The Qwillery | category: Guest Blog | (page 5 of 34)


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Guest Blog by Cassandra Rose Clarke!

Please welcome Cassandra Rose Clarke to The Qwillery.

A few years ago I reread Stephen King’s The Stand. There is a character in that book who’s supposed to be from a small town a couple hundred miles outside of Houston. As I grew up in that area, I know it well. So imagine my surprise when the character’s hometown was routinely described as a desert, and the character is astonished at the bright green grass growing in the midwest.

Reader, east Texas is in a forest.

As much as I enjoy Stephen King’s writing, that one erroneous detail pulled me out of the story every time I saw it. I didn’t understand how King could get it so wrong. Houston is three hours from the Louisiana border! Would anyone claim that Louisiana is a desert? And yet the myth of Texas-as-desert—which stems from the landscape in West Texas, a ten-hour drive from Houston—overwhelmed the reality.

I’ve kept this incident in the back of my mind as I’ve worked through seasons one and two of The Witch Who Came in From the Cold. You see, Cold Witch takes place in Prague, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, in 1970. I have never been to Prague, and I was born in 1983. Which means I had a potential Houston-is-a-desert situation on my hands.

Prague as a setting for our story makes a lot of sense. Historically, it was a sort of halfway point between the Soviet Union and the West, a place where spies and dignitaries from both sides of the Iron Curtain could mix, mingle, and generally get all up in each other’s business (sneakily, of course). Cold Witch is centered very much around the intersection of that division, with our Western hero and our Soviet heroine having to work as allies in the similarly-divided magical rift between Ice and Flame. So just as Prague was an important way station during the Cold War, we made it an equally important convergent point for our world of magic and sorcery.

Sadly, none of this solves the problem of me having never been to Prague. Personally, I would love to go to Prague. I adore traveling and I’ve always wanted to see Eastern Europe—but such as a trip is prohibitively expensive for me. I was unwilling to just make stuff up and hope for the best, and I certainly didn’t want to make any mistakes on the same level King’s insistence that Houston is in the desert. So what did I do?

First off, Cold Witch is a collaborative project, so while I’d never been to Prague, two of the other writers had. Besides that, our head writer, Lindsay Smith, studied Russia extensively in college—both the language, the history, and the culture. So I was able to pull from their knowledge as I worked through my episodes. Another thing that I found surprisingly useful was the simple fact of growing up where I did; the small towns dotting the central Texas landscape were settled in large part by Czech immigrants. Czech heritage festivals are a common occurrence around these parts, and kolaces of varying quality will show up in any locally-owned donut shop. Obviously, enjoying the fragments of Czech culture that have seeped into Texas culture are not remotely the same thing as actually visiting Prague, but they did serve as a thin connection to the world I was writing about.

But perhaps the most useful tool was a technological one: Google Street View. I honestly am not sure how writers managed without it (certainly, if Stephen King had been able to get his hands on Google Street View when he was writing The Stand, we wouldn’t have wound up with that Houston-has-no-trees situation). Google Maps in generally is pretty helpful, because it allows me to get a sense of the layout of the city and to pick out street names and important buildings. But Street View takes that a step further, since it means I can actually look at the city and navigate around it. Again, it’s not the same as visiting, but with just a few clicks of my mouse I’m able to get a visual feel of a place over five thousand miles away.

So that’s how I’ve managed to cobble together a sense of Prague for Cold Witch. I hope one day to travel there in person, walk across Charles Bridge, and find out if I did anything as embarrassing as turning a forest into a desert.

The Witch Who Came in From The Cold is the fantasy-espionage thriller from Serial Box. This serial is collaboratively written and available in text and audio via, their iOS app, and all major eBook retailers. Lead by foreign-affairs expert Lindsay Smith (Sekret) and Urban Fantasy-pioneer Max Gladstone (Three Parts Dead), this season’s author team is rounded out by Cassandra Rose Clark (Our Lady of the Ice), Ian Tregillis (The Milkweed Triptych), and Nebula-nominated Fran Wilde (Updraft).
Welcome to Prague, 1970: the epicenter in a struggle of spies and sorcerers. The Witch Who Came In From The Cold follows agents on opposing sides of two struggles: the Cold War, and an ancient conflict between two occult secret societies: the Consortium of Ice and the Acolytes of Flame. A CIA and KGB agent will find their loyalties to country tested when they realize they must work together to prevent the destruction of the world at the hands of the Flame.
            Gabe Pritchard, grizzled CIA agent and proud American never believed in sorcery - until he walked into the wrong room in Cairo and ended up with a powerful magical Elemental living inside his head. Tanya Morozova, latest in a long line of Ice Witches, knew loyalty to the Consortium before she ever took up the KGB badge. Now they’re both stationed to Prague, a city built on powerful ley lines and thrumming with both political and magical tension.
            In Season One, a CIA extraction of a Soviet scientist ended in chaos when one of the American operatives betrayed the U.S. in order to deliver the magically-powerful scientist to the Flame. Tanya and Gabe worked together to foil the plot - but trust is hard to come by amongst spies and suspicion lingers throughout their agencies, both magical and national.
            In Season Two, Tanya and Gabe must deal with the fallout of their actions from Season One as each plays their own dangerous game to try to learn the secrets of the Flame without getting burned. Meanwhile a powerful sorcerer arrives in Prague to lead a ritual that could turn the tides of war...
This serial first premiered in 2016 and launches its second season on today, February 8! You can dive right into Season 1 Episode 1 for free right now - but anyone new to the snow and shadows will find more than enough context to enjoy the adventure from Season 2 on.

Intrigued? Hop over to to learn more, start reading Season 1, or pre-order your pass to Season 2. From now through April, a new episode of this tale of spies and spells will drop every Wednesday.

Follow Serial Box on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to keep up to date on today's hottest serial fiction.

Guest Blog by Henry V. O'Neil - Give Yourself Some Room: Some tips for writing a book series

Please welcome Henry V. O'Neil to The Qwillery. Live Echoes, the 5th Sim War novel, will be published on February 28, 2017 by Harper Voyager Impulse.

Guest Blog by Henry V. O'Neil - Give Yourself Some Room: Some tips for writing a book series

Give Yourself Some Room: Some tips for writing a book series
By Henry V. O’Neil

I just finished writing the final novel in my military science fiction Sim War series, and it seemed like a good time to review the experience. It didn’t take long to see that I’d learned a great deal about writing a series, and I thought I’d share some of those tips with you.

When I started brainstorming the first book, Glory Main, I knew I wanted to write several sequels. I’ve been writing for some time, and so I’ve met a wide variety of readers, authors, and editors who’ve provided their own advice and wisdom. One of the common themes about beginning a series was to start small. The idea is to give yourself, your storyline, your setting, and your characters room to grow. I took that to heart, and it paid off.

Before I continue, this is only advice—not a rule. There are plenty of excellent stories (post-apocalyptic fiction immediately springs to mind) that start with the literary equivalent of an atomic blast. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (minor spoiler alert) begins with the destruction of the Earth, proving that a brilliant piece of fiction can literally begin with the end of the world.

With that said, there are many advantages to leaving yourself some room when you’re beginning a series:

  1. You’re less likely to paint yourself into a corner right from the start. When writing fiction, there’s always the danger that our made-up story contains boundaries we didn’t notice at first. While that’s tough enough in a book that hasn’t been released yet, it can be a major problem in a series. Discovering you’ve boxed yourself in while writing a draft merely entails a lot of rewriting, but learning you’ve done it in the already-released first books of a series can be a death blow. While starting small doesn’t guarantee this won’t happen, it certainly improves your odds.
  2. It gives your characters room for change, growth, and the chance to surprise even you. Regardless of the timeframe of your series, the characters are likely to experience challenges, mishaps, and successes. How they respond to these situations reveals a lot about them, while also advancing the plot. These events provide excellent opportunities for growth and change in the character experiencing them—so let them surprise you. Presenting the characters in their final forms at the beginning of the story can rob the reader of watching them grow, and cheat you of the chance to develop the character later, in ways you may not have anticipated.
  3. Your readers get to experience suspense, and to anticipate major developments. When you’re telling a story, it’s important to keep your audience’s interest. Presenting a knotty puzzle, a difficult quest, a bitter conflict, or a looming disaster can really pull your readers in—if only to see how it turns out. If the characters engage them, and the stakes for those characters are high enough, you can generate a genuine feeling of suspense. Don’t drag the story out, but don’t be in too big a hurry to solve the puzzle or resolve the conflict.
  4. You create the time and the space to take advantage of a different idea. Ideally, the brainstorming process never ends. Even if you began with a fully-developed concept of how the storyline will proceed, the mechanics of writing the series will often cause the tale to diverge from that original course. New and exciting ideas present themselves as the writing progresses, and it’s nice to realize you have the leeway to explore them.

