‘Wolf of the Sands’ Paperback is live!

I erred on the side of caution and set up my paperbacks early in case of Amazon waiting times, and surprise they went live quickly and you can get them now!

There are two versions that available so here are the links to the People Version and the Discreet Version.

The ebook is still due to launch on the third of September as planned. I also wanted to say thank you to everyone has taken advantage of the launch sale price and done a pre-order! I’ve really been blown away by the excitement around this passion project of mine and I can’t wait for everyone to read it.

Need a sneak peek? Keep reading for chapter one!

***

Fenrys Rune-Tongue opened her mouth to the sky and let the rainwater drip slowly down her parched throat.

It had been four days since she had been tied to her corner of the longboat. She had lived off the little rainwater she could manage to get into her mouth or suck off the wooden railing she was tied to. Her captors didn’t care if she died; they were hoping she would save them the headache of handling her.

In the dark of midnight, the raiders had beached their boat in the bay at her village of Visby, the place of sacrifices, where women came to learn to be seiðr to serve the gods. No one had ever dared attack them. Not until Egil had managed to convince his men it would be easy picking.

Fen had made it harder for them than they expected. She had been trained as a shield maiden and a seiðr, and she had killed seven of the raiders before they managed to overpower her.

It had been sufficient time for the acolytes and the teachers to get away and hide in the forest, and that was enough for Fen.

“We should push her over the side and be done with it,” Brandr spat as he glared at her.

Fen smirked. She liked that he was scared of her.

Good.

She was a seiðr, a keeper of stories and magic, a seer and sacred servant of Freya and Odin. Their mistreatment of her was enough for even the strongest of the raiders to be nervous. Egil only laughed at him.

“Don’t be a coward. She can do nothing to us without an ax in her hand.”

“The seiðr have magic. Who knows what curse she will bring down on us,” Brandr argued, earning Egil’s fist in his face.

“Shut up. We will be in Hedeby tomorrow, and we will sell her like all the rest.”

Fen laughed. “You think anyone is going to buy a seiðr? They will be too scared of the All-Father’s wrath as you should be,” she said calmly. Brandr raised his fist to her, but Egil caught his arm.

“Leave it. Don’t let the witch provoke you,” he said. “We are going to sell her to someone who doesn’t care about the gods or what powers she might have.”

Fen ignored them, settling deeper into her damp blue cloak that still smelled of pine smoke and blood. She tried not to listen as the other female slaves were assaulted that night, as they had been every night since their capture.

She prayed softly to Freya that they would be strong and those who touched them would die screaming and without glory. If she had a chance to get free, she would give them that death for everything they had done.

The goddess’s warm presence caressed her, and Fen whispered her gratitude. She was Odin-marked, after all, so the goddess rarely acknowledged her, but Freya was the mother of all seiðr; maybe she would not forget her daughter like Odin had. Fen had saved as many of her priestesses as she could. Perhaps that made Freya look favorably on her.

Fen wanted to know what the fuck the All-Father was playing at, letting an ox-like Egil take her as a slave. She should have seen their attack in the runes, should have been able to read this journey in her wyrd.

No one had seen it, and that was bad for all of the seiðr.

* * *

The following day, Fen woke to the smell of smoke and a fog so thick, she could barely see the front of the boat. She did her best to wipe the frost off her braid, still stained with blood and mud despite the rain that had been falling on her for days.

As the sun warmed, the fog began to vanish, and the trading port of Hedeby rose out of it—an island of moored boats, raiders, farmers, whores, and foreigners.

“Finally, we can be done with you,” Brandr snarled as he directed one of the men to untie her. He wasn’t about to lay a hand on her despite his words.

With cramps racing up and down her legs and back, Fen climbed from the boat and onto the wooden jetty to stand with the other twenty slaves. They all looked ashen and not worth the coin Egil would charge for them.

“Walk,” Egil commanded, shoving at Fen with the butt of his spear. He wasn’t brave or stupid enough to get too close, either. One wrong move, and Fen would have that spear so deep in his gullet that it came out of his throat.

