Book 4, Draft 2 Finished!

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Book 4, Draft 2 Finished!

I’m excited to announce that I’ve finished my second draft of Call of Hywilkin! That means all that’s left to do is some proofreading, formatting, and making sure my illustrations are spaced through the book in a way that makes sense.

I’m hoping to have a release date for you soon, and I expect that date to be in early March.

Book Four was a real challenge for me to write.  There were many stops and starts which made me worry that the plot was stilted and choppy. I was so relieved during my read-through to find the opposite to be true. There is so much action and emotion in this book. It’s packed full of all of the characters you’ve grown close to, and a few new ones you’re sure to love. I truly can’t wait to share it with the world!

Here’s a preview illustration of Flitt, who’s as cheeky as ever in this book.  If you like the image, I have a whole line of products available for sale on redbubble.

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Finally, I have a favor to ask. If you’ve read any of the books in this series and haven’t written a review yet, please consider reviewing them on Amazon. I’m especially grateful for reviews of Call of Brindelier, book three in the series. Thanks so much, and check back for more news coming soon!

 

New Release From Author Lyndsey Harper

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New Release From Author Lyndsey Harper

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“The Fell (Book One of the Naetan Lance Saga)” by author Lyndsey Harper is now available:

After the brutal death of his mentor, Leer Boxwell’s only desire is vengeance. However, his belief that the murderer is the mythical Grimbarror has made him the laughing stock of the Vale. When Leer witnesses the beast steal away the princess in an unexpected attack on the royal city, he volunteers to hunt the creature. Battling self-doubt and ridicule, while struggling to control a mysterious power within that he does not fully understand, Leer must decide whether his convictions are worth the sacrifice the Fell demands.

Based on this excerpt, it sounds like a great read!

A hush fell over the inn; the fiddle music screeched to an abrupt halt.
Bilby’s eyes narrowed. “What did you say?” he asked.
“I said,” Leer repeated, “I wish to know everything you know about the Grimbarror.”
Callous laughter exploded through the men and few barmaids present, ripples of mockery piercing Leer’s ears.
“You well-washed loon,” Bilby cackled, slapping his knee through his amusement. “You wish to hear fairy tales, is that it?”
Leer’s jaw flexed as he clamped his molars together. “I seek the truth.”
“Hah!” Bilby screeched. “Would you like a cup of warm milk to go with your bedtime story, Boy?”
Leer squeezed his eyes shut briefly, trying to push away the reverberating voices around him. “Are you, or are you not, the Marcus Bilby that Finnigan Lance spoke of?” he demanded. “The one whose life he saved?”
Another wave of eerie silence fell over the inn. Bilby leaned in, gripping the table with white knuckles. “What name did you say?” he asked.
“Finnigan Lance,” Leer enunciated.
“Curse you for speaking that name,” Bilby snarled, spitting on the ground.
“Cheating scoundrel, he was,” a man bellowed from the rear of the crowd.
“Nothin’ but a drink bloated habbersnitch.” another agreed.
“You’d better have good reason for speaking that name in this place, Boy,” Bilby warned, leaning forward.
“He wasn’t a cheat,” Leer snapped. “You peddled furs with him. You worked with him, and he saved your life from insurgents. And I do believe you owe him a favor.”
A murmur trickled through the crowd, sending Bilby into visible panic as his peers reacted to the revelation.
“And what?” Bilby retorted with a scoff. “Lance has come back from the dead to claim it?”
Leer’s jaw flexed. Finnigan’s death was still fresh in his mind; it had not been long since he found his bloodied, mauled corpse. “Nay. You’ll pay your debt to him through answering my questions.”
Bilby’s eyes narrowed. “And just who are you to lay claim to any favors?”
Leer held his gaze. “His son.”

More about Lyndsey:

Lyndsey is a brilliant author you’ve likely never heard of, Superwife, and award-winning mother living life in leggings in the expensive and overcrowded state of New Jersey. She is fluent in Spanglish and Sarcasm and enjoys watching Arrow, Supernatural, Psych, and The X-Files repeatedly. You can find her either in the grocery store buying laundry detergent, Tylenol, and cat litter, hovering near her Keurig coffee brewer, or shaking her fist at the heavens in front of her computer. Occasionally, you may spot her on the beach or out shopping (when she actually has money to spare). However, you should avoid approaching her at such times as she is likely enjoying a rare moment of relaxation and can become moody if interrupted. If you decide to engage her during any one of these activities, approach with caution and a sizable cup of Starbucks in hand to avoid any ill effects.

Here’s where you can find her online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorlyndseyharper
Twitter: @lyndseyiswrite
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lyndsey-Harper/e/B01MRWEM9W

If you’re as intrigued as I am by this first book in the series, click the cover to pick up your copy:

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Wishing Lyndsey the best of luck with her fabulous new series!

Keepers of the Wellsprings 1&2 FREE Today!

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Keepers of the Wellsprings 1&2 FREE Today!

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About The Keepers of the Wellsprings Series

When I started writing this series, I really wanted to tell a story that was rich with fantasy, but not overly dark or mired with war and violence. I wanted to show the light side of fantasy: the cheerful, magical, uplifting side which I always drink up whenever it emerges in a story, and which always seems to be so fleeting in fantasy tales. I wanted to tell a story that would capture the hearts of young and old alike. Don’t get me wrong, my books aren’t void of conflict and evil. They tell of uncomfortable moments. There is violence and wickedness, but it’s those moments in my stories which are the fleeting ones. In the pages of my books, you will find fairies, Mages, Paladins, Elves, Dreamwalkers, Princes and Princesses, and even dragons. You’ll travel through a world rich with magic and wonder.

Read the rest of this entry

Friday the 13th–Free Books!

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Friday the 13th us usually considered an unlucky day, so download some free books by my friends over at SIA, tuck yourself in with a cozy blanket and a cup of tea, and read!

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Cover Reveal – Call of Hywilkin

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Cover Reveal – Call of Hywilkin

With my draft in the hands of my beta readers and my Apple Pencil on fire from illustrating, I’ve decided it’s time to reveal the cover of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, Book Four: Call of Hywilkin!

The story takes place in Hywilkin, a treacherous frozen country where the use of magic is forbidden upon penalty of death. Its Wellspring, which lies deep in the center of a towering mountain, has been sealed off from the world for decades.

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Here it is with the rest of the books in the series:

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When I designed the cover, I wanted to be sure it kept with the theme of previous covers while also conveying the dark, dangerous themes of the book. Rian must learn his worth without magic, Azi struggles to maintain balance between her own powers and her duties as a Knight, and Tib delves into the shadowed mysteries of the floating city of Brindelier. As always, their fairy companions guide them on their way, providing advice and encouragement as they work to bolster the Dawn and snuff out the Dusk.

Click here to read more about the Keepers of the Wellsprings series!

Call of Hywilkin will be available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited March 2017! Check here for details coming soon!

Up for Air

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Up for Air

Wow! Happy 2017, everyone! I can’t believe another year has gone by! I have great news that I’m so excited to share. On the first day of this  year, I wrote the last chapter of Book 4: Call of Hywilkin. I feel like I was in an author-induced cocoon for months, and I have finally broken out of The Known Lands and back into Real Life again! I’m up for air for a week, and then it’s time to get to editing.

I’m really excited about this book. In this installment of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, Azi and Rian set out to Hywilkin to search for missing members of the Elite, and meet with much more than they bargain for. In the meantime, Tib spends some time with the elves of Ceras’lain before heading to Brindelier to look into strange dealings there. Of course, both parties encounter the darkest of the dark: Sorcerers bent on claiming the power of the Wellsprings for themselves and plunging the world into darkness.

I can’t wait to share more of the story with you! So much happens in this book that’s impossible for me to hint at since I don’t want to ruin the previous books for those who haven’t caught up!

I’m hoping to release Call of Hywilkin in March, possibly on Kythshire’s birthday which strangely happens to be St. Patrick’s day, too. Keep an eye here for a cover reveal!

In other news, I’m planning a free promo of books 1&2 for next weekend. Call of Kythshire will be free Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14, and Call of Sunteri will be free Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15.

Just for fun, here’s a sneak peek illustration and excerpt from Call of Hywilkin:

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The Gilt Cage

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Don’t forget, you can get Snowberry Blossom for free every day on Amazon!

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The Keepers of the Wellsprings series is available on Amazon.com, and it’s free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited!

 

The Gilt Cage: An Excerpt

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The Gilt Cage: An Excerpt

An excerpt and illustration from Book Four of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, coming February 2017:

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Kenrick casts his spell, and the sparkling pillars of the cavern shift. In their place, rough-hewn walls of gray stone surround us on all sides. Saesa and I jump to our feet. As our surroundings settle into place, the first thing I notice are the cages. Masterfully wrought in iron and plated with gold, they are stunning works of art in themselves. What they hold, though, is heartbreaking.

I recognize many of the prisoners held within from Tulya’s paintings: A man with a hawk’s beak and splendid feathers, and a girl with quills like Tulya’s own. Another man, much older, sits cramped in his cage, his long spotted tail lashing weakly as his matted ears twitch. There are a dozen or more here, all caged, chain-bound and rail-thin. The scene passes by us at a walking pace, even though here in the cavern we haven’t moved.

“Hali,” Tulya cries in anguish as the older man’s cage drifts past. Rian shifts closer to me and takes my hand, gazing at the scene with a mix of wonder at the Mage’s spell and distaste at the endless rows of cages on display.

We pause at one gilt cage holding a woman in plate mail armor. The braid at her shoulder is unraveled and frayed. Her face is cast down, her hands clasped at her chest in a meditative pose. A beautifully engraved sign at her feet reads:

Rare Cerion Specimen. Paladin. Emotion control. Ally to fae-kin. Dangerous. Do not speak to exhibit.”

“Mum,” I whisper in horrified disbelief.

***

Prepare yourself for the coming adventure! Meet Azi, her foes, and her allies in the Keepers of the Wellsprings Books 1-3 available on Amazon Kindle. Click here for more information.

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The images and excerpts posted in this blog are copyright 2016 author/illustrator Missy Sheldrake and cannot be reproduced without the express permission of the artist/author.

 

Happy Birthday, Sunteri!

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Happy Birthday, Sunteri!

A year ago today, Call of Sunteri, Keepers of the Wellsprings – Book Two, was published. To wish it a happy birthday, I’m offering the ebook for FREE on Kindle all weekend! That’s right, from November 18-20, it’s time to celebrate!

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Even though it’s book two, don’t be shy. Reviewers have said it stands alone well:

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And those who have read the first one love this one even more:

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If that’s not enough to convince you to pick up  your free copy, here’s an excerpt from Call of Sunteri, Keepers of the Wellsprings – Book Two in which Azi, now dubbed a knight, is summoned by a bored Prince Eron for a duel. The prince, who has always had a strange obsession with Azi, is being escorted by her family’s guild to a castle in the north along with his pregnant wife, to shield him from accusations of treason while the princess gives birth to their son. This takes place at a tavern where they’ve stopped to rest.

The courtyard is open to the sky, but closed in on all sides. It’s clean, but run down. The ground is packed dirt and the fountain in the center is cracked and empty. Several royal guards line the peeling stone walls, and two lords Eron’s age lounge in an alcove to one side. The lords are his cousins, Fresi and Kris. They met up with us in the last village, right on schedule.

The prince himself is waiting for me across the yard. He makes a show of his footwork as I approach, demonstrating a fancy combination that seems a little too flowery to have any practical use in battle. I try to look impressed anyway, just to cover up my nerves. The lords call out to Eron, telling him how formidable he looks, applauding his sword dance. When they see me, one of them whistles low.

I bend my knee and bow my head as the prince turns to face me. He lets the tip of his sword drag in the dirt as he comes to stand over me. I curse my heart, which is thumping so loudly that I’m sure he can hear it. He stays there awhile, as if he’s making sure I’m well aware of my place: in the dirt, kneeling to him. Finally, he addresses me.

“Sir Azaeli,” his tone is merry, but his words are slightly slurred. I can smell the drink on him. “Armed and ready, I see.”

“Yes, Your Highness.” I keep my head bowed. I can almost feel his sneer.

“Stand up, then, and show me your skills. I wish to spar with the legend,” he laughs, and the lords in the alcove echo him.

“If it pleases Your Highness,” I say, mustering my patience as I stand up and take my sword from the sheath on my back. One of the lords makes a crude remark, but I ignore it. I’ve trained for this. Thanks to Dacva and his crew, I know how to keep a level head even when my opponent is spitting venom and insults and doing everything he can to rattle me.

I try not to think of how ungrateful Eron has been since Rian and I lifted Viala’s enchantments on him. I try not to let it bother me that he treats me this way, despite all we’ve done and all we continue to do to ensure his comfort and clear his name. He’s my prince. The heir of Cerion. The son of my liege. It’s my duty to respect and obey him, even if he doesn’t return that respect.

We face each other and raise our blades in salute. He eyes me with a hunger that makes me uncomfortable, but I try to ignore it and concentrate on the bout instead. I’m growing used to my new sword, which Da forged for me in the weeks after the battle at Kythshire. It’s lighter than my old one, but the grip is still too new. I miss the one I lost. It was a good friend to me. Still, this one is well made, with a broad blade and a long, slender handle that requires two hands, like my last one.

Lord Kris calls out to start the spar, and Eron advances immediately. His sword is two-handed as well. It’s similar to mine, but richly encrusted with deep red jewels that glisten like fresh blood. Our bout starts smoothly. We’re evenly matched as we swing and parry against each other.

We go on for a while, easily driving one another back and forth across the yard. His style is much showier than mine. I ease up, since he obviously feels like he has something to prove to his cousins. He performs the dance again and arcs the blade in a quick and complicated combination that drives me backwards across the courtyard.

“I’m disappointed,” he announces loudly. “All that talk about your skill, and I’ve got you backed into a corner already.” I raise my sword to block his, and our blades meet at my chest. He presses closer, and I shove him back with all of my strength to gain some ground. He stumbles a little but quickly regains his footing. We clash together again, driving each other back and forth across the space while the young lords call out to Eron, congratulating him for every small advantage he gains over me. Finally, right beside the alcove, I pin him against the wall with my sword.

“You’re as good as they say,” he says through clenched teeth. “Would you be so skilled with my sword?” He thrusts his hips lewdly. Lord Kris laughs at the prince’s banter. Lord Fresi gives a halfhearted chuckle. Eron keeps his sword up and reaches with one hand to grope my chest plate. I dodge his hand and skip backwards and he comes at me with a new fury that leaves me breathless in my defense. I gain some advantage again and touch him with my blade once, twice, three times. Every time I do, his rage grows. The lords go silent as the spar grows more furious, more dangerous. Eron doesn’t hold back, and neither do I. The clash of our swords rings out loud and fierce over the courtyard. A storm cloud drifts overhead, casting a shadow over us.

My mood shifts. I don’t care if he’s my prince, I want to see him bleed. I want him to hurt. I want him to know that he can’t do what he does anymore. Not to me. Not to anyone. Not with his wife suffering in her room, heavy with his child. This isn’t a game. This is life. His cruelty, his unseemly behavior needs to stop.

He advances and I drive him back with an elbow to his nose. Slash at him with fury, with rage. I know I’m screaming battle cries. I don’t care. I don’t even see his face anymore, I only see the enemy. He has to learn, and I’ll be the one to teach him. My sword is swift and true. It meets its mark again and again. One touch after another, and at first the lords stay silent. The prince stumbles backwards, and when I don’t let up, the guards close in on me, shouting. I drop my sword and start punching. I don’t stop until a heavy hand clamps over my shoulder and drags me back. I blink back to my senses to see Eron kneeling in the dirt, cowering.

When he realizes that I’ve stopped he jumps to his feet, adjusts his chest plate, and raises his chin dubiously. His lip is bleeding and he taps it with his fingertip and looks at the blood with anger.

“I’m bored of dueling,” he says petulantly. “Let’s go for a hunt. My horse!”

He storms off with the lords and the guards trailing after him. The lords look over their shoulders at me as they go with a mixture of awe and fear. The hand on my shoulder loosens a little.

“Great guts, Azi, what’s gotten into you?” I turn to see Bryse looking down at me, his stony gray brow deeply furrowed with concern.

“You really laid into him,” Cort says from behind him.

“I just…I guess I got carried away,” I retrieve my sword and slide it into its sheath with a little trouble, my hands are shaking so hard. I flex my fingers. My knuckles ache.

