The Royal Cleaner

The Royal Cleaner Book Four Preview

The fourth book in The Royal Cleaner series is almost here!

For those of you who don't know, The Royal Cleaner is an f/f paranormal romance series following Caroline, the demon in charge of keeping magic a secret from humanity, and Mina, the human detective Caroline falls in love with.

Book Four picks up where Book Three left off, with Caroline back in the Underworld to recover from her battle with the Enhanced, and Mina on Earth, trying to figure out how to get rid of the Enhanced without starting a war.

If you need to catch up, you can get the Books 1-3 Boxset from either your favourite ebook store or direct from my website if you want to buy in a way that better supports me. If you want to check out the series with a smaller taste, I offer a prequel novella as a welcome gift to subscribers to my newsletter. And if you're all caught up, you can pre-order Book Four from your favourite ebook stores or start reading now by supporting me on Patreon!

And if you want a preview of Book Four, I've put the first chapter below...

Caroline had never liked parties. And she especially disliked balls. They were crowded and filled with people with motivations she struggled to understand as they wove social riddles that she had to solve at the risk of ostracisation.

The thing was, it had always been this way. Only now, she had her best friend - and fiancée - Gregor by her side, helping her sort through it all.

So why did she feel the need to claw her skin off to stop it from crawling?

As Gregor spoke with his friends, Caroline knew that they were oblivious to her discomfort. She had become skilled at hiding it over the years. All they might think was that she was quiet, but then, Gregor could talk for three people when asked, so she doubted they even recognised that.

“Of course, we do wonder why you have yet to marry.”

Caroline tuned back into the conversation at that, her hackles rising. An engagement period was unusual for Demons. Young nobles in arranged marriages would have to wait until they were of age, but the Demon marriage ceremony was an intimate affair, so there were no preparations to be made. Once a couple decided to marry, they simply did so.

But then, she and Gregor were trying to buy themselves as much time as possible.  Once they married, it would be expected that Caroline would get pregnant immediately, as she currently had no heir.

The problem was that while Caroline and Gregor were good friends and the marriage was politically convenient for them, both of their hearts were elsewhere. Or theoretically elsewhere, in Gregor’s case. For Caroline, it was far from theoretical, and while she would marry Gregor in the Underworld to secure her family’s position and have the heir she needed, on Earth, she had her Human wife.

Her Human wife who had wanted another child before Caroline had an heir with Gregor.

If Caroline wanted that with Mina, she and Gregor would have to delay marrying for a while.

Gregor smiled at his friend, whose name escaped Caroline.

“We have both spent a little too much time on Earth,” Gregor confessed, feigning sheepishness. “We have grown used to their customs. Not to mention, we decided to marry just after the Princess returned home to us. It didn’t seem right to steal her thunder.”

His friend smirked. “You mean that you didn’t want the announcement of your marriage to be overshadowed by her return.” He turned to Caroline. “To be honest, I was surprised he waited this long to propose. After all of the late nights spent at your estate... It was getting almost scandalous.”

Caroline forced herself to return his smile. The scandal had been engineered, of course, to draw attention away from the even deeper scandal beneath, but she supposed that her forced smile was an appropriate response to someone bringing it up like that.

Gregor rolled his eyes. “I can’t believe that everyone here still pretends to uphold such outdated views on relationships. Even if we had been together before we formally announced anything - which I am not confirming - that shouldn’t force us into having to announce anything.”

His friend shrugged. “I didn’t necessarily mean it like that, though I am sure that others would have. I more meant that it has been obvious that you cared about Lady Caroline for some time now, so it was only a matter of time before you proposed.”

Caroline wondered how someone could live their life while being so wrong about something. How oblivious could a person get? And she was asking that fully aware of the fact that she often failed to pick up on basic social cues.

Caroline briefly sent a flash of Energy over to Gregor. The two of them didn’t share Energy often, but it was a handy way to communicate without words and Caroline was more than happy whenever she could take words out of the equation.

