Category: Writing


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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Last Day of Shadeskin Ebook Sale

Shadeskin
Today is the last day to get the  Shadeskin Ebook for only $3, so load it up and dive into a unique world!

Synopsis:

Lurking beneath the veil of reality, a supernatural war
threatens to consume the city of Shreveport, Louisiana.
The Illumin, messengers of light, strive to protect the city’s
human inhabitants from the vicious Shades. Banished
from their natural world, the Shades carve out a restless
existence among us. The powerful Raven family stands
between the warring Shades and Illumin, struggling to
maintain a delicate balance while ensuring that everyone
else remains unaware.

In the nearby town of Wheelbarrow Creek, an Aztec relic
makes its way into Matthew Gillard’s hands, unlocking an
evil with the power to bring back the dead. Impossible to
control, the relic bends him to its will. Now Raven, Shade,
and Illumin hunt after this newfound threat.

Shadeskin is an urban fantasy anthology born from the
minds of three authors. The five stories contained within
build a world of light and shadow ready for the daring
reader to explore.


All Hail the New Year!

And here we are at the top of a crisp, fresh new year full of potential that so often goes untapped. Well, I intend to fully tap my year and use the resources gained to bang out some awesome writing projects. I’ve given some serious thought to this and have created a very modest plan that should excite all my readers.

In the past, I’ve been guilty of planning out impossible goals for myself, but not this year! I’ve kept my planning in the realm of true possibility and have shocked myself as to what I’m going to accomplish.

The Supremacy Universe

This will be the year that I take baby steps into expanding Supremacy into what it needs to be – a fully developed, scifi universe. This is my master work, and I’ve not been able to properly convey the enormous scope of stories I have planned. The Reformation series is only the first glimpse into a universe as diverse and complex as Star Wars or Warhammer 40K.

Speaking of Reformation, I’ve been lagging behind with my episodes, but not to worry. This year I will finish the first 10 episodes, finally completing the first volume. Volume I will end with such a showdown that you’ll be screaming at me to start writing the next one!

However, before I start Reformation: Volume II, I will be writing a YA science fiction novel set in a new part of the Supremacy Universe. Yes, that’s right, you’ll get a peak into what is outside the Second Order! I’ve had a great idea for a while, and it will be demanding my attention this year. I don’t have any more detail than that, so you’ll have to wait for the full premise when I’m ready to release it to the public!

Shadeskin

This is also the year that Shadeskin officially turns into a series. You didn’t think we were really going to leave you guys hanging like that forever did you? Well, expect the sequel this year!

And, of course, there will be more after that. We’ve already been sketching out ideas for the next few books, so strap in for a wild ride of Southern UF at its finest.

2013 – At a Glance

And because I love lists so much right now, have one with my projects for 2013:

  1. Supremacy: Reformation – Volume I (Episodes 1-10)
  2. Supremacy YA Novel
  3. Shadeskin 2

2013 – It’s going to rock!

Black Friday $3 Shadeskin Sale

ShadeskinIf you’ve been waiting to dive into the world of Shadeskin, this is your weekend. The ebook is now on sale for $3, so load it up and relax after a long day of hunting down sale after sale in the real world!

Synopsis:

Lurking beneath the veil of reality, a supernatural war
threatens to consume the city of Shreveport, Louisiana.
The Illumin, messengers of light, strive to protect the city’s
human inhabitants from the vicious Shades. Banished
from their natural world, the Shades carve out a restless
existence among us. The powerful Raven family stands
between the warring Shades and Illumin, struggling to
maintain a delicate balance while ensuring that everyone
else remains unaware.

In the nearby town of Wheelbarrow Creek, an Aztec relic
makes its way into Matthew Gillard’s hands, unlocking an
evil with the power to bring back the dead. Impossible to
control, the relic bends him to its will. Now Raven, Shade,
and Illumin hunt after this newfound threat.

Shadeskin is an urban fantasy anthology born from the
minds of three authors. The five stories contained within
build a world of light and shadow ready for the daring
reader to explore.

Shadeskin Now Available in Print

That’s right folks, you can now get the highly acclaimed urban fantasy anthology, Shadeskin, in a dead tree version!

