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My new Patreon!

Thank you to everyone who answered my Patreon poll. Because of you, my new Patreon is now active! You can find it here. I'll be posting new content from the Numinous World and the Order of the Air, with possibly some of my new projects as well. The first post will be Lydias five years after Stealing Fire, in what may be the beginning of a Lydias novella, The Throne of Serapis. I'll be posting the first week in September, so if you want to join in, go ahead and subscribe to my Patreon now!

Patreon content

Thanks to your wonderful responses, I'm definitely going to do Patreon! So my next question is this: what would you like to see on my Patreon? The Numinous World? Order of the Air? Other original fiction I've been looking for a home for, like Lifeboat, Haidee, and several other projects? The only thing I can't do is Stargate, because I do not hold the copyright. Tell me what you'd like to see. Pick as many as you'd like, and if there are other things or you'd like to elaborate, please feel free in comments!

What would you be interested in seeing on my Patreon?

Numinous World stories that are not in the time periods of the novels
13(19.4%)
Additional scenes/edited out material from the published novels
7(10.4%)
A Lydias novella in progress
15(22.4%)
Stories in the Order of the Air series
10(14.9%)
Scenes from upcoming Order of the Air books
8(11.9%)
A sequel to Cythera
8(11.9%)
Other original fiction
6(9.0%)

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The Eagle's Heir

I am delighted to announce a new project! Amy Griswold and I have been working on an exciting thing -- The Eagle's Heir. The Eagle's Heir is a fully interactive novel set in an alternate history.

It's 1835. Twenty years have passed since France won the Battle of Waterloo and the powers of Europe gave up on removing Napoleon from his throne. In that time, France has concentrated on technological achievement, notably with giving the inventor Robert Fulton carte blanche to develop his new steam engines. Not only do steam ships ply the rivers, but he has also invented the aeropilé, a steam powered airship. However, nations other than France have been quick to adopt these technological advances as well, especially Britain and Austria. After all, they stand to gain the most from the Emperor's eventual death.

That time is coming. Napoleon is getting old, and his only legitimate child was taken to Austria by his mother twenty years ago. Now known as Franz instead of Napoleon Francis, he will be an Austrian puppet on the French throne, bringing France back into the fold of Hapsburg monarchies and undoing the Revolution completely -- unless he's not Napoleon's heir, or once again France becomes a Republic. However, it is likely that either of those things will trigger the general European war that ceased in the wake of Waterloo.

You, the main character of the interactive novel, are the bodyguard and childhood friend of Alexandre Walewski, Napoleon's illegitimate son by Maria Walewska -- the only other possible heir besides Franz. You are also the grandchild of Napoleon's spymaster, Madame St. Elme. Raised from childhood to be equally competent in the ballroom or the battlefield, accustomed to moving in circles both high and low, the fate of Europe may well rest in your hands! You may play as male, female or nonbinary, or as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or asexual. You may present strictly as one gender, or choose (like your grandmother) to have both a male and female persona. With more than a hundred combinations of endings, you can read/play through with many different choices.

The Eagle's Heir will be published early in 2017 by A Choice of Games, an innovator in interactive novels, who have worked with such notable authors as Max Gladstone. Amy and I hope you enjoy it!

Aug. 10th, 2016

Thank you everyone who responded to my Patreon survey. Based on the responses I got, I will plan to do a Patreon account this fall. More news on that will be forthcoming!

The Historical Fantasy Storybundle ends tomorrow night, so if you love historical fantasies here's your chance to get eleven great books for $15, or five for $5. My books The Emperor's Agent and Steel Blues are in the bundle along with fantastic books I have enjoyed like Stag and Hound, The Armor of Light, and Lord of the Two lands.

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Patreon

A number of author friends are doing Patreon, and I wanted to find out if it was a good idea for me to. How it works is this: Patreon subscribers pledge a small amount per month, as little as $1, to subscribe to my Patreon website. They have exclusive access to new stories, sketches and chapters from works in progress each month -- it's kind of like subscribing to my own mini magazine -- each month you get new stories and I get a small subscription. I'm considering doing this with Numinous World, Order of the Air, and other original work of mine. (Not Stargate, sadly, as I do not own the copyright.) This would include ancient world stories set in the Numinous World, further adventures of Elza, upcoming bits from the Order of the Air, and some of my newer original work which is waiting for a publisher. So I put it to you: if I did Patreon, would you be interested and what would you consider a reasonable amount that you would spend per month? Also, different subscribers can pay at different levels. For example, a patron who pays $1 might just get the online story each month, while someone who gave much more would get an autographed copy of each of my original novels as it comes out. What do you guys think?

