Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fire On The Sands Has Arrived!

Fire On The Sands
(Book 4 in The BloodDark Series, this story takes place in the era before the "Olivia Trilogy" of tales.)
Print version available at Amazon.

Airship Captain Adena Nightingale takes on a smuggling run - and gets more than she bargained for. Out on the frigid desert of BloodDark World's night side, she rescues Earthman Greg Cole, an escaped slave from a Pure Blood mine.

Greg wants to rescue his friend, kidnapped with him and held somewhere in the City of Night. Adena's okay with that, but she doesn't know something strange lurks in the Oculus Nightingale's cargo bay.

When they reach the City of Night all hell breaks loose. Adena, Greg, and the sentient brass parrot Mr. Phibuli find themselves caught up in the aftershocks of an ancient war - and they have their work cut out for them in order to survive.


The open desert lay beyond the single track, the sand and gravel waste looking cold, dark and empty. The heat on Greg's back stopped as if a furnace door had shut. He trudged onward for another hundred paces or so, wondering what to do next. The desert seemed to suck at his soul. Greg shivered from fear more than from cold. Who knows what's out there? The wild creatures of this crazy world could be far worse than Earth.

A blazing barrel dropped from the sky, slamming into the sand and bursting a short distance away. Burning oil shot out in a spray and spattered on his legs. Greg jumped and howled as he beat at the stinging pain and tripped over a barrel stave as it skittered by, one end burning bright. Cursing the burns, Greg picked up the stave. With a last glance at the emptiness he turned and used the rudimentary torch to light his way across the uneven ground.

He skirted the area of the mining compound, trying to see past fires and roiling smoke to determine how the slaves were doing. Occasional yells and cries sounded over the roar of flames. Once an ogre bellowed, whether in pain or triumph, he couldn't tell.

Greg reached the foot of the crag. The locomotive whistle shrieked, the banshee sound making him cringe. He heard the sounds of the engine stirring to life, the heavy huff and puff of steam at work. Greg stopped.

What the heck do I do now? I know that damned city is back down the track. Do the silly beggars think they'll escape if they go back? Are they going the other way, and to what?

He hesitated, caught between exhaustion and the need to escape. The sounds of the locomotive increased in tempo, but decreased in volume. It's moving away. They're getting away without me. He sagged to his knees, feeling like giving up and letting the cold or any surviving ogres find and kill him.

A soft puttering sound impinged on his hearing. At first Greg put it down to the sound of blood surging in his head. The sound increased in volume. Weary beyond belief he raised his head and looked about, wondering if he heard an echo of the fast-retreating locomotive. Some quality of the sound made him stare upward.

A huge shape blotted out the stars above. The fires in the mining camp reflected off a long silver cylindrical form, and Greg could make out the glint of glass and metal fittings and an array of windows showing a dull ruddy light.

It's an airship! An honest-to-God airship!

Fire On The Sands is available now in e-formats from Desert Breeze Publishing and in print at Amazon.

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