An internal threat aimed at derailing the debate about Fleet’s future; an external one opening the way for the worst kind of outlaws in a new part of space. Alysha and Taylitha are on separate sides of the sector, holding down their ends of what’s supposed to be a routine refit and officers’ retreat… so naturally they’re confronted with problems that play to their flaws, and without each other as back-up.
But Fleet is a family—one that bickers, but forms a united front in the face of adversity—and help can come from unexpected places. Will they face their challenges alone? And should they, when faith in their comrades is the glue that holds their organization together?
I have liked every Alysha book I’ve written (obviously, or I wouldn’t have written them), but rarely have I felt that all the themes in a series came together so completely as they have in Faith. We see characters from every single one of the previous books, including Alysha’s Fall. We get to deal with redemption, and personal change, and working relationships. We grapple with Fleet’s identity crisis… we even take on Alysha’s past, and make some peace with it. Along the way there’s laughter and horror, action and contemplation, stirring battles in space and daring confrontations in living rooms. Alysha gets to be Alysha, magnificently… and Taylitha gets to be so very Taylitha. (While, naturally, Alastar is quietly competent and Laelkii kibitzes.)
Think of this one as a great new episode of Star Trek, with a serious-to-romancey A plot and a funny-to-serious B plot, and you’ve got the gist of it. I loved writing it… I hope you’ll love reading it. Enjoy!
Sediryl has always yearned for responsibility–and power–and she was convinced she was ready for them… until the events of the Chatcaavan war demonstrated just how immense those responsibilities were, and just how parlous the power necessary to fulfill them. Even so, she’s determined to prove herself worthy to her empress and all the Eldritch: the rich, the poor, the disenfranchised and the entrenched. Showing that she can be all things to all people is hard enough without Liolesa’s former heir stirring the pot. And that’s without Eldritch history casting its long shadow over the proceedings….
She has less than a month to convince the Eldritch that she deserves the heir’s coronet, and none of them can afford for her to fail. The road to the future leads through her cropfields, and only Sediryl can take them to it… if they’ll follow.
Farmer’s Crown completes the Jubilee Summer duology and sets the stage for the next generation of Peltedverse novels. There’s a storm on the horizon….
Here it is, Book 2 of the “wedding novella”! No, seriously. It’s even longer than Book 1. But it answers a lot of questions raised in Healer’s Wedding (and other books from other series, even–Reese fans, you’re finally getting a reveal you’ve been waiting for!), and raises some new ones, and sets the stage adequately for the next generation of novels. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. <3
Nearly a year has passed since the conclusion of the Chatcaavan War… which means it’s time for Jahir and Sediryl to marry, and Sediryl to kneel for the coronet of the imperial heir! All their allies are gathering to celebrate, from the expected, like the Queen Ransomed and Lisinthir, to mentors and friends from years past. But life doesn’t pause for momentous events, no matter how joyous or anticipated. There are issues Jahir and Sediryl have yet to resolve, issues that reflect the greater challenges besetting their world and the Alliance. Before they can join hands for the wedding cloth, they’ll have to face at least one of those challenges… and it won’t be the first.
Healer’s Wedding, Book 1 in the Jubilee Summer duology, brings together the characters from Her Instruments, Dreamhealers, and Princes’ Game for a capstone season of politics and pleasure. Return to the homeworld of the Eldritch and the company of friends!
I knew I wanted to write the story of Jahir and Sediryl’s wedding after the events of Princes’ Game 6: From Ruins. After building toward it in three separate series with mentions dropped across multiple books, you certainly deserved to see their happy ending! My plan had been something like A Rose Point Holiday, a gentle, self-encapsulated, short installment to fill in the gap between all the books that have come before in the Eldritch series, and all the ones I have planned next.
Naturally I wound up with two books. It was the only way to do all the separate threads justice that I’ve left so enticingly dangled in all those separate series, starting with Girl on Fire. The Jubilee Summer series is the result, and it is full of political intrigue, plot set-ups, even more of those enticingly dangled questions… and all of those sweet and funny and satisfying moments I know you’ve been craving. We get to see the Queen Ransomed as a mother and a political power. Not only does Vasiht’h cook and bake, but his mother does too–and so does Kis’eh’t! And Jahir gets to relax, not just with Lisinthir, but with the girl he’s been waiting for all his life. We even see a lot more of Liolesa, and I promise you some of her scenes will have you laughing.
