Titles, Updates, and chapter 31 of The Voice In The Forest


Hi Everybody,

After two years it was probably inevitable. 

No matter how hard I tried, how careful we were, the dreaded Covid has snuck INTO my house.

As I write this to you, I am exhausted and have a mild fever.

So, if this little letter turns out to be only partially intelligible, I apologize.

But, because of course there is, there is a funny part.

Ever since I was a small child, when my fever gets over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, my brain decides to be extra entertaining.

Basically, I get delirious. When I was small this meant full on hallucinations. Many of them terrifying.

Now, it means that people’s footsteps sound like a herd of Buffalo bearing down on me.

See? Ridiculous and funny… sort of.

I have accidentally discovered that writing while not of sound mind leads to really VIVID dreams…

Note to self: maybe don’t write that spicy scene until this goes away.

all the cinders

As you all know, Heart of Cinders and Heart of Shattered Glass are out in the world now.

Heart of Midnight, book 3, is coming soon. Next week I’ll be able to share the whole cover with you. I am SO excited for you to see it and let me know what you think.

Well, the fourth book, which I will be showing you the cover for soon as well will be titled… drumroll…After Midnight Strikes

EEEEEK! There is so much I want to blabber on to all of you about this series and what is coming.

But, I will be a good little author, and shut my trap.


Should you need them, I have decided to include content warnings for the series on the listing for my first books in each series on my website.

This is in response to being concerned about some readers reactions to some of the dark themes I explore in my books and the limited way in which I am allowed to responsive to readers needs. 

You don’t have to see them, I warn of the spoiler coming and give space for people to click away, but for those who don’t think the blurb tells them blatantly enough, they are there now.

weekend writing retreat

Another weekend virtual writing retreat is coming up and like I said before, I’ll keep you updated on when that is coming.

I’m also going to put together some of my short stories once I get enough of them and have an anthology of my own.

But, there is so many other things to do first!

Do you all do this?

Have too many worlds, too many characters, and too many things running through your head at once?

I always do.

The best thing about these little virtual writing retreats is that I get to shut everything else out for a little while and focus on that one thing….

Maybe I should carve out time like this more often.

the voice in the forest

Chapter 31

“Don’t you want to move on?” I asked, my voice barely audible.

 But he heard me.

Each word landed like a shove, forcing him back into this moment and the reality of the situation we found ourselves in.

“Arabella,” he said, my name like heartbreak on his lips, “It’s all I wanted.”

Past tense. He said, wanted. 

My heart sped up, beating twice as fast as if it was beating for both of us.

I swallowed, words flying from my grasp.

He was my only friend, the only person I could speak truth to. Everyone else wanted me put into some far away corner where they didn’t have to think about me.

But Montgomery… He wanted me here. He valued me.

Not able to stop myself, tears built at the back of my eyes and I pushed the books to the side, laying down in his lap.

The feel of him under me was solid. As if anyone could reach out and touch him as I did.

He froze, stiffening even as I relaxed.

A moment later, his hand, gentle and so light at first I thought it was a breeze, touched along my hair.

I closed my eyes as he grew bolder, trailing fingers through my hair and running his fingertips against the skin at my hairline.

“Maybe we can find out what happened without losing this,” he said, his voice hoarse.

Smiling, I put a hand on his knee by my face. 

“We still know so little. Maybe this will take us the rest of my life.” I couldn’t believe I said it, I just blurted it out.

Now it was my turn to still, to be unable to move and have all my ability to keep discussing things hide somewhere deep inside a castle of my own nerves.

“And maybe it will take us exactly as long as it needs to for you to find someone living who loves you and will embrace your gift.”

Someone living who loved me…

Did he mean…

I turned and looked up at him, that perfect face, unchanged and unseen through time, stared back at me.

“Gift,” I said, somehow finding the word in the whole of what he said that I could manage to say out loud.

“Yes, Ara,” he said, smiling and running his hand through my hair, the backs of his knuckles brushing along my cheek first, “And someday other people will see it too.”

Trying to even contemplate someone other than him agreeing with him, wilted something inside me.

No one would ever think that. Only Montgomery because it allowed me to see him.

I sat up, catching and squeezing his hand as I did.

For him, being attached to me, thinking this was something more than friendship after so long alone, made sense. He needed me.

But for me, this was pathetic.

I didn’t want someone to need me. Not even him.

Would I hold our situations against him and not help him?

Of course not. Somehow, though, I needed to remember that being wanted was different than being needed.

Picking up another book, I gave him a quick smile, ignoring the question in his eyes, and went back to looking for clues.
Ta da!

As always, happy reading!

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