Sunday, February 7, 2021


Howdy folks, 

    We are rapidly nearing the end of the second leg of our journey. We have a manuscript all written and edited, and a book cover paid for and finished. It's the final countdown to a release date, now. 

    We will be releasing a limited sneakpeek of our cover February 14 for anyone on our mailing list, which you can find a link to on our

    It is our hope, by the end of February, that we will be able to announce a release date and open presales on our Amazon, so keep a weather eye open for more updates!

Til next time,

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Next Step

 Dear insatiable readers,

You all have come a long way with us. Nearly three years ago, Sam and I finally took the next step to a lifelong dream of ours and began the process of querying for agents. along the way we learned a great many things about the publishing industry. Most of all, as over 100 rejections stated, "Publishing is a subjective business." 

It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing that we have decided to end our journey in trying to get Frostfire traditionally published.

And with much excitement, we are ready to announce that we are officially working on self publishing Frostfire.

There is a lot that goes into self publishing. Aside from needing to do your own marketing and maintaining an Internet presence, there's the costly factor of getting an editor. We are also very pleased to announce that we have found an editor to partner with to get Frostfire in tip top shape for your reading pleasure. That is probably going to happen towards the end of this year. To everyone who has beta read for us over the years, you have our immense gratitude. Frostfire would not be what it is today without your support, and we are very eager to get started on book two.

Additionally, we are going to be opening up a newsletter soon! This will be an excellent way for you to keep up to date on what's going on with us and where we are at stage wise on the road to publishing. 

A lot of people who are already up to date on the situation keep asking us when exactly the book is coming out. Unfortunately, it is still too early to have an exact date, but you can bet your beautiful butts that it will probably be Winter/Spring 2021. Hopefully we will have a more exactly launch date in mind by January and will keep you all abreast of the situation!

Until next time, dear readers!

-Lauren & Sam

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Querying Update

Good evening folks,

I'm sure by now the handful of you who follow the blog have noticed our associated social media accounts have undergone a bit of a change. For a variety of reasons, we have chosen to go ahead and shift our social media presence to reflect our intended pen names for publication, resulting in us becoming known as Sam Thorne & Lauren Ivey. Among those reasons, one of them came from the idea of self publishing. In the event that we self publish, we wanted more marketable names as well as names not directly tied to us in the event we do decide to one day tackle traditional publishing.

The fact of the matter is that the first query we ever sent out was in May 2018. I'm sure every writer has researched success stories, finding accounts of published authors spending years querying and getting hundreds of rejections. Well, we are past the two year mark and well over a hundred rejections. We know these are for a variety of reasons. Agents know their market well before readers do -- that's their job. To know what will sell well in a year or two, because that's how long it takes to usually get a book on the shelf after they have offered representation to a writer. 

The closest we ever got was a full manuscript request by an agent after attending a conference -- you may recall our excited blog post from that experience. Well, eleven months later, and we've received no response. We touched base with the agent a few months after the original Email, and with her permission even sent her an updated, more polished manuscript since she admitted she had not gotten to the manuscript yet. Over the next several months, we continued to nudge her, but never got a reply. It hurts to feel ghosted after finally thinking we had gotten our foot in the door.

Sam and I discussed self publishing off and on even before the fateful conference. It's an intimidating option. Many authors have had great success with self publishing, and many more have had little to show for it. I myself (Lauren) have been excruciatingly hesitant for years. When I originally became interested in publishing I was still in school and did an extensive research paper on the various methods of publishing. At the time, self publishing was seen as a taboo, a spit in the eye of brick and mortar publishing. Self published authors were looked down upon and there was heavy speculation that self publishing would permanently ruin your odds of ever becoming traditionally published. But times change, and while there are people in the market that don't play nice, that is why pen names exist. Many self published authors who make a living express the benefits in owning your own rights and controlling every aspect of your publication. Much of it is still a mystery to us, and I have absolutely no doubt that if we indeed jump into self publishing, we are going to land on our feet and promptly fall over while we figure out how it works.

