Dragon rider epic fantasy novel Sand and Smoke is getting a new cover + The Battle and Burning cover

My self-published, indie fantasy book called Sand and Smoke, is getting a new cover! In addition, the cover for its sequel is going to be revealed here. Both books are part of the Dragon Destiny trilogy, a magical dragon rider epic fantasy adventure.

Right now, only the first book in the Dragon Destiny trilogy is out. Sand and Smoke is on Kindle Unlimited, can be purchased on Amazon Kindle, and is available as a paperback through various websites. It was published in 2019. It’s a YA (young adult) epic fantasy novel; it’s suitable for children as young as 12, and I’ve had adult readers who enjoyed it as well. I like to think of it as a hidden gem, underrated book in the fantasy genre. Through 2020 and now in 2021 it’s a great book to pick up and start reading if you like dragon rider epic fantasy books. In my opinion, it’s one of the best self-published, indie, or epic fantasy books out there, but admittedly I’m kind of biased.

Here’s the new cover:

Sand and Smoke has two storylines that run simultaneously, and everything comes together at the end. The first storyline is centered around Al Hardin, a nomad and vigilante with magic powers that allow him to control the wind. The second storyline follows Maya Samoralt, a dragon rider hopeful who has to compete with 18 other students for six dragon rider spots. The book takes the best of fantasy genre tropes and puts new spins on them. There’s two different kinds of dragons and magic powers that work in mysterious ways. It’s a kindle unlimited fantasy book and indie fantasy book that’s unique in many ways.

I did a lot of work on the world building in this series. The books also feature a deep cast of well rounded characters. A lot of my readers have commented on the characters. Each main character has a backstory, at least one thing that they struggle with, and all of the main characters have their own strengths too.

Since it’s a young adult fantasy adventure book, the main characters are mostly teens.

Here is the summary from Amazon:

Dragons soar, hopeful riders compete, and from across the desert comes news of a devastating weapon.

Al Hardin is a nomad with a secret. He has a second identity, and a second personality to boot. He calls that other side of him the Silver Bandana. He lives to save others from the gangs of cowboys who wouldn’t think twice before putting a bullet in a person’s head.

In his world, dragons are not an uncommon sight. They’re called the Wesech dragons, and another breed, the magical Sun dragons, live far across the desert. The Sun dragons have bonded themselves to riders. They protect, in exchange for influencing the dragon riders, and their people, with peace.

But when a powerful weapon is built in the desert, disparate characters come together.

A hero made by the death of his mother. A bounty hunter with a sharpshooter kid. A retired legend who feels like a failure. A privileged young man who turns on his father.

And a stubborn girl, fighting for a dragon at dragon rider school, to make her legacy a reality.

If they don’t stop the weapon, it’ll annihilate the riders and their kingdom.

“The world Cota-Robles has created is a fascinating and incredible place full of dragons and magic, secrets and danger. The story contains intermissions throughout that follow the perspectives of dragons as they face their own struggles through scenes that provide a key role in how the action unfolds. Sand and Smoke is a delightful fantasy adventure that has action-packed moments, danger and suspense, humor, and two interwoven coming of age journeys.” – Reader’s Favorite, 5-Stars.

Discover more about the world of Sand and Smoke by reading the book, click here then buy it or read it free on Kindle Unlimited.

If you’ve already read Sand and Smoke, you might be most interested to know when the new cover is coming. I don’t have a release date for it right now; it’ll likely drop without advance warning. If you’re interested in it, keep checking Amazon and/or my website periodically. At the latest, it’ll be coming in August, but there’s a good chance that I might drop it sooner, like June or even May.

As I work on getting the new edition of the book ready, I’m also doing work on the sequel. Battle and Burning is hopefully going to be one of the best Kindle Unlimited fantasy books in 2021. It picks up where the first book leaves off, and I won’t say any more about it than that. Check out the awesome cover:

Some clarification on the covers:

The Sand and Smoke cover features Al Hardin. You can see him with his signature silver bandana, and in the background is a Wesech dragon. They’re both in the middle of the desert. Meanwhile, book two’s cover shows off Maya. Cuicao, the dragon that she’s bonded to, is right on top of her head. Maya’s dressed for battle, and you might be able to tell, by the title, that this book is going to have at least one battle.

The Dragon Destiny trilogy has been my big project for the last few months. It’s perhaps the biggest thing I’ve been working on over the last year. I do of course have many other indie fantasy books that I’m working on. I intend to publish them all on Kindle Unlimited, but it takes quite a long time for me to get them revised and edited. Most of the time that I’ve spent over the last year has been devoted to just getting book two of the series out into the world. I have a whole process I go through, and it takes me a good amount of time, even after I’ve finished writing, to get the story ready for publication.

All that said, if you’re looking for a new Kindle Unlimited epic fantasy book, maybe something with dragons, magic powers, and high stakes action, check out Sand and Smoke. You can find it on Amazon here, or you can click on it in the books menu to find it on other websites. It’s also a great book to buy as a present for a teen or tween in your life.

If you’ve already read Sand and Smoke, make sure you join my mailing list! Hit subscribe to stay up to date on the latest stuff I’m working on. You’ll get updates before anyone else, and sometimes you’ll get exclusive content too.

A November 2020 Update on Sand and Smoke, the Dragon Destiny trilogy, and Dragons of Marak

Hey there! It’s been a while since I’ve provided an update about the books I’m working on. Right now, I’m working on two series–the Dragon Destiny trilogy, of which Sand and Smoke was the first book in the series, and Dragons of Marak, which is going to run a bit more than three books, I’m not sure how long it will run though. They’re both high epic fantasy, and Sand and Smoke is available on Kindle Unlimited for free and for purchase on many sites. It’s an indie novel.

By the way, in case you’re not familiar with who I am, hi. I’m Carl Cota-Robles, an indie author and self-published author on Amazon. I mostly write indie fantasy, but I also write indie children’s books with a sprinkle of science fiction. Feel free to check out my books here: https://carlcotarobles.com/books

Sand and Smoke is an indie high epic fantasy set in a world where dragon riders and cowboys co-exist. The sequel picks up where it left off, following characters like Al Hardin, Maya Samoralt, Joel Forquid, and Li Lok, and it also includes some new characters. The sequel to Sand and Smoke is going to be called Battle and Burning, and it’ll be released September 14, 2021. As of now, I’ve finished the first draft and am going to start revisions either next week or the week after. You can pre-order it. For a limited time before its release, I’ve made it available to pre-order for just $0.99. It will go up to a higher price eventually, though. Here’s the pre-order link: mybook.to/battleandburning

So, regarding my other series Dragons of Marak, it’s in a bit of disarray right now. The last month or so, I had planned to work on drafting book 3 of the series, but I wasn’t able to because I had a number of health issues come up. If you haven’t had to deal with anything like that in your life, you’re definitely lucky in at least one way. Last time I had to deal with something like this was in 2016, but it was different than what I’m going through right now. Back then, it was just a lot of pain, and I think what I needed most was rest. Right now, it’s involving a lot of doctors appointments that seem to be never ending.

So…anyway…those health issues are what has affected my plans for Dragons of Marak. Books 1 and 2 have both been drafted, and book 1 has gone through one thorough round of revisions and is now in the hand of some beta readers (sent out a few weeks before my health issues popped up). I’m hoping to squeeze in the writing of book 3 in between drafts of Battle and Burning, but I’m not sure if it’ll happen. Either way, Battle and Burning should be released by September 14, 2021. Dragons of Marak may take a bit longer than I expected.

There hasn’t been any kind of release date announced for Dragons of Marak, and I don’t have any plans to announce any release dates anytime soon. The series will go nicely with Sand and Smoke, though, because they are both young adult fantasy with dragons. While Dragons of Marak doesn’t have any dragon riders like Sand and Smoke does, it does have dragons and people who partner with dragons. The twist is that the dragons actually have special powers that allow them to equip to people as various weapons like a sword, an axe, a knife, a bow, etc. And while Sand and Smoke is told from multiple points of view, Dragons of Marak has just one point of view, and I plan to stick to that point of view throughout the series (well, right now that’s the plan anyway). There’s also a bit more romance in Dragons of Marak.

Over the next month or so, I’m probably going to be commissioning some art for the Battle and Burning and the Dragon Destiny trilogy. For a while now I’ve been dying to commission some art that’s an accurate portrayal of what a Sun dragon looks like. I go into quite a bit of detail about it in Sand and Smoke, so it’ll be really cool to get an accurate drawing made! If you want to see that art and see what a Sun dragon looks like for real, I’ll share it with you if you subscribe to my mailing list. You can subscribe at this link: www.rebrand.ly/storiesbycarl or at the link at the top of the page.

A bonus to being subscribed to my mailing list is that I let you know whenever I have marked down my books. I do this sometimes as a promotion to try and get a higher rank on Amazon and/or garner some reviews.

This is pretty much it as far as news goes at this point in time. The main new things to go down have been that the sequel to Sand and Smoke finally has a title now–it will be called Battle and Burning–and it has a release date: September 14, 2021. Like Sand and Smoke, it’ll be available on Kindle Unlimited for free and on the same retailers. I’m really excited about the artwork too! Can’t wait to get that process started and to see what a Sun dragon looks like.

As a writer, I constantly have ideas popping up in my head for new books, so there’s definitely been a part of me that is itching to start some other ideas. Most of these are dragon related…ha. Though, Sand and Smoke and Dragons of Marak may be it for series that involve dragons partnering with humans. The other couple of ideas I have floating around in my head involve dragons that are also part human. So it’s a different take on the whole thing, less stereotypical, and I also have some ideas about how to combine dragon-human hybrids with other mainstream genres.

Anyway, I can’t wait to dive into revisions for Battle and Burning! The draft I wrote needs some revising pretty badly, so I’ll probably be at it for a couple months before I send it to beta readers. In my opinion, revising is one of the hardest parts of writing, but I’ve learned some tricks to do it well.

PS: Here’s that link to subscribe to my mailing list again: http://www.rebrand.ly/storiesbycarl