Book Launch: Fathers’ Honor (a Peltedverse Novel)

THREE HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE

When his favorite student invites him to immigrate to the world of the fabled Eldritch, Armin Palland brings his wife and mother-in-law and all the unresolved issues he’s been avoiding. That he arrives to a planet without a university to employ him leaves him stranded with nothing to do but what he does best: turn his psychology degree and analytical powers on the plight of the natives… and one native in particular.

But it was never his intention to get involved with an Eldritch father, much less an Eldritch father AND a middle-aged intransigent Glaseah, neither of whom will let him crawl back into his comfortable shell. There’s a road between Armin and his life-altering epiphany, and it’s going to take him straight through a hospital ward, several weeks of language lessons, and his first attempt at… wargaming?

And they say old dogs can’t learn new tricks….

Familiar friends from the Dreamhealers series take center stage for this standalone Peltedverse novel, set during the Fallowtide period after the end of the Chatcaavan War.

Click here to buy!

***

I’ve been referring to Vasiht’h’s father being at loose ends for at least two books now… and Haladir has been in the hospital for closer to three. Resolving their issues with the arrival of yet another middle-aged dad with no clear picture what to do with himself… well, let’s just say what happened next felt like an inevitability. I really enjoyed moving sideways to investigate the lives of some minor characters who are very important to our majors, and in the process saying something about language, and gaming, and calligraphy, and what it’s like to be married a long time, along with a laundry list of other topics. And sometimes the digressions teach you more than the planned books, though those are coming too!

Until they arrive, then, enjoy this novel about three days getting their grooves back. It’s another book about friendship, and maybe a little bit about midlife crises, and very definitely about how to move on when life throws you curveballs you fail to return. And don’t forget, now you can consult the wiki for things like floor plans of Ingleside and cute portraits of Armin’s mom-in-law! Don’t miss it!

 

Book Launch: Conversations with the Ai-Naidar

Language and locations, culture and customs, biology, psychology, and history… worldbuilding an alien world for a fiction series can be a monumental effort involving notes, maps, drawings, and resources…
..or you can do it Jaguar-style, and just talk to the people.
Conversations with the Ai-Naidar gathers seven years of “meta-conversations” between the author and her aliens as she struggles to understand their culture and language. Interspersed with scribbled notes from the author’s original sketchbooks, Conversationsoffers insight into an artistic process, perfect for lovers of the Kherishdar series, and anyone fascinated by the creative brain.
Come into the writer’s parlor!

Click to Buy!

***
At your request, I’ve gathered together all the lost meta-conversations originally published on Livejournal, and made them available! I thought this would be a minor undertaking, but it actually took quite a while, particularly since I pulled out a lot of the discussions in the comments and added them, where applicable, and while anonymizing the people asking the questions…
This is not a small book, y’all. Look at the size of the spine on the proof copy! And that was using the same 6×9 format as the books in the series!
I am astonished. 😳

Anyway, I also added a lot of graphics, mostly in the form of something I don’t think I’ve exposed yet in print: my scribbled notes (often in the car, or in a meeting, so in the worst possible handwriting). That, plus some calligraphy. Here’s the copy I was marking up to make sure the graphics were spread evenly through the book (with bonus cat):
That was before I added a few more.
Anyway, I think this is… a unique volume. I hope you’ll enjoy it. If you do, I have almost enough material compiled for a second volume! And would not be adverse to sharing it, if people enjoy this one. Tell me what you think. 💖

Book Launch: Heartskein, a Jahir and Vasiht’h Novel (Peltedverse)

The day is finally here!

For as long as he could remember, Vasiht’h planned on starting a family, a plan that surviving the war only made more urgent. The temple on Anseahla has summoned him at last to pick up his new kits, an errand he decides will be an excellent opportunity to have some alone-time with his partner, Jahir. But his partner is now an imperial prince-consort, and Vasiht’h himself has more responsibilities than he anticipated, and it isn’t long before their private getaway turns into a huge production. And that’s before the children join the party!

But becoming a father is only one of the changes that Vasiht’h must accept as he moves into this newest phase of his life. For the longest time he’s thought of himself as living in an Eldritch shadow. If he wants to thrive–if he wants to lead his contingent of Glaseah to a fuller life themselves–he has to accept that sometimes a supporting role is just an excuse to stay out of the limelight….

Heartskein is a cozy science fiction novel and returns to the dreamhealers in their new roles as powers in the Eldritch Empire: Jahir is now a married man and a prince, and Vasiht’h an administrator, a lord, and a father! But no matter what changes, some things stay the same: like a bond of love stronger than wars and unconquered by time. Come unwind, and meet the babies!

Now Available in Ebook and Paperback! Click to Buy!

***

Here’s the second of the two books bought by the Major Pieces Kickstarter: another pastoral, revisiting Jahir and Vasiht’h as all-grown-up adults. I wanted to use this one to demonstrate to their loyal fans that despite all the changes in their life (including Jahir’s marriage!) they’re still the same unbreakable pair that made a commitment in Mindtouch. And honestly… this was a fun book to write. I leaned hard into the things people requested and that I secretly wanted to do more of anyway: more sweet scenes, more fun, more references to backstory, more babies, more fantastical Alliance locations, more Eldritch culture and language, more of Vasiht’h being practical and a not-so-closet romantic, more of Jahir being fun to look at and listen to. I even snuck in a cameo, which is something I’m beginning to do more often. Long time readers will be suspicious of all the stuff in this book that sounds like foreshadowing… because they’re right. There are great events coming! But between now and then… babies.

