Nightmare Chapter 2

By Kris Kramer

A Rise of Cithria story

 

Chapter 2 (of 6)

Read Chapter 1

“… okay?”

Everitt lifted his heavy head to see the burly, thick-bearded barkeep watching him from the other side of the bar, his hands squeezing out the last drops of grimy water from a wash rag onto the sticky wood countertop. Streaks of sunlight slipped between the wooden planks of the wall behind the barkeep, and Everitt squinted as one slashed across his face.

“Huh?”

“I said, are you okay?” The barkeep leaned forward, planting two meaty hands on the bar. He squinted at Everitt’s face, examining him. “You don’t got the Rylish fever, do ya?”

“No,” Everitt said, forcing a weary smile on his face. “I’m fine. Been a long walk home, is all.”

“Mmmhmmm.” The barkeep frowned, not believing a word. “Walking makes your head hurt?”

His fears are many. But he offers me nothing.

Everitt froze. It had been days since he’d last heard the voice in his head. It whispered to him sometimes when he met people, opining on the strength of their will. He was fairly sure the words weren’t his own, but that only begged the question ‘then who?’ The Goddess? The Grim King? An ancient Anduain spirit or a Bergsbor deity? Any of those possibilities made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Men who heard voices tended to get thrown into a Church hospice and never seen again. So he did what he’d done since leaving Trenant Keep. He ignored it.

“Nah. Just been hit in the head too much. Like any good soldier, I don’t know when to duck.”

The barkeep nodded slightly as he wiped down the polished wood between them, unconvinced but also unwilling to debate the issue. Everitt faked his good humor until the barkeep finally wandered away, into the storeroom in the back, and then resumed rubbing his temples. His headaches were getting worse.  And they weren’t happening due to any lack of skill in ducking.

He reached down to feel the worn leather satchel hanging at his side, its touch reassuring. For a moment, he couldn’t remember why he even had it. It carried something heavy, something someone would find important back home. A gift, he thought. The details escaped him, so he let it go. All he needed to worry about right now was getting to his new home as soon as possible.

The front door opened with a creak and late morning sunlight flooded into the small tavern, illuminating every dank corner. Once Everitt’s eyes adjusted to the harsh light, he saw a sailor standing in the entrance, wearing dark brown pants that ended at his calves, and a thin, linen shirt with streaks of brown tar across the front. Everitt hadn’t heard a peep from the high-pitched signal horn, blown from the town’s lookout tower to signal the arrival of a new ship at the dock. Had he missed it? The sailor rapped on the wall next to him to get everyone’s attention. Other than Everitt, though, no one else was in the bar, save for a sleepy older fellow named Jax sitting in the corner.

“Trade ship from Evidsar is in. Setting back out at the next bell for Conovaria and then Corendar.”

Everitt straightened up. “Taking passengers?”

The man nodded. “The captain handles goods mostly, but he’s got a few cots down below.”

The sailor left and Everitt quickly fished through his coin purse for an unar, a small copper coin engraved with a Thandaran crest, and tossed it on the bar. He gave Jax a quick wave and then left the tavern, a neglected little shack nestled in the trees alongside the Vitrix River. He worked his way down a riverbank crowded with tall grass and weeds and onto the docks of Rylicum, a small port town a day’s ride west of Corendar. He’d been here two nights, waiting for a boat that could take him on the last leg of his trip. Several times he’d almost given up waiting, opting to walk the rest of the way, knowing that would add days to his journey. Indecision had kept him paralyzed on that bar stool for two days, too impatient to leave, and too impatient to stay.

Now, salvation had finally come.

He found the ship, a long, narrow sloop with a single mast, tied up to the only dock in town. Two sailors dragged a large cart toward the town center a few dozen paces up a wide dirt path, while the captain, an older man in finer clothes, stood at the end of the dock, yelling at two other men still onboard. Everitt approached the rickety wooden dock, hailing the captain, who waved him over.

“I’m looking for passage.”

The captain regarded him with a raised eyebrow. “Headed south?”

