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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Author Update

Hello all,

I just wanted to touch base with everyone and let you all know Book Three is still in the works. Between writing and work, I seldom find time to blog, so I apologize for the long absence . However, I plan to wrap up the final installment to the Nightwind trilogy by the end of next year--a finished rough draft at least. If you thought the second book was too short, I'm happy to say that this book won't have that problem. Considering that I have a lot of story to pack into the last novel, it will probably be right up there in terms of length with the first book--perhaps longer.  I just wanted to reassure all my fans that Rayna, Arstinax and the others are not forgotten, and I hope to put a tidy bow on this project sooner rather than later. Thank you all for your patience and support as I work to conclude a story that means a lot to me. More updates to follow.

Thanks again,

R.A. Baker

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Tentative titles for third book in the trilogy.

For my fans out there, I am down to two possible titles for my third book: "When Powers Fall", and "The Wild Magic Chaotic". I welcome any feedback. The winning title will, of course, grace the front cover of my latest novel in the Rayna of Nightwind series; the runner-up will probably earn a spot as the title of one of its chapters. I think both titles have their merit. "When Powers Fall" implies loss. Without giving too much away, I would say that the third book will deal with several tragedies. so brace yourself. The Wild Magic Chaotic will be featured predominately in the next book--with more explanation given as to what it is and how it originated. So far, most of the fans I've personally spoken to are leaning toward "When Powers Fall", so if you think that "The Wild Magic Chaotic" should be the title, please let me know. I am still in the slow, early "outline" stage of  writing the book, but I will do my best to keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Author Update

Forging ahead with the 3rd and (presumably) final book in the Rayna of Nightwind series--title still undecided. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Free Extras in the Book

To my readers:

As my way of saying thanks to all my fans and supporters, I included some supplementary material in the book to give my readers some extra insight into the fascinating world of Taren. As a result, I’ve included some appendices that give my (sometimes humorous) take on the land of Taren and its inhabitants. I hope you enjoy it!

P.S. Some of the entries in the appendices may contain “spoilers” if you have not finished the two books in the series thus far. Book one is The Beast at the Gate, and of course, book two is Beyond the Band of Death. If you haven’t read The Beast at the Gate yet, why not check out the book that started it all? You can also check out my website at

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Beyond the Band of Death, book two in the Rayna of Nightwind series is here.

 Beyond the Band of Death is the second book in my  Rayna of Nightwind series.  I wrote it in a way that existing fans can jump right in, but I included enough background information that new readers to the series wouldn't get lost. To be honest, it's been a couple of years since the first book was out, so I think even my earlier fans would appreciate a few reminders of what happened in book one. To that end,  I've included a "What has gone on before" section at the beginning of the latest book just for that reason. I wanted to ease you right into the story with minimum head-scratching. Without giving too much away, I can say that Beyond the Band of Death takes up right where we left off in the previous novel. If you recall, The Beast at the Gate ended with Rayna having survived a psi-battle with Aric, following a horrific and  fiery battle in the province of Argat. If you thought that was an exciting scene, I think you will love the adventures Rayna (and Keris) will face in the new book. As a bonus, I've included a glossary and several appendixes as my way of saying thanks for hanging in there while I worked to bring you the next installment of the series.  Here is a brief blurb to give you a taste of what you are in store for:

The land of Taren is in crisis! 
A clone from the past sent to a forbidding future, Rayna of Nightwind is given the charge of traveling beyond the deadly containment zone known as the Band. She must find a way to deactivate the sky machines before they make Taren uninhabitable. She wields the greatest telepathic power of all--the Wild Magic Chaotic. However, Rayna still has much to learn about her newfound abilities and time is running out. 

In the meantime, Taren's Queen Keris and King Ciredor must face the Beasts who are determined to destroy Jerel and cast the rest of Taren into ruin. And they must face their old adversary Aric for one final battle...but this time she comes as Queen of the Dragons! 

If I've piqued your interests, you can pick up a copy of Beyond the Band of Death at the following sites:
Thanks for reading! 

Stay tuned. I hope to do a similar thing I did in the Beast at the Gate, where I cover various topics/subjects found in the book--without revealing (too many) spoilers. Now, that will be a challenge.  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

It's finished!

After a hiatus from blogging, I am back with good news. The latest installment in my Rayna of Nightwind series is finally out. Book two is titled, Beyond the Band of Death, and it picks up where we left off in the first novel--right after the fiery battle at Argat. I also included several appendices and a glossary as bonus material.

