ART: Such a Gentleman

Jonnet. (Or Soques). I recently hosted a poll over on my Patreon, asking folks to weigh in on “Jacques x ???” People do tend to ship him variously, and I may have a small pile of new art pending that features Stately House’s butler/favorite uncle + various other cast members. Jacques and Sonnet won by a landslide, and the timing for this piece couldn’t be better. ::twinkle::

“Such a Gentleman” | art by FoxOfTwilight

. . .

Who would you vote to see with our Mr. Smythe?
(He has so many good friends!)

Pre-Order Available

Pimiko and the Uncharted Island (Amaranthine Saga, #6) will be releasing October 22, 2022, and the digital edition just become available for pre-order on Amazon.

He leads an elite taskforce.
She did, too. On television. 

After the finale of her dazzlingly successful television drama, Pim Moonprowl packs her bags and books passage to a secretive resort that makes alluring claims. She’ll pay anything, promise anything, do anything to find out if they’re true. On an island that’s not on maps, Pim encounters a silver-tongued doctor, a kindred soul, a caged star, and a clever monkey. This is her big chance to put into practice the skills she gained from eight seasons on an elite taskforce.

Boon can almost taste his prey, he’s that close. If only he hadn’t run up against a barrier in the middle of the ocean. He puts out a call and calls in a favor. There’s a plan in place, and reinforcements are en route, but Boon is restless to run the Rogue to ground. Taking a risk—definitely his style—lands him with a couple of responsibilities he really didn’t need, and both of them are female.

Release Date: October 22, 2022

ART: Rifflet

“Rifflet” | art by FoxOfTwilight

We first meet Rifflet in Bk4: Mikoto and the Reaver Village, when Lilya finds the little wind dragon in the woods surrounding Wardenclave. That’s at the beginning of summer camp. Bk5: Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate takes place roughly four months later, the following October. By then, Rifflet would have been this size, which is nearly double a hatchling’s size. Fun Fact: It’s mentioned in passing that a human can ride an adult wind dragon. Needless to say, Rifflet is growing fast.

Audio Book Sale

The marketing folks at Recorded Books have alerted me to a sale on the first book in the Amaranthine Saga. Starting today, you can get Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox, narrated by Travis Baldree, for 75% off the retail price. This is a limited-time sale, running through the month of July. Here’s a link to the sale page.

If you haven’t heard Travis’s narration of the Saga (and Songs) yet, you’re in for a treat. Snag a copy for yourself!

Paperclips Pattern

Tokens of Affection. We added a new pattern to the Twinkle Press shopfronts this week! Inspired by Kip and all the kids at Landmark Elementary, who’ve been slipping paperclips into Ash’s pockets for years. ::twinkle::

You can order these cuties on all sorts of items, including tote bags, face masks, zipper bags, and notebooks. Check out the shops on Threadless and TeePublic.

ART: Trust Building Exercise

Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate. Let’s call this a little encouragement to fit in a reread of Bk5 before the autumn release of Bk6: Pimiko and the Uncharted Island. Because this time, there’s no time skip. The events of the fifth miko flow right on into the sixth.

I have planned a whole array of trust-building exercises. ’Twould be a shame if they went to waste.”
Akira bit. “Like what?”
“Walking together, shopping together, dining together. I’m told cycling and snorkeling are popular activities for tourists. And did I mention shopping? Because boutiques are on my agenda. And Rafter passed me Wind-and-Tide’s food truck bingo board.”   
“That … actually sounds kind of fun,” ventured Akira.  
Fun is one of the perks of traveling with the well-heeled, somewhat dubious second son of Smythe Manor. My tastes are expensive, my pockets are deep, and our time is short. Let’s frivol away the next five days in extravagant ways … because this, too, is part of Argent’s plan.”

Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate
Amaranthine Saga, #5

Trust Building Exercise | art by Fox of Twilight

. . .

