August Update


Twenty-Seven days to go everyone! I’m so excited that this is almost out in the world. It was a hell of a book to write and I can’t wait for you to go on this next adventure of Penelope and Alexis. If you are into pre-ordering, don’t forget you can grab it from where ever they sell books. The hardcopies are going to be especially beautiful, I saw the proofs and I got all giddy over them – and I’m not someone who collects hard covers.

This past month has been crazy with the epic re-write/ structural edit of ‘The Cry of the Firebird’ (the above is some old and new inspiration for this series). If you are on my Insta, you would have seen me having a few moments of freak out over it. I tell you, trying to edit and restructure a book that you first wrote 12 years ago is quite the task…as in kind of a nightmare. It was good in a way because I saw how far I’ve come as a writer and could use all of that knowledge to bang it into a satisfying story shape. I was surprised how much I still love this weird story – and guys, it really is a weird one. Monsters and gods and mythological creatures galore.

A few of my older readers have messaged me having a bit of a stress moment on how I could be changing this book/series after it had already been indie released – I want to assure you that nothing of the original story is changing, I’m just ensuring that its executed in a better way. All your fave characters and monsters will be there. It’s just cleaned up. As a writer, I am hyper aware of releasing something like Magicians, which is my newest and the BEST of me, and then releasing older catalogue after it. The main purpose of these rewrites isn’t to ‘change’ the story but to pull it up to a standard I am personally happy with. It’s nothing like Magicians, but I am intent on producing the BEST possible version of these books. Also, I’m taking into consideration that the spin off books 4 & 5 have been written in the past two years and I want the tone of the books to be consistent and at their current state they aren’t. They will be though. The first new draft of ‘Cry’ has already gone back to my structural editing team to get their feedback and see what they think, and I’m really happy with how it came together. SO much of the changes is to deepen the characters and their backstory, to add some personal scenes back in that had been cut…and so there will be something new for older readers to enjoy too.

In other ‘Amy’ news, I have quit my day job. If the above editing job has taught me anything, it’s that I’m getting to the point that working a full time day job and trying to build a full time writing career is no longer viable. It turns out, even I have limits. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. I will look at taking some short work contracts in the future if I feel like I need to, but I’m going to try and find a way to work smarter and not harder, to ensure cash flow and not lose my mind by working myself to burn out. COVID has fucked me a bit this year, like everyone, and being locked up since March has used what is left of my emotional storage bank. Something had to go – the day job was it.

What have you guys been reading? I am hanging out for ‘Piranesi’ by Susanna Clarke, that’s due to launch in September as well. She’s a fave author of mine, and it’s been a long time since ‘ Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’ so I can’t wait to see what her magical mind creates this time around.

ALSO, because you know I love my indie romance, Nikki Kardnov is gearing up to release her next sexy Blackwell Djinn novel ‘That Forbidden Life’ is due to come out TOMORROW. I have been dying for Mads Blackwell’s book and I’m trying to clear my writing schedule a bit so I dive head first into it. I really can’t recommend this series enough, it’s such a cool take on Djinn and they are sexy as hell.

Nikki is also doing this really fun Greek Myth series at the moment, called’Games of the Gods‘ that I also recommend, if you are like me and NEED Greek myth retellings in their life.

Speaking of Greek Myth, another series I’m recommending is Alessa Thorn’s ‘The Court of the Underworld‘ series.This is a paranormal romance series that follows Hades (my boyfriend), as he and his Court run a new city called Styx in modern day Greece. It’s not just romance, it has loads of action and kick ass female characters and is all about the ‘villains’ getting their HEA (bonus – its in Kindle Unlimited). What’s not to love about that? ASTERION is book one, and you guessed it, is a re-telling of the Minotaur myth, AND it’s on sale at the moment for only $0.99…so TRY it here.

This blog is getting a bit out of control, but I want to update people wanting to know what’s happening with my new series ‘Tarot Kings.’ I submitted a short story of about 5k words to a 1001 Dark Nights comp recently, and while they didn’t ultimately pick it up I’m still thinking of releasing it later in the year. I’m going to make it a bit longer, because I can, and it would be a great way to have a teaser into this new, sexy, complex world. It would be like a 0.5 King of Swords, as the events in it happen a year before the events of book 1 and have the main characters having an encounter. What do you think? Would you be into that? I’m still mulling over it, because I would want to ensure that you wouldn’t have tooooo long to wait before the release of ‘King of Swords.’ Watch this space!

