Our Fragile Identities

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by,

This is from the Fantasy Fiends podcast, which is worth a listen to for all of the authors showcased on there.  Plenty of entertainment value with the awesomely hilarious Stevie Collier, and Andy Peloquin is just an all-around amazing guy.  Both are authors themselves, and do be sure to check out their work if you love fantasy like me…

As always, if you wish to check out my work, the links are provided in another post, The Dark Archer

Stay tuned later this year, as I will definitely be stopping by with them again to promote The Shadow Cult, which is coming soon.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and do come and hang out with us, there is even a sneak peek into The Dark Archer where we all read from a section…

Robert Cano

 

A Good Time with Fellow Author E.G. Stone

As promised, I will be posting up all of my interviews and panels, so it may take a little while to gather them all up, but I have already created a tab just for these types of things, so feel free to peruse them.  These have all been fun in one way or another, and I’ve gotten to make new friends because of them.

Whether you’re a fan of books generally, or a fellow author or writer or poet seeking at least some bits of amateur information, please look through these.  There are some topics that are repeated here and there, but for the most part each discussion was unique in that we all have different ways of approaching this incredibly varied world of writing.  You may even learn a bit about me in the process…

 

 

To purchase any of my books, feel free to find me on Amazon where you can find both The Suffering and The Dark Archer, available now.  Links to The Dark Archer here, just scroll to the bottom.

Paperback and ebook available.  Hardbacks will be made available again soon… Also, The Shadow Cult will be coming out later this year.  Make sure to stay tuned.

For your listening pleasure…

An interview I did with the author Jamie Davis.  Since we’re all stuck at home on quarantine, how about a podcast with yours truly as the guest?!  We discuss some of the finer points of writing and worldbuilding, fantasy and poetry.

Epic Fantasy from Poetic Roots with Robert Cano on the Podcast

Give it a listen if you have some time, and remember, you can find my work on Amazon, B&N, Google Play Books, etc…

P.S. I’ll post here some more interviews I’ve done as well, for those interested.  Have a great day, and stay safe you guys!

Links to The Dark Archer here, just scroll to the bottom.

The Dark Archer, 2nd Edition

So a LOT has happened since I last posted anything here.  Been rather busy, to say the least.

To start, The Dark Archer hit a bit of a snag with the old publisher, and ended up going off sale for a time.  However, it was picked up by a new publisher and is now available once more.  This time with added awesomeness.  For this 2nd Edition of The Dark Archer, we have added a few minor lines here and there (nothing major, just bits that add depth and hearken to elements found in the upcoming sequel, The Shadow Cult), as well as a map and an index to help with keeping the characters, locations, and terms straight.

It is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as through Three Furies Press under the series name Soul of Sorrows.  You can also find The Suffering, which is a novella that comes chronologically before The Dark Archer.

 

As mentioned above, The Shadow Cult is still coming, and is currently out to beta readers.  As of right now, the cover is very nearly complete, and is looking absolutely gorgeous, so mad props to my amazing cover artist.  With that said, I’ll be posting the new cover art in my Facebook reader group first (which I will link below), but will spread that love here as well for those who are interested in seeing it when completed.

With that said, The Shadow Cult will be coming out later this year, and it is promised to be a crazy ride.  My editor actually loves it more than The Dark Archer, which is high praise…  Take my word for it.

Thanks for stopping by, and stay tuned for further updates…  Exciting times.

Robert Cano

If you want to join my Facebook reader group, just follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/620898828753102/

The Shadow Cult

The long awaited sequel to The Dark Archer is coming soon.  In the meantime, The Suffering and The Dark Archer are getting rereleased, and The Shadow Cult will be coming early summer 2020.

I have already begun the final book in that trilogy (keep in mind the overall series is not over yet, as I have planned a total of 3 trilogies, all of which tie together into one big arc).  This third book in Bene’s saga is called The World Soul.

However, The Shadow Cult comes very quickly.  Currently looking at a May 2020 release, The Shadow Cult brings with it a furtherance of the dark tale we became acquainted with in The Dark Archer.  With the origins surrounding Bene’s transformation into a wraith shrouded in mystery, he sets out to locate the source, and end it if necessary.  Meanwhile, a war is looming between two kingdoms, with the people of both kingdoms desiring peace, but it is already too late.  Juhalin must make a decision: reclaim her crown, which she has already turned from; or watch innocents die.

