Mists from the Deeps

     In the night, in the darkness, in the loneliest watch
           heart freezes
           soul cries out
           being shudders

     No answers on offer

     And yet . . . from despair, if I answer yes
           to loss
           to fear
           to death
     Yield assent without limit
     Assent, because all other answers lie barren

     Like earliest dawn, which seeps into the night sky so subtly
           my heart lightens
           a sense of possibility mists from the deeps
           some answer, unspoken, arrives

     Fragile and delicate, surrender to it, do not reach
           this succor may be accepted
           never taken
           new life in the bud

This poem and the accompanying photo appear in my new upcoming release, Journey into Grief.

For more excerpts from the book, see:
Cold Rage
Blessed Radiance
Futile Seeking
Risen

 

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Daylight Shines

           The sky is so blue and friendly
           almost as though it is her smile
           or maybe her laugh
           or both

           I have no sense of its infinite possibility
           ceding to the blackness of outer space
           going on and on past the moon
           past Mars

           No, this sky is immediate, personal
           happy like a baby blanket
           comforting like Mother
           and mine

           I am shielded, illuminated, protected
           under its canopy of brightness
           so long as daylight shines
           safe

This poem and the accompanying photo appear in my new upcoming release, Journey into Grief.

For more excerpts from the book, see:
Missing Her
No Beauty
Exiled
Despair

 

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New Release Coming!

As I said in last week’s post, this book is different from my usual offerings.

I write fantasy, and all of my titles to date have been fiction in that genre. But my new book is memoir, mixed media in the sense that it combines narrative with poetry and photographs. I’m really pleased with how the project has come together, and I suspect I will be creating more such projects.

I haven’t abandoned fantasy, however. Those of you who are fans of my fantasy need not worry. Fantasy is in my very bones, and I intend to write it for as long as I can string words together.

I don’t have a release date yet for the new book, but here is the opening for it.

My Invitation to You

Come with me.

Come take a journey with me.

It is not an easy journey. In fact, it begins in the darkest of all places, the shadow of the valley of death.

So, why should you come, when the beginning is so dark?

Because the journey does not end there.

You have probably already been to the dark place. Someone you love died. Or some piece of yourself that is essential died in you. Someone betrayed you. Someone abandoned you. Or maybe you abandoned you.

There are as many ways to descend into darkness, or be claimed by it, as there are mortals walking this green earth.

But why should you come with me?

And why should you come now?

Because there was something about this book—its cover, its title, its description, or perhaps something unquantifiable—that attracted you, that spoke to you. Some still, small voice within you called or whispered or summoned you.

Come. Come!

Is this a self-help book with questions and exercises and points made?

No. It isn’t.

It’s a sharing of my own journey into grief, the heartbreaking moment of loss, the dark descent, the ocean breakers of feeling, the uneven rise from the depths, the glimpses of light, the instances of relief, and the slow, sure gathering of strength and new life.

So why would you want to experience this?

Because you’ve already been through it yourself. Or because you’re in the middle of such a journey of your own. Or because you fear the journey into grief that lies in your future.

When we take such journeys, we humans, the one thing that enables us to bear up under the weight and the challenge of it is knowing that we are not alone.

We may be alone at the time of our traveling along the dark path.

We may be alone in the specific details of our sojourn.

But we are not alone in our experience of loss and grief.

So come with me.

Come with me, that I may not be alone.

Come with me, that you may not be alone.

Let us move through the darkness together, and emerge again into new life, new life that has grown from the seeds that could sprout only in the deeps.

Our journey will be hard, but amazing. And our emergence will be more amazing still.

Come!

I invite you.

For more excerpts from Journey into Grief, see:
Grief
Mourning
One Crossing
Upwelling

 

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Here Be Unicorns

Not only do I have a story in a new bundle, but I have a new story in a bundle!

It was all rather unexpected and exciting. Let me tell you how it came to pass.

I first started participating in story bundles when writer, editor, and curator Alex Butcher noticed my novel Caught in Amber on the BundleRabbit site and thought it would be perfect for her Mythic Tales bundle.

Since then I’ve participated in many bundles curated by Alex. So many that I’m running out of stories to contribute!

When Alex asked me if I had a story that would fit her upcoming bundle Here Be Unicorns, I had to say, “No, I don’t.”

That just seemed wrong to me. How could I not have a unicorn story? I’m a writer of fantasy. I should have a unicorn story. My micro press is called Wild Unicorn Books. It didn’t just seem wrong that Wild Unicorn offered no unicorn stories, it was wrong!

And then I became possessed of an idea. About a unicorn.

So I dropped everything and wrote the story! “The Hunt of the Unicorn.”

Eventually “Hunt” will be released solo, but I’m currently too busy writing the sequels to The Tally Master to do anything else for several months! Luckily you don’t need to wait. You can get “The Hunt of the Unicorn” right now in Here Be Unicorns, along with the other nine titles in the bundle.

*     *     *

Dust coats Vivian’s lips. Two hours of driving into town with her ex-boyfriend Ash were bad enough. Having him dump her far away from the loading dock with her fossil is worse.

But she’s made it back to town, gotten her fossil to safety, and now she can go relax at home.

If it weren’t for the unicorns playing in her shower.

Vivian isn’t sure how her life grew so surreal but, hey, at least the unicorns have finally let her bring her fossil in.

Only question left is whether or not she gets to keep her life.

And whether they’ll eat all her pizza, too.

 

He would be king one day, and called as king to be wise for his people. But wisdom—and kindness—no longer come to him.

Brychan, princess in a corner of a Wales that never was, requires a unicorn’s horn to mend what is broken within him.

The ancient fables speak of unicorn miracles, but if she finds the magical beast of fable, will the powers of his horn prove to be living truth? Or lying legend?

 
 
 
 
 

Never admit to seeing ichur, the silvery residue of magic spells. Not if you want to stay under the radar of the Councillors of Convane.

Swift, a purebred tracker horse who can smell the smallest trace of ichur, can also remove the magic energy from any human or talisman.

Dallas, rider of Swift, knows how to create a spell without leaving residue, even if he is not a trained mage.

Neither Dallas or Swift admit to seeing and using the magic energy. If they did, Dallas would have his ability to see ichur removed, and Swift would be given to an approved mage by order of the council.

The start of a new fantasy series including mages, dragons, tracker horses, and more.

 

In Feyland, not everything is as it seems…

Feyland—the new computer game—allows Scottish teenager Corinne MacArthur to escape the sadness haunting her mundane days. In Feyland, legends come to life, the lines between reality and fantasy blur, and the impossible becomes—probable?

A stand-alone story with a full plot arc, Unicorn Magic is the first in the Celtic Fey series set in Anthea Sharp’s Feyland universe (with her kind permission). The saga continues in Kelpie Curse.

Urban fantasy in Scotland (and the faerie realm).

 

Unicorns, with their single ivory horn, are elusive and magical creatures of myth. Yet even more elusive are the purple unicorns.

First sighted at the Superstars Writing Seminar, their legend has grown year after year until it could only be contained in this anthology.

Nineteen storytellers—including Peter S. Beagle, Todd McCaffrey, and Jody Lynn Nye—invite us into worlds both near and far, across a desert oasis, a pet shop, a Comic-Con exhibition floor, and more to show us the many variations of purple unicorns.

One Horn to Rule Them All is an unforgettable collection of imagination and creativity. So, saddle up, and take a ride beyond the rainbow.

 

An elf cowboy on a fool’s errand to the Old West town of Desperation, Arizona hunts a faerie bandit queen with a powerful relic in her clutches…but his unicorn steed faces the greater test.

The one-horned magical stallion pursues the runaway love of his life, a chase that pits him against brutal men and beasts alike.

What he finds at the end of the trail will change his fate and that of the Wild West forever.

 
 
 
 

From fable to legend, these wondrous beasts enchant us. Healers or harmers, no one truly knows the heart and horn of the unicorn—dare you seek the answers?

