We are very pleased to bring you three new authors from Class Act Publishing.
Class Act Books is a royalty-paying publisher of electronic and trade paperback novels and novellas, with the goal of providing quality fiction at a reasonable price in all media: paperback (available exclusively on the publisher's website), Kindle, pdf, Mobi, and eBook.
After coming under new ownership in 2013, the publishing commitment was changed from only romance to all genres and they now feature Westerns, Adventure, SciFi, M/M, and Horror among their titles. Class Act Books offers standalone novels as well as series, and features award-winning authors. Titles are available on the website as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. They are also featured on the UK, French, German, Japanese and Italian versions of Amazon.com.
Born in the Year of the Tiger, Paul’s natural curiosity combined with the deep-seated feline need to roam has meant that over the years he’s never been able to call any one place home. His wanderlust has led him from one town to another, and even from one country to another.
“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write - my father claims to possess a story I wrote when I was six, which filled 4 standard school exercise books! What I do remember from that time was being told off for doing the Liverpool Echo crossword before he got home from work!”
While Paul was living in Denmark, he allowed himself to be persuaded to write for a purpose instead of purely for his own amusement. Perhaps it was the catalyst of breathing the same air as Hans Christian Andersen.
Paul’s IT guru (aka his talented daughter) has recently constructed a website for him:
Paul frequently lurks at: www.thewriterschatroom.com (Sundays & Wednesdays)
In 1945, U-boat Kapitän Herbert Nollau must deliver a weapon which will turn the war in Germany’s favour. His orders are delivered verbally. There will be no written records... and no witnesses.
Alone, far from home, hunted by the Danish Resistance and the might of the Allied Forces, he must obey either his final Orders…or the inner voice of his conscience.
Überlojtnant Herbert Nollau stood with his Zeiss nightglasses glued to his eyes, impervious to the rain whipped across his cheeks by half a gale. This howled almost exactly at ninety degrees to the tide, which had just reached the full but had not yet begun its retreat. His command craft, U-534, sat uneasily at anchor, dipping at bow and stern in the current, yawing appreciably as frequent Force Ten gusts buffeted her broad flanks. Low, heavy rainclouds hunkered closer, seeming to settle on the upper branches of the natural pine forest which spread untamed, unculled, across the low hills of Schleswig-Holstein.
An identical pair of black Opel staff cars bracketed a canvas bodied Mercedes half-track transport wagon, all three vehicles picking their way carefully along an unmarked country road. The headlights were taped down to the size and shape of a feral cat's vertical slits, acknowledging the strict rules governing all traffic during the hours of darkness. The road to the harbour just outside Lübeck was neither tarmac’ed nor enhanced with any form of lighting. The drivers were obliged to steer cautiously around every twist, using the gears and brakes more frequently than the accelerator.
"Amateurs!" he thought to himself, as the three sets of headlights crawled slowly closer.
He blanked the thought as soon as it intruded on his consciousness, forcing himself back into State-approved Wehrmacht thinking, based on purely practical matters directly related to carrying out current instructions, with maximum efficiency, without question. He pulled the collar of his oilskins closer around his throat in a futile attempt to prevent the rain from seeping through, soaking his uniform. Raising his night glasses once more, he cursed the weather, the Wehrmacht and the world in general, feeling more exposed and vulnerable with every minute that passed as he waited for the convoy of lights to crawl closer, carrying the equipment which he had been ordered to collect. It bothered him that he was expected to set sail immediately, and await orders concerning his destination by radio once he had cleared the bay and entered Store Bælt: technically, that section of the North Sea was neutral Danish waters, and if he were to remain on the surface for any length of time in order to receive orders …
As the lights snaked around another pair of curves and began their final descent to the shoreline and the jetty where U534 was waiting, Herbert Nollau realized that he had on board a much more powerful sender/receiver than any other U-boat: in fact, not just one but two radios equipped with the Enigma cryptographic programme had been installed, ostensibly for testing. With a sudden jolt, the deceptively young-looking Überlojtnant realized that this technology was far more sophisticated than that which had previously been regarded as the best in the world: apart from being guaranteed unbreakable as a code, it could also send and receive radio signals without his craft needing to surface.
He shook his head to clear the worst of the pools which had formed in the upturned brim of his sou’wester and made his way down the ladder bolted to the side of the conning tower, aiming to be waiting on the quay before the three vehicles wheezed to a halt. His mechanic’s ear analysed and diagnosed a list of faults he could clearly identify from the laboured chugging of each engine. Furious at this indication of inefficiency, a corner of his mind decided that he would have had the senior officer responsible for each vehicle court-martialled, if the decision had been up to him. In spite of the horrors he had witnessed in three years of naval warfare, he shuddered. His orders, distasteful though they might be, were crystal clear …
Two gaunt, silent shadows slid with simultaneous choreography from the rear seat of each of the Opels: their sleek black trenchcoats almost touched the planks of the jetty, glistening in the starlight as if the officers wearing them had been marching for hours in the rain rather than just stepping out of a warm, dry car. Nollau fired off his most formal salute: the four SS-officers responded with a world-weary, bent-elbow half-salute and pointedly refrained from returning Nollau’s “Heil, Hitler!” One detached himself for a moment and gave a hand-signal to the driver of the canvas-sided truck. The driver immediately hammered his fist twice on the bulkhead behind his seat. Four soldiers appeared over the tailgate of the wagon and began to manoeuvre something long and heavy out of the cargo space.
