Now Available: The Sojourner

The stunning conclusion to the Sojourners Cycle is here:

THE SOJOURNER

SCIENCE FICTION

CLINT WESTGARD

The Church of the Regents is dead, its followers arrested by the Society of Travelers or gone to the winds. Laila Johar flees the wreckage left behind, accompanied by the body that was once hers, the half-thing Ana Arajuano who she failed to protect, and a woman, Suon, whose love she cannot return. David Aeida is gone, held at bay by Acolyte drugs, but in his place are dreams that are far too real, of people in other universes, the meaning of which Laila cannot begin to understand.

There is no escaping the Church or her own past though. The Seeker returns, demanding she make good on their agreement, and discover, once and for all, the mole the Society of Travelers placed at the heart of the Church. But that discovery pales in comparison to what she soon learns. For Laila has an unwanted part to play in an ancient struggle over who will rule the crossings between the universes and all that lie between them.

In the stunning conclusion to the Sojourners Cycle Laila will be faced with a terrible choice, one that will decide her fate and humanity’s.

Available Now

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Sojourners Cycle Sale

With the coming publication of the final volume of the Sojourners Cycle, The Sojourner, on September 30, the rest of the series is now on sale for a short time:

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 pre-order

Excerpt: The Sojourner Part 3

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

I am sitting alone on the deck of our lodge, legs propped up on another chair, looking down the ridge at the river valley and the towering mountains on the other side, when a car pulls into the main yard by the office building. A man and a woman get out and linger by the door, which is locked. Neither of them speaks, though they share glances. They do not appear to notice me, and I go very still, blending into the background of the cedar planking on the deck.

Michael, the proprietor, appears on an ATV five minutes later, all smiles, no doubt having seen them arrive. He brings the couple inside the office, and I use the opportunity to slip inside our chalet, watching intently from behind the blinds of our kitchen window. My self materializes beside me, a blank look on my face.

Go away,” I say, not glancing at me. My self heads to the door to go out to the deck. “Not outside,” I say before the door is opened. My self turns and goes back to the living room, no expression crossing its face. Continue reading

Excerpt: The Sojourner Part 2

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

In my dream, I am Joseph Aurellano. Not the Joseph Aurellano who lived in the Vancouver of Aeida’s universe under Meredith’s supervision. Some other Aurellano. Though Aurellano never existed. He was a construct of the Acolytes, a simulacrum of a person, intended only to keep me imprisoned and hidden. I remember almost nothing of his thoughts, what he did during those months when I was imprisoned there. Only a few glimpses, shadows of things, came to me, usually when I was lost to myself, in battle with Aeida for command of this body and mind.

Those times I managed to return during my imprisonment, Aurellano was already gone. Aeida returned, though without his memories, which made him pliable. How many times did I come back and surreptitiously make contact with Morris, before being thwarted by Meredith? I never dared ask him that. Never asked him how long it had been since I was exiled. Though it hardly matters now; it is something I don’t want to know.

In this dream—for they are all different, these dreams of Aurellano—I am in what appears to be a small colonial town. Spanish, if I had to guess, though it could be Portuguese. I am near a square with a large Catholic church. Facing it is an official-looking stone building. None of the other buildings nearby has any of the impressive size or permanence of those two. They are all made of bamboo or other trees, with thatched roofs, some on stilts. There is salt on the air and the smell of fish pervades everything, but there is no sign of the sea anywhere. Continue reading

Excerpt: The Sojourner

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

The sound of birds chirping outside my window awakens me. Sparrows or swallows, or some other tiny, dull species that covers the globe in endless numbers. I sit up carefully, having made the mistake earlier in my stay of forgetting how close the ceiling is to the loft bed. Several painful mistakes, actually. But then I am always forgetting where I am. It takes effort to remember, to fight through whatever happens to me when I sleep.

At least I am certain of who I am. That part of me remains stable. Aeida is gone. Suon assures me I have not taken to wandering and plotting in the night. I trust her, as far as that goes.

It seems she did not betray me when I was with her at Osahi’s fortress, and she was not lying when she said she loved me. She does, though I cannot fathom why. I am a lost and broken soul in a foreign body. A pitiful thing who has done terrible deeds. The evidence of my failures is still with us: Ana and my self. It is Ana’s presence that provides the window to allow me to finally see the truth of Suon’s feelings for me. She is jealous of Ana and how much I care for her. Continue reading

A Look Back: The Forgotten Part 5

With the coming publication of the final volume of the Sojourners Cycle, The Sojourner, on September 30, we’re revisiting how it all began with an excerpt from the first book in the series, The Forgotten:

Meredith is the first to move, releasing her grip on my arms and plucking the button from my neck. She returns it and the one she wore to her jacket pocket while I rub my throat, the cold gradually receding from my skin. I am giddy with relief at our apparent escape and have a thousand questions, but Meredith’s face is marked by a coiled sort of anger that warns me from asking any of them just now.

By the time we leave the apartment, nightfall approaches, the sun low in the sky and the shadows long. We slip out the back into a taxi Meredith has called. She sends the driver on a circuitous route, watching out the back window for the entire trip, with the same grim expression on her face. When she is satisfied we have not been followed, she directs him to an apartment building called the Ivanhoe, an older brick building in a neighborhood I think is near to my own. Each floor, I note as we ascend up the stairs to the fifth, has a slightly unpleasant odor in its hallway, all of them distinct from the others somehow.

