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Supremacy: Reformation continues with the next episode! Get it now!
Synopsis:

The gods have long since been defeated, leaving their creation to survive without guidance. Holding fast to their final commands, two brothers now struggle to unite the last of the ancient Orders. One rules as emperor with the divine mandate bequeathed him. The other questions his brother’s loyalty to the gods declaring he has supplanted them. With the rest of the galaxy shrouded in darkness, the Second Order stands as humanity’s last bastion of hope until the gods return. Will they survive?

In this episode, everyone closes in on Anthros and Elysi while they rush to escape Morina. Her entire clan, divided over how to protect one of their own, searches the entire planet for them. Recovered from the wounds Anthros left, Tharin rises to piece together just where Anthros went after White Sands. Morina holds enough secrets for all of them.

Supremacy: Reformation is an expansive science fiction story told in episodic bites. Each episode provides around an hour’s worth of quality reading.

Get it wherever you buy ebooks:
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The Dreamer vs The Creator

Writing is difficult and it is difficult for all authors in different ways. Consistency is where it hits me. I set out over five years to launch my writing career and have found myself struggling to finish everything I start. It’s not for a lack of killer ideas or the ability to write stories interesting enough for readers to buy into. For me, it’s the fact I don’t apply myself diligently enough to my craft.

Realizing this, I encapsulated my struggle into two entities waging war for my time: The Dreamer and The Creator. The Dreamer awoke within me the day I was born. It pushes me to think up new ideas and stories that fuel my creative process. While it is the source of my inner creativity, it has no power to accomplish anything, which is why I’ve had to build up The Creator. The Creator gets results. It works off of what The Dreamer gives it and transforms it into words on a page.

I need both these entities to achieve my life goals, but lately, I’ve let The Dreamer consume all my time. It whispers to me that it’s OK to miss my weekly writing quota due to whatever excuse seems to pop up at the last minute. It also assures me that everything is going to turn out exactly how I want as long as I have ambition left inside me. This is why The Dreamer is the enemy of progress. When I indulge it, I drift further and further behind until I find myself five years later with five less books that should be out there entertaining readers.

The Creator demands that I work hard to ensure what The Dreamer promised will actually come true. It makes me sit down and write the words that spin a modern tale. I’ve always had a problem allowing The Creator to flourish. I dream too much and let myself get caught up in the moment of whatever fun I may be having. The Creator languishes during these long periods and agitates me until I find myself sitting in my creative office typing.

I know I’m not along in this struggle. Every successful author always gives a common thread of advice: write and keep writing. I’ve taken this to mean that I need to follow The Creator after The Dreamer has given it what it need to produce. Even as I type this post, I can feel the need to let The Creator do its work and to shut off The Dreamer. I’ve amassed a huge collection of stories that are locked up inside my head. No one will share in these experiences unless I force The Dreamer back in it’s Pandora’s box to rest while me and The Creator get to work.

I’ve not yet had anything close to success with my writing career. It’s all been a slow crawl to madness because I would rather sit around and dream about what I should achieve instead of getting out there and achieving it. I allow my inconsistency to rule me and because of it, the ebook series I started five years ago lies incomplete.

I’ve asked myself, Where do I go from here? The answer I’ve come up with is to follow the demands of The Creator. Sure, it’s difficult, but nothing about writing is easy. It’s competitive, time consuming, and an aging form of entertainment in our digital society. However, I must continue onward because my childhood dream of being an author has not yet been realized.

If you’re out there in a similar circumstance, whether it be writing or another dream you are working on, I challenge you like I’m challenging myself. Follow your inner Creator because it knows the paths to success. You’ll always need your inner Dreamer to partner with it, but don’t let it consume your time or you’ll end up just as frustrated as I am with myself.

We’re all products of our environments and choices. Make a conscious choice to follow The Creator. It’s tough and exhausting, but the end will be worth it when you summit your challenges and cry out to the world about your victory. This post isn’t meant to inspire, it’s meant to encourage you to work hard. Nothing gets done without work. A creative outlet like writing may be fun work, but it still requires consistency and drive, both of which The Creator fuels.

