Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vampires: Day 1 -- "Augurs of Distant Shadow"

Sometimes things take longer than we think they will. In my life these days, everything takes longer than I think it will. I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that I'm also not very good at judging how long something should take to do. Except that's not exactly true. I'm pretty good at knowing how long it will take me to do something; I'm just not very good at judging how often and for how long I'm going to get distracted by the time vampires that live in my house. Yes, time vampires. That's what they are. Okay, that needs to be a new story...


It's finally here! "Shadow Spinner: Collection 2: The Man with No Eyes (Parts 6 - 12)"!
Yes, that's still a lot of colons.
The individual parts all the way  through part 12 have been pulled down and are no longer for sale, but that should be okay, because, now, instead of $11. 88 for parts 1-12, you can get them for $3.98! AND! And there are two novelettes by two excellent writers that you get to pick up along with the collections when you buy them!

In "Shadow Spinner: Collection 1: Tiberius (Parts 1 - 5)," you get "Like An Axe Through Bone" by Bryan Pedas. It's a story you should read.

In this one, "Collection 2," You get... vampires! A bit of background:

Way back in the way back, I had this contest for people to write short stories based on the world from The House on the Corner. Briane Pagel is one of the ones that wrote a story for that contest, and, although his story started with House, it quickly departed from that entirely. But I wanted a story for him for this idea I have of putting stories by other authors into my books (I have a post on that somewhere, but I'm not finding it at the moment); I just didn't want that story. I wanted it to be more House-centric. So, yeah, I actually asked him to write a different one for me. And I am so glad I did!

But, before I was glad, I was trepidatious. See, after I asked Briane about writing a new story, he came back to me with a request to do one about vampires. As I said last week, I'm no fan of vamps. But I like Briane's writing, so I sort of held my breath and said, "Go ahead." I am so glad I did!

"Augurs of Distant Shadow" is easily my favorite thing that Mr. Pagel has written yet, which is saying a lot. It's not to say, though, that I've read everything he's written, because he's written a lot, and I'm still working my way through it, but I have read a lot of it, and Augurs stands head and shoulders above everything else. I don't think this is bias because his story is set in my House world, either, because, well, I did ask him to write a new House-based story after his last one.

It's always interesting to see what people will do with the same idea when you give them the chance. Pedas took House and set in today and wrote Axe from the point-of-view of a completely new character. Pagel has take that same idea and written a story set in the future with my characters; Tom, Sam, and Ruth; all grown up, but not just grown up, grown old. And there are vampires.

It's not stated explicitly, but I'm guessing the year is around 2030, and the world is not the same place it is now and not in a good way. We alternate between the future story and one in the past telling how the vampires came to be. The atmosphere of the story is perfect. Not quite brooding but heavy. And Pagel does a great job of taking  the characters forward in time and dealing with them in a way that is both true to House and a departure at the same time. The story kind of mesmerized me, and I say that about a lot of stuff I read.

Honestly, I was scared the entire time I was reading it. Scared that he would take this brilliantly paced horrific story and, somehow, ruin it at the end, because it's so easy to allow things to fall apart at the end. But he didn't. He carried it through and gave it an ending that was as brilliant as the rest of the story. I strongly recommend "Augurs of Distant Shadow," especially to those of you who haven't read any of Pagel's work. Fortunately, for me, you have to buy my book to get it, so it's like a double bonus.
[But I'm not saying any of this to get you to buy my Spinner Collection; it's just the truth. This story is one of the best things I've read all year.]

Now, for the fun part! To go along with the release of the second collection, I'm setting as many of the other parts of Shadow Spinner for FREE! as I can! Here's the complete list:
"Shadow Spinner: Collection 1: Tiberius (Parts 1 - 5)" -- $1.99
"Shadow Spinner: Collection 2: The Man with No Eyes (Parts 6 - 12)" -- $1.99
"Part Thirteen: The Clearing" -- FREE! (Monday and Tuesday)
"Part Fourteen: Anger and Laughter" -- $0.99
"Part Fifteen: Food of the Garden" -- $0.99
"Part Sixteen: The Dark Tree" -- $0.99
"Part Seventeen: The Tree of Light" -- FREE! (Monday and Tuesday)
"Part Eighteen: The Angel" -- FREE! (Monday and Tuesday)
"Part Nineteen: Lost in the Garden" -- FREE! (Monday and Tuesday)
"Part Twenty: The Sword of Fire" -- FREE! (Monday and Tuesday)
"Part Twenty-one: The Chase" -- $0.99
"Part Twenty-two: The Undying" -- $0.99
"Part Twenty-three: The Harlot" -- FREE! (Monday only)
"Part Twenty-four: The Serpent" -- FREE! (Monday and Tuesday)
"Part Twenty-five: The Light of Knowledge" -- FREE! (Monday and Tuesday)
"Part Twenty-six: The Bitter Fruit" -- FREE! (Monday and Tuesday)
"Part Twenty-seven: Leaving" -- $0.99
"Part Twenty-eight: The Shadow Place" -- $0.99
"Part Twenty-nine: Loss" -- $0.99
"Part Thirty: Called in Judgement" -- $0.99
"Part Thirty-one: The Serpent Strikes" -- $0.99
"Part Thirty-two: The Gate" -- FREE! (Monday only)
"Part Thirty-three: Justice" -- FREE! (Monday and Tuesday)
"Part Thirty-four: Uri'el" -- FREE! (Monday and Tuesday)
So that's a dozen freebies out of 22 possible, which isn't bad, I don't think. Most of them are even FREE! for two days. And because I'm such a nice guy, I'm also going to throw in
"The Evil That Men Do" for FREE! as well (Monday and Tuesday)! For those of you that don't know, it's sort of a prequel to Shadow Spinner, but it stands alone as its own story. In fact, it was written as its own story way before Spinner was anywhere near being in my head.

