Books, Overworld

Aftermath is Out!

Since everything about this book is full of spoilers for anyone who hasn’t encountered the Wingborn series yet, please take this as your friendly warning to avoid it if you haven’t reached the end of World’s End yet.

But if you have and you want more, Aftermath, a novel-length epilogue is out today! (And the special low price offer has been extended for another week.)

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This book mostly deals with wrapping up the romantic subplots, so if that stuff isn’t your thing, then you’re probably best off avoiding it, but for everyone else…

Yullik ses-Khennik is dead, the kaz-naghkt are defeated and Aquila belongs to the Rift Riders once more. Life is returning to normal.

Except, for those caught up in the recent events, life isn’t normal anymore. Heroic deeds do not always result in glorious rewards and few escaped unscathed.

Heart-worn, wounded and weary, Mhysra, Cumulo and their friends must now find a way to pick themselves up and live on in a world they helped make safe. At times the future may look bleak, but love, friendship and found families have their ways of making everything better again.

For anyone who didn’t want to say goodbye to the Wingborn series just yet, or perhaps wondered what might happen to all those little romances, this one is for you.

If you missed it, you can read the first chapter here, but if you’ve already read it, here’s the second one.


“WHAT HAPPENS TO us now?” Zephyr asked the question that had been playing on many a miryhl mind of late. “Where do we go? What do we do? How do miryhls cope when they’re not Riders anymore?”

Basking in the sunshine of the courtyard between the eyries and the infirmary, Cumulo opened his eyes and looked around, surprised to find his friends and fellow flock mates all watching him, waiting for an answer. He blinked.

“What do Wingborn do when they’re not Riders?” Hurricane asked, a glint in his eye suggesting that he knew Cumulo had been snoozing and caught on the hop.

His words also made several things in Cumulo’s sun-dazzled brain drop into place. “You’re still Riders,” he said, shuffling his wings and pulling himself together. He’d spent the first fifteen years of his life never expecting to be a Rider, purely because Mhysra had been born female, while the rest of his friends had been raised to consider no other future. If anyone could guide them through their cruelly altered futures, it was him. And no matter where they went or what they did, miryhls were always Riders.

“Hardly,” Argon snorted sceptically, having become quite the grim little rain cloud in the months since Jaymes had picked up a dragonet to bond with. “Rift Riders live and train at Aquila. They’re soldiers and protectors. They’re part of the command structure.”

“And we’re not,” Wisp agreed mournfully, every bit as miserable as Argon, but with a hundred times more right to be. Her Rider was dead. She was alone in the world.

Cumulo couldn’t begin to imagine the pain of that. It was bad enough that Mhysra might never be able to sit on his back and fly with him again, but at least she lived. He hadn’t lost his Wingborn. He would never be alone.

“We’re still Riders,” Hurricane said softly, backing Cumulo up. “Changed, wounded, grief-stricken and battered, but we’re still the miryhls we’ve always been, and we were made to protect this world. Do any of you plan to stop?”

Atyrn ruffled her feathers. “Of course not,” she said gruffly, eyeing the group on the lookout for any shirkers. It was easy for her to say, because despite Stirla’s injuries they were still official Riders. Still lieutenants. Still fighting. Still flying.

Lucky for some.

Zephyr sighed. Almost as big as Atyrn, bulky, beautiful and strong, there was nothing about her that suggested she shouldn’t be a Rider anymore. Except her human was hurt and, like Cumulo, she might never get to fly with Derrain again. “That still doesn’t answer my question. What happens to us now? Where do we go? What do we do?”

The answer was obvious. To Cumulo, at least. “We stay with our people,” he said, and tipped an apologetic nod to Wisp. “Or find new ones to stay with.”

“I couldn’t.” The little miryhl shook her head, voice tight. “I… no. It’s not possible.”

“I didn’t mean bond again with someone new,” Cumulo told her, with a gentleness he could never have expressed had he not so nearly lost his Wingborn. It wasn’t the same thing, he knew, but it granted him a glimpse of understanding. “I meant with us. All of us or some of us, whatever you choose. You will always be welcome. You’re one of us.”

She dipped her head, the feathers on her crest rising bashfully, as she whispered, “Thank you.”

