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    The Desert of Souls

    Tuesday, August 13, 1066

    In 8th century Baghdad, a stranger pleads with the vizier to safeguard the bejeweled tablet he carries, but he is murdered before he can explain. Charged with solving…

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    The Bones of the Old Ones

    Tuesday, August 13, 1066

    As a snowfall blankets 8th century Mosul, a Persian noblewoman arrives at the home of the scholar Dabir and his friend the swordsman Captain Asim. Najya has escaped…

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    The Waters of Eternity

    Tuesday, August 13, 1066

    Venture into the time of the Arabian Nights with stalwart Captain Asim and the brilliant Dabir as they hunt an unseen killer that craves only the eyes of…

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    Plague of Shadows

    Tuesday, August 13, 1066

    In the third official novel in Paizo’s Pathfinder Tales line, the race is on to free Lord Stelan from the grip of a wasting curse, and only Elyana,…

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    Stalking the Beast

    Tuesday, August 13, 1066

      When a mysterious monster carves a path of destruction across the southern River Kingdoms, desperate townsfolk look to the famed elven ranger Elyana and her half-orc companion…

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Apr
23

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On Resistance and Writing

I spend an awful lot of time talking about Resistance on this site, at least as Steven Pressfield defines it in The War of Art.

Here’s another look at something important Pressfield had to say on the passion artists bring to their work; a little peek into the kind of stuff we may have to deal with.

In other news, I’m deep in draft mode with many irons in fires, so there may not be any lengthy posts for a while. That recent review took a couple of hours to write, hours that need to be spent drafting. Eventually I hope to get some info up the great hard boiled writing of Wade Miller, but that’s going to have to wait until I have a LITTLE bit of time.

Apr
17

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Fists of Iron: Round 2

firsts of iron round 2As frequent visitors to my site know, I’m a pretty big fan of Robert E. Howard’s writing. I’m not any kind of a boxing aficionado, but some years back I decided to pick up a copy of The Incredible Adventures of Dennis Dorgan, a Zebra paperback with a bevy of Howard’s tales about an American sailor named, wait for it, Dennis Dorgan. We see very little of Dorgan at sea, however, unless he’s just getting off his boat, because all of the tales involve him battling in one kind of boxing ring or another. I never finished the book, so I can’t tell you exactly why I went ahead and invested in the first two books of the complete boxing stories of Robert E. Howard.

Come to think of it, maybe I can.

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Apr
14

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Recent Reads

Click to enlarge. Half of my paperbacks, just east of my desk.

Half of my paperbacks, just east of my desk.

While on the way back and forth to the Virgin Islands I spent several hours on airplanes and even more hours in layover airports. What better time to whittle down my to-be-read stack? Not owning a Nook or a Kindle, I usually don’t take big modern fantasy books, but slim paperbacks, which slide in and out of the carry-on case a lot more simply. And I have to confess that I feel like I’m making more progress if I knock through a series of shorter books. I DO have a large TBR list, after all.

On the way down I read Dan Marlowe’s The Name of the Game is Death,  a riveting noir novel about a guy who’s not quite as much of a sociopath as he seems, set in some semi-tropical places. A haunting and powerful crime drama and character study. Then I tried another Wade Miller, Dead Fall. So far the team of Wade & Miller (two guys under one pseudonym) haven’t let me down. Even their standalones, like this one, are pretty riveting. The mystery was excellent and kept me guessing. Unfortunately, this one had the most “slap you in the face with its ’50s sexism” ending I’ve yet found in their work. Wade & Miller frequently featured strong women, so this was actually a departure for them. I’ll write up a longer article about their work some time soon, because they wrote some overlooked gems.

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Apr
11

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Site Rules

one more thingI woke this morning to discover that someone had posted a long screed railing against something I rather liked right here on one of my recent updates.

I deleted the screed immediately. Not because I disagreed with it, but because of its venomous tone.

Its author is clearly a newcomer to the site and is unlikely to revisit. In case he returns, or that other axe-grinders start showing up, the rules about interacting here are pretty simple. Read More

Apr
10

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Dabir and Asim are Audible!

IMG_3615I’m pleased — nay, super excited — to announce that the first two Dabir and Asim  novels, The Desert of Souls and The Bones of the Old Ones, are now available as audio books!

I hope you’ll help spread the word. Both are narrated by the talented Peter Ganim, and you can find them here and here at Audible, or through the other familiar places that distribute Audible books. I’ve only listened to brief excerpts, and I really like how he’s handled Captain Asim. Some day I’ll probably listen to more… but, as an actor often hates to watch his or her performance, I’m not sure how well I can listen to my own words being read aloud. Perhaps if I had a bigger head.

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Ancient Arabia

The Wily Dalilah: Arabian Nights Feminist

Thursday, March 27, 2014

In a work as varied as The Arabian Nights there are naturally some portions more popular than others, probably because some are more easily adapted into standalone tales…

The Fantasy Adventures of Alexander the Great

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I think my favorite parts of Alexander the Great’s life involve his fight with the dragon, and the time he climbed to a mountain summit and saw the…

Link Day

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I need to hit the ground running today, so I’m going to hook you up with some nifty and eclectic links. First, a post from my talented writer…

Authorial Voice, Scheduling, and a New Review

Monday, January 14, 2013

I wrote my most recent post about Guy le Strange’s book on ancient Baghdad in one long sustained burst, and upon revisiting just noticed that I use the…

Ancient Baghdad’s Street Plan

Friday, January 11, 2013

When you’re researching you sometimes stumble onto books that seem to have been written just for you. I’ve read a long shelf’s worth of interesting and sometimes wonderful…