“Serves him right,” Bryse mutters, “maybe he’ll keep his eyes to himself from now on.”

“Mya won’t like it,” Cort says. “We’re supposed to be protecting him, not killing him in the sparring pitch.”

“I wasn’t trying to kill him,” I say, scowling.

“You sure looked like you were,” Flitt says at the same time Bryse speaks.

“Come on, let’s have a drink. Forget about it for now. No harm done.”

I know as an author I’m supposed to love all of my children equally, but to be honest, Call of Sunteri is my favorite book in the series. I could tell you why, but I don’t want to spoil it. I will admit it’s partly due to a new character named Tib, and his interactions with a mysterious character with ambiguous goals.

Want to read more? Get it free today! Click here!

The Keepers of the Wellsprings series is available on Amazon.com and free to read for members of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program.

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For more details about this series or to sign up for my mailing list, visit my website: www.missysheldrake.com

 

 

Treat Yourself to Short Stories!

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If you like free and discount reads and short stories, you’ll love this guest post from author C.L. Wells!

We’re all commitment-phobes about something at least once or twice in our lives. Sometimes, this includes our love of reading. Life gets so hectic and busy, the thought of committing to a five hundred page novel causes us to choke up and miss that precious getaway only a good book can provide.

To remedy this little problem, I thought I’d provide you with a list of low-cost and free (yes, FREE) short stories to get you through the holiday season. With a plethora of genres to choose from, you’ll find a little romance, mystery, fantasy, and even something for the kiddos. Read during your lunch break, while you’re waiting in line, or while the holiday pastries are in the oven baking.

So, what’re you waiting for? Start downloading!

Oh! *brings voice to a whisper* In case you didn’t know, an author giggles and dances every time you leave a review, so be sure to drop a line or two on all of your favorite short stories.

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99¢: A Zombie Love Story: A Parody Novella by Rachel John
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Scarlett Eighty-One is The Foundation’s perfect citizen and she’d never think of breaking a rule. She’s too smart for that. But everything changes when the hunky guy in her Geometry class turns his sunken, lifeless eyes on her.

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99¢: That’s How She Rolls by C.L. Wells
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Tessa, a self-conscious introvert, attempts to avoid a party and everything goes wrong. When a handsome stranger offers to lend a helping hand, she isn’t sure things will ever be right again. This is a short story that is also included in the anthology titled, Where the Light May Lead (Reflections of Faith Book 1).

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99¢: Word and Deed by Rachel Rossano
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Death or an arranged marriage, Verity refuses to accept the choices. Verity Favian’s father dies unexpectedly. Her half-brother, Verdon, lays claim to all their father left behind: title, castle, and her. Verdon cannot touch the land set aside for her dowry so he offers her hand for sale to the highest bidder. . .

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99¢: Exchange by Rachel Rossano
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Isolated on a distant planet, she is incarcerated for a crime she doesn’t recall. She has no name, no idea where she came from, or why she is injected with drugs daily to hold these vital facts from her grasp. Despite small rebellions, she wastes away, worn and losing hope of ever being whole again.

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FREE: No Good Deed by Morgan Smith
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Maybe it isn’t such a good idea to walk in another man’s shoes.

Morgan Smith has been a goatherd, an artist, a landscaper, a weaver, a bookstore owner, a travel writer and an archaeologist, and she will drop everything to go anywhere, on the flimsiest of pretexts. Writing is something she has been doing all her life, though, one way or another, and now she thinks she might actually have something to say.

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99¢: The Secret Meadow by Judith Wells
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Billy Clark had spent the last two years learning to depend on no one but himself. When he’s kidnapped, he doubts his parents will even care. Now, whatever future he has is in the hands of a stranger. Even Billy isn’t prepared for what the man has in mind.

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99¢: The More The Merrier, Seasons of Love Series (Book 1) by Liwen Ho
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Fed up with a string of bad blind dates, health blogger Alyssa Wu wants to drown her sorrows in ice cream. But there’s one more evening she must endure–a fake date with her best friend Barry Chang. They must convince her family they’re in love, an act which may (or may not) be easy to pull off, thanks to the magic of some mistletoe.

