Monday, June 7, 2021

Musings on my muse: The care and feeding of my inner control freak

If you met me, you would probably think I'm perfectly normal.  But inside, I do have a quirk that makes me a tad different from most folks: on one level, I'm a control freak. This might surprise a lot of people who see me as reasonably laid back (except when I'm worried about my kids, and then I freak out).  

But I'm a different person when I write books. It's not just being a writer that makes me different. Technology has made it much easier to write and to publish, which has revealed that gazillions of folks have that ambition. Some of them write hoping to make money, some write hoping for recognition or fame, and some write because they enjoy it. I write because I want people to read what I have written. Let me stress that—what I have written. What appeals to me writing stories is that by writing them as science fiction or fantasy, I control not only the characters but the setting. I can create my own worlds, each with its own appearance, environment, inhabitants, and cultures. And I can populate those worlds with whatever characters I think would make for an interesting story.  

In the Wakanreo trilogy (Alien Bonds, Alien Vows, and Alien Skies), I created a world where  an alien people mate because of biological reaction that cannot be controlled. I wanted to create a society in which sex was completely divorced from morality, and where nudity was not linked to a desire to provoke a sexual reaction. I also foresaw greater equality between the sexes and among socioeconomic groups; because there was no such thing as marriage, either arranged or from affection, and divorce did not exist, class structures were too difficult to enforce. Also, since pairing off was purely pheromone-driven, looks didn't matter. Add to this the question of love; just because you paired off with someone doesn't mean you have to love him or her.


In Tribes, I wanted my readers to inhabit a world where there was one overriding loyalty, at least in a legal sense. Belonging to a tribe was a a life-long and immutable thing. One's tribe provided security, a safety net against disaster, and also determined what was legal for an individual. On the other hand, if someone had no tribe, his life was doomed to slavery, drudgery, and degradation. Interjecting a slave into such a setting provided a way to see how the other characters behave toward him.

But setting a story on another world or in the future isn't the only way to control all the facets of my story. In Hidden Magic, I gave some characters magical abilities, but plunked them down in a society that feared and suppressed magic. I made them brother and sister, and then, because I enjoy a romance, I had each of them find someone they loved.  

I don't only read science fiction and fantasy. I enjoy mysteries, historical fiction and historical romance, and even sometimes young adult novels. But I don't think I would ever write in those genres because I would be stuck with the rules imposed by reality. 





Thursday, May 20, 2021

#BOWS2021 My inspiration for DRIFTERS, and how to win a free copy



I am participating in the BOWS event—the Book Owl Word Search, It's an online game for book lovers featuring books and authors from Snowy Wings Publishing. Six teams of writers each post information about one of their books, information that includes a secret word. There is also a  link to follow to get to the next post from an author on the same team. (six authors per team).

My book DRIFTERS is set a thousand years or so into the future, but in many ways the story is reminiscent of the settlement of the American west. Jehan Amato, a16-year-old boy, lives on a world called Menkar VII that has no native intelligent species and was thus colonized by humans. NOTE: Human are called Terrans in my books. If I were to call them humans, then every alien species would need a species name as well as a homeworld name, and that would be too much for me—or my readers—to keep straight.

When I create colony worlds, I like to think about why people would leave their home planet and go somewhere else to live. I think our earth is going to be very crowded in the future—parts of it are very crowded now. And also, between pollution and humans' use of resources, our environment may be much less pleasant than it is now. So I can see at some future date, humans being willing to leave our planet in order to have a better quality of life. In some ways, it's a bit like the folks who left Europe in large numbers, seeking a home in the "new world" because their old world had a bad economy or too many people or a war waging or some other obstacle to living a good life. Of course, those Europeans were in fact, moving onto land already settled by other humans, even though the land seemed empty to them. In my books, colony worlds have no equivalent to Native Americans. 

Some of my favorite books when I was growing up were the Little House books, written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She was born in Wisconsin, but her family kept moving west, first to Missouri, then Kansas. After a few years back in Wisconsin, they moved to Minnesota, and then South Dakota. Laura was born right after the American Civil War and died in 1957, so she saw a tremendous amount of change in her lifetime.

