Wednesday, January 20, 2016



While Alex went about his dirty work, Sten moved through the fight crowd until he was close enough to Venatora to draw the attention of her Zabanya guardswomen.

As he grew nearer, they nudged one another. Fierce glares and muscle flexing followed. Blowing themselves up to present a fortress of flesh and bone.

He ignored them, instead he studied the two Xypacas being presented to the crowd by the Fightmaster, who held a cage in each claw, two pairs of eye stalks wiggling excitedly as she showed off her fierce charges.

Sten couldn’t hear the Fightmaster’s pitch over the roar of the crowd and the blood-curdling shrieks of the Xypacas, who were mad to fight. But she was obviously pointing out the fighting credentials and breeding of each beast.

The two creatures were nearly identical in size and ferocity, so there was no apparent advantage of one over the other. Drawing on his father’s impromptu cage lessons, Sten carefully studied them, looking for weaknesses and strengths.

It was then that he spotted a deformed talon in the back claw of one of the Xypacas – a blackened talon, as if some injury had cut off the blood supply. Presumably, it would be fighting with a handicap.

A piece of other Xypaca’s tail had been chomped off in a previous fight. Not an obvious problem, although it could affect balance in the lightning fast match that would soon follow.

Sten made his choice, then very casually, very deliberately, turned to see what Venatora had in mind. The Zabanya guards didn’t appreciate this attention and went back to muscle displays, while loudly cracking their necks and knuckles.

That irritated Venatora and she snapped at them. They ducked their heads and grumbled, but still kept their eyes fixed on Sten.

Their boss, meanwhile, caught the attention of the Oddsmaster. She pointed at the Xypaca with the chomped on tail and raised a questioning hand. The Oddsmaster signaled: It was the favorite - barely. Venatora nodded, no doubt thinking several others had spotted the blackened talon on the other beast.

She signaled her wager: two thousand credits, then turned away. As she did so Sten caught her eye, held it, then shook his head, as if disappointed in her decision.

Then he signaled his wager: two thousand credits on the Xypaca with the black talon. He turned back to Venatora, who had watched his every move. Sten shrugged, smiled and gifted her with another sad shake of the head.

Venatora’s lips tightened. Her eyes glittered. Was she angry? Or challenged?

Sten pointed at her, then tapped his chest. Raised a questioning hand.

Side bet?

Venatora looked interested. She signaled, back: Five thousand credits?

Sten nodded and mouthed the words, “You’re on.”

They signaled their intent to the Oddsmaster, who banked their credits and escrowed their bets.

Then the Xypacas were freed from their cages and with ear-piercing shrieks they closed on one another so fast that even Sten – who knew what to expect – experienced the Xypaca rush: breath suddenly sticking in his throat, heart jumping, and for a split second he felt like he was in that fight.

His father had warned him about the effect. It was the reason, he said, that Xypaca bouts were so addictive. All the hot fight-or-flight juices spurted through a being’s body and he felt like he was in the middle of that ripping, biting, clawing fighting ring.

Sten pulled back from the excitement. Calmed himself until he could coolly judge the action. As expected, Chomp Tail was off balance. A claw strike missed at a crucial moment - almost ending the fight there.

But, also as expected, Black Talon favored his rear claw, holding back, instead of taking immediate advantage of his enemy’s clumsiness.

Chomp Tail, however, did not lack carnivore cunning. She’d spotted the defect early on and whenever she got the chance she attacked that side, knowing that in less than a minute that claw would be useless, and then she’d have her enemy by the throat, and all four of her claws would be raking its chest and belly.

Death would quickly follow.

Sten glanced over at Venatora and saw that her eyes were ablaze with Xypaca madness. Muscles in her arms and hands reflexively jumping in sympathy as her Xypaca pressed the attack – going for that claw, going for that claw.

If she had looked closer at her enemy she might have seen what was coming. Because that black talon was only half black: rear section black, and apparently dead, front section a healthy white. But even if she had spotted it she’d have to know about the rare Xypacas with half-black talons.

Years before Sten’s father had told him about the breed.

He’d said, “Boy, if you should ever see a Xypaca with a half-black talon, you get your hands on every credit you can beg, borrow or thump somebody out of, and you bet it all on that Xypaca.”

He shook his head, marveling at that imagined bet. “Why, you’d win so much money – I mean take-this-contract-and-shove-it money, boy, if you get my meaning.” A sigh. “Never seen one myself, but if I ever do… if I ever do…”

“But Dad,” Sten said, “you didn’t say how come.”

“How come what, son?”

“How come a Half-Black can’t lose?”

“Why, the poison, son, the poison.”

“What poison.”

“That black part isn’t dead, son. It’s a poison sac. And it’s not just any old poison. It hits like a lighting strike. Boom and you’re a dead un.”

Sten was snatched back from that memory as Chomp Tail went for it big time, extending herself almost full length.

Just what the Half-Black was waiting for.

A flick of the back claw and the deadly talon sliced into Chomp Tail’s neck. Injecting the poison.

And, just as Sten’s father had said, it was if Chomp Tail had been struck by lightning. Her whole body jolted, went rigid, and then she was dead.

The winners roared, the losers moaned and Sten turned to see the look of fury on Venatora’s beautiful face. Eyes boiling. Nostrils flaring. White teeth bared.

Sten caught her attention, smiled, then gave her a half bow. This enraged her even more.

Until Sten flashed another signal: Again?

She blinked. Took a step back. Then smiled the most delicious smile Sten had ever enjoyed.

She signaled back: “Again.”

Sten motioned: When?