As always, any reviews are more than welcome. I don't really like mentioning reviews any more because the response to getting people to leave reviews is always... underwhelming, but there's this new site, The Fussy Librarian, that is taking book submissions, and they require a minimum of ten reviews to submit. Not only have I not gotten back up to the number of reviews I had on "The Tunnel," I haven't gotten to 10, so reviews would be good. Aside from that, though, go check out the The Fussy Librarian and sign up. I don't think there are any vampires. Except in the books, of course.


  1. Congratulations on part two!
    Found the Fussy Librarian last week and submitted two of my books. I thought the minimum reviews was twenty though. Either way, hopefully I'll have enough reviews on the third book to submit while it's still free.

  2. Thanks for the great words. Really, you should give a shout-out to Rusty, too, who challenged me to write something about vampires and make it new, and I took that and ran with it for your story.

    I'm going to go buy this section, too, once I get Sweetie to give me my allowance, and I'll try to get my reviews aggregated onto this new installment. I'm really behind.

    It's always fun taking someone else's characters and putting a spin on them. Especially the "House" group.

  3. I just downloaded the first 13 chapters (installments) and I'll post my review once I've read them all. I'll warn you though, I'm a slow reader because of my migraines so it may take awhile.

    I absolutely LOVED what Bryan did with An Axe Through Bone. What a great story that was!

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  11. Cool~ I just Tweeted about this post. Are you on Twitter? Couldn't find your handle...

  12. ^^^^^Sorry Andrew! Blogger had a glitch and didn't show my comment posted so I kept hitting publish. Didn't mean to clutter up your blog.

  13. I think Elsie just had comment diarrhea. Clean up on Aisle Four.

    I'm a big Pagel fan, so I'm eager to check this out! Will Briane actually make me like vampires? We'll find out...

  14. Great time of year to be hocking your spooky stuff.

  15. I think I read that vampire story or at least part of it. It was really good.

    I prefer not to buy books in pieces, except for a series of course. Though the advantage might be if I could count them all as separate "books" on Goodreads.

  16. Alex: If your ranking is over 4.0, you only need 10.

    Briane: Ah, so it's Rusty's fault. Well, you know, if you want to shuffle all the credit over to him, that's up to you.

    Elsie: It was. And nothing against Bryan's story, but I think Briane's is even better.
    (And don't worry about the, as Bryan put it, comment diarrhea.)

    Jess: Thank you! I am not on Twitter, but I am probably getting close to breaking down and doing it.

    ABftS: He just might do it! At least these vampires.

    Michael: I hope so.

    GP: As far as I know, this one hasn't been anywhere else, so, maybe, it was a different vampire story? You'll have to check with Briane.
    They are separate books on goodreads.

  17. Time vampires? That must be the source of my problems in the time department.

    Wow, that's a lot of downloads! I'll try to read a few and leave as many reviews as I can.

    Tossing It Out

  18. Lee: That would be awesome! Make sure to start at part 1, though.

  19. Actually I went and read #13. Hope you like the review I left. I'll try to read more if I have time. Well, there's those damn time vampires too that keep me from doing everything I'd like to do.

    Wrote By Rote

  20. Those time vampires really suck. Heh, get it? Yeah, never mind.

    But that's quite the challenge to ask someone to write a story based in the world you created. Sounds like he did a great job of expanding it and making it his own while staying true to the core subject.

  21. Congrats and good luck with the new collection.

  22. Lee: I did see the review. Thanks!
    I will say, though, that 13 is a transition. The stuff before that is more earthbound and, well, scary. 13 and up is more surreal. At least for a while.

    L.G.: He did. It's a great story.

    TAS: Thanks!

  23. I picked up my copy when I noticed it over the weekend. I think this portion of the book might have been my favorite too... hard to say though. Anyway, I'm looking forward to Briane's story. Yay.

  24. Ok, OK you convinced me. Will go get.
    Tina @ Life is Good