Category Archives: Aesc & Thorn Publishing

Posts related to Aesc & Thorn Publishing and various aspects of Rob’s professional life.

Rob’s Update: Wolves are Ravening

Week 16 of 2021

Greetings all

Another great week in Robville. I sent The Ravening of Wolves to Chris Kennedy on Sunday. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It’s got more one-liners and humorous bits than most things I’ve written, along with a heavy dose of fighting. I re-read novels a bunch of times during the process. This one didn’t get old.

Responsibility of the Crown
Responsibility of the Crown

We also revealed the cover for Responsibility of the Crown. As you can see, it’s gorgeous.

Scott wrote a great story, and it was an honor to be a part of getting it released. You’re going to love this story.

Since the novel went to Chris, that means I can start on a new project. It’s a short story in a universe I’ve not written in before. I told the anthology editor I planned on writing something a little whimsical, more whimsical than anything I’ve written before. This will qualify, and yet it’ll be a good story.

That’s it for now. Tonight and tomorrow, I’ll be watching the NFL Draft on Zoom. If you want to join me, hit me up with an email or on Facebook and I’ll send you the link.

Monday, we record our next Dudes in Hyperspace, so if you don’t join me tonight, I’ll go over my thoughts, along with Bob Sturm of 105.3 The Ticket and the The Athletic.

Have a great week.

What I’m Listening To

Leadup to the NFL Draft

Quote of the Week

I don’t have the exact quote, because I’m like one of the two fans of the movie The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, but this is a paraphrase of a quote from Driftwood. There’s a kernel of truth in this, but man, I do love the draft.

“No, I entered the military draft and went to Vietnam to get away from the league’s draft. Those guys were animals.”
― Driftwood, The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh

New Mythology Works in Progress

Deadline: 31 July
Words: 7k-10k
Manuscript: In .doc or .docx file format, Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced
Send To: rob@chriskennedypublishing.com

Prompt: Write a fantasy story involving a beast or monster. While the story can include elements of horror, it should not be a horror story; it should be a fantasy and lean toward the heroic. Feel free to make the beast or monster your protagonist, but if not, the creature must be a central figure, (like Grendel in Beowulf).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

  • Just Released: Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt). You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7Z3KT1
  • 12 April: Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.
  • 21 May: Responsibility of the Crown (Book 1 of the Endless Ocean series by G. Scott Huggins)

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (96, 094 and sent)
  • CWTAE (1,701)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week, there’s a new Caine Riordan-verse novel from Kevin Ikenberry entitled Desperado. Great combination of talents here, with Kevin writing in Chuck Gannon’s universe. You can find it here: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/desperado/.

Also, there’s a Bookbub deal. You can find Bill Webb’s Trashman for $0.99 for a few more days here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08SVZF2HF. This is book one of his fun Hit World series.

Today’s Weight: 337.8

Updated Word Count: 114,981

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Barley, Hops and Water

Week 15 of 2021

Greetings all

I’m now officially a podcaster!

Ian J. Malone restarted his Dudes in Hyperspace podcast this week and invited Kevin Steverson and I to be his co-hosts. We released our first podcast together on Tuesday. We’ll be going every other week for the time being.

Here’s the website for it: https://www.sharkflight.com/dudes/.  You can find links to whatever way you listen to podcasts.

What are we talking about? Well, we’re talking about books. Since we all write for Chris Kennedy Publishing, and the fact that Chris Kennedy is our sponsor, you can expect a bunch of conversation about stuff from CKP and New Mythology Press.

However, we’re talking about all of our projects, our thoughts on writing, and other stuff related to our work.

Then we’re branching out into topics we find interesting. This week we did a preview of the NFL Draft. Our podcast the first week of May will have a recap of the Draft along with a special guest, Bob Sturm of the Athletic and 105.3 The Ticket, my favorite sports radio station, which happens to be in Dallas – Fort Worth.

But we’ll talk about more than sports. Music, for sure. Books we like. Movies. Grilling. Good food and beverage in general. Whatever strikes our fancy down the road. Please check us out.

Been a good week for editing. I’m at about 75% through my final edits in The Ravening of Sorrows. It’s all fiddly work that I never can estimate correctly, so even though I’m not quite done, it’s gone well.

