They Are the Last

When Piper discovers her interstellar origins, she begins an adventure to save the world she didn’t know she came from.
A space-opera book
Relentless dreamer and proud Hufflepuff. 1/15th of the Inkvengers. Tweeting, podcasting, and writing since a while ago. The words "I dream for a living" are etched into my skin. (No really, its a rad tattoo...)
Read part of They Are the Last
Chapter One: Trust Me
a 10 minute read

While the sky came undone at last, Piper saw lights in the distance.

“Come on! Run!” she cried.

Laughing as the storm began to rain down upon them, she reached for Nathan’s hand and helped pull him up from the pavement. By the time the two of them started running through the deluge, Raina had already safely made it to the covered front porch. “So much for stargazing!” she called to her friends as they sprinted towards her.

“Yeah, thought you said this was a meteor shower,” Nathan joked as he began to wring out his now soaking ponytail of inky black hair.

Piper shook her head at the pair of them, “It’s not my fault!”

After shaking her own head to free the poufy coils of her hickory brown hair from the raindrops that hugged them, her dark umber eyes glanced back down the long driveway in search of the two small points of light she’d seen moments before. A pair of orbs approached the house, getting bigger by the second, until Piper finally realized what was causing them.

“What’s she doing back so soon?”

Nathan and Raina followed Piper’s gaze and saw it too. Headlights of a vehicle were barreling up the road that cut through the trees toward the mountain house. The trio hadn’t been expecting Kath back for at least another week, but even through a late night storm, her beat-up, ruby red van was unmistakable. The headlights pierced the darkness, pointing right at them, growing ever closer.

Once she’d reached the dead end in front of the house and put the van in park, Kath jumped out of the driver’s side and ran towards them, tossing on the black hood of her leather jacket. “Inside! Now!” she yelled.

“Kath, we were just—”


There wasn’t a single time in her fifteen years of life where Piper could remember her godmother sounding as demanding as she did in that instant. It scared her. So without any additional words of protest, she and her friends headed in the door.

Once all four of them were in the house, Kath slammed the door tight behind her and affixed all three locks that were on it. When she turned around, she pulled back the hood, revealing a face pale with worry under an auburn pixie cut. Dark circles stood out beneath her eyes like bruises as she sought to ease labored breaths.

“What is it?” Nathan asked.

“Each of you, go to your rooms and grab a bag. Just throw in some clothes and meet me back down here in five minutes. No questions.”

Her voice was calm and firm, but that didn’t mask her fear which poisoned the air.

Nathan and Raina nodded and started off towards their rooms, but Piper didn’t feel she could move. “I’ve never seen you like this. What’s wrong?”

Pulling her in for a reassuring hug, Kath pleaded, “Piper, baby girl, I need you to trust me right now. Please just go get your stuff.”

Still sick with unease, Piper nodded and did as she was told.

Barging into her own room, Piper grabbed the rucksack which had only hours before been full of food from an impromptu picnic. All that remained were two baggies that housed squished peanut butter...

About They Are the Last

My Light is unbreakable . . . and so am I.

Piper Anderson thinks she’s alone in the world: she is forgotten and left to lose herself at Edgemont, a juvenile detention center seeking to jolt the humanity from its children, leaving them as emotionless - but obedient - shades of their former selves. All hope seems lost.

Until Kath, her godmother who mysteriously disappeared years before, returns to free her. Piper then learns the unimaginable - she is a child of two worlds. With an Earthly father and an Alterian mother, she is capable of wielding the Light of her soul, an ancient gift that is sacred to the Raelarian people. It’s not long after discovering her interstellar origins that Piper is faced with the impossible.

Valos, a shadow which threatens to destroy all he touches, is breaking down the portals between worlds. If left unchecked his darkness will bleed out from Alteria, poisoning the cosmos, leaving Piper and her friends as the last hope to save it.

Explore the story at!


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What the Critics Are Saying
Discuss They Are the Last with the Author.
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I come to your inboxes today with a heavy heart and some sad news, so seat belts on, kids. This is going to be an emotional—but extremely important—update about the book.

At this time, I have decided to bring an early end the campaign for They Are the Last.

This may come as a shock for some, especially given the determination which I’ve had over the last seven months to take this book from dream to reality. Along the way, 138 of you pre-ordered 172 copies and showed me that there is a place in the world for this story, and for me as an author. That has been invaluable. However, there have been a number of major changes to Inkshares as a company within the last few months, and I no longer believe them to be the right fit for this book series.

Essentially, their contract has been altered significantly from what it was originally when I signed up in February. I don’t blame Inkshares for doing this, because they have to do what is best so their company may thrive—which I very much hope it does. But while their actions are in the best interest of their company as a whole, the majority of these changes would not be in the best interest of my particular book.

I am eternally happy and grateful to have been able to run this campaign and build such a family of support around the story. I’ve made lifelong friends, grown as a writer, and my short story Continuum is still slated to be published in the Inkshares anthology Too Many Controllers. The conclusion of this funding campaign is certainly not the end of my relationship with this site and this community, which I’ve come to love so dearly. But I have to do what’s right for my book, and at this time, campaigning for pre-orders is just not it anymore.

Campaigning—as any person who has ever crowdfunded anything will tell you—is extremely draining; physically, mentally, and emotionally. You have days where you feel like a failure, and days where you feel like a hero, and sometimes, those days are the same day. It took all the stress, fear, and doubt, and heightened it for a prolonged period of time. And in that time, I’ve not done anywhere near as much of the one thing I should be doing, and which I love doing the most—writing.

