Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Wednesday Welcomes to Michael Staton

For the first #Welcome Wednesday slot of 2016, I'm delighted usher in my blogger friend - Michael Staton - who writes novels in the fantasy genre, though he also creates wonderful short stories across many other genres which I've thoroughly enjoyed via his Facebook Page (see below for the link). I definitely recommend them, especially if you're a fan of the short story.  

On the blog we both contribute to regularly, I've learned a lot about his forebears and the U.S. locations they've lived in - feeding my enjoyment of all historical eras. If I ever write about the Civil War in the United States, I know who I'll be going to for  advice...

It's great to have you as my first guest of the year, Michael. Please make yourself at home and share your brilliant news with us...
about a series I've got to catch up with.

I want to thank Nancy for letting me borrow her blog to announce the publication of my new novel.

Nancy and I write for the blog Writing Wranglers & Warriors. I’m one of the Warriors. That’s because the novels I’ve written so far are in the fantasy genre. My latest, Assassins’ Lair, is classic sword and sorcery. Modern readers, especially women, want romance, so it’s there to break and mend the characters’ hearts.

Nancy says (winking): If you're a Warrior, Michael, then I'm not sure what I am. My historical work says 'Warrior' but my contemporary novels probably put me in the 'Wrangler' category as I struggle to tie up all the loose ends in the mysteries! But back to details of your brand new book...
Assassins’ Lair is the final book in a trilogy. A magical sword anchors the tale through all three novels. The champions and the villains vie for Larenia’s Shadow. Nothing is beyond the pale, even murder. Empires teeter toward civil war and collapse.

Amid the chaos, a prince and a thief fall in love. Together, Prince Derrius and Stealth quest for Larenia’s Shadow to save an empire from the scheming plots of a sorceress. They face dragon attacks, kidnapping conspiracies, even highborn cocottes contriving to lure Derrius into their beds.

At the beginning of Assassins’ Lair, Stealth is questioning her love for Derrius. Forced to live at the Winter Palace, exasperated over both the court intrigue and the wanton machinations of slutty noblewomen, Stealth contemplates abandoning Derrius and returning to her thieving ways.

Elsewhere in the Setor Empire, a woman who has lost her memory waits on tables in a sordid waterfront tavern. If she regains her memory, it will plunge the empire into a new dark age. Or as the back cover blurb for the novel reveals:

“Peace has returned to the Setor Empire. A new emperor sits on the throne. Setor’s nemesis, the sorceress Illisandra Zayla, died in a river tower. An amnesic woman walks the warrens of the border city of Opal. When she regains her memory she’ll decide the empire’s fate.

In the Winter Palace, the emperor’s brother Myron has been corrupted by tainted magic and plots war. Soon, a cataclysmic battle will take place. The thief Stealth has her own battle to wage. Enraged by the sexual intrigues, she must decide if she’ll remain with Derrius or steal away to resume her thieving ways. What Stealth and the amnesic woman decide will not only determine the coming battle’s winner, but the future of the magical sword Larenia’s Shadow, hidden inside the assassins’ mountaintop keep.”

If an author has a series, most folks like to start at the first book. So if you haven’t read any of my works until now, you’ll want to start with the first book of the trilogy, and that’s The Emperor’s Mistress. Or you may want to be one of the brave ones, like Stealth and Derrius, and buy all three books at once. When I’ve just discovered an author and loved one of his or her novels, I will sometimes buy an entire series. The bag of books may be weightier than normal, but the satisfaction I gain as I delve into the tale book by book is worth the risk of a strained back. I exaggerate, but the ability to read a good book is one of the pleasures of a well-lived life.

Order paperbacks from Amazon. Order ebooks from Barnes and Noble, Smashwords or Amazon. 

For convenience, CLICK HERE to link to my Amazon Author’s Page

Wings ePress editors and my book cover artist – Richard Stroud – have been working hard over the last several months preparing Assassins’ Lair for publication. It’s like Christmas… at long last we and you get a chance to unwrap a present and see the gift inside – the ready-for-prime time Assassins’ Lair.

More about Michael that you may not know about...

I expect many of you are wondering: Who is this guy? You do know I’m one of the Writing Wranglers & Warriors contributors. What you don’t know is that I’ve been a professional writer for my entire adult life. Perhaps because I came of age in the 1960s during the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Era, I grew fascinated with how the TV networks and newspapers covered the news. By the high school years, I was the editor of the school newspaper. The career choice was inevitable. Not an editor at a Manhattan publishing or a job at a library. Instead, a degree in journalism from Ohio University and newsroom jobs at daily newspapers in Ohio and Florida.

Burning out in the late 1980s, I pursued a new career… a technical writer developing operating-procedure manuals, computer-based-training lessons and online training for workers operating complex machinery like paper machines. But with the 2008-09 Great Recessions decimating small companies, I returned to my first love – journalism – and worked as a reporter for weekly newspapers in North Carolina until took early retirement in 2014. Not having to cover town councils, school boards and festivals, I could finish Assassins’ Lair and give the good news to my longtime publisher, Wings ePress.

I always possessed a knack for writing, reinforced by writing awards from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and the North Carolina Press Association. I wrote my first novella in elementary school; sick at home, I scribbled out a science fiction tale derived from a movie I’d recently seen, ‘Man From Planet X.’ Mom told me it was a fine tale, and I ‘slurped in her praise. By my senior year of high school, I’d written two novels – an alien invasion story and a historical drama set in Oliver Cromwell’s England. But not until the 1990s did I begin to serious write fiction with an eye to finding a small ebook publisher willing to take me under its wings. Yea, I know it’s a pun – as in Wings ePress.

To read a variety of my short stories, including my recent Christmas stories, CLICK HERE to reach my Facebook Author's Page.

Thank you for visiting today, Michael. My very best wishes with the launch of Assassins' Lair, the latest book in the Larenia's Shadow Trilogy



  1. Mike, what a great way to introduce the final story. Much success on this and many new readers for the whole trilogy. Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Doris. I'll be curious to see what my first quarter royalty check from my publisher looks like. It'll give me an idea of how well my social media marketing efforts are panning out.

    2. Good luck with that cheque, Michael!

  2. Marketing is hell😀 the very best of luck, Mike

    1. Hello Mike. I totally agree with you about marketing!


Thank you for reading my blog. Please pop your thoughts about this post in the comment box. :-)