Tag Archives: news

Still Making Progress…

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Whew, ok. Yes, I’m still here, up over my head in revisions on two large projects, Heir of Tanaris (the upcoming Tehovir novel) and Defenders of the Wildings, the follow-up series to Daughter of the Wildings. I’m making progress; Tanaris went out to the beta readers early in the month and the reports are coming back in, and I finished making my revision notes for Defenders (a couple hundred pages’ worth) and now I’m trying to systematically set about making sense of it all and organizing the revision so I don’t miss anything, from adding the actual plot to book 1 to characters whose reason for being in the books I’m still figuring out to what exactly that green stuff is.

I’ve also got some more short stories I want to put into a collection, and then there’s the Source-Breaker stories, which will be a newsletter exclusive. Life’s been kind of crazy for the last month, with one thing and another, but hopefully things will settle down. I’m hoping to be able to cut back on extra demands so I can recover from everything and get caught up on my writing projects.

Since I’m always trying to improve my writing craft, besides my usual revision methods I’m working my way through The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, which is basically like a big textbook about story structure and story theme and how they work together, and how to analyze them in your project. I’m doing this with the revised version of Tanaris, and it’s making me look at things in a different way that’s both mind-blowing and makes a lot of sense with how I think about writing. I’ll definitely be incorporating it into my workflow. It might even streamline my process a little by catching more of the big issues at the beginning of revisions.

With Heir of Tanaris coming into the later stages of revision, I think I’ll do the cover reveal coming up before too long. Newsletter subscribers will get the first peek, so if you’re anxious to see this gorgeous artwork, sign up if you haven’t already! And Sivael from Source-Breaker has been waiting to be interviewed, so I’ll try to get to that next. Back to work 🙂


March Progress Update

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Looks like it’s time for a progress update. Two big projects are occupying my time and (limited) brainpower and energy right now. The major revision of Heir of Tanaris is under way; I’m about halfway through. As always, scenes I thought didn’t need a lot of work are getting totally rewritten (just finished a long one that I decided at the last minute to change from Davreos’s point of view to Isamina’s). But I’m really happy with how this is coming together so far. The soundtrack for this book is mainly the album Haven by Kamelot. Give it a listen if you want to get a feel for this book, the next book in the Tehovir world.

I’ve also started the triage phase of revision on the Defenders of the Wildings series, the follow-up to Daughter of the Wildings. I was going to wait until the big revision on Tanaris was done, but decided I couldn’t wait that long. And I think (hope!) I’ve got readers waiting for it too. So I started that, revising the whole series like it’s one big book (which it basically is, much more than Daughter, which divided itself up neatly into separate novels), and I was going through book 1 and it was going fine, highlight these characters more, move this to this other scene, combine these two scenes, dum de dum, HEY WHERE’S THE PLOT???

Yes, I forgot to put a plot in book 1. Which probably explains why this “novella” is only 38 double-spaced pages long. My excuse is that I decided that what was originally book 1 needed to be book 2, so I took some stuff from the original book 2 and wrote some new material and stuck all that in front to make the new book 1, just so I could get the general scaffolding of the story in place. I know what the plot is supposed to be; a thing happens, as often does in novels, and this thing has potentially dire consequences for Silas and Lainie and their livelihood, and they talk about doing something in response. Well, then, other things happen and we get to the end of book 1 and they never did the thing they talked about. So doing the thing they talked about is the plot of book 1, and now I just need to actually write it. Fortunately, it fits in well with the other stuff happening that I wrote.

There are writers who claim they can write a complete, organized, well-structured story in one draft, with only needing to clean up the typos to make it publishable. I am not one of those writers. 😛

So, anyway, that’s where things stand. No idea yet on release dates; to make sure you don’t miss out, sign up for my email alerts to get release news, special offers, the occasional freebie, newsletter-exclusive sneak peeks and trivia quizzes, and other fun stuff when I can think of it.

