The Weird Western StoryBundle is down to the last couple of days – it ends Sept. 8 at 9:00 pm Pacific Time. To give you a little more of a taste of this fantastic bundle of books, here are some tiny snippets from the beginning of each book excerpt posted over on the StoryBundle site. To read the full excerpts, along with reviews and notes by Bundle curator Blair MacGregor, head on over to the Weird Western StoryBundle page.
Haxan, by Kenneth Mark Hoover
Haxan, New Mexico Territory
I found the old man nailed to a hackberry tree five miles out of Haxan.
They had hammered railroad spikes through his wrists and ankles. There was dried blood on the wood and iron. Blood stippled his arms and chest. He was stripped naked so the westering sun could peel the flesh from his bones.
He was alive with I found him.
Spellslinger, by Joseph J. Bailey
I woke to the buzzing of flies.
The sound reverberated through my head like echoes from another world.
I could not open my eyes.
Where was I?
Why was I here?
Why couldn’t I move?
Where were my guns?
Idyll, by James Derry
Marathon—if it still existed—waited in the east. Samuel Starboard led Titan that way, where the border of the family’s ranch was defined by a ridge of quartz that was the color of old teeth. In some places the rock crystals rose in spires, four meters high. Titan wound her way up the brown slope to a large fissure in the ridge. A single beam of wood spanned the gap, and a hand-painted sign leaned against the beam. QUARANTINE. KEEP OUT.
West of Pale, by J. Patrick Allen
I consider it a special kind of madness that had me leaving the house that night, despite fears of something stalking me. Mania and curiosity mashed into a slurry of dread and a sense of looming mortality. Still, I had my head on enough to be considerate: I left money on the dining room table where Frau Sackoff would find it. Some little compensation for what I was about to steal.
Dragons in the Earth, by Judith Tarr
Dragons sleep in the earth here.
I feel them. Sometimes I see them—in my head, in dreams, in the hunched shapes of mountains curled around the flattened bowls of the valleys.
They’re always there. I’m always aware of them, but sometimes the awareness sinks down deep, till I can almost forget them.
A Book of Tongues, by Gemma Files
The dream was always the same.
She appeared above him, blown by a black wind, her back-sloping forehead girded with a hissing serpent, her swirling hair stiffened with mud. Her round face was set with jade scales, irregular as leaves. The lids and orbits of her wide-spaced eyes were decorated, mosaic-style, with tiny chips of shell, mother-of-pearl and obsidian.
New World (New World #1), by Steven W. White *free newsletter bonus!*
As the stink of low tide washed over the village of Fort Sanctuary, a little boy named Simon Jones didn’t want to get punched again. His nemesis, a seventeen-year-old thug named Marshall Dunster, was stalking him.
Stealth, that was the key. Change the usual routine. Don’t walk home from the printing house down Sunrise Street like always, but turn left at Fife’s pub, the Mermaid, where his father spent Friday evenings. Simon’s skinny, nervous legs whipped along, taking him through that left turn–
“Gotcha!” Marshall’s iron grip found his neck and pulled at his collar.
Hair of the Bear (New World #2), by Steven W. White
After nine weeks at sea, with nothing beyond the rail but rolling gray swells, the land of Mira beckoned at last. The hollow clang of the lookout’s bell echoed down from the crow’s nest.
Lisandra Jurgen, major in the Royal Guard sworn to uphold the law in Albueshire and its provinces and territories in Sept Algolus, tapped her fingers on the rail’s worn oak. Finally, justice would be done. Finally!
Flash Gold Chronicles, by Lindsay Buroker
Kali McAlister tapped a wrench against her thigh as she contemplated her invention. She had stripped every extra piece of metal she could from the “dogless sled” and had even debated removing the brush bow, but that seemed unwise. Besides, it’d been so cold the last week that men were complaining of pee freezing before it hit the ground. The ice on Forty Mile Creek ought to be thick enough for the heavy steam sled. If it wasn’t…winning the race would be the last of her worries.
Beneath the Canyons, by Kyra Halland
A stable stood between Mundy’s Boarding House and the half-built hotel. A boy was tossing pebbles into a circle scratched in the dirt of the stable yard; Silas rode over and gave the boy a penny to watch Abenar and his belongings for a moment. He pulled on his long brown duster, which he had shed in the heat of the day and draped over the saddle behind him, then headed to the boarding house to inquire about a room.
A crash from inside the saloon across the street caught his attention. He turned to see a big-bellied, bushy-bearded man come flying backwards through the swinging doors of the Bootjack.