This book has some of the best one-liners I’ve ever written, and there are a bunch of them. I am constantly laughing at my own jokes. Okay, let’s be honest, I’m always laughing at my own jokes. Someone has to, after all. However, these are actually funny. Either I’m wronger than normal about this, or they really are funny.

And now it’s time to finish off a few more chapters.

What I’m Listening To

Actually watching the Angels at the Astros on YouTube. More and more sports are getting broadcast via the internet. Since live sports are literally my only reason for contemplating cable or satellite TV, this is great for me.

Quote of the Week

Today we have a quote from something near and dear to my heart. Beer! The Bavarian Reinheitsgebot we always think of was put out on this day in 1516.

Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, market-towns and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities’ confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail.
― Bavarian Reinheitsgebot of 1516

New Mythology Works in Progress

Deadline: 31 July
Words: 7k-10k
Manuscript: In .doc or .docx file format, Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced
Send To: rob@chriskennedypublishing.com

Prompt: Write a fantasy story involving a beast or monster. While the story can include elements of horror, it should not be a horror story; it should be a fantasy and lean toward the heroic. Feel free to make the beast or monster your protagonist, but if not, the creature must be a central figure, (like Grendel in Beowulf).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

  • Just Released: Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt). You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7Z3KT1
  • Just Released: Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.
  • 21 May: Responsibility of the Crown (Book 1 of the Endless Ocean series by G. Scott Huggins)

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (96,449)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week’s new release is Department 9, Book 3 of Tim Taylor’s Chimera Company military SF series. You can find it here: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/department-9/.

Also, don’t forget Accepted, Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson. That one is here: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/accepted/.

Today’s Weight: 339.8

Updated Word Count: 17,994

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Out of the Grandstand

Week 15 of 2021

Greetings all

It’s a really exciting time for me. I have completed the first draft of The Ravening of Sorrows! Well, almost. I decided today to add one more battle scene, but I should get that done this weekend, along with major progress on the editing. I hope to have it off to the editor next week.

The last bits tend to go fast because it’s a series of event to event that’s been set up. In this case, the reason I want to add a battle is to punch up the tension one last time, to make it that much more of a hill to climb, but it’s really the cherry on top. Of course, since this is military science fiction, it’s the extra explosions on the top.

Next will come a short story for Kevin Steverson’s Salvage Title universe, with a couple of stories for New Mythology anthologies to follow. Then another Shijuren novel, and there are big doings there.

This week, David Lucas was gracious enough to have me on his Writer’s Wrap Up interview series. Here are the links, in case you missed it.

On the publishing side, it was a slower week, but that’s because Responsibility of the Crown is on it’s way and I’m already done with it.

Of course, there’s also the release of Accepted, by Kevin Steverson and Tyler Ackerman, which was Monday. This is a fun series, full of slightly twisted fantasy tropes, action, and heroes you’ll root for.

What I’m Listening To

Right now, nothing except the computer exhaust fans. I don’t normally want quiet, but for some reason, I do right now.

Quote of the Week

Some days are the anniversary of few interesting things. April 15th is not one of those days. Lincoln dies (1865). The Titanic sinks (1912). Sacco and Vanzetti’s robbery (1920). Beginning of the Teapot Dome scandal (1922). Insulin becomes available (1923). First flight of the B-52, which they intend to use at least up to 2050 (1952). McDonald’s opens (1955).  And more besides.

But I’m a baseball fan, so this is always the day that Jackie Robinson took the field as a Brooklyn Dodger in 1947 so I’ll take a quote from Jackie that is really important to me. When I’m down and depressed, this quote pushes me to get back going.

“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”
― Jackie Robinson

New Mythology Works in Progress

Deadline: 31 July
Words: 7k-10k
Manuscript: In .doc or .docx file format, Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced
Send To: rob@chriskennedypublishing.com

Prompt: Write a fantasy story involving a beast or monster. While the story can include elements of horror, it should not be a horror story; it should be a fantasy and lean toward the heroic. Feel free to make the beast or monster your protagonist, but if not, the creature must be a central figure, (like Grendel in Beowulf).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

Recent Titles

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (95,346)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson and Tyler Ackerman. You can find it here: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/accepted/.

Then there’s John Siers’ The Ferryman, third in the Hit World series. You can find it here: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/the-ferryman/.

