I thought, what with there being so many now, that I would do a quick overview of all of the books I have out, as well as the books I have planned for 2017.

Snowverse

The Snowverse is my urban fantasy universe, including all of the books following the Snow family, as well as their friends and enemies.

Freya Snow

Freya Snow is a YA/NA series following an Autistic, bisexual Angel who fights Demons and gets drawn into saving the world every so often. The first five books, as well as a short story collection, are available now.

The eighth book, TRIDENT, will be released July 2017.

Lily Snow

TRAPPED is a novella following Lily Snow, Freya's mother. It's a prequel to the Freya Snow series, though there's no real reading order for it. I wrote it about the same time as WINGS, so that's probably about as good a place as any to read it, but it doesn't really matter.

Fate

FATE is a collection of short stories following Alice, Freya's adoptive sister, and is available for free to people who join my newsletter. A new story is added with every new Freya Snow book.

The Lady Ruth Constance Chapelstone Chronicles

Anyone who has followed me for any length of time will know the saga of Lady Ruth. A trilogy of steampunk novellas that took me far too long to finish and that were in editing hell for months. But now the entire trilogy is officially out!

Phoenix Saga

Phoenix Saga is my adult space opera series. These are long books, so I'm not going to give a solid release date until they're being edited. But, for now, the first few chapters of the prequel are currently available to read on Wattpad.

Okay, so, if you're on my Lady Ruth newsletter, you probably already know this, but I was supposed to write a newsletter-exclusive epilogue short story to the series.

Which I did.

Only, it wasn't so much an epilogue, as it was a prologue for an entirely new series set in the 1920s.

I kind of really want to write this series, but I want to know just how much people actually want to read it before I make any real in-roads into development.

So, I've released the short story to the Lady Ruth newsletter with the caveat that it is canon for now, but if people want me to write the series proper, it will be removed from canon and replaced with the new series, which will be slightly altered. For example, the romance will be far more of a slow burn and I'll probably change Lu's name, given that it was originally a call back to the meta-fiction of the Lady Ruth books, but that quickly becomes weird with a full-blown story for reasons...

If you haven't read the short story, here's a link to join the Lady Ruth newsletter and get it.

If you have, here's a poll on whether or not you would read a full fleshed out series based on the idea:

If This Short Story Was Fleshed Out Into a Full-Blown Series, Would You Read It?

View Results

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Hey, so, Reaper comes out on Thursday!

And as it’s the seventh Freya Snow book, I’ve made it easier to catch up on the first six.

If you need to catch up on Books 1-3, get the box set for free here.

If you need to catch up on Books 4-6, the box set is on sale for just $2.99 – follow this link to get it from your favourite ebook store!

These sales are only happening for April, and once May 1st hits, they’ll be going back up to regular price ($9.99 for the Books 1-6 boxset).

If you want to pre-order Reaper now (it’s $0.99), you can from Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo, by following this link!

And if you want to read the first chapter to get an idea of what’s coming, check it out below. Hope you enjoy!


