Tag Archives: Tantrum Books

Release Day Giveaway! The Extremely Epic Viking Tale of Yondersaay by Aoife Lennon-Ritche @chapterxchapter @aoifelennon @tantrumbooks

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Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for

The Extremely Epic Viking Tale of Yondersaay
by Aoife Lennon-Ritche

presented by Tantrum Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Happy Book Birthday, Aoife!

 

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This winter, siblings Ruairi and Dani Miller visit their ancestral homeland: the legendary Viking island of Yondersaay. Even with Granny Miller’s storytelling to pass the time, the pair manage to find trouble. In less than twenty-four hours of their arrival, Ruairi is mistaken for the lost Boy King of Denmark, kidnapped by Vikings, and scheduled to be sacrificed at sundown. Granny isn’t very pleased.

But when everyone except them goes Viking, the three turn to Granny’s epic tales of the legends of Yondersaay, The Gifts of Odin, and King Dudo the Mightily Impressive for clues. But not all stories end happily, and Ruari, Dani, and Granny will have to write their own happy ending.

The Princess Bride meets Vikings in this enchanted tale of high adventure, buried treasure, villainous treachery, violent ends, and – of course – true love. Aoife Lennon-Ritchie’s debut middle grade novel, THE EXTREMELY EPIC VIKING TALE OF YONDERSAAY, is a humorous and heartwarming story for readers ages 9+.

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The Extremely Epic Viking Tale of Yondersaay
by Aoife Lennon-Ritchie
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Tantrum Books

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excerpt

 

The Little Secret

Granny had to shout now because of the noise of the wind on the gangplank of the ferry she, Dani, Ruairi, and Mum were boarding. Granny was eating the steaming hot pie Mum had gotten for her in a sailor bar in the port. They huddled close together and shuffled up the gangplank in their winter clothes.
“About three weeks into the voyage,” Granny bellowed, “a few days after the warriors started wondering why they hadn’t found land yet, dusk fell on a clear, calm ocean. The night was full of light from the crystalline moon, and Brother Brian turned a little in his position in the prow of the lead longship and made a long slow nod of the head toward King Dudo, closing his eyes as his head reached its lowest position. It was a very cool move. Brother Brian had been practicing it in his head for weeks. He waited for King Dudo to take his seat beside him.
“‘We are close,” Brian said to Dudo and looked to the stars, then back down at the books and scrolls and charts laid all about him and back up to the stars again. “‘All my information, all my years of training, and all my expertise tell me we are very close.’
“The boat glided quietly through the water. Most of the Vikings were sleeping. Not so much as a seabird disturbed the stillness of the night. The monk and the king looked hopefully all around; it felt to them that they could see for miles. If the island was there, they would see it.
“They looked and looked. An hour passed, two hours passed, then three. But no land came into view. All of a sudden, King Dudo swung his head around to the left. ‘Shh!’ he hissed. Brother Brian swivelled his gaze around and looked hard, but he couldn’t see anything. ‘It sounded like—’ King Dudo said, stopping short.
“‘Like what, my lord?’ Brian asked.
“‘Oh, nothing, it’s ridiculous … but for a minute there, I thought I heard children laughing.’
Brother Brian gasped, clutched his chest, and went pale.
“‘It’s nothing,’ King Dudo continued. ‘The ocean is playing tricks on my mind.’ Dudo’s shoulders sagged, and he let out a big sigh. ‘This is ridiculous! What am I thinking? A magical island in the middle of the ocean … Enough. Time to let it go. Let’s get back on track and deliver my men to land.’

 

About-the-Author2

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Irish actor and writer Aoife Lennon-Ritchie studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, the Universita di Catania in Italy, University College Dublin in Ireland, and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Aoife holds diplomas, degrees and a Masters in the multiple fields of business and information technology, English and classic literature, theatre and creative writing; she looks forward to doing her PhD in Film and Media. Always searching for new adventures, Aoife has lived in the UK, France, Greece, Italy, and several US cities, including Chicago, New York and Pittsburgh. She speaks three (and a half) languages. Although she was once an investment banker, she much prefers acting, fencing, writing, and being a mum. She currently lives in Cape Town with her handsome husband and two small children.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

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Happy book birthday to Poppy Mayberry, The Monday by Jennie K. Brown @chapterxchapter @jenniekaywrites @tantrumbooks

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Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for

Poppy Mayberry, The Monday by Jennie K. Brown

presented by Tantrum Books/Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Happy Book Birthday, Jennie!

