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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Magic in Laeryk's Proving: Part Four

This will be the final post highlighting the magical "Gifts" in Laeryk's Proving. This final post will discuss the Vordanitar Gift, the last of the three Gifts practiced by members of the Triumvirate. If you missed any of the previous posts, check them out below:

Magic in Laeryk's Proving: Part One
Magic in Laeryk's Proving: Part Two
Magic in Laeryk's Proving: Part Three

The Vordanitar Gift

The Vordanitar Gift allows its Gifted to see, communicate, and Compel the spirits of the world. While the other Gifts focus on the transmutation of energy and the body, The Vordanitar Gift allows for the transmutation of the very world itself, albeit in a limited fashion. To accomplish these amazing feats, the Vordanitar must locate, communicate with, and then Compel a spirit appropriate to the effect they wish to create.

In some ways, the abilities of the Vordanitar and Vordanitariin seem even more limited than those of the other Gifted, but appearances are deceiving. A Saritar can transmute energy to create a blast of flame, but will quickly tire if asked to sustain the magical fire. An Alkesarimiin could create an Elixir which transmutes their body so that they can breathe fire, but this ability will end once the Elixir's effects have worn off. The Vordanitar seems limited in comparison in that he must first find an existing fire and its spirit, and then use his Gift to Compel the fire-spirit to change its fundamental nature and attack the Vordanitar's opponent, but once the Vordanitar has Compelled the fire-spirit the drain upon the Vordanitar's Gift is minor, and the created effect will persist for as long as the Vordanitar chooses to continue Compelling the fire-spirit.

Vordanitar and Vordanitariin learn to be resourceful when approaching a situation, for they lack the flexibility of the other Gifted, but once they have found an application for their Gift their mystical stamina is nearly limitless. Most Vordanitar exhibit a sense of calm wisdom, an attitude promoted by the Triumvirate's training and by their need for quick, but rational, thinking during a crisis situation. Many Vordanitar also prefer to learn skills which produce less of a dependence on their Gifts, providing them with more options when presented with a problem (and giving them greater knowledge on how to solve those problems with their Gifts).

The Nature of Spirits

The world of Aerth is filled with a variety of spirits. Every naturally-occurring thing possesses a spirit attached to it, from the smallest stone to the greatest of men. These spirits remain invisible to the majority of humanity, fulfilling their function to keep the thing they are attached to true to its nature. A fire-spirit keeps a flame hot and bright until its source of fuel is exhausted, and then makes certain that it burns out, consuming the fire-spirit in the process. A stone-spirit knows that the rock it is attached to is meant to have a solid form, endure against the elements, and stay in its place unless an outside force exerts upon it. A steel-spirit keeps the sword blade it is attached to sharpened until it would naturally dull. A wind-spirit pushes the wind it governs in the proper direction, never deviating from its path. Much of what we would think of as "physics" are really the effort of the various spirits working to keep the natural order of the world as it should be, existing for their appointed time and fading once the thing they are associated with ceases to exist. Even humans and other living things have spirits attached to them, though these spirits are difficult to perceive. Spirits of living creatures work to keep the natural biological processes of their associated creature functioning, and even have some limited influence on the thoughts of the creature, providing them with a set of instincts appropriate to the creature.

It is the nature of humanity to shape the natural world, forever changing the landscape of Aerth in its wake. Men gather stones and build walls, they cut down trees to build houses, and they farm soil to grow new plants. In each case, the spirits of the world adapt to the changes men inflict upon them. The spirits associated with the individual stones used to make the wall might join together to create a new spirit associated with that wall, remaining a unified spirit until something happens to again separate the stones from the wall. The spirits of the soil and the plants work together to become a farm-spirit. And when a new child is born, the spirits associated with its parents split a portion of their essence from themselves to create a new spirit for the baby.

Seeing Spirits

The Vordanitar have the ability to perceive the spirits of the world, making. To their eyes, the world is crowded with an ubiquitous number of spirits, rendering the Vordanitar nearly helpless while trying to process the information, unless trained to limit their vision. Unlike the Saritar, who must train to use their Gifts to perceive energies, the Vordanitar must train to see only those spirits and energies they wish to see, ignoring the rest.

A spirit typically appears to be a humanoid entity similar to whatever it is associated with. A wind-spirit is vaguely humanoid in shape, but amorphous and translucent, without any defined features. A fire-spirit appears made of flame, their voices crackling as they go about their natures. The spirits of a human or any other living creature appears similar to the creature the spirit is associated with, but faded, almost ghostly. 

