Scars of the Sundering

Cyber Monday Sale! (through Friday)

Scars of the Sundering, books 1 and 2 (Malediction and Lament) are only $0.99 for Kindle. Book 3 (Salvation) is FREE!

Scars of the Sundering is an epic fantasy trilogy telling the tale of the minotaur Pancras and his friends, the drak twins Kale and Delilah, as they venture out into a world that, until recently, considered their kind to be mere monsters.

They must deal with more than just the prejudices of the neighboring humans as they stumble into political plots and ancient evils unveil themselves.

 

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Pancras Fan Art

I just received a lovely piece of fan art. Obviously, it’s Pancras and he looks great. I think he’d be a bit embarrassed and no doubt the drak twins would tease him for weeks.

Pancras by Bernie Todd

Pancras by Josebean Todd

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Salvation coming to Kindle on July 14th!

Your Salvation arrives on July 14th. Scars of the Sundering, book 3 available on Kindle.

Life has a way of sweeping you to unexpected destinations, as Pancras discovers as he continues his investigation into the Lich Queen’s return. Enlisting the aid of Justicars, the stern knights in the service of the Divine Tribunal, he tracks a growing army to Badon Hill, the site of the Lich Queen’s last battle.

Returning to Muncifer and burdened with the truths discovered in the Valley of the Iron Giants, Delilah and Kale must bring the megalomaniacal archmage Vilkan Icebreaker to justice. Delilah takes it upon herself to keep the vast arcane secrets she carries safe from the archmage while Kale struggles to balance his desire for adventure with his responsibilities to his mate.

As their worlds collide and their enemies advance, the twins and Pancras have their mettle and faith tested as the fate of their world hangs in the balance.

Salvation is the conclusion to my Scars of the Sundering trilogy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Signed copies will be available at Gen Con along with my print-exclusive offering, “Burble’s Big Day.”

In addition to Gen Con, I will be at TeenCon 2017 at the New Castle-Henry County Public Library this Saturday, July 15 from 10am – 3pm.

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Lament Cover art Revealed!

As Lament goes into the final round of proofreading, I now have the finished cover art!

Lily Yang once again lent her talents to my cover (you’ve seen her work before on Malediction), and did a fantastic job.

Lament cover final lowres

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Seven Galaxies stories now available!

Forgotten Dreams Cover for webA few years ago, I wrote two short stories for Fear the Boot’s Sojourn speculative fiction anthologies. The rights have reverted back to me, so I am making “Forgotten Dreams” and “The Pleasure Pools of Persiphia” individually available on Kindle.

They are $0.99 each. If you prefer print, they’re still available in the Sojourn anthologies, but I will also have a convention-exclusive flipbook version available starting at ConQuest 47 in Kansas City, MO.

The flipbook has both stories bound together, but they’re upside down with respect to each other. When you finish one story, you close the book, flip it over, and start the other. Since they’re not sequels (though they share a setting), it doesn’t matter in which order you read them. I plan on selling the flipbook for $5 only at conventions (ConQuest, Gen Con, whatever other shows I exhibit at). I will likely also offer direct sales of these, so if you can’t get to one of my convention appearances, I’ll have something set up for you to send me $5 +shipping via PayPal and I’ll mail a signed copy out to you.

Pleasure Pools Cover for webYou may ask, “Well, why not make it permanently available in print on Lulu or someplace like that?” Very simple: they won’t guarantee consistent results with the flipbook. Automated systems don’t like seeing half of a print file upside down. Plus, I would have to sully one of the beautiful covers with a barcode and since each side is upside down with respect to the other, placement is problematic. Later this year, I may investigate making individual print copies available, but the price I’d have to charge to make it cost-effective may not be worth your while for a 10,000-word short story.

Please note: production of these is not in any way holding up production of Scars of the Sundering, book 2: LamentLament is currently with my editor and Beta Readers. Cover art has been ordered and everything is on track for a Gen Con release. Scars of the Sundering, book 3: Salvation is written. Editing will begin on that once Lament is published.

