It’s here, it’s here! The new novel is here!

Not only is my new screwball comedy adventure fantasy, Dungeon Breakers, out now for Amazon Kindle, it’s also available in a handy retro version — aka paperback. The Kindle version is $4.99, and the paperback $14.99 — but if you buy the paperback from Amazon, you can pick up the Kindle version for only 99 cents.

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As if you needed the reminder, Dungeon Breakers will be out for Kindle on December 9th, and in paperback shortly thereafter. You can pre-order a Kindle copy now from Amazon (USA | UK) at a special pre-order price of $2.99.

To whet your appetite, here’s the whole first chapter. Enjoy.

 

Chapter 1: DAMSEL IN DISTRESS

“What was that noise?”

It was three in the morning, and the Retchnian Royal Palace was supposed to be quiet.

“What noise?” the Princess Elvia asked, leaning back in her giant bed on one elbow as she raised the oil lamp higher over her belly. “A little to the left, there, you’ve almost got it …”

Scratch.

Between the princess’s knees, Owen’s head popped up and snapped around to stare at the door of the bedchamber. “I swear, someone’s outside the door.”

“It’s probably just my brother, Stewy. The perv’s always trying to catch a peek. Don’t worry about him. Just get back to work. It’ll be dawn soon.”

“Sorry …” Owen turned his attention back to the inch-thick iron-plate panties securing Elvia’s chastity against the very likes of him. He plucked a thin rod from behind his ear and eased it into the belt’s lock, twisting it randomly by small increments. “This thing’s a little tricky.”

“Made by the best blacksmith in the realm, to hear my father drone on and on about it. ‘No way this one’s gonna accidentally fall off, my dear daughter. Have no more worries for you honor on that score.’ Right, accidentally. How much longer?”

“Almost got it—” Snap. “Damn.”

“What?”

“Broke the pick.”

“Again? That’s like three already.”

“It’s okay. I’ve still got two left.”

“I thought you said you knew how to pick locks.”

Owen sat up and stretched kinks out of his shoulders. “No, I said I could borrow Klyde’s lock picks. He’s the one who knows how to pick locks.”

“Oh, yeah, that’s right. But you were the prettier one.”

Owen’s chest puffed out. “I work out.”

“Don’t get cocky. You don’t get that lock picked soon, I’m fine with sending for Klyde. He can wear a sack over his head, for all I care.”

Owen’s chest deflated. “You’d do that? I thought we had something special …”

“Something special? I went down to the stables looking for some ass, saw you forking manure out of a stall, and thought you had a nice one. Don’t make this out to be more than it is.”

“It’s just some fun.”

“Right, it’s just some fun.” Elvia suppressed an eye roll at his hangdog expression and brushed his stubble-dusted cheek with her fingertips. “Hey, now, I’d much prefer it was fun with you. But don’t get me wrong—it can be fun with you, fun with Klyde, fun with an oiled cucumber … doesn’t matter to me.” She patted the iron plates over her crotch. “Whoever can get this damned lock open, they get to ride.”

Owen pulled another pick from behind his ear. “I’m on it.”

“That’s the spirit.”

Scratch. Scratch.

Owen’s whole body twisted around to face the door. “Seriously, you don’t hear that?”

Elvia shook her head. “All I heard is a stable boy freaking out at imaginary noises when he should be helping me with this damned belt.”

“What if it’s your father?”

“Then you’re as dead as the seven stable boys, six assistant chefs, three guards, and one wayward monk that came before you, so you might as well enjoy your last minutes of life.”

“That’s it.” Owen swung his legs out over the edge of the bed. “I’m out of here.”

She grabbed his shirttail. “Oh, no, you’re not going anywhere. It’s not my father. Trust me, he’s still sleeping off the feast from two days ago.”

Owen grabbed a fistful of shirttail and tugged it out of her hand. “Then it’s your mother—”

“Mom’s visiting her sister. In Pupostu—a month’s journey by boat up the coast, if she doesn’t stop for every portside curio shop along the way. And you just know she’s not going to skip those. She hates her sister. The trip’s just an excuse to shop.” Elvia rolled over, putting the lamp down on the nightstand and grabbing a shiny dark green cucumber from a bowl. “Look, forget the lock.” She shoved the cucumber into Owen’s hands and rolled over. “Here, see if you can get this in through the toilette flap—”

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch!

It was a scraping at the door, metal against metal.

“See, I told you!” Owen said, hopping to his feet and pointing a shaking cucumber at the door. “I’m not imagining it.”

“Okay, okay, you didn’t imagine it.” She cricked her head to one side. “What the hell is that? It almost sounds like someone’s trying to pick the door lock …”

“It’s the guards, isn’t it?” Owen asked, shrugging into his pants.

“Don’t be an idiot. The guards wouldn’t need to pick the lock. They’ve got keys. Hmm, now there’s a thought … I wonder if any of them have the keys to this damn thing.”
Scratch. Scratch. Scratch. Click!

Owen let out a whimper and scrambled to knot his rope belt. “They’ve unlocked it!”

“Well at least somebody’s unlocking something around here.” Elvia slid out of the bed, grabbing the mace she kept handy under her pillows, and padded towards the door. “Stewy, that had better not be you,” she said, slapping the head of the mace against her palm.