So now that we’ve reviewed the advantages of leaving yourself some room, how might you go about doing it?
  1. Reveal only as much as you have to. There’s plenty of information to hand out in the first books of a series, so there’s no need to overdo it. Getting more specific than necessary can paint you into the aforementioned corner. The first book in my Sim War series, Glory Main, features four strangers marooned on a barren planet with no water, food, weapons, or any idea where they are. I wanted to write a true tale of survival, but this minimalist approach also helped me concentrate on the story. I certainly had to introduce the circumstances (a decades-long space war against an enemy that resembles humans so closely that they’re called the Sims) and the backstory for the main character (a politician’s son who volunteered for the war as an act of rebellion) but I didn’t go far beyond that. It wasn’t needed for the storyline, and it kept the tale focused on the very real issues of finding water, food, shelter, and a way off the planet.
  2. Provide enough action to keep the story interesting, but consider holding off on the really huge developments. This is a tough one. Your readers want to find out what happens, or get to the giant fight they believe is coming, and they’re only going to wait so long. Make the wait interesting by including smaller, believable conflicts and resolutions on the way to the really big moments. In the Sim War series I didn’t exactly follow this advice, largely because one of the early books moved toward a titanic battle sequence in a way that was organic and enjoyable. It helped that the enormous confrontation did very little to answer the deeper questions about the war, and the fallout of the battle greatly advanced the main character’s development.
  3. Expand the scope of the story naturally. No matter how hard you try to keep it simple, your tale’s complexity will increase as you write more books. So don’t be in a rush to resolve the major conflicts—you’ll reach them soon enough. My series presented a war set far in the future, with faster-than-light travel delivering space armadas to different solar systems, so it had plenty of big issues: Why are we fighting the Sims? Why isn’t somebody winning this thing? Is this war ever going to end? Questions like those will get asked many times, but definitively answered only once. It’s all part of the puzzle, and how that puzzle gets solved should be a ride the readers will enjoy.
  4. Be ready to adjust. One of the biggest pleasures I get from writing is the discovery of a plot twist or story development that I didn’t see coming. I usually write from some sort of outline, but I’m always ready to dump that plan as soon as the tale diverges from it. This can happen in a lot of fun and interesting ways: A minor character turns into a major player, and the tale needs to make room for him or her. The story keeps heading in a different direction, until I finally go along with it. A throwaway line of dialogue provides the inspiration for what amounts to a complete—and better—rewrite.

Don’t rob yourself of these chances and opportunities. Start small. Leave room for growth. Be open to a different idea. Tell the story.

Glory Main
The Sim War: Book One
Harper Voyager Impulse, July 29, 2014
      eBook, 320 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, September 2, 2014
      Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages

Guest Blog by Henry V. O'Neil - Give Yourself Some Room: Some tips for writing a book series
We are closer to the Sims than we think …

For decades, mankind has been locked in a war with an alien enemy that resembles the human race so closely they are known as the Sims. Both sides battle for control of habitable planets across the galaxies—often at any cost.

Lieutenant Jander Mortas is fresh out of officer training and new to the war zone but eager to prove himself. There's just one problem: disaster strikes while he's traveling to his first assignment. He wakes to find himself marooned on a planet that appears deserted, with the only other survivors: a psychoanalyst, a conscientious objector, and a bitter veteran of a brutal slave-scout detachment. As the group struggles to reach safety on a nearby base, Glory Main, they discover a Sim colony—which could mean their salvation, or their demise.

Thrown together, they must fight the harsh elements, an ever-present enemy, and possibly each other.

Orphan Brigade
The Sim War: Book Two
Harper Voyager Impulse, January 6, 2015
      eBook, 384 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, February 17, 2015
      Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages

Guest Blog by Henry V. O'Neil - Give Yourself Some Room: Some tips for writing a book series
The action-packed sequel to Glory Main

Life has not been easy for Lieutenant Jander Mortas since making it to the Glory Main headquarters—with a telepathic alien entity in tow. After turning down his powerful father's offer of a desk job as an ambassador, Jander is heading back to the war zone. After joining an emergency reaction force of combat veterans known as the Orphans, Jander must work hard to get his platoon in shape for the next deployment—while learning the ropes himself. Because disaster soon strikes, and the Orphan Brigade is shipped out to Fractus, a harsh planet invaded by the enemy—the Sims.

Meanwhile, Jander's sister, Ayliss, is on a mission of her own: to uncover a scandal that would bring an end to her father's dubious reign as Chairman of the Emergency Senate. But Olech Mortas is hiding even more than his children could ever know …

Dire Steps
The Sim War: Book Three
Harper Voyager Impulse, September 29, 2015
      eBook, 304 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, November 10, 2015
      Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Guest Blog by Henry V. O'Neil - Give Yourself Some Room: Some tips for writing a book series
The third installment in the action-packed Sim War series

The Step, a faster-than-light method of travel, is humanity's greatest advantage in its interstellar war with the Sims. Olech Mortas, Chairman of the Emergency Senate, believes the Step could be used to contact an alien entity that might tip the scales in the conflict. And he's willing to risk his life to prove it.

Olech's son, Lieutenant Jander Mortas, has recently survived his first battle as part of the elite Orphan Brigade. The Orphans' new mission is to investigate suspicious Sim activity on the jungle planet Verdur—but what they discover there is far worse than anything they could have imagined.

Meanwhile, Jander's sister Ayliss has gone to the war zone as the governor of a new colony made up of discharged veterans. Ayliss soon realizes that she and the colonists stand in the way of both the Sim enemy and a sinister mining corporation with powerful allies.

All three members of the Mortas family are about to step into dire situations.

The Sim War: Book Four
Harper Voyager Impulse, November 29, 2016
      eBook, 384 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, December 27, 2016
      Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages

Guest Blog by Henry V. O'Neil - Give Yourself Some Room: Some tips for writing a book series

Things are looking grim for the human Alliance against the Sims. A revolution on Celestia is draining the war zone of badly needed troops, and Alliance Chairwoman Reena Mortas is being blamed for the debacle. Her husband and predecessor, Chairman Olech Mortas, remains missing in the faster-than-light mode of travel known as the Step.

Jander and Ayliss Mortas are putting their lives on the line against the Sims, he with the hardcore Orphan Brigade, and she with the elite, all-female Banshees. But when the mysterious alien shapeshifter from Jander’s past reappears, he is sent on a secret mission that could possibly allow humanity to finally communicate with the Sims—and end the war.

Meanwhile, Reena’s attempts to find her missing husband are yielding surprising revelations from inside the Step that could answer two of humanity’s greatest questions. Who gave us the Step? What is making the Sims? In the penultimate book of the Sim War series, the truth of these hidden space entities begins to emerge.

Live Echoes
The Sim War: Book Five
Harper Voyager Impulse, February 28, 2017
      eBook, 384 pages

Guest Blog by Henry V. O'Neil - Give Yourself Some Room: Some tips for writing a book series

There’s new hope for resolution of the decades-long war against the Sims: the discovery of Omega, a mysterious planet far from the fighting. Reena Mortas, the embattled leader of the human alliance, is betting everything that Omega could unlock the mystery of what’s creating the Sims.

Meanwhile, her husband and predecessor, the missing-and-believed-dead Olech Mortas, has made contact with the aliens who gave mankind the faster-than-light mode of travel known as the Step. Existing in a different realm, Olech is re-living the most important decisions of his life—while trying to explain human contradiction to a being that looks just like him, known only as Mirror.

Olech’s children, Jander and Ayliss, are still embroiled in the war. Jander has rejoined the Orphan Brigade on the mineral-rich planet Celestia, where he comes to believe what many of the Orphans feel: they’re supporting the wrong side. Ayliss, fighting in the all-female Banshees, is soon thrown into the losing war against the Sims, not knowing that every Banshee in the Human Defense Force is slated for an all-out assault on Omega that could win the war—or get them all killed.

Live Echoes is the gripping end to the Sim War series, and finally answers its central question: Where did the Sims come from, and why are they bent on humanity’s destruction?

About Henry

Guest Blog by Henry V. O'Neil - Give Yourself Some Room: Some tips for writing a book series
Henry V. O’Neil is the name under which award-winning mystery and horror novelist Vincent H. O’Neil releases his science fiction work. A graduate of West Point, he served for nine years in the US Army infantry both stateside and overseas. His five-book Sim War series (Glory Main, Orphan Brigade, Dire Steps, CHOP Line, and Live Echoes) is available from Harper Voyager. His website is

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World

Please welcome Jacey Bedford to The Qwillery! Silverwolf (Rowankind 2) was published on January 3rd by DAW.

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World

Building Half a World
By Jacey Bedford

Thanks to Sally for inviting me to write a blog post for The Qwillery. My fourth book, Silverwolf, has just been published (by DAW). It’s a historical fantasy. Because I hop back and forth between writing science fiction and fantasy, I’ve been thinking a lot about worldbuilding.

Worldbuilding is nothing new to writers of speculative fiction. We have to do it all the time, make the background to our novels live – and that’s before we start with plot or characterisation. (Though not necessarily ‘before’ in a chronological sense as in my experience they all seem to jumble into my head at the same time.) In a contemporary novel the writer can assume that the reader will take things for granted, especially if the novel is set in a familiar Western culture. We live in a built world with houses, streets, taxicabs, aeroplanes, McDonalds, shops, televisions, the internet, shoes, breakfast cereal. In science fiction and fantasy you don’t necessarily have all that, though you may have some of it. (Will there be McDonalds on the Moon and Mars two centuries hence?)

