Tag Archives: fiction

The Augurwraith by Craig Comer – Part V

She stepped inside. Movement to her left caught her attention. The robed man edged toward her, hugging the wall. His gaze swung from the grappled pair to Saja. She swallowed, unsure what to do.

“Get the door,” Lucendes gasped, as if reading her mind.

blog_treeRight, she nodded. She spun out of the entrance and grabbed the door. But as she tried to swing it closed, the robed man darted forward and caught its edge.

“Child, I would advise you to move,” he said. His voice held a note of panic in it, despite the stern warning.

Saja pulled back, and the light from outside flooded the man’s face. He squinted and tried to step through, but as he did Saja slammed the door shut again, causing the man to yelp in surprise. She lowered her shoulder and pressed, to keep him pinned, then rolled her back flat and slid her rump to the floor, wedging them in place.

The wood pinched against her skin as the man tried to shove her out of the way, but his arm was trapped at his side, and he didn’t have enough strength or leverage. Saja gritted her teeth. Determination welled within, fueled by hope.

In the center of the room, Lucendes threw himself from side to side, forcing Raj to stagger. Like a ship lurching across rough seas, the pair threatened to tip. Lucendes brought both his knees up, and the sudden weight caused Raj to lose his balance. His arms slackened, and Lucendes slipped to the ground.

The thief tumbled away and came to his feet. He knocked into the table, spilling some of the scented oils that burned within clay pots. Snatching one of the chairs, he hurled it.

Raj batted the chair aside as he stalked forward. Lucendes waited until the last moment, then tossed one of the pots. The burning oil splattered across Raj’s bare chest, and he howled in pain.

Grabbing another chair, Lucendes smashed it into the larger man. He swung again, breaking the chair across Raj’s temple. The brute blinked, wavering, then slumped to the ground. Lucendes looked up at Saja and grinned.

“Hurry,” she barked at him. Her back felt like it was on fire, from the strain of keeping the door forced shut. He strode over and grasped the plump man, pulling him into the room as Saja shifted out of the way.

“I have need of your services, Khouri,” said Lucendes.

The plump man blustered. “The last time I helped you, I had to flee the city. And you never paid!” He shook his head. “I will do nothing for you.”

Lucendes righted one of the overturned chairs and sat the plump man down. Then he held up a finger and moved to where Raj lay sprawled across the floor. Yanking the man’s belt purse free, he shook it, the coins within clinking together. “Here,” he said, tossing the bag to Khouri. “My debt is settled.”

“I should’ve guessed you’d seek me out again,” said Khouri.

The thief shrugged. “You’re an augur. You should’ve seen me coming.”

“An augur, Lucendes, not a Seer. My visions are not that precise. Though in truth, I’ve had dark dreams of late. It seems they foretold a visit from the Blessed One’s best assassin.”

Lucendes’ eyes flickered to Saja. Her own widened in shock. “An assassin of the Blessed One?” she whispered. The hope she’d felt earlier evaporated. The prophet kept an iron thumb on perhaps half the thieves in Kuthahaar. His attention was one to avoid, not covet.

“Did he not tell you?” asked Khouri, with a chuckle.

“It changes nothing,” Lucendes snapped. “We’ve come for you to divine the location of her father.”

The augur’s gaze became intent upon the thief, and his laughter increased. “Why bother? You know it already. I can see it on your face!”

Saja started. She swung her gaze between the two men, taking a step toward the door. “Was it a lie?” She shuddered. “You promised. You fooled me into believing.”

Lucendes shook his head. “I kept things from you, but the words I spoke of the other matter were the truth. You will see your father’s apprentice again. Khouri holds the power to summon an augurwraith.”

Khouri jerked. “You told her of this? It is knowledge punishable by death.”

“I know where your father is kept,” Lucendes continued, ignoring the augur. “If he still lives, I will free him from his captors.”

…to be continued

Originally published in Pulp Empire Volume IV.

© Craig Comer

12 Days of Books Giveaway!

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What’s better than free reads, right? Like the covers above? Then check this out:

E. J. Wenstrom, author of the award-winning novel, Mud, invites you to enter to win a collection of 12 speculative fiction books, just in time for the holidays!

Click the link above to find out how to enter, or visit one of the participating author’s sites:

Charles Cornell | Louann Carroll | Danielle DeVor | Connor Drexler 
Jeff Elkins | M. G. Herron | Sharon Johnston | Jade Kerrion
R. Perez de Pereda | Brian Rella | Antonio Simon, Jr. | E. J. Wenstrom

And in other news:

Since I haven’t in a while, I thought I’d share a little of what I’ve been working on lately.

  • A Fey Matter has now become the series title for Effie and her adventures, with Book I entitled, The Laird of Duncairn. The book is due out in May from City Owl Press! Yay!
  • Speaking of Laird, I finished my last round of content edits with the amazing and awesome, Heather McCorkle of City Owl, and now the book is off to the copy editor for a round of polishing.
  • Book II of the series is well underway. I just crossed the 50,000 word mark. For the long-haul of a speculative fiction novel, that means I’m about halfway home! (I hope…)
  • And last of all, I’ve finished reworking my YA novel, The Weird of Danika Ruck, to the point where I’m happy with sending it out into the great hopeful-sphere that is the novel submissions process!

The Augurwraith by Craig Comer – Part IV

With a curt nod, she spun and marched away. Lucendes followed, guiding her with occasional grunts as they left the Tanner’s District and entered the Cupper’s Warren. There, the ringing of hammers filled the alleys and the smoke of stoking fires billowed in the streets, increasing the afternoon heat.

blog_treeSaja spoke of her father, of his trading caravans, and of the life that had been hers. She told him of the raiders who’d burned an entire shipment of oak bark and slain the dozen guards who accompanied it. How the loss had crushed her father and forced him into debt, and how losing a few contracts through ill luck had caused that debt to swell.

And last, she told him of Tarim. “Those my father owed forced him to sell his apprentice to the Kitame, in order to recover their losses,” she said, straining to keep her voice as flat as possible. “My father sold Tarim like he would any of the goods from his caravans.”

“He became an augurwraith, a bodyguard for one of the royal blood,” said Lucendes. “Such horrors the privileged deliver upon the poor. It is a blessing the Sultan outlaws the practice except to a certain few.”

Nodding, Saja dropped her gaze. “They came for him one day. We knew it meant his death, and still he went willingly, to become a creature of the spirit world, bound to one of the Kitame.” She blinked back the tears welling at her eyes. “One day he was as a son to my father; the next he was gone.”

Lucendes studied her. “You cared strongly for this Tarim,” he mused. Pursing his lips, his eyes flickered to the sky. Then he grinned and turned to Saja. “After you have eaten, we shall go to see a friend of mine. He may be able to help us.”

Saja started to protest, but Lucendes cut in. “Did you know it was possible to speak with an augurwraith? Even one not bound to you?”

Saja’s heart thumped. Speak with Tarim again? What would she say? What would he? The bustling of the city around her faded, and she allowed herself to be led away as if lost in a dream.

“That is,” Lucendes continued, “if you have the right kind of friends.”

#

Her belly full, Saja followed as Lucendes approached the hovel of his friends. It was perched between a slaughtering pen and a grain house, with a flat roof that buckled in its center. The thief halted at the slatted wood door, but instead of knocking, he slipped his dagger through the crack formed at its frame. The door creaked as he pushed it taut against its latch, scraping his blade up and down, searching for the release.

Saja’s gawked at the blatant thievery. She scanned the near empty street, wondering if anyone watched, when the latch suddenly clicked free, and the door swung open.

A man with shoulders as wide as a bull’s stood within. “You!” he cursed at Lucendes. He wore no shirt under his vest, and Saja could see his muscles flare.

“Me,” said Lucendes, ducking low and throwing his shoulder into the man’s gut. Both stumbled backward, spilling into a room filled with the scent of burning incense. Heavy tapestries hung on the walls, blocking the outside light, and a heap of overlapping rugs covered the earthen floor.

Another man, small and plump, sat at a table in the far corner. His robe was finely cut, something Saja’s father would’ve worn. He bolted to his feet, sucking in a tight breath and eyeing the open door, the only exit Saja could see.

The larger brute swiped at Lucendes’ head, but the thief ducked under the blow. He caught the underside of the brute’s arm and used it as leverage, slamming his knee into the man’s side.

The brute grunted. He clutched his ribs and bent over. But instead of attacking, Lucendes leapt out of the man’s reach.

“You think I’d not remember that ruse, Raj?” he asked. Raj glowered, standing upright. The pair circled, Raj in a crouch with his hands raised before him, Lucendes springing lightly upon his toes.

With a deft flick of his wrist, Lucendes sent his dagger sailing at the other man’s head. He rushed after it, chasing the toss that flew wide and clattered against one of the tapestries.

Raj didn’t flinch as the blade spun past. Instead, he stepped forward into Lucendes’ path. The thief tried to swerve, but his foot caught in one of the thick rugs. He stumbled, and Raj’s arms seemed to swallow him in a crushing embrace.

“I remember, too,” the brute said.

Lucendes squirmed, trying to loosen the larger man’s grip. His face turned red from the strain. He kicked his legs out and battered his head against Raj’s chest, but neither were effective.

Saja realized her knuckles had grown white from clutching her dress. She released her grip and glanced down the street again. She could run. What were the promises of a thief, anyway? These obviously weren’t his friends. But he’d fed her, as he said he would, and rescued her from the tanners. Thoughts of the roasted pigeon and beets caused her stomach to gurgle in contentment.

And the chance to speak with Tarim again. Even to discover the fate of her father. The boon was worth a small amount of hope.

…to be continued

Originally published in Pulp Empire Volume IV.

© Craig Comer

The Augurwraith by Craig Comer – Part III

Saja winced, but instead of a death blow, the thief stepped back and allowed the other guildsmen to regain their companion. They did so with wary eyes that never left their assailant, gathering the tanner between them, and backing away.

Once they had fled the alley, the thief turned to Saja. Run! a voice shouted within her, but her feet remained still. His face was fair, except for a scar that ran along his nose like a dividing line between his cheeks. Dark locks fell almost to his shoulders, and the black trousers he wore were for a much larger man.

He smiled at her. “I suppose asking for a kiss as reward would defeat the whole noble gesture,” he said. “But perhaps you would give me your name? Such a detail will make for a better tale, when I tell my friends of your rescue.”

Saja started. The anger she’d felt earlier welled up again. “Rescue? After what you’ve done, no guildsman will show me kindness! No proper work! No food!” She knew she sounded ridiculous and ungrateful, but she was tired of men pretending to be her savior only to leave her desperate and alone.

“They wouldn’t have helped you before. Their kind is… let’s say, less than honorable.” The thief glanced at his bloodied dagger. He quickly wiped it clean and tucked it into his boot.

“I am called Lucendes,” he said. At Saja’s reaction, he added, “I am from the southern march of Maeldon, though I’ve lived in the Immortal City for many years.”

“My father trades with the Maeldonese. He says they are desert rats of impure blood, who scurry about hoping for the Sultan’s favor.”

“Then I can see he knows them well,” said Lucendes, widening his grin. Saja huffed and turned to leave, but Lucendes fell in beside her. “A moment, Saja,” he said, placing a hand upon her arm. “I did not just chance upon you. I have come to add my blade and wits to your formidable quest.”

Blinking, Saja stammered, “You know my name?”

“You wish to save your father, but the Tanner’s Guild won’t help you. So you are caught in the winds, without friend or family.”

“You knew? But then why did you ask?”

Lucendes shrugged sheepishly. “I may have overhead some of your argument with the guildsmen. Your voice held such misery, I could not rip my ears away. It is a fault of mine, this burden of altruism.”

“I didn’t see you,” said Saja. She frowned, trying to recollect the thief’s face from earlier, then shook her head. It didn’t matter. “But you are mistaken. I have no quest, only a need for food and work.” She swiped his hand from her arm and added, “Honest work.”

This time it was Lucendes who frowned, if only for a fleeting moment. She had caught him off-guard. Good, she thought.

“But what of your father?” he asked. “Wouldn’t his freedom answer all of your problems?”

Saja shook her head. “He’s a drunk, and he owes money to many people. He could be a captive of the Sect of Raast or the Horned Man, or perhaps dead.”

“To have such debts, he must’ve been a mighty man once. And maybe not so long ago? Tell me of him, and I will find you a warm meal.”

“Why?” Saja asked.

“Perhaps I like to help people. Perhaps your father owes me money, too.” Lucendes’ knowing grin returned. “Perhaps I desire you. Does it really matter why?”

Saja stared at the thief. Of course it mattered. But she couldn’t ignore her stomach for another passing of the sun, and the thought of food for so simple a price was too tempting. She didn’t care if it meant soiling her father’s name further. He’d vanished only a few days ago, but he’d disappeared long before.

…to be continued

Originally published in Pulp Empire Volume IV.

© Craig Comer

The Augurwraith by Craig Comer – Part II

As she spoke, two other men emerged from the guildhall. They wore the simple vests of craftsmen, and the mark of the Tanner’s Guild emblazoned their arms in red ink—a scraping blade resting upon a stretched rawhide. The first tanner mumbled some rude comment, and the others laughed.

Saja seethed. She silently cursed her father again, and the Tanner’s Guild, and the Sultan, who allowed lechers to prey upon the desperate. She felt a chunk of sandstone under her palm and grasped it, eyeing the three men. She pictured the tanner clutching his nose and howling in pain, but then thought better of hurling the stone. She could perhaps outrun two, but three certainly pressed her luck. Besides, she still held a small hope the guild would take her in. Maybe if she came again later and spoke with someone else.

The tanner saw the stone as she dropped it, and his eyes went cold. Saja did her best to ignore him. Rising, she scraped off the silt and muck that clung to her dress. In the Tanner’s District, buckets were kept to collect the leavings from animal and man alike, for use in the tanning process, but the slop of refuse still soiled the ground. And in the air, baking under the noonday sun, the stench of the vats hung thick.

As Saja strode away from the guildhall, she passed a few peddlers hawking pottery and craftsmen’s tools from the backs of their carts, while wagons of fresh skins and rawhides trundled along. She dodged one of the wagons and almost collided with a beggar who shuffled by with his arms tucked into his robes, mumbling to himself. She heard giggling from a shadowed corner between two squat buildings, and spied a pair of harlots watching her. They wore sheer linen dresses, with paint caked upon their eyes and cheeks. They know, Saja thought with a shiver. They can see I will soon be one of them. The notion plunged her heart into her gut, and her eyes welled.

A year ago, she’d been in love with Tarim, her father’s apprentice. A year ago, she thought she’d never dream of another man. Her entire life lay before her, scripted like the sweet tales from a mummer’s stage. But then the winds had changed, and her father stole her future.

One of the harlots stepped forward, but the other caught her arm and flicked her gaze at something behind Saja. The first altered her step into a graceful pivot, so that her back faced the street. Saja frowned. She peered over her shoulder and gasped. The tanner and craftsmen followed her, trailing only a few dozen paces away.

For a moment, she only stared. An icy hand of fear gripped her spine and wouldn’t let go. Then, with a gasp, her knees buckled and she lurched forward. Weaving through the street, she quickened her pace, her mind racing with what the men would do to her if they reached her. When she glanced backward again, the tanner gave her a mocking grin.

She stumbled in a wagon rut and heard the two craftsmen laugh. She was only sport to them, she told herself, something to pass the afternoon. Soon they would tire of their chase. She just needed to keep moving.

But she felt them edging closer. The hot sun melded with the imagined heat of their breath upon her neck. The gentle breeze was their fingers reaching out to clutch her dress.

The street forked, and Saja darted down an alley pressed between a salting house and a dyer’s shack. The footsteps slapping the dirt behind her echoed louder, coming closer until they seemed like they were her own.

As she broke into a run, a shadow flittered across the corner of her vision. Only it was higher than it should’ve been, as if a giant hawk had suddenly swooped down beside her. A loud grunt sounded, followed by a thud.

Saja heard the tanner curse, then the shriek of another man. She stopped and spun around, shocked at what she found. A lithe man in a shirt of green silk had his back toward her, blocking the alley. He balanced on his toes like a dancer, with a dagger held in one hand. Even Saja could tell the man was dangerous.

One of the craftsmen clutched at his arm, blood weeping through his fingers. The other was crumpled upon the ground, moaning softly.

The tanner sneered and brought his hands up in fists. “This is unwise, thief,” he said. “We are guildsmen. We are protected. The Horned Man will hear of this and string you from your toes!”

The silk-shirted man shifted his dagger so it pointed toward the ground but remained silent. The tanner lunged at him. To Saja, the punch was as quick as an asp’s strike, but the thief danced to one side and brought the butt of his dagger into the man’s temple. The tanner grunted and was struck again. This time he fell to his knees.

…to be continued

Originally published in Pulp Empire Volume IV.

© Craig Comer

The Augurwraith by Craig Comer – Part I

Saja gagged as the tanner’s breath washed over her in warm huffs that reeked of fish and ale. The man leaned forward from his perch upon the stoop of the guildhall, and pulled her close, his hands fumbling along her waist and rump.

She considered for a moment to let him have his way. Her father had left her with few choices, and almost all ended with her lying upon her back. She cursed her father for the thousandth time that day, wishing him dead, and at the same time wondering if he still lived. She hadn’t seen him for three days, since the Feast of Raast, where the denizens of Kuthahaar had celebrated those of the Sultan’s royal blood, the Kitame, the Children of Light.

blog_treeThe tanner forced his mouth to her neck, and its warmth broke her from her stupor. She shoved at the man’s chest. He raised a hand to strike her, and she quickly lowered her head, staring at his sandaled feet in meek submission.

“Please,” she said. “My father’s always been loyal to the guild. It is said you protect your own.”

The tanner smirked, revealing rotted teeth that pointed like daggers. “But your father’s not in the guild, no more than the boys who collect dung for the vats.”

“He sells you oak bark and lye, gathered from across the Seas of Abthinar. You need him!”

“Phaw, forget that doddering fool. There are a dozen others who would give us as fair a price for their bark and lye, and they wouldn’t squander it all in cups at the taverns.” The tanner rose. His eyes roamed her body. “Come inside, and we’ll find work for you.”

He grabbed her arm, and she slapped it away. Staring up at his leering face, she knew whatever work the tanner would offer, it was his bed he wanted her in. She took a step back, and his smile dropped.

Jerking forward, he snatched her close again. His fingers dug into her shoulders; his chin crushed down on the top of her head. She shrieked and tried to bat him away. He growled and threw her to the ground.

“Leave, then!” he barked.

Saja glanced about, but though the street was busy, no one stared at her. No one cared. The Immortal City of Kuthahaar was never kind to those without wealth or power, and less so to those without family or guild to protect them. Despair bubbled in her gut again, but she pushed it down. Her father had always taught her that panic during a negotiation produced only two effects: a spoiled stomach and an empty purse.

She settled her shoulders and drew her face blank. “I will find him,” she said, though the words brought little comfort.

…to be continued

Originally published in Pulp Empire Volume IV.

© Craig Comer

Sorrow’s Edge by Danielle DeVor – Excerpt

Book 2 in the fascinating series The Marker Chronicles!
See below for an excerpt & Giveaway!

sor-edge-digital

 

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Sorrow’s Edge (The Marker Chronicles, Book 2)

Uncovering the truth will take an exorcist.
 
Jimmy Holiday, defrocked priest turned exorcist, is trying to get his life in order. With his on-again off-again witchy girlfriend moving in, the spirit of the little girl from his last exorcism hanging around, and a secret organization of exorcists hounding him, Jimmy equals stressed.

When a stranger calls in the middle of the night asking for help with a possession, Jimmy is about to land in a mess of trouble. Especially since the man on the phone claims to have gotten his number from Jimmy’s old mentor. Too bad his mentor has been dead for years.

After a mysterious silver flask arrives at his doorstep, Jimmy is left with two options: either ignore the newest enigma the universe has tossed him, or listen to Lucy and travel to Arizona to solve the mystery before all hell breaks loose…again.

 

You can buy SORROW’S EDGE at these retailers:

 Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble

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Danielle DeVor

DanielleDeVorAuthorPhotoNamed one of the Examiner’s 2014 Women in Horror: 93 Horror Authors you Need to Read Right Now, Danielle DeVor has been spinning the spider webs, or rather, the keyboard for more frights and oddities. She spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching “Salem’s Lot” way too many times. When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a mocha frappuccino.

 

You can follow Danielle at these links:

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Instagram

 

