A Bundle of Fairies

My story The Troll’s Belt is in the Here Be Fairies bundle along with 12 other titles.

I’m excited about it, because some of the other participating authors are amazing. I’ve enjoyed the works of Leah Cutter, Anthea Sharp, and Kristine Kathryn Rush for several years now. But this bundle also features two of my newest favorites: Alexandra Brandt and Leslie Claire Walker.

Here’s a little bit about the bundle:

Fairies, fair folk, imps, trolls, and pixies—they haunt our myths from Ireland to Iceland and everywhere else. Join in the fairy fun, or fairy fear, as good, bad, and mischievous they show themselves. Dare you take the trip to Fairyland? No one who returns is ever quite the same.

And here’s a quick rundown of the titles that especially caught my interest:

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FUNERAL DIRECTORS DEAL with everything at a funeral, but only a few must handle an influx of flower fairies. Or worse: the arrival of a flower fairy child, alone and unsupervised.

Flower fairies are unpredictable…except when they get angry. And then they become terrifying.

So, what will they do if they think one of their children faces danger?

 

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~ USA Today Bestselling Urban Fantasy ~

WHAT IF A HIGH-TECH computer game was a gateway to the dangerous Realm of Faerie?

Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn’t suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch—or that she’ll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.

Tam Linn is the perfect hero, in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he’s the only one who can help her.

Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen… before it’s too late.

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ON GULL ISLAND in the cold North, Eithni awaits Winter Solstice with pride, resentment, and fear. All signs point to a Taking year. And Eithni, chosen to enter the chamber of the gods, prepares to leave her human community forever.

On the other side of the Stone Door, Sable stands guard in anticipation of a successful solstice, when the veil between worlds will lift…and when her liege, a lightlord of the fae, will claim the human woman who willingly steps across into the Summer realm.

But everything changes when Eithni breaks the rules.

Everything changes when Sable hears a voice from the stone.

A fantasy love story set among the Picts in Iron Age Scotland.

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A faery sword — A haunted mermaid — A fallen angel

WHEN THE FAE SWORD named War transports Amy to the scene of a magical crime, she finds more than a dead man. The oldest Watcher, Shadow, newly reborn, saw the murder. The victim isn’t innocent, and the killer remains on the loose.

Haunted by the past, Amy wields a powerful weapon. But the source of her mermaid magic—her wild, untamed feelings—frightens her. She’s no hero, and yet the fight comes down to her.

She must learn to trust her her magic, her emotions . . . everything, or she and Shadow have no chance of stopping the killer.

If they fail, enchantment—and with it, all the worlds—will never be the same.

A story about awakening magic and lighting the fires of hope.

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THE GREATER OREGON Fairy Kingdom hides beneath the Pacific Ocean cliffs. Between their own lost dreams, battles with the dwarves, and the encroaching humans, the kingdom continues to diminish. Only two young humans can save them now.

Will Dale, the young human Tinker, answer their dreams? Can he repair the malfunctioning clockwork of the kingdom? Help them finish their great machine? Can they make him care enough?

Or will Nora, his twin sister and a human Maker, align herself with the hated dwarves and destroy the fairies instead?

The Clockwork Fairy Kingdom—the first novel in this exciting New Adult trilogy—combines fast-paced action with magic and modern day clockwork. A delightful read for all ages!

Be sure to read the other two books in the trilogy, The Maker, the Teacher, and the Monster and The Dwarven Wars.

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And here’s a little about my own contribution to the bundle, along with some kind words by reviewer James J. Parson.

YOUNG DECEIT sprouts timeless trouble.

Motherless Brys Arnsson digs himself into trouble. Bad trouble. Tricked by a troll in J.M. Ney-Grimm’s richly imagined North-lands, Brys must dig himself and his best friend back out of danger. But that requires courage … and self-honesty. Traits Brys lacks at depth.

A twist on a classic, The Troll’s Belt builds from humor-threaded conflict to white-knuckle suspense.
 
 

The writing style is fantastic. It’s somehow youthful (as it’s through the eyes of a twelve year old) and mature at the same time. Normally, it would be a challenge to discuss…responsibility, loyalty and forgiveness with such a young ‘voice,’ but Ney-Grimm does so easily. The result is a thought provoking tale…” —James J. Parsons

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The Here Be Fairies bundle (including The Troll’s Belt and 12 other titles) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

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

 

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Remembering Warriors: The Museum of Modern Warfare

I first read “The Museum of Modern Warfare” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch long enough ago that I can’t remember where I encountered it. It might have been included in a bundle sponsored by StoryBundle, but—then again—it might not.

Regardless of where I discovered the story—which isn’t really very important—it stayed with me. It’s a powerful and moving narrative, so I was delighted for the excuse to re-read it when I learned it was included in the Remembering Warriors bundle.

