Sunday, December 29, 2013

Alinor's Shard Release!

After a couple delays, Alinor's Shard, my new novelette is out!  For now, the e-book is available for Kindle on Amazon for $0.99, but it will be available for free on Monday 12/30!  Before the week's end, I'll be posting a couple more free days and getting the print version put together.  Updates on those two things will be posted on my Facebook page(

So, a little bit about this novelette.  It started out as one of four short story ideas that I hoped to get on paper and release in a compilation.  However, once I became entrenched in The Forgotten King and nearly rewriting the entirety of The Dragon Gem, those plans kind of fell to the wayside.

One day, I was looking back at Alinor's Shard (titled Aftermath at the time) and another short work I'd written for my abandoned short story collection.  Slightly longer than a short story, something about Alinor's Shard kept me from just filing it away for  future use.  As I went back through it, I realized just how proud I was of it, as well as how much fun I had writing it.  Yet, as such a short work, I didn't really want to release it by itself.  Though I have paid for and read a lot of shorter works from short stories to novellas, I just didn't feel comfortable releasing something that could be breezed through in an afternoon.

But then I had an idea.

I contacted Janette Ramos(the cover artist for my Korin's Journal novels) to see if she'd be interested in doing some interior artwork for Alinor's Shard in addition to the cover.  The protagonist, Fillon, is an artist, and I felt that it would be neat to have some sketch-type drawings peppered throughout the story in connection to that (despite the fact that in all truthfulness, he wouldn't have been the one to draw them due to his place in the story).  Anyway, having this addition to the story gave it that little extra something to make it suitable for a stand-alone release.

Story-wise, Alinor's Shard wouldn't exist if it not for Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy.  In this trilogy, Sanderson's world is one in which the typical fantasy adventure hero actually failed to save the world from the evil that threatened it in the past, putting the reader immediately into a ruinous world suppressed by that evil.  I LOVED the concept, and if you like fantasy and haven't read the Mistborn trilogy, please, please do.  They single-handedly turned Sanderson into my all-time favorite fantasy author.   The point is, Alinor's Shard takes place in the world of Yalis, similarly lorded over by an evil god.  Yalis has become a dark, ruined world under this evil god, its peoples broken and enslaved under his oppressive rule. The story revolves around Fillon, once an artist and now a slave, and his opportunity to help free Yalis from its decaying state.  It's a darker story than I would typically write - not necessarily in the way of violence, but the overall tone.

Now, I'm a little late on releasing this.  I made the idiotic assumption that putting some finishing touches on it after JJProofing's proofread and formatting it for its Kindle release would be an easy thing to do over nearly a week of traveling home for the holidays(my wife and I live about 8 hours away from our families).  Of course, this didn't work out so well.  I was going to get it out before the weekend . . . then on Friday with hopes of offering it free on Saturday and Sunday.  Instead, thanks to my awesome wife allowing me a 45 minute stop at a Starbucks to use their wifi on our way home, I got it submitted Saturday afternoon.  Since it went live that evening, I planned to still offer it free Sunday.  Of course, when I tried to do so from my phone, I kept getting an error message every time I tried to set up the free day.  When we got home after midnight, I wasn't allowed to use Sunday as a free day(which is really kind of strange since I'm on Eastern time and the Amazon promotions follow Pacific . . . ).

So, now it's free on Monday with a couple more days to be announced soon.  Also, I hope to get the print version together as soon as I can.

I'm really proud of Alinor's Shard and would love to get some feedback, so if you pick it up, please let me know what you think.

And, I know I tend to ramble with some of these blog posts, but in this case, I've been on the move almost constantly for the past week, spending countless hours in a car, 8 hours today alone.  So forgive me if this is peppered with poor grammar, rambling nonsense, or any other such drivel.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

Brian Beam

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