You all asked for it; I had the pleasure and fun of delivering. I call that a match as perfect (and likely to last) as the dreamhealers themselves. Enjoy!

Book Launch: Major Pieces, a Princes’ Game Collection (Peltedverse)

 

Everybody’s got a story… even the bystanders.

The staff of the Alliance’s foremost restaurant… the forgotten children of the imperial Chatcaavan harem… the story of how an empress hired a D-per, and an entire ship full of Glaseah came to settle on an alien world… here, woven amid the larger stories of the participants in the Chatcaavan war, are the smaller scenes observed by its minor characters, or shifted by its major ones in moments of contemplation. Major Pieces collects 21 stories starting from before the events of Even the Wingless and ending just prior to the first book of the Jubilee Summer duology. Some are as short as a talk with a therapist and his dog over cookies–others are nearly novel-length examinations of important events previously left off-camera, like the wedding of a wingless freak to an Emperor and his consort. All of them were reader-selected, and many, reader-suggested.

You’ve survived the war. Now come back to the unexplored corners of the story and linger.

Now Available! Click to Buy!

***

What could I say about this collection to explain the many reasons it breaks my brain? Can we start with a ridiculously awesome Kickstarter that overfunded by over 8000%, charging over the five-figure line? How about the fact that I started out with a handful of ideas for these vignettes and got the chance to brainstorm the remainder with my readers, who requested and then voted on which ones should go into the collection? Let’s top that off with the fact that each of these ‘vignettes,’ which were intended to be short scenes, ended up running long… some to the tune of 40,000-ish words? This is the largest volume in the Princes’ Game series, at 620-ish pages!

I can confidently state that I had no idea what I was getting into when I said, ‘hey, would you all like to see some ancillary material from this series.’ But what I ended up getting into was a really exciting volume of stories that significantly add to the canon of the Peltedverse. Some of it fills in scenes from the series from other viewpoints (like Jahir and Vasiht’h communicating incognito with Lisinthir during Wingless) or that we didn’t get time to see (like Hirianthial meeting Jahir and Lisinthir and Vasiht’h for the first time over Sediryl’s sickbed). Others explore minor characters, like Laniis, the Attendant, or Oviin’s friend Everdawn. And some delve into important events that happened off camera between the conclusion of this series and the beginning of the Summer Jubilee duology, like Vasiht’h’s family moving to Escutcheon, and Lisinthir getting married. And that’s not even half the total. There are 21 “shorts” in this volume, and you’ll have a chance to revisit many of your favorite characters (yes, Uuvek fans, I see you!) and meet new ones.

Writing this book was an adventure, and I loved every moment of it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it! (And when you’re done, you should absolutely go take my three-question survey and tell me which of the characters you want to see more of. Because if this worked once… well… Reese hasn’t had her collection of interstitial moments written yet…

 

Book Launch: Kherishdar’s Exception (Books of Kherishdar 4)

In all Kherishdar there is one man with no choices… and one woman with them all.

When alien taint destroyed her former House, Haraa nai‘Qevellen-osulkedi was raised out of casteless despair to translate human languages for the god of Civilization, the Ai-Naidari Emperor. At first her curiosity and intelligence serve her well, but the longer she spends among aliens, the more questions she has about her world. How did Kherishdar come about? Why is the Emperor singular, and the priest who serves Shame? Why does Kherishdar need an Exception, and why is it always a woman, and why does she annoy Haraa so badly?

Kherishdar’s Exception is a coming-of-age story set in a world where everyone has a place. But among the Ai-Naidar, you don’t get to choose that place.

Unless….

Now Available! Click to Buy!

***

Of all the books I write, the books of Kherishdar are among the most science fictiony in the old sense, the one I loved best when I first discovered the genre: immersion in an alien culture, complete with made-up language. As such, they’re pretty hardcore. But I love writing them, and I love the language, and their fans, though fewer than the Peltedverse’s, have the most amazing discussions when they talk about the concepts in these books.

So if that’s your jam, try the series by starting with The Aphorisms of Kherishdar, which, with its companion The Admonishments of Kherishdar, serve as primers to the setting and introduce you to the main characters who propel the events of the following two novels. Maybe you’ll bounce off it, but maybe you’ll love it…

For those of you who already do, I say: raiselovrus pinith aishenesh. I welcome you (and will always welcome you) home.

Book Launch: Faith in the Service (Alysha 5, Peltedverse)

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?

Click To Buy Now!

***

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!

Book Launch: Farmer’s Crown, Jubilee Summer 2 (Peltedverse)

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….

CLICK TO BUY

***

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

 

Book Launch: Healer’s Wedding (Jubilee Summer 1), a Book of the Peltedverse

 

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!

Click to Buy

***

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

Book Launch: Girl on Fire, a Peltedverse Novel

Girl on Fire

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….

CLICK TO BUY

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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.

Book Launch: Sword of the Alliance (Alysha Forrest 3)

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.

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