Release: The North Wind Blows

The Linear Cycle keeps moving along, and it’s fast coming to a conclusion. Part 5, “The North Wind Blows”, is now available, and it’s the penultimate act in this grand tale. All that’s left is the finale, but you’ll have to wait a few more weeks for that.

“The North Wind Blows” is another one like “Forged in the Fires”, in that it’s not really heavy on the action, but it’s got a lot of drama. In this case, we get a chance to see an outsider’s perspective. In more than one way, actually, as our protagonist, Leliya, is outside the action twice over.

She’s the lost Valtian princess briefly mentioned way back in “The Last Captain”, and she hates it. First, she doesn’t like her new home, her royal marriage, or her in-laws. All of it is just too cold, and the coming winter is only going to make that worse. Add in the fact that she’s watching refugees stream in from her homeland, all bringing dire tales of woe, and she’s left wondering how it all went so wrong. Like anyone her age, she wants to do something to help.

I won’t say I’m a master of court intrigue and politics. I’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire, and I know enough about myself to realize I shouldn’t even bother trying to emulate it. Besides, these are short stories. There’s not enough room for convoluted schemes. (I’m also not afraid to admit that I punted on that by saying that Leliya isn’t experienced in the art, either.) Still, it was an interesting change of pace.

As always, the link above takes you to the site page for “The North Wind Blows”. You can also pick it up over on my Patreon, or on the Kindle Store. Either way, get ready for the ending, because it’s coming soon.

Release: A Matter Settled (Chronicles of the Otherworld 3)

Another few weeks, another episode in the Chronicles of the Otherworld saga. This time around, we’re on Episode 3, A Matter Settled. As you might expect, the story is becoming a bit more, well, settled. That’s not to say there isn’t action, or drama, or questionable decision-making on the part of some of our characters, but the life-or-death struggle for survival is no longer the concern it was last time.

Surviving is one thing. Living is quite another.

The eleven members of the expedition have survived their first test in their new world. Now, they must endure. They must explore. That human desire beckons them all, each in his or her own way.

But this strange place, this other world, is not without its pitfalls. Stripped of their modern conveniences, how will these young students cope with the rigors of life itself? How can they integrate with a people so different, so…alien? For one of them, the answer is much more difficult, but all must learn to live in this land they call home.

Remember that Chronicles of the Otherworld is exclusive to my Patreon, so you can only get it over there for the time being. At only $3 for the month, though, it’s not too bad a deal. You’ll get DRM-free copies in EPUB and MOBI formats (readable on just about anything you can find).

And because of the way the calendar works, a single month’s pledge will get you two new episodes this month. That’s right. Episode 4, Written in Black and White, will be released on August 29, so you can reach the halfway point of the story with minimal investment. How can you go wrong?

Release: Beneath the Surface

The second half of the Linear Cycle kicks off with “Beneath the Surface”, out now. This story begins the downward slide into the culmination of the series, where darkness has settled over the Valtian lands, and all that is left is to look for the glimmers of light within.

Those are few and far between, however, as this short novella contains one of the darkest scenes I’ve ever written. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s at the very end, and it’s one of those things where I was left thinking, “When did I write that?”

Our tale this time around focuses on Porter, a wizard who has just realized his obsolescence in this new world of magical plagues and animated dead. But he’s still fighting, still defending what little remains, and not only out of self-interest. Because, if he succeeds, there may be a chance to turn the tide.

As usual, the link above is for the page here on the site. You can also get “Beneath the Surface” by subscribing to my Patreon for a dollar a month, or buy it from the Kindle Store for 99 cents. Part 5, “The North Wind Blows”, will be released on August 14, so keep watching.

Release: The City and the Hill (Chronicles of the Otherworld 2)

On this Fourth of July, eleven college students have declared their independence from Planet Earth. That’s right, it’s time for the second installment of Chronicles of the Otherworld. Called The City and the Hill, this one picks up immediately after last month’s Out of the Past ended.

This was not part of the plan.

Eleven young men and women woke yesterday morning to darkness and unfamiliar surroundings. Now, they have come to the conclusion that those surroundings are far more unfamiliar than they first imagined. They aren’t in Mexico anymore. No, they are in a different land, a different world. Now must come the questions. Can they go home? When? And what will they do until then?

