I Want To Read

Sometimes (okay, every day, sometimes twice) I wonder why I’m doing this, the whole writing thing, and putting my naked soul on display for nameless gawker.

I think it’s because I want to read. I want to be engaged in books and stories, and talk about them in my own way. To read actively, to the fullest extent, I need to be a writer too.

It’s not enough for me just to read books alone and never talk about the things between the covers (or under the cover image, since I also like ebooks). I want to contribute to the fictional conversation, so I write.

Two Snippets

A little extra bang today. I have a small snippet of the new Hard Luck, and then, if you like, stay for something from a new (Rothganar) project. 🙂

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First, Hard Luck! I’m adding material, did I mention that in the previous post? I think I did. This is from a chapter right after Dingus and Vandis actually meet.

Any tulon or tulua knew what Dingus was on sight, and no one would let him more than a couple of paces into any establishment. Humans didn’t know—Vandis himself wouldn’t have known—he was anything other than an elf, but a lot of them didn’t want him around because of it. “How do they all know you’re half-blood?” he’d demanded, when the third hitul place kicked them out.

“It’s the ears,” Dingus had explained, clinically, without a trace of woe in his voice.

“What about them?”

“It’s how they’re attached to your head.” He rubbed a finger behind one, leaving a trail of dirt. “See how mine are? They point sort of up and stick out farther. A real one of the People’s ears would point back and be flatter to their head.”

Vandis had scowled and said, “You are a real—”

“No, I ain’t,” he’d said. “Ain’t human neither.”

“Then what are you?” Vandis had asked, more curious about Dingus’s idea of himself than he was concerned with grammar.

“Does it matter?”

~*~

Now a little from another project. I’m calling this one Daddy’s Little Princess, the reason for which I’ll keep to myself for now. While it’s set in the Menyoral timeline and features characters from the books, it’s not a Saga of Menyoral book at all. Trying something a little different with this one, because if you stop trying new things, art stagnates. And business, haha. Anyway, check this out.

The alleys opened their pitch-black mouths, ready to swallow anybody who got too close, looked too close if they happened to be passing when lightning came. Martin wasn’t one for destiny, and he didn’t believe in fate, but when he passed that alley, lightning flashed, and what he saw, or thought he saw, gulped him down just that quick.

There was a woman there, all tall and wet and glorious, dark blood and clear water, and in the breath he could see her, she swung down with a huge knife and split Big Jimmy Pantucci’s head. It was frozen in Martin’s mind, the woman, her long hair flying in thick wet ropes. He remembered all the stories Jacques told when he was drunk as shit, the ones about La Reine Guirriѐre and her chariot drawn by wolves. He felt like he had seen her.

He felt like he had to see her again.

Against every skill and instinct he owned, and at least one unwritten rule of the streets, Martin went straight for the maw. Lightning lashed close by, close enough to hear it crackle, and the thunder broke reality wide. Any minute he’d wake up in his pallet with the sheet sticking to his hot sweaty skin, any minute. She whacked that chopper hard into the mass of Big Jimmy and wound back again, and Martin blinked a dazzled slash out of his eyes. Rain hammered the street. Wind made his sodden clothes flap.

He took a step forward, and another step, into the alley, wishing for a mage-lantern. Another sizzling flash, so bright he almost missed her standing there with Jimmy’s dripping messy head, bloody fist in the hair.

~*~

That’s all for now! Thank you so much for choosing this article, from among millions of others published just today. ❤

 

Big News and Little

Hi!

I know I haven’t been blogging much. I haven’t been very active anywhere, and I’ve been basically in my hidey-hole all the time. I’m going to come out a little more often, I promise.

A few pieces of news for my readers:

  1. The Menyoral series is coming back, better than ever. I still don’t have release dates, but look forward to four (that’s right) full-length books in the future. All the past books will relaunch with new content: more of the things you came for in the first place. I’m going to see how I can get the new versions to readers who have downloaded already, too — I appreciate your patronage and don’t want to take advantage. All that, and the fourth book in the series too. I’m working on Hard Luck right now.
  2. Around the relaunch will come a few new stories and standalone novels, all set in Rothganar, all revolving around characters from Saga of Menyoral. There’s going to be a ton of stuff to read!
  3. Steel for the Prince will continue. The series will run to four books: The High King’s Will, which is already published; The Witch under Mountain, which has another round of revision and beta-readers to get through; The Heart of Stone, which I am drafting; and The Endless Night, which I am outlining.
  4. I’m working on a new freebie, a mailing list incentive, called Crossbow Wedding. It’s the story of Dingus’s parents, and I’m hoping people will sign up to a new mailing list to receive the novella. I’ll let you know more about that when it gets closer.

That was a lot of stuff, so I won’t exhaust your eyeballs. Thanks for reading my nonsense!

Inadvertent Bread Standards

I took a last-ditch, desperate sabbatical the last two months, by which I mean “I couldn’t write a damn thing and something had to give.” It’s going much better now, but more about that in another post.

Taking some time off gave me a chance to pursue my other favorite creative outlet: cooking. I love to cook, I love to bake. I baked a lot of bread, using almost exclusively a lovely Girl Versus Dough recipe. If you enjoy baking, I would give her blog a look, because it’s super good.

I may have inadvertently created a standard for bread in my home. Let’s be fair to supermarket bread: it serves its purpose as Sandwich Filling Holder. That’s about it. I’ve never exactly liked it, but it is what it is. Now that I’ve been baking bread for us basically every day, my daughter is extremely disappointed when it isn’t available. “I want white bread,” she said yesterday. “It’s an… it’s an oval. I want oval white bread.”

