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A Rucksack Universe Novella. The first e-book published for the Rucksack Universe.

After the Alarm: a sneak peek of THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY

The Lotus and the Barley, a Rucksack Universe travel fantasy novel by Anthony St. ClairWant a sneak peek of THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY? Over the next few days I’m pulling back the cover so you can have an exclusive taste of the 4th Rucksack Universe adventure.

THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY comes out June 16. Preorder today from:

Buy now from

Get it on iBooks

Buy now from Kobo

The book will also be available in trade paperback. Through June 11, you can enter for a chance to win 1 of 10 signed copies! (US only)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Lotus and the Barley by Anthony St. Clair

The Lotus and the Barley

by Anthony St. Clair

Giveaway ends June 11, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Tune in tomorrow for another sneak peek!


Sneak Peek: After the Alarm

NO ONE KNEW ABOUT the problem until the alarm rang, but Feckniss imagined the man in the orange suit at the top of the world was the only one who smiled about it.

From Feckniss’s cubicle much lower down the world on the third floor of the Lotus, the phone line clicked, then droned. Guru Deep had ended the conference call. A few minutes later, Feckniss’s gray-suited manager Blanders stepped into the cubicle. He stood next to the “ILLUSION IS REALITY” poster, which some said was the true mission statement of Deep Inc.

“What’s going on, sir?” Feckniss knew they could speak freely. At this late hour, no one else was in the Lotus except for Blanders, the assistant Nia Fox, and Guru Deep himself, the man in the orange suit at the top of the Lotus, London’s highest skyscraper and currently the world’s tallest building. Despite the third floor being empty, for a moment Feckniss thought he heard a snicker, brief yet packed with cruelty and condescension. Then he thought of Guru Deep, and Feckniss shuddered with awe and relief.

Guru Deep hadn’t said a word during the briefing call. He never did, but anytime Feckniss and Blanders were in a meeting, the line was open to Guru Deep’s office. Only Blanders and Feckniss did the talking, but Guru Deep’s silences resounded more than any words, a presence like a stalking tiger or a thunderhead filling the horizon. But Feckniss could imagine him standing there: Guru Deep. The Great Leader, He Whose Third Eye Saw All The World That Was And Could Be, was the President and CEO of Deep Inc. Dealing in finance, self-help seminars, travel guidebooks, breweries, and other initiatives—that Blanders hinted at but never explained—over the last few decades Deep Inc. had become of the world’s largest and most powerful companies.

On this call too Feckniss could feel the brilliant gravity of the leader’s presence as they discussed the enemy’s latest disruptions—and their effects on quarterly profits—of less-than-public Deep Inc. operations in Marrakech, Mexico City, and Moscow. “Guru Deep sees all and hears all,” Blanders said, “even if you don’t see or hear him. Guru knows. These developments trouble him. The enemy hasn’t been such a problem for Guru Deep since Kyoto, and that was decades ago.”

“What happened there?”

“At the rate you’re progressing,” said Blanders, “perhaps you’ll get to visit his office someday and ask him about the two curved swords behind his desk. It is quite a story.”

Feckniss could picture it as clearly as if he were beside the Great Leader himself. Guru Deep would be staring out over the dark London night from the north window, forty-two stories above the city that had rebuilt itself after being burned to the ground by The Blast a hundred and thirty years ago. The Lotus had recently opened as the bright, brand-new, orange glass-and-steel world headquarters of Deep Inc. In the black of the evening, Guru Deep’s trademark orange suit, a deep saffron like the flag of India, would shine like the sun against his brown skin and eyes. And there, somewhere near his massive desk, where he led his empire, two curved swords would shimmer with the power of the story they had to tell.

Feckniss shuddered at the mere idea of being there, in that office, with the man whose empire spanned businesses and industries around the globe. And one of those industries, what was about to happen, had been the subject of their call—

“Of course I can’t say for certain,” Blanders said, his voice flat as a coffin bottom and returning Feckniss’s mind to the third floor. The pale taut skin over his skull always reminded Feckniss of a balloon about to pop. Smoothing the impeccable gray wool of his lapel, Blanders smiled, which meant the corners of his mouth briefly twitched upward, then fell back down as if embarrassed to be caught trying. “But I believe we can safely surmise that the enemy has taken it.”

“Just as Guru Deep expected,” Feckniss replied. “Though wasn’t the Lotus designed to keep out that individual?”

Again the near smile. Blanders tapped the side of his nose. “Guru knows. Though I’m sure he’ll have Ms. Fox order a full security audit to find and remedy whatever lapse or flaw led to this breach. Damn new building and new protocols—of course the enemy managed to find some weakness, no matter how small, that he could exploit.”

Feckniss nodded. “Of course. We are so close now. Guru Deep knew the enemy would come, didn’t he?” Again the brief grin. “I see. Guru Deep wanted him to come. Will it affect the plans? Will it disrupt our progress toward Operation—”

“Only in ensuring our success,” Blanders replied. “All endeavors are easier when your enemies complete your work for you.”

“Does he know the secret?”

“It doesn’t matter,” Blanders said. “What we have long ago set in motion, his actions cannot stop. All that matters, Feckniss, is that through our teamwork and Guru Deep’s guidance, the time has come. Tomorrow proceeds as planned.”

“It will be no more?”

This time the smile remained. Bloodless lips curved into an upside-down scythe. “Its end,” he said, “is only the beginning.”

Want more?

Pre-order THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY e-book from:

Buy now from

Get it on iBooks

Buy now from Kobo

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway from a chance to win 1 of 10 signed paperbacks (US only):

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Lotus and the Barley by Anthony St. Clair

The Lotus and the Barley

by Anthony St. Clair

Giveaway ends June 11, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Tune in tomorrow for another sneak peek!

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Fantasy Book Savings!

Travel to a new world of myth and adventure

Oh my oh my how I’ve been looking forward to this. If you’ve been planning to get the Rucksack Universe for someone on your gift list, there’s no better time than now to save big on e-books, signed paperbacks, and book bundles! These Black Friday savings are good through Nov. 30, so you can save all weekend and on Cyber Monday too!

Author-Only Savings

During Black Friday, you’ll save the most when you order directly from my secure author store at Selz.

99¢ e-books

$2.99 e-book bundles (includes formats for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks & more!)

FREE US shipping on signed paperbacks*

$25 signed paperback bundles (save big off the combined cover price of $33.97) + US FREE Shipping*

* For all non-US paperback orders through my store, shipping is $30 per order

99¢ E-books

Over Black Friday, all Rucksack Universe e-books are only $0.99 each at my store, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook, and more.

>> Get the Universe at Black Friday Savings < <

NEW: Get Rucksack Universe e-books from your library with Library Journal, BiblioBoard & SELF-e

A new library-focused partnership from Library Journal and Biblioboard

Get Anthony St. Clair e-books from your library with Library Journal SELF-e Select

Some good news came in to the Rucksack Press world headquarters this week. A while back I submitted all 3 of my books—The Martini of Destiny, Home Sweet Road, and Forever the Road—to a new e-book service for libraries, SELF-e, from Library Journal and BiblioBoard.

SELF-e - e-books for libraries, powered by Library JournalI love libraries, and my family and I are big supporters of our local Eugene Public Library. (We were even part of an early literacy public awareness video campaign.) Making my e-books  widely available in libraries is a big deal to me. I use my library to find books I want to buy, as well as for research for my stories. Having my e-books available for free to readers through libraries is part of giving back to the public and to the library.

My books are part of SELF-e curated collections. They’ll be featured selections shared with subscribing libraries all over the US on BiblioBoard Library. The first Library Journal SELF-e Select collections are expected to be available to libraries this month, making them available to readers nationwide.

Oregon readers and Oregon libraries looking for Oregon authors can also find my books in SELF-e’s Indie State module as a “highlighted selection.” SELF-e is also updating their GoodReads group with selections.

See you at the library!

Birthday Sale! 99¢ Martinis & Win a Book

Happy Birthday to The Martini of Destiny!

The Martini of Destiny

Two years ago this month, The Martini of Destiny came into the world. Since then the original e-book has been joined by a paperback edition, two more books, and a new cover.

Sometimes I can still hardly believe that after so many years of hand-wringing and paralysis by analysis, I published my first book.

$0.99 Martini E-books thru June 30

To celebrate Martini’s second birthday, through June 30 the e-book is only US$0.99 (usually US$2.99) at all your favorite stores, including:

My Selz author store:
[selz link=”″ show_logos=”true” text_color=”#ffffff” background_color=”#f37121″ link_color=”#0077bf” type=”button” position=”default” interact=”modal”]

Get it on iBooks

Buy now from the Amazon Kindle Store

Buy now from Kobo

Buy now from Barnes and Noble

And more. Full list here.

Win a Signed Paperback

You could also win one of 3 signed paperbacks. Enter the Goodreads Giveaway:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair

The Martini of Destiny

by Anthony St. Clair

Giveaway ends June 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Spread the word

I cannot say enough how much your support and enthusiasm means to me and how much it always will mean to me.

Please spread the word about the Rucksack Universe—tell your friends, share it on social media, review one of my books—and thank you for all your support and for reading.

Rucksack Universe E-books Now Available from Google Play

Get it on Google Play Books

All Rucksack Universe e-books now available on Google Play!

Fan of Google Play? Now you can get all Rucksack Universe e-books from Google Play »

‘Nuff said.

Eugene Readers: The Rucksack Universe is at Tsunami Books

Tsunami Books, local Eugene indie bookstore

Eugene/Springfield readers, if you’re looking locally for my books, you can now find all 3 Rucksack Universe books on the shelf at Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette St., Eugene (541.345.8986).

Each copy of The Martini of Destiny, Home Sweet Road, and Forever the Road is dated, signed, and numbered too.

Have at it, folks. Support your local indie bookstore!


The Martini of Destiny, by Anthony St. ClairOne year ago today, my first book, The Martini of Destiny, came into the world.

Amazon alone now has 16 ★★★★ and ★★★★★ reviews. BTW, if you haven’t reviewed Martini yet, please take a moment to review the book at your favorite store. Even a sentence or two is a big help. Thank you!

So much has happened in a year.

Initially released as an e-book, a few months later I put out a paperback edition of Martini too.

A few months ago, Home Sweet Road came out in e-book and paperback.

And now, Forever the Road is almost here.

What a year. Let’s celebrate!

To celebrate the first birthday of The Martini of Destiny, you can enter a Goodreads Giveaway to win one of 5 signed and numbered copies. The giveaway runs through the end of June:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair

The Martini of Destiny

by Anthony St. Clair

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Thank you for your support and encouragement over the last year. If you haven’t gotten your own copy of Martini yet, of course, I hope you will. Here’s to many more birthdays for Rucksack Universe stories!

Win a Signed Book thru June 30


The Martini of Destiny, by Anthony St. Clair

In June 2013, The Martini of Destiny came into the world.

Now, one year later, after a paperback edition, a second book, and a third book on the way, it’s time to celebrate the first birthday of the first Rucksack Universe book.

Goodreads Book Giveaway!

So… now through June 30, you can enter a Goodreads Giveaway.

Win 1 of 5 signed and numbered trade paperbacks of The Martini of Destiny:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair

The Martini of Destiny

by Anthony St. Clair

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Happy Birthday to The Martini of Destiny, and good luck with the Goodreads Giveaway!

P.S.: Of course, if you want to buy a paperback or e-book copy, I won’t say no. Here’s where you can get The Martini of Destiny »

News from the Universe: Book Giveaway, Craft Beer & More

Throughout May I’ve been really focused on finalizing the manuscript for Forever the Road (more on that Saturday, May 31—I’ve got a big announcement). This month I’ve hardly blogged and might as well have been a ghost on social media. I also had a few days where my wife was out of town, so it was just me and the toddler kicking it bachelor style.

Now the end of May is here, and so much is about to begin. Before we get to all that, and before Saturday’s big announcement, first I wanted to catch you up on some little things, including a new Goodreads giveaway, a new author interview, craft beer articles, and more.

Happy Birthday to The Martini of Destiny

The Martini of Destiny turns one year old in June! Here are a few things happening with the first Rucksack Universe book…

Add to GoodreadsBirthday Goodreads Giveaway

To celebrate Martini’s first birthday, starting June 1 you can enter to win one of 5 signed and numbered copies at Goodreads:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair

The Martini of Destiny

by Anthony St. Clair

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Buy now from Books-A-MillionNow at Books-a-Million

Books-a-Million fans, you can now order the paperback edition at BAM stores. (It probably won’t be on the shelf, but if it is, please send me a photo!)

★★★★ Sweet New Amazon Review

Author Joyce Allen recently left this 4-star review:

In The Martini of Destiny Anthony St. Clair dips into the rich well of myth, adds a splash from the black bottle, and serves up a tale that has destined me to drink it down in nearly a single gulp and to look forward with delight to the next in this series. I suspect I’ll meet up with some of these characters again, and I hope I do. But if I ever find myself in a bar where the bartender is named Jake or Jade, I’m sticking with the Coffee of Perception!

Yeah, that made my day. Actually, that pretty much made my week.

Joyce Allen is the author of The Threads of Earth, Those Who Hold the Threads, and Hannah’s House. Learn more about Joyce and her books at And thank you, Joyce!

The Martini of Destiny is available in e-book and paperback at Amazon and other stores worldwide.

The Creative PennOne of The Creative Penn’s Most-Shared Blog Posts of 2014

Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn is one of the top websites for authors improving how they write, publish, and market their books. I’ve been a fan of Joanna’s blog and podcast for years. Joanna recently announced she would no longer take guest posts on her blog, but a guest post from me is one of the last ones appearing on the site.

My post, No More Excuses About Writing. Fire The Muse And Go To Work, came out on Apr. 11, 2014. It is one of The Creative Penn’s most-shared posts for 2014.

The post talks about how the notion of muses and inspiration need to be sacked, and that authors have far more success when we accept that writing is a job we get up and do, no matter what.

No More Excuses About Writing. Fire The Muse And Go To Work – The Creative Penn »

Smashwords Author InterviewNew Smashwords Author Interview

E-book editions of both The Martini of Destiny and Home Sweet Road are available at Smashwords. And, there’s a new author interview with me at Smashwords too.

I write like I travel. I’ve been to about 10 countries, and while I always have some ideas of where I’m going and what I want to see, I also leave myself open to changing course depending on the actual day and route. For me, writing is the same. I need a plan for my stories, and I outline the action, emotions and theme not just for the story, but for every single scene. At the same time, I follow the story where it takes me. The planning helps me surrender to the path.

Check out the interview, and let me know in the comments if there are other questions you’d like to see answered.

Last But Not Least, New Craft Beer Articles

Oregon Beer Growler, May 2014

Fans of Oregon beer and the Oregon Beer Growler, check out these articles in the online or print editions of the May 2014 issue:

  • Celebrations: Eugene Beer Week, Sasquatch Brewfest June 2-8, p. 7
  • Women in Beer: Change is Here and It’s Gaining Momentum, p. 8
  • Women in Beer: Marketers Still Have Much to Learn, p. 8
  • Cask Ales Get Real, p. 18

Eugene craft beer fans, be sure to check out the Register-Guard’s May 2014 print or online edition of Tastings. Local beer’s time to shine is a preview of Eugene Beer Week 2014 and the 2014 Sasquatch Brew Fest.

And that’s the news from the Rucksack Universe, where the beer is always fresh, all the locals are friendly, and the food never makes you sick.

See you Saturday, May 31, for the big announcement!

Less Leather. More Beer. The Invention of BeerPunk – Sword & Laser Podcast

The Invention of BeerPunk — Sword & Laser Podcast #172, Apr. 23, 2014It was so much fun talking with Tom and Veronica on the Sword & Laser Podcast, in which we discuss…

  • being on the forefront of a new genre involving beer and travel…
  • the secret for planning a book with one word…
  • and how urban fantasy needs fewer leather pants and swords, and more beer and backpacks

It’s all on my recent appearance on the Sword & Laser Podcast. Check out the video or audio here »


Anthony St. Clair - Travel Fantasy Author / Craft Beer Writer / Business Copywriter

Author and copywriter Anthony St. Clair has specialized in online content since 2000, blogged since 2004 and is the author of the Rucksack Universe travel fantasy series.

FREE Sample

Check out this free sample of FOREVER THE ROAD

Anthony's third book, FOREVER THE ROAD, is a Best Books 2015 Fantasy pick from Library Journal's SELF-e, and a 2015 Oregon Book Award nominee.

Download your free sample to find out why Nth Degree's reviewer said this "high-stakes story, told with wit and compassion," left him "completely gobsmacked."

Rucksack Universe

Travel fantasy tales
of wit, adventure & beer

Forever the Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novel - learn more and buy now

Home Sweet Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

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