Well, Inkshares’ All Genre Manuscript Contest ended last night and The Crucible Tree did not place among the top three to be considered a winner. It did, however, finish in the top 10, and that is something, considering there were 374 entrants.

My sincerest thank you for all your support. The focus now is on Bane of All Things and its release later this year (publication date pending). If Bane of All Things’ sales are strong enough, Inkshares will still greenlight The Crucible Treefor publication – these are the first two books in a series, after all.

If you are someone who has not previously followed or pre-ordered Bane of All Things, I encourage you to check it out at the link below. Click that Follow button to be on Bane of All Things’s email list to receive updates on the release date, the cover reveal (the current one is just an Adobe Stock placeholder), and other exciting news and promotions as release day draws near.


Thank you again.

Stay safe and keep reading!



Img 9572 Mary Dezember · Author · added about 2 years ago
I love how the children are planning something in Chapter One. So intriguing. Then Mother appears. I’m interested and want to know more!!

Good morning! It’s a beautiful, crisp and sunny Saturday in my neck of the woods, but do I ever itch for spring. I hope you are keeping well, as the light at the end of this big dark COVID tunnel creeps ever-so-slowly closer.

Why is Homer topping this update? Because this contest into which I have entered The Crucible Tree ends one week from today.

Thank you again for lending your support. I am so grateful for anything and everything that you have so kindly chosen to do. If there is something you still meant to do and haven’t yet, now is definitely the time.

Here again is an overview of what can boost The Crucible Tree up the contest standings:

·       Recruit a friend or family member to also Follow the project and consider the other actions below …

·       Spend some time reading my sample chapters (the contest algorithm tracks that page time) and if you wish, post a Review/Recommendation (please be kind -- these are still early drafts :)

·       Take advantage of the new Nominate feature

Stay safe and keep reading!



Good morning! on what is a frosty cold and sharply sunny morning in my neck of the woods. (I will gladly take the chill if it means sun over cloud).

Further to my last update, just a quick reminder about the contest into which I have entered The Crucible Tree. If you haven’t already and have a few minutes to spare today, kindly come over and help boost me up the contest rankings.

There are many ways to do so: 

·       Recruit a friend or family member to also Follow the project

·       Spend some time reading my sample chapters, and if you wish, post a Review/Recommendation

·       Take advantage of the new Nominate feature

As always, my deepest thanks for your attention and support.

Stay safe and keep reading!



Howdy! And dare I say it, Happy New Year. I know, 2021 isn’t exactly off to a great start, but I remain committed to the belief that reason and common sense will eventually prevail.

Thank you again for following The Crucible Tree on Inkshares. The contest still has weeks to go and I am hoping I can call upon you to give me a little more push. 

As I have said before, a great way to do that is to enlist someone else in your household to come and Follow The Crucible Tree, too. You can also post a Review of my sample chapters.

And new just this week, Inkshares has added a new Nominate feature. This gives you the option to submit a confidential nomination to Inkshares about why you think a book should be chosen for publication. As the author, I never see or even know that you submitted a nomination. It’s like a really short survey that only takes a few minutes.

By bringing attention to The Crucible Tree through this contest, we are bringing more attention to my first book, Bane of All Things, ahead of its launch next summer, to help it be a success. Consider it a virtuous circle.

Let me finish with these powerful words of inspiration from artist and author Neil Gaiman – a commencement speech he gave at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.

Be well and keep reading!

Good morning! (Or afternoon, as the case may be). I hope this finds you well and you are enjoying the Holiday Season, however you chose to observe it.

If you are receiving this update, it means that you kindly came and followed The Crucible Tree in recent weeks as part of the new contest by my publisher, Inkshares. Thank you very much for doing so.

As we look to the release next summer of my first book, Bane of All Things, doing well in this contest is an excellent way to drive some vital publicity. The contest currently has 200+ entries, drawing thousands of new visitors to Inkshares’ website. These are all potential buyers for Bane of All Things. For Inkshares to agree to publish a second book, sales of the first must of course be strong. 

So, if you haven’t already and have a little time during this holiday season, it would be awesome if you could read my sample chapters for The Crucible Tree and post a short review or recommendation. This activity also helps to boost me up the contest standings. And if you could muster anyone else in your household to join the cause, too, that would be fantastic!

Best wishes and a Happy New Year!


E5ib5kij Leo Valiquette · Author · added over 2 years ago
Thanks, Patrick! FYI -- I have these backstories in the second book because this is were they are going to hurt more :)
Userphoto4 original Patrick Chabot · Reader · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like
I always love backstories yet in book series they tend to creep in after the first book and I feel that’s a shame. Every word that fleshes out the past of the protagonists immerses us further into their world, their lifes, their motivations. These flashbacks are succinct but revealing and even that little bit pulls you in, wanting more. Great writing as usual. 
E5ib5kij Leo Valiquette · Author · added over 2 years ago
Thank you, Stephen. Glad you enjoyed it!
Lcds7lkv Stephen Harrison · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like
I just read the sample chapters that Leo Valiquette provided of The Crucible Tree (sequel to Bane of All Things). There’s a lovely description of a relationship between brothers and a mother provided view flashback. In the battle chapter, the new character of Uthnar was well-described. Overall, I was intrigued by the religious world building, with the sacrifices made of both priests and priestesses.