Brown River Queen cover art

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cheap Date

No one needs to remind me that times are tough, and 'extra cash' is quickly gaining the same mythic status shared by Bigfoot and Nessie.  In fact, the last time I saw a hundred dollar bill, it was blurry, poorly lighted, and being photographed wandering in a thick alpine forest.

So, in the interest of offering you, Gentle Reader, something for very nearly nothing, I'm going to list some very cheap books below. All written by me, naturally, and they can be yours for about a buck. Kindle, iPad, Nook -- name your poison.

I'm not just shoving old trunk stories your way, either.  Well, okay, that's exactly what I'm doing, but these are all anthologies of short stories that were published back in the 90s, when I was just beginning my rise to the lofty position of fame and vast wealth I now enjoy (that's industrial-grade snark, by the way).  These are stories editors deemed worthy of publication, and paid for, and printed. I'm offering them now because the rights have reverted back to me, and I hope by selling them on the cheap I might snag a few more fans. Hey, I'm nothing if not honest. But these aren't rejects that never quite found a home!

I'm proud of all these stories.


First of all, let me introduce you to Wistril, the White Chair wizard, and his sharp-tongued apprentice Kern. I wrote a trio of Wistril stories, back in the day, and they've been popular with readers ever since.

The stories in the anthology Wistril Compleat are my homage to the traditional high fantasy that I devoured as a kid. I added my own twist to the genre, though, by making Wistril a cranky, reclusive gourmand who wants nothing to do with adventure or power or politics. What Wistril wants is four meals a day, a steady supply of beer, and lots of peace and quiet.

As you can imagine, he gets little to none of the latter.  Complicating matters further is his status as a White Chair wizard. White Chairs refuse to use any offensive magics whatsoever, which leaves Wistril a staunch pacifist in a world filled with swords and hostile magics. Luckily, Wistril's wits are as sharp as any blade.

But what sets the Wistril stories apart is the friendship between grumpy Wistril and snarky Kern. That's always been my favorite aspect of the stories, too.

You can get all three Wistril stories in Wistril Compleat for only 99 cents.

Wistril Compleat at Amazon for your Kindle

Wistril Compleat at Barnes & Noble for your Nook


Wistril isn't the only wizard I've written about, either.  Meet Mallara, my first female protagonist, who appeared in five short stories published back in the nineties.  Mallara isn't a moody recluse who hides away in a mountain keep, though.

Instead, Mallara is a Royal Sorceress who patrols a regular beat. It's up to her, and her invisible assistant Burn, to keep the magical peace in the Five Valleys region of the Kingdom.  And while the Five Valleys appear to be nothing more than a string of sleepy little hamlets at first glance, Mallara keeps busy. Oh yes she does.

Whereas Wistril and Kern are fast friends, Mallara and Burn are co-workers, and not even born into the same species. Burn is a Shimmer, which means his 'body' is composed entirely of microscopic convection currents powered by tiny magical heat sources.  As a magical being, Burn can do no magic himself, lest he simply vanish in a puff of brief but intense heat.  Nevertheless, he and Mallara find themselves coming face to face with a variety of threats, and again, in the end it's their wits that are tested the most.

Again, you can get all five Mallara and Burn stories for the bargain-basement price of 99 cents.  How do I do it?


Mallara and Burn: On the Road from Amazon for your Kindle

Mallara and Burn On the Road from Barnes & Noble for your Nook


Passing the Narrows is a single short story, so you may be wondering 'Hey Frank, why would you even put a single short story out there by itself and then charge a buck for it? Who do you think you are, Stephen King?'

Fair question.  Passing the Narrows appeared in Weird Tales magazine, though.  The Weird Tales magazine, in which the works of Stephen King have also appeared.  And I didn't just appear in Weird Tales -- the story was voted best in that issue by readers.  So yes, I think 99 cents is perfectly fair, because Passing the Narrows is a great story.