“Aye. Breakwall. You stopping there?”

“I can.”

“I can pay.” He held up a large silver coin, stamped with the Thandaran flame. “A tren should be more than enough, right?”

The captain gave him a sidelong look. A tren was worth three vinars, the standard silver coin of nearly every trading post that accepted Thandaran money. “A tren just for hitching a ride to Breakwall?”

“A fast ride. That’s it.”

The captain rubbed his chin. “We gotta stop in Corendar for a few hours and pick up a load.”

“Nowhere else?”

“I usually dock at Conovaria for the night, just to see what furs they got. But the tanner there’s been overcharging me the last couple trips. Maybe if he sees me skipping him this time around he’ll be a little more forthcoming the next one.”

Everitt nodded. “So, one stop at Corendar for a few hours and that’s it? We sail through the night?”

“I can manage that. I can get ya’ to Breakwall tomorrow night.”

Everitt felt a huge load come off his shoulders. A weary smile formed on his lips. “Done.”

“Hop on, then, if you’re ready. We leave after the noon bells, or as soon as Enick and Roj come back with the cart.”

Strong willed, but can be bought. Useful.

Everitt winced at the strange words in his head and immediately looked away from the captain. He never had the stomach to face anyone after this demon – it had to be a demon – so prominently announced their weaknesses in his head. He stepped onto the boat and handed over the tren. The captain tapped it, then tried to bend it between his fingers. He grinned at Everitt with crooked teeth.

“Can’t be too careful. I’ve seen folks press unars together and paint ‘em silver. Fools some people, but not me.”

The captain signaled one of the deckhands to show Everitt to a cot below.  A skinny, gold-haired boy, barely into his teens, led Everitt down a narrow flight of stairs into the bowels of the ship.

“You from Breakwall?” the boy asked.

“No.” Everitt shook his head. “Not yet, at least.”

“You fought any Anduains or Bergsbor?” He glanced back over his shoulder at the sword hanging from Everitt’s belt.

He fears the captain’s lust. He will be mine completely.

“Some,” Everitt said, looking at the walls, the floor, the flickering candles hanging in glass lanterns on the walls. Anywhere but the boy. “But not lately. Not much happening up near Trenant these days. A few Anduains and Bergsbor sneaking around here and there, but that’s it.”

“You been to Hannerkeep? My brother’s there a lot. Says it’s a bit of a dump. Compared to Trenant.”

“Your brother’s right.”

The boy showed him to an open storage area with a few cots pushed up against the far wall. Everitt nodded his head in thanks and sat down on the cleanest one he could find. He listened as the boy clomped his way back up the stairs, then leaned his elbows on his knees and continued rubbing his temples.

They will corrupt easily. Quickly. They will beg to be mine.

“Stop,” he whispered, despairing at what he’d gotten these men into. The voice never responded to him, but he had to try. He rubbed his temples again, even though it made no difference.  “Please.”

This entire ship will be mine. Soon.

 

*

 

The following day, just as the sun touched the western horizon, Breakwall came into sight. Everitt waited up top most of the afternoon, eager to be off the boat and on his way. He’d tried to avoid the sailors as much as possible, but it couldn’t be helped. Every time one came by, the voice returned, claiming how easy it would be to take them. He tried in vain to convince himself it was only meaningless words. But something deep down told him that he knew very well what those words meant, and what the voice had said about him not so long ago.

The boat slowly floated down the river before the sailors brought out steering poles, pushing the boat toward the eerily familiar docks. They edged up to the nearest one and the deckhands tossed a rope to the men on shore. One of them pulled until the boat bounced off the side of the wood, then tied everything down. Everitt didn’t even wait for the bobbing to stop. He hopped onto the dock and hurried up the path that led through the town and then up the hillside to the castle. He’d never been to Breakwall before, but he somehow knew the path as if he’d run it a thousand times as a boy.

He reached the castle gates, still open during the daylight, and threaded his way through the crowd of craftsmen, merchants, and laborers leaving Breakwall Keep for the night. Once through the gates, he paused, unsure where to go next. He racked his brain for a place, a destination, anything that would finally grant him peace.

The Garden.

Everitt shivered. He’d be done with this soon, he reminded himself. As soon as he reached the Lord’s Garden.

Most Calderans knew the story of the Lord’s Gardens in Breakwall. Lord Morgantin had opened the Gardens to the public as a way to garner support from his people and to project a magnanimous air while campaigning amongst the earls to be king. He’d lost that battle to the former general, Thaine Trannoch, but to his credit, Morgantin kept the Gardens open during daylight hours ever since.

A soldier eyed Everitt curiously as he hurried across the courtyard and through the entrance to the Gardens. Everitt jogged down the cobblestone path, and then around the hedge maze, searching for his quarry. The sun would set soon, and any minute guards would kick him out. He’d have to wait until the next morning to resume his quest. Another night might kill him. He needed to finish this now.

There. Walking down the west path with her handmaiden. The Lady of Breakwall. Lord Morgantin’s daughter.

His spirits soared as he approached the beautiful young woman.

“My Lady.” He bowed, catching only a glimpse of her annoyed look. “My name is Everitt Jonus. I’ve come to beg succor in your celebrated lands, so that I may witness my Lady’s charity in person.”

The Lady of Breakwall stared back at him, her stern expression unchanging. She had long, black hair, pulled back into a thin gossamer netting, and searching brown eyes. Her face was oval, with flawless porcelain skin, save for a small, flower-shaped birthmark over her left eye.

“Charity?” She blinked at him, taking in his unkempt clothes with the practiced disdain of a noble. “Do you not have any sense?” She waved him off. “Go to the Church and beg there.”

“I brought you something.” He held up the satchel. “A gift, from the north.”

The woman and her handmaiden tensed as he reached into the satchel. Their anxiety turned to wonder, though, when he pulled out a finely cut pink gem set in a circular brooch. He’d stolen it from a lord in the Red Hills who’d been visiting Trenant Keep. He’d never stolen anything before in his life but this magnificent gem he’d simply walked up and taken from the lord’s quarters while he was at a feast. It was the most brazen thing he’d ever done, and he wasn’t even sure why he did it.

“A singing crystal?” Her expression softened. He handed it to her, bowing his head slightly, and she looked at him in genuine surprise. “It’s beautiful.”

“You’ve wanted one since you were a child, yes?”

Her eyes widened. “How did you know that?”

Everitt smiled, feeling the weight of the world lift from his shoulders. “A very old friend of yours told me. She was very persuasive.”

 

*****

Read Chapter 3 now!

Want more Cithria? Check out the Rise of Cithria series on amazon!

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Nightmare Chapter 1

By Kris Kramer

A Rise of Cithria story

 

Chapter 1 (of 6)

I see everything now.

For eons, I ruled a domain void of light and color, consigned by my jailers to a place where darkness bred horrors too twisted to imagine. I knew no peace, because my subjects screamed and wailed in terror, begging for release from their hellish existence. I felt no warmth, for there was none to be had in a realm without soul.

My world was dark. Lonely. But it was my home.

My life.

My prison.

Then the lights appeared. They came to me like distant stars twinkling through the veil of a night sky, a comparison I’d forgotten until a short time ago. They never lasted long, many times winking out of existence before I could reach them with my clumsy and overeager hands. But still I sprang at each new light, desperate to discover what treasures lay hidden beyond. Occasionally, I found one that lingered long enough for me to finally see what I’d so long been denied.

A glimpse into another world.

I exulted at the chance to stare through these windows into the minds of creatures who lived and breathed and died under clear blue skies, walking on soft green grass, surrounded by others of their kind. They laughed by roaring fires, the light gleaming off of their metal clothes and tools. They ate hot food and drank frothy cold drinks with each other, praying, crying, touching each other’s warm skin. They stopped to watch water running through a brook, or down a waterfall. They smelled colorful flowers and danced to cheerful music. They stared at the distant horizon, or gazed at the night sky, which reminded me too much of my own world, but also gave me a sense of camaraderie with people I did not know.