I might have left a lot of those new enticingly dangled questions as set-ups for future books or novellas or shorts… but I hope by now you know when I make promises, I keep them. We’re in this together.
So, Book 1! Which is also the first of my books to have a simultaneous print release with the e-book, so if you’re into paper, it’s there for you! Enjoy! And if you’ve already eaten it whole, the Book 2 pre-order is already up–get that here. That’s in two months… not too long to wait, I hope. Book 2 is even longer than Book 1, and as full of delight.
Thanks for reading, y’all. More, and more, to come. <3
It’s that time again! In lieu of a monthly round-up, we get the yearly. Side note: I went full-time as a writer/artist on June 16th, so you can fill in the blanks with tumult in the transition, and sudden changes in plans and goals. I’m looking forward to not having to radically switch gears in the middle of the year this year, God willing and the creek don’t rise.Anyway! Here’s my creative year in bullet points.
Books Published in 2018:
- Business for the Right Brained (January)
- Dreamstorm (April)
- Sword of the Alliance (August)
- Girl on Fire (October)
- PG Summary Project (December)
I did not publish as much novels last year as I should have; I’m not even going to make excuses for it. I don’t regret my two nonfiction projects: the business book was a ‘pay it forward’ so making money off it wasn’t my goal, and the summary project has helped more than one person get into the Princes’ Game series. But this year my focus is definitely going to be on novels, where it should be.Did you miss picking up one of these? Go get them here!
Books Written and Not Published
- Coracle 1
- Healer’s Wedding
This is not a bad count. I like having inventory.
Books Begun/in Progress
- Farmer’s Crown
- Alysha 5
- Kherishdar’s Exception
- Coracle 2
This is also not a bad count. Farmer’s Crown only needs final edits, and Alysha 5 should be ready for a May release (my third book of 2019, after Healer’s Wedding and Farmer’s Crown). Kherishdar’s Exception is about a fifth done and proceeding at the pace I want. Coracle, I’m trying to decide how to handle. More on that when I figure it out.
Short Stories Completed in 2018:
- Healing Waters (Jahir and Vasiht’h)
- Leadership Lessons (Alysha)
- Disengage (Jahir and Vasiht’h)
- Jackal Chest Jahir and Vasiht’h)
- Ariihir (Jahir and Vasiht’h)
I wrote a lot of short fiction this year, which is odd because I thought I hated writing short fiction. It turns out I don’t mind writing short fiction if it fills in gaps in existing novels, and as long as I can see a future for it beyond ‘they’re lost on various download sites that are frustrating for fans to remember’ or ‘they’re in eternal limbo while editors decide they don’t want them.’ In this case, most of these are earmarked for a Princes’ Game companion collection. (And in at least one case, ‘short fiction’ is a bit of a misnomer; “Jackal Chest” is a novelette.)
Short Stories Begun/in Progress in 2018:
- Air Dancing (Queen Ransomed)
- PG3 Incentive Short (Vasiht’h and Sehvi)
- PG6 Incentive Novelette (Vasiht’h and family)
All of these are also destined for that collection, and two of them are already over novelette-length: lots of nice, juicy stuff for fans. Particularly people who love Glaseah! That PG6 incentive is a bridge between From Ruins and Healer’s Wedding, and it’s full of Glaseah doing Glaseah stuff. *grin*
Kickstarters Run in 2018:
- Strand Print Edition (Feb)
- Dreamhearth Print Edition (Apr)
- Transcend Print Edition (Aug)
You know, I thought I ran more Kickstarters this year? I had a fourth in my pocket but I never unleashed it. Expect more fun campaigns this year.
- PG2: Some Things Transcend
- PG3: Amulet Rampant
- PG4: Only the Open
- PG5: In Extremis
- PG6: From Ruins
- PG Summary
- Girl on Fire
- Blood Ladders 1: An Heir to Thorns and Steel
- Blood Ladders 2: By Vow and Royal Bloodshed
- Blood Ladders 3: On Wings of Bone and Glass
- A Bloom in the North
- Sword of the Alliance
- Either Side of the Strand
Audio (in Progress)
- PG2: Some Things Transcend
- Blood Ladders 1: An Heir to Thorns and Steel
- Dreamhealers 1: Mindtouch
This was the year I finished getting all my backlist into print! Which was a ton of work, and I’m glad it’s over with. From this point forward, the print and e-book editions will be available simultaneously. Audio is also finally in train, since I engaged actors to deal with both Blood Ladders and Dreamhealers, and Jim’s still making progress on Princes’ Game. I’m hoping to make 2019 the year of the audio edition, and Patreon folks will get access first!
- 2 Large Filled (117 and 118)
- 2 Large Partially Filled (116 and 119)
- 2 Small Filled (AP and AQ)
- 1 Small Partially Filled (AR)
Figuring out how much art I did this year is too big a task because I was messing around with Clip Studio, animation, painting, and sketching on paper, and all the bits are scattered all over the place. Instead, I checked to see how many 100-page sketchbooks I filled (with the numbers/letter designations in case I need to remember which ones correspond to 2018) and noted that. So I’m guessing at least 400 pieces of art on paper, and maybe another 400 doodles with Clip Studio? Something like that. Not a ton, anyway. There were years I was filling more than one sketchbook a month. But I’m not unhappy with the numbers, since I suspect they represent an increase over 2017’s number.
So my plans for this year:
- 1 Novel Published Every Two Months.
- 1 Kickstarter Every Quarter
- 1 Art Stream Every Two Weeks
- 3 Patreon Posts a Week
- Halve Book Expenses
I feel like this is a good plan: gives me enough space for sicktime and vacations while bringing in enough income to pay my salary and accommodate my growing audiobook empire. I’m also going to go after some of my expenses, because I anticipate audio production eating a lot of my money and I’d like to offset that. I’ve already got one of those Kickstarters drafted, and January and March’s novels are ready! So I feel like I’ve hit the ground running. 2019, here I come!
A final aside: Some of you might notice that I don’t track words written. That’s because I don’t care about how many words I write. I care about how many books get into your hands. If I focus too much on wordcount, I start drifting off my goal. Finishing things is hard, y’all. You can procrastinate a lot by deciding to ‘work on’ something else to make your wordcount goal. If there’s one thing working in Network Operations taught me, it’s that you get more of what you measure for. If measuring wordcount gets me more wordcount, but that wordcount is spread over a dozen projects, then at the end of the year I’ll have 500,000+ words and maybe one finished book. If I’m lucky. If I measure by novels published, though, suddenly there’s no wiggle-room left. I’m on the hook for actual books in your hands, and that means… books get done! So that’s the rationale there.
So important: you get what you measure for. So choose your measuring goalposts wisely!
Anyway, the year in review, and the coming year. *cracks knuckles* We’re gonna have fun!
A coming-of-age story in the style of Mercedes Lackey, set in a galaxy full of aliens and adventures….
The Eldritch live hundreds of years, which means Sediryl Nuera Galare isn’t going to inherit the management of her family’s noble house–and all its rich farmland–anytime soon. So when she discovers that her world is only one among many, she doesn’t hesitate to kick off the dust of her provincial estate. That it gets her away from her oppressive mother and a smothering society is only a bonus.
But wonder isn’t the only thing waiting for a young woman trying her wings for the first time. When Sediryl finds love among the aliens, she’s faced with a difficult choice between duty and her heart’s desire.
Girl on Fire introduces Sediryl, the woman who will go on to figure so powerfully in the future of the Peltedverse. But before she was a firebrand, she had to be set on fire….
Sediryl’s adventures in the Alliance have been alluded to in at least two other series; she appears in Dreamhealers in Book 5, Family, and again in the Princes’ Game series, and throughout those books we’ve heard hints of how she came to be in exile on Starbase Ana… but never known the full story.
This then, is the full story. All the good parts, and the hard ones. Sediryl’s the equivalent of a late teen/early 20-something in Girl on Fire, headstrong and full of wonder and passion, and she has all the adventures a young maiden might want, and makes some of the expected mistakes, too. Think of this as her origin story… and then re-read (or go on to read) her appearances in the other series with new understanding of where she’s come from. And take that understanding with you into future books, starting with the forthcoming story of her wedding after the conclusion of From Ruins.
I’d say she’s learned a lot from her experiences. I hope you think so too. Y’all asked me for this one, and here it is. Enjoy.
War is a serious violation of the Alliance’s colony charters, so when the Stardancer is sent to investigate rumors of a conflict on the distant colony of Gledig, they’re not expecting to be mired in a web of deceit, treachery, and tragedy… one involving not just the colony, but pirates and a missing Fleet officer. Even worse, the evidence suggests Fleet itself might have had a hand in creating the situation about to erupt on the ground.
But while the conflict might have been decades in the making, time is running out for Gledig, and only Fleet can save the colony from the culmination of the forces working against it now.
The fate of thousands hangs in the balance. Can the crew of the Stardancer redeem the honor of the Fleet… before it’s too late?
Click here to buy at your favorite retailer! books2read.com/swordofthealliance
Sword of the Alliance is the newest full-length novel set in the Peltedverse, and the first full-length novel in the Alysha Forrest series. Like the others in the series, it stands alone–in fact, I intended people to read this one first when I first wrote it! This is an action/adventure milsf book, fast-paced but with my trademark interest in relationships. I think it’s a great introduction to the series… and it’s out right now!
Sword’s release also launches my rebranding of the Alysha Forrest series! Previously, the Stardancer books suffered from confusing ordering/meta-data, lackluster or inconsistent covers, and a fatal disconnect between prequel and the subsequent books. All this has been fixed!
Look how harmonious they are together now! But I’m sure you have questions, so here are answers:
This series is in the Peltedverse, isn’t it? Absolutely. Not only that, but Alysha is my oldest character in the setting. I conceived her almost 25 years ago! These books are more or less contemporary with the early Dreamhealers books, and happen before Her Instruments and Princes’ Game. In fact, readers of the Princes’ Game series are going to see a very interesting origin story for one of the characters in that series in Sword of the Alliance….
You look like you’re bursting to add something else, here. You’re absolutely right! I love Jahir and Vasiht’h, and of course Princes’ Game is full of exciting characters, but also headlined by a guy (*waves to Lisinthir*). And while Her Instruments has Reese, she shares screen time equally with Hirianthial. The Alysha books are where I get to spend lots of time with female characters; the entire crew of the Stardancer is female! Y’all, it’s fun. I know it’s milsf, but sometimes I feel like I’m writing a slumber party, given the banter.
What order should I be reading them in? The correct reading order for the series is 1. Second, 2. Who is Willing, 3. Sword of the Alliance, and 4. Either Side of the Strand. They were incorrectly ordered because I published Book 3 (Sword) after Book 4 (Strand)! In fact, they’re still not right on Audible because I can’t fix them until I show up with the audiobook edition of Sword. (Audio readers, expect that in September!)
What happened to Alysha’s Fall? Alysha’s Fall is still available for sale! But it’s so different in tone that I ‘unhooked’ it from the series on retailers (it is now considered ‘Book 0’). The Stardancer books are supposed to feel like a cross between a Peltedverse book and Star Trek: the Original Series: PG-rated adventure romps with a milSF flavor and a focus on relationships. Alysha’s Fall, as those of you who’ve read it will attest, is an R-rated ‘dark night of the soul’ story, and most people say it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever written. Since you don’t need to read it in order to understand the rest of the series–it’s basically Alysha’s origin story–I don’t want people trying to come into the series through it. People who feel up to dark, difficult stories can find it; people who prefer Saturday afternoon popcorn reading can stick with the official line-up.
What about all the short stories that were floating around for a while? I hate selling a la carte short stories… it feels like a cheat for both reader and author. So I’ve taken down all the short fiction, and will collect it at a later date into a ‘companion volume’ for the official series. In the meantime, my Patreon patrons can still download the separate shorts, and new Alysha shorts, when I write them, will go up there until I have enough to release the collection. That should keep the cost down for you all, and dispel confusion. (Audio listeners, I can’t take down the audio shorts yet, but I will when the contract allows! If you want them, get them while you can!)
So that’s the story on the Alysha series! I hope you’ll give it a try. I’d love to continue writing Stardancer books, but all that will depend on whether the rebranding props their sales up. I have faith, though. These are classic Pelted books with all the themes I’ve become known for. They were just waiting for me to give them a good sprucing up so they could find their readers.
My very favoritest paper to work on is Fabriano’s Artistico, a paper from a company so old that Michelangelo bought from them. I cannot describe how lovely this paper is. It is not the perfect paper for every artist, but it is the perfect paper for me, and I have been using it exclusively since I discovered it.
And then Fabriano decided to “improve” it. And the reformulation is awful.
This paper was so much a part of my joy in painting that for several years I simply quit. I dabbled in acrylics and oils in an attempt to find some new way of working, but none of those attempts clicked. And I didn’t think about it again… until I found my paper in the discontinued rack of a local art store.
…since then, I’ve checked the discontinued paper section of every art store I’ve visited, and I’ve scored several more finds. There have been days I’ve left with $300 worth of paper and no regrets! But I’ve run out of places within my reach, which means it’s time to put out an offer to the world at large.
If you find this particular paper while you’re browsing and are willing to buy it for me, I will pay for it and shipping and bribe you in some other way. Food, books, art, money… tell me your price! But it’s got to be the right paper. Which means you won’t find it in the regular aisle. Fabriano still sells Artistico, remember, but they’ve changed it. The stuff you want is sold by the sheet (see below), not in a block, and it’s discontinued. It should have a watermark (see top photo). It comes in both 300 lb and 140 lb and I’ll take either. (I’ve photographed the 300 lb below so you can see how thick it is).
I only want hot press. The surface should be smooth as a plate!
If you happen to run into this stuff and are leery of shipping it, I don’t mind you having the art store cut it in half, which should make it a manageable size to mail. And yes, if you are international, I’m still interested… but you will have to cut it down, because oversize packages from overseas are gut-wound-expensive. But I will happily take a bunch of smaller sheets of this stuff if it means I can have it!
If you do run into the stuff, email/tweet/DM me before you buy it, just so I can make sure I’ve got the budget. (And if I don’t get back to you, then it wasn’t meant to be!)
Thank you, Jaguar Agents. I appreciate your help. <3
Our final return to Jahir and Vasiht’h’s early life debuts today, with the final book in the Dreamhealers saga: Dreamstorm!
Jahir and Vasiht’h have spent five years together in practice on Starbase Veta, and their life is everything they’d hoped: their practice is fantastic, their social standing great, and their domestic life a blissful routine. So when Vasiht’h discovers his partner has “accidentally” accrued enough continuing education credits to become a licensed healer-assist after deciding against that path in college, he can’t help but wonder… are they on the wrong path?
Since Jahir himself isn’t talking, Vasiht’h decides someone needs to make some decisions. If those decisions lead them to the Alliance’s foremost resort planet, where the licensing exams are being held, well… surely they could use a beach vacation. Jahir sits his test, Vasiht’h has some purple drinks with umbrellas on the beach, and they both go home with a renewed sense of purpose.
What could possibly go wrong?
Click here to buy at your favorite retailer! books2read.com/dreamstorm
And as they say… that’s a wrap! With the publication of Dreamstorm, this series is now complete. Proper reading order is: Mindtouch, Mindline, Dreamhearth, Dreamstorm, and then Family.
After that, Jahir and Vasiht’h return in Some Things Transcend, Book 2 of the tense multi-novel epic war saga, the Princes’ Game. That series gets intense, so be forewarned! But I’m told–and I’m glad–that the payoff is totally worth it.
If you’re not up for the Chatcaavan war, your next chance to see the dreamhealers comes early next year, when I resume the post-war timeline with the story of Sediryl’s investiture and wedding.
But until then… enjoy this cozy pastoral! <3
The Atlas of Languages. A great overview that highlights interesting features of various languages while discussing basic linguistic concepts.
The Languages of the World. A page by page, language by language, catalog, with a sample bit of text translated. Great way to look at lots and lots of different orthographies (alphabet systems).
The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language. Mind-blowing theory book about how language features develop and how cultures define them. *hugs this book a lot*
How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation, by N. J. Enfield. Also mind-blowing book about how language handles conversation. Especially important because a lot of people create languages… on paper, by writing them down. Spoken language comes first, and has a lot of different priorities. *also hugs this book a lot*
The Language Instinct, by Steven Pinker. It’s hard not to read some of the big name theorists in the field. The Language Instinct was an important book, and while it’s not a proven theory it’s still a great look at the link between neurology and language.
The Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming. This is a textbook, and so far the only extensive resource I’ve found about names. I tend to take it a chapter at a time… it’s dense.
Spanglish: the Making of a New American Language, by Ilan Stavans. This is a great look at the intersection of languages in the same culture, and what happens on the boundary between them, culturally, socially, and linguistically.
The Grammar of God: A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible, by Aviya Kushner. Discusses, with lyricism and love, the differences in the translations of the Bible, and the nuances that get lost in the passage, and what they suggest about the different cultures.
The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language. English is such a glorious hodgepodge–you have only to look at our etymology to see how many routes into English words had–so reading a history of it makes for great fodder on how language changes in response to history, culture, economics, etc.
Inuit Kinship and Naming Customs. Slender ethnography gem (again me and naming customs).
The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building, by David J. Peterson. This is the guy who did the conlang for the Game of Thrones TV show. Of the books about constructed languages, this is the one I’d hand to someone who knew nothing about making them and wanted to: it’s a charming overview, very readable.
The Language Construction Kit, by Mark Rosenfelder. This one, though, is far crunchier, by one of the internet godfathers of conlanging…
Advanced Language Construction, by Mark Rosenfelder. …and this is the crunchiest of them all, because he goes into topics in this one he didn’t bother to in the first. You’ll be completely lost if you don’t have a good grounding in linguistics. But if you do, it’s great!
The Conlanger’s Lexipedia, by Mark Rosenfelder. A handy introduction to semantic categorization. If you want to make up words, this book will give you a sense for how people group them.
In the Land of Invented Languages, by Arika Okrent. This is less about how to make languages and more about the history of people making languages for various purposes. (Apparently we’ve been doing it for a long time.)
Create a Language Clinic, by Holly Lisle. For people who want to make languages specifically to use them for worldbuilding as part of a story, this is the book you want: the priorities of someone making a language to speak it with friends (or in movies) are not the priorities of someone writing a novel with it.
The Languages of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. There’s no getting away from studying Tolkien’s languages if you’re a worldbuilding fantasy writer who wants to include a constructed language in your work. Or well, I guess you could get away from it, but you shouldn’t, because he did the most amazing job with it and if you follow his footsteps you’ll avoid the ‘that author just threw some words that sound sort of alike together and none of it makes sense’ phenomenon.
Vulgarlang: This website will try to generate a conlang for you! I haven’t played much with it, but you might lose some productive hours doing so. *grin*
Lexique Pro: At some point, you will have enough vocabulary that tracking it will be an issue. Lexique Pro is a lexicon-organizing language intended for natural languages so native speakers of more obscure languages can share their vocabulary with other people. It works for conlangs too, thus.
Polyglot Language Construction Kit. However, if you want an “intended for conlangs specifically” lexicon program, this one is it. It’ll even generate new vocabulary for you based on morphological rules. Which you have to define. So you can see the level of understanding you should have before you dive into it. >.> Also allows you to put in your conlang’s orthography, though, which is keen. I got both these links from R. Coots–thank you, R!
That’s right… I finally compiled all the columns into an e-book for chapters upon chapters of useful business advice illustrated by cartoon jaguars! This book includes all the original Three Jaguars columns, plus an introduction and an extra chapter written just for this book. I also did extra art for it, and added checklists!
So what can you expect inside? Useful information for artists and crafts of any kind on how to productize your art, deciding on your best business strategy, wrangling the day job, tracking important statistics and spotting trends based on them, how to communicate as a professional, figuring out why your time management tactics keep failing… on top of several chapters on how to market yourself without feeling gross, how to price things, what’s that branding stuff, and dealing with change!
Y’all, this is a ton of information. It’s like a brain-dump of all the business advice I give in a single place. And it’s full of bouncy jaguar art. And as if that’s not ENOUGH, there’s a foreword by Kyell Gold, who is an award-winning author and wears a hat. No, seriously, he’s an amazing guy and I am a-squee that he did the foreword.
What are you waiting for? Go forth and enjoy! Click to grab!