This Week’s Feature…

Descent Into Darkness, Part 3: His Beast

Descent Into Darkness, Part 3: His Beast by Doris Ross

Descent Into Darkness, Part 3: His Beast by Doris Ross

 

Two years have passed since Ba’tvian Delthanurk first cut a bloody swath into the world. Enthralled by his side is Nerisse se li Astorae, the elven girl with whom Ba’tvian had been replaced by his late mentor. Life has not been easy; pursuit dogs their steps. To evade the Mancers who hunt him, the renegade mages have ventured into the Northern Wilderness, now frozen in winter. Frustration mounts as being constantly on the run was not the path they had envisioned after fleeing the Trinity.

However, Ba’tvian plans for the future is not the only problem they have. An ability possessed by Nerisse prevents her from fulfilling the role her lover has in mind, yet the search for a solution may mean chancing discovery. The price will be high.

A Mancer has picked up their trail, and a barbarian with crude mage skills of his own is roaming the wilds. Their encounter will leave will the snow stained with blood.

 

The third installment of the Descent Into Darkness series is available in e-book, and is included in the printed omnibus, Descent Into Darkness, Vol. 1: He Begins.  Both can be purchased on Amazon and Kindle here.

 

The Aftermath of a Con

The authors of Trinity Gateways LLC (of which I am one) just wrapped up our stint at Ancient City Con this weekend.  It was fantastic seeing old friends and making new ones. Many thanks to the con staff for having us, and to everyone who stopped by the table.  We hope you had as much fun as we did. Lots of pictures were taken; there were some really great cosplayers in attendance.  Check them out on the Trinity Gateways Facebook Page.

We are now, of course, pretty wiped out.  Convention-itus is setting in; the mental fog has begun to form. I’m making this post tonight instead of Monday so that it doesn’t get lost along the way.  Now I must head to bed before I face-plant in my keyboard.

 

Introducing my newest series: Hidden Reaches

A Weekend Release – Just for You

I am so excited to announce that I have a new series, one that’s very different from Descent Into Darkness.  The Hidden Reaches series is urban fantasy, the original concept of which is as old as the one for DID.  If you like a little paranormal, a dash of quirkiness in your characters, a bit of mystery, a thread of romance, and a splash of blood (hey, it’s me; I can’t seem to write anything without at least a little blood-spill) then please check out the first book of this new series:

Blood & Rain by Doris Ross

Cover for Blood & Rain by Doris Ross
Book 1 of the Hidden Reaches Series

Blood & Rain

There is something dark in every city…

Jacksonville, FL, is a city with historic roots and character, much like many other cities in the United States. Yet the mundane façade hides a layer of reality not seen by the humans – except for a select few. Alex Rosselle is such a one. The IRS and her clientele know her as an artist, yet the city’s paranormal underbelly see her for what she is: a Hunter, the latest in a long line of humans who ensure that the secretive supernatural side of life stays civil.

…that attracts peril like a moth to flame.

Like Alex’s ex, the thieving bastard. But personal business takes a back seat when something monstrous begins stalking the streets of her beloved city. With every kill it makes, storms brew. In midst of the bloodshed she will discover an old nemesis, a new ally, and the interest of an ancient deity. Bearing down on them all is something only one of them can stop – provided Alex doesn’t drown as the city becomes awash with blood and rain.

This hurricane season will be one she will never forget.

Click here for the new Hidden Reaches Page and here for the Sample Chapters.

DID Update

Descent Into Darkness, Part 5: His Revenge is still on track for e-release in late September.  I’m in the middle of editing it now.  For those you who prefer printed volumes, Part 4: His Command and Part 5: His Revenge will be included in the upcoming omnibus Descent Into Darkness, Vol. 2: His War, which is currently slated for a fall release.

