Short story sampler: Unexpected Tales
Four short stories from Kaiatan, the world of Unexpected Heroes.
In an underwater village in Nokailana, can the friendship of the new boy and a pretty girl last, or will his arrogant dad ruin everything?
In the desert of Iskra, a young man must stay alone for a month to be considered an adult, if the desert doesn’t kill him first.
In Darrendra, land of the shape-shifters, a young woman aims to be a five-year champion in a cross-country horse race.
In winged Ioj, a newly chosen priest finds his back-country origins to be a disadvantage that might send him home.
Unexpected Heroes series:
All books are available in online retailers (click the banner above each book) and libraries (ask your librarian to order them). 🙂
Or you can order directly from the author. Same price for you, but I get more of the royalty. 😉 Yes, I tried to put the direct links on this page, but it didn’t work. Sorry. But everything is in one place at the store, including a copy of the sheet music found in each book and exclusively sold direct. If there’s something else you wish were available, let me know!
(The advantage for YOU to buy direct is that you get to keep the book even if you close your account at your prior retailer. Did you know that if you close your Amazon/B&N/Apple/whoever account, or let your credit card lapse, you lose access to the ebooks you bought through them?)
Most books are also available in regular paperback and large print from Amazon. If you want a signed copy, please contact me directly. (The latest book might not be available in paperback yet, but it will be.)
(Unexpected Heroes, book 1)
Desperate to escape his fate…
…winged Ahjin strikes a bargain with his god.
But is his freedom worth the cost?
All sixteen-year-old Ahjin wants is to be a skydancer, but the god he doesn’t believe in has other plans. Assigned to be a priest, he runs away before his initiation.
But when his god is kidnapped and asks for help, Ahjin sees an opportunity for blackmail. In exchange for his own freedom, he’ll find and rescue the god from the mysterious force that’s somehow powerful enough to restrain the deity.
How hard could it be?
What Ahjin doesn’t know is that all the gods have disappeared. Suddenly, there’s more at stake than his own dreams. Without the gods’ care, the elements will destroy the world.
Aided by the gilled islander, fire mage, and shapeshifting healer he meets on the way, Ahjin races against escalating disasters. But can he save the world from shattering?
Wind of Choice is an enchanted coming-of-age adventure full of twists, turns, humor, unexpected friendships, danger and heroism. Get your copy today.
(Unexpected Heroes, book 2)
Lies, suspicion, and a desperate trek.
In a world where no race trusts another, the shapeshifting jaguar Ludik became friends with the strangers who helped him save the world from feuding gods. Now a gilled translator, a fire mage, and the winged messenger of the Gods have come to his home for his long-delayed wedding.
But before Ludik and his beloved can pledge their love, an accidental death threatens their happiness. Bad enough that a Fox trespassed into Cat territory, worse that he picked a fight with a bigger Leopard, but the true disaster is the witness who is running home to report that the Cats murdered his kin.
In a mad race to keep the misguided Dog from starting a civil war, Ludik must follow the trail through hostile territory and turn a fierce Wolf into an ally. If he can’t root out the seeds of war before they sprout, how will he preserve the life of the woman he adores?
Seed of War is the 2nd novel in the Unexpected Heroes series, a secondary world fantasy with shifters, mermaids, and winged people. If you enjoy mystery, danger, and justice, you’ll love Seed of War.
(Unexpected Heroes, book 3)
A treasure map could change her life or lead to her death.
For a sixteen-year-old mermaid, the best part of becoming an adult is the party. Even though Nia must host it on land for the sake of her gill-less friends, she can flirt with all the cute boys.
But her mom’s gift is unexpected— an old map and the news her long-lost dad disappeared in the Dragon Isles.
With her friends and a charming suitor, Nia follows her missing dad’s trail on an adventure to the supposedly cursed islands. Will she find love and discover her dad’s fate?
Maybe. Unless the curse is real.
Romance and danger swirl with the tide, and undercurrents could sweep her away.
Wave of Dreams is the 3rd novel in the Unexpected Heroes series, a secondary world fantasy with shifters, mermaids, and winged people. If you enjoy adventure, pirates, and sweet romance, you’ll love Wave of Dreams.
(Unexpected Heroes, book 4) (January 4th 2021)
Assassins, kidnappers, and conspiracies.
In the last two years, Zefra helped defeat a band of pirates, avert a war, and even rescue the gods. What *can’t the fire mage do?
Get her dream job as a guide and explorer.
Though her deeds are famous, no one believes the legends are about a scrawny, sixteen-year-old girl. With no prospects for work, Zefra is on the edge of starvation.
After someone tries to kidnap her, and assassins and poison menace her friends, they leave to try their luck in another city, safe from threats.
But danger follows them…
Spark of Intrigue is the 4th novel in the Unexpected Heroes series, a secondary world fantasy with shifters, mermaids, and winged people. If you enjoy conspiracies, gods, and shapeshifting spies, you’ll love Spark of Intrigue.
Tales of Kaiatan
More or less contemporary to the Unexpected Heroes series, enjoy additional stories from each country. The stories start almost sixty years before Wind of Choice and wander through time until after Spark of Intrigue. Here are backstories to the novels, prequels, sequels, and minor characters who demanded to tell their own stories. Some characters you will recognize, and some are new. All are waiting for you to join them in their adventures, escapes, romances, challenges, joys, dangers, friendships, and secrets…
(For a sneak peek, read Unexpected Tales, which features four of the stories from this collection.)
(Unexpected Heroes prequel/villain backstory)
When a god’s plans for reconciliation with his family fail, he turns to revenge. (For those who want to know what happened behind the scenes of Wind of Choice.)
Sheet music from the Unexpected Heroes series. Includes all four songs, one from each of the main novels.
(Exclusively available direct.)
Kaiatan Reading Order
If you want to read the Unexpected Heroes books and associated stories in chronological order, and you’ve already read the novels in the series so spoilers don’t matter, just read the numbers in order. If you haven’t read anything yet, here’s what I suggest (last updated 8/18/21 for Tales of Kaiatan):
#0.1: Squall (in Unexpected Tales/UT and Tales of Kaiatan/TK) (Amrafel is a minor character in WoC. No spoilers.)
#0.3: Brother (in TK) (Keelin does not appear in main series but there is a connection. No spoilers.)
#0.4: Negotiations (in TK) (Main characters appear in WoC and are mentioned in SoI. No spoilers.)
#0.5: Friends (in UT and TK) (Main characters appear in WoC & WoD. No spoilers.)
#0.8: Resef’s Hammer (in UT and TK) (Izo is a minor character in WoC, WoD, & SoI. No spoilers.)
#1: Wind of Choice (WoC) (novel)
#0.9: Nobody’s Revenge (overlapping prequel/backstory for WoC, but it has spoilers for #1) (newsletter special) (Kassian is a minor character in WoC, WoD, SoI, &TK)
#1.2: Sayaka (in TK) (Sayaka appears in WoC. Spoilers for WoC.)
#1.3: Visitors (in TK) (Ahjin appears in all the series. Spoilers for WoC.)
#2: Seed of War (SoW) (novel) (Spoilers for WoC)
#1.9: Trefoil (overlapping prequel/backstory for SoW, but it has spoilers for SoW)
#2.1: Healing (Ludik and Nemerra appear in all the series. Spoilers for SoW and minor spoiler for WoD.)
#3: Wave of Dreams (WoD) (novel) (Spoilers for WoC and SoW)
#2.5: Captured (in TK) (Main characters do appear in SoI, but this won’t spoil that. There are minor spoilers for WoD)
#3.1: Marathon (in UT and TK) (Rozali appears in SoI, but no spoilers)
#3.2: Pirates (in TK) (Main characters are in SoI, but no spoilers. There are spoilers for WoD.)
#3.9: Together (in TK) (Nia appears in all the series. Spoilers for WoD.)
#4: Spark of Intrigue (SoI) (novel) (Spoilers for WoC, SoW, WoD)
#4.1: Scorpions (in TK) (Ludik & Nemerra appear in all the series. Spoilers for SoI)
#4.2: Lapwing (Main characters appear in SoI. Spoilers for SoI.)
#4.4: Home (Tucker doesn’t appear in the series, but there are minor-character spoilers for SoI.)
#4.5: Wedding (Main characters are in all the series. Big spoilers.)
#4.6: Patience (Main characters are in all the series or SoI. Big spoilers.)