Tag Archives: Art: Cast Portraits

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 >>

Deuce

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 >>



Teaser:

CHAPTER 1
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 >>

BYWAYS: Galena

Galena

Little Details
■ Galena is expecting a baby. If she and her husband can stay ahead of the Chasers until their child is born, they’ll become free citizens of Liberty.
■ She was brought as a child from Arundel, an empire far to the south. Memories of her former home sometimes make her sad.
■ Her personal seal is an oyster with a pearl, hinting at the precious life she’s carrying.
■ Galena’s marriage to Hurlock was arranged by their owner.

BYWAYS: Vanek Johns

Vanek Johns

As soon as the boys were gone, Ian turned to his uncle. “What just happened?”

Vanek chuckled. “Did you really think cramming those boys into a carriage would fix things?”

“But to send them out alone? Laurel won’t like it.” Ian fiddled with the buttons on his cuff. “I don’t like it.”

—excerpted from Byways, Book 1: On Your Marks

Ian’s overly optimistic plan was doomed from the start, but thanks to wise Uncle Vanek, the brothers will each have a chance to prove themselves. This big bear of a man is the Postmaster’s business partner, his trusted friend, and his uncle. Vanek Johns is the person who helped Ian establish the postal system that serves Liberty’s people. He has a booming voice and a deep laugh. The father of six grown children, he’s wise when it comes to helping young ones grow up.

 

ART: Tupper [Galleries of Stone]

Triad Header

Tupper followed his daytime guardian, taking care not to let his hair get caught in overhanging branches. His last haircut had been near the end of the previous summer, so his white-blond curls were becoming difficult to manage. He often wondered if he could buck Flox tradition and let his hair grow out as long as Freydolf’s.

—excerpted from Galleries of Stone, Book 2: Harrow

Tupper Meadowsweet’s whole perspective shifts when he joins Freydolf in the Statuary. The rush of new information would throw anyone off balance, but the boy proves nimbler than most. Distant mountains. Vast oceans. Diverse races. Strange lands. And a whisper of magic that lures him deep into Morven’s galleries. Today, I’m sharing a watercolor of a Tupper whose hair has gone a bit shaggier than is respectable for Flox boys. Continue reading ART: Tupper [Galleries of Stone]

FOLKS: Ganix’s Team

Across the Line, header

“What’s going on?” asked Ganix.

“A show. That’s Hurlock. He’s famous around here because of his magic.” Luke shook his head. “It’s sad.”

While Ganix watched, purple fire bloomed in the magician’s bare hands, and he sent it whirling over his head. The flames turned into a dragon that twisted through the air. Shoppers stopped to stare. Some clapped. And a few tossed coins into a basket at the edge of the stage. Hurlock thanked them with a gentle smile.

“Sad? He’s amazing!”

“He is. But purple fire means a sad day for Hurlock. Can you see his feet?”

Standing up to get a better look, Ganix asked, “Are those chains?”

—Byways #7: Across the Line: A Ganix Johns Adventure

Ganix Johns is the youngest son of Liberty’s Postmaster. Up until this point in the storyline, he’s been changing traveling partners at every waypoint. But when he meets Continue reading FOLKS: Ganix’s Team