The Mists threaten.  A dormant goddess awakens.  An external battle with the shadow looms in the distance.  And the high priest has a unique power of his own.  However, we discover he is not the only enemy, for an ancient evil yet lays sleeping, and Bene’s dagger, For’dreth, refuses to offer any valuable information.

The Shadow Cult comes for Aariad.  Are you ready to face the shadow?

The Search…

With apologies to the late Carl Sagan.  A great many magnificent minds have come before me who have combined within my mind to inform much of my personal philosophies…

This is a little something I was working on for class.  I’ll be expanding it out as the semester goes on.  For now, this is what you get.  Feel free to lend me your thoughts.

~*~*~

The memories fluttered through my mind in a mass of butterflies’ wingbeats, the images mere glimpses, fragments of a time I’d have rather forgotten, left alone and forlorn in a past not worth revisiting, and yet there I was, trapped within the confines of a dreamscape I couldn’t run from, forced to relive events of my childhood I tried for so long and so hard to put out of my thoughts.  I could make out silhouettes grasping for me with gnarled fingers, and I remembered why I feared walking through the Autumn and Winter woods, for the reaching branches clawed at the already dark corridors of my rather fucked up brain patterns.

It is a struggle that remains today.  I forever wonder if I am good enough, if I am worthy, if I matter.  And then I remember that I am nothing.  I find a strange comfort in this thought, for it is my truth, the one thing that I cling on to that allows me to get up in the morning.  Relevance in this world is not granted by oneself, but through the life we choose to live, through the lives we touch in thought and action.  I had to discover what mattered for me, I had to learn, I had to push through to the other side until I figured out the why…the how.

“My brain is like a bag of cats,” I often tell people willing to listen.  “Always running a million miles an hour in different directions, always one idea in constant battle with another.”

The wonder of the mind is found within the search for the paradox of who we are.  For me, personally, I have come to realize that depression is simply a manifestation of emptiness.  It’s an internal emptiness that cannot be filled by outside things, and I had to find what mattered in my life.

To go internally, I sought the answers well beyond the confines of the world we know so well.  I looked to the stars, to galaxies innumerable, to the incredible possibility of countless universes.  Our little planet is literally nothing in this vast cosmic arena, and yet, the only life we have ever known – all of our families, all of our pasts, all of our dreams and hopes and wonders – have all been found only here, on a speck of dust floating through an infinite void we have yet to truly understand.

Do you know what this means?

I’ll tell you.  This means that the individual is also nothing, less than nothing; this means that our world, the small, fragile mote of rock we call home, has only a value assigned to it by us, and in like manner, life itself is assigned a value only given it by us.  Perhaps if we all understood this simple fact, and looked upon each other with such wonder, we would realize the value of the individual, for they are a link to a past that proves our existence, and they continue to press humanity forward toward an uncertain future that is one day bound to end entirely, and completely without pomp or circumstance.  Like a whisper on the wind our world, like our lives, when compared to the infinite nothingness that exists with or without human understanding, will be soon gone.  The best we can do is appreciate the moment, each precious moment given, and hope our end isn’t hastened through our collective idiocy.

Anniversary

Joseph Jones plopped down in the chair near the fireplace.  JJ, his friends called him, and he was exhausted after a full day of people and celebration. He was finally able to sit with a glass of wine in his hand to wind down as he stared over at the urn where his dead wife sat atop the mantle.  She was quiet now, her lovely voice stricken from his world forever.  A second glass of wine sat next to the urn, so he might share a glass with her again, as was custom on every holiday they celebrated.

A solitary tear fell from his eye, and he didn’t bother to wipe it away.  It had been 5 years come tomorrow at 7:27am.  It was bittersweet for JJ, however, and he found a smile despite the pain, or perhaps because of it.

His son, Caden, lay snoring on the couch.  The fireplace alight with flames flicking the shadows every which way.  Remnants of the party lay strewn about the floor.  Streamers in places, half torn, yet hung from the ceiling here or there; some toys were on the floor; and he could smell the scents of the icing on the cake wafting in from the kitchen.  If the sights and aromas were anything to judge by, he would say the party was a success, and Caden sure seemed to enjoy his little self.

JJ’s mind went back to Melinda as he took another sip of wine, of the day his beautiful boy came into the world.  Another tear.  Such joy, such agony, and all at the same moment.  More tears.  Even after all this time, five short-long years, JJ had yet to figure out how to live outside of Caden.  In the next breath, he could no longer control the tears streaming down his face.  JJ could admit he still had no idea how to navigate this emotional dichotomy.

A small coffee table waited in front of him, patiently holding a notebook with a pen in its rings.

It felt like it all happened that very morning. “Mr. Jones,” a voice had said so long ago, or maybe it was as recent as yesterday, “This is Nurse Trish, from the Intensive Care Unit at Methodist Hospital…”  There was a hesitation in her voice, and his heart sank.  He was unable to make out much more, catching only keywords, “…accident …baby …deceased …so sorry Mr. Jones.”  He couldn’t breathe, and even now, five years later, he still had no idea how he made it to the hospital.  Everything was a blur, simultaneously distant and all-too-near.  He recalled hearing everything, but could make out none of it.

He remembered watching the doctors as they worked feverishly on the baby, who came out at an early 34 weeks, and needed to be closely monitored.  Breathing machine, intravenous lines, and all while his wife lay unmoving in another part of the hospital, perhaps being pronounced dead as he stood there, unable to think or move.  Thankfully, his sweet Caden was healthy, and required only a short time in the NICU.

However, the doctors gave no false hope to Joseph upon his arrival, informing him that the most he could do was be there for his son.  That morning was the last he got to hold his beloved Melinda, or look into her eyes, or feel her gaze and touch in return.

He snapped back to the present and looked over at his beautiful Caden laying there snoring, perfect in every way – who had never seen his mother, never got to know her, whose joyous birth coincided with the worst day of JJ’s life.

It was still all too near, for it felt like just that morning JJ had kissed his lovely Melinda for the last time.  If only she had stayed home like he wanted she might still be alive.  Playfully, he had teased Melinda about not going in to work, to just call in for the day and stay home with him, that he would call in as well and they could make a sexy day of it.  But the time drew near for baby Caden to be born, and Melinda wanted to make sure she maximized her time off with the baby, her workplace only allowing for so much.

JJ wiped a tear from his eye, a smile on his lips.  His gaze belied the strange mixture of feelings he felt deep within.  If he had only held onto her a moment longer, maybe she would have caught a red light that would have prevented her from being hit.  If perhaps he had just let her go to work like normal she might have beaten her fate by crossing the light before the man ran the red light.

But if not her, then who?  What other family might have suffered in JJ’s place?  Every time he had such thoughts, those “what-ifs” that plague everyone, he felt a sense of guilt.

Sometimes the greatest memories were harbingers for the worst, and that made them that much more terrible.

He celebrated his son, to be certain, but behind the façade, he was just as broken as he was joyous – an odd dichotomy, a living paradox – and these emotions were always worst this time of year.

A smile, genuine for the joy of his son, doubled as a mask to hide the excruciating pain he also felt within.  As he did every year on the anniversary of his wife’s loss, he reached for the notebook patiently waiting on the table for JJ and pulled his favorite pen from the rings.  He removed the cap and began to scrawl a letter written for Melinda, but for Caden to read at some point in the future.

Melinda, he began, You should see our Caden.  He looks more and more like you everyday.  He’s rambunctious and loving and intelligent.  You’d be so proud of him.  I know I am…

He continued on into the night, until no more tears or words could come from him.  Spent.  His catharsis complete for the moment,  he noticed where teardrops stained the paper with bleeding ink, now dried, and he got up, picked up Caden gently, and carried his angel boy to bed, careful to step over all the toys left out from the day’s activities.  JJ smiled and kissed Caden on the forehead as he tucked him in.

When he woke up the next morning, his son was eating some cereal in the living room, watching cartoons on Netflix.  JJ had to be strong, present, not altogether difficult, but he wanted the day and celebration with his son to be purposeful in every way.  “Happy birthday, bud.  Whatcha watching?”  JJ yawned as he came up behind the couch where Caden sat on the floor watching TV.

“Voltron.”

