What is the Crown of Seasons series?

The Crown of Seasons series has its roots in two characters that came to me back in 2007. One, a nonbinary cross-dressing vampire in 19th century Alsace. The other, one of her/his servitors: a young woman whose mother left her to the vampire’s care under mysterious circumstances. Mysterious circumstances that I knew–but refused to acknowledge to anyone but myself–that had everything to do with the Fae. To everyone else, the father was “unknown,” the mother had left, and the young woman had had a case of “scarlet fever” when she was three that had rendered her mute, infertile, and scared stiff of being inspected by doctors.

But the girl’s secrets kept lurking in the back of my mind, and the more time I spent with her the more I knew her. She was a faerie left behind by her mother to grow up in the mortal world. Not a changeling, but a child born in the mortal world. And once born here you must grow up here, or else you won’t grow any older when you cross to the other side.

About ten years ago, I started exploring the rest of her world. I started asking about her parents: who they were, where they came from, what preceded them, why they left, and if they would return for her and in what ways.

But could I write about her? Would I be allowed to tell her story? The situation at home and with friends was complicated, unsupportive, and rather hostile. A nonbinary, cross-dressing vampire was a bit too much for my family. And a secret faerie in a vampires’ world was too much for my friends. I began to branch off in search of safe ground, looking for other stories in their world I could tell on my own.

That’s when I found Abend and Madel. They came to me when I needed them, though I did not know them well for many years. I was too afraid to get to know someone whose stories I would not be allowed to tell to anyone around me.

But they told me a story about the fight for the Crown of Seasons. They showed me the Little Ice Age that began in our world around the 1250s and ended around the 1870s (plus or minus a couple decades either way, depending on the research), and they showed me its significance.

Then, after they showed me the high events of the world and the effect this had on their lives, they showed me the dynamics of my own relationships. This was harder for me to grasp, and harder still to get out of, but necessary. So I come to you, dear reader, and I come to them, my characters, with the full authenticity and freedom a pen name presents.

I aim to tell their story in all its interconnected, heart-wrenching, beautiful glory.

Autumn’s Murder, Winter’s Imprisonment, Spring’s Rule

Around 1250, Autumn, one of the High Queens of Faerie, was murdered. Her brother, High King Winter was imprisoned for the crime, and their elder sister the High Queen of Spring began her rule of rebirth and lasting prosperity.

This is where our story begins.

Why Prequels?

While writing the first book in the series, I found I needed to return to Abend’s and Madel’s past and get to know them better. I wrote two short stories and one novel, which are revised and ready to share with you while I rewrite Book One.

“Coming Home” is released to all retailers, but you can read it in its entirety on the site with a premium subscription. Fealty is being serialized on Kindle Vella, because I find the platform’s style of “read as much as you want and pay only for what you read” is uniquely suited to a tie-in story that stands on its own. I will also release Fealty to the site behind the premium content paywall. And “Sword & Spell” will be released after I’ve finished uploading all of Fealty’s episodes to Kindle Vella.

The Series so far:

Reading Order

Reading order as of Sept 22, 2022:

  • “Coming Home,” prequel short story.
  • Fealty, prequel novel.
  • “Sword & Spell,” prequel short story.
  • Untitled Book One. (Coming 2023)

Why is there a site subscription? / Why purchase a site subscription?

Writing short stories takes time and care. Sometimes it takes just as much time as it would take to write a short novel. Bonus content is also hard to sell or list on typical e-book retailers. Not only are most new readers not looking for tie-in short stories, but too many tie-in stories clutter up a retailer’s series reading order. Short story magazines also tend not to prefer stories that hint at much more story beyond the short story’s plotline and prefer the story be as contained and standalone as possible. Alas, I don’t write short fiction that way . . . at all.

As a reader, I love bonus stories and extra content. But I also forget the reading order and lose track of the tie-in stories after I’ve finished with them.

So I’ve decided to create as much as of a win-win solution for us as possible: 1) all future tie-in stories will be accessible in one place, here on the site, and 2) I will receive some extra financial support that will help me pay for editing costs and gorgeous cover commissions.

tl;dr – The series itself will be on your favorite retailers. The tie-in fiction will additionally be here on the site.

Buttons to purchase a $5/month subscription and to log-in to read the stories are located in the footer on every page, as well as on the individual story pages wherever relevant.