The Rys Chronicles Paperback Holiday Special

The Rys Chronicles Complete 4-Book Series in Paperback by Tracy Falbe

Many fantasy readers still prefer an actual paper book. Relaxing into an epic novel offers a great way to unplug from the hectic pace of digital life. Many years ago when I first formed Falbe Publishing, I printed all four novels of The Rys Chronicles in paperback. I sold them at comic and gaming conventions for a few years, which was fun, but I have not had the motivation to work as a vendor at a convention for a while. Which means that I still have some paperbacks around.

Therefore, I can offer a clearance deal on The Rys Chronicles by selling it as a four-book set for an embarrassingly low price.

The set contains the novels: Union of Renegades, The Goddess Queen, Judgment Rising, and The Borderlands of Power.

Set ships only in the United States. The cost to ship four books out of this country is absurdly expensive.

4 Paperbacks $14.99 with Free U.S. Shipping

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44 Free Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

If you’re looking for a constant supply of free ebooks, then visit Prolific Works any day of the week. It’s an ebook giveaway platform where authors, including many indie authors like me, connect with new readers by providing free samples.

Right now, I’m running an ebook giveaway at Prolific Works that includes 44 free ebooks in the sci fi and fantasy genres. Readers have until December 18th, to access the giveaway page.

To discover a new indie author, visit the Flagship Fantasy and Sci Fi Giveaway. Visitors will find a couple of my free titles, because I’m the giveaway organizer, along with a diverse selection of exciting novels and previews by dozens of genre writers.

Go Beyond the Retailer Marketing Algorithm

Browsing multi-author giveaways is a great way to find new authors. It differs from searching for a new title at an ebook retailer. Marketing algorithms at ebook retailers will focus on the best-selling titles by organizing books into top 10 or top 100 lists. This system only partially succeeds in exposing readers to the best talents because the popularity contest marketing system builds barriers that keep other authors from gaining notice. If a title does not get enough sales, it will never break into a list and gain exposure to customers. In this way, the retail ecosystem perpetuates sales for the same titles and limits churn on the charts. I can understand the motivation for doing this because the system markets proven sellers, but it buries other titles regardless of their merit because they never get a day in the sun. Most visitors to the retailer will only look at what the system merchandises and never see any of the thousands of other titles available.

Hitting giveaway sites like Prolific Works gives people a chance to see titles merchandised from a different perspective. Authors willing to make the effort to market their creations and offer a free sample gain a chance to be seen. Readers get free reads and sometimes discover hidden gems.

If you encounter this post after the giveaway closes on Dec. 18th, all hope is not lost. You can always get a free read right here at Brave Luck Books on the free ebooks page.

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Two Conceptual Approaches to Writing Series

As the author of three different series, I group series writing into two camps. One requires the author to know, at least in broad terms, the overarching story being told by the individual parts. The second approach relies on a formula for creating individual installments or episodes. The formula enables an open-ended path to creating an ongoing series that does not necessarily have an end in sight. 

Writing a Story as Series

When the author knows the story from the beginning, each story within the series contributes to the master story arc guiding the narrative toward a conclusion. Each installment will contain its own smaller story arc, but the results of the arc move the overall story forward toward a conclusion. This is the method that came naturally to me as a fiction writer. 

The Lord of the Rings trilogy provides a well-known example. Tolkien wrote the books knowing that the issue introduced in the first book (the Ring must be destroyed) would be resolved in some way in the final book. 

This differs from an author who writes a successful novel that goes on to spawn sequels due to its success. The best-seller Dune by Frank Herbert serves as an example of a successful novel that inspired many more sequels. The universe envisioned by Herbert certainly provided fertile territory for ongoing stories, but the original Dune has the form of a standalone novel. It tells the story of the rivalry between the Harkonnens and Atreides coming to a head and Paul’s rise as a super being who took over the imperial throne. If the novel had been a flop, then sequels would not have resulted, but their absence would not have left the original Dune as an inconclusive orphan. Imagine if The Fellowship of the Ring had no sequels? Although entertaining, it did not resolve the issue presented in the beginning. Fellowship is a novel that was planned from the beginning to serve as a part of a larger whole. 

