Sunday, July 14, 2013



Enter to win a digital copy of Anne E. Johnson’s humorous, noir-inspired science fiction novel, BLUE DIAMOND DELIVERY. 
Just leave a comment below, asking a specific question about the excerpt or blurb. 
To protect against spoilers, Anne won’t necessarily be able to answer all the questions, but she’ll give hints where she can.

The giveaway closes 21st of July. Good Luck!

Webrid is a carter. He’s also the savior of the world. Is it so much to ask that he get a break, and get to enjoy the simple things in life―like booze and babes―without being asked to drop everything and save the day? Again?

All Webrid has to do is make one simple delivery to prevent the planets of the Raralt Circle from cracking to pieces. How hard could that be? Unfortunately, to complete this “simple” job he has to drag his reluctant carcass to a mining planet with intense gravity, to the horrifically fashion-obsessed planet Prellga, and across the Redfire Desert on his home planet of Bexilla. All he really wants to do is sit at home on his couch.

Join Webrid, Stravin, and Zatell as they stagger into another nail-biting, spit-taking adventure to save the world, whether they feel like it or not.


Ganpril Webrid woke up in midair.
“What the…?” He landed with a painful crunch, his wide shoulder wiping out his shelf of commemorative Valestin Hundred-Proof bottles (“Collect all twelve!”).
“Oof!” He pulled a shard of broken glass from his matted fur.
That’s when he noticed he was naked. Though at least he was naked at home. “I guess it wasn’t a bar fight,” he slurred, as surprised as his muzzy mind would allow.
Home or not, something was seriously wrong. Looking around, he saw that most of his meager belongings were capsized or shifted. “Damn. How much did I drink?”
Webrid figured that since he was on the floor anyway, he could think better if he stretched out on his back. That’s when he noticed the naked Entra lady suction-cupped to the ceiling.
“Drarra, honey? Is that you? What you doin’ up there?”
With a resounding pop! pop!, Webrid’s favorite paid companion
loosened her head from the metal ceiling plates and bent backward to face the floor. “Oh. You still alive?” She didn’t sound thrilled.
“What the hell happened?” Webrid tried to do the gentlemanly thing and look at her face while he spoke to her. He wasn’t having much luck, so he closed his eyes. “Were we attacked by Blennf initiates, or what?”
“Nice one, Web. Mocking people of faith. Very classy.” Her sigh seemed rooted in her lower guts, in that way Webrid had heard from so many whores in his time.
“Seriously, though, what went on here?” he asked again.
Drarra pointed across the room. “I went flying off the bed, same as you. Only I’m lighter and stickier, so I grabbed the ceiling instead of crashing into everything. Help me down,” she ordered, pushing a long, flexible limb toward him.
Webrid stood up in stages, fighting through aches in his hip and shoulder. “Grab hold, babe.” He reached up to get a firm grip on her appendage. “Here we go.” With gentle yanks, he unstuck her, cup by cup, pop! pop! pop!, until she was draped over his arms. “Flew off the bed, huh?” Webrid racked the one dusty corner of his brain that seemed to be working. “You’d think I’d remember sex that good.”
“Oh, please. What sex? You couldn’t manage anything but passing out when we got home last night.”
Webrid was hurt. “You gonna tell me how come we flew off the bed, or do I gotta read it in the paper?”
“It was a quake, I guess.”
Webrid picked some wax out of his ear. “You say quake?”
“Yeah, you know. Ground shaking? People flying off beds? Buildings collapsing, too, probably.”
Webrid rubbed his bruised shoulder. He vaguely knew stuff like that was possible, but it didn’t seem like the kind of thing they’d let happen in the city. “Quake. Weird. And listen to that.”
“Outside.” Webrid was used to the sounds of downtown Bargival. He loved the wailing sirens and the vendors shouting at the honking commuters. The revving of engines was like a lullaby to him. But this morning sounded different. A whole new level of chaos. The screeching machinery sounded a lot bigger than usual, some of it hovering in the air. And more people were screaming louder. He’d have looked out the window if his tiny apartment had one.
“Sounds crazy out there.” He let Drarra drip onto the bed and started searching for his pants. “Never been a quake my whole life. And then, boom, there’s a quake? What’s that about?”
“How do I know? Something makes the rocks in the ground shift.”
Webrid, bending over painfully to look under a haphazard sculpture of piled-up furniture, turned his aching neck. “Why would the rocks in the ground shift?”
“What am I, a scientist now? It shakes, is all I know. Just look around you. This mess is your scientific proof.” Drarra slid off the bed. “I’m hittin’ the ladies’. Don’t bother me in there.”
Webrid dragged his gaze around his four dingy walls. “Too bad about my building.”
“What about it?” Drarra called from the bathroom. “It’s still standing.”
“Yeah. That’s my point. This lousy building stays upright, but I lose my Val-Hundred bottle collection. Where’s the justice, man?”
“Ha! You drink enough, you’ll have a whole new collection in half a moon.”
Webrid shook his head and pulled a glass shard from between two calloused toes. No point trying to explain to her that those were commemorative bottles. He’d have to deal with black market types to replace that set. Those Akardian salesmen made him cringe, skins covered in floppy lobes and tongues dripping with sweet lies. Webrid sighed. A quake. Whoever heard of a quake in Bargival?

* * * Didn’t win? You can purchase Blue Diamond Delivery from the publisher, on Amazon, and on Barnes & Noble. Learn more about Anne E. Johnson on her website.

2 comments: said...

The names of the characters (Webrid, Stravin, and Zatell) -- What went into choosing them, how many alternatives did you dismiss, and did your editor give you input on them or were they all your own choices?

Anne E. Johnson said...

Thanks for the questions! I chose all of those names without my editor's input. I wanted the names to seem not of any earthly language, yet not too hard to pronounce. (Interesting learning experience: even simple-looking names get pronounced by readers in different ways. I say WEB-rid, but many readers say WEEB-rid. I say STRAY-vin, but my editor thought it was STRA-vin (like Gavin).) I also wanted them to be distinguishable from each other, so I chose different collection of letters for each.