Cumulo caught the approving look in Hurricane’s eye and felt rather bashful himself. He shook his wings briskly, embarrassed that so many had witnessed his tender moment. “The rest of you too, of course.” His voice was gruff, so he cleared his throat before adding, “I don’t know what Mhysra’s plans are yet – I’m not certain she knows herself – but if we settle at Wrentheria, there will be room and plenty of welcome for all of you. They’d be lucky to have such fine eagles as any of you. Even if we don’t, we’ll always find room for you, one and all.”

“So that’s settled,” Atyrn declared. “Riders stay together, even when they’re not official Riders anymore.” She gave a firm nod.

Zephyr crackled her beak, still looking pensive, and Cumulo nudged Hurricane with his wing. The big marble miryhl cast him a sideways glance, so Cumulo nodded towards Zephyr as discreetly as he could. Hurricane waggled his beak; Cumulo glared at him.

Just because he’d been sweet to Wisp, didn’t mean he was going to be nice all the time. Hurricane was the nice one; Cumulo was the cocky one. Their entire world might have been turned upside down and inside out, but some things would never change.

“Go talk to her,” he growled at his supposed-beloved.

“But you’ve been doing so well.” Hurricane chuckled. “I don’t want to steal your sunlight.”

Cumulo tossed his head, unwilling to deal with such silliness any longer. However, deep down, he was relieved that Hurricane was in such good spirits. Cumulo might not have been able to fly with Mhysra any longer, but at least he could still fly under his own power, as fast and as far as he always had. Hurricane couldn’t. He could barely glide ten feet without jumping off something high first. In time his wing-strength should improve, but it was unlikely he would ever carry Lyrai again.

But if Hurricane could make jokes – even at Cumulo’s expense – then perhaps his deeper wounds were healing. Cumulo dearly hoped so. Hurricane deserved the chance to laugh. He’d earned it. They all had.

While his marbled beloved sidled around their group to talk to Zephyr in hushed tones, Cumulo looked at the rest of the miryhls gathered in the sunshine. Outwardly, they looked a glossy, healthy bunch, with no cares to trouble them. Inwardly, all were hurting in their own sorrowed ways. Even Latinym, who of course had come through everything unscathed since his Rider was a god, yet he and Dhori had regrets too.

So much had been lost in the recent war, so much else had been taken by Yullik ses-Khennik’s final defeat. Wisp’s Rider was lost, Cumulo’s and Zephyr’s were wounded beyond the ability to fly, Hurricane had been invalided out of the corps, along with the Riders of both Argon and Thunder, while Vehro’s had resigned to join the healers. Atyrn and Stirla were the healthiest pair of the bunch – not counting Latinym and Dhori, because they never counted – but even they would need time to adjust to Stirla’s one-eyed state.

It was all a big, horrible, miserable mess, but they’d made it through somehow. They’d faced down every challenge that the monstrous Yullik had thrown at them, and they would face down everything that followed.

No, in the strictest sense most of them weren’t Riders anymore, but Cumulo dared anyone to tell him or his friends that to their faces.

Once a Rider, always a Rider.

“You are all welcome to stay here,” Thunder said softly, her intimidating demeanour a flimsy act to hide the gentle heart within.

“And you’re all welcome to come with us,” Cumulo added, as Hurricane returned, brushing his healthy wing against Cumulo’s side. They wouldn’t all leave, of course. They couldn’t, Cumulo understood that. Thunder and Vehro would stay with Haelle and Silveo, who had new lives in the infirmary now, while Atyrn and Stirla would go where they were told to, and Latinym wherever Dhori chose to. But the others – Argon, Wisp and Zephyr – had the whole Overworld open to them.

Seeing the misery of indecision on their faces, Cumulo obeyed the nudge of Hurricane’s wing and drew himself up tall again. “Whatever you decide,” he began, a little gruff and awkward, but trying to sound completely sincere, “and wherever you go, you will always be part of my flock.”

“And mine,” Hurricane added.

“Mine too,” Atyrn agreed.

Thunder and Vehro nodded together. “And ours.”

“Mine also,” Zephyr murmured, and Latinym nodded with a murmur of agreement.

