Trevor H. Cooley Author of the Bowl of Souls Series.

Protector of the Grove Audiobook Now Available!

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Howdy folks!

Protector of the Grove; The Bowl of Souls: Book Seven and Part Two of the Jharro Grove Saga is available now! Andrew Tell did a fantastic job with the narration as usual.Here is the back cover blurb for those of you that are unfamiliar.

“Jhonate’s reprieve from her father has been cut short. She is forced to return home to Malaroo, bringing Justan along with her. The journey she has avoided for so long has become all the more difficult because someone wants Justan dead.
The rogue horse Esmine, a mythical beast of remarkable power, has been captured by a troupe of dwarf smugglers. They are taking her to the nation Alberri where a gnome scholar awaits with a vicious plan to sacrifice the beast and bind its powerful soul to make a weapon of mass destruction. Tarah Woodblade must gather a group of warriors and rescue Esmine before she is taken to Alberri.
Evil stirs. Darkness is building. But can anyone trust Xedrion, The Protector of the Grove?”

Here is the Audible link:

It will show up on Amazon and Itunes within the next few days.

In additional news, I am still working on finalizing Noose Jumpers. It has taken me a lot longer than expected. The pressures of creating a new world that exists within our own history has been more complicated than expected. There is a lot more research involved and quite frankly there has been a bunch of stressful other junk I have been going through that has slowed me down. Still, I am mostly finished with the book. More updates to follow!



Noose Jumpers Preview Chapter 2:

Howdy Folks,

Things have been a little quiet on the site for the last few weeks, I know.  The writing of this book has taken longer than expected. Partially because this is an all new world and all new characters and has required more research and creation time than I thought it would. Also partially because I am in the middle of trying to sell my old house and purchase the one we have been living in the past two years, (A long story that I don’t need to get into here.) Thus, the release date has been pushed back a bit. I’ll tell you know something more specific when I am close to being finished.

In the meantime, as an apology for the delay, here is a second preview chapter of Noose Jumpers. If you haven’t had a chance to read the first one, (The Death of Bobby Estrella) it’s here.

Also if you haven’t seen the short film that I wrote based on the concepts in this book, you really should. It was directed by my brother, Jared Cooley (who you might recognize from the cover of War of Stardeon), and stars some great hollywood actors. See it HERE.

One last thing. Narration is underway for Protector of the Grove. We hope to have the audiobook available for purchase by the end of the month.

Now here you go. Preview chapter 2.


A Glassful of Worms

An excerpt from The Tale of Luke Bassett


“A bit o’ the devil in every bottle!” – Promise made by a horned cherub in an ad for ‘El Diablo Fine Spirits’ placed in the Tombstone Epitaph, June 21, 1886


The mid-summer sun blazed overhead as Luke reigned in his horse atop a dusty hillside just outside of Luna Gorda. He paused to peer down into the town below and a frown tightened his brow. So much had changed.

The town, which had already doubled in size in the twelve years since Estrella’s hanging, was quickly growing. The railway station in Luna Gorda had only been complete for just a few short months, but a whole new street of buildings had already been constructed. The builders weren’t finished, either. Luke saw the pale skeletal frames of several structures and could hear the rap of hammers and nail.

He supposed that the changes were a positive thing for the locals. More people passing through would mean more money brought in. His mother would be busy running the schoolhouse and with all the new construction, his stepfather was likely bringing home a lot of money. What Luke didn’t like was the possibility of Luna Gorda turning into a major town. More people meant more law.

Luke wiped the back of his arm across his brow and sighed at the muddy streak of sweat he left behind on the sleeve of his duster. The weather on his journey had been hot and windy. Dirt coated him like a gray blanket.

He slid down from his horse and removed his duster, shaking the road dust off of it. Luke folded it and put it away into his saddlebag, then beat the dirt off of his hat and pulled out a small mirror to examine his image. He saw that the duster had protected his finely-tailored blue suitcoat and vest against the majority of the dirt but, except for the one clean spot in the center of his forehead, his face was filthy.

Luke untied his canteen from the saddle and shook it. He had filled it at a creek early that morning and it was still half full. He took a quick swig, then used some of the water to wet down a clean bandana. He began to wipe the grime off of his face, keeping an eye on the mirror to be sure that he was getting all of it.

The face that appeared from under the dirt was still as freckled as it had been when he was a boy, though his face had filled out some. A thick red goatee now grew around his lips and prominent jaw. The green eyes that looked back at him had seen a lot in the past few years and there was a hardness in them that Luke noted with satisfaction.

“Primping?” asked a deep throaty voice.

A black horse appeared next to Luke’s, forming into existence with an audible whoosh. The Stranger sat astride it on a saddle red as blood. A black mist wafted around them for a brief moment before evaporating into the air. The Stranger wore his familiar black duster and black hat and, unlike Luke’s, both were clean of dust. He cocked his head and gave Luke a questioning look with his good eye.

Luke spared his theatrical arrival little more than a glance. He continued to wipe the dirt and sweat from his neck. “Aren’t you the one who told me how important appearances are?”

“It’s true folks should see you’re not some common dirty outlaw,” the Stranger conceded. “But no need to polish up standing out here in the open.”

“No one’s paying me any mind right now but you,” Luke replied. Satisfied with his appearance, he put the mirror and damp cloth away. He then reached down with his left hand and drew his revolver.

It was a well-used Smith and Wesson top break revolver with a smooth action and mahogany grips. It was his favorite gun, purchased with the money from his first big score. Quickly, Luke inspected it, wiping a thin coat of road dust off of it. He cracked the weapon open to spin the cylinder. He had cleaned it the night before, but it never hurt to check again.

Nodding in satisfaction, he slid it back into the holster at his waist. Then he reached his right hand into his suitcoat to withdraw his spare gun from its shoulder holster under his left arm. Luke knew it had probably been protected from the dirt, but he checked it anyway. This one was also a top break revolver, as he preferred, but he wasn’t sure of the manufacturer. It had a short barrel and a five shot-cylinder. The dead man he had taken it from had claimed he’d had it custom made, but there were no markings on it that Luke could find.

“You expecting trouble?” the Stranger asked, his voice filled with irritation.

Luke gazed down the hole in the barrel and spun the cylinder again. “You’ve always demanded I be prepared.”

“Still shouldn’t check your gun so often,” the Stranger said. “Makes you look nervous.”

“You seem awfully particular today,” Luke replied with a chuckle. He snapped his spare gun closed and put it away. He looked the Stranger in the eye. “Is there a problem I should know about?”

“Problem?” A cigar appeared in the Stranger’s fingers. He lifted it to his lips and blew on the end. The tip of the cigar burst into flame. He turned his eye to the streets of Luna Gorda below. “It’s this town. I don’t like it when you come back here. It’s a weakness.”

Luke snorted and climbed back up onto his horse. “It’s just a town, Stranger. No different from any other.”

The specter took a deep draw from his cigar. Smoke curled around his lips as he said, “Bobby Estrella told me the same thing.” Then he and his horse disappeared in a burst of black mist.

Luke winced. He had grown used to his mentor’s dark and demanding demeanor, but that last remark had hit a bit close to home. He shrugged it off and rode down the hillside towards Luna Gorda.

The new section of town was busy with people strutting about, some of them in fancy dress. These weren’t locals, but travelers stopping in town along the way. From the dearth of horses, many of them were likely passengers perhaps waiting for the next train to Albuquerque. The newest buildings were inns and shops built solely for the purpose of catering to the needs of these visitors.

For some reason this made Luke’s skin crawl. This place reminded him of other towns, bigger ones. It seemed wrong for something like this to spring up in Luna Gorda. He quickly turned down an alleyway and headed for the old main street.

Some of the tension left his shoulders as the familiar buildings came into view. Yet even here there were changes. The windows of the old barber shop were boarded up, the barber pole taken down. The street wasn’t even as well maintained as in years past. The huge ruts left by carriages on rainy days past hadn’t been filled in.

Luke paused outside the sheriff’s office, noting that there was no rocking chair in its place in front of the jailhouse. Old Sheriff Paul had retired a few years back and his replacement, Sheriff Dale, had decided to part with tradition. Luke’s eyes were drawn to the bounty board outside the office and a smile crossed his lips as he saw some familiar faces.

A peal of raucous laughter from across the street caught Luke’s attention. He slid down from his horse and tied it up outside the saloon. This, at least, would be a place where he could feel at home. His smile faltered when he saw that the old saloon sign had been taken down. In its place was a newly painted sign that said, Hank’s Saloon. Luke pushed his way through the swinging doors and stepped inside.

At least the interior hadn’t changed much. He found the familiar jumble of mismatched chairs and tables comforting. The only surprise was how empty the place was. Even though it was only mid-afternoon, the place was usually at least half-full of travelers and the sound of piano playing could be heard from the street. Today, the piano at the back of the room stood vacant and there was only one table occupied.

The three men sitting there were talking loudly and laughing like they had been drinking for a long while already. Luke’s eyes gave them a practiced glance. There were two bottles of liquor opened on the table and they were playing a game of cards but there was no cash at stake. The two of them with their backs to him wore pistol belts, but he dismissed them as a threat. Their clothes weren’t dirty and the fact that there hadn’t been any horses tied outside told him they had likely come by train.

Luke walked up to the bar and eyed the old barman who was facing away from him, cleaning a glass. “When did you start calling the place ‘Hank’s Saloon’?”

The barman spun around, rag and glass in hand, and blinked in surprise at his sudden appearance. A reproachful smile lit up his weathered face. “Well, hello to you too, Luke.”

Luke raised an eyebrow in response. “The hello was implied.”

The old man chuckled. “Got the new sign done last week. Some railroad tycoon built a saloon of his own next to the station. Don’t want folks to get confused.” He cocked his head. “You been to see your momma yet?”

“Just pour me some mezcal, Hank,” Luke said.

The men at the table behind him chose that moment to burst out in a round of laughter. Hank shot them an irritated glance, but returned his attention to Luke. “You should see her. I saw her over at the church just this Sunday. I heard her telling the pastor how worried she was, you know with that bounty on your head and all.”

“If I was looking for a lecture I would have been to see her first,” Luke interrupted with a glower. “Mezcal.”

The barman shook his head and placed the glass on the counter in front of Luke. He turned around and grabbed a bottle off of the shelf. “Just see her before you go. I promise I won’t tell her you came here first.”

Hank pulled the stopper and went to pour, but Luke placed his hand over the top of the glass. “Uh-uh. The real thing.”

Hank frowned and bent to fuss around under the counter. Bottles clinked and when he stood back up, he held a dusty clear bottle. He lifted it and wiped off the dust to reveal a gold label with a demonic skull on the front that read, El Diablo Mezcal. There was very little liquor remaining in the bottle and Luke could just make out the fat white worm sitting in the bottom.

“Don’t care what you say!” shouted one of the men at the table. He was the loudest mouthed of the three men, his voice gravelly and thick with whiskey. “I done worked the tracks on three different railroads and I say one injun’s worth ten of them lazy Chinamen!”

Hank rolled his eyes, but didn’t look directly at the men, instead focusing on wiping the dust off the neck of the bottle. He pulled out the stopper and sniffed at the liquid inside, his lips twisted in disgust. “I can’t believe you still like this rotgut, Luke.”

Luke watched as Hank poured the last dregs of the bottle into the glass, skillfully stopping just before the worm fell out. The bartender then started to set the bottle down, but Luke raised his hand. “Don’t spare the worm.”

“You know that thing’s not supposed to be in there,” Hank said, but Luke just gave him a dull look in reply.

Hank sighed. He tilted the bottle over the glass again and tapped the bottom. The pale plump worm tumbled out of the neck and plopped into the glass. Luke picked up the glass and tilted it slowly back, draining a good third of it. He swallowed and hissed through his teeth.

Hank winced. “Disgusting. This brand’s garbage. I used to tell Estrella that too. No decent brewer would let a worm into their liquor.”

“Nonsense,” said the Stranger’s deep voice. The specter appeared in a flash of black mist, leaning against the bar next to Luke. “Diablo is the only brand.”

Luke wasn’t surprised when the bartender didn’t react to the specter’s presence. No one seemed to be able to see or hear the Stranger except for him. He had learned that lesson early on, though it had taken several embarrassing episodes before he had been convinced.

A full glass appeared in the Stranger’s hand. Unlike Luke’s glass, it was filled with living worms. They squirmed in the clear liquor. He lifted it in front of his face and a grin parted the Stranger’s pale lips, exposing a set of yellowed teeth, several of them capped with gold. He chuckled. “A piece of the devil in every glass.”

Luke ignored him and took another swallow. “Don’t make any changes, Hank. That mezcal is why I keep coming back to you.”

