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The Premise of The Cursed Mage Case Files

Hey everyone!

Well, I’m trying to get back into a groove with my blogging so here goes my first one post-release of The Order of the Dark Rose.

As mentioned last week in the release post, the series began with a premise in 2016 during a writer’s conference. It was literally during a seminar session about something unrelated when the notion hit me. Since I use my computer even at conferences, I immediately typed in the kernel idea and some additional thoughts about it.

The premise? What if Sherlock Holmes was in a fantasy world where magic is very common. Hmm….

That was interesting.

At the time, I was in the middle of some other writing projects and only gave this a bit of time, created a developmental project in Scrivener and moved back to the tasks at hand. But it was there, waiting to be written.

During early 2017, I found myself out of work and turned to frantically completing both An Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow in the same year. Around all that, an agent seemed interested in the premise of what would become The Order of the Dark Rose. Another idea was included from my pending Black Glove project and I was asked to write some initial pages for each. I let the agent know that these were in their infancy and lacked world-building and much more. However, I wrote both opening concept pieces around completing An Arrow Against the Wind. Nothing ever came of the representation, but both of those projects were completed in following couple of years.

At the time of that initial writing, my daughter read the opening pages of the manuscript, then promptly found me in the house and announced, “I love Manny!” That stoked the fire to work on this project and, as soon as I finished work on The White Arrow and published it, I dove into work on what was then termed “Reformed Mage.”

Over 200k words later, I finished the draft with some trepidation at the length, but keen to do something with it. My editor took a look and encouraged me to split the manuscript into three books. Easy enough to do in Scrivener, yet there were creative constraints as well. I dutifully set about to split the manuscript, then needed to add more to it but the editor liked it.

The kernel, that premise, is still central to the entire series. It takes Sherlock Holmes and expands that venerated character in a different direction. He’s got a curse. He’s magical (Sherlock Holmes didn’t like mediums, so this is a departure). His name is Mandlefred Mandeheim. The world in which the story is set is driven by new magical innovations that harness this force of nature into technology. And yet, there’s opportunity for a villain.

That original idea went in many directions in the creation of technology, magic, culture, politics and much more in an alternate fantasy world where almost anything can happen – within bounds. But more on that another time from Manny’s brother who is a spell-checker (meaning he checks spell – you get the picture).

What would it be like to have a character like Sherlock Holmes in a fantasy world? Here’s my take on the idea presented in The Order of the Dark Rose, Volume 1 of The Cursed Mage Case Files. I hope many people will pick it up and enjoy this fun, different story of an all too familiar character and setting mashed up into a different genre. It’s been a lot of fun getting this series launched and I’m soon beginning serious revision of the next book to release as soon as possible. Have a look and share it with friends – the more the merrier!

Here are the links where you can find The Order of the Dark Rose:

   

Fantasy Friday! His Nagging Secrets

Hi, everyone! Today, I share another excerpt from The Bow of Destiny. Some of this was added in much later stages of the book. It’s all about Athson’s nagging, inconvenient secrets…


Athson“Careful of trolls on the trail.” The old man smacked his lips and fidgeted.

Athson whirled and glared at the old man. “We’ve done well.” He turned away.

A wheezy chuckle erupted behind him before Athson took two steps. “You should ignore neither warnings, dreams, nor visions – nor gifts.”

Athson froze mid-step. Moments passed like a day as he turned. Shock filled him anew when he saw no sign of the trapper on the porch.

He leapt back up the steps, landing with a clatter on the boards. He yanked open the door and took a hurried look inside the post. Lukaus and Gweld shot him startled expressions but Athson didn’t see the trapper. As Athson slammed the door, Lukaus said, “Back so soon?”

Three quick steps along the porch and Athson jumped the rail at the corner of the building. He glanced under the porch and circled the post, searching both the forest and the ground for sign of the trapper. Nothing. The trapper’s absence and his words set Athson’s heart racing. That comment hit too close to what had happened. And what no one else knew but him. Was the trapper nearby when he first discarded the inheritance? Athson rubbed his hands together but the scrapes had healed days earlier.

Athson’s jaw flexed. Something – or someone – had followed him from Eagle’s Aerie. Lukaus indicated no one had passed through for a long time. The comments from the missing trapper and the post-keep left Athson dizzy. “Can’t tell what’s real yet. I’m still making things up, no matter…” But they were real, he knew it.

The room and cot weren’t so inviting anymore.

Athson shrugged his pack to a comfortable position on his shoulders and made for the trail at his fastest walk. His best course now lay south for the road and away from Withlings, odd trappers, and mouthy station-keeps. The more distance travelled, the easier to avoid entanglements with Corgren, Withlings, eagles, dreams, Spark, and whatever haunted his steps – both imagined or not. He waved a cloud of gnats out of his face.

Gweld leaned over the porch rail. “Hey, Athson. What about the room?”

Athson whirled. “Let’s just go.” He waved Sarneth’s order.

Gweld shrugged, hollered apology through the door and then leapt the rail. Athson grumbled his disappointment under his breath at missing sleep on a cot. Hiding his secrets was more important than comfort. He swatted the insects out of his eyes and quick-stepped away from Afratta as Gweld trotted to his side.


That’s all for today! Later this week, I’ll share more about how I wrote The Bow of Destiny and how I’m doing on the next one.

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

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IMG_4154-EditAbout 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. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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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.