Part 6 Results & Blood Skies Giveaway

Ballot Box

The vote between the gun and the relic wasn’t that contentious — unless you count all of the angry pro-gun comments I received on Twitter and in email. Hilarious. In the end, the votes stacked up like this:

A (Go for the gun): 10
B (Go for the relic): 18

This Friday we will seek salvation in the relic. Hope it delivers. (See what I did there?)

My favorite part of this series is all of the awesome comments and votes, the hilarious banter on twitter, and the overall enthusiasm for the story. Or at least, the enthusiasm of knowing your vote is correct and the other side is wrong!

My absolute favorite votes for The Relic Part Six are:

Jimmy: Center mass, center mass! A… It’s just like the alamo! Don’t fire till you see the … smoke… of its chest smears…. Not the same poetic vibe.

And this made me laugh out loud:

Steven Montano: B!!!! Grab that relic and shove it up that demon’s nether regions!!!! (Then, if I’m still alive, I’ll grab the gun and empty it into the demon’s corpse. Naturally I’ll be holding the gun sideways, Gangsta style, and calling the demon “my bitch” the entire time.)

Last night on Twitter I received a hilarious comment that I feel compelled to add:

Dustin Ashe: Stabbing it in the eye with the bone would work. “You’re boned!” or better yet “For you, there’s no to-marrow!”

You guys crack me up.

Blood Skies Cover

And now for the Blood Skies giveaway! I got a little excited and decided to give two copies this week. Each comment was assigned a number with Twitter votes numbered last. The random number generator went to work and picked our winners:

Gene Lempp

Unfortunately, ShouldBeWorking used an invalid email address so they are disqualified. (Sorry.) We rolled again and the second winner is…

Amber West

Congratulations Gene and Amber! Please send me your email addresses through the “Contact Me” section (or DM me on Twitter) and I will send your new copies of Steven Montano’s Blood Skies.

We’ll do more of these giveaways in the future. I think it’s a fun way to say thanks to all of you for participating and supporting me. It also supports indie authors that I love, so it’s win-win.

This Friday, I will reveal The Relic finale! After the story wraps up, we’ll take a break – but don’t worry, we’ll come right back and start up a new Vote Your Adventure story.

In the meantime, Mark Lidstone’s zombie VOA story is really revving up. I noticed a lot of our group went over and voted on last week’s segment. Thanks a bunch, guys. You do me proud. If you’re feeling action-deprived, head on over and take a look at this week’s offering: Black Friday. It’s a little long and pretty freaky (zombie fingers in your mouth… eew) so pull up a seat and make sure the lights are turned on.

I’ll see you this Friday for the grand finale of The Relic. Continue reading

The Relic: Part Five (Vote Your Adventure)


This is the fifth part of an adventure series where YOU determine the next step in the story. Read part one, part two, part three, and part four.

Vote in the comments or on Twitter for a chance to win a copy of Steven Montano’s epic debut, Blood Skies!

You tear into the hall too fast to take the left corner cleanly. You slam into the wall, roll off, and keep running. Blood splotches, brown from age, cover every surface. A rancid odor lingers in the stagnant air and it only gets worse the farther you go.

You pass several doors on both sides, smashed and splintered and dangling from rusted hinges. Debris is strewn into the hall from every room and you have to jump over the piles. Out of the corner of your eye, you see that the rooms comprise small offices, a laundry room, and a kitchenette, all ransacked.

There are two doors at the end of the hall. To the right are the destroyed remnants of a modest bathroom. To the left is a dimly lit apartment.

You take a hard left into the apartment, slamming your shoulder against the door frame. As you race into the room, you hear stomping and a loud crash. The demon has entered the hallway.

You slam the door shut and stand behind it. You raise the hammer. The paper clip swings noiselessly from the rusty hammer head. Amongst the religious emblems, you identify the symbol of a faith you abandoned after the invasion, after you lost friends and family. As the heavy footsteps in the hallway near, you find yourself doing something you have not done since humanity retreated underground: you pray.

The floor creaks and trembles beneath the demon’s weight. As it nears the door, its footsteps slow. You wonder if it’s listening for you. The crack under the door darkens. You lift the hammer above your head. Your eyes focus on the doorknob, straining to see if it’s twisting in the dark. Your pounding heart is barely being contained inside your ribcage. Your raised arm begins to ache.

You hear a creak. The doorknob twists and the door slowly opens. Pale, elongated fingers slip through the crack. Your heart skips a beat. You reinforce your grip on the hammer, glancing up to make sure the claw is facing outward.

The slender wrist passes through the doorway. You throw your weight into the door, slamming the wood on the demon’s arm. You swing the claw at its hand but it doesn’t even break the skin. As you pull the hammer back, you drag the dangling emblem across the demon’s skin, leaving gray, flaky ash in its wake. Smoke wafts from the dead gray patch. The demon howls and tries to jerk its hand back. You put even more weight on the door, trapping the demon’s hand. This time, you aim for the gray spot and the claw pierces it easily. Black liquid sprays from the wound, coating your hand and the hammer. The demon screams and yanks out its crippled limb. You kick the door shut.