This isn't exactly a "we are self publishing" announcement, but measures are being taken in anticipation of doing such. There are still queries out on the wind and we are still waiting to hear back from a couple publishers (that six month wait time is brutal) so things may always change. There are a lot of things to do prior to a launch, including finding an editor and getting a proper book cover, which cost a lot. Marketing and networking take up a lot of time, and between my full time management job and Sam's firefighting schedule, it's often times tough to find the time to get things done.

With that being said, we're working on it, and we'll keep you abreast of the situation as details unfold :)


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Frostfire Preview


Chapter One

Kyran jolted upright, his heart hammering in his chest. What had he… His head snapped to the shuttered window as someone screamed in terror over the clamoring cry of a bell. Kicking the quilted bed cover back, he threw the inn’s shutters out to find the village engulfed in flames. Bright orange light flared against the summer night as people scrambled from their homes into the muddy streets, panicked, fleeing in every direction, and over it all, a bell was tolling. He had to do something.

He jammed his feet into his boots, and raced out of his room and down the stairs. On the bottom floor, the inn’s other occupants huddled about the fireplace, hands clenched in fervent prayer, their eyes trained on the light. Candles were burning on nearly every horizontal surface, creamy streaks of wax running across tables and shelves. 

“What is happening?” he demanded, but they either did not hear him, or chose not to.

A scream outside cut abruptly short, and the supplicants flinched, but did not cease their prayers. Kyran looked from them to the door, but not a soul moved. He shook his head at them, muttering a curse for their cowardice, and threw open the door, breaking into a run as he left the inn.

The air stung his nostrils and throat, and he struggled not to cough as he closed on the first building where he saw a woman running away from the flames. She looked back as she ran, her eyes wide in utter terror. He started after her to ask what had happened, when another motion caught his attention, and he saw it. Whatever it was. It was hard to see backlit by the fire, but it was small, no larger than a hound, crouched upon the burning thatch as if bathing in the licking flames.

 The beast jerked on the rooftop, what must have been its head twitching sharply towards him as if scenting him. Kyran stared in blank incomprehension at the strange beast, recalling the old tales of salamanders crawling from logs after they had been placed in a fire. 

The creature threw its head back and let out an ear splitting shriek. Kyran clapped his hands over his ears, gritting his teeth against the piercing pain. The sound trailed into an excited chitter, but before he could even pull his hands from his ears, the beast launched from the rooftop. It smashed into his chest, knocking him flat onto his back, its claws biting through his shirt. He shoved at the thing, its body hard and oily like an insect, but it clung to him, digging hooked toes into his skin, its mouth opening wide to double rows of serrated bone, so close to his face he could feel its breath. 

In a flash, light traced through Kyran’s skin, pale blue lines that glowed like starlight as he let his control over the power in his blood slip just a fraction. The beast’s carapace crackled hideously under his palms, and it recoiled with a pained squeal, fire erupting from the tips of its clawed feet as it leapt off his chest, knocking him flat again. 

Beating frantically at the flames, Kyran scrambled backwards, his breath coming in short, panicked gasps. The beast let out another chittering yowl, charging him again, and he loosened his control even further. The lines of light beneath his skin flared to almost blinding brilliance, and the ground let out a torturous scream as the muck froze in an instant, turning to hard, slick ice beneath him. The creature balked, skittering backwards, hissing and spitting as the ice scrawled outwards from him towards it. 

He yanked his knife from his boot and brandished it towards the creature as he gained his feet, at last getting a decent look at the beast in the light cast by his blood. Its proportions were wrong for an animal, gangly, but far too alien to be a human, and it wielded fire. “Stars above,” he whispered. “What are ye?” 

It feinted towards him, and he thrust the tip of his knife forward, sending it shrinking back. It was afraid. He quashed the panicked sounds at the back of his throat with sheer will, tightening his grip of control again. It was a beast. A strange beast, but a beast no less, and he hunted beasts. 

As the light of his magic dimmed, the creature lunged, long claws reaching for his belly. He twisted out of its path, slicing at its hindquarters, his knife biting flesh. It let out a high, keening wail that sent gooseflesh rippling over Kyran’s skin as it skidded across the ice, steam hissing from the wound on its flank. He followed it, trying to mark it again, but the creature hissed and scuttled out of reach, the ice crunching as it sank its claws through the thin veneer.

