Books

Thank you for your interest in my series, short stories, and the anthologies I've been published in.

Series
  • The Riyria Revelations: Theft of Swords | Rise of Empire | Heir of Novron
  • The Riyria Chronicles: The Crown Tower | The Rose and the Thorn | The Death of Dulgath*

  • The First Empire**: Age of Myth | Age of Swords | Age of War | Age of Legends | Age of Empire

* The Death of Dulgath release: Nov/Dec 2015
** The First Empire covers are placeholders, first book is slated for a summer 2016 release.

Standalone Titles
  • Hollow World (novel) - time-travel, science fiction thriller
  • The Jester (Riyria short story)  - can be read at any time (chronologically, occurs after The Rose and the Thorn and before Theft of Swords)
  • The Viscount and the Witch (Riyria short story) - can be read at any time (chronologically, this became chapter 2 of The Rose and the Thorn)
  • Professional Integrity (Riyria short story) - can be reat at any time (chronologically, occurs after The Jester and before Theft of Swords)
  • Greener Grass (short story) - this is the seed that turned into the larger novel, Hollow World
  • Burning Alexandria (short story) - this is a little homage to Ray Bradbury, written just after his death.

FREE SHORT STORIES
Who Will Have the Last Laugh?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap…and what happens is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive. No prior knowledge of either The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to fully enjoy this short story of 7,200 words.

                     

Who Will Be Schooled?
Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone short story, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. No prior knowledge of either The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to fully enjoy this short story of 5,400 words, also this later became the second chapter of The Rose and the Thorn.

                     
Originally Published in the Blackguards Anthology
Several years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start their thieves-for-hire organization better known as Riyria. Things have gone well enough for the team as they perform tasks for nobles throughout Elan. Usually that means stealing something, but when a young heiress asks them to steal her…well, that's a first for the pair. No prior knowledge of either The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to fully enjoy this short story of 10,800 words.

                                
They attacked two riders. They thought it would be easy.
They were wrong.
A band of thieves set upon two lonely riders in the middle of the night. They had a larger party. They had the element of surprise. There was no reason to be concerned. But they didn’t realize who they were dealing with. No prior knowledge of either The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to fully enjoy this short story of 3,900 words. Also, this later became the opening of Theft of Swords, so if you read that book, you've already read this short story.

                                

Irwin Gilbert is a hoarder, a bookworm, and after a cosmic event leaves the earth void of all electricity, the owner of what might be the world's largest remaining cache of novels. Irwin has a dilemma, however, the world has turned cold and he has no idea how long it will last. When faced with freezing to death, can he dare to burn "his friends" and how will he choose which will be used to keep him alive. This short story originally appeared in "The End: Visions of Apocalypse" edited by N.E. White. I wrote it the weekend I learned of Ray Bradbury's death and is a homage to this master of science fiction.

                                
NOVELS
They killed the king. They pinned it on two men.
They chose poorly.
There's no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just two guys in the wrong place at the wrong time. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they're framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it's too late.

A puppet is crowned. The true heir remains hidden.
A rogue's secret could could change everything.
War has come to Melengar and once more Royce and Hadrian are hired to make a desperate gamble and form an alliance with the Nationalists whom are fighting the Imperialists in the south. As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce's suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is using the thieves as pawns in his own grab for power. To find the truth, he must unravel the secret of Hadrian's past--what he discovers may end their friendship and break Riyria in two.
A forced wedding. A double execution.
Two thieves have other plans.
The New Empire intends to celebrate its victory over the Nationalists with a day that will never be forgotten. On the high holiday of Wintertide, they plan to execute two traitors (Degan Gaunt and the Witch of Melengar) as well as force the Empress into a marriage of their own design. But they didn’t account for Royce and Hadrian finally locating the Heir of Novron—or the pair’s desire to wreak havoc on the New Empire’s carefully crafted scheme.
Two men who hate each other. One impossible Mission.
A legend in the making.
Hadrian Blackwater, a warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with Royce Melborn, a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach.The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm's most prized possessions. But it isn't gold or jewels that the old wizard is after, and if he can just keep them from killing each other, they just might do it.

A Woman is Beaten. Two thieves want answers. Riyria is born.
For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception--Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn’t realize is what the two are capable of--she’s about to find out.

 Blood of Thieves (Riyria Chronicles #1 & #2)
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Bookclub  (sfbc.com) issued a hardcover copy of the first two books of the Riyria Chronicles combined in one omnibus edition. You have to be a member of that bookclub to get the book, although there are some book resellers who have copies available for sale via amazon's marketplace. Availability may be limited.

The Future is Coming...For Some, Sooner Than Others
Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man, who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but faced with a terminal illness he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. He could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began…but only if he can survive Hollow World.

