Monday, December 29, 2014

A Champion in a Time of Storm: Rayden Valkyrie

Heading toward the start of 2015, I look to a number of things to keep me moving forward as best as I can, and one of those things is my work as a writer.  I will be starting off the new year with a new book, one starring my sword and axe-wielding heroine Rayden Valkyrie.

The book is Heart of a Lion, the first of a three book story arc.  We are doing an official launch party at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, February 7th at 5pm.  Expect LOTS of surprises at that one, I intend this to be the biggest presentation I've ever done for a book release.

Rayden deserves no less.  She is a character who has grown very special to me, as she has emerged during a couple of my worst storms over the past year.  I do plan on writing about this more in detail, but when I've needed something to hold onto, she stepped forward to help me get back to writing coming out of last winter, and this fall she stepped forward again when I needed something to look forward to on the horizon in a big way.

Bonnie Wasson was given the task of creating the first Rayden Valkyrie image and I am so thrilled with the result.  Bonnie has a knack for warrior art, but she also has a knack for capturing a character in art.  When I look at the cover for Heart of a Lion, I see Rayden shining through.  Bonnie knocked it out of the park and then some, another reason why I call her the "Awesome Wasson".

The book itself will be out in eBook format in early January, with print by mid-January.  As far as a look at what it's about:

"A deadly warrior wielding both blade and axe, Rayden is the bane of the wicked and corrupt.  To many others, she is the most loyal and dedicated of friends, an ally who is unyielding in the most dangerous of circumstances.

The people of the far southern lands she has just aided claim that she has the heart of a lion.  For Rayden, a long journey to the lands of the far northern tribes who adopted her as a child beckons, with an ocean lying in between. Her path will lead her once more into the center of a maelstrom, one involving a rising empire that is said to be making use of the darkest kinds of sorcery to grow its power.  Making new friends and discoveries amid tremendous peril, Rayden makes her way to the north.

Monstrous beasts, supernatural powers, and the bloody specter of war have been a part of her world for a long time and this journey will be no different. Rayden chooses the battles that she will fight, whether she takes up the cause of one individual or an entire people.

Both friends and enemies alike will swiftly learn that the people of the far southern lands spoke truly. Rayden Valkyrie has the heart of a lion."

Scott Sandridge was my editor on this project, a great guy with a great reservoir of knowledge on speculative fiction.  Many kudos to him for working on this one as well.

Expect a grand dark fantasy adventure in this one for sure and I do want to follow Rayden's adventures as much as possible, in novels, novellas, and short stories.  She's a wonderful character with a lot of great qualities that more people in this world could benefit by adopting, in my opinion.  She inspires me a great deal and I hope she does the same for readers everywhere.

Next up is my New Year's post, I plan on writing a similar style one to last year's.  Not going to the one I hoped to write when 2014 began, but it will be honest and it will have an upside despite a lot of difficult elements.  But, as always, it will be honest.  I am who I am and I don't apologize for that. Look for that post probably on the 31st.

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