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Happy Birthday to The Archer’s Cup!

Happy Birthday to The Archer's Cup

“We spend so much time fighting in this war; maybe we should fight for love just as fiercely.”

Jo Shanks

In this sequel to The Last Archer and The First Fowler, Jo Shanks is charged with aiding Emma on her mission to unite the secret citadels in their fight against the Preylord slavers. Alongside Cole and Heyna Blackstar, Jo and Emma must enter into the heart of a community in confusion.

Something is wrong at Blackstone Citadel. Can Jo and his friends solve the mystery and enlist Blackstone’s aid in time to rendezvous with their allies fighting for the Mended Wood?

A citadel on the edge.

An insidious mystery to unravel.


Fans set to work uncovering the mystery as soon as they got their hands on this new book.

A new book brought new challenges. What were they? Watch the video to hear from the author himself.

Here is what YOU are saying about The Archer’s Cup.

Have you made your way to the end? Share your thoughts at Goodreads, Amazon, or Audible. Your reviews are deeply appreciated.

Just to make sure EVERYONE gets something cool from The Archer’s Cup fun, here’s a free coloring sheet!

You can get more awesome coloring pages when you “Gimme 5.” It’s easy and you can do that here!

Fun Fact: The Archer’s Cup shares a birthday month with National Play Outside Day! Don a Green Ember costume (inspiration here), bow & arrow, and head for the woods.

S. D. Smith was recently a guest on The 1000 Hours Outside podcast where he traced his storytelling abilities back to the early years of his life where he ran wild in the woods of West Virginia, immersing himself in nature and in his imagination.

“There’s probably nothing that’s been more formative for me as a storyteller and in my vocation than those early years of my life playing imaginatively and running wild in the woods of West Virginia.”

S. D. Smith

We love seeing you play and create in The Green Ember World. Use #rabbitswithswords and tag @sdsmithereens and @thegreenemberofficial on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to be featured in our next video!

The Archer's Cup drawing

Wind down with a cozy drink inspired by lalla oil.

“If you need to sleep instead of staying alert, I have just the thing for that too. Lalla oil works every time.”

Brew some chamomile tea or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try a sleepytime tea latte.

Sleepytime Tea Latte

You Will Need:

  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 chamomile tea bag
  • 1 peppermint tea bag
  • 3/4 cup steamed milk

Steep chamomile and peppermint tea in hot water. Add steamed (or frothed) milk.
Optional: sweeten with honey. Enjoy!

Recipe from here.

New to The Green Ember? Get started with the first audiobook for FREE.

If you would like your very own, you can find great deals such as a SIGNED copy of The Archer’s Cup (*for a limited time) at the S. D. Smith Family Store. This book is also available on audiobook, eBook (and print) at Amazon and your favorite bookshops.

S. D. Smith signing The Archer's Cup

Did you know: if your library partners with Hoopla, you can listen to ALL the audiobooks for free?! Make sure to check with your local library & follow the recommended reading order.

More Birthday Fun: Giveaway!

the archer's cup giveaway

In honor of The Archer’s Cup’s Birthday, here’s what we’re giving away:

( 1 ) Complete SIGNED set of ALL 9 Green Ember Books
( 1 ) Complete set of The Green Ember Series Audiobooks (9 audiobooks in total!)
( 1 ) SIGNED copy of The Archer’s Cup
( 1 ) The Archer’s Cup Audiobook

For a total of 4 winners!

To Enter:

Comment (here / Instagram / Facebook) with your favorite game to play outside.


Must have a U.S. mailing address. Must be 18 or older. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook or Instagram. Void where prohibited.

Winners will be selected and notified on Wednesday, November 17th.

Thank you for celebrating The Archer’s Cup’s birthday with us!

Check out these other birthday celebrations:


  1. My favorite game to play outside is either playing star seek with one of my neighbors, or the neighborhood kids get together sometimes at night, and we play a game called “game night,” where we first swim in our neighbor’s pool, then we will play kickball, and finally, we will play some random games like: tag, freeze tag, blob tag, bang, or boo.

    1. As a kid, I loved playing night games with the neighbors. We would do tag, ghost in the graveyard and made up other fun games involving all of our backyards that were close by. My kids love adventuring up the hills of the Palouse! They often play the roles of Heather, Picket and Smalls and use sticks as swords!

  2. Our favorite outside game is knights. We take our swords, don our blanket capes, and set out to rescue the fair maidens and vanquish the foes in Green Ember style!

  3. My favorite thing to do outside as a kid was sledding. As an adult my favorite thing is just being in the woods.

  4. I love boating outside! I’ve been boating since I was born, basically, and now I get to take my kids! I like to wakeboard and I love tubing a swimming with my kids!

  5. My kids’ favorite thing to do outside is dig holes in the yard, tie ropes around tree limbs and swing from them, build makeshift treehouses in the trees, and make potions out of whatever organic goodness they can find on the ground.

