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Short Pieces

Short Pieces

Cover reveal and new version of The Disenchanting of Princess Cerridwen!

Some of y’all may have noted that I had a short story called “The Disenchanting of Princess Cerridwen” on my Short Stories page. This is a tale I originally wrote for an anthology that never happened, which was to have a theme of queer characters impacted by magic. “Cerridwen” was my take on an origin story for a character who is very, very important in the Rebels of Adalonia books–and what happened to a human village as part of what went down. In particular, what happened to a young shieldmaiden and princess, and the woman she loved.

“Cerridwen” has been updated to reflect certain changes in character names that showed up as I wrote the Rebels books. And moreover, I’m pleased to announce that the story now has official cover art, courtesy of Derrick Freeland! Many thanks to Derrick for his work!

I have re-released the story as of today. I’m going to experiment with KDP Select for this, since it IS a short story instead of a novel, and so for the next ninety days it will be an Amazon exclusive. After that, I will be releasing it to the other platforms I work with as well. The reason for this is that I want to get some actual data as to what having an exclusive story on Amazon might do for my sales numbers, and to hopefully raise my visibility to Kindle readers. (‘Cause the vast majority of my sales ARE still on the Kindle, and I’d like to bump those numbers up higher!)

So for the time being, if you’re a Kindle reader, you can grab the story right over here. It’s set to 99 cents for price right now–but if you look at the page TOMORROW, I will be running a five-day promotion in which the story will be available for FREE. So be on the lookout for that!

The story is of course also available on international Amazon sites, and I will be updating the Short Stories page accordingly. But in the meantime, here’s that cover reveal!

The Disenchanting of Princess Cerridwen

The Disenchanting of Princess Cerridwen

Short Pieces

Because Shawna Reppert tagged me, have an excerpt

I was tagged on Facebook by Shawna Reppert to post seven lines from page seven of a work in progress, so here y’all go. I am taking the liberty of interpreting “lines” as “paragraphs”, otherwise you barely get a taste of what this is about.

Here are seven paragraphs from most of page seven and a little of page eight of the still-untitled story about a psychic who must help a man solve the murder of his Warder sister.


“And I need more. I need to know what killed Edie, and where it is. You’re the only person I’ve found who can tell me that, Ms. Breckenridge. Will you help me?”

Much as I hated it, I felt myself start to tremble. The vision, brief as it had been, had hit me worse than any I could remember in the last five years; my knees were shaky, and my vision had hazed around its edges. Nor did it help that Taggart was still broadcasting emotions right into my skull, as if those deep blue eyes of his had locked onto me, like lasers. “No,” I croaked. “No. You’re going to go all vigilante, I’m not having any part of it!” His hands started to snap towards me, and I added, jerking back from his reach, “And if you lay a finger on me, I swear to God I will kick you right in the balls!”

He froze in place, and I didn’t even need the torrent out of his mind to read his desperation and regret. “I’m sorry! Okay, okay, I’ll go to the police. Promise! But I need something to take to them. Help me, Ms. Breckenridge. Please.”

“Mr. Taggart, I’m very sorry about your sister.” My voice was rising, growing shriller, but I didn’t care. Long experience was already warning me I had a devil of a headache on the way, and I wanted this man gone before it struck. “But you can’t know what you’re asking. Another vision like that will be a railroad spike right through my goddamn head, and I cannot afford to be unconscious when I have a shop to run!”

“After hours, then. Let me hire you. I’ll pay you triple whatever you usually charge your clients!”

Now it was my turn to freeze. No matter what beating my entire nervous system might take from seeking out the vision he was begging for, no matter how much I wanted to pick him bodily up and throw him right out the door, I couldn’t afford to turn him away. Not if he was bringing money into it. I was making more than you’d expect in an economic downturn—even when they couldn’t afford it, especially when they couldn’t afford it, people still sought me out for the comfort they thought I could provide. But all that really meant was that I barely kept ahead of my bills. Never mind perks like health insurance, or fixing the faulty plumbing in my tiny apartment above the shop, or eating regular, healthy meals more than once or twice a week.

Triple my usual rate wasn’t much, in the grand scheme of things. But it was enough to pay next month’s rent.


And there you have it. I don’t tag people on these things, but if you’re a fellow writer and you want to play, join in! And drop a comment on this post so anyone who reads me can come over and see your excerpt too!