When the Ambassador to the Dylft System—a veteran of the Dylft Wars—receives orders to lead a diplomatic mission to Craznaust, she wonders at the wisdom of accepting the assignment.

Still, when she arrives at the controversial Museum of Modern Warfare, she believes herself prepared to face the past and address whatever diplomatic issue she might find there.
 
But nothing could prepare her for what she finds deep within the museum. Something long buried. Something that could change everything she thought she knew about the war.
 
Winner of the 2015 Analog Anlab Award for Best Short Story.

“The Museum of Modern Warfare” is a deeply internal story, compelling and immersive. We are embedded so firmly within the thoughts and feelings of the ambassador that we never even learn her name. And we don’t need to. Her experience as a veteran of war is the centerpiece here. In a sense she is everyman or everywoman who has fought and lost pieces of herself and survived.

As the narrative progresses, we learn the specifics of what made her military posting to Craznaust so challenging, how the planet eroded the sanity of many serving there, and why the ambassador accepted a return to that environment on a mission of diplomacy.

At the heart of the story, we discover a personal secret the ambassador buried so deeply that she’d forgotten she held it—along with the revelation of a universal truth about grief, mourning, and reconciliation.

I enjoyed the story very much, primarily because of how flawless was the illusion it created that I walked in the ambassador’s shoes. I felt like I was her, that I felt her feelings, thought her thoughts, experienced her experiences, and received the gift of her personal internal revelation.

10% of the royalties from the Remembering Warriors bundle will go to the Royal British Legion plus another 10% to Help for Heroes, two charities that support wounded and ex-service personnel and their families, in commemoration of the World War I centenary.

Comrades in Arms by Kevin J. Anderson
Outside the Walls by A. L. Butcher and Diana L. Wicker
Norman Blood by Barbara G.Tarn
The Rise of a Warrior by Harvey Stanbrough
Total War by Russ Crossley
“Resonant Bronze” by J.M. Ney-Grimm
Siren by Blaze Ward
“The Museum of Modern Warfare” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Nothing for Nothing by Harvey Stanbrough
“The Rescue” by Blaze Ward
Soldier, Storyteller by Linda Maye Adams
“Heroes of Old” by Russ Crossley
With a Broken Sword by Stefon Mears

The Remembering Warriors bundle (with 13 titles, including “The Museum of Modern Warfare” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and my own Resonant Bronze) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

For more about the stories in the Remembering Warriors bundle, see:
Remembering Warriors: Siren
Remembering Warriors: With a Broken Sword
Remembering Warriors: Resonant Bronze

 

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Winter Warmer: Nutball Season

I love Christmas stories, from the original about the babe in a manger through Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to Connie Willis’ Miracle and Other Christmas Stories and more by other contemporary authors.

As I was reading through the Winter Warmer bundle (in which my novella Winter Glory appears), I encountered a new Christmas story to love: “Nutball Season” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

I’ll share the official blurb and then talk about a few of the elements that charmed me. Here’s the blurb:

According to Officer Nick Mantino, Nutball Season runs from Halloween to Christmas. This Christmas season, he sees more than his usual number of nutballs.

First, there’s the geezer who thinks he’s been cast in Miracle on 34th Street. Then there’s Mrs. Billings, who has told everyone she’ll shoot Santa if he lands on her roof.

Mrs. Billings has scared the local children, and Nick Mantino must investigate. What he finds in Prudence Billings’ house scares him too—and makes him wonder if he hasn’t just joined the lists of candidates for Nutball of the Year.

So why do I love this story?

The biggest reason is Officer Nick Mantino, who’s lonely and longing for family, but making the best of it, doing his job and dealing with the crazies brought out by the holiday season. He’s an experienced cop, a realist, and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Yet he finds his pragmatism conflicting with his basic decency and niceness, causing him to treat a Santa impersonator with kindness.

I loved Nick and found myself believing in him, rooting for him, and liking him. He’s very human and very much the heart of the story. But the plot of “Nutball Season” is clever and fun, and the happy ending is completely in the spirit of the season, encompassing healing and new beginnings.

I won’t say more, because I don’t want to give away all the good stuff. Get it, read it, and enjoy it!

“Nutball Season” is available solo, but I urge you to pick up your copy via the Winter Warmer bundle, because then you’ll obtain several other stories with it that are equally good.

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

The Winter Warmer 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.

“Nutball Season” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes.

For more about the stories and novels from the Winter Warmer bundle, see:
Winter Warmer: Phoenix
Winter Warmer: Nobody’s Child
Winter Warmer: Desperate Housewitches
Winter Warmer: Winter Glory

 

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