Novels and Novellas

Here's the thing: I tend to write long stories. So, while I have a pretty good amount of short fiction, most of my work is tied up in novels and novellas, and many of my short stories fit somewhere within the worlds of these longer works. Here, you'll find a complete guide to these works, including both completed stories and works in progress, and links to any related content that appears on my blog. (On that note: because I do want to publish someday, most of my longer works aren't posted on the blog, but if you really want to read one of them, contact me and we might be able to work something out.)

Berstru Tales Series

Genre: Heroic fantasy/fantasy adventure

What is it? Berstru Tales is my longest-running project and currently includes four novels and a handful of short stories. All but one of the novels and most of the short stories are available on Google Docs, and I would be happy to send you the link if you wish to read them.

What’s it about? Dustin and Hunter Firhirt never expected that their quest to avenge their sister’s death would lead to the discovery of a plot to take over Berstru, nor did Gwen Alyron think that her efforts to stop her villainous sister would entangle her in a fight for the future of not just her country but her whole world. But what began with two conflicts in two families rapidly grows as friends and siblings alike realize that there’s more at stake than they ever imagined. This series of events, featuring secret organizations, adventure, battles, dragons, and a healthy dose of sibling love (and hate), will change all involved . . . whether they want to be caught up in it or not.

The Stories:
“Masked” (Berstru 0.1; short story)
A short story set during Berstru’s Golden Age. Prince Derek of Hoaka knows something is wrong, but he never expected a plot against the throne. Yet that’s just what Raellia Namion, a mysterious masked bardess, warns him of one day. Features mystery, masquerade balls, and shadowy plots.

“Black Letter” (Berstru 0.2; short story)
The assassin Aleta is used to receiving dark news . . . but this particular letter hits home in a way she never expected. Featuring hints about the past of one of Berstru’s most mysterious figures.

Unnamed Book 1:
Rachelle Elyn wants nothing more than to join the Forest Warriors who defend her home, but everything changes when she stumbles into another world. Dustin and Hunter Firhirt have been planning how they’ll avenge their sister for years; now they finally have their chance. Gwen Alyron asked for nothing but to be left alone, but her sister is up to something and she’s the only one who can stop it. When a bandit attack unexpectedly brings these four together and Dustin and Hunter learn that Gwen might know who killed their sister, they decide to join forces, but in the course of their adventures, they discover more than they ever dreamed they would.

Unnamed Book 2:
Roughly a year after the events of Book 1, Nightshade Alyron has been spotted lurking among the forests of Uldea. Dustin and Hunter set out to find out what she’s up to and send Rachelle to Hoaka to alert Gwen. Along the way, they meet new companions, discover two different plots against two different rulers and learn more about the Circle of Eight’s plans to conquer all of Berstru.

“Return to Alyron Village” (Berstru 2.5; short story)
Gwen Alyron returns to her hometown after three years, looking for information about her brother Jake’s whereabouts. While there, she learns that tragedy struck while she was away.

Secrets and Searches (Berstru Book 3)
Emma Alyron just wants to be left alone, to leave her family and her disgrace behind and create a new life for herself in Port Metre. But when she least expects it, both trouble and wonder come knocking on her door. Jared Alyron wants to live his life the way he likes, with no one telling him what to do . . . but what seems like a cushy setup allowing him to do just that will test his commitments to his lifestyle, himself, and his family. Gwen Alyron and her friends came to Port Metre looking for Gwen’s brother, but their search is interrupted by terrible news from Dea and Ariana. Lives and dreams collide in this story of love, intrigue, family, and adventure that will test all involved.

“Burning Dreams” (Berstru 3.5; short story)
Every year, Nightshade returns in the night to her hometown to remind herself of where she’s coming from and where she’s going. But this night is not quite like the others.

