Paying it back to one who paid it forward

Ben Eads, a dear friend of mine, someone who has helped so, so many in our community (writers and Presses) without asking anything in return, needs help.

If you’re lucky enough to know Ben, you already know what a great man he is. A talented writer and generous editor. A man with a kind heart. Willing to help writers out. Will gladly, without question, bust his ass for free because he believes in you and your talent. Regardless who you are, Ben will make time to offer guidance, experience, support and friendship.

Now, through no fault of his own and despite all his sincere, consistent efforts over many months to change the situation, he’s in very serious financial straits. And this is where we can help.

Here’s his PayPal address: BENLEADS@GMAIL.COM Please consider doing what you can. The smallest amount could make the biggest difference. Seriously, $5, $10, $2 … it doesn’t matter. Whatever you can give will get him through the next two weeks and put food in the fridge for him and his ailing mother.

Again, I’ve never done this — and Ben didn’t ask me to do this — but I know how much he’s done for this community, how much he’s done for other writers and Presses and friends, and how desperately he needs help.

He’s paid it forward for so long. I think it’s now time he got a little back.

demons, angels, and another 5 star review

The Martuk … the Holy Blog Tour rolls on with an amazing 5 Star Review.

If you enjoy books with a new twist on a familiar plot similar to Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code”, then you will most certainly love “Martuk . . . the Holy” by Jonathan Winn.  This intense, gripping tale will keep you turning pages, biting fingernails, and re-evaluating your beliefs until the final sentence.

I’m not sure if Winn’s book can be classified into a single genre . . . or even a sub-genre. It’s multi-faceted and that’s part of the appeal. The fact Martuk . . . the Holy is a debut novel is impressive beyond words.

Martuk is a tormented immortal with roots in ancient history. Before you start thinking Adrian Paul and the TV series, “Highlander”, let me assure the differences are vast. Martuk . . . the Holy is a dark story filled with demons, angels, beastly abominations, …

And that’s just the beginning!  You can read the rest over here.  Plus there’s also a very generous Excerpt.  One of my favorites, actually.

Seriously, guys, this review brought tears to my eyes.  Not that praise should matter, but … hell, sometimes it just does.

This was one of those times.  :)

the drip, drip, drip of the blood

An excerpt from The Elder, the second book in The Martuk Series, an ongoing collection of short fiction inspired by Martuk … the Holy:

 

I found him gazing at the small cistern.

The water in the basin waited, clear, calm, powerful.  The polished stone of its base as smooth and dark as the shadows that surrounded it, the charred and broken bones trapped within its perfection feeding its power.

The water would speak.  Would foretell that which was to be.  Would show this man, this Tall Priest, my beloved, the nightmare that awaited him.

It must not.

He circled it once, twice, three times, the ritual begun.

“Please,” I implored him, “don’t.”

I stepped toward him.

A blade came from his sleeve then, the metal at his wrist, his slender arm over the shimmering basin.

“The Gods wish to take me from you,” he said.  “And for what?”

“The Darkness,” I whispered.

He paused, his eyes on mine.

“The Darkness,” he repeated.

“It knows my heart.”

“And is your heart so easily bought?”

I couldn’t respond.

“Tell me,” he continued, “what does your heart say?”

The words on my tongue, the ramifications of my choice clear, I hesitated.

This man, my beloved?  A man who shared my secrets, my laughter, my terrors and worries and dread.  My happiness.

Or power.  Life everlasting.  The chance to rule for countless generations and sit for an eternity with the Gods.

My heart wept as my head, my ambition, my greed, spoke.

“You must go.”

“Then let the Gods tell me themselves,” he said as he sliced his wrist, the drip, drip, drip of the blood staining the clear water.

 

The Elder Final-cover

 

 

… silent and never ending

A small snippet from Martuk … the Holy:  Proseuche, the sequel to Martuk … the Holy:

 

I cared not for them.

They wanted words of comfort.  Wise words.  Words that would guide them and still their nervous hearts and quiet their many fears.  They wanted their teacher and I wanted their blood.

I took the bread and shoved it in my mouth.  It was easier that way.  It stopped their annoying kindness and halted the screams waiting in my throat.

A great desert, I thought.  Yes, I wanted to be in a great empty desert far from life and people.  A desert where I could scream and sob and no one would care because I would be known to none.  A desert that could swallow me and my pain.

I looked at them again, these men.  Looked into their eyes and saw nothing.  Looked into their hearts and saw even less.

I wanted to go.

Take me away, my angels, I silently prayed as I chewed and chewed and chewed the bread, my fingers ripping away more and shoving the stale dough into my mouth.  Take me away from these people who know me not.  Take me far, far away.

Behind me, they stood.  The innocents sitting before me scrambled back at the sight of my angels, these winged ones.  Words were being said, but I listened not.  Perhaps there were tears, but I cared not.  I just wanted to be no more.

Take me, I begged, my voice and my tears and my rage silent and never ending.

Take me.

And they did, these angels, the world going dark as their wings closed around me and the disciples screamed.