Hollow Promises

Apr 21, 2021 1:01 am

Hello again, Friends, Readers, and Bibliophiles,

Let me thank you for your great responses to last month's email. I received only one negative response about my thoughts on anxiety spoilers. It was very entertaining. However, the positive responses were fabulous. I enjoyed learning a little about you in your replies.

In the March letter I said that I would address the hollow promises of fortune cookies in this month's letter. I know I had something specific in mind, but I don't recall what it was exactly. Before I ramble a little about that, let me ask your opinion about a give-away that I'm contemplating.

Here's the idea, a chance at to receive all four books currently in the Tomahawks and Dragon Fire series--ebook format only--for my newsletter subscribers. Is anyone interested? I could give away three copies of each book--three sets--so three winners of 4 books each. How would I determine who gets a chance? Should I require a response to a special newsletter announcing the give-away and bringing in at least one new subscriber to my newsletter? I would love to hear your ideas. Let me know what you think in your replies.

I have included an except at the end the the letter--an action scene from chapter 9 of Promise of Carnage and Flame which leads to the moment the course of the book changed for me.

Now, back to our previously scheduled message:

I have to admit that I like fortune cookies. They don't have a lot of flavor, but they are a sweet treat with which to conclude a meal. I've usually eaten too much by that point to eat much more than a fortune cookie. As for the fortunes: Sometimes the petit paper promise can be removed from the shell without breaking the cookie, but I will usually break the treat in two to discover the fortune. I've often thought that a more interesting cookie would include promises of misfortune as well as fortune. If we add some magical element to allow for the fruition of the fortune, or misfortune, we've got an interesting story on our hands. It has probably already been done, but that wouldn't stop me if I had a mind to to it. Maybe that's a future short story.

We must also call attention to the fact that fortune cookie promises in the real world do not come with any guarantee of fulfillment. I can't count the times these little prophets of prosperity have let me down. I've been promised good things to come and success in my upcoming enterprise, been assured of my charm and good looks, and been complimented on my writing or demeanor--only to have ventures fail, bad things cloud my days, have my good looks fade, and to find errors in my writing.

It makes me want to hold someone accountable. Not me, mind you. Someone else. Whoever is inserting these false promises must be made to pay. Can we mount a class action suit against the fortune cookie manufacturers to assuage our grief with copious cash compensation for these broken promises and false hopes? I doubt it--but in some world it could be done, and therein lies another story idea.

Let me share the excerpt that I promised above. (Note that I would give an anxiety spoiler with regard to the gryphon, but you already know how I feel about those):

Except from Promise of Carnage and Flame – Chapter 9

Copyright 2021 Stanley Wheeler – All Rights Reserved

He heard the mighty jaws slam shut, and recognized the rush of fire as it blew with formidable force from its airborne source. The flames passed over and around the shield, providing those within a momentary vision of an engulfing inferno.

The green dragon scorched a path that evaporated snow and left a trail of blackened earth and blazing trees. Two rangers became smoking heaps along that path. Two others howled in the torment of burnt flesh. The flames billowed around Mirimoni and Lucette but did not penetrate Lucette’s protective shield. The ranger nearest to them fell against the shield to be burned to a shriveled and blackened corpse beneath the destructive inferno.

As the flames subsided from around Alex’s shield, Roberts hacked at the beak which held his leg in a vise-like grip. The steel blade of the tomahawk scarred the hard brown beak but did not loosen the creature’s hold upon his leg. Alex grabbed at the arm wielding the tomahawk. Roberts used his other hand to reach for the pistol in his belt. He felt as if the gryphon were sucking the power of the essence from him. He had to deal with the threat posed by the beast that gripped his leg. Akira, pressed to the ground on his own back, kept his hold upon the struggling ranger captain while using one hand to work the round object within Roberts’ coat up through the opening at the loose collar.

Roberts thumbed back the hammer on the flintlock pistol and extended it toward the gryphon’s head…


As you can see, the formatting didn't transfer over.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the give-away options, the fortune cookies, or the excerpt. Promise of Carnage and Flame, Book 4 in the Tomahawks and Dragon Fire series will be available for purchase this month (within a week, maybe) on Amazon.