Re-Issued Color Mage Books Now Available

My two Color Mage novels have been reissued with great new covers, and are now available on Amazon!

These are the same complex, character-driven fantasy novels about Callo and Kirian, fleeing from the wrath of a Collared Lord into even greater danger. Now published by Hydra Publications and re-issued with new covers. They’re also available in ebook versions.

Links to:

Black Tide (Color Mage Book One)

Sword of Jashan (Color Mage Book Two)


Authors at the Loft Podcast

Here is a link to, which has short featured podcasts from the authors who attended the recent event at the Book Loft in German Village. Mine is about 5 minutes long. I discuss a little about Color Mage (soon to be retitled Black Tide) and Sword of Jashan. The other podcasts are interesting, too — check them out if you have a chance!


Cyber Monday Book Sale!

Need some good reading to relax a little during the hectic holiday season? My publisher, Hydra Publications, is running a Cyber Monday book sale. It’s a multi-genre sale with mystery, thriller, romance, science fiction and many more — including Color Mage and Sword of Jashan — for only 99 cents each.

The Kindle sale runs from November 25-27 only!

If you’ve been wanting to check out my fantasy novels, now is a great time. Color Mage and Sword of Jashan follow Callo and Kirian as they flee the wrath of a Collared Lord — into the hands of the feared psychic mages of an enemy island. Meanwhile Callo must discover how to use his dangerous mage power without endangering all those around him. It’s a great read for adult fantasy readers.

Here’s a link to Hydra’s page, showing all the novels included in the sale. Enjoy!

Hydra Publications

Loconeal Publishing — the publisher of Color Mage and Sword of Jashan — has now become an imprint of Hydra Publications. Hydra features science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Hydra also has other imprints that feature mystery, thrillers and romance.

I’m excited to become a Hydra Publications author! Here’s a link to Hydra’s main page, where you can check out recent posts from this multi-genre publisher, or click on the “Authors” tab to discover some of Hydra’s talented writers.

Here’s a link to my Hydra Publications author page, featuring both Color Mage novels.


Excerpt from Color Mage

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this, so I thought I’d post an excerpt from Color Mage.

Color Mage is set in a world where Collared Lords have absolute power in their own lands — at the same time as they’re kept in a kind of magical servitude, unable to leave their lands as they keep a never-ending Watch for magical attack on the borders of Righar.

Seagard’s Collared Lord, Mikati, kept watch for the Black Tide, an attack by the psychic mages of the island of Ha’las. In Book Two, Sword of Jashan, Lord Zelan struggles with his magical binding against a foe that no longer exists.

In this excerpt, Healer Kirian experiences an attack of the Black Tide, first hand.



Kirian had never been in a boat, not even the little mage-powered sailcraft that drifted in circles around Lake Heart in Sugetre. There, the sailcraft were rented by the hour to those who were willing to pay a few coins for the pleasure, and never had a sailcraft been lost or even capsized on the calm little lake. So Kirian had boarded the Homebound with some trepidation. But after a few hours of sitting at her ease on deck, soaking up the sun and delighting in the beauty of the smiling sea, she was reconciled. She loved the feel of the sun, and the shouts and calls of the fish merchants at Two Merkhan were a pleasure to hear after the quiet of little Seagard.

After the pair had sold their catch, the Homebound turned south again, heading for home.

“I envy you,” she told Rashiri when the other woman took a break from her work to sip a jar of cold honeyed tea with Kirian in the bow. “You’re surrounded by such amazing beauty here.”

“We’re very lucky to be able to do this together,” Rashiri said. Her face was creased and deeply tanned from exposure to the sun and wind. Her uncomplicated smile showed strong white teeth. “But don’t think it’s all like this.”

“There must be storms, and rain and wind.”

“Those are bitter cold days indeed,” Rashiri said. “And there are days with no fish, and days when one of us gets sliced by one of our own knives or the teeth on some unexpected catch.” She held out one arm to show Kirian the frightening white scar that ran around her forearm in an arc. “That’s teeth,” she said.

“I see,” Kirian said faintly.

“Spilled right out of the net with the catch and bit me before I could say aye. Kin got it off me, but Ruthan was busy that day and a few after, I can tell you.”

“Fishing isn’t so peaceful, then.”

“It’s hard work. But I love it, Hon Kirian, and it’s the blessing from the Unknown God that I can be out on the bright sea every day with my love. How many can do that? Here, have some more tea.”

