Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

My Free eBooks This Week

I'm rounding out the remainder of my KDP Select free promotion days for both The Five Elements and The Hall of the Wood this week. If you're one of my two blog readers, then get your trigger finger ready, cause it's almost time to download.

Unlike some other promotional runs, I'm not going to go crazy promoting this one. This post will go up, then get syndicated over to Amazon and Goodreads and that's it. Alright, so I'll put it up on Twitter, too, but that's really it. This promotional stuff wears you out after a while. I'm also trying to keep my focus on the next book in The Alchemancer series which follows The Five Elements. It's going to be good, and that's all I'll say.

As for the free promotions, here's how it's going to go down:

4/10 – 4/11 (Tue-Wed): The Hall of the Wood goes free.

4/12 (Thur): For 1 day only, The Five Elements goes free.

The Five Elements for whatever reason always does well with these things. Thousands of downloads which then translate into hundreds of sales for so many days afterwards. The Hall of the Wood gets a fair amount of downloads—in the hundreds—but then never really does much after that. I guess it's the content. The Hall of the Wood is Tolkien-like, traditional fantasy, which just ain't in style anymore. The Five Elements is most definitely not traditional fantasy. Come Thursday, download it, read it, review it. That's all I ask.

Free Today: The Hall of the Wood

The Hall of the Wood is free today on Amazon.

The novel is straightforward, classic fantasy: goblins, witches, rangers, sorcerers, knights, and murky woods. It's a bit of a mystery story with elements of suspense and plenty of action and adventure. There's some magic, too. Readers have complemented me on the development of the characters, which is more than they expect given the nature of the story.

Here's the "official" blurb:

All is not right in the Simarron Woods.

The King's Patrol has vanished. Their Hall stands empty. Goblins prowl the fringes of the forest and folk whisper of a sitheri witch brewing evil from the darkest hollows.

Once a patroller of the Hall, Jerrick is duty-bound to investigate. He is joined by Kayra Weslin, knight errant, and her chronicler, Holly, who go to answer a plea for help from nearby Homewood. Along with Murik Alon Rin'kres, an eslar sorcerer who harbors a secret purpose all his own, the four attempt to unravel the mystery of the missing patrollers. They soon find tales of their disappearance frighteningly untrue.

If you've been on the fence on this one, now you can get it for free. Hard to argue with free.

And, while you're over on Amazon, why not pick up a copy of The Five Elements? It's an unrelated story that begins the tale of the alchemancer, a character I plan on taking through a story arc of 4-5 books when all is said and done. This first novel is a self-contained story, though, and many readers have said some very nice things about the characters, writing, and the story.

An excerpt from The Five Elements. Oh, and the eBook is free.

As posted yesterday, The Five Elements is free right now. Today and tomorrow. If it's Friday, sorry, but you missed out. But if it's still 3/21 or 3/22 as you're reading this, go download!

The Five Elements has gotten some nice reviews. You can read blurbs of them and find out more about the book on The Five Elements book page, or go right to Amazon to read the full reviews.

If you want to know what the book is about, it's easy enough to visit one of the above links and read the description. But if you want to get a feel for my writing style or what to expect once you start reading, well, here's an excerpt from the novel for you to take a look at.

This is one of my favorite scenes. It's dark, it's raining, our heroes are running at breakneck speed away from some thing that is chasing them. There's action, there's suspense, there's a harrowing flight. Then it gets good. Read on, my friend, read on.


Aaron would have stopped for fear of running headlong into one of the tree trunks, but Ensel Rhe, whose own vision seemed unaffected by the darkness, remained relentless, pushing them onward like the wind driving a ship through a raging storm. To Aaron, there seemed no end to it, nor to the howls that drew closer with each heaving breath.

Then Aaron saw the great wall in the near distance rising up before them. It took him a moment to understand what it was. Then it hit him. "The Narrow Cliffs," he said, choking the words out. "The dogs—the dogs—"

"Yes," Master Rhe replied, the single word the only confirmation—the only shard of hope—he offered.

The dogs couldn't climb.

Against the gray of the horizon the cliffs were a sheet of black, like a chasm to which they willingly hurled themselves. But the cliffs were not their doom. A remnant of some past upheaval, the cliffs separated the Erundian from the Upper Shelf. They had only to reach them. Reach them, and climb them.

A belch of thunder shook the ground beneath their feet. Its sound was not loud enough to disguise the snarls of their pursuers. Ensel Rhe never slowed. "Don't look back!" he shouted just as another crack of thunder caused Aaron's heart to miss a beat. Then the eslar released Aaron and shoved him forward. "Get to the cliffs!" Without Ensel Rhe's support, Aaron nearly crumbled, but another shout made him find his legs and keep running. "Go!" Then Aaron heard the eslar's weapons leave their sheaths and he suddenly realized just how close their pursuers were.