Reminder

Ancient City Con is next weekend!  So if you happen to be in the Jacksonville, FL, area, please swing by and visit.  I’ll be at the Trinity Gateways LLC table with fellow authors LJ Gastineau and Tricia Sparks, as well as cover artist Blue.  We’ll be selling and signing books.  Mention our website or that you saw our post on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll give you a discount on your purchase.  We look forward to seeing you!

Descent Into Darkness, Part 1: His Own

Cover for Descent Into Darkness, Part 1: His Own by Doris Ross

Cover for Descent Into Darkness, Part 1: His Own by Doris Ross

 

Against all odds, Ba’tvian Delthanurk managed to leave his serf family behind, along with their derision for his gifts, his ambitions. Now a sponsored student at the Trinity College of Magery, the most prestigious school of magery in the world, he is determined not to fall back into the dirt of his inferior origins. Yet his aspirations have led him down a darker path than his teachers had intended. Once begun, he cannot stop, and so he will descend into darkness…

The start of a young man’s journey into villainy, Descent Into Darkness, Part 1: His Own by Doris Ross is now available as an e-book on the Kindle, and as part of the printed omnibus, Descent Into Darkness, Vol. 1: He Begins. Both can be acquired here.

And a reminder…

I’ll be at the Trinity Gateways LLC table at Ancient City Con on July 18-20 this summer.  If you mention that you saw this post online, either on dorisross.com, trinitygateways.net, or any social media site you’ll receive a 10% discount on your purchase at our table.  We hope to see you there!

Achievement Unlocked!

Yes, I’m an Xbox girl, and I deserve an achievement badge for this one.

I finally finished the rough draft for Descent Into Darkness: His Revenge, the fifth installment of the series!  It’s been a long time coming, and the road to get here was pretty rocky for me.  Thanks to everyone who gave me the nudges and encouragement to keep it going.

But being written doesn’t mean it’s finished.  Other things have to happen before it publishes: the appendix has to be updated, the story has to go through a revision phase, followed by an editing phase, and the e-book cover has to be designed.  At present, I’m shooting for an e-book release in September 2014, and the printed omnibus containing both Part 4, His Command, and Part 5, His Revenge, is slated for publication in October 2014.  I’ll announce dates for each once they’re locked down.

Now I must get back to it.  Have a great weekend!

Today’s Plug

DID Series Back1

From obscurity into infamy, Ba’tvian Delthanurk blazes his wicked trail.  He is both hunted and hunter, a blood mage seeking to carve his deep into the history of Einlienn.  Some will follow him, others will seek his death.

Meet the loyal Nerisse se li Astorae, an elven woman intended for the priesthood, and the determined Absol Omine, the Mancer whose name fills Ba’tvian with hate.  More will cross paths with the blood mage Delthanurk.  Only a chosen few will survive.  None, living or dead, will forget him.

This is his journey into villainy – Ba’tvian Delthanurk’s Descent Into Darkness.

Where to find it

The first printed omnibus containing Part 1: His Own, Part 2: Her Lord, and Part 3: His Beast is entitled He BeginsHe Begins is available from Amazon, and each individual part, as well as Part 4: His Command, is available in e-book format.  You can find them for sale here.

If you’d like to purchase a signed copy — or want to drop by to discuss the story – I’ll be at Ancient City Con in Jacksonville, FL, on July 18-20, 2014 with Trinity Gateways LLC in the dealer’s room.  It’s an awesome convention with plenty of awesome people.  So come on out for some fun and stop by the table!

Taking a Day Off…

 

…from the day-job and the business.  Things have slacked off a bit, though we’re still fairly busy with back-end stuff for Trinity Gateways LLC.  My to-do list won’t be cleared for a little while yet, but today I’m stepping away from everything else to do some much-needed writing and re-outlining.It’s a gorgeous spring day.  The skies are mostly clear, the sun’s out, the temperature isn’t sweltering.  It’s that sweet-spot in the year for Florida, between the harsh chill of winter and pounding heat of summer.  It won’t last very long, either, so I’m taking advantage of it by stepping outside for my writing.

