08/5/14
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Release Day: The Scourge: Emaculum!

It’s here! The final book of the Scourge trilogy! Please buy early and often. And if you like what you read, don’t be shy! Please post a review on Amazon. Oh, and we’re having a book launch celebration on Facebook in ten minutes! Come on by, between 5 and 1030 EST for banter, trivia contests for prizes, historical facts and general rollicking!

 

 

Thanks again for all your support! Hope to see you at the party.

 

08/4/14
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Emaculum Cover Reveal

Hi everyone. I know this is a little late, but I’ve made a dozen variations of the cover over the last month, so it was only finalized today. So, without further ados or adont’s, I present, The Scourge: Emaculum cover!

Oh, and can I just mention again that EMACULUM GETS RELEASED TOMORROW!!!!

*’Home Alone’ Scream*

Crap! Still have so much work to do. Reminder that we’ll have a launch  party tomorrow from 5:30 to 10:30 pm on Facebook. Click here to sign up for the event!

See you tomorrow!

 

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07/26/14
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Emaculum: Online Release Party, August 5, 2014!

Hey everyone!

On August 5, 2014, there will be a Facebook party for the release of Emaculum, and the conclusion of the Scourge trilogy. The event starts at 5pm EST and will last until 10pm EST. My fiancee, Annabelle, and I, will host the party, and a slew of visiting authors will take part. (Click here to sign up for the event (make sure you’re signed into Facebook)).

It’s like this, but some of the guests will be scarier.

What exactly is a Facebook launch party? It’s a whirlwind of fun, prizes, online chats, trivia contests, and anything else we can come up with. Think “country fair” with more authors and camaraderie, and less carnies and clowns. (Although, knowing some of my writer friends, there may be just as many carnies and clowns).

Scott James Magner, guest of honor, will be releasing his story, Winter, on the same day!

So, who will be there? Well, historical fantasy author Scott Magner (Blood and Ashes, Winter) for one. Scott is releasing the second book in his Seasons of Truth series on the same day (August 5th, if you’ll recall) so this is kind of a joint launch party).

I’ll also have some of the original authors of The Mongoliad (historical fantasy): Mark Teppo (The Mongoliad, Sinner), and Joseph Brassey (The Mongoliad, Katabasis).

Other authors? How about the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award nominee, Anne Charnok (A Calculated Life)? and below is a list of the other participants:

Fantasy/sci-fi writers Michael and Linda Pearce, (Diaries of a Dwarven Rifelman, Rage of Angels).

Tony Wolf (the upcoming historical-fantasy graphic novel  Mrs. Pankhurst’s Amazons).

Urban Fantasy author Melissa F. Olson (Dead Spots, The Big Keep).

Kate Maruyama, genre-defying specialist (Harrowgate).

Fantasy author Roberta Trahan (The Well of Tears, The Keys to the Realms).

Historical fantasy author Adam Haviaras (Children of ApolloIMMORTUI).

Fantasy author and Emaculum beta-reader Robert J. Duperre (The FallDawn of Swords)

Award-winning author J Lincoln Fenn (POE) can’t appear live, but will have a post (Hawaii time makes a live appearance difficult. Let’s all feel sorry for J Lincoln Fenn, who lives on an island paradise. Poor J Lincoln Fenn ;) ).

Books will be given away. Prizes earned. Fun will be had by all. Except the carnies.

Each of these writers will have a turn on the event page, posting a short blurb about storytelling or history, and then opening up the comments to speak with visitors. These are all published, successful authors, so now’s your chance to ask them questions, gain nuggets of wisdom, and brush elbows with the literary elite.

As if that’s not enough,some of the authors will be giving away copies of their books or other prizes. I will be giving out prizes as well, holding trivia contests, posting snippets from Emaculum and photos of places Edward has traveled. Annabelle will be talking about her role editing all three books and the crazy, crazy long-distance relationship that she and I nurture.

