The Dreambetween Symphony

2016 Accountability Post

Is the annual accountability post a useful exercise, particularly in an essentially creative endeavor? I’m not entirely certain, but it does provide a milestone (not millstone!) and reminder of sorts about whatever path I’m on. With that in mind, let’s review what my intentions were for 2016 before the reality of time constraints, the whims of imagination, and a ceaseless slog of negative news took their toll…

  • Put the icing on the Symphony cake. I wrapped up my historical fantasy series, The Dreambetween Symphony, in 2015, but I wanted to package the series as an omnibus box set / compilation / what-have-you. Status? Mission Accomplished!
  • Revise and publish The Pike. While the initial drafting phase for my latest novel was complete in late 2015, it still required heavy editing. Also, I wasn’t sure whether to publish the book under a pen name given that it didn’t quite fit, genre-wise, with much of my previous output. Status? Published, June 2016.
  • Begin a new series. Status? Fail! I was in the planning stages for a series tentatively titled Gunmage. Expanding upon my short story Lamia’s Daughter, this alternate-world western with demons, fey magic, and gunslingers is still in the planning stages and has been pushed behind other projects in the queue.

Which brings us to 2017. What tentative goalposts do I put up and then pull a Charlie Brown trying to boot the ball through?

  • Publish a new novel. The first draft of my next novel is complete, and I’m currently muddling through the first round of edits. Tentatively titled Zeitgeist 1919, this book is a beast, currently weighing in at almost double the page-count of my previous longest novel, Requiem. Zeitgeist tells the story of a reimagined aftermath/extension to World War I, where Kaiser Wilhelm II, aided by the sorcery and genetic monstrosities of his hexenmeister warlocks, invades the United States and faces the might of American technomancy (machine-magic!). Readers of my shorter work may recognize The Sack of Gotham, the novella (re-edited and slightly adapted) that forms the first portion of this new book. Assuming no catastrophic editing nightmares, Zeitgeist should hit the digital shelves in late spring or early summer.
  • Start writing a new series (or possibly a stand-alone novel). The aforementioned Gunmage series is in contention to follow Zeitgeist, but it will have to push aside another idea that’s been pinging around in my skull. This would be a novel consisting of a series of linked paranormal and cyberpunk-ish short stories set in a near-future American spaceport. At some point, I'd also like to revisit the cross-dimensional, post-apocalyptic invasion series that Symphony shoved aside a couple of years ago. And get started on an epic swords & sorcery fantasy. And a space opera. Sigh...
  • Begin to reboot my short story collections. While novel-writing will consume most of my production time, I’m also embarking on a reboot of my short story collections, splitting them into longer, novel-length work focused more narrowly by genre. The twenty-one stories of The Singles Collection will be repackaged with new work and some older, reworked material. I’m not sure how many collections are going to result, but the first should hit the digital shelves this year.
  • Update my production workflows and website. Part of the process of rebooting the shorts collections and publishing the new novel(s) will include a move to a new publishing workflow using the ebook formatting software Vellum. This should result in prettier and more consistently formatted ebooks, and, if all goes well, most of my back catalogue should get a makeover in the next 12-18 months. Finally, I’ll try to work in a reboot of my website, which hasn’t exactly been lavished with attention the last year or so. 

That’s the tentative plan anyway. See you back here this time next year (assuming the world hasn’t blown up or civilization collapsed into Dark Ages barbarism), to check how far off the roadmap I've veered!

Dreambetween Sale: 4 Books for Under $2

This week only, you can get the entire historical fantasy series, The Dreambetween Symphony, for under $2! Not sure if you'll enjoy this sprawling saga of dark lords and orphan girls, sorcerous songs and tragic loves? Then try the first book, Song of the Severed Lord, FREE, to get a taste. If you enjoy the tale, you can buy the next two novels, Exile Ballad and Requiem, for just 99¢ per book. Then complete your series set by picking up the companion volume, Preludes & Elegies, free.

 

 

What readers are saying about The Dreambetween Symphony...

“Refreshingly original, exquisitely written, enchanting, beguiling and utterly worth the read.” - Amazon reviewer

“M.S. Hund did it again in painting a beautiful world within the Dreambetween.” - Joanna Ogan, author of Prophecy Revealed

“Well written fantasy you feel and see coming together as you read each book.” - Amazon reviewer


 

Remember: the sale ends Friday, so don’t wait. Complete your collection or discover the Dreambetween for the first time today. Get the entire series of four books for under $2!

