Echo of the High Kings New Cover

Here’s the fantastic new cover for Echo of the High Kings, produced by the talented Zoe Frasure!  As a reminder, Echo of the High Kings is available from Amazon now, and I’m doing a giveaway with the details found here.  The audiobook is on track and should be available by the 11th of October.

Echo of the High Kings, Book I of the Eoriel Saga
Echo of the High Kings, Book I of the Eoriel Saga
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The Shattered Empire, coming October 25th!

I’m happy to announce that The Shattered Empire, Book II of the Shadow Space Chronicles, sequel to The Fallen Race, will go live on the 25th of October.  As a part of it going live, I’ll be doing a book bomb at noon on the 25th.  The book is available for pre-order on Amazon and will be available for preorder through Smashwords to Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Apple’s store soon, as well.  Read below for details on The Shattered Empire.

Baron Lucius Giovanni has managed to buy the human race a brief reprieve from the two alien races which seek humanity’s extinction. In the process he has become the leader of a new nation and the commander of a powerful fleet. However, victory comes with consequences. Without an imminent threat, old feuds have sparked back to life and tenuous alliances falter. There are also old enemies who cannot forget that Lucius has what they wanted. He must find a way to hold off scheming rivals, sociopathic psychics, and even former friends. If he can’t do all that and take the fight to humanity’s true enemies, billions may die under alien servitude.

The Shattered Empire is available on Amazon here.

 

Kal’s Fall 2014 Reading List

Something I’ve noticed since publishing my stuff (and getting paid for it) is that my available time for reading has dropped off.  As a consequence, I’ve limited my own reading to books and authors I know I’ll enjoy.  That said, I still read, and I still try to find new books and authors, but at a much lower rate.  Right now I read new books about once a month, this from a guy who used to tear through 3-5 full length novels in a week.

That said, I still enjoy reading and it is a measure of how much I enjoy some authors that when I find out one has a book available I’ll drop everything I’m doing to read their stuff.  Here’s the books that I’ve already read or will be reading this fall.  As a disclaimer, some of these aren’t available yet, but I picked up the eARCs from Baen.

Ryk Spoor’s Paradigms Lost

Being an expert in information searches, image processing and enhancement, pattern matching, and data forensics earned Jason Wood a lot of money – from private contracts and working with the police. And it was a nice, comfortable job most of the time. But then an informant showed up dead on his doorstep, a photograph didn’t show someone who’d been in the viewfinder when the picture was taken, and Jason’s world is suddenly turned upside-down.

Against things that violate the very reality he thought he understood, Jason has only three weapons: his best friend Sylvie, his talent for seeing patterns… and his ability to think beyond the pattern and see a solution that no one else imagined. Against the darkness of the unknown, the greatest weapon is the light of reason.

A vastly expanded and revised edition of Digital Knight, Ryk E. Spoor’s first published novel, Paradigms Lost adds two brand new adventures for Jason and includes many chapters of additional material within the originals.

David Weber and Timothy Zahn’s A Call to Duty

Growing up, Travis Uriah Long yearned for order and discipline in his life . . . the two things his neglectful mother couldn’t or wouldn’t provide. So when Travis enlisted in the Royal Manticoran Navy, he thought he’d finally found the structure he’d always wanted so desperately.

But life in the RMN isn’t exactly what he expected. Boot camp is rough and frustrating; his first ship assignment lax and disorderly; and with the Star Kingdom of Manticore still recovering from a devastating plague, the Navy is possibly on the edge of budgetary extinction.

The Star Kingdom is a minor nation among the worlds of the Diaspora, its closest neighbors weeks or months away, with little in the way of resources. With only modest interstellar trade, no foreign contacts to speak of, a plague-ravaged economy to rebuild, and no enemies looming at the hyper limit, there are factions in Parliament who want nothing more than to scrap the Navy and shift its resources and manpower elsewhere.

But those factions are mistaken. The universe is not a safe place.

Travis Long is about to find that out.