“Where are we now?” Freya asked as she awoke from her nap, cringing away from where her seatbelt was digging into her neck.
“France still, I think,” her girlfriend, Alex, told her from the driver’s seat.
“You think?”
“Well, we haven’t come across any border checks yet.”
Freya nodded, stretching as well as she could in the front passenger seat of the car. They spent all day, every day driving. They stopped at a hotel each night, allowing Alex to sleep so they weren’t in danger of crashing due to a tired driver. Freya felt bad about not taking a turn behind the wheel, but she had never learned to drive. She knew of a charm that could drive the car for you, but she didn’t know how to make it.
The problem with spending all day driving, Freya found, was that she was incredibly prone to travel sickness. In order to keep her lunch in her stomach, she continually used travel sickness tablets, but they knocked her right out. Even when she was awake, she felt incredibly stoned.
That became a problem when they couldn’t stop. Alex was being hunted by the Enhanced – genetically engineered Humans from another timeline – and Freya was being hunted by the Council of Light – the people in charge of the Light magical beings.
The Enhanced were limited to Human technology, so Alex could cover their tracks there. When it came to the Council of Light, however, they were able to track Freya via her magic, no matter how much she tried to mask it. There was simply too much to mask on her own now.
That meant staying on the road. Tracking someone with magic wasn’t easy, so staying on the move would hopefully obscure Freya from the Council.
Freya didn’t really want to think about what would happen if it stopped working.
“Do you need anything from the shop?” Alex asked as she pulled into a petrol station.
“I could use some pop. Something carbonated, I don’t mind what,” Freya said, then frowned. “Wait, how are we paying for stuff?”
Alex raised an eyebrow. “You’re asking that now?”
Freya groaned. “Look, I am pretty stoned on these freaking tablets. Forgive me if I’m not exactly firing on all cylinders…”
Alex rolled her eyes. “Oh great and intelligent Freya, I implore you not to take offence at my words.”
Freya smiled, shaking her head. “Okay, but, seriously, can’t the Enhanced trace your card?”
“Not if I keep doing my very clever thing that I’m doing.”
“What clever thing?”
“Do you want to sit here for two hours while I explain it, or are you happy to wait until I get back?”
“It can wait. But I do want to know.”
Alex smiled. “I know you do, but it is pretty complicated.”
“I can handle complicated.”
“I know you can. It’s one of the things I like about you.”
Freya grinned, leaning back in her chair. “Have I told you how sexy it is that you’re so smart?”
Alex grinned back. “You know, I wasn’t just grown for my brawn.”
“Yes, but that is also impressive.”
Alex leaned forward, giving Freya a quick kiss. “You’re so sweet when you’re stoned.”
Freya laughed, though it came out as a weird mix between a snort and a giggle.
“I’ll go and get you that pop.”
Alex got out of the car, leaving Freya alone once more.
She wasn’t alone for long, however, as she felt the familiar tug of Amber – the ghost of her great-great-grandmother who had been tied to Freya by her mother to keep an eye on her – trying to materialise.
Freya sighed. She was drowsy, and just wanted to go back to sleep. But she hadn’t spoken to Amber since before everything had gone down. Since before she had been captured and tortured and lost control of her powers.
Freya concentrated on her breathing, trying to calm the tightness in her chest. It dissipated after a moment, and she decided to let Amber through. It wasn’t fair to drag her around Europe without telling her what had happened, even if Freya very much didn’t want to talk about it.
Amber appeared on the back seat as soon as Freya let her through. Freya unbuckled herself and turned in her chair so that she was kneeling, facing her.
“Do you know what happened?” Freya asked. As much as Freya didn’t like it, Amber did watch her when she wasn’t fully materialised. For once, Freya hoped that Amber hadn’t listened to her when she had expressed her discomfort with it.
“Are you asking because you don’t remember, or because you don’t want to talk about it?”
Freya took a deep breath, doing her best to remain calm. She hadn’t thought about the fact that Amber might have seen what had happened when she had lost control of her powers. Her memories from that point weren’t great, and she didn’t know if that was because she had given herself over to her powers or if it was her mind trying to protect itself.
“Both, I guess.”
Amber nodded. “I don’t think there’s anything that you don’t remember that you haven’t been filled in on. You destroyed the Enhanced base in your escape, killing Alex’s monitor. Then you started growing vines around the shopping centre. If given long enough, I would guess you would have built some kind of living fortress.
“After a little while, Mel and Sarah arrived with Alex and a white wolf.”
Freya frowned. “A white wolf?” That somehow seemed familiar to her, but she couldn’t quite remember.
Amber shrugged. “I don’t know who the wolf was, or who sent her, but she got your friends and brought them to you. They managed to talk you down, and then you passed out. I lost my connection to Earth until you woke up.”
Freya nodded. That about added up with what she remembered, and what Alex had told her.
“So, are you going to yell at me for running away with Alex?” Freya asked.
Amber gave a sympathetic smile, shaking her head. “You were right to trust Alex, Freya. I think that going with her was the only sensible option.”
“Even more sensible than going to the Underworld and hiding there?”
Amber nodded. “I don’t think you could have sat still there. Not knowing that Alex was in peril elsewhere.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Freya said with a smile. “So, the Council of Light? Alex told me that they’ll probably be after me, but she was delivering the information second-hand.”
Amber looked away, her gaze fixing on something in the distance, through the window. “The Council of Light… I tried to work with them in my youth, but it became clear to me then that they were only interested in protecting their own power. When your mother was sent to the Shadow Realm and the War with the Humans restarted, they declared a state of emergency. For the Council, that means not replacing members until the state of emergency has ended.”
“And it hasn’t ended?” Freya guessed.
“No, it hasn’t. After the timeline shift, the Light beings had been hit the hardest. From what I managed to find out while I still possessed a body, it seems the Council said that consistency was needed during the rebuilding.”
“But it’s been twenty years.”
“Exactly. Everyone is chafing under the lack of democracy.”
Freya frowned. “I’m kind of surprised that they ever had a democracy at all. I mean, the Demons have a monarchy.”
“Before the current monarchy, Demons fought each other for control of the Underworld. They were as responsible for the depletion of their numbers as anyone else. Under the current monarchy, that stopped, and the Underworld thrived.”
Freya raised an eyebrow. “A benevolent dictator is still a dictator.”
Amber raised her hands in surrender. “I’m not defending it. I’m saying that it arose from a need in the Underworld, and it has worked better for the Demons than any other system.”
“And I imagine it’ll keep working until they get a shit king.”
“Well, given that the current king is dying with no heir, I’m sure we’ll soon find out how well Demons fare without him.
“Regardless, the Light beings don’t need that kind of steel hand guiding them. They existed in small groups and chose their leaders from among themselves. Under the current monarchy, the Demons became far more organised and centralised in their government. You’ve seen how they extend protection to Dark Witches that work with them. The Light beings sought to mimic that, resulting in the Council of Light, who oversee all of the affairs of Light beings, though the members were still chosen by the beings they would represent.”
Freya groaned, resting her forehead against the headrest. “I’ve spent so long being careful not to take sides. How have I still managed to get dragged into this mess?”
“Well, that might have actually hurt you,” Amber figured.
“How?”
“If you had declared yourself a Dark Angel, the tensions between Light and Dark magical beings would have grown, I have no doubt of that. But the Light beings wouldn’t have had a symbol to rally around to challenge the Council.”
“Do you really think that would happen? Would they really rally behind me after all of the destruction I caused?”
Amber smiled. “You’re still an Angel, Freya. You didn’t grow up around magic, so you don’t know what that means, but trust me when I say that people will take your appearance as a sign of change. For many Light beings, they will assume that the change will be in the Council of Light.”
“Well then, I guess running away really was the best idea.”
Amber smiled, then disappeared as Alex opened the door on the driver’s side and got in.
“Are you okay?” Alex asked, noticing how Freya was awkwardly leaning backwards against her seat.
Freya nodded as she moved back to sit properly. “Yeah, just tired.”
“Well, go back to sleep.”
“I’ve been sleeping constantly. I feel bad leaving you alone like that with nothing but the French radio.”
“It’s fine, je parle français.”
Freya smiled, shaking her head. “Of course you do.”
“You know, we could take a break from driving. I could mask you from the Council of Light again.”
Freya shook her head. “Nope. If it doesn’t work and they catch up with us, we’ll need you at full strength.”
“All right, then,” Alex agreed with a sigh. “It’s getting late anyway, so we’ll have to stop soon regardless.”

