A Familiar Story – the Series

The digital and trade paperback editions of It Sounds Familiar are starting to become available across additional platforms. This is the second book in the A Familiar Story series.

Two paperback books (Something Familiar and It Sounds Familiar) on a wooden table, separated by a green and blue glass orb.

The first book, Something Familiar, a story about a witch looking for a familiar and a shape-shifter who has run away from home. You can read the first few chapters for free over at Curious Fictions, if you want to try before you buy.

The second book, It Sounds Familiar, picks up with our witch and familiar pair coping with the biases they face in a society that is widely opposed to shape-shifters.

Non-Binding – Part 1

Adric notched his key into the lock, surprised when the light force pushed the door inward. He stared at the widening gap in confusion. It wasn’t like his parents to leave without latching the front door. He stepped over the threshold, his step faltering when the scent of blood hit him.

Normally it would be appealing, maybe even triggering a hint of hunger, but this blood was wrong. It was strong enough that he should have picked it up from the sidewalk. It smelled of family and magic. He gasped, his keys clattering to the wood floor as he clutched at his chest.

He’d been uneasy since second hour, his usually docile powers sloppy and on edge. So much so that he’d decided to skip cuisine club after school rather than risk something going wrong. His safety-conscious parents were staunch supporters of initiatives promoting a peaceful image of their people; messing that up would be unacceptable. He’d hoped his dad could help him trouble-shoot the problem.

He closed his eyes and grasped for the magical bond they shared, the enchantment that ensured he had complete control over his power and his nature despite the volatility of youth. He lurched against the wall when he found nothing of the familiar magic. He knew what waited in the other room and was vaguely aware of his fingertips sinking into the gypsum wall as he gathered strength for what had to be done.

Shaking and queasy, he pushed himself away from the dented wall and took slow steps down the hall to the living room entrance. His breath stuttered as he took in the scene. Papa’s newspaper had fallen to the floor, open to whatever page he’d been reading. Mama’s teacup lay on its side, its contents spilled over the table and mixed with her blood. There was so much blood, seeping into the couch, congealed on the floor, spattered across his parents’ waxen skin.

The next moment, there was a buzzing in his ear. He was crouched just inside the living room, half behind a chair, with no memory of having moved. He shook his head, trying to clear it.

“-dric Herzmeister?”

He stared at his cellphone wondering when he’d pulled it out and who he’d called. “Uh… sorry. What?”

“This number is registered to an Adric Herzmeister. Are you Adric?” the woman asked. Her voice was unfamiliar, but calming.

“Yes. Yes, I’m Adric.” His head felt cobwebby, like waking from a long sleep.

“This is 911 emergency, Adric,” she explained. “Is there a reason you called? Are you all right?”

He moaned, realizing they needed complete information so they came prepared for everything they were going to have to deal with. But he wasn’t sure he could say it out loud. “It’s my parents,” he forced out. He took a steadying breath and realized there was garlic in the room, probably stuffed in his parents’ mouths. His suddenly shaking hands gripped the phone to avoid dropping it.

“Is there something wrong with your parents?” she prompted.

“Uh-huh.” He squeezed his eyes shut. “They’re dead. Uhm. Permanently dead.” He gasped and let himself slide fully to the floor, curled on his side around his phone.

“Permanently… Adric, are your parents a human subspecies?”

“Yeah,” he mumbled, drawing his long limbs in tighter. “Vampire, western European variant.”

“Okay,” she said. “Can you tell me if you’re bound to anyone other than your parents?”

“Not bound,” he whispered, his throat tight. “You need to send someone who can control me if…”

“It’s okay, Adric,” she interrupted, businesslike. “You’re not going to lose control.”

“B-but…”

“I’m sure this is scary. But I’m going to send a team out to help you,” she said, her voice optimistic yet firm. “Can you tell me where you are?” When he didn’t respond right away, she prompted again. “Adric, are you at home?”

“Yes,” he whimpered. “I’m in the living room.”

“And your parents, where are they?”

“On the couch.” He was barely audible. “Mostly.”

“Can you tell if there’s anyone else in the house?” she asked. “I want to make sure you’re safe.”

He shook his head, his canine teeth digging in to his bottom lip. “No one’s here.” He hesitated. “It… it smells like it happened hours ago. And my powers got touchy this morning when I was at school, so… it was probably… then.” He felt hot, and wet tears were drizzling across his face.

“It’s okay, Adric,” the 911 operator murmured. “The team is on their way, and they have a warlock to help you. I’m going to stay on the phone with you until they get there. Just try to focus on my voice and remember we’re here to help you.”


Check out part 2.

Something Familiar – Teaser 7

The seventh chapter of Something Familiar is now available on Curious Fictions (along with chapters one through six) for those who need a try before you buy option.

Cover of the novella Something Familiar.

If you read any of the teasers and want to find out more, Something Familiar is available in a variety of formats and from many retailers. You can also check with your favorite bookseller or online store, as it is available outside the US as well.

For those who’ve already bought it, thank you for your support.

Something Familiar – Teaser 6

The sixth chapter of Something Familiar is now available on Curious Fictions (along with chapters one through five) for those who need a try before you buy option.

Cover of the novella Something Familiar.

If you read any of the teasers and want to find out more, Something Familiar is available in a variety of formats and from many retailers. You can also check with your favorite bookseller or online store, as it is available outside the US as well.

For those who’ve already bought it, thank you for your support.

Something Familiar – Teaser 5

The fifth chapter of Something Familiar is now available on Curious Fictions (along with chapters one through four) for those who need a try before you buy option.

Cover of the novella Something Familiar.

If you read any of the teasers and want to find out more, Something Familiar is available in a variety of formats and from many retailers. You can also check with your favorite bookseller or online store, as it is available outside the US as well.

For those who’ve already bought it, thank you for your support.

A Gift of Sky (teaser)

“Do you want to play with us?” Rellin asked, his voice gentle and slow, as if he thought Shya might not be able to understand him. An eager wind pulled at the long white fringe dangling from his coat sleeves and pants, fanning it out behind him.

Though she would have loved to join the other children, she shook her head and looked away from the pity on his face. The branches below her were full and lush, and only a few patches of ground were visible through the gaps when the boughs danced with the weather.

“Leave her alone, Rellin,” Bexa chastised, her blonde curls bouncing in a playful breeze. She was Shya’s sister and protector, although all her siblings watched out for her. It was utterly humiliating that Shya’s staunchest defender was two full years younger. “You know she doesn’t fly well.”

Shya turned her back on them, in part so she wouldn’t hear the rest of the conversation, but also so she wouldn’t have to see them soar easily into the sky, where a group of children waited. Unlike the birds, sky folk didn’t need wings to fly.

She made slow but steady progress along the wide branch, toward the three-level tree house where she’d been born. It was a cool day, which meant she wouldn’t be able to save herself if she fell, but she’d lived all of her thirteen years with the same danger. She had fallen out of trees more than once, and still, she liked heights. If she could fly, she wouldn’t be afraid of going up higher than the birds did. If she could fly.

“Shya Skychild, what are you doing out there?” a woman demanded, her voice issuing through an open kitchen window. “Come in here this instant.”

Shya sighed as she felt gentle breezes nudging her toward the door. “I’m coming.” If her mother had her way, Shya would never leave the safety of the house. The door blew open before she could reach for the handle. She took her time hanging her coat on its peg, hoping she might be able to sneak through the kitchen without a reprimand. Her soft leather boots made no sound as she crossed the hardwood floor, and for a moment she thought she might make it.


Hop on over to my Curious Fictions account (where longer form stories will reside) to read the whole thing free.