Category Archives: teasers

Meet Mighty-Woman, the world’s greatest superhero!

It’s easy to say Mighty-Woman is the world’s greatest protector, but the challenge of actually being the best and living up to ever-growing expectations never ends for Miranda Thomas. When her former mentor returns to Earth after a long, self-imposed exile and steals the world’s sunlight, Miranda reunites with her old teammates—and even older friends—as they band together in an adventure that forces her to confront not only her self-centered past but the reasons she continues to serve in the present.

I’m excited to begin talking about my current work-in-progress, Terrific, which will give us a world’s greatest superhero who happens to be a 30-something fully clothed woman. That’s something pop culture needs, but it would be counterproductive if her gender was the book’s defining quality. This is a story about perseverance, friendship, and striving to do right by those who consider you a role model.

So, here’s the first full chapter. It’s still a work-in-progress, so plenty of polishing remains to be done, but I hope you enjoy.

*****

Copyright 2015 Daniel R. Sherrier. Do not reproduce without permission.

Terrific

By Daniel Sherrier

Issue #1: Perfect

“I asked nicely, but the dummies insisted on being evil,” Miranda told the police while she stood atop a pile of clobbered super-villains who had apparently competed to see who could design the most garish costume.

Miranda wasn’t Miranda in that moment, not as far as anyone present knew. To all concerned, she was Mighty-Woman, and her costume did not offend any eyeballs, perhaps because the vast majority of the law-abiding populace was biased in her favor. The gentle breeze animated the yellow cape, which matched her thin belt, fashionable boots, and large letter “M” imprinted on her shirt in a stylish calligraphy that the best graphic designers wished they had thought of. The insignia and cape complemented the magenta spandex, blending everything into a distinctive streak of scarlet whenever she’d fly off at impossible speeds.

Right now, though, the costume was in less than perfect condition. Several minor tears dotted the long pants and sleeves, and the cape had been hole-punched by unconventional fists. Scorch marks tarnished portions of the insignia, and her golden brown hair was a disaster. A careful observer might have thought a bomb had blown up in her face and subsequent action had swept away most of the ashy residue—and such an observation wouldn’t have been too far off the mark. Continue reading

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #5

earths-in-space-v2-front-coverEarths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! The ebook is available, and so is the paperback edition. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you.

Let’s have another excerpt, shall we? We shall…

*****

“Good evening, Amena.”

Amena glanced at her before returning her gaze to the moon. “Hey, darling. Sleeping troubles?”

The way she said “darling” with the dropped g … No, it was probably nothing, Quin assured herself. Mere fanciful wishing.

“You could say. My apologies if I’m intruding.”

“You’re intruding on nothing. No worries.”

The “nothing” in this context implied a vacant mind, a person possessed of no deeper thought than her own social standing. But for all her enigmatic nature, Quin was sure of one thing: Amena was the least shallow person she had ever met. “When you look to the sky, what is it you see?”

The question earned Amena’s full attention, and she seemed delighted to respond. “The electromagnetic spectrum. Some of it, anyway. Have you heard of—”

“It sounds intriguing, but I must confess to ignorance on the subject.”

“It’s okay. Word just hasn’t gotten around yet. Anyway, basically, the electromagnetic spectrum is—it has to do with these wavelengths, a whole range of wavelengths.” Her hand swam through the air, bobbing up and down at regular intervals. “The widest could be as big as the universe, potentially, while at the other end, they get as small as the tiniest building blocks of the ittiest bittiest little thing.” Her arms continued to gesture, spreading far apart and swiftly pinching tight together, and then her hands just sort of rolled forward with her speech, as if necessary to siphon off her excess enthusiasm. “Within that, there’s this sliver of a sliver we call visible light. This whole huge spectrum—universe-level huge—and our eyes only pick up a sliver. We’re missing out on a lot.”

Quin looked at the bright moon, wondering what else bounced off it.

Amena’s arms drifted to her sides, and she sounded almost melancholy. “There’s so much more going on than we’ll ever see.”

*****

Want more?

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #4

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! earths-in-space-v2-front-coverThe ebook is available, and so is the paperback edition. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you.

So…excerpt? Yes, time for another excerpt…

*****

Amena materialized in Renaissance Italy—which wasn’t actually Renaissance Italy, but it sure bore a striking resemblance. It pretty much matched how she pictured it. Smelled even worse, though, but maybe the architecture would stun her nose after it finished stunning her eyeballs. As she clung to the shadow of a tight alley, she wondered if any of these ornate buildings could boast interior artwork on par with that of the Sistine Chapel.

