The Riddled Stone, Book Three

If you’ve been waiting for it, you need wait no more. And if you haven’t been waiting for it then… Well, it’s here’s now, anyway. Drum roll please:


How Can a Knight Fight Magic?

Trained by the greatest knight in North Raec, Sir Arnold Fredrico dreamed of valiant deeds. Save the damsel. Serve the king.

Dreams change. Now the land teeters at the brink of war. As a fugitive with a price on his head, Arnold struggles to protect his friends.

But his enemy wields more power than the young knight can imagine.

So that happened

When I started writing this book, I didn’t have a clue of what to do with Arnold’s backstory, much less how to fill in the plot, but I ended up loving the first chapter, and many of the other scenes are also favorites.

I hope you check the book out and enjoy it as much as I did. In fact, from now through this weekend, you can get the kindle version for 25% off.

Click Here for a Free Online Preview.
238 pages, ebook list price: $3.99, paperback: $14.99.

Buy now at:
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In other news

I’ll be posting a chapter a week of Banished: The Riddled Stone, Book One to my blog, starting next week. So if you or a friend haven’t read it yet, and don’t mind blog post format or waiting for chapters, it will be available for free here.

Shiny New Covers! And an Ebook Sale

In preparation for Betrayed: The Riddled Stone, Book Three (coming in August!), we’ve been doing some house cleaning. We just loaded up the new versions of Banished and Hunted to all the ebook sites, and CreateSpace for print books, too. New covers, plus one more round of whack-a-typo. It always takes a few days for the web pages to update, but they’re on the way!

The stories haven’t changed, and the typos we found were very minor. But if you already bought the books and want the latest versions, just wait until the new cover shows at your ebook vendor, then contact their Customer Service department to find out their rules for updating to the new release. For instance, it used to be automatic at, but now you have to send in a request through their “Contact Us” form.

Here are the old and new cover versions. What do you think?



July Ebook Sale at Smashwords

Hunted-600 Banished-600

If you read ebooks, check out this great sale at Smashwords. Through the end of July, Banished is free and Hunted is 25% off!

Just remember to enter the discount code (SFREE for Banished, and SSW25 for Hunted) at checkout.

Click the book cover image to read more about that book. The discount codes are also listed on each book’s description page.

New Book and Paperback Sale

So you know that book I wrote three years ago? Well, about two months ago, I published the sequel, and, like the first-class procrastinator I am, put off telling you guys about it until I forgot. So… uhm… SHINY:


Hunted600Magic is a Treacherous Guide

As a child, Terrin of Xell was almost devoured by a spirit from the Dark Forest. She knows better than to trust magic. But when her friend Chris was accused of a magical crime he didn’t commit, she couldn’t let him face banishment alone. So she and her friends get caught up in a quest to recover an ancient relic, with only magic to guide them. And everything is going wrong.

First, Chris went missing, his trail washed away by spring rains. Now Arnold’s injured, and the countryside buzzes with rumors of war. In the forest, the wraiths—tiger-like, reptilian creatures—grow dangerously aggressive. Then Terrin starts seeing visions of a madwoman in the shadows.

Are Terrin and her friends being hunted? Or has the magic decided to turn against them?

It’s even got a review:

Now I’m not saying it was worth the three-year wait, but, in my own opinion, Hunted improved on Banished in almost every way. And here’s a  review to back that theory up:

“… a captivating fantasy story with a well-thought-out plot … people who like medieval-style fantasies with wraiths, spirits, and even an attacking swamp tree will enjoy the story. I certainly did, and the excitement, adventure, and suspense will easily keep the reader’s attention …”

—Wayne S. Walker, Home School Book Review

Reviews help encourage readers to take a chance on a new, unknown author like me, so getting one makes me pretty happy. And it’s great to hear that at least someone enjoyed it.

4stars 2016-01-08
238 pages, ebook: $2.99, paperback: $12.99.

