Sunday, October 26th, 2014
Start with a young man whose family is murdered by raiders. Throw in a cursed amulet and a vengeful blood mage, magicked monsters, bounty hunters and a nomadic caravan, and you’ve got the backstory for the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures series of ebook short stories.
Readers first met Jonmarc Vahanian in my Chronicles of the Necromancer series, where he is a strong secondary character but not the main protagonist. Even so, he’s always been a favorite of mine, and he was certainly a reader favorite as the series progressed. In those books, we meet him at age 29, a wary and bitter smuggler with a mysterious and disreputable past who is hired as a bodyguard and guide by four young noblemen who have witnessed the murder of the king and need to get out of the kingdom fast.
Of course, Jonmarc becomes much more than a guide, playing a role as friend, king-maker, lord of Dark Haven and Champion to the Queen of Principality. Over the course of the Chronicles of the Necromancer books and the Fallen Kings Cycle, we watch Jonmarc grow and change, confront enemies from his past, fall in love and step into roles he would never have believed possible.
But the readers always wanted to know—what about before? How did Jonmarc end up becoming the best swordsman in the kingdom? Why did the king of Eastmark place a bounty on his head and issue a death mark? And how did a guy who grew up in the Borderlands, far from the palace in Shekerishet, end up with a blood grudge against a powerful dark mage like Foor Arontala?
Gail Z. Martin
I’d always had three books in my head of Jonmarc’s story. So I decided to serialize the books as a progression of short stories. Each story is complete in itself, but taken together, eventually readers will have Jonmarc’s whole saga. The stories run around thirty pages or more, so there’s time to tell a complex tale. Raider’s Curse, the first story in the series, was an immediate hit.
Fast-forward nearly two years. There are ten stories in what I think of as “Season One” of Jonmarc’s adventures, taking him from the death of his family through his time with Maynard Linton’s caravan, and up to the point where he joins a mercenary group in Principality. Readers of the Chronicles series will recognize the key events, but the short stories tell the full story from Jonmarc’s point of view, giving insights into Jonmarc and other familiar characters like Linton and Alyzza the mad mage that you won’t find in any of the other books.
I’m now working on “Season Two,” which starts off with the story Bad Blood. This group of ten stories will take Jonmarc from his time with the mercenaries through his stint in the Eastmark army and into Nargi. If you’ve read the Chronicles series, you know what that means, but this is your chance to experience it through his eyes.
I am having a blast working on the short stories. It’s a lot of fun to be back in my world of the Winter Kingdoms, since the series is currently on hiatus while I write the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga. (I have six more books planned for Tris and his friends. They will get written at some point.) Serializing the Jonmarc books as short stories is a little different way of writing, since instead of chapters that lead up to a big climax as you’d have in a normal book, each short story is complete on its own yet linked to the others. But it’s been great to revisit old friends and reveal a lot of secrets I’ve kept for many years about who these familiar characters really are.
The short stories are available on Kindle/Kobo/Nook for .99 each, and I post a new short story each month. I hope you’ll check them out, and discover the Winter Kingdom’s most intriguing rogue!
My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with never-before-seen cover art, brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for stories and books by author friends of mine. And, a special 50% off discount from Double-Dragon ebooks! You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Details here: www.AscendantKingdoms.com.
Trick or Treat: Enjoy an excerpt from Dark Haven here: http://www.ascendantkingdoms.com/books/chronicles-of-the-necromancer/dark-haven/dark-haven-chapter-one/
And a bonus excerpt from Caves of the Dead, one of my Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures short stories here: http://www.ascendantkingdoms.com/short-stories-and-more/the-jonmarc-vahanian-adventures/jonmarc-vahanian-adventures/an-excerpt-from-caves-of-the-dead/
And a second bonus excerpt from Blood and Iron by my friend Jon Sprunk here: http://www.blackgate.com/black-gate-online-fiction-an-excerpt-from-blood-and-iron/
And a third bonus excerpt from my friend Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s Badass Faeries series here: http://www.badassfaeries.com/excerpts.htm
Sunday, July 6th, 2014
Head on over to Morgen Rich’s blog to learn about how I wrote Stoned in Charm City…
Monday, June 30th, 2014
I’m over at Vonnie Winslow Crist’s blog, Whimsical Words, discussing some Baltimore trivia and how it relates to Stoned.
Vonnie is a fantastic artist and writes YA Fiction. If you enjoy short fiction–or know a young reader–you should check out her work!
Friday, June 20th, 2014
Just a quick note:
Book Publishers Northwest asked me to write a little bit about the cover design process for Stoned in Charm City, and I was happy to do so.
My article, Book Cover in a Week, Guaranteed is available today.
If you drop by, please leave a little love in the comments! Thanks!
Sunday, May 25th, 2014
The electronic version of Stoned in Charm City is specially priced at $2.99 for the next three days to celebrate its launch!
