5 Original Plans I Cut from The Bow of Hart Saga

Last week, I shared what 5 things I added to The Bow of Hart Saga over the time I was writing the series. This week, I’m sharing what I removed from the series. This one is a bit tougher since I had to think through so many years development.

  1. First on the list is a major sub-plot. Once I really re-booted my work on the The Bow of Destiny and the series, I added a major sub-plot where events unfolded in a totally different part of Denaria with different characters. It was pretty good writing but very unnecessary as pointed out by my editor. So, I removed the sub-plot but held onto it for later publication as a single book or a novella series. Hopefully, I can begin sharing some of that in the coming months as the early portions of this could easily be developed into the first two books of a shorter series.
  2. Next, I dropped additional books. When I first planned the series many years ago, I wanted to write between seven and nine books. I trimmed that notion to five books and then to three. I think three books were enough to cover what was needed (reference to the Withlings intended).

  3. The meaning of the Bow of Hart was next to be changed. At first, I intended to write it much differently (no spoiler here) but the more work I put into the current version, the more I knew it had to be twisted. That meant dropping my original intentions and I think that worked out much better. For those who haven’t read it, you need to and you’ll understand.

  4. Along with the shift away from more books, the plans I had for a major war in the lands of Shildra and Grendon shifted north which made sense. Fewer books meant less time to move into other lands so I kept the series arc as simple as possible – anything else was pushing too far. I did not get to show events in other places like Shildra, Grendon, Hart, Rok and several others. Perhaps I can write another series about those lands (and, no, the previously mentioned content is not about these lands).

5. Lastly, I dropped a very convoluted beginning that spent far too much time with Athson being alone and making long trips to and from Auguron City. That left him involved with no one so there was less dialogue. Also, it was just boring so I settled on pushing the reader directly into Athson’s confusing reality and a single, straight-forward journey to the city with Gweld while moving the ranger station further away and adding a few stops along the way for better context and plot development.

So those are a few details that were cut, and generously so. I think it made the overall series better, more concise. As a bonus, I can also share that I split the initial first book since it would have been far too long, shifted the title to the second book and developed The Bow of Destiny title. That took some doing but it worked. Next week, I’ll share more details I added, especially in The Bow of Destiny that made the book better in my opinion.

Thanks for reading today. Please leave your questions and thoughts in the comments sections and I’ll reply as soon as I can! Find out more about The Bow of Hart Saga on the series page.

Characters from The Bow of Saga: Spark

Note: Fantasy Friday is a new feature for Archer’s Aim. This is a re-post, but for those interested, it’s useful. I’ll work on some new, fantasy-related posts to mix in with some of my older ones like this as well as some posts about new books in the coming months. Please feel free to share on social media or re-blog these posts. Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

This is the second of several posts revealing more about characters from The Bow of Destiny. You can read about Athson here. If you like dogs, you’ll love today’s post!

SparkSpark was a rather interesting and late addition to The Bow of Destiny. You see, Spark is a dog but not just any dog. He’s a dog that only Athson sees while he’s not taking doses of his elven medicine, Soul-ease. You might wonder if Spark is real and so does Athson. However, Athson considers Spark an old friend who watches out for him.
The idea for this invisible dog came from my daughter who did some alpha reading on the book last year. She suggested adding a dog so Spark is what I came up with. In the book, Athson identifies this dog as a Mountain Hound but to you and me he’s a German Shepherd – or very much like one.
If you’ve read my bio you know we own two German Shepherds so you can guess the origin of this character. But there’s more to the characterization than just being like a common breed. Spark is actually based on both of my dogs, appearing more like our female, Chloe, while sometimes acting rather like our male, Sam.

