Closing in on 2000 downloads in the past 24 hours, and made like #89 on Amazon’s Top 100 free, as well as #5 in Free Dark Fantasy, and #11 Free under Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Hopefully, that will translate into some decent exposure for the series!

 

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With “The Mad God’s Muse” coming out in July, I am doing some freebie days for “The Dead God’s Due” to let folks catch up.

 

Enjoy, and pass it along to your friends!

 

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It’s a nice, dark little sword and sorcery tale. Enjoy, share, and leave a review if you can! I need word of mouth!

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Preorder campaign launched on Amazon.

Preorder now!

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Day 1 of 5, hit #2 in Free Short SciFi/Fantasy Reads, and #4 in Short Reads Lit and Fiction. If you have people to share this with, please do. Let’s get it out there!

 

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Grab it for free. It’s a fun, short read, a slightly different take on your typical zombie story.

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I never had a good ‘back of the book’ description before, so I wrote one I think will work. What do you think?

“The world will become as ash.”

So says a thousand year old prophesy of doom, but prophesies can be denied if men are bold and strong. A band of elite desert warriors crosses the sea, hoping to turn aside the coming apocalypse. Their leader, Prelate Yazid Valerian, seeks the mythical city of sorcerers, Nihlos, the “City of Nothing” spoken of in scripture. There, he believes, he will find allies and answers to his questions.

But finding a lost city is the least of his challenges. The people of Nihlos have their own ancient scriptures and warnings, ominous tales of legendary, implacable enemies called Southlanders who will someday return to destroy Nihlos. The Southlanders are said to be powerful warriors; tall, dark-skinned men, strong of arm and broad of shoulder. Yazid and his men are a perfect fit.

As the inevitable clash of cultures looms, Yazid must face the truth: he and his men may well be the cause of the very catastrophe they intended to prevent. The end of the world will not begin in his own land as he had imagined.

It has already begun here, in Nihlos.

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Ok, milestone in the 3rd novel, one that took me much longer than I imagined it would: I’ve sorted out the locations and character movements into a correct timeline. I am now convinced that this is perhaps one of the more difficult tasks facing an author who tries to create a long, exciting, and believable tale.

This wasn’t all that important in the past novels. They encompass a longer period of time, months or years. There is plenty of gray area regarding when events take place, and when it does matter, the timing is fairly obvious. The third novel, however, takes place over the course of a week, and is basically the part where all of the characters run up against the consequences of their actions, interactions, and values. It moves very quickly, one event on the heels of another, and characters reacting to those events. For it to make any sense and keep momentum, certain things must occur in a certain order, and in addition, the places where the storylines touch as they all converge have to have the characters in the same locations.

It’s very easy to make a complete mess where some characters seem to have been standing about doing nothing important for hours or days, despite the fact that they had urgent motivations, simply because there is no sensible way for those they are to interact with to travel to meet them in the right amount of time. That’s the problem I had, and it required some analysis and some plot changes to get it to all fit into place. And it’s what I have fixed.

All of this is done in a very detailed outline form, with about half the chapters written to first draft status. Now, finally, I can get on with actually writing the remaining chapters, confident that none of my characters will need a jetpack (except, of course, the ones that actually fly)or a touch of narcolepsy to explain their presence in crucial scenes.

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For the most part, I try to keep my politics out of things, but on occasion, you’re going to have to put up with a bit of my “right wing bullshit”. Most guys who serve end up leaning right, that’s just a fact of life. It’s hard to see the world as it really is, to be that guy standing on the wall guarding against barbarians,  and not come away changed.

So, yeah, this is one of those times when I speak my mind. Before you condemn me for my views, you remember I placed my body between you and the people who would kill you for yours. You may not like my views, but I demand you respect them, as I respected yours.

I had a damned tough weekend, due largely to the fact that I see the world as it is, rather than through the lens of feel-good illusion. Less than a week after the horrific attacks in Paris, the goons were out spinning, dancing in the blood. The Newspeak is that standing up against invaders is ‘cowardice and surrender’. I’m sure you’ve all seen the map going around. Maybe you even posted it yourself, and thought it was clever.

I beg to differ. I have my reasons. You may not share them, and that’s okay. But it doesn’t end with disagreement. You know the drill with the rest. If one has concerns regarding cold invasion, he’s a bigot, ignorant, a racist, hates brown people, or, at the very least, is making a mountain of a molehill. Nothing to see here, folks, move along.

That’s what gets me the worst: being belittled by the masses of proles who have never even left the country, much less the western world. They have no concept of who I am, where I’ve been, or what I’ve learned. They’re certain my position is from prejudice and ignorance, rather than from a pretty well-informed position that people are people, much the same everywhere you go. They lie, they dissemble, they do what’s easiest most of the time.

And if they tell you they’ll kill you, you’d best pay heed.

I have lost all patience with ignorant, insulated fools who have the gall to denigrate me. Not a one of the dolts who ever wanted to take me on with some Facebook Shithouse Philosophy had ever been to France, or the Middle East, yet they knew all about it, and knew I was a bigot. You see, despite all of my travels and experiences, I know nothing, because the proles can’t imagine anyone actually learned anything from experience. They were told all they needed to know about the world by esteemed, ivory tower professors. There have no desire to verify those claims. That would take effort.

So let’s talk about experience.

I spent much time with the French, and I loved them. No group of people was kinder to me in my travels. Unlike the ‘thinkers’ who attacked me for my views, I actually knew names that I feared to hear on the casualty lists. To the mouth breathers, they were just statistics. Dominique and Natalie, Jean Jaques de Valee, those are real people, not faceless, interchangeable Frenchfolk. Dominique was a slip of a girl, shy, frail, and blonde, and Natalie was likewise tiny but a fiery and impulsive brunette. The two of them reached in their own pockets and put me up in a hotel one night when I was too late getting back to the base and couldn’t get in. Jean Jaques, with his handlebar mustache, was a two-fisted drinker, literally. He told many an excellent tale waving two shot glasses in the air, cackling like a madman. I hope they are well. It’s been thirty years, but I still remember them.

Oh, but I went many more places than just France, and I learned things everywhere. One of the most impactful lessons I ever learned on women was taught to me by a wise Turk decked out in genuine Bedouin garb, in Antalya, Turkey. I still remember the grimace and grin on his face as he knocked back his rakhe and followed it with water. We were in a bar, with silk clad women dancing. We (being 19 and sailors) wanted to see more skin, and the old Turk chuckles and tells us, “You are young. You will learn no woman is anything near the illusion you have of her now. If she takes them off, you will be disappointed. She will just be a naked woman. But now, you imagine her a goddess. We came here for a fantasy, yes? More rhahki!”

I was educated about meerschaum by a street vendor there, and I still have the intricately carved meerschaum pipes and chess set I bought from him after his lesson. They are among my most treasured possessions, because they remind me of the Turks.

I barhopped in Haipha, Isreal, played some bars with our ship’s band, and chuckled seeing Budweiser cans with Hebrew lettering. Richard Dreyfus visited our ship and spoke to the crew, and my young, ignorant ass had no clue he thought we were a bunch of troglodytes. I thought he actually liked us. Why else would he have come?

I learned it’s very easy to fool the trusting, there.

I sang in a bar in Toulon, France called Camelot 2000 while my bud played guitar, and the other patrons pitched coins at us, then gathered up and did the bunny hop around the room (literally, the goddamn bunny hop). I remember talking to a couple of French girls there who told us how they had nearly been arrested in New York because they took their tops off at the beach. I couldn’t help but think the old Turk’s lesson in Antalya.

I also learned in Toulon that the French really do say, “Ooh lala!” when something shocks them. I’d always kind of thought that was just a movie thing.

I walked along the nude beaches in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, thinking of the story of those French girls. I saw plenty of topless women, but the old Turk really had known what he was talking about. They were just topless women. I realized how silly some of our notions were, and that in New York, two innocent people might have been jailed because people in NYC had never learned the simple wisdom I was taught at the same time I was introduced to rakhe.

I watched ladies of the evening in Naples hovering around burning tires. We called them “campfire girls”, and they seemed to be doing a brisk trade, though I had no interest in that sort of thing. In a bars there, I was taken aback that the girls delivering drinks were completely topless, and didn’t even use pasties. That fact hadn’t been advertised. I had to wonder if it was that way in every bar in Naples, or just the ones catering to young men who might be more easily parted from their money if they were distracted with skin. I again thought of the old Turk’s lesson, as I watched the cops patrolling, SMG’s (sorry, wasn’t trig enough at the time to know what kind) slung over their shoulders, and thought, “Damn, these guys are serious in Italy.”

I saw how the world really worked. I saw how everyone was pretty much the same, even while they were very different. They had their shitbags and their good people. There was always a new con, a hustle you hadn’t seen, so you’d best not be too trusting. Some would trade honestly, some would cheat, some would stab you and leave you to bleed out in a dark alley.

But here, safe within the walls men like me helped man, punks who have never been anywhere, never talked to any Turks or Italians or Isrealis, have no problem telling me how uncultured I am. They have the gall to tell me how I don’t know shit, I hate brown people, I’m xenophoic, I’m ignorant and paranoid to be alarmed at blood running in the streets of first world cities, spilled by the worst sort of savages who are acting in concert globally.

We’ve done our job too well. The proles feel so safe here, they no longer believe there are barbarians outside the wall. And they have never gone outside to look.

There are more and more cases lately where I feel ashamed that I walked steel decks of ships of war, protecting these wretches from the barbarians. It’s not so much that they are ignorant about the ways of the world. What really burns my ass is that they have no clue and no desire to obtain one as to the lessons I learned standing my watch.

They are content to be what they are, ignorant and thinking in patterns taught to them by social engineers. They are like the people in Brave New World, and I am the savage, nonplussed at their complete abandonment of everything it is to be human, to exercise judgment, to do anything but go along with the designs of the Alphas. We are surrounded by people carefully crafted to fill a role, rather than grow naturally into who they could be, and the true horror of it is that they are content with that reality.

Yeah, I know. TLDR. Don’t forget to snag your ration of soma and distance yourselves from the human condition.

But when the day comes, and you find yourself on your knees before the barbarians, slowly coming to understand they don’t even know the meaning of the word ‘mercy’, don’t call out for me. I’m done with you. You have it all worked out, and I don’t know anything. You’ll handle it just fine.

I’ll be too busy looking after my own.

Ok, as of 1 Sep, I am counting myself as recovered from this summer’s massive burn, and therefor am hitting the third book hard every morning. Though, to be honest, this may be spotty this week, in that September is planting season in Florida, so I will be spending a lot of the mornings prepping the garden spot this week, before it gets to hot to work outside. It will be late morning before I hit it, for now.

So the first order of business is dreaming up a better final wrap to “War God’s Will” than is currently planned. There is good stuff at the beginning and in the middle, but the end is broken. Not only does it have central action by a character who died in “Mad God’s Muse”, it’s just not all I would like. The events do not meet with the tension I want, and the characters are not all as important as they need to be.

So we fix. Still would love to have some ‘alpha’ readers who might be interested in discussing the work as it progresses.

 

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