Browsing Tag

boosting the signal

Bone Walker, Faerie Blood

Monday morning news: Bone Walker has a release date!

First up, I had a couple of excellent Boosting the Signal posts this past Friday! Cory Dale sent me an excerpt from her new release Demon Fare, and Jake Elliot, fellow member of NIWA, came by to tell me about his “mock-epic” fantasy The Wrong Way Down. Check their posts out if you missed ’em when they went up!


Second, Bone Walker has a release date! AND A COVER! \m/ The ebook edition will be officially releasing on February 3rd! The official Bone Walker page has been updated accordingly! And the cover is now included on the homepage as well!

And as soon as I have a viable test mobi, I will be putting the book up for pre-order on Amazon. Other pre-order links will be following as soon as I can make them.

All hail Dara for her cover work and Kiri Moth for the art!


Third, speaking of Bone Walker‘s march to release, I have already asked current proofreaders to get any noted typos back to me by Wednesday the 14th. Because Dara needs to commence work on the print and PDF versions ASAP in order to maximize our chances of having the print edition ready by Conflikt. So if you’re proofreading and you didn’t already see a request about that, do please get back to me by Wednesday!

On a related note, however, if you’d like to sanity-check ebook formats for me, stand by. As soon as I have a viable test mobi, I will need it tested on any and all available Kindle devices. I personally own a Kindle Fire HDX 7″ and will be using that for testing purposes. But all other types of Kindle will be welcome.

Likewise, I have two Nooks: a Nook HD and one of the new 7″ Samsung Nooks. I also have a Kobo Mini. Both will be used to test. If you have other type of Nook or Kobo device, though, those would be helpful.

AND, any iOS device owners comfortable with using iBooks OR Android device owners comfortable with getting books onto your devices, testing from you would be welcome too. Though tablets will be most useful once we have the PDF ready to test.


Last but not least, don’t forget, Faerie Blood remains on sale for 99 cents to celebrate Bone Walker‘s imminent release! It will remain on sale until the end of February, at which point I’ll bump the price back up. So if you haven’t gotten the ebook of Faerie Blood yet, now would be a REALLY good time. ;D

And if you’re so inclined, do please spread the word about the sale! The sale price applies wherever Faerie Blood‘s ebook edition is sold, and I will honor it for any requests to buy the book directly from me as well!

Boosting the Signal

Boosting the Signal: The Wrong Way Down, by Jake Elliot

Jake Elliot is a fellow member of NIWA, and he gets today’s second Boosting the Signal post so he can tell you about his ‘mock-epic’ fantasy The Wrong Way Down. What’s a mock-epic fantasy? I’ll let him explain! Take it away, Jake!


The Wrong Way Down

The Wrong Way Down

Thank you, Angela, for giving me a place to talk about my ‘mock-epic’ fantasy, The Wrong Way Down. What is ‘mock-epic?’ Many characteristics of this series hold true to the fantasy genre, however, it reads with a different spin. My heroes could be heroic and have the right stuff, but they can’t quite become heroes. In fact, their mission is so dire, and the world needs them to win, but every foot forward is one step closer to their graves. So therefore, this tale is ‘mock-epic.’

In chapter three of The Wrong Way Down, the story’s heroes receive two scrolls to be delivered to the nearest military garrison. The first scroll is read, but the second one is never opened. These are the words written upon the unopened scroll—

Dear Priest Betrum, my old friend,

I don’t know how to begin this letter, for it tells the worst of misfortune. Without easy words, High Priest Marcel was murdered this morning before dawn. I know this information is staggering by its own weight, but the ‘why’ of his death is far worse.

We are in deep trouble out here. I don’t know anyone else within the Church who I can turn to with this, so I’m turning to you, my most trusted brother in faith. I entrust you to invite whichever Superior you feel can adequately respond to the gravity of our situation. I am at a loss as to who to contact. The holy scepter we’ve been entrusted to keep secure is gone. LeSalle’s Grace was stolen this morning.

It is a delicate line we stand on, protecting Grace while continuing to display the divine relic has been a tradition provided at our temple for over 400 years—now broken. This morning, thieves using a hook and rope climbed into Grace’s display room, where subsequently, they murdered Marcel as he prayed. Marcel—our friend and teacher for twenty-four years—cut down in cold blood.

We are still at a loss to figure out how this crime transpired. We were awakened at the time of occurrence. The room to LeSalle’s Grace had been barred from the inside. It took Priest Horace several attempts, but on the third thrust he broke the door-jam with his shoulder. There, through a window no bigger than a crawlspace, at least one burglar escaped down a rope tied to a grapple. Now Marcel is dead and Grace is gone.

Truly, by the blessing of the divine, we found one thief lying unconscious in the middle of the room. My best guess is she—the unconscious thief—touched LeSalle’s Grace. As you know, holy power of that magnitude will sunder the ‘misaligned.’

Maybe thirty minutes ago she regained consciousness, but her only response to our questions is a mouthful of obscenities. As if she were spawned from a devil, she tempts us to break our vows of pacifism. My subordinates are on a slippery edge—I’ve had to call them back twice. By the gods, Betrum, I saw the animal rise within my own clergy—our compassion is but a shallow well.

Since this woman refuses to cooperate in any fashion, I’ve decided to have her escorted to Blackmire Garrison. By the time you’ve received this letter, the woman will have been broken by the garrison inquisitor. I’ll send instructions to the fort commander to forward the interrogation report directly to you. She’ll act tough for a bunch of priests, but I doubt she’ll last a minute under an inquisitor’s blade. God, please forgive my betraying thoughts. However, it is quite possible you’ll receive the inquisitor’s report at the same time this note arrives.

Call upon me as needed, I am in ever-loving service to our God and Church. I will tend to the spiritual injuries of my staff, and as any new information arises, I will keep you informed.

My prayers keep you in mind,
Ellund Saiwel,
High Priest at the Temple of Dawn’s Mystery

Popalia is a young priestess. She is the unlucky girl to be assigned the mission of delivering two letters and a rebellious thief to the local military outpost. Assisted by a servant at the temple, Popalia’s mission is a long-shot that goes horribly wrong—and after that, it gets worse. They’ll be waylaid by a backward group of wild elves, chased through the woods by a relentless bear, surviving all of this only to be duped by a gang of shifty thieves, finally seeking uncertain protection with the unscrupulous Ascolan Brothers’ Mercenary Team. This fun story begins when the heroes fail—over and over.

Welcome to The Wrong Way Down.


Buy the Book: Amazon (Digital and Paperback) | Barnes & Noble (Paperback)

Follow the Author On: Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Boosting the Signal

Boosting the Signal: Demon Fare, by Cory Dale

Cory Dale, a.k.a. Karen Duvall, has released her latest book: an urban fantasy set in a version of New York that blends demons, steampunk-style tech, ghosts, and witches. It sounds like great fun, and today she’s got an excerpt to from the book to share with you that lays down some clear goals for her demon protagonist Henry Paine. Check it out!


Demon Fare

Demon Fare

“Your neighbors don’t seem to like you very much.” The woman hadn’t stopped smiling.

The word “neighbors” sounded like “naybehs.” A Southern girl. Henry sighed and backed his way into the apartment, sweeping out his hand to welcome her in.

“Thank you,” she said and stepped inside.

The woman had guts, he gave her that, but he questioned her intelligence. He outweighed her by a good hundred pounds, though that hadn’t stopped her last night. The bruise on the back of his head was gone, but not the memory of how it got there. She obviously wanted something else from him and he was curious to know what it was.

“I’d offer you coffee, but I’m fresh out,” he lied, inhaling the luscious scent of his morning brew.

“I prefer chicory.” She gazed around the apartment, not bothering to take off her coat, which meant she didn’t intend to stay. Good. But she did unbutton it and flapped the lapels to fan herself. “You keep it mighty hot in here.”

“My kind like the heat.”

She nodded as if she understood. “Nice kitchen, though that’s the oddest-lookin’ refrigerator I’ve ever seen.”

The robotic arm on the fridge unfurled from its side, two eggs clutched in its steel-clawed hand. It angled as if to throw them straight at the woman’s head.

Henry stepped in the way and scowled at the fridge. It seemed to know more about her than he did. “What is it that you want, uh…”

“Wanda. Wanda Snow.” She stretched her fingers to grab the pinwheel on the table and it flew out of reach, twirling up to the top of the bookcase. “Your little spy is a nice touch, Mr. Paine.”

“How do you know my name?”

“The cab company where I traced your possessed steam car told me you lived in this building. But no one would give me your apartment number. Thanks to your spy—” she glanced up at the bookcase —“I knew just where to look.”

Wanda stared down at his copper heater and it scuttled underneath the bed. It was scared of her. Why?


“The name’s Wanda.”

“Whatever. Look, you’re upsetting my machines and you stole my demons last night. I’ve been patient, but if you don’t tell me where my boxes are right now, I’ll—”

“You’ll what?” She didn’t sound so pleasant now. A thick strand of hair braided into her bun began to glow a vibrant shade of green. “Please tell me, Mr. Paine. What will you do?”

He didn’t know anything about this woman, but his demon intuition told him she was dangerous. She was up to something, and it had to do with the demons she’d stolen.

He locked eyes with her, his will funneling through him like water through a rain spout. He poured it directly into Wanda.

Her smile faltered and she scowled. “What are you doing?”

“I only want to make you happy, Wanda.” His eyes sizzled in their sockets. “And you won’t be happy until you tell me where you stashed my boxes.”

“Can’t.” She swallowed and in a choked voice added, “Must send them back to Hell.”

“But they’re here to help people.” He meant every word, though his intention was to soothe whatever had aggravated her into taking his Vox to begin with. “They want to be here.”

She shook her head. “They can’t understand. It’s not right.”

It was Henry’s turn to scowl. “What’s not right?”

A thin line of blood trailed from one of Wanda’s nostrils. That wasn’t good. She had to stop resisting him.

It was vital she tell him where his Vox were. Those boxes held the future. They represented progress for the modern world. And most of all, they were tied to his family’s livelihood.

Wanda launched herself at him and he caught her by the elbows. Her right hand pressed against his chest, fingers splayed over his heart. “Stop,” she whispered.

“I will. Just as soon as you—”

There was a tugging sensation beneath his skin, then beneath his rib cage. His heart pounded, the muscle cramping and then opening, as if to release something from inside. Part of him felt compelled to return to the Earth’s center and the molten core where the source of his being still lived. It hungered for half of him, his demon half, pulling at one part of his soul while the other part clutched desperately at his humanity.

He gasped. “No!”

They stood locked together in a stalemate of power. If he didn’t release her, she’d die. If she didn’t release him, his demon half would leave him forever. And he’d surely die without it.


Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

Follow the Author On: Official Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Boosting the Signal

Boosting the Signal: Nine Planets, by Greg Byrne

And it’s a Dragonwell Press doubleheader today, as a second new Dragonwell author, Greg Byrne, is here to share a piece about his new SF novel Nine Planets. Greg’s hero, Peter Blackwell—no relation to the Blackwell family over in Jonathan Ferrara’s book, one presumes!—has a very straightforward goal. I.e., regain his lost memories, and save the world in the process.


Nine Planets

Nine Planets

Brotherhood command sled

Within twenty minutes of Boston, Blackwell checked the sled’s threat screens, looking for the traitor’s Cabal jumpship.

Most of the traffic was routine—shuttles, commercial airliners, cargo planes, military aircraft patrolling borders—but a single icon distracted him. The flight path of a green cube matched his exactly, although it trailed him by some distance. He stared at it for a few seconds with increasing suspicion—the Cabal jumpship, surely—marked it with a red circle as a possible threat, but withdrew his hand without revealing its ID. Breathing carefully, he walked around the platform, considered all the traffic from every angle.

It did no good; he only noticed the green cube. And how it eroded that small nugget of courage in his belly! He reached out his hand several times towards it. It would only take a second, he thought, to touch it and see it was nothing but an innocent plane.

Innocent indeed. He reached out his finger and touched the icon, and the data rose above it in clear shimmering letters.

Corporate jumpship. Registration: Metron Corp, Hamburg. Holiday charter.

Cabal? The jumpship ID passed all the deceptor checks down to about seven verification levels, though he still didn’t trust it. He would watch it and see.

With a cautious relief, he did a thorough check of the screens as Valentina had instructed him, mildly surprised he was still alive, that the great stub-winged sled was aloft, held there in space by powers and principles too complex for him. All indicators were green. The Poor Man status screen showed Book and Valentina still alive, though Ed’s icon had greyed. The sled hummed faintly.

Blackwell breathed out, aware for the first time of many things, even stronger than the deep memory of Moscow. His heart flexing, taking the load. His command of the situation. A clear purpose. The faint presence on the bridge of Book and Ed and Valentina, resonating softly off walls, continuing with him. The pulsing sense of obligation to make good their sacrifice.

