Tag Archives: Champion Rising

Fabia’s Desire

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I’ve been working on the final manuscript of Champion Standing this week for the release three weeks hence. Here’s 933 words from Champion Rising, utilizing the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt:

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Fabia spent the last five days aboard the Diana. The mission at hand never far from her mind as the arena and outbuildings ever present on The island. She performed her duties as Aurelia’s assistant with diligence and the appropriate amount of deference. She witnessed the planning and plotting between Cheng, the current Champion Standing, Aurelia and the Mang sisters. Fabia came to understand each party, discerning their individual motives.

Cheng was an arrogant warrior. He achieved stature by employing less than honorable means for years. His reflexes and skill were slowly failing to age. He wouldn’t be able to participate in the next tournament. Aurelia had on more than one occasion declared Gengshi a megalomaniac, but Fabia knew Cheng had delusions of ruling the Han Dynasty. He was as megalomanic as Aurelia.

Aurelia was focused simplemindedly on conquering the Han Dynasty for the Roman Empire to prove her worth to her contemporaries, but mostly to curry favor of her Senator father. She was a keen tactician, but she didn’t want to get her hands dirty. Secret meetings and assassinations were the norm, but she relied on others to move her plan forward. That inability to get dirty would be Aurelia’s downfall.

The Mang sisters were impatient. Quick to anger and slow to forget and rarely forgive. The Mang sisters tried more than once to wrestle the operation from Aurelia, but, still the keen tactician, Aurelia overcame the treachery of the Mang Sisters. Fabia had secretly been sending reports back to the Roman Senate and occasionally nudging the Mang sisters in one direction or another. Sometimes for Aurelia, sometimes against.

Fabia read every report Aurelia received and suspected the current plan would not succeed. She stood from the desk in her quarters and walked to the door. She barked her order to the guard: “Bring Flavius to my quarters, immediately!”

“Yes, Mistress!” responded the guard before running down the corridor. Fabia moved to the bed in her quarters and awaited Flavius’ appearance.

A rap sounded out on the door. Fabia called out, “Enter!” She stood as Flavius entered and closed the door behind him.

“Mistress?” He stood at attention, awaiting orders from Fabia.

Fabia responded by dropping her garment to the floor.

“Are we?” he started, but Fabia raised a finger to silence him.

“What are you waiting for?” Demanded Fabia, pointing her finger at his tunic.

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Rambling Pen

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I received a shipment of my books to be distributed to a local indie bookstore. If you are in Prescott, Arizona, drop by Peregrine Books and pick up a dead tree version of Forlorn Hope or Body Rentals. Arranging a book signing there for Champion Standing is on my “to do” list, but I’m just so busy with everything. I also autographed a few books for people who have supported various projects I’m working on. The progress on The Afflicted and Champion Rising has stalled so I can work on 16Sunsets. I had originally planned on writing sixteen 1,600-word chapters, but I suspect it’ll end up being longer. I haven’t talked to Telly lately about Soulsmith, so I can’t let you know much on that project. Champion Standing is off for the final edit. I’m expecting it to be published in January instead of February, with advance reading copies available in October or November. I’d like to launch with a bunch of reviews, so those of you interested in an ARC for a review, let me know. I expect inks from Joel for 16Sunsets by the end of the week, perhaps the following week. I’m lazily working on the Paradox audiobook. I’m finding it difficult to maintain focus on it. It’ll still get done, I’m just not sure when. Technophobia is super difficult to work on since I’m chained to antique technology to produce it. It’s much easier to pull my phone out of my pocket and tap out a few sentences. Finally, updated print versions of Forlorn Hope and Body Rentals will hit the distribution channels on Monday. Electronic versions will be up on Amazon sometime tonight. Kobo and B&N have been the worst for purchases – I’m not sure if those platforms are even viable any more.

Enough rambling for today, so I’ll just close the post with this: B.J., I got pages for you to look at tomorrow and welcome to the blog.


Week One Update

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The first week has been awesome! (People say I use the word ‘awesome’ way too much.) I’ve had a few emails asking about my writing style. There’s a bunch of flash fiction here, but also check out these specific posts:

Warrior’s Blood – This is an early flash I did for Chuck Wendig’s weekly flash fiction prompt. It tells the story of two main characters on a spiritual journey.

Fabia’s Mission – Another flash fiction piece for Chuck’s prompts. This story is not part of Champion Standing, but tales place during the first chapter of CS.

I’ve posted images of the limited edition “green” cover before, but I wanted to show it again:

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The Kickstarter campaign is the only way to get the “green” cover.

I wanted to specifically give a shout out to my $250 backer. Dude, you’re the kick start to my Kickstarter campaign. Thanks! (I didn’t want to name him because I didn’t specifically have permission to do so.)

I’ll be interviewed by Arrington Flynn of Indie Book Rebels on Tuesday, June 24th @ 3PM Arizona and Pacific time. It’ll be a great opportunity to hear me talk about Champion Standing and for you to ask questions about the book and campaign. Arrington has taken an active interest in the campaign and my writing – Thanks Arrington!


Fabia’s Mission

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Chuck’s doing the sub genre twist. “Wuxia Caper/Heist” could only mean a story from the World of Champion Standing. This event takes place during the first chapter. Enjoy these 2068 words:

Fabia stepped off her longboat and clung to the cliff. She watched the boat float down the Nile river. She knew two of the four member Frumentarii guard would capture her boat upstream and prepare it for the next stage of her plan. Downstream, the remainder of her guard hid in a crook of the great river, concealed from the Kushite patrols. She knew her ascent to the base of the Kushite palace would be stealthy. No one expected an enemy agent to scale the cliff then walls of earth and stone. Soldiers patrolled the opposite bank of the nile river and the Nubian archers were renown for their skill with a bow, but she was confident they wouldn’t be able to loose an arrow across the river’s span. Still, they could alert palace guards to her location, ending her mission.

She recalled the intelligence she gathered for this mission as she scaled the cliff. The Viceroy of Kush employed a disgraced Han Dynasty knight-errant named Liao. Liao’s skill with the Han Dao was known to not only the Frumentarii, but most of the Roman Senate. Liao was scheduled to depart for the Hainan Island Dao Tournament that morning. Fabia knew her mission had little chance of success until Liao left. Fabia was a patient woman – she would wait as long as was needed to complete her mission.

Scaling the cliff was an easier proposition than the palace walls. The craggy cliff allowed Fabia to use her studies of the works of Euclid of Alexandria to factor the proper angles to ascend. She had personally seen the tombs and pyramids at Meroë. There was no doubt to her that the Kings and Queens of Nubia valued those who grasped the teachings of Euclid.

The palace proper, that was different. The same principles that were used for the Pyramids of Meroë – stepped courses of horizontally positioned stone blocks measuring twenty feet in height. It was too far to jump and a block and tackle would be obvious to even the most distracted guard. The seams of the great stones were her goal. She could force iron nails into the space and climb. The tan colored cloak she wore matched the stones and she would be invisible to passing glances.

Finally, she breached the stone walls. She could hear applause from the main gate of the palace. She stopped and strained her ears to listen.

“I will bring honor to your kingdom, Princess.”

Fabia recognized the voice of Liao, Son of Rong. The princess he referred to was Ayana, daughter of the Viceroy of Kush. Fabia smiled, she could hear the sound of a horse neigh and assumed Liao had made his departure. Ayana was a secondary target. Liao’s son, Kaden was the primary target. Capturing them both would raise her status, but the mission only required Kaden’s capture. She crept silently to the kitchen. Noon meal was not too far away and she had to prepare.
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Begging and stuff

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For Champion Rising, I knocked out about 600 words or so last night. Today I wrote about 2100 words. When I’ve written in the past, my daily goal was about 1000 words. With family, work and everything else going on, I suspect I may only get around 500 words written a day with the exception of Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. I figure 2000 words on those days is a worthy goal. If I can pull off 6000 a week, then I should have the vomit draft of Champion Rising done in about two months. Of course that can vary radically based on the aforementioned obstacles. I still want to put a serious dent into The Afflicted. Moscow Mule has me excited about it again. I still want to start the audiobook for Paradox as well. You know the eBook is free on Amazon right now, right?

I feel like an Emergency room doctor. Dividing my limited time between multiple patients, assessing their worth and spending the time on whichever seems the most important. Like many authors, I yearn for the day when I can do this writing thing full time and it pays my rent, groceries, etc.

Speaking of money, I’m sure you’ve not noticed all my posts, banners and begging my friends to blog, tweet and facebook my Kickstarter campaign. Kick a buck my way. Make it a fiver and you will get an advance copy of Champion Standing. Feeling sassy? There are rewards all the way up to $250.

::sad anime eyes:: Please?


Champion Rising Day One

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I spent about four hours today with one of my peeps. We spent the whole time talking about Champion Rising. Brainstorming good ideas, shooting down stupid ones. We came up with a solid beginning, now I just need to write it all down. I need to reintroduce all the characters from Champion Standing quickly so someone who hasn’t read it still knows what’s going on. I don’t want to bore existing readers and keep it exciting to hook you. I think I’ve accomplished this and tonight is the first official day of writing for Champion Rising. I’ve got the new(ish) Pop Evil and Avenged Sevenfold albums to listen to while I write, so I’m excited… off to write.

Kickstarter!

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The Kickstarter campaign for Champion Standing starts now! Remember, you’re pledging, not donating. If you meet any of the reward thresholds, you will get that reward. Spread the word – If I don’t reach the $1000 goal, I get nothing and the campaign fails.

I mentioned this on Saturday: Escape is pretty much done. I’ll agonize over it for a little while and release it in July at the earliest, August at the latest.

Paradox is free June 13th – 17th on Amazon. I could use some reviews, people!

In other news, fellow author and RPG designer, Todd Van Hooser owns the copyright on some beautiful line art by Joel Cotejar. I wanted it for the cover of Champion Rising. Todd gave his blessing, so I’ve created a rough cover concept for Champion Rising:

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