Clay Reston – Back To Woolstock

01-CoverTitle: Back To Woolstock
Author: Clay Reston
ISBN: 9781301590599
Page count: 25552
Genre: humor fiction
Price: $2.99

Author Bio:
Clay Reston stays in shape by jumping to conclusions. He has been a writer for decades, becoming known first for cryptic notes passed around classrooms and then for his creative use of checks to obtain the funds to support his YooHoo habit. He used to be taller and thinner.

Tell us about your book:
The author returns to his hometown to document the early years of its most famous son. From vengeful birds and okra to the milk dancing and the final concert debacle, Woolstock secures its reputation as a good place to be from as soon as you’re old enough and able. And you never, ever go back…

How long did it take to write the book?
About six weeks of spare time effort

What inspired you to write the book?
Nothing in particular

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
No research and no routine.  I just started with a blank page each time and wrote until I had more than 1000 words.  I don’t understand the process at all.  I didn’t even think I could create fiction.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I hope they laugh a lot.  That’s all.

Where can we go to buy your book? And, in a week or so, all major online ebook retailers.

Excerpt from book:
There was the big tree coming up on the left.  “The Big Tree”.  As landmarks go, it wasn’t much.  It was only a tree, and, compared to others around it, I suppose it was big enough.  Someone once suggested calling Woolstock “The Big Tree City”.  But it wasn’t a city, and the residents could never agree on anything anyway.  That poor civic-minded fellow left under cover of darkness, and no one heard another word from or about him.

Darkness…  That’s the image I remembered.  There were no streetlights.  It was pitch black at night, unless you count the few places where somebody was up and doing something.  They kept to themselves for the most part, because they didn’t like each other all that much to start with.

You won’t find Woolstock on many maps.  It may be an oversight, and it may be that there’s really no point in going there.  I wouldn’t call it “quaint”, because the term carries positive implications that would be misleading.  And, to be honest, quite a few of the locals wouldn’t know the meaning of the word and fisticuffs could ensue.  So it’s best to leave things as they are.


Chris Northern – The Last King´s Amulet

TLKA_1000x647Title: The Last King’s Amulet

Author: Chris Northern

ISBN: 978-1-4523-5454-5

Page count: 290 as counted by Amazon

Genre: Fantasy

Price: $3.50 0 May be Free with some vendors


Author Bio:

I’m not self obsessed enough to be able to hold my own attention long enough to write one. What is there ever to say? I was born in the UK. My first memory is of being chased by a cockerel that was as big as I was; it caught me and pecked my forhead I still have the scar – I was one year old, I’m told. There wasn’t any money growing up; I sometimes get annoyed with people who don’t know what this means. For example, I’ve never been a fussy eater – hunger will do you that favor, at least. I still have to resist the temptation to lick the plate clean. I worked at anything that came to hand for as long as it interested me; it rarely took long to plumb the depths of things and move on. Moving on has become a theme and sometimes I move on even before I settle down. Sometimes I regret that, but not often.


Tell us about your book:

The Last King’s Amulet is the first in The Price of Freedom series and is set on a world that has best been described as ‘Not Rome but close enough.’ Sumto, our DSC_3369B&Whero in this first person narrative, is the only son of a noble family and should be very involved in both war and politics, the two favorite pastimes of the nobility in this time and place. Dodging creditors and death threats from people whose honor he’s infringing on with his decedent ways, he joins the military like he should have done half a decade or more ago.

Intrigue and battles soon follow as our hero slowly gets a hold of himself and then those around him.


How long did it take to write the book?

This one was written in a burst of manic activity that lasted about a month. There were consequences to that. I don’t recommend it.


What inspired you to write the book?

Good question. Difficult to answer if I accept the terms of the question. I’m not sure inspire is the right word. Why did I write it? Well, I started writing when I was sixteen. I wrote a chapter and an outline and sent it off, all innocent optimism, and shockingly it came back. The rejection  began “Interesting as this looks…” and I was dejected, abandoned the project, and wrote something else and sent it elsewhere with a similar result. The funny thing is, looking back, if I’d completed that first book it almost certainly would have sold somewhere. Anyway, I wrote short pieces, developed ideas for longer pieces. Eventually I sold some. Then I gave up on the idea and go involved in life instead. It was either that or starve. Anyway, back to the question. I’d just returned, shell shocked and bankrupt, the UK and found I had nothing to do and no will to do it. The book was a surprise. I just sat down and wrote it while living at a friends house and basically being looked after better than I deserved. The beginning of the book is kind of where I was, lazing around in a house that wasn’t mine, eating food that wasn’t mine, drinking and basically being pretty aimless. Maybe I was subconsciously trying to figure out what to do next. Sumto is pretty quickly threatened into doing something and the story was off and running.


Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

It is never the same twice, for me. Just as each story has different requirements of character and though I hate to use the word style, it also seems to demand of me a different method of writing. I mentioned that The Last King’s Amulet consumed me for a month of constant writing and was done. The Dancing With Darwin stories, from Rapture Ready to Dangerous Delusions, were very different. I wrote maybe one or two scenes a day. Even in this sequence of stories, some were written differently. Evolving Environment, like the others, is two stories about the same person separated by a year or more, but I wrote one story in a bit of a rush over three or four days, and then the other connected story some months later and at slower pace.

And then there is Prison of Power. A very long fantasy novel, totally un-connected to The Price of Freedom sequence, and that was written chapter by chapter over two years of evenings and weekends. I didn’t think it was that good but the reviews are 4 and 5 stars, so it can’t be that terrible, I suppose.


What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

A smile.


Where can we go to buy your book?

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel, Apple iBookstore, and many other online retailers.


Any other links or info you’d like to share?

Not really. My email is in the back of the books. Always happy to hear from anyone who feels contacting me


Excerpt from book:

He pushed his face close to mine. “Some of us are risking our lives for your drunken, no good, worthless carcass, and some of us would appreciate it if you would cooperate a little bit!”

I nodded dumbly, chastened as only a drunk can be. A tear came to my eye and I told him I was sorry and tried to give him a hug.

“Oh, for gods’ sake,” he seethed almost silently. “Come on.” He half dragged me to the balcony.

It was foggy out. I couldn’t see anything. I wanted a drink. “Beer.” I started back in and he stopped me.

“Wait, listen. Jocasta is here, down there, waiting for you.”

I looked over into the sea of fog, seeing nothing much more than a few feet of wall under the balcony. “Down there?”

“Hush, dammit,” he hissed. “Yes.”

I swung one leg over the balcony and lost my balance. I would have fallen if he had not held me.

“Wait. I have rope.” He swiftly looped it around me and expertly tied it so that it was snug under my arms. “Now try.” I did. I was barely over the edge before I lost my grip and fell. I didn’t realize I was in danger so didn’t make a sound. I heard the rope slipping through his fingers harshly, then I jerked to a stop. After that I descended more smoothly, swinging around in a slow circle and feeling sick and dizzy, seeing nothing but the fog and occasional flashes of wall.

I couldn’t wait to see her. I had to tell her something important; what was it though? Her loupe! Damn, I’d lost her loupe! She was going to go crazy at me. I started climbing the rope. I had to go get it back. It didn’t work very well, Sapphire was lowering me faster than I could climb, and I couldn’t climb worth a damn; my feet touched the ground and a second later the rope fell out of the air on top of me. “Damn, damn, damn!” I growled, quietly. I didn’t want her to hear me.

“Hush, Sumto.”

She’d heard me.

I looked around. She wore white and almost blended into the fog, just her dark hair standing out around her pale face. Big green eyes met mine and held me spellbound.

“I’m sorry!” I blurted.

“Shussh,” She raised her hand and there was a flash of non-light so fast I couldn’t see it. I caught a glimpse of a stone that must have been eighty carats.

“I lost your loupe, they took it.” To my amazement, I couldn’t hear myself speak. I hesitated a second, then laughed. It was bizarre, not a sound. I could feel the movement, knew I was laughing, but couldn’t hear it. “What did you do?” I wasn’t deaf, it was just that the sound made no sound. I stamped my foot to test the theory and sure enough, my shoes rang on the cobbles. Jocasta grabbed my arm and my attention. She really did have the biggest green eyes ever. “I’ve missed you,” I said and tried to hug her.

“Sumto,” she hissed, “you’re drunk.”

I nodded earnestly, remembering something important. I leaned back and shouted up to Sapphire. “Bring the beer!”

Damn, he wouldn’t hear me. I gave Jocasta a little shake, pointed up and then made a drinking motion, my hand gripping an invisible glass.

I have never seen anyone flush with anger quite that quickly. I watched the process, fascinated. “You’re mad at me, aren’t you?”

“You are a drunken fool, just like my father said.”

Under the circumstances, I think that was a bit harsh.




The three of us walked through the fog in near silence, only my shoes echoing on the cobbles. They both wore soft slippers, I saw, looking down and nearly losing my balance. Sapphire grabbed my arm and steered me after that. I was grateful. Walking in a straight line was nearly impossible. Was impossible. I was very drunk indeed. It was only the shock of seeing them that had induced in me a false lucidity, a temporary sobriety. I was noticing things, but not much, and not rationally, and I knew it. The two dead guards at the gate, for example. I saw them but couldn’t tell who they were. A third walked out of the fog and I lurched toward him, arms wide, ready to hug him. He caught me and held me up.