So add an entry to your Google calendar, sign up for the event, and drop by on Tuesday, August 5, between 5pm EST and 10pm EST for a festive, merry, crazy carnival of fun. That’s right. I used three adjectives. It’s gonna be *that* good.

 

 

07/18/14

Emaculum Release Date!

It’s been a long time coming, I know. But I am putting a tentative release date for The Scourge: Emaculum. And that date is *drums and fanfare*

TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2014.

Watch this blog in the coming days for lots of announcements, teasers, giveaways, artwork, a cover release and naked pictures of Charlize Theron and George Clooney. Okay, I’m kidding: I won’t have any artwork. But there will be a party!

I’ll be hosting a Facebook launch party and I would like each and every one of you to come! More info on that soon, but I promise to have lots of great authors for you to chat with, and you’ll have plenty of chances to win swag like free books and gift cards and such.

Please help me generate some buzz by posting this release date to all of your social media outlets, emailing friends, commenting in discussion boards, nominating for book clubs, pirating tv and radio stations, broadcasting across Skynet. Whatever you have to do. I think I’m supposed to say “as long as it’s legal” now, so, as long as it’s legal.

Thanks again to all of you for your patience and support!

 

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07/11/14
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Guest Post: Melissa F. Olson & Cover Model

Melissa F. Olson is a fellow 47North author, a friend, and the motivational force (read: slave driver) for Westmarch Publishing–a publishing group I am a part of (more on Westmarch in a later blog post). She cut her teeth in urban fantasy with her highly acclaimed Scarlet Bernard stories (DEAD SPOTS and TRAIL OF DEAD). Her latest novel is a crime fiction featuring a tough, snarky, and pregnant, private investigator in Chicago. THE BIG KEEP has already been wracking up great reviews. She was kind enough to let me design the cover for the novel, and gracious enough to guest post on my blog about that process.

Thank you so much to Roberto Calas for hosting me today, the last day of my blog tour. I’m doing something a little different for this post: as you may or may not know, in addition to his writing duties, Roberto does freelance book cover design. In fact, he recently designed a gorgeous cover for my new mystery novel, The Big Keep, using a photograph by Elizabeth Kraft. Since Roberto did such a wonderful job with the photo, I thought it might be fun to hear from the woman behind the photo: the cover model, Michelle Hockersmith.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, and how you know the photographer, Elizabeth Kraft.
Elizabeth Kraft and I went to the same high school, where her oldest sister was good friends with my brother so it just kind of made sense that Elizabeth and I would become friends also.

A few things about me: my birthday is the day after the book release (which I think is pretty cool), and I’m a mommy to two awesome kids: Lilly, my 9 year old daughter; and Peyton, my 4 year old son. I am currently a high school art teacher in the Twin Cities area.

2. What were the weather and conditions like on the day of the shoot? Was it hot going around in a leather jacket and boots in June?
It started out a little sketchy actually; we were worried we’d have to reschedule due to some rain.  I’m pretty sure we all said a few prayers asking for the sky to clear and for the sun to come out…which it did. It ended up being a beautiful day with a lot of sunshine. Not only was it sunny but it was incredibly windy, haha!  It makes me laugh thinking about it because my hair was in my eyes more than not and the wind gusts blew up lots of sand.  Getting sandblasted facials is always fun. Overall it was actually a perfect day to be wearing boots and a leather jacket.

3. What kind of direction did the photographer give you as you posed?
The photographer gave me a few emotions that the character could have been feeling.  She told me to think back to when I was pregnant and having the weight of the world on your shoulders, being completely exhausted, but also having that energy which comes with excitement.

4. What was the hardest thing about the shoot? The best thing?
The hardest and the best thing for me would probably be the wind. It created awesome pictures, but was extremely frustrating at the same time.

5. Which shot was your favorite? What were your thoughts on the photo that ended up being chosen for the cover?
All of the ones we did in the ally seemed to really speak to me.  I was able to truly get into character and have the feeling of the Chicago life.

When I saw the cover I was shocked, to be honest, only because I didn’t even remember that picture!  I just kept looking at it and thinking wow that really does fit the part, she looks worn out and powerful at the same time.  It’s the perfect cover picture

07/2/14
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Guest Post: Michael ‘Tinker’ Pearce

The Tinkeroni

I’ve known about Michael Tinker Pearce for years — as a sword maker. His swords are world-class and I used to sell them when I owned my sword company. So it’s funny that I’ve encountered him again as a fellow 47Norther. Michael was one of the writers in the fabulously successful Mongoliad series, and is fast becoming as popular a writer as he is a swordsmith. He and his wife, Linda, wrote the Diaries of a Dwarven Riflemen series, and their new release, Rage of Angels has just hit the bookshelves. He’s honored me by guest-posting on my blog today, to talk about the science fiction genre.

No swords. Just adrenaline and great storytelling.

Most of the things that pass for Science Fiction aren’t.  They are Space Opera or Space Fantasy.  Some of my favorite books are Space Opera.  The Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMasters Bujold has fast-paced, compelling stories with excellent character development and interesting things to say about what it means to be human and to be a ‘hero.’ Wonderful stuff, can’t recommend it enough.  But it is Space Opera, not science fiction… and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.  The Star Wars cycle is space opera or space fantasy- basically it has magic that looks like technology but behaves in ways contrary to science as we currently understand it.  Again, nothing wrong with that.

So what is my definition of Science Fiction?  It is fiction that has a plot based on a futuristic technology and/or emerging scientific theory.  It can be set in the past, present or future but the plot could not happen without the science.  Hard-Science Science Fiction has technology that would work based on current theories. This is a fairly old-school definition but it’s what I grew up with and I’m stuck with it.  It’s also what I am stuck writing, Lord help me.

Believe me, I’ve tried to write some other way.  Our first novel was a heroic fantasy called ‘Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman.’  It’s set in a world with dwarves, elves and magic. Sounds like fantasy?  It is, but it is also, in a bizarre way, science fiction.  It’s about a Dwarven rifleman; the story could not exist without the technology of rifles. Specifically large-bore air rifles, which I had to do a lot of math and research to make sure were actually plausible and functional.  Given the resources and the help of a skilled craftsman I could make one of these rifles and it would work pretty much as-advertised.  Likewise all the ‘technical details’ of stonework etc. are based on real science; the only thing that isn’t is the magic, and even it operates in a ‘science-like’ fashion.  At the end of things we found that what we’d written was Science-fiction set in a medieval fantasy world. Cool.

Our latest novel ‘Rage of Angels’ makes no pretense. It is straight-up Science Fiction.  Helpful hint for you young folks who look at your math homework and say, “But I’ll never use this!” Yes you will, if you want to right science fiction, anyway.  My high-school math teachers would keel over in shock if they saw some of the math I’ve done to make sure that things in this story would at least arguably work.

Linda Pearce

Wanting everything to work can be a big problem for a writer and can actually require a lot of imagination.  ‘Rage of Angels’ is about aliens attacking the earth.  Unlike an awful lot of stories of this type the aliens in our book are smart.  They don’t do stupid things like building a single point of failure into their systems that can take down the whole mess.  I don’t want to give too many spoilers but we had a serious problem writing this book.  Smart aliens with more advanced technology than ours would win.  First of all they wouldn’t attack if they had any doubt they could beat us. They would do smart, logical things that capitalize on their advantages. Humanity would be screwed.  So two thirds of the way through the book we could not for the life of us figure out a believable way for Earth to triumph.  How did we resolve this dilemma? We turned to science, of course.  Because science is cool and can accomplish things that look like miracles.

Want to see Michael and Linda’s books?
Have a nosy here and buy a copy or three
.
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Michael ‘Tinker’ Pearce and Linda Pearce Live and write in Seatttle, Wa. Tinker is a well-known sword-maker and Linda is a recruiting and IT professional. You can find out more about Tinker’s work here.

06/27/14
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“The End”

Just wrote those words on the Emaculum manuscript a couple days ago. The final volume of The Scourge trilogy is off for editing this week and should be released toward the end of July! To say I’m excited is an understatement. It was a bittersweet moment finishing this series. Thank you, to everyone who helped make book 3 a reality.

