Cover for Adventurer’s Gift

Adventurer's Heart Cover
Adventurer’s Heart Cover

I am scheduled to receive the proofread copy of Adventurer’s Heart for Adventures on Brad this week.  I actually received some great feedback from a beta reader so I actually will be editing it after I fix the errors the editor has found which isn’t great but I’d rather do that than leave the errors there.  So release date for the book should be in mid-September.

Book 2 of the System Apocalypse is nearly finished first draft.  I still have to add a bunch of scenes that I realised I needed so it’s nowhere done but we should be good for November release.

 

Heaven & Hell Part 2

“Right then Lenny,” Bel purrs, waving a hand.  The white walls, floors and ceilings all disappear, replaced by a literal scene from Hell.  Except, while the bubbling lava pools and rivers flowed everywhere and demons and humans cavorted through the streets, no one was doing much screaming.  At least, none that wasn’t consensual.  Everything was shaded red and black with occasional beanbags shaped like skulls situated for easy resting through the streets.   There didn’t seem to be any houses, at least not in the view that Lenny had, instead numerous flats and apartments joined together and marched ever upwards and he presumed, downwards.

Surprisingly, instead of a stifling heat, the temperature was a warm and dry 27 Celsius, warm enough that men and women strode through the streets wearing very little.  Tank tops, short-shorts and miniskirts were the derigeur dress code for women and for men, bold Hawaiian shirts and shorts dominated.  It reminded Lenny of pictures of Hawaii – a place he always wanted to visit and never did. Adding to the impression of the tropical paradise was the non-stop smell of barbecues and fruity drinks with only the barest hint of sulphur.

“Sorry about the smell – you’ve got to give up a little whem you get ambient mood lighting like we do,” Bel grins, already swaying to the jazz that emanates from the various buildings around them.  “I took you to the Jazz quarter – way I read your file, you’re a big fan.”

Lenny nods, smiling slightly.  A pair of holidays in the French Quarter of New Orleans was one of his favorite memories, days and evenings spent lounging in tourist trap bars listening to musicians play their hearts out. He even got a deal since he never went during Madri Gras – frat boys could die in, well… Hell?

“Really?” Sariel rolls his eyes.  “Jazz music, BBQ’s and half-dressed women is the best you can do?  The heat’s nice but then you start getting busy and it’s all dripping and staining…”

“Lalalalala,” Bel sticks fingers in her ears, drowning out Sariel.

“Sariel, this isn’t your turn yet.  Please refrain from interrupting,” Colum replies tiredly.

“So you have questions Lenny?” Bel says after pulling her fingers out of her ears and sticking her tongue out at Sariel.

“Uhhh… so… how does this work?  If I say yes, I just… you know, stay in Hell and party forever?”  Lenny asks.

“Well, not exactly,” Bel replies and shoots a glare at Colum.  “Aren’t you supposed to have explained this?”

Colum looks guilty for a moment before he mutters, “Most people don’t care.  And I’ve got a backlog…”

Sariel sighs, “You have got to stop doing this Colum.  You’ve already got two demerits on our report.”

“I know,” straightening himself, Colum meets Lenny’s eyes.  “You have a certain number of Karmic points, points you have gained through your actions.  These Karmic points are spent as payment for your stay in Heaven or Hell or, well, any other secondary realm you live in.  Once your Karmic points are depleted, or at your discretion, you will be reincarnated.”

“What if I had a negative balance?” frowns Lenny.  “I thought you said you there was no such thing as torture.”

“I said we didn’t torture people,” Bel points to herself and then Sariel.  “If you want suffering, you go back to Earth.  Or you know, if your points are used up or negative.”

“Oh….” Lenny pauses, his eyes widening.  “Are you saying that the reason the Earth is such a shithole is because everyone else good is enjoying the Heavens?”

“Pretty much,” Sariel nods.

“Oh. My. God,” Lenny says, mouth moving.

“Yeah… about him…”

Quick Update

Tales on Brad Book 2 – Adventurer’s Gift is with the proofreader currently. Once that is complete, I am just waiting on the cover (which hopefully will be complete end of this week) and it should be ready for posting.

The System Apocalypse Book 2 is nearly done first draft.  I’ve got the last major scene and sort of epilogue to finish and then draft 1 is done.  However, I have large notes of things to improve / add including entire chapters and scenes so I expect the editing process will take longer than normal.  I’ve been struggling with finishing the book since I’ve been plagued with doubts.  And illness.

Overall, timeline for November release should be good.

I’m going on holiday for a few weeks though so no real writing is going to be done.

Parenting Fantasy – Day 1

This is a series of slice of life shorts.  One day, if I ever get enough written, I might release them as a short story.  However, this is written more for fun.

 


“Breathe dear, just breathe!” holding his wife’s hand, Alexander Lim plasters the best, most comforting smile he can on his face.   A rail thin 6 foot, brown haired man with a pair of glasses that covered surprisingly clear blue eyes, Alex was doing his best to hide the pain in his hand as his wife squeezed again, nearly crushing his hand.

 

-5 HP

 

“I hate you!” his wife grunted, bent over as her body was wracked by another contraction.  It hurt worst then the time a manticore had managed to bite into her shoulder, worst than the bear trap that had caught her leg when she first started Adventuring.  It was the worst pain she had ever felt bar one.

“Yes dear,” Alex replies automatically.  He reaches to the side, holding up the cup as she slowly releases his hand, offering his beautiful, sweaty and angry wife the cooled rosehip tea.  As she releases his hand, he exhales gently, careful not to bother her.  “The contractions are coming faster now, it shouldn’t be too long.”

“You said that two hours ago!” Faye says, leaning back on the bed as she wipes her damp blonde hair from her face.

“I know…” Alex leans over to kiss her forehead, an act that has her hissing at him.  He stops, still smiling at her.  “You are doing well.”

“… aaarrgh!!!” again she squeezes on his hand as the contraction hits her.

 

-5 HP

 

***

Achievement Unlocked!  Create a Family

+2,000 XP

 

Title Unlocked: Father

New Ability Gained: Dad Voice

 

“Mr. Lim?” the midwife finishes the baby away, offering the creature to him.  A bit dazed, Alex dismisses the notifications and takes hold of the child, staring at the little brown haired delight in his arms.  Oh god, what if he dropped it.  Panicking, he holds the creature as if it could break with the slightest jar, his eyes wide.  His son was staring at him!

He only moves when the midwife pokes him to shift as she cleans up his wife.  When the sheets are changed and Faye cleaned, the midwife takes the baby away from the reluctant husband to transfer to his wife, murmuring “He needs to feed.”

“Oh… okay,” Alex nods and slowly takes a seat, wringing his hand slightly.  The midwife looks at him and comes back a moment later with an enchanted pack of ice which he gratefully wraps around his arm.

Baby and mother are resting, the child absently sucking on her breast as it sleeps.  Smiling, Alex leans back, his own eyes drifting shut.  30 hours of labour was a bit much

Finishing the Series

I’ve seen some posts about whether series will ever be finished.  I figured I’d share my version of the answer for the two series I write.

Adventures on Brad – this is probably the one with the least ‘conclusion’ to it since the series is very much more open-ended and meant to follow Daniel on his journey.  However, the plan is currently to write each ‘portion’ of his journey in 3 book series with the first 3 books all taking place in Karlak (sort of).

The System Apocalypse – again, this is written in 3 book story arcs with the first 3 books dealing with the Yukon and Whitehorse in particular.  Once the first 3 books finish, we’ll be taking the show on the road.

The System Apocalypse has a definite end, though it might take a long time to get there.  I’m sort-of patterning it after the Dresden Files series, where yes, there is an end but it’s a LOT of books.  I’m hoping to keep everything written in 3 book arcs though so that people can pick it up and read without getting too bogged down but that might break down in later books.  We’ll see.

 

Social Justice Warriors, Racism & Sexuality

Currently, Life in the North is sitting at around 4.6 stars on Amazon.  Of the negative reviews we get, it can be split into two portions.

  • the majority complain (and rightly so!) about spelling / grammar/ issues.  That’s being resolved by hiring a proofreader who is working on Book 1 and probably will work on Book 2 (depending on final results of Book 1).
    • this is is a more than fair complaint.  While everything has been read over, there are certain things that my mixed background (studying English in Asia, the UK and Canada means I DON’T write American English and have some weird grammar usage at times) just doesn’t get picked up.  Unfortunately, since I didn’t have the money to pay for the proofreader (and still haven’t gotten paid by Amazon!), it meant publishing without professional editing. So complaints on that is more than fair.
  • Being a lefty / SJW / pushing gayness.

Firstly, I should point out that technically John is bisexual.  I believe on the scale that is used, he’s technically only ‘bi-curious’.  It might be better to call him xeno-curious since he is attracted to an alien, but eh.

Secondly, it’s kind of amusing really since I never went out of my way to write the character / story with that in mind.

When writing LitN, I knew when I introduced Roxley the character I wanted – a VERY hot, charismatic and aloof Dark Elf.  That was the mental image I was pulling from when I created him.

It was only as I was writing the chapter that I started thinking about how John would react to running into Roxley and realised, yes, this was something that he would be interested in.  The entire sub-plot of their romance was one of those things that happen when you write – when two characters interact and you suddenly finding yourself writing something that you didn’t expect.

It felt / feels right.  And personally, as a writer, I love it when things like that happen.  Characters become more than 2 dimensional creatures in my mind, they grow and add stories, personality, desires and it makes the characters ‘breathe’ in my mind.  I know there are writers who are more disciplined, who have very specific things they want / need characters to do.  That’s their process.

Mine has been and will always be a bit more organic.  Writing this way means that these characters don’t bore me, and I find it more fun to write.  I’ll admit, I do cut out scenes eventually (sometimes because those scenes are wrong or just don’t fit), but in this case, it did.