A Reaper of Stone – Redux

It has been an incredible year.

It’s hard to imagine that in April, just eight months ago, we had just started creating the characters and stories that would become Echoes of the Ascended. We knew a little bit about writing. Near nothing about publishing. And even less about marketing.

We were two lifelong friends that were certain about only 2 things. We had stories we wanted to share. And we were stupid enough to think we could pull it off.

And so far, I think we can score one for team stupid.



We are extremely proud, and tired. Very proud. Mostly tired.

It has been a difficult journey. And like most journeys worth taking, there has been a lot of reflections on and realizations about ourselves, our writing, and our lives.

The hardest to face was that we discovered we were just okay writers. Good, but with a lot of room to grow. This one’s pretty hard to face when the very foundation of your product requires, well, uhm… good writing.

But what we lacked in raw talent and experience, we made up for by just throwing ourselves at it over and over again. Turns out, just showing up every day and being willing to get kicked in the teeth *is* something we’re good at.

And it’s made a big difference. Our stories are getting better. We’re getting better.



For me, A Reaper of Stone, was like my first crush. Very raw and real and overwhelming. It was the beginning of everything – the world, our orphans, our history, our magic system, our story structure. And like most first crushes, I couldn’t help but look back with a little regret.

It was an okay story, a good story, but I kept coming back to one idea: we could do better.

So we did.

We didn’t change the overall story, but we made it better. It’s got a few new scenes. It’s got a bit more detail where we felt we needed it. It’s still A Reaper of Stone, but it’s more. And less.

With all the additions, we actually made it shorter than the original!

Anyone who’s been involved in our process knows that we spend significantly more time cutting and editing our work than we do writing it. That’s by design.

We spend an awful lot of time on our prose so you don’t have to. We’re not perfect by any means, but we are getting better at it every day.



The latest, improved version of A Reaper of Stone is already online on Amazon. In fact, it’s been there since Dec 9, 2015. So if you got your copy from Amazon after that date, you’re good. (edit: NetGalley reviewers, you have read the updated version already. The older version never went up on NetGalley.)

For everyone who got their version before then, it’s a bit tricky. Amazon will not let you upgrade to the new version of A Reaper of Stone no matter how many times you delete the current file, kindle app, or rebuy it. Believe me, we’ve tried.

But we really want you to check out the new version. So, we’re going to offer it for free here:

A Reaper of Stone

And in case you needed more incentive, next month, on February 15, we will be releasing book 2 of Elinor’s story with Broken Banners. So now is the perfect time to read (or reread) book 1.

Here’s a sneak peak at Marija’s cover!!

Broken Banners 16

We’ve got an exciting year ahead of us. We’re going to keep writing, keep telling stories, and keep on improving. We’re grateful to all our family, friends, and the amazing community of reviewers and webloggers who have supported us thus far.

Good news for you all. We’ve got our eyes looking forward again and it’s full steam ahead.

And besides, we’re too stupid to stop.

Mark & Joe


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