Monday, July 2, 2018

Summer Sale!

From now until July 31, four of my most popular books are on sale at both Amazon and Smashwords.

Free on Smashwords with coupon code SS100:

Human Frailties, Human Strengths

Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern 1)

$1.00 on Smashwords with coupon code SSW75:

Burn the Sky (Wytch Kings 1)

Leythe Blade

$0.99 on Amazon:

Human Frailties, Human Strengths

Psi Hunter

Burn the Sky

Leythe Blade

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Update and Newsletter Info

Some update things...

1. Newsletter (Finally!)
If you received an email notification about this blog post, it's because you signed up to follow this blog via email. With the new European Union privacy regulations (GDPR) going into effect in just a few days, I'm going to be turning off that option and deleting the follow-by-email list, as I cannot verify that the Feedburner Thing is GDPR compliant, meaning this is the last email notification you'll receive.

If you'd like to continue getting email updates on what I'm doing, or if you'd like to start doing so, I invite you to sign up for my new newsletter, which will be sent out every month or two (or whenever I have news worthy of a newsletter). The sign-up form is on the right, in the sidebar and also on the Contact page. I promise your email address will not be used for anything other than sending the occasional newsletter to announce new releases and other news.

2. Falkrag (Wytch Kings 5)
Falkrag has been sent off to my beta team, and the early feedback is that it's looking pretty good, so I'm still hoping for a late summer release (late July at the earliest, but probably more like August). This is the story of Prince Shaine of Rhiva, who goes looking for a weapon to help the Northern Alliance win the war, and brings home something far more helpful. And of course, finds love along the way.

3. Renegade (Kingmakers 2)
I've begun drafting Renegade, the second book of the Kingmakers series. Renegade features Coryn and Kai, whose relationship will be difficult and fraught, and will likely require more than one book to document. The series will feature other romances as well, but Coryn and Kai will be the central characters for most of it. I'm hoping to draft this one over the summer, and have it out toward the end of this year or early next.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Falkrag: WIP Excerpt

Falkrag, Book 5 of the Wytch Kings series, is coming along nicely. This is Prince Shaine's story (Prince Mikhyal of Rhiva's younger brother), and it's looking to be another long one, 80 to 85,000 words is my current guess. I'm hoping to release it toward the end of the summer. Here's a little taste to whet your appetite...


Shaine read the passage again, heart beating faster as the meaning of the words slowly sank in. Stormshard was a hidden tower, deep in the Iceshards, beyond the northern border of the kingdom of Altan. The kingdom’s mythe-weavers had used it to research dangerous mythe-weapons, some of which were powerful enough to destroy an entire kingdom. Abandoned after a terrible accident, once the Wytch Council’s inflexible edicts and iron rule had brought peace to Skanda, Stormshard had been forgotten.

Or more likely, erased from history.

The book Shaine held in his hands was the journal of a young mythe-weaver who had been serving out his apprenticeship in the tower, learning the secrets of weapon creation. Fortunately for him, he’d been on leave when the accident occurred. There’d been no survivors, and the area had been left uninhabitable. The Wytch King of Altan had destroyed the mythe-gate that led to the tower to prevent anyone from trying to investigate.

Shaine closed the book and stared out the library window at the mountains surrounding Castle Rhivana. Somewhere out there, Stormshard still stood.

And if it does, what makes you think you can find it, boy?

He clenched his jaw and reminded himself yet again that Anxin was dead. The voice wasn’t real. Couldn’t be. Vayne had promised.

Staring down at the book, he struggled to organize his thoughts. He’d need to do some research. There was a rough map in the journal, but if he was seriously thinking about venturing into the mountains on his own, something with a bit more detail would be helpful.

Was he really going to do this?

You can’t. You’ll fail, like you’ve failed at everything else.

Shaine clenched his hand into a fist. He had to try, despite his fear that Anxin’s words were truth. If he could bring home a weapon powerful enough to give the Northern Alliance an advantage over the Wytch Council, it would prove his loyalty to both family and alliance, and might finally put a stop to all the whispered speculation he pretended not to hear. It might even drive the last traces of Anxin from his head once and for all.

With mounting hope, Shaine headed for the library’s history section.

Several hours later, he’d searched history, geography, and legends, but found nothing helpful. His frustration was tempered by the fact that the lack of information boded well for Stormshard having remained undiscovered and, more importantly, undisturbed in the centuries since the disaster.

