dark fantasy

Free Fantasy Feature October 2021 | Legends of Lasniniar: Her Rightful Place

Legends of Lasniniar Her Rightful Place coverArinmalia holds herself above the rest of her Wild Elf tribemates. With good reason.

Few can match her fighting and tracking skills. She needs no friends to watch her back or distract her with their tiresome company. She prefers to walk the forest paths alone, with only her own thoughts as companions.

Arinmalia knows in her heart a great destiny awaits her. Something beyond the modest village life of her tribe. She dreams of finding it. She hungers to make her tribemates understand.

She needs them to acknowledge her rightful place.

A stand-alone story from the sprawling history of the elves in the World of Lasniniar epic fantasy series by Jacquelyn Smith.

Now, you can read it for free on this site for one month only. This short story also comes in ebook and paperback format–both on its own, and as part of the Storm Rider Lasniniar Collection.

Get the ebook at:


Buy ebook direct from the author

Paperback available at:


Legends of Lasniniar: Her Rightful Place

Jacquelyn Smith

This story will be available for free for one month only. If you missed this one, check out the current Free Fantasy Feature here.

Posted by Jacquelyn in Free Fantasy Feature, 0 comments

A Haunted Past: Prequel Fatal Empire Story ‘Keeper of Prophecy’ Now Available

I’ve spent a lot of the past few months in the Dharakmeni Empire–a dark realm, filled with deadly intrigue. The core books follow Raziel’s journey as he attempts to navigate treacherous politics and forbidden magic as an assassin apprentice. It was a bit of a challenge to pick up the narrative where I had left off at the end of Keeper of Secrets back in 2012/2013 (even though I always intended to come back to it), so I decided to give a shorter adventure a go and write a prequel story.

Writing a prequel adventure from Raziel’s foster-father’s point of view (Admon) for ‘Keeper of Knowledge‘ was an easy choice. Admon is an established character from Keeper of Secrets, with an implied backstory I enjoyed fleshing out. But what I really wanted to do was try something from Raziel’s mother’s perspective (Moriah), which was quite a bit more intimidating. She doesn’t appear in Keeper of Secrets, and much of her backstory is unknown by the other characters. What little the other characters do know about Moriah is a mystery.

I knew it would be challenging to write a story about her past that revealed more about her, while not giving away too much and spoiling the main books. At this point, Moriah only existed as a character sketch, and in the memories of the other characters. So I started off by throwing her into the deep end to find out what she was made of. Then she dragged me down with her. Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Writing/Publishing Updates, 0 comments

Free Fantasy Feature September 2021 | The Unclean: A Fantasy Short Story

An appointment with the Mage-Lord.

Jared can sense the fulfillment of his destiny approaching as he rushes through the cobbled streets with his blue mage robes flapping behind him. The kingdom of Galdavia prizes the mage gift above all others.

And Jared takes pride in his abilities. He knows he belongs at the Mage-Lord’s side.

Nothing can come between him and his rightful place.

A stand-alone dark fantasy story and winning entry of the Writers’ Journal Fiction Contest (2010) by the author of the World of Lasniniar series, Jacquelyn Smith.

Now, you can read it for free on this site for one month only. This short story also comes in ebook and paperback format–both on its own, and as part of the Rubicon Short Story Collection.

Get the ebook at:


Buy ebook direct from the author

Paperback available at:


The Unclean: A Fantasy Short Story

Jacquelyn Smith

This story will be available for free for one month only. If you missed this one, check out the current Free Fantasy Feature here.

Posted by Jacquelyn in Free Fantasy Feature, 0 comments

Expanding the Empire: 3 New Fatal Empire titles, including a free bonus story

Keeper of Secrets Fatal Empire coverOver the past few months, I’ve been picking up the threads of the Fatal Empire fantasy series, which I started waaay back in 2013-ish by publishing the short novel Keeper of Secrets. It’s been ages since I first started writing the series, and it’s taken on a bit of a different shape in my mind since then. But I’ve finally gotten around to it again, with a renewed sense of excitement of where it might go.

Last summer, I put out A Visitor’s Guide to the Dharakmeni Empire, just for my subscribers. This was a short, tongue-in-cheek traveler’s guide to the main setting of the Fatal Empire series, written in the voice of Yarden the Wanderer–the Shining Kingdom’s foremost adventurer and devotee of the Keeper of Wonder. (Yarden also appears in a cameo role in “Legends of Lasniniar: The Wanderer,” just for fun. [Well, for fun, and to introduce him to Lasniniar, where he can have the opportunity to write more guides, lol.])

I recently wrote a second book along the same lines, A Visitor’s Guide to the Shining Kingdom, which will be the setting of a future project in the series. This month, I’ve publicly released both guides for $0.99 each. Paperback formats will also be coming very soon. (There was a weird issue about the apostrophe in the titles that created a holdup with the paperbacks. An apostrophe! I kid you not.)

Since I was putting the Dharakmeni guide out on the market, instead of giving it away to subscribers, I wanted to swap it out with something new I could send to my subscribers instead. This month, I’ve started offering “Keeper of Knowledge” to all new and existing newsletter subscribers–a short story prequel from the Fatal Empire series that explores some of Admon’s backstory and isn’t available anywhere else. (If you’re not a member of my adventure squad newsletter list, it’s totally free to join, and you can unsubscribe any time.)

Another short prequel will be coming out in August, which explores Moriah’s backstory. Keeper of Wonder (Fatal Empire Book 2) is currently in the revisions phase. It’s turned out to be twice as long as Keeper of Secrets, and will likely be coming out in September. On top of all that, the overall look of the series has gotten a bit of a facelift. Here are all the details for both guides and “Keeper of Knowledge”: Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Writing/Publishing Updates, 0 comments