The Pirate King is Getting a Facelift

Two of my favorite novellas that I have written, Curse of the Pirate King and Shadow of the Pirate King, were originally created to facilitate a marketing strategy to build my email newsletter list. Curse was given away free through retailers, and Shadow was offered as a gift for those who signed up for the newsletter. Both books are part of my ongoing dark fantasy series, The Ravencrest Chronicles.

Since This was implemented over two years ago, the results have been less than stellar. Many people have downloaded a copy of Curse, but a very small percentage actually signed up to get Shadow.

A result of this is that one of my books was locked behind a gate most readers seemed uninterested in opening. My primary goal is to get people to read what I’ve written, so I decided this barrier was counterproductive. Also, I have worked through most of my back catalogue over the past two years to revise all my books with fresh editing and new covers, then issue new editions. These two books have not yet had this treatment.

Thus, I’ve decided to pull Curse of the Pirate King from circulation for the time being and remove the free eBook offer from my newsletter for Shadow of the Pirate King. I have begun work on the revision process on both titles and will be re-releasing them alongside my other titles, though the particulars of release date and pricing are yet to be decided. I plan to release both novellas in paperback for the first time as well.


For more information about The Ravencrest Chronicles, visit my books page!

New Article: From Protagonist to Antagonist

From protagonists to side characters and from heroes to villains, we often think of our characters in terms of the roles they play in the story. There is much terminology used for various roles, often with overlapping meanings, and this might seem daunting to a new student of literature or an aspiring author. An example of this would be the aforementioned protagonist and hero, which on the surface seem synonymous, but are actually denoting two very unique roles in a story that—while they often are merged—are not mutually inclusive.

In this article, we will first explore the historical origins of some familiar and some less common terms from the traditions of Greek drama, then move on to comparing them to modern cinematic and literary terminology. After this, we will explore the different roles characters play in storytelling apart from their prominence in the story. While many of the terms we will be addressing draw from stage and screen, they apply equally to literary theory.

Read the full article here

My Journey Through Avalion

Flame in the Palace by Seluna Drake, Book One of Lady of Avalion: released today!

Avalion is a kingdom of magic and mystery. It is a land of rolling hills, lush forests, flowering meadows, and towering mountains. Imposing castles, sprawling cities, and grand manors lie at the heart of its five duchies. Around these, the landscape is dotted with roadside inns, small towns, and humble villages. Each duchy is unique, specializing in different trade goods and occupying distinct geographic features that set them apart both physically and culturally from one another. At the heart of all this is Ilona, a sweeping, bustling city anchored by a magnificent, towering royal palace. While the island kingdom seems a unified monolith, undercurrents of political machinations fueled by jealousy and greed threaten to tear it apart.

Flame in the Palace by Seluna Drake launched today! I wanted to take some time to help spread the word about this wonderful story and share my own journey through Avalion.

I must be honest; I am biased when it comes to Flame in the Palace. Seluna Drake hired me to edit this book, and over the course of our collaboration on the project, we became good friends.

However, I would not be putting my professional credibility on the line if I didn’t think this book deserved the attention. Also, I’ve gushed about other titles I’ve edited when the author has publicly acknowledged my involvement, such as with The Quest for the Golden Plunger by Jackson Dickert or They Stole the Earth by D.W. Hitz, so my friendship with Seluna Drake has also not created a unique situation in regard to Flame in the Palace.

All that said, I’m too close to the book to write an unbiased review, but I didn’t want that to stop me from sharing my journey through Avalion.

As mentioned, Avalion is an island kingdom. The setting is a medieval fantasy world filled with magic, but it is unlike many of its kin. It is low fantasy in many regards, with no elves, dwarves, or goblins. There are rare instances of fantastical creatures, and a solitary minotaur features early in the book. Magic is a closely guarded secret of the nobility, a thing of mystery and wonder to most.

Noble houses lord over the five duchies of Avalion, and the king rules from the central palace of Ilona. The books protagonist is Myria, a humble maid working at her grandmother’s roadside inn near the town of Everhaven, in the duchy of Fairthorne. She is an estranged member of House Bramble, the lords of Fairthorne, and cousin to the duke. Little does she know that this strenuous tie to the nobility will soon thrust her to the center of a web of political intrigue and romance.

