Fiction

“Inkbound” is Released Today!

Inkbound Cover Art

Today, Inkbound is officially released!

This short novelette is the precursor to at least three planned full-length novels in a series, so if you find yourself falling in love with Giles, don’t worry. You’ll be getting a lot more of his character in the months and years that follow.

You can buy an e-book, paperback, or hardcover from any one of the following retailers:

Amazon: click or tap here
Barnes & Noble: click or tap here
Google Play: click or tap here
Kobo: click or tap here
Walmart: click or tap here

If you’re located in the US and want a signed paperback or hardcover at a discount, you can instead order through my store by clicking or tapping the “Buy Now” button.

Buy now

I already list Inkbound at a cheaper price than what you’ll find through other retailers, and you can still get the 10% discount I offered in my previous email. All you have to do is enter the discount code INKBOUND_SAVINGS during checkout. There’s a limit of 1 discounted copy per customer, and you must be located in the United States to order. The 10% discount is good through June 31, 2019.

If this is your first time hearing about the book, here’s the back of the book blurb.

Giles has always felt different, like he’s never truly belonged, and it isn’t until he meets others of his kind that he discovers his true nature. As an Earthbound, he’s both human and Immortal, born to protect the world from an ancient race of beings with the collective power to destroy the universe.

He embraces his mission and devotes his life to imprisoning every malevolent creature he encounters. But when a routine binding goes awry and his target escapes, Giles, who has never been outside California, must travel halfway across the world to the Philippines, where the runaway phantom has taken up residence.

Shaken by his mistake and afraid of failing again, he must venture far beyond his comfort zone to confront the evil creature once and for all. But this time it knows Giles is coming, and it will do anything in its power to stop him…

Inkbound is a spellbinding novelette about magic, the supernatural, and the darkness that dwells inside each one of us.

If you purchase the book, don’t forget to leave a review!

Without honest reviews, books don’t sell. So if you have some time after you’ve finished reading, please help me out by leaving one of your own. Reviews on Goodreads and Amazon have the most impact, but I also appreciate those on other platforms such as Barnes & Noble, Google, Kobo, etc.

Thank you so much guys for all the support! Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the book 🙂

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Totem, Part 6

Images licensed by Shutterstock.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

The master, Jahi began, had an unusual ability. No one knew of it, not even myself until he entrusted me with the secret later. Haven’t you ever wondered how he amassed so much power and influence? He was strong, yes, but even a powerful magician such as he would have had a hard time bending the world to his will. But he had an advantage, one he believed to be his alone, and there came a morning, just as I returned home to the estate, when he told me what that advantage was.

*               *               *

“I can read minds,” he said before sitting back into a dark brown chair and waiting for Jahi to react.

But Jahi didn’t reply, for the statement had flown right over his head. He’d understood the words, but not their meaning. He’d just arrived from a long and tiring meeting with a group of influential priests who held sway with the Pharaoh and his court. It was now early in the morning, and he’d slept little during the late night journey back. He hadn’t known what to expect upon answering the master’s summons, but certainly not this.

“I intend no double meaning,” the man said when Jahi didn’t speak. “I can read minds. Forgive me for being so abrupt, but I need your help, and I believe you to be loyal.”

True enough. Jahi had cast his lot with the man years ago. He’d always believed the master to be, if not exactly a good man, at least an effective ruler—one who relied not on fancy clothes or public recognition, but on the strength of an iron will and an unshakable resolve. He was the unseen glue that held much of civilization together, and Jahi admired him greatly for it. At the master’s side, he’d flourished as a skilled diplomat and negotiator. He’d brokered more than his fair share of deals with some of the world’s most powerful leaders, facilitating the master’s consolidation of power these past several years, and for Jahi, this shared accomplishment was a source of intense and ferocious pride.

“Sit,” said the master.

Jahi pulled up to the empty chair before him and did as he was told.

“The others can’t know of what I’m about to tell you. Not Rashidi. Not Azibo. No one. It stays between you and me. Swear it.”

“I swear.”

“Good.” The master relaxed a little, sinking further into his chair. Jahi thought he’d never seen him look so vulnerable. “I find myself troubled, and I don’t know where to turn.”

Jahi gazed up at him, all harsh lines and wrinkles, and thought he looked unwell. Once more, he didn’t know what to say, and so said nothing.

“There’s a talent,” the master began, “one I thought had died along with the rest of my family long ago. Imagine, with only a thought, that you could inhabit the minds of others, that you could feel their happiness, their joy, their sorrow, their grief—that you could hear every passing thought, every fleeting desire that courses through their heads as if it were your own. My mother and father used that ability long ago to negotiate peace between rival families and tribes, but I always had loftier aspirations.”

