Imagine My Surprise

There I am minding my own little world, trying to keep my nose clean and get out four books before Christmas. When …


It nails me right between the eyes…

The cover I worked so hard to find and perfect and purchase, for The Prince (book #3) is all wrong!

Please allow me to define all wrong.

All wrong in this case means the that the scene depicted on the cover is not even in The Prince! In earlier days, when I was ironing some things out with the story, it might have been, but now that particular scene is firmly in the early parts of book #4, The King!

How could I have been so blind?

That scene hasn’t been in The Prince for quite some time now. I made that decision, long ago, and yet…here it was staring at me from the cover of that same book.

So like most hardened warriors, I drew my sword and  – who am I kidding – panic immediately set in as I tried to figure out how to pull back all the submissions I’d already sent out for book #3 to various distributors and printers and the like.

And what was I to do about the OBVIOUSLY WRONG COVER?

Well, once I realized that only some of my distributors would actually charge me for the change, I set to work to find a new cover. I went back to the same source I used for all four original covers, but nothing there seemed right. Nearly out of hope, I searched through an images site I belong to and suddenly things started to look up. Eventually, I found the perfect image and did some image editing and Word magic to duplicate my cover template for the series and presto-change-o new cover!

The rest of the horrible logistics story I’ll leave to your imagination. But for right now, just enjoy the newest cover in The Jester King Fantasy Series, bask in his glory, and allow me to relax on my laurels for a second or two before a new publishing fire springs up and ruins this perfectly dreadful cold and fever I’m trying to vanquish.

By the way, this is the official cover release for The Prince!

Oh, yes, almost forgot! The Innkeeper’s Son also had it’s official debut today! Two 5-star reviews so far. Thank you, please keep the reviews coming!

Until next time…

Best Wishes and Better Adventures,


Welcome to the New Me!

The new me, in all my glory! (kidding)

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

I must tell you, I have anticipated this day for a long time now. Day one of – live. (Gee, I’ve never been a website before.) Up until now, it’s just been a bunch of ones and zeros skillfully swimming on my screen.

Like most things, our expectations often melt in the light of day. The glory we once glimpsed in our mind’s eye slips to the floor like a cardboard sign and reveals … stark reality. I’m looking around my small office and there’s no parade, no band, no confetti, no party and no one standing on the dock waving and wishing me a “bon voyage.” Even the wife and dogs have bedded down for the night. It’s just me, sitting in my office; just as it ever was. Except, now there’s you! And my world has instantly doubled!

Thank you for coming by! It means so much to me that you’re here.

So where to start …

This being my first blog written for this site, I’m not quite sure what to say to you. We’ve just met. I don’t know you and you really don’t know me. Still, I want to try, and your appearance here tells me that you do too. I’ll start with me.

To begin, I wasn’t looking to start a new website. I had another site that I had spent quite a bit of time on – mostly on the wrong things, moving in the wrong direction. Which seemed to be the direction my writing life was heading – the wrong direction. Not north, south, east or west; I was headed wrong. Due wrong!

So I set out to examine what was wrong with my writing career and fix it.

How I figured out I was going wrong is really quite a complicated story, filled with gurus and virtual mountaintop experiences, and lots of “Ah-ha!” moments. I won’t bore you with the particulars. I’ll just say this: it’s was a business thing, a writer thing, a knowledge thing, an attitude thing, a heart thing. Heck, it’s was a spiritual thing!

In the end, I decided I needed a new start, a do-over if you will.

I needed a new me!

This website is one part of that new me, and so are you! You see? I meant it when I told you I was glad you’re here. (to misquote a favorite writer) Without you, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. And that was the biggest ingredient missing from my previous attempt – YOU!

The second part of my do-over is my books. Again a long story, but I’m starting over there too. I’ll be putting out four books this year! The first two are (in movie lingo) remakes. The next two are sequels. The whole is The Jester King Fantasy Series and it starts with The Innkeeper’s Son. I plan to follow this up the four books with a novella for the same series and then several other unrelated fantasy and science fiction books. You can see the plan on the Works in Progress page.

Speaking of pages, allow me to give you a quick rundown of what you’ll find here.

  1. If you go to the Home page, the first thing you’ll see (below the banner) is a special, limited-time offer for you. I will change this up from time to time, offering free books and sometimes other prizes.
  2. Below that, you’ll find three links: one to my Books page, one to an About (me) page, and one to my old site, Other Worlds. (As part of my re-do, Other Worlds is starting over too. More on that another day.) There are also tabs at the top of most pages to help you navigate. If you every get stuck, just click on the banner to be taken to the Home page.
  3. The Books, Works in Progress, About, Blog and Contact pages are self-explanatory.
  4. I will post excerpts from current and upcoming books on the Excerpts page.
  5. The Thanks page is something new to me. It’s a place where I can simply thank folks who help me and provide a link (of their choice) to promote something they’re doing.
  6. Members of the press and blogosphere can find some contact information and downloadable media kits for me and my books on the Press page.
  7. Lastly, the Newsletter page is where you can sign up for my Reader’s Group. I’ll be sharing all kinds of news with subscribers: sales, exclusive book offers, giveaways, and special offers from other authors I know. You can also sign up for that group newsletter through the limited-time offer on the Home page. If you do that, I’ll give you a free book! So why not get a free book for signing up?