  6. As a kid, my favorite outside game was probably kick the can. Now, pickleball is my favorite outside game. I also enjoy throwing a frisbee and playing tidal ball on the beach.

  7. We play a made up seek and find game. One person hides a set of items in the yard and then everyone else seems them.

  8. My seven year old has read all four of the “main” books and has the other ones on her wish list. She says they are her favorite!

  9. My family loves playing a giant size game of chutes and ladders that we made up. It works great at the park where you can use actual slides. We also love playing Kubb.

  10. My boys’ favorite game to play outside is soccer with the dog. Its really funny to watch them kick it and she runs after it to try to play the back and forth that comes with soccer. I don’t really enjoy playing outdoor games as an adult, but as a kid I always loved four square, jump rope, and any form of climbing on jungle gyms. Or better yet, the wind through my hair as I ride on a bike (still love that!).

  11. My daughter loves your books! I asked her and she said her favorite game to play outside is “fish tanks”. ? I think it involves drawing an elaborate world with chalk.

  12. I started doing LARP at age 8, a lot of people look at me weird when I say that, but what it is, is Live Action Role Play. Getting dressed up and weaving myself and the character I’m portraying into a story with a group of others is something I’ve completely fallen in love with <3 (as well as fencing and archery)

  13. Horseback riding.. but my girl is ready and willing to do so much more, her old man is just trying to keep up with the ball of energy.

  14. Our family favorite game to play outside is probably Throw Throw Burrito Extreme Edition – everybody loves running around throwing giant inflatable burritos at each other, and there’s giant card game craziness in the middle as well.

  15. Our family likes hiking together and playing Pooh Sticks at bridges. Our youngest daughter likes to play four square with our neighbors.

  16. My families favorite outdoor thing to do is ride bikes, which our 3 girls quickly change into a game of anything horse related. Horse racing, horse dressage, and my least favorite…horse jousting. Thanks for all the wonderful stories!

  17. Our favorite outside things to do are camping and hiking. But those aren’t really games. I remember playing Red Rover outside as a kid and enjoying it.
    My daughter loves your books and is excited for the next one.
    The Archer’s Cup is the only one she actually has a physical copy of.

  18. We love hiking, kicking the soccer ball around, or playing field hockey. Your books have been a big hit at our house!

  19. Whip, Baseball, Lacrosse, Get The Boot, and The Game In The Wingfeather Saga Where You Have To Get The Apple Before The Guy Smacks You With His Stick.

  20. Pretending to be kids that have armor with wings attached to them and we go on adventures and we can fly because of our armor. Sometimes we read books and we go into the giant forest and find dragons.

  21. Some of my favorite games are four square, horse riding (barrel racing, roping, western pleasure, trail riding, games), and a Star Wars game me and my bother made up where we would build pretty good forts in/on the edge of the forest and fight off the Empire.

  22. I love many outdoor activities. When I was young we created a giant hula hoop and I loved playing with it. I think playing large group games, like capture the flag, are some of my favorite things to do outdoors now.

  23. Whenever my nice and nephew are over, we go outside ( no matter the weather ) and play Pilgrims Progress. We also play a form of the Green Ember and they nickname me Heather.

    1. Playing Pilgrims Progress reminds me of the Green Ember. We have the dark and the light. In Pilgrims Progress, Christian goes through struggles along the way. Same with the Green Ember. But we have can press through, and fight the good fight.

  24. Psst! Come over here! Is it safe?…I have a secret to tell you. Our family hasn’t read a single Green Ember book. Really. I know! (We have used S.D. Smith’s Green Writer classes to inspire our homeschool writing curriculum for our 11 year-old.) But we’d love to start the series this fall! They sound wonderful!

    1. We have a lot of games that are different for each: youngest, Ethan, loves baseball and football with neighbors, first born daughter, Jadyn, likes hide-n-seek with cousins and dance parties with neighbor girls, my husband and I like anything played together outside as a family:-)

  25. We made up a game that we call Koob. It is rather simple: each player chooses a character (Either one they make up, or one from a book,) and they have to find–outside–something related to that character. For example, if you were Heather (tehehe Green Ember reference) then you could be looking for some sticks and maybe a bit of ribbon, too. Then, when everybody has found their object, you make a fortress out of rocks/wood/pine cones/anything, really, and place the object on top. Finally, we throw random stuff at each other’s fortress, screaming battle-cries in the form of quotes made by your character. (We’re a bookish family . . .)

  26. Our favorite fall game to play is “Find the Rabbit.” We take my daughter’s Holland Lops and toss them into huge piles of leaves. As we toss them, they strike a “super-bunny” pose with a look of glee on their little faces because maple leaves are like candy to rabbits. They sink into the pile as they land, tunnel around to find the choicest leaves, and just start munching away, while we try to figure out where they are.

  27. Our favorite game to play outside is freeze tag and anything that involves running. My kids can easily be distracted by a passing squirrel or other animal though. 🙂

  28. We’ve spent the summer creating a campsite hangout in the woods behind our house. The kids love digging, climbing trees, building forts and fires, and hide and seek! It’s been a great spot to explore and let our imaginations roam!

