Littlest Death Released

ld-cover-mdThe fourth Labyrinth of Souls novel, “Littlest Death” by Eric Witchey, is available now on Amazon and other online retailers in print and eBook forms. Eric Witchey has sold over 100 short stories and several novels. He has received recognition from New Century Writers, Writers of the Future, Writer’s Digest, The Eric Hoffer Prose Award program, Short Story America, The Irish Aeon Awards, and other organizations. His How-To articles have appeared in The Writer Magazine, Writer’s Digest Magazine, and other print and online magazines.

This is an amazing book! As I got interested in the character of Littlest and the fantastical underworld she inhabits, at some point I realized something was going on that was larger and more significant than I had even imagined. From that point on I could not stop reading. I had to know if the story was going to go as far as it might. And it did not disappoint. It went even further! I wept. I cried. I rejoiced. What a wonderful payoff! The end of the book was like an emotional and intellectual bomb going off. Beautifully set up and so well done!

Here’s the description from the back cover:

One human soul and a little respect isn’t too much to ask for, but both are hard to get if you’ve only been a death for a thousand years. Shunned by other grim reapers, Littlest Death yearns for the respect given to deaths who bring human souls from Overworld into Underworld. She has only been a grim reaper for a thousand years, but she works hard at the jobs she’s given. Really hard! No other death gathers in MILLIONS of souls at a time like she does. Okay, they are just the souls of fungi, bacteria, and single-celled critters like amoebas, but—MILLIONS! If she could bring in just one human soul, the other deaths would stop looking down on her. She sets out to spy on the most accomplished death in the history of dying, Oldest Death. She figures she can learn a few things from him. And, of course, she does. She just doesn’t learn what she thought she would learn, and the learning comes hard. Desperate to become a real death, frustrated by humans and their attachments to one another, hounded by a Hell Puppy, ridiculed by other deaths, and undermined by her own ambition, she journeys the Earth and the Underworld in search of a trick that will let her gain the respect she believes she deserves. Unfortunately, her actions hurt the living, undermine the natural order, and threaten the eternal flow of souls between life and death. By the time she understands the damage she’s done, it may be too late to save herself and the souls she has hurt. An Afterlife Fantasy by award winning author Eric Witchey.

In other news, I’ll be at the World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio next weekend with ShadowSpinners Press and a number of the Labyrinth of Souls authors, to promote the game and the fiction series. Work continues on the third Dungeon Solitaire game and Labyrinth of Souls expansion called Dungeon Solitaire: Devils Playground. However, with the end of the year looming, we have pushed the Kickstarter back until after the new year. Progress also continues on the the Labyrinth of Souls mobile app, which is also in development. Stay tuned for more news on all these projects.

In the meantime, enjoy Littlest Death, and check out the other Labyrinth of Souls novels, Benediction Denied by Elizabeth Engstrom, Symphony of Ruin by Christina Lay, and The End of All Things by Matthew Lowes. The next book to come out will be The Door of Tireless Pursuit by Stephen T. Vessels. And more will be more coming out in the coming months. Leave a review if you get a chance, and visit ShadowSpinners Press at the World Fantasy Convention next weekend in San Antonio where all things Labyrinth of Souls will be on display.

Symphony of Ruin Released

It’s been a busy summer for Dungeon Solitaire! The second Labyrinth of Souls novel is out and available now through Amazon and other online book retailers in print and ebook editions. Check out Symphony of Ruin by Christina Lay.

This is a wonderful story, full of adventure, humor, magic, mystery, and heart. Remy, the former street urchin and rat-catcher come alchemist’s apprentice, is an absolutely lovable character. His haphazard, not-quite fully educated approach to magic is delightfully funny, and both his high ambitions and his incredible knack for getting in over his head are charming throughout. The City in which he lives is a fantastically realized setting, from its high castle to its teetering slums, from its winding streets to its labyrinthine catacombs.

It’s incredibly awesome to have so many great authors working on this series of stand-alone novels inspired by the Labyrinth of Souls. I hope you’ll have a chance to check them out. The third novel will be out next month: The End of All Things by Matthew Lowes (me). And the fourth book, Little Death by Eric Witchy is schedule to come out in September.

Finally, here’s an update on other Dungeon Solitaire developments:

The new Dungeon Solitaire game will be called Dungeon Solitaire: Devil’s Playground, and will be both a stand-alone game and a Labyrinth of Souls expansion. Game development and artwork by Josephe Vandel is already underway. The cards will feature full-color art this time around and having seen a few pieces already, I can tell you they’re pretty mind-blowing. The date for the Kickstarter is not set, but sometime in the fall is a good bet.

Last but not least, although still in the development stages, we have a Dungeon Solitaire phone and computer app in the works. This is still a teaser since I have no estimates on when it will be released yet, but I’m super excited for this to happen!

Benediction Denied is Available Now

 

The Labyrinth of Souls fiction series just dropped big time with this book, Benediction Denied, by the amazing Elizabeth Engstrom, released by ShadowSpinners Press. This is the first in a series of stand alone novels that will be coming out in the coming months.

How awesome is it that Dungeon Solitaire has its own line of novels? The awesomeness cannot be overstated! Could DS be the only independently designed, Kickstarter funded game with its own fiction series? It very well might be.

Not only that, but the quality of the authors who are contributing to this project is mind blowing. Elizabeth Engstrom is the author of fourteen books and has over 250 short stories, articles, and essays in print. She is a sought-after teacher and keynote speaker at writing conferences, conventions, and seminars around the world.

And these are not generic dungeon stories either. These are original creations of dark fantasy, for the Labyrinth of Souls is more than an ancient ruin filled with monsters, trapped treasure, and the lost tombs of bygone kings. It is a manifestation of a mythic underworld, existing at a crossroads between people and cultures, between time and space, between the physical world and the deepest reaches of the psyche. It is a dark mirror held up to human experience, in which you may find your dreams … or your doom.

Adam Swan is a hydrologist engaged in humanitarian efforts in the Congo when he is kidnapped by rebels and thrown into a makeshift prison. He is left to die — or worse — if his ransom is not paid. In a surprising series of events, Adam escapes the prison into an underground labyrinth where reality and sanity no longer rule. Tested by the gods of the underworld, Adam navigates the consequences of his past actions, which take him to the brink of death — and beyond.

Dare to enter the Labyrinth of Souls …

The book is available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format, and can be found on a variety of other ebook formats through Books2Read.

Labyrinth of Souls Fiction Project

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I am very excited to announce that ShadowSpinners Press will be releasing a series of short stand-alone novels inspired by Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls! A number of outstanding writers have already committed to the project and are at various stages in writing their Labyrinth of Souls books. Authors so far include Elizabeth Engstrom, Eric Witchey, Christina Lay, John Reed, Stephen T. Vessels, Cheryl Owen-Wilson, Cynthia Ray, Pamela Jean Herber, and me.

That’s an incredible list to be a part of, and I am super excited to be working on a project that includes this many amazing writers. And I am overjoyed that they have all showed such an interest in fictionalizing underworld adventures inspired by the Labyrinth of Souls.

The Labyrinth of Souls is more than an ancient ruin filled with monsters, trapped treasure, and the lost tombs of bygone kings. It is a manifestation of a mythic underworld, existing at a crossroads between people and cultures, between time and space, between the physical world and the deepest reaches of the psyche. It is a dark mirror held up to human experience, in which you may find your dreams… or your doom. Entrances to this realm can appear in any time period, in any location. There are innumerable reasons why a person may enter, but it is a place antagonistic to those who do, a place where monsters dwell, with obstacles and illusions to waylay adventurers, and whose very walls can be a force of corruption. It is a haunted place, ever at the edge of sanity.

Each Labyrinth of Souls novel will feature a journey into a unique manifestation of the underworld. Get ready to delve into the Labyrinth in a totally new way, and stay tuned for more author announcements and release dates for the first Labyrinth of Souls novels.

Dungeon Solitaire Now Available in Spanish

dungeon-solitaire-spanish-coverDungeon Solitaire: Tomb of Four Kings is now available in a free Spanish language edition thanks to a translation by Pablo Sancho Fernández. Solitario de la Mazmorra: La Tumba de los Cuatros Reyes can be downloaded as a free print and play PDF here. Many thanks to Pablo Sancho Fernández for his generosity, his precise translation work, his many questions, and his patience in getting this edition out to the public. I am very happy to be able to share Dungeon Solitaire with Spanish speakers all over the world.

Help spread the excitement of Solitario de la Mazmorra by sharing the game with your Spanish speaking friends. This original version of the game is playable with any standard deck of playing cards, and is the basis for the larger, more expansive tarot version, Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls. The Labyrinth of Souls rulebook is available (currently English edition only) on Amazon and other online book retailers and the Labyrinth of Souls custom tarot deck is available through Gamecrafter.