While he nursed his drink, the men at the table behind him continued their argument. Evidently they weren’t mere passengers, but employees of the railroad; overseers of the workers. The gravelly-voiced one was highly opinionated and responded angrily to the quieter words of the other men at his table. “I tell you I seen ‘em every day! Sittin’ around the tracks in their stupid hats, layin’ down, beggin’ for water! Hell, the water boys spent half the day fillin’ Chinaman cups.”

“Pshh!” said another one. “C’mon, Gary! No way they’re lazier than any average Irishman. Half the layabouts in every town I been in are red-headed paddies.”

Hank shot Luke a cautious glance. When he was a child, Luke had been sensitive about his red hair and freckled face. He used to get into scraps with the other children when they teased him about it. But if the remark bothered him, Luke didn’t let it show.

“Bull!” said the one they called Gary. “That’s only if they’re drunk. You put a common sober Irishman on the line and he’d outwork any two Chinese!”

“What about the injuns?” asked the calmest of the three. “I used to work the chain gangs and they was always a problem.”

The Stranger growled and drained his glass in one big gulp. He slammed it back down on the bar and said, “Ain’t it a bit loud in here?”

“Damn right,” Luke said under his breath. He threw back his head and poured the last of the liquor into his mouth. The stiff worm tumbled across his tongue and he pinned it between his molars as he swallowed the liquid down.

The burning of the alcohol was nothing compared to the sensation when the worm burst. An acidic tang filled his mouth and the burning sensation travelled upwards from his throat into his mind, settling somewhere just behind his eyes. Luke shook slightly as he let out a slow breath. The Stranger grinned.

“ . . . and we hardly had to water the injuns,” Gary continued at the top of his voice. “Naw! I tell you it don’t matter if a man’s red, black, or brown. They’s all better than them yellow-!”

“Would you shut the hell up?” Luke shouted. He didn’t turn around, but just stared at his empty glass, processing the sensation in his head.

The men at the table were momentarily stunned into silence. Loudmouthed Gary was the first one to come to his senses enough to summon some outrage. “You talkin’ to me?”

“You’re the one hurting my ears,” Luke said, still not bothering to face the man.

The chair scraped against the wood floor as Gary stood. “What’s your problem, boy? Your momma a Chinaman?”

Luke said nothing. He wondered if the burning in his mind had really been caused by the worm or if it was the Stranger’s doing? He’d never had that particular reaction from eating a mezcal worm before. Whatever it was, he sure felt alive.

“You know who I am, boy?” Gary pressed, his low voice threatening.

There was another slight scraping sound and Luke turned his head just enough to catch the man’s silhouette out of the corner of his eye. Gary now held a rifle in his right hand. The reason Luke hadn’t noticed the weapon before was that it had been lying on the ground next to his chair.

Luke’s jaw tightened. How sloppy. “Yeah. You’re the loud one.”

The Stranger chuckled.

Gary growled and strode forward. He gripped his rifle in both hands and swung it back, aiming to slam the butt right into the back of Luke’s neck. He wasn’t expecting his prey to be so fast.

Luke spun, his left hand drawing his sidearm in one fluid motion. He shoved the revolver between Gary’s upraised arms and jabbed the end of the barrel right into the base of the man’s nose. Gary flinched in pain and let go of the rifle with one hand as he stepped back, but Luke moved with him, keeping his front sight jabbed into the man’s septum.

The other two men’s jaws dropped in shock as Gary stumbled backwards. The back of his legs hit the table and he fell backwards across it, sending their liquor bottles spinning onto the floor. Luke didn’t let up, putting one knee up on the table and leaning over the man, his gun still pressing painfully into tender flesh.

Gary cried out in pain and Luke reached for the rifle with his free hand, attempting to pry it from the man’s fingers. Gary resisted until Luke pulled back the hammer with his thumb and pressed harder. Luke’s eyes were feverish with intensity and to Gary it seemed he was looking into the gaze of a madman. Gary let go of his weapon.

“Luke!” said Hank, alarmed. “Don’t pull that in here!”

At that point, one of Gary’s friends had gathered his wits enough to grab his own pistol. Luke sensed the movement and released the rifle. By the time the man brought his weapon to bear, Luke had drawn his spare from the shoulder holster and had it pointed at his face.

“I’d put that back away if I were you,” Luke advised, his intense gaze still focused on the man pinned underneath him.

Gary’s friend trembled. As Luke had drawn his spare, his jacket had flapped open, exposing the offset red star sewn into the silky black interior. He put his gun away, licking his lips as he said, “Red Star, Gary.”

Gary swallowed. “Y-you’re Luke Basset? The gunfighter? I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean nothing about your mama.”

Luke smiled at the recognition in the man’s voice. It was good to know that his reputation was growing. Luke Basset of the Red Star Gang had a $150 bounty and a tendency for challenging other gunfighters.

Luke let his expression grow eager. “So . . . Gary who? You were anxious for me to know. You anyone . . . famous?”

“N-no! I’m a nobody!” Gary promised. “Just a drunk railroad man is all.”

Luke looked at the other two men that shared Gary’s table. “Is that so?”

The two men nodded their heads, backing away. Luke pulled away from Gary and stepped back, letting the man sit up. He kept both guns trained on the men as Gary rubbed blood from his nose with one shaking hand.

“Then get out,” Luke said. “You bother me.”

Gary snatched up his rifle and he and his friends rushed out of the saloon. Luke smiled and put his guns away. He returned to the bar.

The Stranger shook his head and downed another wormy shot glass. “I’d have shot him.”

Hank wasn’t so pleased. “What’re you doing, Luke? Chasing away my customers? They ain’t even paid yet!”

Luke sighed and reached into his jacket pocket. He pulled out a stack of bills and peeled off a few. He smacked them down on the bar. “I didn’t want that loudmouth around anyway. I’m here to meet someone.”

Hank picked up the money and counted it quickly. “Fine, but what if those railroad men bring back the sheriff?”

“Dale?” Luke scoffed. “He won’t do anything. No one was shot.”

“Yeah?” Hank said. “Don’t forget that bounty of yours. What if they try to collect it?”

“Dale’s not so eager to bring me in. My bounty’s not big enough to make it worth his while.” He smiled. “Yet.”

The barman gave him a wary look. “Will you promise me you’re not going to shoot this person you’re meeting? Least not in here?”

Luke leaned against the counter and lifted his shot glass, gesturing for Hank to fill it. “I paid you enough to open another bottle.”

Hank frowned, but bent down behind the bar again. When he stood he was holding an even dustier bottle of mezcal, this one full. Luke could see two worms drifting lazily in the bottom. “This is my last bottle. You’re lucky I didn’t just throw it out.”

“Order more. You know we’ll be back for it,” Luke said, gesturing with his glass again.

“We?” Hank said.

Luke pursed his lips, irritated by his slipup. The Stranger chuckled again and vanished.

Luke didn’t correct himself, but waited until Hank had opened the bottle and filled his glass before saying, “Don’t worry. I’m not here planning to shoot anybody. The person I’m meeting here is an old friend.”


Let me know what you think!

Noose Jumpers Short Film and Book Trailer Premiere!

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Howdy folks!

It’s strange how every book and comes about in a different way. For Eye of the Moonrat, it came about from childhood fantasies; literally years of dreaming up a complex world full of characters that caught my imagination. Tarah Woodblade came by way of a different process; my cousin and I brainstorming character ideas to use in a Bowl of Souls role playing game.

Noose jumpers started as a concept for an article I wrote back in 2008 on my old blog (which was basically a humor blog filled with fictitious posts. The blog still remains HERE if you are curious, though I can’t promise the writing quality you have come to expect from me.) The idea was that Noose Jumping was a predecessor to Bungie Jumping. The ultimate rush, an Old West sport where the goal was to try to get yourself hung by committing as many crimes as possible.

That germ of an idea stuck with me for several years, evolving in complexity until it was no longer a joke concept but evolved into an idea that could become the basis for a series of books and new type of magic system. The idea turned into  a point of time in the Old West where a new wave of outlaws rose from the dust and wreaked havoc, guided by mysterious powers and competing to become legends of the west. It was called the Noose Jumper Era because many of them ended their lives hanging on the loop of a noose.

When my brother, who is an independent filmmaker, spoke to me about writing something with him it came back to mind. We started talking about the possibility of putting together a pilot for a television show. We both love old westerns and the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns in particular and I brought up Noose Jumpers because I felt that it was a concept perfect for television. Together we developed it, expanding on my basic ideas. I wrote up a short film script that showcased the concept and he started putting funding together. I then started writing a script for a full pilot episode and enjoyed the ideas and characters so much that I knew I wanted to start a new series of novels based on it.

My brother put together a great group of actors and key film personnel and shot the short film back in June of 2015. Post production took months but is finally complete and the finished product is ready for your eyes and ears. Now the scene in the film you are about to watch does NOT occur in the book, so there are no spoilers. It does nicely set up the ideas that are showcased in the series, though and we hope that it could someday lead to a television or film opportunity. Please enjoy.

In addition, if you want to get an idea of how the book is going to flow, check out the preview chapter I posted a while back. The book starts with a series of bangs.



Tarah Woodblade Audiobook Now Available!

Great news! The audiobook for Tarah Woodblade is now available for your ears!


Here is the Audible Link:

It will be up on Amazon and Itunes within the next few days.

Here’s some background about the book for those who may not be familiar. This is the sixth book of The Bowl of Souls Series, but the first book of the Jharro Grove Saga. As such it is introducing new characters and a new story arc. It takes place four months after the events of “Mother of the Moonrat” and deals with the aftermath of the war. The thrust of the plot is a direct result of Lenny’s past.

Tarah Woodblade is a famous tracker and guide with unique powers who left Dremaldria at the beginning of the war. She is returning home expecting to be labeled a coward, but finds that people have developed a very different opinion. Justan and Co do not show up until the end of the book, but rejoin the series as main characters starting in book two. The main characters in the Jharro Grove Saga are Justan, Fist, and Tarah Woodblade.


Noose Jumpers Preview Chapter: The Death of Bobby Estrella

Howdy folks! It’s time for my traditional posting of a sample chapter of my upcoming novel. This book is new and different and has been a lot of fun for me to write. It is a western and a fantasy and a mythology and I hope you enjoy it.


Now, without further ado,

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The Death of Bobby Estrella


“Death ain’t always the end of a man’s story. Well, for most folks it is. I mean . . . they’re dead. You stop showing up, folks forget you after a while. But for some men, those that lived and died just right, their death is just the beginning of the story.” – Old Jim, town drunk and soothsayer.


It was twelve years before the trains came to Luna Gorda. The town was located in the southeastern corner of the New Mexico Territory, just fifteen miles from the Texas border. Luna Gorda had been built around one of the minor but well-travelled roads leading to the more populated cities to the north and west. Over its two decades of existence the town had become a frequent pit stop for merchants and travelers alike.

The locals were a hardy mix of Mexican and frontier American stock and the town showed it. The buildings were an eclectic jumble of adobe, brick, and wood plank constructions. The whole assembly looked a bit slapdash on first glance, but if the buildings had one common trait it was that they were tough and made to last.

The streets of Luna Gordo were clean and usually bustling with folks going about their business. On this day, however, trouble was coming and folks knew it. The town was quiet, the streets empty.

Three boys, Tom, Sandy, and Luke, aged ten and twelve and eleven respectively, refused to stay inside like the others. Quietly, they clambered out of the second story window behind the butcher shop and stepped onto the balcony. Once certain that no one was aware of their escape, they boosted each other up and climbed onto the roof.

The boys crept up the slightly sloping roof, careful not to make a sound. Upon reaching the front of the building, they crouched behind a high point in the decorative molding and peered into the street below. The butcher shop, owned by Sandy’s parents, was located on the main street and offered the boys a prime view of the situation below.

At the center of town, right across from each other, were two buildings seemingly at odds; the saloon and the jailhouse. Old Sheriff Paul had been one of the first settlers of Luna Gorda and had ordered the buildings situated like that on purpose. Drunken men were a lot less likely to start trouble if they exited the saloon to see the law waiting to take them in. There was a rocking chair set on the porch in front of the sheriff’s office and whenever the saloon was full either one of the deputies or Sheriff Paul himself would be stationed there, waiting with a shotgun across his lap.

There was no one stationed there today, though. Sheriff Paul had grown less brash and more wise in his old age. He and his deputies waited inside, content to deal with the aftermath of events instead of becoming part of them. It was probably a smart decision because in the street between the jailhouse and the saloon were four members of the Black Spot Gang.

The Black Spots were one of the most feared outlaw bands in the region. Made up mostly of ex-miners, they were known for smudging the right side of their faces with coal dust. They stayed mainly on the Texas side of the border, holding up stagecoaches and rustling cattle. Appearances in Luna Gorda were rare, but today was different. Bobby Estrella had crossed a line with Pablo Jones, the leader of the gang, a dangerous man with an $1,100 bounty.

