Fugue & Fable Update

So – An update for everyone on the Fugue & Fable books.

At the end of July 2018, I and my publisher for that series, Curiosity Quills Press, parted ways–quite amicably, to be clear–so I could go in a different direction and explore a different space.

As a result, the trilogy, comprising The Mussorgsky Riddle, The Stravinsky Intrigue, and The Tchaikovsky Finale, are not currently available on Amazon or anywhere else. CQP took down all the books from online availability and did so at my request.

I will still have paperback copies at my remaining events for 2018, so if you want a physical copy, come see me. Also, the first two are still available in audiobook format from Amazon/Audible.  Otherwise, however, the books are not available for online purchase.

At least for now…

All I will say at this time is plans are afoot.

Watch this space for more details.

And happy reading!


The Tchaikovsky Finale

The Tchaikovsky Finale

19 Dec 2017 – Curiosity Quills Press


Psychic Mira Tejedor lies comatose in the wake of her second battle

with the devious Madame Versailles, but her sacrifice was not in vain.

Though at great cost, her nemesis is no more, her love has returned

to the land of the living, and twelve innocent girls are back with their families.

Still, young Anthony Faircloth can’t escape the notion

there must have been another way.


Obsessed with freeing Mira as Mira once freed him,

Anthony works to rekindle their special link and soon

meets with more success than he knows what to do with.


Two distinct worlds, both forged in the imagination

of Pyotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, threaten to consume his life.

By the still waters of Swan Lake, Anthony assumes the guise

of a man named Benno and must help Prince Siegfried defend

the Swan Princess, Odette, from the machinations of a dark sorcerer.


In the Stahlbaum house, he takes on the role of a boy named Fritz who,

under the command of the Nutcracker Prince, must save his sister Clara

from the onslaught of the Mouse King and his army of rodent soldiers.


At the intersection of the two disparate settings lies

yet another mystery: both Odette and Clara wear Mira’s face.

And these intertwining perils are but shadows of the real danger.


Back in the real world, a menacing figure from Mira’s past has escaped

from prison and now stalks her on both sides of the veil of dream.

Anthony must bring Mira out of her catatonic state so that she can fight

one last time, or her life and the lives of all she loves will be lost.

Cover Reveal for The Tchaikovsky Finale!

The Fugue and Fable series concludes

19 Dec 2017 with

Book III – The Tchaikovsky Finale

Special thanks to Brice Chaplet for such a jaw-dropping cover!

Preorders available soon!

The Stravinsky Intrigue

The Stravinsky Intrigue

27 Feb 2017 – Curiosity Quills Press


Nine months have passed since psychic Mira Tejedor last walked the halls

of Anthony Faircloth’s adolescent mind. All but family now, Mira is relocating

to Charlotte, NC, not only for a much-needed change of scenery,

but to further her burgeoning relationship with Dr. Thomas Archer.

On the eve of her move, however, a new threat emerges.


Young girls from every corner of Charlotte are falling catatonic, a condition

eerily similar to the illness from which Mira rescued Anthony the previous fall.

Mira reluctantly agrees to help Detective Calvin Sterling with the case

and soon finds herself pulled into a new pair of fantasy worlds,

both borne from the brilliant mind of Igor Stravinsky.


In the world of The Firebird, Mira becomes the warrior Ivanovna

and battles an immortal evil threatening to steal the girls’ souls for all eternity.

In the Russian fair from Petrushka, she assumes the role of Ballerina,

one of three magical puppets who dance at the whim of a cruel Charlatan.

Torn between Moor and Clown, bizarre doppelgangers of the two vastly

different men in her life, and threatened at every turn by a sorcerer

who craves her very essence, Mira must navigate the cruel deceptions

of both worlds and win, or her life and the lives of a dozen innocents will be forfeit.

“Circular Argument”


Jan 2017 – Curiosity Quills Press

Trapped alone on an outpost on a faraway planet,

a man faces a malfunctioning AI that in its effort

to save him is instead sentencing him to death.

“Codex Veritatis”

Street Magick

Nov 2016 – Elder Signs Press

A group of three friends discover a book that cannot tell a lie,

and discover whether the truth really does set you free.

“Out of the Shadows”

We Are Not This

Oct 2016 – Falstaff Books

From an anthology in support of LGBTQ rights in NC,

a story of a transgender superhero defending

the life of the governor who put in place a law

at odds with the hero’s very existence.

Tunnels: A #HoldOnToTheLight Post


I’ve debated about what I planned to write for this post for weeks. And the irony? It’s been a bit of a rough summer and some of the things I want to talk about are the very things that have made it difficult to do so.

As my website says, I am a doctor by day and a novelist by night. My evening vocation is what qualifies me to be part of this collection of 100 writers who are reaching out to people who are going through tough times and showing them they are not alone, but as I write this, I will attempt to wear both my hats at once, as I’ve taken care of people having trouble and have been one of those people at different times in my life.

Many of the posts have been about major depression, anxiety, suicide, PTSD. I want to talk about grief and adjustment disorder. Both conditions mimic a lot of the signs and symptoms of major depression and, in fact, adjustment disorder is also known as exogenous, reactive, or situational depression. Both grief and adjustment disorder represent symptoms in relation to a particular stressor. In grief it’s often the loss of a family member or loved one, but we can also grieve relationships, jobs, and financial setbacks. Both of these are considered temporary and definitely related to the preceding stressor.

In my time, I’ve experienced both.

Just like with depression, people who are grieving or going through an adjustment reaction can experience very real, very debilitating symptoms: overwhelming sadness, loss of hope, anhedonia (loss of enjoyment of normal activities), crying spells, nervousness, anxiety, worry, desperation, difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, poor concentration, reckless driving, putting off important tasks like bills or chores, avoiding family or friends, poor performance at school or work, and even suicidal ideation and beyond.

The diagnosis of major depressive disorder requires that these symptoms be present for several months without relenting. Does that mean the person who is grieving or the person experiencing adjustment reaction/disorder aren’t going through something very real or serious? Absolutely not.

As I wrote my first draft of this post, it was 1 a.m. on a Friday night, a night where I didn’t get to sleep till a little after 4:30 a.m. Sure, I’d had a bit too much caffeine in a 24-hour period, but that wasn’t the only issue. My brain just wouldn’t shut off. My thoughts that evening revolved around a pretty specific situation, but that doesn’t change the fact that despite being dead tired, my body just wouldn’t go to sleep. If that had been a one-night issue, it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but in a summer filled with heartbreak, identity theft X 3 (all resolved, thank God), and three surgical procedures in a row to get a particularly large kidney stone out of my left ureter (along with being put under anesthesia three times in a row for said procedures), there have been a lot of sleepless nights. Not to mention a ten pound weight loss, mostly because I haven’t felt much like eating. Also, a lot of anxiety, some focused and some not as much. Bouts of sadness, and yes, crying. Times where it seemed all hope was gone. I even got a bit behind on bills, mowing, cleaning the house, etc. which for anyone who knows me well would agree is a pretty big deal. My job as a family physician suffered, as patients require your energy, your positivity, even your love, but if you are using those things to heal yourself from a psychic wound, it’s difficult to spare any juice for anyone else. To be clear, through all of this, I never considered suicide, but I did develop a better understanding of people who just want to make the pain go away.

And while we’re talking about pain… I’ve had patients with depression, anxiety, etc. tell me about chest pain, headaches, stiff muscles, etc. For me, it’s a cold ache that starts in my shoulders and radiates down my deltoids and biceps and into my forearms. It’s a feeling of dread, of doom, and when anxiety or depressive whatever keeps me up at night, this is the tool it uses.

One of the biggest hits this summer was my writing. Over June and the first week of July, I wrote 26,000 words, an all time high for me. Basically one fourth of a book in just under 6 weeks. I was cooking with gas and was so proud.

