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Summer 2021 goal review

Once again, it’s time for my quarterly check-in to see how I’m doing with the goals I set for myself in January.

I’m still adjusting to my new-ish job. Someone quit when they moved, so I’m picking up an extra shift every week for the next I-don’t-even-know how long. Which means 50 hours, over 4 days. Sometimes it’s slow and I have some free time to write or crochet or read or whatever, but for the most part life right now consists of work, sleep, and loading and unloading my dishwasher. As you can see, my annual goals don’t really fit into that very well.

Anyways.

  1. Continue to publish and promote my Heartsbane Saga series. I’m still picking away on edits on books 1.5, 2.5 (which has to come out before book 3), 3 (which has to be edited to match book 2.5), and now book 3.5.
  2. Publish something at least twice a week. I’m at 29 stories published on Medium so far in 2021, which is just over one a week. I serialized the first Heartsbane Saga story, “The Maiden in the Tower,” into 7 parts, but even excluding that I’m not doing bad for this. Aim for the stars, still on top of the world, and all that Pitbull jazz. I’m also looking into a series for Amazon’s new Vella thing, which would bump this number up too.
  3. Marketing. I have several things on my radar, as soon as I get another Heartsbane book or two out. September, maybe?
  4. Travel travel travel. Now here is somewhere I’m exceeding my goal. Since my last update, at the end of May I went to Rapids City, SD, and eastern Wyoming to hike around the Badlands and Black Hills (and tried Runza in Nebraska for the first time, after driving past them for years. Verdict: okay). Then the next weekend, I headed up to Bemidji, MN, to vanlife around the Frigid Northlands (and eat pasties), but it was almost 100F so I headed over to cooler North Dakota instead. Last weekend, I picked my kid up from his aunt’s in Kansas City, MO, so I’d have an excuse to go back to that German restaurant in Wichita I ate at in February, and then head to Oklahoma City to get some more goat sausage for ravioli. I’m hoping to squeeze in another weekend trip in early August, and then in the middle of that month I’m heading to Hawaii for a week, where I plan to make myself sick eating fresh pineapples and lychee smoothies daily.
  5. Continue to Marie Kondo the shit outta my life. My current project is my office, and specifically the yarn that covers every surface. My problem here is that every time I sort through a box of it, I get sidetracked by starting a new project with every skein. I have a couple craft shows planned for this year, so at least the projects aren’t wasted (assuming I finish them).
  6. Read 100 books. I haven’t made much progress with this since the last check-in; I’m currently at 28 books (26 behind schedule). I’m looking forward to spending some time reading on the beach next month, to try to catch up.

If you’ve set goals for yourself, what are they? How are you doing with them?

Weekend Writing Warrior 7/18/21 #8Sunday

Heartsbane logoWelcome back for the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop, where a bunch of writers share 8-10 sentences from a current or recent WIP. I skipped last week, as I was out of town. My son spent a week with his aunt in Kansas City, so I drove down to pick him up and then we spent the weekend in Oklahoma City. It’s a nice city, with lots of great food – which is really one of the main things I look for when traveling, not gonna lie.

No food in this week’s excerpt, however. I’m continuing on with book 3.5 of my Heartsbane Saga series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. This one is “The Horrible Husfreyja,” a retelling of The Ugly Duckling. Protagonist Uli wants to be a warrior, not a housewife. She’s out in the woods near her home when she runs into some local boys. This snippet picks up right where the last one left off.

* * * * * * *

Uli continued to grin at him, although her heart pounded. Was this how berserkers felt before battle, this mix of fear and euphoria? Not that she would ever know what battle was like; her fate was to remain at home, always expected to be deferential to men like her stepfather and Torleif. A wave of despair rushed over her, and she channeled it into reckless abandon. Here and now, for just this brief moment, she was in control.

“Afraid of being beat by a woman, are you?” she taunted. “And especially in front of your friends? Afraid they’ll run home and tell your father, and he’ll never let you go on raids with him?”