 

Poppy Mayberry Cover

 

What if your teacher could read your mind just because she was born on a Thursday? Or the kid next to you in class could turn back the clock just because he was a ‘Wednesday”? In the quirky town of Nova, all of this is normal, but one thing is not—Poppy Mayberry. As an almost-eleven-year-old Monday, she should be able to pass notes in class or brush her dog, Pickle, without lifting a finger. But her Monday telekinesis still has some kinks, and that plate of spaghetti she’s passing may just end up on someone’s head. And if that’s not hard enough, practically perfect Ellie Preston is out to get her, and Principal Wible wants to send her to remedial summer school to work on her powers! It’s enough to make a girl want to disappear…if only she were a Friday.

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Poppy Mayberry, The Monday
by Jennie K. Brown
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Tantrum Books

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excerpt

From Chapter One:

That’s when it got weird. What I imagined actually happened.

In like a millisecond after my thought, the sparkly headband literally flew off her head, without a push, shake, or anything. It smashed on the SMART Board directly behind Mrs. Flannagan. The pieces scattered across the floor. A few of them even hit grossy Mark. His dirty finger immediately pulled out of his nose.

“Who did that?” Ellie’s head whipped around and her hair smacked Veronica in the face. Ellie’s eyes searched down the rows, one by one. She was using her powers on us yet again. But at that point, who was I to comment on using powers? I put her in this position in the first place by using mine. I thought so, at least.

Before she got into my head, I quickly changed to thoughts of my dog Pickle. If Ellie looked in, she would see dog poop and dirty fur. Nothing that could incriminate me for what just happened.

But someone knew it was me. Veronica smirked. I winked back.

“Poppy Mayberry!” Mrs. Flannagan’s nostrils flared as she stomped toward me like a big red bull charging. “How dare you use your powers in this classroom!” Her pudgy hand pointed about a foot above the door to a plaque stating the number-one rule of Nova Elementary: NO POWER USAGE!

Although I should have been ashamed of the awful trick I had just played, I couldn’t stop the giant smile from spreading across my face. Finally! My telekinesis was here. That’s when I knew that I, Poppy Rose Mayberry, was officially a Monday.

About-the-Author2

jennie-k-brown

 

Jennie K. Brown is a high school English teacher by day, freelance magazine writer by night, and middlegrade/young adult author by late-night and weekend. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Jennie can be found reading a good book, traveling, or spending time with her awesome husband, amazing son and super-spoiled yorkie.In 2010, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) named Jennie the Pennsylvania English teacher of excellence, and she currently serves as President of the Pennsylvania Council for Teachers of English and Language Arts (PCTELA). She is also an active member of SCBWI, NCTE and ALAN.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

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Woot! Release Day Celebration and Giveaway: Joshua and the Arrow Realm by Donna Galanti @chapterxchapter @DonnaGalanti @tantrumbooks

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Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for

Joshua and the Arrow Realm
(Lightning Road #2)
by Donna Galanti

presented by Tantrum Books/Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Happy Book Birthday, Donna!

 

Joshua2 Cover

 

Joshua never thought he’d return to the world of Nostos so soon. But, when King Apollo needs his help in the Arrow Realm, Joshua’s will and powers will be tested in order to save him.

With his loyalties divided between our world and theirs, Joshua wonders whether he alone can restore magic to the twelve powerless Olympian heirs, or whether he is being tricked into making the one mistake that might cost them all.

JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM is the exciting follow up to JOSHUA THE LIGHTNING ROAD which the Midwest Book Review called, “a heart-pounding thrill ride.”

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Joshua and the Arrow Realm (Lightning Road #2)
by Donna Galanti
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Tantrum Books

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OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

 

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Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.

Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.

To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.

In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.

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About-the-Author2

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Donna is the author of the Joshua and the Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at http://www.project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogs…, a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at http://www.donnagalanti.com and http://www.ElementTrilogy.com. Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.

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Yay! Release Day Celebration Giveaway: Argos by @PhillipWSimpsonPhillip @chapterxchapter @month9books

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Happy Release Day to

Argos by Phillip W. Simpson

Join us in celebrating this new release from Month9Books!

Enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.

Happy Book Birthday, Phillip!

 

Argos Cover

 

Loyalty has no limits

Raised from a pup by Greek hero, Odysseus, Argos has come to learn the true meaning of love and loyalty. But when Odysseus leaves for the Trojan War, little does Argos know it will be 20

years before he sees his master again. With Odysseus gone his wife, Penelope, and son, Telemachus, are easy prey for neighboring kings and the Gods themselves.

But Argos was tasked to keep them safe until Odysseus returns and that is a promise he is

determined to keep – whatever the cost. Told through his eyes, Argos recounts the story of his

life – his pain, his joy, his triumphs and failures; his endurance in the face of hardships almost too great to believe.

Above all else, Argos strives to do what is right – and to remain loyal to his King when all others have given up hope. To live long enough to see his beloved master one more time.

This epic myth of love and loyalty proves that a dog really is man’s best friend.

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Argos by Phillip W. Simpson
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books

 

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About-the-Author2

Phillip W Simpson

 

Phillip W. Simpson has written over 50 children’s books for both middle grade and young adult readers. He has a background in Ancient History and Archaeology, and has partially completed his doctorate in Archaeology. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand, with his wife Rose, their son, Jack and their two border terriers, Whiskey and Raffles. When not writing, he works as an elementary school teacher.

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Release Day Celebration Giveaway: Traitor (Dragonrider Chronicles #3) by Nicole Conway @ANConway @chapterxchapter @month9books

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Happy Release Day to

Traitor (Dragonrider Chronicles #3)
by Nicole Conway!

Join us in celebrating this new release from Month9Books!

Enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.

 

Happy Book Birthday, Nicole!

 

TraitorCover

 

Can anyone survive being lost in Luntharda?

No amount of training has prepared Jaevid Broadfeather for the frontlines of battle. Now facing the true horrors of war, with Luntharda looming on the horizon, Jaevid has begun to question everything he thought about his heritage. The only thing keeping him going is his oath to protect his dragonrider brothers. But in an instant, even that slips through Jaevid’s fingers as he steps from the safety of his dragon’s saddle into the depths of his mother’s wild homeland—the kingdom of the gray elves.

Stranded in Luntharda with his partner, Lieutenant Jace Rordin, Jaevid must finally confront the demons of his own past as he uncovers the truth about a war that began before he was ever born. Armed with a new appreciation for destiny, and flanked by his trusted friends, Jaevid moves to make the final strike against an enemy that has hidden in plain sight for far too long.

One kingdom’s traitor will become the world’s last hope.

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Traitor (Dragonrider Chronicles #3) by Nicole Conway
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books

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OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

 

Fledgling

 

When Jaevid Broadfeather is given the rare opportunity to become a dragonrider for the king’s army, the 15-year-old boy has no idea that he is part of a conspiracy that will rock the very foundations of the kingdom.

Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.

While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.

Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.

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Avian

 

Jaevid wants to pass his Avian year of training . . . but will he even survive it?

What kind of power is lurking inside him? After a year of training to become a dragonrider, Jaevid Broadfeather has been sent home to rest during a three-month interlude. But when he returns to find the king drake has chosen Beckah Derrick as his new rider, Jaevid realizes something big is about to happen. Every fiber of his being is pushed to the breaking point as Jaevid battles through his avian year, preparing for the final graduation test of the battle scenario. But there is more standing in his way than a few pushups and fancy sword moves. Jaevid must face a new fear as he is tormented by a gruesome nightmare of a mysterious gray elf warrior murdering the royal family of Maldobar. It seems obvious to him that this is some kind of message about how the war started long ago—until Felix assures him the king is very much alive. With his strange powers growing stronger by the day, and that violent dream replaying in his mind every night, Jaevid no longer wonders if he will pass his avian year or not—he wonders if he will even survive it.

