June 29th, 2015

Nik

A Rational Arrangement: On Sale Now!

A Rational Arrangement is now for sale! At URLs conveniently accessible to your browser!



About the book


“But these are vital aspects of marriage. If one cannot discuss them, what's the use in meeting at all? It's like trying to decide what you'll have for dinner without mentioning food.”

Wisteria Vasilver does wish to marry. Truly. But though she lives in Paradise, arranging a match is full of traps and pitfalls for the unwary ... or perhaps just for her.

Nikola Striker, Lord of Fireholt, expects he'll wed -- someday. But not now, and never to a rich icicle of a woman like Miss Vasilver. No matter how much his parents might want the match, or his house might need her dowry. Besides, he has his own problems -- most of them people who need his help as a mind-healer.

Lord Justin Comfrey, Viscount of Comfrey, would be more than happy to help Striker with his financial troubles, and not just to ensure that Miss Vasilver's dowry doesn't tempt Striker into marriage. If only he could find some way to make his proud, stubborn friend accept the money!

Can three people of such different temperaments ever find their way to a more perfect Paradise?

Special New Release Price!


In honor of the release, it's on sale for a week at $4.99! Buy it now, because on July 6, I'm raising the price to $6.99.

When the serial is finished in 2016, I will make the regular price $4.99, and will likely run occasional sales lower still. (Probably bottoming out at $2.99). I figure it makes sense to discount the price once the whole book is available for free on the web, albeit in less-convenient form. So you can wait a year or so and get it Even Cheaper, but the disadvantage there is: you have to wait.

Publishing Details


Special thanks to Alinsa, who lovingly typeset the book for me. This edition does not contain the illustrated headers I am doing for the serial, because (a) I'm not done drawing those yet and (b) the book is long enough without illustrations. (636 pages in trade paperback!) It does have elegant typeset chapter headers -- check out the interior! Even if you're not going to buy it. It's gorgeous.

If we do opt later to make an edition of the e-book that includes the illustrated headers, it'll be as an update to this edition, so anyone who buys it now will be able to re-download it with illustrations.

The book will eventually be available from iBooks UPDATE: now available on iBooks! Thanks for the heads-up, archangelbeth. It turns out that Apple (a) has extra-special requirements for book formatting that no other store cares about, and (b) they are extra-slow about accepting and/or rejecting a book. (Seriously, every other store made the book available within 12 hours of upload. Apple took 3 days to tell me that the embedded cover had "too many pixels". Anyway, these issues are all resolved now.

A Rational Arrangement will also be available in print form in the next week or two. I am waiting for CreateSpace to ship me the proof copy; once I've checked it and approved it, it'll be distributed via CreateSpace and Amazon, with a cover price of $19.95.

Other Ways to Support the Author


If you do not wish to buy, or cannot afford it, that's fine. If you like the story, please spread the word! Recommendations to friends, retweets and reblogs of the story installments, reviews on your own blog, etc., are all much appreciated.

For those who've read the entire book: reviews on Amazon are especially helpful! Not only do they increase the book's visibility on Amazon, but when the book accumulates enough of them, various book review sites will let me submit it for Yet More Reviews. (It's a virtuous cycle!)

Regardless, I will continue to serialize A Rational Arrangement for free, so everyone can read along in bite-sizes pieces. (Today's installment is above this post, by the way! I did not skip it in favor of shilling the e-book, I promise.) Thank you for reading, and enjoy the story!
Me 2012

Undiagnosable (22/141)

RA Header 022

The interview with the second refuser, the hopeless man, went much better. His name was Mr. Court, and his relations had brought him because he’d twice tried to kill himself. Mr. Court was afraid that treatment would change his character; Nik freely admitted that it would. “You’re not demon-ridden. Your impulse to self-harm and the accompanying misery comes, in your case, from the stunting of certain of your emotions. Your ability to care, to find contentment, and to perceive joy, are all damaged. Remedying that will change who you are and how you behave, sometimes in unpredictable ways. For example, making it easier to feel joy can make a person stop striving for perfection in his activities, because he can now find satisfaction in a mediocre achievement. The interactions here are not ones even I understand well. It is your decision, of course. But I might note that anything we do here today will have a considerably less dramatic impact on your mind and those who care about you than killing yourself will .”

Mr. Court, a gaunt and stooped man of middle years, stared at his hands. “Could it make me worse? Make me an imbecile, or mad?”

“No. The Savior would not allow that. Your faculties will remain intact. You will be a different man, and some of those changes may not be ones you would prefer. But nothing that could be construed as an impairment.”

In truth, after Miss Whittaker it was a profound relief just to have this be a coherent conversation, but Nik was even gladder when Mr. Court agreed to let the Savior help.

It was a little victory to sustain him against twenty-two reevaluations. Those began on a particularly sour note, with the sleep-walking woman. Her son named her as Marie Brogan and himself Ian. When Nikola could find nothing to remedy on a second examination, Ian Brogan was violently distraught. “Are you implying she’s faking it?” Mr. Brogan yelled.

“Of course not,” Nik snapped. “It’s a reflection of my limitations, not her condition. If a healer tells a man with a missing arm ‘I cannot re-grow the limb’, do people say ‘the hand must be there after all’?”

“Then why won’t you heal her? What do you want?” Brogan threw himself at Nik’s feet, begging. “I can pay! I have a ship, money, just name your price!”

“If I could, I would do it for an eighth,” Nikola said coldly. “It is not a question of price. The Savior cannot fix what I cannot diagnose. I regret it extremely.”

“But you must! You’re the best! You have to!” Brogan surged to his feet, looking ready to hit something. Or someone.

Nik took a step back and raised his voice. “Anthser!” Brogan closed the distance with fists clenched and half-raised, as Nik’s warcat pawed open the door. “Please show Mr. Brogan and his mother out,” Nik said, taking another pace back.

“You insufferable arrogant—” Brogan drew back his fist. Anthser crossed the room in one leap and grabbed the collar of Brogan’s jacket in his teeth.

The warcat raised his head to lift the curly-haired figure from the ground and hauled him back a couple of strides before depositing him back on his feet. “Should I teach him manners too, Lord Nikola?”

Brogan, realizing the ill-advised nature of his threatening posture and insults, dropped his hands and lowered his eyes.

“No. Just escort him off the estate.”

Anthser bobbed his head and nudged Brogan towards his mother, who had sat unmoving and indifferent on the couch through the entire confrontation. The warcat followed them out and Shelby showed the next reevaluation in.