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About Mike Shel
Author Website: www.mikeshel.com
Mike was born in Detroit and raised in Dearborn, Michigan, oldest of three boys, the son of a firefighter and homemaker. He has practiced as a psychotherapist for over 25 years. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife Tracy, son Leo, and dog Neko. Mike began freelancing for Paizo Publishing’s Pathfinder Roleplaying Game in 2010. He released his first novel, ACHING GOD, in 2018. Its sequel, SIN EATER, followed in 2019. IDOLS FALL is his third novel and completes the ICONOCLASTS trilogy. He is at work on his next novel, set in the same world, more than 200 years after the events of Iconoclasts. It is tentatively entitled West of the World and slated for a 2022 release.
Mike's short stories set in the ICONOCLASTS world can be found in two free fantasy anthologies, LOST LORE and HEROES WANTED.
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The days of adventure are passed for Auric Manteo. Retired to the countryside and isolated with his scars and riches, he no longer delves into forbidden ruins seeking dark wisdom and treasure. But just as old nightmares begin plaguing his sleep, he receives an urgent summons back to that old life.
To save his only daughter, he must return to the place of his greatest trauma: the haunted Barrowlands. Along with a group of inexperienced companions and an old soldier, he must confront the dangers of the ancient and wicked Djao civilization. He has survived fell beasts, insidious traps, and deadly hazards before. But how can he contend with the malice of a bloodthirsty living god?
First volume in the planned epic fantasy trilogy Iconoclasts, Aching God is the debut novel by RPG adventure designer Mike Shel.
Also included is an advanced preview of Iconoclasts - Book II: Sin Eater.
Agnes Manteo now bears her father’s sentient Djao sword, along with a terrible revelation—the gods are charlatans, ancient sorcerers who draw their strength from the suffering of humanity. She and her Syraeic companions have but a single duty: to track down those pretenders and end their reign of cruelty and lies. To that end, the magical blade—mighty, single-minded Szaa’da’shaela—won’t allow the slightest waver of their commitment.
But the empire is a bubbling cauldron of turmoil with the sudden passing of its undying queen. Nobles clash and threaten civil war, murderous barbarians mass on the frontier in preparation for a bloody invasion, and all feel the aching void left by the clergy, whose temples were consumed by a great fire. How can the empire survive should Agnes succeed in tearing away its very foundations?
And if she fails? What might sorcerers with nearly godlike powers do to exact their revenge?
A year has passed since Auric Manteo descended into the haunted depths of a Djao ruin to return a lethal artifact, only to face down a bloodthirsty, imprisoned god. Now his daughter Agnes comes to bring him back to the capital with promises of hidden secrets finally revealed.
But the city decays, poisonous disorder is rife, and whispered prophecy foretells of cataclysm and doom. Summoned by their no-longer human queen, Auric and Agnes are commanded to carry out an impossible task, one that can be accomplished only with the mysterious blade Szaa’da’shaela, gifted to Auric on a lunatic's whim.
Can Auric and his daughter survive a journey fraught with blood, menace, and madness? And can they pay the price demanded by a being every bit as evil as the Aching God?
Sin Eater is the sequel to 2018’s widely praised Aching God and book 2 of the Iconoclasts Trilogy. Get your copy today!
**r/Fantasy Stabby Award Winner – Best Anthology 2019**
A demonic assassin. A half-orc boxer. A ratman necromancer. Though they take many different shapes and forms, there are heroes all around us.
Bravery can be found in the most unexpected places: a subterranean dwarven city; the sands of a temple courtyard in Ancient Egypt; a besieged castle, a Victorian brothel, a goblin warren, the post-apocalyptic ruins of a demon-infested village. Heroes dwell in the shadows as well as the light; you just have to look a little harder to find them.
Who do they fight?
Some heroes challenge injustice in all its numerous guises, while others hunt monsters both human and bestial. Others battle inner demons, the ghosts of their past, their deepest nightmares – or even the gods themselves.
Why do they fight?
For glory? Sometimes. For honor? Perhaps. There are those who instinctively strive to protect those weaker than themselves, and there are others emboldened only by a sense of obligation, or the promise of wealth. Whether by the blade or other means, they endeavor to take down all who threaten what is good and right in their world.
By hook or by crook, through cunning or combat, with tooth and claw or iron and steel, they are all united in one goal, willingly or not: to live – and die, if necessary – a hero.
Choose your weapon. Fight for what you believe in. Never give up.
Nineteen fantasy writers gather to bring nineteen tales to life, each one a unique glimpse into a wholly original world.
On the Emerald Road, a dead Sage triggers a brutal trial beneath the forest floor. There, a young man must fight—and kill—both friends and enemies to become the next wielder of the fabled Emerald Blade.
In Midgard, a priestess of humble birth forges a strange bond with an ancient being as she searches for justice in a land that often rewards cruelty, betrayal, and bloodshed.
And in the Yarnsworld, the Magpie King teaches two brothers a dangerous lesson about the power of stories. Sticks and stones may indeed break bones . . . but they cannot hurt the Bramble Man.
In worlds ravaged by flood, fire, and frost, mere mortals strive to make their own legends amidst demons and deities alike. And in lands racked with human strife—where evil endures and no one is ever safe—scarred heroes fight forces even darker than their own personal demons.
Why do they fight?
Some seek to better the world, or themselves. Others are out to right old wrongs. But whatever their goal - reward, redemption, or just respite - the truth will out eventually. For no story is ever truly lost so long as there exists one to tell it.