I was looking at my whiteboard the other day where I planned out the books I wanted to write this year. I was happily surprised to realize I’ve completed a large chunk already and even, in one case, going over my expectations. Where that’s relevant to this blog is that I had planned on writing at least one Voidhawk book. Well… I did.
Voidhawk – Fallen Goddess, is available now. It’s not only available, but it’s a book that really dug deep into me and touched me deeper than a book has in quite a while. It’s ridiculous to think that the writer could be surprised or shocked by his characters, but yet that happens to a lot of us. Or, at least, it happened to me with this one.
I’ll give a mini spoiler and announce right off the bat, Volera is back. But she’s not what you remember. Not only is she different, but she has no idea what she’s doing or why she’s doing it. Gone is the evil intent to harvest souls and power (well, mostly), and in its place is her driving need to understand just what it is that she needs. Confusing? Good, imagine how she feels!
The problem is this isn’t just another avatar of Volera created for a purpose, this is much bigger than that. I hinted in the end of the last book at her true power and origin, but this book covers it in more detail. And, most amazing, is her willingness to risk it all in her search for understanding.
What she failed to consider was the potential impact her actions could cause. Consequences that the crew of the Voidhawk discover at the worst time. They’re busy trying to deal with being betrayed on a job and handling internal problems. Jenna’s getting worse, not better, and Rosh spends time in a suicidal rage that only grows because he can’t find anything powerful enough to kill him and end his pain.
This book is amazing, and I’m not afraid to say it. The characters came to life stronger than ever. I can’t go on to explain more reasons why I think this is the best Voidhawk book yet without giving away important spoilers, but know that I really do feel that way. It also begs a follow up novel, which will be on my must-write list in the very near future.
But first, here’s the cover and where you can get it. I encourage you to hurry, and I also welcome the possible flood of emails that will follow as the books is read.
Scribd (coming soon)
Voidhawk – Fallen Goddess went to my editor on Friday. That, by itself, is a great thing. What happened in that book is even greater. I won’t go into details, but I will say that I’m still feeling it after taking an entire weekend off from writing and I want to jump straight into the next Voidhawk book because of it. But… I can’t.
In a couple of weeks I have a special project coming up with someone, so I have to plan accordingly. I’ve decided to work on Dark Star in the interim, the next book in the Dark Universe setting. A quick turn-around for that series, I know, but I’ve got a couple of driving factors: 1) Dark Universe is selling great and nothing else is for me – the family’s gotta eat. 2) I’m just as amped up about that series and the characters as I am about Voidhawk, so it’s an easy thing to do and it gives me the space I need to come into the next Voidhawk book objectively.
Two weeks isn’t enough to finish it though, not while I’m doing the day job too. So I finished putting my thoughts together today and now I can start working on the story properly. It’s not an outline, per se, but a general flow of what’s going to happen. The ‘how’ part of it remains to unfold as I write it. I’m expecting another kick ass story in that series though!
As for Voidhawk and the next book, that will come soon. It’s going to tie into my World of Kroth books again (Blades of Leander, Order of the Dragon, The Serpent’s War). In fact, the third book in the Serpent’s War trilogy will have a lot to do with it – but I promise they’ll also be entirely separate from each other. Some crossover, maybe, but you won’t need to read one to read the other. You will, however, get exposure to some kick-ass fantasy that fills in a lot of extra details and backstory for anyone that wants to try them both out.
And the side project? Well, I’ll talk more about that when and if it works out. It’s got a lot of potential, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself in case anything comes up to cause problems.
In the meantime, stay tuned for Voidhawk – Fallen Goddess in the next week or two! And after that another Dark Universe book is on the horizon.
I teased about it yesterday. Today I have bigger and better new – it’s ready to go a day ahead of my revised schedule! Chasing the Dark is available for your reading pleasure! Below is a chart with links – and more will become available as time passes (you can check my website to find them, also linked below). In the meantime, let me explain why so many people have asked me when this is going to be out.
For those not in the know, Chasing the Dark is the third novel in my bestselling Science Fiction series, Dark Universe series. It was intended to be a single book originally, but the characters immediately informed me they had a lot more story to be told. All right, so a trilogy then…except this is book three and they are nowhere near close to being finished. In fact, a couple of new characters have entered the fray and they have their own stories to tell. Will 4 books be the end? I doubt it very much, although there are plenty of ideas rattling around already for what’s going to be book 4. I think I even have a title for it: Dark Star.
Be warned, this series is a mix of space opera, space fantasy, hard science fiction, and even a little bit of spicy romance with an occasional steamy scene you don’t want your mother knowing you read (or wrote…oops, Hi, mom!). Ahem, enough about that. First off here’s the blurb and then the links. Eat it up and enjoy, there will be more to come, I promise!
Aden and Twyf, human and Tassarian lovers, are running for their lives. An entire alien race, the Kesari, are chasing them across the universe with the intent of retrieving the artifacts they stole and insuring the secrets they’ve learned are never shared.
While they stay one step ahead of the Tassarians, the universe continues to change around them. They’ve unleashed a long forgotten energy that is disrupting everything, from genetics to the laws of physics. The secrets to the mysterious energy lie in the artifacts they have, and the key to unlocking them may very well be in the Terran Naval station Aden grew up in.
The Kesari won’t be denied so easily, however. Aden and his friends have to race against a race with technology so superior it might as well be magic. Magic the Kesari intend to use to one inevitable end: destroy Aden, Twyf, and everyone else that has come in contact with them.
|Into the Dark (book 1)||Out of the Dark (book 2)||Chasing the Dark (book 3)|
Oyster (coming soon)
Ooh, I might have to use this blog title as a book title in the future… for my Dark Universe series. If mentioning that gets you excited, hold on, it’s going to get a little better!
Yes, I have the edits finished for Chasing the Dark, book 3 in the Dark Universe series. I’ve approved cover art too, just waiting for the files to be delivered (tomorrow, probably). All that is great, but when is it going to be available?
Thanks for asking! Barring a catastrophic problem, I expect to launch the book Friday, if not sooner. That’s 1.5 days away. Rejoice, you’ve got something to do this weekend now!
In the meantime, I need to get back to writing Voidhawk – Fallen Goddess. I’m tearing through this one too, but it’s going to be a biggun, I think. It won’t get written if I don’t get back to writing it though!
This is not a post about my books. Not directly, anyhow. This is me being damn proud of myself. You see, four and a half years ago I tried to tear my arm off. I failed, but managed to rip the pectoral muscle off my arm and leave it flapping like a broken chicken wing. I was training for a powerlifting meet a month out. Bye bye competition.
I ended up having surgery to reattach the muscle, and I was told in no uncertain terms that I would never lift that much again. I moved a week or two after the surgery across country and lost my health insurance for a while. It was a kick in the nuts, to say the least, because I identified with being a big and strong mofo. Fortunately, I’d been studying my body and weightlifting for many years now and was able to self-rehab myself back to being within 85% of my prior maximum effort. Over time I accepted that. My books started taking off and I dreamed of a life where the pen was mightier than the bicep.
But I kept lifting. I wasn’t going to be a little guy or a skinny fat guy ever again. I would never compete again, but as long as I stayed in shape I could cope. So I did. Through a few more states and a few more moves I stayed strong and kept at it. And I got older. I peaked at 36, whether I wanted to or not. Now I’m 40 and I’m here to say recovery and a lot of other things aren’t what they used to be.
But I also managed to rekindle my love of picking up heavy things this year. It never left, but it definitely had a few lulls along the way. I’ve designed a new routine that works a lot better for me these days and allows sufficient recovery and, believe it or not, growth. I began to see gains that I didn’t think were possible anymore…but the iron never lies.
Last night I bench pressed a bar with only 15 pounds fewer than my competition best. AND I had enough left in the tank I wish I would have done 5 more pounds. I’ve given myself 6 weeks to meet and / or beat that prior maximum effort and I am positive it will happen. If you’re curious about what that means, I benched 390lbs tonight and I plan to meet or beat my 405lb lift that was a state record back in 2009.
That’s not the point though, what matters is that I’ve done a lot of crazy shit in my life. Some of it good, some of it not so good. Some of it… well, never mind (hi, Mom!). None of that stuff taught me the lessons that powerlifting has taught me. Lessons like how a determined human being has no limits. Physics and gravity be damned, if you put your mind to it you can do anything. Weight lifting, writing 12+ books a year, or doing anything you really want to. Hard work is the key. Hard work and determination. Heck, with enough hard work we might even be able to fix our government (remember, I write a lot of fiction).
Tonight’s lesson is this: F*** the rules, make your own.
Great news – Chasing the Dark is off for editing and cover art! That’s book 3 in the Dark Universe series. Originally I planned a trilogy and after that some spin offs. Well, it turns out the characters I planned to do spin-offs with have meshed too well and the story isn’t done yet. So there will be at least 4 books, if not many more before I even consider branching off.
But that’s not what this is about. I was excited about Chasing the Dark. I mean really, really excited. It was a fun story and the characters were a blast. Aden, Twyf, and Seph were the main characters throughout and the things they said and did…well, I won’t give any spoilers, but it was great. Then a new character entered the storyline and really made a difference. Of course, tragedy struck and things got complicated. Life was on the line and there was a lot of hurt being dished out. All in all, good times!
So I came off that high and went straight into Voidhawk #8 this morning. I had ideas that had been bouncing around in the back of my head for months now. Well, they spilled out tonight and filled page after page. The first chapter is written and I’m shocked at how energized I feel, especially after how busy I’ve been lately and how Chasing the Dark played out.
It’s far too early to give any details about how Voidhawk – Fallen Goddess will go, but here’s a tiny snippet to enjoy. It will provide a little extra enjoyment to those familiar with the Blades of Leander series and / or Voidhawk – Broken Shards.
The demoness took an awkward step forward and swept her hand to the side. Caitlyn fell silent as though she’d had the air snatched from her breast. “Come to me, child,” the demoness purred. “I grow cold and I hunger.”
Caitlyn moaned. She wasn’t supposed to touch her. The instructions had stressed that. She was to acquire the demon’s name and give it instructions and a prize it could claim. Then it would go. Her brother would be lost, ensnared by the demon. Strife would follow and Queen Patrina would find herself sickening from poison. Then Caitlyn would rule, forging an alliance between Shazamir and Altonia. The Order would have their biggest threat removed, clearing the way for the armies in the south to launch their war.
“Isn’t that better?” the demoness whispered in Caitlyn’s ear.
Caitlyn gasped. When had she crossed the circle? She was inside…with her! She tried to shake her head but only a tiny whimper escaped her lips. The demoness’s fingers caressed her cheek and neck, setting her skin aflame with sensation. The flames ran through her body, making her tingle all over before settling low in her belly and leaving her gasping.
“Feed me,” she murmured into Caitlyn’s ear.
Caitlyn turned, trying to see through the red fog that overwhelmed her. She was on fire with need. She’d never felt this desire. This lust. She needed to be touched. To be filled. To be completed. “Yesssss,” she whispered until her sibilant compliance was swallowed by the demoness.
Stay tuned for more. Or, at the rate this book is burning through me, stay tuned for me to announce it’s ready to read!
The years come and go. I remember aching to grow up and be able to do my own thing – I really didn’t like being a kid. Then when I hit 18 it was just another day, imagine my disappointment. The world didn’t open up to me and bestow the opportunities and riches I felt I deserved. WTF, right?
