Thursday, November 8, 2018

A 7th GoodReads Choice Award Nomination

It's that time a year again! No, I'm not talking about the approaching holiday shopping season (although I've already seen Early Black Friday sales online, and television commercials featuring Santa).  What I'm referring to is the Goodreads Choice Award Voting.

I'm sorry for the lateness regarding this announcement. Robin and I have been in Italy at the Lucca Convention, and while we could see that Age of War was nominated (on our phones and tablets), we didn't have access to computers to do an official blog post on the subject. Well, we're back, and the second round of voting is underway.

Fifteen books were picked by the Goodreads staff in the opening round, including the following titles.

Here are links to the books in case you want to check them out, along with some data from Goodreads.

TitleAuthorSeries Rating  # Ratings  Shelved by 
Age of War Michael J. Sullivan Legends of the First Empire #34.474,13419,844
Beneath the Sugared Sky Seanan McGuire Wayward Children #34.099,54626,715
The Book of M Peng Shepherd N/A3.753,90929,834
Burn Bright Patricia Briggs Alpha & Omega #54.2812,24729,652
Circe Madeline Miller N/A4.3548,95062,146
Grey Sister Mark Lawrence Book of the Ancestor #24.477,92522,430
High Voltage Karen Marie Moning Fever #104.337,76930,269
Iron and Magic Ilona Andrews Iron Covenant #14.4510,62226,616
The Land: Predators Aleron Kong Chaos Seeds #74.604,4918,737
The Poppy War R.F. Kuang Poppy War #14.097,63348,826
Senlin Ascends Josiah Bancroft Books of Babel #14.255,95831,157
The Shape of Water Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus N/A3.986,81929,941
Spinning Silver Naomi Novik N/A4.3117,13875,254
Wrath of Empire Brian McClellan Gods of Blood and Powder #24.563,0489,900
Year One Nora Roberts Chronicles of The One #14.0729,93675,242

During the first round, five books were added by write-in ballots from Goodreads readers, increasing the total list for the semi-finals to twenty titles.  The added books included the following:

And here are their Goodreads links and data.

TitleAuthorSeries Rating  # Ratings  Shelved by 
Bloody Rose Nicholas Eames Band #24.362,2159,544
Foundryside Robert Jackson Bennett Founders #14.352,85222,703
The Girl in the Tower Katherine Arden Winternight Trilogy #24.4218,02754,670
Magic Triumphs Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels #104.6110,12229,310
Time's Convert Deborah Harkness All Souls Trilogy #43.966,73338,704

Current voting will narrow the field down to ten finalists. Although I've had seven nominations, I'm pretty sure none of my books have made it to the final round (which is fine, truly it's an honor just to be nominated). So, as always, I'm asking you to vote for the book you want to win the most, and if that happens to turn out to be Age of War, that'd be even better!  Voting in the semi-final round ends November 11th so cast your ballot now!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

I'm one of #BrandonsBuddies, hopefully you will be, too

F*CK CANCER! Yeah, I don't usually use such language as that, but in this case, I'll make an exception. I lost my father and my sister to this dreaded disease, I've trained and rode in a fund-raising campaign when my old and feeble body was barely up to the task, I've donated stories for Shawn Speakman's Unfettered books to help end his medical debt (and reduce the debts of other fellow authors), and now I'm joining with hundreds of fantasy authors to support one of our own.

Brandon Barr is dying. Nothing can be done to stop that fact, but hopefully, we in the fantasy community can help bring a little peace of mind to him, by providing some financial support to the wife and three boys who he leaves behind. So, I've become one of #BrandonsBuddies, and I hope you will, too. How do you do so?

  • Why not pick up one (or several) of Brandon's books, Rise of the Seer has just been released at an introductory price of $0.99.
  • You can join me in donating to Brandon's GoFundMe Campaign it's already raised more than 1/3 of it's $100,000 goal.
  • You can help spread the word about Brandon, his work, and the horrific situation he finds himself in on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. Please use the hashtag #BrandonsBuddies. 

