Sneak Peek Friday

OWS Summer Reading List

The Official Our Write Side (OWS) Summer Reading List is out, and I was so surprised to see that Journey to Aviad is on it! Fellow author Renee Scattergood also made the list with her Shadow Stalker series. Congratulations Renee!

51J6aQb160L__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_So in celebration, this week I’m featuring an excerpt from Journey to Aviad, which is permafree as an ebook. If you haven’t read it yet, you can easily add it to your summer reading list.

This particular excerpt came to mind, as the horrific event it mentions also plays out in Into the Shadow Wood, but from a different perspective. Watch for my upcoming cover reveal and release date!

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Smashwords


The caravan was slow and cumbersome, and strangely silent. The only voices to be heard were those of the younger children playing together in the carts. There was no singing, or storytelling, or idle conversation to pass the time as one might expect on a journey of that sort. All wore a haggard look—eyes red-rimmed, and expressions numb. Elowyn thought these people looked very much like animals stunned by a predator’s venom, stumbling about in shock and confusion, slowly and unwittingly marching on towards their inevitable demise. Elowyn realized that she probably wore the same expression, exhausted from lack of sleep, and unable to forget the image of the troll and the watchman being eaten alive. That moment in time kept replaying itself over and over in her mind, until the images became so surreal and strange that she wondered if they had really happened at all. She could almost convince herself that it had been a nightmare, except there she still was, marching along with a group of complete strangers, on a road she had never traversed before. If it was only a nightmare, she was still in it, praying desperately to be wakened.

When after a long day of walking the group finally camped for the night, Elowyn lit her own fire a short distance away. She was weary of the crowd and of feeling the weighty burden of everyone’s sorrows crushing down upon her soul. But she found that Morganne’s company was equally mournful. The fire had been fed and stoked many times before she would say anything at all, and even then she spoke with a broken voice.

“I never knew such things existed before today. Even had I known … I don’t think that I would have really understood without seeing. And as horrific as the trolls were, from what Gareth told us, the Hounds are far, far worse. I know in my mind that his word is true, but I fear that without seeing, I do not truly understand their danger either, and that frightens me even more than what I have just witnessed.”

Morganne grew quiet again for a few moments, and then with great brokenness said, “I am sorry. I should never have brought us. Nothing our mother could do would ever come close to the terror I saw unleashed by a single troll, let alone a Hound. It was wrong of me to think that I could make this journey, that you and Adelin were safer away from Tyroc. What I do not understand is why you came. You have seen a Hound—you were nearly slain by one. You knew the danger in a way that I could not, and yet you came.”

Elowyn gathered her thoughts carefully for a few moments, answering truthfully, “Tyroc was not so safe as you imagined it to be. Our cottage was no stronghold, and our mother no sure protector from danger. It is around Tyroc that the Hounds gather their strength. When they have overrun the woodlands, and Braeden has darkened the skies, who there would be strong enough to protect us?”


What’s on your #summer #reading list? Here’s our top 25! #ourwriteside #amreading


Flip Flop Fiction: Thieveses

Enjoy this fun story from from David Wiley at The Scholarly Scribe!

A few years ago I participated in a collaborative story project with Stephanie of Our Write Side. The premise was a merging of characters from various stories, brought together by a Time/World Traveling Mad Hatter. Our collaboration brought Gollum from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings/Hobbit books into the world of Peter Pan. Today I am resharing that initial entry into the story, and sometime this summer we plan to continue to tale and see where the rest of it takes us. Be sure tocheck out the original post at Our Write Side (and the rest of the great site!) and, most importantly, enjoy this piece of a tale.

“Nasty Bagginses!” he cried out as he paddled across the dark, murky water. He almost had a delicious dinner, the game of riddles had been his, and then the sneaky Hobbit cheated with a riddle that wasn’t a riddle. Now he was left with no dinner and, worst of all, he had lost his birthday present…

Source: Flip Flop Fiction: Thieveses

Sneak Peek Friday: Author David Wiley

I think it’s about time to shake up my Sneak Peek Friday posts a little.  In addition to sharing excerpts from my own writing from time to time, I’ll also be featuring other authors.  Maybe among them you’ll find a new favorite.

Words Like Rain

This week I’d like to welcome author David Wiley. Enjoy this exclusive sample from his short story, “Words like Rain,” which was featured in Our Write Side’s literary journal, OWS Ink.  You can subscribe to receive the Spring issue, which includes the entire story along with other great stories, poems, and articles.

The words poured from his mouth like rain. The old man stood in front of the heavy oak doors, arms spread wide to bar their entrance. His deep blue robes marked him as a cleric of the cobalt quill, but they were scorched and covered in soot and ash. Just about everything in this forsaken place was covered in soot and ash by now. The kingdom of Andgiet was being razed beneath the weight of revolution and a new kingdom would rise from the ashes like a phoenix. When the self-titled Lord Emperor van Ludwig had fallen in battle, almost all pockets of resistance within the kingdom had surrendered. Clearly this cleric had not received the memo.

“Please, you must not desecrate this sacred place of learning,” he pleaded. Sweat beaded upon his hairless scalp and trickled around his white eyebrows. His hazel eyes were wide and rimmed with red. His weathered hands whipped forward as he doubled over in a fit of coughing. He regained his composure and stretched his arms back out, gripping the vertical strips of black iron along the edges of the doors, as though he alone could hold them back so long as he stood clutching a part of the door. “Barbarians like you could never comprehend the value of the information contained in these tomes.”

The man standing at the head of the invaders smiled at the deranged old man. Captain Byers was never one to back down from a challenge, much less from an old man, while he had a squad of warriors at his back. Captain Byers found it amusing that he called them barbarians. He was all too aware of the power that words held, especially written words. He had no intention of burning this glorious library to the ground, but the old man would never believe that. Let the rutting fool believe what he wanted about their revolution. Together they would reshape this kingdom and tap into the wasted potential it had squandered for decades. Two of the soldiers moved forward and grabbed the man’s arms, lifting him high off the ground. His feet flailed about in the air like a toddler throwing a tantrum. His crooked back stiffened and his kicking stopped. A milky white flooded his eyes, and the laugh that sprang from his cracked lips caused the men around Captain Byers to take two steps back. But the captain stood firm, his crimson cape billowing in the wind. He pushed the sleeves of his soot-stained doublet up and strode toward the double doors of the building.

The dim light from a thousand candles cast shadows throughout the vast chamber. Columns of books stretched across walls and reached to the ceiling. Captain Byers mused that there were more words contained in this one building than in the rest of the whole world combined. It was a literary treasure trove, but the books were not without company. Men of all ages scurried about and scattered into the shadows. A rainbow of robes disappeared behind shelves and through doors as Captain Byers strode across the black-and-white floor. Tall, mahogany tables stood in the spaces between bookshelves, each one stacked with tomes and scrolls. This was a sacred place to these robed men, a place of learning, and Captain Byers knew it would become the epicenter of power for his new glorious kingdom.

A small, slim figure appeared ten feet away from Captain Byers. His stunted arms and legs were dwarfed by his large head and massive flowing beard. He held his weapon in his arms: a single leather-bound book. The men behind Captain Byers laughed when they realized this dwarf intended to fight without a weapon. But Captain Byers suspected the dwarf had chosen his weapon well.

“Turn back now,” a gravelly voice boomed from the stout man. His eyes flashed red in the candlelight. Captain Byers stood his ground and drew his scimitar from its home. He had to be prepared for anything. The dwarf sighed and opened the book.

Words like rain poured from the yellowed pages, swirling and spiraling as they took shape in the space between them. A knight, three heads taller than Captain Byers, swung an axe through the air as it appeared. Its form was solid yet the flowing letters that shaped the knight were fluid, continually shifting and rearranging in order. The letters ebbed and flowed throughout its massive body like water flowing through a stream. Some of the men behind Captain Byers laughed at the sight. Others drew their weapons. Captain Byers would be certain to remember those men and honor them, whether in memory or in promotion, when the siege of this kingdom was complete. The flowing script turned red, and the knight took a slow step forward. The axe, nearly as large as Captain Byers, whirled in a deadly arc toward the captain.

David Wiley is an author of science fiction and fantasy stories, choosing to write the stories that he would love to read. His short fiction has previously been published in Sci Phi Journal, OWS Ink, Mystic Signals and a King Arthur anthology by Uffda Press. David resides in central Iowa with his wife and their cats and spends his time reading, writing, and playing board games. You can find his blog at