Tag Archives: Heroic fantasy

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.

Cover Reveal: The (New) Ring and the Flag

It would be hard to get more excited than this.

The classic novella of military command, intrigue and monstrous foes is now back with a fabulous cover and a new direction. Look at the progression this tale has taken, judging a book by its (several) covers. I first published back on July 4th 2011 and this story was one of two tales I put before the readers in e-book format only. I did the cover myself, can you tell? Oh, the humanity…

Old (duh)

 

OK, it’s a dud, chalk it up to the excesses of the self-publishing craze. But I was evoking a nice moment from the tale itself, as Justin recalls his talk with Commander Hansen:

Justin could almost see the map in Hansen’s office, catching fire and filling his waking vision with smoke. 

Yeah, but a smoky singed map doesn’t really stand out as a cover. I get it. My sincere thanks to Kris Moctezuma for her assistance with this first effort.

 

Tell you who else gets it, my publisher, who pursued a branding remake for my tales almost immediately. She developed the second-generation with elements you can see on all my covers now. I thought it was downright spiffy:

Less old (ding!)

See the Hope symbol in the upper-right? Nice consistent font, good contrast and a simply excellent landscape that really evokes the hill region where the crucial action takes place:

(Justin) could not have designed terrain more suited to an ambush if he were making one of those battle-scenes in a box they used back at the academy. He could picture his men as the miniature figures they used, and his imagination peppered the forest with bandits, shifting around his flanks, closing off his retreat. 

Pretty good, huh? Where did I get the idea to suggest figurines, I wonder… just writing genius I guess.

 

What more could a guy expect, you know? I went on happily writing new tales , including getting into paperback (fully out of self-publish/e-book mode now). Then I got an offer I could hardly believe, much less refuse; a marketing review of my work from a bright young lady who wanted to get into that business, and offered to use me as a guinea pig in return. Her marketing plan was terrific, and she suggested something I hadn’t thought of. Don’t try to sell the Shards of Light series into bookstores– they’re too short among other things.

Sell them to game stores.

Think about it– lower price, younger readers, and the heroic fantasy flavor of both The Ring and the Flag and Fencing Reputation are well suited to role-players, figurine painters, the strategy gamer. I thought it was a great idea. And my publisher, the absolutely inimitable Katharina Gerlach agreed. But not with those covers you don’t, she said.

What, again?

Ooohh yeah. Again.

THAT, my friends, is what we call a cover. How much more does the image pop? And Kat’s design is intended to evoke the CCG imagery of games like Magic: the Gathering, a task at which I think it succeeds brilliantly. Wait’ll they get a load of this down at the Days of Knights and wherever else I truck it.

The Ring and the Flag is available now at Amazon with its spanking new cover for your reading pleasure: you’ll have to provide your own clamp to keep it from leaping off your shelf and into your hands, but I can’t solve all your problems.