Happy new year, my friend!

Even though it’s barely halfway through January, time seems to be moving more slowly than normal. Snow is falling here in lovely, fat flakes.

Such a cozy, quiet feeling. The city here is going still, waiting out the storm.

Did you know snow absorbs sound? That’s why the world feels so calm and peaceful after a snow – it’s actually quieter.

Speaking of sound… Audiobook distribution widening

I’m going to be expanding distribution of my audiobooks soon, in hopes of making more money off them, so I can create more. If you listen on Spotify or another non-Audible platform, drop me a comment, and I’ll let you know when they are available!

Everything will still be available on Audible, though, so if you are an Audible listener, don’t worry, nothing will change. I have an Audible membership myself and I love it. If you want to give Audible Plus a try, you can support my writing by singing up for a free trial through this link.

In other realms…

Snippet from Knight Devoted

Here’s a snippet from the current work I’m editing, which we saw the cover from last month: KNIGHT DEVOTED. This selection is a brief glimpse at the opening of the novella.

KNIGHT DEVOTED takes place in the dead of winter, so it’s wonderful working on the finishing touches during a snow storm… I’m optimistic it’ll be available while the winter’s still with us, but we shall see where fate leads us.

Chapter 1: The Messenger
It was hard to miss the thundering of approaching hooves. The rider had returned, bringing news from Kavanar.

At the distant sound, even before shouts rang out at the castle gates, Iseris sprang into motion. This was powerful news. Depending on what was said, it might change nothing. Or it might mean her death.

It wasn’t proper for a princess to run, but she strode as briskly as she could from her rooms toward the stairs. No one would like her any better for exhibiting restraint and decorum, but they already didn’t like her now, so she didn’t know why she bothered.

When she reached the long, spiraling stairs of the eastern tower, she ran.

Her morning had been quiet in the castle, spent discussing with Red Squirrel and Owl how she might acquire a map that no one would miss. She’d packed her bag a few weeks ago—in secret, of course. But without a map, having never traveled or even ridden a horse before, she had no idea where she would go or how she would get there. Not to mention how poorly the last time she’d tried to ride a horse had gone… She needed more time to think, to plan. She wasn’t ready.

But the rider didn’t care if she was ready. He brought his news just the same.

Vicious winter winds whistling through the tower’s arrow slits tugged at her thick, wool skirts the color of a bluebird’s wings and bid her feet to go faster as she dashed down, down.

The pieces were moving in the elaborate game of Rooks and Pawns she’d played all her life. The board had always been tilted, stacked against her, but one slight chance of her winning remained. She hoped.

She slipped from the tower into the shadows of the mezzanine, wrinkling her nose. The throne room where her parents held court reeked of too much perfume and incense and looked even worse than it smelled.

Maybe throne rooms ought to be gaudy, but she had always had the sense that her family was trying too hard. The place was an architectural monstrosity. Not that anyone was asking her. Five generations had made their mark here, one on top of the next, layers encrusting over layers, each successor trying to surpass the last in grander and grander attempts.

Was every royal court done in such poor taste? She’d never seen another throne room, but somehow, she didn’t think so. If she ever found herself in another kingdom’s throne room, it would be to be married. She’d flee first, if she could. Because marriage would mean the discovery of her secret, the end of the game, and—ultimately—her death.

The court gathered on the lower level, a sea of gold feathers and ivory satin, storm-gray brocade and ash-black velvet. Iseris’s path through the shadows of the upper mezzanine was mostly deserted. If she could just find a pillar in full shadow to hide behind…

What news would the messenger bring? Rumors in the castle spoke of war in the Northern Kingdoms. War between Akaria and Kavanar.

A war over magic.

— from KNIGHT DEVOTED, by R.K. Thorne

I’m so excited to share this short novel with you… Pre-order coming soon!

It is not a Snow White story, but it definitely has some of the same vibes. Except no dwarves.

Hmm, maybe a missed opportunity. ;-]

Do you have any snow where you are? Or any snowy reads?

One icy e-book I just started is FROST by C.N. Crawford. So far it’s been… very entertaining!

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