Here’s the newest book in the Calliope world. It is a side story, but will connect to the main story in book three, coming in 2020, The action takes place on Harasah, a different continent than Anglia.

Here’s a sample from the first chapter:

Chapter 1  Return from the Hunt.

Roger stomped away from his father’s Staal. The king had kicked him out before his brothers lost their tempers and beat him bloody. Roger didn’t know what was more infuriating, his father’s dismissal, or him protecting his youngest son. His brothers made no secret of their belief that his education in Anglia had made him soft.

“You’ve been home for two years.” Chiza leaned against the wall of Roger’s suite. “Haven’t got very far.”

“Not you too,” Roger waved a hand. “Change is coming whether we want or not. The Empire is not going to ignore the wealth of our countries.”

“There is change, then there is change.” Chiza shrugged. “If your hunt is unsuccessful, you need to change your tactics.”

“Maybe I should go back to Anglia.” Roger paced through the room. “There isn’t a place for me here.”

“You may have forgotten, but there wasn’t much of a place for you in Anglia.”

“Maybe I should take a place on a steamship like Bundo.” Roger grinned and pointed at Chiza. “I could run the engine and you could shovel coal.”

“I expect you would find that captain harder on you than your father.”

“You saw the way Cal charmed everyone in the market.”

“Including you.” Chiza crossed his arms. “Running away will not bring a good end to your hunt.”

Roger paced through the room. His degree hung on the wall, oddities from Anglia occupied spaces on shelves and tables. His books gathered dust. The words didn’t have the same power here at home.

He stared out the window, then closed his eyes. Maybe he should have left with her, assuming she would have let him. He’d worn that yellow suit, but she hadn’t rolled her eyes or sneered at him like the people here, or in Anglia. They’d talked like equals. She’d been sympathetic, what was the thing she’d said to him? Something about his people needing him, not his education.

“Chiza, we’re going hunting.” Roger threw his suit off and dug his hunting clothes out of the trunk.

“Hunting?” Chiza raised an eyebrow.

“I need to do some thinking, and I can’t do it here.” Roger picked up his spear from where it leaned, neglected in a corner.

They left the staal, the guard didn’t recognize Roger until she saw Chiza. Roger’s legs ached by the time they made it to the jungle surrounding the city. He was out of shape. Once under the shade of the trees, he pushed everything out of his mind but the need to be aware of the animals around him.

They walked until the light faded, then ate what Chiza had brought. Roger had been in too much of a rush to think of food. Am I truly a fool?

Chiza nudged Roger away with a foot and they continued through the paths. Roger’s feet remembered how to walk, and his ears began to pick up the sounds of life around him. I should have done this sooner. The only reason Roger could come up with why he didn’t was he hadn’t hunted in Anglia, at least not like this. His side ached and he rubbed an old scar.

The trail of a deer crossed their path and he followed it. The smell of water tickled his nostrils, so Roger curved around to come to the water from a different direction. When they’d arrived at the pool, Roger placed himself where he could see the trail down to the water and waited.

The daylight dimmed as they stood still as the trees. A deer hesitantly crept toward the water. Once it lowered its head to drink, Roger threw his spear and brought the animal down without it being able to do more than twitch.

“You haven’t forgotten everything.” Chiza punched his shoulder before striding over to the deer. He tossed Roger’s spear back to him, then pulled out a knife to clean their kill.

The slight creak of a branch was the only warning Roger had of the leopard’s attack. As the big cat leaped toward Chiza’s back, Roger charged forward his spear pierced the cat’s heart, pinning it to the ground. Chiza stood and checked the leopard.

“Clean strike.” He frowned and started cleaning the second kill. “We should have known it was there.”

“The hunt takes us in unexpected directions.” Roger dabbed at the scratches on his chest. “We’re Congu.”

You can buy the book through your favourite retailer here.

Or ask your bookstore or library to order it with this

ISBN 978-1-989092-27-9