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Nyki Blatchley

Nyki Blatchley, Author of Dweller in the Crack Nyki Blatchley is a British author, poet and copywriter who lives just outside London. Alongside a varied career that's involved selling books to royalty, care for disabled people and posing for artists, he's had about seventy stories published by, among others, Penumbra, Daily Science Fiction and The Thirteenth Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories. His novel At An Uncertain Hour was published by StoneGarden, and he's had novellas out from Musa Publishing and Fox & Raven.

Nyki is an administrator for the online fantasy writers’ group He's also had numerous poems published and has performed poetry and music at various venues around London. This included frequent appearances at the legendary coffee-house Bunjies, which in the 60s hosted artists such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and David Bowie.


New Title(s) from Nyki Blatchley

Dweller in the Crack by Nyki Blatchley Eltava: A Sword for All Ages by Nyki Blatchley
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Dweller in the Crack by Nyki Blatchley Kari and Fai, wandering teenage sorcerers and lovers whose spells occasionally work, just want to relax in the city of Jayen—only it's vanished. Things just get weirder when they learn from a child goddess that the city's been catapulted thousands of years into the future, and they need to follow it with her to avert disaster.

But the future is more terrifying than they expect—a dystopian technological nightmare, where a crack in reality is keeping two versions of the city trapped. To save Jayen (and maybe the world) Kari and Fai must venture into the Crack and confront the mysterious Dweller within.

Word Count: 26500
Buy at: Smashwords (all formats) ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Amazon
Price: $3.99

Eltava: A Sword for All Ages by Nyki Blatchley A swordswoman with a love of wandering, Eltava lives a nomadic life in a world of island kingdoms and mainland empires, sometimes on her own, sometimes with her immortal companion, known as the Traveller. These eleven stories chronicle her life and adventures from an adventure-obsessed 14-year-old to an 84-year-old who still has a move or two up her sleeve.

From acting as bodyguard for princesses to defending peaceful communities from aggression, Eltava battles bandits and tyrants, demons and unearthly creatures. But her greatest battle is with herself, as she becomes more aware that she's growing old, while her companion doesn't age. A search for eternal life ultimately teaches her that life itself is a victory, however long or short—and Eltava's going to enjoy every minute of hers.

Word Count: 78585
Buy at: Smashwords (all formats) ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Amazon
Price: 3.99


Dweller in the Crack


“So,” demanded Karaghr, gazing around the unbroken jungle, “where exactly is this city?”

Failiu raised her eyebrows at him, jerking her head suggestively at their guide. Her face looked torn between anger and tears, and he reached out a comforting hand to her. She’d been looking forward to reaching the city of Jayen and its comforts even more than he had.

Da-Zheng, the guide who’d brought them all the way up the river, stood staring around. Had the man brought them to the middle of nowhere deliberately, for some nefarious purpose? It seemed unlikely, from what Kari had seen during the journey of the stolid, reliable man, but he put his hand on his knife-hilt, just in case.

“I don’t understand it.” Da-Zheng turned to them, his pale face even more blanched than usual. “This is the place. Jayen should be here.”

“But it’s not, is it?” snapped Fai. “You’ve brought us the wrong way.”

“No.” The Thaal guide shook his head, his eyes stunned. “It’s all as it should be. The bend in the river. The ridge we crossed two hours back. Anyway, we followed the road.”

That was true. The paved road was clear enough that Kari had wondered occasionally why they needed a guide, although Da-Zheng had been valuable in steering them through the customs of remote villages.

“Could it be a different road?” he suggested. There must be a simple explanation.

“I know the road to Jayen. There isn’t a route in these parts I don’t know.” From anyone else, the retort might have been angry, but Da-Zheng seemed to have no temper to lose. He made a broad gesture to indicate trees, undergrowth, the riverbank a few hundred paces away, the three of them standing in the steamy heat still rising from the last downpour. From a distance came an animal cry that Kari didn’t recognise. “Here,” the guide insisted in his slow voice. “This should be the south gate.”

Kari pulled Fai closer to himself, taking comfort by giving it. “So what are you saying? That an entire city has vanished, and the ground taken back by the jungle since you were last here? Just how long ago was that?”

“Last summer.” Da-Zheng was wandering around the immediate vicinity now, as if the buildings might be hidden behind one of the trees. “It was a thriving city last summer, and I’ve heard no news of disaster. In any case, what about that merchant? He’d been in Jayen, hadn’t he?”

That was true, and Kari cursed himself silently for forgetting it. The merchant they’d passed on the road five days ago was effusive about the prices he’d got for his goods in the city’s many markets and the rare commodities from the north that would make him even more when he returned to the coast.

