Friday, December 6, 2013

Empires Falling, New Land Of The Khan Cover

Empires Falling, New Land Of The Khan Cover

I did not like the first cover for the Land Of the Khan short story, I did it myself and it shows. This time I have had a professional do it and it has made a world of difference. Of all the early Empires Falling short stories this one is my favorite and the  best. No one has taken the chance to read this story because of the lousy cover and that left me with two choices. Either I give it away or I change the look. I changed the look and this is your first chance to see it before the cover goes live.

I think that a year from now I will be getting more feedback than  I can deal with, but for now the feedback is slow in coming. Writing an epic fantasy series is a lonely business. Just myself and the characters and there are entire weeks that go by when they say nothing at all.

The next post will feature chapters three and four of the Speaking Demon short. Thank you for visiting my blog and please take a moment to visit the facebook page. When the first book comes out there will be rewards for the facebook followers.

Thank you visiting my site and feel free to pin the new story cover.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Empires Falling, My Moments of Doubt

Empires Falling, My Moments of Doubt

I have just published the third chapter from the short story Whispers from a Whispering Demon at Wattpad and here below. I have to admit that the last three weeks have been tough where the Empires Falling Universe is concerned.

The lack of sales for the published short stories have me worried. This thin is going to be my life for two years and if I am going to turn away then it has to happen during the next month or so or I am locked into finishing and publishing over four hundred thousand more words of this saga. Understand that it is not the sales themselves, but the number of readers that has gotten me a bit down. Who knows maybe two years from now so of you will look back on this post and think, if he only knew what was to come.
Right now I am taking a leap of faith. Hopefully you guys will be there to catch my characters as they are falling. If this was easy then anyone could do it.

Okay allow me to offer some insight into two of the characters featured I this story and their future in the saga.

Aldo has over time proven to be have more range than I thought he would. I should have known this from the beginning. He is an amazing judge of magical talent who did what every great business man should do. He surrounded himself with people who were all more skilled than himself.

Burkhard has shown me that Alchemy is not just the art of turning one substance into another, but if done slowly it can be done to the motivations of human beings as well. He is the oldest and by far the wisest of Aldo’s followers.

Now to the next chapter. Below is the third chapter of the Empires Falling short story, Whispers From a Speaking Demon.  

Chapter Three.
The tent, made from the skins of many animals, was larger inside that on the outside due to the sunken floor that angle downward toward a roaring fire pit.
The place was tight and did not seem to have any vents in the tent to allow heat to escape, but the area was icy cold.
Aldo adjusted his hood as he approached the fire. Looking straight ahead he could see no one near the fire, but he felt the presences that was glamoured beyond the fire light.
“Aldo of the Dungezi tribe.”The voice came from the figure wrapped in furs who sat bathed in firelight against a post behind the roaring flames. Long boney fingers rose to peel back fur that hid the face of the speaker who Aldo presumed to be the broker that he came to see, Betchia. When the face was revealed Aldo understood the reason, the interior of the tent was so cold.
Where Betchia's eyes should have been was a slit that seemed to be filled with thick dark blood that would neither dry up nor flow forth. It was the eye of a low demon. For centuries sorcerers had been trading flesh for flesh with low demons. Without the ability to actual possess a human being, but able to travel back and forth between realms the low demons would trade flesh so that they could blend in with the human herd. Eyes were most valued. With human eyes they saw what they called wonders and a human who took a low demon's eye could see the past, present and future.
Had he known this meeting would take place and when, Aldo wondered.
“Yes.” Betchia said as if he heard the thought spoken.”Foolish man, you travel cloaked in power and all you seek to be is a merchant when empires are to rise and fall all around us.”
Aldo never cared for those who offered cryptic words rather than saying it clearly, but he had to ask. “Which empire? Which will fall?”
“All of them and from the ashes of the old a serpent of fire will strangle all that remains. It is already too late to do anything, but watch and wait. Aldo, why not sit here and wait.”
The offer did not in the least interest him, but he did kneel down by the fire, picked up a clay bowl and dropped two gold coins inside.
“I and mine seek to trade our skills for profit.”Aldo pushed the bowl toward Betchia. Only the slightest shift in his posture suggested that he took note of the coins in the bowl.
“So be it Aldo. Age does not equal experience. You’re young will teach the old. If you would be a merchant then look into the fire and learn of what you must do.” Betchia raised a hand to the fire and the flames licked up toward the ceiling. In the moment before the column of flame dropped Aldo saw the image of a demon grappling with a man. A man losing the battle.
“A high demon seeks to possess the body of this man. His family will pay a great price to free him. Will you risk your sorceress for something as meaningless as gold?”
“When you traded your eyes, you traded some of your common sense. Gold makes the world turn. Women, steel and gold.”
Betchia let out a laugh so hollow that it sounded as if it was coming from a corpse. “This world will turn over onto itself and burn. Gold will burn. Steel will burn and women will die. The age of magic comes like a shadow in the night. Magic will turn this world and even a merchant can perform a part.”
Aldo had heard enough of this man's rants, but he stayed long enough to receive the directions to the place that they must go.
Walking back through the village he met Burkhard who stood by a street stall looking at knifes. As he got closer Aldo could see that the knives on display were of a higher quality than one would expect in such a place. Probably the fruits of some forgotten battle field.
“The others?”Aldo asked as he stopped beside Burkhard.
“Our lady is toying with the boy in the bathhouse. She wanted a private talk with him.”Burkhard said.
“I must come up with a way of recording images for future review.”
“You have a way.”Burkhard tapped the side of his head to illustrate. “In here. You remember. The last thing I will see as I am dying will be our Amelina climbing into that group bath, she talked us into the day after she joined our team.”
“We have an opportunity to make five hundred dinars.”Aldo said.
“Whom do we have to kill or raise from the dead?”
“A high demon. We have to remove one from a wealthy man.”
Burkhard shook his head no.
“Not we. That is sorcery. Fix it with their eyes they do. Trap it and pull it out into our world. Then send it back into its own world. Brando and you are wizards. I am an alchemist. Lanzo is a bite of this and that. I suppose that we knew what Amelina was when you found her.”
“Sorcery is a risky trade. One mistake and the demon that you are charming can take you. Rip your soul from body. Manifest and kill you with its bare hands.”Burkhard said.
“We are going to do this. If you want to repeat that to Amelina do so. She will laugh and do what she must.”Aldo said.
“I know. I just wish that we have another option.”
Aldo understood the feeling, but on this road tat they would travel each one of them were going to take life and death risk. Fortune and glory did not come to those who walked a safe path.

