MUSES OF TERRA now available!

MUSES OF TERRA, the second book in my Codex Antonius series, is now available in ebook and paperback! Here’s the synopsis:

MOT_20140905_02_300hMarcus Antonius Cordus thought he’d left his past behind when he escaped Terra six years ago. Namely, being Consular Heir of the disintegrating Roman Republic and sole carrier of the sentient alien Muse virus that once ruled the Republic. All he wants is to explore the universe with his mercenary friends and stay far away from Roman politics.

But the Muse strain infecting him has different plans. Cordus begins to see ghosts from the past and hear voices when no one is near. He fears the Muses are attacking his mind and that his immunity is slipping. If he loses control he will become a slave to Muse plans to dominate humanity, just like his Antonii ancestors. Or worse: banishment from the mercenary family who loved him when no one else would.

So when a new Muse strain invades Roman space—one even feared by the strain infecting Cordus—he is forced to choose between the freedom he’s always wanted and stopping the apocalypse that he was born to prevent.

uc_20131209_300hAnd for a limited time the ebook version of book one, MUSES OF ROMA, is now $0.99 for the Kindle and Kindle apps!

I hope you have as much fun reading these books as I did writing them!

Cover Story

A great book cover inspires readers to ask the question the book seeks to answer. Since my design skills scream “amateur” (to put it kindly), I hired professionals to design great covers for two books I will publish in 2013. I think both designers did a fantastic job conveying the question of each book, and it was a pleasure to work with them both.


ZERVAKAN is a fantasy novel set in a world with 19th century technology — steam engines, guns, telegraphs — where two magical bands of light suddenly appear in the sky one night, spanning the horizons like rings around the planet. A scientist and a priest must discover the mystery behind the rings before their world is consumed by an evil they’re not ready to fight.

Given the setting, I wanted a cover with a 19th century feel, but one that said “fantasy” and not “historical.”

TJ Lomas brought my vision to life. He found an old photograph and added two bands of magical light on the horizons. He added color to the bands so they stood out. It’s simple, but elegant. It grabs your attention and makes you ask, “What’s with those two bands of light?”

ZERVAKAN will be released in January 2013, but you can read the “pre-published” version on on this site.


UMBRA CORPS (a working title) is an alternate history/sci-fi novel about a Roman Republic that survives its true-life fall and reaches the stars. A star ship crew of rogues must help the 12-year-old Consular Heir escape Rome with the terrifying secret behind the Republic’s god-like technology.

For this cover, I worked with professional illustrator Stone Perales. My idea was to combine something iconically Roman with an anachronism that told readers it was alternate history.

The result: Mark Antony holding a musket while looking down on his Legions as they sack Rome.

Stone did a wonderful job capturing the ethereal look on Antony’s face and the subtle detailing of his armor. My hope is that readers will see the cover and think, “Why is that ancient Roman soldier holding a musket? I’ve got to read this book to find out!”

UMBRA CORPS will be released in 2013.

Cross-posted at New Podler Review of Books.

Didn’t quite make it…

My UMBRA CORPS Kickstarter project didn’t make its $2000 goal, but 41 people did pledge $886. Though I don’t get any of that money, I’m humbled and thankful for not only the monetary support, but the simple acts of spreading the word so many more of you did.

I will publish the book, but it might take a bit longer to raise the money to hire an editor/cover artist than I had hoped. My goal is to release the book sometime early next year.

Again, thank you all for you support!

UMBRA CORPS on Kickstarter

I just posted my new novel UMBRA CORPS on Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a patronage site where you make pledges to projects you find interesting. Kind of like the pledge drives you see on PBS stations — for every amount you pledge, you get rewards like t-shirts, mugs, books, etc. The more you pledge, the greater the reward.

I figure a good editor and book cover artist will cost around $2000. That’s quite a bit more than I can afford at the moment, hence my plea for backers. So check out my Kickstarter page, watch the video, and look over the pledge rewards. If my book sounds interesting to you (or if you’d like a character named after you 😀 ), I’d be most grateful if you became a backer and helped me make my funding goal.