The slaves were herded along the stinking streets, through the fish markets, and where farmers were selling crops. The ring of a blacksmith’s forge sounded in the distance, and people were busy selling or buying everywhere. There were also traders from the east—men in richly colored robes selling spices, dyes, and fabrics.

The stench of human suffering, blood, and shit filled Fen’s nose as they made it to the slave markets. Women and children were chained in pens, separate from the men, and ranked only slightly higher than livestock.

Fen ground her teeth together at the curse biting at her tongue. She made to follow the women into a pen, but a round shield shoved her back.

“Not you, witch. We would never sell you to this crowd,” Brandr said, sharing a smile with Egil. He took the rope of her leash and tugged her along.

There were only the two of them. She would only need a slight distraction. Fen froze as the cold, sharp tip of a spear rested on the back of her neck.

“Don’t even think about it. You already cost me seven vikingar, and if you weren’t worth the gold I need, I would gut you right here,” Egil snarled softly. “Now, move.”

Fen kept walking, following Brandr and trying to stay out of the way of the crowd. They headed out of town and up a grassy hill.

She wondered if she was being taken to be sacrificed, but no one would pay raiders gold for that, and no one would dare to sacrifice a seiðr.

Cages had been built at the top of the hill, but of metal, not wood. They were filled with criminals and those too dangerous to sell at a regular slave market.

Those hard-faced men all looked like they were going to piss themselves. The slave traders didn’t look much happier.

Blank-faced women of all ages were crowded into another cage. Fen couldn’t help but notice they were holding up better than the men.

What in Hel’s name is going on here?

The caw of a raven made Fen’s head snap to the side, and her stomach filled with ice. She hadn’t been afraid before, but she was now.

Two stone obelisks rose out of the earth like teeth, strange runes carved into them. They were at least ten feet tall, and sitting on top of each one was a raven watching her.

A Sky Bridge.

She had never seen them but heard the stories and knew to fear them.

All-Father, what did I do to displease you? Fen begged. Surely not something terrible enough to deserve this. She had saved the other seiðr. She had always served the gods loyally. Despite her heartbreak, she would show no fear.

“Good, we made it before they got here,” Egil said with a laugh at Fen.

“They are watching us,” Brandr whispered, noticing the birds.

“Shut the fuck up. This will be done with soon,” Egil replied. “Their gold spends as easily as any other’s. The bridge only opens once a year, so any curse for taking the witch will leave when she does.”

A pale light began to glow between the pillars, growing brighter as it filled the space. A bronze metal head shaped like a monstrous cat appeared through the light, followed by the rest of an armored body. Four others appeared, all bigger than ordinary men, carrying wickedly curved sickle swords at their sides and shields almost as tall as Fen was.

“You will sell me to the People of Sand and Sky? Do you really not fear the gods, Egil?” Fen demanded, a last pathetic attempt to save herself.

Egil only laughed. “Bitch, the gods won’t hear you once you go through the Sky Bridge. Not even Odin himself will be able to see you or hear your prayers.”

Fen straightened to her full six feet of height, making the two shorter men step backward in fear of the giantess.

“I pray to Odin that you both live long lives, and you die old men, alone by a hearth and with no honor,” she cursed. “You will not see the halls of Valhalla. You will freeze in the wastes of Hel’s halls, and no one will remember your name.”

Brandr hit her, fear making his face white. Fen tasted iron as she smiled at him and spat on the ground, sealing her curse with blood.

“It doesn’t mean shit,” Egil said, joining the other traders and the strangely armored men.

“Take it back,” Brandr hissed.

“Never,” Fen replied, her red-stained smile widening further. Egil whistled at them, and Brandr dragged her forward and thrust her rope at the bronze soldier.

The eyes of the helm were completely black, but Fen could feel them assessing her. A gloved hand touched her long, golden braid, and the warrior nodded. Gold ingots changed hands, and Fen’s rope was tied to the train of the other slaves.

The ravens hadn’t moved from the top of the glowing Sky Bridge, black eyes watching every moment.

“Why?” she whispered, but no reply came to her. There was no warmth of magic in her fingers or the iron and honey taste of runes on her tongue.

The train of slaves began to move through onto the bridge. As Fen’s feet stepped into the burning light, the last thing she knew of Midgard was the black eyes of the ravens and the cold certainty that Odin had abandoned her.

***

Want more? Check it out here.

Ames x

Surprise Fantasy Book!

The rumors are true! You are getting a surprise fantasy romance book out of me on the 3rd of September! I’ve been teasing this one a little on Instagram but the cat is officially out of the bag.

I know a lot of you are waiting on the continuation to Tarot Kings, but due to some changes to my editing schedule for ‘The Firebird Faerietales’ universe, I have ended up not editing two books this year like I thought, but now it’s going to be FIVE. Because of this change, I quite literally don’t have the time to finish off another series. I did owe you a book so that’s why this new one is a stand alone. The editing *should* be wrapped up by Christmas which is going to free me up early next year to just focus on Tarot Kings. I already have sexy new covers in the works, so it’s definitely happening.

OKAY..the new book is a story I have been trying to write since I was fifteen years old…so ah, 21 years? (yikes). ANYWAY, during my Honey Moon/ holidays I wanted to tinker away on something fun and stress free and I ended up having this entire book flow out of me. Don’t worry, it has surprised me too.

What’s it about? Why, I’m so glad you asked. My dears, I give you…

A Viking witch touched by the gods, a magi prince from a mysterious world, a love that will shape the destiny of a kingdom.

Betrayed by her gods, Fen is sold by raiders to the mysterious People of Sand and Sky and taken to Aaru, a world of impossible beauty and cruelty. An accidental encounter with the pharaoh’s son will alter her fate, offering Fen a chance to earn her freedom in the most unexpected way.

Khan knows that change is coming to Aaru, but he never anticipated it to be in the form of a fierce witch from another world. Fen is a gift from the gods, and he will do everything he can to keep her safe.

Prince and slave strike a bargain; Khan will protect her and send her home in a year’s time, and in return, Fen will teach him about her magic and gods while pretending to be his royal concubine.

When betrayal burns Khan’s world down, neither he nor Fen can predict how their bond will change them, awakening fierce magic and a love that will impact the very fate of Aaru itself.

Wolf of the Sands is a stand-alone romance novel with a high fantasy world based on Norse, Egyptian and Mesopotamian myth. It contains plenty of action and a guaranteed HEA, but please note it does have some graphic violence, swearing and sex scenes.

*

COOL, RIGHT?

This book is the love child of someone who grew up watching way too much 13th Warrior, the Mummy, Gladiator and Lord of the Rings. It’s a super fun story with loads of magic and romance and I am THRILLED it is finally in the world. It’s also going to be available in paperback (with this cover and a discreet cover if you don’t like bare chests) which I am really excited about. (Side note, King of Swords and Sorcerers and Saints will also be available in paperback by the end of the year.)

The pre-order is now live and on a special price. It will go up a week after launch so make sure you grab a copy now while it’s cheap! Grab it here.

You’ll hear more from me soon, so keep an eye out because I will be posting some sneaky first chapters in the coming weeks.

Ames x

Happy Ashes Day!

‘Ashes of the Firebird’ is live! I am so excited that this book is back out in the world, bigger and better than ever. I worked crazy hard on this rewrite last year – lockdown AF – and I’m thrilled it’s finally out.

Here is a quick blurb!

Anya’s magic is keeping Russia safe but not without a price, evil is brewing on the streets of Budapest, and new enemies are coming for her.

With her mind broken from the last battle with the dark magician Ladislav, Anya is trapped in the Land of Dreams and is fighting like hell to get back to her body.

Branded as Rogues and hunted by the supernatural world, Anya’s friends take her unconscious body to Budapest, a place of new allies where they will be safe. They begin their search for Yanka, Anya’s ancestor and the only person in history with enough power to change the tide of the brewing war.

Trouble finds them when Aleksandra saves mysterious demon hunter Mychal from an attack, bringing new monsters and threats to Anya’s door.

Filled with unforgettable characters, adventure, and mythology pulled deep from Russian and Finish folklore, this richly imaginative fantasy series by bestselling author Amy Kuivalainen dives deep into the world of magic, pitting those who would abuse it against those sworn to protect it.

You can check it out here!

This month I have finalised all of my edits for Firebird 4, The Exorcist and the Demon Hunter, that will be out next year. I am so psyched up about this book because it’s been such a long journey with it. I literally wrote this sucker five different ways before I was really happy with it.

In a quick ‘currently writing’ update, I am busy working on a passion project that I began during my honeymoon and I have to finish it. I won’t talk about it much yet, because it’s still very much in a draft stage, but I will tell you that it’s a book I got ideas for when I was about fifteen and have never quite had it come together the way I wanted. Now, it’s decided to get its act together and I’ve dived in head first. Don’t worry it’s going to be a standalone, and I’m a bit obsessed with the writing in this new world.So much myth, so much magic, a slow burn romance…all the good stuff.

I hope you all love Ashes and don’t worry about the cliff…Book three is going to be out early next year so you won’t have too long to wait!

Ames x

Ashes of the Firebird Cover Reveal and Pre-Order!

And here we go again! ‘Ashes of the Firebird’ is coming on 21st June! ARCS are also up for request over on NetGalley!

This is the second book in my ‘Firebird Faerietales’ series that is having its re-launch through BHC Press. Boy, did I work on this beauty last year and I couldn’t be more proud of it. If you haven’t read book one yet, jump over here and check it out.

For everyone else, here is a blurb. The pre-order is also now live everywhere. If you want more info just click here.

BLURB

Filled with unforgettable characters, adventure, and mythology pulled deep from Russian and Finish folklore, this richly imaginative fantasy series by bestselling author Amy Kuivalainen dives deep into the world of magic, pitting those who would abuse it against those sworn to protect it.

Anya’s magic is keeping Russia safe but not without a price, evil is brewing on the streets of Budapest, and new enemies are coming for her.

With her mind broken from the last battle with the dark magician Ladislav, Anya is trapped in the Land of Dreams and is fighting like hell to get back to her body.

Branded as Rogues and hunted by the supernatural world, Anya’s friends take her unconscious body to Budapest, a place of new allies where they will be safe. They begin their search for Yanka, Anya’s ancestor and the only person in history with enough power to change the tide of the brewing war.

Trouble finds them when Aleksandra saves mysterious demon hunter Mychal from an attack, bringing new monsters and threats to Anya’s door.

***

Get more info and pre-order here.

Sorcerers and Saints is live!

I wanted to give a big thank you to everyone who’s ordered, rated and reviewed this passion project of mine! It means so much to me that it’s finally out in the world after so long.

I also wanted to let you know that I’m organizing a full podcast episode with Molly and Alyssa over at Queens, Quests and Tropes where I am going to talk all about Mara and Augustus in detail. I’ll let you know when it goes live!

As for me, I’m about to start my structural editing on Firebird 4. This one was also a massive passion project of mine so I can’t wait to get stuck into it.

Thank you again for showing so much love to S&S! It you need a blurb, please see below.

Ames x

Melbourne’s magic is broken, and it’s going to take a cursed saint, a surly sorcerer, and a hell of a miracle to fix. 

Born into a family of cursed saints, Mara Corvo has never met a heart ache she couldn’t heal. The price she pays for such a gift is that no one can remember her afterward…except for a drunk sorcerer that should never have been able to find her tea shop to begin with.

Augustus Vance has lived with his failure for over a century. In his effort to stop a rogue sorcerer, he killed the woman he loved, and left a hole in Melbourne’s magic that he’s never been able to fix. When a chance encounter accidentally lands him in Mara’s store, he has his first dangerous dose of hope in decades. 

If the women of the Corvo family have one golden rule, it’s to stay the hell away from sorcerers, and yet there’s a wild, dangerous magic in play, that keeps bringing Augustus to Mara’s door.

Only together, can they heal the hole in magic, and maybe with a big enough miracle, they might even be able to heal each other.