They were ugly brutes; rough men with hard faces. Their legs were bowed by life on horseback and they were armed, each of them wearing well-used pistols and bandoleers of bullets slung across their chests. To the boys watching from above, it seemed as if the black smears on the men’s cheeks gave them some sort of supernatural power. They gave off a predatory aura that was so tangible it distorted the air around them.

The outlaws had turned a horse cart on its side and rolled several barrels of goods away from the front of the general store to block the street. One of them had even dragged the sheriff’s rocking chair into the middle of the road and sat in it. There they lounged on their makeshift barricade, dark hats pulled low over their eyes as they sweltered under the hot sun, waiting for Luna Gorda’s famous gunfighter to make an appearance.

“You see him?” whispered Tom. The youngest and shortest of the boys, he had found himself wedged behind the other two. He couldn’t see the street beyond the barricade from his position and he didn’t dare stand taller for fear of being seen.

“Shh!” Luke hissed. Heavily freckled, the red-haired boy had fierce green eyes and thick eyebrows that knit close together when he scowled. “I ain’t seen him yet, but he’s coming. I’m sure of it.”

Sandy turned his head away from the street to look at the two of them. “Well, he’d better come quick, ‘cause if my momma finds out we’re up here, she’s gonna kill us.”

Sandy was taller and thicker than the other two boys. Helping his father in the butcher shop had helped him build some muscle on his frame. He was also the most even-tempered and often found himself having to be the voice of reason in their little troop.

“I said shh!” Luke said looking back at his friends. “No one’s worried about your momma, Sandy. It’s those Black Spots by the saloon. They might shoot us if they hear us!”

Tom grinned at Sandy’s frown. “Yeah, Sandy. Shush! Think how mad your momma will be if you get shot.”

“My whispering was quieter than either of your shushings,” Sandy replied coolly.

Tom chuckled and raised himself up higher to get a better look at the street. His eyes widened. Tom stood and pointed, forgetting in his excitement the possible danger below. Sandy quickly pulled him back down, but Tom didn’t stop his smiling. “He’s here! Bobby Estrella is here!”

The other two boys quickly looked to see Bobby round the edge of the barn at the far end of town and turn onto the main street. He rode a white horse and was wearing a white hat and a fancy shirt with red fringe on the pockets. He wore black chaps and on each thigh was sewn his signature symbol; an offset white star.

To the boys, he shone like a hero out of legend.

Bobby “Estrella” Finn was a true son of Luna Gorda. His heritage was like the town in microcosm. His father was an Irish immigrant and his mother of Mexican blood. It showed in the way his light brown hair and Anglo looks were mixed with darkly tanned skin.

His ties with the town went deeper than that, though. Bobby was orphaned as a small child and the people of Luna Gorda raised him. He was passed from home to home and was fed and taught by the community.

Bobby had been the pride of the town in his youth. The orphan was charming, easy going, smart, and not afraid to work. The nickname “Estrella”, which was Spanish for star, had been given to him because of the way his personality shone. He latched onto that name with pleasure. As he grew to his teenage years, he began introducing himself as Bobby Estrella. If someone asked about his parents, he would tell them that his father was a ghost and that his mother was Luna Gorda.

(Observer’s Note: Though the correct Spanish pronunciation of Estrella turns the two “L”s into a “Y” sound, Bobby tended to prefer the local Americanized bastardization of the word. When he introduced himself it was Bobby Estrella with the two “L”s pronounced like in the word “fella”. This created a debate in the town that went nowhere. In the end, his name was pronounced differently depending on who you were talking to.)

The locals hadn’t believed it when they first heard he had become an outlaw. Every time the sheriff would put up his wanted poster, someone would tear it down. But as his bounty grew, so did the evidence against him. People that had housed him in his youth began finding small packages of money left at their doors and each time Bobby would travel into town, he was wearing more extravagant things.

This day, Estrella’s wanted poster advertised that his bounty in the Territory of New Mexico was $1,750. He was wanted for robbery, murder, and cattle rustling, but you wouldn’t have known it from the flamboyant manner in which he entered his home town. The cocky grin on his face didn’t lessen when the Black Spots’ barricade came into view.

Riding a short distance behind him was a much less resplendent man on a skinny mule. His cheeks were sallow and he had the rumpled look of a man who had slept in his clothes for several nights in a row. He was twitching and eyeing the waiting gang nervously. The boys watching recognized him right away as Jeb Wickee, town layabout and part-time deputy. He was also Bobby Estrella’s childhood friend and local informant.

The Black Spots stood as Bobby came into view and the air of menace surrounding them intensified. Estrella slowed down as he approached and hopped down from his horse. He then turned away from them and handed the reigns to Jeb.

“Here. Hitch ‘em up. I’ll be just a minute,” Bobby said casually.

“Estrella!” shouted the tallest of the Black Spots. His name was Gil Beverly and he had a bounty of $700. He was the one that Pablo put in charge of this mission. “I wouldn’t turn my back if I was you.”

Estrella turned back to face them and shook his head. “Just what are you desperadoes doing?”

“You know why we’re here,” said Gil.

Bobby sighed. “What I meant was, what are the four of you doing sitting in the middle of the street?”

Gil blinked at the question and when he didn’t respond right away one of the others spoke up, “We’re here to keep you from gettin’ away.”

“Yeah, but it’s blazing out here. Aren’t you hot?” Estrella asked, his face etched with concern. He took off his hat and fanned his face as he walked slowly towards them. “You could have waited in the shade in front of the saloon. I wouldn’t have minded.”

“That’s enough! We know how you are, Bobby, and we ain’t putting up with your jackassery,” Gill snapped and the hands of the Black Spots twitched near their revolvers. “Pablo wants the gold you run off with. Now hand it over.”

Estrella stopped. “Jackassery?” He let out a charming laugh. “Come on, Gil, I was genuinely worried about your comfort.”

Gill growled. The street was tight with tension. The boys watching from above were riveted, their mouths gaping open in anticipation of the gunfight that would surely ensue, but Luke found his attention drawn to a strange anomaly. A man had appeared on the porch in front of the storefront next to Estrella. Luke could have sworn he hadn’t been there before.

This new stranger was leaning back against the wall in the shade, placing a lit cigar in his mouth. He was wearing a wide hat and a long black duster and as he lifted his head, Luke saw beneath the brim of his hat. The man’s face was pale and he wore a patch over his right eye. As for his other eye, it was probably just a reflection from the burning ember on the end of the cigar, but to Luke it had a supernatural gleam. There was something oddly familiar about that gleam.

“Hand over the gold or we’ll fill you with holes,” Gil promised.

Estrella didn’t respond right away. He had noticed the stranger too. Bobby turned his head to look at the man and the cocky grin slid off of his face.

“He ain’t smiling now,” mocked one of the Black Spots.

Bobby paid him no mind. The stranger let out a puff of smoke and mouthed something that Luke could not hear. Bobby cocked his head questioningly and the stranger gave him a slow nod.

When Estrella turned his attention back to the Black Spots, his smile had returned. “About that gold. I’m afraid I gave most of it away. As for the rest . . .” He spread his arms wide. “I’m wearing it.”

“Then you’re a dead man,” Gil promised.

“I doubt you brought enough men for that,” Bobby replied, dropping his arms and hovering his hand over the pearl handle of his shiny revolver.

Gil drew his gun and the rest of the Black Spots followed.

Estrella was faster. By the time Gil had raised his weapon to firing position, Bobby’s first shot had struck him in the heart. Bobby held down the trigger and fanned the hammer three more times.

Two of the other men dropped, but the fourth man was just winged. He was able to squeeze off a shot, but it went wide. Bobby shot twice more and the man fell over dead.

Bobby shook his head as he placed his gun back in its holster. “I told Pablo that if he was going to come for me he’d have to-.”

Another shot rang out.

Estrella jerked and stared down at his right leg. Blood blossomed from his thigh and ran down over his chaps, streaking the white star red. He slowly turned around.

The boys gasped. Luke’s eyes immediately searched for the stranger, but the man had disappeared from the shadows. Instead, standing in the street with a dirty pistol in his hand, was Estrella’s informant.

Bobby’s jaw dropped in shock. “Jeb?”

“Don’t bother trying to shoot me, Estrella,” Jeb replied with a sneer on his face. “You fired six shots. No bullets left.”

“But why?” Bobby asked. “Did Pablo get to you?”

The man didn’t answer, but kept his gun trained on Estrella as he walked onto the porch of the sheriff’s office. He kicked the door hard twice. “Sheriff Paul, get out here! I got a bounty to collect.”

Jeb Wickee, a man who’d never had more than fifty dollars to his name, had just become $1,750 richer.

“No way,” said Luke. Sandy and Tom couldn’t help but share his disbelief at their hero’s misfortune. The three boys watched sadly as the sheriff and his deputies apprehended Bobby and took him inside the jailhouse.

“I can’t believe that Jeb, turning Bobby in,” said Sandy with a glower. “You watch, Estrella ain’t going down this easy.”

“Yeah!” Tom agreed. “No way Sheriff Paul can keep Bobby behind bars. He’ll escape. Then Jeb will be the one that’s sorry.”

Luke wasn’t so confident. Something about the way Bobby’s shoulders had drooped as the sheriff had dragged him away gave the whole thing a feeling of permanence.

The street was soon swarming with people exclaiming over the scene. The boys climbed down from the rooftop and snuck back into Sandy’s room. They arrived just in time, because Sandy’s mother rushed in moments later and shooed his friends home.

The rest of their day flew by. Their minds were abuzz with what they had seen and they barely noticed the tedium of chores or the taste of their evening meals. They all had difficulty sleeping that night. As for Luke, his dreams were haunted by the pale-faced stranger and the glow of the cigar ember reflected in his one good eye.

The news of Bobby Estrella’s capture spread quickly through the town. The majority of them, still enamored with the charismatic boy that had grown up among them, wished for clemency. After all, he had never done any of them harm and the men he killed had all been outlaws anyway. Some of them even spoke with the sheriff, trying to get him to let Bobby go. But Sheriff Paul, though a man with many faults, was a true man of the law. He refused to do anything with the prisoner until he had heard from the judge.

Unfortunately for Estrella, Judge Wilson was not one of the town majority. He was relatively new to Luna Gorda and hadn’t known Bobby as a child. The list of Estrella’s alleged crimes was extensive and as a rancher himself, the judge found the crime of cattle rustling particularly damning. He didn’t take long to deliberate over his ruling.

Bobby Estrella was to be hung.

The week leading up to the hanging was a busy one in Luna Gorda. The town’s citizens were in an uproar over the ruling. Sandy’s mother herself brought a petition around, gathering signatures urging for a pardon. She handed it to Judge Wilson, but the man wasn’t to be swayed, not even with eighty percent of the people against him. As he reminded her, the rulings of the Judicial Branch of the American Government weren’t up for vote.

The townsfolk visited Bobby in droves. He was gracious to all of them and they kept him well fed but, despite his sparkling attitude, there was no reprieve. The gallows was built at the edge of town.

The day of the hanging was a grim one. The sky was filled with dark foreboding clouds and most of the locals, those that loved Bobby best, stayed home. Nevertheless, the area around the gallows was flooded with interested visitors. Some came with morbid curiosity. Others had more personal reasons for attending. There were a great many Black Spots in the crowd.

Luke, Tom, and Sandy were told to go nowhere near the terrible event. Of course, they ignored their parents’ edicts and snuck to the edge of town. Careful to avoid being seen by anyone they knew, the boys found a proper vantage point where they would miss nothing.

They watched as Bobby Estrella was marched up to the gallows. He gave the crowd a charming smile as he was led up onto the platform and his crimes were read aloud. Then the preacher took the stage. And since he rarely had the opportunity to preach to such an eager crowd, he made the most of it. The preacher gave a rousing sermon, prancing about and waving his Bible as he first damned Estrella’s actions, then cried to the Lord for mercy on his ever living soul.

Estrella rolled his eyes at first, but as the sermon went on, his humor left him. His face went grim and he began to stare off into the distance. Some people in the crowd craned their necks to see what he was looking at so intently, but they seemed to find nothing of note and returned their attention to the preacher.

Luke saw something different. Standing away from the crowd, next to a ragged oak tree, was the pale-faced stranger that he had seen talking to Bobby. He wore the same black hat and duster he had on the day of the gunfight and he was looking right back at Estrella.

The dark clouds above churned and their gazes remained locked, the stranger silently smoking his cigar until the preacher ran out of steam. Finally, a bag was pulled over Bobby’s head, cutting off their connection. As the noose was placed around Estrella’s neck, the stranger spat in derision and turned away.