Buy now at:
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In the future, you can be one of the first to hear about my new books and sales or other promotions. Subscribe to my Tabletop Academy Press Updates fantasy fiction newsletter. And in return, I’ll send you a copy of my report “Where Do Writers Get Ideas?”

Read How the Story Begins



Who Stole the Magic Shard? Crown Prince Tyler raised his hands. The crowd fell silent at once. “I have made my decision,” the prince announced. “From this moment forward:

“Christopher Fredrico is banished from the kingdom of North Raec. If he is found within our territory, his life will be forfeit.”

All Chris wanted was to be a peaceful scholar who could spend a lot of time with his friends. Now, falsely accused of stealing a magical artifact, he is forced to leave the only home he knows. But as he and his friends travel towards the coast, they find a riddle that may save a kingdom—or cost them their lives.

3,8stars 2016-01-08
156 pages, ebook: $2.99, paperback: $9.99.

Buy now at:
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Banished Weekend Sale


Looking for a Christmas gift for others, or yourself? My book is on sale.

The Kindle version of my fantasy adventure Banished will be FREE on this weekend only, December 11-15. I don’t know whether the other Amazons (UK, CA, AU, IN, etc.) will also run the sale, but I hope so.

And the paperback edition is also on sale at a 10% discount, but you’d better hurry since how long that sale lasts is in Amazon’s hands. And remember, if you buy the paperback at any time, you get the ebook for free, since Banished will stay in the Kindle Matchbook program (gift for another person AND for yourself?).

Need more incentive? The book’s been updated with a shiny new cover and a preview of the second book in The Riddled Stone series. Book Two is coming Spring 2015, and if you want a head’s-up when that arrives, join our updates email list.


Why To Homeschool

So, if you remember my 2013 post I mentioned one of the things I was planning on posting about was *dun dun dun* SCHOOL-STUFF!

So, I decided to start out with… WHY home school? There are reasons to and not to home school. I personally love home-edjumication, and it works great for our family (and there are so many fun ways to say it!), but I have known one person who wished she wasn’t homeschooled. And I’ll get to that later. First…

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Monday Fun

Spring! Glorious spring. It’s been spring since last Wednesday, and if you’re like me, you’re having a snow day. Actually, no: if you’re like me, you’re home schooled, and snow days don’t exactly apply *sigh*.

Anyway, it’s Monday now, and I was like, “Hey, it’s Monday. School… fun… yay…. I’m going back to bed.” But instead, I dragged myself downstairs and did math… with decimals… I don’t like decimals. At all.

But I do like snow! And fractals, and pictures, and algebra (I was working in pre-algebra, and I’m all like: Yay! and then it was like: Hey, do some decimals, and now I’m all like:😦 ). And stuff. You have no idea how long I spent trying to make that sad face a crying face… But alas, earwax… Er, failure. (If you get that reference, ten points to your house!)

Anyway, what I’m about to talk about has nothing to do with fractals or earwax, and only half to do with algebra, depending on how you define algebra. And snow, part of it has to do with snow.  It does have pictures, though! I like pictures.

Anyway it’s Monday, and the fact you are reading this may hint at how bored you are. But I decided, “Hey, what could make today’s math more fun…”

And the best part, let me tell you: it has nothing to do with decimals. Or numbers, for that matter. First: snow! We all love snow, right? Or at least snowflakes. So today, regardless of whether you have any snow outside or not, you can have fun going back to that holiday craft of paper snowflakes.

Or, if you have a lot of blow-up beach ball balloons and such (Which I don’t… ah well), you can do plastic sphereflakes.

Well, while that’s fun, there’s still math to be done. And that’s where sort-of-algebra and pictures comes in: How ’bout working on some Imbalance Problems. They’re challenging and have nothing to do with numbers. Or (more importantly, says I) decimals. I don’t know if I’ll be making any, but solving them is fun. And once you’re done with those three, here are twelve more! These are fun because they’re logic. And I think almost everyone enjoys logic a bit. In my opinion it’s the best type of math, because it doesn’t feel like math.

