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Leslie Soule

Leslie Soule, Author of Birds of a Feather Leslie Soule is an author who likes to experiment within the fantasy genre. She is the author of the novel Fallenwood and she lives in Sacramento, California.

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New Title(s) from Leslie Soule

Birds of a Feather by Leslie Soule Worlds Divide by Leslie Soule Hybrid Space by Leslie D. Soule

 

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Birds of a Feather by Leslie Soule Alexis doesn’t understand her weird grandma, who buys enough food for an army and keeps unusual items stored in her closet. Then she has to write a paper for her high school English class, and her grandmother becomes her inspiration as she imagines her grandma Diane’s life as a Steampunk story set in an alternate France. Napoleon has been killed in the Battle of the Nile. After the storming of the Bastille, a group forms to protect the heroes of the People’s Liberation Movement – that group is the Birds of a Feather. Follow Alexis as she weaves a tale of courage, hope, and adventure in the age of steam.

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Read the In House Review(s)                                                                   Excerpt
Word Count:
6200
Pages to Print:
27
File Format:
PDF                  Price: $2.99  
 
    

   
Worlds Divide by Leslie Soule Long ago, the world known as Fallenwood—Terra Illumina, broke off from its sister planet in a cosmic light show of force and fury, starting a chain reaction that fueled the events of the novel, Fallenwood. With Worlds Divide, see how it all began!


                                                                                
Excerpt

Word Count: 3200
Pages to Print: 13
File Format: PDF
Price: $2.99
 
   

   
Hybrid Space by Leslie D. Soule





Regas thought he was the only human-animal hybrid on The Empress, the ship belonging to a mysterious organization known as T-Tech. When another hybrid comes to set him free, he is torn between the world he knows, and one that seems too good to be true. The other hybrids want to escape to a whole new world, trusting their fates to their swift little ship called The Canary, as they engage in a desperate attempt to escape the universe’s collapse by a phenomenon known as The Big Crunch. Will Regas trust this band of seemingly loony hybrids, and attempt escape? Or will he follow T-Tech in believing that there isn’t any danger at all? Adventure awaits, and only time will tell . . .

                                                       
Excerpt
Word Count: 60457
Pages to Print: 197
File Format: PDF
Price: $4.99
 
   

   

 



EXCERPTS

Birds of a Feather 
Prologue:

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Dear Diary,

     My grandma is the weirdest person ever. OMG. Her house is so dark and stuffy, like it’s haunted or something. I opened the hall closet when she went out to the grocery store and left me at the house alone. That’s when I found the weirdest thing—a metal bird statue. The creepy part was that as I closed the door, I could have sworn I saw it blink! Thank goodness Dad came over after work to take Grandma and me out to dinner. You know how Grandma is with food—buys enough to feed an army and then it all goes bad and stuff is kept way past its expiration date.
     I remember how she’d make me finish every scrap of food on my plate. She’s gotten better about that over the years, but she still tells me how lucky I am to even have food. So anyway, whatever. If I don’t like something, I’ll just throw it away when she’s not looking. Oh, and all lunch she rambled on and on about how we’re all so lucky to live in America. Grandma Diane is from France. She came here a long time ago. So, I have a short story due this Friday for my Creative Writing class and I’ve decided to try writing a Steampunk story about Grandma.
~Alexis

Monday, October 18th, 2010

     I am SO reminded of why I hate history. Well, besides the fact that Mr. Duke goes on and on about the most boring stuff that I almost fall asleep every day in first period. So I’ve got that Steampunk story due Friday and Mrs. Martinez said we have to make the stories believable and stuff and we have to write about the research we did for it and everything. I spent like all of my lunch today in the library while that dorky aide Cory ogled me. It was way creepy—like movie stalker creepy. Anyway, here’s what I’ve got so far:
     —Story will be about the end of the French Revolution.
     —Little man Napoleon was killed at the Battle of the Nile. He would have been twenty-nine. That gets him out of the way, and that was a huge obstacle since he’s in like all the French history books.
     —I had to make the King and Marie Antoinette be dead and be killed by this liberation movement. This movement also did the whole Bastille thing. Anyway, I’m gonna write Grandma in as the main character. I feel like I need to give her a love interest—maybe I’ll make him look like that really cute guy that sits next to me in fourth period English. What a hottie. I think he’s going out with that Megan girl though. Ugh. I totally don’t know what he sees in her.

