jpskewedthrone: (Vacant)
I'm happy to report that the Well of Sorrows series has gained new life. The first two books in the trilogy--Well of Sorrows and Leaves of Flame--were originally published by DAW Books under my pseudonym Benjamin Tate, but due to slow sales (for various reasons), DAW decided to drop the series after publishing the second novel. I'd already written the third book, however, so after regaining the rights to the entire series from DAW (who were extremely cooperative), my agent went out shopping the series to potential publishers. We got some interest from Baen, who wanted to publish the first two books in ebook format to see how they did in terms of sales. If they sell well enough, then they'll potentially publish the third (as yet unreleased) novel Breath of Heaven. So for all of you who'd like to see that third book reach print, send all of your friends out to buy the first two books in the series now! You can buy them as well, of course, but I assume that you already have copies from DAW, or you wouldn't be interested in the third book at all. Thank you for your support of these books early on, if you've already got the DAW copies. If you do have the books and have read them and enjoyed them PLEASE stop by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc., and write a review of the books. The reviews really matter in terms of getting the books noticed by the retailers. (Even if you wrote a review before, you'll need to repost it, since these are being released under my real name, not the pseudonym.)

And if you DON'T already have copies of the books . . . well then check them out from Baen! Baen is offering them in ebook format only at the moment (again, good sales may equate into paper copies being published), and they have them in all formats. They even have a bundle of the two books available. I've included links of all of the books below for various places. Please check them out and share the links around on your social media pages. Let's see if we can't convince Baen that they REALLY, REALLY want Breath of Heaven to see print!





Well of Sorrows: Baen; Kindle; Nook.





Leaves of Flame: Baen; Kindle; Nook.

Bundle: Baen.

****************

If you'd like copies of the first two books in paperback, I do have some of the DAW versions available (limited numbers) from my own personal stock. You can order them at the Zombies Need Brains online store here: https://squareup.com/market/zombies-need-brains-llc.
jpskewedthrone: (Default)
I just had to share this great review of my book Well of Sorrows by Bill Capossere over at Fantasy Literature Reviews, especially since the sequel Leaves of Flame is set to hit the bookshelves in another week. (It's probably on some bookshelves actually, but you can certainly preorder it.) Please link to the review or this post! You have to scroll down the page to the review at the bottom if you go directly to the site, but here's the review in its entirety.





One’s enjoyment of Well of Sorrows, by Benjamin Tate (pen name of Joshua Palmatier) will depend greatly on two issues: one’s patience for slowly developing stories and the amount of “fantasy” one is looking for in a fantasy novel. But by all means, give this book a try. It turned out to be one of my top ten fantasy reads of the year, though having been released in 2010 it can’t go on my official list for 2011. It can, however, go on my “Why do I start reading compelling series before they are completed; will I never learn?” list.

The story’s opening setting is Portstown, a “New World” colony still riven by old “Family” feuds from the mother kingdom across the ocean. In short order, things fall apart and after a quickly quelled riot (starkly, realistically violent and well-handled), the out-of-favor Families end up on a forced emigration, forming a wagon train heading out into the unexplored/unsettled plains. With them are the main characters — a young boy named Colin; his fiancée, Karen; his parents; and Walter, the local Lord’s son and representative, who has been brutally beating and tormenting Colin for some time back in Portstown. We follow their movement across new lands, past a geographic obstacle known as the Escarpment, and then we watch their first contact on the upper plains with several groups: first the Alvritshai, led by a young heir to one of their Houses, Aeren; then the Dwarren, and finally the horrifying Shadows.

After a surprisingly dark turn, the book skips ahead several decades to a transformed Colin, one now able to wield a form of magic associated with the titular Well, magic which has basically allowed him not to age but which has also come at some cost and possible threat to his humanity. Many of the characters from the first 200 pages are long gone (a real risk on Page’s part), though the Alvritshai being a long-lived race, Aeren is still alive and eventually becomes Colin’s close companion, blooming into a major character in his own right. The rest of the novel, another 300 pages or so, deals with two eventually intertwined issues: the hostile and combustible relations between the three races — humans, Dwarren, and Alvritshai — and the growing threat of the Shadows and Wraiths to all three races. A threat that few beside Colin seem willing to give credence to and a threat that Colin, thanks to his use of magic, is uniquely positioned to do something about, though not without personal cost.

