December Newsletter

What I’ve Been Reading
Mike Shel is a fantastic author. I’ll start with that because while his debut, Aching God, is a quest book, which sounds 1980s, and it’s definitely an homage in that sense, it’s a quest book in which the characters are older, wiser, and have earned their rest. Unfortunately, the world turns and calls them back to action. In this case, it’s Auric Manteo, a one-time adventurer. In the beginning we learn some of Auric’s past, and Mike’s descriptive prose, his ability to insert backstory is so seamless that it’s a joy to read.
Then comes the meat of the story, the steady sense of increasing dread. The quest that feels like a horror movie with tension driving the plot. I won’t say anymore, except to say that it’s a wonderful book.
What I’ve Been Doing

I saw Creed 2, which was a lot of fun. In a lot of ways, it’s like a merger between Rocky III and Rocky IV but waaay better than both. It’s about Victor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago, the Russian juggernaut who killed Apollo Creed in Rocky IV and of course, Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo. The two are destined to repeat the tragedy their father’s started. It starts out like Rocky III with Adonis winning the heavyweight crown, and like Rocky III, instead of Clubber Lang, we have the menace of Victor Drago looming in the background.
Adonis and is fiance are expecting their first child, and instead of celebrating the upcoming birth of his baby as well as the fact that he’s the heavyweight champion of the world, he has Victor on his mind.
The actor who plays Victor, Florian Munteanu, doesn’t get to say much, but he has a presence that can’t be denied. He dominates the screen when he’s on. It was surprising, but I’m looking forward to seeing him in other movies.

Other things that happened. Hmm. Let’s see. My van was totaled when I was heading north for Thanksgiving. Luckily, no one was hurt, including the other driver, who simply took his eyes off the road and crashed into us at a stop light. We were a 1/2 mile from our destination, Paula Deen’s restaurant, in Pigeon Forge. Oh well. After it was all said and done, the insurance covered the van, we eventually replaced it with a newer vehicle with less miles, and we still went to Paula Deen’s.

Grab a book! Deeply discounted and all that!

The Gryphon Riders Trilogy Boxset by Derek Alan Siddoway

A land under magical siege. An elite band of warriors flying to its defense. To save their kingdom, a quiet blacksmith must fulfill her destiny.

3 books. 600+ pages of page-turning YA epic fantasy for only $0.99!

The Buried Goddess Saga by Rhett Bruno and Jaime Castle
A cunning thief. A stubborn knight. Only together can they save a broken kingdom. 

Self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Thief”, Whitney Fierstown, and the steadfast knight, Torsten Unger, are thrown together. This unlikely duo must overcome the Queen’s treasonous brother, steal back the prince’s missing soul, survive the horrifying monster lurking in the darkness . . . or die trying.

Book one, Web of Eyes, is on sale between Dec. 4-6 for only $0.99.

Book two, Winds of War, releases on Dec. 4, and is on sale for $2.99 between Dec. 4-Dec. 9.

Both books are also available as audiobooks and narrated by the awesome Luke Daniels. With WhisperSync, they’re only $7.47.

I also write, and here are my books (so far):

The Castes and the OutCastes: An Asian Indian Epic Fantasy Trilogy

The Chronicles of William Wilde: A YA Epic Fantasy Series

October Newsletter

Hi OutCastes!

Once again, it’s time for my semi-monthly update on what’s going on in my world. Exciting, right?

I don’t have any new books coming out, but November will hopefully be a different story. That’s when William Wilde and the Sons of Deceit, book four of The Chronicles of William Wilde should release. Look for it in either late November or early December (I hope). I’m putting the finishing touches on it right now. What’s it about you ask?
Good question. Here’s the blurb

The Servitor of Sinskrill has learned the location of Arylyn. He’ll stop at nothing to see the island destroyed. William must find a way to fight off an invasion he knows is coming. The Overward of the necrosed, Sapient Dormant, awakens. He has fresh prey in mind: William, who he infects with anger. Serena finds her place on Arylyn and will do anything to save her home. Rukh and Jessira train the magi of Arylyn to fight. And Lord Shet on the faraway world of Seminal has plans of his own. Mysteries are slowly revealed. Who is Cinder Shade and how is he related to Rukh? Then a whole bunch of battles take place, stuff gets blown up, and the Kesarins, Aia and Shon, charge into the fray.