A collection of tales featuring unicorns and magical horses.

“Hidden Eyes” by Meyari McFarland
The Dreamweaver’s Journey by Diana L. Wicker
A Game of Horns edited by Lisa Mangum
“The Hunt of the Unicorn” by J.M. Ney-Grimm
Rider by Diane J Cornwell
“Unicorn Magic” by Roz Marshall
One Horn to Rule Them All edited by Lisa Mangum
“Fossil History” by Meyari McFarland
“And The Unicorn You Rode In On” by Robert Jeschonek
“Escape (The Peena Colada Song)” by Mark Leslie

The Here Be Unicorns bundle is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

For more bundles with my stories in them, see:
Eclectica
Here Be Merfolk
Here Be Fairies
Here Be Dragons
Immortals

 

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Newly Released: First Book in a New Series!

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here at last! 😀

“What is here?” you ask politely, perhaps taken aback by my enthusiasm.

A Talisman Arcane

This book got interrupted while I was in the middle of writing it. It feels like it’s taken much longer than usual from the moment when I started the story to now, when I’m publicly announcing its release. So I’m excited!

Not only is the book available now, but the early reviews are largely favorable, which pleases me a lot.

“Great book about an unlikely friendship…” —Karen B.

“…really enjoyed this story. I read it in a single day. I have to admit I was a bit annoyed when I was interrupted, so you might want to read it on a quiet day of solitude…” —Caroline McBride

“There’s an interesting magic system… But mostly this is a character focused book… The relationships, both new and old, were well written and well thought out.” —Sleepy

“…I really loved this book. I found it hard to put down…and when I did put it down I was often thinking about the characters and what was last going on…when I’d stopped. The characters were all well developed, with strong personalities and backgrounds.” —Dragonessa

But enough of what people are saying. What about the book itself?

Although it is the first in a series, it’s a complete story. I originally wrote the book as a standalone, but every one of my early readers demanded a sequel, because they wanted to hang out with Lealle again and revisit her world.

I feel that way myself. And I have ideas for fresh adventures! So books 2 and 3 will be coming along soon. 😀

Here’s a bit about A Talisman Arcane.

*     *     *

The mansion on Balard Square stands empty. Dirt grimes its marble columns. Cracks mar its once pristine walls. No one enters or exits.

Rumor says no one lives there. Neighbors ignore the property, glad it’s merely shabby, not derelict. Brash youths pretend a witch makes it her home, a wicked witch who hates children.

All of them—rumor, neighbors, and youths—are wrong.

Fleeing a ragged horde of boys, young Lealle discovers the truth of the history-haunted house.

She hopes to keep that truth secret.

But her silence threatens disapproving neighbors, trespassing bullies, and one gentle soul in desperate need of a lifeline.

Magic and coming of age in the tradition of Patricia C. Wrede’s Mairelon the Magician.

A Talisman Arcane is available as an ebook. Amazon

*     *     *

I am experimenting again with having an ebook in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program. My apologies to those of you who get your ebooks elsewhere.

The paperback edition—which will release in a week or two—will be available everywhere. And I plan to make the ebook widely distributed after 90 days.

 

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Blood Silver Is Here!

I’m so excited about this!

Somehow the pre-publication tasks for this book felt a little more complex than usual, no doubt because I’ve been trying a few new things. But they are all done now! (Or most of them.)

One of the new things has been the use of an advance review service. I chose Hidden Gems. (Love it that my book is one of the hidden gems they showcase.)

The way the process works is:

1Upload the book’s file to the Hidden Gems website—in three different formats: epub, mobi, and pdf—along with some information about the book

2Await results as they solicit interest from their reviewers from amongst those who enjoy the book’s genre

3Pay the Hidden Gems fee

4Following the date when Hidden Gems distributes the book to its reviewers, watch in wonder while reviews accumulate on the book’s Amazon page 😀

The idea is that these reviews give prospective buyers more information on which to judge whether or not the book is something said buyer might like.

As I write this post, Blood Silver has 23 reviews! It’s been a bit of a thrill to watch them appear. And it’s been lovely to read so much praise for one of my books!

