”
“Well, hold on, what's 'fucking', and why would I do it to you?” Lenth asked.
Covering her mouth, and reaching out with her other hand to some imaginary audience, she turned about the room until she faced Lenth once again. “Sex!” she yelled, “fucking means sex! Have you head of sex?
Lenth nodded, and pointed at Marcy. “Yes. I have. I leaned all about it, but I don't think creating children right now would help. Having more people helping me find Six would be good, but I also learned that children take a long time to grow inside-”
Marcy screamed in exasperation, leaving a silent void.
After a moment, Lenth rallied his courage to speak again. “I'm pretty sure I remember being one, and it was a long time to-”
“Hush.” Marcy said flatly, shaking her head.
“And I've seen some children recently in the Provi-”
“Just. Just stop now, Lenth.”
He obeyed. As long as his curiosity permitted. “Marcy. Have you done sex?”
She put her hand on her forehead, and nodded small quick nods, biting her lip. “Yeah. Yeah Lenth, I seem to remember doing sex a couple of times.”
“Oh! So where are your children now?”
Marcy squinted at Lenth. “When I first met you, I said I needed to educate you. I had no idea how bad it was. Just pick a weapon already.”

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rubberman's Cage hits half way!.... kind of? Maybe? I think? And Lenth finds a rake.

50 thousand words. Which would be about half way through the average length of my other books. That makes 100 pages at 6"x9", the size my paperbacks and hardcovers are. Add space used to separate chapters, this, that, tra la la, and yeah, looks like half way.

But I'm not sure where I want to end the book. There is a point of reveal that would make a good ending, and set up the next book well, too. But I could be tempted to continue from there, nibbling at the concept for the next book a little.

Aaaaah, I have so much to tell you all, but I can't dump these spoilers!

Here's one thing you can rule out: It isn't the matrix, or a dream, or anything like that. Pretty much everything else is up for grabs.

Minor spoiler from early on which has been pretty much public for a while now, Lenth, his 3 'brothers', and the Rubberman in his ceiling are NOT the only people in existence, as Lenth assumed for most of his life, and existence is larger than the loft-sized space he's lived in all his life. Or thought he did.

Wouldn't that be dull, if you start the book with the whole environment already revealed? I like some exploration! I like books with exploration of odd environments, games with exploration of odd environments, movies with exploration of odd environments.

Lenth just explored someone's weapon rack, and now looks kind of badass! In a way.In a "my sword used to be a rake" kind of way. That's how Citizens roll, yo.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

10/13/13! 13 Bites has launched!

Three measly bucks for the ebook. Paperback coming soon, and you know I'm going to want it as shelfcandy! I'll post a big chunk of my contribution to the book soon, since amazon's "LOOK INSIDE" feature is already sharing much of it.

The book's a little scary here and there, and it's a ton of fun. Warm your self up for Halloween!

"100 percent of the profits from this anthology go to benefit organizations that promote children’s literacy programs around the world." I lean towards UNESCO, but we're not cementing ourselves to just them. JuuUUUuuuUUUust in case we find out they're actually run by evil aliens or something.

And now, have a look at the finalized amazon cover- with my purdy purdy hand on it!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Confronting the Demon

Whoo! Hey folks, I don't usually sign up to these book blasty things, but why not! Kriss Morton opened the door, and I went in. Kriss has some crazy stuff in her doors. I read this book as an advance copy reader/reviewer, and I've been bad, and haven't posted a damned review!

So ... here we go, here's my take on it. It's dripping with magic. Frankly, that turned me off at first. I don't write magic often because I find it too easy to toss in a new rule for no reason, and blame magic. But then, I appear to do the same thing with nanites through the Lifehack books. I justify it by means of plausibility, blah blah...

But y'know what, Joe? Suck it up, keep reading.. I had myself convinced that I didn't like it at first. I forced myself onward. Aaaand, the world started to grow on me. And then I met the female lead. And I hated her for a page or so. And then she started to grow on me.