Destinies and Decisions (Berstru Book 4; currently in edits)
The winds of war blow through Berstru as the Circle of Eight leaves behind subtlety in its quest to conquer Berstru. With the south firmly in its grasp, the Circle gathers its armies to strike against the still-free countries to the north. Ariana, Rachelle, and Dustin set off on a race to warn Uldea— but enemies appear in unexpected places, and Ariana is keeping secrets. Could she have at last discovered the Nightblade’s Heir? Or is there something more sinister afoot? Meanwhile, Gwen knows that she needs to be ready to defend Uldea when the Circle attacks, but first she must get her family to safety through the Circle-controlled lands of Beylend and Diopas . . . not an easy task when you have a gaggle of younger siblings to protect, a young Rider to train even though she’s too afraid of her powers to even try, a sister who seems to question your every move, and a friend whose grudge may be the doom of you all. Will they ever reach the north? Or will they succumb to attacks from within and without and fall before they can get to safety? Amidst all this, Jared Alyron, accompanied by the genius Bianca D’lynn, is quite literally running from responsibility, but every step seems to bring him perilously close to involvement in something bigger than himself. He knows he must make a decision soon— but will it be the right one?
Sea Snippet- taken from the first draft
Snippets– taken from the first edit and second draft.

Bonus Material
Beautiful People Interviews: Jared and Bianca || Emma || Dea
Character Encounters: Alyron Siblings
"Intrusion"- a short story set during Gwen’s years alone, before Book 1. No, there isn’t a sequel.
Velone- in which there are adorable small dragons.
Family Ties- in which I discuss the value of family in fantasy and pull a lot of examples from the Berstru Tales.
The Lay of the Nightblade”– inspired by The Lay of Beren and Luthien, this is a central piece of lore in the Berstru Tales.
Random Fridays: A Whole New World- a tour of the eastern half of Berstru.
Personality Tests- in which I talk about the MBTI types of my Berstru characters.
In Which I Have an Argument with a Bardess"- what happens when I have to restart a scene and decide to have a little fun with it. Incidentally, this little scrap of writing helped inspire a whole novel, so . . .

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Epic Fairy Tale Retellings Series

Genre: Fairy tale retelling (growing towards high fantasy)

What Is It? This is my second-longest running project, though it only has two books in at at the moment. Both books retell well-known fairy tales and are among my longest and most complicated works (or were, at the time I wrote them). It’s currently stalled because both the existing novels need an extensive rewrite and edit before I can write the rest of the series.

What’s It About? Twelve adoptive sisters, once locked away in a tower, discover their destinies as an ancient foe emerges from the shadows and seeks to extend its reign over the land.

The Stories:
Danger in the Tower (Book 1):
For as long as they can remember, the twelve sisters have lived in their tower, surrounded by its impossibly high wall, alone except for each other and their strange guardians. And as long as they can remember, Ivy Jade and Poppy have plotted how they might escape from their home. When a glowing portal leading to a beautiful forest of gold and silver appears in their eldest sisters’ bedroom, the sisters think that it’s their ticket to freedom . . . But darker forces are at work, and a conflict that most thought ended centuries ago has begun anew. Is the golden forest and its mysterious king truly the girls’ escape? Or have the sisters unwittingly become pawns to an enemy greater than any of them realize?
"Hidden Secrets"- the poem that serves as the prologue

Monster in the Castle (Book 2):
Released from her tower home and reunited with her birth family, Pansy hopes that all is well at last. But when misfortune and mistaken gifts force her father into a deadly bargain, she finds herself drawn into a web of magic, mystery, and deceit. Trapped once more, this time in a mountain castle with a monster and a host of Unmen, separated from all allies except a strange young Alduran lord who appears only in her dreams, Pansy must discover the truth before it’s too late.
Snippetsscroll to the end of the post and you’ll find a few bits of dialogue from the later part of Monster in the Castle.

Bonus Material:
Christmas Character Interview- featuring the major heroes of the series.

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Between Two Worlds and Binding Destiny

Genre: Portal fantasy/fantasy adventure

What Is It? Between Two Worlds began as a series of long-running daydreams which I eventually transformed into a novel for NaNoWriMo 2014. Then I accidentally wrote a sequel during NaNoWriMo 2015 when I decided to connect the two worlds and then the main characters of Between Two Worlds invited themselves into the novel. Between Two Worlds has been in on-and-off edits since I wrote it; Binding Destiny is awaiting edits.