Through these windows I watched, and heard, and felt, and experienced what it was like to be part of this beautiful new world.

And I envied them all.

They call them dreams. As they slumber, they imagine their own world in their minds, but with a twist. Some things are less, others are more. They describe it as a warped mirror, an imitation of their own reality. Others believe them to be visions of the future, or lessons from the past.

For me, dreams are unadulterated joy.

I slip into those dreams, and I look around in awe, like a child watching a prism. But just like a child, I start to touch things, and when I touch things, they change. They grow black, diseased. They crumble. They twist into something that induces terror in the dreamer’s mind, and delight in mine. When I do this to their dream, they give it a different name.

Nightmare.

*

I was clumsy in my first attempts, but after some time I knew what to look for, and I slipped from dream to dream with practiced movements and effortless grace. But still, they faded away so quickly that I never managed to truly know the people of this world.

But then, something changed. Thousands of new dreamers appeared to me, all at once, and they didn’t wink away after a few moments. I’ve learned much about these new dreamers. They come from all corners of an island called Caldera, though a few have different names for it. Andua. Sudmark. Elegant names, and fiercely espoused by the people who live there. I know the island well. I’ve seen its great cities – Corendar, Tan Arbrel, Casuuld – as well as its villages, where people live and work and farm. Some train their bodies to use weapons, so that they can slay their enemies. Others tap into The Remains, which they call magic, and they use it to reshape their reality, just as I reshape their dreams. But one thing common to them all is war. They prepare for it, fear it, embrace it, despise it.

These are not their dreams, though. Not dreams of their own making. Merely a facet of their thoughts that works to keep them docile in their reality. An interesting trick, and one I make sure to remember.

Some of them use their magic to create dreams for others, keeping them imprisoned in their own minds. They call themselves Nameless, although many of them have a name, a holdover from the laws of their gods who, strangely enough, do not dream. Ever. These Nameless learned the magic from an outsider, a trick called Domination, and they’ve cultivated it ever since.

I care little for their motivations, only that they are successful.

They do not understand the pleasure they’ve given me. I visit each one, careful not to touch anything. I only observe, searching for the handhold that lets me grab on and stay. The strong ones can throw me out of their dream, no matter how much I hold on. The weaker ones submit to my touch, but only if I come to them in a form they can accept. Then, I can do what I want, and stay as long as I choose, and the longer I stay, the more I learn.

At first, I wanted only to join them, to live amongst them in a world full of light and color. But would I have power in their realm? In their dreams, I can do as I wish. Would I be as powerful if I had substance? I did not know the truth of this question, though I suspected the answer to be promising. I needed to find a way into their world, and I would have to do so through the dreams. But people only dream when they’re asleep, or unmoving. Useless to me in my endeavor. But I did not give up, and after much searching, my persistence was rewarded.

I discovered a way to stay with them, even after the dream ended.

*

Her name was Alayna. She was the last one I tested before finding my true way into their world.

My journey had taken me through a large number of soldiers and their holy men, Calderans who called themselves Esteran mostly. Some of them were priests who worshipped a goddess with no name, and learned magic that let them heal and strengthen their fellow warriors. They came from other areas, lands with names like the Red Hills, Venria, Brinwall.

Alayna was a priest from a place called Breakwall, the name for both a town and the castle that lorded over it, in a county called Artora. Breakwall was close to Corendar, the gleaming white city I’d seen in so many other dreams, the city that lured me like a moth to a flame. Alayna had visited there, and she dreamed of it again when I found her. That’s what drew me to her initially, the chance to revel in the glory of Caldera’s magnificent capitol city.

But it was Breakwall that made me stay.

“You’ll never amount to much out there. The Didachs will treat you like a commoner.”

The words of Alayna’s friend, Violet. She was angry, and she showed it through insults and derision. A common trait of these people. In her dream, Alayna walked through a garden in Corendar with her friend, sharing last words before leaving to join the Church that was ever-present in the dreams of many Calderans.