Of course, not every Hidden Gems reviewer loved Blood Silver. But a lot of them did. Here’s a sampling from a handful of the reviews:

“…a nice quick little read. Great characters, interesting story line, good pacing, and well written.” JMD

“…I couldn’t put it down. It reminded me of Le Morte d’Arthur and Mists of Avalon even though it has nothing to do with the King Arthur legend. This author just brought back those feelings…” Tricia Schiro

“…simple and thought-provoking in a beautiful way. …smart and wise. It’s peaceful and otherworldly. I felt like a new fairy tale had been written and that gave me a lot of joy.” Ambrose Crotts

“The characters felt real, like they could step out of the pages…” Stephanie Wachter

“It felt familiar like an old fairy tale, but was also very fresh and new.” Erin K.

So what’s Blood Silver about?

Faie knight Tahaern loves the bright world of mortals, but the darkness of the faie realm under the knowe relinquishes its denizens but rarely.

To learn more, check out the book’s webpage on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, or Books2Read.

Blood Silver currently has the low price of 99 cents especially for its release. After the weekend, this will go up to its normal list price of $3.99.

I hope you’ll take advantage of the deal and immerse yourself in a story of knightly chivalry, faie trickery, and the beguiling beauty of the bright world.

Amazon I B&N I iTunes I Kobo I Smashwords I Universal Link

Note: The promotion with its sale price is over now, but many, many of you snapped up a copy for 99 cents. May the story bring you delight! 😀

 

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Mythic Tales Bundle

I told you all about story bundles when my own Serpent’s Foe was chosen to be in a bundle called More than Human. Now I have another story appearing in a new bundle! Caught in Amber.

To refresh your memory about bundles…

A curator chooses a theme for her collection and then seeks high-quality stories that fit that theme. The idea is to give readers a chance to conveniently and inexpensively try new-to-them authors.

Because I call one of my own series “Mythic Tales,” this new bundle of Mythic Tales made me wonder if the curator had been reading my mind! But many fantasy writers are inspired by the myths and legends of the past, so I shouldn’t have been so surprised.

The Mythic Tales bundle includes 14 titles, and I’ve enjoyed every one of the four that I’ve read so far. I’m looking forward to the rest! Eight are novels; one is a novella; four are short story collections; and one is a gem of a short story.

My first selection to read was the first title in the bundle, the short story Beneath the Knowe by Anthea Sharp. I’ve read some of Anthea’s work before and liked it, but this story just happens to hit the heart of my taste and I found it especially excellent.

From the official ebook description, here’s a little bit about Beneath the Knowe:

From USA Today bestselling author Anthea Sharp, a magical faerie tale featuring an ancient Celtic setting, music, and the ageless denizens of the Bright Court.

Can music overcome fey magic? When the chieftain’s infant son is stolen away by the fey folk of the Bright Court, Maeve Donnelly journeys beneath the faerie hill to save the child. Her only weapon is a simple pennywhistle, and the music running in her bard-gifted blood…

I plan to say a few words about several of the titles in the bundle in future posts, because there are so many good choices. But I’ll conclude this post with a description of the collection as a whole.

Remember those epic legends of heroes and monsters? Stories of great adventure woven with magic and myth live once more in this collection; read of ancient lore, magic swords, wicked beasts, courageous souls, desperate champions, and unholy bargains. Fairy tales and bold ventures come together in this boxed set.

Beneath the Knowe by Anthea Sharp
Tales of Erana by A. L. Butcher
A Sword’s Poem by Leah Cutter
On the Edge of Faerie by Stefon Mears
Sorcha’s Heart by Debbie Mumford
Tales Fabulous and Fairy by Kim Antieau
Tempus by Janet Morris
Caught in Amber by J.M. Ney-Grimm
The Warden of Power by Karen L. Abrahamson
Beautiful by Barbara G. Tarn
Lost: Cinderella’s Secret Witch Diaries by Ron Vitale
Tales of the Faie: The Beginning of Days by Diana L. Wicker
Raziel’s Shadow by Joseph Robert Lewis
Magic for a Rainy Day by Alexandra Brandt

Bundles remain available for a short time only, usually about 6 weeks, sometimes a bit longer.

The Mythic Tales bundle is now gone, but the stories that were in it remain available separately. A few are so good that each was worth the price of the bundle all on its own.

I urge you to check out the individual titles with an eye to purchasing the ones that particularly appeal to you.

Beneath the Knowe is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

For more reviews of the stories and novels from the Mythic Tales bundle
(plus the odd character interview), see:

Mythic Tales: Caught in Amber, Character Interview – Fae
Mythic Tales: A Sword’s Poem
Mythic Tales: Tales of Erana
Mythic Tales: Tempus
Mythic Tales: Author Interview
Mythic Tales: Raziel’s Shadow
Mythic Tales: Magic for a Rainy Day

For more about other bundles, see:
Here Be Dragons
Spring Surprise
Immortals
Remembering Warriors
Winter Warmer
More than Human

 

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Released! The Tally Master

The Tally Master is now available for purchase as an ebook on Amazon. I’m excited that all of you finally get to read it!

Seven years ago, reeling from a curse in the wake of battle, Gael sought sanctuary and found it in a most perilous place.

The citadel of a troll warlord—haunt of the desperate and violent—proves a harsh refuge for a civilized mage. But Gael wields power enough to create an oasis of order amidst the chaos.

Now master of the metals that flow to the citadel’s weapon forges, Gael rules his tally room unchallenged, until he discovers a theft within its vaults.

Gael loves the quiet certainty of black ink tally marks on smooth parchment, but his search for the thief leads to a maze of unexpected answers, putting his hard-won sanctuary—and his life—at risk.

Set in the Bronze Age of J.M. Ney-Grimm’s North-lands, The Tally Master brings mystery and secrets to epic fantasy in a suspenseful tale of betrayal and redemption.

The Tally Master is available as an ebook. Amazon

The paperback edition is coming soon! 😀

 

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5 New Books!

5 New Titles

I read about the Liliana Nirvana technique more than a year ago, in August 2014, on the blog of SF author Hugh Howey.

The technique is simply described: release 5 new books on the same day or one after the other with little delay in between. The idea is to boost your visibility to readers. Howey said this about it: “You hit bookstore shelves with a handful of titles at once, and they prop each other up. They direct attention toward each other. They amplify your signal.”

I decided to try it, and I’ve been working continuously toward my own 5-title release since that day.

Now – more than 14 months later – my 5 new stories are finally available on Amazon! I’m thrilled, because I hit a patch in the middle of my preparations when I began to wonder if I’d ever pull it off.

I’ve priced each title at 99 cents for release week to give my most assiduous readers a chance at a deal. I’ll raise the prices on the longer works when the initial spate of sales slows.

Here they are for your reading pleasure. 😀

Hunting Wild200 pxYoung Remeya worships the forbidden horned god. A worship made taboo half a millennium ago. Performed still in secret by a few. Quietly tolerated by the king. Epic fantasy in which old beliefs and old loyalties clash with hidden magic in the Middle Ages of the god-touched North-lands.

Ebook at Amazon

Paperback at Amazon
 
 
 
 
 

Serpent web cover 200Once she stalked the duat by Ra’s side, carrying his light in her eyes and battling the monsters that assailed them. Now, tormented by confusion and her own fury, she longs to regain the unique powers which – inexplicably – elude her in captivity. In this mythic tale of pride and revelation, a fight beyond death delivers one last chance at redemption.

Ebook at Amazon

Paperback at Amazon
 
 
 
 

Glory web cover 200Caught in a cold and snow-shrouded wilderness, far from home, Ivvar confronts the woman he once cherished and an ancient scourge of the chilly woodlands in a complicated dance of love and death. Ivvar’s second chance at happiness – and his life – hang in the balance.

