And more Forthcoming news…

Eric Flint has announced that he has submitted the final manuscript for the Ring of Fire IV anthology to Baen Books.  This volume is somewhat unique, in that it contains, in addition to contributions by Eric himself and some of the regulars in the series, a story by none other than David Brin!  How cool is that?

As it happens, I have a rather lengthy novella in the anthology (approximately 32,000 words) entitled "Hide Trouble From Mine Eyes."  I hadn't written it for the anthology, but when Eric read it he insisted on buying it for Ring of Fire IV.  So what's an author to do?  smiley

Anyway, Ring of Fire IV will be published in May 2016.  If you're a 1632/Ring of Fire fan, buy it.  If you're a David Brin fan, buy it.  If you're not either one, buy it so you can see what you've been missing.  It has another really cool cover by Tom Kidd, and it's available for Amazon preorder at


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Get Your Red-Hot Book Right Here!

My next book, my second novel, is now available for preorder at Amazon.

This is the third in Eric Flint's Jao Empire series.  The first two novels in the series (The Course of Empire & The Crucible of Empire) were coauthored by K.D. Wentworth.  Unfortunately, she passed away in April 2012 from cancer-related causes, leaving a barely begun manuscript for the third novel.  Eric allowed me to step in and fill the gap.  If you're a fan of the series, I think you'll like the results.  Eric's outline for the story was intense.

If you're not familiar with the series, why not?  You've got time to read the first two books and get all caught up with the story before #3 comes out.  :-)


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Declaring a Wrap

So. I am declaring the first draft of "Fire, Salt, and Blood" to be completed at 179,275 words.. Huzzah!

There will undoubtedly be a second draft, and probably even a third.

They will not take nearly as long to produce. :-)

I really hope I can keep the final file within 180,000 words. However, I am not holding my breath about that one. :-)

Shipping file off to alpha readers now.


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And The Interview Is Up


Hopefullyl I don't sound to stumble-tongued.  :-)



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Recent Interview

Did a phone interview with Tony Daniel from Baen today. It will appear on this Friday's Baen podcast. Tony discussed the practice of collaboration with me and with Joelle Presby, David Weber's co-author on the forthcoming "The Road to Hell". We both have collaborated with major authors, and our most recent works were both produced from series where the previous co-authors were unable to continue the series; hers being the aforementioned "The Road to Hell", and mine being the forthcoming "The Span of Empire" in Eric Flint's Jao Empire series.

We had such a good time with it, that we may take that on the road as a convention panel. I can see it now: Walking with Giants–What It's Like to Collaborate with David Weber and Eric Flint.



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Another Status Report – And Snippet

A report on the current project:  as of the moment, sitting and over 158,800 words.  Progress is happening nicely.

And below is a sample of tonight's work.  Enjoy.


            Samara took a piece of cloth and folded it around the handle of the pot to lift it and set it aside on a piece of slate to cool.  Then she lifted her face to her husband.  He froze as he saw the ice in her eyes.

            "Our sons are gone from us; Duncan for twelve more years, Llêw for perhaps three.  My tent is empty of family, but for me and thee.  And you allowed it; you even aided it.  You insisted that Lorana give Duncan his clan marks, only she gave him far more than that, didn't she?  What did she do to our son that you gave her nine of your prized horses for it, hmm, when one scraggly colt would surely have been enough?"

            She stood and faced Nial, hands fisted on her hips.  "Why did you not fight harder for Duncan?  Why did you allow them to banish him?  You could have swayed more of them.  I know this."  She paused a beat.  "I know this, Nial.  So tell me, now that my tent is as barren as my womb, why?  What did your brother Jamesh tell you that brought you to this?"



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Status Report – and Snippet

Current work in progress is going especially well lately.  Averaging over 1000 words per session.  Currently sitting at somewhere over 138,000 words.  So that's good news.

Tonight's session ended with this:


            "I gave you nothing you did not already have.  Your father knows, I think, else he would not have called for it."

            "Ilmar's fires," Duncan whispered.  "Da . . . did you really think this would come?  Why?"

            Duncan's eyes burned against the mail sleeve that lay across them.

            "Why me?"  A long moment.  "Why now?"

            He surged to his feet and stalked back across the loft to the outside wall, where he slammed his fist against the vertical beam, and again, and again, welcoming the pain that shot through his mind like lightning.  When he lifted his hand, the blood oozing from skin split over the knuckles seemed only fitting.

            Duncan curled his fingers into a fist again, tight and hard, knuckles almost singing from the tension.  It shook before him.  Heat flared through his body, followed by chilling cold, and his viewpoint exploded from him and flew high enough that it seemed he could see the entire city.

            The words that finally came out had to struggle to thread their way through a throat that was so tight that even breath could barely get through; force their way past and through clenched teeth; wend their way through lips drawn so tightly that even an edge of a leaf would have caught.  And although the hissing voice wasn't loud, the intensity in it should have shattered the sky above him.

            "Why didn't you tell me?"


It needs polish, of course, but for raw first draft, it's not too shabby.


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Reminder is giving away books all month, and this week, one of them is a paperback copy of 1636: The Devil's Opera, written by me and Eric Flint, and signed by me.

Here's your opportunity to get one for free!

Sign up today.


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A Snippet

From the current work in progress - 


            The brigand looked back over his shoulder.  Duncan saw the same sight—most of the brigands had been taken down by the caravan guards, several of whom were moving toward the confrontation at the crest of the road.  The brigand turned to face Duncan with a look of pure desperation on his face.  He picked up a short broad-bladed sword from where he had dropped it and ran toward Duncan with a wordless shout of rage.

            By now Duncan had his own blades in hand.  The brigand's charge was brought to a quick stop when he found his sword bound by Duncan's sword and Duncan's big fighting knife aimed for his gut.

            Unlike his horsemanship, the brigand's blade work was competent; with his desperation and rage fueling it, it may even have been better than that.  Certainly he was able to press Duncan for the first several clashes.  The thought crossed Duncan's mind during the fight that if the man had had a longer blade, prospects concerning their fight might have been a bit more uncertain.

            Several of the caravan guards had approached and were drawn up behind the brigand, watching.  "Quit playing with him," Thimoi called out.

            "Take . . . you . . . with me!" the brigand snarled in between gasps for air.

            "No," Duncan said, "no, you won't."  With that, he unleased four swift moves that ended with his fighting knife buried to the hilt in the man's chest.




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Want a free book?

Allow me to introduce you to the Fictorians, who blog as a group at  We're a group of (mostly) young and up and coming writers who write about all aspects of the writing life.

Our 1000th blog will occur in this month, August, and to celebrate, we will be giving away free books every week!

We will have guest bloggers this month, as well.

So, if you already follow the site, great, here's a chance at a reward!

If you're a new writer wondering what being a writer is all about, come read our blogs and take a chance at a free book!

And if you like free books, come read our stuff and take a chance at a free book!

New raffles every week.  Instructions in Monday's blog.

Free books!  


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