Tag Archives: ebooks

The Lord of Frake’s Peak: The Bastard Cadre #4



Book four of the futuristic epic fantasy adventure goes back to the years directly after the Cleansing. Lord Obdurin has been Rhysin’s chosen for eight years, and Avril and his cadre are not nothing more than an idea.


Obdurin’s enemies are gathered against him, but Obdurin refuses to wait for the conqueror’s terms or the assassin’s blade and embarks on a bold plan to reshape Central Newterra. Other players: chosen, immortals, and at least one aspirant who would claim Obdurin’s place as The Lord of Frake’s Peak are determined to beat him at his own game.


Vincent d’Rhyne, the son of Lord Obdurin’s predecessor—Lord Benshi—swore a debt of gratitude on the day Obdurin killed Vincent’s father and took Rhysin’s heart. Now eight years later, Vincent is given his chance to repay that debt, but did he misjudge Obdurin in his gratitude? Is Obdurin the peace loving man that he appears to be, or is he a subtle tyrant and much worse than bloodthirsty Lord Benshi ever was?

This book has been the most challenging of The Bastard Cadre books to write so far. We get to meet our new protagonist, Vincent a very tortured soul, but we also get closer to the chosen and their games and we see something of how the people of Newterra and the chosen are manipulated by gods. I’ve been told by Beta readers that you could read this book as an introduction to the series (it’s set before the other books) without reading the first three books, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’ve also tried to remove some of the ambiguity around some of the character’s motivations, in particular Lord Obdurin, but you’ll have to let me know how I did.

The Lord of Frake’s Peak is available now at Smashwords and Amazon with other retailers to follow.

Hello 2014 (and a special offer)

Here in Australia it has been 2014 for a whole 21 hours and so far it doesn’t feel any different to 2013, though there are a lot more joggers out than usual.

My plans for 2014 are to publish The Lord of Frake’s Peak: The Bastard Cadre #4 as soon as possible. I’m hoping February, but we’ll see. After that I’ll be working on Playing with Fire: The Bastard Cadre #5 and then it’s onto #6. Perhaps this year I won’t get stuck in the first drafts and I might even make it to book 7 before 2015. I feel like I’ve got a roll on, and I’ve been developing a plan to work on the different stages of the books: writing, rewriting, and editing concurrently (the subject for another post perhaps) so that I’ll be much closer to publishing the books as I complete the first draft.

Last year I tried something new by offering readers who left reviews of my books free copies of my other books. It worked well and encouraged readers to leave reviews, so I’m going to extend it into 2014 as well. Anybody who leaves a review of one of my Bastard Cadre books can send me a link to the review for a free copy of the next book in the series. The first book, A God-Blasted Land, is available for free so it’s even possible for people to read the series so far for free. A couple of people have mentioned this to me in the past as though it might be a problem, but for the record, I’m of the opinion that at this stage in my career finding and engaging with readers is far more important than missing out on sales. To be honest, I suspect that will be true for any stage of my career, but who knows. The updated offer isn’t in the books yet, but I’ll be updating them in the next couple of days and then they should start to show up with the retailers shortly after that, but even if you get a copy that doesn’t include the offer, hit me up anyway.

Thanks to everybody who read and reviewed or tweeted about my books in 2013. Have an awesome 2014.

Befriend obnoxious jerks

It took me a long time to learn that stories aren’t about events, but about how characters react to events and interact with each other, and much more than that, who the characters really are when the shit hits the fan.

Marion Zimmer Bradley said, “The secret of a story, to me, is a likeable character going through almost overwhelming odds to win a worthwhile goal.”

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Think like a drug dealer (or competing with free)

There’s so much free content online it’s possible for people to be entertained for the rest of their lives without paying for another book, magazine, newspaper, song, movie, TV show, or game ever again.

I’ve read lots of blog posts, articles, and a couple of books about giving content away for free. The opinions I’ve encountered range from:

Have some self respect. Your work is valuable, don’t give it away for free or nobody else will value your work.


Give it all away for free, baby. Give and you shall receive. The universe provides.

With various levels of indignation in-between from both the information-wants-to-be-free hippies and the burn-the-theiving-pirates-at-the-stake crowd.

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Inventory and seven stories for a dollar

BBDO1SmallThis weekend I finally took Dean Wesley Smith’s advice to heart and checked my inventory. I wasn’t particularly surprised to find lots of half finished novels, a previously published novel (that I might revisit), and half a dozen versions of the same novel (none of which can be published as they’re all precursors to The Bastard Cadre and the world has changed too much between those tales and the ones I’m working on now).

I also found a novella that I’ve been meaning to go over one last time, and about a dozen short stories (some of which have been published before).