Up to that point, Tom and Sandy had been certain that a reprieve was coming. There was no way this was the end. Somehow Estrella was going to pull some sort of trick and get away. The grim certainty of the moment hit them as the lever was pulled. The door under Bobby’s feet gave way and they gasped, closing their eyes, unwilling to see their hero die.

Luke, however, was unable to look away. Sweat beaded on his forehead and his expression was feverish as Estrella fell and jerked to a stop. Later, the scene would replay in his mind and he would throw up, but at the moment it happened, his thoughts were detached and emotionless. Was this real? Was any of it? He turned his eyes from the dead man’s twitching boots and saw that the stranger was gone.

Lightning crackled and the clouds chose that moment to release their bounty. Rain fell in a torrent and the crowd dispersed, their entertainment over. The three friends, as unafraid of getting wet as young boys are, walked sadly forward and stood before the gallows.

“I can’t believe it really happened,” said Tom.

Sandy grimaced, looking sick to his stomach. “They ain’t even gonna cut him down?”

“Maybe they will later. When it stops raining,” Tom replied. A look of determination crossed his face. “When I’m as big as Bobby, they ain’t catching me.”

“Me neither,” said Luke.

Sandy scoffed. “You two? As famous as him?”

“And why not?” Tom asked.

“You’re kids,” Sandy said dismissively.

“Everybody starts out that way,” Tom said. “What? Don’t you wanna be famous when you’re older?”

“Of course I do!” A smile crossed Sandy’s lips. “I just don’t think you can do it.”

While the other two continued arguing, Luke watched the body slowly rotating. He couldn’t take his eyes off of the hole in Estrella’s black chaps and the offset star that had been stained red with Bobby’s blood.

As he stared, the sounds of his friends talking and the falling rain faded. Luke’s eyes widened as, suddenly, the stranger was standing next to him.

For a moment it seemed as though the man was completely dry, but rain soon poured off of his black wide-brimmed hat. Luke looked up at the stranger’s face and was paralyzed with fear. Up close, the man’s face was terrible to behold. Scars crisscrossed his features, including a long one that started above his eyepatch and ended at his upper lip.

Luke realized he had been wrong. The gleam in the man eye wasn’t a reflection of the cigar’s ember. His iris gave off an internal glow of its own. He had a sudden memory of seeing that glow before, only it was two eyes instead of one.

The stranger with the demonic eye smiled and leaned in close to Luke’s ear. He spoke with a deep throaty voice, “You could be better than Estrella. You could be legends.”

There was a rumble of thunder and the man was gone. Luke’s fear vanished along with him, replaced by a strange eagerness. He swung around looking for the man, then turned to ask his friends if they had seen him, but they were still arguing.

“Like you’d shoot a man,” Sandy was saying.

“You’re the one of us that’s scared of the thought of shooting folks, Sandy,” Tom replied. “You ain’t brave like me and Luke.”

Sandy snorted. “I’m a way better shot than you.”

“Yeah, shootin’ tin cans,” Tom said.

“And prairie dogs. And rabbits,” Sandy reminded him. “Remember that rattler?”

Tom shrugged. “So you’re good at that. Whatever. We’re all good at different stuff.” He nodded, an idea forming in his mind. “Hey, I know. We should form our own gang in Estrella’s memory. We can call it, ‘Tom’s boys.’”

“We are not choosing that name,” Sandy said. He rubbed his chin. “Still, I like the idea. Three boys from Luna Gorda taking on every crooked gun in the west.”

“We could be huge,” Tom agreed.

Luke licked his lips and a feverish grin spread across his face as he echoed the stranger’s words. “We could be legends.”



Thank you for reading and please let me know what you think in the comments below!

Trevor H. Cooley

Bowl of Souls promotion and Early January update

Howdy, Folks!

I’m trying a crazy Kindle promotion right now. From January 8-11, both Book One: Eye of the Moonrat and Book Six: Tarah Woodblade are free and Messenger of the Dark Prophet is only .99!

I’m hoping to drum up some new interest and at the same time get the attention of some of those readers that for whatever reason stopped at the end of the Moonrat Saga and haven’t started the Jharro Grove Saga yet. This is an excellent opportunity also for any of you that have friends you have told the series about that are still sitting on the fence. Please share this info and let them know now. It’s a great deal!

In other news, the Tarah Woodblade audiobook narration is underway. It seems to be on track to an end of month release if all works out the way we are hoping with Audible and Itunes.

Also, the first book in my new Fantasy Western series: Noose Jumpers is getting closer to completion. Keep an eye out for a preview chapter to be posted on this site in the next few days. The cover looks great and it is looking like the short film inspired by the book is nearing completion as well. There will be more information regarding that development in the future.

Noose Jumpers ebook cover 5 gig

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments or use the contact form linked at the top of the site. Thank you!


Noose Jumpers Cover Reveal!!

Howdy folks and Merry Christmas!

It’s time to reveal the cover for my upcoming book!

Noose Jumpers ebook cover 5 gig

Here it is and a beautiful job done by my brother, Justin Cooley. He also designed the covers for Hilt’s Pride and Hunt of the Bandham. Every aspect of the cover is symbolic to characters and events in the book.

Noose Jumpers is due out Mid January.

The book is a mix of Fantasy and Western genres and the story is about the myths and magic of the old west that are long gone to history, as told from the perspectives of three young outlaws determined to become legends. I can’t wait to share it with you.
I answered some questions about this new book in my earlier blog post here.…/
Please feel free to ask me more in the comments!


Mother of the Moonrat Audiobook Now Available!

Hey folks!

Unexpected news! The Mother of the Moonrat audiobook is available on Audible a week earlier than I expected.


Get your copy now!

For more news on future audiobook releases and my upcoming novel see the post I did a couple days ago.


December Update! Noose Jumpers! Audiobook News! and Eye of the Moonrat Fan Video.

Howdy, Folks!

A Happy Xmas and a Merry Holidays to you all! There’s lots of fun stuff going on here at the Cooley Ranch. Here are a list of things I want to talk about:

-Noose Jumpers info

-Mother of the Moonrat Audiobook (Edit: available now!

-New Eye of the Moonrat art video


Part One: Noose Jumpers

First and foremost, I want you all to know that I am currently busy writing, Noose Jumpers, and hoping for a release late December. Now I have received several questions about this book, so I thought I would do a short Q and A for you.

Q: Odd title. Is this the next Bowl of Souls book?

A: No. Noose Jumpers is the first book in a new unrelated series. It is a Fantasy Western and will have an all new world and characters.

Q: What do you mean by the term Fantasy Western? Is there supernatural beings? A magic system? A quest to destroy the one ten-gallon-hat?

A: This question is a bit complicated and I have wondered how much to explain since I don’t want to give away the plot. I know that Fantasy Western’s are a rare breed. In this case, the story could almost be called an “alternate history”. It is based in the later 1800’s and takes place in the “Wild West” period. There are no elves or dwarves or fantastical creatures in the traditional fantasy sense. The thing that makes this a fantasy is that there are supernatural beings involved. There is also a magic system of sorts and it fits in with the American Folklore tradition. I won’t explain it further, because this is information that unfolds as the story progresses. But no, there is no quest where a party of cowpokes takes the one ten-gallon-hat to Pike’s Peak so that it can be destroyed, though that would be a pretty cool LOTR parody if anyone wants to take that idea and roll with it.

I will reveal this much about the story. It has to deal with three young men who are part of a time in the “Wild West”  called the Noose Jumper Era. This is a period of time where a large number of up and coming outlaws caused havoc in an apparent attempt to become famous. Since so many of these men and women ended up at the gallows, the term Noose Jumpers was coined to describe them.

Q: What is this about a short film you keep mentioning?

A: If you have been watching my Facebook Page you may have noticed several posts regarding this.  The idea for Noose Jumpers was loosely based on an old satirical article I wrote on my old abandoned joke blog. (See the link if you’re curious. I won’t vouch for the quality of my old work, BTW)

Then early in 2014, my brother Jared approached me interested in the idea for a TV show pitch. So we discussed possible plot evolutions. I put together a pilot episode script and wrote a short film script that we could use as an example for the feel of the show. It was during this period of time that I became excited about the idea of writing a book series based on this world and characters. Jared filmed the short film in June and has been working on post production ever since. When it is completed, I plan to use it as a book trailer as well as to pitch the series.

Q: So when can we see it?

A: Well, it is nearly complete. The only thing remaining is sound touch ups and foley work. Jared has an exciting individual lined up to do the work, but the amount he needs to finish it takes the project way over its budget. Jared is currently trying to raise money to finish it, so please help if you can. He is currently $2,300 short of funds and any little bit you could spare helps immensely. Below is a video he made explaining it, followed by a teaser trailer.


Q: But what the hell? Why are you fooling around with this when you could be writing the next Bowl of Souls novel?

A: I understand the frustration. I am eager to continue that story as well. But sometimes a writer needs to switch things up just to keep fresh and motivated. I have been writing nothing but Bowl of Souls novels for a very long time and this is a fun break. Besides, I need more stories out there to bring in some new blood. When someone stumbles upon the Bowl of Souls series, they have to ask themselves if they really want to start a series that is ten books and counting. That is a large investment of time and energy for a reader. I’m hoping that this new series will bring in folks that have been passing on that large undertaking thus far. Don’t worry. I hope to write two more Bowl of Souls novels in 2016.

Q: Will there be a Noose Jumpers audiobook version and, if so, when will it be available?

A: It will definitely be made into an audiobook. As far as a timeline, that depends on when the book is completed and where Andrew is on the narration of Tarah Woodblade and what his schedule is like. I will let you know more as the time approaches.


Part Two: Bowl of Souls Audiobook News

Andrew Tell has finished narration on the fifth Moonrat Saga book: Mother of the Moonrat. It has been submitted to Audible and Itunes and should be available some time in the next two weeks or so. NOW! I will let you know on this site as soon as it is available. He will start work on the next book, Tarah Woodblade, soon with a hopeful availability date of Mid January.


Part Three: Cool Eye of the Moonrat Video

You may remember a post I did a while back regarding some Tarah Woodblade fan art and a video done by the lovely and talented Monique Renee. Well she has recently gotten around to reading Eye of the Moonrat and has done a new piece of art featuring Justan and Jhonate. Those of you that have listened to the audiobooks know that she has developed her own pronunciations of the character names, but she did a fantastic job and I truly enjoyed her commentary during the video. Please check it out Here:


Well, that about does it for now. If you have further questions, post them in the comments below. I will answer them directly in the comments and will perhaps update this post with your questions and answers.

Thank you all for your continued support,


Early November Update. Bowl of Souls and Noose Jumpers News.

Hey, folks! I want to thank all of you for the support with the Bowl of Souls series. It means a lot to me that so many of you write reviews on Amazon and tell your friends.

Recently there has been a bit of confusion that I want to clear up. Some people have gotten the impression that The Troll King was the last book in the series. Let me assure you that is not the case. I promise I would never leave my readers with such a cliffhanger.

There will be two more books in the Jharro Grove Saga and after that I have ideas for at least two more sagas. The Bowl of Souls series has been a part of me since I was a teenager and I have a feeling that as long as I’m alive and writing there will never truly be a last Bowl of Souls novel.

That being said, the next book I’m writing is not part of the Bowl of Souls world. “Noose Jumpers” is a fantasy western series that I am starting with the first book coming out late December. The characters and the world of Noose Jumpers is something I am really excited to share with all of you. I don’t want to give away too much of the story just yet, but keep an eye out for teasers leading up to the release date. If you like the Bowl of Souls books or westerns or fantasy in general I think you will really like it.

The next book after the first Noose Jumpers novel will be the fifth book of the Jharro Grove Saga and the tenth Bowl of Souls book overall. I plan to release it some time in the Spring.

In addition, Andrew Tell and I are working to get the audiobooks caught up. He is promising me rapid fire releases of the rest of the Bowl of Souls books, starting with Mother of the Moonrat at the beginning of December.

I hope this has cleared things up. Please keep an eye out here and on my Facebook page for future updates. Great things are coming!

Trevor H. Cooley

Noose Jumpers Teaser Trailer

Howdy folks!

You may have heard me mention that my next novel is going to be a departure from The Bowl of Souls series. It is a Fantasy Western titled, “Noose Jumpers”, and I plan for it to be the first in a series of books set in that universe.

I will give more information about the project at a later date, but for now I have something exciting to share. My brother is a film maker and I wrote a short film based on the Noose Jumpers concept for him. The short was filmed at the end of June and has been going through post production for some time. Everything is finished except for the sound design. We are looking at ways to raise the last bit of money for that part, but in the meantime my brother put together a teaser trailer for the project.