A smile crossed JJ’s face, “It’s a bit loud, isn’t it?”  Caden didn’t seem to catch his point, and JJ just left well enough alone, “I used to watch that when I was your age.  Mind if I get some cereal and come sit with you?  I could use a distraction.”  He wished he could have taken back that last utterance as soon as it left his mouth.

“I don’t mind Daddy.  Thinking about my mommy?”  The kid never missed a thing, and while JJ never went into too much detail, he made sure to take the time to tell Caden how much he was loved by his mommy as well.

“Every day, my sweet boy.  But today, my li’l angel, today is your day.”  He pulled out a bowl and the milk as he looked over at Caden with a smile and a wink.  The chair Caden used to reach everything still in the middle of the kitchen.  As he looked around, he noticed that either no milk had been spilt, or Caden cleaned it up well enough.  Either way, JJ was impressed.

Looking back to the TV, Caden replied, “I wish I coulda met her.”

“Oh you would have loved her.  Hers was a smile that could light up the moon itself.  Much like yours.”  JJ smiled.  An image flashed in his mind of his own childhood, when he was five, like Caden.  He smiled at the thought of Heather, the only friend he had in the world at that tender age.  Of how they would go to the big yucca down the street and collect ladybugs in their big jar, taking turns caring for the bugs.  Truly, he thought of her often, for she was the only light to find in the overall darkness of his memories.  “She loved you with all her heart.”  JJ wanted only light for Caden.

He picked up the flat-laying box of cereal and poured it into his bowl, noting how it was toppled over on the counter, spilt all over the place.  “You couldn’t pick up your mess?”  JJ rolled his eyes and turned toward the living room as he heard and felt the crunch of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch square under his bare foot.

Caden looked at his dad and beamed, completely ignoring the last bit, “I have mom’s smile?  Everyone says I look just like you.”

“Well, I say you have your mommy’s smile.  I see so much of her in you, my baby.  I think you are looking more like her with every passing day.  And yeah, you definitely have her smile.  Yup, that one right there,” JJ said, putting the box of cereal and the milk away, determined to clean up the kitchen after he finished eating with Caden.

“I’m not a baby anymore.  I’m five now.”

“Well then, big boy, you can clean up the mess you made.”  JJ grabbed his bowl and left the kitchen to sit next to his lovely boy, cross-legged on the floor, then he leaned over and bumped Caden lightly.  Caden put his bowl down and tried with all his might to budge dad with his little shoulder.

Caden looked over at JJ, defeated, “Not fair, daddy.  But one day, I’ll get you back.”

“Can’t wait, li’l buddy.  So, today is your actual birthday.  What do you want to do?  Today is yours.”

“I wanna visit mom’s favorite place.  Then get some Legos and come back and build them with you.”

“You’re definitely my kid.  I love you, bud.”

“Love you too, Daddy.”

JJ looked over at the mantle where his wife lay, a picture of the two of them, Melinda beaming and glowing as a pregnant woman often does, and they both hugged her growing belly.  Even now, she could take his breath away in all the greatest of ways.

Melinda’s favorite place had been the lake, not too far from their home.  It had become Caden’s favorite place as well, although JJ was unsure whether it was because it was his mom’s favorite, or because he really just loved it there.  It was summer, and a perfect day for a swim.  So they would go and enjoy a swim, and some ice cream and candy, and Lego building, even if the memories of his wife would eat him alive.

One day he would need to let her go.  JJ thought about his mom and dad, who kept telling him that Caden needed a mom in his young life.  But he didn’t want anyone, he was doing okay, at least he had convinced himself he was okay.  Convinced himself that he didn’t need anyone.  They had their home, and food, and plenty of smiles and laughter to fill the house.  Aside from a massive hole in his heart that never healed, JJ was, indeed, happy.  Caden was that happiness.

~*~*~

The lake was warm, as expected, but so nice.  JJ had taught Caden to swim in the lake from the time he was very little, after a bit of a fright when Caden ran and jumped in the water during a barbeque.  It scared JJ, but now he was confident in Caden’s ability to swim, and while he never takes his eyes off his precious boy, he also knows he can worry a bit less.

A big grin went across JJ’s face as he unloaded the car and turned to see Caden jump off the small pier and right into the water.  No fear.

“Hey bud!” JJ yelled when Caden resurfaced a second later.