My backyard is an open one.  The little quad-plex condo I rent is one of several on the street, and the back has a fence on only two sides.  The patio is about as basic as it gets: a simple slab of concrete.  There’s a large maple tree that sheds a little shade on it throughout most of the day and the place came with a simple, hardy patio set consisting of one table and four chairs.  One days like this, while the rest of the residents on my street work or go to school, I like to dress the table and sit out there with a cup of coffee and my laptop.

Today, the squirrels are playing the maple tree.  There’s two of them twitching their tails at each other before darting off in search of something to eat.  The lizards and geckos have come out to find places to sun themselves, and a few birds are flitting about, from branch to branch, from tree to tree.  There’s a slight breeze, very few insects or pests, and right now there’s plenty of shade.  It’s about as perfect as it can get.

I wish I could do this more often.

He Begins

Descent Into Darkness, Vol. 1: He Begins

Yet Before I Get Started…

 I wanted to let you know that Descent Into Darkness, Vol. 1: He Begins, the printed omnibus including the first three e-novellas of the series, has been successfully republished by Trinity Gateways LLC.  The new cover is a big improvement over the old, and the map it features is a two-page spread of the entire continent of Orthanor.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

An Appearance in April

On 4/13/14, I and my fellow writers LJ Gastineau and Tricia Sparks will be at the North Florida Comic Con event at the Ramada Inn off Hartley Rd, Jacksonville, FL.  We’ll be at the Trinity Gateways LLC table, selling and signing books.  Be sure to come on by and say hello.  Also, a discount on our books is available to anyone who says that they saw us on Facebook or have visited our site.  Share with your friends, bring them along, and have some fun at the event!

And now I need to play with the words in my head.  Happy reading, and I hope to see on the 13TH!

…And I’m Back

 

It’s been a long time

Last year was a rough one, and this year, while it’s full of promise and excitement for me, is shaping up to be a challenging one.  But before I get into what’s going on now, I’d like to take a moment to review what went on before — and perhaps give you some insight on my online absence last year.

2013 closed out with some pluses and some disappointments for me.  The disappointments: Descent Into Darkness: His Revenge was still not finished, Trinity Gateways LLC, the publishing startup I’d founded with fellow authors LJ Gastineau and Tricia Sparks, had taken up more of my time and energy than I’d anticipated, I’d taken some financial hits (some pretty hefty car repairs), I still have a full-time job that demands most of my time during the week, and, on a much more personal level, there was some emotional upheaval.

I was aware that a new business was time-consuming.  Knowing and understanding, however, seem to be two separate things, and while I had thought I understood it and was prepared for it, I discovered that I hadn’t, and I wasn’t.  The first quarter of the year was sucked up like water into a dry sponge by accounting, taxes, and then last minute cover design and publications.  By the end of the second quarter, I’d managed to carve out time for my own writing, but only after fulfilling my responsibilities and commitments to Trinity Gateways LLC.

Admittedly, part of that was poor planning.  We’re small – only three people manning the machine, so to speak – and we were trying to make deadlines that we’d set for ourselves while juggling learning new applications, all kinds of financial stuff, and diving into new responsibilities.  There were obstacles and a huge learning curve.  Collectively, we met some of our goals, and missed the boat on others.  Posting free content on the site took a huge hit simply because there wasn’t enough time to generate it.  One publishing deadline was pushed back and my own project, His Revenge, got put on hold.

The struggling plot in DID: His Revenge was both a wonderful lesson and a burgeoning cross to bear.  I wasn’t able to touch it much in the first four months of the year, but when I picked it up in May, I knew there were problems.  I dug into the material, studied the notes I’d made on the story, went back through what I’d written, and still I wasn’t sure where the issue lay.  There was one – at least one gargantuan problem that sat like a big, fat toad in the pond.  More, that ugly toad wouldn’t stop kicking up the mud from the bottom to cloud the water.

