Category Archives: Writer’s Journey

Cover Reveal: Perilous Embraces

The third book in the series “Shards of Light” is coming out July 4th, and I can honestly say there’s been no Tale of Hope like it. Pre-order now and free your mind next month!

The first two books start with different heroes at close to the same time. They each have a contained plot (with windows, perhaps, through which to view the other characters) and you could read them in either order. Captain Justin and the Stealthic Feldspar pursue separate quests, circling around the edge of a conspiracy that’s larger than either suspects. The endings clearly show there’s more adventure ahead (“there’s always more” – Salling’r the Bard), but they stand alone. Also, shorter.

But now the plot deepens. And in W’starrah Altieri you meet the woman who sees that conspiracy, catalyzes the entire city and brings these other heroes together. Eventually.

Before the blurb (in which I wrote something) let me show you the cover (about which words fail me).

 

W’starrah Altieri can see the future, ranks high in her church, and is without question the most beautiful woman in the North Mark. But the prophecy she knows to be true will either break her heart, destroy her home or end her life.

In 2002 ADR, the jewel of the southern empire is the city of Cryssigens, where life is an unending carnival of display, while intrigue brews beneath the surface. Nobles, guilds and House Cups scheme with and against each other, even in the best of times. But civil war stripped the city of its Overlord, and now factions emerge daring all in a bid to succeed to the throne.

One of the leading lights of Cryssigensian society is W’starrah Altieri, the Lavender Lady, high-ranking priestess of the sect of Argens Stargazer; while others see only her dazzling beauty her eyes are filled with foreknowledge of the future. She willingly risks life and reputation to save her city, but juggling visions, rivals, suitors and the occasional assassin pushes the real world further from her grasp. Who could expect that in the midst of this she would meet the promised love of her life, or foresee that he too is doomed?

Perilous Embraces is the third book of the series “Shards of Light”. It is highly recommended that you read The Ring and the Flag and Fencing Reputation first.

Keeping Track with Collateral

Good ideas come to me slowly, I admit that. Sometimes I’m staring one right in the face and nothing happens. I can use my writing, and my lovely wife as examples.

As to the latter, this was literally true. I met Dorie trying out for a play (she was musical director, so I got used to not being in charge right away and couldn’t have been happier). But mid-thirties, the usual folderol about marriage in the modern age. I was looking right at her (and believe me, when she got dressed up to play a show it was impossible to look anywhere else) for more than two years before I asked her to marry me. I made up for it by marrying her twice, and this should all be part of another tale, so for now just understand. Great idea. Took me awhile.

So this lovely wife of mine, she read one of my books a few months ago, the first one in the Shards of Light series (The Ring and the Flag). And she liked it. This was an accomplishment on several levels, but just get this one for now– Dorie is very busy. And I think she’s like a lot of readers today, there is just so little time to sit and read, even novellas like my series. I do some tooth-grinding and jaw-gnashing over that because I realized this problem, that epic fantasy books are way-long and readers don’t have time, so I thought I’d solve that problem by, duh, writing shorter tales. That plugged together.

No, the good idea wasn’t about writing a series. That’s everybody’s deal nowadays. And my series, compared to mystery or romance or pretty much any other genre, is stuck in low gear. I have three novellas done in the SoL series, and am working on the finale now. Not ten books, not fourt-frickin’-teen, not a goes-on-forever-if-you-like-Mr.-Big-Publisher-Guy. Four. And then we’ll see, but more likely than not pretty much done. In epic, stuff has to have meaning, come around; there’s a home-run at the end, but it’s a LONG at-bat, capeesh?

But my lovely wife, who like you has no time, kept lodging the same comment, about the first book and now about the second which I forced on her immediately.

“I have to keep turning back to remember who the characters are.”

Again, duh, why couldn’t I put these things together? Because slow, remember?

So the reissued Shards of Light books now have glossaries in the front. Good idea.

But I looked at my lovely wife, stuck on page 17 of Fencing Reputation for, like, ever. The old version, with no glossary. And I hated that. So I finally had another good idea.

I made a little book-mark glossary. See?

Don’t worry about reading the names, just go with me here. This is something that will hassle ALL my books, right? Lots of characters, book gets partially read then collects dust. So cast of characters in the front from now on, sure. But what about making book-marks with the same info?

Tell me what you think: good collateral, really make a difference? Or is epic just a hopeless case in the instant-replay world?

Put out character-cast bookmarks for each title in the Lands of Hope series? Give one with each copy sold in person, and maybe send a whole set to any reader for the cost of the postage?

VOTE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. (It’s one letter, you can do this.)

a) Great idea, would make me want to read the one I’ve got or buy the next one.

b) Cute idea, not sure it would really help.

Almost forgot! New cover for Fencing Reputation coming out soon! How do you like that too!