I go forth from this campaign not to quit, but rather to refocus. The funding period itself may be ending, but I will be getting back to full time writing, and this page will still exist as a place for you to receive updates and follow along with the progress of They Are the Last, wherever it may end up. The official website will still be active and updated as necessary, and once the Inkshares campaign officially ends at midnight, you will be refunded within several days for all the copies you purchased. Here’s just a few options for what you can do with those returned funds:

  1. Support other authors on Inkshares. So, SO MANY authors are winning contests and making their way towards 750, and it would be great if your support of my story could be redirected to theirs. My recommendations for your pre-ordering consideration are listed below. All of them are rad people with rad stories, and you can learn more about each of them by clicking their books.
    1. The Delicate Art of Soulripping by Sara Polk
    2. Blue Water by Joseph Parcell
    3. Bad Medicine: Slay it Queen! by Ricardo Henriquez.
  2. Support me on patreon. For $1 a month (so $12 for the whole year, which is less than the cost of an Inkshares paperback) you can directly support my writing so that I can focus more time on honing my craft and finishing this story. Supporting at any level would add you to a list to receive a once monthly newsletter from me, and will bring They Are the Last one step closer to reality.

I apologize for this update’s length, but thank you all for so much. Thank you for your faith in me, and thank you for being the best of people and best of readers. It is because of you that I step out onto the road ahead with courage in my heart, and a band of friends along for the adventure.

“No story lives unless someone wants to listen.”  
—J.K. Rowling

Thank you all for listening. Now time to finish writing this story.

— — —

PS, If any of you have further questions regarding my decision, what it means for the book, or anything really, please feel free to reach out to me via email at, or connect with me through social media. Best wishes.

Ferd Crôtte · Author · added about 2 months ago
Holy shit, Elayna!!!

You have just shattered the world record for Coolest Book Website!!

I urge anyone who reads this to visit
to read the chapter, scroll down to the site links, and explore. Elayna Mae has really raised the bar for book promotion websites! Beautiful!  :-)
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Looking for a way to celebrate National Read a Book Day? 


After months of toil and about a dozen scrapped drafts, I’ve got a brand, shiny new first chapter of the book for you to read. You should have received it moments ago, but if you would like to read it with a pretty interactive background, you can find it here on the official They Are the Last website!

In other news, the story now has an official twitter account! For updates and even more behind the scenes (behind the pages???) details, you can click right here to check out @AlteriaBooks.

Now that the chapter is in your hands, I really hope you enjoy it. If you get a chance to read it, please let me know your thoughts, as nothing brightens a writer’s day more than hearing what people think of their stories! You can always leave a review here on Inkshares, contact me through the They Are the Last website, or hit me up via twitter! My personal one is @ElaynaMae, but to tweet at the book, check out the new @AlteriaBooks  account and use the hashtag #TheyAreTheLast.

As ever, your support means several worlds to me. Have a beautiful day, and hope you enjoy this new chapter in Piper’s story.

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Friends, readers, Alterians; lend me your inboxes!

After a summer which has been very back and forth and up and down and full of questioning more things about myself (and my writing) than could possibly be relayed in a brief update—yesterday gave me some hope.

I began messaging people who I’d previously been nervous to. People who I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years, people I hadn’t spoken to since college, and even some newer friends, who I worried my ask of pre-ordering a book I wrote would come off as pushy. As someone with anxiety, this was NOT an easy task. 

You might be thinking but its just a quick message, Elayna! Nothing to fear! But for someone with anxiety as bad as mine, my brain can turn a "quick message" into a million things it isn’t, until I’ve gone through every possible bad scenario for how people will react, before talking myself out of it altogether. Yesterday, I was terrified. But despite my fears, I took the leap and began reaching out.

The book got 8 new pre-orders in a span of an evening.

I’m in awe of all of you.

This campaign has done so, SO much for me in the last six months. It’s introduced me to remarkable friends, helped me become a better writer, shown me that Piper’s story is one people can believe in. And now, it would seem, it’s even helping me start to overcome my anxiety.

Much of Piper’s journey is about overcoming depression, something that goes hand-in-hand with the anxiety I deal with on the daily. It’s a numbing fear that, "This can’t be done. You can’t possibly accomplish this. No one cares."

Inkshares has proven so much of that wrong. People are caring. People are supporting. People are inspiring. And so it makes sense to me, that in such an environment where overcoming obstacles is in the job description, that Piper’s story will at last be told. Her journey is one of doing the impossible, and so too is mine.

Be blessed, friends.

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So it’s been a bit of a month.

Not only did Too Many Controllers make it to the top spot in the Nerdist Video Games contest, but we are also now an official selection of the Nerdist Collection. One of the hopes back when first launching They Are the Last was that very same goal. Just goes to show you that sometimes prayers aren’t always answered how you expect them to be. :)

The other big thing, was my very first San Diego Comic Con. I spoke on a panel called "Fantastic Fans and Where to Find Them" and in was one of the most surreal moments of my existence. Being up there, the SDCC backdrop behind me, people in an audience looking up and hearing what little wisdom I attempted to impart was nothing short of magical. Even more so, was the person who came up after the panel and said she loves listening to the podcast I run. And the woman who thanked me for saying "Embrace your weird and don’t be afraid to be who you are and love what you love..." because she wished she had someone to tell her that when she was in school. I said it because I wished I had that person too. I had to learn the hard way that being yourself is the best way to be, but getting to share that with fellow nerds was unparalleled.

But while all of that is beyond incredible and awe inspiring to the extreme, there still lies a great task ahead—getting They Are the Last to 750 pre-orders in the next 94 days.

Many of you have already pre-ordered and supported this book in immeasurable ways, but it will never make it to your shelves if we don’t achieve this goal. Seeing Too Many Controllers hit publication has truly been inspiring, and really represents what Inkshares is all about—stories thriving when people come together. So humbly I come before you asking that you share this book or pre-order if you haven’t yet. Cause here’s the facts:

This book needs to sell 150 copies every month for the next three months if it is to be published. If that feat is possible is entirely up to you, the readers. Let’s make it happen friends, and let’s do it together.

PS, For those who might have missed it, the book’s got a new cover! See it below.

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In just about 24 hours, the Nerdist Video Games contest will come to a close. Its hard for me to fathom that five months ago, I was just joining Inkshares, setting off alone on my Inkshares journey in the Space Opera contest. Yet now, here I type, SO CLOSE to being published for the first time in my life, alongside 14 other remarkable authors and humans. Its unreal to say the least. But as exciting as that is—IT AIN’T OVER YET.

