A Verse for Witches Blurb Reveal

From the March 1, 2024 Newsletter: Hey, folks. A Verse for Witches is book one of my epic fantasy series scheduled for release in 2025, and I just finished the blurb--the working draft, anyway--that's about to go out to newsletter subscribers, beta readers, and my cover artist. Check it out, if you will: A mercenary with a sword that sings. A witch who walks in dreams. If their destinies entwine, empires will fall.   Tsing was in love. Once. Now a blade, a horse, and a lucrative quest are all he needs. So, after an incredible night of passion with a green-eyed witch, he does what he always does—pays her handsomely and escapes at full gallop.   Erin is an indentured drudge—longing for freedom to walk her own path. So, the gold received after accidentally drinking a forbidden aphrodisiac is balm to her shame. She’ll put the incident behind her—until she finds her path to becoming a master dream walker is shared by the one who caused her shame.   Tsing is named the orphan king i

Goblin Diaries Vol. 8 : I Hate Boats

From the February 16th, 2024 newsletter:   1st Day of Witches Moon, 1218 th year, Human Age of Magic … I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the foot of a goblin is a shining example of the gods’ design. Wide, flat, and thick-soled, it distributes weight perfectly throughout a stride. No matter the surface, nor the weather, we goblins have no need for cumbersome footwear. We can carry many times our weight over long distances. Give us a road, a path, rocky terrain, or shifting sand, we will walk upon it and revel in the sheer joy of movement. Notice I said walk—the mode of travel the gods of Urgule intended. There are no roads, no paths, nor even maps of the terrain between Azurith and the Forest of Baeth that I can find. There is only the River Wiste, winding its way south through the Enchanted Forest on its way to Ozua. I hate boats. Yet, if I wish to investigate the two faeries, Fauche and Floreze—to verify they are flooding the black market here in Azurith with neleh berry wine, and

The Goblin Diaries, Vol 7: The Forest of Baeth and the Neleh Berry

 From the January 19, 2024 Newsletter: 22 nd Day of the Frost Moon, 1218 th year, Human Age of Magic … The dragon Pieter has become a regular visitor here at the late Alchemist’s estate, and I’m not entirely comfortable with that. Rather than go into hiding—as I assumed he would—he stayed in Azurith overnight in his human guise and got a room at the Royal Goose—the very inn where the mercenary Tsing stayed when he was in the city! Then—as if to purposefully draw attention to himself—he seems to have grilled the staff there about the activities of both Tsing and the dream walker who’s been assigned to “take care” of the man. There’s something that dragon is not telling me—some scheme he’s cooking up with his human cronies—and I’m afraid he’s trying to draw me into it. However, his question about the neleh berry and its side effects have led me deeper into investigations of the activities of the two faeries inhabiting the Enchanted Forest to the south, which has become the home b

Animal Characters & an Excerpt from A Verse for Witches

I love some of the animal characters in the books I read. From the heroic nature of Dean Koontz' goldens, through the tragic descent into madness of Stephen King's Cujo, to the comic distractions of almost any pet, animal characters just add depth and breadth to any tale. In A Verse for Witches I've developed a character that I'm having so much fun with that I felt compelled to share with you in an excerpt. Following is Tsing telling the story of how he and his horse met. A short time later, Tsing sat across the table from Erin, a steaming bowl of stew before him. The cavern had indeed heated up to a comfortable temperature, and they had both removed their coats, which were slung over the backs of their chairs. He blew on his stew to cool it and glanced at the horses. Brawn and Sura were munching companionably from feedbags on the far side of the cavern. “He’s taken a liking to her,” he remarked. “Brawn doesn’t always get along with other horses, but he’s very comfortab

Goblin Diaries, Vol 6: The Dragon Pieter

 From the 12/22/23 newsletter: 21st Day of the Frost Moon, 1218th Year, Human Age of Magic ... The days have been hectic since my last journal entry. The king has appointed me executor of the late Alchemist's estate until he can find and appoint a replacement, and the sorcerer left his accounts in such disarray that I've been bombarded from all sides with petty claims for payments or for services left unrendered. Plus, I've had several unwanted visits from a powerful member of the Protectorate, the dragon Pieter. Well, the first visit was not entirely unwelcome. I'd requested help removing the Eye of Ellindrell from the forehead of the sleeping golem, and I was grateful the Protectorate sent a dragon to do it. But I wasn't expecting someone so high up in the hierarchy, and we've had a few conversations that I've found disturbing. For anyone reading this journal that doesn't already know, the dragons co-founded the Protectorate, along with the elves, for

Gratitude for the Unfolding Story

 From the December 1st newsletter: When I first started writing, I did very little outlining. I had a vague idea where I wanted the story to go, and I just wrote free-form, letting the characters develop themselves and the story unfold as it would. It was magical. Nowadays, since I'm trying to make a living at it, with deadlines to meet and daily word counts to achieve, a good bit of outlining is an absolute necessity. And especially with writing an epic fantasy series. where world building needs to be intricate and detailed, I keep not only an outline of each novel, but a "bible" of sorts, with lists of characters, their descriptions and motivations, conflict maps, flora and fauna, "W" plot lines--the list goes on. All this has made my writing more efficient. I can tell an editor six months ahead of time when the book will be ready, what the word count will be, and I can get it to them on time. But, in exchange for efficiency, some of the magic has been sucked

Goblin Diaries, Volume 5: The Mercenary Tsing

 From the November 17th newsletter... Hey folks. It's time for another excerpt from the Goblin Diaries. Things seem to be heating up in Trevor' world. 18th Day of the Frost Moon, 1218th Year, Human Age of Magic ... The mercenary, Tsing, arrived yesterday afternoon having procured the Eye of Ellindrell. However, he does not carry Ka'il Idreth. The rumor that he has a sword that sings seems merely to refer to his prowess with the blade. Still, I was counting my blessings when he turned over the Eye to the Alchemist ... ... until the feces hit the fan. Tsing delivered the Eye, and the Alchemist paid him half his fee, promising the remainder once he had balanced his ledger--part of the spell he worked up to conjure the god, Vale. My master was up all night completing his work, and when Tsing arrived this morning to collect the rest of his fee, the Alchemist apparently chose to demonstrate his work. I have no idea exactly what happened, but I knew something had gone terribly wro