Aug 31, 2013

Taking Sides: Cynthia - Silent Oath prequel

Out now, as a special ebook exclusive, is Taking Sides: Cynthia. This short story, set between Locked Within and Silent Oath, deals with Cynthia Keller's recovery from her injuries at the hands of Eli, and her decision whether or not to join Nathan in his fight against the Council of Chains.

It's available now from Amazon, for Kindle.

Aug 29, 2013

This Is It!

First up, yesterday we had our 20-week scan and our little Hiccup (current baby nickname) is huge and healthy! Like our other children, this one is being difficult and not letting us see its gender. This becomes harder to determine from this point on, so there's a good chance we won't get to know until it's born.

Second, the Goodreads giveaway for a signed copy of Locked Within is over, and the winner is Christi Johnson, in Wyoming. I'll post your book to you this week. 875 people entered the giveaway over the course of this month, an amazing amount that completely surpasses my expectations. Hopefully those who didn't win will pick up copies of their own.

Now down to business.

This is where it gets serious, folks. We are just over a month away from the release of Silent Oath, the second book of the Locked Within Trilogy. I am so beyond excited, you guys. Starting next week, I will be posting exclusively about the new book, sharing the ups and downs, my inspirations and frustrations, what's changed from what I originally imagined and what's stayed the same, and hinting at where the story may go from here.

I'll also be posting my October blog tour schedule and answering questions from readers, so if there's anything you'd like to ask me about Nathan and his world, or things you'd like to say, opinions you want to share, let me know!

To get us ready, here's a bit of music I think Nathan would appreciate, which happens to be the song I was listening to back when I first got the offer of a contract for Locked Within:

Aug 27, 2013

Final Preparations

We're nearly in September, when I'll be dedicating all of my blog posts to talking about the new Nathan Shepherd book, Silent Oath!

This is the final call for people who want to help out, whether by joining my Conclave street team, posting release-day announcements, or hosting me as part of my October blog tour. If you'd like to help out, you can reach me at

I've started sending out e-mails to put together my tour schedule. I'm looking forward to kicking things into high gear!

Also remember, tomorrow is the end of the Goodreads giveaway for a signed copy of Locked Within!

Aug 22, 2013


I'm lucky to have wonderful friends in my life. It wasn't always that way. I don't do well in large groups, especially if it's a large group of new people. I'm much more comfortable in smaller gatherings. When I was in school, I didn't have many friends. It was only really once I went to college that I came out of my shell, and became the person I am today.

As you know, it was my birthday earlier this week. I count it among the gifts I received that this past weekend I got to spend time with a very old friend from those college days, who before Saturday I hadn't seen (in person, at least) for 13 years. It's strange, I know, that people can drift apart for so long, and still mean so much to each other when they meet again. I thank the modern age. If not for the internet, we wouldn't have gotten back in touch, or shared stories of what happened to us since we used to hang out. We certainly wouldn't have shared our writing hopes and dreams, and for myself, I sincerely doubt I would have finished my first novel without her help.

It's often said that friends are the family we choose for ourselves. I believe this. I think there's not enough emphasis on the importance of friendship in our lives. Even in books and movies, you see moral tales of the importance of blood family and romantic relationships far more than stories about friendship.

I think my love of friendship shows in my writing. My characters tend to come from small immediate families, like myself, and so their fellow characters are not usually relatives. They suffer and triumph together, and that builds a bond.

But there are times when we can't be with our friends as often as we'd like. Responsibilities, money, travel, all these things demand time from us and we sometimes struggle to see the people we most want to. A true friend is one who'll be there, even after years apart, and still enjoy reading an e-mail, getting a phone call, or chatting online. Someone you can pick up with, right where you left off, and just fit into a comfortable place where you enjoy each other's company, no matter what you're doing. True friendship survives, and thrives. It changes you, helps you grow. And you know, no matter how hard it is to say goodbye, that you will meet again.

This is for all of my friends, especially those of you I don't get to see as often. If the measure of a man is his friends, I am blessed.

Aug 20, 2013


It's said, that when Julius Caesar encountered a statue of Alexander the Great in 63 BC, he wept, because at the age of 30, what he had achieved was insignificant next to Alexander's triumphs at the same age.

Well, not to speak ill of Caesar, but I'd rather take another view.

Today I am 33 years old. I haven't conquered nations or redefined history. I've married my college girlfriend. Become father to three children, and in a few months will be father of our fourth. I've written three novels, the second of which will be released very soon, and started on a new series that will take me into whole new adventures in publishing. I've travelled to different countries and made friends from all over the world. I've lost some, held on to others, and regained some, too.

And all I can think of today, is how thankful I am, not just for all I've done, but for how much more I have yet to do. I'm at the start of a new journey. Every day I work towards new goals. They say life begins at 40. Wrong. Life begins right now. Right here. Don't let the hard parts get you down, or look back on your life so far and think you've given all you have to give. There is always more to see and learn, more to explore. From as grand an adventure as travelling to a far off country, or as simple and fulfilling as sharing a drink with a friend you haven't seen in a long time.

