Ed Burnhelt does what is hard.

Ed is one of the main characters in the upcoming “The New Players” novel, Book 3 in the series.  He hails from the advanced and isolated nation of New Grelland, and is the youngest member of a powerful and influential family.

He is gifted with Flames of Tumult that generate within his body, which grant him hyper speed and strength, and the capability to think faster than most computers.  He can also vent the electric fire from his eyes.  He is also a skilled duelist, wielding his deceased mother’s sword.

But there are draw backs to this power.  He had to spend a year in sensory deprivation to accustom himself to his enhanced perception of time.  His fellow Grells fear him, seeing an unstable weapon, rather than a person.

All of this was by design, not chance.  His family engineered his lot in life, knowing the consequences it would inflict on him.

They had to.

Corsis always lurks on the periphery.  And the Burnhelt’s need every advantage they can get to fight him.  It will not be easy, but Ed has spent his life girding himself for the trials to come.

He does what is hard.

James McGowan Reader Group- LitCon Weekend

Howdy, all. LitCon is this weekend.  If you’re interested in taking a look at the works of other indie authors, feel free to take a look at their site and the Youtube channel.  I’ll also be participating in a panel or two. Also, check out the books on the LitCon 2021 Giveaway.  Cool stories await!
LitCon.org LitCon on Youtube LitCon Book Giveaway
Players of the Game Artist Spotlight
I work with a few artists for cover and website content with my Players of the Game series.  Mikhail Palamarchuk is especially good, and I’ve featured a few of his finished works in the past.

I’ll provide him a description of a character along with images that match the vibe of what I’m wanting.

Here’s a great example with Violet.  She’s a Skin Bot, an android-type character who appears in the upcoming New Players novel.  First, I get a rough sketch:
Then I give Mikhail feedback, and he provides me iterations based on my notes to arrive at the finished version.

I have him give me a variety of styles, either a higher-detail airbrush style, or a lower-detail comic book style. 

The finished version of Violet is the latter. Mikhail’s stuff is just plain rad.  That’s right.  Rad.
You can view more of his even better stuff including several of my Players of the Game characters on his ArtStation page.
Mikhail Palamarchuk’s ArtStation Page
That’s all for this time.

Stay smart.  Stay safe.


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James McGowan Reader Group- Looking Down the Road

Howdy, all.

Much of my neck of the woods got the deep freeze treatment for the past few weeks.  If you were affected by the polar vortex in the US, I hope things have gotten better for you as time has gone on.  Things seem to be getting better as somewhat warmer temperatures creep back in.

As spring peeks around the corner, I have a positive outlook for the future right now.  After months of being cooped up indoors with the cold, and many months more of doing the social distance thing, I am hopeful that things might get back to some form of normalcy toward late summer and fall.  More vaccines appear to be ramping up in the US, which is a welcome development.

I will be attending another virtual round of LitCon in early March (5th through 7th).  Check out their site.  It’s free to attend.  I have a virtual booth in the fantasy section.  In April, I’ll be attending the Nebraska Writers Guild virtual conference as well. 

On top of that, I’ll be releasing The New Players in March or April.  It will focus on new characters who must contend with Corsis and his ally, Hekati the Unmaker.
Players of the Game Character Spotlight: Hekati
Hekati has many guises.  The cyborg goddess is but one.  She cultivates flowers that twist bodies and minds to her will.

She is featured prominently on the upcoming New Players cover.  More on that next month, or you can get an advanced peak of it on my LitCon virtual booth with the link above.
Recommendation Corner

This Pixar movie came out last March just as the pandemic was really hitting the US.  It’s a shame that it didn’t get more recognition.  My wife and I recently watched it on Disney+.  It takes place in a world populated by mythological people like elves, satyrs, and centaurs where magic was shunted aside by technology because tech is easier.  The plot focuses on two elf brothers voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt who go on a quest involving their deceased father.  If you want to see a buddy/brother movie with Spider-Man and Starlord (or at least their voices), check it out.

Autonomous by Amalee Newitz

This novel takes place a few hundred years from now where nations appear to have reorganized in alignment with giant pharma companies.  Human life has been extended, but inequality still reigns with designer medicines largely unavailable to the larger populace.  One main character, a female rogue scientist named Jack, tries to help the downtrodden with free medicine that she pirates from pharma companies.  She finances it with her side business of selling recreational drugs, but that goes wrong when people start working themselves to death as a result of a side effect of a drug she pirated.  Eliasz, a stoic government agent, hunts for her while having an increasingly confused working relationship with his robot partner, Paladin.  It’s a believable future that could totally come to pass.  Good stuff.
That’s all for this time.

Stay smart.  Stay safe.


Click here to view the original format.