Since fall starts tomorrow here, I thought I'd celebrate by sharing some of my writing for The Season Between. This will be a short story collection set after Summon the Seasons, with each story featuring one of my four Season Avatars. This snippet features Ysabel, the Goddess of Fall's Avatar who is gifted with animal magic. Here she is investigating who's been interfering with Bittern Marsh, which is supposed to be a nature preserve:
“Ava. We are blessed to have you return to our humble home so soon.” Lady C’than’s voice was flat. However, the spread she offered was just as grand as before. Ysabel piled a couple of sandwiches and pastries on her too-small plate. She needed to give her body energy in case she needed to use her magic.
Lady C’than took only a cup of chocolate and a single cookie. “What brings you here, Ava?”
Ysabel polished off a sandwich before replying. “Bittern Marsh.”
“I beg your pardon?” The noblewoman’s dark eyebrows rose.
“I’ve discovered evidence someone has been harvesting cattails and trapping animals in the marsh, Lady C’than. That area belongs to the Four.”
“The Four do nothing with it,” Lady C’than retorted.
“That is exactly the point.” Ysabel set her cup down on the table so hard she chipped the bottom. She turned the mug so her hostess couldn’t see the damage. “The land is set aside for the wild creatures of Challen. It isn’t meant to be farmland or homes or anything else.”
“But it’s an eyesore, Ava! I’ve ridden through there several times and disliked it immensely.”
Ysabel sat up straight. “And what were you doing in the marsh, Lady C’than?”
She pressed her lips together.
“I need to know who’s been interfering in the marsh, Lady C’than,” Ysabel added. “Is it your family?”
“Of course not!” she replied a little too quickly. “It must be one of our tenants. I suggest you seek out Benjamin Maxham and his family. They’re always going where they don’t belong.”