A Free Galactic Gladiators Christmas Short Story

If you’ve been celebrating the holidays, I hope you’ve been having a wonderful time. I took a few days off to eat, drink, and build way too much Lego with my boys (my fingers are numb!)

But during that time, I also jotted down a short Galactic Gladiators story! More about that in a second.

Farewell to 2018

In 2018, I was so incredibly fortunate to have so many wonderful readers enjoying all my books. I released 11 short novels, an one novella as part of an anthology. Those books came out across five different series AND I launched two new series (Team 52 and Eon Warriors). I also had 13 books come out as audiobooks this year. That all adds up to over half a million words written and over 65 hours of audio 😀

I’ve seen some people write that authors today are forced to write fast and are burning out, but I love what I do! Sitting down every day to write (even when it is hard work) brings me so much joy. Knowing that I have readers waiting for the next book in their favorite series leaves me inspired.

Hello to 2019

I’m so excited for the new year! I have lots more stories in my head — so expect books from Hell Squad, Eon Warriors, Team 52, and more Galactic Gladiators! Also expect more audiobooks. More Hell Squad audiobooks are on the way, as well as the continuation of Team 52 and Treasure Hunter Security, plus the launch of Eon Warriors in audio.

You can keep up to date on what books I have coming on the horizon on my Coming Soon page.

I always have a couple of new stories and series brewing in the back of my head. Whether any manage to sneak in during 2019…well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I wish you all the best for 2019 and hope it is a great year for you. I am a big goal setter, and at the beginning of the year, I set all my goals and then split them into quarterly, monthly, and weekly chunks. Life, of course, likes to throw a few curve balls in there, but having a plan helps me stay on course. Taking small actions daily — whether it is exercise, writing, reading, or whatever your goal is — is absolutely vital. Those small steps add up over time.

2019 will kick off with the next Eon Warriors book, Touch of Eon. That’s just over 10 days away!!

Touch of Eon

Eon Warriors #2

Release Date: Tuesday January 8th

Special Forces Space Marine Lara Traynor will do anything to free her sister and save the Earth from invasion…even if she’s blackmailed into stealing sacred Eon artifacts. And even if a dark, deadly warrior is sent to hunt her down.

Excerpt from Edge of Eon (Eon Warriors #1) featuring Lara

Lara Traynor squeezed out of the narrow tunnel and came out on top of the wall. She crouched there, balanced high above the temple forecourt.

The temple was sturdy. It had a masculine feel, with lots of straight lines, blocky towers, and large, regular columns. She liked it a lot. The Eon were good at more than just creating badass warriors and technology.

And here she was, sneaking into another Eon temple. Not exactly how she’d seen her career going, but Lara liked getting her missions done—no matter what.

She swiveled, and pressed her special climbing gloves and boots to the slick rock. She started making her way down the stone wall.

She already had one of the sacred Eon gems in her possession. The gorgeous, seafoam-colored stone, the Ston gem, was hidden on her stealth ship. The amazing jewel actually had a live, alien symbiont inside it. Incredible.

Now she was after her second target—the Alqin gem.

As she climbed down the wall, her thoughts turned to her sister.

Was Eve still alive? Heat shot through Lara, leaving a bad taste in her mouth. Fucking Space Corps. They’d fucked her family over so many times, and now they’d sent Eve on a suicide mission. It made Lara want to punch someone in the face. Preferably an admiral or two.

And here she was, blackmailed into this insane mission.

Her boots touched stone, and she turned away from the wall. She crouched down and held her breath, studying the shadowed courtyard and listening for any sound.

Just the tinkle of a water fountain and the faint glow from lights inside. After she had gem number two, she just needed the third and final one, then she was going to find out what the hell had happened to Eve.

She rose, heading toward the statue in the very center of the courtyard. The gem rested on the crown of the god.

“Bad choice, Terran.”

The deep voice made her spin. It was cold and dark, and sent shivers up her spine.

She flipped one arm out, her blade dropping from her forearm holder and into her hand. She scanned the darkness but couldn’t see him.

Then he stepped out of the shadows.

Holy cow. He was huge. An Eon warrior wearing full, black-scale armor.

He had a raw, masculine face with a hard edge. It looked like it had been carved from granite. And cold eyes.

Their gazes locked, and tension wound between them. His eyes were black as night, with thin threads of silver through them.

At the same time, they launched at each other.

Lara slashed out with her knife. He blocked her blow, and she veered away. Then, he swung a punch at her, and she ducked. She kicked, aiming for his legs, but he jumped, leaping over her leg.

They both spun away, circling each other. She watched as a long, blue sword formed on his arm. Oh, man. She’d heard about the symbiont-formed weapons. Damn thing was gorgeous. She wanted one.

He charged and Lara rushed to meet him.

They traded hits and kicks. She put all her effort into avoiding that glowing sword. The warrior was big, strong, and well-trained, but Lara had been born to fight, and her job had honed her abilities.

She leaped up and kicked. Her boot connected with his strong jaw, and his head snapped back.

Lara smirked. “Like that?”

The warrior growled and swung out with his sword. She dodged, the blade slamming into a pillar.

She lifted her head and laughed. “What was that? A love tap?”

Now, she felt a throb of annoyance and anger off Mr. Cool. They launched into another deadly dance. They passed the pond, and Lara leaped over the water and its lily pads. The warrior followed her.

It didn’t take her long to see he wasn’t using his full strength against her. That pissed her off.

“You’re holding back,” she snapped.

