~This is an in-universe piece of fiction for the Aspects series - a new YA sci-fi series - though all of the books featured are real and you can check them out by clicking on the book covers~

It's back to school time once more, which means it's time for our annual Aspects Reading List interviews.

The Aspects protect us from the monsters that roam the wastelands outside our cities but we rarely get the opportunity to get to know the mask-wearing heroes. We sat down with some of the Aspects from Tower 5 to get to know them through their favourite books. First up was the most recently chosen Aspect, the Aspect of Love.

I: So, Love, tell us, what was it like to be chosen as an Aspect?

L: Okay, I guess... I thought I was just here to talk about books?

I: Well, yes, but there are some warm-up questions so that our readers can get to know you first.

L: Okay... What do you want to know?

I: How are you settling into your new life? When they set up this interview, the Aspect Program mentioned to us that you're autistic. Has that made it hard to adjust?

L: No more than it makes anything hard.

I: No trouble making friends?

L: No.

I: I suppose there's only so long you can fight monsters without becoming friends. And since your powers are based on love, I suppose it makes sense that you would get on with others.

L: I would rather not talk about... About the fighting. Can we get onto the books now?

I: Yes, of course, I understand you've chosen four of your favourite books to talk about today.

XODUS

I didn't like this book the first time I read it, but I think I was just too young for it. I picked it up again recently and now it's one of my favourites. It's about a girl who loses her mother and she thinks that she's just disappeared, but then it turns out that she has special abilities and the main character also has those abilities and she tries to find her mother... I don't want to spoil the story but I really liked how far the characters were willing to go to find their family again. To think that people can care that much...

Anyway, it's a good book.

Diamond Marked: The Tale of El'Anret

This is an old favourite of mine. Well, the first book was. I only got around to catching up with the rest recently. I don't know, I guess I just kept putting it down and forgetting before? I'm really forgetful sometimes.

Anyway, the first book is about a girl who gets chosen to be the next Queen of Diamonds, destined to rule over the Fae, but the current Queen doesn't want to give up her crown. But the old Queen's twin brother starts to help the new Queen and... Well, I don't want to spoil it but... It's got kind of a romance in it, okay? I like romances in my books. I'm the Aspect of Love, it's allowed, I'm not sappy or anything...

Editor's Note: There was certainly no mistaking the Aspect of Love's romantic streak when passers-by snapped pics of her and the Aspect of Hate sharing a heated kiss in the middle of battle last week.

Pirate Princess

Okay, really though, who doesn't like stories about pirates?

Tower Five isn't on the coast, and even if it was, all of the coastal cities need walls just as large as the others. There's not much about the world before the monsters I ever wondered about, but the sea? Well, I suppose one benefit of being an Aspect is the ability to go beyond the city walls every once in a while, even if it is just to deal with the monsters.

But I was supposed to be talking about the book, wasn't I? Well, the book is about the daughter of a pirate king and a princess. Her mother died when she was young, and when she gets older, she's sent to go and live with her mother's sister and her husband, who rule a kingdom together. She lives as a princess by day but sneaks away to be a pirate by night and I always liked how her mother was gone, and her dad couldn't be there for her, but she still had a family that looked after her, you know?

Water

And here we have... another book about water, but this one doesn't really take place on the sea, so it's not the same. I actually picked this book up recently and it really stuck with me.

In this one, the main character is afraid of water but her mother tells her that she can only go to the university she wants if she goes to camp and learns to swim. Only, she gets there and her instructor, plus a bunch of other people at the camp, are keeping secrets from her, which relate to why her dad left and I don't want to spoil anything, but I liked how close all of the siblings were in the book. Even the ones who aren't always super close care about each other and... Well, I guess I just hope... You know what? Never mind. It was a silly thought. I liked the book, it's good, go read it.

Join us again next week when we talk to the Aspect of Empathy about her favourite books.

~If you want to pick up a free, early copy of the first book in the Aspects series - Love/Hate - you can get your copy here or add it to your Goodreads shelf.~

The next Freya Snow book is coming in just over two weeks, so it's time for a preview of the book!