What’s It About? Loosely speaking, these novels follow the adventures of Katelyn Stevens, a fairly ordinary girl who’s called to another world, only to find out that real life and real war, even in fantasy realms, bears very little resemblance to Narnia.

The Stories: 

Between Two Worlds
Katelyn’s story is over. That’s what she thinks, anyway. That’s the way it’s always worked. Once you go home, you stay there. You’re done. So whether or not she likes it, it’s time for her to get used to normality again. It’s time for her to let go of the friends she’s made and shut away the memories, both good and bad. She never expected a friend she never thought she’d see again to show up one day. She didn’t expect him to tell her that she wasn’t done after all, or that everything she was using normality as an escape from is about to smack her in the face. She didn’t expect that the two worlds she’s caught between could ever collide, but now her adventures have followed her home, and she must make the choice to fight to save everything and everyone she loves. Her first adventure was just the prologue. Now chapter one begins.
Pi(e) Day– a sketch about Katelyn, Aedon, and pie set before the main novel.
Beautiful People: Katelyn and Aedon 
Character Encounter: Rizkaland- in which both my and Kate's mornings end up rather more exciting than we expected. 
A Gift From a Friend– not writing, but a collage created by a friend featuring Katelyn Stevens.
Snippets– several snippets from the first edited version of Between Two Worlds.

Binding Destiny
Mikkel is the Hero of Rushire- or will be, once he finishes his training. Chosen by Destiny herself, he serves under the city’s last remaining Hero, Sir Leod, and awaits the day when he can prove himself. Taika is the ward of Martius Coradin, latest in a long line of sworn foes of Rushire. For generations they have fought the city in various ways- but in recent years their power has waned with the changing times. Yet Martius has made a new plan- a plan which, he says, will reawaken the old ways and make people fear the Coradin name once more. But when his plan spirals out of control, it’s up to Mikkel and Taika to work together to save their world.
Snippets– posted to celebrate reaching the 40K mark during NaNoWriMo.
Beautiful Books: The Editing Process- in which I discuss how the book turned out. Features snippets.

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The Way of the Pen

Genre: Fantasy . . . something. Possibly fantasy of manners, though I’m not sure if it’s satirical enough for that.

What Is It? The Way of the Pen is what happens when a outtake-type scene in another novel gets me thinking about what would happen if the inhabitants of the world knew they were characters in the hands of an author. It’s currently a standalone, but I hope to eventually write a sequel.

What’s It About?
Tuira is a land without an Author. It has been for two hundred years, though the bards and bardesses insist that the land’s stories will be written once more. Now, however, the waiting has come to an end. A new Author has been appointed- but she’s not like anything the people of Tuira ever expected.
No one was more surprised than Rinna when the new Author appeared to her, of all people- especially not since Rinna has been denied entrance to the Order of the Pen multiple times. However, that doesn’t even begin to cover Rinna’s shock when that same Author informs Rinna of a threat to Tuira and to her position as Author. Before long, Rinna finds herself on an adventure that will not only decide Tuira’s fate, but challenge everything she ever believed.
Character Encounters- which is actually a reasonably long excerpt, because the book is basically one long character encounter.

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Fairy Tale Novellas

Genre: Fairy tale retelling (obviously); with bonus steampunkery in two.

What Are They? These three novellas aren’t actually connected, but I lump them together here because they’re all the same genre, about the same length, and were all written for the same series of contests. All three were also written during Camp NaNoWrimo events (July 2015, April 2016, and July 2017).

What Are They About? Once Upon a Dream is a sweet steampunk take on “Sleeping Beauty” told from the perspective of the prince— or, in this case, a university student trying to balance his studies in magio-chemistry with his life as a Dream Guardian. In Mechanical Heart, the prince of another steampunk country discovers a mysterious girl trapped in a clock tower and, as a result, uncovers corruption in his city far deeper than he ever expected. Finally, Blood in the Snow blends “Snow White” and “The Goose Girl” in an Asian-inspired setting to tell the story of Princess Baili as she struggles to regain her stolen throne and stop her stepmother’s plans.

