Tag Archives: short story

Fox Spirit Love-Fest

Today, calloo callay, the Fox Spirit Book of Love has gone live! Woohoo!

Cover of Book of Love anthology

Here’s the deets:

‘These are probably not the love stories you are looking for…..

…. but they should be.’

Love. That many-splendoured thing. It can move mountains and make fools of us all, but what is it? Does it come courtesy of a cherub’s bow? Is it a battlefield? Endless? Crazy? Only available on a Friday? Well, the answer might be between these covers. Inside you’ll find stories from fantastical worlds to fairy tales, from dark places to virtual reality, tales of transformation, hope, and despair. Above all else, each one is, at heart, about love.

Edited by C.A. Yates, with cover by the combined might of C.A. Yates, Paul Yates and Vincent Holland-Keen.

Contents:

Decomposing Corpses: A Love Story by Douglas J. Ogurek
The Holy Waters by Dolly Garland
Jixxa, My Love by Alec McQuay
End Times in Paris by James Bennett
Love in The Age Of… by David Tallerman
The First Day of Khirshi-Da by Joyce Chng
By Blade And Bloom by Xan van Rooyen
The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling by Michelle Ann King
A Curse That’s Not For Breaking by Lawrence Harding
A True Wish by Charlotte Bond
Notes on a Haunting by Kit West
Subatomic for ‘It Must be Love’ by Emma K. Leadley
The Twelfth Day by Ro Smith
The Wind’s Son by K.C. Shaw
Salt Ocean by Lisa Shea
Enchanted Garden by K.A. Laity
Rapture on the Lonely Shore by Jenny Barber
The Whale and the Moon by G. Clark Hellery

My story – ‘Rapture on the Lonely Shore’ – comes from my Mermaids of St Senara universe (look out for more St Senara stories on my patreon launching later this month!) ‘Rapture’ tells the tale of mermaids and nuns and the sweet music they make…

You can get yourself an epub/mobi copy of the Fox Spirit Book of Love direct from their website here or pop to Amzn for the kindle version here or the paperback version here!

Flash Recs

So last week I finally started catching up on my Daily Science Fiction email backlog… (If you like flash fiction, then you might want to check out Daily Science Fiction, purveyors of, yes, daily flash fic delivered online or via email, and yours for the stunning price of free!)

Which I mainly mention as the lead in to some flash fic recs!

And, lo! A Listicle! Here are some of the ones I particularly loved…

A Heart, An Egg, A Lock of Hair by Kelly M Sandoval – a modern love story with echoes of the folktales where sorcerers hide their heart in improbable places.

A Thousand Times Over by Tamoha Sengupta – mermaids!

Wendy, Darling by A.C. Wise – a look at Wendy full grown and what it takes to protect your daughter from Peter Pan.

Of Puddings and Prophecies by Helen French – two friends in a prophecy competition where interpretation is everything.

Last To Know by Leanne A. Styles – aliens and family secrets.

Go check ’em out and have a bounce around the DSF site for more free fic!

Out Now! Fearless Genre Warriors

Fearless Genre Warriors Cover

Today Fearless Genre Warriors went live! Hurrah!

With illustrations by Kieran Walsh and cover art by Vincent Holland-Keen, Fearless Genre Warriors: A Fox Spirit Sampler brings you a selection of twenty six short stories, three poems, and two pieces of non-fiction pulled from the full range of Fox Spirit Books anthologies and collections!

It is now available to download in one handy file containing mobi, epub, pdf & azk formats, for absolute nada from the Fox Spirit Books website.

You can get your free copy from http://www.foxspirit.co.uk/free-fiction/

Scroll down to the Facebook Giveaway option and use FoxBook as your password and there you go!

But who’s in it, you may be wondering… sooooo many fantastic people! Let me introduce you to them:

Part One: Fables and Fabulations

Cheryl Morgan, K.A. Laity, Andrew Reid, A.J. Fitzwalter, Carol Borden, Chloë Yates, Steven Savile, VC Linde, Sarah Cawkwell and Alasdair Stuart

Part Two: Before Dawn

Jan Siegel, Nick Wood, Ren Warom, Tracy Fahey, KT Davies, W.P. Johnson, Ian Whates, Carol Borden, James Bennett, Alec McQuay, K.A. Laity and Aliya Whitely

Part Three: Touch Magic, Pass it On

Jan Siegel, Tim Major, Steve Lockley, Margrét Helgadóttir, Chloë Yates, Li Huijia, Yukimi Ogawa, Gaie Sebold and more from Alasdair Stuart

And I should also probably mention that genre wise, Fearless Genre Warriors covers it all – we have horror tales, fantasy tales, SF tales, crime tales, humorous tales, and tales that blend any or all of the above! So whatever your fiction thing is, we’ve got you covered!

