Tag Archives: Free Read

Planning a present – a free read alert

In all the whirl of preparing for Christmas, I fear I’ve been neglecting my poor blog. The holidays, however you spend them, are usually fairly hectic for us all.

So here’s what I’m going to do – on Christmas morning you will be able to read an excerpt from The Wolf’s Destiny right here.

If you haven’t read the first two stories, The Wolf’s Sister and The Wolf’s Mate, you might like to track them down first – they’re available as ebooks from Samhain or sites such as Book Depository and for Kindle on Amazon, or in the print volume Songs of the Wolf. You can find out more here – Tales of the Holtlands.

So are you ready for adventrue, romance and a magical Christmas read? And what are your holiday plans? Once I’ve tackled that turkey, I’ll probably be barricading myself into the sitting room to watch Dr. Who and Downton Abbey.

Free Octocon Anthology

As part of the run up to Octocon, the National Irish Science Fiction Convention held (funnily enough) in October, my story CARRYING KEPTARA is currently available as part of their free showcase anthology, along with stories by Peadar Ó Guilín, Brian J. Showers and Derek Gunn.

It’s available in ePub, Kindle and PDF formats.

Plus they are running a short story competition.

What are you waiting for? RUN!


Free Read: Old Friends, Part Five

So, here it is, the last part of the story. I hope you have enjoyed this. It’s been a bit of an experiment so if you have enjoyed it please let me know.

If you missed previous instalments, you can read Part One Here, Part Two Here, Part Three Here, Part Four Here.


Old Friends: a Tale of the Holtlands

Part Five

The light burst into a million fragments, whirling about them like a nest of fireflies struck in two. Reese gasped for breath, as if doused in water. The shock from the breaking of his spell, and horror to see how close he had come to succumbing covered his face. He stumbled back, clinging to Elysse.

The Enchassa screamed a curse. Her body swirled to smoke and shadows and, an instant later, she reformed right beside the lovers. She lashed out towards Elysse and the twisted claws she bore for nails sliced into the girl’s throat. Reese tried to turn, to defend his betrothed but too late. His mouth distended in a silent scream. The Enchassa turned on him, ready to finish the slaughter. But before she could, the power Tyria had always sensed in him detonated.

Continue reading Free Read: Old Friends, Part Five

Free Read: Old Friends, Part Four

Today its part Four of Old Friends. If you missed them, you can read Part One Here, Part Two Here and Part Three Here.


Old Friends: a Tale of the Holtlands

Part Four

Tyria only heard the faintest sound to warn her of attack. Turning, she caught the Fell’s stomach with the swinging blade, disembowelling it. It kept coming, momentum propelling it. The extended claws sliced through the heavy leather of her jerkin.

Armour, she thought through the wave of pain that engulfed her. I need armour. She kicked the next attacker in the gut, and beheaded it. Lots and lots of really strong armour.

Hot slick  blood spread through her cotton undershirt.

Keep moving, she ordered herself. Don’t think about them, about Reese, about anything. Keep moving. If you stop, you die.

The blob of light moved further out over the lake of blood and all around her the dark shadows, with claws as sharp as steel, writhed and thickened. Their own rancid blood pooled beneath her feet, and splattered across her face. She spat it out.

Continue reading Free Read: Old Friends, Part Four

Free Read: Old Friends, Part Three

Part Three of Old Friends today. If you missed it, you can read Part One Here and Part Two Here.


Old Friends: a Tale of the Holtlands

Part Three

The cave, which formed the entrance to the abandoned mine, was a dark cleft in the rock face, as if a giant had smote a gash through the side of the mountain. Nothing would induce the horses to go any nearer. They couldn’t have taken them in there anyway. But the reaction told Tyria all she needed to know. Dancer’s instincts were good and Tyria trusted the horse. There could be no doubt now. Too many pieces slotted right into place. Tyria drew her sword and lifted it as if in salute. Closing her eyes, she whispered a prayer to Al-V’Annin the Bright, Warrior god and Avenger of the Lost. He remained the one god in whom she felt able to place her trust and here, now, she needed his protection. The metal pressed cold and hard against her palm. It sucked away every last weakness from her. Her foster sister, had once declared that the sword was Tyria’s true love, her one and only bedfellow. Sometimes that thought was a comfort but there were also times when Tyria prayed for it not to be true.

Continue reading Free Read: Old Friends, Part Three

Free Read: Old Friends, Part Two

Part Two of Old Friends today. If you missed it, you can read Part One Here


Old Friends: a Tale of the Holtlands

Part Two

They rode through the forest Tyria remembered as bright and green, filled with birdsong and the rustling of living things. Around the manor, the forest remained the same, but as they climbed into the hills, the birdsong died away, and shadows clung to the edges of her vision. Fewer flowers crowded the edges of the path, and finally they vanished, leaving only briars and weeds.

Reese sagged in the saddle, more affected by the change than she was.

“Are you all right?”

“Yes. But it hurts inside, as if this will never recover. Can’t you feel it? The earth itself is fighting a sickness.”

“What sort of sickness?” She knew, or could guess, but she asked anyway to keep him talking. It always started like this. A poison, a curse, the Fell.

Continue reading Free Read: Old Friends, Part Two

Excerpt Monday: Old Friends, part one

Excerpt Monday Logo

Once a month, a bunch of authors get together and post excerpts from published books, contracted work or works in progress, and link to each other. You don’t have to be published to participate–just an writer with an excerpt you’d like to share. For more info on how to participate, head over to the Excerpt Monday site! or click on the banner above.

Old Friends: a Tale of the Holtlands by R. F. LongOld Friends: a Tale of the Holtlands

Part One

Invitations weren’t part of a warrior’s day to day experience. Tyria knew two things: people who wanted to see or spend time with her always had an ulterior motive; people in need of help just came straight out and asked.

Reese’s note was curt, almost rude. As her oldest friend, there should have been some sort of greeting at least. It had been four years and she hadn’t even had word he was home. He asked to see her, but didn’t say why. It had to be bad. Continue reading Excerpt Monday: Old Friends, part one

Coming Soon: an early Christmas present to you all

Who doesn’t love getting something for Christmas? Something free and packed full of excitement?

Starting Monday 14th (and tying in with Excerpt Monday too), I’m planning to post a five part Holtlands short story up here for you guys. Set in the same world as “The Wolf’s Sister” and the forthcoming novella “The Wolf’s Mate“, “Old Friends” introduces a new character, Tyria Scion of Tyr. Her story takes place many years after Jeren and Shan’s, but also features their enemies the Fell, some True Blood magic, and the mystery of a missing woman to be solved. You don’t need to have read the Holtlands stories before however. This one stands entirely on its own.

There are more Tyria stories on the cards too, one day.

Old Friends


  • Part One – 14th December
  • Part Two – 16th December
  • Part Three – 18th December
  • Part Four – 21st December
  • Part Five – Christmas Eve, 24th December.

(dates maybe subject to change but I’ll try to keep you up to date).

Come one, come all, invite your friends, blog me, tweet me and please please please comment!