GSDsChloe & Sam
While Chloe is all guard-dog and ready for action all the time, Sam is more of a friendly bloke with a nasty side when necessary. But the unique quality of Sam is his way of communicating with us – he wags his tail for “yes” and doesn’t for “no”. Don’t believe me? Here’s a sample of Sam (Spark)-talk which is through a series of yes and no questions (and of course you have to catch Sam at a good time since he’s usually easily distracted like most dogs by things like food):
Me: “Sam, is it cold outside?”
Sam wags his tail – and it is (or was when this happened).
Me: “Sam, do you like the cold?”
Sam wags his tail because he really doesn’t like the hot Alabama summer but thrives in what cold weather we have.
Me: “Sam, do you want to sleep outside?”
Sam doesn’t wag his tail because, while he likes cold weather, he prefers to stay near his people like most GSDs do. This question is one that’s meant to ensure he’s really answering rather than just wagging his tail in distraction.
Me: “Sam, do you like Chloe?”
No wag because Chloe can really pesters him and bites him often since she’s rather feisty.
Me: “Sam, did Chloe bite you today?”
Sam wags his tail. Funny thing about dogs is that, being like wolf puppies, the males often let females win. Sam is much larger but always lets Chloe win.
Me: “Sam, do you want Chloe to sleep outside in the cold?”
Sam wags his tail. Yep that’s right, Sam wants Chloe to sleep outside while he gets to sleep inside.
We often can ascertain if Sam feels sick (he gets colitis) or achy (he’s getting a little older now and is starting to get stiff joints). We even found out that Sam wants a pet cat though this is likely the fact that he actually misses the old cat, Becky, who was still alive when Sam came to live with us. The cat hated Sam but he loved her. But you get the idea – Sam talks in his own way. He’s rather intelligent that way and even plays tricks on Chloe to get her to do what he wants. Now don’t think that Chloe is dumb by any means. She recognizes aggression easily and can solve some puzzles that Sam just won’t bother with.
So guess who speaks Sam-talk? Spark! I have a number of instances where Spark reveals something to Athson about his surroundings that Athson just doesn’t get. But you, the reader, get to understand that Spark may just know more about what’s going on at times than Athson.

Spark appears throughout The Bow of Hart Saga. To find out more about the character, click the links for The Bow of Destiny, An Arrow Against the Wind or The White Arrow. The entire series is not available on Audible from Podium Publishing:



About the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. His first novel, The Bow of Destiny was named 2016 Book of the Year by Fantasia Reviews and is the first book of The Bow of Hart Saga. The sequel novel, An Arrow Against the Wind, was released in April of 2017. The third book of the series, The White Arrow, is due to be released during the Fall of 2017. P. H. Solomon also authored the award winning short story, The Black Bag, which won best published short story at SCWC 2012. P. H. is also a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Prequel short stories to The Bow of Hart Saga:

Trading Knives Amazon

What Is Needed Amazon

Download and listen to the prequels for free at AudFans

   Trading Knives 1   What Is Needed 4



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

Good day 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 hardcover image.

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.

BookBrushImage97716Gaslamp Fantasy Excerpt: The Order of the Dark Rose Part 1

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

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

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

The noise in the stairwell below us halted, and I hissed. “What was that?”

“A trick. An illusion to send us fleeing or chasing nothing, maybe slow our approach. Keep going up, I think, just not so far. We’ll check the third floor.” Manny eased up the steps backwards as he glanced at his feet to avoid tripping.

“I inhaled. “Don’t you know where he is?”

“Of course not. I’ve never been in this building.”

“How do you know he’s here?”

Manny stopped and frowned over his shoulder. “I can’t tell you everything, Wish. Now keep going and let me cover our tracks.”

A check along the third floor revealed nothing, so we proceeded to the next one. Before we reached the fourth floor, we paused at the sound of soft thumping. I edged toward the top and, at Manny’s urging, peeked along the darkened hallway. My squinted eyes beheld dim light that sliced the darkness mid-way toward the end of the hall from the thin crack of an opened door.

I lowered my voice as a clamor arose in the alley below us. “Look at this.” I motioned for Manny.

