Excerpts and Preorder Giveaway News!

Since the grand prize winner of the Allmother Rising preorder giveaway will receive a free ebook copy of one of my other books (in addition to the swag pack), I wanted to share excerpts from each one to help you pick.

In case you found this blog before seeing the post about the giveaway, I’ll be choosing three winners on release day, May 25th, 2021.

Two winners will receive a sticker, magnet, and signature plate (all custom designed for Allmother Rising), as well as three bookmarks (one for A Heart of Salt & Silver, one for World for the Broken, and one of my special author bookmarks).

The grand prize winner will receive all of the above plus a free ebook copy of one of my previous books (their choice of which one).

All it takes to enter is to send me confirmation of your preorder. Screenshots are acceptable. (Please, crop/blur/draw over/block out all account info.) If you haven’t preordered yet, you can do so here.

Now that the official stuff is out of the way, it’s time for some excerpts to help you decide on a book.


A Heart of Salt & Silver
Dark Paranormal High Fantasy Romance

Rising to my feet, I prepare to leave the tavern, ready to forsake my empty stomach. After all, we haven’t seen these beasts since the revolution, and their creation can’t bode well. We need to find them and dispatch them.

But worry creases Alina’s brow.

“Please,” she begs. “At least eat, first.”

Her words echo in Ness’ voice, reverberating in my mind, and for a second, I’m not in the dark, musty tavern. I’m in Ness’ cottage, just about to eat. My bones shiver, and I rise to the call. I don’t know if Orwen and Nissa will need me, specifically, but I can’t shrug off the possibility.

I didn’t know at the time that one of our commuter members had nearly been killed in Roarn. I didn’t know that it was part of a bigger tension between Roarn and another city-state. I just knew trouble was brewing, and I needed to help.

For me, not for anyone else. I needed to help.

“Please,” I can still hear Ness say, voice so small I could barely hear it. “At least eat, first.”

But I left.

Her face, downtrodden and misty-eyed as I held her close, kissing her goodbye, pierces my heart.

Now, in this little tavern, many years too late to fix the hurt in Ness’ heart as I rushed off to play hero for the hundredth time, I sit back down.

“Thank you,” Alina says.

But this isn’t for her.

If I’m ev’r goin’ ta get Ness back, I have ta learn ta be… present.

My eyes close, shutting out the shaking in my bones as the howls roll through me. I grit my teeth against the pain gnawing at my heart.

As if I’ll ev’r get her back…


Soul Bearer
Dark High Fantasy Romance
Free in KU

Spinning slowly, Aurisye looks at everything around her. Chaos rules the land as the great red beast rules the air. Another roar threatens to shatter her eardrums, quickly followed by another stream of fire as the dragon flies overhead, so close that Aurisye could count its scales if it would only hold still.

She reaches out, passes a hand through the tip of its tail as it passes her. The dragon roars so loudly that, for a moment after, the world loses all sound. A high-pitched ringing sound punctuates everything, chasing away the screams and the crashing of buildings falling in upon themselves.

Up above, the dragon executes a perfect hair-pin turn and rockets itself toward Aurisye. Yellow eyes shining in the firelight, it stares straight at her, the only being here capable of seeing her. Each flap of its wings fans the fires all around, sending them climbing even higher into the atmosphere. Jaw dropping, it prepares to launch a blazing assault on Aurisye.

In an instant, she snaps back into her body, sitting bolt upright on the roof of her cottage. Her chest heaves with choppy breaths, pulling nothing but panic into her lungs. Her heart races, and she puts a hand to her chest to calm it.

Only then does she notice the soft red light coming from the mark on her arm. Her world goes cold. She pulls the sleeve of her jacket down to cover it, hoping it didn’t draw any undue attention.


World for the Broken
Dark (and I mean dark) Post-Apocalyptic Romance

“So, you’re just giving those antibiotics to me? And helping me…without expecting anything in return?” I ask, allowing some of my skepticism to show through.

“No. I’m asking for something.”

Chloe’s response unsettles me and eases my mind at the same time. After all, it is the end of the world. Everyone expects something in return. For some reason, I’d just been hoping she was better than that.

Somewhat wary, I ask, “What do you want?”

“Don’t make me regret this.”

Five very simple words, ordinary in every way and wholly within reason. But something in her eyes makes me believe she’s taking a much bigger chance on me than just helping out a stranger in the apocalypse.


The Gem of Meruna
Dark High Fantasy Romance
Free in KU

Dropping her pack beside the river, she washed her food in the cool water and settled down to eat. With no bowl, she used the bottom of her shirt to hold the fruit and vegetable mixture. Yet again, she found herself wishing other Leey could know such peace. She quickly ate her words, though.

