Posts Tagged With: Iron Fist

Signed Books for Christmas!

If you want to buy a signed print version of any of my books to give as a gift, you can buy direct from me by sending an e-mail. Just click the e-mail link under Contact Me to the left. Include the titles, quantities, and whether or not you would like them signed and/or personalized. I’ll need your complete mailing address, including phone number for shipping. No P.O. Boxes, please. When I get your e-mail, I’ll send you a PayPal invoice for the total including shipping.

There’s still time to get books in time for Christmas if you’re in the United States (probably Canada, too). If you’re overseas, I will make the attempt, but cannot guarantee results.

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New art and new fantasy novels!

Pancras the Putrid, First Wizard of Drak-Anor (Art by Lily Yang)

Pancras the Putrid, First Wizard of Drak-Anor
(Art by Lily Yang)

While I was at Gen Con, I met an impressive young artist, Lily Yang. Her portfolio impressed me so much, I decided to commission her to do the covers for my next three fantasy novels. I’m currently working on the first of three books that continues the story of Pancras and the drak twins, Kale and Delilah from my previous fantasy duology, The Foundation of Drak-Anor. I also commissioned her to do some character art for me that I can use in promotional materials. You can see the first such commission to the right.

The new trilogy is tentatively titled: The Necromancer’s Tale and will consist of three volumes: Malediction, Lament, and Salvation. The titles are still works-in-progress and may change as I continue writing.

Gen Con was successful for me and I sold through all but two or three of the remaining copies of The Foundation of Drak-Anor Gen Con-exclusive hardcover omnibus. Once these hardcovers are gone, I do not plan to produce more of them, although the individual books, Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs will still be available in paperback and for e-readers.

I also have an announcement to make regarding the third book in the Zack Jackson series, but I will save that for a separate post.

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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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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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Iron Fist of the Oroqs Sneak Peek – Meeting Terrick

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 Terrick the Grey, a Bonelord of Aita, goddess of death.

The ashen snow falling in Celtangate did not faze Terrick. The big man simply pulled a handkerchief from his pouch, covered his nose and mouth, and continued to his destination. As far as he was concerned, it was just something else that happened, no more concerning than if a butterfly crossed his path.

Arriving at his destination, he surveyed the building briefly, a habit he picked up from the war. There was no real danger to him in Celtangate, but most veterans of the Wars of the Witch Queen tended to be a little paranoid. Survivors of that war all carried scars which would never heal. She was defeated, but at a terrible price to the psyches of all who watched their fallen comrades rise from the grave and turn against their former allies. Terrick was forced to destroy no fewer than a dozen of his own friends, still wearing the wounds that killed them.

Rapping soundly on the door, he waited. The ash continued to coat his dark skin, and stuck to his black armor and cloak.

An elf opened the door, squinting in the light. He noticed the ash falling from the sky and cocked an eyebrow. “A harbinger of your arrival?”

“Hardly.” Terrick pushed past the elf who announced his arrival to the other occupant of the house.

“The Bonelord is here.”

Terrick cringed. While the title was technically correct, he hated the appellation. It made him sound like a fearsome beast, when he was but a simple servant of Aita, goddess of death. To most, that branded him a necromancer, or worse. In truth, he recognized only that death was a necessary part of the natural cycle of life. His job was not to bring about death. Rather, it was to help those who lingered or who suffered cross over. To the true faithful of Aita, death was not to be feared, and undead were an abomination to be destroyed. To mourn was a natural result, but to fight death off indefinitely was something at which no one could be successful, not even the Witch Queen.

The elf led Terrick into the bedroom. There two other elves knelt at a bed occupied by an emaciated creature so gaunt, Terrick wouldn’t have believed it was an elf without her family’s assurances. One of the kneeling elves stood as Terrick entered, turned to him and bowed.

“Ah, Bonelord, we appreciate your attention.”

The top of the elf’s head barely reached Terrick’s chest. His build was slight enough that Terrick estimated the elf to be about half his own weight. He supposed the size difference alone was intimidating enough without having to call him “Bonelord.”

Terrick held up his hand, “Please, just Terrick will do. ‘Bonelord’ makes me sound more fearsome than I am.”

The elf looked surprised. “Very well.” He gestured to the elf in the bed. “The healers say there is nothing more they can do. The sickness eats Feralia from within, yet she lingers, suffering. We—” the words caught in his throat. The elf swallowed and continued, “We hoped there was something you could do.”

“I am no healer; I can only end her suffering if that is what she desires.”

The elf gestured for Terrick to attend the bed-ridden elf. Detaching his mace from his belt, he set it on the ground beside him as he knelt alongside Feralia’s head. He pulled off his glove and placed his hand on her forehead, his ebony skin contrasting against the elf’s pale, yellowish-green complexion. So frail she was, her skin felt like paper to his touch. Her dark hair was matted to her head, and she burned with a fever that was almost uncomfortable to Terrick to touch. She turned to meet his eyes.

Terrick strained to hear the whisper that emerged from Feralia’s lips. She spoke in elvish, a language he now regretted never learning.

“She says she’s afraid.” The elf beside him reached and took her hand.

“Feralia is so young, yet look at how this sickness has ravaged her!” The elf behind Terrick sobbed, while the one who opened the door crowded in closer.

Clearing his throat, Terrick decided it was too crowded in the small bedroom. “Leave us.” He looked back at the two standing elves. “I will let the other stay to translate.”

The two elves glanced at each other uncertainly. The one kneeling with Terrick at the bed nodded at them. They left the room, pulling a curtain across the doorway as they left. Feralia whispered something again.

“She says she’s too young to leave this world.”

Terrick nodded. It was not an uncommon sentiment. He dared not venture a guess how young Feralia was; particularly virulent diseases took their toll in many ways.

“Age has little to do with death, Feralia.” Terrick looked into her eyes. They were glassy and red-rimmed, but Terrick could tell she still had her wits about her. The elf beside him translated quietly.

“Aita calls all to her, eventually. Sometimes, they do not feel it is their time. But ultimately, that is not for us to decide.”

Feralia closed her eyes and nodded. Terrick listened as she spoke at length. Her translator was careful not to talk over her.

“I’ve heard what our afterlife is like, but I wonder: is it true? What if death confines us to oblivion? Never to know again. Never to love. Just nothing. What if I never see my husband again? My brothers and sisters? Never again taste the morning dew on budding roses? Never again smell the hydrangeas in the garden, or hear the laughter of children?”

Terrick moved his hand to Feralia’s shoulder. “I have felt the power of Aita personally. I have heard her words. The gods exist. They exist; therefore, so must our afterlife. I do not know what awaits elves after they die, but I do not believe you face oblivion. Have you lived a good life?”

Again he waited as the elf beside him translated and Feralia answered. Her answers were slow; she fought to summon the strength to form the words.

“I fear how I will be judged. The Mother might reject me. Some of my actions as a youth were not respectful.”

“I do not know what sins you carry,” Terrick thought how best to assuage her fears, “but I know the Earth Mother is compassionate. The folly of youth is a common attribute to all of us. Making mistakes is how we learn. Learning from those mistakes is one way of atoning. Aita and Gaia are very close. They are family.”

Many people were not aware of the familial bonds between the Earth Mother and the Princess of Death. Aita was married to Nethuns, god of the oceans, the son of Gaia. Aita swore an oath to her mother-in-law that those who came from the earth would always return to the earth.

Terrick continued, “I can feel the disease that ravages you. Fighting it will only prolong the pain. I can take away the pain, but you must be ready to pass over into Aita’s embrace. It will be cold at first, but she will return you to the Mother.” Looking deeply into Feralia’s eyes, Terrick placed his hand over her heart. He could feel her ribs through her paper-thin skin. “This I promise you.”

“I am ready.”

Nodding, Terrick bade the elf to re-admit the two he sent outside. Picking up his mace he held it between himself and Feralia and placed her hands on its haft. Closing his eyes, he reached out with his mind. He heard the elves in the room gasp, the usual reaction when the flanged head of his mace transformed into a blood red skull. Calling on the power Aita granted him as one of her Bonelords, he touched Feralia’s mind. He saw her as she was, a beautiful young elf woman. Her skin was the color of fresh clover, and her eyes sparkled like golden topaz. Ebony hair hung in ringlets around her face, and as she smiled at him, the corners of her eyes crinkled. They stood together on an infinitely featureless plain, a place Terrick knew well.

You do not fear this place? Few Terrick brought here smiled at him.

I am with you. I do not fear what you will show me.

It was an unusual answer. Most of the people Terrick brought here were still afraid, and had to be guided by hand.

