Curses Dark & Foul

Gaslamp Fantasy Excerpt: The Order of the Dark Rose Pt 3

Read an excerpt from The Order of the Dark Rose and find out more about the book, including the exciting news – paperback has arrived!

Good morning everyone! Along with another excerpt from The Order of the Dark Rose this week, there’s additional news for the book – paperback has arrived! This book has been well-received already and so it’s wonderful news that print has arrived. Along with the excerpt and the added reading format, it’s also time to share the print cover.

As a matter of note and also a reminder, there are two former excerpts linked just below which highlight Wish often being caught in the middle of magic to his danger as originally discussed in the character highlight post for Wish entitled: A Wish and a Prayer.

Gaslamp Fantasy Excerpt: The Order of the Dark Rose Part 1

Gaslamp Fantasy Excerpt: The Order of the Dark Rose Part 2

Let’s move on to the newest excerpt from the book which is a little longer today just because of the paperback release:

The blue hood of my companion’s coat framed her lovely face in the warm light of the foyer like an artist’s painting. Her fragrance set my thoughts alight, and I longed to kiss her ruby lips. Her presence left me light-headed. “May I take your coat, Lady Stroffage?”

“No. I prefer its company, if you don’t mind the damp remains of the weather.” The melody of her voice entranced me anew, like a trained singer at a show. Her demure smile seemingly invited me closer to her full lips. The porcelain hue of her oval face, slightly flushed at the cheeks, drew my attention. The glimmer in her dark eyes spoke of a lady of wit and charm. Lady Stroffage withdrew the hood, which revealed her brunette tresses coiffed in a thick weave of curls, some of which hung about her neck enticingly.

What a glorious day for meeting such a client, regardless of the rain. More than four months with few useful cases and cold leads regarding the Watcher or the assassins. Without direct link between the two and nothing of Manny’s witness, we left the Kantar unpaid for more than a month, and his supply of needles dwindled to just a few. This and actually taking some of Cyrus Lofton’s work might send us toward solvency. But a beguiling lady of wealth promised better prospects for more than one reason.

I cleared my throat and drew my mind back to the matter at hand. It had been too long since a rendezvous with any of my lady friends. Perhaps a step up might be in order. This lady smiled at me often on the trip to meet Manny. I imagined that a bit of heroic effort to solve her problem would put me in her good graces. I cleared my throat a second time. With a wave of my hand, I directed Lady Stroffage to the stairwell. “Just this way, then.”

We soon arrived at Manny’s door, where I peeked in at him. Good, he was hard at work on some project, not engrossed in one of his crazed information binges. Better yet, he still appeared in his regular form, as it were, rather than a child or doddering old man.

I opened the door wide and led our lovely new client into the room. “Manny, we have company.”

My business partner never looked up from his table where he examined some of the magic residue collected wherever he travelled. He whirled away and searched for a book on his crowded shelves. “Just a moment, and I shall attend, Wish.” He withdrew a book from a shelf and flipped through the pages without pause as he muttered to himself. With his back still to us, Manny partially turned and tossed the book on the table without paying much mind to our new client.

The lady offered me a smile at my hesitant glance.

I dipped my head and returned the lady’s sunny expression with one of my own. “Manny, she’s here about an item that needs—”

“Another moment or two, if you will, Madam.” Manny reached high on the shelf and retrieved another book. He flipped through the pages with quick glances and muttered sudden approval. He turned to us and caught sight of me and our new client, one eye comically covered by his Seeing Stone strapped about his head. “Now, this may well hold the—.”

A moment of stunned silence passed as Manny gaped.

“Lady Stroffage, if I may present Mr. Mandeheim, my esteemed part—”

Manny’s book fell from his hands and slammed to the floor.

The sudden noise whirled my head toward him in surprise.

Manny fumbled with the numerous casters on the table before him. He finally found the one he wanted and ducked below the level of the tabletop, his arm extended and the wand pointed directly at our new client. As casual as the intense gleam in his eye, he peered over the table behind which he crouched. “Wish, now would be a good time to run.”

It was now my turn to gape. “What?”

Lady Stroffage set about tugging at the fingers of her gloves as she removed them. A casual smile spread upon her face, and a twinkle danced in her eyes.

“I’ll deal with this one. Just run before you get hurt.” Manny’s wand never wavered. Neither did his voice.

I stepped between him and the lady with a determined set of my jaw. At least, I thought so. My knees wobbled at the sight of what I took to be a lethal wand pointed at me. I’d rather be fleered. I worked some wetness into my mouth and found words. “Manny, this is a client, Lady Stroffage, who is in need of our services.”

“I know exactly who she is, though the name is an obvious fake.”

“And who is she, then?”

“I know her mainly by reputation and description. A dubious woman of unsurpassed beauty. Am I not correct, Ms. Vyara Vladimirova Bliznakova?”

Lady Stroffage cleared her throat, and her melodious voice sounded from behind me. “An insult and a compliment in the same sentence, but no appreciation. One wonders how you recognized me. If it weren’t for such talent, perhaps I should find another—”

“That won’t be necessary, Lady Stroffage.” My eyebrows dove into my line of vision at my frown. Vyara what? “We can handle the search for your missing item.” To Manny, I added, “It’s a magical item. An heirloom.” My eyes fixed upon the wand pointed at me.