Today’s Weight: 338.2

Updated Word Count: 17,002

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Play Ball

Week 13 of 2021

Greetings all

I’m not a big fan of April Fool’s Day, but MLB’s Opening Day is one of my favorite days of the year. Currently watching one of my favorite players, Joey Gallo, hit against the Royals.

It’s been a great week of writing. I had expected The Ravening of Wolves to be done by this point, but then I expected it to run short. Instead, I’m going to end up around 100k after all.

And it’s wonderful. I really liked where I was going, but this entire last section has been way stronger than I anticipated. I got 8k or so written this week, plus I went through and backfilled a couple of story lines to make the overall story much stronger.

It’s close, and I’m excited.

I’m also excited about Responsibility of the Crown. This is the updated title of what had been Across the Endless Ocean. I’m doing the final read through to make sure no major issues cropped up in the editing process. Thanks to Mia Kleve for all her excellent work.

What I’m Listening To

Nick Solak getting an infield hit for an RBI. Go Rangers!

Quote of the Week

Gotta have a baseball quote. Take it away, Joltin’ Joe.

“You always get a special kick on opening day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you’re a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.”
― Joe DiMaggio

New Mythology Works in Progress

Deadline: 31 July
Words: 7k-10k
Manuscript: In .doc or .docx file format, Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced
Send To: rob@chriskennedypublishing.com

Prompt: Write a fantasy story involving a beast or monster. While the story can include elements of horror, it should not be a horror story; it should be a fantasy and lean toward the heroic. Feel free to make the beast or monster your protagonist, but if not, the creature must be a central figure, (like Grendel in Beowulf).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

  • Just Released: Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt). You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7Z3KT1
  • 12 April: Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.
  • 21 May: Responsibility of the Crown (Book 1 of the Endless Ocean series by G. Scott Huggins)

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (89,116)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

I’m under a time crunch, so I will do my announcements on social media tomorrow and add them to next week’s. In the meantime, have I mentioned Songs of Valor is here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7Z3KT1

Today’s Weight: 340.8

Updated Word Count: 12,988

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Your Thirst Will Pass

Week 13 of 2021

Greetings all

I’m sorry. I’ve been so busy writing, I completely lost track of days. I somehow lost Wednesday completely.

Obviously, the big news this past week was the great release of Songs of Valor. It got an orange tag almost out of the bat. Many thanks to our readers who made it number one within four hours.

If you’re curious what’s in Songs of Valor, you can go to my blog post where I gave story sketches. You can find that here: https://robhowell.org/blog/?p=2268.

Also, the great news is that I had a great week of writing in The Ravening of Sorrows. Over 10k new words, about a third of the early stuff edited, and a bunch of formatting and cleaning up.

Progress made in some editing too.

And I started a new project yesterday that we’ll be talking about soon. It won’t be a ton of work, but it promises to be a lot of fun and very productive.

So a great week of productivity, even if I can’t look at a calendar.

What I’m Listening To

Mark Stallings showed me there’s a linguistics Youtube. Currently, I’m listening to a history of the Ainu language. Yeah, because I get distracted easily. Perfect for a week where I forgot what day is what. I’ll remember Mark in my upcoming curses, believe me.

Quote of the Week

As I’m sure you all know, today is the 670th anniversary of the Combat of the Thirty. You remember, that time when French and English knights, bored with the progress of the Hundred Years War, decided to halt the war to have a fight between thirty prestigious knights and squires on a side.

Therefore, today’s quote is just as obvious. It’s Geoffroy du Bois giving Jean de Beaumanoir some advice after Beaumanoir had been wounded in the fight.

“Drink your blood, Beaumanoir, your thirst will pass”
― Geoffroy du Bois

New Mythology Works in Progress

Deadline: 31 July
Words: 7k-10k
Manuscript: In .doc or .docx file format, Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced
Send To: rob@chriskennedypublishing.com

Prompt: Write a fantasy story involving a beast or monster. While the story can include elements of horror, it should not be a horror story; it should be a fantasy and lean toward the heroic. Feel free to make the beast or monster your protagonist, but if not, the creature must be a central figure, (like Grendel in Beowulf).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

  • Just Released: 1 March: The Watchers at War (Book 3 of the Watchers of Moniah Series by Barbara V. Evers)
  • Today: Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt). You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7Z3KT1
  • 12 April: Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.
  • 21 May: Across the Endless Ocean (Book 1 of the Endless Ocean series by G. Scott Huggins)

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (81,722)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

We’ll start with last week’s Sundown by Kacey Ezell. It’s another addition to Charles Gannon’s Caine Riordan universe. You can find it here on the newly updated Chris Kennedy Publishing website: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/sundown/.