Why? Terrick wished to know more about this elf.

My family brought you to me. I know they wished only to relieve my suffering. Besides, she reached up and touched his face, our minds are as one. I can feel your suffering. My own is nothing compared to that. You have freed me, and for that, I am grateful. I can find the way on my own now. I hope, in time, you find relief from your pain.

Terrick’s eyes snapped open. Feralia was still; her hands still clutching the mace, now reverted to its more mundane appearance. The elves around him wept. No one ever reached into his mind as he eased their passing. His hands shook as he relaxed Feralia’s grip on his mace and reattached the weapon to his belt.

His pain was his own. He did not speak of it to anyone, and he hoped the words exchanged between him and Feralia remained silent. The elves showed no reaction to him, so he suspected the conversation occurred in his head. The pain of having murdered his wife and children was still his alone to bear.

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Iron Fist of the Oroqs Sneak Peek – Meeting Edie

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 Edwinna Bouldercrusher, a dwarven trader from Ironkrag who crosses paths with Delilah and plays an important part in the future of the draks and minotaurs living under Sarvesh.

The dwarf looked up as a rumble shook the ground under her feet. Her eyes searched the sky as she walked up the path toward Ironkrag’s main gate. Smoke was pouring out of Bloodplume, the nearby volcano, and she could see spurts of lava. Edie Bouldercrusher shrugged; Bloodplume was two days away by foot and never proved a threat to Ironkrag in the past; the inhabitants, on the other hand, almost always caused trouble.

She hoped the volcano incinerated every godless inhabitant of the so-called Twilight Dungeon. Edie didn’t know if the denizens of Twilight Dungeon were actually godless, but she knew for certain that they often raided trade caravans carrying ale. In fact, she noted they seemed solely to target caravans with ale. Maybe they were thirsty, or mean. She always thought it strange that oroqs, whom she heard were led by a fearsome demon, should be so concerned with stealing ale.

Her mule brayed in fear, eyes rolling white. The beast tugged at the rope, and Edie tugged back. Bad enough the volcano’s eruptin’. Now I gotta deal with this dumb mule, too. She dug her heels into the gravel and yanked on the rope, whipping the mule’s head around.

“Come on, now. It ain’t gonna hurt us. Let’s just get to the gates, yeah?”

Edie wrapped the rope around one hand, and she dug around in her pouch for a bribe. Producing a carrot, she waved it under the mule’s nose. Keeping it barely out of reach as the mule snapped for it, she led the beast up the mountain.

Dwarven guards decked out in dark plate armor stood at Ironkrag’s main gate. Over their armor, they wore tabards with a chevron set over two gauntlets clasping hands in front of a tower on a background of a green and white gyronny shield–Ironkrag’s coat of arms. They all watched the volcano’s fury with trepidation and held their halberds at the ready, as if that would stave off any dangers from the volcano. Edie approached the twin guard towers with her mule, clearing her throat to get the guards’ attention. They ignored her until she stepped back and kicked her heel up in to the mule’s belly, causing him to bray in protest.

“Oy, Edwinna! You see old Bloodplume?” While she was well-known to the guards, they insisted on calling her by her full name. She gave up trying to convince them to use the short form of her name, as they had silently ignored her requests for the past couple of years. One of the guards walked over to Edie’s mule and gave the packs a cursory inspection, patting them lightly. The guards never gave her any grief over her imports and exports.

Nodding, the trader pressed a talon into the guard’s palm. “The bastard’s belching up a storm today. Hopefully, it’ll burn all those oroqs to a crisp.”

The guard slipped the coin into his pouch. “With any luck. Hopefully, whatever else is in there dies, too. You hear about that elf and that human who came out of there last year?”

Edie shook her head. “I didn’t know anyone ever came out of there, other than the oroqs stealin’ our beer.”

“About this time, last year, five of ’em went in. Four humans and an elf. Only the human female and the elf came back out. Said they lived only ’cause they swore a sacred vow to never speak of what they saw. Then they skipped their merry way back down toward Celtangate.”

“Odd lot, those surfacers.” Edie tugged at her mule’s rope and walked toward the gate.

“Welcome home, Edwinna.” The guard returned to his post to watch the erupting volcano with his peers.

Edie grunted a reply and led her mule through the gate. It took her many months to train the mule to go into the underground city, but it was a hell of a lot easier than carrying all her goods by herself. Traders without mules were set up near the gates, hawking their wares.