Even if you are just as far behind as me, you’re not going to be any further behind if you start working today. The Creator is waiting to take you to new heights. Allow The Dreamer to rest while The Creator propels you forward!

5.5"X8.5" Post Card TemplateIf you’ve been waiting to get your hands on a physical copy of Shadeborn, now is your chance. The next chapter in the Shadeskin Anthology continues in both digital and print formats, so jump in and join the story!

Synopsis:

A new power is rising in Shreveport, escalating tensions between Shade and Illumin. Every Shade in the city feels this shift and works to carve out their own section in the new order. The Raven family unites against their growing enemies to prepare for the upcoming war. Still recovering from the wounds of betrayal, the Ravens wrestle with painful memories of their losses, set aside old feuds, and reforge their alliance with the Illumin. In the end, all may succumb to this powerful force that threatens the city.

In the second installment of the Shadeskin Anthology, two authors interlace stories of ancient beings and their impact on the human race set against the backdrop of a Louisiana city.

 

Get your copy:

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You read that correctly. I’ve given up competing with George R.R. Martin to see who can write the slowest. Supremacy: Reformation now continues with the 4th episode!

Synopsis:
The gods have long since been defeated, leaving their creation to survive without guidance. Holding fast to their final commands, two brothers now struggle to unite the last of the ancient Orders. One rules as emperor with the divine mandate bequeathed him. The other questions his brother’s loyalty to the gods declaring he has supplanted them. With the rest of the galaxy shrouded in darkness, the Second Order stands as humanity’s last bastion of hope until the gods return. Will they survive?

In this episode, Anthros recovers hidden memories of the time between when he fled White Sands and arrived on Centros Prime. These buried secrets reveal more to Divine Emperor Dagas than he wanted. More is at work in the Second Order than the Reformation.

Supremacy: Reformation is an expansive science fiction story told in episodic bites. Each episode provides around an hour’s worth of quality reading.

Get it wherever you buy ebooks:
Nook Logoamazon kindle logosmashwords logo - normal

lcc-croppedIf you haven’t heard about Louisiana Comic Con, let me be the first to invite you to this exciting event coming to the Shreveport/Bossier area on February 21, 2015! Come get the full comic con experience without the massive lines and con funk typical of the bigger cons. I’ll be posted up at my booth all day long, ready to talk Shadeskin and Supremacy, so bring your questions and your friends!

Want to know why Supremacy: Reformation is taking so long to publish? Need to know some of the finer points of the Supremacy Universe? Come ask! Let me be your personal Supremacy wiki.

Been wondering what Clara, Matt, and Katy have been up to? Come talk to me and the other Shadeskin authors. You can interact with all the brains that cooked up Shadeskin at my booth. Plus, you’ll get a sneak peek into the next installment of the Shadeskin chronicles. Shadeskin 2 is still out on the horizon, but I have a feeling it will make some kind of appearance at LCC.

I’ve also got a few other surprises planned that I will announce closer to the date. Trust me, you’ll want to come out and see what I’ve been working on these past few dormant months. The Supremacy Universe is about to expand and you can get in at the origin!

So, get registered and get ready! LCC is coming soon!

My Library is Your Oyster

All my titles are now available in the new Oyster  book subscription service! In case you don’t already know, here is how it works: for $10/month you can read all the books you want. It’s basically Netflix for books, which works out to be a tremendous deal for the more voracious readers.

If you’ve got an iOS device, sign up for a free month and dive into these super cool titles:

Shadeskin

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Shadeskin

Happy Valentines’ Day! To show you guys the love, I’m giving away a signed, print copy of Shadeskin over at Cloey K’s blog. Follow the link for details.

Also, while you’re checking out the post, vote for Shadeskin in the cover contest. Help spread the word and let’s take Shadeskin to the next level!

