Today marks the start of a new direction for the blog. If you’ve had a look at the home page, you’ll already know that I’ll be profiling authors on a regular basis. This will be done in two parts: a profile post, and then a guest blog or interview post, so check back every week to see who’s around. Maybe you’ll discover your new favourite author.
To kick things off, I’d like to introduce you to Teel James Glenn, a prolific author and man of many talents. Find out all about him today, then come back on Thursday as I interview Teel and ask him such in-depth, emtionally-charged questions as “What author would you most like to sword fight?”
Teel James Glenn has traveled the world for thirty years as a Stuntman/ Fight choreographer/ Swordmaster, Jouster, Book Illustrator, Storyteller, and author of over twenty-five books. He was lucky enough to study martial arts under the head of the Seoul Military Academy and swordplay Errol Flynn’s last stunt double and feel obligated to ‘pass that on’.
His stories have been printed in scores of magazines from Weird Tales, Mad to Black Belt to Fantasy World Geographic, Blazing Adventures and Tales of Old. He has over two dozen books and anthologies in print in many genres including Steampunk, westerns, mysteries and the best selling SF thriller series “The Exceptionals.’ One was a finalist in the EPIC book awards in 2009.
He is also the winner of the 2012 Pulp Ark Ward for Best Author.
His greatest achievement however, is his awesome daughter Aislin Rose.
His website is theurbanswashbuckler.com
Find Teel James Glenn on Amazon
Of Swords & Sorcery
by Teel James Glenn
Journey to worlds of heroes and monsters, of swashbuckling women and magical villains in short stories by a master of action and adventure! In Of Swords and Sorcery Teel James Glenn presents a collection of tales of magic and swordplay that range from the frontier forests of colonial America to the fare flung world of Altiva. From the Shores of North Africa against the Barberry pirates to the shadowed alleys of New Orleans to the movie magic of Hollywood in the 1950s! There are quests for love, and fights against fire breathing dragons, mystical dictators, alchemist summoned demons and deadly female assassins along the way. These are classic tales of damsels and do-gooders, in the pulp style adventure tradition of Conan, Zorro and Captain Blood!
From the Altiva short story ‘Blind Contract’:
“I hate this!” the smaller of the two swaddled figures screamed against the wind. Both figures were layered in cloaks and blankets, their feet wrapped in ice-crusted rags.
“Oh be quiet,” the taller figure yelled back,” it’s not my favorite way to spend a day either.”
“A day!” the little one said. “Ku’zn, you got that stupid note two days ago in our nice warm inn.”
“Shut up, Alma,” Ku’zn commanded, “Kyra was bond-sister with me under Orancha, she knows me well enough not to have summoned me lightly.”
The ice crusted mini caravan was moving along a carriage road in Oria, as it had been for two days through the growing storm. Ku’zn had received a note by Kota bird when she was almost at the Destina ferry crossing. The note had simply said,” I need your help, sister. Come to the Portal Inn at Kentak. Kyra.”
How Kyra had known Ku’zn was within distance for the bird’s ranging abilities was a mystery to Ku’zn.
“And what relic of me she’s held onto all these years,” Ku’zn thought,” to guide the bird’s shadow sense to me?”
“There’s the inn,” Alma yelled,” I hope they have hot food-“
Suddenly the snow on either side of the trail exploded as two white-garbed figures attacked.
“Whaa!” Alma chose the moment of the attack to slip and fall backward, a clumsy shocked reaction that saved her life. The attacker’s blade sliced through the bottom of Alma’s airborne cloak as the teenager slammed onto the icy path.
Meanwhile the twin white fury hacked directly at Ku’zn’s head. It was an overhand blow that would have surely cleaved her from crown to chin had she not reacted with the speed of thought. She dropped the lead ropes and threw her cloak at the attacker to tangle him up.
This gave her a spare second to pull off the swaddling coat and blanket, bundling them and fling them to entangle Alma’s attacker.
They hit the assassin with enough force to off balance him so that he fell to the ground beside the squealing Alma.
Ku’zn now only wore full-length buckskin pants and long sleeve shirt, but she could now get to her sheathed long knives which she drew.
Her attacker was free of the cloak and paused to reassess his prey.
Ku’zn stood over two meters tall, her long hair braided to a rope which hung almost to her waist and was just a shade darker blue than the fur which covered all of her body. Ku’zn was a daughter of the Z’n, the seafaring northern race of Altiva, the only furred race on the planet.
She bared her canine teeth with a growl as she kicked off her boots to allow her taloned feet to better grip the icy path. “Guild Assassin,” she said,” you fight Ku’zn of the Firehawk clan; why?”
The figure clothed head to foot in white held a two handed sword. Only his eyes were visible through a gap in his concealing hood and they were focused gray pits of cold.
The assassin who fell beside Alma recovered quickly, rolling to his side preparatory to rising, but never got the chance for Alma leapt on his back and pulled her cloak over the attacker’ head. She did her best to strangle him with the cloak, screaming curses at him at the same time.
Ku’zn met her attacker’s charge with a growl and sidestep, parrying the sword with her right dagger. She sliced the back of the assassin’s right hand with her other knife.
Unable to hold his sword with both hands, the man was still able to slash at her with a left-handed stoke to back her off.
“Ku’zn!” Alma yelled. The young girl was rolling around clamped on her attacker’s back. He was unable to escape or directly injure her, but it was only a matter of time until he broke free and did.
“Go, Z’n.” Ku’zn’s attacker said, “save her and die now, or let her die and fight me.”
It was a fair assessment of the situation, for if Ku’zn went to Alma’s aid the wounded swordsman would have a clear target in her back, but if she did nothing Alma would surely die.
Ku’zn smiled at the assassin, a mirthless sinister gesture that puzzled the man until she whistled. Immediately an antlered meteor crashed through the snow between the opponents as the cloak shrouded Craftdancer answered his mistress’ call.
It gave the Z’n enough time to race to Alma and her opponent.
She used no finesse, simply grabbed the entangled assassin by his chin and slit his throat to the bone in one move.
His life spilled out over the pinned Alma, blinding her when she yelled, “Yuck!”
Ku’zn had no rest.
The second would be killer was upon her almost instantly, slashing at her back.
She dodged by twisting to her left, in the process tripping over the prostate Alma and the corpse.
The assassin pressed forward for a second slash but Alma heaved the body off herself into the man’s shins so that he fell forward.
Ku’zn rolled back into the falling swordsman’s path and stabbed upward with both her short swords.
Both blades bit deeply into the falling assassin but were knocked from the Z’n’s hands as the man fell bleeding onto her.
He was still alive and determined. He pulled a dagger with his left hand and attempted to gut Ku’zn. His strength was ebbing however, and the Z’n was able to grab both his wrists. She squirmed out from beneath him to roll beside him and dove straight at his neck with her face.
It was like a lover’s nuzzling touch, pushing aside the folds of the assassin’s head wrap to grind her teeth to the flesh of his neck. Then she bit hard, shaking her head violently back and forth to tear at his throat.
It was too much for the thrice-wounded assassin; with a fresh spurt of blood and shudder he died.
As suddenly as it had begun it was over.
It was still and silent save for the wind that howled like a wounded beast.
And still the sleet fell.
Craftdancer bleated in confusion and Alma, once she shed her gore covered outer clothes, vomited, cursing all the while.
Ku’zn rose to her knees, spit out a hunk of her foeman’s throat and recovered one of her long knives in anticipation of another attack. When none came she grabbed some snow to wipe the blood from the fur of her face.
“Ku’zn,” Alma said though chattering teeth, “ What happened?”
The gore soaked Z’n looked at her blankly, and then with a nod toward the bleeding wound in her right side, fell over.