The apartment that Meredith brings me to is cramped and narrow, filled with ornate antique furniture too large for its rooms, forcing us to navigate with care in order to move about the place. There are shelves heavy with books, some of them very old, and the air is dense with the smell of them. Everything here seems to run counter to the person I met this afternoon; it has none of Meredith’s care or precision.

Seeing the look on my face, Meredith says, “It’s a friend’s. Someone they couldn’t possibly know, so it should take them awhile to find us again.” Continue reading

A Look Back: The Forgotten Part 4

With the coming publication of the final volume of the Sojourners Cycle, The Sojourner, on September 30, we’re revisiting how it all began with an excerpt from the first book in the series, The Forgotten:

Meredith drags me along as she runs, pulling my arm so violently I fear my shoulder might fly from its socket. Behind us I hear a cry in a strange accent, a word I think I know, though I cannot place it. I whisper it to myself as I try to keep up to Meredith and she glares at me furiously, yanking even harder on my arm. The sounds of pursuit grow nearer as we duck around a corner and into a broad alley, weaving around trash dumpsters. One of the pursuers—the man with the goggles, I am certain—utters a command that I cannot make out, and somehow I know they are splitting up to cut off our avenues of escape.

I begin to say something, but Meredith silences me with a glance. Directly in our path are two cooks in stained white jackets outside taking a smoke break, and Meredith heads for them with me in tow. They glance up in surprise at our rapid approach, their astonishment soon replaced by fear as they see the man behind us in pursuit. Their conversation silenced, they watch us, open-mouthed and frozen in place, as Meredith blows past them, carrying me with her. She throws open the door leading into the kitchen, with such violence it almost rebounds off the wall to hit us, and we plunge within before either cook has time to recover and do anything.

Inside we are met by a shout of anger from another cook and a stunned shriek from the waitress we bowl over as we dodge through the galleys. By the time I notice the scalding heat from the ovens hitting my face, we are already out of kitchen, emerging to find ourselves near a bar. A couple, with their arms slung over each other as they lean against the counter, glances up at our sudden entrance. Again I note the long delay before the surprise registers on their faces. Is time moving slower for me, each instant fuller than the last? Continue reading

Now Available For Pre-Order: 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.

Pre-Order Now

A Look Back: The Forgotten Part 3

With the coming publication of the final volume of the Sojourners Cycle, The Sojourner, on September 30, we’re revisiting how it all began with an excerpt from the first book in the series, The Forgotten:

The Cafe Beano is a coffee shop on the corner of a busy avenue not far from the apartment building, a place I am convinced I have been before, though no memory comes to me. Yet I know where it is and can picture its cluttered interior, with tables and chairs strewn about seemingly at random, can smell the bitter coffee and hear the chatter of the menagerie of people gathered within its walls.

It is the specificity of these memories that seems the strangest of all to me. Why can I recall with exacting detail everything about the Beano, but not remember having been there or anywhere else in this city, wherever it is? It’s as if someone planted the memory whole within me, but left aside all the context, all the things that make a memory personal. This recollection could be anyone’s, just as I could be anyone, and that is what bothers me most of all.

Meredith might be able to help there, I reason, as I walk back through the park to the coffee shop. All those things that seemed so significant earlier—the couple talking, the movement of the light through the tree branches, the damp smell of the earth—I note now in a glancing way, giving them no real thought, my mind on how to proceed with Meredith. Did I reveal to her that I have no memory of who I am? Can I trust her with this information? Best to wait until I better understand what she wants and go from there, I decide. Continue reading

A Look Back: The Forgotten Part 2

With the coming publication of the final volume of the Sojourners Cycle, The Sojourner, on September 30, we’re revisiting how it all began with an excerpt from the first book in the series, The Forgotten:

I crawl from the bathroom, choking back sobs, my whole body shaking with fear and revulsion. I want to peel off this skin, cut off my nose and lips, all of my face. Perhaps beneath it all is the person I am, not this simulacrum. But who is that exactly? I have no sense, no idea of where to even begin. My mind is blank, my thoughts as unfamiliar as the face that stares back at me, though they tantalize at moments, almost seeming to be my own. My instincts have returned me to this place, it is all here somewhere within me. But for now I remain a foreign country to myself.

When I have recovered from my shock enough to get to my feet, I go to the kitchen to see if there is anything to drink. I fumble through the cupboards haphazardly, my search of the apartment only moments before already forgotten, and come across a bottle of rye and some packets of chai tea. I opt for the tea, not trusting my stomach with the alcohol, though the thought of oblivion is tempting. I find the kettle and fill it with water and plug it in, spending a few anxious moments waiting for it to come to a boil.

A phone begins to ring as I wait for the tea to finish steeping. I locate it in the bedroom atop a dresser amidst a scattering of detritus: loose change, receipts, and sunglasses, all stray pieces of a lost life. Looking at the display I see a name and a number and, while I try to call forth from my memory any details about the Meredith whose name appears there, the call goes to voicemail. The name does not seem familiar to me, but the number is a local one. How I know that I cannot say, but a quick search of the cell for its number shows the same area code. It seems likely that my instincts are correct again. Continue reading