Here is a note from my brother:

We are currently in post production and will need help funding Post Sound Design to insure it lives up to the wonderful cinematography of Devin Keebler and the beautiful location of Bonanza Creek Ranch. Not to mention, the amazing performance from our veteran actors, J LaRose and Robert Catrini, and talented new comers, Andy Gion and Byron West.

Please watch the official Noose Jumpers Facebook page for more details on how you can help see this film through and get a film credit in the process!

I will keep you posted with more info as it becomes available.

Audible issues

Howdy folks!

For some reason, there is an issue going on with Audible right now. You can’t find my books through a search on their site. My name pulls up nothing as does Bowl of Souls. I have contacted them about it and they say they are looking into it.

The audiobooks are still there and available, however. Here are direct links to the books in case any of you are trying to find them.

The War of Stardeon Audiobook is here now!

Hey folks! I know it’s been a long time coming. The finished audiobook was submitted to Audible on 9/11 and is finally available for purchase.




Andrew did a fantastic job with this one. It’s a long book and there are a lot of characters and he was great about giving each one their individual voice. I’m really happy with it.

Also I want to give a shoutout to “Cogswell” for the opening and exit music.

Please get your copy and let me know what you think!


The Troll King is HERE!


Howdy, folks!

Exciting day of days! It’s here! I just submitted the Troll King to Amazon. Available now!


This one was a long time coming. The things that happen here are things I have envisioned since book two. This is the penultimate book in the current saga; my Empire Strikes Back or maybe to be more accurate, my The War of Stardeon of the Jharro Grove Saga, if you will. I am really happy with the way it came out.

I hope you love it as much as I do.

Some stats:

26 chapters including the Prologue and Epilogue

142,040 words

That’s an estimated 473 average paperback pages similar to the length of some of my longer books such as The War of Stardeon

Please buy it and read it and love it and tell your friends about it. And get ready because as big as the events in this book are, the next one is going to be a doozy.

Post in the comments once you’ve got yours!

Much love,

Trevor H. Cooley


Troll King Release Info

How does next week sound?


The Troll King: Chapter One

Howdy folks! I am blazing towards completion of this book and I am so close that I can taste it. This is an exciting part of the writing process for me. I love putting an ending together.

While I tie things together and start the final editing process, here is another chapter to get your minds going. This one is from Mellinda’s perspective and begins right where we left her in The Ogre Apprentice, moments after she is introduced to the Troll King.

If you haven’t read the Prologue yet, here’s a link.

Enjoy! As with the previous chapter posted, please understand that this is not the final edit. If you see any errors, let me know in the comments below!


Chapter One


“Perhaps I do have need of someone like you,” the Troll King said. He stood from his crumbling throne, leaving a thin slimy residue behind.

Mellinda, who had been leaning over him, was forced to take a step back to keep from being knocked over. The king’s muscular seven-foot frame towered over her and as he peered down at her with his mismatched eyes, she felt an electric thrill. To think that her work over a thousand years ago had led to this person.

The Troll King was a living dichotomy. Like all of the trollkin his body was part troll and part something else, but his deformations were quite distinct. The right side of his body was handsome and human, while his left side was frightening and trollish. His left eye glowed a dull red, the left side of his mouth was overly wide and filled with sharp teeth, and the fingers of his left hand were long and tipped with wicked black claws. Somewhere, he had found an ancient garment that hadn’t completely rotted away. It was made out of what had once been rich green silk and was draped over one shoulder and belted at his waist.

His voice was a raspy tenor only partially slurred by the deformation of his mouth. “Come with me, Snake Woman. I would take you to the Mother’s womb.”

Mellinda held back a retort. It was the third time he had referred to her as a snake. If the fool had any idea who she really was, he wouldn’t dare. He and his people should all be bowing and scraping to her.

Nevertheless, she forced a smile and gave him a bow of her own. “Of course, my king.” Mellinda meekly stood aside as the king walked towards the rear of his chamber.

He’s right, you know. You are a snake,” said another, unwelcome voice from within her mind. “At least he knows it before letting you in. I wish I would have known.”

Her reply to this second voice was mental, You should know by now that your insults mean nothing to me, Arcon.

I bet it’s the rings that help him see it,” Arcon observed. “You give away your true nature with every movement.”

The comment stung but Mellinda did not let her irritation show. It had been weeks since she had turned the power of the rings inward and she still didn’t quite have full control over her new body’s eccentricities. The rings had turned her limbs snakelike. Keeping them under control required a constant amount of concentration and Arcon did his best to undermine her efforts whenever possible.

You seek to distract me, but your voice is as a mere buzzing of a fly. Easily ignored, she replied.

In that case you won’t mind if I rattle off a list of other animals I could compare you to,” Arcon said with amusement. “Let’s see. Vulture, slug, muskrat, moonrat, mole, salamander, dog, wolf, goat . . .

Mellinda gritted her teeth. This was another of Arcon’s techniques to annoy her. When regular insults didn’t work, he fell back on chanting inane lists of words. Ridiculous. He should have learned by now that his prattle had no effect.

“You c-coming?” asked Murtha, the king’s part dwarf assistant. Her greenish lips were pulled back in a distrustful grimace, revealing a mouth filled with rows of sharp teeth.

Mellinda realized that she was still standing by the throne while the others were waiting at a doorway on the rear of the throne room. “Of course,” Mellinda said, her cheeks reddening with embarrassment.

“This way,” said the Troll King. “The Mother awaits.”

The king exited the throne room and Murtha gave Mellinda an assessing glare before following at his heels. Murtha wore a ragged dress made of animal skins. She was the only trollkin Mellinda had seen wearing a dress. Perhaps she saw herself as the king’s consort? Whatever she was, the half-dwarf held some importance to the king. Mellinda knew that if she couldn’t win the creature over sooner or later she would have to kill her.

Mellinda stepped out of the throne room and onto a crumbling stone balcony. She moved to the balcony’s edge, pausing for a moment to take in the view. The Troll King’s throne room was at the top of the Axis Palace, the tallest building in Malaroo. It was a pyramidal structure made of enormous rock slabs carved by Roo artisans and the home of generations of Roo High Priestesses. From this vantage point she could see the whole of KhanzaRoo as well as most of the swamps surrounding it.

KhanzaRoo had once been one of the greatest cities in the known lands. A marvel of engineering, it was built on top of unstable shifting swampland. Yet it had thrived. This was because Roo people had made a city that breathed with the swamp. The permanent structures had been made with foundations sunk deep into the earth below, while the smaller homes and businesses had been made out of wood and anchored to the grassy islands that shifted with the waters. It had all been linked together by rope bridges and rafts that floated on top of the water and could be moved and re-anchored when needed.

But those glory days were a thousand years gone. The wooden structures and rafts had long rotted away and been reclaimed by the swamp. Now only the crumbling remains of the most well-built stone buildings marked the location of the once prosperous city. The current state of KhanzaRoo would have left her with a mixture of sadness and satisfaction, had she not been filled with irritation at Arcon’s incessant droning.

Pig, tortoise, horse, cow, frog, rabbit, mountain cat, mist bronto . . .

“Is something troubling you, Mellinda?” asked the Troll King. The tall leader of the trollkin was waiting for her next to a staircase that descended from the far end of the balcony. His human eye was fixed on her with curiosity.

“I am well, my king,” Mellinda assured him. This king was perceptive. She was confident that she had let no hint of her frustration touch her face. “I simply feel a bit of sadness at KhanzaRoo’s current state.”

Her words were partially true. When Mellinda was a child, KhanzaRoo had been her favorite place to visit. Then again, when Mellinda had been a goddess, she had choked and overwhelmed the city with her armies of trolls.

Snake,” Arcon added, an accusatory note in his voice.

The king, unable to hear the snide comment of the human mage trapped inside of Mellinda’s mind, simply nodded in understanding. “Yes, my city is a shambles. But that will soon change. My people work hard to bring KhanzaRoo back to its glory. Already they have cleared most of the buildings of trees and vines. It will go faster as our numbers grow.”

“They have done admirably,” she said, bowing her head slightly. “And just how quickly are the trollkin growing?”

The right side of his face gave her a slight smile. “The Mother births more of us every day, but . . . you will see.”

Mellinda smiled and inclined her head again. From her short time among the trollkin, she estimated that they numbered no more than three hundred. For her army to be effective she would need more. A lot more.

The Troll King turned and descended the stairway that snaked down the palace’s terraced outer wall. As she followed the king and his assistant, Mellinda could see the result of the trollkin’s hard work. Though sections of the palace were still blanketed by vines, all of the sections in use had been completely scraped clean. The stairway, though cracked and weathered, was clear save for one place half way down where a tenacious swamp tree had grown out of the side of the palace. The trollkin had cut the offending tree down, leaving a flat stump. Its roots bored into the rock of the palace like spider legs.

They passed the stump and rounded the corner of the pyramid and Mellinda saw that the staircase continued all the way down to the base of the pyramid where a small courtyard butted up to the edge of a small lake. A distant memory entered Mellinda’s mind and she knew where they were headed.

“We are going to the High Priestess’ gardens?” she surmised pointing at the shoreline below. To call the shoreline of that lake within the swamp a garden now was a bit ridiculous. It was an overgrown tangle of vines. But once it had been full of exotic flowers and fruit trees.

The Troll King slowed his descent and looked back at her. “I do not know what this location was once called but that is where the Mother’s womb will greet us, yes.”

“Her womb is here?” Mellinda asked. She had expected it to be some distance away, further into the swamp.

“The Mother is everywhere. Her womb is wherever she wants it to be,” said Murtha, narrowing her eyes.

Chipmunk, ox, bear,” added Arcon.

“Murtha is correct,” the Troll King said. “Her womb was not always here, but she moved it once she had chosen this city for our people.”

“I see.” So she could move parts of her body great distances now? This was more evidence that the Troll Mother had changed greatly since Mellinda had last been here.

The Troll King continued walking down the stairs and Murtha let out a short hiss, before turning around and trailing after him. Mellinda caught herself chewing her lower lip. It was an old habit from her childhood that she had picked back up recently. It mainly happened when she was deep in thought and Arcon was droning on.

Pigeon, donkey, sparrow . . . uh, sock-.

Sock isn’t an animal, you idiot! Mellinda snapped and her knees buckled, causing her legs to bow out bonelessly. She nearly fell.

Arcon laughed. “It threw off your concentration though, didn’t it?”

Silence! she barked back at him mentally as she forced her legs back into proper form. You gain nothing with your annoyances!

Ah, but annoying you is the only true pleasure I have left,” Arcon replied. “Deer, pheasant, boar, snail, worm, mouse . . .

Mellinda growled under her breath and pushed his voice as far to the back of her mind as she could. Unfortunately, the body was his and her grasp on his mind was slippery. The mage had learned much in his time under her control and no matter how far away she shoved him, he always found a way to come back. Oh how she wished she could tear him from her thoughts and extinguish him altogether.

As she neared the base of the stairs, the air grew thicker with humidity and her nostrils were filled with the slightly chemical scent that was unique to the Troll Swamps. She breathed it in with satisfaction, reminding herself that this was all her doing. Whatever her current petty setbacks, she was still Mellinda, the Dark Goddess; the Troll Queen. The world had once trembled at her name and it was only a matter of time before her full glory was reattained.

Two trollkin waited for them at the bottom of the stairs. One had a mangled nose, protruding fangs and cat-like ears, while the other was incredibly thin and exuded a yellowish slime. They grinned at the Troll King’s arrival and called out to him. He smiled back at them and called them out by name, patting them on the shoulders as he strode by.

Mellinda raised one eyebrow at the familiarity in which the king addressed his subjects. This may be easier than I thought. They do not fear him.

Arcon paused in his litany long enough to respond, “Look at their eyes. They adore him. You put too much stock in fear.”

She let out a soft chuckle. You will see how easily their adoration for him fades when someone with true power comes along.

The Troll King noted her amusement. “Do you have something to say, Snake Woman?”

Her smile slid. “No, my king. I was just admiring the rapport you have with your subjects.”

His human eye twitched and he gestured at the two trollkin. “This is Omar and Trelsk. I pulled them from the Mother’s womb two days ago.”

“Two days?” she said. “Yet they speak and move like fully formed adults.”

The two new trollkin looked at each other and the one called Trelsk said, “Why would we not speak?”

Murtha frowned. “We are all born that way, snake-k. Not like-k you weak-k humans.”

“It is a gift from the Mother,” explained the Troll King. “She teaches us in the womb so that we awaken strong and aware.”

They are born as adults.” Arcon said in surprise.

Fantastic, isn’t it? They emerge able to communicate and understand orders. Her army would be so much greater than the regular troll army she had intended to build. She just needed to make sure that they would follow her.

