It Is Done

Catharsis, am I right?

There’s nothing that can equal the feeling an author gets when he or she finally publishes the final book in their long-running series. They can sit back in their chair, relax, and breathe a sigh of relief while sipping their cognac and watching a nature documentary on TV.

Okay, now that I’ve played through the fantasy, let me get real, because this is about as far from my experience as I can get. I’ve never even had cognac.

If you follow me in any capacity, then you know I just finished Ascent Into Light, which is the fourth and final book in my Forgotten Years fantasy saga. It’s been a long time coming and the end was always in sight, but I don’t think I ever stopped to consider the emotions that would follow.

Elation? Pride? Excitement? Sure, those three are in there. There is always a sense of accomplishment with every book completed, and I’m proud of everything I’ve written. No, what I’m talking about is the emotions associated with finishing a series or even just a single book. You see, it’s not just about words on a page flung out wrecklessly into the cruel world. It’s also about relationships.

Many of the Forgotten Years characters have been in my head for two decades. Some had different names or personalities and, over the years, have morphed into what they are today. I’m proud of their progress and maturity but, if I’m being honest, I’m also pretty sad to see them go.

It feels like sending your kid off to college (which I’ll get to experience soon enough, too). Cygil has been my second home and these characters have been my friends and family. I’ve spent more time with them than some real friends or family, and I know them intimately.

And I may never see them again.

The journey’s over–both for them and for me and it was never something I considered. I always had the last book in mind, striving for that goal and never expected to miss everyone, yet, here I am.

All this is to say, while it’s a mixed bag for me, I hope anyone out there reading my Forgotten Years books gets to experience some of the same closeness and intimacy with the characters I’ve created as I have.

It’s not always only about the journey


What a Release!

For those of you who haven’t somehow seen me shouting about it, ASCENT INTO LIGHT RELEASES ON AUGUST 1ST!!!

Kindle eBook pre orders are available now:

But, wait, there’s more!

The standard paperback will obviously be available on August 1st, but don’t forget about the Chaos Edition which will feature a few extras for the Forgotten Years collector! It will be available directly from me only, and will be $35 (plus shipping).

Yes, I know that’s expensive, and I don’t expect many readers to pay that much for a book. To print a book in color through Amazon is far more expensive, because the system assumes EVERY page is color and, thus, charges more per page.

If you want a few Forgotten Years collectibles, for $45 (plus shipping) you can get a golden Cor’il mini figure as well as a couple other small extras I’m including (shh, they’re surprises).

If you’d like to see the mini an hear me ramble a bit about this project, I made a video!

I’m excited to wrap up the Forgotten Years fantasy saga and I think Ascent Into Light does the story justice. If you’ve enjoyed the journey so far, I promise Ascent Into Light will not disappoint. If you’ve come this far, I ask you to come just a little farther!

If you need to catch up on The Forgotten Years, the first three books (and, eventually, Ascent Into Light) are available here:

I Got You Covered

I’m happy to reveal the cover for Ascent Into Light: Chaos Edition!

This version of my final Forgotten Years book includes color art and the first chapter from my upcoming novel, Mage Breaker!

Let me say, however, that this edition will be more expensive. Why? Because Amazon charges more for color and the system assumes EVERY PAGE will be color. I will be selling these personally (they will not be available on Amazon).

If you’re a rabid fan, maybe this version is for you. If not, it’s no big deal because the original edition will be widely available. DON’T WORRY, THE CONTENT OF BOTH BOOKS IS 100% IDENTICAL!

And now, without further ado…

Updates From Exile

first of all, I hope everyone out there is safe and well. This is a strange and often scary time for us all but we will persevere–together. I mean, not together, as in being in the same place. Together, but separate…but together! Oi.

Because we’re cool like that.

If you follow me on social media, you know I’ve mostly been posting cat pictures. It’s a great way to pass the time (read; slack off)! But I’ve also toyed with my guitar and painted a custom Kendra Alscoradon mini.

Because being creative right now is a great way to cope. And being creative in a different way has absolutely helped. Will I stick with these resurfacing hobbies? I have no idea. For the time being, they’re entertaining distractions.

As far as Ascent Into Light goes, I have the proof copy in my hot little hands (if you didn’t see my terrible video, you can see it here:

I’ve still got some special plans for this book and the current situation is delaying those a while so I’m taking it slow. I have no real deadline now, and I know there are some of you who really want to find out how The Forgotten Years saga ends, so I’m asking you to wait just a little longer.

It’ll be worth it, I promise.

In the meantime, rest assured I am working on Mage Breaker. It’s going a bit slower since we’re all stuck inside the house (and I usually have problems writing at home with all the distractions), but it’s still happening. And it’s amazing.

Hang in there, everyone. And help one another when you can.

Review: The Weight of Stars and Suns

I was very fortunate to acquire an advanced copy of Dawn C. Jonckowski’s debut novel, The Weight of Stars and Suns and, I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

First of all, let me start off by saying romance is not my most often read genre. In fact, I rarely read romance. Maybe I’m a cold-hearted bastard who doesn’t cry at mushy Google ads and I have no feelings. But I might have cried during the movie “Up”, so I’m not completely dead inside. So here’s the thing–it’s a romance that happens in a science fiction setting.

Tav is a planet ringed by thirty-six suns! Thirty-six! They have the best tans, I’d wager. Many years ago, a human ship crashed, stranding the crew. Fast forward to the present where humans are all slaves. Okay, so what, right?