The next chapter should be ready by this time next week. Thank you for visiting and please take a moment to follow this blog. If you want to read any of the previous stories in the series they are available for purchase at .99 cents. You can find them by clicking on the story covers along the right side of the page.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Empires Falling, Speaking Demon Chapter 2.

Empires Falling, Speaking Demon Chapter 2.

The second chapter has been free at Wattpad for a week and I think that I will give each chapter a week before releasing it here. This seems fair to me.  Empires Falling, the first novel is in the rewrite process and I am still hoping for a holiday release this year, although some have suggested that I release the twelve short stories as a collection first. It would be a seventy plus thousand word collection and without the shorts it will take a while to figure out how all the characters relate to each other. I love epic fantasy, but had no idea how hard it is to pull this off. I suppose the thing that keeps me going is two or three characters that have to tell their story no matter what. Also I want to know how it will all turn out. Sounds strange, but I really do not know how it will all end. I know the story of one character from almost beginning to end, but the rest of it surprises me almost everyday. 

Here is the second chapter of the story. I can offer only this as a preview of things to come. The characters of Lanzo and Amelina are the ones who have surprised me the most. As I edit this short story there is a part of me that wants to cry out and warn them of all the trials to come. Of all the characters in the Empires Falling universe I have to say that these two will have to (Quoting Bram Stoker) go through bitter waters to reach the sweet.

Chapter Two.
Twenty minutes later Brando and Burkhard got out of their tubs and gathered their things, before they exited Burkhard stopped at the door turned and asked. “You two want us to guard the door so that you will not be disturbed?”
Amelina surprised them with her answer. “Ten minutes. We will need ten minutes.”
The two men nodded to each other and walked out.
“Get out of there and come over here.”Amelina said. “I would like you to help me get dressed. You can serve me like a lady in waiting.”
“Really.”Lanzo sounded angry. “I suppose the other ladies in waiting will be shocked by the fact that I have a few things that they do not have.”Lanzo stood up in his tub and folded his arms proudly.
“A small shock.”Amelina said and offered a complex hand gesture toward the tub that he stood in. The water in it began to heat up and bubble almost immediately.
Lanzo tumbled over the side and crawled away from the now boiling water.
She watched for the better part of a minute while Lanzo mumbled to himself as he got his pants out of his bundle and slipped them on. Then he got to his feet and began to dance and hop as he got his boots on.
“I was serious. I want you to help me to get dressed.”Amelina said.
“Yes Lanzo.”
Men were easy to lead around especially when you were near then and naked she thought as Lanzo, still bare chested, crossed the room toward her.
She had not planned on playing with him, but the way that he looked at her intrigued her. It was not with lust in his eyes as the others did, it was something closer to amazement. She doubted that she was the first naked woman that he had seen so that meant that it was something else and she did not like to be in the dark where anyone near her was concerned.
Stopping beside the tub, he stared down into it with a grin on his face.
“See something you like?”Amelina asked.
“Well I am breathing.”Lanzo smiled and before she could reach Lanzo dipped a finger into her tub for just and instance and jumped backwards.
The water reacted in an instance. Instead of thin layers of warm mist rising from the water it turned to thicker layers of frosted mist and ice crystals began to form around the edges of the tub.
The feeling of cold rose from the bottom upwards and suppressing a scream Amelina bolted to her feet as what felt like ice began to form around her toes. She threw an arm around Lanzo's neck and jumped into his waiting arms.
“What, what, what was that.”Amelina's teeth chattered as she clung to him to warm up.
“Uhhhh...”Lanzo seemed to hum as he stared down at her bare breast that had reacted to the cold by stiffening.
Angrily Amelina shoved out of his grasped. Landing on her feet she quickly yanked her skirt from the bundle on the floor and held it up to cover herself. This was not turning out at all how she had planned it.
“How did you do that to my water?”Amelina asked. She had watched him do it. Just a finger in her water and then the rapid freeze had started. She looked back to the tub and saw that it was now a solid block of ice. He had not spoken a spell or engaged in hand gesture magic as she had done to him.
“I was mad. I thought it and just did it.”Lanzo said as if that explained it all. “Can't you do the same?”
Instead of telling the truth, which was she could not imagine how to do it, she dropped the skirt from her breast and began to wrap it around her waist. The effect was as good as magic. Lanzo forgot his question and gazed at her happily.
It was clearly time to take control of this situation again. There was more to Lanzo than met the naked or the far seeing eye. A rival hid things from you while a friend shared everything. Amelina finished tying the skirt and turned her back to him.
“There is a scarf in the sack, take it out please.”Amelina said and turned her back to him. She heard him dig around for a moment in the sack and then the
red scarf was resting on her shoulder. “No. Help me to tie it.”Amelina took the scarf, pulled it tight to cover her breast firmly and waited until he took the hint by taking hold of the ends she held out and pulling them around to her back where he crisscrossed them before handing the ends back to her. She crossed the scarf once more over her breast and returning the ends back to Lanzo, and he tied a simple knot.
“What do you think?”Amelina turned to face him.
“Pushes them up, although they really don't need any help in that area. This could catch on. Maybe in leather with a hook or metal clasp.”Lanzo said. “You could call them something like milk bag holders.”
“Milk bags?”She smiled. “How old are you Lanzo?”
“My age. Seems like I am years older.”
“Maybe on the inside. People who do not laugh age inside faster than those of us who do.”Lanzo said.
“I laugh Lanzo. I just have to be careful who I laugh around. A woman like me? Well men can confuse almost everything I do with flirting.”She motioned for the next thing in the sack and Lanzo pulled her vest out of it. It was made of finely woven chain mail. The mail was silver instead of steel. It was made not for protection, but because she had found that silver enhanced her powers. It was not a wand, but it did help. Lanzo helped to fasten the vest without offering a word. She had expected him to be nervous and talk to much as nervous men usually did, but Lanzo was waiting for her to talk.
“I think that I should share a secret with you Lanzo. If you can keep it then perhaps we will be friends.”She turned to face him.
“The voice that you hear?”Lanzo said and Amelina stepped back as if she had been slapped.
“On the boat trip. At night. Sometimes you would stand by the railing and whisper. Then the voice would whisper back through you. I think that they call it channeling?”Lanzo said.
“You could have said something about that.”
“I just did.”
“You know what I mean Lanzo.”Amelina said. This was not going the way that she pictured it. He was not as off balance or as uncomfortable around her as she hoped.
“Amelina I think we should talk.”Lanzo said.
“We are talking.”Amelina said and the response he gave was the last thing that she expected to hear.
“Not me and you. Me and the one you talk to.”