Here's the Amazon blurb, so you know what the tale is about:

Passing the Narrows' is the tale of a haunted American South, an ancient evil, and a defeated yet defiant riverboat crew. The stern-wheeler Yocona has been ordered by a Federal sorceress to make a 
frantic run to Vicksburg via the Yazoo River, and that means passing the Narrows on a moonless night, a passage every riverboat master knows is suicide...

Passing the Narrows is, quite simply, one of the best things I've ever written.


"Keeping the Peace" -- The Troll War is over, save for a lone sorceress and the renegade general she's spent years tracking down. But the general holds a secret...

"The Harper at Sea" -- Jere the Harper, afloat on a raft, in the midst of the Great White Sea. His only hope is rescue -- but will the merfolk be his undoing?

"Waking the Master" -- The old wizard's house is clever, hard-working, and eager to please. So when the Master oversleeps, the House decides to take charge.

"The Truth About Arphon and the Apple Farmer's Daughter" -- Jere the Harper once again finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Can he sing his way out of trouble, or has the harper sung his last?

"One Such Shore" -- Silicy takes to the Sea to pursue her dreams. But the Sea is a perilous place, and the storms Silicy faces may force her to seek a new shore.

"Tinker Bell, Cannon Dale, and the All Wheeling Nick of Time"-- Elves. Bicycles. Shotguns. Whiskey. Just another day for Tir Na Nog's foremost bicycle repairman -- but a night is falling that will change him

Anthology 1 from Barnes & Noble for your Nook


And now you're in for a treat.  Okay, we've left the realm of the 99 cent ebook, that's true. But we've entered Markhat country, and since my Markhat the finder series is six books strong and growing, I'm happy we've arrived.

And so, for anyone out there who hasn't had the pleasure of joining Markhat as he walks the mean streets of Rannit, I give you The Cadaver Client. We're talking a couple of bucks and change, which I consider a more than fair price for what you'll get in return.

Humans, Trolls and even the halfdead have all passed through Markhat’s door—more than once—seeking his services as a finder of missing persons and lost loves. This is a first, though. This time, his client is a dead man. At least that’s what Granny Knot claims. But as long as the coin is real, Markhat has no trouble working for a guilt-ridden ghost.

Trouble is exactly what he finds, and soon he suspects his client, ghost or not, has darker motives for finding his estranged wife than the reconciliation he claims. Left with a cadaver for a client, a spook doctor for a partner, and Mama Hog as advisor on all things spiritual, Markhat must unravel a dark mystery ten years old, and do it before another grave is filled. Maybe his own.

Warning: This work of fiction involves the occult, several rather questionable uses of stuffed birds, the release of sarcasm inside a cemetery and numerous disparaging portrayals of wood elves.

The Cadaver Client from Amazon for your Kindle

The Cadaver Client from Barnes & Noble for your Nook

So there. You could buy -- heck, you should buy -- everything I've listed for around seven measly, no-good dollars.  How's that for a bargain?

And those aren't even all of my books!  There's more Markhat, there's a brand new YA fantasy called All the Paths of Shadow -- visit my webpage at to see it all in glorious hi-def color!


  1. This is truly a bargain of epic proportions! I've just purchased a "hard copy" of All the Paths of Shadow which I plan to dig into soonest, but this offer is too tempting to resist. Thanks for the stories and the idea....

  2. Thanks Katy! I hope you enjoy them!

  3. A penny less than a buck for "Passing the Narrows"? A deal at twice the price! Where else can a person buy eerie, funny, enchanting, and triumphant for three quarters and 24 cents? (See? Nobody's answering. So there ya go.)

    It's simply one of the best shorts I've ever read.

    Now I'm off to get The Far Corners!

  4. I've already read everything you've wrote, you'll need to give me new. ;)


  5. Debi --

    I am pleased to report that the new Markhat book is at the halfway point, and moving quickly along!

  6. Looking forward to it. :) How about the sequel to All the Paths of Shadow?

  7. DC, the sequel to Paths of Shadow will be called ALL THE TURNS OF LIGHT. The instant I'm done with the new Markhat, I'll start on Turns of Light. I've got it outlined and ready to go, so hopefully the wait won't be long.