TITLE: The Stone Veil
GENRE: Fantasy Flash Fiction
WORD COUNT: 694 words
STATUS: Published in Havok magazine and available for free when you subscribe to my newsletter!
EXCERPT: One by one, each sister kisses my veil-clad cheek with the barest touch of lips to lace before hurrying back in line.
My sisters with their golden curls. Flawless skin. Limpid blue eyes. Then there’s me—I choke back the sob tearing at my throat. I won’t let them see me cry. Already I’ve been forced to give up everything. For their safety. For the kingdom’s sake. So I straighten my shoulders, tilt my chin to a haughty angle, and give them the merest nod as I pass by.
TITLE: Beyond the Stars, Past the Moon a retelling of the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon
GENRE: Science Fiction, short story for an upcoming anthology titled Encircled.
WORD COUNT: 8,000 words
STATUS: Release date April 2019
BLURB: Astrid makes the mistake of landing on a derelict moon base above a planet with a corrosive atmosphere. Inside the base lives Milos, a lonely young man who always wears his space suit and a reflective helmet. The base seems familiar, like from a memory or dream. What isn’t Milos telling her? And why won’t he show her his face?
Milos waits for the one destined to break his curse. When Astrid arrives, he realizes she’s everything he’s dreamt about for the last five hundred years. Can she save him before the sorceress who imprisoned him wakes up and destroys them both?
When I’m sure we’re going to implode, the pod goes motionless, and the noise ceases. Except for Spark who continues to yip. I open my eyes cautiously. There’s a red glow through the window. Are we inside the base?
I glare at Spark. “Shush.” She whimpers, turns in a circle and flops down to rest her pointed chin on her paws. I undo my harness. “Tegan, what’s the atmosphere like?”
“Full suit recommended, though Spark will be unaffected. It appears the lower deck of the base is safe, but the upper levels have a sulfur reading of—”
“Enough already.” I jam my helmet on, and a whoosh of recycled air greets me, reeking of rubber and artificial twilberry. Lovely. “What about life forms? A simple yes or no will do.”
“Yes. One. Male. Sentient. Though…strange.”
“I can’t get a reading on species, but he is bipedal.”
“And hopefully friendly.” I’ve met others from different species and cultures, but never on my own. What if he’s hostile? Whoever tractor-beamed me into the base could easily blow me up, flood the hangar with radiation if he wants to salvage the pod for parts, or gas me if he wants to keep me alive to sell me to space pirates. But if that’s going to happen, I’d rather be out in the open than trapped in my pod.
I tighten the blade strapped to my thigh. Made from a sliver of freshum crystal, the knife will slice through anything. Dad fashioned it for me, setting my birthstone—a fiery-red star opal—in the hilt. He said it matched my hair. And my temper.
TITLE: The Two Queens of Kyrie Winner in the YA category of the 2015 First Impressions and the 2016 Genesis contests for ACFW.
GENRE: YA Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 80,000 words
STATUS: Complete revision in process
BLURB: Sixteen-year-old Tyrzah inherits an ancient bracelet that awakens a prescient gift within her. When her older sister, the newly-crowned Queen Samara, makes a treaty with the neighboring country Rhüghia, Tyrzah foresees the disastrous consequences. Her warnings go unheeded, and the high priest uses the ensuing chaos to further entrench the worship of the stars. The Nal, leader of the Old Ways, secretly anoints Tyrzah as queen, charging her to lead the people back to the Maker. Torn between saving her sister and saving the kingdom, Tyrzah must develop her emerging talent, dismantle a dangerous cult, and forge powerful alliances. Because only one queen can rule Kyrie.
“Shhh.” Father shakes his head, and we both look at the curtains drawn around the alcove where Samara still murmurs her prayers. “Your mother wanted you to have it.”
“Are you sure? Shouldn’t it be Samara’s?” Even as I protest, I pick up the bracelet, tilting it so the emerald catches the light with a green flash. A powerful surge sweeps through my wrist and forearm. I inhale sharply and almost drop the bracelet. The contact is painful but exhilarating. As the pain intensifies, my fingers curl around the bracelet. My hand glows golden. My bones are on fire.
The air crackles with energy, and my hair lifts off my scalp. I close my eyes.
Oil lamps blaze. People crowd the room. My fingertips smooth over the embroidered gold figures on my deep blue silk gown. I glance behind me at the empty throne.
“Put the bracelet in the bag.” The quiet words shatter my vision. I’m back on the bed, sitting next to Father. “In here.” He fumbles for the box.
I don’t want to obey, but he’s insistent. Finally, I pick up the velvet sack in the box and slip the bracelet inside. The sensation fades. My hand returns to its normal color. The bracelet hums for a moment then falls silent.
“I’m sorry,” Father runs his hand over his face. “I should’ve given it to you before.”