And if you like what you read, don’t forget to check out the anthologies and collections they came from because there’s more fantastic Fox Spirit fiction waiting for you!

 

Coming Soon! Fearless Genre Warriors

fearless 1 - ebook

I’m thrilled to say that one of my editing projects is getting close to publication! Hurrah!  Coming very soon from Fox Spirit Books may I present – Fearless Genre Warriors: A Fox Spirit Sampler.

With illustrations by Kieran Walsh and cover art by Vincent Holland-Keen, Fearless Genre Warriors: A Fox Spirit Sampler brings you a selection of twenty six short stories, three poems, and two pieces of non-fiction pulled from the full range of Fox Spirit Books anthologies and collections!

You’ll find folklore and fairytales told with humour and heart, ancient gods in far-flung times, ravens and foxes, shamans and sacrifice and earthquake gods, werewolves and faeries and mad science, classic tales seen anew, fiction and reality colliding, bards and dragons and mighty heroes, oh my!

You’ll also find the tales told in the graveyard hours, twilight terrors and pre-dawn dread. There’s tales of death and resurrection, human monsters and monsters of legend, tricksy creatures both fae and other, from desert and hillside and moor, to the depths of space and the deepest sea. Stories of transformation and transference, of hope and revolution and survival and moving on. Stories where worlds are changed, new homes found, and lives altered for the better.

It will be available soon in digital format only, and how much will this epic volume of short fiction goodness cost you? Nothing! Nada! Zip! Zilch! Totally Zero! Free all the way!  Is that not the bargain of the year or what!

More news and download links coming soon!

State of the Jen: March 2018

Like most of the country, I am currently in shock at the existence of weather. (Snoooooooooow!)  But never mind that, update time!

Exo-Bloggage!

In February I managed guest posts in two (2! Count ’em!) places:

WiHM9-GrrrlLogoTall-BR-MAs part of the Fox Spirit Books celebration of Women in Horror Month I did a post about short horror fiction and the women who write it.  Go check out my post Short Fiction Queens or visit the round up post to see the full range of fab Foxy women in horror posts.

Not only! But also! The splendiferous Mark West has compiled another Mixtape blog, this time on short Stephen King fiction.  I did a short thing on ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption’ and you can read it, and the rest of the picks, over on the Mixtape here!

Publication News!

horrors-vol-1-ver-3cAnd I am thrilled to announce I’ll be having a story published in the upcoming Alchemy Press Book of Horrors. My story ‘Down Along the Backroads’ is a bit of a weird post-apoc multi-world thing where new visitors to town stir up things best left unstirred. There’s a lovely bunch of horror folks joining me in the table of contents (see the full list here!) so look out for that around September time.

Booooooooooks!

I may have written a couple of non-fiction books.  I blame the mother ship entirely.

Thus – coming later in the year will be a couple of short taster guides for card divination! Let’s Try Tarot, co-written with Patricia Barber, will give the quick and easy way to try out tarot reading. Its companion volume, Let’s Try Cartomancy, covers quick and easy playing card divination. More news on those to follow!

 

Waxing Lyrical at Fox Spirit

Fox-Spirit-Logo-BFS-293x300Proving that you don’t need to be at a convention to be inspired by it, you’ll find me talking about the wonderful world of SFF online fiction over at the Fox Spirit Books blog. Yes, there are lists. Because how could there not.  And links aplenty! Hop on over!

Women for the Win!

ghost-summerThis morning I’m delighted to be part of Mark West’s latest short fic mixtape – it being Women in Horror month, the theme is, quite naturally, Women in Horror. My personal pick is for one of the many excellent stories in Tananarive Due‘s Ghost Summer: Stories collection, which is a book I enthusiastically recommend you all go out and buy, just because!   But the particular story I’ve picked is also available online at m’beloved Lightspeed so you can pop over to read the Mixtape then link through to read the story! (Is that a deal or what?)

