New Fiction in the Reckless Faith Universe

The last three months have been a boon for my books.  The Fox and the Eagle has been doing particularly well, and my other titles are doing better than average as well.  With so many new readers, I’ve decided to revisit past ideas for a fifth book in the series.  As usual, I’ll be posting the content as I create it.  The first draft of the prologue and first chapter are below; if the prologue seems familiar it’s because I’ve posted it here before.  However, it concludes differently now.


“Hey, Agent Smith!”

Val was on his way from the front desk to the elevators when he heard someone call his name. He turned to his right and looked into the lounge area. His contact, Special Agent Ben Jones, was sitting at a small table near the bar. Val approached him.

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Infinity Publishing has gone dark. Consider my books with them as out of print.

Due to a messy merger with a new company called FastPencil, Infinity Publishing is no longer responding to communications, nor are they fulfilling orders.  As such, I’ve re-published The Fox and the Eagle directly on Amazon.  Please be sure you are ordering the correct version, especially the paperback.  The easiest way to distinguish these versions are that the new versions are significantly less expensive.

I’m taking action to have Infinity’s versions of my books officially listed as out of print, which could take a few months.  For now, all five of my novels are available directly through Amazon, both in Kindle and paperback.

Here is the link to The Fox and the Eagle, new Kindle Edition.  The link to the paperback is in the sidebar.


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Dun Ringill is Live on Amazon

I’m pleased to announce that Dun Ringill is now available for the Kindle on Amazon.  Thank you to everyone who helped me edit and refine the final version.

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Dun Ringill: First Draft Complete

The first draft of Dun Ringill is complete.  Next begins the process of editing, and finding a source for cover art.  Until the book is ready to be published on Amazon, I’m making the first half available to a wider audience.  If you would like an advance copy of the whole thing, please let me know, and thank you to all who provided feedback so far.  Below is a table of contents for the first half.

Prologue and Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

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Inspiration and the Creative Process

My fifth novel, Dun Ringill, is nearly complete.  All that remains are one or two more chapters, and an epilogue.  Though I’ve been working on it in earnest for over a year, I only recently stumbled upon a bit of information that I wanted to share.

Some of you already know that Dun Ringill is a real place, an approximately 2,000 year old fort on the Island of Skye off of Scotland.

I was inspired to name my book after it because of its reference in a song by Jethro Tull, the progressive rock group introduced to me by my mother at a young age.  Most of Tull’s lyrics were written by its frontman, Ian Anderson, who lived near Dun Ringill during some of his youth.  Anderson’s recurring themes are rife with references to the ancient peoples of England, their culture, and rituals.  They are all explored in depth on the outstanding fan website Cup of Wonder,

Including, of course, Dun Ringill itself, from the album Stormwatch.

Though often inscrutable, Anderson’s lyrics are not always difficult to decipher, and Dun Ringill’s meaning is fairly easy to discern if you know the history behind the ancient structure.  Though in reality the fort probably has no special meaning other than a defensive position that long ago became obsolete, it inspired me to research other ancient English structures that almost certainly did, including the most famous, Stonehenge.  In fact, many ancient structures in England feature astronomical alignments at significant times of the year (solstices and equinoxes, most notably).  Whether built merely for utility or for a ritualistic purpose, people who visit these places often remark on there being a peculiar feel to them, probably the same sense of mystery that Anderson himself experienced at Dun Ringill.

It was while researching these places that I learned about cursus lines, man-made ditches, barrows, or earthenworks put in place thousands of years ago for unknown purposes:

I thought these were interesting enough to apply them in a practical way to the science fiction of my novel.  However, I also decided to use them because I suspected that one of Anderson’s lines from Dun Ringill, lines joint in faint dischord, referred to cursus lines and their possible importance in ancient rituals.  As courses constructed by people who may have believed that some kind of mystical power flowed through them, they are related to the pseudoscience of ley lines:

But are things like this what Anderson was really referring to in the song Dun Ringill?  I wasn’t sure until I started studying the lyrics of Jethro Tull songs that weren’t my favorites, either growing up or today.  So, it was just last week that I came across an explicit reference to ley lines in the song Cup of Wonder itself.

For the May Day is the great day, sung along the Old Straight Track.  And those who ancient lines did lay will heed the song that calls them back.

If you looked at the Wikipedia article I linked above, you may have noticed that The Old Straight Track was the first published book on ley lines.


Still, despite that I could have answered my own question a long time ago by being more familiar with Jethro Tull’s discography, I was elated to learn of this relationship.  Maybe this makes me a verifiable Turbo Nerd but this revelation sent chills down my spine.

In all of my writing, I’ve been inspired by astronomy, ancient legends, and music.  Whether any of this translates into good science fiction is certainly up to the reader, but the fact that it keeps me going back to the page is good enough for me.  However, now that my characters are about to finally solve the mystery of Dun Ringill, it seems that I have, too.

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Dun Ringill, Chapter 17

When Carthage and Siobhan emerged onto the street, the fight at the north gate was still raging. The gate was too far down Main Street for them to see clearly, but smoke was rising from one of the guard towers. About a hundred meters ahead, a squad of Perthian soldiers was sprinting toward the action.

“I think we’re running out of time,” began Carthage. “We should run for it, that squad up there should keep the Knights busy while we get to the hangar.”

Siobhan nodded, and they began to jog north. “I wonder why the Tucano doesn’t engage them.”

“They’re probably low on aircraft munitions, same as us. Keep an eye out for Tay Street to the west.”

With the exception of the combatants, Perth had become a ghost town. The road up to the north gate was a mix of residential and commercial buildings, with plenty of both trees and open space between lots. After several blocks, they arrived at a small bridge labeled Tay Brook. A shallow stream ran underneath, perpendicular to the road.

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Dun Ringill, Chapter 16

Lord Eoghain was not normally the type of leader to directly address a mere pilot, but he was compelled to think that the impact of his message would benefit from a personal visit.  Aberdeen’s spaceport was at the mouth of the Don River, far outside of town, so Eoghain had asked for a car and driver to take him there.  He was pensive about the orders he was about to give, allowing the whirring of the electric vehicle’s motor to sooth his mood.  As usual, his driver didn’t attempt to engage him in conversation, though if Eoghain had initiated one, he was sure to do so.  Though he preferred to keep to himself, he was not anti-social.

Eoghain had asked his secretary to call ahead to ensure that the pilot would still be there, as it was nearly the end of first shift at the port.  The sun was low in the sky as they drove to the west, and most of the workers there would be headed home soon.  Eoghain himself had called his wife to let her know he’d be late for dinner, though his missive wouldn’t delay him by much.

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