Would you subscribe to my Patreon if I had one?

Yes
14(87.5%)
No
1(6.2%)
I'm not sure
1(6.2%)

If you would subscribe to my Patreon, what would you consider a reasonable subscription?

$1 per month for a 500 word sketch
1(6.7%)
$2 per month for a 1,000 word sketch or short story
6(40.0%)
$5 per month for a complete short story or long section of more than 1,000 words
5(33.3%)
$10 per month for all of the above and a custom sketch for you annually
1(6.7%)
$20 or more per month for all of the above plus signed copies of each forthcoming novel
2(13.3%)

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Fire of the Gods

Stealing Fire is the story of how Ptolemy became Pharaoh of Egypt and freed Alexander's spirit to go into the West, bound as it was to his body by the ancient rites of Egypt. Lord of the Two Lands, by Judith Tarr, is the story of how Alexander took up that responsibility in the first place. It's one of my favorite books about Alexander, and I have reread it at least ten times since it first came out years ago. That's why I'm utterly honored that it is in the Historical Fantasy Storybundle with The Emperor's Agent and Steel Blues.

As expected, veteran author Judith Tarr does a brilliant job with the Egyptian setting, and like her narrator, Mariamne, her love of the Black Land runs deep. Her picture of Alexander is equally intriguing, and though Lord of the Two Lands covers some of the same ground as Stealing Fire, it is from a different perspective -- that of the daughter of Nectanebo, the last Pharaoh of Egypt, who wants to free Egypt from Persian rule and return to the proper balance of things, with a pharaoh crowned by the old rites who can bind all troublesome spirits. Alexander could be that king if Mariamne can talk him into it. I especially love the way the gods of Egypt are taking a hand, and their relationship to their priestess strikes a chord. I also love the world of the camp, the army on the march, and I return to the familiar characters like Ptolemy, Thais and Hephaistion like a chance to spend time with old friends. If you enjoyed Stealing Fire, you must read Lord of the Two Lands. Must. It is not optional! This is a book that you will love! (And if you squint, I like to think that you can see Lydias. He's that homely boy holding Hephaistion's horse who has no lines.)

Lord of the Two Lands is available as part of the Storybundle for just a few more days. Go grab it while you can!

Put on the Armor of Light

In talking about the Historical Fantasy Storybundle that I'm currently in, one of the things that delights me is sharing space with several novels that I love. One of them is The Armor of Light by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett. Two decades before I even dreamed of writing a book with Melissa Scott, I read and enjoyed The Armor of Light. It became one of my touchstones in how to write alternate history and historical fantasy in general.

Like many alternate histories, it begins with a small change -- Sir Philip Sidney, Elizabethan courtier par excellence, did not die of his wounds after the Battle of Zutphen in 1586. Because he did not die, he prevented the murder of playwright Christopher Marlowe in 1593. Thus our two protagonists in an Elizabethan England where magic works the way the Elizabethans believed it did and a murderous magical plot is afoot to kill the queen's heir. Not only is it a tremendously entertaining concept that is executed with pure love of the period, but the final solution to the magical problem is so elegant and lovely that I have reread it many times. If you love historical fantasy, this is a classic. Right now it's available in Storybundle with some other fantastic books in the genre. Go check it out!

Guest Blogger -- Heather Rose Jones

Right now I'm part of a Storybundle with author Heather Rose Jones, and so I'm delighted to welcome her as my very first guest blogger! Her novel Daughter of Mystery, has a lot in common with The Emperor's Agent: an early 19th century setting and a queer woman protagonist, for starters. Here's what she has to say about this wonderful book!

A Web of Women -- Heather Rose Jones

My goal for Daughter of Mystery was to write a ripping good tale of adventure, love, and intrigue. Set in the fictitious country of Alpennia in the early 19th century, Margerit Sovitre is resigned to abandoning her philosophical studies for the approved goal of making a good marriage. When her godfather unexpectedly leaves her a fortune--including a mysterious bodyguard named Barbara--the world opens up along paths she never expected. But those paths, as well as her developing talent for thaumaturgy thrust her into the center of Alpennian politics and soon she and Barbara must flee an accusation of treason.