The rest of July, August, and September? None. Nada. Zip. This thing that had brought me such joy for so many years had become another chore. Another thing I had to do. Another task I had to complete. And I just avoided it, like a lot of other things in my life, not because I wanted to, but because I simply didn’t have the energy to put into it.

And that sucked.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot better. Sleeping through the night, eating well, feeling hopeful and even happy again, enjoying work, and basically getting back to being myself. Even wrote about 2,500 words in the last week. It’s been nice to feel good again. And I knew I would. This wasn’t my first bout with feeling low.

Med school knocked the wind out of my sails off and on for the better part of two years, but I got better. Being stuck in Iraq for 11 months left its mark on me, but I feel like I’ve recovered from that as well. And this summer’s heartbreak was not my first. I’m coming out of the tunnel, and it’s good to see the sun again.

And there it is. The tunnel analogy. So many times, when my patients have been going through a tough time or a dark period in their life, I’ve told them that they are simply going through a tunnel. Tunnels may be dark while you’re in them, but there was light before you went into the tunnel and there will be light when you are out again. All one has to do while in the tunnel is hang on and know that whatever is happening to you, be it internal, external, or both, the pain is temporary and will pass.

Funny. In a way, I’ve been telling people to hold onto the light for years, and didn’t even realize it until I wrote this paragraph tonight.

And now we get to the important part. First, and MOST IMPORTANT, the tunnel thing is NOT Darin telling you that when things get bad, just pick yourself up and brush yourself off. If you are going through anything like what I’m describing, and I don’t care if you call it depression, adjustment, grieving, the blues, a bad day, or whatever, get help. If you are hurting, tell someone. Tell a family member. Tell a friend. Tell your doctor. Talk to a counselor or a clergy person or anyone who will listen. Get the help you need.

I did.

I will leave you with three thoughts.

First, tunnels have beginnings, middles, and ends. Keep driving. Second, even if you are not okay at the moment, you will be. And third, you are not alone. If you need help, get help. If you need to talk, talk. If the person won’t listen, keep talking till you find someone who will.

About the Campaign
#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.
Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to http://www.HoldOnToTheLight.com and join us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WeHoldOnToTheLight

Pawn’s Gambit


Pawn’s Gambit

14 Oct 2016 – Falstaff Books





Until the sultry brunette in the little black dress

did her best to incinerate him.


Yesterday was just another day at the office for Steven.

Today, he is the White Pawn, a combatant in a nightmarish

game of chess where people are the pieces, and the world is at stake.

To survive the deadly Black Queen, Steven must

rush to gather the rest of his Pieces:


The Knight, a grieving teenage boy

caught up in a web of gang violence. 

The Queen, a young woman at death’s door,

her body ravaged by leukemia. 

The Bishop, a disgraced priest haunted by visions of the Game.

The Rook, a suicidal drunk reeling atop a storm-ridden skyscraper.


But Steven isn’t the only one looking for

the remainder of the White,

as the Black Queen already has her Pieces assembled,

and they are on the hunt…

Pawn’s Gambit Release Today!


Today is the official release date for Pawn’s Gambit from Falstaff Books, and I couldn’t be more excited!

As many of you know, this is the first novel I ever wrote, and though I’m a couple years into this whole publishing thing, this is the book I always imagined would be my first. Pawn’s Gambit is a story that’s been brewing inside me for the better part of thirty years and to see it finally available for the world to read is a dream come true. This marriage of contemporary fantasy, superheroes, and chess with just a sprinkle of romance brings together several of my worlds and I can’t wait for everyone to have a chance to read.

Thanks to John Hartness and Jay Requard at Falstaff for taking a chance on this book, to Roy Mauritsen for the gorgeous cover, to Sharon Pickrel and Melissa Gilbert for an awesome editing job, and to Susan Roddey for the beautiful interior layout.

Avengers + Magic + Chess = Pawn’s Gambit… Available now!!!

Come and get me...