So, April is Autism Acceptance month.

As you all know, I’m autistic and I’m a fan of autistic characters. So, in a move that is totally about promoting autism acceptance and nothing to do with me getting free books, I’ve organised a giveaway with dozens of other authors.

If you remember my last Start Reading Diverse giveaway, you know the drill. There are over fifty ebooks available for free in the giveaway via Instafreebie, all with PoC/LGBTQ+/disabled/neurodivergent protagonists.

And this month, the giveaway highlights eight books with autistic protagonists, including the boxset of the first three Freya Snow books – which are exclusive to this giveaway and will no longer be available for free once April ends!

So, what are you waiting for? Check out the giveaway here.

Hey, so, with the sixth Freya Snow book coming out next month, I thought I would put the first four books on sale so that anyone who needs to can catch up!

Just follow the links below to get them:

The Books 1-3 Boxset is currently $0.99*

The third book (in case it was the only one you needed to catch up on) is also $0.99

And the fourth book is also – surprise – $0.99

The sale ends Monday**, so get them while you can!

*Or £0.99 or whatever the equivalent is in your local currency

**09/01/17

As always, I consider September to be the start of a new year, not January. But who would read a new year post in September?

I kind of can’t believe that I’ve been doing this for long enough to have another new year post to look back on, but I do and it’s weird.

So, how have I done in terms of achieving my 2016 goals?

Graduate

This was a big one for me last year. I had failed one of my first semester modules and I was heading into an anxiety spiral, which I kind of doubted I would return from.

However, thanks to beta-blockers and some good, old-fashioned determination, I graduated in the summer with a 2:1 in urban planning.

Starting a Master’s Degree

My graduation brought with it the opportunity to continue my studies, allowing me to move closer to my goal of studying autism from a sociological standpoint. Though, as the cold months of living with my parents and subsisting on nothing but my student loan and royalty cheques go by, I more and more regret giving up the salary I might have gained from the world of full-time employment.