He paused, considered.

“Anyway, all that is to say my talent has played no small part in my success.”

Could this be true? Jahi reeled with the possibility. With the power to read minds, the master could do almost anything. Politics thrived on misdirection and deceit, and one’s skill at reading his enemies was tantamount to one’s success. If the master could peer inside the heads of those he competed with for power, if he could read their true intentions as easily as words written on a scroll…

“Then I could do almost anything I wished. Yes, Jahi, you’re right. Which is why I’ve always kept it a secret.”

Jahi felt his face turn cold. How long had he and the master worked together? How many of Jahi’s secrets did he know?

“Enough to know you’re not a threat to me.” The master said this in the affectionate tone normally reserved for pets and small children. “The others would rise up against me if they could—particularly my young apprentice, Azibo. But not you. You know yourself too well. You understand that your power has always been greatest when placed at the service of mine. I know I can trust you, which is why I’ve shared such a startling secret.”

“But why tell me this now?”

“Because something is amiss, and I need your help to set it right.”

“Of course, I’ll do whatever you ask, but…”

“Just listen, Jahi. As I said, until now, I’ve always believed myself to be the exclusive steward of this ability. But yesterday, while I napped in my chambers, someone appeared to me in a dream. Not a part of my imagination, but someone real, someone who wasn’t supposed to be there. Like me, they were able to cast themself into my mind, though I have the feeling it was an accident, an early manifestation of a nascent power as of yet unexplored. I tried to catch a glimpse of their face, but they’d fled before I could discover who it was.”

“What can I do?”

“Keep your eyes open. See if anyone appears unusually perceptive, if anyone seems to know what you’re going to say before you say it, that sort of thing. I suspect the guilty party is close, maybe even one of my advisers. Will you do this for me, Jahi?”

“If you can read my mind, then you already know the answer.”

The man nodded.

“I knew I could count on you.”

So dismissed, Jahi stood, knelt, and exited the master’s study.

*               *               *

It was Azibo, wasn’t it? Rashidi turned his dark glassy eyes toward the both of them. The one who entered the master’s dream.

Yes. But as I’ve already told Azibo, he hid himself well. I had my suspicions, but never any firm evidence.

And you kept this from us until now? Kasim.

I couldn’t tell you before. The master might have seen it in your minds, and then he would have known I’d broken his promise.

What about after he turned us into birds? Couldn’t you have told us then?

What would it have mattered? How would it have changed anything?

No one answered.

Then Zane barged into the conversation.

Azibo, that was how you knew the master would be gone the day we planned to overthrow him! He wanted his absence to be a secret, but you read his mind, and when you realized he was leaving, you and Jahi convinced us to try and take control of his affairs.

Azibo nodded.

But Jahi, the master saw in your mind that you were loyal, which means it must have been true. What changed?

I got to know his true nature. Actually, it would be more accurate to say I was forced to acknowledge his true nature. I should have seen it from the beginning, but I’d accomplished so much at his side that I didn’t want to admit he was a monster. Only after he grew increasingly paranoid and prone to suspicion did I realize, with enough time, not even I would be safe.

The others were silent for a while. Like Jahi, they remembered all too well the master’s cruel and increasingly erratic behavior in those last days.

I want to hear more about Azibo’s part in this, said Rashidi. Will you tell us, Azibo?

But the youth only drew back into the lengthening shadows of the night, unable or unwilling to speak.

You might as well, said Jahi, not unkindly. No harm can come to you now. Our only worry is the bracelet, and the more we understand about your talent, the better. Maybe we can use it to communicate with the girl.

Azibo hesitated, then nodded.

Yes, you’re right. It’s been a long time. It’s just that I had to keep myself hidden for so long… Azibo paused, then nodded. All right. I’m ready to tell my story.

And after a moment of silent brooding, Azibo did.

Read part 7 here.

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Rite of Passage

“His name is Gol. He is not an ogre or a troll, a gnome, a fairy or a centaur. There are no stories written of his kind. He was once human like the boy, but he is human no longer.”

Gol, a creature of the Earth yet apart from it, a creature of arcane powers with an ancient mission not even he fully understands. He cannot propagate, yet he must sire offspring to continue his life’s work.

James, a boy who lives in dreams and the imagination, a boy inebriated with the wonders and mysteries of life. He will learn too soon that the world harbors darker secrets.

A bittersweet tale of loss and regret, death and rebirth, growth and transformation, Rite of Passage will remind you why you were once afraid of the dark, and will call to mind the mystical innocence of childhood that was forever stolen from each of us.

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