Her flash had communicated heavy sarcasm and exasperation, the unspoken question being, “How do straight people live?”

She felt a flash in return, telling her that Gregor was now having to put all of his efforts into not snorting aloud.

Caroline decided to step in to save him, given that she was the reason he was currently struggling to speak. “Well, I was hardly an ideal marriage prospect before I helped Princess Freya return home.”

Gregor’s friend shook his head. “Only someone who started as high as you did would think that you weren’t ‘ideal’ before that point, Lady Caroline. Even if you hadn’t helped return the Princess home, the damage to your reputation isn’t something a century or so couldn’t fix. All your husband would have had to be is patient.”

“Well, I am not a patient man,” Gregor said with a shrug.

“I’m not sure any man I know would be brave enough to admit to his future wife that he would only marry her as long as her reputation was favourable.”

Caroline smirked. “If he had tried before that, I would have considered him a fool and therefore rejected him. While you may believe that all my reputation required was patience, I didn’t hold such an optimistic view.”

“Then I suppose it is a good thing that you found the Princess on Earth. I wonder, will that good fortune lead you to return there? Most assume that you will choose not to.”

Caroline raised an eyebrow. “Good fortune? I will return to Earth in time because it is my duty as the head of the Royal Cleaners. There is no point in trying to keep magic a secret from Humans in the Underworld, given that there are no Humans here.”

He frowned. “Surely you can manage your people from here. Forgive me, Lady Caroline, but I heard about your encounter with the Enhanced. To want to return to the realm where they still reside...”

Caroline clenched her fists around the fabric of her skirts as her jaw tightened. She wanted nothing more than to smack the ridiculous, pitying look from this man’s face until he stopped looking at her like some fragile doll that might break in a light breeze.

Dark Energy crackled just beneath her skin in response to her anger.

She realised what was happening just a moment before she released it and sent a brief flash to Gregor, knowing that he would be able to make excuses for her as she shifted away.

If being Litcorde was good for something, it was that people were used to her fleeing from balls when it became overwhelming.

Of course, the fact that she had just fled after someone had brought up the Enhanced...

Even someone as oblivious as Gregor’s friend seemed to be would probably be capable of putting two and two together.

She shifted to the Palace training grounds, unleashing her Energy as soon as she materialised in a barrage of black lightning as she screamed with frustration.

“What were you saying about being able to handle this?”

Caroline spun around as her Energy dissipated, leaving her panting at the exertion, only to see her friend, and ex, Vera approaching with her hands on her hips.

“I’m fine.” Caroline glared at her. “What are you even doing here? Did you crash a Royal ball just to keep an eye on me?”

Vera looked over the smouldering remains of the training dummy. “Someone who was fine wouldn’t be lashing out in the training grounds now, would they?”

Caroline looked away, her throat tightening. “So, what? Are you here to tell me how stupid I’m being? To tell me that I’m not ready to be out in the real world again? That I should just stay locked up with the Wardens forever?”

Vera gave her a sympathetic smile. “No, Caroline, I’m not here to chastise you, or bring you back against your will. I simply came here so that someone would be there for you if you stumbled. To remind you that stumbling isn’t the same thing as failing.”

Caroline frowned, at a loss.

“You did well tonight,” Vera clarified. “You should give yourself credit for that.”

Caroline huffed, folding her arms. “Well, now you just sound condescending. Like you said, I had to bail.”

“Yes, but you did bail. You didn’t unleash your Energy in front of everyone else. That’s important.”

“So, you’re not here to tell me I should go back to the Wardens tonight?”

“Do you think that you need to?”

Caroline sighed. “I don’t want to, but...”

Vera shook her head. “Caroline, we both know that when you’re upset, you can retreat into your worst beliefs about yourself. That you’re not good enough and that the people around you would be better off without you. That’s not true, and you know that it’s not true in your rational mind, but that doesn’t stop the thoughts from creeping into your decision-making process when you’re too worked up to pay attention.”

