Blackberry bushes are cursed by Satan

British folklore tells us that when Saint Michael the archangel cast Lucifer from heaven, the devil landed in a blackberry bush. Thereafter, the blackberry bush is cursed.

This Sunday we Catholics celebrate the Feast of Saint Michael (Michaelmas in older English and Anglican traditions). Historically, the date was celebrated on October 10th – traditionally the day Satan fell from heaven. This was adjusted to September 29th after the change to the Gregorian calendar.

To celebrate this year, I’m putting my Peter Bishop books on sale. I mean, I kind of have to, right? The books are about a modern paladin gifted with Saint Michael’s sword and sent out to fight monsters. So it’s only fitting to pay homage to the man… er, angel himself.

From now through Monday evening, you can get the ebooks of both War Demons and Vigil for just $0.99 each.

War Demons

WHEN HE CAME HOME…SO DID THEY!

Driven by vengeance, Michael Alexander enlisted in the Army the day after 9/11. Five years later, disillusioned and broken by the horrors he witnessed in Afghanistan, Michael returns home to Georgia seeking to begin a new life. But he didn’t come alone. Something evil followed him, and it’s leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

The police are powerless. The Army has written Michael off. Left to face down a malevolent creature first encountered in the mountains of Afghanistan, he’ll rely on his training, a homeless prophet, and estranged family members from a love lost…

But none of them expected the dragon.

Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden collides with Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International in this supernatural thriller that goes straight to Hell!

Get the ebook for only $0.99 from the following retailers:

If you prefer print books, you can get those on sale as well, but only direct from the publisher. Paperbacks are currently $9.99, hardcovers $19.99. Finally, War Demons is available in audiobook, but sadly I have no way to discount it for you this weekend.

Vigil

THERE’S A DRAGON IN THE CHURCH

Three months ago, Peter Bishop lived a normal life. Working the construction site. Training in the gym. Going to mass.

All that ended when he picked up the sword of an Archangel and fought a dragon.

And lost. He lost the fight with the dragon, and it got away across the ocean with a girl in its clutches. But Peter is the Knight of the Sword of Saint Michael, and his sacred duty requires that he chase them both. He can’t leave her to her fate.

The Dragon is a terrible beast older than the Flood, and he wants out of his bindings. If Peter can’t stop his plans, the dragon will be freed to rampage all across the modern world.

His first quest as the Knight of the Sword might just be impossible.

Can Peter slay the dragon and rescue the girl before Easter morning? Or will he fail, and unleash an ancient demon on the world?

Enjoy this fast-paced, Catholic romp about a modern-day paladin and his quest to save the girl. Demons, dragons, maidens, faith, and swordfights, Vigil has it all. Read it today!

Get the ebook for only $0.99 from Amazon or direct from the publisher. The paperback is also on sale for only $4.99 direct from the publisher.

New from Silver Empire: JUSTIFIED by Jon Del Arroz

The latest release from Silver Empire is out today, and it’s already gone to #1 in Christian Science Fiction, Christian Futuristic Fiction, and Religious Science Fiction! Check out Justified by Jon Del Arroz!


To save a world…
…he must rely on God.

After years of fighting for justice with his deadly nanotech, Templar Drin abandons his post, crash landing on a desert world controlled by a tyrannical alien empire. Its inhabitants are forced into slavery, broken where a once-proud race cultivated its lands.

For the first time in Drin’s life, he has no backup, no support, none of his brothers.

He stands alone against evil.

Drin must face overwhelming odds to liberate millions of slaves from their captors and bring faith to a downtrodden world. But in his way stands the most dangerous weapon in the galaxy.

Can Drin use his Templar training to survive?

Fans of Star Wars and Warhammer 40K will love Justified, the new military science fiction epic from #1 Bestselling author, Jon Del Arroz. Read it today!

Dragon Con 2019 After Action Report

Been super busy since I got back from Dragon Con this year, but I’ve finally got a minute to post this. Morgon and I have been going to Dragon Con together for a long time now. If I’m remembering correctly, we’ve only missed it twice since 2008. This year, however, was a radically different year for us than any previous year. And it’s probably the best time I’ve ever had at the con.