Short Pieces

Resurrecting an old short story for Dragon Week!

Chieftest and Greatest of Calamities

Chieftest and Greatest of Calamities

It’s Dragon Week over on the Here Be Magic blog this week, and in honor of that, I’ve resurrected one of my oldest surviving pieces of writing: a short story called “Riddle of the Golden Dragon” that I originally wrote in high school. That story is now linked in on my Short Stories page, and you can go directly to read it Riddle of the Golden Dragon! Go easy on it. I did write it in high school. 😉

Alert readers will note that the city of Shalridan is mentioned in this story. It is, indeed, set in the same world as the Rebels of Adalonia books, though I wrote this long before I changed the name of the country of Alendar to Nirrivy. You can assume that this story is more or less semi-canon to the history of Nirrivy. By which I mean, it’s set so far back along the timeline before Adalonia conquered Nirrivy that it can count as a legend at the very least.

And do come on over to Here Be Magic to see our celebration of dragons this week, won’t you? I posted yesterday, talking about all my favorite dragons, giving a shoutout to one of my favorite Le Vent du Nord songs, and mentioning the story there too! Check back as the week progresses to see what other Here Be Magic authors have to report about dragons, too!

Short Pieces

Now finally available again: The Blood of the Land!

It’s been some time getting this ready, but I’m pleased to announce that as of this week, I’m re-releasing my short story “The Blood of the Land”.

This story was originally published by Drollerie in the anthology Defiance, and has been unavailable for general purchase since Drollerie folded. I’m releasing it now as a standalone download, now that I’ve got proper cover art for it and have made EPUB and MOBI editions.

The story will be available on all my usual outlets. However, a special note: on Smashwords in particular, I have set the price to “reader sets price”. The recommended price is $0.99, which is what will be the price everywhere else. But on Smashwords, this means you can grab the story for free if you want! You can find it on Smashwords in EPUB format here.

Once Smashwords clears it for Premium distribution, the story will also roll out to Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. Meanwhile, the story is also live on Amazon and Google Play!

Meanwhile: I have also done a little bit of rearranging of certain site pages to reflect this story’s release. The previous page for Defiance has been retooled into an Out of Print page. And a new Short Stories page is now live and accessible on the Books menu. This page is the official source of data for the story. (And I’ll eventually be adding other stories there as well, which is why it doesn’t have a standalone page.)

As with any other of my indie releases, I will also still happily hand-sell you a copy of this story. I will also honor the “reader sets price” Smashwords setting in personal transactions–which means that if you want a copy of the EPUB or MOBI for free, you have but to ask me, and I’ll send it to you. If you want to give me any money at all, though, see the Buying from Me page for details on how best to get me that money.

Any questions, let me know!

Bone Walker, Short Pieces, Vengeance of the Hunter

Long overdue Kickstarter update + Vengeance of the Hunter

Just to bring folks up to speed on where I am with all the things I’m trying to pull out of my head: my long-waiting Kickstarter backers, y’all will have noticed I have not yet delivered unto you Bone Walker or any of the other remaining rewards. This is a combination of four factors: one, Vengeance of the Hunter pretty much eating my brain for the last few months; two, my abrupt return to the land of Medical Fun (spoiler alert: not really fun); and three, emergency eye surgery on the part of Dara, as I’ve previously posted; four, delay on getting the rest of my edits back from JoSelle, who’s been working on editing Bone Walker for me.

As of this writing I am in what will be hopefully the final line edits for Vengeance. My goal is to finish this edit pass and hand the manuscript back to my editor this weekend. She will let me know if I need to do any remaining tweaks to it, and the goal is to get it squared away before I go offline for surgery on November 11th.

I have also been talking with JoSelle about getting those edits on Bone Walker back, and our game plan moving forward is that she will be doing everything in her power to get them to me by end of November. Either way, I will be commencing my edit sweep on Bone Walker on December 1st. If I have enough brain for it following surgery, I’ll actually start before–but this is me allowing myself some time for recovery to happen. Ditto on finishing the shorter works due to Kickstarter backers.

Related to those shorter works as well–I’m working on getting some cover art together for “The Blood of the Land”, the short story I’d previously done in the Warder universe. Once that’s ready I will be making that available as an immediate freebie to Kickstarter folks, and slightly after that, will be deploying it onto the various places where Faerie Blood is already available for sale.

Meanwhile, Dara’s having had to do eye surgery has thrown her for a loop in getting soundtrack work done, too, but she is recovering from that nicely and we hope to resume work on that ASAP. I also need to hand Dara the data she needs to do the poster and postcard layouts for the Bone Walker cover so that I can get those out to folks as well.

Kickstarter folks, as soon as I’m done with the Vengeance edit sweep, you’ll be hearing from me further. I’m really sorry for this ongoing delay, and that I have to ask for your patience for a little longer. Hang in there. Bone Walker is coming.

Bone Walker, Faerie Blood, Short Pieces

Tonight’s Kickstarter update: Should I break out more cookies?

Tonight’s numbers: 40 backers, $1,720 pledged, and we are at 43 percent funding! Given that we are only about three days in at this point, I believe that this can be summarized with one succinct word: FANTASTIC.

But! I got in a lovely little comment from a backer who says she’s willing to throw me more money if I open up new rewards that focus exclusively on ebooks–which raises the interesting question of how many of my other Warder universe ideas do I want to throw into this pot? I’ve already touched on these on this blog before, and in order of ease of adding to the project, these are:

  • The Elizabeth/Ross novella, already in progress
  • “The Blood of the Land”, my previous Drollerie short story, which came out in Defiance
  • The Millicent Merriweather origin story, still in planning stages
  • The tuba player story, also still in planning stages

Some of you have already told me you are going to support me when your next paydays arrive, and for that I thank you most kindly in advance! But if any of you might still be on the fence, let me know if additional shinies off this list would pull you in–OR, if you’ve already supported, if they’d tempt you to up your pledge! ‘Cause, y’know, if y’all are willing to do that, I will TOTALLY start adding new rewards!

The official update post is over here–drop a comment there or here! The official project page is here!

And again–though I’ll be saying this a lot over the next few weeks, it bears repeating every single time–thank you, THANK YOU ALL, for your support!

Faerie Blood, Short Pieces, Site Updates

More site updates and reminder re: buying Faerie Blood and short story

I’ve done a bit more tweaking of the site layout and content tonight, trying to make the main page a bit less busy, but also still visually interesting. So I’m experimenting with the post layout–let me know if you think the columns work.

I’ve also removed a few of the sidebar widgets. The Links/Blogroll widget has been turned into an actual Links page, since I had enough links that I thought they might as well have their own page. I’ve also created menu items for my Facebook and Twitter accounts under the “Contact” menu to give those higher visibility, and I’ve provided a link off to my blog for those of you who might care to follow that. (I’m a lot more prolific on that blog than I am on this one, which remains writing-related!)

Meanwhile, I’ve updated the FAQ, Faerie Blood, and Defiance pages to reflect the status of my former Drollerie works. Since I’ve seen a few folks on Goodreads have continued to add me to their To Read lists (hi, Goodreads folks!), I just thought I’d issue a reminder: Faerie Blood and Defiance are to my knowledge no longer for sale with any ebook vendor. (If they are, and you can point me at a link, let me know! Drollerie needs to take any further instances of the book down if they’re out there.)

But if you haven’t read the book or the short story and you want to, I’ll be happy to hand-sell a copy to you. For Faerie Blood, I’m asking five dollars for an EPUB or PDF copy (and I’ll convert it to other formats on request). For “The Blood of the Land”, I’m asking 99 cents. The best way to pay me for either will be via Paypal to my gmail address, annathepiper. If you’d like to discuss alternate payment arrangements, drop me an email to the same gmail address, or visit my Contact page.

These prices will stand until my plans to self-publish Faerie Blood and Bone Walker go through, as per my previous Kickstarter post. Anyone who’d like to go ahead and buy Faerie Blood now will receive the Drollerie release copy, though I will also provide updated copies to known purchasers of the book once the self-pubbed version is ready.

Note also that I am pursuing self-pubbing “The Blood of the Land” with new cover art and layout; what you’ll get now if you want to go ahead and buy it is my manuscript copy. Again, though, if you buy the story now, I will keep track of you and provide you a free copy of the self-pubbed copy later!

As always, thanks for your support, folks. Y’all on Goodreads, hope you’ll like my book!