Two new Thurvok stories available: The Bleak Heath and The Cave of the Dragon

Yes, this is another new release announcement. But first, I also have a promo to announce. Cause Dave of Double-Cross Lit is running another of his two-genre promos. This time around, the theme is “Questions & Answers” and the genres are science fiction and mystery. You can get thirteen e-books, two of them mine, all for 99 cents. For a list of all participating books, visit the Double-Cross Lit website.

And now for the new release announcement. It’s another double announcement for the last two stories in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series to date. Both stories have actually been out since late April, but certain stores were dragging their feet getting the books up, so I’m officially announcing them only now.

The Bleak Heath, the first of the two new (well, sort of) Thurvok stories, starts where the previous story The Forest of the Hanged left off, with Thurvok, Meldom and Sharenna on the run after saving Meldom’s childhood sweetheart Lysha from the gallows. Their flight takes them to the titular Bleak Heath, where they find even more danger. And this time around, Sharenna and Lysha get to rescue Thurvok and Meldom.

The Bleak Heath is the longest Thurvok story to date and the only one which was not written during the 2018 July short story challenge. Instead, The Bleak Heath was inspired by a hiking daytrip to the Lüneburger Heide, a heath landscape that is a popular hiking and holiday destination in North Germany. I usually visit the Lüneburg Heath once a year in late August or September, when the heath is in bloom. You can see some photos of previous visits here, here and here. The Lüneburg Heath can be rather bleak at the best of times, but last year, it was even bleaker than usual due to the extremely hot and dry summer of 2018. It is also a landscape that has inspired many writers and artists, most famously Hermann Löns. I had always planned to write a story set on the Lüneburg Heath one day. And then last year, as I was hiking across the heath, Thurvok and his friends were still very much on my mind – after all, the July short story challenge had ended only a few weeks before. And so I thought, “Why don’t I send Thurvok and his companions trudging across the heath?”

So prepare to follow Thurvok, Meldom, Sharenna and Lysha, as they dare to cross…

The Bleak Heath
The Bleak Heath by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThurvok the sellsword and his companions Meldom, thief and occasional assassin, and the sorceress Sharenna are fleeing across the Bleak Heath after saving Meldom’s childhood sweetheart Lysha from the gallows. Weary and exhausted, they are relieved to come upon a hut on the heath. But what they find inside that hut may well be more dangerous than the heath itself.

This is a novelette of 10500 words or approx.. 35 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

 

More information.
Length: 10500 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Playster, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

The second new Thurvok story, The Cave of the Dragon, is the chronologically last (at least for now), but it was actually written before The Bleak Heath, during the 2018 July short story challenge, where the aim was to write a short story per day in July 2018.

Like many other July short story challenge stories, The Cave of the Dragon was inspired by a piece of fantasy art, namely this one. And yes, I know what you’re thinking. “But there is no dragon in the picture.” And indeed there isn’t (which I had completely forgotten about, until I looked up the picture again to make a link). But as I was writing the story, I obviously decided that it worked better with a dragon than with an evil wizard.

The banter at the inn is almost unchanged from the original draft, by the way, which shows that by this point I had gotten to know Thurvok and his friends very well. And yes, in the space of a week or so, the Thurvok stories shifted from a solo adventurer a la Conan via a pair of adventurers a la Fafhrd and Gray Mouser to an ensemble cast. I actually like them better this way, though in retrospect I maybe should have come up with a different series name.

So follow Thurvok, Meldom, Sharenna and Lysha as they venture into…

The Cave of the Dragon
The Cave of the Dragon by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThurvok, the sellsword, is enjoying a meal with his friends, Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin, the sorceress Sharenna and Lysha, Meldom’s sweetheart whom the adventurers saved from the gallows, when a peasant woman asks them for help. Her young daughter Tali has been chosen to be sacrificed to the dragon that terrorises the area.

Thurvok and his friends want to help her and save Tali. But slaying a dragon is difficult, not to mention dangerous.

This is a short story of 4500 words or 18 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

More information.
Length: 4500 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Playster, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

Will there be more Thurvok stories in the future? I’m pretty sure there will be, because I enjoy those characters and like telling their stories. As for Richard Blakemore, he is a pulp fiction writer and used to writing whatever is in demand. Though for the moment, he’s busy fighting crime and penning new Silencer adventures. He’s also considering moving into science fiction, because it’s getting popular, especially with that new editor over at Astounding Stories, and Richard is always eager to try something new.

As for me, next up is Honourable Enemies, a new In Love and War space opera novel, as well as a new adventure for Two-Fisted Todd Donovan. And then, who knows?

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