Well, one of the suns inexplicably dies. Poof. It just goes out. Why? Are the others going to follow suit? So there’s your sci-fi.

During this crisis, a small group of humans is planning to rebel but they find themselves prisoners after they’re captured. The leader, however, falls in love with the Tavarian chieftain’s daughter–the princess.

And then it starts getting really good.

Jonckowski has mapped out a simple, yet rich world and history without deluging the reader with exposition and details that could slow the story down. She focuses on only a handful of characters which kept me riveted, compelled to find out what would happen to them and how they would solve their solar problem.

Her narrative voice and writing style are both impeccable–effective, yet personable, so the story never bogs down with unneeded details. Everything generally moves at a good pace and it’s easy read through the book quickly.



And, now, some questions for the author!

1. Where did you draw your inspiration for The Weight of Stars and Suns? What gave you the idea? This was one of those crazy ideas your brain cooks up between waking and sleeping. I’m still not completely positive what kicked off the idea, but I was sitting on a plane at ridiculous-thirty in the morning and my brain started wandering down the rabbit hole of a planet that was actually at the center of the universe, as humans once believed Earth was. I started wondering what the planet might look like, feel like, who would live there. Would humans ever show up there and what would be the impetus behind them doing so. And if humans were there, what would the natives look like. (Fun fact: Tavarians are purple for the highly scientific reason of “purple is Dawn’s favorite color.”)

2. Will we get to revisit TWoSaS universe again? We will! The universe is a big, huge black space for exploration. And shortly after I finished drafting TWoSaS (which was originally intended as a singular novel), the characters informed me that I wasn’t yet done telling their story. For now, the entire arc is a planned trilogy. Book two, The Ashes of Hope and Hunger, is drafted and awaiting rewrites. Look for it early 2021, and in the meantime, get ready for a wild ride!

3. What is your favorite thing about the book? Does “holding it” count as an answer? Aside from the distinct pleasure of holding a physical copy of something that I poured so much of myself into and having it come to fruition like this, honestly one of my favorite things is seeing how the story affects other readers. Which characters they fall in love with, what quotes they pull out to hold close. All of which I suppose could be summed up in that my favorite thing is its fledgling community of readers. That and how much fun I had putting interesting little Easter eggs in there for those who know me well.

4. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? For the past eleven years, I’ve been heavily involved in swing dancing, both East Coast/Lindy and West Coast Swing. I’m also a musician, so you can often find me singing and playing piano or in a concert band playing French horn. We also have two very spoiled dogs; those two little fuzz nuggets definitely keep us on our toes and laughing!

5. What was the last song you listened to? Oh man . . . that’s a tough one! I have music playing constantly, so I listen to a ton of songs on any given day. My latest obsession is “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi, because I think it would be an amazingly powerful song to dance West Coast Swing to.

6. Pancakes or waffles? Waffles. Hands down.

7. If you had more time, would you write more or read more? I mean, I should probably sleep if I found more time! But if I could squeeze more in a day, I would probably write more. Book 3 has been knocking on my mind’s door for some time now, and I’d love to start digging into it.

Enter The Mage Breaker

Ascent Into Light is in revision which, of course, means I need to start another project! Because The Forgotten Years is wrapping up, this particular project is brand new and shiny!

Twenty years ago, humans discovered a source of power, allowing all people on the planet to use magic. This at first resulted in all out war as people struggled to accept responsibility for such power.

Soon after the Kithrak, a magically-attuned race of creatures, arrived and aided the people of Seralune, teaching them how to properly use magic–how to respect it. Everything–machines, transportation, even houses–used magic instead of conventional power sources and mechanics.

Great advances were made and people thrived like never before, experiencing longer lives and better health.

But there was a price. It was a minor cost most people were more than willing to pay–anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes in a T-helm, contributing their consciences to the Kithrak.

Harmless, right? Small price to pay? Ellyne Thandaral disagrees, and when she becomes the reluctant bodyguard of someone who knows the truth, she discovers the world is very different from what she thought.

Mage Breaker is a a science-fantasy book, focusing largely on urban fantasy. It’s a relatively new endeavor for me but I’m really excited about it. While I’m sad to leave the world of The Forgotten Years, I’m ridiculously stoked to build a new world, even if it’s just for one book!

And Now For Something Completely Different

Ascent Into Light is done.

The ink is dry on Cor’il’s and Kendra’s stories. Dalinil and Orvaril have finished what they set out to do, and The Blacksmoke can go back to being an absolute gortog’s ass (he never really stopped).

The Forgotten Years have come to a close. In just a few short months, readers can get their grubby fingers on the final chapter of this saga and find out what happens to these dynamic characters.

I really can’t wait for you to read it. I think you’ll be [REDACTED].

As for me, I am awaiting my editor’s comments and feedback from betas (who have not seen it yet, but soon will). So there’s nothing left to do but sit back, relax, and wait right?


HA! Nope. I have, in fact, begun plotting my next project! “What project is THAT?” you ask? Well, it’s not The Last Available, which I will continue as my side project, and it’s not in The Forgotten Years world.

As this project develops, I’ll throw out some tasty bits from the bottom of the bag–you know, the really salty crumbs that are left over after all the snacks are gone.

So if you’re not subscribed to my newsletter and you’re interested in this info, I’d recommend signing up! I’ll be using all outlets for information, but the newsletter gets it first as well as some exclusives.

Oh, and there’s also the information about Ascent Into Light coming, because, even if it’s done with me, I’m not done with it yet.

The signup link is at the top of the front page of