“I’m warning you….”

* * * * * * *

And the rest of that scene:

“I’m more likely to go raiding than you ever are! Maybe I should teach you how to bake ebelskivers, for the warriors to eat when they return home without you?”

Torleif let out a yell and charged at her. Although she only had a dagger against his short sword, and he had a longer reach, she was a more skilled fighter, more nimble, and she was able to jump away from his blade while parrying his attacks. He swung angrily, with seemingly no thought to his next blows, and Uli was able to land multiple stabs as she silenced her mind, to just feel and react in the moment.

* * * * * * *

Other books in the Heartsbane Saga:

Book .5: “The Maiden in the Tower” – Carys has resigned herself to a life of servitude, locked away in a tower, until a chance encounter with a stranger leaves her daring to hope for more.

Book 1: Captive and the Cursed – When Nyah’s sister is kidnapped by barbarians, Nyah offers herself in her place. But she soon learns the barbarians aren’t what she expected, especially their cursed leader.

Book 1.5: “The Brave Little Thrall” – Fahim Al Rasheed has spent his life studying foreign cultures, but he never thought he’d actually have the chance to experience them. When his journey of a lifetime leaves him and a young barbarian king marooned in a hostile country, he’ll have to rely on more than book learning to make it back home alive.

Book 2: Sleeping Shaman – Nyah and her friends travel halfway across the world seeking a cure for a barbarian curse, only to discover that the man they’re seeking has gone missing. Nyah must navigate dangerous rivalries and conflicting cultures before time runs out.

Book 2.5: “Ezichi the Beautiful” – Only Banu Sasan, the fabled witch of the desert, can help a young bride complete a task. But what will she require from Ezichi in return?

Book 3: Little Amethyst Abaya: When Nyah discovers a traitor among her friends and no one believes her, she’ll have to take matters into her own hands to save them all.

Media Monday: A delicious romantic comedy

Cover of ebook Food Fight by Thea LambertThe book: Food Fight!: An Enemies to Lovers, Reality TV Romance by Thea Lambert

The media: “Why Are Cooking Shows?” by We’re in Hell

First off, a disclaimer: While I’ll read just about anything, there are a few genres I generally avoid: Omegaverse MMPreg. Cozy mysteries. Amish romances. And chick lit.

This week’s book is strongly in the chick lit category.

That said, I really enjoyed this book. It follows two contestants on a food truck reality show competition, who just happen to have a history together. The author does a great job of weaving together their past and their present, in a way that hints at what happened but drops in the flashbacks as the present story needs them, rather than all at once – or starting then and skipping to now.

The book also makes you hungry, as the author describes lots of mouth-watering dishes that the contestants make. Maybe she could do a spin-off cookbook too?

The only issue I had with this story was the ending, and I don’t want to give away spoilers (although it’s a romance so I’m guessing you can figure out the ending just by reading the blurb) – but if someone was a jerk to me, I’d hold that grudge forever. Case in point: I recently got called up for jury duty, and I was fully prepared to tell the courts that I would side with the defendant every freaking time if the officer involved was this guy who thought it was funny to call me Daria in 11th grade PE. It wasn’t funny. There were 500 kids at my high school, and maybe 30-40 in my PE class. He knew my name. He’s an asshole and 20 years later I still dislike him. (I got put on a grand jury, and none of the cases we heard were touched by Detective Dickhead. He lucked out this time.)

Back to food.

The media that accompanies this is a fun look at the history of TV cooking shows, starting with Julia Child and continuing through the macho boom (Anthony Bordain, Gordan Ramsey) through to reality shows we have gazillions of now. This video also speaks of the kinda exploitative nature of the shows, which Thea Lambert touches on in her book too.

Are you a fan of chick lit? Cooking shows? Cooking? Books about cooking? Share your thoughts below, and make sure to get a copy of Food Fight!