Writing an Episodic Series

This story system introduces a setting and characters and places them in various conflicts within each story. Individual installments resolve their issues within each story. 

The Star Trek universe illustrates the episodic approach to building a series. The Original Series in particular presented a single story in each episode that was not generally related to the preceding episodes or succeeding episodes. The formula called for the crew to go to a new place, encounter a threatening unknown, and figure out how to deal with it. The series formed a collection of individual stories instead of a collection of stories that built an overarching story. 

Sometimes the episodic formula can develop into an overarching story. The X-Files was primarily an episodic adventure dependent on Mulder and Scully dealing with something strange each episode and then moving on to some new wonder in the next story. As the series went on, however, overarching story elements emerged around secretive groups. These narratives would rise as the episodes dealt with the larger story and then gradually yield to episodic adventures again. 

My writing has fallen into the camp of story as series. Even if it takes me three or four novels to tell a complete story, I know where I’m going when I write the first story. In a new project that I’ve started, I’m going to try a partially episodic approach. I know I won’t be able to completely resist the urge to develop an overarching story, but I’m interested in exploring the demands of episodic writing. 

As someone who has been writing fiction since 1997 when I penned (literally penned) the first chapters of Union of Renegades, I feel it’s important that I keep trying new ideas. 

Explore Fantasy Series by Tracy Falbe

The Rys Chronicles

Rys Rising

Werewolves in the Renaissance

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New Release! Werewolf Castle by Tracy Falbe

Werewolf Castle: Werewolves in the Renaissance 3
Werewolf Castle: Werewolves in the Renaissance 3 by Tracy Falbe has been released as an ebook worldwide.

The historical fantasy adventure that began in Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale and continued in Journey of the Hunted has now concluded with the publication of Werewolf Castle. Set in the 16th century Holy Roman Empire, the story draws upon the superstitions and folklore of the Early Modern era to present an exciting and frightening story of persecution, survival, and ancient pagan magic.

Ebook sold worldwide at retailers and at this website.

Buy Your Copy Right Here from the Author


Choice of 3 formats: Epub, PDF, of Kindle

Pay with credit card or PayPal. Downloads delivered by SendOwl.

About Werewolf Castle

Thal has found refuge from werewolf hunters and assassins at the castle of his father, Sarputeen. Although the mountain fortress on the eastern fringe of the Holy Roman Empire shields him for the moment, he knows the peace can’t last.

His father counsels war against his old rival who sent servants to murder Thal. But first, Thal must increase his power and that means making a pack. To obtain men to make werewolves, Sarputeen calls in an old debt from the local duke.

The thought of giving others the werewolf magic troubles Thal. He knows that they will be forever bound to him as obedient killers. They will never have normal lives again. Despite his qualms, he is troubled most by the supernatural fext who can heal from all wounds. This foul assassin serves the sorcerer Tekax, and Thal cannot dare to battle them without more werewolves at his side.

Download Your Copy of Werewolf Castle today:

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Preorder Werewolf Castle Ebook Worldwide

Werewolf Castle: Werewolves in the Renaissance 3

Werewolf Castle Release Date: Oct. 17, 2019

The conclusion of the Werewolves in the Renaissance Series will soon be in the hands of readers. I’ll publish Werewolf Castle on October 17, 2019. It’s been way too long since I published a full novel, and I’m hopeful that this will mark my return to regularly writing and publishing novels again.

About Werewolf Castle

Thal has found refuge from werewolf hunters and assassins at the castle of his father, Sarputeen. Although the mountain fortress on the eastern fringe of the Holy Roman Empire shields him for the moment, he knows the peace can’t last.

His father counsels war against his old rival who sent servants to murder Thal. But first, Thal must increase his power and that means making a pack. To obtain men to make werewolves, Sarputeen calls in an old debt from the local duke.

