It’s been several weeks since my last post for several reasons. First I’ve been busy with completing Order of the Dark Rose. Next, I’ve been very busy at my day job. Lastly, I’ve been quarantined with you know what. No worries on the last one though I’ve got a lingering cough after a round of antibiotics. I’m mostly hoarse and taking a cough medicine that leave me drowsy at this point. Other than those issues, my high-speed internet is down until the weekend since a mouse chewed through the fiber cable and the local telco won’t repair it until this weekend due to illness
Here’s big news of the day: the final cover of The Order of the Dark Rose just arrived today. The artwork was delayed due to an injury suffered by my artist. There are unexpected delays for us all this year. My best wishes to Chris as he’s recuperating. Some minor delays are the least of our worries with health concerns.
Now to the cover which is both fantasy-based and very recognizable, especially since the characters and premise leans on an old favorite of many readers: Sherlock Holmes. But while the premise is familiar, the characters are different (including names) and the setting is completely in an alternate fantasy world.
However, with a fantasy world built around magic, main character Mandelfred “Manny” Mandeheim, is quite the opposite of Holmes as an arch-mage. Likewise, the Watson-like character of Wishton Ackford is even more average being an unemployed copy writer instead of a mild-mannered doctor.
Of course there are mysteries everywhere and Manny makes it his business – quite literally – to solve magical crimes. There are more familiar characters in the cases that unfold and the ones told center around a particular character of mysterious origin. Manny and Wish keep crossing the same thread of criminal activity with few clues and these cases serve to form an actual plot which will carry over into two more books and probably more.
Without further delay, here’s the cover of The Order of the Dark Rose, The Cursed Mage Case Files, Volume 1.
My cover artist, Christopher Rawlins, has outdone himself once again. It’s easy to see the similarities to Holmes while the magic is evident. The detail in the artwork is amazing from the texture of the upper and lower banners to the bones and skulls in the image. The monster is somewhat familiar but appears with magic glimmering its jaws while the characters are wielding magic themselves. Wishton Ackford is there on the side with an interesting weapon since he’s unskilled with magic. Manny is center-stage and facing down the beast with a wand.
Now is a good time for a repeat of the 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 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 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. Suddenly, 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 Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter, The Order of the Dark Rose is 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?
Find it on Pre-order at Amazon. Other retail and print links pending.
Thanks for stopping over today to see the cover. Please share this post wherever you can. Reaction is always welcome.