Category Archives: Sample chapter

Sample Chapter for Mandatory Paradise and It’s Easier to Walk the Path a Second Time


I now have up the first chapter of Mandatory Paradise, my soon to be released Epic Fantasy Thriller.  It is not part of the Allmother’s Fire trilogy or even set in the same world.  It is a self-contained novel, and I only plan to write in this world again with short stories and the like.  You can click here or go the link at the top that says “Sample Chapter for Mandatory Paradise.”

It feels a little bit easier this time to do the final things needed to get a completed manuscript done.  The “Race” to finish everything seems familiar now. Formatting is not so bad once you learn a few tricks.  This novel was already done before I started the Allmother’s Fire Trilogy, but it has been easier to adapt properly as I do rewrites and accept edits.

I am in talks with an artist (A different one than what I am using for the Allmother’s Fire Trilogy) and I feel more confident describing what I would like this time around.  I hope to have that cover in the next week or so.  I have a final editor doing a final pass on the manuscript before I get it ready to publish.

As for when it will be published, I expect it to be ready before, or at Gencon,  (around August 16th) so I can market the book then.  The last time I was this close I was panicking, not knowing how to do this properly and not focusing on the right things (it should have been edited more, frankly, but that was my own impatience.)

After the results of the recent polls this is the most likely description. Small changes to it, including favorite parts of other descriptions are encouraged in the comments or email (the below is actually adapted from someone’s re wording of the “option B” from my poll.

Alnanla has not always enjoyed her life as a Priestess and a teacher, but she, like every citizen of the Island of Nimoa, has always had her needs met. At night she gazes up at the energy shield that keeps everyone safe from the flying monstrosities of legend, and wants more than just existing in her pre-ordained role. When hundreds of innocents are massacred, she finds herself the prime suspect. To clear her name, she teams up with a grieving Bureaucrat, an eternally optimistic Artist, and a gruff Outsider. As they begin to discover the details of what really happened, they find more than they bargained for. Should they expose the dark secrets they find and risk society’s destruction? Or should they quietly disappear to preserve their way of life?

The second novel in the trilogy is doing well, and at this rate I will easily make my own milestone to finish it within this calendar year.  It’s been so easy to write it, and I think feedback from my first novel has a lot to do with that.  Not only do I feel like I have learned as a write since the first one, I feel I know more of what my audience wants too.  Working in a vacuum with only a couple of friends for feedback can be disheartening, and the overwhelmingly positive response of the actual first book released has gotten me over any writer’s block periods pretty quickly.

Also, a road already tread once is much easier to follow the second time.  I recommend anyone going through this the first time to just breathe, and not panic, because it will be a lot simpler later.  That and the panic cause more problems than it helps.

An Epic Fantasy Thriller has the pacing and plot expected from a modern day thriller like James Rollins, Brad Meltzer, Steig Larson, or Tom Clancy.  However it has the trappings and expanse that one expects from an Epic Fantasy with its own culture, world, and magic system.   The difference is there is no magic MacGuffin of Awesome that will defeat the evil Dark Lord.  Survival is what is at stake, no one can be trusted, and on top of that your enemy might shoot fire out of a spear.

Today’s Poll

So originally I was publishing Mandatory Paradise so that when my Exclusive period for The Fall of House Nemeni ended I would still have 1 book available to be in the Kindle Select Program.  However, it has come to my attention that a very major promotion will occur after my current exclusive period ends.  No matter what, I will have Mandatory Paradise available for it.  However the last promotion got a lot of exposure for my book, and I am pretty sure that is where all my good Goodreads reviews came from.  That makes me tempted to renew The Fall of House Nemeni as Kindle exclusive for 3 more months (around August 21st)and that means it would not be on the nook till around Thanksgiving.  I definitely think it was wise to do this three month period of exclusivity, but forcing my Nook readers to have to wait 6 months total before they can have any books?

Poll Should I keep The Fall of House Nemeni exclusive three more months?

a)Yes

b)No

Also if anyone has any questions about the next book, let me know!


Chapter 1 is up!


Yup, read the title of this blog, then go click on that new section that says “Sample Chapter” and read Chapter 1 of the book (checked with the publisher, it’s fine ). : ) Now you can comment on here both about the chapter itself, and knowing at least a small fraction of the world.  Like all fantasy chapter ones it has some exposition, but I tried not to make it to impenetrable or pull away from the narrative too much.

Now as for the results of the poll, B was overwhelmingly the winner, and I got some good suggestions both in the comments below, and in private correspondence, so here is the official long form description of the book, followed by the necessarily sparse short form (which had to be 400 characters or less including spaces). The short form is only required by certain publishers, and was quite pain to cut down to its current form.

Now the long form:

In a reality of floating Islands with a Sun Above and a Sun Below, every noble House has its own abilities to break the Grand Laws of the Universe. Cenive is a floating island filled with art, culture and, most of all, commerce. Long ago the Church and most of the other noble Houses banded together to annihilate the domineering House Nemeni who created clockwork marvels that once let their banking empire span all of the floating islands. Now years later the remnants from that house have emerged from their hiding places that span from the Church to a Piratical Airship to enact a well-planned revenge. Unseen forces and traitors cause their plans to careen out of control and quickly, a small remnant finds themselves on the brink of destruction. At the heart of it lies a prophecy of flames and destruction, but is it of extinction, or making way for something new to rise?

And the short form:

In a realm of floating islands, every House has abilities that break the Laws of the Universe.  The Nemeni, the bankers whose clockwork marvels let their empire dominate, was destroyed by its enemies long ago. Now a remnant has emerged to enact revenge but their plans fail with deadly consequences due to a prophecy of fire and upheaval. Is it one of extinction, or a rising from the ashes?

I hope by my next Teusday blog I have more details about he cover art, which has already been started.

Honestly my main revelation and discussion point this blog was the actual chapter itself, but I do have a Poll too.

This time the poll is pretty simple, what do you want to see next here?  Certain blogs will occur when they are relevant (cover, formatting, etc) but I plan on doing blogs in between the milestones, so what do you want to see more of?

Lastly, thank you all for when you share this by face book, twitter, etc, I can see the amount of individual views jump  versus non blog days, and that’s honestly my best chance to market this book without a traditional print publisher.


%d bloggers like this: