Cover Reveal

Where I’ve Been & What’s Coming Up – I Hope…

It’s been a while since posting here on the blog. I’ve been struggling with health issues all year, so the summer was very busy in that regard. I’m still on a long, slow mend, but making a little progress. I’m heading back to some rehab, but it’s not as bad as last March.But rather than dwell on health, I prefer to share some of what’s going on with writing plans. The schedule is now jumbled, so I’m updating that on the news page. Also, I’ll get to a major shift in priorities in an upcoming post. Suffice it to say I’m going back to my writing roots. I’ll get into why and what it means later.

But rather than dwell on health, I prefer to share some of what’s going on with writing plans. The schedule is now jumbled, so I’m updating that on the news page. Also, I’ll get to a major shift in priorities in an upcoming post. Suffice it to say I’m going back to my writing roots. I’ll get into why and what it means later.

My immediate plans are to complete work on The Unseen Hand, Volume 2 of The Cursed Mage Case Files. My hope is to release it by Thanksgiving though it looks like that schedule may slide some.

The good news with the upcoming book is the artwork. I’ve ordered the cover from my artist and hope it will arrive within the week.

The delays with this book have been many and mostly physical. Energy and focus have been a big problem all year. This improved to the point where I could spend more time on it. However, all the backlog of the year of working in fits and spurts left me far behind on other needful tasks, some of which will be announced here in the coming days.

I made a lot of progress on all fronts out of my stagnation. Then my health dropped another major distraction on me. I developed a sudden eye infection. I was unable to keep my eyes open and had to make an emergency visit to the local eye hospital on a weekend. Then there were frequent drops, treatment, and more appointments.

This emergency kept me from working on the book for over a week. Oddly, or maybe not so odd in the end, I had an eye problem when I published The Bow of Destiny in late 2015. It turns out these were related. I was diagnosed with rosacea affecting my eyes. The ophthalmologist told me it’s often diagnosed from eye issues.

Now, I’m getting back in the swing more but still working around post Covid limitations. I’m getting better at working around them, but still have to do “working breaks”. But I’m making steady progress. This post is a good sign of that fact. I’m managing what feels like a new normal. As a result, revision of The Unseen Hand crawls forward.

I’ve even been able to make a few plans about other books and begin some much needed changes to the site as well as update books. Announcements are coming about multiple changes and developments and I think everyone will like them all.

My sincere hope is to launch more entertaining books for readers. If only I don’t have any more setbacks with health.

All that being expressed, I’m sorry I haven’t posted more here. I truly have been consumed with health concerns and just haven’t had the energy and focus to spend time on Archer’s Aim, let alone a new book. Things are progressing, just not as quickly as I’d like. Stay tuned, I’ll get to the next launch and more books beyond in due time. More to come about other holdups in the near future. In the meantime, please see the News page for some updates as I get back in the proverbial saddle, even if it’s with limitations.

Also as a closing note, I am catching up on lost time this week with several posts. The schedule will settle down next week.

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.

Cover Reveal: Grinders by C. S. Boyack

Note: This book just arrived a few days ago. You can find it here: Grinders. More about the book coming soon!

I’m here to reveal my newest cover and talk a bit about Grinders. This time, I’m tackling a cyberpunk world. It’s one of those worlds where the Internet and being connected too much controls our lives.

One of the things I like about science fiction is the ability to project current events into the future. I call this, “Poking things with a stick.”

I poked a lot of things in this book, but most of them are in passing. Some of them show up in advertisements, which are invasive in this world. Others might just be a news blurb. There are times when I dive a bit deeper, and not everything is negative. Here is a small list of things that show up in the story:

  • Global warming
  • Plastic pollution
  • Helicopter moms
  • Cyber shut-ins
  • The energy crisis
  • New ways for package thieves to operate
  • Police who can’t carry guns until they are five-year veterans
  • Homeowner associations

There are a lot more, and most of them are pretty subtle. Cyberpunk is not known for deep plots, but I wanted one anyway.

Grinders is set about a hundred years in the future, in San Francisco. The main characters are cops assigned to the Grinder Squad. This is the duty nobody wants, and you almost have to screw up to get this assignment.

Grinders exist today, but I ramped them up for this story. These are people who surgically modify themselves, or each other, in basement surgeries, beauty salons, and tattoo parlors. Real world examples are those who implant chips under their skin to allow themselves to unlock doors or start cars without a key. There has even been one who injected dye into his eyeballs in an attempt to see in the dark. In that example, it actually worked but the results were temporary.

My story involves the downside of these modifications, why they’re illegal, and most of them are a bit more extreme than the real world versions. For example, you’ll meet Brandi, who has moth-like antennae implanted into her forehead. They aren’t just cute, they allow her to taste virtually everything. She’s almost like a bloodhound, only using the sense of taste.

Grinder Squad rarely ever does anything, but the new girl on the squad, Jimi, wants to bust a grind shop in the worst way. She feels like it could be her ticket off this crap detail and on to better duty.

One of my silly goals was to release the book in time for Chinese New Year. I’m not going to make it. I still need to finish my final pass, send it to the formatter, and get my promotional posters. It’s going to need a blurb, too.

I targeted this date because in the story, it’s the Year of the Rat. An important part of the story takes place at San Francisco’s annual parade. There are even a couple of rats in the story that play a pivotal role. Aside from that, I was born in the Year of the Rat.

Readers won’t actually care about my silly target date, and it’s more important to give everything the final polish. What I did get in time was cover art. So Gong Hei Fot Choi, everyone, and enjoy the cover. The story will be available before you know it, and I’ll announce that on my blog.

Find C. S. Boyack at these links and be sure to follow his blog for more details about this upcoming book release: