Saturday, December 23, 2017

check out this short holiday tale- and maybe win a book!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

An interview with ME!!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Dangerous Vistor..

Hi there, I'd like to welcome Robert White to tell you a bit about his newest book- but first a bit about him:
Under the names Terry White, Robert White, and Robb T. White, Robert White has published dozens of crime, noir, and hardboiled short stories, and three hardboiled private-eye novels.  A lifelong reader of crime fiction, he published his first story in Gary Lovisi's Hardboiled magazine. Since then, he has published several dozen crime stories, and a collection of mainstream stories in 2013. An ebook crime novel, "Special Collections," won the New Rivers Electronic Book Competition in 2014. 

White was born, raised, and continues to live in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Dangerous Women: A Lesson from the Serengeti

When I put this collection of 11 stories together about women characters, I knew I was facing a dearth of candidates who might fit happily into an Amish quilting bee or prayer circle of nuns telling their rosary beads.  The principle of selection wasn’t just gender but an ability for a woman or girl to hold her own against some pretty cunning or depraved male antagonists.  She must prove herself capable in very dire circumstances to qualify.
Regina “Baby” Frontanetta, in the first story, is a Youngstown boxer-turned-gumshoe whose first case is almost her last.  She must out-think (even out-fight) males that range from her chauvinist pig boss through a violent lowlife (we Midwesterners do love that word) to a wealthy suburban businessman. Baby possesses more than grit and focus; she has integrity, far more than her trainer-brother Gennaro.  The final story, “Huffer Girl,” features a similar type only much younger and less experienced than Baby despite her recent life on the street and an addiction to huffing paint.  Opposed by a determined, professional killer, Natalie doesn’t run when all her instincts scream to do just that if she wants to survive the next twenty-four hours.
The longest story in the collection is “Finding Sandy Biggers.” Sandy is the object of a manhunt—not by police but by a betrayed partner, an amiable psychopath who relentlessly pursues her across the country. Unlike the other women, Sandy doesn’t appear to be the focus until the end when the reader discovers what she’s done with the money since betraying her partners in crime. The indifferent narrator could not care less, of course, because his aim is simple:  Find her, kill her.  The reader is left to contemplate a human being’s capacity to change, even one so desperate as Sandy Biggers.  Not many characters—or people—get that chance in fiction or life, and it’s interesting when it happens.
Now we come to what will surely not please the reader who desires her or his female characters to be interchangeable with two-dimensional males—or worse, super-females. Some readers, I realize, want their women characters to be self-reliant but also self-effacing, smart but not too smart, even-tempered but not docile when challenged by men.  I hope we can fast-forward to the reality of contemporary life and accept the fact, begrudgingly or not, that women can be as vicious and cunning as men, as greedy and wicked, or as able to outfox a man as another man, especially when that intended target has instincts as honed to survival as a Norwegian rat’s.  It was important to me not to provide my dangerous women with soft males, albeit one such male so describes himself after his own undoing in “Diana’s Perfect Patsy.” Men addicted to crime or men whose personalities have been shaped by a predilection for evil should not be taken advantage of too easily.  Even “normal” men, not so criminally inclined, knowing a little power or success in the world shouldn’t be easily duped; nonetheless, a couple of trusting husbands and at least one boyfriend of a pair of unscrupulous twins will come to rue that weakness when their hour comes round at last.
Yes, evil. Why not?  We don’t have a female equivalent to Hannibal Lecter yet but someday we will and she won’t be a cartoony creature of Disney’s like Cruella de Vil but a terrifying equal to that bizarrely wonderful creation of Thomas Harris. In the meantime, I modestly offer a selection here—not a bevy of beauties, although the lap dancer in “My Gypsy Girl from Bluefield” and the trophy wife in “Her Ticket to Heaven” don’t hesitate to use what nature endowed.  These women include ordinary women or girls, wives, girlfriends, students, so ordinary no one would notice them on the street. I acknowledge the inclusion of the stereotypical golddigger as well as a few women depraved enough to take a life (or three) while betraying hubbie or boyfriend on the side. After all, sex isn’t the only game in town.  There’s money—and there’s the sheer pleasure of revenge and getting away with it.  The arrogant narrator of “Blackmail Is My Business” discovers a criminal con job far superior to his own specialty.    
For every cop-show viewer who feels a little sorry for the housewife entrapped by a vice cop acting as hit man when she clumsily plots to kill her husband, I humbly present a counterbalance of women who know how to do it right.  These women can lie, cheat, steal, kill, betray and seek revenge for harms inflicted or damages perceived by the males in their lives—or sometimes, not at all, just for the sheer fun of doing it. Men have enjoyed a monopoly too long on violence, and it’s time women come in for their share of the fun—vicariously speaking, of course. After all, every nature program about the Serengeti features lionesses, not lions, on the hunt, providing the food, and protecting the pride from hyenas or other male lions while the alpha male sleeps soundly beneath a bush and wakes up for the food or fornication provided by the females.  My caveat to the reader who yet insists on the traditional stereotypes and might be shocked when good girls commit murder, I refer them to the warning embedded in the subtitle: Stories of Crime, Mystery, and Mayhem.