 

 

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Character Preview: Qaliah

QaliahIn my last character Sneak Peak, we looked at The Golden Slayer. Also making her debut in Scars of the Sundering: Lament, is the fiendling Qaliah.

Pancras encounters Qaliah at the Arcane University in Muncifer. She already knows Gisella and is currently working off a debt to the Archmage by acting as a sort of court jester. She goes out of her way to be annoying in this capacity, as one might if they know their punishment is needlessly humiliating. Qaliah ditches the jester outfit and accompanies Gisella and Pancras on their journey once her debt is paid.

Her fiendish heritage is evident in her jet-black skin, red eyes, and horns, and Qaliah keenly feels the distrustful stares of most people she encounters. She’s used to fending for herself and defends herself with sharp knives and sharp tongue. She’s not sure why she should care about the challenges facing Pancras and Gisella, yet she sees an opportunity to do something worthwhile when she encounters the minotaur necromancer.

Lament will be available early 2016. Scars of the Sundering, book 1: Malediction is available in print and on Kindle from Amazon.com.

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Scars of the Sundering, Book 1 – Malediction – Pre-Orders Available!

SoS MaledictionAfter MUCH heartache, Scars of the Sundering, Book 1: Malediction is now up for pre-order on Amazon!

Pancras thought trouble waited at the end of his journey.

Shadow demons, chaos rifts, and petty archmages all conspire to disrupt his quiet life. Summoned to face a Mage’s Guild inquest over minor grievances, the minotaur wizard leaves home and travels south with his companions, the twins Delilah and Kale.

Harsh winter weather traps them in an unfriendly city where a run-in with a drunken bully leaves him dead and the trio in jail. Fortunately, the opportunistic prince of the city needs a wizard to curse his unwanted wife. The only catch is Pancras’s sense of honor.

As he stalls for time, the twins involve themselves in an uprising in the city’s salt mines. Pancras left necromancy behind him, but it’s looking more and more like he’ll need to break his moral code–and further anger the Mage’s Guild–to get them out of the city in one piece.

The paperback is also available at Amazon, and, of course, at CreateSpace (where I make more money per copy). I’ll have copies at Gen Con, of course, at table AF on Author’s Avenue (roughly row 1250).

I posted earlier (The Challenge of Malediction) exactly what I went through to get this book finished. It’s such a relief to be done. Basically, this book was delayed by multiple illnesses and deaths (yes, that’s supposed to be plural). It really lived up to its title.

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The Challenge of Malediction

mal*e*dic*tion
noun
:  curse, execration<the maledictions of great poets, whose hate confers an unwelcome immortality — John Buchan>

Origin of MALEDICTION

Middle English malediccioun, from Late Latin malediction-, maledictio, from maledictus (past participle ofmaledicere to curse) + Latin -ion-, -io -ion

First Known Use: 14th century

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Scars of the Sundering – Malediction

Edits are back for book 1 of the Scars of the Sundering trilogy, Malediction! Cover art is finished! The new map is finished! All that remains is incorporating some Beta Reader feedback and doing a final revision pass.

That means that I will have print copies to sell at Gen Con at the end of the month! Official, that’s Thursday, July 30th 2015. In the meantime, here’s the cover art, by Lily Yang.

Malediction Cover art - medium

Since the character went to new places and I fleshed the world out more than I had in The Foundation of Drak-Anor series, I decided to have the map updated, as well. Anna B. Meyer did a fantastic job updating the look of the World of Calliome!

Web

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Scars of the Sundering – MALEDICTION – Preview 5

Finally, we conclude Chapter 1 of Scars of the Sundering, book one: Malediction with our fifth preview. Good thing May has five Fridays! It’s almost as though I planned the whole thing.

SoS Malediction

Pancras realized Kale was in trouble when he caught a glimpse of the little drak dangling by his ankle but knew if he broke his concentration to help his friend, the magic he manipulated to seal the rift would be ruined and he would have to start over.

He repeated the words, over and over, pouring every bit of arcane energy he could gather into the rift. “Stenee pyealee, stenee pyealee.” He wasn’t sure the ritual would work. His experience with magical portals was limited to his knowledge of the portal in Drak-Anor. With the help of Delilah, he spent the last several years studying it off and on, and though he never tried to close it, he was confident he knew the theory behind the process, a theory he had, until now, not tested.

Kale sailed past him through the air and into the rift. Pancras’s heart skipped a beat, and it took all his effort to concentrate on the task at hand. If Kale was inside the rift when he sealed it, he would be trapped in the elemental chaos for eternity. He knew, however, leaving the rift open was far more dangerous to more than just one drak. It pained him to admit it, but closing the rift was worth the life of one drak or even all three of them.

The air crackled as lighting arced across the room. The kaleidoscopic colors gave Pancras a headache. He saw no sign of Kale but noticed Edric struggling with a veritable forest of toothed, suckered tentacles. Pancras felt the portal weakening. Its connection with the Mortal Realm was tenuous, at best, and with the magic he weaved around it, that connection weakened further.

As the wispy tendrils of shadowy smoke coalesced into a familiar, frightening demonic form, Pancras redoubled his efforts and ended the ritual. “STENEE PYEALEE!”

Splurrrt-woosh! Air rushed past them as the rift contracted, and then a sucking sound, reminiscent of viscous goo squirting from a wine skin, filled the room. Pancras felt something slam into him, driving the breath from his lungs. There was a flash of light, and then all was still. Edric’s sword clanged on the ground as the tentacles he fought vanished. The closing rift bisected the bloodmaw: the part in the rift gone, and the part still in this world mortally wounded. It slithered out of the hole in the ceiling and crashed to the floor with a grotesque, wet plop.

As he tried to catch his breath, Pancras fell to his knees. Smokey tendrils wafted from his limbs, growing more and more nebulous until they vanished completely. He no longer saw the shadow demon, but that was no guarantee he eliminated the threat. The dwarf was behind him, getting to his feet. He couldn’t see the drak. “Kale?” Pancras’s voice was hoarse and raspy.

“Ow.”

Pancras walked around the bloodmaw’s carcass to find Kale curled up against the wall. The drak held his head and moaned. Kneeling down next to him, the minotaur put his hand on Kale’s shoulder. The drak’s scales felt hot, feverish, and uncomfortable to touch.

“Kale? Can you move?”

“Can I?” Kale lifted his head as if lead weights were attached to his skull. His eyes seemed different to Pancras, though they had not changed their outward appearance. “Yes, but I don’t want to. I hurt, Pancras. I feel like I’m burning up from the inside out.”

“It’ll pass.” He helped Kale to his feet. I hope.

“What now?” Edric poked at the remains of the bloodmaw with his sword. The angular blade sank into the carcass like a knife into a quivering pile of jelly. He grimaced and yanked it out, shaking slime off it.

Pancras looked around the room. There was still no sign of the shadow demon. “Let’s try to head back to Ironkrag. You dwarves can probably deal with any remaining beasties down here. I recommend collapsing these caverns entirely.” He figured the dwarves would ignore his advice, but he gave it anyway.

“They sent me down here to get rid of me. I’ll bet they never thought I’d come back.”

“Why is the room all twisty?” Kale held his head and staggered as he walked. Pancras reached under his arm and picked him up and was surprised how light the he was, given his propensity for ale.

“If nothing else, you have quite a tale to tell.”

“Aye.”

The three made their way up the twisting tunnel back into the main chamber where Pancras destroyed the ghouls. The cavern was quiet and still, with only the phosphorescent glow of fungus providing light. Nothing stirred, not even cave rats, and by comparison to the cacophony in the cave earlier, to Pancras’s ears their breathing was deafening.

Kale’s body cooled, and by the time they returned to the tunnel leading to Ironkrag, he demanded he be allowed to walk on his own.

“I can walk! You can’t carry me into Ironkrag. We’d never live it down!”

Pancras lowered Kale to the ground before the drak squirmed out of his arms and fell. He kept a close eye on him, though, unsure of whether the effects of the chaos rift were permanent.

He took a deep breath as he saw the area of darkness at the end of the tunnel. “Let’s just get this report to the dwarves over with. Then we can go home.”

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