The natives are not alien. Indeed, they seem almost too human, and that is yet another mystery. In their time in this strange new world, then, the expedition must seek an answer to this, as well as so many other burning questions. They were meant to study ruins, and the hill of their arrival has those, but what lies beyond?

As before, Chronicles of the Otherworld is currently a Patreon exclusive. That means you can only get it over at my Patreon page for the time being. It’s only $3, though, and that gets you access to all the rest of my released stories, too, so you can’t say it’s a bad deal.

Episode 3, entitled A Matter Settled, comes out August 1, so keep watching this space.

Release: Nocturne

This is a moment I’ve been waiting for since last November. Yes, it’s a new release, and it’s quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever written. I certainly think so. It’s Nocturne, my latest full-length novel, and my first “pure” fantasy release.

He is the Nocturne, and this is his story.

In a world where children are marked for life by the hour of their birth, one man breaks the rules. In Velin, those born in the dark, moonless night are perceived as treacherous thieves, while their brethren of the day are lifted up, glorified. But Shade entered the world in a brief window of darkness within the day, a phenomenon seen once a generation.

He is neither, yet he is both. Now, he must use the combination of day and night to solve the riddle of his past, but also to save the future of a people. Hunted by church and crown alike, the road he walks is long and lonely, yet he knows there is no one else. Only Shade. Only the Nocturne.

One of those searching for him is Kellis Matene, an inspector in training. Her superiors gave her the case of a man born in the night, calling on his fellows, urging action. A rebel, a traitor. As a king dies, a pretender emerges, and Kellis must solve a mystery. All she has to go on is a single name: the Nocturne.

It’s been out for a while now on Patreon, but this marks the official public release. Now, anyone can buy it over at Amazon, either in digital or paperback versions.

I won’t deny that I’m immensely proud of this book. For something that didn’t take all that long to write, it came out far better than I hoped. There were times, as I was reading it to check for errors, that I wondered just what possessed me to put these words together. Maybe it’s not the best novel in the world, but I’ll gladly hold Nocturne up as the best in my world. I hope you feel the same way.

Release: Forged in the Fires

The Linear Cycle continues with its third installment, “Forged in the Fires”, out today. It’s a tale of love and loss, of survival against the odds, of hardship. And it is the story of one Hella Varens, wife of Kalle, who should be familiar to you. She moved in a different direction from the last captain, and now she wonders: can she ever get back?

With this part, the series is at its halfway point, and it shows. This is definitely a more drama-oriented story, and the Touched aren’t nearly as prevalent. Instead, you see living people, people trying to live when so many around them have died. When I first started “Either Side of Night”, I never expected to write something like this one, and I know I never intended to write an ending as moving as “Forged in the Fires” has.

As always, the link above takes you to the story’s page here. It’s available on the Kindle store for 99 cents, or you can subscribe to my Patreon to gain access to “Forged in the Fires”, the rest of the Linear Cycle, and all my other stories.

Part 4 is “Beneath the Surface”, and you’ll get to see it July 17. Until then, stay tuned!

Release: Out of the Past (Chronicles of the Otherworld 1)

A new month brings a new story, and this is the one I’ve been waiting for. Today marks the release of Out of the Past, the first installment in my eight-part series Chronicles of the Otherworld. Here’s the blurb, as usual:

It was supposed to be something simple. As any student knows, though, it never is.

What started as a training exercise to prepare sixteen college students for work in the field becomes something else entirely when one of them stumbles across a find deep in the Mexican wilderness. Studying it, the members of the expedition come to the conclusion that it is indeed something made by the hands of man, and it is much greater than it first seems. Much greater, and much older.

Its very existence may rewrite the history of the Americas, but the mystery of its creation pales in comparison to that of its purpose. Perfectly aligned to the sun, to the calendar, it promises to provide a spectacle on one specific day: the summer solstice. And that day is coming soon.

Now, the trick here is that this is a Patreon exclusive. I don’t know how long I’ll keep it that way, but for now, you can’t buy it on Amazon. Instead, if you want to read it, all you have to do is pledge a minimum of $3 to my Patreon. Then, you can download DRM-free copies of it and all my other releases in two formats: MOBI (for Kindles) or EPUB (for everything else). There’s no commitment, no hidden fees, just a simple subscription.

The next part of the series, entitled The City and the Hill, will be released on July 4, and future parts will come out every four weeks.

Release: The Last Captain

Hot on the heels of last month’s release of “Either Side of Night” comes the second part of the Linear Cycle. Titled “The Last Captain”, it follows, logically enough, an officer of the Valtian Empire. If you read the first part, you’ll recognize him, but this story centers on him and his mission. The Touched are gone from Midra, but now the survivors are trying to rebuild their nation, and what’s a nation without a leader?

This second part of the series continues the dark atmosphere, but now makes it a bit more…mobile. Some might even say walking. It’s got action, it’s got drama, and it’s got zombies. Should be the perfect story, right? And it sets things up for future entries without, I hope, falling into a sophomore slump like some other Part 2s I’ve seen.

As always, you can click the link above to go to this story’s page here. You can also buy it at the Kindle store for only 99 cents, or, if you prefer, pledge at least a dollar to ny Patreon to gain access to it and the rest of the Linear Cycle.

Part 3, “Forged in the Fires”, is scheduled for release on June 19, 2017, so keep watching this site for more information.

Release: Either Side of Night

At long last, after months of writing, rewriting, editing, and “beta” testing, the Linear Cycle has begun. This set of 6 stories (call them novelettes if you wish) tells the tale of the Valtian Empire and its fall to the Touched, a horde of supernaturally animated dead that feeds off magical energies. The story opens with “Either Side of Night”, the tale of Dusk, a boy caught in the midst of this unfolding disaster.

This is probably one of the darkest stories I’ve written. It has a horror aspect in the zombie horde (though I specifically avoid both the term “zombie” and the phrase “walking dead”), and a kind of epic feel in later parts. I do focus a lot on the “negative” emotional aspects, probably more than in any of my other works. Pathos, drama, despair…they’re all here, and I don’t shy away from depicting some truly heartbreaking scenes. (Seriously. Reading the ending of the series without crying was actually harder than I thought.) But there’s a lot of hope buried in there, too. Yes, it’s the end of the world as we know it, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of everything.

You can click the link above to get to the main page for the story here on Prose Poetry Code, or you can pick it up on the Kindle store for 99 cents. If you like, you can also get it from Patreon for about the same price; if you keep up your pledge over there, though, you’ll get access to my other works, including future installments of the Linear Cycle.

Keep watching for the second part of the series, “The Last Captain”, coming May 22.

Nocturne on Patreon

Today, April 21, 2017, marks the release of my latest novel, Nocturne, to supporters of my Patreon. For a pledge of only $3/month, you can download a copy in EPUB or MOBI formats, readable on your desktop, mobile device, or e-reader. (You can cancel the backing at any time, of course, but I’d prefer that you didn’t.)

What is Nocturne, you may ask? Here’s the blurb I wrote for it:

He is the Nocturne, and this is his story.

In a world where children are marked for life by the hour of their birth, one man breaks the rules. In Velin, those born in the dark, moonless night are perceived as treacherous thieves, while their brethren of the day are lifted up, glorified. But Shade entered the world in a brief window of darkness within the day, a phenomenon seen once a generation.

He is neither, yet he is both. Now, he must use the combination of day and night to solve the riddle of his past, but also to save the future of a people. Hunted by church and crown alike, the road he walks is long and lonely, yet he knows there is no one else. Only Shade. Only the Nocturne.

One of those searching for him is Kellis Matene, an inspector in training. Her superiors gave her the case of a man born in the night, calling on his fellows, urging action. A rebel, a traitor. As a king dies, a pretender emerges, and Kellis must solve a mystery. All she has to go on is a single name: the Nocturne.

It’s a fantasy novel set in a world of racial tensions, magic, and religion. At the intersection stands the Nocturne, an outcast who wields a power beyond any other man. I’ll be talking a lot more about the book in the coming weeks, because it’s definitely something I’m proud of. And I do plan on releasing it onto the Kindle Store in July, but we’ll see how that pans out.