Free PDF Download

Solitario de la Mazmorra: La Tumba de los Cuatros Reyes

Labyrinth of Souls Rulebooks Available Now

LoS_FCover_LRulebooks for Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls are now available for $12.99 in the US. You can purchase copies direct from Createspace here (I do get a slightly higher royalty for these sales), but if you’re ordering other stuff, you can get it on Amazon with free shipping. You can also order through most Amazon International sites, immediately … or very soon.

In any case, please take a moment to a review the game on Amazon, or on your blog or social media. Reviews are huge help in spreading the word about Dungeon Solitaire and allowing me to continue making expansions and more games. Check out some quotes from previous reviews and Labyrinth of Souls Kickstarter backers below.

REVIEWS FOR THE ORIGINAL DUNGEON SOLITAIRE:

“It’s an amazing game …”
–Tim Snider, The Savage Afterworld

“It is called Dungeon Solitaire … and it is brilliant.”
–John Payne, Sycarion Diversions

LABYRINTH OF SOULS BACKER QUOTES

“An extremely awesome, super fun game.”

“Amazingly detailed and well thought out … Absolutely fantastic.”

“I have been consumed by this game and overjoyed at how much clever thought went into the making of this project.”

“There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of solitaire variants out there, but this is exactly what I’ve been looking for since the dawn of time. It’s amazing something like this hasn’t been created until now.”

“Received my book today and absolutely love it.”

“Arrived and I couldn’t stop playing it … :-)”

Dungeon Solitaire Preview

LoS PreviewAs of today, all print proofs are approved for Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls! The game is finished! I just put in an order for 325 rulebooks for our Kickstarter backers, and tomorrow I’ll be bulk ordering more than 800 decks of Labyrinth of Souls tarot cards! I’ll be waiting on the print runs, but everything should at least be in the process of shipping by the end of the month.

It’s been an amazing eight months of development, funding, and production. And incredibly, it’s been just about one year since the release of the original Dungeon Solitaire game last summer.

My work is not done yet though. While I wait for the print runs, I’ll be finishing the final stretch goals and rewards for major donors, including editing and layout for the Digital Designer’s Notebook and Digital Artbook pdfs, and fine art prints of one of my hand drawn dungeon maps. In the meantime, here’s a preview of what the final products will look like. For anybody who didn’t get in on the Kickstarter, there will be a public release around mid July. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer.

Labyrinth of Souls Cover!

I’m very excited to reveal the rulebook cover for Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls! The beautiful artwork and design are by the game’s exclusive illustrator, Josephe Vandel. I’ve been so busy with the production process that I haven’t had much time to post updates here, but as we get closer to the end of this epic journey, I am more excited than ever to share this game with all our backers and then with the rest of the world.

I just ordered print proofs of both the standard and monochrome card decks. I’m super excited, but it will be a week or so before I get them. In the meantime, I’m putting in final corrections to the rulebook interior and will be ordering print proofs of that as well. If all goes well, we will be shipping to our backers on time toward the end of June. Expect a public release sometime in July.

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The Tombs of the Whispering Worms

Mark L. Chance has written an excellent adventure featuring one of my hand drawn maps. “The Tombs of the Whispering Worms” is a descent into madness for Swords & Wizardry or other old school fantasy games. The adventure was recently featured on TSRs blogsite Multiverse, and is available as a free pdf download.

Here’s an image of page 1 (linked to the pdf) and a high resolution unnumbered image of the original map. Hope you enjoy the whispering worms!

The Tombs of the Whispering Worms

A Descent into Madness

A Perfect Game!

perfect game

Thirteen year old Dungeon Solitaire player August Mericle has played a perfect game of Tomb of Four Kings! That means not just a win, but a 100 point win, with all the treasure in hand as one exits the dungeon. August’s dad said he played several hours a day for about four days before winning the perfect game.

As far as I know, August is the first person ever to win a perfect game. I knew it was possible, and thought it was only a matter of time, so I was super excited to hear about his game. I was also very happy to hear the game had been played by a thirteen year old. My early gaming experiences were one of the inspirations for creating Tomb of Four Kings, so it’s great to be able to share it with the next generation of gamers.

A huge congratulations to August on his game! That’s a photo of the winning layout, with eight turns on the delve, four hit points, and all the treasure. Pretty awesome!

*Tomb of Four Kings is available free here.