Heroes for hire…

A pal of mine and upcoming Tor debut, Ryan van Loan, is running a giveaway for some signed ARCs of his fantasy novel, The Sin in the Steel. All you need to do to enter is to sign up for his mailing list, which you can do here:

http://www.ryanvanloan.com

The book itself comes out in July. If you’re not lucky enough to get an ARC, you can check it out here:

Here’s a hint of what it’s about:

Buc and Eld are the first private detectives in a world where pirates roam the seas, mages speak to each other across oceans, mechanical devices change the tide of battle, and earthly wealth is concentrated in the hands of a powerful few.

Dragonslayer Christmas Sale!

Dragonslayer

A little news first! Dragonslayer in ebook is on sale for a few days over Christmas, reduced to only $2.99 and the equivalent in other currencies. The sale runs until 29 December. If you haven’t already got one, you can pick up a copy at the following links!

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Snowman

Finally, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, or whatever you do or don’t celebrate! Thank you all for your support and encouragement over the past year – it’s always very much appreciated. I hope you all have a relaxing few days, and the opportunity to spend them with people who matter to you!

Over the holiday, I’m planning to paint my way through a box of space marines I bought a recently, while working my way through the nice bottle of whiskey I’m hoping my brother’s going to give me for Christmas! Hopefully I’ll have some photos to post of my efforts in the New Year!

There’ll also be plenty to look forward to in the New Year on the writing side of things. The final part of the Dragonslayer trilogy – Servant of the Crown – comes out in March, and I have a few new projects on the production line that I’m very excited about, and am looking forward to telling you more about soon!

Duncan

Knight of the Silver Circle – Dragonslayer 2 – Out Now!

Knight of the Silver Circle Cover Image

I’m delighted to announce that Knight of the Silver Circle—Book 2 in the Dragonslayer trilogy—is now available to purchase in paper, ebook, and audiobook. Knight of the Silver Circle continues Gill’s journey now that the Kingdom of Mirabaya has found need of him once more. With dragons and magic, the world around him is changing fast, blurring the lines between allies and enemies. I had a lot of fun writing this book, so I really hope you all enjoy reading it. Thanks for all your support, and for the interest you’ve shown in my books, it means a huge amount to me!

The cover copy:

Dragons have returned after a thousand years, but greater dangers lurk in the shadows… As the lines between enemy and ally blur, Guillot dal Villerauvais is drawn farther into the life and service he had left far behind. Solène attempts to come to terms with the great magical talent she fears is as much a curse as a blessing, while the Prince Bishop’s quest for power twists and turns, and takes on a life of its own. With dragons to slay, and an enemy whose grip on the kingdom grows ever tighter, Gill and his comrades must fight to remain true to themselves, while standing at the precipice of a kingdom in peril.

You can order your copy of Knight of the Silver Circle now at any of the following links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia

(It’s also widely available in bookstores in the US and Canada!)

And last but not least, in audio, once again narrated by the excellent Simon Vance!

Audible

I hope you all enjoy Knight of the Silver Circle. The final book of the trilogy is finished and will be released in March, so keep an eye out for updates on that this coming spring!

First Blade of Ostia Now in Audio!

I’m happy to announce that The First Blade of Ostia is now available in audio. Derek Perkins takes care of the narration, who also did the the Society of the Sword trilogy. If you haven’t read The First Blade, it’s a swashbuckling prequel of sorts to The Tattered Banner. If you’ve ever wondered how Amero became the man he is, this is where you can find out, as it charts his rise to duelling champion and national darling, told from the point of view of his friend, and a man you’ll have encountered as one of the masters at the Academy in The Tattered Banner.

You can grab a copy now over at Audible!

Old hobbies renewed…

I’ve decided to start posting on an old hobby I’ve just revived, and am really enjoying. After discovering Hero Forge and chatting with some pals, I decided to dust off my old paintbrushes and pots and have a try at miniature painting, something I did in my teens, which is quite some time ago now!

I’m happy to take on any and all criticism (hopefully constructive!) as I get back into this hobby. Bear in mind its been a long time, and my hands are a bit shakier than they were back in the day – and I wasn’t all that good even back then!

So, first off, I’ve been working on a mini I designed on Hero Forge. Here are some photos of the work in progress:

The face. Quite happy with this, and it seems my hands haven’t gotten quite as shaky as I feared!
The shield in progress. I’m watching a lot of YouTube videos on technique, and trying new stuff all the time. This was my first attempt at blending with glazes, and I got a chalkier finish than I was hoping for. I think this was from applying the next glaze before the old one had dried properly. Lesson learned for next time!
I tried a true metallic paint for the armour, but for fantasy and sci-fi minis, I tend to prefer non metallic metallic techniques. I washed this with a watered blue glaze a couple of times, but didn’t like the finish, so it’ll be repainted in NMM.
Overpainted the armour in preparation for NMM. Also painted the sword, which is the second part of the mini I’m really happy with. The NMM blade worked out way better than I’d expected, and the hilt looks pretty good too, although needs a little more work.
Painted the boots and fur, and started highlighting the armour in NMM style. Really struggling to work out the approach to highlights, despite all the videos I’ve watched on it, and articles I’ve read! Also playing around with a coloured background for the photos – sheets of plasticard I had lying around. Struggling with my exposure settings here, so sorry for the darker photo, but will continue to experiment. If anyone has any suggestions in this regard, let me know. I’ve a faithful old Canon Eos 400D (Digital Rebel). I know how to use all the settings, just not how to get them to work well for miniature photography!
Shield and floor finished. I think the NMM worked well on the shield corners, but I continue to play around with it on the armour. Photo has better brightness, but I cheated a little by using the exposure adjustment to bump it up 1 f-stop. I’d rather work out how to get it right using shutter speed/aperture while retaining as low an ISO as I can. I’ve also noticed I need a little more depth of field than I’m getting on f5.6, so will try 8 after the next batch of photos, which I’ve already taken!

So, now to the finished effort. I’m happy with some parts, learned quite a bit, and know I still need a lot of work on painting NMM armour. Also need to improve my photos, but I’m playing around with that too, so will hopefully have a better grasp of that soon!

Need to use a smaller aperture for more depth of field to get the whole model in focus…
I need to be a little more careful with model prep. I thought that seam line on the cloak would be hidden by the primer, but it made it more visible! I’ll sand them off next time.

That was a lot of fun, and remarkably relaxing! Next up is to work my way through a box of Space Marines, which I’m using as a project to practice layering and glazing to shade and highlight in different colours the marine chapters offer. Any tips and tricks for both the photography and painting are much appreciated!

Dragonslayer 2 – Excerpt

Tor have released an excerpt for Knight of the Silver Circle, the second part of the Dragonslayer trilogy. You can read it here:

I hope you’re all having a great summer,

Duncan

Dragonslayer out in the wild, and weekend promotion!

As you may or may not have heard, Dragonslayer is now out in the wild, available in ebook, hardback – which is new for me, paperback, and audiobook which is once again narrated by the awesome Simon Vance. You can pick up a copy in a format of your choice at the links below:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

To mark Dragonslayer’s release, and to shamelessly attempt to fill your summer reading pile with my titles, I’m giving away the kindle edition of The First Blade of Ostia, a swashbuckling fantasy adventure with tons of swordfights, for free this weekend. You can pick up your copy at the following links:

First Blade – Amazon US

First Blade – Amazon UK

Finally, if you enjoyed Dragonslayer, and have a moment to spare, I’d really appreciate it if you could leave a review over on Amazon, at either of the two links above. Aside from buying an author’s book (thanks!), the best thing you can do to help them out is leave a review!

I hope you all have a great weekend,

Duncan

Dragonslayer released today!

Hey folks,

I’m delighted to announce that Dragonslayer—Book 1 in the Dragonslayer trilogy—is now available to purchase in hardback, ebook, and audiobook. It’s been a long road and very different experience getting here with this book, and it’s hard to believe that the day I’ve been working towards for so long has finally arrived!

Dragonslayer is a trilogy about redemption, destructive obsession with power, and, of course, dragons! I’ve wanted to explore the idea and myth of dragons since I started writing fantasy, and this trilogy provided the perfect opportunity to do that. I feel that it’s my best work to date, so I really hope you all enjoy it. Once again, thanks for all your support, and for the interest you’ve shown in my books! So, on to the book!

The cover copy:

With the dragons believed dead, the kingdom had no more need for dragonslayers.

Drunk, disgraced, and all but forgotten, Guillot has long since left his days of heroism behind him.

As forgotten places are disturbed in the quest for power, and things long dormant awaken, the kingdom finds itself in need of a dragonslayer once again, and Guillot is the only one left…

Here’s a snippet of what Publishers Weekly had to say about it (my first big trade publication review!):

Hamilton successfully mixes swords, sorcery, and skullduggery with complex characters […] This is pure adventure fun with plenty for epic fantasy readers to enjoy.

You can order your copy of Dragonslayer now at any of the following links:

I hope you all enjoy Dragonslayer, and that you’re all having a great summer!

Duncan

Twas the night before… new book release

So, it’s the night before Dragonslayer’s release. It’s a feeling similar to the night before Christmas excitement, but with a liberal dose of anxiety added into the mix! Actually, it’s more anxiety with a little excitement added. Or perhaps just anxiety partially masquerading as excitement. This being my 8th book release, you’d think it’d get easier. It doesn’t…

It’s always something of a relief to get some positive feedback at a time like this, so I was delighted today to see Dragonslayer feature on Barnes & Noble’s Best Sci Fi and Fantasy for July, and on the Verge’s Sci Fi and Fantasy to check out in July. You can take a look at the snippets here:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/the-best-science-fiction-fantasy-books-of-july-2019/

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/1/18680132/science-fiction-fantasy-books-recommendations-july-kloos-clarke-del-toro-tremblay-wendig

Finally, there are still a few hours left to preorder Dragonslayer, and be eligible for a copy of The Drake of White Peak. It’s a great short story that I’m particularly proud of. All the details of how to get it, and some preorder links, can be found here:

https://read.macmillan.com/promo/dragonslayerpreorder/

Last Day to Get The Drake of White Peak!

I wanted to remind everyone that with Dragonslayer being released tomorrow, today is the last day for you to preorder, and get a copy of The Drake of White Peak!

Time has really flown and it’s hard to believe release is only one day away! Anyway, you can pick up a copy from any of the retailers listed on Tor’s Preorder Bonus page, where you’ll also find all the details of how to submit your proof of purchase and get your copy!

https://read.macmillan.com/promo/dragonslayerpreorder/