Iron Fist of the Oroqs

Signing at Gen Con

Next week, I will be at Gen Con. On August 14 – 17, I will staff my table on Author’s Avenue (table AA) whenever the Dealer Hall is open. I will have copies of all five of my novels, as well as a limited number of copies of Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction. I also still have copies of the Gen Con Exclusive Omnibus Edition of The Foundation of Drak-Anor (21 copies to be exact). Once these book are gone, I’m not going to print more! The Foundation of Drak-Anor collects Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs into a single volume. I will also have free Galactic Confederation Junior Ranger patches for everyone who buys a Zack Jackson novel!

One thing I will be doing at Gen Con is free giveaways. That’s right; you can get a copy of Wings of Twilight for free, if you’re lucky… Watch my twitter feed (@hccummings or @jedisoth) or the hashtag #GenCon for giveaway times. I’m only giving away one book per day, and you’ll need to speak the secret passphrase to get a chance to roll my four Vesuvian Lava Fate dice (yes, they’re really carved out of lava from Mt. Vesuvius). If you beat my roll, you win a book! Four plusses wins the hardcover Omnibus edition (subject to availability–a tie means we throw out that roll and roll again) and earns another lucky person a chance to win Wings of Twilight.

If I’m going to sell and sign books at a gaming convention, I may as well make a game out of it, right?

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Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy now on Smashwords

Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy has finally made it on to Smashwords (and thus, will make its way into the eBook stores for Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and every where else their premium catalog delivers).

In addition, I have fixed the files for Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos and Iron Fist of the Oroqs, so those titles are also now included in Smashwords premium catalog. There will be no such delay with my next title, Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra.

If you’ve been waiting to get them in ebook form, but don’t have a Kindle, now’s the time.

And while you’re at it, if you have the time, vote for me for Best Local Author in Nuvo’s 2014 Readers’ Choice Best of Indy!

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The Ballad of Twilight Dungeon

Iron Fist Cover for KindleI have secured permission to embed The Ballad of Twilight Dungeon on this site!

This song contains spoilers for the plot of Wings of Twilight. It was commissioned by my wife as a Christmas present. The song was written and performed by Dan Marcotte, aka Dan the Bard. If you’ve ever been to the Bristol Renaissance Faire, you may have heard him perform. You can learn more about his music at either the link above, or a http://www.bardsong.net.

The great thing about this song is that if it’s been a while since you’ve read Wings of Twilight, or you didn’t read it, but read Iron Fist of the Oroqs, the song will tell you the tale of what occurred in the first book of The Foundation of Drak-Anor series, much like the minstrel play in the prologue of book two. In fact, one could skip the prologue altogether, and just listen to the song instead!

The Ballad of Twilight Dungeon, by Dan the Bard:

I’m going to look into embedding the file in to the Kindle version of Iron Fist of the Oroqs, as well, though file size considerations may make that impractical.

 

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Kindle Exclusivity

The period of Kindle exclusivity on Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs ends on Saturday. Beginning Sunday (or Monday, depending on how long it takes the files to process through the system), you’ll be able to purchase both novels in The Foundation of Drak-Anor series on Smashwords, DriveThruFiction, and possibly Kobo Writing Life. I’m still looking into ways to get my novels into the iBookstore without buying an Apple PC.

On Sunday, March 3rd, Kindle exclusivity ends for Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos and you’ll be able to find that novel in the aforementioned stores.

As always, print versions are available through Amazon & CreateSpace.

I will be attending Gen Con this year with a table on Author’s Avenue. I’ll be there to sell and sign books when ever the Dealer Hall is open (with a few hour-long exceptions). If you plan to attend, stop by and say “Hi!” There’s a possibility that I might have a con-exclusive hardcover edition compilation of The Foundation of Drak-Anor available for sale there, too, depending on how the pricing shakes out. More news on that later.

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Holiday Sale!

I have placed Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs on sale in the Kindle store for $0.99!

This sale will last through the month of December. I have also made both of them Kindle exclusive*, so you can also borrow them for free if you’re a Kindle Prime member.

I will also be appearing on a podcast sometime this month to talk about my books and other topics of interest. I’ll have a more specific announcement once the episode drops.

Wings of Twilight, 2nd Edition Cover

Iron Fist Cover for Kindle

CalliomeRed

* If you have already purchased Wings of Twilight from Smashwords, you will still be able to download your book, you just won’t be able to buy new copies through them for now. I haven’t sold any copies of it anywhere except Amazon for 9 months, so I figured Amazon exclusivity wouldn’t really cost me any money.

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Iron Fist of the Oroqs is available!

The thrilling sequel to Wings of Twilight and the conclusion of The Foundation of Drak-Anor duology is now available exclusively on Kindle!

In Iron Fist of the Oroqs, Sarvesh is on the verge of making sweeping changes to Twilight Dungeon and ushering in a new era of peaceful coexistence with the surfacers. The leader of the oroqs, however, is determined to fight him, and when the volcano in which they all reside erupts, Sarvesh must come face-to-face with his forgotten past.

Meanwhile, the life Tasha and Lorelei are trying to build in Celtangate is shaken when the sibling of a dead companion comes looking for her brother, and they must all travel back to Twilight Dungeon to deal with the legacy of their past and help make a better world for all who live there.

Iron Fist of the Oroqs is also in print direct from CreateSpace and will be available for other e-reading platforms later this year. It should show up in paperback on Amazon by August 10th, 2012.

I had some promo art drawn by Char Reed for Wings of Twilight. You can see it here:

Bonus Material

Calliome World Map by Jonathan Roberts
Strom Lightbringer by Char Reed
Lorelei* by Char Reed
Tasha* by Char Reed
Sarvesh* by Char Reed
Kale & Delilah* by Char Reed
Soterios by Char Reed

*denotes a character who reappears in Iron Fist of the Oroqs.

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More Iron Fist Delays

My original plan was to publish Iron Fist of the Oroqs last week. Obviously, that didn’t happen. We’re still working on the final proofread, it’s just taking longer than it was supposed to because Real Life keeps interfering. The heat wave at the beginning of the month highlighted some problems with our HVAC system of which we weren’t aware, so we’ve been spending a lot of time trying to get that resolved. If you add in typical summertime illnesses (allergies, etc.), it just makes it hard to focus on something like proofreading for any amount of time. Plus, my wife decided we should have some homemade jams and preserves and spent a good deal of last week canning.

On the upside, we have a year’s supply of homemade apricot, peach, and blackberry jam. It’s delicious!

Oh, anyway, about the book. We’re going to try like the dickens to get the final proofread done this weekend. I need print copies to take to Gen Con, so it’s gotta get done this month!

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Iron Fist of the Oroqs

Iron Fist of the Oroqs is all but complete. I’m working on my final read-through now, just one final check of continuity and glaring errors, and I will be ready to publish it. I expect to have it available for sale in a week or two, so keep watching for that announcement.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on the cover. This is probably NOT the final version (particularly the blurb and the colors). I welcome your feedback.

 

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Delays, Delays

I have only myself to blame. Well, I could blame others, but it would do no good.

My original plan was to have Iron Fist of the Oroqs out by the first of June. It took me longer than I anticipated to get the manuscript to my editor. She turned it around quickly, but I haven’t had a chance to go over it again yet. My day job has been kicking the crap out of me with a project that is just snowballing into a disaster of epic proportions, so by the time I get home, I haven’t the energy to engage my brain…and that’s on the days I DON’T work late and/or bring work home. I’m even having to bring work along with me on my “vacation”.

Naturally, the delays in Iron Fist of the Oroqs are going to cause Zack Jackson and the Cult of Athos to be delayed as well, since I don’t want to work on that while Iron Fist of the Oroqs sits there, mocking me.

I’m not going to set a release date for either yet. Hopefully, by the end of next month, things will calm down at work and I’ll be able to muster some energy and finish Iron Fist of the Oroqs so I can then proceed to revise Zack Jackson and the Cult of Athos and get that book to my editor.

