Updates and Such

Hi folks!

Good heavens, it’s been a while since I did a good old fashioned blog post. It turns out very few people actually check my website for updates, so I divert most of my news to my twitter and facebook pages. But I decided now might be a good time to have a nice blast from the past and dust off the blog.

So, what have I been up to? Well, a while back I was asked to produce a few stories for a fantasy anthology about lone wolf characters. I wrote two stories, tentatively named The Dwarfindam Run and The Rules of the Game. Those’ll be out in the anthology at the end of the year, and eventually will cycle into the newsletter perk list. (A good reason to sign up for the newsletter, if you haven’t already.) One of them, The Rules of the Game, is tied to the Book of Deacon series. The other is a one-off not related to (or set in) the Book of Deacon world. Unless I change my mind about that.

I’ve also got a cover for The Big Sigma Collection: Volume 1, an anthology of the first three books in the Big Sigma series. It will include at least two, probably three short works/novellas. Those are the stories I’m working on now, and like the Lone Wolf Shorts, will eventually make their way into the Newsletter Perks. Wanna see the cover? Here it is, as always, illustrated by Nick Deligaris.

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And so the series has its emblem.

People who faithfully read every ridiculous thing I write will be familiar with Between. It’s sitting in basically unedited, incomplete form on Wattpad right now. It recently received a brush-up and completion, and will be available in novel form “soon.” In this case, soon is defined as after the second pass of the edit is finished and after I get a cover for that too. However, seeing as how it’s likely to be my next full-length novel to release, I’ve been accumulating artwork. Here’s The Overseer by robo-shark.

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As evil as he is adorable, I assure you.

The inimitable spookychan drew a picture of Trixie as well.

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I look forward to introducing the rest of the characters eventually.

And finally, for those of you who entered the audio-book contest, thanks! The winners have been drawn. Keep your eyes peeled for a potential “second chance” contest to get another shot at winning The D’Karon Apprentice in audio-book form!

Thanks for reading!

The D’Karon Apprentice Audiobook Giveaway

Hi folks! Audible gave me a stack of codes for free copies of The D’Karon Apprentice. I’ve decided to give ten of them away via a fancy raffle! If you’re an audible user (or have been thinking of becoming one) go ahead and enter the raffle for a chance to get a code for all 21+ hours of Karyn O’Bryant-narrated Book of Deacon goodness!

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D’Karon Apprentice Audiobook Giveaway

Ichor Well is Available Now!

The third book in the Free-Wrench Series has finally been released!

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Nita, Lil, and Wink, and the rest of the Wind Breaker crew continue their adventures today. If you’re impatient to get to it, pick it up now on Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and everywhere else! And if you haven’t started the series? Now’s a great time to start, because Book 1 is FREE for a limited time on all the same stores!

Free-Wrench continues to astound me with its success. Those who have been with me long enough will know that it began as a NaNoWriMo experiment. Back then the theory was I’d do a new standalone story each NaNoWriMo to stretch my writing chops. You folks quickly put a stop to that, making it clear NaNoWriMo was destined to be “the month of steampunk” for the foreseeable future. Ichor Well is by a wide margin my longest Free-Wrench story, and as you’ll see in the blurb below, I feel it’s got a pretty darn nifty plot.

Ichor Well is the third adventure in the Free-Wrench Series of Steampunk novels.

Ever since Nita Graus left her homeland and joined the crew of the Wind Breaker, the reputation of the airship and its crew has been growing. The destruction of the mighty dreadnought, the escape from the legendary Skykeep, and the inexplicable ability to remain hidden from the ever-watchful eye of the Fug Folk have combined to make her and her fellow crew the stuff of legend. Alas, legendary heroes cannot exist for long without attracting a worthy villain. Luscious P. Alabaster strives to be just that foe.

While he works his nefarious plans, the crew itself is not without turmoil. Captain Mack, already having survived far more years in the hostile skies than he had any right to expect, is making plans for his golden years. The crew is gradually learning all that Nita can teach them, leaving her with the looming decision of whether or not she still has a place among the crew.

