Monday, October 23, 2023

Now available: House Aretoli

My latest historical novel, House Aretoli, is now available for sale!

Buy it now!

1365, Venice. For generations, the merchants of House Aretoli have profited through faithful service to the Republic of Venice. Despite being only a minor senatorial family, they’ve established a reputation for reliability, fidelity, and ingenuity.

But the Aretoli are about to face the ultimate test. Caught up in a rebellion on Venice’s territory of Crete, young Niccolo Aretoli returns as a hero after saving the governor’s life and evacuating the loyal citizenry. Yet despite his new fame, not all is well in Venice. Niccolo’s beloved has been forced into marriage to safeguard her family from ruin. Fresh jealousies divide him from his brother Flavio. And traitorous senators and a seductive foreign agent threaten to divide and destroy his family as part of an even darker design.

From brothel to Senate, on land and sea, through marriage and loss, the sons and daughters of House Aretoli struggle against spies, treachery, and assassination. The seeds of discord are already growing, and they threaten to turn sibling against sibling. Chased on land and sea by enemies and betrayed by his closest allies, Niccolo must overcome a conspiracy that threatens his survival, the lives of his family, and the very existence of the republic itself.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Now available: The Welsh Dragon

My latest historical novel, The Welsh Dragon, is now available for sale!

Buy it now!

1471 A.D. The Wars of the Roses ravage England. After six months of turmoil, Yorkist King Edward IV has shattered his enemies and reclaimed his throne. As one of the last surviving Lancastrians, young Henry Tudor flees with his uncle Jasper to keep his head from adorning London Bridge beside his grandfather’s. He won’t return for fourteen long years.

Blown by storms to Brittany, Henry is trapped between the king who hunts him and a duke who views him as leverage. Though his mother labors in England to restore his lands and titles, Henry is conflicted at the prospect of his restoration. Though a penniless exile, Henry enjoys contentment in the arms of a Breton widow and the satisfaction of a simple life.

Henry only has a drop of bastard royal blood, but it’s enough to make the Yorkists plot his death. His survival may depend on embracing the very birthright that drove him into exile, even if it costs him his chance for happiness with his beloved. The path ahead is littered with tangled conspiracy, desperate escapes, and a Welsh dragon banner fluttering over a field named Bosworth.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Read my new historical Viking novel!

Three years ago, I walked away from Eve to focus on other projects. One of them, I'm proud to say, is now out in the world. I'm delighted to announce the launch of my new historical novel, The Raven and the Dove, available for purchase now!

Buy it now!

890 A.D. Shieldmaiden Halla hungers for death in battle and a place in Valhalla until a Frankish sword shatters her expectations of a glorious end. In the space between life and death, she instead confronts the emptiness of a wasted life.

Hiding from the Norsemen among shattered abbeys and abandoned towns in northern Frankia, Christian landowner Taurin fears the day a dragon-headed longship rediscovers them and drags his people away as slaves.

Their worlds collide when Jarl Rollo of Rouen annexes Taurin’s town and appoints Halla as ruler. United in an uneasy political marriage, Halla and Taurin must confront their conflicted feelings and their peoples’ mutual hostility. Tensions strain their fragile marriage. Christians who refuse to obey a woman stoke rebellion. Glory-seeking Norse raiders terrorize Halla’s domain. If they can’t unite, the threats surrounding them will tear apart their new family and swallow both of their peoples in war and ruin.

What reviewers and readers say:

"K.M. Butler’s debut is written with the swagger and finesse of a much more experienced author. A more thoughtful and complex story than the usual Viking novel fare, this book still manages to pack enough action, intrigue, and conflict to carry us happily to the shield-shaking, sword-swinging conclusion that stands up to the best in the genre." J.C. Duncan, author of A Song of Steel

"This well-crafted tale of love and battle transports the reader back to the early days of Viking Normandy, a world populated by fearsome shield-maidens and valiant warriors. Grounded in historical fact and replete with authentic detail, this book will resonate with readers who love fiction set in the Viking Age." Johanna Wittenberg, author of The Norsewomen Series

"Butler balances action, description, and character development deftly; the pacing is excellent. History is neatly inserted primarily through conversation, without feeling like an ‘info-dump’, and the world the author invokes feels both well-researched and real, without jarring anachronisms. The Raven and the Dove is an impressive first novel, one written with skill and craft." Marian Thorpe, Discovering Diamonds review

Friday, June 29, 2018

Comms Silent

Some time ago, I decided to take a step back from Eve and blogging about Eve to focus more on real life. At the time, I hoped to continue to play on occasion, but avoid the kinds of entanglements that required the commitment of more than an hour at a time.

After trying this approach for a few weeks, it became pretty clear that this really wasn't possible. For me, Eve was about PvP, an expensive endeavor in terms of time. From staging your ships to earning the isk to afford them to reaching your hunting ground, it could take an hour to find your targets, and and half an hour or so to return to your staging to reship. I just didn't have that kind of time anymore.

Put simply, Eve is not a game in which you can do serious solo or small-gang PvP part-time.

I held on for a year and a half, but have never really logged in. In fact, I uninstalled Eve completely during a computer clean-out several months ago. A couple weeks ago, I saw an advertisement for the new expansion, shrugged my shoulders, and decided to reinstall.

The Eve I found was almost unrecognizable. When I left, the new character sheet was just being unveiled, and I never really warmed to it. I found myself struggling to understand where everything was in the non-intuitive layout. All of my shortcuts, window positions, and overview settings were gone, and none of my key combinations worked anymore. I never used the new scanner window, opting for the old system as long as I was able, and I found the new one to be very different. it honestly didn't seem worth it to even try to learn it again. All in all, each of these little cuts combined into a big barrier to re-entry that, given my passing interest, was just too much.

But, in the end, after a year and a half off, what really sealed the deal for me was the time. Time to undock. time to warp to the next system, time to get to Jita, time for windows to open and populate the vanilla client (no settings changed and no rebinding of keys). Time, time, time. I wanted to get a character to Jita from 10 jumps away, and with the vanilla client, it took half an hour. I forgot about that part: the time it takes to do anything in Eve.

When I was playing regularly, I was willing to put in that time. In fact, I touted it as a feature. And, I suspect, each of you does as well. But now it's a massive barrier to re-entry for a returning player.

I came to see if it was worth returning to Eve. I left realizing that it absolutely was not. Not for as much time per week I was willing to put into it.

I mention this not to bad-mouth Eve, CCP, or the players. It's a great game if you have the time to devote to it. Rather, I point this out as the experience of a player who was a dedicated player familiar with large portions of the game, from the unspoken mechanics to the physical actions you take to accomplish them. As the experience of a player who hasn't touched the game in only a year and a half. In other words, as one of the best winback targets of CCP's efforts.

Use this qualitative experience for what it is, and no more. I make no claims about the experiences of everyone, but rather simply provide what I experienced.

In the end, I can say with confidence - and without doubt or hostility - that I'm done with Eve. It was a great ride, but it's moved on without me, and just like taking on a new job or a new relationship, we've drifted apart. I've sold Talvorian Dex and Valeria Bovinus, and will hold onto the isk just in case someone I know decides they want to start up the game, but frankly, I predict it'll just sit there forever.

I'm happy to leave the site running, including the PvE guides. Please feel free to use them for as long as they remain viable, but I won't be updating them any further.

Good luck to all of you. I've made good friends, had good arguments, sworn vengeance, exalted my triumphs, decried my failures, shared joy and misery, made suggestions, whined annoyingly, and been proud to participate in this great (if dwindling) blogging community for this stupid, little, glorious, complicated game.

The last target has been called. The fleet is over. And comms fall silent.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Playing in Small Increments

For the past six years, work and family have absorbed most of my time, and relaxation activities fell into the gaps. More often than not, I’d either have to drop them or cut into sleep to enjoy them. Physically, it’s amazing how much getting the proper amount of sleep can change you. I’m a lot more clear-headed, am yawning a lot less, and am generally a lot more pleasant to be around. It’s amazing how easy it is to miss gradual changes.

The past month has been a busy one, preparing for Christmas with two kids, finishing out the year at work, and enjoying some time gaming, albeit much less than before. Whereas previously I’d spend a little time before bed each night playing, for the past month and a half, I’ve only snatched an hour here and there.

That said, I’ve quite rarely been playing Eve. Oh, sure, I’ve been playing the heck out of Skyrim, and after the Steam sale, I’ve been enjoying Total War: Attila and Stellaris. The reasons for that shift really speak to some of the long-term challenges Eve has faced.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


It may have come to your attention that I haven’t posted anything since November 4, more than two weeks ago. Even for me, this is quite a gap.

For the past six years, I’ve played Eve pretty regularly, logging in usually a little bit every day. In that time, nearly everything has changed in my life. I have a lot more real-life concerns that need my attention, and put bluntly, I was mortgaging myself my giving up sleep to maintain the same level of engagement with the game. Most nights, I’d be looking at 6.5 hours of sleep if I was lucky. That was a choice.

But, I can’t really justify that choice anymore. While a component relates to the game itself, the bigger part is the realization that this pace doesn’t really suit what I want and what really matters.

Friday, November 4, 2016

FC Lessons: Jumping the Gun

Friday night, I noticed that no one had pinged for a fleet yet, so I imported some Comets and Merlins right in the middle of Black Rise and sent out a ping. 7 people showed up – honestly not bad considering no one could plan their schedules around it and NC. had fleets earlier in the day that saw a lot of people clone jump to alliance staging.

I’m sure the ship selection probably raised a few eyebrows. My initial plan was to fly only the armor Comets, but I had space in my Occator’s hold and decided to fill it with some ships I might use solo or on another fleet. The Comets were MWD fit and the Merlins were AB fit, but in most cases we were fighting on the button of FW plexes anyways, right in scram range.

This was one of those pre-planning mistakes you can make that dramatically affects the success of a fleet. I didn’t expect to go through as many ships as we did during the night, but I should have planned better for the possibility by sticking to one – either MWD or AB – in case we got into a mixed fleet situation.

Suffice to say, it wasn’t the only mistake that happened that night.