You have a chance to help us succeed, and by pre-ordering, you will be opening up your imagination to 15 different stories that lead to 15 different worlds. 15 universes for you to explore and be part of. Not bad for $10. So if you’d like an adventure, if you’d like to make dreams a reality, or if you’re just a groovy person, please take this time to pre-order at the link below. You’ll have my eternal gratitude and the knowledge that these fifteen stories will live on forever because of you.


PS, If you haven’t already, my dear friend and fellow slayer of stories—Alisa King—is at the time of this writing in fourth place in the Nerdist contest! So if you have the extra $10 to spare today—USE IT TO GO SUPPORT HER STORY. Nothing makes me happier than seeing remarkable women like Alisa pursuing their passions and telling their stories, so if you can, please go check out her book: Are You Sure You Want to Quit? She’s worked INCREDIBLY hard on her campaign and no one deserves it more. Help make it happen!

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HUGE news, Alterians!

Yesterday I found out that I am going to be on a panel at San Diego Comic Con this month!! SAN DIEGO COMIC CON, Y’ALL. For those who don’t know my work outside of noveling, I happen to co-produce a podcast about the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films by J.K. Rowling. This stemmed from my work at, which is a Harry Potter fansite that I spent my childhood fangirling over, and now somehow manage to work for. It’s a dream honestly.

But while this journey is sure to be enormous for our podcast—which is called SpeakBeasty and you should totally check it out—this is also just a really tremendous moment in my own life as a writer and creator. There is nothing more validating to one’s life experiences that being recognized and invited to be part of something bigger. Being on a panel at SDCC was a total Bucket List goal of mine, one I did not think I’d achieve till late in life when I became established in my field.  But now here I am. 25 years old. A book and an anthology on the way. Speaking at the country’s largest fan convention. 

I’ll be sure to send out an update after the con so keep a weather eye open for that! 

In the meantime! Today marks the kick-off to Camp NaNoWriMo, and my writing project for the month is They Are the Last draft two! I completed the first draft of the novel over the course of November and December of 2015, and then spent the first six months of 2016 mostly writing and re-writing and scrapping and writing again. I did a lot of rehashing to make the plot stronger. But last month, I set down and finalized a pretty concrete plan for this new draft—thanks in no small part to the incredible support and feedback of Inkshares readers and authors—and really feel ready to tackle this thing head on!

The tentative goal for the month is 50,000 words—what can I say, I’m into #ClassicNaNoWriMo—but in reality, this draft will end up closer to 90K if the story unfolds as planned. Looking forward to what is sure to be an incredibly creative month! 

And if you haven’t yet, make sure you’ve grabbed your copy of They Are the Last soon! I’m not saying there’s gonna be something special for those who’ve pre-ordered by the end of this month or anything, buuuut.......... *whispers* there’s gonna be something special for those who’ve pre-ordered by the end of this month........

Till next time!

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Got something new & exciting for you all today! 

So remember that website that I shared for They Are the Last back in May? (If you don’t cause you’re new to the party, hop over to to see it!) The website features Pinterest boards about the world of Alteria, a brief author bio, and even a playlist to accompany the first chapter uploaded to Inkshares! Well today, I’m happy to announce that there’s now NEW CONTENT! The very first They Are the Last character page is now live! Meet Piper Anderson...

Over the course of the campaign, I’ll be adding more pages like this one, which features a little bit of insight into Piper as a character! Where she’s coming from at the start of the story, her Myerrs Briggs personality type - which I took a quiz to figure out! - and even photos of the actress who in my head is my dream cast to play Piper if ever They Are the Last were a film. (Amandla Stenberg!) Each image you click features the following:

  • The photos themselves represent the different ways I imagine Piper looking as she progresses through the book. Each one links back to Piper’s Character Board on the They Are the Last Pinterest page, where you can find the original image sources!
  • Each one has a quote - these are lines either said by or about Piper in the book.
  • For every photo, there’s a song on Piper’s custom playlist to accompany it! (Which you can follow here if you have Spotify!) These songs are not only ones I’ve listened to while writing the book, but they, like the images, represent the kind of headspace Piper is in during key moments of the story.

These ones are just sneak peaks, but you can see all the images and hear all the songs on the playlist by visiting! So thrilled to finally share this first character page with you all to take you deeper into the story. And if you get to visit the page, drop me a line or send me a tweet to let me know what you think! Keep an eye out for more character profiles in the coming weeks! 


AND QUICK UPDATE! We’re currently only 3 pre-orders from 150!! Let’s hit this awesome milestone today!

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My, has it been A WHILE since I’ve sent a reader update to y’all. Quite frankly, it’s been an extremely tumultuous month for me for lots of different reasons. But as I’ve gone through some despicable lows and incredible highs, I’ve had to arrive at some big conclusions, and the most glaring one of them all is this: right now, making sure this story gets told is my priority. So here I am, back in your inbox to remind you that They Are the Last isn’t going anywhere. (Except on your bookshelf...)

The process of going through a second draft came to a screeching halt, which was really difficult to face. BUT! While hardly any new words have been written, I’m in the final stages of a master plan of notecards and plot points that I believe are going to help me kick this into high gear. For while I’ve been stressed, it is still my intention to finish this draft by July 31st. (The goal is I don’t get to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II until I’ve finished draft 2...) So basically, this will be me for the next 30ish days...

The updates shall be more regular as that phase progresses, and as I begin to implement the promotional campaign this book needs to go all the way by November 1st. I really believe that together we can make this a reality. The past month worth of doubt saw many moments where I was seconds away from closing my campaign and giving up. Giving up is the easy thing to do. 

But then I’d remember every good thing that has come of my being on Inkshares. It has launched Women Slaying Stories, led me to the amazing team behind Too Many Controllers, and has helped me develop my writing to a new level because of amazing feedback from authors and editors. Every friend made and every story shared here has given me so. much. hope. Just deep down, I’ve truly begun to feel like this is where Piper’s story is supposed to take root and grow. Hopefully, you’ll be a part of that.

