Joseph Isaacs
author, musician, and organizer of
the Music Matters Showcase
Four different acts take turns playing 4 song sets each and
then going back around.  Its an eclectic mix of music, all of
it wonderful.  Showcases are free,but donations to Bread for
the City for the Home are accepted.
Come hear great  free music!
(voluntary donations for homeless accepted)
Mad City Cafe             
6:30 to 9:30PM
10801 Hickory Ridge Rd.
Columbia, MD 21044

When/who is playing besides Joseph Isaacs?

Oct 20th Jennifer Parde,  Alani Sugar, Rob
Nov 3rd Having Fun, Dejon, DL Weiner
Nov 17th Purple Jim, Rick Larocca, The
Reilly-Goullait Band
Dec 15th Billy J Carter, Scott Sivakoff,
Monica Mathern
Jan 19th Lyric Response, DL Weiner, David
Feb 2nd Denee Barr Timeless Fusion Band,
Kathy Stanley, TBA
Feb 16th TBA
March 16th Doug Alan Wilcox, TBA
Email me at:
Mad City Coffee House
10801 Hickory Ridge Road
Columbia MD 21044
Look for the Long & Fosters- its tucked in a plaza and hard to see from the
road.  Its across from HCC.

From 95 (between Baltimore and DC) take route 32 West and then take
Broken Lands Parkway North to Hickory Ridge Road.   (From route 29 you
will be taking Broken Lands Parkway West).
Take Broken Lands Parkway towards Hickory Ridge RD.

Turn left on Hickory Ridge (it only goes in one direction).   Take Hickory
Ridge RD past Howard Community College and right after Sunny Spring Rd
there is a Long and Fosters on your left.  That is Hickory Ridge Plaza
where Mad City is tucked next to a chinese restaurant.  Let the Madness
Bread for the City Homeless
Click this link to my lyrics
Soul Hosts by Joseph Isaacs
Will be published by then of this summer at the latest.

An older version of my book made the best seller's list on Random House's YouWriteOn, got selected off
the slush pile by Baen for deeper review, and by  Harper Collin's authonomy website and won a review
from Harper Collins. Here is the review:

"15 years ago, in a bid to strengthen his power and obtain complete control of magic across Helos, the
Dracon slayed his finest mages and tried to steal their souls. But instead of following his bidding, the
mages’ souls scattered throughout the land, entering the bodies of infant children. These children, now
grown, are thrown into action when it becomes clear that the Dracon is planning to take control again.
With little knowledge of each other or the ties that bind them all together, they must fight to save the
balance of the world as they know it, and ward off the threat of an even darker evil...

There is definitely promise here, and a depth of background which makes it clear you have put a lot of
effort into creating this world
The battle scene at the end is absolutely triumphant. It had me on the edge of my seat, and it is without a
doubt where your no-nonsense style worked best. What made it all the better was that the outcome was in
no way predictable – at no point could I have sat back and thought ‘oh, I know what’s coming next."
Soul Hosts I will be out soon on the Kindle.

Also work on Soul Hosts II is well under way.
A note to the reader:

Be warned this book contains wizards that speak from within one’s mind. I have chosen < this symbol> for this type
of conversation. To make it even worse, each chapter has a quote from a character that will make sense in time.


Chapter 1                                                 The Gray Man

I’m gonna die I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die— Wayden        


The clomp of boots against cobble stones echoed off the brick tenements. Wayden stopped short and listened again.
The sounds stopped too, a moment later.

His shoulders tensed.

Someone is following me.

He glanced around. For a moment he thought he saw a shadowy figure but then, before he could be sure, it was gone.
He shook his head. He was probably just sleep deprived. Or jumpy in the pre-dawn dark.

Wayden grumbled. Why did Rory have to send him out this early? Couldn’t his stupid message have waited? How
can this morning get any worse?

Rain came down as if in answer. Heavy rain.

The whisper sounded in Wayden’s mind again.

<Kol, Kol, Kol…>

I’m losing it, he despaired. He’d been hearing this voice for the last few days now, and it was becoming louder and
more frequent. What did Kol mean? Was it some language he didn’t know? Why had he been hearing a voice for the
past two nights?

The babbling in his head grew quieter and faded off. For the moment. If anyone found out he was going mad, they’d
lock him in the Tower of the Loons.

An even more frightening thought struck Wayden. What if this voice in his head was from dark magic? Perhaps one of
those magi the Red Guard arrested had cast some evil spell on him? Or--worse--had a wraith possessed him? Nanny
used to tell them stories of wraiths that kept him and his brother awake all night. Back when he had a nanny. Back
when he had a brother.


Get out of my head whatever you are! Find someone else to bother.

Frustrated and unnerved, he headed down the cobblestone road. Ahead, the first of the trio of temples that lined
Market Road emerged between a gap in the brick tenements.

Rain gushed down the angled roof of the Temple of the Beasts and spewed from the mouths of terracotta dragons,
breathing water on the gardens.

Opposite the temple stood a dozen statues—a skywolf-man with snapping jaws and outstretched wings, a snake
woman with long swirling tails. . . but of all the sculptures, it was the goat-man that haunted Wayden the most. The
goat-man emerging from the smoke, grabbing his brother. The fire. He fingered the burn mark on his left cheek— no,
don’t think about it, he told himself. Leave the past behind.

He inhaled a calming breath before continuing on his way.

Wayden approached the Temple of Storm. He muttered a prayer and perhaps it worked for the rain diminished to a
drizzle as he approached the third and largest temple, the Temple of the Sun. A bearded guard holding a pike leaned
against the sanctuary door. He wore the orange cloak that marked him as the lowest rank--a Flicker.

A rhythmic triple clip of hooves sounded from behind Wayden. A female soldier, astride a black warhorse, cantered
over the cobbles, red cape waterlogged. Wayden leapt out of her path, getting muddy water sloshed up his leg as he
stumbled through a puddle before steadying himself against a wall. Is she trying to run me over?

“Sorry,” she said. She wore the red cape of a Flame. “I didn’t see you, boy.”

She tossed him a coin, which he fetched from the puddle and pocketed with a nod of thanks. He was nearly sixteen
years of age, not a boy anymore, but at least she’d given him a coin.

The rider trotted toward the Flicker, who saluted her.

Wayden noticed that instead of the usual sword, she had a long-hafted mace fastened to her saddle. A chill ran
through him—the door cracking open. The mace cracking Nanny’s skull . . . he pushed the unwanted images away.
Five years to the day since those horrible things had happened. This was death’s anniversary.

“At ease, Flicker,” the Flame ordered the soldier who still held his hand on his heart, in the customary salute.
Wayden moved in closer, curious.

“All quiet, Sir? Mam?” the Flicker asked.

“No.” She patted her skittish steed, calming it. “The Red Killer murdered another one. Found the corpse in a pine
grove. Redhead, young, no marks on her body. Same as the others.”

The Flicker whistled. “That’s the fourth in two weeks.”

Wayden twitched. He, too, had red hair, as did many of the people in Vilanos City and all over Helos.

“There’s more,” the Flame said. “We arrested another unauthorized witch. A Tulkarian.”

“A Tulkarian? What did she do, wander a hundred leagues too far north or so?”

Images again flooded Wayden’s mind— him rushing out the back door with his mother. The purple-haired Tulkarian
archer drawing back his bow, Mother gasping as she slumped onto the grass. He tried not to think about it, but
holding the memories at bay was like trying to stop the wind.

“Keep an eye out. I must be on my way.” The red-cloaked officer rode away.

The Flicker’s eyes settled on Wayden. “Off with you.” He clenched his fist and Wayden hurried around the corner.
<Kolram,> the male voice panted, as if he’d resurfaced from the bottom of a deep lake. <My name is . . . Kolram.
Can you hear me?>

Wayden drew in a sharp breath.

Kolram?As in Grandmaster of Beast Tongue?

<Yes! Yes, it is I!>

If you don’t mind me asking . . .  what the hell are you doing in my head?

<I have no idea. I—I can’t remember. But you can hear me? I can speak again! I can be heard! I’ve been trapped in
here, half asleep, since your birth.>

Wayden sighed. He was definitely going crazy. Kolram and the other Grandmasters died the night he was born— the
last Three Moons Night.

Wayden glanced at the sky. A blanket of clouds hid the moons, but he knew they lurked just behind them. The three
moons’ complete convergence was rare.

<Once every sixteen years. The last time was—>

The day I was born. When the moons converged this time, Wayden would reach his sixteenth name day. He’d no
longer be able to remain at the orphanage, which meant there’d be no roof over his head and no money or food. But it
would free him to finally do what he’d vowed to do--journey north, slay Gar Skymaster single-handedly, and free his
brother, Mavik. If he was still alive.

<Gar is a powerful Beast Tongue with an army of Sky Raiders,> the voice pointed out. <And, I’m sorry to say, your
brother is likely dead.>

Wayden clenched his fist. He’s alive. I can feel it. And it doesn’t matter the odds. I have to try.

<There’s no way one man could take on the Skymaster and his minions. Madness!>

Says the voice in my head. Go away.

<I can’t. I’m imprisoned inside you.>

Why? How did this happen? Is this some sort of magic?

<I have only the vaguest of memories-- there was a meeting with the other Grandmasters. We were to perform a
spell. I—it’s a muddle. We were blindfolded so we could focus. Something happened. My consciousness drifted.>
Wayden brushed back locks of damp red hair clinging to his face. Could Kolram be real?  It was starting to make
sense now. Or did the fact that it seemed to be, mean he was now completely crazy?

Pigeons, perched on a rail at the edge of Darius’s Bluff, took flight at his approach. Dawn illuminated the city of
Vilanos-- terracotta red-tiled roofs dotted a sea of thatched water reed, brick, and wooden roofs.

Turning from the vista, he continued on his way back toward the orphanage. The streets had a bit of foot traffic on
them now, as well as an occasional wagon, as people were beginning to go about their business.

Wayden kept to the center of the street to avoid someone emptying a chamber pot or waste bucket on him. The street
already reeked of them.

Then he heard the boots again. The same clomping noise as before. No, it couldn’t be the same man. One pair of
footsteps sounded much like another.

Wayden peered over his shoulder. Not ten paces away, towered a gray-skinned male who partially concealed his
leathery face beneath a black cowl. The outline of a sword’s pommel pushed out the side of a rain-sodden cloak.
Gray Skin. An Ozac.
Video link:
Penny Nickel Dime and a Quarter Video Feb 2018
Short (dark) story published on Cafe Lit:

French Press by Joseph Isaacs
A link to a video of Grateful for the Rain