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

“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…

Crazy Idea Number One Blog Post Best!

Thanks to my new best friends @ Speculative Fiction Showcase for allowing me to do a guest blog post! This one is about where all those crazy ideas come from!

SUPER BLOG POST NUMBER ONE BEST! by Travis Hill

Hey, gang, some guy named Travis here. I’ve been allowed, by both the nice persons who run this site, as well as my lawyer, agent, and rabbi, to do a guest blog. Today we’re going to talk about something that a lot of authors seem to hate, which is “where do you get your ideas from?” Now, I’m not sure why authors hate this question so much, as I happen to think it is the absolute best question anyone could ever ask me. Even if they are the 3(324.36 ×10²⁴)⁴ person in the last seven minutes to ask that particular question. Because every time someone asks it, I always seem to have a different answer.

Before we talk about where weirdo ideas come from, let’s explore why authors hate this question so much.

Because some jerk inevitably asks if an author wants to hear his jerk idea and whether or not its a good idea and if it is a good idea can you write it and split the profits with me?

Okay, that run-on sentence was on purpose, because I’ve actually heard this question asked to both myself and to “real” authors (aka Authors Who Make Enough Money To Have Me Shipped To The Moon On A Space-X Cargo Rocket). And when you hear it, it’s said exactly as I wrote it—one long run-on sentence in a single breath. Depending on how introverted or shy the questioner is can also raise and lower the pitch of the question in ways that I cannot describe in less than 500 words. But I’m sure you can imagine how it sounds if you think about a 15 year old kid at a con who has a death-grip on the mic because suddenly his great idea of getting picked to ask a question in a room with 7 writers and 500 fans/readers wasn’t all that great of an idea after all. Continue reading

Monster – Chapter 2 (non-fiction)

Monster – Chapter 2 (Non-Fiction)
CHAPTER 1 LINK

II

As unpredictable as the monster was, sometimes she was like a VCR tape that had been watched until the machine ate it. Over the years, her need to lash out, to punish, to hurt, could always be counted on. The abuses piled on, from the time she beat me with a belt so vigorously that it broke into two sections when I was six, to the most frightening moment of my entire life when she tried to force me to put my hands on the kitchen table so she could cut my fingers off after I damaged some of her kitchen knives at age eight.

I spent the majority of my young life in such a state of fear that she would eventually kill me during a blind rage that I’m still damaged by the trauma to this day. Books and baseball were my only true outlets of escape, and baseball was a summers-only affair that couldn’t be relied upon during the majority of the year. Books, on the other hand, allowed me to leave my world and enter others, from the strange, horrifying settings Stephen King created, to the somewhat cheesy but still enjoyable Nancy Drew series. As an adult, I find myself comparing my imagination to that of Calvin, from the comic strip by Bill Watterson, “Calvin and Hobbes,” except instead of having two loving parents, I had a single, terrifying, toothless, monstrous creature who was as real as some of Calvin’s imagined beasts.

Devouring books, from whatever I could constantly check out at the public library, to the numerous books lining the shelves within the duplex that was more prison and torture chamber than a home, is the one thing that kept me sane, kept me from eventually turning the tables on the monster and murdering her. The monster realized that this was likely an eventual outcome at some point, as the object of her fury continued to grow both physically and mentally, and she knew that one day I would no longer be the punching bag who would cower and cry as she rained down physical blows, enhanced by a flurry of verbal strikes designed to keep me from believing that I was anything but a worthless piece of shit—as if her goal was to be able to look back one day and think, “He turned out exactly as I predicted!” Continue reading

“End of the Line” & “Launch Sequence” promo sale!

BookBub promotion for “End of the Line” and “Launch Sequence” is live!

$0.99 everywhere all week!

Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WG9GLJW
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00WG9GLJW
Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B00WG9GLJW
Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00WG9GLJW

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/end-of-the-line-21

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/end-of-the-line/id1078673539

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/end-of-the-line…/1123313018

Google Play Books

“End of the Line” by Travis Hill
cover art by: Trevor Smith

“Launch Sequence” by Travis Hill
covert art by: Jeff Brown

Moving On – Monster (chapter 1 – Non-Fiction)

 

Note: This is a non-fiction story of my early life growing up with a horrible, abusive monster. It’s not a pretty story, but it’s something I feel compelled to write, and not just because it’s an assignment for my Creative Writing – Non-Fiction class in college. I’ll add more as I get it written, and likely eventually turn it into a book. My hope is that it will give others who have lived through similar terrors some catharsis like it does me, and more importantly, serves as a way to let people know that such horrific childhoods can still lead to a quality life of happiness.

Moving On – The Monster

I shivered but remained silent as the monster’s shadow fell over me. The terror that filled me nearly caused my bladder to let go, but I knew that would only incur more of the monster’s wrath. I knew if I kept quiet, did as I was told, she would go away.

“Put your hands up here,” the monster said, indicating with one hand that I should grab the rails of the bed’s headboard.

I followed her instructions, wincing as the tough hemp string dug into my wrists. Once the knot was finished, I held my hand in place while she tied the other end of the string to the rail, then waited with my eyes closed as she tied my other hand in the same fashion.

“Your brother and sister will be home by four,” she said, then turned and walked out of the bedroom.

I strained my ears, listening for the sounds of her heavy footsteps in the kitchen, the jingle of keys, then the front door opening and closing. I held my breath, afraid she would decide I needed another reminder of the rules and rush back into the house. I heard the car start, then the fading sound of it backing out of the duplex’s driveway. I waited another minute before taking a breath, followed by tears that streamed from my four-year-old eyes. Continue reading

“End of the Line” + “Launch Sequence” sale 9-19 through 9-26!

“End of the Line” and its sequel, “Launch Sequence,” will both be on sale for $0.99 from September 19th through the 26th at all worldwide retailers!

“End of the Line”
Amazon / iTunes / Kobo / Barnes & Noble / Google Play

“End of the Line” by Travis Hill
cover art by: Trevor Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Launch Sequence”
Amazon / iTunes / Kobo / Barnes & Noble / Google Play

“Launch Sequence” by Travis Hill
covert art by: Jeff Brown

 

 

“The Minotaur” is live on Amazon!

“The Minotaur” is a collection of short stories/novellas with mostly horror / sci-fi themes. It will be exclusive to Amazon for 90 days, and can be read for free if you have Kindle Unlimited. Otherwise, it will be $0.99.


“The Minotaur” – 12 year old Billy Jacobs battles the devil for his soul in a game of pinball.

“Members Only” – How much would you pay to experience your darkest desires?

“Symbiosis” – “I know how you feel” is no longer an empty platitude thanks to the latest STRIKE therapy for soldiers returning home from combat.

“Paradoxis” – A serious vehicle accident ruins Anthony’s day, but it’s only the beginning…

“A Christmas Tale II” – A dark tale of Santa, stressed out parents, and naughty little children.

“The Minotaur” by Travis Hill
cover art by: Trevor Smith
typography by: Keith Draws

“The Minotaur” cover update!

Keith Draws is working on the typography for the cover, so I’ll show you some of what he’s come up with. Let me know which version you like the best!

“classic” font, axe in front of the N
“classic” font, axe behind the N
“stylish” font, axe behind the N
“stylish” font, axe in front of the N