Weaker sex?  Not hardly!
The female is definitely deadlier than the mail.  Short stories about ladies who can hold their own.


Be careful what you wish for, Regina.
Her mother’s words. Sometimes she could hear her mother’s voice in the house.
The Vindicator piece on Bodycomb’s death was two paragraphs.
He was found floating in Lake Milton, a popular summer resort area for fisherman seventeen miles east of Austintown just off the Interstate 80 overpass. Shot by a small-caliber weapon in the back of the head. The important information was in the second paragraph: Bodycomb, it noted, was running a dog-fighting network among three states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia for a loose-knit West Virginia crime family connected to the Pittsburgh LaRizzo family.
Damn you, Leo.
She was blowing through caution lights, ignoring the honking of cars, as she beelined for the office on Market.
Like a script from a cheap thriller, he was there, wearing the same clothes and unshaven, big jowls dark with stubble, pong of body odor in the overheated single room.
“You promised me full disclosure, total honesty,” she said.
She threw the paper across his desk.
“Here it is in case you missed it.”
Be calm, Regina, she told herself. She wasn’t going to lose her temper and a new job in that order.
“I did and I meant it, Baby,” Leo said.
He glanced at the paper sideways and pushed it back to her. He’d obviously read it.
“You asked me—no, you demanded I call somebody. I did,” he said.
He disgusted her with those wagging jowls and big stomach. She noticed his belt was undone and a patch of curly belly hair exposed.
Probably jerking off in here, the freak.
“I suppose you’ll tell me when the mood strikes.”
“I meant the second case—your next case,” Leo said. “Full disclosure, just like you want.”
Her indignation petered out at the prospect. “So tell me about it,” she said.
Bodycomb was moving in on Donnie Bracca’s territory with his dog-fighting, Leo said.
“He can kill all the dogs he wants in West Virginia,” Leo said. “But Donnie B. controls gambling around here.”
“Donnie Bracca was your real client all the time,” Baby said.
“It’s like this, kid. They don’t blow each other up in cars no more. Gentlemen’s agreements, all nice and polite. But rules have to be followed. Bodycomb went rogue.”
She bit back a retort: You mean, like your own father?
Leo went on, waxing large, a hopeless Mafioso lover, although a real mafia man, a made man, could see Leo couldn’t be trusted. But even the Aryan Brotherhood used outside associates to get things done. Leo could be useful if you couldn’t buy a cop or scare off an investigative reporter snooping in shady politics or business deals.
She didn’t feel bad about Bodycomb’s death. After all, she'd wanted to kill the guy herself.
“Damn it, Leo,” she said. “You should have told me this in the beginning.”Baby moved in the direction Bodycomb’s vehicle had taken. After A couple of hundred yards through meadow grass up to her knees, she stopped and listened. Moving on, she dodged stunted bushes that popped up out of nowhere to snag her clothing. The foliage grew less dense. She found the parallel ruts of the Road Runner’s tracks and kept moving, straining her eyes to see light ahead. If Bodycomb was hiding assets from his soon-to-be ex-wife, he was taking a lot of trouble over it.
After five minutes of faster walking in the grooves, she heard barking coming from the right. She saw the first glimmer of light in the distance. The terrain was sparse but small slopes refracted the light source so it appeared and disappeared with every rise of the ground. A single dog barking became two, then three and finally a pack. Beneath their howls, men’s voices.
When she got close enough to make out words, she lay flat on her belly and put the binoculars on a cluster of men beside a ramshackle barn surrounded by cages of dogs in the beds of trucks beside a squared string of light bulbs a dozen feet from the ground. It looked like a crude boxing ring for backyard brawlers.
Its purpose became clear in the next few minutes. It was a dog-fighting pit.