And then she was solo for a bit, and there was a bit of a dungeon crawl... tip I didn't know- Hellcats? Strong vs slashing, weak to bludgeoning. Well, that did it. A dungeon crawl wins a lot of points in this grizzled GM's heart. A calm before the storm had me wanting another dungeon crawl, but then the storm came.

People complain about Vancouver weather, but dayum, I never had THAT coming out of the sky. I won't tell you what, I wouldn't want to spoil it. If .... no.. that would be a spoiler.

So.. as a magic non-lover, I was pretty OK with this novella, but I suspect that those more attune to tales of wizardry can find quite a blast while.... (dramatic pause as the orchestra swells...)



The gates to hell are thrown wide when Alloran is betrayed by his best friend, Ladanyon, and framed for forbidden magic. He is hunted by the guards and the wizards both, tormented by the gruesome murder of his friends and loved ones, and crippled by fear for the living.

Now Alloran must face his demons, or damn the woman he loves.

Also featuring bonus short story 'A Magical Melody'

Confronting the Demon

Genre – High Fantasy (17+)
Length – 110 pages
Published – September 24th

October 12th Indie-Vengeance Day Special! 

“Ballintyne gives wonderful descriptions and I found myself becoming lost in the magic of her words in a picturesque world with every turned page”  Bella Doerres
“The power-packed action will leave you breathless and the eerie suspense will make you chomp on your own nails, beware!” Satarupa
With imagination and detail that paints a full scene for the mind’s eye, Ciara takes us on a short but exciting journey into a world of magic, love and demons from hell.“ Miranda Wood of DustyKatt’s Stuff Reviews
“I actually enjoyed a good fantasy novel that didn’t take days and days to read, but still offered the opportunity to get caught up in its world and story.” - Tracy Riva Global eBook Awards Judge

~Amazon Kindle~ US $2.99 99¢ | UK £1.93 £0.77
~Trade Paperback~ Amazon US | Amazon UK

In honour of Indie-Vengeance Day Ciara Ballintyne is offering up “Confronting a Demon” for the sale price of 99¢
On October 12th after more than a year of planning, more than a dozen bestselling indie authors from around the globe (seriously!) will gather in Dallas, Texas for an once-in-a-lifetime signing and meet-the-author event; Indie-Vengeance Day.
Come join authors from the U.S, Canada and Australia and meet some of the most notable and recognized writers in the indie author movement.

Alloran huddled in the shadows of the alley mouth across from the west gate, watching the guards search every man and woman leaving the city of Ehsan. He sweltered within the confines of his light dust cloak. The hood concealed his face, and a few days worth of stubble blurred the shape of his jaw. Anything to make him that much harder to recognise. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hide his indigo wizard eyes from another wizard or a sorceress, though a spell concealed their colour from normal vision.

A queue of backed-up traffic wound out of sight along the Avenue of Falling Stars. Travelers, merchants, and farmers waited with resigned patience.

Seven hells, after three months, the delays were normal. Surely, they’d give up soon.

Will they? For such a heinous crime….

It was not a thought he liked to dwell on. He slouched to hide his unusual height, and squinted at the mailed guards. They represented a minor inconvenience. The quartet of three wizards and one sorceress, though, were entirely different. There’d be no escaping their notice, even though the soldiers might be fooled. Almost involuntarily, his gaze flicked to the castle–not the king’s castle in the central district but the wizards’. Perched atop the mountain overshadowing the city, its turrets clawed the sky. Home, once. Now he hid from it like a beetle scuttling away from the sun. Only enough luck to fill the seven celestial levels kept him safe.

The wizards stood as the guards inspected each traveler and allowed passage. One, in linen shirt and leather pants with a sword on his hip, spoke companionably to the guard nearest him. The silk-swathed sorceress gazed down the street towards Alloran, or perhaps past him, with eyes that were yellow or purple, the mark of a woman of power. Easing back into the shadows slowly enough to avoid attracting attention, he headed to the square where Dek and the unfinished statue would be waiting.