Communicating With Spirits

Spirits are not, by and large, wonderful conversationalists. It is the nature of a spirit to focus almost exclusively upon whatever they are associated with, paying little attention to the world around them. A Vordanitar can attract the attention of a spirit for a brief time through his Gift, allowing the Vordanitar to speak with the spirit. Such communications are telepathic in nature, though spirits associated with creatures capable of hearing sometimes pay better attention if the Vordanitar also speaks aloud to the creature. Speaking with a spirit about anything that does not somehow relate to whatever the spirit is associated with is pure folly; the odds of the spirit having ever taken note of something else are negligible, at best. A spirit associated with a stone wall will almost never take note of what happens across the street from that wall. A bird-spirit won't have noticed anything that the bird itself did not notice (and in many cases will only have noticed something that directly affected the bird). A resourceful Vordanitar will use the limited perceptions of spirits to their advantage, questioning the wall-spirit about someone who climbed the wall (violating the wall's nature for keeping people away from a space, and thus attracting the spirit's notice), or they might ask a stream-spirit about the people who stopped to drink from the stream's waters.

Compelling a Spirit

The true power of the Vordanitar Gift lies in its ability to exert the Vordanitar's will upon the spirit, forcing the spirit to act in a way not normally in keeping with its nature. The amount of energy expended by the Vordanitar to do this is minimal so long as the change does not violate the spirit's nature overly much. Asking a fire-spirit to spit flames at an opponent is a relatively minimal change for the fire-spirit (which is simply directing its nature in a new direction), but asking a tree-spirit to make an oak tree uproot itself and walk is a feat beyond the power of most Vordanitar, though having a tree branch move to grapple a foe is quite manageable. Once the spirit has been Compelled, maintaining the Compelling takes almost no effort on the part of the Vordanitar, no matter how difficult the original Compelling was. A Vordanitar may Compel multiple spirits at a time, but each Compelling requires at least some of the Vordanitar's attention, creating a natural limit on the Vordanitar based on their ability to multi-task.

Compelling the spirit of a human or other living creature is difficult, as the Vordanitar must not only contend with the spirit, but the will of the creature it is associated with. The more sentient and aware a creature is, the more difficult it is to Compel their associated spirits. In the case of humans and wyverns, it is nearly impossible. When a Vordanitar manages such a Compelling, they find it difficult to do more than affect the function of the creature's biological systems. A Vordanitar might Compel a spirit to stop the beating of an enemy's heart, but the struggle to Compel the spirit means that there is probably a better way to kill the foe, such as Compelling an air-spirit to suck all the oxygen from the victim's lungs.

Compelling a spirit requires a spirit to be within sight for the Vordanitar. If the Vordanitar cannot perceive the spirit, the Compelling ends, even if the Vordanitar was originally close enough to Compel the spirit. Because of the ability for humans to perceive things without directly looking at them, a Vordanitar need not keep their eyes on a spirit at all times to maintain a Compelling, but they must remain aware of the spirit and within line of sight of the spirit.

The Great Spirits

Certain Spirits exist on Aerth which seem to govern multiple, lesser spirits. These entities were once worshiped as gods by humanity, and with good reason. The power of a Great Spirit far exceeds that of a regular spirit. A Great Spirit holds dominion over every lesser spirit within its purview, and their scope is vast. Such Spirits are not simply associated with any one thing; they are concepts, and elemental forces. The power of even the least of these Great Spirits is beyond the ability of any Vordanitar to safely Compel. Should an impudent Vordanitar even attempt to Compel a Great Spirit, that Spirit will quickly destroy the Vordanitar. The sole exception to this rule is the Arakon, the leader of the Triumvirate. The Great Spirits will never destroy an Arakon outright for attempting to Compel them, but they will struggle against the will of the Arakon, and if the Arakon's will should falter, death will be imminent. Even the Arakon is unable to change the nature of Great Spirit, instead Compelling the Spirit to share its power with the Arakon.

Two Great Spirits were once worshiped in Valdaran, the Sky Father and the Skar. The Spirit known as the Sky Father governs all the skies over Aerth, except for those covering the Sharynwyn Marshes. The Skar represents the great mountain itself, but also governs the other mountains of the Wyvern Peaks. There are some in the Triumvirate who hypothesize that Alluman might be the collective Great Spirit of humanity, but no Arakon is known to have had contact with Alluman to confirm that this relatively-new deity truly exists.

While there is no true hierarchy among the Great Spirits, it is known to the Triumvirate that the Great Spirit of the Sharynwyn Marshes dwarfs the other Great Spirits in power, causing the other Spirits to flee at its approach. No Arakon has ever survived an attempt to Compel the Great Spirit of the Sharynwyn Marshes, and only the original Witch Queen of the Sharynwyn Marshes is known to have survived communicating with the Spirit, though it is unknown how she communicated with the Spirit, though she clearly has made some sort of accord with it.

Artifacts of the Great Spirits

At rare points in history, some Great Spirits have agreed to split a fragment of their power off from themselves, shaping that power into a physical object which was then carried by a champion of that Spirit, connecting the champion to the Spirit and its power. These artifacts are exceedingly rare; only a handful have ever been created, usually at the behest of an Arakon during a period of great need. Nearly all such artifacts were eventually reabsorbed by the Spirit which created them, though a few are said to persist. Legend says that the twisted black staff carried by the Arakon is an artifact of Great Spirit, though none of the legends agree as to which Spirit created the staff. Other tales speak of a Crown of Shadows which was lost ages ago, but again no legend states which Spirit donated its power.

The most famous (if such a term can be applied to relics largely unknown outside of bard songs and the halls of the Triumvirate) is the sword called the Sharynwyn Fangs. This weapon was created by the Great Spirit of the Sharynwyn Marshes as a sign of its accord with the first Witch Queen, and was often carried by the Witch Queen's personal champion. The sword carries a grave price for its power, demanding that life be taken whenever the sword is drawn; should the sword's wilder fail to claim a life with the blade, the Great Spirit lays claim to the destiny of someone dear to the wielder, causing that dear one to die early as payment for defying the Great Spirit's agreement. The Sharynwyn Fangs has rarely been seen outside of the Marshes, but all members of the Triumvirate are required to learn of the sword, for it is known to be the most powerful of such artifacts, and too dangerous to remain outside of the control of the Witch Queen's champion.

Scarcity of the Vordanitar

The Vordanitar Gift is dying out in Aerth. Only a dozen children are found each year with the potential to develop a full Vordanitar Gift, and many of these will fail to fully awaken their powers. No one knows why the Gift is dying. Some feel that humanity is moving away from the spirits, and thus losing their ability to perceive and Compel them directly. A few blame the Church of Alluman for this, saying that the Church's refusal to accept the existence of spirits has lead its followers to refuse to believe in spirits and thus make them incapable of perceiving them. Others say that it is not just the Vordanitar Gift that is dying, but all of the Gifts. The Vordanitar Gift only heralds what will happen to the other two Gifts. Regardless of the reasons, the rosters of the Vordanitar within the Triumvirate grow empty, forcing these Gifted to rely on the Elixirs of the Alkesarim to sustain them lest old age claim the ability for new Vordanitars to be trained.

The Other Gifts

In days gone by, every Vordanitar possessed one of the other Gifts. A minor Saritar Gift was most common, though in truth it was only a shade more common than the Alkesarim. In modern times, the only Vordanitar who still possess minor secondary Gifts are those who dare not miss a single dose of their youth Elixirs, lest age devour them instantly. Those few Vordanitar who are found each year show no sign of any secondary Gifts at all, and even the older Vordanitar who possess secondary Gifts report that it is growing increasingly difficult to use those secondary Gifts.Many in the Triumvirate say that this is further proof that the Vordanitar Gift is dying out.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Laeryk's Proving Now Available At New Retailers!

In the words of one Professor Huburt J. Farnsworth: "Good news, everyone!"

Distribution of Laeryk's Proving has expanded, and it is now available at new retailers! I'm happy to announce that Apple product fans and Nook owners can now purchase Laeryk's Proving in their native marketplaces, making it easier than ever to enjoy my book!

To make a purchase through the Barnes and Noble store, just click here!

Unfortunately, I don't have much experience with Apple products, and I don't know of any way to link to a listing in iBooks from a PC, so I can't provide a ready link for i-users, but a simple search for "Laeryk's Proving" pulls the book up in my iTunes program.

Looking forward to more announcements as they become available! Until then, I hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thanks For All The Birthday Wishes!

Yesterday was a double birthday in our family. Both myself and my step-daughter share the 13th as a birthday. This week has been filled with birthday wishes from friends and family, and the busy schedule has kept me from putting together the last Magic in Laeryk's Proving post. I'll get it posted as soon as I have time, I promise.

