Puck’s Call draft almost finished; #SelfPubFantasyMonth

Two things. First, I’m almost done with Puck’s Call’s rough draft. If I focus, I think I can finish by the end of this week.

Focus, in this case, means getting out my timer and doing sprints whenever I can. And doing occasional Pomodoros if I think it’ll work within my crazy schedule.

Second, it’s #SelfPubFantasyMonth on Twitter and Instagram. I’m going to try the challenge on Twitter. It’s my first time doing something like this, especially while I’m also trying to write. Not sure how it’ll turn out, but I’m having fun and learning about a lot more indie authors who write fantasy! I recommend taking a look if you get a chance.

Kick-off Post with info about this year’s offerings: https://www.selfpublishedfantasymonth.com/self-published-fantasy-month-kick-off/

Official website: http://www.selfpublishedfantasymonth.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SelfPubFanMonth

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/SelfPubFanMonth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1104550-self-published-fantasy-month

Any projects coming to a close? Any self-published fantasy books you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments below?

Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

I’ve enrolled all my books in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. It starts today, July 1, and ends July 31. The discounts you see on my books during this time probably aren’t going to change, but I make no guarantees! Some are free, some are only discounted. Whichever ones you choose, I hope you enjoy them. Happy reading!

Click to go to Amy Keeley’s Smashwords profile



A Snippet From The Lord’s Tale: Part Three

I thought my readers might like to see a little of what I’ve been working on lately: the third and final part of The Lord’s Tale.

(Disclaimer: This is a raw part of a rough draft. It has not been edited. It may not appear in the final version. If it does, it may look very different than how it appears here.)

This is from a scene where Vyomsi Teranasin, one of the antagonists of the series, is trying to learn a spell. Ishia, now no longer officially one of the Dogs, is trying to help him. But he only allows so much help.

In an attempt to keep her from focusing too much on his struggle, he asks the following question…


“Have you ever felt Ornic magic?” he asked Ishia, trying to sound better than he was.

“I felt what the Ornic did when he escaped the castle in Hurush.”

“No, no. I mean felt it coursing through you, as if you were the riverbed and the magic was the water.” He closed his eyes, trying to hold onto his thoughts. “The so-called ‘Fire of Choosing’ is like that, you know. No one warns you because no one knows. They know it’s Ornic, they know there’s an Ornic spell in it that chooses the next ruler, and they know that whomever it chooses will become bound to the law of the land. A fail-safe, I suppose, though why Ornic, I don’t know.” He put his hands on his knee, preparing himself. “And because they don’t know, they tell you to sit on the king’s throne and they stand there like vultures waiting to see if you’ll die or live, eyes bright and smiles tense because they don’t know. All they see is a change. So you sit, and the chair locks you in ’til you can’t move. The spell begins at your head, rushing over you with a strength that makes you feel as if you are, piece by piece, being stripped. Broken apart. Magic filling you and breaking you and you find in that moment that you want to be broken, no matter how terrifying. And in your head is an image of a great, burning wheel, but the fire is like nothing you’ve ever seen and it doesn’t act like fire. It acts like some living creature that dwells along the edge of that rolling wheel, dancing and swaying and living. And in that moment, when you see the wheel, in a way that defies all logic, you know that that is power, that that is what you want and a part of you wants nothing more than to ride the path of that wheel into eternity.”

Vyomsi got to his feet. “And then it’s gone. The vision disappears. The magic leaves. The power leaves. And you’re weak in front of the vultures, the jackals, the grinning nobles who have no idea what true power is and how helpless we are before it. And yet you’re expected to get up, to smile at the ignorant who will say how glad they are that the throne chose you. And you realize in that moment just how stupid they are. They think the throne chooses. No. The throne is a warning.”


If you liked this excerpt, or didn’t like it, please let me know. Feedback makes me write faster and better!