Beyond the straightforward mind-candy of the adventure (though I like to hope it’s in the “artisanal dark chocolate” category of mind-candy) one underlying theme began to pervade not only Daughter of Mystery but the initial sketches for its sequels: the networks and communities that women build in the face of a society that excludes them from the formal structures of power and agency. Men’s actions may precipitate both Margerit’s hazards and opportunities, but it’s among women that she finds the allies to achieve her goals.

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If you're interested in reading Daughter of Mystery, it's currently on sale as part of the Storybundle promotion, with five books for as little as five dollars, or eleven great books for fifteen. You can find out more here!

Indomitable Elza

Since The Emperor's Agent is featured in Storybundle this week, I thought I'd talk a little bit about the fascinating real woman that the book is based upon.

Elzelina Versfelt (Elza), also known as Ida St. Elme, was the perfect Napoleonic adventuress. Courtesan, actress, medium and spy, she also fought in men's clothes for fifteen years in the armies of Napoleon, alternating between male and female personas. She was the lover of one of the leading generals of the Republic, Jean-Victor Moreau, who later became her deadly enemy, or perhaps frenemy is the better word. She was also the long-time lover of one of Napoleon's marshals, Michel Ney, a red-headed country boy who was never entirely comfortable in the highest levels of society. She was also briefly involved with Napoleon himself, though that liaison paled compared to the relationship she shared with him as his secret agent. Devoted to his cause, she never renounced him, though in later life she became a champion of the forgotten women, the women of the baggage train who the dawning Victorian era tried to erase. Her eight books written after the wars are a window on this world. Mariska Pool, of the Royal Netherlands Arms and Army Museum, said, "These women barely escaped oblivion, yet they deserve far more prominence than all those well-known noble and elegant ladies who found a place in the history books purely by reason of their family connections.... Ida gave all the women a monument, the brave ones, the unfortunate ones, the ones with no choice, the ones who really loved, the opportunists, the mistresses, the wives, and all those who had their own private reasons to sign up."

The Emperor's Agent tells part of Elza's story -- the story of how she became Napoleon's agent and how she completed her first mission in his service, in the summer of 1805. I have taken some liberties with her story, but I think Elza would entirely approve.

If you'd like to read it, The Emperor's Agent is currently available in Storybundle, where it is part of a package with a number of other amazing books. You can get the bundle for as little as $5 for five books.

Storybundle!

Historical fantasy storybundle

I'm pleased to say that two of my books, The Emperor's Agent and Steel Blues, are featured this month in a Storybundle! I love Storybundle because there are so many great books for such a reasonable price, and this bundle is outstanding, featuring books from old favorite authors like Judith Tarr and new favorites like Geonn Cannon. Melissa Scott curated this bundle, and here's what she says about it:

In this collection I've been able to bring together an extraordinary group of writers who draw their inspiration from Western history, in periods from Ancient Egypt through the Second World War. There are classics like the World Fantasy Award-nominated Lord of the Two Lands and the Nebula-nominated Death of the Necromancer, and newer novels like Daughter of Mystery and The Emperor's Agent — and Stag and Hound, just released in April. What these novels have in common, across these very different periods, is a depth to and delight in their worlds, in the precise detail and pitch-perfect moment that not only propels the story, but makes it utterly, dazzlingly real.

The initial titles in The Historical Fantasy Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

• The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells
• The Emperor's Agent by Jo Graham
• Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones
• The Virtuous Feats of the Indomitable Miss Trafalgar and the Erudite Lady Boon e by Geonn Cannon
• The Orffyreus Wheel by David Niall Wilson

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular titles, plus six more:

• The Armor of Light by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett
• Steel Blues by Melissa Scott and Jo Graham
• Between Worlds by Martha Wells
• PIllar of Fire by Judith Tarr
• Lord of the Two Lands by Judith Tarr
• Stag and Hound by Geonn Cannon


The bundle is available only for a limited time via https://storybundle.com/fantasy. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

It's also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

• Get quality reads: We've chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
• Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth to you. If you can only spare a little, that's fine! You'll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
• Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there's nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
• Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to Mighty Writers and Girls Write now.
• Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you'll get the bonus books!

If you're interested, find out more or buy the Storybundle here!