To celebrate, I’m posting an appetizer from Episode 1. Happy reading!

 I hold out a hand to stop Tristan and we listen. The hoofbeats grow louder. I can hear voices in the distance, and then, much closer, the sound of weeping.

Cold water spatters my cheek as I sweep away a leafy branch and scan the forest. A figure stumbles through the brush and nearly falls. It is she who weeps.
The woman glances back toward the road as she walks, then scans the forest floor, her gaze sweeping wildly among the hawthorn and gorse. Someone has tied a cord around her waist and attached a fox tail that dangles from her backside.
A maiden walking alone, looking frightened, and weeping. I want only to reach Elizabeth, but how can an honorable man ignore such a scene?
Tristan and I rise and push through the wet sprigs toward her. I give a whispery shout: “Do you require assistance?”
She shrieks and backs away from us, thick tears tumbling from her dark lashes. The perpetual drizzle has soaked her clothing. She is young and dangerously thin, her black hair unbound. The thin chemise she wears is wet and torn. It clings to her and hangs off one shoulder, revealing smooth skin on a bony frame.
“I haven’t found it yet!” she screams. “I need more time!”
I hold a finger to my lips and make calming motions with my other hand. “What haven’t you found?” I take a step toward her and she backs away, shaking her head.
“The arrow.” She pants as she speaks, the panting of someone about to fall into desperate sobs. The white chemise is soaked through, revealing every feature of her reedy figure. I wonder when she last ate. “I can’t find it,” she continues. “You arrived too soon. I didn’t have a chance.”
I glance back at Tristan, who sneers at me. “You couldn’t give the poor maiden more time, could you?”
“That’s not helping, Tristan.” I take another step toward her, pull my cloak off and place it over her shoulders. “I know nothing about an arrow. Why must you find it? Are you in danger?”
She stares at me, tilts her head and sniffles. “You’re . . . you’re not part of the hunt?”
“I’m just trying to get home,” I say. “Which hunt do you speak of?”
“Witch hunt, indeed,” Tristan says.
A horn sounds, loud and very close. Men shout. Boots crash through the forest. The woman flinches at the sounds, the tears flowing again. “Please, help me.”
I look toward the road. At least five or six men. Tristan and I glance at one another. He raises his crossbow as I draw my sword. No knight with any honor could do anything else.
“Thank you, sirs.” She lifts her skirt and walks away from the road slowly. Her shoulders hunch as she scans the forest floor. Tristan and I look to one another, then back at her. She scowls at us. “Hurry! We must find the arrow. Red fletching and stripes painted on the shaft. Anon! Anon!”
“What fun,” Tristan says. “I hope we find it.”
“What game is this?” I ask her. “Are you in danger or not?”
“There! Is that it?” Her voice rises, then strains with anguish. “No! It is a branch!”
I look back toward the road. Shapes plunge through the mist-drenched scrub. They will see us soon, if they have not already. I take hold of the woman’s arm and turn her to face me. “Are those men going to harm you?” She shakes her head and I sheathe my sword. “Let’s go, Tristan.”
He lowers his crossbow and we crash through gorse, northward away from the men.
“They will take my maidenhood,” the woman cries. “They will fill me with their seed and leave me to starve.”
My sword flashes out from its sheath and Tristan’s crossbow rises. We lurch back toward her.
“Perhaps,” Tristan says to me, “you should have been more specific in your question.”
“Rape is harm, maiden,” I mutter. “In case this sort of thing comes up again in the future.”
The first two men push through wet leaves, laughing, but what they see is not funny, and their humor dries up. Tristan and I stand shoulder to shoulder. My sword is pointed forward in mid-guard. His crossbow is strung and loaded and aimed in their direction. We are not thin, we are not dainty, and neither of us wears a fox tail.
“We can’t seem to find the arrow,” Tristan says. “Care for a war-bolt instead?”