‘Sorcerer’s and Saints’ is a new fantasy romance for readers who loved ‘The Night Circus,’ ‘Chocolat,’ and ‘The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.Please note, this is an adult fantasy and it has swearing and sex scenes.

Need more? Click here!

2022 Publishing Schedule Update

I wanted to give everyone an update on this years releases so you will all know what to expect. I’m late on this than other authors because I was finalizing my editing schedule with my publishers.

What’s coming up??

First, we have ‘Ashes of the Firebird’ due to be out in June. The pre-order and ARCS are getting prepped to go out so if you are on Netgalley you will be able to request this soon (I’ll give it a shout when it’s live). I’ve also got a cover reveal happening really soon!

Second, ‘Sorcerers and Saints’ has had a date change to the 8th of March! Hurray! The editing and proofing went really well and it’s in its final proof and formatting check at the moment. A MASSIVE thankyou to everyone who has pre-ordered this book, it means the world to me.

Third, ‘Rise of the Firebird’ (Book 3) has had it’s publishing date moved to (tentatively) March 2023. I know this will upset some of you but it’s out of my hands. It’s going to be worth the wait, the sheer amount of work I put into this book last year is the reason you didn’t get another Tarot Kings. This shit is epic.

Fourth, I’m going to be doing some editing for Book 4 (Spin off 1) of the Firebird Faerietales in late March and once it’s done I’m going to be working on ‘King of Wands.’ Because the release of Rise has been shifted, I’m going to work my butt off and get you the second Tarot Kings out in the second half of the year. Boom! Zahir is on fire in my brain and I can’t wait to dive back into this world.

Releases will look like this:

1.Sorcerers and Saints (Stand alone) MARCH

2. Ashes of the Firebird (Firebird Faerietales Book 2) JUNE

3. King of Wands (Tarot Kings Book 2) SEPT/OCT (may move because it’s my indie and I suck at waiting to release them)

2023

4. Rise of the Firebird (Firebird Faerietales Book 3) MARCH

PHEW. I’m tired just looking at that.

Ames x

Sorcerers and Saints Update

Just a super quick update!

S&S has gone off to my writing partners for a round of critiques before it’s going to the editor. I wanted to thank everyone who is messaging me at the moment, and who is excited about the book. It really is a labor of love, and I’m excited to see what you all think about it.

For those who want it, I have put a pre-order up here on Amazon. For all my KU readers, don’t worry, it will be in KU once it goes live.

Thanks

Ames x

New Book Announcement!

It’s finally happening! I am finishing off ‘Sorcerers and Saints’ a standalone, based here in my beautiful city of Melbourne. For those that are new around here, I have been trying to write and finish this book for about seven years now. I wrote half of it right before the pandemic hit in 2020, and after that the world imploded, I started on the Firebird Faerietales rewrites and edits and this book got shelved again indefinitely.

Over Christmas I finished off round two of my structural edits, and I was really in need of something a bit lighter to work on, and I’ve picked up ‘Sorcerers and Saints’ again. Maybe it’s all about timing because I’m feeling really good about the story and how it’s coming together.

But what about ‘Tarot Kings’? Never fear. ‘Tarot Kings’ is happening this year as well. Even though I will have another two books to edit for 2023 releases, I won’t be doing extensive rewrites. This is going to free me up to get the rest of the ‘Tarot Kings’ done. Last year I was just too busy with what was already on my plate, and being lockdown for most of the year didn’t help either. Don’t worry. Zahir is on his way. I really needed a palette cleanser after Firebird though, and ‘Sorcerers and Saints’ is providing that and getting me into the right head space to write ‘Tarot Kings’ again.

SO…here is a blurb so you all know what you’re in for with S & S and I hope to have it out in the world by Easter. And keep an eye out because I also plan on sharing some sneak peek chapters in the coming weeks!

BLURB

Melbourne’s magic is broken, and it’s going to take a cursed saint, a surly sorcerer, and a hell of a miracle to fix. 

Born into a family of cursed saints, Mara Corvo has never met a heart ache she couldn’t heal. The price she pays for such a gift is that no one can remember her afterward…except for a drunk sorcerer that should never have been able to find her tea shop to begin with. 

Augustus Vance has lived with his failure for over a century. In his effort to stop a rogue sorcerer, he killed the woman he loved, and left a hole in Melbourne’s magic that he’s never been able to fix. When a chance encounter accidentally lands him in Mara’s store, he has his first dangerous dose of hope in decades.   

If the women of the Corvo family have one golden rule, it’s to stay the hell away from sorcerers, and yet there’s a wild, dangerous magic in play that keeps bringing Augustus to Mara’s door. 

Only together can they heal the hole in magic, and maybe with a big enough miracle, they might even be able to heal each other. 

‘Sorcerers and Saints’ is a new fantasy romance for readers who loved ‘The Night Circus,’ ‘Chocolat,’ and ‘The Invisible Life of Addie Larue.’  

Research Tips and Tricks!

For NaNoWriMo I recently did an Instagram live with Molly Tullis about research and some of the tips and tricks I have for doing it. As you know, I love my research, so I thought it would be good to put all my rambling notes into a blog for anyone who might be interested in it. I’m going to put it in dot points so it doesn’t turn into another ramble because I can and will talk about it all day.

TOP TIPS FOR RESEARCH

#1 Keep your shit together

  • Use a notebook, Scrivener file, Word doc, a notes app…use ONE place to put all your research so you don’t lose it or are searching through a hundred random scraps of paper trying to find that one bit you really need.
  • Also keep a note of not only that really interesting thing you found…but WHERE you found it. Note down the book, movie, journal article, really cool podcast that you heard/read it so that you can reference back to it if you need to. If you are super organised make a Bibliography.

#2 Use the free Resources available to you (and there are many)

  • Use libraries and ebay to source expensive reference books. Students will often off load text books they no longer need on places like ebay to make some extra money and you can get really good deals. I’ve gotten a lot of books this way.
  • Use online resources. Not just Wikipedia (though it can be a good place to start). I’m talking about JSTOR, Gutenburg Project and Online University resources. A lot of uni’s like Yale are putting their lectures up as podcasts so you can get ALL the information you need without having to do any of the assignments 😛
  • Google Translate, Earth and maps is your friend.(Please if you use Translate, re-google the phrase to cross reference it means what you think it does and vice versa)
  • A lot of gallery’s and historical buildings have virtual tours that you can go on.

#3 Not all of your research needs to be used

  • Learn everything you need to in order to feel confident writing in the world you have created. And then get started. You are always going to have extra things that pop up when you write the story anyway.
  • Readers don’t need to know everything but it helps if you do. The more comfortable you are with your topic the more it will come across in your writing. You want readers to be enjoying the world you create and for that you need your descriptions to be seamless, but most importantly, relevant.

#4 Treasure Hunt (my fave bit)

  • Keep your eyes out for hidden jewels, those facts that make you stop and say “shit, that’s cool.” You might not use it in your current book but those facts are worth noting down in case you want to use them in another book or series. ALOT of Tarot Kings is research left over from Magicians.
  • No research is a waste even if it doesn’t end up in the book you are working on. It will hang out in the ether of your brain and make your writing more authentic…or it will mutate and become another book.

#Travel is nice, but not a necessity (or recommended in a pandemic)

  • This is more of a side note that a dot point. Please do not listen to privileged advice from writers who say shit like ‘you have to go to a city to write about it.’ For a lot of us that’s not possible, and it’s also TOTAL bullshit. As above, Google maps and earth can literally give you the ability to cruise around a city from behind your laptop. It’s also important to remember that you are writing your fictional version of the city, and it doesn’t have to be exactly the same. It won’t be, even if you do go to that place.
  • One thing I have found really useful is reading travel and food blogs of people who have been where you want to go. The whole point of travel and food blogs is that they are sensory, and you can get a really good sense of a vibe from them.

So that’s it folks, my top tips. I hope if you are doing NaNo it isn’t driving you too crazy.

Happy researching!

Ames 🙂