Tag Archives: young adult fantasy

Changeling – Now Available!

Changeling has arrived! 😀

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

99 cents for a limited time… and free with Kindle Unlimited!

Changeling is the second book of the Huntress series, and it picks off almost immediately where the first book left off.

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“Changeling”

Huntress #2

YA Dystopian/Cyberpunk Fairy Tale Retelling

Changeling Book Cover

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When the clock strikes midnight, will the huntress become the hunted?

With President Koenigin stuck in the form of a changeling miner, Koenigin Corp is in disarray.

A new president has stepped into power, and he’s asked Verdi to trade her role of huntress for that of an ambassador to the Society for Natural Progression.

At first, Verdi is eager to accept. Being an ambassador means she’ll finally have her voice heard. Better yet, she’ll be able to spend more time with Maria Snow, the woman she loves.

But participating in social “balls” isn’t a job she trained for, and certain members of Koenigin Corp are determined to get revenge on those who pushed Koenigin out of power.

When Verdi is framed for murder and placed on house arrest, will she find a way to get to the ball and warn Maria of the rising threat?

Or will she, too, find herself trapped in a changeling body?

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Step into her shoes in this Cinderella retelling… and read Changeling to find out what happens!

99 cents for a limited time, or free with KU!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Add to Goodreads

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Also, check out this cool bookstagram image one of my beta-readers made for Changeling: https://www.instagram.com/p/BxIq4uinDTo

Enjoy! 😀

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Magebane Launch Day

Magebane is here! 😀

(Today and Saturday only, grab it for 99 cents from any of the major online retailers! After that, it’ll go back to regular price.)

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Magebane is the continuation of The Wishing Blade series, picking up where The Shadow War left off. Only this time Siklana has a larger role to play, as does Shevanlagiy.

But don’t fret! Toranih and Daernan still have their own stories to tell as well.

Find out what happens next in…

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“Magebane”

The Wishing Blade Series #3

YA Fantasy

Magebane Book Cover

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Will magebane save the world?
Or destroy it?

In Shevanlagiy’s quest to save her childhood friend from death, she has destroyed numerous worlds. Sometimes on accident. Sometimes as revenge.

She’s close to achieving her goal. Daernan is still alive.

But for how long?

When a goddess grants her a vision of a deadly substance—magebane—being shipped across the kingdom, Shevanlagiy realizes her carefully laid plans to protect Daernan are falling apart faster than she can rework them.

Daernan has magic from the gods, magic that will not only kill him if it comes in contact with magebane, but will start a terrible chain reaction that could unravel the fabric of this world—

A world she’s not yet ready to destroy.

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Delve into the danger of Magebane by reading this exciting continuation of The Wishing Blade series today!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Add to Goodreads

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Not quite ready to buy?

Click here to download the first five sample chapters!

Enjoy! 😀

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Meet Siklana – The Wishing Blade Series

I’ve been having a bit of fun learning Daz, a 3D modeling program. Long story short, the base program is free, but you can buy additional assets–clothes, hair, facial morphs, etc–that allow you to customize your characters.

It’s fun, because it’s been giving me freedom to create characters from my stories that I can pose and light without searching through endless stock photos. (There are other limitations compared to photomanipulation, and avoiding the uncanny valley is tricky, but each type of art has its trade-off).

A few weeks ago I grabbed a bundle on sale for face and body morphs, and it’s been giving me a lot of room to tweak characters how I picture them.

The first character I completed (face, anyway), is Siklana Covonilayno from The Wishing Blade series.

Siklana Covonilayno

SBibbPhoto - Siklana from The Wishing Blade Series

Siklana is Toranih’s sister. While Siklana plays a fairly minor role in the first two books (Magic’s Stealing and The Shadow War), she has her own point of view and plays a major role in book three… Magebane.

Excerpt from Magebane:

After Shalant paid for a room at the nearest inn, Siklana and Daernan left their horses with the local stable girl and went upstairs to a small, square bedroom that offered little privacy. Mid-afternoon sunlight filtered through a window’s canvas covering. Shalant ordered them to unpack anything important from their saddlebags into the room so he could ward the area for protection.

“Perhaps we could ward the stable instead?” Siklana suggested. The cramped room hardly had enough space for all the books and scrolls stashed in her mare’s saddlebags.

Shalant glanced up from tucking a bag of dry goods into the corner beside his bed. “The stable hand wouldn’t be able to tend to the horses.” He pushed the bag aside, stood, and then dusted his knees of dirt. The smoke from Ashan had brought a thin layer of soot to everything in town.

Siklana shared a nervous glance with Daernan. The mage would find out about the books eventually. “I doubt we can fit all your word magic scrolls.”

Shalant turned around, puzzled. “Word magic scrolls? What are you…” His sentence trailed, and from the flicker of his eyes to the door, Siklana suspected he was using scrying ribbons to see what was in those bags. He gave her an incredulous glare. “You brought my library?

She smiled sheepishly. “The books might help us find a way to bring Toranih back from the shadow realm. Besides, if Ashan has been overrun by Lord Menchtoteale, do you really want him finding your books? Imagine what Isahna could do with them.”

“You brought my library,” Shalant repeated, as if the notion couldn’t register in his brain.

She nodded. “Obviously I couldn’t take everything, but I tried to grab the ones that looked useful. There are still a few things left in your attic.”

SBibbPhoto - Siklana Full Body Render

 

This is a full-body render using only image-based lighting (IBL).

It’s the first test run of Siklana’s 3D model with her new outfit (trying to find something that reasonably fit her character, which I didn’t initially have). I need to find and fit shoes for her, too, but this is a start.

I’m still learning Daz, so more work needs to be done, but it should give an idea of her character. 🙂

Interested in seeing the development process? Let me know. I have some notes on the process, and I’d be happy to go more into it if anyone is curious.

TWB - Magic Swirl Glyph

In the meantime, keep an eye on this blog for more news about Magebane, which is coming soon.

Let me know if you’d like to see more characters rendered in the future! 😀

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A Path of Swords and Feathers – A Wishing Blade Short Story

Ever wonder about the adventures of some of The Wishing Blade’s secondary characters?

“A Path of Swords and Feathers” is a short story (10,000 words) following the character of Nihestan / Shalant (Daernan’s father) during his youth, shortly after he took on his first mission for the goddess.

If you like some of my other short stories (such as “Stone and String” or “The Wind Mage of Maijev”) you might enjoy this. It’s a mostly stand-alone story, though having some knowledge of the world from the various other stories will help. 🙂

This story got its start with the Legends of Cirena Facebook group, after a failed attempt to Photoshop a gryphon sparked ideas about what kind of immortal this new creature might be…

And this story is the result. 😉

Before the Wishing Blade was forged, a young weapon mage embarks on a journey to protect those he loves…

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“A Path of Swords and Feathers”

A Fantasy Short Story

A Monster in the Mist - Book Cover

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Before the Wishing Blade was forged, a young weapon mage embarks on a journey to protect those he loves…

He serves the goddess of the dead.

Though Nihestan longs to see his family, his duty to his goddess leads him to the far reaches of the kingdom. But once he arrives, she refuses to answer his summons.
Not without an offering–

An offering he can’t afford. 
In need of money, he freelances as a bodyguard for a family heading deep into the northern mountains. Given how happy they are together, he wonders if he should have stayed home.
If he should be protecting those closest to his heart.

But his goddess may yet have her own plans for him… 
And the families he can save.The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Explore the trials of Nihestan’s past…

Read “A Path of Swords and Feathers” today!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | KoboSmashwords

Add "Wind and Words" to Goodreads

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In the meantime, keep an eye out for news about Magebane, the third book of The Wishing Blade series, coming soon!

And don’t forget, if you want to read more Cirenan short stories and help direct the actions of the characters, check out the Legends of Cirena collaborative adventure Facebook group!

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The Wind Mage of Maijev – Now Available!

Good news! “The Wind Mage of Maijev,” the first of the Legends of Cirena short stories written for the collaborative adventure Facebook group, is now available as an ebook!

This is a stand-alone short story that takes place approximately 200 years before the events of The Wishing Blade series and the Stone and String series.

 

A wind mage in a city that hates magic…

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“The Wind Mage of Maijev”

YA Fantasy Short Story

The Wind Mage of Maijev - Book Cover

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A wind mage in a city that hates magic…

Livena is a young woman living in Maijev’s southern quarters, staying ahead in life by working odd jobs. When her brother entrusts her with selling a pile of books in the undercity, it seems like another normal day.

Until she senses a dangerous storm brewing.

Most would hunker down until the storm passes. But Livena’s deplorable wind magic lacks control, and weathering out a storm inside only invites trouble.

The storm won’t stay outside where it belongs.