Buy Link:

More about Robb at:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Clockwork Nutcracker is here!!!

Here I am with my author copy of The Clockwork Nutcracker, my steampunk thriller from Pro Se Productions...Avialable on Amazon!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

X to the future past...

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Some Sales and the weekly column!

Well folks,

starting another teaching season of sword classes, art classes and short story writing after a summer attending a number of readings (and doing some of them myself)-and continuing my weekly column on pulps.

I sold two stories yesterday- "Big Little Conn" to SciFan magazine and "Along the Hudson" one of my Athelstan Grey tales to Silverblade quarterly...

Stop by my weekly column at -

And don't forget my novel The Clockwork Nutcracker is out from Pros Se Productions...

Monday, August 21, 2017

On radio!!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Something in my Blood!!!

Welcome today to Kenneth Gordon as he discusses his latest bit of fantastic fiction...

My newest book is entitled “In My Blood.” As with every book I write, it all began with a precipitating event.

In this case, I had brought my cat, Frodo, outside for a lap around the front yard. I was holding him in my arms, when a large truck roared by and scared him. In a wild attempt to escape, he clawed me and made holes in my shirt, but I held him fast and made a beeline for the door.

It was the back claws that did the most damage. Now I had a hole in my shirt and a peculiar pattern carved into my chest. I looked like a reverse letter N.

That night, I was thinking about what happened. When I got into the shower, the thought hit me, “Maybe there is a plague on an alien world and emissaries were sent into all the inhabited planets to find the chosen one…”

That was all I needed to get started.

The next day, I started writing, but I knew I needed help in creating the plague.

When you want to find out about a disease, what do you do? You call the CDC right?

So,,,I called them.

They must have thought I was a nut, a terrorist or both because no one wanted to talk to me. After some time and effort, I found an HIV doctor who was willing to help me. Most of my ideas were spot on, but she had the final solution to the problem of, “How do you get the cure past the cell wall?”

I won’t reveal the secret of this, nor what the cure ultimately entails…buy the book to find out more.

P.S. The doctor who helped me is getting a signed copy of the book.


If you discovered your blood could save an alien people from death at a great cost to you, what would you do?

Thomas Anderson, from New Hampshire, is just about to start his third year of pre-med at Emory University when he meets a strange little man.

Tom is whisked away to the whirlpool galaxy as he starts researching the plague and begins working towards a cure. Little does he know that the cure will cost him everything! He must decide if he is willing to give up his life for a people he doesn’t know on a world that is not his own.

Thom walked out of the post office and down to the dining hall alone.
This was going to be his last dinner at school for a while, maybe a long while. He hoped the food was be memorable.
Salisbury steak was on the menu. He grimaced at the thought. He selected fried chicken, okra, hush puppies, corn bread, and some kind of greens mingled on the tray. It certainly wasn’t the healthiest, but it beat the alternative. Picking up a cup, he pushed it into the bay of his selected soda. No ice, it’s better that way.
Thom selected a table in the back and took a drink from the red plastic tumbler. He took one last, long look around, trying to take it all in and remember it. He wasn’t sure if he would ever see it again. The fountain had real Coke this time. He took another drink and started in on the chicken.
Just then, Kai showed up at the table.
“Can I talk with you?”
“Sure, have a seat.”
The alien sat down.
“Why aren’t you eating?”
“Would not eat that food within one thousand parsecs.”
“Not the healthiest, I know. What did you want to talk to me about?” A bolt of fear shot down Thom’s spine.
“Need to brief you on the task, Chosen One,” Kai said in hushed tones. “We have a great plague on our world. You will come and save us. It was prophesied.”
“Whoa, wait a minute…” Thom held up a hand as if to stop Kai’s words. “Hold on…back that bus up, beep…beep…beep. A plague? You can’t be serious. I’m in my junior year of premed. I’ve only had one class, one, in infectious disease. What makes you think I can save your people?”
He moved around in his seat and inched slightly away from Kai.
“Simple, you are the Chosen One.” Kai smiled with complete confidence.
“Maybe your prophets got it wrong. You know, if a prophet gets it wrong, then you don’t have to listen to them,” Thom denied it.
“The Prophets are never wrong. You are the Chosen One, you come help save our people. I wait long time, many emissaries were sent to many worlds, but I found you. Now, you come. Yes?”
“Alright, I’ll come. Still don’t think I’m qualified, but I’ll at least take a look and see. Okay?”
“Yes, yes. We meet at six AM outside your dorm. Then we fly home.”
Kai-min stood and left the table while Thom held his head in his hands.
What am I getting myself into? Thom, you are an idiot. How can I help these people? I’m not even a real doctor yet. I don’t have the experience, but now because my cat cut me up, I’m this ‘Chosen One’?

About the Author:

Kenneth Gordon grew up in Milford, NH and still lived in that state. When he isn’t writing scifi-infused horror novels, he plays PC games, electric and acoustic guitars, and drums. He also holds a brown belt in Kung Fu.

The Mysterious Dr. Satan is back!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

An awesome guest post-Prisoner of Valathia

The Prisoner of Valathia takes place after their escape from Tamerlane’s hi-tech prison, and the defeat of Darius Drake's apocalyptic plans for the humanoid home-worlds, Titanya the Pirate Queen joins Sylvan Silla Low in becoming an agent of the Alliance.

Now partners, the brash, beautiful pirate queen, and the cowardly, chain-smoking elf, take on their first official mission together…investigate the hijack of a prototype military stealth craft and its connection to the mysterious owner of a small mining operation.

What begins as a simple undercover mission soon becomes something far more sinister as they find themselves caught up in one man’s obsession with ancient forces powerful enough to destroy them all.
There’s an added depth to this fourth instalment.
Although still light-hearted, action-based science fiction, the Prisoner of Valathia explores Sillow’s character in a way never done before. His personal demons, self-questioning, and also his existential angst provide major elements in the story. Previous instalments all portrayed this restless misfit from a clownish, external perspective. This novel looks at the tortured character behind it. Sillow is an orphan who realises he must learn about his own background if he is to ever fill the void inside him.
There is also a character development that wasn’t possible before. Love, duty and an obsessive desire for belonging all pull Sillow in different directions and it is up to him alone to navigate his way along this tortuous maturational path.

Tall, raven haired, with her femininely muscular frame squeezed into a red cocktail dress, Titanya turned every male head as she made her way through the swarm of elite guests. Many tried to think of ways they might meet this amazon and find out just who she was. Even the artificial ruby eye and the silver strip across the cheek just below merely added to her allure. These admirers, however, would have been more than a little surprised to learn the object of their interest was once a “pirate queen,” and the scourge of big corporation haulers everywhere. They would have been equally shocked to discover she was also a fearsome hand-to-hand fighter and one of the long gloves she wore covered a cybernetic arm powerful enough to punch through solid steel.
Few noticed her companion. Like most of the Sylvan race, Sillow was of smallish stature with elfin features making him appear somewhat childlike compared to other humanoid races. In contrast to Titanya’s easy grace, he looked awkward and faintly ridiculous wearing a tuxedo a couple of sizes too big for him.
There was a scowl on his light green features.
“This was really the best you could do?” he complained, rolling his jacket cuffs up as he hurried to keep up with the woman’s swaying strides.
Titanya smiled. “It was the smallest they had.”
Sillow’s emerald eyes swept the area. “This place makes me nervous.”
“Lots of things make you nervous,” the woman told him.
The Sylvan snatched up a couple of champagne glasses from a passing waiter and drank each one down before replacing them.
“Listen,” he protested, “these events are packed with high price assassins. It’s the perfect chance for the elite psychopaths who come to these events to settle scores with each other.”
“So, why do you care?” the woman asked.
“Why? Because sometimes things get out of hand and all hell breaks loose.”
Titanya stopped, hands on her shapely hips. “Really, that could happen, could it? High class parties can just end up as shooting galleries?”
Sillow nodded. “Yep.”
“Give me one example, date, and place.”
Sillow pulled at one of his pointed ears.
“You can’t, can you?” Titanya challenged.
“I heard stories.”
The woman gave a derisive snort. “Yeah, in a low-life bar or casino.”
“Well, actually, it was in the pleasure quarters on Salem Tae when—”
“I don’t want to know,” his companion stopped him. “Why are you even an agent anyway? I never met anyone as easily spooked as you.”
The Sylvan threw her an irritated look. “Hey, I don’t ask for these missions.”
“So why do they send you?”
“Because I’m the best pilot in known space, and I do sneaky well.” He gave a shrug. “What can I say? It’s a gift.” He snatched up another couple of drinks from a tray. This time he held one out to his companion. “Here, it helps the nerves.”
Titanya took the glass. “My nerves are fine, pipsqueak, but I do like champagne.”