Within ten minutes, it was abundantly clear that Magda was out to have fun, and she seemed intent on dragging Hallow and Suuzu straight into more. Barely a block along their way, and Hallow sported a new pair of sunglasses, and she’d wrapped Suuzu’s head in a fancy turban.
Jacques approved. And snapped pictures. And found some shimmery gloss that he applied to Akira’s lower lip.
“Where’s your usual sparkle?” he asked softly. “Are you actually intimidated by pastels?”
“I feel like a one-man boy band.”
Uncle Jackie took his hand. “Rather the goal. But I need you to relax into this role. If not for my sake, then for his.” He angled his head toward Suuzu, who was undergoing similar indignities.
Suuzu barely resembled Spokesperson Farroost anymore. The lavish headcloth might count as a disguise, and the freshly-applied shimmer of gold on his bottom lip was sort of pretty. But the concern in his best friend’s gaze snapped Akira to attention.
“Better,” murmured Uncle Jackie. “Now stop trying to decide how to act.”
“I can’t act.”
“That is painfully obvious. So how about this? You drag him about like you usually do, and we’ll improvise around you.” After a beat, he leaned close to whisper, “And avoid mirrors.”
Akira glanced around, wary of reflective surfaces. “Why?”
“Pastels.” With a teasing smile, he said, “We need more time to build up your resistance.”

Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate

::close crop::

Quarterly Art Card

Perks of Patronage. One of the thank you gifts I create for my supporters over on Patreon is a Quarterly Art Card. For June’s summer solstice mailing (which is Dichotomy Day, you know), I’ve had prints made of one of the Ephemera that I commissioned from Ren this past spring. There will be four in all, so if you join up now, you may be able to collect them all! ::twinkle::

Quisp | art by Ren

“They are Ephemera.” Suuzu quietly explained, “A rare variety that develops a symbiotic relationship with certain trees. They must have been hibernating inside, but the presence of so many potent souls brought them out.”
“Lady Anna’s blade is an effective lure,” said Argent. “She is like springtime to them.”
Suuzu touched Kimiko’s shoulder. “If they remain active, I would not be surprised if your friend bloomed this year.”
“How fortunate we sealed your boundaries.” Argent darted upward and returned with a small creature caged between his fingers. It looked like a winged monkey, no bigger than a sparrow, with pale fur glowing softly in the darkness. Round eyes blinked drowsily at them as it clung to Argent’s fingers. He said, “I should bring one home to show Tsumiko.”
Akira rolled his eyes. “Like you don’t want it for your collection.” To Kimiko, he added, “Argent’s a repeat offender when it comes to smuggling Ephemera across borders.”

Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal
Amaranthine Saga, #2

. . .

Another series of short wingbeats descended, and something caught in Junpei’s hair, chittering as it clung. He balked, pulling Hajime up short, and whispered, “What is it?”
“You are attracting Ephemera. Calm yourself. These are both harmless and adorable.”
“Get it off?” he begged, bending so his companion could reach.
Hajime made hushing sounds. Maybe they were for the animal. Maybe they were for him. And when he stepped back, he had a strange creature in his hands. A teensy, winged monkey with pale fur that glowed in much the same way Churlish did.
“Nothing to fear,” soothed Hajime. “Not from innocents such as these.”

Flattered by Flowers
Songs of the Amaranthine, #8

Thank you to everyone who supports my stories, wherever they may be found! I’ll do my best to reward your trust, one tale (or trinket) at a time. ::glomp::

forthright on patreon >>

Tsumiko Translated

Show & Tell. Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox (Amaranthine Saga, #1) has its first international edition, thanks to Alma Books, which specializes in romantic speculative literature. The cover illustrator is Omri Koresh, and to celebrate this milestone, I’ve gotten permission from him and from the publisher to create an art card of his rendition of Argent & Tsumiko. It’ll be our Quarterly Art Card over on Patreon for September 2022!

Signed Books

Inventory. I usually do a restock of books whenever I have a new one releasing. Because lots of folks turn up and want to fill a box. With the second Songs of the Amaranthine anthology coming out in less than a month, it’s time to place an order with the printer.

CURRENT STOCK (4thy’s titles):

  • Bk1: Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox4 copies
  • Bk2: Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal – plenty
  • Bk3: Tamiko and the Two Janitors 3 copies
  • Bk4: Mikoto and the Reaver Village6 copies
  • Bk5: Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate – plenty
  • Governed by Whimsy: The Anthology3 copies


My costs have gone up (print costs, shipping costs from the printer, shipping costs to readers, and taxes), so I’ve had to nudge up the price of my author-signed copies from $25 (USD) to $27 (includes shipping in the US). Also, I’m planning to add to/adjust some of your payment options. Hoping to have everything in place by May 1 (a few days away). More about those changes on Sunday.


ART: Pitterhind

Ephemera. I recently commissioned four pieces of art from someone who does amazing things with flora & fauna. So I paired Ephemera with significant flowers from the Amaranthine Saga, and the results have been charming! First up, a pitterhind.

Pitterhind | art by Ren

The whistling flutter of wings drew Hazel’s attention to the shrub, where two pitterhinds swung low for a landing. Even in the pre-dawn dim, she could see enough to tell the male and female apart as they scampered on clever paws toward their nest.
Pea green fur.
Tufted tails.
Tiny antlers.
She’d always wanted to catch and tame one. If only Pennythwaite didn’t keep insisting he was allergic.

Hemmed in Silver (Songs of the Amaranthine, #5)

He spent twenty minutes on his belly in the moss, waiting for an antlered mouse thingie to decide he wasn’t a threat.
The instant the shutter snapped, it was gone in a flurry of wings.
Cute little weirdo.
He almost felt bad for scaring it off.

Captured on Film (Songs of the Amaranthine, #6)

A tiny paw reached between the fingers, accompanied by a soft peep.
Rinloo’s tail wagged. “Joonta was right. The Ephemera around here are mostly tame. Will he run if I turn him loose?”
“No,” said Cedar. “I am here and so is Char.”
Mother Moss bustled in, a milk can in each arm. “Ephemera may run from predators, but they fly to imps and reavers alike.”
Slowly, Rinloo parted his fingers. The pitterhind sat back on its haunches and spread its wings. Then in a streak of green fur, it launched itself at Char, who cuddled it to his chest and stroked its head, right between its tiny antlers.

Bathed in Moonlight (Songs of the Amarathine, #7)

. . .

And the flowers? They’re of the same variety as Zuzu’s (from Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate), which are also the dominant variety of Amaranthine tree on the island that the Farroost clan calls home.

Quarterly Art Card

Vernal Equinox. The box from my printer arrived with the art cards I prepared for my patrons. This month’s Quarterly Art Card features a brand new, exclusive story snippet for Akira & Suuzu that’s set near the end of Bk5: Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate. If you want to catch this and future mailings, consider the leap to patronage. I’d be grateful. And I’ll do my best to spoil you. ::twinkle::

forthright on Patreon >>

ART: Nestmates

Akira and Suuzu. They’re the closest of friends, the lifelong sort. And their story threads straight through the Amaranthine Saga. We haven’t had art of them since they were in middle school, so it was time for an update.

“Nestmates” | art by FoxOfTwilight

Quarterly Art Card. As most of you are probably aware, I create art cards as thank yous for my patrons. More and more, I’ve begun including story snippets on them. Little scenes or outtakes. The next Quarterly Art Card will go out in March, coinciding with the vernal equinox, and THIS is the art I chose to feature. AND I’ve written a scene to go with it, just a private moment between Akira and Suuzu, set near the end of Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate. Completely original. So if you want MOAR of these nestmates, I hope you’ll consider joining the ranks of supporters over on Patreon >>

zoom in

ART: Noble Son

Pocket Puppy. When Mikoto receives the gift that is, was, and always will be Glint Starmark’s answer to grief, he looks for a name that’ll be just right. His puppy is tiny, just a puffball, really … especially compared to a big guy like Mikoto.

Noble Son | art by FoxOfTwilight

The puppy was a bigger handful than he would have guessed. Not literally, of course. He was more of a scant handful, barely large enough to count as canine. Especially in a village where Kith-partnered battlers rode their dogs.
The girls had been quick to suggest names. All of them cutesy. But Mikoto firmly rejected them. He wasn’t leaving something so important to them. Plus, he’d wanted a name with more dignity. Which had brought Yulin to mind. And then the name was suddenly there and perfectly right. A doggish name that was already an endearment. Noble.

Lots of other Mikoto art. Follow his tag >>