Blackguards Kickstarter

Blackguards-FB_Header-2014-v1 (1)Hi folks! Guess what? I’m in a Kickstarter Campaign! Nineteen other authors and I have joined forces with the good folks at Ragnarok Publications to present to you an anthology stuffed to the gills with scoundrels and rogues. It is called Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues. It’s got a heck of a lineup:

And me, too! My contribution is a little Book of Deacon story called “Seeking the Shadow”. It features two very memorable characters from the trilogy, one everyone loves, and one everyone hates. (With “Shadow” in the title it’s probably not so hard to guess who one of them is.) A beta reader referred to the story as “An appetizer you wish was the main course,” so I guess it’s worth a read!

There’s all sorts of fun perks for people who contribute, not the least of which is the ability to work with me on naming one of three characters in Seeking the Shadow. I’d great if you’d consider making a pledge. I’ll be sure to let you know if and when it’s funded, and when the time is running out.

Check it out!

 

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Best Books of the Month

I just got the most remarkable email! Free-Wrench has been selected as one of the Best Books of the Month for the AU/NZ iBooks Store! If you’re a reader in that region, THANK YOU! To understand why I’m so deeply honored to be selected for this promotion, you must first understand the nature of the promotion. This is not simply a matter of a marketing team selecting a book with a pretty cover and good reviews. The good folks in charge of the promo select books that they have read, they have enjoyed, and they believe others will enjoy as well. It is an honor that has been bestowed upon giants of the industry. People like JK Rowling. It comes with a front and center banner advertising the selections, and that’s wonderful, but what means the most to me is that it comes with an editorial note!

!!!

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If you’d asked me last November when I was writing Free-Wrench if I thought anyone in New Zealand or Australia would even read it, I’d have said, “Well that’s a bit much to hope for, isn’t it?” But to have it read by someone in Apple, and to have them believe in it enough to share it with the rest of the iBooks users is more than I ever could have imagined.

For those who have read and enjoyed Free-Wrench already, thank you. For those who haven’t, it is proudly available on iBooks. Australians and New Zealanders can find the promotion here. I hope you’ll give my books and the others a try. Apparently they’re pretty good!

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Once again, and as always, thank you for reading.

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Artificial Evolution Cover Reveal and Pre-Order (Plus a Newsletter)

What? Already?!

Yep, with Free-Wrench just a few days old, I’m already starting the engine on the next major release, Artificial Evolution. This is the book that I’ve been calling Sci-Fi 3 for the longest time, and it has been in the works for WAY LONGER THAN IS ACCEPTABLE! Partially because people smarter than I recommended it and partially because I needed something to light a fire under my butt, I decided to set a release date. In December, you’ll be able to read this monstrosity once and for all. Which means I really need to finish writing it. And today, you can pre-order it on the iBookstore!

As always, the cover is by the magnificent Nick Deligaris, and I am beyond excited to be showing it off, so I’m going to make it HUGE.

Look out. Michella means business.

Look out. Michella means business.

Seriously, how can you not love that. This brings back pretty much the whole cast from Unstable Prototypes, including Silo, Garotte, Karter, Ma, Michella, Squee, and of course Lex. What happens? Well, I’ll just plop the synopsis in here to tell you:

Artificial Evolution is the third book in the Big Sigma series, building upon the story and characters introduced by Bypass Gemini and Unstable Prototypes. Lex, Michella and Squee are once again joined by the mercenaries Silo and Garotte. Along the way they’ll need plenty of help from mad engineer Karter Dee and his AI Ma.

After butting heads with the megacorporation known as VectorCorp it was only a matter of time before Lex Alexander and his girlfriend Michella Modane would face the consequences. It is remarkable what a single corporate agent with the resources of a multi-global conglomerate can do to a person’s career. In the space of a few days Lex is looking for work and Michella is feeling pressure from the network to ease off the hard-hitting stories. Not one to be silenced, Michella quickly hatches a plan to continue her investigations under the guise of a fluff story about a so-called extraterrestrial, and who better to be her personal driver than Lex?

