City of Screams: A Short Story Exclusive
Released On: Oct 30, 2012

From New York Times bestselling author James Rollins and award-winning suspense novelist Rebecca Cantrell come a disturbing story of vengeance, bloodshed, and creatures that prowl the night.

In the haunted, war-torn highlands of Afghanistan, amid the ruins of Shahr-e-Gholghol, an archaeology team is massacred in the night. Sergeant Jordan Stone and his crack forensic team are called in to examine the site, to hunt for the perpetrators of this horrific act. But the discovery of a survivor—a child of ten—will shatter all the team knows about life and death. Among the crumbling bones of dead kings, something hoary and murderous stirs out of the ancient past, lurching forward to claim vengeance on those still living.

Included with this thrilling story is a sneak peek at The Blood Gospel, where the further exploits of Sergeant Stone and his team will be revealed.

*The Short Story City of Screams now available in the omnibus “Unrestricted Access: New and Classic Short Fiction and is also included in the paperback edition of The Blood Gospel.

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Critical Acclaim

  • Hey, you simply can not go wrong with a James Rollins book. I think I've read them all by now and they're thick books. I never liked SciFi before but if James Rollins writes it I will definately read it. Try one of them and you'll be addicted too. Any of them - doesn't matter. He's just a genius.

    Maggie Mae [The genius writes a masterpiece again...] (Reader Review)
  • Rollins does it again. Been reading his books for years and they never seem too weaken. Actually read them 2 or 3 times. Gonna buy this one now.

    dennis j mcgowan [Another gem] (Reader Review)
  • This short story is a prequel to the full length novel, "The Blood Gospel." This story takes place in Afghanistan where Sergeant Jordan Stone works for the Joint Expeditionary Forensic Facility (JEFF). He is a crime investigator for the military. If there was a mystery, it was his team's responsibility to solve it. And ... the mystery is a SOS call received at 4:32 a.m. of an apparent firefight with sounds of screams and then words, "They're coming again!" After listening to the tape 14 times one of his team advisors tells him the message was sent from an archaeological team in Bamiyan Valley, which is comprised of four men and one woman, all Americans. Professor Thomas Atherton, who has worked with the team, listens to the tape, hearing the last unintelligible words and immediately becomes shocked. He recognizes the words of a language, Bactrian, a language not used for centuries. What does it mean? He interprets it as, "The girl is ours!" Jordan and his team, along with the professor, board a helicopter and head to the valley to solve the mystery. This story is highly paced and mystifying. A well written prequel to the full novel of "The Blood Gospel" which also includes the hero, Jordan Stone. Don't miss out reading James Rollins' outstanding thriller.

    Nancy L. Silk [Scary Prequel To Make Shivers Travel Up Your Spine] (Reader Review)
  • Come on, it's James Rollins. And apparently Rebecca Cantrell. They blend well though and the story and language seem to be classic Rollins. Sometimes you can pick out dual authors. Not so much here. Hopefully we'll have another Preston & Childs!

    james Savage [It's fun...and creepy] (Reader Review)
  • The cursed city, Mao Balegh,is the ruins of an ancient site where Genghis Khan, mad with power, and red-eyed with blood thirst revenge because he blamed the citizens for killing his favorite grandson, slaughtered 100,000 people. Later, Buddhist monks inhabited the area until it was destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
    Army Ranger Sergeant Jordan Stone, a team leader for the Joint Expedition Forensic Facility (JEFF),receives news that an archaeologist group has been massacred amidst the ruins of Shahr-e-Gholghol.
    A ten year old girl is the only traumatized survivor. No other bodies were found, earning speculation that they were carried off by a leap of leopards. A belief arose that the girl was possessed by an escaped djinn.
    Rollins and Cantrell meld their skills in this intricate adventure by blending action, historical fact and fiction with the mysterious unknown.
    A transmission, barely discernible, was supposedly in Bactrian. "A lost language of Afghanistan. It has not been spoken since....for centuries." The whispery words said, "The girl is ours."

    This short story version is an introduction for the Rollins and Cantrell New series, The Blood Gospel, which is the first book in the Order of the Sanguine series.

    Joyce Metzger [A Chimeric Illusion] (Reader Review)
  • I'm a big fan of Rollins and have read every one of his books. This was a good short story that sets up The Blood Gospel. I hope they revisit this one and expand it, looks like there could be more to the story!

    Allanon [Good prequel to The Blood Gospel] (Reader Review)
  • Is a nice change, bringing me back to his first dozen novels. Was getting tired of the Sigma series. This ebook individually I like. It introduced interesting characters and prompted me to buy the full one when it comes out. That is why it is ok...since it was all of what I liked about Rollins to begin with. But that is where it ended since I bought the full one "Blood Gospel" and after ten or so chapters in I realized I had been had.