The truth will soon be set loose.

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About-the-Author2

NicoleConwayPhoto

 

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |Goodreads

 

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Blog Tour: THE UNDERTAKERS 5: END OF THE WORLD by @tydrago @chapterxchapter @Month9Books

Welcome!

Here’s what’s going on today book lovers …

TY Drago

 Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/blog-tour-schedule-the-undertakers-5-end-of-the-world-by-ty-drago/

 

 

End of the World (The Undertakers, #5)

The Undertakers 5: End of the Word by Ty Drago

Publication Date:  March 29, 2016

Publisher:  Month9Books

 Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24951449-end-of-the-world

https://www.goodreads.com/series/96138-the-undertakers

Blurb:

The Corpse War is over. Or at least Will Ritter thought the war was over. But Will quickly changes his mind when he is led through a doorway in time and finds himself in a future where the Earth has been all but destroyed. The Corpses, alien invaders who wear the dead like suits of clothing, have returned in horrific numbers. In the wake of their destructive onslaught, a rag-tag group of survivors with some of Will’s now grownup friends among them is all that’s left of mankind. Will must take part in a desperate, last ditch effort to rewrite history, prevent the Second Corpse War from ever happening, and defeat this evil that has consumed mankind once and for all. But victory, if such a thing is even possible, carries a heavy cost.

Purchase Links:

Google Play | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

About the Author:

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Ty Drago does his writing just across the river from Philadelphia, where the Undertakers novels take place.  In addition to The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses, The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead, and The Undertakers: Secret of the Corpse Eater, he is the author of The Franklin Affair and Phobos, as well as short stories and articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including Writer’s Digest.  He currently lives in southern New Jersey with his wife and best friend, the real Helene Drago née Boettcher.

Woot!! Giveaway Information:  Contest ends April 8, 2016

Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Undertakers 5: End of the World by Ty Drago (INT)

Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c08c9e8e519/?

 

More titles by Ty Drago:

Rise of the Corpses (The Undertakers, #1)Queen of the Dead (The Undertakers, #2)

Secret of the Corpse Eater (The Undertakers, #3)Last Siege of Haven (The Undertakers, #4)

Find out more here:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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M9B Reveal: THE UNDERTAKERS: END OF THE WORLD Chapter 1 by Ty Drago #Month9Squad #Month9Books

 

Today Ty Drago and Month9Books are revealing
the first chapter for THE UNDERTAKERS: THE END OF THE WORLD!
Book 5 in the Undertakers Series which releases March 29, 2016!
Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive an eGalley!!

 

Title: THE UNDERTAKERS: THE END OF THE WORLD
Author: Ty Drago
Pub. Date: March 29, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find it: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Kobo | Google Play Books | iBooks |  Goodreads

 

Think the Corpse War was over?
So did Will Ritter until he was led through a doorway in time and finds himself in a
future where the Earth has been all but destroyed.
The Corpses, alien invaders who wear the dead like suits of clothing, have returned in
horrific numbers. In the wake of their destructive onslaught, a rag-tag group of survivors
with some of Will’s now grownup friends among them is all that’s left of mankind.
Will must take part in a desperate, last ditch effort to rewrite history, prevent the
Second Corpse War from ever happening, and defeat this evil that has consumed
mankind once and for all.
But victory, if such a thing is even possible, carries a heavy cost. 
Excerpt

Chapter 1Dreamer

Folks don’t sweat in dreams, do they?

“Ready?” the dude in the broken glasses asked.

The dreamer nodded, readying her javelin, feeling the familiar cold steel of its shaft in her strong fists. This wasn’t the “real” javelin, of course. The dude in the broken glasses, the one who kept bringing her to this strange place while she slept, had told her that the “real” javelin was too unique and important to risk in a training exercise. But he assured her that this one was the same length and weight as the genuine article.

 

 

Whatever. It worked well enough. And she was getting good with it.