The Stories:
Once Upon a Dream:
Alexander Fairbain never intended to end up the hero of a story a century in the making. All he ever asked for was peace, quiet, and a laboratory in which to research wards against and cures for enchantments and curses. But Alexander is more than just a university student; he’s also a Dream Guardian, responsible to keep the Midnight Realm of nightmares at bay. And when his dreams lead him to a young woman who’s anything but an ordinary dreamer and who begs him to rescue her from a nightmare outside her dreams, he’s launched into an adventure that will demand more from him than he ever imagined.
Status: Completed with multiple edits and waiting for me to figure out what to do with it.

Mechanical Heart
Breen should be dead. For much of her life, she has been kept alive by wires and gears powered by dark magics, trapped in the clock tower which she maintains. She believes she has no escape, not even death . . . until a stranger finds his way into her home and gives her hope again. Josiah is a prince without power. He sees the corruption in his city and country, yet, prince or not, no one will listen long enough for him to do anything about it. But when he finds a strange girl imprisoned in one of the city’s clock tower, he discovers a conspiracy and a mystery whose solution might be the key to all he’s ever worked for. Inspired by Lindsey Stirling’s “Shatter Me,” Mechanical Heart reimagines the story of Rapunzel in a dark steampunk world: a world where a new lease on life carries a dear price, where mechanical innovations have created a new form of slavery, and where a girl waits in a clockwork tower, wondering if she’s truly alive anymore . . . and if there’s any way she could be again.
Status: First draft completed; awaiting edits.
Snippets: April Doings

Beautiful People: Josiah

Blood in the Snow
The fairest in the land will unite two kingdoms once one- or so says the prophecy. And so Princess Zhu Baili of the Kingdom of Seven Rivers is betrothed to the prince of the Kingdom of Three Peaks and must leave everything she’s ever known. But when her servants turn on her and her stepmother plots against her life, she finds herself stranded, lost, and alone in an unfamiliar land. With the aid of seven unlikely companions, she must find a way to reclaim her place and expose her betrayers before two divided countries fall together.
Status: Second draft in progress.
Snippets: July 2017 Doings (scroll down to the writing section), NaNoWriMo Day 10


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Foundry City Stories

Genre: Superhero

What Is It? Foundry City is the setting of the Teenage Superhero Society, a story blog started by Erin Kenobi and several other teenage writers, myself included. Although the blog eventually died out, I wrote another novella, Fight Song, set in its world and featuring many of the significant characters.

What’s It About? The Teenage Superhero Society tells the story of Starlight, Lannis, Audrey, Rebecca, and Saxon, five teens with powers that set them apart from most of the population, and the events that slowly draw them out of their ordinary lives and into an unlikely team. Fight Song follows Callie Heartwood as she hunts down a super-powered murderer who, years before, killed her coworker and left her doubting her sanity.

The Stories:
The Teenage Superhero Society
From the blog’s about page: “The Teenaged Superhero Society was founded, not as an exclusive-and-difficult-to-enter club, but largely a support group. However, the onset of a new threat to the safety of innocent civilians pushed this group of unusual teenagers into doing the unexpected. They would become superheroes. Crime-fighters. Supervillain busters.”

Fight Song
Three years ago, Callie saw murder committed. Today, she’ll see justice done. No one believed her then. They thought she was crazy. But she knows what she saw. More than that, she knows what she heard. And she will find the killer who no one knows is a killer and bring him to justice.
Read it here!: Prologue || Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four || Chapter Five || Chapter Six || Chapter Seven || More to come once Blood in the Snow no longer demands all my attention!

Bonus Material
Character Encounter- in which I spontaneously run into Callie's roommate under a bridge.
Beautiful People- an interview with Callie