In Drifters, Jehan Amato is raised in a city, but at the age of sixteen, he finds himself forced to live with his father's nomadic people who travel across the plains of his world, much as Laura Ingalls Wilder did on earth, except Drifters don't plan to move permanently. And instead of wagons, they migrate back and forth every year in "float trains" that hover above the surface and travel much more swiftly than horse-drawn wagons. I envisioned that some of the colonists of Menkar VII would have that same spirit of the pioneers that Laura's father had—a desire to keep moving and not live in one place so I gave these folks, called Drifters, that same drive to keep moving, and a much faster way to move.

Another thing Drifters have in common with American pioneers is strict discipline. I noticed that in the Little House books. parents were very aware that their children were at risk if they wandered off into the wilderness, so they were quite firm  with them, and would punish them when they broke safety rules. Jehan's father has a similar problem because Jehan grew up in a city; he has no idea why Drifters have to follow the rules they do. In his first week with the Drifter caravan, Jehan runs into very dangerous trouble TWICE!

Giveaway!

As part of the BOWS event, I am offering to give away three free copies of Drifters. All you need to do to enter is to make a comment below, and I will draw three names of commenters as winners. You can tell me something about you—what you like to read, what you like to watch on TV. Or you can tell me if you're someone who has lived in one place or many places. My dad was in the US Navy for 20 years; between that and going away to two different  colleges, I have lived in 10 states—not quite a Drifter but not someone with a home town, either. How about you?  

After I draw the three names, I will reply to the winners via the blog. If you win, you will need to send me your physical address to if you choose a paperback copy or your email address if you prefer an ebook. If you win and you already have Drifters, you can choose a different ebook from my list (see the My Books tab on this blog). My email address is listed on the Contact tab if you have any questions, of if you win and need to let me know your address.

My team is the Blue Team (see the book covers in the montage at right). The next author in the BOWS Blue Team is Lyssa Chiavari. Visit her blog to find her post, read about her book, and discover her secret word! 

Good luck, and happy reading! 

NOTE: If you are relying on a screen reader and have not uncovered the secret word, it is "pioneers."






Tuesday, May 4, 2021

WORLDS APART launched today! Here's a snippet-- and May the 4th be with you!

My 18th title Worlds Apart is now for sale on Amazon, as both a paperback and a Kindle book!  Here's a snippet from Chapter 2.

Background:  Rishi Trahn is wealthy and powerful but she has no surviving family. While travelling on business she stops at the planet Celadon and goes sight-seeing on the wide-open plains. Her group stumbles across a tragedy in the making as a clan of nomadic herders is being attacked by ruthless bandits with superior weapons. To prevent a massacre, Rishi orders her ship, in orbit around Celadon, to fire on the bandits which kills the leader and makes the rest run away.

After the mess is cleared up, the herders invite Rishi and her staff to a feast in her honor the very next day. The herders all speak Greek, but one young man in the Mercouri clan can translate. His name is Praxiteles. He repeats what his clan leaders say, but no one tells Rishi how potent the local wine is.


From Chapter 2:

“Come, please, lady,” Praxiteles said, holding out his hands in a welcoming gesture, “and all your clan.”

Rishi debated trying to explain the concept of staff, but opted instead to smile and follow his lead.

When they arrived in the middle of the Elliniká encampment, she saw that a series of tables had been set up to form a huge square. A large bonfire had been lit in the center of the square. The combination of firelight and assorted lanterns hanging from poles illuminated the scene well, but the light flickered a good deal. Everything had multiple shadows.

The Mercouri had assembled, but waited by their stools and benches. Rishi decided there had to be at least a hundred people ready to sit down to dinner with her, maybe more. The tables were already loaded with food. It was, indeed, a feast.

Rishi wasn’t certain because she had been busy helping the day before, but she thought everyone looked more formally dressed. Most of the women wore long dresses, although some of them wore trousers underneath shorter gowns. The men wore vests or short jackets over their shirts, and it looked as if every one of them had polished his boots. Almost all their clothes were in shades of white, brown, or gray, but occasionally, a kerchief or a blouse matched the pink or orange of the wildflowers Rishi had seen on the plains. It occurred to her that they must not only sew their clothes but weave the fabrics from which they were made.

Achilles walked her to a seat. They put Hari next to her on one side, with Praxiteles on her other side to translate. Achilles sat across from Hari, and Eugenie sat across from Rishi. Everyone else gathered around and found their places, including several of the Golden Hawk’s crew who had helped the day before. There were a few minor altercations over who sat where, but eventually everyone had a seat. Even some older children were included in the event.

Young women brought around platters of grilled meat, and everyone helped themselves. There were bowls of fruits and vegetables on the tables, none of them familiar to Rishi. Praxiteles took a tiny loaf of crusty bread and tore it in half before taking a bite. Rishi did the same. It was good, although it tasted nothing like any bread she had ever had.

A smiling young woman filled Rishi’s cup with a deep red liquid. Rishi took a sip. It had to be wine, a slightly dry wine, with an almost bitter aftertaste. It was quite nice once she got used to it.

The food was good, and Rishi was soon full. She didn’t want to give offense, but she had to turn away more and more platters as they were offered. At Achilles’ urging, as translated by Praxiteles, she tried a hard, chewy cake that managed to be both sweet and salty and made Rishi very thirsty. She drank more of the red wine.

A young woman stood up holding a stringed instrument with a curved bottom and a long straight neck. She played while she sang what sounded like a very sad song. Rishi leaned her head towards Praxiteles and noted the faint aroma of wood smoke. She whispered for him to translate for her. He bent his head even nearer and told her that the song was about a woman whose mother put her on an island in a river, to keep her apart from her sweetheart. The young man drowned trying to swim to her.

“How tragic.” Rishi felt very strange, not light-headed exactly. It wasn’t that she felt bad. On the contrary, she felt wonderful—happy and lighthearted. She smiled at Praxiteles as she sipped her wine. The firelight gleamed on his hair and made it look like burnished gold. His blue eyes smiled back at her, and Rishi studied him covertly.

After the young woman finished singing, everyone applauded, and she started to play again, a more cheerful song this time. Several men got up and danced to the music. They started slowly, arms linked together, legs lifted in unison, stepping carefully around the bonfire. As the rhythm got faster, their dancing got faster and unrestrained, and the audience’s enthusiasm kept pace. By the time the dancers finished, there was wild cheering. Rishi applauded along with the Elliniká. She felt more than wonderful. She felt that she could do anything she wanted. 

Achilles got up and stood so he was facing Rishi. “Noble lady,” he said, in loud but terribly accented Standard. “We wish to offer to you our most heartfelt thanks for our deliverances.” From the stilted way he spoke, Rishi decided he must have memorized the words with no real idea of what he was saying. He paused, and Praxiteles translated his words into Elliniká. “We want you to know that every man, and woman, and child among us gives thanks to you.” Praxiteles translated again, and there was a murmur among the audience as if they were agreeing with their leader.

“We offer to you our hospitality without condition,” Achilles went on. “If there is anything ever we can do for you, most noble lady, we beg that you will ask us to do it.” Praxiteles translated, and Achilles bowed low to Rishi before resuming his seat.

Rishi decided she should respond. She stood up and bowed back, and then straightened up and surveyed the many faces that all looked at her so respectfully. “I thank you all,” she said, still feeling that wonderful sense of exhilaration, “for making me so welcome. I’m sorry my ship has to leave this evening, or I should be pleased to visit again. You don’t need to thank me.” She waved one hand in an expansive gesture. After all, she could do anything. What were a few lightning bolts to someone like her? “There’s no reason for you to feel indebted to me. It was nothing.”

After Praxiteles translated Rishi’s speech, Eugenie jumped up and spoke rapidly in her own language.

“Noble lady.” Praxiteles translated her comments. “The Mercouri are indeed in your debt. I, the Mercouri, say this, and I beg that you will believe me. We would do anything—give you anything—that you asked of us. If we have it, you have only to speak, and it is yours to keep.”

“All right,” Rishi said, smiling. It was nice that they recognized how wonderful she was. And after all, there were things she wanted. Still standing, she laid one hand negligently on Praxiteles’ shoulder. “Since you insist, I’ll take him.”




Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Cover Reveal: WORLDS APART

Worlds Apart is a science fiction romance set on two very different worlds. 

Cover by Najla Qamber

Praxiteles Mercouri, known to his friends as Prax, has spent his whole life on the plains of the planet Celadon. He knows nothing of technology; his nomadic people travel in huge wagons pulled by enormous beasts native to Celadon. His culture is based on clans, duty, and obligation.

Rishi Trahn lives on Subidar, a much more populous world with a much higher level of technology. As the sole survivor of her family, Rishi has inherited a very profitable trading company. On a routine trip to check up on the business, she travels to Celadon.

