Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Favorite Reads of 2013

Carrying on the tradition of listing out my favorites reads of the year (here are my favorite reads of 2010 and 2011; apparently I skipped 2013—some tradition, huh?), I give you the books I found most enjoyable in 2013.

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You can see all of the books I read in 2013 on Goodreads.

Other "Best Of" Lists

The Fussy Librarian

The Fussy Librarian

One of the challenges of selling any product is making consumers aware of it. eBooks are no exception to this. As an author, there are myriad ways to get my books in front of people. One of the best ways is to let someone else do it. Even better if this middleman (or, in this case, middlewoman) 'sells' to people who requested a pitch. In this case, the request takes the form of a reader signing up to receive an email containing information about books to buy.

The key to success here, though, is for the sender of the email to provide a curated, filtered list of eBooks based on reader preference and selection. Enter The Fussy Librarian.

They're a new outfit in town, still growing their list and extending generous advertising terms to authors such as myself, but they're doing everything right so far, which is a pretty good first step.

Not only am I using their service as an author, but I also use it as a reader. When signing up to receive an email from them, I like that I can specify which sub-genre (Steampunk and Epic Fantasy for me, of course) from which to pull books for me to see. They also let you specify what level of language you're comfortable with in your books, as well as violence and sexual content. It's another way to narrow down the books you'll see each day.

I'd like to see The Fussy Librarian do well, both as an author and a reader. We need more services like this. Not ones that will hurl a barrage of titles at you each day, but ones that curate what they're sending so we can avoid some of the you know what.

The other side of this is that without more services like this certain ones (Bookbub) gain a stranglehold on the "good" advertising venues.

So do us all a favor and go check out The Fussy Librarian.

Map Reveal: City of Brighton

Last time I revealed the regional map which goes along with my new steamfantasy novel, The Nullification Engine. Now, it's time to take a look at the second map.

I give you, the city of Brighton.

City of Brighton

Brighton is a city where three rivers—the Silvercross, Whitecrest, and Highbrook—converge. Its residents took full advantage of this by re-routing the rivers into waterways which flow throughout the city. It should come as no surprise that Brighton contains a great number of bridges and, much like our own real world Venice, finding your way around its streets and alleys, when you have the additional obstacles in the form of rivers and waterways, can make for a difficult time getting around, especially for newcomers.

Aaron, Serena, and Ensel Rhe arrive at Brighton's gates fresh from their ordeal in The Five Elements. As one might expect from my writing, right away things go south for them. I'll say no more, other than that you can pick up a copy of The Nullification Engine at all major online retailers. I hope you'll give it a read.

Map Reveal: Earldom of Kettering

I've gone on before about how important maps are to fantasy novels. So important, I commissioned a regional map for my first novel, The Hall of the Wood, and again for the first book in The Alchemancer series, The Five Elements.

The Nullification Engine, which was just released a couple of days ago, is no exception. In fact, this new book has not one map, but two!

Here is the first one (with the second to follow in a near future post). I give you the Earldom of Kettering.

For those who read The Five Elements, you'll no doubt notice the presence of Norwynne Keep, which is where the story in that novel begins. Much of the rest of the places from The Five Elements are 'off the map' (see the map for the Barony of Fallmere), because now our players are heading north. Where, you ask? All the way up to Brighton, which is a city that sits at the intersection of three rivers (The Nullification Engine actually begins with our heroes already having made the journey). There are a lot of hamlets, other cities, and geographical features called out in this map. Not all are touched on in The Nullification Engine, but will become more relevant as the series progresses.

Next post I will reveal the second map, which is of the city of Brighton itself.

You can purchase The Nullification Engine at all major online retailers.

The Nullification Engine (The Alchemancer: Book Two) Release Announcement

It's official. The next book in The Alchemancer series has been released!

This weekend only, you can buy The Nullification Engine for 99 cents at Amazon and Smashwords only. After that, the price goes up to $5.99.

This new novel picks up pretty much where The Five Elements left off. The first thing readers will notice is that the story widens, as does the number of characters. Aaron has more challenges ahead, Serena returns to a city she left behind three years ago under dubious circumstances, and Ensel Rhe will confront one of his greatest enemies. Also, he has to face his daughter, who he abandoned seven years ago. Throw in a whole lot of 'steamfantasy,' as one reviewer called it, and you've got 500 or so pages of high adventure, intrigue, heroes, villains, mystery, machines, magic, and mayhem.

Here's the blurb:

The city of Brighton promises new beginnings for Aaron, Serena, and the taciturn eslar, Ensel Rhe. But, upon their arrival, Aaron and Serena are arrested for their role in the Chaos of a week ago, while Ensel Rhe slips away on business of his own.

The pair are given the opportunity to plead their case before the earl himself, whereupon they are released and assigned a very special duty, for deep below the palace lies the Nullification Engine, an ancient machine completed hundreds of years ago but never activated. Until now. While Aaron and Serena struggle to unravel the machine's mysteries, Ensel Rhe confronts his past once more when he learns his daughter has come to Brighton, but in the company of one of his greatest enemies.

A race against time begins as Aaron comes to realize the Nullification Engine was never turned on for a reason, for once the machine reaches a state of full nullitivity, it will destroy Brighton and everyone in it.

You can get more details about the novel, see additional buy links, and find out about the characters, both new and old, at the The Nullification Engine's product page.