Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

The Silverblade Prophecy, .99 Cents on Kindle for a Limited Time Only

Buy Links:
Throughout the ages, messiahs have come and gone, and all have fallen.

After centuries of exile, Bantaka the Godslayer is active once more. The Seer manipulates the strands of Time and Space to bring together Pankea’s only hope: the most unlikely motley of misfits and cut-throats in the land, and a godling half-breed who’s bloodline heritage holds the key to saving—or dooming—all Existence.

Destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy to “pierce the heart of her ancestor,” Marian Silverblade is hailed as the current messiah of her age. But prophecies often get misinterpreted. And Lord Calahan Darkblade—Marian’s ancestor and Bantaka’s Herald—has plans of his own….

The Silverblade Prophecy is the first book in The Messiahs War Trilogy. When destinies collide in a war unlike anything before seen on Pankea, the choices made by the most unlikely of heroes may determine the outcome

May 2, 2017 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pre-Order The Silverblade Prophecy Today!

Throughout the ages, messiahs have come and gone, and all have fallen.
After centuries of exile, Bantaka the Godslayer is active once more. The Seer manipulates the strands of Time and Space to bring together Pankea’s only hope: the most unlikely motley of misfits and cut-throats in the land, and a godling half-breed who’s bloodline heritage holds the key to saving—or dooming—all Existence.
Destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy to “pierce the heart of her ancestor,” Marian Silverblade is hailed as the current messiah of her age. But prophecies often get misinterpreted. And Lord Calahan Darkblade—Marian’s ancestor and Bantaka’s Herald—has plans of his own….

The Silverblade Prophecy is the first book in The Messiahs War Trilogy. When destinies collide in a war unlike anything before seen on Pankea, the choices made by the most unlikely of heroes may determine the outcome.

April 21, 2017 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Special Trilogy Virtual Tour

Special Trilogy Virtual Tour
Jackie Gamber and H. David Blalock
Featured Books:
Jackie Gamber’s Leland Dragon Series
H. David Blalock’s Angelkiller Triad


JackieGamberBWAbout Jackie Gamber: As an award winning author, Jackie writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length, varieties of which have appeared in anthologies such as Tales of Fantasy and Dragons Composed, as well as numerous periodical publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Binnacle, Mindflights Magazine, Necrotic Tissue, and Shroud. She is the author of the fantasy novel Redheart and Sela, and writing an alternate history time travel novel. She blogs professionally for English Tea, where she reviews classic science fiction and fantasy novels and pairs them with the ideal tea-sipping companion.

Jackie is a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She was named honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award, and received a 2008 Darrell Award for best short story by a Mid-South author. She is the winner of the 2009 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction for her story The Freak Museum, a post-apocalyptic tale that looks closely at perceptions and outward appearances and how they affect the way we see ourselves. Jackie Gamber was co-founder and Executive Editor of Meadowhawk Press, a speculative fiction publisher based in Memphis. One of their novels, Terminal Mind by David Walton, won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award in 2009. Jackie also edited the award winning benefit anthology, Touched By Wonder. She has been a guest lecturer at Memphis Options High Schools, and is a speaker at writers’ conferences from Michigan to Florida. Jackie is also the visionary behind the MidSouthCon Writers’ Conference, helping writers connect since 2008.


GamberBookOne_RedheartCoverJackie Gamber’s Redheart Book Synopsis: Enter the lands of Leland Province, where dragon and human societies have long dwelled side by side. Superstitions rise sharply, as a severe drought strips the land of its bounty, providing fertile ground for the darker ambitions of Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, who seeks to subdue humans or wipe them off the face of the land.
As the shadow of danger creeps across Leland Province, a young dragon named Kallon Redheart, who has turned his back on dragons and humans alike, comes into an unexpected friendship. Riza Diantus is a young woman whose dreams can no longer be contained by the narrow confines of her village, and when she finds herself in peril, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her. Yet to do so means he must confront his past, and embrace a future he stopped believing in.
A tale of friendship, courage, and ultimate destiny, Redheart invites readers to a wondrous journey through the Leland Dragon Series.


HDavidBlalockBWAbout H. David Blalock: Born in San Antonio, Texas, David spent the majority of his formative years in Jacksonville, Florida. At the age of 16, his family moved to the Panama Canal Zone where David finished school and entered employment with the Department of Defense as a Powerhouse Electrician.
Hiring into the FAA, he returned with his wife and two daughters to the States and settled briefly in Gulfport, MS. A few years later, he moved to Memphis, TN, as an Air Traffic Controller for the Memphis ARTCC. There he remained until his retirement.
David’s writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines, webzines, and writer’s sites. His work continues to appear on a regular basis through multiple publishing houses.


BlalockBookOne_AngelkillerCoverH, David Blalock’s Angelkiller Book Synopsis: Why do bad things happen to good people? Simple. In the ancient war between the Angels of Light and Darkness, the Dark won. Now it is the job of an undercover force simply known as The Army to rectify that.

Using every tool available, The Army has worked to liberate our world from The Enemy for thousands of years, slowly and painfully lifting Mankind out of the dark. On the front of the great Conflict are the Angelkillers, veterans of the fight with centuries of experience.

Jonah Mason is an Angelkiller, and his cell is targeted as part of plot to unseat a very powerful Minion of The Enemy. Mason and his troop are drawn into a battle that stretches from real-time to virtual reality and back. The Conflict is about to expand into cyberspace, and if Mason is unable to stop it, The Enemy will have gained dominion over yet another realm

Author Links:
Jackie Gamber
Twitter: @jackiegamber

H. David Blalock
Twitter: @Hdavidblalock

Tour Schedule and Activities
9/8 SpecMusicMuse Review
9/8 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void Multi-Blogger Interview Part 1
9/8 Horror Tree Guest Post (Blalock)
9/8 Elizabeth Delana Rosa ~Book Lover & Creator of Worlds~ Guest Post (Gamber)
9/9 Jorie Loves a Story Guest Post (About Gamber)
9/9 I Smell Sheep Interactive Thread with Jackie and Dave
9/9 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post (Blalock)
9/10 The Southern Belle from Hell Art of the Angelkiller Triad (Blalock)
9/10 Bee’s Knees Review Guest Post (Gamber)
9/10 Blog of Sheila Deeth Guest Post (Gamber)
9/10 The Official Writing Blog of Deedee Davies Multi-Blogger Interview Part 2
9/10 Seers, Seraphs, Immortals & More Jackie Gamber Interviews H. David Blalock
9/11 Seers, Seraphs, Immortals & More H. David Blalock Interviews Jackie Gamber
9/11 Workaday Reads Guest Post (Gamber)
9/12 Vampires, Witches, & Me, Oh My! Guest Post (Gamber)
9/12 Trip Through My Mind Multi-Blogger Interview Part 3
9/12 Beauty In Ruins Guest Post (Blalock)
9/13 Jess Resides Here Review
9/14 Willow’s Author Love Guest Post (Blalock)
9/14 Fantastical Musings Multi-Blogger Interview Part 4
9/14 Jorie Loves a Story Guest Post (Gamber)

Tour Page URL:

Tour Badge Html:

Amazon Links for Redheart, the First Book of Jackie Gamber’s Leland Dragon Series:
Kindle Version:
Print Version:

Amazon Links for Angelkiller, the First Book of H. David Blalock’s Angelkiller Triad:
Kindle Version:
Print Version:

September 7, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Got Paperback?

All three anthologies, now in paperback at both and Barnes & Noble!

Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions



A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court



A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court



If you’re a fan of animal stories, a fan of faeries, or just a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories in general, you will love these. Enjoy! 🙂

February 16, 2014 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Review—Chronicles of Ave, Volume 1, by Stephen Zimmer

Having not read any of the novels, Chronicles of Ave, Volume 1, is my first introduction to Stephen Zimmer’s epic fantasy world. A collection of short stories, Chronicles of Ave provides a rich and diverse array of lands and cultures from the view of heroic characters as they partake in adventures and quests against the forces of darkness.

I greatly enjoyed the stories and loved the characters. The Trogen, Marragesh, in “Into Glory Ride,” was by far the most interesting. My only problem with “Lion Heart” was the main character’s name (Sigananda? Signanda? Siganda?) kept getting spelled differently, which almost threw me out of the story. Almost.

Of the stories, themselves, “Winter’s Embrace” bears a theme vitally important for current times as it delves into the very nature of faith, itself. It would be the best of the stories, but the Trogen in “Into Glory Ride” steal the whole show (so to speak).

Overall, Chronicales of Ave, Volume 1 is a mut-have for any fan of epic and heroic fantasy.

Best to read while listening to: Iron Maiden, Enya, and Loreena McKennitt.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Guest Post by Stephen Zimmer – Challenges of Writing Short Stories That Tie Into a Fantasy Series

For the first ever Guest Post done in SpecMusicMuse history, I have the honor of introducing the great Stephen Zimmer, who is both a great author and certainly one of the hardest-working in the field. And if you haven’t heard about him by now, then you need to stop living in a cave.

So, without further ado, hhheeeeeeeerrrreeeeeee’s the Zimmster!


StephenZimmer-smallI would like to thank Scott Sandridge for the opportunity to be here today on SpecMusicMuse to discuss short story tie-ins with a large series.

