It’s A-Live!!!

The moment has come. Picquet is published. The e-book is out there.

And Smashwords has it half-price for the July Summer-Winter Sale.swlogo

A new world, a dangerous place mistakenly assessed as suitable for human colonisation.
An inexperienced corporal must lead a motley group of civilians to the only possible point of extraction. Mistake, or exile?

Corporal Kopa Redding becomes a senior member of the rapidly diminishing group of colonists to a new planet. A horde of monsters pursues them and kills off more every night. If not for the lights …
And then it happens, there are no lights, and Corporal Kopa Redding is on night picquet. Alone. They come …

An exciting, fast-paced run through an alien world where nothing is familiar.

Want an excerpt? Here it is:

Everywhere he looked was unsuitable. He’d be as visible as a single star in a galaxy.

“I’m afraid,” he said to the night. “I’m so scared I’m almost already dead with it.” The words hung there like a jeer from the Captain, but Kopa imagined his father in a hide somewhere, offering advice to a new recruit.

“If you’re afraid, it means you want to live, doesn’t it?” Kopa nodded at the imaginary voice, but did he? Did he want to live?

His rock faced the flatlands where the mounds looked like a cobbled road. He heard it from where he sat; the sound reached him easily. He was uphill, and he wondered if sound behaved differently on this world, or was sound one of the universal rules? The night creatures made sound seem to come from all directions at once, and yet, and yet …

He stopped his wondering and focused on the patterns the horde used to get a scent. Two groups circled the campsite and widened the circle until one of them stood up and did something. Kopa couldn’t see or hear what it was, but the group began to come together, to work as one. They crushed the tiny hole that protected the group last night. Two of the creatures — what would Sally call these?

Fulminators, perhaps? They had scales that looked like blue-white flames; they moved like a fluid and a gas, bubbles of white things that exploded into thunderbolt shapes as it moved. Not as large as the biggest things, but ten times bigger than Kopa. Too much to hope to win a fight with, even if it was only one, it had no friends, nor these other thousands of allies, and Kopa alone. Worse, unskilled, barely trained. Terrified.

The string holding the tiny bit of shell fell from his pocket to the ground. Kopa leaned over and picked it up. He put the string back around his neck and knotted it securely, and held it in his palm to rub a shine onto the surface. I wish I were as visible as a piece of the rock, he whispered. Please make me as invisible as a rock in an avalanche of rocks. He closed his eyes and crossed his legs.

piq-01

[click on the cover to see the links – it will add sellers over the next few days, but only Smashwords has it on sale]

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