Tag Archives: Steer a Pale Course

Three All-New Short Stories Now on Kindle (And coming soon to Nook, Kobo and iBooks)

by Gail Z. Martin

Now that Ice Forged is in bookstores everyone (and topping the Amazon charts on both sides of the Atlantic—thank you readers!), and the sequel is already in the hands of my editor, it’s time to unveil new short stories coming each month to ebook!

If you like pirates, magic, vampires, and cursed objects, try my new Deadly Curiosities Adventures.  The first two stories, Vanities and Steer a Pale Course, are now on ebook—with more all-new, never-before-published stories to come.

If you liked my Chronicles of the Necromancer and Fallen Kings Cycle series and want more Jonmarc Vahanian excitement, I’ve got new stories just for you, starting with Raider’s Curse!

Ever wonder how Jonmarc Vahanian became the most dangerous warrior of his generation? How he earned the bounties on his head? What really happened in Nargi?  And where he got that scar? My new Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures take you back to the beginning, and I’m planning to tell his story all the way up to where he meets up with four young men running for their lives who need to hire a guide.

And if you haven’t grabbed Ice Forged, what are you waiting for?  It’s in trade paperback wherever books are sold, and also on Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks.

Here’s more about those new short stories….

The Deadly Curiosities Adventures

This series of adventures spans over 500 years, from the 1500s to modern day as a small cabal of vampires and their human helpers battle supernatural enemies to find and destroy dangerous magical items and keep the world safe from dark forces.

Vanities—Jewel thief and newly-turned vampire Sorren sets out to steal a priceless brooch possessed by an ancient evil before it sets the Black Dragon loose in medieval Antwerp.

Steer a Pale Course—Two young fishermen in post-Revolutionary America are forced to retrieve a deadly object from an ancient burial mound or face the vengeance of raiders who have taken their village hostage.

The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures

Soldier. Fight slave. Smuggler. Warrior. Brigand lord.  If you’ve met Jonmarc Vahanian in the Chronicles of the Necromancer and Fallen Kings Cycle books, you don’t really know him until you take his journey.

Raiders’ Curse—The legend begins.  When sea raiders threaten the villages along the Margolan coast, young Jonmarc Vahanian risks everything to save his family.

“Like” my Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms page to get all the news first when new short stories are ready to post plus con photos and other news—or just hang out and chat!

Are you on Twitter?  Follow me @GailZMartin for updates on signings, funny stuff and sort-of witty conversation.

Join me on Goodreads for a new writing-related group every month—we talk about favorite books, how to get published, and other stuff you won’t want to miss.  Friend me at https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin

Come hang out with me at a con!

I’m everywhere from New York to Arizona in the coming months—and I do it to talk with readers!  So come by and see me!

  • Feb. 15 I’ll be signing Ice Forged at the Books a Million at Cotswold from 1-3
  • Feb. 16 I’ll be signing Ice Forged at the Barnes & Noble in Pineville, NC from 2-4
  • I’ll be back in Roanoke for Mysticon Feb. 22 – 24—Ice Forged Launch Party is Saturday night!
  • I’ll be at Lunacon March 15 – 17 in Rye Brook, NY
  • Look for me at the Arizona Renaissance Festival (near Phoenix) signing books March 23-24
  • I’ll be at Ravencon in Richmond, VA April 5 – 7.
  • Going to Balticon in Hunt Valley MC May 24-27
  • Come see me at ConCarolina in Charlotte, NC May 31 – June 2
  • I’ll be at Dragon*Con Labor Day weekend!

That’s all for now—but watch for new short stories, updates on upcoming new books and new signings and events on Twitter and Facebook.  And whether you stop by at an event or catch me online—let’s connect!

May I ask a small favor?  If you enjoy the books and short stories, please tell your friends, share a link on Twitter or Facebook or put a review on Amazon.  I’d really appreciate it!

Thank you for reading—because readers like you give me a reason to keep on writing.

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An excerpt from my short story, “Steer a Pale Course”

by Gail Z. Martin

They didn’t send someone with us to the barrows.  They didn’t have to.  We knew what would happen if we didn’t come back with the necklace.  The look in my mother’s eyes bound me more to see it through than my word to Jammer.  I didn’t doubt Jammer would kill them if we failed or ran off.

“We could light a big fire and warn the men.”  Coltt had obviously been giving some thought to our options.

“One of us could run for the next village,”  Nesh offered.

I shook my head.  “If we light a fire, Jammer will see it.  We’d have to get the whole way to the other side of the cliffs to hide it, and if we do that, the men won’t know it’s for them.  And it’s a day’s walk to the next village.  Jammer said to be back by dawn.  Even if one of us got there, he couldn’t get back in time with a mob.”  I’d thought of the same things on the hike to the barrows.  From the looks on their faces, Coltt and Nesh had reasoned through it, too.  We had no choice but to go on.

For autumn, it was a hot day.  We were all sweating by the time we reached the barrows.  I stopped and took a deep breath.  The barrows were about a candlemark’s hard hike directly inland from the village.  There were three of them, and they might have been mistaken for hills if the rest of the land weren’t so flat.  I’d heard about the barrows since I was a kid.  The old women warned children that the barrow wights ate children who wandered away from the village.  At first, I thought it was just a tale to keep the children from running off.  Then I noticed that even the hunters made a wide circle around the barrows.  I’d gone out once with my father to look for deer and I’d asked why we couldn’t just climb the “hills” for a better view.  He’d gone gray in the face and told me they were an evil place and to stay clear.

Now we were going into them.

Jammer let us take equipment to unseal the barrows.  Coltt and I had picks and Nesh carried two shovels.  The pirates seemed pretty confident we couldn’t use them for weapons.  Hell, they hadn’t even cared about taking our knives.  After all, they had muskets.  I had the awful feeling that whatever was in those barrows wouldn’t be scared of either knives or muskets.  Nesh also had a bag of reeds and a flint and steel for torches.  Jammer had thrown us some dried meat and cheese with a laugh that told me our meals were numbered.

“Can you feel it?”

“Feel what?”  Coltt asked.  Then he closed his eyes for a moment, and so did Nesh.  I could see the change in their expression.  My magic felt jangly, like warning bells in my mind.  It was the same feeling I got when there was a bad storm coming at sea, long before we saw the waves.  That jangle had saved us many a time out on the ocean, warning us to head home before the squall hit.  Only now, we couldn’t head home.  We were heading straight into the storm.

Then I heard it.  It was faint, like a voice calling from a distance.  I pictured the necklace Jammer had drawn with a stick in the dirt floor of the lodge,   The more clearly I pictured it, the louder the voice called to me, directing me to its barrow.  I didn’t like the voice, but I’d heard it before.  I’d heard it in my dreams, bad dreams where a voice tried to call me out into the night, or onto the dark water.  It was the kind of voice you knew in your bones only wanted you for your meat.

Download the whole short story for just 99 cents at www.AscendantKingdoms.com

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