Get your copy today!

Tolin’s Journal #3

My Dear Ilanna,

My arms and back ached from the daily torture in that cell. Every evening I had a brief opportunity to see you, so I strained to hold my face up to that tiny window. My long days of monotony brightened when you walked by. Though, I only glimpsed you from a distance, it was cool water to my weary soul.

Only my body lived in that cell. My soul belonged to you then as it still does now. I bid my time until destiny would draw us together. My jailers couldn’t get a word out of me, though they tried. I ate their food, meager as it was, and answered half their questions with quiet nods. If they had only known of our love, they could have made me talk with the slightest of threats against you.

I gathered more information from them than they did me. Their fear and worry showed me they respected my power. They were right to seal me off, for I would have killed all of them to avenge my people. My attempts at casting failed, leading me to believe my cell was warded. Of course at that time I knew very little of magic and even less of wards. It was only recently that I understood what they truly feared of me. They took my ability to quickly learn the dark arts very seriously.

One day, a new visitor came for me, introducing himself as Lyanis. He held himself upright with a staff but didn’t quite carry himself as highly as his fellow elves. With a stirring in his eyes, he offered to apprentice me should I give up my deity. Servants of Nerull can’t be bought so easily, but I was young and thirsted for knowledge. Well, I thirsted to be free of my cell and be with you, Ilanna, so I took this chance. I pretended to fall for his rhetoric that all students of the arcane are of singular breed unbound by clan, creed, or class. He delivered a beautiful speech that would have convinced anyone to follow him, but it was only for you that I went with him that day.

He secured my release and took me to my new chambers, adjoining his own. It was a small room with a cot more comfortable than the stone I had been sleeping on and, to my amazement, a massive bookshelf lined one of the walls. Not having read a word for weeks, I rabidly devoured each tome in that library whenever Lyanis allowed me free time. The books were on many subjects, but mostly centered around the elven life as a wizard.

He mostly kept me busy scrubbing the floors, cleaning the rugs, and other menial tasks. It built up a work ethic that he valued, so I obliged. Of course, I always hoped I might run into you in the halls, but as you know, I hoped in vain. Days of this passed until Lyanis said it was time he showed me true arcane power. I casually told him death was the only power I needed. He laughed and patted me on the head as if it would cure some ignorance I held.

I humored him during his lessons, paying just enough attention to make him think I believed his teachings. As I said before, I wouldn’t be bought so cheaply. He showed me various spells and I learned them just as quickly as he could present them. The difficult part of his lessons were his condescending tones. I never did anything right because of my human birth. My mind was never as adept at magic as an elf’s. In these moments, he became someone entirely different from the elf who rescued me from the cell.

I matched him though with my own, unbreakable will. Each time he tore into me, I would try harder and remind myself of his people’s deceitful nature. Knowing their day of retribution drew near kept me focused. I never once let him break me down. Through his berating, I learned my most valuable lesson–perseverance. I’m not sure if that was what he intended, but I still hold onto that today.

Strangely enough, Lyanis was the only one to treat me with proper dignity and respect outside his lessons. Everyone else regarded me with contempt or fear. On one occasion Lyanis physically defended me from one of the kitchen maids chasing me with a wooden spoon. After that, we formed a nearly amicable bond. I took what wisdom I could gleam from his lessons and even let myself buy into his style of magic. I kept Nerull close to my heart, though, just to keep myself on the right path.

I was happy with my new routine around the castle, but every day that I didn’t see you felt empty. One night after finally gathering the courage to ask about you, I went to see Lyanis. He sat at his desk scribbling onto a torn parchment. Before I could say anything he looked at me and handed me the parchment with instructions to keep it with me. Then he snatched his staff and dragged me out into the hallway toward the staircase leading to the battlements.

The cold mountain air nearly froze me in place, but all feeling left me once I saw down to the base of the mountain. A battle played out down below us. Elven riders clashed against an unknown force. I felt a certain delight at watching the riders get cut down in the same manner they had cut my townfolk down.

