Skirts and Swords – Female-led Epic Fantasy

Female-led epic fantasy isn’t very easy to find. So it’s great to see a new box set compilation come out, featuring stories from L.P. Dover, R.K. Ryals and Melissa Wright. And even better than that, it’s for charity!
Only thing is, my first reaction is that I wished they’d named it something else, instead of Skirts and Swords. Skirts and swords don’t go so well together, well, unless there’s lots of leather or metal underneath the skirt :). Though on the female armor bingo scale it’s not so bad a choice – better than the chain-mail bikini. (For even more fun, here is female armor bingo – the rhetoric edition :).)

woman, armor, arrows, mistake, I am starting to question my choice or armor
I am starting to question my choice of armor

But this started me thinking: how do you signify that a book is female-led in the title – if you want to? And, actually, it’s not so easy. Without thinking too much about it, I gave one of my book’s a woman’s name in the title (Chloe), and another has the word sister in the title – so several of my books have some indication. But outside that, what do you do?
Sifting through the online book sites, well, there is a variety of ways, for example, ahem, Chicks in Chain Mail, and its sequels Did you Say Chicks? and – who could forget the fabulously titled – Chicks n Chained Mails? But these titles have their tongues firmly in their cheeks (I hope) – and their covers really fail at armor bingo :)
More seriously, there’s a Goodreads list of Strong Female Characters in Epic Fantasy, and, looking down it, the answer to my question is – you don’t indicate it in the title very much. And I think this is a good thing. After all why should we bother, epic fantasy should be just as much female-led as male-led. It’s fantasy after all.
The covers, though, are a different matter. Yes, they feature women, but as for weapons, well there’s daggers, and – if they’re lucky – girl-sized swords, but as for actual armor that would be, er, safe to go out in, forget it. Some lovely dresses though :).
The winner in the not-ending-up-quickly-dead-in-a-fight awards must be Paksenarrion, in the eponymous series by Elizabeth Moon. She’s a woman with enough armor for her opponents not to laugh themselves sick.

A Sister of Sword and Seal – a short sale

To celebrate publishing a Sister of Sword and Seal I’ve been running a short sale on the major publishing platforms, and cleverly forgot to mention the fact on this blog. Doh!

So I’m continuing the sale for an extra day, into Sunday, to allow blogs readers to pick it up at the reduced price.

A Sister of Sword and Seal is available at:

You may enjoy A Sister of Sword and Seal more if you read the prequel short story, Squire Chloe’s Demon, first. Currently free.

A Sister of Sword and Seal – on Amazon

A Sister of Sword and Seal

A Sister of Sword and Seal is now available on Amazon: USUKCA, and AU

I hope you enjoy it, and if you do please review it. Thank you.

If you would like to take a look inside in the novel, Chapter One, “Whose Life?” is available here.

You may enjoy A Sister of Sword and Seal more if you read the prequel short story, Squire Chloe’s Demon, first. Currently free on Amazon USUK,  CA and AU

** My name here is Alia. I try to leave these words, in the hope that– **
Alia is a daughter of a powerful dynasty, sent to the Temple to complete her education in sword and charm. As a sister of the seal, she’s sworn to the service of the Temple, and of her sisters.
But Alia knows there are secrets to Temple life, hidden behind the glamours, laughter, and the false friendships. She has a warning etched into her soul: never trust your Temple sisters.
Yet trusting no one will lead to her doom. For there is a secret Alia has never been told, one that has awaited her since before she was born, a secret of fate.

A Sister of Sword and Seal – pre-order

A Sister of Sword and Seal

A Sister of Sword and Seal is coming to Amazon from February the 1st, 2015. It’s currently available for pre-order at

I hope you enjoy it, and if you do please review it. Thank you. If you would like to take a look inside in the novel, Chapter One, “Whose Life?” is available here.

You may enjoy A Sister of Sword and Seal more if you read the prequel short story, Squire Chloe’s Demon, first. Currently free on Amazon USUK,  CA and AU

** My name here is Alia. I try to leave these words, in the hope that– **
Alia is a daughter of a powerful dynasty, sent to the Temple to complete her education in sword and charm. As a sister of the seal, she’s sworn to the service of the Temple, and of her sisters.
But Alia knows there are secrets to Temple life, hidden behind the glamours, laughter, and the false friendships. She has a warning etched into her soul: never trust your Temple sisters.
Yet trusting no one will lead to her doom. For there is a secret Alia has never been told, one that has awaited her since before she was born, a secret of fate.

Squire Chloe’s Demon – top 40 historical fantasy

A thank you to all you downloaders for pushing both Squire Chloe’s Demon and Another Side of Destiny into the Top 40 in historical fantasy on Google Play.

The sequel novel A Sister of Sword and Seal is now available on Google Play.

“I really felt for Chloe, in the perilous situation she’s in. Very good.” [From a Smashwords review]
“Good!!” “Cool!” “Nice”  [From Google Play reviews]

Squire Chloe’s Demon – Top 10 Historical Fantasy

Just another little thankyou to all you downloaders for pushing Squire Chloe’s Demon into the Top 10 free for historical fantasy on Amazon. I hope you are enjoying it.

Squire Chloe’s Demon is permanently free on Amazon USUK, CA and AU.

** My name is Chloe. I leave this record of the spirit, so the Temple and the city will know how the demon came to the City of the Sun. **
It’s written that a demon takes three seals before it returns below the Abyss. One, it already has. In the darkness of the sleeping city, a squire defends a second. The third seal would be Chloe’s.
A short story of wishes and charms, from the Lands of the Sweet Waters.

“I really felt for Chloe, in the perilous situation she’s in. Very good.” [From a Smashwords review]
“Great!!” [From a Google Play review]

All stories are wishes. All wishes, stories.

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