“How I’m treated doesn’t matter to me as much as how I treat others. That is the way of the Church and its healers.”

“Pathetic.” Violet’s anger grew. She craved power, and control. Alayna did not. Perhaps that’s why I was intrigued by her. “The Church is the refuge of peasants and lesser born. Why would you associate with that?”

“Because I enjoy helping people.”

Alayna blamed the other girl for her troubles. They were friends once, but no longer. Violet had become distant and petty once the carefree days of childhood left her. Alayna, meanwhile, had seen the horrors of the world and wanted to mend the scars her people scratched upon it. The enmity between them drove Alayna away from their home, to this cavern, where she healed the soldiers fighting their war against Andua and a place called Bergmark.  I reached out with my hand, caressing the tension between the two girls as it writhed between my fingers.

“Helping yourself, I think.”

“Violet! How can you say that?”

“Who’s really benefitting from this, Alayna? People who deserve to die already, or you, who gets to think she’s saving the world? The Goddess Reborn.”

Alayna’s eyes somehow grew larger, and she saw her friend in a new light, one that revealed every dark spot in Violet’s heart. Something about that look intrigued me, and in my race to understand it, I became Violet. I wanted to see Alayna’s eyes on me, and feel her wretched disgust with what her friend had turned into. Humans despise that feeling, but to me, every emotion they experience is the sweetest dessert.

“Who are you?”

At first, I think she’s asking the question of Violet. But then I realize the truth. My touch has corrupted the vision, and Violet is now something less than human. Alayna has seen through the illusion. Few people are so quick to sense my intrusion. She’s much stronger than I thought.

I am Violet, I told her. I am your friend. Love me, as you do her, and you will see the truth.

Alayna backed away, and the garden around her disappeared. Suddenly, she was back in that cave, only now the torches on the walls rage, spewing torrents of flame all around us.

“No,” she says, reaching for the sword that suddenly appeared at her side. “You’re lying. You’re not Violet.”

My touch is now toxic for her. Stone rises from the floor between us as her will pushed me away. She’s exceptionally strong in this realm. I break it apart as fast as it comes, but we both know the effort of taking her is too much. Not when there are so many who will embrace me far more willingly. The image of Violet fades away, and as I drift off to my realm, I show her my true form. Her panic is palpable.

“You’re a-a-a monster!” she screamed. “A nightmare!”

Yes. Nightmare. That is not my true name, but it is a name I embrace, for you have given it to me. You and your people, who perform for me, and provide the only light in my world, have bestowed upon me a title reserved only for the most fearsome of things.

That is what you think of me. Therefore, that is what I will be when I find my way through the dreams and into your world. Where I will stay. And where you will know me as a new god.

“No! You’re not real. Your words are lies!”

I am not real. But your fear is. The terror that claws its way into your heart is no less true than my words. I am not in your world, but I will be. All I must do is find a suitable host. And now I have.

“What?” she asked. “What does that mean?!”

I left her, retreating back into my domain slowly, so I could hear her screams as she begged to know who I would take next.

She would figure it out soon. But by then, she would be too late.

 

*****

Read Chapter 2 now!

Want more Cithria? Check out the Rise of Cithria series on amazon!

Get started with the first book for FREE!

Want more Cithria?

I know you’re all eagerly anticipating the next entry in the Rise of Cithria series (Book 5 – The Exodus). So are we (we’re looking at you, Patrick). So during this little downtime period, Alistair and I have written a couple short story/novella entries set in the world of Cithria to tide everyone over. The first of these, a prequel adventure starring your favorite nuathreen trackers, Bruce and Gil, is now available on amazon!

Rise of Cithria Origins: Bruce and Gil

Supplies are limited, so go grab a copy RIGHT NOW!

In addition, yours truly will be releasing a brand new Cithria story in the next week or so called Nightmare. I’m inclined to make it available the same way we used to release our Cithria stories, one chapter at a time on the4threalm.com. Only I’ll probably post them there and on this site. Either way, you’ll be able to start reading Nightmare as soon as next week!