“Omar?” she said and the trollkin with the cat-like ears looked down at her in curiosity. She pointed at his twisted lump of a nose. “You poor thing. Can you breathe?”

He blinked at her and she could tell that he was sensitive about his disfigurement. “I breathe.”

“Oh, but you will breathe so much better,” she purred and reached into him with her power, her fingers writhing bonelessly with the energy of the rings.

She had been using the rings for over a month now and she was still impressed by the complexity of Stardeon’s creation. The rings established a link between her mind and the body of the creature before her. This link was much like a bonding wizard had with his bonded, but it was linked with its physiology only. She couldn’t hear the creature’s thoughts or emotions, but she could feel and see within its body.

This trollkin didn’t just have a facial deformity. The very bone structure of his skull was twisted. This was why his fangs protruded from his mouth so strangely. This most likely also gave him chronic headaches; something else that he would be grateful to have relieved. Fixing these defects would be a delicate procedure, requiring her to move large blood vessels out of the way while she reconfigured the bone. Carefully, she poured her magic into the trollkin’s flesh-.

Fish, chicken, duck, goose!”

Arcon’s voice was as loud in her ears as if he were shouting right into them. Mellinda jerked in surprise and the trollkin screeched in pain. Blood erupted from one of Omar’s nostrils in several long spurts.

“Omar!” shouted the king.

Hurriedly, Mellinda shoved Arcon’s voice away and repaired the ruptured artery. She then moved on to his bone structure. Omar continued to screech as she worked and just as Mellinda put the finishing touches on the flesh of his face, she was tackled by the king’s assistant.

“What did you do to him?” Murtha demanded. Her weight pinned Mellinda to the ground and the long talons on her fingertips pierced deeply into the flesh of Mellinda’s arms.

Mellinda’s first instinct was to destroy her. It would have been so easy to use the rings’ power to explode the trollkin from within as Ewzad Vriil had done so many times in the past. If it weren’t for Arcon cheerfully egging her on, she might have done so. Instead, Mellinda ignored the pain of Murtha’s attack. Her voice was calm as she said, “I fixed him. Look for yourself.”

“My face!” Omar exclaimed. Touching his new features with trembling fingers. All traces of his former disfigurement were gone. He now had a proud human nose and his fangs no longer protruded oddly, but had been shortened and fit snuggly in the proper place in his mouth. “It’s different.”

“Murtha, let her go!” the king commanded.

“How many more of us will she change?” the half-dwarf replied, her grip tightening. Mellinda gasped with the pain.

“It is okay. It hurt but I-I am better,” said Omar, a smile touching his mouth. “Look at my face, Trelsk!”

“Let her up, Murtha,” the king said, placing a hand on his assistant’s shoulder.

Murtha glared at Mellinda but reluctantly released her and stood. She stomped several paces away and grumbled.

Mellinda groaned as the pressure was relieved. She climbed shakily to her feet, unused to being attacked in such a physical manner.

“How badly are you hurt, Snake Woman?” the king asked. “The wounds on your arms-.”

“I heal swiftly, my king. In that way I am not so different from your people,” she assured him. Fast healing was one of the benefits that had come from turning the power of the rings inward. She could feel the magic working. The wounds had already stopped bleeding and, though they were tender, they itched more than hurt.

“Good.” The king’s human arm shot out and his powerful fingers wrapped around Mellinda’s slender neck. “Then hear me, snake. You will not use your magic on any of my people without permission. Do you understand?”

His grip was firm, but not so tight that she couldn’t reply. “Of course, my king. I apologize. I meant no harm.”

The king glanced at Omar, who was still feeling his face in shocked amazement, and nodded. He released her from his grasp. “Come. Let us put this magic of yours to good use.”

He headed down a trail that curved along the outer edge of the swamp lake. Murtha hurried after him. Mellinda cleared her throat and followed, ignoring the lumbering forms of Omar and Trelsk that shadowed her.

What were you thinking, you fool? she demanded. That was very nearly a disaster!

Did I disrupt you?” Arcon replied, joyfully feigning surprise. “I thought that my voice was as a mere ‘buzzing of a fly’.

The trail led them to the north side of the lake. There they came upon the ruins of several small stone buildings that had become completely overgrown. Standing between the ruins was a single stone chair that faced the water. It was eroded and covered with moss, but there were just enough carvings on the chair’s surface that Mellinda’s memories were awakened.

They were standing in Solitude, the center of the gardens. It was a holy place, the one location in all of KhanzaRoo where the High Priestess had been able to find complete respite from the rigors of her position. When the High Priestess sat in the Lone Chair, no one was allowed to approach. None dared even speak until she stood to leave.

The last time Mellinda had been in Solitude, KhanzaRoo had been abandoned by its people. She, the Troll Queen; sole ruler of the swamplands of Malaroo, had sat in the Lone Chair herself. But unlike the Roo High Priestesses of old, she had found no peace there. The gardens had been dead, poisoned by the thick layer of troll slime that covered the surface of the water. The air had reeked from the stench of the bloated corpses of the ornamental fish that had once populated the lake and her magical control over her vast troll army had been the only thing keeping the place quiet.

Now, a thousand years later, life had found a way to re-enter the lake. Though a thin layer of slime still coated the waters and the flowers that bloomed were foreign and strange, it was lush and green. Solitude felt like a holy place once more.

The Troll King approached the Lone Chair and Mellinda began chewing her bottom lip again. As he sat in the chair there was a certain regal rightness about him that set her on edge. Despite the ragged condition of his raiment and the deformities that marked him, he belonged in this place.

It bothers you, doesn’t it?” Arcon observed, his voice smug. “You hate the thought of someone else ruling your old homeland.”

Mellinda smoothed her expression. It will be mine again soon enough.

There was a splash at the lake’s edge. A thin, lanky form climbed out of the water and rose to its feet. It was naked and sexless and at first glance Mellinda thought it a common troll. Then she noticed its very human mouth and eyes. It approached the king with easy strides, its clawed hands clasped together, and gave the king a reverent bow.

“The Mother’s womb stirs.” Its voice was raspy, with a distinctly aristocratic accent.

“Where are my cullers?” the king asked.

“They are at work in the city. It is an odd time of day for her to birth, is it not?” it asked.

The Troll King looked to Murtha. “Go and fetch them for me.”

The half dwarf glanced nervously in Mellinda’s direction, not wanting to leave him with her. “I c-can do it, k-king. I was your c-culler once.”

“Alone?” he asked.

“Omar and Trelsk-k c-can help me,” she suggested and the two bulky trollkin nodded happily at being offered such an honorable task.

“If I might ask, oh king,” said the troll with the human mouth. “Why does the Mother stir at this hour?”

“I have brought her a visitor,” the Troll King replied, gesturing towards Mellinda.

It looked at her and cocked its head, noticing her for the first time. “Ah! You have found the snake, I see.”

Mellinda ignored Arcon’s laughter and forced a sultry smile. “My name is Mellinda.” She extended her hand towards him, palm down. “I have known the Mother for a very long time.”

“Of course.” It took her proffered hand in the traditional manner of the Roo nobility, resting its forefinger just under the base of her fingers. “I am the First. The Mother has told me much about you.”

“Has she?” said Mellinda, arching an eyebrow. This creature was a mystery.

It makes you wonder just how much they know. Doesn’t it?” Arcon asked.

“Indeed,” said the First. He bent and gently kissed her knuckles just as one of the ruling house would greet a minor priestess.

Intriguing, she thought. How does a creature such as this know proper court etiquette?

Maybe his goddess taught it to him in the womb,” Arcon suggested. “Like the Troll King said.”

Not likely. What would she know of it? Mellinda replied. Aloud she said, “And what has the Mother said about me?”

The First opened his mouth to respond, but the Troll King grunted and he paused, changing what he was going to say. “She says that your power is to be respected.” He dropped her hand and turned back to the king. “She comes.”

As if in response, the ground rumbled beneath their feet. The calm waters of the lake rippled and shook as something moved in the depths. Slowly an enormous dark form rose towards the surface.

A dome of glistening greenish flesh rose from the slimy waters. It continued upwards until it was the size of a hill, the top of it twice the height of a troll. The width of it took up a large portion of the lake.

Mellinda’s eyes fell on a puckered spot in the side of the dome. As she watched, it twisted and opened up into a gaping cave-like hole. A musky odor rolled from the opening and a small flood of slime poured out, pooling on the grassy shoreline.

Mellinda stared with open fascination. So this was the mother’s womb. She took a step forward and peered into the darkness within. A chorus of pained screeches echoed from the opening and she flinched back. A large hand fell upon her shoulder and she looked up to see the Troll King standing beside her.

“They will start emerging soon. Are you ready to prove your worth?” he asked.

“Of course, my king,” she assured him. “What is it exactly that you want me to do?”

“Use this magic of yours. Fix those that need it,” he explained.

“This is why the Mother allowed you to approach us,” added the First.

“This snake can do that?” Murtha asked, and this time as she looked at Mellinda her distrust faded slightly, replaced with something akin to hope.

“You wish me to fix the newly born like I fixed the others?” Mellinda asked, a confident smile spreading across her face. “I would be happy to.”

The Troll King hesitated. “The issues you fixed so far were minor. These will likely need much more help. Less than half of the trollkin birthed are able to join our people.”

“They come out broken,” said Omar.

“How terrible,” Mellinda said, sudden concern welling up within her. If the Troll Mother was struggling to create her people it would be a blow to her plans. “What is wrong with them?”

As if in answer, a creature burst from the cave-like opening of the mother’s womb. It was tall and thin. The lower half of its body was covered with a coarse fur and its upper body was that of a troll, green and glistening. But its head was a misshapen lump, as if its flesh had been half-formed and then melted. Large sections of its skull were exposed to the air and one eye wasn’t even in its socket, but instead stared out of the side of its cheek.

Murtha moved quickly, running up to the side of the mound and pulling it onto the grass. With brute strength she pulled its arms behind its back and held it still. The newborn creature thrashed in her grip, screaming with pain and disorientation. Mellinda saw both troll and human teeth in its twisted mouth.

Mellinda swallowed. Repairing a creature this malformed was going to prove much more difficult than she had thought.

The Troll King approached and placed a palm on the creature’s chest. Somehow his touch calmed it. It stopped struggling and its screams turned to whispers.

He turned back to look at her, a grin on the human side of his face. “He recognizes me as his king. He can beat back the hunger. His is mind is good! Come, fix him!”

Oh, this will be fun,” Arcon said and Mellinda knew that he was already planning ways to distract her.

She hesitated, chewing her lip again.

“Is there something wrong, Mellinda?” asked the king.

“N-no, my king,” she said. “However, I must prepare myself mentally for this,” Mellinda continued, holding on to her composure. “It will take but a moment if you will bear with me.”

“Do as you must, but hurry,” the king said warily. “More will be born soon.”

Mellinda took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Arcon, I demand you desist your childish taunting immediately. I will need every last drop of concentration to succeed.

All the more reason for me to continue,” he replied gleefully. “I’ll start with listing ocean animals for now. Fish, whale, eel, oyster, crab, uh . . . fish-.”

Mellinda snarled inwardly. Fish again? That is all you could come up with? Not pike or bass or trout?

My parents were farmers, not fishermen,” Arcon explained with a mental shrug. “Types of fish weren’t in my field of study.”

Enough! These trollkin could kill us if I fail in this, she suggested.

Not likely,” replied Arcon. “They have no magic. With the power of the rings at your disposal you could simply paralyze them. They could not touch us.”

Even so, what good does it do you to ruin my plans? We share this body together. My pain is your pain. My success is your success.

Yeah, I don’t agree with that,” Arcon said. “We don’t share my body. You stole it from me. The only reason I’m still around is that you haven’t figured out a way to get rid of me.”

Mellinda didn’t bother to argue that point. You still cling to the hope that you can reclaim your body, do you not? Would you not want to be in the best situation possible if that were to happen?

Dear Mellinda,” Arcon replied mockingly. “I am fairly certain that the only way I could reclaim my body is if you intentionally gave the control back to me. We both know that isn’t going to happen.”

Then what good does your continued harassment . . ? She stopped herself. That line of manipulation wouldn’t get her anywhere with him. What she needed was a good threat. But in what way could she still hurt him? A slow smile spread across her face.

And what if I were to bed this King? Mellinda threatened. She turned back and opened her eyes letting her gaze linger on the muscles of the Troll King’s body.

Arcon didn’t reply for a moment and Mellinda knew she had hit a sore nerve. The mage had still not adjusted to the fact that she had changed his body. Inhabiting a female form was uncomfortable for him and she knew that the thought of experiencing this body used in such a way would be very disturbing for him.

