Some Ships Were Never Meant to Sail, But…

So my biggest fans remain my daughter and her friends. I’m actually cool with that; writing is a hobby for me, not a retirement plan. I’m pleased to have been able to bond with Rebecca through my writing projects, and I’m pleased that my books have given her a way to bond with some of her classmates. With the first copies of Oathbreaker heading our way, interest in my novels is on an uptick in Macon, Georgia.

Recently (okay, yesterday) a new friend was first initiated into the Wonder through a gift of book 1, Children of Pride. Somewhere in an early chapter, she made the same reading leap that another friend had made a year or so before in “shipping” the protagonist, Taylor, with her soon-to-be mentor, Danny. This is fascinating to me:

  • Danny is explicitly described (while impersonating a teenager) as socially awkward, not too bright, and not very good looking.
  • In that scene, Taylor explicitly hopes Danny isn’t developing a crush on her.
  • A chapter or two later, it is revealed that Danny is actually over 200 years old and not at all interested in Taylor.

Apparently even that last part isn’t enough to dissuade them from hoping for this ship to sail. (One girl said, “That’s not as bad as Edward and Bella.” Rebecca said, “Don’t you dare compare my father’s novels to that book!”)

I choose to believe the utterly unforeseen Taylor-Danny ship says something positive about the quality of friends my daughter has chosen to associate with. They are the kind of people who look beyond outward appearances. They are the kind of people who aren’t ready to write anybody off too soon.

And I’m actually cool with that, too.

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Oathbeaker Now Available on Kindle!

Here’s how it starts:

* * *

Taylor scowled at Bledrus Dingle. For his part, the spriggan didn’t seem to notice. He looked at her from across the table and shoveled another bite of turkey into his misshapen mouth.

The Route 80 Diner in Manchester, Kentucky was a quaint little place. The décor might have been described as Early Modern Basketball: photos of local high school teams going back thirty years or more adorned the walls, along with donated jerseys and some autographed pictures of people Taylor would probably recognize if she cared anything at all about sports.

The place was mostly empty. Besides Taylor and her repulsive dinner date, the only other people in the tiny restaurant were a couple of county sheriff’s deputies and a homeless guy the manager had taken pity on. It was Thanksgiving, and most people were enjoying the holiday at home with their loved ones.

Taylor was sharing the holiday with her personal jailer, who had glamoured himself to look like an angel-faced ten- year-old. But Taylor had no trouble discerning his true, hideous appearance behind the illusion.

“You’re enjoying this,” she said.

Dingle’s face revealed nothing. “I’m just doing my job.” Taylor scowled at him and poked at her mashed potatoes.

The waitress approached them and asked if they’d like dessert. Her nametag said “Wanita.”

“None for me,” Taylor said.

“Do you have pecan pie?” the spriggan said. Even his voice sounded like a kid’s. Most spriggans didn’t have that much skill. “Is that okay, Mom?” Wanita asked Taylor. Taylor wasn’t any good at the kind of husks Dingle could project to mask his faery nature, but over the last thirty-six hours, she’d had plenty of practice honing her power of suggestion. Nobody in the diner questioned that she could be somebody’s mom. As far as they were concerned, she was just an extremely young-looking thirty-something woman.

“Fine,” Taylor said.

“You ought to have some, too,” Dingle said. Sweet treats enhanced faery magic. William Matthews thought it might have something to do with boosting the level of serotonin in the brain.

“I’m good.”

“Please, Mom?” Dingle said. Beneath his husk, he furrowed his brows: a subtle threat?

Taylor sighed. “Do you have pumpkin?” If she were home, she’d be digging into a slice of her mom’s pumpkin pie about now.

“One pumpkin pie and one pecan, coming right up,” Wanita said.

As soon as she left the table, Dingle said, “You’ve got to keep up your reserves. Mrs. Hellebore wants to see what you can do.”

“Yes, she’s made that quite obvious,” Taylor snapped.

“Like I said, I’m just doing my job.”

“Uh huh,” Taylor said. “I go through these stupid tests, showing you how good I am at glamours. You watch me and report to Mara on my progress. And along the way, you make sure I don’t do anything tricky.” She wondered, though, if anyone was watching Dingle.

* * *

Now go see how it ends. I know you want to.

Shameless Self-Promotion

Into the Wonder is nearly complete. I need to finish off the CreateSpace process and see the physical proof (issues with the cover last time), and then Oathbreaker will go live in both paperback and Kindle editions!

If you’ve enjoyed my content on this website, may I ask a favor of you? Would you be willing to (1) purchase one of the earlier novels (start at book one, Children of Pride, or move on to the first book you haven’t read)—ebook or paperback, it doesn’t matter to me—(2) read it, and (3) leave a review at Amazon.com?

I’d certainly appreciate your support. (And I wouldn’t stop you from sharing the links with your Twitter and Facebook friends…)

Thanks!

Cover Reveal: Oathbreaker

The covers of the Into the Wonder novels have “grown up” with the story, from something more “kid-friendly” (one person described them “old-school Nancy Drew”) to something a bit more serious and “mature.” This was approximately 87.3% by accident.

At any rate, here is the cover of Oathbreaker, which will become available later this month at Amazon.com.

With Oathbreaker, the story of Taylor Smart comes to a fitting end. It has been a fun ride. I’ve learned a lot and may have accidentally taken on a new hobby that I find highly enjoyable.

What’s next? I’ve got a few ideas kicking around in my head, so don’t be surprised if something new pops up either in this space or somewhere else.