Weird Weather and a Good Book

What’s Going on!

The weather here in North Carolina was weird last week but in an awesome way! It was in the mid 70s for most of the week with some wonderful sunshine. Wish I could have enjoyed it more, but my work keeps me inside. Then Friday happened, and the temperature plummeted to the 30s.

Oh, well. Spring is nigh in these parts.

So, let’s see. What have I been up to? Well, I saw the Super Bowl, and unlike everyone else, I loved it. I liked that old school defensive struggle. Yes, yes. I get scoring is exciting, but watching a well-coached defense blow up plays can be equally fun.

I didn’t see any movies this time, but I am in the midst of bingeing on Babylon 5. I never saw this show when it first came out, and I’m enjoying it a lot. Sure, the special effects and some overacting made me cringe early on, but the writing, the dialogue, and the political machinations are wonderful.

I still have the boxset for books 1-3 on sale for only $0.99. A monster murdered his family. A malevolent king enslaved him. A ruler of nightmares torments his waking thoughts. They’ll all learn that a nerd from the 80s makes a terrible enemy!

I’m also still letting y’all know that  Wilde and the Sons of Deceit, book 4 in the Chronicles of William Wilde remains a new release, and the audiobook is narrated by Nick Podehl. Here’s the quick blurb:
William and his allies have done well so far against the Servitor’s might, but they’ve also royally pissed him off. He’s hellbent on answering their attacks with one of his own. If he doesn’t, he’ll have to face the wrath of his god, Lord Shet.

Monsters seek out macguffins. Gods awaken. And an epic battle is in the offing. 

I also have The Castes and the OutCastes, the Complete Collection for $0.99, my Audible #1 Bestseller with over 8500 Five-Star ratings. All 3 books, 5 short-stories, and over 1400 pages of a world of heroes, myths, monsters, and a schizophrenic goddess intent on destroying the world!

I’m not sure how much longer I’ll leave the boxsets so under-priced, so if you’re interested, now is the time to get them. Or read them on KU!

What I’ve Been Reading
I’m in the middle of reading House of Assassins by Larry Correia. This is the followup to his excellent Son of the Black Sword. The books are about a warrior who is essentially a priest. He’s called upon to kill demons whenever they exit the ocean. As a result of where they come from, large bodies of water are considered evil. It’s also draws somewhat on Hindu mythology.

Sunshine and a new release!

What’s Going on (Cue Marvin Gaye)!

The weather here in NC has been awful. We had a giant snowfall in the middle of December, which was fun for about 2 days. Then it just became a bunch of dirty crap. Then it started raining. And raining. And kept on raining. Right now, there’s sunshine, the first time I can remember seeing the sun in about 3 weeks. That’s not fun and reminds me of the midwest where I grew up. Love the midwest and my home town of Cincinnati, OH, but I hate the winter weather.

Speaking of Cincy, my Bengals flamed out this season. It’s terrible being a Bengals fan.

But Cincy is in my heart, which is why I set William Wilde in my home town with a high school based on the one I attended (although mine was all boys and the fictional St. Francis is coed). Or at least the first few books are set in Cincy. Then the series becomes a portal fantasy with links to hidden islands, draws in Rukh and Jessira, the main characters from my Castes and the OutCastes series. Then William Wilde expands further to connect to another world; this one gods, legends, and myths.

Which brings me to Wilde and the Sons of Deceit, book 4 in the series. This posting is a gentle reminder that the series releases on Jan. 8, including the audiobook, which is narrated by Nick Podehl once again. Here’s what it’s about:

The raid on Sinskrill was a success, but the battle is only just beginning. William realizes the stakes at hand. He still has to find a way to prevent Lord Shet, the god of the mahavans, from returning to Earth from the faraway world of Seminal. If he doesn’t, Arylyn will be destroyed.
But strange visions plague his mind: an albino monster who infects William with anger. It is Sapient Dormant, the Overward of the necrosed and tasked by Shet to recover a long lost talisman of power. The Servitor of Sinskrill also advances his own plans. He’s learned Arylyn’s location and will do whatever he can to bring a crippling blow to the magi.

Serena struggles with her own path, torn between loyalty and love for William and a desire to see her family safe. Rukh and Jessira seek to provide balance to the magi. Only they have the skill and training to keep Arylyn safe, but their memories of their shared past life on Arisa remain fragmented, and their greatest allies, their Kesarins—Aia and Shon—are nowhere to be found.

And on Seminal, Lord Shet schemes, certain of his coming victory.

In addition, for folks who haven’t given the series a try, there’s a boxset of books 1-3 on sale for only $0.99. Seriously, that’s pretty cheap for 3 books. Plus, it’s set in the 1980s, and since I originally wrote the books for my teenage boys, there’s fun nerd references, zombie Terminators, magic, chase scenes, and battles.

What I’ve Been Reading
Not much since the last time I sent a newsletter. I finished Will Wight’s excellent Cradle series. It is so much fun and worth a try. But right now, I’m in the middle of the Fourth Element Trilogy by Kat Ross. I’m early into the story, but it’s set in an empire drawn from ancient Persia. There’s an Alexander the Great threat on the horizon, but the main thrust of the story is about a young woman, Nazafareen, bonded do a demon named Darius. She’s a Water Dog, humans able to control demons. Except the demons look like humans and act like humans with the same emotions and fears. They just happen to be much more powerful, and they invaded the empire several centuries ago. A religion arose based on that invasion, but it may be based on a lie. It’s well-written and the characterizations are strong. I hope the rest of the series is as good as the first 20% that I’ve read.

Grab a book! Deeply discounted and all that!

Salvation’s Dawn, book 1 of Joe Jackson’s Gods and Kings series in on sale for only $0.99! 

What’s it about? Hmm. Tough one to categorize, but let’s start with the world, which is complex and definitely on the epic scale with a diverse range of races and religious pantheons. Given the wealth of various species, in some ways, it reminded me of Martha Wells’ Raksura series. As for Kari, the main character, she’s wonderfully complex. She’s a resurrected demon hunter with a whole bunch of problems that comes with that and being an anthropomorphic dragon.

Also, Eve of Redemption, Book 9 of the series is on sale for only $0.99! It just released on Jan. 5th.
War has erupted on three worlds. A hero king lies in chains in a demon-controlled realm. Kari and her allies are beset on all sides, both at home and in their enemies’ lands.

Happy Merry Post-Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Even if it’s a day late and a dollar short!

What I’ve Been Doing

Not a whole lot. I saw Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, which was an absolutely fun movie. It was my favorite Spiderman movie, and it was also one of my favorite superhero movies of all time.
I’m pushing hard on William Wilde, book 5.
Speaking of William Wilde, some news!
William Wilde and the Sons of Deceit, book 4 in the series, releases on Jan. 8. It’s up for preorder, including the audiobook, which is narrated by Nick Podehl once again. Here’s what it’s about:

The raid on Sinskrill was a success, but the battle is only just beginning. William realizes the stakes at hand. He still has to find a way to prevent Lord Shet, the god of the mahavans, from returning to Earth from the faraway world of Seminal. If he doesn’t, Arylyn will be destroyed.
But strange visions plague his mind: an albino monster who infects William with anger. It is Sapient Dormant, the Overward of the necrosed and tasked by Shet to recover a long lost talisman of power. The Servitor of Sinskrill also advances his own plans. He’s learned Arylyn’s location and will do whatever he can to bring a crippling blow to the magi.

Serena struggles with her own path, torn between loyalty and love for William and a desire to see her family safe. Rukh and Jessira seek to provide balance to the magi. Only they have the skill and training to keep Arylyn safe, but their memories of their shared past life on Arisa remain fragmented, and their greatest allies, their Kesarins—Aia and Shon—are nowhere to be found.

And on Seminal, Lord Shet schemes, certain of his coming victory.

I also created a boxset for books 1-3 of The Chronicles of WIlliam Wilde and it’s only $0.99 from now until I feel like ending the sale.

What I’ve Been Reading
The Disaster Artist. My boys asked me to read this, and I’m in the middle of the book. Tommy Wiseau is impossible to describe, and his movie The Room is hailed as the best, worst movie ever made. Listening to my kids talk about it reminds me of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. As for The Disaster Artist, it’s a behind the scenes look at the making of this simultaneously hilarious and weird movie.

I’m also reading Unsouled by Will Wight and absolutely loving it. It reminds of leveling up games and is as fun but better than his House of Blades trilogy.

Grab a book! Deeply discounted and all that!

The good folks at Fantasy Bridge Crew are doing another audiobook giveaway. Enter for a chance to win free audiobook code. And the grand prize winner wins a code as well as a few other cool things, like an Amazon gift card.

Fables from a Lost Land by Aaron Hodges

Three first books in three epic fantasy series. It’s on sale now for only $0.99

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?

WHAT’S NEW IN MY WORLD?
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.

WHAT HAVE I BEEN UP TO?
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.

WHAT’S FOR SALE?
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 Audible.com 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:
Amazon
Audible

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