    Jeffrey M Gullang [Reminds me why I liked reading him.] (Reader Review)
  • Enjoyed this as much as the authors other novels. Love how the book starts out fast paced and maintains this through until the end. Another great beginning to another series!

    ohio mom [Enjoyed this as much as the authors other novels. Love how the book starts out fast paced and maintains this through until the end. Another great beginning to another series!] (Reader Review)
  • I wanted to see what is this novel created by the tandem of J Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell and was not disappointed. This has the usual fast paced story with an added eerie factor; my eyes were glued to the pages.

    cecile V [scary!] (Reader Review)
  • Short, fun, creepy and intense. Rollins is introducing us to a story line and some characters here that I can't wait to get to know better. Lots o fun!

    J. Krupp [Short, fun]
  • The hero of this novel is Army Ranger Seargent Jeff Stone. He is on duty in Afghanistan with JEFF(Joint Expeditionary Forensic Facility).They are headquartered in Bamiyan Valley. The facility recieves a distress call from an archeological team that is doing exploratory work. The facility gets a distress call from the team. It is in a strange language that was spoken in ancient times. Stone is able to get the call interpreted by one of his group named Professor Thomas Thomas Atherton. Stone and a rescue team are dropped off at the camp location by a U.S. Army ranger helicopter. They discover to their horror that a massacare has taken place at the camp site. There is blood everywhere but no bodies. It is then that a fierec snowstorm blows in.While
    riding out a snow storm they discover a 10 year old survivor of the massacare. The little girl isd traumitized and in a state of shock.She gives them an incoherent description of what took place. During the night they are attacked by beasts who are wanting to kill them. Sgt, Stone leads the beast to the site of the archeological dig in the Shar-e-Gholghol. He makes a stunning discovery . He is then forced to fight for his life. This is a very good short that you will find very enjoyable.

    Melvin Hunt [Unbelieveable Book!] (Reader Review)
  • The City of Screams is just a teaser for James Rollins' new series, but it has enough content for a full-length novel. From this little glimpse, I would say this series is going to be a bit more into the supernatural and mythical than Rollins' SIGMA Force series, but just as good. Can't wait!

    Adrienne [A little jewel] (Reader Review)
  • City of Screams is a fast read that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

    Annette Gunter [Superb Short Story] (Reader Review)
  • I've been a fan of Mr. Rollins for several years now and I must say I was a bit wary of the idea of collaboration. Trust me, there are no concerns now. I am so impressed with this story. Ms. Cantrell is next on my "to read" list. I love the e-book leading into the new novel. And I was so drawn into this story. I don't want to give any of the story away. It's a completely new take on ancient mysteries. Sergeant Jordan Stone is an impressive new leading character. The premise is fascinating, and I am hooked! This new series is going to be a huge hit, and I can't wait to read more. You can tell that Mr. Rollins and Ms. Cantrell have done their research,they have a genuine love of telling a story, and they are very good at it! It's going to be a LONG time until January 8,2013. Bravo Mr. Rollins and Ms. Cantrell! The City of Screams is a great introduction into The Order of the Sanguines Series and will certainly leave you wanting more!!!

    kendra from Texas [Amazing, absolutely amazing!!!!} (Reader Review)
  • I have a son deploying to afganistan, I wanted a book that would give me a feel for the cuture and some history. You get to know a culture by the fables and folklore they tell thier children and them selves.
    I got that plus a thriller. Love this author.

    happy [a page turner] (Reader Review)
  • Couldn't put it down! Like his new characters,can see more books with them.Heroic figures for sure,I'm looking forward to reading more of this story.

    Nancy J. Toth [Want more!!] (Reader Review)


  • Q. First, how did this book get started?
    A. Jim - The story came about after I viewed a museum exhibit featuring the work of Rembrandt. I was s ... Read More
  • Q. How did you decide who writes what sections?
    A. Jim - It’s one of the best things about collaboration: we each bring a unique skill set to the ta ... Read More
  • Q. How did you work together on the book?
    A. Rebecca - Jim had a lot of stuff already in place—a long outline, the first 150 pages or so, and a ... Read More
  • Q. How do you approach character differently?
    A. Rebecca - Jim is much meaner to them physically. So, once we’ve beaten the crap out of some charac ... Read More
  • Q. How do you collaborate?
    A. Rebecca - Writing a book is a very intimate process. It’s not all “which word goes here” or ... Read More
  • Q. Is it hard to collaborate living so far apart? Does distance ever come into play?
    A. Jim - Distance is a challenge, especially now that Rebecca is in Germany and almost on an opposite d ... Read More
  • Q. Since your book was written by a man and a woman, do you ever get into arguments about whether a woman (or a man) would or wouldn’t say something?
    A. Rebecca - Not really. I used to make a note of it and go ask my husband, but he always agreed with J ... Read More
  • Q. What do you do when you disagree?
    A. Rebecca - This is going to sound weird, but we haven’t really disagreed on much about the book. Or ... Read More
  • Q. What do you do when you get stuck?
    A. Rebecca - For The Blood Gospel, I got stuck less than usual, because Jim can often fix the points wh ... Read More
  • Q. With two authors at work, how do you manage the sex scenes?
    A. Rebecca - Because he blushes too much, which is damn funny to watch if not particularly productive, ... Read More


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