Teaser

Things have been crazy here. The father of my two stepsons died around the middle of the month, leaving a devastating void in their lives. I have been trying to help as best I can, mostly caring for my two younger sons. The outpouring of love from his friends has been truly toughing.

I’m still narrowing down what I want to do for my next serial. Good news is that I should be finished the first draft of Bloodlust: War by next week. Here is a taste of that.

“What is one life more, Chosen,” said Valdarr nonchalantly. “If the gods want my blood, who am I to deny them? And if they want yours on this day, all the better.”

The Chosen smiled. “By all means then, beseech your gods and fight me, Warlord. Let us end—”

A shadow fell over the Chosen and she threw herself back as the chassis of one the mighty Juggernauts that her men rode, crashed into the mud in front of her. Valdarr saw mighty Giitan, now raising a great horn to his lips, sounding the retreat.

He turned and saw a company of massive black armoured figures, the war-trolls, crashing into the side of his brethren on the hill. At the summit stood a Chosen, who seemed crowned with blades with the red sun dipping down behind him.

The battle was lost.

There was nothing left to do. Valdarr raised is own horn to his lips, echoing Giitan in sounding a retreat.

The Chosen stood casting a blazing wall of flame toward Giitan. The fire washed over the enormous Gold Mask, but he held his blade before him, bellowing.

Valdarr picked up a spear from one of the fallen Krassians and took two steps, hurling it as he drew strength from Moonfang. The Chosen did not react immediately, and it seemed she would be hit, but at the last moment she swept it aside with her trident. Then she tossed a massive spear of ice toward Valdarr, forcing him to throw himself to the ground and crushing several of the Nosgoth behind him.

Before she could attack again, Moonfang, running swiftly. Diliria sat astride the Wolf and she tossed one of her ever-ready glass globes down between them and the Chosen. Thick smoke erupted from the shattered sphere, instantly obscuring them.

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Teaser More

Here we go. A teaser from my new draft, Bloodlust: War due on July 17th, 2019.

The Chosen snarled, sending a wave of flame to engulf her foe. The fire left a blackened trail as it licked the ground between them. Even through the hot flames, Valdarr could see the runes of the Lord Reckoner’s armour glow brightly as he pushed forward through the inferno, assaulting the chosen with strange sigils that made Valdarr’s head spin before throwing off the flames and swinging at the woman with his blade.

It was what the Chosen had been waiting for. The Nimble woman slid out of the way of the Lord Reckoner’s powerful attack and slipped around him, driving her flaming blade down across his back.

She was as surprised as Valdarr when the bright arc of that mighty sword turned into a shower of flaming shards, so surprised that she reacted too late to the Lord Reckoner’s own blade, which neatly cut her in half at the waist.

Possessed of inhuman vitally, the bisected Chosen, screaming defiance. still blasted flame at the Lord Reckoner as he turned around. White hot flames washed over him as he lifted his grim blade, only ending when he drove the point of his sword through the Chosen’s chest.

Update and Teaser

Went back to the dayjob after a long paternity leave. I miss my family and honestly I’m surprised work has changed so little after so long.

I am plugging away at Bloodlust: War (Domains book 9), which is consuming a lot of time. Here is a quick taste from the draft:

“At last it is time to make our mark,” said Valdarr, astride Moonfang with Diliria.

Around him, the Nosgoth surged forward, eager to get to grips with the Krassians. Even the presence of a dragon could not dim their lust for blood now.

Of course, if it turned and breath fire on them, that courage would evaporate. But for now, General Coraxia led her Wyverns against the Dragon, harrying from every angle. The crackled of spells and the roar of the beast could be heard even above the shouts of his warriors.

Valdarr did not charge the Legion line directly, The Nosgoth hoped to envelop the Krassian lines, but the strange formation on the palisades, a wedge thrusting outward, made direct attack a fool’s errand.

There were too few troops in the hills behind the lines to stop the Nosgoth.

“Its Chosen Sadira’s Homeguard,” said Diliria.

“Good, she won’t find us easy prey above ground,” he snarled. He remembered the deadly Homegaurd from their little war in the Deepstone roards. Taking Chosen Sadira’s head would make him a legend. “I’ve given orders to avoid engaging her if possible, she is too strong for any of us. Kill her people and she become vulnerable.”

“Spoken like a true Warlord,” purred Diliria, pulling one of her magical gas globes from a too-small ouch.

“NOSGOTH!” bellowed Valdarr, racing into the fray.

Captain Marvel Review and a Bloodlust: War Teaser

I’m posting this Friday instead of last night, because I went to watch Captain Marvel and then stayed up to talk about it with Viv.

