bloodstein-purple CroppedFinally, after years of work, LoE Book 10, The House of Bloodstein  is available! The HOB series consists of two books, this one, subtitled Perlamum and Book 11, subtitled Mentralysis.  Mentralysis is already written, just going through the usual editing and pre-publication process which can take a long time. It should be out in 2017.

All authors are different. Some are note-takers, scribbling down thoughts and sudden ideas for consideration later. Others outline the story from beginning to end, making the work into a full-fledged project. And then there’s me. I write on-the-fly, no notes, no outlines, nothing. I just write. It works for me most of the time. The problem with writing how I do is I tend to change my mind in mid-stream a lot. It’s never the case where the story I intended to write at the beginning is what ends up in the final product–and that is triply so for HOB.

As much as I complain about the NaNoWriMo month as a destructive stunt and waste of time, HOB started as a NaNo project I did to appease a friend about five years ago. It was a fairly straight-forward tale, but it lacked the manic imagination and strangosity I’m known for. In fact, as I finished the first draft, it reminded me of those feel-good ABC After-School Specials I used to have to watch as a kid. There’s a term in Spanish that applies here: The first draft of HOB had no tiene chiste. What that means is the story was plain, boring, had no oomph, had no pop. Love or hate my books, nobody’s ever bored, and HOB, due to the emphasis of NaNo on word-count, was full-on boring.

Cover mock-up

This cover mock-up, although beautiful, looks more like a cover one might find on a romance book, which is not the case here. We moved this image to the interior. (Carol Phillips)

So, there I was with a 50k manuscript that I, frankly, hated.

I moved on to writing the oft-mentioned but seldom-seen Shadow tech Goddess. As I wrote, the candy-coated mess that was HOB stayed in the back of my head like a doomed bug fying in a window pane. But, you know, sometimes, the addition of one or two elements can make all the difference, like that elusive missing piece of a puzzle that, once found, pulls everything else together. I’m not certain when it happened, but that missing piece for HOB hit me–hard–and I went back to the story. 50k words quickly exploded to 170k, enough for two complete books.

With this addition, all the old imagination came back in earnest, in spades. HOB went from a moribund cake-walk with no chiste, to the weirdest, most epic, most sprawling book in the LoE series yet with tons of chiste. I held nothing back… it is all out there and I am so happy to share it with the world at last.

HOB 4

The Wunderlucks, Ernst, Clara, Rusty and Aiken, are a bunch of bullies that are fun to hate. (Carol Phillips)

BLURB:

 

I usually suck at blurbing–it’s a lot harder than you might think, but, this one just sort of wrote itself for HOB

Mysterious and elusive, Lady Chrysania of Bloodstein calls from the ruins of her castle. She dwells in the dark, hiding her face, ravaged by an ancient curse. The only way to break the curse is to win a game called Perlamum. If she loses, she dies. She looks to her Vith kin in the west, begging for help acquiring the all-important pieces she needs to play the game. Lord Kabyl of Blanchefort, his Ne-Countess Sammidoran, and his cousins answer her call. However, collecting the Perlamum pieces for Lady Bloodstein is a deadly game. They must face a host of perils:

-The terrible Black Hat in the city of Waam who knows their every move.

-A hated rival on the planet Xandarr and the bewildering labyrinth of Gods Temple.

-The man from Shook who cannot be killed. -A family of vile bravos from the south.

-The diabolical Dead Men of Mare, nigh invincible creatures straight from an insane nightmare.

To even the odds, Kay and Sam turn to a forgotten graveyard deep in the Telmus Grove, and the great eminence resting there. Can Lady Chrysania of Bloodstein be helped, or, for that matter . . . . . . can she be trusted?

