The Changeling Incident

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

Read the another excerpt from the new gaslamp fantasy from P. H. Solomon’s The Order of the Dark Rose, Volume 1 of The Cursed Mage Case Files, highlighting Wishton Ackford’s reactions to magical dangers.


A few weeks ago the post, ODR Character Spotlight: A Wish and a Prayer, highlighted Wishton Ackford (Wish), the narrator of the first book of The Cursed Mage Case Files, The Order of the Dark Rose. The post focused on Wish’s perspective as a non-mage and his struggles to cope with the dangers of magical investigations. This short excerpt from The Case of the Disgraced Sniffer continues to highlight how vulnerable Wish is to magic confrontations and how unexpected threats can appear:

Dusk lengthened amid a mist from the coast. With Manny’s instructions colliding in my thoughts, I left the post and returned an alternate way as I struggled with interpreting my surroundings through his way of thinking. Too many people of the same indistinct form in the fog threatened me. Confound Manny and his sniffer suspicions. No matter where I turned, someone followed and, without something magical, no means presented itself to me of determining the identity of anyone.

Such was my worry that I wandered for some time in the growing darkness and thickening gloom without clear notion of where Manny’s townhouse stood. With some relief, I found one familiar street and followed it to Funderlass. With equal comfort, I noted no one followed along my path as I doubled-back to the alley and the basement entrance which Manny insisted I use.

As I entered the alley, a figure disengaged from the shadows and mist. A wand prodded me in the chest, and I froze. A voice, rough and steady, demanded of me, “Who are you?”

Have a look at The Order of the Dark Rose, Volume 1 of The Cursed Mage Case Files:

Blurb:

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: 

     

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 https://www.PHSolomon.com

The Order of the Dark Rose – Blurb First Peak

Happy Monday, everyone. Thanks for stopping by once again this week for a few updates. As promised, this week there is another reveal for the Order of the Dark Rose. As part of the launch of the new series, I’ve planned a prequel book release by October if all goes well.  That title is The Changeling Incident.

This upcoming book is the first in the series for The Cursed Mage Case files. The entire series is a departure from my epic fantasy. While the series is set in an alternate world, think more in terms of magic realism in a more modern setting, similar to time and technology like Brian McClellan has written in his powder mage series. Also think in term of Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, just set in that alternate reality. Of course, there are other similar books written for these types of advanced culture settings as opposed to the more traditional fantasy books which typically depict less advanced technology, closer to the middle age. I think both types of writing are fun and appropriate for fantasy so I now make my foray into another world and tell a story.

While I want to get into more of the type of magic and technology used in the world of The Cursed Mage Case Files, I’ll do that another week and simply focus on the immediate which is the blurb. Descriptions can be challenging for many authors, but I’ve done quite a lot research about writing this kind of copy. I’m far from perfect with these, but I do try to spend time at it and come up with a solid description. There’s still some time yet before the book launches, several months in fact, so this is a book description in progress . Without any further delay, here is the current version of the book description for The Order of the Dark rose:

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 crime involved. 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 finace 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. With his very un-magical partner, Wish Ackford, Manny discovers the menace of a much larger conspiracy than he expected lurks behind his curse. Suddenly, the limitations from his malady leave him at a very uncomfortable 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 dances 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 average arch-mage can’t handle.

Unless the curse limits how much magic he can use and just might kill him at any moment.

Can Manny survive long enough to break his curse? Or will the arch-mage’s secret foe escape his grasp? Enter this high concept world of magic and fantasy and find out more about Manny, Wish and The Order of the Dark Rose.

So that’s the blurb and I’m certainly open to feedback and suggestions. Most everything about the book is still a work in progress as I push toward the release date.

Speaking of which, I have not communicated a specific release date has yet. Nailing down that release date is very important over the next few weeks, so I hope to announce one as soon as possible. My editor sent the manuscript back last night so I’m still working toward being more comfortable with the manuscript and its condition before I set a release date.

Next week, I’ll be back with more about the release with either a cover reveal or information about the world in which The Order of the Dark Rose set, specifically more about magic and its uses. There’s quite a lot to share including more about the prequel and it’s blurb so look for that in the coming weeks too. Thanks for stopping by today. Please leave your feedback and questions in the comments section and I’ll reply as soon as I can.