Gaslamp Fantasy

June Archer’s Aim Digest – Official 2022 Survey

Updates from Archer’s Aim including the official 2022 Reader Survey, The Unseen Hand news, books by fantasy authors, and giveaways.

Hi,

Before we get deeply into the newsletter, I wanted to mention there’s a newsletter survey at this link which you can use to provide me some of your thoughts about the newsletter. I’d be happy to hear from you and this short questionnaire should not take more than a few minutes of your time. I’ll report back on the results of the survey at a later time so you’ll be aware of any changes which might be made in the future. Thanks in advance for your time. Now for the rest of the newsletter!


It’s that time of year when everyone is taking summer vacations. My wife and I recently went to Chattanooga, TN to enjoy time on some interesting rides.

First, we took an evening riverboat cruise on the Tennessee River. I’ve been on one of these several times in the past, but I took this opportunity to observe activity during the cruise in case I want to depict something similar in one or two of my book series, namely The Cursed Mage Case Files or The Black Glove Assassin.

Next, we went on a couple of different train rides. Likewise, I used some of the time to take note of the surroundings and even the sway of the train cars underfoot.

The first train excursion was a dinner on a dining car where the meals were prepared on the train. It was a short couple of hours but both the food and the service were excellent. I was very interested in the movement of the staff in narrow confines and even witnessed a spill on the next table. The waiter was newer and less experienced handling a tray with the movement of the train. However, during the clean-up a more experienced waiter handled a tray expertly with one hand while removing the sodden tablecloth with the other. Quite a feat. I’ve made notes for a similar event to occur should I need it in a book.

The second train trip was a longer one of about five hours that traveled along the Hiawassee River past a power plant, within view of a dam, and along the the famous loop around a mountain. The route included crossing over and under the railway first through a narrow ravine then back around the mountaintop and over the tracks on a trestle. This stretch as built to go over a mountain more economically.

The rail car was originally built for cross-country travel and afforded an upper level for observation and the excursion traveled through remote and scenic terrain. This ride in the observation car gave me a view of the narrow sleeping quarters once used by travelers. I’ve been in a sleeper car previously for a trip in the UK, so it brought back a few memories.

Overall, I gained some solid details to use in either of the aforementioned series. I was reminded of Brandon Sanderson’s Allow of Law Trilogy where train travel was a central part of the story in one of the books, featuring a fight through several of the rail-cars. Something to consider for the future!


News about The Unseen Hand:

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on The Unseen Hand and I’m still targeting 6/15 for a completion date for preparation of release in the next few months. I’m thinking of a major pre-release of this book and the third one, The Nine Jewel Heist coupled with a re-release of The Order of the Dark Rose.

This event will be extended for several weeks and I anticipate revealing the details which should be special for fans before these two new books are released on even Amazon. My plans will likely generate several special messages so keep a eye out for those. This will be a pre-release, and regular release over several months but should provide some excellent opportunities for you to take part.

In other news

Additionally, I’m planning a pre-release event of The Bow of Hart Saga into print distribution later this summer. I’ll communicate the details in the next several weeks with an opportunity for you to provide feedback on the event before it ever starts. If all goes well, you’ll have a chance at some special editions and other perks ahead of wide print distribution to bookstores. I’ll make sure you have plenty of notice about the feedback phase.

Other projects include the following books:

A Charm in the Hand, the first book of The Black Glove Assassin should be finished will be finished with the current phase of revision the first week of June and sent to my editor. The hope is to release the book by December which will likely be part of a larger pre-release event too. I’m pleased with the progress made on this book and look forward to engaging the final phases of completion during the summer.

All Things Forgotten, book one of Treasure Stolen – Returned took up much of the last week of work in May. My hope was to meet a goal for a promotion submission, but that did not happen. However, the book is now much further along to the extent that it has entered my publication schedule for this year, and inclusion with an extended pre-release and release event too.

My publication priorities remain in order:

  • The Bow of Hart Saga in print with a pre-release event – mid to late Summer
  • Books two and three of The Cursed Mage Case Files with a re-release of The Order of the Dark Rose all including print distribution using an extended pre-release and release schedule to be communicated. Occurring during the late Summer and throughout the Fall season.
  • All Things Forgotten, book one of Treasure Stolen – Returned with print as part of a pre-release and release schedule to be communicated. This is on-track for October, but we’ll see…
  • A Charm in the Hand, book one of The Black Glove Assassin with print as part of a pre-release and release schedule to be communicated. Late November or early December depending on my editor’s schedule.