If Livena can’t make it home before the storm, and her magic gets exposed, it’s only a matter of time before a deadly mage hunter unravels her secret.

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Explore the magic in this exciting short story…

Read “The Wind Mage of Maijev” today!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | KoboSmashwords

Add "Wind and Words" to Goodreads

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Enjoy! 😀

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Join “The Legends of Cirena – Collaborative Adventure” Facebook group!

Exciting news! 😀

Do you want more stories from the world of The Wishing Blade?

(The books below are all part of The Wishing Blade universe):

sbibb-stoneandsting_cover_blog Wind and Words - Book Cover

SBibb - Magic's Stealing Cover The Shadow War - Book Cover

Want to get a look into the “legends” of Cirena?

That is, the time period before “The Wishing Blade” series and “Stone and String” series, back when the gods still had a large presence in Cirena, the Divide hadn’t yet risen, and Ruetravahn had not yet made a deal with Listhant-Nsasrar to give word magic power to the Cantingen language?

Then come join my new “Legends of Cirena – Collaborative Adventure” Facebook group!

Legends of Cirena - Collaborative Adventure Facebook Group

Originally, I planned to do this just for my newsletter subscribers. Then I realized that it would probably make the newsletter super long, and if I did a Facebook group, I’d be able to do it weekly instead of every other week, and I’d also be able to use the polling feature.

Plus, if you aren’t really into newsletters but use Facebook, this is the perfect way to get involved and get your input into a story!

This is a new, experimental process in which I’ll post a new story segment every Tuesday to the group. (This week, I’m starting with four polls that will decide the character for the first story).

At the end of the story segment will be 2-4 choices as to what the protagonist is going to do next.

Want to influence what happens?

Cast your vote before Friday at midnight! (This weekend it’s going to be Saturday at midnight, since the group is just getting started).

Then, based on the most popular response, I’ll write the next section of the story, post it on Tuesday, and the process repeats.

Once the story is complete (which may or may not be canon to The Wishing Blade universe), I’ll polish and publish it.

(Those of you in the group, of course, will get access to grab the polished version for free). 😀

Sound like fun?

Then click the link below, join the group, and make your choices!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/289873391615430/

I hope to see you there. 😀

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Weekly Book Promotion Highlight

For this week’s book promotion highlight, I’m featuring the August YA Fantasy Reads giveaway!

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Looking for YA Fantasy ebooks? Look no further!

YA Fantasy Reads August Ebook Giveaway

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(Note: This giveaway is hosted through Book Funnel. Authors will usually ask for your email address, and in many cases, the author will collect these addresses for their newsletters.)

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I hope you find a good book to read.  🙂

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Wind and Words – Now Available!

I’m thrilled to announce that the second book in the Stone and String series is now available! (And 99 cents for a limited time!)

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Wind and Words

Wind and Words - Book Cover

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YA Fantasy

Wind and Words is a novella, 23,000 words compared to “Stone and String’s” 8,000 words. I had a lot of fun exploring more of the Cantingen culture, word magic, and string magic. I hope you enjoy it, too. 🙂

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Life magic is not meant to be alone.

 

Everyone is born with two strings of magic. One strand is life, and the other is death.

 

When Edyli escaped the land of the dead after saving her sister, the goddess of death removed Edyli’s death magic. Without that string, Edyli is unbalanced, a “monster” who cannot sleep, cannot die, and without care, will slowly go mad.

 

Banished from her home for refusing to make amends with the goddess, Edyli is surprised to discover a child without life magic deep in the jungle—a child her remaining magic is drawn to, because those who are unbalanced are inexplicably drawn together.

 

Terrified of what might happen if the two of them touch, Edyli seeks answers about the mysterious child. If she can recover the child’s life magic, she might earn back the goddess’s favor and become whole again.

 

But one mistake, and Edyli could live forever in insanity.

You can grab your copy today for only 99 cents! (It’ll go back up to $2.99 in about a week).

Amazon (US) |Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Add Wind and Words" to Goodreads

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(UPDATE: As of 6/2/2018, all the links should now be working. 🙂

Note: My apologies if you’re in the UK, India, or Germany, and use Amazon. I’m still waiting for them to create the page for Wind and Words there. However, all other links should be working).

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Here’s an excerpt:

A flash of movement caught Edyli’s eye. The hairs on her arms prickled under her wet sari. There were predators in the jungle, and though such creatures would not approach the nearby villages, they might attack a young human who was alone. Since it was night and the sky dark, the predator could be a tiger or other creature that she could not defend against without being able to see. She could, perhaps, use word magic to discern if the creature was a threat or not, and where it came from, but since she could only rest through meditation, she did not desire to use what focus she had.

 

But something about the creature was strange.

 

Normally she would have heard the rustle of leaves or the scratching of claws, or the snap of twigs under the creature’s weight. But what she heard was silence. Utter silence. It was deafening, as if the silence drowned out the sound of the wind.

 

“Who goes there?” she asked, forcing her voice to be loud. Perhaps, if she sounded threatening enough, then whatever was out there would not force her to use magic. “Reveal yourself!”

 

A tiny form stepped out from behind a scraggly tree.

 

Edyli blinked. “Akymi?”

 

The child was the same height and size as Edyli’s little sister, but her skin was a lighter shade of brown and her hair a straight, coarse black that fell below her shoulders. She wore a ragged, plain tunic, long enough to reach her ankles but clearly oversized, as if it had been lent to her. She stared at Edyli, her posture stiff, her hands at her side. Her dark eyes seemed to stare through Edyli, her expression dead. Her black hair fell across her face as she tilted her head, and then she turned her head again so that her hair cleared away.

 

The emptiness in Edyli’s chest ached, pulling her toward the girl as if something tugged at her, calling for her to move closer, to touch the girl’s tiny hands and to make her whole again. The girl raised her arm and stretched her fingers toward Edyli. A whimper sounded in her throat. Edyli tried to step back, fear mounting inside her, but she couldn’t move. The forest around her dimmed, centering on the child. She was the only thing in Edyli’s vision, and the rest of Edyli’s vision was a black, swirling mass, as if she had fallen into a seething whirlpool made from the night sky.

 

Shadikryl fa illdratethdruv shomagi drateth noram.

 

Life magic is not meant to be alone.

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Read Wind and Words today!

Amazon (US) |Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Enjoy! 😀

Sican naketonia quisé das vegra.
(May the gods grant you good fortune. – A saying from the Cantingen Islands)

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Haven’t read “Stone and String?”

No worries! You can read it for free when you sign up to The Wishing Blade Universe newsletter.

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Thoughts on Writing – Developing a Fantasy Language (Interrogative)

For my short story, “Stone and String,” and for The Wishing Blade series, I’ve been trying to develop a functional conlang (constructed language) to add flavor to the world and for use as plot points. However, I ran into a problem… how do I ask questions in my Cantingen language?

See, I’ve been developing this over a period of time. Figuring out potential words and jotting them down for future use… figuring out a grammar rule (researched a whole slew of grammar rules from various languages to figure out the previous grammar rule)… and adding them to the dictionary as I go. I already had verb conjugations figured out (at least for an imperative style phrase in present tense), numbers, possessives (sort of) and adjectives. Apparently I already figured out adverbs, too, but hadn’t realized it. (And so I jotted that down, too).

But then it hit me that I hadn’t figured out how to ask a question in the Cantingen language.

I considered not having them use questions at all… then decided that would be just a bit too bossy for them. While word magic based on the language isn’t likely to use questions (though Isaac has challenge me to figure out how they might make it work) since it’s based on commanding magic to do what they want, the casual speaker is going to want to ask questions.

So I did some quick internet research on interrogative language stuff… (it may become quickly apparent that while I am trying to learn what the various mechanics are, I have trouble remembering the names for those mechanics)… and began formatting how to create the questions.

First off, I knew that I couldn’t use tone to imply that something is a question. That’s because word magic is intended to be read and still be clear… without the use of a question mark. I didn’t want to mess with swapping sentence structure around to make a question. And I didn’t want to inflect the verb in order to suggest that it’s a question.

Somehow, the result ended up reminding of an elementary school English lesson:

How does the dog run? The dog runs quickly. The dog runs how? Quickly.

And thus I decided on these rules:

  1. Questions are to be phrased so that the interrogative portion of the question replaces the who/what/etc portion of the question.
    1. (Ex. The dog runs how? vs The dog runs quickly.)
  2. To form a question, the who/what/etc suffix is attached before the word quéth, thus forming the phrase which replaces the part of the sentence in question.
    1. (Ex. nanlli mean “how,”quéth indicates that the sentence is question. Together, they create nanlliquéth.)
  3. Because the question is indicated in the sentence, there is no need for a question mark.
    1. (Ex. In English, it would look like the person says: “The dog runs how.” It should read flatter, without the rise in tone that a question in English would have. )
  4. Yes/No questions simply attach quéth to the verb in question.
    1. (Ex. hasil is “dog” and nivé is “to run.” “The dog runs,” translates to Hasil nivétra. If you say “The dog runs?” in English, you would say Hasil nivétraquéth. in Cantingen.

