Now Solo! Tales of Old Giralliya

Tales of Old Giralliya is a small collection of fairy tales from my North-lands.

I released it first in the book bundle Might Have Been, with a promise that I’d make the collection available solo in a few months.

I’m delighted to announce that I’m now able to redeem that promise.

Tales of Old Giralliya is here as its own ebook and as a paperback. Its cover art is by John William Waterhouse, an artist strongly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites. (I love the works of the Pre-Raphaelites!) 😀

*     *     *

A troll-mage rains death upon the land from his citadel in the sky. Who—if anyone—can defeat him? Despite the oracle’s prophecy, few believe the beggar’s son might be the people’s champion.

A magical plague infests the villages, the cities, and the lonely manors. Will the realm descend into ruin before a cure is found? Or could wizened, old Eliya convince the stricken that something improbable might save them all?

Three ducal brothers fight for the rule of their duchy, crushing fields and hamlets under their chariot wheels. Can young Andraia, kidnapped from her village, bring the destructive struggle to an end?

Instead of Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, or the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the Giralliyan Empire has Ravessa’s Ride, the Thricely Odd Troll, the Kite Climber, and more. Tales of Old Giralliya presents six of these fresh, new fairy tales for your enjoyment.

Adventure and magic in the tradition of The Red Fairy Book and the Tales of the Brothers Grimm.

*     *     *

 

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New Bundle! Here Be Elves

I’ve been longing for this one for ages. It stayed stuck in the planning stages for nearly a year. But here it is at last!

I’ve already devoured and enjoyed both of the Rusch stories. I plan to dive into Kirwan’s Son by Marcelle Dubé next.

A shapeshifter who spies for the fey conquerors of the mortal world fights her urge to help an oppressed human child. Her duty points one way. Her inclination, another. How will she choose?

The only elf able to stand in for the big guy—Santa himself, away on sabbatical—can’t be found. His cohorts hire an elf PI plus partner—Diz and Dee—to track down the necessary missing fellow.

A faie knight, banished from the realm under the knowe, loves the bright world and the mortals who dwell there. But the faie king wants his knight back, and he prefers tricks and cheats for tactics.

A healer mage discovers a young man dying of fey magic on the steps of her perfume shop. Battling the fairy queen to save him puts her heart at risk.

Celtic elves, dangerous and beautiful. Scandinavian elves, mischievous pranksters. Norse elves, warriors and consorts to the gods. Santa’s elves, practical and plucky. The Fair Folk beguile imagination with their mystery, allure, and hints of madness.

*

Written as a prequel to Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s popular Fey saga, “Destiny” follows the Shapeshifter Solanda on Nye.

The Black King wants her to use her special abilities on a job that will change the Fey forever.

But Solanda wants to change the life of one child. Can she do both? Or should she do nothing at all?
 
 
 
 

*

Christmas comes early for private investigator Dee and her partner, the grumpy but drop-dead gorgeous elf Diz, when Santa’s elves hire Diz and Dee to find Santa’s missing stand in.

Santa’s taken a sabbatical, and only one elf at the North Pole can fill the big man’s shoes.

An elf who’d rather make his mark in the real world than spend one more holiday in Santa’s sleigh.
 
 
 

*

A roadside rest stop—crossroads of the modern world. Where the barriers between worlds run thin. Where travelers may wander into Faerie.

Lex Frisk, fleeing from heartbreak. On the road for thirty hours. Lex needs to stretch his legs. Find some coffee. Instead he finds a beautiful stranger…

…and an unbelievable party.
 
 
 
 

*

Where two worlds meet, the jealous eyes of a Faerie King peer from the darkness as he gathers a slave army of subjugation. Set against him and his dark horde is:

• Bill Strike, a naive, girl-shy youth with exploding hands
• the girl he’s shy of
• three witches
• and a pioneer of chicken-powered aviation.

For fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

*

In a world of tortured tree nymphs and madness, the Fey king needs only one Kirwan, the eldest son, to save the trapped Fey, but all four Kirwans become pawns in the struggle for power between Seelie and Unseelie.

The Kirwans will risk everything—love, honor, and life—in the name of an oath taken centuries earlier.

But will it be at the cost of spreading the Fey war to their own world?
 
 

*

Punishments for elven crimes vary. So, when Rolf finds himself serving time as a toy on a mantel during the Christmas season, Rolf figures he got off easy.

But when a lonely child asks him to deliver a message to Santa, he realizes his rehabilitation comes with a price—one he might not be prepared to pay.
 
 
 
 
 
 

*

Finding an unconscious man on the steps of her magical perfume shop is just the beginning of Seattle sorceress Avery Starling’s troubles.

She’s drawn to Braxtan Rhodes, a handsome and intriguing young man who reeks of a strange dark magic that is slowly killing him.

Pushing her healing air magic to its limits, Avery puts her heart on the line to battle a powerful Fey queen for Braxtan’s soul.
 
 

*

Here Be Elves also includes my own Blood Silver.

In a mythical Ireland that never was, mortal villages perch all unknowing beside enchanted knolls. Beneath them dwell the cruel and capricious faie folk.

Tahaern, a faie warrior by birth but not in spirit, eschews his vicious origins. Loving the bright world, he serves a mortal village as healer.

But when the faie declare war upon their neighbors, Tahaern must again take up his sword…
 
 

Consort with the fey in the 13 tales of Here Be Elves—magic, myth, and mayhem await you.

“Destiny” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“The Case of the Missing Elf” by Annie Reed
“Hidden in Mist” by Chrissy Wissler
“Forty Years Among the Elves” by Stefon Mears
Myths and Magic by Kevin Partner
The Shining Citadel by A. L. Butcher
Kirwan’s Son by Marcelle Dube
Blood Silver by J.M. Ney-Grimm
“By the Chimney With Care” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Jar of Souls” by Lisa Silverthorne
Hidden in Myth by Chrissy Wissler
“The Merchant of Elves” by Robert Jeschonek
Elf Saga: Doomsday by Joseph Robert Lewis

The Here Be Elves bundle is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

 

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Newly Released! Sovereign Night

Join Gael and Keir on their hunt
for the lodestone…

My new novel, Sovereign Night, is out!

Something’s far wrong in Hantida.

Reavers comb the streets of the river city by night, crashing gauntleted fists on a residence gate or a workshop door, and taking . . . a child, a grandmother, or some sleeper who thought himself safe.

Gael and Keir—newly arrived in Hantida on a quest for healing—must penetrate the rotten core of secrets, intrigue, and conspiracy fueling the abductions.

Sovereign Night is the sequel to The Tally Master. If you’ve not yet read Tally, you can pick up a digital copy on sale for 99 cents. I’m discounting it for a week to celebrate Sovereign’s release.

Both books are available as ebooks and as trade paperbacks.
Global link to The Tally Master
Global link to Sovereign Night

Go check out the Look Insides! 😀

 

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Released! Kaunis Clan Saga

Now, instead of making multiple purchases, you can get Sarvet’s Wanderyar, Livli’s Gift, and Winter Glory in one go.

The boxed set is here! 😀

The mountain people of the North-lands wield a tribal magic born of dance, song, and the flow of sacred waters. Despite the beauty of the rites, their traditions underpin too many thou-shalt-nots.

In each story of the Kaunis Clan Saga, one woman—or one man—challenges the shibboleths that threaten her—or his—particular bright dream.

Sarvet’s Wanderyar

Running away leads right back home—or does it?

Sarvet walks with a grinding limp, and her mountain culture keeps girls close to home. Worse, her mother emphasizes all the things Sarvet can’t do. No matter how gutsy her spirit or bold her defiance, staying put means growing weaker. Yet only boys get wanderyars. Lacking their supplies and training, how can Sarvet escape? Can dreams—even big dreams—and inner certainty transform impossible barricades into a way out?

Livli’s Gift

Livli struggles with a secret she keeps from everyone, even her closest friends, and she must solve the problem at its heart before she’s discovered. Her answer lies in a half-remembered folk-tale from her childhood. Without that lost bit of magical lore, Livli stands to lose everything, including the most precious thing in her life: her child. With it . . . she stands a chance.

Winter Glory

Caught in a cold and snow-shrouded wilderness, far from home, Ivvar confronts the woman he once cherished and an ancient scourge of the chilly woodlands in a complicated dance of love and death. Ivvar’s second chance at happiness—and his life—hang in the balance.

Amazon I Apple I B&N I Kobo I Smashwords I GlobalLink

 

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New Bundle! Might Have Been

I love fairy tales! I’ve always loved them, and I hope I always will.

The Red Fairy Book, Tales of the Brothers Grimm, and East of the Sun and West of the Moon were well-read favorites in my childhood, and I didn’t stop re-reading them when I reached adulthood.

My only complaint was that there weren’t enough new-to-me fairy tales. Sure, I could (and will) re-read the old classics indefinitely. I’m a big re-reader. But wouldn’t it be great to find fresh stories, or even the same stories told with a fresh twist.

I can almost believe that A. L. Butcher curated the Might Have Been bundle for me especially.

The Russian fairy tales are entirely new to me, and the twists on old favorites are twists like I’ve never seen before. This is a bundle I’ll devour.

Among the 17 titles in Might Have Been, several provoked particular interest in me. I draw them to your attention…

*     *     *

Beauty has a Fate.

A Destiny.

To keep dating losers and ‘beasts’ until she manages to find that prince hidden underneath that bad boy exterior.

But what if she doesn’t want to? What if she wants to take control of her own destiny?
 
 
 

*

“Kristine Grayson gives ‘happily ever after’ her own unique twist!”—Kasey Michaels

In this romantic trilogy, fairy tales and myths inhabit a slightly askew world of charming princes, sleeping beauties, and wicked witches.

Welcome to the fractious fairy tale world of Kristine Grayson, where the bumpy road to happily ever after surprises and delights.

The Charming Trilogy omnibus contains three complete novels.

Utterly Charming

When Prince Charming enters Nora Barr’s office to hire her to protect Sleeping Beauty, only the size of his check keeps her from throwing him out. Nora doubts happily-ever-after exists, but until last week she never saw magic before either. Let alone a real Prince Charming.

Thoroughly Kissed

Emma, the real Sleeping Beauty, awakens after a thousand years and swears to never kiss anyone again. Ever. She keeps that vow until she meets temptingly gorgeous Michael who—somehow—becomes the only person who can get her across country with her weird cat Darnell. Before her magic takes over their lives, and maybe destroys the entire world.

Completely Smitten

For centuries, Darius shadowed Prince Charmings because he knew they needed happily ever afters. And he does too. After he fought Cupid, the Fates forced Darius to unite 100 soulmates. Two away from the end of his sentence, he falls for triathlete Ariel, seemingly destined for another soul mate only he can find. If he wants freedom, he must find her soul mate. No matter how badly it breaks his heart.

*

A modern twist on the classic fairy tale of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf.

Lettie and her brothers inherited a great deal of money from their grandpa. While her brothers took the money and set off to enjoy life, Lettie took her share and bought a bar.

Unfortunately for Lettie and her brothers, Grandpa had a lot of other grandkids, and he pissed off all of them by leaving them out of his will.

And some of those other grandkids are werewolves.

*

Illustrated children’s stories that come from the heart of ‘Holy Russia’— a realm stretching from the Ukrainian Steppes of Kiev to Novgorod in the west to the borders of the Caspian Sea in the east.

Ilya and Cloudfall
Ilya Meets Svyatogor and Parts with Him
Ilya and Nightingale the Robber
Ilya and Falcon the Hunter
The Adventure of the Burning White Stone
The Story of Nikitich and Marina
The Story of Kasyan and the Dream Maiden
How Stavr the Noble Was Saved by a Woman’s Wiles
The Golden Horde
How Quiet Dunai Brought the Princess Apraxia to Kiev
How the Court of Vladimir Received a Visitor from India the Glorious
Whirlwind The Whistler, or the Kingdoms of Copper, Silver, and Gold
Vasily the Turbulent
Nikita the Footless and the Terrible Tsar
Peerless Beauty the Cake-Baker

In addition to charming line drawings, the ebook is enhanced by 16 amazing color-plates from Frank C. Papé.

Curl up with this unique sliver of Russian culture—not seen in print for over a century—and immerse yourself in the tales and fables of yesteryear.

