ART: Unbraided

Quen & Kimi. Once I made the executive decision to leave Eloquence’s hair unbraided for this near-kiss, it became increasingly obvious that with his hair loose around his shoulders, Quen looks even more like his father. They’re both charmers in their own way. ::twinkle::

Unbraided” | art by FoxOfTwilight

ART: My Stash

Squirreled Away. So many of you ship this. Can’t really blame you. All I’ll say is … these guys certainly need each other. Behold, Jiro “Joe” Reaverson and Alder “Kip” Woodacre from Tamiko and the Two Janitors (Amaranthine Saga, #3).

“My Stash” | art by FoxOfTwilight

… you need to understand that the sigilcraft is mine. They’ll carry my … my signature. And according to the customs of my clan, that makes you mine.”
“So it’s a bond?”
“Sort of.” He really wished a better idea would occur to him. “It does define a new relationship.”
“Umm … in what sense would I be yours?”
“My personal stash.” Kip couldn’t quite meet Jiro’s worried gaze as he added, “My food.”


::twinkle::

ART: Naproom

Michael and the Crossers. Thank you to everyone who participated in the recent poll over on Patreon. Fully half of you (51% to be exact) asked to see our “halfers” next. Most of Stately House’s crossers are known by name thanks to Lord Mettlebright’s Man. Of all of my options, I chose Nonny, Gilen, and Jarrah in large part because they’ve had the most mentions & screentime. Jacques mentions Jarrah in Bk3: Tamiko and the Two Janitors, trying to pawn off the little hellion on Kip, and all three of these boys had their moment in Cross and Crosser (that IY x Amaranthine Saga crossover I wrote for my fanniversary last September), which I’ve excerpted below.

Naproom | art by FoxOfTwilight


Excerpted from Cross and Crosser:

::twinkle::

ART: Catnap

Long Sleep. Amaranthine don’t need sleep often, but when they “go deep,” it’s often for days. Of all those you’ve met, Hisoka-sensei may have the most difficult time catching enough rest. His many obligations tend to infringe upon a normal sleep pattern. But Argent (ever the strategist) has found an effective counter. While Hisoka cannot indulge every month (and still pushes his limits), he’s found a safe haven in Jacques Smythe.

Catnap | art by FoxOfTwilight

close crop

ART: Nestle

Happy Valentine’s Day

• • •

Nestle | Art by FoxOfTwilight

Quarterly Art Card. This is the artwork that’s featured on the next quarterly art card, which is one of the perks of patronage, starting at the Twinkle tier. “Nestle” will be mailed out to qualifying patrons in time for the vernal equinox (March 20), which is undoubtedly a notable day in Amaranthine culture. If you want a bit of Tsugent in your mailbox to mark the start of spring, you can find out more about my Patreon over here >>

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::

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::

ART: Hold Him Down

The Starmarks at Home. As I mentioned on this previous post, I’ve begun accumulating pajama pics. I suppose I like the relaxed, cozy ambiance … and the sense of catching a glimpse behind the scenes, where people are at their truest.

“Hold Him Down” | art by FoxOfTwilight

Ever’s grown a lot. One of these days, we’ll have to put him and Kyrie together in one pic so you can see the size difference. Canines (other than Quen) are tall & strapping, but Kyrie’s rather short & slight of frame. Tough to say which has the advantage, though. Everyone has their own strengths (and challenges).

ART: Songsters

Avian Minstrels. We’ve worked up a little surprise for Christmas, setting the copperplate shopping list from Hemmed in Silver to music. But because I’m shy, it’s a Patreon Exclusive. (More about becoming a patron here >> ). Meanwhile, you can enjoy the companion artwork. Here are Pennythwaite and Thrussel, who are surely more tuneful than Mr. Right and I. (But we had fun with our little ditty.) ::twinkle::

“Songsters” | art by FoxOfTwilight

ART: Silver Bells

Happy Dichotomy Day! One thing people keep asking me for is MOAR moments with Argent & Tsumiko. While I can’t deliver those in books set away from Stately House, I can treat you in other ways. Like so…

“Silver Bells” | art by FoxOfTwilight

For the record, 1) The jingle jammies were totally a gift from Lapis, and 2) Fox and I seem to have kicked off a whole series of cozy pajama pics. Expect more relaxed, at-home moments with more members of the cast in the near future! ::twinkle::

ART: Dun Nippets

Hemmed in Silver. I’ve been holding back until the short story showed up in ALL the storefronts, and we surmounted that hurdle that over the weekend. (Thank goodness.) So I am here with the first piece of Hemmed in Silver art. For those just now reading Songs of the Amaranthine, #5, I’ll link back to the Squee Post that went up on release day (in case you want to share reactions, speculations, etc.).

Dun Nippets | art by FoxOfTwilight

• • •

It had only been a week. Florent knew he was still an outsider in Hazel’s eyes. On some level, he felt bad for trespassing on her safe corner of the world, but he’d resolved to be patient. If he left her be, eventually, she’d be ordering him around with the same breezy condescension with which she treated the other farmhands.

Hemmed in Silver

ART: Barefoot Boys

Safe Place. Argent allows his sons to attend the summer courses at Wardenclave, which is arguably one of the safest places on earth. Which allows Kyrie to meet Mikoto, newly appointed headman of this historic village. “It is my honor to welcome you on behalf of Wardenclave. May the coming season find you stronger for your efforts and richer for the bonds we will share.”

“Barefoot Boys” | art by FoxOfTwilight

• • •

Sitting on the edge of the mattress, Mikoto was nearly the same height as the boy, who was compelling at close range. His fingers twitched, but he recalled himself and lowered his gaze.

“Curiosity can be a compliment.” Kyrie carefully picked up Mikoto’s hand and brought it to his face. “Some people need to touch me to be sure I am real.”

“They do?”

The boy smiled. “Touch is part of familiarization. And I find it reassuring.”

Mikoto’s fingertips grazed freckled scales. “You do?”

“I do. Because you are neither afraid of nor disgusted by me.”

What a thing to suggest.

“Not everyone finds the marks of my heritage beautiful.”

That remark was even more telling than the last.

The boy could see right through him. Had weighed Mikoto in a balance and somehow found him worthy. But Kyrie was also baring something vulnerable. People feared this gentle child? Flinched away or thought him ugly? Mikoto felt a surge of indignation, of protectiveness.

Kyrie shuffled closer. “We are becoming friends …?”

“We are friends.” Mikoto pulled him into an embrace. “And not simply because you are beautiful.”

Mikoto and the Reaver Village
Amaranthine Saga, #4

ART: Her Colt

Fira folded her arms over her chest. “Human men like docile, doting, dainty wives.”

Ricker blinked. “You are not … large.”

“Compared to mares. But my stature is considered a misfortune. I am ungainly, cumbersome. You know, I have even been described as coltish.”

He snorted his way into a whinnying laugh and swooped her into his arms.

“Her Colt” | art by FoxOfTwilight

::close up::

ART: Perfect Fit

Governed by Whimsy. While you’re (hopefully) enjoying the newest Songs tale, here’s art for the previous one. Ambrose is no doubt attired for some new theatrical in this Rococo-inspired ensemble. And the shoes! “The very kind of extravagance that he both craved and could not have.”

• • •

“My proportions require specialty craftsmanship. And fittings.” Which was as close as Ambrose would come to admitting he had big feet.

Governed by Whimsy
(Songs of the Amaranthine, #4)

“Perfect Fit” | art by FoxOfTwilight

Close-ups:

::twinkle::

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).