Kenton Kilgore’s Lost Dogs

When our world ends, their struggle begins

Buddy–a German Shepherd–and Sally–a Beagle/Basset Hound mix–are the beloved pets of Rob and Gennifer Bennett and their young daughter Audrey. Their home is Kent Island, MD: a beautiful, peaceful place, good for raising a family, good for having dogs.

When unearthly beings strike without warning or mercy against humankind, Buddy and Sally lose the ones they love and the lives they knew. Now they must band together with other “lost dogs” to find food, water, and shelter in a world suddenly without their owners.

But survival is not enough for Buddy: he holds out hope that Rob, Genn, and Audrey live. And that he can find them before inhuman forces ensure that man is never again Earth’s master.

Wen Spencer’s Eight Million Gods

A new urban fantasy saga by the creator of the popular Tinker contemporary fantasy/SF series. A young American expat writer in Japan suffering from OCD tries to figure out if she’s crazy or not while solving a murder that may be part of a war among Japanese deities.

A contemporary fantasy of mystery and death as American expats battle Japanese gods and monsters to retrieve an ancient artifact that can destroy the world.

One Saturday afternoon, Nikki Delany thought, “George Wilson, in the kitchen, with a blender.” By dinner, she had killed George and posted his gory murder to her blog. The next day, she put on her mourning clothes and went out to meet her best friend for lunch to discuss finding a replacement for her love interest.

Nikki is a horror novelist.  Her choice of career is dictated by an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that forces her to write stories of death and destruction.  She can’t control it, doesn’t understand it, but can use it to make money anywhere in the world. Currently “anywhere” is in Japan, hiding from her mother who sees Nikki’s OCD as proof she’s mentally unstable.  Nikki’s fragile peace starts to fall apart when the police arrest her for the murder of an American expatriate. Someone killed him with a blender.

Reality starts to unravel around Nikki.  She’s attacked by a raccoon in a business suit.  After a series of blackouts, she’s accompanied by a boy that no one else can see, a boy who claims to be a god.  Is she really being pursued by Japanese myths—or is she simply going insane?

What Nikki does know for sure is that the bodies are piling up, her mother has arrived in Japan to lock her up for the rest of her life, she’s written herself into her new book—and her novels always end with everyone dead.

 

 

 

The Ninjas Ate My Homework

I have to admit, I’ve become something of an American Ninja Warrior addict over the past six months.  It’s a difficult confession to make, in some ways, with how much work I’ve got to do and how little free time, that I’m watching two hours a week of one television show which is in many ways the latest evolution of reality television.

Yet, I think the show really does have something, at its roots, that is both inspirational and exciting, in a way that reality television and sports television fundementally aren’t.  This show isn’t about people degrading themselves or backstabbing each other… they’re building themselves up and building a community around facing challenges.

Yes, these challenges are of the physical sort, but there are mental and even emotional challenges involved.  Watching this season of American Ninja Warrior is a testament to the drive and dedication of common, everyday people.  These aren’t professional athletes with million dollar contracts and massive insurance policies, they’re plumbers, electricians, stockbrokers, and doctors.  They are people who spend their free time preparing themselves, and in many ways, they exceed what professional athletes manage when they try.  Almost every olympic athlete and professional athlete washed out in the initial rounds.  The handful that made it through to the city finals did not continue to Las Vegas.

The show does a great job showing people to root for… it builds up their back-story, and the people we see go at these challenges as they grow more complex become heroes in a story that is all the more powerful for the fact that they write it themselves.  It is an uneven contest, I’ll admit, with obstacles being both changing and more elaborate, some of them it seems at the whim of the creators.  Still, when I see someone succeed where many have failed, it makes me inspired to work harder at my own challenges.  Some of the contestants this year have accomplished things that no one has before.  It’s exciting to see such successes and I look forward eagerly to see them succeed even more (I hope) next year.

So yes, I’ve spent, in effect, something to the effect of 24+ hours watching American Ninja Warrior… but I’ve also been inspired, rejuvenated, and I feel more willing to take up the challenges in my own life.  And that’s a pretty damned good accomplishment for a TV show.