The thought of giving others the werewolf magic troubles Thal. He knows that they will be forever bound to him as obedient killers. They will never have normal lives again. Despite his qualms, he is troubled most by the supernatural fext who can heal from all wounds. This foul assassin serves the sorcerer Tekax, and Thal cannot dare to battle them without more werewolves at his side.

Preorder at these retailers for instant delivery on Oct. 17

Google Play

Apple Books



Kindle US

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Kindle UK

Kindle Germany

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Excerpt from New Religion – Epic Fantasy 50% Off at Smashwords

Epic fantasy New Religion
Ebook currently on sale for 50% off through July 31, 2019 at Smashwords.

The sheer scale of epic fantasy attracts me. I love stories with many interesting characters and multiple settings. In the Rys Rising series, I developed two civilization, each under the influence of a magical race. The characters include magical beings and the humans under their dominion. I weave their various stories together to tell the tale of a great war from all sides involved.

In the third part of the series, New Religion, I added a new character who is forced to join the holy war as a teenager. This character allowed me to explore the phenomenon of child soldiers and how young people can be molded into killers.

Excerpt from New Religion:

Memories of home receded from Khage’s reality with every passing day in the Nolesh Forest. His abduction had thrust the present into preeminence in his mind. The past was so out of joint with his current existence that reconciling them was too difficult.

His rough recruitment had taught him about the brutality that his captors were capable of, but since the first awful day his treatment had improved. Although he remained tied to his group of boys, they were allowed to wash in a stream and they were being fed a thin gruel. They spent their days listening to lectures from men called rysmavda. These men reminded Khage of priests from his village temple, but now they spoke only of Onja. Everyone was to renounce Jayshem, Zatooluh, and Opeti. The rysmavda told them the blessings of the Goddess would enrich her followers. Continually the boys were told that the false powers of their former gods had only been tricks to keep the boys and their families poor and forever working. The rysmavda urged the boys to fight for Onja so that their families could enjoy prosperity instead of fruitless drudgery.

These messages penetrated Khage’s heart. He was too disoriented to track the days, but not many had passed before he began to believe that he could help his poor struggling family by spreading the wisdom and benevolence of Onja. His lecturers told the boys that some day they would return to their villages as heroes. Wealth and prestige would be theirs, and their families would gratefully praise them for freeing the lands of false gods and miserable lies.

As engaging as these fantasies were, Khage thought most often of the High Priestess Loxane. He had not seen her since that day when the Kezanada lord had spoken to them, but the hope of seeing her again made Khage forsake thoughts of escape, which was likely fatal folly anyway.

Today Khage would be tested on the lessons of the priests. If he could properly recite his devotions to Onja, then he would be untied. Khage listened to his final lecture attentively, determined to pass his test. The chance to be free of the dirty noose around his raw neck sharpened his mind considerably.

The boys were lined up in the gloom of the shady forest. The rysmavda receded to their encampment, but Kezanada remained watchful over the boys. Still tied to his fellows, Khage found the tedium stressful. His stomach growled. The midday bowl of gruel seemed not to be forthcoming today.

The afternoon dragged on and the boys shifted uncomfortably in their bonds. Khage ached to be free of the leashing. Trying to measure the passing of time, he tracked the golden glare of the sun that partially penetrated the tree canopy. Little of the sky was visible, but Khage imagined the open blue beyond the mass of trees. He still was not used to the ancient forest. It was much more colossal than the woodlands near his village, and he had never even ventured deeply into those. His people had generally worked at clearing the trees and opening more fields. The forest was something to be pecked away at and its mysteries only dipped into. But now Khage was perhaps irretrievably lost inside the wide unmapped reaches of the Nolesh. The encircling womb-like trees enclosed him in a living totality. Its presence was intimidating but also compelling. If he could learn this place, he could become part of its massive living force and benefit from tapping into its power. That was how the Kezanada seemed to be. They slipped in and out of the trees as comfortably as Khage had once crossed open fields of grain. Thinking of fields, he suddenly longed for the relaxing openness where he could see all around, but then he recalled the toil that those fields had required and how it would have someday bowed even his strong back. The rysmavda had said that he must be grateful for his chance to serve Onja’s higher purpose.

