Michael Hicks


VULCAN’S FURY Is Now Available For Download

VULCAN’S FURY: THE DARK LANDS is on the street at all the major ebook retailers! Make sure to get your copy now, because the special introductory price will be going up on 10 April.

Vulcan’s Fury: The Dark Lands

Vulcan’s Fury: The Dark Lands

$4.95
Author:
Genres: Historical Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy
Publication Year: 2016
ISBN: 9781310224034
The Roman Empire, arisen from the ash and ice that covered the world after the wrath of the gods fell from the heavens, must confront an ancient evil that threatens the entire known world…
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Overview

A few thousand years after Old Rome was destroyed, the dream of the Roman Survivors had become a reality. Vulcan’s Fury, as the impact event was known, had become a distant but poignant memory of how wrathful the gods can be, and it was the duty of every Roman to see that they were never angered again. Over those many years, the Roman Empire had finally brought to heel the entire known world, save the Dark Lands. Hidden behind a barrier of smoldering volcanoes and the deadly Haunted Sea, the Dark Lands were at the heart of ancient legends among the Romans of terrible beasts, and worse, that had once feasted upon the flesh of men in the earliest days of the First Spring.

But ancient legends held no fear for Princess Valeria, daughter of Caesar Tiberius Claudius Augustus. Enthralled by reports of strange happenings along the coast and bored by the life of a young Roman noblewoman, she begs her father to allow her to travel to the coast of the Haunted Sea to indulge her curiosity. Tiberius grants her request, anxious to see her safely away from Rome, where the Senate is plotting against him. Together with her closest companions, including her enormous hexatiger, Hercules, Valeria sets off on her adventure, unaware that she has set in motion a series of events that will change the history of the Empire, and all Humankind, forever…

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Winners Announced for REAPING THE HARVEST Audiobook Giveaway

reaping-the-harvest-ACX-250Time to check your email, folks, and see if you’re one of the ten lucky winners of the REAPING THE HARVEST audiobook giveaway!

I just sent out notifications, so if you won you should have something from me in your mailbox (and make sure you check your spam folder, just in case). We had a total of 332 entrants. If you’re one of the 322 who came away empty-handed, don’t worry: remember that you can win a Kindle, Nook, or Kobo just by preordering VULCAN’S FURY – THE DARK LANDS (and I know you want to!). And after that, we’ll have more contests soon!


VULCAN’S FURY: Preorder And You Could Win An eBook Reader

Vulcan's Fury: The Dark LandsMy Latest Novel, Vulcan’s Fury: The Dark Lands, Is Now Available For Preorder!

The Roman Empire, arisen from the ash and ice that covered the world after the wrath of the gods fell from the heavens, must confront an ancient evil that threatens the entire known world…

Just as a little background tidbit before you read the book, “Vulcan’s Fury” was an asteroid impact that destroyed the ancient world, save for pockets of humans who managed to survive. The Dark Lands picks up the story a few thousand years later, with a rebuilt Roman Empire left with no more worlds to conquer, save the mysterious Dark Lands that lie across a seemingly impassable sea.

If you enjoyed the In Her Name series – Empire, in particular – I think you’re really going to enjoy this one. It’s part alternate history, part science fiction, has a dash of romance, political skulduggery and betrayal, along with a full dose of adventure that I hope will keep you suitably entertained.

The official release date is now set as 3 April.

Preorder The Book…And Be Entered To Win A Kindle, Kobo, Or Nook

Another thing that I hope will entertain you is this: I’m giving away a Kindle, Nook, or Kobo – winner’s choice – in a random drawing from among fans who pre-order the book. Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Preorder the book from Amazon, Barnes & NobleKobo, iTunes, Google Play, and Smashwords.
  2. Send a copy of your purchase receipt to my special contest email address. If you don’t send your receipt or other proof of purchase, I can’t enter you into the contest!

That’s it! Just remember, you must preorder the book and you must send a copy of your receipt to be eligible. The contest ends at midnight EST on 2 April, and I’ll choose the winner by random drawing on 3 April (launch day).

Note: You don’t have to live in the US to enter the contest. I’ll cough up the extra postage to send the prize if the winner lives overseas!

Help Spread The Love

Your help in spreading the word about books you enjoy is terribly important. So if you could, please do me a huge favor and share this page with your friends by clicking on any/all of the social share links below (obviously depending on which ones you happen to use):

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Thank you so much – I really appreciate it!

Join The Vulcan’s Fury Launch Team

I’m looking for volunteers who’d like to help blast the book to the top of the charts on launch day. Team members will get a pre-release copy of the book to read and my profuse thanks for helping me spread the word about it. Please consider joining up – just email me for details.


It’s Here: The Audiobook Edition of REAPING THE HARVEST

reaping-the-harvest-ACX-250It’s been a long wait, but at long last the audiobook edition of REAPING THE HARVEST is now available!

