Welcome to the latest installment of my newsletters, where I share special news about my books and my writing. They come out on the first Tuesday of each month.

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Articles

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Series as Gifts

It can be troubling to give someone the first book of a fantasy series as a gift — what if they don’t like it? What if they do like it, but never get around to finding the rest of the series?

Well, why not give them the whole series, as a family gift? Looks impressive under the tree, weighs a lot, and really makes an impression. 🎁 My fantasy series are suitable for teens on up, so there’s sure to be a reader who might enjoy them.

The Hounds of Annwn
The Chained Adept

There’s still enough time to order them for some well-deserving readers from all your favorite retailers.

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Featured Book – The Ways of Winter

Fantasy novels are often set in a created world where Christmas or even the winter solstice has no place as a holiday. But when my Virginia huntsman George Talbot Traherne found himself settled with his new wife in the fae otherworld along the Blue Ridge in The Ways of Winter, the 2nd book of The Hounds of Annwn, he found himself thinking about what sort of family traditions he wanted to establish in this strange place where he planned to sink roots and grow his family.

The fae have no native Christianity, but the winter solstice does resonate with them, and they find the whole notion of children’s games in the snow and conifer trees indoors with decorations to be both exotic and charming, especially since they have so few children themselves that it’s difficult to conceive of family traditions centered upon them.

His holiday preparations are interrupted by dire events, but in the end, surrounded by new family and friends, he manages to preserve the spirit of the season and — who knows — perhaps start a fashion for treasured tree ornaments among the long-lived fae.

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The Challenges of the Season

This is always a special time of year for me, since my birthday is Xmas Day, and my brother’s was Xmas Eve. This is not nearly as much fun when you’re a child as you might think, since you never get to have a birthday party on the day, and relatives have a deplorable tendency to assume that one gift will do for both birthday and holiday.

I was cheered once, however, when I was a teenager and discovered in the newspaper that a little girl had just been born on Xmas to a family whose last name was already “Noel”. They named this child “Christy Carol Noel”. No, really.

That’s when I truly realized that, whatever I didn’t like about my situation, it could always be worse. I live in hope that she grew up to call herself Butch or Spike.

Wishing you the best of the season, whenever your birthday is!

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