Grow my YouTube Channel

Well, technically I’ve YouTubed this year… And I seem to have hit a sweet spot where YouTube suggests my videos to people without me giving it too much new content.

Publishing the Next Four Freya Snow Books

If 2015 was the year of me learning how to publish, 2016 was the year of me learning how to sustain a series. I did, indeed, write the next four Freya Snow books, as well as going back to clean-up the first one, and writing the prequel novella. 2017 will be the year of expansion, I think…

Starting Two New Writing Projects

Well, I did start them, but 2017 will be the year that Lady Ruth and The Aspects make their appearances.

So, What’s to Come in 2017?

Good question. As I said before, 2017 is going to be the year of expansion. Academically, I don’t have any big goals, since I’m doing my Master’s over two years, so all of the focus will be on my writing and my other internet stuff.

Sustain my YouTube Channel and Writing Autistic

Yep. More YouTubing for me. Over the past year, I’ve moved all of my social media focus to Tumblr, this blog, and YouTube, all of which I want to keep going steady throughout the year.

Maintaining This Publishing Schedule:

January

Lady Ruth Constance Chapelstone and the Clockwork Suitor

Lady Ruth Constance Chapelstone and the Parisian Thief

Lady Ruth Constance Chapelstone and the American Escapade

February

Freya Snow Book Six: Enhanced

March

April

May

Freya Snow Book Seven: Reaper

June

July

Drowned: A Snowverse Novel

August

Freya Snow Book Eight: Trident

September

The Almosts: A Snowverse Novella

The Damned: A Snowverse Novella

The Redeemed: A Snowverse Novella

October

The Royal Cleaner: A Snowverse Novel

November

Freya Snow Book Nine: Kingsguard

December

The Aspects: Book One

The Aspects: Book Two

The Aspects: Book Three

I’d say that this is impossible, but I’ve already written about two-thirds of it, so I’m pretty confident.

What you might notice is that The Phoenix Saga is missing. That’s because I am not confident in my ability to finish any of those books by the end of this year, and they’re so long and take so much finesse to write that I don’t want to rush them and ruin them. I will be working on The Phoenix Saga throughout the year, but I won’t give any solid release date details until I at least have the first draft of the first book ready.

For now, here’s to hoping that 2017 will be better than this dumpster fire 2016.

CS Cover 2Hey, look, the first Lady Ruth book is now available on Instafreebie!

The series isn’t out yet, but it’s coming soon. As you may already know, I’m going to release all three books at once, as soon as the final book is done with editing.

But for now, the first book is already done, and it’ll be free when the trilogy releases, so I figured that I might as well share it with you all now.

For those of you who don’t know, Lady Ruth is about an autistic, ace/aro inventor in steampunk Victorian London who builds herself a robot husband to escape the threat of marriage.

Because robots.

So follow this link to get it and start reading!

Full blurb:

Lady Ruth Constance Chapelstone never cared much for boys. She was too fixated on fashion or engines to give them much notice. An “inventor’s disposition” is how her uncle referred to it when she would forget basic necessities, like food or sleep. But proper ladies don’t spend their days reinventing the steam engine, so Lady Ruth’s uncle helped her to create a persona – The Owl: Britain’s greatest inventor. The Owl is sought after, but so is Lady Ruth, and making sure that she remains free to pursue her inventions may take every ounce of her cunning.

WITCH is now officially up and available to buy! Get it now!

Or, if you’d rather, here’s another quick look at what you’ll get.

This scene doesn’t introduce a new character, like the last one did, but it does signal the return of Lady Caroline.

Lady Caroline is an odd one. She was originally just a throw-away character that I added to the third book because there wasn’t enough going on towards the end. And now she’s an integral part of the Snowverse. It’s weird how some characters just seem to grow, completely independent from your plans.

Anyway, here’s the scene:

Freya didn’t quite manage the shift home in her weakened state, only managing to get back to the roof of the cafe. She sighed, lying down with her backpack beneath her head, deciding to just stay there until she recovered enough Energy to shift home. After a few moments, she reached into the side pocket of the backpack, taking out a healing potion. She didn’t know that it would help, given that she wasn’t physically injured, but she figured it couldn’t hurt.