But then, she’d always had a knack with pointy things like this.

This was her fifth simulation tonight and the sweat of the last four stung her eyes.

Even in her scariest nightmares, and Heaven knew she’d had her share of those, in which she was either running from Corpses or defending the people she cared about from those undead invaders, she never sweated. Oh sure, when she woke up with a gasp of alarm or even a terrified cry, she was often soaked in cold, sticky perspiration.

But never during the actual dream.

Until now.

Her eyes looked everywhere at once as she turned in a slow circle, surveying the dimly lit room. This place had a high ceiling, with walls and a floor all covered in white tile. It was big too, maybe sixty feet by thirty.

But with the lights off, it seemed even bigger.

And more menacing.

That’s ’cause I know what hides in this darkness.

There!

The first mechanical monster charged her left flank, just a flash of movement, a shadow against other shadows. She got the impression of something large, with ten legs and a single piercing red eye.

No time to parry. So she dove, rolled, and felt the charging thing rush past her. Then, finding one knee, she thrust one of the javelin’s two pointed ends up and out. It was one of the dozen moves that she’d been painstakingly mastering.

In these dreams, that is.

Her thrust struck home, the javelin’s point jabbing deeply into the ten-legged monster’s flank, knocking it over. The dreamer, still holding the weapon’s other end, went with it, using its weight to leverage her to her feet before yanking the javelin free and spinning around, poised for the next assault.

Two of them came at her this time, ten o’clock and one o’clock. Their maws were wide open, rows of teeth shimmering in the darkness.

She went left, running straight at her nearest attacker, only to leap at the last second, putting one bare foot atop the monster’s bulbous head and vaulting over it. As she did, she let her body tumble rearward, executing a backflip that allowed her to drive the javelin viciously into the creature’s steel spine. As the weapon’s point sliced through the thick armor, the dreamer’s momentum pulled the javelin along, slicing open the creature’s metal plating, exposing rent gears, severed cables and electronic circuitry that sputtered in its death throes.

The monster collapsed.

The dreamer landed smoothly on her feet behind it.

And that’s when the other one struck her.

As quick as she’d been, she hadn’t been quick enough. She’d stupidly allowed the last monster to anticipate her, and now she was paying for it, her body a mass of pain as she was slammed against the floor and sent sliding along its tiled surface.

Somewhere in the surrounding darkness, she heard the dude with the broken glasses gasp in alarm.

Wincing, the dreamer rolled with the blow, controlled it, and managed to get her feet under her and the javelin up just as the ten-legged thing pounced at her for the killing blow.

This time, the weapon’s point rammed straight up under the creature’s chin, if you could call that place under its mouth a “chin.” Bracing herself, and ignoring the sharp agony that lanced up her left arm—wrenched, but not broken—the dreamer pushed harder, and harder still, until the javelin exploded out the top of the monster’s head.

It toppled over as the other had.

“The crystal!” the man in the broken glasses cried. “There’s the crystal!”

The dreamer looked up and saw it.

It shone brightly, high overhead, an enormous construct of glowing glass. It hung there, supported by nothing, pulsing with strange, unnatural energy.

Pure evil.

Pushing away her pain and ignoring the sweat stinging her eyes, the dreamer planted one foot on the last monster’s broken, lifeless body and yanked the javelin free. Then she spun, reared back, and hurled the shining shaft of pointed metal upward.

She watched it fly, cutting the air like a laser beam, almost seeming to glow itself.

It slammed into the hateful, malevolent crystal, piercing it deeply, and sending a splintering web of cracks running along the face of it.

“Yes!” the dude in the broken glasses exclaimed. As had often happened before, something in the sound of his voice struck the dreamer as familiar.

I almost get who he is …

“It didn’t break!” the dreamer exclaimed.

“It will,” the dude said, emerging from the shadows to her right. “It’ll take a little over four minutes for the harmonic resonance to build up, but then it’ll shatter spectacularly. You’ll need to be gone by then.”

“Gone from where?” she asked.

He didn’t reply.

Abruptly, the crystal vanished. The javelin, she now saw, was buried in the room’s high ceiling, having pierced one of the white tiles.

An illusion, as always. “Hologram” was what the dude called it.

But illusion or not, after something like two dozen tries, I finally crushed it!

The lights came on, which was freaky, since there were no visible lamps.

The dreamer regarded the three broken creatures around her. Robots. Just metal and computer chips and what she supposed had to be some pretty hardcore programming. But the dude in the broken glasses had assured her that they were as close to the real thing as he could make them.

And the dreamer, who’d seen the real thing up close and personal, agreed.

The dude in the broken glasses wore a broad, toothy smile. The dreamer was certain that she knew that smile, and not just from her nocturnal visits to this strange place. She knew it from somewhere else, somewhere in the waking world.

But, try as she might, she couldn’t—

“That was very well done,” he said.

“Thanks,” the dreamer replied. “Does that mean I graduated? Am I done comin’ back here?”

The man’s smile faded and he shook his head. “Not yet. You did get hit, after all. We need to practice until you don’t. We need to get you to the point where those things don’t lay a claw on you. Even so, you’re doing wonderfully. Well beyond projections!”

“Thanks,” she said again. “But it’d help if I could practice with the javelin on my own time. These dream sessions are cool and all, but they ain’t really enough to let me master a new weapon.”

The dude in the broken glasses shrugged. “They’re all we’ve got.”

“Ain’t you ever gonna tell me who you are?” the dreamer asked.

“Probably not,” he replied. “But you’ll likely figure it out one day. For now, we should call it a night. Time’s short for me this evening. He’s coming.”

“Who’s coming?”

The dude considered before answering. Then, with a shrug, he replied, “Will Ritter.”

The dreamer blinked in surprise. “Red’s coming here?”

“Well, not to this exact room. But he’s coming to this place and time.”

“And what place and time is that?” the dreamer demanded, bothered by the fact that poor Will was somehow being dragged into—whatever this was. Though, she supposed it shouldn’t surprise her. Will Ritter was always in the thick of things, especially where the Corpse War was concerned.

But, as usual, the dude in the broken glasses didn’t reply.

She’d been coming to this strange room for close to a month now, night after night, repeating the same exercise over and over. Each time she would fight the ten-legged monsters and then try to destroy the crystal. She didn’t know what it was all for. She didn’t know why it was happening, and had never been able to coax a straight answer from the man in the broken glasses, not even to the most obvious question:

Where am I?

Then, suddenly, an alarm sounded.

It rang somewhere outside the room, not blaring but loud enough to be easily heard. The dude in the broken glasses spun around with a startled gasp.

“What’s that?” the dreamer asked.

“They’ve found us!” he replied, and the panic in his voice sent a sharp chill racing down the dreamer’s spine. “No! It’s too soon!”

“Too soon?” she begged. “For what?”

He looked at her, a little desperately, she thought. But then he steadied himself and said, “You’ve done great work, but it looks like this is our last session after all. Thank you for your efforts and your patience during this past month. You’re as strong as I remember you being. I’ll send you home now.”

“Wait!” the dreamer exclaimed as the dude in the broken glasses took a gadget from inside the threadbare white lab coat he wore. Some kind of flashlight. “What’s goin’ down? What is all this?”

And, for once, her mystery man gave her an answer.

Sort of.

“It’s the end of the world, Sharyn.”

Then he pointed the flashlight thingy at her, and she knew what was coming. For an instant, white light filled her vision. And an instant after that, Sharyn Jefferson, Co-Chief of the Undertakers, awoke on her cot in Haven, and remembered that Hot Dog was dead.

 

About Ty:
Ty Drago does his writing just across the river from Philadelphia,
where the Undertakers novels take place. In addition to The Undertakers:
Rise of the Corpses, The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead, and The Undertakers:
Secret of the Corpse Eater, he is the author of The Franklin Affair and Phobos,
as well as short stories and articles that have appeared in numerous publications,
including Writer’s Digest. 
He currently lives in southern New Jersey with his wife and best friend, the real
Helene Drago née Boettcher.

 


 

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