I hope this post finds you well. It's been some time since I've written here on the blog and checked in with you all, and I know I should be doing a whole lot better about this stuff.
The past few months have been hard and lonely for me. The daily grind of 'professional life' has taken a much bigger chunk of my mindspace than I would like and I've been letting a lot of little things get to me. It has taken a pretty big toll, but I've resolved myself to focus on moving forward.
Denton hikes through the snow of the Frostwind Mountains in search of Pristine Snowthistles.
This means getting back to the heart of why I enjoy writing and doing my best to let go of the things that have been dragging me down lately. I mean, let's face it... I have a pretty awesome wife and five amazing kids. I'm surrounded by mountains and beautiful views. And even through the chaos associated with the Covid-19 craziness, the world has kept spinning.
I can't write full time yet and sales of Second Chance have been winding down. It's even looking like the audiobook will take quite some time to pay back the production costs, but I've just got to keep at it. Keep writing stories. Keep finding a way to make time for the fans who care about Denton's journey. If you're one of those people, thank you. Every person you tell about my books is another potential fan, another reason to keep writing books in this series. I have plans for 12, but that can only happen with your help!
So, without further delay...
The Broken Blade
The Broken Blade is the second book in the A Battle Mage Reborn series and picks up after the bonus chapter of Second Chance. (I hope you kept reading after the Author Notes!) The opening scene is set with Denton trekking through the snow. Alone. With the lands surrounding Fort Morrow at his back.
His friends will be waiting for him at an inn at the end of his journey. Rosie's Respite doesn't hold a candle to Harold's Tavern, but it isn't without its own little charm. It does beg the question, though... Why set out alone in the first place?
Denton's climb, this attempt at finding the Pristine Snowthistles Margaret sent him searching for... He already feels weak and vulnerable. The Second Chance buff is gone and his soul has been weakened by the wound caused by the Necromancer's forbidden blade. Setting out on his own isn't a requirement the quest, it's just something he feels he needs to do after facing defeat in Duskmorrow Swamp.
The higher he climbs, the colder it gets. Skeletal trees stand out like phantasms in the fog and ice, and there is danger lurking in the mist. Still, he trudges onward.
It isn't until Denton has a chance encounter with an old man who reminds him that he needn't face the darkness of EndWorld Everlasting alone that he begins to understand. The meeting provides him with a new quest. Another purpose.
The man takes the next step in his journey and Denton continues onward. His friends are waiting.
Part of me wonders why this book has been harder on me than Second Chance was. Some of it is certainly tied to my relationship with the 'professional gig', but I suspect that isn't all.
Truthseeker is gone. In its place, Denton now wields the reworked remains, a short sword named Seeker. As anyone versed in the workings of real weapons would probably tell you, a broken hand-and-a-half bastard sword would likely make a pitiful short sword.
And they wouldn't be wrong.
EndWorld Everlasting is a Fantasy world, so there is some wiggle room in this, but that person wouldn't be far off even in this scenario. It should be no real surprise that Seeker is not a permanent weapon. It just has to be good enough for now.
Denton has a lot on his plate. The budding enterprise with Kenneth back at Fort Morrow is certainly something that will keep his coin low if he wants to build a thriving business. A new sword just isn't in the cards quite yet. Sometimes you have to make do with what you've got.
But the Broken Blade isn't just about a sword. If it was, the resolution to the plot of this book would be far too simple. Just give the poor guy a new blade already! Boom! Done. Sorry, not that simple.
You see, the title is also a reference to Denton, himself. To me that means this book requires a lot of me looking at my own broken parts, my insecurities, the things that make me feel sad and hopeless. If I don't look at those elements of who I am and face down my own demons, how is Denton supposed to?
Sometimes it feels like I bit off more than I can chew, but I really do think I can do this.
What can you do to help?
Well, as I mentioned above, Second Chance is starting to slide down the rankings on Amazon pretty drastically. I'm learning that the GameLit/LitRPG fanbase is a very segmented bunch. Instead of being happy about new books bringing in new readers, there is a subset of very vocal fans who only want books written the way they like them, which is fine, but those reviews seems to have much more impact.
For outsiders to the genre, that might mean never picking up a book that could have introduced them to a whole new genre of books they never knew they would have loved. How do we fix this? If you liked Second Chance but didn't leave a review, you can do so now and help show potential readers that this is a book worth investing their time in.
The audiobook has only moved a total of 137 copies as of this writing and that's with the promo codes I was able to give out. On top of that, the reviews for the audiobook edition are very low.
If you have spare Audible credits and would like to spend more time in EndWorld Everlasting and see how Adam Verner did with his narration, I encourage you to give it a listen. I think he did an amazing job!
Don't have an Audible subscription? You can click here to start a free trial and if Second Chance is the first book you listen to, Audible might just kick a few bucks my way. This, along with your honest review, would help a ton!
But what if you do have an Audible subscription and are all out of credits? I'll tell you what, I'll give free promo codes to the first three people who comment on this post. Just let me know you have an Audible sub and are out of credits and would like a code. It's that simple. We'll take it from there!
Aside from all that, recommending Second Chance to other fans of the genre would be a great help. You can also sign up for my mailing list here for more EndWorld Everlasting updates if you haven't already. And I love getting emails from my fans, so if you would like to reach me you can do so at Brady at rbradyfrost.com -- no link because, like you, I don't enjoy getting loads of spam from bots. 😉