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…

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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?
 
 
 

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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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New Release Coming!

As I said in last week’s post, this book is different from my usual offerings.

I write fantasy, and all of my titles to date have been fiction in that genre. But my new book is memoir, mixed media in the sense that it combines narrative with poetry and photographs. I’m really pleased with how the project has come together, and I suspect I will be creating more such projects.

I haven’t abandoned fantasy, however. Those of you who are fans of my fantasy need not worry. Fantasy is in my very bones, and I intend to write it for as long as I can string words together.

I don’t have a release date yet for the new book, but here is the opening for it.

My Invitation to You

Come with me.

Come take a journey with me.

It is not an easy journey. In fact, it begins in the darkest of all places, the shadow of the valley of death.

So, why should you come, when the beginning is so dark?

Because the journey does not end there.

You have probably already been to the dark place. Someone you love died. Or some piece of yourself that is essential died in you. Someone betrayed you. Someone abandoned you. Or maybe you abandoned you.

There are as many ways to descend into darkness, or be claimed by it, as there are mortals walking this green earth.

But why should you come with me?

And why should you come now?

Because there was something about this book—its cover, its title, its description, or perhaps something unquantifiable—that attracted you, that spoke to you. Some still, small voice within you called or whispered or summoned you.

Come. Come!

Is this a self-help book with questions and exercises and points made?

No. It isn’t.

It’s a sharing of my own journey into grief, the heartbreaking moment of loss, the dark descent, the ocean breakers of feeling, the uneven rise from the depths, the glimpses of light, the instances of relief, and the slow, sure gathering of strength and new life.

So why would you want to experience this?

Because you’ve already been through it yourself. Or because you’re in the middle of such a journey of your own. Or because you fear the journey into grief that lies in your future.

When we take such journeys, we humans, the one thing that enables us to bear up under the weight and the challenge of it is knowing that we are not alone.

We may be alone at the time of our traveling along the dark path.

We may be alone in the specific details of our sojourn.

But we are not alone in our experience of loss and grief.

So come with me.

Come with me, that I may not be alone.

Come with me, that you may not be alone.

Let us move through the darkness together, and emerge again into new life, new life that has grown from the seeds that could sprout only in the deeps.

Our journey will be hard, but amazing. And our emergence will be more amazing still.

Come!

I invite you.

For more excerpts from Journey into Grief, see:
Grief
Mourning
One Crossing
Upwelling

 

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Here Be Unicorns

Not only do I have a story in a new bundle, but I have a new story in a bundle!

It was all rather unexpected and exciting. Let me tell you how it came to pass.

I first started participating in story bundles when writer, editor, and curator Alex Butcher noticed my novel Caught in Amber on the BundleRabbit site and thought it would be perfect for her Mythic Tales bundle.

Since then I’ve participated in many bundles curated by Alex. So many that I’m running out of stories to contribute!

When Alex asked me if I had a story that would fit her upcoming bundle Here Be Unicorns, I had to say, “No, I don’t.”

That just seemed wrong to me. How could I not have a unicorn story? I’m a writer of fantasy. I should have a unicorn story. My micro press is called Wild Unicorn Books. It didn’t just seem wrong that Wild Unicorn offered no unicorn stories, it was wrong!

And then I became possessed of an idea. About a unicorn.

So I dropped everything and wrote the story! “The Hunt of the Unicorn.”

Eventually “Hunt” will be released solo, but I’m currently too busy writing the sequels to The Tally Master to do anything else for several months! Luckily you don’t need to wait. You can get “The Hunt of the Unicorn” right now in Here Be Unicorns, along with the other nine titles in the bundle.

*     *     *

Dust coats Vivian’s lips. Two hours of driving into town with her ex-boyfriend Ash were bad enough. Having him dump her far away from the loading dock with her fossil is worse.

But she’s made it back to town, gotten her fossil to safety, and now she can go relax at home.

If it weren’t for the unicorns playing in her shower.

Vivian isn’t sure how her life grew so surreal but, hey, at least the unicorns have finally let her bring her fossil in.

Only question left is whether or not she gets to keep her life.

And whether they’ll eat all her pizza, too.

 

He would be king one day, and called as king to be wise for his people. But wisdom—and kindness—no longer come to him.

Brychan, princess in a corner of a Wales that never was, requires a unicorn’s horn to mend what is broken within him.

The ancient fables speak of unicorn miracles, but if she finds the magical beast of fable, will the powers of his horn prove to be living truth? Or lying legend?

 
 
 
 
 

Never admit to seeing ichur, the silvery residue of magic spells. Not if you want to stay under the radar of the Councillors of Convane.

Swift, a purebred tracker horse who can smell the smallest trace of ichur, can also remove the magic energy from any human or talisman.

Dallas, rider of Swift, knows how to create a spell without leaving residue, even if he is not a trained mage.

Neither Dallas or Swift admit to seeing and using the magic energy. If they did, Dallas would have his ability to see ichur removed, and Swift would be given to an approved mage by order of the council.

The start of a new fantasy series including mages, dragons, tracker horses, and more.

 

In Feyland, not everything is as it seems…

Feyland—the new computer game—allows Scottish teenager Corinne MacArthur to escape the sadness haunting her mundane days. In Feyland, legends come to life, the lines between reality and fantasy blur, and the impossible becomes—probable?

A stand-alone story with a full plot arc, Unicorn Magic is the first in the Celtic Fey series set in Anthea Sharp’s Feyland universe (with her kind permission). The saga continues in Kelpie Curse.

Urban fantasy in Scotland (and the faerie realm).

 

Unicorns, with their single ivory horn, are elusive and magical creatures of myth. Yet even more elusive are the purple unicorns.

First sighted at the Superstars Writing Seminar, their legend has grown year after year until it could only be contained in this anthology.

Nineteen storytellers—including Peter S. Beagle, Todd McCaffrey, and Jody Lynn Nye—invite us into worlds both near and far, across a desert oasis, a pet shop, a Comic-Con exhibition floor, and more to show us the many variations of purple unicorns.

One Horn to Rule Them All is an unforgettable collection of imagination and creativity. So, saddle up, and take a ride beyond the rainbow.

 

An elf cowboy on a fool’s errand to the Old West town of Desperation, Arizona hunts a faerie bandit queen with a powerful relic in her clutches…but his unicorn steed faces the greater test.

The one-horned magical stallion pursues the runaway love of his life, a chase that pits him against brutal men and beasts alike.

What he finds at the end of the trail will change his fate and that of the Wild West forever.

 
 
 
 

From fable to legend, these wondrous beasts enchant us. Healers or harmers, no one truly knows the heart and horn of the unicorn—dare you seek the answers?

A collection of tales featuring unicorns and magical horses.

“Hidden Eyes” by Meyari McFarland
The Dreamweaver’s Journey by Diana L. Wicker
A Game of Horns edited by Lisa Mangum
“The Hunt of the Unicorn” by J.M. Ney-Grimm
Rider by Diane J Cornwell
“Unicorn Magic” by Roz Marshall
One Horn to Rule Them All edited by Lisa Mangum
“Fossil History” by Meyari McFarland
“And The Unicorn You Rode In On” by Robert Jeschonek
“Escape (The Peena Colada Song)” by Mark Leslie

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

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

 

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Newly Released: First Book in a New Series!

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here at last! 😀

“What is here?” you ask politely, perhaps taken aback by my enthusiasm.

A Talisman Arcane

This book got interrupted while I was in the middle of writing it. It feels like it’s taken much longer than usual from the moment when I started the story to now, when I’m publicly announcing its release. So I’m excited!

Not only is the book available now, but the early reviews are largely favorable, which pleases me a lot.

“Great book about an unlikely friendship…” —Karen B.

“…really enjoyed this story. I read it in a single day. I have to admit I was a bit annoyed when I was interrupted, so you might want to read it on a quiet day of solitude…” —Caroline McBride

“There’s an interesting magic system… But mostly this is a character focused book… The relationships, both new and old, were well written and well thought out.” —Sleepy

“…I really loved this book. I found it hard to put down…and when I did put it down I was often thinking about the characters and what was last going on…when I’d stopped. The characters were all well developed, with strong personalities and backgrounds.” —Dragonessa

But enough of what people are saying. What about the book itself?