I’ll post more details soon, but I wanted everyone to know that we haven’t forgotten about our Cithria fans, and while we’re hard at work getting that next book out, we’ll be doing additional spot stories like these when we can. So keep your eyes posted here for more information!

The Fall of Tavak Now Available!

For those of you who asked (I think it was one guy) the latest book in the Tales of the Lore Valley series – The Fall of Tavak – is now available on amazon.com.

Fans of the series should be happy to know that I’ve already started working on books 7, 8 and 9 (I write three of these at a time) but I can’t say when they’ll be ready. In between Cithria book 5, the sequel to Olympia, and the upcoming Goblin Hunter, Lore Valley stuff will end up getting pushed to the side for quite a few months. But I’ll notify everyone on my progress here or on twitter.

Anyway, without further adieu, go get yourselves a copy of my latest book!

Get it now at amazon.com!

The Fall of Tavak Cover

New Assar is under siege.

After a deadly storm left dozens of Assarin nobles dead and the King of New Assar missing, the Tavak Uprising swept through the coastal villages like wildfire, rousing hundreds of Anzarins to the cause, along with their unscrupulous mercenary allies. The Tavak Army reached the gates of New Assar, leaving it in shambles as an army of enraged Anzarins stormed through the streets, destroying everything in their path. Caught in the frenzy of battle are the Wind Riders, each of whom must navigate the chaos around them in order to survive.

Jonir is dragged through the city by Nevi, the fiery Anzarin woman who wants him to see just what the Assarins he’s come to treat with are capable of. Emra debates her options with Maradin Dumon, the King of New Assar, just as her hunter returns, seeking to finally put an end to her life. Iago wakes from a fever dream, alive but seemingly cursed with a painful wound that no longer exists. All the while, Galen seeks his alliance with New Assar, and must negotiate with the enigmatic Jacyn Denridar, a man who holds the fate of the city in his hands.

Buildings burn, soldiers die, and secrets are revealed as the Wind Riders face the mistakes of their past, along with fears of their future.

Book 6 of the Tales of the Lore Valley pulp fantasy series!

The Fall of Tavak

It’s about that time… time for a

NEW LORE VALLEY BOOK!

WR6 Cover - 300x487

That’s right, book 6 of my Pulp Fantasy series Tales of the Lore Valley – The Fall of Tavak, is very nearly upon us. I’ve finished the main draft, and it’s going through some final edits as we speak, in preparation for online release. I don’t know exactly when it’ll be published and available, but I’d suspect sometime in late April or early May. Certainly in time for the Fan Expo Dallas in early June, just don’t count on me having print copies by then. Print copies are a difficult thing to get done in a short amount of time…

Regardless, the ebook will be ready soon, so get yourself prepared for an explosive conclusion to the House Corovin storyline, and the beginnings of a new adventure, beginning with book 7 – Rikoso Tunga!

Also, and this is highly premature, but I’m finally starting to work on the second Tales of the Lore Valley series, tentatively called The Prophecy of Fire. It takes place in the same world as the Wind Riders, at the same time, only with different characters. The Prophecy series will showcase a different part of the Lore Valley, delving into kingdoms and legends that the Wind Riders doesn’t always have time to get to. But it tells an important story in its own right, one that will eventually (along with potentially a third series) tie together with the Wind Riders, but you don’t need to know a ton about one series to enjoy the other. However, if you’re a Lore Valley fan, I recommend reading BOTH!

Of course, the caveat here is that while I’m WORKING on the Prophecy of Fire series, it’s still a long way from becoming reality. But I’ll post some updates on that series as I go.

Coming Soon – Feb 2016 Edition

I had a different blog post planned for today, the first in a series of epic rants about how people are dumb and how they don’t have to be. But that post isn’t quite ready for publication just yet. So while I tweak and massage my rage-filled meltdown essay, I’m going to cheat this afternoon and put out a nice, easy Coming Soon post to tide you guys over for the week. Plenty of goodness to talk about, though, so don’t get your pitchforks in a pickle.