One more note: a very talented young writer named Cristian Mihai is in dire need of dental work that is far beyond his means to pay for. He has a condition that leaches all the calcium from his teeth, with the result that he has a mouthful of crumbling teeth, which causes him a great deal of pain and makes him unable to eat or speak normally. His writing is best described as literary fiction, which you may know is usually not my reading material of choice, but his stuff is really good. Anyway, if you can make a donation, or buy a package of reblogs on his site if you have a WordPress blog, buy one of his books, or even just share on social media, every little bit helps.


Source-Breaker Now Available

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I’m happy to announce that Source-Breaker, the newest novel in the Tehovir world, is now available as an ebook at all the stores I sell through. The paperback edition will be coming in the next few weeks. The regular ebook price will be $3.99, but right now it’s at the introductory price of only 99 cents, and will go on 99 cent promo a few times over the next few months. It’s available at:

Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | iTunes | GooglePlay | Smashwords | DriveThruFiction

This was a fun book to write. It’s a little more light-hearted than a lot of my work (though still with a good dose of angst and some serious themes). Unlike a lot of fantasy which is coming-of-age stories, in this novel I decided to feature two characters who are facing midlife crises. Kaniev is all of a sudden a failure at the trade he’s worked in for 27 years, and Fransisa has had her expectations of career advancement pulled out from under her in favor of a much younger Chosen. I also enjoyed telling the story of the villain, Ardavos, and his mistress Sivael. I’ve written some backstories for Kaniev, Fransisa, and Ardavos and Sivael; they need a little editing, and then I’ll make those available.

So now it’s on to the next book, Heir of Tanaris, also set in the Tehovir world. Unlike my usual habit of working on two projects at once, I’m going to focus exclusively on Heir, at least until I get the revised draft out to the beta readers, and see if I can start getting stuff done faster. I want to get to the revision of Defenders of the Wildings, so I’ll start on that while the beta readers are having at Heir. I love all my books, but Heir of Tanaris is one of those that just won’t leave me alone and it’s a story I feel deeply compelled to tell. I’ve already got the cover art for it, which is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m hoping to release it early this summer. Watch for the cover reveal and more information coming up this spring!

In other news, if you’ve noticed the disappearance of the OmniLit links from the site, OmniLit and its parent site All Romance eBooks suddenly closed in December, owing a lot of money to a lot of authors. (They offered a really insulting settlement of 10 cents on the dollar, ostensibly to help them avoid having to file bankruptcy.) I didn’t sell much there, so I’m not losing more than a few dollars, but some authors are losing thousands. Anyway, as a result, I’ve decided to replace the old OmniLit links with the GooglePlay links for my books. GooglePlay is a relatively large, um, player in the ebook world, and I should have been promoting my books there more. If you use Android and the GooglePlay store, now it’ll be easier for you to find my books there.

If you did buy any of my books at OmniLit/ARe and are now unable to access them (readers were given about four days in the middle of the holiday travel season to download and back up their purchased books; I’m hearing of readers who lost hundreds or thousands of books in their ARe libraries), contact me with some sort of proof of purchase and I’ll set you up with replacement copies.

The ARe debacle has also emphasized how important it is for authors to not become too dependent on one company. Which is why I’m trying to cast my GooglePlay net more widely, and I’m also looking into setting up to sell books from my own site. I know which service I’m going to use if I do this (PayHip); now it’s a matter of sorting out tax licenses and stuff. I do know that if I have to get a city business license in addition to a state sales tax license, I’m not going to do it because the two licenses together will cost more than I anticipate making in sales from my website. 😛

Anyway. So I’m adding new links to the site, and getting the Tehovir section more put together, with information and reading order on the books and things like that. Watch for more Source-Breaker book extras coming up; I’ve got interviews scheduled with Fransisa, Ardavos, and Sivael, and I’ll be revisiting the notorious Billionaires, Bad Boys, and Bondage blog post series with a look at how Kaniev fits into those popular romance tropes; that should be fun.


Changing the World

My fantasy world, that is. Or at least the name.

Yes, Estelend, the world of Chosen of Azara, The Warrior and the Holy Man, and my two upcoming novels, Source-Breaker and Heir of Tanaris, is getting a name change. A long time ago when I first started developing this world, I just called it Source-World. Easy, and it made sense – the world is based on the idea of magic coming from Sources that are natural features, such as caves, springs, trees, etc. Not a terribly original idea, but it’s a lot of fun to work with and offers a lot of possibilities for conflicts and stories, and for characters who are involved with these Sources in one way or another. When I was still doing this writing thing just for fun, Source-World worked fine as a name. But when it came time to start putting these stories out in public, I realized that Source-World wouldn’t work because the people living in that world wouldn’t think of it that way.

PictureSo I went looking for another name. I don’t remember the exact process by which I came up with Estelend, but I do remember it involved consulting the etymology section at the back of my trusty vintage American Heritage dictionary. Anyway, so I came up with Estelend and it seemed okay. I wasn’t wild about it, but it was better than Source-World. But I’ve never really liked the sound of it, and I think it looks funny, and that’s been bothering me more and more. Another thing I don’t like about it is that, to my ear, it seems a little reminiscent of Westeros, the world of Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire. I’ll just say that I’m not a fan of those books and I really don’t want to have any suggestion of association with them, and I don’t want people to think I’m trying to invoke them.

I put off doing anything about changing the name, because it seemed like an awful lot of work and would involve making (admittedly minor) changes in work that’s already been published, including to the covers. But I was disliking Estelend more and more, and realized that with two more novels set in the world about to come out, it’s now or never – if I don’t make the change now, I’m stuck with Estelend.
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image from Bulbapedia

So I chose the words that express the idea of this world, magic or power and source, and went to a site that lists what words are in lots of different languages. “Magic” is pretty much the same in most languages, and I didn’t want something so identifiable, so I also looked for words for “power.” I tried out lots of different combinations, then did some Googling to make sure I wasn’t using something that was someone’s name or had an unfortunate meaning. One of my possible names, when I Googled it, Google didn’t recognize it and suggested “Gardevoir” instead. Gardevoir is a Pokemon, and a very cool Pokemon, but I don’t want something else coming up should readers Google for the name of my world.

PictureAfter all this, I finally settled on the new name for Estelend, Tehovir. It means “power source” in a mashup of a couple of different languages, and looks cool; it fits with a lot of the other names I’ve invented for this world. How to pronounce it? However you want, since it’s not a real word 😀 In my mind I say it “TAY-hoe-Vir” (short i). But really, you can pronounce it however you want. Right now I’m in the process of making the change on the covers (fortunately, I do my own lettering and save everything in a Photoshop version so it’s easy to go in and just change one word) and doing search-and-replaces in the books and stories set in that world. The publishing services at a lot of the stores I sell through are closed/on reduced hours for the holidays right now, so I’ll wait until I’ve got everything switched around to start uploading. In the meantime, I’ll start changing the old covers out on the site and also create a new Tehovir blog category and a page for the series. Because the week before Christmas, trying to get the next book out, what I need most is another task like this 😛 But it’s really a relief to not have that nagging at me any more, hating the name Estelend and wondering if I should do something about it.

In the meantime, if you really want to help make a small change in the world for authors struggling with health or financial difficulties, head on over to the Help an Author Christmas promotion. (Read more about it in this post.) You can browse (full price) books by authors who have donated to the assistance fund, and even make a donation yourself, if you want. The Daughter of the Wildings Books 1-3 and Love and Magic box sets are in the promo, and for each copy of those titles sold during December (whether through the promo or otherwise), I’ll make an additional donation to the fund. Thanks for your support!

Help an Author Holiday Promotion

Holy cats, it’s been a while. What can I say, I’ve been busy writing.

Anyway. A fantasy and science fiction authors group I’m in got together to raise money to help authors in need. In the words of the founder/leader/person running things, Patty Jansen:

“If you spend any time in spaces where authors hang out, you cannot fail to notice that there are a lot of authors who are struggling with finances or health or both. Why is this? Well, when life gives you lemons, writing is one of the few things that you can continue to do.”

I know the truth of this; this is where I am in my life. As disabled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as I am, I’m unable to work outside the home or for any kind of regular working hours. Writing is pretty much the only job I can manage, and it isn’t a very dependable source of income. Fortunately, I have a spouse with a steady income, but others aren’t so lucky, or are facing situations where even that isn’t enough to cover whatever crisis they’re facing.

To help these authors, we in the group donated money which will be distributed to authors in need in packages of $250. That amount will pay for a cover and formatting to get the next book published, or for a license to Vellum, a book formatting program, or a year-plus subscription the Grammarly, or a copy of Photoshop Elements and a bunch of stock art for DYI covers, or some advertising. It could also pay a chunk of rent or mortgage, buy some groceries, or pay for some prescriptions.

In exchange for our donations, the authors who have donated get to have books listed on the promo page. You’ll find a wide variety of science fiction, dystopian, fantasy, sci fi/fantasy romance, and even a bunch of box sets. These books are full price, $2.99 and up. More books will be listed as more authors donate to the fund. There’s also a donate button on the page if you want to throw a little money into the fund. So go have a browse and discover some new books!


Defenders of the Wildings first draft finished!

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Today I typed the final word of the first draft of Defenders of the Wildings, the follow-up series to Daughter of the Wildings. It clocks in at 182,133 words, or 451 printed pages (11 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced). Actually 450 pages, because the last page has like half a sentence on it. I hate it when that happens. This is by far the longest single manuscript I’ve ever written; the combined draft of the six books in Daughter of the Wildings was longer, but I wrote each book separately. Defenders didn’t really want to divide up into six nice, neat novel-sized units, so I wrote it as one big thing and I’ll work out how to divide it up and release it later. Two volumes of three “episodes” each seems like how it’s going to work out. Of course, cover art is still a ways out, so I’ll still be using the Daughter covers to illustrate posts about Defenders for a while.

This book also turned out to be much larger than I expected, and larger than anything I’ve written before, in scope of action and number of important characters. Of course it still centers around Silas and Lainie Vendine, but we’ll also meet Torrin, a young ranch hand who discovers his magical powers, Magical Mik the traveling showman, Pazit Mahita, who is more than the ordinary farmwife she appears to be, and Lut Dorbich and Gidejoni Cajali, underministers from the Chardonikan Union (which got a name change about 80% of the way through, which is why I should probably stick to writing series in their entirety before I release the first book). You can get a sneak peek at Dorbich and Cajali here.

Writing this first draft was an adventure in itself. After two false starts, where I nearly drove myself nuts trying to figure out how to piece all the different parts of the story together (see story’s refusal to fit into nice novel-length units, above), I finally got it. I had to do a lot of copy-and-pasting from the earlier versions and filling in with new material until I got to the place where I had left off, but once I got there it was pretty smooth going. I was getting frustrated at how long this was taking, because there were a lot of times this summer and fall when I couldn’t keep up my daily production, but now it’s finally done, yay. Now I’m printing it out even as I type this, and it’ll rest while I finish up edits on Source-Breaker (note to self: get page on site for Estelend series set up) and start revising Heir of Tanaris.

This project brought me to 264,744 words for the year, including a number of short stories and the abandoned parts of the first two attempts. I’m counting words I’m not going to use, because all writing counts as practice, but I didn’t double-count the words I copy and pasted. For a while I thought I might hit 300,000, but having to re-work the Defenders draft slowed me down. Still, considering my goal was 250,000 for the year, I’m pretty pleased.

Of course, at this point I can’t even begin to say when Defenders will start being released. Sometime next year, I guess. To make sure you don’t miss out on release news for Defenders or my other books, sign up for my email alerts (no spam, and I won’t share your info). In the meantime, onward with Source-Breaker and Heir of Tanaris, and planning for the next series, Children of the Wildings!