Barnes and Noble, or
If you’re at Balticon this weekend, pick up the paperback copy for only $12 at the Broad Universe table in the Dealer’s Room.
Tell your friends! And thanks for spreading the word.
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
Is anyone out there going to Balticon this year? I’ve got a ‘moderate’ panel schedule, which I hope will allow me to get to a few more panels than I did last year.
Here it is:
Friday, May 23:
- Arriving around 3 p.m. and setting up in the Dealer’s Room. I’ll be ‘manning’ the Broad Universe table where we’ll have swag to give away and members’ books to sell.
(My books are 20-30% discounted at the con, and I will happily autograph them for you. )
If I get my act together, we’ll have a lollypop tree where, for a small donation to Broad Universe, you might win yourself a book!
Saturday, May 24:
9:00 a.m. – Pricing eBooks and Why Free is Not Always Better, with Sue Baiman, Collin Earl, Chris Snelgrove, and Michael Underwood. (Derby)
10:00 a.m. – Writing Resolutions, Evaluation, and Measurement, with Andrea Trask, Day Al-mohamed, Cindy Young-Turner, and Judi Fleming. (Parlor 1041)
4:00 p.m. – Broad Universe – Rapid Fire Reading with some of the other ladies from Broad Universe. (I don’t know who, since it’s not printed in the bulletin.) (Pimlico)
Sunday, May 25:
9:00 a.m. – Which Comes First: Hero or Villain? with Ruth Lampi, Mike D’Ambrosio, Amy Kaplan, and Bob Greenberger. (Parlor 1041)
I’m not supposed to be scheduled for this one (my name’s in the bulletin anyway), but if time and space permit, I’ll be there:
5:00 p.m. – Broad Universe – Rapid Fire Reading with Leona Wisoker, Sarah Avery, Lee C. Hillman, and Sarah Pinsker. (Pimlico)
Monday, May 26:
No panels, just hanging out in the dealers room and going to panels.
Monday, May 12th, 2014
I”m giving away a copy of Stoned in Charm City on Goodreads. If you’re interested in reading before you can buy it, here’s your chance to sign up and get a copy! Giveaway ends in three days, so get your entry in early.
Friday, May 2nd, 2014
I can finally reveal the cover of my new book, “Stoned in Charm City!”
This is the first book in a series called “Charm City Darkness,” and will be available just in time for Memorial Day. (Anyone going to the beach?)
The story is urban fantasy, and takes place in Baltimore City, hence the name of the series: Charm City Darkness. If you take a close look at the cover, you just might recognize the Inner Harbor in the background. I think the cover artist did a fabulous job.
I got a proof from the printer on Thursday and I think it looks just fabulous. Please let me know what you think!
(This means I’ll have paperback copies for Balticon, too. Who’s going to be there this year?)
Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:
Forty dollars. Two crisp twenties. All that stands between Assumpta Mary Margaret O’Connor and homelessness.
For the price of forty dollars, she helps archeologist Greg LaSpina find something he’s lost–and causes all Hell to break loose.
With demons tormenting their every step, Assumpta and Greg become both hunted and hunter in their search for a way to send the demons back to Hell. One careless mistake could cost them their lives.
Wrestling with her faith, Assumpta considers an offer made by one very sexy demon: sleep with him, and learn how to rid the world of the escaped evil.
But the offer comes with a steep price: her immortal soul.
I hope the blurb sounds exciting!
Any reviewers out there? I should have the digital copies in a week or so and will be happy to send you a digital copy for review.
Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Did I get your attention?
The offer came at the end of last year for a novel that I’ve been shopping for a long time. It was from a highly respected company, and one I’d been courting for a while.
But the offer was bad. I had to walk away from it.
Why am I telling you this now?
Well…it explains the inactivity here on the blog, and gives me a chance to tell you about some changes.
The reason for the inactivity: I’ve been working hard to complete a three-book urban fantasy series. It’s a bit of departure for me, since I usually like my fantasy in a fantasy world. But this character called to me.
As a result: I’ll have an urban fantasy novel coming out at the end of May, just in time for Balticon. And because I’m not going to publish these books traditionally, I’ll have the second book in the series out before the end of the year. (Maybe in time for your Thanksgiving pleasure. It all depends on how quickly I can get the manuscript back from the editor!) The third book is about one-third written–I hope to have it published by May 2015. (If not sooner.)
The first book has been copy edited and proof read, and I’ve been working with an artist for the cover. In fact: I made a decision tonight, and I’m just waiting on the artist to hand over the files.
When he does, I’ll post the cover here to give you all an idea of what’s coming in May.
So what does that mean for this blog?
It’s going to be a lot more irregular, I think, until all the parts of this series are out. I’ve stopped my Friday Writing Prompts until I can get the series publishing bits under control.
(I’m planning a writing prompt book, too: but it’s going to have to wait.)
And this Web site is likely to get a facelift, too: one where the front page becomes more static and the blog moves to a secondary page.
But everything is secondary to the novel. Thanks for your patience while we get that done!