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Iron Fist of the Oroqs Sneak Peek – Meeting Aeryn

The following is an excerpt from my third draft of Iron Fist of the Oroqs, the sequel to Wings of Twilight. In it, you meet Aeryn, a young woman in search of her brother: Strom Lightbringer.

The beast knew hunger. The beast also knew allowing that hunger to run rampant was dangerous, particularly when humans were nearby. They did not understand the beast. They feared it. As well they should. The beast was bloodthirsty. The beast was a curse.

Aeryn hated the beast, but it was a part of her. She had no choice but to live with it. Fortunately, thanks to the ministrations of a kind elf, Aeryn was able to control the beast within. She never found out why the elf helped her, only that she nursed Aeryn back to health and helped her learn to control the beast. The only explanation the elf gave Aeryn was that the she couldn’t let her die.

Since then, Aeryn hunted only animals. The beast within her would not be allowed to kill other people or to pass its curse onto a new generation. She left her home in Hodge’s Mill shortly after the elf declared her fully healed. Aeryn thought if she tracked down and found her brother Strom, a knight who called himself Lord Lightbringer, he might be able to help seek a cure for her curse. It was certainly the type of cause of which he fancied himself a champion. At least she hoped it was. He was not known for being the tolerant sort, but she was his kin. She hoped that would make a difference.

Running over the rolling plains and farmland of Cardoba, Aeryn took in the sights and smells that surrounded her. She had to admit the beast form in which she now spent most of her time certainly had its advantages, of which one was speed. As she skipped through the tall grasses, her paws could feel every bent blade and every pebble they touched. Wildflowers bloomed, their floral scent filling her nostrils as she ran. Not far to her left, an antelope lay hidden hoping predators, particularly the one running past just now, would not notice him. Aeryn ignored the antelope. Feeding was not her immediate goal.

Getting to Hogs Wallow was.

Throughout the day and into the night, she ran. The rig she created to securely hold her pack, bow, and sword onto her back stayed in place, a mandatory concession to her beast form. She had no clothing or armor that would fit properly while she was in that form, though she could stand upright and use weapons. Aeryn would change into human form at will, however, which was a necessity when dealing with other humans.

As the light of dawn infused the horizon with a soft, pink glow, Aeryn could no longer ignore the rumbling in her stomach, the call of the beast within to feed. Stopping at the crest of a hill, she could see an inn past the next rise: Hogs Wallow. She sniffed the air, catching the unmistakable scent of sheep in the wind.

Trotting toward the scent, she soon heard the sheep vocalizing and another unwelcome sound. A shepherd was with them, attempting to coax them where he wanted to go.

Removing her pack, Aeryn left it under a bush with fire-red berries downwind from the sheep. She knew she could locate it again by its scent after she fed. The sheep were close enough that she could hear them moving around in the grass. The smell of the shepherd was distinct from the sheep.

She hunkered down and crept toward her prey: a lone sheep, munching on some ground cover. It was a straggler, and the entire flock stood between them and the shepherd.

Aeryn cursed silently as the wind shifted. The sheep looked up, eyes wide. It could smell her. She took off sprinting, charging the animal. Precisely as it turned to run, Aeryn tackled it, digging her claws into its body and dragged it to the ground. The frightened animal struggled to escape, bleating in terror. Aeryn heard the rest of the flock bleat in response, moving away as a group as fast as they could.

The shepherd cried out, fighting to move through the flock toward the distressed animal. Clamping her jaws around the sheep’s throat, Aeryn repositioned herself and bit down, relishing the gush of hot blood that rushed into her mouth. The sheep’s bleating turned into a wet gurgle as blood flooded its vocal cords. Her claws raked at its belly as she disemboweled it.

As the sheep’s struggle came to an end, the shepherd finally found the source of the commotion. Aeryn looked up at him, jaws dripping. The sheep’s flesh dangled from her fangs. He yelled in alarm. Growling, Aeryn swiped at him, sure that he was still too far away for her to actually make contact. The shepherd stumbled backward and ran off in terror, chasing after his flock.

Aeryn smiled to herself and resumed feeding.

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