The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

Derek Strongarm and Felix Lightfoot are a pair of hard-luck adventurers for hire with an unfortunate knack for landing jobs that pay too little and threaten their lives too much. Erika Racewind is a hardened elven warrior who doesn’t like people, except maybe when she’s killing them. Winifred Graceword is a kindhearted elven priestess skilled in the healing arts. David is a young sorcerer on a path to discover who he really is – and whether that person has a last name, because going by just David is getting old fast.

Together these companions travel across the land of Asaches looking for adventure and the glory and riches that come with it. Mostly the riches, though, because you can’t buy food and beer with glory.

Who is this Series For?

Sword-and-sorcery fantasy fans looking for something a little lighter than most of the fare currently on the shelves. If you want heavy, dark, serious stories with lots of death, destruction, torture, rape, and political intrigue, go read something else because you won’t find it here.

What you will find is a fast-paced adventure filled with colorful characters, rip-roaring action, humor, and gentle jabs at the classic elements of fantasy fiction.

Which is not to say this series is a comedy or parody. There is still drama aplenty, but as a rule I don’t take things too seriously. You can read these books and not feel like you need a hug and a room full of puppies afterward.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Not really. The series is a hard PG-13/light R for violence, language, and sexual content. It is suitable for older teens, but not for the YA crowd.

What are the Books in the Series?

Scratching a Lich: Derek and Felix find themselves entangled in an urgent quest to slay a legendary lich before he can trigger a world-ending apocalypse – as insane undead sorcerers are wont to do. Together with Erika Racewind, bodyguard for a mysterious young wizard named David, and Winifred Graceword, they head out to discover lost cities, recover long lost magical artifacts, and slay great evils in order to fulfill curiously specific prophecies – as mismatched, ragtag groups of adventurers are wont to do.

Assassins Brawl: The companions are hired to safeguard a spoiled brat of a princess targeted for death by the assassin Ruined Isys, but as is often the case, there’s more going on here than meets the eye. Now all they have to do is determine who is behind the plot before they get caught in the crossfire.

Blades of Glory (fall 2017): Derek, Felix, and company are up for a job that seems a little too simple for a payday that seems a little too generous – but unfortunately, so are the famed adventurers of fortune known as the Noble Blades. Which of them will be the first to find a stolen ceremonial mask that is absolutely positively completely normal and not at all some lost artifact possessed of dark power?

How Long Will the Series Run?

Unknown, but tentatively ten books.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Scratching a Lich, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com

Advertisements

Weekly Update – September 19

First, thanks to the producers of the Connecticut Renaissance Faire for hosting me again as their guest author last weekend. It was another great time and I’m already looking forward to next year. In the meantime, go check out some of the other authors who will be there during the next three weekends of the run.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I’m at 64,000 words and I’m into the climax. Not sure if I’ll wrap up draft one this week but I’m going to make the effort.

Copyright 2017 Patricia Lupien

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: In case you missed it, here is the awesome new cover art for book three! If you like it, you can jump over to artist Tricia Lupien’s Redbubble store and get it on a variety of merchandise — and you’d be supporting an independent artist!

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: The first few chapters are written!

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, ready for editing.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): I’ve reviewed about three-quarters of the book and sent back my notes. I probably won’t get much done on this this week because of work but I hope to finish up the review process by the end of next week. In the meantime, check out the product art for the audiobook — which, you might notice, is an adapted version of the Secret Origins novel cover.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and, hopefully, speaking on several panels.

MISC

 

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Strongarm & Lightfoot – Cover Reveal

Copyright 2017 Patricia Lupien

What great timing! Tomorrow is my day as the invited guest author at the Connecticut Renaissance Faire, and I’ll be able to start talking up in earnest the next book in the Strongarm & Lightfoot series, because the cover art is finished!

Tricia Lupien, my ever-awesome cover artist, wrapped up her work yesterday, so now it’s just a matter of my editor Julie finishing up her side of things, and then it all comes back to me for final revisions and formatting. I’m hoping to have everything done so The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory is ready to go by mid-October.

And here is the final back cover blurb letting you know what this story is all about…

Adventurers Wanted!

Good pay for simple recovery job, payment to be rendered upon successful completion of contract. Interested parties please report to the Woeste City Council. Be ready to provide credentials upon request. No Hruks need apply.