Ebook at Amazon

Paperback at Amazon
 
 
 
 
 

Fate's Door, web cover 200Secrets, like troubles, come in threes. Nerine, a sea nymph of the ancient world, knows too much about both. Love and coming of age in a mythic Mediterranean where the gods and goddesses of old shape history.

Ebook at Amazon

Paperback coming soon!
 
 
 
 
 

Amber cover 200When young Fae awakens in a locked and deserted castle, she remembers nothing. Who she is, where she comes from, none of it. A mythic tale of family and betrayal told with all the twists and moments of sheer joy that belong in epic fantasy.

Ebook at Amazon

Paperback at Amazon
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Quantum Zoo in Paperback!

I’m always excited when one of my books releases in paperback. But there’s something really special about Quantum Zoo doing so. Probably because it was such a big project, an ambitious project, and involving so many people. Regardless of the reasons…I am totally doing the happy dance!

:: happy dance, oh, happy dance, happy dance, so happy dance ::

Okay, maybe I can calm down now. Here’s the more sedate statement:
Quantum Zoo is now available as a paperback. Just in time for holiday gifts! Yippee!

(Okay, maybe not so calm after all. I can’t be calm with all this excitement fizzing inside me!) Here’s what the book looks like. More about the contents below.

QZ POD photo 600 px

From a haunted old zoo filled with ghosts to a dying starship on its way to a new home – humanity’s final gasp, Quantum Zoo presents a dozen compelling stories featuring a dozen exotic and unusual menageries.

Jack the Ripper arrives for one last murder, while a dinosaur – out of place and out of time – bridges the gap between two poignant lovers in the wonderfully atmospheric England of Hugo-­ and Nebula-­nominated Bridget McKenna.

Quantum Zoo propels you on an enthralling journey through awe and emotion, highs and lows, with tender romance following hair-­raising action.

Join some of the hottest independent science-­fiction and fantasy authors writing today in the fascinating worlds they create from the zoo!

Quantum Zoo as a paperback:
Amazon.com I Amazon DE I Amazon ES I Amazon UK I CreateSpace

PRAISE FOR QUANTUM ZOO

“What a terrific anthology! Quantum Zoo brings together a great collection of stories by both new and seasoned authors. Given only the starting concept of “zoo,” each author was then allowed to explore that theme in any way they chose. The result: a head-spinning collection of amazingly inventive stories ranging from high fantasy to horror to science fiction.” – Michael Major

PRAISE FOR QUANTUM ZOO AUTHORS

Morgan Johnson writes a “fast, fierce and gritty cyberpunk space lovecraftian tale. Seamlessly honed to a wicked point.”

“Definitely a page turner, exciting, funny, and heart-wrenching at the same time. Gelner ‘knocked it out of the park’!”

“Furie has an eye for witty detail that keeps you turning the pages. More, please!”

“A.C. Smyth has written a gripping, captivating page-turner… Sylas owns my heart, and his journey alternately makes me want to laugh, cry, smack him upside his stubborn head, scream, and most of all, keep reading!”

“McKenna’s subtle style and deft handling are practically textbook perfect for short form fiction.”

Stegall “clearly loves two things: historical research and San Francisco. I’m not sure if I learned more about San Francisco or Wyatt Earp, but I had a great time in the process.”

“Batt has done it again. This story is just unfairly funny. I couldn’t stop laughing, which got me plenty of odd looks in public, I’ll tell you…”

“…always fun to discover a new, talented author, and Scott Dyson is my latest find.”

“A brilliant new fantasy concept, intelligent writing… [McCoy’s] innate story-telling ability combined to produce a tale that I could not get enough of.”

Ney-Grimm “has an ethereal sort of quality to her writing…it’s almost mystical…absolutely unique, and absolutely engaging.”

“Damn you John Hindmarsh – I am on vacation in Turkey and am waking up late every day because I start reading this book in the evening and can’t put it down until 2:30AM!”

Quantum Zoo continues to be available as an ebook.
Amazon.com I Amazon AU I Amazon CA I Amazon DE I Amazon ES I Amazon UK

QZ spine photo 600 px

 

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