Before the matter of the future can be settled, the crew has the problems at hand to solve. And in escaping the webs woven by the cunning and eccentric Alabaster, they may discover the darkest secrets the churning and toxic Fug has to hide.

Followers of my various social media accounts have been treated to some recent artwork of the characters returning or debuting in this story. We’ll start with robo-shark’s recent illustration of Wink and Nikita, two of the adorable/surly inspectors that call the Wind Breaker their home.

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By far the most substantial addition to my character artwork for the Free-Wrench series comes courtesy of SpookyChan.

Here’s Nita.

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And Lil. (This may well be the definitive picture of the maniacally enthusiastic Chastity “Lil’ Coop” Cooper.

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And finally, the nefarious LUCIUS P. ALABASTER! You haven’t met him yet. But you will…

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Once again, this book is now on Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords! If you like it, please remember to leave a review.

The Redemption of Desmeres

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This being the Book of Deacon Newsletter, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind folks that The Redemption of Desmeres, my latest Book of Deacon story, is available now. This one slipped under the radar a bit, what with it’s sudden, surprise release a few weeks ago, but the reviews have been great. If you missed it, pick it up! If you’ve read it, please let me know what you think. If people enjoy the further story of Desmeres, it might be fun to explore other characters, or even further stories of Desmeres and his growing circle of friends and allies.

Ichor Well Cover Reveal and Pre-Order!

If you’ve been paying attention over the last few months, you know that I’ve been working on a number of different projects. Because editing and artwork tend to become a bottleneck, rather than seeing one project all the way through, I’ve been continuing on to another project just as soon as I complete the previous one. That means things get really confusing for me, since eventually I end up doing a release on a book that I’ve not had to think about for MONTHS. To that end, I’m happy to announce the pending release of last year’s NaNoWriMo project, Ichor Well.

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It’s slowly becoming available for pre-order on iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Google Play. The Amazon version will be available much closer to the release date, July 14th, 2016.

The cover is, as always, by Nick Deligaris, and here’s the Blurb:

Ichor Well is the third adventure in the Free-Wrench Series of Steampunk novels.

Ever since Nita Graus left her homeland and joined the crew of the Wind Breaker, the reputation of the airship and its crew has been growing. The destruction of the mighty dreadnought, the escape from the legendary Skykeep, and the inexplicable ability to remain hidden from the ever-watchful eye of the Fug Folk have combined to make her and her fellow crew the stuff of legend. Alas, legendary heroes cannot exist for long without attracting a worthy villain. Luscious P. Alabaster strives to be just that foe.

While he works his nefarious plans, the crew itself is not without turmoil. Captain Mack, already having survived far more years in the hostile skies than he had any right to expect, is making plans for his golden years. The crew is gradually learning all that Nita can teach them, leaving her with the looming decision of whether or not she still has a place among the crew.

Before the matter of the future can be settled, the crew has the problems at hand to solve. And in escaping the webs woven by the cunning and eccentric Alabaster, they may discover the darkest secrets the churning and toxic Fug has to hide.

Believe it or not, FIGURINES ARE HERE!

Every time I show off a new doodad for my fabled Cabinet of Awesomeness, I get at least a few fans asking when and how they can get their hands on one of their own. New plush? New figurine? Anything custom at all and folks want to have one in their collection. I feel for you folks, but the fact is, I don’t have enough fans to justify the cost of doing even a minimum run of a custom plush or toy. In fact, I wouldn’t even be able to afford to offer paperbacks if not for Print on Demand.

But that’s when it hit me. Print on Demand… That could work. Cue some research, some negotiation, some reference art, some revisions, and then?

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These little beauties were designed by Liz Landis and based in large part upon the original Squee, sculpted by Leilia’s Clay Creations. They are printed on demand by Shapeways if you’d like to buy one.

Each figurine is about 3 inches high. I’ve got Solby, complete with the transceiver on the back of his neck, or Squee, sporting her Silo-approved pink nail polish, hoop earrings, and a bandage over her transceiver. You can buy either of them in any of four versions.

For $30 you can get a solid black or solid white plastic version. These are slightly rough to the touch, pretty robust, and may have some visible print lines. I got a sample of Squee in this form so you can see what you think.

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For $35, you can upgrade to a full color print. These have a “sandstone” feel to them and are a little more fragile, but they survived shipping to my house just fine. As long as you keep them dry they’ll hold up fine, but if they get wet the color could fade slightly. Here’s Solby in that form, if you’d like to see.

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For $45, you can get a full color coated version. These are the same material, but they’ve been given a glossy finish that makes the colors a bit sharper and protects them against water damage. Squee got a test print in this form as well, shown here beside her older sister in the original sculpt!

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These are a beta run of potentially several characters to get similar treatment, so if you like the idea, let me know! And if you end up ordering any from my shop on Shapeways, I’d love to see pictures of when they find their new home!

And don’t forget, Squee and the rest are available right now in their latest adventure, Temporal Contingency!

Possible Future Merch!

Yeah, I know, I’m always talking about making merchandise. But this time I’m serious! Many of you folks will remember Leilia’s Clay Creations, creator of the following beautiful additions to my collection of wonderful things:

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Now, there’s a funny thing about figurines. Having one made costs on the order of a few hundred dollars. Having two made is really hard, because most sculptors don’t want to make the same thing twice, and having things molded and cast requires all sorts of other limitations and costs and the like. Also, when people think about figurines, they more or less think about mass produced ones, which cost a few bucks a piece because they are churned out of a factory by the thousand that has set up costs in the tens of thousands of dollars. So figurines of like these of my characters that you can buy? Not terribly likely in the short term.

But pendants? They’re itty bitty, they mold and cast easy, and they can be just as cute. I present exhibits A and B (with hand for reference).

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CUTE! Each of these is hand sculpted, cast in small batches, and hand painted. That’s downright artisanal! 

So, now for the big questions.

Let’s assume that you could get one of these adorable doodads for $10 for an unpainted one (you paint it yourself) or $30 for a painted one. Would you want one? And would you want Myn or Squee?

First Annual Meeting of the ULCA

A circle of folding chairs sat on the floor of an old auditorium. To one side of the circle a folding table had been set up, arrayed with snacks and soft-drinks as well as a portable radio on a classic rock station. Over the course of a few minutes, an unusual assortment of figures filtered in and filled the seats. When every seat was filled, a young man in army fatigues stood to address the group.

“Okay, it looks like that’s everyone we’ll be getting today. I’d like to call the first annual meaning of Unpopular Lallo Characters Anonymous to order. Before we get started, I think we should do a roll call of all members present. Starting with me, we’ll work our way around clockwise. When it’s your turn, please stand, say your name, and tell us what book you are most associated with. I, of course, am Non Sequitur, from the Other Eight.”

“Gracias, The Other Eight.”

“Pollinatrix, The Other Eight.”

“Chloroplast, The Other Eight.”

“Bomb Sniffer, The Other Eight.”

“Phosphor, The Other—“

“Wait, wait, wait,” cried a young woman in a red and white latex suit and goggles.

She stood and looked around.

“We’re just the entire cast of The Other Eight!”

“Now Nonsensica, let’s just wait until we get through roll call before we—“ Non Sequitur said.

“No, no. This is bogus. Why are we the ones who never caught on? Superheroes are huge right now!” she griped.

“Yeah… Yeah, that is kind of weird isn’t it?” remarked Gracias. “Like, even the rotten movies are packing the theaters.”

“Maybe no one reads anymore,” said Pollinatrix.

