by Brian

New Fan Art!

February 18, 2014 in Fan Art by Brian

I’m pretty dang excited, because last night I got an email containing my third piece of fan art ever (and the first piece done by someone who doesn’t know me personally). How dang cool is that? Have I mentioned how much I love fan art? Because I do. It’s makes me all giddy.

Ka-Poel by Will Stermer

Ka-poel, art by Will Stermer

Thanks Will! It looks fantastic. You can find Will at his Tumbler.

by Brian

Sword and Laser

February 18, 2014 in Podcasts by Brian

This evening at 7PM EST, I’m having a Google Hangout with the cool folks at Sword and Laser. I imagine I’ll be talking about writing, epic fantasy, Promise of Blood, The Crimson Campain, and any number of other fun topics. I’ll post on my Twitter when the hangout goes live. In the meantime, you can head over to their Goodreads page and leave a question for me to answer during the hangout. Looking forward to seeing you there!

by Brian

Weekend Buys 2/14/14

February 14, 2014 in Weekend Buys by Brian

“Each weekend I recommend three books. Some are books I’ve read and some are books I want to read. Some have been written by my friends. Or maybe I’ll just post a good deal I saw online. Just a little something to expose you to the kind of books that interest me.”


We’ll start today with Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes. This is the first book in the Aeon’s Gate Trilogy which is a finished series. Tome of the Undergates is actually on sale right now in the UK for just 1.49 so if you live across the pond be sure to pick it up. Last year I was delighted to learn that Sam and I are now book brothers; his next series will be published through Orbit in the US, starting with A City Stained Red.


The Hammer and the Blade by Paul S. Kemp has gotten some pretty fantastic press. 117 reviews and no one-stars is very impressive for Amazon. It’s also only $1.49 right now, so, uh, it seems like a no-brainer.


His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik is a truly fantastic book. Historical fantasy, it tells the story of the Napoleonic Wars as fought with dragons. That’s really enough said. If you haven’t gone to buy it based on that alone you might need to see a doctor. The whole series is a ton of fun (but start with His Majesty’s Dragon, as it’s the first).

I had the pleasure of meeting Naomi in 2006, back when I was still a wee lad of a wanna-be writer. This was years before Promise of Blood was just a twinkle in my eye. I remember her being very cool and fun and not at all bothered chatting with a nobody.

by Brian

Weekend Buys 2/8/14

February 9, 2014 in Weekend Buys by Brian

“Each weekend I recommend three books. Some are books I’ve read and some are books I want to read. Some have been written by my friends. Or maybe I’ll just post a good deal I saw online. Just a little something to expose you to the kind of books that interest me.”


The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty is currently $1.99 on Amazon and one of dozens of books on my to-read list. I got to meet Mur the first time at Worldcon in Chicago a year and a half ago. She’s very cool and this last year at Worldcon (in Texas), she won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She’s also a prominent podcaster in the writing and sff communities.


Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle is another can’t-pass-up deal at $1.39. And, funny enough, I also met Anne at Worldcon in Chicago. And, ashamedly, I haven’t read this one yet either though it’s been sitting on my kindle for the last year. I really need to read more. Anyhoo… AoS is historical fantasy set in Tudor England which sounds absolutely like the dog’s bollocks. Not sure if this series is a trilogy or meant to be longer, but the first three books are out: Alchemist of Souls, The Merchant of Dreams, and The Prince of Lies.


Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore. While we’re on the subject of books I really want to find the time to read… cough. This one is a tale of a modern day necromancer. Just by the blurb I’m guessing it’s a sure thing for anyone who’s a fan of the Dresden Files (which I love) or similar urban fantasy. It’s not on sale, but the price of $5.99 for an ebook is super reasonable in this day and age.


by Brian

Short fiction now on iTunes

February 7, 2014 in Giveaway, Short Fiction by Brian

I finally got around to uploading the Powder Mage short fiction to iTunes. You can now get your hands on both Forsworn and “The Girl of Hrusch Avenue” if you do your reading on iBooks. There was a small problem with “Hope’s End” which I’m still trying to figure out.

In other news, Beneath Ceaseless Skies is holding a giveaway of a signed UK copy of Promise of Blood. Check it out here.

by Brian

Weekend Buys 2/1/14

February 1, 2014 in Weekend Buys by Brian

Each weekend I recommend three books. Some are books I’ve read and some are books I want to read. Some have been written by my friends. Or maybe I’ll just post a good deal I saw online. Just a little something to expose you to the kind of books that interest me.


Not only is Doug Hulick a friend of mine, but he’s also a very talented author. Among Thieves is an excellent book which should appeal to most fantasy readers, but especially anyone who enjoyed Lies of Locke Lamora. The long-on-coming book two, Sworn in Steel, will be out the same day as The Crimson Campaign and unless I get my hands on an ARC earlier, there’s a good chance I’m gonna be reading it the day it comes out.


Not a single book, but a collection of ten. The Malazan Book of the Fallen is my favorite big epic fantasy series, higher on my list even than Wheel of Time. This ebook collection will allow you to get all ten books in a single purchase. Some people might prefer to buy them all individually, starting with book one, Gardens of the Moon. But that’s up to you. Fantastic world and if you want something to keep you occupied for the next six months, this is for you.


American Elsewhere is one of those books that has hit my radar despite not being the sort of thing I’d normally be interested in (a Lovecraftian horror sort of thing). I haven’t gotten to it yet, but it’s sitting there near the top of my TBR list, mocking me. The book made countless “must read” lists of 2013. Oh, and I may have done a ritual dance with the author, Robert Jackson Bennett, while at Worldcon last year. But we’re not gonna talk about that.


by Brian

Surprise! More Powder Mage Short Fiction

January 29, 2014 in Short Fiction by Brian

The newest episode of the Hugo-nominated Beneath Ceaseless Skies Magazine is out today, and guess what? It contains a brand new Powder Mage novelette!


Taking place two years before the events in Promise of Blood, “The Face in the Window” relates the story of Taniel’s trip to Fatrasta and his first meeting with a mysterious girl named Ka-poel. You can now read it for free on the BCS website, or you can support the magazine by getting it on Weightless Books or on your kindle for just $.99!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Powder Mage short fiction with Forsworn, “Hope’s End,” and “The Girl of Hrusch Avenue.”

Hope you enjoy!

by Brian

Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines

January 28, 2014 in Hobbies by Brian

I’ve wanted a remote control helicopter since I was a little kid. There was this cool old guy my family knew who had big, gas-powered RC vehicles (boats, hovercrafts, and planes). I never got to see him drive them but I did get to see his work bench where he built them and I though that was the neatest thing in the world.

I remember going to the dollar store and spending my allowance on a helicopter that you held in one hand and pulled a string in the other and it would shoot up twenty feet and slowly copter it’s way back down. It broke after two times.

Stupid cheap toys.

Fast forward to present day. Every so often I’ll look wistfully at an RC truck or plane or something at the store and pass it by, knowing I don’t have the money for that hobby. Until about a month ago, when I stumbled across this video. I watched it and I said HOLY CRAP I WANT TO DO THAT. I mean, what’s not to love? It basically combines photography, virtual piloting, and RC.

I looked into the hobby a little bit and everyone said “if you want to get started flying RC helicopters, quadcopters, planes, etc, you should get a cheap one to practice with first.”

So a couple weeks ago I got myself an early birthday present. This little guy:



It was on $17 on Amazon and let’s face it. I’m a grown man with an income. I can sacrifice $17 to live a childhood dream.

I’ve been playing with it the last couple of weeks and it’s basically everything I’d ever dreamed. With the snow I’ve only gotten the chance to fly it indoors. It’s harder to learn than I expected and, despite ordering extra props for when the originals break, I haven’t busted it yet. It lasts a little less than 10 minutes on a charged battery which makes it perfect for indoor playing. Once it dies I just plug it in and get back to writing.

I plan on moving up to this guy next, but I might wait until the weather warms up. Eventually I want to work my way up to one of the big one that I can attach a camera to. Yes, that says Aerial Drone. And no, you won’t be safe anywhere.

by Brian

Photo Contest Results

January 27, 2014 in Contest by Brian

A while back I announced a photo contest to win copies of Promise of Blood. Here are the winners.

Miles, USA - He's so sad he doesn't have Promise of Blood that he's drunk himself into a book coma.

First Place

Garland, USA - Skulls and Martin and Weeks, oh my!

Second Place

Jason, USA - "Dad this is good, but where the hell are the dragons?"

Third Place

Miles, Garland, and Jason: if you haven’t heard from me within a couple days it means I can’t find your email address and you should contact me for your prize. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone for entering!

David, UK - Napoleon wishes he had powder mages!

Special Mention, because I totally want a little bronze bust of Napoleon now.

by Brian

Weekend Buys

January 26, 2014 in Weekend Buys by Brian

Some book recommendations for you guys this weekend:



Breach Zone, the third book in the Shadow Ops novels by my friend Myke Cole, will be out on January 28th. I read his first book, Control Point and really liked it. The second book, Fortress Frontier, got amazing reviews and a lot of people whose opinions I trust have told me Breach Zone is even better (yeah, I know, I need to catch up). If you haven’t read them yet I recommend grabbing the whole series and if you have, definitely pre-order Breach Zone.



I’m about 12 chapters into The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu and it’s really damn good. This book came out the same month as Promise of Blood and I’m just now getting around to it, and I feel bad. Because it’s fantastic. The second book, The Deaths of Tao, is already out.


Geekomancy, by my friend Michael R. Underwood, is on sale right now for $1.99. I’ve heard cool things about this book and last weekend I actually went archerying (acherizing?) with Michael at ConFusion in Michigan. Okay, I went archerying with Myke and Wes too but Michael was by far the best of us.

Also, if you’re a fan of Kevin Hearne he just put out a new short story today: “The Chapel Perilous.”