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99¢: A Spoonful Of Spice, Seasons of Love Series (Book 2) by Liwen Ho
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Josh Pepper has one goal: to become the next manager in the IT department. But his career plan gets sidelined when the first woman, bubbly Cin Thomas, joins his team. He now needs to keep everyone from being distracted by her presence, a task that appears easy to accomplish … until her piercing green eyes start invading his dreams.

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FREE: The Empress’ New Gowns by Gita V. Reddy
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The empress was in high glee. For years her illustrous husband had disparaged her female pea-sized brain, never letting her complete a sentence or do anything without his consent. After he was literally ripped off by the two wily tailors, the empress sets out to prove she is smarter than him.
This is a spin-off of the popular folk tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes.

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99¢: Never Ever by Gita V. Reddy
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After thirteen years of marriage, Raj utters the D-Word, and it reverberates between him and his wife, Divya, who is deaf. Never Ever is a story about love, marriage, divorce, and commitment.

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99¢: I Love Thee: a Hymns of the West Novella

(Hymns of the West Novellas Book 1) by Faith Blum

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Confirmed bachelor, Cole Baxter, finds himself raising his sister’s four young children. After one week of leaving his ranch in the hands of his foreman to take care of the grieving, needy children, he has to admit the task is beyond him and he needs help. But hired help won’t suffice: those children need a mother’s hand. Cole needs a wife.

This novella is a supplementary short story which has slight connections to Amazing Grace (Hymns of the West, #3)

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99¢: Pass Me Not: Hymns of the West Novella

(Hymns of the West Novellas Book 2) by Faith Blum

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Let me at Thy throne of mercy/Find a sweet relief/Kneeling there in deep contrition/Help my unbelief.

Timothy is at his wit’s end. His twelve-year-old half-sister has run off five housekeepers in almost a year. Since their parents died, she has grown wilder than ever. What can he do? As he looks for a new housekeeper, his eye catches sight of a mail order bride advertisement. One young lady has a younger sister and sounds like a God-fearing woman. Could this be the answer to his dilemma or will Louise run her off, too?

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99¢: Redeemed by Faith Blum
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Alexander Granger is tired of his father’s lectures and sermons. It’s time for payback. His plan is to pretend to marry a woman and scandalize his father when he finds out they aren’t really married. Will Mona accept his offer? Can Alex get away with his plan?

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99¢: Faith is the Victory by Faith Blum
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I don’t like change. I know most people get used to it, but I have never been able to. When Dad announced their move and I couldn’t go with them, I didn’t handle it well. Would I ever find the faith to be victorious?

Content warning: A character does attempt suicide, so please read with caution.

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99¢: Belonging: A Sweet and Clean Mail Order Bride Story by Annie Boone
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Bianca Hawkins is an orphan. She’s lived the last few years trying to repay those who have helped her. She owns nothing, but still feels thankful and joyful. When she finds out there are no funds available for her to stay in the church she dutifully serves, where will she go?

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99¢: Coming Home: A Very Short Story by Steven F. Freeman

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Following the abrupt departure of his fiancé, Josh Gibson falls into a spiral of loneliness and quiet desperation. Will the arrival of a mysterious package with a cryptic message send his life in a new direction?

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99¢: The Jilted Earl (Regency Romance) by Kelly Anne Bruce
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Isabella was entering her third season and was growing more than tired of the process. It wasn’t that she didn’t want a husband, she just hated the crowds and false joy of the parties. And then when she finally met a man she knew she could love, he was quickly taken by another. She knew she was unremarkable compared to the other young women in society, but she still managed some hope that she would marry for love.

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99¢: Secret Angel by Cherry Christensen
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Doctoral student Hannah Wagganer entertains dreams of teaching at a large university and leaving her hometown of Glen Arbor behind. That is until Jasper Morgan, the new mail carrier, arrives in town. Not only does he set Hannah’s heart a flutter, but he has an instant bond with her cat, Jingles.

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99¢: The Wrong Path: A Texas Hill Country Romance by Pamela Humphrey
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Becca makes a rash choice, but the weekend road trip doesn’t go as planned.

You can get this story free on Instafreebie by subscribing to Pamela’s newsletter.