Caroline gave a humourless smile. “Like thinking that tonight was so much of a failure that I would have to return to the Wardens without seeing Mina... Am I really so predictable that you saw that coming?”

Vera smiled. “Your aunt saw it from a mile away. Literally, the first thing she said to bear in mind about your treatment is that you would push yourself too far, too fast in an effort of self-sabotage.”

Caroline sighed. “Well, it’s good to know that someone apparently knows my mind.”

Vera shrugged. “To hear her talk, it seems as if you get it all from her side of the family, so...”

Caroline smiled. “You know, you would think that growing up Litcorde, I would have a better understanding of my own screw-ups.”

“Well, you do seem to know your limits to some degree. As I said, you got out of there, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, I guess I did.”

Before either of them could say anything else, Gregor shifted to the training grounds.

Caroline sighed. “That predictable, huh?”

He shrugged. “You’re a creature of habit.” He turned to Vera. “I didn’t realise you were here tonight.”

“That was the point,” she told him. “Don’t worry, you don’t have to play the role of protective friend here. I was just assuring Caroline that her plan to go home tonight is still a viable one.”

He nodded before turning back to Caroline. “Speaking of, should we head off? I think I’ve had enough of the Palace for tonight.”

Caroline smiled, knowing that he was feigning exhaustion to help her feel better about heading home. “Yeah, I think we should. Mina’s due to arrive back any moment now, after all.” She turned back to Vera. “Thanks.”

Vera shrugged. “What are friends for?”

Caroline smiled as she and Gregor shifted back to her estate.

She sighed as soon as she arrived back home, her frame crumpling down onto a sofa as if it had been held up by an invisible force that had suddenly let go.

“Are you okay?” Gregor asked.

Caroline nodded, unable to bring herself to speak aloud.

Gregor looked as if he were about to point out that she wasn’t exactly being convincing, but before he could, they heard the familiar hum of a portal opening in the other room.

Caroline immediately bolted upright, leaping to her feet and rushing through to the other room.

She grinned as she arrived to see her wife stepping through, dressed in a beautiful, deep blue dress that was cut low to accentuate her chest.

Caroline ran over, sweeping her up into her arms to spin her around.

“Ah, my shoes!”

Caroline raised an eyebrow before looking down at Mina’s shoes, careful to keep her held up off the ground.

“Heels?” Caroline asked as she saw that one of Mina’s shoes, an identical blue colour to her dress, had fallen to the ground.

Mina gave her a sheepish look as Caroline put her down gently, noticing that her makeup also matched her dress.

Caroline’s grin widened. Had Mina dressed up all for her?

Now she felt a little bad about the fact that she was going to tear the dress off her in the next ten minutes.

Not enough to change her plans, however.

“I missed you,” Mina said as if it explained why she was wearing heels.

“I missed you, too,” Caroline admitted before bringing one hand up so that her fingers trailed gently beneath Mina’s chin, guiding her lips to hers.

Mina was not so reserved, one of her hands threading through Caroline’s hair, knocking out the pins that held up her golden locks and causing them to cascade down her shoulders as Mina’s other hand went to her waist, keeping her close.

“How are you?” Mina asked as she finally pulled away, her voice low as she stayed close to Caroline, her breath tickling her cheek. “I take it from your outfit that you went to the ball.”

“I did.”


“And it was fine. More than fine. Boring, even.”

“So, your recovery is still going well?”

“Faster than we could have anticipated. I’m strong, Mina. You don’t have to worry about me.”

“I’m your wife. Worrying about you is my job.”

Caroline simply smiled before letting her hands trail down Mina’s body.

The other woman’s grip on her tightened as Caroline’s hands went further and further down, eventually reaching her thighs and hoisting her up.

Mina instinctively wrapped her legs around Caroline’s waist as her arms went over her shoulders.

“And as your wife, I believe my job involves something along the lines of getting you knocked up.”

Mina grinned, shaking her head. “You’re incorrigible.”

Caroline simply shifted them to her bedroom.


Reader Poll on Release Schedule

So, as you may have noticed, I’ve been releasing two books a month for the last few months.

There are pretty much two reasons for this:

  1. I try to keep each individual series on a three-month release schedule and I currently have four on-going series (after putting the fifth on hold)
  2. I like to keep Snowverse book releases in in-universe chronology, which can take some creative scheduling

Now, the plan was always to slow back down later in the year, and I am still capable of keeping up this writing schedule. But while I am technically capable of keeping up the schedule from a writing stand-point, it allows me less time to think over ideas before writing, and also makes it harder for me to find time for anything other than writing, like livestreams or posting previews of upcoming books.

So, I’m torn between keeping my current schedule and slowing down, which means that it makes sense for the deciding factor to be your opinion, loyal readers! Below is a poll, and if you don’t see an option you like, feel free to leave a comment below and I will make sure to read/reply to them all.

How do people feel about keeping a strict one-book-a-month-schedule, even if it means individual series have longer release windows?

View Results

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Freya Snow

Get the Eleventh Freya Snow Book and Pay What You Want to Catch Up!

Guess what's finally here?

If you said the eleventh Freya Snow book, you would be right!

Omg, I can't actually believe this series is at eleven books... I just finished plotting the final book, that's so scary...

Anyway, if you want to start reading the eleventh book, it is currently available for my Patreon supporters!

It is also up for pre-order on other sites.

And if you're not caught up on the series so far, you can now buy DRM-free versions of the earlier books (including in PDF format) directly from me on a Pay What You Want system. So, now you don't have to worry about losing the books if your ebook store of choice shuts down, and you can pay what you think the books are worth while supporting the author more because I keep a higher percentage of the royalties.

The books should be embedded below, but they might not show up if you're reading this on Goodreads or Amazon or other places that pull directly from my blog, so here is the link to the page on my site.





The Aspects – Pain’s Favourite Books

~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. Today's Aspect is the Aspect of Pain.

I: So, last year you only brought one book and said that you weren't much of a reader. Given the spirit of these interviews, I hope you've brought more for us this time,

P: I have.

I: Great!

P: I brought two.

I: You know, maybe we should just get on with the recommendations...

Legacy (The Biodome Chronicles #1)

P: I liked this book. You should read it.

I: You know that you're supposed to say more about it, right?

P: It's set in the future. I enjoyed reading about the characters. The worldbuilding was interesting.

I: Really? That's it?

P: I liked the relationship between Oaklee and Fillion through most of the book, but would not want to comment further in case I spoil the ending. That was the one bit I didn't like. I don't like complicated endings, even if there is another book in the series. I'm not much of a reader, after all...

What Lies Inside (Blood Bound Series #1)

P: I also liked this one.

I: Okay, seriously, is this going to happen every year?

P: This one is about werewolves and vampires and forbidden love. I really liked the relationships between the characters. To elaborate on why I liked them would spoil the book, but I will say that I liked how close Amelia was with her best friend, even if there were complicated feelings there. I'm glad that they were still there for each other. This one also had a slightly complicated ending... Maybe I need to stop taking book recommendations from Em when they're the first book in a series...

Join us again next week when we talk to the Aspects of Justice and Vengeance about their 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.~


Kingsguard Chapter Two Preview

KINGSGUARD is now here! You can get it by following this link!

Or if you're not caught up on the rest of the Freya Snow series yet, here are the links to do so:

Books 1-6
Book 7
Book 8

But if you're all caught up and are holding off on getting KINGSGUARD, here's Chapter Two for you to read for free.

Click here if you need to catch up on Chapter One.

As much as Freya swore that it wasn’t a date - it wasn’t - she spent more than a small amount of time choosing what to wear.
Eventually, she settled on her nice pair of black jeans that made her look curvy, rather than bulky, and a green tank-top that complimented her eyes, and showed off her guns. In all honesty, as much as she liked her muscle, she knew that it could intimidate guys. Girls tended to be fans, but guys were too easily emasculated.
Damon had never been like that, but then, she’d only bulked out as she’d gotten older and switched from favouring a sword to a war-hammer so large that a Final Fantasy character might think it too much.
If her having muscle was gonna turn him off - not that she had any indication that he was ever turned on, she reminded herself - she’d rather know upfront.
She stood outside the pub he had told her, at the time he had told her, with nothing but her leather jacket - matched with black leather Docs - to separate her and the humid night air.
“Hey,” she heard from beside her, causing her to jump. She hadn’t even heard Damon approaching.
“Hey,” she said as the flames in her hand extinguished themselves. She’d gotten used to producing flame inside her fist when she was scared. It stopped them from being seen, while still allowing her to open her palm and cause significant damage if she was truly facing an enemy.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”
She shrugged. “Sorry for being so easily startled.”
He smiled. “I mean, it’s not like I’m any better,” he said as he indicated to the door, allowing her to lead the way inside.
Freya prepped a sound-proof bubble, but she found that she didn’t need it. The pub was quiet enough to go without.
“We can go somewhere more vibrant if you want,” Damon said. “But you always hated loud places, so I figured here would be good.”
“It is, it’s perfect,” she assured him before following him to the bar and ordering a rum and coke treble, thanking the drinking culture in the city for being able to keep up with her Angel metabolism.
Damon ordered a whiskey and coke treble, then followed her to a booth in the corner.
“So,” he said as he sat down opposite her, “tell me everything that’s happened since we last saw each other. I mean, you went travelling. That must have been interesting.”
Freya awkwardly shrugged. “Define ‘interesting’. We had no money, so it was just driving around in a little car. Often sleeping in that same car.”
“You must have gone to some interesting places.”
She nodded. “Pretty much everywhere we could get to easily in a car. But we never stayed anywhere too long.”
“Why did you decide to go? I mean, I never took you for the travelling type.”
Because my girlfriend and I were on the run. “Neither me nor Alex really knew what we wanted to do, and travelling seemed like a fun enough thing to do while we figured it out.” She quickly picked up her drink, downing half of it in one go. Alex was an old wound, but not one she liked to dwell on.
“I’m sorry,” Damon said. “Bad break-up?”
An Oracle told me that she’d die if I stayed with her. “We wanted different things,” Freya told him with a shrug.
“So, what have you been doing since you got back? Are you back at uni?”
Keeping my head down so the Council of Light doesn’t try to kill me again. “I got a job. Like a private security thing for a big company, making sure their documents don’t get stolen and stuff.” She froze for a moment, as she remembered that Damon’s uncle had worked in private security. Technically, that was her job, but she wasn’t sure how well it would match up to the Human equivalent if he started to ask a bunch of questions about it...
“Cool,” Damon said, nodding, seemingly happy with her answer.
“So, what about you?” she asked, before he could ask any questions that she might struggle to answer.
He shrugged. “I’m working for my aunt’s husband. Remember I told you that he ran a huge company and wanted me to take over?”
Freya nodded.
“Well, he has me working for the company right now so that I can learn about how it’s run.”
“And he sent you back here?”
Damon nodded. “There’s something in the city that he needs me to take care of. It’s probably going to take several months to sort out, and we’re talking about me staying here beyond that. I’ve missed England.”
“Said no one, ever.”
“It’s not that bad here.”
“It kind of is.”
“Then why did you come back? Why not go elsewhere when you broke up with your girlfriend?”
She shrugged. “My friends and family are here.”
He smiled. “About as good a reason as any.” He frowned a little. “I’m starving. Do you want food?”
She nodded. “I’m always up for food.”
“I’m just gonna order a bunch of stuff.”
Damon got up, and returned a few moments later with a large plate of nachos and two more drinks balanced carefully in his hands. “There’s more coming in a bit,” he said as he put the plate and drinks down, before sitting back down and scooting over until he was next to her, so close that she could feel his body heat warming her arm.
She felt her face flush, sure that she was bright red, the little effect the alcohol had on her increasing her feeling of attraction so that her heart quickened in her chest.
Damon turned to her, his face particularly close to hers. She couldn’t help but notice that his own cheeks were pink, and she could have sworn that she heard his breath catch in his throat.
He couldn’t like her, could he?
Freya wasn’t sure how much it would take her to get drunk anymore, but by the time the pub closed, she was certainly getting there.
“Shit,” she muttered as they left. “I didn’t realise how late it was getting. My parents are gonna kill me.”
“Didn’t you tell them you would be out late?” Damon asked.
“I did, but it’s a weeknight. If I go home now, I’ll wake them up, and they have work in the morning. Not to mention that Amy has school...”
“Well, you can stay on my sofa, if you want.”
“You wouldn’t mind?”
Damon shook his head. “It makes no difference to me. Plus, it would save you taxi fare.”
“How would it save me taxi fare?”
“I don’t live far from here,” he explained, pointing down towards the quayside.
“Huh,” Freya said as she followed him.
“Nothing. I guess I just kind of assumed you’d be back at your uncle’s old place.”
“Well, it would be kind of big for just me.”
Freya nodded. “Yeah, I know. I guess that I just assumed, since I still live at home and it’s the same place as back in the day, that it would be the same for you as well. Which is ridiculous, since that was years ago...”
“It doesn’t quite feel like it, does it?” Damon asked.
Freya smiled. “Yeah, everyone keeps insisting that I’m an adult now, but none of it seems real. I had no idea what my life would be like when I was a kid, but I don’t think I ever imagined it like this.”
“Living at home like every other millennial?”
“Except for you?”
“Yeah, but I’ve got a rich uncle who got me the job.”
“So you’re referring to your aunt’s husband as your uncle now?”
He shrugged. “‘I’ve got a rich aunt’s husband’ was too much of a mouthful. Not to mention, confusing.”
She smiled. “I guess you’ve known what you were gonna do when you grew up since before we met.”
“Not long before we met,” he reasoned. “And before that, I wasn’t even sure that I’d have a future, so, you know...”
She nodded. “I know,” she assured him, her arm slipping through his in an attempt to comfort him. She hadn’t meant to bring up his father.
“We’re both here,” he said after a few moments, making no attempt to pull away from her. “That has to count for something. Even if we have no idea what we’re doing or where we want to go.”
Freya smiled. “I think that’s the most hopeful thing anyone has said about it. It means more than vagaries like ‘you’ll figure it out’ or ‘it’ll get better’. I’ve missed your optimism.”
Damon smiled back at her. “I’ve missed talking to someone who actually gets it...”
“No one did back home?”
Damon shrugged. “My aunt made sure I had the best education money could buy. I was surrounded by a lot of entitled jackasses.”
“Yeah, I had a few of them on my course when I was at uni. They made it easier to leave.”
“They definitely added something to graduation,” Damon agreed, before stopping outside an old factory building by the river, which had been revamped into hipster flats. “Here we are.”
Freya’s eyes widened. They had walked from the old, going-out-of-business pub, and down through a series of more hipster bars and restaurants, which had eventually evolved into the really nice bars, restaurants and hotels. This was the super nice, expensive part of the city.
She knew that Damon’s family had money, but every reminder was like a shock to her system.
You have money, she reminded herself. She’d had money since she’d started hunting bounties. And yet she’d grown up knowing exactly how much difference a few pennies could make. She had always been so paranoid about growing up and not having anything, that she had never really grasped how to handle having things.
Any spend upwards of a fiver was a serious consideration, despite the thousands sitting in her savings.
If she wanted, she could probably afford one of those flats. And yet Damon having one surprised her.
She followed Damon up to his place, which was right on the top floor. He opened his door to show a minimally furnished flat. The brick walls were exposed, with hardwood floors, and a bunch of black and brown furniture. The sofa he had offered was black, distressed leather, and large enough that even Freya could probably sleep comfortably on it. It wrapped around a wooden coffee table, with a glass centre, forming an L shape. On the other side of the room, there was a large, curved TV, up against the wall.
Over at the far side of the room, a counter separated the living room from the kitchen space, and there was only one door. Freya assumed it led to Damon’s bedroom, and that the only bathroom was an ensuite.
It wasn’t the largest place, but it was the perfect size for someone living alone, and had more than enough style and amenities to assure Freya that it hadn’t been cheap.
“I know it’s small,” Damon said sheepishly as the door closed behind him. “But I liked it. It’s cosy, and a nice change from the places back home.”
“It’s brilliant,” Freya assured him, turning back around to face him.
She hadn’t realised how close he was to her, and she found her nose bumping up against his.
“Sorry,” she managed, her breath catching in her throat.
He glanced down to her lips for a moment, and she wondered if he was contemplating kissing her.
She really wanted him to kiss her.
“Don’t be,” he replied, his own voice breathless.
Freya could feel sparks between them, and would have suspected that her desire was manifesting itself as Energy, if not for the fact that, as a Human, Damon would have been hurt by such a display.
“I’m trying really hard to be a good host right now,” Damon eventually said, his low voice sending shivers down her spine, “but I really want to kiss you.”
Her heart skipped a beat. “I wouldn’t object to kissing,” she confessed.
She wasn’t sure who closed the gap between them, all she knew was that she felt her entire body light up with wanting as Damon’s lips met hers, and she quickly extracted herself from her leather jacket.

If you want to continue reading KINGSGUARD, you can get your copy by following this link!

Or if you're not caught up on the rest of the Freya Snow series yet, here are the links to do so:

Books 1-6
Book 7
Book 8



The Aspects – Empathy’s Favourite Books

~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. Today's Aspect is the Aspect of Empathy.

I: So, Empathy, this is your fifth year providing us with a reading list. I'm always impressed by how you always manage to choose new books every year.

E: Thank you.

I: So, how old does that make you now? It's difficult to tell, you know, since you look exactly like me when you come here. And talk exactly like me. And move exactly like me...

E: It's unnerving you, isn't it? I'm sorry, most people have that reaction.

I: No, I'm not unnerved at all...

E: You can't lie to me. I get more than just your looks.

I: Right... Maybe we should just get to the books...

Fight for the Future

I really liked this book. The two main characters end up meeting just before having to stop an assassination and then running off together. I think I liked Ayleana the most, but that definitely doesn't mean that Kest wasn't also great. To be honest, this book was just full of great characters. And I liked the concept of the memories being passed down as they were, though I'm not sure how the characters didn't go mad from it...

Pratima's Engines: A Short Story

This one might be kind of cheating because it's such a short read, but the characters really stuck with me. They were just so cool, and the worldbuilding was really fun. I've been busy lately with... Well, we're not supposed to be talking about my work, are we? But I will definitely be checking out the other books in this world.


I really liked how Fake handled the two main characters dealing with giving up parts of their identity in different ways. On the one hand, I really understood Penny's reluctance to give up part of her identity - and her fight to keep it, even if it's difficult - but I also admire the way Lennon gave up his when he needed to. I honestly don't know that I could pick a favourite out of the two if I had to...


Nika is about a woman who finds out that she's actually part of another species and then finds out that she's also their princess. I really like how, even though she gets swept up in all of the strangeness of the new world she finds herself in, she still remains true to herself and her personality. Maybe it's because she's so long-lived and it's difficult not to at that point. I wonder if I'll ever get there...

Join us again next week when we talk to the Aspect of Pain about his 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 Aspects – Love’s Favourite Books

~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.


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?


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.~

Freya Snow

Kingsguard Preview – Part One

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.
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...”


TARGET Preview

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.

Freya Snow

TRIDENT is Now Here!

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.


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.