In two days I will upload Warbound: The Shield Maiden to Amazon. If all goes well it will be available for download on Thursday.
I want to thank everyone who helped me out or offered encouragements. This year has been tough, with several deaths and unfortunate events, not just for me, but for my family and friends. With your help I persevered, perhaps even prospered in some ways. I am truly lucky to have friends, family, and fans who care so much.
Here is the final version of the cover.
Damn fine work.
And here is one last set of teasers for ya’ll. I hope you enjoy the book.
Finally, the time came to embark. The Bright Company, Ninth Legion in tow, marched through the North Gates of the Capital, down through the tall-house tenements, up through the industrial districts and out onto a long pier full of ships.
The people of Krass lined the streets to watch the procession. The expedition to Ithal’Duin was seen as folly by some, but most people were eager for tales of new lands and the hope of new opportunities that they might bring.
Chosen Brightloch, smiling at the head of the parade, with strange-eyed Ri[click]va at his side drew many cheers. Some among the crowd remembered his time in the arena, fifty years past.
Vintia marched with the Eighth Cohort, the first unit of the Ninth Legion to reach the ships. The engineers of the Eighth would oversee the loading of artillery and other delicate equipment through out the day, while the rest of the Legion would assist the civilian pioneers.
Legions on campaign typically included a contingent of professionals that tended to their needs. These ranged from smiths and healers, to herdsmen and cooks. The Bright Company included a much larger number of these, adding prospectors, surveyors, and many other specialists who would ready the Chosen’s Domain for settlers.
Many of these civilian pioneers had been handpicked by Brightloch himself. They were rugged travellers who rode in collapsible waggons. Whether stream powered, elemental, or animal driven, these waggons would be rapidly dissassembled and stowed aboard the ships.
Over two dozen transport vessels, escorted by a trio of fearsome Ironclads, would make the journey.
A smaller crowd gathered the next day, as the sun rose and the ships finally set sail. Vintia scanned the people gathered, a cheering mass, looking for familiar faces as they wind pushed them away from home and toward adventure.
And here is a second bit. These excerpts twere added to the book during late re-writes, both based on reader feedback, from my sister and brother, if I recall correctly.
“I like it here,” said Sadira looking out over the Spires of Kirif from a sheltered cove. They lay on the beach, naked and entwined, watching the Fologi play in the wake of three massive ironclads headed to Fort Nerus.
“It is rather far from Krass,” said Gavin. “Are you sure?”
“You and I are only allowed a single Domain,” said Sadira. “And a single vote in the Council of the Chosen. Why hurry? We can also communicate without a link over long distances. What stops us from continuing our explorations here? I am fond of the idea that others won’t be looking over our shoulders all the time.”
“So be it,” said Gavin. “Let us be a little more open about it than Chosen Brightloch.”
“I would prefer to stay out of Kirifan politics as much as possible,” said Sadira.
Gavin laughed. “What about your plans to reconquer Avenholt?”
“Don’t think I’ve given up on that, Gavin,” said Sadira. “I am an ambitious woman, and I am learning the value of patience. I will follow that dream when I am ready. I will enjoy the fruit that is Ithal’Duin while it is at hand, learn what I can, and move on. We don’t have to settle here.”