Which left only the two smallest eagles. Argon stared at Wisp for a long moment, then tilted his head, nuzzling the littlest miryhl’s cheek before nodding at the rest of them. “Ours too.”

Cumulo’s heart felt full to bursting and he couldn’t resist adding, “The finest flock in the Overworld.”

The others chuckled, groaned and rolled their eyes, while Hurricane stretched his neck to nibble at the corner of Cumulo’s beak. “Never change, Wingborn. Don’t you ever change.”

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Books, Overworld, Writing

Aftermath Pre-Order

On Monday 1st June return to the Wingborn series for one last hurrah in an extended epilogue tale of love, friendship, hard work and harsh rewards in a changed world for all involved.

**The following post contains spoilers for the entire Wingborn Series. If you’ve read it and you’re happy it’s done, great, you don’t need to read any further. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t click! If you have and you still want more, then this post is for you.**

Continue reading “Aftermath Pre-Order”
A Bit of Me, Updates

NaNo 2018 Round Up

December is here, NaNo is over, let’s see what I managed to get done.

NaNoWriMo Goal 1: Complete Burning Sky

Even though I was already nearly halfway through writing this book, the only thing I really wanted to achieve last month was finishing it. And I did!

Day 10. 42,562 words added. Goal achieved.

But I didn’t want to stop there, so I took a day to prepare myself to start the next Dragonlands novel – and promptly jumped into an unrelated novella from a brand new series.

NaNoWriMo Goal 2: Write Thief’s Gamble

The idea of a Foundation of Aquila series has been knocking around the back of my brain for a year or two (someone asked about it on Wattpad), but I hadn’t really pinned anything down yet. Until Keo and Lahera burst into full life and took over NaNo, leaving me with a completed novella and plenty of ideas for the series to follow. This one should (hopefully) be a lot of fun. I really do need to write another Dragonlands novel first, though.

Regardless of my plans or best intentions, I finished it. And for once an attempted novella stayed an actual novella. I am all astonishment!

Day 20. 25,028 words later. Goal achieved.

Two things down and I still had nine days left. I guess that meant I could finally crack on with that Dragonlands novel.


NaNoWriMo Goal 3: Finish Aftermath

I fully intended to make a start on Ice Falls, I swear I did, but to be honest the last nine days of NaNo weren’t great for me. Mostly because of fatigue issues. I also don’t really have a feel for where this book is supposed to start, so I need to go back and look at the end of Burning Sky before I tackle it.

Anyway, my head was so desperate not to start Ice Falls it seized on Aftermath instead. This is an entirely self-indulgent, overblown epilogue novella for the Wingborn series, which ties up some of the romances and side characters and little things that I didn’t really have room for in the main books. It was supposed to be short and sweet and full of warm fuzziness. I originally dove straight into it after finishing Wingborn 6, but I stalled after a while and it became yet another thing I’ve struggled to finish this year.

However, NaNo was going well, so I thought, why not? Give it a go. The worst that can happen is I’ll get stuck precisely where I’ve been stuck all year.

Day 30. 19,947 words added. Goal achieved!

Three stories finished. 86,340 words written in total. Two major albatrosses released back into the wild. I can’t believe how well that went.

Although, if I look back at my daily tallies, it could have gone a little better. There were 13 days when I didn’t write a single word, and even my biggest daily haul (9135 words) is a bit below my best. I didn’t experience my usual rush of momentum where I write more and more and more as the month goes on, but that’s probably because I’m used to focusing on one project from start to finish, not jumping in halfway and finishing several things along the way.

So perhaps I could have written more, but looking back I am more than happy with how I did. Burning Sky is finally finished! A pair of new characters have established themselves in a whole new series and I’m excited to get back to them and let their story unfold. I’m also relieved that Aftermath is done, even though I acknowledge it’s no longer a novella, bonus or otherwise. But I knew that after it passed 30K, I was just living in denial. Still, it’s done, yay! And I’ll figure out what to do with it later.

For now, thanks NaNo! I don’t know why the mere thought of the challenge can break through blockages that have frustrated me all year, I’m just glad that it did. November is done. Thanks for the word count, but now it’s time to move on.

To all my fellow NaNoers, I hope you enjoyed your month and had fun with all your words. Here’s to you all! And I’ll see you again next year.

Merry December, everyone!