That just about covers it for the site (and today). Once again, thank you for coming. Please take a look around, check me out, contact me, comment on a blog, join my Reader’s Group! Above all enjoy!

Best wishes and better adventures,

Okay! Now it’s YOUR TURN. Use the comments section below to tell me something about you.

If you’re shy, try these topic on for size: Why do you like fantasy or science fiction? What’s your favorite book? If you’ve read one of my books, who was your favorite character? What was your favorite scene? Is there something you’d like to see added to this website?



Monica Bellucci !SPOILER ALERT!

Deordrif, a dark elf of Tirn Aill
Like her mother (the haunting figure known to Lyonesse folk as the Night Queen), Deordrif serves the dark elves of Tirn Aill and their ambitious leader, Malkry.

Deordrif (a.k.a. Drif) is foremost a warrior, in fact, she is Malkry’s best warrior. While she possesses some skill with destructive magic, an ability coveted by the dark elves, she seldom uses it and prefers to strike down her opponents with her impressive armory of faerie weapons. Her preferred method of fighting is with sword & shield, and in her shadow plate (armor), wielding her long black blade, she is quite intimidating. Drif is also a exceptional rider and tactician, making her a battlefield asset to her allies and terror to her foes.

Monica_Bellucci2bAnother ability of note is her exceptional mastery of faerie glamour. She is so proficient in glamour that she fools Billy (the protagonist) into thinking she is a man. She is aided in this by her head-to-toe faerie armor, but nonetheless, it is quite a feat considering she is all woman – a fact made painfully clear to Billy in an embarrassing encounter with Finvarra, King of the Daoine Sidhe.

Drif does not appear in the Jester King Series until book three, The Prince. Drif joins Billy on his quest to discover a “spellbinder” that could save her homeland of Tirn Aill and all its inhabitants from freezing to death in an eternal winter (a threat of which she knows nothing). While Drif has secret orders to thwart Billy’s quest, ultimately she must decide for herself, whether to serve Malkry or Queen Eleanor‘s heir. This decision pulls her in different directions throughout the story as she learns more about the man she might one day call her king.monica-bellucci9

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti William Holman Hunt2 !SPOILER ALERT!

Sygeon, (one of several) half-brothers to Ergyfel.

Sygeon is the younger brother and trusted henchman of the villain Ergyfel, in the first book of the Jester King SeriesThe Innkeeper’s Son. He is the Magister‘s dirty right hand, taking care of any foul deeds or spying that Ergyfel cannot or will not deal with himself. A shadowy figure, Sygeon slips in and out of Castle Orgulous without notice (he knows the secret passages well) and is most likely to be seen whispering and plotting with his brother, when he is seen at all.

Sygeon tends to stick to the shadows and the dense woods – out of sight. While folks around Nyraval may recognize him by his build and inky garb, few know his face or want to. Here, he is a figure many cross the street to avoid. Outside the royal city even fewer have seen his face and lived.

gary oldman5While Sygeon is a slight man, who walks with a cane, he does not shy away from hurting the weak or any unfortunate enough to fall under his control. He is a sadist who frequently employs giants, troghouls, and mercenaries of low character to help him track down, ambush, murder or torture Ergyfel’s enemies. The giant, Redgnaw, is his loyal follower, as is a mercenary named, Banarel (later Sir Banarel). Perhaps the favorite tool from his toolbox of villainy is arson, which he uses twice during the timeframe of Billy‘s story.

For all his treachery and foul deeds in the service of his brother, Sygeon receives justice at the hand of King William. Too late, he learns that he is a liability and expendable in Ergyfel’s usurpation of William’s throne.gary oldman3OW Original2



Oliver Reed1b !SPOILER ALERT!

Sir Aonghas, husband to Lady Myrredith, Lord of Cyndyn Hall.

Aonghas, or “Lady Cyndyn’s husband”, as he is called behind his back, is not well liked. He is a great bear of a man with excessive appetites for drinking and fighting. He is quick to anger and a mean drunk. Aonghas aspires to “rough around the edges”, looking out of place in the noble finery he was not born to. He prefers the battlefield, where his gruff manners do not draw fire from his wife.Oliver Reed3b

Despite his barbaric exterior, Aonghas has the most tender love for his wife, and is a troubled soul. The underlying cause of Aonghas’ pain is deep seeded insecurity in his relationship with his beautiful and refined wife, the Lady (and real master) of Cyndyn. He won her hand through combat, in an ill-conceived, ill-timed tourney held by Myrredith’s father, the late Lord Rudthar God rest his soul!” and is certain he could never have won her hand otherwise. He feels unworthy of her and is painfully aware that Myrredith would have married Sir Hugh, if  the King’s Champion had participated in the tourney or the lady had been allowed to choose. This places him firmly across from Hugh in a love triangle with his wife, in the first book of the series: The Innkeeper’s Son. This does not go unnoticed by Don Miguel Medina Scarosa, a traveling troubadour and troublemaker. This Spaniard scoundrel wheedles into their lives and whispers lies into Aonghas’ ear – about his wife and Hugh – to aggravate the situation for his own malicious pleasure.

Though Aonghas has many flaws, he is still brave, loyal and honorable. Many readers tell me they find him one of the more interesting characters, and his loss at the battle near Hillshire was devastating. He is a tragic but relatable character. In the end he teaches the protagonist, Billy (and us) that the heart of a hero is sacrifice.Oliver Reed4bOW Original2