Wish me luck for this draft, and show some love by sharing the campaign with a friend tonight or finally making that pre-order. I’ve got a dream of this book crossing to big 2-0-0 mark before the month is out, but only you can help make that happen.

See you on the other side...

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As of early this morning, the newest Nerdist Inkshares contest has begun, this time with the theme of Video Games! But what does that have to do with me and They Are the Last

Too Many Controllers is an anthology of video game short stories, featuring myself and some of the most amazing authors I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on Inkshares! I’ll be contributing a short story that’s tentatively titled All  the Answers, and designed the working cover you see above! More details about my story and the project itself will be released during the campaign, so be sure to follow Too Many Controllers to be the first to know!

For any of my followers who pre-order Too Many Controllers today using the referral link below, you’ll receive one of those They Are the Last bookmarks I was giving away during my first contest last week! So support Too Many Controllers, and get some groovy They Are the Last swag! Its a win win for everyone. :)

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They Are the Last flyers out in the wild! This weekend, the incredible team of creators behind The Five Wits Press have a table at Balticon, a sci-fi/fantasy writers convention in Baltimore! AND THEY’VE GOT FLYERS!

If you happen to be there, swing by and grab one, or if you’re checking out this update at home & wishing you were there, pre-order a copy for yourself or a friend!


Proud to share that next weekend (June 2nd - 5th) I will be attending Wizard World Comic Con in Philadelphia! I’ll be wandering about and hopping between writing panels, but if any of my readers will be there, LET’S MEET UP! I’ll have snazzy bookmarks to dole out and would love nothing more in this world than to hang and chat with the people who’ve supported They Are the Last! If you’ll be there, reach out & let me know!

Till then, keep spreading the word! We’re four people shy of hitting 200 followers, and just 13 pre-orders away from 150! Let’s get the book to these awesome milestones before next week’s Comic Con!

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So many exciting things in one week, where to even begin?!

DRINKSHARES! Yesterday I had the good fortune of being asked to join the hosts of Drinkshares: Last Call, a podcast/web show run by some true pillars of the Inkshares community. We talked a bit about my book, what it’s like to be a social storyteller, and the nostalgic stories/movies from our childhood! (That maybe slightly scarred us. I’m looking at you Dark Crystal...) Even though it’s over you can watch the video below!

THE CONTEST! Yes that’s right! The first They Are the Last contest has concluded, and I’d like to thank all the awesome new readers who’ve joined the fray and pre-ordered their copies! The contest winner (and person who gets to name a character in the book) is James Morey! YAY JAMES AND THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

RECOMMENDSDAY! Tomorrow there will be a new post to my Elayna Musings blog highlighting the works of Rebekka Leber, C. Brenneke, Suaine, and Philip Wesley! These are all authors I HIGHLY recommend you check out, and if you catch the blog post tomorrow, you’ll see why!

LAST THING! I’m proud to announce that today, thanks to a dare from friend and author Christine on last night’s Drinkshares, I’ve got a draft for a new book on Inkshares! This one is only in the draft phase, and with things so busy for this book, I won’t begin selling pre-orders for a good long while. But the Drinkshares team has partnered with Inkshares itself for a week all about highlighting draft work, and the book I’ve decided to share for it is one I’ve come up really as a result of the great creative vibes I’ve encountered here. The working title of the book is Laila from the Sky, and the page for it is now live!

A lonely black hole takes her one chance to live a new life, one as a human being on faraway world called Earth. Forced to face the human condition, she learns about friendship, love, and that being a person can be the hardest thing in the universe.

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Want to NAME A CHARACTER in They Are the Last? Get a personalized, one of a kind bookmark? THEN BOY HAVE I’VE GOT SOME NEWS.

Today begins the very first They Are the Last pre-order contest!!

It’s pretty simple. Pre-order your copy of They Are the Last between today (Friday May 20th) and Monday May 23rd at 9pm ET, or refer a friend who pre-orders.

That’s it. All you have to do is grab your copy or tell a friend, and you could have the chance to have a character that you name be immortalized in the book! Name them after yourself, name them after the middle school teacher who inspired you, the possibilities are endless!! (Though I miiiight draw the line at Boaty McBoatface...) The grand prize winner also receive a handwritten letter of thanks, and a one of a kind autographed photo print of the Ben Franklin Bridge, which is the bridge depicted on the book’s cover!

HOWEVER! Even if you don’t end up as the lucky winner, EVERY PERSON WHO PRE-ORDERS between now and the end of the contest will receive one of these shiny bookmarks seen below, which will all be handmade by me! They introduce a coded language that appears later in the story. One side the bookmark features my name & the title, while the flip side will be personalized WITH YOUR NAME ON IT!!

Basically, these bookmarks are entirely one of a kind. No one else in the universe will ever have one of these bookmarks with your name on it in this secret They Are the Last code.

The grand prize winner of the contest will be announced LIVE on the sixth episode of Drinkshares: Last Call, which airs Monday night at 9pm ET! So make sure you’re watching to see if you’re taking home the grand prize!

For all the contest rules/details, visit! GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE!

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Exciting things abound, Alterians!

For one, I’m proud to officially announce that I will be guest hosting on the next episode of the delightfully awesome Drinkshares: Last Call, a podcast/web show run by Inkshares authors A.C. Weston, C. Brenneke, Rebekka Leber, and Joseph Terzieva! Basically, we’re gonna have some drinks & talk about the art of social storytelling live for all of YouTube to see. They’ll also be asking some questions about They Are the Last, so if you’ve got questions for me you’d like asked on the show, send them in to @DrinksharesLC on twitter with the tag #TheyAreTheLast!

In other awesome-tastic news, the book is now only 11 followers away from hitting the 200 mark, and WE’RE NOW MORE THAN HALF WAY TO QUILL! Another 121 orders and we’ll be at the first publishing milestone, so find those family & friends you know who’d enjoy this book and send them the link! We are well on the way folks, but only if we keep the momentum going! Hope to see you on the other side of the Quill mark soon. ;)
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Today I’m delighted to present to the world the official They are the Last website!