He opened the journal again to study the roughly sketched map. None of the books he’d found mapped much of the Iceshards. Most only went into the mountain range as far as the most distant mines. If the scale of the sketch was accurate, Stormshard lay some distance beyond Altan’s northernmost mines. It looked like he could follow one of the mining roads part of the way there, but once the road ran out, he’d be forced to find his own way through the mountains.

“And what are you studying so intently?” Dirit materialized on Shaine’s shoulder. The little dragon craned his neck to peruse the journal, head blocking Shaine’s view.

Shaine slammed the book shut and glared at him. “Nosy. I thought you and Mikhyal had gone off to Miraen to deal with the attack on the fields.”

Dirit hopped down off his shoulder and landed lightly on the table in front of him. “Not until tomorrow morning. His Royal Disheveledness is currently attempting to tame his hair into something less reminiscent of a rat’s nest before reporting for dinner. He suggested you might need a reminder. Which you apparently do. You’ll be officially late in three minutes, you know.”

Shaine glanced at the clock, alarmed to discover that the little dragon was right. His research had occupied him so thoroughly he hadn’t taken note of the time. Tucking the journal under his arm, he hurried out of the library, not bothering to look back and see whether Dirit had faded back into the mythe or not.

He stopped by his own suite first to slip the book safely under his pillow, then headed for the dining room. To Shaine’s immense relief, after the signing of the Northern Alliance treaty, Wytch King Drannik had stopped taking dinner with the Court. The war took up most of his time now, and as his heir, Mikhyal saw to most of the disputes brought before the king.

Shaine was late, of course, but Mikhyal and Tristin were even later, and no mention was made of it. The queen, as she often did these days, was dining in her own apartment, so it was just the four of them. Without the queen’s sensibilities to take into consideration, dinner conversation began with the crisis in Miraen.

“You’ll be leaving in the morning, then?” Drannik said the moment Mikhyal sat down.

Mikhyal gave his father a nod. “Ai, and Tristin will be accompanying me to Miraen. Once we’ve seen what we can do there, we’ll be going on to Altan. There is still a royal wedding or four to plan. I’ll stay in touch by messenger dragon. I want to be kept abreast of the conditions here, though I expect we’ll be diverting most of our resources to patrols for the time being.”

“I think it best, and I expect our allies will agree,” Drannik said. “Unless we have some way of predicting where and when the Council will strike next, all we can do is keep watch on our most vulnerable resources. In the meantime, Ilya has called for all the mythe-weavers we can spare to come to Altan, where they will search for a way to thwart the Council, or at least put us on even ground. If we could open our own mythe-gates and send troops pouring into Askarra, we would be able to negotiate from a much stronger position. This attack on Miraen worries me greatly. If they succeed in destroying enough of our crops, they could starve us into surrender.”

“Have we anyone to send to Ilya?” Mikhyal asked.

“I’ve sent one of our dragon soldiers to visit all the estates and ask for those who aren’t needed there to report here. We’ll send a caravan… or a few dragons, depending on how many we get.”

“I’ll let Ilya know you’ve begun the search process, then.”

“Excellent.” Drannik turned his attention to his meal, and Mikhyal turned to Shaine. “I may not be able to get back here before the wedding, Shaine. Have you made a decision about attending yet?”

Shaine brightened as it occurred to him that the wedding celebration itself was the perfect reason for him to travel to Altan. From there, he could strike north using the mining road he’d identified. He’d have to obtain some mountaineering gear, and perhaps a pack animal, but those ought to be available in one of the villages.

Not wanting to appear too eager, Shaine peered at his brother through long, fiery red bangs that badly needed cutting. “I’m not sure. I… all those people…”

Yes, all those people, Anxin hissed. All of them watching you, all of them wondering just who it is looking out of your eyes.

Shaine couldn’t help the shudder that wracked his frame. All those eyes. Staring. Accusing.

“I know exactly how you feel,” Tristin said, giving him a sympathetic look.

“You never had a problem with people before, Shaine,” Drannik commented.

“Ai, but…” Shaine swallowed, reminding himself that he could slip away soon after he arrived, avoiding the Court entirely. “I never had a reason to fear what they might be thinking of me before, either.”

“Will you not go and represent your family?” Drannik pressed. “I’d go myself, but given the events of the past few weeks, I dare not.”

“Don’t push him, Father,” Mikhyal said softly. He gave Shaine an encouraging smile. “While I’d very much like you to be there, the last thing I want to do is force you into doing something that makes you uncomfortable. Just give it some thought. I won’t be hurt if you decide you can’t manage it.”

