Category Archives: Fantasy

Pre-Order Death-Bringer

deathbringer

My new novel is now up for Pre-Order on Amazon and here’s the cover.  The release date is January 29, 2019.  This gives me some time to solicit reviews before launch.  Here’s a blurb to wet your whistle:

War is coming to the Norwood, and a strange warrior arrives with a black sword to lead the Nor against the invaders.

Arlyss Quarrel is oblivious to the danger.  His only dream is to marry the girl next door and start a family of his own far away from his demanding father.  This dream is shattered when he accidentally injures his best friend and is sent away to the local lord to become a warrior.

When Arlyss arrives at the lord’s hall, he soon finds himself caught up in a maelstrom of intrigue with the bearer of the black sword at its center.  

When the invaders arrive, will Arlyss be ready to defend his homeland or will he fall under the spell of Death-Bringer?  

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World Fantasy Convention

I went to the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore at the beginning of the month.  Overall, I’d have to say that I was underwhelmed.

This convention is only for fantasy literature.  There were no people in costume, games, or movie stars.  I don’t typically get into that stuff, so I thought this would work well for me, but there actually wasn’t much programming compared to other conventions I’ve attended.  This is one of those conventions where you’re supposed to mingle and meet industry insiders (Yeah, that’s where I excel).

I used the term fantasy literature intentionally because this convention reminded me of some of the writing conventions I’ve attended where people look down their noses at genre fiction writers.  Of course, this was a genre fiction writing convention, so I had a hard time figuring out what we were looking down our noses at until I realized we were looking down our noses at the history of our genre.

This really didn’t hit me until I sat in on “The Future of Fantasy” panel.  This panel consisted of all women who basically stated that you should only read fantasy stories from women, persons of color, and other “underrepresented” groups.  When a lady from the back of the audience spoke up and said she only cared if it is a quality story, she was quickly shut down. Apparently, the genre has been dominated by white men for too long.

I’m not disagreeing with the concept, but I’m a middle of the road kind of guy. Instead of swinging the pendulum all the way in the opposite direction, why not include everyone in the future of our genre?  Fantasy is pretty main-stream in our culture compared to a couple of decades ago.  I’m thinking there’s enough room for everyone who wants to write a quality story.

This did not seem to be the prevailing opinion.  I’m assuming I won’t be in the running for any World Fantasy Awards, but that’s okay.

On a happy note, I did get to meet a writer friend who I’ve worked with over the internet in the past.  Also, I sat in on the best reading ever—If you ever get a chance to hear Andy Duncan read one of his stories aloud, you will thoroughly enjoy it.  Also, the art show was pretty cool.

All-in-all, I’m glad I went for the experience, but I won’t spend the money on this one again anytime soon.

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Coming Up for Air

I always do NaNoWriMo, but I rarely win.  Actually, I’ve won once (2011) – the first year I tried it.  November is just a bad month (for me) to do this, and I’m just not that fast a writer.  So I’m at 3000 words on day 11.  Not too impressive.

November always seems to fill up with stuff:

  • I attended the World Fantasy Convention (more to come on that).
  • My website is being revised.
  • I took my books off KDP Select and am getting them set up on other channels (They’re popping up all over the place right now).
  • I’m finishing the book files for my new novel – Death-Bringer (Definitely more to come on this).
    • Finished final edits.
    • Setting up ARC giveaways
    • Getting it on pre-order for Amazon.
    • Getting the paperback ready.
    • Putting together my marketing strategy.
  • Getting together with family on my Birthday.
  • Thanksgiving
  • Normal writing group activities.

November is always too busy.  I also joined a few group giveaways on Prolific Works (now that I’m off KDP Select).  Check out this giveaway starting today:

Christmas-Holiday Gifts – Science Fiction & Fantasy For Everyone.

There are lots of free Science Fiction and Fantasy books in this giveaway including book 1 of my Kingdom of Haven series – The Order of the Wolf.

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Are You Ready for NaNoWriMo?

November is upon us.  All you writers out there who plan to participate in National Novel Writing Month should be revving your engines.  This year I plan to start a new novel — The next book in my Black Sword Saga series.  Never heard of the Black Sword Saga you say?  Well, let me tell you about it:

Coming January 2019 Death-Bringer: The Black Sword Saga Book 1

War is coming to the Norwood, and a strange warrior arrives with a black sword to lead the Nor against the invaders.

Arlyss Quarrel is oblivious to the danger.  His only dream is to marry the girl next door and start a family of his own far away from his demanding father.  This dream is shattered when he accidentally injures his best friend and is sent away to the local lord to become a warrior.

When Arlyss arrives at the lord’s hall, he soon finds himself caught up in a maelstrom of intrigue with the bearer of the black sword at its center.  

When the invaders arrive, will Arlyss be ready to defend his homeland or will he fall under the spell of the Black Sword?  

Be looking for a cover reveal within the next week or so.

For NaNoWriMo, I’ll be working on book 2 in this series titled The Horned One.  I’m not a huge planner and don’t work off a written outline, but I do have an outline in my head and hope to make good progress during NaNo.

If you don’t want to wait until January to read one of my books, hop on over to Amazon and pick up The Order of the Wolf for Free until Friday.  Stenson Blues and The Eastern Factor are also discounted to $.99 for a limited time.

Kingdom of Haven

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Free Book – Why not!

I have decided to move away from KDP Select and make my books available on all e-book platforms (They’ll still be on Amazon, just not exclusively).  So I’m having one last Amazon Kindle e-book promotion before making the change:

From Oct 29th to Nov 2, The Order of the Wolf will be available for free, Stenson Blues and The Eastern factor will also be on sale for $.99 each until Nov 5.

Kingdom of Haven

The Order of the Wolf: Kingdom of Haven Book 1

The Order of the Wolf is set in the Seven Kingdoms, where the rulers are greedy and mercenary companies known as the Free Orders are paid to settle their disputes.

As a member of The Order of the Wolf, Olaf never questioned his path until his mates were killed. What is a mercenary to do without his Order mates?

Wielding a death wish and his poleaxe, Olaf must confront haunting memories on a long journey to avenge the honor of his lost comrades and heal from his relentless grief.  Along the way, he will try to die in battle, fight old foes and new, meet the love of his life, and come face-to-face with the man he most fears.

Before he is finished, Olaf must stop hiding behind his axe and find a life for himself.

Who says a mid-life crisis has to be about fast cars?

 

Stenson Blues: The Kingdom of Haven Book 2

Olaf wasn’t sure when his luck went bad. Most said it was the day he fell and twisted his leg out of shape, but that was just the final straw on his unhappy slide from favor.  Even though he was a member of one of the most powerful families in the Seven Kingdoms, after the accident, he was relegated to herding pigs.

Olaf had accepted his fate until his long-lost uncle and namesake suddenly appeared with a kingdom.  Olaf, as the closest living relative, is sent with the family delegation to persuade his uncle to share his good fortune.

To succeed, Olaf must overcome his own feelings of inadequacy, vie against his dirty-dealing cousin, and persuade his suspicious uncle that he can be trusted.  Along the way, he gets caught up in his uncle’s political schemes, and may even meet the love of his life.  In the end, can Olaf prevail, make his uncle proud, and change his own luck?

 

The Eastern Factor: Kingdom of Haven Book 3

After being shattered by the death of his lady love, Olaf is sent east by his namesake Uncle to recover in the relative safety of the Eastern Confederation.  Even here, he cannot rest.  The Empire of Jewel is marching against his uncle’s fledgling Kingdom of Haven, and Olaf is tasked with finding a way to aid his uncle.

Suffering from his own internal demons of self-doubt and grief, he attacks his mission with as much gusto as he can manage, but has he learned from his previous mistakes?  In order to succeed, he must form odd alliances and thread the needle of daunting Eastern politics.  Has he learned enough to recognize friend from foe, and, above all, keep his own dark impulses from destroying his efforts?

The fate of the Kingdom of Haven is depending upon his success.

​Coming of age is tougher when you’re a Stenson.

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Coming Soon: Death-Bringer

My next book, Death-Bringer,  is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.  Be looking for a cover reveal soon.  Here’s an idea of what to expect:

War is coming to the Norwood!

Arlyss Quarrel is oblivious to the threat. He dreams of marrying the girl-next-door and starting a family of his own far away from his demanding father. But when he injures his best friend in a shearing accident, he is sent away to the local lord to become a warrior.

So begins a maelstrom of political intrigue, vengeful invaders, and jealous gods.  At its center stands a single warrior with a dark blade who leads the defense of the Norwood against the invaders. Can Arlyss avoid the dangerous path set before him by the mysterious warrior, and find the happy ending he always dreamed of?  Or will he fall under Death-Bringer’s spell?

Check out this excerpt:      

“What am I going to do with you, Companion Arlyss?” He clasped his hands behind his back. “You killed a man in battle and most likely started a blood feud with a prominent Vilk clan.” He rocked on the balls of his feet as he made each point. “You are a Quarrel, a member of one of Norwood’s prominent families, and your loss would be an inconvenience to my lord. You are young and inexperienced, too inexperienced to be made a full warrior, and yet my lord wishes to make an example of your accomplishment.”

“I am not a warrior,” Arlyss interrupted. “I got lucky.” Things were happening too fast, and he tried to think of anything that would stop it. “I gave away the coat,” he blurted.

The Primus cut him off with a slash of his hand. “A warrior,” he said, “cares more for his spear-mates than he does for himself.” His face actually softened for an instant. “This is not an argument against you.”

Arlyss felt his shoulders tense up once more and fought to hold back sudden tears. He wasn’t ready to be a warrior. He didn’t know if he ever would be. He wondered if this was how Durwyn had felt the night before the battle.

The Primus stepped in close so that they stood face-to-face. “Arlyss Quarrel, I told you the day we met that you may earn the title of warrior. Ready or not, young companion, that day has come.” As he stared into Arlyss’s eyes, his own eyes glowed with a sudden intensity that made Arlyss want to curl up into a ball. “You will be the greatest warrior the Norwood has ever seen . . . I swear it.” He let go of Arlyss and pulled back with a shudder. 

Arlyss’s hair stood on end. It felt like the words had not come from the Primus alone. He mouthed a prayer to the Spirit of the Norwood to protect him from the wyrd the Primus had lain upon him.       

The Primus looked similarly affected. He took a deep breath and let it out. His left hand slid around to his back to stroke the sheath of his black sword. “You will seek out the lord’s armorer tonight so he can make a warrior’s coat.” Now the Primus pulled his hand away from the sword and was all business with his ever-present severity and critical eyes. “On the last day of the funeral feast, you shall present yourself to the Lord of Luton and swear your loyalty to his cause.” He looked past Arlyss as he concluded, “A warrior does his duty.”

The Primus turned and marched out of the stall.

I will be sending out advance reader copies soon.  More to come on that, but don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re interested in posting a review.

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Giveaway

Hello all my favorite internet people (Yeah, I’m looking at you.  Don’t look so shocked.).

Head on over to Amazon and get The Order of the Wolf free from today until August 6th.

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You can also get Stenson Blues, book 2 in my Kingdom of Haven series for .99 cents until August 9th.

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And don’t forget to pick up book 3, The Eastern Factor, for $1.99 before August 9th as well.

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This is just for you! (And anyone else who stumbles upon my sale over the next week)  Hey, I believe in equal opportunity (to buy my books).

Happy reading!

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