It was released at the same time as Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt). You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7Z3KT1.

Because I dallied, that means we get an extra release. You also get David Hallquist’s Guardian. You can find it here: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/guardian/.

Today’s Weight: 340.0

Updated Word Count: 12,988

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Songs of Valor

Songs of Valor came out on Friday, and boy, do we have a bunch of readers to thank. We hit number one new release in a couple of categories and were top ten overall in some categories as well. A worthy start to a great book.

As part of the lead-in to release date, I did some story sketches, along with some fun nicknames for our authors. I thought it’d be cool to gather those sketches together. Plus, I didn’t do the nicknames for the initial three authors, because it sort of happened in that post and then a number of people enjoyed them.

So here we go:

The first story is by the Grand Admiral, David Weber, and is called The Dragon and the Drunkard. Such an honor to work with David, and this was one of his first stories ever. It’s perfect for a release this week, as this story involves a leprechaun, a dragon, the Rainbow Bridge, and an interesting legal situation. And scotch. Lots of scotch. I like scotch, by the way.

Next is the Beerzerker, Jon Osborne. This story, Smoke and Shadow. is another from his really cool urban fantasy Milesian Accords series. In general, I love stories that mix mythologies and look at them in new ways. This is something Jon does really well. Also, spoiler alert, buy some jellybeans. You’ll find out just how important they can be in this story.

Third is Benjamin Tyler Smith‘s On a Wing and a Train. Side note here, one possible name is the Shirker, because he clearly planned for their baby to be born on the same day as Songs of Valor just so he didn’t have to help promote everything. Clearly. Some people will do anything to get out of promo work.

Anyway, Benjamin’s real nickname is Speaker to Dead Things because I love his fantastic Necrolopolis series, and this is another story in that series. The elevator pitch: The mean streets of the City of the Dead are no place for an honest necromancer, even if he is drinking buddies with the God of Death. Especially when he has a partner who really puts the fatale into femme fatale. By the way, this is the first of five stories in the anthology that are winners of the FantaSci short story contest. Also, he says he’s got a Necrolopolis novel on the way, and I’m really excited to see it.

Next comes from the Big Boss, Chris Kennedy himself. This is a great coming of age story called The One You’d Least Expect. I love stories where someone grows into the challenge. This is one of those, and it’s especially interesting because of the nature of those in question. Also, just saying, this is an *origin* story, so maybe one day I can nag him into a full-length novel. Or series. Because he’s not busy doing other things, of course.

Next, the Bright Newbie, Melissa Moroney Olthoff. I call her the bright one because she’s so cheerful and enthusiastic. Even so, Oathbreakeris a tough, gritty story of love, strength, and courage. It will leave you wanting more, as it did for me. This was the second of the winners of the FantaSci short story contest.

Who else could the Crusty Old Sergeant be but Kevin Steverson? Changes is a story in his Balance of Kerr universe, and I really like it because it gives him a chance to expand that world and add some really cool characters with his normal fast-paced sort of adventure. It will come as no surprise to those who gamed with me in the RPGA back in the 90s that Londar is my favorite character.

Captain Mohawk is, of course, Quincy J Allen and he wrote another Rellen story entitled What the Eye Sees. This is high end swords and sorcery stuff, with a hint of noir. Spoiler alert. I foresee huge things for Rellen in 2022. Huge with a capital huge.

Next is Songbird by the Mountie, who is obviously Jamie Ibson. Now he wrote this story while he was still living in British Columbia and hadn’t yet leveled up to New Brunswick in Atlantic Canada. Even so, this is a great origin story of a guy finding his magic, and more importantly, his purpose. The third winner in the FantaSci contest.

Following that is Backup by the Renaissance Man. Dave Butler is annoying talented. Reads like 80 languages. Is a musician. Has a law degree. Is now a teacher. And he writes stuff. Great stuff, in fact. This is another Indrajit and Fix story, and I think these are modern versions of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, which are, not surprisingly, some of my favorite characters ever.