 

A song is calling to you from the far side of sleep. Will you answer its siren call?

 

Dreambetween Omnibus Sale

This week only (5/23-5/27), you can get the entire historical fantasy series, The Dreambetween Symphony, for just 99¢! The Omnibus Edition of the series features all three novels (Song of the Severed Lord, Exile Ballad, and Requiem) plus the companion volume, Preludes & Elegies. Experience this sprawling saga of dark lords and orphan girls, sorcerous songs and tragic loves today!

 
 

What readers are saying about The Dreambetween Symphony...

“Refreshingly original, exquisitely written, enchanting, beguiling and utterly worth the read.” -Jenny ten Wolde, Amazon reviewer

“M.S. Hund did it again in painting a beautiful world within the Dreambetween.” - Joanna Ogan, author of Prophecy Revealed

“Well written fantasy you feel and see coming together as you read each book.”- Fred Oakman, Amazon reviewer

 

 

Remember: the sale ends Friday, so don’t wait. Load up your Kindle for summer with four books (the entire series!) for the low, low price of 99¢!

 

A song is calling to you from the far side of sleep. Will you answer its siren call?

 

Spring into the Dreambetween

This week only, you can get the entire historical fantasy series, The Dreambetween Symphony, for under $3! With all three novels in the series on sale at 99¢ per book and the companion volume Preludes & Elegies available for free, there’s never been a better time to discover this sprawling saga of dark lords and orphan girls, sorcerous songs and tragic loves.

What readers are saying about The Dreambetween Symphony...

 

“Refreshingly original, exquisitely written, enchanting, beguiling and utterly worth the read.” -Jenny ten Wolde, Amazon reviewer

“M.S. Hund did it again in painting a beautiful world within the Dreambetween.” - Joanna Ogan, author of Prophecy Revealed

“Well written fantasy you feel and see coming together as you read each book.” - Fred Oakman, Amazon reviewer

 

Remember: the sale ends Friday, so don’t wait. Complete your collection or discover the Dreambetween for the first time today. Get the entire series of four books for under $3!

 

A song is calling to you from the far side of sleep. Will you answer its siren call?

 

The Dreambetween Omnibus is Here

Today is launch day for The Dreambetween Symphony: Omnibus Edition, an ebook compiling all four books that make up the Dreambetween series. For this week only (until Friday at 5pm EST), it will be available at a special launch price of 99¢ (regular retail price: $5.99). Complete your collection or experience the nearly 1000 pages of the Symphony in its entirety for under a buck! Alternatively, if you happen to be a Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime subscriber, you can borrow the book for free!

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The fate of the world isn’t in Lily’s hands, but the fate of an ancient dream is…

The Dreambetween Symphony is a tale that ranges over three millennia and three continents, following a family both cursed and blessed by the power of their dreaming blood. It is a story of dark lords and orphan girls, of sorcerous songs and tragic loves. But most of all, it is the story of Lily, who must come to terms with her power to save the Dreambetween from its darkest hour.

Collected here for the first time in one omnibus edition are all four books of this historical fantasy series. Follow Lily’s journey in the novels Song of the Severed Lord, Exile Ballad, and Requiem. Then explore the world of the Dreambetween further with the companion volume Preludes & Elegies, a collection of short stories and appendices.

The Dreambetween awaits. Are you ready to surrender to its siren call?

The Year Gone, The Year Ahead

2015 is dead. Long live 2015!

From a writing perspective, I’ll remember it most as the year I put the finishing touches on The Dreambetween Symphony with the publication of the novels Exile Ballad and Requiem as well as the companion volume Preludes & Elegies. (Note: there is one final bow to tie on the series, but you’ll have to read on to find out what that might be…)

My other big project was the overhaul of the interior formatting and covers for my entire catalog. This meant brand new covers for all four titles in the Symphony and for my NuLo books, Seven and Quinboy (the latter being a novelette also on the list of stories published this year), as well as some gentle tweaking of the covers for The Singles Collection short story bundles.

 

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The covers for Seven, before and after...

 
 

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During the editing process for the final installments of the Symphony, I got a surprise that altered my production schedule for the rest of the year (and beyond!). Several threads merged into what I thought was the seed of a short story or novelette, which I duly banged out to the tune of 12,000 words or so. But the story always felt bigger, so I played with expanding what I had, and suddenly found myself with a new novel on my hands. Two months later, I put the finishing touches on the first draft of The Pike, a near-future, dystopian-ish, cyberpunk novel. Given how genre-distinct this book is from my existing “worlds” of the Dreambetween and NuLo, I’m not sure if I’ll publish it under a pen name or keep it in the quiver until I have a more established author brand. Of course, as is my wont, I’ve already got a rough idea for a sequel that’s begging for attention…

And that brings us to the project that closed out my writing year. November 9 was my version of NaNoWriMo, wherein I tossed all the story ideas that would have distracted me during the drafting of The Pike into a folder and used November to put the nine most interesting ideas into story form. Written, edited, and published during that month, the nine stories cover a range of genres and (...predictably, I hear you say...) caused yet another round of adjustments to my 2016 production schedule.

How so? Well, If you enjoyed the final story in that collection, a weird western entitled Lamia’s Daughter, you’ll be pleased to know that I’m in the process of expanding that setting to encompass and entire series. Tentatively titled Gunmage, the series will follow the adventures of a young man in an alternate-Earth version of the Wild West, replete with eldritch guns, fey magic, and demons. While I have several characters and storylines I’d like to explore, I’m still not sure if the series will be published as novellas or full novels. I’ll have a better idea once I begin drafting the thing in the next few months.

But before I get there I need to put the icing The Dreambetween Symphony cake. This final flourish will take the form of an omnibus ebook edition of the series that includes all three novels and the companion volume. That’s the entirety of the Symphony in one digital bundle that will be less expensive than buying the individual books. But I’m going to offer an even better deal to my mailing list (sign up here) in the form of a special launch sale. I’ll just tease that here at the end of the post and trust you to do the right (and obvious) thing…

I look forward to delivering more words to you soon!

Requiem Launch Announcement

Requiem, the third and final novel in my historical/paranormal fantasy series The Dreambetween Symphony, is now available as a Kindle ebook and 6x9" trade paperback available from both Amazon and CreateSpace. Fancy getting your hands on a copy? Hit the buttons below and be whisked to your preferred destination. Or read on to learn more about the book...

(Haven't yet discovered this series? Start with Song of the Severed Lord. All three novels will soon be available on iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and several smaller e-booksellers. Mailing list subscribers will get the first word when those titles are available, so sign up today!)

Lily is a broken woman
Ten years ago, Lily Markart lost the ability to dream and ran away from home, abandoning the only family she had ever known. Now she has a new life and is ready to start a family. But without access to the Dreambetween, the communal dream shared by her bloodline, her body is suffering. Lily fears that she might not survive having a child, much less be able to protect that child should it be born with the dreaming talent.
Lily’s fears deepen as she hears whispers that the dream has become a more dangerous place and that an old enemy has returned to threaten it. But help from an unexpected front may enable her to return to the dream she lost and join the battle to ensure its future. For herself. For her child. And for all who possess the dreaming blood.
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REQUIEM is the third part of THE DREAMBETWEEN SYMPHONY, a sprawling tale of history, romance, fantasy, and dreams that follows generations of the dreaming blood from prehistoric Britain to the modern day. It is the sequel to SONG OF THE SEVERED LORD and EXILE BALLAD.

Severed Lord Launch!

Song of the Severed Lord is now available in paperback and Kindle editions (links below). For a limited time launch window, the Kindle edition will be on sale for 99¢ to reward loyal readers who are following this blog, the mailing list, or my Facebook author page. Get ready to begin your journey to the Dreambetween!


Everybody dreams… 

Except Lily Markart. For the first fifteen years of her life, Lily’s father, a prominent sleep researcher, has prevented her from dreaming, and she’s determined to find out why. 

It is a decision she will soon regret. 

For millennia, Lily's bloodline has shared the blessing and the curse of the Dreambetween, a shared dream of extraordinary possibility and danger. And now the Severed Lord is calling her, his song an irresistible enchantment, drawing her into a battle for the future of the Dreambetween. 

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Song of the Severed Lord is the first part of The Dreambetween Symphony, a sprawling tale of history, romance, fantasy, and dreams that follows generations of the dreaming blood from prehistoric Britain to the modern day.

A Dreambetween Primer, Part 3

The symphony is about to begin...