Arcon gave her a mental snort. “Trolls do not have genitalia. Look at the First.”

These people aren’t mere trolls. Have you not paid attention? Each one of them is a unique mix of beasts and thus can be male or female. Many of them could reproduce in the manner of men. Why else do you think that they wear clothing?

Arcon did not have an answer for this.

She chuckled. I have already scanned the Troll King’s body with the rings just to be sure. I must say the Mother made him well.

If you go through with your threat, so be it!” Arcon snarled. “I will endure what I have to and in the meantime I will make your existence as miserable as possible.”

“Are you ready, Snake Woman?” The king asked impatiently.

“I will be shortly,” she assured him, trying to keep the frustration out of her voice.

Mellinda sighed. No threat was going to work. There was only one piece of leverage she had left. Very well. I see that there is no other way. I will make you a deal.

And what could you possibly offer me?”

I will return control of your body to you.

Arcon laughed. “Lies! You would never give up control, especially not over something so petty!

You are correct. I wouldn’t give your body back right away, she admitted. However, that isn’t what I am offering.

Then what is it?”

Partner with me. We worked together before. Help me take my revenge and I will give your body back.

Your revenge? On your old people?”

Yes! I would destroy the Roo! But not just them! I would slaughter those ancient elves who defied me and burn the Jharro Grove to the ground!

Riiight,” he said dubiously. “We do all that and then you’ll give my body back.”

Yes! She poured every ounce of sincerity she could summon into her words. Everything I have done, groveling to the Dark Prophet, even enslaving myself to Ewzad Vriil, it was all to get me here! And I am so close. I just need to raise this army. Arcon, help me get the revenge long denied me and I will have completed my purpose. I swear on my soul that I will return your body to your control.

And I have to help you do this?” From his tone, she knew that he didn’t believe that she actually thought she needed him. Which was true.

I merely ask that you cease your harassment completely, she said.

At that moment another chorus of screeches came from the Mother’s womb. Another creature, this one even more malformed than the one before it, tumbled out of the opening and hit the shoreline. It tried to stand on uneven legs and toppled over just as Omar and Trelsk grabbed it.

“Enough preparation!” the king snapped. “Prove yourself now, Snake Woman!”

“I am ready,” she said and strode over to Murtha, who was still holding the first creature. Do we have a deal, mage?

Can you fix these things even if I keep quiet?” Arcon asked.

I have the knowledge. I did far greater things in the past, she replied. But I’m using your brain, which isn’t as sharp as mine once was and . . . She raised her hands and looked at the gemstones of the Rings of Stardeon that glinted on the backs of her fingers. I’m still getting used to the way these powers work.

Very well. Prove yourself to them,” he said. “I will stay silent. For now. I was running out of animals anyway.”

Thank you, she said. Mellinda smiled with satisfaction as she went to work.


End of Chapter One

The Troll King: Prologue

Hey, folks!

The Troll King is nearing completion. However, that end of August mark I was hoping to hit has slipped by. Right now, the delay is looking to be about two weeks.  By way of apology, and also as an attempt to ramp up your excitement, here is the prologue of The Troll King. It stars someone that you may have been wondering about since the end of the Moonrat Saga . . .

Also, for those of you who are audiobook fans, The War of Stardeon release date should be mid-September. Keep an ear out for that!


BTW, we have not done our final editing pass yet, so let me know if you see any mistakes. Thanks! Depending on the response, I may post another chapter or two between now and the book’s release.

Trevor H. Cooley




Elise Muldroomon sat up in her bed. Her heart jumped in her chest and she threw open the curtains. Soft morning light flooded in, illuminating the interior of her large canopied bed. A sense of relief came over her. It was all right. She was just in her room.

A smile hit her face as she slipped out of the bed, her feet touching the soft white fur rug at the side of her bed. It was a gift from her brother and made from the skin of an exotic type of bear found only in Khalpany. Andre had given it to her when he became king. She would have to remember to thank him again.

She opened the glass doors to the balcony that opened up off of her room and walked outside. She looked over the city of Dremald that spread out far below her and smiled, breathing in deeply. The smell that wafted up from the congested city below wasn’t exactly pleasant, but it was familiar; the smell of home. Contented, she walked back in and sat in front of the mirror to brush her hair.

This was her morning routine, the same one she had followed since she was a little child. Once her hair had reached the desired straightness and luster, she would eat breakfast and call in her maids to dress her. She would need to look her best when she stood with Andre next to her father as he addressed the nobles that afternoon.


Something within her mind flashed and Elise froze mid brush-stroke. She looked into the mirror with horror. The face that looked back at her was that of a stranger. Her hair was not full and lustrous, but limp and dull. Her skin was no longer pink with youth, but so pale as to be nearly translucent.

“No-no-no.” She closed her eyes and shook her head. That face was an illusion, an idle dream brought about by still-tired eyes.

When she opened her eyes, her face was familiar again. All was back as it should be. She laughed at herself and continued to brush her hair until she was satisfied. Then she stood and approached the desk by her door where the servants would have left her breakfast. There it was, still steaming. Bacon and buttery strawberry jam pastries. She lifted up one of the pastries and lifted it to her mouth to take a bite.

“I said awaken, Queen Elise Muldroomon.”

Something within her mind flashed again. The luxurious pastry in her hand had been replaced by a hard chunk of bread. The platter before her was no longer polished silver, but plain hammered tin and held just a lump of cheese and two cold sausages.

She dropped the unwanted bread onto the platter with shock and turned to take in the rest of her room. It was still the bedroom of her youth, but so much had changed. Everything was dimmer, like the life had been drained from the room. Her fine tapestries were gone, as were most of her wardrobes.

Elise heard music floating in from outside and stepped back out on the balcony. The familiar smell of Dremald was still there, but her view was partially obscured by thick iron bars that encased the balcony. It was as if she were standing in a bird cage.

She looked down into the square below and saw that a large number of people had gathered for some reason. A band was playing. What was the big event?

Some of the people below saw her and pointed up. Shouts rang out. Angry shouts.

With a cry, she fled from the balcony and ran to her front door. She reached for the handle, but there was no handle. All of the locks that that she had installed were gone. In fact, it wasn’t her original door at all. It had been replaced by a thick, ugly door that locked from the outside. There was a barred opening where a guard could peer in and check on her.

Elise swallowed, trembling as her illusions began to fall apart. She was no longer a child princess. Her father and brother were dead. She was queen of Dremaldria now, and her husband . . .

“Ewzad!” she cried. “Ewzad, I need you! Come, please! I’m frightened.”

“Ewzad Vriil is dead,” said the Dark Voice.

“No!” She ran to the rear of her room, looking for Ewzad’s secret entrance. She would go down to his laboratory and visit him there. But the entrance was gone, sealed shut by mortar and heavy metal plates. She pounded on the metal. “Ewzad!”

“His death is your fault. You disobeyed me and he grew reckless.”

“No,” said Elise, shaking her head. “Get out of my mind!”

She leapt back into her bed and shut the curtains after her, then pulled her blankets up over her head. They were the magic blankets that her father had given her when she was a child. He had promised her that the runes sewn into them could keep out evil. Surely if she stayed under them, this terrible dream would end and she would awaken again.

All would be made right. She would run to her father and hug him and he would tell her that all was okay. She willed that better life to be true and slowly she began to believe it again.

“There is no hiding anymore.”

The voice shattered her defenses. Elise clenched her eyes closed and prayed. She prayed to every god she could think of. “Please. Please I beg you. Make my blankets work again. Protect me from the voice.”

“All your prayers come to me now, Elise,” the Dark Voice reminded her. “Do you so easily forget?”

“P-please,” Elise whimpered. Of course she had forgotten. She had to forget. Reality was misery. Reality was pain.

“Enough! The time for insanity is over.”

She felt the Dark Voice’s power flex in her mind. He tore away the safe world she had created bit by bit. More true memories flooded her mind. She had been queen and married Ewzad. He had gone to conquer the Mage School and, despite the Dark Prophet’s commands, Elise had gone after him. But why had she done that? Why?

The Dark Voice freed another memory in her mind, this one the most terrible of all. She had gone after Ewzad because . . . she had been pregnant. The Dark Prophet had demanded one of her unborn twins and she hadn’t wanted to give it away.

Sobbing, she paced her hands on her belly. It was flat. Her babies were gone. Her womb was empty, a shriveled husk.

She screamed in grief. “Why? Why do I have to know this? Why must you cause me this pain?”

“Get dressed, Elise. I have a task for you,” said the Dark Voice.

“It was Talon.” Her lip quivered. “You sent her. You and the moonrat witch. You had that vile creature steal my babies!”

“That was the result of your betrayal. They are gone.”

“D-did she . . .” Elise couldn’t finish her thought. The idea that Talon had eaten her children was paralyzing.

“The beast did not harm the infants,” the Dark Voice said.

“Then give them back!” she growled.

“You do not make demands of me!”

A sudden spasm of pain lanced through her. Elise arched her back and would have screamed if her jaw had not been clenched shut. A series of awful cramps contorted her body, twisting her muscles until it felt as though her bones would snap.

“You are mine, Elise,” the Dark Voice reminded. “You bound your soul to me when you sacrificed your brother.”

That was another memory she had suppressed. She had first heard the voice when she had stabbed Ewzad in his throne room. But the process of binding her soul had not been complete until, with Ewzad at her side encouraging her, she had used another of the Dark Prophet’s ceremonial daggers to pierce Andre’s heart. There was no escape for her now.

Yes! I’m yours. I know it! The cramps ceased and Elise gasped as she collapsed, whimpering with exhaustion. “Please, Master. I’ll do anything you want. Just let me see my babies again.”

“You are not in a position to negotiate,” the voice reminded her. “However, your desires and mine are not out of line with each other. If you are obedient, you may yet have the opportunity to raise your heirs.”

“Yes, Master,” she whispered. A small flame of hope lit inside of her. Would he actually let her see her babies again?

“A visitor comes. Be ready.”

“Yes, Master.” With a groan, Elise slid back out of her bed and stood on shaky legs.

Her master’s punishment had taken a lot out of her. She felt like she had been running for miles. Her nightgown was drenched with sweat and clung to her body. If only she had time for a bath. Resting her sore muscles in hot water would have been wonderful, but the Dark Prophet’s voice had been urgent. She stumbled to her desk instead.

Elise pulled off her sodden nightgown and reached for a container of perfumed powder. She dusted herself liberally, letting the powder absorb the moisture on her skin, and flung open the door to her wardrobe. It was packed full of frilly dresses and gowns. Despite her imprisonment, the nobles still let her dress like a queen.

The thought filled Elise with anger. She had been supplanted. She, the rightful queen was imprisoned while the nobles squabbled over succession. How dare they? Now that she had her mind back, she would not stand for it! She would demand her kingdom back.

“He approaches.”

She swallowed, realizing that she was still standing there naked. She grabbed one of the dresses, a blue one with silk skirts and began lacing it on. Who would this visitor be? Who normally visited her?

Despite the return of her sanity, Elise’s memories of the recent past were jumbled. So much of that time had been spent in a dream-like trance. Surely the servants came and cleaned. She seemed to remember the odd noble showing up, but one face was most common. Demetrius.

Elise grimaced in embarrassment. Captain Demetrius had visited her often, bringing a tray of tea. He had sat and spoken to her as she had gibbered on about her father and brother and other silly princess nonsense. He had never corrected her, simply smiling politely as if she weren’t crazy. She felt the urge to strangle him just for the indignity of it.

There was a rattling of keys at the door and Elise turned in time to see it crack open. A man wearing a brown traveler’s cloak slid into the room. He winked at her.

“Hello, queen.”

The man’s voice was high and unfamiliarly accented. His hair was a shock of red and his face was splattered with freckles. Under his cloak, his clothes were plain, though he wore a sword in an ornate silver scabbard.

Leaving the door slightly ajar, he dropped a large sack onto the ground and stepped over to the desk where her breakfast platter sat.

“May I?” he asked.

The man lifted a cold sausage from the platter and bit off half of it. Then, while he chewed, he bent and shoved the rest of it down into the doorjamb. He nudged the door closed, but it didn’t latch. He turned to face her.

“Sorry, but once it shuts I got no way to open it from the inside.” He jerked his thumb back towards the door. “You know, dead guard.”

She frowned. “Who are you?”

“Oh! Sorry about that. That was rude, wasn’t it, not introducing myself?” He smiled and held out his hand. “You can call me Nod.”

Elise didn’t take his hand. “And you’re not worried about leaving a dead man outside my door? What if someone comes by?”

“Oh, I covered it up a bit,” he assured her. “Also, no one’s gonna come.”

“And why not?”

“Because of the coronation, of course,” he said. “Everybody’s busy with the preparations.”

