Intermission II: The Prince & the Thatcher

Bits & Pieces…

So, as I was scouring through old drafts and cut scenes looking for today’s Intermission post, I came across this scene from A Queen’s Ransom (back when it was called Liliput).  I had heretofore forgotten about it and, since I’d never done a “deleted scenes” section during Liliput, here it is for my first followers, and perhaps for you who are new and looking for another story. Continue reading


Congratulations, it’s a…

I’ve given some more thought to titles, considering phrases within the theme, premise, and dialogue.  I even went to this strange and magical land, to see what an algorithm could come up with.  Here are the runners up:


The Harper’s Journey

The Trickster’s Apprentice

The Harper’s Ransom

King’s Fool*


The last one (*) refers to the idea of a harper being a type of fool if you count him or her among the skomorokhi but that might go over people’s heads.  However, the winner for random sequence of determiners, nouns, and adjectives (aka, a title) is…


…drumroll please…


A Queen’s Ransom




Okay, so it happens to be an alternative name of a 1976 Hong Kong action flick, International Assassin, but that was before I was born.  I like the turn of phrase, though I wish I could fit something in there to hint at magical fantasy romance.

Special mention for amusement to Russian Rashomon and The Ghost and the Gusliar.

Like the title?  Like any better?  Comment below with your own take on the vote!  See you next week with an update!


15: Welcome Party

Chapter One

Table of Contents

The Survey of Titles (see notes)

Thanks for sticking with me so far!  One more post after this one and then there’ll be a few weeks’ break with just a few shorts while I get ready for the next big thing.




In the day sky, the new moon is faint behind scattered clouds.

Liev approaches, Pavel riding beside him with KNIGHTS. Continue reading

14: Saving Face

Cue the homecoming montage!

Chapter One

Table of Contents

Help me pick a title!  Check out the notes in Chapter 13 for details.



Noon:  Liev and Pavel cross the bridge, Sasha behind.  Men take a knee and patrons shout from windows.  The two knights eye Sasha warily. Continue reading

13: Things Left Unsaid

We’re at the start of Act III!

Chapter One

Table of Contents



A clear evening.  Galen watches from the wall.  Cleaned up, Irina and Liev sit at a fountain.  Siny stands at the gate looking nervous.  Irina holds her ring.  She’s warm, graceful, charismatic, but sad.

She is finishing a story we can guess. Continue reading