Lyanis explained they had been fighting over the past few months and our enemies had just now reached our gates. He said that our only hope was for me to present myself to the attacking force and read off the spell he handed me earlier. Naturally, I was scared, but he assured me it was the only way to save you, Ilanna. Staring in amazement, he reminded me that I could never hide anything from him.

He shoved me back inside toward the main staircase. I was now scared and confused, but walked down those stairs ready to save you. I’m sure you remember what happened next, but you certainly never knew who was responsible. Now you know it was me and it was all for you.

Tolin Naihim – Death’s Neglected Son

Cast down and imprisoned in the age past, the gods left their creation to survive without guidance. Two brothers now struggle to unite the last of the ancient Orders. One rules as emperor, taking up 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 epiode, Anthros finds himself in a battered state ready to give up the secrets he holds. A team of archivists dig into his mind and pull out his entire adventure on White Sands, revealing just how he infiltrated the Reformation. New information of Tharin’s true plan comes to light, placing the entire conflict over the Second Order into a new perspective. The Artifact Tharin keeps buried will decide everyone’s fate.

Save Fiction Day

July 31st is the first annual Save Fiction Day. A whole day for you to set out and buy something new and adventurous. You see, bookstore shelves are full of tiny hostages held for ransom and it is up to you to rescue them. Drag your friends to your local bookstore and comb the shelves until each of you have found a new story worth taking home. In doing so, you will have saved the life of that poor, defenseless book.

Don’t limit yourself to physical books though, because thousands more are stuck in the internet begging to be downloaded to your Nook, Kindle, iPad, or phone. Think of all the stories lying at your fingertips on whatever device you are reading this post on. They need a chance to be free and you are the only one capable of paying their ransom and saving them.

I’ve put together a hostage list that I think you’ll enjoy rescuing, depending on the genre. All of these recommendations may be purchased in at least one of the major ebook stores and by special order from your local Barnes & Noble. Now get out there and rescue some fiction!

Science Fiction

This is my favorite genre, and if you’ve never given it a chance before, use Save Fiction Day as your excuse. I promise it isn’t as nerdy as it sounds.

Supremacy: Reformation by Myself

Cast down and imprisoned in the age past, the gods left their creation to survive without guidance. Two brothers now struggle to unite the last of the ancient Orders. One rules as emperor, taking up 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?

Buy it from: Barnes & Noble or Amazon

Void Voyage 1: I Shall Not Rest in Peace by B. L. White

Haru has inherited a Solar System on the brink of war. He aims to repair it, planet by bleeding planet. Mars is his first stop. Upon the heights of Olympus Mons lies the cloner cults and their arcane ways. One of their slaves, a beautiful clone christened as Leena-58, is to be sacrificed for peace. Haru has come to save her and others of her kind. She must choose though, to live and fight for true peace or be murdered for a false one.

Buy it from Barnes & Noble or Amazon

Jak Phoenix by Matt D. Williams
Jak Phoenix is a pilot who would rather kick back with a cold drink than stick his neck out to save the galaxy. But, as we all know, life often gets in the way of these ‘big dreams.’

Jak and his longtime friend Baxter once again find themselves on the verge of bankruptcy. A last minute salvage mission delivers more than they bargained for when Jak’s old enemy shows up and steals their haul out from under them. When it is revealed the cargo is more important than any of them realized, Jak decides, against his better judgment, that a retrieval is necessary. His pursuit leads him right past his enemy and into the hands of the most feared pirate in the galaxy.

Buy it from Barnes & Noble or Amazon

Fantasy

These aren’t your typical fantasy reads, so look elsewhere if you need elves.

Way of the Black Beast by Stuart Jaffe
In a world destroyed by the abuse of magic, one woman fights all odds to survive and find the answers behind her mysterious past.

Despite the challenges — crazed magicians, guitar-playing assassins, mutated beasts — she pushes on with a single-mindedness that may destroy all she holds dear.

Buy it from Barnes & Noble or Amazon

Eden by Matthew C. Plourde
When an earthquake plunges the world into darkness, Alexandra Contreras struggles for survival and seeks answers. Guided by a mysterious, scarred man, she braves the wasteland in search of humanity’s mythical birthplace: Eden. Once confronted with her tragic destiny, she must make a decision which will alter the fate of the world.

Buy it from Barnes & Noble or Amazon

Urban Fantasy

And now for something completely different…

ShadeskinShadeskin by Myself, B. L. White, and Amanda White
Lurking beneath the veil of reality, a supernatural war threatens to consume the city of Shreveport, Louisiana. The Illumin, messengers of light, strive to protect the city’s human inhabitants from the vicious Shades. Banished from their natural world, the Shades carve out a restless existence among us. The powerful Raven family stands between the warring Shades and Illumin, struggling to maintain a delicate balance while ensuring that everyone else remains unaware.

An Aztec relic makes its way into Matthew Gillard’s hands, unlocking an evil with the power to bring back the dead. Impossible to control, the relic bends him to its will. Now Raven, Shade, and Illumin all desperately seek this nerdy kid from the nearby town of Wheelbarrow Creek.

Buy it from Barnes & Noble or Amazon

Paranormal Romance

I don’t regularly read this genre, but many people enjoy it.

Blood Lust by Zoe Winters
It’s all about the blood…

Comprised of three novellas, Blood Lust gives readers a snapshot look at the world of the Preternaturals Series. (Future installments of the series will be novels.)

KEPT:
As a cat therian (shifter), Greta’s blood is already sought after to enhance spells and potions, but due to a quirk of her birth, her blood is potent enough to kill for. When her tribe plans to sacrifice her, Greta must ally herself with Dayne, the dangerous local sorcerer, and the only person strong enough to protect her.

CLAIMED:
For a vampire, Anthony isn’t a picky eater, but he’s drawn to Charlee’s blood more than any other. Like a fine wine saved for a special occasion, he’s denied himself this pleasure. But one night, high from the potent magical blood of another, he claims his prize and loses control. Ashamed of almost killing the one woman who means anything to him, he wipes her memory of the event. When Charlee awakens with complete amnesia, Anthony is the only one who can clean up the mess he’s made.

MATED:
Because of the vampiric blood that has run through her veins since birth, Jane has been a target for vampires who resent a human being “kindred.” She’s forced to disguise herself as a vampire groupie to appease them and safeguard her life. When she’s abruptly given to Cole, the leader of the werewolf pack, to satisfy a gambling debt, she discovers the blood running through her veins has a far greater impact on her destiny than she ever imagined.

Buy it from Barnes & Noble or Amazon

I Will Not Abide

image

Some things in pop culture I can let go. Tabloid magazines don’t pretend to be anything more than vapid pictures of celebrities, so I happily ignore them. However, I will not abide this repackaged Twilight fanfiction currently sweeping the top of the New York Times bestsellers list.

I’m calling on every author out there to join me in a blog campaign to stop this plague of smut. If drek like that can make it to the top, we can surely dethrone it with our superior fiction. We just need to unify our voices across the internet and get our readers out in force. I’m officially declaring July 31, 2012 to be “Save Fiction” day!

Hashtag: #SAVEFICTION

If you want to join me in this campaign, write up a blog post on July 24 showing off some of your work and link to where readers can buy it. Tell them they can save fiction by flooding every commercial outlet with their purchases on the 31st. If you are feeling particularly generous, link them to other authors’ works. The point is to get everyone buying something other than 50 Shades. Literally anything they could possibly buy will be better.

We need to take to the bookstores and load up our bags and ereaders with new fiction that is better than 50 Shades!

If you have any ideas to contribute to this campaign, comment on this post or hit me up on Twitter.

The highly anticipated return of the Supremacy: Reformation series is here and available for most ereaders.

Episode 2

Supremacy - Reformation: Series 1 Cover ArtCast down and imprisoned in the age past, the gods left their creation to survive without guidance. Two brothers now struggle to unite the last of the ancient Orders. One rules as emperor, taking up 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, an informant hides within the Reformation, leaking secrets to the Divine Emperor. Suspecting his own command staff may be involved, Tharin will trust no one until he ferrets out this traitor. Desperation leads him to a forbidden power tempting him with knowledge of their true loyalties. Should he choose to wield this power, he will have his answers, but he may become lost within its depths. The Reformation needs its leader to remain pure; the Divine Emperor won’t sit quietly for long.

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