At last three rysmavda returned. They wore blue robes or vests over regular clothes. Khage noted eagerness on their faces, and assumed they were hopeful that their students would pass.

A Kezanada advanced and drew a knife. The boy at the end of the line cringed from the warrior, but he only cut the boy’s noose free from the line. Tugging on the dangling rope, the Kezanada yanked the boy to his feet. With wide eyes, he was led to the rysmavda.

Out of hearing of the others boys, the first boy was put on his knees before the rysmavda who took turns questioning him. Khage watched the rysmavda, and their deepening frowns did not bode well. Eventually the garbled answers of the quaking boy became intolerable and one rysmavda threw up his hands in disgust. A Kezanada seized the boy by the noose and beat him with his thick fist. The other boys watched painfully as their fellow was punished for his failure.

The next boy was cut from the line and taken for testing. He weathered his testing and the Kezanada cut the noose completely from his neck. This boy was then told to wait in another area.

Khage watched apprehensively as each boy was taken before the rysmavda. Three more passed and two more endured the beatings of failure. Then it was Khage’s turn. When the Kezanada cut him loose, Khage stood up. He was almost as tall as the warrior, and he looked at him directly. Khage’s brave glare did not interest the warrior who flung the boy before the priests.

On his knees, Khage faced his teachers. They were of middle age, and their severe expressions were drifting toward boredom as they repeated their questions.

Khage wrangled with his anxiety and braced himself with determination. The questions came swiftly.

“Who is the keeper of your soul?”

“Onja,” Khage replied.

“Do you reject false idols?”


“Name three blessings of your Goddess.”

“Healing, peace, and mercy.”

“Who deserves mercy?”

“The believers of Onja.”

“How do you show your faith in your Goddess?”

Khage faltered. The prayers of affirmation that he had been taught suddenly eluded him. He glanced at the nearby Kezanada, who rubbed his knuckles.

“Fight for her!” Khage blurted.

One of the rysmavda smiled at the exceptionally desirable answer.

“Who do you fight for your Goddess?”


The rysmavda assessed him in silence. Khage averted his gaze. He took deep even breaths. He was not hobbled by the other boys now and intended to defend himself if the Kezanada tried to beat to him.

When the Kezanada grabbed his arm, Khage was on the verge of lashing out when he realized that he was only being directed toward the group of boys who had passed.

Jumping to his feet, he stared in shock at the rysmavda who regarded him without any appreciation for the significance of the moment. He had never succeeded before. He had never been instructed and then tested. He had not even known such things were possible for him. Elation briefly drove the stress from his body. The Kezanada cut the noose from his neck, and he privately swore to Onja that he would do anything to make sure that the noose was never put back on. Perhaps this was her first mercy as he began to serve her great purpose.

Epic Fantasy on Sale Now at Smashwords

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Legends, Monsters, and Gods Bargain Ebooks for 99 Cents

This week only, July 8 to July 12, fantasy readers can snap up bargain ebooks at the 99-cent sale organized by Art of the Arcane. This ebook sale features 21 different ebooks, and some are even box sets for 99 cents.

I’m promoting Journey of the Hunted as part of the Legends, Monsters, and Gods sale. You can get it for the bargain price of $0.99 at:



Google Play

I’m grateful to Art of the Arcane for organizing this bargain sale.

Why Do Authors Contribute to Bargain Ebook Sales?

I look for opportunities to market my novels alongside other authors in similar genres to help attract attention. If I run a sale on one of my ebooks all by myself, it’s not a very compelling offer to readers browsing the internet.

But if someone who likes to read sees a headline about a bargain sale for 21 different ebooks, then he or she might click through. The buffet effect entices with the promise that someone will be able to find something that appeals.

Synergy also results because participating authors all market the sale. I’m not a lone voice in the wilderness begging for attention. I’m part of a chorus asking for attention.

