Category Archives: Galleries of Stone

Narration LIVE

Rakefang (Galleries of Stone, #3) will be getting an audio book. My turn on Travis Baldree’s (very busy) narration schedule was just bumped to TOMORROW! If you’re interested in dropping by & listening in while he records the audio book LIVE, we’re starting tomorrow, Monday, September 5, 2022. Travis usually begins his sessions between 8am – 9am, and the usual goal is 3 hours of finished narration per day (with breaks for coffee and lunch).

How do you listen? Travis Baldree uses his Discord server to broadcast his narration sessions. Join: 

Rakefang will release in audio on November 8, 2022.
You can listen to Meadowsweet and Harrow now!

ART: Carpet Balls

Carpet Balls | art by FoxOfTwilight

Pleased beyond telling, Tupper hurried toward a set he’d first noticed when dusting that morning. A dozen stones had been shaped into perfect spheres, much larger than the marbles that the village boys used in their games. Touching the white one, the pink one, and the brown one by turn, he picked up the green one, marveling at how heavy it was. He would need to carry them one at a time!

While he ferried the matched spheres over to where Freydolf sat, the man began a sing-song rhyme. “Blue for sweet waters; white for the brine. Gray under moonlight; gold calls for wine.”

Tupper stared perplexedly at the rich golden hue of the orb in his hands. Rocks couldn’t be thirsty. Could they?

Freydolf chuckled and said, “Don’t mind me, lambkin. Gather the rest.”

He happily complied, and when he joined his master on the carpet, Tupper arrayed the spheres before him, fiddling with the order until he was satisfied. Smooth as glass, cool to the touch, and uncommonly pretty—he silently greeted each in turn by its color name.

The second to last one stumped him, and he looked at Freydolf. “This one?”

“Hmm?” he responded, glancing from boy to ball and back.

“What do I call her?”

“Her?” Freydolf echoed, the hint of a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.

Nodding, Tupper backtracked, pointing to the earlier stones in his lineup. “Blue, gray, green, and … this?” he prompted, again pointing to the sphere in question. It wasn’t only one color, or even two; several shades of brown and a warm pink were daubed together, then sprinkled with black speckles.

“Aye, I understand,” the sculptor replied seriously. “Dapple. We call her kind dapple.”

excerpted from MEADOWSWEET
Galleries of Stone, #1

ART: Ulrica Rakefang

Deuce is a prequel to Galleries of Stone. It tells the story of how a dockside boy & a hilltop girl managed to meet, despite all the reasons they never should have.

“Ulrica Unpierced” | art by FoxOfTwilight

The ongoing serial is a Patreon exclusive. If you’re willing and able to support me there, a basic subscription (any of the $5/month tiers) will give you access to story updates.

CJ on Patreon >>


Unlocked! In celebration of the audio release of Harrow, the first chapter of Deuce has unlocked for all of my patrons. This is a Galleries of Stone prequel that spins out the convoluted (and often comedic) tale of how Aurelius and Ulrica met. Because they never should have. He’s so dockside. She’s so uphill. And yet …!

In addition to exclusive story updates, patrons will enjoy story art, regular mailings, and (coming in October) narrated chapters, courtesy of Travis Baldree. Do take a look!

“Aurelius Unpierced” | art by FoxOfTwilight

CJMilbrandt on Patreon >>


Pit, Fall

Summer leaves brushed bronze skin as Aurelius’s scuffed boots left the ground. Lean arms flexed. Claws bit bark. Curling in on himself, he swung onto an overhanging bough. After an entire winter’s voyage spent clambering through the rigging on his uncle’s ship, a tree was nothing.

He made it to the fourth limb without disturbing so much as a sparkfly. Gratifying, but not as satisfying as an audience. Not that his regular hunting partners were given to gushing. Quite the opposite. No matter how dazzling his performance, Aurelius’s only reward was a grudging lack of criticism. Impatient uncles. Bitter cousins. Backstabbing brothers. But their silence was easily as fine as the jeweled droplets he’d wear as soon as this rite was passed and he was pierced.

Aurelius had turned thirteen at the midwinter festival, half a lifetime ago. Father refused to put off a voyage to Far Continent for the sake of his youngest son’s pride. How Aurelius’s dignity had suffered in the interim! Making him wait until the summer hunt was pure meanness. But Aurelius would show them all. None of his brothers had done better than a brace of rabbits during their hunts.

Respectable, but entirely too typical. I can do better, so I will.

In order to fetch better prey, Aurelius was bending the rules by hunting out of bounds. Like Aunt Lissie says, the best acquisitions are rarely found on beaten paths.

… for the rest of this chapter (and to subscribe to twice-monthly installments of Deuce), become a patron. There are perks at every tier. CJMilbrandt on Patreon >>


July 5, 2022. The second book in the Galleries of Stone trilogy is now available as an audio book, narrated by Travis Baldree. You can now enjoy both Meadowsweet and Harrow. And yes, since you asked, Rakefang is scheduled for a recording session … and will release this fall.

If you enjoyed the story, I’m glad. “The trade is good. May our next be better still.” Special thanks to all those who take a little extra time to rate, review, and recommend this trilogy to others. ~CJ


On Patreon. I’ve built up the promised buffer of 6 chapters! They’re currently available to read for patrons at the Journeyman & Keeper tiers. Tomorrow Ch1 of Deuce will unlock for patrons at the Deuce tier ($5/month). New chapters will continue to drop/unlock every other week (or so): twice a month. And come fall, we’ll be adding narrated chapters, read by Travis Baldree. Those will become available starting at the Journeyman tier.

From Patreon: Fans of Galleries of Stone will enjoy an exclusive prequel that updates twice a month. Deuce begins with a boy and a girl raised in a culture where fangs are sharp, claws are ready, and trust is rare. Aurelius and Ulrica never should have met, but their rivalry gives way to an exhilarating alliance.

CJMilbrandt on patreon >>