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
Worldbuilding is fun because you can simply make stuff up – although, of course, it has to be logical and believable, or at least have verisimilitude. One of the (many) definitions of science fiction is that it should be believably extrapolated from science and physics as we understand them. But if your story is far enough in the future then there comes a point where all bets are off. In my Psi-Tech space opera books, I can launch a flight of fancy (literally) and as long as I make it seem real and logical, I Crossways.) And I can have my spaceships reach places in super-fast times by using a system of jump gates that make shortcuts through foldspace. The folding space concept isn’t new, of course, I’ve just added a twist to it. A twist that could change everything.
can introduce new concepts, or borrow existing tropes and play with them. I can create new worlds—worlds that have pink grass or are 98% covered in water, worlds that are dangerously exposed to their sun’s rays, or are just coming out of an ice-age. I can invent a space station which houses a million people and is run by a coalition of crimelords. (Hint: it’s called

Worldbuilding for historical fantasy is slightly different. You already have a world, fully formed, which you need to research thoroughly and then you need to add in your own world-bits while still keeping everything believable. My historical fantasies (The Rowankind Trilogy) is set in 1800 - 1802 in a Britain with magic, but the magic is subtle. At first it just looks like
Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
the straightforward historical 1800. Ross (Rossalinde) Tremayne is an unconventional heroine because she dresses as a man and captains her own privateer ship, but that’s not flying in the face of history. There have been female pirates before. Female everything before.

I found this little newspaper snippet about a cross-dressing female whose gender wasn’t discovered for nine years. That’s not bad going in the days before everyone had personal privacy.

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
The first Rowankind book, Winterwood, opens in Plymouth, a town strongly tied to the ocean. I’ve visited there several times, but don’t know it all that well. I was lucky enough to find a series of detailed historical maps on the web (which sadly have disappeared since my original research). They gave me my starting point with street names and an idea of what Sutton Pool looked like at the right point in history. Thanks to Pinterest, I also found a series of Victorian photographs and earlier illustrations showing buildings in Plymouth and especially around the Barbican and Sutton Pool that were old enough to have been there in 1800. (Plymouth took a lot of bomb damage in the Second World War, so Plymouth today doesn’t always map very well on to Plymouth in 1800 except around the water line.)
Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
Having established real, historical Plymouth I then introduced magic into the world. Oh, look over there, there are licensed witches who have their places of business near the market and offer small spells for sale as designated by the Mysterium – the government organisation that regulates magic. Then we discover that Ross is an unregistered witch, something she could hang for if they catch her. The magic unfolds from there.

There’s a race of beings, not quite human, though human enough that people have forgotten that skin that looks ash grey and has grain marks like polished wood is not normal. These are the rowankind, gentle, uncomplaining bond-servants inserted into most middle and upper class houses. Their free labour props up households and businesses, and since we’re thirty years into the Industrial Revolution, they also labour in the early manufacturies, and in peripheral jobs. No one remembers where they came from. They’ve always been there—or have they?

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
So far, so good. The magic blends in with early nineteenth century life as it really was. The rowankind support the industrial revolution. Nothing much is out of place—yet! As we get deeper into the book we discover more magic lurking in the background of this world. The forests are protected by the Green Man and the Forest Lady. And what’s all this talk about the Fae, surely they are just a legend? Then there’s Corwen, a wolf shapechanger who’s turned his back on his family because he thinks his family has turned its back on him.

It’s like building a wall. The bricks are the reality of history, while the mortar fills up the cracks with whatever you need to build your story. I’ve used real places and real history and built on them. The house where Corwen’s family lives is based on a country house close to where I live. When Corwen and Ross go to London in search of Corwen’s twin brother Freddie, I’ve used real streets and likely houses, plus Ross ship, the Heart of Oak anchors off Wapping Old Stairs on the Thames. These stairs were designed as access to the river in an increasingly built-up London. Wapping Old Stairs are next to a pub called
Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
Photographed for E. Arnot Robertson's book
Thames Portrait (Macmillan, 1937).
the Town of Ramsgate, which is still there today. It changed its name a few times, from the Red Cow, to Ramsgate Town and then to the Town of Ramsgate, but the exact dates aren’t recorded. I’ve had to take my chances with guessing what research can’t tell me. With research, you get as close as you can, but sometimes, you still have to guess what the most likely option is.

For instance I needed to know who made the red coats for the British army. I could find out who commissioned them, how much they cost, and even what the rake off for the commissioning officer was, but I couldn’t find out for sure who actually plied the needle and under what conditions. (This is before the army’s factory at Pimlico was opened and before all the information on Victorian East End sweatshops becomes relevant.) In the end I had to make a guess based on what I know of the history of the time and what seems likely. Sweatshop it is, then—only this one is run by goblins
But it’s not just getting the historical facts right.

What you have to remember is that whatever you put into your story is going to make changes to history as we know it. In my world Mad King George is still mad, but that madness has a magical root. Boulton and Watt are still manufacturing steam engines, but how will that change if the factory owners discover that the rowankind can manipulate wind and water? Lighting the cities with gas is only a few years away (London’s first street was lit in 1807), but why would anyone need to invent gas lighting if the streets can be lit by magic? If a ship under full sail can be propelled by a weather witch, why would anyone need to invent the steamship?

All interesting questions which need to be answered.

In Winterwood Ross and Corwen free the rowankind from their bondage. In Silverwolf they have to deal with the ramifications of their actions. And, yes, the third book, Rowankind, is already in my head. In the meantime I’m working on Nimbus, the third Psi-Tech novel, due out in October 2017.

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
Cover Art by Larry Rostant

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
Cover Art by Stephan Martiniere

About Jacey

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
Jacey Bedford is a British writer from Yorkshire with over thirty short stories and four (so far) novels to her credit. She lives behind a desk in an old stone house on the edge of the Pennines with her husband and a long-haired, black German Shepherd – that’s a dog not an actual shepherd from Germany. She’s the hon. sec. of Milford SF Writers’ Conference, held annually in North Wales.

Jacey’s books:
Empire of Dust (Psi-Tech series #1)
Crossways (Psi-Tech series #2)
Nimbus (Psi-Tech series #3) Due October 2017
Winterwood (Rowankind #1)
Silverwolf (Rowankind #2)

Follow Jacey:
Twitter: @jaceybedford


Empire of Dust
A Psi-Tech Novel 1
DAW, November 4, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 544 pages

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
Mega corporations, more powerful than any one planetary government, use their agents to race each other for resources across the galaxy. The agents, or psi-techs, are implanted with telepath technology. The psi-techs are bound to the mega-corps — that is, if they want to retain their sanity.

Cara Carlinni is an impossible thing – a runaway psi-tech. She knows Alphacorp can find its implant-augmented telepaths, anywhere, anytime, mind-to-mind. So even though it’s driving her half-crazy, she’s powered down and has been surviving on tranqs and willpower. So far, so good. It’s been almost a year, and her mind is still her own.

She’s on the run from Ari van Blaiden, a powerful executive, after discovering massive corruption in Alphacorp. Cara barely escapes his forces, yet again, on a backwater planet, and gets out just in time due to the help of straight-laced Ben Benjamin, a psi-tech Navigator for Alphacorp’s biggest company rival.

Cara and Ben struggle to survive a star-spanning manhunt, black-ops raids, and fleets of resource-hungry raiders. Betrayal follows betrayal, and friends become enemies. Suddenly the most important skill is knowing whom to trust.

A Psi-Tech Novel 2
DAW, August 4, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 544 pages

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
Ben Benjamin, psi-tech Navigator, and Cara Carlinni, Telepath, can never go home again. To the Trust and Alphacorp alike, they are wanted criminals. Murder, terrorism, armed insurrection, hijacking, grand theft, and kidnapping are just the top of a long list of charges they’ll face if they’re caught.

So they better not get caught.

These are the people who defied the megacorporations and saved a colony by selling the platinum mining rights and relocating ten thousand colonists somewhere safe, and they’re not saying where that is.

They take refuge on crimelord-run Crossways Station with the remnants of their team of renegade psi-techs and the Solar Wind, their state-of-the-art jump-drive ship. They’ve made a promise to find a missing space ark with thirty thousand settlers aboard. But to do that, Ben and Cara have to confront old enemies.

Alphacorp and the Trust: separately they are dangerous, united they are unstoppable. They want to silence Ben and Cara more than they want to upstage each other. If they have to get rid of Crossways in order to do it, they can live with that. In fact, this might be the excuse they’ve been looking for….


Rowankind 1
DAW, February 2, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
It’s 1800. Mad King George is on the British throne, and Bonaparte is hammering at the door. Magic is strictly controlled by the Mysterium, but despite severe penalties, not all magic users have registered.

Ross Tremayne, widowed, cross-dressing privateer captain and unregistered witch, likes her life on the high seas, accompanied by a boatload of swashbuckling pirates and the possessive ghost of her late husband, Will. When she pays a bitter deathbed visit to her long-estranged mother she inherits a half brother she didn’t know about and a task she doesn’t want: open the magical winterwood box and right an ancient wrong—if she can.

Enter Corwen. He’s handsome, sexy, clever, and capable, and Ross doesn’t really like him; neither does Will’s ghost. Can he be trusted? Whose side is he on?

Unable to chart a course to her future until she’s unraveled the mysteries of the past, she has to evade a ruthless government agent who fights magic with darker magic, torture, and murder; and brave the hitherto hidden Fae. Only then can she hope to open the magical winterwood box and right her ancestor’s wrongdoing. Unfortunately, success may prove fatal to both Ross and her new brother, and desastrous for the country. By righting a wrong, is Ross going to unleash a terrible evil? Is her enemy the real hero and Ross the villain?