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

The 4th Empires Falling short at Wattpad.

I have just published the first chapter of the next story in the series at the free site Wattpad. I plan on publishing one chapter a week over the next eight weeks until the story is published in total. I like three of these characters a great deal and the Empires Falling tale could not be told without the courage and abilities of at least one of these characters. 

Here is a picture of the cover for the story. I imagine that it looks similar to the lead female character in the story. I would change it a bit if I could, but no cover is ever perfect.

Below is the first chapter of the story I will publish it here as I do there. Plus notes about the characters from time to time.

Whispers From A Speaking Demon
Rodney Cannon

Chapter One.
The lands west of the wilderness were not the most lucrative place for a those who practiced the magical arts. The east was steeped in its ancient traditions like the Wilderness and magic of all types were practiced as a way of everyday life while the Great Western empire had built its power upon the force of steel only now they were learning that steel alone could not protect what it had won in battle. They need people like Aldo and his followers.
Amelina, Brando, Burkhard and Lanzo stood at the railing of the boat that they had purchased passage on. The cargo of donkeys and saber foxes could be smelled, even on the open sea, for miles in every direction. A five-day passage with these stinking animals had not got to waste. There were a great many minor acts of magic that required saber fox dung and blood from any low animal. Brando and Burkhard knew most of it without being taught, while the much younger Lanzo had to be taught the spells and mixes of potions again and again.
Amelina knew the magic well enough, but did not apply herself. She was young and pretty and gifted with second sight so Aldo did not press her. The war hungry men that they would be dealing with would probably be more interested in her breast than her considerable gifts. Aldo knew how gifted she was and still it took even him a few weeks to overlook the temptations of young and firm flesh.
“A storm will be waiting for us when we arrive.”Amelina said with her back to him.
Aldo stepped forward and joined them at the forward railing.
He looked off to the distant sky and tried to see beyond it. Rain and icy hail and something man made beyond that. A storm of arrows?
“Our safety?”Aldo asked Amelina.
“We will be fine.”She smiled, then turned her eyes on the other three.
“One of them will fall and one will leave our company for a time. I cannot
see which one.”
“What?”Brando asked.
“One of us is going to trip over something and fall?”Lanzo asked.
“If it is anything, but that you could have said something before we boarded.”
“You cannot run away from your fate Lanzo.”Burkhard said.
“I disagree. Destiny is written in stone only for the world changers, for the common folk like me destiny does not care if I die while eating a bowl of soup or at the hands of a blood thirsty army or between the legs of a beautiful woman.”Lanzo said. “Hell an average woman, depending upon how much wine is involved.”
Amelina stared at Lanzo for an uncomfortable moment then frowned. “Your path seems fixed. It was not fix yesterday or last week, but now it is. Now and forward.”She said.
“How is that possible?”Aldo heard himself asking. He did not want to let them know that there was something that he did not understand so he quickly added. “Please tell them.”
“There are moments when our paths narrow to one. Imagine that all paths that he has walked has lead him to a river. To go forward he must take the river and once he does then the river is in charge.”Alemina told them.
“Does this path lead to you and me together?”Lanzo smiled.
“I cannot see my own future. That said, I can promise you that it does not. Except I can see you carrying my bag in about ten minutes.”She smiled back.
It turned out that both Lanzo and Brando carried their own bundles and those belonging to Alemina and their master. This allowed both Aldo and Alemina to stroll along the dock ahead of them fully cloaked. Aldo walked with his hands tucked inside his sleeves while Alemina allowed her long lovely hands to swing at her sides.
There were few perfect pleasures in life and Aldo wished that he could have accompanied his followers to the local bath house, but he needed to find a broker of their talents that he had been told about. He glanced back only once to Amelina and wished that he could send someone else to take care of this business.
Lanzo had never been a fan of public bathing or scented water. The room filled with steaming tubs were not public, but since he would be sharing it with Brando and Burkhard it felt public. If only he could find out where Amelina was taking her bath and share a tub with her then his life would be complete.
“Those easterns made me scrub down with soap before I came in here.”Lanzo said as he peeled off his towel and quickly climbed into the steaming hot tub. The thoughts of being naked in front of others was washed away by what felt like boiling hot water. “Awwhhh . . . ”Lanzo cried out as he danced around in the tub before sinking into it with the laughter of his two comrades echoing off the walls.
Lanzo was waving away the scented steam that was stinging his nostrils and eyes when someone walked into the room. He was at eye level to the most magnificent ass that he had even seen before he realized that it had been Amelina who had entered the room.
She dropped to one knee to place a small sack down beside a tub that would be lucky enough to envelope her amazing body. Then she was up and turning sideways to get into the tub and to give Lanzo a frontal view. The reaction that he had was not burning lust as he would have expected. There were moments that made a man feel inadequate and this was one of them. Lanzo felt as if no one, least of all he should have been allow to gaze on something some amazingly beautiful. Her curves and proportions along with that beautiful face was something that should have only been able to exist in dreams.
Amelina caught his eyes, saw something other than what she had expected and quickly, almost shyly retreated into the steaming water.
“You are lucky that Aldo is elsewhere. Not a pretty sight brother.”Burkhard said.
“How about the last sight.”Brando grinned.
“Magical.”Lanzo said.

     That is the first chapter of this fantasy short story. I hope that those of you that have read the stories in the Empires Falling series have enjoyed them. I look forward to getting feedback from you guys about the short story series. 

Thank you for visiting and please take a moment to share this post and to stumble us on stumble upon. 

Last note, my offer of a free text copy of any of the first three short stories for those of you who like the facebook page is still in effect. So please take a moment to visit the facebook page. The link is on the side of this page.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Empires Short Stories Rising

Empires Short Stories Rising

With the third short story being published last week and the release of the first free story coming within the next week the Empires Falling universe is beginning to take shape. You expect an update soon of the family lines that will dominate these stories. Also I am working on a chart of the most powerful magical characters in the Empire’s universe. 


There has not been much in the way of magic or good old fashion sword play in theses short stories?

That changes in the third story of the series. Miri is one of the more powerful characters that practices magic. Below I am going to offer the first two chapter of the 8,000 word third story in the series along with link to where it can be purchased.

Understand that all the short stories so far are stand alone stories. You do not have to read one to understand what is happening in another, but you will need to read a few on them if you wish to know what is going on in the first novel of the trilogy to come. 

The First Port in the Storm
(An Empires Falling Short)
Rodney Cannon

Chapter One.

The province of Panonia still felt like a new posting after almost four years. Maybe it was the fact that the area was so vast and the common tongue was still only one of a dozen spoken by the many tribes that made up the land.
Governor Magnux Cato stood on what was called the balcony of the Governor’s palace. The place was a three story drafty old stone keep that was part of a frontier fort that had crumbled almost a hundred years before this empire claimed it. Beyond the main gates, was the edge of a marketplace that covered almost two full miles. It ended at this side of the river and picked up where it left off on the other side of the river. The last governor had tried to suppress this trading post while he offered imperial protection to it and taxed it. Thanks to a river that flowed from areas unexplored even by imperial forces and paved roads that dated back hundreds of years this little corner of the empire was a nexus for every type of trade imaginable. All that had been needed to turn this post into a gold mine was someone like him.
Emperor Cato had looked at this post as a way to bury his nephew while not lowering the name Cato in the eyes of the public. He got sent off to govern a post in a waste land while his brother got the post of general of a legion that was given the task of taming a lurker infested wilderness across the eastern seas. A place that if glory was to be won would take the better part of ten years to do so. That was unless he had more resources such as gold skimmed from the taxes of a province like this.
Magnux pushed away from the railing and made his way down the stairs to where his personal guard waited. For the palace itself he had ten former legion officers. For most of these walks he had two hand-picked locals who had taken what was called a blood oath to protect his life at the cost of their own in return for the freedom from slavery and citizenship for eight members of their family. They were brothers born less than a year apart. With their heads smoothly shaved and covered in similar tattoos they looked like twins. Their common movements and unspoken language that Revin and Kelts shared reminded Magnux of the closeness he shared with his brother.
The two tall and reed thin men stood just inside the entrance way. They carried metal shafted spears rather than swords and where amazingly skilled with the weapon. It had taken the Empire almost six years to tame this territory because of the natives and how well they used this particular weapon.
“Governor Cato.”Revin said. He usually spoke for the brothers.
“I am listening Revin.”Magnux said.
“Merchant Fostel was offered a bribe in hopes that I would be able to secure an audience with you.”Revin said. It was a refreshing change of pace to have such honesty from a servant. His deal with the man and his brother was that they were allowed to accept all the bribes that did not inconvenience him or risk his safety. The fat merchant paid his taxes, threw a feast as well as the most decadent senators he had known and the most important thing was that he got to the point.
“Permission granted.”Magnux Cato nodded. “How much has he offered?”
“Ten dinar.”Revin said.
“Ask for eighteen and settle for twelve. He can afford it.”Magnux said.
“Anything else before we start.”