That’s not a lot of detail, but I really don’t want to give much of the plot away. As mentioned above, you’ll need to be a patient reader for this one. This is a novel that really takes its time, unfolding slowly yet engrossingly. In its pacing, its level of detail, its quiet use of magic, Well of Sorrows reminded me a lot of some of Robin Hobb’s work (not in any derivative sense), which for me is great praise. I was pulled into the story from the start and while I recognized its slowness, I reveled in the pace rather than chafed at it. Not once did I feel the urge to skim or skip ahead; not once did I bemoan the lack of a stronger-minded editor. It was a long, slow book and it was just as long and slow as it needed to be. I wouldn’t be shocked to find some people, maybe even a lot, thinking it too slow, but definitely give it some time to see if its pace wins you over.

The other possible issue for some fantasy fans is the delayed arrival of the “fantasy” aspect and the relatively restrained amount of “fantasy.” Until one meets the Shadows, almost 200 pages in, it may as well be an alternative historical novel retelling the story of Jamestown (not literally or exactly, just the basic idea) and then the story of the Oregon Trail. Even then, and even with Colin’s transformation into one who can wield powerful magic, the fantastic elements remain light. The Dwarren are obviously dwarf-like (smaller of stature, living underground), but they are not dwarves. The Alvritshai have Elvish aspects (taller than humans, longer-lived), but they are not elves. Tate has taken the racial tropes and put his own spin on them, making them feel wholly original and separate and their placement in the New World setting increases that sense of originality. Colin’s magic is a bit vague (purposely so, I’d say, as more gets explained in book two), but what we see is relatively unique, involving not just some potency against the shadows (the more common sort of fantasy magic), but observation and eventually manipulation of time, albeit it in quite constrained fashion.

Eventually the magic gets ramped up, we get a battle or two, but a lot of the story deals with political intrigue and maneuvering. The major goal turns out to be the prevention of a battle rather than leading us to the same old climactic battle scene, and the magic-user mostly tries his best to avoid using magic. It’s a light, restrained overlay of fantasy and a refreshingly enjoyable approach.

The characters are mostly well drawn and if there isn’t a lot of change in them, I’d say it’s not for lack of good characterization but mostly due to the slow pace. What does change, though, are the relationships among characters, again at a slow but realistic pace. The cultural details are plentiful and make the different races and characters feel fully formed and realistic, as do their interactions with each other. Finally, while there aren’t a lot of lines you’ll linger over for their stylistic panache, the prose is smooth, precise, and mostly effortless with some nice descriptive lines throughout. Dialogue is probably the weakest aspect of the novel; it isn’t bad, but it doesn’t crackle.

The main storyline is resolved, but ends with an obvious lead into the next book, Leaves of Flame, due out in January 2012. While this second book isn’t quite as good as Well of Sorrows (there are more pacing issues), it’s still quite strong and the latter third just as good. If you start Well of Sorrows now, you can pick up Leaves of Flame when it’s released right after the holidays. Both are highly recommended. According to his website, book three will be entitled Breath of Heaven. I wish I already had it in hand. —Bill Capossere



jpskewedthrone: (Default)
Bwahahahaha! I have the cover art for the upcoming Leaves of Flame, the sequel to Well of Sorrows. And I also have the back cover copy. And I also have a never before seen (by me at least) review of well of Sorrows! So lots of fun things to share today.

First up, the cover art:





What do you guys think? I think the colors and such will make it pop on the shelf in the fantasy section. I like the swirling effect in the leaves, as well as the lightning strike with the ominous purple colors at the top. And it works well set against the cover of the paperback of Well of Sorrows, too. But even better is the cover copy on the back:

Cover Copy: One hundred years have passed since Colin Harten--transformed to something more than human by the magic of the lifeblood contained in the Well of Sorrows--used his new powers to broker a peace agreement between the human, dwarren, and Alvritshai races of Wrath Suvane. Since then all three races have greatly expanded their empires. And Colin has continuously sought ways to defeat the dark spirits known as the sukrael--and the Wraiths they have created to act for them in the physical world. Yet Colin has not been able to prevent the dark spirits from reawakening more and more Wells, thus extending their power across the lands.

