MORAN PRESS PRESENTS SECOND CIVIL WAR BY AUSTIN DAVIS
I'm proud to present the latest release from Moran Press, Second Civil War.
I congratulate Austin Davis on the publication of his second release from Moran Press. I also want to extend a huge thank you to the cover artist, Anne Segal for her tireless work getting this book released.
Here's the description from Amazon for Second Civil War.
In Second Civil War, Austin Davis issues a call to action for this generation.
Composed of poems on gun violence, racism, immigration, and the nature of modern capitalism, Second Civil War implores the youth to take a stand against the bigotry of Donald Trump through non-violent protest and above all – to vote.
This collection of protest poetry from Austin Davis slams a stake in the ground that the next generation won’t accept a return to the worst parts of American history tainted by white supremacy.
I want to personally thank Austin Davis for having the courage to write these poems, which directly challenge the outrageous policies of Donald Trump. It's inspiring to witness so many young people stepping up to make their voices heard. I hope this book inspires others to speak out, to take action, and to VOTE. If you're not registered to vote, PLEASE click the link.
***2017 Los Angeles Book Awards Runner-up*** ***2017 Hollywood Book Festival Honorable mention*** ***2017 Summer Indie Book Awards Honorable mention***
In post-war Canada during the late 1940s, Elly McGuinty and her younger sister, Dot, are newly orphaned. The girls are sent to live with their grandparents in a small prairie town. Still grieving the loss of her parents, Elly chafes at the responsibility of helping care for Dot and struggles to find a place for herself in her new life. When a travelling circus comes to town, Elly’s desire for new experiences leads her, Dot, and new friend Stammer - a shy boy mocked for his halting voice - down a path where lives are altered forever.
There are some secrets the snow won’t hide, no matter how deep deception has buried them. In the cold heart of Janus City, beneath the Downtown Bridge, another corpse proved there is no exception. The corpse was found, caught near concrete pylons where ice was thin and black currents flowed. Pounded into a new shape, it was barely recognizable as once living. It was more iceberg than human, blighting the base of the bridge.
High above on the parliament building, a golden statue of Janus was first to behold the body. Crowned and robed with crusted snow, she stood with hard eyes, one hand clutching sword hilt, the other curled around a chubby marble infant. Her unsmiling gaze passed over the workers as they freed the frozen remains. The dead body was unworthy of her interest. She left it to the humans and the living hand of the law.
A policeman shivered in the bustle by the bridge. No matter how many layers Officer Sonny Merrick had on beneath his jacket, he was still numb. His parka was police-issued, made of stiff fabric that creaked as he braced against the wind. The inside label listed a company which had gone out of business long ago due to defective products. “We warm you” was stitched there with cheap, tattered thread. We warn you not to buy this, Sonny thought as he shifted foot to foot.
Earlier at the station, as they sat with coffee, Officer Roy Fletcher read the wind chill warning out loud to Sonny.
“Exposed skin may freeze in two minutes. Take appropriate precautions.” Roy glanced up with a smirk. “Two minutes. Takes you that long to get your goddamn gun safety off.”
Sonny winced and ignored the jab. “Geez that’s cold. Shift’s gonna suck tonight.” “Hell no,” Roy corrected. “It’s to our advantage.”
“Simple. We’re always yelling ‘Freeze! Police!’ Now they’ll actually do it. We’ll be arresting popsicles left, right, and center.”
“Still not comforting.”
“Nothing here ever is.” Roy lifted his mug for another sip.
Sonny crumpled a napkin and tossed it in a neat overhand at a nearby garbage can. “Two points.”
“Easy, tiger. Save it for the shift. The city paid good money for that arm.” Roy leaned back in his chair. He watched the other officers file out to the duty room. “Jesus, those bastards are too eager.”
“We should go get our assignments.” Sonny stood and stretched. “I need to move to stay awake tonight.”
“Not me. Let’s go babysit some fucking freak show at the Emergency. It’ll be the perfect send-off before you join the suits in Homicide.”
Sonny sighed. “Don’t you ever get tired of sitting on your ass? It takes no brains to do that.”
“That’s exactly why I like it. And I’m good with crazy-sitting,” Roy grinned. “With you for a partner, I’ve had plenty of practice.”
Sonny balled up another napkin and threw it at Roy, who only grinned wider as it missed.
