Update on Vampire’s Curse

I’m still in full-editing mode for Vampire’s Curse. I also still plan on crowdfunding this through Publishizer. I meant to have it up this week, but after talking with a couple other authors, I’m making a few changes. First, I’ve identified way too many extraneous words. This needs to be fixed before I send it out. I also was back and forth on present or past tense. I wrote it in past tense, but after experimenting with present on a couple chapters, I feel like it reads and fits my MC’s voice so much better. Considering I’m reading it again to pull out a few extraneous words, I also decided to pull the trigger and change the whole book to present tense. It will be a lot of work, but I think it’ll pay off in the long run.

In the interim, here is a picture of the cover. What do you all think?

 

Kindle_Cover.jpg

Once this is done (hopefully in the next week or so) I have the fourth and final book in the Keepers of the Orbs Series mapped out and will immediately begin working on it.

 

Update – May 11th Edition

It has been awhile since my last post (man do I have to get better about this) so I thought I would put an update out.

I’m still shopping Elves of The Sugar Maple to agents, but there is nothing to report yet. This is my Young Adult fantasy novel that mirrors many of the religious/racial issues our world currently faces.

I completed The Saukarian Children. I currently have the book in the hands of a couple beta readers and am awaiting feedback. This is my Sci-Fi story that I am very excited about it and think it has a lot of potential.

I recently realized the process of querying my work as the only means of attracting a potential agent is absolutely ludicrous. As such, I joined the RMFW (Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers) and have joined a critique group. I also plan on attending several conferences as they become available. I also plan on entering both the above titles into the Colorado Gold Writing Contest at the end of this month. The finals for this contest will be held the beginning of September. More than anything, I am looking for feedback and for areas where my work could use improvement, although if I actually final with either of them I would be over the moon J. As a result, neither of these are flagged for Self-Publishing at this time.

With my other projects completed, I recently returned to the world of Nithor with my friends Raythum, Liniana, Aglina, Matt, Jaeden, Milenthia, and let us not forget the despicable man name Lutheras. The third book in the series is currently at right around 50% complete and I am still hoping to have this released by the end of the year. Since the first two books in the Keepers of the Orbs Series are already self-published, this will go directly to Amazon (more news to follow).

Yesterday, I had a hard time concentrating on anything else as I recently had a new idea for another YA Fantasy novel. I think this idea could have a lot of potential and I am currently just writing down notes and creating the characters/building the world. I hope to start writing it in the near future and will update when appropriate.

I won’t be writing at all this weekend as my wife and I are off to Wisconsin to celebrate my grandparent’s 66th wedding anniversary.

While you wait for my upcoming work, you can still get your hands on the first two books in my series.

I am running a free promotion on the first book, The Unknown Man. You can get a free copy through this Saturday May 14th
HERE

And the second book, The Rising Past, can be purchased HERE

I made a decision today

So, as anyone who has been following me already knows, I have been working on the third book in The Keepers of the Orbs Series while also writing a standalone Sci-Fi book at the same time. I’m about 50% complete on the next KOTO book, but my focus lately has been on the sci-fi book as I am over 83% and looking to wrap it up.

I know, you’re asking “so what’s the big decision”? Well, I have struggled with the way I was planning on ending The Saukarian Children (that’s the sci-fi story). This was always intended to be a one book thing. That was it. Write it…and move one. The only problem? I don’t think I can. I have fallen in love with the characters, but at the same time I don’t think a happy ending is coming their way. Don’t get me wrong, the three MCs are the heroes of the story and they will get the credit they deserve. But I can’t just leave it at that.

Along those lines, I am changing how the story is going to end. I still have 5 chapters to go, and the way I had intended for it to end when I sat down four months ago, has been scrapped. Without giving too much away, I just don’t think the human race would ever accept the Saukarian Children for what they are. There would naturally be some form of prejudice and hatred coming their way and I think it just makes sense. Then again, it also leaves it open for me to write additional stories down the road 🙂 which is never a bad thing.

Anyway, the story hasn’t even been released yet, but I know there will be some hatred coming my way for the ending and I just wanted to explain myself ahead of time to calm the storm. Not everything can end like a fairy tale, and I think this just makes more sense. If you hate the ending, blame me for falling in love with my characters, and for not wanting to give the final farewell.

 

A Poem Read at my Grandpa’s Funeral

Over the weekend I packed up the family and we made the 850 mile drive to Mankato, MN to attend the funeral of my Grandpa. He passed away last Wednesday. As I sat down at the computer Wednesday night to write the next chapter in my serialized Sci-Fi story, The Saukarian Children, my mind was stuck on my Grandpa’s passing and I decided to write a poem. It turned into more of a poem about life than of my Grandpa directly, but I was still happy with it and I read it at hisfuneral on Sunday.

I’m not a poet (man is poetry much more difficult than fiction) and I know it isn’t perfect (I repeated everything will be fine three times) but I wanted to share it with everyone anyway.

Grandpa, you will never be forgotten and I just want to let you know how much I loved you and what you meant to me.

Grandpa

Our journey begins on the day of our birth,
We’re graced with the blessing of wandering this earth,
Every moment spent growing and learning from above,
Until we find solace, nurture and love.
We come to this world as nothing more than a child,
With ideas and dreams as our minds run wild,
Every day a new challenge, a lesson, a risk,
Until we find a true love, someone to share a kiss.
We come before God to confess both our hearts,
Agreeing to be together, forever, till us do part,
We lay the bricks, the foundation, and build a home,
Filled with laughter and love from which we’ll never roam.
One day comes a child, or maybe even more,
Never knowing each day what God has in store,
But then they grow older and start a life of their own,
And we watch in disbelief can’t believing they’re grown.
We look to our parents to teach us the way,
And cling to their hands, as their hair turns gray,
They tell us how they got through it and finally found their way,
And we keep going, and moving each and every new day.
Before long, they too are gone and a new pain arrives,
Each moment grows harder, something else we must survive,
So we look to our love to fill the emptiness we’ve found,
And realize all around us that treasures do abound.
Then comes the time when our love one must leave us,
Left with more pain, and sorrow always missing so much,
We remember what we built and the good times we had,
Before life comes to an end, when we look back and we feel glad.
We hope the legacy we leave will always be remembered,
For all that we gave, for everything we endeavored,
Life is a story we write one day at a time,
Assuming the next day will come and everything will be fine.
For most, that’s the case and we continue each day,
For others, time’s come and there’s not much left to say,
What we leave behind is what matters the most,
That we’re remembered for our love, something everyone will toast.
For our love one’s it’s tough to deal with the sorrow,
But we do our best and know we’ll get out of bed tomorrow,
For life must go on, as difficult as it may be,
And we hope it grows easier, that we can finally see.
What was built was more than one, and will last throughout time,
That we’ll continue on, knowing everything will be fine,
For you’ll blossom in heaven and watch over our lives,
As hard as it may be, we will survive.
Although we will miss you, and feel the emptiness you’ve left,
You’ve finally found peace, you can finally rest.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Rising Past HERE

The Rising Past Cover

Or a copy of The Unknown Man HERE

Amazon Prequel Cover

Writing Update

It has been a while since I posted, and I figured it would be a good idea to post an update. I initially planned to take a week or two off during the Holidays to unwind and enjoy my family (immediate and extended). We got a bit of a surprise when a couple days after Christmas, my wife’s grandma passed away unexpectedly. I took some extra time to support my wife and her family during this difficult time, and haven’t written as much as I expected lately. Only complicating matters, as am I writing this I’m expecting a message any time now that my grandfather has passed away. He has somehow survived for four days without his feeding tube and IV, but it’s only a matter of time (he always was stubborn). He has accepted it and is at peace with it, but that doesn’t make it any easier for the rest of us though. Needless to say, it has been a crappy end of 2015/start of 2016 so far. I don’t expect to do much writing in the next week, but you never know.

It hasn’t been all bad, though. I released Book 1 in The Keepers of the Orbs series, The Rising Past on December 1st, and I broke all of my previous records for single day downloads during a free giveaway. Let’s hope it leads to some additional sales. I’m currently waiting on four reviewers to give me their feedback (in process), but the first few I have received have all been positive. The most recent came in today and can be found HERE.

I am currently about 40-50% through writing the next book in the series and I expect to have it available on Amazon by the end of 2016, with a plan for the final book near the end of 2017 or early 2018.

My editor is currently done with 50% of her final review of another fantasy novel that is unrelated to my series. The title I’m working with is Elves of a Sugar Maple. I am excited by this story. It was originally an idea from my wife about a species of tiny beings who call a giant tree in our backyard home. I took the idea and ran with it. I incorporated many of the issues our society is currently facing (race, religion, sexual orientation, etc) and I’m quite satisfied with how it all came out. I should have it available mid-spring.

I’m also writing a serialized novel for Channillo.com. It is a Sci-Fi story and is an idea I have had for several years now. I’m releasing a chapter a week on Channillo. Currently there are 9 chapters available to read. I plan on making the full novel available on Amazon this summer. If you have a subscription through Channillo, you can access the story HERE.

That is all for now. I continue to squeeze in as much writing as I can as often as is possible.

You can get a copy of The Rising Past for Kindle HERE

The Rising Past Cover

Or  see how it all began by picking up a copy of the Prequel, The Unknown Man HEREAmazon Prequel Cover

Remember, do an author a favor by leaving a review 🙂

 

My Review of Azurite, By Megan Dent Nogle

Azurite

Azurite, by Megan Dent Nogle, is a delightful tale that primarily follows Zora, the young bastard daughter of Samaria’s Queen, Evangeline. I really liked how Zora developed throughout the book, unwilling to turn her back on her people, even when it would be easier to take a different path.

I was intrigued by the Warden concept, and can understand their importance. I can tell a lot of thought when into how the author described and built the magic system. It made sense to me, which made it all the more believable.

I think the world was built well and was described in great detail. I could clearly conjure images in my mind of the beauty of the Anion Mountains and the desolation of the swamps. I felt like I was transported from the story and brought right into the thick of things.

The author did a good job creating Evangeline. I despised her (which is by design) and thought she was the perfect evil mother. She claims she has nothing but the best interests of her people, but what she really cares about is power and being known as the greatest ruler Samaria has ever known, even though her nation is falling apart at her feet, all from the choices she has made. Well done.

I mentioned Zora in the beginning, and I immediately fell in love with her innocence. I love that she always has her people at the forefront, and I think she truly would make an excellent leader one day. I was disappointed when she disappeared from the last 20% (or so) of the book, as she was the character that kept me turning the pages, but I understand the story line and plot building the author was creating for the future of the series. I like that she wasn’t emotionless, and how her emotions could affect, and sometimes overwhelm, her channeling.

I also liked the supporting characters, especially Brutus, Talan, and Milo. Brutus is your typical General, but I like that he sees the bigger picture and recognizes the importance of the Samarian people over the orders of the Queen. I was glad to learn that Milo wasn’t all he was immediately revealed to be. I like his bigger part in the story, and I have to admit I am intrigued by where his story is going.

Toward the end of the book, I enjoyed the introduction of the character “Heath”. I found myself wanting to know more about him and his master. I wanted to know if this character was possibly the same being who had haunted Zora earlier; or if these plots were somehow intertwined. I liked it and the ending left me wanting more.

My only real issue with the book was the repetitiveness in the dialogue. One example would be when subordinates of the queen would often say “My Queen” multiple times when addressing her. I understand respecting the title and position of the monarch, but I think the term was overused and it made the dialogue seem stilted. There were also instances of misused words, i.e. though instead of through, amour instead of armor, etc. Neither of these issues was enough to stop me from reading because I felt like the story was written well enough to overcome the small obstacles.

I really enjoyed this book and give it 4 stars. If I could give half stars I would (meaning 4 ½ stars) because the only issues were the small ones listed above. The story left me wanting more and I can’t wait to continue with the second book. Well done Megan!

I was given a free copy of this book for my honest review.

Book Review: Xanadu (The Keszthelyi Chronicles Book 2)

Xanadu

This was a fabulous story that quickly brought me in and kept my interest throughout. This is the second book in The Keszthelyi Chronicles and was written by Zichao Deng.

In all honesty I had no idea this was a series until I finished reading the book. Never was it an issue that I had not read the first book, so i tip my hat to the author for writing a book in a series that is able to standalone.

I really enjoyed the main characters Nicolas Keszthelyi and his counterpart Estrade. I think Estrade was truly my favorite character as I liked the no nonsense way he went about his business (especially his plan for the company).

The story is primarily set in Kabul Afghanistan. I have never been to Afghanistan but the author does a wonderful job describing the landscapes and the people. I could get a wonderful picture in my head.

I will say I was a little hesitant about this book due to several of the names or titles in Chinese, but the author provided a wonderful blurb describing how to properly pronounce them, and it put my mind at ease. I would also like to point out that I have never played mahjong before, and the author made this a non-issue by giving the audience a quick run-down on the basic rules so we as readers were not left saying “huh?”.

I will say while I think the character Bibi brought plenty of comic relief to the story, her language and manner of speaking began to wear on me by the end of the book. I also felt like the ending was a little abrupt, and I felt like I wanted a little more closure; then again this is a series.

For those who love stories of adventure in far off lands, this is the book for you. I truly enjoyed the story and have given it 4 out of 5 stars . Personally, I plan on going back and reading the first, and I look forward to future installments in this series.

I was provided a copy of the book for free in exchange for a review

Book Review: The Ninth Orphan

The Ninth Orphan by Lance and James Morcan is a book that drew me in instantly.  From the introduction of the orphans as children, to the nail biting, how will it all end, ending, I was engrossed in this story.

The book begins with the twenty-three young orphans hiking through the woods with a single adult.  The young orphan number nine is called upon to shoot a deer the group stumbles upon.  He is handed the rifle and is tasked with ending the creature’s misery, but there is a problem.  He is unable to take the lethal shot as he empathizes with the pain the creature is feeling.

The story then jumps several years into the future and focuses on a now grown orphan number nine.  This is a story that has it all.  The pages fly by as the reader is submersed in a suspense filled story, with plenty of action and many surprises.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a quick read that will not disappoint.  This is the perfect introductory story in a trilogy, and I will soon be buying the other two.  I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  Well done, James and Lance.  Well done.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ninth-Orphan-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0056I4FKC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398831020&sr=8-1&keywords=the+ninth+orphan

 

The End is Near (Part 2)

There is one more section left that will wrap up the story.  I will post that in a day or two.  Until then, here is the second part of The End is Near.

 

Roger cautiously followed him and was greeted with rows and rows of chambers.  There had to be thousands of them.  “What are these?”  He was afraid to ask, but he had to know.

“Eggs. These are all incubation chambers and are the source of the problem.  If our mission fails, at least we can be confident that none of these eggs will ever hatch.  Just think of how many lives can be saved by destroying them right here, right now.” 

Roger shook his head.  He was right, he didn’t want to know.

Mike set the duffle bag on the ground.  He had seven of the incendiary devices left.  He struck a match and lit the first one, before throwing it at the first chamber.  It exploded and sent fluid over several of the other organic chambers, lighting them on fire.  Smiling in satisfaction he grabbed another one and tossed it.  And then another.  Suddenly an alarm blared throughout the room.

Mike knew if any of the creatures were in the ship they would now be on their way.  He handed two of the glass bottles to Roger and took the other two for himself, lighting them as well.  He directed Roger where he wanted him to throw them, and then threw his own.  “Let’s get out of here.”

They stormed out of the chamber and ran back to the stairs.  They climbed four levels and could hear the creatures running behind them.  Mike directed Roger down the corridor.  He turned and shot two of the creatures as they rounded the corner, before catching back up with Roger at the end of the corridor next to a set of double doors.  They heard yelling in an unknown language from down the hall.  The both leveled their guns, ready to shoot.

The grumblings and yelling grew louder as two of the creatures rounded the corner, followed by two more.  Luckily the narrow corridor only allowed two of them to fit two side-by-side.  Mike aimed for the left and Roger to the right.  The creatures in the front fell and were trampled by the next two as they continued their march, only to be taken down as well.  They could hear more creatures coming.

“Roger, I couldn’t have done this without you.”  He turned and looked at the double doors.  “The control room is in there.  I need five or six minutes.”

“Go.  I can handle this.”  His body shook from the adrenaline coursing through his body.

Mike handed him both of the Berettas.  “Here are three more magazines.  This is all of the ammo we have left.”

Roger took the guns and handed him one of the Glocks.  Mike knew there were only a couple of shots left in it, but hopefully Mike wouldn’t need it. “Just go.  Quite wasting time.  I can’t die at the hands of one of those things.”  He grabbed Mike’s arm. “Promise me this will work, and that I won’t die from them.  Promise me!”

“I promise, Roger.  It has been an honor and I am glad I ran into you.”  He saluted Roger who motioned him forward.

Mike turned toward the door and punched a code into the control panel to open the doors.  Electronics filled the room and a large view screen took up the whole wall in the front.

He walked over to one of the panels and sat down.  He heard gunshots from outside. Sweat dripped down his face and he blinked his eyes to focus on the controls.  He started entering commands.  It all came down to his fifteen years of study and training.  He knew these controls better than anyone else on his team.

Minutes ticked by as shots and screaming rang out though the corridor outside the control room.  It distracted him and his task was more difficult as sweat now poured down his face, filling his eyes.

He heard a scream, barely, from the corridor.  “Hurry Mike.  I am almost out of bullets and they’re still coming.”

He typed in the final command and watched the screen blink.  He sat back and sighed as the blinking on the screen increased.  He may have caused this problem, but now he it would be over.  More shots rang out as his thoughts drifted to his family.  His sweet innocent family.  He was still shocked any of this had happened.  Suddenly the control panel started a series of beeps.  He sat forward in his chair.  I have done it. I am coming home.  I love you.  He closed his eyes as an explosion ripped through the ship.  He felt a blast of heat that instantly burned the flesh from his bones, before everything went white.