Fan vs. Fan: Game of Thrones 603, 604

Loving the new Game of Thrones season thus far. Each episode an improvement upon the last. May you also enjoy these next two review chats discussing the episodes as improvements upon those that came before. We’re getting godly at this, folks.

Game of Thrones -FvF- 603- Oathbreaker

Game of Thrones -FvF- 604- Book of the Stranger

JM

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Fan vs. Fan: Game of Thrones 601, 602

So my friends over at Dork Shelf keep up with their favourite shows by having fans hurled into a pit together and given a smattering of tools loosely identified as weapons. Or, more accurately, we argue and joke about episodes of dorky shows we love. They do it for The Flash and as well for Game of Thrones. Lo and behold they asked me to be their resident book expert.

Flawless victory! I love A Song of Ice and Fire and almost remember most of it, so I’m a perfect fit. Plus Brian’s actually funny, which also helps. As a co-host of the show, I would be bereft of conscience if I did not pimp the FvF franchise – thus week by week I will be dropping new episodes here for your viewing enjoyment. They will definitely contain spoilers from the episodes in question, as well as questionable speculation about future episodes.

Game of Thrones -FvF-601- The Red Woman

Game of Thrones -FvF-602- Home

JM

New Pricing / Amazon Releases

So everything is finally set up on Amazon, even if some of their cover art jpegs have not updated since 19-dickety-2. It breaks down thusly:

Amazon.com

  • Purge of Ashes on Kindle: $5.08 USD
  • Purge of Ashes in lovely paperback: $15.95 USD

Amazon.ca

  • Purge of Ashes on Kindle: $6.49 CAD
  • Purge of Ashes in lovely paperback: $20.21 CAD

We managed to drop the price of the physical copy, mostly in an effort to make a sane price for the book in Canada. This is added incentive for anyone who has been on the fence about a purchase. It’s a great deal on a great book.

As well, to illustrate the above statement, I have added a ‘Reviews‘ section to the site that can be found here.

JM

BEHOLD!

Front Purge of Ashes Cover

You can now purchase Purge of Ashes for your Kindle (and we think other eReaders work fine, too)

Could not be more proud. Epic cover epic content… what’s not to like? If you stumble upon my little corner of the net, please take minute to think to yourself: “Do I need to buy the big container of spinach? It will cost $5 and probably go bad.” Then think to yourself instead: “No, I will spend the same money on a novel that WON’T go soggy” – and then buy my book. It’s that easy.

And hey, it’s got a cool cover, right?

JM

30 Days of Balance #16: EARLY SAMPLE from Purge of Ashes

With my cover reveal just a day around the corner (hopefully), this 16th day of Balance will be given over to a preview of Purge of Ashes. Hope it scintillates!

JM


The illumination provided by the lantern cast a flickering mosaic along the stone sides of the spiral staircase; each crack a horizon distant, each protrusion amass with nooks and crannies so precise they appeared as a tapestry of faces. Faces lost ages past, perhaps even yet to come. Scenes played out again and again, or perhaps events that never transpired at all. No man-made thread and needle were required for the banners of history woven all along the descent – they were wrapped around and around in the features of the masonry, overseen by a mere three sconces spans since last offering light. When memories pervade my waking consciousness, such salient visions are indeed commonplace.

A thin smile parted the lips of a tall, speculative man. Quietly shutting the door behind him, he kept his light source aloft – and were the stone walls a living history in truth they may have gleaned insight into the extant history of a great man through his eyes. Alas, the cold stone of the mosaic was witness merely to a lord whose shoulders hefted curious accouterments in opposition: a sweeping, off-shoulder cloak on the right and an overly-large, reinforced manica of dirty iron on the left.

Underground he went, deeper and deeper into the heart of this inexplicable hunk of earth lost in a sea of rot. It was cold up above and even colder as he approached the base of the stairs, warmth of all kinds distant from such an unreasonable location. He was unperturbed by the icy chill across his forearms and neck. Indeed, he welcomed it. Most gaols he had found himself in, as warden or dead man walking, had been musty, hot, sand-filled urinals rife with scorpions and cyclopean thorizar. More unbidden memories, but they were of no consequence and easily cast aside. What was more, he had arrived.

The last hidden recluse in the capital. Oh, he had spent many spans in the castle, searched out every cellar, every roost. He had traveled the corridors of the servants and stood in the throne room more times than he could count. That an excavation this expansive could remain so hidden from his probing senses was a mystery – but it was also an answer. There was nowhere else to look. And at this distance, now but paces from what the lantern was revealing to be a sizable, half-rotten wooden door raked by iron bars, he could feel the soft droning of reticent chakka burgeoning after decadaes of elusion.

With a final jangling of his undercoat, he stood in silence before the door, the lantern’s perforation revealing little through the dull, slime-covered splinters. With a gentle palm he pushed on the handle. The fulcrums groaned, but it fell open nonetheless, a metallic wheeze reverberating up the stairwell behind him. Not the amount of resistance one would normally expect from a door untroubled for a great many spans. Flaked chips of rust within a reach of the threshold confirmed his assumption.