I hope you are all keeping well and safe and reading lots of good things that make you happy,

Ames x

 

WYLT Preview – An Origin Faerie Tale

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For the first Wylt preview I thought I would share a faerie tale, found in an ancient book in the library of the Gwaed Lyn estate….

During the beginning of the world, the Great Creator God of the Aos Si fashioned night with a moon and stars to brighten the dark sky, forming the Guardians of the Night and naming them the Unseelie. All things must balance, so Day was created, and the sun was born with a brightness and a warmth to illuminate and nourish all of the Aos Si, and the Guardians of the Light were called Seelie. In Day, the Creator also crafted shade, dark places that could hold the balance.

It was foretold the world would move in four great seasons and that the rule of these seasons would fall to the Guardians accordingly. Summer would be ruled by the warm light of the Seelie, and the dark, cold winter would be ruled by the Unseelie. During the time of the autumn, the Seelie would slowly relinquish its power to the rule of the Unseelie, just as with the coming of the spring the Unseelie would relinquish its power back to the Seelie. This was the Great Accord, and during the First Cycle of Summer the Seelie thrived becoming stronger, more beautiful and their magic powerful. But with power also came corruption, and as the summer began to wane the Seelie Court started to despair at the weakening of their magic. It was not long before their voices were shouting their distrust and discontentment at having to relinquish their rule to their Unseelie brethren.

Autumn began to move through the lands, the green that the Seelie cherished so dearly began to turn to gold, red and brown. Furious that the Unseelie were taking their power a great war ensued breaking the land and soaking it in the blood of both sides of the Fae.

In the final days of the Last Battle, with both sides nearing extinction, the Seelie Queen created a spell that would have the power to hold the remaining power in her court forever. She convinced her King to hold a court with the Unseelie with the promise of a peaceful discussion to try and come to a new accord. Then, as the two kings sat down together, the Queen of the Seelie took her husband’s sword and slew them.

The Queen knew that all things must be balanced and mixing the power of the two kings, she cast her curse over all of the Aos Si. The seasons within the lands would move no longer, sealing it into an eternal autumn, making it so she would never have to relinquish her power to Unseelie kind.

The Unseelie King was survived by three sons; Bleddyn the eldest and the heir to the title of Seren Du, the Black Star, Trahaearn and Gwaen. Taken by the Seelie, they were made hostage slaves to the Autumn Queen. Unlike the other Unseelie kindred, the princes were fair to look upon, and as they grew their pale white skin, soft black hair and bright eyes became admired by the court and the Autumn Queen.

To all, the three seemed compliant and content in their situation. They never flinched at the sneers and insults dealt to them by their enemies or fought back when they were abused by the Queens consort, Ryn Eurion.

Deep in their hearts, the princes were dreaming of escape and none more so than the eldest, Bleddyn Seren Du. In their chambers at night, he would tell his young brothers stories of their kingdom and of the great land through the portals, a land where there was no war against them, where the Autumn Queen had no power or influence. Bleddyn practiced his father’s magic in secret, teaching his younger brothers the secret powers of their kind, how best to fight the Seelie, and all the while, he planned their escape.

Knowing that the only way to protect his brothers was to be above suspicion, Bleddyn set about earning the favor of the Autumn Queen. There had long been whispers around the court that the Queen’s appetites had become insatiable and distorted in her proclivities since the death of the King, many fearing to become the object of her desire. Bleddyn began to pay the Queen attention until at a ball, Ryn had men hold him down, and they beat him. Through the heavy blows, Bleddyn continued to watch the Queen, his eyes burning with an unspoken promise.

“Why do you not look away though you are beaten for it, insolent slave?” she asked on the fourth day.

“My glorious, Queen, how could my eyes look at anything else?” he replied. That night, instead of being dragged back to a cell, Bleddyn was taken to the Queen’s chambers. Dismissing her attendants, the Autumn Queen took the Unseelie prince into her milk baths and gently tended to his wounds. He watched her silently with the same intensity that he wore during his beatings.

“You do not fear me,” she said, “You do not fear pain or retribution.”

“No, my lady,” he answered as she ladled the healing milk over his battered body. Her white fingers dug into the bruises on his arms. His breath sucked in sharply but he did flinch or pull away from her. Her red lips curled.

“Do you find the pain exciting, Unseelie?” she asked lifting herself up so that he could see the beads of milk dripping down the sloping curves of her breasts. Bleddyn grabbed the Queen by her long white neck, pinning her to the stone wall of the bath.

“Do you?” he demanded.

The Autumn Queen’s eyes flashed in anger, and she struck him, her nails opening his pale skin. He did not move as the crimson drops of blood fell to mar the white milk. Bleddyn watched her, his body towering over hers and the anger in her eyes melted under the heat of her own desire. She kissed him, biting his lips in her eagerness. Bleddyn allowed it only a few moments until he held her back firmly.

“No.”

The Queen was shocked, her fury growing inside of her. “I am your queen. I own the very breath in your body.”

“But you do not own my heart or soul,” Bleddyn whispered in her ear. “And if you take me unwillingly you will never know the secret to the greatest pleasure that only the Unseelie can give you. It is dark magic, and it has never been given to a Seelie before. It is not something you can take like you took our lands. It must be given.”

Bleddyn walked from the pool, leaving the Queen wondering what the secret magic could be, for the only thing she really loved was power.

From that night the Autumn Queen forbid any of the Court from touching the Unseelie princes. They no longer had to wear the chains and slave collars around their necks and hands in the ballrooms. Bleddyn acted no differently from this special allowance only to bow to her in silent thanks on behalf of his brothers.

This act sparked malcontent in many subjects for the Unseelie princes were beautiful, unusual creatures that they had enjoyed using for whatever pleasure they saw fit. All were afraid of the older prince, but the Queen’s edict had robbed them of their treasured entertainment.

As he knew she would, the Queen summoned Bleddyn two nights later. She was wearing a fine gossamer shift that accentuated, rather than hid the nakedness underneath it. Her attendants were dismissed, leaving her alone with him once more.

“Come sit beside me,” she commanded.

“I would rather stand, my queen,” answered Bleddyn politely.

The Queen’s eyes flared. “You would deny me this one small thing after the great favor I have shown you?”

“I am grateful, my queen, but the chambers that Lord Ryn has locked us in are very cramped. We enjoy being able to stand properly when we can.”

The Queen’s red brow furrowed as she got to her feet and walked slowly about him. She snapped her fingers and his threadbare shirt melted away. Bleddyn did not move as she scraped her long nails down his back.

“Why do you resist me so much, dark one? Why do you hold yourself back from the pleasure I offer you?”

“I mean no disrespect but it is my awe of you that I must control myself. The Unseelie lovemaking is far more passionate than the Seelie and I would not wish to harm the queen for fear her wrath would turn to my brothers. It is a far better thing to resist what you offer.”

“I will not harm your brothers if you lay with me,” she said as she put her hand in his long, black hair, pulling it hard as she kissed him. His hands gripped her hips roughly, lifting her up. He carried her over to her bed of red silks, pushing her down onto it. Gripping the front of her shift, he tore it in half. He bit her breast hard enough for her to cry out in sudden pain. Bleddyn let her go and got back to his feet. A bruise was already blossoming like a purple autumn flower on her pale skin.

“I am sorry, my queen, but I cannot come to you as I am. You are the greatest queen in the entire world. I will not touch you with my soiled hands and body. It would be insulting to you.”

“You insult me by denying me,” the Queen said, touching the bruise, “but this last request I will grant you.”

The Unseelie princes were moved that very night to one of the finest chambers in her court. There they had servants bring them hot water for baths and new clothes of the finest silks and velvets. An elaborate meal was brought to them, and the princes ate well before hiding their knives in the folds of their clothes, listening as Bleddyn laid out his plans to them.

The next night, they went to the ball, the younger princes given free rights to roam where they pleased. Bleddyn danced with the Autumn Queen and made her laugh with his observances of the dour-faced courtiers. When she retired, she took Bleddyn’s hand openly in front of her advisors and led him to her chambers.

“I have given what you asked for, Unseelie, now give yourself to me as promised,” the Autumn Queen demanded.

Bleddyn took the knife he had stolen from the banquet dinner and held it against her chest. The Queen gasped as he ran the flat side of the cool blade down her skin.

