WINTER’S DAWN is a new novella in the Flos Magicae series, and is now available for preorder! A 24,000-word gothic fantasy, WINTER’S DAWN is a standalone queer romance set in a 1920s alternate-universe steeped in magic. It’s my first book with a major nonbinary character (the love interest and Irish radical Winter), and I’m so excited to bring that representation to the page.

Preorder it now on Amazon, to be delivered to your Kindle on Jan 24th

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Thomas Brighton, a professor of theoretical magic, has been accused of treason. Imprisoned in the bleak Blackwood Gaol as he awaits his trial, he is cut off from his magic and his studies: a fate worse than death for the scholar who has devoted his life to academia. His only company is Winter, the mysterious prisoner in the neighbouring cell. As Thomas’ trial drags nearer, their whispered conversations are the only thing keeping him from giving in to boredom and despair.

Winter is a radical, a murderer, and a traitor to the crown. Everything Thomas fears and looks down on. But as Blackwood continues to crush his spirit and his magic, Winter might be his only ally. And Thomas might be Winter’s only chance of escape. Because if Blackwood and its guards don’t kill them both, the hangman’s noose surely will.

(Content warnings are listed at the bottom of this post, for those interested)

Read the first page:

Blackwood Gaol stood upon an unforgiving rocky jut of ground with nothing but the dark, rolling moors of Northern England beyond its gates. It might have been considered a beautiful place if the scenery hadn’t been marred by the ugly blockiness of the architecture, and if Thomas were one for appreciating the grandeur of nature. But he was far more interested in his books than in any landscape, and besides which, it was difficult to focus on anything other than the prison itself. Thomas knew the place intimately, from its core out, though he had never before visited. However, that familiarity gave him no comfort. Although he itched with curiosity to see the building up close and in person, that itch wasn’t strong enough to overpower his suspicion that this was going to be a singularly miserable experience from start to finish. Dread coiled in the pit of his stomach and skittered around the edges of his mind, both relatively new sensations for him. He had always considered anxiety the trait of an idle brain that only required a dose of firm logic to dispel, but now that he was in its grips, he found to his consternation that it wasn’t so easily dismissed. And it was far from his only source of discomfort. The chains that looped from his wrists to ankles were awkward, their weight still unfamiliar, and they dragged at his every movement. Outside the transport vehicle, the sky was grey with a coming storm. Inside, he sat cramped in the company of nine other prisoners, all of them shivering and despondent, huddled under the bored eye of their guard. Thomas’ breath frosted the air with every exhalation.

There was still another month before his trial. Winter had settled in early, snowy and fiercely cold. At university they would be in the heart of flu season and Thomas would have sequestered himself in his office for weeks on end, avoiding company until the worst was past. Perhaps a prison cell would afford him the same shelter? But he doubted it. He might avoid the flu only to fall prey to pneumonia, or some other such disaster. Blackwood was only ten years old but looked ancient, a monolith hewn from rough stone and stern magic, designed to inspire fear rather than provide safety or rehabilitation. He had never considered the wellbeing of its inmates before.

The vehicle rolled to a halt and the guard rocked to his feet, clapping his truncheon against his open palm. “On your feet. Single file.”

Thomas struggled up, his arms tucked close to his sides and his hands curled inwards like broken bird wings. He wasn’t tall, but he had to stoop to avoid hitting his head against the vehicle’s roof, and the chains dragged him lower still.

Another month. And after that—

He already wore the drab grey uniform demanded by the prison; his clothes and belongings had long since been confiscated and filed away. Regardless of the trial’s outcome, his assets would be frozen and dispersed, his home rented to other people, his position at the university terminated and filled by someone else with better qualifications and fewer scandals attached to their name. The thought of other people rifling through his things and dismantling the careful organisation of his desk made his stomach swoop with discomfort. People would dogear his books and fail to properly clean his fountain pens and they would use that one oil that always made his eyes water when they wiped down his desk. It would be horrible.

Of course, if he was convicted, none of that would matter.

WINTER’S DAWN is darker than the previous Flos Magicae books, and leans into themes of loneliness and enforced isolation that might hit some readers harder due to individual experiences with lockdowns and quarantines.

Content Warnings: suicide ideation, brief homophobia, themes of depression, anxiety, and isolation, mention of weight loss due to malnutrition, animal death.

To all my readers: take care of yourselves, stay safe, and happy January.

THE FAERIE HOUNDS OF YORK is available today!

THE FAERIE HOUNDS OF YORK is now available to buy in ebook and paperback, and free to read in KU.



Read an excerpt from the first chapter below:


Loxley woke cold and stiff. He was not in his bed but on the ground outside, his clothes crisp with frost, and with moss tousled in his hair. His fingers ached, and he unfurled them slowly as he rose to his hands and knees.  Hurting all over, his back protested with every movement, and his neck was sore, his coat collar chafing the skin. As if filled with fog, his mind was curiously blank, and his thoughts were slow to return to him.

Something was wrong.

The purple heather was flattened where he had lain; the sky above stretched pale and grey in all directions. It was just past dawn, the November air chill and damp. But more troubling than his location in the heathered moors was the ring of mushrooms that encircled him where he knelt.

An instinctive fear flared in him at the sight, and his breath stuttered as he froze in his attempt to rise. The mushrooms grew on thick, cream-coloured stalks, their caps broad and brown and speckled with pale teardrop markings. Though they did not form an intimidating physical border, growing only a few inches tall, he did not dare break their circle.

Lowering himself back down, he examined one in closer detail. Wild mushrooms were nothing uncommon, and he had even spotted rings before—they were said to spring up around sources of rot, all superstition aside—but he had never been so foolish as to step into one. They were rarely seen in England; indeed, almost unheard of in his day and age, and it was generally accepted that such old magic had long since returned to its deep slumber beneath the earth.

“I wouldn’t touch that, if I were you.”

Loxley flinched, twisting around to face the speaker.

A man sat some yards away under a tree beyond the circle’s border, a gnarl of roots his throne, with one long leg crossed over the other, a pipe in hand. The tree’s leaves were fiery copper, and its canopy was resplendent with a host of bright red apple-like berries, which lay scattered across the ground at the man’s feet. It was a hawthorn tree, a sight that tugged at Loxley’s foggy memory, and the only one to be seen from one horizon to the other. A faerie tree, he’d heard them called, when they stood alone in a field without another living thing for company. A sign of something old and powerful, best avoided.

The man sitting amongst its roots regarded Loxley with a calm, almost indifferent air, as if he hadn’t a care in the world.

“Well, of course I wasn’t going to touch it,” Loxley said. Whether he believed the old stories or not, he had woken far from home, and the haze in his mind troubled him. Something strange was afoot, and he had no desire to learn firsthand what happened to a soul who broke a faerie ring. “I don’t suppose you know how I got here?”

“No, but I can guess.” The man took a drag from his pipe; the smoke smelled sweet and spicy.

“Do you know how I might get out again?” Loxley kept his voice purposefully light, to avoid giving strength to his fear. But he could not keep the tremor from his words when he added, “Only, I don’t particularly care to be cursed or have my soul stolen away, if I can at all avoid it.”

“No,” said the man shortly, “you do not.” 

He tapped the ash from his pipe onto the roots beside him before rising to his feet and approaching the ring. Loxley rose to meet him. Despite the circumstance of their meeting, Loxley was quite certain that the stranger was not, himself, one of the Fair Folk. Though the scent of spiced incense clung to his clothes like magic, his face was too rugged to be anything but human, and his clothes too travel-worn to have any hint of glamour about them. He was of Loxley’s height, though broader across the shoulders, and seemed broader still by the cut of his coat. He had brown skin and long, dark hair barely held in check by a tie at the nape of his neck, which made him look to be one of the Romanichal people, though he lacked the bright colours of their dress. Coming to a halt before Loxley and taking care not to step within the circle, he looked Loxley up and down. His eyes were dark as coal, and from Loxley’s closer vantage point, now seemed more curious than indifferent.

“You’re not from here,” he observed.

His accent was thickly northern, his vowels flat and his tone lazily impersonal. He looked Loxley over with a clearly judgemental eye, though whatever opinion he formed, he kept it to himself. His brusqueness seemed born from a lack of regular conversation rather than a dislike of it, and Loxley could forgive a man for that more easily than he could forgive intentional rudeness.

“I was born here,” Loxley corrected, faintly, “though I’ve spent my adult years in London, it’s true. I came north because—” There was an uncomfortable gap in his memory where reason ought to have sat. “Where am I, exactly? These are the moors—”

“You’re in Yorkshire, and it pays to take more care here.”

A shiver ran through Loxley’s frame, as if a cool breeze had found its way under his coat to run its fingers down his spine. “Are you talking about magic?” he asked in hushed tones. “But no one has seen one of the Fair Folk in centuries!”

“Not outside of Scotland or Ireland, it’s true. Certainly not in London. But man-made borders hold no meaning for the Folk. I’ve been alive these past four decades and more, yet you’ve never seen me before today. Did I not exist, either?”

“That’s different. I have seen other men, after all. Where are the Fair Folk, if they have been present in England all this time?”

The man shrugged. “I did not say faeries themselves were common, only that their magic has never left the land. I’m no scholar; I can only tell you what I’ve seen. And I’ve seen magic. It lingers in the tree roots and the season’s first frost. It’s deep in the earth—though not so far out of reach as you might think.” He bared his teeth in a smile. “This is the north. The land is still half wild up here. It remembers how things used to be.”

“You speak of the north as if it were a separate country,” Loxley whispered. “We are still in England, are we not?”

“We are. And you’re right. No one just wanders into a faerie ring, Londoner or not. You’ve been played foul, and foulness is clinging to you still.”

Loxley’s throat was dry, his head throbbing; he must have spent all night on the moors, his head filled with that fog to keep him from waking. But how on earth had he got out there in the first place? It was as if he’d been snatched from his bed: he was still dressed in his nightclothes, under his coat, and his feet were bare in their boots. He swallowed down his fear. There would be time to dwell on such questions later, once he was clear of the danger he had so unwittingly stumbled into. “What foulness?”

“Step out between these two here,” the man said, ignoring his query to point to two particular mushrooms at Loxley’s feet. They didn’t look any different from the others, and Loxley hesitated, torn between the intrinsic fear of breaking the ring and the threat of foul play upon his person. The man rolled his eyes. “Sooner than later, if you please.”


A queer historical fantasy with a faerie curse and a bittersweet romance. Available in ebook, paperback, and on Kindle Unlimited on August 20th, 2020. Preorder the ebook on Amazon, or add to your list on Goodreads.

England, 1810. The north is governed by a single rule. Faerie will take as it pleases.

William Loxley is cursed. A pale and monstrous creature haunts his dreams, luring him from London to the desolate, grey landscape of his forgotten childhood. There, it will use him to open a door to Faerie—a fate that will trap Loxley in that glittering, heathen otherworld forever.

His only hope of escaping the creature’s grasp lies with John Thorncress, a dark and windswept stranger met on the moors. The longer Loxley stays in Thorncress’ company, the harder it becomes to fight his attraction to the man. Such attraction can only end in heartbreak—or the noose.

But Thorncress has his own bleak ties to Faerie. They come creeping in with the frost, their howls carrying on the winter wind. If Thorncress’ past catches up with him before they can break the curse, then Loxley will not only lose his soul.

He’ll lose Thorncress, too.

THE FAERIE HOUNDS OF YORK is a 49,000-word historical fantasy with an m/m relationship. Content warnings: self-harm and suicide ideation, period-typical homophobia and racism.