Shaine blinked back the tears that rose, unbidden, to his eyes. Mikhyal might be a strict military commander, but he was never anything but gentle with Shaine, even after all the horrible things Shaine had said and done to him under Anxin’s control. Even after Shaine had arranged for his brother’s murder. “For you, I’ll try, Mik,” he said, managing a watery smile.

Mikhyal didn’t need to know what, exactly, he meant to try.

No one needed to know.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Kingmakers: A New Series

Kingmakers is my new M/M fantasy series, the first volume of which, Khalshir, is now available. The series takes place a few hundred years after Wytch Wars, the start of which is detailed in the Wytch Kings series. The kingdoms of Skanda have recovered from the devastation wrought by the Wytch Wars and rebuilt. From the ashes of the old kingdoms of Skanda, the Tovashi Domains have risen, ruled by high lords who are sworn to obey the Binding, an agreement that prohibits the possession or building of the powerful mythe-weapons that nearly destroyed their lands. As the lessons of history fade into the distant past, there are whispers of those who would break the Binding and rumors of some who already have. Tensions rise and the threat of conflict looms. It will take a strong leader to bring the squabbling domains together once more and prevent history from repeating itself. Where will such a leader be found? And who will help him bring peace to these troubled lands?

Book 1: Khalshir
When Rio bungles his first professional assassination, he’s given a simple bodyguard job. But the man he’s assigned to guard is keeping a dangerous secret, and Rio soon finds himself caught up in a tangled web of lies, love, and conflicting loyalties.

A street rat taken in by the infamous Khalshir Guild and ruthlessly trained as a spy and assassin, Rio thinks he’s ready for anything. When he balks at performing his first assassination, his mentor is furious, but gives him a chance to redeem himself: a simple bodyguard assignment, protecting the son of a high-ranking noble.

Second son of one of the most successful businessmen in the kingdom of Tallin, Dani Jherek never expected to become his father’s heir. After a suspicious accident leaves his twin dead, a grief-stricken Dani finds himself struggling not only to fill his brother’s shoes, but to protect a dangerous secret that, if revealed, could mean his execution.

Guarding Dani turns out to be far from simple. Instead of a spoiled, pampered brat, Rio finds himself watching over a beautiful, miserable young man struggling to survive in a dangerous world he doesn’t understand. As Rio spends more time with Dani, he finds himself caught up in a tangled web of conflicting loyalties. When Dani learns the true nature of his father’s business, everything changes, and Rio is forced to make an impossible choice: his loyalty to Guild and family, or his growing feelings for his charge.

Buy Links: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Friday, February 16, 2018

Khalshir: Cover Reveal

Are you ready for a new series? This one is called Kingmakers, and it's another M/M fantasy romance series that will probably run to six or seven books before I'm done. Or possibly more--I know where I'm going, but not quite how I'm going to get there, or who might grab my attention along the way.

Book One of the Kingmakers series, Khalshir, is coming in March. It's the story of Rio and Dani, and as seems to be my habit, also introduces one of the main characters for Book 2, Renegade, which will be coming later this year, or possibly early next. Depends on how much Life(TM) happens between now and then.

If you haven't seen the awesome cover Chinchbug did for this one, here it is:

Book Description:

A street rat taken in by the infamous Khalshir Guild and ruthlessly trained as a spy and assassin, Rio thinks he’s ready for anything. When he balks at performing his first assassination, his mentor is furious, but gives him a chance to redeem himself: a simple bodyguard assignment, protecting the son of a high-ranking noble.

Second son of one of the most successful businessmen in the kingdom of Tallin, Dani Jherek never expected to become his father’s heir. After a suspicious accident leaves his twin dead, a grief-stricken Dani finds himself struggling not only to fill his brother’s shoes, but to protect a dangerous secret that, if revealed, could mean his execution.

Guarding Dani turns out to be far from simple. Instead of a spoiled, pampered brat, Rio finds himself watching over a beautiful, miserable young man struggling to survive in a dangerous world he doesn’t understand. As Rio spends more time with Dani, he finds himself caught up in a tangled web of conflicting loyalties. When Dani learns the true nature of his father’s business, everything changes, and Rio is forced to make an impossible choice: his loyalty to Guild and family, or his growing feelings for his charge.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Khalshir: WIP Excerpt

Getting the new series sorted took a bit longer than anticipated, but I finally have something to show you. Khalshir, the first book in the Kingmakers series, is in the final editing phase, and should be available in March. This story takes place a few years after Leythe Blade, in the same part of the world. Though Leythe Blade is a stand-alone novel and not part of this series, the main characters from that story will be making appearances in future books in this series (though not in book 1). I'll have cover art to show off in a week or so, but for now, here's a little taste...