“If no one reads anymore then this whole room would be packed. We’d have that mad scientist in here and his frickin’ computer, and those wizards. There hasn’t been a Lord of the Rings movie in the theaters since that third Hobbit movie and people are still buying those stories.”

“I blame our cover,” Bomb Sniffer said. “It looks more like a Pixar movie than a superhero thing.”

From Left to Right: Nonsensica, Johnny on The Spot, and Non Sequitur

“But Pixar movies are awesome!” Gracias said.

“And there was one about superheroes, and it was the best one!” Nonsensica said.

“I don’t know. The Toy Story Movies were pretty good,” Pollinatrix said.

“Yeah, and Monsters Inc,” Gracias said.

“Does anyone like Cars?” Phosphor asked. “Because I got a kick out of Mater.”

“Look, we’re not talking about Pixar.” Nonsensica said. “We’re talking about how it is lame that superheroes are the in thing and here we are as the only people in the ULCA.”

“Heh, I like how it’s almost UCLA,” Gracias said.

Nonsensica gritted her teeth. “Can we please stay on topic here. We’re trying to figure out why no one likes us!”

“Have you taken a moment to consider that we’re just not that good?” Pollinatrix said.

“It’s true. I mean, we had a whole big scene in a Waffle House. That’s not exactly heroic,” added Bomb Sniffer.

“Whoa, hey now. Let’s not talk smack about waffles. Waffles are probably the most heroic food,” Gracias said.

“That’s just stupid,” Chloroplast said.

“Name one food that’s more heroic.”

“The hero sandwich.”

“… Well played… This is precisely why Team Green shouldn’t face off against one another. We should—“

“FOCUS!” Nonsensica said.

“Nonsensica, please. It just so happens we aren’t the only ones here. See?” Non Sequitur looked to the side. “Excuse me. Excuse me, ma’am? … Er… Ma’ams?”

The group turned to find a large lavender serpent with three heads at the snack table. The rightmost head was entirely immersed in a bowl of cheese curls. Realizing they were being watched, the center head perked up.

“Oh! Uh… Rill, The Between,” said the Rill.

“It’s not The Between, it’s just Between,” Left-Rill said.

Right-Rill’s head burst up from the bowl, sending cheese curls flying everywhere.

“Wha-?” she said, still munching on the snack.

A rather striking demon woman of some sort with red skin and wings snapped open a diet cola and took a sip.

“You ask me, we shouldn’t even be here,” she said. “Our story’s not done yet. For all we know we’ll rocket in popularity around chapter forty or so.”

“Keep dreaming,” said a young man in medieval attire. “If ‘not having your story finished’ is a reason to not be here then I’d be long gone.”

Trixie turned to him. “And who are you?”

“Edge,” he said. “Untitled Second Trilogy.”

“Never heard of you,” Nonsensica said.

“The Beta Readers know who I am… some of them, anyway.”

“Okay, okay. We’re getting off track here. I think we all know who each other are now, so let’s move on to the second order of business, the absent list. Let’s see… Looks like Michella didn’t turn up.”

“Talk about denial,” Pollinatrix said.

“She is on the cover of Artificial Evolution,” Phosphor said.

“And I’m on the cover of The Other Eight. Coverage doesn’t mean squat. The facts are, no one likes Mitch and she keeps getting shoved down the people’s throats and yet we only get one outing,” Nonsensica said.

“Who else… Ayna’s name is crossed off here. Ether too,” Non Sequitur said.

“Yeah, a couple big name fans have kept them off the list,” Trixie said. “That’s the magic of fan art.”

“Again, bogus. I’ve had plenty of fan art!” Nonsensica said. She crossed her arms. “And if we’re going by fan art then basically no one is popular, because we are in a drought for that stuff.”

Non Sequitur shuffled through some papers. “Okay. I’ll just mark down the rest of the names so we can get rolling, since it looks like the rest of us are all here. Let’s get started.” He cleared his throat. “I know it can be frustrating to know that, for what may well be no reason more than bad luck, we’ve been relegated to the bottom of the popularity list. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t good characters.”

