ART: Opal the Sage

Opulence Windlore. When this dragon clansman showed up for Bathed in Moonlight, it must have been a “confluence of destinies,” because he charmed his way into all my future plans for the Amaranthine Saga (and quite possibly a future Interlude). A song-writer and storyteller of some fame, he’s long-winded, high-handed, self-important, and often smug … yet somehow manages to be (as Sinder would put it) one of the good guys. Opal is due to recur in Bk7. ::twinkle::

. . .

Where are my manners?” Seyroo beckoned him closer. “Char, this good dragon is Opulence Windlore, widely known as Opal the Sage, a tale-bringer and lore-singer in high demand throughout the Widelands.”
“Charmed,” said the dragon, whose smile was winsome and wily.

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

Opal the Sage | Art by FoxOfTwilight

. . .

Oooh. I happen to have a clip from Bathed in Moonlight, in which Opal presents Char with a choice:

ART: Bloom for You

Hajime and Naoki. We first meet this duo in Flattered by Flowers (Songs of the Amaranthine, #8). Naoki is a bookseller in the city of Keishi, and he befriended Junpei, who became a regular at his shop. Only after a bit of tanuki mischief did Junpei realize that Naoki wasn’t alone.

“Tell me what you see,” Naoki prompted, his expression guarded.
Meeting a red-eyed gaze, Junpei offered a respectful nod. “I see another man with long, black hair and a lavish crown of red flowers. You are similar to Kusunoki, but Matsu’s friend has more height and girth and wears hakama.”
With a heavy sigh, Naoki said, “Junpei, meet my longtime companion, Hajime.”

Flattered by Flowers
Songs of the Amaranthine, #8

Bloom for You | art by FoxOfTwilight

November’s Monthly Mailing. Qualifying patrons will be receiving “Bloom for You” art cards this month. They’re large & lovely (4×9″). If you’d like to get in on mailings like this, consider supporting my storytelling over there. I’ll do my best to spoil you. ::twinkle::

forthright on Patreon >>

ART: Blue Stones, Black Fur

Bathed in Moonlight. I know there’s other stuff also going on in the seventh story in the Songs of the Amaranthine collection, but Char and Rinloo-dex are two of my favorite people. Have you read their story? If not, do! Bathed in Moonlight is on the must-read list before you dip into Pimiko and the Uncharted Island, which releases in less than a week!

Blue Stones, Black Fur | art by FoxOfTwilight

. . .

Bolder now, Char reached down and set the tip of one finger upon brown skin.
There was a sudden clamor of impressions—dark and wild and strange. Snatching back his hand, Char scowled at the wolf for being so wolvish. He still didn’t see the appeal. But then … a smooth blue stone caught his eye. And another. And more! They were the most wonderful color and polished to a treat. They caught the shine of his happiness, which doubled until the wolf was bathed in moonlight.

Bathed in Moonlight
Songs of the Amaranthine, #7

A closer crop of one curious moonbeam.


How Old is Sonnet?

Sonnet Skybellow. This question came up in comments today for Lord Mettlebright’s Man, and a blog post seems appropriate. As is usual with my writing, you have all the facts, but they’re somewhat scattered. I’ll go through his appearances in publishing order:

  • We first meet Sonnet in Hemmed in Silver (Songs of the Amaranthine, #5), which is set in post-war England (1950s or 60s, given Alfie’s reference to seeing things on the telly). Midway through that story, Sonnet’s father turns up, inadvertently outing his son to Alfie. Why’s his da there? Sentinel wants to tell Sonnet that he has two new baby sisters (twins Lyric and Lavish) & to invite him home so they can get a whiff of their big brother.

**That sets Hemmed in Silver roughly 80 years before the Emergence.

  • Sticking to publication order, Sonnet next appears in Lord Mettlebright’s Man. Why is our lone wolf in Keishi at the time? To attend the whelping feast of little Clarion Starmark (daughter of his Uncle Prospect, making Clarion his first cousin). This jives with the opening scene in Bk2: Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal, in which Prospect entrusts Eloquence with his baby girl while he goes to play music for Harmonious’ gathering of friends. (And hey! Lyric and Lavish are mentioned in passing in this scene.)