While sightseeing, Rishi is able to avert a terrible disaster for Prax’s clan. In the ensuing celebration, Rishi overdoes the potent local wine and causes a crisis for the clan she saved. As a result, Prax ends up travelling back to Subidar with her, but he is a man lost in a maze of a foreign culture and unknown technology. In addition, he's keeping a shameful secret. Rishi, meanwhile, feels terrible for taking him away from his people. But not so terrible that she wants to send him back.


Releasing May 4 from Crimson Fox Publishing. Available in paperback and on the Kindle . Pre-order the Kindle book on Amazon now.  See all my titles here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

I'm relaunching SHADES OF EMPIRE as science fiction romance

My novel SHADES OF EMPIRE is definitely a space opera, and the original cover reflects that part of the story. The action starts on the planet Gaulle, home of the Gaullian Empire, which is ruled by a despotic emperor. It continues on board a somewhat shady merchant starship, aptly named The Queen Bee. Occasionally the characters visit some remote planets with very loose laws. 
cover art by Danielle Fine

However, inside this rather dark space opera are three separate love stories: one involves the woman who owns and commands the Queen Bee; the second happens to a young soldier charged with treason against the empire; and the third occurs when an aristocrat on Gaulle tries to help his younger sister, a co-conspirator of the young soldier. Each of these three find someone as a result of their circumstances or actions. As part of the relaunch, I commissioned a new cover, which I think manages to incorporate both the space opera and the romance sides to the story. Also as part of the relaunch, I have enrolled this book in Kindle Unlimited. 

A word to readers: as I mentioned, this book is dark, by far the darkest story I have written. The other characters are generally good—even sometimes heroic—but the villains are twisted, terrible, and often cruel. Be warned!  Here's part of what SFBook Reviews said about this book:

"Set within the same universe as the authors previous novel Tribes, Shades of Empire follows the ex-soldier Alexander Napier, merchant starship captain Madeline Pallestrino and a host of other colourful characters.... While there are a number of romantic elements to the plot there are some much more serious aspects at play... in the wrong hands [these themes] could prove a story-breaker; luckily we are in good hands and the author manages everything in an intelligent and effective manner without once coming across as gratuitous or over the top. Some of the scenes are nevertheless a little graphic and as such this isn't suited to the younger reader, or indeed those who don't like to read about that sort of thing.

So it's not a book for everyone however it is a very well crafted tale that blends some really creative characters into a multi-threaded plot without losing the reader anywhere and the way these are all brought together is excellent."





Sunday, April 11, 2021

TRIBES is only 99₵ for a few days!

My sci-fi romance novel TRIBES is on sale for 99 until Wednesday, April 14. Get it now at Amazon! (Also free in Kindle Unlimited!).

Hob is a slave. Jahnsi is a mercenary, a damsel who never needs rescuing. They both live on Mariposa, a world founded as a prison colony, where all-male or all-female tribes are the only government there is. A person’s tribe demands loyalty and service but provides protection. A girl baby always has a tribe but when a woman can’t find a man to claim her son, she has to abandon him, and the infant can then become someone’s slave.

Hob has nothing to lose when he meets Jahnsi. For the first time in a long time, Hob finds first compassion and then something much more. Jahnsi is horrified by the injustice on Hob's life. But as she and her family struggle to keep him hidden and safe, someone from off-world begins a manhunt through Mariposa's slave quarters, looking for a very specific slave.

Get it now on Amazon.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Self-publishing 101

 Decades ago, if you wanted to get a book published, you had to be able to produce a clean, readable  manuscript. Then you sent it off, either to agents or directly to one or more publishers who accepted unsolicited manuscripts. And finally, you waited for the rejection letters to pour in. 

If you got nowhere with traditional publishing and decided to self-publish your book, you needed a good chunk of money. Once you had a clean manuscript (which if you were wise, you paid someone to edit), you had to get someone to layout your book in the proper format and then pay someone else to print and bind a large number of copies-- hundreds, at least. And then you needed storage space--a garage, a dry basement, a rented storage locker--so that you had somewhere to store all those cartons of books. And finally, you needed to be able to visit bookstores and persuade the store owners to sell your book

Technology has changed all that. Word processing makes it easier to produce a clean, tidy m.s. and even to format the book (although it's fairly tedious to do it with a regular word processor like MS Word).  The invention of the Espresso Book Machine (like a photocopier and book binder rolled into one) made it possible to print a book only when someone ordered a copy of it. Online services like IngramSpark and Amazon's KDP meant that you no longer needed a garage or even a bookstore to sell a self-published printed book.

