Dear Readers –

I’ve edited this post as Daughter of Ashes is now out on Amazon!

(If you read on another platform, please contact me – the choice between Amazon-exclusive and wide distribution is complex, and hearing from you helps me choose!)


With release day fast approaching (!), I thought I would give you a peek into the characters of Daughter of Ashes.

If you haven’t gotten to Instafreebie for your sneak peek yet, head on over! You’ll get the first 3 chapters, and also get signed up to hear when the book is live on Amazon!

So, without further ado …



Aesthetic Board for AlmericElder brother. Protector. Warrior. Noble. Orphan. Only ten years old when his parents were killed, Almeric survived from sheer instinct, driven by honor and love to protect his little sister.

It was Alleyne who had the vision of what they might accomplish – but Almeric who helped that dream become reality. Training his little sister in swordplay and knife fighting, teaching her what history and languages he remembered from their former life, making ends meet and keeping a roof over their head, Almeric did everything necessary to give Alleyne a fighting chance.

Only, when she gets one, it’s in a way neither of them intended or anticipated, and now Almeric faces the greatest test: stepping back, and letting Alleyne operate alone.



margery-aestheticServant. Merchant. Daughter. Spy. As a child, Margery traveled the length of the Nahida River on her family’s barge, learning the true power and scope of trade between allies and enemies alike. At the age of twelve, she left her family to serve in the Imperial Palace, and a new world opened up to her: one of unbelievable wealth, ancient privilege … and deadly secrets.

Margery has spent the past years serving a hard apprenticeship. Overlooked and used by turns, she has learned to keep her eyes open and her mouth shut, and she has learned, too, to mark what she sees. Why, she is not entirely certain – until at last she finds the woman who might make use of such knowledge.

The woman who might one day become Empress.



darion-collageMurder. Emperor. Monster. Scholar. Darion inherited his father’s throne at fifteen, and stepped from the shadows of his uncle’s regency six years later. At seventeen, he made the choice that put a mark on his head. But now …

Who is Aiqasal’s emperor?

Unwed, learned, rebellious, and deadly, Darion is about to meet his match in Alleyne – and she in him.


The City

aiqasal-city-aestheticBuilt on the ruins of empires, Aiqasal has become the fabled City of Three Walls. Within, it is a city of surpassing beauty, rich on the fruits of the empire’s fields, seas, and rivers.

Beyond the walls, however … there, the city truly begins. Unfettered trade along the Nahida brings as many whispers as bolts of silk and strings of beads, and a young woman might grow up wild, knowing her blood and yet a child of dust and ash as well.

It is a city wild and untamed – and yet fiercely kind, for it is the city beyond the wall that sheltered a child defenseless and alone. And it is this city that she would give anything to protect.



alleyne-aestheticOnce a child of the court, Alleyne left everything behind when she made her choice: she would be an assassin and nothing else. By day she works at the docks, overhearing whispers and learning the heartbeat of the city that is her true home. She watches the sun set over the Nahida, and she dreams of the day that she will put a knife in Darion’s chest and rid Aiqasal of a murderer.

She is no courtier – and yet, she must play the part, for the perfect chance has presented itself at last, and she cannot deny destiny’s call.

But in a world of jewels and secrets, cut off from her brother and the city she so loves, will Alleyne lose herself entirely … or find a greater calling than she ever dreamed possible?


Intrigued? You can pick up Daughter of Ashes here!

Happy reading! -M