The One With A Big Announcement

I have been a bad, bad author. I let life kick the inspiration out of me like a roid rage mule, but I’m back, and have been for a while. Sadly writing is like archery. You fire, but it takes a bit for the missile to land. In that vein, I have three big announcements.

The first is I completed a novel! Well, I did not do it alone. Thanks to the inspiration and drive of my good friend Tracy R. Chowdhury, we completed the first novel in a trilogy: Elvish Jewel. It is a romantic adventure novel set in a brand new fantasy world.

It is about a war torn elvish nation being raided for natural resources by the vicious armies of the Iron Coast. A powerful Evish Warmage, Vivien Valdera finds herself defended by and in turn defending a indomidable barbarian she names The Wolf. They begin a troubled path toward love and understanding where her secrets are almost as shocking as his. But together they might just save the kingdom, and may discover the love that has eluded them both for a century.Available on Amazon. Ebook coming soon.

 

Jewel Back.jpgJewel Front.jpg

Those of you who have been following REALLY close attention have noticed  I Know Not (The Legends of Fox Crow 1) hasgotten a new cover (new editing pass) and a new publisher! Also available on amazon, with ebook coming soon!

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And while I am extremely excited about both of these events, I am astounded to say that The Opus Discordia (The Legends of Fox Crow 2) is done, finished, finito, passed and published, available on amazon! I know a lot of people have been waiting for many years for this, and I hope it is a dark delight to everyone.  Ebook, coming soon!

Music sooths the savage breast…

What do they know?

I was reborn in a castle of corpses, and I knew nothing. I survived the assassins, the mercenaries, and all the nasty little tricks they could throw at me. Now, I have to move on.

Noria is a whole kingdom looking to kill me, so I have to flee to the Principalities of Hammarfall.

I have sacks of gold, a magic sword, and all the skills a lifetime as an assassin. I should be able to carve out a little niche of heaven and live happy and fat until my old age, right?

Right?

Except Hammarfall is in turmoil, the God of Murder still has not forgiven me for leaving his service, and there are ravens everywhere I look. And that music. I can’t get that music out of my head… But one thing hasn’t changed.

I am going to survive.

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But while I am excited

 

 

 

 

The one… where I admit I’m a slacker… kinda.

I just moderated a comment from a new fan and I realized I have not posted to this blog in forever. I’m getting questions about what I am up to and what is coming. I can only say I am very sorry. I guess it is time for some confessions and an update.

Last year I lost my day job. Since then it has been a financial struggle to keep my home and so forth. Trying to find another job is difficult since my experience knocks me out of opening positions, and equal positions are often jealously guarded. It has, however, allowed me to work on more novels than I thought possible.

I am working on a contract for Heroes’ Tears. The novel is a Fantasy, set in a war torn historical era of this RPG. It should be out next year.

I finished the sequel to I Know Not, the Legacy of Fox Crow. This one, The Opus Discordia, deals with Crow after leaving (running) from his recent successes and gets saddled with an apprentice, gets involved in a three hundred year old plot to overthrow a kingdom, and is haunted by a ghostly composer as well as a new crop of assassins. It is in the hands of the Publisher, who has it out for editing, and is awaiting the cover still.

That being said, I have not been resting on my laurels (such as they are). I am working on a sequel to Whispering of Dragons called The Clash of Souls. It is in progress, and I hope to have the manuscript in the hands of the publisher soon

Next I finished a new fantasy novel, a whole new story in a new fantasy series. This one is a departure from my standard fantasy work, and I hope to have it ready by April 1st. I say departure and I mean it: It is epic fantasy instead of dark fantasy, it is going to be self published (mostly due to my desperate need for cash, pretty fast), and it has… other qualities that set it apart. More will be announced soon, but for more updates keep an eye on THIS PAGE.

So I’m working pretty hard, and a lot of stuff is falling by the wayside. This blog amongst them. I want to do another Radiation Angels Novel. I want to finish another Fox Crow. There’s a lot to do, and now it is all very important.

See, every purchase used to be an important acknowledgement of my work. Now it is my life blood. I eat, my lights stay on, depending on my wife going to work, and the work I put out to give everyone a few minutes respite and entertainment. You are all keeping me alive, and for that I want to say thank you. I am truly humbled.
Now, if I can ask, please leave a review on goodreads or amazon. Please blog about what of my books you have read, recommend them to friends. I feel like I am imposing on friends and family, but I have to ask. I’m just starting to climb and air getting thin out here already.

