It is with cromulent pleasure that I stop in to share the news that my next short story, “The Envoy’s Blessing,” will be released in a few short weeks in TERRACE V: PENITENT’S GOLD by The Seventh Terrace!

Curated by Robert Bose and Sarah L. Pratt, PENITENT’S GOLD is the latest edition in the lauded Puragtorio anthology series. The book features tales of avarice and adventure from the likes of Taija Morgan, Chris Marrs, Lindsay Thomas, and Shane Kroetsch. Being invited to play in the same sandbox was a huge honour!

Set in the same world as my novel, THE NIGHTSHADE CABAL, “The Envoy’s Blessing” is my first stab at a Cosmic Horror story. Follow Civil War veteran Nathaniel Garaven as he heads to the west coast of Vancouver Island looking for answers about a dead friend and a remote town where the locals enjoy an unlikely source of wealth. Scroll down for a short excerpt!

For more info check out TERRACE V: PENITENT’S GOLD HERE at The Seventh Terrace. Preorder HERE for Kindle and HERE for Paperback.

“You knew the dead man.” It wasn’t a question.

Nathaniel Garaven looked up from his plate to find the barman looming over him. “Excuse me?”

“The fellow they pulled out of the bay the week before last. Olsen, wasn’t it? Word is he was a friend of yours.”

“Word travels fast here, Mr. Sutter,” Garaven observed. Such was the way in small towns. He had been less than two days in Port Urabus, arriving late the night before last. The boat from Victoria had taken him as far as Ucluelet, followed by several days on horseback through rough country the rest of the way. He hadn’t yet had a chance to make many inquiries.

Howard Sutter nodded.

“Well, I’ll not deny it when it’s so,” Garaven shrugged. “Morris Olsen was a friend of mine, yes, and a good friend at that. We fought together in the War Between the States. Hadn’t seen each other in a good number of years, but we kept in touch, and it was a letter he sent about a month ago that brought me up this way. I didn’t know he was dead until yesterday.”

He sipped his coffee and looked around the small taproom. The place was all but empty, save for himself and the barman. Sutter’s Rest echoed countless other such places Garaven had seen in his travels—a simple tavern on the ground level with a half-dozen rooms to rent upstairs. At least one of those was occupied, Garaven knew; the sound of violent retching from the next room had interrupted his slumber in the middle of the night.

“Seems wherever I go these days, I find another dead friend.”

“You sound like a man with revenge on his mind,” Sutter said. If the barman had an opinion about that it didn’t show on his face. He had a stern, wind-worn look; Garaven had seen the same stolid expression on working men and women up and down both coasts. Not the kind of man to abide nonsense.

Garaven shook his head in answer. “I’ve got no stomach for vengeance, Mr. Sutter. I’ve tasted violence too damned many times, and it always comes back up sour.” He drained the last of his coffee. “All I’m after is the truth.”

Chris Patrick Carolan is an author, editor, and hovercraft enthusiast, originally from Glasgow but now based in Calgary, Alberta. He writes science fiction, fantasy (urban and epic), and steampunk, though he has also been known to turn to crime to make ends meet. Crime fiction, that is. His first novel, THE NIGHTSHADE CABAL, was published by Parliament House Press in 2020, and was a finalist for the Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence ‘Best First Novel’ award. He can be found on Twitter as @cpcwrites but – consider this fair warning – it’s mostly wisecracks about McNuggets.

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