Chronicles of Ave, Volume 1, is a collection of stand-alone short stories that are set in the world featured in my Fires in Eden Series.  Readers of the short stories do not need to know anything about the Fires in Eden novels to enjoy these tales.

However, readers of the Fires in Eden Series will find more depth and content relating in some way to the novels, whether it be the backstory on a figure referenced in the series, more about a place or culture that are not yet shown in the series, or a historical event that might be simply mentioned in one of the novels.

In developing the history of Ave, and writing the Fires in Eden novels such as Crown of Vengeance, Dream of Legends, and Spirit of Fire, I have created a trove of material for short stories.  There are so many things about Ave that cannot be delved into during the novels, as to do so would take things on a sideways tangent from the course of the various story threads.  The short stories afford me the opportunity to immerse into those references, whether they relate to a figure, land, or historical event.

In writing these kinds of short stories, I find myself gaining an even deeper foundation for my series and the elements within it.  So, in a sense, it strengthens the process of writing for the novels too.

There are a few specific challenges involved in writing a short story related to a series.

For one thing, the nature of the short story itself presents its own challenges versus the writing of a large novel.   In my novels, I work with multiple story threads, and I have the kind of range and depth in a multi-book structure to plant seeds, foreshadow, let things take shape and develop, and build towards big payoffs down the line.

In a short story, the structure employed is much more linear, following one character, sometimes two.   With a much shorter structure, the plot, main character, and setting must unfold much faster.  You do not have the range of space to include the kinds of foreshadowing, twists, and turns that an epic-scale novel can contain.   You must connect with the reader fast, establishing  a tone and pace that will carry you through that particular story.

As mentioned before, I also work to make sure that the stories do stand on their own, so that a brand new reader who has not read any of the novels can understand everything taking place.  This sounds kind of obvious, at first, but after writing several novels it is possible to make assumptions on the things native to the world of Ave.  I keep an eye out for that and feel that new readers will have no problems whatsoever discovering the world of Ave if their first encounter with it is through the short stories.

Also important to me is to select cultures, lands, historical events and characters that will provide further content and depth for the readers of the series.  I want this to be their chance to explore some of the things that can only be mentioned or referenced briefly in the novels, and to gain more background on how Ave’s history developed.

With Chronicles of Ave I am confident that I have achieved that.  Readers will get to visit a diverse array of settings, from a medieval China style atmosphere in “Touch of Serenity” to the wintry forests of an Eastern European-like vibe in “Winter’s Embrace”.  “Into Glory Ride” is a story focused on the fully original Trogen race, and two non-human races that have not yet appeared in the novels are introduced in “Land of Shadow.”   There is even a little romance, in “Moonlight’s Grace”, and a flare of the heroic in “Lion Heart”, which takes inspiration from the Zulu Nation.

Loaded with action, fully stand-alone in nature, and each distinctive in terms of plot and main characters, the Chronicles of Ave serve as a nice introduction to the world of Ave.  I really hope both new readers and readers of my series find the adventures equally enjoyable!



Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author of speculative fiction, whose works include the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Rising Dawn Saga (epic-scale Urban Fantasy), the Harvey and Solomon tales (Steampunk), the Hellscapes tales (Horror), and the Rayden Valkyrie tales (Sword and Sorcery). He is also a writer-director in moviemaking, with feature and short film credits such as Shadows Light, The Sirens, and Swordbearer.



Twitter: @sgzimmer



October 5, 2013 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , | 2 Comments

SpecMusicMuse Review—Thread Slivers by Leeland Artra

9780615771182_p0_v1_s260x420The first novel in The Golden Threads trilogy, Thread Slivers sets the overall story up well. Leeland Artra delivers fast-paced action, a complex and twisting plot, well-developed characters, and a vast world whose intriguing history gets hinted at throughout the book; leaving you wanting to know as much about  Duianna’s history as you do about the fate of Ticca and Lebuin.

Even though he’s not the main character, The Duke steals the show. But what else would you expect from a horse-sized talking wolf that cusses like a sailor? And considering his background (which I won’t get into and thus spoil), I wouldn’t be surprised if this “Fantasy” trilogy turns out to be cleverly disguised Science Fiction.

I tend to hate cliffhangers, mostly because it pisses me off to have to wait six months to a year to find out what happens next. But that’s really the only peeve I have with the book, for it’s a cliffhanger that actually does its job because I want to know what happens next, now!!!! Now dammit!! NOW!!!!!

Best to read while listening to: Three Musketeers soundtrack, combined with the soundtrack to Patton.

September 22, 2013 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Review—Dark Shala by Cathy Benedetto

DarkShalaCoverExotic settings? Check. Heroic characters? Check. Big war? Check.