This website will serve as a hub of all things They are the Last. As new chapters and bonus content becomes available, you will be able to experience it in an immersive, visual environment at You’ll be able to read the chapters, listen to custom playlists, and discover character backstories! With 6 months still to go in this campaign, there’s going to be a lot of new features and content to come. Today’s launch is only the beginning. :)

Please feel free to venture around the site, and tell the world about the launch on your own social media pages using #TheyAreTheLast! Word of mouth is so pivotal for new books like this one, so if this is a story you support, spreading the word is the most direct way you can help it reach publication!

Enjoy the new website, and have yourselves a beautiful week! The book is currently only 2 pre-orders away from hitting the halfway-to-Quill mark, so whoever pre-orders those today is gonna get very excitable shout-outs from me on twitter. ^_^ As ever, all the love!

Click here to start exploring!

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The campaign for They are the Last RECEIVED THE EXTENSION LAST WEEK!! We’ve now got until November 1st! Which means we’ve got six more months to spread the word & get this story to 750 pre-orders and beyond! I’ve written a post about my excitement and the reasons behind choosing that date in a blog post called It Ain’t Over Till Hamilton Sings, which you can check out at this handy link, or by clicking the photo below!

Other than the extension, most of what’s been going on for the book has been behind the scenes planning stuff that can’t be shared just yet. But rest assured, Chapter Four will be dropping in your inboxes very, very soon.

Until such time, please keeping being the amazing followers you are and spreading the word about the story! Until Chapter Four gets released, I’d LOVE to hear what you all thought of Chapters One, Two, and Three, so be sure to leave your comments on the chapters themselves (using the links above) or share your thoughts on the book via twitter using #TheyAreTheLast! Word of mouth is the only thing that’s going to get this story out of the ether and onto your shelves, so as ever, thanks for being shiny beacons of Light, and keep an eye out for the new content soon!

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So its been a while since my last update, but not for nothing! Since last you heard from me via a Reader Update, the following has happened...

  • They Are The Last became the first book to be backed by the Write Out Loud syndicate, which supports LGBTQIA authors and queer-inclusive narratives!
  • The book surpassed 100 pre-orders! Inkshares author Billy O’Keefe was the person who got the 100th copy, so much love to him for taking us to the triple digits, and to Rebekka Leber for taking us over the hundred mark. (They both are working on pretty awesome stories that you should totally check out...)
  • I’ve filed for an extension of the campaign with Inkshares! As you might have seen, there’s only 8 days left of the campaign, and unless you’ve got 100 friends a day who can pre-order to take us over 750, chances are we won’t see full funding just yet. But given more time - and all the bonus content/events I’m putting together to release should we get approved - big things can happen for this book!! They just can’t happen without awesome readers like you spreading the word.

While we’re waiting with bated breath to find out if we’re going to get the time we need to do this thing, you can still pre-order your copy or share the book with your family & friends! Last week’s goal was to hit 100, and y’all made it happen, so keep it going and let’s see if by Friday, we can make it to 125!

In the meantime, you can also check out the newest post to my blog - Elayna Musings - where I offer some creative advice for how to get un-stuck in your writing. The post is called ’Freeing the Madwoman’ and you can check it out by clicking the name of the post, or this image below! 

See you when we’ve hit 125 pre-orders! Till then, I’ll be writing...

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24 DAYS . . .

Just 24 days remaining to pre-order They Are The Last, now an Inkshares Staff Pick!

Amanda Orneck · Author · added 7 months ago
Super fun, thanks for organizing this!
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In case you missed it: today was the first Women Slaying SciFi livestream and IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! I teamed up with authors Amanda Orneck, A.C. Weston, and RH Webster for a delightful discussion about our stories, what has inspired us, and why representation matters so much to the future of science fiction.


In addition to the airing of the livestream, today was also the day that the second installment to the Women Slaying SciFi blog series was released! This time, it was all about Deus Hex Machina, the remarkable cyberpunk novel by Inkshares author Amanda Orneck. It’s a seriously compelling story and I urge you to check out her response to why women in SciFi matter, and to check out her book, which is currently available for pre-order! 


Hope you all enjoy the blog post & livestream, and that you join us next time, whenever that may be! And in the meantime, don’t forget to grab your copy of They Are The Last! Or if you’ve gotten one already, why not grab a copy for a friend or family member who loves YA SciFi! Every pre-order counts!

We’ve got less than 40 days to make this miracle happen, but I believe that together we can. Thanks for sticking with me, and remember . . .

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This weekend, Saturday March 26th at 3pm EST to be specific, something special is happening. Remember that Women Slaying SciFi blog series I was doing? Ever imagine what it would be like to watch female authors discussing their SciFi stories instead of just blogging about ’em? Well, imagine no longer, ’CAUSE IT’S HAPPENING.

I have teamed up with the incredible AC Weston, Amanda Orneck, and RH Webster of Inkshares for an exciting LIVE Women Slaying SciFi Google+ Hangout event! We’ll be telling you a bit more about our stories, discussing the importance of diversified female representation in science fiction, and ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS! For real. You can ask us stuff.

This event is happening right here on the Internet, and you can let us know you’ll be tuning in by visiting our facebook event here! RSVP and leave those questions there in the comments! Ask us about our books. Ask us what we thought of Black Widow in Age of Ultron. Ask us the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow. Whatever you like! We’re just excited to share our stories, thoughts, and feels with you all.

I hope you consider joining us this Saturday for a smashing good time!! And for those of you who haven’t yet, a quick reminder that there’s only 40 DAYS LEFT to grab your copy of They Are The Last. The book’s a LONG way from reaching the funding goal, but if you pre-order it today, then this book will be able to proudly say...

See you Saturday!!  ^____^

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Top o’ the morning, readers! And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! Have an adorable, celebratory gif of a kitty in a hat.

