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)"!
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.