Though I couldn’t see that bloody toad, I could tell it was there by the signs it left behind.  Some of the scenes felt flat, characters wouldn’t cooperate (yes, this happens and it’s annoying when it does), and the pace dragged.  I revised whole sections, pulled several characters out entirely for use in a later story, edited the chronology, pored over my maps, studied my appendices, and though there had been some improvement, things still weren’t right.  I ended the third quarter by throwing the His Revenge down and seriously contemplating a bonfire.

Then I picked it back up, brushed off the dirt, and set it in a drawer to come back to later.  That freakin’ toad got a reprieve and croaked contentedly in its muddy, watery home.

By this point, I needed distraction.  Aside from the frustration with writing, my personal life took a grave turn when my grandfather fell ill after surgery.  Add family holidays, conflicting schedules, and the generally hectic nature of the season, it became a kind of barely controlled chaos.  Thankfully, it was also the beginning of our hiatus period; otherwise the chaos would have been worse.

Through it all, one thing remained consistent and wholly within my control: Trinity Gateways LLC.  It was my distraction as it required more of my attention, so I gave myself over to it, helping to push out another title by LJ Gastineau.  Since I was determined that the next tax season would not be a repeat of the first, I began tax preparations early.

Life went on, Thanksgiving came and went, things settled down just a bit.  Then my grandfather, who had been in recovery from the bout in September, fell ill again.  It’s hard to know someone is in decline and be powerless to do anything about it.  It takes over your world for a bit, until you can manage to shake yourself loose and concentrate on the things you can do.

December began with more positivity than I’d expected.  My grandfather’s condition seemed to improve, and I was finally able to identify that loathsome toad in the pond that was DID: His Revenge.  It came down to a single sentence in the appendix, one that I’d forgotten about, and somehow missed in my previous read-throughs.  It changed an entire plot thread and exposed flaws in two anothers.  I spent a good deal of time outlining, revising, and evaluating.  Some chapters wouldn’t fit the changes I needed to make, and almost everything I’d written thus far had to be overhauled to one degree or another.

Christmas was a wonderful highlight to the end of the year.  The reprieve, though, was brief.  As 2013 ended and 2014 began, I was hit hard where it counted most: my grandfather went into the hospital just after Christmas and passed away just after New Year’s.

Death can knock you down when you least expect it.  For me, it knocked the words right out.  I couldn’t write a thing for two weeks, and it didn’t help that I got sick after the funeral.

Despite the sorrowful start, 2014 shows some promise.  This year’s tax season was much easier than last year’s, and I’m back to writing His Revenge now that the taxes for Trinity Gateways LLC have been completed.  There’s still a lot of work to do for the business but we’ve learned our lessons there.  We’ve got things planned out more, we’re all on the same page, and we’re acting more like a three man team, then as solo authors.

Ongoing Projects

As for me, His Revenge will be completed this year.  I’m not sure when yet; I’ll have a better idea after I finish implementing all the plot changes.  I’ll let you know once I figure it out.  On a related note, I’m having the cover for the printed version of DID Vol. 1: He Begins redone and will announce its republication date once that’s ready to go.

There’s also another book in the offing, one completely separate from Descent Into Darkness, that’s being polished.  I’ll get you more details there when we’re closer to publication.

Back-End Conversions

Trinity Gateways LLC had to make some serious decisions this year.  One of those was finalizing the conversion of titles from self-published to published-by-the-company.  It was something we had been putting off, mostly due to the cost involved, but we took the plunge.  This process requires a lot of work, time, energy, and personal drive.  There are benefits, however, that make it worth doing.

We own the ISBNs, control the information registered to them, and the fiscal end of things will become more simplified.  Doing this also allows us to revamp our interior layouts and refresh covers as needed.  Some layouts have been completely over-hauled, others just tweaked.  Overall, we’re left with a final product line that looks much better, and will be in a position to start looking at other opportunities that could strengthen our business.