The House of Bloodstein  is out on Amazon–CLICK HERE to go to Amazon.com. I also have several signed copies available. If you’d like one, message me. I’ll even pay the shipping and throw in a little swag.

copyright 2016, Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips

 

 

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In just a week or two, Book V, “The Temple of the Exploding Head” will be out and that will do it for the “Temple Trilogy”

It’s been a grind and the end result barely resembles the original draft I finished back in 2009. As with anything, the story morphed, went off in unexpected directions and changed before my eyes and quite beyond my control. What began as a small coming of age story, became a complex treatment on what it means to be a hero and all the responsibility that comes with it. I changed characters, amputated body parts (literally) and fussed with the villains without pause for nearly three years Now that the final piece of this puzzle is ready to hit the shelves, I can finally says it’s done.

LoE Second Series kicks off with the "Sands of the Solar Empire" in April (promo piece in production by Fantasio)

But now that we can move on from the Temple, we explore further waters of the LoE Universe with the League of Elder Second Series starting with “The Sands of the Solar Empire” in April. Same world, just a different batch of characters. The “Sands” is a very different story, much simpler and more swashbuckling than the Temple. Also, Lord Stenstrom of Belmont, the main character, doesn’t have some of the advantages the House of Blanchefort does, he has to get by on his wits and his skills. The surrounding cast is also rather odd: Private Taara, a vagrant and petty thief from Bazz, Lord A-Ram, a meek, timid fellow who can barely see, and we also return to Captain Davage’s old ship, the Seeker–much older and ready to be scrapped. The ship also appears to be haunted, squealing and groaning, which makes for great fun.

Book V, The Temple of the Exploding Head will be out by the end of January, 2012

copyright 2012, Ren Garcia

The second book in the Temple of the Exploding Head Trilogy is finally here!!

The Machine

The Temple of the Exploding Head Saga continues…

Lord Kabyl of Blanchefort, his cousins Sarah and Phillip and their friend Lord Lon of Probert quest to recover the three pieces of a fabled machine lost for centuries: The Oberphilliax.

Their quest will take them beyond the safety of the League to the Xaphan city of Waam where an ancient Black Hat and her vile army of Spectre henchmen await their arrival with great anticipation.

The Machine sees Kay and his cousins visit distant Xandarr where he is confronted by the manifestations of his three Gifts: Waft, Cloak and Sight. Each will test him to his limits and if he falters for even a moment, he will die.

And, if he manages to survive that, then there’s the city of Rostov where death is a roll of the dice away, Dee, with the creature lurking in the water and Waam with its Black Hats and roving army of Spectres. To be a Shadow tech Male in Waam is to be hunted and killed without question … and Kay is a Shadow tech Male. The chase is on.

The book features cover art by Carol Phillips, and is lavishly illustrated with over 25 full page maps and drawings by Carol Phillips, Fantasio and Eve Ventrue.

Book Specifics:
Publisher: Loconeal Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9825653-5-3
Release Date: July 26th, 2011
Pages: 309

THE HOUSE OF WANT LEFT THE LEAGUE IN 000011AX.

The Sisterhood of Light had always seemed to have it in for the old Remnath House, ever since their great patriarch, Atrajak of Want, went mad and attacked them at their stronghold of Twilight 4. Atrajak was slain and branded a berserker and the House of Want was censured by the Sisters in the aftermath. Censured Houses often don’t survive, their currency is made worthless, they fall into ruin and disrepair and eventually go extinct.

The House of Want, frugal and modest, managed to survive and eventually regain a seat or two in the League Ex-Commons, though the Sisters had a long memory and never forgave them for Atrajak’s actions, even centuries later.

Little did the Sisters know that the House of Want would soon rise again in prominence and its name would endure the ages, not due to the exploits of the fallen hero Atrajak, but due to mind and hands of a gangly, rather misshapen man named Lord Revis of Want.

"The Machine" by Carol Phillips

Lord Revis of Want was a genius, a man centuries ahead of his time. He was a prolific inventor of incredible skill and the things he created astounded the League. He invented the containment field, the holo-emmiter, the modern guidance system for the Fleet’s canister missiles and the sub-orbital to name a few. All by himself, he led the House back into wealth, and he did it without the approval of the Sisters–a thing unheard of in League Society. It was said Lord Revis discovered how to create Brightstones, which were objects of Elder-tech.

Such talk was bound to attract the attention of the Sisters. They took note of his creations and were suitably impressed. They visited Want in the rolling hills of Remnath to be given a tour of his workshop and discuss with him his future plans. Perhaps they might consider forgiving the House and forgetting the past, embracing the House once again.

And Lord Revis refused to admit them. They stood there, knocking on his gate, getting no response. Normally, such a rebuff would be the doom of a House–nobody ignores the Sisters when they come to visit. Lord Revis, though, had made a name for himself through his creations and his standing protected him.

The Sisters, fuming in their stronghold at Valenhelm, kept hearing more and more about the menagerie of incredible machines kept hidden in Lord Revis’ workshop and that he had developed an Elder-like knowledge. Nobody keeps secrets from them and they were determined to gain entrance to his workshop and see what was there to be seen, even if they had to make a scene of it–even if they had to break the law.

In 000011AX, they stormed Want Manor, looking for Lord Revis and hoping to drag him off to Twilight 4 and teach him the error of his ways. They found nothing there. Lord Revis, his Countess Mirvara and their ten children all gone without trace. Entering his fabled workshop, it too was empty. The only thing standing there was an odd silver arch-like machine known as the Oberphilliax.

Infuriated, the Sisters sent the oft-hidden sect of Torrs Twillinger after Lord Want and his family, and they took the Oberphilliax back to Valenhelm for detailed study. Their frustration only mounted. Torrs Twillinger found no trace of the House–they had simply vanished without clue and were beyond the Sister’s reach. The Oberphilliax also confounded them. It resisted their efforts to reverse engineer and discover its secrets. It was well-made, novel in construction and seemed to do something of great importance, though they never could determine what exactly that was. They conjectured it might be a time machine/looking glass type device, but couldn’t get it to function. They even managed to destroy its power stone during a feedback test.

The Sisters often said while testing the machine that it spoke “Evil” to them and they even grew to fear it somewhat after time.

Writing the Oberphilliax off as a novel “dud”, they catalogued it, broke it apart into three pieces and placed it into storage. They then tried the House of Want en absentia and found them guilty of sedition; a block of cells await them at Hagthorpe Prison. Those cells have been empty for centuries, though the Sisters continue to search. They are determined to locate occupants for those cells at Hagthorpe.

As for the Oberphilliax, the odd silver machine that seemed to do something grand but cannot be made to work, its parts were scattered all over the League and beyond.

copyright 2011, Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips

"The Machine" by Carol Phillips

Finally, part two of the Temple of the Exploding Head trilogy is done. We’ve got all 27 interior pics and the cover. All it needs is a last bit of proofing and it’ll be ready for its July release.

Unlike Book III interior art which had a number of thumbnail sketches, Book IV’s art is mostly composed of full page compositions done by Carol Phillips. These scenes have been simmering in my thoughts for so long that finally seeing them come to life is a real treat.

The previous three covers in the League of Elder series have all had a distinct fantasy look to them. For Book IV, I wanted more of a science fiction theme. I love everything about the cover, the colors, the city of Waam all around, the giant-size Princess Marilith vending machine, the flying Bondarunga statue in the background–you name it.

Waam is one of my favorite places in the LoE universe. I always loved the Fritz Leiber books of Lankhmar. A great city full of mystery and adventure, a cobbled maze of mist-filled streets leading to the unknown. I always wanted to write about such a place. The cities in the League are too demure and civilized to allow me to really cut loose and use my imagination, so I took advantage of the much-less prim and proper Xaphans and created Waam, an advanced, rather racy and highly evolved city where literally anything can happen. Fritz Leiber had his Gods of Lankhmar lurking in the city, and I’ve got my Black Hats festering in their temples.

Carol is going to take a few weeks off and recoop a bit. Then she’s going to begin work on Book V, The Temple of the Exploding Head. Oh, such fun …

Bowl Naked

copyright 2011, Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips