Saturday, February 22, 2020

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Dungeon Corps by Jaxon Reed - Book Tour + Giveaway


Dungeon Corps 
Crypts of Phanos 
by Jaxon Reed 
Genre: Epic Fantasy 


Deep under the city of Phanos, the crypts are filled with monsters. Dungeon Corps works hard to contain them.

Recruited from prisons, outcasts, misfits, those expelled from academies and even rare volunteers, Dungeon Corps produces outstanding fighters.

When an ancient threat troubles the Queen’s Land once more, a grizzled veteran leads his young team down into the depths to rescue the lost and slay a horror known as Ludge.

But two on his team hold closer ties to the monster than anyone realizes. They are elves, running from assassins tracking them relentlessly since birth.

Ludge should have died 50 years ago. Now it’s up to the team to finish the job. In doing so, they uncover startling secrets known only to a chosen few.

They discover the elves’ forbidden existence and their raw untapped power can reshape the world.

If they survive. 

**only .99 cents!!** 


Percel sat in the back of an inn’s tavern, listening to the bard strumming his lute and reciting “The Ballad of Melody Hall.” The bard, a young fellow who looked altogether too pretty for a man, Percel thought, closed his eyes and sang. 
He sings too good, too, Percel thought, taking another sip of ale. He’s altogether a feminine fella. 
Now the bard came to the end of his long song. 
And the last man died and the prince stood aside
And said, This be it for me boys, this is the place I die
And the boys said, You’re not gonna die, sire, you’re not gonna die today
But the prince moved ahead with his sword in hand and met Ludge straight away
And Ludge and the Prince fought hard that day . . . 
And the prince’s soul flew away
The prince’s soul flew away . . . 
The bard ended the song on a mournful note, and when he finally opened his eyes they glistened with unshed tears. 
Everyone stood, clapping hard and cheering, many openly crying and wiping away their own tears. But Percel remained seated, tossing back the last of his ale in the pewter mug. 
Someone passed a hat for the bard and the sound of copper and silver clinked as it went around. Percel had no doubt the lad would collect quite a bit after that song. 
He really is too good for this rundown place, Percel thought. 
Somebody shoved the hat in his face. He grunted and tossed some coppers in. 
At last he saw the tavern’s wench and he raised his mug at her. She smiled brightly and headed his way, lifting a tray of fresh drinks above her head, and above the grabbing hands and pinching fingers following her through the crowd. 
Bessa liked Percel because he kept his hands to himself and he tipped well. Her only complaint, if she had one, was the old man never smiled. Not once in all the nights she’d seen him in here. 
She finally made it to his table, with one mug of ale in reserve. She set it down in front of the old curmudgeon and took his ha’silber. He never expected change back and she dropped the coin in her purse gratefully. 
Isn’t Meener great, Percel?”
When Percel spoke it was low. But his voice was so deep it carried through the crowd’s noise easily. 
Meener. An odd name for a bard. But, yes he’s good. Too good for the likes of this place. Doubt you’ll have him again tomorrow night.” 
Bessa laughed as if he were joking. The old man with the scarred face never laughed, though. He met her eye steadily and took a sip from the new mug. 
Well, I must say his recitation of the Ballad of Melody Hall was just wonderful. He should make plenty from that one alone, even if we’re not the finest inn in the city.” 
Percel grunted. “A passable job. I’ve heard better. Heard worse, too.” 
Bessa sighed, setting the tray down and leaning over the table, happy to duck away from the rest of the inn’s patrons for a moment. 
How I wish I could have been there with the Children Soldiers, watching the Prince fight like that against Ludge!” 
Percel grunted again, taking another sip of beer. “It wasn’t anything to be proud of. We watched him die, same as the others. Only a few of us made it out to tell the tale.” 
Bessa’s head jerked up in surprise. 
You were there? You fought with Prince Synthan in Melody?” 
She could not keep an incredulous tone from creeping into her voice.
Percel nodded with neither modesty nor pride. He spoke in a matter of fact tone, his low voice rumbling. 
I fought as a Child Soldier in service of the Crown. I accompanied Prince Synthan in his efforts to clear Melody, and watched as he died fighting the monster Ludge. I was one of only four to survive that dungeon run.”
He took a long swig of ale. When he pulled the mug down from his face, Bessa stood staring at him with her mouth open. His eyebrows went up as he glanced around, but no one else had heard his announcement in all the hubbub of the busy inn. 
That’s . . . that’s great, Percel! Is the song right? Did the Prince do all those things?”
Percel shrugged. “It’s mostly right. Pretty boy there took some liberties. But yes, we fought hard. And yes, Ludge killed Synthan in the end. It’s essentially correct.” 
Bessa looked at the scars on his face, the obvious marks left by swords and knives, the portion of his right earlobe that was missing . . . 
Everything about the old man suddenly took on new meaning. 
