Tag Archives: writing

Interviews and a FREE Short Story

It’s been an exciting week, with THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN trending up the charts, and interviews and guest posts popping up all over.

Garrett Calcaterra, author of The Dreamwielder Chronicles, and I had a great chat yesterday. (READ THE INTERVIEW)

Today, I spoke with author Tiffany Shand, author of the Shifter Clans series. (READ THE INTERVIEW) Here’s a small bit where we talk about THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN’s protagonist:

Can you give us a little insight into any characters in your latest book?
Effie is an orphaned Sithling—someone with both fey and human blood, and her kind are hunted by a government who has used propaganda to ostracize them from society. So she has instant adversity and enemies, but as an orphan, she doesn’t really know much about her own people, nor whom to trust. She’s curious to a fault, and it’s that conflict between her need for understanding and her need to remain safely hidden that drives her actions.

Still not convinced the book is for you? In that case, read Effie’s first adventure for FREE! All you have to do is click the link to download the original short story featuring “Effie of Glen Coe”. The download will let you choose several different formats for your reading pleasure!

A World With No Use for Aether

The Laird of Duncairn e-book will be available for $.99 through May 28th, so make sure to get yours at the reduced price!

The kind folks at Bookwraiths have hosted a guest post for me today where I talk a little bit about the origins of the book and how its genre grew out of the story idea. Here’s a snippet:

“So what is The Laird of Duncairn? In the end, I’ve borrowed a little from alternate history—there are historical figures and events—a little from fantasy—there are fey and eldritch powers—and a little from steampunk—airships and steam carriages, aplenty! I use the term Gaslamp Fantasy to describe it because it blends a 19th century Victorian aesthetic with fantasy elements in place of science fiction. It doesn’t dwell on how a steam carriage works but rather delves into the mythology of trows and selkies. Nor does it expound on the different types and terms for costume and high tea but rather evokes some of the places I’ve seen firsthand.”

You can read the whole thing HERE.

Also, the folks at The Pursuit of Bookiness  and City Owl Press have posted excerpts of The Laird of Duncairn. Read them at the links below.

The Laird of Duncairn e-book $.99 for a Limited Time!

THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN is now available in print and e-book, and to celebrate, the e-book is on sale for $.99!

Also, today kicks off a month of guest posts, interviews, and reviews. Here’s a list of some of those places from I Heart Reading.

Read an excerpt from the book!  #TEAMCITYOWL

Happy Book Birthday, The Laird of Duncairn!

So happy to announce THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN is finally available. Reviews anywhere–Amazon, Goodreads, an used napkin–are always welcome and appreciated!

Book Launch – The Countdown is On!

THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN launches in 4 days, and I now have my author copies in hand! Thanks to Tina, Yelena, Heather, and all the City Owl authors for their support!

The book is available for pre-order and has already received some great reviews!

“Excellent story-telling and well-rounded characters makes this a thoroughly enchanting tale… I was particularly enthralled by both the geography and the period, both incredibly well researched and invoked. Loved this, couldn’t put it down.”  – Goodreads Review

The Reviews Are In!

Well, okay… One review. From a reader with an advanced copy given out by my publisher. I mean, the book’s not even out yet. But hey, it’s my first for THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

i love it & can’t wait to read more,”
says Barb Miller on Amazon (5-star review)

Intrigued…? Pre-order your copy today on print or eBook! Or, if you’re savvy, add it to your Goodreads “Want To Read” list.

Amazon Link  |  Goodreads Link

The Augurwraith by Craig Comer – Part VIII

The assassin appeared at her side. He held the crossbar meant to wedge the doors in place, but instead, he heaved the beam at the newcomers. It clattered along the floor at their feet, causing them to slow and jump out of the way.

Lucendes reached into his shirt and plucked out the totem, handing it to her. As Saja felt the cool glass, a shiver went up her arms. The last time she’d seen Tarim, he’d run a hand through her hair as they strolled through the potters bazaar. Would he remember?

“Do it now!” Lucendes said. “As Khouri instructed!”

Saja glanced up. The thugs were almost on top of them. Raising the totem, she hurled it at their feet. She found her voice and shouted, “Tarim, son of Yusri!” The totem shattered, and a flash of white light seared Saja’s eyes, blinding her.

She stumbled backward into the doors. Dark shadows grew solid as her vision returned. All but one.

“Tarim,” she whispered. He was clothed in the fine vest and shirt of one of the Kitame’s guard, with a silk sash of blue wrapped around his waist. Hanging from a belt was a curved sword.

He wasn’t the boy from Saja’s dreams. That Tarim was more solid, somehow more real. The Tarim before her was blurred, as if the details of his face—the glint of his eyes and ridge of his cheeks—weren’t fully formed. Or perhaps they were just hidden from this world.

The augurwraith studied the foyer, taking in the minions of the Horned Man, who’d stopped in horror of their new adversary. It shifted its gaze to Lucendes, and finally, to Saja. Joy swelled in her chest, then dwindled to nothingness.

No recognition showed in its features.

The creature drew its giant blade and snarled. One of the thugs dropped his stave and ran. The augurwraith turned and sprang forward, cleaving a path through the other men. Where its sword met flesh, great rents blossomed. Its movement was a drifting mist, its already blurred features seeming to dissolve and reform with each step.

A man with a short sword hacked at the creature’s back, but the steel slid through the augurwraith like a stick through a spider web, pulling tendrils of mist in its wake. The creature slashed low, and the man clutched at sundered legs as he fell.

The remaining minions bolted for the far reaches of the room, where a pair of doors and a corridor led off to other parts of the storehouse. The augurwraith pursued them, its whirling blade a dark streak of shadow.

Saja trembled, not quite comprehending what she saw. Tarim. And the creature. Existing together, yet not the same. They couldn’t be. She took in the butchery, and something steeled within her gut. No, she thought. This couldn’t be how she remembered him. With a determined step, she strode forward.

Across the foyer, the augurwraith disappeared into the corridor. Saja quickened her stride. She’d reached halfway to the edge of the room, when Lucendes grabbed her shoulders.

“Let it be,” he said. Saja tried to shrug him off, but his grip tightened.

“I have to see him,” she said, “the real Tarim. My Tarim.” She squirmed in his embrace, straining against his wiry arms. Her hand found the knife at her belt, and she drove its butt into his gut.

He shuffled back, releasing her, and they glared at one another. Lucendes’ face was a tense mask, his skin pulled tight around his eyes and lips. Saja knew if he lunged with his dagger, she would die.

But the assassin relaxed and shook his head. “It is foolish to hope such things,” was all he said.

Saja ran. Bodies lined the corridor, leaving a trail easy to follow. She rounded a corner and hurried down a flight of stairs, as a scream echoed from below. Her feet hit dirt, and she leapt toward an open door just as a stout man with graying locks burst through from the other side.

Saja grunted as they collided, and the wind was knocked from her lungs. She was thrown back and landed hard on her rump. The man cursed, staring down at where her knife stuck from his chest. His knees buckled, and he dropped.

Saja blinked, but she had no time to dwell upon what she’d done. Scrambling to her feet, she padded around the man and peered through the door. The augurwraith stood within, stalking a man who already clutched at a flayed hand. Several tables lay overturned and broken, and in the far corner, a trapdoor rested open against the wall.

But it was the form huddled against the near wall that halted Saja’s breath. Her father lay with nothing but a soiled cloth wrapped about his waist. Purple welts covered his body, and caked blood matted in his hair.

She rushed to his side, and the movement brought the creature spinning toward her, sword raised high.

“No!” she roared. “You are Tarim, son of Yusri, not this creature!” Fury burned within her chest. At her father and the guild. At Lucendes and the thieves of Kuthahaar. And at Tarim. The apprentice had wounded her deepest of all. She’d thought to tell him of how much she loved him, but now as she stood before him, she felt only the anger of betrayal.

“You could’ve run,” she said. Tears streamed down her cheeks, and her body shivered. “We could’ve hid from my father and found a life together. But you abandoned me and ripped that life away.”

The augurwraith’s face remained hard, but it lowered its blade. “You are wrong, Saja, daughter of Sukahn,” it said.

A voice gasped in wonder. “Tarim, I dared not truly believe.” Saja’s father gawked at his former apprentice, then racking sobs overtook him. “What have I done?” he cried.

“You did what you thought best,” said Tarim. He turned his gaze to Saja. “As did I, no matter how much it hurt you.” He paused, and the silence seemed to suck the air from the room. “What is done, is done. You must find a way without me.”

“Is that all?” she asked, though she knew Tarim’s words for truth. He’d tried to save her and her father the best way he could, the only way left to an apprentice bound to a penniless drunkard of a master.

The apprentice shimmered as if its shadowy form was suddenly taken by a gust of wind. “Do not seek me again. It only brings me pain.” Tarim’s face grew sorrowful, then began to fade.

As the augurwraith dissipated, Saja felt a void open within her. A great hunk of her old life ripped away, and with it went the false hope she’d tucked deep in her heart, one she’d never admitted existed, even to herself. The hope Tarim would return to her. In that void, Saja realized she would need to forge resolve and strength. He’d given his life for her future, and she meant not to squander that gift. She’d rescued her father once but would need to do so again. She loved him still and would not abandon him the way he’d abandoned her.

Across the room, the remaining minion of the Horned Man stared at Saja in bewilderment, clutching his bloodied hand. “Run, fool! To the Under!” barked Lucendes. The man jumped at the assassin’s command and scampered to the trapdoor, disappearing down a hole in the floor.

“Saja,” said her father, shoulders jerking as he continued to sob. “I ruined us. Who will trade with me now?”

“Don’t worry, papa,” she replied. She helped him to his feet, then grinned at Lucendes. “I am your new apprentice, and I believe the Tanner’s Guild will soon be sending you more work than you can handle. And at a very favorable price.”

The assassin laughed. “Perhaps,” he said. “The Blessed One does take care of his own.”

THE END

Originally published in Pulp Empire Volume IV.

© Craig Comer

The Laird of Duncairn – Cover Reveal!

I am happy to reveal the cover of my forthcoming novel, THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN! (available in print May 2nd and eBook May 16th)

 

Here’s a bit about its origins, from an interview on the City Owl Press website:

THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN is set in Scotland, where I lived and studied history at University for a year. Having a chance to roam throughout the Highlands and live in an old, storied city such as Edinburgh was truly amazing. With its breathtaking glens and lochs, it’s easy to see why the country is often used for romantic settings.

But I didn’t set out to write a novel set in Scotland. I started with a character, a young orphaned girl who suffered at the hands of politicians hundreds of miles away. That situation reminded me of Scotland’s history with London, and the tale grew from there. The girl became half fey, part of a dying race oppressed by centuries of scathing propaganda.

Added in were creatures out of folklore, real-life historical figures, and, of course, crank-guns and dirigibles. Adventure and mystery sweep across the countryside in THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN, as auld creatures awaken and new discoveries are made that will rock civilization to its core.

Thanks to everyone involved! More exciting stuff to come!