“Get back!”

Kyran whipped his head around at the man’s bellow, and spotted a rider bearing down on him and the creature, the sound of its gait lost beneath the roar of the fire and the clamoring bell. The horse’s flanks were lathered and heaving, its muzzle frothing from exertion, but the rider seemed to be struggling to keep his seat, his feet bouncing, his hands too wide on the reins. He was going to go over its neck the moment it changed directions.

There was a hiss behind him, and Kyran turned again to see the beast lunging over the ice, its jaws stretched wide. 

Magic surged down his arm, lashing into the beast’s hide with another crackle of freezing flesh. The beast squealed and fell back, clawing at its face and neck, only to be engulfed a moment later by a black and crimson ball of flame that hurtled past his shoulder. The icy ground popped as the fire flashed the ice to steam, and the blast knocked the creature from its feet, sending it skidding over the ice and muck. 

Kyran’s eyes widened, his pulse nearly stopping in his chest as he whirled to see the rider, on foot now, his horse pelting away with a terrified bray. Another mage? He had never seen one before. Stars, he had started to think he was the only one.

“That ice!” the rider yelled, pulling his own dagger from his side. “Was that you?”

“What?” Kyran asked, dragging his eyes back to the beast as it began to circle, its attention switching between them.

“The ice!” the man shouted back, black fire limned with crimson dancing along the fingers of his empty hand. “You’re a mage! Is that your magic?” He thrust his hand forward, and more fire erupted from his palm, but the creature leapt out of the way, turning as it did and lunging again for Kyran, coming in low. The moment he raised his knife, though, it balked, turning its lunge aside and simply running past him. 

Kyran turned to follow it so it could not get behind him, keeping his knife raised as it continued to circle. He cut a glance at the man, at the fire he wielded so openly in front of him, and swallowed the denial on his tongue. “Aye,” he finally answered, nearly choking on the word as he admitted it aloud. 

“Watch your back,” the rider warned him, closing the gap between them and taking his side. “It’s after you.”

Kyran shot a quick glance at the man, but he couldn’t make out much before the creature made another quick scuttle towards him. As one, he and the rider thrust their hands forward, sending a blast of freezing air and black fire surging towards the beast. It leapt back, but could not entirely get clear. The rider’s fire caught the beast’s backside, setting it ablaze, and it bucked wildly, shrieking in pain before it dropped to the ground and began to roll in the mud, smothering the flames in the thick mud.

“Trap it!” the rider bellowed, circling out from Kyran’s side, obviously aiming to hem the creature between them. 

It took Kyran a second to grasp what the man was asking of him, until he saw the water gathering in the furrows the creature had gouged into the earth. The man was asking him to use his magic. 

With a cry, he thrust the tip of his knife at the monster and shoved his power through the metal towards the beast. The creature wailed in pain as frost splashed across its skin and the earth around it, enrobing it in a cocoon of frozen muck. It twitched, trying to move, to run, but it was trapped by the ice, part of its limbs frozen into the earth.

“Hold it!” the rider shouted, taking his dagger two handed and falling on the beast, driving the blade into its hide with an audible crunch. The thing screamed, its body going horribly rigid as something beneath the man’s shirt glowed with iridescent light. Then, as Kyran watched, its body began to simply fall apart, its limbs and skin, and muscle dissolving before his eyes as if consumed by some inner fire until there was nothing left, not even ash. 

The man sat back on his knees, letting out a short breath before looking up at Kyran. “Was that the only one?”

Kyran nodded, gathering his senses again, bringing his magic back to heel under his control. “Aye,” he answered, his blood dimming beneath his skin. “I dinnae see another.”

The man nodded and got to his feet, wiping his dagger on his trouser leg before sheathing it at his hip. “Good.” He looked directly at Kyran, the firelight casting deep shadows over his face, but Kyran thought he could make out that the man’s eyes were blue. “You did good with that magic.”

The compliment caught him off guard. “Ah, thank you,” he hesitantly offered in return. 

