Monday, August 17, 2015

Lord Fish: Chronicles of Xax by Ted Cross

Release date: August 15, 2015
Subgenre: Epic fantasy, short fiction collection

About Lord Fish: Chronicles of Xax:


Includes three short stories and a novelette!

'Dragon Play': All their lives the group of young Vikings had heard of their clan's past glories, but all they have known is the terror of being relegated to living within the shadow of a dragon's mountain. When the chieftain's daughter finds an ancient scroll showing a hidden back entrance to the dragon's lair, she and her three friends decide to sneak in and retrieve the lost talisman that holds the luck of their clan.

'Lord Fish' tells the tale of a newly-minted noble who meets his nemesis in Sir Brindor, the realm's most famous knight. Can the lowborn Lord Midas survive single combat against the deadliest warrior in history?

In 'The Stolen Castle', Lord Midas pays a visit to the long-deserted keep granted him by his new liege lord. When his entrance is refused, Midas learns that a hedge knight has taken up residence. With only his squire to aid him, Midas must find a way to take back his rightful home.

'Arrival' tells the tale of how a group of scientists from Earth first came to colonize the planet of New Eden...along with one unexpected guest.



“Why, Fridrik?  I believed you wiser than this.”

Fridrik gave her a strange look.  “No one has seen this in centuries.  You saw the map.  We can explore a bit and be safe.  I want to see what’s in there.  Aren’t you curious at all?”

“There’s a dragon in there.”

He nodded.  “I have no intention of going anywhere near the dragon.”


“I swear.  Look, let’s humor them for a little while.  See what we can find in the first rooms.  I bet they get scared and want to leave within the hour.”

Birgit tried to force a smile but failed.  “I don’t know if I can go in there.  It’s like the mouth to Hel.”

Fridrik smiled at her.  “I’ll hold your hand and lead the way.  You’ll be scared at first, but when it’s over you’ll see how fun it was.”

Anja joined them, followed by Halfdan.  “I’m going first.”  Without waiting for a reply, she shoved her torch in ahead of her and stalked forward.  Halfdan didn’t hesitate to follow.

Fridrik squeezed Birgit’s hand and drew her after him.  As she ducked to enter the passageway, Birgit closed her eyes and held them shut for several steps, trusting Fridrik to lead her safely.  Already smoke from the torches was filling the small stone passage, making them cough.  She tried to remember how far the first line had looked on the map but couldn’t.

“How far does it go?” she asked, her voice sounding hollow and shaky.

Fridrik’s face was orange in the flickering torchlight.  “Judging from the map, I’d say—”

There was a loud click.  Behind them the stone door rumbled down, cutting off the sunlight as it slammed shut.

“Gods!” Birgit heard herself shriek.

“It moved under my foot!”  The voice was Halfdan’s.  “I triggered something.”

 “Step on it again!” Anja cried.

“I’m trying.  It’s not doing anything now.”

“Birgit, you’re hurting my hand!” Fridrik whispered.

Birgit tried to lessen her grip.  “We’re all going to die now,” she moaned.

“That’s not going to help us,” Fridrik said.  “There must be a way to open the door again.”  He squeezed by her in the narrow passage and led her back to the closed door.  “Help me!  Feel all around.  If you find any irregularities in the stone, press them.”

Halfdan had returned and held his torch up to provide light.  Fridrik handed his torch to Halfdan so he could use both hands to search.  Birgit looked back and saw Anja’s pale face, grim in the flickering light.

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About Ted Cross:

Ted Cross has spent the past two decades traveling the world as a diplomat, all the time dreaming about writing fantasy and science fiction. He's visited nearly forty countries and lived in seven, including the U.S., Russia, China, Croatia, Iceland, Hungary, and Azerbaijan. He's witnessed coup attempts, mafia and terrorist attacks, played chess with several world champions, and had bit parts in a couple of movies. He currently lives in Baku, Azerbaijan with his lovely wife and two teenage sons.

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