When a priceless Fabergé egg goes missing from a locked room in the London townhouse of Russian oligarch Yevgeny Ivanov, everybody quickly suspects Eva Hart, Ivanov's cleaning lady and single mother.
But Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd has her doubts about this theory, for Eva Hart has no motive, since the egg is unsellable on the free market. But what does Eva's little daughter Emily know? And what happened to the egg?
This is a mystery novelette of 7500 words or approx. 25 pages.
Three tales of broken hearts and love gone wrong
Matt was the great love of Lydia's young life. But how can she possible survive, knowing that he loves another, that red-headed bitch Jeannie?
They got their happy ending, the white wedding, the house, the suburban life together. But every morning when he leaves for work, she secretly hopes he won't come back.
Three years ago, AJ and Diane were a couple. It didn't work out and Diane grew a hard shell around her wounded heart and adopted a new tough personality to survive. But when she runs into AJ at a wedding party, the past comes crashing back all at once.
This is a collection of three short stories of 4700 words or approx. 16 print pages altogether.
Two tales of bad relationships, angry women and murder
It was supposed to be just sex. But then Dan gradually wormed his way into Maggie's life and into her apartment. And though Dan insists that he loves her, Maggie suspects he is far more interested in her sixty inch plasma screen.
Living together brings out the vast differences between Maggie and Dan. And so Maggie's patience is stretched to a breaking point to a breaking point, until an argument about pasta sauce and Dan's addiction to ketchup lead to murder…
Third Time Lucky
Hilda's abusive husband Walter has already survived two massive heart attacks. But the third time's a charm… or is it?
This is a collection of two short stories of 4600 words or approx. 15 print pages altogether.
1966: Freelance troubleshooter Todd Donovan is hired to locate four American college students who have gone missing while doing humanitarian work on the Caribbean island of San Ezequiel.
While punching suspects and taking names, Todd learns that the college students as well as a young nun were kidnapped by a local crime boss named Cabeza.
So now Todd is engaged in a desperate race against time to rescue the kidnapped women before they can be sold to the highest bidder.
This is an adventure novelette of approx. 9800 words or 35 pages in the style of the men's adventure pulps of the 1960s.
Once, Anjali Patel and Mikhail Grikov were soldiers on opposing sides of an intergalactic war. They met, fell in love and decided to go on the run together.
Now Anjali and Mikhail are trying to eke out a living on the independent worlds of the galactic rim, while attempting to stay under the radar of those pursuing them.
When they are hired to retrieve a shipment of bootleg medical nanobots, it seems like a routine job at first. But it quickly turns out that they are not the only ones who are after the nanobots. And their client has an agenda of her own.
This is a story of 5100 words or approx. 20 print pages in the "In Love and War" series, but may be read as a standalone.
Once Carlotta Valdez was a mercenary, working for the highest bidder. No job was too dirty or too dangerous as long as she got paid.
But then Carlotta had a change of heart. She joined the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire and met rebel leader Arthur Madden, perhaps the only man in the universe she genuinely admires.
However, the past has a nasty habit of catching up with you when you least expect it. And so, while on a mission for the Rebellion, Carlotta runs into Darius Gilroy, crime lord, all around scumball and her former boss. Gilroy had a job for Carlotta and he won't take no for an answer. And to emphasise his point, he threatens to hand her over to the Empire, if she doesn't accept.
So Carlotta finds herself en route to the rimworld of Rothea III to take out a drug lord who has been encroaching on Gilroy's territory. The drug lord certainly won't be missed, but how can Carlotta reconcile an assassination job with her newfound rebel convictions? And how can she get Gilroy off her back, lest he threaten her and her comrades again?
This is a novella of 18200 words or approximately 61 print pages in the Shattered Empire universe, but may be read as a standalone.
Warning: There is some harsh language in this one, so sensitive souls should tread carefully.
When supermarket employee Nelson Grant is found bludgeoned to death next to a half empty crate of bananas, the case seems a complete mystery. For Nelson Grant was well liked by his colleagues, so who could possibly want him dead?
But then Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd and her team discover that the crate contained more than just bananas and the case suddenly acquires a whole new dimension.
This is a mystery novelette of 12300 words or approximately 45 print pages.
Waiting until closing time on Christmas Eve to get a present for his Mom certainly wasn't one of Tim's better ideas. Especially not since the store only has a self-service wrapping station and Tim is utterly hopeless at gift-wrapping. Lucky for him, the lively and unconventional Shannon is there to lend a hand.
This is a short and sweet holiday romance of 5700 words or approximately 16 print pages.
Cadet Anjali Patel had hoped for something more exciting than guard duty for her first mission with the legendary Shakyri Expeditionary Corps, the best fighters in the Empire of Worlds.
However, this boring job quickly turns hot, when an enemy convoy comes up the mountain pass Anjali is supposed to guard.
This is a prequel story of 4500 words or approx. 18 print pages to the "In Love and War" series, but may be read as a standalone.
When the test of a planet killer weapon goes awry, the light cruiser Fearless Explorer is ordered to the planet Jagellowsk to evacuate the scientists in charge of the test before the planet breaks apart. But in defiance of orders, Captain Brian Mayhew and his crew decide to aid the civilian evacuation efforts instead.
Meanwhile, on Jagellowsk, thirteen-year-old Katya Grikova is desperate to get herself and her little brother Misha to safety from the ever stronger seismic shocks that are rocking the planet.
The Fearless Explorer is Katya and Misha's only chance to get away from Jagellowsk. But Captain Brian Mayhew and his crew cannot evacuate all the children waiting for rescue…
This is a prequel novella of 29000 words or approximately 100 print pages in the In Love and War series, but may be read as a standalone.
