New Release: Familiar Tales

In a world where magic is normal, mundane, but never boring…

A place where talking animals—Familiars—drive their humans up trees…

Where the police chaplain and a rabbi compare moonshine suppliers…

And Skunks of Unusual Size can be taken as child care deductions…

Anything can—and probably will—happen to Morgana Lorraine and her friends and relatives.

Friday Fiction: Of Merchant and Magic Part 8

Tycho’s caravan moves south, and Tycho chews on some ideas as well as road dust.

Chapter Eight – Across the River


“I don’t have a good way to get letters of credit to Milunis,” the Five Cities factor said. He grimaced, although Tycho wasn’t certain if it was because of the complication or because a tanner’s waste wagon had leaked as it passed through town to the river and the nose-stinging stench was still hanging around the building. “Have you traded recently that far south, sir?”

“No. Guill was as far as I went last year. Usually leave the southern cities to Liambruu and Sinmartin and Bushmakk.”

“It’s, well, see.” The round-faced man hunted among rolled maps and documents in the cubbies behind his long counter until he found a map. “We’re here,” he pointed with one thick, dark finger, then put river rocks on the corners of the map to hold it. “River’s here, and the main roads and routes are the top five strips. Bottom two are ship routes on the river.” Tycho peered, looking for names, and found Milunis on the fourth strip down. “Red dashes are county, duchy, city, and Liambruu borders.”

“I see.”

“Because of the problem with the crown’s credit being no good, they started leaning on their merchants. After we,” he pointed at the floor, “and other people got stung last year, no one will take anything from Liambruu except goods for barter and silver coin. Good silver coin, and you can be certain everyone is weighing every single piece of metal with the crown mark on it.”

Tycho snorted. Debasing coinage was a good way to tell the world that you’d ruined your accounts, once everyone found out. “They still mint good silver?”

“Aye. So far,” his mouth twisted a little to one side and he snorted in turn. “But that meant that a lot more businesses are wary of letters of credit, even from the Five Free Cities, unless you personally know and are known to the receiving party, or have an agent in the city already.”

Damn. Tycho had neither, just his contacts through the confraternity. “What about temple letters?”

“Same problem. And without mage-notarization, someone could claim the letter was forged and there would be no way to prove it was good.” The notary took a deep breath. “There is one option, other than hiring a wagon to carry the coin you’ll need. Maartin Corwinda is known and has credit in Milunis as well as here. I can write you a letter of credit through his agent. Fair warning, he’ll want three percent. He’s done this before, and we’ve done it for him.”

Ugh. Tycho felt his lip trying to curl and wanted to spit. Doing business with and through Maartin Corwinda? He’d rather kiss a great-hauler’s tail feathers. He’d rather eat a sea-fat. If Maartin said the sun rose in the east, Tycho would look west for the dawn. The last leather he’d accepted that had Maartin’s seal had rotted before it came off the wagon, almost. But he couldn’t haul three hundredweight of silver along with his goods, assuming he could find that much in Gheelford at a reasonable interest rate. He wondered if this were some sort of test by Maarsrodi. Or perhaps he had irritated the god in some way? Tycho considered his options, swallowed his pride, and took a long, calming breath. Continue reading

Monday Amusement

 From the up-coming urban fantasy collection, to be released later this month.

Morgana gave Smiley a warning look as Dolores threw herself into the chair beside them and groaned. “Dare I ask?” Dolores’s Eurasian eagle-owl, Isabeau, spread her wings. Morgana ducked to the side.

“Neither Cinders nor Isabeau like the rain because we can’t let them out. New grass seed at the neighbor’s place. And Patrick is in the last-chapter push. At least, I hope he is. Otherwise he died in his office and there’s a revenant poking at the computer and snarling about foot-notes and conclusions and conflict theory.” Dolores straightened up in the chair and ran a hand over Isabeau. “The food disappears and I hear sounds from the office, but Cinders isn’t talking.”

“We should all be so blessed,” Jaramillo sighed as he came in, an enormous overstuffed folder under one arm and Dog the Iguana on his shoulder. Dog had headphones on and was either rocking out or having serious balance problems. The warlock thumped the papers onto the table, lifted Dog off his shoulder and onto the stack, and sat. “Dog discovered Midnight Oil and started chanting along.” Continue reading


Saturday and Sunday I will be at Ama-Con, along with Peter and Dorothy Grant, J. L. Curtis, and the LawDog. Not all at once, probably, but we’ll be taking turns manning a sale table and selling books, autographing books, and doing Con stuff.

Admission is $5/day or $8 both days, at the door. I’ll be selling copies of Carpathian Campaign and Alexander, Soldier’s Son. You can get Ivan the Purrable’s paw-tograph if you so desire. Books will be $10 per copy.

Coming to downtown Amarillo from the south, north, and east is mildly exciting to vaguely dull. If you will be coming from the west on I-40, may $DEITY$ have mercy on your soul because of the work at I-40 and Bell.

July ’17 State of the Author

Warm. It’s July in Texas.

August 5 and 6 I will be at AmaCon, the pop-culture Con in Amarillo that is sponsored by the Amarillo Public Library. I will be with Peter Grant, Dorothy Grant, J. L. Curtis, and the Lawdog. I will have books available for purchase and to sign, or you can BYO. (Carpathian Campaign and Alexander, Soldier’s Son. Ivan’s paw-tograph is available for the Alexi book).

Shikhari, the first book in that series, will be out in September. It is suitable for younger readers, say 13 and up, but I’m not marketing it as YA. Continue reading

New Release Update

Golden Summer, the next Colplatschki book, will release on Wednesday July 12, if all goes well.

Pjtor Adamson Swendborg defeated the Harriers and opened NovRodi to the lands across the White Sea. But his wife has not born another living child, and there are whispers that Godown has cursed her or him. He chafes at the old men and old ways that surround him. He may be emperor, but even he must bend to the will of the nobles and the church.

Change is coming as spring ripens to summer, but every man knows that he cannot count the harvest until it is in the barn. Pjtor’s own temper may undo all that he has won so far.