Now that I'm back in the saddle again, I hope to keep you updated on the world of Taren and my progress on the third book in the series.  I want to personally thank my fans for your words of encouragement and for your patience, as I worked to bring the world of Taren to life once more.

Beyond the Band of Death is available on and Barnes & Noble. If you liked the first novel, I think you will really enjoy the second.  Thank you!

R.A. Baker
Barnes & Noble
Smash Words

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My new YA novel, "Two Merchants and a Thief" is out!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Psi-Telepathy—Giving you a piece of my mind.

Psi-telepathy is perhaps the greatest of all the psi-magics, for it grants the psi-mage the ability to control the thoughts of another. Put simply, it allows one to practice mind control. Psi-telepathy is actually several talents in one. A good psi-telepath can “mind speak”—which is the ability to have a conversation completely via thought, all without the need for physical speech. Psi-telepaths can also put thoughts in another’s head and make a person think those thoughts are his own. They can wear away at a person’s inhibitions, making them susceptible to impulse and suggestion. They can even place images in a victim’s mind, indistinguishable from reality. For example, in one scene in the book, The Beast at the Gate, a powerful psi-telepath used her power to implant an interactive “copy” of herself into the mind of her victim while she was miles away from him.

You can learn more about psi-telepathy and the characters that wield this awesome power in The Beast at the Gate. Why not read the FREE sample chapters on and see for yourself what an amazing world Taren is?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Psi-sonics—Can you hear me now?

Psi-sonic mages can manipulate existing sounds and create new ones from silence. Put simply, this power allows one to shape and alter sounds. For example, a man’s words could be changed into a tigers’ roar, or even into different words. A good psi-sonic mage could make the sound of ten men marching to sound like a thousand—or disguise the din
of great battle to sound like an approaching storm. This talent could prove invaluable in war, for these mages could use sound to fool the enemy into following a false path, or to lure them into a trap. Other uses for this psi-magic include increasing sound loud enough to shatter glass or dampen sound, as to not alert an enemy of their presence. It is said that a few gifted Psi-sonics can psychically tap into the auditory system of another person or creature. Then he is able to hear whatever his link hears, making such a person the ultimate eavesdropping tool.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Psi-somatics—That Healing Touch

The healers of the psi-magic world, psi-somatic mages are the rarest and most precious mages of all. Blessed with the ability to accelerate a body’s ability to heal itself, a good psi-somatic healer can mend a broken bone in minutes, a deep cut in seconds. In other words, this psi-magic draws from a person’s own constitution and strength and magnifies it many fold. Thus, a strong warrior wounded in battle would be far easier to heal than a sickly patient wasting away in bed.

Needless to say, psi-somatic experts are invaluable on both the battlefield and the sickroom. On a cautionary note, psi-somatic healing is a draining process, especially when healing physically weak  patients—so much so, that mages often risk their own lives trying to save the lives of others.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sensational! The Psi-magic known as Psi-Sensation

Tareners gifted with the power of psi-sensation can gain knowledge of a person or event through touch alone. They have the ability to detect psychic impressions left on an object by its previous owner. Through the object, they can summon a vision that plays out an event involving that object—especially if that event is associated with strong emotion, violence or death. This kind of object reading can also be used to find more information about its previous owner, including sex, age and how he came to possess (and eventually lose) the item.

As one of the more mysterious psi-magics, psi-sensation is certainly more subtle than say, the fiery practice of psi-pyrics. However, in the right hands, this power has the potential to change the course of history. Speaking of history, enforcers of law often ask psi-sensation trained mages to help with older, unsolved crimes.  A good psi-sensationalist can recall all manner of past events—from a lover’s quarrel gone bad, to a fatal duel, to a tragic accident—with the same accuracy as if he had been there in the flesh. All the mage needs is an object the person in question made contact with or used. Through the object, they can summon a vision that plays out an event involving that object—especially if that event is associated with strong emotion, violence or death. 

 To read more about the characters, visit:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Psi-Pyrics—Burn Him!

Few psi-mages are feared more than the psy-pyric. With the ability to heat air so hot as to ignite, these fire wizards literally leave a trail of flame in their wake. Beyond molecular agitation, psi-pryics can control existing flames by making a fire bigger, smaller, hotter or colder. He or she can even make flames move around as if it were a living creature, thus taking the idea of playing with fire to a whole new level.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Psi-Portation—Hey, she was here just a second ago!

Psi-Portation is the ultimate way to get around. Just concentrate, focus on where you want to go, and—voilà! Not so fast. Maybe it’s not as simple as it seems. A good Psi-Porter has to be mindful of the exact landing destination or risk reappearing in solid rock, underground, under an ocean, hundreds of feet in mid-air, or any number of equally unpleasant (and often fatal locations). The longer the distance, the greater the risk. That usually limits the individual to nearby places they have already been and are quite familiar with. Also, those who practice this psi-magic need a strongly focused mind, for the easily distracted may very well re materialize with body parts in the wrong place. Other than that, Psi-Portation is quite fun!

Read more about psi-magic and the amazing world of Taren on my website:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Psi- Olfactics—What’s that smell?

As you may have guessed, psi-olfactics is the school of psi-magic that deals with smells. Those born with this ability have a much keener sense of smell than the average Taren citizen does. Furthermore, they are able to psychically create smells—ranging from the truly heavenly, to the utmost repulsive. While it may not be as flashy as psi-illusion, or as powerful as psi-kinetics, psi-olfactics is considered a very useful talent to have. Practitioners can easily find work tracking down escaped criminals, and the occasional wayward farm animal. And if they choose to be left alone (or gain an edge in combat), a well-versed psi-olfactic can summon a stench so potent as to put a skunk to shame. In the book, The Beast at the Gate, a character named Levit is a psi-olfactic who is needless to say, very particular about smells. It is something the young boy character Quan finds out in short order. To read more about the characters, visit:

Read it and see for yourself!

My book, The Beast at the Gate is on and has a great “look inside” feature. You can read a few sample chapters of my book for FREE. See for yourself if you want to take a plunge into the amazing world of Taren. I’m confident you will. If you have been craving a creative and exciting sci-fi/fantasy novel to read, why not visit and take a look? See you in Taren! Click here:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Psi-Kinetics—A Forceful Proposition

In my novel, The Beast at the Gate, few psi-mages are as powerful as a master psi-kinetic.  A psi-kinetic can move objects through space without touching them. With their minds alone, they can project a force that can push, shove and otherwise bully an opponent from afar. A few talented practitioners of this particular psi-magic can manipulate wind to surround them and lift themselves in the air for short periods of time. They can create force shields, crush internal organs, topple trees—well, you get the idea. Psi-kinetics can pretty much do what they want. That’s why most Taren citizens give them plenty of respect, and a wide berth.  One particularly dramatic scene in my book involves a powerful psi-kinetic warrior, some angry red-robed mages, a fire golem…and a well. The result is one heck of a battle! Why not pick up a copy of The Beast at the Gate and see for yourself?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Now you see me…now you don’t

Psi-illusion is the ability to affect what the eye can or cannot see. Psi-illusionists can play tricks on the mind—literally—by altering what the brain perceives as visual reality. The results can be anything from invisibility to camouflage, to psychically altering one’s appearance to look like someone (or something) else. Now, you can imagine the potential for enormous mischief here. Enormous and deadly mischief in some cases. Fortunately, Psi-illusion is a relatively rare talent in the world of Taren, and rarer still are those who are masters of this powerful school of psi-magic.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Psi-Clairvoyance—The Divine Inspiration of Future-sight

In The Beast at the Gate, those blessed (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with Psi-Clairvoyance can glimpse into the future and see events and occurrences before they actually happen. Depending on how talented the individual is, these glimpses may range from a brief, blurred premonition to a finely detailed showing of a scene.  While this may  seem like the perfect talent to have, the reality is that it can cause frustration at best, madness at worst. I wrote a scene that helps illustrate the complexity of dealing with such an ability. Here is an excerpt of the character Orin speaking to Cirderor. Orin is a Psi-Clairvoyant:

If Orin was annoyed, he tried not to show it. “Sir, do you know why the Princess is here?”

“Of course I do. She is here to ask my help in restoring her to the throne. I don’t need a Psi-clairvoyant to tell me that.”

“More specifically,” Orin said, “she is here to make an attempt at overthrowing Nephredom by force and clearing her name, so that she may be accepted as the new Queen. I’ve seen this image before, many times, coming about in many different ways. But only in a few such visions did I see the master mage with her, and of those few, fewer still had the Kuaran and the boy-child in them.”

“The rest were false visions, then?”

“No. No vision is ever false. What appeared in any of them could happen, depending on crucial decisions made at crucial times--far too many to count or track. As time passes, some possible futures become impossible, and clairvoyants no longer see their images; the many possible visions become fewer and fewer. Eventually, as time goes on, there is only one vision--and there is little anyone can do to change the outcome at that point.”

“Then I was right to call you here. I have a feeling there will be some ‘crucial decisions’ made tonight, and I need your advice.”

“You desire to know whether to support the Princess or to turn her away.”

Ciredor sighed as he nodded, meeting Orin’s gaze with his own. He was not accustomed to seeking counsel in others; he had once prided himself in having better judgment than most. But lately he wasn’t so certain. But I love her!  “Perhaps it was one of my own crucial decisions--one I made in the past--that has caused us to lose our way. I don’t want the problem to get worse.”

“You are referring to when you first introduced Nephredom to the Queen?”

“Yes, and I had no way of knowing the Queen would eventually grant regency to that devil.”

“The Subjugator of Joy. Respected, but hardly loved.”

“He harasses and taxes our people mercilessly. He denounced the use of magic among common citizens--the one thing that defined us as a people. Magic gave us our strength, made us whole. Now, to practice magic openly, one must undergo the secret training of the Red Robes--and no honorable man would desire to become one of those things!”

“They are an abomination.”

Ciredor smiled a dark smile. “If I had known the kind of man Nephredom was, I would have let those young urchins stone him to death back in Lamec.”

“I believe you would have.”

“And yet, now that the Queen is dead, he claims she declared him King with her dying breath. If this is true, to oppose him would be high treason--punishable by death.”


Ciredor turned an irritated eye to Orin. “Seer, if I desired a yes-man, I would have gotten one years ago. This is not the time for cautious conversation. I seek your sight, not slavish agreement!”

Orin stared at Ciredor with his piercing gray eyes. “You mistake confession of truth with false harmony. You know me better than that, Your Reverence.”

Ciredor tensed his lower lip, pressing it firmly against his teeth. The only time Orin called him that was when he was offended. Your Reverence. Coming from his calm lips, it sounded like a curse.

Orin smiled, then uttered softly, “doubting in the darkness, sifting through the ashes, I cry out, but death has plugged all ears.”

Ciredor sighed. “A verse to a new poem?”

“Yes.” A short silence passed before Orin spoke again. “I have been your lieutenant in war, your Second in peace, and your friend in both. If you want my opinion, then I will give it freely: You are being foolish.”

It was difficult at times to tell if Orin was speaking of the present or of the future. Did Orin mean that Ciredor was being foolish now, or was he referring to a future time? Ciredor laughed in spite of his displeasure. “You are a man of extremes, I’ll grant you that. I think I liked you better as a yes-man.” Ciredor’s tone grew serious. “Is that what you truly believe?”

“No, but you are missing my point. Being foolish implies that one commits foolish acts. Foolish mistakes. It is what you fear most--the consequences of a foolish mistake.”

“Is that what you see in my future? That I will make a foolish mistake?” Ciredor paused, then added the next logical assumption. “One that could cost us all dearly?”

“That is one possible future, yes. Furthermore, as time has passed, the other possibilities have begun to fade, and the few that remain still show the path you most fear.”

“Which involves me making the mistake you mentioned.”


“I don’t suppose you will tell me what it is, let alone how to avoid it.”

“You know I have sworn never to influence the future in that way. Besides, my visions are muddled and unclear, and I never see the whole picture at once. What may start as a bad path may eventually right itself, and what may appear to be the good path may ultimately lead to ruin.”

Ciredor chucked humorlessly. “It never ends for you, does it?”

“No. The futures I see are endless arrays of branching roads that shed some avenues and grow new ones based on the choices people make.”

“One damned decision after another.”

Orin sighed. “Nevertheless, it is sometimes better to make a decision that could damn than to do nothing and be damned.”

“Another line for a poem?”

“No, a warning for a friend.”

© Copyright December 2012 JK Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

If you enjoyed this passage, I think you will love the book. Order a copy of The Beast at the Gate and immerse yourself in the world of Taren.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Psi-Botany, The Ultimate Green Thumb

Imagine being able to revive a wilting squash plant with a mere thought, or causing a previously stunted tree to soar as tall as its tallest leafy neighbors. A skilled psi-botanist can do all of these things and more. The practical applications of this ability are obvious, though the very West Taren regions that would benefit most from this power shun psi-magic. In fact, West Tareners not only prohibit the practice of psi-botany, they also refuse any goods they suspect were the beneficiaries of such practices. So pumpkin-sized tomatoes wouldn’t sell very well there. Nevertheless, psi-botanists can find work easily enough in East Taren, growing grapes for wine—quite a feat, considering East Taren’s frigid weather. In my book, The Beast at the Gate, some of the Soren monks use psi-botany to create beautiful flower gardens in the snow-covered Soren Woods. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Systems of Magic

My next blog topics will cover the magic system used in the world of Taren. Many Tareners (especially the Eastern variety) possess a specialized psychic ability they call “psi-magic”. There are twelve schools of psi-magic and each one has a different focus and effect. Few Tareners are born with psi-magic ability strong enough in one school to earn the designation “high mage”, and those rare individuals who have mastered more than one school of psi-magic—they are called “master mages.” Coincidentally, the two main villains in the book, Aric and Nephredom are both master mages, while the Red Robes who serve them are high mages.

Well, that’s the background—now the magic. The first school of psi-magic is Psi-aquatic. It’s the ability to manipulate water and control its motion and various states. This is a powerful and practical psi-magic, and Psi-aquatics in Taren can make a good deal of money freezing large blocks of water and selling the ice to the hot lands of Argat. The truly skilled psi-mages in this art are sometimes employed as assassins for their ability to harden blood still flowing in the veins of their victims. Next time, I'll cover another school of psi-magic...until all twelve are done. For even more about the schools of psi-magic, and the wondrous world of Taren, I invite you to pick up a copy of The Beast at the Gate

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Unknown Territories

Sometimes referred to by the locals as “Outer Taren”, the Unknown Territories is land that lies beyond the Band. Any attempt to cross the deadly Band into the Unknown Territories is tantamount to suicide. And so, that territory remains unexplored by Tareners.  It is speculated that the Unknown Territories is home to unspeakable horrors, and is best left unknown.

Much of my upcoming novel, Beyond the Band of Death, takes place in the The Unknown Territories. If you enjoyed reading The Beast at the Gate, the next novel in the series will be sure to please! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Jerel: The Crown Jewel of East Taren

Jerel is the territory where the capital of East Taren is located. Jerel is a beautiful place, full of opulent buildings and dazzling displays of wealth. Jerel citizens consider themselves privileged and perhaps more refined and cultured than those of the other provinces—especially West Taren. Jerel may have a cold climate, but that doesn't slow its people down a bit. Pomp and circumstance abounds here, with prideful gentlemen and ladies in their finery, and the smell of spices and perfumes filling the air. It’s ironic that this is the same place where Nephredom, the Subjugator of Joy rules. Like a deadly serpent in a lovely garden, Nephredom sits on his great throne in the palace, and waits for the right time to strike…

Friday, May 3, 2013

Dosk is for Booklovers (and scroll lovers too)

Dosk is a great place to be in if you’re a lover of books and all things academic. This is where schools and academies are practically on every corner, and bards sing passionate odes to libraries.  Founded by two stern scholars, the province of Dosk certainly favors the sage over the warrior. Ironically, science is dismissed as worthless folly here, so Rayna’s insistence on seeking out the Science Guild in Dosk is treated more as a punch line to a bad joke than a serious objective. Nevertheless, Dosk has a solid reputation as the place to go if you thirst for knowledge.  If you want to immerse yourself further in Dosk, or any of the other interesting places in Taren, pick up a copy of The Beast at the Gate:

Monday, April 29, 2013

The City of Walls

Known locally as the “City of Walls”, Soren is a holy region, and Soren City is a place of meditation, prayer and religious training.  It is where the world-weary traveler goes for  spiritual reflection, calm and peace. Ironically, Ciredor—a former soldier and war hero—was appointed by Nephredom himself to govern this province.  Ciredor is none too pleased with his new job, but to oppose his position would give Nephredom the excuse he needs to arrest and execute him.

Soren is the place that Keris desperately wants to go, but not because she's eager to attend church.  She believes Ciredor can help her win back her throne. Populated almost exclusively by monks and priests, all worldly temptations, including strong drink, gambling, and women are forbidden here. Order a copy of The Beast at the Gate to see how Rayna and Keris managed to sneak into this somber city.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Zuran the Great...Province

 Zuran is seldom referenced in The Beast at the Gate, but expect that to change in the upcoming sequels. Zuran is the last of the West Taren territories and home to that region’s governor.  Following its defeat in the War of Kings, West Taren was no longer allowed to have a King and the governorship was the highest political office a West Tarener could hold.  Zuran became the new capital of West Taren following the fall of Lamec, and its streets are filled with busy bureaucrats,  minor politicians and the like. Depending on whom you ask, the governor is either seen as a competent representative of the people, or a worthless, fat figurehead and puppet of Nephredom—regent of East Taren.  Some say, if there ever will be a rebellion against East Taren, it will start in Zuran.