1966. Freelance troubleshooter Todd Donovan is hired to locate Dr. Pat Turner, a biologist who has gone missing in the South American jungle. It seems like an easy job at first, but then Todd finds himself staring into the barrel of a gun.
Captured and taken to the jungle compound of the drug lord Durango, Todd finally meets up with Dr. Turner, who turns out to be not just a beautiful woman, but also Durango's prisoner.
Durango is not the sort of man to leave potential witnesses alive. And so Todd and Dr. Pat Turner are soon facing a painful end in Durango's pit of crawling death…
This is a short adventure story of approx. 5500 words or 20 pages in the style of the men's adventure pulps of the 1960s.
Upstate New York, 1937: When the delivery vans of the Daisy Chain Dairy Company are targeted and robbed by a criminal gang and a driver is shot, Richard Blakemore a.k.a. the masked crimefighter known only as the Silencer decides to get involved.
So he stakes out the dairy company in the early hours of the morning to apprehend the criminals, only to find himself embroiled in a lethal fight on the bed of a speeding milk truck…
This is a short story of 3700 words or approx. 15 print pages in the Silencer series, but may be read as a standalone.
On their way to the northern city of Khon Orzad, Thurvok, the sellsword, and his friend Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin, travel along a road lined with the skeletons of executed heretics.
It's a grim path that becomes even grimmer when Thurvok and Meldom come upon a blindfolded woman who is still very much alive tied to a stake by the side of the road.
Should they continue their journey or rescue the woman and risk the wrath of the priest kings of Khon Orzad…
This is a short story of 5500 words or 20 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.
Thurvok, the sellsword, is enjoying a meal with his friends, Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin, the sorceress Sharenna and Lysha, Meldom's sweetheart whom the adventurers saved from the gallows, when a peasant woman asks them for help. Her young daughter Tali has been chosen to be sacrificed to the dragon that terrorises the area.
Thurvok and his friends want to help her and save Tali. But slaying a dragon is difficult, not to mention dangerous.
This is a short story of 4500 words or 18 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.
Three short tales of anthropomorphic terror, featuring Trojan toys, axe-wielding ducks and fluffy killer rabbits from outer space.
When the world is besieged by Kaiju, the only weapon that can stop them turns out to be a rubber ducky with a deadly secret…
His name is whispered in terror: Mock Duck, the mad axe-man of Chinatown, deadly enforcer for the triads. No one has ever seen his face and lived to tell the tale. Which is probably for the better, because Mock Duck's nickname is more accurate than anybody could have guessed…
It's the latest psychiatric epidemic to sweep the nation: Angoraphobia, a pathological fear of fluffy angora sweaters. Those who suffer from the disorder claim that fluffy killer rabbits from outer space are trying to conquer the Earth and exterminate humanity. Are they merely deluded or could they perchance be right?
Three bizarro short stories of 7000 words or approximately 24 pages altogether.
When the landlord of "The Cork and the Bottle" ends up dead in a puddle of blood on the floor of his own pub, the case seems clear. The teen burglars who broke into the pub to steal the contents of the till are the culprits.
But there are things about the case that just don't add up. And eventually, Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd begins to suspect that the killers are to be found much closer to home…
This is a crime short of 4400 words or approx. 14 print pages altogether.
Two stories of crime, chance and coincidence
Our Lady of the Burning Heart
Liam is a small time criminal in a world of trouble. Cause he owes twenty thousand dollars to local gangster Dan "the Man" O'Brien and if Liam doesn't pay back him within twenty-four hours, he's in for a whole world of pain.
Liam does not have twenty thousand dollars. All he has are four dollars and forty-seven cents and a plan. For there is a horse running tonight, a horse sure to win him the missing twenty thousand dollars and more. If Liam only had enough money to bet on it.
So when Liam passes the church of Our Lady of the Burning Heart and finds the door open late at night, he does what a good Catholic boy like him should never even consider. He ventures into the church, intending to rob the collection box.
But a statue of the Virgin Mary with an eerily glowing heart, a forgetful priest and a lost bus ticket conspire to rescue Liam from Dan "the Man" and return him to the path of righteousness…
They came out of nowhere to attack America's towns and suburbs: Giant mutant crabs and other creatures, grown to enormous size due to nuclear radiation and bent on destroying the American way of life. But while many fall to the monster attacks, an advertising executive finds the unexpected strength to survive and fight back for the sake of his family…
This is a short story of 5300 words or approximately 20 print pages.
Sinister shadows menace a family…
Strange things keep happening in the quirky little seaside town of Hallowind Cove, earning it the nickname "Harbour of the Weird".
When the Hutchinson family buy the beautiful Beauregard mansion on Gloomland Street, they believe they've made the deal of a lifetime.
But unfortunately, no one told them about the fog that envelops Hallowind Cove for three hundred and forty days a year. Or about the mysterious shadows that stand around Twilight Gardens, staring at random houses…
This is a short story of 3300 words or approximately 14 pages in the Hallowind Cove series, but may be read as a standalone.
When the apocalypse has come and gone, life still goes on for the survivors struggling to adapt to the new normal.
In a drowned world, the descendants of surface dwellers remember the cities that were lost, the inhabitants of ocean floor colonies cling to outmoded customs and scavengers search the flooded ruins for anything that might be of use. In a world ravaged by droughts, two college students come face to face with how the other half lives. A lone explorer traverses the icy wasteland that used to be Europe. A group of children travels across a zombie-infested America in search of shelter and safety. After a robot uprising, a police officer is assigned to clean-up duties and finds an unexpected miracle among the ruins. And in a world blasted by electromagnetic solar storms, a nineteenth century technology suddenly becomes the sole means of long distance communication.
This collection contains eight stories of life after the apocalypse of 24500 words or approximately 85 print pages altogether.