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99¢: Kitsune-Tsuki (Kitsune Tales Book 1) by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
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The onmyouji Tsurugu no Kiyomori, a practitioner of the mystic arts, has been engaged to protect the warlord’s new bride from the fox spirit rumored to be near. Tsurugu and the shadow-warrior Shishio Hitoshi face an impossible challenge in teasing out a kitsune shapeshifter from the samurai and servants –- if such a creature is even present at all.

The handsome mute twin servants belonging to Lady Kaede are certainly suspicious, but it is the beautiful and strong-willed lady herself who draws Shishio’s mistrust. Tsurugu and Shishio must move carefully, for accusing the warlord’s bride falsely would be death. But failing to identify the kitsune to the warlord is equally perilous, and there is more to discover. For an onmyouji knows secrets even the shadows do not….

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99¢: Smoke and Fears, a Gaslight Fantasy by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
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Marsden cannot remember his real name, nor how he came to be a valet for the schoolboy son of a powerful magician. Phantom wisps of incense and narrow glimpses of memory are all he has, until he chances upon a family secret which only compounds intrigue. What might his young master Abel know of his amnesia? What binds him to the Wensleys? And why does he, a simple valet, know fragments of magic?

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2.99: Circles & Crossroads: Two Robin Archer Tales by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
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These are the first and second stories of Robin Archer, the half-Fae charged by the Fairy Queen to protect human children from human predators. With some snark, a gun, and a touch of magic, Robin works just barely outside human law to save kids.

AND ONLY THE EYES OF CHILDREN: When a child is abducted, the police can’t act fast enough to save her. Robin Archer can. (This Pushcart Prize-nominated story was originally published in FAE.)

ORPHAN HEIRS & SHADES OF NIGHT: A Halloween tale! When children start disappearing from a Halloween festival, Robin recognizes crimes from another time.

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99¢: Bait by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
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When Tomás Torres agrees to consult on an unsuccessful breeding program for a rare species, he finds his new patients are fish with oddly humanoid face and torso — merfolk. . .

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99¢: The Lonely Frost, a Kitsune Tales story by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
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Tsurugu no Kiyomori has been called to engage his supernatural skills once again. In a terrified mountainside village, tradesmen and goods are vanishing into chill air. Tsurugu must determine whether the disappearances are the work of human thieves or supernatural youkai. But even an experienced onmyouji like Tsurugu is not prepared for what he will find.

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FREE: The Butcher of Scarlet Hollow by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
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A young woman, butcher by trade, is suspicious of the murders in her town, supposedly culling werewolves. She investigates the killings (and her past) with an itinerant woodcutter.
Genre: A little fairy tale, a little paranormal, a little horror

INSTAFREEBIE
FREE: Snowberry Blossom: A Snowy Short Story (Keepers of the Wellsprings Book 0) by Missy Sheldrake
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Follow the knight Azaeli and her best friend Rian the Mage on a quick adventure to seek the Snowberry Blossom, a bloom that holds magic only if picked at midnight on Midwinter’s Eve.

Grab a cup of cider and sit back to read this tale of romance, adventure, and fantasy told Mya, Bard of His Majesty’s Elite of Cerion.

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99¢: Life After Life: Three Paranormal Short Stories by April Brown
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Three short stories:

Molly’s Second Chance

Soul Bubbles

Till Death Do Us Join

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2.99 Dust Blowing and Other Stories by Margaret Skea
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A varied collection spanning four continents and three centuries, the characters include an aid worker in Afghanistan, a mother in WW1 Germany, a girl who defies the Taliban, a father seeking to support his family in Kenya, an elderly lady facing eviction, and a young woman discovering her unknown past.

In these stories, the majority of which have won or been placed in international competitions, secrets are uncovered, actions have consequences, moral dilemmas are faced and heart-rending choices made. Together they provide a mix of despair and determination, sadness, and also hope.

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99¢: A Distant Echo (A Chris Echo Mystery) by Tara Meyers
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Criminal profiler, Chris Echo, has worked hard to become one of the elite members of Seattle’s police department. Nothing, not even her personal life, gets in the way of her pursuits to track down ruthless killers. With a serial murderer on the loose, Chris struggles to find the connections necessary to close in on a suspect. While taking risks to force the answers, she unexpectedly places herself in the path of her worst nightmare.

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