She signaled, mouthing the words: “Feature match.”

Sten sent a query: How much?

Venatora fixed him with smile of marvelous mystery, eyes taunting, daring.

And she signaled: 100,000 credits?

To her surprise, Sten instantly signaled back:





THE TIMURA TRILOGY: When The Gods Slept, Wolves Of The Gods and The Gods Awaken. This best selling fantasy series now available as trade paperbacks, e-books (in all varieties) and as audiobooks. Visit The Timura Trilogy page for links to all the editions. 

NEWLY REVISED KINDLE EDITIONS OF THE TIMURA TRILOGY NOW AVAILABLE. (1) When The Gods Slept;(2) Wolves Of The Gods; (3) The Gods Awaken.



Tales Sometimes Tall, but always true, of Allan Cole's years in Hollywood with his late partner, Chris Bunch. How a naked lady almost became our first agent. How we survived La-La Land with only the loss of half our brain cells. How Bunch & Cole became the ultimate Fix-It Boys. How an alleged Mafia Don was very, very good to us. The guy who cornered the market on movie rocks. Andy Warhol's Fire Extinguisher. The Real Stars Of Hollywood. Why they don't make million dollar movies. See The Seven Pi$$ing Dwarfs. Learn: how to kill a "difficult" actor… And much, much more.

Here's where you can buy it worldwide in both paperback and Kindle editions:

U.S. .............................................France
United Kingdom ...........................Spain
Canada ........................................ Italy
Germany ..................................... Japan
Brazil .......................................... India


A NATION AT WAR WITH ITSELF: In Book Three Of The Shannon Trilogy, young Patrick Shannon is the heir-apparent to the Shannon fortune, but murder and betrayal at a family gathering send him fleeing into the American frontier, with only the last words of a wise old woman to arm him against what would come. And when the outbreak of the Civil War comes he finds himself fighting on the opposite side of those he loves the most. In The Wars Of The Shannons we see the conflict, both on the battlefield and the homefront, through the eyes of Patrick and the members of his extended Irish-American family as they struggle to survive the conflict that ripped the new nation apart, and yet, offered a dim beacon of hope.



A True Story About A Boy,
A Teacher, And Earthquake,
Some Terrorists And The CIA

LUCKY IN CYPRUS is a coming-of-age story set in the Middle East during the height of the Cold War. An American teenager – son of a CIA operative – is inspired by grand events and a Greek Cypriot teacher. 

He witnesses earthquakes and riots and terrorist attacks, but in the end it is his teacher’s gentle lessons that keep him whole.

Here's where to get the paperback & Kindle editions worldwide: 

Here's what readers say about Lucky In Cyprus:
  • "Bravo, Allan! When I finished Lucky In Cyprus I wept." - Julie Mitchell, Hot Springs, Texas
  • "Lucky In Cyprus brought back many memories... A wonderful book. So many shadows blown away!" - Freddy & Maureen Smart, Episkopi,Cyprus. 
  • "... (Reading) Lucky In Cyprus has been a humbling, haunting, sobering and enlightening experience..." - J.A. Locke,



THE HATE PARALLAX: What if the Cold War never ended -- but continued for a thousand years? Best-selling authors Allan Cole (an American) and Nick Perumov (a Russian) spin a mesmerizing "what if?" tale set a thousand years in the future, as an American and a Russian super-soldier -- together with a beautiful American detective working for the United Worlds Police -- must combine forces to defeat a secret cabal ... and prevent a galactic disaster! This is the first - and only - collaboration between American and Russian novelists. Narrated by John Hough. Click the title links below for the trade paperback and kindle editions. (Also available at iTunes.)


A novel by Allan and his daughter, Susan

After laboring as a Doctors Without Borders physician in the teaming refugee camps and minefields of South Asia, Dr. Ann Donovan thought she'd seen Hell as close up as you can get. And as a fifth generation CIA brat, she thought she knew all there was to know about corruption and betrayal. But then her father - a legendary spymaster - shows up, with a ten-year-old boy in tow. A brother she never knew existed. Then in a few violent hours, her whole world is shattered, her father killed and she and her kid brother are one the run with hell hounds on their heels. They finally corner her in a clinic in Hawaii and then all the lies and treachery are revealed on one terrible, bloody storm ravaged night.

BASED ON THE CLASSIC STEN SERIES by Allan Cole & Chris Bunch: Fresh from their mission to pacify the Wolf Worlds, Sten and his Mantis Team encounter a mysterious ship that has been lost among the stars for thousands of years. At first, everyone aboard appears to be long dead. Then a strange Being beckons, pleading for help. More disturbing: the presence of AM2, a strategically vital fuel tightly controlled by their boss - The Eternal Emperor. They are ordered to retrieve the remaining AM2 "at all costs." But once Sten and his heavy worlder sidekick, Alex Kilgour, board the ship they must dare an out of control defense system that attacks without warning as they move through dark warrens filled with unimaginable horrors. When they reach their goal they find that in the midst of all that death are the "seeds" of a lost civilization. 



Venice Boardwalk Circa 1969
In the depths of the Sixties and The Days Of Rage, a young newsman, accompanied by his pregnant wife and orphaned teenage brother, creates a Paradise of sorts in a sprawling Venice Beach community of apartments, populated by students, artists, budding scientists and engineers lifeguards, poets, bikers with  a few junkies thrown in for good measure. The inhabitants come to call the place “Pepperland,” after the Beatles movie, “Yellow Submarine.” Threatening this paradise is  "The Blue Meanie,"  a crazy giant of a man so frightening that he eventually even scares himself.

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