“It work on fires?”

“Aye, it does.”

“Good. We’ll get these fires under control, then…” The man flicked an eye up and down him, taking in his Isleish garb, no doubt. “You don’t live here, do you?”

Kyran gave the man a flat look. “No.”

“Let me buy you a drink then. As thanks. You know where the Drunken Wind is?”

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Devil of a Time

Howdy Folks, 

As it has been quite some time since Lauren and myself have made it around to this blog, I thought it might be nice to share an excerpt from the novel we are working on right now. It is called "Devil of a Time"and features the unlikely and immortally tragic love between a fallen angel and a man who sold his soul for power.

Chapter Three

-- Luke --
Waking felt like a terrible idea, even as I was going through it against my will. My thoughts slipped and bumped against one another in time with the pounding inside my skull, and my throat and mouth burned for want of a sip of water. I must still be alive, then, on the mortal plane. I hadn’t let my mortal body get in such poor shape in a very long time. It was generally unpleasant to spend what little time I had to indulge amongst the host of humanity in discomfort. 
But how did I…?
The last few hours came rolling back, and I peeled my eyes open, uncertain what I might be awakening to. The room was forgivingly dim. I blinked through the haze, staring at the dark blur in front of me. It focused into the visage of Donovan, sitting in a backwards chair with his arms propped on the top and his legs straddling either side. He was still in his slacks and shirt I had found him in, but his shoes and tie were missing, and the first few buttons of his shirt had been opened to loosen the collar and allow a tuft of dark hair to show from his chest. 
He didn’t say a word as I looked up at him, didn’t smile or frown, didn’t even blink. I started to sit up, and flinched at the twin throb of pain and lingering pleasure of the bite he had left in my shoulder. I bit my tongue, willing myself not to make a sound as I straightened the rest of the way, slumping against the hard, wooden back of a chair. I flexed, feeling out why I couldn’t do more than sit up, and felt the bite of hemp around my knees, ankles, elbows and wrists. 
“Rope?” I rasped, my voice barely more than a hoarse whisper. “Who the fuck still uses rope for kidnappings?” 
He smirked at that. “I find it more satisfying and aesthetically pleasing than zip ties,” he answered. “And you look pretty handsome tied up.” 
I coughed a rough laugh. “Why thank you.” 
I tried to make out more of the room, but even as I sat there, my vision was beginning to darken threateningly around the edges. I shivered against the tight bonds, sending another bite of pleasure laced pain through my nerves. If I were in Hell, this would be nothing. He would be nothing. But amongst the mortals, wearing their guise, I had to oblige their laws. At least, until I returned to Hell. There were days before then, though, if he didn’t kill me.
Fuck, I had underestimated him. I had gotten soft dealing only with humans up here. They were so easy to predict and manipulate. So easy to motivate with veiled threats or small acts of violence. “I should have twisted your head off.” 
“You wouldn’t be the first to try,” he assured me, straightening his back where he sat. “I wouldn’t have survived this long without some degree of caution. A sprinkling of immortality, as you called it, is a wild misinterpretation complicated by the festering boil that is popular culture of this modern age.” 
“Whine about it all you like, you’ve lived this long. That’s more than all your mortal friends and neighbors can say -- if they could.” 
He chuckled hard. “You don’t keep friends when you’re this long lived.” 
I rolled my eyes, using the motion to hide my quick tug on the ropes behind me. They were quite snug. “I was being facetious, but the remark stands. You’ve outlived your mortal lifespan. What’s there to complain about?” 
“Plenty, but you’re stalling explaining yourself.” Donovan rose from his chair and slid his hands into his pockets as he took a few slow steps towards me. “What do you want, demon?” 
I felt the first little tweak of anger at the misnomer. Strictly speaking, it was far from the first or last time someone called me a demon. But I was not one of those…scrabbling, petty, shallow little… “I told you. You killed me. You owe me for the inconvenience.” 
“And what do you expect?” 
“Well, I came back planning to just peep a curtain open and see what myths about you are true, but I think it would be a waste of so much potential fun, Donovan. So, I want to make a deal, instead.” I rolled my wrist, reshaping it and my hand so they were more slender, drawing my muscles so they thinned down my arm. “It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. You could simply owe me a favour.” 
“A purposefully vague favour?” he murmured, his eyes narrowing. “I have no soul to bargain with. You’re wasting your time.” 
“Who said anything about a soul?” I rolled my other wrist, twisting the first until with a little tug, it came free of the rope. “Besides, if you made a bargain, I imagine I’ll be seeing you down there eventually. No, there are much more interesting and useful things I could ask for.” 
The man took another step closer, enough that he could kick my chair over if he wanted. He looked at me but did not lower his chin, looking quite fearsome and regal. If I weren’t so annoyed, I might have found it becoming. “Like what?” 
“Maybe I want to visit you whenever I please for a good solid fuck until you finally die,” I suggested, slipping my second hand free. That left only my elbows. My legs were a lost cause for now, bound as I was at the ankles and knees, but I was confident I could stand and reach him. 
His brows rose. “Interesting suggestion, and not entirely undesirable.”
“I’ve had arrangements like that in the past. They always die so soon, though.” I shimmied my elbows and felt the rope slide hesitantly down my shirtsleeves to my wrists. Not wasting a single precious second, I dropped the loops into my left hand and threw myself up out of the chair, swinging the rope for his face. 
He brought his arm up, but not quite fast enough, and I caught him across the cheek with the knot -- right before my hand seemed to collide with a branding iron. The flesh of my hand sizzled audibly, and the air filled with the smell of cooking meat before the momentum of my swing carried me full into whatever invisible barrier stood between us. I screamed as the side of my face, my arm, and shoulder connected, searing in an instant before I was forcibly repelled, the chair still tied to me tangling with me before I hit the ground. 
“Fuck!” I shouted, cradling my ruined hand to my chest, my nerves screaming. 
“Fascinating,” I heard Donovan murmur nearby. “I didn’t think that would work at all.” 
I shot him a livid glare. “What did you-” Then I saw it. The thick ring of white, unbroken salt I hadn’t taken the time to notice. “Son of a… Salt!” I kicked, dragging the chair around, its legs punching through the salt ring. 
The man knelt, actually swiping the salt out of the way of his knees before he grabbed the leg of my chair and tipped it jarringly so that I landed flat on my back with a loud clack! Then his hands began to work the rope loose from my ankles. “That’s a neat trick with your arms. So was the one in the lounge.” 
If I weren’t so disoriented and lightheaded from the pain, I might have been able to swing around and grab him, but the moment he had my legs freed, he hoisted me out of the mass of ropes and dragged me away from the chair and salt right up onto a firm yet soft surface that had apparently lain behind me while I was seated. I tried to look around, but the simple gesture made my head swim dangerously. I recognized a handsome bed set. 
Donovan pinned my arms down against the comforter, the grip excruciating against my burned skin. “Now tell me who you are, or I’ll inconvenience you again. And again the next time you decide to track me down.” 
"Not if I put a hammer through your skull first," I sneered, but my voice was barely a croak. "You still have to sleep." 
“A lot less than you might suspect, and I am very capable of keeping you restrained.” 
“For how long?” 
“As long as it takes.” His hand moved down my arm, away from the burned skin. It allowed a small break in the pain, and I couldn’t repress a groan of relief. “Although if you can slip through those ropes, I’m fairly certain you could escape any manner of restraint.” 
“Only if I want to.” I tested his grip, but he wasn’t holding back. I would be surprised if I wasn’t bruised later. I arched against the soft comforter beneath me, forcing my mouth into a lopsided smile, half my face burning with pain at the motion. “Is this a bed? Did you bring me to some sort of sex dungeon?” I egged him on, hoping to force him to lose his temper. He would either kill me, and I would go back to Hell to try again -- annoying and inconvenient, but survivable -- or he might just make a mistake I could take advantage of. 
“It is a bed, yes, but I haven’t had any sex in here yet,” he said with a smug grin that showed off the points of his canines. 
“Oh, forgive me for not bringing any champagne for the occasion.” 
“There is a wine cabinet in the other room,” he teased, his grip slackening just a bit. “If you give me your word you won’t try to murder me, maybe I’ll treat you to a glass and we can discuss that deal you tried to bully me into in the alley.” 
“Bully is such a strong word. I prefer coerce, myself. But what about your word? How do I know you aren’t going to walk out past another line of salt and lock me in here to inconvenience me?” 
His eyes flicked over me with a familiar hunger. “I doubt I could catch you by surprise a second time. Even if I did, I doubt I could stay away for long. Besides, I tired of songbirds long ago.” And with that, he stood, releasing my arms. He extended his hand to me, palm up. “Red or white?” 
I eyed his hand, tempted both to take it and pull him down where I could reach his face with my fist, and to stubbornly ignore it. But he was offering to open conversation about a deal again, and I knew better than most that politeness, even feigned, won more hearts and minds than stubborn anger, tempting as it could be.
I set my right in his grip, letting him pull me up into a sitting position. “Red, I think, would suit the occasion.” 
“Sweet or dry?” he asked, reaching to cup my elbow as he slowly helped me up to my feet, and I allowed myself to sink into his support when my head swam heavily.
“Sweet,” I slurred as he dragged me forward, “after your change of heart.” 

He chuckled heartily. “I can’t tell if that was a compliment or not.”

Friday, November 22, 2019

Long Time, No See

Howdy Folks,

So, it has been a hot minute since we've written one of these, but there's a good reason, I promise. I spent the month of October in Italy, then immediately dove into Nanowrimo. Unfortunately, we haven't gotten much work on Fated, as we had promised we would, but it is for a good reason -- we got a full manuscript request for Frostfire!

After attending a writing conference in Atlanta for the very first time, we finally found someone interested in reading our manuscript! The conference as a whole was a great expereince, and we will definetly be trying to hit another one in the future.

We got some great feedback on our story, and, as such, have been wildly hammering at some edits -- mainly, trying to edit the second "half" of the orig story that we broke off to make two books so we can smush them back into one. It has been insane pouring hours into editing these chapters, but so much fun, and we cannot wait to see where this opportunity will take us.

On top of all of that, I also am trying to get ready to move states After Christmas. I finally got a permanent job with the parkservice in Texas. It;s a bit of a move, but I keep telling myself it is technically only temporary, as after I put in my time (usually about three years), I can look for someplace else.

We have smashed out some other first drafts, though, and have been prepping for another soon to come. It is tentatively titled "Dead In The Shadows" and features an embittered necromancer as he struggles with his growing seperation from the humans around him as he begins to live beyond what would have been his mortal years. Just as he is planning his escape from his endentured service to the king, a lover he thought long lost reappears -- to kill him. It is packed full of drama as we explore themes of isolation, the human need to connect, and love.

Hope everyone is doing well as we fast approach the holidays. Hopefully we will have more news for you all soon, good, bad, or otherwise.

Until Next Time,
Anna Harpe

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Fateful Day

Howdy folks,

It is that time again -- bringing you the updates on what is happening behind the curtain. Frostfire has endured yet another revision -- its best one yet, in my opinion -- and is currently still out touring the agents, trying to hook a publisher.

But Lauren and I have not been idle while waiting. Not only did we finish a first draft of a pet project of ours, but we revised our outline from last year's nanowrimo novel and began working hard at finishing its first draft. We actually are just a chapter or two from hitting the midpoint of the story, so it shouldn't be long before it is finished, and I think it is about time to reveal exactly what that story is about.

Linryl and Vasille
Art by Jordon Kincaid

"Fated: The Doe and The Wolf" is a story about two girls as different as the sun and moon, whose paths intertwine time and again through the mysterious twists of Fate. Yet, as strongly as destiny seems to pull them together, their own secrets work to pull them apart, as Linryl hides what drove her from her country life to the city, and Vasille desperately works to keep her family's secret. But as they struggle against their Fate, a Fiend stalks the streets they walk, leaving dead girls gutted in its wake. Will they succumb and embrace their destiny, or will they draw a new Fate, one that ends in blood?

Until Next Time,