William Wilde was always meant to include the characters of The Castes and the OutCastes, and, yes, it can be thought of as a continuation of sorts of that series. And Seminal, a world of ancient legends and myths, of epic stories and lies, will figure prominently in my future writings.

I went to DragonCon this year as an attending pro, which was absolutely fantastic. I met some really great people, fellow authors and artists. It was phenomenal to be surrounded by so many people who shared my nerdy interests and got all my geek references. I also met some wonderful people who enjoyed my books so much that they came to DragonCon and wanted to meet me. That was an incredibly humbling experience and also really, really cool.
At DragonCon, I shared a house with Bryce O’Connor, author of Child of the Daystar. Think Conan in dragon form mixed with the Punisher. Raz, the Monster or Karth, is really that badass. I wish I could steal him.  Dyrk Ashton was also at the house. He’s the author of Paternus: Rise of the Gods. The book is reputedly urban fantasy, but truthfully, Dyrk’s books are more epic in scope than just about any epic fantasy out there. They’re fast-paced, fun, but with characters who have a chance to live. Plus, Bryce and Dyrk are awesome guys.
We had such a great time at DragonCon. One of my best weekends in years. Miss it already.
Otherwise, like I mentioned up above, I’m putting the finishing touches on William Wilde, book 4. I also created a glossary for it. Portions of it will be placed at the end of each ebook. I also created a summary for each book, and those will go at the beginning of each book.
While I was doing this, I realized how complicated William Wilde has become. I thought it would be a simple adventure story, but nope, it decided to expand and explode in detail and depth. All sorta griping aside, I really like how William Wilde is turning out. I think it’s far and away my best writing, and I especially like how well aspects of The Castes and the OutCastes have been woven into the story, but man, one day I think I need to write a standalone novel that really is just that simple and straightforward.
That’ll have to wait, though, because I’ve got other stories to write first, and they’re all threatening to be even more complicated that William Wilde and even The Castes.
I don’t get to watch much TV, but in August, I needed a break from writing and life. I ended up watching Justified. It’s about a US Marshall stationed in Miami who gets the sideways promotion/demotion to the eastern Kentucky office out of Lexington. It stars Timothy Oliphant and features an absolute stellar cast of actors and writers. I cannot recommend this show highly enough. The writing and acting is simply superb. After watching Justified, most every other show seems bland and boring.
Football season started. Go Bengals! They won’t, but I like to fantasize (get it) that they will.

There’s a promo I’m excited to be involved in. It’s specially made for fantasy audiophiles. Just click the link and enter a chance to win a 12-month membership! It’s brought to you by a whole bunch of fantasy authors. Oh, yes and don’t forget to browse the books. There’s everything from urban fantasy to dark fantasy to epic fantasy to romantic fantasy . . . You get the drift.

Also, a friend of mine, JC Kang, has a finished series for sale, The Dragon Song Quartet, listed for only $0.99. It’s a promo and gives you over 1700 pages of Asian influenced epic fantasy. JC has also launched a new series, Masters of Deception. It’s set in the same world as his original series, and the first book is also discounted at $0.99 but only through Sunday, October 7th.


The glossary for William Wilde is up.

This is a word of warning. This is the glossary through book 4. Yes, I know, book 4 isn’t out yet, but it’s in the final stages of editing, so this is the information I used through that book. There aren’t many spoilerish items if you’ve read through book 3, but any earlier, and yeah, there’s a lot of spoilers.

To find the glossary, scroll along the top menu, go to ‘Worlds’ and drop down to the World of William Wilde, you’ll find the glossary. Or you can just click on the link.

A small taste of William Wilde book 4. It made me smile to write about these two.

