Tag Archives: A Fey Matter

OAK SEER, A Fey Matter Book II – Release Day!

Greetings! I’m thrilled to announce OAK SEER, book II of the Fey Matter Gaslamp fantasy series that started with THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN, is now for sale!

Find OAK SEER on Amazon

In this second installment, Effie must overcome her fears as she’s thrust once more into the spotlight–seen as a hero by some and a traitor to fey-kind by others. And if greedy lords and scheming politicians weren’t enough, a madman is on the loose killing fey without regard, while blood-thirsty cults and armed mobs prowl the city streets.

AN EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE

Effie peered through the window of the steam carriage as the village of Langmire came into view. The buildings—crofters’ homes mostly—sagged like slump-backed crones. Grey smoke wafted from blackened chimneys sprouting from thatched roofs. Someone baked fresh bread. She caught it on the wind beneath a perfume of moldy timbers, damp leaves, and rusting iron, all remnants of the heavy spring rains that had flooded the River Teith and left the roads full of boggy ruts and bared stone.

Eager for a warm hearth and a cup of honeyed tea, she licked her parched lips. She’d travelled a full day to reach the village. She’d come because Conall Murray had begged her, because without her an innocent woman would hang.

The thought drew her attention to the heart of the village where a stout oak grew. Muckle Ben, the locals called it, Effie had once heard. They’d carved a Green Man into its bark long ago, during a time when such things held power. Now banners pronouncing some celebration hung from its limbs more often than not, but none remained there currently. Its trunk stood as somber as an undertaker. Chickens picked at worms in the upturned soil near its roots, and a lone hound howled at the rustling leaves as the branches creaked above.

Fergus Alpin hacked into his handkerchief, a wet, miserable noise she’d had to contend with the entire journey from Stirling. The Fey Finder sat across from her in the steam carriage’s tight compartment. His wrinkled face was spotted and thin, and he kept tugging his coat tighter about his frail bones. She tried to avoid his gaze, but nothing adorned the compartment for her to study, and she could only stare out the window for so long before feeling rude.

“I’ll do the speaking,” the man said. “You will remain silent.” The quiver at his lip turned into another fit of hacking, yet she still heard his mumbling. “Send a fey to catch a fey, and one with paps at that!”

The steam carriage rocked and bounced, splashing through the muddy road as if fording a stony riverbed. Effie braced herself against the hard, worn benches, the padding flattened from years of service. A lightly stained wood paneling formed the carriage’s walls, floor, and roof. The boiler at its rear warmed the compartment, but at the expense of the coal smoke that clouded the air.

She shifted to relieve her sore hips. Her eyes narrowed. “The Fey Finder General bade me accompany you, Mr. Alpin, and not so I would stand and do nothing.” She tried to keep the bite from her tongue.

Of Fey Finders, Alpin was a journeyman and not a zealot. At least there was that. He sought not to be bothered rather than possessing the fiery hatred common to his profession.

She pressed her palms into the cushion on either side of her, to steady herself. It still marveled her she could sit so close to a Sniffer, a man the crown tasked with hunting down malevolent fey. Malevolent, as if they knew what the word meant. They hunted all with fey blood, and as a Sithling—one with the ancient blood of the Daoine Sith coursing through her—that included her. But things had changed after Caldwell House, and she had a need to trust where once she dared not. The fierce battle there had forced the lords of the empire to open their eyes. They could not rest on centuries of intolerance any longer. They had to welcome the fey into society’s ranks and accept a permanent treaty. They had witnessed the fate awaiting them if they did not.

Effie’s heart warmed. If the lords of the empire could learn to trust, so could she, and perhaps the Scottish fey would live freely for the first time in millennia.

Alpin’s jaw worked. He’d likely never had someone with paps stand up to him. Most Scots of either gender avoided Sniffers as if they carried the plague. “Look here, Miss Effie,” he snapped. “I’ll not have it. You may dine with the likes of lords, but you’re not in some grand procession here. I know the hearts of these gentle folk better than you ever will, and I will not banter with the mind of a devious hag.”

“When you see one, I’m sure,” said Effie, not knowing whether the man had meant her or the poor Spae Wife they’d come to question.

Find OAK SEER on Amazon

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Oak Seer – Releases in One Week!

To celebrate the release of OAK SEER, the sequel to THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN, both ebooks will be on sale starting June 26th!

