All posts by jmoellerwriter

GHOST IN THE HUNT progress update

11 chapters of GHOST IN THE HUNT down, 11 to go. Halfway there!

I think it’s finally time for a short excerpt:

“But if it is a trap,” said Caina, “even a trap has its uses. Especially when turned back upon the man who set it.”

“You will be careful?” said Damla.

“Of course,” said Caina.

Damla shook her head. “Lies. You are never careful.”

“True,” said Caina.


Jonathan Moeller vs. iTunes

I am pleased to report that as of this writing FROSTBORN: THE IRON TOWER has gotten to #75 on the iTunes US Epic Fantasy list, #15 on the iTunes UK list, #32 on the iTunes Australia list, and #17 on the iTunes Canada list.

Thanks, everyone!

This is particularly satisfying because I have worked in various forms of technical support for years, which means that I remember the first version of iTunes for the PC came out in 2003. Since then I may not have dealt with every conceivable iTunes malfunction, but by God I certainly have come close. Lost libraries, lost authorizations, corrupted upgrades, upgrades that wiped out music libraries, doubled files, stuttering playback, misplaced DLL files (the endless misplaced DLL files!), accidentally wiped iPods, I have seen it all.

(Also, if you are a repair technician and someone brings in their computer for service and tells you that they backed up their music library, they are lying.)

So, after eleven years of an adversarial relationship with iTunes, I am pleased and amused that it is finally working to my benefit!

Though come to think of it, most people who read iBooks likely order off their iPads or iPhones, not the iTunes desktop application. But the thought still counts. :)



So thanks to Bookbub I gave away around 14,000 copies of CHILD OF THE GHOSTS in two days. Because of that, GHOST IN THE FLAMES had a nice little boost as well, and got up to #2,500 on Amazon US. Thanks, everyone!

This is particularly satisfying because I wrote GHOST IN THE FLAMES in 2008, and I tried for years to sell it to a traditional publisher and got precisely nowhere, save for a spreadsheet of rejection notices. But as I have discovered, the last laugh is indeed the best laugh.





I am pleased to report that FROSTBORN: THE IRON TOWER is now available at AmazonAmazon UKAmazon GermanyAmazon CanadaAmazon Australia,Barnes & NobleKoboGoogle Play, and Smashwords. (I’m told it’s currently up at iTunes, but I can’t find the link at the moment. I will post it as soon as I locate it.)

Click here to read the first chapter.

RIDMARK ARBAN is the Gray Knight, questing to stop the return of the terrible Frostborn to the High King’s realm. Yet the soulstone, the instrument of the return of the Frostborn, has been stolen by a ruthless cult and secured within the grim fortress of the Iron Tower.

And Ridmark must risk everything to retrieve it.

MARA wishes only to live peacefully. Yet her father was a dark elven wizard of power, and his shadow-tainted blood flows through her veins, threatening to transform her into a monster.

Yet that is not the greatest danger she faces.

For the Iron Tower was once home to an ancient evil, an evil that desires to claim the power in her blood…


CHILD OF THE GHOSTS, the first book in THE GHOSTS series, is getting featured on BookBub today. Because of that, we’re having a limited-time sale for the weekend. Get CHILD OF THE GHOSTS for free, and get the second book, GHOST IN THE FLAMES for $0.99, and the third book, GHOST IN THE BLOOD, also for $0.99. Links below!





FROSTBORN: THE IRON TOWER table of contents

Just about one week out from FROSTBORN: THE IRON TOWER if all goes well. Until then, here’s the Table of Contents.

The brief prologue is told from the perspective of the Warden of Urd Morlemoch.

A brief prologue

Chapter 1 – The Soulstone

Chapter 2- Fire and Stealth

Chapter 3 – The Assassin

Chapter 4 – Unyielding

Chapter 5 – Half-Blooded

Chapter 6 – A Dark Seed

Chapter 7 – A Jade Bracelet

Chapter 8 – The Artificer

Chapter 9 – Purpose

Chapter 10 – It Would Be A Mercy

Chapter 11 – Ascension

Chapter 12 – Persuasion

Chapter 13 – Haggling

Chapter 14 – A Branched Path

Chapter 15 – Shadows

Chapter 16 – Water Gate

Chapter 17 – Assault

Chapter 18 – Shadows’ Fury

Chapter 19 – Reborn

Chapter 20 – Metamorphosis

Chapter 21 – I Am You

Chapter 22 – Fire and Iron

Chapter 23 – The Assassin and the Thief

Chapter 24 – The Choice



FROSTBORN and the halflings

A reader asked a good question about how “halfling servants” work in the FROSTBORN books, so I thought I’d post the answer here as well:

The “halflings” of FROSTBORN are basically hobbits – smaller and quicker and more agile than humans or orcs, but physically weaker. Because of that, they were originally the slaves of the dark elves and the orcs, and then when the urdmordar conquered the dark elves they basically used the halflings as food and herd animals. So when the humans arrived and defeated the urdmordar, the halflings swore eternal loyalty to the High King and his nobles. By the time the FROSTBORN books start, many noble houses have families of halfling servants that go back for generations, and newer nobles and richer commoners will try to hire halfling servants as a “prestige” thing, like an 19th century English industrialist hiring a butler, a housekeeper, and footmen in imitation of the old aristocracy.

There are human servants (one can’t always hire a halfling) and halflings that don’t work as servants. But in the culture the halfings have developed within Andomhaim, devoted service to their liberators (or the descendants of their liberators, at any rate) is seen as the highest and most honorable calling.

Of course, not all halflings agree with that.

The halflings don’t turn up much in the first few books, but they’re a major plot point in THE MASTER THIEF and THE IRON TOWER, and a halfling is one of the main viewpoint characters in THE MASTER THIEF.


So what is GHOST IN THE HUNT about?

Now that GHOST IN THE MAZE has been out for a month, a few people have asked what GHOST IN THE HUNT will be about. A brief teaser follows, but note that it HAS SPOILERS for all THE GHOSTS books so far!

Caina is the Ghost circlemaster of Istarinmul, but by the time GHOST IN THE HUNT starts, she’s been on her own for nearly a year with no contact from the Empire or the other Ghosts, which means she’s been able to do essentially whatever she wants. That changes in GHOST IN THE HUNT when the Empire’s new Lord Ambassador arrives in Istarinmul.

And the reason the Emperor finally sent a new Lord Ambassador to Istarinmul is because of the civil war within the Empire.

All the rumors Caina heard about a civil war within the Empire are true. In the aftermath of the Moroaica’s great work, a rebel group of magi calling themselves the Umbarian Order split away from the Magisterium and seized the eastern third of the Empire, and want to wipe out both the Magisterium and the Imperial nobility and rule the Empire themselves. The Umbarians practice every form of forbidden sorcery – necromancy, pyromancy, oneiromancy, and others – and have also reinstitued slavery in the provinces they control. The Umbarians have the most powerful sorcerers, but the Emperor and the Magisterium have more magi, and far more regular soldiers as well. So the civil war is a stalemate right now.

However, the Umbarians have sent an ambassador to Istarinmul, hoping to convince the Padishah to side with the Umbarian Order against the Empire. So the new Lord Ambassador’s mission is to keep Istarinmul from siding with the Umbarian Order, no matter how drastic the measures – and he needs Caina’s help to do it.

But Caina, for her part, knows that Grand Master Callatas is the true power in Istarinmul, and Grand Master Callatas doesn’t want a war so he can focus on preparing his mysterious Apotheosis (whatever that is). However, Caina has inadvertently handed the Umbarians a huge negotiating advantage.  Callatas needs slaves to create wraithblood, but Caina has so terrorized the Slavers’ Brotherhood that the price of slaves in Istarinmul has skyrocketed. And if Istarinmul goes to war against the Empire, the Umbarians will give Callatas all the slaves he could possibly need.

So Caina needs to keep Istarinmul from joining the war against the Empire, because otherwise the Umbarians will destroy the Empire, and Callatas will be able to finish the Apotheosis.

And then things get really complicated…

If all goes well, I should be able to start on GHOST IN THE HUNT in July.