The audiobook is available now from Audible and iTunes, and should soon be available from Amazon, as well.

But before you buy it, why don’t you try winning a copy? From now through 14 March I’m giving away ten coupon codes for free copies from Audible! You can enter by clicking here.

I hope you enjoy it, and If you know anyone who enjoys audiobooks, please do let them know about the Harvest series!

Oh, and before anyone asks, In Her Name: First Contact is next up for audiobook production!


VULCAN’S FURY: A Teaser

Vulcan's Fury: The Dark LandsThe rough draft of VULCAN’S FURY: THE DARK LANDS is nearing completion! Of course, it won’t be published for a while yet, as it has to go through the red ink car wash of the editorial process. But it’s definitely time to start teasing you about it! Herewith is the premise of the story:

A few thousand years after Old Rome was destroyed in Vulcan’s Fury, as the ancient world’s fiery ruination was known, the descendants of the Roman Survivors finally achieved what their predecessors had not: domination of the entire known world, all save the Dark Lands. Hidden behind a barrier of smoldering volcanoes and the deadly Haunted Sea, the Dark Lands were at the heart of fearful legends of terrible beasts, and worse, that had once feasted upon the flesh of men.

But ancient tales held no fear for Princess Valeria, daughter of Caesar Tiberius Claudius Augustus, Emperor of Rome. Enthralled by reports of strange happenings along the coast and bored by the life of a young noblewoman, Valeria begs her father to allow her to travel to the coast of the Haunted Sea to indulge her curiosity. Tiberius grants her request, anxious to see her safely away from Rome, where the Senate is plotting against him. Together with her closest companions, including her enormous hexatiger, Hercules, Valeria sets off on her adventure, unaware that she has become part of a chain of events that could once more bring humanity to the brink of extinction.

And now, a small snippet (caveat: totally unedited, as yet!) from the book for your enjoyment…


The beast wove its way with great care through the lush vegetation as it stalked its prey. It stalked its prey in slow, sinuous movements, so low to the ground that the white fur of its belly brushed against the manicured grass. Its coat of black stripes against dusky orange made it nearly invisible as it wended its way among the shadows, its long fur-covered tail trailing behind it like a serpent. Through the sweet fragrance of the many flowers in bloom it could make out the smell of Man. It was a pungent mixture of sour human sweat, spices and wine on their breath, and the oil and polish used on metal and leather. Drawing in a silent breath, it could make out eleven individual Man-scents nearby. They were not prey, but obstacles standing between the beast and the one it truly sought. The prey-scent was altogether different from those of the Men, for the prey was a young human female. She, like all living things, had her own unique scent. But here, amidst the many flowers, it was difficult for the beast to locate her, for she smelled much like a flower herself.

Hearing a deep voice call out, the beast froze, its amber eyes staring through the foliage in the direction of the Man-sound, its six legs tensed to seize an opportunity to attack, or to turn and flee. One of the Men, far to the beast’s left, crashed into the greenery, calling to its fellows, no doubt hoping to have found the monster stalking them. The other Men, demonstrating far greater wisdom, remained silent. But even standing still as a stone, the Men made noise. The great beast could hear their tense breathing, whispered Man-speak, the subtle sigh of grass as they shifted weight from one foot to another, and the clink of metal on metal or the soft squeal of leather. Only one among them, the eldest and most fierce, was truly silent. Of the Men the beast now faced, he was the only one it had any reason to truly fear. The beast likely would have chosen a more direct approach to reach its prey, save for this particular Man. The others were as helpless, bleating goats compared to him, and it was the fear of this one Man that dictated the beast’s oblique approach.

Certain now that it had not been detected, the beast used the noise made by the Man beating through the greenery to mask its approach. Still staying low to the ground, it moved forward in a series of rapid but silent steps, its tail low to the ground, shifting slightly from side to side to help it maintain perfect balance. After a momentary pause to make sure it remained undetected, it made another dash to a dense hedge, beyond which lay the prize. After sinking to the ground, it slowly, ever so slowly, crept forward until it could see through the hedge. Just beyond the living wall was a large circle of grass upon which stood the humans. At their center was the prey, and beside her was the One-To-Be-Feared, the metal armor girding his chest gleaming silver in the sun, as did the helmet with the red crest. He was never far from the prey’s side, and his eyes were never still.

With a tremor of excitement, the beast saw that those eyes were now fixed on the Man still stomping through the greenery. The Man gave a startled yelp, then cried out in pain as he stumbled upon the nest of bees the beast had earlier steered well clear of during its approach. The Man crashed back through the hedge into the grassy circle, slapping at his tiny tormentors. The other Men laughed at their companion’s antics, and even the attention of the One-To-Be-Feared was riveted on the spectacle.

