Guest post: The Final Reckoning by Gail Z. Martin

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Risingshadow has an opportunity to feature a guest post by Gail Z. Martin. This guest post is part of the author's Hawthorn Moon blog tour.

In this guest post, the author tells about Reckoning, which is the third book in the Darkhurst fantasy series.

Guest post: The Final Reckoning by Gail Z. Martin

Scourge (Darkhurst #1) by Gail Z. Martin
The Darkhurst series has bridged a big period of change for me, both personally and professionally, since Scourge debuted in 2017. Vengeance came out in 2018, and the third and final book, Reckoning, will be out later this year.

When I sold Scourge to its publisher, I was almost entirely traditionally published, either big press or small press. We only self-published the short stories and novellas that reverted back to us from anthologies. Then in 2018, we parted ways with that publisher (they still have my backlist, it’s an amicable relationship), turned down some other contracts, and struck out largely on our own. We started to bring out collections of our short fiction, and then full original novels, indie published. And that made a huge difference.

Vengeance (Darkhurst #2) by Gail Z. Martin
We have three series with Falstaff Books, and nearly all of our audiobooks through Tantor or Recorded Books. The backlist is still with the original publishers. And we still do stories and novellas for a range of small press anthologies. But going indie enabled us to bring out more books more often, on our own timetable, with more control. Reckoning got delayed as we figured out this new approach.

Now, I’m in the middle of working on Reckoning, with some of those administrative issues resolved, which lets me get back to the craft side of writing. It’s bittersweet coming back to the series and knowing this is the last book, but I’m pleased that the story and setting feel more relevant than ever, and the plot arcs hold up, even after taking a break and coming back to them.

It feels good to bring the series to its conclusion, and let the characters get their hard-earned resolution. Despite all the chaos in the background during the series’ evolution, I’m proud of the work. And I’m very excited to finally release the third book into the world, which should be happening this fall. After that, it’s on to next year’s project, the first book in the new Legacy of the Necromancer, a sequel series to my original Chronicles of the Necromancer books!

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Vengeance – Chapter One (Excerpt)


A chair sailed through the air, thrown by unseen hands. Rigan Valmonde shouted the warning to his brother Corran and dropped to the floor seconds before the chair slammed into the wall behind him hard enough to splinter into pieces.

Setting a child’s vengeful ghost to rest hadn’t sounded like a difficult job when Corran and Rigan took on the task from the village elders. The reality turned out to be far different from what they had been led to expect.

“Finish the banishing circle before she kills us!” Corran climbed to his feet after the angry ghost had thrown him across the room. His iron knife might be able to disrupt the ghost if he could see the spirit to know where to strike.

“Great idea——why didn’t I think of that?” Rigan replied, sarcasm thick in his voice. “Trying not to die right now.” He reached toward the container of salt, aconite, and amanita powder to lay down a protective circle for the banishment, but the spirit materialized just long enough to hurl the container to the far side of the small cabin before he could grab it.

“At least we know for sure that she’s got enough strength to be behind the murders.” Corran dove for the salt mixture, only to see it skid along the wall as if the vengeful spirit were baiting him.

“Yeah, but why?” Rigan got to his knees and brushed the splinters out of his dark hair.

Gail Z. Martin
Gail Z. Martin

Gail Zehner Martin was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Grove City College with a B.A. in History, and earned an M.B.A. in marketing and management information systems from The Pennsylvania State University.

After nearly 20 years as a marketing executive for corporations and non-profit organizations, she started her own consulting firm, Dream Spinner Communications. She also writes feature articles on a variety of topics for regional and national magazines. In addition to writing and consulting, Ms. Martin teaches public relations writing and public speaking for the University of North Carolina - Charlotte. She is married and has three children, a Himalayan cat and a golden retriever.

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