Side note: I almost chose the Mustachioed Loomer for Dave, but I figured that was too obvious.

Dama Quixote,  Sarah A. Hoyt, gave us One More Flight, a story  about old soldiers trying to make their way after their service time should be done. But sometimes, old soldiers have to get back in the saddle, and stand up to mighty foes.

Next is the Evil Eyebrow. On second thought, maybe I should have called Casey Moores the EEEEVIL Eyebrow. If you’ve seen him, you know what I mean. Anyway, his story A Quaint Pastime is also about an old soldier. This one is trying to find his place in the next war. With a twist. Lots of aerial action and dogfighting in this one, and this is the fourth winner of the FantaSci contest.

Next is a story by J.P. Chandler, the Legal Beagle. The third of three in a row about old soldiers, this story is about a warrior who has fought and fought and fought and he’s done. He’s got a last stand left in him, though. And it turns out there are others ready for that stand. This is the fifth of the stories that the FantaSci crew are going to have to pick from.

Chandler’s story hit me in *all* the feels. I cried when I read it the first time, the second time, the third… well, you get the idea.

Next comes the Arrogant Editor. Let’s just say today’s launch success didn’t make me any less arrogant. My story in this, Magnum Opus, let me delve into Katarina, one of my favorite characters in the Edward series. What happens when evil has to be the good guy?

Then is the Ancient Master. Glen Cook‘s not really ancient but he sure he is a master. I’ve loved his stuff for years and was very happy to have a Black Company story here. Cranky Bitch has all the cynicism and War weariness you’ve come to expect from that series.

And finally, the Accountant of DOOOMMMM. Larry Correia‘s The Dregs is fantastic, full of action, and with a cool twist at the end.

What a great lineup that was, and they gave me fun stories. I was honored to get to edit all this.

I’m also proud at being a part of the FantaSci short story contest. They are going to have a heck of a time selecting from the stories from the winners.

Thanks to all involved in what turned out to be an awesome project.

Rob’s Update: Unleashing Valor

Week 12 of 2021

Greetings all

Today’s update is a little late. For a reason.

Release day!

Songs of Valor got released at midnight Eastern on Amazon. This is a great anthology of fantasy stories including a bunch of amazing authors. David Weber, Larry Correia, and Glen Cook are the biggest headliners, but there are so many more.

I’ve been running a little encapsulation of each story on Facebook and MeWe this week. Don’t worry, if you’re not on Facebook or MeWe, I’ll gather them together this weekend for a blog post.

I had a pretty good week of writing with The Ravening of Sorrows. The word count won’t entirely show it because I finally figured out the exact soul of the story. This is common for me. I get to this point and I finally grok the story arc that really fits. In this case, that meant going from the start in a pass that tweaks a few things to make the breadcrumbs lead where I want them. Nevertheless, I’m over 70k with a bunch waiting to insert. Getting there.

Making progress on a number of other projects, too, so another all-around productive week.

What I’m Listening To

Saucy Sailor by Steeleye Span. They have such an amazing version. It’s one of those I have to listen to a few times whenever it pops up on my media player. Also, if you haven’t listened to Steeleye Span, you should check them out. They’re an interesting melding of rock, English folk, and traditional stuff.

Quote of the Week

Today is the birthday of Vinegar Joe Stillwell, US general. Now, he didn’t invent this phrase. It’s attributed actually to British army intelligence early in the war. However, Stillwell like it and used it frequently. Also, it’s the perfect phrase for those valorous ones who face whatever bastards try to hold them back.

“Illegitimi non carborundum”
Joe Stillwell

PS: It really doesn’t mean “Don’t let the bastards down.” It doesn’t actually really translate to anything. So go with what you know it really means.

New Mythology Works in Progress

New Mythology Press Anthology Announcement

New Mythology is pleased to offer another open call for four spots in our anthology scheduled to be released in late October.