Chapter Two.
She knew that the dream was ending and with it would come a return to unrelenting pain and darkness so she held onto the dream and did what she had been taught to do. She attached herself to a shadow and rode it.
This shadow belonged to a fat man in a one man fishing boat that was barely wide enough to contain his girth. He sat in the boat, with huge meaty hands he pulled in his net. A dozen or so fish twitched and struggled inside of the net.
She looked away to the shadow a cloud on the water and hopped onto it. With the shadow skimming the surface of the flowing river came the sensation of floating. A sensation that came to an ending when the cloud touched land and she found herself at the edge of a river bank marketplace. There were old docks being torn down while in the distance newer ones were being constructed. Miri moved from one shadow to another until she was amongst the common people who were busy with buying and selling. Most of the languages that were spoken here were unknown to Miri and the only way to understand those languages would have required going deeper than a shadow. The language used by the merchants that seemed to be the most prosperous was the common tongue of the Western Empire. It was not native to her, but she had been taught it as a child. There was nothing special about their small talk. Talk of money, talk of the weather, talk of wars and rumors of wars. One old woman who sold her gifts as a seer talked of the year of the flaming star. How more than ten years had passed and the seeds that it sowed had found rich soil and had been growing ever since. How the world would burn as the sky did all those years ago. Even now one of those seeds were drifting toward this littler corner of the world.
Gloom and doom was always the most popular future to order, but ever seer knew that the future was always changing. A single person could alter the entire flow of history in the same way that a rock could change the flow of a stream.
Beyond this area of commerce was a grand market that led off from the working docks toward a city of wood and brick. The marketplace was split down the middle by a paved road that went on for as far as the eye could see and at the edge of her vision there was a tall man in fine robes being escorted by two taller men both armed with spears that gleamed in the morning sunlight as if they were made of metal. As she thought to dance a path of cast shadows down along this road a stab of pain shot through her face and she woke. Woke into a world of pain.

You can purchase the complete short story at Amazon by clicking here.   

  At iTunes by clicking here   

  At B&N by  clicking here.

  At Kobo by clicking here.

Thank you for visiting my site and please take a moment to visit the Empires Falling facebook page. If you are one of the first thirty people to like the page I am offering a choice of any of the short stories for free to you. Like the page and I will send to a text copy of story 1, 2 or 3. You get to pick.

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Empires Falling, The Release of The First Port in the Storm

The third short story that will introduce more characters from my epic fantasy novel series Empires Falling has been released and show become available at Amazon and iTunes as early as tomorrow.  Below you will see the cover for the 8,000 word short story. The sale price will be .99 cents. I think I will have to revisit the lead characters in at least one more short story before they become central to the first novel. 

My first love was scifi and fantasy fiction so writing it has been a thrill for me. I know that I have promised a free short story in the series and that will be the next to be released. It is really a matter of me transcribing what I have hand written to word perfect and when doing this the story always changes and I end up discovering new things about certain characters.

Okay enough about my writing process. Below is the Blurb (back cover description) of the story published today. I cannot tell you how it all turns out, but I can say that of all the characters that I have written about Miri has surprised me most with her strength and courage.

The First Port in The Storm is the third in a series of epic fantasy short stories that introduce the characters that will populate the Empires Falling novels. In this story Miri of the Ansha is the rarest kind of practitioner of the magical arts. She is a Mystic who has had her most precious magical gift stolen with the removal out of her eyes. Her eyes were given in payment to the witch who found a way to capture her. Now blind and on a river journey to an unknown place she is at the mercy of a sadistic captain who beats, rapes and brutalizes her as often as he can. Nearing the first port since this journey began Miri must risk all in a last chance at freedom through escape or death.

Okay that will be it today, please stumble this page on stumble upon and take a moment to visit the Empires Falling facebook page. It is new and so far has had not many visitors. You can visit be clicking here.

You can purchase the story at B&N by clicking here.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Empires Falling, New about The First Port In The Storm Short

This will be a quick post. The next story in the series of twelve will be up for sale probably next weekend.

The story is titled The First Port in the Storm.

The port mentioned is near the palace that houses Governor Magnux Cato, the nephew of the sitting Emperor. The boat arrives holds a prisoner that if she lives can play an important part in the events to come. The prisoner is named Miri and she is the first of the character that I will introduce who's trade is that of the magical arts.

 The cover on this story is shown below. The image is how I see Miri at this point. You can conclude by the cover that this young woman has suffered a great deal during her capture and confinement. I can safely say that this is the bloodiest of the three short stories that has been released so far. It is the first one that I would give an R rating to. I have to say that the tone and content does reflect what you are going to find in the Empires Falling trilogy of novels.

After this story there are two more concerning characters and events in the Western Empire. Two more that will concern the eastern empire and then the rest will introduce the territories populated by those who are called Lurkers and one story about the once great empire to the north.