 

OAK SEER – The Countdown is On!

The countdown is on! 11 days until the release of OAK SEER, and here’s the good news: if you’re enrolled in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited you can read it for free! Check it out from the library starting June 26th.

OAK SEER: A Fey Matter Novel – Cover Reveal

I’m excited to reveal the cover for OAK SEER, the second novel of the Fey Matter series! The book releases June 26, so stayed tuned for more details.
#fantasybook #bookcover #teamcityowl #feymatter

OAK SEER picks up a few months after the events of THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN:

Thrust into the public eye as the “Green Lady,” Effie of Glen Coe has become a living legend, the fey woman who saved Scotland from devastation. But to some, she’s a threat to human existence and a traitor to fey-kind.

Determined more than ever to forge a peace between fey and humans, Effie finds herself navigating a realm increasingly divided. The lords of London have other plans, and once again Effie is pulled into a quagmire of politics and greed. She must stand against plots to remove her kind from the shores of the empire and madmen who murder fey without regard.

Even worse, heinous cults have arisen, enthralled by an unseen enemy. With violent thugs and unruly mobs all around, wits and courage are not enough. Effie must become something more than herself, an Oak Seer, a fey mantle long lost. But can she survive long enough to claim it?

OAK SEER edits are in!

Doing a happy dance, as the content edits of OAK SEER, book II of the Fey Matter series, are complete! Now, onward to copyediting …and a cover reveal coming soon!

Owl Madness

All this week City Owl Press is hosing #OwlMadness where you can learn about some great authors and discover new books. Stop by www.cityowlpress.com for daily posts.

As part of this promotion, THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN will be only $0.99 all week! So now’s your chance to check it out, and if you’ve enjoyed it already–thank you!–share the news with a friend!  (Find it on Amazon!)

Craigmillar Castle – Murder Plots & Witchcraft!

Welcome to Realm Tramper, a mini-reboot of my author blog. Here I’ll continue to post status updates about my books, and interviews and tidbits on writing and writers. But I’m also going to post some insights into the places and characters that inspired elements of my writing, from my travels in Scotland and farther afield.

I’m starting with a castle featured in THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN, Craigmillar Castle. This isn’t a play on my name but a real fortress in Edinburgh (and a really cool one at that!) Located on the outskirts of the city, it’s where royalty took refuge from plagues, nobility plotted murders, and the brother of one king was imprisoned for the practice of witchcraft.

I first explored the stone tower house and ranges of Craigmillar Castle as a college student, and the memory of it stuck with me–from the beautiful fields surrounding the “High Bare Rock”–a translation of Craigmillar–to the turreted towers and imposing keep. One of the coolest things about Craigmillar is the lack of crowds. As opposed to Edinburgh Castle, which has queues within queues spawned by other crowded queues, visitors of Craigmillar can roam the tower and walls as if they owned the place! (Note the complete lack of other visitors in my pictures.) And if that isn’t great enough, if one is inclined, they can walk the 4 miles between the two castles via some great parks and quaint suburbs, and really get a feel for the modern city.

When I needed a clandestine prison for the Fey Finders to hold Effie, I knew Craigmillar was the perfect place. With its history as a prison and place of nefarious plots, where better to have Effie confront the dastardly Edmund Glover?

Here’s a timeline of some notable events at the castle, along with a drawing of the castle’s layout:

 

 

A view of Edinburgh Castle from Craigmillar’s towers:

 

 

 

 

The ‘service of an archer’, an interior passageway, and the outer courtyard:

Have you ever been to Craigmillar? What did you think? Are there any other great places that stand out from your own travels? Let me know!

Fey Matter Book II & Bardic Tales vol. 9

Howdy! It’s been a while since my chat with Wendy Wagner. If you haven’t read the interview, or AN OATH OF DOGS, yet, check them out!

I’m thrilled to announce the second Fey Matter novel will ship to my publisher in the next week. I’m happy with it and have to thank my awesome peer reviewers for thier comments and insight. It’s tentively titled OAK SEER. More to come on the book. Watch here!

The other big news is the release of the 2017 Bardic Tales and Sage Advice anthology, the ninth volume of the series. This one includes my short story, “The Tomb of Jorem’bel”, chosen by readers as their favorite from the January 2016 issue of Bards & Sages Quarterly. You can check out a copy here.