“I think it does,” Bomb Sniffer said.

“No. That’s bad thinking. We haven’t been abandoned. Right now notes exist to bring back each and every one of us, and as Trixie, Rill, and Philo illustrate constantly, Joseph R. Lallo is more than willing to dump tens of thousands of additional words into an idea that simply hasn’t caught on.”

“Writer’s pets,” muttered Pollinatrix.

Non Sequitur continued. “And always remember that even if we aren’t the most popular, out there I have no doubt that each of us has a diehard fan praying we get to be the stars of the next NaNoWriMo experiment or Newsletter Perk.”

“Oh! You know what we should get? You know what would turn it around for us?” Gracias said.

“We’re not trying to turn it around, Gracias, we are coming to terms with—“

“An audio book! We’re like the last ones who don’t have one. Let’s get an audio book, and let’s get it narrated by…”

“Morgan Freeman?” Phosphor suggested.

“MORGAN FREEMAN!” Gracias said, raising his hands. “That would be killer.”

“Come on guys. Seriously,” Non Sequitur said. “Let’s just get through this so we can hit the snack table and start the mixer. Let’s do the affirmation—“

“Oh, like in Wreck It Ralph?” Bomb Sniffer said.

“Another great Pixar movie, by the way,” Gracias said.

“No, no. That wasn’t Pixar, it was just Disney,” Chloroplast said.

“Tha-a-at’s right. Oh, speaking of, is that Lain starring in that Zootopia movie?” Gracias said. “If so, that guy’s got range.”

“You know what? Screw it.” Non Sequitur said, tossing the papers aside. “Snacks are on the table. Enjoy the rest of the meeting, folks. Maybe we’ll do another one of these next April Fool’s Day.”

 

Temporal Contingency is available now!

After a nice long pre-order, the fourth Big Sigma story is available everywhere now!

If you pre-ordered the story, it’s already available and might even be waiting for you on your device! If not, you can find it on Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and everywhere else!

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I really enjoyed writing this one. The Big Sigma Crew is great fun to write, and science fiction affords a lot of personality and plot opportunities that aren’t quite the same in the fantasy side of the spectrum. Also, fun story. Back when The Book of Deacon wasn’t really selling any copies, I asked a friend of mine (the real life human to whom we owe the character of Oriech, in case you are wondering) what I should write next. He suggested science fiction. Nothing more specific than that. I had a sneaking suspicion that this guy, who is a massive Back to the Future fan, was after a time travel story. He didn’t say that, so I wrote a story about a race pilot who gets in trouble with both the mob and a mega-corp. Then one where he fights terrorists. Then one about a battle against killer robots. Now, finally, TIME TRAVEL. This one’s for you, Sean.

Here’s the blurb.

Temporal Contingency is the fourth book in the Big Sigma Series.

Trevor “Lex” Alexander’s life has been less than blessed. In the past year he’s had to battle corrupt corporations, deranged techno-terrorists, and a robotic scourge. Now he’s received the opportunity to finally return to the racing career that had been cut short by some poor decisions. One could excuse him for not wanting to be embroiled in another insane adventure when he is so close to returning to his life’s calling. Sometimes the call of duty will not be denied.

Karter Dee, a certified lunatic responsible for many of Lex’s recent woes, has discovered a threat on an unprecedented scale. He and Ma, his AI caretaker, know their plan to solve the problem will take a special mixture of competence, improvisation, and disregard for personal safety. Reluctance aside, Lex is the only man for the job. Even with the skilled pilot on the team, the scope of the problem has grown so massive that it may be unsolvable in its current state. Some would consider the situation hopeless, but any good engineer knows if you can’t find a solution, you have to change the problem.

To give human society a chance at a future, Lex, Karter, and Ma, will have to venture into the past.