The healing potion gave her a pleasant buzz, and the pain seemed to dull a little, but it wasn’t anything close to a real help.After another few minutes, she brought out her phone, deciding that she needed to know about the curse, just in case the Demons tried to use it again. She couldn’t rely on Sarah saving her again. Especially when her Coven Head seemed to want her Witches to have nothing to do with Freya.

After another few minutes, she brought out her phone, deciding that she needed to know about the curse, just in case the Demons tried to use it again. She couldn’t rely on Sarah saving her again. Especially when her Coven Head seemed to want her Witches to have nothing to do with Freya.She rang the contact number for Fate. If Fate didn’t pick up, it was one of her Oracles, but

She rang the contact number for Fate. If Fate didn’t pick up, it was one of her Oracles, but usually Freya got to speak to someone in charge.After two rings, Anna answered the phone.

After two rings, Anna answered the phone.

So, the curse?” Anna asked.

Freya smiled. She liked how to the point the Oracles were. “Do you know anything about it?”

No, but Lady Caroline does.

Freya sighed. “I don’t really want to get involved with Demons in an official capacity.”

Do you want to know about the curse or not?

Freya sighed as she thought, taking a few moments before answering. “Alright, fine, tell me where to go.”

I’ll text the address to your phone. She’ll be expecting you.

Freya rolled her eyes. “I’m kind of out of commission right now.”

Get some sugar in you and you’ll be fine.

“Fine. See you.” She hung up before putting her phone back in her pocket.

She tried to sit back up at that point, wincing at the pain. She decided to shrink the bag back down and put it back on her belt, rather than trying to get it on her back. She shifted back down to the street below, though she found herself unable to glamour her armour. It was black and red, so it wasn’t too outlandishly obvious. It looked kind of… rave-y?

She didn’t care, she decided as she wandered into Tesco. No one was going to look twice at her. They would assume it was cosplay or performance art or something.

She quickly grabbed a bottle of Irn Bru and a bag of custard doughnuts. Then she grabbed a snack-size pork pie for good measure.

As soon as she was out of the shop, she ate the pie in two bites before washing it down with half of the bottle of Irn Bru. Anna had been right; it did make her feel better.

She opened her bag of doughnuts as she walked towards the address Anna had texted to her, taking one out to eat before putting the rest of them into her backpack.

She, by some miracle, managed to avoid getting custard all over herself as she ate the doughnut, walking all of the way to the address by the time she had finished, without having to shift.

She wiped her sugar-coated hands on her leather trousers before wiping her mouth on the back of her hand, using her phone’s selfie camera to check that she looked okay. Once she was sure that she was presentable, she walked into the building, seeing a woman at the front desk, despite the late hour.

“I’m looking for the R.C.E. office,” she said, giving the name that had been on Anna’s text.

The woman nodded, indicating to the lift. “They’re on Level Five.”

“Thanks,” Freya said before heading into the lift and hitting five. Within a few seconds, she was outside an office with a sign that said R.C.E. North-East. The door was, surprisingly, open, revealing a bunch of desks beyond, with no obvious receptionist. There were lots of different scraps of paper stuck to the walls, some tied together with string. If she squinted, Freya could see that the subjects of the photos sometimes had wings or fangs.

She knocked on the door, though the office seemed empty. “Hey,” she called. “Fate sent me.”

A door opened across the room, revealing Lady Caroline. She was wearing the same black military jacket that Freya had seen her in last time, but this time Freya recognised that the silver birds on the collar must be the symbol of her house.

“Hey, my office is over here,” the Demon said.

Freya nodded, heading over to her. Once she was in the office, Lady Caroline didn’t bother to shut the door behind her.

The office looked sparse, but the bin was filled with various Subway, KFC and sushi wrappers and boxes.

Lady Caroline looked her over, seemingly curious. “You know, when we met in London, I didn’t realise you were the Angel of the North.”

Freya shrugged. “I don’t really like telling people.”

“I kind of assumed the Angel would be Light,” she said as she made her way to the chair behind her desk. She indicated for Freya to take a seat on the sofa in the corner.

“I’m not Light or Dark. I don’t really want to get caught up in politics.”

Lady Caroline nodded. “Smart. But that’s not why you’re here. Fate said you needed information on a curse.”

“Yeah. A Demon cursed me this evening. Apparently the curse latched onto my Demon blood. Fate told me you might have some information.”

“May I?” Lady Caroline asked as she stood up, indicating to Freya.

Freya assumed she meant using some kind of sensing magic on her, so she nodded.

Lady Caroline closed her eyes for a moment, before opening them again and nodding gravely.

Freya had felt nothing.

