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Free Fantasy Audiobooks (listen online for free!)

Over the past six years, I’ve written over twenty YA fantasy and science fiction novels, but was forced to focus on completing my most popular series. This means a few of my best stories haven’t gotten the love and attention they deserve. So I’ve decided to make free audiobook narrations for YouTube in the hopes that they dazzle and entertain you.

These stories involve time-travel, genetic modification (scifi), angels and mythology (fantasy), and many have a futuristic/dystopian bent. I hope you enjoy them! (If you do, please seek out the books and leave a review… the more popular they get, the sooner I’ll complete each series!

REFRESHING AND INTRIGUING!

“I have not enjoyed a story this much in the last 100 or so reads. Did not see the ending coming so I hung on every word. Used talent, not trash, to tell a fantastic tale. I’m going to waiting on pins and needles for the next book to find out what happens next.” ★★★★★

ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

“This story is so different then any other supernatural fantasy genre I’ve read. I’m so used to reading about angels and fallen angels demons and vamps and werewolves and ghosts and spirits and such. So when I came across this book I found it so interesting. Things I never even knew or thought about before.” ★★★★★

ADDICTING

“Oh my goodness! I rarely write reviews but decided to write one on this book because it loved it so much. I just ripped through this book in two hours! What a blast! This book was so scary and thrilling. If you are looking for a roller coaster of a book look no further, it’s here!!!” ★★★★★

Free YA Fantasy Audiobooks

Orpheum is a dark academia based on the myth of Eurydice and Orpheus, with realistic Eastern European culture, history and geography. It’s a bit violent, but the magical premise of musical superpowers will keep you hooked!

Start listening to the free audiobook now…

AngelFall is a gritty Urban Fantasy where a secret society of angelborn monster-hunters grapple with their mission, when a dark secret about their history threatens to tear them apart.

Start listening to the free audiobook now…

Free YA Science Fiction Audiobooks

Selfie is a near-future technothriller, where some teens create an app that uses nanobots to alter their DNA, and change their appearance… while also giving them superpowers that the tech industry would kill for.

Start listening to the free audiobook now…

Prescient is a YA time-travel thriller, with apocalyptic stakes. It’s based on ancient Greek mythology but wrapped in a believable science fiction adventure.

Start listening to the free audiobook now…

These are passion projects I wrote with devotion that haven’t become as commercially popular as my main series – while I do plan to finish them all, they currently sit with only the 1st book up on Kindle and aren’t getting nearly enough love or attention, so I’m hoping that by making them available in audiobook format (that you can listen to for free!) they can build a following or audience.

If you love these characters and stories and really need me to finish the full fantasy series like asap, PLEASE grab a copy of the Kindle version so you can leave a quick review. I’ll leave links down below. And if you like my fiction and want to grab the more popular stuff, make sure you visit my Amazon page.

Best Waifus from Fantasy Novels

It’s not uncommon to find lists of the best “book boyfriends” – but not as much attention has been paid to the opposite; the book girlfriend, or “waifu” to steal a pop culture reference for fictional characters to crush on.

Crafting a list of the best waifus in fantasy novels involves delving into a rich world of characters that have captured the hearts and imaginations of readers worldwide. These characters are not just admired for their physical attributes but also for their strength, courage, complexity, and emotional depth. Here’s a curated list celebrating some of the most beloved waifus in fantasy literature, renowned for their compelling narratives and distinctive personalities.

1. Hermione Granger from “Harry Potter” Series by J.K. Rowling

  • Hermione’s intelligence, bravery, and loyalty make her an enduring favorite. Her unwavering support and fierce advocacy for justice endear her to fans as a character of both strength and compassion.

2. Vin from “Mistborn” Series by Brandon Sanderson

  • Vin’s transformation from a wary street thief to a powerful Mistborn is not just a tale of becoming; it’s her resilience, vulnerability, and determination that make her a standout character and a waifu in the fantasy genre.

3. Daenerys Targaryen from “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin

  • Daenerys’s journey from a timid girl to a formidable queen capable of commanding dragons is nothing short of epic. Her complex morality and quest for justice amidst the harsh realities of her world have made her an iconic figure.

4. Arwen from “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien

  • Though her role in the novels is less pronounced than in the film adaptations, Arwen’s grace, her choice of love over immortality, and her quiet strength make her a memorable character in the fantasy realm.

5. Yennefer of Vengerberg from “The Witcher” Series by Andrzej Sapkowski

  • Yennefer’s formidable magical abilities, combined with her sharp wit and deep emotional layers, render her a complex character who defies simple categorization and commands both fear and love.

6. Lessa from “Dragonriders of Pern” by Anne McCaffrey

  • Lessa’s tenacity, her journey from survivor to leader, and her bond with her dragon make her a standout character in a beloved fantasy series, marking her as a waifu with both power and depth.

7. Alanna of Trebond from “Song of the Lioness” Series by Tamora Pierce

  • Alanna’s determination to defy societal norms and become a knight sets her apart as a trailblazer and a figure of inspiration, combining courage with a profound sense of justice.

8. Celaena Sardothien from “Throne of Glass” Series by Sarah J. Maas

  • As a deadly assassin with a mysterious past, Celaena’s blend of lethality, humor, and vulnerability makes her a complex and engaging character who captivates readers’ imaginations.

9. Egwene al’Vere from “The Wheel of Time” Series by Robert Jordan

  • Egwene’s journey from a village girl to a powerful leader showcases her resilience, wisdom, and the courage to stand firm in her convictions, earning her a place in the hearts of fans.

10. Sabriel from “Old Kingdom” Series by Garth Nix

As a young necromancer navigating a world of living and dead, Sabriel combines strength with compassion, marked by her steadfast commitment to her duty and her loved ones.

These characters, each in their unique way, embody traits that resonate deeply with readers, making them not just memorable parts of their respective worlds but cherished waifus in the realm of fantasy literature. Their stories offer inspiration, adventure, and a profound connection that transcends the pages of their novels.

What is a Waifu?

The intersection between reality and the fantastical worlds of novels, video games, and anime has birthed a fascinating phenomenon known as “waifu culture.” Derived from the English word “wife,” albeit pronounced with a Japanese accent, “waifu” refers to a character from video games, anime, manga, or novels that someone has a strong attachment to, often in a romantic sense. This concept has infiltrated not only the realm of anime and manga but has also found a significant place in fantasy novels, video games, and Young Adult (YA) literature. Let’s dive into this intriguing subculture, exploring its roots, its impact on fans and creators alike, and how it’s reshaping fan engagement in storytelling.

Origins and Evolution

The term “waifu” is believed to have originated from a scene in the 2002 anime “Azumanga Daioh,” where a character proclaimed his wife to be an anime character. What started as a comedic line quickly transcended into a widespread phenomenon, with fans across the globe adopting the term to express their affection towards their favorite female characters.

Waifus in Fantasy Novels

Fantasy novels, with their rich world-building and intricate character development, offer the perfect backdrop for waifu culture to thrive. Characters in these novels often embody ideals of bravery, beauty, intelligence, or mystique, making them appealing as waifus. Readers find themselves drawn to these characters, seeing them as more than just fictional entities but as companions or figures worthy of admiration and emotional investment.

Video Games: A Waifu Haven

Video games, especially those in the role-playing (RPG) genre, allow for an immersive experience where players spend hours with characters, undertaking quests and facing challenges together. This interaction fosters a sense of companionship and, for many, a deep affection for certain characters. Games like “Fire Emblem,” “Persona,” and “Final Fantasy” are notorious for their captivating characters who have become iconic waifus in the gaming community.

YA Literature: The Rise of Waifus

YA literature, with its emphasis on character-driven narratives and emotional depth, has also become a fertile ground for waifu culture. Characters in YA novels often go through relatable struggles, growth, and triumphs, making them particularly appealing to readers who see them as more than just characters in a book. The blend of fantasy elements with relatable, human experiences creates a unique space for readers to form attachments to these characters.

Impact and Controversy

Waifu culture has significantly impacted fan engagement, with fans creating art, fan fiction, and even virtual reality experiences centered around their favorite waifus. It has also sparked discussions around the objectification of characters, with critics arguing that reducing complex characters to waifu status can be demeaning. However, many defend waifu culture as a form of creative expression and a way to celebrate the qualities they admire in these characters.