Desperate for a little excitement and a big payday, Derek Strongarm and Felix Lightfoot and their companions respond to a call to adventure from the city-state of Woeste, recently victimized by a band of raiders who stole an ancient iron mask of historical significance but no intrinsic value — or so the city council claims.

The council’s story doesn’t quite add up but it’s willing to pay good money for the mask’s return — and all the companions have to do is hike through a cursed forest, search a lost necropolis crawling with unspeakable horrors, and recover the mask from a gang of armed bandits.

Easy.

The greater challenge may lie in first convincing the council not to award the lucrative contract to a rival party, the legendary adventurers known as the Noble Blades — which is easier said than done when a sin from Felix’s past rears its head in an unexpected way.

But if Derek, Felix, and their friends wanted easy lives, they’d go herd sheep or something.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory is the third book in the irreverent fantasy series by author Michael Bailey (Action Figures), a tale of bold heroes, dastardly villains, terrifying beasts, magical artifacts, dark pasts, mysterious circumstances, deceptive motives, atmospheric locales, and gratuitous violence.

Blades of Glory includes a bonus short story: Companionship, Compassion, Restraint, and Other Things Erika Racewind Dislikes – A Strongarm & Lightfoot Side Quest.

If you dig the artwork, head on over to Tricia’s Redbubble shop, because you can get it on a variety of apparel and accessories.

Action Figures – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

The series focuses on Carrie Hauser, a 15-year-old girl who one summer experiences two life-changing events: her parents announce they’re getting divorced, and she gains superhuman abilities after encountering a dying extraterrestrial after he falls to Earth.

Her adventure begins after Carrie and her mother Christina move back to Christina’s childhood home town of Kingsport, Massachusetts, and Carrie meets four teens with powers of their own: superhero fanboy Matt Steiger, who owns a pair of magic gloves that can produce any object he can envision out of thin air, like a living cartoon character; Sara Danvers, a telepath and telekinetic who is afraid of her own abilities; the easygoing Stuart Lumley, who possesses superhuman strength; and Missy Hamill, an adorable motormouth with enhanced strength and reflexes.

The teens form a superhero team almost on a whim, but soon find themselves fighting for their lives against very real super-villains – much to the dismay of Kingsport’s hometown hero Concorde, leader of the super-team The Protectorate.

Who is this Series For?

Fans of superhero comics, TV shows, and movies in general, but particularly of titles featuring teen heroes such as Young Justice, Teen Titans, Young Avengers, and Champions.

The tone is generally lighter than a lot of YA books out there now. While there is drama and conflict, and some later stories deal with darker issues, I try to keep the series fun, upbeat, and optimistic.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Action Figures is a PG-13 series that contains mild to moderate profanity, non-graphic violence, some mature themes, and later on in the series mild sexual content.

An added word about the violent content: while the violence is not graphic, the consequences are not downplayed. This isn’t sanitized Hollywood violence. People get hurt just as they would in real life and do not easily shrug off injuries, and in some cases the characters have to deal with the emotional trauma of their experiences.

What are the Books in the Series?

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret OriginsCarrie and her new friends in the Hero Squad (yes, they know their team name is awful) find themselves caught in the crossfire as the deadly mercenary Manticore comes to Kingsport, on the hunt for the rogue artificial intelligence known as Archimedes.

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women – The sorceress Black Betty threatens to raise hell – maybe literally – as she pursues her vendetta against the Protectorate’s resident paranormal expert Dr. Enigma.

 

Action Figures – Issue Three: Pasts Imperfect – Missy’s life is turned upside-down when she learns the truth about the source of her powers, and her connection to the bloodthirsty killer Buzzkill Joy.

 

Action Figures – Issue Four: Cruel SummerSara finds herself in the crosshairs of the mysterious hero killer the King of Pain, but to save herself, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear.

 

Action Figures – Issue Five: Team-UpsThe Hero Squad, still reeling from their devastating encounter with the King of Pain, get a little help picking up the pieces from their friends in the Protectorate and the Quantum Quintet.

 

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play – The Squad finds itself outnumbered and under-powered after one of their members goes missing – and at the worst possible time as foes from their past reappear, more dangerous than ever and ready to exact revenge.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War (spring 2018)

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage (spring 2019)

How Long Will the Series Run?

The series is plotted out to ten books but might run one or two books longer. In any event, it will come to a firm end at some point and not run on indefinitely.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Secret Origins, short stories set in the Action Figures world, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com

Weekly Update – September 12, 2017

This week’s big(ish) announcement: this Saturday is my guest author day at the Connecticut Renaissance Faire. Jump down to the events section for details.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I always seem to hit a creative lull right before I plunge into the climax of a book, and this project is no different. I’ve been pushing through some small transitional scenes all week, so progress has been a bit slow.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: In the editing phase. Cover art is in process.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: I’ve started mentally plotting the next installation and jotted down a few key scenes. I expect I might jump back and forth between this and Well Behaved Women for a while.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, ready for editing.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft finished! I’m glad I have extra time to work on this one. It’s mostly where I want it to be but there are a few scenes that aren’t quite up to snuff, so I will at some point over the next year do another draft and focus on strengthening the weak points.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): I’ve listened to several chapters so far and sent back a few notes to my narrator, Jen — most of them pointing out minor technical issues. The reading itself has been great, and it’s definitely a weird but cool experience hearing someone else read my material.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC

Something I forgot to mention last week: I’ve stepped down as a correspondent for the Worcester Telegram after a year in that role. My schedule for my new part-time job changed, making me unavailable to cover the evening meetings I’ve been attending, so I resigned as an active freelancer.

I’m honestly not that upset by it. The work was fine but I was remembering more and more why I left journalism in the first place, so I’m happy to be putting this phase of my career behind me (again).

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – September 5, 2017

It’s taken a while to get this done, but it’s going to be worth the wait: the audiobook version of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins has finished recording! I’m spending the week reviewing the files and Tricia is prepping some new(ish) cover art, and hopefully I will have a release date for everyone very soon!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Not much to report here. It was a slow week due to my faire commitments, but I hope to get back into the project this week.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: In the editing phase. The cover art is coming along nicely, as you can see from this work-in-progress shot.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, ready for editing.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Second draft finished, third draft in process.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Finished, in final approval process.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC

Can’t get enough of the good stuff? Remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Go click this link to sign up.

Station Identification Time

Who Am I?

I’m a writer originally from Falmouth, MA who now lives in Worcester (pronounced like the name of Hugh Laurie’s dim-witted socialite) with my awesomely talented wife Veronica, who runs a business called Storied Threads.

After 15 years with the Falmouth Enterprise, where I worked as a general and political reporter, blogger, and editor, I left the news industry to focus on my creative writing.

In addition to my novels (more on that in a minute), I am a freelance writer, an occasional contributor to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and I’ve produced scripts for Pastimes Entertainment of Revere, MA and the Connecticut Renaissance Faire.

What Do I Write?

Action Figures is a YA superhero adventure series featuring a team of young superhumans who set out to make a name for themselves in the superhero world and quickly find themselves in over their heads. Fun, full of humor and action, populated with likable characters (including some of the villains), and suitable for teen readers and adults who still love superheroes. Oh, and no love triangles. Ever. The first book, Secret Origins, reached the #1 spot on two Amazon best-seller lists.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot is my response to all the overly serious fantasy novels out there that have forgotten how to have fun. The series follows two hard-luck adventurers for hire with a knack for biting off more than they can chew and their friends as they explore ancient ruins, fight deadly monsters, go on epic prophecy-driven quests for artifacts of great power hidden in highly inconvenient locations, and cross a lot of rickety rope bridges along the way. The first book, Scratching a Lich, received a gold medal for fantasy fiction from BellaOnline, a resource for women in writing, which also recognizes feminist writers and their work.

Cheap Thrills Digest is a short story collection featuring introductions to my two series, plus an original novelette-length horror story, Lost Souls, which is exclusive to CTD. If you’re curious about my writing, you can grab this for just $6 in print or 99 cents in e-book format.

Well Behaved Women is a planned urban fantasy trilogy now in the early stages. Book one is tentatively scheduled for a summer 2018 release.

What Will I See Here?

I post weekly updates that include progress reports on various projects, cover art reveals, new release announcements, a schedule of appearances and book-signings, the occasion essay on writing, and whatever random bits and pieces capture my attention.

Where Can You Find Me Online?

Official website

Amazon author page

Facebook

Twitter

BookBub

Instagram

Goodreads

Google +

LinkedIn