Always remember you can keep up with my work on my Amazon Author Page.

You can like James Daniel Ross if you facebook.

But, overall if you have bought books, I thank you.
Now it is my mission to write faster than any of you can read.
And do it so well you curse me for it.

Wolf

The one where there’s an exciting announcement and silly update

Silly update first: I have moved into my new house! Mortgage approved, all systems go, haven’t stopped moving for weeks now.

I am making progress on Salient Dreams, a new fantasy novel, and it is progressing well if not quickly.

But more important than any of that, The Last Dragoon has been released on Kindle, should now be out for Nook, and paper copies are coming along shortly. So if you need a last minute gift, or last minute break from reality, I’ve got you covered.

When was the last time you believed someone who said: I will love you forever? What if they proved it?
What is forever in comparison to the power of love?
In the end, what is the raw power of the human soul?

The Ivy City is dying. It flails under a sea of the risen dead, the holy churches broken, the nobles largely destroyed, the population leaderless and alone, the city itself is bleeding and growing cold. Tattered crimson ribbons of blood fill the gutters. A despicable wizard, scion of the noble line, has shoved the Ivy City to the brink of death as he seeks what he sees as his rightful throne.

Doomed by his forbidden love, discarded by the crown, forgotten by the people, a disgraced hero rises from the ashes to combat the rising darkness. Accompanied by a novice of the god of death, this armored savior will crash headlong into the ranks of the undead. As the legions of the unliving surround and entrap him, he faces the dark truths of his own failures, and discovers the limits of his warrior will.

He will fight because of his oaths to the crown and because of his oaths to the city. But, in the end, he will fight against a horde of nightmares because he has sworn with the totality of his soul to the crown princess, whom he has vowed to love forever.

The only questions that remains are:
What is the raw power of the human soul?
And can it be enough against an army of the dead?

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the one where I let slip how it works

OK, so I’ve been trying to buy a house, settle into Pittsburgh and finish a novel I’m 3 months behind upon. This means my blogging time has been a bit, well, heavily curtailed.

Then, I was poking around and found a release for a game I’ve been looking forward to.

I watched it once. Then, filled with some uncontrollable storm, I wrote. Not what I was supposed to be working on, not even anything that is going to go anywhere. Might as well post it here.

                They say it was a time of flags and glory. They say a lot of things. They never tell you how there were nights where any one of us would have killed for a can of god damned beans. The memories of old men are too good to remember anything but the truth, but when they look down into the glittering eyes of grandchildren too young to remember the sound of artillery it is simply easier to stand tall before a flag than to remember leaning into a bayonet until it pierced the hollow of a throat.

                Maybe it is the need to wash the hands in the streams of time, sending the blood away even as clots hide in the fine hairs and under the nails. Everyone knows, at least almost everyone knows. We let the Beast in. We fed him tenderly. We gave credence to his words. We had long lost sight of nature red in tooth and claw. We had replaced help with dependence and reduced mathematics to a popularity contest. Words were twisted in their meaning. America had flown so high that we had lost contact with the very ground underfoot. And the sun was oh, so warm. We forgot that some words, no matter how professionally delivered, should not be heeded. That lies were still lies, no matter how dreamy and how spun from golden sunshine. I can hardly look my own children in the eyes and admit we did it to them, and they very well know. So why should it be any different for anyone else?

                We thought the lies built palaces, the lies bought prosperity, but all they did was silence the opposition while loans flowed like a tsunami in order to bring about a fool’s golden age. Pyrite crowns cracked and tarnished as everyone was told that need had replaced work. If you needed, you should not have to work for it, it should be given. If it was not given, it should be taken. That was the dangerous lie: That it could be taken.

                You can take any man’s money. What you cannot take is his wealth. Take cash from a rich man and he will be poor. Give it to a poor man, and he will soon be poor again, for he has nothing of real value. The wealthy man builds himself. He is the architect of his own destiny. No matter his level of treasure, the wealthy man will work, innovate, and adapt to build wealth for himself and anyone who knows enough to follow him into the world. That trait cannot be taken, stolen, or redistributed. It can only be crushed. And when Taxing wasn’t enough, and when stealing wasn’t enough, all they had left was to crush the wealthy.

                That’s when the guns were loaded. That’s when the knives were sharpened.

                At the time I hated them, for making me fight, for making it necessary. Now I think they were just as afraid as I was. But they had been told that when a man climbs a stair, he must, had to, push others back behind him to progress. Failure was a plot by unseen masters that sought to restrict access to the lofty heights of success. So attractive were the lies, so beautiful was this fairy tale that we could not convince them, even unto death, that the staircase was built of failures. Every step was a painful sacrifice. They would never believe that riches can be passed to any, but wealth can only come to the worthy. Least of all, that worthiness could be attained by any who tried, and failed, and tried again.

                We, who remembered the old days, who were weaned on the legends of the America That Was before the books were poisoned and leveled and fairnessed into casting us as a bloody handed giant of the world, we remembered being the shining city. At least we thought we did. Everyone knew that the tree of freedom must be watered with the blood of tyrants, but forgot also patriots. Maybe that war was like this one, whitewashed for the sanity of the men damned to its confines until their memories finally fled their broken minds. If we were the greatest evil, then why were we the dream of the world? Why were we once free, and wealthy? Why did evil increase with the number of cameras, the number of prisons, of rules and laws, regulations, billyclubs and bureaucrats if it was caused by freedom?

                Begging could be met, demands could be matched, taxes could be paid, but when they beat down our doors looking for what they were owed by right of breath, that was when we fought. And we were punished for fighting.

                And from that point, war was not an option, it was a religion. Freedom was our goddess. We who fought it were her priests. We took up weapons -suddenly so clear why they had fought to restrict them- we had nurtured for over two hundred years . We died by the millions. They died in numbers so great we walled up cities as tombs for them, with signs that they never be opened lest the beast be free again to ravage the land. All so a man might earn, might share, but not fear the theft by one or one million. For, in the end, all that is earned is paid for with life, with time. Property law is the basis of all law, for the first property one has is one’s self, one’s life, and one barters time for money. Thus, anything taken is a loss of life. To give one’s life in service, or charity, is noble.

                To have it stolen, even bit by bit, is a murder by inches.

                But now my children have the America That Was, again. And their children.

                And now we must sacrifice more, for we must write it all down. We must admit every lie, every failure, every cursed good intention that lead us to the place where lead rains from the sky and the clouds burn, for if they do not remember –  and remember with the clarity we were denied – then it will happen again.

                It will all happen again.

                                                                                                -Andre Adams

                                                                                                General, Ohio Fifth Militia (ret.)

Maybe it is the upcoming election, maybe fears of the coming economic trauma. Maybe the mention of gun control at the last debate. Maybe threats by some to riot if the election goes against them. Maybe all of that. But, for the curious, you are filled with the hopes and dreams, the fears and loves of people who never lived. They dance around in your brain until you tell their story.

That is what being a writer is like.

 This is the original song, which I don’t like as much as the blues-ey one.

Edit:

My Google Fu is getting stronger, I found it!

the one in which I make an important request

Preditors and Editors (see what they did there?) has put up the Annual Reader’s choice poll!

I’m actually nominatable (nominable? Nomi-? Nom-? I am eligible) for several categories. I am asking – well begging – for votes in order to try to claim any of these areas.

The process is simple, well simple-ish. Click on the link, look for my name or the title for I Know Not, click the bubble, then at the bottom fill out your name and  email address. Once you hit the submit button, you will get an email confirmation. Click the link in the confirmation, and your vote is then cast (this last to prevent spamming).

I am overjoyed at the performance of I Know Not. I adore my fans. I love readers. But moving forward, I need some recognition from official channels, which will lead to more conventions, more interviews, exposure. It is one small part of my next step, and to take it I need the help of you, your friends, your mom, her coffee klatch, your school mates, my school mates, and so on.

The polls are open only for seven more days, and thank you for your support.

Fantasy and Science Fiction Novel Category – http://critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml –
I Know Not, by James Daniel Ross
Currently Nominated – Dark Quest Books (my publisher)
Currently Nominated – James Daniel Ross
And also, if you could see your way clear, please consider voting for a woman that has helped me greatly:
Writer’s Resource or Information Site – http://critters.org/predpoll/writerinfo.shtml
Currently Nominated – The Literary Handyman Blog (Danielle Ackley-McPhail)
Currently Nominated: No Man’s Land, edited by Mike McPhail

The one where I give hope.

See? There I go lying. And at Christmas, too.

I’m not sure if I could give hope, that I would give hope, to be perfectly honest. It’s no longer ‘hip’, or ‘in’. Apparently anyone who doesn’t believe that fairly soon several dozen dystopias are going to have a wild Mortal Combat Style Armageddon all over the earth is just not living in reality. Most of those that espouse this belief are environmentalists, but several are survivalists, and even some fairly straightforward gun owners. I have found, however, that the further left – politically –  the orientation of those I’m talking to, the more I am treated as a hostile force for stating, in effect:

Have hope.

And I don’t mean that people get a little snippy because we disagree. I mean they start wagging a finger at me, continue by poking me in my chest with it, and end with them sticking it in my eye and screaming that I should apologize for getting my face in the way of his finger. I have been called an idiot, a racist, and a cynic. I get asked a lot of questions, a lot of them nonsensical. Others come down really to: yeah, who sez? Well, that’s the one I can deal with. You see, I know who says:

History.

Let me be completely honest: I do not believe in Anthropomorphic Global Warming. I believe it is a scam of the highest order meant to fleece people of money by the truckload. I do, however believe in acid rain and brown air. Neither is good, and we can take steps to curb these facets of modern life. I do believe there is sufficient reason for developments in technology and society to occur in order to solve these problems. History abounds with examples.

At the turn of the 20th century everyone was sure the primary mode of transport was going to end civilization. Hundreds of thousands of people were living in one place at one time in the largest cities the world had ever seen. Long ago, city planners had developed a plan for dealing with the… leavings… of their fellow humans, but then came the horses. Owned by more and more people, used for transport and mechanical power, each ate so much that people starved as the prices of foodstuffs were driven up as horses competed with families. Excrement lined the streets. How much? Wonder why homes built during that time have steps from the street up to the front door?

There were areas cleared, pits dug, and then filled and filled until they became mountains. Vermin were everywhere, rats and roaches and worse infecting, and biting and infesting. The city – all cities – smelled like being locked in a garbage truck with a herd of incontinent animals.

But just as everything seemed darkest, and it was certain that civilization had run into the brick wall of its own waistline, a miracle happened.

Actually that is another lie, and it shows an incredible lack of understanding. A guy comes along and invents the internal combustion engine. That’s right: The car ended an environmental catastrophe that threatened all of western civilization: The horse.

So, do you know: Nicolas Joseph Cugnot?
Remember in the 60’s when people were looking at massive earth overpopulation, that there was no way to fee d so many people? Has anyone read that India, Russia, and China needed food so badly, but America’s breadbasket could not sustain much more… Then there came ANFO, fertilizing the dwarf wheat that Norman Borlaug developed, allowing more efficient use of the soil. Populations continue to rise, and – if governments stop subsidizing and meddling in the markets, we can do it cheaply.

You know what makes me angry? You know what turns me into a towering inferno of rage? You know what makes me want to forge weapons made of my very own fangs and bile and hurl them into the faces of the pessimists that scream about Armageddon? This is history. It has happened. It is the pattern of human kind since the beginning.

Despite the fact that history says the hero we so desperately need is already here, already working, and we probably won’t remember his name or give him any credit once he does what he does, they have spent all this time trying to convince you that we stand on the edge of oblivion. And when you call them on it they sputter, and moan, and then they attack as viciously as any pack of scavengers.

Let me circle back around. I don’t believe that man created Global warming, but I don’t like pollution. The person working on the next generation of energy and transportation is almost done. I know this because history tells me so. Just like the stock market, where everyone is waiting for a crash like a bored spectator at a NASCAR rally: They trumpet the downs, but the trend is always upwards. Slow, steady, shaky from time to time, with downs to be sure, but human history always looks toward the point above the horizon.

I first said I wanted to give you hope. Then I admitted that this was a lie. Hope is internal. You must give you hope. You must nurture it. You must want it.

No matter how uncool hope is, it is history, it is the truth.

And everywhere I look, I am proved correct.