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

     Two more days left to go and I’ve totally been putting off writing this thing. Maybe I should have picked a different type of story. But Steampunk just sounded so cool. Jenna is like almost done with her story though and it’s a romance and I didn’t think we were even allowed to write that. So I looked up Steampunk to see what else I could write about other than the French stuff, and it’s about machines and things. I thought about that robot statue thing in Grandma’s closet. It would be perfect.

Friday, October 21st, 2010

     So I turned in my story today. I think it came out okay. Becca asked me if I’m gonna show it to Grandma Diane and I was all “NO!” Lol.

Chapter One

Paris, France. 1802. End of the French Revolution.

     Diane LeFleur had been four years old when she peered out from behind her mother’s dirty apron and took in the smoke and the shouting—the wild, rampant chaos that was the storming of the Bastille. She could remember it all so clearly. She could close her eyes and see it playing out on the darkness of her eyelids. That was thirteen years ago. Things were different now.
     Diane glanced at the feather tattoo on her left wrist. I am a member of the People’s Liberation Movement, too. In honor of their liberation—one that allowed them to fly from the horrors of the tyranny of the Bastille—loyal members called themselves the Birds of a Feather, getting feather tattoos and adopting bird-like surnames to show their loyalty. Though Diane had never been a prisoner herself, she was eternally scarred by the things she had seen. Death to the monarchy.

                                                                           ***

     Things were so different now. France was no longer France—it was now known only as Cinque-Levier. The major cities had become city-states. Paris, The City of Lights, had become a place of stark contrast, a battleground of illumination and shadows. Paris was now Contrastique. The city of Lyon had been given the name Coeur De Lion by its self-proclaimed ruler and benefactor, the wealthy businessman Frank Mercer.
     Coeur De Lion was the rival of the city-state of Contrastique, in an arms race that was quickly picking up speed. In Contrastique, the search was on for the universal solvent. Diane Falcon was going to be leading an expedition into Coeur De Lion, a potentially dangerous reconnaissance mission involving infiltrating the headquarters building of Tri-Quest, Frank Mercer’s corporation.
     It was the Age of Steam and the Age of Innovation and the Age of Metalwork, with all five city-states vying to be the winner of an arms race. Diane was sure Contrastique would win. She knew her father’s abilities would tip the scales in their favor.
     Diane admired her father’s skill as a mechanical genius. He routinely hid himself away at all hours of the day and night, tinkering in his workshop, constantly busy with projects. Diane hadn’t picked up his love of tinkering, but she possessed the qualities of a natural leader. The lack of a mother for ten years of her life had made her bold, forced her to grow up like she’d been raised as a boy. At seventeen, she now sat in her father’s workshop in Contrastique, creating plans for a meeting.
                                                                                Back to Birds of a Feather
 
Worlds Divide

Long ago, in a light show of force and fury, the world was split by cosmic lightning. The one world split in two, forming Terra Aristo and Terra Illumina. The agent of The Eternal, the force governing all creation, stirred the soup of the cosmos; the elemental mix blended into a beautiful concoction. The big chunks were orbs of hot gases; stars infused the mixture with life and heat. The tendrils of white that circled the orbs, thin as spider webs, were spirit cords, winding around the planets and infusing them with the stuff of life.

A large bubble of hot matter floated in the celestial broth, and The Eternal’s agent struck it, deeming it too large to exist as one entity, stirring with a lightning spoon.

***CRACK***

The bolt ripped through the cosmos, pummeling through stars with the force of its linear trajectory. It hit the orb of celestial fire off-center, shearing a small chunk off the larger. A few souls screamed in agony as they were cut in half, one part now remaining on each of the two separate spheres. The halves re-melded into orbs; bubbles floating in the cosmos.

The larger orb, Terra Aristo, glowed much hotter than the other. It floated on, colliding with a much larger sphere of water. Half-submerged, Terra Aristo began to cool and the gases and elements formed liquid magma that glowed and steamed as it fought off the cooling influence of aqua vitae. Terra Aristo rotated and cooled further until a crust covered the surface. The heavier metals and elements began to settle in the planet’s core, sinking to the center. The water rapidly evaporated into steam. Now, the planet resembled a hard jawbreaker. The hand of The Eternal reached into the cosmic melting pot, scooping up the newly-formed planet, and The Eternal took a bite. The surface broke; cracks covered the little hard orb, fissures where molten magma seeped through. Plate tectonics was born.

It’s much too hot to eat. I’d better let it cool a while longer. The Head Chef of the universe came by and washed off the little gob and then gently placed it back in the stew, to float in a bubble of water. He glanced at the broth for a moment, certain that he saw something foul—maybe poisonous, black and peppery. When he rubbed his eyes and looked again, it was gone. Must have just been my imagination . . .
Back to Worlds Divide
 
Hybrid Space

Chapter One: Tea and The Abyss
In a Ship Called The Empress, in the Laboratory
Year 12,212,012 A.D.

Regas shuddered, as a group of T-Tech agents walked by his cell. For the first time, he felt insecure there, knowing that the walls could not protect him from the guns of the Empire. One of the men stopped to stare at him, a look that pierced Regas with its animosity and made his hackles raise involuntarily. It’s like they know—like I’ve somehow become the enemy to them. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this kind of treatment, but I do know that it’s not fair. The winds of change stirred in the air—not real wind, but the manmade breezes of the ship’s life support system. Still, something had changed imperceptibly overnight, and he looked out into the lab with new eyes, new wishes, and a newfound sense of curiosity. He was hoping that Rory, the lab tech, would be working today. Regas had two more hours left between then and now, and this somber thought put him in a pensive mood. “If only I knew what to do . . .”

He looked around his cell at the same old familiar, albeit boring, surroundings. He checked the schedule. A new visual display showed on his cell’s wall each day, on an area no larger than a dinner plate. He read through the listings—no tests or exams until tomorrow. The rest of the day stretched out before him, filling him with its own kind of dread. How will I fill the hours of my life that stretch away and away? No—I should rephrase the question. How CAN I fill this time? What CAN I do? He looked over at his text reader. He could read literature, but he would have had to put in a request first and get the approval of the Program Administrator—a man he’d never met and probably didn’t want to know. The whole process could easily take a week. A growl slipped from his throat. I don’t feel like filling out another request. It was easier to play video games or drink tea. Neither of those activities required any sort of approval.

A plain white mug weighed in his paw, reassuring him. I do feel like tea.

Setting the mug onto the small platform of the tea dispenser, he pressed the button for Earl Grey, then watched as the dark brown liquid began filling the mug’s interior with a familiar brew that held its own sort of comfort. At least there would always be tea. He grasped the mug and, walking to the other end of his cell, sat on his cot and warmed his paws on the ceramic life preserver. What else can I do?

The video game system sat at the far side of the cell, programmed with a vast library of programs and simulations, yet today they held no interest for him. The one thing I really want, I can’t have. Sure, I can walk around the ship, one hallway at a time, with an armed escort. That isn’t freedom. I’ve imagined life being so much better.

Every day, he felt the acute sting of the crew’s projected fear and anger. Even if I broke out, would I truly ever be free? I’ll always be a hybrid—I’m doomed to a life of second-class citizenship forever. He sipped the Earl Grey, the only kind of tea he’d experienced onboard this ship. He’d learned that back in the days of Ancient Earth, they’d had hundreds of tantalizing varieties—but Earth had died long ago, the only existing records a series of digitized notes: a reference of sorts, called the AEctionary—the Ancient Earth dictionary. And as much as Regas could read about the tigers of Ancient Earth, as a human-tiger hybrid, he was something else, entirely.

The world outside the lab was a frightening place. He didn’t dare escape. Where would I go? What would I do? He didn’t know the layout of the ship. What if it’s all just a complex of multiple warehouse-style laboratories, like this one? But then, another little voice, deep inside, said, “What if it’s not?” He let his mind wander for a few indulgent moments as the Earl Grey steeped. What if it’s larger and grander than I’ve ever imagined? What if there aren’t just labs, but schools, hospitals, control observatories and libraries? What if there are others like me?

Thus, the war within manifested itself in his mind—to leave or to stay, and always there remained the lingering inner voices, questioning what he would find in the great beyond outside of his cell. Could there be others? He’d certainly never seen one before, but their existence seemed logical.

All of which led to a logical conclusion. Having this entire program for a single hybrid doesn’t make sense. He stood up and walked over to the Plastiglass. I’ll start by asking a simple question. Spying a female lab worker, he tapped on the cell wall. Humans would consider her beautiful, with arched eyebrows and full rose-colored lips. She looked at him over her glasses and beneath a dark veil of hair.

“Excuse me,” he said, knocking again on the Plastiglass. “I have a question.”

She appeared to pretend not to notice, and returned to her paperwork.

Maybe she didn’t hear me. He decided to try again, knocking louder, and this time she looked up, annoyed.

“What do you want?” she asked, tapping her stylus on the table.

“I was wondering if there are any other hybrids like me.”

She shook her head, but whether this was an answer or a dismissal, he could not tell. I guess that tactic won’t work. He owed his whole life to T-Tech, but lately, so many strange thoughts swarmed in his head. They’re keeping me in the dark, and I’m tired of it. No—I shouldn’t be thinking that. After all, they’ve graciously supported me all these years. He looked down at his Earl Grey. They provide me with all the necessary comforts—shelter, food, water, and even luxuries like tea and coffee, and a modicum of knowledge, through access to the AEctionary. And yet, as he looked at the young lab tech, something stirred in his soul. I need to get out of here, even for just a little while.

Something else troubled him, tickling the far reaches of his consciousness; a phrase he’d heard one of the scientists mention in the course of conversation. Boston Tea Party. In the dead of a recent night, he’d stayed up past lights-out, checked for guards, then signed in to the AEctionary from the terminal in his Plastiglass cube. These new words intrigued him. He’d learned a lot in the course of casual conversation with the few lab technicians who would actually talk to him, like the friendly bio-technician Rory. Regas had even learned a new word yesterday—Luna. He slowly lowered his mug of tea to the floor; remembering, contemplating, careful not to look suspicious, making the movements he’d always made before. After all, the AEctionary had a thing or two to say about the art of illusion and disguising one’s true intentions.

He slowly walked over to the terminal and accessed the AEctionary, typing hastily on the keyboard on the shelf before him, entering the word into the prompt—Luna. There’s got to be an explanation somewhere on the computer’s database. He’d heard the word in an offhand remark from Rory a couple days before. Luna was the spherical satellite, the moon the people of Ancient Earth saw in the heavens, it had glowed up there like a magical disk. People prayed to it, guided their ships by it, attributed the power of gods and goddesses to it. It must have been a wonder to behold—but then he dropped from imagination to the present—so was the interstellar corporation known as T-Tech. He respected T-Tech as a powerful entity, building itself up as every company must, and yet . . . and yet he wanted to dump his one luxury into T-Tech’s harbor, like the men in the story of the Boston Tea Party had done. That, and an idea gripped his heart like a vise. I want to see Earth’s moon. But so far as he knew, Earth no longer existed, and maybe even Luna had been destroyed in the wars of Ancient Earth. He’d made a mental note to try to read more about the subject later.
Back to Hybrid Space


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