Now to business! It’s been a big week for They Are The Last! The Nerdist Space Opera contest concluded and at the time it finished, the book was in 12th place with a positively glorious 75 pre-orders. 12th out of 96 entries? That’s all cause of YOU. Basically...

Then yesterday was #Recommendsday, where myself and other Inkshares authors shared the stories on this site that we think are remarkable. My picks are below the main part of this post should you feel inclined to check them out. (Do yourself a favor. Feel inclined.)

But now, we set to the true task - getting this book to 750 pre-orders so it can end up in your hands. You’ve already left reviews, recommended the book to people you know, and some of you even took the leap and pre-ordered already! But now the time has come to kick it up a notch. There’s just 49 days to convince 671 people that They Are The Last is a story they should care about. But ultimately, I don’t say all this because I like spitting numbers at you, I say it because I hope Piper’s story can mean something to you and the world.

To prove that, there’s a number of updates, bonus content and NEW CHAPTERS in the works, which will be finding its way to your inboxes over the next few weeks. Just in the meantime; tweet it to your friends, leave comments on your favorite lines of the new chapters, and hell, make fan-art why don’t you? Engage with the story and share why you decided to follow it in the first place. I can’t express enough how much more fun this campaign would be if I spent the majority of it hearing from you all. You can now even reach out to me at!

So make good choices today, everyone! And maybe let one of those choices be to finally get your copy of They Are The Last.


Blood Dawn by John Robin
An epic the likes of Game of Thrones, which featured some of the most enchanting writing I’ve yet to encounter on Inkshares. The central conflict, art being illegal, is something that despite being set in a fantasy world, felt all too relevant and relatable. 

Lucky by RH Webster
In case you missed the memo, I kind of need this book in my hands like yesterday, and the TV series for it to happen like last week. This awesome space crew is one I would follow anywhere in the ’verse. ;) 

The Amaranth Chronicles: Deviant Rising by Alexander Barnes
The first chapter is so rich it feels like a memory you didn’t know you had, and ends with a line that makes you question everything, all led by a protagonist you’re dying to know the full life story of.

The Catcher’s Trap by Ricardo Henriquez
A blood-curdling premise which features characters with a quick, snappy wit. I don’t think this is the kind of story I could read unless curled up in a blanket to feel safe - which is exactly why I can’t wait to read the whole thing. 

She Is The End by AC Weston
The book trailer delighted me and the actual chapter enthralled me. Immediately Weston yanks you into the story, and because of the beautiful writing and compelling main character, you never want it to let you go. Like, ever.

Dues Hex Machina by Amanda Orneck
LET ME COUNT THE WAYS. (There’s 67 65 6e 65 73 69 73 of them...) This melding of an advanced science fiction world with what feels like an ancient prophetic tale is GLORIOUS and I can’t say anything more than just. go. read. it.

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Greetings, dear readers! We’re just TWO DAYS AWAY from the conclusion of the Nerdist Space Opera contest, so let no time be wasted! Let’s get to the good stuff!

For starters, They Are The Last reached (and surpassed) 100 followers!

This feels like such a huge accomplishment given that just over a month ago, barely anyone knew this book existed. I’ve been overwhelmed by the mushy good feels of support for my story and its characters since launch, and I have entirely YOU to thank for that. Y’all are so shiny.

As a thanks for being the best people in the universe, I’ve decided to host a LIVE Google Hangout on Sunday March 20th to tell you more about They Are The Last! I’ll be answering questions you have about the book/my writing process/the most recent episode of The 100 (Whatever y’all wanna hear about!) reading an excerpt from the book, and even telling you all about some of the amazing projects I’ve discovered on Inkshares. If there’s one thing I can promise during this Hangout, it’s that there will be shenanigans.

To make sure as many people as possible can attend, you’re able to vote on which time you’d like the Hangout to take place! The poll will be open until Wednesday, so be sure to vote for a time before then! Literal nothing has me more excited than getting to hang with you fine people via the internet, so click here to go vote!

Speaking of Wednesday - I’ve decided to do something special for those of you who love and support the book, but who just don’t have the means right now buy a copy yet. On Wednesday March 16th, I’ll be running a day long push called #Recommendsday where you can show your They Are The Last love by recommending the book to your family & friends! And what will I be doing? I’ll be tweeting recommendations all day to books I think are worthy of your time, energy, and fan-fic ideas. It’ll be an awesome celebration of stories we care about, without anyone needing to spend a cent.

Looking forward to #Recommendsday and the Google Hangout next weekend! While the Nerdist contest is just about to end, the mission to publish They Are The Last is only just beginning!

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Happy International Women’s Day!!!!!!!

It’s been a long week for me as I was struck down with the flu, but I emerge from my theraflu scented hole in the wall to remind my readers of what today is, and more importantly, what it means.

Female authors and narratives are incredibly important and close to my heart, seeing as I am one and write them. Growing up, there weren’t many shining examples to follow and look up to, but those that did exist meant literal everything to me and the other young women like me. We were tired of the only time women showed up in science fiction being when they were clad in tighter-than-skin jumpsuits or sheerly there so the scruffy, underdog space cowboy could have someone to angst at. We’re complicated, dimensional, and multifaceted, just like you guys out there, and its about time people started to take note of that.

To celebrate this (and call out the tomfoolery that is women being excluded from a genre they pretty much invented) I’ve been doing a blog series called Women Slaying SciFi, and the first installment is out and available to read here. I wrote about RH Webster and her shiny book Lucky, which I recently bought a copy of and hope you can too. It’s an AMAZING story so far, and I’m so excited to see it go on to be a hit. There’s two more posts coming in the series in the next few days, so keep an eye out for ’em on my blog, Elayna Musings.

And go support a female author today. I don’t care if its me, or RH Webster, or JK freaking Rowling. Just support a female creator in your life - but don’t do it because I’m telling you to or simply because they’re a woman. Do it because you believe in her. Do it because you believe in the story she is trying to tell, and its one that means something to you. And if you don’t have any favorite stories authored by women, I implore you to seek one out. Women tell incredible tales, and can ignite your imagination in ways you might never have dreamed possible. Take the plunge today and show that you believe stories about and told by women, matter.

