Cover reveal time! The sixth installment of the Empire Dance series is sat on the launch pads, nose pointed at the stars, ready to go – and yes, there will be pre-order links soon!
That’s CAS Special Agent Kit Nagoya there, diving through clouds of shattered glass as ne pursues nir target, the fugitive Captain Kelly. A lovely, punchy cover, wrangled by An Amazing Egg. Just like the other books in the series, Damaged Intelligence will be available immediately on launch through Kindle Unlimited.
When? Oh, I was thinking perhaps the beginning of May…
I often get asked when the next installment of The Empire Dance will come out. (When I say often, I mean at least two people have expressed interest in it. That’s good enough for me.) More on that to come, but it did make me wonder if I ought to give the first four volumes of the series a bit of a clean-up – Echoes of War first came out in 2010, and I’ve learned a fair bit since then. Plus, the cover art was rather… yeah. Not good.
So I’ve disabled all the old paperback versions, and decided to retire the series from Smashwords – no offence to Mark Coker, but I don’t think anybody goes to Smashwords for decent genre fiction these days. I certainly can’t remember the last time I bought anything from there.
Volume by volume, I’ve worked my way through the series and quietly reissued them through the Kindle Unlimited programme (much as I may dislike Amazon’s chokehold on digital fiction). Echoes of War was the first to benefit, of course, with a couple of additional scenes and a bit of tightening up, as well as some funky new cover art. I’ve taken the opportunity to tweak the hyperlinks inside too, because by ‘eck it needed it. All of the first four titles – Echoes, Midwinter Fury, The Kiiren Boy, and The Packard Defence – are out with spiffing new artwork, and if you’re not a big fan of the Unlimited package then you can still grab them all for less than the price of two cups of coffee. Good value, what?
You want to see those covers? Eh? Go on then….
You can find out more about each book by using this site’s menu – see the Empire Dance there? Go on…. dare ya.
The best thing about Heir To The North (apart from all the other things, of course!) is that the story doesn’t end there. Baum’s quest is completed, he has won, Malessar’s Curse has been broken, and now Cassia can see the enormity of what she has done.
So, what’s next? That’s what all the cool folks want to know. And, as it happens, there is an answer. That answer is The High King’s Vengeance, the second half of the story. This is the one with dragons and princes. This is the one with armies of stone and desperate duels. This is the one with romance and revelations. This is the one where Cassia comes to terms with herself and returns to Caenthell and the North.
Now all I have to do is let my editor beat the actiony action into it.
And soon – maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon – we’ll be revealing the finished cover art for The High King’s Vengeance, and you’ll get your first look at Cassia’s new companion for this second half of her journey…
The Warlock Malessar destroyed Caenthell centuries ago, murdering the High King Jedrell and his bride, and cursing the land itself. Since that time, the mountain kingdom has become little more than a dark legend, and the bloodline of the High Kings has been lost.
Old soldier Baum and heroic warrior Meredith seek to defeat Malessar and his foul curse. Conscripted into their quest, young Cassia quickly realises she could make her name as a storyteller by witnessing such an epic confrontation. But neither of her companions are quite as they appear, and the truth lies deep within stories Cassia has not yet heard.
By the time she discovers that both Baum and the Warlock have hidden devastating secrets from each other for centuries, it may be too late. Cassia must decide which side she will stand upon and for whom she will fight – for Malessar, or for The Heir To The North.
Coming in paperback and e-formats from Kristell Ink/Grimbold Books in Summer 2015, The Heir to the North is an epic fantasy of legends, love, and slow revenge.
That’s Meredith and Cassia right there on the cover – ready for action, ready to take the fight to Malessar, ready to reclaim Caenthell. I love the traditional feel of this – it’s about the characters themselves, rather than a slightly abstract object (with apologies to fans of slightly abstract objects – I have nothing against you!), and I think it reflects the tone of the first stage of Cassia’s journey and the way she sees that quest herself. Optimism and heroics, that’s what Cassia wants! Ah, naivety… 🙂
Our artist, Jorge Torres (you can see his work here) has done a proper spiffing job on this. His work on the cover for the sequel, The High King’s Vengeance, takes it to another (darker, more desperate) level – but that, dear reader, is a reveal for another day…
Meanwhile, if this tempts you to adding it to your TBR pile, here’s a link to Goodreads… 🙂