An Espresso Book Machine


And then there were ebooks, Ebooks are basically a file coded with HTML tagging using a predefined set of rules for what tags to use. If you've never seen HTML (it's what makes the web possible), it's full of tagging like this:  <p>This is a paragraph of text</p>. Most tags with begin and end tags <tagname></tagname> are actually containers that contain text and/or other tags, Tags can have attributes that define how the content appears, like this: <p style="text-align:right">Text inside this tag will be aligned right.</p>

If it all sounds terribly technical, be aware that there are software programs such as Calibre (free download, but please make a donation if you find it useful) that can create epub (the most used ebook format) and other formats from MS Word files. It can even edit them, but you have to know how to edit HTML. 

Calibre ebook management software

I first self-published a book (The Sixth Discipline) in 2011. My 18th title (Worlds Apart) releases in May of this year.. All but two titles are available in paperback as well as ebook form. Nine of them are in Kindle Unlimited, which means the ebook version is only available from Amazon. This Amazon subscription-based service allows users to borrow your book and then pays royalties to the author based on pages read. If an ebook is reasonably priced, to compete with tradstionally-pubslished ebooks, and long enough, the author can make more from KU readers than from sales. However, some genres do not do well in KU, so I always launch there but move the book to wider distribution in 90 days (when the first term expires), if I don't get enough KU pages read to make it worthwhile to keep the books exclusive to Amazon. Be aware that this Amazon KU limitation does not affect printed versions of books, only ebooks. 

To me, the toughest aspect of self-publishing is what happens shortly before and then after the book is published: Marketing!  I'm not going to give any advice on that because frankly, I'm not especially good at it. If anyone has any advice to chip in, feel free to leave a comment. Ditto if you have a question.



Sunday, March 7, 2021

My books are in the Smashwords sale!

Smashwords is an ebook vendor. Unlike Amazon or Barnes and Noble, they don't sell any ereaders and in fact, they sell ebooks in many different formats—Kindle, epub, and even PDF! 

My books on their site are all either half price or free. Note that none of the books in Kindle Unlimited is available anywhere but Amazon,, but I still have these titles:

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

THE NAMELESS WORLD has launched!

 


My two-book story THE NAMELESS WORLD has launched! As of yesterday, both books were available in the Kindle story, and the first book, The North Edge of Nowhere, was also available n hardcover. The paperback covers for both books and the hardcover for books, Oaths and Promises, are still being tweaked bur they should follow soon.

This duology is difficult to categorize as it has elements of several genres. It's set in the far future on a colony world unknown to the rest of the galaxy, so it's definitely science fiction. Darius, the protagonist is 17 at the start of Book 1, so you could also call it YA, but the story progresses and by Book 2 Darius is 20, so you could also call it a coming of age story. And while the romance in Book 1 is confined to two important secondary characters, Daniel the Wanderer and Ramons, a physician, in the second book, Darius himself finds love, so you could also label this a romance. 

In the excerpt from book 1, below, we see a scene between Daniel and Ramons. Both of them are outsiders to the culture in which they live, Daniel even more so than Ramona. And both of them have a secret. Daniel thinks he has guessed Ramona's secret; Ramona is quite certain she knows his.

Excerpt from Chapter Two of The North Edge of Nowhere:

Grateful for the chance to think things over, Daniel left the main house before Lord Brian could change his mind. He walked outside and looked up at the sky. The early morning sunshine had given way to gray clouds. This would be Daniel’s third autumn at Castle Muir. He no longer found it depressing to spend days without seeing the sun.

Daniel debated. He needed a workout. The martial arts skills he had mastered years before had earned him a place here, and he needed practice to keep those skills sharp.

But still, the events of the morning had disturbed him, and he wanted some advice.

He walked to the square building with barred windows and a single door, euphemistically referred to as the guest barracks, to see if Ramona was still treating the wounded men. Ramona was an outsider here, too, even if not quite so alien as he was, and he usually found her advice helpful. At least, he told himself, needing her advice made a good excuse to see her.

The guard at the guest barracks shook his head in answer to Daniel’s question; Ramona had left a few minutes before. Daniel made his way to the back of the keep and knocked on her door for the second time that day.