Waifus Beyond the Screen and Page

The concept of waifus has transcended beyond just a fandom phenomenon, influencing merchandise, gaming, and even social interactions within fan communities. Conventions, online forums, and social media platforms are rife with discussions and debates about waifus, showcasing the passionate engagement of fans.

Waifu culture, born from the unique blend of fan affection and the immersive worlds of fantasy novels, video games, and YA literature, represents a fascinating facet of modern fandom. While it has its critics, the phenomenon highlights the deep connections fans form with characters and the creative ways they express their admiration. As storytelling continues to evolve across mediums, waifu culture stands as a testament to the enduring impact of characters that resonate with audiences on a personal level.

An Epic List of Romantic Gestures (writing romance)

Just in case it’s useful, here are some romantic ideas to build the heat level in your story.

For fiction, where imagination knows no bounds and the depth of emotion can be explored in unique ways, here are some creative, meaningful, and personal romantic gestures:

  1. Time Capsule of Love: The characters create a time capsule filled with letters to each other, small gifts, and memories. They bury it in a special location, agreeing to open it together after a decade.
  2. Constellation Creation: One character arranges with an astronomer to have a small, obscure constellation unofficially named after their love, presenting a star map as a gift.
  3. Secret Garden: A character secretly cultivates a garden in a hidden urban space, each plant and flower symbolizing an aspect of their relationship, revealing it at a pivotal moment.
  4. A Song in Their Honor: A musician character composes a song that captures the essence of their love story, debuting it in a surprise performance where the other character is the guest of honor.
  5. Literary Quest: A character creates a scavenger hunt based on their partner’s favorite book, leading them through a series of locations and clues that mirror the couple’s journey together.
  6. Moonlit Message: Using a projector or series of lights, a character spells out a love message on the side of a building or cliff face, visible only at night from a place special to them both.
  7. Portrait of Words: An artist character paints a portrait of their loved one, but instead of traditional paint, they use words and phrases that describe their partner’s beauty, inside and out.
  8. Shared Dream Journal: The couple keeps a journal by their bedside where they record dreams they’ve had about each other, exploring their subconscious connection.
  9. Custom Fairy Tale: A character writes a fairy tale book, casting themselves and their loved one as the heroes, with their adventures mirroring the challenges and triumphs of their real-life relationship.
  10. Whispers Through Time: A character records messages expressing their love and hopes for the future, hiding them in places where their partner will find them in the years to come, even if they’re apart.
  11. Interactive Art Installation: One character creates an art piece that requires two people to activate, symbolizing how their love brings color and life into the world.
  12. Message in a Melody: A character learns to play a musical instrument in secret, dedicating countless hours to mastering a piece that expresses their feelings, surprising their partner with a heartfelt performance.
  13. Enchanted Mirror: A tech-savvy character programs a digital mirror to display messages of love and affirmation personalized for their partner, appearing randomly each day.
  14. Key to the City: In a fantastical setting, a character gifts their beloved a symbolic “key” to a city, representing their desire to share everything they have, including the secrets and wonders of their world.
  15. A Hidden Library Nook: A character designs and builds a hidden nook within a library filled with their partner’s favorite books and new discoveries, a private sanctuary for them to escape to together.
  16. Vintage Love Broadcast: A character restores an old radio and uses it to broadcast a personal love message, coordinating the time so their partner tunes in at just the right moment.
  17. Dance of the Auroras: In a fantasy world, a character orchestrates a magical dance under the auroras, where the lights respond to their movements, creating a once-in-a-lifetime display of love.
  18. The Ultimate Playlist: Instead of songs, a character creates a “playlist” of experiences that reflect each phase of their relationship, planning surprise dates that recreate or nod to those moments.
  19. Love Potion Recipe: In a magical setting, a character crafts a “love potion” that’s actually a unique blend of tea, with each ingredient symbolizing qualities they admire in their partner, shared in a ceremonial tea drinking.
  20. Stolen Comet Ride: For a sci-fi romance, a character arranges for a daring ride on the tail of a comet, using futuristic tech to share an unforgettable moment suspended among the stars.

These ideas blend creativity, emotion, and personal touch, perfect for adding depth and enchantment to a fictional love story.