I've never read any of Brandon's books, but a lot of people have. Brandon is a USA Today Bestselling author, and here's what some people are saying about his stories:

"I’ve read a few books by Brandon, and he never disappoints. His books take you into a new world, but you get pulled in so deeply that you swear you are there. Looking forward to the next release." -- BellaT (Amazon Reviewer)

"Like all of the books by this author this series is captivating, the reader is sucked right into the epic adventures of the heroines. I loved it and highly recommend this book." -- Astrid Rudloff (Amazon Reviewer)

"I couldn't put it down. Love the characters and world that have been created. It's full of great twists and turns. Readers will be drawn into the story from the very first page. Readers who love sci-fi and fantasy will want to add this one to their TBR list." -- Diane (Goodreads Reviewer)

So if you're looking for some great epic fantasy, and want to do some good at the same time, please get yourself a copy of one (or several) of Brandon's books. Not only will you get a great story but you'll be helping one of fantasy's own whos voice will be silenced way too soon.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Assassin Author Roundtable - Today at 2:00 Eastern, 1:00 Central, 11:00 Pacific)

Hey all, I've been invited by the Angel Hayes at Indie Fantasy Addicts to be part of an online event today at 2:00. If you can't attend, I believe it's being recorded so you should be able to see all the happenings at a time of your convenience, and I'll update this post once the video is live.

I'll be joining a number of fellow fantasy authors including Andy Peloquin, JT Williams, Lindsay Buroker, D.W. Hawkins, and Steve Collier. Not entirely sure what all we'll be discussing, but I'm sure it's going to be a lot of fun. So, if you're free, stop on by, and if you're not. Check out the video whenever you get a chance.

Here is a link to the recorded session.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Honored to make the short list

A few weeks ago I posted about the Booknests' Fantasy Award, and how Age of War was picked by a panel to be one of the 50 titles submitted for consideration. The judges included nine popular fantasy blogs (Bookworm Blues, Fantasy Book Critic, Fantasy Book Review, Fantasy-Faction, Grimdark Magazine, The Fantasy Hive, The Fantasy Inn, The Grim Tidings Podcast, and The Weatherwax Report), three big fantasy imprints (Gollancz, Harper Voyager, and Orbit), and two well-respected agents (John Jarrold and Joshua Bilmes of JABberwocky Literary Agency).

What an amazing list with some incredible books, and I was pleased to be included. What I didn't expect was to make the short list. After all,  forty books had to go, and I expected mine would be one of them. But out of some miracle (and thank you to everyone who voted), the book made it to the shortlist.

Once again, I'm including some data from Goodreads (which I've updated from my last post). The odds-on favorite would be Children of Blood and Bone although I won't count out how much people enjoy Brandon Sanderson's work.

 # Ratings  
 # shelved 
A Time of Dread
John Gwynne
Age of War
Michael J. Sullivan
Bloody Rose
Nicholas Eames
 Children of Blood and Bone 
Tomi Adeyemi
Iron Gold
Pierce Brown
Master Assassins
Robert V.S. Redick
 Brandon Sanderson 
Spinning Silver
Naomi Novik
The Fall of Gondolin
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Girl In The Tower
Katherine Arden

Voting is open for the next round, and again don't feel obligated to vote for Age of War (you'll just be throwing your vote away, but by all means, vote for whichever book you want to see win.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Lucca Comics and Games Convention Schedule

In general, I don't do many conventions. It's not that I don't enjoy them, but travel can be trying (Robin has had two back surgeries and being on a plane for any extended period of time is painful, and I don't like going anywhere she doesn't come). Plus, unless the publisher is footing the bill, it can be pretty expensive. Don't get me wrong, I love to see fans, but if it's going to cost me several days of writing time and a few thousand dollars...well, you can see why I don't go to many conventions.

But when an opportunity arose to go to the Lucca Comics and Games Convention in Italy...with all expenses paid by my Italian publisher and the convention organizers, how could I say no? Especially when they offered to pay for all of Robin's travel as well.

If you don't know anything about the Lucca festival (I didn't until I was invited), here is a great video that gives you a good idea what we're going to be doing from October 31 - November 4th.

The convention has been described as "the western world's biggest geek meet." It's huge! Over 500 events, concerts, parades, and activities are held in historical buildings and on the streets, taking over the entire city. In 2017 the festival celebrated its 51th anniversary, with more than 50 international guests and about 245,000 attendees. To put that into perspective, Dragoncon (held in Atlanta each year) has about 80,000 attendees, and New York Comic Con has about 130,000. Those conventions are dwarfed when compared to Lucca.

Below is my convention schedule. If you are going to be at Lucca, please drop by and see me at any of these times.

  • Wed 10/31 11:00 - 12:00 Signing at the Armenia Booth
  • Thur 11/01 11:00 - 12:00 Signing at the Armenia Booth
  • Thur 11/01 12:00 - 14:00 Presentation on publishing (self and traditional) at Villa Gioiosa
  • Thur 11/01 19:30 - 21:30 Ceremony Night and Gala Dinner at the Giglio Opera House
  • Fri    11/02 11:00 - 12:00 Signing at the Armenia Booth
  • Sat    11/03 11:00 - 12:00 Signing at the Armenia Booth
  • Sat   11/03  16:00 - 17:00 Q&A Public Meeting at Ingelis Hall
If you won't be attending the Lucca Festival, we can still meet up.  I'll be in Florence on 10/30, 11/4, and 11/5 and a little bit on 11/6, and in the town of Lucca starting early on 10/31 and for a little bit on 11/4. Just drop me an email and let me know where and how you want to meet and we'll do the best we can to accommodate you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

We did it--take that price gougers!

If you follow this blog you may be aware of a little mission Robin and I set out on. You see, recently Del Rey put the hardcover edition of Age of Swords out of print, and the third-party resellers on Amazon had a field day, taking the $28 hardcover and jacking up the price to astronomical levels. For instance, on 9/22 the prices for a new copy ran between $100.92 - $191.06.

Now, for the people who had put off buying their copies of Age of Swords, this would mean a hole in their collections, and I didn't want to have that.  So, Robin went to work to rectify the situation.
  • Step 1 was getting our hands on as many copies of Age of Swords as we could, which would cut off the supply chain from the price-gougers.  We could do it, but it'd be expensive...nearly $9,000.  But we had to try.
  • Step 2 was to run a crowdfunding campaign to raise the cash.  We sold the first three books of the series at a 20% discount and provided people with bonus perks like bookmarks, screensavers, and a new Legends of the First Empire Short Story.  The campaign raised more than $32,000 (more than enough to cover the buying, shipping, and storing of the books. Plus we sold more than 950 books in the process. Woohoo!
  • Step 3 was to get the books on Amazon at $28.  We turned to Shawn Speakman at Grim Oak Press (a great guy who've we worked with before on anthologies such as Unfettered, Unfettered II, and Unbound). Shawn already had an Amazon Marketplace account, so we shipped him a bunch of books at $10 a piece giving he a nice profit margin to earn well when people buy the books at the original list price of $28.

And there you have it!  The book is back to $28, readers won't have a hole in their Legends of the First Empire hardcover collection, Shawn will make some cash, we'll make some cash, everyone wins!  Well, except for those poor, poor, price gougers who aren't going to be able to sell their books at those outrageous prices!

My thanks to Del Rey, Shawn Speakman, Robin, and most important to you, dear readers, for helping to get this problem solved. We make a pretty good team!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Epic Fantasy Giveaway: Oct 8 - 18

Hey all, I'm once more partnering up with Fantasy Bridge to be part of an Epic Fantasy Giveaway.  You can enter here. All people who enter will receive 4 ebooks including my short story Professional Integrity.

  Shelved by  
 # Ratings 
 The Apples of Idunn by 
Matt Larkin
A Legacy of Light
 Daniel Arenson 
  Flight of the Krilo  
Sam Ferguson
Professional Integrity
 Michael J. Sullivan 

There will be 1 Grand Prize Winner and 5 Regular Winners. All six of these people will receive the 30 ebooks listed below. The Grand Prize Winner will also receive a $30 Amazon card.

• Darkblade Assassin by Andy Peloquin
• The Dragon's Champion by Sam Ferguson
• Sevenfold Sword: Champion by Jonathan Moeller 
• Dragon Bones by D.K. Holmberg
• The Dragon Orb by Shelton and Gillette
• The Rogue Retrieval by Dan Koboldt
• The Path Of Destiny by Mike Shelton
• Dragonvein by Brian D. Anderson
 Disappearance of Winter's Daughter by MJS 
• Olde Robin Hood by Kate Danley
• On Borrowed Luck by TJ Muir
• Stormwielder: by Hodges and Bentulan
• The Dragon War Trilogy by Daniel Arenson
• Banished by Michael Wisehart
• A Warden's Purpose by Jeffrey L. Kohanek
• Web Of Eyes by Castle and Bruno
• Windsworn by Derek Alan Siddoway
• The Dragon's Blade by Michael R. Miller
• Darkness Forged by Matt Larkin
• A Warrior's Path by Davis Ashura
• Reaper's Awakening by Jacob Peppers
• Phoenix Descending by Dorothy Dreyer
• Innocence Lost by Patty Jansen
• Wolves by C. Gockel
• The Buried Symbol by Jeffrey L. Kohanek
• The Story Master by Vincent Trigili
• Salvation's Dawn by Joe Jackson
• Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko
• Bloodmark by Jean Lowe Carlson
• Whill of Agora by Michael Ploof

I really like the fact that there are some great offers just for entering, so everyone is a winner in that respect, but six people will reap even greater rewards. I wish you luck on the drawing!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Voting for 2018 BookNest Fantasy Award

I'm pleased to announce that Age of War has made the long list for the 2018 BookNest Fantasy Award. Voting to create the shortlist will continue from now until Sunday 14th October. Nine popular Fantasy Blogs (Bookworm Blues, Fantasy Book Critic, Fantasy Book Review, Fantasy-Faction, Grimdark Magazine, The Fantasy Hive, The Fantasy Inn, The Grim Tidings Podcast & The Weatherwax Report), three big Fantasy Imprints (Gollancz, Harper Voyager & Orbit), and two well-respected Agents (John Jarrold & Joshua Bilmes of JABberwocky Literary Agency) helped to create the nominees.

All told, there are 4 categories for you to vote on including:
  • Best Traditionally Published Novel
  • Best Self-Published Novel
  • Best Debut Novel
  • Best Imprint (Publisher) 
You don't need to vote for my book, but please do go and vote for your favorites.  The full list of nominees in the Best Tradtiionally Publihsed Novel Category is presented here along with some data from Groodreads regarding how many books have been shelved, what people have rated the books, and how many ratings have come in. Any book on Goodreads with a rating higher than 4.3 is truly exceptional, so I highlighted some of those.

 # Ratings  
 # shelved 
A War in Crimson Embers
Alex Marshall
Age of War
Michael J. Sullivan
A Time of Dread
John Gwynne
Aru Shah and the End of Time
Roshani Chokshi
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
Ruth Emmie Lang
Blood and Tempest
Jon Skovron
Blood of Assassins
RJ Barker
Bloody Rose
Nicholas Eames
Sebastien de Castell
Children of Blood and Bone
Tomi Adeyemi
Madeline Miller
City of Lies
Sam Hawke
Anna Stephens
Fire Dance
Ilana C. Myer
 Robert Jackson Bennett  
Claire Legrand
Grey Sister
Mark Lawrence
Iron Gold
Pierce Brown
Jade City
Fonda Lee
King of Assassins
RJ Barker
Magic Triumphs
Ilona Andrews
Master Assassins
Robert V.S. Redick
Brandon Sanderson
Port of Shadows
Glen Cook
Walter Jon Williams
Ed McDonald
Seventh Decimate
Stephen Donaldson
Sebastien de Castell
Spinning Silver
Naomi Novik
Jacqueline Carey
Tempests and Slaughter
Tamora Pierce
The Bitter Twins
Jen Williams
The Deathless
Peter Newman
The Ember Blade
Chris Wooding
The Empire of Ashes
Anthony Ryan
The Fall of Dragons
Miles Cameron
The Fall of Gondolin
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Forbidden City
Deborah Wolf
The Girl In The Tower
Katherine Arden
The Infernal Battalion
Django Wexler
The Land You Never Leave
Angus Watson
The Last Namsara
Kristen Ciccarelli
The Mere Wife
Maria Dahvana Headley
The Outcast
Taran Matharu
The Poppy War
R. F. Kuang
The Skaar Invasion
Terry Brooks
The Tower of Living and Dying
Anna Smith Spark
Trail of Lightning
Rebecca Roanhorse
Den Patrick
Wrath of Empire
Brian McClellan

Monday, October 1, 2018

Ten Years & a Lifetime Ago

Ten years ago on this day, October 1st, 2008, my first novel was released by a small press (Aspirations Media Incorporated) to the thunderous applause of crickets. Well that's not entirely true, the crickets didn't applaud, and if they had, even their scant numbers couldn't produce anything thunderous. Like almost everyone else, they didn’t take notice either. My release “event” was held at the Arlington Barnes & Noble. I expected a crowd, and there were twenty people, but I knew every one of them. Nearly all were from my writer’s group that met in the same bookstore, on that same night, on the same floor, in the same place. And yes, we planned it that way because if we hadn’t, I’d have been alone with my wife wondering if we could smuggle liquor into a bookstore.

The Arlington Writer’s Group, better known as AWG, were quite gracious. They didn’t complain that I had hijacked their space, and they sat quietly listening to my very first public talk, which I can’t remember (such things are often erased from long-term memory for sanity’s sake). More important, nearly everyone bought a book and wanted me to sign their copies. I sat at a rickety folding table, sharpie in hand, as a line formed. I felt absolutely ridiculous. I was pretending to be an author. What got me through the event was that everyone else pretended, too.

That was the first and last line I'd encounter for my signature during the next four years.  The second time, my new publisher literally gave the books away to ensure a crowd. As it turns out, people line up for free stuff.

For years, I considered myself "The Little Engine That Might." I had persistence, some decent stories (at least I thought they were), and most important of all a loving wife that made it her mission to see that I would succeed. Why? Well, it wasn't for money or fame that she worked so hard. It was so I could live a dream I'd had since I was a 13-year-old boy: To be able to write the stories I wanted to tell and hopefully have a few people read and enjoy them as well. It's taken a decade since that first released book (and thirty years and thirteen books prior to that), to get to where I am now, and I think it's safe to say I should upgrade from "That Might" to "Who Did." I've sold more than 1.5M books in the English language (and I have no idea how many in the foreign markets), but I do have dozens and dozens of contracts in so many languages I've lost track. I'm also proud to say that I'm now officially a New York Times Bestselling author. And last week, I had two books on the Washington Post’s Bestseller’s List. 

What a difference a decade makes! And of course, I can't end this post without thanking the most important people to my success. No, it's not my agents, or my editors, or the publishers who have picked me up and expanded my readership (although I am grateful to them as well). But who I'm speaking about is you, dear readers. It's because you took a chance on one of my books, then went back for more, and most important of all, the fact that you recommended them to others. I've always said that it's word of mouth that makes or breaks a book, and in many ways, it's your contributions that have gotten me where I am now (even more so than anything I or Robin have done). So I hope that you, too, share in this 10th anniversary celebration, after all, it's you who have truly made it such a success.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Just a few days until the retail release of Winter's Daughter

As some may know, the only way to get The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter has been via or my own website. The reason has to do with a non-compete clause in my Legends of the First Empire contract, which prevented any books based in Elan to be published until a few months after the last book of that contract. Well, Age of War came out July 3rd, so we can now OFFICIALLY release the fourth Riyria Chronicle through the retail chains. So it's up for pre-order and books will start shipping on October 2nd.

Here are some places you can buy the ebook editions:

Here are some places you can buy the hardcover editions:


The trade paperback will hit the retail chain in about 6 - 9 months, but until then you can still get a signed copy directly from me at my online store:


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

#1 Key to Success - Persistence, #2 - Agility

Joe Solari, who runs the podcast "The Business of Writing" was nice enough to have Robin and I on his show to talk about what we do with regards to my career. As the podcast went on, the theme seemed to be that our persistence and agility made it so we  at least "Fall with Style" when things don't go exactly go "our way."
  • When your small press publisher doesn't have the money for the press run of book #2...revert the rights and self-publish.
  • Orbit won't make hardcovers of the Riyria permission from them to make them yourself.
  • When Del Rey puts the hardcover edition of Age of Swords out of print and price-gougers are charging readers $90 - $190 to get a up all the stock with the help of an Indiegogo campaign and get the books back on sale at $22 - $28.
  • A non-compete prevents any new Riyria books from being released for 3 years...produce them yourself and sell the books directly to readers (and earn better because you keep the high cut that retailers charge).

There's plenty more, but instead of talking about it, why don't I just share the video?  So here you go. I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Going to try an experiment

Robin and I have been having a little disagreement. Don't worry, it's nothing serious, but Robin is the consummate champion for the readers, and as such, she is always advocating for signed copies and other perks like custom bookmarks (and having those signed as well). Personally, I can't imagine that anyone cares if I sign a book or not, but, hey, that might just be me.

As some may know, we took an extraordinary step and got the remaining copies of the Age of Swords hardcovers from Del Rey's warehouse when they put that title out of print. Over the course of two trips, I've signed more than 1,200 books (500 of which were Age of Swords), but there are still 2,700+ to go. Robin wants me to add my John Hancock to all of them, and I'm certainly willing to do so, but it does take time away from writing, and as I said, I'm just not sure whether people care.

That's where "the experiment" comes in. Below you'll find an order form for Age of Swords at the unprecedented price of $15 (which includes FREE US shipping). These will come straight from our fulfillment center without Robin or I touching them, so no signature, no bookmark, just the book and only the book - but it'll be nearly 50% off and since we are picking up the bill for shipping and handling, you'll get it for a fraction of the $33.99 this book usually sells for  when buying directly from us.

The hope is that many of you will take advantage of this incredible offer, providing a win-win for both of us. You'll get the book at a low, low price. They will leave the warehouse, so we don't have to pay for storage. We'll earn more money than when these books were bought from the bookstores, and  I won't have to sign as many of them.

Maybe Robin is right, and people really want signed copies, but I also think there are those who just like hardcovers, period. And if they can get a quality one at a great price, this will be a great opportunity. In any case, we'll see. If nothing else, Christmas will be here soon, and this would be a great chance to get a book for someone who loved Age of Myth but hasn't yet jumped into Age of Swords. I'm sure there are some people out there that fit that category, right? 

Hardcover Edition
Regular: $33.99, now just: $15

For those who are curious, I'll post the results of this little experiment in the future. Oh, and anyone who DOES want signed copies and bookmarks and what not, you can get a signed copy at 20% off until the end of the month as part of our Fantasy Fall Sale. You can buy Age of Swords (and all my other hardcover books) from here.

And one last note. For those who are curious as to why this is only for the US...well, shipping overseas costs more than we are selling the book for, and our out-of-pocket costs for this would be $31.06. So, we'd be losing $16.06 for each overseas order. We are assuming that if people are going to pay the high cost of overseas shipping, they'll want a signed copy with the other bells and whistles. Like I said, this is an experiment, and if enough overseas people write us and want unsigned books, we'll run something similar for you as well.

So, that's it. I hope some people take advantage of this offer, it'll mean I have less books to sign, but if it turns out that Robin is right, I'll be more than happy to keep signing away. Either way, we, as always, thank you for your support.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

2018 Fall Hardcover Sale

The fall sale has now ended. Thanks to everyone who participated, and I hope you enjoy your savings and the books!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Hardcover crowdfunding launches today at noon EDT

Today at noon, this IndieGoGo campaign will go live.

No, it's not the project for making the hardcover copies of the Riyria books (although that project will be launching early next year), but something came up out of the blue and we need to act fast. You see, Del Rey has put the hardcover edition of Age of Swords out of print, and we have a small window to do something about it.

I discovered the out-of-print status when I tried to order copies to replenish our online store, and I wasn't able to get any. After a little digging, I found that the only way to get copies were through Amazon Marketplace resellers and they had jacked up the prices to $89 - $191 for both new and used copies. That's an outrage!

To make matters worse, I won't earn a dime from any sales of the hardcovers from here on out. But, honestly, that doesn't upset me as much as the fact that people will either have to "do without" or pay outrageous prices to have hardcovers on their bookshelves.

So, here's the deal, Robin found out how much it would cost for us to buy up the remaining copies, send them to a warehouse, and hire a logistics company to ship them out. It's not cheap, but it is doable if we can raise $11,360. 

So, we're doing what we've done in the past...turn to crowdfunding. We started out by making a Kickstarter project, but as it turns out, you can't use that platform for an existing product. So this campaign will be run on IndieGoGo.  It's pretty straightforward; you'll be able to get signed hardcovers and bonus perks like a short story, screensavers, and public acknowledgment for helping to make this project successful. You'll be able to receive one, two, or all three of the hardcovers that are currently released in the Legends of the First Empire series, and because we'll be getting the books cheaper than we normally do,  we'll pass some savings on to you and give 20% off the list price.  (I'm essentially extending the "early-bird" discount that I've used in the past to apply to everyone.)

So, if you haven't picked up hardcovers yet (or are looking for a gift for a friend or relative...Christmas and Hanukkah will be here before we know it), now would be a great time to get copies. And we'll also keep these books out of the reseller channel, and without the ability to buy new stock, they won't be able to rip off more people with their price-gouging techniques.

Oh, another thing I should mention...there is a limited number of special perks which will be for a one-night stay with Robin and I in our cabin in Luray (maybe you saw a bit about it in our recent post).

Okay last thing, unlike Kickstarters, we get funding from IndieGoGo even if we don't hit our goal, so we'll be able to buy a subset of books if necessary, which means you will get your copies no matter what funding level we reach. But buying a fraction of the remaining stock will mean that the resellers will be able to get more, and I'd hate to facilitate their bad behavior.

Anyway, check out the campaign starting at noon, and if you like what you see, please consider backing the project.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Goodreads Best Fantasy of 2018 (so far)

It's Science Fiction and Fantasy Week at Goodreads, and there is a lot going on for fans of the genre. I'm honored that Age of War has made their Best-Fantasy-of-2018 (so far) list. Here's all 12 titles:

Here's some information for each title, along with links to add them to your shelves:
 # Ratings 
 Release Date 
 Shelved by 
Naomi Novik
Madeline Miller
Brian McClellan
R. F. Kuang
Mark Lawrence
Josiah Bancroft
Jim Butcher
C. L. Polk
Seanan McGuire
Patricia Briggs
Michael J. Sullivan
Michelle Sagara

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What you always like to see.

One of the reasons I write all the books before publishing the first is I want to know where the series is heading, and making each book better than the one that came before seems to be a "thing" with me.  Still, you never know if you accomplish what you set out for until you read something like this:

"Age of War is a phenomenal third installment and this series has only gotten stronger with each progression."

You can read the full review at Powder And Page. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Views for the Valley

About a year and a half ago Robin built me a "writers retreat." Initially, I thought we would use it on weekends, and for a few months in the summer, but we moved there about a year and a half ago and we've never looked back. Here are some pictures of the amazing place Robin has created.

Amenities at "the land" (as we call it) include: swimming, archery, darts, bocce ball, lawn chess, giant Jenga, drinks and grilling in the outdoor kitchen, bird watching, butterfly watching, relaxing by the pool, relaxing in the pool house, relaxing on the carriage house porch, relaxing on the main house porch, well, relaxing just about anywhere, really.

She added a few extra bedrooms and we've been enjoying hosting writers, readers, friends and relatives out in Luray. "The season" is pretty much wrapped up now, but maybe in the future, we'll open up visits for more people.

Front view of the cabin with the "carriage house" (aka the garage, workshop, and Robin's office) to the left.

An open plan first floor with kitchen, dining room and living room taking up the first half of the house. Through the "secret door" (bookcase) is access to the two guest bedrooms.

The covered side porch sitting area is great for mornings and gets a fabulous view of the sunrise.

The dining table is from "Antique Tables Made Daily." While the construction is brand new the material was cut over a hundred years ago. Formerly the beams in a barn in Pennsylvania, this American chestnut is now extinct. The 1907 blight killed all the trees and even to this day none will live to older than 7-years. Botanists are trying to cross-breed the species, but the original is gone forever.

The front porch sitting area is perfect for the evening with cool breezes and an excellent spot to watch the clouds over the mountains. Late afternoon produces spectacular cumulus creations.

My office, where the "magic happens." Is currently on the second floor, although plans are underway to build me a separate smaller cabin hopefully next year.

The upper floor of the carriage house doubles as a guest quarter and Robin's office. This three-room suite includes the "shipping closet (as seen peaking through the open door. Where packages are assembled and mailed when people buy directly from us. Individual mini-splits contain Marc Simonetti's artwork and allow each room to be individually temperature controlled.

New this spring, the pool area! It consists of a pool house, an outdoor kitchen, a sitting area under the back porch of the carriage house and some places for fun and games.

The bocce ball court is sandwiched neatly between the pool and the back-porch sitting area.

The outdoor kitchen is nestled under the pavilion and has granite countertops and weather resistant cabinets. It features a huge grill, refrigerator, and ice maker for mixed drinks.

The back of the carriage house provides excellent shade when it's too hot to sit next to the pool.

A side view of the main cabin.

The pool house is a great place for playing games, changing clothing, or just sitting and relaxing.

A giant lawn chess board provides a little intellectual stimulation while cooling off at the pool.

Early morning looking over the two outdoor sitting areas of the main cabin.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

New York Times Bestseller

So, I should have been posting on this sooner, but things have been a bit crazy here as of late.  But Age of War made the New York Times Bestseller list! It came in #9 on the monthly list for audiobooks. Big congratulations to Tim Gerard Reyolds, Del Rey, and Recorded Books who all share in this prestigious accomplishment.

Yes, I saved the complete bestseller list and you can find it here.  Age of War can be found on page 6 under the category of "Audio Monthly Best Sellers." This, added to Age of Myth and Age of Swords hitting the Washington Post's hardcover bestseller list are some of my proudest moments as an author. Thank you all for the continued support of Legends of the First Empire.