And a secret hidden in Boston.

After a foodcell from the galley and a brief but satisfying wash and shave, he nudged the VR control into autopilot and set the sled on its final approach to the Brotherhood base in the Back Bay Fens.

The screens showed other aircraft—passenger liners, cargo planes, merchant and company jumpships—although their flight paths showed a slight change as they vectored in towards Logan International, and the jumpship followed him exactly.

So, he thought, not surprised.

Cabal. They’re following me.

At a thousand meters, with the sled in vertical descent, he unbuckled himself from the chair and leaned over the edge of the command platform to watch the ground rise up to meet him. An eight-lane freeway lay to the north, its lights both red and white, rows of dark-roofed buildings like townhouses to the south-east, and the lights of a city’s tall buildings to the east. He scanned the terrain like a minesweeper, trying to remember, though all he saw at the center of his field of vision was a dark pocket of marshy land through which a moonlit river bent like an arthritic snake.

The muddy river, freeway and city. His ninth planet pulsed faintly and, although he could not see the cobbled courtyard, and his was the only engine ascending or descending, he knew he would see everything as soon as he passed into the timeslip zone. He sat down and clicked into his PFZ, waiting for his heart to jolt.

The sled descended through five hundred meters without so much as a flutter, and he was starting to worry when, three hundred and ninety meters above the ground, his pulse jolted like a sparrow frightened.

The sled touched down with barely a shudder, its hydraulics settling. As the faint whine of the reactor slowed and deepened, he saw that the sled’s safeties—reactor, shields, navigation—were green.

But now the red threat circle of the Cabal jumpship was flashing as it grew nearer to his stationary sled, the diminishing seconds ticking down inside his head.

At one hour fifty seven and eight seconds, he stepped out of the sled into the smell of cool marsh night.


Buy the Book: Amazon | Dragonwell Publishing

Follow the Author On: Official Site

Boosting the Signal

Boosting the Signal: The Blackwell Family Secret: The Guardians of Sin, by Jonathan L. Ferrara

Dragonwell Publishing has had a few titles featured here before, and they’re back now with another: Jonathan L. Ferrara’s new offering, The Blackwell Family Secret: The Guardians of Sin. If you like some angels and demons in your reading, you might want to check this one out. And as villains go, you don’t get much more old-school than the original fallen angel himself.


The Blackwell Family Secret

The Blackwell Family Secret

Thousands of years gone since I fell from grace, condemned for eternity in the City of Demons. Humans fear me, demons worship me, but Nicholas Blackwell threatens me? The orphaned brat with nothing but his family’s dark secret to haunt him thinks he can stand a chance against the first fallen angel? Protected at his school by my noble brother, Gabriel; these days blending within humanity as a janitor of a Catholic boarding school. He is more pathetic than I remember him to be. Never fear. I have a plan to lure Nicholas to me. An ancient trick I’ve used before: the forbidden fruit. One bite and he will unleash the Seven Deadly Sins, sending him on his journey through Demonio. I wonder how he will handle himself against my Princes of Hell while hunted by demons, and terrorized by evil. But if he succeeds, perhaps he is more valuable to me groomed as my appreciate rather than another soul trapped in the Valley of Death. Let’s see if Gabriel can protect him now.

But the girl who accompanies him on his quest against sin… She troubles me in so many ways. She knows more than she leads on. Amy—a teenage girl, or perhaps something more? Either way, my true concern lies with Nicholas’s affection for her. She teaches him the virtue of humility when it is the sin of Pride that must conquer him if he is to embrace his family’s legacy.

It’s not just Amy, it’s those betrayers hidden in my city. They call themselves the “Risen”. Stupid fools who think they’re clever. I was the one who devised defiance! It was I who began the rebellion! Yet these “Risen” believe they can do what I did to my Father? They had better pray they find their inner divinity before I pick them off one by one.

Nicholas Blackwell, what foolish lies his parents led him to believe. So naive it was to trust them. They kept so many secrets from their precious boy; a secret that has fooled the entire world for centuries and has the power to change life itself. Nicholas, make rightful your sin from indulging in the forbidden fruit. Find me and I will reveal to you the secret your parents took to their graves. All it takes is just one bite. I, Lucifer, await you.


