Exciting News

I have a bit of exciting non-book news to share regarding the population of planet Earth. Despite some concerns about the number of humans currently residing here, Lindsay and I decided to risk increasing that number by one. We're expecting our first child in late June, and we couldn't be more excited.

I'm anticipating this will affect pretty much every aspect of my life... but it shouldn't seriously delay the last three books in my fantasy series, The Citadel of the Last Gathering. I've already got those written, and expect to have Book 7, Alaji the Witch, out before then. My plan is to have books 8 and 9 almost completely edited before my life turns upside-down in June, so it'll just be a matter of getting them out. While I can't promise a few self-imposed deadlines won't get a little "fuzzier," I want to assure anyone reading these that you're not going to get 2/3rds of the way through and discover the series isn't getting finished. The books are written, I'm extremely happy with how they're coming out, and the series - in its entirety - is going to be released.

Other than that, I hope everyone had a great Christmas. If you haven't been keeping up with Mainlining Christmas, we posted a bunch of reviews of old and new Christmas movies and specials, along with several new podcast episodes (most recently, we chimed in on the Die Hard debate).

What else? I've been heading to the movies while I still can - look for my reviews of Bumblebee, Into the Spider-Verse, Aquaman, and Mary Poppins Returns over at The Middle Room. It's been a fantastic month for movie fans. In fact, it's been a fantastic year - you can find my rankings for 2018 movies here.

Other than that, I'm going to enjoy the last few days of my vacation and get back to editing. As always, thanks to everyone reading and following along - it means a lot.

A Layer of Ash Now Available! Plus Get Books 1-3 FREE!

A Layer of Ash, book 6 in The Citadel of the Last Gathering, is available now for Kindle (paperback copies should be available soon). To celebrate, we're making the first three novels free for the weekend:

A Count of Five
A Tide of Ice
A Unique Sickness of Spirit

I hope you'll check it out!

Two New Supplemental Stories

To celebrate the release of A Layer of Ash, I'm posting two new supplemental short stories. These are in continuity with The Citadel of the Last Gathering and build out the setting, but neither directly concerns characters appearing in the main novels. To put it another way, skipping them won't detract from the experience of reading the books, but I'd like to hope reading them fleshes out the world a bit.

The Guest offers a look at the politics of Hathari as it would have been. The first novel, A Count of Five, contains background you'll need to understand what's going on. I recommended reading at least that far before looking at The Guest.

The Fall is set later in the timeline, between books five and six. It's intended to offer a little closure on the world of A Sea of Sky, so I'd suggest reading that before the short story.

These join The Truthspeaker and A Meeting in the Desert under the Short Fiction tab.

A Layer of Ash: Available October 26

A Layer of Ash, the sixth novel in The Citadel of the Last Gathering, will be available for the Kindle on October 26 and available in paperback around the same time. You can find the pre-order page for the Kindle version here if you want to ensure it's delivered to your device the minute it's available.

Between its darker tone and autumn setting, A Layer of Ash would make a good Halloween read. If you're caught up on the first five novels, you'll be rewarded checking this out sooner rather than later. And if you're not caught up, you've got just enough time between now and the 26th!

While releasing two novels in one year has certainly been tiring, we're going to try and do it again in 2019. The last three books in the series have already been written, and we're planning to have book 7 revised and released in spring or summer, then book 8 in fall or early winter. The ninth and final installment should be ready sometime in early-to-mid 2020.

I couldn't be happier with how this series is coming along. A Layer of Ash, in particular, is one I'm extremely proud of, and I hope you'll give it a chance.

A Sea of Sky Now Available!

A Sea of Sky, book five in The Citadel of the Last Gathering, is now available for Kindle and in paperback!

To celebrate the release, we're also offering the first four novels at a free or discounted price between today and Saturday, so this is a good time to catch up.

A Count of Five: FREE
A Tide of Ice: FREE
A Unique Sickness of Spirit: $0.99
A Contest of Prophecies: $0.99

A Sea of Sky

The horizon is broken; earth and sky are one.

Alaji and Yemerik arrive in a world where the remnants of old empires are scattered to the winds. Survivors have rebuilt on islands suspended over a world of unimaginable danger.

They are seeking a fellow time traveler, hoping he will help them restore the fractured timeline and return Alaji to her home in the distant past.

But even if they find him and win his help, there are obstacles beyond the sea of sky. Revelations and betrayal will force Alaji to confront questions and doubts she's long avoided. After everything she's seen and experienced, does she still want to return home?

Citadel of the Last Gathering Supplemental - First Two Stories Now Available!

I've added a new section to the Short Fiction tab for stories tying to the fantasy series, The Citadel of the Last Gathering. These will be short pieces connected in some way to the books - they'll contain minor characters, settings, or other elements touched on by the novels.

I think this goes without saying, but just in case: none of these will contain information necessary to follow the main story of the novels (if they did, they'd be part of the novels). But they allow me to build out the world a little more and incorporate a few ideas that didn't fit in the books.

The first two stories are now up. Both are intended to be read after the second book in the series, A Tide of Ice, though either can be read out of order or even as stand-alones.

The Truthspeaker is a short piece I originally wrote to get a better feel for setting and voice in A Tide of Ice. It's something of a prequel to most of the book, and it would work read before, after, or even as a standalone. I'm still suggesting you wait until after, but take that as a light recommendation.

The same is true of A Meeting in the Desert: this doesn't feature any characters appearing in the novels, and shouldn't spoil any plot points (though it may change your perspective on a minor piece of one character's backstory).

Happy Belated New Years!

Well, Christmas is finally over (at least by most modern standards), and the cosmic ticker has flipped forward, so I wanted to check in and say, "Hi." Also, in keeping with tradition, I put up a list ranking all the new movies I saw in 2017, from least to most favorite.

Now that the holidays are behind me, I'm back to focusing on revising the next novel. There's still a lot of work to be done, but I'm hoping to have it available before summer.