Strange Waters Story Reveal #2

Fall is just around the corner.

Which means a) summer’s almost over, but b) IT’S ALMOST TIME FOR THE NEXT PHOENIX FICTION ANTHOLOGY!

If you keep your eyes on the interwebs over the next few weeks, you’ll see sneak peeks for all the Phoenix Fiction Writer contributions. Just a couple weeks ago, we announced the cover and title of the 2019 anthology.

Today, it’s my joy to announce my own contribution:

Kamynosa’s Labyrinth

Princess Kamynosa doesn’t need anyone’s help.  Anyone could see she will be quite capable of being the Archipelago’s Archon on her own.

But her parents haven’t noticed that.  No, they have called for a Labyrinth.

Disgruntled and eager to prove that she can do it alone,Kamynosa commandeers a boat and joins the ranks of men sailing the Labyrinth to win herself.  She has every confidence that she will soar past the other competitors on the sparkling seas.

Yet Captain’s Heir Jadairos obnoxiously stays close in her wake.  Even worse—he has a hero complex.

Proving that Kamynosa doesn’t need anyone just got a bit more challenging.


“Kamynosa’s Labyrinth” is set in the world of The Firstborn’s Legacy, but it’s pretty unattached to the larger story of the series. The Tasos Archipelago in which this short story takes place is mentioned once at the end of Child of the Kaites and maaayybe once in “The Temple Builder.”

That was part of the reason why I had the biggest blast writing this short story!  I got to build out the world a little bit, creating a brand new culture and history.

In editing, I’ve come to feel that “Kamynosa’s Labyrinth” is perhaps the most me story I’ve ever written.  It draws on history, mythology, archaeology, the ocean, allusions to Lord of the Rings and a couple other stories, and more.  Plus, the narrator is an historian who can’t keep herself totally objective because she’s too much of a nerd about her subject matter.

I wrote the first draft in about the span of a week, and the whole time I felt a bit giddy with delight.

So, of course, there is art.


The cover came from this painting I did early on in the story’s life. It helped me come up with the nicknames for the two main characters: Little Tern and Bumbling Turtle.

Notice the two moons of the planet Orrock 😉

I did this watercolor back in the winter and immediately knew she would be a character someday. As soon as I got the idea for this story, I knew she would be my Kamynosa.

Which leads us to: Meet Princess Kamynosa.  She’s daring, confident, and capable, and she’s as at-home on the seas as most people are on land.


I’m so excited to share this story with you folks!

Strange Waters comes out THIS OCTOBER. Every single story in this anthology is wonderful, and they all tie into the cover image of water and a boat. I’m as excited as you are.

Keep your eyes open for the other Phoenix Fiction Writers’ announcements about their stories. E.B. Dawson announced hers last week (and it also has archaeology and a professor in it, so of course I love it). Read her story reveal on her blog.

Since Kamynosa’s loosely inspired by the myths of the Labyrinth and the Golden Apples, I’m curious:

What’s your favorite myth?

Let me know in the comments!

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