“Eve asked me not to hurt you.”

Lara stilled. “Eve?” A flood of emotion tightened Lara’s throat. “She’s alive?”

“Yes.” One cool word.

If that was true, then she was a prisoner of the Eon. Could she trust this deadly warrior?

Lara stroked her blade, working through all the scenarios. This changed nothing. She still needed to complete her mission.

Lara quickly snatched a StrikeBolt off her belt. She tossed it through the air.

It made a small whistling sound and the warrior dodged. But he was a shade too slow, and the small device caught his side. Small prongs flared, digging into him.

Blue electricity raced over his body. She saw his jaw lock and he dropped to his knees.

Lara sauntered over and snatched up the gem of Alqin.

“It’s been a good time, warrior.”

“I’ll… Come for you.” He pushed the words out through gritted teeth.

Lara had felt the effects of the StrikeBolt in training. She’d passed out within seconds. She’d never seen anyone stay conscious this long.

“You’ll…feel my breath… Back of your neck. I’ll hunt you to the end of the galaxy.”

Lara felt a cold shiver. “You can try.”

With the electricity holding him still, she raced across the courtyard and back to the wall. She braced a hand against the stone and glanced back.

His black-and-silver eyes were locked on her.

She tossed him a salute and started climbing.

Now, she needed to get off this planet and head to the temple on a small moon of Ath. Two gems down, one to go.

She needed to finish her mission, and save Earth and her sisters.

And on top of that, she also now needed to avoid one very angry Eon warrior.

Lara smiled grimly. Should be child’s play.

Free Galactic Gladiators Christmas Short Story

Like I mentioned, on my days off I couldn’t help visiting with the Galactic Gladiators and seeing what they were up to! The short story is from the point of view of Imperator Magnus Rone as the survivors of Earth show him and all the gladiators of the House of Galen the meaning of Christmas. Warning: if you haven’t read all the Galactic Gladiators books, there are spoilers in the story. It fits in after the novella Desert Hunter from the Embrace the Passion anthology.

To read the story, head over to my Galactic Gladiators Extras page.

Galactic Gladiators Extras

Happy New Year to you!

Comments

  1. Debbie Ebert says

    Galactic Gladiators Christmas short story! I loved it, wow more humans are appearing! Love threads you threw out! I can’t wait for any story you weave, I wish I could do what you do, you have such a clever mind. All these stories percolating in your head must get crazy sometimes. I’m glad you let them out for all of us to enjoy! Thank you!

  2. Elaine Royston says

    Just as I was fully into this galactic warrior Christmas and tapping frantically for the page to turn, I realised I read it all. I’m now hoping that the next full book will carry on from where this stopped. This was most definitely a teaser 😊

  3. Debby Wallace says

    That was a wonderful little story to wet our appetites for more Gladiators. It was nice to see a little slice of their lives.

  4. Carrie McConnell says

    Wow, what a super New Years present! I love touching base with old characters to see how they are doing. Just what I needed to brighten my Saturday morning. Thank you Anna! Waiting for each novel and story of 2019 to arrive. Will try to do so patiently…

  5. I agree with everyone, I’m eagerly awaiting the next Gladiator story, and applaud your creativity.

  6. I agree with so many of your other readers….you are awesome. I am very bad at leaving comments when I should at the end of the book but if I have read the whole thing than you know it was wonderful. I am disabled and few things to look forward too but your books I impatiently look forward to..Thank you for giving me a part of your imagination.

    Deborah A Fligg

  7. Yay, more Gladiator stories! Anything from them is always awesome!

    I always wondered if House of Rone set up exhibition “fights” among the cyborgs – – not “official” arena fights because the Kor Magna rules ban cyborgs – – but just some challenges to keep their skills and tech capabilities sharp. Those matches would be fun to watch.

  8. SHERRY DAVIS says

    I loved it! Now I can hardly wait for 2019 and more Glaadiators, HS, Eon ect. You have made my life more enjoyable in 2018. Thank You!!!

  9. Robin Thompson says

    Great Christmas story!

  10. Anna, Thank you for the story. It has me waiting, not to patiently, for the House of Rone story. I don’t want to seem pushy, but I love all your series and need my next fix.

  11. Drea McKinney says

    Thanks Anna! 🌹

    Happy New Year and may your overflowing schedule and imagination keep you happily moving onward!

  12. Cynthia Richter says

    Always, always enjoy your stories. Thanks for Christmas story. Looking forward to the new ones and another great year.

  13. Linda Jones says

    Loved it, waiting impatiently for the next story. Just finished rereading the Galactic Gladiator series.

  14. Sherill Poser says

    I loved that the gladiators got to experience Christmas; this is a fun loving read – bringing everyone in to celebrate. I could visualize all the sparkling decorations, Mia singing and laughed with Santa too. Thank you for taking the time from your Holiday to write it. Happy New Year to you and yours. Can’t wait to read your new books. Also glad we get to read about more gladiators – I am hoping Jax is next – I would enjoy reading how the woman he finds makes him melt.

  15. Loved the Gladiator Christmas. Thanks for the update on some of our favorite characters. It is always fun to get glimpses of “lives” of the characters. Sounds like we will be seeing more of them as well. Waiting excitedly for more of the gladiators and all your books in the year to come!

  16. Anna Hackett says

    So glad everyone enjoyed a short visit with the gladiators for Christmas! The gladiators will be back in 2019 with Galactic Gladiators: House of Rone! 🙂

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