Echo of the High Kings Audiobook, Rerelease, and Giveaway

Good morning everyone.  I’m happy to say that progress on the Echo of the High Kings audio book is well underway.  To celebrate the audiobook release, I’m having a new cover produced for the paperback and ebook versions and running something of a contest and giveaway as well as a book bomb.

The book bomb will be timed to coincide with (roughly) the day of the audiobook release on Audible and (hopefully) Amazon.  Since there’s a delay of 3-7 days from when the audiobook is approved to when it goes live, I’m going to arbitrarily set a day now for a book bomb.  That will be the 11th of October.

On to the part that people get excited about: giving stuff away.  I’m going to do a contest as part of the book bomb.  For all reviews written on Echo of the High Kings to verified purchasers, I’ll do an entry into a drawing.  On the 15th of November, I’ll post the winners on my blog, they can then contact me afterward.  Now, for first place, I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of Echo of the High Kings (currently a $28 value).  For second place, I’m giving away an audiobook code (winner’s choice) good for either The Fallen Race or Echo of the High Kings.  Third place, you don’t get a book, but you do get put in a book as a character… no guarantees about survival, of course.  This is a random drawing, so the reviews, good or bad, that win will be the winner, also if there’s no way to identify the particular winner, (IE, no name posted with the review or no one steps forward), I’ll draw for a new winner.  Also, while the book bomb is on the 11th, I’ve no way to tell when a particular reviewer actually bought the book, so I’ll draw from all reviews posted until the 15th of November.   For those of you who take a bit longer, that’s 2 months to do some reading and write up a review.

Echo of the High Kings

Thanks everyone for reading and enjoy!

 

The Shattered Empire… Coming Soon!

I’ve officially finished the first draft of The Shattered Empire, Book II of the Shadow Space Chronicles.  This is good news if you liked The Fallen Race.  It’s also good news if you liked my other books, since that means I can get working on those sequels.  For those of you who don’t like my books… er, why are you reading this?

For me, I’m very excited.  This book has been setting on the backburner for five years now, waiting to be written as I waited for my lucky break in traditional publishing… until I went the self-publishing route.  That said, I think the novel benefits from five more years of writing experience.  The novel is much larger than The Fallen Race, with the rough draft coming in at 160k words.  That makes it 30% longer than The Fallen Race.  Since my final versions of novels tend to add another 10% as I go back and fill in some details, that means The Shattered Empire will be a long read.  Technical details aside, the book is chock full of action, character growth, and lots of details in the Shadow Space Universe.  The main story line follows Lucius Giovanni as he goes about liberating Nova Roma from the Chxor… and finds that being the leader of a new nation is not all it’s cracked up to be.  There are two additional story arcs that follow Mason McGann and a new character, a mercenary by the name of Garret Penwaithe, both of which tie into the main story, sometimes in unexpected fashions.  What I really like about this book is that I finally get the opportunity to flesh out some of the side characters, the people who help Lucius Giovanni to do the things he does.  As an author, getting to explore those characters, as well as the antagonists, was a wonderful opportunity.

The Shattered Empire is now headed to my alpha readers.  After a their feedback I’ll do my editing, copyediting, and then I’ll post it on Amazon.  Keep checking here for updates, samples, and hopefully soon a post about the progression of the cover art.  Thanks to all my readers for making this possible!

Kal’s September Forecast

Well, September is here, fall is in the air, and Kal is currently hunched over a computer.  The good news is that I’m almost finished with The Shattered Empire and should have it done in the next few days.  The bad news is that I’m not yet done, which means the publishing date will most likely be bumped back to mid to late October.  Part of this is due to a heavy workload and parenthood, part of it is due to The Shattered Empire being a much larger book than The Fallen Race.

As soon as The Shattered Empire’s first draft is done, I’ll be sending it out to my alpha readers.  Right after that, I’m starting work on a couple of short stories and then going to work on the sequel to Echo of the High Kings: Wrath of the Usurper.  My goal is to have that one finished this year and published early next year.   Along the way I’ve got to finish the YA book, the Steampunk book, and work on a submission to a publisher.

So my forecast for September is writing, writing, and more writing… hopefully with a side of writing.