A while back I got to know a fantastic writer, publisher, web designer/developer, editor and all around entrepreneur via Twitter by the name of Faydra D. Fields. She is an amazingly talented individual, and I have had the pleasure of working with her off and on for about a year or so now.
She has an impressive resume, that recently expanded, with her production of the “Independent Author Index Short Compilation.” Faydra is the creator of the Independent Author Index website and network, and recently furthered this endeavor with a regularly published anthology of short stories. I was lucky enough to submit and be featured in the first volume with my short dubbed, “Rory Winters.”
“Rory Winter” is a tale of rival treasure hunters stalking the same mysterious artifact. Their fates are intertwined at a level that they cannot even imagine, but how far will the rabbit hole take them before it finally releases its grip?
This, essentially, was a homage to all of the wonderful action/adventure stories set in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The very same ones that George Lucas pulled from to create the “Indiana” Jones” tetralogy. This project was particularly close to my heart because it plays into several past times of mine, and if you are grabbed by these genres just as I am, don’t fret–I have plans to serialize Rory and Ashe’s adventures into a long running series that will (hopefully) develop into an anthology of novellas.
You can purchase the “Independent Author Index Short Story Compilation, Volume 1” via Amazon by clicking the cover image below, or you can visit my short story’s page on the Independent Author Index’s website by clicking the “Rory Winters” cover.
If anything, check out this collection of short stories to get a feel for all of the wonderful material that indie authors are producing today.
Her flashlight flickered in and out of existence as she sat cross-legged beneath the old patchwork quilt. She repeatedly smacked the light to her palm to focus the beam, and as it solidified she placed it beneath her chin and gave a wicked grin. She looked directly in the eyes of the omniscient and whispered something sinister. She knew he was there, just like a man knows that the moon is there in the daylight, but unlike the moon it never speaks to men of evil.
At that moment the defined features of her long locks and green eyes faded into sand—becoming nothing but granular bits wafting in the breeze. Eventually the breeze shifted becoming something more powerful—a wind. The quilt fluttered like a tent flap, the flashlight melted into a simple camping lantern, and in an instant the world the girl inhabited was no longer there. She and it had disappeared from reality: a beam of light finally winking out beneath a dark, damp quilt and a merciful moon.
Rory Winters awoke with a sharp jolt. His heart was pounding and he was perspiring. Even though he had the same dream almost every night, it still scared him and his body reacted accordingly. The girl frightened him, but after twenty odd years, the girl beneath the blanket was like an old friend. His tent flapped in the wind as he promptly fell back to slumber dreaming of the morning sun, forgetting the low drone of the jungle background. The treasure and ancient secrets that he would soon uncover in the distant temple were more than enough to plummet Rory back into his vestibule.
Most men dream while they sleep, but great men dream while they’re awake—bending and twisting their dreams into something tangible and real. It is these men that are the most dangerous, because nothing is out of the grasp of a man who dreams amongst the sun.
“Instinct,” as mentioned in other reviews, is the second Chess Team Adventure, or Jack Sigler, novel. All-in-all, I have been fairly impressed with the Chess Team Adventures. They are always quick-paced and action oriented. More often than not I finish the book without even realizing how much time has passed. The prose is fluid, and the characters are wonderful and distinct.
“Instinct” follows the Chess Team and a CDC scientist as they transverse the treacherous jungles of Vietnam in search for a cure that essentially stops the heart of its victims causing instantaneous death. Somewhere along the line the virus becomes weaponized and is implemented against the President of the United States. The virus is traced back to a remote section of Vietnam, hence the Chess Team’s incursion to discover a cure at the virus’ origin.
The story is great and packs a punch as the Chess Team battles the Vietnamese Death Volunteers and a race of beings that are essentially modern day Neanderthals. The Death Volunteers pose the initial threat, however, towards the end of the novel it is the Neanderthals that take the focus and keep the plot moving.
I really enjoy Jeremy Robinson’s prose, and I have read quite a few of his novels. Personally, I enjoyed the first Chess Team Adventure (“Pulse”) more so than this one. There seemed to be too much going at times and some of the more interesting aspects of the novel (e.g. the history of the Neanderthals, Mount Meru, etc.) seemed to be too quickly wrapped up and brushed aside, which was unfortunate. I would have liked to see more emphasis on the Neanderthals and their ties to humanity, but to play my own Devil’s Advocate “Instinct” is not dubbed a Historical Thriller so it makes sense not to focus solely on the history aspect of the novel.
Overall, if you like faced paced, action novels that focus on one of the world’s most elite military group and their bonds then definitely pick up Jeremy Robinson’s “Instinct”–you won’t be disappointed.