Mechanized Masterpieces 2 page updated!

10612583_464697900339991_7591844242252676265_nThe release date for Mechanized Masterpieces II an American Anthology is fast approaching. My story just passed line editing and is now in the hands of the proof readers!

The official release date is February 28th, but Advance reader copies will be available near the end of January. Let me know if you want to support us by reading and reviewing this great anthology before the release date!

Cover Reveal for Mechanized Masterpieces 2

Coming February 2015

1939845_798760483531107_7442566140266734985_oIn the sequel to Mechanized Masterpieces an Amarican Anthology, the authors of Xchyler Publishing were challenged to add a steampunk flavor to their favorite works in American literature. The result is ten fantastic stories full of cogs, gears, and the love of classic literature. So what can you expect from this anthology? Here is a breakdown of the authors and their inspirations:

Jay Barnson; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving
Scott William Taylor; Jack London
J. Aurel Guay; A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
M. Irish Gardner; Emily Dickinson
Megan Collins Oliphant; Emily Dickinson
J. H. Potter; Edgar Allen Poe
Diane Lee Jortner; The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry
Neve Talbot; Louisa May Alcott  and Charlotte Bronte (Currer Bell)
M. K. Wiseman; Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge
Scott E. Tarbet; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne and Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Four Times Eight Must Die.

Over Thanksgiving I had a discussion with my cousin about the synesthesias we each have. I recalled this humorous essay I posted on my first blog and thought I would share it here for your benefit. Enjoy:

Having recently become aware of my gift of ordinal linguistic personification, I feel compelled to inform you all about a horrific heresy embedded within our own multiplication table.  Although most of you apparently cannot see it, all of the single digits carry on their lives in a sensible relationship with one another.  Whether adding subtracting dividing or multiplying they all behave according to their personalities and interact with predictable results.  EXCEPT in the case of 4 x 8.

You will notice that I said the numbers interact in sensible relationship.  Notice that I did not say that they relate in harmony.  Harmony is far from the truth, these numbers lead their lives in constant drama and conflict with one another that rivals that of the infamous Greek gods.  There are distinct sides and a constant battle between good and evil. This battle is led on the side of good by the noble 1 and 2 who are the pillars and foundations of all sensible math.  On the contrary side, evil has no distinct leaders, but is personified by insidious numbers such as 9, but is more commonly manifests itself in certain contexts and equations.  Such equations include  7 – 4 = 3 in which case the cool and suave overpowers the dainty feminine Four. is not inherently evil, but in this case he clearly takes advantage of another number.  The end product as you can see is a clear loss for good in that 3 is an odd number and the route of power hungry 9, the sneaky sultry 6, and border line insane 21.

In multi-digit numbers evil appears again in the form of numbers such as 1313 is obviously unlucky, but he is also dangerous in that he is a prime number meaning that his strength comes from within.  Furthermore, 3, which would be pure evil were it not for its necessity in creating a multitude of equations, has sequestered the pure but helpless to itself to further strengthen its selfish purposes.

But, 4 x 8 is just wrong.  It is an affront to all reasonable numbers both good and bad.  To begin with, a conflict between 4 and 8 is inconceivable.  Despite being spirited, 4 has no real power because all numbers divisible by are also divisible by 2.  As you can imagine, Four has no unique personality of her own but simply mirrors the latest trend proffered by other numbers (and in particular the noble heroine 2).  In a similar way is even more obtuse, with little regard for is appearance she is neutral in almost cases and does very little on her own despite being a relatively large and strong number. I can conceive of no possible reason for these numbers to dispute.

Thus, in the case of 4 x 8 you have two placid, unmotivated numbers supposedly in conflict.  We just can’t allow this foolishness to go on.  Furthermore, if the equation is forced through the result is the hideous 32.  What is 32? Sandwiched in between two prime numbers it leads with the devious and often corrupt 3, but then is followed by the righteous queen of numbers 2.

32 is an ugly, unnatural number. 3 and added together create 5, the enforcer of law among numbers. This might be considered good, were it not for the fact that 32 is completely indivisible by 5.  This is a bad omen for 32. No other pair of multiples culminates in a 32 with the exception of the pure and innocent 16 (which is where the Fours table should have stopped).  As you can see, 32 is alone and rejected by all other numbers; and for good reason.

I implore you all in the name of good and decent math to stop the madness and to veto, ban, and boycott 4 x 8.  Email this to 16 /4 other people or you will have 7 + 6 for 3 x 9 years.

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder – By Alyson Grauer

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson Grauer

I have had the privilege of being collaborating with Xchyler Publishing Author, Alyson Grauer several times in the past and it is my pleasure to provide this review of her break out novel ‘On the Isle of Sound and Wonder’. An author of several published works of short fiction, Alyson take the next step in this long work and invites us in to a world woven with Shakespeare, magic, and steam.

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson Grauer

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder (OISW) is, in a word, impressive.

From the very outset of the book you find yourself in an engaging world of magic and machines. Grauer leads you through the mystery of Mira’s peculiar past, and always toward the inevitable destiny one can’t help but anticipate with excitement.

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson GrauerThe work is based around Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, a work that I am not intimately familiar with. However, this novel stands quite well on its own two feet. Interwoven into the tale is a great deal of magic, and some rather fantastic creatures that complicate every step for Mira and her friends. On top of that, there is yet another layer of steampunk flavor where airships, automatons, and other instruments, classic to the genre, are applied to further enhance the unique style of the tale.

I’ve read a fair number of indie and breakout author novels. Miss Grauer really impressed me. Her world was vivid, her prose polished and engaging, and her characters were so well developed that you empathized even with the villains for the sake of the distraught back-stories that brought them to their sinister deeds. Most of the time, the book read like the work of a veteran author.

My favorite character’s were the monster Karuburan, and the wicked imp Aurael, though I was a little suspicious that his name was only one letter different from mine… The protagonist of the story is a true ‘strong female character’ if ever I saw one. She leads without either belittling, or emulating the opposite sex. Vulnerable and real, she does her acts of heroism simply because it is ‘the right thing to do’.

I won’t complain too much, since I collaborate with Miss Grauer occasionally, and you wouldn’t believe me anyway. All I will say is, while there are dirigibles and automatons aplenty I, was hoping the story would be more driven by steampunk. The major genre forces that drive the OISW are magic, which are great in themselves. However, I was hoping for something more steampunk motivated, like Grauer’s short story ‘Lavenza‘ where the plot is driven by the protagonists discovery that she is an automaton. It’s a petty stylistic preference really. My only other comment, and not even a complaint, is that the story, while never graphic or scandalous, has some elements that might be mature for very young readers. I will admit that I have an overly sensitive nature, and was really upset by some of the abuse the characters suffered, even if it was only evidenced in its repercussions.

I will certainly read OISW again, and that says a lot coming from someone with a long list of books waiting to be read! Take a read of OISW for yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Click the banner below and get yourself a copy!

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson Grauer

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On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson Grauer

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A Veteran’s Day Poem

Bear with me, I’m not a great poet:
Be grateful,

I do not know of that struggle, that fear and dread,
Never bombs at my feet, or bullets past my head.

Can I honor what I know not?
Little life, so quiet and fair,

Never felt damp dirty foxhole,
Nor hot sun and sand in my sole.

How can I thank you?
Say what I don’t know?

It is to you I owe my ignorance, that find this lack of words,
You bore the struggle for me, as on a cross once did my Lord,

Thank you, for standing for me,
These feeble words prove your work,

Let this pause to ponder all the pains I have been spared,
Honor the service the courage and danger that you dared.


Postmortem ~ An Excerpt from Jagerund

Some of you may have read this before,but I want to announce the publishing of  the followup to my short story, ‘The Death of Marcus Wells’ on my own blog. This piece of flash fiction is both the epilogue to my published short story and an excerpt of the novel I am working on titled ‘Jagerund’. Please enjoy!

It was late when Emily tiptoed into the room. Unlike most of the other rooms in the abandoned monastery, this one was well-lit. Several oil lamps surrounded the table on which the corpse laid and pushed back the darkness that seeped from the stone walls.

Marcus’ back was to her, his shaggy light coloured hair hung over his eyes as he bowed his head toward the table. So engrossed in his work was he that didn’t notice her enter. His forceps moved methodically, gently separating the human flesh from the parasite that had infiltrated the now deceased body.

She cleared her throat gently. Read more->


Legends and Lore an Anthology of Mythic Proportions – Blog Tour

Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions

Delve into myth and legend, where the Fates force post-modern man into a world of the unknown—a world long since dismissed as ignorant superstition.

The Brother-Sister Fable by Alyson Grauer: a young boy disappears into a realm where only his sister can follow.

Faelad by Sarah Hunter Hyatt: Claire Whitaker didn’t even know she was Irish, let alone The Morrigan, the goddess of war.

By Skyfall by Emma Michaels: a mer-couple from Atlantis find themselves in the middle of a human murder investigation.

Charon’s Obol by. R. M. Ridley: Jonathan Alvey didn’t believe in gods, until he helps a lost child find her all-powerful parents.

Peradventure by Sarah E. Seeley: a jinni must choose between the woman he loves and destroying the city that persecuted her.

Natural Order by Lance Schonberg: when Carlos Vasquez is kidnapped, he discovers powers within himself to change the world.

Two Spoons by Danielle E. Shipley: A little girl’s soul meets its match in the family diner’s most mysterious patron.

Grail Days by A. F. Stewart: Living forever has its drawbacks, especially when you spend it clearing away the messes of other immortals. Downward Mobility by M. K. Wiseman: they say love conquers all, but can it save a Valkyrie when she breaks all the rules? Continue reading