Everything you’d expect from an epic fantasy can be found in Dark Shala by Cathy Benedetto, the second book of the Shala Trilogy. The Shala are a tall race of powerful dark skinned warriors who possess a telepathic bond with large cats they call fels. As a vast army invades their lands, just as had been prophesied, the Shala come to the aid of the native humans.

In this second installment, their leader, Tahjeen, and his Shala escort human refugees through an ancient network of underground tunnels. But they soon find themselves being hunted by Shala exiles that practice dark magic, or “Dark Shala,” who have sided with the invaders for a chance at revenge.

Benedetto has created an interesting mix of lovable characters as well as a world and story worthy of the genre. She knows how to keep a reader turning those pages long after they should be going to bed.

I found the prologue to be unnecessary since it was merely a recap of the previous book, and the information it provided was nothing that didn’t later pop up in the story itself, whether through dialogue or exposition. Those types of prologues are neither required and can be quite irksome. But aside from that, the story was an enjoyable read.

Best to read while listening to: the soundtrack to Avatar.

May 21, 2013 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Review—The Brotherhood of Dwarves, Book 4: Between Darkness and Light

between-dark-and-light-cover-4_final-webThe fourth book of D.A. Adams’s epic fantasy series, The Brotherhood of Dwarves, takes place immediately after the Fall of Dorkhun. Roskin’s father, King Kraganere, is badly wounded, and Kraganere’s advisor, Sondious, has gone insane and usurped the throne. Meanwhile, outside the broken gates of Dorkhun, the Great Empire camps in the valley, preparing for invasion.

To save his father and the KiredurkKingdom, Roskin must unite the other Dwarven kingdoms in an alliance against the empire. Meanwhile, the half-elf, Kwark, sends Vishghu to convince her fellow ogres to aid the Kiredurks despite having just fought a devastating war with them. And Crushaw has a limited amount of time to turn a ragtag mass of elves into an army formidable enough to fight the empire.

And far to the east, a vicious and insane outcast has his own plans for the hero, Roskin.

In many ways, this book is what the three previous books were setting the stage for, BDal-Interior1and if the fifth book turns out the way the fourth book seems to be hinting expect to see some major epic battles to come, battles far greater than the one in here.

Adams has taken classic tropes in the genre that has existed since The Hobbit and has breathed fresh new life into them. While familiar enough to be identifiable, none of the races follow common stereotypes. It is a world more realistic, where not every elf or dwarf is good and not every orc is evil. And not all dwarves live underground: some, like Molgheon, are most at home in the wilderness. It is a world familiar to readers of Epic Fantasy but also possesses the grim and grit of Sword & Sorcery.

BDaL-Interior2Adams makes you care about the characters, about the relationships, and about the world. And instead of characterizing the human-ruled Great Empire in a two-dimensional light, he shows, through an imperial captain, the moral complexities of the choices between loyalty and duty in an empire that is becoming decadent and complacent. You actually feel for what the captain has to go through despite him being one of the enemies.

The series as a whole is one of the best you’re ever going to find, whether from small press or large, and the fourth installment will keep you reading well past your bedtime.

Best to read while listening to: any epic music (Two Steps From Hell perhaps?) or epic fantasy soundtrack (you know which ones).

March 3, 2013 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , | 2 Comments

SpecMusicMuse Review: The Jealousy Glass by Gwen Perkins

15838977Cercia’s new leader, Quentin, sends Asahel and Felix to Anjdur as ambassadors to broker a peace treaty, but also as secret agents. While trying to avoid one war, they find themselves embroiled in another while having to prevent the assassination of Anjdur’s Empress.

Being the second part of a trilogy, I expected The Jealousy Glass to feel like the second act of a three part play, but instead it felt like the first act only with a little back story. Nothing wrong with that, but trilogies normally have a bit more glue holding them together, and the second book is supposed to contain the “good stuff” (ala The Empire Strikes Back).

But as far as character depth and world building goes, Perkins knows her stuff. Even the dialogue felt real for that world and Perkins paints a vivid imagery of the setting without bogging the reader down in details. The plot smoothly transitions from one point to the next; however, there were some points where it felt like the two main characters, Asahel and Felix, were just along for the ride. For example, a certain plot-related item gets broken…and Asahel has no idea why he broke it.

As far as being the mid-point of a larger story, it felt lacking, yet it’s still adequate as a stand-alone story so long as you don’t mind the plot feeling a bit forced in a certain pivotal scene. All in all, it’s a good read to have around when you don’t have anything else to read.


Best to read while listening to: the soundtrack to The Tudors? Do they have a soundtrack out for that?


And now for…

Ya’know wat? Screw putting that damn dislaimer into every single review post! I’m rebelling, dammit!


January 2, 2013 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , | Leave a comment