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With my latest e-book out, this is where I appeal to all of you friends to show a little love for Prisoners of the Wailing Tower.

Have you read it? A review on Goodreads of Amazon would be great. Or, just tell your friends who also read high fantasy.

Do you have a blog? I would love a chance to visit and spread the word.

Are you interested but want to know more? I’m always happy to answer reader questions.

Help a lady out?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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The latest Minstrels of Skaythe novella!

At long last, Prisoners of the Wailing Tower is up for sale. Check it out! Want a different format? Try here.


Prisoners of the Wailing Tower

Alemin only wanted to help an innocent. Instead, he was caught by the dreaded hunter-guards. Now he finds himself flung into the Larder, where the very walls are steeped in nightmares and his fellow inmates are vicious killers. Worse, Warden Ar-Lizelle seems intent on tracking down his friends, the Minstrels, who have devoted their lives to undermining Skaythe’s tyrannical regime.

On the outside, the renegade mage Lorrah receives a premonition of Alemin’s plight. She’s desperate to save a man she cares for, but the Larder is commanded by someone she has hated for years and can’t bear to face: her cruel sister, Ar-Lizelle. Luckily, Lorrah is not alone. She has help from the fierce women warriors of Badger Squad. Yet even their combined forces might not be enough to get Alemin free from Dar-Gothull’s Larder!

Many thanks to anyone who would be inclined to share the news, post a review, and otherwise shine some light.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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ISBN 978-1-7339227-8-4

Yes, the latest e-book in my Minstrels of Skaythe series is now available for pre-order! I’m really excited to bring you this installment. Final tweaks are still going on, but the e-book will be out on November 20th.

All this time, it seemed like the Minstrels were getting away with their stealthy resistance. But even a light-bearing mage’s luck can run out…


Prisoners of the Wailing Tower

Alemin only wanted to help an innocent. Instead, he was caught by the dreaded hunter-guards. Now he finds himself flung into the Larder, where the very walls are steeped in nightmares and his fellow inmates are vicious killers. Worse, Warden Ar-Lizelle seems intent on tracking down his friends, the Minstrels, who have devoted their lives to undermining Skaythe’s tyrannical regime.

On the outside, the renegade mage Lorrah receives a premonition of Alemin’s plight. She’s desperate to save a man she cares for, but the Larder is commanded by someone she has hated for years and can’t bear to face: her cruel sister, Ar-Lizelle. Luckily, Lorrah is not alone. She has help from the fierce women warriors of Badger Squad. Yet even their combined forces might not be enough to get Alemin free from Dar-Gothull’s Larder!

What are you waiting for? Pre-order now for just 4.99 from Amazon or Books2Read.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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You know what they say… Two steps forward, one step back? The Renegade Count is feeling a bit like that. I work on some stuff, then I think of something I hadn’t before. After which, I have to go back and account for whatever it is.

The knot I’m currently picking at is about revealing too much of Yamaya’s background, too soon. Not that I want to deceive the readers in an unfair way, but holding back a little can be a very effective technique. Give them a few pieces of information and let them try to figure it out before I come out with it. If they guessed right, they’ll be pleased with themselves. If they guessed wrong, they’ll be delightfully surprised.

In her initial POV section, Yamaya told major pieces of her back story right away. My task of the moment is to snip some of that out and work it into a conversation with Berisan slightly later in the story. I’ve always found conversations a really effective means of revealing character while also giving back story. So I need to avoid tipping my hand too soon.

That’s the approach I’ll be taking tonight — as soon as I finish this blog!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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The Renegade Count is up to 2,000 words after three or so days. That’s great progress, the plot has lots of energy, and the characters are coming to life. I’m really happy with it. But, I need to reassess.

The issue is that Yamaya is at the point of knifing Huld. The tension might build up to that by the end of the novella, but I’m only 4 pages in. This wasn’t meant to be my starting point. Besides which, my original intention was that Berisan make allies — first with Yamaya and later with the village where Huld lives. Having this level of antagonism at the outset will eliminate that possibility.

What’s happening, I think, is my fury at the attempted coup in Washington D.C. and the shameful non-apology from those who supported it. Real as the situation and emotions are, the story I’m writing needs to be separated from them.

Possibly, however, my muse is telling me that the novella is not really about Berisan making allies. It’s about Yamaya holding onto her farm. As I cool down that first conversation, more new ideas are already starting to pop.

So my job today is to step Huld back from his most inflammatory words, not trigger Yamaya’s rage, and let the plot build on a stronger framework.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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No sooner did I start on The Renegade Count, than an unexpected character strutted into the scene. He actually developed from the fourth potential introduction I was working with. So — yay for my strategy!

Huld is going to be an antagonist. He is an unwanted suitor of Yamaya’s, with intentions not at all pure. This makes him pretty much a stereotype. Yet stereotypes often contain a kernel of truth. As a writer, it’s my job to make sure Huld becomes more than a negative trope.

Anyway, the obnoxious strutting is definitely permissible for such a character. It gives the plot a kick, as Berisan and Yamaya have someone actively striving against them.

Now — back to my writing!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Despite the current political crisis — or perhaps as a respite from it — I am push-starting my next novella, tentatively titled The Renegade Count. Step one is for me to find my entry point.

I’ve already been thinking about the characters and their background. Berisan is one of my Minstrels, a renegade mage who tries to bring people hope against a cruel regime. Yamaya is a peasant woman who appears to need help. Berisan has a history of protecting his brother, so naturally he falls into that mode with Yamaya. However, she has a dark past, and he’s going to find it’s not as simple as sticking around or walking away.

What I’m really working on today and tomorrow is how and where these two will meet. When I’m making decisions like this, I like to come up with at least three possible scenarios. The first one will be really obvious and full of stereotypes. The second will be more interesting, and hopefully the third will be something unexpected. In any case, it has to immediately engage the reader.

By the way, what I’m using is the Rusch Technique, taught by Kristine Kathryn Rusch at a workshop a lone time ago. So I’m not claiming to brilliantly think this up on my own.

Anyway! There are a few smaller decisions as well. Mostly names for side characters and places, so I don’t stop in the middle of a sentence to figure them out. Like I said, I hope to settle these details by tomorrow.

Wish me luck! (And to not get distracted by politics until after my writing is done.)


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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For the past couple of years, I’ve been focused on my Minstrels of Skaythe series. In these high fantasy novellas, a group of mages struggle to resist a vicious regime without becoming vicious themselves. Today I’m flashing back to one of my earlier novels, The Seven Exalted Orders.

Published in 2012 by Sky Warrior Books, The Seven Exalted Orders focuses on a nation where magic is strictly controlled by the government. The Collegium of Magi deckares that mages have to join an Order and can only work that kind of magic. When a woman develops powers that don’t fit into any of those neat boxes, the Collegium sends some other mages to bring her back in line.

If you’re enjoying the Minstrels of Skaythe series, you’ll probably like The Seven Exalted Orders, too. It’s available in print and as an e-book through Amazon or Smashwords. Better yet, Sky Warrior tells me they hope to publish the sequel this spring.


Arkanost has Seven Exalted Orders. No more, no less. When a magus goes renegade in a far-off province, the Mage Lords demand that something be done. Ryamon is bitter and frustrated. He longs to be a Fire magus; as a Stone magus, he’s miserable. If he can bring the rogue back, he has a chance — his last chance — to fulfill his dream.

It’s a great plan until he actually meets Valdira.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Revisions to Prisoners of the Wailing Tower are going well. In fact, I’m coming to a part of the plot that I really like best. That’s when my viewpoint characters meet up — or in some cases, collide.

Although I might start working on a story with a single POV, I usually end up adding more. This is mostly from the practicality that, if significant events are happening in a location, the readers deserve to know about it. No unfair surprises from this author! Letting the readers know about it requires a viewpoint character to witness the said events. However, having a second or third POV also gives some “break time” where the reader can think and anticipate what might happen with the first POV character.

Conversely, if I want something to come as a complete surprise, then I make sure NOT to have a POV there. That spares me having to torture the meanings of words in order to avoid prematurely revealing a surprise. Or, worse — making my characters be too stupid to notice what’s happening around them.

Beyond that, I find it really satisfying to have two or more viewpoint characters who are not necessarily aware of each other at the outset. They may be allies who are separated, as in Prisoners of the Wailing Tower and my 2007 novel, Too Many Princes. But it’s even more fun when they are on opposite sides, as in The Seven Exalted Orders, from 2012. Each POV character has their own compelling arc, but ultimately they crash into each other. Even I, as the author, sometimes don’t know who to root for!

So Alemin and Lorrah’s arcs are converging in Prisoners, and I love it. I can hardly wait for next spring when you all get a chance to see what I’m working on.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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The third draft revision for Prisoners of the Wailing Tower, that is. I’ve done my first read-through, where I highlight everything that I might want to fix. Now I’m on about page 20 of 120, going through word by word.

I’ve discovered a few words that I definitely used too much. Some characters don’t walk, they either strut or swagger. Others can’t just look at you, they scowl or glare. When they talk, they all sneer. So obviously I’m working to refine my vocabulary and eliminate those redundancies.

The only plot related problem to work out is the horse issue. (Will the horses run away in the middle of a battle.) I thought I had it solved, with the horse being well trained enough not to trample my protagonist. Then I remembered that the horses were also blinded in the battle. So I still have some thinking to do there.

Over all, I’m pleased with it. With school being fairly intense, I’m only getting through about 10 pages a day of careful work. I still should finish before Christmas, though. I’ll have a completed novella to toast at New Year’s. My expected publication date is in May of 2021.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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