Now Available: The Debt

THE DEBT

HISTORICAL FANTASY

CLINT WESTGARD

1886: Inspector Archibald Constant Cumberland of the Northwest Mounted Police establishes Fort McGregor at the confluence of two rivers in the heart of the Canadian Northwest Territories. His mission is simple: keep the peace with the Cree Nation and fend off whiskey traders.

But life at Fort McGregor is rarely simple. An Indian agent conspires with whiskey traders to upset the delicate peace Cumberland has established, while his own men prove themselves untrustworthy. When they begin talking about seeing a ghost from the ramparts of the fort, he refuses to believe them, until it is too late.

1997: Daniel Archibald Cumberland is adrift and purposeless, with neither a past or future to cling to. That is until he comes across a story of a lost NWMP fort and the mad officer responsible for its terrible fate. An officer named Archibald Cumberland, who may be his ancestor.

Discovering the truth of what happened in that fort in 1886 consumes Daniel. His father denies any connection to Archibald Cumberland, but he is hiding a terrible secret. Even he doesn’t know what Daniel will discover when he goes in search of answers.

For there is a debt, long agreed to. And someone, or something, will see that it is paid.

Available Now

Excerpt: The Debt (2)

In advance of the publication of The Debt on September 30, here is a short excerpt:

From the account of Daniel Archibald Cumberland, August 10, 1998:

My name is Daniel Archibald Cumberland. It may be familiar to those of you who studied Canadian history some years ago. I graduated with a PhD, published a number of articles in leading journals and was hard at work on turning my dissertation into a book. I took a postdoc in Saskatoon and made sure to attend all the conferences and gatherings I could, hoping to secure an academic posting somewhere. It was then my life began to go astray.

My work focused on western Canadian history and was typical of the academy at the time. Those of you familiar with Canadian history departments and all their various touchstones will know where my work derived from. And it was derivative, of this I can assure you. Though many told me I was doing bold, cutting edge work, I now can see that this was far from the case. My work was no more remarkable than any hundred other students who worked in the history departments across the country. We all added something to the conversation in our narrow domains, but we only echoed what others had said about history in other places.

I was part of a chorus, while certain that I was singing lead. Yet I understood on some fundamental level that what I was doing was of no consequence to anyone. A pervading sense of dissatisfaction led me to be arrogant and dismissive of anyone I perceived as having anything halfway original to say. I would pick apart their arguments and find flaws in minutiae. How could they have managed the trick of saying something, when I had not, the unvoiced part of my consciousness would ask. Continue reading

Sojourners Cycle Sale: Ending Soon

With the publication of the final volume of the Sojourners Cycle, The Sojourner, the rest of the series is on sale until October 25:

The Forgotten: $1.99

The Apostate: $1.99

The Acolyte: $1.99

The Double: $1.99

David Aeida, sub-Regent of the Church of Regents, cannot remember anything about who he is. But he finds himself in the middle of a vicious conflict between the Church and a guild, the Society of Travelers that patrols the crossings in the multiverse. Both will stop at nothing to gain whatever knowledge he possesses. Most dangerous of all, is the implacable hunter, known only as the Seeker, who has his own reasons for wanting to find Aeida.

Born out of the chaos that followed the arrival of the Society of Travelers in its universe, the Church of Regents has as its sacred mission to find the one true universe, of which all others are but reflections. However, the Society has outlawed anyone from crossing among the universes, and will do anything in its power to stop the Church from following its mission.

Laila Johar has been at the center of that conflict for years, divided in her loyalties. One of the chosen of the Church’s founder De Gofroy and wife of the current Grand Regent Molijc, she also might be working with the Society of Travelers to destroy the faith. For betrayal and lies are at the heart of both the Church and the Society, forever locking them in a dance of desire and guilty, love and revenge, rage and despair, with consequences for all the universes.

The Sojourner is available now to now

Excerpt: The Debt

In advance of the publication of The Debt on September 30, here is a short excerpt:

From the personal diary of Inspector Archibald Constant Cumberland, June 7, 1886:

Fort McGregor, I am proud to record here, has been firmly established. I have already written my report to that effect and it is on its way to Superintendent Perry at Fort Macleod. We finished construction two days ago, and the men who were brought to help in the building have been sent on their way, along with my report. Only ten men now remain: myself, the eight constables, and the commissioned doctor, John Cabbot.

All of them are good men, in my judgment, an absolute necessity, for we are far from help out here on these lonely plains. Four of them fought alongside me in Riel Rebellion, so I know they are battle tested. Doctor Cabbot is newly commissioned, but he was trained at McGill and seems a competent man. He was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, and tells me he spent some time in Deadwood and some other of the wilder environs of the American plains, so he understands well what our circumstances will be.

The other four constables are new recruits I chose from the latest batch to arrive from Ontario. I had some time training with them in Fort Macleod, with Superintendent Perry granting me my choice of the new crop, and I am confident I have selected the finest among them. Continue reading