The Unseen Hand

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.


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,


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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Audio Status for The Cursed Mage Case Files

The Order of the Dark Rose is out in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. What about audio plans?

The Order of the Dark Rose is published and has been submitted for audio publication with Podium Audio.

With the publication of The Order of the Dark Rose, I chose to wait regarding an audio book version. The reasons were myriad, but my focus was more on the e-book which was probably done too soon due to illness. But the book was already in pre-order so it had to go.

Now, the book has been out for a while and is doing well enough. It’s been a bit more rocky since I’ve had little energy to really push the book, let alone pursue reviews.

The Unseen Hand is due out this year. Will it be available in audio soon after? That’s the goal for The Cursed Mage Case Files Series.

With the upcoming release of volume 2 of The Cursed Mage Case Files, The Unseen Hand, due out as soon as I can complete the revision, my focus is changing somewhat. Of course, I want to release this book and volume 3, The Nine Jewel Heist, this year and in print. However, audio is quickly becoming a consideration – one way or another.

The Bow of Hart Saga is published in audio format by Podium Audio:

Audio book requests for The Order of the Dark Rose are starting to arrive which means it’s time to think about this format. It was a surprise to have an opportunity to even do audio for The Bow of Hart Saga when Podium Audio contacted me. Now, I have a relationship with the company so it makes it somewhat easier to approach them. I’ve submitted a request for audio consideration since it’s time to move in that direction. I suspect I’ll know something soon. There is a back-up plan for audio if the interest isn’t there, so I’m not too concerned. It would be nice to fit these version in with the releases of the next two books, but that may not happen. I do plan for this format regardless, so don’t be surprised if it works out sooner rather than later. How it happens remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, I trudge on with my revision of The Unseen Hand and plans for The Nine Jewel Heist. Beyond these will be many more books in several series, and my plan is to release well in several formats – even into bookstores if all goes well with my plans about Archer’s Aim Press. But more on this last point another time.

For now, I’ve set audio in motion for The Cursed Mage Case Files. If the submission doesn’t work out, I’ll share more of my plans then. Until that time, it’s a wait and see process.

Archer's Aim Press

Newsletter Notes: Look Ma! I Can Juggle, Sorta…

It’s been a strangely hectic year so far. Here’s why…

I was recently watching a re-run of a sit-com and one of the characters twice walked between jugglers tossing bowling pins between them. It was funny, but it left me with a reminder of how oddly busy this year has been so far. You start out January with goals, especially as a writer, but life wrecks all those plans and you feel like your juggling far more than you can handle. There have been health issues, a steady stream of broken things to fix (seriously, it’s been several things every month so far), and then there’s writing.

Sometimes, I’ve been so distracted it’s been hard to get anything done for days. The Unseen Hand revision has languished as my head has been “swimming” over the variety of issues to address. My personal appointments keep me going and it’s hard to retain focus a lot of days. However, I’m still making progress even if it’s sporadic at times. But sometimes, I default to reading for a variety of reasons whether is fiction or non-fiction, usually just to rest my confused head. But that’s another story.

I’ve been so busy, I looked up and March was gone and April speeding by. Here are a some writing activities I’m juggling:

Marston’s Station:

When and why do you find yourself reading? Join my private group on Goodreads and discuss your answers in the Newsletter Questions folder. I’m also trying to add a few threads about developments with Archer’s Aim.

News about The Unseen Hand:

My progress is up and down due to lingering health concerns and the time it takes to manage the issues. In summary, the “brain fog” seems to create some odd neurological issues which have been discussed with my doctor. The treatment instructions are garden-variety due to lack of information. Input-output activity can easily tax the brain’s executive functions and physical activity can exacerbate the problem. How long this condition lasts is unknown – some people are over it rather quickly, mine is lingering. Regardless, I muddle along with writing and shifting to less taxing tasks as needed. All those oddities slow down revision and is the reason this post .

All that being said, I’m pushing forward the best I can and hope to decide on a release date soon. There are still some free review copies available when the book is ready so let me know if you want one and I’ll add you to my list. Incidentally, I’m still offering some free remaining e-book copies of The Order of the Dark Rose – contact me if you are interested in one. If I am able to land on a release date, I’ll post that in a special announcement.

Regarding special announcements

I’d like to move those 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.

In other news

I’m developing series companions which will cover a wide range of background information about books in The Bow of Hart Saga and The Cursed Mage Case Files. Aside from reading, I find that working on these can be therapeutic when I’m not feeling well. I have a small one out for The Cursed Mage Case Files named Magic Gadgets, but I want to expand it. Of course this is a sidebar project and won’t be completed that soon, but if you want the current version, it is available to you via Bookfunnel at this link with newsletter subscription.

A Few Final Notes

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, there have been a few new items added on the Archer’s Aim Press Store over the last few months (there’s also a 15% coupon – SPRING15 until 4/30/2022). I’m also considering creating some unique digital items for the NFT market as well as looking into 3-D figures if you are interested in either one of these.

I hope to be back sooner with more news about The Unseen Hand, another fun development, and other news from Archer’s Aim.

Archer's Aim Press Store

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 25 free copies available so don’t hesitate if you are interested.