Rukh nodded and drew her into his arms. “What do you know of Jareth, Wren, Sinder, and Brin?”Jessira stiffened. The names caused her joy and pain in equal measure.
“You know who they are, don’t you?” Rukh asked. “I can’t see their faces. I only know the names.”
“They’re our children,” Jessira told him.
“And two are dead.”
His words fell like a stone, and Jessira could only nod. Pain at what they’d lost stole her voice. After a moment, she managed to collect herself. “They were born without flesh and yet were mortal.” A tear leaked down her cheek.
Rukh traced the tear. “You’ve known all along?”
“I knew,” Jessira said. “It came to me when I first entered Meldencreche.”
Rukh tilted up her chin. “You carried the burden of their loss alone. Why not tell me?”
“They are only names until you remember their lives,” Jessira replied.
Rukh hugged her. “It’s why I came here, to remember all I lost, so when we see our children again, I’ll know them.”
Jessira stepped out of his embrace and took his hand. She tugged him forward. “Let me show you what stirred my memories. It’s a mural of the Lord of the Sword and the Lady of Fire. You’ll know who they are when you see their faces.”

August Newsletter/William Wilde Book 3 launch!

Hi OutCastes,

My semi-monthly update on what’s going on in my world. First off, book 3 of The Chronicles of William Wilde releases tomorrow, August 7th, 2018. Here’s a short blurb:

William must summon his courage and return to Sinskrill. Great friends remain trapped on that terrible island, and he’s vowed to see them freed. But even with the aid of powerful allies, such as Rukh and Jessira, will his courage be enough against the terrible strength and magic of the Servitor?

Here are the links:

I saw a few movies over the past few months. First, The Incredibles 2, which was delightfully charming. All the characters are back, and their relationships remain and grow deeper. Family is still the key, but my favorite scene is likely Jack Jack’s encounter with a raccoon.

Next, Avengers: Infinity War. It was mindless fun, and I enjoyed it, but I think part of my enjoyment was because I went in with low expectations. I still love the characters, but just once, I’d like to see them do something unexpected, like keep their cool until after the battle.

I also saw Mission Impossible:Fallout. I don’t remember a whole lot from this movie, except that it was fun and frenetic. I liked it for than Avengers but less than The Incredibles 2.
My favorite movie by far this summer, though, is one I saw on Netflix. Coco. I never gave this movie a chance when it was in the theaters because the trailers looked so dumb. But then my wife watched it, while I was reading Senlin Ascends (a fantastic book, btw). She had tears in her eyes at the end, so one day when I wasn’t doing anything, I watched it by myself. And I had tears in my eyes as well. It’s hard to describe why this movie is so good without ruining the plot, but it’s moving, funny, heartwarming without being syrupy, and grown-up in how it handles death, loss, and regret. It’s easily in my top 3 Pixar movies of all time, which is saying something given that studio’s track record.

A final note, and this one is personal. My father passed away last week on July 28th. He died after a long struggle, and his illnesses had been many years in the making. His suffering sucked away the joy out of most things. While I published my books, was happy with the success I had, often in the back of my head, I wished my father could have enjoyed it with me. He would have been so proud.
In the five years of his illness, it was writing that was a large part of my salvation. The act of creation, of storytelling while my dad slowly withered was a kind of blessing. However, while I tried to keep an upbeat tone online and in social media, that positivity wasn’t how I was generally feeling. I was grieving and am still grieving, and with his passing, some things have come into focus. I’ve finished book 4 of William Wilde. It only needs about 5-6 weeks of edits, and it’s done. Then comes book 5, and I’m not sure if I’ll get to that right away. There’s a deeper story I may want to tell first. It’s the story of my immigrant family and how we came to be in America. It’s one I’ve wanted to tell for years, and if I don’t start it now, I may not be able to tell it later since others in my family are also ill.
We’ll see. If that happens, it isn’t to say I’ll leave William Wilde unfinished. I know how that story ends, and I promise to finish it as I imagined and as I deserved, and it won’t be years from now. But I also ask for patience before I jump straight to it. I need some time to reflect on things and then decide what to do next.

Davis Ashura

Trailers from San Diego Comic Con!

No, I wasn’t there. Maybe one day. Anyhow, here are the trailers I liked, even if I may never see the movies themselves:
1) Godzilla: King of the Monsters
I can’t wait to see this one.