The main thrust of the plot in Flame in the Palace is the custom the royal family uses to arrange marriages for their heirs. Prince Leor, soon to be King of Avalion, is in need of a wife. Thus, as is customary, each of the five ducal houses sends an eligible suitor to compete over a summer of contests and social events, ranging from state dinners and ballroom galas to a joust and other adventurous challenges. Duke Bramble, having no eligible daughters of his own, must turn to his cousin should they wish to participate.

Myria has little desire to enter the theater of politics, but upon meeting Leor, she is smitten by the charismatic prince. Her cousin the duke promises to save her grandmother’s financially struggling inn and the only home she’s ever known, and she is promised access to the arcane secrets so jealously guarded by the nobility.

Thus is the fiery, fiercely independent Myria taken from the familiar comforts of the Morning Glory tavern and the surrounding Talking Tree Forest to be plunged into a world of political intrigue. Along the way, she gets to know the other members of her family and is mentored by her aunt, the dowager widow Olympe. She also must contend with her rival suitors, some with whom she forges bonds of friendship, others from whose machinations she must guard herself.

Chief among these new friendships is Emiri, the court mage of the royal household and close friend—nearly a brother—to Prince Leor himself. As Myria contends for Leor’s favor in hopes of one day becoming queen, she also studies under Emiri to learn the secrets of the nobility’s magical ways.

While Avalion is full of lush forests, sparkling rivers, and soaring palaces, there are shadows in the cracks that threaten the foundation upon which this peaceful kingdom is built. And as Myria peels back the layers of these mysteries, she finds herself at the center of an existential crisis for the entire island nation.

I wish I could say more about Flame in the Palace, but I don’t want to spoil the journey for you.

I normally am not a fan of romantic tales. I stick to fantasy that concerns itself more with battlefields than ballrooms, but Flame in the Palace struck a chord with me. I found myself enthralled by the large, wonderfully well-rounded cast of characters and the detailed, varied, and immersive environments. As Myria travelled across the kingdom, I felt like I was along for the ride. When she felt sparks of love and pangs of loss, I felt them as well. I dove deep into this story and was forlorn when I had to leave Avalion to come back to our reality. I’ll be returning to Avalion for the second book, hopefully sooner rather than later, and I am confident the sparks kindled in the first book will grow to a raging inferno in the second.

Get your copy of Flame in the Palace today! I am confident your will enjoy your journey into Avalion!

Find Flame in the Palace in paperback or for Kindle at Amazon.

Find Flame in the Palace at other eBook retailers.


About the author of Flame in the Palace

Seluna Drake is a high school English teacher who writes and independently publishes a variety of fantasy novels, poems, and potentially narrative-based games. Most of the time she passes as a chaotic creative who spends way too much time on video games and not enough time talking to her therapist.

Blood of the Desert available now!

New Release!

After escaping a life of slavery, Brego crosses the wastelands fleeing slavers and bounty hunters. Allying with an assortment of misfits, he must fight his way across the badlands to reach his people’s home in the Great Sand Sea. As he seeks to shed the iron bonds of his youth, he searches for something he has never known: a home. In the process he finds something he never expected to find: a family.

Kindle & Paperback

Other eBook retailers.

$9.99 Paperback, $2.99 eBook

Genres: Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, High Fantasy
Tags: Desert, Bronze Age, Nomads, Orcs, Action Adventure
Length: Novella (Approx 105 pages)

***SITREP INCOMING***

All satellites have been destroyed.

Air superiority has been compromised.

Unidentified alien force is landing ground troops globally, concentrated on population centers.

Further update scheduled for Monday, November 1.

Night Shadow now available!

New Angeles is in turmoil.

The government, the corporations, and the organized crime families have the city in an iron grip. As that grip tightens, the people decide they will not take it anymore. When the citizens rise up and the city burns, Harold sees an opportunity to exploit the chaos.

