Quarterly Art Card

Perks of Patronage. I do try to reward those who support me over on Patreon with exclusive content. There are stories (currently spinning out Bard & Barbarian). Narrated chapters (of BnB) by Travis Baldree. And there are a variety of options that mean fun stuff in your mailbox. Most recently, I’ve begun adding story snippets. Amaranthine outtakes that are printed on postcards or art cards, much like September’s Quarterly Art Card.

Printed on felted paper, this 5×7″ art card features an illustration I commissioned last year. “The Drama” by Lara Pickle. She did a piece for each of the first four Songs of the Amaranthine stories. “Name Game” is an original story snippet, set after the events of Governed by Whimsy (Songs of the Amaranthine, #4).

You can still get in on this mailing if you join as a patron before the end of the month. The Quarterly Art Card perk starts at the Twinkle tier ($4/month). Thank you for supporting me and my stories, wherever they may be found!

forthright on Patreon >>

Fun Mail

Celestia Bumbers. A little while back, I received a fun bit of mail. A reading friend created one of the Ephemera that appears in Captured on Film (Songs of the Amaranthine, #6). So cute!

Thank you, W! ::glomp::

Caleb’s heart was sinking. “Are they rare, these bumbers?”
“Increasingly so.”
With another sidelong look, he asked, “Do they look like fuzzy white bees with blue eyes?”

Captured on Film
Songs of the Amaranthine, #6

. . .

Don’t forget that you can currently pre-order the next Songs of the Amaranthine story, Bathed in Moonlight!

Aspen Leaves

Totes Adorbs. Hey, it’s been a while since we uploaded something new to the Twinkle Press storefronts on Threadless and TeePublic. With both my Fanniversary (9/22) and a new book release (10/22) oncoming, it’s the perfect time to make some new patterns available. You can purchase a variety of products, from totes and masks to journals and notecards.

Aspen Leaves, inspired by Captured on Film (Songs of the Amaranthine, #7)

SHOPS PAGE (here on the blog) >>

Every Word Matters

Couriers. Before the Emergence, Betweeners didn’t use unsecured means of communication. Letters, messages, and communiques are still usually hand-delivered by heralds. Thus far, all of the heralds we’ve met in the Saga & Songs have been avian. (It’s a proud tradition.)

Is it important?” inquired Thrussel.
Wyn left off his fifth reread to blandly reply, “Most letters hand-delivered by heralds are. How did this even find me?”
“Discreet channels.”
“Am I found, then?”
“No, Wyn. We songbirds have our own way of making sure letters reach their intended recipients.” He touched Wyn’s arm. “It was passed from dove to ptarmigan to warbler before arriving in our vicinity. Someone remembered Lord Alderney having a little place by the name, and I offered to see it delivered. None the wiser.”

Hemmed in Silver (Songs of the Amaranthine, #5

Every Name a Story

Glint Starmark. When the “First of Dogs” takes a new name for himself, it’s star-themed. His first children, who are Kith, are given names that have significance to his life, his choices, and his hopes for the future. In doing so, he establishes the doggish naming sense that carries throughout the centuries (and the series).

His children never learned the name Loor-ket Highwind, nor did he hand down any wolf lore. When he sang, it was of the descent of an angel and the rise of a star. Though they had no crest, and their den was little more than a shed, they were a clan unto themselves. He took the name Starmark, and his children knew him as Glint.

Release Day

Governed by Whimsy: The Anthology, which contains the first four stories in the Songs of the Amaranthine collection is now available as an audio book. Travis Baldree narrates:

  • Marked by Stars
  • Followed by Thunder
  • Dragged through Hedgerows
  • Governed by Whimsy

Don’t forget, you can still pre-order Mikoto and the Reaver Village‘s audio edition, which releases next week! ::twinkle::

Pre-Order a Song

Bathed in Moonlight (Songs of the Amaranthine, #7) is now available for pre-order on Amazon (for Kindle). This short story will release as a digital only title (for now). Since this is the seventh title in the Songs of the Amaranthine collection, we’re only one away from having enough to create a second print anthology. And yes, closer to release, the story should show up in other venues.

Some courtships follow all the rules. Some courtships bend them.

As the Seven Score Moons cycle through their phases, the appointed time for the Queen’s Festival draws near. Wolves from all over will gather at a site that the packs count as sacred, to sing for the Moon and her maidens. Rinloo is part of an allotment of dexes sent to guard the Circle, which has long been anchored by an Amaranthine tree. There he encounters a girl-child spirited to safety by imps and an unhappy maid from the Luminous Court.

releases November 4, 2021

Link to Pre-Order on Amazon (US) >>

Shelve on Goodreads >>

Governed by Whimsy: The Anthology

Pre-order! Travis Baldree’s narration of the first four stories in the Songs of the Amaranthine collection will be releasing on August 10, 2021. You can pre-order the anthology now! Titles include …

  • Marked by Stars
  • Followed by Thunder
  • Dragged through Hedgerows
  • Governed by Whimsy

Pre-order on Audible >>

ART: Dare Together

Available Everywhere (Finally). Since it looks like Captured on Film has turned up in virtual storefronts internationally, I can finally share some quotes, art, and snapshots. Let’s begin with the brothers themselves! ::twinkle::

Dare Together | art by FoxOfTwilight

His brother ran a hand over a dark blond beard. “Hear me out.”
Okay, this was already bringing back bad memories. “No.”
“I came to invite you.”
“No.”
“Remember how Dad would take us camping?”
Caleb held up a hand. “Invite Dad. He’d be thrilled.”
Josheb’s eyes narrowed. “I’m making this official. I dare you, Caleb Dare.”
“You can’t.”
“Can, too. Just did.” From his doubly superior height, Josheb smirked. “Live up to the name, or live down the shame. You know what’s riding on this.”
He did.
As one, they both looked to Nessie, whose tail thumped the floor.

Release Day!

Captured on Film. Today’s the day! The 6th Songs of the Amaranthine tale has released. I hope it’s well-received. And since such tales are short & sweet, I’ll make this post do double duty as the Squee Post for Captured on Film.

One brother believes in impossible things.
One brother denies he can see them.

When Caleb Dare’s younger brother shows up out of the blue, he’s immediately suspicious. The two of them live in totally different worlds. But Josheb threatens to camp in the middle of Caleb’s urban loft for as long as it takes to convince him to take a nice, long hike into the woods. They can camp. Swap stories around the fire. Just like old times.
Yeah, right.

Josheb’s true motive is a major hassle. If not a hustle. He’s always believed in absolutely everything, from extraterrestrials to the paranormal. On a hot tip from an undisclosed source, he’s chasing a myth into the mountains, sure he’ll be the one to prove the existence of an elusive cryptid. It’ll be the story of the century, and Caleb is the only one who can give him the edge he needs.
Yeah, he’s right.

Release Day: March 4, 2021
Amazon (US) | Goodreads


Squee Post. If you need a place to react, confer, or kick up a fuss, this is the spot. I’ll enjoy your enthusiasm, I might be willing to clarify small points, but I reserve the right to evade questions that will be answered later in the series. ::twinkle::

[[[WARNING: HERE THERE BE SPOILERS]]]

Still Time to Pre-Order

Captured on Film. The next short story in the Songs of the Amaranthine collection will be releasing this Thursday, March 4, 2021. Pre-order on Amazon now, and you’ll undoubtedly get a sneaky early copy. (Mine always arrives by 10pm the night before.) As usual, this will be a digital-only release. Eventually, once I have four new stories (5 through 8), I’ll compile them into a print anthology.

Who are the Dare brothers? If you’re a detail oriented person, you might recall that they were first mentioned in Book 3: Tamiko and the Two Janitors as part of Harrison Peck’s BINGO night trivia challenge:

“On the popular television series Dare Together, what famous cryptid did brothers Caleb and Josheb Dare bring out of hiding for an interview?”  

They’re mentioned again in Book 4: Mikoto and the Reaver Village:

Lilya held Kyrie’s hand all the way back from movie night. They’d been treated to back-to-back episodes of Dare Together, with hints that special guests would be arriving the following weekend. Rampant speculation pointed toward a visit from Caleb and Josheb Dare … or any number of the cryptids they were so famous for tracking down.

Nab your copy to get in on this brotherly adventure. And look forward to Dare Brothers art on release day! ::twinkle::

Pre-order on Amazon (US storefront) >>

ART: Sonnet

Two Sides. Last week, I teasered this piece of art over on Patreon with a close crop. (I always do. Peeks are a perk of patronage.) Seems especially appropriate that I post this piece today, since Sonnet steps seamlessly (dare I suggest fluidly) into a new role for his family in Hemmed in Silver.

• • •

When Pennythwaite called them for dinner, he sounded strange. Strained.

Concerned, Wyn hurried to the kitchen, only to draw up short. Triggs showed up a moment later and with a surprised grunt, backed into the corner. Pennythwaite was clearly holding himself in check, a sure sign he was thoroughly flustered.

Beck sauntered in and swore. “Sonnet, what are you doing?”

“Getting ready for our children.”

Gesturing widely, Beck squawked, “You’re in a dress!”

“Well, I was thinking.” Sonnet calmly slid a platter and a covered dish onto the table. “They’re children. They’ll need mothering.”

Hemmed in Silver
Songs of the Amaranthine, #5

• • •

Sonnet | art by FoxOfTwilight

Redefining Himself. Based on what responses I saw, Sonnet rather stole the show in the fifth Song. He’s a dog by birth (one of Harmonious Starmark’s grandsons, actually), but he ran away from home to live as a wolf. Sonnet Skybellow fancies himself a lone wolf, but he may be the only person who actually believes that. To quote myself (from another story), he mothers beautifully. ::twinkle::

Anniversary of the Emergence

Lunar New Year. We’re nearing an international holiday (at least, it is in-story). The news that startled humanity around the world, that they shared space with the so-called “inhuman races,” coincided with the Lunar New Year (because wolves).

• • •

“Look, look, look!” Coop’s voice broke with adolescent urgency as he pointed at the television screen. “They cut in a few seconds ago. Across all channels.”

He flipped through to demonstrate. Every station was emblazoned with banners that screamed, BREAKING NEWS!

“What’s happened?” asked Charles, because the words scrolling across the bottom of the screen were more confusing than anything.

Non-human.

Coexistence.

Treaties.

Reavers.

Shock.

Worldwide.

“Is this for real?” asked Charles. 

Coop got right up next to the screen, which showed a row of five people on a stage. Some kind of government building, by the look of things. The camera zoomed in and panned back and forth, offering a closer view of calm smiles and pointed ears.

“Back, back, back, already,” Coop grumbled. And when the cameras finally obeyed, he jabbed his finger at one of them. “The taller lady. Dad, she has a tail.”

It took that long for Charles to realize what must be going on. He sank to a seat on the edge of their couch. “Those people. They’re just like ….”

Dragged through Hedgerows
Songs of the Amaranthine, #3

• • •

Over on Patreon, I’m doing a special mailing for the Lunar New Year by borrowing from human tradition. Red envelopes. Lucky coins. Year of the Ox. If you’ve been considering becoming a patron, this would be an excellent time to join the ranks. As with everything I do, I try to keep things interesting over there. ::twinkle::

Just for fun, I’ll pose the same question here that I did on Patreon. Which two bovine clans have been mentioned so far in the Saga & Songs?

forthright on Patreon >>

ART: Making a Home

The Cooper Family. Each of the Songs of the Amaranthine stories has its own part in the larger story. In Dragged through Hedgerows, we meet Daroo-fen Clearsong, whose duties and vows have set him apart from the packs, making him a lone wolf. Used to masquerading as a human, Daroo/Drew figures he can pull off another kind of impersonation: family pet.

“Making a Home” | art by FoxOfTwilight

Fun Facts: Daroo is over seven feet tall, and Charles is barely five. Quite the height difference. Also, Daroo isn’t the first lone wolf you’ve met in the Saga & Songs. You’ll learn more about their choices (and consequences) when that other fellow deigns to recur. ::twinkle::