Elsewhere across the interwebs, the gloriousness that is the Girl’s Guide to the Apocalypse has resurrected from its shallow grave to fight the good fight once more, so you’ll find me and many others popping up there with info, meta and all manner of oddness.  Thus far we’ve covered survival rations and stocking your pantry, the art of protest signs, humour as an essential survival tool, how to date an egomaniacal dictator and my own contribution – a vaguely Resident Evil inspired ramble on Beware the Monsters.

Apocalypse Girl2

State of the Jen: May 2016

pocketssml.pngAs you can see from the lovely picture, I’ve got my contributor copies of the latest Fox Spirit goodness!  (Fab foxy mug not included!)

So, published in December 2015 in the very cool Fox Pockets Vol. 6: Things in the Dark, was my flash fic ‘In Darkness Dreaming’ – with a trainee mermaid-pirate, monsters of the deep and underwater ruins.  Three of my favourite things!

Then in February 2016, in the very fabulous Fox Pockets Vol. 7: In An Unknown Country, ‘The Strongest Conjuration’ was published.  This one’s a tale of a haunted city, portal hopping refugees, with the odd mermaid-pirate for good measure.  Because, of course there is. 😉

And coming up next Tuesday will be Fox Pockets Vol.8: Piercing the Vale, with my story ‘Dead Women’s Tales’ – this one continues with the refugees in the haunted city and gives voice to the restless dead.  (The mermaid-pirates are having the night off!)

In other news!  This week I was the guest blogger on Sarah Ash’s Nobody Knew She Was There blog series – check out Get Shorty for babbling about short fiction and lisssssssts, precious!  So many lists!  And don’t forget to peruse the rest of the blogs in the series as there’s been some awesome genre gals talking all manner of intriguing things.

The Cool Reads (and other shiny stuff) of 2013 Post!

And lo, there were many funky stories read in 2013….

Though I didn’t read nearly as much online fiction as in previous years, recommended shorts from the year-that-was include:
Abyssus Abyssum Invocat by Genevieve Valentine – Lightspeed (February 2013)
As Large as Alone by Alena McNamara – Crossed Genres (July 2013)
The Crimson Kestrel by Leslianne Wilder – Beneath Ceaseless Skies (February 2013)
Death Comes Sideways to the Mall by William Alexander – Apex Magazine #46
Dreams of Peace by Dana Beehr – Beneath Ceaseless Skies (May 2013)
The Drowned Man by Laura E. Price – Beneath Ceasless Skies (May 2013)
A Family for Drakes by Margaret Ronald – Beneath Ceaseless Skies (March 2013)
Forgiving Dead by Jeff Stehman – Daily Science Fiction (May 2013)
From the Book of Names My Mother Did Not Give Me by Christine V. Lao – Expanded Horizons (April 2013)
In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind (part 1) (part 2) by Sarah Pinsker – Strange Horizons (July 2013)
In Metal, In Bone by An Owomoyela – Eclipse Online (March 2013)
A Little Sleep by Melissa Mead – Daily Science Fiction (May 2013)
Mermaid’s Hook by Liz Argall – Apex Magazine #46
Of Ash and Old Dreams by Sarah Grey – Daily Science Fiction (June 2013)
The Princess and Her Tale by Mari Ness – Daily Science Fiction (May 2013)
Pythian Games by Tom Doyle – Daily Science Fiction (March 2013)
Singing Like a Hundred Dug-up Bones by Alex Dally MacFarlane – Beneath Ceaseless Skies (May 2013)
Swan Song by Melissa Mead – Daily Science Fiction (April 2013)
With Tales in Their Teeth, From the Mountain They Came by A.C. Wise- Lightspeed (January 2013)
Town’s End by Yukimi Ogawa – Strange Horizons (March 2013)

Anthologies:
There were some cracking anthologies published in 2013, if you haven’t already picked them up, go check out:
Glitter and Mayhem, John Klima & Michael Damian Thomas (eds) (Apex Book Company)
Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond, Bill Campbell, Edward Austin & Edward Hall (eds) (Rosarium Publishing)
Noir Carnival, K. A Laity (ed.) (Fox Spirit Books)
Tales of Eve, Mhairi Simpson (ed.) (Fox Spirit Books)
Terra Nova: An Anthology of Contemporary Spanish Science Fiction, Mariano Villarreal (Editor), Sue Burke (Translator), Lawrence Schimel (Translator) (Sportula) (First English translation edition in 2013)
The Book of the Dead, Jared Shurin (ed.) (Jurassic London)
The Other Half of the Sky, Athena Andreadis & Kay T Holt (Candlemark & Gleam)
We See a Different Frontier: A postcolonial speculative fiction anthology, Djibril Al-Ayad and Fabio Fernandes (Futurefire.net Publishing)
What Fates Impose, Nayad Monroe (ed.) (Alliteration Ink)
Winter Well: Speculative Novellas About Older Women, Kay T. Holt (ed.) (Crossed Genres)