You act on instinct. You draw the protection symbol on the door with the demon’s own blood. You step back.

Everything goes silent. You count the seconds in heartbeats. They’re the longest ten seconds of your life.

The silence is broken by an abrupt shuffle of wings and fast, heavy footsteps that shake the floor, heading away from you. The light returns beneath the door.

The demon will not give up. You’re sure it’s looking for another way in.

You step away from the door and whirl around. Once upon a time, these priest’s quarters were simple and pleasant. Now it’s a disaster. You aren’t the only person who came through here looking for a relic. Tables are smashed and couches are torn apart with their stuffing ripped out. Drawers are upended and lying on the floor with their contents sifted through and scattered. The debris continues down a dark hall. You wonder if there’s another door to the outside.

You take a step toward the hall but indecision brings you to a stop. The demon is fast and it knows its way around. There’s a chance you will not have the time or enough blood to seal the apartment with wards. On the other hand, you’re certain the relic is in this apartment, though you may not find it before the demon returns.

What do you do?

A: Try to get symbols up before the demon finds its way in. Look for the relic later.
B: Don’t waste time with more symbols. Look for the relic.

Vote in the comments or on Twitter. If voting via Twitter, be sure to add #therelic so I don’t miss it! Voting ends Tuesday night. The highest vote will be the next step in the story, posted every Friday.

Image courtesy of seriykotik1970.

UPDATE: Voting is now closed. This Friday, you will search for the relic. Thanks to all who participated! Continue reading

Part 4 Results & Blood Skies Giveaway

The results for The Relic Part 4 are in! The library had a lot of support straight out of the gate, but the priest’s quarters came in midway and smoked the competition. In the end, the votes stacked up like this:

A (Priest’s Quarters): 16
B (Library): 12

This Friday you will seek salvation in the priest’s quarters. Hope you find it.

I’m so glad to hear how much everyone is enjoying the story so far. The theories about the story and the enthusiasm for kicking demon butt is amazing. I love hearing from you guys. To show my appreciation, I will be giving away two copies of Steven Montano’s debut novel, Blood Skies.

Steven passed an early copy along to me and I read through the first half over the weekend. Verdict: It delivers. Here’s the book description, taken from Steven’s website:

Humanity is threatened by one of its own.

Eric Cross, an enlisted warlock in the Southern Claw military, is part of an elite team of soldiers and mages in pursuit of a woman known as Red — a witch whose stolen knowledge threatens the future of the human race. The members of Viper Squad will traverse haunted forests and blighted tundra in their search for the traitor, a journey that ultimately leads them to the necropolis of Koth.

There, in that haven of renegade undead, Cross will discover the dark origins of magic and the true meaning of sacrifice.

The world is unique and rich, the battle scenes are very well done, and the stakes are high. I am so proud to give away two copies of this book.

And here’s how you enter to win: Vote on The Relic Part 5 and/or 6. If you vote for one “part”, you’ll be entered once. If you vote on both parts, you’ll be entered twice. The names will be put into a hat and I’ll do a random drawing. Two Vote Your Adventure fans will win a copy of Blood Skies.

For those of you who haven’t been brave enough to vote, now is your chance to get in on it and win. The book is awesome. You don’t want to miss out.

Steven Montano & His Blood Skies

I wanted to take a moment and share some exciting news. If you’re enjoying the Vote Your Adventure world, I’ve got something that will be right up your alley.

Say hello to Steven Montano, guys. Steven is a writer friend of mine. He has written a handful of articles for Wizards of the Coast, as well as a few adventures that were published by Dungeons and Dragons. The guy is very skilled at creating a unique world and keeping you on your toes. So here’s the part I’m excited about: In the next couple of weeks, he will be releasing his fiction debut, Blood Skies.

What is Blood Skies, you ask? It’s a post-apocalypse, military story… with vampires.

I know. The first time I read that, I got so excited I almost wet my pants.

To gear up for the Blood Skies release, Steven has been publishing a teaser series on his site, called Tales from a Blood Earth. They are short and free and if you’re enjoying The Relic, you will like this. The first one will pique your interest and the second one will hook you. Go and check them out:

Tales of a Blood Earth — Part 1
Tales of a Blood Earth — Part 2
Tales of a Blood Earth — Part 3

There’s a contest on his site right now to win a free copy of Blood Earth. If you don’t win that one, never fear because I will be giving away two copies of his book.

That’s right; I will personally purchase two copies and give them away to Vote Your Adventure fans. Since Steven and I are three time zones away, he is asleep while I am typing this out and haven’t had a chance to tell him that I am doing this. (Hey, Steven — I’m doing a giveaway for your book. Cool? Okay, then.)

Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, go check out his flash series, Tales of a Blood Earth. Continue reading