The Curator’s Song: Update and a Brief Snippet

This post is more of a placeholder than a real post. But, to make it worth your while…

The Curator’s Song, the sequel to The Lost Princess, is coming along very nicely. After throwing everything out and starting from scratch, I have a story that I’m really enjoying writing. Things are coming out about these two main characters, Rathe and Lily, that are making me very excited to see the moment they meet up with Doriel and Maple. In fact, writing this sequel is part of the reason I haven’t posted recently.

Given that writing a blog post takes up what little writing time I have, this may be the last post for a while.

So, to make up for that, I thought I’d put in a small snippet from the rough draft of The Curator’s Song. It’s small, but I like it and thought it might be nice to share, even if it’s raw draft.

The usual disclaimer applies, of course. This is raw draft. It is not edited. It also may not survive the editing/publishing process. Even though this is part of a raw draft, all rights are reserved.

Brief Background: Lily’s life is in danger and Rathe, a.k.a. The Blademaster, has decided to protect her and her sister temporarily. It’s become clear Lily needs to leave the city she grew up in, but she refuses to do so, even after a blatant attempt on her life, because Knocksure’s Hope is the only city she’s ever known. And Rathe isn’t happy with her refusal.


She had never seen an elf irritated before. His frown was a slight downturn of the corners of his mouth, a small crease between his brows. And yet she felt the force of it as surely as if her father had started waving his arms and speaking in a somewhat raised voice. “There was a man on the corner after I first spoke with your father about the hurt book.”

Lily felt her skin go cold once more. “And now he’s in prison.”

“The one that killed your father is dead. He was killed in trying to kill you. The man on the corner was a different one.”

She stared at him. “Why have you not mentioned this before?”

“Because I was not certain your family was the target. And because your father was still alive when it happened.”

“And after?”

“There have been many things to think about. After.” An earnestness came into his face, relaxing the crease and lifting the corners back to their neutral position. “You need to leave. Let the human leaders decide who is and is not a threat. And if it is one of them, then it is very good for you to leave and soon. The man who calls himself your almost-Uncle?”

“Sir Claudio.” She could feel a headache starting and rubbed her forehead again.

“He is here. He stays downstairs because he says he is too loud and…I do not know the word, but he thinks he would be too much for your healing.”

“He’d be right,” she muttered.

And to her great surprise, the Blademaster smiled. “He is a very…big man.”

And now she laughed. “He is.”

“But he seems to have a good heart. He has discussed your leaving with Mrs. Apitalia. She will give you dresses and other things to help you on your journey.”

“It does no good to run if you don’t know who you’re running from.”

He leaned forward, close enough she could clearly see a sea of men armed with swords in his eyes. “It does no good to die in order to find that out. I could fight them. One by one, or more than that if you ask it of me. But I was asked to protect both of you. How easy it would be to split up,” and she could see that vast sea dividing, “and focus. One group on one of you, and the other on the other. I am only one. I cannot be divided.”

Copyright Ⓒ Amy Keeley, 2018


Like what you see so far? Comment, and I may share more snippets as I write.

Either way, thanks for reading!

Soda Pop Dragon Charm Rewrite

So, I’m changing my approach to writing. It starts with a rewrite of my short story Soda Pop Dragon Charm, a chick lit fantasy I wrote some time ago. I recently decided to take a second look at it and compare it to the things I’ve since learned and, wow, I had no idea I’d written such a terrible main character. Very annoying. I kind of wrote her that way on purpose but didn’t expect her to be that boring to read.

I also took out a bunch of stuff that I thought was funny but that strikes me as offensive now.

So, I rewrote it a bit and tried to add in things I’d learned. I hope it’s improved somewhat. Any and all (non-spam) comments are welcome at this point. Thank you for reading.

(All rights reserved. And there may be further changes. Just so you know.)

Cover for Soda Pop Dragon Charm

Soda Pop Dragon Charm

by Amy Keeley

CHINESE ZODIAC PETS ON SALE! Friendly red letters on a yellow background with anime versions of the popular magical items smiled brightly down on Pax Caron, who stared at it from the sidewalk below. She felt like an idiot.

Go there, her mother had said, mala beads around her neck hitting the table as she leaned forward. That’s where I found my monkey charm.

