Hi all!

It’s been due time for me to publish a book under my personal name, so here you are. I’ve been focusing on a pen name for a while, but that’s no excuse.

I had the urge to write in a post-apocalyptic (which apparently is a difficult word to spell) world, and it turned out to be a lot of fun to write. I might revisit the world again one day.


Check out the summary:

Shadows of Tomorrow features two thrilling, post-apocalyptic short stories, Only One Mask and The Price of Art.

Only One Mask:

Nob only trusts two things: his knife and his breathing mask–the latter because he has to.

Ever since the world went crazy, he feels like he’s always on the run. Running from those who want to kill you. Running from those who want your food, your water, and your only way to safely breathe.

Tricia once said he takes things too seriously. That was a long time ago. Now taking things seriously keeps him alive.

He’s used to taking what he needs without an ounce of guilt, but now he’s faced with a moral dilemma that threatens his survival. They’ve never given him pause before, but this time, it’s different.


The Price of Art:

Jordyn prefers art to friends. 

She remembered thinking that growing up, and it’s still true today. Art never let her down. Art never made fun of her. And art never tried to kill her.

She didn’t ask to live in a world where paintings are used for firewood, but that’s her reality. She’s constantly told to think practically–humanity can’t afford anything but the necessities to survive anymore. But she fought back and finally found a community who lets her keep every scrap of art she finds, anything to protect them from being destroyed.

But the day finally comes where she might have to choose between her survival and the survival of her art. The world isn’t a nice place anymore, and hard choices have become a part of everyday life.

Jordyn makes her choice.



“In this collection, Lanz has given us two well-written tales with intriguing plots and compelling, well-drawn characters…I highly recommend these stories to fans of dystopian fiction.” – Catherine M., Amazon review

“A pair of well-crafted, thoughtful, dystopian short stories, investigating what keeps us human in extreme circumstances…the contrast between the settings: individual survival in Only One Mask versus group survival in The Price of Art, presents the reader with different ways to consider the moral dilemmas that are at the heart of all good dystopian fiction. Recommended.” – Marian T., Amazon Canada review

“Anyone who enjoys a well-thought-out story will want to read these stories. They’re powerfully evocative, with daily life mixed in with adventure to create a satisfyingly-immersive reader experience.” – Andrea L., Amazon review


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Read below for a short sample of the story:


Shadows of Tomorrow: 2 Post-Apocalyptic Short Stories



It happened again. For the third time that week, he woke from the same damn dream. It was the most beautiful thing he wished he’d never have again. It only made things worse, if Nob was being honest. Honesty was about all he had left.

Tricia wore that fluffy robe he’d gotten her for her birthday. She looked beautiful. It seemed every other minute she was smiling. He used to tease her about how often she laughed, not that he minded. In the dream, they always made breakfast together. Sometimes, it was pancakes, and other times bacon and sausage.

This time, it went on a little further. Just down the street from their house was a park that featured a pond. There were so many ducks out. He wished he had some bread or corn or whatever you were supposed to feed them. They’d just turn their heads and look up at you.

Nob’s shoulder ached.

They smoothed out the wrinkles in the blanket as they set out the picnic, delicately prepared by Tricia. She loved her cheese and crackers, little dainty things from the farmers market downtown. One of them was from France or something.

“What’s that?” Nob asked.

She smiled. It wasn’t fair how good she looked when she smiled. “I asked if you’ve ever seen a more beautiful day.”

“I suppose not,” he said. “We picked the right day for it.”

He grimaced and rotated his arm. The pain felt out of place. For a moment, her face blurred, and he felt like he was falling.

“I brought your favorite,” she said. “Egg salad sandwiches.”

It was far from his favorite, but she was so excited to make it for him that he didn’t have the heart to tell her. As long as it was something that came from her, he was happy.

“Some orange juice?” he asked.

She placed a jar of pickles off to the side. “I’d love some.”

He reached for a glass and poured. Halfway to handing it to her, he said, “So what’s this news you’ve been waiting to tell me?”

She looked like she was ready to explode. The sun glanced off her eyes in the most curious way. “I wanted to wait until it was official. Yesterday, I–”

Searing pain.

Nob struggled to open his eyes. Someone pounded at the door. He chanced turning on his side, and he paid for it. It felt as if the skin along his shoulder had ripped open. He reached up and felt through a tear in his shirt. It wasn’t wet, so no blood. That was progress, at least.

A crash came from the other side of the door, and the hinges sagged under the pressure. Cracks ran up and down the edges of it. He managed to get to his hands and knees before it buckled completely, swinging open. Thankfully he had a wall to push against. He’d learned to never leave his back to anything open.

A man with long, wild hair ran into the room. Nob resisted the urge to shield his eyes from the sudden light. After he’d boarded up the windows, not much got in.

The man raised a length of wood fashioned into a club. He’d even managed to hammer a fistful of nails through it, poking out the other side in a gnarl of rust and dried blood. “We had a deal.”

Nob fingered the knife held in place by his belt, touching the small of his back. “I know we did, Frank.”

(end of sample)


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