Treading water, Caden flashed his teeth at his daddy, “Yeah dad?!”

“I’m gonna set up our picnic, be careful!”

“Daaaaaadd…” came the exasperated reply.  And with that, Caden was swimming around like he owned the place.  JJ laughed and finished walking to the shore, ever vigilant.

“You ready for a sammich, bud?”

“No, I’m ready to swim!”

“You don’t need your goggles?”

“Well, I suppose it’s fun to see in the water.  Can you toss them to me?”

“No, what if I hit you?”  JJ laid out the blanket and food.  “Come get your goggles and have a sammich.”

“Ugh, fine.”  And Caden disappeared beneath the surface.  JJ could still see his son, swimming like a frog toward the shore.  The kid was getting better and better with holding his breath.  After enjoying a quick sandwich, and putting some sunblock on the boy, Caden was back in the water, and soon thereafter JJ joined him in the water.  Splashing about, swimming, they enjoyed a couple of hours at the lake, taking in all the sun they could.

~*~*~

The bags the Legos came in were always so loud, and opening up the new set brought a smile to JJ’s face as he wrestled with them, struggling to open them so the Legos wouldn’t explode outward every which way.  He failed at least once, to raucous laughter from Caden, and he joined his son, unable to contain it, until his belly and sides ached, tears rolling down his cheeks.

Eventually they found all the scattered Legos and placed them into piles associated with the bags, at least as much as they could.  They would find out shortly how well they did.  Regardless, the two of them had a blast together, and JJ absolutely loved the time he spent on the floor, his butt and knees hurting, his feet having lost all feeling except for the pins and needles he loathed so much, and yet, he refused to move from his son’s side until they had finished putting together the set.  After that, JJ only got up to grab the bin of Legos so they could play some more.  It was a funnily slow and painful walk, but JJ couldn’t care any less if he’d tried.  Caden was all that mattered.

The shared smiles and fun Caden was having was enough for him.  He could even feel Melinda’s smile on them both.  Her spirit was always with them, JJ just wished he could hold her again, that he could touch her once more.

“Daddy?”

JJ was brought out of his reverie, “Yeah, bud?”

“I wanna hear a story about Mommy.”

“Oh yeah?  Which one?”

“The funny one.  Where I made mama sick and she told you, ‘This child is trying to kill me,’ it always makes me laugh.”  He raised his voice to try and imitate a mama whose voice he only ever heard from within the womb, and JJ laughed at both Caden and the memory.

“Well, you know the story so well, maybe you should tell it to me,” JJ smiled.

Caden looked at him cockeyed, a mixture of JJ’s own brand of humor and Melinda’s attitude, “No Daddy, you need to tell it.”

“Fine,” JJ conceded. “Well,” he began, “your mama and I had just found out that we were going to be having a baby, and your mama wanted to eat at her favorite restaurant to celebrate.”

“Mommy loved eating at Olive Garden, huh Dad?”

“She really did, even though the quality of food had gone down,” JJ shrugged and frowned a bit, crinkling his eyebrows in exaggerated consideration as he recalled the tale to his son.  This drew smiles from Caden.

“You mean the food was gross, Daddy?”

“Well, not that bad, bud, but I pretty much only liked the breadsticks at that point,” JJ laughed with the reminiscence of his beloved wife.  “Whatever your mom ate, which I think was the fettucine alfredo, did not sit well with her.”

“Yucky.  That stuff is gross.”

JJ laughed again, “It’s not that gross, relax.”

“Well I don’t like it,” Caden said, matter-of-factly, as though he’d tried every food known to man.

“So I’ve noticed.  Anyway, after we got home, your mommy’s tummy was bothering her, and very soon she ran to the bathroom.”

“See dad?  The noodles made mama sick, and now I can’t eat them.”

“Oh, is that how that works?”

“Duh,” Caden shook his head as he rolled his eyes at his father, all too obvious for the five year old.  Daddy clearly knew nothing.

“Where did you get your attitude from, you li’l turd?”

“Mommy.”

It was JJ’s turn to roll his eyes, and he scoffed in mock exasperation at his son, “Well, regardless, your mama, leaning over the toilet after throwing up,” Caden was giggling like the little boy he was, “she looked up at me, wiped her face, and said, “This child is trying to kill me.”  JJ left out the real phrasing Melinda used so his five-year-old boy wouldn’t know that Mommy had a potty mouth, but he found himself laughing at her actual spoken words.

She loved Caden from the moment they saw him on the ultrasound.  The tears in her eyes of pure joy mirrored JJ’s.  They had been trying for years.  Seeing and hearing the little heartbeat was enough to make Melinda bawl.  JJ held her hand and kissed it, staring at the little life within her womb, tears streaming down his face as well.

They were going to have a baby.

“Daddy?” Caden pulled JJ back to the present.

“Yes, my li’l love?”

“Mama was the best, wasn’t she?”

“The very best.  And even though you were trying to kill her,” he joked teasingly as he tickled Caden, “she loved you more than life itself,” a big grin crossed JJ’s face and he winked at Caden again.

“Daddy?”

“Hmm?”

“I wasn’t actually trying to kill mama.”

“Well, I know that, but how do you know?  You’re just a li’l turd.  You couldn’t possibly remember.”  JJ continued to tease Caden.

“I sure do,” he beamed, with a smile that could outshine the sun.  Then he looked up at his daddy again and asked, “Daddy, do you ever think about finding me another mama to love me and you?”

“You really should stop listening to your grandparents,” JJ chuckled.  “And why would we need another mama for you?  Your mama was amazing.  I don’t think we could find someone like her again,” he offered up in return.  Perhaps his parents were right, he could not find another Melinda, but perhaps he could find someone who could love Caden the way he deserved to be loved.  After these five years, JJ never really gave women a second thought.  Sure, he might find himself physically attracted to someone, but moments like that passed through his mind quickly

“I don’t know, there are a lot of girls out there.  I see them all the time in my school and class.”  Life was much simpler for a kid.  JJ understood though, if Caden saw girls everywhere, then his daddy ought to be seeing women everywhere as well.  Truth be told, JJ had pretty much stopped looking altogether.  Or, perhaps more accurately, he saw but never took notice.

“There are a lot of girls, but none quite like your mama.  She was the only one in the whole world that I could find like her,” oh the romance of it all, which was completely lost on Caden.

“Daddy,” he looked at JJ with that Melinda-attitude again, and JJ knew he was about to get educated, “but you haven’t seen the whole world.”

“And just when did you become so stinkin’ smart?” JJ scooped up Caden in his arms and held him close, tickling the poor boy trapped in daddy’s embrace.  “Huh?  Huh?”

Caden laughed, fighting for JJ to stop, but then wanted more when JJ slowed his assault.  Eventually, it was time for bed, and JJ tucked Caden in for the night.  “School tomorrow, li’l bud.  Did you have fun today?”

“It was the best day ever.  Love you daddy.”

“Love you more, my sweet boy.”

“Nuh uh, I love you nineteen!”

“Whoa… that much?  Are you sure?”

“Yup!”

“Well, I don’t know if I can handle all of that, Caden, but you know what?”

“What daddy?”

“I’ll bet you anything when I get up in the morning my heart will have grown more to hold all that love you’re sending my way.”

“Is that how it works, daddy?  Our hearts grow and fill with love?”

“Yes, my li’l love.  That’s how it works.  I love you, Caden.  Sleep well, my baby boy.”

“I’m five dad, this many,” Caden held up all the fingers on his hand.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, I must have forgotten.  Sleep well, my big boy.”  JJ turned and closed the door a smidge on his way out, leaving the hallway light on for Caden, “Good night, Caden.  I love you.”

“I love you too, Daddy.”

JJ was the luckiest man on the planet.  He went to his bathroom, brushed his teeth and sat in bed with the lamp on, pulling out a book to read.  Tonight was a continuation of War Angel, by A.L. Mengel.

~*~*~

The Dark Archer by Robert Cano

A wonderful review on my book The Dark Archer, from Stacy Overby… Check it out!!! And as for the cons, this was certainly done on purpose, as my target audience is of those seeking a more intelligent read.

Thanks Stacy, for the wonderful and thoughtful review!

