Cover Reveal: The Falconer’s Stairs

Howdy folks.

Today I present the cover to my upcoming release: The Falconer’s Stairs (Glimmer Vale Chronicles #5).  Art done by the estimable Jim Beveridge, who I contracted through Lucky Bat Books.

Jared Tolburt twice almost cost Raedrick Baletier and Julian Hinderbrook their lives: once when he turned on them while they were fleeing the Army, and again when he unwittingly led a group of bandits into Glimmer Vale.  While fighting off the bandits, Raedrick and Julian found a cryptic, magically protected letter that hinted at the location of a great treasure.  Now, with help from Melanie Klemins, Lydelton’s resident mage, Tolburt intends to claim that treasure for his own.

The treasure is hidden far away from Glimmer Vale, and guarded by both physical and magical obstacles.  With Raedrick unable to travel due to his wife’s pregnancy and Melanie eager to assist Tolburt in his quest, Julian has to do the last thing he ever wanted: travel with and help the man he trusts least in the world.

Far from their home and beset with dangers of all kinds, Julian, Melanie, and Tolburt will have to depend on each other even to survive, let alone succeed in their quest for The Falconer’s Stairs.

But Tolburt already sold Julian out once when the going got tough.  What’s to say he would not do it again?

The Falconer’s Stairs is scheduled for release on 15 April.  Pre-orders will start in the next couple of days.

Wedding Gifts

I’ve been teasing everyone about the next book in the Glimmer Vale Chronicles for a long time now.  But no kidding, The Falconer’s Stairs is just about done.  Finally.  We’re targeting 15 April for the release.  But in the meantime, I’ve another little morsel to tell everyone about.

I wrote a short story in the Glimmer Vale Chronicles world for an anthology that I ended up not participating in because of scheduling issues.  It’s called Wedding Gifts, and it’s set between Robbed Blind and The Falconer’s Stairs.  In light of the impending release of the next book, that story is now up for Pre-Order everywhere that it can be (for some reason, Barnes and Noble doesn’t let us do pre-orders yet).  Release will be Wednesday, 15 March.

(Not a very extensive pre-order, I know.  Does it really need to be, though?)

Here are the details:

It’s three hours until the wedding of Raedrick Baletier to Lani Millens, and Melanie Klemins doesn’t have a present for them.  Not for lack of trying.  She had an enchantment all ready to go for Raedrick’s new cloak, but one simple mistake sent the cloak flying away out the window under its own power.

So now it’s up to Julian Hinderbrook to find the cloak and retrieve it, or the wedding will be ruined and the couple’s magical day tarnished forever.

No pressure, right?

Wedding Gifts is a 4,600 word short story, about 15 printed pages.  It is set between Books 4 and 5 of the Glimmer Vale Chronicles.

It’s $0.99 for the general public.  I sent a free copy to my mailing list, and I’ll also be giving a copy to all of my Patreon patrons (of all levels).

Enjoy!

New Release

Hola folks!

As I promised last week, Robbed Blind, Glimmer Vale Chronicles #4, is now up for pre-order.

Robbed Blind Ebook Cover 700x1060

A stunning robbery threatens to bring Lydelton’s economy to its knees, and it is up to Julian and Raedrick to find the culprits. With the year’s first trading caravan in town and the missing funds needed for vital transactions, time is of the essence. Fortunately, the Constables have assistance in the form of a team of Royal Marshalls, in town for a prisoner transfer. But they have an agenda of their own, and Raedrick and Julian must tread carefully to avoid revealing the secret of their own past.

With few leads and little time, the Constables will need to use all of their skill and wit to solve the case and save their adopted home from ruin.

The release is set for 4 December, but you can pre-order it now on Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, and Kobo.

 

I also took the liberty of combining five of my novellas and novelettes into a single book.  This is the second time I’ve done this.  The first was called Tales of Adventure, so I went ahead and called this one Tales of Adventure #2.

Tales of Adventure 2 700x1050

A sword-for-hire quests to defeat an evil Necromancer.

A young girl discovers that music has a magic of its own.

An FBI interrogator discovers a chilling conspiracy.

A shipwreck unleashes a supernatural monster onto the inhabitants of a tropical island.

A washed-up electrician battles a monster from beyond our universe.

Tales of Adventure #2 is a collection of five science fiction and fantasy novelettes and novellas: The Necromancer’s Lair, A Note Of Magic, Facilitated Interrogation, The Beast And The God-Woman, and What Lurks Between.

It’s now available on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and Google Play.  Smashwords will follow shortly.

 

Go.  Buy.  Read.  Enjoy.

And leave some reviews.

🙂

Pericles Re-Covered

I’ll keep this one brief, because it’s a busy day.

For a while, I’ve thought The Pericles Conspiracy needs a new cover.  The original one (that I made) is ok and looks nice but doesn’t really portray the genre and theme/tone of the book correctly.  So a few months ago, I hired Trevor Smith  to make a new one.  For those of you who may not know, Trevor is the artist who won the grand prize in the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contest for 2013.  So yeah, he’s well beyond good.  🙂

Anyway, long story short, the job is done and the new cover is here.  And it is much, much, much better than the old one.  To wit,

The old:

The Pericles Conspiracy Cover

Pericles Paperback cropped

 

The new:

Pericles Ebook Cover (700x1132)

ThePericlesConspiracyPaperback - Reduced

Pretty awesome, right?  🙂

The cover’s been updated everywhere the book is available, with the exception of the print version. Just waiting on the proof copy’s arrival to finish that step.  Good times, good times.

Proofing the Peak

Yeah, that’s right.  The paperback proof of Tollard’s Peak arrived yesterday.  Observe.

IMG_3384

The front. Duh.

IMG_3385

The Back. Duh. Duh.

IMG_3386

The Spine. Triple Duh.

IMG_3387

Here’s the map Jared Blando made for Glimmer Vale a couple years ago.  It works for the entire series, of course. Awesome isn’t it?

Looks pretty great doesn’t it?  When I opened the box and pulled it out, the Admiral immediately sighed, “Oooooo,” and swiped it out of my hands.  And then proclaimed that this is the best cover I’ve ever had.  Hard to argue with that.  It looks great on screen.  It looks even better in real life, let me tell you.

I’m really happy with how this book has turned out.  Now there only remains to give it one last proofread and we’ll be ready for release on the 31st.

I’m pretty psyched.

🙂

Cover Reveal – Tollard’s Peak (Glimmer Vale Chronicles #3)

EDIT – So much for scheduling posts on WordPress.  I meant for this to go at 1800 Pacific Time.  Instead it popped just now, at 1725.  *sigh*  Oh well, can’t win them all.  🙂

 

As frequent visitors to my blog (all three of you) know, I’ve been working on Tollard’s Peak, the third installment of the Glimmer Vale Chronicles, for a while now.  I got started on it during NaNoWriMo last fall and got about 30,000 words done on it before I had to stop due to buying and moving into a new house.  I think that’s a good excuse for not winning NaNoWriMo, don’t you?

Anyway, after the New Year (since the holidays were a wash with family and unpacking and the lot) I got restarted, and finished the initial draft in…mid March I think it was?  Right around then.  Anyway, between then and now I’ve been soliciting first reader inputs, making editorial changes, formatting the trade paperback version of the book, writing the back cover copy, and working with Lucky Bat Books and Jim Beveridge to get the cover art squared away.

The cover art took a while, going through several iterations, but I think you’ll agree it was worth the work, and the wait.  Here it is!

The ebook cover:

Tollard's Peak Ebook Cover - 600x900

 

And the trade paperback version:

Tollard's Peak Paperback Cover - 1800x1300The back cover copy:

Winter in Glimmer Vale – a time to remain close to shelter or, preferably, indoors. Most definitely not a time to brave the mountain peaks surrounding the valley. Raedrick and Julian certainly have no intention of doing so until a man from their past, nearly dead from exposure, appears at the outskirts of Lydelton. Once recovered, he tells them of his friend who lies injured on the flank of Tollard’s Peak, the tallest mountain in the region. Unable to ignore the stranded fellow’s need, the two Constables form a party to rescue him.

But there is more to the story than it first appeared, and very soon Raedrick and Julian find themselves struggling against far more than the elements as they brave the perilous peak. It will take all of their strength and resolve to survive their quest and get to the bottom of the mystery that drew these men into the bleak cold of the mountainside. And they are not the only ones who are searching.

Sounds good, right?  😉

Look for Tollard’s Peak at the end of the month.  Between now and then, I’m looking for a few good readers who want a free advanced reader copy (ARC) in exchange for leaving an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads once the book goes live.  If anyone’s interested, drop me a line and we can work something out.

I’m really looking forward to getting this one out to you, and I hope you enjoy it as well.  See you at the end of the month!

 

The Latest Goings-On

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and I figured I’d fill all y’all in on what’s been going on.

I spent a week up in Everett, WA two weeks ago, giving some training to a couple commands at the Naval Station there.  Then last week, I flew to Japan for an exercise at the base in Yokosuka.  Flew back on Saturday, and boy are my arms tired.  Yuck, Yuck.  🙂  Anyway, the travel was all for work, but it was also fun.  I like traveling, even when it’s to places I’ve been a dozen times or more (like Yokosuka).  There’s always something new and cool to see and do…and I get per diem.  🙂  That certainly helps.

Yesterday, my wife and I ran the Spring Sprint Triathlon, which takes place in Mission Bay here in San Diego.  We ran it together last year as well because it fell on our anniversary.  I managed to trim a minute from last year’s time overall, so not a bad showing.

And then today was our wedding anniversary.  🙂  Though we didn’t do much today – yesterday was our real celebration day.  But still, it’s cool.  Seven years.  Wow.  It feels like fifteen.  😛  Just kidding, of course.  🙂  It’s been lots of fun so far.  Challenging at time, but then what isn’t that’s worthwhile, right?  We’re looking forward to lots more good years ahead.  The more the better, right?  🙂

So that’s all cool.  But there have been some goings-on in the writing world to tell y’all about as well:

First, and the most fun, a relatively new book review blog, The Good, The Bad, & The Bizarre, wrote a very nice review of The Pericles Conspiracy the other day.  It appears they liked the book quite a bit, which tells me they are people of impeccable good taste.  So all y’all ought to go over and read, not just the review of my book, but their other offerings as well.

And then, if you haven’t done so already, now would be a great time to pick up The Pericles Conspiracy.  Because of goings-on #2: I decided to do an experiment in price pulsing, so for the next week, the book’s discounted to $0.99.  Just to see what happens when that happens.  🙂  Spread the word, eh?

Ok.  Goings-on #3.  Nick Mortise, the guy who read How NOT To Rescue A Damsel In Distress, has finished his audio renditions of my other three Larian Elesir stories.  I’ll be reviewing them over the next day or so, and then they should go on sale on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes within a couple weeks after that.  So stay tuned.

Lastly, the cover art for Tollard’s Peak, Glimmer Vale Chronicles #3 is just about ready, and I got the first set of comments back from my first readers.  At this point, I anticipate a mid-June release.  More to follow, including the cover reveal as soon as the last few action items for the cover are done and the bill paid.  So stay tuned for that as well.

So that’s it.  As you can see, a fair amount’s been happening while I’ve been silent.  Now that I’m back home and back in a normal routine, I’ll get back to posting chapters of The Pericles Conspiracy more regularly.  Until then, have fun, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

🙂

Yeah, yeah, I know.  That doesn’t leave out very much.

You’ll just have to use your imagination.

Covering Down

Sunday is my publishing work day.  I think I mentioned that before, didn’t I?  I got a lot of good stuff done over the last couple weeks, and I just thought I’d share.

Last week, I worked on getting my novelette, The Best And The God-Woman, ready to go.  I wrote this one something like a year ago.  Don’t recall exactly.  I submitted it to Writers Of The Future, and it either got straight-up rejected or an Honorable Mention.  I don’t recall, which is pretty bad.  Anyway, after that I sent it around to the other venues that will accept submissions of its length (16,500 words) but had no joy.  And then I just let it sit.  I had other things in my crosshairs (Pericles and Out-Dweller primarily) so I didn’t do anything with it.  Anyway, it’s the last of my completed works that’s not out there for the world to enjoy, so I decided to fix that.  Here’s what’s in store:

Beast Cover (600x900)

The greatest terrors come from within.

Yili never questioned the Gods’ decrees, as handed down to the people from the elders.  Do not tarry long on the beach, for there lurks the Beast.  Do not venture beyond the breakers, for the sea holds nothing but death and man lives on the island alone.  Until the day a strange object approached the island, borne by the wind and waves toward Yili’s home until it broke apart on the reef and deposited a woman and a man, who could only be Gods themselves, onto the beach.

The Beast wants to destroy them.  The elders distrust them.  And Yili finds himself helplessly drawn to the God-Woman, at the risk of all he knows and loves.

Stay tuned; The Beast And The God-Woman will be available by the end of the month.

But wait!  There’s more!

Yesterday, the Admiral (my better half) ran the Hot Chocolate 15k in downtown San Diego.  After cheering her on, I got to work again.  First up – an audiobook cover.