Meanwhile, mercenaries Silo and Garotte are still nipping at the heels of the terrorist group known as the Neo-Luddites. Rumors of an attempt to secure a devastating weapon bring the pair to a forgotten little planet in an undeveloped corner of the galaxy. Circumstances require that local authorities lay claim to the terrorists’ apparent target, but what sort of threat could one gangly collection of anatomical curiosities pose to the galaxy?

The answer to that question will put our heroes to the test and leave a whole world hanging in the balance.

I hope that sounds good to you! I’m still finishing up the climax, and then there are rewrites and beta readings and the whole mess, but it is coming along great. Go ahead and pre-order it! And if you’re a Nook or Kobo user, rest assured, pre-orders are on the way for that too. If I can work out the details, I’m thinking of offering up some cool pre-order bonuses for folks.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

While I’ve had a newsletter for a while, it has recently become rather important that I nurture that thing into something more than a vestigial vector for information. So first let me direct you to the signup page. Then let me say that I’ll be offering incentives for newsletter subscribers too! I’m still working out what they’ll be, but folks on the fan page have suggested desktop backgrounds of your favorite characters, and supplementary book stuff like future excerpts, deleted scenes, and expanded character interviews.

Feel free to weigh in, consider signing up, and I’ll keep you posted on future goodies!

Thanks for reading!

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Free-Wrench Official Release!

The time has come for what’s probably the most unusual and confusing release I’ve ever done. Free-Wrench, the NaNoWriMo project I completed last November and released as part of the NaNoWriMo bundle, has now officially released! It should already be available at Barnes and Noble, KoboAppleAmazon, and Smashwords with others soon to follow.

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Thanks to the early release, I’m proud to say the book has already earned some wonderful reviews, so if even if you’re not a steampunk fan, I hope you’ll give it a chance. It’s got some fun characters, and a rather wacky setting. But don’t take my word for it, go ahead and read the blurb! (Yes, I’m aware that’s also my word. Don’t be difficult.)

The islands of Caldera are a shining jewel in a rather bleak world. A terrible calamity in the past had blanketed much of the world with a toxic “fug.” Those who survived were forced to take to the mountains and the skies in wondrous airships. Life has since been a struggle, with only the most ruthless and crafty able to survive. To spare themselves the same fate, the Calderans erected a battery of guns to fend off the airships of the mainland. They isolated themselves from the madness of the world, choosing instead to focus on the pursuits of art and creativity. Few believe the technologically advanced but socially barbarous outsiders have anything to offer. Amanita Graus, though, is hoping that they do.

Nita’s mother has lost her livelihood and perhaps soon her life to a terrible disease. Already the black sheep of the family for embracing engineering rather than art, Nita resolves to leave the safety of her home and do whatever it takes to find a cure. For a price, the bizarre crew of an airship called The Wind Breaker are willing to grant her a meeting with their mysterious benefactors, and thus a chance to procure the one thing with a chance to save her mother.

Free-Wrench follows Nita’s adventures in a steampunk world of airships and lunatics. Helping her in her journey are an eccentric crew of smugglers; the gruff Cap’n Mack, the simple but enthusiastic Lil and Coop, the arrogant marksman Gunner, the surly surgeon Butch, and the irritable mascot Wink. To survive and find what she seeks she’ll need to earn their trust, follow their rules, and meet face to face with the people who pull the strings of their society.

Normally I’d make a big production of a release like this, but life is preventing such a thing. I’m currently working 13+ hour days at the day job, and mulling over a rather significant career offer that I’ve got less than a week to act upon. I don’t have much time or brain to spare for book promotion. I’d be much obliged if you folks would spread the word about the books, though.

I’m so very, so painfully close to finishing the first draft of the next book, a little sci-fi story called Artificial Evolution. (That’s now the official title, since I went and told Nick that’s what it was.) You might see that ready for pre-order before its ready to proofread, since I’m starting to take advice from the good folks at Book Expo America and Smashwords, which means doing a LONG pre-order. Fingers crossed, people!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy!

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Character Interview: Lain

This was a tricky one to write. A lot of the other characters would be perfectly willing to be interviewed. In order to answer all of the questions asked it would have to take place toward the end of the Trilogy, and let’s face it, Lain during the trilogy isn’t the sort of character who would be answering questions from just anyone. Thus, the interview is being conducted by Ivy, who is one of only perhaps three people Lain would even potentially answer. Even with that in mind, Ivy didn’t know some of the things that you good folks had questions about, so this is non-Canon, and she’s going to learn a lot. It therefore CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you have not read the trilogy and The Rise of the Red Shadow, don’t read this unless you are okay with having some major plot points spoiled. If this scene had a place in the book, it would be in the fields Lain’s rescue from the Volcano, in the time following Myranda waking him and helping him to recover.

Enjoy!

Ivy: Lain, you look much better now. How do you feel?

Lain: Well enough.

Ivy: (Hugging him.) I was afraid we were going to lose you.

Lain weathers the embrace and reluctantly returns it with one arm.

Ivy: (pulling back) Don’t scare me like that again! I mean… You’re my friend, Lain. And I don’t know anything about you! I can’t imagine losing someone I care about without ever really knowing them… I’m not taking that chance. I want to know all about you, Lain. Starting now.

Lain: Ivy, you don’t need to–

Ivy: (With finality) Yes I do. What about your name, Lain? Where does that come from?

Lain looks at her steadily, as if testing her resolve. She returns his gaze defiantly. When it is clear she will not relent, he releases a breath in something just short of a sigh.

Lain: Lain is a title. I earned it in Entwell for proving my skill and stealth.

Ivy: Well do you have a name then? A real one.

Lain: I have been called many things. Leo, Teyn, Shadow. I have no true name.

Ivy: How can that be? Did you forget it, or change into someone new, like me?

Lain: I lost my mother before I could learn my name.

Ivy: Oh… I’m sorry. So you grew up without a mother? What about your father?

Lain: I never knew him.

Ivy: Right… right, I remember now. Ether says he is a god.

Lain: So she says.

Ivy: Do you know which one?

Lain: I do not know that it is even so.

Ivy: Aw… growing up without a Mother and Father. I’d have been so afraid, but you’re never scared.

Lain: The only ones who are never afraid are the insane and the ignorant. I’ve learned to hide fear, but it is always there as a warning.

Ivy: Really? But you seem so brave!

Lain: Brave is the word for those who conquer fear, not those who do not face it.

Ivy: Well what is the scariest thing you’ve ever been through?

Lain: My first memory is being captured and brought to a plantation to serve as a slave. I’ve never been more frightened than in the moment they seized me by my tail. I knew there was no one to help me. I was powerless. It was years before I became numb to the fear.

Ivy: That’s horrible… There must have been good things too, though. What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever been through?

Lain: What good does it do you to ask all of these questions?

Ivy: I need to know that there’s been some light in your life. (She crosses her arms.) And this’ll go a lot faster if you just answer questions instead of trying to talk me out of asking them. You aren’t going to talk me out of it.

Lain: (eyes shut in combined remembrance and subdued irritation) There have been many things. The village of Entwell, when the falls are flowing… And the cliffs just past the village’s edge. I’ve seen a wizard conjure up a whole city around me. I’ve seen a dragon hatch from its egg and choose a human as its caretaker.

Ivy: Wow… Have you… Have you ever met any other malthropes? Besides me, I mean.

Lain: Very few.

Ivy: Were any of them your friends? Or at least did you know any of them well?

Lain: One of them. I knew her very well.

Ivy: (Smiling) Her? (Excitedly) What was her name? What was she like?

Lain: (Pausing, as if hesitating to speak the words) Her name was Sorrel. She was lovely. Bold. Brash. Clever. Stubborn.

Ivy: Were you… close?

Lain: We were.

Ivy: Did you… Did you love her?

Lain: I did.

Ivy: (Eyes twinkling with emotion) And did she love you?

Lain: (Pausing longer, as though considering the question for the first time.) I believe she did.

Ivy: (Almost tackling Lain with another enthusiastic hug.) That’s wonderful! Where is she now? What happened to her?

Lain: I turned to my task, to buying back the freedom of the slaves. It was too dangerous for her. She went her own way. To raise a family in a place where she believed she could be safe.

Ivy: A family… she had children?

Lain: Twins. Reyna and Wren.

Ivy: Were they… yours?

