“It’s Darkest This Way” (Book 4, series finale) is published!

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Just wanted to let everyone know that the wait is over. After almost six years, the final sequel to “It’s Better This Way” (free everywhere!) is published!

Evan Greggs continues the twenty-three year search for his sister, Sandra, in this fourth and final installment of the “This Way” series. Armed with only his weapon, the two pictures of Sandra drawn by Luna Payne, and the information given to him by an older man who was present during the destruction of Corvallis soon after the Bulls invaded Earth, Evan prepares to journey to Helmet’s stronghold near Snoqualmie. Torn between his obsession with finding his sister and remaining with his traveling companions, his love for Rebecca Collins, and the promise of electricity, running water, and safety at Base Bravo, Evan and crew must first face Little Jack’s gang.

Book 1: “It’s Better This Way”
Book 2: “It’s Harder This Way”
Book 3: “It’s Darker This Way”
Book 4: “It’s Darkest This Way”

"It's Darkest This Way" cover

“It’s Darkest This Way” by Travis Hill
Cover art by: Keith Draws

Smash & Grab & Steal & Loot

Smash & Grab & Loot & Steal #1

“May I help you?” the stuffy man at the counter asked.

“Arrrr!”

“Keep yer eyes to yerself, matey!”

“Ye best be helpful, dog!”

A dirty hand loaded with shiny gold rings reached across the counter and tweaked the salesman’s name tag.

“Don’t be thinkin’ we ain’t watching ye, Gary.”

The way the hand’s owner said Gary’s name made the salesman think of how someone might describe a pile of fecal matter. Another chorus of arrrr’s and grunts and snarls and other pirate-y noises followed the boisterous threats directed at the customer service rep. Tina held up her hand, and the store became quiet other than the rustling of sword scabbards and knife sheaths, the tinkling of jewelry, and the clink of coins within their purses.

“Don’t mind them,” she said to the man behind the counter. “They’re just…”

The man raised an eyebrow at her, waiting to hear what her answer could possibly be.

“They’re just a band of pirates my husband hired to follow me around to make sure no one gives me any trouble,” she said with a sigh, sounding as if she’d had to explain it for the hundredth time in the last ten minutes.

Gary gave a wary glance to the six pirates gathered around her. “I see,” he said. He looked back at the attractive woman standing before him. “How may I be of assistance?”

“Do you think you could fix this?” Tina asked, holding out her hand.

Gary leaned forward to get a look at the gold chain. He paused when he felt the tip of a sword under his chin. He glanced up to see a mouth full of shiny gold teeth greeting him.

“I see ya achin’ to get a look-see down M’lady’s shirt,” Captain Ironbeak growled, his voice dangerous and only slightly less toxic than the atmosphere of Jupiter. Continue reading

It Only Hurts In Your Heart

IT ONLY HURTS IN YOUR HEART

Janelle can’t stop crying. I can’t say I blame her. I’ve done my share over the last two years, though the amount of tears both of us have shed in the last six days makes the last two years seem like an office party. Darren Eggers is on the TV, though he’s really not there. It’s a pre-recorded loop, and he’s been repeating himself for the last six hours. The first three times he gave us his news report, Jan and I held each other, both of us shivering from the icy infusion of absolute terror.

“I don’t think I can do it,” she says between sobs. “Mike… I can’t do it.”

“It’s the only way,” I say, wrapping my arm around her stomach as we spoon on the bed. I put my lips close to her ear and whisper, “We have to. If we don’t… We have to.”

“I’m afraid.”

“I know, baby. I’m afraid too.”

Janelle, the woman I’ve been in love with for twenty-nine years, turns over to face me. She hasn’t worn makeup in over a year, since there hasn’t been any makeup to buy. There hasn’t been anything to “buy” for the last year. There’s not enough people left to run a store, let alone a factory or a farm to actually produce something. The last thing I bought was a .45 automatic, a pump shotgun, and two boxes of ammunition. They were the last weapons left in the store, maybe in the city. Gary, the owner of the gun store, sold me two of his personal firearms, knowing there wasn’t going to be anyone left to shoot (or do the shooting) soon enough.

Even though we’ve been together for three decades, and I’ve seen Jan without makeup for much of it, it took me a while to get used to her natural face. She’s still the most stunning, heart-stoppingly gorgeous woman I’d ever laid eyes on, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that she is one of those rare, truly beautiful women that doesn’t need makeup to make jaws drop and tongues wag. But without makeup, she can no longer hide the sadness, the despair that has infected her. That has infected everyone, according to the news. Or will soon. Except it isn’t the infection that’s going to exterminate the human race.

“Is it going to hurt?” she asks, wiping a tear away with the back of her hand.

“Only in your heart,” I say, kissing the cheek she just smeared, tasting the salty hopelessness of our situation. “But otherwise, you’ll just fall asleep.”

Janelle begins to cry again, her mind hearing the unspoken and never wake again. I didn’t think I had any emotions left in me to join her. The wetness on my own cheeks says otherwise. Continue reading

“It’s Darkest This Way” (book #4, series finale) rough draft is done!

Quick update after a long silence to let you know that I’ve just completed the rough draft of “It’s Darkest This Way” (book #4 of the “This Way” series)! Keith Draws sent me the final cover for it as well! I’m hoping that I can get this edited and published within the next month, though with school starting again on January 13th, it might be a bit delayed.

Here’s the cover, and I’ll post updates regularly as the final draft nears completion.

"It's Darkest This Way" cover

“It’s Darkest This Way” by Travis Hill
Cover art by: Keith Draws

Oath of Office – Chapter 1

So, here’s a kind of fun but yet serious story I’ve sort of been working on between other major stories. It’s just a chapter for the moment, but if you like it, leave me a comment and tell me you want to read more!

1. Breach & Clear

“Honey?” Virginia whispered in my ear as she shook my shoulder.

“Wazza?” I asked sleepily, letting go of the slim island woman’s waist as the Caribbean jazz fusion faded into the rustling of covers and the slightest of muffled noises.

“Alex, wake up,” my wife whispered again, this time more urgently. “I think there’s someone outside.”

“Probably some fuckin’ protester assholes,” I mumbled, desperate to resume my conga line dance even if it wasn’t with my wife of twenty years. “You have my permission to shoot them.” I rolled over on my side and closed my eyes.

“Dammit, Alex, I’m serious!” she hissed, giving my shoulder one final rough shove.

“Okay, okay, sheesh,” I said then wiped the drool from the corner of my mouth. “It’s probably the cats and they see another cat outside.”

I rolled my legs onto the floor and stared into the darkness for a moment as if my slippers might suddenly glow softly so I could find them. I huffed a sigh and gingerly tiptoed barefoot toward the bedroom door, praying I avoided any number of obstacles that might make me erupt in a high-pitched scream of vulgar profanity.

I silently pulled the partially-opened bedroom door back, immediately feeling the brief sensation of fur on my bare ankles twice. I waited until I felt a third before taking another step. Stepping on one of our three cats in the middle of the night was only slightly more pleasant and slightly less heart-stopping than feeling my foot slide through a puddle of cold, slimy, chunky feline vomit.

I paused for a moment after hearing a series of strange sounds. The noises were muffled but my brain tried to interpret them as two-way radios. I shook my head and walked to the living room window to look out. The exact instant my mind tried to piece together why an army of police cars were outside our home was the exact instant what seemed like an Anti-Terror Special Operations Unit burst through every possible opening into the house.

“GET DOWN!” screamed at least seventy thousand voices all at once. Continue reading

Hallowed Journeys – Chapter 2 preview

Here’s a second chapter preview, this time it’s Mother Alanna, another character from “Hallowed Ends.”

TWO

The timeless dream became a steady white light, the sun, the flowers, the hillsides, the bright blue sky fading into an endless void with no beginning, no end. The flower petals fell from Mother Alanna’s fingers, disappearing before they reached her feet. She called out to the void, her voice seeming to echo forever with no reply. Sadness enveloped her, the sense of loss of her god abandoning her, taking from her one final happiness as the peace and serenity of her dream became nothing. The silence made her want to scream, the fear of madness replacing the serenity that she had felt only moments earlier. A bright flash, somehow brighter than the white void, forced her to close her eyes.

When she opened them, she was surrounded by darkness other than the dim glow of the heavy object on her chest. Alanna lay still as she steadied her breathing, amazed that the heavy metal on her chest flared lightly with a red glow with each breath she inhaled, becoming a dim blue that faded with each exhale. She listened intently, unsure of her surroundings. The faint sound of voices met her ears. Alanna struggled to move, her limbs stiff and sore. When she was finally able to gain control of her hands, she ran them over the object on her chest, sighing at the warmth emanating from it. Continue reading

Hallowed Journeys – preview chapter!

Hello again! Since many of you have recently read “Hallowed Ends,” I wanted to let you know that the sequel, “Hallowed Journeys” is definitely coming at some point. I also figured you might want to read a little bit of it, so here’s Chapter 1, which picks up where “Ends” left off. “Journeys” will be a much longer story than “Ends,” and is no longer told only from one character’s point of view. I’ll post a few chapters from different character PoV over the next couple of weeks!

ONE

“Do not stray from my side,” Feyric whispered to Celana as they entered the raucous, rowdy bar attached to the inn. “And whatever you do, do not show Carnage to anyone. No matter what.”

“Yes, sir,” Celana said, doing her best to keep her face from showing both fear and excitement.

“Yes, father,” Feyric said from the corner of his mouth, emphasizing it with a slight nudge of his elbow into her shoulder.

“Yes, father,” she said, keeping her eyes on the oiled, dusty floor of the tavern.

Feyric navigated through the small crowds of boisterous sailors, merchants, and laborers, finally arriving at a curtained-off area near the rear. Three pirates immediately rose from their stools and blocked his way, giving him and Celana murderous glares. Feyric nudged Celana behind him, then looked at each of the men for a moment before holding up both hands.

“I seek passage to Nian, and your captain is the only one willing to make such a journey,” Feyric said to the man directly in front of him. “Silas from the docks told me to seek him out.” Continue reading

“It’s Darkest This Way” (book #4) update!

Hey, all. I know a lot of you have powered through the “It’s Way” series and are hoping for a conclusion to it, so just wanted to let you know where I’m at with that.

#1 – It’s Better This Way
#2 – It’s Harder This Way
#3 – It’s Darker This Way
#4 – It’s Darkest This Way

Book #4 will be the final book in this series, and will conclude Evan’s story. I am hard at work on it right now (and school as well!), but hoping to have it out somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas of this year (2019). The very talented Keith Draws is working on the cover for it, and I’m 75% or more finished with the rough draft. I’m hoping to knock it out during Thanksgiving break, unless I somehow get it finished before that!

Now, as you may have read in the series, General Kendra Flanders and her Warthogs are just getting their plans off the ground while Evan & crew are finishing up their stories. Plus there’s Luna Payne, who still has a role to play, as do the fine folks from Eugene like Dallas Payne and Seth Ingram. I’m going to begin a new series for them, which will begin immediately after the “This Way” series.

There’s still a lot of story to tell, and the Bulls aren’t going to simply jump into their ships and blast off without a fight…

Upcoming Promotions for the Week of October 13-19!

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I have a Couple of Promotions coming up this week!

Countdown which can be found on the Kobo Free Page this week and
The Minotaur (another great Halloween book!) being featured in this week’s DoubleCrossLit Promotion!

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Upcoming Promotions

I have two Kobo Promos running this week, October 7th – 14th! 

Return to Innocence (Vampire theme, great for October!) and
It’s Better This Way (Alien Invasion, and the first of a series with the next installment in progress!) 

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