Link to post: http://cloeyk.blogspot.com/2013/02/shadeskin.html

Tolin’s Journal #6

My Dear Ilanna,

My farm lies in shambles, leaving me no place to which I may return. One night, an envoy from the king encroached upon my fields and dispatched my undead farmhands with little effort. They delivered to me a letter requesting my presence at the new king’s coronation to shed light on the mysterious forces pillaging nearby lands. Had they not been sent directly from the king, I would have reformed my undead horde to tear them apart where they stood. But, since that would not bring me closer to you, my love, I held back. Gathering what little possessions I desired to carry, I set off to see this new king.

Cresting the final hill to my destination, the sight of the king’s castle was enough to cause both hesitation and awe. The sun lit up the tall keeps with the golden afterglow from the surrounding wheat fields. It was a perfect gem of civilization I didn’t care to reenter after my near decade absence from regular human contact. The glimmer of hope that I might gain more information about you kept me pressing onward.

I arrived at the gates and presented the letter as it instructed. They had me sign my name to confirm my identity, handed me a voucher for 700GP, and told me to enjoy myself at the carnival. After living a life of dark solitude, the carnival I walked into was simply overwhelming. Booths were set up all around the square with pathetic merchants begging for the attention of any who stepped too close to them.

Skirting the edges, I quickly discovered these people of the court weren’t at all amenable to necromancers. My queries for any others who share my love of undeath ended with them bolting off or taking me for a jester. Embarrassed by my misunderstandings, I went back to watching the booths. A shady looking man started up a conversation with me, introducing himself as Elwin. Apparently, he had heard some of my inquiries and I began nervously rambling about my background and the advantages of certain undead. I remarked that skeletons can be better than zombies because you don’t have to worry about the fleshy bits. He laughed, calling me, “Farmer Fleshy-bits”. I didn’t appreciate the stinging humor at my expense, but at least I managed to keep talking with someone at the carnival.

The coronation finally started and they brought out the new king who looked to be slightly younger than me. In the middle of the ceremony, I was summoned into the keep and placed around a horseshoe-shaped table with five others, including Elwin. We acknowledged each other with nods, but I could tell he had been summoned here with similar pretenses to my own. The other four consisted of a man impatiently tapping his foot against the floor, two dwarves (one turned out to be a female, but I wasn’t sure at the time), and a halfling.

Lord Hadraxel marched into the room with a host of soldiers and the queen hitched to his side. Sitting back in the king’s throne, he gave us all a chance to speak, which I used to ask about what had become of Lord Chaxon after his inability to defend the lands given to him. Lord Hadraxel told me Chaxon had been promoted to the general of the King’s armies. I demanded an explanation to this and how it related to why I was summoned. He replied it didn’t matter.

A row of archers filled the balconies above us. Lord Hadraxel declared us to be the six assassins prophesied to kill the king on his coronation day. He showed us confessionals we each had signed earlier. This was the same letter I had signed at the gate to gain entrance to the coronation ceremony. The liars changed the text to have me confess to a prophecy they likely planted to seal up power for the new king. The way the queen kept her hands all over Lord Hadraxel all but confirmed to me what was going on.

Our verbal protests turned violent when one of the dwarves drew out his warhammer. With a snap of Lord Hadraxel’s fingers, the dwarf dropped his hammer and began stripping of his armor and clothes. Lord Hadraxel hit a button on the throne and the floor surrounded it dropped to reveal a spiked pit. The other man at the table tried to jump the gap, but failed and landed at the bottom. From his cries, he didn’t die.

Joining the action, I rose to summon a zombie next to the throne, but was cut short when an arrow hit me from the archers up top. I kept focusing on my casting, but fell into a dark haze. My spell failed as I dropped into an inconvenient slumber. When I awoke, the guards where attaching fetters to us and hauling us off. The man who fell in the pit had several scars lining his skin. From the looks of the rest of this group, they didn’t put up much of a fight after I went down.

The guards mumbled something about it being to late to execute us and promised to do it in the morning in full view of the crowds. I tried to spot Lord Hadraxel, but he had evidently taken his leave after the struggle. The guards lead us back outside to take us to the dungeons.

While coming through an alleyway, a man darted around the corner and barreled into us, knocking us off balance an onto the ground. He got back to his feet and took off again before our guards could react. Four armed men wearing black armor bolted around the same corner he appeared from. Ready this time, one of our guards shot one of them with a crossbow bolt. Seeing his friend bleeding out on the ground, a black-armored soldier threw out his hands and sent a charge of light that disintegrated the guards. Having never seen magic so powerful, I was grateful to have been on the ground.

The remaining three black-armored men circled around us looking for something. A black book radiating power lay in the dirt. The man that crashed into us must have dropped it. I snatched it and hid it beneath my robes, feeling its raw power against my skin. Still in chains, we didn’t stand much of a chance. However, nothing could ever keep me from you my love.

Tolin Naihim,
Death’s Neglected Son

necromancer

Tolin’s Journal #5

My Deal Ilanna,

Without you to light its halls, the castle became my tomb. I wanted to bury my heart within so that it might decay into ash, freeing me from your fading whispers. Instead, it pounded resiliently within my chest. It reminded my of my vow to find you and pushed me onward even when I consigned myself to a slow death within the decaying walls.

As with the aftermath of my village, I found no dead bodies. Even the elves I had seen die in the entrance disappeared. All that was left were dark halls filled with the evil that stole my love. After a time, it began to speak to me, promising to grant me vengeance in exchange for my hatred. It whispered a familiar name…

Nerull

Shadows crept around me, tempting me with power. I followed them deep into the heart of the castle. Doors shuttered with heavy chains broke apart ahead of my entrance. The shadows grew more defined the farther we walked until they looked like tall, gaunt corpses. They hid their faces from me, always averting my gaze as if they didn’t want to incur my wrath.

They brought me before a black door to a room that looked as if it had burst up through the floor. Stone fragments littered the ground and the smell of fresh earth clawed at my nostrils. Without hesitation, I heaved against the door until it opened. A familiar arrangement of books lined the walls with a small desk there in the midst. I swept my hands over the volumes of knowledge I had sorely missed. I pulled down a tome and read over the words I struggled to remember during my imprisonment.

The markings were unmistakable, this was the very same room that I had found underneath my village. I was never happier, for I had once again found the tools to power, only this time, I had a definitive goal in mind. With the untouched food stores in the castle, I knew I could live there for several months at least, probably years. I would need all of that time to prepare myself to confront the force that took you away from me.

Burying myself in the wisdom contained in that room, I continued my training at my own pace. Without Lyanis holding me back, I grew by leaps and bounds. After each lesson, I practiced my spells on the shadows, bending them to my own will. They became my slaves in my crusade to escape. I used them to try every avenue of escape to no avail. Still, I persevered.

Two years passed until my food stores dwindled to a critical level. I lived like a king with dark slaves performing all my bidding. I finally recognized the wards with which Lyanis had sealed me in the castle. My freedom lay close at hand. Outside the castle walls, I rose a few skeletons to roam the hills and bring me back what I needed for a spell of freedom. Once gathered, I broke the ward and left the castle, never to return.

Free as I now was, I knew I needed more time before I sought you out, Ilanna. I resettled my old village, using skeletons as workhands for a new batch of crops I planted in my father’s fields. I worked it until I could sustain myself. The years tumbled by until a group of curious traders stopped by to inquire as to the nature of the village. Honesty was my best weapon. After a show of my undead workhands, they granted me favorable trading agreements.

I lived well and advanced my training until this point, where I have learned all I can from my dark room. Each of its volumes lies within my strong mind, ready to be put into practice. I’m still unsure why Lyanis anchored the evil that penetrated the castle to me so he could escape with you, or rather, lead you to your imprisonment, but I will discover those answers when I rescue you.

I hope to meet him again, so I can resolve our differences. Only now can I see how he manipulated me into drawing the attack on your castle. He used me as bait and I will know why when he lies in the throes of death at my feet.