 I hope that those of you who have purchased the first two stories have enjoyed them. I did promise a free story would be available soon and it will be the next one after this to be released. I will release it chapter by chapter here and at Wattpad.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Publishing, The Land of the Khan

Today I have just published the second story in the series of shorts that have been written to support the novels. The short (almost 6,000 words) is titled The Land of the Khan and it features two of my favorite characters in the Empires Falling Universe; Kiylah and Zed. I know some much about the future of these character and their part to play in the over all story. I could have named the second book in the three book Trilogy Kiylah and in a way I did since her name translates Fire Serpent. About The Land of the Khan, you can find it at B&N, Amazon and iTunes for the low price of .99 cents. Click here

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I am going to show you guys the cover of the second book in the series for the next thirty days because I really want someone to see it. If you want to know about the cover for book one in the series I have not decided on the art work yet.

There is a great deal of magic and supernatural elements to be revealed in the next two shorts stories. The good news about the next one to be released in the series of stories is that it will be free of charge. I will post where it will be published soon.

I have to say that writing a fantasy epic has been a life long dream of mine. Characters that make up one of the three Empires have been with me for over twenty years. It took the idea of telling a
story that affect an entire world that sort of allowed me to bring those characters to life again.

If I can talk about one of the strongest influences on my story telling style I would say that it has to be the amazing sci-fi series Babylon 5. That show and its writer J. Michael showed me how to tell a story where the characters grew and changed over time. How motives and ambitions are altered by circumstances. No matter how complex a plot you can come up with or vast a canvas you can create it will always come down to characters and how they drive the story. Keeping in mind always that no character is absolutely good or evil. That humans, no matter what drives them, believe on some level that they are all the heroes of their own life story.

Thank you for visiting this Blog. Please take a moment to share this post and to tell someone about Empires Falling and if you only read on of the stories I would strongly suggest Land of the Khan. That is the one that I like to read over and over again. Editing over a thousand words out of it was the hardest edit of my life.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Empires Falling, Cover Art

The first of the three novels in the series is still months away from being published. I have complete control over when the short stories are published, but the novels are still being edited. If I had to offer a guess I would say that the first book will be out in all possible formats before December first. Missing the holiday season with any product is not a good thing. 

Right now I am looking over the first of the possible book covers. In the end I will be the one to make the final choice of covers.  The problem with posting the covers now would be that they would act as spoilers for a few of the short stories coming online soon. 

Here is a portion of the cover for the second book.

I can say this much about the story as a whole, it will show a health respect for magic and the supernatural. Readers, I hope, will be reminded of Arthur and his Knights of the Round table at times. Those amazing stories were firmly grounded in reality, but managed to introduce magic and the supernatural without breaking away from that reality. 

I have hinted at in previous post and will go over again that this is going to be a world of three empires that are fated to clash. Empires that will resemble those that existed at different times on our world.
The Western Empire mirrors the Roman Empire and it like Rome will depend heavily on its armed forces. They trust to the sword more than magic.  The Eastern Empire mirrors in some ways that of ancient China and feudal Japan. Myths and legends are part of everyday life. The island empires, the empire of the wilderness. The Empire of those called Lurkers resemble the Vikings and the Goths. They seem like barbarians to outsiders, but have laws and rules of conduct that are sometimes move civilized than those of the other kingdoms. The Lurkers depend upon magic and worship of ancient gods more than the other Empires. They are most likely to die willing in battle in the name of their gods or by the urging of their priest. In their society the high priest is almost equal to an Emperor.

Okay that is it for this post. I would like you to share this site on Stumbleupon and visit our facebook page by  clicking here.   

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Story Excerpt, Empires Falling - Land of The Khan

First I would like to show you guys a first look at our Logo for the series. In weeks to come I will show the cover for the first of the books.

Next I have been asked for an excerpt from one of the stories and since this is going to be the next to be published, two weeks from today on iTunes and Kindle I will give you guys a first chance to meet the most important character in the Eastern Empire. Her name is Kiylah Khan.


Land Of The Khan

(An Empires Falling Story)


Rodney Cannon

Chapter One.

It was called in the old tongue the Walk of fire, a seemingly endless corridor that circled and circled beneath the palace city of the Khan. The keepers of this place called it what it would have been called in most places, the hall of records.

The man who had been in charge of this place for the better part of thirty years had spent the first sixteen years of the job occupied by the daily routine and dealing with those who came and went from service down here amongst the corridors and the lanterns. Then came the season of the red star. A blood red star gleaming in the night sky for two months while all awaited two of the emperor’s wives to give birth. One wife, Kushi, gave birth to twin boys. Twins were very rare and both of them being boys was even more so. The fact that Kushi had died while giving birth was consider even more of a omen of good fortune for the two boys. They had enter the world by taking a life.

The other birth had been to the emperor’s first wife, Bayarmaa, a woman past the age of thirty having a child was as impressive as the fact that a man who had twenty two wives at the time still laid with the first one. The child was a girl and the night that she came into the world a day after the boys were born the star turned white and became a part of the night skies. Three months later one of the boys died just before his naming day. In other lands children were named at birth, but here it was tradition to do so on the first day of the forth month. The boy that lived was named Bataar which meant in the old tongue land slayer. The girl was given the name Kiylah, which meant fire serpent.

Chuluun, the keeper, knew all of this because it had been his job to file this information in the stroll library and to have it painted on the stone walk that covered the center of the path that himself along with his workers were forbidden to walk upon unless repairs need to be made to the walk or images added. No one in living memory had walked the painted images expect the visitor who appeared for the first time nine years ago.

