Thursday, July 15, 2021

New Book: Channeling My Inner Dickens

 

All things old become new and visa versa.  It used to be, in the olden times, authors like Charles Dickens, Author Conan Doyle, Alexandre Dumas, even later authors like Ernest Hemingway had their novels first published by chapter.  From the Pickwick Papers to Farewell to Arms, books often used to see their first publication in such a format, as periodicals or in magazines like Scribners.  Now, Amazon is bringing that format back to the public.

The first novel in my new series will be published first on Amazon Vella.  Instead of waiting a year or more for the full novel to be edited, formatted, type set, approved, reproved, reedited, cover illustrated, copy edited, content edited... (you get the idea), you will be able to read nearly as I write it.  I say nearly, because of course my publisher will still be editing etc..., but as proof, the first chapters are already up and available and there will be a new installment every week.  So, how does it all work and what is the new book about.

Click on the photo or the links to Vella and follow Pillaging the Sun.  You'll be notified of new chapters (first three are free) and how to continue the adventure.  Be sure to review and give me a thumbs up—just like any other platform, that all helps.

Here's the promo blurb:

Having barely survived an apocalyptic rise in the earth’s temperature, humanity as only recently recovered a small portion of what they lost—of what they destroyed.   The ingenuity of Montgomery Camden's company Ouranos may have scrubbed the skies of carbon monoxide and given those that remain the shining city of Gaia, but if he can’t find a reliable source of power, all will have been for naught.  Harassed by religious fanatics, public riots, the weight leadership and threats to his family, he looks to the sun, sending settlers across the Great Desert.  Liam leads the expedition, hoping to build a new life for his family—hoping to provide the power the city so desperately needs.  But there is more at stake than just solar fields and onyx skyscrapers.  Even in a world where life is precious, when resources are scarce, there will always be those willing to steal to survive.  There will always be those willing to kill.  Filled with action, intrigue, and coming of age drama, Pillaging the Sun is a science fiction adventure that rings with cautionary truth about our own future, while leading readers on a wild, fantasy ride.

I hope you enjoy.  Be sure to comment and interact wherever you like best.  I love hearing from you all.

Brandon
Virginia, July 2021

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

And Then There Were Five

  1.  Scarlet and the Keepers of Light
  2. Scarlet and the Dragon's Burden
  3. Scarlet and the Queen of the New World
  4. Scarlet and the Barrier's Fall 

—and 5.  It has been almost two weeks since Scarlet and the Shattered Throne was released and thus far it seems to be hit.  Good reviews, some happy fans (one young lady had some very particular complaints regarding dragons), and great in person feedback.  A QUICK NOTE, IF YOU LIKE A BOOK, REVIEW IT.  IT REALLY HELPS.  I want to thank everyone who is continuing to make Scarlet a success.  It's been a long ride, but well worth it.  There are still some great things to come regarding Scarlet.  The paper and hardback copies will be on the way soon and there might even be some audiobooks read by yours truly—although the later is a great deal of time and work, so, we'll see.  A lot of that is out of my hand though so...Amazon Prime are you listening.  I'm definitely ready to strike a deal...

I am currently working on a new Young Adult project.  The first book will be titled Pillaging the Sun.  My publisher and I have been toying with the idea of adding it to Amazon's new Kindle Vella before publishing the full book later on.  A bit like going back to the era of magazine serialization with a new technological twist.  So keep a look out.  Of course I will be shouting it from the rooftops once dates get reasonably close.  

I've also begun sharing my new D&D hobby with everyone.  The second installment is out and available to read on my new website https://www.westdnd.com.  Click over to continue the story or start from scratch if you missed the first episode.

As always, I'm happy to hear from you all and look forward to discussing Scarlet and D&D, or books in general.  

Till next time,

Brandon



Sunday, May 30, 2021

Wringing out a Goblin

 1a.

 

Cricket Stonespur's goal had been the shores of Karrnath, where the marshal culture of discipline and stoic strength seemed an obvious choice to begin this journey of discovery and diplomacy.  After all, although an age apart from the Goblinoids who once ruled Khorvaire as the mighty Dhakaani Empire, the Goblins of Stonespur Island are still a warrior race.  In the ages that passed from the fall of the empire, they lived apart, marooned at first, but then blessed in their isolation.  They developed a civilization founded on honor, discipline, and respect; cornerstones of a great society they believe those on the mainland of Khorvaire lack.  Violent without purpose, emotional without cause, and fickle without good humor, the rest of the continent  is populated by barbarians.  Every two hundred years, an emissary is sent to engage in trade and diplomatic relations with the mainland.  None has ever returned.  What more evidence would the Goblins of Stonespur need?  Yet, still they try.  