Although it is the first in a series, it’s a complete story. I originally wrote the book as a standalone, but every one of my early readers demanded a sequel, because they wanted to hang out with Lealle again and revisit her world.

I feel that way myself. And I have ideas for fresh adventures! So books 2 and 3 will be coming along soon. 😀

Here’s a bit about A Talisman Arcane.

*     *     *

The mansion on Balard Square stands empty. Dirt grimes its marble columns. Cracks mar its once pristine walls. No one enters or exits.

Rumor says no one lives there. Neighbors ignore the property, glad it’s merely shabby, not derelict. Brash youths pretend a witch makes it her home, a wicked witch who hates children.

All of them—rumor, neighbors, and youths—are wrong.

Fleeing a ragged horde of boys, young Lealle discovers the truth of the history-haunted house.

She hopes to keep that truth secret.

But her silence threatens disapproving neighbors, trespassing bullies, and one gentle soul in desperate need of a lifeline.

Magic and coming of age in the tradition of Patricia C. Wrede’s Mairelon the Magician.

A Talisman Arcane is available as an ebook. Amazon

*     *     *

I am experimenting again with having an ebook in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program. My apologies to those of you who get your ebooks elsewhere.

The paperback edition—which will release in a week or two—will be available everywhere. And I plan to make the ebook widely distributed after 90 days.

 

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Blood Silver Is Here!

I’m so excited about this!

Somehow the pre-publication tasks for this book felt a little more complex than usual, no doubt because I’ve been trying a few new things. But they are all done now! (Or most of them.)

One of the new things has been the use of an advance review service. I chose Hidden Gems. (Love it that my book is one of the hidden gems they showcase.)

The way the process works is:

1Upload the book’s file to the Hidden Gems website—in three different formats: epub, mobi, and pdf—along with some information about the book

2Await results as they solicit interest from their reviewers from amongst those who enjoy the book’s genre

3Pay the Hidden Gems fee

4Following the date when Hidden Gems distributes the book to its reviewers, watch in wonder while reviews accumulate on the book’s Amazon page 😀

The idea is that these reviews give prospective buyers more information on which to judge whether or not the book is something said buyer might like.

As I write this post, Blood Silver has 23 reviews! It’s been a bit of a thrill to watch them appear. And it’s been lovely to read so much praise for one of my books!

Of course, not every Hidden Gems reviewer loved Blood Silver. But a lot of them did. Here’s a sampling from a handful of the reviews:

“…a nice quick little read. Great characters, interesting story line, good pacing, and well written.” JMD

“…I couldn’t put it down. It reminded me of Le Morte d’Arthur and Mists of Avalon even though it has nothing to do with the King Arthur legend. This author just brought back those feelings…” Tricia Schiro

“…simple and thought-provoking in a beautiful way. …smart and wise. It’s peaceful and otherworldly. I felt like a new fairy tale had been written and that gave me a lot of joy.” Ambrose Crotts

“The characters felt real, like they could step out of the pages…” Stephanie Wachter

“It felt familiar like an old fairy tale, but was also very fresh and new.” Erin K.

So what’s Blood Silver about?

Faie knight Tahaern loves the bright world of mortals, but the darkness of the faie realm under the knowe relinquishes its denizens but rarely.

To learn more, check out the book’s webpage on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, or Books2Read.

Blood Silver currently has the low price of 99 cents especially for its release. After the weekend, this will go up to its normal list price of $3.99.

I hope you’ll take advantage of the deal and immerse yourself in a story of knightly chivalry, faie trickery, and the beguiling beauty of the bright world.

Amazon I B&N I iTunes I Kobo I Smashwords I Universal Link

Note: The promotion with its sale price is over now, but many, many of you snapped up a copy for 99 cents. May the story bring you delight! 😀

 

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