S. Overby's This is Not Hitchhiker's Guide

Title: The Dark Archer
Author: Robert Cano
Genre: Dark Fantasy

The Dark Archer is where Bene’s story starts. Loyal to his princess at all costs, he is tortured, and his soul is ripped from his being. As a wraith, Bene searches for death to avoid hurting others to survive. His quest brings him an unlikely group of followers who become his friends despite his efforts to avoid those connections. After all, they are all seeking redemption.

Pros:

There are a lot of things I loved about this book. First is the world building. Cano spent a lot time developing his world. The compleTDA ebook cover finalxity of creatures, social rules, and history are stunning. And the way he doles it out just fast enough to be interesting but not overwhelming is masterful. Every detail seemed well thought out.

I also loved the character development. These are characters who have a tremendous amount…

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The Shadow Cult

The sequel to The Dark Archer has hit a bit of a snag.  I got about 30k words in, but I’ve come across a wall, and not for the story, but for how to bridge the gaps between where I am now and where it needs to go.

Part of the problem here is that I write linearly.  The other part of this is that I’m juggling 8 different points of viewA massive undertaking, which I knew and expected.  I think the fact that I had to stop for a while threw off my thought train, and I’ve yet to get it back on the rails. This is okay, I’ll get it going again soon, but I’ll just have to be patient with myself.  I know what I’m capable of doing, and with school back up, I think I’ll be okay to write in between assignments.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a bit of an update for those who were wondering.  Probably because I’ve been wondering a bit myself…  Thanks for stopping by.  I’ve got some poems to write as well.  Time to get after it.

The Dark Archer

*Scroll down to the bottom for links to purchase this awesome fantasy!*

93005813_10158277700351031_2489027624995651584_oI have not been able to write a blog for myself for some time now.  For those of you who don’t know yet, The Dark Archer 2nd Edition has officially been released as of April 9, 2020!

As some know, my first book release, a novella entitled The Suffering, was released back in January of 2018 as an experiment.  This novella, along with The Dark Archer, is now available under a new publisher, Three Furies Press.

I needed to learn some of the finer points, and while I consider this a success in that regard, the world of publishing is a crazy one, and for an introverted type like myself, the marketing aspect is a world we need but don’t want.

And so, here I am, writing a post for my first novel and second story written in the world I’ve created.  I have since completed the sequel to The Dark Archer, called The Shadow Cult, which ended at around 140k words.

With all of that said, I’d like to narrow my focus to The Dark Archer.

This is Bene’s story.  He is a wraith.  Wraiths are steeped in lore and legend and myth, where they were a frightening entity that stole a person’s soul.  For my world, I took this idea, creating a system where a wraith can be created by being separated from their soul.  In order to function, a wraith must feed off the life-force of the living.

The life-force can be magic or life, but ultimately, the idea is to draw from the soul of the person.  A wraith kills.

This makes Bene’s character an interesting one, because he still holds on to his humanity, and does not wish to kill.  There is a caveat to this, of course – because he was a soldier, he has killed and will kill to protect the innocent.  The problem is that Bene, as a wraith, faces a physical torment should he refuse to feed.  But if he does feed, he carries the full weight of the agony felt by his victim.

Brown Horsemen Anzac Day Facebook Post

The darkness of The Dark Archer is not one of evil, per se, but that of hopelessness, sorrow, and despair.  The physical pain and torture he endures only adds to this throughout the story.  I have seen a lot of dark fantasy which covers the ideas of evil and horrible actions taken by characters in the story – things that we consider “dark.”  But I’ve never read a dark fantasy that speaks to the horrors of despair.

In the end, we always have a choice.  The Suffering speaks to one possible path.  The Dark Archer takes us on another one.

If you’re interested in reading my books, please follow me on Amazon or you can find me on smashwords.  Either place has a sample for you to read and enjoy.  So join me, and get lost in my world, fall in love with my characters.  I’m positive you won’t be disappointed.  If you do take a chance on my stories, I humbly ask that you leave me a review when you’re done.

Thank you.  And please feel free to spread the word by sharing this far and wide.  I can use all the help I can get.  Have a great one, and I do hope to see you in the world of Arduil.  Bene awaits you.

The links to The Dark Archer can be found below, but keep in mind The Suffering is also available, and chronologically comes first:

The Dark Archer at Amazon
The Dark Archer at Barnes & Noble
The Dark Archer at Books A Million
The Dark Archer at IndieBound
The Dark Archer at Three Furies Press