Lain: … I believe they were.

Ivy: You’re a father! (Eyes streaming with tears and clasping his hand in hers.) What happened to them? Tell me they’re safe!

Lain: I don’t know for certain what happened. I know that she left for the Crescents, and reached them safely. She was heading to North Crescent. She believed she would be safe there. But that was decades ago. Even if their lives were long and happy, they are surely gone now.

Ivy: Oh… I would have liked to meet them. If you’d been able to, if you knew they were still there and still safe, would you have taken me to meet them?

Lain: If I knew they were safe, I would send you to them. But I wouldn’t go with you.

Ivy: Why not?!

Lain: (Gesturing around at the army, and at his own injuries.) This, all of it. I can’t leave this behind. Where I go, this follows. I couldn’t risk bringing it upon them.

Ivy: (Wiping away a tear) Then we’ve got to end this war. We’ve got to make it so that you can at least try to find her. Or your children. Or your grandchildren. (She clasps her hands and bounces excitedly) You might have a whole family out there. I can’t wait to tell Ether. Imagine the look on her face. … Hey, tell me the truth, what do you think of her? Because she loves you.

Lain: She thinks she loves me, but she doesn’t know what love is.

Ivy: No, that’s the funny part. She thinks she doesn’t love you because she doesn’t know what love is. But she’s head over heels for you. I can tell. What do you think of her?

Lain: (Shaking his head slowly, a dash of irritation showing on his face) She’s occasionally a valuable ally, when she can control herself. More often she is a liability. She’s spent an eternity learning little of her own potential and nothing of the world she’s tasked to save. Until she learns the value of those things she’s shunned, she is hardly deserving of consideration.

Ivy: Wow… Well, what do you think of me?

Lain: You are young and you have a great deal to learn, but you have grown much in the short time since we found you. You are a credit to our race, and I value your safety above all else.

Ivy: Oh… (She covers her face for a moment in embarrassment.) Thank you. What about the others? What do you think of Myranda?

Lain: When I first found her, I believed her to be like any other human. She seemed foolish, perhaps even greedy. I’ve come to respect her in the months since then. She is dedicated, patient, intelligent, and tolerant. She is many things I thought humans were incapable of. There aren’t more than five people in my life that I’ve ever truly trusted. She is among them.

Ivy: Yeah, she’s wonderful… What about Myn, what do you think of her?

Lain: She is cunning, fierce, and loyal. Everything a dragon should be. To see how far she has come despite the endless calamities in her short life, I can only imagine the sort of dragon she will become.

Ivy: What about Deacon?

Lain: I admire his skill, but I believe his thirst for knowledge and his blind devotion to Myranda will lead him to a terrible end.

Ivy: I sure hope not! He’s great! … Hey, he’s been to Entwell too. Everyone I know who’s ever been there seems like they’ve learned wonderful things. Did you have a favorite teacher when you were there?

Lain: (Expression very slightly hardening, his patience with the conversation waning.) I learned a great deal. I am indebted to my many teachers.

Ivy: But who was your favorite?

Lain: … Those who taught me combat, stealth… Their lessons were the most valuable. But there was a fairy, Fiora… She taught me things I’d never known I would need to know. She taught me to read, to write. She taught me languages. And I believe she valued me as a student as highly as I valued her as a teacher.

Ivy: She sounds nice. Fiora. I don’t think Myranda mentioned her when she was talking about Entwell.

Lain: It was before Myranda’s time.

Ivy: Are there any from your visit with Myranda that you liked?

Lain: I went there to recover, not to learn.

Ivy: Still, was there anyone?

Lain: … I was pleased to find that the elder had taken her rightful place.

Ivy: What about…

Lain: I’ve answered enough questions. There is much to do in the days ahead. You need your rest and I need mine.

Ivy: Fine… Thanks for answering though. Sometimes it seems like you’re this larger than life thing. Like a statue of a great hero instead of a living, breathing creature. It’s nice to know that inside you’re a person, even if you don’t always show it. (She leans in and gives him a peck on the cheek.) Get some rest. I’m going to get my fiddle.

Well, there you have it. I hope all of your questions were answered. If you have additional questions, or questions for other characters, don’t forget the poll is always open.