The duty room was full when Sonny and Roy finally entered. They slid in to the last two seats as the night roster manager began to speak. Duties were assigned, mostly. Rarely were some duties volunteered for. Several officers grimaced at Sonny and Roy’s assignment; a corpse was found embedded in river ice the night before. It still needed police presence during recovery. Sonny grimaced too, remembering another body he and Roy had found in late spring: Caroline. He glanced at Roy, who lifted a questioning eyebrow. Sonny shrugged, and turned his attention back to the room.
Most officers avoided taking on outdoor crime scenes. There was no adrenaline kick other than rolling out yellow tape: less criminal sacks, more freezing ball sacks. At least crime scene duty was better than years ago, to hear Roy tell it. During the Aging virus epidemic, any suspicious body also carried the risk of contagion. Despite their protective equipment, police never knew if they’d suffer a quick run through the aging cycle, then death.
Sonny watched Roy now hunched in the wind, gloved hands crammed deep in his parka pockets.
“Fuck this weather.” Roy’s words rose in a foggy mist around him.
Sonny rolled his eyes. “I’d like to remind you who picked this assignment.”
Roy squinted as another flurry of snow caught him in the face. “I deny everything.”
“Uh-huh.” Sonny cupped a gloved hand to his mouth and said no more. It was too cold to argue.
“Cold bitch of a night, huh? Makes you wish for a nice, long report to file,” Roy said. “I wouldn’t mind getting a few ass splinters back at the station. At least the pain would keep me warm.”
“I thought you didn’t like paperwork.”
“Fuck off. You hate it as much as I do.”
Sonny shrugged. It wouldn’t do to dig up another corpse between them while they stood watch over this one. He and Roy had spent enough time this summer arguing over not filing a report when they should have. “Ah, your butt’s too callused for splinters.”
Roy grinned at the welcome return to bantering. He peered at the workers nearby. “At least we’re luckier than those poor bastards.”
The city workers were exposed to the worst of the weather down by the riverbank. Just beyond their snow-clearing machines, half embedded in sheets of ice, lay the corpse. Bowling ball shaped, the head was too smooth to be a natural jut of ice. Wind had wrapped a blindfold of frost around the form, leaving strands of long dark hair streaming out like a flag.
“I wonder what condition the body’s in,” Sonny said.
“Stiff as a fucking board, I bet.” Roy’s teeth chattered as he huddled closer for warmth. “It’s just begging for us to dig it out and get it on the coroner’s table. I might join it. It’d be a helluva lot warmer than out here.”
“No, really. How long do you think the body’s been there?” Sonny waved a hand at the leaden sky. “It wasn’t that cold until this week.”
Roy shrugged. “A day? A decade? Who knows?”
“Aren’t you at all interested?”
“Shit, Sonny. I am interested, more than interested. But right now I’m just focused on staying warm.”
Roy nudged him. “Don’t apologize for being curious. I expect it of you. It’s why you’ve been called up to the big dicks’ league. You excited?”
Sonny beamed. “I can’t wait.”
“That’s my man. By this time next week, you’ll be knee deep in all the homicide cases you could want.” Roy dragged a gloved finger across his neck and made a slashing sound. “Blood and guts everywhere.”
“Missing cases, too.” Sonny nodded towards the river. “Like this one. I bet you this body turns out to be one of the missing women.”
Roy shifted in place but didn’t answer. Sonny didn’t expect him to. Probing their shared sore point tended to make Roy clam up. A sudden flush warmed Sonny’s face despite the cold. Last shift together and he was driving the conversation over a cliff. He owed Roy more than just a few asshole jibes as a parting gift.
“Hey, here comes our relief.” Sonny pointed as a black, unmarked car drove up. Steam rose from its exhaust, crystallizing in the cold air as the car parked.
“About fucking time,” Roy muttered.
The figures exiting the car wore dark clothes more suited to an evening out for dinner than a crime scene. Sonny watched as one of the figures straightened her coat. She glided more than strode towards the yellow tape barrier. Two men flanked her as if escorting royalty.
“Officers, how are you doing?” The woman paused as she scanned the scene.
“Cold but surviving,” Roy said. “That’s more than we can say for the fuckin… the corpse, though.”
Sonny bit his cheek to suppress a grin. Holding back blue streaks of cuss words wasn’t Roy’s strong suit. His progression up the police ladder was rumored to have stalled due to his fondness for fart jokes. “We’re surviving,” Sonny said.
“But it’d be nice to have a break from the wind.” Roy smirked.
“I’m sure.” The female detective frowned at Roy, then regarded Sonny. “Are you Officer Merrick?” “That’s me.”