And because the monkey had looked cute, like a little stuffed animal come to life, and Pax had been passed over for a promotion more often than she could count, and this job was all she had left, she agreed. Now, though, standing under the sign, she’d begun to have some misgivings. Continue reading “Soda Pop Dragon Charm Rewrite”

The best way to get my books before anyone else

If you’ve been reading one of my series and not only want updates but a chance to get an early copy (an eARC) in exchange for a review, I now have a mailing list that will deliver all this directly to your inbox. No need to follow my blog or make a point of visiting here. Nope. Just click the link below and sign up. I promise never to share your email with anyone and also to only email you when I think I have something related to my writing that might be worth your time.

Amy Keeley’s Email List

Another perk is that this list is where I’m going to ask for feedback and give out news before I post it here on the blog. This includes any discounts, freebies, or sales that I’m aware of. You’ll be sent a somewhat more detailed list of what to expect after you sign up.

Even if you don’t decide to sign up, thank you for reading! It’s because of your support that I’m able to keep publishing these stories.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Title Change; The Lost Princess now available!

Cover 7242017First, after much consideration, I decided to change the title of The Castle in the Story to The Lost Princess. So much had changed, I felt the title of the original didn’t really capture what the story had become.

Second, this story is now available at Amazon, Kobo, and my store at Gumroad. It should be available at most other retailers by the end of the week.

Third, it’s currently priced at $2.99. This is an introductory price. The price will go up in the next couple of weeks, so if you want a copy at this low price, might be good to get it now. (And if you get it from Gumroad, you get more than one format!)

Here’s the description:

In a land once ruled by powerful families, Maple, a thief, wants nothing more than to escape the thieves’ guild that holds her captive. When she picks the wrong pocket and ends up with a blade to her throat, freedom appears in the form of Doriel, a mysterious elf who claims to have sworn an oath to serve the family she came from, a family with a terrible, evil legacy. Will she have the strength, determination, and faith to overcome it? Or will the darkness eventually claim her as well?

I am so thrilled to finally be able to publish this alongside all my other stories. It’s been a long time coming, it pushed a lot of other projects to the side, but what I gained has been more than worth it, even though it took what? Two years? Thank you so much for being patient, especially if you’re a reader of my other series. I really appreciate it. And to show my appreciation, I’ll get back to work!

Why Going Back to an Old Story Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

In the indie world, I’ve read enough articles about how a person should never look back, that it’s a waste of time, that it will slow down the path to success because the point is to write and write as fast as you can so you can keep up with Amazon’s algorithms, etc., etc., that it’s good to read an opposing view. Especially given what I’m working on tonight.

When You Actually Should Dig Out Those Old Stories From the Dusty Drawer

In other news, I found a gaping hole in my storytelling that has to be patched with a new scene. I’m actually pretty excited about it, because not only will it emphasize Maple’s growth (hopefully) but it will show a little more of Doriel and how Tanner and Hushweather work together with Doriel to execute a strategy. And it will explain a little more about Doriel’s past and how it relates (no matter how much he tries to ignore it) to his present.

Can’t wait until I’m done with the Write-in and get started on the Type-in!

#FictionFriday: Excerpt From the Rough Draft of The Curator’s Song

I’m working on finalizing the edit for The Castle in the Story, whilst and at the same time writing the rough draft of the sequel. For those who are curious, I have two other projects I might be working on, but next on the list is part three of The Lord’s Tale.

Just so you know.

This excerpt from The Curator’s Song (Corellion Legacy #2) is pretty early in the story. Lily’s father, Marsh of the North (her name may end up changed in the final version but her dad’s is staying), has already asked the Blademaster, an elven assassin named Rathe, to protect his daughters from an unnamed, but awful, danger as they travel back to the Northlands. Having his own troubles, Rathe turns him down, then finds out a little more about him (for example, that he’s originally from the Northlands). Between what he learns and the desperation in the man’s eyes, it’s enough to keep him interested in the family, in spite of the fact that his own problems are forcing him to leave that night.

And then this happens.

(Disclaimer: All of this could change. All of it is rough, with many mistakes. I may end up scrapping the scene entirely. Still, all rights reserved.)


Rathe had just decided it would be best if he left the city that night when he saw a hooded man knock on the door of the bookseller’s shop. Loudly. He could hear it from his apartment.

The door swung open, revealing the face of Marsh of the North, the bookseller, who paused when he saw the face Rathe could not. Then, relaxed, though he still appeared grim. He nodded, and his lips as he slowly turned back into the house appeared to say something about a message. It was difficult to tell.

The man nodded before Marsh had turned entirely, and Marsh invited him in.

The door closed and Rathe couldn’t help feeling uneasy. First, Marsh had asked him to take on the protection of his daughters, and now he was inviting what was likely another assassin. Or some other form of help. But Rathe had had enough meetings late at night that he guessed it was the first.

He stared for several moments at the door from his apartment.

This wasn’t his concern. He hadn’t been hired, and he needed to prepare to leave. It was only a matter of time before his uncle and his uncle’s friends made their way to his door. Only their distaste of humans had slowed them down this long. It wouldn’t slow them down much longer. Not if the rumors he’d heard were true.

He turned away from the window and took out a traveling bag. Stuffing what few clothes he had, along with basic necessities and a little food he’d bought earlier in the day, he closed it and stared, not quite believing that this moment had come.

He liked it here. He liked hearing the noise of the street below during the day. He liked hearing the women selling food on the street, and minstrels selling spells, and he realized he liked the sound of Lily and Vina arguing and chatting to the neighbors and sometimes, rarely, laughing. Vina laughed far more than Lily did.

And he remembered the sadness, the wistfulness, in their father’s eyes when he spoke of the darkness, and protecting his daughters from it.

Regret. And guilt. That was what he’d seen in their father’s eyes.

He lifted the bag to his shoulders, slipping his arms through the ropes that automatically closed it until it settled on his back. Tugging his cloak’s hood over his head, he made his way out the door and down the steps, practically running out into the street. But before he did, he slipping into a nearby shadow.

The world disintegrated, becoming nothing but darkness he could feel, that had weight and shape but no color, nothing he could see. All his senses became heightened, and he listened for the sound of Marsh of the North talking in the darkness.

There. Faint. He walked slowly toward it, the awful calm that came of using shadows making him feel less like himself and more a part of something else, something that only existed in the shadows. Something stronger and more potent than the true Rathe from Bina Galatdros.

That was a child, he told himself, walking closer. Now, I am the Blademaster.

Just as your uncle would have wanted, a little voice said inside him. He ignored it and walked on.

He paused at the shadow’s edge, the words clear enough without him having to actually enter.

“What you ask is impossible,” a strange man said.

“It has to be done,” Marsh of the North replied. “I cannot leave my daughters without protection.”

The strange man laughed. “Without them learning magic? If what you say is true, there is no one in the world that could keep them safe. The darkness will have them, as it had your brother and your father.”

“No!” Marsh’s shout was the cry of a man who would not move one more inch. One who had already moved too much. “It will not have them. I swore it when they were born.”

The man sighed. “You will need far more than human magic, then. The song-spells I know are weak. And the priests…”

“Then I’ll cast the spells.”

A long pause. “You? After all this time? What about the darkness taking you?”

“I don’t care. Not if they stay safe.”

Another, even longer pause. “Then I was told true.”


“I was told,” the strange man said, “that you were not to be trusted. That you would turn.”

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”

There was a shout and the sound of a scuffle began. Rathe held back. This was not his fight. He had no orders, no promise, nothing.

The shadows began to tilt, and clearly within the darkness, Rathe could hear the sound of a song-spell being chanted from someone’s heart. The strength of the spell amazed him, disoriented him, even here outside the room in a place that, as far as he knew, barely existed. One light on this dark corner and his opening would disappear.

There was an awful, sickening thud near the shadow he’d chosen. And he knew one of the men had won.

The song-spell ended in the same moment, releasing him. He heard a door, heard another thud as it hit something. And then a sound he knew all too well: the crackling of a fire.

He leaped through the shadow into the room proper. Marsh lay at his feet, blood pooling around his head. Crouching down, Rathe felt for a pulse in his neck. Nothing. The man was dead.


Rathe’s head whipped toward the gasped word, and he saw Lily staring, blood pouring down her chest, her face white. Turning to see what she saw, he realized the fire had been set among the books, probably to make sure Marsh of the North’s death was complete. He looked at the man’s face only a moment longer, remembering the emotions that had filled it when he had offered him the job. And made his decision.

“Where is your sister?” he demanded, moving away from the dead man.

“Upstairs.” She seemed transfixed by the fire. But only a moment longer. She turned and raced to a bucket in a corner of the back room, already filled with water.

There was no time. Grabbing her shoulder, the one not injured, he stopped her.. “You’re wounded.”

“Father.” She darted past him, looking quickly, and finding her father. She was about to drop to her knees when Rathe grabbed her arm.

“He’s past your help.”

She jerked away from him and he let her kneel next to to the man. Death among his own people was something mourned deeply, in spite of whatever joy found on the other side. For the chances of meeting again soon were very small. Decades, even centuries, might pass before they would see each other again.

Although the life of a human wasn’t nearly as long, Rathe found he couldn’t bring himself to pull her away, when he knew there would be no ceremony, no memorial, not given the circumstances.

And then he made his second fateful decision. “I’ll take him outside. You try to save the books.”

As if coming out of a dream, she looked behind her and saw the fire, as if for the first time. “Yes. Thank you.” And then paused. “Wait. You were here. You did this.”

“No.” And yet, how to explain why he was in the room now. “There is no time to explain, but you have to believe me, I am only here to help.”

“Of course you are.”


“Get out. Now!” And she shoved him with her puny arms, as if that would move him. He allowed it, due to her grief.

“All right.” She had just lost her father and she was wounded. She wasn’t thinking clearly. He turned and left, knowing that anyone in their right mind wouldn’t have kicked him out but would have attacked him or tried to hold him. But all her attention now was on the books, as she grabbed a bucket of water in the corner of the back room and splashed it on the fire, dimming it only a little.

And within the fire he could hear the faint echo of a continuance spell, a repeating phrase that was meant to strengthen the flames.

Magic. Yes, they wanted that man to burn, and in his own home.

If this were like other shops, the private rooms would be upstairs. He left Lily to her hopeless job and looked for Vina.

He found her asleep in a room with two beds. “Vina.” He shook her lightly on the shoulder. “You need to wake up.” Unsure how much she would understand, he said, “You need to get out. The house is on fire.

Her room was above the store. He could feel the heat from the growing flames under his boots. They didn’t have much time.

She woke up and looked at him, and he repeated himself as he gently took her arm and began leading her, staggering, toward the stairs.

She froze and he hoped she wasn’t afraid of him. Instead, she shook her head. “The book. Papa needs his book.” And she took off toward another, smaller room.

He followed her and watched as she looked around the desk. “In his pocket,” she said. “Where’s Papa?” she asked Rathe. “The key’s in his pocket. For the book.”

She couldn’t see her father. It would horrify her. “I’ll get it. But you need to leave now.” Unwilling to put her safety below her fear anymore, he grabbed her arm.

“The book!”

“I’ll get the book. Where is it and what does it look like?” It would focus her on something other than fighting him.

“Blue cover with gold letters. And pretty stones. And it locks. It’s in the drawer of the nightstand. Papa put a spell on it. Only us can open it.”

Rathe clenched his jaw. “Of course,” he muttered. “I know spells. I’ll get it.”

“Lily!” Vina tore away from his grip and raced into the room where her sister was battling the flames as if nothing else existed. “Where’s Papa!”


“We need the key.”

“Didn’t you hear me, Vina. Papa’s dead! Do you not understand!” And that was when he noticed the tear stains on her cheeks. “Help me save what he built!”

What he built, what he was most concerned with saving, Rathe couldn’t help thinking, was you and your sister. And that was when he made his second fateful decision.

Running in, he grabbed Lily by the waist and without another word, swung her over his shoulder.

Vina, as he’d expected, cried out and followed her sister, who in spite of her wound was pounding his back with one arm, her strength rapidly fading now that the rush of the moment was being taken away from her. “The book!” Vina was crying now. “We have to get the book!”

Rathe took her through the back door and through the alleyway until they were in the street. A small crowd had gathered. Setting Lily down, he easily evaded her swinging fists. Grabbing her arms, he said, “Stay here.” Turning to Vina, he said, “I’m going to get the book. Make sure she stays here.”

Lily got up, but as he turned away, he heard Vina saying, “No. He said to stay.”

Thankfully, their argument faded into the distance as he raced back inside their home, using the back door once again.

Flames surrounded him now, racing up the walls, filling the air with acrid smoke that made his eyes water. The doorway to the store was nothing but flames, and he knew the house would collapse very soon.

Hoping for a shadow, he slipped inside one flickering under the table. Within the darkness, the heat of the flames barely registered. Without sound, he looked instead for the song-spell that was consuming the room in fire. There. He searched for a small shadow, anything that might stretch enough to allow him to pass without much discomfort. He reached out into the darkness and found only one place that he trusted.

Angling Marsh of the North, he lifted him as he jumped out of the shadow underneath the body. Sliding him to the side, he searched the man’s clothing, finally finding the key in a small pouch he kept under the overrobe most merchants wore. And with it, a small parchment with marks on it that looked similar to the marks his uncle had never let him decipher.

Cursing his uncle and Marsh of the North, he took the key upstairs, ignoring the groan of the wood as the building’s structure began to suffer. He raced back to the room Vina had entered and went straight to the lock in the nightstand.

The feel of magic curled around him, the song-spell jarring his thoughts, confusing them and filling them with noise.

This, however, he could handle without knowing any cryptic marks. He opened his mouth and let the Song flow through him, altering the noise until it became harmony, until it uncurled itself and left him alone. Confusion, he could almost hear his uncle say, always makes way at the presence of the True Song.

He fitted the key in the lock, turned it, and pulled out an enormous, heavy book, locked with a smaller lock and with golden characters on blue leather.

Tucking it under his cloak, Rathe turned to leave when the floor gave out under his feet.

Rolling toward a shadow, Rathe disappeared into the darkness with the book still in hand, though he had no key for it. Ah, well, he thought. They had only wanted the book, and locks could be broken given the right tools. If they even wanted to read it. And as he prepared to leave the darkness for the shadows surrounding a nearby building, he wondered what kind of book would have been so vital that at least one of the daughters had focused on nothing else.

He slipped out of the shadow and heard Lily say, “That’s him. The one who killed my father.”


What do you think?

Want a Free Copy of The Castle in the Story? (YA Fantasy)

I’ve finally finished redrafting and the fixing that inevitably comes afterward! Now, it’s just a matter of searching out the errors.

Unfortunately, I can’t do that very well on my own. Someone reading this for the first time will always find more errors than I will after I’ve read my story several times over.

I’m very aware that reworking The Castle in the Story has taken far, far longer than I first anticipated. I am very sorry for that. Unfortunately, because of budgetary constraints, I’m doing a lot of this on my own and that means everything takes longer. If you’d like to help and get a free copy of the final version with your name in the Acknowledgments, and if you’re the kind who loves pointing out errors in the stories you read, please send me an email through the Contact Me form on this site. Unlike previous crowdsourced copy edits, this time you can choose whichever form you like of the following three:

  • ePub
  • MOBI
  • PDF

Just let me know which one you prefer and I’ll send you that format along with what I need in order to use your comments to copy edit the final version. Once it’s ready to be published, I’ll send you your free final version with your name listed in the Acknowledgments!

This offer will be open until March 22. After that, the final copy edit will begin.