four years

On March 17, 2013, I wrote “It was another crummy Friday for Beth McGill” on my trusty tablet. Since then, I’ve completed six novels (with one in progress), one novella (again, with one in progress), eight short stories, and a lot of posts on this blog. While not everything has been wine and roses, I have had a blast.

I thank all of you who are on this trek with me, whether you’ve been here since the beginning or joined along the way, or are even just coming aboard now. I am grateful that you enjoy what I write, and I hope you’ll continue to do so.

There’s more after the cut…and more than ever, I need to hear what you think.

Still here? Good. Here’s why I wanted you to stick around.

Earlier this month, an idea for a new series of books popped into my head. It’s different in many ways from anything I’ve written before, and it draws from different influences, It’s not connected to the Monkey Queen setting and characters. It’s different enough where I’m not sure it’s any good, but I’m enjoying it a lot. I need to see if I should continue with this.

I’ve nearly completed (as of this writing) a short story set in this series. I’m going to share the first bit with you. I’m hoping you’ll take the time to read this and answer three questions: What did you like about this, if anything? What did you dislike about this, if anything? And do you want to read the rest? Leave a comment here, or on Facebook or Twitter, And thanks again.

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Looking​ ​back​ ​at​ ​that​ ​chaotic​ ​weekend,​ ​it​ ​seems​ ​fitting​ ​that​ ​I​ ​started​ ​it​ ​by​ ​waking​ ​up​ ​on​ ​Saturday  with​ ​a​ ​throbbing​ ​cranium.​ ​My​ ​dear​ ​friends​ ​Priscilla​ ​and​ ​Mabel​ ​had​ ​come​ ​to​ ​Darbyfield,​ ​and​ ​we​ ​had spent​ ​the​ ​night​ ​before​ ​at​ ​the​ ​fine​ ​establishment​ ​known​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Fractured​ ​Tankard.​ ​We​ ​had​ ​split several​ ​bottles​ ​of​ ​elfish​ ​wine,​ ​swapping​ ​stories​ ​and​ ​catching​ ​one​ ​another​ ​exaggerating​ ​said stories.​ ​Alas,​ ​said​ ​happy​ ​night​ ​led​ ​to​ ​an​ ​unhappy​ ​morning,​ ​and ​as I lay in the bedroom of my manor outside of town,​ ​my​ ​gray​ ​matter​ ​was​ ​now​ ​pleading  for​ ​a​ ​sweet​ ​mercy,​ ​or​ ​a​ ​swift​ ​demise​ ​should​ ​mercy​ ​be​ ​in​ ​short​ ​supply.

Had​ ​I​ ​slept​ ​three​ ​more​ ​hours,​ ​I​ ​might​ ​have​ ​been​ ​in​ ​less​ ​pain​ ​that​ ​morning.​ ​However,​ ​the​ ​additional time​ ​in​ ​Dreamland​ ​had​ ​been​ ​denied​ ​by​ ​a​ ​certain​ ​gnome​ ​valet​ ​who​ ​was​ ​shaking​ ​my​ ​shoulder, albeit​ ​and​ ​to​ ​his​ ​credit​ ​gently.​ ​“Madame​ ​Alice?”​ ​Macalley​ ​said.

I​ ​tried​ ​to​ ​ransack​ ​my​ ​poor​ ​aching​ ​brain​ ​for​ ​a​ ​suitable​ ​reply.​ ​It​ ​had​ ​none​ ​within​ ​reach.​ ​“Aaugh,”​ ​I muttered.

“I​ ​suppose​ ​a​ ​cheerful​ ​‘Good​ ​morning!’​ ​is​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​question​ ​at​ ​this​ ​point.”

“I​ ​think​ ​a​ ​‘Let​ ​me​ ​sleep,​ ​you​ ​thrice-damned​ ​monster’​ ​is​ ​more​ ​fitting.”

Macalley​ ​restrained​ ​a​ ​sigh.​ ​“As​ ​much​ ​as​ ​I​ ​agree​ ​that​ ​your​ ​further​ ​slumber​ ​would​ ​be​ ​best​ ​for​ ​both of​ ​us,​ ​I​ ​must​ ​remind​ ​you​ ​that​ ​you​ ​have​ ​a​ ​pressing​ ​engagement​ ​that​ ​you​ ​cannot​ ​miss.”

“Who​ ​claimed​ ​that​ ​this​ ​cannot​ ​be​ ​missed?”

“I​ ​believe​ ​it​ ​was​ ​a​ ​certain​ ​Alice​ ​Peavley,​ ​madame.”

“Was​ ​I​ ​besotted​ ​at​ ​the​ ​time?”

“This​ ​was​ ​well​ ​before​ ​the​ ​besotting,​ ​madame.”

I​ ​groaned​ ​loudly​ ​and​ ​plaintively.​ ​“So​ ​what​ ​is​ ​it​ ​that,​ ​in​ ​my​ ​younger​ ​and​ ​more​ ​foolish​ ​days–”

“As​ ​in,​ ​yesterday​ ​afternoon?”

“–I​ ​authorized​ ​such​ ​a​ ​rude​ ​awakening​ ​for?”

“The​ ​Darbyfield​ ​Book​ ​Fair,​ ​madame.”

My​ ​eyes,​ ​which​ ​been​ ​sealed​ ​tighter​ ​than​ ​an​ ​elflord’s​ ​purse​ ​when​ ​it​ ​was​ ​time​ ​to​ ​stand​ ​a​ ​round, snapped open. I sat bolt upright. “Ye Gods!” I exclaimed. “I’m not late, am I?”

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