“You mean to kill me, Unseelie?” the Queen asked, laughter bubbling out of her.

With a steady hand, he slid the blade down the front of her jeweled bodice and cut the ties one by one until her body spilled free from it. She tried to move, but he held the blade to her throat, stilling her as he kissed her breast through her thin undergarment. Two quick flicks of his hand and the shoulders of her gown tore away. A thin line of blood welled up where the blade had caught her, and he quickly put his mouth over it, drinking a drop of her blood before it healed. The Queen kissed him, viciously.

“Tell me what the Unseelie magic is,” she demanded breathlessly.

“Can you not feel the spell beginning to move through you?” Bleddyn asked as he ran the blade between her breasts, shredding the fabric and leaving a line of welling blood. Her back arched as he licked it, her eyes clouding, unseeing of the small cuts he was making in her. He cut the skirt of her dress to shreds, the Queen trembling with fear and excitement to be in the hands of her armed enemy. Wherever she felt the cold touch of the blade was followed by the sensation of his tongue until she was dizzy with need.

Bleddyn felt strength returning to his limbs, the magic in the blood filling him. With every cut, he grew stronger, and the Queen, caught up in her own desire, grew weaker.

Every moment he spent with her, his brothers were making their way to their agreed meeting place. Taking strips of her ruined dress, he tied her arms above her head, her legs to the posts of her bed.

“You mean to make a prisoner of me, Unseelie? I could burn these bonds with a thought,” she mocked.

“I would never want to imprison you, my Queen. My power is no match for yours,” he said as he ran his long body along hers, making her shudder with anticipation. He gripped her hair in his hands, lifting her pale white neck up toward him.

“Do you want to know want to know the secret magic of the Unseelie, my Queen?” he whispered against her skin.

“Yes…yes, my prince, tell me,” she whispered, her eyes gleaming.

“Then you shall have it,” Bleddyn watched her face change in fear as his teeth lengthened. Before she could cry out, he bit hard into her exposed throat, sucking the scream from it.

In her blood, he saw all the wards, the guards and the ways to escape their underground prison. He saw the spells she had cast, felt her magic in every drop. He saw memories and drew the one of the night of his father’s death to him. He saw how Ryn Eurion had killed his mother and delivered the heart to the queen. He watched as she ate it, stealing all of his mother’s magic into her.

He bit harder, his urge to kill more potent than anything he felt before but he saw the magical ties she had within the palace itself. If she died, it would turn against them and he and his brothers would never escape.

He drained her until all of the youth shriveled out of her and her true age was revealed. Red hair turned to white, her plump lips and body shriveling underneath him. A single drop of blood he left in her before he let the body go.

Upon the wall hung the sword of this dead father and Bleddyn held out his hands, whispered a word and Widow’s Fury flew from its bonds and into his hand. He heard it call out to him for Seelie blood but he silenced it and placed a glamour spell upon it so none of his enemies could see it. He did not spare the Queen a glance as he left her chambers.

“The Queen asked not to be disturbed for the rest of the evening,” he instructed her guards and they shared a knowing smile.

Under the gaze of the Seelie courtiers and warriors, Bleddyn walked through the halls of the court and he and his brothers escaped through the supply tunnels. Using the Queen’s magic, he passed through the wards until they ran out into the crystal night. So overwhelmed they were to see the sky and stars again that they stood in awe.

“Come, my brothers, our new world awaits,” Bleddyn said and they ran through forests to a doorway between the worlds. Not knowing where they were going or what lay before them the three brothers took each other’s hands and walked through the spaces of the world until they found the land of the creatures called Man.

They were free from the rule of the Autumn Queen but she did not die as Bleddyn had hoped. She recovered her strength and sent warriors in between the worlds to hunt and kill the Unseelie that evaded her and the prince that tricked her.

She hunts them to this day in her relentless pursuit to try to reclaim what was stolen from her: her pride, her dignity and her heart.

Liked this preview? Pre-order Wylt here 

Free Story- Women in Men’s Waistcoats

Hi Everyone

Yes , I know its been ages since a free story! But the good news is that today’s story is a rather long one to make up for it.

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Women in Men’s Waistcoats was originally written for an anthology called Blood Sucking by Lamp Light. I wrote it during the worst Christmas of my life and it’s because of it that no one was killed off that year (so close). Unfortunately the publisher never went to press and disappeared over night.

I wanted to write a vampire steampunk story based in an alternate Sydney ( or New Albion as it was originally called) in the 1800’s and tie in some random vikingness at the same time.

Find it here: Women in Mens Waist Coats

p.s. Firebird shaped Announcements coming soon so keep an eye out!

Free Easter Story – Gethsemane

The second story I’d like to share this month is called Gethsemane.

I’m a big fan of retellings of myths and gods and while I hate to use trigger warnings for my works this is a special case; if you think a retelling of a Judeo-Christo story is going to offend you, this is your queue to bow out. If you have strong feelings about any religion, that’s great but this is not the place for you to share them. This is a place for story telling which is what I believe in.

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For those still with me this story was born out of a university assignment. I grew up with Bible Stories, and my favourites were the often obscure ones that weren’t really for ‘children’…these were the epic battles between angels and demons and pissed off prophets calling down fire. These are still my favourites to be honest and I look forward to doing retellings of them in the future.

One thing I have gotten frustrated with over the years is this constant need to redo the cruxification story. Yeshua-Jesus  to the West- did so many amazing, kick ass things in his life and yet it’s his murder that people want to keep retelling? Yes, it was horrific. Yes, it was unjust. Yes, to some it is a symbol of a covenant fulfilled. But people want to keep putting him back on the cross when it played a rather small part in his whole story. Perhaps this is why the stunning Anne Rice has had such a response to her Christ the Lord series, because it takes him down off that thing and shows him for what he was – a human.

97800994601699780099484189Whether you believe he was divine or not is irrelevant. Yeshua was a real person, there is non-Christian texts to prove it (Flavius Josephus,  Tacitus and Suetonius). He lived and breathed and taught and died. He was a guy who got up and worked the tough job of Near Eastern carpentry in a time of unrest in his country. He was a rebel of the times, one who taught love and tolerance to all races, sexes and religions. Don’t believe what the haters say. That was what he was teaching, anyone who says otherwise isn’t reading the message properly (I suggest trying here, here ,here and oh here). He was an amazing guy all things considered and yet it’s his death people want to focus on.

Yeshua

To me, his death isn’t even the most incredible thing about the crucifixion. Yeshua knew he was going to die and warned his followers about it on more than one occasion. On the night of his arrest he prayed that God (Elyon) would change his mind because he was afraid and didn’t want to have to do it (such a freaking human thing to do)..he prayed so hard that he sweated blood (gnarly as).

The thing that speaks the most to me is that even though he was afraid he still sucked it up and went to his death. That’s courage at its purest form. He died for what he believed in, he believed it so much he even healed the jerks that had come to kill him (I wouldn’t have been that nice).

This story is seen through the archangel Michael, a figure that I am writing a book about, who would’ve had to stand by and let it all play out. For those interested I’ve used The Tree of Life Messianic Bible as my primary source because its translation from historical texts is hardcore and being a research nut I like using the traditional names and titles of things.

I hope you all have a safe and happy Easter!

Find it here: Gethsemane.

Free Stories- Bookstore Baker

This month I’m going to do things a little differently and put two short stories up under my Free Stories page.

This is the first and it’s a mock fairytale called Book Store Baker.

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I have a thing with liking book stores to be quiet so I’m really not impressed when parents let their kids run about and terrorise the place.

This story was born out of a particularly bad trip to a bookstore. At the time I was reading a lot of fairy tales about Baba Yaga and her penchant for eating children. I started to see why she would find the idea appealing when I watched a child have a tantrum and destroy a bunch of books much to the dismay of the poor staff. Then I started to wonder how Baba could get away with it now….and this story was born.

I hope you enjoy it. Find it here:  Bookstore Baker

The Red Shoes – Free Short Story

  The first short story up is The Red Shoes. For those who got the second edition of The Eagle Key you will already be familiar with it but I thought it was a good one to share for others. 

This story was actually a nightmare of mine..the Autumn Queen and I have a long history together. She usually will turn up in a nightmare every couple of months. Opposed to all the other nightmares this was actually story shaped. You will learn more about the Autumn Queen in my new series that I’m currently working on. 

I hope you enjoy it! Find it here