James Austin McCormick is a college lecturer from Manchester, England and in his free time enjoys 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.
 His novels include the trilogy Dragon (Dragon, Dragon: Smuggler Tales, Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane), The Last Synn, a sword-and-sorcery story, a SciFi novel, Sunfall, and a horror novel, Balec. All are available from Class Act Books.

Find out more about James Austin McCormick at:

DRAGON: The Prisoner of Valathia is available at

Paperback edition available exclusively from

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Why not find out Toni Who?

A guest visit from a a great writer who always surprises with something new and special...
Sometimes I like to daydream of what it would be like to be in a bookstore and overhear the following conversation:

“Do you have Toni V. Sweeney’s latest novel?”

(That’d be an ego-swelling event. I’d have to fight not to rush over and hug the customer.)

And the clerk’s answer:

“Toni Who?”

(Definitely an ego-deflator! I’d want to deck him/her, and shout, “Me! You ignoramus!” and throw my business card at him/her.)

But the conversation goes on:

“Toni V. Sweeney. You know, she wrote that great series The Adventures of Sinbad and under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone, she wrote Three Moon Station.”

A blank look from the clerk.

The customer looks shocked. “You mean you never heard of her? Or her books? My God, she’s written 27 novels! And you don’t have any of them? What kind of store is this? Perhaps I should go somewhere else!”

That brings a reaction from the clerk. “Don’t worry, ma’am. We can order any book you want, and…” Rattling of computer keys. “Yes, I do see we have those you mentioned in our online store…”

The customer is momentarily mollified, but with a sniff. “Good. She’s got a new series coming out, The Arcanian Chronicles, a two-parter, and I’d like to order the first novel in Part 1. It’s called The Man from Cymene. Get me that one and I’ll be back to order the rest as they’re released.”

More keys rattle. Instructions as to when the book should arrive to be picked up, etc.

The customer leaves with a parting shot. “You know, you might consider putting some of her books in the stores. It might improve your sales.”

The clerk looks thoughtful. After a moment, she hurried over to where the manager is standing. “Ma’am, a customer just made a request…”

The following week, there’s a display of Yours Truly’s latest directly across from the entrance…and a notice…Book Signing by the Author Today…

It should happen, right?

So…let’s talk about that upcoming series, the ambitious authoring of eighteen novels in a series divided into two parts, labeled, surprisingly enough, Part One and Part Two.

Part One is a bit Game of Throne-ish, though I doubt it comes anywhere near George RR’s elaborate tomes, while I must admit I was given a little encouragement by that author who was once the guest of honor at a party in my home in Kearney, NE. (Doubt if he remembers that, however, it was so long ago in the mists of Time.)

In my stories, there are gods and goddesses overseeing and planning the fates of men at their whim…occasionally guiding them toward some future destiny of divine contriving, helping them obtain their goals while as easily snatching those same goals from their grasps.

The gods only exist in Part One, however. By the time the reader reaches Part Two, which is more of a space opera, belief in the gods has waned and they are generally not even called upon except in curses and when one suffers some devastating bereavement. Nevertheless, the predictions they made in Part One are still in effect and do come to pass, exactly as prophesied.

Just now, however, I’d like to consider the first novel in the series, The Man from Cymene, Book 1 of the Narrative of Riven the Heretic, from Part 1 of the Arcanian Chronicles. (Is that a mouthful, or what?)

This novel shows completely my love of the sword and sorcery genre. No matter what else it’s called, that was the original name of this type of fiction, and that’s how I always refer to it. (Yes, I’m old-fashioned and an old dog who doesn’t like new tricks.)

