Voiced by the incomparable Mike Jameson, I’m really proud to finally have the whole trilogy on audiobook (took me long enough to get around to doing it, lol) and I’m very pleased with his performance. Mike is an awesome guy and a pleasure to work with, it’s been so much fun watching him bring the characters to life.
I have some grand designs to try and voice my own audiobooks for some of my newer works–I’d love to give it a shot, provided I can voice-act well enough to live up to my standards. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on future audiobook releases. Y’all are the best.
I’m really excited to share with you the cover of Book 2 of Hymn of the Ancients: Blood of the Demonheart! Feast your eyes on all its glory, courtesy of cover artist Jeff Brown. It took some time and workshopping but he had great ideas on where to go with it, and I’m really happy with how it came out. What do y’all think?
WRITING UPDATE: I’m glad to say I’m most of the way done with the first draft of Blood of the Demonheart. It’s taken a bit longer than I’d normally like with this novel, but I’d rather do it right than rush it out. I’m hoping to have it released by Spring of 2022.
In other news, I have been continuing to workshop and write both a new Post-Apocalyptic novel, and a piece of contemporary fiction as well. Those are still in the early stages, but I’ve written a number of chapters for both. I’m looking forward to continuing to work on those, because I’m a crazy person and I have too many ideas and not enough time to write them.
So I’ve been working on my next projects (Book 2 of HotA and a few others), but nonetheless I’ve been continuing to tinker with Hymn of the Ancients, mostly just correcting grammatical errors missed in the edits. But also I UPDATED THE NEW MAP OF DEMAREST!
I’ve been using this super fun mapmaking software called Wonderdraft, it took a little while to learn but it’s so much fun. Certainly gives me something fun/productive to do when I’m procrastinating writing anything.
I decided to go with the classing “paper” version of the map rather than the color one. I think it just looks classic and cleaner, and the other version came out a little dark in the paperback, so I updated that as well.
Anyway, I wanted to take a minute and thank everyone who’s been reading Hymn of the Ancients, and everyone who left a review or gave me feedback I really appreciate it! I know there were a few grammar errors that were missed in editing but I believed I’ve cleaned just about all of them up at this point. I’m really proud of this book, and it’s fun jumping into a new genre and seeing how it flies on its own like a bird leaping out of the nest.
I’ve got some more projects percolating, both fantasy and post-apoc, so stay tuned.
So I’ve been somewhat quiet ever since I launched Death in the Wastelandsand that hasn’t been on accident. I’ve been brainstorming, storyboarding, and eventually beginning a draft of my next project, one I’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time.
So I won’t bury the lede any deeper. I’m currently writing a fantasy novel entitled Hymn of the Ancients. And I am so, so incredibly excited about it.
Fantasy has long been my favorite genre ever since I was a kid. I grew up reading long fantasy series and playing fantasy video games, and frolicking in those imaginary worlds gave me untold joy. Now, finally, I’m writing in one. And it feels borderline euphoric. So without further adieu, a teaser:
Leonel Anglian is a treasure hunter. At least, that’s what he likes to call himself.
Trained as a warrior by his father, Leo’s is a noble and revered house in his home country of Ellaria. His grandfather was the most revered man in the nation outside of royalty, as he was a brilliant general who led the Rolanse Liberation war to defeat the orcish tribes and exile them from the continent.
But Leo did not want to follow in his family’s tradition of war and politics. He chose to be an excavator, one of many people who travel from bustling cities to long-forgotten landscapes in search of buried relics of the Ancients–items revered by church and common folk alike–so they can sell them to the highest bidder. Unfortunately though, his companions in the Stonewright Excavation Company are neither rich nor famous, and don’t get many chances to find real artifacts of value. So they pick over cleaned sites and sell what they can to barely scrape by, spending too much of what they earn on booze. But none of this bothers Leo. This is the life he wanted.
But Leo’s fortunes are about to change, and with it the peaceful life he enjoys. One day he discovers a completely untouched church of the ancients hidden underground near the border town of River Harrow. And within it, a relic worth more than most of the fortunes of the world: a magical tome written in the first age in a language seemingly no one can read.
A relic, he is about to realize, that is sought after by many who are willing to do anything to get it. His quiet life is about to change forever.
Meanwhile, across the sea, an exiled orc chieftain by the name of Kaejic has captured Leo’s father, Daleon Anglian, in his quest to restore honor to his own father, his tribe and his people. He has one goal left in mind: to cross the sea and hunt down the last member of the Anglian family. Daleon’s son, Leo. Because his death will pave the way for his people’s return to glory and their rightful place in their homeland.