All of your favorites are back, some of your least favorites aren’t back. It’s the best of both worlds, if you ask me. So if you’ve got it already, enjoy it, and please leave a review. If you haven’t got it yet, consider picking it up on Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords or elsewhere, then leave a review!

NaNoWriMo Bundle, the Final Hours

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If you’re reading this significantly after the arrival of this email, it may already be too late, but if it’s before Friday, March 25th, you may still have a chance to pick up the NaNoWriMo Sci-Fi/Fantasy Bundle! Seven Books, Six Authors, Name Your Own Price, all that good stuff! Check it out.

Plans for the Future

I’ve got loads of them! The only thing I don’t have is a set of release dates for you. But here’s the state of the pipeline, if you’re interested.

  • Ichor Well (Free Wrench 3) – First Draft Complete, in the hands of Beta Readers
  • Myn’s Family (Book of Deacon Picture Book) – First Draft Complete, awaiting time on artist’s calendar
  • The Redemption of Desmeres – 80% written, soon to reach the beta readers.
  • Between – Still continuing periodically
  • Second Trilogy: Book 1 – On hiatus until the current batch of Book of Deacon stories are complete.
  • The D’Karon Apprentice Audio Book – 50% complete, undergoing editing
  • Temporal Contingency and The Other Eight Paperbacks – Waiting for artwork
  • The Story of Sorrel – Outlined
  • The Lallo Universe Collectible Card Game – Thoroughly brainstormed and then completely abandoned.
  • The Myn Plush – Stuck in limbo
  • The Other Eight Vs. The Icon – Desperately attempting to avoid writing it
  • Pizza Dragon – Remaining mysterious and vague
  • Zombie Story – Waiting for the Zombie Craze to completely die.
  • The Story of Rasa – Conceived of, partially outlined
  • Weird Nothing – Equally mysterious and vague. In development

Honestly, there’s probably more. I’m a little scatterbrained, if you haven’t noticed…

Bundles of Bundles!

Hello folks! I’ve got loads of things to talk about today, so let’s get right to it.

NaNoWriMo StoryBundle Launches Today!

The first and most important thing is the release of the second ever NaNoWriMo bundle. Here’s my official press release on the topic.

Last November, as it does every year, the glorious madness of NaNoWriMo descended upon the literary world. In a business so often defined by its solitude—much of the task of being an author takes place entirely within his or her own head, after all—NaNoWriMo is an annual chance for writers all over the world to be a part of a single collective frenzy. During the event we challenge ourselves to wring every last drop of creativity from our minds and produce 50,000 words in just thirty days. For even the most seasoned author it can be difficult, and for those juggling a full-time day job with their writing habit it can be positively herculean. Every year some succeed and many fail. Even those who reach their goal seldom see their tale resolve into a polished manuscript ready for an eager audience. The elite few who push their project over the finish line deserve special recognition, which is why for the second time I’ve helped StoryBundle curate The Sci-Fi/Fantasy NaNo Bundle!

Writers young and old were invited to submit their sci-fi and fantasy stories from prior NaNoWriMo events, and from that pool of submissions I was tasked with selecting just a handful to feature in this bundle. In addition to one of my own NaNoWriMo projects, I’m happy to bring you stories from some of the most gifted authors with which I’ve had the good fortune of associating. The worlds crafted by these talented writers range from gritty, steam-driven worlds to dystopian societies stretching out into the fringes of space. You’ll read fascinating tales that combine police procedural elements with high fantasy alongside haunting contemporary stories of the paranormal. So what sort of stories can spring to life in a single month? Name your own price and find out!

This time around we’ve got seven books on offer. If you pay the bonus price, you’ll get:

Free-Wrench and Skykeep by Joseph R. Lallo:
That’s right, both of the first two books in my steampunk series. You’ll get to follow Nita, Lil, Captain Mack and the rest through their first two adventures, soaring through the skies in the mighty Wind Breaker! This is a rare second chance at Free-Wrench, which debuted in a bundle a few years ago.

Warrior Mage by Lindsay Buroker:
I’ve been familiar with Lindsay Buroker’s work for quite a while, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with her in multiple capacities over the years. When I started formulating this year’s NaNo bundle, I may have gently nudged her into making a submission. She did not disappoint. Warrior Mage showcases many of the things Lindsay does best. Her characters are brilliantly formed, her dialogue is loaded with personality, and her setting is top notch.

A Magic Dark and Bright by Jenny Perinovic:
One of the things I love about the twin genres of sci-fi and fantasy is just how far and wide the borders of those literary kingdoms stretch. Jenny Perinovic’s story reminded me that the mythic and mysterious doesn’t need the backdrop of a distant extraordinary realm to be captivating. A good ghost story, unraveling the mysteries of a small community in our own world, can be just as enthralling and immersive. A Magic Dark and Bright grabbed me right away with its gothic mood and its skillful blend of romance and horror.

Avarice by Annie Bellet:
Thank heaven for Annie Bellet. I was already familiar with her writing when I picked up her initial entry to this year’s bundle, A Heart in Sun and Shadow. When circumstances conspired to remove that story from contention, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to fill the gap. Her prolific NaNoWriMo track record saved the day with another submission, Avarice. This is a delightful story, and one that proves my “Reese’s Theorem.” If you take two wonderful things and combine them in the right way, they become even more wonderful. Avarice injects a sword and sorcery setting with the elements of a police procedural. It was too brilliant not to include in the bundle.

Bodyguard of Lies by E. M. Hartshorn:
I think E. M. Hartshorn’s submission was the first one I selected for this year’s bundle. I enjoy a good sci-fi story where the nature of society is such that morality is at best vague and at worst a liability. Bodyguard of Lies is as gritty as it is futuristic, and ties its characters in complex and agonizing knots before the end. I was particularly fond of the descriptions of the world itself, a place where the population is divided into color-coded levels that more or less determine the quality of air and water, the nature of employment, and pretty much whether or not a person is allowed to be happy or successful.

Shafter by Margaret McGaffrey Fisk:
Shafter, another sci-fi entry to this bundle. Margaret McGaffey Fisk’s story tugged at my heart strings something fierce. Futuristic elements like planet-hopping mix smoothly with the ruddy gutter-snipes and beggars more commonly found in medieval fantasy. I quite enjoyed it, and was pleased to find it was the beginning of a larger series.

The bundle releases today (March 3rd, 2016) and runs for three weeks. Head over to the NaNoWriMo Bundle Page at StoryBundle to check it out!

A Perma-Free Sci-fi Bundle!

What’s that? Two bundles? Yep. I’ve joined up with a few of my fellow indies and contributed Bypass Gemini to the freshly released Galactic Empires: Eight Novels of Deep Space Adventure. Here’s what you get:

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Eight full-length novels of adventure, war, intrigue and survival in the far reaches of space.

The Backworlds by M. Pax
A man struggles to survive in the harsh world of humanity’s outer settlements and prove his father wrong.

Ambassador 1: Seeing Red by Patty Jansen
To look an alien superior in the eye is a deadly offense. To accuse him of a political murder…

Alien Hunters by Daniel Arenson
A scruffy alien pest controller faces an alien threat the likes of which the universe has never seen.

Hard Duty by Mark E. Cooper
Hostile aliens nearly eradicated humanity. Will the next encounter finish the job?

Bypass Gemini by Joseph Lallo
A disgraced racer pilot gets mixed up with a mega-corporation. Now he has to stop them.

Sky Hunter by Chris Reher
Sent to a human outpost to investigate sabotage, a pilot finds more trouble than she bargained for.

The Galapagos Incident by Felix Savage
A genocidal AI attacks the solar system, and a Space Corps agent has one chance of saving a bunch of asteroid squatters she was sent to evict.

First Conquest by David VanDyke
To find a home and keep humanity safe from hostile aliens, Task Force Conquest must fight to seize a new star system.