Anyway, I need to finish up the imbalance problems, and then decorate my computer with some snowflakes (which may be tricky, since most of it is white…).

But of course, besides those two things, I want to go play in the snow! (This is the first snow we’ve gotten in a few years that is actually both the right consistency and there’s enough of it to do stuff with.)

By Kitten Posted in Math

Windows 8: Better or Worse?

So I semi-recently (as in a few weeks ago) bought myself a big, fancy, Windows 8 computer. And I was thinking: “Hey, why not talk about Windows 8 and my thoughts on it for a desktop?”

So this is my semi-review, semi-tutorial (basically, some brief instructions on the things I had the hardest time figuring out).

Why Not Buy It?

Let’s start by covering the cons of a Windows 8. Firstly (and mainly) Windows 8 would not be nearly as fun without touch, and there aren’t that many good touch screens for it yet. When I was shopping, the two monitors I ended up coming down to were an Acer and a Dell.

I bought the Dell. Why? Because from what I’d read online, the Acer had a poor quality control, and if you got a bad apple, it was nigh impossible to get it replaced/fixed. The Dell was practically equal in every way: 23 inch, ten touch, etc., etc. The two main differences were: The Dell has a lower contrast ratio than the Acer, and a better tilt. The Dell screen can go from ten degrees forward to completely flat. I’m not kidding. The Acer had a better contrast, but couldn’t even get up to 90 degrees (straight up and down).

Of course, a touch screen is not absolutely required for using Windows 8 — in fact, sometimes I prefer using the mouse. But admit it: it’s really, really, really fun to swipe your finger across the screen and watch things go flying by.

The most annoying thing I’ve encountered so far is that practically all the apps my computer came with (including Skype) need a Microsoft account. It’s not so bad, but that is my biggest dislike. Though, I suppose, it’s easier than making different passwords for everything. And it probably makes more sense on a tablet. So yeah… not really a biggie.

Anyway, now I shall mention the really nice features of Windows 8, and why it is cool:

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The Pale Warrior: Chapter Seven

Continued from The Pale Warrior: Chapter Six. Or start reading at the beginning.

Tawney smelled the thick brew she was making. It was almost ready, but she felt like something was missing. She stirred, trying to decide what. Maybe a pinch more salt or maybe—

“Mother, they’re calling a meeting,” said Pierre as he entered, not even waiting for the door to swing all the way open. Tawney looked up in time to see it narrowly miss the water bucket before it slammed against the wall.

“When?” asked his mother, whose name, Tawney had learned, was Marianne.

Tawney glanced between them as she stirred the pot of medicine, leaning against her walking stick.


“No surprise. It’s probably about the villagers.  They’ll be wanting to warn anyone who doesn’t already know. It’s a bother, though. I’d hoped to stay with Jane.”

“I suppose I could go alone, Mother, or with Abby. Then you could take care of Jane.”

Tawney turned her gaze back to the pot of medicine and gave a small, “Oh!”

In her distraction, she’d stopped stirring, and the mixture had begun to boil fiercely and was threatening to overflow. Tawney dropped the spoon and grabbed the handles of the pot to pull it off the fire and set it on the floor. Her walking stick hit the floor with a loud bang. There was a short pause, and then she slapped her hands against her leggings and hissed through her teeth at the burns, bouncing her weight from foot to foot. A second later, pain shot through her twisted foot.

“Tawney, sit,” commanded Marianne. Tawney quickly obeyed, hopping on one foot backwards to the wooden bench. She lifted her smarting hands to stare at the red skin.

“Pierre, get fresh, cool water,” said Marianne, taking long strides across the room, picking up the water bucket by the door as she went. She set it in front of Tawney and said sharply, “Soak your hand.”

Tawney obeyed, dipping her hands into the water and shutting her eyes. “I’m sorry, but it was boiling. I didn’t want it that hot.” She paused and sniffed the aroma coming from the pot, adding, “It should be ready soon, I think. It just needs more salt.”

Marianne shook her head. “Don’t be sorry to me. Now, stay here and tell me how to finish it. Then when Pierre gets back, I’ll bandage your hand.”

Tawney gave a small nod, squeezing her hands into fists under the water, and then releasing them. “It should only take a pinch of salt, thoroughly stirred in. Then put a couple full scoops in a small bowl for Jane. The rest can store. I am sorry, though. I should have been paying attention.”

Marianne rolled her eyes, picked up the pot from where Tawney had left it on the floor, and proceeded to add salt. Pierre returned as she was ladling the brew into a wooden bowl. She glanced up at him and said, “Leave that water by the door and get Tawney some ointment and bandages. I’m going to take care of Jane.”

Pierre gave his mother a nod, and went to the small cabinet. He barely gave its contents a glance before grabbing a jar and a roll of white bandages. Coming over to Tawney, he said roughly, “Let me see your hands.”

Tawney pulled them out of the water and hesitantly held them out. They prickled and looked red, but nothing worse than that. Pierre opened the jar and applied a thick ointment to them, and almost as soon as it touched, a cooling sensation ran through her hands. After he had rubbed it around he started to wrap her hands in bandages.

Tawney bit her tongue anxiously. Pierre was working with a frown on his face that scared her. Though she was curious, her shyness won out and she remained silent until he finished. Then she asked, “Who’s calling a meeting?”

The boy shrugged. “The people like us, who live in the woods.”

“You mean you’re not the only ones?” said Tawney in surprise.

Pierre gave a wry smile. “Yes, because only one of us could have escaped your knowledge. Obviously, your village could not have been ignorant of an entire society of people like us, living in peace in the forest and hoping that your folk wouldn’t disturb us, and therefore being very careful to remain hidden.”

Tawney blushed. “I’m sorry, it’s just… I’m sorry.”

Pierre grunted, then stalked out of the house. Tawney slumped back against the wall.

To be continued…

Here’s to 2013

It is 2013. For some reason, people think this year is going be really good… or something (maybe it’s a post-(fail)apocalypse thing). Well, in that spirit, I’m making this post. First, let’s take a look at years past, shall we?


GAHGEESHGAROO! (That should be some type of animal… *strokes imaginary beard*…) I just realized I missed my 2012 blogiversary… which mean I’ve now been blogging 5.5 years………… *turns inside out and then explodes*. FIVE AND A HALF YEARS? It feels closer to three and a half… Ah well, let’s look at what I have to show for my five and a half years.

Posts: Counting this one? 111. A cool number, granted, but…. Really? Only 111??? That’s like… 20 posts per year!

Comments: 345 goodies, (again a cool number) and 3,645 spammies.

Subscribers/Followers: 7ish. Mostly family and friends.

My biggest categories are:

  1. Stories, at 25
  2. Blogging, at 21
  3. Miscellaneous, at 20

So, yeah… That’s all I have to show for the first 5.5 years, but what comes next?

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Do Hard Things

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think teenager? Probably along the lines of video game/movie/internet obsessed, rebellious, party on the weekends, etc.

Do Hard Things was written by Alex and Brett Harris when they were teens. It’s about how teenagers have been trapped by low expectations, how they think of the teen years as a time to party. And how it’s not.

Alex and Brett challenge teenagers to do hard things. Not hard things like lift weights, or denying self pleasure, but five type of hard things that can be scary, HARD, but good.

  1. Things outside your comfort zone.
  2. Things that go beyond what’s expected/required.
  3. Things that take more than one person to accomplish.
  4. Things that don’t have an immediate payoff.
  5. Things that go against the crowd.

They tell inspiring stories and give ideas of how to get started. And though Do Hard Things is by Christian teens for Christian teens, I think that it would be a good read for anyone.

All in all I give the book 5/5 stars, and would encourage you to check it out if you haven’t — if for no other reason than that the forward was written by Chuck Norris😉.