The sound of scampering feet had proceeded the arrival of the beautiful child who had almost run into him at midnight those many years ago. The child had been born five years before and when he saw the gold bands in the shape of thorns that held her long oil dark hair in place he knew who she was. The exception to the rules down here was that any member of the Khan’s family could walk the path. After all they were the path.

Kiylah had been followed close behind by a tall dark skinned boy who wore the pale blue uniform of a Kulahan, a horse soldier. He would soon learn that the young man was named Zed son of Zed the Wind axe. The boy, exactly ten years older than the young princess was her hand chosen protector and only friend. She had wanted to know the stories of her blood and Zed had taken her to the place where she could learn them all. That begun a four year run of visits from the girl and her protector. Arriving always long after all of the other workers had gone home one the first day of each week the three of them would walk the path and Chuluun would tell the stories of each emperor’s rule and the times that he or rarely she lived through. Zed would sometimes ask question concerning battles and how they were won and lost. The princess was interested in the political aspects. Concerning herself most with the two times during the last two hundred years that the city fell into enemy hands. How the people were treated. Well he had to tell the truth even to a seven year old at the time. He told her that both times they were brutalized. Many were killed enslaved and of course the women were raped. The palace was sacked and the hall that she visited only survived because the place had a natural defense. If it was threatened then it could be flooded with sand, in sections or completely. The last time it happened it took almost a year for a small army of slaves to carry off all the sand.

Their time together as a trio ended shortly after Kiylah reached the age of nine. One of Kiylah’s fifteen older brothers got in an argument with her. He decided that the best way to win that argument was to choke her to death. Being twice her age and twice her size he would have been successful in not for Zed, who if the reports of the slaves who were close by could be believed, had ripped the brother’s right hand off and used it to choke him to death with it.

The rest of it only three living people could tell of. The princess Kiylah and Zed had fled to these halls. Once there Kiylah had asked, not order, but asked Chuluun to help Zed to escape the palace city.

An order would have protected him better if someone discovered any of what would happen, but he was pleased that her highness respected him enough to ask. Rules who asked rather than ordered were destined for long rules.

Chuluun stood in the shadows while the young people said good byes that did not give him the sense that it would truly be their last words to each other.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Is This Story Set OnEarth.

Is Empires Falling Set on Earth.  

Empires in this story will resemble those on earth at different points in its history.
The world where this story is set is not our earth although it may be an earth. An Earth
that still walks the line between stark reality and magic. Magic is as much a part of every
day life as science. They are both accepted facts.

Every court has a Mage or a wizard present. None are completely trusted but all are needed to defend against others. Magical forces are the equal to stealth weapons in their world. The most commonly used magical device on their version of earth is a whispering orb. A small crystal ball that can be used to send messages over a great distance. Each orb has one or two mates that they are bonded to. These balls allow one to speak a message into one and have it heard through the other. If the mates are destroyed then the remaining orb goes dim. (Note, the only time in recorded history that the dim orbs came back to life was during the last night of the flaming star, when all of them burned fire red like the star and whispered a single word before they went dead again, that word was Kassar. translated from the first tongue means Fire God.)  

Magic has rarely been used to cause death and only the rarest form of white magic can restore life.

There are three standing empires on this world and one growing on when the story begins.

The central and most powerful one is the Mycen Empire. It mostly resembles ancient Rome and has been ruled for over fifteen years by Empire Gassus Cato as the story begins. His empire possesses the largest standing army ever assembled and controls the entire western corner of the world. It is border to the north by frozen wastelands where mountain tribes and a once powerful kingdom that carved its palaces out of crystal and ice once existed. At it eastern borders is a vast sea and beyond that sea is the great eastern empire.

The Eastern Empire. This is the Empire of the Khan. Once this empire controlled all the eastern lands and parts of the western territories as well. Now after over a hundred years of in fighting and neglect this empire is ripe for the picking. Kingdoms that it once ruled now plot against the Empire's capital and the family that has ruled for over five hundred years. At the time the story begins Nabartar Khan sits the throne. A reluctant warrior king who would rather negotiate with his enemy than crush them.

To the north there are a series of islands that have become over populated by hundreds of tribes the rest. These tribes share a common language and are called by those living in the western and eastern empires Lurkers. They are forever lurking near docks and water ways. They would resemble the ancient Goths. Brave and enduring they are looked upon as barbarians by those who do not understand their ways.

There are whispers of a forth kingdom to the north, but a desert of ice coated sand has kept the truth of what waits there hidden for centuries. It will not be until book two that any of what waits there is revealed.

These Empires will clash in an epic struggle that is driven by greed, survival, hunger and blinding ambition. A struggle that will cost countless lives and crown a ruler of a united world empire.

Monday, July 22, 2013

What is Empires Falling

Empires Falling is a dark fantasy epic that will be told over three full length novels and twelve short stories. This central character of this saga will be introduced in five short stories to be published in the ebook format. The first novel of three will follow there after. The title of the first novel in the series is What Lurks In The Wilderness.

This blog will cover many things not covered by the books or short stories. It will give you a history of the main characters and offer excerpts from the books and short stories.

Let us begin with the most important character. This is the time of Empires and of course of emperors. As the saga begins the Emperor is Gallus Cato.

