Daily Archives: September 29, 2015
A Fistful of Clones
by Seaton Kay-Smith
Henry Madison is an apathetic young man with little to no ambition. When he loses his job and his girlfriend in one day, he is destitute and signs up for paid medical testing. The doctor creates clones of Henry and when these clones escape and start causing havoc in Henry’s life, he is hired in secret by the strange doctor and trained to hunt the clones down one by one and kill them. Henry soon finds out, however, that personality isn’t genetic but made of the experiences you have, and as time progresses, his clones become less carbon copied than he was lead to believe, growing their own identities and challenging Henry’s perception of what it means to be Henry Madison and of what it is right and what is wrong.
As the sun rose over Duelham, a pair of brown leather boots stepped off the curb and onto the road. Cut from a long-dead cow, turned inside out, cleaned and stitched onto a foot, they walked down the grey-gold street and through the gates to Mingum’s Mill: a seemingly abandoned mill which towered over the rest of the town and imposed a certain enormity on the suburb. Previously home to rats, drunks, youths, and young drunk rats, Mingum’s Mill had recently opened its doors to a new venture. Though the youths, rats and the drunkards hadn’t been entirely evicted, “Medicine” was open for business and Henry, the owner of the boots, had the telegraph-pole advertisement to prove it.
Entering the abandoned mill’s front office, Henry passed the security guard fiddling with his phone and approached the receptionist, a young woman in a smart white blouse and navy-blue skirt. She looked up at Henry, who stared into her amber eyes with a steely look of determination.
Henry’s hand moved slowly but steadily to his breast pocket, his eyes never leaving the receptionist’s. Her heart beat faster. Henry could hear it. His hand disappeared into his jacket and promptly returned, not with a gun, but with a piece of paper: an advertisement, yellowed and weather-bleached.
Henry slammed it on the table in front of her. “I’d like to do it,” he said. Then remembering his manners, “Please.”
The receptionist looked across her desk to the paper she was presented with. She picked it up and studied it once more before returning her gaze to Henry. “Do you understand all the risks?”
“There’s understanding and there’s accepting,” Henry said with a gritty resolve, “and I see no reason to need both.”
The pair remained locked in their stranglehold gazes, neither willing to be the first to look away, to give in, to show weakness. The security guard watched on, his hand resting on his taser, ready for action but unsure of what action to take.
Finally, the increasingly tense silence was broken as the receptionist offered Henry a standard ballpoint pen. “Sign here.”
Henry cocked his head and smiled briefly. “The name’s Henry,” he said as he signed the document with that very name. Then, raising the pen to his mouth as if he was blowing smoke from a recently fired pistol, Henry pursed his lips and blew.
“What are you doing?” asked the receptionist, confused by his inappropriate and disease-spreading behaviour. That was her pen; she had to use that pen.
Henry’s gritty resolve dropped; his awkward self-awareness returned. It was as though he had suddenly sobered up at a party and realised he wasn’t actually having fun. An overwhelming sense of average took over his entire body and his mind went blank. Gone were his delusions of grandeur. He felt like a child in a world of adults. “I was just …” He stammered, unsure of what to say. “I was just blowing the pen.”
The receptionist leaned forwards in her chair. “Don’t.” She snatched the pen back from him.
Henry, shaken, feeling small, his voice almost a whisper, replied, “Sorry, I’ll take a—”
“Take a seat,” she said.
He was no cowboy, no western hero. He was just a man with a signature, a name, and little else. Henry took a seat and, fighting off a blush, picked up a magazine. It was a celebrity gossip magazine. Sometimes, it seemed, Henry couldn’t win anything.
Seaton has written for The Roast on ABC2, Lost Pilots on FBi Radio, and is a regular performer of stand up comedy. Currently he is Head Writer at Paper Moose, a film and design collective based in Sydney.
You can get in touch with Seaton on Twitter. @seatonks
Seaton will be awarding an eCopy of A Fistful of Clones to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.
About the Book
Author: Allison Whitmore
Genre: Historical Fiction
Theodora “Teddi” Donovan and Calvin Wynne have always hated each other. They didn’t have a choice after Teddi’s bootlegger father killed Calvin’s and left them both orphaned. The scandal has fueled gossip in quiet, quaint Brookhurst, New York, for over a decade. When a friendship develops between them as teenagers, they are ridiculed and shunned by the strict society that dictates life in their town. As they grow older, friendship turns into love, and Teddi and Calvin have to choose between their future and the scepter of their past. Spanning continents and decades, Forget Me Not is a coming-of-age story about truth, self-reliance, and the freeing power of love.
Allison Whitmore started her first novel, Forget Me Not, one icy morning in her dorm room in Southampton, NY. After many years of teaching high school English, she came back to the novel to rewrite it. Allison comes from a family who loves history and enjoyed immersing herself in the research that brought Teddi and Calvin’s world to life. She lives in her hometown, Los Angeles, California. You can find her on Twitter @alli_whitmore and her website: allisonwhitmore.com.
Print: Amazon (Print)
Ebook: Amazon (Kindle)
Blurb: Who is the mysterious ghosty haunting puppygirl Tillie? And why? George, the magical basset hound familiar is on the trail.
I’ve worked in a hazardous waste lab, where under the sign for the Right To Know law, was added: if you can figure it out. I’ve been a metals tech, a bakery clerk, a professional gardener, and taught human anatomy and ran two university greenhouses. Along the way I picked up my Master’s Degree in Biology, specializing in the population genetics of an endangered plant. I’ve also been a top breeder, handler, and trainer of English springer spaniels under the prefix of Muddy Paws. We three in the equivalent of the National Club’s (ESSFTA) hall of fame. Every time I think I know dogs, another dog comes along and proves my beliefs are totally wrong. The truth is, the Muddy Paws Pack walk all over me.
Author Links –
Welcome Mindy & George, tell us about you both.….
Mindy: I have a master’s degree in biology, where I specialized in population…
George: No one wants to know about you. I was born in a litter of seven pups. When I was ten weeks old, Auntie Heather recognized my greatness and tremendous magical potential. She brought me to my Girlpup and witch-in-training, Karly, to help teach her about magic and her craft.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Mindy: Three English Springer Spaniel bouncing on my bladder. If they are fed and pottied, I don’t get any more sleep anyhow.
George: I try to avoid getting out of bed. If I don’t though, Tillie might eat my breakfast. Or Packmom might forget to feed me. Or something might fall from the table and I’d miss it. When breakfast is done and I’m pottied, I go back to sleep.
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Mindy: Charles Darwin. His studies of living things…
George: She means she wants to hang with me.
Mindy: The question states PERSON. Not fictional basset hound.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
Mindy: Ghosts are considered scary things, and I thought it might be an interesting way to tell a little bit about history and …
George: Considered? Ghosts are dangerous. That one was haunting my packmate, the little puppy girl, Tillie, and could’ve become a dangerous poultry ghosty without my help.
Tell us your writing process.
Mindy: Due to a disability, sitting for long periods is painful. The story percolates through my head and I see the beginning and the end. The middle comes as I’m at the computer, though sometimes scraps of paper are put into service to get down things I’ll forget.
George: I tell her my story in the order it happened. Not my fault she’s dense and doesn’t get it the first time.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
George: When I knew my stories needed to be shared with the Peeps of the world. My mouth isn’t designed for mundane things like talking, so I found my secret-ary.
Mindy: I thought I was just journaling about my own crazy dogs, and the next thing I knew I was nose-to-nose with a crazy basset hound who told me he wasn’t a stupid spaniel and his story was more important. I never planned on becoming a writer, other than technical and for text books.
Tell us about your main character:
George: I’m a perfectly designed, brilliant basset hound familiar for a very loveable and naive Girlpup named Karly.
What are you working on next?
George: I’ve been dictating to my secret-tary the story of my love, Phoebe. There are also missing spoons and socks. It’s a romance. It’s a mystery. It’s part of my life story. Fascinating and fast moving. Like me.
Mindy: George get real. Once again, George has to find an answer. Tillie, the puppygirl his packsibling Joey was given in “George Knows” attracts a ghost who haunts her. George has to find a way to make the ghost disappear. During his hunt for the answer, Auntie Heather and Karly, his Girlpup, witch-in-training, learn about some forgotten American History.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
George: I can fart in five languages and my drool is magical.
Who are your favorite authors?
Mindy: As a child I read Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Anne McCaffrey, Now I read a lot of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance: Faith Hunter, Ilona Andrews, Jennifer Estep, Kim Harrison, Darynda Jones and a lot of others. So many dog training books I can’t even name them all.
George: Peeps waste their minds with books and ‘puters. They’ve lost all their in stinks. Familiars are born knowing everything that’s important.
What do you like to do with your free time?
George: I’m pretty busy, what with saving Karly, sleuthing out magical problems, eating, and sleeping, so I don’t have much free time.
Mindy: (Shakes head at George). I like gardening, reading, and dog training.
George: Shame you aren’t a better trainer.
Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
George: Well, there is Phoebe’s Pause that my secret-ary is currently entering in the computer for me. Familiars don’t have need of computers, but you Peeps do. I hired a secret-ary from a coffee shop. She isn’t very good, I only hired her because she was working on an article for Dog Fancy. She understands dogspeak well enough.
Mindy: I also am working on a Paranormal Romance about a Werehuman who wants to go back to being a dog full time. His human girlfriend isn’t willing to lose him.
Any final thoughts?
George: I need to pee. Excuse me. C’mon, secret-ary, you can open the door for me.