Things Here, Things on the Way

Final-CoverBefore I get the next installment of Power’s Shadow up, I do have a few developments I’d like to share. The first is that the Audible.com audiobook edition of Yamada Monogatari: Demon Hunter, is now live. This is from their announcement introducing the voice talent for the book: “Brian Nishii is a bicultural, bilingual performer from Tokyo. As an actor and dancer, he has worked with theatre companies such as La Mama’s Great Jones Company, Robert Wilson, In Mixed Company, Fluid Motion, Crossing Jamaica Avenue, and The South Wing. Film and television credits include Robot Stories, Sex and the City, and Law & Order (CI). He also provides lead vocals and antics for the colorful band, HappyFunSmile. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and baby boy.”

You can find the Audible edition here.

YMBreaktheGate_5.5 x 8.5_V01Second, and in a clear sign of the changing times and paradigms, the Kindle edition of Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate is now fully pre-orderable through Amazon just like the print edition, so if you prefer reading on the Kindle, we’ve got you covered.

 

That’s all for now. Next up, Power’s Shadow, Chapter 6, Part 2.

Regrets, I Have a Few

Epi Les Paul Special IIAnd to your immediate left is one of them. That’s an Epiphone Les Paul Special II, and it was the first guitar I ever owned. While I was sad to part with the Peavey Horizon II that passed out of my hands recently, I did and still do feel it was the right decision under the circumstances. When I think of the Epi, I can’t say the same.

For those who have known Epiphone only as the budget brand arm of the Gibson Company, it’s easy to forget that they were once a powerhouse guitar maker in their own right, accorded equal (and often greater) prestige than Gibson itself. But they fell on hard times and were eventually bought out. The thing is, they still make pretty darn good guitars. Ask Gary Clark Jr., whose go-to guitar is an Epiphone Casino, and it ain’t because he can’t afford an ES-335. While I don’t think anyone is saying that, say, the Epiphone Les Pauls are in the same class as a Gibson Les Paul Standard, the Special II is closer in design and intent to the old Gibson LP Juniors and Melody Makers. And for someone just getting started especially it’s a heck of an axe to cut your playing teeth on. It’s a good sounding, easy playing guitar. Whenever I hit a sour note, I knew it was me, not the guitar, and that’s not always the case for guitars in the “student model” class. That Epi took a lot of the guesswork out of starting out and it was, as my Brit friends might say, “cheap as chips.” I did good when I chose it to start on. I did less good, even though I’m leaning more to Strats these days, when I decided to part with it.

If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t have done it. Really big word, that.

If.

 

Power’s Shadow: Chapter 6, Part 1

Powers-Shadow-Rough-3Amaet Gets Around.

 

 

 

Chapter 6 – Marta’s Shadow

“One must always plan, but one must also understand that, chances are, your plan will fail. It is the act of learning why your plan failed that will show you the way to your true desire.” – Black Kath’s Tally Book

Where is she?

Dena had Kel patrolling in the form of a seagull, but so far he had nothing to report. She’d had him follow the Blue Moon for a while but, thanks to Marta’s sodding goshawk, he had been forced to keep his distance, and had finally lost sight of the ship. Considering the direction they traveled, it seemed that Marta and company had booked passage to the Five Isles, which seemed a bit far-fetched on the face of it. But then, Dena well knew that a witch on the trail of a Law would follow wherever that trail led. If the Fifth Law was indeed somewhere on the Five Isles, Dena knew she would risk even that. Yet she felt nothing, no pull or even the shadow of one. To the best of her understanding, the Fifth Law was not to be found in Boranac’s domain.

So why would Marta risk going there? It made no sense!

Finally the seagull that once was a thief named Kell glided down to land on a nearby rock.

“Well?” Dena asked.

“Nothing,” he said, and the words came out like little shrieks. “No sign of Marta or the Blue Moon…no ships at all, in fact, inside of a day’s sail from here.”

Dena scowled. “Rest. Tomorrow you’re going to fly to the Five Isles.”

“Why there?”

“Because no one sails so close to Boranac’s domain if they don’t plan to visit it. I do not know why Marta would choose to go there, but I need to know for certain where she is before I decide what to do.”

“Fine, but even as a gull it will take a day or more, and I’ll have to stop and rest on the water. Likely a shark will come along and eat me,” he grumbled.

“Then the shark will owe me your debt. Too bad for the shark.”

Dena left him there on the beach. First because he could find for himself tonight, and second because she wouldn’t have to listen to him complain. The sun was close to setting, and she made her way off the beach and up into the town, where he room at the inn was waiting for her.

Later that night Dena dreamed of someone she had not thought of in some time. He came into her dream and brought her pain with him, in the shape of a sixteen year old boy with black eyes and the fiercest smile she had ever seen. Perhaps it was no more than nostalgia, but she let him kiss her, and she kissed him back willingly enough, but after a few moments she pushed him away.

“This isn’t real, and I won’t trick myself into thinking otherwise. Even if I want to.”

“Dena, girl, I don’t understand,” he said. He looked hurt. She remembered that look.

“If you were real, you would,” she said. “Just as I do.”

In that instant, a new voice filled Dena’s mind, and it was not her own.

Is that discipline, I wonder? I think rather it is more the result of a bad disposition. Have you been eating sour apples, Dena?

Dena blinked. “Amaet? Where are you?”

Here and there. But if you want to see me…. Continue reading

Updates–Because Things Happen

YMBreaktheGate_5.5 x 8.5_V01

You’re looking at what is probably the final cover for the Prime Books edition of  Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate, barring any last minute tweaks. The original–and still official–publication date is December 3rd, but there’s a chance that will be moved up to mid- November. I’ll let everyone know once I know. I still have some hope that the PS limited edition will be out before then, but right now it’s anybody’s guess.  The third Yamada book, The War God’s Son is scheduled for mid 2015. I expect at least one more Yamada novel after that, though of course to some degree that depends on the next two.

Power’s Shadow continues to progress. I crossed the 40k threshold last week, so it’s officially a novel by SFWA standards. The story should wrap up at 60-65k words, maybe 70k at the outside. As of now I have no plans to discontinue the serial, so as long as I can stay ahead on the installments, I’ll keep posting them until the book is done. If I finish ahead of the installments, though, I’ll likely put the ebook edition out rather than waiting to catch up. That’s just theoretical, and probably far too optimistic. As with life itself, we’ll see what happens next.

Power’s Shadow: Chapter 5. Part 4 (Conclusion)

Powers-Shadow-Rough-3Next Stop: Amurlee

 

 

 

Power’s Shadow: Chapter 5, Part 4

 

“Yes. Captain–or perhaps I should say Princess, Callowyn is his daughter.”

“How did you know?” Callowyn asked.

“Let’s just say my instincts served me well, though I wasn’t entirely certain until now.”

Callowyn scowled. “You tricked me!”

“Just a little. I understand why you didn’t want us to know but, as I said, I had no wish to go into this mission with blinders on. You may, of course, inform His Majesty that we know your secret.”

“Why wouldn’t she want us to know?” Sela asked. “What does it…oh.”

Marta smiled. “Exactly. A pirate is one thing, but what if we were to hand over King Boranac’s own daughter to the authorities in Conmyre? What do you imagine the rewards would be?”

“Substantial,” muttered Callowyn.

“And entirely beside the point, Highness. Your father, I trust, understands the full implications of entering a binding contract with a witch such as myself. I must honor our agreement to the letter or the contract is not binding, and I will do so to the absolute best of my ability. He would be a damn fool if he didn’t do the same…and I know your father is no fool.”

“He is not. Just…don’t call me that. I am Captain Callowyn. That is all.”

“As you wish, Captain. One thing, though—do you have anything else to wear?”

Callowyn glanced down at her sailor’s togs. “Why? What’s wrong with this?”

“For its purpose? Nothing at all. But when we arrive in Amurlee, it may be best for all concerned if you looked a little less…pirate-like. A suggestion, nothing more.”

Callowyn looked unhappy. “Since you put it that way…I’ll see what I can do.”

When Callowyn was gone, Sela turned to Marta. “How did you know?”

“As I said, I didn’t know. At least not for certain. But when I first met her, there was something about Callowyn that spoke of the Fourth Law, concerning a thing’s nature versus its appearance. Callowyn’s appearance was not an illusion, so ‘nature’ had to be the relevant bit. I don’t even remember noting it at the time, but I realized, just now when I saw her again, that she bore some resemblance to Boranac. Mostly in the eyes. It occurred to me that what I was seeing was recreated nature, not transformed. We are all a recreation of our parents, but apparently Callowyn’s trigger of my awareness of the Fourth Law meant that there was something about her that I needed to understand. That’s the way the Arrow Path works.”

“So you set a verbal trap and she walked into it.”

“More or less–yes.”

“Will Boranac still send her with us, do you think?”

“I think he will. In fact, I am counting on it.”

((Chapter 5 — Conclusion))

(c) 2014 Richard Parks