Saturday, 28 June 2008

Review For The Eleven-Hour Fall

Red Roses For Authors have just posted a review for my sci-fi romance novella! Here it is:

Robert Appleton/Eleven Hour Fall/Eternal Press/ebook/54 pages

Kate is with a team looking for important minerals on a new planet called Kratos. She is in love with one of the other team members, but Remington doesn't know it - though he seems interested. While exploring a mountain range they suffer a terrible rock slide and are sent sliding down the surface. Kate is trained in survival and when she discovers that Remington is still alive but unconscious she ties them both together and jumps, hoping to land on the surface of the planet with her chute. However, she goes into a long, long free fall. When they are swooped on by huge birdlike monsters and then dropped the adventure begins.

This is a story of surviving and of a determined woman. Kate is going to do her utmost to save her man and she has to fight off various monsters and all kinds of perils. It is a relief when Remington recovers consciousness and starts to help her. This excellent book is imaginative and well written and has a surprise in store at the end. I don't often 'Love' science fiction but I did this one! Five red roses, Linda

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Visit the Cafe

My science-fiction romance short story CAFÉ AT THE EDGE OF OUTER SPACE is due for release on July 7. If you're a fan of those two genres, you'll love this one…

In the distant future, our overpopulated planet requires all sixteen year olds to undertake a ten-year exile as a rite of passage. Paired with a mate on the voyage out to kick-start adulthood, they must all pass through the café on the edge of outer space, the legendary waystation orbiting Earth.

Frank Archer isn't ready for life away from home. He's smitten with his new girl, Emma Whitaker. But whether he likes it or not, it's time for the boy to become a man. He has a beautiful girl to protect...through the deadliest terrorist attack ever conceived!

Here are two short excerpts:


Strangely, I find an air of nostalgia where there is no air. I’m looking out of a window that never needs cleaning from outside. It’s pretty much impenetrable, too. Just the faint threat of things over which we’ve no control – you know, asteroids, solar flares, terrorism, things like that. “Facing space,” they call it. Something to do with a rite of passage. Everyone leaves Earth at sixteen – that’s the law – and we’re not allowed to return until our twenty-sixth birthdays. Talk about a graduation.

There’s a kind of window over the Earth as well. It isn’t solid, it’s translucent – a hazy helmet of cloud and pollution. Great Britain passed by a few minutes ago. I could just about make out where I lived, more or less dead centre on the island. Apparently, Britain used to be much bigger. And warmer. More sandy beaches, less pack ice. I can’t quite picture Blackpool without snow, though. Outdoor roller-coasters? They must’ve been insane.

It’s been days since I saw anyone familiar. All my classmates are still hundreds of miles below, probably wondering what the café at the edge of outer space is really like. I wish I could tell them. I’m the oldest, but their turns will come soon enough. It’s actually not too different from the school diner: everyone’s in each other’s way, no one wants to stay here long, and the food is bloody awful.

So, I’m out on my own. I left Earth a boy, and they’re counting on me to find Frank Archer the man. There’s something disconcerting about that whole idea. I don’t want to change. Why should I? Where will travelling the universe take me, except away from here? What if I never find another place as peaceful as Lancashire. What if I change for the worse? We’re the future of Earth; without proper guidance, who’s to say we won’t become a planet of cutthroats? So much for their claims of overpopulation – by the time you’re old enough to understand the notion, they’ve already shipped you off into orbit. It’s a bizarre way of treating children, if you ask me.


Our gentle footsteps seem invasive, illegal somehow. The dark tunnel effect is dizzyingly effective as we tiptoe out onto a three-hundred-and-sixty degree stellar walkway. I hold my breath. If Emma’s hand wasn’t squeezing mine, I’d be head over heels off balance instead of head over heels in . . . liking her a lot.


It’s a deep-bone thrombosis of stars and gravitational attraction. Body to body, orbit to orbit, me to her. We’re cosmic trespassers, and I feel just as transparent as the see-through window encasing us. She looks right into me, her warm breath reaching my cheek where it lingers. Utter silence. My heavy breathing now feels part of oblivion, hers a solar wind from light years away. We’re together now, though. So together. She roves her flat palm from my side across the front of my t-shirt, exciting a halo that dissolves down through my entire body. As I take that hand, I’m a wisp at her mercy. Her fingers pulse magic as we draw near, and her breasts press against my rib cage. Near. No fear. We’re…

Coming July 7 at

Bon Appetite!

Here's a quick preview of the book cover for Bits of the Dead, the zombie horror anthology edited by Keith Gouveia and published by Coscom Entertainment.

Nightmares? Who? Me?


My flash fiction short Cemetery will appear in this one, alongside some famous names in the genre. It promises to be an eye-opening (and otherwise gouging) read. I can't wait!

It's out in late July. But you can pre-order HERE.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

New book released!

My five story anthology, written under pen name Arthur Everest, is a fascinating look at time and time travel.


Who is Esther May Morrow? Why is it that her strange shop, resembling something out of medieval England, has remained unchanged from the nineteenth to the twenty-third century. What is she selling? And who will come to buy...?

