I am delighted to welcome back my old blogging friend and author Craig Boyack! Craig has just released his latest book, The Playground, and you can read an extract right here. So without further ado, let’s all go and have some fun at The Playground…
The hottest toys of the Christmas Season are the Playground Network dolls. They contain a worldwide social network for children. Except, the network is controlled by a ruthless businessman with dreams of power.
To reach his goals he turns to the occult. Will our children make up his personal army? Could we have an enemy soldier in every home?
Gina Greybill is a cancer survivor who stumbles into her own brush with the paranormal. She wants nothing to do with it, but may be the only one who can bring down the Playground Network. To do it she’ll have to embrace her new situation, and recover the next generation of Playground software.
There is competition for the software in the form of a brutal thug named Clovis. He’s bigger, more ruthless, and more experienced. To top it all off, he has a head start.
The Playground is suitable for more mature readers, due to violence and mature themes.
Gina has been shoved into the front lines in the battle between good and evil. She’s trying to adapt, and her first task is to clear her property of evil creatures. She and her mentor, Gupta, are just about finished with the job…
Gina scooped up her gun and trotted behind.
They listened halfway to the street. “Still moving.”
At the front gate she listened again. “It’s outside, but coming down our street. Sounds like it’s singing ‘Bye Baby Bunting.'”
Gupta lowered his goggles and looked through the gate. “It looks like the binky thief.”
She stuck her head between the bars. The creature was brick red with skinny limbs and a pot belly. Its bulbous head stood on a skinny neck that looked like it would break under the strain. He wore an old felt witches hat in the same brick color. He carried a patchwork old sack over his shoulder. “God, it’s hideous. Do we shoot it too?”
“No. He’s one of the Fae.”
“I thought fairies were supposed to be pretty.”
“They are extremely beautiful, or extremely ugly. Binky is one of the lesser Fae. He is not a favorite at court, and they gave him this job to keep him away.”
“Pacifiers. When it’s time for an infant to give it up, Binky’s job is to take it away.” He brushed the snow from his rump. “Let’s get inside and talk about it. I’ve had enough snow for one night.”
Gina hung her blunderbuss over the library fireplace and flopped in one of the chairs. Gupta shoved some wood on the fire and poked at the coals. “I think a brandy is in order. You?”
“Yes, please.” When she looked toward the silk hangings, the brim of her hat hit the chair back. She sat it on the end table and put her feet on the ottoman. Gupta handed her a snifter of brandy, and she savored its scent.
Gupta slid his chair so he could look at her. “The despair worm is a heavy hitter among the evils of the world. It chose me over you. I need to meditate upon this.”
“Pffft. You were probably just closer. It was a snake.”
“No. It was a despair worm. It chose me, because I have regrets. I was supposed to become the host. I was delayed when the child jumped from the bridge, and now you’re stuck with my responsibilities.”
“But it failed, enjoy your drink.”
“Had it gotten me, I would have had to leave. I wouldn’t want to leave, and you know no better. I would have subverted everything you tried to accomplish.”
“But it didn’t. I have to face some facts, and I’m trying. You have to face some facts too.”
“You need to learn more. If something gets me, you need to know how to identify it, and how to cure it, if it’s even possible. You need to know when I’m under the influence of something and lying to you. Check me with the lantern, right now.”
She sat her drink down and grabbed the lantern off the coffee table. It lit upon her touch, and she waved it across his body. “Same old Gupta. No damage.” She sat it down and asked, “Happy?”
“Yes, thank you. Are you happy?”
She leaned forward once more. “No, now that you mention it. Tomorrow we need to get me a coat. You still need to replace your shoes.” She picked up the ear trumpet and tossed it to him. “And this thing is absurd. You’re handy, put some earbuds on it or something. I can’t walk around with that stuck in my ear.”
“Got it. Shopping and earphones.” He raised his snifter toward her. “Good job tonight.”
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
how to connect with craig