Subtle Romantic Gestures

Revealing your feelings or indicating interest through subtle gestures can be both exciting and nuanced, perfectly suited for the unfolding drama of a fiction story or the delicate dance of real-life romance. Here are more ways to tell someone you like them through subtle flirting and meaningful gestures:

  1. Curated Playlists: Create a playlist with songs that subtly hint at your feelings or songs that you feel represent the kind of connection you share, and share it with them as a casual gift.
  2. Thoughtful Comments: Pay close attention to the details they share about their life, preferences, and stories. Make thoughtful comments that show you’ve been paying attention and value what they say.
  3. Book Exchanges: Share a book that means a lot to you, especially if it contains themes of love or relationships that reflect how you feel. Include a note highlighting a passage that resonated with you, indirectly expressing your feelings.
  4. Prolonged Eye Contact: Holding eye contact a little longer than necessary can be a powerful way to communicate interest without saying a word. It’s intimate and can convey a lot of unspoken emotions.
  5. Light Touches: Find natural moments to make light, casual touches, like a gentle touch on the arm when you laugh at their joke or a brief touch on the shoulder as you pass by. These small gestures can signal interest.
  6. Personalized Gifts: Give them a small, thoughtful gift that is connected to an inside joke or a shared experience. It shows you remember and cherish the moments you’ve spent together.
  7. Compliment Subtleties: Instead of overt compliments, focus on the subtle aspects of their personality or appearance. Appreciating the little things about them can show you’re paying attention in a way that’s different from others.
  8. Exclusive Invitations: Invite them to an event or activity as just the two of you, making it clear you’re looking forward to spending time with them alone without making it feel like a formal date.
  9. Handwritten Notes: Leave them a handwritten note that compliments something specific about them or thanks them for something they’ve done. It’s personal and shows effort.
  10. Shared Laughter: Share a private joke or find moments to laugh together. Laughter creates a bond and shared moments that only the two of you can appreciate fully.
  11. Protective Gestures: Display subtle protective gestures, like guiding them through a crowd with a hand on their back or offering your jacket when it’s cold, showing care without being overbearing.
  12. Highlight Similarities: Casually highlight similarities in your interests, values, or experiences. It shows compatibility and can make them see you in a different light.
  13. Unique Nicknames: Come up with a unique nickname based on an inside joke or their personality. It’s a playful way to create intimacy.
  14. Social Media Engagement: Engage with their social media posts in a meaningful way, such as leaving thoughtful comments or sharing something that reminds you of them, to show interest without being too forward.
  15. Offering Help: Look for opportunities to help them out in small, personal ways. It shows you care and want to be involved in their life.
  16. Frequent Smiling: Smile often when you’re around them. A genuine smile is contagious and can make you seem more approachable and interested.
  17. Active Listening: Be an active listener, showing genuine interest in what they’re saying by nodding, asking follow-up questions, and mentioning details they’ve shared in past conversations.
  18. Creating Traditions: Suggest starting a small tradition together, like weekly coffee at a favorite café or a nightly text exchange to share how your day went. It creates a shared routine that’s just yours.
  19. Open Body Language: Maintain open body language when you’re around them, facing them directly and avoiding crossing your arms. It signals that you’re open and receptive to them.
  20. Sending Morning or Night Texts: Send them a good morning or good night text, showing they’re the first or last thing on your mind each day. It’s a sweet gesture that can convey interest in a low-key way.

These subtle gestures and flirting techniques can help express interest and affection in a gentle, non-invasive manner, perfectly suited for both the nuanced interactions of fiction and the delicate beginnings of real-life romance.

More Romance Writing Tips

Building romantic tension in a romance novel is an art that keeps readers engaged, flipping pages to find out how the characters’ relationship will unfold. Here are some writing tips to help you craft compelling romantic tension:

  1. Create Obstacles: Introduce internal and external obstacles that keep your characters apart. This could be anything from personal insecurities, societal expectations, to physical distance. The struggle to overcome these obstacles will heighten the tension and make their moments together more poignant.
  2. Use Close Proximity: Force your characters into situations where they must spend time together, especially in close, intimate settings. This proximity can amplify unresolved feelings and spark unexpected interactions, adding to the tension.
  3. Employ the Push and Pull: Fluctuate between moments of closeness and distance. Have your characters experience moments of connection and understanding, followed by misunderstandings or conflicts that push them apart. This push and pull create a dynamic tension that keeps readers guessing.
  4. Delayed Gratification: Delay the characters’ fulfillment of their relationship or physical intimacy. Build anticipation through near-misses and interrupted moments. The wait makes the eventual coming together all the more satisfying.
  5. Deepen Emotional Intimacy: Before physical intimacy, cultivate a deep emotional connection between your characters. Share secrets, fears, and dreams in vulnerable moments that bond them emotionally, making readers yearn for them to bridge the physical gap.
  6. Utilize Dual Perspectives: Write from both characters’ perspectives to reveal their mutual attraction and misunderstandings. This allows readers to see the depth of their feelings, even when the characters themselves are unsure of the other’s emotions.
  7. Incorporate Subtext: Use dialogue and action loaded with subtext. What characters say (or don’t say) and how they act around each other can convey volumes about their feelings, adding layers to the romantic tension.
  8. Harness the Senses: Describe the characters’ physical sensations in detail when they’re near each other or thinking of each other. The awareness of the other’s scent, the electricity of a touch, or the sound of their voice can all heighten romantic tension.
  9. Play with Jealousy: Introduce scenarios where one character feels jealousy or insecurity about another person’s interest in their love interest. This can force characters to confront their feelings and add tension.
  10. Unresolved Sexual Tension (UST): Build UST through lingering looks, accidental touches, and moments charged with sexual chemistry. The key is to prolong these moments and the characters’ acknowledgment of their desire.
  11. Contrast Characters: Develop characters with contrasting personalities or backgrounds to create natural tension. Their differences can cause friction and misunderstandings, which adds depth to their interactions and development as a couple.
  12. Foreshadowing: Use foreshadowing to hint at potential relationship developments or obstacles. This keeps readers engaged, looking for clues to how the tension will resolve.
  13. Use Humor: Light, flirtatious banter can add a layer of tension. Humor can be a way for characters to express interest without making themselves too vulnerable, creating a playful form of tension.
  14. Setting as a Character: Use the setting to amplify tension. Isolated, intimate, or romantic settings can intensify feelings and interactions between your characters.
  15. End Chapters with Cliffhangers: Keep readers turning the pages by ending chapters at moments of peak tension or just before a resolution, making them eager to find out what happens next.

Employing these techniques can help you craft a romance novel that’s not just about the destination but the journey—filled with tension, anticipation, and the delicious thrill of wondering what will happen between your characters.

PS – here’s a bunch of love poems!

How to self-publish a book (my personal journey)

I started this site, Urban Epics, when I began writing fiction in about 2016.

I’d already worked as a book editor and book cover designer, plus I had a PhD in Literature, not that it helped when I started writing. I kept getting stuck in the middle, revisions were agonizing, and my stories were bigger and more complex than my skills or experience.

Still, I self-published a handful of “book 1’s” to see whether or not anybody wanted to read them, and then did my best to build an audience and promote them. The nice thing about self-publishing is that you can control all the elements, test everything, and change or pivot when things aren’t working… but with the vast sea of competition, visibility is a never-ending fight and challenge.

I’ve neglected this site, because I’m much slower than anticipated, only recently finishing my first ever series (working on the 2nd!) and I have a whole bunch of stalled out projects. But I’ve also sold a lot of books, and have an average of 1000 reviews across all my titles.

Self-Publishing (the process)

I’m not sure if I’ve really talked about self-publishing here, on my fiction site, because I like to keep things separate, but just in case you’re a writer and you’re curious, this is a very short version of how to self-publish a book.

#1 finish the story. I have a 24-chapter plot outline and a ton of writing resources.
#2 self-edit as much as you can or find a book editor. This isn’t just about editing; the craft of telling a satisfying story, is something you can discover on accident or study on purpose.

#3 book cover design is critical, but not all that hard. It can be expensive or cheap if you DIY, but I recommend some templates or premades. After your book cover is sorted, you can format your print and ebook with formatting templates or use something like Vellum or Atticus.

That’s basically it!

Write, Edit, Publish.

It’s tempting to overthink it and try to make everything absolutely perfect, but that can mean spending a lot of money, and until you get your book out there, you won’t really know what to expect or whether readers will even like it.