It was an opportunity the beast could not pass up. Backing away from the hedge, the beast quickly retreated several paces. Then, turning back in the direction of the humans, it dashed forward. At the last possible instant it leaped into the air, clearing the hedge with room to spare, before it landed on the grass on the far side. Dashing past the nearest Men, it let out an ear-splitting roar as it bore down on its small human prey, her defenders too far away now to save her.

The prey, eyes wide, whirled around and beheld the nature of her doom. She opened her mouth and screamed…


P.S. This post is part of a giveaway contest – click here to learn more!


December Update on VULCAN’S FURY

Vulcan's Fury: The Dark LandsVulcan’s Fury has been coming along nicely, and I’m on track to finish the working draft by mid-January 2016, if not before. My target is 100,000 words (that’s just a rough estimate, obviously), and I’m at 89,000 now, so we’re getting there!

That brings me to a strategic decision I’d like to get your input on. In the past, I’ve generally alternated projects between story lines. For example, I wrote Legend Of The Sword (one of the In Her Name novels), then Season Of The Harvest, then jumped back into the In Her Name universe to write Dead Soul, then Bitter Harvest, etc.

I honestly can’t tell you why I originally decided to do things that way, but after a lot of thought I’ve come to the conclusion that a better way might be to take a story line – be it something new like Vulcan’s Fury or in an existing universe like In Her Name – and just keep writing until the story line is finished (which, in the past, has typically wound up being a trilogy), then publish the sequence of books as they’re completed.

As with most things, there is good and bad news with that. The good news is that for those who enjoy Vulcan’s Fury (and I hope that’s most of my fans, because in my mind this story is in some ways akin to In Her Name: Empire), you won’t have to wait too terribly long to get the whole thing, although it’ll probably still take a year-plus, as I can only write so fast.

The bad news, such as it is, is that if I do this we won’t be returning to the In Her Name universe until after the Vulcan’s Fury story line is finished. But once we do, you’ll get a big dose of bad-ass Kreelan warrior mayhem.

Anyway, I’d appreciate any input you might have on this, so please feel free to post a comment below!

P.S. Hey, if you haven’t already don’t forget to enter the holiday giveaway contest!


December Giveaway: Autographed Redemption Trilogy Set

To help celebrate the holidays and the coming New Year, I decided to run another little giveaway for my fans! The prize this time is a complete set of the Redemption Trilogy books – Empire, Confederation, and Final Battle – autographed and with a personal dedication to the winner. While I can’t say that it’s worth anything other than the cover value of the books themselves, there are very, very few of these sets out there (maybe only two or three), so I hope this will be a bit of a treat for the winner!

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This contest is also going to be a bit different, as it’s going to be for points, rather than a random drawing. There are multiple ways to score points, like joining the newsletter (note: even if you’re already a subscriber, just sign up on the contest page again if it allows it, as that list is separate from the “real” list), sharing the contest info with your friends, or retweeting. It’s all in a few button clicks and takes no time at all.

So toss your hat in the ring and head on over to the Giveaways Page to enter! Good luck!


Pre-Production of REAPING THE HARVEST Audiobook is Complete

reaping-the-harvest-cover-new-300hI received some exciting news this morning from the narrator who’s been working on bringing the last of the Harvest Trilogy books to audiobook format: the initial cut of REAPING THE HARVEST is ready for review!

What happens now is that I have to review the entire recording and send any feedback on necessary changes to the narrator (to be honest, based on the initial cut he provided, I’ll be surprised if there are very many). I hope to have that completed by the middle of next week.

So, with any luck, we may be able to get the audiobook published just in time for Christmas! Once it goes out, it will be available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.

Keep your fingers crossed, and I’ll let you know when I have more…


Win An Autographed Copy of IN HER NAME: FIRST CONTACT

For those coming by to enter the FIRST CONTACT contest, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that for a variety of reasons I decided to end this contest early. The good news is that another contest is running in its place with an even better prize, and that ends at midnight on 31 December! So click on over to the new dedicated Giveaways Page and toss your hat in the ring!

Good luck!!


I’m In Internet Purgatory!

Well, this was a frustrating discovery that I just made today: my server was at some point blocked by ATT.net for abuse. It would’ve been nice of them to tell me (and give a reason why). Ugh. Anyway, what that means is that if you’re on att.net or one of their affiliated service networks like sbcglobal.net, bellsouth.net, or pacbell.net (there could be more, but those seemed to be the main ones), you can send email to my email address on this domain (authormichaelhicks.com), but any email I send to you – including the offers of free books and giveaways – will be blocked. I know that this affects roughly four hundred folks on my mailing list.

Needless to say, I’ve emailed the ATT.net folks in hopes of getting out of internet purgatory. In the meantime, if you never received the four free books I promised you, please contact me from the email address you used to subscribe to the list and I’ll use an alternate sending address to get the goodies to you.

As the saying goes, “It’s always something!”