The movie is already ‘controversial’ because of the usual internet trolls who seem to be mad that Brie Larson kicked over their sandcastle in fifth grade or the equivalent. It has a strong message about female empowerment, but the idea that it is overwhelming feminist or anti-male is about as silly as it sounds.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I liked it more than most Marvel movies but would not put it on the same pedestal as the amazing conflict and world-building of Black Panther or the deep delve into the nature of order and justice from Winter Soldier. I would put it on par with Thor: Ragnarok. Brie Larson is believable as Captain Marvel and carries the movie well in both action and dramatic scenes. The rest of the cast is quite good as well.

The action scenes are where the movie shines, as you would expect from a blockbuster. I was surprised at the variety, however with a nice mix of stunts, small scale martial arts, big CGI super-fights, and a heck of a lot of dog-fighting with jets and spaceships.\

The movie is heavy on 90’s nostalgia which you will either love or groan at if you lived through it (Full disclosure, I hated 90s culture for the most part) but could baffle you if you did not. Larson does a superb job with the annoying grunge attitude and there are some good laughs around 90s tech and references.

The messaging is very positive. As I said the movie is an empowerment flick with a female lead and it has decent positive messages about friendship and self-understanding. The best messaging for me, were the parts about overcoming gaslighting, which is kind of central to western society these days. I was pretty happy with the choice of tone, I’m tired of grim movies and books right now.

Overall, I think it worth seeing if you are even slightly curious about it or just like the Marvel movies. Given the challenges in making a movie about a character who is more powerful than entire teams of superheroes (see Superman), I think it is especially triumphant.

And, as an apology for not posting lat night, here is a teaser from Bloodlust: war, due out July 17th 2019.

The projectiles clattered against the Homeguard. Without shields their defence was imperfect, but with heavy armour and warding weapons held high, only a few of them went down under the lethal volley.

It was inhuman to stand there and do nothing in return, and yet that is what they did, and the bulk of the Deomen forces charged right toward an intact line. Silver Masks overtook the Gold Masks leading them, who were slowed down by their huge weapons. The plan was to kill them as quickly as possible, avoiding giving them time to gain power from their wounds.

And then they were upon them, howling bestial, all rage and wild power. Raw strength surged through Kingblade as he met the first silver masks with a sweep of his great blade, cutting a red arc into their ranks, sending limbs and broken bodies flying to the side. A gold mask surge through the ranks to meet him, already a head taller than the others, heaving a massive club up into an impossible overhand. Kingblade, much swifter, thrust his blade low and twisted into an uppercut slash, splitting the Gold Mask in half from groin to shoulder. The body warped rapidly as he cut through, growing monstrous, but even a Gold Mask could not live through such a stroke and the two growing halves crashed to the ground. The Silver Masks backed away from him.

Another Teaser :D

While I consider what I want to do next on the ol’ blog, here is a teaser from my next Domains novel, Bloodlust: War, due July 17th of this year.

“HOLD!” she bellowed, turning to Sassin. “Are they trying to drown us?”

Her fear was that the Deomen would use the same tactics that the Legions once used against them on the floodplains North of Kirif, sweeping her army away with a flash flood.

“No, I don’t think so,” said Sassin. “The water here does not flow quickly enough.”

“What if they have a powerful elementalist?”

“If they were that powerful, I doubt they would wait,” said Sassin. “They mean to even the odds and attack again, I think. We should reform or try to move to better ground.”

“Let them come,” snarled Sadira. “Their Gold Masks are dead. What else do they have?”

As if in response to Sadira challenge the Deomen stopped running, silently reforming their own lines. To Sadira’s surprise she saw a cadre of Gold Masks come forward, bearing powerful Runic weapons, already full grown.

“They had reserves,” said Sadira.

“We have a few surprises left ourselves,” said Sassin.

The Two forces regarded each other, the Deomen preternaturally quiet. Sadira could sense Sunmane, Ashen Rain, and Razorthorn readying offensive spells and felt the determination of the men at her back, where now up to their ankles in mud and water,

“HOLD!” she bellowed, hearing the command echoed up and down the line.

As she watched, the centre of the Deomen line parted, revealing an ominous figure clad in crude armour that blazed with incredibly powerful runes. The figure was something new, and yet she could not escape the sense of familiarity that she saw in his magic.

“Valaran?” the words came to her lips unbidden, but she knew it to be true as soon as she laid eyes on him.

“Welcome to your doom, Chosen Sadira,” said the armoured form.