If you're not caught up on the series so far, I'd recommend getting up to date to avoid spoilers:

Books 1-6
Book 7
Book 8

Okay, here's the chapter! I hope you enjoy!

“Okay, Amy, this is the important question,” Freya said, her tone grave as she faced her younger sister. “The choice between Light and Dark. The choice that truly defines us all. Which will you choose?”
The six-year-old bit her lip, before finally declaring “Rosh is stupid!”
Freya grinned. “Dark it is,” she said as she returned her attention to the controller in her hand, instructing Jaden Korr to strike him down with her lightsaber. “Though you shouldn’t call people stupid,” Freya told her as Kyle Katarn looked on at his apprentice in horror.
“Sorry,” Amy said as their mother frowned at them.
Margaret turned to Ryan, still frowning. “Can you go and watch them play for five minutes. Make sure it’s not too violent for Amy.”
Ryan popped his head around the living room door, glancing at the TV before saying, “It’s Star Wars.”
“Does that mean it’s age-appropriate or not?”
Ryan rolled his eyes in an exaggerated manner, making Freya and Amy laugh.
“Star Wars is perfectly fine for kids,” he told his wife, who narrowed her eyes, before letting it go, looking back at her phone.
“So, Freya,” Margaret said, still looking at her phone, “I’m ordering the Tesco shop for Friday. What do you want for your celebratory dinner?”
“My what?”
Margaret looked up from her phone, raising an eyebrow. “Your celebratory dinner for your first real promotion at the Hino Corporation.”
“Oh, right,” Freya said awkwardly. Technically, her job for Fate was a real job. She had employment forms and payslips with taxes deducted and everything. But getting paid to run odd errands for Fate, usually acting as a delivery girl for sensitive documents or a bodyguard for Seers, didn’t feel like a real job. And the promotion certainly didn’t feel real. She didn’t feel as if she had done anything to earn it. She just showed up to work and did her job. Fate had reasoned that no one had died and no documents had been stolen under her watch, but as far as Freya was concerned, those two things were the bare minimum of her job requirements...
“I thought we were going to get takeaway,” Ryan interjected.
“I’m trying to cut down on sodium,” Margaret reminded him.
“Yeah, but I thought we’d make an exception for one night.”
“Well, if I eat salty food now that I’m no longer used to it, I won’t be able to sleep all night.”
“It’s Friday. Who wants to be sleeping?” He grinned. “We should call up Jess and all go out drinking.” He turned to the girls on the sofa. “Freya can tell us where all the kids are drinking these days.”
Freya snorted. “Sorry, Ryan. My idea of a wild night is me, Sarah, a couple of her housemates, a bottle of wine, and a game of Million Dollars But.”
He shook his head. “I don’t know what that is. Is that for the new Xbox? This is why we need the new Xbox.”
Margaret shook her head. “No new Xboxes and no wild nights out. I swear, I don’t know what kind of mid-life crisis you’re having, Ryan, but channel it into buying a new car or something before ours falls to bits.” She turned to Amy. “Speaking of, Misses, it’s time for you to get to school.”
Amy groaned. “No, I want to stay here with Freya! It’s not fair! Why doesn’t she have to go to school?”
“Because she’s an adult, so she has to go to work, just like Mummy and Daddy. Now, come on. Get your bag and shoes.”
Amy glared at them.
“I’m leaving too,” Freya assured her, standing up. Technically, she didn’t have to be at work that morning, but Amy was going through a phase of imitating her, and she could always go and see Sarah.
Amy followed Freya to the landing before putting their shoes on. Freya felt only a little bit annoyed that Amy was already faster at tying her laces than she was...
Amy went to go and sit in the back, but her mother stopped her. “Come and sit in the front with Mummy.”
“But Freya sits in the front.”
“Freya’s not going in the car with us.”
Freya smiled at her sister. “Go on, be good for Mum. I’ll see you when you get home, okay?”
Amy reluctantly nodded, but did as she was told, getting in the car.
Freya waved them goodbye as they drove off, and waited until they were around the corner before shifting away.

#

Going to the cafe so early in the morning wasn’t Freya’s first choice, but she didn’t mind if it got Amy to school on time. Even if it did mean heading outside. As summer approached, the weather couldn’t decide what to do, and the last few days it had been oppressively humid. As if there were a storm that refused to break.
The cafe was heaving with the pre-work rush, and Freya ended up waiting half an hour for Sarah to get a spare few minutes.
“You know,” Sarah said with her hands, using sign language, as Freya finally approached the counter, “you could have come back here and helped.”
“Not my job,” Freya signed back. “That’s what happens when you drop-out of uni to chase your girlfriend across the globe. You get hired by a big multi-national company for ludicrous amounts of money.”
“Only if you have a specific skill-set, like being able to call down lightning on command. The rest of us have to actually get our degrees, which means working part-time service jobs.”
“To be fair, you’d have graduated by now if you weren’t studying medicine.”
Sarah sighed. “Don’t remind me... Damn my talent for healing magic...”
“I mean, you didn’t have to study to be a doctor. You could have done nursing or something.”
“Are you kidding? My school practically forced me to apply to medicine exclusively. That or Oxbridge...”
“I wouldn’t know. I started my academic downturn before final uni applications. I was lucky the local redbrick took me, never mind anywhere uber-fancy.”
“You know, there was nothing stopping you from re-applying to university.”
“Nothing except that the thought of putting myself under even more crushing student debt makes me physically ill. Especially when I was always going to take this job working for Fate, anyway, and as you said, she cares more about my magic than my academic achievements.”
“I’m sure she appreciates your intellect. I know it made you one of the more bearable coworkers I’ve ever had. Nothing like someone who can actually handle a problem, or count up a till properly...”
Freya grinned. “You still not getting on with my replacement?”
“She’s fine, but the till is never accurate at the end of the day anymore.”
The door opened, and Sarah stepped back from Freya, ready to serve them. However, she quickly looked back at Freya before surreptitiously signing, “Your type.”
Freya raised an eyebrow, intrigued. Her type? A tall girl with an undercut? A guy that didn’t look like he’d break after a short make-out session with her well-built self? Anyone with a, surprisingly rare, friendly smile?
She turned to see that the guy walking up to the counter fulfilled both the second and third items on her list. He was a few inches shorter than her, but he was stocky, with muscles more than clearly defined beneath his TNG t-shirt. His jet-black hair was tied back in a bun, with a strand or two falling over his dark brown eyes, all the way down to his stubble, which framed his awfully familiar smile...
Freya’s hand slipped with shock from where she was leaning against the counter, almost sending her tumbling to the ground, as she realised just why he was familiar.
“Damon?!”
His smile widened into a grin. “Freya!”
Her heart skipped a beat at the sound of his voice, her face flushing.
Oh dear, I’m in trouble,​ she thought to herself as she realised that distance and time had done nothing to her playground crush. All it had done was turn Damon from a slightly-awkward boy into a man that ticked all of Freya’s boxes.
“I didn’t know that you were still in the city,” Damon said, still grinning. “I mean, you seemed to disappear from social media a couple of years ago, so I didn’t know if you’d moved or anything.”
Freya shrugged. “I went backpacking with my girlfriend at the time and the data roaming charges were a bit much. When we broke up and I came back, I just didn’t feel like logging back online. At least, not on big social media sites. I mostly lurk in forums now.” She stopped herself, realising that she was rambling. “So, what about you? I didn’t even know you were in the country.”
“I just got back,” he explained. “Work transferred me back here. Speaking of, I’ve got to get going before I’m late, but do you want to meet up tonight and catch up?”
“Yeah, sure,” she said, grinning.
“Great! Have you got a new phone number?”
She nodded, quickly trading numbers with him while Sarah made him a coffee.
“See you later,” he called after paying, heading out the door.
“So, do you still remember how to act on a date?” Sarah teased as Freya turned back around.
Freya rolled her eyes. “It’s not a date.”
“It kind of seemed like a date.”
“It’s just a catch-up drink between two friends,” Freya figured. “Plus, did you see him? Sarah, look at me.” She indicated to her ill-fitting RWBY t-shirt, with the words on the front hidden on the underside of her breasts, and her well-worn jeans that were a little too short for her. “I’m not even wearing make-up...”
Sarah shrugged. “He still looked happy to see you.”
“Because we used to be friends.”
Sarah raised an eyebrow. “Are you saying this because you really think that him liking you is impossible, or because you haven’t dated anyone since Alex and you’re nervous about trying again?”
Freya sighed. “Can’t it be both? Anyway, you’re one to talk. You’ve never dated anyone.”
“Shockingly, being demisexual limits my dating pool. You, on the other hand, can date anyone you like as long as they like girls.”
Freya shook her head. “I’m not going to think of it like a date. I mean, it’s probably not even one, so I won’t treat it like one. It’s just friends going for a drink as friends.”
Sarah sighed, before holding her hands up in surrender. “Okay, friends going as friends...”

The next Snowverse title - TARGET - is coming September 1st and will be a f/f paranormal romance novel, featuring Lady Caroline from the Freya Snow books.

The book is currently available to pre-order from iBooks and Kobo and there is a free prequel novella available from Instafreebie.

But if you want to give the book a look before picking it up, here's the first chapter:

Dealing with crime scenes had taught Caroline three important things.
First: breakfast was never a good idea. Queasiness was a lot easier to handle when there wasn't anything in her stomach to bring back up.
Second: coffee - specifically the caramel latte - was the greatest invention mankind had ever produced, and she wasn't sure how she had ever functioned without it.
Third: Humans could be easily unsettled by a deadpan, unamused glare.
Caroline jumped out of her black SUV, coffee in hand.
The door shut firmly behind her as she strode up to the warehouse she had parked outside, ignoring the police tape in her way.
The uniformed officers looked up, but quickly looked away as they recognised her. They were more than used to this routine.
Caroline walked into the warehouse, entering only to see a ritualistic display of severed limbs pinned to the metal storage racks.
She took a deep drink of her coffee as she examined the scene in front of her, trying to detach the reality of blood and flesh from the intent of the arrangement.
And there was definitely intent. This wasn't just some random pattern, she could feel the magic these components were attempting to focus.
Attempting, but not quite managing.
The question being, was the problem incompetence, had the police already tampered with the scene, or was there another component to the spell that hadn't been set up yet?
The second factor was the easiest to rule out, and her gaze swept the room as she tried to decide who to approach.
If she had been prone to such outward displays of emotion, she probably would have smiled as she recognised one of the CSIs.
"Good morning, Sas," she greeted as she walked over to him.
Sas simply sighed, brushing his long black hair from his eyes. "I knew this would be one of yours," he said as she approached. "The ritualistic and physically improbable placement of the bodies…"
"Have any of your people interfered?"
"No, not yet. I told them all to just look busy until you arrived, but the SIO is starting to catch on."
"Can't you just tell them this is one of mine?"
"Normally, I would. But she's new. The chief doesn't exactly like admitting that there is a strange woman who wanders onto our crime scenes and takes them over, so I don't think she's been brought up to speed on everything. And to be honest, I can't exactly blame the chief because I thought about explaining this situation to her but I couldn't come up with an explanation that made any kind of sense."
"I don't know… Not wanting to get in the middle of something you can't handle seems like a perfectly valid explanation to me."
Sas shook his head. "Really? Because I can't think of any way to phrase that without making this entire department out to be abject cowards."
Caroline shrugged. "Better coward than dead. Still, I suppose I should introduce myself."
Caroline's coffee caught in her throat as Sas nodded over to a woman who seemed horrendously out of place compared to everyone else there.
She was tall, with curves that were somehow a perfect combination of soft and strong. Her cropped black hair was styled out of the way of her calculating, onyx eyes, and it shone under the warehouse lights, which seemed not to have the same washing-out effect on her dark brown skin as it did on everyone else.
Caroline thought she would look more at home in Amazonian armour than her plain black pantsuit, but the latter was certainly flattering.
She couldn't help but sigh at herself. Had it truly been so long since she had been with anyone that she was thinking of a Human in such terms?
A Human that was causing her trouble, at that...
"That's her," Sas said, seemingly oblivious as Caroline cleared her throat and refocused on the task at hand. "Detective Inspector Sharma."
Caroline nodded before striding over to the woman in question. As she approached, every other officer stood back, desperate to look anywhere except for right at her.
Sharma frowned, clearly confused by the behaviour of her colleagues.
"Detective Inspector Sharma? I'm Caroline Raven of the RCE, and this is now officially my crime scene."
The detective's frown deepened. "The RCE? I've never heard of that organisation."
"Then consider yourself lucky. Most places never see us, or at least not frequently. Unfortunately, this city is a hub for exactly the kind of crimes that are our speciality. Crimes such as these."
"And what exactly do you mean by that? What kind of crimes?"
"The weird ones," the officer next to her muttered, though he quickly did his best to look as if he hadn't said anything.
Caroline simply found his behaviour amusing.
"You can't just waltz in here and take over my crime scene," the detective said. "I need some form of identification or something…"
"No, you really don't," Caroline said firmly.
"This isn't actually uncommon here," the man next to the detective said, once more under his breath. "The chief's standing orders are to hand over any crime scene to Raven when she arrives. Trust me, it's for the best."
The detective didn't seem to be buying it, however, and continued to glare at Caroline. "I can't believe that the procedure is to simply hand over an active crime scene to some random woman with no identification or recognisable organisation."
"Whether you believe it or not, it's true," Caroline said, her voice more than a little tired. "For now, this crime scene is mine. If you have a problem with it, I suggest you speak to your boss about it."
It looked for a moment as if the detective wouldn't stand down, and Caroline had to curse her luck. Most of the Humans found her unsettling because part of their brain – the ancient, primal part – still recognised her for what she was.
A dangerous predator. The monster under the bed.
A Demon.
There were some Humans, however, who had just a drop of magic in them themselves. Those Humans were more than a little infuriating for their ability to see past what unsettled the others.
Caroline didn't exactly mind when it was someone like Sas, who wouldn't ever cause her trouble, but she suspected that the detective would be far more problematic.
She wondered for a moment if she would have to use her magic on the detective to get her to drop it. She hated using her magic like that, despite how skilled she was in it. There was always a small risk of hurting the Human. No, there were other, simpler methods to get what she needed. The only problem was, they didn't seem to be working right at that moment.
Thankfully, however, the detective sighed, shaking her head. "Fine, I'll go and talk to the chief about this."
Caroline would have preferred it if she had simply dropped it all together, but at least she could rely on the chief to explain why the situation was the way it was, and to get the detective to drop it.
After a few moments, the police filed out, leaving Caroline alone to her work.

TARGET will be released September 1st and is currently available to pre-order from iBooks and Kobo and there is a free prequel novella available from Instafreebie.

So, the thing that I really like about this releasing a book a month thing is that I don’t really stop. It’s like my ADHD has manifested as a publishing schedule.

So, starting in the middle of the month, I have all of this build-up to next month’s book.

Like, making sure the advanced review team has their copies and making last minute tweaks to the cover and organising pre-orders and stuff.

This goes on for about two weeks, and then the 1st of the next month comes along and, well, here it is!

The book is out there!

And I just have a couple of days of, like, huh… I did it.

It’s like this weird moment of calm before I go back to worrying if I’ll finish editing next month’s book in time.

I think I’ll spend it playing video games this time…

Anyway, TRIDENT is now here and you can download and read it immediately if you want!

I’m not doing paperbacks for Freya Snow for a little while. There’s a thing in the pipeline that’ll mess them up, so I’ve got to wait until after that. Though, I will be working on getting paperbacks for Castaway Heart up soon.

If you need to catch up on the series, The Pup Trilogy (Books 1-3) will be 99c for the next week, but I will then be bringing the price up again. For now, it’s the cheapest way to catch up.

And buying Books 4-6 in the boxset is cheaper than buying them individually, but if you already have some of them, I’ve also included the individual links.

So:

Books 1-3

Books 4-6

Book 4

Book 5

Book 6

Book 7

And Now:

Book 8

Next month’s release will be another spin-off trilogy, so the first book will be released early via instaFreebie. Keep an eye on your inbox for that announcement.

Hey! Guess what's coming out in just over a week!

If you guess the eighth Freya Snow book, you would be right!

If you haven't caught up on the series so far, I would advise doing so before reading ahead to the sample chapter.

Luckily for anyone needing to catch up, the boxset of books 1-3 is currently on sale for only 99c.

Books 1-3 Boxset

Books 4-6 Boxset

Book 7

“We’re back,” Freya called as she got back to the apartment she and Alex were renting. It had only been two weeks, but after so long on the move, that practically made it home.
Alex grinned as she got out of the bathroom, her long, silky black hair still wet from the shower. She was wearing shorts and a tank top to combat the southern Spanish heat, and Freya was definitely not complaining, though she was slightly envious. Whenever she showed off that much skin, it just revealed how many scars she had.
“How did hunting for more car-sickness potion go?”
“We were successful,” Amber chimed in from beside Freya.
Amber, being a ghost, usually wasn’t visible to anyone but Freya, but after so long of it being just the two of them, Freya was now almost constantly extending her awareness of Amber to Alex as well.
Not that Amber was constantly around. She didn’t want to intrude on the couple. But every time they went somewhere new, she would help Freya find the local magical community so that she could get any supplies she needed.
“I also got burgers for lunch,” Freya said, holding up a plastic bag. “Have I mentioned how cool it is that you can get booze at McDonald’s in Europe?”
“Only every time we go.”
Freya pouted. “It’s not my fault. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had enough control over my powers to drink alcohol?”
Alex smiled, giving Freya a light kiss on the cheek before taking the bag. “I know,” she said.
“And that’s my cue to leave,” Amber said.
Freya smirked. “You’re just leaving so that you don’t have to watch us eat cheeseburgers when you can’t have any.”
“Even if I were alive, I wouldn’t be having a cheeseburger.”
Freya did a mock gasp. “Is this where we learn one of your terrible, deep dark secrets? Like - gasp - that you’re lactose intolerant? Or is that you’re vegetarian?”
“Neither,” Amber said with a wry look. “It’s not kosher.”
She disappeared at that, leaving Freya to nod at the empty space.
“Yeah okay, that makes sense,” Freya said, folding her arms and glaring at the empty space. “You know that you disappearing like that isn’t funny, right?”
Alex smirked at her girlfriend. “Yeah, but it’s exactly the kind of unfunny joke you would tell. How did you not realise you two were related?”
Freya shrugged. “I don’t know. I didn’t know what being related to someone was like before. I didn’t have a frame of reference.”
“No, I know, it’s just funny. I mean, you even look alike.”
Freya snorted. “Yeah, with my Elemental-green eyes and Demon-pale skin.”
Alex rolled her eyes. “I meant in the face.”
“Well, I’m face-blind, so there’s your answer there.”
“Plus, what do you mean Demon-pale skin? I’ve seen Demons with dark skin.”
“Huh... I guess you’re right. I suppose I just assumed. Caroline is pretty pale too.”
“Maybe you’re related to her as well.”
“Don’t even joke. Could you imagine if my life got that convoluted?”
“You say that as if it isn’t already,” Alex said with a smirk before biting her lip, glancing down. “So, hey, want to go down to the beach this afternoon?”
“Yeah, sure, I guess. Why?”
“No reason.”
“Really? Because you look like you have a reason...”
Alex rolled her eyes once more. “Can you please just let me surprise you with something this once?”
“Okay, okay!” Freya said, lifting her hands in mock-surrender. “Beach it is.”