Rowankind 2
DAW, January 3, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Guest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a World
A swashbuckling adventure following privateer Ross Tremayne introduces Jacey Bedford’s magical alternate history series, Rowankind

Britain, 1801. King George’s episodic sanity is almost as damaging as his madness. First Consul Napoleon is gathering his forces in France. The disease of democracy is spreading. The world is poised on the brink of the modern era, but the rowankind, long a source of free labor, have shaken off their bonds.

Some have returned to laru to find freedom with the Fae; others are trying to find a place in the world, looking for fair treatment under the law. The course of the industrial revolution may change forever.

Wild magic is on the rise. Creatures of legend are returning to the world: kelpies, pixies, trolls, hobs, and goblins. Ross and Corwen, she a summoner witch and he a wolf shapechanger, have freed the rowankind from bondage, but now they are caught in the midst of the conflict, while trying their best to avoid the attention of the Mysterium, the government organization which would see them hanged for their magic.

When an urgent letter calls Corwen back to Yorkshire, he and Ross become embroiled in dark magic, family secrets, and industrial treachery. London beckons. There they discover a missing twin, an unexpected friend, and an old enemy—called Walsingham.

Guest Post by Alan Baxter - Actually, I’m really not a psychopath.

Please welcome Alan Baxter to The Qwillery. Bound, the first novel in the Alex Caine series, was published in the US by Ragnarok Publications on December 20th.

Guest Post by Alan Baxter - Actually, I’m really not a psychopath.

Actually, I’m really not a psychopath.
Guest post by Alan Baxter.

I’d like to thank The Qwillery for hosting a guest post from me today. I thought maybe I’d write about how I’m totally not a psychopath. Bear with me, it really is related to writing.

It might seem like a strange thing to write about, but when you’re an author of dark fantasy and horror, you’d be surprised how often people expect you to be Hannibal Lecter, or worse. So many times I’ve had people say to me, “Wow, you’re so normal!” which is actually rather offensive, but I know they don’t mean it as an insult. Normal? How very dare you!

Or people say some variant of “You’re so much nicer than I thought you’d be.” It’s weird, because I bet people don’t go up to science-fiction writers and say, “Oh, you’re not an astronaut?” Or approach romance writers with a nervous, “Sorry, are you having sex right now?”

Yet people seem to regularly expect writers of horror and dark fiction to be nasty, grim, nihilistic people. We’re not! We’re lovely, I promise. (Well, most of us.) My pal, Kaaron Warren, one of Australia’s most amazing horror authors, has a theory. (Incidentally, you’ve read Kaaron’s work right? If not, go and read it now. No seriously, right now. This post will still be here when you get back.) But yes, Kaaron’s theory. She says that the nicest people in the world are plumbers, butchers and horror writers. They all spend so much time elbow deep in shit, blood and… well, horror, that they get it all out of their system. It’s not festering away in there. When you spend large parts of your life in those conditions, any time you’re not buried therein, you’re tip top. Happy to be out in the sunlight, among people who aren’t trying to eat your face.

I don’t know if it’s entirely true, but I think Kaaron is onto something. And it’s also why so many people like to read dark fiction. We go on a rollercoaster to experience the thrill of almost certain death – how can this train possibly stay on the rails, we’re all going to die! HAHAHA! Then it’s over and we’re all shaky and grinning at each other like loons, saying, “We survived!” Then we look shiftily left and right until someone says, “Let’s go again!” In the same way that a rollercoaster reminds you you’re alive by artificially putting you so close to death, so does dark fiction help people process the genuine shit in life by putting them so close to fictitious monsters in the safety of their armchair, reading a book.

And for those of us who write the dark stuff, while we may put ourselves into the shoes of villains and monsters, killers and demons, we only wear those shoes for a little while and, when we take them off again, we’ve benefited from the catharsis of the experience. It makes us even nicer people than we were before. So honestly, I’m not a psychopath. I just pretend to be one for a while here and there in the privacy of my own study. Hopefully the results are entertaining for anyone who subsequently reads my books.

Alan’s award-nominated dark fantasy thriller trilogy, The Alex Caine Series – Bound, Obsidian and Abduction – gets its US release with Ragnarok Publications, starting on December 20th with Bound. Books 2 and 3, Obsidian and Abduction, will be out in July 2017. Ask your local store and library to get copies in if they don’t have them.

Alex Caine 1
Ragnarok Publications, December 20, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 338 pages

Guest Post by Alan Baxter - Actually, I’m really not a psychopath.
Alex Caine is a martial artist fighting in illegal cage matches. His powerful secret weapon is an unnatural vision that allows him to see his opponents’ moves before they know their intentions themselves.

An enigmatic Englishman, Patrick Welby, approaches Alex after a fight and reveals, ‘I know your secret.’ Welby shows Alex how to unleash a breathtaking realm of magic and power, drawing him into a mind-bending adventure beyond his control.

And control is something Alex values above all else…

A cursed grimoire binds Alex to Uthentia, a chaotic Fey godling, who leads him towards chaos and murder, an urge Alex finds harder and harder to resist. Befriended by Silhouette, a monstrous Kin beauty, Alex sets out to recover the only things that will free him – the shards of the Darak. But that powerful stone also has the potential to unleash a catastrophe which could mean the end of the world as we know it.

About Alan

Guest Post by Alan Baxter - Actually, I’m really not a psychopath.
Photo by Nicole Wells
Alan Baxter is a British-Australian author who writes supernatural thrillers and urban horror, rides a motorcycle and loves his dog. He also teaches Kung Fu. He lives among dairy paddocks on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, with his wife, son, dog and cat. He’s the multi-award-winning author of several novels and over seventy short stories and novellas. So far. Read extracts from his novels, a novella and short stories at his website – – or find him on Twitter @AlanBaxter and Facebook, and feel free to tell him what you think. About anything.

Guest Blog by Jennifer Brozek - The Perfect Line in the Sand

Please welcome Jennifer Brozek to The Qwillery. The Last Days of Salton Academy was published in October 2016 by Ragnarok Publications.

Guest Blog by Jennifer Brozek - The Perfect Line in the Sand

The Perfect Line in the Sand
Jennifer Brozek

I used to wonder why anyone would like zombie books and movies. Zombies are too gooey, messy, and gory for my literary/visual tastes. I tend to avoid zombie-based entertainment, especially when they focus on the beginning when everyone is alive and being snacked upon like popcorn.

Later, it occurred to me that what makes the traditional zombie so attractive is the fact that they are a simple monster to understand and deal with. There is no black or white when it comes to a zombie. They are the perfect line in the sand. There is no trying to reason with them. There is no trying to see the other side. There are only three options:
  • You can kill the zombie.
  • You can escape the zombie.
  • You can become the zombie.

That’s it. Everything else is detail.

What attracts me to a zombie story are the survivors. Where zombies are a line in the sand, the survivors and their actions are nothing but shades of grey. The moral compass of society is mutable, malleable, and flexible in ways it could never be in a civilized world without an unrelenting monster.

It’s this conflict of the hard line monster clashing against the morals of a civilized society that intrigues me as a creator and consumer of media. Most of the time, when I read a zombie book or watch zombie TV or movies, I tend to skip over the gory parts and focus in on the character interactions. Agonize with the characters over the choices they are forced to make. Agree or disagree with them, then watch the fallout of their actions.

When I write about them, zombies are the everyman and the nobody rolled up in one. They are moving scenery that bleeds and kills. Just a bit more mobile and flexible. The best thing about them is that they can be killed. That option allows heroes to be heroic and survivors to survive.

Zombies are now part of our collective unconsciousness of fears. Like all of the classic monsters—vampires, werewolves, mummies, ghosts, sorcerers, cryptids—they will remain in the cycle, waxing and waning as the fickle mainstream audience allows. They will stay in the cycle because they bring something to the table that no other monster does: the hard line in the sand. Fast or slow, zombies cannot be, and will not be, reasoned with.

I don’t think I’d have it any other way.

The Last Days of Salton Academy
Ragnarok Publications, October 25, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 186 pages

Guest Blog by Jennifer Brozek - The Perfect Line in the Sand
“The Last Days of Salton Academy is a dark, twisted rollercoaster of a book. Jennifer Brozek knocks it out of the park.”
— Stephen Blackmoore, author of City of the Lost and Broken Souls

It's referred to as 'The Outbreak,' and it happened just over three months ago, casting the world (or at least this part of it) into a state of powerlessness and chaos. The Salton Academy has become a rare sanctuary for those few students who remained behind over fall break.

As winter approaches, cracks are revealed in the academy's foundations as it's discovered someone is stealing food, another is taking advantage of a captive audience, and yet others have banded together and are thinking about mutiny, even murder. One thing's for certain — a supply run must be made soon, or everyone will starve before winter's end.

Oh yes, and then there’s the matter of the headmaster’s son and his undead dog…

The Last Days of Salton Academy is a classic tale of horror in the spirit of Night of the Living Dead meets Lord of the Flies, featuring an ensemble cast and written by Hugo Award-nominated editor and award-winning author, Jennifer Brozek.

About Jennifer

Guest Blog by Jennifer Brozek - The Perfect Line in the Sand
Jennifer Brozek is a Hugo Award-nominated editor and an award-winning author. Winner of the Australian Shadows Award for best edited publication, Jennifer has edited fifteen anthologies with more on the way, including the acclaimed Chicks Dig Gaming and Shattered Shields anthologies. Author of Apocalypse Girl Dreaming, Industry Talk, the Karen Wilson Chronicles, and the Melissa Allen series, she has more than sixty published short stories, and is the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions.

Jennifer is a freelance author for numerous RPG companies. Winner of the Scribe, Origins, and ENnie awards, her contributions to RPG sourcebooks include Dragonlance, Colonial Gothic, Shadowrun, Serenity, Savage Worlds, and White Wolf SAS.

Jennifer is the author of the award-winning YA Battletech novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, and Shadowrun novella, Doc Wagon 19. She has also written for the AAA MMO Aion and the award-winning videogame, Shadowrun Returns. She is the author of The Last Days of Salton Academy, published by Ragnarok.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @jenniferbrozek

Guest Blog by Michael McClung - Character Counts: Introducing the Amra Thetys Series

Please welcome Michael McClung to The Qwillery. The Thief Who Wasn't There (Amra Thetys 4) was published on November 15, 2016 by Ragnarok Publications.

Guest Blog by Michael McClung - Character Counts: Introducing the Amra Thetys Series

Character Counts: Introducing the Amra Thetys Series

Sometimes an idea for a novel (seemingly, at least) jumps out of a writer's brain fully-formed, like Athena springing from Zeus's forehead. Other times, it can start with a single image, as John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman is said to have done:
John Fowles often found his storytelling skills inspired by mental images, scenes that evoke a sense of mystery and demand an explanation. In December 1966, he had one of these charged visions. “A woman stands at the end of a deserted quay and stares out to sea,” he later recalled. “This image rose in my mind one morning when I was still in bed half asleep.”
The creation of the Amra Thetys series bears more resemblance to Fowles's Sarah Woodruff than any Greek creation myth. I was sitting in my terrible motel room-turned apartment in Austin, Texas. It was 2001 or 2002, and I was trying to teach myself how to write fiction on an old Brother word processor. I don't remember if I was lying down or taking a shower or eating a sandwich over the sink (the apartment was small enough that I could almost have been doing all three at once), but I do remember that first image: A person standing high up in a broken tower, surveying a storm-lashed, deserted, ruined city. This person's back was to me, and at first I thought it was a young man (I knew somehow already that this person was a thief) Then I realized it was a woman who was not effeminate, either in looks or demeanor, and that she was starving.

From there the questions flowed – what was she doing there? If she was starving, why didn't she leave? What was she looking at? In time, all the questions led to answers which led to more questions, and soon enough I had a little fourteen thousand word novella, a couple of characters that I really enjoyed writing about, and the makings of a world that, while it wasn't very deep, was really quite broad. Soon enough after that, the novella had expanded into a novel (now titled The Thief Who Spat in Luck's Good Eye).

Now it's coming to the end of 2016, and there are four Amra Thetys books out there in the wild; people seem to like them okay, for the most part. The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids (first in the series, second written) won Mark Lawrence's SPFBO for 2015-2016, and Luck's Good Eye (then titled THAGOTH) was a Del Rey Digitial First Novel Competition winner in 2002.

Very little of the writing in the Amra Thetys series was ever done with a conscious eye toward the market, or trends. They're short books, for the fantasy genre – south of three hundred pages. They're first person point of view. They're much more sword & sorcery, and even noir/hardboiled detective, then they are epic fantasy, at least on the surface. They've even been accused of having steampunk elements.

None of these elements, needless to say, are calculated to give George R.R. Martin a run for his money. So why then, have they enjoyed the small but real success that they have? The author is probably the worst person to answer such a question, but I think that the appeal of the series is all in the characters.

The fact is, Amra and her companion Holgren aren't perfect people. Sure, they're smart and capable, and on balance you'd have to tip them into the bucket marked 'good guys' (though both would go screaming their protests, and try to claw their way out as soon as they landed). But what I like about them is their humanity – they both have parts, both physical and emotional, that have been broken, and have healed imperfectly, and it shows in their thoughts, their dialogue, their choices and actions. Paragons are widely admired, but seldom liked. Amra and Holgren are far from paragons.

I think that any fiction, be it written or filmed, has a much better chance of meaning something to readers if the characters who inhabit it are believable. That's why I've worked very hard to make sure that every character in the series – even the ones with walk-on parts – are constructed with something sturdier than cardboard. Many of them are pretty despicable, and at least a couple are definitely insane, but I made a point to try and make them interesting and believable.

My personal preference is for stories about people, rather than plot-driven tales. If you as a reader have the same taste, I hope you'll give the Amra Thetys series a try, and tell me what you thought.

The Thief Who Wasn't There
Amra Thetys 4
Ragnarok Publications, November 15, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 348 pages

Guest Blog by Michael McClung - Character Counts: Introducing the Amra Thetys Series
Bellarius, saved from utter destruction, is now plunged into vicious civil war. Amra has vanished, and while Holgren has a plan to find her and bring her back, his plan teeters between impossibility and insanity.

Before he can even implement it, Holgren will have to deal with three separate armies vying for control of Bellaria, all of which view him as either a threat, an inconvenience, or a potential tool.

Meanwhile, Holgren seeks to trap one of the monstrous rift-spawn — abominations born of the Telemarch's madness and power — and bend it to his will. Then, he intends to descend into the eleven hells to steal an ancient artifact of incredible power from the dire halls of the Black Library.

Oh, the things we do for love.

The Thief Who Wasn't There is the fourth volume in Michael McClung's Amra Thetys series.

About Michael

Guest Blog by Michael McClung - Character Counts: Introducing the Amra Thetys Series
Michael McClung was born and raised in Texas, but now kicks around Southeast Asia. He's been a soldier, a cook, a book store manager, and a bowling alley pin boy.

His first novel was published by Random House in 2003. He then self-published the first three books of the Amra Thetys series, the first being The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids, before signing them and the fourth book (The Thief Who Wasn't There) with Ragnarok.

In Michael's spare time, he enjoys kickball, brooding, and picking scabs.

Website  ~   Twitter @mcclungmike


The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids
Amra Thetys 1
Ragnarok Publications, September 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 298 pages

Guest Blog by Michael McClung - Character Counts: Introducing the Amra Thetys Series
"They butchered Corbin right out in the street. That’s how it really started. He was a rogue and a thief, of course. But then, so am I. So when he got himself hacked up in front of his house off Silk Street, I decided somebody had to be made to pay. They thought that they could just sweep him away like rubbish. They were wrong."

Amra Thetys is a thief with morals: she won't steal from anybody poorer than she is; of course, anybody that poor generally doesn't have much worth stealing.

When a fellow thief and good friend is killed in a deal gone wrong, Amra turns her back on burglary and goes after something far more precious: revenge. Revenge, however, might be hard to come by. A nightmare assortment of enemies, including an immortal assassin and a mad sorcerer, believe Amra is in possession of The Blade That Whispers Hate—the legendary, powerful artifact her friend was murdered for—and they'll do anything to take it from her.

Trouble is, Amra hasn't got the least clue where the Blade might be. She needs to find the Blade, and soon, or she'll be joining her unfortunate friend in a cold grave rather than avenging his death, and time is running short for the small, scarred thief.

The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids is the first volume in Michael McClung's Amra Thetys series.

See Melanie's Review here.

The Thief Who Spat in Luck's Good Eye
Amra Thetys 2
Ragnarok Publications, June 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 286 pages

Guest Blog by Michael McClung - Character Counts: Introducing the Amra Thetys Series
Amra Thetys is a thief with morals: she won't steal from anybody poorer than she is; of course, anybody that poor generally doesn't have much worth stealing.

Holgren is a mage with a distaste for magic and a soul bartered away to dark powers. Together, they embark on a quest for the fabled city of Thagoth, where the secret of immortality is rumored to be hidden.

Yet, Amra and Holgren aren’t the only ones after the secret. Many others seek to utilize the hidden magic for their own twisted ends. Waiting in the ruined city with dark plans for the world are the twin gods Tha-Agoth and Athagos, a brother and sister whose illicit passion is as destructive and vengeful as they are.

Now, as potent sorceries clash in a violent struggle for dominion over all that lives, Amra and Holgren face a choice between the unthinkable and the unbearable—with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

The Thief Who Spat in Luck's Good Eye is the second volume in Michael McClung's Amra Thetys series.

See Melanie's Review here.

The Thief Who Knocked on Sorrow's Gate
Amra Thetys 3
Ragnarok Publications, June 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 250 pages

Guest Blog by Michael McClung - Character Counts: Introducing the Amra Thetys Series
After surviving Thagoth and returning rich to Lucernis, Amra and Holgren have settled down to a very comfortable, if decidedly unexciting life—until the night Amra receives an old enemy's head in a box. A longstanding debt calls her back home to Bellarius, the scene of many childhood horrors she would much rather forget about.

Yet, as bad as memories of the past might be, present-day Bellarius is rapidly becoming worse, for the Eightfold Goddess has not forgotten about Amra, and another of Her Blades, the Knife that Parts the Night, has been discovered and threatens to tear the very fabric of reality apart.

All that stands in the way of utter destruction is one small, scarred thief and her mage companion.

The Thief Who Knocked on Sorrow's Gate is the third volume in Michael McClung's Amra Thetys series.

See Melanie's Review here.

Guest Blog by Elizabeth Bonesteel, author of the Central Corps series

Please welcome Elizabeth Bonesteel to The Qwillery. Remnants of Trust (A Central Corps Novel 2)
was published on November 8th by Harper Voyager.

