A New Zine Experience
(Strictly Stargate SG-1, unabashedly slash, exclusively Jack/Daniel)
NOW AVAILABLE 


Valley of Shadows

A Jack Daniel Slash AU Novel

by

PhoenixE

Yadda Press is back, and is pleased to present a new Jack/Daniel AU slash novel by PhoenixE.  That would be me! 

Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s here, it’s here, it’s really here, after a long hiatus, a new zine from Yadda Press. I might not put out often, but I try and make it worth the wait. This particular story has been percolating away on the backburner of my consciousness for at least a year, maybe longer, and now, here it is.

This story has taken some extremely amazing turns, and while I didn’t quite make my original intention of keeping it a pure AU – where Jack and Daniel are themselves on different career paths with no Stargate involved – what has come out of the original premise has gone to some amazing places and presented so many possibilities to me I’m happy to say ‘God is My Judge’ will follow this one.

But back to the zine in hand, and finally delivered.  I'm so pleased with the way this one turned out I'm still bouncing. Writing it was an exercise in pure pleasure, one I hope will transfer fully to the reader and you will be as captivated as I have been by this fascinating journey down an alternate road Jack and Daniel could have taken, and the wondrous destinations this fork in reality has taken them to.

Teeny tiny note about the cover depicted on the preview page and a shameful confession.  It is not the actual cover of the zine.  You can see the real one on the download page, provided you order!  Trying to update this and the home page with the correct graphic has nearly reduced me to a gibbering wreck.  It won't size right, I don't know why, and  I gave up.  So what you see is the 'stand-in" graphic.  Sorry, I'm a writer/editor, not a web-publishing wizard!

Cover conundrums aside, I am pleased to present Valley of Shadows to you, enjoy!

The  Zine

Single Column, 12 point Book Antiqua Font.  214 pages which includes 5 (and a little bit) - count 'em five pages of author's notes!  71,591 words, pdf file is 9MB.   Six full colour illustrations and cover (as well as story) by PhoenixE   Overall rating NC-17.

Valley of Shadows by PhoenixE

  • J/D, Alternate Universe, First Time, Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort/Humour, Romance, Action/Adventure 
    Rating: NC-17
    Warnings: slight language warning, violence
    Reclusive, best-selling fiction writer Daniel Jackson has an amazing secret.  It will draw him into an unwilling confrontation with an angry stranger with something even more dark and dangerous to hide.

The Preview

“Congratulations, Daniel, the Warrior’s Tale has topped the Best Sellers list for the third week in a row.  Copies of your book are flying off the shelves.  Hammond House is very happy with its hottest new property.”

“How alliterative of you, Sam,” I can hear the dollar signs in her voice.  “Are you sure you aren’t considering a career change?”

“Not on your life,” the sound of her light chuckle tickles my right ear.  “I’ll leave the writing to you; I’m quite happy to stay in your shadow and manage your career.  It might not be as glamorous but so far it’s proven to be extremely lucrative.”

No arguments there.

“My shadow, my ass!” Now it’s my turn to chuckle.  “Sam, please, you’re about as shy and retiring as a barracuda!”

“All the better to get you the best deal possible, my dear,” she airily ripostes. 

“Of which you take a generous cut!”

“Daniel, I earn every percentage point!  Quit complaining, I’ve made you a very rich man.”

“Okay, I’ll give you that,” I return, and take a quick sip of my first coffee of the day.  “On both counts.  When you first contacted me I’d just lost my teaching position at the Oriental Institute, I’d been served an eviction notice and I was down to my last hundred dollars.”

“Lucky for you Cassie was a better snoop than she was a teaching assistant.  And she knew a winning manuscript when she saw one, even in the rough.”

“Let’s not forget she also had an aunt who was a disillusioned ex-Defense Department employee turned hungry literary agent looking to make her mark,” I tell my cell and check my watch.  Nine fifteen.  No sign of her yet; that’s…unusual.  I wonder what’s…up.  It’s not like she could have slept in, or anything.

Maybe she’s…moved on.  Decided to finally find some peace and leave me to mine.  Not that I’d get any, even if she weren’t here, but a man can dream.

“Archaeology’s loss is definitely the publishing world’s gain,” Sam enthuses.  “Five best-sellers in a row.  The movie rights and DVD residuals alone are keeping me up nights. You, Doctor Jackson, are one supernova of a hot literary commodity.  And don’t forget, I know something about supernovas. “

Indeed.  I’m not the only one no longer currently employed in my primary field of interest.  Except, unlike me, you weren’t kicked out on your can.  One of these days, Sam, Official Secrets issues or no, I’m gonna get you to give up exactly what made you walk away from a high powered R&D position with the Defense Department.  Very glad you did, though, Astrophysics’ loss has definitely worked to my benefit.

“I don’t know how you do it,” Sam continues to burble away in my ear.  “Your stories are…the detail is….incredible, it’s like you’ve actually been there, in the past, the way you describe things; the events, the people, the places, it’s all so vivid and real.  You must spend hundreds of hours researching, can’t imagine where you find the time to write and yet you crank these babies out so fast!  Especially this latest one.  Daniel, it’s amazing, it reads like you actually lived Marcus’ life!”

No, not me, I didn’t, but he did.

“That’s great, Sam, I’m pleased you’re pleased,” I tell her while fishing my popped-up bagel out of the toaster and plopping it onto the waiting plate.  “But I sense you’re not calling me to dazzle me with a deluge of praise and award me another laurel wreath to rest on.” 

I’ve really got to clean out this fridge; I haven’t seen the back of it in months.  Damn publicity tours! I’m glad it’s all over for…well, for now, anyway.  Cream cheese, where’s the cream cheese?  Aw, don’t tell me I’m out of cream cheese!

“You know me too well, Daniel,” Sam sighs.  “Why yes, now that you mention it, I did have an ulterior motive for making this call. I was wondering when we were going to get a peek at your current masterpiece in progress.”

Ah!  There it is!  Cream cheese!  Yum!

“Not yet, Sam,” I tell her after cradling the cell phone between my chin and shoulder so I can pry the lid off the container and…  ”This one is kind of… experimental.  Really…different, kinda…I’m not ready to let anyone see it yet.”

Honestly, I don’t know if I’m ever going to let anyone else see it, ever, I haven’t got a clue what to make of what I’ve been told; it all seems too incredible –

Aw…nuts!  I don’t believe it, it’s empty!

“Not even me?”  I can hear her pouting from three thousand miles away.

“Nope, not even you,” I heartlessly return.

No cream cheese.  I am officially bummed out, here.

“Now I’m really intrigued, you’re not usually this mysterious or secretive about your work, this must be something really special.”

Sam you have no idea.  And I have to cut this conversation short, because I need cream cheese in order  to eat my bagel and apparently  I have none so plan A is about to hit the circular file.  Tragically, I’m not only bagel-less, but also very hungry, ergo I have no choice but to resort to plan B.

Oh boy, I really didn’t want to do this, but looks like I’m going to Dinah’s Diner after all.  I guess it was inevitable, I couldn’t keep avoiding the place forever now they re-opened after…  Let’s face it; the bagels, even when I have crumby cream cheese have been a pretty poor substitute for the former lovely breakfast I used to enjoy and of which I have become not only accustomed, but very fond.   Since I’ve been back my mornings haven’t been the same without their incredible coffee and Nancy ’s utterly divine Eggs Benedict.

God, I’ve missed going there, and them…

“You writers,” Sam laughs, snapping me back into the conversation.  “You’re all such prima donas.  Fine, suit yourself, be mysterious.  As long as you produce I don’t care if you want to hole up in your ivory tower and remain completely incommunicado for the next six weeks.”

“Is that your not so subtle way of reminding me about my deadline?” I scold her.

“Daniel, would I be so obvious?” she laughs again.  “All right, I’ve wasted enough of your time; I’ll stop talking and let you get back to work.  Be brilliant, and see you in a couple of weeks?”

“Looking forward to it Sam.”

“Kiss, kiss,” she finishes and breaks the connection.

“You should marry that girl.”

Ah, there she is.  So much for my hopes of having a completely normal day for the first time in…

God, I don’t even remember how long it’s been since she hasn’t been…

Haunting me.

“Good morning Mrs Sheridan,” I sigh, toss my cell phone on the kitchen counter and the bagel and empty cream cheese container in the garbage can.  “Don’t you ever knock?”

“Most amusing, my darling boy.” 

I turn and see all five feet of her from the top of her silvering head to the fuzzy pink tips of her over-sized slippers, sparkling eyes set like ironic agates in the comforting creases of her time-tracked face, standing in the middle of my  half-acre kitchen and smiling indulgently at me.

“That’s possibly the most bizarre thing you’ve ever said to me,” I cross my arms and frown at her.  “And given some of the things we’ve been through together that’s saying a lot!”

“You need someone in your life, dear,” she says with a sad smile.  “Someone to love.”

“Whether I do or not is neither here nor there, and also none of your business,” I tell her, somewhat crossly.  Thankfully we don’t have this conversation much, well, not any more, that is; even so, I’m growing more than tired of it. 

“Sam is a good friend, and an even better agent, she’s also the last person I’d consider having a relationship with.”

“It’s not like you know a lot of other women, darling,” Mrs Sheridan gives me a pointed look over the tops of her wire-framed glasses.  “Or any other people for that matter.  You spend far too much time with – “

“And who’s fault is that?”  I snap at her.   I know, I know, I shouldn’t be getting so cross with her, she means well, and God only knows, if it weren’t for her constantly running interference and helping to keep things…under control, my life would probably be a living hell but still…

“Have you had breakfast yet dear?” she soothes.  “No of course you haven’t,” she continues before I can reply.  “You wouldn’t be this grumpy if you’d already eaten.  You can be quite rude when you’re hungry, you know, but I’ll forgive you.  You go and have yourself a nice breakfast dear, and why don’t you take the morning off, we’ll postpone the first session until after lunch, how does that sound?”

“That sounds fine, Mrs S,”   I sigh and rub my eyes.  “Now why don’t you buzz off and leave me alone so I can have a shower and get dressed.  Go – go knit something.”

“Now dear, you know I can’t knit any more,” she blinks, favouring me with an ingenuous smile.  “I’m dead.”

Poof, she disappears.

Thank God, I thought she’d never leave.

Oh, I’m sorry; did I not mention Mrs Sheridan is a ghost?

Yes, it’s true, I’m a head case, ever since I was a small boy I’ve been seeing and hearing this sweet little old dead woman who’s been hanging around, constantly popping in and out of my life, why, I have no idea, but seems like I’m stuck with her, or her to me.  I’ve kind of gotten used to her, and the whole talking to a dead person all the time, thing; and it wouldn’t be so bad if she were the only one.

Oh God, if only she were the only one…

 

If you wanna read more, you've got to get the zine!

 


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Yadda Press is an amateur publication, published by fans, for fans, and fully acknowledges the rights for the concept and characters of Stargate SG-1 remain with the original owners and all works produced are not in any way endorsed or sponsored by those rightsholders.



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