My partner slid past me and glanced along the hall. Then he looked down the stairwell as voices shouted. “Quickly but with care, lest they find us too soon.” We stood and jogged on our tiptoes toward the opened door. “This may be a near thing. It could be the thugs or the guard.”

My breath caught in my throat at the mention of the city guards. We’d had encounters with them, good and bad, on previous cases, sometimes talking our way out of situations. But here in Thronglington, the guard bore a reputation for taking bribes, so trust fluttered lowly as to how they might react to our presence.

We paused at the doorway that stood slightly ajar. The thumping noise grew louder at our approach.

Manny poked his wand through the open doorway. My heart surged at the possibility of an altercation and the growing commotion on the floors below us. No reaction arrived from within the room, but the thumping continued. Manny peeked into the room, thrust the door open, and uttered mage-talk as he checked the room.

Zap! Manny grimaced with effort and used the wand several times as he pointed it in different directions. The sizzling sound was repeated more than once. Silence soon followed, but for the thumping.

Something crashed on one of the lower floors.

“We better hurry, Manny. I don’t like what’s going on in this building.”

“Quickly, Wish. He’s down!” Manny leapt across the room.

I backed through the doorway and into the light, only to behold a man in a plain brown suit lying on the floor. His hairline receded into brown hair fading to gray. His face bore a deathly pallor, and spittle edged his lips. The thumping was his brown shoes smacking the bottom of his desk in the seizure that gripped his body. His lips had turned blue. He was moments from death, his eyes rolling blindly while his eyelids fluttered.

My stomach heaved at the scene, but I somehow kept the contents down. Curse my weak constitution at the sight of bodies. But he wasn’t dead yet.

“Manny, this isn’t good. By the sound of it, the whole neighborhood is searching below us. That, or the guard. Maybe both.” I gulped audibly at the thought we might soon spend time locked up in a cage. “Maybe they dispatched Vyara if they’re past her.”

“Vyara can take care of herself. She’s keeping watch for us now so we can escape.” Manny kneeled by the dying man whose lips quivered as he groaned words. Manny leaned close and listened to the final words the man uttered. “Grinder, he has it. Watch for—”

The soft thumping stopped as the brown-suited man’s body ceased its convulsions.

“Shut the door and lock it if you can.” Manny searched the man’s pockets, then the desk. He snatched papers and shoved them into his pockets. “What grinder means, I don’t know yet. A pity he never finished his warning.”

“Uh, who was he?” I shut the door and glanced at the drab, peeling paint on the walls. Perhaps it had been a joyful yellow shade at some point in the past. Holes festooned the plaster where pictures once hung on nails long removed. A maged light stood crookedly on the desk of stained wood.

“The Whisperer. Who else?” Manny shut off the light and opened the window.

“He’s dead? You knew him?”

“Shh. And, yes. He was despicable by nature but something of a solid acquaintance.” Rain spattered in the open window at Manny’s feet as he shook his head with something akin to regret.

“Well, now what? By the sounds of it, whoever is coming is searching aggressively, and we’re locked in here.” I pulled the key from it, surprised the mechanism worked at all, then backed away, my fleer gun pointed toward the door. “I think they’re on this floor.”

A guard’s whistle sounded from below us. My knees wobbled, and my neck went stiff.

“Out the window, Wish, quickly. Mind you don’t scuff your feet hard on the edge and draw attention.” Manny motioned toward the window in the fading light of day. Rain slammed against the building.

“Are you insane?” He actually meant for us to walk on a building ledge four floors up in the rain.

“You want to fight your way out of here or explain the body?”

The two notions conflicted with my need for survival. A quick glance into the rainy gloom beyond the window revealed a broad ledge, as ledges went. I clenched and unclenched my jaw and pointed. “Which way?” I couldn’t believe I was going to do this, and in the rain no less.

That’s another fun little excerpt which continues underscores how Wish frequently finds himself in trouble. Find out 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