In the meantime, as a mini-update, Smashwords has been hard at work distributing Laeryk's Proving to other retailers. To date, it has shipped to Kobo, Sony, Apple, and Barnes & Noble, and I'm hoping it will be shipping to a few other retailers either today or tomorrow. Each retailer takes a different amount of time after receiving ebooks to make them available on their website. Apple, for example, manually reviews all books from publishers and distributors to make certain they meet their requirements, a process which can take upwards of two weeks depending on their current backlog. I've been checking daily to see where Laeryk's Proving has appeared.

So far, only Kobo has the book listed, but hey, that's a great start! Kobo represents approximately 46% of the marketshare in Canada, and roughly 50% in France! (Marketshares reflect January and Spring of 2012, respectively.) This gives Laeryk's Proving a chance at some international exposure, and I'm pleased to see my book for sale at their site!

If you use a Kobo reader, of a Kobo reader app, and have been waiting for the chance to buy Laeryk's Proving at your preferred retailer, just click here to go to the entry for Laeryk's Proving.

If you use a different ebook device, and you're still waiting for Laeryk's Proving to show up at your retailer, why not pass the time with a free sample, available in formats compatible with all the major eReaders, from Just click here to go to and download the free sample, or go ahead and make a purchase!

One last thing before I go, even though I often forget to say it amid all the birthday wishes I receive this time of year, Happy Valentines Day to everyone who celebrates it! I hope your day is full of all the things that you and your loved ones enjoy most!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Laeryk's Proving is Premium!

Laeryk's Proving has been approved for Smashwords' Premium Catalog, which means that it will soon be distributed to a number of new retailers, including Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, and more!

This is thrilling news, because it means that even more people will potentially discover Laeryk's Proving and get a chance to try it out! The book has already been generating some interest at Smashwords' website, so I'm excited to see what will happen when it receives an even larger distribution.

Unfortunately, Smashwords and Amazon appear to still be working completing their technical integration, so there is no time frame for when Laeryk's Proving will appear in the Kindle Marketplace. While this is unfortunate, Kindle users shouldn't feel left out in the cold. As I'm typing this post, Laeryk's Proving is happily loaded into my phone's Kindle App, and it looks great!

"How," you ask? Simple! I downloaded it from!

If you're holding out on buying the book because you want to see it from a different retailer, please don't. The .mobi file is available for purchase and download right now, and it took no effort to set it up in my Kindle app. I just moved the folder from my phone's Download folder into the Kindle folder and voila!

CLICK HERE to visit the Laeryk's Proving page at Smashwords and purchase the book in whichever DRM-free format you prefer! Hey, while you're there, why not check out some other Smashwords authors and see if there's anything else that you like? Having more authors to try out is always a good thing, in my opinion.

Magic in Laeryk's Proving: Part Three

Despite the rather long hiatus, I will be returning to a bit of setting information for Laeryk's Proving and finishing up the articles on the different magic Gifts. It's been quite a while though, so if you need a refresher (or if you missed the earlier posts completely), you can use the links below to get you back up to speed.

Magic in Laeryk's Proving Part One

Magic in Laeryk's Proving Part Two

The Alkesarim Gift

The Alkesarim Gift is the gift of physical and biological transmutation. Alkesarim and Alkesarimiin create special Elixers which imbue a single act of transmutation upon whosoever imbibes of their contents. One could simply say that these Gifted make "magic potions," and indeed their detractors say just that, but the actual process is more complicated than simply making a brew and pouring into a glass vial. The act of creating an Elixir (which is the name formally used by the Triumvirate for any concoction created using the Alkesarim Gift, regardless of the form it takes) requires that the Alkesarim pass a small measure of the energy of their Gift into the Elixir, creating the magical effect that Elixir will create when consumed. The actual amount of energy required is quite minuscule when compared to the energy required to create even the most minor effects using the Saritar Gift, but the process of channeling and focusing that energy is much slower for the Alkesarim. The creation of an Elixir can take hours, sometimes days. Often, the energy used by the Alkesarim to create the Elixir is actually replenished by the time the Elixir is completed, leading many younger Alkesarim to feel that their powers have no personal cost to them. Wiser Alkesarim recognize that such hubris can cause a foolish Alkesarim to overreach their own capabilities, attempting to create too many Elixirs at any given time and causing disastrous results to both the Elixirs and the Alkesarim.