 

The questions ended up looking something like this:

 

Who – ka 

Who is that girl? Edyli is that girl.

Kaquéth dratethol ali doran. Edyli dratethol ali doran.

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What kas

That sound is of what? That sound is of leaves.

Ali runin dratetha so kasqueth. Ali runin dratethtra so inarame.

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Whenvésa

We leave when? We leave soon.

Yliav vésaquéth. Yliav jano.

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Whereuru

The scroll is where? The scroll is in the box.

Kev dratethtra da uruquéth.Kev dratethtra da vari.

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Whyji

She weaves why? She enjoys to weave.

Walol jiquéth. Kaviol wal.

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How  – nanlli

She weaves how? She weaves quickly.

Walol nanlliquéth. Walol naf.

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Yes/No Questions

This is the girl I seek?

Éda dratetholquéth doran somaria.

It’s still rough, and probably needs some polishing, but that’s what I have so far. It came in handy while working on The Shadow War. While there aren’t anyone asking questions directly in the Cantingen language, there are a few times when the main characters are speaking to people who are from the Cantingen Islands. Knowing how their primary language worked, I was able to change the sentence structure to add to the voice of those character.

For example, there’s a scene that takes place at the marketplace outside of Ashan.

The merchant bowed politely to the horses. She spoke softly in a Cantingen dialect, nothing Toranih understood, before finally turning to her customers and smiling. “Something attracts your eye?” she asked. Her Cirenan speech was articulate and careful, common among the Islanders. A rich blue sash wrapped around her hips and across her slender, bronze shoulders. Her dark hair had been pulled into loose curls and silver ribbons.

Daernan gestured to a pastry with a flaky, golden-brown crust, apricot paste, and streaks of yogurt frosting. “I’ll have that.”

Though I use the question mark here to mark correct English grammar, note how the question is phrased… “Something attracts your eye?” rather than “Does something attract your eye?” or “Do you see anything you like?” Theoretically, you could read it as a statement: “Something attracts your eye.” But if the merchant were to be speaking in the Cantingen language, she would use “quéth” to designate the question. “Eliaved nicolquéth naenlli.” (Literally, it translates to “Unknown sweet bread attracts your attention.” but the merchant knows enough Cirenan to phrase the question in a more familiar way).

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I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂 Have you tried constructing your own language, and if so, what problems have you run into?

If you want to read more about conlangs, I also have a post about Developing a Fictional Language (Cantingen) and Developing a Fictional Language (Maijevan).

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New Release – “Stone and String” is Now Available!

Remember that short story I was working on a couple weeks ago?  Well, “Stone and String” is now available! 😀

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Stone and String Book Cover

 

Blurb

In the world of The Wishing Blade, everyone is born with two strings of magic. One strand is life, and the other is death. Very few can manipulate them.

Among the Cantingen Islanders, children are tested for this ability during their first rites of magic, a ceremony which determines what magic they have and their future as a mage. But when Edyli’s little sister, Akymi, dies in an accident before those rites can occur, Edyli does the unthinkable. She uses magic to return Akymi to the living. As a result, she finds herself in a land of web-like strings… the afterlife.

Edyli refuses to give up seeing her sister’s first rites. With the help of a mysterious immortal and sheer determination, she has every intention of seeing her sister once more, even if it means incurring the wrath of Madia, the goddess of the dead.

 

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Buy Now on Amazon (US)

Buy Now on Amazon (UK)

Add "Stone and String" to Goodreads

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

“Stone and String” is a short story based in the universe of The Wishing Blade series. Though the stories are related (“Stone and String” takes place at the same time as the events of Magic’s Stealing), “Stone and String” stands alone. While Magic’s Stealing takes place in Cirena, and focuses on ribbon magic, “Stone and String” takes place on the Cantingen Islands and focuses on string magic and word magic, with a healthy dose of the Cantingen language.

I’m currently testing out KDP Select, so the ebook is only available from Amazon. But since it’s enrolled in Kindle Select, that means it can be borrowed if you have Kindle Unlimited.

Enjoy! 😀

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