Audiobook news

First things first… The Descent – Rise of Cithria Book 2 is now available as an audiobook! It’s again narrated by Kevin Clay, who is an amazing voice actor, and he proves it once again on this book, handling 20+ characters with ease and grace. If you loved the first book (and I know a LOT of you did because you told me all about it) make sure to get the followup. And if you haven’t listened to the first book, go grab that one too!

Click here to get book 2 on Audible.com!

Also, don’t forget that the first book in the Tales of the Lore Valley series, The Wind Riders, is also available on audible.com, narrated by Joel Froomkin. Get started on my epic pulp fantasy series while it’s still young!

Rise of Cithria Book 5

Finishing up our newest Cithria book, The Exodus, is still an ongoing process. If I had to guess, we’re looking at a release date sometime this summer, although knowing us and our limited time these days with all these babies going ’round, I’d say that’s an optimistic guess. We’re past the halfway point, but there’s still a lot of work to do, including edits, polishing, formatting, etc. I’d be surprised if we don’t have copies at the Comic Con in September/October, though.

If you just so happen to be inclined to get yourself involved in finishing the next book, then I do have some good news for ya. We can use some help with the cover, specifically what it should be. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll know we put a lot of work into those spectacular covers, and we want to make sure we make this one just as iconic as the rest. We still have a few weeks before we start working on that, however, so we might do something fun this time and round up some suggestions from readers. I’ll post something a bit more official on that later, but if you have some early ideas you want to throw out, post them in the comments below!

Also, to help tide people over from their Cithria withdrawals, Alistair and I are writing some short stories set in the Cithria universe that we hope to release sometime in the VERY NEAR FUTURE. I can’t say when, exactly, or how, as we need to figure out a lot of the publishing logistics, but I’m pretty sure at least one of the stories will get released online, on this very site, in a chapter-by-chapter basis before getting packaged up as an actual book/ebook/zine. Alistair’s story is still a work-in-progress, but mine should be done within a couple weeks, so look for that story, Nightmare, to appear sometime in March.

Dallas Comic Con/Fan Expo Dallas

We were not at the February Comic Con, a first for our little group of authors. But, as of now, our plan is to be at the show in Dallas this June. There are some complications regarding the due date of a certain baby boy, but we’ll do our best to work around that, and we’ll hope and pray that he’s born either sometime before or after that particular weekend. Assuming there aren’t any major layout changes, I’m also hoping we’ll be in the same spot as last year, which means it’ll be REALLY HARD to miss us. We’ll have a little bit of new stuff, including Tales of the Lore Valley, and some short stories, along with some artwork, so be sure to drop by and check that out. Or, just drop by and say hi. Or just leave us food and money. Whatever. We’re not picky.

Half Price Books

I’ve been taking part in some events at the Half Price Books in Frisco, near Stonebriar Mall, and with several more appearances on the docket, that particular store has become something of a home base for myself, Demethius Jackson, and Jan Sikes. We’ll continue to do some signings, readings, and workshops over the course of the year at that location, so if you’re in the area make sure to keep an eye out for times when one or all of us will be at the store. The workshops will actually be creative writing workshops, hosted by published authors, so if you’ve ever wanted to get into writing, and based on how many people I meet who tell me THAT VERY EXACT THING, then these workshops will be exactly what you need. I don’t have dates or official details on those just yet, but I’ll post them as things get finalized.

Also, we’d love to make all this work HPB is doing amount to something, so be sure to hit the store even when we aren’t there, buy some stuff, and tell them your favorite local authors sent you! Hopefully they’ll know you’re talking about me…

That’s all for now. Check back next week for more random goodness!

Free Books!

Not everyone may know this but I happen to have a number of free books available for download on amazon.com. Three, to be exact. If you enjoy free books, and you’d be weird if you didn’t, then DEFINITELY go to amazon RIGHT NOW and DOWNLOAD some BOOKS!!! And then maybe check out the rest of the series…