Cargo of Bones



Z. Lindsey

GENRE:  Fantasy

Devil bureaucrat Essie Darkenchyl and her friends barely survived the jungle, but now they're going straight to Hell--AKA her hometown!

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“You nicked me in the dance, remember? The council might be scandalized if we slept in the same tent.”

She laughed, remembering how embarrassed she’d been as the other girls gasped and the doctors swarmed him. Her dad said, ‘Essie, if you didn’t want Vashon to be eligible to marry you, you just had to poke him! You didn’t have to stab so deep!’ But she did like him. It wasn’t her fault he couldn’t block. And it had been nice to think the one boy she liked couldn’t marry her. There had been more important things than boys. Like Gossen’s Guide to Shipping Law.

“Nicked you?” she asked as she stood and walked for the tent. “Sir, I stabbed so deep they had to use medical magic to get the knife out.”

Vashon touched his shoulder where the knife had been. 

“Yeah, like I said, you nicked me. I’ll sleep outside.”

Essie put a hand on her hip. 

“It’s too cold, Vashon.” She crouched and crawled into the tent. “It’s not like you’re proposing. If you keep your underwear on, I’m sure the council will forgive us.”

“I’m not wearing underwear,” he said.


Vashon cleared his throat.

“It’s not part of the cossetter’s ritual outfit.”

Essie bit her lip and looked away.

“Of course.” 

“The first cossetters practiced naked to be closer to essential—” 

“Okay, I get it!” 

“So—I should sleep out here?” he asked. 

“Get in here,” she said, then blurted, “but stay on your side.”

About the Author:

Zac Lindsey is an anthropologist and a linguist who focuses on the Maya people of Quintana Roo. Since childhood, he's had a not-so-secret love of weird, silly, and well-structured fantasy. When other people's parents were reading them picture books, his mom was reading him Terry Brooks. He typically writes hopeful and character-driven fantasy. 

Today, he lives in Quintana Roo, Mexico with his wife, daughter, and various stray cats. 

Q&A With the Author

Who is your favorite author and why? 

Oh I’m so bad at this question. Lately I’ve been really into T.A. Barron. His work is kinda 1990s cheese, but it’s really hopeful and his prose is lovely. (I say 'but' like I don't like cheesy 1990s fantasies, but I obviously do.) I like how much his characters value nature. My books aren’t really like his. My works are explicitly silly, and I don’t like to spend a lot of time waxing poetically like he does. But one way our books are similar is that I believe fantasy stories can be used as a fabulous vehicle for hope, and as dark as this second book in my trilogy is, it’s really about hope and recovery.  

What is something unique/quirky about you? 

I’ve been to more than forty archaeological sites in Mexico and Central America, many more than once. I’ve even worked at some of them! I love digging up old stuff. One of my favorite memories is of Belize, when we came across a beautiful plaster floor. It was more than a thousand years old, and the plaster was mostly still intact. But we had on big boots, so we couldn’t walk on it with our shoes on. We had to take our shoes off. I got tasked with sweeping it, and for the first time in a thousand years, that floor got swept. I know Maya people today and I know they take pride in caring for the graves and shrines of their ancestors, so someone probably once took a lot of pride in sweeping that floor, but then the jungle claimed it. I like to imagine their ghost felt a little peace that I finally swept it again. Of course, at the end of the field season, once we’d done our research, we covered it with dirt again to hide it from looters … sorry about that, ghost, but it’s better than the floor being broken apart by loot-hungry jerks, right? 

What was your inspiration for writing this book? 

This trilogy is inspired by my wife. The character was created to entertain her after we had my daughter, and it’s just kind of spiraled. At first it was meant to be a single book, but we enjoyed it so much and everyone I showed it to enjoyed it, so I wrote the second two books. I wanted to talk about how we define ourselves by our jobs, but that’s not really us. So the first book had Essie as a really competent member of her profession, kicking butt at it. It’s her dream job and she’s a young person doing the thing. The second book, she sort of needs to choose between family commitments and her job, and by the third book, well, she’s realized her bosses are evil, so she’s really got to figure out who she is outside of the job. 

Although this is a self-contained trilogy, I will also publish more books with the same character. I don’t like to think of them as some massive, twenty-part story. This is a trilogy, and the characters experience cathartic growth over the course of the trilogy. There’s also a prequel where she’s younger that’s a big spoof of magical academies; I’ll release that some time in 2025. If you do read the other books, cool. I think they’re lots of fun. But if you don’t read the other books with Essie, you’ll enjoy the story in this trilogy without feeling like you’re missing out on something.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

This book has a character I just absolutely loved writing. Her name is Dumin. She’s a former aristocrat who was exiled for stealing secrets. Now she’s sort of this Obi-wan Kenobi character, but she’s still got the attitude of an aristocrat, which kind of makes her a jerk. She has a bad habit of calling the main character “Little Essimore” although they’re the same height. Also she’s an alcoholic llama herder. 

The books have an action side, but in my opinion a lot of the fun comes from the conversations the characters have, and Dumin has a witty, elitist side which made her very fun to write. 

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about? 

Sure, I’m always working on something. I’ve got a romantacy brewing between a fairy huntress and the human lord of a thieves guild that I like to think of as House of Devils meets A Muppet Christmas Carol. It’s in a city with absolutely bonkers worldbuilding, from roving bands of kobolds to a rude tree. It’s by far the funniest thing I’ve ever written, and hopefully it’ll be plenty steamy, too … but I’m honestly more interested in it being funny, though. 

Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Indie book readers are the best. If you read indie books, you’re awesome. The average American reads about five books a year, but fantasy readers tend to read a lot more. That means indie books aren’t a zero-sum game. If my favorite indie writers make money, that doesn’t mean I won’t make money. So check out my book--and also check out some of the other awesome indie writers out there, like Virginia Mary, Mario Martinez, and Abdul Rahman Latif. 



Amazon link to the first book:

B&N link to the first book (for paperback):


Z. Lindsey will award a randomly drawn winner a $25 Amazon/BN gift card + a digital copy of the book via Rafflecopter.  Be sure to visit the other Tour Participants for more opportunities to win.


  1. Thank you so much for featuring CARGO OF BONES and its author Z. Lindsey.

  2. Great cover and this looks like a good read.

  3. Wonderful fantasy book, enjoying the theme.

  4. This sounds like an amazing fantasy. I love the cover art.

  5. Interesting cover for this fantasy read. I enjoyed the excerpt and reading through the Q&A

  6. What interesting art on the cover. Definitely one I'd pick up at the bookstore to find out more.

  7. This should be a fascinating read. Thanks for sharing and hosting this tour.

  8. Great cover art. Sounds like a good story.


Post a Comment

Wait! Stop! Are you leaving the same old comment on all the blog pages? Try switching things up a bit. I love reading your comments, but if its the same thing each time... it feels like spam. And NO ONE likes spam...
Please make sure the comments you leave are related to the post, and are at least eight words in length.

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget