Quarterly Art Card

“Heart of a Dog.” As many of you probably already know, I have a Patreon account. (Details about why are on this page.) One of the incentives I provide as a thank you to my supporters is a Quarterly Art Card, and I’ve just revealed December’s. Since Harmonious Starmark’s story has become a Christmas Eve tradition all over the world (in the Amaranthine universe), I thought “Heart of a Dog” (art by FoxOfTwilight) would be Most Appropriate.

These are 5×7″ cards. You can kind of see the shimmer. I had them printed with a pearlized finish. (Very pretteh!) To get in on the offer, become a patron at the Twinkle tier ($4/month) or higher. This is a limited edition offer, and quantities are limited, too. Don’t dawdle.

forthright on Patreon >>

Every Word Matters

Doggish Naming Sense. The Amaranthine dog clans have a unique naming sense, which I sort of based on those quirky virtue names favored by early American colonists. Glint Starmark is the one who actually began the tradition by setting aside his wolvish birth name (Loor-ket), choosing meaningful names for his Kith children (like Path, Pace, and Trio), and giving his bondmate a doggish name (Radiance).

Their firstborn son Harmonious continued the tradition. His five sons are named Merit, Prospect, Valor, Eloquence, and Ever.

Other wolves who “married into” the dog clans follow the established custom by taking a new name. A good example would be Sentinel Skybellow (head of security at New Saga High School), who left the packs when he took Harmonious Starmark’s daughter Rampant as his bondmate.

ART: Two Halves

Kith Partner. I’m always so careful about spoilers, especially right after a new book releases. Not everyone has time to drop everything and read immediately. At the same time, maybe a bit of art will give folks a reason to read! ::twinkle:: This piece features partners Timur and Fend. One is the son of Michael and Sansa. The other is one of Minx’s cubs. (I’m pretty sure you can tell which is which.)

“Two Halves” | art by FoxOfTwilight

Timur whispered, “Between you and me, Fend is the brains of the operation.”

“You admit your Kith is smarter than you?” He was liking this reaver more by the minute.

“Part of why we’re such a good team.”

Sinder’s curiosity piqued. “How do you communicate?” 

Timur tapped his nose. “Whatever do you mean? Kith are intelligent, loyal, and make good pets. Everyone knows that.”

Mikoto and the Reaver Village

. . .

Thank you to everyone who has already taken the time to read, rate, recommend, and (especially) review Mikoto and the Reaver Village. Authors like me rely on readers like you (and the algorithms you sway).

Every Name a Story

Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal. There are three wolves in Class 3-C at New Saga High School, all from the Nightspangle pack in America. They’re used to mingling with humans, having grown up in an urban enclave, but they’re less familiar with the language and culture of Japan. Even so, Hanoo’s leadership qualities shine through.

• • •

Say, did you catch this mention back in Bk2?

Lapis arched his brows. “You require taming, so I am throwing you to the wolves. They clearly understand the process.”

Hanoo said, “We do. It was our job back home. Although it’s been a few years since we had to deal with a strong aversion.”

“Not since Jiminy.” Yoota rolled his eyes. “What a handful he was.”

Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal

ART: Summer Friends

“May the coming season find you richer for the bonds we will share.” Mikoto’s basically grown up at a reaver summer camp, so he’s used to friends who come and go. I keep calling this a buddy!pic for a buddy!fic, because I ship many ships that aren’t romantic in nature: friendship, kinship, mentorship, partnership. ::twinkle::

“Summer Friends” | art by FoxOfTwilight

They caught up to Timur in the kitchen of a modest house. He had his arm around the shoulders of someone who looked like a young samurai who’d mislaid his swords. Wavy black hair swept back from a broad face with strong cheekbones and a stronger jaw, but his quiet demeanor failed to intimidate.

“This is my new sparring partner, Mikoto,” said Timur.

By the look on the young man’s face, this was news. And good news, at that.

“He’s headman of Wardenclave, so mind your manners.”

Not that Timur was showing even a smidge of respect. And Ginkgo judged that Mikoto appreciated the oversight.

Mikoto and the Reaver Village

• • •

Every Word Matters

I have fielded many questions from readers who didn’t meet me in fandom first. Did my best to answer:

Why did you label Book 1 “the first miko”?
Are all of the main characters in your series shrine priestesses? No. While this certainly hints at the legacy of Japanese culture that helped inspire my fandom storylines, miko refers to the main characters’ first names. Book One is about Tsumiko. In Book Two, I’ll introduce Kimiko. Book Three’s story belongs to a lady named Tamiko… and so on. [From a blog comment from 2018, in which I teasered future titles. ::twinkle::]

Lynne asked…
For those of us not familiar with Japanese culture, would you please explain “Miko” and the significance of the prefixes? Is it a two-part name, like Mary Sue, Mary Ann, Mary Margaret? Or something else? Thank you ~

::twinkle::

Tote-able

Books on the Go. I’ve been remiss about sharing more of the entries I received during our most recent Photo Challenge. This one’s from Dani, who took the Amaranthine Saga along for a visit to Lake Superior.

Nice tote! ::twinkle::

Book Boxes

Prettier in Person. I couldn’t be happier with the arrival of several book boxes on my front step. Rolling up my sleeves for a quick tally & inspection, then I’ll get my fingers all inky with the stamping. The evening will undoubtedly be spent signing your books.

Mr. Right will lug the first shipment to the post office tomorrow. You still have time to place an order. Details on how to do that are on the Signed Books page >>

Personal Touches

Days Away. Counting today, we’re four days away from the release of Mikoto and the Reaver Village. The digital edition should deploy right on schedule, but print books will likely be delayed. I see you can now pre-order the print edition of Book 4 on Amazon. That’s good. They might even drop-ship from the printer, which usually means a quick turnaround. Signed copies will be a little slower to reach you, but I’m doing my best to make them worth the wait. Oh, look! Here’s a reason, now:

::twinkle::

One More Week

Next Tuesday. Release Day (and my Fandom Anniversary) is just one week away. Here’s the usual rundown:

Tiny treat. A screencap of the first typeset page. ::twinkle::

Reminder. Any author (every author) benefits greatly when you take a few moments to rate and/or review their books, especially on sites like Amazon & Goodreads.

Heads Up

Print Editions. Mikoto and the Reaver Village is off to the presses (as of last week), but my printer’s website is plastered with warnings that they’re utterly swamped and to expect delays. So while my order is IN, my book boxes COULD arrive after release day. Nothing we can do about that. I”ll keep you updated. Thank you for your patience.

Digital Editions. Naturally, these delays don’t apply to ebooks. If you’ve pre-ordered your digital edition of Mikoto and the Reaver Village, one additional perk is Kindle’s penchant for distributing the book at midnight (EST). I’ve had my books arrive as early as 9pm on Release Day Eve. Good for those who want a head start on their reading. **Book 4 should now be showing up in other venues as well, so if your preferred book source is B&N, Kobo, Book Depository, etc., you should check for pre-order availability.

Audio Books. A few of you have asked, but I don’t think I’ve answered anywhere but in comments. The audio books for Governed by Whimsy: The Anthology and Mikoto and the Reaver Village have been delayed (due to the quarantine). Both titles are on the schedule for 2021. Maybe Travis Baldree will even be able to tackle Bk5 by then! ::twinkle::

Pre-Order Mikoto

Mikoto and the Reaver Village will be releasing on September 22, 2020. As per tradition, I’m opening up for pre-orders on the 1st of the month for those who want signed copies.

  • All the things you need to know are on the Signed Book page >>
  • Spoiler: $25 (includes shipping) for books shipping to US addresses.
  • Patrons (on Patreon) at some tiers are due a signed book. You can use that perk now. (Such a deal! And many thanks!)
  • I’m in the middle of absolutely everything for the next couple of weeks, so I won’t respond to order emails (unless you have questions, of course). If I remember (I confess to forgetting when The Anthology released), I’ll confirm your orders when I’m prepping shipping labels.
  • With everything being all 2020, I’m not sure how long it will take my books to ship from the printer. I’ll keep everyone posted on the blog. Expect excited pic spam when book boxes descend upon 4thy’s front step. ::twinkle::

This summer is his last chance to win his first love.
Wardenclave has always been a place of secrets and sway. For most of the year, the remote mountain village is closed off from the rest of the world, but each spring, they issue invitations to the most promising young reavers all over the world. Summer skill camps provide opportunities for the elite to train with the best. And by longstanding tradition, for teens of the In-between to evaluate the compatibility of their peers. Glint Starmark’s reputation as a matchmaker has been holding true for millennia.

At seventeen, Mikoto Reaver is the youngest headman in Wardenclave’s history. He’s had very little time to adjust to his new role before their close-knit community opens its doors to children of pedigree, the specialists who will mentor them, an allotment of battlers, and a celebrity or two. Glint means well, but Mikoto won’t commit until he can speak to the only girl he’s ever loved. There’s just something about her.

•   •   •

Mikoto and the Reaver Village (Amaranthine Saga, #4) is now available for pre-order on Amazon. This is for the ebook. It will begin showing up in other venues closer to release day. Same goes for print editions (I hope). I don’t think Amazon ever did stock Governed by Whimsy: The Anthology in the US. Audio Books *are* coming, but production has been pushed off into 2021. You can also shelve this book on Goodreads >>