This was my first year going as an Attending Professional rather than just as a regular con-goer. I sat on (actually moderated) three panels for the Fantasy Literature at Dragon Con track. One of our books from Silver Empire (Matt Ligon’s The King’s Regret) was up for a Dragon Award this year. We didn’t win, but we got to meet some great folks at the awards ceremony.

I’d like to put out a special thanks to a number of folks this year. First of all, Cisca Small, Melissa Witt, and David MacDonald for doing such an AMAZING job running the Fantasy Lit track – and for having me on this year. I can’t thank the three of you enough for all of your hard work, and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year.

I’d also like to thank James Hunter for taking the time to introduce me to Melissa at the con and help get us on the list for next year’s Fantasy Lit Gathering – and also just for all the other times we chatted this year. I learned a lot from talking with you, James, and from watching and listening. Also, James is truly one of the nicest guys in fantasy publishing. Glad to see you again, and looking forward to meeting up again at future cons.

Thanks to Jonathan Maberry for taking so much time this weekend to talk to a newish writer and fellow martial artist like me. And an extra thanks for letting me know where all the cool authors hang out for drinks at the con. I can’t wait to see that Joe Ledger show get made!

To all the authors and publishers I already knew and got to catch up with – Matt Ligon, Declan Finn, Michael J. Allen, Chris Kennedy, L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright, Ann Margaret Lewis, Jason Rennie, and Ben Wheeler – it was great to see you. To all the new authors I met – Amy J. Murphy, KM Herkes, Ruthanna Emrys, Trisha J. Woolridge, Anya Martin, and Marc Edelheit, it was great to meet you.

To my oldest friends, Daniel Baker and Beth Sawyer – y’all are still more than half the reason I go to Dragon Con every year. Always great to catch up, and it’s always fun!

And last but probably actually the most important of all, a very special thanks to Ed Forbes for holding things down at the dojo and Maurie Nicora for taking care of the kids so that we COULD go. None of this would’ve even been possible otherwise.

And to anybody I missed (I’m sure there’s someone) I’m terribly sorry about the oversight, I loved catching up with you, too!

Until next year, friends!

https://silverempire.org/2019/09/dragon-con-2019-after-action-report

My 2019 DragonCon Panel Schedule

Heading to DragonCon this year? Come and see me! I’ll be there all weekend. And this year I’m not just attending, I’m not just on panels, I’m moderating three panels!

Magic Taking Wing: The Magical & Fantastic Birds

Sat 10:00 am / Embassy EF – Hyatt

Fantasy birds are so much cooler than chickens! Let’s talk about these magical birds of a feather, what makes them so special? How much inspiration is pulled from their mundane counter parts? From the phoenix to bond birds, it’s all game!

I’m going to be honest, I have no idea why they even put me on this panel. I don’t really have any birds in my books. So I’m gonna talk about my the Peluda dragon from War Demons instead, because it flies and it has quills so it’s kinda-not-really-at-all-like-a-bird, right?

Is It Simply Dark or Horror?

Sat 07:00 pm / Embassy EF – Hyatt

The great debate! Some claim that horror simply means there is no happy ending–could it really be that simple? Is there more to the Darkness than just being scary? Just how scary is dark fantasy before we hit horror? What makes you read a book with ALL the lights on?

This one actually sounds like a lot of fun, and dovetails nicely with my works. Because what genre are they really? Horror? Urban fantasy? Supernatural suspense? They’re kind of all three, and kind of not all three.

Meet the Dragon Awards

Sun 04:00 pm / Embassy EF – Hyatt

We are going to have a mix of past Award Winners & Finalists from this year & years past. So many good books, so many great authors!

This one should be fun. We’ve got a number of previous and current Dragon Award nominees coming, and several are Silver Empire authors.


Come and see me at any or all of these panels! Bring a book and I’ll sign it, and I’ll even have a few to give away!

Amazon tried to stop it, but it got a Dragon Award Nomination anyway!

A few weeks ago I shared the tale of our trials and tribulations in getting Philip Ligon’s The King’s Regret published on Amazon. They gave us the runaround for a full month, and it almost seemed as if they were trying to keep us from publishing it.

