Cursed Mage

Hot Off the Press Cover Reveal: The Order of the Dark Rose

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.

 

Publication Announcements

Hello everyone. I hope you all had a good week. Mine went fast but progressed well. Revision of the Cursed Mage series (formerly Reformed Mage) manuscript was completed and sent to my editor who begins work on it today. I should have that back at the end of the month after which I’ll begin working toward publication. During this month, I’ll continue work on a host of projects but I’m narrowing down my publication schedule for the next several months as follows:

Curses Dark and Foul is almost ready and should be posted on Amazon within a few days so that date is this week as soon as possible. There are several previous posts about this anthology which can be found at the following links:

The Next Step: Curses Dark and Foul

Curses Dark and Foul – More Background

Curses Dark and Foul – A Personal Story

Curses Dark and Foul – Blurb Reveal

Those should catch anyone up on the book background and the cover. This has been a fun little project to work on recently.

 

The White Arrow print edition should be ready on Amazon about mid-September if all goes well. I’ll update this with a specific date when I have one. This will complete print for the entire three-book series and round out the main formats being available (eBook, print and audio).

The Changeling Incident, which is the prequel for the first Reformed Mage novel, should be released in October, possibly by mid-month. That is part of the current editing for the full novel so it is a priority when the manuscript is back in my hands. There should be a pre-release link available soon.

The Feral Name is the opening novel of the Cursed Mage Case Files series and my hope is to release it between October 26th and November 16th depending on how much work will be done on the final version. I’ve contacted my artist about a cover and should have that within a few weeks to share here. I will have a pre-release link available as soon as possible. I’m going to print from the start with these novels in addition to ebook. Audio is a desire and I’ll approach my publisher with the manuscript and pre-release sales to see if they are interested in the series. Audio is not immediate release expectation. but I hope to add it quickly after the first book is published and possibly release this format with the subsequent titles if that works out at all.

Otherwise, I’ll begin work on the next book in the Cursed Mage series this month to complete that revision for hand-off to my editor during October or November. Book three of this series should be right behind that and the hope is to release these two books in early 2021, February and April being the respective timelines. My expectation is to complete dictation of the last three books over the interim and possibly release the untitled fourth book during late 2021.

One more series is targeted for initial release during 2021 which is under the working reference of Black Glove. This first in series novel is ready for editing now and I’ll get it on the editing schedule if I don’t give Inkshares a submission with it. It’s my plan to quickly plan the entire series so I can dictate the next several books in the coming months too.

The Broken Shield series and the sequel series for The Bow of Hart Saga are also in the works, the former already having a completed rough draft. I have one other completed rough draft for a fantasy named All Things Forgotten and I hope to plan a full series for it as well during August. I should be busy with all the revisions and planning for dictation this month, but I’ll be ready to pivot to my main title of the year when the time arrives.

That’s all for today. Look for the release announcement of Curses Dark and Foul within a few days. Thanks for stopping by today and reading about the latest updates.

 

Overdue But Not Forgotten

Hey, everyone! I’ve been out of the loop on the blog for well over a month. June went by so fast that I didn’t even realize I skipped so many weeks. Work was so busy with emergency projects that I was exhausted and never even thought much about the blog. I’m long overdue on updates and developments as well as projects.

First, Curses Dark and Foul slid onto hold. There’s nothing wrong with anthology, I’ve just been behind and laser-focused on completing my revision of my new series as you’ll read below here. I still need to compile the anthology manuscript and complete formatting for an eBook which take some time. It’s next on my list of projects as soon as I complete my revision. Maybe I’ll have the release link for Curses Dark and Foul available next week if all goes well.

The print edition of The White Arrow has also been on hold while I’m revising my next novel. The print edition requires time to complete some changes because the front and back content for print will contain some differences to the eBook version. It won’t take terribly long but I prefer to complete the novel under construction first.

(Sigh), I’ve been running late on my revision of the Cursed Mage book which includes the Changeling Incident. Life has been busy and exhausting but I keep trudging along with the work. I’m nearing the end of the revision and hope (fingers crossed) I’ll send it over to my editor in the next week. The big deal is that I need to get this to my editor ASAP so she will have time to work on it before she goes on vacation in a few months. If it’s too late then the book won’t be completed in time to publish this year which is a primary goal of mine.

There have been quite a few changes and additions for this revision which are time consuming to complete with my current schedule. This leads me to something I’ve been promising for a while but is finally ready for readers to see: an excerpt. I’m not ready to show this to the public yet, so I’ve chosen to put it into my private groups. If you want to read what I have so far, join my Goodreads private group, Marston’s Station and click on New Releases, then Cursed Mage, or try my Facebook private group, The Broken Bow Inn, and read the new excerpt.

That should be enough to catch everyone up on my current status. I’ll be back next week (I promise) with more updates and news about my progress. Hold my feet to the fire and ask me if I’ve been getting my revision completed. Thanks for stopping by today and feel free to leave your comments in the section below. Please keep the comments for the excerpt in the private groups.