Turning to face his command meant that Herbert Nollau had to turn his back on the four staff officers. Somehow he managed to do this with an insolence which stated quite clearly that, as far as he was concerned, they were barely worthy of his contempt.
He placed a small, shrill whistle to his lips and blew, one long (but not overloud) blast. Within ten seconds, the deck was populated by about twenty matelots, standing at ease, who somehow contrived to arrive from nowhere and in total silence. Close to the bows, and just for’ard of ’midships , cables were deployed from two small jib cranes. Within seconds, the submariner crew were on the jetty, taking the unidentified cargo from the shoulders of the four soldiers and hoisting it with ease onto the foredeck, thence by some lightningfast legerdemain out of sight below decks. The crew had followed, leaving Überlojtnant Nollau as the only member of the Senior Service still on the jetty. At a silent gesture from one of the anonymous black trenchcoats the four soldiers climbed back over the tailgate, into the truck. After about four attempts, the driver managed to coax the engine into life and began to back and fill, facing back the way he had come.
As he completed the manoeuvre and gunned the engine to set off up the hill, the four SS officers opened their trenchcoats to reveal the muzzles of rapid fire MP40 machine pistols. With one accord they raised their weapons and sent round after deadly round of ammunition into both the cab and the rear of the vehicle, holding the triggers steady. Before the hail of bullets ceased, the fuel tanks of the wagon exploded, sending flames soaring high into the night sky, setting small fires in the tree tops as they lost their intensity and curled back towards the ground.
Suddenly, Herbert Nollau’s orders seemed fractionally less dishonourable.
Having emptied their weapons, the four executioners appeared to have rediscovered some of their habitual swagger and pride. Crashing the butts of the now-empty weapons against the rough wooden planking of the jetty they raised their right arms to the fullest, and screamed: “Heil, Hitler!” as their heels crashed together in perfect unison.
Sick to his stomach at the pleasure his countrymen took from the callous murder of fellow Germans, it was all Herbert Nollau could do to raise his arm, bent-elbowed, in the less formal salute he would never under normal circumstances have accepted from others nor used himself.
The Spear of Destiny is available at:
Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/component/virtuemart/historical-fiction/the-spear-of-destiny-detail?Itemid=0
James Austin McCormick is a college lecturer from Manchester, England and his free time enjoy writing speculative fiction, mostly science fiction, horror and a little sword and sorcery fantasy. He is also a particular fan of classic Gothic and Victorian horror tales and is currently in the process of writing updated versions of these with a science fiction spin.
BLURB for Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane:
After the death of the Tuolon Ambassador Lagua and the failure to bring the non-humanoid worlds into the Alliance, Sillow and Brok’s long partnership is finally at an end. Now a reluctant solo agent, Sillow is called upon to undertake his first mission, investigate the Tower, a high-tech prison complex along with the oligarch who runs it, a mysterious nobleman who calls himself Tamerlane.
Seeking evidence to prove Tamerlane is responsible for a series of terrorist attacks, Sillow quickly uncovers the sheer scale of his plans, a lethal military strike on all four humanoid home worlds. Caught and imprisoned however, the Sylvan finds himself helpless to warn the Alliance of the coming danger.
All the while, something has been evolving, growing stronger inside the Tower, something intangible yet far more dangerous than Tamerlane ever could be, a being implacably opposed to all life in the galaxy.
And only Sillow has any chance of stopping it.
EXCERPT from Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane:
Laser fire and shouts echoed as Sillow was thrown headlong into the cell.
“What are you?” a female voiced asked. “Some type of green midget?”
Sillow groaned and tried to get up. He settled for a slumped kneeling position.
“I’m a Sylvan,” he replied. He squinted into the shadows and saw a figure seated on the upper berth of a bunk. He could make out little apart from a muscular, yet shapely pair
of legs. “Who are you?”
The figure jumped down from the bunk. She was an Amazonian, strong and athletic with an impressive cleavage and long chestnut hair falling around her shoulders. She was
also extremely pretty despite the artificial eye and cheek implant. She stretched out a perfectly formed silver arm, extending her hand. “Titanya.”
Sillow’s eyes widened. “The Pirate Queen?”
The woman nodded.
The Sylvan took her cybernetic hand and let himself be hauled to his feet. He found himself head high to her magnificent chest.
“Sillow,” he replied, smiling at her breasts. “I’m from the Alliance.”
“Up here, short stuff,” the woman told him.
Slowly and very reluctantly, Sillow turned his attention upwards. He grinned. “Nice to meet you.”
Outside, cries and weapon fire continued to echo through the halls.
Titanya frowned. “Any idea what all that’s about?”
