The opening of Empowered: Agent read aloud

You can now listen to the opening of Empowered: Agent! Benjamin Douglas reads it on his The Book Speaks Podcast, Episode 35. He also talks about me, my writing, and my take on urban fantasy. Benjamin did a great job reading, especially the exchanges between Mat and Gus.

Empowered: Outlaw preview

I'm excited to report that Book 3 in The Empowered series, Empowered: Outlaw, will be published in a just a few weeks! This is the penultimate book in the series, with Mathilda Brant on a quest to rescue one of her sisters. The consequences of Mat's quest turns out to be a lot more than she ever imagined. Empowered: Outlaw will be available on all the major eBook retailers. Here's a preview: the first chapter. *** Empowered: Outlaw--Chapter 1 Even inside the dark church, I could hear the trees scream in my mind as the windstorm slammed Portland. It felt like being hit with a sledgehammer. I staggered and nearly fell. Strong fingers grabbed my arm and braced me. “Shit, Mat,” Keisha hissed next to me. She kept me from falling. “That bad?” I nodded. “Hell, yeah.” The wind’s howling rose, and for an instant drowned out the screams in my head. The boarded-up windows rattled. They should have been ripped off the building by now. “Damn, but I hate windstorms,” Keisha said. I took a deep breath, trying to clear my mind. We didn’t have much time. The gangers had left the abandoned church twenty minutes ago, but the way they’d been coming and going, it wouldn't be long, even with this monster freak of a storm, before they came back. We each carried a pocket flashlight, and waved the beams around the cluttered fellowship hall. Ruth used to bring me and the twins to church when we were

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Hopefully not a shaggy dog story

A few years ago I wrote a lot of short stories, including flash fictions (a thousand words or less). A number of these were published at Every Day Fiction, which publishes a flash fiction story daily. The story below was one of the stories I published there,  a tale of a man facing an infernal choice. ****************************************************************************************************************** NOT SO INVINCIBLE OVERLORD by Dale Ivan Smith A dark form limned with flickering flame materialized at the far end of the conference table. Bexel, third lord of the Second Hell, unkinked his neck and nodded at Julani. The hell binder amulet hanging against Julani’s chest thrummed, and he relaxed ever so slightly. The demon remained bound, and thus remained the Group’s instrument. For now. Julani rapped the polished tabletop. “What took you so long? I’ve been waiting for an hour.” His assistant Teva entered the room, dressed in a man’s suit, carrying a silver tray bearing a pitcher and two glasses. She laid the tray on the table and stepped back, hand on her holstered pistol. Bexel’s golden eyes regarded Julani for a long moment, and then the demon looked away. “The Invincible Overlord is dead.” The demon’s voice rumbled like distant thunder. “Damn it.” Julani drained his water glass in one long swallow and motioned to Teva, who promptly refilled it. “The Group isn’t going to like this, Bexel.” He shook his head. “Who will keep the local princelings in line?” Or the feuding religious sects, for that matter. He massaged

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