Weekend Writing Warrior 7/4/21 #8Sunday

Heartsbane logoHow is it already July?? Summer seems like it just started, and it’s really almost half over!

Anyways.

Welcome back for the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop, where a bunch of writers share 8-10 sentences from a current or recent WIP. I’m continuing to share from book 3.5 of my Heartsbane Saga series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings, which is a retelling of The Ugly Duckling. I’m tentatively calling it “The Horrible Husfreyja.”

Uli, our protagonist who would much rather be a warrior than a housewife, was out in the woods when she ran into some local boys who always pick on her. This picks up from where I left off last week.

* * * * * * *

“Pretending to be a man again, Uli?” Torleif sneered at her, but didn’t come any closer. She knew he used a sword, badly, and hadn’t been the one to shoot an arrow at her. Probably one of his friends, trying to scare her. “What’s the opposite of argr?”

“Certainly not you,” Uli retorted.

Torleif glared at the one boy who dared to laugh. To call someone argr — meaning unmanly, or a man who lived as a woman— was one of the worst insults a Karjalander could call someone. Had they both been men, he would have had every right under the law to challenge her to a duel on the spot.

“You’re lucky you’re a woman, although a poor one at that, or I would kill you here and now for those words.”

* * * * * * *

Other books in the Heartsbane Saga:

Book .5: “The Maiden in the Tower” – Carys has resigned herself to a life of servitude, locked away in a tower, until a chance encounter with a stranger leaves her daring to hope for more.

Book 1: Captive and the Cursed – When Nyah’s sister is kidnapped by barbarians, Nyah offers herself in her place. But she soon learns the barbarians aren’t what she expected, especially their cursed leader.

Book 1.5: “The Brave Little Thrall” – Fahim Al Rasheed has spent his life studying foreign cultures, but he never thought he’d actually have the chance to experience them. When his journey of a lifetime leaves him and a young barbarian king marooned in a hostile country, he’ll have to rely on more than book learning to make it back home alive.

Book 2: Sleeping Shaman – Nyah and her friends travel halfway across the world seeking a cure for a barbarian curse, only to discover that the man they’re seeking has gone missing. Nyah must navigate dangerous rivalries and conflicting cultures before time runs out.

Book 2.5: “Ezichi the Beautiful” – Only Banu Sasan, the fabled witch of the desert, can help a young bride complete a task. But what will she require from Ezichi in return?

Book 3: Little Amethyst Abaya: When Nyah discovers a traitor among her friends and no one believes her, she’ll have to take matters into her own hands to save them all.

Weekend Writing Warrior 6/27/21 #8Sunday

Heartsbane logoWelcome back for the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop, where a bunch of writers share 8-10 sentences from a current or recent WIP. I’m continuing to share from book 3.5 of my Heartsbane Saga series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings, which is a retelling of The Ugly Duckling.

There’s just something about kickass heroines that pulls me into a story, and the protagonist of this WIP, a young Viking maiden named Uli, is about as kickass as you can get.

I’m continuing on from last week. Uli’s stepfather told her to make herself scarce the next few days as a nearby noble visits, so she’s headed out to play in the woods. Last week left off with someone shooting an arrow at her.

* * * * * * *

Without hesitation, she fitted the rock into the leather sling and shot it off towards where she judged her attacker to be, followed in quick succession by several other stones from the pouch at her waist. Although she listened carefully, no grunts or cries of pain indicated she’d hit her target, and she swore under her breath.

Unsheathing the dagger she kept tucked into her boot, she stood tall and faced her attacker. “Are you a warrior or an old woman?” she bellowed. “Show yourself and fight me honorably like a man!”

