Very short stories #45

I’ve just had a week’s holiday (stayed at home and read—luxury!), and hopefully am now fully recharged for what promises to be a busy few months at work. This year, I’ve already booked for five conferences, and I’m speaking at four of them. Not at the fifth, at least, unless something truly disastrous happens to the scheduled speakers 😛 It’s also been a good year for research papers, with 3 published already. Fingers crossed there are more to come!

So the novel writing will take a back seat for a while. I have a few ideas I’m playing with, but not going to rush them. My main options are a third book in the land of The Diamond Device or a totally new fantasy. Perhaps my subconscious will keep working on them as I go about my daily life, though it’s unlikely a plot will spontaneously generate itself.

If you haven’t read my A Quiet Rebellion books, just a heads-up I’ll be taking them out of Kindle Unlimited on 23 March and publishing them in other ebook stores. So if you are interested and also a KU subscriber, grab them while you can. (As long as you borrow them before I take them out, you can take as long as you want to read them, assuming your subscription’s ongoing). The Sapphire Solution will be in KU for another couple of months, and then I’ll take it out as well. Or maybe put The Diamond Device back in: I feel series ought to be all in or all out.

Here’s my book page if you want an overview of them all, plus links to borrow or buy. (And I’d love it if you tell your friends, hint hint!)

Book reviews

Phew! Seems I haven’t posted a book review roundup since the middle of December. No wonder the list is so long. There’s a mixture here of historical mystery, traditional-type fantasy, litRPG, magical realism and Weird Stuff. William Meikle is highly reliable for Weird Stuff with horror, and Raymond St Elmo’s books lean more literary but still weird. I’m calling them magical realism, though I’m sure some might argue with that.

A Keeper’s Tale: The Story of Tomkin and the Dragon by JA Andrews
The Blood Tartan: Quest of the Five Clans by Raymond St Elmo
The Moon Tartan by Raymond St Elmo
Poison at Pemberton Hall by Fran Smith
The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison
The Dragon’s Banker by Scott Warren
Can’t We Just Print More Money? by Rupal Patel and Jack Meaning
The Allingham Casebook by Margery Allingham
NPCs (Spells, Swords & Stealth #1) by Drew Hayes
Transcendent Green: A LitRPG Adventure by Mati Ocha
The Ascendent Sky: A LitRPG Adventure by Mati Ocha
Cursed Cocktails by SL Rowland
The Lost Husband: A Weird Sherlock Holmes Adventure by William Meikle
Ivory: A Legend of Past and Future by Mike Resnick
Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carré

Just a couple of very short stories to finish up with. Now I’ve shifted from Twitter to Mastodon, I spend a lot less time on social media. That’s a good thing overall, but I haven’t yet got back into a routine of writing to daily prompts.


Hunky chap wielding a garden implement in front of a decrepit house

Job title: Catering support
Location: Remote (tbc)
Essential qualities: No family ties
Experience required: None
Qualifications required: None

Interview rubric: sturdy build, well-muscled, would go with a nice Chianti?


Wizard with a glass of wine scowling at rogue who's lifted his purse while the warrior concentrates on his tankard.

The warrior drained his tankard. “Who’s paying? I did yesterday.”
“And I, the day before that,” added the thief.
The wizard heaved a sigh. “I forgot my purse. So unfortunately…”
The thief raised an eyebrow. “You said that last time, too.”
“It’s true!”
“Indeed.” The thief jangled a coin pouch embroidered with mystic symbols. “I lifted this earlier. Isn’t that lucky?”
The wizard glared. “Very.”

2 thoughts on “Very short stories #45

  1. I haven’t tried Mastodon yet, but since quitting Twitter I’ve been missing daily prompts, too. I do find I’m less consistent about writing every day without them — maybe I’ll stumble across a good replacement.

    Looking forward to your next story, whenever you decide what it will be! 🙂


  2. I’m enjoying Mastodon’s relaxed environment, and actual conversations rather than clickbait or chasing likes. There are various daily prompts such as #Promptodon, #Mastoprompt and plenty of haiku if you’re interested.


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