I've just made the final changes to the proof copies of Song of the Severed Lord, the first part of my forthcoming historical/paranormal fantasy series, The Dreambetween Symphony. If all goes according to plan, it should be available to purchase in print and ebook from Amazon early next week. But before we get there, how about another Dreambetween Primer?

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In the previous installments of this series of primer posts (Part 1 and Part 2), I explained that the eponymous Dreambetween of The Dreambetween Symphony is a communal dream shared by a wide range of people with a common (if distant) ancestry. But just because somebody has the  "dreaming blood" necessary to take part in the Dreambetween doesn't mean they can do so at will. Likewise, only a small percentage of dreamers have the talent to remember their dreams and take an active part in them.

Those who cannot control when they enter the Dreambetween or who do so infrequently are often mere passengers and observers, unable to influence what happens to them in the dream. Those gifted with the ability to lucid dream, to recognize that they are dreaming and to take control of the dream's direction, are capable of superhuman or magical feats within the Dreambetween. The dream itself responds to the collective will of the dreamers, shaping itself to their needs and desires, but those with the talent to control it can have a much greater influence on the dream as a whole.

Now, as I've previously mentioned, all of the dreamers who can access the Dreambetween share a common ancestry, however distant. But not all of the dreamers are technically still "living"...

 

Severed

sever |ˈsevər|
verb [ with obj. ]
- divide by cutting or slicing, esp. suddenly and forcibly

In the context of the Dreambetween, Severed is a title that applies to a dreamer whose physical body has died while they were in the dream. A physical body serves as both an anchor and an escape route for a dreamer. Should anything life-threatening happen in the dream, the dreamer's consciousness will be sucked back to the safety of the physical body (unless prevented from doing so), causing the dreamer to awaken, often with a sensation that something terrible was just about to happen to them.

But if the anchor provided by the physical body is removed, the connection to the waking world is "severed": broken, ended, suddenly and forcibly cut or sliced. This leaves the dreamer's consciousness stranded in the Dreambetween, and they become Severed.

Most Severed fade within a matter of weeks or months depending upon the strength of their will and the power of their ego. Those with weak wills or poor self-images destroy themselves, becoming more and more monstrous as the Dreambetween reads their thoughts and desires and shapes their dreaming forms. Ultimately, even the strongest-willed are doomed to destruction once Severed, unless they find a way to halt the decay...

 

Sundered

sunder |ˈsəndər|
verb [ with obj. ] literary
- split apart

As mentioned in the description of what it means to be Severed, the physical body normally provides an anchor, a safe point which the dreamer's essence can flee to if threatened or harmed in the Dreambetween. But if that escape route is somehow removed or cut off (perhaps because the dreamer has already been Severed), then it is possible for the inverse to happen: the dreamer's consciousness can be killed while their body lives on. The result is that the physical body falls into a coma from which it will never wake. The body has become Sundered, or split apart, from the dreamer.

Sundering among families that share the dreaming blood is often referred to as "the sleeping sickness." It is usually not a common occurrence, but troubled times in the Dreambetween often lead to a rash of Sunderings, and families of the dreaming blood often bear the scars (and the stories) of such times.

Coincidentally enough, The Dreambetween Symphony chronicles not just one, but several such troubled times over the millennia the Dreambetween has been in existence.

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If you haven't yet done so, consider signing up for my mailing list. Not only will you be among the first to know when Song of the Severed Lord is released, but you'll get a free story in the bargain. Thanks for reading!

A Dreambetween Primer, Part 2

Song of the Severed Lord.  Coming later this month to an e-tailer near you!

Song of the Severed Lord. Coming later this month to an e-tailer near you!

In Part 1 of the Dreambetween Primer, I introduced how I intend to structure and release my new paranormal/historical fantasy series, The Dreambetween Symphony, and some of the core conceits that form the basis of the series' setting. This second part is for the history junkies and detail geeks: links to some of the reading material I used in my research for the series.

While I did take some liberties with history and science [wouldn't be much of a fantasy otherwise, would it?], I did try to lay a logical and consistent foundation. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does demonstrate some of the fact behind the fiction you'll encounter when Song of the Severed Lord is released later this month.

Hope something here piques your interest or tickles your fancy!

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Song of the Severed Lord will be released as a Kindle e-book and in trade paperback later this month (September, 2014). Sign up for my mailing list so you don't miss out on the release announcement as the e-book will be available for a limited time at a special launch price.