Of course, only a fraction of visitors to the bargain ebook sale page will actually be interested in my novel. They might choose another title or nothing at all, but at least I got them to look at my work.

Picking out a book is a personal and somewhat fussy decision for every reader. For me to get my chance, I need to parade my fictional works before as many potential readers as possible.

Readers benefit from group promotions. The marketing tactic convinces authors to lower a price on one of their novels for a time. Readers who are paying attention to our pleas for attention save money and get to find good books to read.

Not everything that is a good read can be easily discovered at ebook retailers. The most popular lists tend to self perpetuate because book browsers aren’t going to dig much deeper than the top 20 or top 100 titles of any given category.

That’s why following authors online is a great way to increase exposure to novels that you might not ever discover otherwise.

To learn about my novels, special promotions, and deals from other authors, join my email list.

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Rys Rising Fantasy Series on Sale at Smashwords

Every July, Smashwords invites authors to participate in the site-wide promotion known as the Summer Winter Sale. This reflects the international reach of the ebook retailer.

Whether the weather is summer or winter for you, Smashwords is the scene of a month-long deluge of free and discounted ebooks. Multiple formats are available, so readers can load their ebooks on to the devices of their choice.

I routinely take advantage of the sales promotions at Smashwords, and this month is no exception. Everyone can save 50% off any titles in the Rys Rising fantasy series at Smashwords. Sale ends July 31.

Savage Storm – A Personal Favorite

The second book in the Rys Rising series is Savage Storm. Although as an author I like all of my novels, I do admit to an extra fondness for Savage Storm. Writing it was pure fun despite it being an epic and gritty novel. The sheer defiance and bad behavior displayed by many of the characters delighted me.

I’m especially proud of Demeda’s betrayal of her father and whole tribe. They were abominable to her, but she showed them her power in the end. She aided Amar in his conquest of the kingdom as part of Onja’s holy war.

There’s so much more in the novel, that I promise the above statements won’t spoil a thing.

Buy Savage Storm at Smashwords for only $2.50 this month

The next two novels are on sale as well. I’ll share my memories about writing New Religion and Love Lost in future posts.

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40 Free Fantasy Ebooks Available at Prolific Works

Find a new fantasy story to read this summer. Visit the giveaway page.

In cooperation with Art of the Arcane, I’m participating in a fantasy ebook giveaway at Prolific Works. This site makes it easy for readers to load their free downloads on their devices.

The giveaway has 40 fantasy titles from creative authors, including my novel Union of Renegades. The variety of book offerings should satisfy anyone’s taste. You can find elves, zombies, vampires, fairies, and tigers. Choose from deadly serious dramas to humorous adventures.

This is a short-term giveaway. It only lasts until July 15, so don’t miss your chance to browse the free titles and download something for free.

free fantasy ebook

Excerpt from Union of Renegades

The prisoners squinted when they were led into the morning sun. The grime of Taischek’s prison had smeared their blue robes and they plodded down the castle road to the city under heavy guard. Prime Rysmavda Arshen was the foremost prisoner, and the warding crystal on a silver chain around his neck had been replaced by manacles and iron chains on his wrists. Thirty rysmavda and acolytes trailed behind Arshen, but few expressions matched the fury on Arshen’s face.

Astride a chestnut horse with a white mane and tail, King Taischek led the procession and Arshen hurled condemnations at the back of his monarch. He warned of Onja’s killing fire falling from the sky and he told the Temu warriors that surrounded him that they were as good as Deamedron already. Arshen called for the other rysmavda to join him in haranguing their captors, but only a few added their voices to the threats of the Prime Rysmavda. Over a week in prison with no sign of Onja’s magic to save them had worn on the faith of some, and others were too afraid to speak and draw attention to themselves.

Crowds overflowed onto the castle road, and people packed the streets leading to the city square. Some people started throwing rocks at the rysmavda, but Taischek quickly ordered a few warriors to stop them before those who liked to throw rocks encouraged those who had not thought of it.

In the city square Baydek Hall stood across from the rysmavda temple of Dengar Nor. Named after the Temu monarch who founded the bureaucracy, Baydek Hall housed the offices of government officials. The steps of Baydek Hall were broad and designed as a platform for public announcements, parade observation, and sometimes trials. The steps would be crowded today with the thirty-one prisoners on display.

Warriors held back the crowd, and Taischek watched as the prisoners were lined up in their chains. The name of the King flew off the lips of many in the crowd as they hollered their support. The rysmavda had been in prison for over a week now, everyone had heard about the looting of the Dursalene temple, and people were beginning to believe that they had a chance to defeat Onja. No righteous firestorm descended to punish the tribe, Taischek seemed as healthy as ever, and the report was circulating that he had actually killed rysmavda.

Shan waited with Dreibrand and Miranda just inside Baydek Hall. Warriors and bureaucrats milled around the lobby, taking turns looking out the doors and windows. The sound of the crowd outside filled the three story high lobby like a strong wind in a hollow tree. Shan and his friends were tucked in an alcove beside the main doors, and beyond the glossy pillars, they could see the backs of the heads of the rysmavda lining up on the steps.

Miranda wet her lips and noticed that she was breathing faster.

“Are you all right?” Dreibrand asked.

She nodded but looked afraid. Dreibrand understood her fear. Taischek and Shan had asked him to give his testimony about the Atrophane Empire in the east where Onja had no control. He had addressed large groups of soldiers on countless occasions but he had never spoken to the public. Under the Darmar’s censure, all Vetas were excluded from pursuing a political career.

Dreibrand clasped her hand and told her not to worry.

“I hope no one has to be killed,” Miranda said.

“They serve Onja; just remember that,” Dreibrand reminded her sternly.

Download the complete novel Union of Renegades for free.

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Heyday of Fantasy Adaptations for TV Appears to be at Hand

Streaming in general has launched a golden age of television. Productions from the small screen are attracting top talent, and the fantasy genre gets a place at the table too. As someone who grew up with a dearth of fantasy adaptions for television, I was excited to learn how many fantasy and sci fi novels are in development for streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, and Apple.

With the completion of the Game of Thrones television series, others are eager to replicate its success. Amazon, as usual, is strutting about like top dog with its deal to produce an original Lord of the Rings series. With rumors of a multi-season commitment and a total $1 billion budget, it could be absolute bliss.

Although I feel that Arthurian legends are overdone, Netflix might have a good idea with its upcoming production of Cursed. Set in the Arthurian world, it’s supposed to feature a female character who eventually becomes the Lady of the Lake.

Apple might be on to something brilliant with its production of the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. It’s been too long since classic science fiction was produced for viewers.

Despite my natural love of the Lord of the Rings, I’m most excited about Amazon’s other big fantasy project, which is Conan the Barbarian. I very much admire the movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The original adventures by R.E. Howard have great potential to translate into episodic television.

With so many fantasy adaptations headed into production, I can hope for some good entertainment in the coming years. I have diverse tastes, but fantasy is always the genre that I want the most.

Download One of My Free Fantasy Novels

Discover a gripping epic fantasy series. Read Rys Rising: Book I by Tracy Falbe for free.
Rys Rising: Book I – Access Free Download Now

A young warrior ruined and near death is saved by Onja a mysterious rys female. Forsaking all that he was, he will take the name Amar and serve his new magical mistress. A lord among outlaws he will become, feared by kings and called the dro-shalum or curse demon by the common folk.

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Union of Renegades tells the story of a rogue imperial officer and escaped slave.
Union of Renegades – Access Free Download Now

The epic begins as Dreibrand Veta and the conquering Horde of the Atrophane Empire reach a mythic Wilderness that beckons with a magical call to glory. But Onja, Queen of the rys, a race far more powerful than the greatest human state, guards this land. She has the power to imprison souls and her genocidal rage is legendary. Everything is at risk for her desperate enemies, the union of renegades.

Union of Renegades – Access Free Download Now
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