It’s a process that’s both enjoyable and a nightmare.  Yet there’s this wealth of satisfaction once the process is finished for a title.  Once it’s all finished, I think we’ll throw a party to celebrate.

The Book Title Catalogue

We’ve been talking about this thing for a while now, and have been passing out a proto-version of it on CD at the events we attend.  Once updated with new information, i.e. ISBNs, covers, etc., we will upload a PDF file of our book title catalogue to the site for you to access and download.  This will make its appearance on the site no later than May 1, 2014 – earlier, if we can manage it – and will include series summaries, a teaser/synopsis for each book, the book cover, ISBN, format availability, and sample chapters.

Posting

Due to time constraints and workloads, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to post free-to-read content this year.  That said, I will be posting sample chapters of my soon-to-be-published books in the month or so prior to publication.  I’ll also be updating my page at least once a month with news on publications, appearances, etc.  So check back to find out what’s going on and when.

Until next time, folks, happy reading!

Keeping It Short

Things have been crazy the past two weeks and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon.  So here’s Episode 26 of Spartans: The AWOL Squad.  Enjoy, and I will try to find more time to write post later in the week.

Hey, It Works!

Apologies for the delay, folks.  I was having issues with the server connection timing out last night and couldn’t post as scheduled.  That issue is now resolved (yay!) and I’ve posted Episode 25 of Spartans: The AWOL Squad.

DID Isn’t Forgotten

The first chapter of His Revenge, the fifth installment of Descent Into Darkness, will be posted as soon my timeline stops rewriting itself.  This was something I encountered with His Command, where my starting point for the story kept resetting itself as the plot developed — and I realized that there were a few things I needed to seed earlier than the original first chapter despite all my outlining.  Unlike that previous instance, however, I’m lacking backlog to post while I work out the kinks.  Thus AWOL has made a reappearance in the posting schedule.  Please be patient with me while I work this out and enjoy the offering.

Most of the kinks I’m dealing with surround a new character, one who is scripted to play a significant role much later on.  His backstory is more in-depth than some of the characters I’ve introduced, his motivations heavily rooted in certain events of his past, and while the details are vital to his portion of the story, they do draw attention away from the focal character(s) of the series — Ba’tvian, or, as some see it, Ba’tvian and Nerisse.  Because of that, I’m contemplating writing a short story for just this character for online posting.  It would relieve His Revenge of the burden of introducing a new character, and may just straighten out those kinks I keep running into.

We’ll see how it goes.  Until next time, happy reading.

Another Year Begins…

…and I don’t know that I’ve ever been so pressed for time.

Update Schedule Is Up…Sort Of

We have an initial draft of our content update schedule posted here.  We’re still compiling it so please bear with us.

There are several things we’re dealing with this year that we haven’t had to deal with before.  In June 2012, Trinity Gateways became an LLC which was great, wonderful, fantastic.  Yet it means more work: taxes and annual reports to be filed with the state to name the top two.  Some of this couldn’t be started until Janauary of this year, which means that we — especially me — have been really busy.  So busy, in fact, that I’m behind on my writing goals and that’s reflected in my portion of the posted schedule.

So apologies to those of you who are awaiting more Descent Into Darkness.  I’m working to get to it as soon as I can.

Newsletter Submissions

We are still accepting submissions for the next newsletter.  We’re looking short or flash fiction, poetry, or articles relating to writing, reading, publishing, or story-telling in some way.  Please see our Submissions Page for more information.

Only A Writer

I was recently promoted at the dayjob.  Yay!  It means more duties.  Boo.  Lol, that said, I took it because I was already doing most of the work and wanted the raise that came with the new title.  The raise comes just in time to pay for car repairs; one of the drive belt tension wheels has deteriorated to the point that the belt has come off.  Having this happen while driving to work downtown is not fun in the least.  I’m going to give those moments of sickening panic to some poor character later down the road.  Another character will get my disappointment and resignation of not being able to enjoy that new raise.

Only a writer would torment fictional people this way.

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