As the armoured figure spoke a lithe woman with strange eyes, dressed in shining green scales slipped around him holding familiar looking glass globes in each hand.

“The Poison,” whispered Sadira, stepping in front of her uncle.

Happy Valentine’s Day Teaser

I took the day off today to spend some extra time with my wonderful SO, who supports me in everything I do. She is the best.

And so are my parents for watching Ronan, who has no conception of Romance or keeping dinner on his plate 😉

As for the blog, with Rotblossom Rose all wrapped up, I am considering next steps. I am interested in Patreon and the RPG space is also red hot right now… basically I have decisions to make and with my 9th Domains novel in full swing, most of my thought is going toward stuff like figuring out how a thirty foot tall hoplite fights and how to counter it, or what exactly is The Dread and why do I feel like including it in an already complicated story.

Speaking of WIP, how a bout a taste of Bloodlust: War?

Blood splashed on Harchilles’s cheek as a screaming projectile hit his new flank-mate, Piras, squarely in the face as they closed. He had brief impression of the man’s helm flying back and then another Doryoi took his place, closing the shield wall as they charged.

Harchilles could see why Balorean was so angry now and admired the old Doryoi even more for leading them from the front. The cannons of the Krassians were tearing into them mercilessly as they charged across open ground. They would make easy targets for the cannon on the walls even as they fought their way through the palisades.

Perhaps the Wirn intended to expend them here or maybe they were weary of Balorean holding back and preserving his troops while their own forces paid the blood price for victory.

“Forward!” bellowed Balorean. They were fully committed now as their line closed within a span of the first palisades.

“Shields up!” shouted Balorean as the Krassians raised their cross-bow like spike guns. The Hittans obeyed instantly. Having learned the pain that these little weapons could inflict.

Harchilles felt several of the needle like projectiles bite flesh while uncounted others rained off his shield. He heard a shriek and felt an impact on his shield, stumbling back as the rim splintered. The man behind him caught him and pushed him back into the fight; it was either get his feet under him or be trampled in the charge and soon Harchilles regained his senses and found himself paces from the enemy ditch. He leapt up and over thrusting his spear into the ranks of the Legionnaires standing before him. Braced as they were, they were not strong enough to withstand his might and he skewered the first man and killed the second in a single thrust. He roared at them.

The cannons spoke again and to his dismay, Harchilles felt the man behind him, Axander, fall. Anger spurred him over the palisade and into the ranks of the Krassians. They needed to silence the cannon or none of them would see the green hills of Hittalia again.

The heroic Doryoi kicked a Legionnaire out into the air over his wavering comrades and strode forward again, striking a furrow in the ranks of the Legionnaires with his spear, only pausing when he was distracted by shadows passing over him.

A Teaser for Tuesday

This week’s excerpt is from Bloodlust: Iron Faction, the eighth book in my Domains of the Chosen series.

In this part of the book, gavin and Sadira have a perilous encounter with an old foe, The Wirn…

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“Sounds—”

A dreadful cry echoed above them. Gavin turned to see the massive winged form bearing down on them, raising his shield as adrenaline set his blood aflame. The head and the barbed tail of the beast were instantly identifiable: a wyvern! On the beast’s back was an armoured Wirn. Snow shot into the air as they landed nearby and Gavin blocked a sudden tail strike that shot forth, partly obscured.

Further up the hill came more shrieks and the sounds of metal on metal, the sizzle of spells, and the war-cries of a battle joined.

Gavin could feel Headtaker draw an enormous amount of power from him, shrugging off Wirn twisting, and saw a bright flash as she called lightning down on one of the mounted Wirn.

Anger spurred Sadira to action, and she charged the closest Wyvern, brandishing her greatsword. The tail flicked toward her as she closed, and she dodged out of the way of the wicked barb, then sidestepped out of reach as the beast sought to bite her in half. She bought her sword down on its neck, but a band of thick metal thwarted the killing blow. Before Sadira could strike again, the beast swung around and butted her aside with its armoured head. She rolled to her feet perilously close to the mountain edge. An arrow from the beasts’ rider skipped off her pauldron as the Wyvern closed.

“Not this time beast!” shouted Gavin, charging forward to aid Sadira, his shield held high. The monster remained intent on Sadira, and so Gavin leapt in, knocking the Wirn rider out of its saddle and into the snow, grabbing the back and pulling himself up.

Sadira howled and lunged thrusting her blade into the neck of the Wirn before he could rise. His blood gushed out onto the snow as she darted away from his mount. The Wyvern screamed and lunged at her, but Sadira danced out of the way of the lashing tail and snapping jaws.