She swore again as four boys melted out from the forest. They all lived either in the village or on nearby farms, and they all took pleasure in tormenting her, especially Torleif. Two years older than her own fifteen, he should have been out on his first raid already but his father had refused to let him go, stating he wasn’t ready. Uli couldn’t fault his father; she wouldn’t want to have to rely on him either in battle or at sea. It was well known that Torleif was lazy, always trying to shirk his duties and then blame it on those around him when called out for it.

* * * * * * *

And the rest of that scene:

Uli knew she could easily best him in a fair fight, but Torleif didn’t fight fair, especially when he had his friends around as witnesses. She also knew there was no way she would come out of this fight unscathed. She grinned at them, a trick her father had told her Karjalander warriors often used to unnerve their foes. These boys wouldn’t get away unscathed either.

* * * * * * *

Other books in the Heartsbane Saga:

Book .5: “The Maiden in the Tower” – Carys has resigned herself to a life of servitude, locked away in a tower, until a chance encounter with a stranger leaves her daring to hope for more.

Book 1: Captive and the Cursed – When Nyah’s sister is kidnapped by barbarians, Nyah offers herself in her place. But she soon learns the barbarians aren’t what she expected, especially their cursed leader.

Book 1.5: “The Brave Little Thrall” – Fahim Al Rasheed has spent his life studying foreign cultures, but he never thought he’d actually have the chance to experience them. When his journey of a lifetime leaves him and a young barbarian king marooned in a hostile country, he’ll have to rely on more than book learning to make it back home alive.

Book 2: Sleeping Shaman – Nyah and her friends travel halfway across the world seeking a cure for a barbarian curse, only to discover that the man they’re seeking has gone missing. Nyah must navigate dangerous rivalries and conflicting cultures before time runs out.

Book 2.5: “Ezichi the Beautiful” – Only Banu Sasan, the fabled witch of the desert, can help a young bride complete a task. But what will she require from Ezichi in return?

Book 3: Little Amethyst Abaya: When Nyah discovers a traitor among her friends and no one believes her, she’ll have to take matters into her own hands to save them all.

Weekend Writing Warrior 6/20/21 #8Sunday

Heartsbane logoWelcome back for the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop, where a bunch of writers share 8-10 sentences from a current or recent WIP. I’m continuing to share from book 3.5 of my Heartsbane Saga series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings.

This story is a retelling of The Ugly Duckling, and it centers on Uli, the childhood nurse of Prince Brandulfur who accompanies him on all his adventures, even when he’s grown up. This week’s snippet continues on directly from last week’s. Uli’s stepfather told her to make herself scarce the next few days as a nearby noble visits, so she’s headed out to play in the woods.

* * * * * * *

Uli’s grin widened the farther she rode from the farm. Early summer was her favorite time of the year; the weather was still cool but not chilly, and the daylight stretched seemingly forever. Her father had told tales of farther north, near the edge of the world, where there was no night during the summer, and she longed to discover whether that was true. His tales also told of giants in the north, and sea serpents, and the Drottnar, a race of demigods who were as powerful as the Fates themselves, with knowledge of everything that had ever happened and everything that would come to pass.

Her grin dampened. Her father had been killed in a raid across the sea when she was just a little girl, and even nearly a dozen years later, she still missed him dearly. If he were still alive, she knew he wouldn’t push her to be merely a housewife. She sighed. He wasn’t here, and unless the Drottnar intervened, her fate was already decided.

* * * * * * *

And the rest of that scene:

But that was in the future, and today was a beautiful day all her own to enjoy. She slipped off her horse, removed her boots, and padded barefoot alongside him. The moss and dirt were cool beneath her toes. She bent down to pick up a rounded pebble for her sling, and then whirled around as an arrow whizzed past her head.

* * * * * * *

Other books in the Heartsbane Saga:

Book .5: “The Maiden in the Tower” – Carys has resigned herself to a life of servitude, locked away in a tower, until a chance encounter with a stranger leaves her daring to hope for more.

Book 1: Captive and the Cursed – When Nyah’s sister is kidnapped by barbarians, Nyah offers herself in her place. But she soon learns the barbarians aren’t what she expected, especially their cursed leader.

Book 1.5: “The Brave Little Thrall” – Fahim Al Rasheed has spent his life studying foreign cultures, but he never thought he’d actually have the chance to experience them. When his journey of a lifetime leaves him and a young barbarian king marooned in a hostile country, he’ll have to rely on more than book learning to make it back home alive.

Book 2: Sleeping Shaman – Nyah and her friends travel halfway across the world seeking a cure for a barbarian curse, only to discover that the man they’re seeking has gone missing. Nyah must navigate dangerous rivalries and conflicting cultures before time runs out.

Book 2.5: “Ezichi the Beautiful” – Only Banu Sasan, the fabled witch of the desert, can help a young bride complete a task. But what will she require from Ezichi in return?

Book 3: Little Amethyst Abaya: When Nyah discovers a traitor among her friends and no one believes her, she’ll have to take matters into her own hands to save them all.

Weekend Writing Warrior 6/13/21 #8Sunday

Heartsbane logoWelcome back for the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop, where a bunch of writers share 8-10 sentences from a current or recent WIP. I’m continuing to share from book 3.5 of my Heartsbane Saga series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings.

This story is a retelling of The Ugly Duckling, and it centers on Uli, the childhood nurse of Prince Brandulfur who accompanies him on all his adventures, even when he’s grown up. This week’s snippet continues on directly from last week’s, which ended with Uli’s stepfather asking to speak with her after breakfast (that she cooked poorly).

* * * * * * *

He didn’t say anything as he studied her. She knew he had no cause for judgment, not this time. All her morning chores were completed at least adequately, and both her spear and her sling were hidden in the woods beyond their farm; she’d only needed to learn that lesson once.

“Jarl Magni and his sons will be visiting our home tonight. I can’t have them eating half-raw duck or rock-hard bread, or have mead spilled in their beards, or whatever new mayhem you’ll cause this time. They’re here for your sister Ingvild anyway, so your presence won’t be missed.” He raised an eyebrow. “Understood?”

“Yes, Father,” Uli said said dutifully.

“Go on, then.”

* * * * * * *

And the rest of that scene:

Uli nodded and went outside. As soon as she reached the stables, she broke into a grin. Magni and his insufferable sons were from two villages over, and their visits nearly always lasted several days. Which meant she would have several days of time to herself, with no expectations to be a dutiful housewife-in-training.

Weekend Writing Warrior 6/6/21 #8Sunday

Heartsbane logoSummer is here, so I’m spending the weekend camping. I thought I’d escape to the cool North Woods, but it’s somehow 90+ degrees here – hotter than it is back home. Looks like I’ll be finding a lake to swim in today instead of hiking.

You know where it’s not hot? In Karjaland, where this week’s snippet is set. For the next month or two, I’ll be posting snippets from Heartsbane Saga book 3.5, which is a retelling of The Ugly Duckling – with Vikings, of course. This is the start of the story.

* * * * * * *

Uli bit her lip as her stepfather bit into one of her freshly baked ebelskivers.  And then promptly cringed as he spit it out into the table.

“Worthless girl,” he muttered as he glared at her. “Who would marry someone who can’t even cook a basic pancake?”

Beside her, Uli’s older sister shot her a sympathetic look, while their younger sister simply preened. Her ebelskivers had been perfect, of course.

Uli nodded meekly, as her stepfather expected her to do, but throughout breakfast she seethe inside. She wouldn’t even want to marry someone who expected a woman’s greatest skill to be cooking pancakes.

 After breakfast was cleared from the longhouse’s table, Uli was about to slip outside to the stables when her stepfather stopped her. 

“Uli, a word with you?”

Weekend Writing Warrior 5/30/21 #8Sunday

Heartsbane book 3 coverHappy long weekend to everyone! I’m spending mine hiking around the Black Hills of western South Dakota. Nothing beats getting out in nature to recharge yourself.

For this week’s Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop, where a bunch of writers share 8-10 sentences from a current or recent WIP, I’m sharing one last time from my upcoming-ish release, book 3 of my Heartsbane Saga: Little Amethyst Abaya, which is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in a world of Vikings. Either next week or the week after, I’ll be moving on to the next book in the series, #3.5, which will be a retelling of The Ugly Duckling (title not yet finalized).

I’m continuing the scene from last week. Nyah, the protagonist, is mad that the men she’s traveling with are making plans without her for the next stage of their journey. Not only have they told her it’s too dangerous for her to go with them, but she’s not allowed to listen in because she’s a woman and some of the local men object to her presence when talking about “men things.” Domhnall, the guy she’s kinda hooking up with, is trying to smooth things over with her.

* * * * * * *

Domhnall traced my palm with his thumb, making it hard to focus on his words. “We’ll ask Egwu tomorrow to join us, but it would be useful to have someone else along who speaks the language.”

“So, you’re letting us go with you?”

Domhnall nodded. “Brand and I agreed it’s easier for everyone if we just give in now.”

“I think that’s best.”

“But that’s not all you’re thinking.” A smile played across his lips.

“You’re right again.” I leaned in and kissed him.

* * * * * * *

And the rest of that scene:

Domhnall and I had shared a lot of kisses and caresses over the past year, starting with our first one last summer in his gardens in Eburwicke. But they’d never had the intensity he showed tonight.

Far too soon, he pulled back from me. “We need to go back. Now.”

“Why?” I asked breathlessly.

“Because I try to treat you as a lady, and right now it’s taking all my self-control not to rip your clothes off.”

“I could take them off myself, and then you wouldn’t have to rip them.” I hoped my light tone concealed my nervousness.

“Is that what you want?”

My body certainly did. I wasn’t sure about the rest of me. “Yes?”

* * * * * * *

About Little Amethyst Abaya:

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

With Heartsbane nearly decoded, Nyah finally knows the curse Prince Brandulfur suffers from and how to cure it. But when she and her friends travel to get the needed serum, a powerful caliph takes them prisoner and offers an ultimatum: a suicide mission to rescue a general’s daughter and enough serum to cure Brand’s whole court, or indefinite imprisonment in his castle.

To add to the peril, she soon uncovers a plot by Brand’s archenemy that will pull the known world into a battle between religions and cultures, with Brand at the heart of it. It seems so fantastical, no one will believe her.

But that’s never stopped Nyah before. With no one to trust, she’ll have to cast her lot in with the worst of the worst, and maybe, just maybe, at least some of her friends will make it out alive.

Little Amethyst Abaya is the third book in a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings.

Other books in the Heartsbane Saga:

Book .5: “The Maiden in the Tower” – Carys has resigned herself to a life of servitude, locked away in a tower, until a chance encounter with a stranger leaves her daring to hope for more.

Book 1: Captive and the Cursed – When Nyah’s sister is kidnapped by barbarians, Nyah offers herself in her place. But she soon learns the barbarians aren’t what she expected, especially their cursed leader.

Book 1.5: “The Brave Little Thrall” – Fahim Al Rasheed has spent his life studying foreign cultures, but he never thought he’d actually have the chance to experience them. When his journey of a lifetime leaves him and a young barbarian king marooned in a hostile country, he’ll have to rely on more than book learning to make it back home alive.

Book 2: Sleeping Shaman – Nyah and her friends travel halfway across the world seeking a cure for a barbarian curse, only to discover that the man they’re seeking has gone missing. Nyah must navigate dangerous rivalries and conflicting cultures before time runs out.

Book 2.5: “Ezichi the Beautiful” – Only Banu Sasan, the fabled witch of the desert, can help a young bride complete a task. But what will she require from Ezichi in return?

