Category Archives: Damsel In Distress

Cover Reveal: 3 At Once

DamselECoverThis brilliant new cover for one of my older books comes courtesy of Kirbi Fagan. She did a fantastic job, and I’m pleased to have been able to find a female illustrator for this project.

Despite this not being quite her usual milieu, she did a phenomenal job and I couldn’t be happier.

I’ll have copies with both covers for a little while. Until I run out, I’ll be offering the old ones at a discount. There’s nothing truly wrong with those books, they’ve just got the old cover. If you see me at an event and want the old cover version, ask and I’ll pull one out of the secret stash under the table.


My very first book, Dragons In Pieces, is also getting a facelift. As with Damsel In Distress, the previous cover art was nice, but not right for the book. This one is much more appropriate for its genre. It’s also cool.

Keith Draws handled this one, and he’s also working on Chains and Flight, so more reveals will come soon! I still have copies of the old version of this one too.

SK2ECoverAnd finally, the new book! Backyard Dragons is scheduled for release on March 18th. It’s the sequel to Girls Can’t Be Knights, my young adult urban fantasy story about Claire, the first ever girl to become a Spirit Knight in its two-thousand-year-plus history. Justin, her mentor, is having a rough day. Claire’s isn’t so hot either. But, dragons!

This fun cover was designed by the talented Lia Rees, someone I met through Writerpunk Press.

2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year full of even more changes, appearances, and books than 2017! I’m thrilled to be buckling down for the last edits on Backyard Dragons this week and next, then diving into the fourth book of The Greatest Sin, which will hopefully be out in time to take to GenCon. With luck, the third Spirit Knights book, Ethereal Entanglements, will be hot on its heels.

@OrcaCon bound!

Today, we venture north to the hinterlands known as Everett to stalk wild gamers in their natural habitat: the gaming convention. This weekend, I’ll be working OrcaCon, a first-year convention taking place at the Holiday Inn Downtown on Pine St. Stop by the Clockwork Dragon table in the vendor room to say hi. As a value-added bonus, I’ll be presenting a panel on Self-Publishing 101 with my good friend and partner in book crimes, Jeffrey Cook at 8pm tonight (Friday).


I’m not sure what orcas have to do with gaming, but that’s not even close to the weirdest thing I’ve seen in an RPG.

DIDCoverIn other news, Damsel In Distress is getting a cover makeover. While I like the book’s cover very much, and so do many other people, it’s been made clear to me that the cover doesn’t suit the story. This is a really big problem for a book. If you like the current cover, it’ll only remain available for a limited time. When the new one is ready, I’m going to switch right away and not look back.

Should anyone be interested in the art itself, I still have some promotional postcards of the image I’m happy to offer to anyone who wants one. If you see me at a con, ask about them. If you want one mailed to you, I’ll need to ask for a dollar (through Paypal) to cover the postage and envelope. Contact me via my Facebook page or directly through my email address to arrange that.

Damsel In Distress + Cover Wars = Fun

I’ve come to enjoy the promotion that is Cover Wars on The Masquerade Crew’s site. Damsel In Distress is up for consideration until the end of May, which is a long time. The entire point of this ‘contest’ is to put the cover of a book under the noses of all kinds of new people who’ve never seen it before, and winning isn’t really that big a deal. In some respects, I kind of wish I’d known this would be delayed so much, as the Shadow & Spice cover is more fun and better suited to the season!

At any rate, please take a few seconds to check out Cover Wars (and the rest of the site, if you’re so inclined). Vote for Damsel In Distress! It takes roughly three seconds, and no login is required, just cookies. Anyone can vote as often as once a day, and I appreciate each and every single person who is willing to blow three seconds for nothing in return except the warm, glowing feeling of helping a total random stranger whose stuff you enjoy reading.

Damsel In Distress Tours!

I seriously enjoy doing this blog tour stuff. Maybe a little too much. Damsel In Distress is on the road for the next two weeks. Unlike the other tours I’ve done, this one will have something new and different and special at each stop, not just the same blurb and links and excerpt every time. Also, I’m giving away a $20 Amazon gift card in a rafflecopter thingy. Yay!