Well. That was a lovely half-second during which she could forget her present company and situation.

“What do you see?” Sharp asked.

“More than you, I’d wager, but I’m sure you’ll tell me the correct answer.”

“Look at the natives.”

Yeah, she got where he was going with this. The street was full of men. From her inconspicuous hideaway, Amena listened to snippets of conversation as they passed. They conducted business, discussed philosophy, debated a new mathematical theorem, and so on. All very interesting, but the tableau felt incomplete.

“Where do you suppose the women are?” Sharp asked. “Perhaps the kitchens? Nurseries? Imagine if you were born here.”

“That is a terrible waste. Yes. That’s a shame—that and so much else. There’s a lot more wrong here than you’d ever notice. These people—the ones alive right now—they’ll never explore outer space. They’ll never even reach the moon. Their descendants will create such wonderful art these folks’ll never get a chance to appreciate. They’ll achieve scientific discoveries that would astound any one of them, that would seem so magical—but these people will never know. Yeah, it stinks that it takes so long to grow a civilization, but the payoff’s amazing. These guys might be too stupid to treat their women as people, but each generation will get a little smarter until that’s corrected.”

“They won’t, because I’m about to kill them.” Sharp tapped his badge. “Location Beta.”

*****

Want more?

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #3

earths-in-space-v2-front-coverLaunch week for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! The ebook’s preorder pages will magically transform into order pages on Friday, and the paperback edition already went live. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you. 

This latest excerpt allows me to bring up an extra-special point. An uncommon feature of the Earths in Space series is that it stars an asexual leading lady. Asexuality is the least common of sexual orientations. The description applies to maybe 1 percent of the population. But it’s real. Some people simply don’t experience sexual attraction, and that’s fine. To learn more about asexuality, check out the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, or just Google it.

This sci-fi story is not about asexuality, and it’s not even explicitly stated. Amena’s asexuality is vaguely hinted at in Vol. 1, but it becomes a bit more obvious in Vol. 2, as you’ll see below…

*****

“He actually can get pretty industrious sometimes,” Jem said.

Amena wondered if “industrious” was a euphemism. It didn’t sound like one, but a lot of euphemisms tended to take her by surprise.

That kiss was ingrained in Amena’s mind. It nauseated her on a number of levels, the age difference being a big one, but even worse was the notion that this bright—well, sometimes bright—beautiful and strong girl who was just barely old enough to drink would choose to spend such quality time with a slovenly wealthy man prone to erratic behavior. Jem was no gold digger. Outside of the salary she drew from this work, she never spent any of his money. The two of them just kind of clung to each other for unfathomable reasons. Amena understood precious little about it, but she was pretty darn sure it wasn’t healthy.

“Jem, let’s talk girl-to-girl.”

“I guess we would have to.”

“Huh?” Smirking? Why was Jem smirking at her?

“You can’t really talk woman-to-woman, can you?” Continue reading

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #2

Launch week for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! earths-in-space-v2-front-coverThe ebook’s preorder pages will magically transform into order pages on Friday, and the paperback edition already went live. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you. The following excerpt spoils nothing about Vol. 1.

*****

The vice president destroyed civilization, but he didn’t mean to. He simply neglected to seal his containment suit properly. Oh, and the whole initiative kind of was his idea in the first place.

Zanna Fuentes was his deputy press secretary, but now she had a new job—ambassador to the next Earth.

She stared at the massive vessel that would bring her there, along with nearly five hundred other survivors. It sat in the cavernous bunker beneath the Department of Scientific Advancement, where a bunch of paranoids had constructed it in secret a decade earlier. The body was an obese cylinder capped by hemispheres on both ends. The technicians dotted the grainy yellow hull as little more than specks from Zanna’s vantage point in the observation room.

That thing was going to be her home for many thousands of years. It was her future, her entire civilization’s future. Continue reading

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #1

earths-in-space-v2-front-coverLaunch week for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! The ebook’s preorder pages will magically transform into order pages on Friday, and the paperback edition just went live. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you.

So let’s kick things off with an excerpt. Then, for an even grander time, I’ll post other excerpts throughout the week.