“You stink of booze,” Meran said. “Just like the old days.”

“No! It’s not my fault!” I didn’t make a sound. It had been funny at first, but now it was frustrating. My emotions wavered from one extreme to another and I recognized the syndrome.

“Let’s get you home,” He tucked one arm round my waist, just like the old days, and we staggered on together, heading home. Where-ever and what-ever home might be now.

“How did you survive?”

“What? Can’t hear you.”

“I silenced him, he was being a buffoon. We were trying to rescue him and he was… was …”

“Being drunk?” Meran supplied.

“Do we have to talk?” Sapphire asked in the quietest voice I have ever heard anyone use and still sound like they are shouting.

“I can, no one can hear me.”

No one answered. But then, what had I expected? No one could hear me.

We walked on in a fog of muffled sounds for what seemed a long time. I was tired. I wanted to sleep. I said so. No one listened. I tried to sit down and Meran wouldn’t let me. I was almost used to his ministrations. He had helped me home several times when I had been a drunk in truth, and he had the knack of it. He talked to me, softly, not angry, encouraging, urging me on. It seemed to take a long time. I either passed out on the way or I just don’t remember the rest. It’s hard to say. It always was.


Jason Gurley – The Man Who Ended the World

BookCoverTitle: The Man Who Ended the World

Author: Jason Gurley

ISBN: None, e-book only

Page count: No specific page count, e-book only

Genre: Science fiction

Price: $2.99


Author Bio:

Jason Gurley is the creator of the graphic novel Eleanor, and author of the novel The Man Who Ended the World. By day, he’s a creative director for a design firm in Portland, Oregon. He believes that Superman without the red undies isn’t really Superman, and that nobody has ever swung a better bat than Darryl Strawberry. He’s comfortable being relatively alone in these beliefs. Jason resides in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Felicia, and daughter, Emma Purl.


Tell us about your book:

When Steven Glass’s third grade teacher asked his class what they wanted to be when they grew up, Steven’s classmates shouted the usual answers: “A fireman!” “A teacher!” “The President!” When his turn came, Steven said, “When I grow up I’m going to be the last man on Earth.”

Warning signs don’t come much clearer than that.

Nearly thirty years later, Steven Glass is a billionaire. Surrounded by groupies, yes-men, investment opportunities and glamour, all Steven really wants is to be alone.

Really, really alone.

In secret, Steven builds a personal sanctuary nearly a mile underground. He vanishes from public life, goes off the grid. He’s finally alone. Well, except for an artificial intelligence companion named after the only girl he ever loved.

There, Steven plays video games, heckles the news, and waits for the apocalypse. When the end doesn’t come soon enough, Steven goes to work. He still has billions of dollars to spend — and there must be something he can do to accelerate the coming storm.

Wrestling with his own destiny, unaware of the young stowaways who have discovered his underground paradise, and battling his duplicitous A.I. companion at every turn, Steven Glass struggles to create the reality he has always hoped for — at the expense of the future of every single living human being on Earth…

Unless a pair of eleven-year-old children can stop him and save the world, that is.


How long did it take to write the book?

Three weeks


What inspired you to write the book?

Initially, I had planned on writing a fast novel to submit to Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel competition. The idea, however, springs from a lifelong interest in the concept of the lonely, empty planet, and what it might be like to walk it alone. I’ve waited for a lifetime for post-apocalyptic stories to become of greater interest to audiences, and though now there may be too many of them, it seemed like a good time to tell an adventure story of my own.


Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

I’ve been writing for years, and I would only write when inspiration struck. Sitting down daily to write wasn’t something that I did, and if I tried it, my work felt forced. But I’m a new dad, and I’ve got a new job, and my family and I have just moved to a new state, so there are any number of things that make it hard to write when inspiration strikes. This experience actually taught me a lot about writing whenever there was time. I would write after my wife and our new daughter went to sleep. I would write in the middle of the night when I should have been asleep. I would write early in the morning before work. I didn’t do much research, though, because the story is much more fun as a cautionary and high-concept tale. Research was something that I didn’t have a lot of time for, so I either wrote things I knew well, or imagined things that research wouldn’t have fed very much information into anyway.


What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

An interest in more of my work, of course, but I wanted to tell a story about the determination of life, and how it surges to fill every gap it can find, no matter what the obstacles might be.


Where can we go to buy your book?