…And Defenders just finished printing. Here it is:


Light in the Darkness Roundup 3

Here is the final batch of books from Light in the Darkness: A Noblebright Fantasy Boxed set, which releases October 18. As C.J. Brightley, the coordinator of this boxed set, says, “Noblebright fantasy has at least one important character with noble, idealistic motives who does the right thing out of principle. The character is flawed, but his or her actions are generally defined by honesty, integrity, sacrifice, love, and kindness. The story upholds the goodness of the character; the character’s good qualities are not held up as naiveté, cluelessness, or stupidity, but rather shown to be worthwhile. Good characters can make a difference. Noblebright characters can learn and grow. They can deliberately choose to be kind when tempted to be unkind, they can choose generosity when it hurts, and they can influence their world and other characters for the better.”

Note: Because of the size of this collection, 12 full-length novels plus several short stories, the price will have to go up to $1.99 when we upload the final file on Oct. 8. Preorder before then to lock in the 99 cent price!

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Six Celestial Swords by T. A. Miles
Inspired by the rising chaos in Sheng Fan, Xu Liang, mystic and officer of the Imperial Court, leaves his homeland for the barbarian outer lands in search of four magical blades to unite with two sacred weapons already in the possession of the Empire. His plan is to bring all of the blades together and return them to Sheng Fan’s Empress as a symbol of unity that will bolster the people’s faith in the Imperial family and assist against the surge of dark forces. Complicating his plan is not the finding of the blades, but finding them with bearers; foreigners who have no intention of parting with them and less intention of serving an Empire they’ve scarcely heard of. It becomes Xu Liang’s task to ally himself with these barbarians of the outer realms and unite them with his cause, as well as with one another. Only the complete reunion of all six blades and their fated bearers can stand against chaos, rising like a dragon from slumber beneath the foundation of a nation unprepared.About the author:
T. A. Miles fell down a rabbit hole ages ago, and nothing more need be said about it.
Website: http://www.theimmarcescibleword.com/


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Rise of the Storm by Christina Ochs
When a renegade priest prophesies an imminent apocalypse, a conflict is sparked which will tip a continent into war.Prince Kendryk is young, handsome and popular, his kingdom prosperous and peaceful. But in the face of the prophesied apocalypse, he must choose between conscience and power. If he chooses the side of faith, he must defy the ruthless Empress Teodora, ruler of a vast empire, imperiling kingdom and family— but if he chooses the side of power, he risks plunging his world into a darkness worse than war.

An epic fantasy saga drawn from real history.

About the author:
Christina Ochs is the author of historical fantasy series, The Desolate Empire, which is based upon the events of the Protestant Reformation and the Thirty Years War (1618-48). Many of her characters are also based on historical figures.

With degrees in history and business, Christina uses her writing to indulge her passion for reading and research. Publishing as an indie author provides an outlet for her entrepreneurial side and she is an avid supporter of fellow authors, both independent and traditionally published.

Christina lives in a semi truck full time, traveling the United States with her truck driver husband and two cats, Phoenix and Nashville. Website: http://christinaochs.com/


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Lhind the Thief by Sherwood Smith
Lhind has been on the run all her life.Stealing what she needs, using magic for disguise, she never stays anywhere long. Lhind even has secrets from herself, for she has few memories, and those are troubling.

But life is good until she gets caught by Rajanas the warrior-prince, Thianra the bard, and Hlanan the scribe. And that’s when adventure begins, because someone very powerful wants them all dead.

About the author:
Sherwood Smith was a teacher for twenty years, teaching history, literature, drama, and dance. She writes science fiction and fantasy for adults and young readers. Website: http://www.sherwoodsmith.net/


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The Keeper and the Rulership by Emily Martha Sorensen
In a world where both magic and mathematics are forbidden, Raneh is growing magic and she can’t seem to stop. She’ll face the death penalty if anybody catches her, so she hides it in the weeds of her family’s land, pretending to be a typical eighteen-year-old heir. And it works.Until the Ruler comes to visit.

Now, with the purpose of the Ruler’s visit a mystery and not only her safety but her family’s reputation in danger, she has to find a way to do the impossible:

Stop growing magic.