Buy the Book: Amazon | Dragonwell Publishing | Barnes & Noble

Follow the Author On: Official Site | Facebook | Twitter

Boosting the Signal

Boosting the Signal is now officially OUT OF HIATUS

Now that I’m >this< close to finishing edits on Victory of the Hawk, I am now officially pulling Boosting the Signal out of hiatus. (As y’all might have guessed given that I put up a post today!)

So I’ll be putting out the word via my usual channels to solicit pieces. Any fellow writers reading this, if you’d like a Boosting the Signal date, talk to me!

Boosting the Signal

Boosting the Signal: The Siren and the Sword, by Cecilia Tan

I know Cecilia Tan via the Outer Alliance mailing list, and so when she put out a call for help promoting a title she’d re-acquired rights to, I told her, sure, send me something for Boosting the Signal! So this is another out-of-band post, a bit delayed since I’m still neck-deep in editing and also in Canada this week. However, here’s Cecilia’s post for The Siren and the Sword. Her protagonist’s goal? Make it through his first year of a secret magical university hidden in Harvard–and deal with both his emerging bisexuality and his emerging magic.

This piece is an excerpt from the book, and lays down the beginnings of both of these goals. Check it out, and if you go check out Cecilia’s book, tell her Boosting the Signal sent you!


The Siren and the Sword

The Siren and the Sword

From The Siren and the Sword: Magic University Book One by Cecilia Tan

Another student came up to their table in the dining hall, a pale-skinned boy with black hair. Kyle stared as the newcomer slid his hands over Michael’s shoulders and Michael tilted his face upward for a quick kiss of greeting.

They made almost a matched pair, though Michael’s cheeks were a little rosier and his hair like straight silk, while the other’s curled in small black tendrils. “Who’s your new friend?”

Michael kept looking up at his friend. Boyfriend, Kyle corrected in his mind. “His name is Kyle Wadsworth. Seems to be a bit of a late bloomer.”

The newcomer extended a hand to Kyle, who shook it. “Frost. Timothy Frost.” Had his hand felt cooler than Kyle expected? Or was it— “Frost, like…”

“Robert Frost, yes. Hmm, Wadsworth, eh?”

Michael shook his head and spoke as if he’d read Frost’s mind. “He hasn’t been assigned a house yet. Or shown any magical aptitudes.”

“That is curious,” Frost said, moving away from Michael and taking the empty seat on the other side of Kyle. “No party tricks? No visions?”

Kyle opened his mouth to say “No, I…” then stared in disbelief as Frost snapped his fingers and a few fronds of some kind of plant appeared in the palm of his hand. He opened Kyle’s limp hand and dropped them into his palm.

“You seem less than impressed?” Frost’s eyes were ice blue.

“I, um, I’ve never seen anything like that before…?” Kyle stammered.

“Not a botanist either, I would guess,” Frost said with a sniff. He snapped his fingers again and Kyle jumped as the long fuzzy stalks in his hand suddenly developed ice crystals.

“How did you do that?” Kyle said, too amazed to worry about the sneer Frost was giving him.

“He invoked his Name,” Alex said with a dismissive wave. “Yeah, I’d call that one a party trick, Frost.”

Frost shrugged. “I’ll always be able to prove who I am though, won’t I? Put your eyes back in your head, Wadsworth. If they fall on the floor, they’ll get dusty.”

“How many times did the bell ring for you, Frost? Once?” Alex said, a toothy smile on his face.

Frost’s pale cheeks reddened, but he didn’t say anything in return. He stood smoothly and returned to standing behind Michael’s chair, running his hand over Michael’s silky dark hair possessively.

Michael looked up at him again. “Fourteen,” he said.

“Are you sure?”

“According to Kimble, anyway.”

Frost’s eyes narrowed. “The cards will decide,” he said with a shrug. “I’ll see you later, darling.” They exchanged another very quick kiss, then Frost left.

The two girls were glaring daggers at his Frost’s back as he went and that made Kyle feel a bit better. “Honestly, Michael, I don’t know what you see in him,” one of them said.

Michael shrugged. “You wouldn’t understand.”

“Apparently not. But really, fourteen? Kyle, that’s amazing.” She had wavy red hair with blond highlights and reached across the table to shake his hand. “My name’s Marigold, but I can’t make marigolds come out of my ass.”


Buy the Book: Riverdale Ave | Amazon | B&N | AllRomance

Follow the Author On: Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest