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?
May 19th Rick LaRocca, Scott Sisikind, Scott
Sivakoff (Great Scotts Night!)
June 16th Billy J Carter, Kathy Stanley,
July 21st Think Again, Denee Barr with
Timeless Fusion, Midway Faire
Aug 18th Dominic LaRocca, Bucky Duster,
Two Ordinary Guys not from Baltimore
Aug 25th Georgie Jessup, GuitarLaur, DL
Sept 15th Carlos Cysneiros (Brazilian Music),
Oct 20th Jennifer Parde, Alani Sugar, Rob
|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
|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 are some quotes from 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
Also work on Soul Hosts II is well under way.
Wizard in the Head
I’m going to die I’m going to die, I’m going to die— Wayden
Wayden heard the whisper in his head. He cursed.
The babbling subsided and he let out a sigh of relief.
I’m just imagining it.
Shivering in the cool morning air, he pulled his patched cloak closed tight. He reached in his pocket and touched the
letter. Thankfully, Rory had given it to him in a leather pouch so it ought to be protected. At least he hoped it was. If
the message was ruined Rory would kill him.
Stupid Rory. Sending him off before dawn in a downpour. He could’ve at least waited until after breakfast. Wayden’s
The twinge pulsed through Wayden’s head again and he heard the voice of the man again. From inside his head.
Could he be losing his mind? Or was this some sort of magic? Or worse --had a wraith possessed him? He trembled
at the thought.
Wayden shook his head. Go away, whatever you are!
He headed down the cobblestone road known pretentiously as the Worshipful Path. It wasn’t much longer to go this
way and the dazzling architecture always lured him. Ahead, the first of the trio of temples that lined the road emerged
into view 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
blasting water, not fire, on the cobblestone below.
Opposite the temple stood a sculpture garden that housed an array of obsidian anthropomorphized animal statues—a
fierce 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. He fingered the burn mark on his left cheek as
memories assaulted him—I won’t think about it.
He inhaled a calming breath before managing to continue on his way.
Wayden approached the Temple of Storm. Ironically, it’s roof had been destroyed when hit by a bolt of lightning, and
repairs were ongoing.
The rain dwindled 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
A rhythmic triple clip of hooves sounded from behind Wayden. A female soldier, astride a black warhorse, cantered
over the cobbles, red cape sodden by the rain. Wayden leapt out of her path. 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 copper, 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 apologized and given him a coin. More courteous than most.
The rider trotted toward the Flicker. He 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 mace cracking Nanny’s skull . . . he pushed the unwanted images away. It had been five years to the
day since those horrible things had happened. This was death’s anniversary.
The temple guard straightened and saluted.
“At ease, Flicker,” the Flame ordered.
Wayden moved in closer, curious.
“All quiet, Ma’am,” the Flicker answered.
“Not all,” She patted her skittish steed. “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 frowned. Beads of rain clung to his beard. “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.”
Images flooded Wayden’s mind— 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 who was still gawking. “Off with you, boy.”
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.
He knew that name from somewhere. Kolram? Grandmaster of Beast Tongue Kolram?
<I can speak again! I can be heard! The moon’s convergence—it must have awoken me. I’ve been trapped in here,
half asleep, since your birth. And, yes, it is I, Kolram Beast Tongue. >
Wayden shook his head. Impossible. Kolram and the other Grandmasters died the night he was born— the last Three
Wayden glanced at the sky. A blanket of clouds hid the moons, but he knew they lurked just behind them. The three
moons converged rarely.
<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 force him to finally do what he’d vowed to do--journey north, slay Gar Skymaster single-handedly, and free his
<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 of you.>
Why? How did this happen? Is this some sort of magic?
<It must be, but of a kind I do not know. As to how it happened, 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’d gone 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. He patted his pocket, affirming that the
note was still there. 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 from those already dropped.
Footsteps echoed behind him. 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. The Ozac hammering through the front door which gave way, exploding in jagged splinters.
Wayden, panting, pushing the nightmarish recollection away. His hands were shaking. Why was this Ozac following