Thanks for reading!

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What I Did on My Spring Vacation (and Fresh Art)

Hi folks. I’m still waiting for some clarification regarding that whole Massive Chalice Bloodline thing. I’ll still be doing a bloodline, but it’s increasingly looking like I won’t be allowed to do anything that ties in with anything else. They’re all being really nice and cool about it, but once you get to a certain level in any business, the swamp of intellectual property rights can be more trouble than it is worth to navigate. Unfortunately, my brain isn’t wired correctly to work in little teeny nuggets such as this, so it might not be within my means to churn out something particularly good with the allowable parameters. Such is life.

In the meantime, my twitter followers have been enduring a steady stream of vacation photos and chatter during the past week, since I was visiting the grandparents in Vermont. And you folks shall not be spared the same fate! AHH-HAHAHA! Stand by for the blog equivalent of a boring conversation at the water cooler. If you’re not interested in that, skip down to the bottom, where I’ll flip back to talking about the books and such. Also, my website is being a pain about uploading images right now, so check out the tumblr post for some pictures.

On Monday we went to Starksboro, VT. If you’ve never been to Vermont, I recommend it, particularly during the summer. It tends to be about twenty degrees cooler, though there are a lot of farms, so you might also get an introduction to the sensory wonderland that is manure season. In the past we would spend a whole month in Vermont, and most of that time would be spent camping, hiking, and having camp fires. This time we decided to do some of the touristy stuff, which for the Lallos means ‘eating strange new things in strange new places.’

The first stop is always Dakin Farms and Magic Hat Brewery to stock up on fancy beer (for my brother Mike) and meats and cheeses (for me). Incidentally, if you ever get the chance to try honey butter, maple kettle corn, or cob smoked cheddar, do so. They are excellent. Georgette (my sister-in-law) is a wine drinker, and Vermont has plenty of vineyards, so on our first full day we picked a few of those. I, by the way, am not a drinker of any kind, so when I joined in on a few wine tastings I probably doubled the amount of alcohol I’ve drunk in my entire life. It has reaffirmed that I’m not a fan of wine, though ice wines and ice ciders are the closest to my sort of beverage.

The next day was my day, or as we dubbed it, “The Day of Dairy”. We took a trip up to Cabot Creamery and watched them make cheese. Did you know that if you are a cheese maker with a beard, they make you wear a hairnet on your chin? They do! Also, either Jordan is a really popular name for cheese makers or people were sharing lab coats, because I saw two Jordans working side by side. I tried about a dozen cheeses and decided to take home some Artisan Reserve and Hot Buffalo, though Everything Bagel is excellent too. From there we went to the Ben and Jerry’s factory for a Brownie Special with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream topped with hot fudge and nuts.

The largest city in Vermont is Burlington, which sits right on the shore of Lake Champlain, so we took a trip up there next. Church Street is a cool pedestrian mall, and there we sampled some more wine, checked out some local art, and of course, ate. This time it was a Bahn Mi Pork burger, plus what they called “Plymouth Rumrunner” cheese, which was a 90 day cave aged raw milk cheese. There as also poutine with duck gravy, which was so good. Then we took a boat tour of the lake, got mooned by a local as he jumped off a cliff into the water, and headed home.

Any time what we weren’t out and about, we were visiting with my grandparents, Pop and Mawna. Both are nearing ninety and still living on their own. It was a fantastic time!

BACK TO BOOK STUFF!

I’ve been commissioning art like a maniac. In addition to a few recommended artists I’d been interested in getting artwork from, a number of truly talented artists seem to have fallen on some hard times, so I’ve been commissioning things to help toss them some extra money. So here’s what I got!

Two great images from robo-shark:

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A wonderful little Squee from Chelsea Kenna:

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And a great (poster-sized) image of Myranda and Myn from Bri Mercedes:

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SO GOOD! And there’s more art on the way!

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Oops! Nevermind…

So it turns out my little dream of having my characters show up as an Easter egg in an awesome game is not to be. The Devs nixed all copyrighted characters, including those which the designers of the Bloodline owns. They say that it is a little too much like me advertising in their game. While I wasn’t intending that, I can certainly see why they would feel that way. I wouldn’t want KFC backing the game just to create a Col. Sanders Bloodline.

