A new novella

sword and talonThe summer brings more than heat to Miere. From the five lake towns of the north-east to the deepest recesses of the Eldenwood, rumors spread of the reawakened Old Religion. Women of latent power dream of the Horned God, and their worried husbands recall tales of the dark Sisters who once ruled the land.

Durant, a squire of the Order of the Tempest, was only passing through Miere with his companions, but finds himself inexplicably thrust into the center of the Witch War, a struggle of SWORD AND TALON. A novella.

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Year in Review: The wonderful 2013

2013 was, by any measure, an improvement over 2012.

I published another 20 ebooks (many under a pen name).

I produced several audiobooks and made dozens of sales by that avenue.

I received many reviews — some positive, some negative, but all having strong reactions, which to me is indicative of some sort of emotional power behind my books (I hope!)

Most importantly — though my sales by some people’s accounts are modest — my sales and royalties were five times more than the previous year. I averaged more than $40 a month in royalties, varying widely from month to month, but compared to the previous years of self publishing it’s an astonishing number to me. I know to some it’s small, but the increase is what’s significant to me.

THINGS I DID RIGHT

  • Setting Fell Winter to free produced probably hundreds in royalties, causing a steady influx of sales for High Queen, Dragon’s Son, and the Omnibus. Also, whenever I do a promo on one of the lovely sites such as Ereader News Today, it invariably produces several sales of the next few (and sometimes sales of the free book itself, go figure.)
  • Optimizing my world/publisher website with illustrations. (www.vardabooks.com)
  • Writing a lot.
  • Not giving up on audiobooks (last month produced great sales and better reviews).

THINGS I DID WRONG

  • My Imperial Chronicles series has a pretty terrible ranking. But I don’t doubt that when I set the first to free, the same will happen as did with Fell Winter. Once I finish that series, I’m going to do a bit more promotion and also focus on my pen name. Maybe I will reveal that to you at some point soon.
  • I still haven’t made a print edition of Fell Winter, High Queen and Dragon’s Son. That will change hopefully by the end of this month. Print is becoming a viable option for indie publishers like myself.

And I have some fairly exciting news on the publishing front, but nothing concrete. I’ve grown a bit jaded with the process, but the company I’m speaking of is a major publisher. Again, nothing concrete, and something that could easily dissipate into thin air.

I am very pleased with 2013, and very hopeful/optimistic about the future.

Au revoir, 2013, you were good to me. Looking forward to where 2014 takes me, and bon voyage!

Day of Reckoning

Hello, my dear blog readers.

I intended these novellas to be mostly for audiobooks, since one of my narrators was very eager to record more druen (cursed vampire elves) stories. Thus far, many more people than I thought took an interest in them, and not just in audio.

Since Fell Winter has produced dozens of sales since I set it to free, I thought I was going to set Army of Darkness to free. But I reconsidered, and now — for the moment, at least — I believe I am going to leave it at $3.99. I have another series to finish (two more books) and another first-book to set to free. As always I will keep you updated.

But without further ado, I thank you for lending me your ear — here is the fifth and final novella in the series. I hope you purchase and enjoy (and leave a review, if it strikes your fancy).

Day of Reckoning

“Seeing the great darkness within the elven prince’s heart, the High God cursed his descendants with a thirst for blood…” 

More than four hundred years after the vampire’s curse first took hold among the Dark Prince’s children, the druen nation faces certain doom. The non-cursed elven tribes, angered by recent atrocities, form an unprecedented union to annihilate the druen race.

The king of the vampires musters his too-few soldiers to stave off certain obliteration, but the Dark Elves and High Elves, acting in unison, have made up their minds: to invade the Dark Land and bring about the DAY OF RECKONING.

The fifth and final Vampire Origins novella.

Buy for $3.99 at AmazonNook, and Smashwords.

A long, long overdue announcement

Hello, my beloved blog readers. I have published several adventure novellas without announcing them — who’d have thought? I usually badger you as soon as something comes out. These novellas all feature cursed elves/druen/vampires — an idea which seems to intrigue a lot of people.

The fifth one will be finished soon, completing the series hopefully next month. At that point I will set the first to free, since Fell Winter has been producing sales since its freebie debut.

Thank you again, blog readers. I couldn’t do this without you. Feel free to share and comment.

36554dc10618e4706af66955acc81283cb4c2cbaArmy of Darkness

Seeing the great darkness within the elven prince’s heart, the High God cursed his descendants with a thirst for blood…

The first vampires, driven from their home, find themselves locked in a struggle for survival. The King of the Elves sends an army to destroy them, and the only escape is north. Their last hope may lie in the walled frontier town of Dundari, or beyond in the White Wastes: a land of ice and snow completely empty of life… or so everyone thinks.

Told through five viewpoints, from sociopaths and opportunists to the lone altruist whose benevolence may prove his undoing, this novella chronicles the origin of the vampires – elves weighed down by a dark curse – and the story of the ultimate dysfunctional family.

Buy for $3.99 (soon, free) at AmazonKoboNook, and Smashwords.

Vampire Blade

vampire blade

Timeline: circa 210 Y.B.E.
LocationsNardur and Lamdar

Seeing the great darkness within the elven prince’s heart, the High God cursed his descendants with a thirst for blood…

A century has passed since the vampire race settled in the arctic north. It seems all is well for Druthor the Great, King of the Vampires, sitting uncontested on the Crimson Throne, when an iron sorceress arrives from the southlands. With her tales of war and tumult, she brings memories of what Druthor does not have: a national heirloom, an ancestral treasure, Lifedrinker, the ancient blade of the vampires. But recovering it will prove more dangerous than any could possibly imagine.

