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House of Mages

Title: House of Mages
Draft: 3rd

This is the book I'm working toward publishing, and for now it's the only one with an official synopsis. It's currently in the editing stages, and I'm excited to see it published next year!

Word Count: 52676
Release Date: 2018
Contributors: R.M. Archer, Author; Cathy Gilstrap, Editor; Rachel Ramey, Editor
Genre:
ISBN13: 978-1545470275

Synopsis:

Archmage Pagod Vandal has gone rogue, but in a tower of brainwashed mages his daughter Lian is the only one who notices.

When alchemy mages Darklin and Alark realize it too, Lian is more than ready to assist them in overthrowing her father.

But Pagod will stop at nothing to achieve his ambitions, and he has allies more powerful than the trio could imagine.

If Pagod succeeds, Lian's world will be destroyed. Yet, even if she stops him, nothing will ever be the same.

Excerpt:

They walked through the tunnels for several minutes before emerging on the surface. But it wasn't anything like an earthly surface. The ground was black, the sky was stone-like with stalactites hanging from it, and the whole atmosphere was penetratingly dark.

The castle that loomed in front of them was especially dark. Whatever material it was made of seemed to absorb what meager light there was, and the towers were like cold stone claws that would reach down and crush or impale her at any moment. The gates were bent outward like ribs, and the small dank breeze seemed to make them shift like there really was a beating heart behind them.

Lian shuddered.

"Do we have to go in there?"

"Of course. That is the Conqueror's castle."

Asphodel led the way up to the gate and Lian followed, trying to seem more courageous than she felt.

As they passed through the gates and walked up to the front door, Lian tried to quiet her rapidly beating heart. It felt like a caged animal trying to break free, making her feel like her chest would explode.

She survived the walk to the front door however, despite almost running into Asphodel when the demoness stopped suddenly to pull the bell rope. Its gong was eerie and melancholic almost causing Lian to shiver again.

The door slid open soundlessly and the two of them entered, passing through several corridors. The only sound was that of Asphodel's heels clicking on the odd black floor.

The Heart of the Baenor

Title: The Heart of the Baenor
Series: The Dark War Trilogy #0.5
Draft: 1st

Please excuse the awful temporary cover that doesn't even have the right pen name on it.
This is basically the prequel to The Dark War Trilogy, and I consider it so because Catessa is one of the main characters and she's a totally different person, since it's three years prior to TDWT. It could stand on its own, as could the trilogy, but I'll be publishing it before the trilogy because if you read the trilogy and then this one it gives things away, so... Yeah.
The characters are cool and I really enjoy writing them. That's the main draw of this one (or the majority of my books, actually. Or books I read. I just love characters.).

Word Count: 57159
Release Date: 2018
Contributors: R.M. Archer, Author
Genre: ,

Synopsis:

Catessa is an assassin living in Cron Hatal, the capital of Kaloris. When she's chosen to go on a mission to find out why the Dwarves have shut down their mines she's happy to do so.
Cordain is a bit less enthusiastic. He's just a small-town farmer and fisherman. Why would he be chosen for such an important task?
But eventually the two of them are on their way to the harsh Kor-Baen region, and when they arrive they find that more is going on than it seems.


Also in this series:

Excerpt:
The sun was just beginning to sink when she came upon a campfire. Two men sat across from each other, one speaking and the other listening, completely absorbed in the tale.

“And that is the true tale of Rosyn Celebar,” the older man finished.

Catessa stepped into the camp, recognizing the older man as Alisander.

Alisander looked up at Catessa and set his hand on his crossed leg.

“Ah! Catessa! Welcome! You’re early.”

“So are you,” she returned.

“Yes. Young Cordain here arrived sooner than I expected, as well.”

The younger man looked up at Catessa and smiled a little. His sandy hair was tousled, and his ocean blue eyes were full of kindness.

Catessa turned back to Alisander.

“Who’s this?”

“Your companion, of course,” Alisander returned, inclining his head a bit toward Cordain.

Catessa turned to Cordain again and cocked an eyebrow.

“This green bean?”

“I’ll excuse your diminutive language this once,” Alisander said. “This ‘green bean’ just so happens to be the great-great-great grandson of Rosyn Celebar, who I know you’ve heard of.”

Catessa turned back toward Alisander.

“Are you kidding? This kid doesn’t look like he’s seen a single day outside of his village.”

“Cordain is as old as you, hardly a ‘kid’, and though perhaps he hasn’t seen much of the outside world, I’m sure he has quite enough courage to make up for it. Had you been out of your city before this?”

Catessa didn’t answer, just looked Cordain over critically.

“It’s nice to meet you,” he said.

She gave a sour smile. “Charmed.”

“A pleasant one, isn’t she?” Alisander said. “Please, Catessa, have a seat. The quail here is just ready.”

Catessa sat, albeit reluctantly, between the two gentlemen, and Alisander served them each a quail on wooden plates.

“You cooked three,” Catessa remarked.

“It always pays to be prepared,” Alisander said. “Besides, I knew you wouldn’t wait.”

Catessa didn’t bother asking how he knew; he’d already shown himself to be unyielding in the information aspect. She just bit into her quail and looked the old man over.

He was dressed in a long red robe, with sleeves that were long enough to almost cover his fingers, loose enough to serve as pockets if he so wished. His legs were curled up underneath him, so she couldn’t see his shoes. She’d found you could tell a lot about a person by his shoes.

She turned her attention to Cordain. He was tanned and his arms were muscular, and he wore a blue linen shirt and pants, and his leather boots had grass and dirt on the soles, but all of it was recent. He really didn’t travel much.

“What?” Cordain asked.

“You don’t go outside much, do you?”

“I do, actually. All the time. Not usually outside the town, but I’m outdoors most of the day. Why?”

“There’s only recent dirt on your shoes.”

“I prefer going barefoot.”

“Yep,” she muttered to herself, “He’s definitely an elf.”

She took another bite of her quail.

“And you’re definitely a human,” he replied.

She looked up at him with a cocked eyebrow. He just shook his head and returned to his own quail.

Catessa turned to Alisander.

“Well you certainly chose a good companionship,” she snarked.

The Last Assassin

Title: The Last Assassin
Series: The Dark War Trilogy #1
Draft: 1st

This trilogy is the project I'm most excited about at the moment. I love the characters, the setting, the plot, I just love the whole thing and I'm really excited to be able to share it with people in the future. The general storyline is that there are three countries at war with each other, and each book follows a character in a place of power in one of those three countries. All three books take place at the same time, so the planning and attention to detail necessary is really interesting, particularly since I'm not usually a planner. I've found it's very fun to have important points take place at the exact same time, even if you don't know it at first. It's really cool. You can see the trilogy's Pinterest board here.

Word Count: 65306
Release Date: 2019
Contributors: R.M. Archer, Author
Genre: ,

Synopsis:

Catessa is the king's assassin, and she has been tasked with killing the king of the neighboring kingdom, Roenor, before he invades. But is King Alleyn really behind the plans or is all of this a small part of a more elaborate plan?


Also in this series:

Excerpt:

“I told King Detren earlier today. No one else in Roenor knows, except for his adviser Nissa. I just handicapped half a crew of pirates, and now the people in the tavern where it happened are hailing me as a hero. I’m not a hero. Heroes don’t kill kings.”

Cor took her hand, his soft against hers. “You may not fit the classic definition of a hero, but I think you are one. Heroes don’t always get things right, but they understand when they’ve done something wrong and try to fix it. That’s what you’re doing.”

The Shadow Raven

Title: The Shadow Raven
Series: The Dark War Trilogy #2
Draft: 1st

Please excuse the awful temporary cover.
This is by far the one I'm most excited to write. This trilogy excites me like no other story I've written with the interconnected storylines, but when I zoom in to the individual books, this is the one I love the most. The characters are more interesting to me, the country is my favorite of the three, the main character's arc is really interesting, and it's just really exciting to me. I've posted excerpts of this one, and posting excerpts is not something I do very often, so that tells you something about my excitement.

Word Count: 34561
Release Date: 2019
Contributors: R.M. Archer, Author
Genre: ,

Synopsis:

Nissa Quail is a thief in the capital city of Roenor. After an accidental meeting with the prince, the two become unlikely friends and Nissa begins to spend quite a bit of time in the castle. After the king is assassinated, she offers her skills to the royal council, and her attempts to find the killer dig her country deeper into a war. A war, it almost appears, that they cannot win.


Also in this series:

The King’s Paladin

Title: The King's Paladin
Series: The Dark War Trilogy #3

I'm currently really torn about how I feel on this one. The main character has the potential to be the most interesting of all the trilogy's MCs... Or the most annoying. In my head she's the former, but on paper she's trying to be the latter, so we'll see how well I'm able to force her to work as time goes on.

I've also recently come across a few more characters who weren't who I thought they were or formerly didn't exist at all, and their dynamics - with each other and with the MC Coraline - are really interesting, so I think they'll be a lot of fun to write. They might even be the key to figuring out how to write Coraline properly.

Word Count: 3749
Release Date: 2019
Contributors: R.M. Archer, Author
Genre: ,

Synopsis:

The Paladin's Legacy: A blessing or a curse? To Coraline it seems to be the latter, and as she struggles with the death of her mentor and her newfound power, her country is plunged into the center of a world war. Will she be able to control her power before it comes time to use it?


Also in this series:
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