I was a boy whose life was stripped away in the night, but now I am a necromancer that death refused to visit. I have tamed the very evil that overpowered your castle and I will carry it back to the hands of those responsible. They will regret death’s negligence.

I know you are still alive, Ilanna. I’ve heard rumors that I will not write here, lest this journal falls to enemy hands, that my time to seek you out is now. I have taken great care to pen the words so that when I find you, you will know of my struggle. Our love will have its day.

All I do is for you.

Tolin Naihim,
Death’s Neglected Son

Necromancer

Tolin’s Journal #4

My Dear Ilanna,

Know that I was among the final defenders of your castle the day it fell. While you remained safely hidden, I took my instructions from Lyanis to heart in hopes it would be your salvation. If only my sheer will could have saved you, we would have left that death trap together. However, as you know, the powers working against you were too great for your guard to bear.

Still, it was all for you that I raced down those stairs. My fear threatened to hold me back, but I wouldn’t let it stop me from defending your home. What little valor your guards had, they expended in barricading the doors to the keep. As I made it to the bottom of the stairs with my torn parchment in hand, I saw them failing to hold back the evil on the other side.

I laughed inwardly, knowing none of them had long to live. Death comes for us all, but some you can just tell are easier targets. Holding up the spell written by Lyanis, I concentrated on the runes, allowing them to form in my mind. Speaking the activating words, light shone out all through the room. Crimson lines traced out a pattern below me that I recognized all too late.

Held in place by the symbol surrounding my feet, I watched the guards fly away from the doors. Wooden splinters flew out to either side of me ahead of the armed soldiers storming inside. Confronted by the very same force that had destroyed me village, I screamed in all my fury and conjured what I could. Nothing happened. I stood powerless as your elven guard fell all around me at the hands of those rushing inside.

Blood spilled across the floor and covered the attackers’ blades, but still no one touched me. I reached out to stop the soldiers from advancing up the stairs, but I couldn’t lift my hands from my sides. Again, I was helpless and forced to watch everything around me crumble. Screams poured down the halls as the soldiers charged through them. My greatest fear was only that you, Ilanna, had been killed. I struggled even harder to free myself, but got nowhere.

The battle rushed past me, leaving a strange silence behind. Mountain air blasted through now broken entrance and pushed me to the ground. I found my feet rather quickly and ran to find you. That was when I heard the feet scrambling down the stairs. I looked up and saw Lyanis gliding down with a small entourage in tow.

I yelled out to ask him what was happening and he turned to me with a worried look. I was about to demand answers when I saw you, Ilanna, hiding underneath a cloak in the center of the group. You must remember pulling back your hood to acknowledge me for the very first time. Your eyes were the most terrifyingly beautiful I had ever seen. Surely you felt our connection in that perfect moment.

For the briefest of time, I forgot the peril we were all in, but soon came back when you thanked me for my sacrifice. Confused, I just nodded my head in a stupor as you continued walking outside. Lyanis was the last one out and turned back to me, baring my exit. He explained the castle was now mine and I was the only one who could contain the evil within.

I ignored his crazy ramblings, and pushed around him to move outside. A jolt of pain snapped me back into the castle. Lyanis explained I wouldn’t be able to leave because of the scroll I had cast. If I left, all the evil now trapped in the castle would follow me. I screamed at how wretched of an elf he was and reaffirmed my hatred of his kind.

He disappeared with you down the mountain, leaving me to watch your escape from above. I knew how short-lived it would be as the attacking horde stood around the base of the mountain. For hours, I stood watching until you were captured and brought before whatever twisted general hunted you. I wept when they bound your hands in chains and shoved you in that prison cart.

When they set off, carrying you away from me, I tried once more to leave the castle, but still I could not. I was trapped in my own prison as they drove you unto yours. That was the moment I vowed to seek you out and free you from your captors. I live by that vow in this very moment that I pen these words as fervently as I made it that day. Those who imprisoned you will suffer at my hands.

I never make vows lightly. I will come for you and I will rescue you.

Tolin Naihim
Death’s Neglected Son

Necromancer

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