I’m unreasonably bummed out about his. It seems like any time The Book of Deacon is in any way exposed to legitimate business, the result is rejection. NO MATTER! I shall soldier on! Rather than including characters that I and my fans know and love, I shall create characters which definitively have NO MEANING OR BACK STORY. The way I figure it, if I come up with a back story, then the characters are therefore characters in a Joseph R. Lallo story, and we’re back to the same old problem. I can’t really make them interesting, because I know me, and if I do that I’ll end up writing a story about them and then we’re dealing with the same problem retroactively.

However, I’d like to have some semblance of the setting and characters that I care about, so in the spirit of compromise I have created this new bloodline, which obliquely references the Book of Deacon, but in a way that would only be truly obvious if A: You’d already read the books and B: You knew a GREAT DEAL about parts of the book that were changed or discarded. I think we can all agree that would be a pretty awful way to advertise, which I hope would illustrate my intentions are pure.

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And once again I present you good folks with the chance to make a selection.

Sigil A: (shown above as well)

Sigil 1

 

Or Sigil B:

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Help Me Sneak Book of Deacon into a Game!

Okay, maybe sneak isn’t the right word since I’m doing it out in the open here on the internet. But here’s the deal. A while back, I backed a game from the Double Fine crew called Massive Chalice. If you’re not familiar with it, follow that link and watch the video. It’s an awesome idea for a game involving an immortal king raising and guiding an army for generations to hold back a terrible demon hoard. It’s a turn based tactics game with some simulation mixed in, and I am VERY MUCH looking forward to it.

Here’s the cool part. Since I’m a “Bloodline Backer”, I get to design one of the many, many bloodlines in the game. I think it is only fitting that I do something from The Book of Deacon. Here’s what I came up with so far. What do you guys think?

BloodlineEditorIf you can’t see it, here’s what we’ve got so far.

  • House Color: White
  • Secondary Color: Blue
  • Sigil: The Mark of the Chosen
  • Bloodline Name: Celeste
  • Keep Name: New Kenvard
  • Male: Deacon
  • Female: Myranda
  • Motto: ???
  • Battle Cry: ???

You’ll notice I haven’t got a Motto or Battle Cry. I’ll be trying to think of one for the next few days, but I figure this is a good job for the fans! Anyone out there have a motto or battle cry that you think is appropriate for Myranda or the Chosen, let me know! If I like your idea better than anything I come up with, you’ll win… something. I don’t know what. Some sort of prize. Free books, if you don’t already have all of my stuff. Maybe an autographed book if you do have all of my stuff.

So feel free to email me, tweet me, or sign up and comment here on the site.

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The Bundle So Far and the Fate of Between

Hi there, folks! I just wanted to post a little update here. First off, if you haven’t picked up the Sci-Fi/Fantasy NaNo Bundle yet, you’ve still got time! It’s been doing really well, I’m proud to say. So well, in fact, that even though I don’t officially release Free-Wrench until July, the money it has earned in this bundle has already covered the cost to have it edited and to have the cover illustrated, so THANKS!

Speaking of illustrations, I was on sort of an illustration frenzy recently. Good art takes time, so most of the commissions I’ve paid for are still in the pipeline, but here’s one that’s finished! I’m linking it to the original post, partially because he deserves the hit on the image (though I’d naturally include the link with the image), and partially because the original file would need to be re-sized to fit within my site’s upload size, and to heck with that! (For now.) This was a fun commission. Those of you who have ever been commissioned from me will know that Plan A is frequently “check out my current art page and pick a character to draw.” Plan B is me choosing who you should draw. Most artists have preferred to be told, but Jay (aka Robo-Shark) was not only willing to pick one, he was willing to keep it a secret! His choice turned out to be the much beloved Water Master of Entwell, Calypso the Mermaid. He chose her because he likes underwater scenes and because she doesn’t seem to have much fan art. I love how it came out, and another surprise piece is on the way!

