For years, Star Wars fans have imagined what happened off-screen that led to the formation of the Rebel Alliance. What was the reaction (outside the Death Star conference room) to the Emperor’s dissolution of the Galactic Senate? How did the average citizen of the galaxy react to the atrocities committed by the Empire? What kind of internal debates and conflicts occurred as the Rebel Alliance struggled to find its footing and survive the Imperial attempts to snuff out the flickering flame of freedom? While it’s always been fun (and part of fandom) to speculate and create our own head canon of these events, the acquirement of LucasFilm by Disney has led to stories like the Rogue One feature film and the animated series, Star Wars Rebels, which were clearly crafted with a desire in mind to fill in these gaps and illustrate the rough and precarious path for this band of freedom fighters.
Adam Korenman’s second installment in his sci-fi series, The Gray Wars, picks up almost immediately after the events from book one, When the Stars Fade. Everything humanity knows is in flux, with a rebellion on Earth threatening the current system of government, a sudden introduction to non-human life forms from the cosmos, and an interstellar war sweeping humanoids up in its tide. Alliances break and form in a heartbeat in the current world, and it’s becoming more difficult to tell who is an ally and who is a foe. Korenman’s people face challenges with spunk, vigor, and a zest to endure, but how long can it last when they’re outgunned, outmanned, and facing total annihilation?
"Tristan pulled Cade up, ending their break. 'Let’s go, little brother,' he said. 'We’re almost there.' Cade looked at his brother and felt the need to say something. Something important. Soon, things would never be the same for them again. Tristan was about to be vaulted into a new life, and Cade would continue to be just Cade. It was as if Cade were standing on a hand platform, watching his brother board a ship that would take him somewhere he could never go. The idea filled Cade with a sense of loss, to mourning. But before Tristan departed, Cade wanted to somehow capture this moment and hold it so he could think back, fondly, on the last time there were a pair. Just like they had always been.” -Chapter 2
Penny thought her involvement with Daer/Lloegyr couldn’t get any more bizarre after she solved a series of murders caused by the world’s most revered species, unicorns; however, Taryn’s marriage proposal to her associate, Morey, exposes her to species rituals beyond anything she experienced on Earth. Before the wedding, though, Penny is called to help save Raven, her dragon beloved who failed her at the climax of The Cult of Unicorns. Can she find forgiveness for his betrayal and recreate their bond without hurting the human man who brings warmth and stability back into her life?
“But when this darkness is faced, even metaphorically, I believe that a certain sense of liberation occurs which is healthy for people—it is the liberation of integration, the relief that comes when we realize that no more dirty, closeted secrets remain.” -Steve Rasnic Tem, "The Subject Matter of Horror,” Exploring Short Dark Fiction #1: A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem
Dealing with the death of Lloegyr national, Endre/Brother Dominic opened Penny White’s small parish life to something greater than imagination: an entire fantastical world populated by beings considered mythological by residents of the human world; however, the intoxicating lure of the magical creates a divide between her mundane life as a small-town vicar and the comparative excitement of her new position as a religious liaison between the two worlds. Can Penny figure out what is most important to her: the constant excitement of something new or the ties with those around her? Will she make it through yet another Christmas season with its parish demands? And, most importantly, can her human suitor ever compete with the temptation of a riveting search dragon for her heart?
Robert Payne Cabeen has had a creative career penning subversive poetry and screenplays, such as Tainted Treats, the screenplay for Heavy Metal 2000, and Fearworms: Selected Poems from Fanbase Press. Cold Cuts marks Cabeen’s first foray into writing a novel, and much in alignment with his works, it’s both fiendish and funny.
One of the hardest things to do when you are a creative person is to sell your own work, especially when our society is stuck on this notion that all artists/writers/creators must starve and suffer for their art. Well, Russell Nohelty is here to tell you that it’s a load of crap in Sell Your Soul: How to Build Your Creative Career, and I agree with him. Luckily, he’s also written a handy-dandy guide to walk you through the emotional and practical aspects of selling your work.
Small-town English vicar Penny White thought the hardest thing she’d ever do is try to move on after the death of her husband eighteen months ago; then, she nearly hit a dragon on a dark highway, gave him last rights, and discovered a magical world beyond normal human sight. Lloegyr, a realm populated with various mythical (by human standards) races needs another priest liaison, and Penny’s quick thinking when faced with the giant dying reptile and love of Doctor Who make her prime candidate number one. Will chatting with parishioners about poor hymn choices ever live up to the excitement of traveling to another realm? Will she manage to make her gryphon associate stop terrorizing the birds in her garden? And what is really going on between her and Raven, a beautiful green-black dragon that stirs emotions she thought long dead?
Sallot "Sal" Leon’s only motivation is avenging the loss of their family, friends, and country. As the last-known living Nacean, Sal’s primary motivations are survival…and revenge against the nobles that abandoned their country to the shadows. Petty thieves don’t have much access to nobility, but a chance carriage robbery garners a flyer advertising auditions for one of the Queen’s assassins, Opal, which could open the doors of the palace to a crafty, ruthless thief with an agenda.