They wouldn’t kill him.

Rio paced the windowless room and tried to calm his frayed nerves with logic. The Khalshir Guild had invested years in his training, and he’d served them well up until now. They wouldn’t just throw that away on one mistake, would they?

Bajhan wouldn’t let them.

Would he?

After a night alone to ponder his transgressions, he wasn’t nearly as certain as he had been when Bajhan had shoved him in here last night. He wasn’t certain of anything, not even where he was. It was a Guild facility, certainly, but which one was anybody’s guess. The Khalshir network covered almost the entirety of the Middle Kingdoms; he could be anywhere.

The only thing he could say for certain was that this wasn’t the Mirage in Akhat. Bajhan had dragged him through the mythe-gate underneath the Mirage last night, but he hadn’t said a word about where they were going. Hadn’t said anything as he’d escorted Rio down the hall, shoved him into the sparsely furnished room, locked him in.

Rio tried to take comfort in the fact that he was being fed. Twice now, someone had shoved a bowl of thin, greasy soup and a chunk of bread through a narrow slot next to the door, but no one had spoken to him.

A sharp rap behind him startled him. Heart pounding, he spun around to face the door. A key grated in the lock, and Rio steeled himself to face his mentor, but when the door swung open, it wasn’t Bajhan who walked in carrying Rio’s weapons and a pile of clothing. It was Coryn.

Rio’s limbs went slack with relief at the sight of his childhood friend. It had been nearly a year since he’d seen Coryn. Their assignments never seemed to place them at the same Guild house at the same time. Rio started forward to greet him, but stopped short as he got a look at Coryn’s face. His friend’s features were hard, his face so pale and cold it could have been carved from snowy white marble. Ice-blue eyes raked over Rio before darting away, as if Coryn couldn’t bear to look at him.

What had Bajhan told him?

Coryn dropped the clothing on the bed and set Rio’s weapon belt on top of it. “We’ve got a job,” he said flatly. “Both of us. You need to change.”

Rio blinked and glanced down at himself. He was still wearing the pale blue silk robes he’d been wearing that awful night in Akhat. “What kind of job?” His voice wavered as he struggled for composure. He ought to be relieved beyond measure; if he was being sent out on another job, it meant he wasn’t being retired.

“Bodyguards.” Coryn closed the door and leaned against it.

After only a moment’s hesitation, Rio ran his hand over his sheathed sword, then let it linger on the bone-handled knife, twin to the one Coryn wore. When Bajhan had taken his weapons from him, he’d wondered if he’d ever see the knife again.

“Thank you,” he murmured, moving the weapons aside to examine the clothing. Brown breeches and a rough-woven, pale brown shirt — common laborer’s clothing, similar to what Coryn was currently wearing. “Bodyguards for whom?” he asked before hauling the robes over his head.

“Nobleman’s son.”

Rich nobleman, if he could afford to hire two Khalshir to protect his son. Khalshir didn’t come cheap, but they were the best money could buy. “Coryn, I…”

Coryn bent his head as if looking down, but Rio caught the glint of those pale eyes through untidy black bangs. “You fucked up, Rio.”

Rio’s chest tightened, and he pulled on the clothing in silence. By the time he was dressed, he trusted his voice enough to speak. “I know that. Where are we?”

“A day’s ride south of Jakhar in Tallin. We’ll ride up there today and spend the night at the Copper Kettle. In the morning, we’ll report to the Jherek estate.”

“A day’s ride?” Rio frowned. “Doesn’t the Guild have a base in Jakhar? It’s the biggest city in Tallin.”

“The Wild Rose is our base.” Coryn still wouldn’t look at him. “There’s a Guild representative stationed there, but there's no mythe-gate. Not since Tallin’s king outlawed weaving the mythe.” A long silence stretched between them before Coryn stirred again. “What happened?” Coryn’s voice was low, with that hard, cold edge that meant he was furious. “I’ve never seen Bajhan so angry.”