It doesn't matter how young or old you are. Or what you've done or failed to do. Who you've hurt, who you've loved, who you've lost. Life is always, not just yesterday. For my birthday this year, I'd ask you all to join me in spirit, and be thankful for all the things we have done.

And all the things yet to do.

Aug 15, 2013

What an Author Promotes

I believe all art is an expression of the artist's belief. What you see on the page, canvas, or screen, or hear from a piece of music, is a piece of the artist's inner self coming through in a form that they have crafted to enlighten, educate, or entertain.

So when I see certain behaviour rewarded in a book, I often wonder if this means the author believes such behaviour should be rewarded in real life. In other words, is there a moral agenda that the author is, intentionally or subconsciously, promoting?

An article posted by the Chicago Tribune the other day confirms that the relationship portrayed in 50 Shades of Grey is indeed that of an emotionally-abusive man and his victim. Anastacia Steele conforms to the expected behaviour of a woman who is afraid of her partner, changing her behaviour, lying to him about her whereabouts and who she sees, in order to avoid making him angry at her.

So that makes me wonder, was EL James aware of the behaviour she was depicting? Did she realise that her heroine was displaying signs of an abuse victim, rather than acting like a woman in a passionate romance?

This issue has been on my mind, because in the new series I've begun writing, I am using a female protagonist for the first time, and intentionally dealing with issues such as sexism and patriarchy. Because this is a departure from Nathan Shepherd, who was an easy character to write, I'm conscious of my need to be aware of how I present my heroine. How I challenge her. How I reward her.

Should an author be expected to acknowledge when their characters are rewarded for negative behaviour? Should they condemn their characters for it? Are they responsible, even if unaware of the negative behaviour they're promoting, and should they make an effort to be aware of all the possible interpretations of their work?

Aug 13, 2013

8 Months Old

First order of business, the ARCs for Silent Oath are all spoken for. I'll send them out as soon as they're ready. If anyone is interested in obtaining a review copy after the release date, drop me a line and I'll see what I can do.

Today Amy and Erica are 8 months old. Hard to believe how small they used to be. Once, I could carry them both in my arms with no trouble. Now, I have to be careful of my back just lifting one of them up.

This last weekend we took them on an adventure to Marlay Park, to find the Fairy Tree. It was a lovely, sunny Sunday, and we set out in the morning. We found the tree, read the notes and wishes left behind by other visitors, mostly young children but some teenagers and adults too, judging by the things being wished for.

We left milk and honey, poured onto a dried leaf and left at the base of the tree.

Aug 8, 2013

Launch Preparations

I have some great news!

The fantastic Ruth Frances Long has agreed to officially launch Silent Oath at the book launch this October.

Ruth and I met at Octocon last year and sat on a number of panels together. She helped me feel right at home among my new peers and we shared some excellent discussions throughout the weekend.

It's wonderful to have an established author launch my new book. I made a big deal of Locked Within coming out last year, and how incredible it felt to have my favourite college lecturer not only launch the book, but also give a mini-lecture about the book's themes and meaning. This year I want to make just as big a deal, if not more so, about Silent Oath. In my opinion it's an improvement on the first, as my own writing has grown stronger and it brings Nathan's story to a higher level of tension and importance.

Remember, there's a Facebook event set up for the book launch. If you'd like to come, stop by and add yourself, it's open to all!

Aug 6, 2013

Silent Oath ARC Giveaway

Who wants a free book?

I should have the advanced retail copies (ARCs) of Silent Oath about a week before the book officially goes on sale. These are so that I can provide early copies to people in exchange for reviews on blogs, Amazon, and Goodreads.

If you'd like to be in with a chance to read the next installment of Nathan Shepherd's story before anyone else, here's what you have to do:

1: E-mail me at with the subject line "Silent Oath ARC" and ask for a copy.
2: Once you've read it, post a rating and review on your blog, on Amazon, or on Goodreads (or all three!)
3: If you're a published author, and you enjoy the book, send me an endorsement blurb I can use for promotional purposes.

The first 10 people* to ask for a copy and promise to post a review will receive their copies as soon as I have them. I'll update here and on Twitter and Facebook when the 10 have been selected.

That's it. All reviews should be completely honest. I'm not asking people to say they loved it if they didn't. Honesty and sincerity all the way, folks.

*Loose figure. If like, only 11 people ask, I'm not gonna leave one person without a copy ;-)

Aug 1, 2013

Locked Within Goodreads Giveaway

As part of the build-up to the release of my second novel, Silent Oath, I am holding a Goodreads Giveaway for a signed copy of the first book in the trilogy, Locked Within.

This is the perfect chance to get in on Nathan Shepherd's story from the beginning, and ready yourself for the next installment. Whether you, or a friend, have not yet read it, or you already have and just want a signed copy, head over to Goodreads and enter.

The giveaway will be open until August 28th, and I'll announce the winner here the following day.