Fingers darted out, snuffing the lantern. His quarry was most certainly within the pitch black room. He took one step forward. His eyes would not adjust, he knew. Matchsticks waited on the inside of his cloak for the return trip. Extinguishing the lantern was but a courtesy.

“Ah,” Rafien Jorgamund said simply, a noise more than a word. A rusty creak answered him, followed immediately by the onset of a shiver and the sensation of a most perceptive regard steeling into him from somewhere within the chamber – which was, of course, impossible. Oh, he might try, but Chakka’Ghar were, without exception, blind. The gesture was for his benefit so he could locate the particular direction of black to address. Long ears would have picked up his bootfalls tics prior, descending the stairs with no attempt at the clandestine.

“You could not have thought to evade me here forever.”

No reply was forthcoming. Some things never changed.

“However, being here I must assume that utter evasion was never your desire, else you would have left Sventium altogether and made your way back home. Or maybe north to Brace Cartia. Or west and across the Rockswell. But you are here and I don’t know whether I find that telling or worrisome… because I do not know why.”

They had been friends long ago. They were friends now, truth be told, although the veracity of that statement depended upon the manner upon which one gauges friendship and, indeed, the passage of time.

Rafien could remember the exact sixtieth he saw his friend last, a centoraspan prior, standing on a desolate road south of the site. They had stood together facing the Landbridge, an isthmus runs to the west across wind-swept plains and prairie grasses, the carved bays of its edges disrupting the seamless circumference of the horizon and framing the path soon to be undertaken. Beyond it the battered sun set in vivid display.

The weight of the impending moment had already brought tears to Rafien’s eyes, freezing to his skin as they rode the wind across his cheeks and down his face. They had left him a sleek mask, humorously reflective of his inner turmoil and exposing, for the uncaring flats of Aneoma to see, his self. A petty facade, but one he had clung to nonetheless, unable to come to grips with an emotion he had not felt deeply in so many spans. And so he had wept.

He had stood alone in the gale winds and then they had stood side-by-side when the time had come. A gloved hand had settled on his shoulder, stirring awake the husk he had become: a frigid overseer beset by bandages and bruises staring ruthlessly down at the expanse before him. The action cracked his streaked exterior, spawning new tears and crumbling the remnants of his resolve. He had then whispered the last true prayer of his life.

Ronun Thel had stepped past him and never looked back.

Poetic, then, that his vigil began on the West Plain, where the once-holy could walk half a dozen runs of flat road before becoming a smudge in the distance. Telling, then, that in traveling by night his friend’s progression was all but untraceable in a matter of tics. Maybe he had not wanted me to watch him go, but by Aneom’s robes I stood and watched the darkness. Aneom’s dirty robes, I stood.

Stood as he did now, in utter darkness, with only his measured breaths to act as the wind and break the silence. Somewhere beyond his senses, Ronun.

“What is the… root of this self-pity?” he asked, the plea of his pursuit once more entering his voice unbidden. “What have you not already faced?”

Rafien let the questions linger, the air hanging thick with the unmentionable. He hoped to use their past history to draw the man out, but – as the tics grew longer and Rafien burgeoned on spending a half-tora underground between the bells – he was unsure his friend was ready for the conversation. He had waited a long time to meet Thel again. He could wait a little longer.

“I will return.”

With a respectful bow, he stepped back into the stairwell, his right hand pulling the rotted door shut behind him. It had to be handled carefully. Thel’s scars would weep in time, but, as usual, Rafien himself would have to be prepared for the burden of their bleeding, and that challenge would require a substantial amount of patience.

His hand rummaged in a pocket, finding a long match which he struck against a stone protrusion on the wall. It caught, once more doing the work of the tired sconces. One step at a time, Rafien Jorgamund trudged his way back towards the top of the stairs. Once more in the corridors of the castle, and long out of earshot of the new denizen at the root of the hidden staircase, his lips let slip a ragged sigh – winds of the past once more lashing like flails against his cheeks.

*Courtesy of Chapter Six of Purge of Ashes, Book One of the Imbalance – coming April 5th, 2016, through Realmwalker Publishing Group.

 

30 Days of Balance #1: The 30-Day Countdown

In the Imbalance novels, recorded history begins in the span ‘1b’ and winds through time to the present: 340b. Some call the present span 1i instead of 340b because it marks the birth of imbalance, and in accordance they augment their calendars and chronologies. Others cry and cajole that this identifier belongs fifteen years prior in 325b at the live birth. To these purists the world is already in the year 15i. Whether you side with the purists and the live birth or the populists and that endae aft in early Anona when the scales first tipped, the one thing agreed upon is that the days of balance were numbered.

For our purposes, 30 will do.

Today marks the first of a 30-day countdown to the release of Purge of Ashes on April 5th. 30 more days of balance in which to get excited about the trilogy, explain some of the inspiration for the series, discuss the writing process for a debut fantasy novel, and learn some things about me before I get busy finishing the sequel. I have created the majority of these posts ahead of time to ensure the frequency and quality does not wane as the release date approaches and I revert from determined professional to giddy teenager. I hope those interested in reading my debut peruse this list of topics and pick a few they would be interested in to watch out for. A crash course on Imbalance straight from the Arnbred destrier’s mouth.

Happy reading to you all.

JM

Pleasure note that my cover reveal and date for pre-orders are anticipated projections and subject to change.

Saturday, March 5

The 30-Day Countdown

Sunday, March 6

200,000 Words + One From Joe Abercrombie

Monday, March 7

Biting My Nails vs. Writing

Tuesday, March 8

Progress to Publication I: Original Book + Movie Script

Wednesday, March 9

What is Imbalance About?

Thursday, March 10

The Value of a Good Ear + Friends

Friday, March 11

A World Birthed From Maps

Saturday, March 12

Two Levels: Shakespeare vs. The Simpsons

Sunday, March 13

Never Quitting + Warcraft III

Monday, March 14

Favourite Authors

Tuesday, March 15

Progress to Publication II: 6-Year Challenge

Wednesday, March 16

The Cracks of the Day vs. Money

Thursday, March 17

A World Birthed From Documents

Friday, March 18

Love + Art

Saturday, March 19

Writing Women

Sunday, March 20

EARLY SAMPLE: Purge of Ashes

Monday, March 21

Cover Reveal (subject to change)

Tuesday, March 22

Pre-Orders (subject to change)

Wednesday, March 23

Self-promotion vs. The Internet

Thursday, March 24

Naming Conventions

Friday, March 25

Fantasy vs. Horrible Fantasy Covers

Saturday, March 26

Progress to Publication III: The Roddening

Sunday, March 27

Starting in the Storm + Passive Voice

Monday, March 28

Birthday Promotion!

Tuesday, March 29

Short Stories

Wednesday, March 30

The Timeline Doesn’t Matter

Thursday, March 31

Writing vs. Worldbuilding

Friday, April 1

Something Unique + Inspiring

Saturday, April 2

Pronunciations + Pronunciation Keys

Sunday, April 3

Publication + Realmwalker Publishing Group

Monday, April 4

Grip of Dust

Tuesday, April 5

The Birth of Imbalance

Eleven Years Ago I Found a Picture of the Coolest Joel

The internet is a weird place.

This was still pretty true back in 2005, even without YouTube and its myriad demented wonders. At the time I attended university in 4th year, and the net was changing. Increasingly, folks were creating their own spaces online from which to ramble narcissistic. Enter the fact that in university everyone feels mature of opinion and wicked-cerebral and you can imagine the burgeoning success of sites such as MySpace, Blogspot and LiveJournal.

I had a blog called ‘Zugswang’ – spelling error and all – and there is absolutely NO reason to click on this link and go there.

If your curiosity got the better of you, you would have found yourself on a page featuring my incredulous face and a post about ‘Great Joels in History.’ You also would have found a sidebar full of links that don’t work to various projects and time wasters. Additionally, you may have noticed that roughly half of the pictures on the post itself are broken. I like to think of it as ‘living in the spirit of the Spacejam Official Website,’ but really it’s just a neglected internet ghost town of one man’s empty musings

That was, until the first Joel mentioned – a boy hanging off a staircase in a picture clearly taken before easy photo editing rotation – contacted me eleven years later.

Here’s what I wrote in my original:

I don’t know if this kid is famous at all, but if you type ‘Joel’ into google he tops the list. And THAT’s pretty impressive. Almost as impressive as his incredible leg push-ups from that upside-down staircase. Go gravity-defying Joel go!

Joel Climbing Up the Walls

And here’s the reply from the gravity-defying Google champion Joel Carr:

Well when that post was published I was nearly out of Secondary School (15 years old). I can’t remember the first time I found the post but I am pretty sure it was my first few years of University, 2010ish. Basically happened when with friends and we decided to google each other’s name. This was an instant hit and I love the fact it was still online. It has been found by numerous of social groups then onto colleagues. I wanted to message you to say thank you for the much joy you have brought me, my friends, and family!

Joel Climbing Up the Walls 2

So there you go. The magic of the internet in two easily-digestible blog posts.

I learned a few things from this:

  1. I have the same PJ pants.
  2. Randomly compliment strangers in the fledgling days of the internet and eventually they will hunt you down to say thanks.
  3. The mystique of the original picture, long a quandary to wizened analysts and philosophers alike, is blown wide open by the reveal of the hallway wall in the second picture.
  4. If my crumb-bum blog posts can create long-distance ‘besties’ whose only bond is their shared name, imagine what my epic fantasy debut will do to you in eleven years. You will one day look me up and link back to this site saying, “Hey, is this the same Joel Minty who wrote that trilogy before the tarantulas attacked? YOUR SITE REUNITED ME WITH MY FAMILY” or some such.
  5. Joels are pretty great.

Honestly. How do you name your blog after a word you can’t spell?

JM.