Saturday, January 17, 2015

Umbral Coil Chronicles I: Dusk

Exiled to the harsh wastes of the Zo’qeth desert by its mythical monarch Kassopeia – avatar of the Heavens given life to rule – two men will find comradery in one another that lasts into the deadly night, whence terrors stalk the sky.

Yet just as the sun sets each day, this is not the end of their tale, but a beginning to the night, of wandering another world where carnal encounters are not exempt as method of payment. What begins as the day of exile is but the first steps on a much longer journey than either could ever have imagined.

This is but the dusk to a perfect night.

[Amazon | UK]

News of my demise is greatly exaggerated. 

Now, I'll be the first to admit I've been really out of it the past months. It hasn't been the best of times - nothing too extreme like a death in the family or anything, but personally I haven't been in the best. Brief reminder that self-diagnosis is rarely a good idea. It wasn't lupus, and I wouldn't call it narcolepsy either, but it was sure something. I'm inclined to blame the winter cold coupled with the boiler trying to destroy itself again doing nothing to help matters.

That said, the support I've recieved throughout is really what keeps things going. It's said that it's not about how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep going forward. I'm the only one that's really taken a hit from this whole ordeal, and I'm the one that's taking it and moving forward for the sake of all the awesome people who really make it possible.

So enough about me. Dusk, the first volume of the Umbral Coil Chronicles is a new storyline set in the monstrous deserts of Zo'qeth. While you might know the name from Deity of the Desert and Goddess of Sands, this is set in a different time period and locale to those. There's a lot I really want to say about it but can't since that really spoils how it ties in with other books and my vision of this world and its vast desert kingdom.

What I can say is that this is the first in a little experiment of mine with Kindle Unlimited - Amazon's relatively new look into 'subscription service'. So I think to myself, okay, normalising prices and royalty to a subscription service. Subscriptions tend to imply a constant beat of content, and it struck me that that's largely what I, and likely many others, aim to do with serial volume releases. You get that constant beat of what you could call premium subscription content 

So, with the majority of my audience congregating and utilising the Amazon storefront for its sheer force of content, search engine and rank quality, why don't I try to work with this new system and create a sort of subscription content in part for people with Kindle Unlimited. That's what I'm aiming for with the Umbral Coil Chronicles. To people without, it's available all the same as any other publication, if limited to Amazon, and down the road I'll be releasing the novel format of all volumes at a reduced cumulative price that tells the entire story. It may not all happen as fast as it could but I have several great stories to tie up first before I can really get into it - this is a sort of pilot run.

That said, this first volume is a lot about setting the stage and introducing some of the characters that will really make up this story, including the Pharaoh Kassopeia, said to be an avatar of the gods. It begins with an exile into expected death, but sometimes things don't work out how you expect, and sometimes, even in the underworld, things can take a wholly erotic turn.

Excerpt follows the pagebreak.
Charon only clicked her tongue. “Now now, you should know better. We are not in the hells, and nor are we going that direction any longer. Given this miraculous turn of events, I thought this journey could use a little more on-board entertainment.” Was there something resembling temptation in her voice? A sultry curl on the words?

The oar was back in the water, lazily paddling in such a way that as likely meant nothing to the course of the boat. The whole thing was as likely just for show, to occupy Charon’s mind and hands, but now she had something else to keep her attention. Whilst making her declaration, the cloaked spirit had moved forward across the boat, and now stood between Nikolas’ legs. He only then realised that they too were locked into place by what appeared to be shadowy, grasping hands, and could not pull them away or right himself to sit up.

“I don’t think I want to know what your idea of entertainment is…” Held down by unyielding hands, mere slivers of wood separating him from the river of the damned, it was no position for light humour. Charon, of course, the one whom ‘lived’ on such dark humours, seemed to think otherwise, her silvery eyes shining as she smiled down at him.

“Freeloaders don’t have a choice in the matter. You’re going to pay me my service, but you can be as stiff as you want about it.” Now there certainly was warmth in her tone, a dangerous sort of heat. It only confused the floored and bound man at first until he felt it – the soft caress of a foot tracing up his bare leg from under her cloak.
[Amazon | UK]

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