Book Marketing is something else entirely

I change my covers a lot; I spend a ton on ads and barely break even; and the occasional BookBub deal pushes me into the top 100 or so of Amazon. It’s incredibly hard to make your books stick and stay visible, and I don’t like spending the effort to promote or market my books, so instead I focus on organic SEO and passive marketing strategies.

It kind of works. But mostly, I focus on writing more books, because when a completed series is ready, along with ebook, print and audiobooks, then there’s more of a change to push your meagre earnings into profit, in a way that makes advertising a really viable option.

I have tons of resources about marketing, but it mostly all depends on whether you’ve packaged and positioned your book to appeal to readers, and whether your story actually satisfies them.

To that end, I do have some free books and courses to help authors who want to self-publish.

I also talk about writing and publishing on my YouTube.

Prometheus: The Fire Thief Who Challenged the Gods


There’s something deliciously rebellious about Prometheus, a Titan who took on the mighty gods of Olympus for the sake of humanity. This character has been a cornerstone of Greek mythology and has journeyed through time, inspiring countless modern retellings and interpretations. But who exactly was Prometheus, and why did he risk the wrath of Zeus?

Who is Prometheus?

Prometheus, whose name means “forethought”, was one of the Titans, a group of ancient deities that predated the Olympian gods. While most Titans had a beef with the younger gods (and vice versa), Prometheus was unique. His loyalty swayed more towards humanity than to his divine brethren.

His Grand Heist: Stealing Fire

The iconic tale tied to Prometheus is his theft of fire. Seeing humans in a pitiful state, cold and powerless, Prometheus decided to uplift them by granting them the power of fire, which was, up until that point, exclusive to the gods. He daringly stole it from Mount Olympus and delivered it to mankind, igniting not just their hearths but also their spirit of innovation and civilization.

The Price of Rebellion

Zeus, the king of the gods, wasn’t going to let this act of rebellion slide. In retaliation, he had Prometheus chained to a rock where an eagle (or, in some versions, a vulture) would eat his liver daily. But here’s the twist: every night, his liver would regenerate, making his punishment eternal… or at least until Hercules came into the picture.

Prometheus and Modern Culture

The myth of Prometheus has left an indelible mark on modern culture. Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is subtitled “The Modern Prometheus”, drawing a parallel between the Titan’s creation of man from clay and Dr. Frankenstein’s creation of the monster. Themes of creation, rebellion, and the consequences of playing god are prevalent in both tales.

Allegorical Meanings

Prometheus’s story can be interpreted as a cautionary tale about overstepping boundaries. But on the flip side, it’s also a celebration of resilience, resistance, and innovation. He embodies the spirit of rebellion, the challenge of authority, and the quest for enlightenment, even at a personal cost.

Notable Features, Abilities, and Paraphernalia

  • Creation from Clay: Before his famed theft, Prometheus is credited with creating humans from clay.
  • Foresight: As his name suggests, he had the ability to see into the future.
  • Fire: Not an innate ability, but he is intrinsically tied to the fire he stole for humanity.

Concluding Flames

Prometheus, the defiant Titan, stands as a symbol of humanity’s quest for knowledge and the challenges we face when pushing boundaries. Whether you see him as a hero or a cautionary figure, his story sparks a fire of contemplation about the nature of rebellion and the price of innovation.

FAQs:

  • Q: Is Prometheus a god or a Titan?
    A: He’s a Titan, part of the older generation of deities that came before the Olympian gods.
  • Q: Why did he give humans fire?
    A: He wanted to empower humanity and elevate their status, granting them warmth, protection, and the ability to forge tools.
  • Q: How was he eventually freed?
    A: The hero Hercules, during one of his famous Twelve Labors, comes across the chained Prometheus and, moved by his suffering, decides to free him.

Further Reading:

  1. Theoi.com on Prometheus – An in-depth look into various ancient sources about Prometheus.
  2. Modern Interpretations of Prometheus – A deep dive into how Prometheus’s myth has shaped literature and film in contemporary culture.
  3. Prometheus Bound – An ancient Greek tragedy by Aeschylus focusing on Prometheus’s punishment.

Dive deeper into the fiery world of myths, and let these ancient tales light up your imagination!