While the creation of an Elixir has only a minor cost to the Alkesarim, the same is not true when someone actually uses an Elixir. Imbibing an Elixir consumes the personal energy of the drinker, whether they are Gifted or not. Indeed, a sufficiently powerful Elixir could kill a non-Gifted imbiber by burning away at their life force before an effect is sufficiently powered. The Gifted are normally more resilient, and can often handle the loss of energy by bolstering it with power from the Gifts. Alkesarim are even able to convert their personal energies with extreme efficiency when imbibing an Elixir, allowing them to use an Elixir with less of a cost to their energy than other Gifted.

Once the energy needed to power the Elixir's effects has been supplied, a physical transmutation of the subject's body occurs. The effects are many and varied. Some Elixirs enhance the strength and durability of a person's muscles, giving anyone who consumes the Elixir superhuman strength. Others might speed up the recovery process when someone is trying to heal injuries, though these Elixirs are rarely used for non-Gifted (the amount of energy needed often outweighs the benefit of the increased recovery time). Likewise, an imbiber might find their body better insulated, helping them to retain body heat and function in cold environments.

More esoteric effects can also be created. These Elixirs typically require that a Gifted make use of them, and often are safely used only by Alkesarim. These Elixirs impose radical transmutations upon the body, creating new organs to generate their unnatural effects. For example, an Elixir could create a special gland in the windpipe that allows the imbiber to exhale flame. Such an Elixir would also need to protect the rest of the subject from the heat of their fiery breath, or the imbiber would incinerate themselves with their first exhalation. Other Elixirs might cause spinnerets  to grow in the subject's forearms, allowing them to shoot webs at people. Or perhaps an Elixir might cause the subject's nails to lengthen and harden into deadly talons.

No matter their effect, Elixirs always have two limitations. The first is that their effects are always temporary; the human body is adept at repairing itself into its original state, and no Elixir has sufficient energy to perpetuate a transmutation forever. This does not mean that negative consequences of using an Elixir necessarily go away when the transmutation ends. Indeed, if an Elixir gave a subject the ability to breathe fire without protecting them from that same fire, the burns the subject would suffer from simply using the transmutation would remain even when the other effects of the Elixir had worn off. The second limitation is that all Elixir require a biological component to function. An Alkesarim could not create an Elixir, pour it onto the ground, and expect something to happen. The ground would simply get wet, and the Elixir would be wasted. They could, however, create an Elixir which grew a special gland to secrete a substance which dissolves stone from the subject's hands, as such an Elixir would cause a transmutation in a biological organism.

(There are some who say that pouring an Elixir on the ground would allow any plant life in the area to be transmuted by the Elixir once it was absorbed through the plant's roots, but no evidence exists that this is the case. Most plants seem governed by an attached spirit, falling under the purview of the Vordanitar Gift.)

Further, no Elixir can create any effect resembling "mind control." The transmutation of actual thoughts or free will is beyond any of the Gifts used by humans. That said, an Elixir could alter the chemical balances within a subject's mind, creating strong feelings of lust or affecting their judgement in a manner similar to alcohol. These effects still allow the imbiber to resist commands, but can make them less likely to do so.

Prejudice Against Alkesarim

There exists a certain amount of prejudice toward those with the Alkesarim Gift. To the common man or women, these Gifted are thought of as "witches" and shunned. There was a time when Alkesarim created Elixirs which functioned as poisons, affecting anyone who either inadvertently ingested or otherwise had the Elixirs enter their body.As with any other Elixir, a transmutation would then occur, fueled by the victim's life force. Many of these poisonous Elixirs were lethal, creating transmutations that warped the bones of the victim until their body was crushed, or transmuted their lungs into gills. Some of the crudest poison Elixirs simply harbored effects too powerful for the victim to create, burning their life force out on purpose.

Though the Triumvirate had taken a harsh stance toward any Alkesarim or Alkesarimiin who creates these poison Elixirs, the fear that they might be transmuted against their wishes has led most non-Gifted to view those with the Alkesarim Gift with suspicion. People still whisper of the witches who poisoned village wells, turning anyone who drank from the wells into hideous monsters. Despite the Triumvirate's best efforts, it has been unable to remove this fearful image from the minds of most non-Gifted outside of Fardan. Inside the homeland of the Triumvirate, the Alkesarim and their Elixirs are welcomed in public. Outside that nation, however, revealing oneself and an Alkesarim can mean facing an angry mob intent on burning the Gifted at the stake.

To avoid this suspicion, many Alkesarim and Alkesarimiin hide in plain sight, taking on rolls such as apothecaries, medicine women, or other forms of healers. These disguises allow them to create "medicines" and "tonics" which are far more effective than what the common healer can create. Often those who suspect that the Alkesarim for what he is will keep their suspicions to themselves if it means potentially losing access to the medicines the "witch" could have provided for them. Regardless, many Alkesarim prefer to travel the road of caution and keep their abilities secret.

Eternal Youth Elixirs

The Alkesarim provide an invaluable service to the Triumvirate and their fellow Gifted: they create Elixirs designed to retard and delay aging. These Elixirs, could with naturally longer lifespan of the Gifted, can allowed a Gifted to survive upwards of two to three-hundred years. The usual limitations of Elixirs apply to Eternal Youth Elixirs, however, and a constant supply is needed as a Gifted lives beyond their normal lifespan. When a Gifted stops imbibing the Eternal Youth Elixirs, the body quickly ages to the state it would have been without the interference of the Elixir. For those who have lived past their natural lifespans, this proves fatal.

Preponderance of Alkesarimiin

There are far more Alkesarimiin than Alkesarim within the Triumvirate. The ratio is something like 3:1. Many theories as to why women are more likely to develop this Gift have been proposed, but none have been conclusively proven to the exclusion of any of the others. The most popular theory is that the ability of the female body to create and grow life within the womb gives women a predisposition toward this Gift, as their bodies already adjust to the rather significant changes pregnancies create. At one point there were several studies proposed to investigate the validity of this theory, but the Arakon firmly opposed them, and those who were caught violating his ban on the research were severely dealt with.

The Other Gifts

Though there are no known Sartitar or Saritariin who possess the Alkesarim Gift, the opposite is not true. Indeed, the rare Alkesarim who possess a second Gift (and that amount is perhaps 1 out of every 100) often possess a small degree of the Saritar Gift, though they often require constructs such as spellspheres to help them actually use their Saritar Gift. An even rarer number of Alkesarim show signs of the Vordanitar Gift, allowing them to see, but only rarely Compel, spirits. Though they keep it to themselves, many Alkesarim and Alkesarimiin are amused that the arrogant Saritars seem incapable of using the Alkesarim Gift, while they remain capable of using both of the other two Gifts.

Reminder: Laeryk's Proving, Book One of the Saga of Thorns is now available for sale at Smashwords. Click here to go to the book's page at and download the free sample or purchase the full book in your choice of format now!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Laeryk's Proving, Book One of the Saga of Thorns, is now available at!

Hey folks, great news! Laeryk's Proving has been uploaded to and is now available to purchase or try a free sample at their website! The epub file is currently under review to make certain that it meets the requirements for inclusion in Smashword's Premium Catalog (which will then distribute the book to other sellers such as Amazon and iTunes), but you can still purchase it in the format of your choosing through Smashwords while it goes through the verification process!

Check out Laeryk's Proving at Smashwords now!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Long Time...

For whatever reason, I have never been able to regularly post to a blog, no matter how determined I am to make consistent and regular postings. Consequently, it has been... a "while" since my last blog post, but I'm updating this blog again to resume some postings about the world of Valdaran, but also to announce that Laeryk's Proving, Book One of the Saga of Thorns is about to be published as an ebook via!

This process has taken longer than I expected, but I will be uploading the manuscript to Smashwords no later than this evening, and assuming that there is no problem with their automatic formatting (aka, "the Meatgrinder") I expect that Laeryk's Proving will be hitting Amazon, iTunes, B&N and many other distributors within the next few weeks, though Smashwords should have it available much earlier.

I'll make an announcement here as soon as I have links to product pages available to me to let everyone know that the book is available. I will also be releasing some more information and previews over the next few weeks to wet everyone's whistle. I'm very excited (ok, and a little nervous as well)!

Also, I hope to have everything finished and squared away to release Gavain's Proving, a short story which takes place approximately a year before Laeryk's Proving, within the next month (hopefully sooner, but we'll see). Gavain's Proving will be released as a free ebook to serve as a longer sample of my writing for readers who want more than the free sample of Laeryk's Proving and want to see how I frame a story before they pay for the book. Gavain's Proving was originally offered as a bonus reward for the Kickstarter campaign, but I'm pleased to offer it to everyone! I've also been thinking about writing a short fiction anthology set in the world of the Saga of Thorns to help expand the world and its background beyond where I plan on exploring in Laeryk's books. There is a good chance that Gavain's Proving will also be included in such an anthology for the sake of completeness, along with plenty of new material for readers to enjoy!