Be blessed everyone. Thanks for sticking with me and Piper through this campaign. I look forward to unveiling more about her journey soon!
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Quick update today to share my latest blog post, which announces an exciting new venture to showcase the awesomeness of some of my fellow Inkshares authors!

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m going to be running a blog post series highlighting some of the awesome work I see my fellow women writers accomplishing here on Inkshares. SciFi is a genre where women often get excluded, like we’re not part of some special ’boys club’, which is ridiculous, and needs to stop. There are far too many amazing women out there writing rich narratives and representing with dimensional and diverse female characters, and their stories just don’t get enough love. This is something I can no longer abide - and thus why I decided to do these blog posts.

You can check out the announcement post here and then check back tomorrow when I’ll be talking about RH Webster’s space opera, Lucky, which IS SO VERY, VERY DELIGHTFUL.

PS, Keep your eyes & inboxes open, cause Chapter Three of They Are The Last will be here soon! In the meantime, the first two chapters eagerly await your commentary. :)
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A Spotify Playlist for They Are The Last

Writing doesn’t happen without just the right music to set the tone. Sometimes its just the way a piece sounds, or sometimes its the lyrics that seem to understand my characters better than I do. All I know is for me, music helps me truly breathe life into my writing, and so I’ve decided to share with you the sounds that remind me most of Piper and her story.

Welcome To Edgemont is the first in a series of playlists I’ll be releasing over the course of the book’s campaign for readers to enjoy/listen along with. The order of songs on this particular playlist follows Piper’s emotional journey in the first two chapters, which you can read at the links below.

If you have yet to pre-order, be sure to do so soon, as the book needs to be in the top 3, but currently rests at around 11th place. This book won’t see its way to your hands if we can’t all spread the word! 

As ever, thanks for the support, and may the music take you away to Piper’s world...

Musically yours,

Read Chapter One
Read Chapter Two

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This past weekend, I decided to go on an adventure from Philadelphia to New York City to try and see this little thing some of you may have heard of called Hamilton. (No clue what I’m talking about? Stop reading this right now, watch this, and then return for the rest of story time. Yes, I’m totally serious.) For those who didn’t click, the basics are this: It’s a hip-hop musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton and it is a pure work of genius that is currently sold out online until January 2017. 

Its on my bucket list to see this show, despite everyone who’s been telling me it’s impossible to get a ticket. But to be fair, people also keep telling me that trying to publish a book is impossible. I like doing things other people say are impossible. ;)

So I go on up to NYC, enter the ticket lottery twice and lose both times, only to spend 11 hours - yes, E L E V E N   H O U R S - outside the theater, waiting to see if I can snag a ticket that someone cancelled. How did the day end? With me at the very, very front of the line. If one more ticket became available, I’d have been in the room where it happens - but thats when the guy came out and said there were no more tickets left. Real talk? I cried.

However, the day was not for nothing, because in addition to the awesome people I met in the line and remarkable kind of experiences that can only happen in the greatest city in the world, I discovered they had a few reasonably priced tickets, which were only available at the theater’s box office. The earliest ticket was for November. So despite being out there all day, thinking I’d see the show right then, the impossible ticket I got ended up being for 9 months from now on November 1st - and it is in THE SECOND ROW! I went into the day praying for a ticket to Hamilton, and I got it. Take that, "it’s impossible" people.

But why share this with you all? Well, simply to point out that things don’t always go according to plan, but if you care hard and work hard enough, impossible things CAN happen. Whether I’m sitting outside a theater all day to see a show, or trying to publish a novel, I’m prepared to fight non-stop. I want nothing more in this life than to help others through the power of story, in the way stories like Hamilton have helped me. And if that means having to be patient, I’m willing to wait for it.

Hope you enjoyed this little story of my night, and are ready for exciting new They Are The Last content this week!

In the meantime, while there are 253 days till I see Hamilton, there are only 21 DAYS LEFT TO GET They Are The Last into the top 3 of The Nerdist Space Opera Contest! Please consider getting a copy today!! Remember, signing up/verifying your email with Inkshares gets you $5 in credits which makes the book more affordable! Don’t throw away your shot to get They Are The Last on your shelf!

Your Obedient Servant,
E. Darcy 

PS, 10 points to your respective Hogwarts house for every Hamilton reference you caught in this reader update.


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Exciting mid-week update everyone! Chapter Two of They Are The Last is here!

(The above gif is an approximation of how thrilled I am to have you all read it...)

As you’ll see, this chapter is quite a bit shorter than the first one, but I’m a firm believer in a chapter only needing to be as long as it needs to be to do the job. Some chapters will be longer, others will be shorter, but whatever number of pages or words they turn out to be doesn’t matter so long as they articulate the complete thought they were meant to. (Goodness, do I hope that just made sense because this has been a long, long day.)

There will be other chapters coming to you soon as well, along with some supplementary short stories I’ve been working on so you can all get a better sense of these different characters and the world they inhabit. That being said, I’ve also decided to join WattPad as a way to share the story with people beyond the world of Inkshares, and you can check out the page for the book here! However, WattPad currently only has the first chapter of They Are The Last availableI thought I’d share it here with you lovely Inkshares followers first, cause you know . . .

Thanks as always for the continued support everyone! I hope you’re psyched for all the bonus fun coming, cause goodness knows I’m having a blast working on it for you! 

Read on and be merry!

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Today’s all about the love, so I thought I would show you all some with a few morsels of exciting news about They Are The Last!

For one, I’ve now made it to 36 pre-orders, which is pretty awesome seeing as at the start of this month, strangers believing in my story enough to purchase it wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye. There’s a long way to go to making it to the top three if I hope to be published through The Nerdist contest, but I’ve got faith that things will happen as they’re meant to. My main character wouldn’t give up something she cares about, so I don’t plan to either.

That being said, there are lots of extra content I’m in the process of working on at the moment to help you lovely readers become more immersed in the story. I’m putting my film degree to use by working on some video content for you all, as well as fine tuning the second chapter so you get to find out just what happened to Piper after last you saw her. Speaking of Piper . . .

As you can probably tell, I’m much better with words than I am with a pencil, but the other night I just really felt compelled to give it a shot and draw the character who’s been in my head for so long. It feels so incredible to see her face on a piece of paper as opposed to just describing her with words. It makes her feel more tangible, more real, and brings a legitimacy to the story that I just wasn’t working with before. I’m so thrilled with how it turned out, that I can only imagine how she’d look were she to be drawn by a proper artist.

I’ve also begun making and sharing a series of collages for the different characters, locations, and elements of the story, the first of which is based on the look of the people at Edgemont, the location you first encountered in Chapter One. (Which if you haven’t read yet, you can check out here!)

As you can see, it isn’t the cheeriest of places. You’ll get to experience more of the terror that is Edgemont in the next few chapters, and then after that, the story takes a turn and Piper will find herself immersed in what I’m sure you’ve all be waiting for: Alteria. And BONUS! I’ve even created a tumblr for The Alterian Trilogy, so you can follow along with supplementary content there as well!

That about sums up the progress for now, since if you’d like to read the next chapter, I’ve got to finish revising it! If you haven’t already, be sure to get yourself a copy of the book, or if you can’t get one just yet, leave a recommendation or review! Those help just as much, for who better to tell someone they should read something than the readers themselves?

Thanks for sticking with me so far, and for really making me feel the love for my book this Valentine’s Day! Best wishes to all!

- Elayna Mae Darcy -

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So I know I said updates would happen on Sundays, but today is an important day for my story. Why, you ask?

Because 12 years ago today is when I started writing it.

Yep. February 9th, 2004, I was just a bored 13 year old in my math class who wanted nothing to do with algebra. (Let the record show that I still want nothing to do with algebra.) Now, here I sit, 12 years later, with my book on Inkshares. I wrote a blog about exactly how surreal that feels to think about, which you can check out here. 

If you look closely at the top of this photo, you’ll see that I wrote down the date, place and time, and then proceeded to misspell my own character’s name in the first line. (No wonder it took so long to get my life/story together)

But one has to wonder . . . what did compel 13 year old me to write this down? It’s not like at that age we’ve really got the insight to think about our futures in a huge and meaningful way, or at least I don’t feel like I was the sort of child to understand things like that which were bigger than myself. But the fact remains that I did. And not only did I write it down. I kept it. That and the other first 33 handwritten pages. It’s curious to be sure, but as I’ve experienced, nothing happens by accident. The spirit moved my that day to make sure I would remember it. I’d like to believe it was because it was an important moment, one that clearly, given my current presence on Inkshares, still resonates today.

This all just felt too exciting to not share, given that those of you most likely reading this are individuals who’ve expressed that you care about the story I’m writing. They Are The Last has been such a long time coming, and while many stories are like that, I just felt the need to share this exciting piece of Alterian history with you. I hope it made your day cool, cause my day certainly has been exciting/emotional/lots of other feelings that start with the letter E.

Thanks for the continued support everyone! Here’s to the next 12 years of this story and beyond! #HappyBirthdayAlteria

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Greetings, readers! As the first weekend of my book’s life on Inkshares draws to a close, I wanted to reach out for the first time to you all with a big, resounding THANK YOU! A week ago I didn’t even know this website existed, and now here I sit with my novel having 40 followers, 16 copies pre-ordered, and even a few recommendations. Remarkable how fate works, eh?

The whole reason I’m even here is because a friend (bless her) sent me the link to the Inkshares Nerdist contest, knowing it would be a good fit for the novel that I’ve been talking about non-stop for the last seven months - though to be fair, the story’s been in my head and my heart for much longer than that.

An idea and lots of handwritten pages when I was 13 officially became a real live draft of a novel when I used it as my story during July 2015’s Camp NaNoWriMo competition. From that point to October, I got about 44K words done, and as I would come to realize, that whole chunk of time was more an exercise to get me ready for the real game, which was official NaNoWriMo 2015 in November.

I started from scratch on that November 1st, putting to use the ideas that did and didn’t work in the pre-writing phase. I began that day with a zero word count and by November 30th, I had 62,000. And by New Year’s Eve? I finished out the full first draft with a whopping 99K, and probably the greatest sense of accomplishment I’ve ever felt in my life.

And now? It’s go time.

January was spent trying to step back a bit and let the story I’d written ferment a bit, and then I made my big promise to myself that February would see me getting down to business with finishing the second draft. That’s when a facebook message from the aforementioned friend showed up, and well - here we are.

I have no idea what my future on Inkshares holds, or whether or not I will end up being one of the top three in this Nerdist contest, but what I do know is this - I’ve got something now I didn’t have before. I’ve got readers. I’ve got all of you.

I’m thinking Sundays will be a good day of the week for progress updates such as these. As I spread the word about They Are The Last throughout the interwebs, I’ll also be hard at work polishing off this second draft - which my goal is to have completed by March 1st. I’m glad I’ve got all of you to now hold me to it. What a thrilling journey this will be for us all.

And for the last time in this post, I reiterate my thanks. Thank you for the follows, the pre-orders, the kind and encouraging words, and most importantly, for showing that you believe in Piper Anderson’s story. It feels strange finally having my girl out there in the world, with people knowing her name and what a fighter she is. There is such an adventure left for her to experience over the course of They Are The Last, and the rest of The Alterian Trilogy, but to know there are people rooting for her makes me happier than just about anything. In short, thank you for everything.

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If you haven’t already, be sure to read Chapter One of They Are The Last on the TATL Inkshares page! Once you do, be sure to leave a recommendation or wirte a review to help others discover Piper’s story!

Want to keep up with Elayna outside of Inkshares? She blogs on her official website Elayna Musings, tweets a lot on the twitter, shares lots of shiny photos on instagram, and reblogs a plethora of geeky fun stuffs on her official tumblr! She also makes videos on YouTube via her Elayna Musings channel!