The Man Who Ended the World is available as an e-book on (, and will soon be available on the Nook, the Kobo reader, and in the iBooks store as well.


Any other links or info you’d like to share?

I also write and illustrate a graphic novel, Eleanor. This book is also available on Amazon, the Nook, the Kobo reader and in iBooks. It can also be read on the web at


Excerpt from book:

Chapter 1

The Stranger

Henry is walking home from school when he first sees the man who will end the world.

There isn’t anything special about the man. He is of average height. His hair is brown. His eyes are brown. His posture is stooped, although so slightly one might not notice right away. He wears ordinary blue jeans, an ordinary blue T-shirt, and an ordinary blue windbreaker. His stride is perfectly normal, without any hiccups or interruptions. He walks with his hands swinging gently at his sides.

There is absolutely nothing noteworthy about the man.

But Henry shrugs his backpack a little higher on his shoulder, and stands with one hand in his pocket. He chews a little on his lip, and watches the man for a time.

The stranger looks through the window of Miss Peel’s book shop, lingers a moment, then pushes through the creaky old door and goes inside.

Henry finds an out-of-the-way spot behind a recycling bin and waits. Between the slats of the blinds that hang over the shop windows, he can see the man nosing around inside. The man walks slowly up one aisle and down another. He stops and picks up a paperback, turns it over, puts it back.

Henry thinks he should know the man, whose face is familiar in an unexceptional sort of way. A friend’s dad? A substitute teacher? Maybe he’s one of the school district’s bus drivers?

Abruptly the man heads for the door. Henry can hear Miss Peel call, Thank you, but the man doesn’t hear, or doesn’t care. Henry squishes himself against the metal bin as the man passes by, making himself as small as possible.

His inability to place the stranger’s face was a minor annoyance at first, but after watching the man for a few minutes, the annoyance has grown into a full-fledged, got-to-scratch-it itch.

So when the man comes to the end of the block, Henry hefts his backpack, slides both arms into its straps, and follows.


In a town like Bonns Harbor, with fewer than twenty thousand residents, Henry thinks it is strange that he cannot figure out who the stranger is. He doesn’t know that many people to begin with.

The man walks fifteen or twenty yards ahead of Henry, who suddenly worries about being detected. He ducks into every doorway on the block and peers around corners and windows at the stranger.

Sorry, he whispers when his behavior nearly topples a young woman’s baby stroller.

Please be careful, she replies, and Henry says, Shhh. The woman frowns at him. He darts around her, spies a parked Chevy pickup, and runs in a conspicuous crouch to hide behind its bumper. He exhales, counts to three, then leans over until he can see past the truck’s tailgate.

The woman with the stroller has ventured into an intersection. A Bonns Harbor Light and Power truck has stopped to allow her to cross. People bustle in and out of shops and across the street. The sound of small town life is almost pleasant. A dog barks, then barks again.

The stranger, however, has vanished.

Henry jumps up, giving away his location, but the man is nowhere in sight.

And then, just like that, the stranger reappears, straightening up and smoothing his ordinary blue jeans the way a man does when he’s just finished tying his shoe.

Henry drops to his knees and presses himself to the side of the pickup, breathing heavily. He makes a crackling sound with his mouth.

Krzhhhhkkkttk, he says into his hand. Agent almost detected, but subject seems unaware.

The stranger resumes his course through town, weaving left to examine store windows, veering right to avoid other pedestrians. He doesn’t seem to acknowledge them otherwise. There are no nods, and Henry can sort of tell from the man’s posture that he’s not smiling.

Some people you can just tell they’re not smiling.

Krzhhhtkk, he hisses. Subject in motion.

When the man has walked a reasonable distance ahead, Henry slides to his left, still flattening himself against the truck, and like water folds over the curves and corners of the truck until he is hunched over beside the passenger fender.

This makes him visible to the entire street, and a couple of people watch him, amused. But Henry pays no mind, at least until a yellow Volvo lumbers by. The tires crackle and seem to cough gravel. The driver notices Henry and leans on the horn. YOU SHOULDN’T PLAY IN THE STREET, the stern Volvo grille seems to say. Henry flaps his hands wildly at the driver to shush him.

The horn again.


Henry snaps up and risks a peek over the roof of the Volvo to see if the stranger is looking his way.

The stranger is not. He’s just walking, farther ahead now, still slightly stooped, still drawing nobody’s attention. He hasn’t noticed Henry’s antics, or Henry at all.

Some people you can just tell they don’t notice things.

Krzzhhtkhhkk, Henry sighs. Subject is boring.

The Volvo swings past, the driver glaring down at Henry. But Henry pays him no mind, and trudges after the stranger again.


But the inattentive and ordinary man begins to take on a different air as he approaches the edge of downtown. In one horrifying moment, the stranger executes a sudden spin that catches Henry flat-footed in the middle of the sidewalk. The stranger looks this way and that, and Henry nearly pees himself.

But the stranger seems to look right through Henry.

The stranger’s shoulders relax, and his hands find his pockets, and he begins strolling up the street again.

Nobody notices eleven-year-old boys. They’re practically everywhere. They’re like trees, or red Jeeps, or discarded shoes.

Henry the spy is too shaken to radio in.

He lags back and follows at an even greater distance, too disturbed by the other man’s anti-spycraft moves to employ any flair. He lingers so far behind that the man becomes insect-sized on the street far ahead.

Henry pretends to look at the display in the game shop window, distracted a little by the little diorama that Glenn, the shop owner, has created. There’s a little Tyrannosaurus rex stomping through a tiny small town, tail precariously close to toppling a miniature water tower with BONNS HARBOR BEARCLAWS emblazoned on its side. Little toy cars and plastic figures scatter before the dinosaur, and red-and-yellow cellophane, lit with flickering LEDs, sets several small buildings ablaze.

He almost forgets his mission, and when he turns back to survey the street again, his heart sinks for a moment until he locates the man, surprisingly far away now, turning the corner at Harper Street.

The stranger is leaving the downtown strip behind, and heading for the neighborhoods near the railroad tracks.


For as long as Henry can remember, the junkyard at the edge of town has always been abandoned, its treasures secured behind a sheet metal gate strung up with heavy chains and a threatening lock. This is not to say that Henry has never been in the junkyard. Eleven-year-old boys are not thwarted by the trappings of grown-up security.

But this time, there’s no need for Henry to peel back the loose boards on the Silver Cloud Lane side of the junkyard. The stranger pats his pockets and produces a key, and to Henry’s amazement, unlocks the gate.

This is huge, Henry thinks. Someone bought the junkyard!

Henry cannot exactly say why this is huge, but events of such magnitude rarely happen in Bonns Harbor. The sale and purchase of a tired scrap yard rates very high for an eleven-year-old boy indeed.

He waits until the gate has closed again, and then he dashes to the Silver Cloud side of the property. The boards are still there, still loose, still forever damp and porous with rot. Henry doesn’t slip inside the junkyard just yet. For now, he pulls the boards back only enough to open a sightline, and he watches.

The yard is still populated with discarded automobiles and diseased washing machines and hollowed-out refrigerators and crumbling oil drums and twisted bumpers and even a soot-stained smokestack from an eighteen-wheeler. There are coiled and scarred springs the size of fire hydrants. Henry and his friends have played here enough times to know that some of the cars are brittle, the metal eaten nearly completely through by weather and rust, and with a careful swing, can be punched through with a baseball bat or a metal pipe.

The stranger drops a key back into his pocket, and strolls casually across the yard to one of those cars, a 1994 Chevy Corsica. The car, resting on top of a larger pile of assorted metallic junk, used to be wine-colored and now is just a husk of orange steel and bleached plastic. The windows are mostly knocked out, and broken bits of bluish diamonds are sprinkled in the window gutters and across the seats. Henry knows this because he and his friends were responsible for breaking those windows, as well as the windows of most of the other cars in the yard.

Henry watches, puzzled, as the stranger lifts the Corsica’s trunk. The lid groans and squeals, and the stranger winces. So does Henry.

Then, to Henry’s amazement, the stranger carefully steps onto the car’s bumper and climbs into the trunk.

And, with some effort, pulls the lid shut from the inside.


Henry yanks the boards back and runs into the yard, his concern at being discovered forgotten. The Corsica just sits there, not bothered at all by the human trapped in its bottom.

Henry bangs on the trunk with a flat palm. Hey, he says. Hey! Mister, are you alright? Can you hear me?

There’s no response from within.

I’ll open it up for you! he shouts.

The trunk is locked, so Henry looks around and spots a bent metal rod. He pushes one end into the space between the trunk and the bumper, and leans on the rod. But nothing happens. The trunk doesn’t budge.

For ten minutes Henry tries and fails to break into the car. He bangs on the car with his palms. Mister? he yells. I can’t get in. Are you alright in there?

As the sun goes down, he gives up and goes home.

He tells his father, who listens with an unimaginative stare, then tells Henry to wash up for dinner. After dinner there’s the singing show they always watch, and Henry briefly forgets all about the man who locked himself in the car until that night, when he’s just about to drift off to sleep.

Then it’s all he can think about all night long.