You be the judge of these covers for The Order of the Dark Rose
I’ve been taking a long hard look at things lately with The Cursed Mage Case Files. Sales have been pretty good, but there still seems to be something of a disconnect with readers. .With that in mind, I’m looking for the cause of any problems where readers might not connect with the current book.
First on the list is the cover. Today, you get to help choose whether the cover should be changed by voting in the poll at the end. Click your favorite and let me know:
#1 – The Original
#2 – The Print Variation – this is one based on a print variation that I never used:
#3 – Bright Gold Panels – just playing around with the colors, not the artwork:
#4 – Rose Panels – my wife prefers this one as a rose theme:
Please feel free to share this around. The more votes and interaction there is with the post, the better I understand reader preferences. Also, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
Read the another excerpt from the new gaslamp fantasy from P. H. Solomon’s The Order of the Dark Rose, Volume 1 of The Cursed Mage Case Files, highlighting Wishton Ackford’s reactions to magical dangers.
A few weeks ago the post, ODR Character Spotlight: A Wish and a Prayer, highlighted Wishton Ackford (Wish), the narrator of the first book of The Cursed Mage Case Files, The Order of the Dark Rose. The post focused on Wish’s perspective as a non-mage and his struggles to cope with the dangers of magical investigations. This short excerpt from The Case of the Disgraced Sniffer continues to highlight how vulnerable Wish is to magic confrontations and how unexpected threats can appear:
Dusk lengthened amid a mist from the coast. With Manny’s instructions colliding in my thoughts, I left the post and returned an alternate way as I struggled with interpreting my surroundings through his way of thinking. Too many people of the same indistinct form in the fog threatened me. Confound Manny and his sniffer suspicions. No matter where I turned, someone followed and, without something magical, no means presented itself to me of determining the identity of anyone.
Such was my worry that I wandered for some time in the growing darkness and thickening gloom without clear notion of where Manny’s townhouse stood. With some relief, I found one familiar street and followed it to Funderlass. With equal comfort, I noted no one followed along my path as I doubled-back to the alley and the basement entrance which Manny insisted I use.
As I entered the alley, a figure disengaged from the shadows and mist. A wand prodded me in the chest, and I froze. A voice, rough and steady, demanded of me, “Who are you?”
Have a look at The Order of the Dark Rose, Volume 1 of The Cursed Mage Case Files:
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 criminal activity. 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. 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 gaslamp fantasy and Sherlock Holmes-like cases, The Order of the Dark Rose is a sleuth private detective mystery 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?
Click one of these buttons for more information:
About the Author:
Multi retailer Bestselling Author, Fantasia Reviews Book of the Year Author 2017 & 2018
U. S. author, P. H. Solomon grew up with a love of books including fantasy. Always interested in odd details, history and the world around him, P. H. has found an outlet in writing where he mixes a wide range of interests from the regular world, history and anthropology into his fantasy books.
His epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga, brought a fresh viewpoint to the genre where magic, myth and mysticism mingle. Described by readers as a “mixture of the classic fantasy past with new ideas.”
Trading Knives (0.1)
What is Needed (0.2)
The Bow of Destiny #1
An Arrow Against the Wind #2
The White Arrow #3
The latest series, The Cursed Mage Case Files is a mash-up of classic Sherlock Holmes, The Dresden Files and Harry Potter into a unique fantasy world where magic is both an arcane practice and a technological power to be harnessed. Join Mandlefred Mandeheim and Wishton Ackford as they team up to investigate magical mysteries.
The Order of the Dark Rose #1
The Unseen Hand #2 (upcoming)
The Nine Jewel Heist #3 (upcoming)
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: