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About James Maxey
Readers interested in sampling Maxey's odd ramblings might enjoy his science-fantasy Bitterwood series, the secondary world fantasy of his Dragon Apocalypse novels, his two superhero series Lawless and Whoosh! Bam! Pow! or the steam-punk visions of Bad Wizard. His short fiction has appeared in IGMS, Asimov's, and over a dozen anthologies, with the best of his work appearing in the collections There is No Wheel and The Jagged Gate. In what is certainly a sign of the end times, James was named Piedmont Laureate in 2015.
James lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina with his lovely and patient wife Cheryl and too many cats. For more information about James and his writing, visit jamesmaxey.net. Or, follow him on Twitter @JamesAllenMaxey
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Overviews of James Maxey's Works
THE BITTERWOOD SAGA
Marketed as fantasy, Bitterwood is actually post-apocalyptic science fiction set in a world where genetically engineered dragons have risen to power with humans living in their shadow as slaves and pets and prey. A human archer named Bitterwood has waged a one man fight against the dragon overlords for years, but when he murders the son of the Dragon King Albekizan, all-out war breaks loose between dragons and mankind. There's a diverse cast of unique characters both human and dragon to root for, and non-stop tension as both species struggle for their long term survival. The four books of this series are Bitterwood, Dragonforge, Dragonseed, and Dawn of Dragons. All four books plus a bonus short story are available in Bitterwood: The Complete Collection.
In the aftermath of the Bitterwood saga, the human rebels send a team of explorers on a mission beyond the western mountains to try to reconnect with lost human tribes. When they stumble across ancient technology from the human age, they unleash a new threat far more dangerous than dragons. Dragonsgate: Preludes & Omens is currently available. The first full novel in the saga is coming in 2019.
THE DRAGON APOCALYPSE
In a world of pure magic, the primal dragons long ago entwined their spirits with elemental forces. God-like in power, they command forces like fire and ice, water and stone, and even life and death. Greatshadow, the primal dragon of fire, still clings to his roots as a treasure-hoarding dragon, his lair and its vast wealth hidden in the bowels of a volcano. Infidel is an infamous mercenary, enchanted to be as strong as ten men and invulnerable to blades. After accidently killing the man she loves while stealing relics from a temple, she decides to retire in style by stealing Greatshadow's treasure. This sets in motion events that will lead to the primal dragons united to destroy mankind. Can Infidel and her roguish allies somehow save the world? Probably not! But their swashbuckling, dungeon crawling, reality jumping adventure unfolds over twenty years filled with action, humor, and romance. The four books of the series are Greatshadow, Hush, Witchbreaker, and Cinder, and are all available in Dragon Apocalypse: The Complete Collection.
WHOOSH! BAM! POW!
A trio of loosely connected tales examining the ramifications of the underlying myth of the superhero.
Nobody Gets the Girl: A Superhero Novel - Richard Rogers' life has been erased by a time machine accident. He's now trapped as a ghost in a world where he was never born, visible only to the trio of superheroes who caused the accident. He joins their team as an invisible, intangible spy, code named Nobody. Who can save us? Nobody!
Burn Baby Burn: A Supervillain Novel - Sundancer is a radical terrorist commanding flames hot enough to vaporize steel. She believes the world to be irredeemably corrupted and wants to topple civilization so that the world can be made anew. But when she learns she's dying of an advanced stage cancer, she must choose between finding some small measure of peace in what remains of her life, or going out in a blaze of ultimate destruction.
The Covenant: A Superteam Novel - To fight Sundancer, a team of superheroes known as the Covenant is formed, led by Sarah Buchanan, codenamed Skyrider. But Sarah has a secret life, married to a man who doesn't know about her superpowers. As he starts to question her frequent absence and mysterious bruises, will Sarah be forced to choose between saving the world and saving her marriage?
Smash Lass! Golden Victory! Atomahawk! She-Devil! These legendary heroes band together to form the world famous Lawful Legion! Lawless isn't about them. Instead, it looks at the lesser known heroes who live in their shadow, people with weird of useless powers and not much hope of ever saving the world.
Cut Up Girl - Valentine Summers has the power to make a clone of herself by chopping off her arm. Her arm grows back instantly, and her clones aren't stable, exploding in messy deaths a few seconds after she summons them. This isn't a power she likes or wants, and no one would even have heard of Cut Up Girl if sex tapes she made with another vigilante hadn't leaked to the press. But when a time travelling Victorian scientist lays siege to Port City, Valentine must suit up once more to battle his army of steam apes. Exploding clones to the rescue!
Big Ape - Harry Moreau is a big ape, with all the powers of a big ape, fighting crime under the code name Big Ape. Also, his mother's a supervillain, Anastasia Moreau, a mad scientist with a flair for blending human and animal DNA. But when his mother is kidnapped by another supervillain, the dinosaur genius Technosaur, Harry must battle an army of robotic raptors in the midst of a hidden jungle city to save her. The mother and son reunion is only a giant robot with laser eyes away!
Victory - No hero is more respected than Golden Victory, a paragon of virtue who has, like, every great superpower you could want. As leader of the Lawful Legion, he's saved the world a hundred times over. But when aliens show up and steal the moon, they offer to give it back in exchange for Golden Victory. What's their beef? Who knows? But Big Ape and Cut Up Girl need to find out fast if they hope to save the world.
Bad Wizard - A sequel to the Wizard of Oz novel, where an adult Dorothy Gale must return to Oz to stop Oscar Diggs, the former Wizard, from conquering the Emerald City with a fleet of dirigibles.
There is No Wheel - Ten weird, funny, and haunting short stories of ghosts, cannibals, supermen and angels in the final days of a dying planet.
The Jagged Gate - Twelve short stories about aliens, perverts, artists and dragons in realms magical and familiar.
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The entire four book series for one low price!
The swordswoman known only as Infidel sets off on a quest to kill the dragon Greatshadow and retire in style with his treasure. Things don't go quite as planned, setting the stage for an epic, four book adventure spanning twenty years as Infidel and her roguish allies struggle to prevent the Dragon Apocalypse!
DRAGON APOCALYPSE: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION, gathers all four novels of the critically acclaimed series by James Maxey, author of the bestselling BITTERWOOD series. It also includes the novella GREATSHADOW: ORIGINS, the story that provided the inspiration for the novels.
Infidel is a legendary sword-for-hire, enchanted with impervious skin and the strength of ten men. When her closest companion dies, she decides to retire in style by stealing the treasure horde of the dragon Greatshadow. To do so, she joins an expedition organized by the Church of the Book, who’ve assembled a team of the world’s most dangerous mercenaries to kill the dragon. With half the rogues on the team dreaming of taking the treasure for themselves, can she survive her own companions long enough to fight the dragon?
Infidel must travel to the frozen wastes to fulfill a promise made to a dying friend. When she stumbles across a plot by the Hush, the primal dragon of cold, to murder Glorious, the dragon of the sun, will she be able to save the world from the darkness of an eternal winter?
Long ago, Stark Tower, the Witchbreaker, used his hell-forged sword to destroy the kingdom of the witch-queen Avaris. Now, a young woman named Sorrow is on a quest to recover all the lost secrets of witchcraft, and has tapped into the power of Rott, the primal dragon of death, for the might needed to fight her numerous enemies. In the ruins of the land once ruled by Avaris, she discovers a sleeping knight who awakens with no memory of his past, who proves to be a warrior of unmatched skills. They must work together to reach Avaris in her abode in the realms of the dead. But is Sorrow’s new ally secretly her greatest enemy, the long-vanished Witchbreaker?
It’s the end of the world! Twenty years after the attack on Greatshadow, the primal dragon Tempest has torn down the gates of Hell, unleashing an army of the damned onto a world already in ruins from blizzards, floods, and earthquakes. Infidel’s daughter Cinder was born with the power to walk between the realms of the living and the dead. Can she rescue Sorrow and her allies from Hell in time to defend the last stronghold of mankind from the assembled dragons?
‘This one is worth reading right now.'
Orson Scott Card on Greatshadow
'Greatshadow's level 30+ adventure is charming, not po-faced, with a group of flawed, quick-witted and oddball adventurers that are equally comfortable with set-piece battle and rapid fire sarcasm.'
Pornokitsch on Greatshadow
'A magnificently entertaining romp bursting with charm.'
SFX on Greatshadow
Five hundred years ago, the famed Witchbreaker, Lord Stark Tower, launched a war against the cult of witches, nearly wiping them out. Today, only a handful of women still practice the craft in secret. A young witch named Sorrow has dedicated her life to changing this reality, vowing to wipe out the Church of the Book and launch a new golden age of witchcraft. In pursuit of her goals, she bonds her soul with Rott, the primal dragon of decay, giving her nearly limitless powers of destruction. Unfortunately, tapping this power comes at the cost of her humanity, leading her into a desperate quest to find the greatest witch of all time, Avaris, in hopes of mastering her dark magic before it destroys her. But she's not alone in hunting Avaris, as fate throws her into an uneasy partnership with a man who wants to be the new Witchbreaker. Can either of them survive their mutual quests when their journey leads them into battle with Tempest, the primal dragon of storms?
The individual works:
Tornado of Sparks: The dragon Vendevorex demonstrates his magical powers for the dragon-king Albekizan in a test that orphans a human infant. Can Vendevorex reunite the child with her only remaining family?
Bitterwood: Dragons rule the world and humans serve as their slaves, pets, and prey, with only the mysterious dragon-slayer Bitterwood fighting the dominant dragons from the shadows. But when Bitterwood slays the beloved son of the dragon-king Albekizan, the dragons launch a war of extermination against all humans. Can mankind survive the combined might of the dragons?
Dragonforge: As a war spreads throughout the dragon kingdom, a band of human rebels take over the armory of the dragon armies, the legendary Dragon Forge. As the dragon armies mass to take back the fortress, Bitterwood finds himself in the fight of his life, facing off against the most dangerous dragon of all: Blasphet.
Dragonseed: With the dragon forces in disarray, the humans face their own woes as allies banded together to fight the dragons begin to take up arms against each other. With all of civilization on the verge of anarchy, can Bitterwood save the day by joining forces with his worst enemy—the sun-dragon Hex, the last surviving son of King Albekizan?
Dawn of Dragons: 1000 years before Bitterwood, a man named Alex Pure gets disemboweled by a dragon. It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Also, the apocalypse.
The bonus Dragonsgate: Prelude and Omen novellas included in the ebook edition:
Hunted: The sky-dragons Graxen and Nadala are trying to make a new home in a distant valley. With Nadala too pregnant to fly, Graxen must hunt for them to survive. But as he stalks his prey, something bigger and more dangerous than a dragon is stalking him.
Haunted: Bitterwood has settled into the quiet life of a farmer. Then, dragons raid his henhouse, leading Bitterwood to a confrontation with his most dangerous adversary.
Hurt: On a mission to recover a stolen shotgun, Anza faces off against the earth-dragon boss Bigmouth. But when she winds up shot by the very gun she came to retrieve, can she finish her mission before her injuries finish her?
In praise of Bitterwood:
“For the sake of humanity, join in Bitterwood’s revolt.” – Kirkus Reviews
“A grabber from page one, a smart tale of adventure and revenge sprinkled with echoes of our own dangerous times. James Maxey’s world of dragons and humans at war is so solidly and engagingly rendered that I never wanted to leave.” – John Marco
“Bitterwood is an unlikely hero in a rich world, with a rich history that holds many surprises. James Maxey tells his story with a sure hand. Enjoy the journey!” – Carrie Vaughn
"Fine action and cool world building. Anne McCaffrey through a mirror darkly." – E. E. Knight
“A magnificent hero story.
Set 1000 years before the events of Bitterwood, Dawn of Dragon tells the story of the first dragon, Morningstar, as he escapes from captivity in the final days of the Human Age. It explains the origins of Atlantis, shows the beginnings of Hezekiah as a Bible-thumping, ax-wielding prophet, and explains how Jazz came to learn of Underspace. A must read for any fan of the Bitterwood Trilogy.
Bestselling writer Orson Scott Card founded the online magazine Intergalactic Medicine Show in 2006. It has been a big success, drawing submissions from well-known sf and fantasy writers, as well as fostering some amazing new talents. This collection contains some of the best of those stories from the past year.
There is fiction from David Farber, Tim Pratt, and David Lubar among others, also four new Ender's Game universe stories by Card himself. This collection is sure to appeal to Card's fans, and be a great ambassador to them for these other talented writers.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Nobody Gets the Girl is a stand alone novel that leads into further adventures! Check out Burn Baby Burn: A Supervillain Novel as Sundancer and Pit Geek go on a crime spree! Then, the action continues in Covenant: A Superteam Novel, as a team of superheroes struggling with dark pasts unite to face the mysterious terrorists known as the dervishes.
"Nobody Gets the Girl soars from the heart to the skies, from deeply personal to super-sized epic." -- Jim Shooter
Graxen and Nadala are sky-dragons exiled beyond the Cursed Mountains. With Nadala too pregnant to fly further, they take refuge in a remote valley where they are hunted by primordial predators even bigger and toothier than dragons. When it seems like things can’t get worse, the legendary dragon slayer Bitterwood arrives, drawn to the valley on a quest for lost relics from the Human Age. Men battle dragons, dragons fight men, and dinosaurs are out to eat everyone in this epic adventure from acclaimed storyteller James Maxey! Maxey feels he can confidently claim that this will be the best dragons versus dinosaurs novel you read all year!
Dragonsgate: Devils, include both the new novel and three bonus novellas from the Dragonsgate: Preludes & Omens collection.
James Maxey's award winning short fiction has appeared in Asimov's, Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, and over a dozen other magazines and anthologies. There is No Wheel collects his ten most critically acclaimed tales.
To the East, a Bright Star: A former circus aerialist rescues a trapped girl as the ultimate natural disaster draws nearer.
Silent as Dust: A tale of Seven Chimneys, a haunted house with one ghost too many.
Final Flight of the Blue Bee: The Blue Bee’s former sidekick, Stinger, is released from prison after forty years. Can a venom gun, an army of bees, and a hostage deliver him the justice he deserves?
Empire of Dreams and Miracles: In Atlantis, no one need ever fear poverty, disease, or death. But what is left of humanity once all the great struggles are won?
Return to Sender: Crystal Lance is a half-breed angel assigned to root out a demonic cult in a small college town. The monks who’ve raised her have trained her in martial arts and taught her the true names of the 7,777 heavenly powers. But before Crystal can complete her holy mission, she must survive the temptations of coffee, pizza, her first kiss, and Elvis.
Pentacle on His Forehead, Lizard on His Breath: A junkie uses drugs and magic to search for his dead father, leading his girlfriend to hide all the knives.
To Know All Things That Are In the Earth: In the aftermath of the Rapture, a scientist attempts to understand the mind of God through the autopsy of an angel.
Echo of the Eye: In a town of famous for its barbeque, the butcher is a vegetarian. Mostly.
Where Their Worm Dieth Not: Atomahawk! She-Devil! Retaliator! The most powerful members of the Law Legion must unite to thwart the villainous scheme of the Prime Mover, until Retaliator discovers that they may be in the grip of an even more insidious evil.
Perhaps the Snail: A young woman is invited back to the trailer of her pop-star idol for a sex act involving a silver tray, a wine bottle, a pistol, a tropical snail, and sudden mystic glimpse of the entirety of creation.
Edmund Schubert, editor of Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, where three of these stories were first published, writes in the introduction: “One thing about James: he pushes boundaries, and he pushes them hard. … James’s stories require a strong mind and strong stomach. They’re freaky weird and hauntingly honest at the same time.”
With his dying breath, the tomb-raiding rogue Stagger confesses his love to his long-time companion, the swashbuckling swordswoman known as Infidel. With his ghost now bound to the blade that killed him, Stagger bears witness as Infidel launches into her most dangerous adventure yet, a quest to slay the dragon Greatshadow. Dragons exist on two planes of existence, residing in both the material realm and the spirit world. As Infidel’s quest brings her to the lands beyond death, is there hope for the star-crossed lovers to reunite? Or will both their souls be devoured as they are swept into the eternal battle between Greatshadow, the primal dragon of fire, and his ultimate foe, Hush, the primal dragon of ice?
Hearts of Frost & Flame collects the novels Greatshadow and Hush, Books One and Two of the Dragon Apocalypse, the saga of Infidel and Stagger.