Here we go, but be warned — this snippet includes some spoilers for Vol. 1…

*****

Evolution was a real thing. Amena Wharry knew this for a fact. She had witnessed it in action on an Earth that no longer existed. That giant swimming eyeball was forever etched in her memory. She saw it, felt its slimy tentacles as they ensnared her, and she had regrettably killed the poor thing, though she never learned what species it had descended from. Did a race of giant eyeballs already exist deep within her Earth’s oceans? But those snakes were clearly evolved, the way they stretched their mouths unnaturally wide. Then again, that could’ve been a species of snake that had remained hidden in rainforests or was driven to extinction long ago, and those little dinosaurs might never have gone extinct over there in the first place…

The slender redhead swiped her paintbrush across a side wall in The Patrick Henry’s control room. The dull metal got old on day one, and she finally found time to rectify the horrid situation—rectify it as much as her limited artistic talents allowed. Intricate murals were beyond her abilities, and she didn’t have that much time anyway, but she could slap assorted streaks of color up and down the walls. She preferred detailed images that merited close inspection—the sort of work she’d find in art museums’ historical wings—but she settled on abstract expressionism. It was color. It broke the monotony, stimulated the brain even.

Surely people were capable of evolution. If those animals could evolve on that ancient Earth, then humanity likely had the same potential. They just never got the chance there. That civilization died young, lasted for a teensy fraction of the planet’s ten billion years. But maybe on some other Earth…

*****

Preordering is fun, by the way…

Hello, Wattpad!

I joined Wattpad today. It’s a lovely website where writers can post sample chapters and work-in-progress excerpts…and readers can enjoy them for free.

Sounded like a winner to me.

I’ve posted the beginning of the upcoming, not-yet-fully-edited Earths in Space vol. 2: We Must Evolve:

Of course, if you still haven’t read Earths in Space vol. 1: Where Are the Little Green Men?, its beginning is on there, too:

And of course, my Wattpad page wouldn’t be complete without “Touch,” the first novelette in RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death:

So, yes, I hereby tease you with free book beginnings.

RIP excerpt #4 of 4

Today I uploaded RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death to Amazon and Smashwords. Why yes, I will share the links tomorrow.RIP-V1-final

While we’re waiting, here’s an excerpt from the fourth novelette, “Point B.” It was tough to choose a snippet from this one without giving anything away, but I persevered.

*****

Rip’s lungs burned up their last reserves and broke his sprint. He skidded to a stop while the neurologist stepped through a brick wall.

“There you are! I had this thought. I still have all my professional expertise. I just lack the means to communicate with, well, anyone, except you, and I guess those other six. But what are the odds I’m going to meet any of them? I’m lucky I ran into you. So here’s what I’m thinking. I can still help my patients. I just have to do it through you. I’ll tell you exactly what to do and what to tell them. You can even use my office and all the equipment. I only died a few weeks ago. Everything’s still there. You can be my—what’s that term? Medium! Yes, you can be my medium.”

Rip backed up. “Um, no thanks. I have my own—”

“Your own what? Your own life? Again with that tone…”

“—my own things I need to—”

“And you think your ‘things’ are more important than my work? Do you understand what neurological damage can do to a person?”

“I’m not doubting you, uh, sir. I just—I’m not a doctor, so how—”

“I have an old colleague who can forge credentials. You and I could be quite a team.”

“That’s flattering, but I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”

The neurologist extended a shaky pointer finger. “Maybe I’m not being clear enough. We will be a team, or I will make you experience firsthand the dangers of neurotmesis.”

Serissa patted Rip on the back. “So yeah, buddy, you ran into an alley where there are no people, so there’s no chance of me being able to help you. Smart move, Light-Bright.”

*****

Ghosts are people, too, but not all ghosts choose to be good people.

Rip Cooper must overcome his fears and kill dead people to prevent them from corrupting the living. This young loner learns he can perceive ghosts with his five senses as if they were flesh and blood, and he’s just as solid to them — pretty much the only solid thing, in fact. He works alongside an impure “angel” and his ex-best friend’s ex-girlfriend as they teach him how love can lead to strength.

RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death features the first four novelettes in this coming-of-age and redemption story: “Touch,” “Alone,” “The Crazy Line,” and “Point B,” plus the short story “Strength.”

 

RIP excerpt #3 of 4

Another day, another RIP excerpt.RIP-V1-final

Here’s one from the third novelette, “The Crazy Line.”

*****

“So what do you think is wrong with those other ghosts?” Mac asked. “The ‘evil’ ones?”

Serissa looked forward. “Gluttony.”

“But they don’t have…Ghosts don’t eat.”

“They don’t ‘nom nom nom’ eat, no, but they make their own feasts.”

“Um, okay.” Mac touched his tongue and studied the lack of sensation. “I haven’t eaten since—two whole weeks, and I’m not hungry. Do you ever feel hunger?”

“No. I get phantom hunger. It’s special. Just wait. You’ll get it, too.”

“But if I get hungry and I can’t eat anything…That sounds awfully unpleasant.”

“Eh.” Serissa rocked her head back and forth in search of an example. “Take chocolate. I really loved chocolate. It was soooo good. Sometimes, I’ll lose myself fantasizing about that taste. I got my memories, so I taste the memories. And taste and taste and taste…”

“That kind of sounds like gluttony.”

She didn’t hear him. Sensory memories consumed her, and she let them—but only for a moment.

“Ah, chocolate. So yeah. I hunger for things. Whoa, that sounded creepy. Hunger just does not work as a verb. Anyway, I indulge in delicious memories here and there, but I’m careful to restrain myself. Too much fantasy, not good.”

“And the bad ghosts…?”

“No restraint. They give in to every single whim that crosses their whacked-out minds. Like, they see someone hurting and they think, ‘Hey, maybe I can make that worse.’ And they do, as if it’ll somehow relieve their own pain. They can’t get enough of it. Gluttons. All a bunch of psychotic gluttons.”

*****

RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death is coming soon!

Ghosts are people, too. What kind of people, however, is up to each one to decide.

Rip Cooper learns he can perceive ghosts with his five senses as if they were flesh and blood, and he’s just as solid to them — pretty much the only solid thing, in fact. This young loner has to overcome his fears and kill dead people to prevent them from corrupting the living. He works alongside an impure “angel” and his ex-best friend’s ex-girlfriend as they teach him how love can lead to strength.

RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death features the first four novelettes in this coming-of-age and redemption story: “Touch,” “Alone,” “The Crazy Line,” and “Point B,” plus the short story “Strength.”

RIP excerpt #2 of 4

RIP-V1-finalPlease enjoy this excerpt from the second RIP novelette, “Alone.”

RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death will be here before you know it! The wondrous process of proofreading continues!

*****

“You got a glow about you,” Serissa said. “Where’d you get the glow?”

“Nothing. I don’t—”

“Awfully quick nothing coming out of your mouth there.”

“It’s nothing.”

“Even quicker.” She tapped Rip’s forehead. “Let it out, boy. I know of only one force on this planet that makes you not miserable, and Kalli was with me. Or is it Kalli? What day is it?”

“Can you please stop playing Spider-Woman with my ceiling?”

“Maybe I’ll return your precious ceiling if maybe you give me some answers.”

Rip stared up at the white plane, and he shrugged.

She pressed her finger on his nose. “Talk.”

He figured he’d lose eventually anyway, so he got on with it. “I met a ghost who was haunting the library, and I think I might actually be able to help her instead of—”

Serissa hung her head. “Her? Oh, Ripley, you poor stupid boy.”

“What? If I can help a ghost become less creepy and more like…” Upon spotting Serissa crouched on the ceiling and repeatedly banging her head through it, he found cause to adjust his statement. “If I can save a ghost’s soul, isn’t that better than outright condemning her to Hell?”

Serissa flung herself to the floor to address him from a more conventional perspective. “In theory, yeah.”

“Oh, you’ve decided to be right-side up?”

“I do that sometimes. But you see, theory and the real world tend to duke it out real often—and you know what, buddy? Theory doesn’t always win the championship.”

“Maybe that particular theory of yours won’t, not this time.”

“A-ha! You just made my point.”

“I really don’t think I did.”

“Yes, you said a theory wouldn’t work in the real world.”

“Your theory.”

“About your theory.”

“I think you lost your point somewhere along the way.”

Serissa placed both hands on his shoulders to make a firm, serious point. “Rip, your clouded is judgment.”

“My what?”

“Your judgment is clouded! Stupid tongue! You fell for a pretty face, complete with gigantically sad eyes—I’m just guessing—and now you think you can do something that odds are you really can’t.”

*****

Once again, I’ll leave you with the book description, and come back tomorrow for another excerpt!

Ghosts are people, too. What kind of people, however, is up to each one to decide.

Rip Cooper learns he can perceive ghosts with his five senses as if they were flesh and blood, and he’s just as solid to them — pretty much the only solid thing, in fact. This young loner has to overcome his fears and kill dead people to prevent them from corrupting the living. He works alongside an impure “angel” and his ex-best friend’s ex-girlfriend as they teach him how love can lead to strength.

RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death features the first four novelettes in this coming-of-age and redemption story: “Touch,” “Alone,” “The Crazy Line,” and “Point B,” plus the short story “Strength.”