Without Master Rhe to lead him, Aaron stumbled through the dark. Fear of what might happen should he slow drove him, though, and so he did his best dodging trees or leaping over jumbles of rock. He slipped only once on some rain-slick leaves, and then he was there, standing before the Narrow Cliffs. They rose as tall as once great Regrok, though this was not mortar and stone but a wall of dirt, clay, and protruding roots. Not wasting a moment, Aaron dispelled aching joints and sore muscles as he took hold of the lowermost roots bursting from the cliff face. Then he started to climb. Everything but the blood pounding in his ears and the cool touch of the damp roots fell away as that solitary act became his focus. Still, concentration was only half the battle; strength was the rest. It was something Aaron had in short supply, and so he'd not made it far at all when he realized he could go no further.

As if in mockery, the clouds opened, releasing drops light and fat that pattered on the ground beneath him and against the earthen face of the cliff. In moments, though, it erupted into a steady downpour. Aaron peered upward; he saw nothing but the dark of the cliffs and the sky. He dared not risk a glance down least he lose his balance and fall. Desperate to reach the top, but unable to will his muscles on, he clung to the cliff face and did nothing at all.

"Hurry!"

Ensel Rhe's voice coming from the dark shook Aaron back to the here and now. The eslar leapt half the distance Aaron had already climbed, clinging to the wall like a spider. "Go on," he shouted, "but steadily!"

The barking of the dogs followed his arrival only by seconds.

"Make sure each handhold is secure and the same for your feet before you release anything. I will be behind you the whole way. Just concentrate on moving upward."

It was enough to lend Aaron a modicum of resolve as he tried to climb higher. He managed to grasp the next highest root and, with Ensel Rhe there to guide his feet, pull himself up. He repeated the motion, gaining higher ground with each bit of energy expended. Below, he heard the dogs, yapping and snarling. He imagined them leaping up the cliff face, desperate to reach their prey, but then falling back down to earth as their paws failed them. He did his best to shut out their noise, concentrating instead on Ensel Rhe's voice as the eslar continued to offer words of encouragement whilst marking their progress with words of 'halfway now' and 'only a little further'. The downpour loosened mud along the cliff face; rivulets dripped down onto the roots, making them slick. Ensel Rhe, recognizing the danger, closed up with Aaron. All the while, he kept up his litany of encouragement. Aaron grew so intent on listening to the eslar's words that he scant realized they'd crested the top until he was no longer climbing but crawling horizontally through the mud. Not caring about the wetness of the grass or the damp, clumpy dirt, Aaron slumped to his belly in exhaustion. Snarls of disappointment sounded from the base of the cliff as the hounds came to realize their failure. Aaron rolled to his back, watching as Master Rhe peered out over the cliff's edge.

"What do you see?" Aaron asked, his breathing labored. "What do they look like?" He imagined giant mastiffs or some other hunting dog, big and ugly and mean.

The eslar backed away from the edge. "You should move further back."

"Why?" Aaron didn't want to move another inch. "The dogs—they can't climb." Aaron swallowed. "Can they?"

Ensel Rhe removed his jacket and, in one quick motion, drew his khatesh. "The dogs, no. But their master..."

Aaron shot upright. "They have a master?"

"Yes," Ensel Rhe said as he held his jacket out to Aaron for safekeeping, "and I think he wants the kill himself."

The Five Elements is FREE 3/21-3/22

Starting tomorrow (or today depending on when you're reading this), The Five Elements, my fantasy/pseudoscience novel that has been described by one reader as "an enveloping story that drags you in and doesn't let go" will be free on Amazon in Kindle format.

The promotion runs for two days—from 3/21 to 3/22. I would greatly appreciate it if everyone and anyone would download the eBook on one of those dates. I'm really curious to see how the novel does in the rankings this time around. This will be the second free promotion I've run. The first went great. But I'd really like to do better. That's why I'm bought some ad space here and there. That's why I've given advanced notice to my Twitter followers. This post will hit Goodreads—where almost 1,000 people entered to win a print copy of The Five Elements—and Amazon either tonight or tomorrow; plenty of time for everyone to find out about this promotion and take advantage of it.

Last but not least, I'm giving YOU, dear blog reader, advanced notice, too. You see, free rankings translate over into paid rankings; last time I achieved some very good free rankings that wound up giving me a real good paid run thereafter. My goal is to at least do that again.

We'll see how it goes. Meanwhile, get ready to download!

The Hall of the Wood is FREE today!

Courtesy of Amazon's KDP Select program, The Hall of the Wood is free today for your Kindle!

The Hall of the Wood is classic fantasy, with witches, rangers, sorcerers, and knights. The story revolves around the mystery of the missing patrollers, but then becomes something more as our heroes discover the source of the Simarron's dark affliction.

It's currently 3.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon and Goodreads.

Also, you can try to win a print copy of The Hall of the Wood via Goodreads. The giveaway runs until March 10!

What Readers Have To Say 

"The story is well written and has some interesting characters and plot twists along
the way. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre."
- Scott, Indie Book Blog
 

"Entertaining read."
- Sharon, Amazon.com reviewer

"The detail of the surroundings and of the characters themselves,
especially Jerrick, made it easy to dive into the world and connect."
- Timmain33, Amazon.com reviewer