She lost her train of thought when somebody came up behind her and slapped her bottom, hard.
She jumped in shock and pain, and the big man behind her guffawed. 
Come on, Bessa-bitch! Ya done talked with this geezer long enough. Give us some ale. And gimme a kiss.”
He puckered his lips and leaned down toward her face, reeking of drink. She put both hands on his chest and said, “Ew. No, get away!” 
Come on Bessa! You know you wants to get it on with me!” 
He made some thrusting motions with his waist and several of his friends at a table nearby cheered, raising their mugs. 
Leave her alone.” 
The big man glanced bleary eyed over at Percel and chuckled again. 
Leave the women for us young ’uns, old man.” 
He turned back to Bessa. She pinched her nose as he breathed in her face. 
I can satisfy a woman like you.” 
She slapped his hand down as he reached for her chest. 
A spark of anger glimmered in the drunk’s eyes. 
I want ale, bitch! Then I want you.” 
I said, leave her alone.” 
Percel pushed his chair back and stood, still holding the mug. 
The big man turned his head and stared down at Percel. He looked surprised the old man was not taller. 
He chuckled drunkenly again. “You want some of this?”
He stood straight, his full size expanding like a sail filling with wind. Bessa backed away, hand covering her mouth. 
All the tavern’s patrons turned and saw the genesis of a fight. They stood and crowded around, forming a half circle. Everyone looked ready for the next round of entertainment now that the bard had finished singing. 
The big man’s friends stood up from their table, three of them. One swayed heavily. The other two stared at Percel with ale-blurred eyes. 
Percel moved his chair and stepped around the table. Despite having several mugs himself, he did not sway and his eyes were clear. 
He looked up at the big drunken oaf staring down at him . . .
Percel’s hand flew out and he punched the drunk with his mug. It happened so fast his hand looked like a blur. The big man’s eyes went to the back of his head as his jaw split open, and he collapsed backward in a heap. 
His three companions moved as one from their table. They rushed Percel, fists swinging. He threw a chair at the first one, kicked the second in the stomach, and threw a roundhouse punch with the mug at the third.
The crowd stepped back in silence. The violence happened so quickly and unexpectedly from an old, scarred-up man no one thought could fight. Everyone looked at the moaning and bloody drunks on the floor, then to Percel and back. 
Step aside, step aside,” a city guard made his way through the crowd. 
No fighting, no fighting allowed. Who’s fighting?” 
Everyone in the crowd pointed at Percel, who set the bent up mug back on the table. 
I was merely defending myself, and the honor of the lady of this establishment.” 
A few in the crowd cast perplexed looks at Bessa. 
Someone said, “He talking about her?”
The guard said, “Well, be that as it may, sirrah, I see four men on the floor and everyone pointing at you. Let’s go spend the night in the city clink, eh? Sleep off that ale and talk with the magistrate in the morning.” 
And let the magistrate fine me several silver or work it off? No thanks. You can take these drunks to the holding cells, instead.” 
Well, I’m afraid you don’t have much choice in the matter, sirrah.” 
The guard puffed his chest and rested his hand on the short sword at his belt. Percel glanced down at the weapon and did not appear impressed. 
At the inn’s entrance he heard a commotion as several more guards made their way inside. 
A captain pushed his way through the crowd, the red plume on his bronze helm dancing as if it had a life of its own. 
He said, “What’s going on? What’s happening here?”
Before the first guard had a chance to respond, Percel said, “I was on my way to the Dungeon Corps building when I stopped in for a pint and to hear this new bard they have, when these cretins accosted me.” 
The guard said, “Now wait a minute! That’s not exactly—”
Shut it, Joothin,” the captain said. “This man be with the Dungeon Corps. Have you your badge, sir?”
Aye, I’ve got it here somewhere.” Percel reached under his belt to a rarely used pocket and pulled out a bronze medallion. He held it between his thumb and forefinger and showed it to the captain. The Dungeon Corps crest showed plainly in the light. 
Very well,” the captain said. “Let the man be on his way.” 
Joothin’s eyes narrowed as the crowd parted to let Percel through. 

Just a minute, old timer. I’ll accompany you to Dungeon Corps. We certainly wouldn’t want you to get ‘accosted’ again on the way.” 


Jaxon Reed is a science fiction and fantasy author. Amazon's Kindle Press selected his book, The Empathic Detective: A Mystery Thriller, for publication through Kindle Scout. Recently, Ghostsuit: An Empathic Detective Novel also won a contract through Kindle Scout. 

Other recent books include Thieves and Wizards, an epic fantasy, and The Redwood Trilogy Box Set, a science fiction bundle. 

Jaxon is an Aggie, living in Texas on a ranch with his wife and boys, several cats, and one pound dog. 

To receive the latest updates on new releases and opportunities for free reader exclusives, please visit www.jaxonreed.com/free/






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1 comment:

  1. I like the use of blue on the cover. Congrats on the release.

    ReplyDelete