Gnome Alone

This little story takes place well before the events of the prequel story "Siloed," back when Marquez had only been a sorcerer-agent for a year or so, and was working with her first partner, Tomlinson. Hope you enjoy it. As always, let me know what you think. The garden gnome stood frozen on the table in the R.U.N.E. interview room. The manifestation was a foot tall. Mud covered his face and head, dulling the red of his pointed cap, and a canal fern was still stuck to his side. His expression was frozen in a look of surprise. An Otterkin supernatural had found the manifestation in a forest of garden gnome statues at the bottom of the Hood Canal and notified the R.U.N.E. sentinel in nearby Olympia. The sentinel in turn told the Seattle front office, which ordered Tomlinson and me up from Portland, since the Seattle team was over the border in British Columbia dealing with some supernatural shenanigans. My first reaction was to wonder aloud who’d leave garden gnome statues at the bottom of canal. It turned out that scuba divers liked to buy them from garden centers, dive the bottom of the canal and leave them there as a joke. Best guess was that the garden gnome manifestation had been stolen from a yard. This wasn’t a fleeting manifestation, it had been around for some time. That begged the question of how an actual garden gnome manifestation ended up at the bottom of the Hood Canal. They…

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Agents of Sorcery launches! Read an excerpt from Book 1, Gremlin Night

My new urban fantasy series, Agents of Sorcery, begins with Gremlin Night, which is now available. Liz Marquez is a sorcerer-agent belonging to a secret organization responsible for enforcing the laws of magic, the Regulating Union for Normalizing Enchantment. She spent time assigned as a guard in the Silos, a magical prison for supernatural creatures (called manifestations), but has finally been transferred back to field duty and is determined to prove she deserves the spot. A series of gremlin outbreaks and a new partner beg to differ. Gremlin Night is available at all major eBook retailers: AmazonApple BooksBarnes and NobleGoogle Play BooksKoboSmashwords Chapter 1 Burt the ogre was late. I squatted in heeled boots in a snowy alley in Peoria, calves burning, hair damp, stomach rumbling, all because an ogre crime boss took his sweet time to show up at his own blasted nightclub. Talk about a thoughtless jerk. My life would be so much easier if criminal manifestations kept better time. But that was the supernatural for you, always doing things on its schedule, never mine. I fought a yawn. It had been a very long day. The snow fell faster, and I pulled my motorcycle jacket closer around me. From where I crouched, I glimpsed the human bouncer as he paced on the steps outside, parka hood covering his face, wind-milling his arms to keep warm. His breath frosted the night air. Freezing my behind off while assigned to a stake out wasn’t the worse part of being…

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Staying Invisible

I'm currently working on Empowered: Hero, the final novel in Mat's story, and one thing that she is concerned about from the start is what happened to the sister she left behind, Ella's twin, Ava. Ava, who was there for Ruth when no one else was. Well, I've written a flash fiction story set during the previous novel, Empowered: Rebel, when two visitors arrive at the apartment with unexpected help, and, moreover, an unanticipated insight about Ava. Staying Invisible (Copyright 2019) Dale Ivan Smith I wished so hard I was Empowered. If I were Empowered, I’d find a way to save my grandmother. Stupid, because chances are I wouldn’t have a power that could save her, but I’d go work for the Hero Council and get them to help her. My sister Mat was Empowered, but she’d refused, and went rogue instead. Ruth coughed again, a deeper, scarier sounding cough this time. I put down the pot scrubber and went down the hall to her bedroom. The room smelled like rancid bread. The Thalik’s disease ravaging her had turned ugly. We’d used up the supply of the experimental drug the government had provided for Ruth last month, now she grew sicker each day. Damn them for stopping the drugs. I lifted my chin and forced myself inside the room. She was my grandmother, and I was the only one left to take care of her. “Ava?” she asked, her voice a low croak. “I’m the only one here, Grandma,” I…

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