SHORT STORIES
 He wanted to escape his problems. He wanted to see the future. He never considered what the future Wanted.
Confronted with suffering a painful death from cancer, Dan Sturges foregoes treatments to try an idea of his own. With nothing to lose but a few months of pain, Dan builds a time machine in his garage and pins his hopes on a future where his cancer might be cured. How could he have known that what happens after he presses the button is more shocking than the eighteen car batteries he connected himself to?
ANTHOLOGIES
 Anthology to Pay the Medical Bills of Shawn Speakman
Shawn Speakman was able to win his battle against cancer, but like many fantasy authors he had no medical insurance. While he could escape his responsibilities by declaring medical bankruptcy he's a man of honor and is committed to paying his bills. Shawn also has a lot of friends, some of whom are the biggest names in the industry. We've all donated stories to this anthology and 100% of the proceeds will be used to pay Shawn's Bills.  My contribution is The Jester , a fun, fast-paced Royce and Hadrian adventure from the Riyria Chronicles.
 Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues
Ragnarok Publications put together a stellar anthology of some of the best fantasy authors for a recent Kickstarter (it raised more than $40,000), and I contributed a Royce and Hadrian short story for it. In it, an heiress asks the team to kidnap her, to attract the attention of the man she wishes to marry. But as with any job Riyria takes, things are not a simple matter and Royce and Hadrian mus unravel what is really going on. You can preorder a copy at the link below.
Help Fund My Robot Army
John Joseph Adams is one of the leading editors of anthologies in the fantasy and science fiction community. Recently, he got a fun idea about compiling a bunch of "improbably crowd funding projects told in a unique style...as Kickstarter projects!  The stories unfold through descriptions, and comments from backers and the creator and it was a challenge to tell a tale with this format. My entry is "Be Careful What you Wish For" and it an homage to one of my favorite childhood tales: "The  Monkey's Paw."  Check it out!
 Free Shorts to Highlight New Fantasy Authors
(Winners on sffworld)
My entry to this anthology is: Burning Alexandria it was written the day I learned of Ray Bradbury's death and is me paying homage to him in the context of this anthology whose mission was to focus on stories involving the end of the world. When solar flares makes electricity a memory of the past a horder's stash of paperbacks might just might be the greatest library left in existence after the conversion to digital. But when threatened with death from exposure will he sacrifice literature to survive?
 Anthology to Benefit the Victims of Hurricane Sandy
All Proceed go to the Red Cross
My entry in this anthology is: Traditions and it's based in the world of Elan (the setting for my Riyria Revelations series) but it features a new never-before-seen character. The idea came from Shirley Jackson's famous short story, The Lottery where the livelihood of a town is dependent on the sacrifice of one of their own. When Annie is selected, she takes matters into her own hands and dares to challenge the town's traditions in order to move to a new future, that while it may be fraught with potential danger, it also possess the possibility of new opportunities. (NOTE: Now out of print)

 Anthology to Benefit Fantasy Faction 
Fantasy faction is a great online community where fantasy readers and writers can interact. They also offer reviews, interviews, and any manner of news related to Fantasy Literature. In the past they have relied on donations to pay for their hosting services, but the creators of the site decided instead to produce an anthology they could sell to support the site. My contribution to the anthology is: Autumn Mists : It tells the story of an embittered man who at the end of his days has a chance to recapture the magic of his youth, if only he can remember, and believe.
OUT OF PRINT

They killed the king. They pinned it on two men.
They chose poorly.
There's no ancient evil to defeat, no orphan destined for greatness, just two guys in the wrong place at the wrong time. Royce Melborn & Hadrian Blackwater make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles until they become the unwitting scapegoats in a plot to murder the king. Sentenced to death, they have only one way out...and so the adventure begins. (Now Book #1 of Theft of Swords)


The secret is in the tower. The problem is the beast. The answer is two thieves.
When a destitute young woman hires two thieves  to help save her remote village from nocturnal attacks, they are drawn into the schemes of the wizard Esrahaddon. While Royce struggles to breech the secrets of an ancient elven tower, Hadrian attempts to rally the villagers to defend themselves against an unseen killer. When the Nyphron church arrives, it starts a series of events that will have repercussions throughout all of Elan.  (Now Book #2 of Theft of Swords)

A puppet is crowned. The true heir remains hidden. A rogue's secret could change everything.
War has come to Melengar and Princess Arista runs a desperate gamble when she defies her brother and hires Royce and Hadrian for a dangerous mission. As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce's suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is using the thieves as pawns in his own game. To find the truth, he must unravel the secret of Hadrian's past.  (Now Book #1 of Rise of Empire)

A message is intercepted. A sinister plan has been launched. Two thieves stand in the way.
Ex-mercenary Hadrian Blackwater sets course on a high seas adventure to find the lost Heir of Novron. His only hope lies in confronting the ruthless and cunning Merrick Marius. Fearing Hadrian is not up to the challenge, Royce Melborn joins his ex-partner for one last mission. Their journey finds them adrift amid treachery and betrayals forcing Hadrian to face a past he had hoped to never see again. (Now Book #2 of Rise of Empire)



A forced wedding. A double execution. Two thieves have other plans.
The New Empire intends to celebrate its victory over the Nationalists on the high holiday of Wintertide, when they plan to execute two traitors (Degan Gaunt and the Witch of Melengar) as well as force the Empress into a marriage of their own design. But they didn’t account for Royce and Hadrian finally locating the Heir of Novron—or the pair’s desire to wreak havoc on the New Empire’s carefully crafted scheme. (Now Book #1 of Heir of Novron)

IN PRINT - BUT ALSO IN HEIR OF NOVRON RELEASE
It all comes down to this…The elves have crossed the Nidwalden and Novron's Heir must finally act.
"I saw a great journey. Ten upon the road, she who wears the light will lead the way. The road goes deep into the earth, and into despair. The voices of the dead guide your steps...Cold grips the world, death comes to all, and a choice is before you." -- Fan Irlanu, Tenkin Seer of Oudorro Village

Percepliquis is the final installment of the epic fantasy, The Riyria Revelations and is offered as a standalone (print and ebook) for those that started with the self-published books to finish their collections.  (Also Book #3 of Heir of Novron)