“I met you last week.”
Sonny peered at the woman. “Detective Cho. So we did.”
Harriet Cho nodded with a curtness that cut through the wind. “Interesting that you’re here today, considering it’s now Homicide’s case.”
“Thanks, but it wasn’t intentional.” Sonny shrugged.
“I’ll say,” Roy piped in. “Wonderboy here wanted to go fight real crime tonight before he gets hauled away to the brain lab.”
“Must be hard on your skin, this outdoor weather.”
“Roy…” Sonny hissed again.
Cho frowned, mouth open to reply, but Roy continued:
“I think the body is more than a little chapped, itself. They’re still chiseling it out of the ice.” His voice rose over the wind’s howl and Sonny’s protest.
Sonny added his frown to Cho’s. Usually he was the one to start briefing outsiders, not Roy.
“No one knows how long the body may have been there. The city guys haven’t been at the site most of the day because of the bad weather. Too hot, too cold, too rainy, too snowy… Take your pick.” Roy started to laugh but seemed to think better of it.
“We can’t get close enough for any guess at identification,” Sonny added, “but it might be female from what we can see.”
Detective Cho stepped away to stare at the bridge. “Have you set up a complete perimeter?” It was a redundant question, since the yellow tape was noticeable through the gloom even from where they’d parked.
“Both sides, including the walkways.” Sonny motioned behind himself. “The workers are moving their digger to make room for the spotlights. The River Rescue Team is delayed but coming, and an ambulance will stay as backup.”
“Good job. Sounds like you got things covered.”
Sonny winced at the unspoken warning beneath Cho’s praise. Good job: cop code for “I better not find any mistakes.” The only thing worse was not saying it. That meant she already suspected something. If a civilian made a mistake, it was a learning experience; if a cop did, it was unforgivable. That’s why cops hid their mistakes until they managed to fix them. Sometimes they couldn’t. Sonny flushed and glanced at Roy, who stood expressionless.
“Any ideas on where this body came from?” Cho asked.
Sonny motioned back at the river. “My guess is anywhere up stream. If it was recently in this cold, then…” He paused as he reviewed possible sites. “Maybe somewhere near one of the other nearby bridges.”
“Unless it was dropped off this bridge,” Roy added. “Or it was a jumper. But we don’t get many of those in this kind of weather. They seem to like splash better than splat.”
Cho motioned to one of the men beside her. “Notify me as soon as Rescue arrives so I can fill them in. That thin ice will make body retrieval more difficult.”
“Got it.” The man loped off towards the cluster of rescue vehicles.
And the Russian judge gives an eight. Sonny wondered if the man would do a triple toe-jump when he reached the bridge. Field cops didn’t move like that. Most clumped around the station like Roy or Short Swayzee, grabbing their nuts to emphasize any swear-ridden greetings. Homicide seemed like a well-choreographed ballet team. The detectives worked fast, taking over with ease, not just standing and waiting, low on the authority food chain. Next week, Sonny mused, that would be him.
“As for you two…” Cho turned back to the cops. “We’ll take over from here.”
The officers took that as a dismissal, grateful for the chance to escape the cold. A few steps later, they were in their own police car. Roy put the heater on full blast as soon as he started the engine.
“Wanna get a popsicle?”
Sonny winced out a laugh. “How about we skip the popsicle and go find our next assignment?” He turned to stare out the car window. The detectives stood in conference with the city workers who had paused chiseling the body out of the ice. “Good thing you’re a beat cop for one more shift,” Roy said. “You’d be still out there stuck in the cold. I don’t envy those detectives.”
Late night is my favorite time of day. When he is sleeping and the TV is off, I can breathe. All is silent. I am left to myself. Not even he can bother me. He fell asleep on the couch hours ago, giving me time. There are those moments before he passes out in front of the tube. I wonder if I’ll go insane. I can’t even watch television without a hassle. I wish he’d leave me alone.
What I wouldn’t give for a good book right now. I wish I had a book to read, so I wouldn’t have to think so much. Some days, all I do is think of all that is happening and wonder. I wonder why my life is like this and why Mother went away. I wish my favorite writers would write faster. I read all they write and read them again and again, but my eyes get tired. And I end up sitting and thinking, thinking and sitting, and waiting, waiting, waiting for sleep.
Every night, I go through the same routine with few exceptions. After dinner, I do my homework for two hours. My father has this idea that I should study for two hours. I don’t know where he got the idea that 7th graders were supposed to study for two hours, probably from some paper sent home from the school, but he thinks it is an unwritten law. He makes me sit at my desk for two hours even if I finish early.
“Read something,” he’ll yell up the stairs if I ask if I can watch television. “At least, use all that damned shit I bought you. That computer wasn’t fucking cheap you little, ungrateful witch.”
It usually goes something like that for two hours. It is the same every night, except Friday and Saturday nights. I get to do the weekend homework on Sundays. And yes, he was nice enough to buy me a computer to do my writing. He says it cost him fifteen hundred dollars, but I know he stole the damn thing. On the nights I finish my homework early, I type in my computer journal like tonight. I like to rant and rave about school, but usually, I bitch about my dad. I never run out of things to say about him.
Well, back to the routine. I told you about the homework part. After I finish my homework, which he of course checks, I am allowed to watch exactly one hour of television. When he is in a good mood, I’m allowed to choose the shows. Those nights are rare, but when they occur, I take advantage. I turn it to MTV. He hates this channel. He sits next to me on the couch and grunts his disapproval.
He will even goes so far as to bash a song or two, but when he lets me control the set, he doesn’t change the channel. He just sits there and watches right beside me. Sometimes, to show my gratitude, I’ll lean my head on his shoulders. And on nights that he is really pleasant, I’ll let him hold my hand. I may not get along with him, but since my mother died two years ago, he is all I have.
After I watch my hour of television, he tells me it’s time to get ready for bed. Bedtime around this house for me is nine o’clock. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent arguing and pleading with him for a later bedtime, but he is stuck on his routines. Bedtime is nine o’clock. Sharp.
So, up the stairs to get ready for bed, which isn’t a simple thing for me. I have to look my best. Imagine going to bed for the night with snarled hair! I won’t have it. No. Not at all. I must groom with care. The routine will probably bore you, but here it is anyway.
First, I put on my pajamas. There is no sense in brushing your hair when you have to pull a shirt over your head! I brush my hair for ten minutes. I love the way the brush feels in my hair. I run the brush through from front to back again and again. One hundred times. After I brush my hair, I tend to my nails. I clip them, file them, and wonder how they would look with those fancy nail polishes I see advertised on television. My dad won’t let me wear nail polish, or makeup for that matter. He says it would make me look like a tramp. I don’t want to look like a tramp like that girl Jessie at school, but I do want to paint my nails. It might make me feel more grown-up.
After I do my nails, I go to the bathroom. I brush my teeth. I can hear him now saying five minutes, floss, and use the mouthwash. He likes me to use spearmint kind. He is very particular about my breath. Then I wash my face. I go back to my room, check myself in the mirror, and hop into bed with the light on. Dad always shuts it off for me. I count the minutes until he raps on the door.
One, two, three quick, light knocks.
“Are you sleeping?” he asks every night.
“No, Daddy.” He opens the door, shuts off the light, and gets into bed with me.
PURCHASE A SIGNED COPY OF ELLA CLICK BUTTON BELOW OR GRAPHIC TO PURCHASE OTHER MORAN PRESS TITLES
SECRET BOOK RELEASE THREE STORIES BY STEPHEN MORAN
Without fanfare or a drum roll, I present the new release from Moran Press - Three Stories by Stephen Moran.
This mini-collection of three stories comprise the additions to The Terrorist of Providence Street that transform that book into Server. Several readers that bought The Terrorist book expressed an issue with paying for Server to simply get three additional stories.
I concur and present Three Stories. The e-book will be permanently free at Amazon once the minions in charge over there make it so. That way, readers that purchased The Terrorist of Providence Street can get the three stories without charge. There will be a paperback edition and I will keep it on min-pricing of $3.58 to make the addition of the missing stories as small of an impact to you budget as possible.
To sum up, I made a graphic with the covers.
So to those that have already purchased Server, no need to buy Three Stories. This is for those that bought the first collection. Thank you to all my supporters.
Have a great weekend. Hope to see you at the event tonight.
A LITERARY TREASURE HUNT THE FIRST CLUE EDMUND MONOLOGUE KING LEAR ACT I, SCENE II
EDMUND: Thou, nature, art my goddess. To thy law My services are bound. Wherefore should I Stand in the plague of custom and permit The curiosity of nations to deprive me For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines Lag of a brother? Why “bastard”? Wherefore “base”? When my dimensions are as well compact, My mind as generous, and my shape as true As honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us With “base,” with “baseness,” “bastardy,” “base,” “base”-- Who in the lusty stealth of nature take More composition and fierce quality Than doth within a dull, stale, tirèd bed Go to th' creating a whole tribe of fops Got ’tween a sleep and wake? Well then, Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land. Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund As to the legitimate.—Fine word, “legitimate”!-- Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed And my invention thrive, Edmund the base Shall top th' legitimate. I grow, I prosper. Now, gods, stand up for bastards!
Now, take another read of my story Edmund from Server.
EDMUND FICTION BY STEPHEN MORAN EXCERPT FROM SERVER
Scott walked along the boulevard with head hanging low as if he were staring at his own shoes. His fingers worked fast with energy, picking at his cuticles and cleaning the dirt from under his fingernails. As he passed the liquor store, the clock tower on the front side of the arts came into view. It was ten minutes to three. He shook his head and quickened his pace, all the while mumbling under his breath.
Edmund. He pronounced the last consonant hard with great distaste as he wrung his hands together. I’ll catch up with you one of these days. I promise you.
He continued walking with hands in constant motion. He ran fingers over his shaved head, feeling the bristles of short hair tickling his palm. Lifting his gaze to the sky, he laughed.
Of all people to cost me my job. He smiled, indeed, through his fit of laughter, which caused him to sway off course. I’ll get that man if it is the last thing I do. I just need to talk to her before I look for him. I need to tell her about last night.
He turned the corner at the coffee shop, leaving the boulevard behind and stepping out of the afternoon sun, happy to escape the sun’s glare. He passed along an alleyway. The shade a welcome relief, and his hands came to a rest. They hung limply at his sides, and he slowed his gait. Closing his eyes, he let out a sigh.
Stopping next to a dumpster, he lit a cigarette. He took a deep drag and scanned the alley. A smile parted his lips, softening his features. His shaved hair revealed scars on his scalp, and his dark brown eyes were ringed with the black circles of sleep deprivation.
He sat upon a milk crate and rested his face in his hands, talking to himself in a quiet, hushed tone.
Some might call it madness, and I agree there may be a hint of it, just a slight whiff, in this incessant hatred of him. For all these years passing does nothing to dampen the seething constant bile in my mouth I feel when I think upon his visage. Edmund! I wish to strike thee. I wish to call upon the many powers, terrible and wide to do thee harm. I will be revenged upon thee, Edmund. Wounds may heal, but indeed, memory does not fade. My hatred will not abate. But of her, but of her, that is something I shall not relish. She attempts to soothe my anger, to lessen the bitterness of him, of that day, but it is in vain. I wish she could understand.
He stood up as if pulled or yanked, flicking his cigarette to one side, and began to walk. His face showed no emotion. His eyes were straight forward, not seeing or caring to see the vagrant lying on his side in the alley. The sun shone at the far end of the way as a palpable heat in visible color. He made for it and exited the alley, turning brisk and sure to the left, not pausing a moment for afternoon shoppers. “It’s what I must do,” he muttered, passing the bookstore with the Chinese restaurant in sight. He looked at the clock through the window of the bookstore: 3:05. Stylishly late.
I love you. I always will. I just want you to know that this isn’t about you. This is something I must do. You know how I feel about him. You know this will never leave me until that moment I see him looking into my eyes, staring up into my eyes, knowing the time is close at hand. Please understand.
He rubbed his neck with his fingers, kneading tension and doubt. He approached the door with his hands once again moving, picking at his cuticles. Pulling the door open, Scott stepped into the restaurant.
Black leather, maître de, and stained glass. Gentleman, fat, looking at his gray overcoat. Lady in pink with water in her eyes. Captain with paid smile, pouring wine. Three ladies, pretty, average, and unremarkable, chatting without sound, husbandry. Empty space at the next table.
Scott halted next to the fat gentleman holding his gray overcoat and screamed, smashing the silent, dumb show of pretty, average, and unremarkable.
Need more clues? Click the link below to purchase the book. I will give a free paperback to the first person to figure out the riddle.
COVER REVEAL BLOOD CHILL BY L. M. BRYSKI COVER ART BY X-POTION DESIGNS
I'm thrilled to present the cover reveal for Blood Chill - the upcoming medical thriller by L. M. Bryski. This amazing cover was created by X-Potion Designs. Click HERE to check out their Facebook Page.
Here's a blurb for Blood Chill.
BLOOD CHILL, The New Medical Thriller by L. M. Bryski COMING SOON