Fast forward a couple of decades and then some and I’ve learned what just about everyone else learns. Hard work and trying to make smart decisions to recover from the stupid decisions made earlier in life are the way to go. And yet the journey through life is perilous and filled less with opportunity and more with fear. We lost friends and family along the way and we have to wonder, when is it my turn? Ideally it will be a long time off yet, but freak accidents and tragedy strike somebody, somewhere, every day. Will I do the things I always wanted to do?
As a kid we (boys, mostly, I can’t speak for girls) daydream about growing up to be somebody cool. The popular ones I remember were a soldier, a police officer, a fireman, or an astronaut, although I’m sure there were others. I never once thought of living a life in suburbia with a wife, 2 kids, a dog and a cat. That’s boring stuff! Yet that’s what I’m doing. That’s what almost all of us end up doing. And the combination of fear of failure and realization of a normal life brings about the dreaded mid-life crisis.
We were meant for something more, damn it! Sports cars and private jets and walks on the moon. And stuff. Lots of shiny stuff. Instead here we are, having garage sales and worrying about making enough to pay the bills, send the kids to school, and save up for when the roof needs to be replaced. A vacation? Ugh…who’s going to pay for that?
Yet the world keeps spinning, regardless of our worries. The day will come when it spins without me on it, and it won’t make a bit of difference to the world at large. Perhaps our greatest trait and biggest downfall is our arrogance in thinking that we matter. We want to make a difference – to leave a legacy to be remembered by, yet the memory of the universe doesn’t give a damn about us, either as individuals or as a species. It will continue long after we do not.
As for me personally, I still fantasize about reaching the point where I can buy a Corvette (C7 body style, preferably a Z06 but I may settle for a Stingray instead), but there’s a lot of bills between me and that first. I have a good job and I get to live out my fantasies on a daily basis in the books I read and write. I never planned on having kids, but I’ve got two of them and as far as kids go, they’re the best ones I’ve found. I won the lottery when it comes to my wife, so complaining would be about the dumbest thing I could do. All in all, I’ve done pretty good for myself thus far, in spite of the day to day challenges that I, and everyone else, face.
Why am I writing this and why should you care? Well, for those that made it this far, here’s why… all of these thoughts rattled around and twisted together in my head until they morphed into something else. Something about another middle aged character of mine. An old friend that, when I first wrote about him, I liked to think that I might be a little like him when I was his age. You might remember him, his name is Carl Waters.
For many of my readers hearing that name probably caused a gasp of wonder and excitement. Why would I mention Carl…unless…could it be… another Wanted book? To answer that question I have to dig deeper first.
Carl’s still middle aged, but he’s on the far side of it by now. To be honest, I don’t remember how old he was at the end of Marshal, but a few more years have passed since then. The Wanted series has arguably been my most successful series of books to date, but that’s not a good reason to write another one. I needed a reason. A story to tell, rather than just some drivel that’s popular in the market. I needed Carl to be inspired.
So all these thoughts I had combined with some feedback from readers. Tanya’s a control freak and a mess, Jessie’s wrapped up in living her uninhibited life the way she wants to live it, and Carl is his typical hard-ass uncompromising self. But what if Carl had a new opportunity? Something that piqued his interest and required his skills, yet challenged him in new ways? And what if he needed Tanya’s help along the way? The thing is, like usual, Tanya has secrets that complicate things. Complications that, when dealing with people like this, can have life and death consequences.
I could go on, but I haven’t started it yet. To be honest, I probably won’t start it for a couple of months yet, as I’m mid way through my third book in my Dark Universe setting and then I have another book that I can’t wait to write in my Voidhawk series. I need more of me so I can get to the things I want to get to! Since there’s only one of me (my kids and wife are thankful of that), I beg your patience while I slap the keys and do what I can do to get these books out. Living forever may be impossible, but by reading and writing it’s possible to live many lives. I guess if that’s the best I can manage then that’s all right by me.