Category: Fiction

Fallen Friday: COVER REVEAL! (and sample chapters)

Fallen Friday: COVER REVEAL! (and sample chapters)

This week I am using my “Fallen Friday” to do something a little different. Since we are creeping up on the release date (January 13, 2022), I am taking this time and space to share a first peek at my cover and first two chapters!

In case you haven’t seen me screaming from the rooftops on social media, my novel, Fallen, is an urban fantasy story about a fallen angel, a murder, and a demon.

Blurb:

A newly-fallen angel accused of murder, Cassiel must save an elven girl and face demons—both literal and personal. She knows she isn’t the best person for the job, but she’s the only one who can do it.

The police are ill-equipped to handle demons, even with magic, and time is running out. Cassiel and her friends—a disabled human veteran, a reformed elven gangbanger, and an ex-marine orc—face the hardest fight of their lives.

This fast-paced urban fantasy adventure is the first novel in the “Smoke and Magic” series, set in modern Boston, MA. If you are looking for a new voice in Urban Fantasy, look no further than “Fallen.”

Cover design by Angel Leya.

To claim your free sample, please click the link below and sign up for my newsletter!

E. Prybylski has been in the publishing industry as an editor since 2009, starting at Divertir Publishing and eventually partnering with her close friend Richard Belanger to begin Insomnia Publishing.

Ever since childhood, E. has been an avid reader and writer of fantasy. The first chapter book she remembers reading is The Hobbit, followed swiftly by most of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. In high school, she perfected the skill of walking while reading without slamming into anyone. Mostly.

When she isn’t reading or writing, E. is an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and has a B.A. in European history from SNHU. In addition to her many historical pursuits, E. is a musician of multiple instruments, a cat mom, and a loving wife to her husband, J. E. also speaks out for the disability and chronic illness communities being a sufferer of chronic migraines and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

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Fallen Friday: Fences

Fallen Friday: Fences

Peeling paint and tired, sagging fence lines speak to the weary feeling that has settled over my town, my country, and my life. When I was younger, those fences were straight and even like the perfect, even teeth of a movie star. Now they lean to the side, valiantly defying the will of the weather, sun, and time that have rusted their nails, torn their clapboards, and broken their supports.

Vines, invasive and choking, crawl over trees and buildings. They could be pretty if they weren’t trying to kill everything, carpeting it in a toxic green death, swallowing the local plants, driving out the flowers, and leaving them a thorny wasteland. Nobody can keep up with them anymore, so the best we can do is ignore them. They flourish when we aren’t looking, but tearing them out requires a community effort nobody has time for.

When I was young, there were orchards. Wide, open spaces with apples bowed down so low that even my small hands could capture them without straining. I used to sneak in with my best friend, stealing apples until our faces were sticky and bellies full. We then ran, giggling and rushing into the safety of the forested buffer between the houses and the farm, dodging patches of skunk cabbage and poison ivy. The apple trees never chased us.

These days, the orchards are vanishing, replaced by garish new homes nobody can afford. “For sale,” they scream from their monochrome, cookie-cutter windows. “Newly built!” The empty windows stare vacant and glassy, as if even they know nobody wants them.

The people I went to school with laugh. “As if we can afford you,” we say back. “Can we have our apple trees back?”

“No.”

Everything new is made of cardboard and aluminum and sheetrock that looks like it belongs in California, not here. Not where the apples grew plentiful and the bees hummed on long summer days where we ran barefoot through the open spaces.

Everything old needs several new coats of paint, new nails, and a roof that doesn’t leak. It needs love and the hands of a carpenter who remembers how to put things back together again. Or maybe it can just lean forever, a guttural sigh echoed from the lips of ancestors who remember when there were horses in the barn. Or at least goats.

We can’t afford those either.

Instead, we pack together in tenements in the city, far away from the trees and the creeping green vines and the memory of apples. We tell ourselves we like the hustle and bustle. We like the convenience. Our eyes are as empty as the new houses on side roads carved into the orchards.

Our children won’t remember the trees or the bees. They’ll grow up knowing only sagging fences, peeling paint, and empty windows framed by curling green vines ready to choke out whatever light remains.

E. Prybylski has been in the publishing industry as an editor since 2009, starting at Divertir Publishing and eventually partnering with her close friend Richard Belanger to begin Insomnia Publishing.

Ever since childhood, E. has been an avid reader and writer of fantasy. The first chapter book she remembers reading is The Hobbit, followed swiftly by most of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. In high school, she perfected the skill of walking while reading without slamming into anyone. Mostly.

When she isn’t reading or writing, E. is an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and has a B.A. in European history from SNHU. In addition to her many historical pursuits, E. is a musician of multiple instruments, a cat mom, and a loving wife to her husband, J. E. also speaks out for the disability and chronic illness communities being a sufferer of chronic migraines and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Fallen Friday: Tea

Fallen Friday: Tea

Her name was Grace. She was the barista at my favorite coffee shop, and I saw her every morning on my way home from work. And every morning she gave me the same bright smile. “Good morning, Lisa,” she chirped as I walked in. I knew it was nothing but good customer service, but it always felt personal. Maybe it was because I was just lonely enough to believe it.

I smiled back. “Good morning.” I was usually the first one in the shop when it opened since I worked night shift and got off work about the time the shop opened.

“You want your usual?” she asked, already plucking a cup from the stack of them behind the counter.

My usual. A chamomile tea with a shot of sweet dreams. Sometimes having a fae barista makes your day just a little better.

“Yeah, please. It was a long one.” I leaned both hands on the counter and yawned.

“You catch the guy yet?” she asked while she put together my tea.

I’d told her the morning before that I’d been chasing after a killer. I sort of regretted it since a lot of the time people treat you differently when they know you’re a cop. Grace, however, had taken it in stride. Either she didn’t care enough about me that it mattered, or she liked me enough that it didn’t. At least now she knew why I liked the sweet dreams in my tea.

Grace bustled about, adding honey to my tea and humming while she did so. The sound soothed nerves frayed by long hours working overnights on cases that had no happy endings. In truth, happy endings don’t exist in homicide. The happiest ending we get is when we catch a killer, and even then we catch them only after they’ve killed someone.

It was then I realized I hadn’t answered yet. “No, not yet. I’m hoping we’re close, though. The magic division is on him. He left some spell components at the last scene. I think we’re closing in. I just hope we get him before he kills anybody else.”

“Me too. How long have you been on the case?” She set my cup on the counter and slid it toward me.

I wrapped my fingers around the paper to-go cup and sighed. “Few weeks now. He’s killed four people.”

Grace put her hands over mine on the cup. “You’ll get him. I’m sure of it.”

When I looked into her sparkling violet eyes, I almost believed her. I smiled some. It felt like my mouth should’ve made a creaking noise from disuse. I didn’t smile much. We don’t tend to in homicide. “Thanks, Grace,” I said, looking down at where her hands sat over mine.

“Hey, uh, just a random question,” she asked, releasing my hands and heading over to the cash register. “But I was invited to a party tomorrow. I was wondering if you might wanna go?” She didn’t look at me as she asked, but the detective in me read her body language. Blushing cheeks, hunched shoulders, fingers looking for anything to be busy with.

I sipped my tea. “I haven’t been to a party since college.”

“Oh, sorry. I just—”

“I’d love to.”

She lifted her head, a brilliant smile pouring across her beautiful features. “Really?”

“Yeah. Really.”

She jotted down her number on a napkin and slid it across the counter to me. “Call me when you get up?”

“All right. Will do.” The tea tasted better this morning. Or maybe I just noticed it more.

Grace smiled at me again, and it felt like sunrise all over again. Maybe everything in the world didn’t suck. “Cool. Oh, uh, I’ve got your tea. It’s on me, I mean. Well, not on me. You have it. But…” She sputtered a couple more seconds, and I let her. It was precious.

“I get what you meant, Grace.” I smiled again. She seemed to like it. “I’ll call you tonight.”

“Cool. Yeah. Okay.” She nodded.

I headed out to my car and climbed in, sitting for a minute in the quiet and sipping at my tea. She’d done something else to it this time. While, yeah, it definitely had that soft, ethereal quality I knew would help me sleep when I got home, would chase away the demons in my dreams, this time it did something else.

Or maybe it wasn’t the tea.

That day, in my dingy little apartment on the wrong side of town I dreamt of flower fields, of Grace laughing, and of sunrises. And when I woke up feeling lighter and like I could breathe again, I called the number she’d given me on the napkin.

E. Prybylski has been in the publishing industry as an editor since 2009, starting at Divertir Publishing and eventually partnering with her close friend Richard Belanger to begin Insomnia Publishing.

Ever since childhood, E. has been an avid reader and writer of fantasy. The first chapter book she remembers reading is The Hobbit, followed swiftly by most of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. In high school, she perfected the skill of walking while reading without slamming into anyone. Mostly.

When she isn’t reading or writing, E. is an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and has a B.A. in European history from SNHU. In addition to her many historical pursuits, E. is a musician of multiple instruments, a cat mom, and a loving wife to her husband, J. E. also speaks out for the disability and chronic illness communities being a sufferer of chronic migraines and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.