Gallus Cato is a man who won the throne through force of arms. As the highest ranking general of the former Emperor's legions he seized power from a sickly ruler almost fifteen years before the telling of this story begins. He assumed the throne at the age of thirty two and quickly consolidated absolute power over an empire in turmoil by marrying his sister off to a cruel hearted rival. Cato practices a policy of never allowing his armies to become weak by constantly sending them off to invade and claim new territories. Being the same kind of emperor that he was as a general he shares the wealth of conquest with his officers. The emperor does not have a wife or an heir. Six years into his rule he married for political advantage a woman who would die while giving birth to a child who also died shortly there after. Since then he has relations with servant women around the palace and enjoys the spoils of battle during the times he can get away to lead his arms. War is the only place that has ever felt like home to him.

Closest to the Emperor is his younger sister Julia Cato, formerly Julia Cato Praxus. She is twelve years younger than her brother. She was once a great beauty in her youth, but marriage to a man that brutalized her in every way possible left her bitter, cold hearted and unable to bare children. Despite being the one who sentenced her to a marriage that turned out to be a living hell, Julia loves her brother and is his most fierce protector. She knows that she can never rule the empire, but wants to be the Hand.

There are two other members of the Cato family. Cousins, one serves in the legions and the other as the governor of a small frontier trading outpost. They will be introduced in book one of the series.

       EXCERPT from the short story Hunting The Hand: (available now at iTunes and Amazon)

The death cry was so short and sharp that only the few birds that took flight
and Tresaha took notices of it. She stumbled with Varia leaning on her as they ran, but she regained her pace and kept going. If Varia had heard it then their race would have been done. Her father meant everything to the girl. Protecting Varia was now the only thing that mattered. She could not fail Halen in this regard. The sound of running water was near. The smell of it was in the air and a direct line through the woods would have been the best way to go, but Varia was not going to be able to handle that run so they stuck to what looked like a deer trail.

They were east of the imperial palace which meant that the river would be taking anything that fell into it toward the palace and the guard stations that watched the water way. She had seen that river from bridges and balconies, and it was wide and rapid. Tresaha had gone bone bare swimming with Varia last summer and the girl was such a good swimmer than she had not only swum circles around Tresaha but had disappeared beneath the water for the better part of two minutes before resurfacing with a giggle. Tresaha doubted if there would be any laughing today.

The woods had suddenly gone quiet. The sound of life had been all around them when they entered these woods, but the only sound that Tresaha could hear now was the sound of their own run. Twigs and branches being broken as they moved and then in the distance there was something else. A tree branch broke and then sets of racing feet coming their way. Halen had not been enough. The emperor's hand was the target, but there could be no witnesses left to what happened to him. Common assassins could have been sent, but men talked. When black magic was involved only the one who conjured it could tell. Those creatures were going to tear them apart if the river was not enough to save them. Tresaha had been told countless stories about evil spirits and most of them involved the fact that they could not enter holy places and could not cross running water.

Forever, it was breathing, stumbling and pulling along someone who was proving to be stronger than Tresaha thought possible. Varia was from many generations of wealth and privilege and there should not have been any wells of strength and determination to dip into, but Varia was finding strength from some source and forcing herself to go on. When something maybe a hundred yards behind them howled so hard that it rattled leaves from the trees overhead Varia did not hesitate or even seem to take notice at all.

Ahead was the sound of running water.

Behind was the sound of creatures leaping and flowing along a path a quickly as if they were composed of nothing more substantial than air.

A broken series of branches and there it was a river racing along faster than Tresaha remembered it. Under other circumstances she would have been afraid to ride that river if she had been dead center of a long oared boat. The clearing was smooth and down hill toward the river. They broke free into the open and Tresaha reached for the dagger than she wore in a sheath along her right thigh. Her slingshot would have been a better weapon, but there was no way she could pull it along with a ball then load and fire without being taken out by the second or third animal that was chasing them. That was if her sling would have had any affect on the animal. The guards that came with Varia had swords and it seemed that these creatures had gone through them.



Tearing up chunks of earth as the chase became desperate from creatures that did not fatigue or lose the smell of their prey. Someone watching from a distance would have seen the two girls running stride for stride along side each other with a matching of each others movements that seemed rehearsed over many years together rather than born minutes before from desperation. The two huge black beasts that at a distance certainly looked like dogs, but moved with a perfectly repeating motion that would have put to mind the movements of a man-made machine. They seemed to be driven by moving parts rather than muscle and pounding organs.

It seemed as if the girls would be caught and ripped to pieces about five paces from the river, but the dogs slowed down as if afraid to get too close to the water and that gave the two girls just enough time to dive toward the river. With one of the dogs snapping at Varia and tearing away a long strip from her gown.

The relief of going airborne toward the following water was short lived when the coldest substance that Tresaha had ever felt in her life swallowed her whole, twisted her around and spat her back to the surface. The ice cold current took her and flailing around with both hands she grasped something that felt like cloth beneath the surface of the water and yanking hard Varia surfaced with an ear piercing screaming. The cloth had turned out to be a fist full of Varia's hair. Tresaha exchanged her fist full of hair for a fist full of shoulder cloth. They could not lose each other in this churning water. She let the water spin her as Varia tugged at her collar. The spin was enough to see the shore line and the two dogs were trotting along the bank after them. The speed of the water was enough to put some distance between them and as long as they did not come out on that side of the river maybe their escape would be successful. Then again Tresaha was treading water as hard as she could, but every few yards the water rose up over their heads and they were beneath the surface of the ice cold river. Making matters worst they were getting heavier. Water was weighing down their clothes. It was going to sink Varia like a stone if they could not get rid of some of the girl’s garments, but at the moment all she could do was hang onto Varia and try to time the waves.

Available at iTunes And Amazon