Vampire Origins novella.

Buy for $3.99 at Amazon, KoboNook, and Smashwords.

Crimson Throne

Crimson Throne

Locations: Nardur
Timeline: circa 80 Y.B.E.

In the vampire nation, there are no heroes, only villains…

Druthor, the ancient king of the vampires, sought to cheat death with alchemy but only quickened his demise. His sudden death throws Nardur into civil war as the lesser lords vie for the CRIMSON THRONE.

In the north, the Black Zealots of the Lonely Temple remain neutral but – in time – everyone must pick their allegiance; and choosing the wrong side means death.

A Vampire Origins novella.

 Buy for $3.99 on AmazonKoboNookSmashwords.

Prince of Dread

prince of dreadTimeline: circa 1 Y.E.
Locations: Nardur and Londor

From the ashes of civil war, the vampire nation emerges stronger than ever. Homar son of Homar, whom history will know as the PRINCE OF DREAD, musters his troops to avenge a nearly forgotten wrong.

Caught in the wake of the vampire king’s ambition is Malirias, an escaped slave who would rather die than lose his false freedom. But the vampire nation does not forgive, and in the end he may perish in the tumult threatening to remake the world.

Vampire Origins novella.

Buy for $3.99 on Amazon, Nook, and Smashwords.

Shadow and Flame, now available

Shadow and FlameThe third installment in the Imperial Chronicles has just been released. You can find it now on Amazon and Kobo. Other ereading sites will have it soon. Until then, head to Smashwords.

The Empire has reached its zenith of power and prosperity, but things are rarely as they seem.

As shadow spreads across the world, the Revered Order of Hunters scours the provinces for demon shrines and their fiendish worshipers, all while an eerie silence south of the Imperial border hints of a gathering storm. The emperor Severus struggles to maintain the recent peace and harmony, though he knows the growing dark touches all strata of society, from the highest official to the lowliest street actor, and no one is worthy of trust.
Far away, unbeknownst to the southron King of Kings and the Imperial government, the brother-sister heirs to the Red Throne of Haroon lay in hiding. But as a dark faith spreads by the sword across the Southern World, plunging ancient nations into chaos, not even well-born monarchs will escape these trials of SHADOW AND FLAME.

The third novel of the Imperial Chronicles.

To start at the beginning, read Unconquered Son and the sequel, Red Empire.

A little bit about writing this book:

Like most books I am happy with, I sat down and wrote this straight through. I took a lot of inspiration from both current events and from the ancient Greco-Roman world, as well as the parallels between the two. None of my readers so far have picked up on these, but I’m hopeful that one day people will. I have two more novels in this series planned (it will have five installments) with one due for November/early December and another set for January or mid-February.

Thanks to all my blog readers and those who have gone on to read my books. Just so you know, you can read a free book here.

Red Empire available now

I am excited to release RED EMPIRE, the sequel to Unconquered Son (though you can read it out of order). I had such fun writing it, though I miss the characters dearly. I hope you will enjoy my latest epic fantasy novel.

Without further ado…

Red empireThe second book in the Imperial Chronicles, a series of related stand-alone novels.

Setting: The Empire
Time Period: circa 1049-1051 YE

“Trust no one. To survive to my age, you must judge men’s character well. Fear your enemies, yes. But fear your friends even more.”

With the death of Claudio-Valens Adamantus, many fear the golden age will come to an end. In the Imperial Palace, his wife Anthea struggles to survive conspiracies and assassinations. Her only ally is Melorra, priestess of the mother goddess, whose commitment to nonviolence may prove her undoing.

Though barbarians attack from beyond the northern wall and power-hungry councilors do their best to achieve the White Throne, the greatest threat may come from far away. Scarlet-cloaked refugees and their queen Lidda arrive on ships and defame the gods, proclaiming the Devil has been reborn on the Red Mountain.

The Empire’s only hope may lie in the cryptic words of Anthea’s dreams: “The blood of the god, and the body of adamant.”

The second novel of the Imperial Chronicles can be read as a stand-alone or as a continuation.

Buy for $5.99 on AmazonKoboNook, or Smashwords.

Fell Winter now free

Hi, blog readers. I have a big announcement to make. After some careful thought, I have decided to set Fell Winter to free. I’ve heard people having a lot of success with the free strategy, and since my visibility seems to be limited on some sites, I thought this would be a good way to gain readers. Also, people who buy Fell Winter tend to go on to the next ones, so I thought I’d accelerate the process. I thank each of you for following this blog, and hope you enjoy.

Please download… every one counts. Reviews are optional but greatly appreciated.

Cover Fell Winter Final

FELL WINTER

An evil not seen in hundreds of years has awoken in the highland nation of Badelgard. The Ulfr – the original inhabitants of the land whose evil was matched only by their power over death – stir from their barrows.

The dead walk again at the command of an Ulfr witch. The fate of the High King and the possession of the High Throne grow more and more uncertain. Tensions flare between the lowborn commoners and the highborn descendants of the Seven Wardens.

In the middle of it all, the lowborn musician Brand Gutlaffson is thrust into a perilous chase thanks to the foolish decisions of his friend, the warrior Gunnar Whoreson. Their midnight flight takes them to the accursed land of Blackfold, where the ancient Ulfr goddess waits for Her awakening.

The cold begins to set in. But there is more to fear than darkness and snow in this FELL WINTER.

Download at the following retailers:

AmazonKoboNook and Smashwords.