  29. My boys, ages 17 and almost 14 LOVE these books so much that they jump at the chance to order every time a new one is released! You have inspired the oldest to write his own books and he is registered for your workshop as well! We also purchase and send the books to friends and family for every gift giving occasion! Keep up the great work! You make a difference in the loves of others in ways I think you did not anticipate!

  30. My favorite outside game to play is frisbee golf! It can be a little competitive, but also a fun game to challenge myself to do better! Plus, if the course is set up well, you get some good exercise too! 😉

  31. I’m not sure if it’s considered a “game”, but my 2 yr old and I look for slugs and worms as we walk around our property.

    1. There are so many fun yard games. Our current favorite is Slamball. We also love to play all sorts of water games. We set up zones with different water activities all around the yard.

  32. Our favorite game to play outside is mini tennis. We set up a portable net in our driveway, draw a court with sidewalk chalk, and the neighborhood kids join in and play for hours.

    Thanks for offering this!

  33. Our favorite outdoor game is soccer. However, my kids would live outside if they could and are constantly building forts, hiking, climbing trees and playing keep away with the dog… who they’ve renamed “pink tongue garlackson”

  34. Our kids love to hunt for bugs…to squish! Haha! They have a favorite oak tree in our yard where they enjoy studying ants and bugs, too.

  35. My favorite outside game is ultimate frisbee. Used to play a lot in college… now I need to get my kids into it. 🙂

  36. I had to ask my children and I think the consensus on our favorite outside games are anything involving water- from water balloons to snowball fights and building snowmen. My 8 year old also likes “nature tic tac toe” where you use long grass to make a game board and things you find in nature for X’s and O’s Like flowers, leaves or pebbles. And now I want to go play outside! ?

  37. On behalf of my 10 and 6 year old boys- Our favorite game to play outside is to run around with swords and pretend we are characters from whatever our favorite book/movie/game is at the moment! We also love to listen to video game music outside (Super Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda are favorites) while swinging as high as we can!

  38. We’re a family of makers. We love to create things. One of our favorite things to do is create dens or homes for various animals with found objects. We also love a good game of kickball, bug collecting, creek stomping, or kayaking.

  39. Our favorites games to play outside are capture the flag, any sports games like football, soccer, baseball and volleyball. We love all your books, so thankful for the opportunity to enter!

  40. We are a large family that loves to “tweek” rules of old games. Everyone loves dodgeball, cornhole and a game they made up called Daddy-ball.

  41. Right now our favorite thing is playing board games outside! My boys have a little weekly meeting and due to covid, the families prefer they stay outside. Otherwise, we’re playing catch or frisbee.

  42. My favorite game to play outside when I was a kid, was making pretend restaurants. All the “food” was made from mud, leaves, sticks, rocks, flowers, etc. I loved being outside and pretending. Now my daughter has started to do it too all on her own.

  43. Our favourite game to play outside is Kuub, or Viking Chess. So much fun, that even our rooster tries to join in ?

  44. We just love to just walk outside. Whatever happens, happens as we don’t really organize our play. I guess we are weird.

  45. As of late our most played game is “chase the toddler around the yard to make sure she doesn’t get into too much mischief” ? So excited to share all these stories with our girls once they are a little older!

  46. We don’t have a particular game but we like to take walks with our dogs and search unknown treasures with the metal detector.

  47. We love a game of ultimate frisbee with friends! My youngest loves to play with the neighbor’s new puppy…they wear each other out!!

  48. My son’s favorite thing to do outside is have sword battles, make forts out of anything, and race his friends!

  49. Our family loves to play hide and seek, freeze tag, and anything involving capes/costumes. My favorite is our family hikes through the woods as we pretend we are on an epic adventure!!

  50. Our favorite games to play outside are football, soccer, and just running around and enjoying the nice weather. Happy birthday!????

  51. My kids favorite games to play outside are tag, sword fights (with sticks or whatever they can find), tennis, soccer, whiffle ball, hiking and exploring in the woods, and building forts (if that’s a game).

  52. My son said his favorite game to play outside is Capture the flag and I’m sure my daughters would say Fairies or Hide and Seek.

    1. My favorite game to play as a kid was manhunt in the dark! Our church was surrounded by a hunting property and I’d always go hide in the woods! It was the best hahaha

  53. Tag and it’s many variations is my kids’ go to! There is nothing quite like chasing one another and laughing outside ?

  54. As a family we enjoy swimming in nearby lakes, and I also enjoy getting shooting lessons from my husband in or backyard.

  55. My two kiddo’s love to play outside on the beach, their favourite beach games include touch rugby, sand ball fights and pirates. Arrr…

  56. My favorite thing to do outside is hiking but my favorite outdoor game was/is hide and seek and in the winter fox and geese.

  57. We love using the seek app to learn about plants and animals we find. And my son is always playing football if there is any possible way he can.

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