“Indeed, I’m sure it’s quite magical. Likely dangerous. Wish, this is a most dangerous woman. Perhaps the most dangerous in this entire city. You should run.” He reached for another wand on the table.

My frown deepened. Two wands? Who did he mistake Lady Stroffage for?

The distinct poke of something in the small of my back sent a chill along my spine. My frown disappeared as my eyes widened. I gasped.

“You should have run, Mr. Ackford. Except I’m actually here on business to recover something I’ve lost.” The melodious tone fluttered with the same beauty as before while the wand prodded my back.

That’s a fun little excerpt that underscores how Wish frequently finds himself in trouble. Find out why and how he gets out of danger in the book:

The Order of the Dark Rose, Volume 1 of The Cursed Mage Case Files:


An arch-mage can handle almost anything. Unless he’s cursed, lost his job and facing an unknown enemy.

The Gallantean Empire relies increasingly upon magical technology which cleans sewers, runs trams and much more. Within the capital city of Cal Rindon, magic is pervasive, but not necessarily used without criminal activity. The bustling metropolis boasts constant innovations mixed with growing pains. Amid the good lurks the bad with unrest and growing crime.

Arch-mage Manny Mandeheim fell under a curse, watched his fiancé die, and then lost his job as a spy. So what’s an arch-mage to do? Start his own magical investigation service while he works to clear his good name and maybe avenge his lost love. With his very un-magical partner, Wish Ackford, Manny discovers the menace of a much larger conspiracy than he expected looming behind his curse. The limitations from the hex leave him at a distinct disadvantage as he and Wish investigate.

Assassins lurk at every corner or in every tram car. The threat of an unknown mastermind with murky intentions lingers just out of sight. A questionable source offers the hint of a secret order hounding Manny’s footsteps. A murder leads to wrenching discoveries.

Nothing an arch-mage can’t handle…

Unless the curse limits how much magic he can use or kills him outright.

A mixture of gaslamp fantasy and Sherlock Holmes-like cases, The Order of the Dark Rose is a sleuth private detective mystery set in an alternate fantasy world where magic is both commonplace and dangerous. Mysteries abound in this original, new fantasy from P. H. Solomon, author of the award-winning, best-selling epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga.

Can Manny survive long enough to break his curse? Or will the arch-mage’s hidden foe escape him?

Click one of these buttons for more information (print at Amazon only at this time): 


About the Author:

Multi retailer Bestselling Author, Fantasia Reviews Book of the Year Author 2017 & 2018

U. S. author, P. H. Solomon grew up with a love of books including fantasy. Always interested in odd details, history and the world around him, P. H. has found an outlet in writing where he mixes a wide range of interests from the regular world, history and anthropology into his fantasy books.

His epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga, brought a fresh viewpoint to the genre where magic, myth and mysticism mingle. Described by readers as a “mixture of the classic fantasy past with new ideas.”

Trading Knives (0.1)

What is Needed (0.2)

The Bow of Destiny #1

An Arrow Against the Wind #2

The White Arrow #3

The latest series, The Cursed Mage Case Files is a mash-up of classic Sherlock Holmes, The Dresden Files and Harry Potter into a unique fantasy world where magic is both an arcane practice and a technological power to be harnessed. Join Mandlefred Mandeheim and Wishton Ackford as they team up to investigate magical mysteries.

The Order of the Dark Rose #1

The Unseen Hand #2 (upcoming)

The Nine Jewel Heist #3 (upcoming)

More books:

Curses Dark and Foul

The Black Bag

See the entire book catalog at P. H. Solomon’s Amazon Author Page.

Find more about P. H. Solomon as well as articles and research notes, plus a free stories, at

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Upcoming Fantasy Titles by P. H. Solomon

Hey everyone! It’s been a while. I’ve taken some time away for health reasons, but I’ve begun work on books for the rest of the year so here’s the latest news.

The Bow of Hart Sage/World of Denaria:

  • The Bow of Hart Saga:
    • The White Arrow – I expect to release this book in print on 3/15/21 or thereabout. This will complete the series in print and I hope to make all three print books available as a bundle at some point. I’ll announce this development if it is possible at a later date, probably late in the year.
  • Empire’s Deception Trilogy (parallel to The Bow of Hart Saga)
    • Face of the Goddess: This book is in rough draft.
    • Monk’s Gambit: This rough draft is almost finished.
    • Deception’s Veil: This final book of the two series is in planning stages
    • This series is not on the schedule for release this year, but book 1 could make it onto the 2022 schedule depending on time available and the same could happen during the latter part of next year.
  • The Bow of Hart Saga (sequel, series title pending): This series is in planning stages and will follow the events of The Empire’s Deception Trilogy series. I do have some development ideas written about this series but it is likely a 2023 release depending on other projects already on the schedule.