But is his crusade one of justice, or vengeance?


GET IT IN PAPERBACK OR KINDLE

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Catch up on The Night Trilogy

In New Angeles, crime is a fact of life in the city. But when a routine murder investigation leads to more questions than answers, homicide detective Harold Jacobson finds the big picture to be more than he ever bargained for. The only thing Harold knows for sure is that he isn’t being paid enough to deal with this.

Paperback or Kindle

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On the run from the law, detective Harold Jacobson delves into the gritty underbelly of New Angeles. To clear his name of one murder, he must first solve another. As Harold follows the threads of the mystery through the night life of the city, he risks becoming part of the criminal element he once hunted down.

Paperback or Kindle

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New Anthology Announcement

Bounties, Beasts and Badlands: Fantastic Tales of the Weird West, presented by Fedowar Press, will be available on August 24th, 2021.

Featuring “The Hattersfield Dilemma”, an all-new weird west novelette by B.K. Bass.


When Samuel Shepherd and his crew hole up in the town of Hattersfield for the night, they don’t expect to find a town plagued with a mystery. And when they start picking that mystery apart, they find more lurking in the darkness than monsters.


Find out more here!

Revisions – An Inside Look

I have made it known for a while now I’m working on revising all my books and issuing new editions. Some are wondering what kind of revisions I’m working on. I’ve been asked if I’m changing the stories a few times, so I thought it might be insightful to share a little of what I’m working on.

First and foremost, I want to be clear I’m making no major changes to any of the books. The goal of the revisions is simply to polish things up. So if you already have a copy, there’s no need to get the new edition (unless you want to collect ones with the new covers!).

Right now, I’m working on finishing up The Hunter’s Apprentice for its upcoming release on February 19th. Here’s a look at one paragraph from the book that’s a good example of the changes being made. First, the text from the second edition:

Gareth and Miles both waited for further explanation, which was not forthcoming. Finally, Nikolai realized that they were waiting for him to say more. “The ground beneath the cliffs is rich in salt from the sea. The entire city, actually, sits atop salted soil. The bodies buried by the first settlers here were probably set to rest directly in the soil, and the salt would have preserved their flesh and kept them from rotting away. Some centuries old cemetery, actually, is the ideal place to find subjects for such experimentation.” At this, Nikolai almost sounded excited by the prospect.

And now, the revised text for the upcoming third edition:

Gareth and Miles both waited for further explanation, which was not forthcoming. Finally, Nikolai seemed to realize they were waiting for him to say more. “The ground beneath the cliffs is rich in salt from the sea. In fact, the entire city sits atop salted soil. The bodies buried by the first settlers here were set to rest directly in the soil, which has preserved their flesh and kept them from rotting away. Some centuries-old cemetery is the ideal place to find subjects for such experimentation.” Nikolai seemed excited by the prospect.

This paragraph has more changes than most, but that’s why I chose it as an example. I may go several pages with no changes, or tweak a comma here and there, or run across a paragraph like this that needs some hammering.

As you can see though, there’s no changes in the substance. My focus is polishing things up.

I hope this helps clarify things for anybody who was wondering, and might be insightful even if you weren’t! I’d like to say this is finally the last time I’ll be going through these, but who knows what the future might bring. But I have to say, I’m very pleased with the progress being made right now!

Coming February 19th!

Seahaven is Available Today!

The third edition of Seahaven, book one of The Ravencrest Chronicles, is available today. With a fresh round of editing, new formatting, and all-new cover art and design, this is the ultimate edition of the highly-popular, fan-favorite first outing of Gareth Vann, master thief of Seahaven!

Gareth Vann is an renowned thief in the city of Seahaven. The rugged scoundrel is mostly concerned with coin and drink, but has an altruistic streak he tries to hide. He never intended to be a hero, but when Gareth becomes the target of a pair of vampires, he finds himself trapped in the middle of a conspiracy that reaches all the way to Castle Ravencrest itself. To protect those he cares most about, Gareth must reluctantly hunt the creatures of the night the only way he knows how: From the shadows.

Get it now from your favorite bookseller!