Having mastered three of the five magics of Wrath Suvane, Colin has gifted each race with a magical Tree to protect them from incursionso f the dark forces. He has also realized that unless a certain number of the Wells are left open, their magic can never be stabilized, and the land will be torn apart by this uncontrolled force.

But now the enemy has located the one Well that is key to controlling the entire network, and if Colin can't find a means to stop them from claiming and activating this Well, it could mean the end of all three races. . . .

*************************************

I'd have picked up that book (and the first book) in the bookstore in a heartbeat if I'd read that cover copy. But if that isn't enough to convince you to pick up the books (if you haven't already), then consider this great review for Well of Sorrows from Gina Bowling at VOYA:

WELL OF SORROWS: "After fleeing their homeland, Colin and his family escape to a new world where they are second-class citizens at best. Colin runs into trouble with the ruler's son, and in order to save Colin from unjust punishment, his father agrees to lead an expedition into unknown territory. When the group is attacked, only Colin survives, aided by the Faelehgre, mysterious shadow-beings. Colin comes to learn of the struggle that has taken place for hundreds of years between humans, the Dwarren, and the Alvritshai. With the special powers he now possesses, he alone may have a chance to bring peace to this war-torn land. Benjamin Tate's debut novel is fantasy reminiscent of classics like J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy (Houghton Mifflin, 1994) with its other-world and fantastical peoples. The shadows of Light and Dark also call to mind the mysterious black shadow on the popular television series Lost. Colin is a strong protagonist who refuses to be bullied, and the secondary characters are developed well enough that readers come to know them. There is a touch of romance, but overall, this is a story of finding one's strength to survive in spite of hardship and great loss, and giving of oneself to right the wrongs of generations past. While the sheer volume of this tome will intimidate some, fantasy readers will be drawn in and likely make quick work of this debut work, pleased to learn that a sequel is hinted at in the final pages."

I mean, "reminiscent of classics like J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings triogy"? How cool is that comparison? It actually makes me tremble a little, because it raises expectations and I'm not sure how comfortable I am with it. I mean, Tolkien. I don't think I'm at that level (yet). I'm still learning, experimenting, etc. But still, a great review and I'd love for people to think I was even close to Tolkien.

In any case, check out the books, and perhaps preorder Leaves of Flame if it catches your fancy. I noticed that Amazon.com doesn't have the mass market paperback for Well of Sorrows listed on their site at all, which annoys me, but you can find it at B&N online and can order it into your local stores. It's certainly readily available, no matter what Amazon.com thinks. You can also get any of my books (Benjamin Tate or Joshua Palmatier) directly from me, signed and personalized and everything. Contact me at jpalmatier@sff.net if you're interested.



jpskewedthrone: (Default)
Hey, all! Barbara Ashford and I will be throwing a release party for our two books Well of Sorrows (mine) and Spellcast (hers) TOMORROW, June 5th, from 1-4pm at:


Spectator's Bar
219 North Ave.
New Rochelle, NY 10801


We'll have some food set out and copies of all of our books available for purchase as well, including the anthology AFTER HOURS. But it's really just an excuse to get together with friends and family and throw a party. *grin* Come on by! Take a day trip up from the city! I mean, it's two authors for the price of one!




jpskewedthrone: (Default)
OK, there's another LJ post up now at [livejournal.com profile] anghara's place with an interview of Benjamin Tate ([livejournal.com profile] benjamintate). He talks about writing, some of the origins of the new book WELL OF SORROWS, and other things. Check it out here. Thanks for giving Ben the guest blog space, [livejournal.com profile] anghara!

In addition, I've got the graphic that people can post in their own blogs and webpages and such ready. Here's what it looks like:





If you'd like to help spread the word by posting the graphic in your LJ or elsewhere, here's the HTML code that will link to it. Just copy and paste and you should be ready to go!







If someone tries this and it doesn't seem to be working, let me know!
jpskewedthrone: (Default)
We're only one day away from the release of WELL OF SORROWS by Benjamin Tate! He's been doing some guest blogging and interviews and those will be posted sometime during the next week. One has already appeared. Read about how the idea for WELL OF SORROWS came about here. And thanks to [livejournal.com profile] arhyalon for letting Ben hang out are her place today!

The graphic I talked about is ready. I'll post the html code for that later on today!

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Joshua Palmatier

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