Winking at a dwarven merchant who offered decorative trinkets for hair and beards, Edie promised she would be back soon to peruse his wares. Of course, she didn’t need trinkets, and those weren’t the sort of wares in which she would be interested anyway. She didn’t expect much from the merchant, though. He was probably married, but the game was fun, nonetheless.

The city’s trade guild hall was down the main road from the gate. Edie made her way there, noticing that even within the protective caverns of Ironkrag, she could feel Bloodplume loose its fury upon the world. It was the first time in her lifetime the volcano did anything more than vent steam and sulfurous fumes, but she supposed these things had to happen from time to time. The winds would keep the fumes from the eruption from reaching Ironkrag, and the terrain would protect the dwarven city from the lava flows.

The trade guild master greeted Edie as she entered the hall. “Ho there, Edwinna!”

Edie grunted in reply and dug her log book out from one of the mule’s pouches. She handed it to the guild master.
Flipping through the log book, the guild master grinned at Edie. “You see what’s going on outside? I haven’t felt this much motion since the bed shook on my wedding night!”

“Bloodplume is blowing its top,” Edie dug around in her belt pouch. Producing a hard candy she procured in Celtangate, she began sucking on it.

“Hmm…I’d say ‘good riddance’, but it might clog up Deep Road. It’d be a shame to have to dig all that out again.”

“Aye,” Edie nodded. “Still, if it got rid of all the oroqs, no price would be too steep, eh?”

“You’ve obviously never been a digger, Edwinna. By the way, your name came up.”

“For what?”

“Soul Forge. Then Deep Road Patrol.” The guild master grinned at Edie.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Edie tugged on her braids in frustration. Every able-bodied citizen of Ironkrag was required to spend time each year serving in the city’s militia. For some, that meant guard duty, for others, patrols. The most dreaded assignment was Soul Forge.

Ironkrag was a city powered by magic. Dwarves practiced a different type of magic than surfacers. Connected to the earth by ancient, powerful magics, dwarves changed as they aged. They became more and more rock-like until they died. Their bodies resembled stone so closely, many surfacers mistook them for statues, which, of course, they weren’t. After death, the bodies would be taken to the settlement’s Soul Forge, where the bodies would be burned and the souls released to go dwell with their ancestors and gods. It was an honorable assignment, but was taxing for those who did it. Most dwarves were only assigned Soul Forge duty for one or two days out of the year.

Soul Forge duty was always difficult, while Deep Road Patrol meant days on end of slogging up and down a portion of Deep Road, a vast underground thoroughfare connecting Ironkrag with other underground settlements. For Edie, the combined duties of both meant at least a week without profit.

“You’ve been out in the surface world so long, you don’t think you’ve gone soft. Do you? Think you can still handle it?”

The dwarf shrugged. The guild master signed the log book and handed it back to Edie. Traders like Edie didn’t have to actually sell their wares. They brought them to the trade guild, and the goods thus imported were distributed to the purveyors of that particular type of merchandise. The guild would then disburse profits to the traders, minus a small percentage for the guild, of course. The guild master pulled a small coffer out of his desk. Opening it, he counted out several dozen silver coins, talons, and gave them to Edie.

Edie ignored the guild master’s question and weighed the coins in her hand, “Pretty good cut this time.”

“You keep bringing in the good stuff, and the money will keep flowing, my friend.” The guild master put away his coffer. Edie nodded her thanks and led her mule over to the storage area. As she unloaded her mule’s packs, she smiled. Maybe I’ll buy something from that merchant after all.

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Iron Fist of the Oroqs – Sneak Peeks!

Starting next week, I will begin posting excerpts, sneak peeks if you will, of my next novel, Iron Fist of the Oroqs. If you’re just joining us, Iron Fist of the Oroqs is the sequel to my debut fantasy novel, Wings of Twilight. Over the course of the week, I’ll introduce you to three new characters appearing for the first time in Iron Fist of the Oroqs: Edie Bouldercrusher, Terrick the Grey, and Aeryn.

And if you haven’t read Wings of Twilight yet, I invite you to pick up a copy. The links to the left will direct you to a format of your choice. Thanks for reading!

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Ideas for the Future

So, I had an idea last night while driving home for another story set in the World of Calliome. I’ll be writing down a synopsis and some character bios over the next couple of days.

Not counting Wings of Twilight and its upcoming sequel Iron Fist of the Oroqs, that gives me six – nine more novels set on the Andelosian continent of Calliome (that’s the part of the world Jonathan Roberts mapped out for me). I say six – nine because one idea might have enough material to form a trilogy.

For the most part, these novels will not feature the same cast of character as Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs, though a character might make an appearance here or there (in fact, a character from those two novels will appear in a future novel or two, but they won’t really be part of a series, just a continuation of that particular character’s story). I even have working titles for most of them. One is as sophisticated as “Untitled Calliome Story” (that’s the potential trilogy). Of course, I won’t reveal most of the titles yet ’cause they’ll probably change. Certainly, Untitled Calliome Story will change. When I’m finished, I’ll have stories that take place pretty much all over this part of the world, including one that takes place after The Sundering, but before the world was healed.

I’ve alluded to The Sundering in Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs, but for those of you who haven’t read my books yet, The Sundering was a cataclysm that nearly destroyed Calliome. For several centuries, the world was split into many pieces, held together by powerful (and, as yet, unrevealed) magic. The Fae Realm was completely severed from the Mortal Realm (meaning no faeries, no elves, and very little magic). The Healing of the World was nearly as traumatic as The Sundering and much of the technology that helped people survive on the broken world was lost. You’ll be able to read about some of that in Sky Pirates of Andelosia (it’s an unfinished manuscript right now, about 55,000 words or so).

Two (or 5 if the trilogy happens) take place in Cardoba and Vlorey. One of them is an idea I had for a supernatural horror-romance story, but I’ve had to shelve that idea since Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series came out because, yes, it features a vampire protagonist involved with a human. Of course, my vampires don’t sparkle in the sunlight (it kills them fast and gruesomely) and neither protagonist is in high school. I think my idea has enough of a twist to make it a good idea, but there’s just too much supernatural romance out there and I fear it would get lost in the noise. The other deals with the King of Vlorey and various politics surround his situation and succession.

Another story deals with a knight and his companion discovering the remains of a dead god. That story will reveal more about The Sundering, I think, but will mostly be a character-driven story. It will start in Etrunia, but take us across the continent to the northeast over to the Wizard’s Rift.

I also have a story set in Etrunia dealing with a mis-guided death cultist, lost love, and a very young (pre-teen, in fact) Tasha Galperin. It is actually a story the character herself relates in Iron Fist of the Oroqs, but the novel will only feature her in a very small, bit part. She’s a participant in events, but the story isn’t about her.

Finally, there is a story set in Curton (it’s the town south of Raven’s Forest on that map) that features a character from Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs in a supporting role (taking place after those two novels) and ties in with Sky Pirates of Andelosia. Again, the protagonist is not in any other books, so it’s not really a sequel to any of the others.

I mentioned that one of the books is a mostly character-driven story. I think that’s true for all my books. They might get caught up in important events, but ultimately, all the stories are about them characters and how they deal with and grow in the situations in which they find themselves.

Couple these ideas with the half-a-dozen or more ideas I have for the Zack Jackson series, and I think I have enough books to write to keep me busy for many years to come.

World of Calliome logo by Gwyenth Ravenscraft.

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Revisions, Revisions

Earlier this month I received the last of the feedback from my Beta Readers for Iron Fist of the Oroqs (the sequel to Wings of Twilight). The feedback I received was very valuable and pointed out several weaknesses with the manuscript. Unfortunately, when I finished compiling the feedback and compared it to my notes, my brain saw the amount of work I had to do and decided it was a good time to check out. It basically gave me the one-fingered salute and said “See ya!”

I have tracked it down and given it severe beatings until morale improved.

So, revisions for Iron Fist of the Oroqs are underway. I’m hoping to have them finished by the end of February, then send the manuscript to my editor. Meanwhile, hopefully the cover art (by Jason Rainville) can get underway. My goal is still to have it finished by the end of May.

The story was OK before, but it wasn’t really good. This is my first sequel and I believe these characters have another really good story in them. I just have to figure out how to coax it out of them. Depending on how the revisions go, I may have to push Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos into summer.

It’s OK to look back at something I wrote after publication and say “You know, that could’ve been better, but only now that I have more experience.” It’s not OK to release it and say “It could be better, but meh…it’s good enough for now and I’m tired of working on it.”

World of Calliome logo by Gwyneth Ravenscraft.

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