Countdown to Distinction: 5 Days


The Book of Seven Hands

In less than a week, my first professional sale in over a decade will be in the hands of readers. But that’s not why I’m posting today, and you may have noticed this cover image has somebody else’s name below the title. That’s because I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few weeks talking about my own work, and the process of bringing it to the public.

This week, I want to write about other writers. Specifically, my fellow SideQuest authors, and why you should be buying their books. All this week, I’ll be spotlighting a new SideQuest every day, and talking about why I think it’s cool.

Today on the cavalcade of the Awesome, I’d like to introduce you to someone I’ve only met through his fiction. As he’s not yet had the chance to discover my own, you are all now witness to the historic first exchange between myself and Barth Anderson, critically acclaimed novelist, journalist and blogger.

“Um, dude, your books RULE!”

Perhaps not my most professional moment ever, but it’s not really the first time I’ve gushed like that to an author, and most of them are my friends now. (Really sorry about that, you know who you are. Can I come back to Los Angeles now? It’s been a few years…)

I first became aware of Mr. Anderson, (or Barth, as his mother likes to call him), when a copy of his book The Patron Saint of Plagues “fell” into my bag at a convention. And by fell, I mean that at major shows, publishers sometimes set out books for the taking, or place them in goodie bags for attendees. Enterprising hoarders like myself often start exchanging duplicates and unwanted copies several tables away from the membership lines, and I may have tackled an old lady to get the last copy of this one. Or it may have been Matt Forbeck, that weekend involved a lot of quality single malt beverages (I’m looking at YOU, Robert Fleck, Maurice Broaddus and Mary Robinette Kowal!)

But that’s in the past now, so lets talk about the past. Specifically, the 16th century, as Barth takes the Foreworld into the Renaissance Spain.

WHO IS IT:I only know what the internet tells me, so other than my personal and scotch-fueled anecdote above, you’ll have to rely on that source to make up your own mind.

Or, you could buy his books. Here’s a picture of a cute dog to help you to your decision.


WHAT IS IT: The Book of Seven Hands is a buddy swordsman adventure, with a bit of a twist. It’s got Fencing, Fighting, and , well, someone a lot like this.


WHY SHOULD I READ IT: Fencing, Fighting, and Foreworld are a magical mix. Barth updates the world we thought we knew with an almost timeless tale of loyalty, revenge, and S-words, in which the characters are not defined by their weapons, but instead how they are used. With only slight modifications, our protagonists could become gunfighters, soldiers, or perhaps even astronauts.

By the time it matters, you’ll be so engrossed in their lives that the masterfully rendered setting will be all around you, and you’ll have no time to wonder why you’re suddenly speaking Valencian.

If you like reading about characters who already know what they’re about, this is the book for you. If you like a bit of mystery with your history, this is the book for you. If you like wisecracking, ass-kicking, and name-taking heroes, this book is definitely for you.

And most importantly, you should read it because I want you to.

WHERE CAN I GET IT: The Book of Seven Hands is available as an e-book from 47North and, and as an audiobook from

WHEN WILL IT BE OUT: That’s the best part. You can pick up this great story right now, by following the links above.

IS THAT EVERYTHING: I’m glad you asked that. I believe strongly in the Foreworld Saga, and in particular the SideQuests. Please comment on this post with a link to an online review of this story. I want you well and thoroughly hooked on this universe by the time my own story, Hearts of Iron, releases May 14, 2013.

Let the reading commence!


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