Despite that, the excellence of Mr. Ligon’s work has shown through. Yesterday DragonCon announced the finalists for the 2019 Dragon Awards. I’m super excited to add Mr. Ligon to the ranks of Silver Empire’s Dragon Award nominated authors! The King’s Regret received the nomination for Best Young Adult Novel.

This book really is pretty fantastic, and you should check it out. It’s also currently sitting at #3 in YA Steampunk. Because it’s that good. If you haven’t tried this one out yet, you should give it a shot. You won’t regret it. Oh, and to thank all of the fans who helped us get here, we’ve put the book on sale! The Kindle edition is currently only $0.99 (or free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription). The paperback is $9.99, and the hardcover is only $19.99! These prices are good through the end of the day on Monday, August 12th. And the print sale prices are good only at our own online store.

Mr. Ligon and I would like to thank all of you for your support against the incompetence of big business. And we’d also like to ask you to please consider voting for The King’s Regret for this year’s Dragon Award.

The American Budo Society 2019 Clinic Recap

As I mentioned the other day, I spent last weekend at the 2019 American Budo Society annual clinic near Kansas City, Missouri. I’ve already recounted the adventures I had getting there. The seminar itself was pretty good, too.

The great thing about this particular seminar was the huge range of styles and martial artists present. Sessions ranged from Aikido flow drills and shinkendo sword techniques to sport karate kickboxing and jujitsu grappling.

Me and StephenIRL at the 2019 American Budo Society Clinic

For me, personally, the highlight of the seminar, however, was a session taught by a man better known to the world at large as “Stephen IRL.”

Stephen is a two time national gold medalist in Judo. He’s also fought twice in professional MMA, and won both matches. In his day job, he works as a bail bondsman – AKA a bounty hunter. He had some fun stories to tell, but even better is that he actually live streams all of his arrests. His channel is pretty fun – you should check it out.

Stephen ran a course on Judo. I’ve been in the martial arts for almost twenty-five years now, mostly training in a style that combines karate, kickboxing, and judo/jujitsu. I still pick up a new techniques and tips and tricks from time to time. But it’s very rare at this point that I encounter something that fundamentally changes my entire philosophical approach to the art. Stephen managed to do that in about 45 minutes.

I had the good fortune to have Stephen join me at the large group dinner that evening, and got to spend a couple of extra hours picking his brain and swapping stories.

All in all it was a solid seminar, and I look forward to next year’s.

Everything went wrong after Cairo

I should have known the adventure was coming when I ended up in Cairo unexpectedly.

But let me back up a bit.

I spent this weekend at a martial arts seminar just outside Kansas City, Missouri. The seminar itself was great. The travel around it was an absolute adventure – and I mean that in the best possible sense. I spent fourteen hours on Friday making a nine and a half hour drive. Because it was that kind of day.

The first part of the trip passed rather uneventfully, if slowly. I found myself growing even more bored than I usually do when driving long distances by myself. Spotify did little to dull the tedium.

But my trip was not to stay boring!

Somewhere around Paducah, Kentucky, Google Maps informed me that I-57 north had become completely closed due to an accident. For those who care to check a map, this would’ve been between the intersection with I-24 at Pulley’s Mill and the intersection with I-64 at Mount Vernon, both in southern Illinois. By this point, the road closure would’ve been about an hour away – so likely to still be closed by the time I got there.

In its helpful wisdom, Google suggested an alternate route, basically running some lesser highways and a couple of back roads through southern Illinois over to I-55 north, instead.

I should’ve seen the folly of this plan when I ended up in Cairo. That’s KAY-roh, Illinois, not KY-roh, Egypt, for those who have never been there. I’ve been through several times. And let me just say this… if you’ve read the book American Gods by Neil Gaiman, then his description is pretty much spot on. The place is weird. Weird enough to end up in a Gaiman novel.

But my adventures only began in Cairo. Nothing of actual consequence this time actually happened there. Things didn’t get interesting until Thebes, just down the river (I am not making this up; this entire area is actually sometimes referred to as “Little Egypt.”)

