Tag-Archive for » Publications «

Publications… “To the Sea, To the Sea” in LIKE A COMING WAVE

So, it’s been awhile. Two deaths in the family and a big move and a holiday season will do that, I guess. Rough few months, at the very least. I’ve missed out on a lot, but am excited to be back to blogging. Starting with today’s announcement regarding my latest release, which came out during my hiatus.

My story, “To the Sea, To the Sea”, is available now in LIKE A COMING WAVE from Circlet Press.

Blurb: The ocean is a vast playground of creatures real and imagined, rife with power and depth. In LIKE A COMING WAVE eight of fantasy’s best writers explore the erotic potential in the world of water. Mermaids and -men, selkies, Greek Gods, and even kraken cavort in these pages, featuring stories from Nisi Shawl, Julie Cox, Marie Carlson, Pepper Espinoza, and more, representing various sexualities and styles.

Table of Contents:
Breathing by Julie Cox
Extremiad by Nisi Shawl
Helios and Ceto by Pepper Espinoza
To the Sea,To the Sea by Marie Carlson
Wet Medium by Beryl Falls
A Requiem for Poseidon by S. C. Mitchell
Silk Skin by Elias A. St. James
How Much Water, How Much Air by M.E. Comstock

“To the Sea, To the Sea” brings together a mermaid whose song won’t lure any humans to the sea, and the kraken she must feed, who chooses her not for her voice but for the temptation of her body.

I’m excited about this anthology, a theme I love, and in particular because I adore Nisi Shawl’s writing, and am so glad to be in an anthology with her. I hope you guys enjoy!

Publications…Full (Moon) Flash Fiction Let It Burn (Part 1) available free online

Full (Moon) Flash Fiction

May Milk (Super) Moon: “Moonlit”
June Strawberry Moon: “Great Wide Open”
July Thunder Moon: “Lone Wolf (Bound)”
August Green Corn Moon: Let It Burn (Part 1)

The corn is dead already, dried husks withered and browned by sun and heat and drought. Sweat drips down the back of her neck; the wind whips against her, driving dirt and bits of dead plants against her skin, but still the air settles in her lungs thick, hot, damp. Despite the wind and debris, she wears her black hair loose, the fall of it covering her back, the ragged ends twisting against her hips.

She sniffs the air; ozone, a storm coming, but there’s little wetness to it. Rains come hard and fast, gone before they do any good. Microbursts that wash away everything in one place while leaving all else dusty and dead.

When she says, the world is burning, the others bark laughs, tongues lolling out, and yip, let it burn.

The wind carries the smell of shit and animal musk and, as they creep closer, a pinch of fear, just enough to make her mouth water. The scents of herd animals, sluggish with thirst and not enough fresh green food. She licks her chops.

Herds of deer are on the move, looking for food and water, even venturing into the suburbs, but they’re rangy, and chasing them down feels like too much work when the farm animals are right there.

She can almost hear Mom growl. Easy hunt meant they’d be discovered, hunted until the pack died out. It’s been such a long year, hot, dry; she’s tired. One easy meal will make them all feel better, stronger. Then they can hunt outside town, find new territory.

Dead grass at her toes, and the others near silent between cornfield and cows.

She drops, lets the change sweep through her, breaking bones, snapping sinew, tearing flesh; grinds down on the howl that threatens to rise from her throat. This close to the house, one noise will bring the humans running.

Four sleek dark gray shadows slip into the pasture. They are downwind and near silent, but something sets off the cows. The soft lowing grows louder, full of fear. The young to the center, bawling. Faster the wolves run, caught in hunt-lust.

She turns so fast she stumbles, only her speed keeping her on her feet. Again that cry, and she can nearly hear the all-too-human mama in it.

It’s just a cow. She’ll break some rules, but that is taboo.

Just a cow, and she leaps, snaps, blood gushing along her tongue.

The rest of the herd moves on, fast and loud; the pack settles in, gulps meat, tender, juicy. They make short work of it, gorging until their bellies hurt. Even so late, it’s hot, and she lounges after, licking her chops.

The same wind they used betrays them, hunter turned prey. Crack, and bright fire nearly takes the tip of her ear. One of the others yelps; she can’t tell which, and she twists, looking for the alpha, for direction. Then it crashes back.

She’s alpha now. There’s a human with a gun.

Run.

To be continued with August’s blue moon.

Publications… Full (Moon) Flash Fiction “Lone Wolf (Bound)” available free online

Full (Moon) Flash Fiction

May Milk (Super) Moon: “Moonlit”
June Strawberry Moon: “Great Wide Open”
July Thunder Moon: “Lone Wolf (Bound)”

Lightning cracked across the sky, lighting it up. One of the pups whimpered, but Dot couldn’t tell them apart. Couldn’t, didn’t want to, it all came out the same. They all looked like her brother in different ways, even the one that wasn’t actually related to him, sounded like him, smelled like him – she couldn’t take it.

“Shh.” The hay rustled as Trouble crouched next to them. The sharp scent of their fear faded, leaving that familiar-strange mix of family and not.

Patch was three weeks gone, his old lady said. Skittish under the last full moon, quiet where he was normally loud, talkative. Dot didn’t know him like that. He was the runt three litters after her, always silent and still.

Big shadows like bruises stained the skin beneath his old lady’s eyes. Manda, she was called, a human name for a wolf. “My parents liked to play pretend,” she said, and bared her teeth.

Patch gone, and their nearest neighbors, too, three of the four adults in the wolf pack. Five pups, four Patch and Manda’s, one their neighbors’, and Manda left to watch them. She slept fitfully in the corner of the barn, hugely pregnant, hands pressed against her belly even in her sleep. It rose like a full moon, third litter and maybe the last.

The breeze shifted, blowing into Dot’s face. She gulped it down, searching.

Behind her, a yip, cut off sharp, and she spun, crouching low, hands and feet against the boards she’d cleared of hay, ready for her shift. (Hay stuck to fresh-changed fur, made her itch, with no hands to scratch it free.)

Manda was awake, and on her feet, arms curled under the swell of her stomach, holding its weight, and her eyes were wide and dark, all the color bled out of them.

“They’re coming,” she growled, teeth sharp behind bloody lips. “They’re coming, they’re coming, they’re coming.” Her words rose into a howl by the end, high and thin, wolf crying for her pack, but only silence after.

Then, quiet at first, gaining volume and strength, Trouble raised her voice, head tilted so that her dark braids tumbled down her back, covering her bare brown skin. Around her, the pups lifted their heads, weak calls that made her jaw ache like claws on glass.

Too much like pack, and Dot was lone wolf nose to tail.

Thunder rolled, and with it the rain, gusts of it shaking the barn doors, covering their trail, the marks they’d left behind and their smell. From nothing to thunderstorm, and the snap of wind strong enough to knock over small wolves, nothing could track them through it.

“Shift,” Dot ordered, drawing herself in tight, muscles straining. The others turned toward her, watched her, and she shook her head, shifting back on instinct. She ran alone, no others to slow her down, but their hearts raced, and each breath pack pack pack. “We’re running.”

Running meant one more night safe and free.

Publications…Excerpt from “Hunter, Prey”

Don’t forget, you can still vote for “Hunter, Prey” to be included in Circlet Press’s Best of Circlet’s Digital Library Print Anthology. Vote here! Voting runs through March 15, and I thought I’d share an excerpt from “Hunter, Prey” here. If you like it, the full story is available in Like Tooth and Claw.

Meanwhile, come meet feisty, sexy Aisha and her new golden boy Finn.

Excerpt from “Hunter, Prey”

The last native wild mountain lion in Missouri was killed in 1927. Hunters have been telling stories of mountain lion sightings ever since.

One

I met him at the sixth stop on a Halloween bar crawl. My friends and I had a list of ten bars, but at six, we were almost done. It was my favorite, and I felt good enough to stay put.

Better than good. I was sobering up, but still riding a delicious buzz. I noticed him because he was still and silent when everyone else moved around the room, their voices loud and bright.

I twisted my glass of water against the top of the bar and shifted my weight so I could bounce my right heel. I had too much energy to sit.

“We could go dancing,” Shelley offered. She’d been my best friend since birth, when our dads took us to play dates together, and knew my moods better than anyone else.

I shrugged and cast another quick glance in his direction. She followed my gaze, then raised her eyebrows. Didn’t say anything, just took a drink of beer and carefully wiped her mouth after. The understanding between us went both ways. I knew what she was thinking, and she was absolutely right. I didn’t hook up with strangers. I didn’t have much time to date. Anytime I wanted uncomplicated sex—which I frequently did—one of my friends was up for it, too. We were a casual, open bunch.

Shelley glanced at him again and nudged me. I stepped to the side, sure she wanted me to make room for Erica—one of her partners. Trace, the other one, was at work—to join us, but she only nudged me again, harder.

Oh. It was a go get him, tiger nudge.

“He’s hot, Aisha. Go for it.”

I drained my water and looked over again. This time he looked at me, too, and our eyes locked. His corner was so shadowed I couldn’t tell what color his were.

It gave me an excuse to take a closer look.

I took my time crossing the room. I thought it was clear I was headed his way, and I wanted to give him time to give me a signal he didn’t want company. Plus, people kept stopping me to talk.

He was still in place when I got away from the others. A hopeful sign, but there was no guarantee he knew I’d been giving him an out.

“Want some company?” I put my hand on the back of an empty chair, but didn’t pull it away from the table.

He stared at me for a second. I didn’t mind. It gave me a chance to look at him. Up close, he was golden—the long hair in varying shades of blond, the beard and the scruff across his cheeks, and the way the dim light played off his skin—as if he’d been dipped in honey. ost striking of all were his eyes, golden-brown but strangely lit from within, like a candle behind stained glass.

He breathed in through his nose, then nudged the chair toward me. I pushed it closer to the wall and sat sideways in it, one arm looped over the back.

“Werewolf?” he asked. It took me a second, frowning, before I got it, and heat rushed to my cheeks. Probably he wouldn’t be able to tell in the low light. I touched the pointed ears sticking up from my twists. Shelley had made them out of soft black fur only slightly darker than my skin. It didn’t look like wolf, but most people couldn’t tell.

“The Big Bad Wolf.” I grinned and pointed out Shelley. “My best friend is Little Red Riding Hood. There’s a woodcutter around somewhere, too.” I half rose and angled my body so I could shake my ass at him. “Even got the tail. Sexy, huh?”

He chuckled and grinned. It flashed a deep dimple on the right side of his face and teeth that were crooked and sharp. “Very.” I wanted him to speak more. His voice was deep and slightly growly, but it had a hint of an accent, and I couldn’t yet place it.

“What’s your name?”

“Finn. Yours?”

Didn’t he ever use more than one-word sentences? “Aisha. You’re new around here.”

“That obvious?”

Okay. Two words. His reticence wasn’t horrible, though. I didn’t want that lush mouth of his for conversation.

“It’s a local bar. There are plenty closer to the highway. That’s where people stop if they’re passing through and where the college kids go.”

“I noticed. Too crowded for me.”

“So you made it all the way out to this little hole in the wall. Lucky me.”

He scratched the stubble on his cheek. “Want something to drink?”

“Water with lemon. I want to be sober for this.” I flashed him another smile and was inordinately pleased when he grinned back. I bit the inside of my lower lip to keep my joy from bubbling up. It was just a smile. I hadn’t caught him yet.

I made sure to watch him carefully. He might have been hot, and his jeans fit close to nice thighs and a firm butt, but he was still a stranger. Better safe than sorry when it came to drugged drinks. Shelley was watching us, and she stood next to him when he ordered. I trusted her to keep an eye on my drink. She stopped him when he turned away from the bar, all bouncy blonde ex-cheerleader, grinning and tossing her curls and ruffling her skirt at him. I looked good as a modern Big Bad Wolf, leather pants and boots and a distressed gray wrap shirt with a forest of pine trees trailing down the side—another of Shelley’s handmade items, she was so artistic it sometimes made me sick—but she was absolutely gorgeous in her black leather skirt and her tiny red hooded T-shirt. It showed off the shiny jewel in her belly button.

I’d left my truck a couple blocks away at the start of the night, pretty close to the last few bars on our list. There were streetlights, but all my windows were tinted, the back doors limo dark. I hit the unlock button on my keychain, but before I could open the door, Finn pushed me against it and put his mouth on my throat.

He ran his hands up my sides, under my shirt, until his thumbs brushed the bottom of my bra. My nipples tightened still further from the mix of his touch and the cold air. I hooked a leg around his calf and urged him closer, up between my thighs.

His hair was rough and thick around my hand. I palmed the back of his head and forced his face up. His mouth was open, his breath heavy, and I brushed my lips against his once, twice, before kissing him deeply.

He tasted like lime and beer. He shoved my bra up and strummed his thumbs across my nipples, catching my moan and swallowing it. Swallowing me. I rocked my hips forward, rubbing against his thigh. My bra was tight against the top of my chest, constricting the blood flow, and my breasts tingled.

Finn kissed the corner of my mouth, the edge of my jaw, the curve of my shoulder, and then licked the hollow of my throat. His tongue traced designs on my skin. I tilted my head back, gasping for air, and my breath hung in a white cloud overhead, melting away slowly. I tugged hard on his hair. He groaned and pulled against my grip, but I knew that sound, that movement. He wasn’t trying to get away. I fisted my hand and twisted it in his hair, giving myself a much better grip, then pulled again, hard and steady, moving him where I wanted him to go.

“I want to see you naked,” I ordered and reached behind me to open the door. I shoved him inside, scrambled in after him, and locked the doors behind me, trapping us.

Publications…The Rise and Fall of Cassandra Jones Pending Technical Issues

Watch this space for the second half of February’s story and March’s full moon story, not available online yet due to technical issues.

In the meantime, I hope you all had the chance to take a look at the full moon. It’s gorgeous.

Writing…The Rise and Fall of Cassandra Jones: Wolf Moon, available free online

Happy Wolf Moon!

The Rise and Fall of Cassandra Jones

Wolf Moon

The 2012 Farmer’s Almanac sets the full moon at exactly 1:30 a.m. Central USA time on Monday, January 9, but that means almost two entire nights for the werewolves. From moonrise on Sunday – 4:57 p.m. – to moonset on Tuesday – 8:17 a.m. – as long as the moon is in the sky, visible or not, the werewolves can hunt.

Monday morning, 5:00 a.m.

It’s dark, and the moon sits far to the west. Kansas stretches beneath it, flat land harvested and cut down and torn open, flexing on and on in the pale moonlight. Crossroads are shadows, and the sound of the train – the clickety-clack of wheels and the harsh cry of the horn – carries long into the darkness.

The neighborhood still sleeps, even the dogs silent, not yet awake to howl out their greetings and wake the world, when Cassandra Jones steps off the porch of the house closest to the railroad tracks, drawing her long wool coat tighter around her. It’s been warm lately – warm-ish, at least, no way forties and fifties are actually warm — but when she breathes deep, the air is cold enough to bite into her lungs.

She flexes her toes in her shoes, wishing for thicker socks, and clutches her keys tight in her left hand, the metal edges biting into her fingertips. She ticks through her to do list and pats absentmindedly at her pockets with her right hand, brushing against the wool coat again and again. She’s a long stretch of shadow, black coat on black clothes on black hair and skin, only the red of her lips standing out in the chiaroscuro of full moon light, bitten raw.

The moment she steps off the porch, there’s one loud exclamation – “Fuck, that’s cold!” – and then only a scowl and the occasional vague muttering into her scarf. It’s too thin for the chill, more decorative than anything, but she tucks her mouth down into it, covering her lips. They ache some, and one corner is cracked. Fresh blood rises sluggishly, just enough that the werewolf three houses away looks up from the empty backyard and sniffs the air.

more…

Publications…2011 Year in Review

2011 was sort of a disappointing year for me, writing-wise. I had the pleasure to continue to work with some amazing editors and publishers, and I love the stories of mine that were published (or rereleased) this year, but my personal writing output was disappointing to me. I know why, of course, my other career took a lot more time this year than it has in any previous year, but I hope to find a better way to balance my careers in 2012. To that end, I’ve set some short story goals for the year, and we will see how I do. Also under consideration is a website redesign (posts are truncating weirdly on the main page, I’ve noticed) and more guest blogging. More blogging in general.

Here are the stories of mine that were published in 2011.

January

“Cycles” in Like a Moonrise from Circlet Press

Blurb: Shapeshifting is a powerful metaphor for eroticism, and in Circlet Press’s new ebook, Like a Moonrise, that metaphor is made central to these erotic coming-of-age fantasies.

Like a Moonrise is an anthology of six stories featuring original shapeshifters with a coming of age theme.The stories in this anthology explain what the werefox, werepony, and others face as they discover their own changes and the urges and instincts that come with it. Circlet Press moves beyond the now-common realm of vampires and werewolves to explore the sexual lives of different were-creatures with these stories.

July

“Blazing Star” rereleased as a solo from Storm Moon Press

Blurb: For over 250 years, the use of the tarot for divination has been a mainstay of mystical and occult practices. The themes and forces represented by the cards are said to govern our lives and our destinies. Whether you believe that or not, the story of the cards is nevertheless the story of our lives — the accomplishments and the pitfalls, the path from soaring joy to crushing defeat and back again.

Bea is a mind reader, weary of battle, but still with the Star in her eyes. Her lover, Hope, returns to Bea’s sanctuary in need of comfort and guidance, which Bea is only too happy to give. But the respite is short-lived when other Hunters show up at the sanctuary with news of an impending battle. Bea knows she must let Hope go, even though it may be for the last time.

August

“The Fullness That Love Began” in Daughters of Artemis from Storm Moon Press

Blurb: Werewolf lore has long been dominated by tales of the strong alpha male, but what of the strong alpha females? The Storm Moon Press anthology Daughters of Artemis explores this mostly neglected aspect of the werewolf mythos, with an erotic twist.

Publications…Review of Daughters of Artemis and Bonus Link

Well, Month of Thanksgiving ended up being very sporadic, but maybe next year I will be able to post daily. I still haven’t decided what I want to do to celebrate the December holidays; obviously from Month of the Werewolf and Month of Thanksgiving, daily posting is not going to work for me right now (the day job has been super hectic lately). Maybe I will try a couple stories instead.

But first, here is a fun review of Daughters of Artemis, which contains my story “The Fullness That Love Began.”

Over at Lamba Literary, Sinclair Sexsmith included Daughters of Artemis in Cliterotica Fall 2011: Storm Moon Press is a relatively new publisher, and one of their first anthologies is the lesbian werewolf collection Daughters of Artemis. The beastly nature of these stories surprised me, and when I got deep into the characters and plots I felt a connection to my own animal nature. Lesbian sex can certainly bring out the lusty, raw animal, and this collection pulled deeply on those tropes. Though we usually see werewolves as alpha males, there are plenty of alpha females out there and many have just as much command and demand.

And the Bonus. Despite the fact that I frequent Werewolves.com, I missed this post about upcoming werewolf books that includes Daughters of Artemis. It made me grin to see it.

Publications…Review of “The Fullness That Love Began” in Daughters of Artemis (Month of Thanksgiving Day 4)

(Month of Thanksgiving is exactly what it sounds like: a [hopefully] daily dose of the things for which I give thanks during the month of November.)

Today I am grateful for delightful reviews. Sally at Bibrary Book Lust posted a really nice review of Daughters of Artemis.

This is what she had to say about werewolves in general: The act of transformation, the duality of spirit, and the tense dichotomy between domesticated human and wild animal make them so exciting to explore. Unlike vampires, there’s never an end to the seduction or to the transformation, which means there’s far less risk of the story growing stale.

And this is what she said about my story, “The Fullness That Love Began”: This was a fun story about suburban werewolves (complete with jobs at Microsoft), hunting rights, pack alliances, the war of the sexes, and the emotional conflict between love and procreation. Visually, the focus here is definitely on the human side of things, but the politics are all werewolf, and the sex is just wild enough to cross (and re-cross that line).

Isn’t that delightful? I love the mix of suburban werewolves and the wilder side. I was trying to capture that in “The Fullness That Love Began,” and based on this review, I was successful more than I ever could have hoped. I love this story of mine, and I am thrilled every time I hear that a reader enjoyed it.

Publications…DAUGHTERS OF ARTEMIS release day; Contest Winner

Purchase “The Fullness That Love Began” in DAUGHTERS OF ARTEMIS today.

The contest winner from my pre-publication DAUGHTERS OF ARTEMIS contest is Eliza Reeve! Eliza, obviously I have your contact info and I know you pre-ordered DAUGHTERS OF ARTEMIS, but let me know your bookstore preference and I’ll get that gift card to you.

Yesterday, August 26, was release day for DAUGHTERS OF ARTEMIS from Storm Moon Press, which contains my short story “The Fullness That Love Began.” DAUGHTERS OF ARTEMIS is available as an ebook or print (though there’s a bit of a delay on the print version due to printing issues), and is an anthology about strong werewolf women and the women who love them.

“The Fullness That Love Began” is a special story for me and has had a twisty path to publication, and I am so glad it is now available.

Blurb: Werewolf lore has long been dominated by tales of the strong alpha male, but what of the strong alpha females? The Storm Moon Press anthology Daughters of Artemis explores this mostly neglected aspect of the werewolf mythos, with an erotic twist.

Bounty hunter Toni McGowan has faced supernatural beasts that would send most running, but her latest assignment may be the toughest yet—playing babysitter to a New Ager wannabe. Jade Nicols, though, has a few secrets of her own, the darkest of which may just get them both killed.

Luna Rivers isn’t the most graceful of people at the best of times, and being stalked by shadowy figures and prowling wolves hardly qualifies. But after being rescued by the beautiful and sensual Syrene, Luna learns that there is more to herself than she’d ever suspected. She’s a werewolf, too, and in a whole new world of danger.

Andrea—Andy to most—is a pack leader in the forests of Washington state. Poaching in a nearby pack’s territory throws suspicion on Andy’s leadership. In order to find the truth, Andy and her mate Fiona find themselves forced into an uneasy alliance with Rafael, the other pack’s alpha.

Susan Runningwind is forty-five, but already strong enough to have earned a seat among her pack’s elders. Jesse Westfield is a documentary filmmaker investigating the so-called “Werewolves of South Dakota”. But when Jesse begins to get too close to the truth, Susan must make a choice between her pack’s welfare, and the growing attraction she feels to the younger woman.

Sasha is the first female in the kingdom of the shapeshifting House of Wood to be granted leadership of her own pack. The transition is hardly smooth, however, and Sasha winds up at odds with Aneira, her mate. Failure to maintain control of her pack would mean demotion and shame, but doing what she knows she must could drive Aneira away forever.

When werewolf Katya captures blind weretiger Yun alone in the wilderness, she sees only an opportunity to finally end the raging conflict between their two peoples. Yun remains loyal to the tigers, though, and as time passes, Katya finds herself less and less inclined to force the information from her. But when the fight comes to them, both will see their loyalties tested in the crucible of battle.

Purchase “The Fullness That Love Began” in DAUGHTERS OF ARTEMIS today.