The Cursed Mage Case Files:

  • The Order of the Dark Rose – print is underway. I had intended to publish this format in November but I was sick and really had not time to complete this. It’s underway and I hope it will be ready in April. I’ll announce the date as soon as I can.
  • Book 2 of the series is titled The Unseen Hand. I’ve started revision work on this book to get it to my editor for March. My intended publication date is late April or by mid-May if all goes well. There’s quite a lot to do so this date may slide some.
  • Book 3 of the series is not titled but I’m thinking of something like, The Infernal Plot. While book 2 is with my editor, I’ll revise this draft and hopefully have it edited in April with a release date during the summer. Again there’s a lot of work to be done to get this to publication so this target may slide to close to Labor Day as necessary.
  • Books 4-6 are roughly outlined so I hope to begin writing them within a few months as time allows. My intention is to publish these during 2022 but there’s no set schedule yet.

Black Glove (series title pending):

  • A Charm in the Hand – this book is drafted and it’s revision almost complete. I’ll send it to my editor by early April with hopes of publication for this first in series novel in the Fall of this year. My fingers are crossed to get this in this year but it is well along in the process, it’s just a matter of my editor’s schedule.
  • I’m working on a rough outline for the entire series which is why it is behind the books of The Cursed Mage Case Files. I have some good ideas for several books including book 2. Work on these next books will begin later in the year.

Lost Treasure of the Airship Pirates:

  • All Things Forgotten – this book is drafted and has been reviewed by my editor. Since it is a LitRPG-ish series, the book requires some further development, but I hope to complete revision to hand it back to my editor late in the year. My expectation is to have the series outlined this year and this first book ready for publication early in 2022.

The Broken Shield Chronicles:

  • Tentative Title – The Lost Princess – This book has an almost completed rough draft which will require some revision. It’s also a LitRPG-ish series that will have more books. I intend to outline the series later this year and prep the release during 2022, but no date is set just yet.


  • I might squeeze another anthology in addition to Curses Dark and Foul into the mix this year depending on my available time. I’ll announce anything development with these as the year progresses.

That’s all I have in development or scheduled for this year and 2022. It’s a good thing I’ve got so many rough drafts ready and I can dictate others as the year moves along. Much of my schedule beyond those already written is fluid and based on demand/popularity. I’ll be working on early reviews more with the next releases than I have in the past so let me know if you are interested in an ARC when the time comes for The Unseen Hand.

That’s a lot to share at the moment, but I have not been active here on the site for a while so I felt it was important to let everyone know what’s coming up. I’ve been under the weather a lot for several months so I’m just now getting back in the swing of things. My blogging schedule is not set at this point but I hope to keep a regular schedule to 1-3 weeks since I’m busy with a number of book projects. The blog may be more active than that if I have time but I’m not sure I will unless it’s close to a book release.

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So Close It’s Almost Within Reach

Good evening everyone. I’m a little late getting the post out today since my weekend was busy. I wasn’t entirely sure how far I would get with my manuscript last week so I held off working on a post until I had a good idea how far along I was. There was also the matter of attending a writers conference online last Friday and Saturday which took up a large fraction of my time this week.

The good news is that I have made a lot of progress, but the bad news is the revision of Reformed Mage is still not finished. The writing conference put me further behind than I expected, however the progress is still significant. I have begun stitching together the various pieces of the manuscript. The structure of the book is organized so these parts fit together nicely once complete. As I finish each section it is added to the revised manuscript. My hope is to very quickly complete the main portion of the revision and send it to my editor within a few days. Of course, this also means I’m closer to releasing the prequel for this first novel, The Changeling Incident.

Being stuck on the revision means that my other projects remain on hold. However, I only expect them to be on hold for a few more days, after which I hope to quickly wrap those up. The pre-launch should be underway for Curses Dark and Foul within a matter of days. It will be a relief to be able to move on to my various other projects while my novel is being edited. I expect to work through quite a lot a the various books I have on tap, but also want to take time to relax more than I have and not expect so much from myself. Likewise, it’s also a chance to review aspects of my writing platform will like updating the website.

Overall, it should be a good time to make steady progress many different aspects of my writing. Just completing the revision helps clarify the way forward for the next two books in the Reformed Mage series. Completing this stage of the novel also provides time for planning the way forward three other series so I can begin dictating more books. This revision will be a big step forward and it’s my hope that I can get some feedback about the book from a few beta readers in addition to my editor’s observations. Knowing what I’m going to do with the next several books in the Reformed Mage series should make revision and editing a much faster prospect.

As soon as I have Curses Dark and Foul ready to upload and a link available, I’ll post the pre-release announcement. This is a chance to hone my release plans leading up to a robust release for the novel. The hope is to improve on what I’ve done in the past with The Bow of Hart Saga releases. I hope to update the next three release time-lines – Curses Dark and Foul, The Changeling Incident and The Feral Name (the working title for the first Reformed Mage book) in the near future as well as the more long-term releases.

Thanks for dropping by this evening and reading the updates. The more I have ready ahead of time, the more specific my release dates become. Please leave your comments and thoughts below and I’ll get back with you as I can.

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