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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New Release — City of Sorcery (The Hundred Halls #5)

The end of schooling can be both a blessing and a curse.  Of course, you want to finish, but when you do, you’re left feeling like you’re losing something important.  I know when I finished college had to move into the real world that I didn’t want to go.

The last book in The Hundred Halls, City of Sorcery, is a lot like that.  It’s the last book in Aurie and Pi’s adventures, which mean they’ll have to go out into the real world after this year.  But unlike the real world, we the readers are not leaving our schooling days.  This is the last book in their adventures, but not for the Hundred Halls.  And assuming they survive, we might see the Silverthorne sisters in future books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the Hundred Halls heads towards civil war, the fate of the city—and possibly the world—depends on Aurie and Pi finding the truth about Invictus’ disappearance. Following a trail of dangerous clues, the sisters delve deeper into the head patron’s past, finding their family’s history entwined with the university. As they get closer to the final answer, they must decide if saving the world is worth shattering the ideas of who they think they really are.

City of Sorcery is available at all major retailers for $5.99: Amazon, B&N, KOBO, Google Play, and iTunes.

If you’re new to the series, and would like to get caught up, the Hundred Halls bundle is also available.

The bundle includes the first three books: Trials of MagicWeb of Lies, and Alchemy of Souls.  It can be found on Amazon in ebook for $8.99

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Looking Back (2017) / Looking Forward (2018)

Whew.  We made it.  I know it’s been a bit of a trash fire year, but there have been good moments.  I hope Aurie and Pi have been a part of that.  Here’s a list of some of the things that have happened, both publishing and other, and what will happen in the next year.

2017:

  • Released books three and four of The Hundred Halls.  Both Alchemy of Souls and Gathering of Shadows have been received well by readers and reviewers.  I’m very proud of the 4.7 star Amazon rating and 4.6 star Goodreads rating.
  • Had three new short stories published: The Entropy of a Small Town, The Minotaur’s Wife, and Bankrupt Memories for Auction.
  • Sold a couple of other stories: “The Stylized Unicorn Escapes Its Poster in a Seattle Teenager’s Bedroom” to Galaxy’s Edge, and “The Worth of Felines” to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.
  • I attended Archcon in St. Louis for the first time.  Would recommend.  Will be back next year.
  • My wife and I got to see the last three shows of the 13-night run of Phish at MSG in New York.  We’ve seen over forty shows, and these were up there with my favorites.
  • Rachel finished a 108-mile hike from Denver to Breckenridge in July.  Yes, I realize this wasn’t me, but I’m so proud of her!
  • We celebrated our 20th anniversary in Jamaica at Couples Swept Away.

 

2018:

  • I plan on releasing the final book in The Hundred Halls series – City of Sorcery in February.  For fans of Aurie and Pi, don’t worry, there will be more stories about them at a later date.
  • Which leads me to: plans for The Hundred Halls.  I never intended for this to be one series only.  I’ll be staying in this universe for quite some time.  Next, I’ll be writing about other characters that have attended the Halls.  Each character will get their own series, and when I’m done, there might be something for all of them to do together (hint, hint).
  • So now that I’ve mentioned the next series, here’s a little bit about it.  Originally, when I conceived of The Hundred Halls, I wrote a different book first, but I wasn’t happy with it, so I scrapped it and started over with Trials of Magic.  That original book was called The Reluctant Assassin and features Zayn Carter who we met in Web of Lies.  Part of the problem with the first version of it, was that I wasn’t telling the story I wanted to tell.  Switching to Aurie and Pi’s story allowed me to learn about the Halls so I could tell this one.   I’m currently editing it, and I’m a 1000% happier with this version.
  • When will The Reluctant Assassin be out?  I’m going to do a little something different this time.  I plan on releasing the first three (or more) books of the series in the fall of 2018.  That way you can binge your way through the stories without having to wait for me to finish the next one.  If everything works out this way, I may continue to release series like this, but I’ll see what everyone thinks after it’s all said and done.
  • But what will I do in the 6-8 months between City of Sorcery and The Reluctant Assassin?  Good question.  I would recommend joining my newsletter where I frequently send out more information about the Halls that you can’t learn anywhere else.  During that time, I’ll be releasing one or two short stories about other characters in the Halls, but again, only to the newsletter.
  • My convention schedule for next year will be light.  I’ll be attending Worldcon in San Jose (Aug 16-20) and Archcon in St. Louis (Oct 12-14).  If you’re going to attend either one, I’d love to meet you.
  • SUPER SEKRIT PROJECT.  It’s really hard for me not to spill the beans about this one, but we want to make sure it’s perfect before we release it.  My only hints are that it’s something for The Hundred Halls and several people are working behind the scenes to make it a reality.  Hopefully this spring I’ll be able to tell you more.  I can’t wait!

 

That wraps up the review of 2017 and a sneak peek at 2018.  Let’s hope this next year is better than the last!

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New Release — Gathering of Shadows (The Hundred Halls #4)

After a long wait, book four of the Hundred Halls, Gathering of Shadows, is now available!

Every fall the city of Invictus bustles with new students, and the classrooms reek of spent faez.  This year it’s true of every hall except one—Arcanium. 

While Semyon Grey, the Patron of Arcanium, slowly heals from his soul being torn, no one in the Hall can practice their craft, leaving them defenseless against the Cabal and faez madness.  The Silverthorne sisters must find a way to speed up the healing, or the Hundred Halls won’t survive the year.  But everything they try only makes things worse, until they’re left with an impossible decision that may cost the sisters their lives.

Gathering of Shadows is available on Amazon as an ebook for $4.99 and paperback at $12.99.

If you’re new to the series, and would like to get caught up, the Hundred Halls bundle is also available.

The bundle includes the first three books: Trials of Magic, Web of Lies, and Alchemy of Souls.  It can be found on Amazon in ebook for $8.99

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Archon 41 Panel Schedule

If you’re in the St. Louis area and attending Archon 41 this weekend (Sept 29 – Oct 1), I will be in attendance and sitting on a number of panels.  Please look me up and say hello if you’re going to be there.

Panel Schedule

Fantasy World-Building: Not Just a Copy of Medieval Europe

Friday 21:00 – 21:50, Marquette A (Gateway Center)

Learn about creating a setting that lives and breathes and is believably consistent. Fantasy worlds are much more than physical surroundings and non-tech trappings!


Crafting the Dark Hero

Saturday 13:00 – 13:50, Marquette A (Gateway Center)

How to make even the darkest of heroes (or heroines) likable to your audience.


Recurring Themes in Speculative Science Fiction

Saturday 16:00 – 16:50, Marquette B (Gateway Center)

Speculative fiction has become more and more popular in recent years. Come participate in a discussion on themes in spec lit and what’s on the horizon.

Sex and Controversy in Young Adult Literature

Saturday 18:00 – 18:50, Marquette B (Gateway Center)

A discussion of how YA uses sex and controversy to meet the needs of teens. What are the limits? Should there be limits?

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StoryBundle – Light in the Dark YA Bundle

Over my career, I’ve written in many genres but Young Adult is my favorite.  It’s also my favorite to read going all the way back to The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  Some of my favorites are The Uglies Trilogy and the Hunger Games.  So I was excited to be invited to a YA themed bundle.

There are thirteen books in the Light in the Dark YA Bundle (if you pay $15), which is a terrific deal.  I’ve included the full Gamers Trilogy, so you won’t have to buy any more books to finish it.  The bundle is available for a limited time.

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The SF&F Binge Reader Bundle

The Digital Sea Bundle is one of ten collections in the SF&F Binge Reader Bundle on StoryBundle.  This is a crazy good deal as you’ll get 19 novels and countless short stories, but it’s only available for a few weeks, so get it while you can.

The bundles also form mini bundles of their own. If you like adventurous science fiction, start with these bundles: The Science Officer Omnibus, and The Diving Series Starter Bundle. If you had a tough few months and want books that will make you smile, start with The Washington Witches, The Thunder Mountain Series Starter Kit, and The Fates Trilogy. If you want to focus on gaming or the digital universe, try The Digital Sea Trilogy and The Feyguard Books. And if you’re in a short story mood, we have the Fiction River Fantasy Bundle, the first year of the acclaimed Uncollected Anthology, and Faerie Summer.

In addition to all that wonderful fiction, if you purchase the bundle you have an option of donating a portion to charity.  The Able Gamers Foundation is an organization that helps people with disabilities participate in the world of high tech gaming by customizing equipment for them.

The initial titles in the Bundle Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

  • The Digital Sea Complete Box Set by Thomas K. Carpenter
  • Uncollected Anthology: Year 1 by Uncollected Anthology
  • The Fates Trilogy by Kristine Grayson
  • The Faerie Summer Bundle by Jamie Ferguson

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular titles, plus SIX more!

  • The Washington Witches Series, Volumes 1-3 by Mindy Klasky
  • The Diving Series Starter Bundle by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Fantasy Bundle by Fiction River
  • The Thunder Mountain Starter Bundle by Dean Wesley Smith
  • The Science Officer Omnibus 1 – Volumes 1-4 by Blaze Ward
  • Feyguard Books 1-3 by Anthea Sharp

This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

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