My hero is Trygare kan Ingan, a youngster from Cymene, an island off the coast of Francovia, a place called the Shadowed Isles because a mist always keeps it hidden from the mainland. The people there are considered barbarians by the rest of Arcanis. His name is taken from a Swedish hymn, Trygare Kan Ingan Vara, written in the 1850’s, and translated as “Children of the Heavenly Father,” which I considered appropriate.

Like a good many of this type story, there’s a quest involved. This particular one will be carried through the entire series… the prophesy made to Trygare on his sixteenth birthday by Fæder Albin, priest of Ildred Allfather, leader of the Arcanian gods. Trygare, it appears, is to be the father of kings, a fact making the boy snicker rudely.

“Beggin’ your pardon, Fæder, but have you looked at this village lately? Nae many princesses ’round here.”

Trygare will have to leave his parents, his home, indeed that entire section of the country to find the woman who’ll become the mother of those ‘kings.’ Not a happy thought, since he’s the only child of his own parents, but he does it…the following day, in fact. Armed with his father’s sword, Dætglaive, the Deathbringer, and mounted on a short-legged hill pony destined to be the butt of many jokes, our young hero sets out on an adventure involving kings and sharp-tongued damsels, dragons, and betrayal, lust, and danger. Like anything else worth having, he’s going to have to suffer for it, and believe he’s failed, when in reality, he’s merely fulfilling his part of the family destiny the gods, in their perversity, allot him.

Several of the novels have been formerly published and are being re-released with re-editing and more in-depth material added. Part One of The Arcanian Chronicles, entitled The Narrative of Riven the Heretic, is made up of seven novels, two of which have never before been published. This is the sword and sorcery/fantasy section. Part Two, The kan Ingan Archives, contains eights novels, with one not published until now, and is the space opera portion.

The dream of being seen on B&N bookshelves may be just a dream, but my books are alive and kickin’ and doing well…in online bookstores, at least. I’ve had a few former readers claim these novels contain some of their favorite characters. I hope, with their re-editing and re-release, others will agree.


Trygare kan Ingan was a boy of sixteen, when the Drune priest told his parents the gods decreed he would be the father of kings.

Within a day, he’s sent into the world on a short-legged hill pony, his father’s sword by his side…to seek his destiny and fulfill it.

Nothing goes as Trygare expects, however…the woman he wants doesn’t want him, the man destined to be his best friend laughs at him, everyone ridicules his youth. Slaying a dragon, feeling the Bloodsong coursing through his veins, and nearly getting killed in a war changes their minds, however…

After that, everything goes well, but then…

As if their plans for the young Cymenean aren’t enough, the gods interfere in his life. Tragedy happens, scandal and death, and Trygare’s forced to leave Cymene for a foreign land where his true fate lies…

…where he’ll become the ancestor of the dynasty foretold to rule his planet for three thousand years…


The hall was larger than any building he’d ever been in besides the Temple, which was a single room with an altar and small cells leading off it where the priests slept. To have such a great space inside a building, which was also of a greater size than he’d ever seen, was startling.

Rows upon rows of trestle tables were lined vertically across the width of the room. At each table sat at least ten men, all dressed more or less as Conan was. They appeared to be of all ages, though none looked younger than the man walking before him. Under the tables, lying at their masters’ feet, great black hounds slept, one or two gnawing on bones.

As soon as they saw him, all grew quiet. Most stopped eating, though a few continued to chew or lift their tankards. Only the crunch of the dogs’ jaws broke the silence.

Trygare decided to ignore them. He kept his eyes on the way Conan’s broad shoulders pulled tight the fabric of his tunic as he walked. Raising his head slightly, he lengthened his stride, throwing a bit of a swagger into it and swinging his arms in imitation of the young warrior’s posture.

At the back of the room, a slight dais ran its width. It held a single table where several men sat. Conan headed for it, skirting the tables and walking between them.

“Here he is, Sire.” Conan stopped directly in front of the dais, bowing.

He stepped to one side, leaving Trygare facing Cormac kan Ingan. The boy looked at the man chosen to rule all of Cymene, a little startled by what he saw.

Gods, he’s an old man! Should I bow? What do I say? Shall I just keep silent?

He made a clumsy bow, dipping his head quickly as he saw Conan about to say something to him. At the movement, the other man nodded.