*

Might Have Been also includes my own story collection, Tales of Old Giralliya.

A troll-mage rains death upon the land from his citadel in the sky. Who—if anyone—can defeat him? Despite the oracle’s prophecy, few believe the beggar’s son might be the people’s champion.

A magical plague infests the villages, the cities, and the lonely manors. Will the realm descend into ruin before a cure is found? Or could wizened, old Eliya convince the stricken that something improbable might save them all?

Three ducal brothers fight for the rule of their duchy, crushing fields and hamlets under their chariot wheels. Can young Andraia, kidnapped from her village, bring the destructive struggle to an end?

Instead of Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, or the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the Giralliyan Empire has Ravessa’s Ride, the Thricely Odd Troll, the Kite Climber, and more. Tales of Old Giralliya presents six of these fresh, new fairy tales for your enjoyment.

Adventure and magic in the tradition of The Red Fairy Book and the Tales of the Brothers Grimm.

*

From retellings of classic fairy tales to legends and lore shared around the hearth, this collection presents stories of wonder and fantasy—some straight up and others with a twist.

Children’s tales from Serbia and Russia feature water spirits and household sprites, knight princes and giants, whirlwinds and the Golden Horde.

An unusual visit to Wonderland follows Alice as she encounters the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, and Humpty Dumpty under horror’s shadow. The secrets of a most infamous castle, Burg Frankenstein, deliver up ghosts.

While a trio of sexy gender-swap tales yield Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast with spice.

Romeo and Juliet—and vampires, the Three Little Pigs as you’ve never seen them, Cinderella embracing witchcraft…these are the Might Have Been, folklore, granny tales, and fairy tales turned upside down or glimpsed darkly in the mirror.
 
*Not all stories suitable for kids.

The Might Have Been bundle includes:

“Fairy Tale Fates” by Leah Cutter
The Charming Trilogy by Kristine Grayson
“The Legends of Castle Frankenstein” by DeAnna Knippling
Snow Truer Love by AJ Tipton
“Brick Houses” by Annie Reed
“The Return of Alice” by Robert Jeschonek
Into the Forest Shadows by J.A. Marlow
Handsome and the Beast by AJ Tipton
The Russian Story Book by Richard Wilson
Tales of Old Giralliya by J.M. Ney-Grimm
“R+J Sucks” (Vol 1.) by Ann Hunter
Hunting Red by AJ Tipton
Lost: Cinderella’s Secret Witch Diaries by Ron Vitale
Return to Wonderland by Tanya Lisle
Fairy Tales Revisited on Silvery Earth by Barbara G. Tarn
“Redd’s Hoodie” by Karen C. Klein
Hero Tales and Legends of the Serbians by Woislav M. Petrovitch

P
A Head’s Up: Most of the titles in the bundle are ‘sweet,’ not ‘spicy.’ But the few spicy ‘not for kids’ stories include explicit scenes. If fictional spice is not for you, be prepared. (Myself? I did some skipping.)

Of the non-spicy stories I’ve read so far…“Fairy Tale Fates” possesses a twist after my own heart; Completely Smitten from The Charming Trilogy has given me a new favorite character: Darius; and “Brick Houses” was just pure fun.

The Might Have Been bundle is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

*     *     *

For more bundles with my stories in them, see:
Here Be Magic
Eclectica
Here Be Unicorns
Here Be Merfolk
Here Be Fairies
Here Be Dragons
Immortals

 

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Upcoming Release! Tales in a New Bundle

Tales of Old Giralliya is an experiment for me.

I conceived of the stories as the fairy tales that mothers and fathers of my North-lands tell their young children at bedtime, and I recounted the stories in the spare style typical of fairy tales.

Characters are sketched in with just a few details, leaning heavily on archetypes. We have the young, inexperienced king, who tries something that an older man would not. Or the young girl, kidnapped from home, held captive by her enemies, and faced with a chance to save her village, but lacking any obvious means to do so.

Each story is comprised of just one scene, or two, embedded within a scant narrative frame that is the equivalent of ‘once upon a time.’

I loved telling the stories, writing in hope that some of my readers would enjoy reading them.

But would they? Would they really?

And who might like to be my first reader, the one to give me necessary feedback—feedback that would allow me to revise the stories to be their best?

I needed someone who not only had loved fairy tales as a child, but who still loved them. Someone who might pull out her battered copy of East of the Sun and West of the Moon and read it for pleasure (not mere nostalgia) now.

Really, my choice of a first reader was simple. I asked the curator of the bundle for which Tales of Old Giralliya was created.

She graciously consented to help me, and I sent her the file.

Then I waited. Nervously.

I thought she would like the stories, but . . . would she really?

Well, good news: she did! 😀

And she provided me with excellent feedback.

My collection has now been revised, edited, and proofread, and will release sometime this month in the bundle entitled Might Have Been.

Here’s a little bit about Tales of Old Giralliya.

*     *     *

A troll-mage rains death upon the land from his citadel in the sky. Who—if anyone—can defeat him? Despite the oracle’s prophecy, few believe the beggar’s son might be the people’s champion.

A magical plague infests the villages, the cities, and the lonely manors. Will the realm descend into ruin before a cure is found? Or could wizened, old Eliya convince the stricken that something improbable might save them all?

Three ducal brothers fight for the rule of their duchy, crushing fields and hamlets under their chariot wheels. Can young Andraia, kidnapped from her village, bring the destructive struggle to an end?

Instead of Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, or the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the Giralliyan Empire has Ravessa’s Ride, the Thricely Odd Troll, the Kite Climber, and more. Tales of Old Giralliya presents six of these fresh, new fairy tales for your enjoyment.

Adventure and magic in the tradition of The Red Fairy Book and the Tales of the Brothers Grimm.

*     *     *

For more about Tales of Old Giralliya, see:
Rebirth of Four Fairy Tales
Two Giralliyan Folk Heroes
Caught Between Two Armies

 

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New Release! Journey into Grief

It’s here! Available as an ebook right now, the paperback is coming soon.

*    *    *

In time, we all become men of sorrow, women of sorrow, people of sorrow. John Claypool echoed this truth in the preface to his book Tracks of a Fellow Struggler, and it is a bitter truth indeed.

In the passing of youth, the loss of love or health, the flight of safety, the death of our beloved—sorrow comes.

This collection of photos, poetry, and memoir presents the words and works with which I expressed my own painful sadness, my rage, and my sense of profound loss when my mother died. I share my experiences in memory of her and in the hope that by joining the company of others who mourn on the printed page, I will find for myself and offer to you some small degree of solace.

“. . . this work is inspired! The poetry is beautiful, and coupled with the images, it is wrenchingly emotional . . . Anyone who has lost a mother or a father with whom they shared a special bond, anyone dealing with a devastating loss, will be blessed and comforted by Journey into Grief.” —John Earle

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For excerpts from the book, see:
Mists from the Deep
Cold Rage
Blessed Radiance
Futile Seeking
Risen

 

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Mists from the Deeps

     In the night, in the darkness, in the loneliest watch
           heart freezes
           soul cries out
           being shudders

     No answers on offer

     And yet . . . from despair, if I answer yes
           to loss
           to fear
           to death
     Yield assent without limit
     Assent, because all other answers lie barren

     Like earliest dawn, which seeps into the night sky so subtly
           my heart lightens
           a sense of possibility mists from the deeps
           some answer, unspoken, arrives

     Fragile and delicate, surrender to it, do not reach
           this succor may be accepted
           never taken
           new life in the bud

This poem and the accompanying photo appear in my new upcoming release, Journey into Grief.

For more excerpts from the book, see:
Cold Rage
Blessed Radiance
Futile Seeking
Risen

 

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Daylight Shines

           The sky is so blue and friendly
           almost as though it is her smile
           or maybe her laugh
           or both

           I have no sense of its infinite possibility
           ceding to the blackness of outer space
           going on and on past the moon
           past Mars

           No, this sky is immediate, personal
           happy like a baby blanket
           comforting like Mother
           and mine

           I am shielded, illuminated, protected
           under its canopy of brightness
           so long as daylight shines
           safe

This poem and the accompanying photo appear in my new upcoming release, Journey into Grief.

For more excerpts from the book, see:
Missing Her
No Beauty
Exiled
Despair

 

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