Lantern Leaf Press

Voyages Into The Fantastic

Page 2 of 10

Excerpt from The Mirror Knife

Hello, all! Here is one of my favorite scenes from The Mirror Knife. This particular scene involves Burgundy taking her pixie and current client (a tiny, hunted fairy named Fly) to a faery black market to try to uncover some information.


   I opened my eyes to see the familiar rows of booths, tents, and haggling fairies. A tall female fairy on guard duty glided forward and looked me straight in the eye. “Can I help you?” she asked. She stood as tall as me, and her voice was husky and clearly suspicious. Her gaze travelled to my shoulder. “Two visitors?”

   “Three. Surfaeillance business,” I replied. Silence rippled out from where I was standing. Then the talk began again, but in hushed tones.

   The fairy arched a perfect eyebrow. “Really?” The slender vine in her dark curls wound tighter, obviously disappointed that it didn’t get to attack an intruder. She turned away in a rustle of gypsy skirts and vanished into a shrub.

   “Hang on,” I said, poking at the bush. “Where’s Saunders hanging out these days?”

   The branches rustled and the fairy peered out at me, her brown eyes turning green. “Why?” she asked.


   She sniffed. “Third tent from the end. Red curtains.” The leaves swished shut in my face.

   Fairies. I plunged into the sea of tents, hoping to keep my sense of direction. The interiors of the booths glittered with glass jars, amber-colored lamps, and all sorts of human-made junk. One fellow was even trying to sell broken washing machines.

   “I am thinking this was a bad idea,” Fly said in my ear. I felt a little hand tug on my hair. “Maybe you should wait here, and I will go find the. . . it.”

   Well, that was new. “You want to risk getting caught again?” I said, turning a corner. I could see the red tent now, at the end of the row. Fly seemed to be getting more and more agitated. I slowed down. “You’ll be fine,” I said. Few fairy criminals would be stupid enough to try anything in the Market, but it paid to be on the safe side. “If you see anything suspicious, let me know. Got it?”

   Fly whimpered a response as we reached the tent. I slid one hand into my coat pocket and stepped up to the counter.

Continue reading

Mad as a March Hare

Greetings, friends! A (hopefully) mild case of writer burnout has left me without a whole lot of authoring material to share, so I’m going to take a tiny break from author-the-thing-I-do and instead talk about other facets of author-the-person. Supposedly, engaging with other areas of life is one of the best things for burnout. And as long as I don’t spiral out of control on a panicked binge to fix the burnout ASAP, I should be fine.

Shall we begin?

This year I’ve decided participate in a reading challenge. Normally I don’t have trouble reading a hefty amount of books in a year, but the specially tailored challenges over at Modern Mrs. Darcy caught my attention as an interesting stretch goal. Let’s take a look at the twelve “to read” challenges, shall we?

  1. a book published this year

Shouldn’t be too hard. I’ve already got In the Labyrinth of Drakes on my want-to-read list, and The Girl From Everywhere on my library book shelf right now. I could totally count Sanderson’s Calamity if I were counting books I’ve already read this year, but I’m not. Tough.

2. a book you can finish in a day

Honestly, that one is not going to be too terribly hard. I’m rather fond of the “novel in an afternoon” technique. It’s an old habit formed by panicked reading to make up my total for the Pizza Hut middle school summer reading programs. Meet your goal – get a free personal pizza. Those were the days.

Continue reading

And Now For Something Completely Different

February has brought its fair share of changes. The biggest one being that I am temporarily living in a basement apartment while I tackle a short term tutoring job. I’ve been settled in for a few days now and I think I’m finally getting the swing of it. Granted, the whole “I only have one hot plate burner and a fridge the size of a suitcase” has taken some getting used to, but so far I have not starved.

And I seem to be able to remember and teach first-grade math. Seriously, when confronted with a textbook I question everything.

Photo on 2-15-16 at 2.10 PM

(My view at the “dinner table” these days. Note the dry erase artwork in the background. Anybody else remember when you were six and discovered you could click dry erase markers together to make really long writing wands? Talk about a blast from the past. At least they haven’t figured out that you can tie a dry erase marker onto a string and swing it around hard enough to make the ink spray out. Long story. Don’t you dare tell them.)  Continue reading

Taming the New Year

January is a month of conflicts. On the one hand I have the start of a new year, resolutions I’m determined to beat for once, and that sense of “firsts” and how I should make them count. On the other hand it’s still the middle of grey winter, and I just completed a round of Holiday Festivities that, while enjoyable, required a ridiculous level of emotional and physical strength.

To put it simply, this January I woke up from a tinsel and gingerbread induced high and desperately wanted some time to rest. Some down time. A few moments—or days—to honor the biological tradition of hibernation. Christmas is exhausting. Why must New Years be a springboard?

Must it? Really? 

Do you struggle with giving yourself permission? I’m not talking about permission to do those little “bad habit moments” that you can laugh off—like having a second piece of chocolate, reading a popcorn novel, or sleeping in an extra hour or two. I’m talking about permission to do reasonable things that other people might not understand. Might not be able to engage with. Things that might make other people think you’re just not toeing the mark, or you’re lazy, or you’re just not good enough.

Continue reading

2015 in Review

Last year, if I recall correctly, my New Year involved back-to-back movies and a lot of fizzy pear juice. (My favorite!) This year it looks as if it will involve ham soup. coconut cake, and family time. None of which is bad, but Kroger why did you fail me and not stock fizzy pear juice? Who cares about fizzy apple cider?

But, setting that aside, I had a sudden fit of traditionalism (rare for me, I might add) and decided to round up a few highlights from this past year. Some are writing related. Some are not.

In 2015 I. . .

  • Completed a full 5k race after a year of poor health that left me winded if I walked to the mailbox. Sure, I walked the race, but I finished it! And I’ve gotten better ever since.
  • Got to visit a friend in Florida TWICE, which also meant access to Universal and Disneyland twice.  What can I say? I know cool people.
  • Went out on a limb and decided to try ballroom dance. Ten months later, I’m still dancing. You’d be surprised how much you can do even without a steady partner.
  • Attended a summer conference for training in voice (YIKES!) and actually sang in front of people. Not once, not twice. . . *counts* . . four times.
  • Lost a laptop. Got a new one a few days later. Discovered that my old laptop had done a full backup the day before it went missing and was able to retrieve all the data. Thank you, God.
  • Read 100 books. Boom. (That’s not counting all the ones I stopped reading after a few chapters.) Yes, this goal involved some frenzied reading today, why do you ask?
  • Attended my first official Realm Maker’s writing conference.
  • Helped a friend move across the country by a circuitous route.
  • Wrote an estimated 167,443 words on various projects. That’s not counting anything done while editing an existing document. That’s all new stuff.
  • Attended lots of live theater including a professional performance of “Les Mis”, highschool level “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Three Musketeers”, Artios Acadamy “The Mikado”, and an adorable “Peter Pan, Jr.”
  • Published my first full length novel AND a bonus novella. Two in one year. Yeah, baby.
  • And, as a last special note, I saw many new movies, but the one that stands out the most is that I had my first introduction to the X-Men universe this year, which pretty much made 2015 one of the best years ever.

And yes, I’m eyeing that word count and plotting how to up it for 2016. Can you blame me? 

Happy New Year!


« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2020 Lantern Leaf Press

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