A peaceful lassitude crept over Alloran at the thought of the statue. Three months ago, the notion of hacking a statue out of a lump of rock would have been distasteful, to say the least. Now, the act of creation gave him a refuge that he couldn’t find anywhere else.

Stripping off the cloak, he tramped through the back alleys, his boots squelching through something he didn’t care to examine too closely. Summer heat left the narrow streets ripe with the stench of rotting garbage. The muck would take weeks to clean from his boots, assuming he wouldn't have to traipse through the same decomposing food tomorrow. But he knew better.

He heaved a sigh for the soft leather half-boots he’d favoured in another life. Of course, they’d be ruined even faster than the heavy work boots. Oh for a clean street.

In the past, he’d waded knee-deep through any kind of muck as long as an answer lay on the other side. Two lives ago, that had been. Now, he did it in the hope of prolonging his pathetic existence one more day.
A tangled pile of crates blocked most of the alley. When he squeezed between the stack and the alley wall, the splintered wood scratched the stiff canvas of his smock and snagged his stonemason’s mallet. It was impossible to avoid the rubbish piled between wall and crates, and he wrinkled his nose at the stench.

If only he could take the main streets, kept clean by an army of royal sweepers, but they’d be watching for him there and at the gates. No one at the citadel would expect to find him in this stinking back alley. No, not him. Not the man of silks and velvet's.

As he slipped through the narrowest point, the crates shifted, allowing him a glimpse into the middle of the pile. An eye stared back at him. A fixed and glazed eye.


Ciara Ballintyne was born in 1981 in Sydney, Australia, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, one masochistic cat, and one cat with a god complex.

She holds degrees in law and accounting, and has been a practising financial services lawyer since 2004. She is both an idealist and a cynic.

She started reading epic fantasy at the age of nine, when she kidnapped Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings from her father. Another two years passed before she began her first attempts at the craft of writing. Confronting the Demon is her debut book.

She enjoys horse-riding, and speculation about taking over the world. If she could choose to be anything it would be a dragon, but instead she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House. M.D.

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 The book tour for “CONFRONTING THE DEMON” By: Ciara Ballintyne is now accepting tour hosts.

The Book tour will take place on Monday through Friday. 12/2/2013 - 12/13/2013

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

VCON 38- Chapter 0.. Chapter 1 of RUBBERMAN'S CAGE

I really want to blog the heck out of this past weekend's VCON, but I also need to get back to writing RUBBERMAN'S CAGE! My compromise? HERE Y'all, have a read of Rubberman's first chapter! It's not edited much, (first draft!) but it's fun. This related to VCON in that it was the first thing I read to the people on my Sunday reading. It was a tad more somber than I'm know for... but I followed up with some lighter stuff... but YOU GUYS DON'T GET THAT RIGHT NOW! Haha. Ha. Hm...

Okay, so here's Chapter 1 of RUBBERMAN'S CAGE (copyright me, blah blah blah..)


Chapter 1 Out With The Young

Slim felt the familiar little pinch on his wrist from the bulky cuff that kept him tethered near his bed. “We're getting pricked tonight,” he warned his three brothers who hadn't yet put on their own restraints.
The elder brother Joints grunted as he sat on his own bed on the other end of the seven metre wide room. “Goodie.” He put on his own cuff, which clicked locked for the night. His own jab soon followed.
Blue settled in as well, facing his cuff and getting his little jab over with.
Lenth wandered over to Slim with a gentle smile, and Slim began to return it, but something was going wrong.
Slim's eyes widened, and he groaned with pain. Collapsing back on his bed, he gripped the sides, and bucked back.
What's wrong?” Lenth gasped. He wanted to help his favourite brother, but had no idea what was going on. Slim made terrifying soft groans that seemed to take a lot of effort. His body thrashed to the side, his eyes wide in terror.
Lenth! What's going on with him?” Joints yelled.
“I.. I don't know!”
Slim gagged, vomited on himself, and across the floor. He began to slip off his bed, but Lenth helped his stay on, fighting another of Slim's convulsions.
Overhead, upon the brothers' iron grate ceiling, the faceless Rubberman stomped above Lenth's bed, calling attention to the green light that had turned on behind the head of Lenth's bed.
But I have to help Slim!” Lenth hollered up to the dark figure. Rurbberman stomped again, harder.
Lenth looked at Slim, and over to his own bed. “Now? I can't leave him! Something's really wrong!” Lenth looked up at Rubberman, and back to the convulsing Slim.
Rubberman stomped on the grating once more, and the room shocked all the brothers with a 'harmless' surge of electricity.

Disobedience warrants punishment.

Realizing his actions were harming his brothers as well as himself, Lenth scurried over to bed and secured his cuff around his wrist.
Rubberman ran out of view as Slim's convulsions began to calm a little.
Slim alone was shocked again. He had a sudden, violent convulsion that may have been only from the shock..
What are you doing to him?” Blue yelled up to Rubberman's level. No reply, not that any was expected. Rubberman never spoke.
Again Slim was shocked.

And then it was quiet. Slim had stopped convulsing. He wasn't making any sounds at all now.
“Slim?” Lenth said. He sat up on his bed, but being tethered with his cuff, he couldn't go check on slim up close. The cuff doesn't open until Rubberman makes it so. “Slim, you okay now?”
Joints leaned forward in bed to peer over at Slim carefully. “He ain't breathing.”
“What?” Blue said, puzzled. “Slim, what are you doing?”
Joints sighed. “I've seen this before, I think. Before you three came here. If it's the same thing, Slim won't be here tomorrow.” Joints lowered his head.
“I... what?” Blue was starting to get alarmed. “I don't understand! Why not? If he's not breathing, why does he have to go away? He'll start again, right? Where's he going to go?”
Lenth stood up and walked as far towards Slim at the tether would let him, which was about two metres from his own bed, still about four away from Slim's. He stood silently, looking at his dead 'brother' not knowing what death was. “Slim... wake up, moron.” Lenth said quietly. “I don't want you to go away, that's stupid.” He turned to Joints. “Hey, away where? Where would he go? Up with Rubberman? Or the place Rubberman goes when he isn't here? What...”
Joints' face wrinkled inward with consideration. “How am I supposed to know? It's not as if I can fathom the ways of Rubberman any more than you, brother.”
None of them were actually brothers, but they had always call each other that.
There existed the brothers, and there existed the Rubberman. And that was it.
As far as they could tell, anyway. Joints had told them before that his old brothers had gone away, and that then, his new brothers came. There was no explanation of 'where from', or 'where to'.
These were things for Rubberman to know, and Rubberman never talked.
That much was understandable, since he didn't have a mouth. Even calling him a man was a point of question. A man, or an 'it'?
The brothers all wore simple body suits, from just above the knee, to the neck, and half way down the arms. This left a fair amount of skin showing. This was not the case with Rubberman.
Rubberman was all black rubber.. or something similar, even over his head. Where eyes would be, sat only a pair of large dark circles that reflected light at just the right angle. Where a mouth or nose might be, instead there was a metal circle, about as wide as hie eye. It did not seem as shiny as the eyes, and had many little holes.
But Rubberman had gone away now.

Lenth still stood there, pondering what had happened. What might be about to happen. Slim was their brother all, but Lenth felt the fear of losing Slim the most keenly.
The green lights behind the beds lit up again. The lights were built into the white, but rusty walls, and sealed in with a layer of a clear plastic.
It was bed time. The day was officially over.
The brothers all tried to get as comfortable as they could on their beds. A three centimetre thick pad was the greatest comfort there was to them. It was bonded to the metal frame, and indestructible to any force the brothers had ever been able to summon.
“Slim doesn't look very comfortable.” Blue said quietly. Indeed, Slim's position suggested that he would wake up sore in the morning if he didn't move.
Lenth stared at Slim and the lights dimmed. Breathe, you idiot. Just breathe again.
A soft hiss came from above.
“Sleepy smell.” Joints observed. Sometimes, sleepy smell would come when a change was going to happen.

“So... so it's true.” Lenth said quietly. “G... goodbye, Slim.”