 

Karrnath had been Cricket's goal, but Karrnath was not to be.  The great currents running through Death's Finger Channel joined forces with a storm from the Lhazaar Sea.  Cricket's small vessel was carried by the will of wind and sea, leaving him helpless to navigate its direction.  What should have been a week at sea became two. Weary from lack of food, water, and exposure, Cricket catch's sight of land on the fifteenth day.  The sea foams around the tiny vessel as the waves thrash him from bow to stern.  With one final crashing wave, he is thrown from his vessel and is encompassed by the cold waters of the bay.  The world is going black.  This is the end.  

 

No…he is a monk of the Hundred Stones.  He has been given a sacred mission by the High Muckmuck, Gargis the Wise.  He will not fail before it has even begun.  

 

He kicks and fights.  The waves batter his small frame to and fro—water fills his lungs, burning his chest.  His toes brush something soft, something solid.  They find purchase and with ten merciful steps, he flops onto dry land, coughing the salt water from his lungs.       

 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Book 5 and Some D&D

 On the 27th, the final book in Scarlet's adventure will be released.  Scarlet and the Shattered Throne marks the conclusion of her adventure, but not mine.  I have a new young adult series in the works and a series geared more toward adults (both fantasy) on the horizon. Of Course, hopefully there's still much fun and talk to be had surrounding Scarlet.  I can't wait to hear what you all think.  Additionally, even though Book five will be out on kindle the 27th, there is still the newly designed, hold in your hand, and put on you shelf set coming out in the next several months.

The Morning After Battle
To celebrate all of this and to provide something more interesting than reading me babble on this blog, twitter, and facebook, I've decided to serialize my D&D campaign on the blog.  I began playing last year (I  never played as a kid) and caught the bug.  I started DMing a campaign for my daughters, my brother, and my best friend earlier this year and it has been a blast.  This also give me an opportunity to explore some styles I might not have otherwise written in without the seriousness of a finished product.  I'll be posting the episodes to Patreon to keep costs low and offer some benefits beyond just the episodes.  It's supposed to be fun—for me at least—so while I welcome input and will correct as I go if people catch things...well, you get the idea.  

I'll be breaking up the chapters in bite sized pieces.  Starting with a little 3rd person limited perspective, present tense (for all you word nerds).  I usually write 3rd person multiple perspective in the past tense. 

I hope you enjoy.  Feel free to share and follow me wherever you prefer.  


Please keep in mind, that while the story is original, Dungeons and Dragons was created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.  The rights are currently owned by Wizards of the Coast.  The world I am using for this campaign is Eberron as presented in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. 

The majority of my referenced D&D collection is from my account and purchased material with D&D Beyond.  Including: 

Keith Baker, Jeremy Crawford, & James Wyatt. (2019). Eberron : rising from the last war.Wizards Of The Coast.

Mearls, M., & Crawford, J. (2014). Dungeons & dragons player’s handbook. Wizards Of The Coast.

Mearls, M., & Crawford, J. (2014). Dungeon master’s guide. Wizards Of The Coast.

Mearls, M., Crawford, J., Schwalb, R. J., Sernett, M., Townshend, S., & Wyatt, J. (2014). Dungeons & dragons. Monster manual. Wizards Of The Coast.

Wizards Of The Coast, Inc. (2020). Tasha’s cauldron of everything. Wizards Of The Coast Llc.

Crawford, J., Mearls, M., & Wizards Of The Coast, Inc. (2017). Xanathar’s guide to everything. Wizards Of The Coast.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Poseidon Guards the Moon

 Poseidon Guards the Moon



I often watch—

from below, as you wax and wane,

As you hide and show.

How potent—

from above, well beyond my reach 

As you push and shove.


I swell and shrink

I rise and fall

I surge and ebb,

I rage and lull.


Deepest passions find peace

Beneath your silver sway,

Or apathy churns to threaten far shores,

While you play coy with clouds of grey.

But I don’t mind 

Being a vassal under your reign,

Let your reflection be my shrine to you,

Happiest at your mercy, I am swain.


Sunday, February 14, 2021

30 Day Health Experiment (w/ before and after photos)





 Last month I hurt my knee, or it hurt it self, the exact cause is still a mystery, but regardless I was forced to stop running and gain as much holiday weight as possible.  It was obligatory.  Now that the holidays are over, and unfortunately my knee is still weird, I have had to find a new way to get into shape and attempt to see my abs.

For thirty days I took our puppy for a 2.5 mile daily walk and every hour, for 12 hours a day, I did 20 pushups.  I did this while recommitting to a plant based whole food diet.  What were the results at the end of that thirty days?...

As you can see by the pictures below, there was a remarkable increase in muscle mass and overall vigor.  What most surprised me, however, was the increase in height.  One does not expect, over the age of forty, to get any taller, but as you can see, there is clearly 4 inches gain in height.

In conclusion, I highly recommend those looking for a more humane, healthy way of eating, to give WFPB a try and get to walking.