Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.
Balancing my days between a full-time job, chasing a preschooler, and holding the baby, I still find time for writing. Some days it’s only half an hour with a turkey sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other. Other days there are sparks flying from the keyboard. It is always an adventure, and I have worlds and stories I hope to share.
I write because I have always wanted to make up stories. It just happens. Even the utter embarrassment I experienced reading one of my stories to my 1oth grade English class was not enough to make me to put down my pen. I also hope that my children will learn by my example to follow their passions, even if they still have the other job to pay the mortgage.
I firmly believe that control of an author’s creative content should reside with the author. There is a great deal of room for improvement in the book publishing industry. I would like to become part of the change.
Currently I am finishing the rough draft of book one in my Dreamless City series. I won NaNoWriMo on the last day with the first 50,000 words. I expect it to be 90,000+ when complete. (As of Jan 2014, however, I am wavering on my word goal and am considering cutting it back down to 50,000 words and getting an early start on Book Two. We’ll see how this turns out.)
When sneak-thief Nissa Rhodes runs into a burning stable and saves High Justicar Stagunner’s prized stallion, the grateful gent offers her employment on his estate. Barely surviving on the cut-throat streets of Cobblecourt district, tall and lanky Nissa accepts the offer, at least through the coming winter.
In the Dreamless City of Rivenloss, Nissa is a dreamer and considered extremely dangerous. Dreamers are executed by Justicars to prevent the overflow of aether power when they dream, causing chaotic events such as animating corpses and manifesting phantasms. Nissa has remained hidden, but her discovery becomes more likely each time she falls asleep.
The Stagunner Estate in Hightown district is a world apart from cobblestone streets clogged with hackneys, steam carriages, and all manner of men looking to make a dishonest frankel. Nissa soon discovers that the grand estates are no safer than the crowded streets as she becomes an unwilling pawn in the power games between the Stagunners and the rival Rommanocs.
When Ellesande Merueste, heiress to the richest family in Rivenloss, announces a series of gentlemen’s events to decide who will escort her to the Primavera Gala, all of Hightown takes notice. It is rumored that whomever escorts Ellesande will be able to ask for her hand in marriage. Winning the games means winning a chance at a fabulous fortune, which could save the Stagunners from financial ruin.
Daschel Stagunner, the horse-crazy and impulsive third son of the High Justicar, is a likely candidate to win the three horse races Ellesande has planned for her amusement. When a suspicious accident with a tampered saddle leaves Daschel with a broken arm, he begs Nissa, who is his match in frame and stature, to take his place in the first race. Disguised with a hat and scarf, Nissa pulls off impersonating the Hightown lad and wins the race.
When Nissa is not training for her next race on Daschel’s behalf, she is mucking out stalls and getting on head groom Reynard Triannon’s nerves. Tall, pale, and serious, Reynard does not appreciate Nissa’s sarcasm, but in the quiet moments cleaning bridles, Nissa thinks he might be a decent lad after all. Together, Reynard and Nissa help Daschel to win Ellesande’s favor.
After his eldest brother’s murder, Daschel asks Nissa to impersonate him again so they can sneak into the rival Rommanoc estate during a masquerade ball and find proof of the murder. Nissa, growing fond of the impulsive lad, does not reveal that she has been dreaming while awake and will likely be more of a hindrance than a help to him.
When Nissa’s secret is discovered by the rival Rommanoc family, will she stay loyal to the Stagunners, or betray them to save her life?
THE DREAMLESS CITY is a steampunk urban fantasy work-in-progress, currently totaling 50,000 words. The goal is 90,000 words upon completion.