“He’s a well-appointed lad, anyway,” Cormac said. The chev regarded Trygare in the amused way one might look at a stray puppy. “So, boy, who are you and why do you claim kin to me?” Shaking his head, he sighed heavily. “ I hope you’re not pretending to be another byblow. I vow if I’d lain with all the women whose sons come through here, I’d never have found time to fight.”

That brought a laugh from one of the men at the table.

“It’s nae I who claims kinship, sir.” Trygare hoped he was showing the proper respect but now that he’d breached the ceaster’s walls, he decided he wasn’t going to let the Chev or any of his men turn him away. “But me da…an’ he says you’re fourth or fifth cousins or so.”

“That’s a relief, anyway, or someone with a more original approach.” As he spoke, Cormac broke off a bit of bread from a loaf. He dipped it in the gravy on his plate.

The men on either side continued to eat, though they were watching Trygare with the same attention as the chev.

“However…if your father says he’s my kin, then you are, too.” He stuck the bread into his mouth, chewing. Around it, he asked, “From that accent, I’d say you’re from the Northeast and I’ve no relatives there as far as I know. What’s his name?”

“Bêrit, sir.” Trygare paused, then added, “Kan Ingan, o’ course.”

“Bêrit?” Cormac’s reaction surprised everyone.

“You know him, Cormac?” Conan asked.

Cormac ignored him. “He lives then?”

“Yes sir. As o’ three days ago anyway. He’s smith for our village.”

“And your name?”

“Trygare.” At Conan’s frown, he added, belatedly, “Sir.”

“Trygare,” he repeated the name thoughtfully. “Yes, I can see some of your father in your face. I oft wondered where he went when he left here. So Bêrit’s now a blacksmith, fashioning weapons for farmer instead of warriors?”

“Aye, sir. He makes th’ best scythes an’ sickles in all th’ northern glyns.” Trygare put pride into his voice.

“Why are you here? Why aren’t you with your father, learning his trade?”

“Because he taught me anaithur skill, that o’ th’ sword, an’ now that I’m man-grown, he’s sent me t’ become part o’ your army.”

“Man-grown?” Conan snorted. “I’d question that.” He looked up at Cormac. “My lord, surely you’re not thinking of letting this one into your army? He’s just a child. Why, he’s not even bearded.”

“I do nae need a beard when I’ve got a good sword arm.” Trygare reached over his shoulder, grasping Dætglaive.


     Toni V. Sweeney has lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Middle West, and a decade on the Pacific Coast and now she’s trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains. Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone. Her novels have garnered awards from The National Writers Association, Preditors & Editors, The Maryland Writers Association, and The Paranormal Romance Guild. In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books. She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books and the Paranormal Romance Guild.  Recently she was named a professional reader by

More about Toni at:

Amazon Author’s Page:
Twitter: @ToniVSweeney

THE MAN FROM CYMENE will be available on amazon July 15, 2015.  Paperback editions can be purchased exclusively from the Class Act Books website,

Monday, July 3, 2017


HI one and all, I will participating in a summer reading program here in NY and if any of you are travel able to 51st Street on q Friday night COME ON BY--it is FREE!  I am reading this Friday July 7th...

Thursday, June 8, 2017

I Yet live- ERB is THE MAN!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

My Newest Fun Ride-

Sunday, May 21, 2017

It has been a busy time...

I have been delinquent in posting because I've been up to my eyeballs in work--in a good way!

This month is publishing my novel- The Sci-magickal Adventures of Jeremy Cross!!
Read the first chapter for free here:

I will also be making a personal appearance at the brand new BoroughCon at St. John's University in Queens, NY on May 27th!! Swinging steel in a sword demo a bit before noon-- come on by and say hi!!!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

a regular weekly column, folks!!!

Hey there, one and all- the twelfth-- that is right twelfth- column is up at the amazing all things writing website Bibliorati--and you have to check them out....

Every week a new aspect of the pulps I bring to light--or try to make some solid observations...and there are other great weekly articles, interviews and reviews by many of the leading lights of the new pulp movement!!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The first of my columns are up!!!

Hi there, one and all,

I'm writing a new weekly column on pulp magazines (mystery pulps included) over at an amazing new website that has multiple columns,interviews, reviews and articles about writing in general, stop by at