Guest Blog by Elizabeth Bonesteel, author of the Central Corps series

          Star Trek premiered in 1966 when I was two, less than three years after John Kennedy was assassinated, less than four years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, a short 21 years after the end of World War II. Right in the thick of the Vietnam War. The space race was a big deal, and was largely motivated by the Cold War; but Star Trek suggested that it might not be war that we got out of it. That maybe, just maybe, instead of war and threats, we could have a positive future.
          For me, largely oblivious to world politics, Star Trek was space stories. It shared our television with Mercury news and Apollo launches, fiction and reality taking turns. I grew up with the assumption that the Apollo program would someday give us warp drive and the starship Enterprise. All of the civil unrest would give us women and men working together, nationality and skin color dividing no one. Star Trek was fiction, but to Small Liz, it showed a universe that seemed perfectly attainable.
          It’s much easier to be optimistic when you’re a kid, and you blithely believe your parents will fix any wrong that enters your life. Of course we will have a Star Trek future, because we will do the Right Things.
          Not that the show was an egalitarian utopia. Science fiction and its predictions of the future were largely the purview of 1960s men, and they could only get so far on that point. But the existence of someone like Uhura—not just a bridge officer, but a kickass bridge officer who actually once got to slug Sulu (although be fair it was Mirror Universe Sulu and so not quite the same thing, but damn, this is not a woman you want to cross)—was massive, mostly because she wasn’t treated, on the show, as anything unusual. Of course women would be officers. Of course we’d carry weapons and know how to fight and defend ourselves. Logic. For a show that frequently extolled the virtues of human sentiment, it was often logical in exactly the right ways.
          Some of my favorite episodes as a kid were the ones that don’t hold up so well when viewed through an adult lens. “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” is about the most unsubtle diatribe against racism you could possibly compose, but as a child I found its anger and sense of futility genuinely affecting. It’s a frequent trick of the show that has continued through all of its iterations: use an alien species to represent present-day Us in order to both make the point and suggest that Future Us will have been able to fix our mistakes. Hopelessness for today, but maybe some hope for tomorrow.
          “The Alternative Factor” doesn’t make a lick of sense if you think about it, but that was another I loved as a kid. The existential horror of being trapped with an insane version of yourself for eternity—wow. Fear of death? Feh. Everlasting life with yourself? Nightmares. It’s an oddly-paced, substantially less horrific version of “I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream.” It evokes C.S. Lewis’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader and the island where dreams come true. It’s the original Grimm Fairy Tale, where the wicked stepmother dances in red-hot shoes until she drops dead.
          Okay, I was a weird kid.
          “The Galileo Seven” always scared me at the end, even when I knew they would be beamed out in time. (And wasn’t Spock’s characterization odd in that one? It always seemed like if they wanted to inject random conflict in an episode, they’d have Spock go extra-Vulcan and piss everybody off.) And to this day I leave the room when Decker dies in “The Doomsday Machine,” which is still, even by modern standards, one of the loveliest hours of television ever produced (and violates one of the show’s usual rules of making the threatening aliens at least partially sympathetic).
          And of course there were the humorous episodes, intentional and unintentional. “Spock’s Brain” is a brilliant piece of sexist camp, complete with what’s actually quite a nice performance from Marj Dusay (later an accomplished soap opera actress). And there were tribbles and hordes of beautiful twin androids, and oh, the cringing when I watch “I, Mudd” today, but it still makes me laugh.
          Even the grimmest of Star Trek episodes had shades of optimism. This is still true (although lately they’ve been pushing it, and seriously, people, stop blowing up my Enterprise), and it is, in some ways, cheating. It shows us the great distance we have yet to travel without giving us any clues about how we’re supposed to get there. But sometimes, when the world is unsettled, when you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow…sometimes, a little blind optimism is exactly what you need.

Remnants of Trust
A Central Corps Novel 2
Harper Voyager, November 8, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 528 pages

Guest Blog by Elizabeth Bonesteel, author of the Central Corps series
In this follow-up to the acclaimed military science fiction thriller The Cold Between, a young soldier finds herself caught in the crosshairs of a deadly conspiracy in deep space.

Six weeks ago, Commander Elena Shaw and Captain Greg Foster were court-martialed for their role in an event Central Gov denies ever happened. Yet instead of a dishonorable discharge or time in a military prison, Shaw and Foster and are now back together on Galileo. As punishment, they’ve been assigned to patrol the nearly empty space of the Third Sector.

But their mundane mission quickly turns treacherous when the Galileo picks up a distress call: Exeter, a sister ship, is under attack from raiders. A PSI generation ship—the same one that recently broke off negotiations with Foster—is also in the sector and joins in the desperate battle that leaves ninety-seven of Exeter’s crew dead.

An investigation of the disaster points to sabotage. And Exeter is only the beginning. When the PSI ship and Galileo suffer their own "accidents," it becomes clear that someone is willing to set off a war in the Third Sector to keep their secrets, and the clues point to the highest echelons of power . . . and deep into Shaw’s past.


The Cold Between
A Central Corps Novel 1
Harper Voyager, March 8, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 528 pages

Guest Blog by Elizabeth Bonesteel, author of the Central Corps series
Deep in the stars, a young officer and her lover are plunged into a murder mystery and a deadly conspiracy in this first entry in a stellar military science-fiction series in the tradition of Lois McMaster Bujold.

When her crewmate, Danny, is murdered on the colony of Volhynia, Central Corps chief engineer, Commander Elena Shaw, is shocked to learn the main suspect is her lover, Treiko Zajec. She knows Trey is innocent—he was with her when Danny was killed. So who is the real killer and why are the cops framing an innocent man?

Retracing Danny’s last hours, they discover that his death may be tied to a mystery from the past: the explosion of a Central Corps starship at a wormhole near Volhynia. For twenty-five years, the Central Gov has been lying about the tragedy, even willing to go to war with the outlaw PSI to protect their secrets.

With the authorities closing in, Elena and Trey head to the wormhole, certain they’ll find answers on the other side. But the truth that awaits them is far more terrifying than they ever imagined . . . a conspiracy deep within Central Gov that threatens all of human civilization throughout the inhabited reaches of the galaxy—and beyond.

About Elizabeth

Guest Blog by Elizabeth Bonesteel, author of the Central Corps series
Elizabeth Bonesteel began making up stories at the age of five, in an attempt to battle insomnia. Thanks to a family connection to the space program, she has been reading science fiction since she was a child. She currently works as a software engineer and lives in central Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and various cats.

Website  ~  Twitter @liz_monster  ~  Facebook

Guest Blog by Jack Heckel - Math by Jack Heckel: Fun + Fantasy = Funtasy

Please welcome Jack Heckel to The Qwillery. The Dark Lord was published on November 1st by Harper Voyager Impulse. Check out #darklordchat on Twitter today!

Guest Blog by Jack Heckel - Math by Jack Heckel: Fun + Fantasy = Funtasy

Math by Jack Heckel: Fun + Fantasy = Funtasy

Jack Heckel is the penname for the writing team of John Peck and Harry Heckel, two friends who were college roommates, who have now become novelists. Here’s how we started.

One day, John was telling Harry about an idea that kept rattling around in his head about Prince Charming, and what would happen if he never managed to save the princess or slay the dragon. Think of the pathos of this hero who never gets to be a hero!

However, like a two-man game of telephone, Harry’s brain transformed the concept from a tragedy into a comedy. How funny would it be to tell the story of a Prince Charming who was an abject failure? How insufferable would a man be if he had always imagined himself destined to be a great hero? What about the princess? Wouldn’t she be a little miffed to miss out on her “prince charming” moment?

So, in our Charming Tales novels, humor became the platform to explore the characters and worlds of fairytale and add depth to the two-dimensional characters of the original stories. As an added bonus, we had a blast doing it. When you can get the seven dwarves to argue about the proper way to pluralize the word “dwarf,” or the three bears to wonder whether an “irony” would be delicious, it’s a good time.

So, that was how we began, but when it came time to write a new series, we turned to another of our loves: epic fantasy. How would we have fun with a genre that can be quite serious…even seriously profound:
It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass. - J. R. R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
The answer was, of course, to poke a little gentle fun at the tropes. So, drawing inspiration from the great fantasy satirist, Terry Pratchett, as well as other authors such as Robert Asprin and William Goldman, we set out in The Dark Lord to explore those deep thoughts and ideas so beloved by fantasy authors — what is the nature of good and evil, how do oppressors justify oppressing the oppressed, why are elves so damn good looking — and to do so with tongue firmly planted in cheek. That’s why we chose to write about a “dark lord” named Avery who, when not tyrannizing worlds, lives in a dorm room in the worst housing on Mysterium University’s campus. Plus, we enjoyed mixing in our university experiences.

Fantasy novels can be profound, but they can also be profoundly funny. It brings to mind a favorite quote, which also happens to be one of Terry Pratchett’s favorite quotes, from G. K. Chesterton, another serious humorist, “Humor can get in under the door while seriousness is still fumbling at the handle.”

Did we mention that we spent a year with a broken door knob in our dorm room and were too scared of getting billed to call maintenance?

In The Dark Lord, we force our protagonist, Avery Stewart, to confront fantasy tropes. He has to delve into dungeons, survive gelatinous polygons and endure debates about marching order on his quest for a magical artifact to defeat the new Dark Queen. More importantly, he has to hope that his fellow adventurers don’t discover that he was the Dark Lord. Oh, and if he messes up, not only might the world of Trelari be destroyed, but he definitely won’t get out of grad school.

If mixing fun and fantasy sounds enjoyable to you, please pick up The Dark Lord. We had a great time writing it and we’d love to share. You can also find us at

The Dark Lord
Harper Voyager Impulse, November 1, 2016
eBook, 464 pages

Guest Blog by Jack Heckel - Math by Jack Heckel: Fun + Fantasy = Funtasy
In this hilarious parody of epic fantasy, a young man travels into a dark and magical world, where dwarves, elves, and sorcerers dwell, to restore the balance between good and evil

After spending years as an undercover, evil wizard in the enchanted world of Trelari, Avery hangs up the cloak he wore as the Dark Lord and returns to his studies at Mysterium University.

On the day of his homecoming, Avery drunkenly confides in a beautiful stranger, telling her everything about his travels. When Avery awakens, hungover and confused, he discovers that his worst nightmare has come true: the mysterious girl has gone to Trelari to rule as a Dark Queen.

Avery must travel back to the bewitched land and liberate the magical creatures . . . but in order to do so, he has to join forces with the very people who fought him as the Dark Lord.

About Jack

Jack Heckel’s life is an open book. Actually, it’s the book you are in all hope holding right now (and if you are not holding it, he would like to tell you it can be purchased from any of your finest purveyors of the written word). He is the author of the Charming Tales series and The Dark Lord. Beyond that, Jack aspires to be either a witty, urbane, world traveler who lives on his vintage yacht, The Clever Double Entendre, or a geographically illiterate professor of literature who spends his non-writing time restoring an 18th century lighthouse off a remote part of the Vermont coastline. More than anything, Jack lives for his readers.


Also by Jack Heckel

A Fairy-Tale Ending
Charming Tales Volumes 1 and 2
Harper Voyager Impulse August 25, 2015
     eBook, 496 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, October 13, 2015
     Mass Market Paperback, 496 pages

Guest Blog by Jack Heckel - Math by Jack Heckel: Fun + Fantasy = Funtasy
Collected for the first time, A Fairy-tale Ending comprises two volumes of Jack Heckel's Charming Tales: Once Upon a Rhyme and Happily Never After

Prince Charming had one destiny: to slay the dragon and save the princess. Both have been achieved, except there's a problem: Charming had nothing to do with either. A farmer named Will Pickett succeeded where royalty had failed—and this simply will not stand.

Thus begins an epic adventure that has Prince Charming and Will Pickett vying with each other for the throne by challenging trolls, outwitting scoundrels, and facing all manner of fairy-tale creatures. All the while a dark sorcery envelops Castle White, and Will's sister Liz and her friend Lady Rapunzel uncover a threat to the kingdom. The fate of Royaume hangs in the balance as Charming tries to salvage his reputation, and the clock is ticking…

Also available as individual eBooks:
Guest Blog by Jack Heckel - Math by Jack Heckel: Fun + Fantasy = FuntasyGuest Blog by Jack Heckel - Math by Jack Heckel: Fun + Fantasy = Funtasy

The Pitchfork of Destiny
Charming Tales Volume 3
Harper Voyager Impulse April 5, 2016
     eBook, 400 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse May 17, 2016
     Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages

Guest Blog by Jack Heckel - Math by Jack Heckel: Fun + Fantasy = Funtasy
Life in the Kingdom of Royaume has been happily ever for King William Pickett and his fiancée, Lady Rapunzel. But when Volthraxus, the Great Dragon of the North, returns looking for the love of his life, the Great Wyrm of the South, it becomes clear that some fairy tales never end.

After Volthraxus discovers his love was slain by the newly crowned king, he seeks his revenge by kidnapping Rapunzel. Once again, Will teams up with Edward Charming, the only man in all the kingdom with the skill, ego, and dashing good looks to fight a dragon. Our heroes’ fates depend on finding a weapon re-forged in dragon blood—the Pitchfork of Destiny.

But as the two set off after the dragon, Charming’s bride, Lady Elizabeth, falls into the clutches of a mysterious sorcerer known as the Dracomancer, who has his own plans for Royaume.

Guest blog by Gregory A. Wilson - Arcs Within Arcs

Please welcome Gregory A. Wilson to The Qwillery. Grayshade, the 1st novel in The Gray Assassin Trilogy, was published in September by The Ed Greenwood Group.

Guest blog by Gregory A. Wilson - Arcs Within Arcs

Arcs Within Arcs
          Authors like to talk about development arcs in their fiction: character arcs, plot arcs, thematic arcs. Everyone and everything seems to be perpetually arc-ing over the course of a given text, and to a certain extent this is a reasonable approximation of what we do in our fiction. On its most basic level, a plot arc in a novel represents a slow build, introducing the major characters and conflicts which will be at the center of the book, building to a crescendo in tension and action towards the late middle (or early end?) of the curve, and coming down on the other side as the plot finishes with the denouement of the tale. Where the curve reaches its apex, and how much the other end smoothly descends, varies widely, and of course in some cases the “curve” looks more like a “cliff”...with an ending that punches you in the gut rather than letting you down easily.
          But even the non-standard versions of this model assume a novel structure and length, and trying to overlay it onto shorter or longer works is problematic, to say the least. My first real professional short story was pulled from my novel (then manuscript) Grayshade, and I approached it much the way I did a novel—long and, if not exactly languid, not really punchy either. A short story was, I assumed, basically just a mini-novel...very, very mini.
          As you might expect, this approach was utterly wrong, for several reasons. First of all, trying to condense a set of large concepts and narrative beats into a miniature frame had about the same effect as squeezing an elephant into a Smart car—an overcompressed set of ideas inside a structure not designed to hold them. It wasn’t long enough to accommodate the ideas I was presenting (even when it ballooned to mid-novelette length), and so felt frustratingly truncated; but because it wasn’t really a novel either, it felt sort of incomplete at the same time. I couldn’t just shrink down a large arc to small size; I needed to write an entirely new arc designed for the strengths for the form. Short stories are powerful precisely because of their relative brevity; they are highly distilled and focused works generally exploring only one or two major ideas with a relatively limited number of characters, and the “arc” is reduced, sometimes with a faster build and shorter denouement, and sometimes with no denouement at all. How powerful would Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” be without the climactic attack as the final act of the story? Over time I’ve found writing these limited arcs to be extremely enjoyable—I can explore an idea without committing to months of research and development on it, and can do so while packing an intense punch.
          On the other end of the spectrum is the arc of the series, which presents an entirely different problem. Here you have multiple books (often part of that speculative fiction Holy Grail, the trilogy) making up a much larger story. It’s true that over time the increasing length of fantasy novels have stretched the limits of what a reader will accept in a single book; most hardly blink at two hundred thousand word epics now, and between eighty and a hundred thousand words has become (more or less, and always with notable exceptions) the speculative fiction genre minimum. But still, when a tale deals with numerous city-states, nations, continents, planets, and universes, and is headed towards 250K with no sign of slowing down, multiple books are called for.
          In sitting down to write The Gray Assassin Trilogy, I assumed I could use the novel form broadened out, and again I was wrong. For one thing, the individual book was going to suffer; I couldn’t just cut off the tale one third of the way through when I reached the end of Book One, Grayshade, especially when the sequel wasn’t going to be out for another year (well, I could, but I would hear about it from editors and readers). The book itself would be incomplete and unsatisfying, and the series would be hanging in limbo. And a year later, where would my readers be—waiting around for the second act, or wandering off to other tales that were already finished? I knew what I would do as a reader. Second, what would happen to the sequels? We already complain about the “middle book / movie / game syndrome”; what about a second book which starts in the middle of the action and doesn’t conclude anything in the end? Not a pretty picture.
          The answer, then, was to build for the new form: an arc within an arc. Each book has its own build, climax, and (whether more or less gradual) denouement, but is also building the broader story. Thus the events of Grayshade are somewhat self-contained, but also propel its characters into Book Two, Renegade; that book’s arc, in turn, will both resolve some of the questions and conflicts it raises on its own while also setting up and advancing the tale into the third and final act of the series, due out in 2018. The overall effect, I hope, is to both satisfy readers in the short term and keep them excited about the long term story, doing so within a structure which is large enough to accommodate exactly these sorts of rises and falls.
          For the five, eight, and ten (or more!) book series writers: you have my admiration, respect, and assurance that I don’t expect to join you in that writing any time soon...I’ve got enough on my plate with three-into-one arc structures! But if I ever do try my hand at a longer series, the first step is going to be to study the characteristics and strengths of the form. Until then, I’m going to keep my elephants and my Smart cars separate. Everyone ends up a lot happier that way.

The Gray Assassin Trilogy 1
Stormtalons 2
The Ed Greenwood Group, September 30, 2016

Guest blog by Gregory A. Wilson - Arcs Within Arcs
For ten years the assassin Grayshade has eliminated threats to the Order of Argoth, the Just God. The Acolytes of Argoth are silent and lethal enforcers of the Order’s will within the sprawling city of Cohrelle, whose own officials must quietly bow to the Order’s authority while publicly distancing themselves from its actions.