Excerpt

I got the phone call at three. Just as Lucy said I would. I was really starting to hate the true “witching hour.” I needed sleep, dammit.
I let the phone ring a few times, hoping that whoever was on the other end would just hang up. I wasn’t that lucky. I dragged my tired-ass body up, grabbed my phone off the nightstand, and swiped the screen.
“Mr. Holiday?” the man asked when I grunted into the phone.
“You realize it’s 3:00 AM, right?” My head hit the pillow. I did not want to be doing this right now.
The man sighed. “It couldn’t be helped. We need you.”
I twitched. Who the hell was this guy anyway? Kind of presumptuous to call somebody at random this late at night when you’d never met the person on the other end. Apparently, manners weren’t his strong point.
I glanced around the room. The lamp in the corner was on. The light glowed just enough to keep my mind at ease. I’d gotten into the habit of sleeping with a light on ever since Sorrow’s Point. Yeah, it was irrational, but hey, I was trying to keep the beasties at bay. From the dim light, I could see Lucy sitting on the floor in front of the TV. I, just barely, made out the program through her. Her hair was as pale as usual and so blond it seemed almost white. She wore the same white nightgown she always did.
“How did you get my number?” I had to know. I mean, I doubted Will would suggest me to someone else. Things hadn’t exactly ended on a positive note.
“You came highly recommended.”
That was news to me. A very small group of people even knew I did something besides graphic design. “By who?”
“That’s not important right now. You’re needed. That’s what should matter.”
I sat up. Not important to him, maybe, but it sure as shit was important to me. I squeezed the phone so hard my knuckles began to ache. If I broke it, this asshole was going to owe me another phone. “Listen. I’m not about to traipse around and do whatever the hell it is you want me to when you won’t tell me who you are or who told you about me.”
“O’Malley said you’d be difficult.”
I froze. Father O’Malley had been the one who allowed me to see the church as a vocation when I was a kid. But there was one problem. He’d been dead since before I left the church. I didn’t care where he got the information. That was a low blow. I clenched my teeth.
“I’m going to hang up now. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t call here again—”
“No, wait!”
The desperation in his voice was the only thing that kept me from hanging up the phone. “All right. I’m listening.”
“O’Malley told me about you in a dream. When I woke up, your phone number was scrawled on my hand.”
Yeah, I knew that kind of weird. I had firsthand experience with it. Having a dead person talk to him in a dream wasn’t that different from a disembodied soul speaking to me in a nightmare. Yeah, my life was really interesting. Though I’d never drawn on myself in my sleep. That was a new one. “Who is it who needs an exorcism?”
The guy hung up. I literally heard the phone hitting the cradle. Who used an old phone like that anymore? I almost threw my cell phone against the wall. I mean, what the hell? Wake me up in the middle of the night for what?
I scratched the sleep out of my eyes and glanced over at Lucy. “Don’t you ever sleep?”
She stared at me and grinned. Her blue eyes almost sparkled. “I don’t have to.”
I shook my head. Of course a kid would think it great to not sleep. I, on the other hand needed my rest—strange phone calls or not. And if someone else called, I’d probably be facing a murder charge.
“Do you think Tabby will like me?” Lucy asked. She stayed dressed in this little white frilly nightgown. I wasn’t sure if it was her favorite or if there was something else at work keeping her dressed that way. When I’d done her exorcism, she sure wasn’t in frills.
Now that was the question, wasn’t it? I’d been toying with the idea of not telling Tabby about my ghostly child, but it appeared that was no longer an option. And with my luck, Tabby would eventually see her, freak out, and the whole thing would be blown out of proportion.
“I’m sure she will…” I hoped that was true. “After she gets used to the idea.”
Lucy stared at me for a bit. I could tell she wasn’t buying it. Best I start remembering there was more to her than to a regular six-year-old.
“It will all work out,” I told her. “Eventually.” Part of that was me trying to convince myself. There was only so much oddness a normal person could take, and I figured I was probably getting close to the threshold.
“Uh-huh,” Lucy said, back to watching the TV. How she could just sit in front of the TV for hours on end, I didn’t know. It was almost like she became somehow hypnotized by it.
I laid my head back on the pillow. Hopefully, I could go back to sleep. Hopefully, I could stop worrying about that odd phone call. Hopefully…who was I kidding? I was seriously screwed. Again.

 

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The Fey Matter continues…

Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s been a great October for The Fey Matter. Edits from City Owl Press are almost complete and we’ve started discussing a cover design for the book.

I’ve started writing the second book in the series, and the rough draft of the first chapter is already complete. I can’t wait until readers are able to follow Effie on her adventures!

For now, here is a rough sketch of Effie done by my friend (and INCREDIBLE artist) Ben Thornton.

effie-snipit

Last, if you haven’t already, the Bards & Sages poll is open until the end of the month. Head on over and vote for your favorite story! (click here) My short story, “The Tomb of Jorem’bel”, is in the January issue.