After Joenna’s half-orc son is killed in battle, she disguises herself as a man to join the army and avenge him, adding one notch to the handle of her ax for every demons she kills. But when she volunteers to lead a suicide charge of half-orc scouts, she risks her secret and her own mission to try to save them. Rewarded for her prowess with a grant of land and ownership of her half-orc man-at-arms, Joenna plots to rescue all of the half-orcs from the king’s plan to destroy these reviled bastards—making herself a traitor along with them. When their haven is discovered, Joenna leads the half-orcs in a desperate fight against a famous warrior and his knights in the hopes of winning their freedom and claiming their humanity.
Live Free or Dragons–edited by Elaine Isaak, and including her short story, “Captive Breeders” is now available!
In addition to her long-form fiction, Elaine has published numerous short stories. She won the Tenebris Press Short Fiction contest, and took an honorable mention in the Waukegan Library Short Story Contest—for which the prize was a book autographed by one of her heroes, Ray Bradbury.
Her stories have appeared in anthologies like Escape Clauses, Clash of Steel: Demons, Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader, and Fantasy for the Throne, as well as in Fireside magazine.
She has also appeared in several volumes of New Hampshire Pulp Fiction, and edited the three most recent volumes: Love Free or Die, Live Free or Ride, and Live Free or Dragons.
Beloved bastard of an unloved king, Fiona will do almost anything to please her father, even studying magic though she never shows more than a spark of talent. But the plague that grips their city sends her to work with the dying, as enmity builds between the two peoples her father has brought together. When arson burns a hospital, everyone blames the growing racial tension, until an unexpected suspect comes from the woods on a spirit-quest destined to uncover the secrets of Fiona’s past. Then Reynaud, long Fiona’s suitor, suddenly asks to marry her sister. Struggling to find a cure for the plague, Fiona becomes ever more convinced that its emergence is no coincidence—and that Reynaud may be leading a conspiracy that will end in genocide.
(The generational saga continues in…)
Prince Wolfram of Lochalyn can’t possibly live up to the reputation of his father, the Blessed Rhys, so why bother to try? Until a series of self-started catastrophes plunges him into the midst of the growing refugee population. They claim to be fleeing a war, and only Wolfram sees the danger that lurks in their mysterious ways. But his love for an exotic stranger, and his concern for the princess who pursues him collide with a more terrible struggle, in which his kingdom may fall and his very Goddess be brought to Her knees. Discredited by his past and disdained by his own mother, Wolfram must find the truth of his birth, and fight to make amends for all that he’s done—or be seduced by the darkness of distant power.
When Roger the kitchen boy told everyone he was the king’s bastard and raised an army to overthrow his tyrant father, he never expected to have to live that lie.
In the aftermath of the Demon War, King Agravaine’s rule only became more oppressive. Somebody had to do something! After his own humiliation at the king’s feet, begging to get his mother freed from prison, Roger stepped up with his dangerous tale. Surely he would die in the fighting, but at least his mother, and maybe all of his people, could be free, and his wild story might inspire something greater. His early supporters, Lady Rania, and his scullion friend Caterina—now leaders in his army—promise to keep his secret, if only Roger’s leadership turns out less devastating than his predecessor’s. Now he must navigate the politics of a crown he never meant to wear and bring together peasant and lord to revive the battered kingdom. His attachment to Lady Rania grows even as his lies make it impossible for her to trust him. But the real test is yet to come: how can the usurper Roger Silvertongue face the army backing the king’s true heir?
(Over 30,000 words have been restored, bringing the book back to my original vision.)
When his uncle murders his family to take the throne, Prince Kattanan DuRhys is the only royal left alive. . . at a terrible cost. Stripped of his manhood, Kattanan travels as a court singer from one wealthy patron to the next. Given as a courtship gift to the young Princess Melisande, Kattanan feels the stirring of emotions he thought were denied him. But her jealous fiancée has other plans–and the sinister magic to carry them out.
Must Kattanan sacrifice his song to win his kingdom, and the woman he loves?
In spite of Trelayne’s victories in battle, the road home is longer than the young knight ever imagined, and it must begin with rejecting his peasant companion, Derik, and denying the memory of the half-orc companion who gave his life for them. Forced to admit that the battle has changed him, Trelayne tries to be the champion for the peasantry, only to make things worse—Derik imprisoned, his betrothed rejecting him, his war-wounds throbbing. Honor provokes him to claim a duel with the swordmaster in the hopes of earning Derik’s freedom, but the veterans find that winning a battle is not the same as winning a war—and not all demons wear an ugly face.