Grayshade is the supreme executor of the Order’s edicts, its best trained and most highly respected agent. But when a mission doesn’t go as planned, Grayshade starts to question the authority and motives of his superiors; and as he investigates, he soon finds himself the target of the very Order he once served without question. Now it will take all of Grayshade’s skill, intuition, and cunning to find the answers he seeks…if he can stay alive.

Read Qwill's Review here.

About Gregory

Guest blog by Gregory A. Wilson - Arcs Within Arcs
Gregory A. Wilson is Professor of English at St. John’s University in New York City, where he teaches creative writing and fantasy fiction along with various other courses in literature. His first academic book was published by Clemson University Press in 2007; on the creative side, he has won an award for a national playwriting contest, and his first novel, a work of fantasy entitled The Third Sign, was published by Gale Cengage in the summer of 2009. His second novel, Icarus, will be published as a graphic novel by Silence in the Library Publishing in 2016, and he has just signed a three book deal with The Ed Greenwood Group, which will be publishing his Gray Assassin Trilogy beginning with his third novel, Grayshade, in 2016. He has short stories out in various anthologies, including Time Traveled Tales from Silence in the Library, When The Villain Comes Home, edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy, and Triumph Over Tragedy, alongside authors like Robert Silverberg and Marion Zimmer Bradley, and he has had three articles published in the SFWA Bulletin.

He is a regular panelist at conferences across the country and is a member of the Gen Con Writers’ Symposium, the Origins Library, Codex, Backspace, and several other author groups on and offline. On other related fronts, he did character work and flavor text for the hit fantasy card game Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, and along with fellow speculative fiction author Brad Beaulieu is the co-host of the critically-acclaimed podcast Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans, a show which discusses (and interviews the creators and illustrators of) speculative fiction of all sorts and types. He lives with his wife Clea and daughter Senavene–named at his wife’s urging for a character in The Third Sign, for which his daughter seems to have forgiven him–in Riverdale, NY.

Website  ~  Twitter @gregoryawilson  ~ Speculate!

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - Guest Blog by Gail Z. Martin

Please welcome Gail Z. Martin to The Qwillery as part of the Days of the Dead Blog Tour!

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - Guest Blog by Gail Z. Martin

Mining History

by Gail Z. Martin

How can you ever get writers' block when there's history? History is the ultimate reality show. It's the best gossip in the world.

Once you get past the pallid caricatures of historical figures presented in high school textbooks, you realize that the famed forebears who forged history were flawed, broken, selfish, pig-headed, inspired, visionary, brilliant, horny, bigoted, exceptional, obsessive hot messes, and that makes them fascinating.

Need a role model for your character? Ideas for political schemes? Plans to take over the world? History's got them all. Anything you can dream up has been done, and history is ready to dish the scoop and tell you all about the winners and the losers. Take something that happened in history, twist it a little, add magic or monsters, move it to a different geographic area, shift a pivotal outcome--and you've got the basis for a whole new series.

A caveat--history is often re-written by the winners, or they make certain their version of accounts survive and dominate. So it's key to also look for the holes in the narrative, because that's where people without power have been consciously erased by those who want to own and control the story. Ever wonder why the narratives we grew up with had few if any women, people of color, LGBT people? It's because their contributions were intentionally excised from the main narrative. Yet they definitely existed and did amazing things--and you can find this 'hidden history' through journals, letters and personal accounts.

Mining history has never been easier, thanks to the wealth of digitized records museums, archivists and individuals are bringing online on a daily basis--much of which is free to access. Photographs, letters, official documents, the census, maps, out of print books, newspaper articles--it's all there, and it's a wonder to behold. So many ideas in those yellowed pages!

When I get stymied by a plot point, I research. It might be Googling random ideas and seeing where it leads me, or following links in Wikipedia, or watching something on the History Channel. Inevitably, I find the perfect elements that I didn't even know I was looking for. It's magic--and so addictive. Sometimes I think writers write as an excuse to research. Time can get away from you so easily!

Then again, I was a history geek even before I became a writer. I'd still love history if I didn't write, but since I do, I find it to be my killer app, the Swiss Army knife of writing tools. You'll never run dry of ideas so long as you've got history!

My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for my stories and for books by author friends of mine. You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Get all the details about my Days of the Dead blog tour here:

Let me give a shout-out for #HoldOnToTheLight--100+ Sci-Fi/Fantasy authors blogging about their personal struggles with depression, PTSD, anxiety, suicide and self-harm, candid posts by some of your favorite authors on how mental health issues have impacted their lives and books. Read the stories, share the stories, change a life. Find out more at

Book swag is the new Trick-or-Treat! All of my guest blog posts have links to free excerpts—grab them all!

Trick Or Treat with excerpt from Bad Memories, one of my Deadly Curiosities story

Read free excerpt from Among the Shoals Forever, A Deadly Curiosities short story

Enjoy this excerpt from my novel The Summoner

Perfect for Halloween! Free excerpt from Michael Ventrella’s BLOODSUCKERS: A VAMPIRE RUNS FOR PRESIDENT:

Use your free Audible trial to get my books! Ice Forged Audible

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - Guest Blog by Gail Z. Martin

About Gail

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - Guest Blog by Gail Z. Martin
Gail Z. Martin is the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC (Solaris Books); Shadow and Flame the fourth and final book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books); The Shadowed Path (Solaris Books) and Iron and Blood a new Steampunk series (Solaris Books) co-authored with Larry N. Martin. A brand new epic fantasy series debuts from Solaris Books in 2017.

She is also author of Ice Forged, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen); The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities. Gail writes three ebook series: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures and The Blaine McFadden Adventures. The Storm and Fury Adventures, steampunk stories set in the Iron & Blood world, are co-authored with Larry N. Martin.

Find her at, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on, at blog and, on Goodreads and free excerpts on Wattpad

Deadly Curiosities 2
Solaris, December 29, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - Guest Blog by Gail Z. Martin
The thrilling follow up to the urban fantasy series set in Charleston, South Carolina.

Someone very powerful is trying to destroy Sorren and everyone he cares about. That puts Cassidy, Teag and Trifles and Folly in the cross-hairs, against an unknown enemy with strong magic and significant resources. Sorren has spent centuries shutting down the plans of powerful immortals, dark warlocks and supernatural creatures, and now he’s got to figure out which of those many enemies is out to get him before they pick off his friends one by one and come after him to finish an immortal vendetta.

Shadow and Flame
The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga 4
Orbit, March 22, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 672 pages

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - Guest Blog by Gail Z. Martin
From Gail Z. Martin, one of the most exciting writers of fantasy adventure, comes the fourth and final novel in the epic Ascendant Kingdoms Saga.

Blaine McFadden and his allies have brought magic back under mortal command and begun to restore order to the beleaguered kingdom of Donderath. Now, new perils and old enemies gather for a final reckoning. Foreign invaders, a legendary dark mage and vengeful immortals fight Blaine's battered forces for control of the continent, and Blaine's weary army is the only thing standing between a kingdom struggling to rise from the ashes and a descent into fury and darkness.

The Shadowed Path
A Jonmarc Vahanian Collection
Solaris, June 14, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - Guest Blog by Gail Z. Martin
These are the untold tales of Jonmarc Vahanian, hero of Gail Z. Martin’s best-selling Chronicles of the Necromancer series.

Jonmarc Vahanian was just a blacksmith’s son in a small fishing village before raiders killed his family. Wounded and left for dead in the attack, Jonmarc tries to rebuild his life. But when a dangerous bargain with a shadowy stranger goes wrong, Jonmarc finds himself on the run, with nothing ahead but vengeance, and nothing behind him but blood.

Soldier. Fight slave. Smuggler. Warrior. Brigand lord. If you’ve met Jonmarc Vahanian in the Chronicles of the Necromancer and Fallen Kings Cycle books, you don’t really know him until you walk in his footsteps. This is the first segment of his journey.

Iron & Blood
A Jake Desmet Adventure 1
Solaris, July 7, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - Guest Blog by Gail Z. Martin
Adventure in New Pittsburgh...

New Pittsburgh, 1898 – a crucible of invention and intrigue. Born from the ashes of devastating fire, flood and earthquake, the city is ruled by the shadow government of The Oligarchy. In the swarming streets, people of a hundred nations drudge to feed the engines of progress, while in the abandoned tunnels beneath the city, supernatural creatures hide from the light, emerging only to feed.

Jake Desmet and Rick Brand travel the world to secure treasures and unusual items for the collections of wealthy patrons, accompanied by Jake’s cousin, Veronique LeClerque. But when their latest commission leads to Jake’s father’s murder, the three friends are drawn into a conspiracy where dark magic, industrial sabotage and the monsters that prey on the night will ultimately threaten not just New Pittsburgh, but the whole world.

Guest Blog by Cassandra Rose Clarke!Guest Blog by Henry V. O'Neil - Give Yourself Some Room: Some tips for writing a book seriesGuest Blog by Jacey Bedford - Building Half a WorldGuest Post by Alan Baxter - Actually, I’m really not a psychopath.Guest Blog by Jennifer Brozek - The Perfect Line in the SandGuest Blog by Michael McClung - Character Counts: Introducing the Amra Thetys SeriesGuest Blog by Elizabeth Bonesteel, author of the Central Corps seriesGuest Blog by Jack Heckel - Math by Jack Heckel: Fun + Fantasy = FuntasyGuest blog by Gregory A. Wilson - Arcs Within ArcsDays of the Dead Blog Tour - Guest Blog by Gail Z. Martin

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?