Ahn! Con and Writing Stuffs

This Wednesday, January 8th, LT3 is heading out for Ahn!Con in Kansas City. We are driving. It’s going to be a long fucking driving, but sadly it’s still easier and cheaper than flying. We’re going to be selling print books and their coordinating ebooks. If you’re going to be there, come say hi! ^_^

On the writing front, I am, as every, busy busy busy. I recently finished rewriting Pack. If you do not remember that title, it’s the story about Tori, Kipling, and Tori’s two dragons. It needs a bunch of editing, of course, and then I must enlist a beta, before it even reaches LT3. But the original story for these guys was 5500 words. The new version stands at 22k, and will probably be at least 25k by the time I’m done done with it.

Interestingly, I only wound up writing it out of nowhere because I am trying to work on Clan Mordred. There is something of a very vague spoiler for Clan Mordred in Pack, but we’ll see if anyone figures it out :3

If you’d like a rough snippet of it, you can find it here on my tumblr.

I am also nearly done with a Black Magic short, written for a friend just because she asked. I will probably list on LT3 as a $.99 short or something. It largely consists of Koray and Sorin being their usual dumbass selves, followed by smut. It was meant to be just the smut, but it’s really hard not to make them suffer first (and embarrass Koray, I can’t help myself, sorry not sorry).

Last but not least, because apparently I have become a multi-tasking author, I have switch out Goblin Market (which won’t cooperate with me) for The High King’s Golden Tongue. The first chapter is nearly done, and somewhere around the 3rd or 4th chapter I’ll begin blending in the stuff from the original. Chapters switch POV between Allen and Sarrica. There will be more of Rene, too, for those who liked him :3

And for kicks, I will end with a snippet of that. Pardon any errors, it is still quite rough. I hope everyone’s new year is off to a lovely start. If it’s not, I hope it improves quickly. Love you, peeps!


Allen had never been so terrified in his life. That he was thoroughly trained in the courtly manners of nine nations, and had practiced ruthlessly for life in the High Court for the past two years, did nothing to assuage his fit of nerves.


He smoothed his hands over his jacket. Normally his clothes made him feel better, gave him armor to rely upon when all else failed. But as much as he admired the new jacket, dark gold and embroidered with amber and pearls, a subtle rose and feather pattern in the fabric, it brought him no comfort. It fell to mid-shin, as latest fashion dictated, slit up the sides to his hips and cut so that the white pants beneath showed well, flared slightly where they were tucked into high, glossy brown boots. The lace-trimmed cuffs fell to just past his wrists, longer than he cared for but also a dictate of fashion. His personal servant had arranged his hair in a particularly complicated braid; the damned thing had taken an hour all on its own.


Even all the beautiful jewelry he wore, the crowning piece a diadem of sapphires and yellow diamonds gifted to him by his parents, did not ease him. One thing to be told, over and over again, that he had been chosen as the High King’s consort. Quite another to be minutes away from meeting the man for whom he had been preparing to marry for the past two years.


What if, despite all the preparations, the High King still did not want to marry him? It was, unfortunately, a possible outcome. Everyone knew High King Sarrica had been madly in love with his late husband, General Nyle, who had been a warrior known throughout the eight kingdoms. Sarrica himself was a fierce soldier, and it was known he wanted another soldier to marry.


Allen’s battleground was the court. His weapons were words, not swords. But he was precisely what the High King needed, or so everyone had informed him over and over again.


If there was one thing Allen had learned over the years, it was that the more people fervently assured him something was true the more likely it was to be false.


He would not fail. He had been thoroughly trained in law, diplomacy, court manner and tradition for the entire Harken Empire. He spoke twelve languages and could read three dead ones. He could dance, sing, ride, and even host many religious ceremonies if he absolutely must. He had been crafted to rule, and more recently molded to rule alongside the High King.


All he had to do was convince the man of that. Surely after everything he had done to come to this point, accomplishing that one goal should be easy. Nodding, he abandoned the mirror where he’d been fretting over his clothes and returned to the sofa, pouring himself a cup of tea—and promptly abandoned it as his anxiety-knotted stomach promptly rebelled at the idea of food and drink.