Kirian held out her mug and let the other woman splash some caramel-colored tea into it. The Homebound was approaching port now, steered by Kin in his stained, fishy tunic. Kirian looked straight ahead, to the clutter of houses on the shore that was Seagard Village, then up and up, to the castle that looked out like a hawk on the promontory. She wondered how the newly-bound Lord Arias was progressing, and remembered Lord Callo’s amber eyes.

Behind them, the sun sank hotly to the edge of the sea.

Out on the far horizon, like a pencil-line drawn by an artist to delineate the sea, lay a mark between sea and sky.

“Rashiri! What is that?”

Rashiri stood and craned her neck, then cried out to her husband in the bow. “Kin! Black Tide!”

The line grew thicker, as if the artist inked it, a black border lying on the surface of the ocean. Kirian stared as the line widened, broad as a brush now, and felt her breath torn away by a freshening wind or by fear, she could not tell which.

Then it seemed to rush toward them, speeding towards the craft as Kin and Rashiri rushed to push all possible speed from the Homebound.

“Gods! We’re in its path!” shouted Kin, and the sheet of black drawn over the ocean sped closer.

Kin shouted orders and the wind rushed louder. Kirian, trying to stay out of the way, felt the boat surge forward under their expert handling. But the dock was too far away, and there was no way to beat the accelerating darkness. She watched in paralyzed shock as the whole western sea turned black. A tumble of stunned and helpless fish were washed along in the front of the blackness, those creatures already experiencing the deadening effects of the Black Tide. The Tide was so close she could see its odd matte surface, which did not reflect the rays of the setting sun.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw a flare of brilliance from the Castle. Someone there, one of the Alkirani mages, was on duty. A wave of energy swept off the shore and onto the sea – glorious reds, blues, greens, golds. The colors overtook the Homebound and swept her with radiance before meeting the Black Tide in an inaudible crash. A vibrant shield rose into the sky. Through the translucent colors Kirian saw the Black Tide curling back, retreating against the strength of the defense.

“Jashan and all the gods,” whispered Kirian.

The Homebound reached dock. Helping hands grabbed ropes to moor the boat, and grasped their arms to hustle them to shore. They left the Homebound bobbing, at the mercy of the stiffening wind, but not even Kin and Rashiri dared to wait outside to put her properly away.

“Did you see that?” cried Elder Hame, his white hair whipped in the sudden gale. “Did you see that?”

“Couldn’t help seeing it old one, we were almost eaten by it,” Kin said. He sat down abruptly on a stool in the house they had been ushered into. He put his head in his hands. Rashiri stood behind him and put her calloused hands gently on his shoulders.

“I take it,” Kirian said carefully, “That doesn’t happen, uh, often?”

Hame laughed. “Never seen it, though they say it happened once ten years ago. What power! My lord mage was brilliant! That’ll teach those Ha’lasi not to sneak up on us that way!”

“It was too close,” Rashiri said.

“I need to go back to Ruthan,” Kirian said. “Kin, Rashiri, you get yourselves home and a warm mug of wine. That’s from your Healer, now!”

“We have to tend to the Homebound,” Kin said.

“Leave her. Someone else will take care of her for you this time. You’ve had a shock, you know.” Two men nodded at her and went out to take care of the Homebound.

Rashiri nodded, hands still on Kin’s shoulders as he slumped on the stool. “I’ll get us home, Hon Healer,” she said. “We’re fine though. Get to Ruthan, she’ll be worried about you.”

Kirian backed away, her eyes still on Kin, torn between her duty to old Ruthan and the possible need for her here. The door opened and Ruthan stood there, bent with age and the struggle against the wind, cloaked for a journey.

“Young Kirian!” she said. “Come! They will be calling for us at the castle.”

“We’re fine,” Rashiri said. “Go.”

Kirian waited only to grab her cloak and she was gone.



Here are links to the Amazon pages for Color Mage and for Book Two, Sword of Jashan.


Lorelei Signal

My short story, “Daughter of the Righ”, has been reprinted in the January-March issue of the web-based magazine Lorelei Signal. This online magazine is dedicated to publishing fantasy stories about complex female characters.

“Daughter of the Righ” is set in the same world as my Color Mage novels — but about 20 years earlier, so no spoilers! In the story, young Hira Noh must escape a betrothal to the Collared Lord who killed her best friend — an event in her early life that eventually led to her becoming the strong, unusual character she is in Sword of Jashan.

Here’s a link to Lorelei Signal. Enjoy!

Signed Books in Yellow Springs

I had a wonderful time at the Yellow Springs Book Fair, until we got rained out pretty late in the day. Most of the booksellers had tables of used books (children’s, cookbooks, science fiction, even a Girl Scout Brownie handbook from a LONG TIME AGO that brought back memories), but there were a few authors there as well.

The event was held on the grounds of the Mills Lawn Elementary School. I loved their beautiful sign:

Mills Lawn School

Before the end of the day, I left signed copies of Color Mage and Sword of Jashan at a local bookstore. They’re available at Epic Books on Xenia Street in Yellow Springs. Here’s a link to the store Facebook page for more information:

Meet my Character

It’s great to have an opportunity to tell you about the main character in my fantasy novel, Color Mage, and its sequel, Sword of Jashan.

Many thanks to Denise Verrico, who invited me to follow her on this blog tag event. Denise is the author of several books in the Immortyl Revolution series. A revised edition of her novel My Fearful Symmetry will be released soon! Please check out her interview with her main character, Cedric, at her blog.


The main character of my fantasy novels is a man who struggles with a rare magical power — a power that brings him the contempt of his friends even as it draws the attention of Kings and mages. He journeys to the enemy land of Ha’las with his manservant and the young healer, Kirian. There, he learns of his heritage — and finds that great power is his birthright, but only if he sacrifices everything he has ever stood for.

Here’s more information about this dangerous, yet honorable man.

Q:  What is your main character’s name?

A:  His name is Lord Callo ran Alkirani.

Q:  Is Lord Callo real or fictional?

A:  He is a fictional character.

Q:  When and where is the story set?

A:  The novels are set in the fantasy world of Righar. This is a feudal land ruled by a King who magically Collars powerful mages to force them to use their magic to protect the land. In return for this magical servitude, the Collared Lords have unimaginable power, and they tend to use it without regard for the wishes of others. Here’s a link to a blog post I did a little while back about the Collared Lords of Righar.

Q:  What should we know about him?

A:  Lord Callo is the illegitimate son of the King’s sister. He occupies a strange position – because of his rank he is nominally accepted, but his bastard status means he is scorned. He is used to seeing the turned back, hearing the whispers as he passes. His only true friends have been his manservant, Chiss, and his half-brother Lord Arias, who befriends him in spite of the disapproval of his peers.

Q:  What is the main conflict? What messes up Callo’s life?

A:  Callo finds out who – or, should I say what? – his father is. And then finds out something unsettling about himself, something that sets even his half-brother against him.

Q:  What is Callo’s personal goal?

A:  Callo (and Healer Kirian) flee the country ahead of the anger of a powerful Collared Lord. When Callo discovers he has a power that corrupts everyone it touches, he wants to learn how to keep others – especially Kirian, whom he has come to care for – safe from his dangerous magic.

Q:  Can we read more about Callo and Kirian?

A:  Yes! Color Mage – which I’ve talked about above — is the first story of Callo and Kirian. It’s available from and It was published in September, 2012.

In Sword of Jashan, the walls Callo has maintained all his life to guard against his dangerous power are failing. Fighting with his own abilities, Callo still resolves to protect the young heir to the throne from the intrigues of the King. And Ander himself must decide whom to trust, as he becomes the target of an assassin. Sword of Jashan was published last fall and is also available from and

Color Mage front cover

I’ve enjoyed this stop on the “Meet my Character” tour. Next week, the blog tour continues as two other speculative fiction writers discuss their main characters. Please check out their blogs – you may find something you’ll enjoy reading!

Marian Allen has been lying … er, creating fiction for as long as she can remember. She has had work published online and in print, working mostly in speculative fiction and mystery, but with some mainstream, romance, and horror tossed in to keep things lively. She is a member of the Southern Indiana Writers Group and is one of three owners of a new micro-press, Per Bastet Publications.

You can read about her character beginning September 15 on her blog, here.

Tracy Lawson‘s New Adult dystopian thriller, Counteract, was released on August 6, 2014–which just also happens to be her birthday! The sequel, Resist, is slated for release in spring 2015, and she’s currently working on the third volume in the series. Tracy lives in Dallas with her husband, daughter, and three spoiled cats.

You can read about her character at her website, beginning September 15.