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Sword and Chant’s New Cover!

It is incredible–brought to you by wonderful writer and fantastic designer L. Blankenship.



… And on Tuesday, I’ll reveal why I needed a new, improved, marvelous cover!

As more options become increasingly available, it’s critical to understand which ones are intended only to transfer your funds into unethical hands.

David Gaughran

author_solutions-penguinRegular readers of this blog will know all about Penguin’s purchase last July of the universally reviled Author Solutions – a company infamous for overcharging writers, doing a terrible job of publishing their books, and forcing ineffective and expensive marketing services upon those authors when their books (inevitably) fail to sell.

My posts on the topic have been leaning heavily on the tireless work of Emily Suess – a writer and blogger who has been documenting this racket for some years now.

At the time of the purchase, many in the publishing community expressed a hope that Penguin would clean up Author Solutions, or at least tone down some of their scammier tactics.

I was more than a little skeptical, and invited Emily Suess to give us an update. Here’s Emily:

One Racket to Rule Them All

Did you notice that skeevy self-pub racket, Author Solutions, is accumulating brands as…

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Forthcoming Release from L. Blankenship!

One of my fellow Viable Paradise graduates, L. Blankenship, is gearing up for the release of her first novel!

From the back cover:

The saints favor her, else-wise a peasant girl like Kate Carpenter would never be apprenticed to the kingdom’s master healer. But her patron saint also marks her ready for the duty of tending to a mission that must cross the ice-bound mountains. Their little kingdom faces invasion by a vast empire and desperately needs allies; across the snow-filled pass, through the deathly thin air, is a country that’s held off the empire and may be willing to lend an army.

Kate knows about frostbite and the everyday injuries of wilderness travel.  She can heal those.

She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though.

And she isn’t ready for the monsters that harry them night and day, picking off their archers first, wearing the party to exhaustion, pushing Kate beyond the limits her healing abilities.

She must keep them alive, or her blood will be on the snow too.

And she’s running a giveaway for an advance copy of the ebook!  All you have to do is go here to enter.  You’ll also be able to scope out a sample of the novel and find out about the author.  If you’re looking for interesting chat about her writing process, check out Notes from the Jovian Frontier.


Available now: The Key

Years ago, I wanted to play sincerely with some standard fantasy tropes–quests and prophecies and such–while giving a nudge-wink to the expectations.  It was intended to be a short story, but like most other of my intended short stories, it ended up much longer.

The Key earned first place in the quarterly Writers of the Future Contest, and originally appeared in the contest anthology.  The prize for winning included an incredible week in Los Angeles where we writers attended a workshop taught by Tim Powers and KD Wentworth.  While there, I had to write a short story that included the green lighter Tim gave me for “inspiration,” and I learned from KD that short stories had to “mutilate the cows on the first page.”

Now The Key is available as an ebook–and it includes a preview to the upcoming novel, Sword and Chant.

“For Benjas, a mercenary mage, finding the next Key is an important contract with great consequences.  For Cassandra, a fanatical warrior, it’s the quest of a zealot.  Secrets and fears pile up between them until success becomes more dangerous than failure, and only the Key can separate victors from victims.”

Available from:

Barnes and Noble – Nook

Amazon – Kindle

Smashwords – All formats