2) Glass
Now, I have to go back and watch Split first.

3) Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelald
I enjoyed the first Fantastic Beasts a lot more than I thought I would.

4) Shazam!
Looks cheesy and fun.

5) Aquaman
Jason Mamoa looks great as Aquaman, and I liked him in Justice League. I’m still kinda meh about this movie though.

Today’s Launch Day for William Wilde and the Stolen Life!

It’s launch day!

Get your copy of William Wilde and the Stolen Life at your local Amazon and Audible stores!

Having survived the deadly Kohl Obsidian, William Wilde had hoped his life would settle down; that he’d finish his senior year of high school and have no further adventures.
But life isn’t so simple for a potential magus, especially one who’s overcome as dangerous an enemy as Kohl. Instead, William has unwittingly earned the raptor gaze of even greater foes. One is someone he thought he could implicitly trust while others are even more terrifying. And all are from the island of Sinskrill. They are mahavans, powerful magic-users bent on humanity’s enslavement. They seek to capture William and bind him in perpetual servitude upon Sinskrill.
William finds himself trapped amongst people for whom deceit and pain are simple coins to be traded, and his best hope for survival might lie with those he thought to be his mortal enemies.
And for those looking for more Rukh and Jessira, you’ll find it here. A few of the characters from The Castes and the OutCastes, manage to make it over to Earth.

June Newsletter

My first real newsletter! I’m trying something new, and I can’t promise I’ll keep doing it. Here  goes . . .


The most important thing is this: William Wilde and the Stolen Life, Book 2 of The Chronicles of William Wilde releases next week, on June 18th and preorders for the Kindle edition are here:

The audiobook can be purchased on Amazon, here:

Or on Audible here:

And for those wanting more Rukh and Jessira, you’ll find it in this book and the rest of the series. That’s right. Some of the characters from The Castes and the OutCastes, which takes place on the world of Arisa, cross over to Earth. Rukh and Jessira made a limited appearance in book 1, William Wilde and the Necrosed, but they become a more integral part of the story as the series unfolds. Nevertheless, the bulk of what happens is about William Wilde.

BTW, here’s the blurb:

Having survived the deadly Kohl Obsidian, William Wilde had hoped his life would settle down; that he’d finish his senior year of high school and have no further adventures.
But life isn’t so simple for a potential magus, especially one who’s overcome as dangerous an enemy as Kohl. Instead, William has unwittingly earned the raptor gaze of even greater foes. One is someone he thought he could implicitly trust while others are even more terrifying. And all are from the island of Sinskrill. They are mahavans, powerful magic-users bent on humanity’s enslavement. They seek to capture William and bind him in perpetual servitude upon Sinskrill.
William finds himself trapped amongst people for whom deceit and pain are simple coins to be traded, and his best hope for survival might lie with those he thought to be his mortal enemies.


I went to ConCarolinas and met a number of wonderful people, including John Hartness, publisher of Falstaff Books and all around generous guy, Drew Hayes, author of a series of highly popular superhero novels, Chris Jackson, who once wrote a book in one month while docked in St. Lucia, David Coe, who was a favorite of mine when I was still in the dream stages of wanting to become a writer, and Faith Hunter, who was kind to a newbie.
Also, for anyone who might in the Atlanta area over Labor Day, I’ll be attending DragonCon this year as an Attending Pro, so you might see me on some panels.
Oh, yes. I’m also putting the finishing touches on William Wilde and the Sons of Deceit before it goes out to the editor. It’s the 4th book in the series and book 3, William Wilde and the Unusual Suspects, is already complete and recorded by Nick Podehl.

With each newsletter, I’m going to do my best to include an item by a fantasy I’ve enjoyed reading. This month, it’s Steve Kelliher’s Landkist SagaSteve is a former MMA fighter, and so, of course, his battle scenes are absolutely vivid. However, that descriptive skill carries over to his other scenes. He sets the scene so well, and his characters live and breathe. The turmoil they face, the genocide that threatens them—that’s the heart of the book. It’s a dark, mysterious world with a sense of history and filled with conflicted people who struggle to do what’s right, with no one entirely sure what that means.