That was Jayen’s importance, as a meeting-point for the road and river trade that came from both north and south of the great forests dividing the Thaal kingdoms in half. In spite of its remoteness, trade made it a rich and luxurious city, everyone said.

Fai trembled, and she was as pale as her dusky Errishi complexion would allow, but she let Kari help her shuck her pack before collapsing to sit on it. He joined her, holding her hand. A speckled snake, longer than he was tall, slithered along a branch high above, but took no notice. It was of a type Da-Zheng said wouldn’t attack humans unless it felt threatened.

It had seemed such a good idea to go on a trek through the jungle to find the city of Jayen. The Lost City, Failiu insisted on calling it, though it was nothing of the kind, and the trek was a stroll along a good road. Still, finding lost cities was what you did when you were teenage outlaw sorcerers, and that’s what they’d been since they were kicked out of the temple in Errish for studying forbidden volumes. It was an adventure.

Da-Zheng still wandered about, looking stunned. “It doesn’t make sense,” he muttered.

“All right.” Kari felt he should be positive for Fai’s sake. “Could you be mistaken? I mean, the jungle’s confusing. I know you know it, and there’s the road, but is it possible… I don’t know, there’s another bend in the river and another ridge just like the ones you know? Or… something?”

The guide looked at them blankly. He was an emotionless, middle-aged man who hadn’t seemed flustered by anything that had happened on the journey—not even when his young charges had wandered away for an exuberant lovemaking session and got lost—which made his attitude now more frightening.

“No. No, there’s no chance I’m wrong. This is where Jayen should be.”

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Eltava: A Sword for All Ages

Witch, Age 14

Eltava wanted to run down the broad, crowded street. Word had just reached her that Searcher had been sighted rounding the headland, which meant the Traveller was returning to Gar’rash. The sooner she reached the docks, the sooner she’d be reunited with the man she’d adored for all her fourteen years.

She had her dignity to think of, though. After all, she wasn’t a child anymore. The boy’s tunic, stuck with sweat against her developing body, earned her enough glares from the more stolid citizens she passed, as did the sword and dagger slung from her belt. A respectable young lady was supposed to wear a modest gown that revealed as little as possible.

Eltava cared little what boring old people thought, but her behaviour could reflect badly on her father’s business. She forced herself to keep to a quick walk, only occasionally lapsing into a half-skip, half-run for a step or two as she threaded through the crowds.

“In a hurry for something, Miss Eltava?”

She turned at the voice behind her to see a man in the livery of the city watch smiling at her. She was used to people recognising her: partly for her status as a prosperous merchant’s daughter, but more for her unusual looks. In a country of tall, tawny-skinned people, like her mother, she’d inherited her father’s ochre complexion and slanted features.

She did know this man, though. He was sometimes at the fields where she practiced her swordplay, and he’d sparred with her once or twice. As he was youngish and tolerably good looking, she’d made a few desultory attempts to flirt with him. He’d smiled and been polite but hadn’t responded as she’d hoped. It didn’t really matter, though.

“I’m going to the docks,” she explained, catching at her breath and wiping sweat from her face. “A… a friend of my father’s has just put in.”

“Ah.” The watchman nodded, his face turning grave as he leant on his staff. “That would be the Traveller and his… magical ship, I reckon.”

“There’s nothing wrong with magic,” Eltava protested.

The man smiled again, though he seemed less easy than before. “Oh, I’ve only heard good of him, make no mistake, but not all magic is harmless. In fact, we’ve problems at the moment with the wrong kind of magic. Heard of As’shias?”

“Of course.” As’shias was a criminal who’d been arrested a month before. Eltava had heard all about the arrest, but no one would tell her what the woman had done. “What’s that to do with magic?”

“That’s because she’s a witch, you see, and she uses evil magic. A young lady like you wouldn’t want to know what she’s done, but believe me, she’s dangerous.”

“Well… maybe.” Eltava examined his face, and he smiled at her a little nervously. Why wouldn’t they want people to know what this woman had done—or what she was supposed to have done, at least? “But she’s not dangerous in prison.”

“That’s the thing.” He stroked his sparse beard. “She escaped this afternoon—probably used her magic to do it. We’ll be searching for her till she’s caught. So you be careful, Miss Eltava. Until then, nowhere in Gar’rash is safe.”

“I can look after myself.” Eltava laid her hand on her sword-hilt. “Anyway, as soon as I get to the docks, I’ll be with the Traveller. He can protect me from anyone.”

The watchman’s expression was doubtful, but he nodded. “I dare say. He’s a strange one, with his magic and never aging, but I never heard no harm from him. Take care, miss.”

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