Striding over to the bookcase against the far wall, he poked and prodded over the offerings, somewhat heartened to see so many languages crammed onto one shelf. Most surprising was the row all the way at the bottom, dusty tomes written in Pemfrost, Lumor, and Charm—dead languages, all of them. The tutors brought in to teach them to him had not been cheap.


He pulled out a volume on the history of the Cartha Mountains written in Pemfrost. Most of it was grossly inaccurate, amusing at best, horrifying at worst, but working through the dense language kept him occupied—so occupied he startled when the door opened and someone cleared their throat.


Allen snapped the book shut and shoved it back into place, then rose, dusting off his clothes and adjusting his lace cuffs. “Beg pardon.”


“Highness, his Majesty will see you now.”


Terror came rushing back over him like a whip across his back. “Thank you.” Allen followed the servant from the waiting room and across the hall, through the enormous, gilded double doors that led into what was, apparently, the lesser receiving hall.


He was long used to the lavishness of his parents’ palace, but even that dwarfed beneath the gold and scarlet walls and carpet, the rainbow of stained glass across the tops of the walls and nearly all of the ceiling. He cringed to think of the expense and complexity in putting such an elaborate ceiling in place. Nevermind what must go into maintaining it.


Shaking off what he knew was just an attempt to distract himself, Allen focused on the man at the far end of the hall.


Well. On a purely physical level, he would have no problems keeping the marriage bed warm. He had seen all too well how quickly a cold bed could freeze a marriage, courtesy of his parents and his second-eldest brother, and had no desire to share that fate.


Allen had expected handsome, or striking perhaps. But war was hard on even the strongest men, and ruling an empire could break them far more easily. He had not expected Sarrica to be beautiful. Or so big—the man would tower over him exactly like Allen’s brothers, and those shoulders were broad enough that he probably wore armor like it was linen.  His hair was brown, but touched with red where the sunlight pouring in from behind him struck it, and a close-cropped beard Allen wanted to stroke. His eyes were moss green … and currently glaring at Allen as though he had committed some unforgivable act.


He ran quickly over all that he had done—but court etiquette was simple enough on this point. He walked silently and steadily, not too quickly, down the hall and knelt before the throne, bowing his head as he did so and not looking up again until bid.


All that he had done, and perfectly. He knew  he had. If he could attend court without trouble in Selemea, he could handle Harken with ease. His manners were impeccable, his skill absolute. So why was the High King glaring at him?


He was dressed properly, had acted properly; his only aberration was to arrive alone and that break in tradition was a good one, rather than a bad one. He had journeyed alone to Harken as a show of absolute trust and faith.


“Rise,” Sarrica said.


Lifting his head, Allen dipped it once more before lifting it again and rising. “Greetings, your Majesty. Blessing of the house of Gaulden upon you. I am most humbled to be in your presence, and thank you for granting me the courtesy.” Oh, thank god, he had stumbled or stuttered a single word. He would break into a smile if it were at all appropriate.


Sarrica did not seem as impressed. If anything, he seemed even less impressed than he had already been. The dread filling Allen’s stomach began to filter to the rest of him, and sweat began to prickle at the back of his neck.


“You do not look like a soldier,” Sarrica said. “Indeed, you look like someone has managed to yet again let the songbirds loose again. All feathers and pretty speech, little prince. Is there anything of substance to you?”


Only two and a half decades of training allowed Allen to retain a calm he certainly no longer felt. “With all due respect, your Majesty, if I lacked in substance I would not have been selected as a potential consort.”


“Hmm,” Sarrica replied, and started to say something more when the man beside him bent to speak in his ear.


That must be High Commander Lesto Arseni, who controlled the Harken Imperial Army and was in charge of coordinating with the mercenary bands that supplemented the army. His brother, Rene Arseni, was Captain of the Three-headed Dragons, the most notorious mercenaries in the empire.


He was also younger brother to Nyle Arseni, the High King’s late husband, dead now for the past four years.


If the expression on his face was anything to go by, and why would it not be, then none of the persons he needed to impress were at all pleased to see him.