Yes, I said audiobook.  I decided to get rolling on that side of the business a couple weeks ago, prompted by ACX’s impending shift in royalty split.  That change has been discussed ad nauseum elsewhere so I don’t feel the need to opine here except to say I’m conflicted about it.  On the one side, screw them.  There are other distributors out there.  On the other side, while several of those distributors offer a better split (I found one that does 80/20 to the writer), after audible takes its cut that split ends up being less than the new rates under ACX.  So although the abrupt and unexplained change pissed me off, from a strictly monetary perspective it won’t pay to go elsewhere.  It’s going to take some heavy thought to decide how to roll on this one.

Ah decisions, decisions…

Anyway, I put all of my short stories and my two collections up for audition with the hope of getting deals finalized before the deadline.  Only my short stories because I want to pay for the production vice do royalty split and I don’t have the $ to do the novels.  *shrug*  Maybe I should have done the novels under royalty split, but I don’t like the notion of 7 years of royalty splits – that could get VERY expensive if the audiobook does well.  As it is I’ll wait until the novels bring in enough $ to justify the outlay for the audiobooks myself.  The short stories, though, are much less expensive, even the collections.  So I’ve got 6 or 7 audiobook titles in production as we speak.  I would have liked to get them all done – I told the guy who auditioned for the collections to audition for the individual shorts as well; since he would record the stories anyway it made sense to knock them all out.  But he didn’t get auditions in for them all by the cutoff.  *shrug*  Oh well.  Another guy auditioned for a couple of them, so I’ll just pay the other guy separately.  It’ll end up costing more, but them’s the breaks.

Anyway, the second voice actor, Nick Mortise, finished up his rendition of How NOT To Rescue A Damsel In Distress on Saturday night.  Sunday I went into ACX to look at what I need to do now – review and approve it and supply cover art.  Then fun thing about cover art is it’s a different size than for an ebook.  Ebooks I generally make 2000×3000; the audiobook needs at least 2400×2400, square.  So I couldn’t just use the same cover art I had before.  And besides, I don’t really like the cover art I had for Damsel, or really any of my Larian short stories.  They were done a while ago, and I’ve learned a lot about cover design since then.

Observe:

How NOT To Rescue A Damsel In Distress Cover Measuring Up Cover First Blood Cover Grandfather's Pendant

Not very good, right?  They’re not very appealing and they’re not branded for the series (it’s not really a series per say, but they’re all stories about Larian so they ought to be similar) or for author.  Genre?  I guess they do that ok.  But still they needed an overhaul.  Since Nick is going to voice all of them (I think) I figured I might as well do the overhaul now.

Here are the new Larian stories covers:

Damsel Cover (600x900) Measuring Up Cover (600x900) First Blood (600x900 Grandfathers Pendant (600x900)

Much better, right?  I am a big believer in simple = elegant = better, so I figured I’d just keep the basic design the same, changing only the image in the middle and the title.  That works much better for branding too, I think.  I like them.

In case your wondering, here’s the cover for the Damsel audiobook:

Damsel Audio Cover (600x600)

 

The same design, but with a different aspect ratio.  Looks nice, right?

I only had one concern, once I finished.  The new covers looked very similar to the cover for Brother In Law, Brother In Blood.  They’re both plain white with black text, with a single image in the center.  Brother In Law is not a Larian story, and I worried that the similar designs might cause confusion.  For a minute I considered throwing out the new designs, or the Brother In Law design altogether.  Then I hit on the answer: just change Brother In Law’s color scheme a bit.  A simple transparency layer in the GIMP file did the trick.

Brother In Law (600x900) Brother In Law (600x900)

It’s not a big change. It’s pretty subtle.  I may darken it up a little bit more, but not too much because I don’t want to spoil the image.  As it is I think it works to differentiate the branding from Larian.  What do you think?

So that’s what I’ve got for now.  Look for that audiobook in the next week or so, along with God-Woman, with more audio versions of my short stories to follow.  Pretty sweet.  🙂

Have a good one!  See you tomorrow for the next chapter of The Pericles Conspiracy.

Out-Dweller Cover Reveal

I’ve been silent for a while, despite getting connectivity back in our new house.  What can I say?  Moving is funny that way.  Distracting.  Busy.  Fun.   🙂  As a consequence of the move, I didn’t make it in NaNoWriMo this year.  Big shock, right?  I topped out at a little under 36,000 words.  Not too bad for a given month, more than my average for the year.  But still not the goal.