When Ramona’s voice called out for him to enter, Daniel went in. A teakettle simmered on the stove next to the pot of boiling broom herb, and the flowery scent of fresh-brewed tea mingled with the woody herbs.

Ramona sat at her kitchen table sipping a cup of tea as if no untoward event had occurred. She offered tea to Daniel, but he declined.

“Did you hear what happened in the great hall after you left?” he asked.

Ramona rolled her eyes. “Who could avoid hearing it? It’s no small matter to Castle Muir that its lord has found an heir.”

The certainty in her voice surprised Daniel and incited that uneasy feeling he had had ever since he had dragged the red-haired boy upstairs. “Is everyone so sure this boy is really Lord Brian’s son?”

Ramona shrugged. “He looks enough like Lord Brian that Lady Helaina saw the resemblance easily.”

But Lady Helaina had had no supporters until after Ulf had cut the boy’s hair. “Surely whether one person looks like another is, to some extent, a matter of opinion.”

She glanced at him over her cup, rather an appraising glance. “There’s the ring. Basco remembers Lord Brian getting whipped for coming back from Antwerp without it. So did old Berta. Lord Fulke had told her the ring was from the time when we came to this place in silver ships.”

Daniel blinked. No one had ever made any reference to space travel in his hearing. Still concerned with the rightness of his own actions, he let that subject drop. “That proves that Lord Brian gave the ring to the boy’s mother. It doesn’t prove he’s the boy’s father.”

“The boy said the ring was his grandfather’s. His mother must have told him that it was. Besides, he has red hair, just like the old Lord.”

It sounded convincing, but Daniel’s conscience still pricked him. Lord Brian had made a decision from which there was no appeal, and no one else seemed to feel a need to question it. “Lots of people have hair that color.”

Curiosity ripened in Ramona’s expression. “Why should you care?”

Daniel took his time in answering. He had no fear that she would carry tales, but on the other hand, it was difficult to solidify his unease into words. “I held the boy down,” he said at last. “I was doing my job, but I was also helping take this boy away from his mother.”

Ramona stood up and reached for a long-handled spoon to stir her boiling liquid. “You brood about things no one else cares about. If this boy is Lord Brian’s son, then he has a right to him.”

Either on purpose or from inattention, she was missing the point. “But what if he isn’t?”

Busy with her potion, she spoke over her shoulder. “Don’t let it worry you. He is.”

“How can you know for certain?”

She turned her gaze back to him for a second. She glanced at the floor, then shot him a look from under her brows. She hesitated a moment, as if she were debating, and then she put down the spoon. She sat down again, folded her hands around her teacup, and looked straight at Daniel as she spoke in a low clear voice. “The way that you think I know.”

Daniel stood frozen and tried to gather his wits. He had never thought she would speak so plainly. He met her look with his own steady gaze, and they stared at each other for a few moments.

Finally, Ramona took a sip of her tea, staring into the dark surface as if it held the answer to a mystery.

Daniel opted to go for broke. He put both hands on the table and leaned over so that his face was close to hers. “If you know my thoughts, then you know what I’m thinking now.”

Ramona put her cup down. “I know.”

“Well?”

She stood up. Daniel backed up, but she took a step closer to him. She put her arms around his neck and pressed herself against him.

Relief flooded Daniel. He took her in his arms and kissed her hungrily. After a few moments, Ramona pulled away.

Daniel’s relief evaporated. “What’s wrong?”

“Just a moment.” She stepped to the stove and moved the pot of liquid off the fire, then came back to take his hand. “Not here. Someone might come in.” She pulled him with her through the doorway into the small bed chamber that was the only other room in her house. Before Daniel could say anything, she had shut the door and slid the bolt into its socket.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Amazon is adding hardcovers!

Amazon KDP is running a beta project of publishing in hardcover. I'm trying it out with my upcoming duology The Nameless World. I just got my proof copies! I think they look pretty good! See for yourself! The Kindle versions release March 1, and the paperback and hardback soon after.

The North Edge of Nowhere, standing on its own

The front covers of both books

The spines of both books

As you can see from the photo of the spines, both The North Edge of Nowhere and Oaths and Promises  are coming out under my Cracked Mirror Press imprint. I had to get the covers I had used for the paperback tweaked for the hardcover so I'm not sure if I will go back and do other books in hardcover. However, I'm glad it was available for this duology because it ad the Wakanreo books are my favorites.