It’s time for another installment of Bloody Bites, where I feature tantalizing tidbits from the dark fiction I’m currently reading.
A line, a paragraph, a chapter – little morsels from some of my favorite authors that I know you will love too!
Today’s excerpt comes from Brass Stars, the debut novella from author A.G. Carpenter. It’s the tale of a gunslinger and her psychotic cyber-horse who blaze a trail of vengeance across the stars.
It’s a thrilling read with sass, action and a killer sidekick who offers up ample attitude and the perfect travel companion for protagonist Tash.
Check out this excerpt and keep your eyes on this space for my review next month!
Brass Stars – A.G. Carpenter
A bullet hums past, close enough the adrenaline flushes under my skin and instinct takes over.
Brace the butt of the rifle against my hip. It kicks hard every time I tighten my finger on the trigger, hard enough to hurt, but it will pass. The alternative is permanent.
The first one slides off to the side, one foot tangled in his stirrup. The second manages to avoid the lead splitting the air; his horse is not so lucky. The animal goes down with a scream and the beast riding him pitches headfirst onto rock hard dirt. Broken necks all around.
The last one comes around the corner of the house, both guns out, reins in his teeth like an idiot. He’d have been better off keeping his hands on the reins and riding like hell. I put the last bullet in the rifle into the ground under his horse’s feet. It rears back and Jackass goes heels over head into the dirt.
He scrabbles on the ground for a moment, trying to catch his breath. Trying to find his guns.
He’s younger than the rest, the scruff on his chin more fuzz than beard. Young enough I don’t feel a pressing need to kill him.
“Go on back to Brannigan.” I kick his hat toward his hands. “Tell him it’s not going to be that easy.”
He gets his feet up under him, relief in his eyes as he limps a few steps back. Then something ugly settles on him.”Damn squaw.” He spits.
It’s an old epithet. Something like whore and cunt and bitch all rolled into one.
My gun slides out of the holster, easy. We’re standing so close all I have to do is stretch my arm out and pull the trigger. The blood-mist is hot on my skin. Then rapidly cool and stiff.
“Nevermind. I’ll tell him myself.”
© A.G. Carpenter
About Brass Stars
Tashndelu Sand has wandered the known universe on a mission of vengeance. She’s spent years tracking down the gang who murdered her mother. And, with the help of Snyder—a psychotic cyber-horse with an agenda of his own—she’s killed all but one: Brannigan.
Now she’s come to Paradise, a lonely town on a desert planet. Here, Brannigan rules with a new gang. Here, the graveyard is filled with the corpses of gunslingers who have tried, and failed, to kill him.
Get in, kill Brannigan, and get out. That’s the plan. And Tashn is determined to finish what she started. She’ll not be stopped: not by Brannigan’s army; not by her feelings for Johnny, an Extra sapien like her; not even by the darkness she sees in herself.
A.G. Carpenter writes fiction of (and for) all sorts. She studied film-making in college, but quickly discovered that pen and paper are a less costly medium. She likes: movies where things explode, rainy days, strong tea with lots of milk and sugar. Her favorite color is black.
She lives in the South-eastern United States with her husband, their lively son and a herd of cats.
What do you think of today’s Bloody Bite? Does it make you want to read more or have you already read Brass Stars?
What are you reading now? Is there a tasty little tidbit that you’d like to share? Post it in the comments section.