A pretty good value for the low, low price of free. So head over to Amazon to check it out!

Legends: Fifteen Tales of Sword and Sorcery

I’m in a new bundle!

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One of the great things about the indie author community is the air of collaboration and cooperation among peers. If you are reading this email, chances are pretty good you’re already a fan of The Book of Deacon and its series. Recently K.J. Colt approached me and asked if I would like to contribute that story to a collection of other series starters. As soon as I heard the names of the authors involved, I knew I had to join in.

Legends is available FOR FREE on Amazon, Google Play, iBooks, B&N, Kobo, Scribd, and Inktera, so if you’ve got an eReader.

It features the first chapter of fifteen epic fantasy series, each written by one of the most talented indie authors in the genre. When you download this free title, here’s what you get:

C. Greenwood – Magic of Thieves
In a province where magic is forbidden, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival–concealment.

Daniel Arenson – Requiem’s Song
Weredragons, men call them. Monsters. Cursed ones. People who can turn into beastly reptiles. Together they will forge a nation.

Megg Jensen – Hidden
Tressa ventures into the fog surrounding her village, vowing to unravel the foul magic holding Hutton’s Bridge captive. What she discovers endangers the lives of everyone she loves.

Joseph Lallo – The Book of Deacon
Myranda Celeste is a woman adrift while her world is at perpetual war. The chance discovery of a precious sword makes her a wanted woman, but could just lead her to the fabled heroes who can bring peace.

David Adams – Ren of Atikala
Humanity is found in the inhuman when a “monster” is forced out ofher home and into the world of elves, humans, and dragons.

K. J. Colt – Concealed Power
Adenine has been isolated for being the last carrier of a plague that killed thousands, but when trouble strikes, she is forced to leave her sanctuary and enter a world full of secrets, enemies, and plots.

Morgan Rice – Rise of the Dragons
Kyra, Merk, and Alec, three different stories delicately woven into this tale of fate and destiny where each must leave their homes and protect the kingdom against trolls and an invasion of epic proportions.

Michael James Ploof – Talon
For years, Talon has dreamed of growing big and strong like the giants that surround him, but as the day of measure draws near, he begins to realize that he will never be named a Vald, and will be cast to the village of the Skomm to live a life of slavery.

Michael G. Manning – The Blacksmith’s Son
A journey to discover the secrets of his past reveals a magical heritage and embroils a young man in a deadly battle for the future of mankind.

Nick Webb – A Gift of Shadow
In Terremar, the world of magical masks, men have hunted Tarsha, the dreaded wyvern of the north, for years. All have died trying. But now Tarsha, through her wyvern mask, senses a looming shadow that intends to take the prized mask–and then her life.

M.S. Verish – Dawning
Though he has been torn from his inherent Shadow, a nameless Demon must combat his own inner darkness to survive in a world of Humans.

K.F. Breene – Forged in Blood
Before Shanti was the most wanted woman in the land, she had yet to master her sword and the potent Gift with which she was both blessed and cursed. But the threat won’t rest, and her people may pay the price.

Dima Zales and Anna Zaires – The Sorcery Code
Blaise’s magical creation is not an object of sorcery, but rather a beautiful woman who’s unlike anything their world has ever seen.

Annie Bellet – Witch Hunt
A cursed elven archer and her ragtag group of adventuring friends battle witches to stop a deadly plague and save a small village.

Lindsay Buroker – Balanced on the Blade’s Edge
A sorceress wakes from 300 years in stasis to find that magic is feared,”witches” are killed on sight, and her sentient sword–her only remaining friend in the world–is buried under a mountain.

That’s one heck of a lineup! And if you’ve enjoyed The Book of Deacon, I’m sure you’ll love the other stories in the bundle. So if you’re interested, pick up your FREE copy of this LIMITED TIME bundle today at Amazon, Google Play, iBooks, B&N, Kobo, Scribd, and Inktera.