Do you enjoy mail?

Patreon Teaser. Just in case you didn’t know, one of the perks my patrons receive is good old-fashioned mail. And more and more, I’ve been having cards printed with art, book quotes, and even original story snippets. While I can’t exactly mail out moonbeams for everyone, July’s mailings are Churlish-themed. You see, my topmost tiers will be receiving Quarterly Bubble Mailers this month (“contents subject to whim”), and I decided on custard cups and silver spoons.

forthright on Patreon >>

Thank you to everyone who’s able to support my writing in this way. I enjoy applying my creativity to finding little ways to spoil you! ::twinkle::

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 >>

Release Day

Flattered by Flowers: The Anthology has released in both print & audio formats! ::confetti toss:: I’m so pleased to add these editions for your enjoyment. You’ll want to give them ALL a listen!

Audible (US Storefront) >>

Audible (UK Storefront) >>

Thank you (as always) to everyone who takes the time to read, (often reread), rate, and review my stories. Your support is invaluable.

Days Away

Flattered by Flowers: The Anthology will be releasing in print & audio formats in just a few days! There’s still time to pre-order. Further inducement comes in the form of … another audio clip, courtesy of Travis Baldree, this time from the titular Flattered by Flowers (Songs of the Amaranthine, #8).

Audible (US Storefront) >>

Audible (UK Storefront) >>

On a related note, if you’re planning to buy a signed copy of the anthology from me, the first shipment’s out the door, as of Monday. But there’s plenty in stock. Let me know if you’re interested in a signed copy. Details on this post >>

One Week Left

Flattered by Flowers: The Anthology will be releasing in print & audio formats a week from today! There’s still time to pre-order. Further inducement comes in the form of … another audio clip, courtesy of Travis Baldree, this time from Bathed in Moonlight (Songs of the Amaranthine, #7).

Audible (US Storefront) >>

Audible (UK Storefront) >>

On a related note, if you’re planning to buy a signed copy of the anthology from me, the first shipment will go out the door tomorrow. (I spent yesterday getting your orders ready.) But there’s certainly still time to add to the pile of packages. Details on this post >>

Personal Touches

Details, Details. One of the little personal touches that I always add to the signed books that I send out are inked stamp images. Dreaming them up can be pretty fun. I don’t suppose you know which of the four stories THIS little beauty celebrates? ::twinkle::

You can pre-order Flattered by Flowers: The Anthology (print edition) just about everywhere. So hit up your favorite virtual bookseller. Here’s the link to Amazon. (**Note: the anthology is print-only. The Kindle edition Amazon has linked in the store is the single digital short story, Songs 08.) You can also now pre-order the print books from me so that they’ll have these personal touches. Details on this post.

Flattered by Flowers: The Anthology
releases May 22, 2022

Pre-Order the Anthology

Flattered by Flowers: The Anthology will be releasing on May 22, 2022. I’ll have book boxes from the printer soon, but in the meantime, I’ll begin taking pre-orders from those of you who want author-signed copies (and/or numbered bookplates). There have been a few changes, both to the price and for the payment method. Basically, all the print books are now $27 (includes shipping in the US). I nudged the price up by a couple of bucks to help cover printing & shipping costs, plus taxes.

  • Flattered by Flowers: The Anthology – $27 in the US (includes shipping via media mail)
  • Flattered by Flowers: The Anthology – $50 for MOST international shipping (**some countries aren’t accepting packages or have increased their prices into the stratosphere)
  • Signed/Numbered Bookplate Sticker – $3 in the US / $4 for international

Regarding payments. For this, that, and the other reason, I closed forthy’s PayPal account. Let’s just say it became redundant when they insisted on slapping my real name on everything. ::le sigh:: You can still use PayPal if that’s easiest, but you have to send funds to a different email address. It’s such a jumble, I’m going to have to ask y’all to simply email me with the basics. I’ll direct you from there.

The Basics:

  • Your Name
  • The Name/Nickname you want on the flyleaf
  • Your Mailing Address
  • Payment Method: Zelle, PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Gift Card

Thank you for your patience. And for your enthusiasm!

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.