About the author:
“I’m a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy, and I write clean books that are intelligent, optimistic, and happy. I write for all age levels.  Picture books?  Got one.  Chapter books?  Got a series.  Middle grade?  Sure thing. Young adult?  Most definitely.  New adult?  Working on a series right now.  ALL of them, no matter what the age of the main character, are both intelligent and clean.  I believe that children deserve smart books, teenagers deserve fun books, and adults deserve imagination, a sense of wonder, and books aimed at them that are G or PG.” Website: http://www.emilymarthasorensen.com


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Light in the Darkness will be available on October 18. The current price is only 99 cents, but because of the size of this collection, the price will have to go up to $1.99 when we upload the final file on Oct. 8. I know that Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo have pre-order price guarantees where if you pre-order at the 99 cent price that’s what you pay. I couldn’t find the information for iTunes; if you shop at iTunes, check to see if they have a preorder pricing policy. Preorder your copy before Oct 8 so you don’t miss out on the chance to get this wonderful collection for only 99 cents!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Light in the Darkness: A Noblebright Fantasy Boxed Set

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And now for cool thing #3: Beneath the Canyons is going to be in a multi-author boxed set titled Light in the Darkness: A Noblebright Fantasy Boxed Set, available Oct. 18. Several months ago, I got involved in a discussion about noblebright fantasy on a writer’s board I belong to, and some time later, C.J. Brightley, who started the discussion, invited me to participate in this boxed set. Being in a mult-author boxed set is another thing I’ve always wanted to do, and I would really like to see the concept of noblebright fantasy become more widely known, so of course I said yes!

So, what is noblebright fantasy? From the boxed set’s description, “Noblebright fantasy characters have the courage to risk kindness, honesty, integrity, and love; to fight against their own flaws and the darkness of the world around them; and to find hope in a grim world.”

Basically, it’s the opposite of grimdark, where life sucks, the bad guys cheat and win, the good guys are corruptible, and anyone who isn’t corruptible is a chump and a fool and probably dies an ignominious death.

Some more definitions of what noblebright is and isn’t:

Noblebright is not equivalent to YA or children’s books. While many (but certainly not all) YA books might fall into the category, noblebright books can also be very much for and about adults, from an adult perspective, about adult characters with adult lives and concerns.

Noblebright also is not necessarily “clean.” There can be violence and swearing and sex. The emphasis is different; noblebright won’t tend to wallow in blood and guts and bad language or glorify violence or purely exploitive or hedonistic sex.

Noblebright is also not the same as Christian fiction. While many or most Christian fantasy novels are probably noblebright, the core concepts of noblebright, that there exists objective right and wrong, it’s worth it to try to do what’s right no matter how hard it is, and anyone, no matter what wrongs they’ve done in the past, can try to do better, are not restricted to Christianity. I’m a Christian myself, and my books have been noted as having a Judeo-Christian worldview, but they are not explicitly or implicitly about Christianity or Christian characters.

The key is in the outlook: in noblebright, it’s worth it to try to do the right thing even in the face of impossible odds; goodness, selflessness, love, compassion, honor, and nobility (of character, not of birth) matter regardless of the forces arrayed against the characters. Even if things don’t turn out perfectly, there’s still hope, and there’s honor and comfort in knowing you did the right thing.

Finally, noblebright does not mean happy perfect people doing happy perfect things in a happy perfect world. It means good (if flawed) people choosing to do the right thing in the face of opposition and difficult circumstances, no matter how hard it is. After all, being a good person and doing the right thing when things are going well is easy. Being a good person and doing the right thing when the world is against you and it would be easier to do the wrong thing is much harder (and more interesting to read and write about!).

Sound good? Here’s the lineup of books in the boxed set:

  • C. J. Brightley – The King’s Sword: A disillusioned soldier. A spoiled, untried prince. And a coup that threatens the country they both love.
  • Lindsay Buroker – The Emperor’s Edge: A law enforcer being hunted for a crime she didn’t commit must work with a cold-hearted assassin to save the only person who can clear her name.
  • Sabrina Chase – The Last Mage Guardian: Most thought the Mage Guardians simply a myth, but their old enemy knows better–and of their number only one remains to thwart his plan of magical domination and revenge.
  • Francesca Forrest – Pen Pal: It starts with a message in a bottle and ends with revolution.
  • Kyra Halland – Beneath the Canyons: A bounty-hunting wizard and a rancher’s daughter with untrained powers must stop a renegade wizard who is tampering with dangerous magic.
  • Angela Holder – Into the Storm: A massive hurricane will destroy Elathir unless Larine and her fellow wizards sacrifice everything to stop it.
  • Ronald Long – On the Shores of Irradan: Ealrin Belouve and his friends travel to a new land and face new dangers in search of a tree that may restore magic to one of their own.
  • Mike Reeves McMillan – Hope and the Patient Man: A talented young mage must overcome a curse to be with the wounded hero who loves her.
  • T. A. Miles – Six Celestial Swords: The dragon Chaos threatens the magical world of Dryth. Xu Liang sets out on a quest to unite the only six magical blades that can save it.
  • Christina Ochs – Rise of the Storm: When a renegade priest prophesies an imminent apocalypse, a conflict is sparked which will tip a continent into war.
  • Sherwood Smith – Lhind the Thief: Lhind enjoys life on the run, taking what she wants, until her secrets are uncovered one by one.
  • Emily Martha Sorensen – The Keeper and the Rulership: In a world where mathematics and magic are forbidden, Raneh’s growing magic and can’t figure out how to stop.

Most books in this set are appropriate for ages 13+, but Hope and the Patient Man [and, I would venture to say, Beneath the Canyons] is appropriate for ages 16+.

Light in the Darkness will be released on October 18, but right now it’s available for pre-order at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

The current price is only 99 cents. That might have to go up, but I know that Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo have pre-order price guarantees where even if the price does go up later, if you pre-order at the 99 cent price that’s what you pay.

I’ll be taking a closer look at the books in this wonderful and diverse collection over the next couple of weeks, along with posting links to other blog posts about it, so watch for those. You can also learn more about the noblebright movement at noblebright.org. And in the meantime, don’t miss out on being able to get Light in the Darkness for only 99 cents!


Last Call for the Weird Western StoryBundle

The Weird Western StoryBundle is down to the last couple of days – it ends Sept. 8 at 9:00 pm Pacific Time. To give you a little more of a taste of this fantastic bundle of books, here are some tiny snippets from the beginning of each book excerpt posted over on the StoryBundle site. To read the full excerpts, along with reviews and notes by Bundle curator Blair MacGregor, head on over to the Weird Western StoryBundle page.

Haxan, by Kenneth Mark Hoover
Haxan, New Mexico Territory
Spring, 1874

I found the old man nailed to a hackberry tree five miles out of Haxan.

They had hammered railroad spikes through his wrists and ankles. There was dried blood on the wood and iron. Blood stippled his arms and chest. He was stripped naked so the westering sun could peel the flesh from his bones.

He was alive with I found him.

Spellslinger, by Joseph J. Bailey
I woke to the buzzing of flies.

The sound reverberated through my head like echoes from another world.

I could not open my eyes.

Where was I?

Why was I here?

Why couldn’t I move?

Where were my guns?

Idyll, by James Derry
Marathon—if it still existed—waited in the east. Samuel Starboard led Titan that way, where the border of the family’s ranch was defined by a ridge of quartz that was the color of old teeth. In some places the rock crystals rose in spires, four meters high. Titan wound her way up the brown slope to a large fissure in the ridge. A single beam of wood spanned the gap, and a hand-painted sign leaned against the beam. QUARANTINE. KEEP OUT.

West of Pale, by J. Patrick Allen
I consider it a special kind of madness that had me leaving the house that night, despite fears of something stalking me. Mania and curiosity mashed into a slurry of dread and a sense of looming mortality. Still, I had my head on enough to be considerate: I left money on the dining room table where Frau Sackoff would find it. Some little compensation for what I was about to steal.

Dragons in the Earth, by Judith Tarr
Dragons sleep in the earth here.

I feel them. Sometimes I see them—in my head, in dreams, in the hunched shapes of mountains curled around the flattened bowls of the valleys.

They’re always there. I’m always aware of them, but sometimes the awareness sinks down deep, till I can almost forget them.

A Book of Tongues, by Gemma Files
The dream was always the same.

She appeared above him, blown by a black wind, her back-sloping forehead girded with a hissing serpent, her swirling hair stiffened with mud. Her round face was set with jade scales, irregular as leaves. The lids and orbits of her wide-spaced eyes were decorated, mosaic-style, with tiny chips of shell, mother-of-pearl and obsidian.

New World (New World #1), by Steven W. White *free newsletter bonus!*
As the stink of low tide washed over the village of Fort Sanctuary, a little boy named Simon Jones didn’t want to get punched again. His nemesis, a seventeen-year-old thug named Marshall Dunster, was stalking him.

Stealth, that was the key. Change the usual routine. Don’t walk home from the printing house down Sunrise Street like always, but turn left at Fife’s pub, the Mermaid, where his father spent Friday evenings. Simon’s skinny, nervous legs whipped along, taking him through that left turn–

“Gotcha!” Marshall’s iron grip found his neck and pulled at his collar.

Hair of the Bear (New World #2), by Steven W. White
After nine weeks at sea, with nothing beyond the rail but rolling gray swells, the land of Mira beckoned at last. The hollow clang of the lookout’s bell echoed down from the crow’s nest.

Lisandra Jurgen, major in the Royal Guard sworn to uphold the law in Albueshire and its provinces and territories in Sept Algolus, tapped her fingers on the rail’s worn oak. Finally, justice would be done. Finally!

Flash Gold Chronicles, by Lindsay Buroker
Kali McAlister tapped a wrench against her thigh as she contemplated her invention. She had stripped every extra piece of metal she could from the “dogless sled” and had even debated removing the brush bow, but that seemed unwise. Besides, it’d been so cold the last week that men were complaining of pee freezing before it hit the ground. The ice on Forty Mile Creek ought to be thick enough for the heavy steam sled. If it wasn’t…winning the race would be the last of her worries.

Beneath the Canyons, by Kyra Halland
A stable stood between Mundy’s Boarding House and the half-built hotel. A boy was tossing pebbles into a circle scratched in the dirt of the stable yard; Silas rode over and gave the boy a penny to watch Abenar and his belongings for a moment. He pulled on his long brown duster, which he had shed in the heat of the day and draped over the saddle behind him, then headed to the boarding house to inquire about a room.

A crash from inside the saloon across the street caught his attention. He turned to see a big-bellied, bushy-bearded man come flying backwards through the swinging doors of the Bootjack.


To find out even more about the books and authors in the bundle, check out the blog post link roundup on Blair MacGregor’s blog. And also, Joseph J. Bailey was kind enough to interview me on his blog – go have a look!

Don’t forget, the Weird Western StoryBundle ends Sept. 8. You can get the first four books for only $5, or all nine books for $14 (or more if you choose). Don’t miss out on this great deal for an awesome collection of books!


99 cent Science Fiction and Fantasy Sale

Sept. 3-4: Don’t miss the big 99 cent Science Fiction and Fantasy Sale! This one includes all the big retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, and Smashwords. Tons of books are priced at 99 cents – science fiction, fantasy, sci fi/fantasy romance, dystopian, and even some multi-novel box sets! (selection varies by store)  Chosen of Azara is part of the sale, available at all the retailers, so if you haven’t read it yet, now’s your chance to get this multi-generational tale of magic, adventure, and love for only 99 cents.

Also, The Brilliant Career of Sajur Golu and Other Tales of Azara, a companion volume to Chosen of Azara, is only 99 cents right now (regular price will be $2.99). Available at the following stores:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | OmniLit |
DriveThruFiction | Smashwords