Pick A Card

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The City of the Gods Universe will be well represented at this summer’s ORIGINS and GENCON conventions. We have a card in the Famous Game Designers Playing Card Deck 2014. Cover art from our second novel, City of the Gods: Guardian, graces the 7 of clubs in the deck.

34 7 Club Looks like seven is our lucky number!

The decks will not be available to purchase until ORIGINS 2014 which falls on June 11 – 15 this year. If you make it to either ORIGINS or GENCON, stop by the Flying Buffalo booth to get a deck — and tell Rick I said hello!

Work Begins on Mythic Tales 2

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With M.Scott Verne and Steve Crompton super busy on other projects at the moment, I have volunteered to get things moving on our second short story anthology. Our Mythic Tales titles are collections of adventures set in the City of the Gods Universe. While the “stars” of City of the Gods do appear in some of these stories, our side characters step into the spotlight here, interacting with gods and mythologies that have not been used extensively in the books. Also, these tales are written by a great group of writers, not just me and Scott. It is always exciting for us to read different creative takes on our characters and experience new adventures set in our world.

While we’re not ready to release a lot of information about Mythic Tales 2, I can tease you with the following: Mazu will be involved with Apollo, Daphne and Artemis; two Babylonian goddesses will match wits with Merlin; and the sailors of the Hector will go for a swim.

BTW, we have some room left in the book, so now is the time if you’d like to pitch a story idea. You can send it to me at wynnmercere@yahoo.com

Beta Cover Art For City of the Gods: Ambassador

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City of the Gods art director Steve Crompton totally surprised me with a preliminary layout for the cover of the third novel. We had bounced a few vague ideas around in a phone conversation, mostly about color tones, and within a day he had produced this:
prelim cover
Need an artist? Hire this man! He’s amazing and works fast. You can see more of his work at The Art of Steven S. Crompton.

As you can see, the City is in for exciting and dangerous times. Civil unrest is a major driver of this installment’s plot.

Five Year Plan

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As I am eventually going to tweak this blog to reflect a broader body of work, I thought a good start would be to share my “works in process” list. Publication dates are soft targets and may certainly change. If any titled (or untitled) books pique your interest, please ask about them in the comments and I will be happy to elaborate.

Utopea – novel
writing 80%, cover 80%
Target pub. Date: 2014

[untitled military] – nonfiction
research 30%, writing 1%, cover 40%
Target pub. Date: 2014

Mythic Tales 2City of the Gods anthology
writing 15%, cover 0%
Target pub. Date: late 2014

City of the Gods: Ambassador – co-authored novel
my writing 1%, cover 0%
Target pub Date: 2015

Praesentia – novel
writing 25%, cover 0%
Target pub. Date: 2016

The Furies – novel
writing 1%, cover 1%
Target pub. Date: 2017

[untitled magical fantasy] – novel
Writing 1%, cover 0%
Target pub Date: 2018

[untitled period mystery] – novel
writing 1%, cover 0%
Target pub Date: 2019

Sneak Peek: City of the Gods: Ambassador

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Merry Christmas to all our City of the Gods fans! Here is an exclusive preview scene from the next novel in our series. Contains MILD SPOILERS if you have not yet read City of the Gods: Guardian.

tshirt

            At first, the sudden influx of customers was greeted with enthusiasm by the barmaids in the Jolly Rajah. It had been a slow week, and each girl had felt the appraising gaze of Sergius lingering on her form, weighing her beauty and serving skill against that of the others. Whenever profits were slim, their tavern master preferred to lighten his staff rather than water his wine. The press of people was a reprieve; Sergius’s face reflected excitement rather than scrutiny.

            “Lili, Serena!” he called. “Take this table!” He waved the women, twin sisters, toward a group of seven men whose stylish suits were finer than those of customers the tavern generally entertained. The twins looked at each other and smiled.

            “I told you the expense of our new dresses would be worth it,” Serena said. She adjusted a bronze clasp which held a silk belt tightly around her slim waist. Her single, black, hair braid fell down over her left shoulder and almost reached the cinch of bright yellow material at her middle. Lili playfully tugged her sister’s plait.

            “I’ll wait to agree when I see their tips,” she said, her voice low. “Look at that one the rest are fawning over.” Lili pushed up the billowing purple sleeves of her own best dress to bare her forearms. Each of her wrists sported a bracelet of pretty beads threaded onto delicate leather laces. “Let’s find out if he’s really that important.”

Continue reading

December Review Showcase

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We love to hear what readers think about our City of the Gods novels! If you would like your comments featured in this blog, send them to wynnmercere@yahoo.com . This month we heard from Jay Allen Sanford of the San Diego Reader regarding our second book, Guardian.

I thought you and Wynn really tightened up your writing chops – not that the first book lacked, but there’s a confidence and flow to the second book that’s clearly due to more than having the luxury of being in the middle of a lengthy storyline in no rush to be concluded until vol 3.

I was glad to see D’Molay’s re-embracing of his Christianity resulted in him showing a more life-affirming heroic character this time around, instead of casually slaughtering Mayans with little more than an “oops” by way of reaction to his potential girlfriend’s disapproval.

Cool also to see Mordecai turn up, if only briefly as a messenger bat. The reference to his finely attuned fingernails seemed to harken to his “secret” origin story, so that was a chuckle for me!

It’s amazingly seamless, the way the two of you have merged your writing – when I read collaborations like George Clayton Johnson & Bill Nolan or King/Straub, it’s often easy to pick out bits and pieces clearly from one of the other. But COTG doesn’t come across at all as puzzle-pieces forced to fit via word processing alone.

Thanks, Jay! It’s good to hear that our styles merged more smoothly in this second effort. That’s something we continue to strive for in each new book. As for D’Molay, his character does continue to evolve toward the good as he deals with his renewed spiritual convictions. Yet we will find that stepping down the path of light isn’t going to completely relieve him of his struggles in book three. As for Mordecai and other minor characters who populate this world, we do try to incorporate little details from the Mythic Tales stories that others have contributed.

Characters and Gaming Alignments

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Looking for news on City of the Gods: Ambassador? There’s a tiny bit of it — M. Scott Verne and I have been collaborating on new scenes this fall. However, we’ve both had other paying work (hooray!) that takes precedence, so our third novel has been on the back burner. I’m not sure I have permission to tell you what project I’ve been editing, but I may be able to share that news soon. However, it does have something to do with gaming, so in honor of that I’m presenting my take on the D&D alignments of some characters in our second novel, Guardian. Do you agree? Do you think a different character better fits the category? Let’s discuss in the comments!
alignments

Collaborations

City of the Gods graphic designer Steve Crompton has a brand new book out and it contains a few of our comic book collaborations from the distant past – one going back as far as 1984! Steve has put together a collection of art from his archives. The multi-genre peek into his dead files includes comics from projects that never found a publisher, titles that were cancelled, as well as strips and specialty ‘toons that had very limited distribution. You’ll spy my contributions under my other pen names Deb Wykle and Debora Kerr.
Lost Comics Cover
City of the Gods fans will enjoy a deleted scene from the early Pantheon comics. You can pick up the digital edition of SS Crompton’s Lost Comics today for $1.99 or watch the book’s Createspace page where the paperback version will be available soon.

It’s hard to believe Steve and I have been friends and co-creators for almost (eep!) 30 years! Time flies . . .

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