#

As far as places to watch the sunset went, Freya thought to herself, the Balcon de Europa wasn’t bad. Far from it, in fact. Just a year ago, that would have meant nothing coming from her. She’d never left England, and she had barely ever left the North-East.
The past year had changed that, as she supposed being on the run always would.
“You’re burning up,” Alex said as she came back to where Freya was standing, holding their drinks in her hand.
Freya frowned. Despite her paper white skin, she didn’t burn in the sun. When she looked down at her arms, however, she realised that that wasn’t what Alex had meant. Her arms were covered in faint flames that flickered gently across her skin.
“Oops,” Freya said with a sheepish smile. She had a habit of doing that in the direct sunlight sometimes. As if she wanted to join in with the sun.
“Do you need me to dampen your magic?” Alex asked.
Freya shook her head, the flames fading. “I think I’m finally getting the hang of these powers.”
Alex grinned at that. “That you are,” she said before leaning forward, capturing Freya’s lips in hers.
Kissing hadn’t been easy in the early days. Freya had been too liable to go up in flames. But after so many months, it took a particularly good lay for her to worry about setting Alex alight anymore.
When Freya pulled away, she linked her arm through Alex’s, turning back to the ocean to watch the sunset. Of course, it was setting over to their right, but the colour change over the ocean was still nice to watch.
“So,” Freya said, “we’ve been here a while. It must be getting time to move again.”
Alex nodded. “I was thinking that we could hit the road the day after tomorrow.”
“Where will we be going this time? Are we still heading east?”
Alex got a faraway look at that. “I’ve actually been thinking about that, Freya.”
Freya frowned a little at her serious tone.
“I am happy being with you, no matter where we are. I could stay on the move with you forever. But... I think I want something more.”
“Like what?”
“Like taking the fight to the rest of the Enhanced.”
Freya bit her lip a little at that. “Alex... Do you really think we can take on an army on our own?”
“I’m not thinking of doing this on our own. I’m not convinced that all of the Enhanced are so gung-ho about restarting the War. I know I wasn’t. I don’t think any of my batch-siblings would be, either.”
“We met one of your batch-siblings, remember? He wasn’t exactly easy to convince.”
“But we did convince him.”
“So you want to try and contact him again?”
Alex nodded. “I can’t guarantee that the others will listen, but it might give us a starting chance. A chance to stop running from them. I mean, that rune Amber helped you craft stops the Council of Light from finding you, so we just need to stop the Enhanced and then...”
“And then?”
Alex took the hand that wasn’t linked through Freya’s arm, reaching into her pocket. Out of the pocket, she drew a small box.
Freya frowned. The box looked like... Well, it looked like the kind that jewellery came in. But neither of them really wore jewellery.
Alex flipped open the box, revealing a small diamond ring inside.
“Is that...?” Freya barely managed to whisper, her breath catching in her throat.
Was Alex really doing this?
Sure, they had run away together, but Freya hadn’t allowed herself to think more long-term than their next destination. Not when their enemies were so close behind.
“It’s a promise,” Alex told her. “A promise that we’ll stop the Enhanced, and then you and I can go wherever we want and stay put. We can have a normal, happy life together. Just you and me.”
Freya’s face heated up at that, and she wasn’t sure if it was a blush or flames, but she found that she didn’t care, she was too busy drawing Alex into her arms, holding her tight.
“I think I love the sound of that,” she eventually admitted.
Alex let out a relieved laugh at that as Freya pulled away, taking the ring and putting it on Freya’s finger.
“We’ll have to get you one,” Freya said.
Alex blinked, before laughing. “I didn’t think of that...”
Freya grinned at her girlfriend before wrapping her hands around her waist, drawing her close and kissing her. Alex wrapped her own hands around Freya’s sides, gasping a little at the ferocity of Freya’s kiss.
Freya never wanted the moment to end.

If you want to pre-order TRIDENT from Kobo, Apple, or Barnes and Noble, follow this link.

If you want to join my newsletter to stay updated on Freya Snow, follow this link.

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.