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The Godslayers’ Legacy: The Bastard Cadre #2

TBC#2_300x450The second book in The Bastard Cadre is available now.

The Godslayers’ Legacy picks up six months after the events of A God-Blasted Land (Grab a free copy of A God-Blasted Land). We catch up with Avril and Ranora at Frake’s Peak. Avril, perhaps as expected, is struggling to fit into his new role as the first-sworn of one Lord Obdurin’s cadres of bondsmen, the problem isn’t helped by the fact he’s the only member of the cadre at Frake’s Peak. We do get to meet some members of his cadre through, and I think it’s fair to say none of them are exactly what Avril expects. They were all fun to write about and I hope they’ll be fun to read about too.

A God-Blasted Land introduced us to a very small part of post-apocalyptic Newterra, the wastelands and the abandoned, but perfectly pristine, cities. We got to meet some of the good guys, some of the bad guys, and some of the in-betweens.

This time around we get a glimpse of the bigger players, the larger threats, and perhaps a hint of where things are headed for Avril.

The story is still building and there’s plenty more to come, but I’m very happy with this book (no Lucasing this time, I promise). I hope you’ll enjoy it too, and if you do, let me know. There’s a special offer at the end of the book for anybody who leaves a review.

I’m off to keep the momentum going and work on book three in the series. I can’t wait to share that book with you too.

The Godslayers’ Legacy comes in at a whisker under 40,000 words (Amazon claims this is 141 pages) so will suit anybody who enjoys epic science fiction and fantasy, but can’t quite bear the longterm time commitment required for so many of the popular science fiction and fantasy doorstoppers.

The Godslayers’ Legacy is available at Amazon, Barnes and NobleiTunes, Kobobooks, and Smashwords.

Smashwords and ePubs

urlIt had to happen sooner or later, Smashwords added a new ePub option for uploading ebooks.

I like the smashwords. I like the idea of dealing with one distributor who takes cares of sending my books out to publishers all over the web. I like that they are constantly looking for new opportunities for writers to place content with e-stores and libraries and who knows where else. I also like that the minimum royalty payment isn’t particularly high and it’s accumulated across all channels (as opposed to a high minimum royalty payment per channel/location) and they even pay me via paypal. I even like that retailers report quarterly on sales of my books instead of providing realtime stats. Honestly, I hit the refresh button over on Amazon’s self publishing subdomain so often that it’s possible I’m personally responsible for a denial of service attack on the site.

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Not available in your location

There are few phrases that suck more than:

Not available in your location.

Off the top of my head, it’s up there with, “It’s not you, it’s me”, “Your call is important to us”, “I wouldn’t say it was bad sex”, and “My mother is moving in” (feel free to add your own in the comments).

It’s 2013 and we have this handy thing called the Internet that can transport bits and bytes quicker than your average traditional publisher can start up a vanity press.

People have tried to explain territorial rights to me (some of them have even done a good job of it), but it all sounds like some middleman somewhere tacking on his percentage. And not to be too rough on the bean-counting middlemen, they actually did serve a purpose once, it’s just that their time has passed.

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Revised, re-released, and free

An updated edition of A God-Blasted Land is now available for free from Amazon.com, iTunes, kobobooks, and smashwords.

There are no extra plot points, twists that work out differently, or new characters in the revised edition (though one of the scenes has been extended slightly). The changes mostly consist of tweaks to the writing. In many ways, I published A God-Blasted Land late (I’ve been working with the Bastard Cadre in one incarnation or another for close to twenty years), and in other ways, I published the story too early (I was impatient to publish something and didn’t go through as many checks as I should have). I’ve learned a lot about writing and storytelling in the not-quite-two-years since I first published A God-Blasted Land, and I’ve applied some of that to the story.

It’s possible there is more than a little Lucasing (thanks, George) going on. This is the first book in a series I am writing so the desire to get it (the introduction to the series) just right is very strong (book two will be out later this week). But for now, I’m very happy with the results and can finally stop tweaking it (I just can’t promise there won’t be a remastered blue-ray edition with extra Wookies in time for Christmas).

I’ve also included an offer at the back of the book that applies for all of 2013.

Happy 2013 and a free book

To celebrate the new year (I love new beginnings) and to help get my work in front of as many new readers as possible, I’ve decided to give away copies of A God-Blasted Land to anybody who likes my Facebook author page.

To claim your copy, simply head over to Facebook, like my page and then send me a message on Facebook telling me whether you’d like a mobi (kindle) or ePub (most other devices) version.

Update: You can now grab a free copy of A God-Blasted Land from this page, but still feel free to like the Facebook page.