The door swung open just as she reached it.

“You’re not my brother …”

A brutish-looking blue-skinned Thurk with a fluted helm and a loaded and cocked crossbow stood in the doorway. The hallway behind him was crowded with more of the four-foot tall, wolf-toothed pig-men, at least a dozen of them, fitted out in the mismatched armor of a mercenary company and armed with curved short swords and boiled-leather half shields—freshly splattered with the blood of the guards they had slaughtered while sneaking into the castle.

“Who the hell are you?”

In her surprise, Elvia had forgotten to raise the mace. The helmed Thurk standing directly before her took it from her, plucking it easily out of her hands.

She swallowed and glanced behind her at her bed. “Well, don’t just stand there, stableboy …”

“Ummm … right …” Owen slowly came out of his crouch. He flexed his muscles and laced his fingers together, cracking them. “Okay, guys, I don’t want any troub—”

Pftuft!

A crossbow bolt appeared in Owen’s Adam’s apple.

For a brief moment he stared down at it in disbelief—his eyebrows crunching together as if he was wondering how it had gotten there and, more importantly, where all that spurting blood was coming from—before he slumped forward onto the bed.

Elvia gasped. “Seriously? I just got those sheets.” Elvia turned back to scowl at the Thurks. “Did you have to do that? You know how hard it is to get blood out of six-hundred-thread-count silk?”

“Not my problem.” The helmed Thurk reloaded his crossbow. “You Princess Elvia?”

“What’s it to you, bub?”

“I am Scavange. These are Scavange’s troop. We’re mercenaries. We’ve got a contract to find a virgin of royal blood.” The helmed Thurk snapped his clawed fingers and moved aside to let a pair of Thurks shuffle forward, a princess-sized canvas sack held open between them. Scavange gestured at the sack, and his compatriots raised it to throw over Elvia. “If you please, get in the sack.”

“And if I refuse?”

“Scavange will shoot you in the knee.”

“Getting in the sack …” Elvia ducked to let the short Thurks lower the sack over her head. “Wait … did you say a virgin of royal blood?”

“Aye,” Scavange said. “The mighty necromantess Banassa requires a virgin of royal blood for her dark rituals.”

“Joke’s on her, then, bub.”

Scavange’s snout twisted into a worried frown. He gestured at the Thurks cinching the sack closed around Elvia’s ankles to stop before setting the lock in place. “What do you mean?”

Under the sack, Elvia crossed her arms and set her hips at an unimpressed angle. “I haven’t been a virgin since I was thirteen—eleven if doing it with your second cousin counts.”

“Are you trying to trick Scavange?”

Elvia jogged her head back at Owen’s body, still going through its death rattles sprawled out on her bed. “Ask yourself what a man was doing in my bedchamber at this time of night.”

Scavange’s slight shoulders sagged. “You are not a virgin.”

“Nope. You need a royal virgin, you want the next door down—my brother’s room. Nineteen years old, and he hasn’t even had the courage to stick it in a sheep. Doesn’t stop him from peeking, though.”

“Next door, you say?” Scavange snapped his claws, and the sack was whipped off of Elvia.“Sorry for the inconvenience. Please enjoy the rest of your evening. Troop … you heard the lady! March!”

“Hey, what’s the rush?” Elvia called after them as they marched away down the hallway. “Door locks aren’t the only locks you guys know how to open, are they?”

 

 


Apparently, by international fiat or something, all fantasy stories–even screwball comedy ones–need faux-hand drawn maps. So here’s the mandatory map I put together for DUNGEON BREAKERS.

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Click the image for a full sized map and if you’re in the market for new wallpaper, click here for a 1920×1080 version.

Dungeon Breakers will be out for Kindle on December 9th, and in paperback shortly thereafter. You can pre-order a Kindle copy now from Amazon (USA | UK).


Take my obsession with Crosby/Hope Road movies. Throw in a heaping tablespoon of fever dream-like memories of the 1980’s Dungeons and Dragons cartoon. Add a Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones reading/watching binge to taste. Grab my head and shake it vigorously until everything’s mixed together into a delicious frothy mix.

What do you get?

Dungeon Breakers, my latest novel.

DB

A wizard with an ego that far outsizes his actual magical skills…
A thief looking for a way to reverse the spell that turned him into a gorilla…
A warrior dwarf who strides into battle on the shoulders of a giantess…
A scout as deadly with a bow as she is strikingly statuesque…
A healer who derives her powers from a jealous demigod living inside her own body…

This unlikely band of adventurers set off on a madcap, screwball adventure through the mysterious Eastern Lands to rescue a kidnapped prince from the evil necromantess Banassa and along the way find themselves having to save the world from an ancient evil they accidentally released.

Welcome to a world far away both in time and space, where magic is real, guild-sanctioned adventuring is a way of life, and idiots can sometimes, quite inadvertently, become heroes.

Welcome to Kaigoon — the world of DUNGEON BREAKERS!

Dungeon Breakers is set to come out December 9th — but you can pre-order a copy now from Amazon for Kindle (USA | UK).


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