Kaejic has seen it in his visions. And he will let nothing stop him.
So it is foretold.So it shall be.
Hymn of the Ancients, coming Summer 2020!
And for all you wondering about my post-apoc exploits, don’t sweat, I have more projects in the works in the American Rebirth universe as well! I have plenty more to write in that world! But this is a passion project of mine I’ve had for a long time, and I really cannot wait to get it out there. I’m just incredibly excited about it.
I’m really tired, lol. But I am so very excited to announce this. Because I’ve worked incredibly hard on this, and I think it’s going to be everything my readers ever wanted from a origin story for the American Rebirth Series.
It follows Rob, Taylor and Whiskey from the very beginning. And good goddamn was it fun to write.
It’s live on Amazon, just click the picture above. It’s live on some of my other distributors too, but it’s just taking a little while for some of them to publish it. I’ll post links to it later on when they’re all live. And the paperback should be live soon, too.
For all the readers, fans, friends and loved ones that have supported me all the way, this is for you. I appreciate you more than I can put into words.
I truly hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I’ve been working with Jeff Brown on the cover for Death in the Wastelands, American Rebirth Origins and I’m really psyched to say it’s completed.
He’s a pretty special artist. If you want you can check him out here at Jeff Brown Graphics. It’s been fun seeing it come to life, but most exciting of it all is that it’s another milemarker closer to getting the book out there.
Getting the cover made is a big part of the story feeling like it’s coming to life. I’m editing it right now, and hopefully it’ll be ready by early Summer.
Man, I can’t wait. I think y’all are gonna like it.
Maybe all of these things are true, in different universes, different timelines, in the great multitude of possibilities everything has happened. Or maybe time goes on forever and matter is finite, so you have existed endless millions of times before, and you will again.
But regardless, you are here. And in being able to consider these vast theoretical possibilities, we can consider what our lives are now. Maybe there is no other life, no other universes. Maybe this is all we have.
If so, it’s even more beautiful. As fucked up or as blessed as your life may be, it is your life. It’s yours. Take a moment to embrace that.
More than likely, your life, as my life, has had both tragedy and moments of joy. I am grateful for all of it. All the pain and the love. All of it.
I know now, at 31 years old, that who I am and the love in my heart is a gift. Even though I can be jaded sometimes, I don’t let it stop me. I do my best to share it with the world, in my writing, with my students, with my loved ones, and strangers I interact with every day. And I’m proud of that. More proud of that than anything else.
I know what you’re thinking… What’s different? Why do this? Do I have to pay for it?
You do not have to pay for it if you already own the HOOD eBook. Simply go into your Amazon, go to “Manage your Content and Devices”, and scroll until you see HOOD and press the UPDATE AVAILABLE button. Also, your kindle might already AUTO-update all books, if not you can set your kindle to auto-update under the SETTINGS tab once you’re in “Manage your Content and Devices”. If you’re using any of the other booksellers… I’m not sure how it works yet I will be updating it on other retailers shortly.
Why do this? In short, I merely wanted to take the time to improve the writing, make small changes, and just bring the overall quality of the book up. It’s not that I was unhappy with it, but it is my baby, and giving it some TLC was something I’ve wanted to do for awhile.
What’s New? So by in large the book is the same…I am not overhauling the story or anything. This is mostly just to make some small content changes but the overall story remains the same. Features:
About 1.5 New Chapters worth of content in the beginning of the book/Clearwater era! This is mostly just to set the stage more before the first plot point. I’m really excited about it though, I think it really beefs up the story.
Cleaned up the prose/diction and some of the internal/external dialogue throughout the book. Mostly little things, I wanted to trim down a little bit, replace a few others, just tighten up the prose and make it more readable. I think with a light touch of changing things, the book is vastly improved.
For those of you wondering, The ending remains the same, but I changed a few little elements throughout the book that I think make it a bit more powerful and give the reader some foreshadowing to the larger story at work throughout the series.
So yeah, I’m blessed that I have the luxury to be able to do this as a self-pub. One of the awesome perks. I love this book, and I wanted to really make sure it was as powerful and as meaningful to both myself and the readers as it possibly could be. Giving it a little love was well worth the time.
NOTE: If you look in the front matter of your eBook, and it does not read “Second Edition” in the title page, you do not yet have the updated version!
I’m really glad I did this. If you decide to go back and give it a re-read, please let me know what you think! The new content is in chapters 3 and 4.
Alright, now its back to all the thousand other things that require my attention.
I want to know what you think of this excerpt. It’s a prequel of the American Rebirth Series. Email me, tweet me, DM me, whatever, let me know what you think!
I need to know if you are interested in a prequel. It would cover the SHTF scenario, and go into the Clearwater era. Hood and Whiskey and Taylor in the early Clearwater days.
Your feedback is important! I have a desire to write this story, but I want to know from my readers if this is something they’d be interested in.
So here you have it. Enjoy!
Abandoned Home, South of Washington D.C., Rural Maryland.
Sunlight poured into the dusty living room. The hinges of the front door groaned as it slowed to a stop. The old wood floors flexed and creaked under each step. Rob Huntington could picture what life in this house once looked like. An old retired couple, maybe. A young family that moved out into the country. No, it was left behind too clean. No mess. No kids.
The pistol was warm in his grip. Slide locked back. Fired empty. He placed it on an antique sideboard, the weight of it clunking against the lacquered wood. I am not a killer. Rob pulled the ornate white cloth off of the sideboard, his hands still shaking. He scrubbed at his skin. The blood smudged and smeared, it wouldn’t entirely come off.
He breathed in deep, the musty smell somehow having a calming effect on him. It was not familiar. He’d never been here before. Never even been in this part of the state. But it smelled like a home. There’s no going back to the way things were.
He closed his eyes, standing in the center of the hallway. The past was dead. That was always true. You can never go back. But it meant something different now. You came in here for a reason. You need to find something else to fight with. His feet carried him through the house without thought. There had to be something he could use. The very need for this search told him a truth he did not want to face. This won’t be the last time. You will have to kill again.
Mounted on a wall in the den sat an old bolt-action rifle. There. Below it, almost shrine-like, on a mantelpiece was a trifold American flag in a wooden case, a name engraved on it. Pierce Ploman. Rob moved towards it reverently. The only sound was the creak of his footsteps and the distant carefree cries of faraway birds from the open door. Gently he reached out to touch the rifle and lifted it off its mount, the old leather strap swaying free in the air.
The rifle was old. But it was oiled and well taken care of. His eyes went from the trigger to the firing mechanism, seeing faded words stamped into the metal. Model and make, surely. He didn’t know what they meant. He ran his thumb over them, feeling the imprint in the steel. How does this thing work? Rob pulled back on the bolt sticking out of the rifle, but it didn’t move. He pushed up, and it came free to move. He pulled it back and the action slid open. Do I put each round in one at a time? The metal plate underneath the open chamber seemed separate from the rest. He pushed down on it, and it gave way, a spring below pushing it up. The rounds must go in there. Feed into the chamber. He pushed the bolt forward and locked it down. He pulled it up again and back, repeating the cocking motion until it felt smooth. He hefted it to his shoulder, looking down the ironsights. You’re going to have to use this, he repeated to himself.
He clenched his teeth, his mouth a hard line.One hand found its way to his face, covering his eyes. He rubbed his eyebrows back and forth, rhythmically.
“Rob?” Taylor called inside.
“Yeah,” He called back, standing upright and taking a deep breath.
“Are you okay?”
He nodded to himself. “Yeah. I’m fine.”
“Did you find anything?”
“We need to look around for some ammo. See if there’s any food, too.”
Taylor appeared from around the corner into the den. The pistol he left in the living room was in her hand. She followed his eyes to it, holding it up in the air sheepishly.
“We’ll probably need this, if we can find more bullets for it,” she said calmly. She looked at the rifle in his hands. “Does that work?”
Rob nodded. “Yeah, I think so.”
“Hey, are you okay?” She repeated in an even, relaxed tone that calmed him. “You can talk to me.”
“I’m good, Sis…” He hesitated, before shaking his head in disbelief. “How the hell did this happen?”
She smiled at him, a warm, familial smile. “Hey. We’re still alive.”
He flashed a smile back at her in return.
“Thank you,” she said genuinely. “For doing what you had to.”
He met her gaze. “We’ll be alright.”
She nodded toward the door. “Come on. Let’s see what else we can find.”
Rob looked down at the rifle in his hand. I have to protect her. I can’t hesitate next time.It’s either that or we’ll be the ones lying there.
His feet carried him out of the room. What about all those people that are just like us, though? Trying to survive in this fucked up version of the world?
Rob pushed a toy truck lying on the floor out of his way with his feet. God, how did we let things come to this?