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Other Worlds: The Origin Stories (or By Golly, We’re Almost There)

This is the last newsletter before my first novel release in almost two years. I am beyond thrilled to finally bring this series to you – I think it’s my best work to date.

It takes so much work behind the scenes to get here – coming up with the concept, writing the story, rewriting the story, working it over with beta readers, finding the publisher, edits edits edits. And then the whole marketing machine – crafting a blog tour.

Recruiting friends to help push the book. Buying ads for librarians and bookstores finding ARC readers/reviewers.

Writing guest posts, interviews, creating banners and memes and other promotional materials.

And then one day I got this stupid idea. I still had an entire month before the release date. Why not create a freebie with three prequel shorts that I could give to anyone who buys the book?

Only one small problem. I only had two prequel stories on hand.

So I set about writing a third. It took longer (and took a greater toll on my little writer soul) than I could have imagined. But then four days before the release, the clouds cleared, and the story (and the book Tales From Tharassas) was finished.

So for the last Point of View before release, I give you a teaser of the origin of the ce’faine in my latest tale The Fallen Angel. If you wanna read the whole thing, just buy The Dragon Eater, and then send your proof of purchase to me here at


The Fallen Angel

The Fallen Angel takes place on the colony world of Tharassas in the only city called Gully Town. The bulk of the story takes place in 167 AL (after landing), about 250 years before the events of the Tharassas Cycle. The latter parts of this story (the “present day”) occur around 209 AL. Gully Town and The Heartland are undergoing a racial reckoning…

“Grappa, tell me a story.”

I sit back and stare at little Ellya, looking up at me from my lap—all of six years old, and beautiful, her skin the color of the wet earth down by the river. Lighter than mine, but her hair is kinky too, a throwback to one of our ancestors. Probably an Angel.

Wind whips the heavy cloth of the tent. Outside, a summer storm lashes the mountain valley where we make our home in the warmer months. Their parents are likely happy for the break from all those inquisitive minds.

Inside it’s warm and comfortable, and all the children of the village have gathered here for story time, seated on the woven purple rug that takes up a good part of the tent.

Ioyo, my grandson, sits in the front row, next to his best friend Onley, watching me eagerly.

I kiss Ellya on the forehead, feeling her eagerness through the emp nestled in its pouch on my neck. “What would you like to hear?”

I have many stories from my life of almost seventy years—more than fifty of them spent here in the mountains, taking care of my little flock. In that time, the ce’faine have grown to almost five hundred, living a nomadic life spanning three generations. They are my family in the truest sense, my proudest accomplishment.

She reaches up to touch my cheek, her little fingers warm against my skin. “Tell me about the Long Trek.”

I close my eyes, a mixture of pain and pride filling me. Such a long time ago, but I still dream about it often, that rough passage that brought us out of Egypt and into the holy land.

I laugh at my own erudition. None of the children here have even the slightest idea what Egypt was. What Earth was.

In our great wisdom, or perhaps our obstinate stubbornness, we decided to make a clean break with the old culture of the Heartland, discarding everything we’ve been taught and beginning fresh.

I rub my wrinkled chin. “Let’s see. It was a very long time ago. You weren’t even a wisp in your mother’s eye.” I look at her—my granddaughter—so perfect in every way. I don’t want the world to change her. I don’t want her to face the ugliness that I did, growing up in a repressive culture. I want to shelter her from all of that.

Of course, none of us can protect our children from the beauty and peril that life brings.

I stretch out my hands, cracking my old knuckles—a bad habit, that. I take a sip of the herbal tea Merwyn, Ellya’s mother, made for me, measuring my time. It’s a poor substitute for akka, one of my only regrets about leaving the Heartland.

So many years passed. So few left to me. I must teach them while I can, this new generation.

I clear my throat, and the chatter of little voices silences. “Once upon a time, I lived in a wicked place, a cruel city by the sea called Gully Town. There were five islands, like five long fingers—we called them spines. And beyond, only a few small villages and many farms.” I close my eyes, remembering that dark time. “They called me Charlie back then. Or Cha’Fah…”

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