“I recognise the curse,” Lady Caroline informed her. “It’s essentially used for law enforcement. If a Demon is sent to capture another Demon, they wear a charm that activates the curse if they are seriously hurt, incapacitating their attacker.”

“How did rogue Demons get such a charm?”

Lady Caroline sighed, sitting down before leaning back in her chair. “What do you know about these rogue Demons?”

Freya shrugged. “They attack me for various reasons. Usually to gain power. I know that their actions aren’t sanctioned by the Demon higher-ups, and you guys have better things to do than look after me. I’m not your responsibility.”

“Anyone who has Demon blood is our responsibility,” Lady Caroline corrected. “And they’re not just targeting you because you have the biggest target on your back. What do you know about Lord Uther?”

“Didn’t we first meet after I killed a couple of his men?”

She smirked. “Indeed. Lord Uther has quite the propensity for stirring up trouble. Unofficially, of course. None of his men wear his symbol, and they all swear that they left his service and went rogue whenever we have captured them. But all of the rogue Demons we’re aware of came from his service.”

“But you can’t do anything to stop him?”

“No. We only have circumstantial evidence, and he is the most powerful Demon after the King. Accusing him wouldn’t end well right now.”

“Do you know why he’s after me?”

She shrugged. “Best guess? The King has no heir, so he’s training Lord Uther’s son as a replacement. If you were to claim your place as a Dark Angel, however… Well, the precedent is ancient but it’s there. You could claim the place as heir for yourself.”

Freya snorted. “That’s… Hah! Does he seriously think I would want that? Honestly?”

Lady Caroline smiled. “It’s not about what he thinks you will do, the very fact that you could do it is enough for him to be pestering you with his men. Trying to get an estimation of your powers, perhaps. Or maybe he’s trying to get you so annoyed with Demons that you turn your back on your Demonic heritage. Whatever his endgame, I’m sure it’s because you’re a threat to his son’s position.”

“Yeah, well, his little posh-boy, boarding school, pig-fucker of a son can keep his precious position. I am not interested.”

“I doubt he would take your assurance on the matter. But I am going to get a counter-charm for myself. Some of his men are being a little too loose with their magic around Humans, and I need to be able to reign them in. I can get you one as well if you’d like.”

Freya narrowed her eyes. “Wouldn’t you have to tell your higher ups who you’re getting it for? I don’t know that I’m comfortable with the Demon King knowing what I’m up to. Or having any ties to me, really. Kind of defeats the whole ‘neither Light nor Dark’ thing I have going on.”

Caroline nodded. “I’ll keep it vague,” she assured. “I’ll say that it’s for one of my other team members. There shouldn’t be any questions beyond that.”

“And if there are?”

Caroline smirked. “Look, the King’s a friend. If I ask him not to ask, he won’t. Happy?”

Freya nodded, though it was a little reluctant. “Why are you helping me?”

“Why wouldn’t I? You’re an Angel and we have a common enemy. In truth, I have begun to suspect that you are only one of the directives Uther has been giving the rogues. After all, the ones in London didn’t seem to know you were there until you stepped in. They seem to be doing their best to reveal magic, without it looking like they were trying to reveal magic. Half of my job is now just cleaning up after them. Having you stop them before they do anything is one of the only reasons they haven’t succeeded yet. Anything that keeps you splitting their attention is good in my book.”

“I don’t want to get dragged into a Demonic conflict.”

“You’re already in it, Freya. And can you honestly tell me that you would stay out of it if the conflict spilt over to the Human world?”

Freya sighed, knowing that she was right.

“Anyway,” Caroline said as she got up, “I had better get going if I want to put in the request for the counter-charms tonight. Write your number down on my notepad and I’ll ring you when I get back.”

With that, she shifted out, leaving Freya alone in her office.

Freya wrote her number on the pad before shifting out herself, going straight home.

Get the book now!

Or start reading at Book One for free.

So, this week’s been… something, hasn’t it?

I think I’ve got emotional whiplash. I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday…

Anyway, the fifth Freya Snow book comes out in less than a week, and I felt weird posting anything about WITCH, given today’s online climate, but it’s out on Monday and there’s the Alice short to come out as well a couple of other excerpts.

And as I was reminded today, maybe now is exactly the time to be sharing stories about disabled, LGBTQ+ and POC women figuring out their places in the world and kicking ass together.

As always, if you haven’t read the series yet, you can get a DRM-free ebook copy of the first book for free from Instafreebie.