3/20: Reading Addiction – meet and greet
3/21: A Life Through Books – positive review
3/22: Texas Book Nook – positive review
3/24: My Reading Addiction – positive review
3/25: Rhythem Poets – positive review
3/26: Always Jo Art – guest post and positive review
3/27: Pure Jonel – positive review
3/28: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock – positive review
3/29: Avid Book Collector – positive review
3/31: Steamy Side – positive review
4/1: Hooked In A Book
4/2: Between The Lines – positive review
4/4: RABT Reviews

Announcing Damsel In Distress

I am pleased to announce Damsel In Distress is live and ready for the world on Amazon, in both ebook and trade paperback. This is a story documenting the life of Sabetia, a girl raised by her mother to be good and quiet and obedient. When her father starts noticing she’s growing up, he fobs her off on the first suitor he finds worthy to avoid dealing with his own darker impulses.

Jason, the husband, takes her into his home when she’s only fourteen. This is an acceptable age – if a little young – in the Four Kingdoms of Ilauris, where the power of a woman is measured by how well she marries and how many children she produces. Jason is handsome, suave, and much older and more experienced. It all starts so well.

In some places, this book will trick you into thinking it’s a romance. In others, epic fantasy or adventure. Sabetia isn’t prepared for any of it. She’s just a girl, after all, and one who’s lived her whole life behind the walls of luxury. Her black and white view of the world doesn’t fit in the harshness of glaring reality, and her strength will be tested, over and over.

It can also be found listed on Goodreads. Watch for a blog tour, coming soon.

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Up Next: Damsel In Distress

The book is done. More or less. Hopefully. Despite this being my fifth, it’s still nerve-wracking to proudly proclaim that I’ve finished tinkering and futzing with a book and am now moving on to formatting and finalizing the covers. Damsel In Distress will be out in March. Given the way that it works for indie authors, I can’t say exactly what day is “release day” at this point, but I can say that I’ll be formally announcing it through various channels on March 20th. So, there’s still time for me to have a crisis of confidence about Chapter [whatever] and change things.

This book already has a Goodreads page. Which is cool. I’m excited. As with Dragons In Flight, the print version cover will be a little bit different than the ebook version. Not a lot, but a little.

Introducing Damsel In Distress

My next book is a stand-alone fantasy novel called Damsel In Distress. It tells the story of a young woman’s descent into abuse and climb back out of it, while finding herself in the middle of a legend about a sword and a demon. She’s an extraordinary person I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for several years already, as she’s one of my favorite Dungeons & Dragons characters.

Before I say anything else about it, I would like to be very clear that I have never been subject to abuse. This book is not remotely an autobiography being told through a fantasy lens. Sabetia is not a stand-in for me any more than any other character I write is. In order to portray her as accurately as possible, I did a fair amount of research into the subject.

With that out of the way, this is not a book strictly about abuse. It’s about deeper things than that. When I originally conceived Sabetia, what I wanted to play was a gentle healer who shied away from the violence inherent in a typical fantasy environment, despite being forced to participate in it. She went through three iterations before becoming who she is in this book, and I’m really happy with the results. Spending so much time with a character really does make a difference in the final result for a writing project.

The full cast includes several men, all of whom want Sabetia to be or do something for them. Her struggle is to find a way free of that and become her own person, a separate and distinct individual. Survival is also kind of a challenge when swords and demons and cruelty get involved. Perhaps the most entertaining character, though, is one of the other women, Evi. A scholar with a sunny disposition, short attention span, and near-eidetic memory, she’s charming and delightful – the type of character that tends to steal whatever scene she’s in. I was so taken with her that I’ve included a preface from her point of view:

The story contained herein is a fictionalization of my collected notes regarding the Sword of Kailesce (pronounced ‘Kī -less’). While I have done what I can to ensure the facts of this account are true, much liberty has been taken, especially with dialogue, some of which I do not remember taking place despite being there. Likewise, I cannot say with certainty what anyone felt at the time, nor can the author. Further, I find the characterization of myself to be entirely inaccurate. I do not ‘bounce’, and never have. I also do not fill the air with idle chatter for hours on end. ‘Prattle’, indeed.

In fairness, it is true that I do prefer books to men.

-Evi Narien, Archive of Ar-Toriess

The remainder of the book, aside from the prologue, is told in third person, from Sabetia’s point of view. I expect to release it in late February.

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