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Cover by Jessica Grundy

Cover by Jessica Grundy

Greystone Valley is now on sale! Copies are available in trade paperback, ebook, and hardcover.

You can order the book online through any of these sources:

Picture by Telecanter

Picture by Telecanter

At first, Sarah assumed the creature next to Keeley was one of the beast-men. He had hairy legs and hooves, but his head was human – save for a small pair of goat horns that protruded from his forehead. He wore a crown of leaves, colored with the many bright colors of autumn foliage. When he saw Sarah looking at him, he got out of his throne of brambles and called for the other creatures in the forest to be quiet.

A jaded trickster, Pan is recognizable to most people even if they don’t come from Greystone Valley. As far back as the days of ancient Greece, tales have been told about the goat-legged man who lures men and women alike into the forest for feasting and celebration. Some of the legends paint him as more dangerous than that, but at his core Pan is a person who lives for the thrill of a celebration – or at least he used to.

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Aside from Sarah herself, this is the biggest inspiration for Greystone Valley.If you’re familiar with the fantasy genre, you probably find Greystone Valley to be treading familiar territory. That’s intentional. Part of the goal of writing this novel was to introduce young readers to some classic fantasy tropes. The hope is that, after reading Greystone Valley, they might be more open to other stories with similar themes. In years to come, I hope that this novel becomes a gateway into the fantasy genre for some people who might otherwise never have picked up a book with faeries and dragons in it.

If you are one of those readers who is just getting into fantasy literature, or if you’re just curious as to where my inspiration for this novel came from, you might want to check out some of these other terrific books.

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Image by "EjLizardbreath"

Image by “EjLizardbreath”

The dragons parted as the newcomer strode through the cave on all four legs. She was a dragon, too, but she stood out from all the others. Her skin was neither scaly nor rough, but instead shined like a coat of silver. She towered over Sarah and the humans easily enough, but wasn’t nearly as big as Azal or some of the other dragons. Sarah thought she could maybe fit in the garage at home. Her legs and wings looked powerful, but held a different kind of strength than the other dragons. Instead of tight muscles and a tough, scarred hide, this silver dragon looked more like a cat. Her strength was combined with grace, and she seemed in control not only of her own actions, but of the actions of everyone else in the chamber as well.

Known to many as the Dragon Queen, Adlin is one of the wisest of her kind and the most respected dragon in all of Greystone Valley. She is rumored to have been on a first name basis with the Wizard of Castle Greystone, and some legends state that it was she who first convinced the dragons to retreat to the valley in the first place. Adlin rarely talks about her own history, but there is clearly very little she doesn’t know.

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Picture by WillDan

Picture by WillDan

The monsters in the hills were huge – at least twice as tall as Dax and ten times as heavy. They had long arms that almost scraped the ground when they walked and gray skin that blended in well with the night. Their eyes were beady and red, and tusks grew from the corners of their jaws. The creatures were covered in long, ratty fur that hung about their bodies in rags. Sarah guessed the fur was once white for most of the monsters, but the hair was stained with sweat, grime, and what might have been blood.

Lurking in mountain caverns and hiding under bridges, trolls are among the most dreaded creatures in Greystone Valley. Yet they are also known to occasionally inhabit houses and serve as guardians for families in need. Trolls are among the most adaptive creatures in the valley, with their bodies and minds constantly changing to match their environment.

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Picture by Bobby Mikul

Picture by Bobby Mikul

“If Baelan’s really a warlord, why doesn’t he just conquer this village and lie in wait for you?” asked Sarah.

“He and his army come and go as they please in the valley, but they never get too greedy. He sends his troops on missions, and they keep to their task. Even the more stubborn beast-men know that they can’t just kill and plunder as the wish. If they did, the folk of the valley would finally join together and raise an army of their own. Even the greatest warlord in the land can’t afford to fight everybody.”

“Why don’t they raise the army anyway?” Sarah stepped carefully through the streets, avoiding sharp rocks that could cut into her bare feet. “These people can’t enjoy having an entire army tromping through their village at the drop of a hat.”

“What land do you come from?”

“Me? Um…America.”

“And does everyone get along in this America of yours?”

“Of course!” Sarah immediately felt foolish for blurting out the poorly thought-out answer. “Well…not really. It’s complicated.”

“It’s complicated here, too. The valley hasn’t had a king in over fifty years. It’s mostly just tiny villages like this one. Each town has its own way of doing things, and none of them likes having someone else telling them what to do. When people can’t even agree on what side of bread to butter in the morning, how are they supposed to cooperate on something more important?”

Greystone Valley is no stranger to conflict, but it rarely has full-scale wars. Even the greediest of warlords tends to realize that the land is too small and isolated to make a true conquest worthwhile. That doesn’t mean that war never comes to Greystone Valley. History tells of the three great wars and the effects they have left upon the land.

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Will Greystone Valley be a winner?The Independent Publisher Book Awards are gearing up, and Greystone Valley is entering the fray.

The IPPY awards are one of the highest achievements a small press book can receive. Greystone Valley will be competing in the National, eBook, and Northeast Fiction regional categories.

The results won’t be announced until spring, but stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed!

Pay with a Tweet

pwat_logoThere’s a new way to pick up Greystone Valley! For a limited time, you can pay with a tweet. Just head over to Grey Gecko Press and choose the “Pay with a Tweet” option. All you need to do in order to get a free copy of the Greystone Valley ebook is make a single post on Twitter or Facebook. If you haven’t checked out the book yet, do this and spread the word!

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