Update on “The Jinxed Pirate”

Happy New Year.
So I’ve said for the past few months my new novel, The Jinxed Pirate, is supposed to be up for sale this month. How’s the progress on that..?

Allow me to explain…
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“The Jinxed Pirate” Excerpt: Lily Blackthorn

Getting closer to the release of The Jinxed Pirate.
In the meantime, here’s another preview checking in on Lily as she prepares to leave Graylands and finds her first obstacle….


The city of Beacon was something of a border between the more populated and developed Northern Regions and the rest of Graylands. It served as the last stop for pilgrims heading into the frontier and the first glimpse of true civilization for travelers coming north. It was a vast collection of stone buildings and towers that stretched high into the air. It had been built in a hilly area, and parts of the city raised up and down, looming or sinking depending on where you were.

Like the other cities in the Northern Regions, Beacon was connected to the only working railroad. Although becoming more common for the rest of the world, travel by train in Graylands was limited to the far north between the more dense cities. Some talked of extending the railroads into the frontier, but no progress had been made.

The Beacon train station was calm this morning. The air was cool, but comfortable, and the sky was pink with a golden glow on the horizon. Most of the passengers kept to themselves as they waited for the train to arrive. It was scheduled to head northeast, stopping briefly in Lacon before continuing on to Gerritsen, which was the end of the line.

A woman walked up and down the station’s platform. She appeared to be in her early twenties, and her ash-gray hair went to her shoulders. Her pale skin was striking, as was her eager smile and sparkling crimson eyes. Her beaming presence had an effect on the people around her. Everyone she passed seemed to cheer up a bit. Children waved at her. Men and women smiled and nodded as she walked by.

Lily Blackthorn knew there was a reason for that beyond simple good cheer, but she didn’t care. She was too excited to stay still. She was happy and didn’t mind if she made other people around her happy. Today was the beginning of her new life.
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“The Jinxed Pirate” Excerpt: Katrina Lamont

Another quick excerpt from the next volume of Graylands.
This time, we catch up on Katrina facing an awkward reunion with an old ally….


The smell of blood and fire was overwhelming. She could hear screams echoing all around her.

Rasul Kader had exploited her past and manipulated her with the intention of selling her to Jacob Daredin. The mad sorcerer sought to sacrifice her, believing her death would make him a god. Unfortunately for Kader and Daredin, their manipulations unleashed a fury she’d kept hidden since her people died. She left destruction in her wake, gladly slaughtering Daredin’s followers before taking her time on Kader himself. In her anger, she allowed a dragon to be reborn.

She was standing in a narrow corridor filled with smoke, and at the far end, a figure emerged. He stood like an implacable juggernaut, unfazed by the carnage and chaos around him. His thick body was riddled with scars and burns, and his skin was a rotting shade of gray. Sickly strands of light hair hung from his balding scalp. His ragged black clothes were stained and filthy. In one gloved hand, he held a length of jagged metal, dripping with blood and meat.

She took a step forward, and so did he. She raised her sword—the black-bladed sabre, also dripping with blood—and he raised his own blade as well. She lowered the sabre, and he lowered his weapon. She took another step, and he did, too.

The Enforcer stared at her, his face hidden beneath his black mask. The eyes revealed nothing but empty darkness. She felt his gaze, and though it chilled her to her core, she couldn’t look away. There was something there—something she couldn’t place. A familiarity. A kinship.

She wanted to ask, Who are you? But the only word that came out was, “Why?”

The Enforcer tilted his head in seeming curiosity. He then removed his mask, and suddenly Katrina Lamont was staring at herself. Continue reading

“The Jinxed Pirate” Excerpt: Krutch Leeroy

We’re coming up on the home stretch for the next volume of the Graylands saga: The Jinxed Pirate. So here’s a small preview where we catch up with alleged pirate Krutch Leeroy as he finds himself in a tight spot with the authorities….


“If it’s any consolation, this isn’t how I wanted the day to go either.”

Krutch could see the barmaid didn’t believe him, as her eyes shifted to confusion before returning to fear. He sighed and tried again to find some kind of comfortable position.

The tavern’s crawlspace was the three foot gap between the floor and the dirt foundation underneath. The ground was harsh and stony, and the floorboards above were filthy and congealed with something sticky. The air was sweltering—it felt like the worst of summer already—but the stink was the worst. It was the inevitable stench one would expect in the dirt beneath a tavern packed nightly with drunks and worse.

He tried not to imagine what awfulness had festered over the years in the dismal space he was cramped in—spilled drinks, dropped food, vomit, piss, blood—and focus on more cheerful thoughts like the growing cramp in his back, sweat dripping beneath his clothes, or the Sentry Elite he was hiding from.

The floorboards creaked, and dirt from the soldier’s boots spilled through the cracks. There were only two—in the tavern, at least. There was no telling how many more were waiting outside. One called himself Wayland Dillon. The other didn’t speak, but Dillon introduced her as Ellen Wells. The names rang a bell, but Krutch could barely hear them.

Not that it mattered. He knew the questions being asked. It had been the same song and dance in dozens of other places: We’re looking for Krutch Leeroy. Have you seen him? If so, where? How long ago? Where’s he heading? What’s he up to?

Across from him, Arkady looked calm, even though his skin was shiny with sweat. For a moment, he pondered if he might be able to see his reflection in Arkady’s bald head. The young pirate’s lanky body fit into the crawlspace well enough, but his toned muscles were tensed. He was ready for anything if things turned ugly. Continue reading

“The Ghost Princess” Excerpt

A brief excerpt from The Ghost Princess:


When it rains, it pours.

The thought crossed Katrina Lamont’s mind as she heard the rain outside. The raindrops were hitting the ground so hard she heard it over the crowd. She figured it just as well—she had no intention of leaving any time soon.

Rasul Kader didn’t follow after she stormed out of the bar. That was good for his sake, because if he had, she was certain she would’ve wound up punching him in the throat. The fresh air did her good, and after smoking two more cigarettes, she calmed down and got something to eat at the Pilgrim’s Stop.

However, any appetite she might have had dwindled upon seeing the three Sentries and their Mage. They were talking among themselves and paid no mind to her, but seeing a group of soldiers and magic-user— mostly likely on some mission or quest of their own—so soon after listening to Kader’s pitch made Katrina feel uneasy and tense.

Barely touching her food, she eventually returned to the bar, hoping Kader would be gone. He was thankfully nowhere to be found, so she decided to forego any sense of pacing herself and started hitting the ale as soon as she arrived. The first two pints stung her throat and made her stomach tumble, but she developed a pleasant buzz that made it fade away.

Unfortunately, drinking did little to ease the growing paranoia nagging her mind. She sat in the back corner, by herself, scanning the bar for anyone who might be staring at her. Most of the other patrons were regulars she recognized from previous nights, and she noted more than a few guys leering at her—all seemed as it should be.

Nevertheless, she couldn’t shake an increasing dread someone was watching her and Kader was only the beginning. The beginning of what, she didn’t know … nor did she want to.

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