Elise blinked back at him. “Coronation? What do you mean?”

He reached up and scratched his head. “Wow, you have been out of it, haven’t you? Can’t you hear them all outside, yammering?”

She glanced back towards the balcony, where the tinny sound of music and the low roar of voices were still flooding into the room. “Yes, but I wasn’t aware . . . So the nobles have decided. Who is replacing me?”

“Well, the great Lord Commander Demetrius is rising to the top of the ranks, milady,” he said.

“What? But how.” Her cheeks reddened with outrage. How dare that man? “He isn’t even of noble blood!”

Nod grinned. “I can see that this will take some explaining. Tell you what. I’ll fill you in while you get dressed.”

“I am dressed,” she said.

“True, but you ain’t wearing that. Here.” He lifted the bag that he had dropped on the floor and tossed it to her. “Put them on.”

Elise caught the bag and wrinkled her nose as she looked inside. “These are servant’s clothes.”

“Yeah, well how else am I gonna get you out of here? What’ll folks think if they see me trying to take the imprisoned bloody ex-queen out of the palace?”

“I’m leaving?” she asked, eyes wide. The idea hadn’t occurred to her.

“We got places to go, don’t we? Lots to do,” he replied. “I’d disguise you better if we had the time. Once we’re far gone, we’ll stop and cut your hair. Probly should dye it too, I wager.”

“Cut my hair?” Elise said in shock. Where exactly was this man planning to take her? “And why should I go anywhere with you?”

“You ain’t burning to leave?” Nod said in disbelief. He shook his head. “Sorry. It’s me and my bad manners again. Of course you’d be wanting to see my credentials.”

The red-haired man lifted his left hand and made a fist. Blackness swirled across the back of his hand, revealing a dark rune. Elise licked her lips. This man had been named at the Dark Bowl.

The man grinned. “I see you recognize who sent me. Now get changed.”

Elise pulled the clothes from the bag. They were wrinkled and stained. He must have pulled them from a laundry bin. “Turn around then.”

He sneered at her. “Sorry, I’m not the sort of man turns around when a perfectly good-looking woman’s getting naked.”

“I insist,” she said with a glower. “Otherwise you can leave without me.”

“I counter your insistence with insistence of my own,” he replied with a short bow. “You don’t have a choice if you want to see your babies again. Don’t worry. Our mutual master ain’t gonna want me touching you. My eyes however . . .” He snickered again. “See what they want to see.”

She turned away from him with a scowl and began unlacing her dress as quickly as she could. “So tell me, Nod. Just how did Demetrius talk the nobles into crowning him king?”

“He did that by becoming a noble himself,” the man replied.

She could feel his eyes on her bare back as she lifted the servant’s dress. “Impossible. There hasn’t been a new noble house created in centuries.”

“Yeah, that would be a problem. Guess that explains why he went and got himself adopted.”

“Adopted? By who?” Elise knew the noble houses better than anyone and she couldn’t imagine any of them allowing an uncouth commoner soldier like Demetrius into their ranks, no matter how much his prestige had risen during the war.

“Why the long lost heir of house Vriil,” said Nod.

Elise spun to face him. She wasn’t completely finished putting the new dress on, but that didn’t seem to matter at the moment. “You mean Willum?”

Ewzad had told her about the boy child of his sister that had disappeared during his parents’ execution. Ewzad had looked for him for years before assuming him dead.

“That’s right. Willum Vriil, resurfaced during the war. Evidently he had joined the academy and become quite the hero,” Nod replied. “Once his secret got out, the nobles demanded that he take up his inheritance and become one of them, you know. Instead he sent a letter announcing that he had adopted old Demetrius and appointed him as steward of the Vriil lands.”

“He adopted Demetrius via letter? And the nobles stood for that?” she said in amazement.

“Of course the houses squabbled over it for a few weeks,” he said. “But Demetrius is really popular among the common folk. He did liberate them from you and your dead husband after all.”

Elise quivered with rage as she put on the sturdy boots that were in the bag. It wasn’t anger at Demetrius or even the other nobles. It was anger at herself. If only she hadn’t wasted the months after the war descending into madness.

“Kind of funny when you think about it,” he added. “All that trouble they went through to get rid of one King Vriil, just to crown another.”

“I could have done something about this,” she said. “I know how to pull strings. I could have salvaged the situation. Perhaps even held onto my throne.”

“Yeah? Well you didn’t,” Nod said. He gripped the edges of the door and pried it slowly open. “Now let’s go. The master’s got plans.”



Read chapter one HERE

The Troll King Cover Reveal!!!

Howdy folks!

Today is my birthday.  Eye of the Moonrat came out in May of 2012 and yet here I am in August of 2015 and The Troll King will be my tenth book. It feels crazy. I may not be that big of a success story in the writing world, but I’m living my dream. Today I am 39 years old. I can see the top of the hill on the horizon and yet I feel like my writing career has barely started.

I have had the finished cover in hand for a few weeks now, but I have been waiting to reveal it because I still had so much work left to do on the book. This morning I woke up and thought why not? Here it is. (Click to enlarge.)


Renu did a lovely job with the cover. My vision was pretty ambitious, a scene from the first chapter of the book. The Troll King is sitting in The Lone Chair, a holy place in the ruins of KhanzaRoo, the ancient city that was once the capital of Malaroo before Mellinda, the Troll Queen invaded it.  The Troll King is a fascinating dichotomy and I think she captured his essence perfectly.

Here is the back cover blurb:


 He was born a king. Half troll and half man, he crawled from the womb of a god and found himself leader of a deformed but powerful race. As he struggles to lead his people Mellinda slithers into their midst. She wields the Rings of Stardeon and she has her own plans for his people.

 A prophet has been taken. A demon army joins the enemies of the grove. Will Justan’s might and Tarah Woodblade’s powers be enough to help Jhonate’s people protect the Jharro Grove? It may all depend on the choices made by The Troll King.

The Troll King is Book Four of The Jharro Grove Saga.”

What do you think? The full paperback cover is below.



Planned release date for The Troll King is the end of August. I’ll let you know more when we get there.

In between now and then, I plan to post the first couple chapters here on the site to whet your appetites!

Thanks and please leave comments below.

Trevor H. Cooley

Cover redesign for The Moonrat Saga

Hey folks, I’m pretty excited to announce this.

Ever since Renu Sharma took over as my cover artist after “Hunt of The Bandham” it has bothered me that my first series, “The Moonrat Saga”, didn’t have a consistent cover design. Her work on The Jharro Grove Saga was so good, with each cover feeling tied together with the rest, that I wished I could do something similar with my first series.

Finally I spoke with Renu broached the idea of redoing the covers of those first six books. I didn’t want a complete overhaul. I loved the artwork itself. But I wanted the lettering to be more cohesive and consistent across the saga. Renu agreed and has been working on the project for a little while now. Finally, she sent me the finished project and I have to say, I love it.

Now you may think that the covers aren’t hugely different and you would be right, some of the changes are subtle, but what she did was make the overall series more professional looking and I love the little added touches, especially in the full paperback covers. I like having the volume number on the spine.

What you’ll see below is the old cover, followed by her redesign and the full paperback version. You can click on each photo to enlarge.

Please comment below. Tell me what you think!


Eye of the Moonrat:

Old design:


New Design:




Hilt’s Pride:

Old version:

Hilts Pride Cover 2013

New Ebook:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00057]

New Paperback:


Messenger of the Dark Prophet:

Old Version:

MOTDP cover 2013 e

New Ebook:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00011]

New Paperback:


Hunt of the Bandham:

Old Version:

HOTB front cover 2013 color b

New Ebook: (I love the flames over the O)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00011]

New Paperback:


The War of Stardeon:

Old Version:

TWOS Cover 2meg

New Ebook:


New Paperback


Mother of the Moonrat:

Old Version:

MOTM-ebook alternate 2mgb

New Ebook:


New Paperback:



I have uploaded the new cover art to Amazon and to Createspace for the paperback versions. The new covers should be available in a few hours.

Hilt’s Pride Audiobook is Available!

It’s here! Hilt’s Pride is probably my favorite thing I have written and It makes me so happy to have it in aidiobook format. Andrew Tell does a fantastic job bringing Hilt and Beth’s journey to life and I am excited to share it with you. Check it out!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00057]

It will also be on Amazon and Itunes soon!

Cool Tarah Woodblade Video and July Update

Howdy, Folks!

I have some exciting updates for you, but first, you’ve got to check out this fun video from Youtuber Monique Renee.

She read Tarah Woodblade and drew the character. In this time lapse video, she colors her drawing while giving her personal review of the book. I had a lot of fun watching it and I hope she does more. I messaged her on Facebook and she says Eye of the Moonrat is on her reading list!

As for news, there are several cool things in the pipeline.

1. The Hilt’s Pride audiobook will hit Audible, Itunes and Amazon any day now. Stay tuned for that!

2. My brother was in New Mexico a couple weeks ago filming a short film I wrote. He is working on the edit and post production now. It is called “Noose Jumpers” and is a concept video for a full pilot I wrote. He hopes to have it finished some time in August.

3. That short film also doubles as a book trailer for the novel I am writing when The Troll King is finished. It is also called, you guessed it, “Noose Jumpers”. It is a fantasy/mythological western and is the first book I am writing that isn’t part of the Bowl of Souls universe. I already have it plotted out and I am really excited to get going on it and share more with you.

4. I’m sure you are wondering about progress on The Troll King. It is coming along. I still feel like I should have it done by the end of August. Expect a cover reveal as well as sample chapters in the coming weeks!


Hunt of the Bandham audiobook now available!

Hunt of the Bandham is on Audible NOW!

The review process with Audible took a little longer than usual, delaying it by a week, but it’s finally here.

One thing you might notice right away is that I have a new narrator. His name is Andrew Tell. He is a veteran voice and stage actor with a broad range of voices. He does a fantastic job with this book, making each voice sound unique and true to their character. I particularly love his rendition of Fist. He is also a big fan of the books which is a huge plus. He was a pleasure to work with.

The reason for the change of narrator was one of necessity. James Foster is very busy with a long backlog of projects he is working on.  After discussing the future of the series and what I wanted to accomplish, we mutually decided that it was better we move on.

The next audiobook in the works is Hilt’s Pride, which Andrew Tell plans to have finished by mid-July. Then it’s on to The War of Stardeon.

Please click on the link and listen to the sample. I think you’ll like his style.



Trevor H. Cooley


UtopYA Con in June and announcements!

Hey folks!

I will be appearing at the UtopYA Convention, in Nashville TN, June 18-20th.

Link to the Convention page is here:

This is a convention for writers and publishers and artists, and for fans. I will be in the exhibitor’s hall on Thursday and Friday, the 18th and 19th. I will be selling books and signing books and handing out free bookmarks. I will be sharing a table with Honor Raconteur, of the Advent Mage series. Also there will be my friend, Ben Hale, author of the Chronicles of Lumineia.

On those two days, you would need to have a convention ticket to get in. BUT, on Saturday, June 20th, there is a public book signing from 10AM-12PM and from 1PM-3PM at the  Millennium Maxwell House Hotel-GRAND BALLROOM. The author signing is hosted by Book ‘EM and is free to enter with a book donation or five dollars otherwise. All donated books and admission fees will go directly to them to help them with their two-part mission: to get books to children and teens in lower-income families who might not otherwise have books of their own; and providing volunteer readers to local pre- and elementary schools. Dozens of authors will be there and it might be pretty busy. Those coming to the signing are encouraged to bring their own books for the signing, (Or order from Amazon ahead of time) but I will try to have some available with me at my table.

I will be selling the books for $12 each, though I will sign anything for free. I will bring copies of all my books, but mostly Eye of the Moonrat and Tarah Woodblade.

If you are attending and want a book in particular, contact me using the contact form on this site and let me know what you want me to bring.


Also I have more exciting news. Work on the audiobook of Hunt of the Bandham is nearly completed. I hope to be able to submit the files to Audible in the next few days and then it will be 7-10 days before it is up for sale. I will update you when I know more for sure. Hilt’s Pride will be the next audiobook after that.


Finally, I am working on a new project that will take place outside of the Bowl of Souls series. It is a fantasy western and I am really excited about it. The first book will be out later this year, most likely after the release of The Troll King.

Thanks so much!

Trevor H. Cooley

The Ogre Apprentice available now on Amazon!

It’s official!



Get you one!

It is already #1600 overall in the Kindle Store And Amazon has been having problems with their image processing so the cover doesn’t  show on the product page!

It is there on the copy you purchase, though, and they assure me that the issue will be fixed.

Please read it and leave a review. I need all I can get.

Also. share!

Now I’m off to see my kids for the first time in a few days


Trevor H. Cooley