Collections! (Because you can never have enough short stories!)
Across the Event Horizon, Mercurio D. Rivera (Newcon Press)
Conservation of Shadows, Yoon Ha Lee (Prime Books)
How the World Became Quiet, Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Press)
Kabu Kabu, Nnedi Okorafor (Prime Books)
This Strange Way of Dying, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Exile Editions)

Artists who did beautiful beautiful art! 
Alexandra Knickel (Assorted covers, including this Lightspeed one)
Amy Mebberson (Pocket Princesses web comics)
Edvige Faini (assorted covers, including this Lightspeed one)
Halil Ural (this Lightspeed cover)
Julie Dillon (assorted covers – I am an unashamed fangirl of her work!)
Mats Minnhagen (assorted covers)
Renee Nault (assorted illustrations and web comics)
Sarah Anne Langton (assorted covers)
Sara K. Diesel (cover of This Strange Way of Dying)
Sutthiwat Dechakamphu (assorted covers, including this Lightspeed one)
Tina Marie Lane (assorted covers)
Zack Fowler (assorted covers)
Zsófia Tuska (assorted covers, including this Beneath Ceaseless Skies one)

A Pirate’s Life for Me!

foxpiracyHurrah! Piracy has been ebookified and is available via Wizard’s Tower Books, your regional Amazon and at some point in the next month or so at Spacewitch. And at £2 it’s a steal, so get ye-self over there and get one!

There are a whole bunch of excellent stories in it, by a whole bunch of excellent people, but today I want to talk about mine! Or more specifically, why mermaid-pirates.

See, according to the stories, there are two types of career options for mermaids. The quiet mermaids are the ladies of leisure, lounging around random rocks combing their hair and gossiping with their bestest gal-pals. Occasionally one may be inspired by stories of humans to get involved with the strange land creatures, and by assorted means pursue their target until they’re dutifully wed or consigned to death due to an enchantment gone bad. The bolshier ones are having none of that foolishness, and prefer to seduce their human prey into the water where they can drag them down into the depths for fun and drowning. Every sailor knows this.

mermaids from pirates-wikia-com

Mermaids call shenanigans on boring career options

What every mermaid knows, however, is a different matter. Their stories tell of all those times their selkie cousins lost their skin to human treachery; all those times their sisters got captured for amusement and profit and were ill paid for what assistance they gave drowning humans in storm churned waters; all those times they were hunted by humans who thought they could get an advantage in fishing or just grab themselves a mermaid wife. No sensible mermaid is going to let that carry on unremarked. Not for long.

And while there are plenty of activities where mermaids excel – smuggling, treasure hunting and salvage, music, art, marine sciences (of course), underwater archaeology, combat (especially of the shock troop variety), legitimate trade, hunting, exploration and storytelling; by far the most popular choice is piracy.

maidattack1 from davidhahnart-comAnd really, why wouldn’t it be? Mermaids have the tactical advantage in the water – they can sneak up on their targets and scuttle a ship hull without even once showing their head above the surface. Or if they want a little more sport, they can sing their prey into the water and hold them there until the air is gone from the humans’ lungs. So taking down a boat and picking the plunder out of the wreckage later is a common way to make a quick profit – after all, the mermaids have tithes to pay to sea-witches and the ruling mer-clans, so they might as well let the humans stump up the booty.

pirate mermade fron selinafenech-comBut like a lot of pirates, half the fun is in the fight. When their blood gets going they like the challenge of facing the humans in open combat, matching tooth and claw and stolen blade against whatever the humans can wield. Wagering they’re fast enough out of the water to take down their foes before the biting air and solid ground turns the advantage back to the humans.

And so my story “Past Lives” – where human-pirates hunt mermaids and mermaid-pirates hunt humans and the spectre of an ex-mermaid pirate captain hangs over it all.

Picture Credits:
1 – Mermaids of the Caribbean http://pirates.wikia.com
2 –When Mermaids Attack by David Hahn http://davidhahnart.com/2010/02/28/when-mermaids-attack/
3 – A Pirate’s Life for Me by Selina Fenech http://selinafenech.com/archives/?nggpage=2