Rio opened his mouth to spin a yarn about how none of it was his fault, but snapped it shut before a word could escape. Lies wouldn’t do here. Coryn was his sworn brother, and as the one who’d led him into this life, Rio owed him the truth. It was the only thing he had left to give him.

“I choked,” Rio said simply. “We were in Akhat, me and Bajhan. Spy job, I thought. Bajhan was playing a diplomat, and I was his scribe. But he… he set up a meeting with a merchant to talk trades and tariffs, and… and while the merchant was out of his suite, I was supposed to sneak in and strangle his wife.” Nausea still roiled in his gut when Rio thought about it. He stared down at the floor. “I couldn’t do it. She was… she hadn’t done anything. It was…” His voice dropped to a whisper. “It was wrong.”

From the direction of the door came only icy silence, but when Rio glanced up to ascertain that Coryn hadn’t slipped out during his confession, ice-blue eyes met his, wide and stunned. “Wrong? You knew what you were getting into when you joined the Khalshir.”

Rio swallowed. “Never been given the order to kill before.” Coryn had, he knew. Coryn had been doing solo assassinations for five years now, and if he had any qualms about it, he’d kept them to himself. But then, Coryn had made his first kill at thirteen, and Rio…

Rio was twenty-seven, and had yet to do so.

“But… those bandit scum that tried to rob us on the road three years back—”

“That was different,” Rio protested. “They would have killed us. Got no problem taking life in a fight for my own, but killing in cold blood is… I thought I could do it. But when it came down to it, I… I couldn’t. She was innocent, Coryn. She was gentle and sweet. We had dinner with her and her husband the night before, and she sang for us. I’ve never heard such a beautiful voice. She had eyes like one of those little deer we used to chase in the jungle. She wouldn’t have hurt anyone.” He squeezed his eyes shut. “Bajhan did it. I begged him not to. He locked me in a store room. I—” He snapped his mouth shut as Coryn closed his eyes briefly and shook his head. Rio swallowed again before voicing the thought that had been chasing itself around his head for the past three days. “I don’t belong with the Guild. Maybe… maybe I should leave. Go someplace far away, where they’ll never find me.”

“You think?” Coryn’s eyes went dead, because Coryn mad wasn’t a thing of fire and fury. Coryn mad was ice fucking cold, and Rio had never been on the receiving end of it before. “Thought we were in this together, Rio. You said Bajhan would take us in, train us up, give us a chance to prove ourselves. And you were right. He did give us a chance. And even if you want to blow yours, I can’t. I’m not going back to that, Rio. Not ever again. I got the Khalshir Guild at my back now, and that’s more than I’ve ever had.”

Rio blinked, surprised at the hurt in Coryn’s voice. “You have me,” he offered.

The anguish twisting Coryn’s face was there and gone almost before Rio registered it. “I thought I did.”

“I’m sorry,” Rio whispered. “I didn’t mean—”

“Save it. I don’t want to hear it.” Coryn turned and opened the door. “I’ll send someone down with breakfast. Make sure you eat. We won’t be stopping until we get to the city.”

Before Rio could think of a thing to say, the door was shut firmly and the sound of the key scraping in the lock confirmed that he was locked in again.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Guardians of the Pattern, Bundle 2 Now Available

Volume Two of the Guardians of the Pattern Bundle is now available. This 313,000 word digital-only release contains the complete texts of Books 4-6 in my M/M Sci-Fi/Romance series: Wildfire Psi, Eye of the Storm, and the series finale, Closing the Circle. The bundle is available now at Amazon and Smashwords, and will be coming to other retailers soon.

Wildfire Psi (Book 4): When Luka Valdari and Damon Korsov find themselves at the center of an attempt to activate a dangerous artifact, they’ll have to confront more than just their captors. Can they overcome a dark, shared history and work together? Or will all the human worlds burn in the flames of wildfire psi?

Eye of the Storm (Book 5): When Ajhani exile Vaya Rhivana saves the life of wealthy Federation playboy Nick Romani, he thinks he has all the bargaining power he needs to negotiate the return of his kidnapped clansmen. Falling in love with his hostage was never part of the plan, and in the end, Vaya’s choices could change the fate of his entire world.

Closing the Circle (Book 6): With anti-psion sentiment spreading through the Federation like wildfire, Director Cameron Asada has some tough decisions to make. The last thing he needs is for Draven, a Guild assassin on the run, to show up hoping to redeem Cam’s promise of sanctuary. Can Cam reconcile his conflicting loyalties? Or is everything he’s worked for destined to go up in flames?