At this point I was driving along Illinois 3. Google Maps wanted me to get to the bridge on Illinois 146 so that I could cross the Mississippi River.

What Google didn’t know, apparently, is that there’s been a lot of recent flooding of the Mississippi river. The bridge was fine. But the stretch of Illinois 3 Google insisted that I follow to get to the bridge…

Was closed.

Yes, I had been rerouted to avoid a closed road, only to run into a closed road. Irony. Lovely.

I tried several times to move far enough away from the closure for Google to route me around it. The problem was… Little Egypt is kind of, well, Bum F– Egypt (BFE). Go figure.

The very nice Sheriff guarding the closed road finally had to give me directions. I literally drove down one-and-a-half lane gravel farm roads, 10 miles out of the the way, dodging tractors bailing hay on the road, oncoming traffic (also people trying to route around the road closure, but in the other direction), and irate stares from the local farmers. Also, the car in front of me kicked up so much dust that I couldn’t see a thing – including the car in front of me.

Good times!

Actually, it really was good times. I had a blast. Sometimes life is more fun when it doesn’t go according to plan.

Tomorrow: details of the seminar itself, which was also great.

2019 Dragon Award Nominations close TODAY!

Nominations for the 2019 Dragon Awards end today, friend! The best part about these epic and prestigious awards are that they’re chosen by you, the fans! You can nominate works for this year’s awards here, and I highly recommend that you do so – even if your votes are completely different from mine! Your voice deserves to be heard, friend!

Here are some of my own recommendations this year:

Best Science Fiction Novel

Heroes Fall by Morgon Newquist.

If I were a better man I’d admit to you that my wife’s first novel is better than my own. Thankfully, I’m not that guy!

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

Woe for a Faerie by Bokerah Brumley.

Fallen angels. There you go. Oh, and this book is free on Amazon today.

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

The King’s Regret by Philip Ligon

Every young man I know who’s read this book has loved it. Loved it. A book that gets boys reading again deserves recognition!

Best Military Sci-Fi or Fantasy Novel

A Place for War by Daniel Humphreys

I don’t even like zombie stories and I love this series. That’s how good it is.

Best Alternate History Novel

The Brave and the Bold by Hans Schantz

Hans writes in the best tradition of Michael Crichton and Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi thrillers. This series is fantastic and deserves a nod.

Best Horror Novel

Hell Spawn by Declan Finn

There’s a reason Finn is a 3x Dragon Award nominee already – and a reason he deserves the 4th. This book is also free on Amazon today.

Best Graphic Novel

Flying Sparks by Jon Del Arroz.

Heroes and Villains in love!

Nominations end today so vote now!

New from Silver Empire – VICTORY’S KISS by Bokerah Brumley

True love just got hairy.

Victory’s Kiss
by Bokerah Brumley

Victory has given up on her own happy ending.

So the nerdy chemist makes sure everyone else gets theirs. All of her friends in the Keepers. She can live vicariously through their romances, without all of the emotional hang ups or distractions. Vic can help the world – and the Keepers – better that way.

Portal hopping to Nepal, she’s stepped into a war zone between the local villagers and the Yeti. Over the last year, she’s become the Midnight Witch to them. A magical healer that saves them from the villagers. But the malevolent Beldam that drives the war has taken notice of her work in the mountains and plots her revenge.

Raza, King of the Yeti, cannot thank Victory enough for what she has done for his people. He will do whatever he must to keep her safe from the Beldam that cursed him. Even if it makes her hate him. Because to him, she’s so much more than the Midnight Witch. She’s the woman he would love if he was free to do so.

Victory doesn’t want love, but she finds herself drawn to Raza anyway. Even if he is infuriating and overbearing. Even if they can only speak through sign language. But she sees the kindness and devotion behind his Yeti face, and his come to care for him for it.

Can Victory break Raza’s curse and save the Yeti from the evil Beldam? Will she find a prince inside her mountain beast?

Or will the Beldam destroy the Yeti and Victory along with them? Read Victory’s Kiss to find out!

Read the ebook FREE on Kindle Unlimited or buy it for $0.99 through Sunday. Get the paperback and hardcover versions at a discount by purchasing directly from us!