So, anyway, here’s a scene from the end of chapter two, featuring Sarah, the new character you may have spotted on the cover of this book.


 

By the time seven o’clock rolled around and they closed up for the day, Freya was about ready to drop off where she stood. She thought that hunting rogue Demons had physically prepared her for anything, but she couldn’t have been more wrong.

Usually her hunts only lasted a few hours. She still had to sleep, after all. Apart from a couple of short breaks, she had been on her feet all day. In fact, she couldn’t actually feel her feet anymore.

“You look a little droopy,” Sarah signed with a smile as Freya leaned against the wall by the now-closed door.

“I feel a little droopy.”

Sarah grinned. “On the plus-side, you just made almost sixty pounds.”

Freya did perk up a little at that, despite the number being paltry compared to her bounties.

“Though, working all day like this won’t be the norm forever. Riley doesn’t like working out front, but she does it Monday to Wednesday. Then I’ll work Thursday, you work Friday, and we’ll both work over the weekends to deal with the rush. At least, until we can convince Riley to get a third person in to help us.”

“How did you two manage it on your own?”

“We didn’t. There was another girl who used to work here, but she’s in her last year of uni, so she left back in October to focus on her academic work. I’ve been trying to get Riley to replace her ever since. Riley’s niece also stepped in on occasion, but she’s still in school so her mum doesn’t like her working.”

Freya nodded. “I think I can handle three days a week during the holidays.”

“Come on, let’s get you home before you pass out,” Sarah said, then offered her hand.

Freya smiled, pushing herself off from the wall, but not taking Sarah’s hand.

“You’re lucky that it was quiet enough before close to clean up. That’s not always the case, and then we have to stay late.”

“Then I am indeed lucky,” Freya agreed. She wasn’t sure how much more standing she could have taken. Not when she still had a Demon to catch.

“Here,” Sarah said once they were in the back room, before picking up Freya’s backpack for her. She faltered a little with the heavy bag. “What do you have in there?” she asked once she had passed the bag back to Freya.
Freya shrugged once the bag was on her back.

Usually she said LARPing gear, just in case anyone saw the armour and weapons, but she had no idea what the sign for that would be and she was too tired for finger-spelling, so she settled for “Books.”

Sarah narrowed her eyes a little, seemingly not quite believing her, but she didn’t otherwise comment.

“I’m returning them to the library now that I’m done with my assignments.”

“Okay.” She still didn’t seem convinced, but Freya decided to leave it.

Even if she didn’t believe her, it was unlikely that she suspected that she had magical armour and weapons in there.

“Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow for the weekend shift,” Sarah said.

Freya nodded, more than a little exhausted at the mere thought of returning for another full day of work. But if she could handle Demons, she could probably handle this, she figured.

As soon as they were out of the door, and Sarah had rounded the corner, Freya glamoured herself before leaping up to the roof of the cafe. She quickly pulled on her armour and put her war hammer over her shoulder before shrinking down her now mostly-empty backpack and attaching it to her belt. The bright orange design looked out of place on top of so much black leather and metal, clashing a little with the deep red runes that kept Freya’s armour from sustaining as much damage as it would otherwise, as well as healing Freya a little. Not nearly as much as she often needed, but enough to keep scratches from bothering it.

The armour had been a “gift” from Fate after Freya’s last job for her, much as the hammer had been a gift for her first. Freya wasn’t sure how she felt about the armour. She still didn’t quite trust Fate, and so wasn’t sure if she should trust her gifts. The armour was of outstanding quality, and it fit Freya perfectly. But it used Demon colours and style. There was nothing on the armour that stated that Freya was loyal to any of the great Demon houses, or the Crown, and it wasn’t as if she hadn’t used repurposed demonic armour from her first few foes before she had known where to get her own, but it did feel a little like declaring a side.

No Angel was inherently Light or Dark. It was a choice. A choice usually influenced by the fact that Angels could be born into any bloodline, and the kind of Energy they had an easier time drawing from was heavily influenced by their dominant genes. Freya’s family had been Humans and Angels on her mother’s side for the last three generations before her, and Amber had been before that. Amber had been Human before she had bonded with the last Ancient, so she didn’t really count as either Light or Dark.

And then Freya’s father had been a Demon.