“Whole place is going crazy,” the Sylvan replied. “Something got into Tamerlane’s AI system.”
The woman took a couple of tentative steps toward the door. Screams echoed through the walls.
“Sounds like a warzone out there,” she remarked. “You sure the AI is causing all this?”
Sillow frowned. “You know, this is going to sound kind of crazy but…” he paused, running a hand over his pointed chin.
“What?” Titanya demanded.
“Well, it kind of looks like the one causing all this is Darius Drake. You heard of the guy?”
“Oh yeah,” the Earth woman answered. “We’ve met.”
“Well, somehow he’s put himself into the computer system.” Sillow gave an embarrassed shrug. “Sounds sort of off the wall I know.”
There was a sudden explosion and flames tore through the slits at the top of the door.
“Look out.” Sillow threw himself at Titanya, knocking her off balance and sending her tumbling to the floor. The Sylvan landed on top of her, head buried in her thick auburn
locks. A fireball tore past them, turning the bunks into cinder.
It was some moments before Sillow glanced up. He found himself looking at the stern, beautiful features of the Terran woman.
“You okay?” he asked. “Just so you know, that was me protecting you.”
“Just so you know,” Titanya replied, “under any other circumstances I’d have busted your jaw for that.”
Sillow grinned. “You mean saving your life?”
Titanya flung the little Sylvan back onto his feet. “Yeah, right. I can’t believe a pipsqueak like you got the drop on me.”
Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/science-fiction/dragon-the-tower-of-tamerlane-593-detail?Itemid=0
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dragon-Tamerlane-James-Austin-McCormick/dp/1938703634/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470585322&sr=1-7&keywords=James+Austin+McCormick
Find out more about James at:
Class Act Books http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our-authors/manufacturers/james-austin-mccormick
Rick McQuiston is a forty-six year old father of two who loves anything horror related. By day, he works for a family-owned construction and management company. By night, he churns out horror fiction.
Rick has well over 300 publications so far. He’s written seven anthologies, one book of novellas, and edited an anthology of Michigan authors. He’s also a guest author each year at Memphis Junior High School, and is currently working on his fifth novel, a Cthulhu-based anthology. Rick currently has two novels with Class Act Books: Fear the Sky and When Only the Nightmare Remains, which was voted #2 in Horror for 2015 by the Paranormal Romance GuIld’s Reviewer’s Choice.
A town sheriff and three young boys manage to overcome an evil entity threatening their town.
Emily nudged closer and closer to the spider-webbed pane of glass. The window offered little in the way of a view—being octagonal and no larger than a dinner plate— but what it did reveal was adequate to say the least. It allowed anyone gazing through it to see the lush rolling landscape surrounding the house…and all it contained.
Feeling her already weak heart pound heavily in her chest, Emily scanned the grounds intently, watching for any signs of movement, for any hint of life. For any signs of
William. She held the Book tightly in her small hands, refusing to relinquish it to anything or anyone. She had only scratched the surface of its contents, but that was still
enough to impart its importance to her.
Her eyes moistened with tears as she thought of earlier, happier times in her life and her marriage to William. She should have been thinking about raising a family and planting flowers around the front porch of her home. She should have been thinking about what to cook for dinner when her husband returned home from a hard day’s work. All these simple notions, ones so many young people took for granted, were well beyond her grasp. In their place were terrifying visions of a dim future. Or worse—no future at all.
Movement caught her eye, sending a fresh batch of fear down her already frail spine. She rubbed her eyes to clear them and stared at the spot where she thought she had seen
something. It took only a few seconds before her fears were confirmed. Something had moved. She was sure of it, but it was not easily noticeable. Whatever was lurking in the
dense foliage was crafty and using stealth to its advantage.
Despite expecting it, Emily found herself cringing from the implications. She knew what it was, slithering around the fields, worming its way closer and closer with each
passing minute. She also knew that eventually, inevitably, it would reach her house.
Her house. It was her house and hers alone since her beloved husband died earlier that year. Nearly eight cold, empty months had passed since that fateful day when a
bullet found its way into his forehead, killing him instantly. Some said that it was a suicide. Perhaps it was, but Emily was not so sure. William had no reason to kill himself.
The pain of that day pushed its way into Emily’s heart, so slowly at first as to be almost unnoticeable, but gradually increasing in its intensity. William had been a good man and
a good husband, at least he was before he had changed into a cold, cruel person wholly incapable of compassion or love.
Emily stepped back from the window and slumped into a small, worn leatherback chair. She was exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and the alluring thought of sleep entered her mind more than once. She ignored it. She had too many problems, too many things to think about to be able to enjoy a good rest. Not that she didn’t deserve it.
Outside the house, nestled snugly within the green vegetation of the fields, something waited for its chance to move, to advance toward the house and reach a solitary
figure huddled in the attic of the building, and end her life.
Buy links for When Only the Nightmare Remains:
Publisher's website: www.classactbooks.com
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-only-the-nightmare-remains-rick-mcquiston/1120364310?ean=2940046171884