Book Release Updates and Other Stuff

Of Merchant and Magic will be published sooner than I had anticipated, because the cover artist had a slot open up. I’m starting the first round of edits and typoo hunting, and am hoping for a mid to late-April launch, possibly earlier.

The next Cat Among Dragons book, In Sheltering Talons, is in cover-design at the moment and the editor should be able to start work later this month, again for an April release.

The second Shikari book is in edits, but the cover design is on hold at the moment due to Life Happening. The design and draft are already done, but Stuff Happened, as it is wot to do. Continue reading


Monday Tidbit: Imperial Magic

The opening of the sequel to Of Merchant and Magic

Chapter 1: Coming of Age


Ewoud Rhonarida Galnaar’s ears rang with his mother’s warning as he hurried to the patricians’ meeting chamber in the city hall. “If your father is late again, I will tan both of your hides, on you or off of you!” The guards at the doors recognized Ewoud and let him in. He stopped long enough to remove the patens from under his shoes, then raced as fast as was seemly up the shallow stone steps, did not use the wooden truth-post as a steering grip as he turned the corner, and only skidded a little as he stopped outside the mayors’ offices. He bowed to the statue of Maarsrodi, Maarsdam of the Traders of the Free City of Rhonari. Then he listened for voices, and ventured closer to the great carved golden wood doors of the council chamber. He heard nothing, and dared to poke his head inside.

Tycho Rhonarida Galnaar stood with his back to the doors, his merchant’s staff in his hand, looking at something on the council table. Ewoud cleared his throat.


“Most honored father, mother sends her greetings.”

He heard a little laughter in his father’s reply. “I’m certain she did. Come look at this.” Ewoud removed his soft cap, bowed again, put the cap back on and walked into the wood-paneled council chamber. His father pointed to the table with his staff. Continue reading

It’s Alive! (The new novella, that is.)

Something lurks in the vliets. Trouble creeps into Hamburg as the rains leave and the heat rises, drifting like the miasmas out of the back-channels and old canals. Imperial Prussian mages threaten men, while half-men, half-armor Klankenmänner lumber through the streets.

Jakob Timmerman, once called Jaeger, senses something in the air. Foul magic oozes through the city, like miasmas from the vliets. The imperial mages have a terrible secret, and Jakob learns it.

Jakob’s only chance to survive lies hidden in the vliets, the stinking, secret, dark vliets.

A steampunk novella, set in Hamburg in 1892.

Random Filler Post

I volunteered* to help with a major part of Day Job’s academic contest prep and participation this year, and that’s eating my time at the moment, as is trying to go through the second Shikari book again and alpha or beta reading some things for friends.

Combo fence

I hope to release “In the Vliets” later this month. Then the second Shikari book and the next Cat Among Dragons title over March – April – May.


*Volunteered – when your boss says “Are you familiar with this topic?” You say, “Um, most of it,” and Boss puts you in charge of that section of the tests.

Jan ’18 State of the Author

So, the fantasy novel is done, at least is finished in draft form. It will need work on the revision side, but it has wrapped up.

Rather than launch into one of the novels waiting for me, I am working on a steampunk story set in Hamburg in 1892. “In the Fleets” is the title. A Vliet (pronounced “fleet”) is one of the small side channels that feed into the main rivers in Hamburg. The protagonist has a chip on his shoulder about the newly-declared German Empire. As it turns out, so do a lot of other people. Continue reading

Stick a Fork in it – Fantasy Novel Edition

The draft of the Chinese-inspired fantasy novel is done. I have a cover located. I need a title.

The plot: A dragon, Count Chang, finds a girl he thinks is the Chosen One, a human of the old blood who carries the magical power needed to heal a sick river and to convince the humans to stop making things worse. Leesan, being the youngest daughter of a foreign family, has absolutely no desire to take on any responsibility or to think for herself, let alone learn magic. The other dragons, including the Western King, need her to act, lest the Great Sky Emperor, king of the gods, lose his patience with them and sort things out himself, remaking the world and punishing the dragons in the process. Count Chang just wants the glory of having found the person who can fix the problem, not the responsibility for actually working to solve things.

No one gets what they want, as you can imagine.

Some title ideas include:

Lord Chang and the River

Healing the Great River

The Dragon and the Land

The Curse of the Yellow Hills

Pearl’s Daughter

Any of these sound better than others? Any suggestions for something else?