New Release – The Webs That Bind

“Even the best plans fail. “

This is how the final installment of the The Reluctant Assassin series begins. It’s a fitting opening line for the series as Zayn has had to contend with countless setbacks in his plans to slay the Lady of Varna.

As they say, no plan survive first contact with the enemy. In a way, this series didn’t survive my early outlines and drafts, but I know it surpassed it. I’m deeply proud of how this series turned out, and warmed by the reaction that the books have received.

Even the best plans fail.

Zayn has spent his whole life preparing for the final confrontation with the Lady of Varna, but as the day grows closer, complications multiply. When he realizes he can no longer trust his cousin, or his patron—nor does he want to get his teammates killed—it means he must finish his quest alone. But the Lady of Varna has been alive for millennia because she has a supernatural knack for avoiding even the most cunning plans. If Zayn is going to solve this impossible conundrum, he’s going to have to get help from an unlikely source and accept the price of his failures.

The Webs That Bind, the final book in The Reluctant Assassin series, can be found on Amazon for $5.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited.

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New Story – The Stylized Unicorn Escapes Its Poster in a Seattle Teenager’s Bedroom

As some of you may have heard me crow about on social media, my story “The Stylized Unicorn Escapes Its Poster from a Seattle Teenager’s Bedroom” is currently out in Issue #37 of Galaxy’s Edge. It’s one of my favorite stories that I’ve written for a variety of reasons.

It’s received good reviews so far. Here’s a snippet from two reviews:

Reviews & Robots

The Stylized Unicorn Escapes Its Poster in a Seattle Teenager’s Bedroom is a beautiful story, filled with brilliant writing and tragic realities. This is a powerful story that shows how fantasy worlds can become lifelines to those in need of an escape. In the end, they become a part of our realities, giving us new perspectives on the world and our place in it.”

Tangent Online

“She begins to relive impactful moments in her life. Here, the author does a brilliant job indirectly portraying her economic state. Things like her closet being filled with only two Goodwill dresses, or parental fights over food money, show the depths of her poverty.”

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New Release – Agent Unraveled

The dragons are coming.

Without a head patron to protect the city, the Hundred Halls are vulnerable to the most dangerous supernatural creatures of all—the dragons. But the Circle of the Scale is not the only problem. Deep beneath the city other dangers lurk, setting in motion a confrontation that will force Zayn to make a decision between the Halls and his family.

Agent Unraveled, the fourth book in The Reluctant Assassin series, can be found on Amazon for $4.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited.

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New Release – The Veiled Diplomat

Even a master assassin can be foiled. Divination—the magic of seeing the future—provides peace in the realms, because no one can launch a war or assassination without being discovered. But when a strange building appears in the city of sorcery, everyone believes it’s benign—everyone except Zayn and his teammates. To save the Hundred Halls, they must use all their talents to deceive and uncover its purpose before it’s too late. The Veiled Diplomat, the third book in The Reluctant Assassin series, can be found on Amazon for $4.99      
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New Release – The Sorcerous Spy

Zayn’s story continues for his second year at the Academy of the Subtle Arts.  I’m pleased at how this one turned out.  Zayn has a special story and I hope you stay with me through this series.  It’s going to be great!

When a rogue assassin starts taking heads in the Hundred Halls, no one is safe, not even the teachers. 

Zayn leads his team as they investigate the gruesome deaths. The search draws them to dangerous places: the infamous Black Council and the opulent casino of pain run by the Diamond Court. As leads dry up, and heads roll, leaving them no closer to the truth, Zayn must make a terrible choice involving the people who he cares about most.

The Sorcerous Spy can be found at Amazon for $3.99 or through Kindle Unlimited.

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Archon Schedule (Oct 12-14th)

If you’re going to be in the St. Louis area, I’ll be at Archon in a couple of weeks.  Archon is the Midwest’s Premier Science Fiction and Fantasy Event.  Last year was my first year, but I had such a great time that I immediately signed up to come back.  I’ll be on a number panels, mostly around the business of writing, but if you’d like to talk about the Hundred Halls, or would like an autograph, please feel free to look me up after a panel or in the hallways.

Fueling Motivation in an Industry Thriving on Rejection

Format: Panel
12 Oct 2018, Friday 15:00 – 16:00, Marquette A (Gateway Center)

You’re going to get rejected. A lot. Learn what you can do to cope and still keep your head up, and from throwing your computer into the trashcan.

Self-Publishing 101

Format: Panel
12 Oct 2018, Friday 16:00 – 17:00, Marquette A (Gateway Center)

Come learn the basics of self-publishing from those who’ve been through it and survived.

Turning Pro: Stories and Advice for Writers

Format: Panel
13 Oct 2018, Saturday 10:00 – 11:00, Marquette A (Gateway Center)

The path to becoming a pro writer is as individual as the writers themselves. Come hear their stories and maybe we’ll uncover some commonalities. We’ll also discuss writing organizations and resources, and answer all your burning questions.

The Business Side of Writing

Format: Panel
13 Oct 2018, Saturday 11:00 – 12:00, Marquette A (Gateway Center)

Okay, so you’ve written your novel. Now what? Our pros guide you through what your next steps need to be, and what your options as a writer are.

 

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New Release – The Reluctant Assassin

Technically, this book has been in the works for three years, though it changed a few times along the way.  Originally, the assassin’s story was going to be my first venture into the Hundred Halls, but as stories have a way of morphing into other things along the development path, so too did this one change.

But I’m glad it took the long path that it did, because it allowed me to tell Aurie and Pi’s story first, and make sure I had the Hundred Halls figured out before I ventured outside of the city to Varna.

It’s a much stronger book now, one that both readers new to the Halls, and experienced readers will enjoy.  And check out this fantastic cover by Ravven!

The best assassins learn their magic at the Academy of the Subtle Arts. Everyone joins for their own reasons: to give death her proper due, to acquire outrageous fortunes, or to know that history bends to their blade.

Zayn Carter joined the Academy to save his family.

In the sleepy town of Varna, an ancient evil lurks, preying on the townsfolk and keeping them enslaved by her poison. This arrangement has lasted for centuries because to kill the Lady is to guarantee the death of every man, woman, and child in the town. Faced with this impossible conundrum, Zayn vows to take down the Lady, and all that support her. He’ll save his family from this horrible fate—or die trying.

Purchase The Reluctant Assassin now at Amazon for only $0.99.

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Coming Soon – The Reluctant Assassin

I know fans have been waiting a long time for the next Hundred Halls series, but the wait will be over soon because the next book will be out in 38 more days on September 18th.  The first book in the next series is called The Reluctant Assassin.  It follows Zayn Carter, who some of you will know from the first series and specifically the book Web of Lies, as he survives his first year as a student at the Academy of the Subtle Arts.  Here’s the back cover blurb:

The best assassins learn their magic at the Academy of the Subtle Arts.  Everyone joins for their own reasons: to give death her proper due, to acquire outrageous fortunes, or to know that history bends to their blade.

Zayn Carter joined the Academy to save his family.

In the sleepy town of Varna, an ancient evil lurks, preying on the townsfolk and keeping them enslaved by her poison.  This arrangement has lasted for centuries because to kill the Lady is to guarantee the death of every man, woman, and child in the town.  Faced with this impossible conundrum, Zayn vows to take down the Lady, and all that support her.   He’ll save his family from this horrible fate—or die trying.

The first book will be released at a promotional price of $0.99, but that won’t last for long, so be ready to get your copy on September 18th.  And stay tuned to this space for other announcements like the cover reveal and giveaways.  Or you can guarantee that you’ll won’t miss a thing by signing up for my newsletter (and getting a free copy of Trials of Magic).

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The Hundred Halls Website

Welcome to the Hundred Halls, the only magical university in the world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am so excited to share the Hundred Halls website with the world.  This will be a repository of information about the Halls for fans and newcomers alike.  There will be quizzes, free stories, and other goodies each month, so check back often.

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The Worth of Felines – Published in AHMM

While story acceptance day is every author’s favorite (we like to get paid after all), story publication day is just as important.  One of my Magistrate Ovid stories, The Worth of Felines, is now appearing in the May/June issue of  Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re not familiar with these stories, Magistrate Ovid lives in ancient Alexandria around the time of 40AD, when the Great Library was at its apex.  He must deal with the particular challenges of this time like vestal virgins, feuding temples, and the political implications of the Lighthouse of Pharos.  He’s a minor character from the Alexandrian Saga, which can be found at all major online retailers, but gets his own chance to shine in these stories.

Other stories about him have been published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.   There will be a new story, The Lightness of Man, appearing in the July/August 2018 issue.

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