Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Book Break!

Posted by Rampant Coyote on June 30, 2015

I interrupt the regularly scheduled Wizardry 8 archive reprints to talk about some books – just released, soon-to-be-released, and not-quite-as-soon-to-be-released.

SteelAndBoneFirst up is another Steampunk anthology from Xchyler Publishing called “Steel and Bone.” I’m not one of the authors of this one. However, I have several friends who are, including my long-time collaborator on games (and nowadays, crane simulators) John Olsen, who occasionally posts comments here.  I’m not done reading all the stories in this one, so I haven’t seen fit to give it a full review on Amazon or Goodreads yet, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far. If you enjoy good steampunk stories (and you’ve [begin shameless plug] already read Terra Mechanica and Mechanized Masterpieces 2: An American Anthology, [end shameless plug] ), you should consider picking this one up. It’s cheap, and it’s fun, steampunky goodness!

I have been friends for a very long time with Melissa McShane, and I enjoyed her first novel, The Emissary. Maybe it’s because she first ran a priestess of death (albeit a fairly different character from the one in this book) in one of my D&D campaigns, and took the type of character most people would pigeonhole as an antagonist, and made her a sympathetic protagonist. Sometimes one I wanted to reach into the pages and smack a little bit, but that’s because a good character should have weaknesses. It did a good job of turning some tropes on their ear and creating a fantasy story that differs from any other I have read, involving gods and ghosts and priests and a whole lot of political intrigue.

ServantOfCrownBut what I really wanted to mention was her soon-to-be-released book, Servant of the Crown. I haven’t read it yet, though I really look forward to it. I know a few of her beta-readers, and universally the word is coming back: “Wow!” While they’ve enjoyed her previous two novels, this one sounds like it’s really something special. It launches in the middle of next month. My wife’s comment was that it shakes up the fantasy / romance tropes in an outstanding way. Anyway, after hearing so much praise, it’s moved up to the top of my list once I’m out of the double-extra-heavy-duty self-imposed crunch mode I’m facing between now and the second week of August.

Speaking of the double-extra-heavy-duty crunch period I’m facing for the next six weeks… part of it will involve some exciting news: I am going to have another short story published in an upcoming anthology! I was accepted for the 2015 paranormal anthology by Xchyler Publishing. My story, “Cold Spot” will appear in the yet untitled anthology this fall.

As much as I love steampunk, I’m happy to be included in something a little different this time around.


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