Category Archives: Free Stuff

What Happens in Vegas… Tourists

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On December 2, 2016, I released the new Arca short story, Tourists. It’s approximately 10,500 words long, and, as usual, includes immoderate language and comic book violence. The events within occur after Human (scheduled for release May 2017), but do not provide major spoilers.

Description

Tourists - An Arca Short Story - Karen DiemLas Vegas welcomes and flamboyantly entertains millions of tourists annually. It’s famous for it. However, the latest visitors may be more than even Sin City can handle.

To avoid endangering others or revealing their real identities, Zita Garcia and her friends, Andy and Wyn, planned to practice their respective superpowers in an abandoned section of the desert. Visit Las Vegas, a crowded city filled with people with cameras? No way, no matter what Zita’s heard about the buffets.

But when possible aliens invade the infamous Las Vegas Strip, what can Zita and her friends do but rescue the city (and all that food)?

No Elvis impersonators were harmed in the writing of this story.

Availability

This free short story is only available to newsletter subscribers, both new and existing. December 2016 subscribers also receive the other newsletter-exclusive short story, Washout.

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Surprise Octopus (No Hentai)

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Octopus - An Arca Short Story - By Karen DiemDo you need a little octopus in your life?

Zita did. All she wanted was dinner, but what she got was trouble.

Bite-Sized Stories: Flash Flood 1Octopus is a “flash fiction” (extremely short) story, set after the events of Super. It is not hentai. If you don’t know what hentai is, don’t look it up. Seriously.

What’s more, Octopus is free as part of a flash fiction anthology, Bite-Sized Stories: A Multi-Genre Flash Fiction Anthology (Flash Flood #1)! Since the story collection is multi-genre, it hangs out with everything but erotica in eeny, weeny, polka-dot stories. While weighted heavily toward sci fi, fantasy, and horror, the collection has a couple other genres as well. You can find Bite-Sized Stories at major ebook retailers:

Amazon      iBooks       Kobo      Barnes & Noble     Google Play      Smashwords

NOTE: I am an Amazon affiliate, so if you buy anything from them using the link above, I may someday receive a tiny commission.

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Cutting Room Floor: Super 2

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Pants have proven to be a hot button for some of my beta reviewers, and this Super cut scene got dropped as a result. Two different beta readers informed me that no one as fashionable as Wyn would consider tights or pantyhose a necessity. One even held an informal polling of his female coworkers to support his position. So, the following got cut.

Super Cut Scene 2

“I’ve only one mask and there are three of us, so I need to go alone unless you know a place selling masks at one am,” Zita said, figuring it would end the debate. Pulling the mask from her pocket, she spun it on a finger by the elastic. The small, black plastic mask only covered eyes and maybe cheekbones, but it would work well enough, especially if she used the same face she had used earlier.

Pinning her hair back up with a pencil, Wyn speared her with her gaze. “You’re not going alone. If we have to, I’ll wear the mask and you can go in animal form. We can talk mentally or Andy can go. He’s bulletproof and only needs a way to escape. If you hide nearby, you can teleport the two of you here, and all you need is pantyhose on your head to hide your face. ”

Andy looked between them, and then back at the computer. The sounds of his tapping gained speed and strength. He shook his head.

A woman in tights“I hate not doing anything! And, umm, I don’t have any pantyhose,” Zita admitted. She gathered up leftover food and put it away, the wash of cold from the fridge a welcome respite from the sticky air of her apartment.

When she turned around, the other woman was staring at her, as if she had switched to another language. “How can you not have pantyhose? What do you wear to work?” Wyn said.

“Pants.” Filling a water bottle from the sink, she sipped the lukewarm liquid and planned, checking hydration off the lists of needs to fill.

Wyn made a derisive sound. “All of your pants are sweatpants or cargo pants. How can you not have any pantyhose?” she asked, as if Zita had not just explained.

Remembering their search for clothing to fit her earlier, Zita countered with, “I have exercise pants too! How can you live when only one or two pairs of your pants have pockets?”


What do you think? I’m not a fan personally of them, but I had thought them more of a necessity.

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Super – Free First Chapter Announcement

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This is the official free first chapter announcement for Super. In case you’ve forgotten what that is, here’s the blurb again. For your reading delectation, read the first chapter here!

What’s in the sample?

This sample is the complete, almost-final version of the first chapter of Super, and weighs in at approximately 4,700 words. Should any typos or grammatical problems occur between now and the release date (May 5, I’m looking at you!), those will be fixed in the final version posted at online retailers.

Simply, it introduces Zita Garcia, a bit about her world, and a touch of trouble to start things off right.

How long is Super anyway?

The novel itself is approximately 110,000 words. Samples at online retailers may be longer than this one.

Why the free first chapter announcement hubbub?

I’m excitable that way. Plus, how would you know about it if I didn’t tell you?

A little lop bunny

What goes well with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans?

Main character Zita Garcia would say “pretty much anything.” If you guessed the first chapter of Super, you’re right! Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it. If you don’t celebrate it, you can still enjoy the sample.

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First Subscriber Freebie

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I just finished the draft version of the first newsletter subscriber short story. The first subscriber freebie is a quick read, only around 4,000 words, but fun. I’m going to send it to a beta reader, do a round of edits, and hopefully have it ready to send out next week.

In the meantime, here’s a puppy! Aww.

Cute chocolate lab puppy
Adorable, and probably needs a walk.

 

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Cutting Room Floor: Super 1

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With regret, I had to reduce one character’s role – he was fun, but did not add enough to some scenes. He’ll show up more in later books in the series. However, here’s a snippet of a Super cut scene from the first draft. Be gentle.

Warned through their mental link, Wyn had the car ready to go when they piled in.

“My sword is crooked,” Jerome complained, plopping into the front passenger seat. His saber caught the light as he held it up to check it.

“Dude, things we don’t need to know,” Zita said. Leather stuck to her leg through one of the rips in her pants. She declined to think too much about the stupid grin sitting on her face.

Beside her in the cramped backseat of the Porsche, Andy concurred. “I’m with her on that one.” Being thrown through that window had not been kind to his clothing, and he tried to arrange the tatters to conceal more.

Wyn shrugged, both hands on the steering wheel. “Some women like that.” She giggled.

Opening her mouth and then closing it, Zita considered. “I suppose it depends on the angle.”

“The girls are on their own now.” Andy retreated, but not before poking her in the side. His question was silent. Am I flying us home?

A snort came from the front seat. “I meant my saber, perverts.” Jerome’s tone held the laughter his words lacked.

“You should clarify these things,” Wyn teased. “So did you get the notebook?”

His voice glum, Jerome answered first. “No. And I don’t know how much of the computer drive was wiped, but at least I had it deleting the medical files first, so hopefully those are gone.” The big man shifted position, and must have given up his examination of the weapon, as light no longer reflected off the blade.

I’ll get us back to my place once we’re clear of Jerome’s surveillance setup. Zita offered silently.

“It could have been worse,” the witch offered, “at least you destroyed the relevant data. If someone has the notebook, but no data, all they have are some names other sources would have given them anyway. The hospital conflagration destroyed enough that it might be sufficient to keep us from involuntary confinement.” Wyn changed lanes and took a merge onto the Beltway.

He let out a bark of amusement. “Oh, that doesn’t bother me. Plans are just wishful thinking. T-Bird, though, I’m disappointed in you, man. You need to bone up on what a real friend is.”

“What?” Andy asked. “What did I do?” He looked at Zita. OK, but I prefer flying, he sent mentally.

She shrugged. Then we’ll get you out to do that again soon.

The other man sulked, missing the silent byplay. “A real friend would’ve gotten me as soon as the chick fight started, especially once clothing started getting torn off.”

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