Weekend Writing Warrior 5/23/21 #8Sunday

Heartsbane book 3 coverWelcome back to another installment of the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop, where a bunch of writers share 8-10 sentences from a current or recent WIP.

This week I’m continuing to share from my upcoming-ish release, book 3 of my Heartsbane Saga: Little Amethyst Abaya, which is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in a world of Vikings. Either next week or the week after, I’ll be moving on to the next book in the series.

I’m skipping ahead a bit to chapter 2. Nyah, the protagonist, is mad that the men she’s traveling with are making plans without her for the next stage of their journey. Not only have they told her it’s too dangerous for her to go with them, but she’s not allowed to listen in because she’s a woman and some of the local men object to her presence when talking about “men things.”

* * * * * * *

Domhnall approached me after dinner. “Would you care to go for a walk, m’lady?”

He smiled at me, which usually melted my insides, but this time I just glared at him.

He laughed, only deepening my scowl, and said, “C’mon then.” He took my hand and pulled me up from the low table, then led me out of the compound.

Evenings were my favorite part of the day in Aghlabid. The intense heat of the afternoon had dissipated but the chill of the night hadn’t set in yet. The sun sinking behind the western mountains cast deep purple shadows across the sand and turned the sky beautiful shades of gold, crimson, and indigo.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Domhnall said as we walked along a path towards a large pile of rock sticking up from the sand. We often walked this path to these rocks, which gave us privacy that was nearly impossible in the crowded compound.

* * * * * * *

And the rest of that scene:

“Oh, do you?” My tone was more playful than I’d intended. I often turned into a giggly, flirty mess when we were alone together.

“Yes.” We’d reached the rocks and he half-sat, half-leaned against one so that he was looking up at me slightly, my hand still in his. “You’re thinking you’re going to come with us no matter what we say or do.”

“True.”

“It’s one thing to put yourself in danger, but what about your sister?”

“You should know by now that if I tried to go somewhere without her, she’d probably steal a boat to follow.”

* * * * * * *

About Little Amethyst Abaya:

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

With Heartsbane nearly decoded, Nyah finally knows the curse Prince Brandulfur suffers from and how to cure it. But when she and her friends travel to get the needed serum, a powerful caliph takes them prisoner and offers an ultimatum: a suicide mission to rescue a general’s daughter and enough serum to cure Brand’s whole court, or indefinite imprisonment in his castle.

To add to the peril, she soon uncovers a plot by Brand’s archenemy that will pull the known world into a battle between religions and cultures, with Brand at the heart of it. It seems so fantastical, no one will believe her.

But that’s never stopped Nyah before. With no one to trust, she’ll have to cast her lot in with the worst of the worst, and maybe, just maybe, at least some of her friends will make it out alive.

Little Amethyst Abaya is the third book in a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings.

Other books in the Heartsbane Saga:

Book .5: “The Maiden in the Tower” – Carys has resigned herself to a life of servitude, locked away in a tower, until a chance encounter with a stranger leaves her daring to hope for more.

Book 1: Captive and the Cursed – When Nyah’s sister is kidnapped by barbarians, Nyah offers herself in her place. But she soon learns the barbarians aren’t what she expected, especially their cursed leader.

Book 1.5: “The Brave Little Thrall” – Fahim Al Rasheed has spent his life studying foreign cultures, but he never thought he’d actually have the chance to experience them. When his journey of a lifetime leaves him and a young barbarian king marooned in a hostile country, he’ll have to rely on more than book learning to make it back home alive.

Book 2: Sleeping Shaman – Nyah and her friends travel halfway across the world seeking a cure for a barbarian curse, only to discover that the man they’re seeking has gone missing. Nyah must navigate dangerous rivalries and conflicting cultures before time runs out.

Book 2.5: “Ezichi the Beautiful” – Only Banu Sasan, the fabled witch of the desert, can help a young bride complete a task. But what will she require from Ezichi in return?

 

 

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