Featured Books & Authors:

I haven’t included this feature in the newsletter in a while, but I think it’s a good time to bring it back!

R. M. Schultz, Knights, Witches, and Murder, Book 1 of A Calec of the Woods Mystery Thriller

This is a book I’ve started recently and I like the style of the work. Here’s a look at the cover and blurb:

In a land where the wolf wind and mists roam like ghosts, the conflicted son of a witch was knighted by the king. Knighted to repay a debt to his father.

His name is Calec.

He alone holds knowledge from both the knighthood and the mysterious witches of the woods.

When the king’s sheep are found lying in the snow, riddled with black rashes and hemorrhagic eyes, Calec is summoned to discover the reason for their deaths. Then, as human victims arise in the city, Calec uncovers an eerie string of clues. He seeks the aid and determination of pious Eristin—his betrothed and niece of the king—but to catch the murderer they must find answers, answers hidden beneath a web of secrets ensnaring the royal family, a witch, an innkeeper, a priest, and a former thief.

And Calec never suspected he’d have to choose between the only two things he’s ever loved.


Heidi Skarie, Star Rider on the Razor’s Edge, the first book of a space opera series.

I’ve also recently started this book and enjoyed the opening. I’m looking forward to reading the entire book. Here’s a look at the cover and the blurb:

He wanted to rule the stars. He shouldn’t have murdered her family…

Toemeka Ganti won’t rest until the universe is rid of the sinister sorcerer-deity who killed her parents. Working undercover to liberate a peaceful people from his ruthless usurper, she attempts to develop a weapon that can break through the tyrant’s shields. But she’s barely begun her work when she’s captured by the despot’s dark agents.

Rescued by a mysterious and handsome warrior-priest, Toemeka and her team join forces with the planetary resistance. But without her device to knock out the enemy defenses, their budding rebellion could swiftly be crushed. And her time to complete it has almost run out…

Can Toemeka free an oppressed planet and light a spark of hope throughout the galaxy?


John Hundley’s The Draculata Nest, book 1 of The Red Wolf Saga which I’m just starting. Here’s the cover and blurb of the book:

A lone wolf. A nest of vampires. Can he find the monster who turned his girlfriend before he loses her forever?

Lone wolf Clifford Crane is grieving the death of the lover who transformed him. Without her in it, he wants nothing more to do with her world or her pack.

Trying to find a new purpose in life, he returns to college. But when he rescues a beautiful young classmate from a vampire, he finds himself at the center of a feud between rival nests of the undead.

Danielle has been bitten. To save her he’ll have to track down and kill the one who did it. In a city teeming with bloodsuckers, that’s no easy task. He’ll need help from a powerful vampire. And that help comes with a price.

Can Clifford find the fiend he seeks in time to save her? Or will they both become pawns in a game of supernatural intrigue, a game where the losers die?


Herman Hunter’s initial book, The Revenant and the Tomb is another book that I’m digging into (yes, I’m getting around lately with reading). Here’s his cover and blurb if you’re interested:

In a seedy tavern, two men meet.

One, an old and seasoned guide who knows the way to a tomb where riches are rumored to exist. A place somewhere on the fabled mountain called the Horn of Torgiv, in a region notorious for evil things and dark deeds.

The other is a mysterious young man named Halsedric, who seeks something other than wealth. What he seeks is something old, dark, and diabolical.

What waits in the dark depths of the tomb? And will it lead to their ruin?

Journey to the Horn of Torgiv and discover the dark secret hidden beneath the gray stone of the mountain.


I plan on taking a gander at Stephen Peeple’s The King’s Son, Volume 1. Here’s the blurb and cover:

A spear and sorcery fantasy about power, secrets, and betrayal.

A prophecy declares the king’s son will bring peace to the land. He will remove the yoke from the people’s shoulders and the fear from their hearts.

The night the boy is born, Faelan receives orders that threaten the child’s life. He must choose to either follow his assignment or secure a brighter future for the people.

Alliances will be tested, secrets may or may not be kept, and the future of Minnland will hang in the balance.


A Few Final Notes

I’m moving announcements into text format as much as possible so, with that in mind, I’ve started a text subscription since it’s faster and less time-consuming to read. If you’re interested, here’s the sign-up.

Monthly Question for Marston’s Station: Have you read Sanderson’s Alloy of Law Trilogy? If so, did you enjoy the train scenes? Share your answers with a reply or in Marston’s Station.


 

Thanks for reading as usual. Please share this email with fellow fantasy fans. Let me know if you are interested in a free review copy of The Order of the Dark Rose as well as one for early reviews of The Unseen Hand. There are only about 18 free copies of either book available so don’t hesitate to email me if you are interested.

If you have already notified me you want in with either book, thanks for your participation.

Until next time with my best wishes,

PH

P. S. Scroll down to see some specials. Feel free to share them with friends!


The Bow of Hart Saga (with audio & print)

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

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Archer’s Aim Weekly Progress Report – Thru 5/23/2022

Read about this week’s progress by P. H. Solomon with The Unseen Hand and other projects.


Hello and Happy Monday to everyone! PH here with a weekly progress report. This weekly post is meant to keep me honest about how much I’m doing as well as keep readers informed. As such, the post format may change as some projects progress or roll off the active list due to completion. Regardless, my intention is to keep everyone informed of progress on various items, especially new books up to release. Let’s get started!

Last week was better in terms of amount of work done on projects. One aspect of my revision and editing was going back to a tried and true process I use with spreadsheets in order to better track what I want to change and how in manuscripts. It seem like a lot of extra work, but it allows me to go through a survey and then put the plans into action quickly. One of my main problems remains my odd symptoms, especially fatigue and brain fog. Sometimes, I have insomnia so I just work which helps me get tired and push toward my goals. I’m working with my issues as best I can.

The Unseen Hand

The Unseen Hand continues to more forward. I made substantial progress editing newer content for the epilogue adventure/case. There were some newer ideas about presentation that came to me and I worked a long time to implement them. This portion of the book is taking solid shape and I expect to complete it later this week.

The remaining content from the manuscript has been edited previously and only needs to be fully revised for consistency with the new epilogue and other series arch developments. I expect to start working thoroughly through these portions of the book next week and make solid advances toward the self-imposed mid-June deadline.

A Charm in the Hand

I’ve made significant progress through the end of the manuscript this week. I’m not quite to the end, but expect to finish this phase of the draft tonight or tomorrow. Using my editing technique as well as working in Word helped me review the draft much better than I had been. Separating the remaining content gave me more focus. I look forward to sending this one off to my editor soon and letting the book begin to take shape.

Update: I’m rather exhausted so I won’t complete this tonight. Tomorrow is better, then moving on to work on All Things Forgotten.

Added Project: All Things Forgotten

Some progress was made on this project during last week. However, I made a decision to make a major push with on during this week. I’ll rely heavily on my editing process to make as fast a survey of the draft as possible and then make changes. If I don’t see that I can complete it, I’ll try to make as many changes as I can and look to having the best consistency possible throughout the book while touching up main issues.

The primary goal for this book is getting it in the best possible shape for the promo submission, then completing the work over the summer for an October release. If the book is not accepted in the promo, then it will be just that much further along and I’ll probably slide the release day to a later time so I can work on the other books and The Cursed Mage Case Files.

Miscellaneous Projects

The same projects remain on my radar:

  1. Upgrading Archer’s Aim (this site) to a newer theme. My intention is upgrading this site using a service depending on funding. I’m still in flux about scheduling the work, but this is in the works as I progress with the various details of the business and the imprint development.
  2. Archer's Aim PressThe imprint is well underway at this time:
    • ISBNs should be purchased this week.
    • The website may be built by a third party, it just depends on my funding (see below).

I’ve taken steps over the last week to taking myself more serious from the business side of things. Doing this will allow me more flexibility with marketing, business funding, and actually being an imprint. I feel this is important so I’m working on the imprint from a different angle and will making more specific announcements when the time comes. However, the intention is to soon have print editions available for marketing to bookstores during the summer.

Still no word from Podium and I’m not surprised. However, I will probably contact someone directly to gauge interest as some point during June when I have more concrete details about the release of the next two books.

Here’s the past post about the subject for those who are interested:

The Unseen Hand submitted to my audio publisher, Podium Audio

That’s all for the week that was. I hope readers get an idea of what it’s like for a self-publishing author, let alone any author. It’s always busy since this post doesn’t cover the rest of what needs my attention, as well as my health concerns.

Thanks for stopping by the site today and reading this post. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. Like what you’re reading? Feel free to follow this site, you can even view the site from the WordPress reader app. Looking for more information? I’m growing a text club for faster, shorter announcements and exclusive specials. You can also join me in Marston’s Station, my private fan group on Goodreads where you can read about more non-public development news and additional exclusive special deals. Look for me at these additional sites too. There are plenty of ways to follow and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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