I had some. I’d just made it earlier that day.

There’s something about putting my hands in the dough and kneading it that helps me organize my thinking. There’s peace in it. I love the product, and I love the process. Here’s to better bread and a better life.

Here’s the recipe I’ve been using. It’s simple and delicious. Classic Italian Bread on Girl Versus Dough!

Jeremiah Rose: A Guest Post by Jon Davis

A Menyoral first today: my excellent friend Jon Davis. I hope you enjoy reading this post, about his favorite character in all his writings.

~*~

“It’s hard to be a genius at times. It’s not what you might think, though. There isn’t simply my understanding of everything you’re about to say, or the fact that I’m already ten steps ahead of you. It’s that I have to wait so long for you to even take that initial step in the first place. And then I have to wait for you to take those ten steps to where I was. Because, here’s the kicker, while you’ve been stumbling in those ten steps, I’m already ten steps ahead of you, again.” ~Jeremiah Rose

While all the characters in the Saga of the Dragon Queen are a joy to write, with each one having scenes that are fun to create and shape as the story is told, the one that grabs at me throughout the series is the character, Jeremiah Rose.

Based loosely off the writer Rick Rossing, his sublime writing style, and online personality, I found on my creation of him to be the perfect foil for Gyredenn Rose, the first person character through which the Saga of the Dragon Queen is told.

To describe him as quickly as possible, Jeremiah is a genius. He is the mind from which Rosehame transforms into not a family of pirates, but a major power on Terrasen. Whilst he has shortcomings, his powerful mind quite literally takes all the events around him and arrives at a shockingly good decision that benefits himself and the whole of the Family Rose.

Throughout the series, Jeremiah’s decisions show his genius in terms of surprise, delight, and at times terror among his family. He can be laconic most of the time with his attitudes, but when it comes to deciding the fates of family and enemies, his cold decisions show an understanding of the world he lives in to a scalpel like sharpness that drives his closest friends and enemies to distraction.

His most common personality flaw of course, is his deep seated fear that he can’t live up to the Family Rose reputation as a good leader. This shows at times in his cold actions to stamp out dissent or betrayal. It also shows in his love of family as well, and who he has become living among the deadliest people on Earth of his time.

Family Rose is a piratical culture given bloom for eight centuries of humanity living nearly 300 years per generation. Its people are passionate, yet cruel. They are a loving people, yet willing to demand deadly vengeance even of his or her own kin. And Jeremiah’s natural genius has put him on top of a particularly nasty food chain.

To survive, Jeremiah has reinforced the hard rules, which guides the civilized behavior of the Family Rose. He understands and demands diplomacy first, yet clarifies that once the diplomacy ends, there must always be swift and final results to show the world that what they deal with is not a simply group of fishermen or sailing clans, but a deadly sword of the Swirling Sea.

To this end, Jeremiah found his ultimate opponent in his own cousin, Gyredenn Rose. The two of them grew up together under the care and guidance of Bekkai Rose. And while at first it was simply childish competition to gain the affections of Rose of the Family Rose that competition turned deadly by the time the two were teenagers.

Gyredenn uses magick. To Jeremiah, that was an unfair advantage. But it became intolerable when Gyredenn taught Rose to use magick. And so he worked to gain Rose’s trust, tapping into the girl’s nervousness and easily riled temper to break her and Gyredenn apart. But in the depth of his soul, Jeremiah’s greatest regret was to lose Gyredenn for nearly two decades as his Cousin ran from Rose’s wrath and Gyredenn’s refusal to kill or harm her out of love.

While Gyredenn was the true heir to the leadership of the Family Rose, Jeremiah has stepped into the role with great success. In the twenty years of his control, Rosehame pirates have become an even deadlier force on the Swirling Sea than at any time before save for the attempted invasion of Rosehame by two other kingdoms.

Two major antagonists are ended, thanks to the tactics used by Jeremiah. With the fall of the Cober Bay pirates, Jeremiah had the new nom de guerre Bloody Rose. But the biggest threat to Rosehame was Captain Angus McWhirter of the Low Storm Ports. He felt regret in taking down the deadly “Captain Match,” for Jeremiah had come to enjoy their sea battles and hard wits of the good Captain of the ship Sword of MacLeod.

But as time flows, Gyredenn Rose would return to Rosehame, needing his help. Jeremiah, though surprised by such humility, found he was honestly happy to lend his genius. To Jeremiah’s surprise, he’s found that he has missed the camaraderie that he does not have with anyone in Rosehame. In short, he missed his brother.

And in truth, the two Cousins of the Family Rose need to combine their skills and minds to survive the coming of the mad Dragon Queen, and so much more. Indeed, Jeremiah finds he must stretch his genius beyond anything he has ever dealt with before in his life.

One thing, Jeremiah is not a “mad” genius. While vain about his mind, the many members of his family have worked to remind him that for all his vaunted genius, he still must contend with the hard core of the Family Rose. “Rule One: Everyone pays. In coin or blood, everyone pays the price. Rule Two: Family Rose sets the price. Always.”

~*~

Jon Davis is the creator and writer of the Age of Power Series sold on Amazon Kindle. He is also a member of the Dragons Rocketship group on Facebook and regularly enjoys the contributions of his fellow dragon rocketeers.

Currently, he is working on the completion of the Dragon Queen Saga.

Jon is on Twitter @JDavis_Avatar