Stories in this collection feature a professional cardsharp with a dark secret; an old man, his dying dog, and a chance for immortality; a vengeful Marine and a special pocket watch; and a celebrated male prostitute and his unrequited love…for Olivia de Havilland!

Eerie, amusing and always original, these stories address the personal journeys of five haunted individuals, for whom quirks of time shed new light on their dilemmas. No one who enters Esther May’s shop is ever the same again.

Here’s a brief excerpt from Miss Olivia:

Reclining, deflating against his stack of pillows after a long day, he smiled as her familiar profile came to life. The backdrop only fidgeted, but Olivia herself, arguably at her most ravishing, began to walk toward him with breathtaking fluidity. She hoisted her dress slightly to prevent it snagging on the uneven ground. She watched her footing over stiff clumps of grass. Her smile bloomed into sweet dimples whenever she looked up. And as Olivia stood within inches of him—the close-up of all close-ups—he turned to walk with her. A beautiful, innocent piece of programming. Courtesy of Sexual Fantasies, Inc.

Rex tapped the pause button with Miss Olivia staring directly at him. What a remarkable technology, he thought, that inks in the pixels to approximate beauty. Her round, angelic face, flush cheeks, big eyes, butter-wouldn’t-melt smile with a hint of naughtiness behind the teeth. The visor had got her exactly right in every detail. Except one.

It wasn’t really Olivia.

And Rex was in love with the real Olivia.

Here’s a brief excerpt from Gin Rummy:

Horace Exeter didn’t like to lose.

From the moment he strolled into the Francis Drake, his waistcoat pocket bulging with wealth that was not his, he set about weighing up the competition. A blurry-eyed threesome emptying a pint apiece near the far window? Heck no, they were far gone, animated only by the cartoon gestures of a giddy colleague. They wouldn’t last two rounds—either beer or cards. A well-dressed couple lost between glances in a silent love charade? Hmm, slim pickings, he thought.

“Anything for you, sir?” asked the barkeep, ever so politely.

“Three gins. Make one a double, and you can point me to the third.”

The barkeep laughed. “Right you are, sir,” he said. “That’s the game just there—that table facin’ the far window. Gins…gin rummy...I’ll ’ave to remember that one.”

“Much obliged,” Horace replied curtly.


He’d always despised the quick-to-make-friends, particularly those with one hand in a till drawer. A smile cost nothing, so why should that suggest it was worth anything? He’d never understood why businessmen were so well-respected in a community. Their sole purpose was to relinquish others of wealth. Any benefit to the community was incidental. They were beneath contempt because they knew not of their crime. Larceny. Purveyors of platitudes, robbers with the law behind them.

At least I know I’m a son of a bitch, he thought, grinning. Time to ply a few platitudes of my own. Here’s to larceny!

With a flick of his chin, he downed the double gin.

Amber light from ship lanterns hanging in each alcove combined well with the varnished mahogany tables and plush maroon carpet to give an authentic period vibe. It was 1899, but to Horace, it felt more like 1599.

Whatever the century, they’re about to be fleeced.

And here’s a quick excerpt from Cretaceous:

“Come with me,” she said, untying her apron and nodding him toward the curtain door. Her small, slim figure and prematurely veined hands suggested to Vincent she’d spent a lifetime washing up, doing housework, being run off her feet.

Very chirpy, though. A lot like my Esther...just not in looks.

Rows of shelves greeted him as he ducked under the low doorframe into the shop. Dozens of wooden shelves, items upon them neatly arranged in a Sunday morning, bric-a-brac sort of way. Without his glasses, he couldn’t see the contents in much detail, but those he could discern—a Bedouin headscarf, a violin bow, a beige fedora hat, an old copy of the Bible, a futuristic-looking crystal clock—tickled his curiosity.

“What business are you in, Esther?” he asked, inhaling a gorgeous smell of fresh pastry from a shelf behind the counter labelled “something...something...Pies.”

“Buy or borrow. I’m in the time business,” she replied.

He leaned in, straining his old eyes for a closer look at the label.

Hmm...Fresh-Baked Pies.

“Buy or borrow? What’s that when it’s at home?” he queried. In seventy years of car boot sales, flea markets, and what have you, he thought he’d seen every kind of money-raising idea known to man. But “buy or borrow”?

Esther smiled and beckoned him over to another shelf set along the back wall, one full of coloured bottles. Vincent thought it resembled something from a Victorian pharmacy or perhaps even older than that, an apothecary’s stash.

“What’s this buy or borrow?” he asked again, softer this time as he stood beside her.

“It’s exactly as it sounds. You say whether you’d like to keep an item or rent it, and then make us an offer. It’s very rare we refuse.”

“Fair enough.” Vincent smiled, instantly dubious of the whole idea.

Esther’s snowy-white skin contrasted with the colours of viscous liquids across three jam-packed rows of glass bottles. her, he thought, glancing approvingly at the woman who’d saved his life.

Don't miss ESTHER MAY MORROW'S BUY BORROW by Arthur Everest