Finally, some of you may have noticed there was no Between this week. If you did notice, thanks for noticing! If you didn’t, well, there wasn’t one. Much as I’ve been enjoying the weekly challenge of getting that posted, my friend and inspiration for Desmeres had a typically pragmatic observation. If I’m writing a few thousand words for Between every week, that means I’m writing a few thousand less words for Sci-Fi 3. Now, this isn’t entirely true, because it takes much more time to write a few thousand words of sci-fi, since it has to mesh with everything that came before it and will come after it, and the characters have established personalities and histories, but his point is valid nonetheless. I believe his reason for rather aggressively advising that I shift back to sci-fi is related to the fact that I’ll be selling that one instead of giving it away like Between, but I chose to actually ditch Between for now and focus on Sci-Fi 3 because people have been patiently waiting for it for far longer than is acceptable, so I really oughtn’t dilly dally.

I suppose I’ll conclude this with a little bit of news on the stuff I keep forgetting is in the works. A short story of mine called “Seeking the Shadow” is a step closer to being released, as the previous book by the same publisher just went to press. That means before too long there may be a Kickstarter for it which I’ll be able to point you toward. While technically it is the second Kickstarter to in someway involve me, I’m strangely excited about this one.

Anyway, that’s my boring rambly post for today. Thanks for reading!

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Free-Wrench and The Sci-Fi/Fantasy NaNo Bundle

The waiting is over, folks! At long last, my very first steampunk novel is available for you to buy, but that’s not the half of it!  I’m excited to announce that today we unveil The Sci-Fi/Fantasy NaNo Bundle, featuring Free-Wrench!

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Today until May 28th, StoryBundle is offering up seven whole novels, and as always, you can name your own price. In addition to Free-Wrench, bundle buyers who pick up the full bundle and subscribe to the newsletter will get:

  • Sworn to Raise, Sworn to Transfer, and Sworn to Conflict. These are the first three novels of the brilliant Courtlight Series by Terah Edun.
  • Firebrand, Book 1 of the Pyromancer Trilogy by R.M. Prioleau.
  • Ashes by Erin Cofran, Book 1 of The Nature of Demons.

You’ll even get my other recently released NaNoWriMo novel, The Other Eight!

Each of these novels (except for mine) are handpicked by me, selected from a pile of NaNoWriMo novels submitted early this year. Bundle curation is new to me, and I had a tough time narrowing down the list to a lucky few, but I feel I’ve selected the cream of the crop and I’m thrilled to be working with such talented authors.

Rather than bore you with the whole StoryBundle spiel here on my blog, I’ll bore you with the official announcement post (which I also wrote) here on StoryBundle. For you readers who have been waiting patiently for Free-Wrench to come out, I suggest you don’t dilly-dally. During the bundle I’ll be setting up the pre-orders for Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble, but once the bundle is through you won’t be able to get Free-Wrench anywhere until the official release date of July 16th! This is when the book was originally going to release to give The Other Eight a chance to get some traction, so you can thank StoryBundle for giving me a reason to do this limited early release.

Pick up the bundle, get some great books, and thanks for reading!

UPDATE:

Need an excuse to pick up the bundle? There are some great reviews for both of my books already. And here’s one I just got a few minutes ago from an early reader.

Review for Joseph Lallo’s book Free-Wrench
I…loved…this…book. :) That should be good enough for you, go buy it now…The end!
What? Alright, alright…
No, seriously, it was well written, incredibly well written, especially for a book that was started and completed during the month of November.
This novel, (like all Joseph Lallo’s books) engages you right from the beginning. You have a real sense of who the characters are and what they want. This is an awesome achievement in any writing, but incredibly so, considering the short time in which this novel was completed.
This story follows a young lady (Nita) who works as a free-wrench in a steamworks (a job dominated by men) and is considered a bit of an oddity to her family and community. She is extremely good at her job, but seemingly on a whim buys her way onto an airship in search of a cure for her ill mother. What follows next is a harrowing adventure complete with new beginnings, friendships, death threats and battles. This culminates into a grandiose scheme to get what is needed when things don’t end up going as planned.
I could not put this book down, the story was engaging, the characters were believable and relatable. Do yourself a favour and support a great author – buy this book – you won’t regret it.
***** <—– 5 stars. :)

Thanks Melissa!

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