“Taghri’s Prize” is published!

My new fantasy novel, “Taghri’s Prize”, is now available in e-book format on Amazon.  A printed version will follow as soon as the cover is ready.

The blurb reads:

Taghri has left the Sultan’s army to seek his fortune – and he seizes opportunity when it knocks. In the confusion of a pirate raid on a trading caravan, he kills their leader and captures their ship. The vessel is now his prize of war… but some prizes may be more trouble than they’re worth!

Nestled among the gold coins in the captain’s cabin is a stolen Temple sacrificial knife, whose Goddess is now paying close attention – too close! – to its new owner. Among the slaves he’s freed is a princess, formerly being held for ransom, who comes with political and personal intrigues all her own. Even if he survives the attention of both, there’s also a pirate lord out there, hell-bent on avenging the death of his son.

It’s going to take all of Taghri’s skill, experience and cunning to survive winning this prize!

I had a lot of fun writing this novel, beginning with its setting.  In an author’s note to the book, I wrote:

A year or so ago, I was pondering the idea of writing another fantasy novel. I mulled over several potential scenarios, plots, and so on, but couldn’t find one that really caught my imagination. Then, one night, I woke up unexpectedly in the small hours of the morning, thinking, “What would the Middle East have been like if Mohammed had never lived, and Islam had never arisen?”

The next morning, I began research into pre-Islamic Arabia and surrounding territories. I had previous exposure to the southern Red Sea area (Yemen, Ethiopia and northern Somalia) in the 1980’s, and I’d been to Morocco, but I didn’t know much about the Persian Gulf. I read as much as I could find about pre-Islamic cultures and systems of belief (which wasn’t very much), and began to develop the plot for this book.  I used all three areas and melded them to create my fictional world, rather than rely on only one; and I moved it a millennium or so into the future, to allow the use of relatively primitive firearms.  The names of the gods mentioned in this book are all based on those mentioned in pre-Islamic literature, although I’ve no idea of how they were worshipped or whether they had orders of priests or priestesses serving them. I used my imagination.

More good news:  the first Western in my Ames Archives series has now been republished in a new e-book edition.  “Brings The Lightning” is now available on Amazon.com.  It’ll be followed later this week by the second volume in the series, “Rocky Mountain Retribution”.  As soon as both e-books are up and running, I’ll prepare the new volume in the series, “Gold On The Hoof”, for publication.  It’s complete and ready to go.  Look for it in the second half of August.

As always, if you enjoy the book, please leave a review on Amazon.com.  Independent authors such as myself stand or fall on attracting reader interest, and your reviews are a very large part of that, both in quantity and in quality.  Also, I’ll be very grateful if those of you with social media accounts – blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Gab and so on – would please mention the new book there, so as to spread the word to potential readers.

Thank you all for your patience as I worked through a period of poor health, to come out writing furiously on the other side.  I hope that won’t recur.



  1. I'm really sort of surprised that Castalia let you go. It's not like they have a really deep bench. They'll miss the earnings off your books. But more for you!

  2. It's not so much that Castalia let me go, as that they changed their business model. They're focusing on properties they own, including all the rights, that they can use to develop games, comics, even movies in the future. Authors like myself, who retain most of those rights, obviously don't fit into that model; so Castalia very generously (and without any prompting or arguing) offered us our rights back, to allow us to pursue our own best interests while they pursue theirs. It was very fair and honest of them, far more so than one would expect from any other publisher. They'll continue to produce hardcopy versions of some of my books for the foreseeable future, and we continue to have a good working relationship.

  3. Bought. I can't actually read it until this evening, so we'll see how things go.

    I have Moth & Cobweb in hardcopy, and Castalia's hardcopies are really well produced and worth the premium price, IMO.

  4. @Tsgt Joe: I don't know if they'll update, but it's not necessary – the new editions are not changed in any way, just from a different publisher (i.e. me). I didn't change the story.

  5. Yay! Bought the Prize, but it will be a while before it comes up in the reading stack. I'm glad to hear Castalia is doing the right thing for you – that seems to be pretty rare now in the publishing world.

  6. Well rats, I'd hoped they would have talked you into working with them to do a movie version of the Ames books. I'd pay to watch a good western in the John Wane style without modern propaganda stuffed behind every cactus.

    Aside from the movie's property guy going slightly nuts trying to secure the proper weapons to fit the stories I can't see any reason your work wouldn't easily translate to the screen.

  7. when i read this i went to your amazon author page and Taghri's prize didnt show up there. I was able to get it through the link above though.

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