For all intents and purposes, Freya figured she should be a Dark Angel. She had always had an easier time drawing on Dark Energy, anyway. But the first real friend she had made in the magical world had been Mel, who was a Light Witch. Well, mostly… And Amber had mostly only dealt with Light creatures when she had been alive, so she steered Freya in that direction as well.
It didn’t help that the first Demon Freya ever met had been trying to kill her. He had been rogue, acting against orders from the Crown not to antagonise Light creatures or hunt Humans, but it had still left kind of a bad taste in her mouth.

Freya shook herself from her train of thought, knowing that it would go nowhere. It would only leave her confused and frustrated. Who cared what other magical creatures thought? She was just an Angel. No Light or Dark needed. She didn’t have the time or patience for their petty politics. She was only concerned with making sure that no one stepped out of line and hurt Humans.
She refocused on finding the Demon Fate had told her about. She honestly wished that she had a better description to go on, but she figured that she would eventually find them if she just kept on hunting rogues as usual.

Patrolling was the usual arduous chore. Freya would find a spot and sense for Demonic activity. If she came across a regular, harmless Demon, they usually just waved to her at this point. They were easy enough to spot by the pins somewhere on them that announced which noble they were pledged to. Freya had even started to recognise a few of them. A bird here, a sword there.

The only one she hadn’t seen was the house symbol of Lord Uther. She had spotted it in one of Mel’s magic books once. She assumed that it was supposed to be some kind of dog or wolf, but its neck was twisted around so strangely she thought that it looked like it had broken its own neck while trying to chase its tail or something. Mel had rolled her eyes and told her that she wouldn’t lend her any more of her books if she didn’t take things seriously when Freya had told her that.

Part of her couldn’t help but wonder if, when they weren’t harassing her, the rogues that attacked her wore dog pins. After all, it was strange that she had never seen them before when Lord Uther was apparently the most powerful Demon noble besides the King.

With or without pins to identify them, rogues were usually more than easy to spot by the way they would immediately start attacking her as soon as they saw her.

Freya moved through the city, sensing for Demons and then moving on over and over again. She wished that her ability to sense had a longer range, but when she was searching for something as vague as “Demonic Energy”, she could only sense a three or four streets at a time, and the city was far from small.

It took hours before she sensed any demonic activity, but, when she did, it was like a wildfire burning out of control, clashing against a similar rush of Light Energy.

She immediately rushed towards the fight, wondering who was taking on one of the rogues. Normally the local Light creatures stayed out of it. Guides were so rare that she wasn’t sure that there were any in the city, and the local Light coven kept to themselves, so they never showed. Much like Guides, she assumed the lack of Slayers meant that they too gave the city a wide berth, so that pretty much just left Neutral creatures who would never get involved anyway. Or troublemakers like the Fae, who would be more than happy to watch the rogues cause trouble for everyone else.

As soon as she arrived on the scene, however, she saw that the figure fighting the Demon was indeed a Witch. She seemed to be holding her own with a staff, spinning nimbly in and out of reach in such a way that seemed to be aggravating the Demon, making him sloppy.

“Need a hand?” Freya asked as she jumped in, drawing the Demon’s attention long enough for the Witch to get a good hit in.

Freya followed it up with a blow from her hammer, knocking the Demon down. He definitely seemed like he wasn’t going to get up from that.

“I saw him attacking some Humans on my way home from work,” the Witch explained as she retracted her staff into a wand.

Freya looked up, recognising the voice. Indeed, the Witch in front of her was Sarah of all people.

She really had to start checking the people she met for magic…

She let the glamour on her face lapse, returning definition to her features.

“Freya!” Sarah cried with a grin, pocketing her wand so that she could sign instead. “I knew it!”

“You… What?” Freya said, her hands fumbling as she tried to articulate her confusion.

“I knew that you had magic. And you aren’t part of the coven, and you don’t have a noble pin so I figured you weren’t a Demon… You pretty much had to be the Angel.”

Freya felt a little nervous at it being that obvious even in her regular day-to-day attire. She’d gotten used to most people having figured it out by now, what with everyone having attributed her early accomplishments to an Angel before anyone really knew who she was, but she didn’t exactly go around advertising who she was. That seemed like a good way to bring trouble home with her.

“I guess you caught me,” Freya signed with a shrug. She still felt uncomfortable at the idea. Almost like her breathing was becoming shallow…

“I didn’t mean to get in your way if this was one of the rogues you deal with. Just, like I said, I saw him bothering Humans and-”

Freya shook her head. “It’s okay…” she told Sarah, stepping forward, but the move proved to be a little too much for her. All of a sudden the world spun around her, black spots appearing in her vision.

“Freya?!”

The next thing she knew, the world went black.


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