Deadline: 31 July
Words: 7k-10k
Manuscript: In .doc or .docx file format, Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced
Send To: rob@chriskennedypublishing.com

Prompt: Write a fantasy story involving a beast or monster. While the story can include elements of horror, it should not be a horror story; it should be a fantasy and lean toward the heroic. Feel free to make the beast or monster your protagonist, but if not, the creature must be a central figure, (like Grendel in Beowulf).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

  • Just Released: 1 March: The Watchers at War (Book 3 of the Watchers of Moniah Series by Barbara V. Evers)
  • Today: Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt). You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7Z3KT1
  • 12 April: Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.
  • 21 May: Across the Endless Ocean (Book 1 of the Endless Ocean series by G. Scott Huggins)

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (71,233)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Songs of Valor. I might have mentioned it. Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7Z3KT1.

Quincy Allen double-dips this week, as he has a story in Songs of Valor *and* he has a new release with Marc Alan Edelheit called Forging Destiny. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08YY1LNBJ.

And finally, Tim C. Taylor has the second of the Chimera Company novels out this week. You can find Operation Redeal here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08YJKVGWY.

Today’s Weight: 338.8

Updated Word Count: 11,962

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Thursdays

Week 11 of 2021

Greetings all

The big news this week? Well, I took some time off to spend some time with the sweetie. We drove over 600 miles on Saturday, all the way from KC to Hebron, NE and back. Along the way, we visited 9 quilt stores as part of a quilt shop hop.

After the 9th opportunity for my sweetie to buy fabric, I decided she might be in a good enough mood to say yes. And she did. We’re engaged. The ceremonial stuff will happen in 2022, but we’re one step closer to becoming “official.” 🙂

As you might imagine, I didn’t do any work over the weekend and I was still a bit distracted on Monday. So, I really only got 3 days of writing in, but I still managed over 2k per day on The Ravening of Wolves. I’m now over 70k, counting snippets waiting to get put back in. The first four sections are essentially complete (though I will probably pull some stuff from Part V back into earlier sections), and all I’m writing now is the big epic battle.

It’s military SF, the big epic battle should be 20-30k words. Or more. I’m having, if you will pardon the pun, a blast writing it.

I also made progress on another book for New Mythology. We’ll probably announce the details late this month.

Right now, we’re focused on the Watcher of Moniah series, which has received great reviews so far. You can find Watchers at War, the conclusion, here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08XNF13ZH/. The whole series is here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08TV9L1J5

Next week is Songs of Valor, come out on the 19th. This is a fantasy anthology of heroic deeds and valorous acts. It includes stories by Larry Correia, David Weber, Jon Osborne, and many more.

There’s also an Indrajit and Fix story by Dave Butler. If you haven’t heard me gush about those stories, they remind me of a sharper, more colorful Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

However, my favorite story in there is from a series I’ve loved for a long time, from one of my favorite writers. I will say I bounced up and down a bit when Glen Cook sent me a Black Company story. It’s all there, too.

So, yeah. Big names. Check. Great series. Check. The five stories from our short story contest. Check. Epic deeds. Check. Swords, spells, and intrigue? Check, check, check. And yes, this is the second of the Libri Valoris, the Books of Valor, so it’s got people standing valorously against foes they cannot hope to defeat, but still must try.

You’re going to love it.

What I’m Listening To

Speaking of valorous deeds, I’m currently listening to Sabaton’s The Last Stand. If you’re interested in historical-themed symphonic metal, this or The Art of War are the albums to start with.

Currently, it’s playing Shiroyama, which is about the Battle of Shiroyama in 1877.  You may very well have seen something about these events, as The Last Samurai is loosely based on the Satsuma Rebellion, of which Shiroyama was the final battle.

The Sabaton version is much more accurate than the movie, which isn’t a surprise, but nonetheless, I really enjoy both.

Quote of the Week

Today happens to be the birthday of Douglas Adams. He’d be 69 today.

You might think this is an awesome person to provide today’s quote. And you’d be right, except for the fact there are too many snippets of sheer genius in his corpus of written works. The number is almost as mind-boggingly big as is space which, as we all know, is much bigger than the walk to the chemist’s.

However, it does seem like there’s one in particular that’s eminently suitable for today’s update.

“This must be Thursday,’ said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. ‘I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy

New Mythology Works in Progress

I mentioned this last week, but it never hurts to announce it again a few times.

New Mythology Press Anthology Announcement

New Mythology is pleased to offer another open call for four spots in our anthology scheduled to be released in late October.

Deadline: 31 July
Words: 7k-10k
Manuscript: In .doc or .docx file format, Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced
Send To: rob@chriskennedypublishing.com

Prompt: Write a fantasy story involving a beast or monster. While the story can include elements of horror, it should not be a horror story; it should be a fantasy and lean toward the heroic. Feel free to make the beast or monster your protagonist, but if not, the creature must be a central figure, (like Grendel in Beowulf).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

  • Just Released: 1 March: The Watchers at War (Book 3 of the Watchers of Moniah Series by Barbara V. Evers)
  • 19 March: Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt)
  • 12 April: Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.
  • 21 May: Across the Endless Ocean (Book 1 of the Endless Ocean series by G. Scott Huggins)

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (44,113)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Lots happening this week. First, Luck is Not a Factor, an anthology in the 4HU, is available for free on Kindle for a little longer at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K2BKLR9/. This includes my story “A Sword for Striking,” about the battle on Peninnah between the Foresters and the Zuul.

Also free for a day or two more is Reclaiming Honor, Book 1 of The Way of Legend series by Marc Edelheit and Quincy Allen. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Z6JTTKV/.

Quincy and I, by the way, are working on a sooper-sekrit project right now.

I’m also working on a sooper-sekrit project with Todd Fahnestock. He normally writes fantasy, but he spent a goodly amount of time walking the Colorado Trail and then writing a book about it. You can find Ordinary Magic here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Y64MZQH.

Finally, this was the release week of Redacted Vice by Kevin Ikenberry and Kevin Steverson. Of course, it seems like you all know that already. It went straight to the top of the new release chart by 4am on release day. Wow! Anyway, if you haven’t gotten your copy, you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08XX1R1YX. At this rate, Amazon might run out of e-copies, so you might want to hurry up 😉

Whew, what a week.

Today’s Weight: 339.6

Updated Word Count: 11,020

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Teenage Wasteland

Week 10 of 2021

Greetings all

The big news this week is, of course, the release of Watchers at War, the thrilling conclusion of The Watchers of Moniah trilogy. While I almost cannot type “conclusion” without putting “thrilling” in front of it, I have to say I think it fits here. I really enjoyed this series and hope Barbara will be sending me more.

The next big thing is the announcement for submissions for another anthology in the New Mythology Press below.

However, this was not my best week ever. For a variety of reasons, I had several nights of poor sleep. That, of course, makes it hard to be terribly productive.

I did what I call maintenance level work. A little of this, a little of that, enough to make progress on a variety of tasks, but not enough to be entirely pleased with the week. Of course, this happens on occasion.

The good news is that I did manage quite a bit in The Ravening of Wolves. I added about 6k while also cleaning out and clearing up the first 60 percent of the novel. I’m at a stage now where I’m tossing battle ideas on the page and things are progressing well, even if I’m not at my best.

What I’m Listening To

Baba O’Riley from the Who. I remember the first time I got my hands on Who’s Next. Obviously, I’d heard this song, which leads off the album but it is such a powerful, strong, creative album. Fantastic stuff.

Quote of the Week

Orbis Imago 1538
Orbis Imago 1538

Today is the birthday, in 1512, of Gerardus Mercator. If you don’t recognize the name, you may recognize the image here.

Mercator is the one who created the flat 2D representation of the globe that we’re generally used to with longitude and latitude lines. However, this map is his first attempt, made in 1538.

This will probably come as no shock, but I love old maps. So, today’s quote is what Mercator wrote top middle of his first map of the world.

“Let America, Sarmatia, and India bear witness, Dear Reader, that the image of the world you see here is newer and more correct than those that have been circulated hitherto. We propose with regard to the different parts of the world to treat, successively, particular regions more broadly, as we are already doing with Europe, and you may soon expect a universal map, which will not be inferior to that of Ptolemy. Farewell. ”
Gerardus Mercator

New Mythology Works in Progress

New Mythology Press Anthology Announcement

New Mythology is pleased to offer another open call for four spots in our anthology scheduled to be released in late October.

Deadline: 31 July
Words: 7k-10k
Manuscript: In .doc or .docx file format, Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced
Send To: rob@chriskennedypublishing.com

Prompt: Write a fantasy story involving a beast or monster. While the story can include elements of horror, it should not be a horror story; it should be a fantasy and lean toward the heroic. Feel free to make the beast or monster your protagonist, but if not, the creature must be a central figure, (like Grendel in Beowulf).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

  • Just Released: 1 March: The Watchers at War (Book 3 of the Watchers of Moniah Series by Barbara V. Evers)
  • 19 March: Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt)
  • 12 April: Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.
  • 21 May: Across the Endless Ocean (Book 1 of the Endless Ocean series by G. Scott Huggins)

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (62,488)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week saw the release of Watchers at War, the thrilling conclusion of The Watchers of Moniah trilogy. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08XNF13ZH.

Today’s Weight: 340.8 (Weeks of bad sleep always bring my weight up.)

Updated Word Count: 9,614

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Whispers from Forgotten Songs

Week 9 of 2021

Greetings all

It was a much nicer week after last weekend. It was as cold as I’ve ever seen it in KC. We have the occasional day of negative Fahrenheit, but not five days in a row with a several more days from 0-10. It got so bad we started figuring the temp in Kelvins.

But, like usual, Kansas then turned around and gave us days over the norm. I was grilling in sandals on Monday.

I had a good week of writing on The Ravening of Wolves. It won’t show in the word count though, as I pulled a number of chunks to put back in later. If you’ve been reading these for a while, you know this is normal when I get to the 60k mark. I’m in that area, but not exactly sure. Since I anticipate this will be shorter than most of my other novels, probably less than 90k, I’m pleased with where I’m at because I am in the fight scene after fight scene portion of the process.

I also spent time this week working on a newspaper article about the basics of writing as a career. I’ll let you all know when that gets published.

Progress is going on a number of other projects which, while they’ll not come to fruition until the end of the year, really make me excited. I’ll probably have some more conversation on that over the summer.

I am also trying to set up my fall event schedule. It looks like I’ll be on the road quite a bit, as cons and SCA events try to make something work this year. It might be a grind, but it also might be a really efficient set of trips. We’ll see, of course, how things lay out.

What I’m Listening To

Sign of the Southern Cross by Black Sabbath. Heaven and Hell is such a great album.

Quote of the Week

Tomorrow is the 10th year anniversary of Maerwynn and Ashir elevating me to the Order of the Laurel. For those not in the SCA, this is a great honor on par with knighthood, but for endeavors in the arts and sciences.

My first foray into writing was medieval-esque poetry for the SCA, especially with scroll texts. I had the great honor to write the lower-level scroll texts for Maerwynn and Ashir. Since Ashir’s persona is Mongol, all of those texts were in a Mongol style, and this is one of my favorite passages.

This is one of the texts given out to those they elevated as fyrdmen during their reign. I had a lot of fun hearing this one in court.

“You have made Our foemen’s hearts empty.
You have cut out parts of their liver.
You have made their beds become empty.
And you have made an end of their descendants.
For this, We Ashir and Maerwynn, Qan and Qatan
Join your spear to Our ranks of spears”
Rhodri ap Hywel, for Their Majesties Maerwynn and Ashir

New Mythology Works in Progress

Monday, Monday, you’re so good to us.

Why? Because the Watchers at War, book three of the Watchers of Moniah trilogy by Barbara Evers comes out. Here’s the series page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TV9L1J5. This is great stuff, with a twist on traditional fantasy tropes.

Here’s the rest of the upcoming schedule:

  • 1 March: The Watchers at War (Book 3 of the Watchers of Moniah Series by Barbara V. Evers)
  • 19 March: Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt)
  • 12 April: Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.
  • 21 May: Across the Endless Ocean (Book 1 of the Endless Ocean series by G. Scott Huggins)

I’m currently editing the next book, which will come out in May, featuring a new author for us. It’s more military fantasy, which is a subgenre I’ll be encouraging.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (56,812)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

As mentioned, the Watchers at War, book three of the Watchers of Moniah trilogy by Barbara Evers comes out. Here’s the series page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TV9L1J5.

For another day or two, you can get The Reluctant Druid, the first book of Jon Osborne’s Milesian Accord series is $0.99. This is fun urban fantasy with currently three novels and two short stories with hopefully more to come. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07716V2RN.

Finally, the second Hit World novel, A Bullet for the Shooter, by Larry Hoy and William Alan Webb comes out tomorrow. This is action-heavy genre gumbo. Good stuff.

Today’s Weight: 337.8

Updated Word Count: 8,624

Eldros Legacy Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org