Am I mad about that?  Nope.  Getting the family situated takes priority, and I got Glimmer Vale 3 2/3s done.  So it’s all good.  🙂

That said, I still haven’t gotten my schedule squared away at the new house.  My commute is a hell of a lot longer than it was, and I don’t have a writing desk (I had stolen my daughter’s desk in the old place…long story, don’t ask).  Consequently, I’ve not written much so far in December, just a couple thousand words.  But that’s ok.

But that’s not the purpose of this post.

You may recall I finished Out-Dweller, Glimmer Vale Chronicles #2, at the end of October, and I just rolled into #3 for NaNoWriMo.  While the book was off with my first readers, I contracted with James Beveridge, via Lucky Bat Books, to do a cover.  You may (or may not) recall that he did the cover for Glimmer Vale, and did a great job on it.  Well, he outdid himself with this one.  Observe:

JFBeveridge-Glimmer2_Cover_Art 1000x728

Pretty awesome, huh?  I love it.  🙂

So Out-Dweller is just about ready to go.  I’ve received comments from most of my first-readers and am making final edits.  The plan is to have it ready for release by the end of the month.  Of course, shenanigans may prevent that, but I think I’m mostly past those for the time being.  So that’s the plan.  In case you’re curious, here is the back cover copy/blurb for the book:

A series of brutal murders has shocked the normally quiet town of Lydelton.  With no idea of the culprit’s identity, or even how the murders were committed, the townsfolk have become suspicious of each other, teetering on the edge of panic.  As the town Constables, Raedrick and Julian must put a stop to the murders and bring the killer to justice.   Somehow.

Before they can do that, the arrival of a member of the Magestirium poses another dilemma.  Because their friend Melanie is a mage, in violation of the laws forbidding women from practicing the magical arts, and the Magestirium’s wrath against those who break their laws is legendary.

But protecting their friend’s secret while saving the town from a horrifying killer may not be possible, since defeating this killer will require every resource Lydelton can muster.

So stay tuned for Out-Dweller.  It’s a romping fun read, and you don’t have to have read Glimmer Vale to enjoy it.  But if perchance you haven’t read Glimmer Vale yet and want to, it’s available pretty much everywhere.  By all means give it a look-see.  You’ll be glad you did.

The Proof Is In (The Pudding)

So I got the proof of The Pericles Conspiracy on Monday.

Wow, that sucker is thick.  I mean, I knew it was going to be a good size.  At 122,000 words, Pericles is the longest book I’ve written to date.  But for some reason knowing that the print version came to 490 pages total and SEEING those 490 pages were two very different things.  I put it on the bookshelf next to Masters of the Sun.  *sigh*  Poor Masters looks so…so little compared with it.

Now granted, I’ve been meaning to reformat Masters.  I originally did it in 6×9, and more and more I don’t like that size.  Pericles is 5.5×8.5 and I like that a lot better.  Taking Masters down to that size would fill it out a bit more, for what that’s worth.  And looking at it now, I’m not very satisfied with the print cover.  I made the back too cluttered.  So that’s on the list of things to do.  Later.

Anywho, I immediately found a couple problems with the proof copy, which were easily fixed.  But for giggles, I brought it in to work on Tuesday, to show it off.  Everyone was more than suitably impressed.  In fact, one of my friends there went ahead and swiped it.  Which is cool because that makes for another set of eyes looking for issues.  Not that I expect him to find many at this point, but you never know.

When I got home Tuesday, I entered those few changes that needed to be found and resubmitted the files.  Got a second proof ordered as well; it shipped yesterday.

So that’s where we stand on Pericles.  Depending on when the new proof gets here, it may or may not be ready for a release on the 24th, like I planned.  Worst case, I’ll just pop the ebook out there and update with the print in a couple days.  Can’t hurt.  We’ll see.

In the meantime, work continues on Glimmer Vale 2.  I had been slacking on that, and on my writing goal progress in general (I’m only at 124,000 words for the year right now – yuck!).  But I’m getting back into the saddle again.  The new target is to have GV 2 complete by the end of September, but considering I’m at 26k words and the target length is 50k, I ought to have it done well before then, if I just put my nose to the grindstone.  Then it’s back to work on Masters 2 for a month, then GV 3 for NaNoWriMo, then back to finishing Masters 2 around the end of the year.  Oh and Writers of the Future submissions.  Can’t forget those.

If all goes as planned, that is.

Right.  Off to it, then.

 

Cheers!