In the distance, she heard the sounds of something walking through the forests. She couldn’t tell what it was, but she knew it was somewhere across the river. Dumping the remaining fruits and vegetables into a pocket of her pack, she slung it over her shoulder and scurried out of sight.

Heart pounding against her ribs, she ducked behind the bushes surrounding a young tree. She dared steal a glance across, saw only rustling underbrush, and decided to climb as far into the tree as she could. The lowest branch was barely within reach when she jumped, and she struggled to haul her light frame into the branches. She didn’t stop climbing until she was several branches higher, and still, she hesitated to peer across the river.

Much to her surprise, what emerged from the bushes on the other side wasn’t a Chalkie. Yet, her relief was minor, for she couldn’t expect this Leey to be friendly. She knew to keep her guard up, stay hidden, and wait in the tree as long as need be.

Even if it meant camping there for the night.


Annabelle
Vigilante Justice Thriller (set in a Western)
Free in KU

I walk along the main road of another dirty western town and sashay past the saloon, knowing my prey follows close behind. My silken yellow dress and all of its lace flows behind me, trailing in the dust.

I hear him getting closer but pretend to be so absorbed in the folds of my parasol that I don’t notice. Really, I’m checking over the mechanisms concealed within it, making sure that everything is in working order.

I turn down a bare alleyway as the sun begins to dip below the horizon. He follows. Still, I pretend not to notice that anything at all is amiss. A smile spreads across my features.


Whew. That was a lot more than I expected when I got the idea for this blog. Lol.

Every book listed is a standalone, though I’ll be writing another book in the same world as A Heart of Salt & Silver in the future, and The Gem of Meruna is in the same universe as my current WIP, The Regonia Chronicles.


Want to fund this blog and my writing efforts? You can support me directly here.

Check out my gritty, literary sci-fi and fantasy books here.

Subscribe for sneak peeks and updates on my upcoming books (and get a free short story).

Power Dynamics in Allmother Rising

Every world has its own unique power dynamic, and there are a few in my upcoming novel.

There are, of course, the gods. The Allmother created and encompasses everything, even the other god, her son, Aia. Both are powerful, but as the younger god, Aia is less so.

Both have the ability twist the heart of a mortal to their whim. Both can compel mortals to act. Only one chooses to use that ability.

And only one chooses to bestow portions of their power upon mortals to aid them.

The gods exist within a separate plane, one that the Allmother’s followers can visit via a form of astral projection when in need of guidance. But only certain people possess a strong enough connection to do so and see it clearly.

Namely, those of the Vierna lineage. Thus, they became the leaders of Kin. A High Priest and High Priestess lead, governing according to the Allmother’s will. Their child is born to the title Priest/Priestess Rising and is raised to the responsibility of protecting and guiding an entire nation.

The leaders of Jun and Fahn were once able to visit Her realm and perceive it clearly. But Jun fell away from Her, establishing a monarchy and moving into lands where Aia could manipulate them without their knowing. Then, they overran Fahn, sending those peaceful people scattering, transforming them into desperate refugees.

And they all lost their sight of Her.

But how are they connected? And what’s in that other plane of existence?

You know that warm amber light just before sunset or just after sunrise? That exact light fills the plane, and everywhere, there are gleaming silver strands. They reach in every direction, linking glittering silver balls of energy.

The ropes are the connections between people. Family, friendships, partnerships. The energies are the people themselves, their spirits, and their names are emblazoned on them in brilliant blue letters in the Allmother’s language.

The leaders, the original leading families, are directly connected to the Allmother herself. As such, the rope that ties them to their ancestors (and to her) is substantially thicker than those which connect mortals to other mortals. This allows them to better see Her… and to better channel Her powers.

But there’s a problem in Jun.

And I want to include an excerpt from the book to show you. This scene takes place immediately after Veliana and Tyrvahn meet. She asks his name, and he hesitates. Then, this: (Tala is Veliana’s dire wolf, btw.)

~~~

“Tahrn,” he finally answers, but the Allmother’s light dims behind his eyes as he speaks it.

Tala lifts her head, tipping it to the side.

But why would he lie about his name? Whatever the reason, it can’t be good…

“Tahrn,” I repeat, tasting the falsehood. “Do you know the power of a name?”

“Life or death?” The smile vanishes from his face, and he takes another bite of the deer jerky. He studies it closely, unwilling to meet my gaze.

My brows furrow, and I stare at him, wondering at his odd answer.

Is he a wanted man?

Yet again, a strange little shiver dances down my spine, defying all reason.

But… A wanted man beneath the rule of Paikon? That might not be… entirely bad.

“In some cases, I suppose it could be a matter of life or death.” Taking a deep breath, I extoll the true purpose of our names. “Surnames tie the energy of one to those of others. The Allmother laces people together with names. When we Kin are sealed, we inherit each other’s names and are tied to each other’s families. Children inherit blended names. Only the High Seal is an exception.”

A bolt of lightning flashes outside, a mimicry of that which tingled across my skin when our hands brushed.

Stop thinking about it.

Thunder rumbles outside. I wait it out before speaking, giving myself a moment to gather my thoughts.

Glancing at him, I continue, “The Vierna name is always handed down whole, maintaining a perfect connection throughout the Rising line, and a blended surname of all the Sealed forebears accompanies it.”

Under his breath, the stranger says, “Veliana Vierna Alaken.”

I nod, surprised that he knows all three of my names.

“Your kind weigh and measure bonds. The surname which affords them more power is kept, and the other is discarded. Names and power divide your land.”

He finally meets my gaze, and his mouth falls open at my assessment of his country. But he nods, unable to deny it.

Self-conscious about my rambling, I bring myself around to the point, “Given names are different. When a child is named, the Allmother braids their given name into the core of their energy. Denying your given name denies your energy, dimming your connection to the Allmother.”

I watch his chest rise with a sharp breath and tell myself that I’m only measuring his reaction. But even after he exhales, my eyes linger in the hollows of his collarbones, just barely visible, peeking out at the open collar of his shirt.

He nods slowly, and little drops of rainwater fall from his hair. Outside, the rain slows, and the winds die down.

“Now, knowing the power that your name holds, knowing how it hurts your energy to deny it, who are you?”

~~~

Jun chooses which name advances them politically when they’re sealed (married). But in abandoning a surname, the rope connecting them to those others in the Allmother’s realm is severed, cutting them off from others in their community and in an indirect way, from Her.

Which leaves more room for Aia to move into their hearts and control them.


Preorder Allmother Rising here.

Want to fund this blog and my writing efforts? You can support me directly here.

Check out my gritty, literary sci-fi and fantasy books here.

Subscribe for sneak peeks and updates on my upcoming books (and get a free short story).

Treat yo’self

Hi, guys!

If you follow me on social media, you know that, as of a couple days ago, I finished writing Allmother Rising! This one took just under 4 and a half months (126 days, but short ass February fucked up the months.) It’s freaking amazing to have another book under my belt.

But the thing with finishing a first draft is that…there’s the initial lull of “what now?” that follows (quite similar to a book hangover when reading) and then there’s all the editing and the formatting and the cover design and then the metadata and the copyright and all that other stuff that needs done next.

But.

It’s important to take a second to appreciate the gravity of what’s just been accomplished, whether it’s your first book or your thirtieth book.

Yes, there is a lot of work to be done, still.

But people, events, worlds (if you write fantasy or science fiction) have just been created out of literal thin air. Synapses fired in your brain, and you moved your fingers over a keyboard, and magically, ideas and entire fictional lives exist.

And that is a magnificent thing deserving of celebration.

Normally, whenever I finish a book, my husband and I go out to eat to celebrate. I’m not sure if you’ve taken a look at the world lately, but that isn’t an option.

So, a massive, juicy grilled steak, grilled corn on the cob, and asparagus with a cold can of soda and Community playing on tv was the celebration this time around.

But that’s me.

I’m a major fan of red meat, specifically steak, so that’s a pretty special thing for me.

You can have cake or treat yourself to a new book. Buy yourself something special or take an extra long bubble bath (with salts and candles and bath bombs galore).

The point is, take a second to appreciate what you’ve accomplished. Look at what you’ve done and give yourself credit for it.

Celebrate where you’re at and how far you’ve come, regardless of how far you still have to go.

Because you’re doing things. And, to paraphrase John Mulaney, it’s so much easier to not do things.

For all of you out there kicking ass during Camp NaNoWriMo, celebrate the fact that you’re doing something with your time that most people only ever talk about. Everyone says they want to write a book, many say they could write a book if they ever had the time (which frustrates me to no end, and I did a whole blog about having time, link below if you’re interested).

But you’re actually doing it.

You’re not just talk. You’re not a hack or a poser.

You’re writing a goddamn book.

Soak it in. Really appreciate that. Because it’s huge.

Celebrate this, you magnificent do-er of things.

Keep reading. Keep writing.

Later.

(Ignore the progress updates in the linked blog below, because both those books are already published. Lol.)